Contributing Authors Gavin Wilson Joseph Alcantara Michael Lykman Ivan Ma Noah Cagulangan Caeley Gleman Mason Stone Kindra Bowden Makaila Cobb Katarina Sexsion Author Unknown Orlando Bolden Abby Cottam Isla Atwood Fiona Furze Ty Duncan Jamil Kahok Parker Jeppsen Ava Thomas
The Not-So Normal Average Regular Day By: Gavin Wilson 2021, the year where the world itself changed. Have you ever believed in mystical creatures, zombies, and even aliens? I never did believe in those myths, so I was very unprepared for the unexpected. The invasion was the day that the world changed. The invaders targeted the smaller countries first. and stronger last. The world was in complete chaos as the invaders now over ran all the United States. My state was hit the hardest, California. You're probably wondering how this all started, so I’ll tell you the story. It all started with multiple sightings of large objects in the sky and weird animals lurking in the shadows of rooftops. The government denied all sightings, saying that aliens, or other life that is not native to Earth, do not exist. The sightings became increasingly common, and still the government denied the people’s suspicion. Like normal, my best friend Shaun and I went to school that week like normal, but on Friday at 12.00 sharp... sirens rang out of nowhere. The noise was louder than a fire drill echoing throughout campus. The whole school was in panic and chaos. Dark figures filled the morning sky shotting green rays that were destroying the school. Pieces of our school breaking away and floating towards the dark figures shaped as clouds. I then saw my best friend floating away into the sky. I quickly jumped to save him but missed by a couple of centimeters. Right before his shout became a slight cry, I yelled to him, “we will see each other again!” He never did look back, his reaction told me his answer and he said, "goodbye.” He was right in the end; I never did see him again. After all the chaos, there were not a lot of lives taken, but the destruction across the world was everlasting. How can I ever look at the sky again when all I see is my friend floating away? But the possibility that a cloud might be a UFO scares me to death. After many years of hiding, the invaders finally left Earth. Everything went back to normal, but in a way, everyone was changed somehow, or another, from the invasion in 2021.
Befriending A Ghost 101 By: Joseph Alcantara
Jeremy walked through the abandoned house at sunset as if it were his own. The whole “leave Jeremy at a random location and then abandon him,” prank had been pulled on him so many times that he just treated these places like second homes. Theodore and Jeremiah, who had dared him to go in told him that they would follow right behind him, but Jeremy knew that they didn’t care enough about him to do so. He turned his head, and sure enough they had deserted him.
“Tch, typical of them. I don’t even know why I bother being friends with them anymore, all they do is treat me like a toy to be thrown around.” Jeremy murmured to himself. He had always wanted to meet new people and leave them behind, but out of fear of losing the few “friends” that he had, he forced himself to stay with them.
Jeremy continued to walk about the cobweb-infested halls; he might as well get as much out of the experience as he could. The place was awfully dusty since nobody had lived there for over a century. He picked up a photograph off the ground and looked at the family inside of it; it was your typical nuclear family, two parents and their daughter. A solemn feeling arose in his heart.
He thought to himself, “Dang, I mean, to think that these people have passed away is depressing. They had entire lives, experiences, everything that I have. And then one day it just kind of… ended. Now all that’s left of them is this house and these photographs. I wish I had got to meet at least one of them, I might’ve been able to learn a thing or two from them,” Jeremy chuckled to himself knowing full well that would never happen, and then carried on exploring the house.
He continued his journey up the stairs and walked out to a balcony overviewing the sunset, shining its rays across various flowing hills. He sat along the edge of the balcony, and just gazed at the beautiful scene around him. He boarded up the door behind him with loose pieces of wood; he just wanted some time to himself. As he continued to look out, a strange feeling shivered down Jeremy’s spine, but he thought nothing of it.
“Man, this might be the best place those guys have ever abandoned me at! Despite how creepy it is, this abandoned house is great. I love it here!” Jeremy said to himself. “Yeah, it’s my favorite place too!” A voice whispered back.
Jeremy screamed the highest he had ever screamed in his life, and fell flat on his back on the balcony’s hard wood. He quickly got up and there stood a young girl, wearing a puffy yellow dress with white lace at the end. She seemed to be transparent as you could see right through her whole body. Expecting something awful to happen, Jeremy began to panic. “G-g-GHOST!!” Jeremy shrieked. The young girl simply laughed and said, “Yeah, I get that a lot.” “Now you stay far away from me unholy creature of the night!” Jeremy boomed, trying to hide the obvious quaking in his boots. “Whoa, I wouldn’t go that far. Yeah, I’m dead and transparent but that doesn’t make me any less human! Jeez, take a chill pill my friend.” The ghost attempted to reassure. “Here, hold my hand, and I’ll show you that I’m not a demon or anything.” She took his hand, and then looked back up at him. Saying Jeremy was perplexed would be an understatement; Jeremy looked like his entire world was flipped upside down. “See? I’m not a demon. Now would you please calm down and tell me why you’re at my house?” The girl asked. “Uh, well my friends told me we were going to explore this place for fun and then they a-abandoned me here.” Jeremy explained anxiously. “Man, your friends aren’t that great, are they?” The ghost asked. “Well, I mean… No.” Jeremy grumbled. “Would you um… would you like to be my friend?” Jeremy asked meekly. The girl laughed, but then looked at him and realized he was serious. She began to cry. “Hey, are you alright? What’s wrong?” Jeremy asked with sincerity. “N-nothing. It’s just… I haven’t had a friend in over a century. My name is Angelica, your brand-new ghostly friend.” Angelica said through tears.
Untitled By: Michael Lykman He really did look like a tourist, with a camera around his neck and a bottle of sunscreen sticking out of his tote bag. The portly man sat on the terrace, sipping lemonade, and pretending to look at a glossy cruise brochure. His sunglasses masked his eyes, but I knew he wasn't looking at the brochure: he hadn't turned a page for the last ten minutes. As I brought him his clam chowder, he coughed up a "thank you" and looked at me briefly. I tried not to stare at the tiny scar across his left eyebrow. I walked back inside with my empty tray, shaking my head. He looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place him. Then it hit me. The car accident. The mysterious stranger who helped me out of my crashed car, just before it exploded. I rushed back to his table. He was gone. I moved his saucer and found his tip, along with a card: I am deeply indebted to you. The night of your car accident, I was on my way to rob a jewelry store. Saving your life that night brought things back into perspective. I now live an honest life, thanks to you. God bless you! Mr. D. I shivered. The night of my car accident, I was heading for an interview in a shady dance club. Seeing human kindness through his heroic gesture turned my life around and brought faith back into my life.
The Haunted House By: Ivan Ma One dark and spooky night on Halloween, there was a house that has never been touched for decades. Everyone in the neighborhood knew it was haunted but there was a new kid in the neighborhood named Collin. He went Trick or Treating with his older brother Ivan. At about ten p.m. they were almost finished Trick or Treating, yet they still had to go to the last house on the street… which was the haunted house. As they walked up the driveway the trees next to them hollered and screeched. When they approached the doorstep, they were ready to ring the doorbell. As they pushed the doorbell, they both had the feeling of regret. After they rang the doorbell, nobody answered. They carefully opened the door, as it creaked. Then suddenly, Woof Woof! The two brothers were so alarmed they screamed in fright! They suddenly realized that it was just a mean looking dog. They decided to venture on through the dark and eerie dwelling. As they walked through the hallway, the house kept getting darker and darker. Then suddenly the lights turned on. The brothers were startled and were wondering what caused this to happen. They turned their heads to look at a possible place for a light switch. As they turned their heads there was a big creepy monster with one eye staring at them. They stared at the monster in fright and ran back down the hallway as fast as they could. The monster chased them as they were running but the monster was running so fast that he tripped and fell face down on the carpeted floor. The monster growled in frustration. CUT! Redo that last scene one more time. This time make sure you don’t trip. And... Action!
The Hit By: Noah Cagulangan So, I always imaged hitting a game winning base hit, or home run. But lately my hitting has not been so great. I have been striking out left and right and popping up to the infield. I have not had the feeling of being on base and trying to not get picked off for a long time. I will not let a couple strikeouts...- or a lot of strikeouts stop me from anything. So, for the next few days I started to practice and go to work. I got more baseballs, a better bat, and I practice hitting inside the hitting cages. I even watched YouTube videos on how to make get my swing better when my dad was not home. Before I knew it was game time. I was up to bat I knew I was due to get on base. All this practice. 2 outs runner on second. Pop! The Catcher’s glove. Strike one, I could hear my dugout getting louder each pitch. All the sudden boom I hit it I have never been so happy to run to first base but all the sudden the umpire says foul ball he says. The next pitch comes it looks oh so fast, but he threw me off by pitching a pitch slow. I swing and miss. Strike threeeeeeee the umpire yells. I could not help my emotions when I swung, and my bat did not touch anything. It was as if the tears and sadness started at my pounding heart and came up to my eyes. But I closed my eyes and said to myself make the next play. There is always next at bat. This helped me so did my diving play a second base. And after that play that boosted my positive energy for me and the team if we win this game then we win the whole tournament. Innings went by out after out after out. Before I knew it, I was at bat, and my last at bat. And this one I was not wasting anytime on. He always pitches first pitch strike. There are runners on all bases, 2 out, 5-6 we are down, all I need is a base hit to tie. First pitch comes. CRACK! It is not a ground ball, not a flyball, not a single or double to tie it… but a home run to win it! I was super proud of myself to win and hit a homerun. In a Wii baseball video game.
“Daren!” By: Caeley Gleman I sprung up from my desk getting a headache directly afterwards. “Daren, your homework?” A voice said in a menacing tone. I recognized the voice as my teacher, Mrs. Streng. She stood over me, her eyes shining with anger. I knew sleeping in class was a bad idea, but I couldn’t help it. I stayed up late practicing volleyball in my backyard. It's not like I had a choice, though if I practiced during the afternoon everyone would watch me mess up and get me kicked off the team. I just know they would and if I didn’t practice my coach would find out and kick me off the team as well. The thought made me shudder. “Daren! Are you even listening? I asked for your homework!” Mrs. Streng yelled. By now everyone was looking at me and I felt my face heating up from embarrassment. I quickly reached into my backpack and grabbed my math homework. It was crumbled up and stuffed into my backpack, but I couldn’t care less. I handed my homework to Mrs. Streng who looked at it in a disgusted manner. “Daren, you need to be neater, you are no longer in middle school, you should try harder.” Mrs. Streng said as she rested her head on her hand. She said the same thing to me every day with the same disgusted look on her face. I felt like I was trapped in an inescapable time loop. I didn’t like this feeling at all. I always seemed to disappoint her no matter how hard I try. The loud ringing of the lunch bell interrupted my thoughts. I instantly ran out the classroom as quickly as I could to avoid a lecture from Mrs. Streng. When I arrived at the cafeteria, I immediately saw my friend Jake. He was easy to spot in the crowd because of his bright orange hair and above average height. I waved back with a smile. I sat down next to him and looked around the cafeteria. It was spacious and painted in a baby blue color with some red streaks of paint as well. The people were all loud and mean, I could tell just by their voices. I decided not to look at them because they will probably get mad if I get caught staring. I shook my head to clear my thoughts and reached into my backpack and grabbed my lunch. I always had the same sandwich for lunch. I hated it greatly and couldn’t stand looking at it. “Here.” Jake said handing me a bowl of rice. “Are you sure?” I reply. “Of course! You seem to hate your lunch so have this.” Jake said with a grin. I smiled and took the bowl from Jake’s hands. It felt strange eating someone else's food but for some reason I felt like I've done this before. I moved my blonde hair out of my face. I knew I needed a haircut, but I never had the time to get one. I was always busy practicing volleyball. Before long the bowl was empty, and I was resting my head on the table. I felt my eyes shutting so I let the darkness of sleep ingulf me. “Daren!” I sprung up from my desk getting a headache directly afterwards. “Daren, your homework?” A voice said in a menacing tone.
Mount Treasure By: Mason Stone
As I climb the mountain there is treasure to behold. At the top of the peak awaits the gold. The wind churns as I climb up the mountain. Throwing debris in my face which makes it hard to see. As I reach the halfway point, I stop to rub my eyes and I see the ravine ahead and the tiny pathway that is unstable. I resume to find myself in dire need of help as I hang onto the edge of the other side of the ravine. I let go to find myself on a ledge that has a passageway. As I enter, darkness envelopes me into its cold hands. I hear weird noises that send chills down my spine. I run and run until finally I see some light up ahead. As I reached the end, to my surprise, I had reached the other side of the ravine. It felt good to feel the glamorous heat on my face. After that chilling detour I continued up the treacherous slopes of Mount Treasure. What I found towards the end of my climb was shocking. There was a pathway leading to the peak of the mountain. In the pathway there were ancient artifacts and expensive jewelry, but I did not come here for all those riches. I came here for the real breath-taking experience when you reach the peak. As I made my final step out of the pathway, I saw the beautiful golden sky above. I stopped in shock and took it all in. I let out a breath and said “thank you Mount Treasure.”
Untitled By: Kindra Bowden I run through the field, bow and quiver in hand, I smile as I notice how peaceful it is today. The wind blows through my hair and I pause to make sure that I don’t leave any trace of my existence. When hunting you must be extremely careful to not be seen or heard, so I wait a couple minutes and then make a run for it. The hunting cabin is a few miles away and you must travel on foot to get there. But just then I see something moving out of the corner of my eye and I stop. Fear hits me like a bucket of ice water, and I hold in a scream as I hear the rattling of a rattlesnake. I slowly turn my head around trying to find my enemy, but the tall grass hides its whereabouts. Not knowing what to do, I stand still hoping it retreats. Suddenly, the rattling stops and I watch the grass slowly move as the snake finds something else to eat. I instantly make for the tree line hoping I don’t run into anymore snakes; the branches hit me and pull at my hair, but I don’t notice because I am still in shock from my first encounter with a rattlesnake. I pause to catch a breath and stop at the small stream that I fish in, trying not to fall in I check to make sure there is not a water moccasin sunbathing. I sit down and take a breath, suddenly a small chill runs down my spine. Then I realize I'm not alone, pretending I don’t notice anything I stand back up and look around; I start to slowly walk on the beaten path that I made a couple weeks ago, when I first built the cabin. Passing rabbit burrows and fox dens; I get my arrow ready to shoot at whatever is following me. I pause, waiting to hear footsteps behind me, but I hear nothing but the wind through the trees and whippoorwill's singing their lullaby. I turn on my heals, to find nothing. so, I continue to the cabin, I see it through the trees, and I sigh with relief. I then feel that something is following me again and this time I don’t ignore it, I turn as fast as I can, pulling back on my bow, in the process and I see a little wolf pup. He was grey with white splotches, pointed little ears, and the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen. I suddenly drop my bow and quiver as I notice how thin he was, he jumped as I kneeled to pet him. He was uneasy at first, but after a long time of sitting and petting him; he got comfortable with me and curled into a ball at my feet. He was shivering so I wrapped him up in my deerskin jacket and picked him up. I made the quick decision to take him with me and raise him till he is old enough to take care of himself, just then I hear a distant noise. It sounded like barking, but I wasn’t sure, but then it got louder and louder, till I couldn’t stand it anymore. My eyes flew open to find my dog bouncing around happily, and I wished I could go back to the dream I just had. But that wasn’t any dream, that was a memory...
The Corrupted By: Makaila Cobb
A world filled with wonder and magic, a place beyond humans, at the far end of the galaxy, the Star Kingdom. The kingdomwas filled with elves and magical creatures. The land was not always as grand, there was a terrible evil that erupted the land millions of years ago. A dark, evil spirit, Spiritus Tenebris, the spirit used a form of magic that was forbidden, the power was corrupt and could destroy the universe. But one soul decided to try and harness the power millions of years ago, he brought corruptness to the kingdom. Many tried to stop but his power grew too strong. They needed the help from the spellcasters that where considered outlaws and had disappeared years before, they hid away from all. Some of the greatest had been frowned upon. They had warned the people years ago, but the event never happened until years later, they were called fools and that they did not use their magic wisely. No one knew how or if they could use magic anymore, magic had not been used for years and the ancient scrolls were stolen and nowhere to be found. The kingdom began to lose hope. Soon magic began to reappear and people where hopeful and fearful. The wise had come out of hiding and taught those who could learn to use the gift of true magic. Spiritus Tenebris saw what was happening and became angry. He tried to get more power and began to corrupt his soul. Soon his magic began to weaken so he began to harness the magic gems themselves, the warriors had soon returned ready to fight. After he took the fire elemental crystal all the fire elves lost their magic, they knew they had to protect the other crystals. Spiritus Tenebris Stopped at nothing to steal the rest of the crystals, lots of warriors and spell casters fell in the battle, the land was growing corrupt and dangerous. They had all given up hope, there seemed nothing they could do. The wise, light spirit, Spiritus Lumine became furious with Spiritus Tenebris, she then decided to take the matter into her own hands. She used the power from the light crystal to return the crystals to their places, she then was offered help from the spellcasters, together they defeated Spiritus Tenebris. To punish him for his actions she took away all his power and banished him from the kingdom. And now millions of years later the Star Kingdom is still at peace.
A Midnight Adventure on Halloween By: Katarina Sexsion
Five best friends get a message to meet at a designated location on Halloween night. They start walking in the dark towards an abandoned warehouse, trying to contain their excitement. They must go through the warehouse to get to the woods. They enter the warehouse at exactly 8:00 PM. The teens look around, beginning to feel butterflies swarming in their stomachs, they walk a little faster. Suddenly everybody heard a noise, the certain type of noise that paralyzes and makes it hard to breathe, comes out of nowhere. As scared as they are, the group decides to keep moving forward. The teens are terrified at the thought to even take another step, but they remember why they came and agree to keep going through the warehouse.
It is almost 9:00 PM and they are not even close to their destination. The friends walk together in silence, not one single word has been uttered for over an hour, until the creative teen, who was tall and wearing a tie-dye dress, speaks up. She exclaims, “we are never going to get to the location for the drop-off on time, we should have never taken this shortcut!” Then the intellectual kid whispers, “researchers in recent studies have shown that this is the most effective route to the drop- off point, I have calculated all possible situations and outcomes, as long as we proceed with this route, we should be fine.” The optimistic friend replies, “She is right. We should stick with the plan and try to think of the positive side of things, since we are all together for our last Halloween.” The quirky[KS(S1] kid with a man bun, loudly says “yeah, and we are not going to be hungry for long.” The silence resumes, as they continue down the hall in the warehouse.
The time is 10:00 PM, and the group is out of the old, spooky warehouse. After going through so many halls and doors, the teens are relieved to be out and safe. They now enter the gloomy woods to get to the drop- off point. Then the five teens hear the thumping noise again but this time louder and closer than before. This is when disaster strikes! They all run as fast as they can, but the noise follows them. They stop running and look around to see where the noise is coming from. The five friends come together in a circle, and bravely conquer their fear, as the daring friend shouts, “Show yourself!” As they look back, they see a black shadow come out into the pale glow of the full moon. They anxiously watch as the mysterious silhouette throws five rough textured sacks towards them as they heavily hit the ground. The masked shadow gestures to the kids to put the sacks on their heads. The teens are no longer afraid of the phantom, so they refuse the orders and demand to know what is going on. The ghost says to the kids in a deep voice, “I was sent to bring you to the drop-off point, you must come with me.” The group really wants what is at the drop-off point, and they do not let fear stop them from getting what they want. The teens put the bags over their heads, and the mysterious ghost leads them to the drop-off point. He takes one teen after the other, while the rest of the group sits down nervously, and waits for him to return.
The friends arrive at the drop-off point by 11:00 PM sharp. They wait patiently for instructions, but none are given. They take off their sacks and lay them on the ground. The teens are done waiting, it has been about thirty minutes of eerie silence. As they look around, they realize they are not in the woods anymore. The group somehow ended up in a cabin not too far from the woods. The teens explore the cabin, and then they see the one thing they came for. Right in the middle of the room is a huge, black, filled to the brim, cauldron of candy, as promised in the message anonymously sent. Everyone looks around but the phantom is nowhere to be found. As they begin to head home with filled stomachs, they hear the pounding noise on the floorboards inside the cabin. As the clock strikes midnight, the teenagers, full of terror, turn around and see the ghost of their dead friend!
A Frightful Escape By: Author Unknown
“Uh, uh, uh.” Lea had been running at full speed for what felt like decades. Her arms were trembling in fear, her legs felt like they were about to fall off, her feet were bleeding and covered in blisters. Her heart was beating out of her chest, she could barely breath, it seemed as though she was about to faint any second now. She looked around to see if she had lost them. She didn’t see anyone, so she reached for her back pocket where she was sure her phone was. Panic started to set in, she couldn’t find her phone, she looked in her other pockets and searched the ground but still no sign of her phone. She didn’t know what to do. She was lost in the woods with no shoes, being followed by some stranger, and couldn’t even call anyone to come help her. All of a sudden someone grabbed her, covered her mouth, blind folded her, and put her in what felt like a van. As they drove, she thought about how all this happened. She was just trying to get the mail, she thought it wouldn’t take long so she just went bare foot. While walking to the mailbox she saw a white van following her, she didn’t think anything of it until they stopped when she got to the mailbox. She was a bit worried, so she decided to just walk ahead a bit, but they followed, so she started running and they drove faster. She ran through her neighbors’ yard into the forest in an attempt to lose them, but they followed. WAIT! The car stopped. Someone grabbed her and next thing she knew she was tied up to a chair. They took her blind fold off and left the room, but she couldn’t see their faces because they were wearing ski masks and sunglasses. She looked around as she waited, she was in a wood cabin, with black curtains, the only source of light was a small lamp on the dirt covered ground, and it smelled like gas. They came back but they had some pill and a glass of water. She was scared to even think what they would do to her if she didn’t take the pill, so she just swallowed it. She soon started to feel extremely tired and fell asleep. All of a sudden, she woke up, covered in a cold sweat. She was in her house, on the couch, and she heard the credits to the movie she and her brother were watching. She breathed a sigh of relief when she realized she was asleep and dreaming the whole time.
The Apocalypse By: Orlando Bolden
Just my luck, last human on earth fighting against the apocalypse and just trying to survive, what could possibly be better. Man do I miss the good old days, relaxing and having fun with my friends, but that sure changed when the meteor hit in my hometown. When I woke up everything was gone, my friends, my family everything. I knew I only had a few months left and every few minutes there was a long *beep*. I had to scavenge for anything and everything. Two weeks after the meteor and I am walking around looking for more supplies when the beeping started to spike, and the earth starts to shake. As I start to lose my balance it stops, and it starts to calm down with the slow *beep*. The past week, there has been horrible weather, with multiple storms, tsunamis, tornadoes and volcano eruptions. After a while, the tsunamis started to get worse and worse just like the tornados have been. As the days go on there have been multiple small volcano eruptions making the air full of ash. My body conditions are getting worse and worse as the days go on. As I am walking on the dirty ground with the ashy sky circling around me a tornado appears out of thin air reaching wind speeds of around 300 mph, picking up rocks and flinging them at very high speeds. As I start to run away it picks me up and the wind starts tearing at my rags and my skin as it is throwing me around, a rock hits my head and *beep*. As I open my eyes, I wake up to see all of my friends and family around me. When I asked what happened they said a baseball hit me in the head, putting me in a coma for a few months.
Graveyard By: Abby Cottam
I wandered around on the wet dirt as it stuck to my shoes. The fog stung my eyes and the tall grass that had never been cut tickled my knees. The writing on the grey crumbling stones were outlined in dust, and the flowers that were once colorful had withered. Creases from the dirt covering the bodies now hid underneath the overgrown grass. I stood on the firm ground, listening to the owls hooting and the bugs chirping. The wind whispered in my ear, telling me the horrors of the graveyard. Yet, I ignored it and continued on, the moist dirt kicking up into my shoes. The fog hovered above the grass, covering the dusty base of the tombstones. The dirt wrapped around my ankles, just above where my socks were. Then, I stopped. At that very moment, the ground underneath my now musty shoes started shaking. Shivers crawled down my spine all the way to my dirty ankles. I refused to believe anything like a monster would come out. It must just be a little earthquake, but earthquakes don’t happen around this time of year. My brain shook in the grasp of my skull, my body frozen as if I had no nerves. Suddenly, it stopped. A low moaning sound came from behind me, beneath me. Slowly turning my body, my heart skipping multiple beats, I averted my eyes to the sound. My eyes saw something I could never unsee, even the fog couldn’t make my eyes forget what I saw that night. A hand, a wrinkled, bony, flesh hand emerging from the ground.
The Aching Noise By: Isla Atwood She walks alongside her fellow peers, tired and confused. Rustling, the rustling, oh the dreadful sound that she knew far to well. This sound was nothing more than the others around her but somehow, it managed to whirl her brain. Unable to focus, unable to name this feeling caught up in her thoughts. Never leaving her mind she barely pays attention to the world around her, bumping into people whom she once knew, constantly apologizing for the small mistakes that one normally wouldn’t call a mistake, as they’re more small examples of human nature. Arriving at her destination she gives a small smile to her teacher as to not be rude while also paying mind to the others in the room. Her insecurities had hit her as soon as she had pulled up to the building, only getting worse as the day carried on. It feels as though millions of eyes were on her, staring into her, blossoming fears that were exclusive to her mind only. The morning rays blinding her as she stares out the window at the world that she questions. Wrapped in her own thoughts she guides her attention back to the lesson being taught. She never really speaks for she is far too scared of making a mistake, but isn’t everyone? Everything seems to slow down when she thinks back to those moments, but the truth is that it was all speeding up, too much happening, just enough to drive anyone insane, but somehow, she doesn’t. somehow, just somehow, she feels strangely at home in this place that seems far too big in her imagination.
More than Platonically By: Fiona Furze Sean rushed to get ready; he was going to be late for work. Without his father around, he and his older brother Harrison were forced to work to help pay the bills and care for the younger children. He clipped his black suspenders on and raced out of his bedroom. He was in such a rush, he did not notice his weeping mother in the living room, or his terrified siblings. Sean shouted out a goodbye and ran out of the apartment building, out into the busy streets of Brooklyn, New York, in 1899. Men in fancy suits shuffled by on their way to work and Newsboys already roamed the block, shouting out headlines. Realizing how late he was, he ran towards the circulation gate. “Sorry I’m late, fellas.” Sean apologized, hopping in line behind the last of the boys and fishing a dime out of his pocket. The boys continued their conversation as though Sean hadn’t said anything. “Did you hear about the body they found last night?” A red-haired boy asked excitedly. “Yeah, the headline is bound to be good!” His companion replied. Sean perked up at the news. A good headline meant good sales, which meant a better dinner. Eager for more details, he tried to join the conversation. “Do they know how the guy died?” Sean asked, but again the boys ignored him. This was...odd, to say the least. Maybe, they did not want to talk to the younger kid. Sean huffed, stepping up after them to buy his newspapers. The man at the gate ignored him too, this had to be some sick joke. He was starting to get frustrated, had everyone collectively agreed to ignore him for the day? Eventually, Sean slammed his money down on the small pay box and grabbed a stack of newspapers. The rest of the day followed a similar pattern. He hadn’t sold a single paper. He tried to convince himself that this was some strange dream that he could not wake up from, or some sort of prank. The church bells chimed three times, signaling the end of the day. This was his favorite part of the entire day, he got to see Emery. Sean met Emery after she had gotten herself into quite a bit of trouble with some factory boys. She had beautiful hazel eyes that sparkled in the sunlight and raven black hair. She was kind, witty, and incredibly brave. Emery was different from all the other girls. Sean got butterflies every time he looked at her. One of Sean’s friends, who went by the name Buck, knew she was more than just a friend. According to him, Sean had this “glint” in his stormy blue eyes that gave him away. Sean scoffed at the accusation, but Buck saw through his lies. To make sure his new “friend” did not get into any more trouble, he would walk her home from school every day. She would wait for him by the water-fountain, and they would discuss their day on the walk home. He couldn’t wait to tell her about this strange day. The schoolyard was full of students just being let out of the building. Emery sat on the curb by the fountain, clutching a book tightly to her chest. Sean’s thin lips curled into a smile as he ran over. “Em! Boy am I glad to see you; I’ve had the weirdest day...Emery?” He knelt in front of her, yet she still didn’t react. Her eyes were red and puffy, as though she’d been crying. “Are you okay?” Tears sprang to her eyes; he couldn’t be gone. She refused to accept that the one person she truly trusted in life was dead. His body found mutilated in an alley. This is was simply unfair, he was just a child! She should have told him the truth when she had the chance. She loved him more than platonically... Sean was sobbing, desperately trying to get through to Emery...
But people can’t see ghosts.
Untitled By: Ty Duncan
Everything he dreamed of and worked so hard for was on the line, one drive could decide his entire future. Down by 4 points, only a touchdown would win it. Before he ran out, he thought back to when he was little. He would play pickup games at the park for hours, loving the feel of the ball in his hands, pretending to be in game winning situations. Then he starred in the Pee Wee league where he was the best quarterback and was respected by everyone. This year he had to work extra hard to become one of the best high school starting quarterbacks. The countless hours in the weight room, throwing routes, trying to be the best QB on the field, all led to this moment. He had earned this spot and he had earned this drive that could make or break his football career. Out on the field his best friend and also his best receiver, Jake came up to him and said, “You got this.” He had 75 yards to go and 1:02 to get down the field and win the game. His first three throws were complete and went for 41 total yards. He knew he had 34 yards to go but only 37 seconds to do it. He threw two incompletions but then threw a 13-yard pass, leaving him with 19 seconds left. He threw to Jake who caught it at the 4-yard line and went out of bounds. With 5 seconds left this was their last play. Now he thought 4 yards, 5 seconds, and one throw could end his career. He pushed this thought out of his mind and snapped the ball. The pressure came and he rolled out to the left. His only option was Jake, but he was double teamed in the endzone. With the defense on his heels, he let the ball go praying for the best. He was hit as he threw and fell to the ground. He did not know if what he heard was cheers or groans.
The High School By: Jamil Kahok On August 27th, 2015 6:30 AM, the sky is still dark and foggy. I walk in the new high school. The floor is shiny, the walls are painted perfectly. I try to find my way around. There is a lot of paths I can go down. Do I take a left or right? It is very confusing. There are doors everywhere I go. It is like a maze but 10 times harder. I hear talking. I quickly hide in the cleaning room terrified for my life hoping not to be found. The loud step of the students, they get louder and louder by the second. The closer they get the more anxiety I get. I suddenly hear a crash. BOOM! I see all the cleaning supplies crash down. I quickly move to the other side of the room. I hear high schoolers talking. I hide under the mop bucket. I listen to what they are talking about. Nothing interesting but why knock everything over? 45 minutes go by, the second period bell goes off. None of them leave. Then I hear one of them scream, “IT’S A COCKROACH!”. I stand still. Thinking I'm going to die. I then make a run for it. I run under the cracks of the door and trying to run for my life while I'm getting books and supplies thrown at me. I finally get away. I know for a fact I will never come back to that high school.
Hambleton By: Parker Jeppsen It was a gruesome scene as Lt. John Hambleton and his small group of militia men rushed into battle against the feared British army or referred to as redcoats by most. Canons fired around them; musket balls bombarded upon them like a colonial automatic weapon. Though the odds were not in their favor they still fought with a fierce determination to gain their freedoms and personal liberties.
John Hambleton was a humble and well-respected man, though many knew of him they did not actually know him. John blended into the stereotypical colonist crowd. Being born on the outskirts of Philadelphia he came from humble roots. His father was a farmer while his mother stayed home and took care of the family. One day, though, everything changed; the colonies declared themselves independent and needed an army to fight the English. John knew this was his chance to make a difference for his newly formed country but also to make a change for himself.
John was assigned to the southern Philadelphia militia where they did not receive much action. A few revolts here and there but other than that not much else. John searched for a bigger assignment but what he did not know was that fighting a war is much more difficult than it seems. So, with little experience the southern Philadelphia militia was requested to bunker hill. The colonial army was not prepared for this massacre. Though the colonists had a home field advantage what they did not know was the true power that the British army had. There was no skill involved in this British victory; it was muscle. The colonial army was forced to retreat with over half of their army fallen on the battlefield. After this horrific moment john questioned what he had gotten into.
As time passed on John and his militia became more humbled, they took into consideration the lives they were putting at risk and the freedoms they were fighting for. As the war passed on there was one last battle that would be the turning point for the war: Yorktown. Once again John and his men were requested, but this time they understood who they were up against. The battle commenced and it was an even fight. The colonists relied on their brains while the British relied on their muscle. The battle went on for days and the colonists concluded that they must obtain the hill in the middle of the town center to defeat their enemies. If they were able to reach the top, they would certainly be able to overpower the adversary.
As the race for the hill commenced John was the first to lead his men up the hill. They struggled against the fierce enemy. John and his men were able to reach the top of the hill first, but the battle had not been won. They still were faced with the task of forcing the British out of the great city of Yorktown. One minute they were holding their position, the next they were struggling to defend the hill. In one moment, a shot was taken. Aimed directly for John he was struck straight in the gut. In that same moment everything stopped. John did not know if this meant the end of him or if something else was happening. Neither sides of the battle could fight or even move. Suddenly a loud voice shrieked down from the sky saying, “Jake put your toys down and come eat dinner!” The six-year-old boy had to pause his game so he could go eat.
Untitled By Ava Thomas I have been walking for five minutes, sweating, and panting as I go. Today was hard, and I hope it's worth it in the end. I am walking home, and I can’t wait to get a nice, ice cold drink of water. My feet were sore, the blazing, summer sun hitting my face. If only it were cooler outside. As I walked along the pathway, the leaves of the approaching trees turned red and yellow and fell off. A nice breeze cooled down the Earth. The fiery sun was covered by clouds. Quickly, more and more leaves fell off the trees. The clouds got darker and darker. Then, little flakes of white fell to the ground. They quickly bunched up into piles of snow on the ground. I used my towel as a scarf, as the air grew cold. Suddenly, the snowflakes began to feel wet, and the snow on the ground became mushy. The snow melted and was washed away by the rain that was now falling. The rain fell harder, and my towel was now an umbrella. I kept my eyes shut to keep out the water. Eventually, the rain lightened up. And when I opened my eyes, there were beautiful flowers blooming everywhere. The clouds moved so that the sun could warm the Earth again. Red, blue, yellow, every color that there is. The sun got hot again, just when it had been when I had started walking. I enjoyed looking at flowers in every direction, and when I turned around, I was home. Except now I felt like I could run for miles.