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Young Southern Student Writers Winners of 2012


A Project of the


Arts & Education Council and the

Department of English University of Tennessee Chattanooga




Special Thanks


to Our Sponsors

Young Southern Student Writers Winners of 2012


A Project of the


Arts & Education Council and the

Department of English University of Tennessee Chattanooga


{Past Events{


{Past Events{



{Preface{ This twelfth Young Southern Student Writers contest is sponsored by the Arts & Education Council and the Department of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Board and staff members from the Arts & Education Council, under the guidance of Executive Director, Susan Robinson, deserve our thanks for their generosity and for their support of this area's outstanding young writers. Laurel Eldridge and Ann Johnson, in particular, were essential to the success of this year's contest. I am grateful for their help and their guidance. I would also like to thank our dedicated teachers, K-12, who encouraged their students to submit entries. Likewise, I thank the faculty of the Department of English at UTC who served as readers/judges this year. Their participation and assistance this year was crucial. And a very special thanks goes to Paige Broussard, my graduate assistant, who spent countless hours scanning and formatting the winning entries for this online booklet. Without her dedication and tireless work, this booklet simply would not exist. Finally, I should thank Brewer Media and the staff at The Pulse. This booklet is the result of the dedicated and hard work the staff and interns at The Pulse. More than 5,000 students from schools in the Chattanooga area, as well as schools from north Georgia and Alabama, submitted entries this year. While we have tried very hard to make sure all entries are accurate, there will be mistakes. Some of those mistakes are original to the entries; other mistakes may simply be the result of scanning and digitizing the winning submissions. If errors appear because of this process, I apologize. Otherwise, read and enjoy! This was an especially strong year of quality submissions from our young Southern writers. Keep up the good work, teachers and students alike!

Joe Wilferth, Chair 2012 Young Southern Student Writers UC Foundation Assoc. Professor and Department Head University of Tennessee at Chattanooga




Grades K-2 Poetry


My Thanksgiving We went to the ice skating rink. It was so fun. I won the game. Olivia Carisch Kindergarten Normal Museum Magnet Mrs. Gibson

Dinosaur Dinosaur Scary Sharp Claws Run Fast Dinosaur Logan McGinnis Kindergarten Boyd Buchanan School Patricia Zumbrun

Snowflakes Snowflakes Cold Sparkle Play Snowflakes Claire Weaver Kindergarten Boyd Buchanan School Patricia Zumbrun

Japan Small country Small houses Small cars Small streets My home Kota Ito Kindergarten Boyd Buchanan Elementary Mrs. Risley


Ocean Ocean goes splash. Ocean goes deep. Ocean goes up on the shore. Ocean has fish. Ocean has me! Cadyn Parker Kindergarten Boyd Buchanan Elementary Mrs. Risley

My Turkey My turkey is red. It has a head. It likes to play. It can neigh. Nahla Hanks Grade K Dupont Elementary Mrs. Slaughter

The Turkey That Ran Away I played dead so they can't eat me. Then I jumped out of the pot. Then I ate their food. Then I ran away. Cole Simpson Grade 1 DuPont Elementary Ms. Gibson

Watery The sea waves and smashes. Gentle comes the rainy day. Thunder and lightening! Drip drop the water flows through the air. Meghan Jordan Grade 1 Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Angie Kelly


Snowman Snow and snowflakes Nose is a carrot Old snowmen melt With two anns Many rocks Arms that creak No snow, no snowman Machai Clemons 1st Grade Battle Academy Brittany Behler

Winter Snow Snow falling, Falling everywhere, As winter is here. We all have fun, Icy hills, Snowball fights, Warm lights, In the falling snow, Let it snow, Let it snow! Cason Wilkinson Grade 1 Wallace A. Smith Elementary Mrs. Leann Mowery

Christmas Christmas is love. Christmas feels gentle. Christmas sounds like laughing. Christmas looks shimmery. Christmas tastes chocolatey. Christmas smells like candles. Michaela Gray Grade 1 Boyd-Buchanan School Mrs. Butcher


In the Summer In the summer, Me and my dog Play Jump Fast Run Sun Fetch Summer Me Dog Excitement! Jaxon Windberry Grade 1 Wallace A. Smith Elementary Mrs. Lynn Sutton

Christmas Christmas is family. Christmas feels cold. Christmas sounds like ripping of paper. Christmas looks white. Christmas tastes chocolatey. Christmas smells gingery. Jacob Sutton Grade 1 Boyd-Buchanan School Mrs. Butcher

DOG Dog. Brown dog. Dancing in circles on her hind legs. Toenails tapping on the kitchen floor. Dog. Gracie Ring First Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Ginny Cochran


My Book of Thanks I am thankful for my Mom and Dad. They love me so much that they gave me a necklace. It had my birthstone in it. I am thankful for my Grandmother. She made me a special necklace before she died. I am thankful for my Pappy because he got that dog. Some people wanted him to take care of her. Her name is Fiona, but we call her Cherry. I am thankful for Thanksgiving because it has a big, big Thanksgiving turkey. I am thankful for bats because they help our Earth. I am thankful for friends. If I get hurt, they help me. I am thankful for God. If I get a cut, He heals me. And He made me special. Miranda Renfro Grade 1 Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Ginny Cochran

FALL Fall is here. Fall looks like dew on the ground. Fall sounds like crows going "Caw! Caw! Caw!" Fall smells like turkey at Aunt Doris's house. Fall tastes like maple syrup. Fall feels like the warmth of a cozy fire. Miranda Renfro First Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Ginny Cochran


My Car Zooms My car zooms, zooms, zooms. I go around, around and around in the car, car, car. It is fun, fun, fun. I spin, spin, spin all around. I have a seat, seat, seat in my car, car, car. There are moons on my seat in the car, car, car. Can you see, see, see them on the seat, seat, seat. Lean over please. I will whisper to you dear old car. Tell me how fast you can zoom, zoom, zoom. Hayli Lockwood Grade 2 Hixson Elementary School Mary Brown

Winter Crisp cloudy A time of year when it snows A season of building snowmen Crunching sliding pilling Fluffy icy Snow Nicholas Bowen 2nd grade Thrasher Elementary Mrs. Simpson


The Flower I saw a flower under the trees It moved a little with the gentle breeze. I thought it was pretty as it peeked through the leaves. It was special to me and also to bees I started to pick it but left it to be So that others might see it especially the bee. So when I see a flower wherever it be I leave it alone that others might see. Nissi Massey Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Mrs. Simpson

Bayou In the bayou we see beautiful creatures White cranes, Barred Owls, Otters and even alligators. We hear the wind blowing through the swamp. At night we can hear crickets, owls and the calls of the frogs. We feel the warm, salty air when we take a ride out in the boat. It is peaceful out in the bayou. Holden Fagan Grade 2 Thrasher Mrs. Gooden


Beautiful Exchange Right now You are across the world. We are in different countries. Soon we are going to be Sisters. I can't wait to see You face to face. I LOVE YOU!!! Rowan Kologek Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Mrs. Gooden

Stouty's Death Why did Stouty have to go? Why did he have to die? I loved him with all my heart. He was my Valentine No fish was more loyal. That was always true. And now I am so very sad That Stouty's life is through! Cade Miller Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Judy Niedbala

Gobble! Gobl go turkey! I love turkey gobl an! Thank god for turkey! Erin Holder Grade 2 Normal Park Museum Magnet Jennifer Romans


Star Cartwheels and Flips never Flop Jumping on beams with my gymnastics team Doing backhandsprings And big swings on bars I hope one day I will be a star. Caroline Bowling Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Mrs. Niedbala

Birds Like a paper plane Lifting through the wind Perched On a branch It builds a nest for the night Ian Campbell Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Melanie Bautista

Japan A place that you will love. A trip to the place that you will never forget. Peace and harmony there. A kimono and traditional things and new things to see. Caroline Stamey Grade 2 Normal Park Museum Magnet School Jewell Carroll


Play Time We play with books. We play with clay. We play with colors. Red and gray. We run to school. We don't delay. Because at school, We get to play. Play, play, play! How children love to play. Calen Finch Grade 2 CSLA Mr. Castle

Sick Sick in bed, Stuck at home. Fell out of bed, Hit my head. Bookshelf fell, Books fell on my head. Kathryn Lazenby Grade 2 CSLA Mr. Castle

My Dog My dog is 7 feet tall, He likes to play with a gigantic ball. He rolls around all over the ground And he likes to chase his tale around and around. He loves to snuggle Every time he cuddles. His name is Matt and he lives with a cat On the back porch floor mat. Jekya Benn 2nd grade CSLA Mrs. Foster




High Grades School K-2 Poetry Prose


God's Love There was a submarine that got stuck at the bottom of the ocean. Floating hearts were coming from heaven that God sent. From the sea, God sent giant sponges. The floating hearts and giant sponges pushed the submarine up. The people got out of the submarine. Their mommies and daddies came and got them and hugged them. Noah Humble Kindergarten Boyd.Buchanan School Mrs. Tompkins

First Time Getting Her License My sister just now got her driving license. This is her time to drive. She is sixteen. The first time my sister drove on the road, my Daddy and my Momma wanted us to wear football helmets and baseball helmets. They said, "Wear helmets." We said, "Why?" They said, "Because it will be dangerous." My sister said, "We're not going to crash!" We didn't crash, not even close 'cause we were careful. Tate Williams Kindergarten Boyd-Buchanan School Mrs. Tompkins

Snack I carried in a big box of cherry bars. I gave them to my class and they were so happy. Jane-Kelly Smith Kindergarten Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Wilsie

Talking to Carter Carter and me were talking to each other together. I wish that we could talk all day long. Jaleel Roberson Kindergarten Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Wilsie

Socks Fox Socks was a fox. Socks saw a hen. Socks hid, but the hen saw Socks. The hen ran away. The hen met a dog. The hen met a cat. The cat met a horse. The hen, the dog, the cat, and the horse ran. But the hen ran and sat. He was to take a break from running. Then hen laid eggs, and Socks ran away and never got the hen again. Parker Ryan Kindergarten Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Debby Gardner


The Farm One day far, far away in the country, there lived one mommy cow and two baby cows. And the baby cows grew up to be so big, and had some friends along the way. And their friends were chickens and sheep. They all lived on a farm together. And the cows finally grew up so big they could make milk. And their friends laid eggs and gave wool. That’s all! Seth Scoggins Kindergarten Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Debby Gardner

Farmer Mia Farmer Mia has a farm with some horses and some cows. The horses like to run. The cows like to eat. She has some sheep. They like their wool because it keeps them warm. She has some ducks. The ducks like their babies. They have two and ten babies. She has a rooster that likes to walk around the farm. Farmer Mia likes her farm. It's so fun! Norah Floyd Kindergarten Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Debby Gardner

Scooby Doo and the Fireball Throwing Monster One day Shaggy and Scooby went down in the basement to get one of Scooby' s old toys and one of Scooby's old pictures. Scooby found them but when he found them he also found a fireball throwing monster! Scooby and Shaggy were scared! The fireball throwing monster tried to throw fireballs at them but they were too fast. They went and got the gang. Fred got his cell phone out and called the sheriff. The sheriff was not happy because he already had captured the horseshoe throwing monster and then the fireball throwing monster tried to get the sheriff. The sheriff was too fast and the sheriff grabbed him on the legs but the fireball throwing monster jerked his legs out of the sheriff's hands. The sheriff was mad that the fireball throwing monster did that. The same thing happened again! The sheriff was even more angry than he had ever been! The sheriff got the fireball throwing monster's body this time and then the sheriff jerked his mask off. It was just the gang's teacher, again! Then the sheriff gave him grace because he had already been in jail. He put another mask on but then he took the mask off and it was funny. The End Noah Rhey Houston Kindergarten Silverdale Baptist Academy Zee Espy


Principal for a Day If I were principal, I would let everyone go home and eat candy. I would make everyone walk a lap before recess, and then they could play. I would get sticky hands and hang from the ceiling like a monkey. If I were principal, my name would be Principal Wise. Hayden Wise Grade 1 Normal Park Museum Magnet Megan Methvin

Locked In If I got locked in at Normal Park overnight, I would scream and call 911. I would be very scared. I would go to the cafeteria and eat all of the ice cream. I would like to play at Free Choice, but I hope I never get locked in at school.

My Own Cat One time I was getting ready for bed. My mom went outside. I went outside, too. I saw a cat. I didn't have a cat, but I wanted a cat. The next day, I saw the cat inside the house. She had a collar. My mom told me she was my cat now. I take good care of her. I give her milk and food. She also has her own toy to play with. She is a nice cat. I love my new cat. Alex Saldana Grade 1 Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Jennifer Zeigler

3 Important Things I cannot live without my friends, my brother, and my parents. I like to play with my friends, be silly with my brother, and talk with my parents. There are millions of things we can do together. My friends, brother, and parents help me grow. I could do lots of things with somebody I do know, but my friends help me do hard things. We know each other. What is most important is that we are all a community. Chapman Word Grade 1 Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. lennlfer Zeigler

My Snake My snake is brown. He is a red tail boa. I named him Tameo. He likes to slide to the fish tank and tries to get the fish. We take him out and hold him. He never bites unless he hears loud noises. Anthoney Smith Grade 1 Hixson Elementary Mrs. Beverly McCormick


Dear Santa, I have been a nice friend. In Kindergarten I picked up trash. I've been nice to my girl cousin. I helped my Mom with the Christmas decorations on the Christmas tree. I kept my room clean for two months. How do you get all around the world in one night and deliver all those presents? Tell Mrs. Claus I said, "Hi!" please. And the elves too. My birthday was supposed to be on Christmas Eve. My birthday really is not Christmas Eve because my Mom didn't want to be in the hospital on Christmas Eve. Every word that I wrote is true. I can read Junie B. books now! I love gymnastics and I have been practicing. I can do back walkovers now. I moved up to Level Advance One. Emily Logan Grade 1 Boyd Buchanon Mrs. Connelly

Dear Santa, I helped my Mom and Dad put up my Christmas decorations. I have been doing my best for the teacher this year. This year we are making a Christmas tree out of our hands and I have been doing my best on them. I have been practicing our Christmas play song. I have not argued with my parents this whole year. I let my sister and Daddy pull out the two teeth that were loose two weeks in a row. I have been helping B.J. on the playground if he falls or gets hurt and I help Mom clean my dishes. I have been a good boy this year. How are you doing this year? I hope you are doing good this year. How do you deliver all the presents in one night? How does Rudolph's nose really light up? How old are you? What color of nose do you have? Red, pink, or skin color? How do the reindeer know where to go next from house to house? Have you been good to the elves and Mrs. Claus? When you were in first grade what was your favorite subject? Mine is math. How will we get our presents when you die? Will your son be Santa Claus? What is your favorite holiday? Mine is Christmas. I think yours is too. How many elves are there at the North Pole? Who is on the naughty list and who is on the nice list? You are the third greatest person in the world. God and Jesus are the best! How many toys will I get this year? I've been reading my hardest. It is the fifth of December and how many toys have already been made so far? How old is Rudolph? How do you know that Rudolph's nose is going to stay lit up this year? I have been nice to my friends this year too. Merry Christmas, Charlie Charlie Clevenger Grade 1 Boyd Buchanon Mrs. Connelly


Loose Tooth Today my tooth was wiggling. We were lining up. We were going to P.E. I opened the door. Then I wiggled my tooth again. It was so wiggley. When we got there, we went to our spots. Coach D told us to stand up. I said, "Coach D my tooth is bleeding." He said, "How about you go to the nurse?" I went to the nurse. She gave me a napkin for me to pull my tooth out. She said, "If you pull it out, you will get a certificate. It looks like this. Then I pulled it out! Haley Haygood 1st grade Battle Academy Mrs. Rychener

I Love Callie A cat cannot have more than 18 babes. I have a cat. It meows for its babies to come out. Cats like mine will protect their babies. My cat will meow at me, but I love her. She scratches me and bites me. I do not care. I still love her. I will pet her. I will hold her in my hands. Her name is Callie. I love her no matter what she does. She loves me, but I cannot stand it when she licks me! I love Callie. Lillian Hernandez Grade 1 Hixson Elementary Mrs. Beverly McCormick

If I Were Invisible If I were invisible I would fly far away. Ghosts can also be invisible. Humans cannot hear ghosts, but ghosts can be scary. Vacuum cleaners can suck in the ghosts. Even a bad person can hit me and I would still be alive. If a house falls on me, I would still be alive. The people will not slay me. If a guy pushes me, he will go through me. If I ate, food will go through me too. And NOTHING can hurt me. But, if vacuum cleaners come I will get sucked up in the vacuum cleaner. But you wouldn't do that because it is not right. Grady Joyner 1st grade Normal Park Museum Magnet O'Brien


The Quest to Fix the Broken Night One night, in the middle of the night, I was looking out my window and there was a Pegasus outside. The next night, there wasn't. It had vanished. The next night I looked out my window and there was a lion. It was there to tell me a message, but I can't tell you what the message was and I can't tell you why I can't tell you. The next night there wasn't a night, because the magic night of the crystal ball had been broken. I'll tell you a secret about the message. Well, it appeared the crystal ball was my mom's necklace. I accidentally broke it. I'll go ask my friends, Garrick, Roman, Rheagan and Emma and they will help me in the quest to fix my mom's necklace hopefully. The missing Pegasus was a sign that there wasn't going to be night except for that one the other time there was one. "So guys and girls, phew" I said "this is breaking news. I broke the night. By the way, will you help me on the quest to fix my mom's necklace?" And so they did. The next day the lion was there. He was going to give us a ride to the place where we would fix the necklace. Of course it was still a day, there wasn't a night, but we still slept anyway. And so, we went on a quest anyway and we fixed my mom's necklace. I'll tell you how we did it and how we got there. To get there, we went over the hills and on the mountain. While we were in the mountains we found out how we could fix it. We found Jack Frost and Peter. Jack Frost could freeze the necklace back together and Peter could repair it. I, Joshua, had a plan. But before I could tell you this, I had to tell Jack Frost and Peter. So they fixed it. They came with me on the quest. So, the next day the quest was ended. We fixed it! We started our journey back home. Luckily, there was a place I could get some food. It was only bread though. It was almost Christmas. While we were stopped, I told Jack Frost and Peter about the true meaning of Christmas. I told them it's not about Santa bringing toys or Jack freezing things, it is about a King being born in a stable. They were surprised because I said stable or a cave. I ate the bread and we continued our long journey home. We finally got there, I was panting. The lion was there too. He had been there all the time. When I got back, my neighborhood and my house and family had all disappeared, even my neighbors, all except for one. I had to go see Jimbo, my neighbor. I was too scared to go into Jimbo's house alone, so my friends came with me. I told Jimbo about the three kings of Orient and the movie of the first Noel. The next day, somehow, I don't know how though, my family and the rest of the neighbors were back. I ran up and hugged my mom. Since we fixed the necklace on our quest, we were going to have nights again. I found the Pegasus; by the way, it was actually Jimbo's pet. He only comes out at night. Apparently, the Pegasus is nocturnal, so once the night came back, the Pegasus came back out. It was peaceful in my neighborhood once again. Joshua Woodall Grade 1 Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Melanie Benson


Two Crazy Pigs We are two crazy pigs. We lived on the Fenster Farm. We tickled the hens while they were laying eggs. "Stop that! You crazy, crazy pigs!" yelled Mr. Fenster. We tied the cows tails. "Stop that, you crazy pigs!" yelled Mr. Fenster. Instead of rolling in the mud, we threw it at each other. "Stop that, you crazy pigs!" yelled Mr. and Mrs. Fenster. "Oops!" "Pack your bags and leave," yelled Mr. and Mrs. Fenster. All the animals cried, "We'll miss you crazy pigs!" We went down the road to Mr. and Mrs. Henhawk's farm. "Do you have room here for two crazy pigs?" we asked. Mr. Henhaw made us a new pig pen. He laughed when we dipped the sheep's tail in ink. Mrs. Henhaw let us make mud pies in her stove. One day the Fenster's cow, Shirley, came to visit. "Will you come back to the farm?" Shirley asked. "The hens are not laying eggs. The cows have stopped giving milk." "No," we said, "Mr. and Mrs. Henhawk love us for who we are ... crazy pigs." We pulled Shirley's tail and said good-bye. Then she went back to the Fenster Farm. One week later all of the other Fenster animals came to the Henhawk Farm. They said, "Do you have room for us here?" They said, "Yes." Then they all became trusting friends. Ruchi Birur Grade 1 Big Ridge Elementary Mrs. Carrie Bishop

The Santa Dog Once there was a dog and he thought he was Santa. So he got out his box of toys that he found under the Christmas tree and another box out for his sleigh. He found two more dogs for reindeer. Their names were Emma and Kit and they can fly. The dog put sixteen presents in each chimney. Then he ran out of toys. He had to sneak up on the elves to try to get another box of toys. He said "HO HO HO!" Then he saw another Santa and realized that he wasn't the real Santa. Maggie Smith Grade 1 Thrasher Elementary Wetherly Kennedy


The Black Figure Once there was a boy named Cole and he was doing what he usually does at bedtime: reading in his bed. It was a story called The Tales of Three Hares. It was just getting scary because one of the rabbits was trapped in an empty stone house and it was raining. The lights started to flicker in Cole's room. Then they turned off. Cole heard a screeching sound on his window and rain falling. He decided to wait a little bit before he went outside to see what it was. A few minutes later Cole crept down the stairs and put his shoes on and got a flashlight and an umbrella. He went outside and saw his window but he saw nothing on it. He looked around the corner and saw a black figure with a big stick. It stopped raining so Cole put his umbrella out and picked up another big stick. The black figure saw him and they both paused. Then the black figure ran into the woods next to Cole's house. And then Cole ran after him. When he got into the woods Cole saw the black figure again with another black figure. They were talking and Cole did not understand them. It sounded like the screeching sound he heard earlier. Cole got down and tried to blend in with the leaves so the figures wouldn't see him. The first black figure ran back into the woods farther. A few minutes later the black came back with another black figure that was much taller than the others. Now there were three! The tall black figure took his hood off and Cole saw his face which was a sideways oval. Cole saw that the figure didn't have a nose, but two holes in his face. His eyes were glowing green and to Cole they looked like snake eyes. It was an alien! All of a sudden a spaceship appeared and landed by the lights on it. A ramp came down with lights on it. The aliens got into the ship and took off into space. A year passed and Cole never saw the aliens or heard the screeching sound again. THE END Elijah Hampton Grade 1 Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Kelly

The Water Dragon One stormy day a dragon was in the water. His name was Sharpdan. He was the king of the seas, oceans, and volcanoes. He could go in the lava or fly or go in the water. He had 8,000 scales on his body. He had to save other dragons and get new powers. Jerald Arden Freeman Grade 1 C.S.L.A. Melissa Striker


The Ladybug Who Wanted to be Red Once upon a time, there was a ladybug named Lilly. Lilly was orange with big black spots. One night, before going to bed, she thought about her color. All of her friends were red, but one of her friends was orange just like her. Lilly always played with her orange friend, Rosie. Lilly told Rosie, "I would be pretty if I were red instead of orange." So Lilly found a red rose and flew into it. It didn't make her red ... she was still orange. Lilly then found some red paint and flew into it, and then, it made her red! She flew off, and then, her red paint came off. Then Lilly went to her mother. She said, "I WANT TO BE RED LIKE ALL OF THE OTHER LADY BUGS! AND I CAN'T GET RED!!!" And then her mother said, "It protects you if you are orange. That just shows that you are a girl so you don't get mixed up between the boys and the girls." And then Rosie said, "I think its fun being orange." And then, Lilly liked being orange. Chloe Rice Grade 1 Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Trogdon

In Cold Weather In cold weather I like to go outside and play in the snow. I also like to go to the warm fire and drink hot cocoa. My brothers and I make stuff in the snow. I go play with Maggie. She loves to play with her favorite toy. The snow is to play in. We have a snowman contest against our neighbors. When it's a school day, I bundle up and go to school. I love any kind of weather, as long as I am prepared for it. Charlotte Murphree Grade 1 Normal Magnet O'Brien

If I had a Tiger‌ If I had a tiger as a pet I would play tug war. We will watch T.V. together. I will name it Nate. I will sleep with my tiger. I will sleep on my tummy. I will give him meat to eat. I will have to clean him. He might chew on my cabinets. I will get mad. I will have to take him to the bathroom. He will run fast. He will like my house. He will make a new friend. Nate Annstrong Grade 1 Nonnal Park Museum Magnet Beth McCoy


First Christmas The Lee family lived in Chattanooga, TN in a big red house. The Lee's loved their house and worked very hard to keep it clean. Sandy loved to work in her garden. She grew cantaloupe, potatoes, carrots, and squash which kept the family healthy. The Lee children, Robbie and Sadie, loved to play hide and seek in the woods around the house. One day three bad guys came to their house. The bad guys took Robbie's sister, Sadie. The family was very sad. The Lee family decided to leave their house for good and search for Sadie. The Lee's searched the woods and the mountains for Sadie. The weather got really cold and snow started to fall. The family had to find somewhere to sleep. They found an old bear's cave in the mountain. They gathered some old wood for a fire and picked mushrooms to eat. While living in the cave, the members of the Lee family started getting sick because it was so cold. Big Bill knew something had to be done. Robbie was playing outside one afternoon, when he saw something sticking out of a giant tree. Robbie said to his mom, "Mom does that look like a chimney?" Sandy replied, "Yes, I think it is." All the members of the Lee family went to see what that really was by the tree. When they got closer, they realized they were looking at an uncared for house. Big Bill knocked on the door but no one answered. So Big Bill opened the door and went into the house. He saw a little dot of light. Bill walked towards the light and saw an old man sitting on a couch. The old man looked at Bill and asked, "How do you do?" Bill replied, "Could my family and I spend the night?" But the old man said, "No!" Big Bill noticed that the old man was not a good guy. The old man picked up a candle and threw it at Big Bill. Big Bill ducked and the candle hit the wall and bounced back to the old man. As the candle came back toward the old man he ducked. The candle hit a magic wand that was on the old man's shelf. The magic wand fell off of the shelf and into Robbie's hand. Robbie pointed the wand at the old man. The wand's magic circled the old man who turned the man nice. Robbie told the old man about how Sadie was taken by the bad men. The old man promised Robbie he would help them find Sadie. The next morning, Robbie and the old man took the magic wand into the woods to find Sadie. The magic wand guided them to a town at the bottom of the mountain. Sadie was sitting in a chair at the police station. The police officers were trying to find the Lee family to give Sadie back to them. Robbie was so excited to see his little sister. Robbie and the old man took Sadie back to the old man's house. Big Bill and Sandy were so excited to see Sadie, they asked the old man what they could do for him since they helped them get their daughter back. He asked the Lee family if they would help him decorate the house for Christmas. The Lee family was very excited to help him. This would be his very first Christmas. Ryan McGhee Grade 1 Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Greene


Luka Luka is my friend. He flips me over at recess. He is awesome. He is funny. He wears glasses. He doesn't waste time. He is in my class. His favorite color is green. Mine is too! Campbell Cockerham Grade 1 Normal Park Museum Magnet Beth McCoy

Fun in the Snow In cold weather I like to build snowmen. Snowmen are hard to build. My dad helps me build them. My mom watches us. My dad has to roll up the balls of snow. Then, we stack the 3 balls together. We find sticks for the arms. We go in the house to find a carrot for the nose. The eyes are made out of buttons. We have tried to make a sled before out of a recycled box, but it didn't work. We also tried to use a top to a box to sled with but it didn't work either. It was fun trying. Jack Buckovitz Grade 1 Normal Museum Magnet Lafferty

If I could fly If I could I would have wings. I would disturb the birds. If I could fly I would be a super hero. I would save people. I could fly I would teach penguins how to fly. I would be to see everything. Maddux Mills 1st grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Lafferty

The Hero Once upon a time there was a Native American named Thunder. His tribe was looking for water because when it got hot the water disappeared. They wondered where the water went. Thunder told his tribe that he would go out and find the water but the tribal leaders told him that he could not do this because he was just a boy. Thunder set off on his journey any way. When he got tired he found a cave to sleep in for the night. When he woke up he put his hand on a rock beside him. He pushed the rock down and secret passage opened. He went into the opening and saw a stream. The water was falling through a hole. Thunder decided to get a boulder to clog the hole. He then journeyed back to the tribe. When he told them he had found water they grabbed as many buckets as they could and followed him. When they got to the cave the water was overflowing so Thunder pushed the boulder out of the way so the tribe could fill up their buckets. He had saved his people. Pierce Frost 2nd Grade Boyd Buchanan School Carol Littlejohn


Bacon City Once upon a time, in the land Bacon City, there was a boy named Nayash. He lived in "Small Stone" which is a pretty small neighborhood. Let me tell you a few important facts about the Bacon City. First of all, it is shaped a strip of bacon; it has a burnt part, a meaty part, and a fat part. There is a tall tower with a huge bell at the top, and twisty stairs can take you to highest point of the burnt area. The bell is designed to chime when it senses fire. People of Bacon City do their shopping at the "Meaty Mall" located in the center of the city. It has a few clothing stores, a toy full of educational toys, and a jewelry store who sells antique stuff. Finally, the fat area is where an open market opens daily to sell fresh meat and vegetables. One day, Nayash was hanging out at the mall with his friends and saw an old rusty robot at the window. He went inside and asked how much the robot cost. The salesman said to Nayash that he could have it for $1 because it was just a useless piece of garbage. Nayash was very happy. He paid the man and ran home with his new toy. He dusted off the robot and tried to fix it and make it work. All of a sudden, the robot woke up! The robot said, "Thank you for taking me out of that old smelly store. I liked you as soon as I saw you." The boy asked the robot what was his name and what was special about him. The robot answered, "My name is Mr. Teleportation and I can teleport you to different places in the city." One day, while Nayash and Mr. Teleportation were at the market, a fire started. To save the market, the robot teleported the boy to the tower. The boy rang bell, and the firemen came. The firemen started to put out the fire and to save the lives of the people. They saved Bacon City's most favorite market. And that is how useless, dusty robot proved was he was important. The end. Shayan Bajestani Grade 2 St. Nicholas School Mrs. McCorkle

Dinosaur World A long, long time ago a little girl was walking to school. It was a foggy day and rain puddles were on the ground. Then all of a sudden the dino outside started to move its mouth. But the big dinos could not move so she kept on walking. She saw it again and again. Finally she did see it move so she ran up the stairs and opened the door ran down the hall and into her class. But her teacher was a dino to. How could she learn with a dino teacher?? So she ran out into another class. But the same happened. By that time she was really scared so she ran down the hall and out the side door. She thought she was safe but she was not she gotten had trapped in dinosore world!! So she went to the playground. All the kids were dinosores to. She evn went to her BFF. Guess what? She was a dino to. Too many people are dino's. I want frinds. I want a teacher. I want a Mom! She kept on doing it over and over. Soon she heard steps. So decided to hide. But she had to find a good spot. She found a tree that had fell and hid behind it and was silent. They got louder and louder. Finally, it said wake-up sleepy head and woke up. Where am I? She asked. You are in bed up before you are late for school. It was my dad. It was just a dream. Sophia Martin Grade 2 Normal Park Museum Magnet Jennifer Romans


Trees in the Dark were Lost Robert and his brother Joe are going camping. They could not wait so when there dad said time to go they were so excited. So they were up for it. Because it was optional. So when they were in the city they saw so many sky breakers. When they were on the bridge that was the coolest part. And when they got there they had to go 10 miles out in the woods! But they got lost. Robert said "Where are we?" They heard a deep voice. They just then heard a growl. They could see two shadows. Then they saw a very big panther. They also saw a man. The panther looked at the man. Then just a few seconds later the panther was gone. The man said "What are you doing over here?" The man obviously lived here. He said that we need to get home. We said that we were lost. When he heard that he said something weard. Well he said this "Well yaw are in grave danger." Then we had a conversation. I could not believe he lived here. His name was Bronze. He said for us to come in. When we were in our jaws dropped. There were millions of maps. He said "Take this one." So we did. We found our house. We thanked him. Then we packed up and went home. Bo Jemison Grade 2 Lookout Mountain Elementary Mrs. Autumn Hart

Why Did You Build a Robot? One beautiful day, a boy went to see his dad, who was a professor, at work. But when he came to the door to his dad's room, he heard funny noises such as fizz, pop, and c1oink. He also saw dust coming out of the crack under the door. When he opened the door, he couldn't see his dad because there was so much dust. Just then the dust cleared and he could see his dad and a robot. "Why did you build a robot?" asked the boy. "Well, so it can help people" said his dad. "I'm glad that the robot is going to help people" said the boy. "I'm glad that I built it" said the dad. "So, what kind of help will it do?" asked the boy. "Well, it will rake leaves, pick up toys, cook, and lots of other ways to help" said the dad. "Is this one ours?" asked the boy. "Well, I don't know. I'm going to make copies of this robot" said the dad. "Let's bring it home and surprise Mom" said the boy. When they got home she was surprised. "Where did you get the Robot!" she asked. "Dad made it!" said the boy. "Yep, I really did make it!" said the dad. Noah Morais 2nd Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) Mrs. Foster

An Eagle Once upon a time there was an eagle. He was just an ordinary eagle but one day he changed and everything was turned around. It all started when he found a present and when he found it he immediately opened it. It was the gift of Love. And that's when he said, "I do not need love. I will give it to the birds." And that's just what he did. Then the birds opened the box but it was something else. It was Forgiveness. And that is when the birds said, "We don't need something this silly, we will give it to the people." And that is just what they did. The birds expected for the box to get passed down again but the people said they loved it. "We will keep it!" they said. And that is just what they did! Hannah Kate Newman Grade 2 Boyd Buchanan School Melanie Schonhoff


Do You Know Who Eddy Baker is? Do you know who this is? His name is Eddy Baker. He is going on an adventure. Do you want to come with him? Ok. He will go by himself. He needs to pack. He will pack an orange, apple, a burger, water, peanut butter and jelly, ham, bread, sausage, pan and bananas. That is a lot of stuff. He will go on his adventure now. So he went on his adventure. A butterfly came to him and asked if he had food. He was so hungry. He said well he did but he needed it for his adventure. He gave the orange to the butterfly. The butterfly said thank you so much. It was getting dark. He found a cave. He went in and slept. In the morning, he got up and went away. He walked a whole mile. He ate an orange, but he kept on walking. He found a village and he lived there forever. Now you know who Eddie Baker is. He is the boy who found a village. Trey Barefoot 2nd Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) Mrs. Foster

The Lost Bird One day there was a bird who was lost. No mommy or daddy not even a brother or sister. He was a lonely bird. Where ever he went he was alone. For five days he lived with out food or water, he was going to die. A little girl found the bird and kept it and the bird was saved, the end. Samantha Pickel Grade 2 Silverdale Baptist Academy Krissy Llewellyn

Candy Canes Crunch Crunch!! It was Christmas Eve and people always wanted candy canes. That was the people's favorite candy. "Yum -- some candy canes" they said. They even got some on Christmas, but one day, there were monsters. They ate all the candy canes up! Oh no, one person said. What can we do? "Ha Ha Ha" said one giant monster loudly. They did not want the people to be happy with their candy canes. "We do not want you to have any candy canes" said the monster. That monster was the biggest. They had to think of a plan fast. "OK" they snuck in their big castle and saw the humongous monsters eating the candy canes. BOO! They swiped the candy canes out of the monsters mouth. "Give it here" said a monster. The other monsters were not looking. "We have your candy canes!" The monsters chased them around the room. They escaped through a small window and then ate their candy canes. Justin Wolfram 2nd Grade CSLA Mr. Castle


Halloween Once there was a person. His name was Halloween because he liked to scare people on Halloween. His house looked like a big block of black. He said to me, "That house is not my house." But I knew he was lying. My mom said to stay away from him. She said he is not nice. The next day I went to his house and I knocked on his door and the next thing I knew he grabbed me and ran me inside his house. It looked like the best thing ever. He had a flat screen TV and his room was so cool. It was as big as my second grade class. He had three beds just in case, that's what he said. He had a refrigerator in his room! And he had another room. He said it was his brother's room. He said that his brother was lost one Halloween night. After that I went home and I told my mom that he was not mean. My mom said, "Did you go to his house? Did you?" "No," I said. "Are you lying?" my mom said. "Yes, I did," I said. "I told you to stay away from him!!! You are grounded," said mom. The next morning I woke up and I got up and got my clothes on and ran to the door. Wait! I forgot I can't go out of my room. Wait! If I go out the door my mom will fine me. But if I don't go out the door I can go out the window. Then she will not see me. So I did go out the window. Then I saw my mom! I ran as fast as I could. Then I heard my mom scream! My mom was walking up the stairs. My pet frog had gotten out of his little home that I made him. "Well there's no time to lose," I said. I ran as fast as I could out of my front yard and ran as fast as I could to Halloween's house. I knocked on his door but he did not open the door so I went back home and went to sleep. Will Stephens Grade 2 Boyd Buchanan School Melanie Schonhoff

The Most Awesome Teacher/Super Hero Ever! Tru-ta-ta-ta! "Here he comes!" said the people as Mr. C the super hero came flying down. One sunny day the people of Timsdayle were having a good day till the clouds got black. It was the evil Mrs. Foster. Everybody went straight to their houses. Suddenly, a thing came flying in. "It's a bird, it's a plane, No it's a dog," said the people. "No, it's Mr. C!" "Are you sure?" said a man. "I think it's a dog." "No," replied the people. Mr. C said to the villain "Why are you here?" She said, "We meet again." "Answer my question," he said. "I have to come to rule over your city," she said. "Not if I can help it," he said. Then he reached for his netblaster. But before he could say "Peanut butter," Mrs. Foster had captured him with her force bubble. "Ha, ha I got you now," said Mrs. Foster. Then Mrs. Foster's husband, Mr. Foster, came up with his evil suit on. He said, "Good job honey." "Now we can rule over this city together!" Then they checked Mr. C for any weapons or gadgets. They got his jetpack, cape, gloves, and his web shooter. But what they did not know was that Mr. C had invisible suction cups. He saw a hole in the top of the chamber. He started to climb. But there was only a crack. He also had a laser pen. He used it to cut a circle so he could get out. "Ha, ha," he said as he got out of the chamber. He took one step back and fell in. He hopped back out and got his stuff and captured Mrs. And Mr. Foster. He smiled. The police came and got the two and put them in jail. "We'll get you!" they said. The town went outside and cheered!!!! Then the mayor came and said, "You saved the town." He said, "I know." He gave him an award. Now I know that he is the best super hero/teacher ever! Ella Harrod Grade 2 CSLA Mr. Castle


Pip the Little Mouse Today I am going to tell you a story about a mouse. His name is Pip. Pip was different from all of the other mice, because he is very brave. Once upon a time in mouse land a mouse was about to be born to Tim and Lily Mouse. "I think its time," said Lily. Hurray hurray!!! I'm going to be a dad, I'm going to be a dad," squeaked Tim. "Sshh, you are going to wake up the whole neighborhood, said Lily. "Oops, my bad," said Tim. A few minuets later the baby mouse was born. "He is super small. Let's call him Pip for Pipsqueak," said Lily. "Pippy is a good name," said Tim. "It is Pip, not Pippy. Pippy is silly," said Lily. Sister Anna came in the room. "Aww, he is so cute. But he is so small." Lily explained that his size is where they came up with the name Pip. Anna though that was a very good name. ''Now go get your brother, Dexter," said lily. When Anna found Dexter he did not come. He said, "NO! I will not come. I don't even want the baby," and he ran off. What could have happened? What could have made him so mad? Arma went back to Lily, Tim and Pip. But when it was time for Dexter to come home for bed he never came home! Lily and Tim were so scared they did not sleep. Three days later, Dexter was still not home. After a while, Lily, Tim, Anna, and even Pip, went looking for Dexter. They looked until it was pitch black and had to give up for the day. They searched the very next day and still did not find him. Eventually, Dexter's parents said that they had to stop searching for Dexter. They figured if they could not find him from all their searching, Dexter was gone for good. Lily and Tim cried all day. They missed Dexter so much. Pip is now six-years old. His family was on their way to see the circus. When they arrived and took their seats, they noticed Dexter was part of the circus. There he was, strapped to the wheel of doom! They knew that he was in danger. They had seen the wheel of doom on t.v. and knew what came next. Someone would be throwing knives at Dexter as part of the show which made his family very nervous. Pip loved Dexter so much that he ran down right in front of the whole audience and nibbled through the straps as quickly as he could to try to get Dexter off the wheel, but he could not nibble fast enough. The wheel started spinning round and round, with Pip still nibbling. He got very dizzy and nauseous, but he held on for his big brother. The tall man in black had knives in his hands, aiming for Dexter. Pip got so worried, that he nibbled even faster and ate right through the straps. Dexter was free at last, but the man was still aiming for him with his knives. Pip grabbed Dexter's hand and ran as fast as his little feet could go. He ran out of the circus tent and headed straight for home, still holding on to Pip's hand. They got home safely, but their feet were numb from all the running. Dexter tucked Pip into his bed. "Thank you for rescuing me from that cold blooded mouse catcher, Pip." "I thought the circus would be fun, but it turned out it was the worst time of my life," said Dexter. "I missed you so much that I knew I just had to rescue you," said Pip. "You're the best little brother a mouse could have, Pip," said Dexter. The two brothers cuddled up next to each other and fell fast asleep. Emma M. Langworthy Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Mrs. Melanie Bautista


Bryn's Tale a Dolphin My family and I went to the magnificent Atlantis in the Bahamas for Spring Break. I was so excited, I had never been before and we were supposed to swim with dolphins, my favorite animal! When we got there, I looked out and yelled, "This is amazing!" We rode water rides, went swimming, snorkeled, and then the time came to go swimming with the dolphins. I was so excited I was jumping around like there were ants in my pants. We squeezed into our tight wetsuits. I had to ask my Mom to help me zip up it was so tight! We listened to the guide give us instructions but all I could think about was seeing the dolphins. We waded out into the ocean and there was a dolphin waiting for us. The dolphin's name was Missy. We learned all about her. We got to pet feed her, feed her, and kiss her, it was fun. She felt smooth and silky. Then Missy whispered into my ear, " Hop on my back" so I hopped on Missy's back. She took off. I was hanging on and laughing hysterically. The salty water was splashing in my face as we jumped over waves. It was so exciting, adventurous, fun and cool. Then she broke through a stone wall. I didn't know what was going on. I heard my family screaming "Bryn come back". They were running down the beach after me. I yelled, "Never" and held up a peace sign. Suddenly we were in a deep, beautiful, turquoise ocean. Missy started spinning around in circles, with me still hanging on. It made a whirlpool. We went inside the whirlpool and landed in a beautiful, mysterious place. The place was majestic and pretty. There was sand, golden coconut trees, shining silver flowers, buildings made of coral, and lots of colorful Tiki birds. There was a solid gold mansion in the middle of the island. Missy said, "Welcome, to the actual lost city of Atlantis." We stayed at the mansion for 8 days and 7 nights exploring, playing and swimming. Then Missy said it was to leave, so I hopped on her back, staring back at the shining, real Atlantis as we went up through the whirlpool. We went through the stone wall and I saw my family still on the beach. They said I was gone just a few minutes. I couldn't believe it! They were so happy to happy to see me. I looked up at Missy as she was swimming away, she looked back at me. Then my Mom said, "I swear I just saw that dolphin wink at you." I smiled and winked back. I will never my first trip to Atlantis, the real Atlantis. Bryn Adair Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Judy Gooden

The Scary House One day my friends and I walked up to an old house. I could not see into the dusty windows. We turned the door knob. The door creaked open! I backed two steps up and I was so scared I didn't want to look at the door. But, then a kid came to say trick or treat. I screamed help, somebody help me! But, then my brothers came to me and helped me. I went to knock on the door again and nothing came out, only dust. I wanted to be brave and wanted inside the house. I screamed and a skeleton jumped out to scare me. Now, I don't like trick or treating. Evelyn Perez Grade 2 DuPont Elementary Mrs. Ayers


The Shark Every year my family takes a trip to beach. We usually go to either Alabama or Florida. This year we went to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. My dad and I like to fish. My dad usually goes to the pier really early in morning or late at night. I don't get to go when he goes to the pier. This year though he decided to rent a boat. We are going deep-sea fishing. He thinks I am old enough this year to go out in the boat; all my cousins and uncles were going too. We are going to have a great time. We will cook our fish we catch for dinner. Early in the morning we set out in the boat. I was excited but also a little sleepy because it was before sunrise. Everyone was having good luck fishing, my dad caught three and I even caught one. Around noon we stopped to eat our lunch we brought in the coolers. After lunch my cousin and I went below deck and fell asleep, we were both really tired from getting up so early. A few hours I awoke to everyone shouting. I quickly ran up the to steps to see what was going on. I was amazed at the sight I saw. There was a huge shark swimming by the boat. My dad said it was 6 feet long. But that wasn't what was so amazing. It had stripes all over its body and spines sticking out of its' head. It was also an unusual color, gray and black. It also had big horns going from largest to smallest from head to tail. It didn't look any shark I had ever seen before, it was very strange. We knew by the way it was shaped and its mouth that it was a shark though. My dad ran to get his camera to take pictures. We wanted to have proof of what we had seen. I wanted to take a picture of the shark too. We took a few pictures. Then all of a sudden it disappeared under the water. Everyone ran around the boat to see if they could see it over the other side. But it was gone! We went back to take boat to the dock. We couldn't wait to show the others our pictures of the shark and tell them all about it. We went to develop the pictures at store but they said they wouldn't be ready until the next day. So dad and I went back to the condo where we were staying to tell my mom and aunts all about the shark. We told them about the stripes and the horns and all the spines sticking out of its head and they just looked at us like we were telling them a tall tale. My uncles and cousin also tried to convince them of what we saw. But no one would believe it. The next day we went back to get our pictures so we could show my mom and aunts we were telling the truth. We quickly ran out of the store after paying for the pictures and went back to condo. We ran up the steps to our room. No one was there! They had all gone to the beach. So we ran down to beach. There they were. Dad took the pictures out the package and looked through them. My mom waited for him to show her the amazing shark. But dad had a terrible look on his face. He yelled, "I can't believe it." I said, "What is it?" He looked as if he might cry. "The pictures didn't turn out" "What?" I cried. "No, that can't be it was such a clear day," I said. "Oh well," Mom said "sounds like another tall fish tale to me." She smiled and I knew that she really believed us. Holden Fagan Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Mrs. Gooden


Animal Friends In a time long ago, there was a man who loved animals. He lived in Africa and traveled coast to coast. One day, he met a camel, Camesha the camel. It was very wise and calm. This camel became his friend. So, they walked. Then they stopped. A big grey creature stood in front of the two friends. It had a long, big nose that was as long as the man. The big creature raised its long nose up in the air. Then, it scraped its feet on the ground and it started to charge! The two friends ran away. Then the creature stopped. They looked back. It hurt its foot. The man took three steps back, the big thing picked its leg up, and the man said, "Stop, its okay." The man got closer. The thing did not move. The man looked at it. .. "An elephant!" The elephant's name was Eli, Eli the elephant. It asked if it could join. They said, "Yes." So, when they walked on, they found a leaf. The elephant grabbed it with its trunk. Camesha said, "I don't think you should eat that." Eli said, "Why?" Then, he spit it out. It was a snake! "AAA"! Eli moaned. The man said, "Calm down, it's not poisonous". Eli said, "That is good." "What is your name?" the man said. "My name is Ssssoren. Ssssoren the ssssnake. But, I'm not poisonous." "We know" "Yesss, me too." The four friends went to Australia. They wanted to get cool. They went to an oasis. A koala fell from a tree. His family was not there. The man said, "His family must have left and forgot him." "Poor thing", said Eli. The man said, "He's a koala". "I know", said Eli. "Well, does anyone want to take care of him?" "Me!" "Me, me, me!" “Oh,me!" "Well, that's all of you. Let’s take him" “Wa!” said the kola. "What? He spoke?” said Eli. 40

"Well, of course I can weak", said the koala. "My wame is Korbin. Korbin we koala." “You’re silly", said the man. "I know", said the koala. The man laughed quietly, "Ha, hee". "Wat wid you way?" asked the koala. The man answered, "Nothing". They walked on and on and on. "Australia is one the hottest deserts in the world", said the man. " In the desert, you can die", Eli. "Oh wo", the Koala. "I do wot want to die. Can I west on your hat?" he said to the man. "Okay, let's ..... What is THAT? a kangaroo being chased by a ... dingo!" "Waaa ... get wat wingo" said the koala. "I will ssslither up to and eat him,” said Soren the snake. "No, we cannot eat him, but some other way ... " said the man. So they set a trap. They ran to the dingo with Eli charging in front of them and Soren slithering behind them. Dingo are slower than Eli, but the dingos can run for longer than Eli. “Yeah, I know", said Soren. "The kangaroo cannot run forever. How come I’m the lassssst one?” “Soren, you get to the river. We will distract him and Eli will probably get him there. Got it?” said the man. "Okay, I go it", said Soren. They were close enough to catch it, but one thing happened that they did not expect. A shadow appeared in of them. It looked like an eagle, but eagles in America, not in Australia. "No, it looks more a hawk", said Eli. "You guys, it IS a hawk", said Camesha. "Waa! I fear wawk." The koala hid under Camesha’s hump. "What are you doing?" said Camesha. “I hide from wawk," said Korbin. All of a sudden, Hanna the hawk swooped down and caught Dillon the dingo. The hawk and dingo raced toward the net! Crash!!! They were trapped! "Well that was easy", said the man. Dillon scrambled to get out and the hawk tried to fly out, but her talons were struck. A few hours later, Hannah the hawk to be nice, although she had been captured and that was very tough. The dingo finally got out of the net and tried to run 41

away. Eli chased him back into the net. Once they were at the Indonesian Rain Forrest, they took a deep breath. They walked through vines and leaves when all of a sudden the map got tangled in a vine. It fell to the ground. Hannah the hawk swooped down and tried to pick it up, but it fell into tiny pieces. Since they saw that Hannah was helping them, they let out. But, Dillon could not come out until the man took them all home. The man was sad about the map, so he said, "Noooooooooo ... Dude, stop. No, no, no! That map was the only thing that could us find our way out". "Well then, noooooool", cried Eli the elephant. "Will you stop it already? I know there is another way” , said Camesha. "But how?" said the man. By um, by um by a um … I just don't know”, said Camesha. They were lost! “We might be lost. But, please do not go ‘noooo’ again, okay?" The man answered, "Okay". Hours later they met a drako. They asked him if he knew the wway out. “Yes,” he said. In fact, he knew every twist and turn. He said, “Go left, left, right, left, right, right, and left.” So they did! Then they were right back where they started! Drew the drako said, “Oh, my, I think it is the other way”. “NO, you are leading us in circles. Get us back”, said the man. Drew said, “Okay, I will. But only if I can go with you”. “Okay, you can!” So they all went together and made it out. Then, the man returned all the animal friends to their homes. A tear ran down the man’s face. He called out to each of his friends, “Good bye”. So he might not have done his destiny, but he did make some new friends and some day he would see them again. The end. Eli Ingram Grade 2 Silverdale Baptist Krissy Llewellyn


Attack of the Vampire Hamster On a rainy Monday afternoon when I was home from school, I noticed the something peculiar was happening to my hamster. He was......changing into a vampire! I tried to tell mom she wouldn't believe me. “Stop making things up", she said. I knew I had to find someone to believe me. “Maybe a friend would believe me", I thought. I went back to check on Fuzzy then he started to grow fangs and little wings. I went to tell my friend and when I got back, the cage open and was not there. I went to look for him in the deep dark cave the woods but he was not there. Then I finally gave up went home. When I got back Mom did not look happy. “Did you let Fuzzy escape?” said Mom. I just went to bed. I woke up the morning started to look for Fuzzy again. I remembered that vampires only come out at night ...... unless they are in a deep dark cave. So, I went back to the dark cave but I went deeper this time. I found him but he almost bit me. I grabbed and put him the cage. Luckily there is a shot for it so Fuzzy got his shot and everything was all better. Claire Biddle 2nd grade Thrasher Elementary Ms. Simpson

Fall We found fall. For fall, I wore a to toboggan and a jacket and some boots. I rake leaves. It is really cold. Do you like fall? I do. I see red, yellow, orange, green, brown leaves. It is very quiet. The birds fly south. I can't play a lot fall. I eat soup. So, that's why I like fall. Shane Smith 2nd Grade Rivermont Elementary Judith Largen


Owling Have you ever been owling on a cold winter night? If you do go owling, you need warm clothes. When you go owling, you need to look up at the full moon. Then, you can go owling. When you walk, be quiet. Then you hoot to the owl. The owl will hoot back, like an echo. That is what you need to do. Luis Fontes 2nd Grade Rivermont Elementary Judith Largen

Unicorns Rainbow the unicorn found Cloudy the unicorn sitting on the clouds crying. Cloudy was crying because she didn't have any friends to play with. Cloudy said, "go away, you don't like me". Rainbow said "why"? Cloudy said, "because my horn looks ugly". Rainbow said, "I think your horn looks beautiful". This made Cloudy feel better. “All of our horns look different and that makes each of us special". "Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two unicorn horns are alike" said Rainbow. So they started to play together and became friends. Cloudy said "thank you for being so kind to me". "Everyone should be kind" said Rainbow. So they played until the day was over. Then they both said "See you tomorrow"! They were best friends for a very long time. Emily Parker 2nd grade Thrasher Elementary Karen Simpson

My Dream That Came True One night I had a dream that I had super powers. That morning I went to school and a bully came up to me and punched me. Then all of the sudden lasers shot out of my eyes at him and I could fly and had super strength. Then everyone followed my rules and no one ever, ever bullyed me again. That next day there was a new kid and he was a bully but he still didn't mess with me. Jack Flint Grade 2 Normal Park Museum Magnet Lauren Odum


The Mud Run! My mom did the mud run. My mom’s friend did the mud run too. She had a daughter that was 8 her name was Sara. We got to hang out with Sara's dad we did very fun things! Our mom's got very dirty! There was 1 boy in my moms group. We where team bridesmaids. The boy had to wear a dress! Sterling Tittsworth Grade 2 Normal Park Museum Magnet Lauren Odurn

Butterflies Once there was a butterfly who didn't think she had a mother. One day she was practicing flying. Other butterflies could already fly. She worried about having a mother who would take care of her. Her name was Casey. There were only ten butterflies. In the morning Casey met the other butterflies. Their names were Maddie, Caroline, Rose, Violet, Sarah, Cam and some others. The others that she met were mean. They chopped her wing so that she couldn't fly. One of her friends came out and said it isn't nice to chop Casey's wing, and the mean butterflies decided to be nice to everyone. So they all had a sleepover together and watched their favorite movie which was Ariel. They played dress-up until it was midnight, and then they fell asleep. Madison Creekmore Grade 2 Silverdale Baptist Academy Shannon Galyon

A, Day Fishing with Dad My Dad and I went Bass fishing one morning. While we were going to our favorite spot, the boat quit running. We were trying to get back to the boat dock with the trolling motor; a man came by and helped tow the boat to the dock. While we were heading back, the rescue squad met us and also helped get us back to the dock. Griffin Culpepper Grade 2 Silverdale Baptist Academy Shannon Galyon


One day I went to the beach. At the beach house, I played Monopoly. At one half of the game, Carleen said to John DON'T SAY WHERE AM I AGAIN! And the other half Carleen said to John ARE YOU NUTS?! ALL THE people that we Had were ... Nana, Papa, Carleen, John, Dad, and me. And I won!! And I just SMILED. One quarter of the game John said "I'd been in jail"! And we all cracked up! We loved Monopoly! The End Jackson Manning Grade 2 Normal Park Museum Magnet Stephanie Higgs

Once when my mom and dad were out eating dinner and we were at home with our grandmother Auren got on her dress. But it was long. We did not know that she would trip. So after Auren got her her pretty princess on she went out of the green room. She gets a chair and stands on the chair. This is not a good idea because you will fall. You should not try this at all. TheAuren falls off the chair and busts her lip completely through. We heard screaming from down stairs. G comes running down the stairs and saw Auren crying. So then G picked up Auren and goes to the phone so she could call dad. And tell dad what happened to Auren. Mya Federico Grade 2 Normal Park Museum Magnet Stephanie Higgs

The Run Away Cat Once upon a time there was a boy named Dan. Dan is 8 and he is tall. He has a cat that he plays with. His cat’s name is Ace. And one day Ace ran away. Dan didn’t now intill Dan called him breakfast. Ace didn’t come. He looked everywhere in the park, his neighborhood, and at the church iniside and outside. He never found him. So Dan Finely gave up. Dan went home sadly. “Dan, why are you so sad?" said Dan's mom. "Because Ace ran away.” said Dan. So Dan thot and thot. Sudindly Dan had an idea. He said to himself, “I could go to pet shop get a new cat there." So Dan went right to his mom and said, “Can I get a new cat at the pet shop?” “Yes you can,” said his mom. So Dan and his Mom went to the pet store. Dan saw lots of cats and dogs. He didn’t really want a dog. So Dan looked at all of cats. Dan couldn't choos between Blue and Sofelu. He looked at Blue a long and he finelly chose Blue. So they took Blue home. Dan played with Blue every day and made sure didn't run away. Ben Parker Grade 2 Lookout Mountain Elementary Mrs. Autumn Hart


The Werewolf King Once upon a time there was a king and queen that lived in a village far, far away. One day the queen was about to have a baby. The queen was very ill. The servants looked everywhere for a cure. They saw a giant round ball. They cracked the ball open. Then a Werewolf jumped out of the路ball and ran away. The servants told the king. The king got very angry. The king decided to get the cure all by his self. But the werewolf came after him. Then the king disappeared into the woods. The werewolf went to the castle! But the queen already had the baby and she died. The werewolf stole the baby and ran off. But the baby turned into a werewolf and killed the other werewolf. Then he became their new king. Jesse Wayne Williams Grade 2 Dupont Elementary Mrs. Murray

The Curse One morning an adult named Drew woke up from his long peaceful sleep. He went downstairs and opened the refrigerator. Ewww, carrot cake. "I don't remember making this carrot cake," Drew said. So he started to eat it and it made him want to go for a ride in his car. When he was going, all of the sudden a nice witch opened the door and put Drew on a broom. A mean witch came to have a fight. The mean witch knocked the nice witch down and the nice witch got hurt. The nice witch let Drew use the broom. Then Drew killed the mean witch . Drew went looking for the nice witch. He saw her at the hospital. She said, "You don't need me to go to the mean witch's castle?" So he went-it was really freaky. When he went to the door, skeleton bones fell on him. Then he slipped into the door. Drew was in the garden. It took him a long time to find an eagle. The eagle was mean. It slapped him and hurt him really bad. "I just need to get past you," Drew said. "Ok, but first you need to answer this riddle," said the eagle. "What kind of driver never gets a driving ticket?" "A screw driver." "Impressive, you can go." ''Thank you Eagle," Drew said. Walking along the way, Drew bumped into something really big. "I wonder what this is?" He looked up and saw a giant. Drew ran everywhere screaming. The giant chased Drew. "I'm a nice giant, not a mean one." "Oh," said Drew, "why are you here?" 47

"A nice witch told me to come here." "Oh, you must be looking for the stolen bat," the giant said. "I guess I will be looking for the bat," said Drew. "Do you know where to go to the bat?" "You don't get to the bat that easily, you have to go to more stages." "Ok," Drew said. "Wait, can I go with you?" said the giant. "Sure" The giant went away to get one more thing. It took the giant a long time so Drew went to look for him. He found the giant gnawing on a foot-long sandwich. "Come on," Drew said. "But I didn't get to finish my sandwich." "I don't care." Drew and the giant were walking in a forest when all of the sudden ..... plop, plop, plop, plop, plop, plop went the rain. They went through a lot of trees. Then they found five rabbits. The rabbits hopped everywhere and talked while they were hopping. "Does anyone know where to go to get to the next stage?" "Yes," said one of the rabbits. "Go straight, then right, then straight, then another right, then straight, then a left, then straight and you're there." "I don't think I can remember that," said Drew. ''Then I will come with you." "We can stay here longer, but first you will have to get us some carrots." They stayed there for days. "Can we go now?" "Yes." It took them a long time to get to the giant mushrooms. The rabbit and Drew jumped on the mushrooms. But the giant walked over the mushrooms. In hours, they made it to the first turn. "Go right," the rabbit said. They all went right. They finally got to the next right. ''This one's tricky, everybody follow me." They finally got to the last turn. "This one is easy." They finally got to the next stage. 48

"Hi, I'm a fairy." "Hi," said Drew. "Where is the next stage?" "Follow me." It took them a long time to get to the store. While she went in the store, the giant stepped on a tree. The tree fell and hit another tree ..... then another and another like dominos. The fairy and the rabbit went into the store. They came out with a giant frog. "Hop on," said the fairy to the giant. "You get this for me." ''Thank you." He finally got on. And the frog started to hop. Drew and the rabbit waited for a second. Finally the fairy told Drew to get on her back. They finally caught up to the giant. The giant said, "We're almost to the bat." The fairy threw magic dust to the giant. "I haven't told you my name yet. My name is George." They finally got to the door to the bat. They went in the door and saw a giant tarantula. The fairy gave them another kind of dust. She said it was invisible dust, so they all put it on. They finally got past the tarantula and snuck behind the mean witch. The fairy said, "Put the dust I gave you first on the mean witch." Drew put it on her and the mean witch died. They finally found the bat and Drew rode it back to his house. Drew woke up in real life and was ready to write a story about his dream. Logan Farr Grade 2 Thrasher Elementary Mrs. Niedbala


The Adventure of Mr. Whiskers Once there was a catfish names Mr. Whiskers. He liked to on adventures. He even had his very own backpack. Mr. Whiskers was happier than ever to go on a mission for somebody. One day went on an adventure to a far away place in a far away land. It was a floating jungle. Of course, island was under water. Whiskers swam for hours before he ever got to the floating jungle. When he got there he was very hungry. But he found some sea chips in his backpack. He snarfed them down then quickly then continued on his adventure. He swung across vines through jungle. While he was swinging across the vines he caught up to a monkey swinging right in front of him. Mr. Whiskers said a very happy “hello” to the monkey. The monkey said very politely, “Well hello to you”. Then Mr. Whiskers asked, “What’s your name?” “My name is Rester.” The monkey went with Mr. Whiskers on the adventure. Then they traveled once again when they got to a mountain called Point Hill. There was a rock on Point Hill. They found some water and some more sea chips in Mr. Whisker’s backpack. Then they came to a river, but there was just one problem. They forgot their rubber boots. But by coincidence they found a boat over yonder. They got in the boat and sailed across the river. Then they saw something hiding behind the trees. It was a giraffe. The giraffe came over to se them. “Hello,” Mr. Whiskers said. The giraffe’s name was Melm. “My real name is Melmfon, but I prefer Melm.” Then they moved on. Then Mr. Whiskers noticed something that looked very twin-like to his house. Because it was his house! “I did it! I have finished my 65th adventure. That was an adventure, but not one I could have done without you.” Mr. Whiskers said goodbye to his friends, then ran into his house. He took off his coat and had some sea chips, and then went to bed having sweet dreams about what he would do next. Carolee Weber Grade 2 Thrasher School Judy Niedbala

The First Day of School The first day of school I was riding the bus. I felt scared. Mac Meredith Kindergarten Normal Park Museum Magnet Shelly Curvin


Scooby Doo and the Fireball Throwing Monster One day Shaggy and Scooby went down in the basement to get one of Scooby' s old toys and one of Scooby's old pictures. Scooby found them but when he found them he also found a fireball throwing monster! Scooby and Shaggy were scared! The fireball throwing monster tried to throw fireballs at them but they were too fast. They went and got the gang. Fred got his cell phone out and called the sheriff. The sheriff was not happy because he already had captured the horseshoe throwing monster and then the fireball throwing monster tried to get the sheriff. The sheriff was too fast and the sheriff grabbed him on the legs but the fireball throwing monster jerked his legs out of the sheriff's hands. The sheriff was mad that the fireball throwing monster did that. The same thing happened again! The sheriff was even more angry than he had ever been! The sheriff got the fireball throwing monster's body this time and then the sheriff jerked his mask off. It was just the gang's teacher, again! Then the sheriff gave him grace because he had already been in jail. He put another mask on but then he took the mask off and it was funny. The End Noah Rhey Houston Kindergarten Silverdale Baptist Academy Zee Espy

Saturn A long time ago on Saturn there lived a monster. The monsters eat everything. Monsters like meat better than plants. They destroy things, too. They eat their friends. Jonah Chapman 1st Grade CSLA Melanie Commander

The Castle A long time ago there was a princess and she lived in a castle. The castle was the prettiest. It had three flowers on top and red hearts. But the prettiest thing in the princess castle was the princess. She had a pink, red, and purple crown. Now the princess is gone and someone else lives there. Macy Shinn 1st Grade CSLA Melanie Commander


Do You Know Who Eddy Baker Is? Do you know who this is? His name is Eddy Baker. He is going on an adventure. Do you want to come with him? Ok. He will go by himself. He needs to pack. He will pack an orange, apple, a burger, water, peanut butter and jelly, ham, bread, sausage, pan and bananas. That is a lot of stuff. He will go on his adventure now. So he went on his adventure. A butterfly came to him and asked if he had food. He was so hungry. He said well he did but he needed it for his adventure. He gave the orange to the butterfly. The butterfly said thank you so much. It was getting dark. He found a cave. He went in and slept. In the morning, he got up and went away. He walked a whole mile. He ate an orange, but he kept on walking. He found a village and he lived there forever. Now you know who Eddie Baker is. He is the boy who found a village. Trey Barefoot 2nd Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) Mrs. Foster

Why Did You Build a Robot? One beautiful day, a boy went to see his dad, who was a professor, at work. But when he came to the door to his dad's room, he heard funny noises such as fizz, pop, and c1oink. He also saw dust coming out of the crack under the door. When he opened the door, he couldn't see his dad because there was so much dust. Just then the dust cleared and he could see his dad and a robot. "Why did you build a robot?" asked the boy. "Well, so it can help people" said his dad. "I'm glad that the robot is going to help people" said the boy. "I'm glad that I built it" said the dad. "So, what kind of help will it do?" asked the boy. "Well, it will rake leaves, pick up toys, cook, and lots of other ways to help" said the dad. "Is this one ours?" asked the boy. "Well, I don't know. I'm going to make copies of this robot" said the dad. "Let's bring it home and surprise Mom" said the boy. When they got home she was surprised. "Where did you get the Robot!" she asked. "Dad made it!" said the boy. "Yep, I really did make it!" said the dad. Noah Morais 2nd Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts (CSLA) Mrs. Foster



Grades 3-5 Poetry


Colossal Squid Deep in the icy waters The colossal squid roams When its hooks attack prey You will hear loud moans It has eight tentacles That help it eat Weighing up to 1,000 pounds Biggest squid you' ll ever meet It swims in the ocean Just like a jet With eyes as big as beach balls It can see you, I bet! Caroline Holland 3rd Grade Boyd-Buchanan School Lisa Holland

The Pineapple Fish A pineapple fish is not really a pineapple It's just a fish A fish called a pineapple fish just makes you hungry But who wants to eat a cute fish? If I had to choose a fish to eat, It will be the part of the fish that is the pineapple Not the part that is a fish! The pineapple fish is a lazy swimmer But I think it's just half fish Because everybody knows a fish can swim very fast! Taneiya Culp 3rd Grade Boyd-Buchanan School Ione Matherley


Frosty Frosty cold, nice slides, talks, hides magical, white Frosty Brenna Lockert 3rd Grade Boyd-Buchanan School Kim Glisson

Snowflakes Snowflakes White, frozen Falling, melting, sparkling Soft, microscopic Snowman Brad Chambers 3rd Grade Boyd-Buchanan School Lisa Holland

Christmas Tree Christmas tree Beautiful, green Chopping, decorating, enJoymg Heart-warming, colorful Home Grace Williams 3rd Grade Boyd-Buchanan School lone Matherley


The Angelfish The angelfish is a pretty fish, You can see their colors, if you wish. They hunt at night And get in fights. They swim with fins, Do you know where they have been? I hope you see them in the ocean, I hope you see the pretty fish. Reagan Winnie 3rd Grade Boyd-Buchanan School Kim Glisson

This Is What the Holidays Mean to Me The warm fire; everyone sleeping, waiting for the Christmas to come. Presents waiting to be opened. Santa delivering to the world. Children sleeping; guessing what they got. This is what Christmas means to me. Waking up to celebrate Jesus. Kids seeing if Santa ate the cookies. Moms and Dads getting the garbage cans. Children ripping paper, opening their gifts. This is what Christmas means to me. The smallest gifts are opened first. My mom helping my small brother open his. Myself, sneaking away to get the sisters to open my gifts. This is what Christmas means to me. Then the family comes to eat. This is what Christmas means to me. Chloe Jones 3rd Grade Ganns Middle Valley Elementary Mr. Grisar


Snowflakes Snowflakes are like tiny ladies Twirling and Whirling In white gowns and powdered wigs. When they get tired, They fall Down, down, down In great heaps. Then, after they rest, They pick themselves up And‌ SWOOSH!! Twirling and whirling Across an icy stage. Wyn Knoch 3rd Grade Higher Higher Learning Shelley George

The Fish Feel my scales, they are so smooth. Pink and Purple, too Orange, White, and Pale With a so very green My favorite food is chocolate ice cream. And I live in the deep blue sea. Olivia Koontz 3rd Grade Nolan Elementary Holland Lanphier

Water Drip, drop Swishing, flowing, pouring Fish, rain, lava, fireplace Burning, flaming, heating Hot, light Fire Riley Sapp 3rd Grade Nolan Elementary Mrs. Leary


Falcon, Falcon, Falcon I am a falcon, big and strong. I swoop and fly all day long. I have a family that likes to peep. I have a family that likes to sleep. I hunt and dive for a meal. I like to eat pigs that squeal. I have feathers black and white. I have eyes with really good sight. I have black under my eyes. I don't like blueberry pies. I don't go to school. I don't go to the pool. I have a very strong beak. I hear people say I'm a freak. I have talons, yellow and black. I sink them into my prey's back. I am a falcon, big and strong. I swoop and fly all day long. Will Stefaniuk 3rd Grade Nolan Elementary Re becca Reeves

October It's October. Leaves are falling, Birds are calling. The month of the World Series is starting. So are games. Firewood is in flames. October is the month of peace. And dreams not screams! Will Fox 3rd Grade Nolan Elementary Mrs. Leary


Tigers vs. Sharks A tiger named Sharpteeth was out one day A shark named Bonecracker wanted to play They met each other and started to play all day Play they did but it got too rough Until one of them was much too tough The tiger crept low to the ground The shark swam deep to go around The tiger and his stripes blended in well The shark went down and no one could tell At one moment they pounced out They crashed into each other-it was no doubt The tiger and shark were one A new animal had become The TigerShark was won! Jacob Chapman 3rd Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts Mrs. Angie Hudson

Fall Leaves, leaves everywhere. Flipping, flopping until there are no more leaves More crunching and flattening until next year. Colder, windier, cloudy. It's school time here! Bailey Brown 3rd Grade Westview Elementary Leslie Vaccaro


The SUN Sun sun The sun look like A thousand stars In the sky When you look up You cry With tears of Joy Tejuan Hubbard 3rd Grade Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy Mrs. Kristi Sahm

Beautiful, Colorful Rainbows Rainbows, rainbows up above Dazzling, beautiful and sometime love They form a magnificent arch in the sky Their beautiful colors will never die The colors will always be red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple too I love rainbows, do you? Morgan Byerley 3rd Grade Snow Hill Elementary Mrs. Jayme Newell

Oh Christmas Star In the boughs of the tree, There is something waiting for you to see. Lift the ribbon and look around, You will find something making chirping sounds. Lift branches and take a peek, There's something playing hide and seek. On the top, near the star that is Shiny, There is something awakening that is very tiny. Brandon Reese 3rd Grade Ooltewah Adventist Kindergarten and School Mrs. Haughee


Nature Is ... Nature is a place animals can rely on. Nature is a place where birds sing. Nature is a quiet place where tree's stand. Nature is where the Indians once stood. Now we don't see all the great things nature has done in the past. Nature changed people's lives way back when. Nature is a gift God gave us. Evan Jurkovic 3rd Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Kate Carr

Tuesday Night Football Tuesday nights under the lights The players take the field It's quite a sight We score some points and cheer for our teams We smile, we cheer, we tumble, we scream Tigers, Vandy, Eagles, Vols Come on boys and move that ball Get that ball on the line Bring it on in to win, win, win GO FIGHT WIN! Ella Gordon 3rd Grade Thrasher Elementary School Mary Ferguson


Snakes Hidden little spies of nature, Covered in crunchy golden brown, orange, and red leaves. Wiggling, beautiful things, trying to do their best. They squirm like a worm, then they take their rest. They slither, they slide, they love to hide. Hidden little spies of nature. Ellie Tomisek 3rd Grade Thrasher Elementary Mary Ferguson

History My creek is like history A dinosaur's print that so perfectly placed in a rock, that once thousands of years ago, dirt I feel like an Indian down there, rushing to catch fish, But really going to play. Lucy Mae Veal 3rd Grade Thrasher Elementary School Jennifer Lockwood

Where I Am From Poem I am from glasses and Canada Dry lovers. I am from the secret trap door at the end of the hall. I am from takeout Indian food on Thanksgiving Day. I am from Chattanooga, Tennessee and Thrasher Elementary. I am from Chicken curry and Sweet Curry. I am from the loss of my two grandmothers and one grandfather. On the shelf by the front door, with all the letters of blossoming flowers, every sentence kept forever. Siena Rodrigues 3rd Grade Thrasher Elementary Ms. Dottie Chapin


Emma Ann Cook Excitingly jumping up and down Mighty and strong Miles and miles away And again and again. Anxiously running through the wind Now and forever Narrow as can be. Cookies getting baked Oil in the batter Oh delicious as can be Kicking and screaming for them. The end. Emma Cook 3rd Grade The Bright School Annetta Crawford

I Am I am a flower, blooming in the warm spring sun. I am a teddy bear, soft and cuddly as can be. I am candy, the sweetest thing you could ever taste. I am a diamond ring, shiny and radiant. I am a dolphin, swimming and playing through the ocean blue. I am a monkey, climbing a mammoth jungle tree. I am an airplane, soaring through the crisp mountain air. I am Sierra Haberhem. I am eight. Sierra Haberhem 3rd Grade The Bright School Ms. Elizabeth Oakes


Waterfall I was relaxing by a fascinating waterfall, The water was curling down the mountainside like snakes through the grass. The sun rays touched me on the back as I listened to the squirrels gleefully running through the leaves. This marvelous place was a sound booth keeping out all unwanted noises. It was the waterfall that lifted me by its peace and carried me away to a beautiful beach on Paradise Island! Rachel Turman 4th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George, Teacher

Running Running feels like you’re‌ Flying Without making a sound. Running is like Walking On water Running. Cahlib Edwards 4th Grade Ooltewah Elementary School Mrs. Steele

Red Red looks like a dark sunset, Red sounds like coyote in a sad soft way, Red smells like a beautiful rose, Red feels like a loud moment, Red doesn't make me feel safe, It feels scary like something is wrong, Red tastes like a velvet cake, Red is my fierce brother, Red is blood dripping a hand saying never give up. Kaylee Jarnigan 4th Grade Ooltewah Elementary School Mrs. Steele


Tornado The rushing of the wind. The spinning of it. When it's all over. We are still there. We are okay. The blessings we have. We stayed strong. Through ups and downs, We are okay. Cydney Kapperman 4th Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts Casey Gellerman

9/11 Building ruined Lives gone People shocked Huge fire Unexpected attack Still strong So devastating America stronger Grace Hogue 4th Grade Nolan Elementary Kelly Willingham

Civil War Civil War Bloody, harsh Fighting, retreating, recruiting Great generals fighting hard Healing, joining, forgiving Finished, united Union Lexie Edwards Grade 5 Hixson Elementary School Mary Brown


Irrigation I like irrigation 'Cause it comes from a station. If it came from the land It might look like sand. Here is your situation Without irrigation: It would be pain In a summer without rain. You would have to toil To water your soil. Your grass would be hotter Without any water. I would hate to think How bad your plants would need a drink Corbin Morrison 4th Grade Saint Nicholas School Teacher: Alice Revenig

Bob the Doodle There once was a girl who liked to draw, A little character she called Bob. He had poofy hair and bulgy eyes, He sometimes wore frowns, sometimes smiles. He covered her binder and notebooks, If you wanted to see him, you could just take a look. Once, one day, while she was drawing And doodling and scribbling away All of her creations and creations galore, Climbed out of her binder and onto the floor! They all ran around, just as fast as they could run, Until one cried out, "Let's have some fun!" The girl chased them and chased them, Catching them one by one, Until she had caught every last one. Once they touched paper, one by one, They turned back into drawings, The fun was all done. Catherine Chimley Grade 5 Thrasher Elementary School Amy Garvich


To Grandmother's House We Go Under the highway and through the city To Grandmother's house we go The traffic is heavy as we drive in our Chevy Stopped at a red light now Under the highway and through the city To Grandmother's house we go The red light turned green but now we scream Because we are stopped again Under the highway and through the city To Grandmother's house we go Were out of the traffic its so fantastic I think we are almost there Under the highway and through the city To Grandmother's house we go We're finally here crying happy tears And all the food looks good Under the highway and through the city Back to our house we go I'm really happy and not too sappy "Cause I think we are almost home Under the highway and through the city Back to our house we go We've finally arrived but we don't look alive As we tumble out of the car Up the stairs to brush our teeth Into our beds we go This poem's through so you know what to do Stop reading it now Daniel Deas 5th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Alosi


Rain Splish splash go my yellow rain boots as I make my way through the puddles. Drip, drip drip, the rain drops speak to me as I fall in a puddle and watch the rain pile upon me. As I watched them, I started to tum into a rain drop as well. Maya Pastusic Grade 5 Thrasher Elementary School Amy Garvich

JACK-O-LANTERN Jack-o-lantern what do you see? Do you see children of the world? Or see the moon and hear the wolf? For all we see on Halloween night is the mask's covering our faces on this night. Jack-o-lantern jack-o-lantern what do you see? Jacob Nation Grade 5 Thrasher Elementry Julie Bell

Layers of Light When layers of light stretch down a lane A beautiful darkness envelops it again Lights of hope from the stars high above Gives strength to our cares hiding alone The soft whispers of days With all memories laid One lamp lights the rest With a sprig of hope Days gone by and hope still here My sweet thoughts will never wear Stella Strength 5th Grade Thrasher Elementary Mrs. Crosby


The Little Red Umbrella If it wasn't for the little red umbrella on this cold winters day Children wouldn't like to go out and play Parents would scurry to get them inside The rain kept falling as they bowed their heads and sighed Then they glanced over and to their surprise They saw the red umbrella so very small in size Now those little children on that cold winters day Won't have to stay inside being bored all day They can play in the puddles and the rain Their mother won't ever hear them complain So now you see a simple invention on that cold winters day Can make the world a better place to play Tyler Row Grade 5 Thrasher Elementary Ms. Julie Bell

Why? Why, oh why have I fell into a loophole? A twist in the world, For have I truly dropped through the twisted hole? Why, oh why has this twisted nightmare twisted my soul? The dome light is the only thing that can free us all. For now, I am f-f-f-r-r-r-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e! Now I can feel free again, For I have always been free. Jacob Jones Grade 5 Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper School Mr. Huffstutler


Holiday Poem: The 4th ofJuly Independence Day Fireworks in the night sky Picnics on the hillside Chitter-chatter ringing in my ear Watermelon melting in my mouth Sparklers gleaming in my eyes The 4th of July Jaden McCullough 5th Grade Charleston Elementary School Mrs. Anziano

Sun and Moon Sun Intense, yellow Burning, scorching, sweltering Rays, light, craters, Earth’s Glowing, waning, growing Sphere, white Moon Nick Burnette 5th Grade Charleston Elementary School Mrs. Burgess

Dreams Funny, scary Hoping, daydreaming, sleeping Nightmares, ideas, fantasy, daydreams Amusing, worrying, smiling Beautiful, frightening Vision Hope Salmond 5th grade Charleston Elementary Mrs. Anziano


Love Love is like a river, It flows from beneath, It first fills you with greatness, But then in the end grief. When love comes into your heart, It makes you want to scream and shout, But when you know its true meaning, You feel so left out. Mikey Zilbert Grade 5 Ringgold Elementary School Tanya Brewer

Fall Fall is on its way. Leaves are falling in your yard. Turn on your blower. Korey Chitwood 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Bowling

Racetrack Hooves pounding like thunder, Manes and tails flying like paint across a canvas. Lots of shouting and whooping, Smoke thickens the air from cigars. Eager eyes watch the track, When the winner's name is shouted cries of victory and despair fill the air. This is the racetrack. Catherine Cleckler 5th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


The Poor 74 When you take a test and make a 74, It means you did pretty poor Out the door I wish it'd go flying. Telling my mom I made a 100 would be lying. At school I can't show my face. At home I walk around and pace. When I sat on my bed, I thought in my head, "Why did I make a 74?" Then I ran out the door, Walked past the mirror, Then it came to me, how could it get any clearer? You need to study for your test, So your grade can be the best! Olivia Sisk 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Bowling

Harriet Tubman Wife of John Tubman Who is determined, compassionate, and tough. Who loves freedom, life, and her people. Who feels slaves should be free, should help in the war, and every person should be treated equally. Who needs freedom in every household, the North Star, and north to win. Who gives help to the slaves, help to the north, and help the soldiers. Who fears her master, being captured, and slavery. Who would like to see freedom, the drinking gourd, and the north triumphant. Who shares freedom, the Underground Railroad, and her spy work. Who is a spy, a conductor, and a nurse. Resident of Albany, New York. Daniela Ford 5th Grade Allen Elementary Tippi Matherley


My Brother's Not a Werewolf My brother's not a werewolf Though it often looks that way. He has to shave his whiskers Almost every day. His feet are getting furry, And his hands are sprouting hair. His voice is deep and growling like a bear. He often sleeps throughout the day And stays up half the night. And if you saw the way he eats, You'd scream in fright. His clothes are ripped and dirty, Like the stuff a werewolf wears. His socks and shirts are shredded And his pants have countless tears. If you should ever meet him, You'll see what I mean. My brother's not a werewolf, He's just turning seventeen. Evanna Stokes 5th Grade Dupont Elementary Mrs. Douglas

TVs and Computers Computer Fun, useful Working, typing, surfing Internet, monitor, lazy, games Watching, playing, changing News, cartoons TV Braden Coe 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Rogers


The Bat By day the bat is cousin to the mouse. He likes the attic of an aging house. His fingers make a hat about his head. His pulse beat is slow we think him dead. He loops in crazy figures half the night. Among the trees that face the corner light. But when he brushes up against a screen We are afraid of what our eyes have seen. For something is amiss or out of place. When nice with wings can wear a human face. Sidney Horne 5th Grade Lakeside Academy Mrs. Demeka Gamer

Little brother like no other, Talking all day long; Rarely soft, often loud, Like the most annoying song. Your spirit is contagious, Kind of like the flu; I wonder how my life would be, If there wasn't you. As I try to imagine, a shocking thing happened. A world without you became suddenly blue; I would be like a shoelace, Looking for my shoe. Funny how thoughts make you think, And the strange things you discover; When you find in your heart, The love for your little brother is like no other. Jackson Wolford 5th Grade St.Peter's Episcopal School Carol Lockrow


Saved By A Monster On the day of Norco eve Santa was sick with Zoosho He sent his four best elves Out to verminkle the toopas The elves woke up the kersloshes And tied them to the reigns And then they curplatted off Far, far into the jonad. Kurflump! Although they were riding mosintily, They lost control of the sleigh And fell to the ground Zhurwomp! They thought that it was noowoopie But then, they heard a noosha Off gurumphaled something big It was a legendary Shooashee! Though he couldn't fix their sleigh, He sat them down in his versona Let them drink some booga looga And there they stayed forever. Kurwish! Tessa Labbe 5th Grade Carol Lockrow St. Peter's Episcopal School

Enemies, Friends Enemies Mean, bad Bullying, betraying, mocking Cruel, copied, gentle, bffs Caring, sharing, playing Nice, good Friends Sydney Dawson 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Rogers


The Difference I wake up in my heated house with a soft blanket They wake up in a cold cot with not even a sheet I get what I want They barely get what they need My mom calls me down stairs, I see all my wonderful present under my sparkling tree They may not even have a mom, they can't look forward to opening presents they don't have a tree I stay warm watching the snow fall from in my house They sit outside freezing while snow falls all on them I bundle up, put my gloves on, and go sledding They don't have a jacket, they don't have gloves, and they don't have time to play I sip hot chocolate out of my Christmas cup They sip filthy stream water out of their cold hands I eat a big Christmas lunch They look through dumpsters trying to find any little scrap I am fortunate, and thankful Anna Wright 5th Grade Nolan Elementary Jones

THANKSGIVING T - Thank the Lord H - Happy to be with family A - A football game playing on T.V. N - Never being greedy K - Kids eating so much their stomachs hurt S - Some pumpkin pie on the table G -Going out and sitting in line for Black Friday sales I - Inside by the fire V -Very big turkey I - In the bed after you eat N - Never ending good G - Grateful for what you have Ashton Jolley 5th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Jennifer Westcott


T is for thanksgiving in or outside H is for house warm and cozy inside A stands for amazing family all the time N ever eating ham its always turkey time. K indness is love on Thanksgiving day S o much to share all along the way G iving is what we should do everyday I is for me to show love in new ways. V ery fun to watch parade on this morn I nteresting food we are eating plus corn N ovember is over so move right along G o now to Christmas and start singing those songs. Claire Johnson 5th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Marcus

Starlight I touch a fallen star, in the dawn grass it's frosted over, the pale light locked deep Its delicate sheen looks pure, like glass I hold it close, and safe it will keep I hope this dream will stay unscarred and close I hold its sweet, soft, and safe warmth near me This small wishing star I hold so dearly Happiness courses through my weary soul I prance through the grassy, starlit meadow The dim glow still beams through my small cupped hand I hear the hounds, now a swift, deep bellow That Coon's flight of life is about to land I hold that spark, it has been fun, it has I lock it in my grip in a shushed sleep Hayley Pruett 5th Grade Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School Mrs. Todd


My Kind of Book When I read a book, I look for creation. Something that won’t make my brain go on vacation. Maybe a book that has a cat or a dog. Or maybe a book with a slimy green frog. Maybe a book that has a princess or a pea. Or maybe a booking starring me! Maybe a book with some mystery. Or a book about something in another century. This is my kind of book. So go ahead, take a look! Cara Kent 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Rudolph

I am a sister and daughter I wonder why leaves change in fall I hear the air flowing I see my puppy asleep on the sofa I want a I phone I am a sister and daughter I pretend I have all the money in the world I feel excited about my new puppy I touch the soft fur on my puppy's back I worry that my puppy might be sick I cry because my puppy bits me realty hard I am a sister and a daughter I understand LA I say santa is real I dream about getting a bunny I try to do a back hand spring Taylor Ward 5th Grade Ganns Middle Valley Mrs. Todd


Writing Poems Writing poems is so tough, It makes me want to huff and puff. Bird and word, shake and bake, What word doesn't rhyme? What does rhyme even mean? I wish they made a rhyming machine! What rhymes with orange? Oh yeah, NOTHING! So I will sit with writer's block, If I don't think of something, I will go into shock. Kay Greer 5th Grade Boyd Buchanon School Mrs. Rudolph

My Blizzard Fun! Whirling and swirling and twirling around. I dance in circles then fall on the ground. My snow angels line the field where I play. I love this oh so snowy day. My fingers are numb from the snowballs I've thrown. My nose looks like Rudolph's finding his way home. Hard to move from the layers my mom makes me wear, My brand new scarf is starting to tear. After I'm done playing can't wait to get home, Hot chocolate and cookies NOM NOM NOM! Annie Hester 5th Grade Ganns-Middle Valley Elementary Mrs. Todd


My Best Friend I had a very special dog, As black as the night could be. He ran, jumped, played around, Boy was he a sight to see. He stood with his head held high, His chest out brave and bold. His eyes were as dark as chocolate, But with a touch of gold. I loved him and he loved me, We were meant to be together. I thought he would be by my side, Now and forever. Things have changed and he has gone away, Where all good dogs must go. But everytime I think of him, I still miss him so. So to kids who have a pet, Keep them in a special place. With a smile on your face and love in your heart, Like I do for my dog Ace. Kolton Brauch 5th Grade Ganns Middle Valley Elementary Mrs. Todd


Trees Trees Tall, green Like tall knights guarding the forest With powerful green shields But gentle They let birds make nests in their shields A baby bird might slip and fall But the knight gently catches her And puts her back in the nest just in time for dinner Trees are nice So be nice to them Trees Erika Lammon Grade 4 Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Nelson




Grades 3-5 Prose


Monkey's Trick One fall day in the woods Tiger was bragging. Monkey did not like it at all. Monkey told Tiger not to brag but he kept doing it. Tiger said he is faster than me. Turtle told Monkey that he should settle it by racing. Monkey told Tiger to race him to see who is faster. Tiger was sure he was to win but he said yes. The next day they were ready. On your mark, get set, go!!! The speaker said. Tiger was in the lead but Monkey had a plan. His plan was to swing on vines because he is fast on vines. Tiger slowed down because he was tired. Monkey got in the lead. Everyone was cheering. Tiger was mad. It helped him because he gets fast when he is mad. But it was too late. Monkey had crossed the line. Tiger walked to the line slowly. Monkey said good game. Tiger was happy about that so he did not brag about it ever again. P.S. Monkey and Tiger are now. Connor Smith 3rd Grade Nolan Elementary School Diane Huseman

A Chilly Day Well hello there ......I am snowflake named Snowball. Right now I am falling from the sky, fluttering in the breeze. Whoosh, Whoosh, Whoosh. You really should try this sometime. Beware though, I have heard that you only get to try it once then you are gone. Not sure what that means, gone. Doesn't sound like much fun to me. Oh no, where did my sister go? She was right beside me. Have you seen her? She looks .....well, like me. We are almost to the ground. Now sure doesn't seem like the best time to lose her. Icicle, where are you? Wait there she is. I see her on this funny object that is moving, and it's moving right beside me. She goes forward, I go back. Icicle, stop. Stop please. "Don't forget to knock your shoes off................." Bang! Bang! Bang! So I assume that means we are on a shoe. Because we are definitely trying to be knocked off. I see snowflakes falling all around but not Icicle. I hide under a rope to make sure I don't fall off either. I really wish she would have fallen off so we could be on the ground. All I know is that it is very warm inside here. My sister finally sees me and we roll off the shoes to the floor. Icicle, if we don't get out of here soon, we will be losing a lot of weight. I am dripping all over the place. We are sitting behind this huge open rail in the floor when we hear a loud roar. Up we fly, next to a large object called a whirlpool. Right as we pass the top, a little girl opens up the top. I feel a cold breeze and we she grabs a popsicle. I know all about those. We eat them all the time. Icicle and I jump in and live a frozen ever after life. Lauren McNeese 3rd Grade Thrasher Elementary Jennifer Lockwood


Once there was a boy named Brian. He started going to a new school. Then when he was putting his books in his locker he saw the most beautiful girl in the school. Her name was Jasmine. He has a crush on her so much. He sleeps with her yearbook picture. He would even fight for her. When he got to the school the next day he met two bullies that were mean and ferocious. After they met, the two bullies stuffed him in his locker. Brian knew he was going to have a bad day. When he got home he went to his room. He tried to find everything he could to build a great invention. Brian had an idea. When he went to school the next day, any bully that tried to touch him would get bullied. Jasmine was a clever girl. She spied on Brian. Then, soon, she noticed he was a hero. She secretly fell in love with him. Soon, they both had to tell the truth. Jasmine and Brian told each other at the same time. They became boyfriend and girlfriend. Kimora Bass 3rd grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Mr. Wohl

Boom! CRASH! A tree just fell down! I was at a dentist appointment and a TON of tornado warnings were out. I was wondering about my friends at school. I hoped they were okay. A person who worked there said "Please go to the back of the building"! My mom, my brother, a lot of other people, and I rushed towards it. One minute after we sat down I the back of the building the power went out. I said to my mom "I didn't even get my teeth cleaned." Another women who worked there said "Luckin to shut down the building. You have to get out!" A lot of people started arguing with her, but my mom knew that the building wasn't secure so, my morn picked up the baby and I ran to the car at full speed. My mom ran as fast as she could with a baby carseat in her arms. My mom and I reached the car in no time. My mom put the baby in the seat and I buckled as fast as I could and so did my mom. My mom thought her hardest about where we could go. Tornado warnings were still everywhere so my mom went to a big building. My step mother worked there and we tryed to find her, but would couldn't, so we sat on a bench for a while. My mom called my step mom one more time. She awnsered! She told us the building she was in. We quickly walked there. When we got there we went to her office where it was safe. We stayed till the tornada warnings were over, and we went home. I never want to be in that situation. Savannah Betro-Grass 3rd Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Barbra Lail


The Moogle A Moogle is part moose and eagle. The body of the Moogle is that of a moose. The body has brown feathers instead of fur, and purple wings to fly. The Moogle has pink antlers and long furry legs. The Moogle lives in North America and Europe. Moogles like to eat rats, mice, opossums, and raccoons. Moogles fly in a herd called Mooglets. There are between 100 and 500 Moogles in a Mooglet. A Moogle can have two babies a year. The Moogles baby is called a Moosling. Baby Mooslings are born in the winter. They live in tree trunks. When a Moog1e is fully grown it stands as tall as two men standing on top of each other. It is very rare to see a Moogle. If you ever get the chance to see a Moogle take a picture because nobody will ever believe you. Moogles are so cool. Elizabeth Wilson 3rd Grade Snow Hill Elementary Mrs. Jayme Newell

The Life of the Dancing Sisters Emily and Erin were dancers. They were sisters. Erin may have been older, but Emily was better at dancing. Once, Erin got jealous. Erin soon started to get very angry at Emily. They go into an argument. The argument was about how Emily was better than Erin at dancing. Erin told Emily about the time she found that out. Emily said, “I can help you with some steps and go over the basics with you too.” So as Emily helped Erin, Erin got better and better. Then they entered a dancing contest, but they went against each other. They continued practicing together, but what Emily didn’t know was that Erin was going to her friend’s house and practicing without Emily. Then when the contest time came, Erin was more prepared than Emily was. After the show they announced who the winner was. They had three nominees. They were Erin Butterfield, Emily Butterfield and Ellie Hickman. Ellie Hickman was third. Now it was down to Emily and Erin. One of the judges announced that they had a tie. Emily and Erin ere shocked. Emily started to unravel the web that Erin had woven. After they were off the stage Emily confronted Erin. Erin knew Emily would confront her so she tried to run frm Emily. But Emily grabbed her by the arm and caught her. Erin confessed to Emily about practicing more. Then they called them back on the stage to do the tie-breaker. Emily promised herself that she would win the tie-breaker. She was almost finished, but she slipped and fell. That was a tie too. So they called it a close call and said they both won, and they both liked that! Emily Butterfield 3rd Grade Rhea Central Elementary Mrs. Jenkins


The Monkey Who Made History At Oshkosh Zoo, a poor little monkey is in the cage. He said, "Man, I wish somebody would take the AWESOME me to a zoo where I'm not the only animal here!" Just then a little girl walked in the door and said, "Where are all the animals and people?" I started "ooobing" and "ahhhing" because I have never seen a human in here, in like three years. "I guess I'll just ... oh, there's a little monkey in there," the little girl said. The little girl let me out of the cage. I started to run away, but she looked nice so I went back and I hugged her. She said, "We are going to be best friends." I said, "Come on; let's get out of this dump!" She said, "I didn't know monkeys could talk!" Then we started to head across the street when I heard this evil laugh from the building right by the zoo. I said, "That sounds like Dr. Cracklestein!" She asked who Dr. Cracklestein was. I answered, "An evil scientist that makes our city worse and worse." She asked, "Is there any way to stop him?" I said, "There is one way to stop him. You have to destroy one of his inventions." She said, "Well, how about we destroy it?" "Ok. Let's go!" I said. We went upstairs. He was building his invention. He said, "It is impossible to destroy it!" I said, "That's what you think!" The little girl said, "You will need this bomb." We ran toward Dr. Cracklestein and I threw the bomb. It flew up, and it blew up his invention. The day was saved! Dr. Cracklestein shouted, "I will get you one day!" I said, "Yeah, right, LOSER!" We ran downstairs and out the door. "We'll meet again. Good-bye!" Owen Johnston 3rd Grade Ganns Middle Valley Elementary Mr. Grisar


The Frightening Man Chomp, chomp, gulp! "Thanks breakfast, mom. It was as good as cream!" Then off to my room to do my morning chores. When I was finished I was as tired like I ran one hundred miles. I went outside to go to school. I was sprinting down the sidewalk not far from school when I spied a man in a dark suit-as dark as space! His face was all wrinkled and he carried an umbrella on this hot, sunny day. I slowed down as our eyes met. He stared at me for a long, quiet moment and continued to squint at me as I jogged past into my school. When school was over, I went back home. The same mysterious man stood in the same spot! But instead of staring at me started lumbering towards me. He was in the middle of the road when a truck drove over him. I shut my eyes and as slow as a turtle I opened them. To my surprise, the man had disappeared. I took a long glance around, but he was nowhere to be found! Kistler Hampton 3rd Grade The Bright School Mrs. Mary Harbin

The Adventures of Bubble Once upon a time, a young boy blew a colorful, but small bubble. On that day, when he blew the bubble, there was a strong wind that carried it off to the North Pole. Here, Bubble saw Santa Claus and Elves working, and houses made of gingerbread. A delicious smell was in the air. Then the wind carried Bubble off to China where she saw the Great Wall of China and an Emperor that was speaking to his people. She saw his people throwing cake at a birthday party. Then the wind quickly changed directions to the South which carried her to Hawaii, where she saw people hula dancing around the fire. She floated around an erupting volcano which then carried her back home to rest. That was her adventures of the day. Abby Grace Frank 3rd Grade Thrasher Elementary Mary Ferguson

Eddy Hilger The Great Eddy Hilger was such a good cyclist. He won 5 tours and fifty races. Can you believe it? He was famous! He did not take drugs, and I am glad. My dad is a very good dad. He honors Jesus in everything he does. I love my dad. Jackson Hilger 3rd grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


Mommy I love her. She is my teacher. Her name is Joy. She has five girls and one boy. She has blonde hair and blue eyes. She is very pretty. She is my mommy. Holland Luttrell 3rd Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelly George

Abigail's Moment Abigail sat in her chair at school, frightened because she saw on the news that an asteroid might end up hitting Overside Daycare. She wanted to do something about it, but she wouldn't think of anything. Then "Bam!" She thought of an idea. She was going to invent a magnet-powered machine that would tum asteroids into dust and cause it to rain. It would be called the Mormertrome three thousand! When she got to building it, she struggled terribly, but she kept on going. The first time it wouldn't work, was when the light switch wouldn't fit. The next time was when the laser accidently hit the cat. The last time was when the motor reversed and Abigail went completely bonkers! Finally she got it to work. She plopped on the couch and turned on the news. "What!" she yelled. The asteroid fell backwards and was heading for her school! She grabbed the Mormertrome three thousand and quickly rolled it to her school. Oh no, she was too late. The asteroid was in the sky and it was heading straight for her fast. "Buzz!" She shot the asteroid in a flaming flash of lightning. Shortly later it began to rain. She ran home and grabbed her rain coat to play with others. She and everyone else were very proud of her including her parents. She knew she had saved her school, but she felt like she had saved the world. After that day she knew she was a hero! That is the story of Abigail's moment. The End! Brennan Brownlee 3rd Grade Normal Park Magnet Museum Mrs. Case

Sushi Nabe If you like Asian food, go to Sushi Nabe! The owners are very nice. They give you candy when you're done. They have all kinds of Japanese food. There is also a real, ancient, samurai armor on the wall. Come eat at the best restaurant, Sushi Nabe, with me! John Waters 3rd grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


Lineman, Ernest H. Coiloms Tells About Blizzard of 1993 In March 1993, a blizzard hit Southeastern United States. Ernest H. Colloms said that the linemen worked solid for four days putting wire back up on the poles in his town! Many people went several days without any power. The linemen worked continuously despite the cold wind and snow, so that people could have heat and lights in their homes. The snow was so deep the trucks could not go very well. The men did not have much food for a long time, because few trucks could get through with supplies due to the weather. A lineman's gear consists of hooks, a lineman's belt, hard hat, rubber gloves, and bucket trucks. These items are all used to build and restore power lines. There is a lot of training required to become lineman and many different skills to learned. One must quite brave to do this job. Ernest is now retired after 41 years of serving his community. He said it was good feeling to help others and that he liked being a lineman. I am thankful that we have men like Ernest who are brave enough to do this dangerous job, so that we can enjoy having electricity! Madelyn Brown 3rd Grade Hilger Higher Learning Ms. Shelley George

The Caterpillar Who Could Fly One hot sunny day a baby caterpillar was born, but he was a little different. Unlike the other caterpillars he was determined to fly. When he was only five, in caterpillar years, he was smarter than any other caterpillar in his entire school. Even the fifth graders were jealous of how smart he was... His teacher asked him if he wanted to skip straight to middle school because of how well he was doing in school. He answered, "No way! I want to fly and the only way I can do that is if I go through every grade in school and get my education!" So he did just that. By the time he graduated from school he was the smartest caterpillar in the world. He was the first caterpillar to find out that e=mc square. Every caterpillar admired him but he still hadn't accomplished his goal. He still couldn't fly yet. This frustrated him because he was getting old and he couldn't do as much as he used to be able to. So he finally came up with an idea of how he might be able to fly. He asked one of his young friends to climb to the top of a tree to get two leaves for him. Then he grabbed the leaves carefully from his friend's hands and held them at his side. He then boldly jumped up, started flapping the leaves furiously, and before he knew it he was flying. He couldn't believe it. He was actually flying. He finally accomplished his lifetime dream of flying. After this he was able to live the rest of his life very happily knowing that he accomplished what he set out to do in life. Elisha Triplett 3rd Grade Ringgold Elementary School Ms. Smith


The Little Caterpillar Once upon a there was a little caterpillar. He was sad and lonely because he had no friends. He tried to be friends with big butterflies, but they would only laugh at him. “Why do you laugh at me? I just want to be friends,” he said. “We laugh at you because you’re a squirmy, lttle, green worm that eats leaves all day,” said Bob, on of the big butterflies, then flew off. “Nobody wants to be your friend,” sneered Petunia, and flew off, too. “I guess they’re right,” said Squirt, the little caterpillar, and heaved a great sigh. “I’m just a worthless, little, green worm who eats leaves all day.” And then he started to cry. “Hey, Squirt,” said Daisy, another caterpillar, and crawled up to Squirt. “I’m sorry about what happened today. Those butterflies are so mean! I just want to pull their antennae off!” she raged. Just then, Abby flew up and said to Daisy, “You!? I thought you and your family moved away!” Coolly, Daisy said, “We did move away. We just didn’t move far away. We moved to a skinny tree near Squirt’s house.” “Oh, I see. Who’s Squirt?” Abby asked. So Daisy said, “He’s a little caterpillar right beside – Hey, where’d he go?!” Abby and Daisy looked all over the place; under leaves, behind trees, even in a rolled up piece of paper. Squirt was no where to be found. Suddenly, Daisy said, “I remember!!” “Remember what??” Abby asked. “I remember a drain pipe Squirt told me about. He uses it as a clubhouse. It has a blue stripe down the middle of it,” Daisy said. “I’ve seen that one before,” Abby told Daisy. “Follow me!” she shouted and flew off. But before she even got ten inches away, Daisy called after her, “Wait for me! I’m not that fast, and I can’t fly either!” “Oh, sorry!” Abby said as she flew back. “Hop on.” So Daisy jumped on Abby’s back, and off they went. As they neared the drain pipe, a bird saw them at attacked! “Aaaaaaah!!!” Daisy and Abby screamed so loudly that they woke uup some sleeping birds. Now they were being chased by an army of birds! “Quick, Abby! Into the drain pipe!” Daisy shouted. Abby then swooped down into the drain pope hole, and landed right next to Squirt. “Squirt!” Squirt looked up and saw Abby and Daisy.


“Daisy!” Squirt yelled for joy and hugged Daisy. “Who’s that?” Squirt asked, pointing to Abby. “That’s Abby. She’s my friend,” Daisy answered the Little Caterpillar “I thought butterflies didn’t like caterpillars,” Squirt said. “Well, I’m the only butterfly who likes caterpillars,” Abby explained. “Squirt, why did you leave us?” asked Daisy. “We looked all over the place. We almost got eaten by a bird looking for you!” Daisy exclaimed. Squirt answered, “I didn’t know Abby, and I thought she would be mean. Also, there was a bird’s nest above us. A baby bird eyed me steadily, and even tried to fly out and get me. So I inched away.” “Why didn’t the bird see me and Daisy?” Abby questioned. “Well, you guys were behind a tree where you could see the bird but he couldn’t see you,” said Squirt. Suddenly there was a rumbling sound. “What was that?” Daisy asked. “That was me,” answered Squirt. “Boy, do I feel weird.” Then there was another rumbling noise. “That was me,” said Daisy. “I feel weird, too.” “I have a feeling we should crawl up to the ceiling,” said Squirt. So up they went. Then they made cocoons and crawled in. “We’ll be back soon!” called Squirt, and disappeared into his cocoon. For four weeks, Abby slept with the cocoons, talked to them, and even rubbed them. One day, while she was rubbing them, a butterfly’s head popped out of the other cocoon! It was Squirt! “How long did we sleep? Four weeks?” Squirt asked. “Yep,” Abby answered. “It felt like four trillion years,” Daisy joked, and all three laughed. “Well, it’s good to have ya back,” Abby said, and the others agreed. So, they flew all the way back home. When they got there, Bob and Petunia saw them. “Squirt! Daisy! Over here!” Bob shouted, and flew over with Petunia. “Here it comes,” Squirt whispered to Daisy as both prepared to be bullied. “Squirt, Daisy, we’re sorry about the way we acted when you guys were caterpillars,” Petunia apologized. “Yah, we’re very sorry,” Bob also apologized.


“It’s okay,” Daisy said. “Hey, guys!” Squirt shouted. “Wanna have a race to the mildew weed field?” “Yaaaaa!” they all chorused. “Then come on!” Daisy said. So, Bob, Petunia, Abby, Daisy, and Squirt lined up at the starting line and flew off to the mildew weed field. And Squirt won. The End. Wyn Knoch 3rd Grade Higher Higher Learning Shelley George

Fred's Friends Hi! My name is Fred, I'm a zebra. Pretty sad, right? You want to know why it's sad, I'll tell you. I'm like a meal to every meat eater there is out here! Okay, moving on. In case you were wondering if I, Fred the zebra, have friends ... of course I do. I have seven … ooooooh make that six, ha! It's hard finding new friends other than zeb ....AAAAHHHHH, it's a lion! I knew this was coming sooner or later today. AAAAHHHHH, run for it! Whoa, okay he stopped to get a drink. Now he's getting closer. ... OH MY GOODNESS, he's getting closer! I'm going to run for it! AAAAHHHHH! Alright, he's stopped chasing us for sure! I'm glad I'm still alive after that scene and the good thing is I still have six friends. Oh no, make that five, four, three, two, ONE. I only have one friend left! I guess the lion wanted a buffet. I mean, at least I still have one friend. I've tried giraffes as friends, but it's just that their heads are always in the clouds. I've tried rhinos ...bad idea. Also, I've tried hippos ...veeery bad idea! So, what it comes down to is that, though we do make tasty treats, and I tend to lose friends quite often, zebras are still the best friends to have! Halleigh Phelps 3rd Grade Rhea Central Elementary School Mrs. Lindsey Parson

The Plant Today We had fun when we planted our seeds. He gave us colorful seeds. He came up with win in my class was out there and Mrs. Reid's class was out there. We had lunch when we got in first we put hand sanitizer on everyday. We gave the plant some as well. When we were going to have fun today Mr. B helped us sometimes, Mrs. Sahrn let us hold the radish and then I had fun getting water. We had to crunch the dirt while the other people were dropping seeds in the dirt. I hope they grow big and pretty. Michael Dillard 3rd Grade Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy Mrs. Kristi Sahm


Fear the Pants It was a weird day for Benjamin, Bethany, Chas and Ellie. The Fab Four, as they were known, were getting read to go to Neyland Stadium. The vols and the Gators were about to play. After putting on their jerseys and eye black, the Fab Four got to the stadium. It was 2:00 when they arrived. The fans looked looked worried. After asking a few questions, they realized that Coach Dooley's orange pants were missing. What were they going to do? Tennessee can't win without their good luck charm. The Fab Four headed down to the field. “Let’s look for clues,” Chas said. They found orange scraps. The scraps led to the locker room. On their way there, they saw Albert the gator. “Did you steal Coach Cooley’s orange pants?” they asked. Albert shrugged. “I don’t know what your are talking about.” Albert ran away before they could say anything else. Then they saw an ESPN reporter. “What are you doinging?” Bethany asked. “Oh, I am looking at this nice painting on the wall,” she replied. “For some reason, I don’t think that’s what she is really doing,” whispered Benjamin. “Wait. Has anyne seen the hound dog or Smokey the mascot?” Ellie asked. “Now that I think about it, I don’t think so,” Bethany said suspiciously. “Hey, look. It’s Smokey’s collar,” Chas said. “Maybe Smokey dropped it,” Bethany said. “Maybe so. We need to figure out our suspects,” Benjamin stated. “The reporter we met seemed weird. Albert the Gator also seems a little suspicious,” Ellie said. “Look over here. I never noticed this, but there is a paw print on this scrap of pants. Maybe it was the hound dog,” Benjamin suggested. “No, it couldn’t have been him,” Bethany said with shame. “It has to be someone else,” Benjamin said with a tired voice. They kept looking until they fund Smokey with the rest of the orange pants. “Oh, there are Coach Dooley’s pants!” Bethany exclaimed. “Here you go. Sorry. The hound dog had them. He must not know how special these pants are to you,” Smokey said. “Here are you pants, Coach Dooley. We will help you fix them before the game,” Benjamin said. 94

“Oh, thanks. Where were they?” Coach Dooley said. “Each Smokey got a hold of them,” Benjamin replied. “I’m going to have a talk with them,” Coach Dooley murmured. After they walked to their seats, they celebrated the find. “Nice job guys!” Benjamin said. “Yeah. I’m tired,” Ellie said. “Me too,” Chas added. The Fab Four turned to the field as the announcer said, “It’s football time in Tennessee!” Benjamin Burns 3rd Grade Thrasher Elementary School Mary Ferguson

The Field Trip I looked out the window. It was raining. Then I said, "I'm going to get wet. It's field trip day." I Then we got on the bus and the road to the aquarium. We saw all kinds of fish. We saw a big catfish. Then we saw a turtle in the water swimming in the tank. We saw another turtle trying to eat up all the fish. We saw a snake in the tank moving. We saw some small fish swimming in the tank. We saw an alligator in the corner. We saw a turtle that was large and a baby turtle with it. We saw an alligator turtle. We saw a puffer in the water. We saw a stingray in the water swimming. We saw baby stingrays swimming in the water. We saw seahorses swimming in the tank. We saw frogs in a tank hopping. We saw a jellyfish that light up in the water changing color. I was excited to go the aquarium. I hope we get to go again soon. Shany'ya Hughley 3rd Grade Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy Beth Reed


Books That Come Alive Once upon a time there were two books and they lived the library. Their names were Fred and Bob and they would come alive. When people saw the two books come alive they would scream. The books were brothers and they would gang up together and try to hurt the people. Fred was five years old and Bob was only three years old. Every day was the same. Then one day Fred and Bob attached the city and people ran screaming and crying. The people tried everything to stop Fred and Bob but they could not. One day something happened and the books were nice and would help you clean and do your homework. Then all the books in the library came alive and all the books were nice. Then one day all the books in the world came alive and every person in the world had there own alive book that helped them. The books are still in the library today and they will come alive when you read them. Kinsley Ervin Third Grade Rhea Central Elementary School Mrs. Jenkins

The Lightning Bolt One night Trevor was walking home from his neighbor’s house. Suddenly, Trevor saw a dog that had no collar. He picked it up and noticed that it was a stray. He walked to his neighbor’s house and knocked on the door. The door opened and it was his friend’s Mom. Trevor asked her if she knew where this dog belonged. She said she did know where the dog lived. She told him that the dog lives ten blocks down the street on the left. Suddenly, on the Weather Channel was an alert that a big storm was coming, and when Trevor heard that hew quickly started walking to the dog owner’s house. Then the storm hit. Trevor saw a gigantic lightning bolt and he and the dog started running to the house. Finally, they got to the house and Trevor knocked on the door. The door opened, but it was not a little boy. It was a little girl that lost her dog. She told him thank you for finding her dog. Trevor started back home. While he was walking he saw pretty lightening bolts in the sky. From then on, Trevor loved to go out in the rain and look at the lightening in the sky. Ryan Petty 3rd grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Tiffany Whited


The Chocolate Boys One year there was a group of boys called the Chocolate Boys. The reason they were called the Chocolate Boys was because they ate chocolate. One day they saw a clerk out selling chocolate. They saw a brand new chocolate. It was called Yummy Nummy chew. They all took two pieces of chocolate. The clerk said, “I don’t think you should take that … because whoever eats that chocolate will turn to a chocolate statue.” “That’s just a lie old man. We’re taking it whether you like it or not.” “Watch yourself or you will turn into chocolate. Nobody will see you again.” One of the Chocolate Boys yelled, “Well, we’re taking it!” “Just watch the terrible things that will happen to you boys.” So they took the chocolate and walked home to eat it. They went to the den and ate the chocolate. Three weeks after buying the chocolate they turned into chocolate statues. The only one who could break the potion was Mr. Wonka himself. So when the man who sold those boys the chocolate came to check on them, he had to call Mr. Wonka. Mr. Wonka immediately picked up the phone. He said, “What’s the problem?” He yelled, “The Chocolate Boys turned into chocolate forever, Mr. Wonka. Can you fix them from the disease?” “Well, I can.” “That’s great news!” “Let me get out my Go Away disease pouch and I’ll be on my way.” “Now I can fix them.” Tick Tock. The clock went. “But they might turn into robots.” “Well as long as they’re ok.” “Oh they will be ok forever.” Everybody had a good rest of live and stopped selling Yummy Nummy Chew! The End. Gracie Mae Bankes 3rd Grade Bright School Annetta Crawford


Dogs vs. Penguins There’s a bunch of dogs and a bunch of penguins in my new neighbors house. I have kept it in my mind even though I have moved away from there. Now the dog and the penguins started being enemies. They started making spy cameras and freezing rays and suction cups. They are all agents. They would act normal when people would come in the room that they where in. When the people left the room the dogs and the penguins would start fighting again. Then when every dog and penguin was trained. They would get a big mission to do. The mission was not like any of the other missions it was the biggest of all of the missions in dog and penguin history. It was to save the world. The dogs and the penguins where excited to take this mission very seriously. If they got hurt they would have to pay out of there own insurance. That is why it is so important that they where going to leave tomorrow. They would blast off around the world and putting crime in jail. The penguins were evil. The dogs were the ones that had the mission to save the world. So when the morning came the dogs went off on their mission to save the world. They went to France and the lady never saw them again. The dogs were getting to know people very well and being able to work on being an agent. That was there destiny to save the world. Halle Wolfe 3rd Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Tiffany Whited

Reasons Why Being Honest is Important Being honest means that you tell the truth even when it is hard. It is very important to be honest. Although being honest can be hard, we still need to do it. There are three reasons why being honest is important. These reasons are, because other people might have to suffer the consequences if we lie, we want to do what is right, and we want people to trust us. The first reason why being honest is important is because other people might have to suffer the consequences if we lie. Once, I told my sister to bite me and then I told my mom she meant to. Right when she was about to get into trouble she told my mom that I had told her to do it. When my mom asked me about it I told the truth. If I hadn't told the truth my sister might have been punished. The next reason that being honest is important is that we want to do what is right. Once I almost took something from a store, but my sister reminded me that it was wrong. I felt bad about not being honest and I put it back. Doing what is right and being honest always feels good. Finally, it is important to be honest if we want people to trust us. When we lie people don't know when to believe us. If we tell the truth and do our best to be honest people will trust what we say. I have learned that being honest is not easy, but it is always the right thing to do. There are many reasons why being honest is important, but these are just three. Emma Steele 3rd Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


The Little Elf's Adventure Once upon a time there was a little Elf named Sammie that came from the North Pole one fall evening on December 1,2011. Sammie had been busy working at Santa's workshop helping with all the presents for the kids on Christmas. Sammie and his buddy decided to take a break from all the toy making and went and got a snow cone together. As soon as they got back and sat down to start working again, Santa made an announcement: Sammie I need you to go make a special trip to a little girl named Taylor Terrette’s house, yes sir replied Sammie! When do I leave Santa? Replied Sammie, as soon as possible said Santa. No problem Santa I just need to pack up a very special doll I have been working on. Sammie hurried and packed the doll very carefully in his elf hat and was ready to begin his journey. He traveled through the ocean and flew over Europe, Africa, South America until he finally reached North America. The morning of December 1,2011 Taylor Terrette awoke from her bed to get ready for school. Santa knew she had been sad about not receiving a Elf yet, so he had a surprise waiting on her that morning. Taylor got dressed for school, made her bed like every morning and went downstairs to have her breakfast. When she was walking into the kitchen, she immediately stopped because she saw an Elf hanging on the chandelier light. Mommy, shouted Taylor, Look its my Elf he came, he came! Taylor walked over and saw a note with the Elf and she began reading it. "Hi my name is Sammie, I have been looking all over for you Taylor. I like your new house and your new family. You have been a very good girl this year and I brought you a very special present that I made you! I hope you like it, Love Sammie". Taylor picked up her present which was a stuffed girl Elf, she loved it and was so happy to have Sammie. Over the next few days Sammie was in lots of weird places. One day he was in the Wine refrigerator all day, we thought he like it there because it was cold and reminded him of the North Pole. Another day he was in the Candle, good thing it was not lit we all thought. Sammie brought Taylor another special gift shortly after that. It was a movie about him explaining to Taylor what the Elf means and telling about his magic. She rushed home that day to watch the movie and learn all about her new friend Sammie. This is going to be a wonderful Christmas Taylor said to her Mom, Sammie and I are going to have all kind of adventures together and I can't wait she shouted with joy. Taylor and Sammie have been like best friends since he arrived at her house and she could not be happier to have him. So for now on Taylor and Sammie will continue on their adventures together year after year every Christmas. Taylor Terrette 3rd grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Carr


The Period Once upon a time, there was a period that did not get along with words. The period's name was Joe. Joe just wanted a good friend; but he did not know how to be a friend. He tried being nice to the word "car", but car just ran over him. Joe always hated being at the end of each sentence. He tried moving closer to the capital letters at the beginning of each sentence, but the capital letters just pushed him back. Joe was always very short. He wanted to be tall like an exclamation point. He tried to talk the letter "1" into joining him to make an exclamation mark, but the letter "1" said no. Joe wanted to be something other than a period. One time, Joe tried to be a question mark but the words weren't able to ask him why. Joe also thought of being a colon, semi-colon or an apostrophe, but he would need advanced English classes. Joe thought he did not matter to the words. Joe got mad and left the words. He decided that it would be best if he ran away. This left the words in confusion as run on sentences. The words were in a total mess. The words got together and decided to see Joe. They asked Joe to come back and end their confusion. Joe knew then in his heart that his job as a period was very important. After that, Joe got along with all of the words, and they lived happily ever after. Carson White 3rd Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Ms. Robin Williams

The Bad Case of the Doll Once there was a girl named Sheree. She was short but had very long hair. Her favorite toy was a pretty rag doll. She played with it all day, I mean, literally! Then, one day she felt different. She looked in the mirror. “AAAAGGGHHHH!” she screamed. Her hair was yarn, like a doll’s, her nose was a button, like her doll's, no fingers, no toes, just like her doll! Her mom ran right in. "Oh my, your hair is beautiful!” Sheree rolled her eyes. But her mom was right. Her hair must have been four feet long. Her mom called a doctor ASAP. The doctor was busy, but he still picked up. Here is what he said, “We are very busy Mrs. Robin. I will call when possible." And then he hung up. Sheree got up to get breakfast. But she hadn’t noticed she was flat, like her doll. She could eat, but it was hard to walk. After breakfast her mom took her to the ER. "HMMMMM?" the doctor had been doing this for about an hour. “Sheree is fine to go to school tomorrow.” “I can’t go to school! I will be totally embarrassed!” She yelled. The next day was horrible. Everybody thought she was a monster! The entire student body evacuated the building in three minutes. Sheree pulled out her cell and called her mom. In a few minutes her SUV pulled. “I’m never to school again," cried Sheree. Tears swelled up in her brown eyes. All of a sudden, her mom pulled into the ER. The doctor finally called? Sheree thought. The doctor said he had no clue. But once he saw Sheree and her doll he said, "Try doing something to that doll." When she got home, tears running down her cheeks, she threw her doll out of the window. Then she turned back to human! But, she jumped out of the window to get the doll. Makayla 3rd Grade Dupont Elementary Mrs. Weaver


The Hole in the Ground Chapter 1: The Hole Luke was in the yard when he found a hole. It was a big hole. He told all his friends. They came over. "Wow," said Sam, "that is a big hole." Suddenly Zack pushed Lester in the hole. "Zack," Luke said. "What," said Zack? "I guess we will have to save him," said Luke. Chapter 2: Ouch! They all jumped in the hole. The three boys searched for Lester. They found him next to rock. "Goo goo gah gah," said Lester. "Huh," said Zack? Lester laughed, "Ha ha, just kidding!" "Hey," Sam said "anyone hear breathing?" Chapter 3: The Dragon A huge dragon stood in front of them. "Ahhhh!" screamed Luke. They all ran as fast as they could. "Follow me if you don't want to die," said Lester. They turned quickly. So did the dragon. "Roarrrr," it said then let out a breath of fire. It almost hit Zack. The dragon had cornered them. Chapter 4: The Dragon's Plan "Luke, 1 have to tell you something," Sam said. "What," said Luke? "I used your toothbrush to clean the toilet," said Sam. "Ewww," said Luke! "Wait!" Sam exclaimed. Sam took out the dirty toothbrush and scrubbed the dragon's mouth. Boom! The dragon fell to the ground. "Hey look, an egg," Sam said. Chapter 5: Sam's New Pet Crack! "The egg is hatching," said Sam. "Who gets to keep it," said Zack? "Sam should since he found it," said Luke. "Yeah," agreed Lester. Suddenly the egg hatched. They picked up the baby dragon and put him in his jacket. "Let's follow this tunnel," said Lester. Chapter 6: The Giant Three Headed Dog The four boys walked down the dark tunnel. "This is scary," said Lester. "I know," said Zack, "a lizard just walked by me and said hi." The three boys gasped in fear! They continued down the tunnel. "Hey look at this sign," said Zack puzzled, "It says, beware Of dogs." Rip! A dog ripped off Zack's head! "Quick run we're about to get away," said Luke. Chapter 7: To Make a Long Story Short They did! Chapter 8: Here We Go Again! Then the three boys jumped out of the hole. Suddenly Angel jumped out from behind the bush with a booger on his finger. He chased them around with it. Then Angel fell into the hole. "Here we go again," said Sam! Sam Sosebee 3rd Grade Rhea Central Elementary School Mrs. Jennifer Forgey


Chapter 1: Mr. Bunny Once upon a time in a far away land there was a young man named Mr. Bunny. Mr. Bunny was a greedy bunny he liked to brag about himself. One day he was going to have a race with Mr. Rat. He had a big plan that he was going to make his family members distract him when the race started. Chapter 2: Mr. Rat Mr. Rat was a nice man. He loved to help everyone except one Mr. Rabbit. He hated that man so bad he wished he never heard of him. He thought that he was a big meany head. Even though he had to help him he still didn't like him. His mom made him invite him over when she was not there so he just had to deal with it. All of the neighbors depended on him so one day he invited Mr. Bunny over and of course he hated it. Chapter 3: Race Day It was race day and everyone in the whole town was watching. Mr. Bunny had just invited him over so he now he was surely going to loose. He was so scared that before the race began he said, "Wait! Stop, stop. stop everything. I will be right back." So he went home and changed his pants and got on his lucky underwear. Now when he got back he said, "I'm ready!" Read, set, go and they were off. "How was he going to win," the town people wondered. Mr. Bunny was fast and he had a walkie-talkie to tell his family members to distract him. Mr. Rat heard someone say, "Stop." "What, what? Did I win?" Mr. Rat asked. Chapter 4: The Trick "Did I win?" "No you didn't, but what is 6 x 4 equal?" she asked. "24. Now good-bye," and he started to run again. "Stop!" "What? Did I win?" "No, how do you spell 'no'?" "N -O," Mr. Rat said. Meanwhile Mr. Rabbit was almost at the finish line, but he said, "Maybe I can take a quick nap." Then Mr. Ratt ran and rand and ran past Mr. Rabbit, but very quiet so he would not wake up and he won. And he got something big, but that is a mystery. Tell me if you can find out. THE END Anabelle Clower 3rd Grade Nolan Elementary School Mrs. Lampheir


Rusty and George Once upon a time in a far away land an animal named George giraffe met a rabbit named Rusty. George was really boastful and greedy. Rusty had been trying to trick George for years but he couldn't. One day George challenged rabbit to a race. It was going to be a 4 mile race. George didn't stop boasting about the race. The race was 1 day away and fans were setting up at the finish line. Finally the race was here. "Ready, set, go," said jackal. George knew lots of short cuts but promised he would only use them if Rusty was in front. Rusty started beating George so George took a short cut. He got about half way through a trail and suddenly he was trapped in a cage of metal bars. He was stuck! George saw rabbit run by him. George the giraffe kept gnawing and trying to break the bars. Rusty the rabbit was already on his second mile and giraffe was still stuck. Then one of George's cousins was walking on the trail and she heard George saying, "help, help." Then Gina, George's cousins said, "Hey George, how did you get trapped?" "Well I was running in a race and I decided to take a shortcut and then I got trapped", George said. Gina found the latch to open the cage and finally George was out but rabbit was on his third mile. George had to find a way to beat him but without going on a short cut. George was going to take the biggest steps as he could so he could catch up with rabbit. George was 15 ft away from Rusty in four steps he will be in front. Finally, George was winning. They were both 3 feet away from finish line, "And it is a tie" Jackal said. The crowd kept saying, "George wins, no Rusty wins, no George wins." Finally George and Rusty agreed to let the crowd vote who wins. Okay, okay, quiet. "We have decided to let you vote who wins," said George. "Okay everybody out a paper in this bucket and we will count them up and see who wins", said Rusty. Finally everybody has voted and Jerry jackal counted them up. "The winner is George", said jackal. Rabbit was so mad. In the end rabbit and George became enemies and they played tricks on each other every day. The End. Haleigh Ward 3rd Grade Nolan Elementary Ms. Holland Lanphier


Batter Up Alex sat on the bleachers at the softball game. "The Cougars are gonna lose again," thought Alex. Then, Know-it-all Clara walked up. "You are gonna get creamed," said Clara. "No we are NOT," yelled Alex. Although Clara was probably right, Alex did not want to admit it. "Oh, yeah," said Clara, "name one game your team has won." Alex thought for a bit. .... "Uh oh! A challenge. What should I do?" The loud speaker interrupted her thoughts with an announcement: "Home run Blue Jays!" Alex was fuming, her face was turning red, smoke was coming out of her ears (not literally, but you can get the picture), her eyes were watering. Alex had all she could take. She jumped up and body slammed Know-it-all Clara into a mud puddle. Did I mention Clara is ALWAYS clean? Clara ran off screaming "Yucky Mud!" "Serves her right," Alex murmured under her breath. •••• Alex was a Cougar fan, but there was one big problem --the Cougars always lost. The game from last night was all over the news, but what could Alex do? Alex slouched in a chair thinking, "What can I do? I am only 10 years old. No one would listen to a 10 year old. They would probably walk off than listen to me." Then, Alex's dad walked into the room. "If only the Cougars could win ONE game!" boomed her dad. Then Alex got an idea, but she will need some help. •••• Alex invited four of her friends--Lexy, Holden, Ada and Jack--for a meeting. "This will be a challenge for everyone here," Alex began. Holden spoke up, "do we eat anything with sugar? I am diabetic." "Oh, no, we don't eat anything," said Alex. "Wait," said Holden. "I have to keep my blood sugar high but not too high." "Ok, then," said Alex. "Bring Snacks! Any More questions?" Lexy looked at Holden who looked at Ada who looked at Jack. No one said a word. Lexy broke the silence. "Nope!" "Well, then we are gonna make the Cougars beat the Blue Jays!" "How?" asked Lexy. "Here is my idea - we will stick gum to the bottom of the Blue Jay's shoes," announced Alex. 104

"Are you positive it will work?" asked Lexy. "Positive," answered Alex. •••• "I stuck the gum on the shoes," said the walkie-talkie in Alex's hand. "Roger that," said Alex. It was time for action. The Blue Jays started to run, but the players fell down. The Cougars got a score! "Home run, Cougars!" announced the loud speaker. Eventually, the Cougars won! They had a huge celebration. There were balloons and presents and cake. It was a blast and everyone had a time. Sarah Frances Crawford 3rd Grade Thrasher Elementary Dottie Chapin

Too Much Taco Sauce Have you ever craved a taco? Well, me, Anna, Will, and Bo were craving some tacos really bad. So we decided to go on a picnic. We find a nice place in the woods and sat there. Everybody was eating, and I was making Bo a taco. Just then, I heard, "Shhhh!!!" I turned around and hit the taco sauce. Too much squeezed on the taco, but Bo ate it anyway. Suddenly, Bo turned into a dog! After that, we were all shocked and confused. So, we passed out. A little bit later, I woke up with Bo licking my face. Yuck! Bo didn't get to finish his taco; so he was still hungry. We bought him some dog food. Anna predicted we should to the vet to get Bo checked out. I said, "No!" Anna replied "Why not?" I answered, "Well, um um, I don't have enough money." Will, being the crazy one, said, "I think we need some laughing gas." "Really, use your brain," Anna said with a frown. "I can just bring him to my house," I said. "I have whatever he will like." So, that is what we did. I brought him home. On the way there, we went through lots of hard times, though. Bo saw Olivia, girl he had a crush on. He jumped all over her and licked her seven times! She screamed in fear and called the pound. I had to buy him for $40! We finally got home. 1 had lots of problems care of him, too. He stole my bed at night. He drank out of the sink, and he pooped in the house! After a rough night, Bo and I went on a walk. I looked on a buildboard and saw new treats to turn dogs into humans! "That's just what I need!" I thought. So, I got the treat for Bo. He ate them and turned into a human again! I looked on the wrapper and saw, "Made from Vets in Georgia." Anna was right after all! I should listened to the girl! Oh, and by way, Bo was a Labrador. Jake Cobb 3rd Grade Boynton Elementary Deanna Baker & Ashley White


Two Months Early? "Dad, why am I being dismissed so early?" "I wanted to see you!" exclaimed Dad. I did not believe him. "Nuhuh! said my sister, Sophie. "How do you like the name Violet?" asked Dad. "Yeah, we like it," Sophie and I replied. "Well, Mom just had a baby," said Dad. "We named her Violet." I gasped. The baby was supposed to come at the end of October. It was only September 2nd. "Can we see her?" Sophie asked eagerly. "Yes, but since she is so early, she will be in a special room for babies that need help." "What is it like?" I asked. "Well, you'll see. The number one rule is, don't touch ANYTHING!" replied Dad. "Okay!" we said. When we got to the hospital we went to see Mom. "Where is she?" Sophie asked excitedly. "Did Dad tell you about the special room?" replied Mom. "Yes," Sophie and I said. "Well, she is in there," said Mom. "I thought we were going to see her," I said. "We are," answered Dad. "Good," Sophie said. "Do we have to go home after we see her?" "Actually, I'm staying here with Mom," Dad said. "What about us?" I asked. "You are going to stay at your best friend, Morgan's house," said Dad. "Okay, well can I see Violet now?" I asked. "Come on, said Dad. We followed Dad until we came to a big heavy looking door. There was a speaker on it. My Dad said, "Bruce" into the speaker to identity who my family was. Then, the large metal doors opened. Inside, there were nurses in an office. There were also different hospital wings numbered 1,2,3,4, and 5. In each of the wings were little babies inside of plastic containers called incubators. Incubators keep the babies warm. Many people, including some of my cousins came to see Violet in this way. The bad news was that the rules stated that only two people were allowed back at a time to visit each baby. So I sat outside the room at the window. I looked at how high the building was. Then, I looked at birds on a power line. After awhile, I got bored. Then, I saw a helicopter, so I watched it. After it flew away, my sister, Sophie, and I told jokes and talked. Finally, everyone had seen Violet. A few hours later, Mrs. Kathy, Morgan's mom, picked Sophie and me up. We went to her house. I told Morgan about Violet. Sophie and I had packed our things from home. So Sophie, Morgan, her brother, Michael, and I did our homework. We got our backpacks ready for school the next day and ate dinner. The morning we all got ready and went to the bus stop. At Morgan and Michael's bus stop, the kids all put their backpacks in line instead of standing in line themselves. So when the bus comes, they just get where their backpacks are. "I've never done it this way before!" I said. Morgan and Michael's bus stop is in front of a big brick Fox Run sign. Fox Run is the neighborhood I live in. We sat on the sign to wait for the bus, When the bus, came, we hopped off and walked over to our backpacks. Then we got on the bus and sat down. After several hours of being in school, I was called to the office to get a bus pass. My parents had called the office and said I was going home with Morgan. I knew what that meant. I was spending the night at Morgan's house again! At the end of the school day, I sat with Morgan on the bus. My sister, Sophie, sat with us. I had already given the bus pass to Mr. Jason, the bus driver. I got off at Morgan and Michael's stop. First, we did our homework, and we played. A short time later, Mrs. Kathy drove us to the Wal-Mart parking lot where we met my dad. Dad drove Sophie and me to the hospital to see Mom and Violet. First, I saw Mom. She got into a wheelchair to go to NICU to see Violet. Soon, this was what Sophie and I did every day. We spent the night at Morgan's, went to school, and went home with Morgan. We did our homework, played, and then Dad would pick us up to see Violet and Mom. After a week had passed, Dad picked Sophie and me up from Morgan's house. "Why are you picking us up so 106

early?" Dad said, "Come on, let's go home." "What?" I was confused. I thought Dad was staying with Mom. "Get your stuff and come on," said Dad. "Okay," I said. Sophie got her bags and I got mine. We got in the car and Dad drove us home. Mom was there! "Wait!" I exclaimed, "Where's Violet?" "She's at the hospital," replied Mom. "We will go see her everyday. She needs to stay in her incubator under something called a bilirubin light," I thought it looked like Violet was floating down a river. Another week passed, and there was a big surprise. When Sophie and I came home from school, Mom and Dad were in their room. I walked in and ..... I saw Violet! I was so happy. Mom and Dad even let me hold her. It has been a year since Violet was born. She is all hands, healthy, and a show off. My life is definitely more fun with Violet in it. Madeline Bruce 3rd Grade Nolan Elementary Mrs. Leary

A Scarecrow with a Plan Ouch!!! My back is stiff. Today I'm going to convince Farmer to get me down. I'll tell him I'm good at pulling weeds, feeding animals, and watering flowers. I'm going to get down for sure. Scarecrow rules!!! Today, I'll use Plan A. Here he comes. Ok it's time to go. "Hello Farmer," I say. "Hey Scarecrow, are you ready to scare those crows?" he asks. "Well Farmer, I want to pull weeds. I'm really good at it." Farmer looked at me like I'm supposed to be scaring crows. "Sorry, but you're a scarecrow. So, no." The next day I used Plan B. Plan A didn't work; so I'm going to try again. Ok, he's coming back. "Hi Scarecrow," greeted Farmer. "Hello Farmer. Hey, I could feed the animals for you. If you could just get me down, I'll go get some corn for the chickens," I said. Farmer looked at me silly again. "No Scarecrow. I'm sorry." After that, it was time for Plan C. If this didn't work, then I'd try again next October. Ok, he's coming. "Hello again, Farmer." "Why hello Scarecrow," Farmer replied. "Say Farmer, could I water those flowers? It'll make them pretty." Farmer gave me another silly look. "No Scarecrow, not this time," Farmer answered. That day, I decided to give up. It was early still. I just to. It is hard work being a scarecrow, just hanging there all day with a stick up your back. Well, maybe next fall. Until then, I'll be here, scaring the crows. Taylor Quinn 3rd Grade Boynton Elementary Deanna Baker


The Great Fire In the year 2009 the Marble girls Cory, Charley, and Courtney, were playing a board game when their dad came home from two unpleasant and exhausting shifts of work. For just twenty minutes Mr. Marble slept and then got a call from the fire station saying that he had to work another shift because somebody called in sick 6 minutes ago. A massive fire was taking place downtown occupying three important and businesspersons filled company buildings. Mr. Marble jumped to his feet and told his daughters what was going on. The girls were upset but they understood that this was very important. Mr. Marble gave his girls a kiss goodbye, grabbed his keys and ran out the door. As the girls prayed for their dad, he ran inside the burning and collapsing building and saved 200 lives along with his fellow firefighters. However, he and his colleagues was not able to save all the people in the fire even some of his own firefighter colleagues. This catastrophic fire took the lives of 1,200 people held hostage by the fire in three burning buildings. For almost three hours, the firefighters fought hard to put out the flames and save lives but in reality they knew it was too late. When Mr. Marble came home alive at 6:00 am, he met his girls on the floor praying and crying because they knew that some of the fire fighters had lost their lives trying to save the people in the burning buildings and they weren't sure if their dad had made it out safely. Mr. Marble ran to his girls in tears and gave them a colossal hug, many kisses, and he told them that he loved them so much because he realized on the way home that life itself is short and unexpected. He finally understood the meaning and feeling of not knowing when he or his daughters would be gone. He understood to appreciate and embrace what he had before him before it slipped through his fingers. Jannelle Bannor 4th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Glass

Snowflake, the Untalented Elf Once upon a time there was an elf named Snowflake. Snowflake was the most untalented elf Santa had ever had. Snowflake's best friend's name was Frankie. Frankie was the most talented elf Santa had ever had. Frankie even got to go with Santa to deliver presents. Frankie made Snowflake angry and jealous. But Frankie was Snowflake's best friend so Snowflake never showed what he felt. Snowflake never could make toys. He tried everything. He tried not to talk to other elves while he was working so he wouldn't be distracted. He even tried taking classes. He could never succeed. One day Snowflake was trying to make a toy. And he heard Frankie and some other elves laughing. Snowflake decided to go see what the racket was about. Snowflake walked in. "Sorry Snowflake we don't want to play with us; you can't make toys" said Sparkles. "Yeah you're the worst toymaker ever" said Shiny. Snowflake was so sad. He walked out of the castle and sat on a stump. "None of the elves like me" he said to himself. Then Santa walked up and said "Snowflake you might not know how to make toys but you seem to be a fabulous leader. Snowflake, will you please guide my elves so they can have a wonderful leader?" "Yes Santa Why would you want me?" Snowflake asked, Santa replied "you are kind, and a great elf. You might not think that the other elves like you. But you will go down in history. Ho, Ho, Ho!" Laura Beth Turner 4th Grade Thrasher Elementary Traci Gamer


The Haunted House Last Halloween I went trick-or-treating my friend. After hours and hours of knocking on doors and collecting some candy, we all decided to go to my home and lock ourselves in a bedroom closet and tell scary stories. We decided to a contest to see who can tell the scariest story and the winner would get half of everyone’s Halloween candy. Later on, my older brother joined us and decided to participate contest. We all tried to tell the scariest stories and attempted to scare each other. My brother told us that his story is definitely going to be the scariest of all and he will be the winner. We all laughed at that. His story was about a haunted house in his friend's neighbor hood. He told us that several years ago a nine years old kid died in that house and his spirit still haunts that house. Every year on a Halloween night, neighbors have seen a ghost roaming around the house and also heard some crazy and weird noises coming from that house. He told us that it’s a true story, but we didn't believe him. My brother dared us to go and see it for ourselves. Since the haunted house was not very far from where we live, so we went to see the ghost of the boy. It was a dark and spooky night. Even though we were scared we still pretended like we were not. As we got there we noticed the big house was dark and looked abandoned. When we walked inside the house, the door slammed by itself. My friend and I ran to the door and tried to open it but it was locked and we couldn’t get out. We turned around and walked into the dark living room. I am that we had our flashlights with us. Then we heard the floors squeaking, as if someone was walking on it. We felt as though someone was around us and watching us. We saw a shadow and then we heard some strange noises. We got convinced that there was someone else in the house beside us. We got terrified. My friend grabbed my arm and started screaming, “Let’s run! the ghost is here.” We kicked through the door to break though the door and managed to break through it. While we were running out in a panic I heard a familiar laughter and when I turned around I saw my brother and his friend standing on the porch, laughing at us. He told us that there is no ghost there and that house belongs to his friend. He made the whole story up to scare us and to get our candy. He told us to give him half our Halloween candy for winning. Although we didn't to share our candy we still gave it to him because he did get us spooked. Jonathan Cecil 4th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Ms. Glass


My Two Christmases My favorite holiday all year long is Christmas since after all I am named for the famous Saint Nicholas. I am especially lucky though because I get to celebrate Christmas twice each year. First I celebrate "American Christmas" with my mom's family on December 25th and then I celebrate "Serbian Christmas" with my dad's family. Even though they are the same holiday, we celebrate them two very different ways. When I celebrate "American Christmas" with my Grandmother from Virginia we have a large evergreen Christmas tree wrapped in colorful lights and covered in festive ornaments. We hang stockings over the fireplace and we leave tasty treats for Santa Claus. We might read The Night Before Christmas or watch a Christmas movie before going to bed. On Christmas morning we all rush down the stairs in our pajamas and happily rip open our gifts. We then spend the day talking, playing and enjoying the time with each other. Usually we have a meal that is either turkey or a ham with lots of yummy side dishes. For "Serbian Christmas" we do things a bit differently. Although "Serbian Christmas" is actually on January 7th, we usually all get together for New Year's Eve. This is because it is a good time to get together but also because it is a custom to do this in Serbia where people couldn't celebrate religious holidays for a very long time. We usually start with a large meal, also with ham or turkey. The best part of the meal is when my Grandmother makes a special, delicious, round Christmas bread called "chesnitsa" which is baked with coins inside. We all gather around the table and hold on to one part of the bread and pull. The luckiest people will pull a piece with coins inside, which are supposed to bring them good luck. At midnight we turn off all the lights to send out the old year and turn them on again to bring in the New Year. Then we hug and wish each other "Happy New Year.� We finish the night by playing a lottery game to exchange gifts. This is how I celebrate two different Christmases with two sides of my family. "American Christmas" is probably the way most people celebrate. I am very lucky to have a second special way to celebrate with my dad's family. Although they are very different I love them both and look forward to them each year. Nick Mastilovic 4th Grade Nolan Elementary School Mrs. Daniel

Never Give Up It was a cold day in December in a small town in Alabama at the Lakeview Children's Home. We were all doing our usual daily activities, getting ready for the events of the day. Sometimes it could feel so cold inside the orphanage that I would find myself shivering while everyone around me was warm. I wondered if this feeling had anything to do with my wish to be adopted and the fear that I would never be a part of a loving, kind family. I spent a lot of time daydreaming about my new family. When I should have been doing my school work, doing chores, or eating my lunch, I would be dreaming of my new mother, father, sister, brother, and me. My daydreaming was interrupted by Miss Jill. "It's time for recess," she said. I was so excited about recess, my favorite time of the day. I ran through the door trying to be the first one on the monkey bars. Playing on the monkey bars helped me to forget that I did not have a family. In this place I could imagine that I was Indiana Jones, swinging on vines in the jungle, trying to get across quicksand. While I was being Indiana Jones, suddenly Mary and her friends interrupted my adventure by throwing rocks at me. Mary said, "James, nobody wants you because you don't know 110

how to do anything." Man does she know how to hurt a seven-year old. I didn't cry because I had to show her that I didn't care about being adopted. That was not really true because the next day was adoption day, and I wanted someone to want me. People would be coming to the orphanage from many places looking for the right child to adopt, and I wanted to be one of them. It was really crazy and exciting around Lakeview as the teachers and house parents prepared for that day. I wondered, what if I had the Christmas decorations all over me, or wrapped as a present, or dressed as an elf, would this make a family want me? I had to wait until the next day to see what would happen. I didn't sleep that night because I kept having the same nightmare over and over. I could not believe it, that even in my dreams I couldn't get adopted. In this nightmare, everyone was adopted except me, and I was left alone at the orphanage. Morning finally came and Miss Lucille, the house mother, got us all up, and we got ready for the big day. "Children, you must look your best, smile, and be polite for the visitors," she said. I am always polite, I thought, but will that be enough to get a family to want me. Suddenly, I saw through the windows, on the sidewalk leading up to the orphanage, a group ofpeople walking toward the orphanage. I went to the lobby with the others to greet the visitors, or our future parents. I was getting cold again, it was fear, I just knew it. I hoped that this fear would not stop me from getting adopted. I just knew that the right family would see me, James, a kind and respectful shy boy that would make a wonderful son. The first to be picked was Mary, I must admit that I was glad to see her go. That took care of half of my problem. The other half depended on being adopted. Hours passed and no one was interested in me, James, a kind and respectful shy boy. There was still time and there were other children still there, so it seemed that my nightmare of being at the orphanage alone would remain a dream. I saw Jacob, with a man and woman, talking and laughing, but no one talked with me. Maybe I was too shy. Finally, it was time to go back to our rooms. I walked slowly back to the room. I was happy that Jacob and Mary got adopted, but I was still sad that I didn't get adopted too. The next year I was eight years old, and I started to feel like no one wanted me. I began to feel angry but sad at the same time. I started to wonder what was wrong with me. I knew that I wouldn't be the only child at the orphanage because new children came all the time. Time was running out, I was nine years old and adoption day was here again, I had to be different this time. We gathered as usual in the lobby to greet the visitors. I became the courageous Indiana Jones and decided to talk to a man and woman who seemed to be nice. They looked at me with a friendly smile, so I walked up to them and began to talk with them. I said, "Hello, I am James, may I show you around?" We walked around the orphanage and looked at the Christmas decorations. We talked, they asked me questions about myself, and then we had lunch together. Sadly, it was time for us to say goodbye to the visitors and return to our rooms. I felt happy and for once in my life I believed that I was going to be adopted. The next day, the family that I had chosen for myself came back and chose me! It didn't matter to them that I wasn't a perfect child, or that I stuttered. Today, thanks to great parents that love me and encourage me, I am now I8-years old and in college. I hope someday to be a pediatrician that not only works at the office and hospital but will also visit the children in the orphanage to encourage them to never give up. Rachel Turman 4th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


The Present Once there were two brothers named Aaron and Ronald. Christmas was approaching. Ronald had a very large present under the tree, and Aaron was determined to find out what it was. So one night Aaron crept behind the Christmas tree and opened the present. When he looked inside a series of things flashed before him at once! He saw a scuba suit, then he saw a fish, and then he felt a sensation like he was being sucked in somewhere and turned into a fish! Aaron was so confused. He seemed to be part of an underwater military action. Everyone seemed to know who he was though he had just arrived. When he was done with his first patrol he was taken to Admiral Henry! The admiral explained that he just got word that the Sharp-Toothed School was coming to attack their underwater cave! Admiral Henry asked Aaron if he had any ideas. After thinking about it for a long time he said that if we put our valuables at the top of the cave, the enemy will be attracted to them and go up there while we hide underground. Then we can attack them from below and hit their weak underbellies. Henry said that tactic was brilliant! So later that day the Sharp-Toothed School raided the underwater cave and searched for Henry but only found the treasure at the top. So while they were busy exploring the treasure, Admiral Henry ordered his troops to attack the underside of their bellies. After Admiral Henry won the battle he invited Aaron to his private room to talk. Aaron told him he really didn't know who he was or even where he was. Admiral Henry replied by saying that an old fish came to him one day to tell him that "you will soon meet a clever, but confused, fish" and that "you are to give him this seashell and his lesson will be learned." Aaron asked, "so you think this is for me?" He replied, "yes I do." He then gave Aaron the shell gingerly, like it was an explosive. Instantly, Aaron came back to the Christmas tree as his old self! Later that holiday season he decided that his lesson was to never peek at presents again. Thomas Nimon 4th Grade Nolan Elementary Mrs. Poe

Smalltown's Little Hero There once was a town named Smalltown. And in small town there were little people. These little villagers had no courage or perseverance at all, but there was one little villager who never gave up on anything. She always had courage and she never gave up. Her name was Petunia Grace Small. One day, Petunia rescued many lives in Smalltown. This is how she rescued her town. Petunia Small was always curious. She always wondered about something. One fine day Petunia went wandering off and came upon an old rocking horse. Oh, how the curiosity bubbled up in her mind! She couldn't stand it! She had to show somebody. Petunia scampered on home humming with excitement as she ran. When Petunia arrived home, she started to yell with excitement, “Mom, Mom, Mom, you wouldn't believe what I..... " Petunia paused. She saw her mother laying there, suffering. “Mom!?" Petunia gasped. Petunia's father rushed in the house, sweating very hardly. “Petunia" Pa said, “Your mother is very ill and I hope you understand." “She has scarlet fever." “Run along and get the doctor as quick as possible." Petunia was determined to save her mother. Petunia flew out the door. As she scampered along, it started to get foggy and she couldn't see a single glimpse of light. She filled up with fear! She couldn't see a thing! The wind picked her up and blew her away. The gust of wind was so heavy, it knocked her out. When Petunia woke up, she was in a jar in a sunset pink room. It had a little orphan fast asleep on her old springy bed. The orphan's name was printed on 112

the side of the bed. Mary Elizabeth was printed on it. Petunia toppled over the jar and, plop, she fell out. She scurried out the window and landed in a pile of sticky mud. Petunia was in a hurry to get out of the mud because she wanted to find the doctor immediately. She started to sneeze and cough. Oh no! She knew what was happening. She was getting scarlet fever! Now she was scared out of her wits! Suddenly some mud leftover from the fall dripped on her arm where some red dots were. That was a sign of scarlet fever. The dots began to disappear. She had found a cure for scarlet fever! She knew she couldn't return home in time to cure her friends and neighbors. When she was running on her way home, she came upon a mouse. Petunia hopped on that mouse and she was on her way! Petunia arrived and noticed everyone in her town was sick! She grabbed some mud and started to rub mud gentle as a feather on everyone. Shazam, everybody was cured and well again! That's how amazing little Petunia Grace Small was. Josie Miller 4th Grade Nolan Elementary School Sherry Johnston

Return of the Hero It all started that Saturday, the day I found out that I was chosen to be the one that has to save the world from the evil Sunestrow, just like my ancestors did. The day started like any other day. I went to the lake like I always do and then I found a medallion that had a crest on it. It looked familiar so I picked it up and started home. As I was walking home, I started thinking about how familiar the medallion looked. When I got home I looked up the crest on the medallion in the encyclopedia. It turns out that it is my family crest. I was in shock that I found it. Later that night at dinner I showed my mom the medallion and asked her about the crest. She asked me "Where did you find that?" I told her "At the lake, why do you know what it is?" My mom didn't answer me and ended the conversation. After dinner I went to the library to do some more research on the medallion. While I was reading some books I found out that whoever finds the medallion that matches their family crest becomes the chosen one. I figured that was probably a folk tale, so I went home and went to bed and had the strangest dream and it felt so real. The next morning I went downstairs for breakfast and then off to school. It was a normal day. I met up with my friend Jackson at my locker. Jackson keeps talking about make believe creatures like werewolves, vampires and stuff like that. He also always thinks that he found one. All of a sudden Jackson says "dude, I think the new kid is a vampire". I said to Jackson "he is not a vampire. He's just not the same as us.” "Dude, he always wears a fleece, he never eats and I think I heard him say that his master wants to get you,” said Jackson. "For the last time he is not a vampire,” I told him. Jackson then dared me to walk over to the new kid with some garlic. When I did the kid fell to the ground. I asked him if he was ok but he just got up and walked away. Next period was lunch, so of course Jackson and I went to lunch. I was eating sloppy joes and Jackson was eating pizza with garlic on it. I told Jackson I would be right back and he asked me where I was going. I told him the bathroom. He said watch out for vampires in a serious voice. I told him "yeah right.” So I went to the bathroom. I was in the bathroom right next to the urinal when I saw the new kid. He came up to me and said "I have been waiting for you.”


"What do you mean?” I said. "My master said you would be clueless." "Wait, what are you talking about?” I asked him. "Your great, great, great grandfather's sword and wand will come in handy killing you, that, and I am a vampire." "So you're a vampire but, they are not real" I said to him. "What kind of wizard are you?" he asked me. "I am a wizard?" I questioned. "Yes you are. How stupid are you," he asked me. I got so angry when he called me stupid that I stomped my foot and when I did it blew him backwards. Now the fight had begun. He got up and swung the sword at me. To my surprise I was able to take the sword from him. Then he waved the wand at me and it blew a hole in the wall. "You could have killed me!" I yelled at him. He waved the wand again but, this time I knocked it out of his hand. I grabbed the wand and with the sword I stabbed him in the heart. His last words to me were "You won’t get Master in time. You will fail the Prophecy.” So the book in the library was true. I am the chosen one and I have to defeat Sonestrow. Now how do I find Sonestrow? All of a sudden I heard a voice say "use the wand, use the wand.” I thought I must be hearing things. Then I heard it again, "Use the wand.” I waved the wand and a map appeared with a star on New York. So Sonestrow is in New York. Good thing that's where we are. The voice then said "zoom,” so I repeated "zoom.” The map then zoomed in and put a star under the Empire State Building. So that is where Sonestrow must be. I went back to the lunch room to finish my lunch. After school I got my bike and went to the train station. I got on the train and rode it downtown to the Empire State Building. When I got there I realized that there is one problem, how do you get under the Empire State Building? I went in, it was a nice building but, I had a mission to do. Then I heard the voice again telling me to go to the desk and ask the officer. So I went to the desk and asked him how do I get under this building? "Why do you want to go there?" he asked me. I told him that I seek Sonestrow. Next thing I knew he said "Master has been expecting you.” He lead me into a secret elevator that only went down. The elevator doors opened, I knew I was in the thrown room. There was a bald man with a black robe on sitting on the thrown, I knew it was Sonestrow. He rose and said "You look just like your Great, Great, Great Grandfather, the one that banished me here.” That is the past I told him but he told me that I was going to pay for the past and the battle began. Sonestrow waved his wand at me and said a spell. I swung my sword and the spell collided with the spell. I pulled out my wand and went wand to wand and spell to spell with Sonestrow. I was losing until I heard the voice tell me to "concentrate, concentrate on the spells.” I started to focus on the spells and they started getting closer and closer to Sonestrow and finally hitting him. I did four more spells concentrating as hard as I could and they all hit him. I had finally defeated Soneestrow and I won, good one. I went back up the elevator and left the building to go home. Everything went back to normal. A. J. McInnis 4th Grade Boyd-Buchanan School Mrs. Ringold


Darkness It was a cold night in the dead of winter. I'd boarded the Columbo Express, a large cargo boat, heading for Germany packed with cars. The moon, high up in the sky, was full and beautiful. I was reading 50 Tricks to Teach Your Dog, which is ironic because I've never had a dog, when the boat came to a halt. The smell of sea salt disappeared and an irritating chant started in my head, "Join us," it said. I shot out of my chair and sprinted across the deck two hundred yards away I stopped to take a breath. Before I could take off in the direction of the noises, all the cars groaned to life and the headlights clicked on, blinding me and drowning out the chant. Countless minutes went by, then, ever so slowly, they all turned off. I took off running toward the chant, desperate to see where it was coming from. I came to the end of the boat where a massive crate sat wide open, empty. But the voices were even louder here. I took a step in and felt a pounding on my back. I tumbled into the back of the crate. The door closed and it was pitch black. My host, Darkness, "Welcome," it said. Zach Steiman 4th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet School Teacher: Selena Seymour

The Golden Lamp There once was a young boy named Chad Brown who lived in Wichita, Kansas with his five brothers and sisters and mom and dad. He was the oldest of all the children. All the brown family had ever known was how to run a farm. One sunny morning Chad got up extra early to start his chores. He would always be the first one of the kids up and helping his dad. He loved to spend time working on the farm. But he also loved to spend time playing. This was hard because he always had so many chores to complete. Since he was the oldest he got the most chores out of all the kids. It seemed like all of his brothers and sisters finished up way before him. In his eyes that just didn't seem fair. He tried talking with his mom and dad about how much he had to do every day but they explained that without his help they couldn't get all the crops done. Chad was upset that his chores weren't going to change but what could he do. He finished up for the morning and headed off to school. Once he got to school he was talking to his best friend Bobby Joe about his chores. Bobby told him that if he needed help he could always come over and help seeing his chores were done. So Chad took him up on the offer. Chad was so excited to have help plus he would be spending time with his best friend. What could be better! As the day went on at school the boys couldn't wait for school to end. They figured with both of them working they would finish fast and have time to play. Finally school was out and they headed to Chad's house. Once they got home they began working the crops. As Chad and Bobby Joe were picking crops Chad found something that he thought was odd. It was a golden lamp. He had run across it as he picked tomatoes. It was buried in the dirt beside one of the plants. He yelled for Bobby Joe as soon as Bobby Joe got to Chad he knew something was odd. Bobby Joe asked what was wrong? Chad then showed him the golden lamp. Bobby Joe was so excited. He yelled to Chad to "do you know what that is?" Chad said "yes it's a magic lamp." As they looked at the lamp they noticed it had writing on it. It was covered with dirt. So Chad began to wipe the dirt away. All of a sudden a cloud of smoke came from the lamp and a genie appeared. Chad dropped the lamp and he and Booby Joe ran and hid behind a tree. The genie then spoke and said Hi my name is Al. Who has released me from my lamp? Chad and Bobby Joe then came out from behind the tree. Chad said it was I. I'm so sorry to have bothered you. I just found your lamp and was wiping off the dirt and you appeared . You scared us so we ran and hid behind the tree. I'm so sorry I scared you both. But since 115

you did release me I now have to grant you three wishes. What would you like for your first wish to be? The boys were so excited, Three wishes what should we wish for? Genie Al then explained there are three things you cannot wish for. The first is you cannot wish for love. The second is you cannot wish for unlimited wishes. And the third is you cannot wish to bring someone back from the dead. The boys thought okay this will be easy. As the boys talked about what they should wish for Chad had one thing on his mind. He wanted less chores. So he decided to wish for his family to be able to afford to hire helpers to work the farm. Wish granted! Shouted Al. Now for your second wish. Chad thought that since he was able to get the first wish that it was only fair to let Bobby Joe have the second wish. Bobby Joe was so excited that Chad was going to share his wishes. What was Bobby Joe to wish for? All he could think to wish for was good mhealth for all of his family and friends. Wish granted! Shouted Al. All Bobby Joe and Chad could think was how lucky they both were. Chad has made sure his family had plenty of money to hire farm help. And with Bobby Joes wish they both knew they would live long healthy lives. Genie Al then reminded them they had one wish left. After thinking about what to wish for both boys decided the only thing they both wanted was to be best friends for ever. Wish granted! Shouted genie Al. The boys looked at each other and smiled. Chad then asked where will you go now that all of our wishes are gone. Genie Al answered back, I am now free from the lamp. After granting your wishes I am allowed to go free. Both boys looked at one another and said what will you do now? I will live a normal life and hope that I to can be as lucky as both of you. What do you mean Genie Al? Both of you are very lucky to have found best friends in one another. I to hope that I can find a friend like either of you. Having a best friend is the best thing in life any of us could ever wish for. Brayden Lively 4th Grade Boyd-Buchanan School Mrs. Ringold

Why Rabbits Have Big Feet Long, long ago in a deep, deep forest lived an animal called Rabbit. Rabbit wasn't like most animals. See he had small, soft feet. He was thankful for his feet but he was too thankful. He went around bragging about how soft his feet were not hard like deer's feet. The animals were fed up with it so they went to the Great Wizard. The Great Wizard said, "Make a potion made of bear hairs, grass, the water of a lake, and soap with a dash of shampoo." When Deer got home he read what all he needed. He went to bear first and said, "Bear Bear could I have some of your hair?" "Why?" asked Bear. "Because I'm making a potion that will make Rabbit stop talking about his feet." Bear agreed to what deer said and gave him some of his hairs. Then he got grass and went to the home of the Fish. "Fish, Fish may I borrow some of your water?� "What do you need it for?" "I need it to make a potion that will make Rabbit stop talking about his feet!" The fish agreed to what deer had said and gave him some water. Then Deer went home knowing that Rabbit had soap and shampoo. Deer took all the ingredients he collected and mixed it all up in a pot. With that being done, Deer walked over to Rabbit's home. He finally got to Rabbit's house. Deer knocked on Rabbit's door. "Hello?" said Rabbit as he walked to the door. When Rabbit opened the door he saw Deer with a pot in his hand. "Oh, hello Deer, did you bring me something?" "Oh, no I didn't. I just need your soap and shampoo." "Okay, well come on in." So Deer went to Rabbit's bathroom and sit his pot on the floor. Then he ran downstairs to tell Rabbit something. He found Rabbit in the kitchen cooking carrot soup. Deer said, "Rabbit, I have some good news. You have been invited to a party thrown by Bear." 116

"Oh, thank you for telling me, I must get showered and wash my fur and smell nice" Rabbit said as he panicked. "Calm down, Rabbit" Deer said. With that, Deer ran back upstairs and poured all Rabbit's soap and shampoo out. He poured a little in the pot then he stirred up his potion and poured it in the soap bottle and the shampoo bottle. Then Deer picked up his pot; said goodbye to Rabbit; and before he walked out of the house said, "Remember to wash your feet with lots of soap and shampoo." After Deer left Rabbit's home, Rabbit jumped in the shower and did what Deer said. The potion had a late reaction so Rabbit didn't see his feet get big. Rabbit thought that the forest floor would be dirty so he put on his best shoes. He walked to where he always saw the parties Bear throws. He saw mall the lights that brighted the sky. When he walked over to where Deer was standing he asked, "Deer, do you think I should show people my feet?" Deer looked at Bear then the Fish who poked their heads out of the water like a needle coming through fabric. Deer said "Sure." So Rabbit took off his shoes and walked around saying, "Hey look at my small and soft feet! Look at how hard your feet are. Look at your feet they're harder than rocks." But every person laughed when he said he had small feet. Rabbit walked up to Deer and asked, "Deer every time I say my feet are small and cute people start to laugh. Why?" "Probably because your feet aren't small they're kind of big." "BIG! My feet ARE big." Rabbit yelled so loud the whole forest might have heard. "Well, yeah, Deer said, they're almost bigger than you." "NO, THEY ARE NOT" Rabbit yelled. Then Rabbit stomped off without saying goodbye to anybody. The next morning Deer came to Rabbit's house and told him (Rabbit) that he made his feet look big. "But why?" Asked Rabbit. "Because,� said Deer "You wouldn't stop talking about how small your feet were." After Deer left, Rabbit said, "I will never brag about anything else." Because he was worried it might turn big like his feet. Serenity Hampton 4th Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts Casey Gellerman

The Guests Ding Dong. "I'm coming" yelled Grandma Fran. While she actually remained in the kitchen, her hands busy in the sink straining the vegetables, Mom and I answered the door. It was Bob Felcher the dentist and his wife, Grace. It was late evening the wind was blowing heavily, the crickets were cricketing and the sky was as black as tar. My mom was talking to Bob telling him how young he looked. When I saw Bob he looked as if he was 60 years old but he is really 88 years. Grandma Fran was constantly yelling "Judy (who is my mom) tell Bob to come in.� This seemed awkward since he was already standing in the house. Then Bob and his wife went to the side table by the door and picked up two rapped gifts that they had brought with them. One was for Grandma Fran and the other was for Ethan Farnam, that's me! So sorry, that I never mentioned my name until now. Grandma Fran's present looked to me like the perfect shape for a chocolate box. Oh! did I mention that Grandma Fran loves chocolate? Super sorry I didn't. But mine was a mystery. When I opened my gift it was a novel by Jonathan Stroud. The name of it was The Ring of Solomon. As always when I receive a novel I read the jacket and then see how many pages there are. This one read 398 pages. It was quite obvious that the Felchers either thought I was 12 or they knew I loved novels. Finally Grandma Fran started to raise her voice. "Come on get in the house", she commanded, annoyed that we were lingering in the door way. While our conversation continued, it was like a tug of war, with Grandma's voice echoing in the background as I strained to focus attention on our newly arrived guests. Finally Bob and Grace, with mom and I by their side surrendered into the living room.


Grandma ushered us into a room she calls "the terrace.” With windows facing the canal we could watch the palm trees swaying and hear the winds howl. It was a pleasant room to eat crackers with cheese and sip wine. I did not partake in the wine, but I tried the crackers, and skipped the cheese which I despise. In about 5 seconds a discussion began, about politics, Bush's past administration, and how president Obama should push harder on the Republicans (that was the Felcher's opinion). But my mom and Grandma Fran felt Obama's doing just fine. Not to get too far into politics, but I agree with the Felchers. While the grown ups were talking I went over to the kitchen to get a handful of Sun Chips. Bob was walking over to the kitchen to get some too. Trip, Bong! Bob as you probably imagine, tripped on a step which led to the kitchen. "Ah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Screamed Grandma Fran. Are you hurt? Are you O.K.? I'm just fine the old/young man replied. Bob fell like a young man. Then he grabbed a Sun Chip, took a seat and said ... "Shall we finish our conversation?” After that the grown ups went on and on and on talking about Bush, Bush's past administration and you know what else there is in case you got bored of what I am talking about. Once again, it was time for Grandma Fran to take command. While she directed us into the dining room, I prayed that the adults had finished talking about previous presidents. But now I want to stick to the present not the past even though the present is me Ethan typing down these words or it is you laying down on your blue bed with ... you get the picture. But the real present is me, mom, Grandma Fran and Mr. and Mrs. Felcher sitting down at the dinner table eating steak, rice and broccoli and talking about what I am about to type down right now. First it was quiet, as we each concentrated on the meal in front of us. Then, the conversation turned to health, although I can't remember how it got there. To make a long story short, Grandma began to talk about her "nightly" leg cramps. And I am sorry to say that Grandma Fran began to complain again. Bob, who I guess was used to this said, "When ever I get leg cramps I get up and stomp my feet on the ground.” “Like a big red giant until it goes away," I added. Then Grandma Fran brought up Evelyn, one of her dearest friends who was in the hospital. She broke her hip Grandma Fran explained, which apparently was pretty bad for a person in her condition. She has fallen a lot lately Grandma continued, but this was the worst one. Dinner was just about over. My plate was now clean enough to put right back in the cabinet. I was hungrier than I realized. Suddenly boredom was starting to set in. As always when grown ups talk about something which to me is totally uninteresting, I try to get my mom's attention and skedaddle. I caught mom's eye, and she excused us both to leave the table. I convinced her to play a few hands of poker in the other room. Grandma had just taught me the game and I was excited to test my skills with mom. At 9:30, our guests looked at their watches and decided it was time to leave. Grandma Fran, mom and I walked the Felcher's outside. I listened for a moment to the sound that the palm trees made, pushed by the strong winds. The night air seemed lively. Once our guest finally got into their car, Grandma rushed mom and I back into her house. "It's too cold out here" she complained. Ethan Tran Farnam 4th Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts Casey Gellerman


How Seal Got So Smooth Long, long ago there was a mammoth frozen ocean in Alaska. In that frozen ocean, there was a bumpy seal. His name was One Who Is Different. He was named that because of his skin. It was unpleasant for the other animals to see. The next day Seal went to the Place of Knowledge. On his way, he was bumping into coral that was hurting his skin. When he got to the Place of Knowledge, all the other fish laughed at him. When Seal left the Place of Knowledge, he went to the Master of Life and asks how he can make his skin smooth. The Master of Life said, "Go on top of the water. Watch the tribal dancers of Tlingit. Then come back into the water and do their dance 1,000,000 times. The water rushing over you will make your skin smooth." So the seal went above the water and watch the tribal dancers. Then came back into the water and did their dance 1,000,000 times. He said to The Great Spirit, "Let my skin be smooth." As the water rushed over him, he was smooth. He jumped for joy and raised his hands. The next day Seal went to the Place of Knowledge. Seal walked in proud as he could be. All the animals gasped. Now they thought they were all scaly and rough. So all the other animals in the sea went to the Master of Life and asked how to get smooth skin. The Master of Life said, "Dance Tlingit. The tribal dance by the water and by the water rushing over your skin will make it smooth." So they did. But the Master of Life did not tell the animals to do the dance 1,000,000 times for their skin to become smooth. So, they went back in the water and did it once. It did not work. They thought the Master of Life had lied to them. The animals got mad and they wanted to get back at the seal. They tried to find him but they couldn't and did not know what to do. Seal had swum so fast his skin was becoming smoother and smoother. Seal ended up in the North Pole. The animals were not fast enough to catch up. It would take them years to get to the seal. To this very day, they don't know where Seal is or how smooth he is. Cydney Kapperman 4th Grade Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts Casey Gellerman

Growth Elixir "MOM STOP!" "Fine. I just can't believe another jock hit you in basketball! Hi my name is Sam and I love basketball but the thing that stinks is when you are 4.8 and you are littlest on the team. All of my life I wanted to be bigger but soon that is all going to change. The next day I walked in school-bang! Did I mention that I have problems with bullies? "Give me your lunch money jerk!" "Get off Dillard!" 119

"Make me!� 'What is going on?� boomed the Principal's voice. "Sam tackled me!" said Dillard. “But I..." That was all I could say. "I can't believe you made us go to the principal's office, jerk." "Hello is Sam's mother? It appears your son has tackled Dillard Robinson." The next thing I knew I was suspended for a week. And Dillard got sent home. The week I was suspended I almost died because the only time I could stop doing schoolwork was to eat meals not snacks. But luckily I found a chemistry set under my bed. I lunged for set. I might be able use it to get big, I thought. I got the set when I was 5 and I did not remember how to do any of it. So I picked up a green tube and a pink tube mixed them together and took a sip. It tasted horrible! I spit it out on the floor but I swallowed some. Then I decided just to go to bed. When I woke up the next morning I felt strangely taller. On Monday Dillard tried to push me down but when pushed me he fell down! I loved the feeling of being tall so when I got home I ran straight to my room. I lunged for the set again and pulled out the green tube and the pink. Man I thought it is almost gone! I decided to take the last sip now gulp. The next morning I felt even better! That day I went to basketball practice I was the tallest kid and every kid started complaining because when I stole the ball I knocked my friend over. And I felt terrible for the rest of practice. After basketball I raced home. I sprinted up the stairs and went for the set. I searched everywhere for a cure because I couldn't stop growing! I ran down stairs and left for the store. I checked out and I ran home with the same type of set. When I got home I ripped the box open and saw a needle and the pink and green tubes. I reached for the needle and tubes and thought I liked the size I was before. I dumped the pink and green tubes in the needle and injected myself then went to bed. When I woke up I was normal sized. Yes! But then my little sister stole my set with the needle and tubes. I guess I will get ready for a giant sister. Holden Foster 4th Grade Lookout Mountain School Cindy Jayne


Power Potion Once upon a there was a beautiful kingdom. This kingdom was so powerful. There was only one person in all the world that they were scared of. It was the fierce ruler, Kael the Conqueror. He was so fierce, they didn't even put him in history books because he would scare so many children. This ruler would do anything or hurt anyone to conquer my kingdom and become ruler. It was my mission to make sure the kingdom and its people were safe. One day my most powerful soldier, Logan, was out hunting. He was about to shoot a bear when, boom, boom, there were two men blazing towards him. One of them was Jake the Snake, and the other was Samuel the Slayer. Logan was scared because he only had one bullet in his rifle. So, he ran. But he was too slow. They caught up to him. Logan was trapped! He used his last bullet and shot it the in the air. Good thing I heard it. As fast as I could, I ran to help. But when I got there, it was too late. Logan was gone. I set out on horseback, to the Valley of Fog, to find my friend Miller, the mad scientist. Miller was my most trusted adviser and I knew he could help me find Logan. When I got to the secret lab, Miller was creating a new potion. I explained the reason for my visit and asked what he was working on. After he made me promise to keep the secret, he told me about the yellow, bubbly potion he was creating. This potion could tell the future and would make Miller the most powerful scientist in the world. I was so excited about Miller’s new potion. So, I asked him if we could use it to see Logan's future and help rescue him. Miller said there was one problem with the potion and that was, it only went ten minutes into future. But. I knew it was my only chance to find Logan. So, I drank the potion and waited. Then it happened! I saw Logan on the edge of the Cliff of Doom and Kael the Conqueror was getting ready to push him off. I went as fast as I could towards Cliff of Doom to try to save my friend. My horse was running faster than the speed of light to save Logan. I was almost at the top of the cliff when Samuel the Slayer jumped from behind a rock to stop me. My horse was spooked and bucked me so I had no choice. I had to fight Samuel. I quickly pulled out my sword and attacked. He didn't go easy on me, but I finally struck him on the leg and pushed him off the cliff. I, finally, reached the top of the Cliff of Doom and there I saw Jake Snake and Kael the Conqueror getting ready to push Logan. I ran to stop them but I was too late. They just pushed him off the cliff. I was so sad, my soldier and friend was gone. I just sat in pain while the others left. Then I heard a voice. I looked over the edge, and there was Logan hanging on a branch. I helped him up and gave him a big bear hug. I was so excited he was alive. When Logan and I got back to the kingdom there was a celebration. This lasted four days. Even Miller came from the Forest of Fog to join the party. I thanked Miller for his help and for letting me use his potion. He later became the most famous and most powerful scientist the world. I went home to bed that night and there was a note in my bed that said, "This will not be the last you from me. I will be back for my revenge," signed Kael the Conqueror. Max McCathem Silverdale Baptist Academy 4th grade Mrs. Holt


The Color of Power The black cheetah runs fast as lightning to get home from Red Stone Lake to save his precious color changer. His color changer is like gold to him. It is able to change his fur coat and spots to different colors and each color is more powerful in a different way. As Joseph jumps the fence to his home he sees the ferocious lion through the window circling his color changer. Today his color is black. Black is the color of wisdom. This powerful wisdom helped him sense that something was wrong. And his color was fading to grey as he ran home. "How did the lion get in my home sweet home" thought Joseph? "Why did the lion break into my house?" Joseph gets home just in time to see the lion reach for the color changer. The cheetah strikes viciously and the lion jumps back. The lion roars and hits as hard as he can and the cheetah falls back. The lion uses Joseph's magical color changer and his fur transforms to the color of diamonds. This is the most magical and powerful color of all. It has all powers. Joseph believed that the lion had opened up a new dimension. There was an ancient power in this dimension. This power could destroy anything in its path. This meant the color changer too. Only an ancient color which Joseph does not know can defeat the powerful force. He had no choice but to go into the new dimension that the lion had opened. Joseph saw colors and lights he had never seen. He saw weird animals and he saw the lion out of the corner of his eye. The lion was walking toward him and Joseph starts to growl and circle the fierce lion. While the lion and Joseph were fighting, they fell through a door. They saw that the ancient power they had unleashed was themselves. Samuel Moses 4th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Holt

Not So Haunted House "You guys can go on. I'll just stay out here!" Lavender called. For those of you who don't know, Lavender Brown is the biggest scaredy cat ever. If something seems scary to her she'll be out of there before you can say "Pumpkin Juice!" "You have to, we've waited all year for this!" Ginny yelled from halfway across the decayed lawn. Lavender might be afraid a lot of things, but haunted houses are the worst! "Please don't make me go! Please!" Lavender pleaded. "You promised us you would!" Luna piped in. "Fine, I'll go, but if this is anything like the spiders in the Forbidden Forest, I will be so mad at you guys!" Lavender took a deep breath and walked up the step, joining her friends. When they opened the door, they heard an awful screaming noise. "What was that?" Ginny asked. "It was just Lavender!" Luna replied. "Let's go upstairs," offered Ron. Every step made a different creak. They walked in a room. "I think it's a bedroom." Luna said.


Suddenly the door shut and locked! "Where is Ron?" asked Ginny in a scared like voice. The door opened. Ron was standing right there. "You should have seen the looks on your faces!!" Ron joked. "That wasn't funny!" Lavender exclaimed. So, they all left the house satisfied. This story proves that ghosts aren't real! Alex Center 4th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Jessica Kaminski

Football, 100-yard drive, 9/15/11 Dear Mr. Football, Please stop stealing all the viewers. Yesterday I only had one viewer because you let the Panthers’ Cam Newton throw 400 yards again. Once my viewer heard he changed the channel. My ratings have dropped really low, so please stop stealing all the viewers. If you give me some half of the viewers I will be so thankful. I will even give an announcement about you at the Brazil vs. Netherlands game. Please don't be so selfish I want some ratings to you know. By the way help a brother out since we have the same name in England. So please stop stealing all the viewers. Sincerely, Soccer ball Jay Griggs 5th Grade Nolan Elementary Mrs. Jones

Gracie Grey and a Big Problem Gracie jumped when she heard her mom calling her name. It was time to clean her family’s pet shop, “Noah’s Ark Pets”. She raced down the creaky wooden staircase that connected her two-story apartment home to the shop. “I’m going to run down to the store,” Gracie’s mom said, “Make sure to feed the fish while I’m out.” She kissed her daughter’s cheek and left, jingling the little fish-shaped bell that was tied to the knob above the door as she did. Gracie was left alone. She began doing her cores cleaning the bowls and cages. She talked to the animals as she worked. “Hello, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter,” she said as she changed the bedding of the rabbit cage. “Hi!” they replied in unison. Gracie screamed and ran to the counter. She crouched down and hid behind it. “Don’t be afraid,” squeaked Rosemary, the mouse. Gracie gathered the courage to speak. 123

“You can talk too?” she asked, slowly. She was at a loss for words. “Yes,” squawked Pirate the parrot, “We’ve always been able to talk.” “We didn’t mean to scare you,” said Rosemary’s children, Cinnamon, Oregano, Paprika and Lavendar. “If you’ve always been able to talk, why haven’t you spoken to be before?” asked Gracie. “We are talking becaussse we have a problem,” hissed Priscilla, the python, “We ssspent many nightsss discussing it and decided to asssk for your help”. “What’s this problem?” asked Gracie. Old George Washington, the turtle spoke up. “We have such a great life here that we don’t want to leave with an owner. Why just yesterday, Thyme was taken away from her siblings and mother.” “What can I do about that?” thought Gracie. Then, she had an idea. “We can perform for crowds and start a pet circus!” exclaimed Gracie. “All in favor of starting a circus say ‘Aye’,” called Pirate. Every animal said “Aye” except for the fish who couldn’t be heard in their tank. Gracie smiled and declared, “It’s unanimous!” The following Saturday morning, Gracie heard her father shout into the microphone, “Now announcing the grand opening of the Great Grey Pet Circus.” Over fifty people sat on bleachers in a giant big-top style tent. Gracie ran out on the stage. “Hi, everybody! Thanks for coming to our show!” she called. The crowd cheered wildly. She noticed her mom watching proudly while pushing the concession cart. “Let’s start our show with Rosemary, the high-wire mouse!” On and on the show went, with each act more exciting than the last. “Thank you all and don’t forget to come into the building and meet our performers!” shouted Gracie. She ran backstage, where her mom waited to give her a big hug. She ran and squeezed her mom like she would never let go. “It was a hit!” said Gracie’s mom. “And,” said her dad, “we made a grand total of four hundred dollars! Two hundred more than our shop makes in one day!” “We’ve decided to continue the circus,” said her mom. “Yippee!” yelled Gracie. “I’ll go tell the pets!” Catherine Chimley 5th Grade Thrasher Elementary Amy Garvich


The Night I Died Twice I'm not afraid Ghosts aren't real, right? I mean, if you're dead, you're dead. Even if there are ghosts, I wouldn't be afraid of them. In case you're wondering, I was not afraid of the Tottle House, until that night. The night I died twice. It all started on a dumb dare that I never should have made. I lost the dare so I had to spend an hour in the Tottle House. Tonight was the night. I had to go to Tottle House for an hour. My friends were all watching me as I walked up the steps. Each one creaked as I stepped on it. I opened the door and walked inside. I could heart the gasps coming from friends. I looked around. There was an armor suit standing with an ax. I walked over to it. The ax was tinted red near the blade. My heart jumped into my throat. But, I had to stay. There was no turning back unless I wanted to be laughed at my entire life. I continued to look around. There was a parlor, a spiral staircase, a kitchen, a bathroom and a den. I knew the Tottle House had a bad history. The Tottles had once lived there. They were a wealthy family had a brand new baby boy, but on the baby's birthday, the whole family went missing. From then on, everybody who went into the Tottle House never came out. I walked into the parlor. There was another knight in armor. This one had strange noises coming from it; it sounded like moaning. I ran upstairs, taking the steps two at a time, But the second floor was no better than first. It was worse. I looked to my left and saw a pale blue room. It looked inviting, until I started walking towards it. A music box song started playing, from the blue room. I was scared, but too curious not to go into the room. When I reached the doorway, the music stopped. The room was definitely a baby's room -a baby boy's room. The music box song started again, near a doorway to the attic. Now, I was scared. I walked toward the attic door. My head was telling me yes, but my legs weren't moving. When I reached the door of the attic, it was open halfway. I felt a draft. My heart thumped. I had to go into the attic for at least 20 minutes according to the dare. I slowly walked up the stairs. Thirteen stairs--yes, I counted. A man and a woman holding a baby boy who was holding a Jack-in-the-Box were standing at the top of the stairs. They were ghosts. I had no doubt in my mind. These were the missing Tottles. I didn't know what to do. I stared at them, and they stared at me. This went on for at least 25 minutes. Then, I blinked and the Tottles were gone. I was breathing heavily. I stared down at my watch. It had been an hour and fifteen minutes. I walked slowly down the stairs and through the door. Then, I broke into a run -- a sprint, to be exact. As soon as I went through the doorway and outside, I barely glanced at my amazed friends. All I said as I went past them was: "I'm going home!" That was the night I died twice under the eye of the Tottles and soon maybe again. Taegan Bunch 5th Grade Thrasher Elementary Amy Garvich


The Fairies and the Flower In a dark forest where no sun shines and under the mushrooms lived fairies in the tiny village of Dutchess. There the little fairies were working on their new houses because skunks made their last village permanently smelly. Their houses were made out of mud, twigs, leaves, and grass. A group of best friends were flying in the woods and came upon a mysterious flower. One of the four best friends, Plantera, had earth powers so she dug it up. When they got back down to the village, the native people surrounded the flower to see if it had powers. Then the flower gushed out lava with a big, loud BOOM! The Dutchess King said, "This flower may not stay. It is forbidden from the village". So the fairies set it inside of a mountain. The good thing was that whenever it erupted, the Coffeeberry trees' seeds would open up when they caught fire. The best friends visited it everyday. Another fairy friend, Summer, had the powers to make the sun come up and down. One other part of her fairy powers was to control the summer temperature. She made the snow melt when she walked over it and that is what it did when she and her friends visited the flower. On Friday when they visited the flower, they were trying to figure out what to name it. "How about Magnolium?" asked Autumn. "No." said Summer. "What about Lavadereece?". "No," said Flareecia. "Ooh, I have one! How about Magmercy?" Everybody seemed to agree even the flower! It grumbled and gushed out lava. The fairies started to run and scream. Plantera went to the village to warn the people. "Go into the fireproof shelters! Magmercy has erupted!". The lava destroyed all of Dutchess. "We just built this and didn't even finish," said Summer. They were going to have to build their town once again. They went through the charred rubble and found the ancient glass orb. You can see the future in it. "Oh wow. I'm in total shock," whispered Autumn. "Why can't we ever finish the first time?" asked Summer. It took them a year to finish the village. They had to stay in fairy hotels. Flareecia was flying in the woods when she saw a big fairy mansion. She went inside of it and lied down. She had fallen asleep. When she woke up, she saw a giant eye in the window. "AHH!" she screamed. She fainted. She woke up again and said "It was just a dream,". Then she looked around. She was in a cage. "Hello little fairy!" said a wicked witch "I built that house just for your kind. I love fairy stew," Flareecia was very scared. "Why do you have to eat us? Can't you go eat the smurfs?" asked Flareecia. "I've tried a smurf and they taste horrible. Fairies taste like steak. I sure do love me some steak," she replied. Flareecia was trapped. Plantera noticed that Flareecia had been missing for two days so she went to go call Summer and Autumn. They met Plantera at the mushroom tree with a ton of hiking supplies and food. They decided to start in Bear Woods. On the way to find Flareecia they ran into a massive bear. He growled and clawed at them but they hid inside the stump of a tree. They had no luck in the Bear Woods. They went to the Starleaf Jungle. They met a tree and it told them about the witch and Flareecia. When he told them about the witch going to eat her they immediately asked for directions. He said it was only five miles away. They were happy about the short distance. They flew and flew but finally their wings gave out. It turns out that five miles a longer distance for a fairy. They couldn't walk because that was too far. None them 126

could think anything. They were hungry. So they split an apple for the three of them. Finally Autumn yelled "FAIRY DUST! We need to put fairy dust on our wings!". Everyone was so happy that someone finally thought of something. Now they could fly to the witch's house. They saw witch about to put Flareecia in a boiling cauldron of water. It had carrots, potatoes, and chicken broth in it. "What are we going to do?" asked Plantera. Summer replied, "How should I know?" “Let’s get a pail of lava from Magmercy!" said Autumn. So they went to Magmercy. They had to put on lava suits and astronaut helmets. "Here it goes," said Plantera and she pulled up a bucket lava. They made it back to the jungle and lava had almost melted the bucket. They sneaked inside of the house and climbed up a table behind the witch. The witch was snickering evilly. They lifted up the bucket and spilled out the lava. The witch melted and they saved Flareecia. They went back to the village and everyone cheered. In honor of Summer, Autumn, and Plantera they let Magmercy come back to the village. They made a force field and a mote with a force field drawbridge around Magmercy. It turns out that Magmercy had ears, and a mouth. He could speak too. People from the village went to him on the edge of the village to ask for advice. He was a very wise flower. He could predict the future. People went to him for that too. He erupted almost 12 times a year! They didn't have to build their village again because of the force field and mote. After years the flower didn't gush out lava. It started to shoot out flowers. Now they had a Flower Festival time the flower shot out flowers. At the Flower Festival they had different types of berries, barbecue, and blue Popsicles. They picked flowers and played games. Their games were races through flowers, a flower picking contest, and making crowns out of flowers. In conclusion, the village of Dutchess is living happily now. Hannah Gentry 5th Grade Snow Hill Elementary School Mrs. Highlander


Mr. Linden's Library He had warned her about the book. Now it was too late. One sunny school day Mrs. Parkerson said, "It is time to go to the library." Lily was so excited. The school had gotten 100 new books to replace all but 5 old books. Since her class was last, everyone had to hurry. When she got there, the only book left was the oldest of the library. She had to check it out because it was the school's policy. When she had checked it out, she saw the janitor's curious look as he passed by. When school was almost over, the janitor came in and asked if Lily could come outside with her book. Mrs. Parkerson said, "Sure, Lily, do as you are told." Lily didn't want to, but she did it anyway. The janitor said, "This book has powers stronger than anything in the world, so don't read it." "Ok" said Lily. When she went home, it was 6:00. Lily ate her dinner very quickly. When she was done she went right to the book. It had interested her very much because it was so mysterious. She opened the book to the middle. It had a picture of monkeys hanging on vines. The vines started to creep toward her. Lily was going to close the book .... but it swallowed her up too quickly. All that was left was a book and a note. Lindsey Hollis 5th Grade Nolan Elementary School Mrs. Jones

Paradise Island Day 1: Dear Journal, I woke up today by the sound of waves crashing against the shore. How did I get here? The last thing I remember was people screaming on our boat. Then I saw a piece of wood floating in the water. Just then I remembered it. We were headed from Massachusetts to Hawaii on a boat. I had packed my bag with a lot of wilderness things because I was planning on going to a wilderness camp. Doesn't look like I'm going to make it. But anyways, so we were sailing and then a storm snuck up on us, and we got caught in the middle of it. We got slung up against a rock sticking out of the water, and of course with the boat being made of wood, it got demolished. I got hit on the head with a piece of wood, I think right after I got my life jacket on. Next thing I know, I wake up here. Now, with me being a Boy Scout, I know what to do. I happened to bring a tarp. I don't have any rope but I do have a pocket knife, and there's some vine around that'll do the job. I found two nice trees. Tied the vine around one tree using a half hitch, and tied the other end to the second tree using a square knot. I put the tarp over the vine, and weighted it down with some rocks and sticks. I decided to go ahead and set some snares around by using the rope on my survival bracelet, and then went to bed. Day 10: Dear Journal, 128

Man, time flies. Sorry I haven't written, but I've been doing pretty well. My emergency shelter's held pretty well. There have been quite a bit of storms. Luckily, I've been using the water to drink. I've caught animals, too. Yummy. I'm trying to figure out how to get off this island. I may make a raft. But then you have to get the weather patterns, but I don't have a lot of patience with stuff like that. I'm going into the rain forest to see what I can find. I'll probably get back next week. Bye. Day 17: Dear Journal, Guess what I just found?! Oh yeah, I forgot you can't, but anyways, I found a shipwrecked sailboat! All I have to do is patch it up. Man, I can't wait! Lucky for me, I have a sea chart in my backpack. Yep, you know me... prepared. I also found some tools in my backpack, and don't ask me how that got there, but all I know is I'll soon be on my way. Bye for now, I'll write when I've got it fixed. Day 31: Dear Journal, I got the boat fixed and packed, so I'm ready to go, so off I am, headed to Massachusetts! Dear Journal, It's amazing. Everybody's so excited! Plus, I got to skip eight ranks in Scouts! Bye! Jacob Price 5th Grade Allen Elementary School Mrs. Matherley

One white Christmas morning I hopped out of bed and darted to the big Frasier Fir Christmas tree in my living room. But when I got there, no presents were under the big tree. As soon as I saw I had no presents I wrote to Santa. Dear Santa, last night did you forget my house? After I wrote the letter, I sprinted over to my friend's house to see what he got. But when I got there, he was crying because he has no presents too. I told him not to feel bad because I did not get anything either. What I did not know is that my parents talked to his parents and they hid our presents. When I got back to my house, they had laid all of our presents out and they yelled "Merry Christmas". They said to dig in and my friend and I did not waste a second. Within a minute all of the presents were open and torn wrapping paper was strewn all over the floor. After all the presents had been opened, my friend and I chased each other around the house screaming and yelling at each other. Finally, we got tired and stopped. We looked at our toys and I asked my friend which one was his favorite. He said the Nerf gun was his favorite. I did not want to say my favorite in front of him because I was afraid he would laugh at me. Even though I did not get my dream phone, the best gift of all was the surprise Christmas all along. Briley Hesser 5th Grade Thrasher Elementary Julie Bell


A Door on Opposite Day One morning on an ordinary Saturday I woke up and was a door! In the front of a music store I was located. At 7:00 a.m. people started pushing me! A sign was taped on to me that said the shop opened at 7:00 a.m. and closed at 12:00 p.m. It was going to be a very long day. At 7:38 a man strolled by. Carelessly he pushed my chest and walked inside. A giant top hat was placed on his head. I wondered why he had it. Next a young looking woman came rushing in. She had a hairy sweater on. My left arm was pushed. I then wanted to madly scream at her, "You probably don't know how bad it is being a door!" Just then I found that I could turn around and see what was going on inside. I saw the man and woman with an enormous shopping cart. It was filled with drums, horns, and even a grand piano! Now I really didn't want to be the door that they carry that piano out of. I turned back around. More people shoved me. It was lunchtime. I felt hungry but realized doors don't eat. Hungry people started leaving for lunch. You guessed it! Yes, I was shoved and pushed. The rest of the afternoon I tried to find a way to enjoy being a door. Also I wondered about the man and woman. Still they weren't gone. I turned around. There they were. I heard the drums, horns, and the piano. Astonishingly I thought they were writing a song about being a door. That night I fell asleep. I awakened the next morning and I was me again! My mom drove me to a clothing store. There were two doors. I was so glad I wasn't one. One had a sale sign for giant hats. The other had a sign for hairy sweaters. I then checked the calendar. Yesterday was opposite day! The unusual people were doors before. I was a door yesterday. We must have all been victims of opposite day! Boy, am I glad I'm not a door anymore! The end. Rachel Silvious 5th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Alosi

Buddy Have you ever prayed for a buddy? You know to help you during hard times? I have plenty of friends like that, but I only have one true buddy. He helps me during hard times he also helped me throughout fifth grade. He does not talk, but he sure knows how to speak. This is a story of how I found my Buddy. It was a normal summer day back in Hartselle, Alabama, but it was a day I would never forget. It started off like any Monday in summer. You would have friends over every Monday, but what happened Sunday night changed my Monday afternoon. We had just gotten home from church. My two sisters and I knew exactly what to do. We were to get ready for bed, then get in bed. While I was sleeping I had a dream, and this is what happened in my dream. My mom and dad had left me and my two sisters in the car, and I was holding a puppy in my arms. It was about the size of two squirrels. It was mostly black and its paws were brown. 130

When I woke up I ran to my parents' room and asked for a dog. I guess everyone knows what the answer was. "Oh, son we can't afford another dog." "Oh, son who is going to take care of a dog." That got my hopes down, but I still wanted a dog. Well later my mom asked me to take the trash to the curb. Unfortunately, the curb was a long way from the house. Finally, I got the trash to the curb. Then, I saw this puppy. It was fairly large, mostly black, and its paws were white with small black spots. The puppy followed me home. We fed and watered him. He was not my dog yet, but he soon would be. We adopted him the next day. I named him Buddy, because he is my buddy. His middle name is Isaac, because Isaac is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. His last name is Greene because he is part of the Greene family. His full name is Buddy Isaac Greene. Also known as B.I.G. To this day I am Buddy's boy. Andy Greene 5th Grade Snow Hill Elementary School Mrs. Highlander

Treasure? "Hey Laura," my nosey neighbor chirped. "There's treasure in the right next to big oak tree." "Umm ... I don't know you notice but there is about 1000 oak trees in that forest," I yelled as I walked away the dirt. "I guess you're chicken,” he replied. "What?" I questioned. I walked toward him and flicked him in the head. "I'm not chicken," I mumbled under my breath holding my fist up. I walked inside for bed. I wake up late at night wondering if the treasure is real. "No! It's not real," I whispered. I slowly got up and tiptoed down the stairs. I picked up the shovel that mom left outside while shewas gardening. Owls, and wind and other insects filled my mind to where I couldn't think anymore. Ding! The shovel hit a rock. I started digging and digging until I hit something. I got on my knees and shuffled the dirt around. It was a rock. I slowly got up with a fierce look on my face. The sound of the crunching leaves under my feet my hurt my ears. "Control your anger, Laura." My fist soon loosened up. The mean look on my face relaxed and I started home. I glance at my neighbor's house and a silhouette appears at the window of him talking to his friend. "Guess what?" “What," his friend replied. "I told my neighbor that there’s treasure in that forest." "Wow, she is so gullible." His friend yelled. I looked at my fist. It was so hard I could punch a hole a wall. My face swirled with suspiciousness. My finger scraped my chin as my eye twitched. What should I do to get revenge? 131

"I know what to do." I got a water balloon and filled it with spoiled milk, rotten eggs, and moldy cheese. I ran outside and knocked on his door. “Hello, take that" I yelled. I glanced at him, but it wasn’t him. It was his mother getting ready for a date with her husband. "Nooooo!" she yelled as the balloon slowly fell her way. It was like she was in slow motion but nothing else was. Bam! The balloon hit her. "You troll!" “.. um, um... " I stuttered. Her red lipstick bled through the spoiled milk. “Tell your son I said hi. " "You irresponsible, unwanted idiot." She cried as slammed the door in my face. “Sorry” I yelled as I walked back. Secretly I thought, "No, I'm not." Laura Lee Brakebill 5th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Ms. Barry

Maddy's Monster Book "Hey Maddy, can I read your monster book?" "Sure, Ellie," Maddy said. Maddy gave me the book, and I took it home to read. One of the scariest monsters was the Boogey Man. He would sneak into people's rooms and kill them with his long, sharp, terrifying claws. I ate my dinner and went to bed. Only one problem: I couldn't fall asleep! I stole a glance at the kitchen through my open door. I saw something move! There it was again. It was super fast! Then, I heard a hiss. It was the Boogey Man! I tried to hide, but I was too scared. When I tried to read my book, I heard another hiss. I wanted to call my mom, but I knew it would eat my family if I did. It would eat my family! I knew it was up to me. I grabbed my baseball bat and went to the kitchen. I heard the monster prowling. Our fifteen-pound dog heard it too. She ran to the beast and went in for the kill Then, Maybelle screamed. She ran back to me, and I pet her for comfort. I felt a warm liquid on her back. I knew what it was. Blood. I ran to the cabinets, got a band-aid, and put it on her back. Then, I heard it, right in front of me. The monster! I turned around and CRACK! I swung my baseball bat. Meow! Hiss! Ow! The Boogey Man was actually my cat. And my cat was very angry. I ran to bed, but this time, I was more afraid of my cat. Ellie Swann 5th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Katherine Blake


Foster! Slam, boom, bang! I slowly creaked open my eyes like an old door. I glanced over to my clock. It said eight o'clock. I sat up as slow as a turtle. I thought to myself why in the world is my mom up this early making so much racket?! I slipped on some old, dark, ripped jeans and an old T-shirt. I creaked opened my door and hauled my tired body down the long hallway. I slowly turned the corner and plopped down the stairs with my eyes barely opened. It was Saturday morning and my mom and I usually sleep until ten o'clock, so why is she up? My feet dragged me into our living room and everything was black! All of the lights were off and all saw was black nothing! Then all of the lights flickered on and people popped out from behind all of the furniture! Then everybody suddenly screamed, SURPRISE! I shreaked in excitement! I ran to my mom and jumped in her arms! She wrapped them around me filling me with love! Then she screamed," Go open your presents!" I ran over to my precious presents! I opened all of them then there was one one giant one left! It was bigger than me and pink covered in sparkles! My favorite! My mom lifted me up with all of her strength and I untied all of the ribbons and top popped opened and a dog jumped out! He was big, white, fluffy, and hipper! He kind of looked like a muppet! His fluffy white fur was hanging over his big blue eyes! His tail was curled up on his back wagging! He was the cutest dog I had ever seen in my whole life! He jumped all over me and almost licked me to death! Then I thought to myself what should I name him? Millions of names went through my mind! Then it came to me, the perfect name! I bursted out Foster! I'll name him Foster! I called come here Foster and he came dashing over to me and he tackled me and licked me to death! I loved him more than any present I had ever gotten! Then I decided that this has been the best birthday ever! Then my mom screamed lets go get some cake! Then my mom pulled out a little pack of doggy ice cream for Foster so he could have dessert too! My new dog was the best! Avery Hendrickson 5th Grade Thrasher Elementary Ms. Julie Bell

Mr. B BANG! I closed the front door. "Hey mom," I said. She said hi and then asked me how my day was. "It was OK," I said as I trudged up the stairs. I had a lot of homework to do so I had to get right to work. I worked and worked until finally after what seemed like hours I was done. I skipped ecstatically down the stairs. I was hungry ... for food that is and not for the fear of death. Later, as I sat in my room bawling, I thought about what my mother had told me. It just couldn't be true. Was he really dead? Had Mr. B really passed? And if so, why him? I cried and cried for hours, feeling drowned in all my tears. It was like I was in a swamp, alligators surrounding me with death written all over them. My heart was pounding for love and compassion to try to understand why things happened like this, but I was full of hate. 133

All of the memories were flashing through my mind like fireflies flickering through the night. I could see his smile, smell his scent, and even feel myself sitting on his lap. I had so many great times with Mr.B. I remember when my cousin and I put on a show for him and all the neighbors, when his great-grandson and I went to find one of the neighbor's dogs, having lemonade stands and him coming over to buy some, feeding the squirrels at his house, and the last picture. The picture was racing through my head. I could remember that day like it was yesterday. My cousin Mia and I had just come back from a soccer camp. My grandmother had picked us up and brought us to her house. Mr. B was on his porch so we went over to say hello. We all talked for a while and then we took the picture. It was a great day, but little did I know that it would be his last one with me. When I finally finished my thoughts and memories, I plodded down stairs to dinner. I ate and went to bed. The next morning, I got up, got ready, and then I was on my way. We drove 2 hours to Murfeesboro. When we got to Grandma's house we all got ready for the viewing. We drove there looking very fancy, like we were going to the Opera, but we were not. We were going to a viewing for a dead Mr.B. When we walked in the building, everywhere we looked there were flowers, showing how much Mr. B was loved. Over on one side of it, there was Mr. B in his casket. I didn't want to look, but I ended up doing it anyway. He looked like he was sleeping, but I knew he was really dead. We visited with family and old friends and then left. That night as I sat in bed I thought about the poem, the poem that I had written for Mrs. When the moon goes down, and the sun rises up, I see Mr.B's sweet smiling face. His arms out for a hug, and his lips smackin ' for a kiss. Oh, the things he loved to do ... Search with his binoculars for airplanes high in the sky, listen to the birds and all their words, let the young ones feed the squirrels, and most of all, get visited by children of all ages I think it is clear that 2010 was his year. I am very sorry about what happened, but we all know Mr. B is not suffering anymore. I thought about him and his unique qualities. Then, I went to bed. "Wake up sweetie," Mom said as she tickled my side, '"time for the funeral." She shook me, but I wouldn't budge. I knew I was going to have to get up sooner or later, so I decided it would be best if got up then, instead of having to pour water on my head. I got up and got ready. We drove to the funeral and sat down in one of the pews. The funeral was very dull. Just a guy talking, but when he finally finished, I went up to Mrs.B and gave her the poem. Everyone read it and thought it was so sweet, but when she read it, she cried. Soon everyone was clearing out and getting into their cars, to drive to the burial. My grandmother was going and I wanted to go with her. But, unfortunately, I had to go back to Chattanooga. Now Mr.B is remembered by all. I loved him and always will. He was a great friend. Kierstyn Meredith 5th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Katherine Blake


An Event that Changed My Life "Oooooooooohhhhhh, Ooooooooohhhhhh," an owl called softly. I was in my parents' apartment in New Jersey on a warm August night. This is the story of a guardian, and how she never a got a chance. She never got the chance to love, to see, to smell, to breathe ...... to live. That night was a I will never forget. You know when you see something really freaky, and it sticks to that. I was waiting for mom to come home with my baby sister. Just waiting and waiting. 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 finally at 10:35 came home with a bundle in her arms. Yaaaaaaaay! But not. For in her arms was a bouquet of roses. My mom was looking down at it. "Where's Jordan?!" I asked frantically. "Where is she!!" I cried. She looked up with tear stained eyes. She’s gone," Mom whispered holding back tears. I started crying, thinking about my sister. She was beautiful, long of black hair and dark brown eyes. I often cry when I think her. We all go up to her cemetery often. Jordan is my guardian angel. She is always watching over me and me. Jordan Grace, how we all longed to see your face. Emily Kosch 5th Grade West Side Elementary School Mrs. L. Erdman

My Holiday Experience I am glad I was chosen for their family. At 10:00 am, on December 15, at a tree farm in Pennsylvania, I was standing exactly in the middle of the farm. It was as cold as ice. Frost formed all around my limbs and on my tree friends. A family with one child was going to choose a tree. There were many trees already chosen including my best friend, named Emily. I tried not to get picked. I did not want to leave like my best friend did. The child of the family hugged me tightly. I knew what would happen next. They chopped of the top of me. I felt small inside the tiny part of me. As they took me home, I felt snug as a blanket. When we got to the house, the little girl, mom, and dad brought me into the house. As soon as I got inside, I felt the warmth through my limbs. I did not think it was too bad. They started to trim my branches. It hurt and I screamed inside. Soon the family came down the stairs and started to decorate me. They put a silky red bow on the top of me. I felt special but also sad that I had left my friends. They decorated me in green and red ornaments. I feel like a dressed up maid. It feels a little bit better here but I still miss my favorite fun farm. It is as warm as a crackling fire. I feel really special. I smell something in that other room. When I looked the mother brought out a golden-brown man that was really tiny. The kids ate the little man and I was terrified. It was like watching a scary movie. I heard a song playing and it kept saying the same thing, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells. I felt the enormous scarlet bow on my head. It felt like I was wearing a hat. I had shiny round balls on each of my limbs. I did not sway as much as on the farm, but I did not care. Soon, they put boxes under me that were dressed with designs. I felt at home. Then came the day the family had been waiting for. I saw the little girl jumping up and down. There was a plate 135

with round, golden-brown discs and a glass of white, milky liquid. There were many people surrounding me. The chatter of everybody made my headache. Then it was night and everyone was sleeping. That night a big guy came down the chimney. He was wearing a dark red and ivory-white suit. He was kind of large. He put more boxes under me and some things in the socks hung at the fireplace. He ate the golden-brown discs on the plate and drank the glass of white, milky liquid. This guy left in a hurry. In the morning, the tiny girl ran down the stairs and took a box out from under me. Everyone else came down the stairs and opened all the boxes under me. The socks were emptied. I felt loved. After Christmas, I was taken down. They took the shiny objects off me. The silly scarlet hat came off. I did not know what to do next. They brought me outside. There was an enormous, bright, blazing fire. They plopped me on the fire. All my limbs broke and I was on fire. I felt no pain. I was back at the farm. My ashes blew away and I was back at the farm. I can not wait until next year. Elizabeth Benedict 5th Grade Hixson Elementary School Mary Brown

Search for Friends Five more minutes. Jacob was at school. He was lonely, and he had his in hand. When he finally got home, he started homework. Then he went into the garage and got out his dad's power tools and got to work. When he was done he had a stand with a sign that said "Friends For Hire." After that he went outside, set up the stand, and sat and waited. Finally, when he was about to give up, two kids walked up to Jacob asked, "Hello, looking for friends?” He noticed that he not seen them around before. The two kids questioned, "Friends for hire?" Jacob replied, "Yes." Jacob asked, “Want to be friends?" The two kids look at each other and start whispering some thing and finally boomed, "Ok!" at the same time. Then the kid on the left said, "I am Jack and this is Luke.” Jacob replied, "I'm Jacob." The next day at school they did the usual stuff at school beat up by bullies in p.e. But when they went to Jacob's house they played paintball, and videogames. Then Jacob's mom called for dinner. So they went upstairs and ate a wonderful dinner. And the next day Jack, and Luke went home after everyone said their goodbyes. Jacob knew they would be friends, forever. Wesley Moore 5th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Ms. Barry


Sam's Journey One day there was a very pregnant lady who was in the hospital about to have a baby. She and her husband were thinking of names, and they just couldn't decide between Sam and Henry. They decided that they would wait until he was born and see what he looked like first. When the day finally came, they saw their baby and decided to name him Sam. The mom held him every day, until one day, when the nurse came in the room and said that their baby was sick. The mom started to cry. The nurse said that he was going to be okay; he just had to go in the sick room for five days. Everyday Sam's mom would go into the sick room and sing baby songs to him. When the five days were up, and Sam was better, Sam's mom took him home. A few days later, Sam's parents threw a big party for Sam. They had over fifty people including family and friends. The party was still running strong around midnight. However, Sam's parents knew people were getting tired because some people stopped dancing and sat down. At about one-thirty in the morning, everybody was cleared out and Sam's parents put Sam to bed. Then they went to bed. Sam is five now, and he says he's a big boy. But, he still gets up in the middle of the night and goes into his parent's bed for the rest of the night. One day in the spring, Sam's parents told him to get in the car. Sam asked why, but his parents would not tell him. Sam stood in the house for a few seconds, and then he finally decided to get in the car. He buckled his seat belt, and the car started to move. About one hour into the drive, Sam asked his parents when they were going to be where they were going. His mom said one hour. When they finally got to where they were going, Sam did not know where they were. His parents told him to get out of the car. When Sam finally got out of the car, his parents and he walked up to the door. That's when Sam noticed where they were-Sunny-Side Orphanage. Sam asked his parents why they were giving him away. His parents said it was because they could afford him anymore. Sam's parents knocked on the door. When the orphanage owner came to the door, Sam hugged his parents and went with the lady. Every day Sam got bullied by all the older kids. Every night, Sam would cry himself to sleep. Every meal, Sam would get no food because all of the older kids would take it all. Sam went up to the lady one day and asked where he could go. But, the orphanage owner said that he could not go anywhere until he was adopted or he was twenty-one years old. One day a family came in with a kid Sam's age. Sam crossed his fingers that he would get picked. The family looked around, and finally, the orphanage owner told Sam to come to her. When Sam came over the orphanage owner, she told Sam that this family had picked him and he had to go with them. Sam walked out the door with his new family and he saw their car. It was a Hummer limo! Sam thought to himself that he was going to have the best life ever with his new family. Jack Levine 5th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Jennifer Brownlee


Night of the Living Chicken One night a boy named Oscar Jones was a cooking a chicken. When he pulled it out of the oven, the chicken jumped off the pan and went through a window. The chicken saw a beautiful house and terrorized it. Now the chicken had a place to call home. As the days passed, Oscar thought more and more about the chicken. Oscar decided to go look for it. Oscar found the chicken in its "home" sitting on a couch watching Tele Tubbies. The chicken saw Oscar and hobbled to him and bonked him on his head with its little bone hand. Oscar chased the chicken. Then the chicken literally kicked Oscar out of its house. Oscar ran to his house and called his friend Joe Rodgers. Oscar and Joe thought of a plan to catch the wild chicken. Oscar and Joe decided to call the police. The police searched the chicken's "house" but found nothing. A couple of nights later, strange activity was going on in the chicken's house. The chicken was making some kind of metal device. While the chicken was sleeping, Oscar and Joe took the device. It was a top for playing. Joe thought the chicken wasn't so bad after all. Oscar still thought it was bad. So Oscar and Joe set out to destroy the chicken. They chased it throughout the Hamilton County area. The chicken hid where Oscar and Joe couldn't find it. At nightfall the chicken ran to its home. Oscar and Joe figured that the chicken would return "home" sometime and had a stakeout in its backyard. When the chicken came out, it was cautious because of late afternoon traffic. The chicken saw Oscar and Joe on the other side of the road. It started to run away but Oscar and Joe were on its tail. Joe threw a bone but missed. Oscar threw one and hit the chicken. "It's dinner time!" yelled Oscar. "Oh Boy!" said Joe, "I love chickenl" Nick Maddox 5th Grade St. Peter's Episcopal Carol Lockrow

When My World Changed (Permanently!) My day started out like any other. Feed the reindeer, work in the toy shop, lunch, and then a snowball fight. Snowball fights were something every elf had to do. I had just snuck up on Jingle's snow fort and was ready to pelt her, when Snow and Flake, (the twins) hollered in unison, "Run for your life! It's a polar bear!!" Since I had a specialty with animals, a group of elves and I ran out to try to calm her down. She almost took the heads off everyone except me. She loved me. No! I'm not kidding! She came up to me and nuzzled me. She became my best friend. 1 named her Arctic. Me? What's my name? I'm called Mischief. Anyway, I was in my gingerbread house, when Santa came! Can you believe that? Santa! Santa never comes to see elves of my rank. He said, "You have been moved up to a child elf." He handed me a piece of paper with my name on it. It read:


Mischief has been granted a rank up to a child elf. He is allowed to bring his best friend Arctic the polar bear. My head was about to burst with excitement. "I-I have? Why did you pick me sir?" 1 asked. "You'll see why I picked you," he responded with a mysterious smile. With that, he left me standing there. 1 sat down on my bed trying to make something out of what I'd just heard. •••• The next morning, 1 was still pondering over why Santa had picked me. Of all people, me! Why me? 1 thought. I saw Arctic coming toward me. "Arctic. Hey Arctic." "Yes?" "Guess what?" "What?" "You have to guess!" "You brought me some hot cocoa?" "No!" (Hot cocoa makes her hyper) "I got promoted up to a child elf!" "Cool! Wait, what?" "Oh Arctic" I laughed "it means I get my own child to go to!" "Oh. Can 1go with you?" "Sure." At that moment, Santa came up behind me. "Hello sir" I said. "Hello Mischief. I have the first child you will go to. Her name is Kendra." "Gee, thanks sir." "Don't mention it. Now get going. We wouldn't want you to miss your first day." "Yes sir! I mean ... No sir!" "I'm sure you'll do well. I have faith in you." He turned away to leave, but then said, "Have you figured out why I picked you?" "No sir."


"Would you like me to tell you?" "Yes please." "Well, 1 picked you because you were such a good worker in the toy shop, always devoted to your work, so I had to move you up in rank. You always give your best and you are kind along the way." “Gee sir, I'm glad you saw that in me." "Now, get going and have some fun" Santa said as he left. We rode the train to Kendra's house. On the way, Arctic got hungry, so we had to stop for food a couple of times. Polar bears tend to eat a lot. When we got to Kendra's house, she and her family were out at the movies. Arctic found some hot cocoa that had been left out and drank it. She got super hyper and made a huge mess with some ribbons. She accidentally wrapped us up so tightly it took a while to get out. We had just finished cleaning up when the family got home. "Mommy! Look! An elf and a polar bear" Kendra squealed. "Their names are," (she squinted at the piece of paper we'd left so she could figure out our names) "Arctic is the polar bear and Mischief is the elf!" Her mom said, "Well sweetie, you might not be able to keep them. You already have so many." "Mom, please!" Kendra cried desperately. "Ok, ok. You can keep them." She picked us up and held us tight. "I love you guys. You are awesome" she whispered. From that moment on, I would live up to my name and make the best elf mischief a child could have. Sydney Cansler 5th Grade St. Peter's Episcopal School Hannah Maounis

Swift a Little There she stood, a black fox. Suzanne stared at her lost in her thoughts. The fox had a white under belly, and a white undertail. She was a beautiful sight. All of a sudden, the fox flicked her tail, and ran off. Suzanne was left behind, gazing at the distance. Suzanne stayed frozen until she heard a honk. The bus! She ran off so she could catch it. "Sorry, I saw a black fox" she declared as she stepped in. The bus driver Mr. Mart snorted in reply. Half an hour later, the bus screeched to a halt. People piled out of it. Suzanne scurried to get Garold, her best friend. "Garold! Garold!" she yelled. Finnaly, Garold ran up to her. "Yeah, Suzanne?' he questioned. "I saw a black fox. You know, before the bus honked." She stammered. "She had a white belly and undertail." She paused for a moment. Garold stared at her in disbelief. "you're crazy! There are no black foxes in Denver!" Garold 140

exclaimed. With that, he hurried to class. "Ring!" went the bell. Quickly, Suzanne ran to math class. As Mrs. Callcar, the math teacher, started teaching about decimals, Suzanne glared out the window. She saw the bushes shake. Was it the black fox? Her heart pounded against her chest. "False alarm," she thought as a squirrel scampered out from the bushes. The day went slowly afterwards. Suzanne strained to hear the last bell. Finnaly, it rang. Suzanne jumped up from her seat, and rushed to her locker. As soon as she got her backpack, she ran out from school. She dashed by the mailman, the ice cream truck, and the post office. "Dad!" Suzanne yelled as she stepped in the door. No reply. Suzanne wandered into the kitchen. She reached for the phone and dialed her mom's number. Her mom got really sick the week before. Dr. Sam answered the phone. “Hello. This is Morgan hospital. What can we do to help your?" Dr. Sam asked. "This is Suzanne, Clara Wall's daughter. How is she? Can I speak to her?" Suzanne questioned. "Sure but you can't be long." Suzanne heard him call for Nurse Candlelight. "Nurse, Suzanne Walls is on the other... yes, Clara Wall's daughter… Will you just pass the phone to her? Thank you." He sighed. "Hello Suzanne? How was your day?" her mom questioned. "How did ... " she coughed. "Hi mom. I saw a beautiful animal today. A black fox! She was so wonderful and ... and." She couldn't find another word. "Do you believe me? Nobody does." There was a long pause. "Oh my! I would love to see her. As soon as I get home, show her to me." she commanded. Then Suzanne heard a beep, then another, then another. Her mom, or the doctor, hung up on her. "Ding! Dong!" came her dad's voice. "Dad! I have to tell you something very important!" Suzanne exclaimed. Without wasting time, Suzanne told him about how the black fox scampered away. "Do you believe me?" she ended. Her dad's stern face worried her. Suzanne was about to loose hope. "I believe you." Her dad answered. He smiled. Not an ordinary smile, but a smile that showed Suzanne her dad believed her. Suzanne was lost in her thought, when the phone rang. She jumped up in surprise. Slowly, she sat back down. Her dad answered the phone. His smile turned into a frown. "But I just got home from work! I can't go, sorry ... Okay ... Fine!" he yelled. “Listen, Suzanne, I have to go. My boss just called and ..." he didn't finish. "Love you." With that, he kissed her on her forehead. Sadly, Suzanne watched her dad run out of the house. "Goodbye," she whispered. A few seconds later, Suzanne heard aloud noise. She sprang up from her seat, and ran out the door. "What happened?' Suzanne asked. A familiar car was crushed in the back. It took her a minute to figure out who's car that was. Her dad's. Noised surrounded her. Suzanne noticed a man being pulled out of her dad's car. His mustache bloody from his bloody nose. Was it Suzanne's imagination, or was the man her dad? She almost fainted. It was her dad! The medics 141

put him in the ambulance, and drove off. A policeman grabbed Suzanne's arm. "Hey let me go!" she hollered. All he did was shove her in the police car. In his kindest voice, the policeman said, "I am taking you to your neighbor's house until your parent's feel better. "Those words stuck in her head. "Knock! Knock" went the fist of the policeman. "What?" came the annoyed neighbor. "Why? Suzanne?" "Hi Mr. Williams." Suzanne groaned. Mr. Williams grunted. He moved out of the way. Mr. Williams started telling Suzanne the rules. "And you are to never, ever, leave this house!" he finished. Ten days later, Suzanne made her great escape. She jumped out of her window. Quickly, she hit the ground with a thud. There, before her eyes stood her mom. "Mom!" she cried. Almost at the same time, the black fox came. She eased her way to Suzanne. Suzanne asked, "Can we?” "We can." Her mom answered with a delighted smile. "And in case you're wondering I heard about your dad. Right before I left, I checked on him. He'll be out of the hospital, before you know it. She added. Bianca Ek 5th Grade Ooltewah Elementary School Brenda Cothran

Death? Death. It brings sorrow and woefulness. Death. Some people inherit money from the "loss" of relatives. Death. It only happens once, and causes pain and suffering. One cold, winter morning, a pair of fraternal twins named, Sierra and Cory awoke to an alarm clock in Sierra's room early on Saturday. "Uhhhhh,” Cory groaned. "Wake up, Corry!" yelled cheerfully. "We have to meet Mom and Dad at the studio!" Their parents are world famous photographers, and travel all across world. "I don't wanna,” Cory groaned. "You have to!" Sierra yelled back. Once Sierra dragged Cory out of his bed, Cory decided to make up for being lazy by making breakfast. His dad taught Sierra and him to cook all sorts of food, since their parents would be gone a lot. Cory made buttered toast, two, bacon, ham, and cheese omelets, and poured a glass of orange juice for Sierra and grapefruit juice for himself. Sierra finished taking a shower, getting dressed, and came down the stairwell to the kitchen. They ate breakfast together and finished getting ready. Right when they were walking out the door, Cory yelled, "Oh, no, I forgot my cell phone!" "Cory!" Sierra screamed back. "You don't need that thing everywhere you go especially when Mom and Dad are actually town." Just as Corry had gotten to his room a fire started to make it's way around the house. "Oh no," he thought as he heard crackling of fire. "I forgot to turn off the oven and the stove," the most important thing his father had taught him. Cory tried to get to the front door, but the fire already beat him to it. Cory started to cough, while Sierra was 142

freaking out outside. Sierra ran inside the backdoor, found out that Corry was knocked out and dragged him out the door. Sierra got her cell phone and called 911. Sierra started to hear sirens, the firefighters got out and rushed to put out the fire. While the paramedics put Corry in the ambulance, treated to him to keep him alive on the way to Sacramento Hospital. They rushed to the emergency room. While the paramedics were treating to Corry, Sierra sobbed and screamed, "it's all my fault, take me instead," and sobbed some more. When they allowed her to enter room, she saw the Corry's eyes were closed, and the look of paramedics told Sierra, Cory was gone. that is was too late. She pushed them away as they were trying to comfort her. Then she pushed her way towards Cory. She yelled “Get out, so I can be alone with my brother!” They left feeling sorrow for the young twin. After she had calmed down, she was still crying and confused. She called her parents. "Hello?" her mom answered. She said back, "Mom, please come down to Sacramento Hospital, now. "Why honey?" she answered. "C-C-C-Cory's d-d-d-dead, she stuttered. "What? How?" "Just please come!" she half yelled and with that she hung up on her mom feeling sorrowful and confused. Her parents got there about one hour later. "Sierra, we are so sorry, you went through this by yourself." "No", Sierra whispered. I'm sorry. It's all my fault, it's all my fault my brother's dead!" "No, it’s not!" replied her parents. They go home, grieving their lost family member. They planned with the doctors to have them bring Cory to the funeral the next day. Sierra didn't sleep a wink that night. She got up the next morning horrible and woeful, then picked out a sleek, lacy, black dress and a pair of black high heels. She went to get in to the shower and by the time she got out, dressed, put makeup on, and put her hair up in a long ponytail, it was time to leave. There were a lot of people already there, she greeted all the guests, and ended sobbing in her family's arms. The funeral was sorrowful and meaningful. As they were saying their goodbyes and getting ready to leave, Sierra felt as she wasn't saying goodbye the last time. THE END Or is it??? Mara Yen Vogel 5th Grade Ooltewah Elementary School Amber Darden


The Mysterious Box Mr. Wood stormed in his room, and slammed a medium sized box on his desk. He turned and left with a flash. I stare at his mysterious blue box. It seems if it's a piece of the sky. The box frantically started to rattle, and move on his desk. I scrambled over and started to peel away the bright wrapping. High pitched squeaks came falling at me. I continue to open the bright box. To my surprise I find an igloo. The kind for guinea pigs. I cautiously lifted it up towards the ceiling. About 100 mice scurried into the comers of the box, piling on top of each other. They had beady red eyes like rubies in the sun. They were as long as my index finger. I was so shocked my mouth was wide open and I was gasping for breath. I turned around to make sure no one was coming in the room. When I turned back to close the dreaded box of all the tiny white mice, they had escaped! I ran around between the desks, and closed the door so they couldn't escape the room. I tried to catch them, but they were too fast with their beady red eyes. They were little racecars zooming around. I decided to get some friends to help me. The only person I could find was Clara. She is one of my closest friends. We scrambled back to the room. Only to discover they're all over the place! Clara catches a few, but nowhere close to them at all. Most of the mice were now on the ceiling and on the top of the lights. We had caught about fifty when we thought getting a ladder. I staggered down the hall to the janitor's closet, snatched the ladder, and shuffled back to the room. We up the ladder, and caught them all except one! It was nowhere to be found. We looked for what seemed like infinity. Then, almost magically we spotted it climbing on the curtains. We heard Mr. Wood stomping done the hall like he was mad at someone. We quickly threw the last mouse into the box. I closed it back up, and we acted like nothing ever happened. I look back at that single day, and remember to never again open or even go near a mysterious moving box. Frances Buntain 5th grade Thrasher Elementary School Mrs. Crosby

Inner Star Aloha! I am Ruby, and I am a fireball starfish. I must say I am the most beautiful of all the starfish! My skin is orange covered with purple and blue dots. And right in the middle of my back is a dark orange flower! I grew up on a reef along the coast of New Zealand. I spent my days listening to all the other sea creatures' comments about how beautiful I was! They loved my colors and told me all of the time. Yes, it went to my head. I would volunteer for pictures and to sign autographs! My mom was constantly saying "Ruby, true beauty comes from inside. Find your inner star!" So I spent a lot of time telling myself "Ruby, find your inner star. Find your inner star." That is way harder than you think. One day as I was wandering around the reef, I saw this big, scary monster-like thing coming towards me! I tried to sloat (swim/float to a starfish) away from it. But it was faster than me and scooped me right up! I woke up the next day in a place called an "aquarium." It was not nearly as nice and pretty as the reef. It had lots of algae growing on the rocks and coral. It was surrounded by some big, clear thing that hurts if you run into it. And there were these large creatures called "humans" that would look through the clear thing and take pictures of me. One thing that had not changed was that I was still beautiful! After a long day of hanging out on the clear thing, the aquarium closed. The President of the starfish came to me and said, "Welcome to Paradise. Here you will find lovely views, great food and so much more. However, you will 144

have to go to school, and it starts tomorrow." I say, "What is school?" But he had already sloated away. For the first time in a long time, I went to sleep wondering what was ahead of me. Today was my first day of school. We did lots of cool things. Mrs. Clam, my teacher, gave me a journal and a field guide for starfish in an aquarium. I was to read my field guide to learn about these humans and the aquarium. And she wanted us to write in our journals about our thoughts and experiences. I finally found out that clear thing that hurts when you hit it is called a window. She said to look out the window at the humans, and we would see a lot of interesting things. Tomorrow was the weekend, and lots of humans will come to see us. Mrs. Clam said to be ready to write! Journal Entry 1: I woke up to the sound of crying and screaming guppies! These are the humans' children. They pressed their faces and hands all over our window. These guppies were all over the place! Thank goodness I was safe from them. Journal Entry 2: These humans sure do look funny. These things they call clothes are very strange! Especially interesting was this old lady in white jeans and pink rhinestone cowboy boots. She had a huge pink hat on her head! It took me all day to look the objects up in my field guide. At least I didn't have to put on pretty things to be beautiful! I am what I am. Journal Entry 3: The good thing about going to starfish school is I do not have to attend every day. I hear human kids go five days a week! They have subjects like Math, Science and Social Studies. We have a class called Humanology. Journal Entry 4: I have been in my aquarium paradise for a few months now, and no one ever cleans our tank. I have algae growing on my back and barely anyone has been looking at me lately. When people finally do, they make bad comments about me. They said, "Look at that ugly thing!" One lady said, "Honey, that starfish looks like it has a disease or something." I think they are the ones with problems. They have bratty guppies and fashion issues! I have to tell myself, "Find your inner star, Ruby! Find your inner star." It gets old saying this at least four times a day. I wish someone would come and clean this tank for once. On the bright side, we learned in Humanology that humans have this thing called television. They watch things that are called shows and movies. I hear there is a movie with cute vampires and shirtless werewolves called "Twilight." Sounds scary to me! Journal Entry 5: Today someone finally cleaned the tank! I am now the aquarium's biggest attraction. Everyone can see my stunning colors and the beautiful flower again! I almost got carried away but I stopped and thought, "Find your inner star, Ruby. Find your inner star." Your true beauty does come from inside - thanks Mom! I miss you!!! Olivia Sisk 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Bowling


That's weird There once was a strawberry up in a tree but wait, strawberries don't grow on trees. I was confused down to my feet, but I guess some strawberries do grow on trees. Look there's kiwi up in the air, green and fuzzy whistling everywhere. Once they hit the ground they splat, but look there's kiwi up in the air. Look at the limes rolling down the hill taking out everything everywhere splish, splash, falls the rain forming for the limes to drain. Oranges, oranges all over my bed what will I do to lay down my head all of a sudden a tree comes up, through my bed grabbing the oranges all over my head. Apples, apples yellow, green, and red why can't they be purple in the bags One day in fall I opened my bag and sure enough they were purple in side that bag Look at the cherries hanging on the wall sweeter then sugar, dripping like honey off the wall. It was weird but they still tasted good now you have read the story of my weird fruits that are in my head Heath McGowan 5th Grade Nolan Elementary Kathy Jones

The Bomb Let me tell you about the time I went to my friend's house and saw something that was really deadly, the atomic bomb. I was sitting on the couch on a Sunday morning and then the phone rang. It was my friend Josh. He said to come to his house at 3 :00. At 3 :00 I practically sprinted there. I was so excited to see what was up, but then I rethought it when I saw a nuclear bomb in his room! Now you wouldn't believe me when I said that, but I'm not lying, and if he thinks that I'll be like, "Wow! You have a bomb in your house." Well he was wrong. Here was my real reaction. "What? Are you stupid? Your keeping a nuclear bomb in your room and not to mention, but it's timed. So we got to get it of here." So we had 24 hours to get the bomb out of here. We thought about going out in the middle of the ocean fast enough, but then we got a better idea. Go to NASA, send arocket into space with the bomb, and then the rocket blows up. So we went to NASA, asked them if we could send the bomb, and they accepted. Five minutes later it was 50,000 ft in the air! It worked! It blew up in space. So everybody lives and probably the best fireworks show I've seen in my life. And if we didn't get that bomb into space, life would be a living mess. Jerry Cound 5th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet School Denver Huffstutler


A Brother I Didn't Expect A few years ago, my mother gave birth to a baby boy. I was filled with so much excitement, but had been hoping for a baby girl. He got a beautiful name, Gavin Cole Brock. As he grew older, he grew louder! He learned how to walk and talk. But, of course, I loved him! When he turned two, the worst stuff happened. Instead of sucking on his pacifiers, he would throw them in the trash. But, of course, I loved him. As the years went by, like a flicker in a light bulb about to go dead, I grew much fonder of Gavin Cole Brock. He hugged me and gave me the name, Sissie! The girl that didn't come on September 4, 2007 would not have been as good as Gavin Cole Brock. But, of course, I love him! When I said I was hoping for a girl, I wasn't lying. I'm not saying I don't still want a baby sister. I'm saying that having a baby brother is one of the best things in the world! Once we went on a picnic and I started to roll down a hill. He said that he wanted to try it, too. Every time he tried to roll to the bottom, he went sideways. So, he decided that instead of rolling, he would just do flips down the hill. He loves chocolate milk, but he really loves to make it himself. He likes to sit in the living room and drink it while he watches Power Rangers. For Halloween he was Jaden, the red Power Ranger. It's not something I enjoy! But, he's four, I mean, what can I say? I hope he learns about action Every morning when my mother is brushing his curly hair she asks him, "What slept in your hair last night?", because it's always tangly. His answer is always different. One day he told her it was a doe-doe bird. The next day came and he said it was a whale. You can name any animal and I guarantee you he has said it has slept in those curly tangles! I guess this whole story is about Gavin Cole Brock, my brother. I am happy to have him, and having him IS the best thing in the world. Tessa Craze 5th Grade Snow Hill Elementary School Mrs. Highlander

The Hike That Would Change Everything Dirty, slimy, brown mud covered my shoes. Puddles of water came all around the hiking group. It had rained for hours. We marched on the narrow, rocky pathways. Life and death was our hands. We were up on a mountain high above. Looking down made me sick to my stomach. River streams crashed on smooth rocks below us. My climbing rope and equipment were muddy and soaked. My best friend and I, Lylia Doyle, stayed together. “Hey Lylia, want to go get some tasty cream afterwards?" I asked. “Sure, she exclaimed. Our skinny legs were sore from all the miles we had walked. At this point we were four hundred feet up in the cold air. Lylia started getting nervous and scared. "What's wrong?" I curiously.


"Well, I'm afraid of heights and I'm scared of falling off the cliff," she said. “It’s alright!" I tried to reassure her. "Whatever you say, " she replied. The group had sat down on some rocks at the edge to take a break,with our backs facing the edge. Lylia sat beside me. She pulled out her leaking sack and offered me some Hershey’s chocolate. I love chocolate like a monkey loves bananas so I had to say yes. On the other side of me was a student in my class named Rufus. He was smart like a young Einstein. “Hey Ruf, how ya doing?" “I’m doing fi…..!” "Aaaahhhh!" screamed a voice beside me. It sounded like Lylia's voice. I turned around to look and saw that Lylia was not there! I turned and looked down and no Lylia to be found! "She must have fallen into the river!" I screamed. The head guide ordered all the ladies and children to stay at the rocks, and the men to go search for Lylia. "NO!" I screamed. “I’m going to find my best friend!” Rufus pulled me back with his strong, sturdy arms, and whispered to me. "It is too dangerous to go, you must stay!" Rufus told me calmly. I slowly fainted into his arms. I woke up to a cold ice pack on my head and Rufus by my side. “Are you okay?” Rufus asked. I started to mumble. “I…I…I guess I...I .. .I am," I said. I tried to tweak my eyes open, and when I did, around me were different people in my hiking group, and all of them were women and children. It looked like the men already started their search party. Behind all the ladies, I heard screaming and crying. I sat up and pulled the anxious people out of my way. Sitting there was Mrs. Doyle, crying her heart out. 1 got up and rushed into Mrs. Doyle's arms. "Oh, you are okay!" she in relief. “I’m feeling fine," I said. "My daughter ..... she ... !" I interrupted. "I know," I said sadly. Silence shattered everyone as 12 men walked up the steep mountain. The hiking leader started walking up to Lylia's mother and I. He patted her back slowly and gave her a sad look. One of the brave men was carrying a soaked little girl. I gasped! Little miss Lylia Doyle lay in the man's hairy arms. Mrs. Doyle ran over to Lylia and cried. She 148

kissed Lylia's forehead goodbye. I rushed over to my leader and fellow hiker, and hugged her. Everyone except the non-emotional men cried. It was one of the saddest moments of my life. Mrs. Doyle stepped away from her cold, pale daughter. The huge man put Lylia on the muddy, dirty ground. I ran over to Lylia and got down on my knees and covered my face with my hands and sobbed. Somehow one of my tears escaped through my hands and landed on Lylia's white face. Suddenly flashes ran through Lylia's body. "It's working!" Mrs. Doyle shouted. Nobody knew what she was talking about or what was happening. Lylia Doyle's face started to brighten. Her rosy cheeks turned cherry red. Her tan skin color was coming back! She finally stood up and hugged her mom and I. I helped her stand up. As soon as she did, the whole hiking group started cheering! Everybody sprang up and gave her a group hug. "That was the most amazing thing ever", I said to Lylia. "Yes, I know!" she replied. "Come on everybody, let's go get some wonderful, delicious ice cream!" "YEAH!" Rufus shouted. So everybody marched back to the rusty bus, hopped in and drove off. I sat by Lylia, of course. "So Lylia, how did you come back to life?" I asked. "Well, I have parts of my skin that gives me health if salt water touches me", she replied. "You probably were crying, right?" she asked anxiously. "Yeah, duh!" I said stupidly. "Well you gave me back my life!" she said with excitement. "Cool!" I said with lots of happiness. "We're going to be besties forever! Always forever!" she said with a great joyful voice. Shelby Rector 5th Grade Big Ridge Elementary School Mr. Ronald Boston


The House on Maple Street Thousands and thousands of years ago, this house was built out of a rocket. Until this day, the house still stands, but a foolish boy called Johnny moved in. Sometimes he was smart when he wanted to be smart, but mostly he was brainless. If only he would have known why life is important and about being smart most of the time… "Here is your new home," Johnny said to himself. He walked around wondering where he was. The place was old, rusty, squeaky, and big puffs of dust every where. As he walked up the stairs, he saw old pictures that looked like they where made in the 1800's. He kept walking until he found his destination. He found the room, and just threw his bags in there and slammed the door. He dashed down to basement, too. "Wow!!" He said glancing at the buttons, and latches. He walked around every thing very surprised. He saw something that said "Do Not Press" in bold letters. He thought about whether he should touch it or not. He kelp forcing himself to touch it, but he just wouldn’t. “Click” He touched it with a happy face dancing around saying “I touched it! I touched it!” the house started rumbling all kinds of lights cut on and then he started to panic. Suddenly, he closed his eyes and pushed a random button. Every thing stopped. He felt relieved and went to a snack. Two minutes heard "5; 4; 3; 2; 1; and blast off." For a second, the house started shaking. He almost jumped on sandwich. Luckily, Johnny knew what to do. He dashed to the door and ran out. "Wait," he said and he went back into the house. Went up the squeaky stairs and got his bags. "Kaabaam!" he felt down the stairs getting lots of splinters. He got back up grabbed the bag. The house was going up. He ran fast as he could, he lifted off the floor out of the door went. Johny knew his parents were in that house so went back in to try to stop the house from going into space. He went back down to the basement glanced up at all the buttons he prayed and said "pleas let me push the right button I will never be stupid again!” Then he pushed the same button that said "do not touch and the house slowly landed back down on the ground. Now poor old Johny could have died, but he knew when too be smart. Now he knows that he has to Be Smart Most of the Time and Life is Important!! DeUnta Sailes 5th Grade Battle Academy Mrs. Valerie Smith

The Ice Cream War Once upon a time there was a planet named Cintra. It is a very small planet that is a little bit smaller than Pluto. It is located between Saturn and Jupiter. On this planet people have ice cream every night after dinner. On January 1st a kid named Jeremy was waiting in line for ice cream at the local restaurant, and suddenly two guys walked in and jumped the counter and asked for all the ice cream. The employees were shocked and did not know what to do. The guys demanded the employees to get all the ice cream from the front counter and the back freezer. They grabbed all the ice cream they could and ran out the back door. The six employees and eighteen customers gathered what was left of the ice cream and ran out the back door to follow them. They opened the door and discovered it was foggy outside, and they could not see very far in front of them. The employees and the customers decided to go back inside the store and wait for the fog to lift. Thirty minutes later after the fog was gone, and the employees and customers ran out the back door to find the thieves. They soon 150

discovered a trail of melted ice cream and decided to follow it. The trail they followed soon lead to an old abandoned farm house. They went inside the unlocked farm house to find all the ice cream sitting on the floor. Jeremy decided to grab the ice cream bags, but it was all a trap. As soon as he touched the bags, the two guys came out with the ice cream guns and fired a lot of shots at them. Luckily they were not hit, and they ran out the door. The two thieves decided to follow them with their ice cream guns, but to their surprise the six employees and eighteen customers all had their own ice cream guns and fired back. The ice cream war had now begun. The employees and customers hid behind bushes and trees and fired their ice cream guns at the thieves as they passed by. Ice cream was going in all different directions. All six employees and eighteen customers assumed they won the battle because they outnumbered the two thieves. Suddenly they heard a whistle from a side building, and they moved in closer. They gathered five more people that were standing around, but as they all moved closer to the sound, it turned out that the thieves were the ones that blew the whistle. The six employees, eighteen customers and five other people plus the two thieves starting shooting their ice cream guns at each other. Jeremy stood up on a rock and yelled out, "Stop!" Everyone stopped, and Jeremy stated, "What are we fighting for? We know they stole the ice cream, but we have been wasting all the ice cream just to prove a point. We need to stop with the ice cream war and save what is left of the ice cream for others." The thieves were forgiven but they had to work at the restaurant for free for three months and one day. Jeremy and the two thieves walked down the rocky road, over the moose tracks, and back to the restaurant that now has the historic name of Baskin Robbins with the thirty-one different flavors of ice cream because there were thirty-one people in the pointless war of ice cream. Riley Covington 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Bowling

Horror of a Wildfire The wind blows hard as dark storm clouds roll over a group of small homes in the middle of the woods. Lighting strikes a group of dead trees and sparks fly everywhere. The trees catch ablaze and soon the wind is carrying the little wildfire like debris being washed over a waterfall. Soon, most of the forest is burning. Small rocks in the middle of the fire burst from the intense heat, embers are flying everywhere and more trees catch fire. A few smaller homes in the middle of the woods are in danger in the fire’s path. Suddenly the lights in one of the smaller homes turn on, then screaming can heard and the door flies open. A woman and man run out toward the other homes to give them warning. People pack their clothes and valuables quickly and run toward their cars not knowing the road ahead of them has been blocked by fallen trees. During the confusion people forgot to bring their phones and call 911, so no one knew the danger. As the people drove away they could see fire engulf homes and knew there was no turning back. Into the air hundreds of birds flew out of the forest and on the ground deer and other animals were running to escape. When the people reached the blocked part of the road they got out and used a chain saw that was in someone's truck and started to cut the fallen trees to clear the way. They drove to next town called Oak Valley, which was also the woods. Oak Valley residents could not see the smoke or fire when it started. By the time the people in vehicles arrived the embers were shooting all over. Women and children were screaming, “We are going to die!" and "Don't talk, just run!" Fire 151

trucks could be heard in the distance. There would not be enough firefighters to put out the great fire ahead. Most people fled into the forest. Soon the fire hit Oak Valley. The huge fire looked like a tornado of fire without the spinning and wind. Firefighters fought the flames but the fire kept growing. The firefighters ran to the safety of their trucks to escape, knowing that they too could be taken over by the fire. They prayed the fire planes would arrive soon. The people hiding in woods thought the only way to escape was to backtrack and drive back to their burnt homes as the fire would have already passed through. Off the distance a loud boom could be heard. The wild fire had hit a large fuel storage station on the south side of the town. Barrels of fuel exploded and fed the fire. A small tavern a few miles up the road could see the fire and it drew nearer to them. Ashes began to swirl in the light breeze like leaves in the fall. The people in the tavern were amazed as a miracle happened. The fire quickly approached the and then once it reached the outside of the parking lot it turned direction. They knew they had spared unlike the small town of Oak Valley which within an hour would be ashes, a site Mount St. Helen. The area and surrounding forest would destroyed taking years to repopulate Finally more firefighters arrived but they were losing the battle because their methods failed and were undermanned. One firefighter said "It was as hot as lava!" Then another miracle, it started to rain even though it was not in the weather forecast. Then it began to rain even harder, helping firefighters gain control. Firefighters were running and battling the fires and winning! Finally feeling safe the group of people hiding in the woods came out and began to return to what was left of their homes to find what was left, burnt debris and ash. All their possessions were lost and nothing was left but destruction and memories. Their lives and jobs were gone but they would rebuild and start over. It could take years to rebuild. The only buildings that were not touched by the fire were the tavern and the old farm (which had sprinklers to fend off the fire). It was not a happy year for most of them but they were alive. While rebuilding many people shared rooms in the small tavern, built in the 1800's, but it was a place to begin and a new start! Anthony Scheiwe 5th Grade Snow Hill Elementary School Mrs. Burdette

Sapphire and the Unicorn Mystery Once upon a time on Mount Olympus, there was a beautiful, young goddess named Sapphire. Sapphire was the goddess of unicorns and all good magic. She lived in a castle named "The Magical Castle of Enchantment." She was practicing making dead flowers come back to life when all of a sudden she heard an awful shrieking "Neighs." Then the sound increased. She wondered for a moment what was going on when all of a sudden everything went silent. She dashed to the window and with an aghast expression on her face, she just realized that someone had broken in and stolen her unicorns! She ran down the stairs, out the front door, and to the special meadow where she kept the strongest and fastest unicorns. There was only one unicorn left. She ran to him and demanded that he fly her where all the other unicorns had been taken. Within a second, they were up and off. They were off on an adventure! She was very upset that her unicorns were gone, but when she found who had stolen them, she knew that they had to pay. The unicorn headed to the enchanted forest where almost every creature in the world lived. Sapphire jumped off the back of the unicorn and instructed for him to stay. Then she dashed off into the forest. She was walking in the woods when she heard something. It sounded like someone else was in the woods. But what if they were ... they were armed! 152

She thought. Sapphire quickly but quietly hid behind a tree. She moved just in time because an arrow hit the other side of the tree! Sapphire slowly peeked to see where the arrow came from. As she turned around she saw Artemis. Sapphire called out to her. She told her who she was and her problem. Artemis thought well, I am the greatest hunter of all time. Artemis offered to help her and Sapphire thought it would be great. Sapphire said, "Let's not waste any time." She whistled for her unicorn and off they trotted through the woods. About an hour later, still in the woods, they heard someone chattering up in a tree. Artemis cried, "Hello. Is anyone there?" It was Echo, the fairy. Sapphire told her about her problem and asked her if she had seen anyone with a large group of unicorns. Echo spoke in a high pitched voice, which was extremely fast. "Yes, yes I did. They went that way. But I am not sure who it was or where they were headed," and Echo kept talking. Sapphire and Artemis quietly snuck away. After a while, the forest disappeared and they could see the sunshine. Then out of nowhere, it started to rain. They found shelter under a large hill side to protect them from the rain. They built a fire and decided to sleep there for the night and in the morning they would be on their way. When the sun came up they decided to make something to eat. Artemis went back to the woods to get some meat. Sapphire took some eggs from a mother bird. The unicorn just ate grass. After the meal, they were on their way and saw a beautiful rainbow. They saw someone slide down it right in front of them. She said her name was Iris and that the unicorns were at the end of the rainbow. Sapphire was so happy, but she still wanted to get revenge on whoever had stolen them. From the corner of her eye, she saw someone. As she turned, she looked right into the eyes of a person, and that person was Medusa and instantly she turned to stone. Medusa was the one who had stolen the unicorns. She thought that the horn of the unicorn would keep her young forever. While Medusa was distracted, Artemis chopped off her head. As her head fell to the ground, the spell that once turned everyone to stone ended and Sapphire was alive again. After their great adventure, Sapphire, Iris, and Artemis became B.F.E. 's which stands for BEST FRIENDS FOR ETERNITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Britney McKenzie 5th Grade Woodstation Elementary School Mrs. Donna Knight


The Hacking Game It started off as a normal day then, it turned to an adventure. Me and my cousin were just playing online when all of a sudden, a flash sucked me inside of it. I didn't notice, I was inside the game. “Whoa what's this ring, it won't come off," I said aloud. The ring then shot out a bolt of energy at me. " Arghh," I said." Whoa, I feel power flowing through me. Lets try it out!" "A barrier huh, I can pass through it with no problem. Power Breaker. Cool, that barrier just split in half. Now to find out whose castle this is. That kid looks familiar like my cousin. Wait, THAT IS MY COUSIN AND HE'S BEING ROBOTIZED! I’ve got to save him!" "Star Slider," I said as my stars sliced his chains. "Who are you," he asked. "Take a good guess," I said. "It's me dude, your cousin. Besides that, how did you get here," I asked. "Well after being sucked inside the game, I saw a evil ghost grabbing me and he locked me inside this room so I could turn into an undead ghost. But thanks to you, I won't turn to a ghost," he said proudly. "I don't have to worry. But there's one more thing. How did you get those powers." "This ring. It's stuck on my finger and now it's glowing. Must be danger nearby. Well don' t just stand there, c'mon," I said impatiently. After about ten minutes, we found the ghost he was talking about. He was big, had red eyes, a green body, and a grey dagger about five feet long. "Well, if it isn't my prisoner and his little pal. I've been here long enough to see you destroying my property. Now, you will pay," he said. " Stay back, I'll handle the green glob. Bring it on you mud breath," I said. After a long battle, he was sealed back into his statue. "Whew, that was quite the battle for our lives. Now, lets return home and play some games," I said. We were home in about five seconds. Then we stayed to playing video games. Christopher White 5th Grade Lakeside Academy Mrs. Demeka Gamer

The Magical Flying Carpet Ride The sun gleamed through my window as I awoke. It was a Sunday and usually my dog and I take a mile walk together though our neighborhood. So I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and ran down the stairs. I got the leash from the hook on the mantle and put it around Oscar, my dog. I grabbed a granola bar in case I got hungry. Oscar and I headed out for our normally uneventful stroll. As we walked, I noticed something zip past us! Whatever the thing was, it raced around us and then suddenly stopped and laid down right in front of me! Oscar started growling, I looked closer at it and it appeared to be a magic flying carpet. It began to hover over the ground, as I reached out to touch it. The carpet was red with gold diamonds on it. The carpet didn't do anything so I decided if it didn't fly away we could ride on it. I slowly put both my feet on it and sat crisscross then I put Oscar on too. Oscar just laid there peacefully still softly growling. I didn't know how to get the carpet to fly so I yelled "fly" and all of a sudden it took off almost flinging me off like a fly. We flew over my neighborhood, then over the whole mountain. It was so fun that I thought, well, I have not seen 154

my grandmother in awhile so I will go visit her in Nashville. So I said very loudly "fly carpet fly" and it took off even faster !! It only took a few minutes to get to my grandmother's house. Oscar was really having fun sticking his tongue out to get some wind. I knew my grandmother was awake because she always walks her dog at 6:00am every morning and stays up. I jumped off the carpet with Oscar in one arm and rolled up the carpet with the other and rang her doorbell. She opened the door in surprise to see me, I hugged her and came in. I told her all about the carpet and amazingly, she believed me! I told her I had to go before my mom wakes up. My grandmother said she would talk me out the door to see me fly. I rolled out the carpet and again it hovered over the ground. I put Oscar on the carpet and said mygoodbye's and I was off to my house. To this day I still have my carpet in my closet where no one will find it! Sarah Napolitan Fifth Grade Thrasher Elementary School Mr. Wes Wood

The Adventures of Alonzo and Ryan "Screeeeeech!" I woke up on a giant soaring eagle high in the sky. You finally woke up, I found you floating on a log, in the river, knocked out cold. I never seen anything it before, I'm actually flying on a giant eagle. "Hey what's your name?" I said curiously. "Ryan," he said. It's to land. We landed in a strange place and I don't know how we here but all I can say is I know I'm going to have an awesome time. So we landed on the ground and the trees were made of chocolate, and the grass was all cotton candy, and tree leaves were made of icing. My soul was filled with joy after smelling the chocolate stream. But there was one problem, how was I going to get home. As I sat there and thought, Ryan told me I didn't have to worry about getting home because he brought the whole family with us. So I was relieved. After having all of my fun, my mom told me it was time to go inside. But wait, did they build a house. I don't care anyway, so I went inside took a shower, ate dinner, and went to bed. As I lay in bed that night, I thought about how my friend Ryan just took me to a whole other world and how I came and got used to the new place really quick. I went to sleep and dreamed sweet dreams. Alonzo Russell 5th Grade Lakeside Academy Mrs. Garner


The Night of March 12, 2010 Sniff! Sniff! I woke up with a start. There was a stiff, gray fog around the house with a burning smell to it. I looked around and saw a bright orange glow coming from the kitchen. I pulled the covers off of my bed. It took me a while to realize that there was a sweaty ring around my neck. I walked over to the glow. It was getting hotter and hotter each step I took. It eventually got hazy. I felt like I was walking on lava. It felt like a century until I reached the kitchen. The stove was up in flames. I screamed at the top of my lungs, so I would wake everybody up. They came in a hurry. Realizing what was going on, we got in a group and got away from the fire. The fire was getting bigger and bigger by the minute. We got out, and followed our plan. Our route was to go to the big tree in the backyard. The 6 of us, including my dog, made it out safely to the tree. The fire truck arrived when it was almost sunrise. They took a good look at us, and said that we were all right. We were all in tears when we saw that half of our house ...... was gone. How would we get it back? Three months later we got a letter saying that insurance could cover the damage. We were okay, and I jumped in excitement. All of us cheered. Another six months later it was like nothing had ever happened. They replaced every part of our house, and the fire of March 12, 2010 would be a day we would surely remember. Blake Swanger 5th grade Thrasher Elementary Mr. Wes Wood

The Dragon Hero Rrraorrrrr! A young red-haired girl creped around. As quick as a rabbit she darted to a large boulder. She carried a large heavy-set gun. "The secret to a good Dragon Hunter is stealth." She said in a hushed voice. A much younger brown haired boy nodded timidly. Rrraorrrrr! A shadow swept across the land. The girl aimed her gun in the air. BAM! Thud! A red dragon fell and shook the ground. Its breathing came in quick gasps. "See that, Adrian? It's dead and won't hurt our citizens." This is cruel but so is people dying! Adrian thought. "Yes, I see it, Ara." He fought back the urge to scold her with anger and tell her this was wrong. "Stay low!" Ara snapped. Both of them ducked down. A loud crying noise sounded. They slowly crept forward. The sound grew louder. Adrian gasped It was 4 baby dragons! Ara aimed her gun to the babies. "What, are you crazy?!" Adrian pushed the gun away. "There babies!" He snapped. "Babies become grown ups." Ara said. She aimed the gun at the babies once more. "Stop!" Adrian screamed. "Listen, we are Dragon Hunters, We kill dragons to protect our country." Ara reminded him sharply. "Did the dragons really attack us, or did we freak out and make the first shot?" Adrian asked hotly. Ara was silent. "I-uh-I never really thought of that." She said. Ara dropped her gun onto the dusty ground. Adrian picked up two of the baby dragons and Ara got the other two. "Let's get these back to the Headquarters in Phoenix," Ara said. Her voice was strangely cracked with sorrow. Adrian gave her a confused look. "Are you going to cry?" he asked. "Maybe..." Ara said. Adrian walked closer to her. "What if we have been killing dragons for nothing?" She sobbed. 156

"Now you know how I feel," Adrian said. It was meant to stay in his head. "How could I have been so blind?" Ara whispered. "Dragon!" People in the city of Phoenix screamed and scrambled around with terror. Ara pulled out a megaphone "LISTEN UP!" Her voice rang through out the city. She handed the megaphone to Adrian. "Has any ever thought for one second, that we attacked the dragons, not the dragons attacking us?" Adrian said. The people began to mummer there opinions to one another. "What about the building they burned down!" One tall man called. Ara pulled out a piece of burnt rubble out of her pocket. "Half of it is in tack, there is no way a dragon burned this building." Ara replied calmly. "Then how come the building is not there!" the man said. "We could have hit it with a bomb." Ara Said putting the piece of rubble in her pocket. The mayor stood behind Ara and Adrian. "Then I, Mr. John, Mayor of Phoenix, Here by state that no dragon will be harmed in our cities limits." He said. Cheers of excitement and joy filled the city. The little dragon babies that sat at Ara's feet squealed as if cheering too. Dragons and people in the city of Phoenix lived happily together. Ara came to Adrian four months after they saved the baby dragons. "Good job solider" Ara said. Adrian gave her a questioning look. "You saved the dragons, you are The Dragon Hero!" Ara said. "Thanks Ara, That means so much coming from you." Adrian replied. Sccreeeeeeeech! Adrian looked up. "GIANT HAWKS!" The town's people screamed scrambling around. "Here we go again" sighed Ara. Georgia Bond 5th Grade Ringgold Elementary School Tonya Brewer

What I Found in My Locker One day in 2005, I went to the gym to play basketball. I walked into the locker room and went to my locker. When I got to my locker I set my stuff down on the bench, and I unlocked my locker. When I opened my locker I saw something shiny on the hook. It was a golden shoe. I couldn't believe my eyes. I picked up the shoe and instantly started feeling dizzy. All I remember was that I started tipping backwards and hit the floor very hard. I dropped the shoe when I floor. When I woke up my head hurt. I didn't know what happened to me. When I finally found out what happened, I picked up the shoe and found mom. When she asked me why I came, I told her, "I found a golden shoe." Then together we walked out of the gym and got into the car. We drove off to turn the shoe into cash at a place that buys and sells gold. We finally arrived. Mom parked car, and we walked in. We went to desk and traded in the shoe and got the money. We got $500,000! Braden Coe 5th Grade Boyd-Buchanan Mrs. Rogers


The Start of My New Life Have you ever woken up feeling funny and different at the same time? I know I have. On June 13, 2011, in the tremendous city of New York, I woke up. I felt as if I was full of energy when I bounced downstairs to get my breakfast, but the strangest part was, as I opened the refrigerator, I accidentally broke the door off of it. When I broke it, the first thing that came to my imagination was "SUPER POWERS!" , To make sure that awkward moment wasn't just a coincidence, I tested it out on some other items. When I was lingering around my house trying to find random things to pick up, I saw out of the comer of my eye a used couch that I was going to sell in a yard sale, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity. I wondered if I was going to turn into The Hulk or something like a monster, but I was just at the moment wondering how far I could throw this couch. As soon as I picked up the couch and threw it, WHOOSH it went probably a thousand miles because after a few seconds, I noticed it was long gone. As I focused about my super strength and if I could possibly be an actual super hero, I also thought about my hero name. The best name, which was the dumbest name, was The Strengthoid. Maybe I could go downtown and see who needed real help. When I was downtown, I saw a sorrowful old man getting assaulted by a murderer I heard about on the news. As I got there, the murderer took a glimpse of me. I walked over and held the enemy by his shirt and took him all the way to the state penitentiary. After I took the murderer to prison, I went back to help the hurt old man. I brought him some bandages for his injuries. When I helped the stranger get up, he said thank you politely in a weary voice and I helped him get home. From that day forward I knew that the rest of my life would be totally different. Jack Soan 5th Grade Wallace A. Smith Elementary Ms. Wheatley

Fairy Land One sleepy Saturday, I woke up extremely tired. But...whoa everything looks different. The trees are bigger than yesterday, and they all sparkle like diamonds. I started to run because I was freaked out. Then I bumped into somebody. I saw other people staring at me! When I looked I saw an abundance of wings! That person I bumped into said she was sorry immediately. “Hi, I'm Flora, queen of all the princess and prince fairies." We talked and got to know each other. Then she took me to see the Enchanted Tree. While I was telling her how magnificent I thought it was, a fairy dressed as black as coal popped out, snatched Flora and flew off! Just like that! Next Flora and the fairy who was obviously Lilli because Flora kept screaming, "Put me down, Lilli!” got smaller and smaller. I looked behind me hoping to find help, but what I found were two wings! I realized I was a fairy princess! I then flew after Lilli and Flora. I found Flora standing in front of Lilli and a boy fairy dressed in black. Then I flew in and asked rudely, "Who are you and why did you kidnap Flora?” I was pointing at Lilli and the boy. He said he was Grover, King of Fairy Slave Land and he planned to enslave 158

Fairyland! I then gathered that Lilli was a slave. There were other slaves around cleaning while Grover yelled, “Hurry up, you slaves!" I had to stop slaves in Fairy Slave Land before Grover made Flora and all of Fairy Land slaves. But then I woke up! I thought, "No!!" I had to save Flora and the slaves! I told mom about Fairy Land, Fairy Slave Land, King Grover, Lilli, Lilli fairy napping Flora and Flora. She thought I had hit my head or I had gone mad! But I would always treasure that day of both fairy lands. Emma Kate Carpenter 5th grade Wallace A. Smith Elementary Mrs. Burke

First Winter Snow Day I woke up and looked outside. Instead of green grass, there were clouds all over the ground. I went to wake up Mommy and Daddy. I jumped on their bed yelling, “Wake up, Mommy! Wake up, Daddy!" "What is it, Daniaal," Daddy asked sleepily. “There are clouds on ground in our backyard!" Mom whispered something to Dad, then asked me, “Do you want to go outside and play in the clouds?" “But I will fall through them." "No you won’t, Daniaal. Trust me." "Ok, Mommy." Mom got herself and me dressed in lots of warm clothes. When Mom opened the door, I looked down and stopped. I was afraid to put my foot on the 'clouds'. I knew I would fall through. I looked up at Mom. She gave me a smile and a nod. Carefully, I put one foot onto the nearest cloud. I heard it crunch and the cloud covered the toe of my boot, but it didn't go through. I put my other foot onto the cloud. It was cold, but I liked it! The next thing I knew I was jumping around everywhere. Mom stepped out onto the clouds with me. She taught me how to lay down on the clouds and make snow angels by movmg my arms and legs back and forth. Then we rolled clouds into balls and built a snowman. Then I asked, “Mommy, why are they called snow angels and snowmen?” "Well Daniaal " she replied, “these aren’t clouds. This is frozen water that falls from the clouds when it is very cold outside. It's called snow." “So there aren’t any clouds in the backyard?” "Nope, it's all snow." Daniaal Iqbal 5th Grade Bright School Vicki Everett


The Zoo Trip It was a hot fall break day when my family, Saint, Jordan, my parents and I, wanted to go to the Pennsylvania Zoo. It was not far from where I lived in New York. I wanted to go to the zoo because I had never been there. It started like this. Everyone in the house was sleeping when my mom chose to get up and take the family to the zoo. We ate so we would not be hungry while we were there. Everyone went outside to play while my mom was getting ready. My dad and Saint, my big brother, played with a football, while my little brother Jordan and I played tag (get me) until it was time to go. Everyone got in the car, and I was so excited. When I got in the car I was so bored, my head felt like it was going to roll away. Before you know it we were there, but I was sleeping while we were driving so I was still super tired. My mom had to wake me up to tell me we were there. I was so happy I opened the car door but we were not parked yet and the door almost got cut off by the car next to us. When we went inside I heard a lot of voices in there. The animals could talk to me. I saw a jumping giraffe that said, "Jump with me! We can go to far places." We talked to all the animals and were about to leave, but we missed one thing. It was so cute. It was a heat penguin. They were the only animals that could not talk, but they made humming sounds instead. Later at the zoo we heard that one of the humming penguins was missing. So they made everyone at zoo help look for it. We helped look but decided it was time to go home. At home we turned on the news to see if the missing penguin was on TV, and it was. The news said the penguin was from New York and asked that people in New York be on the lookout for the Pennsylvania Zoo animal. Jordan and I decided to look outside for the penguin just in case. Jordan found it on the tree stump. I went to pick it up and bring it to my mom. We fell in love with it and didn't want to give it back. She called the zoo and told them that we found the penguin, and it was at its new home and very happy. So the zoo let us keep it. Laila Martin 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Rogers

Just Dessert Susan is a beautiful blond and wears her hair on top of her head. She always has an apron on and after dinner one night, Susan was going to make a pumpkin pie. She gets a pumpkin and a knife. As she lowered the knife it grew even brighter. She was confused. She tried again and again. She was so mad and said "I wasted my money on this". She sat there for as long as she could thinking of why it would glow. She left the knife lying on top of the pumpkin all night. The next morning it was as bright as the sun. She took the pumpkin for a drive over 3 miles to the woods. She threw the pumpkin and knife into the woods and drove off. Now, every night when people drive by they see a light and they ask questions why is there a light? She never got the pumpkin pie she wanted. Emilie Werner 5th Grade Nolan Elementary Mrs. Jones


We Are Here It was a beautiful day in a normal suburb. I was just thinking about how normal my life was when something amazing happened that changed my life forever. I was thinking about how badly I wanted to play video games, but I didn't want to get up and get the controller. I reached for the controller and focused really hard. I was stunned when the controller floated into the air and landed in my hand. It was cool, sort of, but it also freaked me out. I tried it again, and again it worked except this time it was easier. "Whoa! This is so awesome!" I thought, but the other side of me was thinking "Man! This is so weird!" I was just wondering if I should tell someone when my friend appeared in front of me. "Where did you come from?" I said. "I don't know. I was just wishing I could come over here without moving, and then I appeared here out of nowhere," he said confused. "That's weird because I can move things with my mind. Hey! You probably could too if you tried." So, I set the controller on the coffee table and told him to try to pick it up with his mind. "At first you have to really try, but it gets easier so focus and give her a go!" I said encouragingly. He focused, and slowly it moved into the air and into his hand. "This is so awesome!" he said. "It's just like Star Wars!" he exclaimed. "Hey, if I can do what you can do, then you can do what I can do," he said slowly as if thinking through every word as he said it. So, I closed my eyes and started to think about going outside to the front lawn. When I opened them, I was outside standing on the grass of my front yard. I then heard my friend's voice in my head saying, "That was so awesome!" I transported back inside and asked, "Did you scream 'that was awesome!' while I was outside?" "No," he replied. "Dude, I read your mind!" I said. "I wonder if I can control your mind too." So, mentally I asked him to bring me a cup of water. He moved into the kitchen and brought me a glass of water just like I asked. As soon as he had completed his task, he came back to normal. "That was fun," I thought. "What was fun?" he asked curiously. Obviously, he could read minds too. "Where did you get that glass of water?" he asked. I told him what had happened, and he tried it on me. Obviously, it worked because I went into a trance and when I woke up he had a glass of water in his hand, and he was snickering. "Ha! Ha! Very funny," I said sarcastically. He then transported home. The next day I saw a bully picking on a nerd. At first, I thought about just leaving them be, but I thought twice and the next thing I knew I had transported over there and was choking the bully with telekinesis and mentally telling him to be nice for the rest of his life. I then started trying to hear the nerd's thoughts. He was definitely very scared, but I understood. Over the next few days, I decided to try to help as many people as I could. After a while, we had gone through all the bullies at school and made them nice. One day after helping a victim of bullying we were really tired and we were talking about how we needed one more person with powers. A while later that person came along. "Hey," he said. "I've seen you guys working on bullies, and I wanted to tell you that I have similar powers." "Welcome to the team," I said. When we ran out of bullies, we resorted to bigger things like crimes and robberies. That was even more fun, but sooner or later, somebody was going find out about us so we had to come up with costumes and masks so we wouldn't have to hide. When we had, I thought we looked pretty good. Our first task came pretty soon after we had our costumes. 161

That night I was using telepathy to find trouble when there was a cry for help from the White House. It was saying that a threat had come to the White House from terrorists. I thought about it for a while then decided to rally up my friends and go on a mission. We planned for a while and agreed on an attack plan. First, we transported to the White House and told the president not to be alarmed. We explained our plan, got the OK, and off we went to the military base to get weaponry. We got what we wanted then headed to the terrorist camp. We transported to the outskirts of the camp and saw someone walk by. We got out our weapons, killed him, and pretty soon there were a ton of people wondering what happened. That was when we jumped out of the bushes and started going ballistic on them like rabid monkeys. I did a frenzy of transporting telepathy and telekinesis on people. In about 8 hours, we killed them all were transported to the White House. The president said that we had earned medal honor even though we were so young and had to do with military. In a few months, my friends and I were honored at the White House. We got asked a lot of questions and were able to answer all of them but one, who we are. We still work to this day, so if you ever hear that a crime was stopped, we probably had something to do with it. Jacob Taylor 5th Grade Snow Hill School Mrs. Sandra

Our Legendary Model A My great grandfather bought a 1931 Ford Model A. He bought it in 1983. He enjoyed working and restoring old cars his whole life. He took my father for rides in the Model A when he was just a boy. He took him to car shows and parades. The Model A has been in my family for many years. My father, brother, and I have taken an interest in something my great grandfather loved and enjoyed. We enjoy washing and working on the Model A. My brother and I also enjoy taking turns riding in the rumble seat. It is fun because no cars that are made in today’s time have a rumble seat. It's also cold when you ride in the rumble seat because there is no shield to protect you from the wind. It is a lot of fun to get all the attention while you are riding down the road. My mom says because it’s because it brings back so many childhood memories for the people that see us in the car. I really enjoy finding out what makes a car run and it is cool to learn the history of the old cars. I have learned from working with my dad that the Model A runs better in winter and fall because the engine will not get hot. My Pappaw says they don't make cars like they used to. It's hard to imagine what it was like to live during the time that the Model A was originally built. I wish I could travel back in time to see what everything looked like back then. My Great Grandfather actually drove the Model A in a movie called “A Winner Never Quits.” It was a movie about baseball which was filmed in South Pittsburg and around the historic Engel Stadium in downtown Chattanooga. One of my favorite memories with my Great Grandfather was getting to go to the car shows and driving the cars into Northgate Mall. The Model A is the oldest car in our family and been shown at Northgate Mall many times. We have also put the Model A into the County Fair and many car shows. One the reasons we are able to show our car is because my is a part of the Chickamauga Antique Car Club. It's 162

always fun to spend time with people that my Great Grandfather knew. They always have funny stories to share with me about times with my Great Grandfather since he had been a member for 35 years in the same car club my family is now a part of. The Chickamauga Antique Car Club is a fun club where we take trips across the country. I cannot wait until I am old enough to drive the Model A on a short trip. I have learned from working on the Model A with my Dad that they aren't made to go on long trips because the engine will over heat really easy. My favorite type of Model A is the truck version. My brother's favorite is the convertible coupe. I like the truck version better because it was one of the first trucks made in America. It was also the one used most on farms and transporting goods across the states. Another favorite fact I learned was that the Model A was used as a scout vehicle in Europe during World War II. There are many versions of the Model A. I love the one that we own the most because it is the one that we have made more memories in. Those memories are ones that I will always be able to keep with me. I hope to carry on the love and interest in antique cars, just as my father and great grandfather did. I have many fun memories of working with my great grandfather and Dad on the Model A. So next time you are at a parade or car show, look for the biggest smile on a child's face riding or sitting in a rumble seat, and you will understand my story. Tommy Sheets 5th Grade Snow Hill Elementary School Mrs. Burdette

The Time I Took a Cruise to Alaska It was the summer of 2011. My family had planned for a cruise to Alaska for about a year. The cruise lasted a week. There was also a week on land. My grandparents have never been on a cruise. They thought it was fantastic! We had to drive for 2 hours to the Atlanta Airport. Once there, we took about 2 hour flight to Toronto, Canada. From there we took another plane to Vancouver, Canada. We stayed in a hotel for a day because the cruise didn't sail until the next day. When my family, including my grandparents, got on the cruise, we had to do the safety sail off drill like always. When you go on a cruise they have to have a safety drill; otherwise it's illegal, and the ship can't sail. We watched a little video about safety and what to do in case of an emergency. After the video my parents went to the information desk to get our coke cards for the cruise. A coke card is a card you or your guardian can purchase for you to get unlimited cokes for the cruise. It is only like $60, I think. During the cruise that week, 3 or 4 of the days were docked at different places in Alaska. My family went to all of those places we docked at. One of them had an open Christmas shop there in the middle of summer! In Skagway we went on a helicopter ride to a little camp of huskies on a glacier. After we landed, we dogsledded with the huskies pulling us. We even got a picture there! In one of the pens there were little baby huskies, and we got to hold some of them. We got back on the cruise ship around dusk. A couple of the days while cruising, we went through glacier lakes. My dad took pictures and caught video of some chunks off ice falling of the glaciers calving. After the one-week cruise, our family went on a train to the first lodge in Talkeetna. This is where Mt.McKinley is. Next we went to Denali National Park by a double-deck train. 163

The seats were on the second floor and a restaurant on the first floor. The viewing deck was all glass for better viewing of the landscape. We went four-wheeling in the mountains. From there we took a bus to Fairbanks, Alaska. We went on a river boat cruise and visited an Alaskan Indian village. We panned for gold at a real gold mine and ended up with $77 worth of gold flakes. I keep the gold flakes in glass vials in my safe. At the end of the vacation my family took a plane from Fairbanks, Alaska to Seattle, Washington and from there another plane to Atlanta. This took over 12 hours. Then we drove 2 hours back to our house. It is one of my favorite vacations so far. My whole family enjoyed the cruise. My dad was working on the videos and pictures he took during the cruise and on land into a scrapbook video. I think we are going to show it at the Christmas party we have every year. Christopher Grotefendt 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Rudolph

The Perfect Cake My name is Rebecca Jones. My best name friend’s name is Kate Mill, and my mom owns Jones Bakery. It was July 4, 2011, not long ago, the day where the story I’m going to tell you takes place. Kate and I were in The Jones Bakery that perfect day. That day we baked the most perfect cake that I had ever seen. We did it I wanted to just because I wanted to be as good a baker as my mom. That day, Kate and I were sitting in mom’s bakery and I was telling Kate about how I wouldn't ever be as good a baker as mom. But, when Kate suggested that we go in the back of bakery, to the kitchen and bake a without any help I said, “Let’s do it already!" Once we were in the kitchen, Kate and I put on aprons, got down ingredients, frosting and LOTS of cake molds. Heat up the oven, and I'll start mixing up the ingredients, " I told Kate. The oven is ready,” Kate said. So we put the soon-to-be cake in the oven, and we waited. We werewaiting and waiting and waiting, and when it felt like we’d been waiting for hours, DING! The timer went off, and we pulled out the cake. "Ahhhhhhhh!" Kate and I screamed when we pulled out the cake. It was green! “It was supposed to be vanilla, not snot!” I yelled. The next cake was worse. It was bubbling! The next one talked to us, and next one after came out as escargot! (You don't even want to know what the next ones came out as!) "It feels like I can bake anything BUT cake," I said to Kate. But, Kate being Kate, said to me, "Calm down, and we'll to another one." So we whipped up the cake mix, put it in a cake mold, and set it in the oven. Then, we waited. When the cake was finally done, we pulled it out, and instead screaming, we both gasped, and then we both whispered at the same time, “It’s perfect." "Mom, come here!” I yelled. “What is it, girls?” she asked us as she walked in. "Mom, you have to taste this cake," I said to her, and when she tasted it, boy, did her face light up. Immediately she said to us, "Girls, I want you two to bake the cake for a wedding our bakery is catering." She said that with a pleading look in her eye that I had never seen before. I looked over at Kate, “Better get baking," was all I said to her. Maddie Agne 5th Grade Boyd Buchanan School Mrs. Rudolph


Roadrunner I've never seen a bullet train but I have seen a man that could out run one. He is dead now but he had a son named Tanner who was just as fast as he was. When Tanner was just a baby he crawled as fast as a speedboat. As he got older he became even faster. He learned to walk. Try to imagine a two year old that could out run a jet. By the time he was four he had figured out how to not run into everything and how to not fall down as much. When he was five he had to go to school. Those were the worst days. He got in trouble every day! He would race down those halls like a roadrunner and the teachers would yell but he couldn't stop! He knew he had to do something or he would get suspended from school. He knew he couldn't walk slowly down the halls so he had to come up with a plan. He would tie his shoelaces together so he couldn't run. This worked but he kept tripping. He had to come up with another plan. The new plan was to use a rope to tie himself to an anchor. This didn't work at all. The first reason it didn't work was because it was too heavy and it tired him out completely. The second reason was because the janitor got mad because it scratched up the floor a lot. Tanner thought he would never get to go to school again when it hit him. It was a crazy idea but he had to try. He could try to put backwards rockets on his body. Then he could run as fast as he wanted to and he would always go at a walking speed. He had it all figured out but he had one problem. Where would you get some rockets? At first he didn't even think it was possible for a 10-year-old boy to get some rockets. First he tried to build some with firecrackers and duct tape but they kept exploding. Next he went to the Kmart store and they didn't have anything close. There was only one more place to go so he tried the Wal-Mart. He went in thinking that all they had was milk an clothes when he looked up and saw it! Two bright blue rockets! He was dumbfounded! He felt like a kid in a candy store! He put the rockets on a belt and put it on. It was perfect. The rockets didn't touch the floor and it was almost impossible to trip because they kept him standing straight and tall and in line with his classmates. He had finally figured out how to stay in school! Tanner Triplett 5th Grade Ganns Middle Valley Elementary Mrs. Todd

Jessica's Separation "Dad, don't go please," Jessica yelled as her father slammed the door. He was just in a fight with Jessica's mother. Jessica ran out the door, but she was too late. She watched his car pull out of the apartment complex. She came back in and went to her mother with teary eyes, "Where is he going? Is he corning back? Tell him to come back now!" she said. "Honey come here," her mother said. Jessica walked to her mother and sat on her lap. "He left, and you are sad, but he left for a reason. You will still see him, just not here." Jessica was torn. She didn't want to think about it anymore. She just wanted to lie on her mother's lap. When she awoke the next morning she saw that her mom carried her to her room last night. When she opened one eye, she saw smoke. She thought it was a fire, so she ran out of her apartment with fear in her eyes. There was no fire, so she went back into the apartment and saw her mom cooking breakfast. "What are you cooking?" Jessica asked. "Your favorite," her mom answered.


"Bacon, eggs, and hot biscuits," Jessica thought to herself. "Mom when will I see dad again?" Jessica asked. Her morn didn't answer. "Mom, did you hear me?" she said a little louder. "Yes, Jessie, I heard you," her mom said, but she looked sad, sadder than she did last night when dad left. "Jessie, I'm sorry, but you have to go to an orphanage," Mom said. "Why, Mom? Why?" Jessica screamed. "I can't take care of you without help from your father. He wants you with him, but I said no. He took it to court, and since I said no, we have to give you up," Jessica's mom said speedy fast, hoping Jessica wouldn't understand, but she understood every single thing. She ran to her room and slammed the door behind her. When her mom went in the room 5 minutes later, she saw Jessica on the floor crying. "Jessie, get up," mother said. "No," Jessica replied. "I want dad, I wanna live with him," Jessica said. "Fine I will call him and tell him what you said," mother said fiercely as she stamped out the room. Next thing she heard was, "Jessie, come here." Jessica slowly walked to the kitchen phone where mother was. "He's on the phone for you,' her mother said. Jessica picked up the phone and heard her dad speak. "Hey Dad," she said scared. "Hey Jess. I'm sorry you heard me and your mom fight like that. Anyway, I heard your mom told you about the orphanage; you don't have to go, you can go with me," he said. "I want to go with you," Jessica interrupted. "I'll be there in 1 hour," Jessica's Dad said. "Ok I'll get packed." Jessica walked to her room in excitement. She grabbed everything she needed and saw she had a piece of paper that said open. She opened the crumpled-up piece of paper and saw there was a necklace with a diamond in the middle! She was amazed. "I see you saw my present for you," Jessica's mom said. "Thanks it's amazing," Jessica said. "I'll miss you mom. The only reason I want to be with dad is because I love him, and I don't want to go to an orphanage." Chynna Bass 5th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Jennifer Brownlee


Behind Enemy Lines My heart thumped wildly. "They must be coming back," I muttered. I tried to move my leg and yelled in pain. "Must be sprained, broken or gone altogether," I thought miserably. I thought back to what happened just a few hours ago. It was raining; my unit and I were on a mission behind enemy lines in a helicopter. There was an explosion and the pilot yelled, “May Day! shot!" There was another explosion and I blacked out. My head snapped back to the present at the sound footsteps crunching the leaves. "There it is! Mike! I found it!" said a voice. It had a German accent. I got up, almost gave a yell of pain, but I would have been shot if I did. I managed to get out a broken window. I looked around the damaged aircraft. There were about thirty to forty well-armed soldiers with G36Cs and MP5s (machine guns). I had an M16 and two desert eagles (pistols) with some ammunition. I limped to a tree for cover. Luckily, I made it to the tree; unluckily, I stepped on a stick and alerted the German soldiers. Machine gun fire ripped up the ground and I dove for cover. I waited for a couple of seconds and then rolled out into the open and started shooting. Most of the soldiers had gotten to cover, but five of them didn't and they started shaking as bullets ripped into them. They fell down, dead. Mike and his men jumped out of their cover and shot me in my injured leg. I was trapped. Just then, two soldiers from my unit came out of the helicopter and started shooting. The German soldiers dove for cover. I shot one and the other two shot four. That meant thirty Germans were left. The two soldiers that came from the helicopter helped me up and we tried to get away. One soldier decided to stay and shoot the German soldiers. The other one helped me get away. There was a grunt and the soldier who stayed behind was dead. The soldier who helped me get away switched helmets with me and told me not to lose the helmet. I was confused, but did as I was told. He ran back to distract the Germans. He went one way. I went other. I tested my leg. Broken. I had to limp from tree to tree to keep moving. I heard gunfire exchanged and then it stopped. Then I saw it; my unit came crashing through the overgrowth. There were Jeff, Chuck, Phil, Casey, all with guns and ammo. Jeff and Phil supported me while Chuck and Casey stood alert. Then we heard them, there were fifty of them (Germans) now. They had gotten reinforcements. We were all trapped. The walk back to the German base was terrible. The Germans took our guns and forced us to march. While we were marching, strange men started shooting at us. The strange men spread out, taking the Germans one at a time. The Germans threw us to the ground. Then Casey "What do you do when your enemies are getting shot at by other enemies?” “You run," replied Jeff. "Ya think?" I yelled. We crawled toward the soldier who had our guns. We attacked, knocked him out, got our guns and ran. “We’re home free!" Jeff hollered as we plowed through the overgrowth. Jeff turned to look behind and hit a tree with such force he was knocked out. "Oh my gosh!" Casey "What else can go wrong today?” “We could get shot, interrogated and killed," suggested Chuck. "Move it, men!" I yelled. Chuck and Phil picked up Jeff, and Casey helped me. We ran, and ran, and kept on running. We made it to a town stole a Jeep. 167

“Let’s go!” I yelled. We floored it. We heard a German helicopter and we knew we were dead. All of a sudden, one of our helicopters shot it down. A rope ladder came flying down, and Jeff came around. We climbed up, and sat down in the helicopter. The soldier in charge yelled over the noise, “Hey troops, we heard your helicopter went down from the Germans.” "Yep,” I answered. "Hey, did you happen to get away the blueprints?" the soldier asked. "No," I said. "Did a soldier give you something? Like a weapon, supplies, hat, backpack?” he suggested. I was about to say no, when I remembered the helmet. I pulled it off my head and I noticed that the top of the inside had a little medic sign on the helmet. I pushed it, the covering pulled back, and there were the blueprints. I gave them to the soldier charge and knew that we’d get back to base, my leg would heal, and my unit was safe. I slowly closed my eyes and fell asleep. Daniel Christopher 5th Grade Westview Elementary Mrs. Vaccarro

Monster Rusty For liberty and justice for all you may be seated for a moment of silence. As I sat down from the pledge, my teacher came and sat down her banana yellow lunch bag and a mysterious paper bag. Suddenly, as my teacher went clickety clack-clickety-clack down the hallway, the bag began to move. Then, everybody gasped, of surprise, right when something stinky began to come out. It was burping out feathers and mumbling at the same time. I heard him mumble, "This would taste better with some barbecue sauce.” When the teacher came in, she screamed on the top of her lungs "It ate my bird,” "How did it get in there?” she asked. We all screamed, "We don't know!” It looks like a 3 eyed, 6 legged, green haired monster. It yelled, "I'm not a monster!!!” I thought to myself, "Maybe we can keep him as a pet.” I asked my teacher if we could, but she said "NO!!” When he heard that he went crazy. He started to rip our test papers, scratch the chalkboard, and bite our feet. Finally, the bell rang as loud as a roller coasters roar. It was finally time to go home. I brought Rusty with me, that’s what I named him. He is going to live with me forever. That’s, at least, what I thought. If my mom sees him, she will freak. He is a disaster. He tore my pillow, my bed, even my dresser. My mom found out I had him. She screamed, "Get that thing out of my house right now!!!” "NO,” I said. "Can we at least take it to the zoo!” cried. My mom said, "OK.” Rusty seemed sad. So, we took him to the zoo. I started to cry. My mom sighed, "You can still visit him sweety,” I cried, "OK.” Then we went home. Then, the zoo keeper called us and said, "He is doing fine, and he is getting along with the other animals.” We cried with relief. THE END. Kristin Coleman 5th Grade Ganns Middle Valley Mrs. Todd


Storm at 3 a.m. My story is about my first camp out when I was six years old. It was just me and my dad. We went to Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee. We planned to get settled on and come back on Sunday, but it turns out we came back a few hours early .... So my dad and I set foot on ground and put up the tent. He had a little trouble getting up the screen tent. (It never got put up, it was just used to cover the fire wood when it rained.) However, after we got settled down, we then went to the Fall Creek Falls swimming pool. After swimming, I was really hungry so we went to the Fall Creek Falls restaurant. On Friday nights, the restaurant has all you can eat crab legs. I didn't think I would like them but it turned out they were really good. After we ate supper, we went back to the tent and started a fire for a little while. Then I went right to sleep. The next morning my dad fixed some egg and biscuits. Then we went to the pool and swam pretty much the whole day. On our way back to the camp we got an ice cream. Later, we supper and went bed. Soon after we went to bed, someone started making such loud noise, we could not stand it and it woke us up. It turns out were some new campers, who had just arrived and they were chopping wood to make a fire. Eventually they stopped, but this night just got better and better. It started raining, then there was terror in the tent. It started lightning, it seemed like every ten seconds. So my dad told me to get my shoes on and then he unzipped the tent and we both ran to the truck. Then took me over to my mom's house (I slept the whole way there.) As this story comes to an end, I found myself safe home. Later that day my dad went back to get our stuff from the camp ground. Always remember to check the weather before you go camping. Sarah Poole 5th Grade Ganns Middle Valley Elementary Mrs. Todd

The Witches Curse I had tried to warn her about the book, but it was too late. Oh sorry, I should start at the beginning. I could give you a looooooong, boooooooring backstory, but I will try to sum it up fast. We are living in a fairytale land. Everyone is magical in some way. This witch read a really terrible book called Last of the Mohicans. She hated it so much she cursed it. Any time some one reads it out loud, vines come out. When you touch them, you die. It's very simple. Of course, it has a twist. It wouldn't be a curse without one. Only five people can die. Witches can bring them back to life. Okay, so by now three people had read it out loud and died. None of them had any witch friends. Unlike one girl. Natalie Lesco, the werewolf. She had two. Their names were Kate and, of course, Virginia, yours truly. Okay, well now the story will really start. Natalie, Kate and I were walking down the street, going to the library. "Is it a full moon tonight?" Natalie asked us, her friends. We walked up to the nearest bench to eat lunch. "No, Nat, we've told you about one thousand times!" Kate exclaimed. I pulled out three PB&J sandwiches. "Sorry, but don't scream at me. You don't want me to go wolfie on you, do ya?" Natalie replied. We all took a bite 169

of our PB&J's. "Do you mind if we stop by the shelter on our way to the library?" I asked Natalie. My family was going to Atlanta for a week and we had to drop our pet unicorn, Peppermint, at Mrs. Lesco's pet boarding. "Oh no, I have to go there anyway. Mom is on a business trip and she left me in charge. I need to feed and water the animals." Natalie told me. We all finished our PB&J on bagel-sandwiches and stood up. We started walking again. "There's the shelter," Kate declared as we approached North St. My friends and I walked up to the entrance. We walked inside and started feeding the animals. "Do the animals here have one of those automatic water thingies? Peppermint has one and it has to be refilled a lot," I asked my friend. I walked over and started petting my unicorn. "No, but we should get one," she responded, "they seem pretty useful. Lets go to the library," she continued as we finished up. We walked down the street and went into the library. We walked up to the front desk. "Mrs.Ellen, where are the fiction books?" Kate asked the ghost librarian. She giggled a little bit. She was only, like, twenty-five when she died. She was still married, but not for very long while she was alive. Her daughter, Emma, is in my class. "I'll tell you if you go with Emma and me to the new Muppet movie, " she responded. Mrs.Ellen is really nice. "Of course we will, Mrs.Ellen!" Natalie exclaimed as she handed us the tickets. "Great! It starts at nine o'clock. Come this way," Mrs.Ellen floated to the far right comer. We walked where she had ... umm ... floated. There are a lot of good books. There are some of my favorites like Inkheart, Inkspell, and the Harry Potter series. "I think I'll take this one, Mrs.Ellen," Natalie said as she handed the translucent woman Last of the Mohicans! "Ummmm... Nat? Yeah um that book is cursed. If you read it out loud you'll die. Sorry, I'm not letting you check that out," I pulled it away from her. "Ummmm... Virginia? I'm checking out the book. You can't stop me. I'm not afraid of a silly curse," she pulled it back. "Well you should be," I pulled it back. ..but only one page. "I'll fix it. It'll be better in no time," Mrs.Ellen told us as she gracefully took the page and the book and took them behind her desk. She picked up the special tape and taped the page back into the book. "There. Good as new", she declared as she checked the book out. "Crap," I muttered under my breath. We walked out of the library. Natalie stopped. She opened the book to the first chapter. "What's up, Nat?" Kate asked. Natalie cleared her throat. We were all just getting over a cold. "I'm gonna read the first page OUT LOUD so you two paranoids will see that this book is NOT and I repeat NOT cursed," she cleared her throat again and began to read. 170

"Good thing we memorized that spell, huh Virginia?" Kate muttered to me. Natalie continued reading the cursed book. Suddenly the vines came out. "That's really weird ... " Natalie's voice trailed off as she reached out to touch the vines. As soon as her fingers touched the green leaves they disappeared and she dropped dead on the ground. "Yeah, we should probably start that spell now," I told Kate. We strained to remember it. We both seemed to remember at the same time. "Bring my friend back to me that's fallen from the vines, bring my friend back to me a quarter till nine!" Kate and I exclaimed in unison. Slowly but surely, she began to breath, and then stand up, and then she could even manage a few words, "1 really should listen to you guys next time!" Virginia Alsobrooks 5th Grade C.S.A.S. Mrs. Whaley

Scarface There once was an Indian named Scarface. He got his name when he fought a bear in the woods. It scratched his face with its sharp claws, and ever since, his Indian tribe has called him Scarface. But one day, he became a hero. This is his story. Scarface saw a beautiful lady. He loved the lady, and found out she was the chief’s daughter. The lady's name was Singing Bird. They wanted to marry each other, but her father did not approve. To get rid of Scarface, he told him "Go find the Sun Guide, and tell him to give you a token of gold, then, you can marry my daughter.” So off into the woods Scarface traveled. After four years, Scarface was still in search for the Sun Guide. Back with the tribe, Singing Bird missed Scarface and thought he was dead. Finally, Scarface came upon an open field. In the middle of the field, on a tall hill, stood a golden tepee. He then saw a little boy being attacked by vicious birds. Just as a bird tried to carry him away, Scarface jumped in with his knife and saved the boy. He asked where the boy lived. "Up on the hill," he said, as he ran back home. Scarface followed the boy home and found out the boy’s dad was the Sun Guide and his mom was the Moon Guide. They gave him a golden token on a necklace, and asked what they could do to repay him. He started the long journey home, and after a long four years of traveling in the woods, he found the tribe. He found Singing Bird and bowed down on his knee. "I have found the Sun Guide like your father said, and now, I am asking you to marry me." "Yes" she said, falling down beside him. And they lived together in the meadow of Sugar Creek. Ryan Vandergriff 5th Grade Ganns Middle Valley Elementary Mrs. Todd


One Horrible Day One morning I woke up to the alarming sound of kids playing. While I was observing the room, a kid dashed up with a marker in his hand and started coloring on me. It was then that I realized I was a white board in a preschool classroom. This was going to be a very long, miserable day. The day started with some math. When the teacher wrote smoothly on my face it started to tickle. Soon she started using the pointer, and it felt like she was seriously trying to break me. Next, it was time for science. The teacher took the kids outside to observe animals and insects. A kid put a frog in his jacket, and when they came back inside, the kids rubbed frog mucus all over me. Then it was story time. The teacher read for what seemed like an entire hour. When the teacher was reading, her voice sounded so lovely and soothing. I almost fell into a deep sleep, but then I heard the words, "Free time!" Math was bad enough, but free time was beyond miserable. The kids were playing way too rough with the toys. I felt sorry for the toys, but I had problems of my own. The kids were giving me a makeover. They put glue, paint, and so much more all over me. Finally, the kids went home, and the teacher started to clean me. The spray got in my eyes. I wanted to scream my head off, but I couldn't. That night I wondered if I would ever be human again. When I woke up the next morning, I was back in my room. I was a girl again! I couldn't believe all the things that happened the day before. I was beginning to think I had dreamed it all when I suddenly noticed the paint and marker all over my face! Could it be ‌impossible, right? Melanie Benson 5th grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Alosi

My Sister, A True Story On February 8th, my dad, my two sisters and I were playing at the Ronald McDonald House across from Erlanger Hospital. I was playing, then we had to go and take my sister Jasmine to the hospital. We went to McDonald's for to eat. I got a hamburger and fries. We went back to the hospital and I went in the room. Jasmine was there with her eyes closed. The doctors said had cancer. She was only one year old. That is the saddest moment of my life. Diego Caslin 5th Grade Rivermont Elementary Mrs. Crabtree


Forgotten One day I woke up and I was a dog on the side of the street. I was really scared and I was in a comer of an alley. I came out of the corner and I was so hungry I ate out of the dumpster. I started to think about what had happened that day. I remembered that my owners moved and forgot me inside the house. I jumped out of the window they had left open and became unconscious. Now I am eating out of a dumpster. "What am I going to do now?" I asked myself. I walked out of the alley and I saw a lot of people. Some of the people called me a mutt, so I barked back at them. They did not answer. I walked until I smelled something so delightful. I smelled a steak and a big bar-b-que! I looked in through a little hole in the gate. I saw an assortment of food such as hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, chicken, and brats. I walked around the house until I found the front door. Some one was coming out of the house, so I barked at her. She called out to the owner of the house, whose name was Mary. She called out to her saying "Mary, do you have a dog?" Mary said "No, why?" "There is a dog at your door," she replied. "Hold on" replied Mary as she came down the stairs. She saw me and brought me some food. I wagged my tail and started eating. When I finished eating I walked away. The next day, I came back and they let me inside. I walked around and found a dog bed that had been slept on a few times. It had a name on it. The name was Lucy. Mary said, "Welcome home, Lucy." I remembered my name was Lucy. So, I ran and jumped on Mary and Tom and I spent the rest of my life with them. Ashton Jolley 5th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Jennifer Westcott


When Worlds Collide It all started in the year 3000 on planets EDN.111 and Kepler 16.b. On the planet EDN.111 there was a station area called NBS.5 (Navy Black Ops Station #5) that held the most famed soldiers in the navy. There were three honorable soldiers in the station. Their names were Jason, Zakery, and Sharlet. They were a special group in that station area. They would go on the most deadly missions. The problem was that Kepler 16.b. and EDN.111 were in conflict. The other thing was that there was very good chances that the generators might break and the worlds would collide. So the fighting had to stop or the troops of EDN .111 would have to overade Kepler 16.6. The troops set off to Kepler16.b. with Zakery, Jason, and Sharlet leading the jets. All of a sudden they begin being shot at from below. They crashed on the rubble of other shot down jets. Zakery, Jason, and Sharlet headed out into the battlefield. They didn't have much to go on in the battlefield except for some grenades and some ammo. The battle was rough and their defenses were weakening. Then a rumble began to emerge from the ground and cracks were building. They all knew the generators were collapsing. Then a big explosion happened all around. The two pieces ofthe planets got closer and closer to each other. The two roots of the planets started to merge together. That day thermal energy was created. Zakery, Jason, and Sharlet were separated in the explosion but soon found each other. The two clans soon made a truce between each other. Then they lived everydaylives and the planet is now called EDN.16.b. Noah Fernandez 5th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Renae Marcus


The Legend of the Brysonator and How He Saved the Snickers Galaxy Many light years ago, in a galaxy lived the Brysonator. He worked hard to protect the Snickers galaxy. The Brysonator was out patrolling his galaxy when he noticed an intruder. He called a code red. The sirens rang, the lights flashed, and smoke bombs went off. All of the Snickers people ran for cover. The Brysonator was left all alone with the intruder, Black Eyed Brody. Black Eyed Brody was known to intrude on the Snickers Galaxy to steal all of their candy. The Brysonator had no weapons except for laser eyes and a cannon fist. B lack Eyed Brody had powers to escape through a black hole that he could make with his black eye. The Brysonator was not going to back down from this challenge. He spotted Black Eyed Brody and took off full force with his cannons ready. When he almost reached the intruder, Black Eyed Brody vanished into a black hole. The Brysonator was not going to give up. He was on a hunt to find the Black Eyed Brody. He finally spotted him near the candy room. The Brysonator shot a laser from his eyes and cut through the rope that was holding a cage above where the intruder stood. They sentenced the Black Eyed Brody to prison for 1000 years. All the town people cheered for the Brysonator. He was the Snicker's galaxy hero. They made a statue of the Brysonator that stands in the middle of the town square. The Brysonator shot off to this palace where he lived with his wife, the Kelly-Kellyator. They lived happily ever after in the Snicker's Galaxy with all the candy they could eat. Bryson Baumunk Grade 4 Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Shamblin

That's weird There once was a strawberry up in a tree but wait, strawberries don't grow on trees. I was confused down to my feet, but I guess some strawberries do grow on trees. Look there's kiwi up in the air, green and fuzzy whistling everywhere. Once they hit the ground they splat, but look there's kiwi up in the air. Look at the limes rolling down the hill taking out everything everywhere splish, splash, falls the rain forming for the limes to drain. Oranges, oranges all over my bed what will I do to lay down my head all of a sudden a tree comes up, through my bed grabbing the oranges all over my head. Apples, apples yellow, green, and red why can't they be purple in the bags. One day in fall I opened my bag and sure enough they were purple in side that bag Look at the cherries hanging on the wall sweeter then sugar, dripping like honey off the wall. It was weird but they still tasted good now you have read the story of my weird fruits that are in my head Heath McGowan Grade 5 Nolan Elementary Kathy Jones




Grades 6-8 Poetry


Breaking Free No human rights or options are open. There’s more to life than working, Communism is always lurking, Spies and Fugitives are classified the same, If you escape change your name. Guards keeping you in line, While the other side is fine. Why live in terror, And hide in your cellar, When something can be done. Grab a shovel and rescue your family, Take a stand for all of humanity. Start digging, move dirt, Always stay alert. When you’re done the journey really has just begun. Stay hidden under a pile of rubble. One by one lower down into the tunnel. Close the latch and keep on moving, Don’t look back, the end will be soothing. Free spirited exclamations, Say to the new city “salutations”. Lucky, you are, being so sly. Protest and plead, For others to be freed, From the struggles of East Germany. Hannah Prescott 6th Grade Girls Preparatory School Ms. Bullard

The Picture on the Wall I see you in the picture on the wall I watch your lips moving, but do not hear your call Are you yelling at me, or too me, Questions run through my head I am afraid that my decision will cause my own dread, Sobbing and crying, I cannot stop trying, To hear your silent words Olivia Plunkett 6th Grade Girls Preparatory School Suzy McKenna


If I Froze Time If I froze a moment The moment in the middle of a free throw The last shot at the basketball game The shooter frozen while lining up For her shot The sweat beading on her face Frozen Everyone in the audience Frozen If I unfroze this moment We would win or lose. Pondering about what I should do I unfroze it The shooter did her final lining up Sweat now pouring down her face Like a pitcher filling up a cup with ice tea Everyone in the audience Shaking Last Dribble The ball goes up The buzzer sounds Swish the last shot and winning basket Was made. Cora Hansen 6th Grade Signal Mountain Middle/High School Jennifer McGann


What If Life What if life only lasted a day? Do you think we'd appreciate it better? What if Life was like Hell? Do you think we would dream? About life as we live it now? What if we had everything we wanted in life? Do you think it would get boring? Why want a different life? It's perfect already. Tydashia Eppinger 6th Grade The Chattanooga Girl's Leadership Academy Casey Clear

A Soldier Was Coming Home Feelings joy were in the air All thoughts of sadness didn’t even dare To threaten the family like earlier For a soldier was coming home No longer would the ribbon shout That the people inside would move on without A son who had served his country For a soldier was coming home It had been believed he was at Death's door Never to return like the father before But now they know much better For a soldier was coming home Oh how wondrous were the stories told Of war, being strong, being brave, being bold His wounds may have been great on that cold, snowy night But not a single one complained, for a soldier had come home. Clare Hamm 6th Grade Girls Preparatory School Suzy McKenna


Painting the Wind Going faster and faster with the wind in my hair. Going faster and faster with out any care. Going faster and faster with my new best friend. Running, racing, Painting the wind. Claire Wilson 6th Grade Signal Mountain Middle High School Jamie Brock

Summer Days A hot summer day scorching sun beating down on my neck, sweet scent of roses filling the hot air, watching butterflies flutter gracefully into the roses looking for sweet nectar for energy. Red hot sun making me sizzling, like bacon in a skillet feeling drained, needing the sweet nectar of cool lemonade energizing me on a hot summer day. Sydney Turman 6th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


Middle School Noisy hallways Bustling children Tiny lockers And Never enough time Happy teachers Caring friends So many classes And Trying to fit in Screams Laughs Shrills And The ever noisy hallways Relationships Drama Gossip And Never knowing the truth Too much home work Not enough time Always busy And To much running around Feeling out of place Wanting to hide Trying to change But Don't know how Middle school It's a frightening place Anna Oglesby 6th Grade Signal Mountain Middle School Jamie Brock


Ode to Xbox When I'm feeling bored, And my interest is sore I play Xbox, I play Xbox. When I'm feeling really down And I want to hit a clown, I play Xbox, I play Xbox When my happiness is poor, And I want Gears of War, I play Xbox, I play Xbox When I'm feeling really violent And I just want some silence, I play Xbox, I play Xbox When I want Assassin's Creed And I have no PSP, I play Xbox, I play Xbox When I want to play Halo 3, But it's not on PS3, I play Xbox, I play Xbox. When I really want to pout Because I don't have Fallout, I play Xbox, I play Xbox. Now I can finally be gone And when I get home I'll play Tron, On the Xbox, on the Xbox. Jack Cutt 6th Grade Ringgold Middle School Brenda Love


Seeking I am far from home But getting closer to the house that I was born in thirteen years ago Wishing I never ran away Wondering if I should call my frantic foster parents I have finished all the food I packed for my trip My trust is in my map and my God Searching for my bio parents Who left me at birth Like a bird forced from the nest Too young to fly I feel the tears about to trickle down my cheeks My voyage is interminable Am I going to make it? I push this malicious doubt away with a prayer Think positively I am on my way Every step, I get closer I will find them They reside in Indiana I must be in Kentucky by now Two million steps from Tallahassee by my calculation I am a bird flying north in the spring Hoping I will find my destination Wondering if they will answer the questions Brewing in my head for years Angelina Fraga 6th Grade Ringgold Middle School Brenda Love


If Only My Brother Were Younger Than Me If only my brother were younger than me, I wouldn't feel so small. I could boss him around, And he would always sit down At my command or call. He wouldn't be able to push me down Onto the dirty floor, Because he'd better learn to obey, Or he'd be out the door. I could make him do my homework for me. That would be so swell. I could force him to give me his dollar coins Or 1'd chuck him in the wishing well. If only my brother were younger than me, I'd be free of life's indignities. The toilet seat would be down Every time 1'd come around Or he'd be doing pushups for weeks. 1'd be the first child to receive All the new cool things. The cell phone apps, new underwear, Wii games and tire swings. And in my mind I always think About what life would be If only, if only, if only, if only... My brother was younger than me! Zoe Zimmerman 6th Grade CSLA Ann-Marie Blentlinger


The Numbers That Danced Click Click The tap of my pen Bored out of my mind I don't know where to begin. Tick Tock The clock begins to talk. My chalk began to walk. The numbers began to dance The board began to move I got into the grove. The numbers began to sing Then the bell began to ring. Madison Cannon-Sims 6th Grade The Chattanooga Girl's Leadership Academy Casey Clear

"Falcon" Falcon, Falcon As swift as a falchion I wish I were more like you You have a beak, not any teeth Yet you're more carnivorous than most You're as fast as the wind, but I am not kenned to any of your features alike I couldn't beat you even on my bike You have magnificent wings which makes you one of the kings Your screech sends shivers down everything's back and it's like a fierce war cry But unlike others it makes me sigh Why am I not able to fly? James Renegar 6th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Dina Couch


Cobblestone Through the cobblestone cracks flowers seep The fragile stone holds stilettos and rain boots The stone which is so delicate Holds its blooming town I sprint across the cobblestone Trying to find my precious house The trees stand tall and proud Holding their newly budded flowers Heat waves burst out of the cobblestone The fragile stone holds flip-flops and flats The stone which is so delicate Holds its heat stricken people I skip across the cobblestone Trying to find my precious house The trees stand wrinkled and worn Holding their dying flowers Leaves slip into the cobblestone cracks The fragile stone holds boots and tennis shoes The stone which is so delicate Holds its colorful city I stroll across the cobblestone Trying to find my precious house trees stand bare and tired Holding nothing at all Rain bounces onto the cobblestone The fragile stone holds work-boots and uggs The stone which is so delicate Holds its dew-dripped town I trudge across the cobblestone Trying to find my precious house The trees stand wrinkled and cold Holding their new leaves The cobblestone has held its changing city For almost 300 years Stella Pritchard 6th Grade Baylor School Mr. Stover


Seasons of the Wishing Well When the thermometer boils I dash down the dirt road On my hot pink bicycle Barefoot in a colorful tee-shirt and shorts Through the woods Across the Creek My secret path I stop in front of the thirsty garden The flowers sweat blood red, golden yellow, sky blue, and an olive green that reminds me of a freshly picked lime In the middle of the garden Stands the Old Wishing Well Clear water trickles inside It’s made of stone with vines spreading up the sides Some friends lazily lay across the roof of the well We play all day The well is out castle, our base, our home, our kitchen, our friends We listen to the cicadas And smell the lavender flowers And drink the warm water while sweat beats down our necks. When the leaves burn their green And the smell of tree sap fills the clear air I strut down the road In my favorite white sweatshirt and shorts Barefoot on the leaf-covered trail To the brown crippled garden and the old wishing well My friends spy in the trees I easily climb up along with them The well is full of icy water The cool breeze made us come down and take a sup of the fresh water We gather sticks And find a clear area of dusty dirt And practice our writing, and numbers, and colors It was a deal They taught me and I taught them The well is our classroom When tiny, white, quilts delicately made Gingerly sink to Mother Earth I shiver down the road to the dead garden The well is sheeted in ice 188

Its water is frozen solid like a winter lollipop Ready to break a jaw when bitten I see my friends In an avalanche of jackets, scarves, mittens And big, fuzzy, thick, snuggly boots Huddled on the roof I wear the same But I eagerly await the day I can take the boots off And splash my feet into the icy water But the wind whips us And beats us like bread dough I grow restless And soon, one by one A friend leaves the huddle Towards their home Towards the warm smell of chimney smoke Like a flower’s petals wilting away Winter is brutal And keeps us inside to the warmth of our chimneys When the animals awaken And new blooms arrive I shoot to the garden Sucking in the out-door’s beautiful air I feel free to twirl and dance And fall into a bed of pink roses The garden looks gorgeous Midnight blue, golden, lime green, blood red The most vibrant colors of the rainbow I sit up in my flowing blue skirt And pink tee shirt The well is plopped in the middle of the colors The vines, a neon green grow toward the roof The water inside glistens So I take a sip My friends are up top but not all of them They say the rest were busy I say everything I don’t get to in winter I tease and joke and laugh We lay on the roof until the stars visit Then I wonder home


I journey to the well as much as possible In my growing bare feet Pondering if friendships really can last forever But I know I have one friend Who is there for me any day at any time My old wishing well Virginia McEvoy 6th Grade Baylor School Amy Cohen

Snowman I stand out in the snow And I feel the wind blow The kids gave me two rocks for my sight Now I can see the snowball fight Kids sled down a big hill And their parents think they may have a spill I am given a carrot for my nose Now I can smell a beautiful red rose Two sticks are stuck in my side Now I can catch a snowflake from the sky A small amount of grass made my mouth complete Now this hungry old snowman can now eat The white snow is creamy It is so beautiful it is dreamy The kids will remember their past By decorating a snowman and having a blast The days then grew on And I am almost gone I will be back next year So there shall not be fear. Harper Sutton 6th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Dina Couch


Shoes Some are high Some are low Some don't even cover my toes Some say "Clomp" I touched the hand Land on eight, and one I'll stand Some are fuzzy Always worn Puppies always have them tom Some will flop Worn in hot weather Making marks as couples walk together Some are worn By Jesus when The Romans killed him, but He rose again Some were made Just for Chuck Taylor Everyone has them and now are favored Whether they're high heels Whether they are flats They're still both shoes, and that's a fact Even if they're open toe Or if they are cheer shoes It only matters which style you choose Maybe you have slippers Maybe you have flip flops If you don't have any, get ready to shop You could have sandals You could have high tops Just don't wear them with the wrong outfit, I'll have to call the style cops Melody Hutson 6th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Dina Couch


Where I'm From I am from T-shirts, from ragged jeans and worn-down shoes from "hand-me-ups" and "hand-me-downs." I am from old history books, the musty smell they give off... reminding me of my past, and what I must change for the future by blowing the dust off the front cover. I am from clarinets and guitars, from Jimmy Page and Adele. I'm from 12-strings and acoustics, long, drawn out sounds drowning the reality of the real world. I am from roller-coasters and kayaks, the true thrill rides of life. from the way my stomach feels when I drop 300 feet, like a softly-cushioned jack-hammer pounding in my chest, and muddy water soaking my clothes as I paddle. I am from Taekwondo, yells, kicks, and punches, awaiting the enemy who is to betray me. I am from five houses within the course of two weeks, because of the choices my parents made. I am from Asian noodle bowls. And pot-roast. And burritos for breakfast. Savory, delectable goodness ... the juice dripping down your chin. I am from trailer parks and duplexes. From mansions and apartments. Dusty dressers, and squeaky clean dishes. 192

Clothes folding, dishwashing, meal cooking me. I am from broken dreams and lost arts, waiting to be found again in the depths of humanity. I am the childhood swing of the family tree, pulling on the branches. Ropes so thin... on the verge of collapsing. I am the colorful attraction of the tree, entertaining all the little children. Keeping them from falling. .......(snap). As you paddle through the river of life. Savannah Raymond 7th Grade Normal Park Museurn Magnet Mrs. Picone

The Lake The lake sat cool and calm, As I sat on the shore at dawn, The water was shining, And the wind aligning, To make the water ripple, As I watched the water, The sun became hotter, And I saw the great swan, Sitting so calm, Not moving at all, Straight and tall, White and bright, Like an angel with light, Soon she flew on, That magnificent swan, To her home somewhere beyond. Nicole Donesky 7th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


Where I'm From I am from happiness From being outdoors To hanging with friends And swimming all day. I am from sadness From being indoors And writing all day To crying all night. I am from sewing with my grandma To flower gardens at home To scrapbooking And reading all day. I am from heartbreak To anger and depression From lies from people I love To crying all night. I am from those memories— the knot hole In the tree Keeping secrets from people Even if they have betrayed me. Pierson Kindig 7th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Picone


Where I'm From I am from plastic bags From Hefty to Brawny. I am from two houses, Not one or three ("because of my parents not because of me") I am from my great-grandmother, From the day she was born, To the day she flew away. I am from red lobsters in the deep blue sea to simple gardens with olives I am from Walt Disney (Who never died in my eyes), To the embarrassment my dad felt in his princess dress playing pretty princess with my cousin. I am from the cold northern winds of Indiana, to the simple summer breeze of Tennessee. I am from the crashing Towers and the day everyone feared 91l. I am from those momentsthe branches that hold onto the loose leaves of the family tree. I am from these memories and more. When you look at them, you look at me. Blake Reichel 7th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Picone


Where I'm from I am from Bruster's milkshakes, from the crash of a steel golf cart to the racing engine of a go-cart. I am from freshly cut grass and the leather interior of a Corvette. from the smell of a chlorine-filled pool To the zipping of jet skies And the quacking of ducks. I am from chocolate on freshly picked strawberries, from the puffing of my dad's paintball gun and the cheesy taste of pizza. From the sweet smell of a cooked steak, To the sound of my grandmother yelling at me for going too fast in my go-cart. I am from the splitting of my mom and dad's branch of the family tree, from the agonizing pain of a five iron hitting my head, and the banging of my sister's tricycle as she tumbled down a hill. I am from a cruise to the Caribbean To the crack of a taco in my mouth. I am from those moments -the tin can in the trash, hoping to be recycled. Clayton Gifford 7th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Picone


Where I'm From I am from Crayola crayons, From dishes in the sink and babysitters both good and bad. I am from spaghetti (Steaming hot with mushrooms; They felt like worms in my mouth.) I am from Sunday school mornings, From crafts and butterfly picture frames every Wednesday night. I am from my grandma's house in Florida every summer, and Ariana Lashea Smith, what are you doing to quitters never win. I am from Ichibon every cousin's birthday, my memaw's house every weekend, and my cousin's house for movie night. I am from mud pies, To babysitting cousins who put a whole roll of tissue in the toilet. From when my pawpaw passed away to hiding from family members I don't really like. I am from Gatlinburg family trips, family reunions, and my baby sister's birth. I am from climbing HUGE oak trees in the front yard with my sisters. to telling secrets to my 5th grade best friends, Alayna and Bailey And the big fights and big laughs with them. I am from those moments-the trunk of my family tree, pulling everyone back together after the storms and holding everyone close on the windy days. Ariana Smith 7th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Mrs. Picone


Eternally Stained You and I, Through the sands of time, We went through the ups and the downs, And the truth and the lies. I feel like it was yesterday when our love begun, I knew from the beginning that you would be the one. Through the suffering and the trial, And the heartache and the pain, Your name on my heart is eternally stained. You take me in your arms and say it will be fine, And I have to believe you for our love is intertwined. You're the beginning to my song. The perfect harmony. Our love is like the ocean, Beautiful and free. I look into your eyes, And know that it's true. And with every word you say, I also feel it too. Your smile and your laugh, And everything that appeals. You spin me around, And turn me head over heels. In the end, I regret leaving you, The feelings were quite strong. I continue to greave, Knowing that I was wrong. You're the best thing that happened, But the worst thing too. My heart is still broken, But I continue to get through.


I try everyday to ignore the fact, Your forever gone and not coming back. But I will remember the details of you, And forever feel this pain. For now it's on my heart, Eternally stained. Bailey Dale 8th Grade Heritage Middle School Mrs. Carlock

Ode to Shadows The shadows hide what we have forgotten They keep light at bay And keep evil under its protection The shadows are known as darkness Many fear them And yet more just ignore them Criminals commit crimes hidden behind them Yet many good deeds are performed with them Some even worship the shadows themselves Shadows are beautiful yet horrific Shadows harbor both the evil and nice Shadows are needed but hated throughout the world Shadows can be as little as a child Or as great as a giant The fear and joy is both amazing and frightening Zachary Bryant 7th Grade Ringgold Middle School Brenda Love


Turquoise, Funky Snails Lewis ate his hamster's cheese Together, guinea pigs do what they please Cucumbers use waffles as toys Flying saucers are always boys. Weasels like a soprano signing "Turtle Shells are always ringing.” Once a wonn met a dog playing hocky While reciting "Jabberwocky." UFO’s are identified So they should be called IFO’s But what exactly are they? Maybe they are UFO's. Misses Wicker never sleeps King Kitties never weep. Jonah never ate a whale, But still had a very odd tale. Rust will almost never rot Cats like chickens A LOT Cows love to sleep in cots. "Get your kornj out of pot" Chickens can’t fly But they can glide What's the difference? I don't know Fire alarms never lie. Tom ate my apple pie. Dodo birds want to fly Squidtapuses have more than one eye Josh McCommon 7th Grade Ringgold Middle school Brenda Love


Transpiration Flying through the sky unchecked, Heartbeat running without limit, Laughter, smiles, happiness, They all transpire. Flashes of black formlessness, Night rearing its midnight head, Rain pattering on the stones, They all transpire. Screams of pain and hurt abound, Cruelty and punishment run free, Aberration follows more, They all transpire. Joyful play and shining times, Singing bird and whirring fly, Leaves falling down from the sky, They all transpire. Guilt and blame collide and die, Men go with them, eye for eye, Golems of the mind break free, They all transpire. Out of mouths come careless lies, Others scream not to deny, Argument and exultation, They all transpire. Lack of sadness comes again, Merry times let loose within, Forgiveness inevitable, They all transpire. Peter Ceren 7th Grade Baylor School Carlene Conway


Autumn Leaves There they fall, on the way to the maiL They're so beautiful and bright, swaying in the autumn light, Feel the sun, warm and mild, just enough to drive you wild, Oh, such wonderful weather, if only it could last forever, So many leaves falling off the tree, feels like a castle surrounding me, Red, yellow, brown, seen all over town, Rake them up to make a pile, and get more exercise than running a mile, Jump and play, but not all day, It makes you sneeze, that autumn breeze, layer up and make it fit, don't forget to wear your Don't get carried away, you might get sick if you stay, Scream and shout, it's your choice, just make sure you don't lose your voice, Be sure to enjoy it now, later, it will turn to snow, Don't forget to set your alarm, or the next day won't be a charm, Get some rest when you're done, we all know you had fun! Shailey Shah 7th Grade CSLA Ann-Marie Blentlinger


I am I am what I am. I am analytical, a person who has to figure everything out. I am crazy; I am someone who would wear socks that don't match to meet the president. I am what I am. I am blessed, a person who has everything she needs and most of the things she wants. I am a sister, one who sometimes wants to, but couldn't love him more. I am what I am. I am a daughter, an adopted, chosen one. I am truthful, but only human. I am what I am. I am NOT short; I'm fun-sized, able to squeeze into the smallest of places. I am a lover, not a fighter or hater I am what I am. I am a musician, a flutist, who loves music and playing. I am brave, a diver in shark-invested waters. I am what I am. I am an over-achiever, or at least I try to be. I am loved, a person who has people to back her up. I am special, a yellow rose in a field of red ones. I am what I am. I am a fish out of water, a small tree compared to the entire forest. I am a level three green belt, one able to kick you in the head any way you prefer. I am what I am. I am a reader of fictional romance, sometimes mysteries. I am a writer, one who can write long or short stories. I am a colored picture, one with bright, unforgettable colors. I am a meteor shower shooting across the sky, not a moonless night. I am not easily forgotten. I am what I am. Hannah Maynor 7th Grade Hixson Middle School Mrs. Jessica Holloway


January......April .......Mae! Not with the smell of roses, Did April appear, But as a harsh smell that hurt our noses Whenever she drew near. Skipping February and March April came early. Our days with April were slow, And sweet, lazy and calm. But slowly she disappeared. In her place Mae appeared just as sweet, But not as calm Our days with Mae shall go on. Author’s note: April was a skunk-sprayed cat that came to us in January. She had kittens in June. We named one them Mae! Juliette Jacobs 7th Grade Ooltewah Adventist Kindergarten and School Mrs. Haughee

STOP THE VIOLENCE Stop the Violence the gangs, shootings, and killings, help others to care and start healing Stop the Violence stand up and start building, you see others hurting others take action and stop the bullying Stop the Violence if you see someone getting hurt, why don't you help and why can't you become first Stop the Violence You don't have to fall 204

in the path of others, Become your own person be brave and have courage to Stop the Violence show people that you are strong and you can fight back, let them know you are Gods child and you don't have to look back Become a leader and let others know, show the gangs, bullies, and killers that you are not afraid of their shadows So now that you know how to stop the violence, go do it NOW! your mind is your only appliance STOP THE VIOLENCE!! Dekobe Davenport 7th Grade CSLA Ann-Marie Blentlinger

The Believer There’s been hard times but you’ve always made ends meet It’s been kinda' rough but we’ve never been on the street You've always been working class, no one to help you out I know sometimes I get on your nerves and I make you wanna shout But through it all I have no doubt that you will always be there. When I was younger you always told me that no matter what, The Lord will see us through It makes me really sick when the unknown won’t help you You never seem to get upset or have a hard heart The wav you care for me makes me so happy inside To know that God loves me enough to put you in my life So I wanna say thank you for all you do That’s exactly why I wrote this poem for you. Jestiny Desmond 7th Grade The Chattanooga Girl's Leadership Academy Casey Clear


What to do if you find yourself in a post-apocalyptic World Carry the wounded man into the tool shed that smells of wet oak. Treat the wounds before the maggots burrow in his flesh. Take the axe off the wall. If his wounds start to fester and he foams from the mouth, run. If not, he will hand you a rusty pistol. Take it. He will ask for death Leave the pistol next to the shed door and move on. Walk in the foggy clearing until you reach the deserted gray house. Open the mailbox. Inside there will be a jagged knife. Grab it and run into the house. In the kitchen there will be a dead man. Duck beneath the banister. When the dead man limps through the doorway run behind him And slice his neck with the knife. Check his pockets Inside there will be a bloody map. Follow the map. You will find yourself in a city, alone. You will be starving. Walk down the large road until you reach an abandoned gas station. Open the shattered glass door. Inside there will be a little girl. She will ask for her father. Pick her up and cradle her. Learn to love her and she will do the same. In the parking lot there will be a lonesome dumpster. Search through it. You will find a half eaten candy bar. Betray your hunger And give it to the girl. Your hunger will disappear. She’ll thank you with the key. Walk into the middle of the street Carefully walk north one mile. Be wary of dead. Find the statue of Jeffrey Mason and Tap his shoulder 3 times. He will point to a manhole cover in the middle of the street. Slide open the cover and tell the girl to stay. Descend the ladder. You will not be able to see. Be wary of the dead. Elliot Brakebill 7th Grade Baylor School Ms. Collins


I want I want to go snorkeling in Slumy Hawaii seeing fish of beautiful colors. I want to go sailing around the mysterious Bermuda triangle discovering all of its secrets. I want to go on a safari in Africa looking at strange animals of all sizes and colors. I want to see the ruins of the Roman coliseum and stand where the ancient gladiators stood. I want to go back in time to meet Leonardo Da Vinci and find out why Mona Lisa is smiling. I want to ride a gondola down the artistic Venice canals feeling the warm sun on my face. I want to parasail over the evergreen Amazon rainforest and watch the exotic animals below. I want to swim in the Dead Sea floating above the salty darkness. I want to watch the ghosts of the graveyards in New Orleans watch them cry out to nobody while they walk in the graveyard. I want to eat fish and chips by the English Channel savoring every salty bite. I want spy on a Hollywood movie premiere watching the stars that shine on earth as they cross the red carpet. I want to be under the dragon paraded around the streets of Shanghai seeing the bright reds and oranges that make its insides. I want to go back in time and see the dinosaurs run watching the gigantic T -rexes roar and fight. I want to explore king Tut's tomb and when I'm done I'll walk along the Nile. I want to see all there is to see in the world watching places and people change. I may want all of these things To see the world and watch things as they were in the past Though what is really important Are the memories we make now. Jamie Kessler 7th Grade Baylor School Mrs. Collins


A Man Named Bob I once met a man named Bob Bob seemed very nice Little did I know Bob had a very sad life Bob spent his weekends making evil schemes He planned to kill the inventor of Jellybeans A jellybean choked and killed his friend So now he wanted to make the inventors life end He spent long nights perfecting these plans Only to have them spoiled by a policeman The policeman took Bob and put him in jail Bob thought he was an epic fail But Bob was too smart He planned to escape to Wal-Mart From there he would run to Canada While he hid his face with a bandana Unfortunately for Bob the warden caught wind of his plan Now he' s sitting in a highly secured pin Poor Bob will never see light again So that's the story of a man named Bob Lucky for you I made this whole story up Otherwise this guy would be really messed up Trinity Longwith 8th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs.Woodson

Webbed The intricate and gleaming strands, Are entrancing. It will draw you in. Fight the temptation or the temptation will pull you down. And you will walk into danger. The Darkness will swallow you whole. The blindness will build your fear. You will run into the forbidden place, deeper into the corner. Do not be alarmed at where you may be going, but most ignore this information. Sticky strands will entangle you, and you will fight them even more, so don't. Relax your body and mind. Soon, you will realize you are not alone A lone white moth will flutter and struggle until only his legs are stuck. Do not try it.


The sound of eight legs crawling towards you will draw you to look in that direction. Never look. Look instead the other direction to find the desperation in the injured moths' eyes as he lets go, His welcoming and jovial voice will make you feel secure, but NEVER trust it. It may seem he cares about you and wants to set you free, but a trick lies under his words. Squeeze your eyes shut and don't open them. Ever so carefully, wrap one foot around a strand three times. Only three. Untangle and unwrap from the way you came, slowly you will become untangled. This will give him the illusion that you are struggling, but you are really freeing yourself. Until you are the one with only a leg stuck. Now is the time to slowly open your eyes. Do not worry; his piercing eyes are not fixed on you. He will set a spiny black leg on your neck. Don't let it see you cry; do not let it see you scream. If he smiles, you smile back. If he moves towards you don't flinch, When he clamps his pincers to your neck, let go. And waiting for you will be the white moth. Hailey Miller 7th Grade Baylor School Ms. Collins


The Many Uses of Apples Apples, What the heck can't do? They keep the doctor away, So the children don't have to hide. They start food fights, To make school days more fun. Starting a charity, To give homeless worms a place to live. They poison a princess, In an old Disney movie. They started a brand of jeans, That everyone wears. And give girls more confidence By stuffing their bras. What would Twilight be Without an apple on the cover? Johnny Appleseed would a nobody, If he didn't plant those apple trees. Eating them can be a treat, For most, But some prefer as delicious candy apples Invented by William K. Kolb. Horse would be nothing Without apples, And most children would be disliked, If they hadn’t brought them for their teachers. If you throw them at a canvas, They can make deep, abstract art. For that loose tooth you had for a while, An apple could help you lost it. The apple could be thrown At people you don’t like, Or even an intruder That attacks you.


Apple sauce Says it all. Without apples, We would have no apple pie. But if you would like a little more fun, Try shooting an arrow at an apple Perched upon your poor friend’s head. For boring Halloween parties Bobbing for apples would Spice it up a bit. Now run that question through your head again. Apples, What the heck can’t they do? They can do everything! Annie McConkey 8th Grade Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts Sandra Howard

Sisters Sister, Sister, oh me, oh my They get on my nerves; I might punch them in the eye. They hit me all the time And my parents don't seem to mind And Lord Knows, I don't understand why. Warren Bonner 8th Grade CSLA Jane Varnell


Abstract I feel like an abstract painting Hanging on the wall People look at me and see the lines But never understand the meaning I can be strong and fierce But quiet as well So dangerous and daring But no one can ever tell My heart speaks And draws as it goes It may change any time No one can ever tell I have secrets hidden Under lock and key You may find the treasure But you will never find me I'm not the girl That comes in one shade I have many colors That show who I am I'm at the top of my game But I start at the bottom Cheating is never the answer So I find another way to solve it I might be different But isn't everybody? We all have our own ways We all come in different shades That is what we do Everyday of the week We try to be ourselves And never become weak Madison Boles 8th Grade Heritage Middle School| Mrs. Carlock


In the Arab Spring The Burning Man started a revolution That swept the whole Middle East From Libya to Syria The Kings had to stop their feasts They called it the Arab Spring And it spread around the world To Britain and America The riots and protests still swirl What will happen next With the protests over power Gaddafi and Mubarak are already down Will any leader be a coward? The Kings are furious now They want it all to end So they call over their soldiers To bomb them all to bits Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and Ustream The media is growing and so are its users By internet connection and magazines The world is watching the power abusers The people will not stop Nor will the kings What will happen next In the Arab Spring? Jack White 8th Grade CSLA Jane Varnell


And She's Still Strong A five-year-old girl lies quite as she can be Tears running down her face Soon footsteps come down the hall Closer, closer they come, she's scared And she's still strong.,. Scared for what might what might occur She's so afraid to shed another tear But her door swings open Her, scared to even think about what might happen next And she's still strong ... And even she's young, but still wants to die A single fear for hope comes Begging for help and mercy Wishing for an end And she's still strong ... Looking for a friend, to be saved Begging and understanding Needing acceptance and reassurance And she's still strong ... Taken from where they are, no one comes No one hears, nor sees through the night The tears as they fall The begging and pleading And she's still strong ... The dreams and wishes The needs and wants Of the abused No one understands And she's still strong ... Yet in the end She does tell And get's out of that place And she's still strong ... Tiarra Hines 8th grade CSLA Jane Varnell


Ballet Lies I glide across the floor, using all of my strength. It looks easy, effortless, graceful. This grace and effortlessness is deceiving. It comes at the cost of sweat and hours upon hours of rehearsal. The determination of never giving up, no matter how bad you hurt. Pushing your body as far as you can go, and then some more. Blood flows out of feet rubbed raw from those pretty little pointe shoes. Stretching your limbs until you feel as if they might break off. Bone grinds on bone and joints pop out of sockets. On stage ribbons bind pink satin shoes to our feet. We twirl in tutus. It looks easy. It looks simple. Ballet lies. Grace Jolley 8th Grade Baylor School Carlene Conway

Fishing Alone I'm sitting At the fishing hole I wait, I'm waiting By my fishing pole When the fish come biting I'm like lightning I throw my fishing pole Into that fishing hole Josh Geabou 8th Grade Heritage Middle School Mrs. Parham


Memorial Day Please Don't go Please Don't leave me by myself Stop Panting Stop Lying down You're ok Don't make me cry You breathe smiling up at us You don't know what's about to happen It's time I will never forget you Your yellow tail always wagging As you follow me wherever I go You never even ran away Not even when you dug a hole under your fence when we were at the beach I will miss throwing the ball to you as you run to get it When I get out of my car and you're always there to greet me I will never forget these memories of you I've been with you since the day I was born Dad was the one who picked you For you were the runt of the litter Now, thirteen years later Dad will be with you when you die Grace Carlson 8th Grade Baylor School Carlene Conway

Love Loyal Obedient Vulnerable Epic Rebecca Contarino 8th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelly George


Hannah Raley Hannah Raley is my best friend. She'll be with me till the end. If the problem is big or small, She'll be with me through it all. We laugh, we cry, day or night. We may be friends, but sometimes we fight. It doesn't matter if we lose or win, We'll still be friends, through thick or thin. There's something about her that makes me smile. She always goes the second mile. Not everyone has a very best friend That will stay with them until the end. Katie Beth Carter 8th Grade Heritage Middle School Mrs. Parham

Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate chip cookies are super delicious, I really don't care if they're not nutritious, I'll make them, and bake them, and eat them all day, I really don't care what you have to say, The warm and gooey ones, they are the best, So give eating all your cakes and your pies a little rest, Each bite will give you a sweet sensation, And will become your brand new sugary temptation. Emily Henderson 8th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


Blue Blue me sad one Who made this out to be Why couldn’t it represent fun Or be the evil one Or even the soothing one It will remain a mystery For who decides the outcome Whether if a color is sad, evil, or fun. Cary Williams 8th Grade Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts Sandra Howard

Roach Hollow There is a place I know, and it’s called Roach Hollow there it is all damp, dark, and deadly, and the people there are very dingy. With shotguns and scare, and the beer is not very rare, the civil war still being fought, but the dead don’t speak to the living, do they? Beer bottles make porch lights, and the washers are on the front porches, the houses are on wheels, and the cars on blocks. The world there is so deep and damp, and the kids aren’t at all friendly the rebels still rule, where it is damp, dark, and deadly. Joseph Gauna 8th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Carrie Willmore


Are We the Ones? Are Americans the ones to find the cure for cancer? Are we the ones to make artificial working organs that function properly? Are we the ones to find a safe, renewable fuel source? Are we the ones to fix our damaged Earth? Are we the ones to discover another habitable planet if Earth is no longer our home? Are we the ones to find alien life? We want to know the answer to all these questions. Imagine all the other questions lying unanswered. Are we the ones to find them? Malcolm West 8th Grade Baylor School Mr. Loftin

Determination Itself Determination to win the championship game. Determination to fly off the mountain in a glider. Determination to cook a homemade meal that will bring big smiles from the family. Determination to finish the cross country race in your best time. Determination to stay strong in hard times that beat you down. Determination to get into UNC for women’s soccer. Determination to live in the moment and not in your past. Determination to not have any red marks on your essay. Determination when the coach says “Work harder!” to excel and get the results he wants. Determination when you fail not to give up but to try again and again until you get it right. Determination when you don’t have the strength to find the strength and fight harder. Determination while working on homework not to end up on Facebook. Determination to be the best at what you do. Determination to be the favorite daughter. Determination to b the sister who is always there for her siblings and who knows exactly what will cheer up someone in rough times. Determination to stay determined. Hayden Bryant 8th Grade Baylor School Mr. Loftin


Life (Inspired by Dr. Gracy Butler) Moonlight filters through the trees, Then fades, only to be lit by sunlight. Diplomats smiling and shaking hands, Only to become enemies. Why do people live like this? We strive to better ourselves, Only to regress. We feel good, Only to feel bad, Rise only to fall. Why do we live this way? When we live life, We give rise to many things We raise countries, empires, and destinies, Only for it all to fall. Nothing is certain. Life is inspiration in those who seem heroic. Life is desperation in your darkest hour. Life is a heartbeat. Life is a blink of an eye. Life is an enormous roller coaster That never stops. Life is also a path: There are many detours, Many, many setbacks, And very many mistakes in reading the signs. To many, life is a mystery. There is always light in the dark, Like how the living are always around death. Just remember this: No matter what path you take, You can always have Faith. Cameron O’Dell 8th Grade Baylor School Mr. Loftin


Strawter in Grade School In grade school, science was my nemesis. Cells laughed and taunted me, “What part am I?” My stomach weakened and curled into a ball. As I learned different parts of the cell wall, my eyes deceived me. My enemy was winning Every time I started a new science project and opened the fearsome textbook, its cover the color of the fiery sun, spat out pure malice. As I wrote the project’s thesis sentence, my fingers twitched and ached from the excruciating pain of writing for hours. The sight of the very small cells in different colors of blue, purple, and yellow provoked me to exclaim, “Am I dreaming?” “Why me? Did I do something wrong?” As the final words of my project glided off the tip of my pencil, I felt relieved, knowing I, the kid who hates science, just made it through another assignment. Ulysses Strawter 8th Grade Baylor School Mr. Loftin


Indigo In the dawn's slow steady gaze, the hint of indigo on the horizon, creeping up upon the Night. Followed by the daily procession of light tones that proceed the Sun's opening act. Deep violet hues swirl in little pansy faces as they dance quietly In the shade of an afternoon shadow. bitter winds whip at their frail petals, at the dark colors that symbolize winter. Gentle rolling mountains, silhouetted purple in the afternoon sky; bare of green leaves, and Overtaken in thick fog. The sun sets pulling with it it's indigo sky cover into the mountain's soft shades Caitlin McOsker 8th Grade Ringgold Middle School Shirley McDonald


Forgiving Why is it that I forgive you? I know it's not because I love you It's probably just the right thing to do But you have manipulated many How come I could see it? Is it because you've changed Or maybe being away made you deranged But still I don't understand Why I was the target for so long I didn't even know you Instead you wanted to make My life a living hell Just because you thought mine was well But now the rest of yours is in jail And now I guess the time has come for forgiveness But what you've done makes me feel like you don't have feelings I've done everything to make this right But now I have to fight through all the pain and memories Now that I have healed I think it's the perfect time for forgiveness Coryn Atkinson 8th Grade Dalewood Middle School Eric Finley




Grades 6-8 Prose


The Brave Tumble Chic "You can do it." my teammates encouraged me. "No I can't," I told them. I closed my eyes. I clinched my fists tightly together. I can do it. I can do it, I thought to myself. I slowly opened my eyes, and went for it. I had been working on my round off triple handspring tuck since April. It was June. As I ran down the mat, my heart was beating a thousand miles an hour. There I went. One handspring, two, three, and then finally here came the tuck. As I twisted through the air, my eyes shut. Suddenly, I felt my feet hit the ground. I courageously opened my eyelids. I landed it. Wait.... I landed it!! "Whooooo!" my team screamed, running down the mat to congratulate me. "Oh my goodness, that was the scariest thing I have ever done in my entire life!" I shouted. "Haha." my best friend Olivia added. "Yeah, me too! Now lets go get some water." It was 8:30. Tumbling was over. I said my good byes, and headed home. When I got home, I walked inside, put my stuff down, and got in the shower. When I got done, I got in my pajamas, and lay down in my bed. I thought I would read a little, so I picked up my book "The Epic Fail" and started reading. "Ali, Ali" a voice called. "Huhh?" I looked up. It was my mom. "It's bed time honey, goodnight, I love you, sweet dreams." she closed my door, and turned the light off. That's the last thing I remembered. "Ali, Ali, wake up sweetie, time for school." "Okayyyy, one minute." I weakly replied. "Breakfast is ready, so be down stairs in ten. "Kk." I answered. She left the room. I sat up. I couldn't wait to tell everyone, I thought. I got up and headed down stairs to eat. When i got down, Morn had had eggs, bacon, biscuits, and orange juice waiting for me, like usual. I sat down, and scarfed my food down real fast. As I finished, I zoomed up stairs to get ready. "Ali, time to go." my mother shouted. "Okay, be right down." I loaded up in the car, and we took off for school. I'm in the seventh grade at Pinewood Middle School, in Mississippi. The car stopped. I opened the door. "Love you, have a wonderful day!" "I love you to, bye!" I slammed the door, and headed toward the door. "Ding dong ding dong, ding dong ding dong!" the bell loudly rang, so I walked to class. It was finally ten forty five, time for lunch. I sat down next to Olivia and some other friends. "Guess what!" I shouted. "What?" my friends asked. "Last night, when I was at tumbling class, I through my triple handspring tuck!" "Really?" they asked. "Yes really!" I explained. "Awwwww, we are so very proud of you. "Haha, thanks!" Well, lunch was over, so I went to third block. The day went by pretty fats. When I got home from school, I did my homework, and got ready for tumbling. I coudn't wait to throw it again! I was going to be the only one there tonight, because it was my private night. When I arrived, my coach was already there. I stretched, and warmed up a little tumbling. My coach and I talked about a tumble off in a week against other gyms. My mom left to go to the store to get us a drink. "Are you ready to throw it?" my coach asked. "Yepp." I told her. Ready... go! I went for it. As I flipped over, I didn't pull hard enough, and landed straight on my elbow. I broke down in tears. My coach ran over. "Ali, honey, are you okay?" "Ali, talk to me!" "I. .. think... I broke .... my ... arm!" "I'm calling your mom," she told me. She ran over to her cell phone, and dialed my mother’ s number. 226

"Stacey, Ali fell in her tuck, and I believe she broke her arm." "Oh no! I'm pulling in!" "Beeep," the call ended. My arm was in so much pain. The door slung open, and I knew it was my mom. "Ali, get up, we're gain to the hospital." I got up, and they put me in the car. We rushed to the hospital. My mom jumped out of the car, and got me out. We ran inside. "Uhh.. yes, my daughter has broken her arm," she said. "Okay, this doctor will take her back." she explained. When I opened my eyes, I was lying in a hospital bed, with my family hovered over me. I looked over to my right arm, and there was a green cast on my arm. "Someone has been dying to see you all night," my mother told me. "Okay." Olivia ran in the room. "Oh my gosh! I have been so worried. Are you okay?" she screamed. "Oh yeah, I got this for you!" She handed me a bear with a heart on it. "Aww thanks! Haha and yeah, I’m fine," I told her. "When do you get to go home?" she asked. I looked at my mom and dad. "Right now, if you want." my dad exclaimed. "Haha, lets go now!" "Haha!" Olivia laughed. By the time I got home, it was ten thirty, so I went straight to bed. The next day at school, everyone asked me what happend. I swear I told the story, a million times. My friends could not believe it. That night, my tumbling coach came over for dinner. "Since my arm’s broke, that means I can't compete in the tumble off?" I asked. "Honey, I’m afraid not." Kelly told me. "There will be plenty more though." she explained. My mom looked at me, and I looked at her. "I'm sorry Ali. Like Kelly said, there will be plenty more." I started to tear up, but took a sip of tea. "Yes, there will be plenty more." Danna Dalton 6th Grade Ringgold Middle School Brenda Love


The Good Stuff My sister isn't 2 years old yet. She still has that big, toothy grin on her face and new teeth sticking out. I watch her dance and twirl in her purple tutu that sparkles and it makes me wonder. My momma says normal, everyday sorts of times just like this, fly away much too fast. I'm 12 years old, and I'm beginning to understand some of what she might mean. Days can be dizzy, with rushing and racing, and it makes me wonder. How many more "Donut Man" days, thee Cheerios all over the floor days, the screaming of delight as she slides down her slide on her tummy days are left? When exactly do you stop enjoying playing with ice cubes and screaming with the fascination that melting cold brings? The swimming pool days, the snow days, the muddy boots leaving tracks all over the kitchen floor days are the ones my Momma says I will one day want to remember. The house shakes with laughter; the stairs pound as siblings run up and down, surely making my parents deal! Why, when we get bigger, do we always want something different to come along? Momma says that "normal" gets no better than little girl squeals as they dress up and little boy roaring sounds as they crash toy trucks together. Life is just way too short to make yourself crazy over tiny little things that in the end don't really matter. I'm learning. I'm learning that normal, regular days are the best days, and that the little things are the big things. Hopefully, I’ll remember that when I feel squished Cheerios between my toes, again? Allyson Harnsberger 6th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George

My Dog Henry Light pink garden gloves were shoved on both of my hands as I was grasping weeds and twigs. There was a scowl on my face for having to do yard work on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I could be with my friends or riding my bike or doing anything but this, I thought quietly to myself. I mumbled comments under my breath about how work like this wasn’t needed and the yard would only end up a mess again. I could hear the scraping sound of plastic tarps and bags being dragged around on the driveway. At that moment, I wanted to cover my ears and block everything out. Dirt and mulch were shaking around in my tennis shoes and socks. I stomped through the perfectly cut green grass to a black trash bag with sticks poking their way through the flimsy material. I threw the twigs and weeds in the bag and quickly turned around making a sour face at the disgusting smell of rotten grass. “Henry! Lolly! Get over here!” I could hear my dad calling out unmanageable dogs that were running wild in the front yard. I shook my head and smiled at the sight then pulled the dirt-coated gloves off my hands. I wiped my hands on my green t-shirt and slowly began walking toward my glass of water sitting by the garage door. Picking up the glass I was repulsed when I instantly spotted a black bug floating in my drink. Without thinking, I dumped my water out on the driveway and watched as it trickled down the little hill. The plastic cup fell from my hands onto the ground. I skipped across the driveway bending down to snatch my gloves before I began weeding and searching the yard for even more twigs and sticks. As I pulled on my gloves, I saw Henry running around the yard in circles. Before I knew it, Henry was charging straight towards me. Hesitantly, I dug my heels into the ground thinking Henry would zip past me like he usually does. I watched as my 100-pound black lab came closer and closer to me. His long ears were blowing in the wind and his mouth was wide open revealing his long, pink tongue. His long legs kicked up dirt and grass. The closer Henry came to me, the more frightened I was and the wider my eyes became. My brain froze and the words spilled out of my mouth. “Henry, stop!” he ignored me and continued running with drooll flying 228

out of his mouth. Taking a deep breath, I braced myself but nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. Before I knew it, Henry had hit me, knocking me off my feet and onto the freshly-cut grass. My breath was instantly knocked out of me as I hit the soft earth with the thud. There I laid on the ground barely catching my breath each time I inhaled. For a split second, all I could see was black. With my throat feeling tight, I reached up and rubbed my eyes. Opening my eyes, I could see Henry jogging through the yard. I gazed around the yard at my oblivious family digging nto the ground and pulling out weeds. Henry had come dashing down the steep front yard and plunged into me and yet no one even saw or noticed. Kate Peele 6th Grade Signal Mountain Middle School Jamie Brock

Demeter Monologue "Persephone!" I yelled, “Where are you? I hadn't seen her all day and I was starting to get worried. “Persephone! This isn’t a fun game! Come out of your hiding spot right now!” I yelled at the top of my lungs,"This was the worst day of my life! “Persephone I can’t find you any where! Are you playing a trick on me?” After a few more hours of looking I stumbled on a young mortal boy. I asked if he had seen my daughter Persephone. He said he hadn’t but his brother had seen his swine disappearing into the earth and had heard a girl screaming. That was when I knew Hades had taken my daughter. “Zeus!” I yelled full of anger, “Bring me back my daughter or the earth will never be green again!” I knew Zeus wouldn’t let his mortals starve. He sent Hermes down to get her. Once Persephone saw me she ran into my arms. “Persephone we will never again be parted! I am so glad you are back with me! Once we get home we will have a huge feast and you will never leave my side.” Yet our celebration was very short for she had tasted the food of the dead and had to return to Hades. Since she at six pomegranate seeds she must stay there for six months every year. During those six months I turn into an old woman full of grief. All the crops die and I feel like I will never be happy again. Carmen Ross 6th Grade Baylor School Mr. Fleissner


Aphrodite Oh, thank you Hephaestus, I will wear this necklace every day. Oh wait! Could you make me matching earrings? Yes? Thank you. Oh, I wish Zeus had chosen Ares for me. He was so afraid that the gods would fight over me that he quickly chose Hephaestus, the steadiest of gods, for me. He is a nice guy, don't get me wrong, but he can't walk!! He stepped in between Zeus and Hera while they were fighting and Zeus threw him down to earth. So, he built two golden robots to carry him around. Ares, can walk. He is the god of war. He is so strong and handsome; I don't know why I am the only goddess that loves him. But, that's their loss. Hephaestus is really good at making things like weapons. He makes me mountains of jewelry like he is trying to buy me. Oh well, I love the jewelry anyway. A few weeks ago, Hephaestus made me a sculptor to show his affection. It was beautiful but can't you just make me a mirror!! Anyway, Hermes brought her to life and named her Pandora. Then, Zeus gave her the box of bad things, and sent her to earth. She REALLY wants to open it! But, I don't think or I hope she is not, stupid enough to open it. Eros? EROS!! STOP IT THIS INSTINT!! There he goes making the wrong couple fall in love again. EROS GIVE ME YOUR ARROWS!! Yes, Hephaestus your son is misbehaving again! Ugh! Oh hello Ares, what? What?! PANDORA OPENED HER BOX?!?!?! DID SHE LET HOPE OUT?!?! SHE DIDN'T?!?! GET PANDORA NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eliza Hurst 6th Grade Mr. Fleissner Baylor School

The Legend of John Jameson Boom, boom went the stormy night sky. Lightning hit the ground, so fast as a shooting star. The thunder was as loud as a cannon. I remembered the legend of the ghost that lived here. It all started in 1901. In 1901 the day John Jameson was killed in a abandon house in the dark black woods. The legend says that John got mad at the people in the town for destroying his house and building other homes over his. So he was mad the people living in the homes as well. Every night there where complaints of a strange man walking around in peoples homes. Someone has identified the ghost as a tall man with a brown coat, a black hat, and brown pants. People say that their lights turn on and off by themselves and a man has been spotted by the windows. A child was home alone and thought he seen his father in the hallway. When he walked up to the figure the man disappeared. John has been mistaken as a lot of things. No one has ever seen him up close, but Corey Brown, a grad student from the University of Wyoming, was a friendly man once you get to know him. Corey was locking up the house one stormy night when he heard a noise coming from upstairs, in the guestroom. Corey slowly creped up the stairs. When he entered the guestroom, Corey felt a cold chill in the room and it seemed to go right through him and make the hair on the back of his neck stand up. The room was a mess. Pictures where all crooked, the bed was messed up, the dresser drawers where pulled out. Nothing was stolen. None of the doors or windows were broken, but as Corey checked 230

the window he didn't see himself' in the reflection, he seen John Jameson with his red glowing eyes glaring back at him. The last time he had a guest was in October 5, 1924. The room was clean for five months. Until that night. The next morning Corey felt a pain in his neck, as he rubbed his neck there was blood on his hand. AB he walked into the bathroom he noticed the mirror was missing a piece. When he checked in the mirror he saw that his neck was cut, by the missing piece on the floor. Corey was very upset about all that had happened and the face that he seen in the window. Corey will never forget that night or the face that stared back at him. The cut on his neck will be a forewarning to the terrible things about to happen to him. That same night, his neighbor Jessie screamed in horror when she seen John in her home, outside her sons room. She thought he was a robber. Then he hovered into her son's room and so she ran after him in anger. Then he disappeared in mid air as she turned the corner into the doorway. Her son was not in his room. John led her to her son's room when he was missing. She cried out his name. There was no answer. She then said his name again and there was an acute voice saying "He is not in here!". She thought john disappearing and his voice were signs that her son might still be alive. She then ran out the front door and around the house yelling his name into the darkness, she finale found him on the back porch sound asleep next to the strange dog growling at her. She told Corey what happened that night. She seen John a lot of times after that, it always freaked her out when she saw those gleaming bloody red eyes. Not just her, the hole town saw him as well, which started a controversy about everybody living this town. So finale every one moved out of the houses, except for Corey. He tried to convince John not to terrorizing the future town folks. While Corey was away in the wear house, the cops tried looking for him. Some how he was found dead. Hung from the ceiling fan with nothing underneath except the blood spelling out the words" he is now mine." 20 years later a group of religious priests fixed the houses for homeless people and started living in them. Nothing happened for two weeks. After that Corey and John were in a man’s house. The man was asleep, when his children weren't. They saw the two ghosts and screamed. The mom ran out to the kitchen and the ghosts were gone. They didn't know what was going on in the house. The next day the townspeople went miles from their homes to find out where the ghost came from. They found dark spooky woods that they searched in. For two hours they hadn’t round anything. So they went further and found a cemetery. There had to be hundreds of graves. They finally moved out of the homes and no one lived in them until today. The homes are still haunted. I live in one of the homes. I have not yet seen a ghost. They do move things and turn things on and off and make themselves known. I always turn my TV off when I leave, but when I return my TV is on and strangely its unplugged courtesy of Corey and John. Brandon Huyler 6th Grade Brown middle school Monica Gordon


Life as a Crayon Life as a crayon is not as easy as you think. Some days you could be drawing a happy nature scene or on the other hand, some stormy clouds. I say most importantly, it all depends on the master of the crayon. My name is Violet. Not purple or lilac, I am simply Violet. I work at Diamond Hill Pre-School and some days, or all days, I would prefer not to. The monsters that handle me are crazy, bewildered, little beasts. All they care about is splitting me in half. Why did I agree to work here? Feeling: green. Today I feel like I could just be thrown into the dumpster. Tommy, once again, stuck my pointy tip up his swampy nose. It was absolutely excruciating. Not that it hurt, but it sure made me sick. I could throw up if I wanted to. Woops! I forgot that I don't have a mouth. Feeling: Blue. What a sad day. I am so down with the remembrance of… my family. Just writing brings me purple, I mean, violet tears. My family was great: Orangelica, Fred, Pinky, and Blue. Together we could make beautiful and extravagant pictures. If only they weren’t… never mind. Feeling: red. I feel hopeless. The suction-like monster zoomed over me and now I am simply in a dark, gloomy, crummy, place. At the same time, I am calm with the thought of never being around crazy kids ever again. But how do I get out of here? Feeling: orange. Guess what? I found my family! Everyone looks just fine and now we can all unite/rebel against this suction monster! With the help of our pointy tips, we could jab through the monster and live happily-ever-after. Feeling: Yellow. We have conquered it! Or at least escaped. With the power of my family, maybe we could withstand even the kids! Operation Kid-Conquer#1. Feeling: Blue. I am horribly upset. We have failed to do our job. Nothing more to savor do, for my life is over. Feeling: Pink. I am still a little upset but won't let my sadness get in the way of my duty. I will try again. But this time, alone. I can't let them find me! So basically I will hide until they begin to miss drawing a beautiful, violet flower and come crawling back to me. Mission in progress: Kid-Conquer#2. Feeling: blue. How many times am I going to feel blue? I failed once again after Susan asked where purple was. I just couldn't stop my frustration and I just left. I am VIOLET! Feeling: yellow. I feel mellow and calm. After all why not live in peace? I could be crying or actually moving on with my life and facing the happy parts. There you have it: being a crayon is harder than you think! Olivia Theisen 6th Grade Signal Mountain Middle High School Jennifer McGann


Revenge of the Snowman It was the Christmas day and I woke up in my bed in my house to find tons of snow outside. I quietly walked into my dad's room and yelled, "Wake up!" He finally woke up, and then I got my siblings up and said that it snowed at our house. And everyone cheered. After the chaos was over we all got dressed, and charged outside and jumped in the snow. After I got up, we threw snowballs at each other. After we played in the snow for about 30 minutes, my dad called us in for breakfast. I walked in and smelled the most delicious pancakes ever. When all of us were finished eating, we played in the snow some more. Then we got bored, so I said we could build a snowman, and everyone liked the idea. I decided to make him a huge basketball player that is scared of nothing and towers over everybody. After we were done making him, we dressed him up. It had long basketball arms, a basketball hat, and a pure mean look on his face. I started looking at him for a second, and it started swaying back and forth. So I braced myself, but it didn't fall for some reason. I turned away for 5 seconds. Then I heard, "Jonas, look out!" I turned around and a snowball was coming for my face. I ducked and said to my brother Graham, "Ha, you missed!" But then, the worst thing happened, the snowman toppled on me. I was buried in snow; it was so cold that penguins would die. I looked at the snowman and it was ruined. I said to myself that day that I would be more careful on how tall a snowman should be. Jonas Ervin 6th Grade Hunter Middle School Mrs. Standridge

The River It all started the night Kimberly's brother had her dangling over the Broadway Bridge. He held on her tight by her ankles, losing his grip every second. "Ronald let me go!" Ok you want me to let you go?" Ronald's sweaty hands lost hold of the bruised, red ankles for a split second and Kimberly screamed, "Ronald!!!" He immediately laughed but caught her just in time Kimberly and her brother were the only two children. She was very intelligent, but shy and loved school. The slim, tall, freckled face girl didn't have a lot of friends so most days she would spend her time reading or drawing. You would find Ronald and her always arguing. He didn't like Kimberly in his room or in his way so day really argued about that. Kimberly really just wanted someone to hang out with but her brother wasn’t interested. Ronald never did want a younger sister. At first he was the only child. That is until his mom remarried and had Kimberly. He had it hard on him as a little kid. Dad divorced his mom and left when he was three. Never could do anything about that. When Ronald grew up he started being out all night and got in trouble at school a lot. Then Kimberly came along and he straightened up. One night Ronald had walked in on his step dad hitting his mom. He had got so angry that he ran out the house and 233

slammed the door behind him. Ronald had really grown on his step dad but when he witnessed him hitting his mom he thought how could he. Kimberly was up in her room at the time and when she heard the loud noise she ran down stairs. When she got down stairs she didn't see anyone. She looked out the window of the little suburban house and saw her brother running down the street. Halting to the door, she quickly opened it screaming, "Ronald, where are you going?" He didn't answer her, he just kept running and he didn't look back. "Ronald, where are you?" Kimberly had been looking for her brother for quiet some time now but didn't find hill. She was just about to give up until she heard some on talking. Approaching the Broadway Bridge she heard her brother talking. The bridge was a little dark, not many streetlights, but Kimberly knew her brother wasn't alone. As she stepped in one of the three streetlights she saw her brother getting pushed around by two older guys. "Stop it!!!" Kimberly ran up trying to push the guys off her brother. Not knowing that it was trick one of the guys graded her arm. Then her brother turned around and started laughing. She was very confused. She didn't know what to do at this point. The boys then hung her off the bridge and her heart began to race with fear. Was Ronald really going to let her fall? Down below Kimberly saw a little green head pop out of the water. She studied it and tried to think but with fear racing through her veins, it was hard. What could it be, she thought. The mysterious green little creature swam to shore and as Kimberly watched. It turned into stone. Feeling surprised she gasped and got the boys’ attention. “Please don't let me fall in that water! I think it is cursed or something!" The boys scoffed and made faces to Kimberly's thought. "Ronald, your little sister is a weird-o. Lets just drop her already." "Ok." Ronald said. Kimberly prepared herself for what was about to happen. She had hoped that she wouldn't be turned into stone. "Booms away!!" He had dropped Kimberly. Falling, Kimberly realized that it had taken a long time to hit the water. It had seemed as though time had slowed down. Could it be possible? Did time slow down? Kimberly thought about it and said to herself, “What is this, what’s happing, how could this be?” Questions where swirling her head, then she hit the water. "Splash." She found herself drowning but made it to shore. As she tried to move she felt her body getting stiff. She couldn't stop it. She was turning into stone. And it had all started the night Kimberly's brother had her dangling over the Broadway Bridge. Keichona Flemister 6th Grade Brown Middle School Monica Gordon

Brian's Big Chance Brian had always wanted to be a world famous spy. Now was his chance. His mom knew that Brian dreamed of being a spy, so when she saw a poster for a contest, she entered him into it. The grand prize was free admission to train at the USA Spy Academy. She thought that he would not win but thought that it would be at least fun. A few months later, a notice came in the mail. When Brian opened the mailbox, he saw a bright red envelope that read "You Have Won!" He asked his mother what it was about. "Oh, I forgot to tell you!" she said then added "I thought you would have wanted me to enter it just for fun, but I did not expect to win." Together they opened the envelope and read the letter. It said that trainees would have to report to camp on July seventh. That was Brian's summer break! Brian did not care though. He had dreamed about being a spy most of his life, and he was not going to let a thing like summer break stop him. "Summer break or not, I am going!" he said. 234

On July seventh, Brian and his family headed off for the airport. They got Brian's tickets and went through security. When they got to the gate, both of his parents hugged him ight and said goodbye. "Last call for flight 714 to Vermont" the announcer blared. Brian walked toward the airplane and right before stepping on, he turned around and waved to his parents. They waved back. That was the last time he would see them for a very long time. As his plane took off, Brian looked out the window filled with happiness and wondered about the long adventure ahead of him. When Brian's plane landed, he collected his baggage and went to wait across from the restrooms just as he had been instructed. When more kids started coming, he realized that he was not the only new recruit and felt rather silly. After the flow of kids stopped and when no one else was going past, the wall behind them suddenly and silently slid open. A man who looked to be in his twenties beckoned them in. "You all are the new recruits, correct?" he asked quietly as his gaze scanned the hallway. All the new recruits nodded their heads. He said, "Quick, inside before anyone sees!" They hurried inside, and the wall slid shut quickly. "Welcome to our base of operations," he announced. "All right then, recruits, follow me," he said. One of the kids raised his hand. "Why do you keep calling us recruits?" he asked. "Well, I don't know your names, and that's what you are," he answered. "O.K." responded the satisfied recruit. Then the recruit raised his hand again and asked, "Why are you stationed in an airport?" "Why, why, why, is that all you can ask?" he wondered aloud. "Sorry," said the recruit. "No, no, no, don't be sorry. Just phrase it differently next time. I don't like ‘Why?’ I like ‘How come’ or ‘May I ask why,’ not just ‘why.’" One of the other recruits asked, "Excuse me, but what is your name?" "That is of no consequence of yours, is it now?" he said. "Sorry" the recruit replied. "NO!! What is it with this group and sorry? But I am glad that you asked about my name, because if you are not curious, you can't be a spy. A spy must be naturally curious. You may call me Mr. Garret, but on formal occasions, you will call me by my last name, Jones," Mr. Garret replied. Afterwards, Brian and the new recruits inspected their dormitory, got their stuff situated, and got to meet each other. Their names were Matthew, Greig, Austin (the curious one), Corey, Caison, and Cord. They were all very nice and happy to meet each other. Then they all reported to Conference Room C. Mr. Garret was waiting for them there. "All right then gang, I assume you have met each other. Am I correct in this assumption?” The group nodded in "First things first. It is tmie for your ability test to see how much training you will need. Matthew, go to room C3. Greig, go to room E6. Brian, go to room G9. Austin, go to room Q3. Corey, go to ... " I have a question," called out Austin. "What?" asked Mr. Garret sounding annoyed. "How many rooms do you have?" asked Austin. "Too many" replied Mr. Garret with a great sigh. Now, Corey, go to room R5. Casion, go to room B&, and Cord, go to room W9. Before you go, each of you will receive a document in an envelope. The envelope will have a symbol on it. There are two kinds of documents with a different symbol on the envelope. Each of you will be given one of the two documents. Your objective is to obtain both types ofdocuments. Now, each of you, one by one, come behind this curtain and get your document. Do not show anybody your envelope, because the goal is to figure out by yourself who has a document that you need. When you have obtained the one you need, return here. Go to your respective rooms and when you hear the signal, you may begin." Brian went to his assigned room, and when he heard horn, he dashed off and went in search of his friends. He was successful and collected both documents of the as did Matthew, and Greig. Brian, Matthew and Greig were put in a training group together. After many years, they completed their training and became master spies. Brian Duree 6th Grade CSLA Ann-Marie Blentlinger


Rose and the Sign of the Golden Eagle Rose rushed down to see the newspaper. Rose always dreamed of being a detective. While she was looking at the newspaper she noticed that the Golden Eagle bandit has struck again. Rose thought that somebody must put a stop to him. She saw this as her chance to finally do some detective work. She knew it was going to be hard to be a detective because she had to gather a lot of clues, question suspects and compare her information. She had gathered some items like a camera, journal, flashlight, and a pencil to help her in her adventure. She went to every place that was robbed, and she did find some clues, but the strange thing was that every place that was robbed had a note that had an eagle colored in gold paint. Rose came to a conclusion that the robber's sign was the golden eagle. Rose also took some pictures at all the places that were robbed. Rose also thought that the robber would have a golden eagle tattoo on him or some reference to the eagle on him. The next day she went around the town enquiring the tattoo parlors if one of their customer had a golden eagle tattoo done on him. Luckily, one of the tattoo parlors did mentioned that they had done a golden eagle tattoo on one of their customer. The parlor also told Rose information about the customer. The parlor also told Rose the address of the customer. Rose went the very next day to the customer's address to observe him for a few days and check if he was the right person. Rose observed him for several days and figured out that he was the robber. Rose took note of the robber's everyday schedule. Rose even took notes of his important plans. She came to a conclusion that his next target was the art museum in the town center after she saw him studying the Building layout and the security. She even noticed that his robbery mission was just two days away! The next day Rose made a plan on how to capture the dangerous robber. Rose knew it was going to work because it was perfect. Soon, the day came for Rose to catch the robber. She went to the museum along with two policemen to capture the robber. They waited inside the museum hidden for the robber to break in. The policemen captured the robber red-handed while he was removing an art from its display. After capturing the robber the policemen gave Rose an award for being a great citizen for the town. Rose also became a junior detective of her town so, when there is another problem like this Rose will be the one that solves it. Who knows, Rose might have more mysteries coming her way! Anvitha Kosaraju 6th Grade CSLA Ann-Marie Blentlinger

The Robot Revolution Far into the future there were aliens and robots. Now these are not robots like we think of robots, these robots have the ability to think and learn. The robots worked as slaves for the aliens but they wanted to be on their own. Finally one robot stood up and said that they didn't need to take the abuse from the aliens anymore. They should fight back. And that's exactly what they did. The robots gathered laser guns and tasers that delivered 10,000 volts of energy with one shot. The aliens, not knowing what was coming, had to defend themselves somehow. The aliens used whatever was in their hands including newspapers, holographic tablets and the occasional fork. You would think the robots would win this battle! Right! They did. They conquered the city of Glab and later a neighboring city Glube. Just like in Glab the people of Glube had no idea what was coming so the robots won again. By now you would 236

expect the word to get out on planet 8986 but as usual it hadn't. The robots took over every city one by one until they got to the city of Cordinia. Cordinia had heard about the attacks on the other cities so they were prepared with their entire army. The robots thought it would be an easy defeat so the robots sent a small force to capture Cordinia, since it was a small town. The oncoming robots didn't expect an entire army awaiting them. The robot force was quickly defeated. One robot got away and his code was 86786. 86786 told the other cities that Cordinia was trying to regain the planet and destroy the robot army. You would think that thousands of professional robots would take this as a challenge. They actually panicked and ran! Cordinia's forces quickly moved to other cities and freed them from the robot rule. Soon the planet was controlled half by robots and half by aliens. After a time, the aliens continued to fight with all their might to regain the rest of the planet but most of the battles they fought they lost. Most aliens believed they were now losing the battles because the main robot making facility was located in Glube, the second town they conquered. Troops were sent to destroy the robot making facility in Glube. This force had brave young heroes such as the conqueror Bob. When they finally got to the robot making facility, one of Bob's men accidentally tripped over a wire that set off an alarm. When the robots heard the alarm they rushed over to attack the troops but no one was there. They thought it was just an error so they went back to their normal business of forcing aliens to make more robots. When the robots were gone the troops dropped down and Bob screamed at the soldier who tripped the wire. They finally made their way to the main reactor. The room for the main reactor was about the size of a football field and the reactor took up most of the room. The aliens made the room extremely cold so that the main reactor was more efficient. They set up their bombs on the main reactor and set them to explode with a timer. The timer was set to 5 minutes. Five minutes gave them enough time to free some of the captive aliens and get away from the reactor. After five minutes there was a huge explosion. Bob had made it away from the facility. At that point the scales tipped and the aliens began winning more and more battles. They recaptured city after city until there were just a few still under the control of the robots. The lead robot, realizing he made a mistake attacking the aliens, decided he should make peace with the aliens. The lead robot went to the alien headquarters under the white flag of truce with a peace treaty he had already signed himself. The aliens agreed to sign it as long as the robots freed all the captive aliens. The robots did exactly as they agreed and the war was ended. After the war there were no more slaves of robots or aliens and they lived in complete peace. Matthew Slater 6th Grade CSLA Ann-Marie Blentlinger


Cora "Come on Paris!” Cora de Moon said, as she flipped the light switch off in her fathers lab. "Ruff! Ruff!” I was the only response she got back. They both left planning to go shopping and to go to Starbucks. The lab wasn't empty yet, though. Crash! A test tube fell off the counter as Dr. Osborn broke in. "Now 3c975 will be mine/' she muttered, referring to the chemical formula she was about to steal. She saw it and ran to it, her cloak billowing like a tame storm cloud. She broke the case it was in, sneaking quickly away as the alarms went off. Cora rushed in, once again with her dog, Paris. But everyone else has beat her to it. There were cops everywhere! She franticly searched for her dad, until she found him talking to a cop. "Dad!” she called running to him. "What happened?" Cora inquired. "Someone broke in last night. Wee don't know who yet, but we'll find out,” he replied. Cora's eye widened, feigning surprise. She was the SFA's best agent. "Hey dad, I got to go, see you later!" Cora said running off. Cassy! She thought as she ran. Oh no. I was supposed to meet her at Starbucks! She got her cell phone out, starting to text Cassy. Got to go somewhere. Meet later. K? Sorry! She texted. All of a sudden, the floor dropped out from under her! Now she was free falling to who knows where. She finally landed on a cold hard floor. "Owww!” she screamed. "I think I broke my ankle.” She screamed again. "Good,” someone said. "Now you won't be able to move when I kill you!” All of a sudden, a knife flew out of nowhere, missing Cora by inches. "Missed,” Cora said sarcastically. Another one flew out, this time missing her by centimeters. Maybe I should be quiet, she thought. The voice finally showed itself. Or should she say herself. That's right. "Dr. Osborn,” Cora said in disbelief. "That's right, Cora de Moon! And I have3c975! Now you will die." She replied, aiming a knife straight at her. Cora braced herself, ready for the killing blow, when all of a sudden Cassalina jumped onto Dr. Osborn, grabbing 3c975! "Cassy!" Cora shouted happily. "Get her outta here!" Wait. What? All of a sudden, Cora felt two firm but gentle hands pick her up and carry her out of the now lit room. 238

She turns around to see if she can get a glance at her rescuer. She does, and almost faints at what she sees. It was a boy with dark brown hair, green eyes that took her breath away. "Who are you?" she asks. "Not now," he replied. "I have to get you out of here." She was quiet after that. They finally made it out of wherever they were. He sat down and started to bandage her ankle. "How do you know how to do that?” she asked. “My dad's a doctor,” he said simply. He reached into the bag he brought, and pulled out tow fold-up crutches. "WOW. You have everything,” she commented. He smiled. She sighed. After the crutches were on, they went for a walk. "Now are you going to tell me who you are?" she asked. He stopped. "Sure. My name is Eric.” He reached down, took her hand, and brought it to his lips. "That is a French custom, right?” "Yea." She giggled. After that night, she was way more careful when she went to investigate things. Well, not that you can be more careful than she was, when the floor dropped out from under her. Her father told her not to go on any more missions after that. Did she listen? No way. Sarah Cornett 6th Grade Hunter Middle Mrs. Standridge

The Weirdest Boy When a little boy named Jaylen Johnson was running from his dad, he came across a cliff. He looked back and didn't see anything. He closed his eyes. When he opened them, he was growing. His dad was very hairy. It all started at his school. "Hey Jaylen, guess who made the football team?” Jaylen's friend said excitedly while he leaned side to side snapping his fingers. A grin, "Who you?" He and looked surprised. "No, you. You had to know that. You tried out yesterday. Your legs were hairy and your teeth were sticking out of your mouth. Your face got hairier by the second. Follow me to your house, I'll show you." "Jaylen Johnson! Is that the name?" A strange voice was saying slowly. "Yes. What do you want?” "For you to answer questions," he said rowdily. 239

"Okay." I turned around, it was a man in a suit. I turned back. There was another man in a suit. I looked to the side. No one there. "Are you a flying monkey?" “No, why?" "Well you need to come with us." They closed me in. They were twenty-five inches away. I ran to right side. Ring a ling ling. The eighth graders were coming out. I ran through, when I heard my dad behind me, he was one of them. My red and black shirt tore while my hair busted out. Kids looked at me until someone said my name. My dad. I ran to the back of the school, they followed. Then I saw the cliff. I jumped. "Ahhhhhh!" I was flying. "You're so strange," another voice said as I was flying! A boy with a gray sweatshirt with shorts was looking down at me. He smiled and the hood flew off his head. It was my best friend on the other side. He threw a rope down to me. "Come on. They think you're dead." As soon as he said that a brick fell down on my back. I went down like an airplane. Two hours later I woke up in the middle of dinner time. "Show me the video. Now. I want to know what I am." I said scared. He ran upstairs to get it. My eyes were turning dark red. His sister, Dakota, looked at me like I was a lollipop. She is my age. She is a little goth. She says she's not, but she wears all black. "I got it. Come on." My best friend said softly. He showed me something as I was changing. "Hey you're all hairy now. Cool. Can you bite me?" Then I ran off and never came back. Deondra Johnson 6th Grade Hunter Middle School Mrs. Standridge

Disbelief and Belief “Go ahead, Em" her mom urged her to put the crackers water on table. Whether the elf came in an Amazon package or Santa's sleigh, it was no concern of the eight-year old girl. Emma had never believed in Sant – if he was truly real, the North Pole would have to be in China because all the toys that "Santa" brings, somewhere or other have a tag that says "Made in China." Even a few days earlier, her friend whose elf visits her every Christmas tried to convert Emma to Elfism. "What would it mean if the elf got to your house in two days?" her friend had said. Emma's frank response had been: "It would mean my parents had paid for extra fast shipping!" And Emma had not changed her mind since. She was standing in the corner of the kitchen that was furthest away from the food's designated spot on the table. 240

Her mom’s golden hair was shining in the sunlight – it looked as if it was made to charm anyone. It began to work its magic on her, and Emma took her first cautious step towards the table. Far away, another girl was taking her first cautious step. The snow crunched under her pointed shoes, and her hand was sweaty. All of a sudden, SPLAT! The girl lost her footing and fell to the ground. This was not any normal girl, though. She was about eight inches tall, had point ears, and was covered head to toe in red and green. The fat was, this girl was an elf named Ellie. This was the first snow Ellie had experienced and she was not used to it. Suddenly, her arm started twitching, her face turned completely red, and she started bursting into hilarious, uncontrollable laughter. A group of elves that had been having a snowball fight noticed her and ran to her side. See, this was not just normal laughter, this meant a human had called her! "You've been called!" came the voice of her friend Morton, a slightly chubby elf. Next came the whole thing of packing up all your belongings, collecting some snow, and then finally doing the transport thing. Ellie hopped into her sack. She fastened the gold nametag that she had been saving for this very moment. Her mom knocked on her bedroom door with the Jyack (the man that performs the sendoff to the human world). “Hornosh tiggle na unguof tite!” whispered the Jyack. Ellie, who was nestled comfortably in her sack, watched her mom wave goodbye. Her head started spinning, and right before her vision blurred she noticed the tear of watching her firstborn go off to the human world run down her mom’s cheek. Then all went black. Emma had just woken up from a long seep and was dozing peacefully. "EMMA WAKEUPITSNOWEDATONOUTSIDEANDSCHOOL WAS CANCELED THERE’S SSOMETHINGATYOURPLACEATTHETABLE1!!" yelled brother Jeremy. "Jeremy, calm down! I'm almost up." Emma was still feeling a little groggy, but if there was actually snow outside, it was worth getting up. But something Jeremy had said at the end particularly interested her. What was at her place at the table? She leapt out of bed, grabbed her bathrobe and fumbled with it as she dashed up the stairs to the kitchen. It couldn't be-but could it? Sitting on the kitchen table was a tiny little cloth doll. She had blonde ringlets and poking out of them were pointy ears. She was wearing a sack. Emma walked towards the doll. It didn't just look like a doll, though. She had a twinkle in her eye, and the warm pink lips looked like they were dying to burst out with “I just can't to play with you!" Emma took the elf out of the velvet sack to discover a little nametag that read, “Hi, my name is Ellie and I love to dance!" Underneath the sack, Ellie was wearing a little red tunic trimmed with snowflakes, green and white striped leggings, green mittens, and green pointed shoes. Emma gently held Ellie and ran down the stairs to tell her mom the news. “Mom, look w hat I got! Her name’s Ellie, isn’t she cute?” said Emma. “She is! Where did you get her?” her mom asked. After a moment’s thought, Emma joyously replied: “Santa!” Phoebe Mills 6th Grade Girls' Preparatory School Mrs. McKenna


Lost It was a warm rainy night, the wind was shouting through the crevices in my window. The rain and hail were pounding on the roof of my cottage. I got up, I hear these sounds every night but this night was different, very different. I turned around by extinct and saw something moving outside, whatever it was it must have been bright because my room was nothing but silence and the silently moving darkness. When I thought I was about to get a glimpse at the creature that night it just disappeared into the advancing darkness without a trace of its dangerous existence. That morning I woke up sweaty and full of grief from all that happened last night. I got up to brush my teeth and through the window I could see a faint man in all white covered in bushed It was the same creature from last night. He looked right into my eyes like he was hypnotizing me with his gaze. Then he just disappeared into the sea of green bushes behind him; I went downstairs into the kitchen and to my surprise the same man appeared in the window "no it must be something else, an illusion of some sort". That intense encounter of having an illusion was a sign that something was going terribly wrong inside of my head. That thought was stuck in my head and gnawing at my insides am I going crazy? That thought scarred me for weeks after the encounter. The next night Michael and I were playing outside with the football when Michael threw the ball to hard and high, and it tumbled into the ever going forest behind my house. I went to reach for the football and the creature stopped me dead in my tracks. At first I thought it was an illusion but then it reached and grabbed me. While all this was going on Michael was watching carefully and gathering rocks and ran up in front of the creature and let a rapid fire of rocks hit the creature. The creature lost his grasp and I was loose. Michael and I took a mad dash for the house, but we were scooped up right off the front porch. After that alii could remember was being in the back of a van with books of some sort. They were blue and had the words air force on it. Clunk, Clunk. "What was that? I don't know." "I smell metal." "Me too." "I think we are on a plane.” “We can’t be!" Thump, Thump, Thump. "Someone is coming get your head down," I shouted. “Yes boss I have the cargo with me right now," a strange voice stated. "Our plan is almost into play minion." "Yes, yes it is." "Sir we are almost to Cuba we need to load the cargo into the boxes." "Then go do it right now!" "What does he mean by Cuba, and cargo, Michael wherever we are going in Cuba it must not be good." "Hello my little precious children please sit down," the boss man said. "No." "Minion sit them down right now!" "Well I and my associate came here to talk to you about some documents that were stolen and we know it was your father Starling Nelson Ervin Jr.” 242

"I know my own fathers name". "Well if you don't tell us where those documents are, you will never see your family again!" "I'm sure whatever my father did or did not do, we have nothing to do with it," I stated firmly. "If you can't tell me where those documents are, you will just stay with me." "Fine I know where the documents are." "Where?" "In New York, by the empire state building, in a briefcase under a bench." "Minion, get them on the boat." "Michael I think we are stopping." "Let's get off children." "Hey Michael, look over there, another boat, maybe when they are not looking we can sneak onto it." “On three: one, two, three, go." “Hey get back here." Chug chug chug. "Michael we finally escaped." Not yet we haven't. Look," Michael said. "Police, stop that boat those are our children." "Please driver I know you do not know who we are but please speed up. Those guys are chasing us please." "Minion jump and grab them." "No you will not grab them," said the driver. "Jump! Okay Michael this better work!" "You smell that Jalen?" "Yes I do I think it is fish." "Oh no we are on an island!" "We need to get off and go home and call the police." " I know." "How are we going to get off this island, we are not top notch survivors." "Maybe we can make a really Smokey fire and a boat will come." 243

"That's a great idea." So we were off all day every day cutting wood and anything else that could burn and make black smoke. After several days of hard work, we had all we needed. We set out all the logs we gathered and stacked them high. We left a space at the bottom for all the dead grass and dried bark we could find. Luckily we had a match in my pocket and we lit it I never saw so much smoke in my life. To no surprise about an hour and a half after it was lit there was a boat coming to the shoreline. "Over here help, over here.” HONK! Finally, we were rescued and the nightmare was over. Jalen Ervin 6th Grade Brown Middle School Mrs. Monica Gordon

The Music Box It was a sunny afternoon. The 1996 school year was finally over, so all the children were outside playing in the hot Tennessee sun, the distant sound of the ice cream truck ringing through your ears. This is what seemed to be a perfect day. Sheldon was a sixth grader. They are the youngest so they are always getting picked on. What made it worse is that he was a big nerd, from his big old glasses to his Arizona jean suspenders. Alex was the too cool for school girl, when she actually bothered to show up for school she was making a solid D-in every class. Dylan was the goody two shoes, he always made A+'s and did nothing wrong. Diana was just an average girl who made pretty good grades, and lived across the street. They met earlier in the year and were all best friends. Dylan was having a birthday party and they all went to his house, they had the best time eating cake, pizza, and ice cream. When he was opening his gifts, he got a plasma screen TV, an electric scooter and an Xbox 360. It was his last gift that surprised him the most. It was an ancient looking music box. It had the most detailed paintings on the sides. It has paintings of a jungle, a glum looking city, and a strange looking cottage in a field that seemed to be close to nothing. His mom said it was his grandma's before she died, and she was passing it on to him. He set it on the desk in his room, thinking it was just a regular music box, but he had no idea what was in store for him, and his friends. After the party was over and the commotion settled, they went into Dylan's room to chill. Then they noticed the music box and asked if they could see it. So they set it on the floor and gathered around it. Dylan cranked it 3 times, "CRANK, CRANK, CRANK," and very slowly it opened. It then played a light, eerie sounding tune, like something from a horror movie, and snapped close. There was something on the inside that Dylan noticed. It read, “Do not crank more than 3 times.” So Dylan set it back on the desk, uneager to find out what would happen if they cranked it more than 3 times. Alex who was of course curious grabbed it and cranked it, "CRANK, CRANK, RANK.....CRANK" Suddenly it snapped open the faint music was playing lightning fast, over and over, but faster. Wind started whirling around causing them to fly all over the place. Then there was a small aqua light emanating from the box. Then they felt as though their stomachs were being split from the inside. Then they were all at once sucked into the music box. They hit a hard muddy ground and in all the commotion they blacked out, the last thing they heard was the gentle, almost silent "ding, ding, ding, dong, ding," last keys of the music box tune.


"OH" Dylan said, as he finally woke up. He saw Alex lying next to him (still unconscious) and Diana slouched over both of their legs. "Alex...Diana......GET UP!!" Dylan screamed. Only problem was he didn't see Sheldon, he then remembered he didn't come to his birthday party either because he had to study for the big Language Arts test tomorrow. So they were stuck in an unknown place without one of their best friends, could it get any worse. "We need to find Sheldon," Dylan said. "Fine," Alex, and Diana said in unison. They stood up brushed themselves off and trudged into a dense, thick, green, blooming, jungle. "SMACK" as Dylan swatted a mosquito off of his arm. "This is torture," said Alex, "My legs hurt," said Diana. "Complaining won't find Sheldon," Dylan said. "Yeah well it's your fault were in this mess anyways," said Alex. "How is it my fault," Dylan said, "You're the one who cranked the box 4 times." They sat there and argued for a good 10 minutes, Diana just watching them, when all the sudden there was a slight noise behind them, they looked and a giant tiger jumped out of the bush. “Ahh," they said. They turned around and sprinted for their lives, not saying a word just exchanging worried glances as they dodged and ducked the rough terrain. They ran until they reached a little cottage in the middle of a great big cornfield. They knocked on the door, and a middle aged, tattered, bruised man wearing a heavy coat, and some dirty overalls answered the door. He was also wearing a tilted straw hat, and his dilated eyes seemed to stare right through you. "Yes," he said. "Um .." we don't know where we are," Dylan said, "Is there anyone here who can help us," "Well sure me's and me's wife can help you's out," he said, in a country and uneducated way. He motioned his hand for us to come in. He brought us into a room with ripped gray furniture, a cream wall, and a green rocking chair sitting in a corner with a small Italian looking woman in it. "Well who are you," she said in an Italian accent. "I am Lisa, would you like some tea," she said humbly. "Um ... no but if you would tell us where we are we will be off," Dylan said. "Why you're in the music box," she said, "the most miserable place .. Well anywhere." "You can only get out every 50 years, and only one group can get out at a time," she said, “We can take you there if you like." After a whole days walk we got to a giant blue light. Suddenly Lisa pushed them down and took off towards the portal. "I've been waiting 50 years for this," she said. But Dylan caught her leg a pushed her down then him Alex, and Diana jumped through the portal. They had a flashback of when they entered the music box, the music the splitting stomachs but then they woke up in Dylan's house everyone acted as though none of it happened but Alex, Dylan, and Diana will never forget what happened in that music box. And every time they close their eyes they hear the chilling keys of the music box tune. Michael Ervin 6th Grade Brown Middle School Mrs. Monica Gordon

Why Mockingbird has no Song of his Own Songbird had a beautiful song. It was obvious that the queen of the birds, Dove, preferred him. Songbird could do something no other bird could do: he could mock the other birds, imitating their calls perfectly. No bird knew it was him, of course they assumed it was another of their kind. The only other bird who knew about Songbird's ability was Peacock, Dove’s strong, right-wing man. Unfortunately, he wasn't as strong as he was jealous… jealous of Songbird that is. Peacock became so envious that he created a plan to get rid of songbird. He was determined to use the secret he knew for his own good. He called songbird to him. 245

“You have disturbed the peace,” he said solemnly. “Dove has ordered me to put a curse on you." "What have I done wrong?" Songbird asked innocently. "Silence!" Peacock cried. "You will only do as I tell you!” A smile quivered on his beak, but he quickly hid it by pretending to sneeze. "You will never again sing your won song. You will only sing the songs of others," he said. Songbird gasped, but Peacock clamped his wing over the other bird’s beak, a glint of revenge in his eyes. "You will no longer be known as Songbird," Peacock continues. “Now you will be Mockingbird." He released his hold on Songbird's beak. “You are dismissed,” he said simply. Songbird, or Mockingbird as he was now known, flew out of the Great Oak where Peacock lived and flew in circles around Dove's kingdom. He frantically tried to sing the song he knew so well, but every time, he could only croak. Exasperated, he flew to Dove's tree, the Grand Sycamore. "Dove, oh Dove," he called. "I am so sorry for what I have done." He bowed to the queen as he said this. "Whatever are you apologizing for, Songbird?" she inquired, obviously oblivious to what Peacock had done. "You don't know?" Mockingbird asked, astonished. “Don’t you remember ordering Peacock to put a curse on me?" "Why, no," she said, just as astonished. “I don’t.” Mockingbird's eyes widened, and then he to spilled the entire story to Dove. Whenhe was done, Dove was shaking with fury. “He WILL be punished!" she promised. Dove flew to the Great Oak, with Mockingbird right on her trail. “There,” he said, pointing to Peacock’s shadow. Dove flew into the tree, leaving Mockingbird outside to await her return. Mockingbird heard them inside the tree and tried to see in through the large holes that served as windows. Finally, he heard Dove’s voice say, “Enough! You will not longer be able to fly. I will punish you for all the damage you have done in my kingdom. You. Are. Banished!” Peacock soon disappeared from the tree, dragging his tail in the grim. Dove flew out of the Great Oak, clearly devastated by the betrayal of the one whom she thought ofas a trusty deputy. She flew to Mockingbird and asked him quietly, "Would you like to be my deputy?" His eyes lit up, and he nodded vigorously. This is why the Mockingbird has no song of his own. Josie Offutt 6th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet School Heather Brown


The Magic Jewel Box "There's the box with eleven holes! It's carved in a rock?" Carlos Stikler shouted with joy. "You were right!" "Who cares? We have the jewels now." Joe said, stumbling over an old, rusty, hard-covered book. Joe leaned down and gently picked it up. "Well, what have we here?� He opened the book and read: A stream of light, through the old glass house hit the box of eleven jewels. Only the date with the same last digits shall reveal the home of magic, to those who are worthy to hold so much power. In a matter of seconds the book disappeared. "Stand back!" a mysterious voice said from behind a tree." "And who might you be, interfering with our situation?� asked Joe. "I'm Elaven. I came from the island of Eleven. We can only be born on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year. I was born ... " someone cut her off. "I just asked your name, not your life's story." Joe said, extremely annoyed. Elaven said nothing in return. "Why should I stand back?" "Because," Elaven continued, "at any moment it will come back. Then, it will steal one of your jewels and you will be trapped in the book until you find the jewel. I know where the magic book hides the jewel, but you'll face many dangers along the way." "I don't care." "Are you sure? There is a minotaur minotaur minotaur, a Cyclops, and an Alexander eagle." "What's an Alexander eagle?" "An Alexander eagle is a fiery eagle that breathes snow and spews water out of its wings. They're very great, but violent creatures." Elaven said, quaking. "Wwwweeeewww" "I told you! It's back to take a jewel and you're going to have to be back by 11/11/11. It won't work again until 12/12/12." "Ok, ok! Nag, nag! Is that all you ever do?" "You can't outsmart the book." "Don't say that to my boss. I bet we can keep it from a book." This time it was Carlos speaking, and he regretted every word, because right as he said it, the jewel was gone and they were in the book "I guess I was wrong..." "You think?" Elaven cut in. "The jewel should be somewhere in the cave, but get ready, the minotaur is first." "We're ready. Minotaurs can't see well, so maybe we can sneak past him." Joe explained. "Ok, but what if it does see us?" Elaven asked. 247

"Grab something heavy close by." "Whatever, let's just get done with it, ok?" Carlos replied in a scared voice. The group walked slowly and quietly past the minotaur to the entrance to the cave. Carlos hesitated as Elaven started to nudge him forward. "The Alexander eagle and the Cyclops come together as a tag team, so who are you going to battle with? You can choose anyone out here, including the other Alexander eagle" Elaven said confidently. "Cool, but where is the other Alexander eagle?” “Just call it in your mind. It will come to you and they are always loyal, but you better be quick. It’s already 11/5/11. Time flies here in book world. Good luck.” Elaven finally said in a happy voice. "Wow, there it is! It’s beautiful, so graceful!" Carlos exclaimed. Joe and the Alexander eagle walked into the cave, and the battle had begun. “The Alexander eagles took to battle with their claws. Axes appeared in Joe’s and the Cyclope’s hands. Clank… CRASH. “The axes fell to the ground. Both Alexander eagles fell too, and they were dead.” “I did it! Now, let’s go get that jewel.” Joe shouted, very exuberantly. He quickly returned. “I’m back and I have the jewel, let’s go.” Joe said as he sprinted to where they were sucked into the book. Carlos and Elaven followed and they made it back on the exact date. They all rushed toward the book and stuck the jewels in the center. The time had come, the light shone through the old glass house and hit the jewel box and the entrance into the cave was found. Inside the cave the group found diamonds and, for the first time ever, Joe had a smile on his face. “That’s amazing. Out of all my years of trying to find what was in there, two dummies opened it!” Elaven sarcastically mused. “Are we even sure this isn’t a trap? Caros wept, very loudly. “Oh hush! All you ever do is worry. I already killed all of the dangerous creatures.” Joe announced. “You only killed one and it was all luck. The Alexander eagle could have failed and then you would be trying to kill the other one. You would probably be dead and we wouldn’t be here with all these fake diamond. The real treasures are far back in the cave.” Elaven exclaimed with great pride. “What else is back there?” Carlos said with a shiver. “Well I hope you’re not afraid of spiders.” “… spiders! You can go without me. I’m staying right here until you and Joe get back!” “We don’t have to, the real diamonds are probably hidden under the fake ones.” Joe announced. “I never thought about that. Well, start digging!” Elaven said, curiously. The group started digging through the fake diamonds and found that Joe was right. Carlos also found a small, wooden box. 248

“I can’t believe it. It’s like I’m a wizard.” Carlos announced, handing the box to Joe. “I don’t feel anything like a wizard, and there’s nothing in the box.” Joe complained. Carlos said, “The book said: ‘…who is worthy to hold so much magic.’ I think I got the magic” Joe gave him a glance and the group started laughing. “I don’t believe this. Carlos got the magic? This is amazing.” I feel amazing.” Carlos said. For the first time ever, he wasn’t scared. Leah Witt 6th Grade Ringgold Middle School Brenda Love

The Invisible Adam was an average sixteen-year-old student that always called himself the forgotten one. He didn't have many friends, and no one really knew his name. He always kept his long black shaggy hair in his face and stayed hidden. He was always very sul1en. Not many exciting things happened in his life until he woke up one morning and found that he was invisible! It was a normal morning at first until Jasper, his little brother, walked in his room to tell him breakfast was ready, but in midsentence he shrieked and ran. Adam looked in the mirror and saw floating clothes. It took him a moment to understand, but after a few minuets he knew that he was invisible. Adam's mother and Jasper walked in his room. Jasper repeated his steps from before, but his mother just stared. She left, and Adam heard her talking on the phone for a while. She didn't come back in his room to tel1 him what was happening. He sat in his room for ours waiting for someone or something to tell him what was happening. After hours of waiting Adam's mother came in the room. She sat down on his bed and he sat next to her. His mother sighed then she explained, "I called a special scientist to come, she will help you with your problem." She paused. "Adam, the men in the family have strange powers and your power is invisibility." His mother stood up, "The scientist wil1 be here soon." Then she left him alone. Adam truly felt invisible inside and out. The doorbell rang after a few more hours. Adam walked into the living room just as his mother opened the door. A tal1 woman with short blonde hair and a brief case in her hand walked in the house. Jasper came rushing out to see who was at the door. He almost shrieked again when he saw Adam's invisible clothes. "It is nice to see you again Izzy", said Adam's mother. The tall woman smiled and sat on the couch. His mother went into the kitchen and a few moments later came out with a pitcher fil1ed with iced tea. She waved her hand for Jasper and Adam to come and sit down. Izzy stared at Adam with concern. She looked at the two boys' mother for an explanation. "He woke up like this. I guess his powers have come in a little early," his mother explained. Izzy nodded in understanding. Then she smiled at Jasper which made him blush. Izzy opened her mysterious brief case and dug through it. Then she asked the mother if she could talk to Adam alone. His mother nodded and left with 249

Jasper. "Do you want your powers anymore?" asked Izzy. Adam shrugged. A frown appeared on her face. Adam just got his powers! How was he supposed to know if he wanted them gone or not? The frown stayed on Izzy's face for awhile. At last she spoke, "Can you even use your powers?" Adam shrugged. He wanted to shake his head, but she wouldn't have seen it. Then out of nowhere he heard a familiar shriek. His little brother was now in the living room. Adam stared at him in confusion. Then he looked down and saw that he wasn't invisible like before. "So you can use your powers correctly!" Izzy exclaimed. Then Adam heard another piercing shriek. He was invisible again. His mother walked in and said, "Sorry for the interruptions!" Then she took Jasper by the hand and walked out of the living room. Now Adam wanted his powers gone! He didn't want to live with his brother shrieking all the time! He looked at Izzy and said, "I want them gone." She nodded and pulled out a small medical needle. She safely gave him the shot and left the house. His mother came out and stared at the now visible boy. Then she smiled. That must have been what she wanted all along. He saw the relief in her eyes. Now she has one less freak to take care of. He lived his life as normal as possible. Sometimes he regrets his choice, but he also enjoys it. His brother doesn't shriek as much anymore. He always wondered what his brother's powers were going to be and what it would be like if he kept his powers. Loud, very loud, thought Adam. Adam thought that the best power for his brother would be super sonic powerful screams of transportation. Adam always remembered this story and never forgot it. He forever called himself The Invisible. He never thought of himself as the forgotten one anymore. His brother never treated him the same. They were closer. Who knew super powers would bring siblings closer together? Ronnie Triplett 6th Grade Ringgold Middle School Brenda Love

The Horror-Movie Prank She had bossed, sassed, embarrassed, and insulted them more times than they could remember, and this was the last straw. Monica DiRonaldo had gone too far this time. She had just insulted Alixa about how stupid she had been by not raising any money for the school fundraiser. It was nothing to be ashamed of, though. Some people just don’t have the time. Monica was always looking for an excuse to e mean. But soon it would be fall break; Alixa, Ann, Laura, Katie, and Trinity were looking forward to the fact that Monica was going out of town. But when she got back, it would be worse. She would rant and brag about how awesome her vacation had been and how their hadn’t. Once Monica was gone, with the fact rubbed in that she was going to the Universal Studios, the girls gathered at Katie’s house. They were then sitting around Katie’s room. Katie herself was on her bed, Alixa was on her spinny desk 250

chair, Ann and Trinity were sharing Moon chair, and Laura was on her beanbag. They were all thinking about the same thing: how they had been living happy, normal lives and then in about the middle of fourth grade, Monica had come and ruined it. She had seemed nice t first, but then she had started to show her true colors after some time. “So what are we going to do about it?” Ann asked. “Do about what?” Alixa asked, unnecessarily “About Monica. We aren’t going to let her bully us, are we? I’m certainly not,” Ann continued. “Okay. So let’s embarrass her really bad,” Laura said. She wasn’t afraid to share her ideas now that the general opinion was known. Then sensible Trinity broke her reverie. “But if we embarrass her that hard, we’d embarrass ourselves.” “Oh,” Laura muttered. “but if we were to make her to like the star of the show, we would be all right,” Trinity finished. “My dad’s a movie director, so maybe he could lend us some of his stuff. I think I know what Trinity means,” Alixa offered. “Yeah. Same here. I think we should make a clip in which Monica would scream and run,” Katie continued on. “It could be set in a dark forest.” “So then we post it on Youtube, she gets embarrassed, and leaves us alone? It might work, but it sounds rather mean,” Ann said. “Hey, you wanted to do something about it. Plus, we won’t leave her completely hopeless. You know that girl Reina? Monica and Reina would go together like pie and chips. Or a glove… whatever. But the point remains that they have the same snobby attitude,” Laura pointed out. “Okay then. It works. Let’s meet at Misty Forest tonight,” Katie decided. Misty Forest was a place the girls had dubbed as kids. It was a small forest, so the girls knew most of it by heart. The girls met in the woods. Alixa led them to the clearing they had chosen. It was surrounded by dead trees, but the trees beyond were still covered in leaves. That meant that Monica wouldn’t be able to see very far beyond the grove. But most importantly, Misty Forest was filled to the brim with mist. The girls would use it as a screen to project images. Alixa’s dad had agreed to let Alixa borrow some of his less expensive equipment. Among the gear was a big light on which one could put a cut-out to project a shape onto a screen, hence the mist. He had also let her borrow a ladder to get shots from above. Alixa was going to use a video camera she had gotten for her last birthday. Then they all helped put up metal pipes with ropes. Last, they hid some masks and make-up in a hollow tree. Monica walked into Laura’s room like she owned it. “So how was your vacation guys? Oh, wait. You didn’t have one. You stayed home. Well I…” "Sorry, but we have to go. We've got an appointment," Trinity explained. And before Monica could ask any questions, they were out the door and running. They knew Monica would follow them. But Monica was a slow runner and it would be dark by the time she found her way to the clearing. That was exactly what the girls wanted. The group 251

slipped into tattered clothes and donned their white-eyed masks. They used the make-up to make any visible part of their skin look dead and decaying. Only Alixa and Katie didn't look like zombies. Katie would film, while Ann, Laura, and Trinity would walk forward, arms extended and moaning softly. Alixa would make creepy noises into the tubes with slits in them that would make it louder and as ifthe noise were coming from all around. Right when Monica was about to bolt, Alixa would put the cut-out of a skull on the light, project it onto the mist, and playa recording of spooky laughter into the tubes. The sun had just gone down as Monica was about to enter the clearing. Katie switched on the camera and gave the introduction. Ann, Laura, and Trinity hid behind trees, and Alixa snapped a branch in front of the tubes. They heard Monica's footsteps stop in surprise, then curiosity got the better of her, and she plundered on. She stepped into the grove. "I know you're out there! Whatever you're hiding, I want to know what it is!" Monica yelled Alixa performed a low moan into the makeshift speakers. Monica looked around in surprise and newfound fear. Then out stepped three zombies, groaning. Alixa screamed and moaned into the pipes. Monica was paralyzed into a frightened stupor. It was time for the grand finale. There could have been a drum roll as Alixa placed the skull cut-out onto the light. She prepped the recording, switched on the light, and set the laughter playing. Monica screamed and ran. Katie climbed down from the ladder and gave the credits. Alixa, Laura, Ann, Katie, and Trinity were walking to Laura's house about two months later when they saw Reina and Monica walking together. They remembered again that night. That night had been the last night Monica DiRonaldo had ever bothered them. Tatiana Poggi 6th Grade St. Jude School Mrs. Czarnecki

31 On April 13,2009, it all started when I woke up 8:00am eastern time. Today I had to take the TeAP test, which was 25% of our overall grades. If you didn't make it to class by 8:30 you were locked out of the classroom. When I woke up, I saw the clock and sprang out of my warm and cozy bed and sprinted toward the master bedroom where my parents were slumbering. "Hurry Mom I'm late" I yelled as my drowsy mother rolled out of her bed and advanced towards our closet. Unlike my mother, waking my father was time consuming. To wake him you have to holler "Up!" like 30 times and then tickle his fungus infested feet. After that my dad would slowly stir and go eat breakfast. By the time all this was finished it was 8:00am. When I scurried into my bathroom to brush my teeth, I discovered that there wasn't any toothpaste. Quickly, I extracted all the toothpaste left if the bottle, but only to be greeted by a dab of toothpaste. I gave up on brushing my teeth and decided to go to the bathtub and take a shower. Hastily, I twisted the handle as a cold, bleak blast of water collided with my face. After my cold shower, I came out to eat breakfast, but alas why does a perfect breakfast with warm bagels, eggs, and bacons at such a busy morning such as this. I didn't have time to complain I devoured all the delectable food like a famished wolf. When all this was complete, the clock ticked to 8: 11 am.


Abruptly, I dove into our car as my father started the engine. "Vroom" our car went as we raced down intersect 24. In the car, I put on my socks and adjusted my shoes, and fixed my collar. At 8:27am I was on school property. I burst out the doors and ran up the stairs like a charging rhino. I glanced at my watch as I took the last step and saw no need to run. I marched triumphantly to my class only to find it closed. Startled, I glared at the school clock and found it 2 minutes ahead of my watch. Later that day I received a scolding from my teacher why I was late and by my outraged mother why my grades were so low. Those were the most tiring 31 minutes of my miserable life. Patrick Lee 6th Grade St. Jude School Mrs. Czarnecki

April 27th I woke up about 8:45 to a wet, rainy morning in North Georgia. I went into my grandparent's kitchen and the Royal Wedding was on TV. My grandpa changed it to The Weather Channel and there was a tornado warning for most of the day. About an hour later, we went into the basement and waited until the rain was gone. The rest of that morning was on and off ram. That afternoon was also was very rainy. There was a tornado heading for Georgia that night. When it finally reached nighttime, my grandpa said "tum off all electronics and go into the basement!" We were watching TV down there and the news reporter told everyone to stay as low as possible. I was beginning to wish my parents had been there with me. But my parents were in Tennessee getting hit harder than we were. I noticed a tornado countdown timer in the bottom of the screen. I looked around it and it said that most of North Georgia had about an hour before the tornado will be there. There were very high winds and lighting flashes every two seconds. We eventually had to close the basement window blinds in case it broke and the glass would shatter. There was 30 minutes left on the timer before it came. All I could do was sit there in fear. But of course my grandparents were there to comfort me. There were 5 minutes left and we went into the comer room and waited it out with the pouring rain, the lighting, the thunder, and the wind blowing. The tornado had just missed us. I never want to go through something like that again. I went home a day later. We passed through Ringgold and the rails were tom apart and one of the buildings had completely collapsed. I'm just very thankful nothing happened to my family. Luke Hix 6th Grade St. Jude School Mrs. Czarnecki


Cat vs. Dog Finally I had him. He was black like charcoal with tan brown fur on his paws, face, and chest. He is my dog. His name is Sport. I also adopted my two cats when r was in first grade. One was black and the other was a calico. I recently picked up my dog in February over spring break. From the start r could already predict they were not going to be friends. As soon as we brought Sport home, we immediately heard hissing from the cats. The truth was that Sport just wanted to play, but that thought would change very soon. The cats, Skye and Scarlett, were so scared of the puppy that they would not come down from upstairs. After about a month, Skye, the brave cat, finally started venturing downstairs. She would scan her surroundings making sure the puppy was not there. She would sneak downstairs so slyly it was almost impossible to spot her on her way down. She would just appear, like a ninja! Most the time she would stroll down to go outside, but other times she would just want to hang out and be petted. I always like when she sits in my lap while I watch T.V. I listen to her purr, sweet and soft, and I think about the days when she used to always hang out downstairs with no worries. If she spots the dog, ZOOM, she zips up the stairs before I can do anything to stop her. Over the months, the cats have gotten much braver. They are not friends, but the cats have clearly proven that they are much tougher than my dog any day. Now, Sport has actually become slightly timid around the cats. On occasions I can tell Sport wants to play with the cats, but other times they have a standoff, until one moves, and they're off. Sometimes Sport is the chaser and other times he is the one being chased. The funniest thing that happens right before a chase is when Skye is perched above his head on top of a piece of furniture. She leaps down tackling the little puppy, and the chase begins. One time Skye cornered Sport and my mom rushed upstairs to rescue him. It makes me feel sad for the puppy being controlled by the ferocious cats. I wish the puppy and the cats could just get along instead of trying to murder each other, but I know that will never happen. Jackson Bush 6th Grade Baylor School Amy Cohen

Stony Sticks My legs shoved against the asphalt, harder and stiffer every step, My hair wildly flew along right behind me as I gasped for air. I could see my brother catching up to me in the corner of my eye so I pumped my arms vigorously. I forced my legs to go harder, tougher, fiercer, through the burn and to win. I rushed through the maze of cars and then he passed. "See you later!" He yelled in front of me. I scorched inside so I sprinted over the tired whining in my head. He soon passed me and disappeared. I pushed on, my legs on fire, my breath caught in the wind. I ran so hard my stomach cramped but I ignored it. Then I bolted through the same glass doors I had a thousand times before to see my bother sitting at one of the tiny tables, sweat beating down his face. He once again beat me inside to the candy store. Ting-a-ling! The tiny silver bell with small, gray, skinny, ribbons tied around it jingled happily along to its one and only tune as I stepped towards him. "I won." He said with a smirk Then, my parents entered with bright faces. I smiled, nobody could help but smile in this joyful place. Once every two weeks, my brother and I raced across the parking lot into the candy store to get our favorite treat. We weren't there for ice cream or just any kind of sweet; we were at the candy store for Stony Sticks, the glorious rock candy. Stony sticks are dried sugar in big clumps colored with the most vibrant shades of the rainbow. They get harder than jawbreakers and are then slipped onto a small, wooden, stick with a little ball on the bottom to help 254

you hold the candy. My family and I come once every two weeks for these stony sticks. They sit in a small basket, usually on the counter beside the cashier. I reached up, stretching with my legs, and grabbed a floral pink stony stick, and looked at it. The pink stony sticks were always my favorite because to me, pink is a sweet color and I always felt the pink would be the sweetest. My brother decided on a sky blue stony stick and my mother got her hands on a cloud white stick. We bought the three candies and sat down at one of the little tables. I eagerly crunched mine down, bite by bite, and waited for the others to finish. When we were done eating our sweets, we headed towards the door. “Have a nice day!� said the cashier as I heard the bell once again sing its little tune. I felt so satisfied that I decided to once again race my brother to the car. Every time we race, I even sometimes expect to lose. My brother was older and had longer legs, then me, but I know one day my tiny fists, little legs, and I will win the race together. Neither my brother nor I are really worries about racing; we do it for the love of stony sticks. I bounced into the car, strapped on my seatbelt and ruminated about the next time we get to drive down the familiar road, past the wonderful shops and restaurants, to turn the corner and stop in the candy store’s parking lot. Virginia McEvoy 6th Grade Baylor School Amy Cohen

The Story of Toku and How the Mockingbird Came to Be Long, long ago, in a village at the bottom of what is now Signal Mountain, there lived a boy named Toku. He lived with his dad, mom, and three younger sisters alongside what is now known as the Tennessee River. Toku was selfish and annoying, but he was very handsome. He was tan, had green eyes, and was tall and muscular. Since he was able to speak, he had always dreamed of flying over his village to get everyone's attention. One night, Toku lay in his bed silently forming his most devious plan yet. Just as he jumped out of his bed and began to tiptoe out of his house, he noticed a little girl watching him. "Don't tell anyone what I'm about to do!" he said. After some arguing, he finally agreed to let the little girl come with him and watch. Toku picked up some sticks and his bucket of water. He placed them carefully constructing a catapult. Toku and the little girl crouched down to avoid being detected. They were waiting for just five minutes when Toku decided to release the water on Bonson. Bonson was the wisest man in the village, but Toku hated him because he refused to help him with his dream of flying. Toku also wanted to pull a prank because he hadn't done one in a while. The water splashed through the air, flying towards Bonson's mat. Bonson awoke with ajolt. He scanned the area, but saw no one. He sat up, grabbing his cane. It was only moments before it dawned on him who had done this. It had to have been Toku. He was always pulling pranks, and, this time, something had to be done! Bonson called a meeting. All ofthe adults from the village came and sat down on the floor. Bonson talked about what had happened to him that morning. He said he knew it was Toku who had done it. They all agreed that something had to be done about Toku's bad behavior... but what? One person suggested they should summon the gods for help. So Bonson quietly summoned them while everyone sat, waiting. Bonson looked up to see Solusha, the goddess of solutions, standing before him. "Solusha, please help us. We are in dire need of a solution," Bonson shouted. 255

"I would love to help with any troubles," she answered. Bonson told her what had happened. "We need to find that boy!" she shouted. Toku knew the adults were having a meeting. He suspected that he was in trouble. He believed that they thought he did it, but then he thought, "That's not possible!" Well, Toku was wrong. The next morning, he woke up with a mysterious woman standing over him. It was Solusha. She told him that she knew about all of his bad behavior. Toku felt a large lump rise up in his throat. He felt like he couldn't breathe. "What is going to happen to me?" Toku thought. He listened to Solusha. When she finished addressing his misbehaviors, Solusha told him he would be punished for all he had done. She considered killing him, but after more thought she decided not to do that. "What do you want to do most?" Solusha asked, trying to figure out what to do with Toku. "I have always wanted to fly," he replied. Suddenly Solusha had an idea. She would turn Toku into a bird so that he could fly freely and not get into trouble with the villagers anymore. Solusha said a few words in another language, and Toku instantly turned into a bird. "Screech," said a bird on a tree outside the house. "Screech," said Toku. It seemed he could fly, but he could only copy the sounds other birds made. He had no song of his own. The villagers called him the mockingbird because it seemed almost as if he were challenging the other birds to a fight and trying to be alll10ying just as he had when he was in human form. The next day, the little girl was talking with her parents about what had happened to Bonson and Toku. She concluded her story by saying, "Oh, and Toku didn't pull the rope on the catapult. I did! He was alll1oying, but he didn't pull the prank. It was me!!!" Her parents sat there shocked. Justin Hensley 6th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet School Heather Brown


How Mockingbirds Came to Be Once, was a beautiful named goddess named Serena. She was the goddess of song and beauty. She had golden, flowing hair, sun-kissed skin, and gorgeous, bright green eyes. She was as sweet as honey, and she sang for everyone’s delight. She could sing more beautifully than any of the other goddesses. When Serena sang, everything stopped: the gods and goddesses, the animals, the waterfalls; everything stopped to listen to Serena sing. Serena had a best friend, Nathi. Nathi was quiet, shy, and very nice. She had red, short hair, light colored skin, and bright, blue eyes. As for Serena, all the gods loved her. Many gods asked her to marry them. Hiki asked her. She said, “No, thank you.” Moshu asked her. She said, “No, thank you.” She refused them all. But one day, something happened… Three new goddesses came to Earth, and they were bullies to the other goddesses. They leader of them was the goddess of evil, Hapitha. She had long, black hair, glaring, gray eyes, and skin so light it was almost white. With her there were Liloki and Loloki, the twins. They both had short, brown hair and hazel eyes. The twins went with whatever Hapitha did. Liloki was the goddess of darkness, and loloki was the goddess of night. On day, when Serena met them for the first time, she sand for them. When she finished, Loloki said, “That was beautiful!” But Liloki elbowed her in the ribs. “Yes, indeed,” Hapitha said “but we have to go somewhere right now. Goodbye!” with a smile on her face, Hapitha turned around, and the twins followed. But as they left, a snarl of jealousy crept over Hapitha’s face. The next day, Serena finally did it… she fell in love. She fell in love with a god named Apo-po, the god of music. He had blondish, brown hair, tan skin, and dark green eyes. They met one day as Apo-po was singing by himself and Serena appeared. He did not see her, but she heard him and joined in the song. Their duet was beautiful. They sang and sang together. Not too long that, they got married. They were such a happy couple. After the wedding, Nathi went to work on the clouds. She tried to make a cloud that was fluffier than all the others. Suddenly, Hapitha and the twins came talking and walking and walked right into Nathi’s cloud. Nathi was furious, but she was shy and didn’t say anything. Hapitha and the twins laughed and kept walking and talking. Then Nathi heard Hapitha say to the twins, “And then we’ll sneak into their house with the killing swords and… bye-bye Serena and Apo-po!” Then the twins and Hapitha laughed. Nathi was dumb-founded by what she had heard. She had to do something! Serena and Apo-po were singing in harmony when a wrinkled little elf appeared in front of them. They were startled. “Hello,” Serena said, “What do you need?” The elf replied, “Pokey Pokey just needing to deliver message to Serena and Apo-po. You them? “Why, yes we are,” Apo-po said. “Who is the message from?” “Nathi, goddess of the clouds,” Pokey Pokey said. “She says to keep away from goddess called Hapitha and the twins. She says they want to kill you,” he finished. Serena and Apo-po stared at him and then at one another. Then they burst out laughing. While clutching her stomach and howling with laughter, Serena said, "Tell her that is the funniest thing we ever heard. Tell her it was such a good joke!" Pokey Pokey stared at them. Then he said, "Serena and Apo-po are foolish. Good-day." And he vanished. 257

Nathi was thinking hard when Pokey Pokey appeared in front of her. He said, "Serena and Apo-po thought Nathi's message was a joke." "Oh no," moaned Nathi. "Thank you very much, Pokey Pokey. Here is some cloud candy," Nathi said to him. Then she gave him some candy that looked like small, silver clouds. Pokey Pokey snatched it greedily. Then he said, "Pokey Pokey thanks you." Then he vanished. Nathi was worried about what to do. She wanted to save her best friend, but how? Then she knew what she had to do. Nathi floated up to the heavens on a cloud. She floated up to King Keathi's castle. She walked up to the gate. It was covered with pearls and diamonds. Standing outside the gate were two guards dressed in silver. "Halt," the one on the right said. "Why are you here?" the one on the left asked. "I need to speak to King Keathi," Nathi said. The guards hesitated. Then Nathi said, "It's an emergency." “All right, all right," the guard on the right said. Then he whispered something in Nathi's ear and opened the gate for her. She walked through. She kept walking toward the golden palace, which had all kinds of gems and pearls glistening on it. She held her breath as she approached the castle's enormous golden doors with big diamonds smack in the middle of them. Then she recited the spell the guard had told her. "Oh golden doors, golden doors, open for me. It's Nathi, and it's an emergency." Then the golden doors burst open. Nathi shielded her eyes from the blinding light inside. When she opened them, a big voice boomed, "ENTER!" She walked inside amazed and a little shaken up. Everything was either coated with gold, silver, diamonds, or pearls. Nathi kept walking until she arrived at the golden throne of King Keathi, the god of all gods and goddesses. "Your, Majesty," Nathi said bowing to the floor at the foot of the throne. When she looked up, she saw King Keathi smiling down on her. He had white, short hair and wise, grayish blue eyes. "What is it you need, my child?" he asked her. "I need help ... my friends, Your Majesty," Nathi said. "Very well," said the king. "You may help your friends. And how are you going to do that?" "I need permission to transform them, Your Majesty," she said. "You may do as you please," he said. "Thank you," Nathi said. Then she turned and walked out of the palace. She passed the guards and the gate and floated right back down to the earth. She was determined to save her best friend. That night, Nathi went out and went to Serena and Apo-po's house. She snuck inside and went to the room where Serena and Apo-po were sleeping. She started to do the magic that would transform them, but then she heard a noise 258

from across the room. "Shhh," she heard Hapitha whisper. "Don't wake them up, Loloki!" Nathi knew why they were there. She was alarmed when she heard them come closer. She crouched down on the other side of the bed, so they wouldn't see her. Then she watched as the twins and Hapitha came closer to the bed. She saw them look down on Serena and Apo-po's faces. Then Hapitha raised the killing sword. Nathi saw its blade glint in the moonlight, and as soon as Hapitha was about to bring it down on them, Nathi put a huge, protective cloud over Serena and Apo-po. Hapitha slashed the sword down, but the cloud was a shield against the sword. It caused Hapitha and the twins to fly backward into the wall. Howling with fury, Hapitha saw Nathi. Demons sprouted from Hapitha's fingertips and charged at Nathi. Nathi quickly scooped up the killing sword and sliced the demons' heads clean off. They all vanished. Then Nathi sent black clouds over to Hapitha and the twins, and hail started to pour over them, scratching and cutting them. Screaming, they tried to block the hail. Under the protective cloud, Serena and Apo-po snored and slept soundly. The cloud blocked out all the noise of the battle. Then Nathi snapped her fingers, and lightning struck Hapitha and the twins. They screamed more loudly as their hair caught on fire. Black smoke curled up from their heads and filled the room. Then Nathi clapped her hands, and rain poured on them from the clouds. There was an awful hissing noise, and their heads were scorched, black, and bald. They ran out screaming. Nathi grinned and snapped her fingers again, and all the clouds vanished. Then she turned to the sleeping Serena and Apo-po as tears filled her eyes. She finished her magic, and Serena and Apo-po were transformed into mockingbirds. They flew up out of the bed, turned to Nathi, and flew out the window. Nathi watched them fly up into the night, knowing they would be safe and able to sing together forever. The next day, Nathi again went to King Keathi and told him the story. He rewarded her with a cloud of solid gold. She thanked him and treasured it forever. As for Hapitha and the twins, King Keathi banished them to the Underworld where they were forced to live in boiling lava, burning and burning but never dying. And that's the story of how mockingbirds came to be. Emily Lech 6th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet School Heather Brown

When Austin Saves His Sister One day Austin, who loved the color red so much he always had red on, came home and saw his little sister, Mykayla, playing in the front yard with his lucky soccer ball. He quickly jumped out of the car and asked, "Why do you have my lucky so soccer ball?" "I only wanted to use it-" but before she could finish he was already yelling at her for touching his stuff. "What have I told you about touching my things, especially without asking?" "I only wanted to use it during the game-“ he cut her off again. He was too angry with her to say or hear anymore. He grabbed his ball and we to his red bedroom.


He yelled down the stairs to him mom, “Can we please have steak for dinner?” because Austin always ate steak when he was angry. “Of course, hon.” She replies Austin decided to do a little le bit of homework before he went to eat and shower. Right as he was finishing one math problem he heard Mykayla scream. He looked out the window and saw the sixth and seventh grade language arts teacher carrying his sister away. He hadn't hoped for her to get taken but let now he didn't have to worry about her taking his things anymore. After he had finished his math he went down to see if dinner was ready. When he got the his mother said "Dinner will be ready in ten minutes. You can play Lightning McQueen until it's ready." Austin decided that was a good idea. He got all the way to the seventh lap when his mother yelled for him to come to dinner. He paused the game and went to the table. He sat in his usual spot and his parents sat in theirs. He wasn't surprised when Mykayla wasn't in hers and his parents didn't seem to notice. When Austin finished his steak his mother brought him the chocolate bar he always had after dinner. She went to her room and left Austin alone in the kitchen. When Austin finished his chocolate he went upstairs to if Mykayla wanted to play a video game. He went up to her room and knocked but at the same time he remembered she had been taken. He went back down to finish his race then went to bed. The next morning Austin woke up and started getting ready for school. He went down to breakfast and waited for Mykayla but she never came. He went up to her room and knocked and about that same time he then remembered she had been taken. He went to school and when he got home he went up to Mykayla's room to see if she wanted to practice soccer before her game tomorrow. He went and knocked on her door but again when he knocked he remembered that she had been taken. He tried to practice alone but he couldn't do it. He realized he needed Mykayla. She was his sister and he needed her. So, he packed his bag with one chocolate bar, his lucky red soccer ball, and a jacket in case he got cold. He walked out the front door and headed to Signal Mountain cause that is where Mrs. Blentlinger lives. When he got there the garage door was open. He walked in and found a door towards the back. He walked up to it and and that it was locked. He looked around to try and find a key. He looked around but he couldn't find a single key. He pulled out his soccer ball and started to juggle it. Suddenly, he had an idea. He could kick the soccer ball at the door and hopefully it would bust through. He set the soccer ball down a good distance from the door, lined his foot up with the ball, took three steps back, and the next thing he knew there was a hole in the door. 260

He poked his head in find Mykayla, hanging over a pot of ice cold water. When she saw him, she yelled at him to go away. He didn't know why until two minutes 1ater when Mrs. Blentlinger walked in and wanted to hang him over the pot of freezing cold water. She yelled, "Austin, you have walked right into my arms." "I'm only here get my sisterr and go home." "I'm afraid that can't happen." Austin looked around the room with his eyes to try and find a way out without the witch catching him. He a water hose to one side of the room and he jumped at his chance. He grabbed the hose, aimed it right her and turned the nozzle and out came THE coldest water. Almost immediately, she melted. Austin went to get a ladder he had seen when he first walked in. He found a ladder and got Mykayla down but not without a quick drop in the freezing water by accident. He pulled her out and gave her his jacket he had packed. "I'm sorry I wouldn't listen to you." "I only wanted to use it so I could make a goal tomorrow at the game." The next day Austin woke Mykayla up before her alarm went off and let her know that he was glad she was back. He was so glad to have her back he let her borrow his lucky ball. Mykayla scored the winning goal with 2 seconds left in the game. “This, truly, is a lucky ball. It saved me from Mrs. Blentlinger and today I scored the winning goal with it." "You could have done it without the lucky ball," he told her, "you just think you do better with the ball." Mykayla smiled and when they got home they played Lightning McQueen together. All was well and they lived happily rafter. THE END Maggie Lee 7th Grade CSLA Ann-Marie Blentlinger


Burgundy Violin When you pick up a violin, its almost like your instantly hooked. My sister was a proficient violinist before I even knew what the name of the beautiful instrument was. When sixth graders took their first steps through the middle school doors, they had the opportunity to be in band, chorus, or orchestra. I listened to my older sister, Emma, play on the violin a couple of hours a day. I honestly didn't think she needed any practice because every time she went in her room to make her playing better, it sounded like she hit every not perfectly. She plays in the high school orchestra and the Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestra. When I first walked through the middle school doors, I chose orchestra to follow in my sister’s footsteps. In the middle school orchestra, the first few things you have to know are how to hold the instrument, the names of the notes, and how to take care of it. Until you learned those three things, my teacher wouldn't even let you make eye contact with one. She is very protective with her instruments. I think the way she looks at her viola; she thinks it is one of the very many precious things in her world. The third week of school, we were assigned our instruments. I was assigned a very beautiful burgundy violin. I knew I wouldn't stop playing it once I got started. I played violin all through sixth grade and continuing into seventh. I am now in the advanced violin class, third chair. I also play in the Chattanooga Symphony Youth Orchestra just like my older sister Emma. But I play that delicate burgundy violin. Abby Rodgers 7th Grade Hixson Middle School Jessica Holloway

The Sacred Pearl Once upon a time, deep under the sea there lived a mermaid named Kennedy. Kennedy lived in the city of Atlantis. Her dad worked in the generator building. He had brown hair, glasses, and a green tail. His job was to guard the sacred pearl. The sacred pearl was a powerful pearl that kept Atlantis running with electricity. Without it Atlantis would be in darkness. Her mom worked from their house sewing clothes and other crafts. She had brown short hair, a purple tail, and a purple tank top. Kennedy loved kindergarten. She played with her friends and learned about different things. Her best friends were a sea horse and a water fairy. The water fairy's name was Aquamarine, but she called Aqua for short. Aqua had brown hair, blue eyes, clear wings, a blue tail, and tank top. The sea horse's name was Sunny. Sunny was yellow and brown. He was really fast. Aqua and Sunny were Kennedy's best friends. Every day Kennedy got out of school at lunchtime. When she got home her mom made a lunch for her to take to her dad. Kennedy's mom packed him a delicious lunch and Kennedy swam off to deliver it. When she got to the generator building she said hello to the people at the desks and swam on towards her dad's office. She overheard an argument as she got close to his office. She stopped and listened. “I can't believe you let this happen!" Kennedy heard. "Sir, every guard was at their post last night. We didn't see anyone." "I don't care who was there. Find the pearl or Atlantis will be in darkness!" Kennedy heard. Kennedy quickly put the lunch on her daddy's desk and swam out of the building. 262

Kennedy got home and went to play outside with her friends. Her dad came home shortly afterward, and she gave him a hug and they went inside to eat dinner. Kennedy overheard her dad tell her mom that the sacred pearl had been stolen. She then realized that if Atlantis didn't have the pearl no one would have power. Hospitals wouldn't be able to help people, refrigerators would go out, and kids wouldn't be able to watch TV!!! I have to help, thought Kennedy! After dinner Kennedy took a bath and went to bed. She lay in bed and wondered if she could really do it. If she could find the pearl everyone would be okay. The more she thought about it she realized she was too small. If she got hurt, what would she do? She decided that she could bring Aqua and Sunny with her and they would watch out for her. She was determined to go and find the pearl. Kennedy waited until her parents fell asleep because she knew they wouldn't let her go. She packed a bag and wrote a note because she wanted her parents to know where she was. She picked up a piece of paper and pencil and said: Dear mom and dad, I’ve decided to look for the sacred pearl. Don’t worry about me, I brought Sunny and Aqua. I Love you, Kennedy She stuck it on the fridge and left without a sound. Kennedy, Sunny, and Aqua swam for a long time. They finally saw a cave with a 7-foot tall door. Kennedy saw a tall sea troll through the cave's window. Kennedy knocked on the door and waited for an answer. A deep voice boomed, "Go away or bring me bread, otherwise I'll eat your head!" said the sea troll. Kennedy was a little freaked out by the sea troll, and she had no idea what he meant. She knocked again, the same voice answered. "Go away or bring me bread, otherwise I'll eat your head!" Kennedy realized he wasn't joking so she went to find some bread. After Kennedy got some bread she realized they needed a plan. They decided that Sunny would ask the troll if he had the pearl and Kennedy would sneak inside behind him. Kennedy knocked on the door and hid behind the corner. “Go away or bring me bread, otherwise I'll eat your head!" said the sea troll. "Buzza buzza buzza,” Sunny said. Kennedy remembered that Sunny couldn't speak English. He could only understand it. The sea troll opened the door and said, "What did you say?" Kennedy saw her opportunity to get inside his house, so she darted inside and hid under his couch. Aqua was afraid the troll wouldn't understand Sunny and shut the door, trapping Kennedy inside. So she decided to translate. "Oh, he asked you how you were doing today," Aqua translated. 263

"I'm fine, thanks. Now where's my bread?" The sea troll asked. "Buzza buzza buzza." Sunny replied. "He said it's right here," said Aqua. Then Sunny handed the loaf of bread to the troll. Inside, Kennedy was searching for the pearl as fast as she could. She found it in a glass case. She opened it, grabbed the pearl, put it in her pocket then went outside behind the corner again. The troll didn't see her. "Well we will just be on our way then," Aqua said. She saw Kennedy and realized she had to wrap up her conversation. "Alright then," the troll said "Thanks for the bread." After he shut the door Kennedy, Sunny, and Aqua swam home as fast as they could. When they got home her dad was just swimming into the house when Kennedy jumped up and hugged him, almost knocking him over. Then she swam inside and did the same to her mom. The next day Kennedy went to work with her dad and got to put the pearl back where it belonged on its pedestal. All the lights immediately turned back on. The pearl was never stolen again and they all lived happily ever after. The End. Lauren Buffington 7th Grade CSLA Ann-Marie Blentlinger

The Legend of Anoria All my life I’d heard the legend of Anoria, the lost world of kings and queence and princes and princesses. I’d heard the four jewels of Anoria, but I had considered Anoria a kind of Atlantis: a world that may have existed once, but now is no more than a legend. I never thought that it might still exist, but there I was mistaken. One evening. I was out in the woods. Suddenly, I felt strangely compelled to go up some stone stairs that were there in the woods. The steps had been there before. but I had never gone up them: I regarded them as place of mystery, almost magic. I did not desire to climb the stairs, but my feet began walking toward them. So I put my toot on the first stair. Then the second. Then the third. Then I climbed all the way up to the top. And then I gasped. Before me there was a great castle, or palace; I know not which. It appeared to me white, but whether it really was white, or whether it was a trick of my eyes, 1knew not. But what to me was most amazing was that all the windows in this vast palace were lit. I came closer to it and saw that there were indeed people in there. It appeared that there was a feast or party of some sort going on. I walked through the gate, past an empty courtyard, and into the hall. When I stepped into the hall, there was a hush. Everyone looked at me. I looked at them. No one said anything. But then and older lady stood up and spoke. "How did you get here?" she asked. 264

"I climbed stairs," I replied. “You climbed the stairs!?" she explained. “Yes,” I said. “Welcome to Anoria,” the lady said. “I am Queen Eleanor. And these are the Anorian princesses," she motioned towards the three girls next to her. "Hi," I said shyly. “Hi,” they replied. Queen Eleanor laughed. “Amber,” she said, addressing a tall blonde-haired-blue-eyed-girl, “will you please get her some different clothes?” “Sure," Amber said. We walked in awkward silence up to her room. "So," I said trying to be friendly, "are you really a princess?” “Yes,” said Amber, “I really am. I’m Princess Amber. There are two other princesses, too. The really tall one with long blondish-reddish hair and hazel eyes is Princess Hazel, and the really short one with dark brown hair and dark brown eyes is Princess Chaya. There's actually another princess, too, but she hasn't come yet. Actually, she might have. We think that you may be the fourth princess." "You think that I might be a princess? Why?" I asked. I was shocked at the thought that I, plain old me, might be a princess. “Well,” Amber said slowly, ''you got up the stone stairs. That's something." By this time we’d reached her room. “What’s so special about climbing some stairs?” I asked. Amber pushed the door open. “Those stairs aren’t any old stairs,” she said. “Only Anorians can get up them. “So now you just need to find out whether I'm only an Anorian or an Anorian princess?" “Pretty much," Amber "What dress do you want to wear?" I looked at the dressed in Amber’s closet. “What would be appropriate to wear?” I asked. “How about this?” Amber suggested, holding up a shin length purple and gold dress with wide sleeves and sewn-in petticoats. “That looks great!” I said enthusiastically. I put the dress on, and I was ready to go downstairs. When I went back to hall, the feast was almost over, so Queen Eleanor dismissed Amber, Hazel, and Chaya. They showed me around the castle, and we got to know each other quite well. In the morning, Queen Eleanor invited Amber, Hazel, Chaya, and I to speak with her. She said that she thought that I was probably the fourth princess. She told me that although often the rulers of Anoria were related, who would be the next ruler of Anoria did not depend on blood. “For example," she said, "although you and Hazel are cousins, and you and Amber are distantly related, Chaya is not related to you at all." 265

“But how do we know if I’m a princess?” I asked “Ah!” said Queen Eleanor. “That is what I wanted to talk to you about. Have you heard about the four Anorian jewels?” I nodded. “If you can find all four of these jewels, then we’ll know that you’re the fourth princess.” "When can I start looking?" I asked eagerly. I couldn't wait to get started. “Now,” Queen Eleanor smiled. Well, to make a long story short, I found the jewels and became the fourth princess. It was actually a whole lot more exciting, and perhaps someday you can read the full story. But for now, this is the end of The Legend of Anoria. Abigail Warrn 7th Grade Hilger Higher Learnin Shelley George

The Man Without a Nose Once upon a time, there was a peculiar man who lived ten miles from civilization. He was a very burly guy who was very nervous and stuttered as a young boy. When he was young, he was a target for bullies at school. This is where his story begins on the road of life. Jim was born without a nose often known as the Nostroucity Defect. Only one out of one billion children have this condition. As Jim grew up at school he often heard" Jimmy No Nose!" That was what sent him into a frenzy but was too nervous and frightened to advance into this rage. He was not for sure how to deal with this, because his father accidently got his mom pregnant in high school. His father was very ashamed of his actions and left his mother. Jimmy's mom was greatly stressed by how she would raise her newborn child, and then she took her life and left her infant in the world alone. A nearby neighbor happened to be a police officer and heard the gunshot. When he went to go investigate he found Miss Kelly dead and her baby crying in a dingy, small white crib. Jim's story was on the local news and to their surprise a lady named Sally Smith adopted him. The reason for this was Sally would be paid from the government for caring for the orphan. The rest of his childhood he was neglected and severely abused by Sally, but there was something in his head telling him he was meant for something. One late night Sally decided to go partying with her alcoholic friends. Later that evening Jimmy heard the news of Sally drinking too much alcohol and her kidneys were so bad that they failed her and she collapsed resulting in death. He went into an emotional breakdown and angrily took his bag and the leftover money his mom had hidden in her drawer. He took a taxi to the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, he ran and ran until he could not take any more steps, as he did he fell down a small hill and knocked his head against a rock, everything went black. When he arose from his slumber, he could smell a delicious meaty aroma in a small cave like a mineral formed house. As he looked to the left comer of his eye he could see a scruffy old man cooking a rodent over a fire. He was about to run, but the old man said, "You do not have to run,” in a warm, soothing voice. He decided to stay and explained his story to the man. He learned the name of the man was Bear Gryyls. Bear told him that years ago he was on a survival show and he faked his death so that he may remain a simple life. He then spent many years showing Jim the art of a survival man. Bear later died a good life of old age, Jim grieved his death but he continued to live his ordinary life out 266

in the middle of nowhere. The director of Harry Potter, Chris Columbus, decided to visit the amazing plains of Wyoming for vacation. The director was fascinated when he saw the mineral formation structure in a cave. He stepped inside to take a closer look. He found Jim there and he saw that Jim had no nose and told him that he would be the best person to play Voldemort in the new Harry Potter twenty-five, since the old actor had died. He took the job and was made into an international super star making millions of dollars. This was an extraordinary story of someone who was poor and rejected even by his own parents to rise above his problems. Jim became very rich and loved by many fans around the world. Konner Glass 7th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Kim Bates

Platypus Land You might not know it, but there is a land like ours except the cars can fly and the inhabitants are platypuses with super powers. Some of the young platypuses can run thirty miles an hour, jump fifty feet, mimic people perfectly, do any math problem in their heads in five seconds, or even glow in the dark. But as they get older, their powers enhance and running thirty miles an hour turns into running at the speed of sound, jumping a hundred feet turns into jumping a mile, mimicking people perfectly turns into changing forms into anyone you want, doing any math problem in your head in five seconds turns into remembering everything you hear, and glowing in the dark turns into producing light so bright that not only can it be blinding, but it can be seen from space. One very old platypus named Garrison, who worked as a cop, had been able as a kid to make things with his mind like tops, yoyos, and even little knives. But as he got older and older it seemed harder and harder to use his power; the effort even made his head hurt. One morning Garrison got up like usual and got ready for work. When he was ready he got in his glak, which is what they called their flying cars, and flew down to the station. He went inside to see what he was to do that day. His computer revealed that the grand opening of the first doughnut bakery in Platypus Land was that day, and he was to work as a guard for the mayor’s ribbon cutting. Traffic was so bad that Garrison hovered down to Baker Street on his mota, or motorcycle as we call it. The street had three bakeries: the bread and cakes bakery, the cookie and cupcake bakery, and the soon-to-open donut bakery. Once he got there he parked out back, got off his mota and went around to the front of the donut bakery where the mayor was. He only had a minute before the ceremony, so Garrison had to get in position in a hurry. Just as he was ready, the ceremony began and the mayor began his speech. “We are all here today to witness the grand opening of the first donut bakery in Platypus Land.” There was much cheering from the crowd. The mayor waited until the crowd had settled then said, “so I am proud to pre…” Before he could finish his sentence, a giant ant-eater in a flying smart car flew in, skidded on the grass and took out a wand. The ant-eater said, “Caguous donutous coverous or he shall be luquidis!” Magically a cade made out of all different kinds of donuts appeared around the mayor. The mayor was about to touch the wall of the cage when the anteater said, “I wouldn’t do that if I was you! You will be liquefied in the most painful of ways!” Then the mayor said, “Why did you do this to me?” 267

The anteater answered, “Because I’m the only donut bakery owner there is, and if you let this one be opened, then I won’t make as much money!” Then the ant-eater got back in his car laughing maniacally and flew away, so fast that Garrison thought that he had teleported. Garrison was so focused on what had just happened that a small boy had managed to walk from the fans to the donut cage. Before he could be stopped, the boy grabbed the donut cage and everyone gasped thinking he was going to be turned into liquid. But the boy wasn’t liquefied and just ripped off a donut, at it and said, “I guess touching the cage from the outside can’t hurt anyone.” And he ate the donut. More kids and adults gathered around the cage, eating it piece by piece until the cage was gone. Then the mayor took a pen from his pocket and put it out where the donuts had been. The pen seemed to hit an invisible wall and then melted out of his hands. Everyone was thinking of ways to save the mayor with their powers but none of them could help. Garrison knew that he had to try, even though he hadn’t done anything heroic in years. He focused the best he could and looked for supplies that the mayor had. There was a melted pen, glasses, a wallet, ribbon cutting scissors, and a wristwatch. Garrison couldn’t think of anything to do with these things that would help, but he had an idea. He looked through the crowd and gathered three platypuses. He got one with super speed, one who could fly, and one who could read minds. He focused his mind very, very hard like he did as a kid and took the powers from these platypuses, making the powers float into his body like colorful lights. Instantly he felt a rush of energy and hoped his plan would work. He flew up into the air and said, “I’ll be right back.” Then he sensed the ant-eater’s thoughts and followed them at super fast speed. After about ten minutes he felt the signal getting stronger and overtook the ant-eater’s smart car. He broke the window super quickly with his cop fun, reached in, and before the ant-eater could notice, took it wand, and cast a disappearing spell on it. Once he was back he returned the powers to the three platypuses and used the wand to free the mayor. Everyone cheered his name and thanked him, especially the Mayor. Garrison later turned the wand into eye glasses because his vision was getting blurry, and so that if the ant-eater ever returned to take it back, he would never be able to find it and Garrison could continue to use its power. The End William Austin 7th Grade Baylor School Ms. Collins

Household Queen They call me Cleo; a name to which I will occasionally respond if I am in the mood. I live in a large abode in the countryside. Being the most gracious creature that I am, I allow the humans to dwell with me as well. Even through they persistently insist that this is their home, they fail to understand that I happen to be the queen of this household, and as the queen, should be allowed to do anything whenever I would like. Whether my wish is to go outside, or be it wanting my most delicious delicacies be served to me, I want it when I want it. I don't care human timepiece says 3:02 AM; that means nothing to me. I politely tell them to wake up, and let me outside. But, they continue to rudely decline my simple request. To my outrage, those puny humans question my authority, and then they put me in “time out” for the rest of the night! This usually consists of a small room away from their sleeping quarters where they cannot hear my pleas for release. 268

By morning, my troubles are quickly forgotten and shrouded with the ecstasy of playing with dangling object I have discovered during my captivity. I have not yet discovered the reason of why this is so delightful and entertaining. After they finally release me from the horrific imprisonment, I DEMAND they let me outside. They endure the enormous lecture I give them, and then they finally give into my request by letting me outside. As I frolic through the mystical essence of the forest, I feel a strong desire to chase small rodents. I attempt to fulfill my whim, and I attack a small squirrel. Assuming that the humans will be proud of me, I drag the lifeless body onto their expensive oriental rug as a token of my victory. Oddly enough, they are not impressed by my heroic deed of slaying the wild beast and place me once again in time out! Once I am again released, I demand them to prepare me a delicious lunch of tuna and salmon. I found they store these delicacies in small, steel, cylinder containers. I hungrily swallow my sustenance and decide that it is time to go outside once again. They surprisingly allow me outside rather quickly as they finally realize who is queen. Once outside in the elements, I notice that the sky is dripping! I hate it when this happens, for water just bothers me for some reason. Even though I don’t understand why the sky keeps on crying, I accept my ignorance and climb to the kitchen window and demand to come inside. I have a busy itinerary the rest of the day. Part of my day is spent keeping a large, furry, interior animal that they call Oslo in his place. I chase him down the hall and pounce confidently on his hindquarters. In return, he chases me back and I decide to take refuge inside a small cardboard box; the reason why this is so exciting I have yet to find out. While I am still cached within the Amazon box I notice something; a small red dot is taunting me to attack it. A “laser” as they call it, chases me all throughout the house. I finally have it cornered, with no possible escape when I hear a click and the human state, “Go on Cleo; time to sleep,” as the red light disappears. My long and fulfilling day has come to its conclusion. I seek a comfortable spot as I climb onto the foot of their bed and purr loudly with contentment… and away my chance to wake them up! Jordan C.T. Crumpler 7th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Mrs. George

Once upon a time a jellyfish lived off the coast of Japan. Wait a minute this isn't a fairy tale; it is a LEGEND! My name is Frankohfateeopleeto, (frank-oh-fae-tee-ope-Ietoe) but you can call me Frank. I will be your narrator and this is how the story begins ... There once was a jellyfish living off the coast of Japan named Jim. When Jim was little he heard stories about Hawaii and the dreadful sharks that lived there. They were ruthless, known for stealing jellyfishes jelly. And without jelly, jellyfishes die. Every morning Jim would float along his beautiful reef, famous for its gorgeous coast with green seaweed, amazing coral, beautiful anemone, and colorful fish. One day Jim saw something that frightened him so much he almost jumped out of his skin -a shark! Not just any shark, but a high officer of the Hawaiian sharks named Sean the Shark. When Sean caught sight of Jim he grinned evilly, "Hello little jellyfish." “Go away. You aren't welcome here," said Jim. "Really? What are you going to do? Sting me? I have become immune to your poisons," snarled Sean.


“Then what are you doing here, robbing more innocent jellyfish?" Jim asked. Sean squinted. “I’m here to steal King Jellyfish's jelly but another hit won't matter, especially if it prevents you from warning the king. Any last words?" As the shark closed in, Jim panicked. "What am I to do," he thought? “Swim? Give up?" Always a slow thinker, Sean quickly gulped up Jim. The End. “WHAT! Who wrote this garbage? There 's no plot. no theme, ugh. Who starts a storv and then quickly kills the main character? REWRITE!" …As the shark closed in, Jim exclaimed, ''I'm outta here!" After hours, Jim realized that (l) he had lost Sean and (2) he had no idea how to get home. As he was getting a tired, he headed toward a nearby sandbar. As he got close he fortunately remembered his great grandfather’s warning that sharks like sandbars. Cautiously, Jim swam toward the sandbar's edge. He peeked over only to find himself in his favorite lair. As he backed away, he heard a strangely familiar voice. “Hey!” If voices could kill, let’s just say Jim would now be dead. He turned around to find himself face to face with Sean the Shark! In times like this, jellyfish hope to be brave and stand up to sharks. Kick ‘em in the face. Jim did the opposite. He took off. Unfortunately, in his fright he swam right through the middle of the hangout. The sharks saw Jim, and they all joined the hunt. Now Jim had not one but 35 sharks chasing him! As Jim frantically swam he wondered, “Why are they chasing me?” He built up his jellyfish guts, turned around, and yelled, “STOP!” Surprisingly, everyone did. Jim spoke before the sharks could collect themselves. “Why are you chasing me?” he demanded. “I didn’t do anything.” Sean said, “Oh, you did something.” Hate dripped from his voice. “You told the king I was coming,” Sean snarled. "What? I didn't warn the king," Jim said. "I couldn't, even if I tried. The don't let anyone in, ever." Sean paused. “Well, I am still going to take your jelly. It tastes amazing.” Jim was infuriated. “WHAT?” that’s why you take all those jellyfish lives? Unbelievable!” “Everybody’s got to eat,” Sean said. “Why’d you think I wanted King Jellyfish? He is the biggest out there; we would feast for years. Plus he’s a big problem for us sharks. He keeps sending armies to take back the jelly. When he’s gone, our lives will be easier.” His voice sounded innocent, but Jim could see the wicked look in his eyes. Jim thought, “As long as I’m here maybe I can recover some jelly, but how?” He considered stinging them, but there were too many and they had grown immune to the pain, anyway. “Hmmmm. Maybe trickery. I’ll try to trick them.” Aloud Jim called, “I guess that’s true. Everyone has to eat. Hey, could you show me where all the jelly is? Then I promise you can take mine.” Jim hoped Sean would fall for his trap. "Ok. I guess that'll work," Sean said. ''I'll show Jim the jelly. You guys go back to your business.” 270

Jim was amazed by the amount of jelly. The room was huge, filled to the top. Only a narrow aisle let you float through the room. '''Wow!'' Jim gasped. “There’s a bigger supply in Hawaii," Sean boasted. "That's all I needed to know." Jim said. Knowing that when coated with jelly his sting would be more powerful, he plunged in covering himself with a thick layer. Then he jumped on Sean and shocked him so hard his skeleton glowed. When the smoke cleared Sean lay stunned on the sea floor. With Sean down, Jim took off for Hawaii to recover the jelly there. When he arrived, he saw something more lovely than his reef back home. A giant coral bed spread across the ocean floor. Sharks of all shapes, sizes, and colors swam around it. As Jim snuck through the ocean-city he wondered how to find the hidden stash of jelly. Soon he saw a sign in the distance: The Big Jellyfish Jelly Containing Unit. "That was easy," he thought. Sneaking over to the unit he heard the worst sound ever. "YOU! GET BACK HERE!" Sean hollered. He darted at Jim who took off toward the unit. Jim swam inside and dove into the jelly. He silently waited until the sharks passed. Then Jim quietly snuck up and stung them all. He then grabbed as much jelly as his little tentacles could carry and headed home. When he made it back to his reef home, Jim swam directly to the palace. “I need to see king," he said as he showed the guards his valuable booty. The moral of this story is Don't Try to Steal a Jellyfish's Jelly! Jed Cole 7th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Kim Bates

Up in the Air Johnny was just barely aware of the rising of the balloon. He was certainly too excited to be noticing anything else. He was free! Just as he was starting to get into his book as he sat on the blankets he had on the balloon's floorboards, he felt a shudder go through the balloon. Looking up, he realized he was losing altitude instead of gaining it! What was the meaning of this? Johnny turned around and around, trying to determine what was happening, but more importantly, how to stop it. Then he remembered: the lighter something, the better it floated in the wind, and less gravity to weigh it down. Johnny knew what he had to do. He began dropping the multiple bags, blankets and pillows he had stowed away, into the river below. Soon, the balloon was being held aloft again. "Oh, thank goodness," Johnny cried. He knelt down, stuffing his books into his backpack, which was spilling out all of its contents as it was. Looking down upon his small town, he noticed he was close to his destination-school! He began dropping the landing bags as quickly as he could, then he felt the balloon hit the bridge beneath him. 271

Oh, and there were his classmates, baffled! Even Eleanor van Hurston, the smartest child in the state, was flabbergasted by Johnny's work. As his eyes wandered, Johnny noticed the other projects. There were several models of the solar system, with an astronaut's weight compared to other planets. Then there was the simple essays that a few slacking children had clumsily done that morning on the bus. But Johnny couldn't help but notice that Eleanor's was a bit bigger than the other children’s, but not as big as his! He was tempted to jump in victory. He climbed over the side of the balloon, landing loudly in a pile by the edge of the bridge. Johnny was pleased to see the kids calling for him as he stood and brushed himself off. "Well, Mrs. Stein," he called to his teacher. “Here’s my science project on gravity and mass!” Promptly, Mrs. Stein fainted. It was quite the project. Rachel Lingerfelt 7th Grade Center for Creative Arts Sandra Howard

My New Home I looked around and saw that no one was coming. I took a running start at the wall. Bam! I stumbled backwards. "You stupid wall," I screamed. "You are keeping best friends away from each other. “Hi, I'm Jessica. My best friend, Allyson, just got adopted. She was three different colors. Her head and front paws were brown, her stomach and the middle of her back and sides were white, her back paws and the rest of her back was black. Her coloring led to her nickname of Twix. I'm a blonde guinea pig. My nickname is Barbie. I don't know why. It doesn't matter though. I'm at Pet-co all alone. "You got me," said Steve the parrot. "Oh, shut it Steve." I run into my dark pink home. I need to concentrate and think hard about this. Two things I have never done before. "I need to get out of here and go save Allyson." "You never will," Steve said. "Shut it Steve," I said. Then it hit me, and I went to work right away. I'm stuck. That's just great. What is the manager going to think when he sees a guinea pig stuck to the side of her cage? My plan was to climb out of the cage and go rescue Allyson. There is some sticky paint that is chipping off under the newspaper in the comer. I chipped some off and stuck it on my paws. I started to climb using it to cling to the wall. When I was about halfway up, my paws got stuck to the wall! That is how I got stuck here. "Hey girl," said the annoying employee. "What are you doing?" Whatever his name is he is more annoying than Steve. "Jessica is stupid," Steve said in a mocking tone. "Here, I will take you to the manager," he said as he picked up the cage and walked toward the back of the store. 272

"I'm going to die," I said nervously. "Good-bye," Steve said "Oh, shut it Steve," I said as he walked into another room. "My paws hurt like crazy," I moaned rubbing the bottom of my paw. He had to chip the sticky paint off of them to get me off the wall. He had to put me in a new cage. "You are finally off the wall," Steve mocked "Ha-Ha very funny Steve," I said in an annoying tone. The manager set a cage next to mine and put in three hamsters. "Hi!" they said at the same time. "Who are you?" I asked. "We are Katharine, Daphne, and Nellie," they said all at the same time. "Do you guys always talk at the same time?" Steve asked puzzled. "Yes, yes we do," they said again all together. Just great, I thought, more annoying pets. Today is a great day. Steve was adopted! Allyson and I were planning a celebration for this day. "Is he gone?" asked the hamsters. "Yes, why?" I asked. "He was annoying," said Daphne. "We tried to annoy him by talking at the same time," said Katharine. "He us though," said Nellie in a sad tone. "Come over we should celebrate!" I said in an excited tone. Allyson and I have saved nuts, yogurt chips, and even some carrots they occasionally give to us. We celebrated and played tag. They left before the manager came so we wouldn't get into trouble. Today was great. "Hey Barbie," Daphne said at my cage door. "Hey D," I said cheerfully. "Pet sale Sunday is tomorrow!" she said sounding scared. "That is when Allyson was adopted last week," I said surprised. It has already been a week. "Where are your sisters?" "Home, they are scared," she replied. "Don't leave your house tomorrow," I said firmly. "That usually works." The only time it didn't is when Allyson was adopted. "Will it work?" Daphne asked right before she entered her house. 273

"I hope," I said. That was the last thing I ever said to one of the hamster triplets. "This box of card board can't hold me," I shouted. No reply, just the sound of the Pet-co door opening and closing. I just got adopted. I heard a door open and close. I saw a crack in the bottom of the box. I pushed at it until it opened. "Mom, she got out," said a little girl. "Put her in the spare cage we brought in case this happened," said the mom. She set me in a small tiny cage. "Let me out of here," I demanded. "Britney, your pet is talking to you,” said the Mom. "She talks funny," Britney said laughing. "We are home. You can go play with your new pet," said the mom. "I brought you two a friend," she said holding me behind her back. "Are you telling the cats you brought them a snack," I said. She put me in a large cage. "Jessica, is that really you?" Allyson asked with excitement. "Allyson I missed you so much," I said. "What is that smell though?" "You'll get used to it," Allyson said. "Billy Bob Jr., should we give Jessica the grand tour?" "Sure, I'm going to get my tour guide hat," he said with a lot of excitement. "We can think of fun games to do since George is gone.” "Who is George?" I asked. "You will find out later," she said. “Get in." I took a deep breath and got in. "Just like the good old days," Allyson said with a smile. "Yep, just like the good old days," he said smiling. "Come on, let's go!" Anna Kimball 7th Grade Silverdale Academy Mrs. Woodson


Nazi Zombies It was the morning before I was scheduled ship out to Germany. The sun felt good on my shoulders but the breeze cold. I could hear the ducks quacking and the dogs barking. This was going to be a good day but a hard one. My family had prepared a going away party for my friends and family. I went inside and my Mom was cooking but I could tell she had been crying. I was sad because I knew it would be a long time before I would see my family again. My only chore for the day was to visit the military offices to pick up my orders and when I arrived I was shocked to see the multitude of people. All these people were headed overseas to fight for our country. It gave me courage and a sense of pride to be an American. That night I barely slept thinking that I may never see my family again. In the morning I arose extra early so that no one could here me leave. I had already said my goodbyes and didn't want to cause them extra worry and sorrow. It took me 5 hours to arrive at the harbor where I board the aircraft carrier that would me take to Denmark. I was issued clothing, weapons, and gear. Once we arrive in Denmark we will catch a train right on the border of Germany. It took several days to arrive but we finally got to the army training camp. We started training immediately and after many weeks I finally feel ready for battle. In the middle of the night I was startled awake by an alarm. I grabbed my gear and began to follow everyone. Some were shouting of an attack but others simply thought it was another training drill. It was not a drill. Tanks were rolling, people shouting and dropping all around me. Bullets were flying and zooming past my head. My friend shouted my way but all the noise made it hard to hear. Suddenly, everything went dark. I woke in some sort of vehicle with a blindfold over my eyes and my hands were tied to the rails of the truck. All I could hear was German yet I didn’t understand a word of what was being said. When the vehicle stopped I was pushed into a building and shoved into a chair. When they removed my blindfold I found myself in a room. People were staring at me from behind glass. At this point I felt afraid and confused. I was in the room with a big, ugly scar faced German who kept asking about the plans of the Americans and future attacks. This has been the worst possible day for me. I was training, fighting, and now being questioned by a Nazi in a small room. I didn’t say anything and so they placed the blindfold back on my head and dragged me to a different room. When they took the blindfold off again I was in a scientific laboratory and then I really became afraid. Scientist were in a different room all monitoring controls. Next to me was my good friend Alberto. They shoved him into a metal capsule and began to push levers and buttons. The lights began to flicker off and on and the capsule started to shake. I had no idea what was happening but I knew something was wrong. All of a sudden the capsule door swung open and what was once Alberto was now a zombie. I was terrified. I was still strapped into the chair and had no idea what to do. The guard looked frightened as well and the zombie turned his attention to him and he screamed. The zombie bit him and the guard's body began shaking also. I knew that I would be next. Another guard afraid for his life unties my hands and began firing his weapon toward the zombie. The zombie threw the table toward the window and that was my chance. I jumped through the window and ran. I now knew the master of the Germans were to turn their enemies into zombies and infest the rest of the world. I knew I had to do something. I found a radio and called for help. After telling them the Nazi plan they sent in a team to wipe out the Nazi zombies and laboratory. Without the machine they could not follow through with their plans. They came with 10 US Bombers and after rescuing me they blew the area up. I became a hero overnight. What we didn’t know what that one zombie had surived… Noah Bowman 7th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Woodson


Yellow Star "Girls, go to the bathroom if you need to," Mrs. Preston announced. She was my kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s in Jackson, Tennessee. I got up out of my seat, along with Rowan and Ashley. I had my head down watching my little feet go back and forth. As I turned out of the classroom, I lifted my head and saw the long walk before me. The bathrooms were actually close by, straight down the hallway; but as a small, shy, and young kindergartner, it took forever. It made me feel like a turtle crawling a mile. "Let's get some water!" Ashley screamed into my ear. "Sure, I'm thirsty," I whispered back. I knew not to yell or scream in the hallway. We paused by the water fountains, and Ashley called out to Rowan. "Rowan, come get some water, tool" She was trying to make drinking water a big deal. "No, I'm not thirsty," Rowan replied very quietly. Rowan didn't scream in the hallways either. My eyes followed her as she made it to the girl’s bathroom door. The door was very heavy and usually took a while for kindergarteners to open. She put her tiny hand on the shiny door handle and pulled; it looked like she used all of her might! When she finally got it opened and slipped through, I lost interest and turned to get a sip of water. With my hair in my hands, I got on my tippy toes and drank as the water kept coming up out of the spout like magic. I let myself daydream for just a minute. I was wondering where that water came from; my sister had always told me that it was from the sewer, but I refused to believe her. “Laura! Hurry up!" Ashley ordered. She was already standing by the door, as if she was too afraid to go in alone. When I got to her side and put my hands on the handle, we leaned back and pulled! We pulled and pulled, until we finally got it open. When I slipped through, I automatically ducked down to try to find which stall Rowan was in. It was the very last one until I saw little feet. "Rowan, I found you!" I screamed out, forgetting to be quiet "I'm not Rowan, I'm Bob," a deep mysterious voice replied. I screamed. It wasn't a small scream; it was a loud run-for-your-life scream. One of my friends had changed into a boy! Ashley didn't believe the mystery person; she was right beside me laughing. I heard a flush and the clanking of metal, the person was about to show themselves. One foot stepped out, then another. When I saw the plaid school jumper I burst out laughing. There was no "Bob" it was just Rowan. "I got you good! Didn't I?" Rowan jokingly said. We started laughing so hard. We forgot to keep quiet. "Eh-um ... " Because we were laughing, we didn't even notice Mrs. Preston had walked in. "I can hear you guys all the way from my room! Why are you screaming?" My face was turning bright red; I didn't know how to answer, but Rowan knew. "Well, I was in here, and when they walked in they just started to scream and laugh. I don't know why." She was lying! Rowan was the only reason I was laughing. "Girls, when you get back to the classroom I need you to pull a yellow star." Yellow stars were not good; in fact it was the complete opposite. 276

Forgetting why I had come in there to begin with, I followed Mrs. Preston out. The walk to the classroom was short. I didn't want to turn that corner and face "the Chart." The chart was a tally of good doings and bad doings. Green meant good, yellow meant note home to parents, and Red meant phone call. I had never even got a yellow star, this was the first. I stood right in front of the chart, hand trembling as I reached out in front of me with tears streaming off my face like rivers. The paper was rough and hard. I pinched the yellow star and moved it to the front where everyone could see. When I stepped back, it looked like two yellow fish in the big ocean. I know I will never forget that day, the day I got my first and last yellow star. Laura Grimes 7th Grade Signal Mountain Middle High School Jennifer McGann

War Child It's 1780 and we're pinned down by British troops at Bunker Hill Fort. This particular squad has taken heavy hits from the core of Great Britain's army, but to be perfectly honest this battle is very vital to turning the tide in this brutal war for the best. In my life when I was young, I had hoped to be just a worker at my father's farmhouse. Not a trooper of any sorts, at all. Unfortunately I was forced into this horrendous career at an early age. Several years ago when I was 15 years of age my homestead was being invaded by these dream snatchers of people. I'll never forget my father shouting from the downstairs den, "Thomas get Elizabeth, Sam, and Lucy and escape to the eastern fields with our mother, I'll meet you there!� I remember hearing my siblings saying, “Thomas, what's going on?" All I could do was show no sign that hear those words and show no sign of fear in my face, but Praise God tat we got there safely. Just with hollow hearts, because after waiting a couple hours, all of our hearts sank to our stomachs. Our brave father stayed to fight the British ambush off. He protected us, but was captured in the process. That day I swore that I would the do the same for my nation and three months later I was enrolled for this army hoping to break away from the redcoats and become the United States of America. That's where my journey begins. I started as a third lane drummer boy. This was fun, but extremely dangerous. I'm very thankful to make it out of there with my life. Then I was moved to Concord in three months time. Which was not as beautiful as I remembered it to be. You see every year during spring break my family would take a trip there for about a week. It was amazing the leaves were just changing colors and was as blue as the ocean. I was a long ride from a little town in Pennsylvania on horseback, but it was worth it. I remember this humongous creek that I swam in every day I was there. Where the fish would nibble on your toes if you were still and it would feel like a million tiny kisses on my moist toes. It was where I was most happy unlike this no man's land where I am least happy, but it sometimes isn't up to you what needs to be done. In two weeks time my squad and I fought western two miles too Lexington. Where in eight months time we made it to Boston. My men have held up fantastic against Great Britain. I'm very proud of all of them. I couldn't have asked for better people by my side. Now it's May 11th 1779 and I hope to be able to it make back home in Monmouth for Christmas. Every Christmas celebration is at my morn's house. Today at camp I heard a rumor that the French are corning to help us fight the British, because that would be a huge help. If we do win this war everything will change and we will build a new country on the land. Now we're stationed at Bunker Hill Fort. We were pinned down but reinforcements came in and helped within seven minutes we overthrew the base. Unfortunately British reinforcements came and rushed up the hill twice before we ran out of ammo and had to retreat. So later we reassembled at some unknown town and there we rested. To my surprise, the Declaration of 277

Independence was signed. George Washington was there and he got to keep a copy of the Declaration of Independence. As a celebration everyone was sent home for Christmas. I immediately went to the market and bought everyone's gifts. Each person enjoyed his gifts, but Sam my 13-year-old brother seemed to be overjoyed. It was a used colonel gun and uniform. I knew he would like it because in my Mothers letters she said he wanted to be in the army, but mom would not allow it. She said that she only has two sons and she needs one at home. While shopping at the market for gifts I met this woman named Amelia Penn and over the trip back home we were able to spend time together getting to know one another. She’s very nice, never married before and she's even a Christian. February 5th, 1780 New Years was great with my new companion, but now I must go back to the current war. I'm sad to leave but I do miss some of my troops in battle only to a curtain degree though. As soon as I got back we did an immediate raid on a place called Fort Ticonderoga. There were about 35 guards and 50 prisoners. For me it was just a normal raid at night, but after I shot my rifle picked the lock and escaped with the prisoners out the south side of the fort I realized something while I was counting the prisoners. One of them was my Dad! I had not seen him in years and now he shows up at some fort. It was amazing. I got to talk with him before we had to send him home and he said that he thought about me every day he was gone. I enjoyed his company but he had to go home after a while. Luckily we fought off the British's attacks and drove them to Trenton, where we had hoped colonel navy would cut him off from the sea, but to our displeasure they could not make it in time. Luckily a lost friend stopped them from retreating to the sea.........The French. Their general surrendered and we had won. It was a great moment in history and now I get to go home. I immediately went home and married my sweetheart. Austin Howell 7th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Woodson

Bio Bay Expedition Traveling to majestic waters of the Bioluminescence Bay, it is about 9:00 PM, and the sun is nowhere to be found. I stand on the shore and look out into the water. My eyes automatically shift up to look at the pitch black horizon. My nerves kick into gear as I gaze out into the choppy water, and I wonder if the kayak is going to potentially flip over. Suddenly, my nerves skyrocket higher than anyone can imagine as I look off into the distance and see lightning right before I hear a clap of thunder. I look in every direction to see if anyone's knees are shaking as bad as mine. I turn to my dad and say, "Dad, I don’t know if I can do this.” He replies with, "Of course you can. You will be in t he same kayak as me and we will be just fine. He always has a way of making me feel better, I say in my head. I feel somewhat reassured, but I am still gazing at the midnight sky and the choppy water. I say a prayer, and by the time I look up again, we are ready to get into our kayak. Still terrified, I ease into the kayak so it won’t tip, and my dad gets in shortly after me. We start to paddle and I immediately feel relieved and confident that we will be successful and work together greatly as a team. All I see are branches hanging down low from the trees, about an inch above the water. I try to avoid getting hit by one, so I dodge the branches while getting told by my dad to stop rocking the kayak. I look to my left, and kayaks are flying by going in the opposite direction on the opposite side of the channel. Smack! My head immediately begins to throb as I encounter a rowing oar. “Are you okay?” my dad asks. 278

“Um, yes, I’m fine.” I manage to say as I try to sort out the world from being a blur of dark colors. We continue to paddle, and getting clocked in the head with a heavy paddle only gives me motivation to paddle harder because I was angry. We paddle for about twenty minutes through a channel until we arrive at our destination. I see before me a vast space occupied by tons of water. I also notice that the water sparkles every time you make a movement. As I stroke the paddle, the water sparkles and has a hint of blue. As I skim my hand in the water, I get the same result. At that moment, I feel free and confident, and I don’t even know what I was so worries about. We have a smooth and safe trip back to shore, and something hits me. I realize that I feel so good because of my dad. He has a special way of making me feel better about myself and he encourages me. I also took something else from that experience. I found out that I can’t live in fear my whole life, and if I try new things, I may come to find that I enjoy them very much. Lauren Blalock 7th Grade Baylor School Ms. Collins

Spring Break Sunburn Jan Cooper stared at me like I just sprouted a third eye. She winced in the blinding sunlight bouncing off the ocean. "Oh my god, you’re so burned!" she said with her toes digging in the sand. "No way .. " I said. I started off down to the beach house. I glanced back and threw her a smile. She disappointedly shook her head and went to lie down on her towel. The refreshing AC cooled my warm skin as I walked over to the bathroom to take a shower. I turned the cold brass doorknob. My toes were freezing on the tile. I entered the bathroom quickly, my skin feeling unnaturally dry and hot. The humidity from my mother’s shower burned my vulnerable flesh. My skin was as red as a ripe, plump tomato. I moved my bikini strap a little off my shoulder. The friction made me wince in pain. It was as clear as day, like comparing a streak of white out to a delicious apple. I was burned, but not kind of “Hey want to go to the beach later? Kind of burned. It was an “I’m going to go cry my eyes out in my bed” kind of burned. The first night was the worst; the pain was unbearable. Every time I moved I felt like someone was burning me to death and freezing me at the same time. I would have literally given both my thumbs to take the pain away; even my tears burned my red, blistered flesh. The pain relieving aloe was about the stupidest thing we tried. It felt like someone was slicing me open with an ice cold blade. I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the vacation, nor could I move or leave the condo in fear that something might touch me. When I slept, the friction of the blankets broke open my new blisters and put rug burn on my back and shoulders. I would attempt to fall asleep and hope to god I wouldn’t budge. But it was no use. I ended up watching every single show on Bravo twice. Every time I tried to shower, the pressure of the water made me cry. It was like my skin was melting off my body. I never had a successful shower the entire vacation. I couldn't wear anything that didn’t feel like sandpaper. My last resort was a white, over-sized, button down. I was constantly covered aloe, so the cotton stuck to my skin. It would dry while I was lying down and then rip at my skin when I sat up. 279

My face had faded from bright red to the look and feel of old leather. I couldn't even talk my face was so tight. After an entire day of torture, my face started peeling. I peeling until my face started to bleed, and what wasn’t bleeding was bright pink, shiny, and tender. After it all, the only part of my face that hadn’t been peeled and scratched was my forehead. It was brown, wrinkly, and leathery. I tried to scratch it off, but it was like a gigantic new scab. I stayed in bed for the rest of the vacation, wallowing in my own misery. I was trying hard not to move a muscle in fear of creating any friction. What was worse was that on our last day, while everyone was at the beach, I lose the remote. I was stuck watching infomercials for about two hours until my family came home. There was no use in even trying to find it. I was a vegetable. It was the end of vacation, and we were on our way back home. My whole body was covered in patches of dry, peeling skin, which flaked all over the seats in the car. I’m not going to lie, peeling my skin became my new favorite past time. I loved seeing how long I could peel one sheet of skin until it ripped. I couldn’t stop. My trance was broken when mom handed back burgers. I dug into mine and watched my sister do the same. As I reached for my milkshake, I noticed there was a big, honking piece of my skin dangling from her bottom bun. I thought about it but didn’t say a word. “Wow, what happened?” My father said. “I got horribly sunburned. I’ll get into details later.” I said to my father, as we walked back to the car to get more bags. “Well you look like a leper.” Welcome home to me. Elliott Brakebill 7th Grade Baylor School Ms. Collins

Ronald the Fearsome Pirate and the Green Dragon: Chapter 1 As a child, all it takes is a little bit of imagination to entertain us for hours. For some of us, we had imaginary friends we talked to constantly when we were bored and wanted to play. Sometimes, we forget our invisible playmates as we mature and become more concentrated on other things, but sometimes, we'll always have a special place in our hearts for our faithful and loving imaginary friend. Our story begins in a little town called Carthage in the state of Missouri in the year 1966. On Grand Street a fouryear-old boy was attending his grandmother's funeral and in the town square a prickly, old lawyer was sitting down at her desk to begin the workday. Both we're very upset, but for different reasons. Our two characters are very different in many ways. John, a little boy with a very large imagination, and Debra Tracy, a 69-year-old, grumpy and miserable lawyer who refused to retire, but hated her job. Though most things were beyond young John's comprehension, he always listened to the grown ups talk. So, it could be said that's how he created the green dragon that lived next door and Ronald the fearsome pirate. John tugged on his mother's black skirt. "Mommy?" He continued tugging until his mother leaned her ear in his direction. He stretched up on his tiptoes so he could whisper in Mrs. Ford's ear. "Mommy, Ronald says he's very sorry 280

Grandma Wethers died." "That's nice dear, tell Ronald I am sure Grandma Wethers appreciates his concern," Mrs. Ford told her son, not taking her eyes off the funeral procession. Mrs. Ford was a very kind, loving, motherly woman who only had one flaw as far as anyone else was concerned. She supported John ' s imagination and let him carry on pretending that Ronald and the Green Dragon were real. John leaned over and whispered to Ronald the fierce some pirate what his mother had told him. Ronald stood beside John, dressed irregularly for the normally rugged sea dog. Ronald had put on a black suit, one he had borrowed from John's father. The pirate had grumbled and complained for a long time until John gave Ronald a harsh talking to. "Aye, aye, Mrs. Ford l" Ronald said with a salute to the older woman . The green dragon also saluted. His attempt at, "Aye, aye l" ended up rather badly, seeing as the old town gossip in front of him no longer had a hat. John let out a tiny giggle, which was immediately met with shushes from allover the place. Three days later after various family events-all of which John was required to wear a suit and tie to-the four-yearold boy was thoroughly exhausted. He had told his parents very bluntly that if they disturbed him before Thanksgiving he would not talk to them for the rest of his life. Turned out at promptly 8 o'clock am John was running around the house already dressed in his usual first mate out fit; a large white t-shirt, brown pants, and a pair of his dad's old black work boots. "They're closing in portside l" he shouted. " All hands on deck! This one will be bloody!" All the men mercenaries and pirates alike, rushed onto deck. John scampered up the main mast and drew his sword. “Attack!” he shouted at the top of his lungs. “Kill them all—” A voice cleared behind him. The little boy immediately jumped down from the counter. “Mornin’ mama!” he hugged his mother and smiled. “Good morning, John. Fighting for some treasure I see!” John sighed and nodded as he pushed his mother out of the kitchen. “Mommy, no girls on the ship!” His mother saluted him as she was pushed out the kitchen. “I’ll be doing laundry if you need me!” she called out as the battle started back up with clanks and clangs coming from the kitchen. Mrs. Ford smiled to herself at the sounds of her son playing. “Nothing like a child and his imagination,” she mumbled. “Nothing like it at all.” Lexie Kyriakidis 8th Grade Girls Preparatory School Ms. Bullard


The Car Wash in the Car’s Eyes I was a car for sale for ten years when someone finally came and bought me at the car dealership. I had no one to drive me, no one to care for me except for those salesmen. I sat in a car lot for ten years. Finally I have someone to drive me, someone to care for me. I was a 2000 Hyundai It had been a week before I last got cleaned. After the person bought me they took me to get cleaned. Now I am at the car wash. There are a couple things that are driving me insane. First, it is going to take too long. Secondly, it is loud? Why do people not do it themselves? There are two main types of car washes: self-serve and full-serve. Self-serve car washes allow customers to use their water and soap to clean their car. Most self-serve car washes cost only a few dollars. Full-serve car washes allow customers to pay for someone else to wash their car. These washes cost a little more but usually clean the car better because of the premium chemicals used. I am sitting out side waiting to get myself clean and all shined up. When I start to go I see two rolls of cloth spinning around in circles. I also see long pieces of fabric cloth going back and forth. I'm getting sprayed with some with liquid. Oh no, my driver is not steering me and I'm in neutral, but yet I'm moving all on my own. I'm seeing blinking lights ahead. My wheels are shiny clean. Oh how much I feel loved right now. Oh the cloths are wiping me all over and making me dry. I love my owner. I would say thank you to my owner, but I can't talk. Asia Seheult 7th Grade Ooltewah Adventist Kindergarten and School Mrs. Haughee

Summer Under the Stars' "This is it," I heard Juliet say above the roar of the music as we stood on the balcony, overlooking the ocean. She was right, this was it. This was the beginning of our beach story, one we’d never forget. The smell of the wet pavement and fresh salt water filled my nose as I watched the rain run off the sidewalk along the beach. It was our first official day in Destin and it was raining, which was not okay. While we waited, not so patiently, for the rain to pass we put on our bathing suits and went down to the hot tub. It was dark, the water was warm, and the people in there with us were entertaining, such as one guy we nicknamed Social Steve. By the time the rain had passed it was too dark to go to the beach so we decided to wait until morning to finally be in the sand . We woke up early Sunday morning, as well as' every other morning that week, and went to layout on the beach. It got to be extremely hot, go figure, so we went to the pool to cool off. That's where I saw him. He slung the water out of his hair with that cute hair swish and reapplied his white Ralph Lauren Polo hat and sunglasses with the lime green strap. From his tan skin, six-pack abs, and blue Hawaiian shorts that matched his eyes, he was drop-dead gorgeous. Little did I know that first day, he would be mine by the end of our vacation. For the rest of the week we hung out with the group they came with. Juliet and I both fantasized over the guys, Hobie and Josh, until we finally had our chance with them that Friday, which was also the end of our vacation. That night was like one of the fairytales that you pay money to go see in a movie, never thinking you'll be able to live it, but I got my chance. I haven't forgotten any of the small details from that night, such as the stars or the perfectly quiet beach at twelve o'clock in the morning. Time was ticking before the fantasy clock struck curfew and ended the most 282

amazing night of my life. I wasn't going to let it end so soon though. Later that night, around two in the morning, we snuck out to meet them by the elevators on our floor. We had an hour, just one hour, left before I would never see Hobie again in my life. The last time I did see him though, he waved at me and gave me one of the cute half-smiles that boys do. To this day, I still remember his blue eyes looking in to mine and the gray COSTA shirt he had on. Remember that white Polo hat he was wearing when I first saw him? It's sitting on my dresser, keeping those memories fresh in my mind. Up until now, almost five months later, I still remember. I can't forget as much as I want to, because we all know it hurts when you lose someone you care about. When people say some things are too good to be true, listen. They aren't lying. This previous summer was the best one yet, and even after everything that happened and that summer love pain, I don't regret trusting my heart and making memories. I will never regret my summer under the stars. Lauren Wheeler 8th Grade Loftis Middle School Ms. Betsy Crane

Poetry The thing that people have been writing for ages and is also considered a form of art is called poetry. Poems are so cool, there are many types of poems such as: free verse, sonnet, and many more. Some poems are extremely long, for example, the book of Psalm is actually one big long poem and Homer’s “The Odyssey” was a poem of 12,110 lines. I love poetry because you can express yourself, it’s fun to write, and is like a mystery. You can always express yourself in poetry. No matter what, you can always write what you feel. You can use it to mask or reveal emotions. For example, if you’re feeling glum, you can either write a poem that’s happy to get your mind off being glum of write a sad poem to get it all out. You never get bored writing poetry because you can write whatever you want. Poetry is fun because you can write about anything. No matter what people say or think, you can be honest in poetry. You can write funny poems or poems that get your anger out. The ultimate fun in poetry is that it is you and isn’t influenced by peer pressure. Poems, in some ways, are like mysteries. Have you ever read a poem that has a mystery feel to it? If you really study a poem, you can often see that the writer meant for it to have a ‘story line’ and see the mystery in it. Some poets even don’t reveal the end of a story line poem to create a sense of mystery. The mystery in a poem makes is that much more exciting. You can express yourself in poetry, it’s fun to write, and is often like a mystery. Poetry was ‘invented’ by a 7th century figure called Caedmon, who was an illiterate herdsman. Poetry has always touched the hearts of people everywhere, and will for years to come. Poetry is an amazing part of literature, so why not try it? Rachel Taylor 8th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


Aysel's Adventure “Hey noodle face!” I looked back to see a chinstrap and a gentoo penguin heading towards me. “I am not a macaroni penguin I am a southern rockhopper penguin. Although I have a bit of blue penguin somewhere in my bloodline. But I can see where you’d be mistaken.” They gave me a bored expression and then the gentoo, Skip, said, “What’s weird and clueless?” I started to walk away but the chinstrap, Jumper, tripped me as I passed by. “Your face!” I’ve been bullied by Jumper and Skip ever since I got to the aquarium. They made fun of me and annoyed me and I was getting pretty sick of it. “Please leave me alone.” My best friend, another rockhopper named Alari, stood up for me whenever they bullied me.. She hopped off the rock she was sitting on and told them, “If you guys keep annoying her I’ll slap you into the water so hard you’ll hit that glass and crack it!” Jumper and Skip decided to speed walk away from us after hearing this. “Thanks, Alari.” “No problem Aysel those guys are jerks anyway.” Living in the Tennessee Aquarium was great and all but sometimes the original residents are jerks. But I enjoy entertaining all the lack-beaks on the other side of the glass. I swim through the water and try talking to them but they never respond. I toss my food in the air and catch it with my beak and it seems to please them. I tap my feet, hop around and pretend to fall into the water just to put on a show. Occasionally when a lack-beak comes into the habitat I try ot get their attention and tell them they have lots of extra fish across the hall. I suggest they could give some of the fish to the other lack-beaks for a snack. But they just make a funny noise and put fish in our bowl. I would hate it if I had to watch other creatures eat fish right in front of my when I’m hungry. But Alari says they don’t want the fish. I guess lack-beaks enjoy wasting their food. One day when Alari and I were sitting on the rocks I saw a lack-beak take another lack-beak’s thing. “Hey Alari did you see that?” “What?” “That lack-beak took another one’s thing. The thing that holds the green stuff.” Alari gave me a so what expression. “So?” “So I don’t think he was supposed to do that.” “And what can we do about it?” “We can get it back.” “And how? Aysel we can’t get out.” Just then the door opened and the lack-beak came in. “Now we can! Come on!” I slid to the door and slid out.


“Aysel wait! This is a bad idea!” Alari yelled. “Alari sometimes you got to take risks!” I replied. I finally reached a really rough surface that rubbed against my belly and made it feel like it was on fire. “Ow!!” I decided to continue the chase on foot. Alari waddles up next to me and said, “Ok we’re out! Now what?! How will you know which lack-beak if the theif? I shrugged. “I’ll wing it!” We waddled through the aquarium and saw many sea creatures and then I saw the lack-beak who stole the greenholder. “There he is!” I bit his leg and hopped up and took the green-holder. “Hey dude what’s your problem?!” I shouted. Suddenly I was lifted up by the lack-beak that gives us fish. I gestured toward the green-holder and he picked it up. Suddenly he made a noise and the theif ran off with a few lack-beaks chasing him. The nick lack-beak put Alari and I back in the habitat and I asked Alari, “Do you think they gave the green-holder back?” “Probably,” she said staring at the handsome macaroni penguin across the room. Suddenly a flash startled me and I saw lack-beaks pointing tiny squares at me. I knew then that I had done the right thing. Lindsey Jones 8th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Woodson

Steve Jobs and His Great Time Travels One day Steve Jobs was working in his laboratory. He was working on his top-secret time machine project. Steve Jobs was about finished and was ready to go back in time to 1776. He pushed the start button and at first he thought that it hadn't worked. Disappointed, he stonned out of his time machine. When he opened the door he did not see his lab or the street 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California. Instead, all he saw were trees. Just when he was about to explore, wild dogs charged out of the woods at him. He ran back into his time machine and teleported himself back to present day. He was so excited that he doubled the size of the machine so more people and supplies could fit inside. Jobs invited Steven Tyler and Snoop Dogg to come with him. They joined together and decided to bring three AK 47’s, three iPhone 5’s, three iPad 3’s, a Corvette Z06, a portable generator, and sound equipment. Instead of loading everything inside of the time machine, Steve Jobs converted his Corvette into a time machine. After everything was loaded up they got inside and set the date to 1776 and pushed the start button. They appeared on the same place that Jobs has been previously. They cranked the car and began driving through the woods. They drove for a while and there was no sight of any civilization. Suddenly, they felt a shaking of the ground. They stopped and got out of the car. Jobs suggested that it was just an earthquake. Just when they had dismissed it as an earthquake, they heard the roar of a Tyrannosaurus Rec. Jobs, Steven Tyler, and Snoop Dogg grabbed their AJ 47’s and took cover inside the car. The T-Rex charged at them, the bullets were flying and barely slowed the T-Rex down enough so that they could get away. They realized that they had entered the date as 1776 counting up from zero instead of A.D. 1776. They re-entered the date as A.D. 1776 and got back into the time machine and started it up. Tis time they arrived in a field. Jobs drove across the field and found a road. He drove down it not realizing that they were being watched by Native Americans. Suddenly, the Native Americans ambushed them from every direction. Jobs slammed the brakes. Snoop Dogg said, 285

“What be happening’ down ‘dere on ‘da skreet?” Stevn Tyler replied with a screech, “It’s okay homey, it’s all about love and peace.” Jobs said, “Just stay calm and let me handle this. Give me cover fire if they turn hostile.” Jobs opened the door cautiously. The Native Americans had their weapons drawn. Jobs said to them, “I have come to bring you great products of Apple! I present to you, the iPhone 5!” The Native Americans took the iPhone and became distracted by it. Jobs ran to the car and they sped away to safety. Steven Tyler and Snoop Dogg both sighed in relief. Down the road they came to an English settlement. There, the settles were highly curious. Jobs convinced them to allow Steven Tyler and Snoop Dogg to perform a concert. About halfway through their third song the preacher came out to see where all of the noise was coming from. When he saw what was happening he shouted, “Witch craft! They must be burned at the stake!” A soldier shot Steve Jobs in the leg just shy of a major artery. Snoop Dogg and Steven Tyler rushed to save Jobs and to get him inside the Corvette. Jobs said, “I can’t drive. Snoop, you take the wheel.” Snoop Dogg replies, “I got ‘dis, don’t worry ‘bout a thing.” They started up the time machine and set the time to exactly when they had left. They were getting shot from all directions as the time machine was powering up. Steven Tyler grabbed his AK 47 and started laying down cover fire. Right as a bullet came flying toward him they were back in the present. They rushed Jobs to the hospital. When the press asked Jobs what happened he simply said, “Oh, it was just a minor injury, nothing like getting shot or anything.” No one else ever knew what happened that day. And the iPhone 5, well let’s just say the battery died and it was never seen again. Or was it! "iPhone 5 is found near local California home. Jobs denies its origin.” says CNN News. *The character names used in this story are fictional and any reflection to a real person is completely coincidental. Brandon Cross 8th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Woodson

The Evil Ice Cream Cone Inside of Jenna’s fruit loop rainbow house was a magical freezer, with ice cream cones inside. Most of the ice cream cones get along, but there was one evil ice cream cone. One day Jenna went to get an ice cream cone, and when she did the evil one jumped out, and ran outside. Thankfully it was winter so he wouldn’t melt. During the evil ice cream cone’s adventure outside, it heard about Frost the snowman. The evil ice cream cone thought he was the only magical thing outside of Jenna’s fruit loop rainbow house, and got upset knowing that he wasn’t. so he devised a plan to attack Frosty and retrieve his hat so Frosty would lose his magical powers. Soon the evil ice cream cone decided that he would need back up. So he went back to Jenna’s fruit loop rainbow house and tricked some of the nice ice cream cones into helping him get Frosty’s top hat. One of the nice ice cream cones knew that the evil ice cream cone was trying to deceive all the other ice cream cones. Even though that one nice ice cream cone knew the truth and tried to warn the others, the evil one still deceived many. Once the evil ice cream cone got 286

enough ice cream cones on his side, he went on his mission to find Frosty. He wasn’t sure what he would do once he found Frosty. All he know was that he needed his magical top hat They were travelling through the snow, then they saw a large white figure with a black thing on top. Knowing that it must be Frosty they made a lot of snowballs and waited for Frosty to pass by them so they could attack. Once he finally walked by them, they all launched the snowballs at him. One of the snowballs his Frosty’s top hat, causing it to fall to the ground, and that made Frosty lose his magical powers. When they arrived back at Jenna’s fruit loop rainbow house with the top hat. The niceice cream cone told all the other ones about how what they did was wrong and over time it convinced them to give back the hat to Frosty. The evil ice cream cone did everything he could to stop them, but he was unsuccessful. Once the ice cream cones returned from giving Frosty his hat back. The evil one got extremely mad at them for betraying him .. The ice cream cones fought for hours over this, and eventually threw the evil one outside and locked the door. Because of that the evil ice cream cone melted. Briana Dillard 8th Grade Silver Baptist Academy Mrs. Woodson

Taking the ACT Nervousness was taking its toll on me. It's been half of a year since I received the invitation in the mail. But today was the day. What was Duke thinking, asking me to take the ACTs? They 're on something. I'm only in seventh grade. As my mother was driving me to Central, she asked, "Nervous?" No, not at all. I'm just taking a test collages usually require for admission. Did I mention I will be surrounded by high schoolers? "Yes," I reply. "Don't worry." Right. "It's not like it counts." A few moments later, we arrived. I've only been inside the structure once. It's big, with small, cramped hallways. I walked into the room in which the test would be taken after checking in. As I come to my seat, the nervous feeling in my stomach drains away. You can do this. You're an honors student. Get a grip, will you? It'll be fine. I barely have time to think this thought, because the teacher was launching into the pre-test speech. Four hours to go, B. You can do this. Look, the first section is Reading/Language Arts. This is your strongest subject ... Finished. At least with section one. I look down and check my watch. Ten minutes to go. I don't care what they say. I'm not checking my answers. I did good to finish it. Math. I saw that one coming. Watch me. I'll get like a two or something on this. Why do they grade it with numbers up to thirty-six, anyway? Why not -The math section began. What the crap?!?!? What is this mess?!? Radars, graphs, equations, you name it, and I promise you it's in that booklet, written in black and white. That made my confidence surge lower than it already was. But I continued on. I answered as honestly as I could for about three-fourths of the problems. I thought I did exceptionally well.


Next up was science. This should be easy. This is the class with the most notes and tests. But you don't know how wrong I was. It was one of the biggest obstacles of my life. There were six or seven sections, all about experiments. I think I deserve props for the first three. The last three -- let's just say I bubbled in answers that looked good in certain places, but that's all I could do. It was too confusing. You don't know how relieved I was to leave. I literally ran to the car. "How did it go?" Everyone was asking me this. "I don't really know. It wasn't what I was expecting." In March, Duke had mailed me yet another letter. "Congratulations. Your child has qualified regional in the Duke TIP Talent Search." What was my score?!? And regional?!? My mother handed me a sheet, the one with the scores on it. An eighteen. That was a lot better than what my mind conquered up. The ceremony will take place in May. Four days before the school year ends‌ And that was the story of how I got to take the ACTs in seventh grade. Brooke Jones 8th Grade Brown Middle School Mrs. Goines

Aftermath The air is warm, but the wind carries it. Small smatters of rain grace my skin; I watch the clouds above. They swirl and change and dance to the music the wind chimes and the heavy rustling of the dried hydrangea flowers that cling desperately to the bare bushes. When disaster happens, we do not think of the beauty of natures hand; we think of the pain we feel and the damage that surrounds us. Materialistic things cloud our instincts and the senses that envelop you are now forgotten. When the rain starts we hide from its touch. Large and stable, the tree outside dances. Back and forth with the wind, the branches whip and recede; leaves are torn from their homes and twirl down to the ground. Some race away into the wind, with lives of their own. Silhouetted against the dark, churning sky, it is an ancient, mystic ritual, raw and secretive. As we run for cover, hide under roofs in fear, the dancing carries on. Every which way the grasses tum a sea of uncut grass and weeds. I leave myself for a moment, just let nature rage around me and know everything will tum out as it will. Wake up the next morning, the cool air creeping through my thin quilt and a sense of foreboding filling the still, dark room. I roll over and try to make sleep come, but that won't happen. I just lay there, staring at the popcorn bits on the ceiling. Not afraid, just knowing that something has changed. Eventually, I can't take the suspense and the warm, but not warm enough blanket. Stretching, and then walking to the door, everything just tells me to go back, but curiosity fills me and my reluctant hand opens the door. The news of destruction doesn't sink in. I walk outside and watch a perfectly normal sunrise. A few blue clouds float carelessly along the sky as the sun begins to rise above the weary trees. I stare intently to my left as I sit on my mom's dark green Corolla that has a few leaves sticking to its windows and doors. As the sun brings down light onto the soggy ground, I watch Earth wake up from the eventful night. Tree limbs are scattered across the road, and a silence emanates from the scene, a cold lifeless silence. The trees droop despairingly, branches weighted down with water droplets. The Earth is still, breathless, as if not quite accepting that the power and majesty could have such catastrophic effects. I close my eyes, smell the scents of honey suckle and the damp soil mingle. Watching the news doesn't help any. The questions that are eating at my heart aren't answered, and all that is learned is to boil our water in case of contaminants. Mostly, I want to curl up in a ball and sort out everything, but responsibilities must still continue. The world must still turn. 288

Facing the past aches. Facing the future gnaws. Facing the present kills. Lives may have been taken, buildings reduced to twisted metal and crumbling brick, homes lost in the chaos; but what we really lose is a sense of security. No one wants to face a world that isn't sure. Who knows what will happen a year, a month, or minute from now? Anything could come our way, and we can't always be sure we can stop it. Hiding in our homes is not the answer, and being afraid of nature, being afraid of something you cannot control, is understandable, but far from practical. You cannot control a tornado, but you can try to understand it, feel the wind on your face, smell the electricity in the air, and hear the creak of the trees as they take on the rain. Accept and embrace what we fear. Find the tranquility in the storm. Caitlin McOsker 8th Grade Ringgold Middle School Shirley McDonald

The Science Fair There once was a boy named Sam. Sam was in school sitting on row three, two seats up from the front. Sam had a little crush on this girl named Ashley. Ashley had long black hair and bright blue eyes. Every day Sam would try to get a chance to talk to her, but she would never talk back to him. One day their science teacher told the students to partner up with someone. All of the kids in the room looked around and claimed their partners. The only two students left were Ashley and Sam. “You only have three days to complete your project," the teacher said. The bell rang for the students to be dismissed. Later that day, Sam called Ashley to tell her what the project would be about. Sam suggested volcanoes, but Ashley suggested plants. “We are not doing volcanoes! That's so year!!!" "Well, we're not doing plants either," Sam said. "We'll talk about this at lunch tomorrow," Ashley finished. The next day Sam and Ashley talked over the plans for both their projects. “I brought a book of plants," Ashley said. Sam looked at Ashley without saying a word. Finally, he spoke. "I like your hair." Ashley picked up her book and ran to her next class without a word to Sam. Sam and Ashley only had one day to complete the project. "With only one day left, we will never get done,” Sam said as he looked at a plan outside. “Hmmm… I have an idea!” Sam tried to call Ashley, but she didn't answer her phone. “Fine! I’ll do it myself,” and he began the project himself. The big day finally camel It was the day of the science fair. People showed up with their projects and test tubes, 289

but no sign of Ashley. Sam entered the gym and saw Ashley running toward him. Ashley did not say a word. She just dragged Sam to her booth. "I did my project on plants," Sam said, smiling. "And 1 did mine on volcanoes!" Ashley said. The two didn't know what to do. “I have an idea," Sam cried. "What is it?" Ashley asked. It was 12:00 and the judges were observing the booths. “Next, we have Ashley and Sam on .... ?" "We're doing our project on how lava from volcanoes destroys plants," Sam and Ashley said together. The students showed the judges their demonstration. The judging was over, and it was time for the awards. "The award for the best team work and a great project goes to ... Sam and Ashley!" The two were so happy. They took their award and stepped off the stage. "So, who takes the trophy home?" Sam Chris Sinclair 8th Grade Dalewood Middle School Eric Finley

Neanderthallica Lights flickering in an empty white room, I step onto the circular platform. I relax my body and picture where and when I need to go. I could go back and fix my previous relationship? I thought. Just as fast as it was thought, it vanished from my mind. I could never do something that selfish! What is something that could benefit not only me, but my peers as well? The lights flashed, the floor rumbled, and my skin began to glow. Bit by bit my body was disappearing into nothingness. I was finally time traveling. As I regained my balance and sight, I realized that I had reached my destination; the prehistoric jungle. My goal is to educate the cavemen about all of the technology and medical field to better benefit our future. I am; however, having second thoughts. If I were to teach them about only educational things, they might not be very creative or religious. If that's the case, I might also inform them of religion, music, painting, and cooking. I suppose I'll just have to wing it. Approaching the mouth of a cave, I notice something strange. A small glow was emitting from the cave. Have they already discovered fire? With leaves and twigs crunching beneath my feet, I was awfully surprised they haven't noticed me yet. There, in the cave, I saw four slim figures hunched over the fire observing it like a child with a new toy. Just a few more steps, I thought, and I'll be able to actually see a caveman! Taking my first steps into the cave, I somehow managed to get my foot caught in a vine. I shrieked out of surprise and fell to the stiff ground, breaking my wrist. The figures all turned to me with utter shock on their faces. They looked absolutely nothing like gorillas! They looked like the men back at home ... This thought brought me severe case of homesickness; or at least time sickness. The only 290

woman in the group stepped forward. I sat up; hoping she would help, but I instead received a whack on the head with her oversized club. I woke up from a light concussion to a burning feeling on my leg. Are they seriously cooking me?! I looked up to see that I was, in fact, being cooked alive. I tried moving, but I was tied to a stick by vine. Although it wasn't how I expected to be greeted, I decided I should introduce myself. "AHHHHH!" I wriggled around and rolled free of the flames. Still lying on the ground, I noticed they were still looking at the fire. What Neanderthal. Four Years Later "Okay guys, on three! One .... Two .... Three!" The cavemen began playing their instruments and singing like no other. I went a little overboard with the music, so instead of educating them like I planned, I ended up just teaching them about music, English, religion, and math. Mainly music, though. We started a band called Neanderthallica one year ago and have been travelling the Pangaea, playing music for the dinosaurs. With all of this work to do, I doubt I'll ever be able to go home at this rate. Kristyn Freed 8th Grade Ringgold Middle School Shirley McDonald

Crab Hunting There it was, crawling on the beach. I waited until it stopped before I made a move and yelled at Ulysses, " Sneak up behind it!" We waited for about forty seconds and then we both quickly put our nets over it. I could see its large, white, rough claws snapping rapidly trying to break free. A loud clacking sound covered the beach. I shined my flashlight on the net so we could see it. I waited for about three minutes while Ulysses fetched the bucket. This was going to be the hard part. We had to get the huge, very angry crab out of the net and into the bucket full of sand and water without getting pinched. Our plan was to lift up the net together and gently put the crab in the bucket. We counted to three and then tried. As soon as we flipped the net over, the crab fell out and quickly raced toward Ulysses's foot, but luckily Ulysses acted fast and scooped the crab into the bucket. "Let's go look for more," Ulysses said. We made our way back to the beach where all the crabs were. I shined the flashlight down the beach and three crabs hurried into the water. Ulysses told me to shine it the other way, so I pointed the flashlight in the other direction and I saw two little crabs and one big one. Ulysses and I wanted to go for the big one, so we got the net and bucket and quietly walked over towards the crab. We got close to it, and I accidently shined my light too close to the crab so it crawled in the other direction but not too far. We got up close to it again, and this time we got it. It was huge, the biggest crab I had ever seen. Its eyes on the top of its head stared up at me. Its white claws pinched violently. This crab made the other one look small. The noise its claws made was ten times louder than those of the first one. The crab had gotten the net snuck in its claws, which made it impossible for us to get it into the bucket. So Ulysses was going to try to quickly pull the net out of the claw. It took him a couple of minutes to muster up the courage. He reached his hand down and quickly tried to get the net out but the crab was faster. Its claw got a good piece of skin from Ulysses’s finger 291

and red blood gushed out onto the cool white sand. I laughed but Ulysses didn’t he said it only hurt for only a minute though. However, the pain was worth it because he had gotten the net out of the claw. On the count of three, we flipped the crab into the bucket. Soon after that, we called it a night and started walking back towards the beach with out souvenirs. We heard an extremely loud noise coming from the bucket, so I set the bucket down and aimed my flashlight on it. Inside the bucket was a war. Both of the crabs were viciously attacking one another, but the bigger one was definitely winning because it had pinched off a piece of the other crabs claw, and it was floating in the water. We sat for a couple of minutes, and watched the fight but then decided to leave the crabs on the beach because we were both tired. Also the bucket was heavy and the crabs were trying to punch off our fingers. W thre the water and crabs out of the bucket and watched the big one quickly make it way to the ocean and the smaller one not so quickly since it had lost part of its claw and taken a bad beating. After we couldn’t see them anymore, we made our way back home with only a little less skin. Coleman Hobson 8th Grade Baylor School Mr. Loftin

A Troubled Season It is hunting season in South Georgia again, the worst of the four seasons. For big bucks like me, it is hard to survive and to know what is real and what is not. My parents havebeen murdered by hunters, and I have had many relatives driven out of their homes or killed innocently. I have had a few close calls myself, because of my size; I am a very big target that hunters think of as a "prize." Life is hard during deer season, but the only way to survive is to be aware of all your surroundings, and do not ever let your senses let you down. Although I have had many close calls, some relatives of mine had not been so lucky. My mom was killed ten seasons ago and I was there to watch. It has haunted me ever since. However, my dad was killed trying to cheat on my mom, so he deserved it. I watched him as his life was taken by a short lead bullet, and I will never be the same again. My size is what hunters like when they shoot a deer. Most of us in South Georgia are small, except me. I was raised on a hunter' s property, and the hunter gave me food and corn with steroids and protein in it, which made me a prime target for all hunters in pretty much all states nationwide. I have heard hunters talk about me saying that I was two hundred pounds, and had sixteen points (whatever that means). So all in all, I am a huge deer, as far as I know anyways. Primarily, my life is what a person would call, "a living nightmare" which means, it's horrible. I am alone with no wife, no family, and just a couple of friends. I hope my life will one day be better. But I think that I might just end up being a lonely buck. Landon Carlock Heritage Middle School 8th Grade Cheryl Parham


What happened on October 28th, 1997? October 28, 1997. It all started on this date. Hunter, Brittany, and I were walking home from our usual midnight walk when we heard something. Not a rustle or a growl… more like crunching leaves and running water combined. What was it? Then, as if my legs had a mind of their own, I started walking over to where the noise was coming from. Voices… I heard voices and I realized it was my friends trying to talk me out of what I was doing. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t! I had to keep walking. Then suddenly I came upon and bright red light. “STOP!” A voice? I closed my eyes trying to clear my mind. This couldn’t be happening. After opening my eyes I noticed I was in a dark alley. I snapped my head around looking frantically for Brittany and Hunter, and saw a dark figure standing beside a hole in a wall. As soon as he saw me look at him, he turned and dashed inside the building. Absentmindedly I followed him. While trying to step through the hole I stumbled over a rock and fell on my face! “Are you all right, Chap?” I looked up and around to see where I was, and saw an abundance of familiar faces who were definitely not American! I looked at the man leaning over me and nodded. “All right then! Carry on, shall me?” Then beautiful music with violins and cellos started to play. Mozart, I think. After getting up I looked around the giant room seeing ladies with beautiful dresses and men in suits. I turned around and saw that the hole wasn’t there. It was replaced with a door to go to the restroom, and leaning on the wall was a man with a long black coat. I couldn’t see his face because it was partially covered with his hat and the smoke from his cigar was blocking my view. Then it hit me. This was the same guy I had seen in the alley! So as I was making my way over to him he turned and went into the bathroom and threw his cigarette on the floor. Smoke was still rising from it. Then a man kicked it accidentally towards a table. The tablecloth was so close to the cigar that in just seconds it was on fire. Soon everything was on fire! Terrified, screaming, people ran down a hallway towards an exit. The suited man came out of the bathroom, looked at me, then went inside. I could tell he was wanting for me to follow him. Though it was probably the most ridiculous thing I’d ever do, I went ahead and followed him. When I got inside, and the door closed behind me, I noticed that this was no bathroom. It was a restaurant! Probably the fanciest restaurant in the world! The coated man was sitting at a table while watching me with, what looked to me, a face mask. I got closer and closer and saw that it was not a mask at all! It was his face! He looked as pale as a vampire and his lower eyelid looked as if he stretched it, because it was halfway down his face! His eyes were bulging out of his head and his nails were as long as my pinky. His mouth was stretched out and looked like Scream! He tried to smile at me, but all I saw was his horrible, yellow, sharp, crooked teeth! Disgusted and horrified I ran out the door of the restaurant and saw I was at a carnival. I turned around searching for him! No, not “him”, it was a creature, not a person! I was looking for it when I saw it walking towards me in a moderate pace. Creature reached its hand out at me as if trying to summon me, but still scared I ran and ran until my lungs gave out. I found myself lying on the floor of an office building. All the lights were out, and ii looked out the window and saw a full moon. The beautiful light from the moon was coming inside the building. It was absolutely gorgeous. It was 293

until the monster stepped in front of it making the light fall upon him. I crawled on the floor trying to get to the steps just outside the office door. But it was faster than me and stepped on my back so that I couldn’t move it flipped me over and grabbed my hair. Screaming and kicking I managed to escape, but only by losing parts of my hair. I ran down the stairs until a hatchet was flung towards me but missed by a few inches. Though it missed, it still scared me, and I tripped over my own feet going down the stairs head first until…! *Beep**Beep**Beep “Ughhh…” A lady came rushing in. “Is there anything I can get you?” “Where… where am I?” I stammered. “Honey, you’re in Oklahoma Centro Hospital.” I looked around and saw a bunch of odd gadgets I could not identify. “What...? What year is this?” “Why, you’ve only been in here a few days! It’s the same year it was yesterday!” “What year is this?” I said firmly/ Looking at me shocked because of my attitude toward her, she replied saying, “It’s 2099… December 31st. It’s New Year’s Eve.” I thought I was about to explode! How is this possible?! I looked down and saw I was still me. I’m not a day older than I was October 28th! I looked up at her slowly and screamed. I didn’t believe her! It wasn’t true!! “NO!” I yelled. When I tried to get out of bed, the nurse stabbed me with some sort of needle. Then everything went black. “Lily! Snap our of it, girl!” Brittany yelled. "Grnabbubbballj ... " I couldn’t believe I was back where I started. “We should get her to a hospital…” Hunter said. “NOOO!!!” Isabella Sweat 7th Grade Ringgold Middle School Brenda Love


Great Moments Slower than the grass growing on the front lawn, I walked in to school knowing that it would be a horrible day. I've never really loved school. The idea of sitting around for seven hours listening to teachers lecture us about our future wasn't very appealing. Although, it only takes one great moment to change your whole outlook on something. On an early August morning, I woke up and just knew that today was going to be bad! My hair looked disgusting, my outfit didn't fit right, and I couldn't find the right shoes. All of that had happened and it wasn't even seven o'clock yet. As we pulled through the car rider line of the school, I wasn't optimistic about my day at school. I gathered up my stuff and hopped out of the car. "Have a great day at school," my mom said as I shut the car door thinking "Yeah right!" I still smiled to give her a little peace of mind after all the bad days I had weeks before. I sulked into school knowing that I was willingly walking towards yet another long and frustrating day. When the bell rang that afternoon, I was exhausted and just wanted to go home. When I sat down on the hot, crowded bus, I started going through my stressful day in my mind, so when I got home and told my mom that yet another terrible day, I would have reasons to back it up. 1. I got a D on my algebra homework. 2. I got in trouble in science class because the teacher thought I was talking when it was really my friends. 3. My friends kicked me out of my own lunch table. 4. I had to take the bus home. When I explained all of this to my mom, she said, "I'm sorry you had a bad day, but guess what?" "What," I answered "It's over, and the more you think about it, the worse you'll feel," she replied as she stirred the pasta on the stove. "Mom," my sister, Courtney, said as she walked around the corner into the kitchen holding her throat. "What's wrong," she said sympathetically while looking Courtney up and down. "My throat hurts," she said. "I'm sorry. Well maybe after dinner we can make slushies or something and see if that helps," she replied endearingly. After dinner, my sister and I cleaned and cleared the table, while my mom got out the blender, ice, juice, spoons, and cups. When the table was squeaky clean, Courtney and I sat at the bar stools while mom loaded the blender and turned it on. "Cssshhh, grssshhh," the blender yelled as it chopped up the ice until it got jammed with a piece of it. Mom took the lid off and stirred the half blended slushy until the ice was free. She continued to stir when she turned the blender back on. Suddenly the spoon got stuck and flew out of the blender along with half the slushy! It covered the counter, the cabinets, and all three of us! 295

"Oh... my ... gosh," mom yelled as Courtney and I started to laugh our heads off! Even mom giggled a little too. After cleaning up and eating what was left of our slushy, I realized that if Courtney and I hadn't found the exploding slushy so funny, mom might not have found it funny at all. We found the happiness and the fun in what could have been a horrible situation, and that was exactly what I wasn't doing with school. I wasn't being optimistic, so I couldn't find the fun. The next day at school was great and while I do still have bad days, I know that they will only get better, and sometimes it only takes one great moment, or something as simple as an exploding slushy, to give you a whole new outlook on things. Secondly, when 1 was nine years old, 1 moved to Tennessee. I had grown up in the same little town of Clermont Florida, with the same comfortable people, and now I have to pick up everything and move. I can still remember sitting in my bedroom watching TV when my mom called my sister, Courtney, and I into the living room. I emerged from my room feeling the transition from the carpet to tile on my feet. I met Courtney in the middle of the hallway and whispered. "What's going on?" "I don’t know," she said with a suspicious look her on face. I felt my stomach twist and turn with anticipation. I just knew something was up. 1 followed her down the hall, and peeked around the comer. Everything looked normal. Charles, my step dad, was reading the newspaper, and mom was folding the laundry. She continued to fold the spare sheets when she looked up and saw us. “Look at his,” she said while holding our spare white sheets blue flowers. “My red socks got stuck in the wash with the sheets,” she finished and then laughed nervously. Now I was sure something was up. “Was that all you wanted to tell us,” I asked hoping the answer would be yes. “Um… well no actually. Why don’t you sit down girls,” she said gesturing towards the couch. After those words left her mouth, I lost all feeling of my stomach. Charles set down his newspaper obviously keeping as much distance as possible in the bright red chair across the room. Mom put down the now red sheets, and sat diagonal from me, also keeping as much distance as possible from Courtney and I. there was a long moment of silence as I desperately waited for someone to break it. “Keep it together,” I screamed in my head. I didn’t even know what she wanted to tell us, and I was already fighting back tears. “Why are we out here,” Courtney finally asked. “Well girls,” Mom said in a shaky voice, “we are moving to Tennessee.” “Yes,” Courtney screamed as she started dancing around the room. “What,” I yelled now able to hold back my emotions. From that moment forward, no matter what mom and Charles said about how great moving would be, I wouldn’t listen. For months I was angry, upset, and confused. I loved Clermont. It was my home, and Tennessee was eight hours away from Clermont. One night about three months after getting the news, I was in my room crying after having my nightly talks with my dad on the phone, mom came in. I looked up and saw her looking sympathetic, but upset at how upset I was. She 296

sat down on my bed and held me. “Haley… look at me,” she said in a comforting voice, “I know you’re upset, and having to leave your dad too, isn’t making it any easier, but I would never make a big decision like this without thinking about it for a long time. If this decision had any negative effect on you and Courtney, I wouldn’t even consider it. I love you so much, and that will never change no matter where we live.” I stopped to look up at her and say, “I love you too mom.” After she told me all of that, I know that no matter how upset and hard this move would be it would be okay, I would be surrounded by people who loved me and that’s all that mattered. After that, I still struggled with the fact that I had to leave part of my family, but it got better over time. It turns out that moving to Tennessee would be the best decision my family ever made I love it here in Tennessee, and it only brought my family closer together. Therefore, your ideas and thoughts can be changed. They can be changed by something· as simple as a conversation or as crazy as an exploding slushy! Today, I still wonder that if I hadn't realized all of this, would my life be any different? Haley Couch 8th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Carrie Willmore

Cranberry and the Bird She was a light, white fog, settled over a pond in a deep corner of a forgotten place. She was a mysterious, untouchable being that others feared for her quirkiness. Deidara was as strange as her name, and nothing like the simple country girl she seemed to be sometimes. She was artsy and talented, with a large imagination. Deidara was quiet, shy, and smart at school, and she had a knack for getting lost in thought. Currently, though, she was lost in the woods. The trees towering around her seemed to be clones to of each other, each one exactly the same as the next. There were no paths, no discernable landmarks in the forest of greenery. All of a sudden heard a note. It was a chime, a whistle in a nearby bush. Deidara cautiously took a step forward, her black and white sneakers brushing the leaves on the ground aside. She stumbled and her long brown caught in a bush. Huffing impatiently, she sat on her knees for a few moments to untangle the fruzzy locks from the brown twigs of the small shrub. The noise she had heard earlier sounded again. With a final tug last piece of hair came free, and she stood to a get a closer look at direction sound. Suddenly, a small red figure popped up out of a nearby hedge. The cardinal peeped at her with his orange and black beak, his beady dark eyes peering at her quizzically. Deidara stood frozen, not to move for the ear of frightening the bird away. With another chirp, he hopped down from his perch and flew a few steps to the left. He landed on a branch, twisted about to stare at her again, and let out another note. "It's as if he's calling to me," Deidara thought as bird waited. Experimentally, she took a forward. The cardinal fluttered wings, but otherwise gave no reaction. She took a few more steps toward him until she was standing right beside the small tree where the bird was perched. Again he chimed a note and flew a few feet ahead. Deidara followed silently. "Following a bird. I'm such a fool,” she thought. She would 297

be laughing at herself, if she weren't so worried about getting home. It was ridiculously stupid, how she had gotten lost the first place. She had been riding her horse through her family's land and stopped a drink from her water bottle. Though she had tied him to a tree, when went back to her exploring for a bit, Cranberry had disappeared. Even though she her woods like the back of her hand, she had some how managed to cross over into the neighbor's property. The plants and animals were the same, but lay of the land was completely different. No matter which way Deidara had went, she only got lost more. Now she was following a bird, which was even more ridiculous! She walked along behind the bird, the watching him hop from tree to ground to bush to stone and more as he led her home. It took hours, but after going over a series of hills, walking through a small orchard, crossing the same stream in two different parts and climbing a fence, she managed recognize the land around her. “Hey, that’s the tire swing me and my dad put up three summers ago. I had almost forgotten that existed. " She said this thought aloud to the bird without thinking as they came upon an old Cranberry and the Bird oak tree with a worn tire swing that was drifting softly from side to side hanging from one of it’s branches. The bird chirped at her as if in reply and flew up, softly landing on the top the swing. The cardinal bleeped again, as if beckoning her to take a ride with it. Deidara laughed and said to him, "Sorry buddy, I don't think the old thing will hold me anymore." It chirped again and titled head to the side, eyeing her with a solid black orb. She chuckled walked past him and the swing. "Thank you, I think I know where I am now.” The bird out a noise as walked away. He followed until she had arrived at her barn. As soon as opened the door to the barn, the bird flew off without another noise. She gazed at his retreating red figure sadly, as if watching an old friend go away without saying goodbye. Shaking her head at silliness, she turned away and walked around building. There, on the other side, was her horse, Cranberry, standing at the fence as if waiting for her to return. "Now why did you run away sweetie?”, she said to her as she brushed her hair to the side with her hand. After that day she was more careful with her horse, never leaving him tied to atree as did that first day. And from then on, she saw the cardinal every day. He returned as she was feeding Cranberry the next day, and the next and forever on after that. He visited her at the barn and her to take visits to the old tire swing. If she ever got lost again, he’d be there to help her find her way back home. Ingrid Brindle 8th Grade Heritage Middle School Mrs. Carlock


E.E.U.U "I'd like you to know that…" started my Dad. My parents, my younger sisters, and me were sitting around the wooden stable in the small kitchen, listening to my Dad, who had a very, very important announcement to make. My mom simply watched silently. “Volkswagen is sending us to Germany, huh?” I impatiently interrupted. I had overheard my parents speaking about moving and VW, and Germany was my best guess. But my Dad was quick to respond, “No, we are going to the United States of America.” My jaw immediately dropped in shock. However, even I was a little dubious at first, moving to America has introduced me to a new world and culture, and has benefitted me in many ways. The date was July 9th, a cold, cloudy day in Pamplona, my Spanish city of origin. My family, including my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, were huddled inside the Noain Airport, waiting for the officials to call us on board. It had been a while, close to two years, since I had been at the small airport, and that had been only for short flights to Barcelona to visit my older cousin. The airport had changed a lot in that time. A new terminal was being built right beside the old one, who know what for, since we only had about five to seven daily flights, and the runway was fairly new. My dad told me that sometimes money was wasted in pointless investments, and he also added that was something I could see in America quite often. “Americans love to plan for their future, and they usually make the right choices, but they are great consumers, too. They are easily attracted into buying objects they don’t need. New computer, new phone, new sneakers… what are they for if you already have some?” I was thinking about that statement, looking at the lone store in a side of the airport, when a female voice called the passengers of flight A-number-something-number to the security scan. We had already managed the papers and checked the big baggage, now all that was left for the moment was getting on the actual plane. Final kisses and hugs were delivered, tears were shed, but we broke off and walked through the security scan. It was then, when I realized there was no turning back, that I realized how nervous I was. I was moving to a different city, a new county, a whole other continent! And I was moving away from my grandparents, whom I had lived next to all my life. I had never gone past Madrid, or further north than Paris, or even been out of Europe! As we entered the innter waiting room, I managed to look at my grandparents one last time. Then they were gone, and, before I knew it, we were ushered into the small Airbus. I clicked my seat belt, smiled at my parents, and we took off towards Madrid. Madrid, or rather its airport, sometimes seemed to flash by, while in other moments it seemed to crawl very slowly. As we touched down, I saw the four towers of Madrid, and I instantly knew they were the biggest buildings I had ever seen. I could not help but wonder if Atlanta had bigger skyscrapers. After landing, we got our luggage, and then went through a line that looked a hundred feet long. We managed the papers and went through the security scan, and, after walking for an hour through the long corridors of Madrid’s airport, we entered terminal T, the international branch of the airport. The ceilings towered thirty feet tall, colossal steel beams supported the structure, and the glass panels that covered the left wall allowed you to see the whole runway. There were jets, small Airbuses, and Boeings of all sizes attached to the sides of the terminal. “One of those Delta ones will take us to America,” I thought as I craned my neck to see the long rows of small, round windows that ran down the side of the planes. I took all of these in as we traversed the wide open terminal, looking for our flight’s waiting area. Once we were seated, I could not help but compare the airport we were in with the one that awaited across the Atlantic. Would it be as big as this one? Older? Modern? I turned to my parents, who had already been in Atlanta, and asked, “How big is Atlanta’s airport?” “Immense. There are plenty of jets and big plans all around, and there are tons of people every day of the week,” 299

my Mom answered. “Imagine this,” my dad added, “every two minutes, a plane carrying eighty to two hundred passengers takes off, and at the same time, another aircraft lands.” Whoa. I had to get used to the enormous United States, that was for sure. Europe had its greatness, but the US could not be beaten in terms of space. After that, time continued to move on. We visited the few stores set up along the hall, but we were too nervous to stay in a place for long. Finally, after what felt like hours, a voice rang out along the open air, saying, “Passengers of Delta flight a-782, please begin embarking.” We quickly got up and moved toward the growing line. “Here we go,” I thought excitedly. We entered the aircraft through a hot, heavily carpeted metal bridge that sprouted out of the terminal. At the end of this tunnel, a heavy-looking sliding door allowed us to fill into the huge Boeing. From there, two flight attendants welcomed us and pointed down a small, crowded corridor. I was used to travelling in tight, small European cars, but getting through there was a challenge, and the people in the aisles did not help. They looked at you like you shouldn’t be there, like they had the right to be there alone, and they moved an inch or so to let you pass. Also, once we got to our row of seats in the tourist class – the less spacious one – the baggage compartment hoggers forced my dad and me to put our bags next to our feet. So much for politeness. I was sure the people in America were going to be much more mannerly, like my parents said. Regardless of these inconveniences, we got settles in row 22 and 25 in less than ten minutes. I got the window seat, and, after going quickly through the magazines in the pocket in front of me, and I began observing the runway. “What is it like, Dad, taking off in a plane this big?” I questioned “At first it feels impossible, like it shouldn’t be real, but then you get used to being so high in the air,” he answered thoughtfully. After that short conversation, I silently looked around the plane, watching the different people sitting close by. Most were Spanish or European, but a few were obviously American, and I strained to hear their heavily accented words. I caught stuff like “dude” or “cool” but it was hard to understand simple conversations and phrases. “Man, I’m gonna have to work hard if I want to get by in the United States,” I shakily thought.” I’m sure I’ll end up learning a lot in a few months, but you can never be perfect.” Over time, I turned out to be right. So immersed was I in my thoughts that I didn’t’ notice the captain’s voice calling over the speakers, “Ready for takeoff!” My Dad had to nudge me in the shoulder, whispering, “We are next in line in the runway, get ready.” I scrambled to get my seat belt on, then realized that it was already clicked in place. Looking out the window, I caught a glimpse of a nearly identical Boeing disappearing into the distance, smoke trails already spewing out of the jet engines. The tires rolled, and, in no time, we were lined up and ready to go. FOOOOM, FOOOM! The engines roared. SQUEAK, SQUEAK! The tires rubbed. “DIOS MIO!” My brain screamed. The plane raced down the runway, climbing slightly uphill, and lifted in the air in one minute flat. “Gosh I got to do that again!” I resolved. Fourteen slow, painful hours later, all full of plane and van rides, I saw Chattanooga for the first time. It spread out before my eyes from Missionary Ridge. I could see Main Street, Market Street, the Tennessee River, and the Aquarium. My first thoughts were, “Wow, that’s big! Look at the RIVER.” Then, as we traversed Market Street, I began thinking, “But some parts are kind of old, and somewhat decrepit. It looks like a movie.” Where were the big, bustling streets of the great cities of America? This was the main street? Where was the life? Coming from Spain, this was very weird to me. Back at home, the streets formed a big part of social life, with the city center, or downtown, being the busiest part of all. All you could see were cars, a few gas stations, and half-abandoned brick buildings. Luckily, my streak of negative thinking was cut short by the sudden realization that I was not in a grand metropolis. Chattanooga, Tennessee, was a nice Southern town with it pros and its cons, but it was still a pretty nice city. “I'm sure I'll get used to it," I concluded, “besides, I’m in America, What else could I for?" 300

This theory was backed up as the days passed. In the Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel, where we stayed the first few nights, I was fascinated by the great brick train station and its marvelous dome. It reminded me of the Capitol in Washington, DC, which I had seen in many pictures. I also loved eating cookies, which I had never tried in my life, under the shaded platforms in the back of the hotel, and I inspected the trains themselves curiously, marveling at their age. In addition, our new house completely astounded me. Back in Spain, I had always lived in a small, four bedroom apartment, like almost everybody else that went to my school. Compared to that, this house was like a mansion. It had three floors, plenty of windows everywhere, five bedrooms, a huge living room, and a nice garage. I felt like I was going to get lost in there. The house only lacked a backyard, and I resented that. I had always seen American movies with homes that included wide open yards, where you could play soccer, or baseball, or football (those two last sports being completely new to me). However, I got over it as time passed and passed and we discovered Riverview and Coolidge Park. Furthermore, the people in the United States were very different from Spain, and, especially, Pamplona. In my city of origin, most people were locals, with only a few Portuguese, Hispanic, or East-European folks living there. In Chattanooga, the population was much more diverse. Almost everybody that we talked to had move in from somewhere else in the United States, and some were even planning to go somewhere else. In Spain, most people stay in the same city of town for most of their lives, and only travel occasionally as tourists. The amount of people moving got me thinking about what kind of lives the Americans live, and what opportunities they had. One day, I asked my Mom, “Mom, why do people here move so much, and are always planning for their future?” “The citizens of the United States are not as safe from bankruptcy, health issues, and other complicated stuff the way we are,” she responded. “They have to work hard to get into this exact high school to go to this other million dollar college, and, from there, get this job or the other.” “But why are they so worries? I don’t get it,” I questioned, confused (you have to remember that I was eleven). My mom was quick to answer, “Because, in America, if you fall, it’s very, very difficult to rise again.” In conclusion, moving to the United States has been difficult in some ways, but it is an experience that has profited me for the future, and will help me forever. I have learned English, met new people, and learned valuable life stories. I have also visited places that I would not have even thought had I not moved here. Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder what kind of person I would have been had I not decided to start a new life in the United States. Raul San Miguel Penas 8th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Carrie Willmore


A Stranger in the Night The barking stopped. Maggie slipped out of bed quietly and approached the frosty window. It was already pretty chilly to be a random October night in England. Brushing her thick brown hair out of her eyes with her fingers, Maggie looked out the window and to the left. The neighbors still had their lights on, but she couldn't see a thing. The German Shepard next door never stopped barking, so why the sudden silence? It almost sounded eerie... Just then, she heard it. The slow squish, squish of the wet lawn under someone's feet. Maggie had to strain to hear it, but it was definitely there. She knew what it was, or who it was actually. There wasn't a doubt in her mind. So, instead of wasting what little precious time she had, Maggie began throwing a bunch of clothing into a duffel bag. 'How did he find me? ' Maggie thought to herself, 'I really thought I had gotten away for good ... ' The truth is, though, Maggie was never going to get away. Not from this ... It was a warm summer afternoon three years ago, and Maggie had finally made it to court. "Mrs. Matilda Fowler, " the judge pushed his thin rimmed glasses up the bridge of his nose before continuing, "It says here that you are charging your husband for abuse of you and your only daughter, correct?" Maggie stood to her feet defiantly. "Yes, your honor. " Her eyes briefly met those of her husband, Richard, but then she looked away, for she could already feel tears trickling down her cheeks. Three hours later, Richard had been found guilty of abuse and sentenced to five years in prison. However, it wasn't the look on his face that scared Maggie, it was his last words to her. "When I get out of here, oh and trust me, I will, " He snarled at her, "I'll come and find you Maggie, and then I'll slit your throat while you sleep. You'll never see it coming." So he didn't break his promise. He'd found her. What now? Did she run? If he did, he would surely catch her. Did she hide? There was no doubt in her mind that he'd find her. So, she did the one thing she knew she could. Positioned before the front door with a gun in her hands, Maggie waited until finally she heard a noise. It was the jingling of keys. Her ex-husband had the key to her new house? Surely not. When the door slid open, however, instead of it being Richard, it was her sixteen-year-old daughter, Amethyst. "Good Lord, child! You scared me half to death!" "I-I'm sorry, mother," Amethyst stuttered, "I didn't mean to give you a fright. Copper and I had to study later than we thought. We have that huge final on Monday, remember?" "Oh yes, of course, silly me. I must've forgotten," Maggie shook her head sullenly, "I guess I'm just going a bit mad." Amethyst laid a hand on her mother's shoulder. "Dad again?" she asked. Maggie sighed; these were the times she wished her daughter wasn't so bright. She could always see right through her facades. "It's okay, mother. He won't get us. The police guaranteed that once he got out, he'd be driven right off our path." Maggie smiled at her only child, already feeling the mood lighten. "You truly are a saint


Miss Amethyst." "Why, thank you." Amethyst curtsied to her mother and then yawned. "Well I'd better be getting to bed, goodnight, mother." "Goodnight, darling," Maggie replied before wandering to her own bedroom. Sliding under the thick quilt and turning out the bedside table lamp, Maggie laid her head down on her pillow and listened to the soft autumn winds rattle the window. The neighbor's dog was barking, and all was right in Maggie's world once again. Baylie Cross Heritage Middle School 8th Grade Mrs. Carlock

The One Who Sees Everything You Can't They say that when a butterfly lands on you, it means you're pure. Where I'm from there are none. When am I from? I'm from the woods, from the unthinkable, and what you feel without a doubt in your mind. But the question is; who am I? Do you really want to take that step to into the traumatic segment of your life? I grasp all treacherous truths that you may miss. I am the one unknown, the one who holds the key to open a door of harrowing secrets, and I am Dather Keith 11 years old. My hair is brown, my skin is hazel, a deep look into my eyes tells you they're blue. And that's not just the color. You might look at me and feel trepidation creep upon you and say; do you see? My heart is irregular, you hear it and stare, you feel it and you jump, you know me and see me as a fascination. Or does it come across as the girl without a personality. It is my character traits. My story begins in Memphis, Tennessee on January 19, 1936, in my little town called Defin just off the west borderline of Tennessee. Defin is an indigent town. It is a town of cropping and raising their cattle, pigs, and sheep. There wasn't much to expect from the education. The most we were taught was counting, a little dancing, and writing. But, I had more intelligence. Whatever books we did have in town, I would discover and read them. An intrinsic disease that I was born with to find, capture, and keep. As I sat in the back of the classroom, I glare at my teacher, Mrs. Donney. She was a slender woman with brown bulging eyes, brunet hair, and a pale-orange skin that lay roughly upon her. All the children in my class looked as if they were born in mud. They had poor hygiene, and little to no teeth. Each student had a cavity or two or more teeth missing. I was different didn't work on the farm or stay away from body cleansers. . I began to glance around the room, and look at the old, aged classroom. It had old splintered wooden wall that began paring years ago, the desk was just a vertical slab of wood that had a horizontal piece of dark wood laid flat across the top, and the chairs are crates flipped upside down. Since the crates were plastic and hard, we brought our own blanket (if we did have one) to play the role of a cushion on the crates. When Mrs. Donney finished talking, she gazed to the far west of the classroom and asked, "Dather what does sharecropping mean?" I glanced down at the ancient textbook; pages torn; cover ripped, and had been passed down from generation to generation or about fifteen years. "Um I don't know," I replied in fear of what would come next. 303

I never wanted to be a part of this developed town. There was nothing for me out here; I needed to go beyond the western Tennessee border. My brain thought beyond the rivers, birds, and crops. It explored the idea beyond people. You might ask yourself: Beyond people? "Well, we just went over this a couple minutes ago," snickered Tommy Dawns. He was never anyone I liked being around, he was a plump, short 13-year- old boy. He was too old to be in our class, but because of his incapability of learning he has been in the same class for quite some time. He would blabber on about himself for hours and his father's biggest barter. His dad was the mayor a controlled the bartering, our town was very traditional. "What are you talking about, she never pays anything mind, she's a weirdo," sarcastically said Lindsey Sew. Tal about the terrible two. Those two put together could plot a plan to rule the world (heaven forbid). The church bell rang, class was over. As I began to walk out, Mrs. Donney stopped me and said, "Is there a problem in class?" I stopped to think of the consequences of saying yes and lied and said, "No." "You know you can tell me anything right?" "Yes." "Okay you go ahead," said Mrs. Donney. When I left the small classroom, I began on my way home. The 650 yard walk to school and back everyday was tiring and to think it was for some thing special. But it wasn't, everyday the same routine. Along the unbearable walk, I heard "look" softly spoken into my ear. When I turned around, there he was standing right there. My best friend, from the past but lived in the present. •••• It was Saturday, and it was around five o’clock in the afternoon. We decided that we would rendezvous at the end of our town, even though it was forbidden to be anywhere by ourselves. When he was six and I was five, we were playing Cowboy and Cattle. I was the cowboy and he was the cattle. It was nearly ninety degree outside. As I was leading him toward the farm (the field), he passed the desiccated road and down came a horse carriage going exceedingly fast. We were in the middle of the road but the horse didn’t see us and trampled over his head. The woman then came to her senses and turned around, stopped the carriage and ran to him. I stood there looking at his body, bleeding to death he whispered. “Look Dather, did you see that? That’s the kind of horse I want.” The woman started to cry for help, but we were a mile from any civilization. It was no use. As the driver of the carriage tried to keep him alive, he was still pointing to the sky. As he took his last breath he uttered, “Then… we can be real cowboys. I’m hurt Dather, real bad. Can you…” his last bit of energy was spared on pointing toward an empty, heartless sky. Then, all of a sudden he arose from his body. “Don’t you see him? I couldn’t see anything. Then I told the female driver, “Look there he is.” I pointed where he was supposedly standing. She looked at me as if I had grown a third eye. “What?” She asked. “He’s right here,” I repeated. 304

“What’s wrong with you? That is when I realized that his body was still on the ground. My irregular heart began to beat and for some strange reasons it was normal. Did this mean that for me to be normal or feel normal someone had to die? I could not believe my eyes, I leaned over his body with my eyes widely opened and a frown on my face. There was no telling if help would come. The town’s nurse was one mile away and I was too shocked to ride in the carriage. There was no hope for my poor best friend; it was like a bear losing its cub to a snake she did not do anything, his body just laid there surrounded by blood. It did not really hurt me, because it only seemed like he shed a layer of skin, for he was standing right next to me. Before it didn’t really seem to bother me, but his body was really on the ground, this was reality. I ran all the way home, and I ran rapidly and swiftly, then I was shortened out of breath. When I finally reached the house and entered the front door, I bent over trying to regain my energy. “Oh my gosh,” My mom asked, “What happened?” “We were playing and ugh… ugh cowboy and I led him to the road and a carriage came flying down the road and now he is not moving or breathing. By then I could not tell if he was dead or playing with me.” “Get the carriage ready,” Pa responded. We all got into the carriage, getting as fast to him as possible. Somehow I thought he was dead already, but I knew it could not have been true. I still needed to have faith. There he lay as still as a stone. The lady that hit him left him right there on the ground, lifeless. “Move,” Mom said. She checked for a pulse. “Sorry, baby he’s gone.” We drove to Nick and Barbara Peris’ house. They were his parents, telling them was not so easy. I knew that it only meant we were going to tell them the bad news of his death. My mom had mentioned the term of visiting a loved one’s home. My grandmother’s death was fatal; she was the only one who know me. I told her everything, stuff even my Mom did not know. When he dies it felt like she died again. Pa put his body in the back of the carriage. As we drove off I felt like he began to drift away from me. No one knew me now. I was the only marble left in the game. In the center of the world, with no one or nothing beside me. I stayed behind afraid to confront his parents about his fatality. Staring down at the blood left behind on the deserted road. I glanced back and there he was standing there waiting for me to continue playing. Astonished by how he was still there after Pa put his body in the truck. I realized he had no blood on him. That was weird because, he was lying down there in the road in a puddle of blood. I stood in the middle of the road for about thirty minutes. Then, I heard something come down the road, it was Ma and Pa. I noticed that his body wasn't in the back of the carriage anymore. But I still noticed the dark red blood staining the wood. I did happen to see two new figures in the back. It was Barbara and Nick Peris. When they stepped out of the carriage, they looked as if they were in a casket underground for years. They were now all out life. I just couldn't bring myself to look in their eyes, so I just looked down at the ground following' the blood tracks. In depression of what was only left, Mrs. Barbara fell in front of the blood and cried out for him because he will be lost forever. Her husband Nick stood there like a zombie, and a tear slid across his cheek as if all his heart came in that protective package. As Mrs. Barbara cried out to him, it seemed like she was waking his body and he was almost to her. From that day on I knew I would never be the same knowing that I killed someone. •••• 305

I felt like if he can talk to me, why he didn't talk to his parents as they wept their seed away. Why could he only see me? When he died he seemed as though that he didn't know that he was dead, even though he always seemed notice people around them but didn't try to speak to them. I think that he knew, but some he acted shy around people and never around the others. When I first saw him, I began to see others and the others seemed frozen in time also. They never actually interacted with me, because I wasn't the only one who could see them. They belonged to the others, the people who had also lost somebody they loved, It's weird how I can't ever find out how they leave everyone else, but he has been here ever since the accident. Once, I had actually seen them leave. They slowly faded away bit by bit and had a gray dye depart on their journey with them. For some strange reason when they left their owners, they were blissful and couldn't wait until they soon could go to. It had completely escaped their thoughts and just floated into the past. It seemed as if they walking in a plain in the winter and spring had just come along and some tulips had just awakened for a new life. I could only imagine what it would be like if he let me. What would I feel? I could only think I would embrace and take it as it is, because as in any status quo as they would pass on and we would accept it and move on. Tamia House 8th Grade Normal Park Museum Magnet Carrie Willmore





High School Poetry


First Love Before the world of boys and stress The notes were squiggly lines I couldn't understand The secret language And every song started with Every Good Boy Does Fine Then the language SPOKE It began with the swish of the bow on strings The sweet spot in the middle Slowly the squiggles turned into a beautiful sound But I fell for the sweet kiss Of metal on my mouth The sacred silence before the first note The ink on the page becoming the voice of many Maddie Rewcastle Grade 9 Notre Dame High School Avery Westrich

Like A Balloon She was fun to play with Sometimes a mystery to all Picking the right one was the challenge It didn't take long to know She was the best of all As I knew she would be But eventually she floated away Never to be seen again Ian Farrington 9th Grade Scottsboro High School Holly Michaels


Summer She spreads like wild fire, Shedding you of warm jackets. Leaving you sweating In the unbearable heat, With no hint of forgiveness. Amelia Adkins 9th Grade Scottsboro High School Holly Michaels

My Mommaw I remember when I came up there You would tell me stories about Grandpa and Bear Bear now sits in your room, all cold and alone, in his non-rocking chair all dusty with mold I remember your walking stick, which now leans by your door In the kitchen the old green linoleum floor We would play cards that Grandpa had bought you, oh so many before Your daily newspaper crosswords, I couldn't figure out Yet you got each one without a single doubt I would help you in the garden making sure no creatures were luring about I remember when you hit your head You lay in that uncomfortable looking bed I would hold your hand, though you did not know I wanted you here, but God wanted you home At 2:09 a.m. you took your last breath I was there and every word I said I said goodbye before they took you away, for I will see you one happy day. Hannah Whited 9th grade Grace Baptist Academy Mr. Reese


Cynical Mockery I love the way you are. I love the way you talk about your problems, with a pained expression, like you know true suffering. I love how you talk about how ugly you are, knowing it isn't true, just fishing for compliments. And I really love the way you only take things at face value; no capacity for analysis. I just adore your hypocrisy, your stupidity, your ignorance. I'm so glad that you are the face of most human beings, who know only their immediate surroundings what's easy, what's obvious. If the future belongs to these inarticulate minds, let us all hope the end is near. Casey McNabb Grade 9 Center for Creative Arts Meri Sowders


Haiku Bright sun splashes light Providing the Earth with warmth Blistering up close Clear blue morning sky With streaks of orange and pink Stunning to the eyes Trees deliver shade Their limbs grasping the cool breeze Gentle still to life Tremendous are birds Spectacular with detail Harmonious chirps Jonathan Sanders 9th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Sarah Johnson

Light Colorless, yet all the colors. Invisible, yet enables sight. Charlie Rizzo 9th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Sarah Johnson


Incise Not what you think, as opposite her wrists. One is flawless and smooth, the other a battlefield revealing her truth. She smiles and laughs, Empty though no one sees. Pain is no more, only relief Grip the handle, drag it deep; the deed is done, the hurt is gone. The crimson rivers, flow so beautifully. With the morn will come realization of what she's done. More long-sleeved shirts, in the feverish torridity, be her punishment; she wont mind. It's a small price to pay, to be okay. For now she's fine the hurt is gone. Hannah Combs 9ths Grade East Hamilton High School Jane Coe


Magic My unsteadily carry me into this room, This strange, strange room, Where in the corner, A gorgeous brown piano is sleeping. Slowly, the pretty-eyed lady awakens it From its slumber. I watch in awe As her fingers dance upon the keys. "Magic," I think, For every time her finger touches a key, My heart is filled with music "One day," she says, As the song draws to a close, "You will able to play a song Better than this." I bounce on the balls of my feet, Eager to give the piano a try. I stare at the notes and will the music to flow. Nothing happens. As my undeveloped 7-year old mind Attempts to convert the foreign language That is piano Into the melodious sound That is music, She stands and waits, Eyes full of patience, But my unsure fingers produce a tune Nowhere close to hers Practice makes perfect Eliza del Carmen 9th Grade Notre Dame High School Ms. Burns


Voice of Beauty Its notes are crisp and flowing, Its tone soars through the air, The peace it brings is stunning, Cool like an autumn breeze. Its voice cries out with power, Power that cannot be surpassed, Through its voice you can hear, The cry of victory loud and clear, Through its sorrow you can feel, The healing of its sweet, strong voice. Daniel Howard 9th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George

China China is an old man That looks young Who watched Time struggle on. He eventually Closed his eyes To the roses And the thorns And stopped seeing Or hearing Or feeling And barely talks To anyone else. Kelli Marcum 9th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


White Christmas To wake up on Christmas morning and look out the window when your house is covered in snow gives a sense of joy and comfort. Kids bundle up in layers of clothes and walk outside to play in the snow. When they come inside, noses pink, they are greeted by Mom to enjoy a hot delicious drink. Then to see the tree, strung with lights, and presents from Santa to add delight. As kids gather around the tree with big smiles on their faces they rip through their presents almost as if in a race. Finishing the night with the Christmas story, the lights turn off and the night about Jesus' birth and glory comes to an end; but what a great way to have Christmas, enjoying it in a winter wonderland. Katie Cordell 9th Grade Grace Baptist Academy Mr. Reese

Smells Of A Bakery Oh how I love the smell of a bakery That fresh bread in the oven warm and juicy I love the smell of homemade cookies That first bite I take of the soft chocolaty goodness Then you take another and another then It's GONE!!!!! Grant Marshall 10th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Sarah Johnson


My Superman My life is full of pain and hurt, Growing up my dad treated me like dirt. My dad wasn't there for anything, It seemed like he didn't care about a thing. I wish he was around to give me a hand, Or pick me up when I fell in the sand. Re never treated my family right, He wasn't even there to say goodnight. But I'll always love that man, He is my Superman, he is my Superman, Said he is my Superman. He caused my mom a lot of suffering, A lot of hurt, crying, and bleeding. There was always an excuse, For the drugs, the alcohol, and abuse. He would always pray and seek, Because he was helpless and weak. I know my dad cared about us all, But every time he got back up he'd fall. But I'll always love that man, He is my Superman, he is my Superman, Said he is my Superman. This is for the one I love, You are my number one. And I pray to the Lord in space, That He took you to a better place. Where there are no regrets, N a more hurt is left. I live each day for you, I wish you only knew, How much I love you. And I'll always love that man, He is my Superman, he is my Superman, He is my Superman, he is my Superman ..... . Joshua Slocum 10th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Sarah Johnson


A Rainbow, a Stranger, and a Silver Hand We dance on Our pot of gold. The Colors of the rainbow Soak us through and through. The ground shifts Beneath our shoeless feet. The mud swallows us, And we are among the roots Of the land above. We plunge into the heart Of everything we know, Down through the Tunnels and caverns Carved by the gods. Together we walk, Hand in hand we travel, Through this world of wolves and fire, Painted by the silver hand of night. And now as we Walk the depths Of this cold world, Prisoners of clay and water, We will search For what holds Everything together. Nicholas Taylor 10th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


Autumn Days Lounging in cozy chunky knit sweaters while sipping warm chamomile tea Long brisk early morning runs under the falling leaves Roaring bonfires with friends gorging ourselves with marshmallows Laying under the stars identifying the constellations while gazing up at the moon Jumping into leaf piles as colossal as mountains and the scent of burning leaves intertwined in my clothes India 10th Grad Hilger Higher Learning Shelly George

Maybe it's the way... Is it the way she Looks at me With those dark brown eyes And her beautiful brown hair Maybe it's the way she laughs and smiles On the phone up late just talking for hours It is the way she seems Exactly like me But in face she's different entirely Is it the car rides home Just she and I Singing out favorite song As loud as can be Or is it the way she grabs my hand And gets me like nobody else can It could be any of these But honestly Maybe it's the way she looks at me. John Coates 10th Grade Ooltewah High School Mrs. Fuller


I am His Helpful Older Brother. I am his helpful older brother. I wonder if he would grow out of it. I hear him communicating in sentences. I see him being normal I want him to be better I am his helpful older brother. I pretend it never happened. I feel my hand helping his. I touch heart to his. I worry he will never get better. I cry since he hasn't yet. I am his helpful older brother. I understand it may never come true. I say it isn't that bad. I dream that it can come true. I try to help him out as much as I can. I hope that my brother would not have Autism. I am his helpful older brother. Ricky Curtin 10th Grade Chattanooga State Middle College Angela Karnes

In October Skies In October Skies, lies an unknown battle. Between two warriors as they collide. The gray storm raging from the West, filled with hatred, forms a claw. Which reaches with electrifying talons, toward the hopeful blue sky, Who is dawning in the East. A fight between Hope and Hate brew as time creeps by. Hate's claw, though, takes the sky, while Hope screams one more time. Hope's scream sends sparks of red desire, orange laughter, pink passion, And purple hope, against the dulling sky, for its last good-bye. As all turns to Hate, Hope begins to cry, sending raindrops downward from the sky. Alyssa Ward 11th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelly George


Blood Back as Night Did I really die? The sun turned you red. Then you cried. The blood black as night Led you to your knife. You can't turn back. I see Hell's gate open. You can't run away. You can't turn back. Hell is there waiting. It waits there just for you. You see nothing but fire, death, and pain. You see fire in the blood. I wait to see the demon's dance. They dance in the fiery blood. They sing with the bones of the forgotten. Cheyenne Wright 11th Grade Sequatchie County High School Natalie Kimbell

It's a hard knock life. Every cent goes to gas. I'm buying a bike. Reid Clements 11th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Taryn Humphries


Two can be as bad as one Us together: Long road trips to Panama City, Buying snow cones just to talk to the guy selling them, Making silly faces while putting on Chap Stick, Winning the lottery, Wanting to kill you when you were laughing while 5 Guys were hitting on me, Not so fit guys coming up and asking for my number while you giggle, "Forgetting" money at the ice-cream stand and 2 hot guys paying for us, Doing the bend n' snap and it working, Baking Christmas cookies, Talking in really country accents while in Ohio, Getting hit on by 12 year olds, Falling asleep by the beach, Shoving cake in each others face, One word: Michigan hot tub, Doing random guys' makeup, And having random guys come up and hug us I love my best friends. Disclaimer: Some of these events never occurred. Addie Moses 11th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Taryn Humphries

Without You Without you, I am a helpless worm, hanging from the hook. Without you, I am a blank page, In the center of the book. Without you, I am mind without thoughts. Without you, I die in a battle I never fought. I can't walk without you, because you are my steps. I can't live without you, because you are my breath. Without you, I can't win, because you are my team. I can't even fulfill my dream, because you are my dream. Without you, there is no me, because you started it all. The love that you have shared, kept me standing tall. I have made mistakes, but please forgive me for my iniquities. Because honestly, without you, I'm forever lost for all eternity. Kenneth Spann 11th Grade Chattanooga Central High School Mrs. Moss


When I was a little girl I would wish for you to come I would wish for you to hold me, and never let go. When I was a little girl I dreamed of that one dance, I dreamed that you'd show your love for me, but deep down I knew, you'd never take that chance. as I grew, I dreamed, wished, believed. as I grew, I hoped that, that one dance would be of reality. as I grew, I pictured you holding me, and never letting go. as I grew, I dreamed, wished, believed. My mom would say some day you'd come to your senses, and realize how your choices brought tears to my eyes, how every thought of you caused me to cry. Every time she said these such things, I found myself hoping and believing. I found myself wishing you'd feel the pain you brought to me. but as I've grown I've realized, I don't need you in my life. as I've grown I've realized, there's no need for me to cry. as I've grown I've realized, letting go will set me free. as I've grown I've realized, there's no need for me to dream, wish, believe. With or without you, I'm gonna still be me. When I was a little girl, I would wish for you to come. When I was a little girl, I dreamed, wished, believed. Ebony Winters 11th Grade Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe High School Susie Fraizer


My Favorite Time Glass balls, shining lights. Dead tree in the living room. Death to honor birth. Michael Dellinger 10th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Sarah Johnson

We All Mean Something A girl. A girl. Living the dreams. The dreams of our ambitious ancestors. But does she know? Does she? When freedom, was nothing more than a wish. When courageous men, fought for what's right. When an entire race took a stand. When a King, had a dream. Somewhere, they're watching her, With a smile on their faces. Because one day she will know. Oh, she will know. John Mitchell 11th Grade Chattanooga Central High School Amanda Pettit-Shaheen


Summer Dreams As the sun shines down, I sit miserable waiting for winter. When I can build a snowman, and enjoy hot chocolate while watching snow fall down upon the ground and trees, my happiness clear. No need for a fan around, I will be fine in the cold. Seeing Christmas trees through my close neighbors' windows brings me happiness. Much more than in the summer, much more than I have today. Ashley Crowden 12th Grade East Hamilton School Mrs. Foster


Standing on the Pier A girl- no more than 9 traversed cautiously up the sloped terrace; each step more strenuous than the first. She was held captive by her mangled heart. Every day beckoned a visit to the harbor. It had been 6 long months since the accident. Her brother, an angler, lost his fight when his ship capsized to a vast storm. She prayed every night for God to bring him back. Her heart told her the times were unbearable but she found comfort in the seas. The spray of the lively expanse brought her mind peace and the sound of the waves calmed her spirit. Most think her heart will win and she too will lost her fight on that dock. Not a soul could say when but if you briefly wander by you will see her‌ Standing on the pier‌ Katelyn Carlson Grade 12 Silverdale Baptist Academy Taryn Humphries


I Am the Monster I am the monster that conquers the earth. You are master of nothing I am the hate That makes rebels of saints. True saints despise you. Like a thief, I steal the heart of love itself. I am love. Love? You are a coward! You are weak, you are nothing. Hiding like a rat from the little monsters you created I have them. They are mine! Of my people, you have none. How can you have faith in those that have lost faith in you. It is me they love, Not you! I've won. You've lost, Give up already. I will never renounce my prize. How can you have such faith In the wicked? In the hateful? In the fools? Those are my children you mock. A lost children at that. You're failed as a Father to them, And they are forever mine. I am superior! I am the conqueror! I am the victor!


Only the weak Boast in themselves. For you are the weakest of them all. You manipulate the weak; I give strength to all who come. You may think you've won, But you can't see what I see I have won, I always have, And you will never destroy again. I was the beginning, And I will be the last. We'll see about that. Last to me maybe. But I am the monster! I have your people; I am the victor! You have nothing; you are nothing, But I am God Braden Wahl 12th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Taryn Humphries


Waiting, Villanelle I stood in an empty field waiting. Only whispers disturbed my stillness. Nothing told me you'd be returning. Wildflowers stood at my feet swaying, Trying to keep my evenness. Still, I stood in an empty waiting. The wind kept its steady breathing, Calming our nervousness. Nothing told me you'd be returning. My tears started breaking. My eyes saw the blurry emptiness. I stood in an empty field waiting. Nature soon started its gasping, As we both saw the bluntness. Nothing told me you'd be returning. Life before me was breaking. Nature lay on the ground motionless. I stood in an empty field waiting. Nothing a whisper said you'd be returning. Crystal Hutchins 12th Grade Central High School Amanda Pettit-Shaheen


My Stream Tucked up in the mountains Far Away from busy life Is a place that is special A place that stays in my heart I consider it a secret It is known by few And visited by fewer This is my stream Flowing boldly and wild Undisturbed by reckless men Only seen by the bears Or a fly fisherman like me The setting is picturesque Its inhabitants priceless in value I seek after them This is where I find true peace A little gem it is The cool, rushing water The rocks and the plunge pools And the brookies that call it home We all have a place That is special to us We hold it deep inside Mine is my stream Chase Turner 12th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Taryn Humphries


The Dark Seduction of Narcissus (In reply to Salvador Dali's Metamorphosis of Narcissus) As Beauty grasped his hands Twining his fingers in sacred seduction, His luminous eyes sought the embrace of sinful splendor. Mesmerized by the radiance of dark temptation, Lust tantalized his seraphic frame Until his beauty was tarnished and festered. Captivation traced elaborate designs Into his diving and riveting flesh And Beauty's tender gaze caressed his aching desire, Unleashing a deviant beast Whose devastation was beauty alone The devourer of his nimble consciousness. Entrancing whispers were echoed, And celestial lips met in beguiling renaissance. Innocence fled as he grasped the intangible grace That imprisoned his blameless fascination Ravaging for escape was his soul, But Beauty provoked his mortality into submission. The solace of eternity beget a treacherous moan As he entered the labyrinth of Beauty's splendid gaze. Stripped of his immaculate soul His prism of perfection tainted. Disfigured by Beauty's manipulative wit, His body reaped the ash and deformity of death. Hannah Mae Atherton 12th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


The Terracotta Man On the grandpa's book shelf, There always stands a clay man. Sixteen years, The man never moved. Born to die in the Qing Dynasty, The Terracotta Man is a piece of air. However, In western eyes, He is a Chinese Mummy. Tales say that he is buried alive. Living in the Massive grave, The Men stand straight. Thousands of years of waiting, He was finally revealed. The glaring paint vanishes within 10 seconds, Leaving the grueling memories behind. Made in China, They stand straight. Xiangjiu Wang 12th Grade McCallie School Kemmer Anderson


A Parable by the Love-Struck, Teenage Mind Unsettle me. Rattle the bars of my cage until my blood boils and screams like lightning in my veins. Dissect my brain. Mold me like a little girl at Sunday school, And leave me be when the lily white starts to fade away. The leaves outside are falling to the ground like wrinkled, wet pages of unwritten stories. Fill these blank pages with your teachings, abstract them with you fingerprints. Be the author of this gigantic fairy tale, but don't tell me the ending. We are bound to go wrong somewhere. Sit with me at the dinner table. We'll digest our self-inflicted wounds together. I painted a portrait of you and threw it in the trash. I was afraid you would be offended by your disfigurements. Forgive me. I am an artist; I cannot help the way I see. Pieces of us are confettied on the floor, And people are starting to notice the mess. Everyone is staring down at us now. They could pick us up, But where would they take us? Melissa Willis 12th Grade Center for Creative Arts Meri Sowders





High School Prose


Not Just Another Elizabeth "Mother I am so fed up with my Today we had a substitute teacher! And when taking attendance he commented on how lovely many of the names in our class were, but when he read off my name, do you know what he said? He said. 'ah, another Elizabeth, no matter where teach I can always rely on an in Elizabeth my class, it is such a common name.' Why did I have to be stuck with such a horribly simple and boring name! Elizabeth Ruth, what a name! There are at least five Elizabeth's in the 6th grade! Can't I change it? Please!" I cried, becoming more frustrated with my name as the moments passed. "Well darling, you are what gives your name meaning. I chose those names because in the past there have been great role models with those names, who you can try to live up to. They say that names have a meaning, but I disagree. The name I chose for you has a great meaning, but you have to live up to it and give the name its meaning! And, dear, your name is not ordinary or average, your name represents two of the most remarkable women of the Bible! You may not change your name yet," Mom replied without even looking up from the dishes she was washing! I groaned and started up again, "Oh but Mom, if only you knew. This is not the name that I want to live up to, I want to live up to a more unique and original name. Please I wouldn't change it completely; I could just translate it into another language or something, please-" "Again Elizabeth, you did not listen to what I said! I said you couldn't change it yet. First, I want you to hear the story of your name. And this time listen," Mom said, "or else we will just have to change your name to mean something like 'one that does not listen.'" Mom added jokingly! "Now put down that backpack, let me dry my hands, and I will tell you about your name." "Now darling, let's start with your first name, Elizabeth. Surely, you remember her story from Sunday school. but this time I assure you, it will be different. So settle down close your eyes and listen!" And with that, Mother started the story "The name Elizabeth means 'God's Promise' and Elizabeth certainly didn't understand that! Her husband, Zachariah, and she had been trying for many years to have children, but the Lord just hadn't granted that prayer! Now Zachariah was a priest, and so he would go to the church every day and at the end of the day, he would pray to God to grant them a child. Now they were not as young as they had been, and Elizabeth knew that they must have a child soon if they wanted to be able to play with him, and keep up with him. Yet, no matter how much they wanted a child, they just couldn't have one! Now, Elizabeth also read her Bible every day and one day, she discovered a passage that promised that anybody who was faithful and put their trust in the Lord would have whatever they wished for! So Elizabeth surrendered over all her anxieties and fears of never being a mother to the Lord. She knew that the Lord be would faithful and keep his promise, so she trusted him. She shared this with Zachariah, and he too put his hopes in the Lord. So, then they figured, all they could do was sit and wait! So one day, just like every day, Zachariah went to the Temple to do his work. This time however, he saw an unknown man sitting by the front of the church, just staring at him. So Zachariah approached this man, and asked him what he wanted. As it turns out, this man was an angel of the Lord, sent to tell Zachariah that because he and his wife trusted in the Lord, they would be rewarded, and Elizabeth would have a baby! The angel also told him that this baby was to be named John, and he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth! Zachariah felt unsure though, not only would he have a child, but also that this child would be an honor to his family, and bring them glory? He questioned the angel, and was slow to believe that he and Elizabeth, in their old age, could have children! The angel then, to make an impression on Zachariah, told him that because he didn't believe, he wouldn't be able to speak until the baby was 338

born! Zachariah hastened to finish his work and return home, he had to tell his wife the good news! But alas, upon returning home Zachariah remembered that he could not talk! How would he tell his wife that their greatest wish was coming true? He motioned excitedly for Elizabeth to come outside, and he wrote the story in the dust! By the time he was done, Elizabeth and Zachariah were both in hysterical tears, hugging each other. Elizabeth knew then that she was the Lord's promise, and that he remained faithful to her, and gave her a child. So 9 months later Elizabeth gave birth to a healthy baby boy, and they named him John. He grew up to become John the Baptist and did bring much honor and glory to his family," Mother finished. "Do you see now why I named you Elizabeth? I hoped that you would try to live up to the Elizabeth of the Bible, and trust God and be faithful to him. I also hoped that you would be blessed because of your trust in the Lord. Also Elizabeth, I knew that you are God's promise. You will bring his love to other people! "Now, it's time for the story on your middle name, Ruth. The name Ruth means 'a faithful friend.' There was once a woman named Naomi, and the Lord blessed her with a husband and two sons. At the time, there was a great famine that struck the land, causing many families to migrate away from their homeland, and sadly, Naomi's family was one of the many families involved in the mass exodus. So Naomi held her head high and tried to make the best of their new home, though it was especially hard for her because few families believed in the Lord there, they all were Moabites and believed in foreign gods. Now one day Naomi was notified that her husband had been killed, and she was crushed. She held to the hope that her sons would marry nice girls who believed in the Lord, and she would be able to delight in their children, her grandchildren. And then Naomi lost everything near and dear to her heart. Shortly after the marriages of her two sons, to Moabite non-believers, both her sons were killed in the course of their work. So Naomi decided that she couldn't bear to stay alone in Moab, and she knew she would never find anybody to remarry there, so she packed up and started back for her homeland. Now in those days it was expected that the widowed daughter-in-laws would stay with their husband's family, and would remarry the next oldest son. So Naomi's daughter-in-laws, Orpah and Ruth, started the journey with her. When they were just barely started on the long journey, Naomi said to her daughters, "Go back to your families, I will not have another son that you will be able to marry." Ruth stepped forward and said, "I shall stay with you on this journey anyway," but Orpah kissed Naomi and Ruth good-by and turned around to go back to her family. Yet despite Naomi's many objections, Ruth continued with her. When they were almost to Judah, Naomi's homeland, Naomi asked Ruth why she stayed with her and Ruth responded, "Where you go, I shall go, and where you stay, I shall stay, your God shall be my God, and your people, my people." So Ruth was a devoted companion and friend to Naomi, and she accepted Naomi's God just because she trusted Naomi. I hope you will live up to that example, and be as devoted and loving to your friends, Elizabeth. You name has a very unique meaning, and very remarkable role models from the Bible. I can only hope that you will be able to see the meaning of your name, and keep it just as it is. But now, I am done convincing you, and it is completely your choice," Mom finished. I sat and thought for a couple moments and then said, "You know, maybe I can live with this name after all. I mean, it is a great name. I never realized just how cool the Elizabeth and Ruth of the Bible were and I just hope I can do justice to the name!" "You know darling, I think you already have," Mom said, "but now, if you will excuse me I must go back to washing the dishes." Grace Allen 9th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Kim Bates


Bob the Bunny Bob the bunny was a dark brown rabbit with snow-white spots, and floppy ears that hung almost to his feet. He had soft, warm fur that helped him stay warm in the cold winters. Bob did not like other rabbits very much, they could never be quiet long enough to hear him so he just stayed by himself and ate clover in his yard. One day, as he was munching on clover, he wondered what it would be like to have a friend that was like him; quiet, and thoughtful. Sadly, Bob had never met any bunny who was even close to the way he was. It began to rain so he hopped back to his house. He had made his house with twigs and the roof from moss. It was the perfect way to escape the rain. He then realized how late it was in the day and decided to go to bed. The next morning something startled him awake. A small twig fell from his roof and hit him in the face. It was rather early, but Bob decided to get up anyway. He hopped into his yard and looked around. The early morning sun was nearly blinding. He turned so tat he could see and there was another rabbit! It scared Bob so bad that he hopped away as fast as he could, and Bob was most certainly not a slow rabbit. He then turned around, out of breath, and the other rabbit was still there. Bob decided to try and talk to this strange new rabbit. "Hello?" whispered Bob. The rabbit didn't reply. So Bob just began to slowly hop back to his house. The rabbit followed him all the way to his house. Bob invited the rabbit inside and prepared them dinner. He put his delicious mushroom stew in two bowls and set it on the kitchen table, but the rabbit was gone! Bob then turned on a lamp because it was slightly dark. Then as soon as this mysterious rabbit had disappeared it was back. The rabbit didn't eat anything. Bob talked to the rabbit the entire time he ate. This rabbit was a very good listener and didn't interrupt Bob once. Bob knew that they would be friends. Bob set up a bed for his new-found friend in the living room. Told his friend goodnight, and headed off to his room but the rabbit followed him. The rabbit obviously wanted to stay with Bob so he moved the bed into his room. The rabbit didn't snore and slept soundly. Bob woke up to find his friend waiting for him. Bob liked his new friend a lot, and he thought his new friend liked him also. They both hopped out into the yard in unison, and ate clover. Until the sunlight began to they stayed together. They stayed together that night, the next night, and for weeks, months, and then years after. Bob had found his lifelong friend, his shadow. Joseph McDonald 9th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Kim Bates

Until I see you again She looked behind her, swearing she saw a shadow run past her. She started to run just a little bit faster, hopelessly praying for someone, anyone to show up so, she won't be alone. She heard footsteps but yet, there was no one to be seen. A feral dog was locked up at the old smith's house. Connie walked past these paths every night, hoping she would pass, fast, like a blink. She ran home crying, yelling for her mom. She got closer, and the closer she got the more confused she was, wondering why she was being ignored. "Mom, Dad!" she yelled at the top of her lungs. She was definitely worried now. She opened the door and left it wide open, calling to her seemingly invisible parents. Then, there they were, cooking like usual. Connie got a huge smile on her face and irrevocably walked towards them. She went behind her mom, ready to surprise her with a hug. She closed her eyes and started to wrap them around her, she opened her eyes to find herself with her arms wrapped around her own shoulders. "What?" she thought confused to a great extent. She decided to try it again. Once more, slightly opening one eye at a time, surprised yet again, she needed to look for answers. Connie thought long and hard, then there it was ... sitting right there, a mirror. Connie slowly picked it up, "Okay" she thought, ''you are just hallucinating, don't be scared." Connie hesitated to look but, she finally did. No reflection, "what's happening?" she yelled her question. Connie was searching for an answer, anything or anybody could help her and she didn't care who or what, she was desperate. She ran towards the city, using every 340

breath she had. Connie ran past the Newspaper stand. Connie backed up, slowly. She was hoping what she just saw wasn't true. Connie leaned in and squinted her eyes. There it was, her answer. "Connie Anabella Donovan (1992-2011) Body found, downward in Uncle's pool, No knowledge of how she died. Biopsies are being done as we speak..." The newspaper went on and on. Connie was shocked, there were no words to describe how she felt, but I guess disappointed was the best. She looked up, as she heard bell's ringing, like drums during a parade. Connie silently walked inside and there she was, her parents were in the front, sobbing in each other arms. Her parents must have known but, why were they so happy? Connie realized then and there it was all a memory, her parents laughing, cooking together, the way the smiled, the love they shared, and it was all a flashback, a final goodbye. Connie smiled and shed a small tear, and right as that sparkly, translucent tear hit the ground, everything went blank, clean. Connie realized and thought to herself, "it's over, I'm gone." Then she looked up with her blue watery eyes and saw a gate, opening. There was a shadow, just a shadow standing there; staring for a long while Connie finally realized it was the shadow that was following her today. The shadow smiled a big, warm smile and said, "Connie Anabella Donovan, welcome home." Even though Connie was gone, she felt happy and content, her me was suddenly filled with happiness and memories, she looked beyond the clouds to stare at the two faces that raised her, Connie blew them a kiss and said one last final goodbye and whispered, "Until I see you again." Jessica Stafford 10th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Mrs. Johnson

Just Thinking There are pictures hanging on my wall. I know that they are there, but I hardly really see them. Their presence is always known, but sometimes forgotten. When I really look, I see familiar faces. Smiling faces of people I have known for most of my life. Pictures are strange things to me. They are a still description of one event. Yet they bring back memories of so much more. A picture can make you think back about how you got there. And even though the pictures are filled with smiles, sometimes you can see beyond that. You can often tell a person's characteristics just from one photo. You can see the ones whose smiles are genuine and happy. You can see the people whose uncomfortable expressions tell you how much they dislike pictures. Most of the people in these pictures, I no longer see everyday. We have all gone our separate ways, developed our own interests and drifted apart. Maybe these pictures should bring sadness, but for me, they do not. They remind me of lessons that I've learned and places that I've been. I don't believe in coincidences, I think God has a purpose for every little thing in our lives that happens. I also think He has a reason for the people that come through our lives. When I look at the pictures, I realize that I have learned something from everyone in them. From some, I have learned to not assume things about people. From others, I have been taught what being a friend should mean. They might have even taught me something I am unaware of learning. Maybe we don't always think someone can be used to teach us something, but they do. Maybe in our subconscious, a lesson from that unexpected person exists. Everyone is different, so there must be a different lesson we can learn from each person. We just have to pay closer attention to the things and people that are always present in our lives, yet often go unnoticed. Caitlin Kelley 9th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Sarah Johnson


Proud Owls In a deserted forest known to none, there lived an ancient species of owls. The owls were proud, wise, and loved to argue over little things. They had been on the Earth the longest amount of time compared to other owls, and loved to boast about it to hatchling owls. Every year the wise old owls would select two of the bravest and most trusted of their kind to compete to see who would be leader of the species. Every year they competed, and every year they gave up because they could not choose a leader. They would go through all the trouble of selecting and competing, to only decide in the end that they did not need a leader for they were fine on their own and were too proud to be led by a single owl. The competition between the two owls was a long process. The four eldest owls of them all would fly to every area in which the ancient owls lived. If they saw fit, the elders would pick an owl youngling of an area and he or she would be brought back to the main living area of the ancient race of owls. There all the owls the elders selected, usually four or five, for the elders were picky, would fly to the central living area to have the top two chosen by the owl onlookers from other species. The event of choosing a leader was very large, so owls from all over the world came to watch the two candidates compete. Everyone knew that it would all end the same as it always was, but it was a time of fun for other owls, and a time of seriousness for the ancient race. The time of choosing would take place in the spring, a time of renewing. And it was time again to attempt to choose the leader. The elders flew and flew the whole month of March, and came back with four hopeful candidates. One candidate, a male, came from the northern most point of the ancient owl land. The owls up north were known to be quite vicious and ruthless. Another candidate, also male, came from the southwest land of the ancient owls. The owls to the southwest were sly and cunning and never up. The third feathery candidate, as usual a male, came from the northwest and was known to be the evilest bird of all the land. Why the elders chose him, the owls did not know. The last of the candidates was a joke to most the ancient owls and traveling birds. The candidate, unusually being female, the first female ever, came from the southeast. The owls there were jested and laughed at for they were not like the other ancients. The southeast owls were actually nice. The word nice was a thorn in all the ancients' side. The ancient species of owls were the slyest and most devious of all birds, more cunning than the crows, and five times more roguish than the vultures. The southeast ancient owl tribe was actually caring and selfless! They stuck out in the land of ancient owls more than an albino horse stands out in a pasture of black stallions. Miles away a southeastern owl could be spotted by the way they carried themselves. They didn't have the look of mischief upon their faces weren't constantly trying to con another owl out of money. To have a southeastern owl in the running was despicable to the others, but the eldest of all the ancients knew what they were doing. After being paraded around and judged, the time came for all birds in the central area of the ancient owl land to choose the top two owls to compete. The birds did not take long to choose them. They wanted to see a good competition and chose the northwestern ancient owl, and the southeastern ancient owl. The two competitors were to compete in one challenge chosen by the elders. This year it was flying. The evil owl and nice owl were to fly as fast as they could all around the perimeter of the ancient owl land. The one who came back first was the winner. This was the way of choosing leaders, for the owls were vain and wanted a leader who reflected that. The two owls lined up side by side at the starting line. At the word of "Go" the two flew off as fast as they could. Struggling for dominance in the race, the northwestern owl that was evil, swerved in his position in the race. He flew headfirst into the southeastern owl, damaging her wings and causing her to fall out of flight. She plummeted to the ground at a speed so fast she could barely be seen. When she finally collided with the earth, the spectators of birds knew she was out of the race. The birds that had seen the northwestern owl sabotage her flying grew angry. They had a 342

sudden change of heart, and were not like the other ancient owls. They became like the southeastern owls, and worked to change the other ancients' thoughts of deviousness and evil ways. The story of what the northwestern owl did to the southeastern owl spread through the ancient owl land like wildfire. It was common to see an owl robbing another or lying but to see an owl directly injure another owl was hated in the land. The ancient owls were proud, and did not want any more of their species to die out. In the little time of a year, the ancient owls almost all had a change of heart. They were no longer evil at heart instead were caring. The few ancients who had refused to change became like what the southeastern owls used to be treated as, an oddball in the land of the ancient race of owls. That southeastern owl that was injured in the race went on to become the leader of the ancients for the owls realized they needed a leader to guide them. They never wanted to become like they were again. The elders knew what they were doing when chose a southeastern owl to be in the running of leadership. Jenna Snider 9th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Sarah Johnson

Mao's Last Dancer A few months ago, I watched a movie based on a true story that truly inspired me. It was set during the time of Mao's reign of terror in China. It was a time when the arts were not allowed unless it was used to depict the "heroism" of Mao and his Communist Party. However, the movie showed bits of culture here and there and did not glamorize anything. Mao's Last Dancer is a movie about Chinese Ballet and depicts perseverance, love, and loyalty at their most trying times. The movie starts out showing a small, rural village that has no electricity or running water. A group of boys are running over snow (it's winter) towards the village. Li Cunxin is set out to work in the fields, but takes a sudden turn and government officials come to his school, looking for candidates for centralized training. At first the officials skip over him, but his teacher please with them to take him on. They do so and, based on physical and flexibility examinations, Li is chosen for Madame Mao's Dance Academy, where he trains for several years to become an extraordinary ballet dancer (although he was a mediocre student at first, he was inspire by an elderly Teacher Chan, whose advocacy for classical Russian ballet leads to his banishment from the school). During an astonishing cultural visit to China, American ballet director Ben Stevenson is impressed with Li's obvious talent and wants to take him as an exchange student at his Houston Ballet. Li's determination causes a teacher (who earlier on had not liked Li) to speak to the Academy board to allow Li a three-month stay in America. Li's experiences in America cause him to question the Chinese Communist Party's dictations to the Chinese people, and he forms a relationship with aspiring American dancer, Elizabeth Mackey. Li wants to stay on it America for a period of time and tries to speak to the Chinese government about it, but they refuse. Li, overwhelmed with many opportunities in America and in love with Elizabeth, tries to seek legal advice. Discovering that he could stay if he married an American citizen, Li marries Elizabeth. Although trouble stirs up for a few days, eventually Li is allowed to stay in America, but he absolutely cannot contact his family back home. A few years go by and Li moves up in the world of ballet. After a time, though, Li's progression has left his wife, Elizabeth, feeling inadequate. Feeling outdone, Elizabeth and Li decide to part and go their separate ways. Elizabeth never became an outstanding dancer. The last anyone heard of her, she became a speech therapist, mainly for children. 343

Five years after his "banishment" from China, as a show of goodwill from the Chinese government, they allow Li's parents to come visit him and finally see him perform The Rite of Spring. Li eventually is allowed to visit China and together with his new wife, Mary McKendry (an Australian ballerina), they do an outdoor ballet performance for his old village, much to the crowd's pleasure, with Teacher Chan looking on. Li Cunxin continued to dance, and performed with the Houston Ballet in 1995, a performance that was broadcast to over 500 million viewers. He and his wife, Mary McKendry, live in Australia with their three children. Ben Stevenson left the Houston Ballet after 27 years as Artistic Director. He's now Artistic Director of the Texas Ballet Theater. He is one of the world's acclaimed leading choreographers. Mao's Last Dancer is an inspirational movie about a young ballet dancer named Li Cunxin and his struggles with loyalty, love, and perseverance. The movie was directed by Bruce Beresford, and based on Li Cunxin's autobiography Mao's Last Dancer. It is an Australian film and even though this movie was never a blockbuster hit, it truly is an inspiring movie and I certainly would recommend anyone to watch it. It really inspired me and reminded me that life is full of surprises, but even when you're at your worst, you can still turn things around with God's help. Naomi Treadway 9th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George

Holocaust It was a sunny March morning in Washington DC, and the seventh and eighth grade band students went for a walk around various memorials located in the nation's capital. We all took a bus to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. I was waiting in line for entrance as our keen guide, Heidi bragged about her connections all over DC. After what felt like hours, the line slowly decreased, and we got to go to the permanent exhibits that our guide acquired by pulling a few strings. The entry itself was pretty hard to gain; everyone else would have to wait on a list for at least two months prior to gain admission. Our mighty Heidi, however, got the whole group in right on the spot. I was exhausted from walking to and from the proudly standing landmarks of the busy and crowded city in the blistering Washington DC heat; the dull, droning roar of the crowd didn't help either. I was spacing out in the line, wondering when I would finally be able to retire to the big, soft comfortable beds waiting for me at the hotel. I was totally unaware of what was to come. I knew of the Holocaust. Who doesn't? In Mr. Harris's class last year, I even watched a documentary on a group of students learning about the death of six million Jews through collecting paper clips from other people. The textbooks had horrific pictures of "human" beings in concentration camps. I always felt this sour tang of hatred, fear, and absolute despair at what I witnessed in countless books, movies, and the like. I expected the same kind of repetitive sadness and cruelty that were portrayed everywhere Holocaust was mentioned. Boy, was I wrong. The whole museum was a blur to me, noticing only bits and pieces as I walked through. In the crowd, I had somehow broken away from the rest of the pack. "No matter," I thought, "I'll find the others as I wander around." The first room I encountered had red candles all around the walls. The people inside were surrounded by red flames. There were pictures. And many other objects. The pictures seemed to whisper to me of their names and how they got there. Their life stories and feelings were chanted all around the room. I could imagine their families. How devastated they would've been. How ... hopeless they would've been. I thought back to my parents and my sister waiting back home where it was safe and secure. I thought of them suddenly being captured and forced to be tortured. 344

Being all alone by myself without family for years just like those people from the photographs had been. Shedding countless tears for everything and nothing. I was so miserable. Then I went upstairs, to the permanent exhibits. In the darkened spaces alone, I was truly frightened witless. The dark ominous lighting around the exhibits were really foreshadowing what I should've expected. They matched the horror and the terrible mood of the Holocaust itself. In the lighted spaces connecting each parts of the building to another in a transparent tunnel, I was hopeless. There were many tunnels. They had etchings. All those tunnels had etchings of those suffered during the Holocaust. The known victims. What about the unknown? How many hundreds, thousands, millions of unaccounted Jews had suffered on top of all those who were accounted for? 6 million Jews. Plus those unknown. Their names etched in from top to bottom, wall to wall, tunnel to tunnel. One of the secluded rooms was filled with thousands of worn shoes stained with tears and terror from only those who were alive by the time of liberation. The shoes were shiny with wear. They looked ancient. They seemed like spirits trapped in the glass panes, just as their owners were in those concentration camps. The thought of those victims who had died before the Red Army got there. How many more pairs of shoes like those must exist somewhere but buried under, forgotten. But there were so many already. So many pairs of shoes. Brown, nameless, numerous shoes. Just like the Jews. Just numbers. It painted me to see the bitter evidence of the truth. I had to get far away from that exhibit. In the next room, there was a model of the gas chambers with little people making a long line in front of their inescapable doom ahead. Looking closer, I could clearly see the women's faces empty with apprehension. As I realized the accuracy of the model, I felt like the ghosts of those persecuted were suffocating and chilling the air around me. As if the angst and hopelessness of the spirits shimmered above me, I thought I could almost feel what they felt. With videos stationed on each columns surrounding the room infinitely playing the nightmares some wanted to just forget and the crude, definitely existent evidence of one of the most merciless events to have ever happened in history closing in on me ever second, I felt... ill. It was as if the room had went back to the past, captured all its haunting qualities, and came right back. I could smell the stench of panic, fatality, and malice drenching the air. I felt sick, as if I could puke up the feelings and the experience. I so desperately wanted to escape it all; just pretend like it never happened. Thinking about how it affected me, a mere student in the future just looking at pictures and videos, and the contrast of how real victims, and oh, the survivors must have experienced crushed me and caused more churning inside. How it must have been to actually live through the nightmare for years with only determination to rely on, fighting every second for the little strand that was what was left of their lives; it all overwhelmed me. I was full of emotions, about to explode. From there, I also had to escape. I ran down the stairs back to the main level. Where there were lights and people. I must've started crying; my vision blurred. Everything so blurred and surreal, I just wanted to cry and cry for all those who had suffered so much. No one should've had to go through that, I shout in my mind. I'm angry, tired, pained, and scared. I know what I feel must be nothing compared to what they felt then. I think of all the bad things that had ever happened to me, thank God that mine doesn't even come close to what they experienced. Then I make another vow to never let any injustice pass by. As I am overwhelmed with so much, I promise to never let anything remotely close to the Holocaust ever happen again. Then I go home. I forget, until I am once again greeted by another traumatizing experience. However, I shall write. I shall make memory; it will be proof. Then others will feel and remember with me what I have failed to do. Anna Kim 9th Grade Lakeview Fort-Oglethorpe High School Traci McCracken


Lions and Wizards John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and Clive Staples Lewis, were two imaginative writers who developed characters who resemble Jesus Christ in ways we never thought imaginable. Tolkien, the creator of the magical and unforgettable middle earth, presents an amazing to reference Christ, an old wizard named Gandalf the Grey. This is a most unlikely resemblance. One of Tolkien's best friends was Clive Staples Lewis, a clever young writer. This young man invented a world so mysterious and magical that no one can fully learn everything there is to know about it. Lewis also displays an unexpected Christ-like character in his series The Chronicles of Narnia. Unlike Tolkien, Lewis uses a lion named Aslan, which is more of a resemblance to Jesus as compared to Tolkien's old wandering wizard. It is amazing how these two brilliant writers, who were very close acquaintances, created such amazing and different fictional characters that represent our Savior Jesus. Both Tolkien and Lewis have strong faith in their God and it truly shows in their work. Although Gandalf and Aslan are different, we find they are also similar when compared to Christ. Tolkien put together an amazing illustration of Christ using an old wizard named Gandalf the Grey. The mysterious wizard is dressed in a tall blue pointy hat with a long grey cloak and big black boots. His eyebrows nearly reach the brim of his hat. Gandalfs beard, which is immensely long, hangs down to his belt. To Bilbo Baggins (a hobbit who met Gandalf while on an adventure), the wizard seemed no more than an old man looking to disturb his good morning. But as the reader soon learns, Gandalf is very powerful and Christ-like in his wisdom and actions. As shown in novels, The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers, Gandalf reveals his more powerful side. For example, Gandalf and the fellowship find themselves in the dark mines of Moria, during which they run across the bridge of Khazad-Dum chased by an evil Balrog. The Balrog reached the Bridge spreading his black wings out from his sides. Each wing reached from wall to wall. Gandalf stopped in the center of the bridge facing the Balrog. The beast halted, staring at Gandalf. Fire blew out of his nose as he raised his whip but Gandalf stood firm. "You cannot pass!" he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. "I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass." (Tolkien, pg 370). The Balrog later falls while grasping Gandalf with his large whip. Gandalf is a lot more powerful than any of the fellowship expected. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:4). Christ shines a light in dark places, and over throws all darkness. "You are small, your foe is big, but your God is bigger still." (Sarah Arthur, pg. 16) After the fellowship had been broken up, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolace are found searching the forest for a pack of orcs which captured Merry and Pippin. Leogolace senses something flowing them, and the group turns to watch their backs. Through the trees they see an old man hunched over and walking toward them. "Gimli gazed with wide eyes for a while, as step by step the figure drew nearer. Then suddenly, unable to contain himself longer, he burst out, "Your bow, Legolace! Bent it! Get Ready! It is Saruman. Do not let him speak he will put a spell on us! Shoot first." Legolace took his bow and bent it, slowly and as if some other will resist him. He held an arrow loosely in his hand but did not fit it to the string. Aragorn stood silent, his face was watchful and intent." (Tolkien, pg. 99) The old man speaks to them asking if they would talk. Gimli shouts out to shoot him, but the old man replies before Legolace does so. "Did I not say that I wished to speak to you?' said the old man. 'Put away that bow Master Elf!' The bow and arrow fell from Legolas' hands, and his arms hung loose at his sides, 'And you, Master Dwarf, pry take your hand from your axe-haft, till I am up! You will not deed such arguments.' Gimli stared and then stood still as a stone, staring while the old man sprang up the rough steps as nimbly as a goat. All weariness seemed to have left him. As he stepped up on to the shelf there was a gleam, too brief for certainty, a quick glint of white, as if some garment shrouded be the grey rags had been for an instant revealed." (Tolkien, pg. 100) This old man later reveals himself as Gandalf the White. As seen in these two examples Gandalf was much more than the fellowship though. When the Lord speaks, the world halts and listens; his words are power. Our Savior after being alleged to be dead rose again just as Gandalf appears to do. There was no hope, for both of their returns. The Elf, Man, and Dwarf 346

all did not recognize him at first, just as the two men on the road to Emmaus did. Jesus walks with them and even talks to them, but still they do not recognize him. From the power of the Lord they finally recognize him and return to Jerusalem to tell the good news of Christ's resurrection. Lewis created the fictional character of Aslan in the wonderful series of The Chronicles of Narnia. Aslan is a large lion, who rules the woods of Narnia. As many can see, Aslan is a more obvious resemblance to Christ, because of his constant king behavior. He is wise and kind-hearted, gentle and understanding. He truly is the "Kind of the Jungle." In the book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the three children are found feasting with the Beavers. The children ask many question about what will happen to their friend Tumnus and how they can save him. Peter tried to come up with a stratagem. "This Faun saved my sister at his own risk, Mr. Beaver. We can't just leave him to be---to, be---to have that done to him." "It's no good, son of Adam," said Mr. Beaver, "no good your trying, of all people. But now that Aslan is on the move---" "Oh, yes! Tell us about Aslan" Said several voices at once, for once again that strange feel-ing ---like the first signs of spring, like good new, had come over them. "Who is Aslan?" Asked Susan. "Aslan?" Said Mr. Beaver. "Why, don't you know? He's the King. He's the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here, you understand. Never in my time or my father's time. But the word has reached us that he has come back. He is in Narnia at this moment. He'll settle the White Queen all right. It is he, not you, what will save Mr. Tumnus." "She won't turn him into stone too?" said Edmund. "Lord love you, Son of Adam, What a simple thing to say!" answered Mr. Beaver with a great laugh. "Turn him into stone? If she can stand on her two feet and look him in the face it'll be the most she can do and more than I expect of her. No, no. He'll put all to rights as it says in an old rhyme in these parts: Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sigh At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bared his teeth, winter meets its death, And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. You'll understand when you see him." (Lewis, pg. 78-79) Another example of Aslan's resemblance to Christ is when Edmund must be saved from the stone table. Aslan steps in to save Edmund's life. The poor Lion was sent to the Stone Table and is tortured and killed for Edmund. The two girls Lucy and Susan are found hiding behind a bush watching the horrible killing take place. The girls expect him to be dead but later find there is more about this beast than they thought. "At that moment they heard from behind them a loud noise, ---a great cracking, deafening noise as if a giant had broken a giant's plate. "What's that?" Said Lucy, clutching Susan's arm. "They're doing something worse to Him," said Lucy. "Come one!" And she pulled Susan round with her. The rising of the sun had made everything look changed---that for a moment they didn't see the important thing. Then they did. The Stone Table was broken in two pieces by a great crack that ran down from end to end; and there was no Aslan. "Oh oh oh!" cried the two girls, rushing back to the Table. "Oh, it's too bad," sobbed Lucy; "They might have left the body alone." "Who's done it?" cried Susan. "What does it mean? Is it more magic?" "Yes!" said a great voice behind their backs. "It is more magic." They looked round. There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane, (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself. (Lewis, pg, 161-162) Aslan rose from the stone table and later returns to finish the battle. Jesus died for us to save us from our sins. He was tortured and beaten just for us. Aslan does the same thing for Edmund. Edmund, who was very selfish and convinced that the witch was telling the truth, obeyed her lies, causing him to be later sentenced to the Stone Table. But Aslan does not heed to this, he saves the boy from a tragic ending. These amazing characters Tolkien and Lewis created, show God's love and power to mankind. Both men have wonderful imaginations that are used as they represent Jesus. Aslan and Gandalf have many differences, but they also 347

are alike. Aslan unlike Gandalf shows a more powerful demeanor when he is first revealed. When Gandalf is revealed for the first time in The Hobbit you are lead to think that he is just an old man with a mysterious but interesting behavior. At first no one would compare h im to Christ. But Gandalf holds something very important that Aslan does not hold. He is portrayed as a regular old man in the world. No one truly understands him or believes anything special about him. He is just a friend. While Jesus walked on the earth, he related to people well. He dressed in their clothes, at their food, and was even born in a stable. He does not wear a crown or rule over anyone. Aslan shows the more powerful side of Jesus – the kind we usually see him as being. That is the way most people see the relation to the Bible in Narnia. Lewis portrays Jesus as a powerful and magical lion who rules Narnia. Aslan is a large but loving beast; powerful and mighty, yet compassionate and understanding. Gandalf slowly becomes more of this type of character in The Two Towers when Aragorn, Legolace and Gimli find him as the new white wizard after the defeat of the Balrog. When you look closer at the two, you see more of their similarities, such as Christ's love for us when he died and rose again. Obvious, that is more in The Chronicles of Narnia. As in Gandalf's case, he shows a heavenly-like behavior when he shows himself to the Elf, Man, and Dwarf. Both of these characters show power and gentleness. They are both wise and understanding just like Christ. Out Lord loves us; he died for us and resurrected to show his power. The power of the Lord will never fail, even until the end of this earth. Even though these characters are so different in looks, we find they are so alike when compared to Christ. It is truly amazing how these writers compared a lion and a wizard to our Savior Jesus Christ. Our Lord is so powerful and mighty, nothing can stand in his way. They created their characters with such care and detail. It is amazing what skill they put into their work. Both Tolkien and Lewis had strong faith in their Lord, and it truly shows in their work. Works cited Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Two Towers. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994. Lewis, C.S. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1978. Arthur, Sarah. Walking with Frodo. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2003. Kelsey Skillman 9th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


Nursemaid "Come on Mika!!" Lane shouts from one of the highest branches of the sycamore tree. His green eyes sparkle with wonder as the little boy gazes out at the world below "I'm-coming, Lanie." Mika pants doing his best to swing his tiny legs over the tree branch beside his brother. A small hand reaches down toward the boy and his twin helps pull him up. "Thanks." Mika smiles fixing his purple cat ears on his head. "I love Halloween." Lane mumbles through a mouth full candy and hands the bag to his little brother. Wiping his smalls on the legs of his identical pink and purple Cheshire cat costume the brunette pulls himself to a standing position gripping the tree trunk and looks out across their baseball field sized backyard. "I wish we could stay up here Mi-Mi ... forever." The older twin utters still looking around. The younger boy looks up at his brother with adoration shining in his own green eyes. "Me too Lanie." A strong breeze blows through startling the elder boy making his grip loosen for a moment as he tries to stay standing. However, the soft fabric of his tail gets underfoot and Lane's small feet slip off the tree branch. His hands scramble around uselessly trying to grab hold of something, anything but to no avail. "MIKA!" The falling boy lets out a frightened cry and Mika reaches out for his brother managing to grab only the front of his costume. Another resilient breeze has Mika grabbing his own branch in desperation and he loses hold of Lane. Wide emerald eyes sprout big tears and a terrified shriek escapes the twin as he plummets to the ground. He hits soon after with a hard thud and lies perfectly still. "LANE!!" Mika screams as he hurries down from the great tree as quickly as his feet will him and runs to his unmoving twin. A light comes on at the back door and Sarah steps outside scanning the yard for the troublesome boys. Her eyes fall on a pair of small figures underneath a tree at the edge of the property. "Lane! Mika! Get inside this instant!" She shouts walking out into the yard a ways. "M-MRS.CHATINCH Help!!" Mika cries trying in vain to pull his listless twin back to house. The woman runs over to the boys and gasp in shock at the motionless boy on the ground. "What happened?" Sarah asks picking up the frail boy and hurrying inside. "W-we were playing in t-the sycamore and-and h-he fell!!" Mika sobs into the nursemaid's skirt. "Nora!" the woman shouts and a young maid rushes from the kitchen. "Yes Miss Sarah?" She pants. "Call an ambulance and take Mika into the kitchen, fix him some tea." Mrs. Chatinch orders in a voice absent of any emotion and the dark haired girl nods staring at the still boy in her superior's arms for a moment before doing as she was told. Alone with the seemingly lifeless little boy Sarah lets a few tears fall as she listens to his faint breathing. The ambulance arrives not 5 minutes later and they load the boy and his nursemaid into the back before speeding to the hospital. A few hours later after it's determined the small boy has a broken arm and three cracked ribs they've set him up in 349

a small private room. Sarah never leaves that little boy's side, she sits with him the entire night and is there when his eyelids flutter open. "M-m-Mrs. Chatinch? Where are we?" Lane asks in a panicked voice. He tries to sit up a little but sucks in a sharp breath at the pain before deciding against it. "A-are we in the hospital?" He wonder aloud glancing around at the white walls and nondescript machines scattered around the room. "Lane, What were you doing so high tree?" The woman beside him demands. The brunette looks down at the blankets awhile before answering. "I wanted to see what it felt like to see the world like ... " He stops wanting to finish his sentence but the look on the nursemaid's face convinces him to continue with a small gulp. "I wanted to see what the angels see." He whispers with childish innocence not meeting her gaze. The disapproval and anger melts away from Sarah's face and she stares at the little boy in awe. "I understand." Mrs. Chatinch breathes patting the hand on Lane's uninjured arm and giving him a rare smile. A few days later back at home things seem almost back to normal. "LANE!" Sarah roars from the bottom of the staircase. Two identical heads appear at the top almost instantaneously peering down warily. "Get down here and pick up your socks!" "But Mrs. Chatinch" The boy starts to complain. "I don't want no 'but's except your scrawny rear down here picking up these socks!" The maid cuts him off and after a few more grumbles the oldest twin is at the foot of the stairs. "I don't see any socks!" Lane exclaims throwing his hands up in the air. "Brat!" The woman shouts leading him over to the left banister by his good arm. "Here!" She shoves a chocolate bar into small hand with a glare. ''Now go back upstairs!" Sarah orders. "But you're the one who called." ''Now, brat! I've got cleaning to do." She barks giving him a push toward the stairs. "Crazy old bat..." He mumbles under his breath and Sarah smiles to herself when she sees his grin. "I heard that!" The woman snaps swatting at the child and encouraging him to scurry up back upstairs to his brother. Nora smiles tenderly watching the events unfold in another room." I think the old bag's good a soft spot for that boy." She thinks before returning to her cleaning. ChloĂŠ Polakiewicz 9th grade Girl's Preparatory School-GPS Carol Killebrew


Forever Tied I awoke to the smell of something burning. "My hair is on fire ... " I mumbled sleepily. My eyes snapped open. Screaming, I ran into the bathroom, grabbed a desultory item sitting on the counter, and doused my hair with the liquid. Too late I realized what I had done. I felt the searing flames lick my cheek, and I dropped to the cool tile. Somehow I managed to extinguish my burning hair, and shakily got up to see what remained. The reflection gasped at me as my horridness struck me. My hair can be fixed, I decided, but the right side of my face was covered in patches of what looked to be at least third degree burns. I knew my dad wouldn't peel himself away from the TV to get another beer, much less take me to the hospital. He hates hospitals. "I'm going to faint, " I thought. Nearly falling down the stairs, I somehow made it out the door. "Ty?" I stumble, wondering if it was really him or if it was just a mirage. His eyes were the last thing I saw before the world faded from gray to black. Slow steady beeping. That's all I heard. Then I realized I couldn't move, and I wondered why. I couldn't see either. "Ophelia," a deep, raspy voice calls from nowhere. I froze. "Don't play games Ophelia, we know you're awake." A sharp pain went through my left side and I flinched. "Speak," the voice ordered as if I were a dog. The antipathy I felt towards the disembodied voice grew to hatred, and even more an unnatural fear. "What am I supposed to say?" My words tumbled out, slurred. I can taste acerbity in my mouth. "Do you think you're cute?" Laughter came out of nowhere and a wave of nausea came over me. "Congratulations, you just ousted your carte blanche." I convulsed violently as an electric shock ran throughout my entire body, and from deep within me an unearthly wail was released from my vocal chords. Darkness enticed me to unconsciousness, and I gave in. I blinked and opened my eyes. Upon trying to sit up, I realized I couldn't. Looking down, I saw why. Wide, leather restraints tethered me to the bed by my wrists. My screams were cut off when I where I was. ''I'm in a hospital," my mind raced. "How did I get here? How can I see again? Where am I? What's happening to me?" A young doctor raced in and checked my pulse. The heart monitor beeped faster. A rather corpulent nurse came in carrying a tray covered in an ensemble of syringes. "What's wrong?" the doctor asked with genuine concern in his eyes. "I heard you screaming." "Why am I tied down?" I asked as calmly as I could, considering the circumstances. The shakiness wouldn't leave my voice. "You woke up late last night," he explained, "screaming and writhing. We had no choice but to secure you to the bed antecedent to giving you the tranquilizer." "How did I get here?" I noticed the nurse slipping quietly out of the room, unnoticed. "One of the nurses found you unconscious on the steps of the hospital. Your left side was bleeding, and the right side of your face was covered with 3rd degree burns. Right now you're living on stabilizers, and there's a dearth of your blood type in storage right now. We're either going to have to wait for a donor or ask other hospitals if they have blood that matches yours. You see, your blood isn't common. It's type O positive, but the cells aren't shaped normal. And you lost too much blood to just leave it."


I let my effete body languish as the doctor continued. "We couldn't ask you while you were unconscious, but do you have any family we can contact? There was a note pinned to your shirt with your medical info, but no contact numbers. Now there was a claimant that came in early this morning that said he was looking for his daughter, but he was unable to show proof of identification. He said he was the father of a girl named Ophelia." "Deft," I muttered. "It was probably my dad. He tends to forget about things unless it's convenient to him. Like forgetting his driver's license until he wants to replenish his hoard of beer." "I can tell he's the antithesis of you. Well anyway I think you're going to be just fine-" "How bout we skip that platitude and you just tell me what's gonna have to be done to fix me?" This comment made me a creditor to a strange look from the young doctor. "You're definitely not the maudlin girl I expected to be treating." "I got that from my mom. Don't aggrandize the problem, and don't have any compunctions." "Good advice. I can tell you haven't had the easiest life." The doctor seemed to be hanging onto every word that I let escape from my lips. His eyes seemed to be begging to hear more of my story. He couldn't be more than twenty-five years old. I studied him for a moment before I fell back onto the stiff pillows that cradled my head. "Are you going to untie me, or do I get the privilege of being tied to the bed for two nights straight?" I finally asked. Snapping out of a daze, he fumbled with the restraints until I was free. I rubbed my wrists and examined where the leather straps had left imprints in my skin. "My name is Lewis by the way," the doctor offered as he picked one of the needles on the tray. "Dr. Lewis?" I questioned. "Um, yeah. You can just call me Lewis." "Oh," I replied. "Pardon?" 'Lewis' gave me an inquisitive look. "You can call me Oh, instead of Ophelia." Dr. Lewis nodded his understanding and went back to fiddling with the syringe. "Ready?" I took a deep breath and nodded. I never liked shots. Eyes closed, muscles relaxed, deep breaths. Within seconds it was over, and once again, I felt myself being enveloped by darkness. Right before I fen completely asleep, one thought haunted my mind. "Where was I before I was brought to the hospital, and who brought me here?" Hannah Combs 9th Grade East Hamilton High School Mrs. Coe


Sonoran Desert The roar of the engine was very loud in my ears. My parachute weighed me down as I thought about what lie ahead. I had to find him though, I had to ... July 29, 1997: Little Rock, Arkansas is where my brother and I had grown up. A beautiful town with people I had known from birth. My mom and dad disappeared suddenly when we were ten and thirteen. We had nowhere else to go but the streets. Yes, we knew everyone in Little Rock, but the thought of being in the same house where we used to live happily, killed me. So as soon as we packed our things up we took the first train to Arizona. Then, our new life began. When we arrived in Arizona, we found a shelter we could go to and stayed there for about two weeks. When the two weeks ended, a foster home came and took all kids under 18 with them that were without an adult. We didn't have a choice, they took my brother and I to a foster home before I could even blink. Luckily, they didn't separate us, which eased both of our minds. We came to a complete stop in the driveway of a very nice white house I though only existed in movies. I looked over at my brother only to find him terrified and trembling. I calmed him with the words "everything will be okay" while we got out of the van. The nice man and woman, apparently named Mr. and Mrs. Swanson, assigned my brother and I to a room and left. No welcome, nothing. We had been living in the house for a month or so and had met a man at church named Mr. Wallace. He was in his fifties and seemed to really like my brother and I. Actually, he liked us so much that he told Mr. and Mrs. Swanson he was considering adopting us. When the right time came, about a week later, they told us the news and we packed our bags. Mr. Wallace came to pick us up later that day. When we got in his car he said, "Because this is such a special occasion, I purchased a vacation home on the edge of the Sonoran Desert." We replied in a happy way, but little did we know that was where we were headed. It took about an hour to get there from the Swanson's home. We got out of the truck when I realized there were no other "vacationing homes" in site. Nothing but sand and the dirt road we took to get there. It was late when we got to our new temporary house, so we went to sleep after dinner. I woke up sweating from the awful nightmare I was having. I dreamed Mr. Wallace had taken my brother on a sand dunning trip, but they never returned. I was frightened. I didn't go back to sleep so I sat on the back porch. Morning came and Sammie, my brother, came and sat down. We chatted for a bit, and then Mr. Wallace came out. He said, "Sammie, how'd you like to go and ride my horses in the sand dunes so I can bond with my new son?" Sammie agreed. They had been gone for a while, but I hadn't really noticed, I was catching up on sleep. I heard a knock on the door and wondered who in the world it was. I opened it and there stood the Swansons! They came to keep me company while Sammie and Mr. Wallace were out. We talked for a long time while waiting on Sammie and Mr. Wallace. Actually, we didn't just talk, we made dinner, cleaned the house, swam and played board games all in the time they were gone. They are still gone though, which worried me deeply considering it's almost eleven o'clock PM. The next morning I woke up to find an empty house. They still hadn't returned? Now I was definitely worried. I ran out of my room screaming for Sammie and ran circles around the house to find him. Still no luck. I called the Wallaces and they gave me directions to a helicopter pad nearby where they shipped things. Since this is a desert and you walk in circles when trying to find someone they use helicopters for search and rescue. I walked what seemed like forever to the helicopter pad, and when I arrived, there was a helicopter waiting for me. 353

I guessed the Wallaces called and set everything up. The men greeted me and insisted that I put a parachute on just in case anything happened. We lifted off the ground and started looking for any sign of Sammie or Mr. Wallace. We flew over the vacation home and on much, much further. There was still no sign of either one. I was beginning to lose hope, one because we had been flying for an hour and saw nothing, and two, because we were literally off the map in my eyes. I went up to the front of the helicopter to see where we were when I saw one of the horses they took wondering around in circles. I screamed and said, "I'm jumping! I know he's close!" The pilots were hesitant at first, but finally said "Okay, if one of us goes with you." I agreed. The roar of the engine was very loud in my ears. My parachute weighed me down as I thought about what lie ahead. I had to find him though, I had to! The pilot gave me the rules and we jumped, just like that. The fall was exhilarating and I was anxious to see my brother again. We hit the sand hard and unhooked our parachutes quickly. As I turned around, the pilot had a gun pointed at me. I was absolutely confused beyond belief. Before I could think of what to say, he pulled the trigger, saying "Your brother is safe with me." To be continued ... Jessica Bonner 9th Grade Grace Baptist Academy Mr. Reese

Indian Captive Given the choice of freedom or captivity, which one is the likely choice? The obvious choice of a person would be freedom, but this was not the choice for many children living in the early days of settlement in America. Fact: many children living in the early days of settlement in America were frequently kidnapped by Indians for temporarily or permanently. Many children never did return to the white people--some by their own choice. This is exactly what happened to a young girl names Mary Jemison (Molly). Indian Captive, written by Lois Lenski, is a thrilling true story about a twelve-year-old girl who was kidnapped by Seneca Indians. Molly Jemison's story unveils the captivating story of a young girl who was forced to exercise courage and perseverance. Even though Molly Jemison was kidnapped and forced to live in another culture, she soon realized what it takes to have courage, perseverance, and sympathy in a time of distress. Molly Jemison's eyes were filled with tears as she was separated from her family and forced to follow her new master: the Seneca Indians. Since she was a captive of the Indians she had only one responsibility: obey her new masters. Not knowing when she would see her family again, Molly reminded herself of the word of her mother: "It does not matter what happens Molly, if you're only strong and have great courage." Courage was something that did not come easily for Molly Jemison, especially in times of hardship. She felt strong fear, rather than great courage but she knew that if she had any chance of surviving, she must find the courage within herself, even if it was not easy. She faced starvation, language barriers, occasional beatings, sicknesses, distresses, and grief. But even in facing all these things, she never ceased to remind herself to show great courage. "Don't every try to run away from the Indians, Molly; don't try to get away and come back to us. They'd find you for certain and kill you." When Molly Jemison arrived with the Indians and Fort Duquesne, she was bargained for by 354

two Indian women – Shining Star and Squirrel Woman – and taken in a canoe to the Seneca Indian village. On the shore she was stripped of every type of white man's clothes and forced to wear Indian clothing. She was also no longer called "Molly," but "Corn Tassel," because of her blond hair. She soon realized that they were trying to make an Indian out of a white girl. Terrified of the Indian ways of life, she attempted to run away several times and on occasion, she was beaten by Squirrel Woman. Molly would try to block out every Indian in the village until one day, a young boy began to teach her the Seneca Indian language. Overtime, Molly began to steadily speak the language and accepted the Indian ways of life. Though perseverance did not come naturally for Molly Jemison, she soon learned how to show perseverance and one day, show sympathy for the Seneca Indians. Sympathy was something Molly was at first, determined not to show any of the Indians. Every day that she lived with them, her longing to leave and go back to her own people never went away. One day though that all changed; the day when a white trader came to the village to trade with the Indians. Molly begged him to take her back to her family, but he refused. He then explained how her family had been massacred by the Indians the very day that she was separated from them. Tears filled her eyes at the thought of her family dead. The trader then told her that she was lucky to be alive. The Indians chose to spare her life. Molly then realized that she had a new family now and a new home: a home with the Seneca Indians and was very grateful. Even though the Indians had taken everything away from her, she could never stop loving them for sparing her life. It is clearly shown that Molly Jemison, even in a time of great distress, exercised great courage, perseverance, and showed a sweet sympathy for the Indians. To the conclusion of the book, Molly Jemison was given the choice of freedom, but she declined the opportunity. She boldly told them that she did not want to leave the Indians because they were her family now. Thus, instead of her old name, "Corn Tassel," the name that she earned was given to her: Little-Woman-of-Great-Courage. The story of Mary Jemison gives people a better understanding why many children chose not to return to the white people in the settlement days of America. There is no doubt that those children that were taken captive were afraid, but they also had to have courage and perseverance – which is a lesson that should be learned by all. Anna Harnsberger 10th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


A Day in the Life of John Dalton With apprehension in my heart I asked my little brother, "Do you remember what I told you John?" He pretended not to hear me for a moment and then replies, "Yes Jonathan I remember. I must not talk for too long of a time without asking questions, In order to make sure that the students are paying attention." I let out a sigh of relief, for this is my brother's first day of teaching our Quaker school in Kendal. John is very intelligent and I do no doubt that he is more than capable of teaching. However, he is only fifteen years old and some of the students here are at least fifteen, if not older. I decide to remind him, "Remember John, teaching is just like weaving cloth. You must first 'spin the flax' by capturing the students attention and then you must weave the thread into something useful by making your different points into a lesson." "Jonathan I understand. Don't worry about me! I am used to teaching and you know that I know all about weaving!" John proclaimed. At these words I smile and say, "Okay John, let us eat now." Weaving is something my brother and I can both relate to. Our father, Joseph Dalton is a weaver. From the day we could walk my father taught us how to help him with his weaving. Even if it meant we had to feed the sheep so that they could stay healthy, we found all kinds of ways to be useful. John has also been helping me teach for the past three years. Today just seems different because he will be all on his own. After I finish teaching my Latin class I decide to sneak into John's mathematics class. I step in right when he is beginning. He talks to the class with the confidence of someone way beyond his years. He is just teaching ten year old boys, but he does a great job explaining the problems in a simple way that would otherwise overwhelm the brains of his pupils. I am once again struck by what a genius my little brother is. I try and imagine what amazing accomplishments he will achieve. I wonder if he will discover something that has never been discovered. I question if people will remember his name years after his death. Quakers are known to be humble people but I have a feeling that my little brother will grab the attention of many people whether he wishes to or not. I watch as a boy raises his hand to ask a question. My brother looks at him and says,"Yes Alexander?" Alexander asks, "Mr. Dalton when will lunch be served?" The rest of the class, including me, looks with horror at Alexander. For it is very rude to interrupt a lecture in order to ask such a ridiculous question. The boy should be punished. I fear that this will make my brother insecure, but that is not to be the case. John looks sternly at the boy and says, "Lunch will be ready in thirty minutes. However, for you Mr. Alexander, lunch shall be ready tomorrow. Today, when your fellow classmates eat, you will remain in here until you completely understand what I have just taught." The boy started to protest but John just kept on lecturing. When the students were dismissed for lunch, Alexander tried to escape but John called out. "Alexander! Come here." With downcast eyes Alexander came to my brother. "Timothy, could you please bring my lunch to me." My brother asked another boy. "Yes sir," replied Timothy. 356

Then Timothy ran out as if scared that he too might be forced to stay. John wrote down problems for Alexander to solve and then Timothy brought him some food saying, "Here you go Mr. Dalton, may I go now?" My brother simply smiled and replied, "Thank you Timothy, you may leave." Minutes passed and my brother ate nothing, but simply stared at Alexander while he worked out the problems. Every few minutes Alexander asked a question and John would patiently teach him. Finally, Alexander finished and said to my brother, "Mr. Dalton, I have completed the problems." "Bring them up here." John commanded. Alexander brought them up and my brother checked them, smiled, and said, "Very good Alexander! You solved them all correct!" Then to my surprise, John handed his food to Alexander and said, "I'm not very hungry but since you had a good and diligent attitude you may eat." Alexander smiled and said, "Thank you Mr. Dalton; thank you for the food and for teaching me how to solve those problems!" "You're welcome Alexander. Now go and eat!" As Alexander was going out the door my brother said, "And Alexander, don't interrupt my lecture again." "Yes sir" and Alexander ran out the door. Minutes passed and I thought of how impressed I was with my little brother. I decided that I had been very foolish to worry about John teaching. My little brother had handled that situation way better than I would have. I think John was born to teach the way my father was born to weave. I smiled and thought... Maybe John will be kind enough to give me some lessons on teaching. Then my brother looked at me and said, "We should get some food, I'm famished." I just smiled and led the way. Bethany Contarino 10th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George


The Unsweet Revenge Across the street, a broken neon sign flashes on and off, advertising "Charlie's Bar and Grill." The gun was heavy in his pocket. Could he have done what he thought he had? The dark alley had puddles mixed with oil and water on the ground, on the cold November night. His scratchy flannel shirt had gunshot residue in the seams. His heart is racing like old times, except this time for the bad, not the good. Had anyone seen? Had anyone heard? Would he go to prison? He was only 17. His wet shoes splash into water left over from the rain that occurred earlier. His shoelace slaps against the pavement as he starts to run instead of walk. There is only one option for him... to run away from it all. As he slows down, he approaches what looks like another puddle but this is more like a pool. The air has an unusual odor of copper and as he sees the scene once more, the smell of burning gun powder is etched in his mind. He visualizes the bullet clicking into the chamber and the look of surprise on the man's face as his finger pulled the trigger of the cold gun. Sirens in the background ring in his ear. He runs down 7th Street while checking his perimeter at every moment possible. He steps into his 2003 white Honda Accord and gets ready to drive out of his situation. He is sweating profusely and his hands slide down the steering wheel as he puts the car in drive. He wonders who will take care of his stray dog that lives with him in a vacant shed. What will happen to all of his belongings? His oily hair swept in his face makes it harder to see the road along with the tears that make his vision blurry. He thought once the guy that caused him the most pain in his life was dead, he would feel relieved. After he did the deed, there is a strange emptiness inside him and his whole body is filled with guilt. What possessed him to commit such a despicable crime? He thought once the guy that caused him the most pain in his life was dead, he would feel relieved. After he did the deed, there is a strange emptiness inside him and his whole body is filled with guilt. What possessed him to commit such a despicable crime? Getting closer and closer to his destination, he is soon filled with relief as he realizes his worries will be over when he gets far enough out of town, and far enough from the murder scene. He arrives to a familiar place that brings him back to that dreadful, long night; the night when the tragedy happened. He won't ever forget the feeling with tears flowing like a faucet and his hands cupped over his face. He walks up to the counter where a very together woman is patiently waiting for the phone to ring or for some action to happen. Her badge engraved the words ''NYC Police Station." She notices a few blood splatters on his musty sneakers and immediately puts her hand on her waist reaching for her gun. He almost has to force the words out of his mouth, but manages to choke out, "My name is Seth Edwards, and I just killed my girlfriend's murderer." Laurel Bradley 10th Grade Ooltewah High School Rose Fuller


The Spark Rachel walked down the sidewalk towards her house. She kept thinking how she couldn't wait to get home to her house to read her new book. She walked passed a guy, barely noticing him. She looked back over her shoulder a few minutes later and saw that he had followed her. Rachel got ready to run, but before she could blink was in front of her. She opened her mouth to scream but before she could make a sound, she caught the look of pure loneliness in his eyes. She knew that look well, because she had caught it a lot of times in her own eyes. When she looked in those eyes full of what she herself felt quite a bit, she didn't even try to scream anymore. Neither of them spoke. Rachel knew she had to home, but some reason her feet didn't want to move. Then finally after about ten minutes she finally was able to move. She walked past him, and when she did she accidently brushed her shoulder against him Was it just her imagination or was there a spark of something? Rachel kept walking home. When she finally got up to her bedroom, she for some reason or another burst into tears. Rachel realized a few days later why she had cried like she had. In the newspaper had pictures of four different people. There had been a two car pileup involving a pedestrian. It had happened ten minutes after she had left the guy on the sidewalk ... right as she had gotten home. The pedestrian on the sidewalk had been the guy she had seen with such lonely eyes. Tonya Eslinger 10th Grade Sequatchie County High School Natalie Kimbell


The Reapers He could feel himself slipping away into the darkness that slowly enveloped him. Slowly the world around him faded away. He was not afraid; he was at peace, calm. No longer would he be Private Jake Fox, he would be just another nameless soldier dying in the war for humanity. He would be another martyr. Jake lay motionless on his back. His eyes were fixated on the sky. His breathing slowed. Maybe his death would be a blessing in disguise; he did not have to live to see the horror of what was to come. The Reapers had been amongst us all along, disguised as other humans. They were the most intelligent life forms in existence, on any planet. They functioned solely to wipe out any civilization that they deemed had been corrupted. It wasn't often that an entire planet had been deemed "corrupted", but when it had happened they left no trace of life behind. They had successfully infiltrated every major civilization on Earth and beyond. The Reapers were split on Earth, however. Many in their hierarchy desired nothing less than complete annihilation of the human race. Others believed there was still hope and that Earth deserved another chance at saving. As such there was a great war, as the Reapers revealed themselves and began to attack Earth. The Earth's many nations joined together and fought back. Each continent had its own military, and they combined to form the United Army. The rift throughout the ranks of the Reapers caused many to forsake their brethren in favor of humanity. It was all out war. Private Jake Fox enlisted when he lost his wife and kids in the beginning oft he onslaught. That was six months ago. Just a week ago, a global wide attack was launched at the flagships of the Reapers blockading Earth. The unit Jake was in was tasked with taking back New York, as there were multiple docks and airports that could be of value. Aiding his regiment would be the Canadian, British, and Rebel Reaper forces. It would be a practical suicide run. Jake's unit's Humvees were both hit by RPGs. Jake was the lone survivor. Jake escaped the burning car and was saved by a group of five Rebel Reapers. The six men made their way into New York on foot. Along the way they came across another rag tag group of three British soldiers, all of whom had been separated from their regiments. Jake's new unit had grown to nine. The nine began to form a bond, and as they spent their nights in the back alleys hiding and watching for the enemy, they told stories of their lives before the war. They talked about their families, their lives in the good, old days, and what they were doing when the initial attack occurred. By day, they advanced slowly toward the airports. There were other small bands of soldiers, but there was not a single regiment that was left intact. This was mainly a distraction, a decoy for the attack in the New York flagship. There was Jake, lying on his back motionless. He could see the JFK airport. He was so close to taking it back for the United Army. Unfortunately, a grenade landed too close and blasted him to the ground. The British men had been killed in the firefight. It was just him and three Rebel Reapers left. He stared at the sky, his eyes fixated on the clouds. His vision began to go grey, there was no more color. His hearing was muffled. He turned his head toward the firefight and noticed his Rebel Reaper friends pinned down taking fire from a mounted gun turret. His eyes began to close. He could hear his wife's voice, he could see into the next life. Was this at long last the end? His eyes reopened, and he could hear another soldier crying out in pain. He saw the soldier collapse and die. He knew what he had to do. With all the strength he could muster, he forced himself off of the ground. He picked up his rifle and threw a grenade. It detonated close enough to the gunner to knock him off the turret. Jake rushed forward, straining to keep his heart rearing. He stayed covered by the crumbled remains of what was once building. He could see a dozen enemies. The two Rebel Reapers had fought their way to him. Jake unleashed a mighty battle cry and began spraying down the enemies. He continued running forward, now he was a mere twenty yards or so away from the airport runway. The Reapers successfully pinned Jake and the Rebel Reapers down once more. Jake tossed another grenade and took out three more. This bought him enough time to exchange fire with the others, eliminating two more hostiles. Meanwhile, his Rebel Reaper allies flanked the remaining enemies. The three killed the remaining hostiles. Jake radioed into the 360

Command. "The JFK runway is ours! The runway is ours!" he called. "What did you say, soldier?' came the reply. They scarcely believed him. "We have taken the runway!" he was practically screaming it. He was in so much pain from the gunshot wounds and the grenade blast. "Copy, we are sending in reinforcements." The Reapers had come out of the interior of the airport to meet the three, who were attempting to hold their own behind cover. There were at least a hundred Reapers though, and Jake's small band of survivors was soon overwhelmed and falling back. Then, their luck began to turn. The Reapers were distracted as the Flagship above them was destroyed and falling from the sky. The reinforcements arrived and pushed, destroying the Reapers. Jake finally collapsed into exhaustion. He would soon be stabilized by a medic. The Reaper flagships had fallen all over the world, and the Reapers were retreated. The United Army was victorious. Seth Hood 10th Grade Tennessee Christian Preparatory School Mrs. Phipps

A Filthy Habit "That's a filthy habit" Jane annihilates the still smoking cigarette but Allen had just flicked to the ground under the tow of her boot. Allen shrugs. "The smoking, or the 'littering'?" he asks, making quotation marks with hands his when he says the word littering. "Both? but mostly the smoking. It's like even though you've known me for ten years you've forgotten that I have asthma." "But you just keep coming back for more!" Allen with a grin and wraps his arms around her shoulders. "Ah! Get off me, you dirty freak!" she exclaims and pushes against him, but she's laughing. He just squeezes her tighter, causing her to make an odd squeaking sound, and buries his face in her hair. "Oh, so I'm the freak?" he asks into the dark brown locks. She giggles and gives another good so push, so he relents and lets of leaving his left arm hanging lazily over her shoulders. She sighs contently as he rummages in his pocket with his other hand, searching for another cigarette and lighter. "Could you please do that?" she asks irritably, nodding at the cigarette he has just placed between his lips. "Listen babe, I'm sorry about the asthma, but I'm nervous. I'll blow the smoke other the way, or something." "Uh," Jane says with an incredulous look on her face. "It's not just the asthma, buddy boy," and gestures to her stomach. Allen looks down at his wife's swollen belly, and sighs. Two more months was not going to be long enough to completely stop smoking. When they had found out that Jane was pregnant she had made Allen promise to quit. And he was doing really well, he was already down to less than half a pack a day, but at stressful times like these he just couldn't control himself as well. "I'm sorry," he sighs and stubs the cigarette out on the gray stone of the archway over the stoop they stand on. Jane 361

leans out and looks down the road, hoping to see the silver Jeep come around the comer. To her dismay, it doesn't. She pulls out her phone and checks time. "I thought Tim said he would be here at two?" She asks. "He did," Allen replies. "Where the hell is that man?" Just as he pulls his phone from his own pocket, his phone begins to ring. "Speak of the devil," he mutters when the caller ID flashes 'Tiny Tim' across the screen, and flips the phone open. "What now?" he asks, the irritation obvious in his voice. "Hey man," Tim starts, "listen, I'm really sorry about this, but Aaron's sick, so I'm going to take over for him. Ian's going to take over for me, and Brian's decided he's back in, so he's going to take out the security system instead of you. I mean- no offense man, you're awesome at what you do. He's just better. And this isn't some little branch either." Allen closes his eyes and leans his head back against the cool exterior of the building. "So where does this put me?" Allen asks, though he already knows the answer. It's the same thing every time Brian decides that he's back in. "We need you to drive." Of course. "Do I the need car or the van?" Allen asks grumpily. "Well, there's five of us," Time replies, "but we'll have the duffels. So I guess the van?" "Alright," sighs and begins to dig out the keys he will need. "I'll meet you at your place in fifteen minutes. All the guys better be there; I'm not making any stops." "They will be," Tim assures him. "Oh, and make sure Jane wears the wig," he adds. "Okay, I will. See you in a few," Allen says and hangs up without so much as a goodbye. "You're driving again, aren't you?" Jane questions. She's not happy about it, that much can be told from her voice alone, but even she can't argue that he's safer this way. "Yeah, Brian's back in this time," he grumbles. "And Tim says to wear the wig." "I hate the wig." "I know," he sighs and rubs his face, "but it's safer. Plus, you didn't wear the wig last time; I don't want anyone to recognize you." Once again, she can't disagree. "Fine," Jane relents, and they walk to the van. "Let's go rob a bank. But no more cigarettes today!" Maggie Harmon 10th Grade Sequatchie County High School Natalie Kimbell


The Palestine Girl I sat there in the middle of the crowd with the pools of blood around me still fresh and warm. They stood frozen around me with no one uttering a word. She laid there in my arms, lifeless. How much innocent blood had to be poured to finally quench the thirst of "God's chosen people"? I stroked her She was still warm with the breathe of life slowly leaving her body. Her eyes were open, still looking at me for protection, for salvation from these monsters. Neither of which could I even begin to give to her. I closed her eyes. Her fifth birthday was only days away. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the events that unfolded today. Earlier- It was about midday when me and my little sister, Janine, left our house for the market. The weather was nice and sunny and I could see the Dome of the Rock radiating like a golden star in the sunlight. As we continued down the streets of East Jerusalem, all the store clerks and shop keepers greeted us with smiles and warm hearts. Everyone was always so nice and upbeat, even given the circumstances. Being Palestinian was hard at best, even on a good We always held our heads high with pride. It was the only thing no one could take away from us. It was ours. When we finally reached the produce section of the market, Janine was jumping excitement with at all the food. The money mother had gave her was burning a hole in her pocket. She ran straight over to the pomegranates. "How many can I get Salem?" Her tiny hands were trying to grab as many as they could manage. "Mother gave you enough money for five." I told her. Pomegranates were her favorite. I got were rest of the food that was on the list, paid, and we started to make our way back home. "What's that over there Salem?" She grabbed my hand and pointed to the Dome of the Rock. "That's where the prophet got the Quran." I began to tell her in more detail, but being a young child she could have cared less for that part of the story. "Can we go see it?" She couldn't stop staring at the sparkling and glittering gold. "Sure we can." I took her down one of the streets that was near it to get a better look. Her little eyes were hypnotized by it. How fascinating and innocent world must look through a 5 year old's eves. We went down a few more streets to get an even closer look. "Can we go in?" The dome just absolutely marveled her. But the sun was beginning to set and we needed to be home soon. "Not today, but maybe another day." And we started for home. We had not gone but a few feet when we heard a loud shot. It was the Israeli police. They had met with a group of Palestinians. They fired several more rounds into the air as warning shots. The Palestinians continued to throw rocks at them. People began to come out of the store fronts to see what Was going on. Another group of Police came up from one of the surrounding streets. The bystanders began to take the form of a mob. I grabbed Janine's hand. All routes out of here were blocked by either police or protesters. Soon, people were running by us creaming and yelling unintelligible things. The police did the same. The crowd was bombarded with tear 363

gas. It just made the situation even worse. Janine's small little hand was quivering with fear. "Don't let go of my hand Janine!" I shouted above the roars of the crowd. We tried to weave our way out of the furious mob, passing angry rioter after another. They were a sea of endless bombardments. It took all of our energy to keep from falling to the ground and being trampled to death. I turned to Janine. She was gone. "Janine!" I yelled. It was impossible to see more than a few inches from my face.

"Salem!" I heard her faint voice.

I continued to call her name louder each time but she was getting further and further away. I fought with every muscle in my body to work my way through the maze of people. Then I heard a gun fire, a scream, and crowd stopped. I found myself on the outer side of a ring of people. In the middle was a small girl. "Janine!" I ran to her with tears gushing through my eyes. She was surrounded by a small pool of her blood. "Janine!" I could see the bullet wound in her chest. She muttered in her failing breathe, "Salem." Then her head fell back, her breathing stopped, and her body became stiff. I sat there, Palestinians on one side and Israelis on the other, holding her in my arms. Neither muttered a word. No one moved. Then a man from the Palestinian side stepped forward. He looked down at me and my deceased sister, then at the Police. "Death to Israel!" he shouted and the mob began to rush at the Police. They opened fire. I felt something hit me in the chest. I felt my shirt and it was wet with blood. Breathing got harder with every breath. I began to cough up blood. Pain began to overcome my entire being. As I began to fade from this life, one thought resonated through my mind. If an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, how will they be able to ever see? Trevor Harper 11th Grade Middle College High School Angela Karnes

The Day My Changed Today, as I usually do, I woke up in my tiny hut around 6 am. My father and I always go hunting in the morning. The smell of the African jungle smelled even more luscious and mysterious than it usually does, but the jungle wasn't as loud as normal, there was a quaint but unsettling quiet over the jungle. But, we went on with our hunt because, there wasn't a day we couldn't, we had to eat didn't we? My father went on ahead of me and told me to wait here, he said he heard something shuffling around in the thick brush. As he headed in, as I always do, I had my worries. My father getting is older but he can usually handle himself. Over his years he's seen just about everything the Congo can throw at you. Then I lost sight of him and heard a sound I'll never forget. The blood curtling scream of my father. I didn't know whether to run or to rush towards him, but I went with my gut in my throat and my spear held high into the thick Congo brush. In horror, I saw something that still haunts me to this day, the the of my father in a net surrounded by white men holding weapons I had never seen before and they were aiming them at me. I gladly dropped my spear and tried flee to but I was no match for the bearded white men. They carried chains, nets, and those mysterious and horrifying weapon that breathed fire and stone. The men without saying a word, shackled my father and I and threw us 364

in a cage made of material harder than stone like a bunch of filthy animals. They were yelling and laughing the same way the men in my village, including my father and I, do when we kill a lion. They dragged us all the way to the coast line. This was the first time I had seen the majestic blue ocean and its salty, briny smell engulfed my nostrils. Little did I know, I would grow to hate this magical ocean and all that had to do with it for the next 3 months. I was a captive. I am now a slave. Austin Chambers 11th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Taryn Humphries

The Quest for the Golden Bowels of the Rainbow Finch The legend of how the rainbow finch's golden bowels could grant the possessor eternal life and the ability to fly, lead to Tristan and Desleona's daring adventure. The legend states that the rainbow finch lies on her nest, which hangs right-side up, but upside down. The location of the nest, however, is stated to be hidden inside a paradise filled with millions of birds surrounding it. Located also inside a underwater cave forever guarded and entrapped by an enormous beast. The cave's only entrance and exit was through a sink hole that lays in the stomach of King Edward the Third. He is joined there by the Queen of Hearts, who lay forever sleeping on the Island of the Gorge of George. This Island was to be reached only by sailing across the nameless sea, only to encounter the cursed island. Desleona is an enormous Nom, who could transform into a bear at will. She wielded the Fin Axe of Teethes that was made up of leopard shark fins and flame dragon fangs. She also carried the Shield of Skin, which measured 4 feet long and 2 feet wide, with the unique ability to rebuild itself if damaged. Desleona was known for her strong will and violent, but caring, nature toward allies. Her male companion, Tristan, was and elf born with powerful mystic magic. He had a muscular, but slender, build and only used his hands and magic to fight his foes. He was caring, heroic, tactical, and willful. With their eyes set on their prize, Tristan and Desleona set out from the Elona harbor into the nameless sea. After twenty days and nights sailing across the Nameless Sea, our adventurers reached the Island of the Gorge of George. At first look, the island looked healthy and fruitful, but once they set foot on the soil the paradise island turned instantly to mountains and valleys of undead carcasses. Desleona took out her axe and shield and Tristan readied himself for the oncoming fights. They charge through the fields, slashing and blasting all undead carcasses in their way. All the while, eagerly looking for the blood stained red velvet dress of the Queen of Hearts. Finally, after what seemed an everlasting morning, they stumble on a tree of bones which limbs hung over the bright red dress of the queen with the king under her. They move aside the carcass of the Queen of Hearts, remove the cloak off the kind, and, at last, the sink hole was seen inside his exposed stomach. They stood consumed at the sight of the sink hole. They were startled when they heard a horde of undead stampeding toward them. Desleona quickly transforms into a bear in order to hold off the horde, while Tristan steps forward and begins to sink into the hole. As the horde reached them, Desleona swung her axe in her bear form and deflected rows of undead at once. With Tristan unable to fight and undead surrounding him, Desleona jumped to his side and blocked the oncoming slaughter. During her heroic efforts, an undead stabbed her in the chest with its arm allowing the nargals to enter her body. The nargals were the undead's bone marrow and are known as the tiny teethed that eat flesh. The nargals consume her flesh and devour her heart. Tristan finally fell through the sink hole as Desleona fell to the ground. After falling into the cave, Tristan spotted the Euphrates River flowing and the cave wall turn red with glowing eyes. Lychans, half bat and half vampires, came rushing at him with their wings extended, fangs out, and 365

talons Tristan's hand began to glow green and blue, then he shot beams through the oncoming Iychans. One Iychan got too close and he grabbed the creature and threw him into the wall. Upon the impact a boulder fell and an eerie screech was heard echoing through the cave. The beast appeared out of the river, filling the cave wall to wall with its stomach. There was an unusual sound of birds singing, yet no birds were to be seen. Tristan concluded from the legend that the bird paradise was guarded, but also trapped by this beast. So, the birds were trapped inside the beast. As the beast approached him, Tristan saw it was the legendary Loc Ness Monster. Instead of taking chances killing the monster and the birds, he simply smiled. He then breathed out poison gas from his nose and filled the air with its stench. The monster could not resist inhaling the gas and collapsed. Tristan opened the jaws of the enormous monster and walked into its throat, and onward into the stomach. Inside the Loc Ness monster's stomach was a beautiful island of birds. Their sweet songs and colors filled the air. Looking up, the prize for which they had come for, hung right-side up from the top of the stomach. He started to climb the wall of the stomach to the nest of the rainbow finch. Finally, he reached the nest and claimed the finch for himself. The rainbow finch's golden bowels sunk into his hands and began Tristan to float. He quickly exited out of the monster, and the sink hole. Stopping only for a second to pay his lost friend one last visit, only to fly back to the Harbor of the Elona to relish in his eternal life! Alyssa Ward 11th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelly George

Sign of Relief "God, move out of the way! It's a highway, not a funeral procession!" Emily slapped the steering wheel hard in frustration. She was in a hurry and her temper was flaring. She swerved around the BMW, narrowly avoiding the vehicle's front bumper as she flew past while gracefully flipping off the driver. •••• Jenna Blinked. She watched in blatant disbelief as the shiny, red Mustang convertible, which had been tailgating them rather closely for the past few minutes, suddenly accelerated, narrowly avoiding collision with an oncoming Semi; however, Jenna was only thinking about the vulgar display the woman directed towards her father. She hoped her mother hadn't noticed. Jenna gritted her teeth and simmered. She watched how her father's expression quickly changed as his lips formed a thin line and a wrinkle creased his forehead. That was the only way her father could communicate his thoughts at the moment, considering his hands were occupied by the wheel. And the fact that he'd never spoken a word to her in her life. At least not verbally. Why me? Jenna thought glumly to herself. She fiddled with a loose thread on her shirt and sighed. Honestly, she didn't mind having deaf parents. It wasn't hard to deal with. It made things difficult but not impossible. It wasn't the inconvenience of switching between two types of communication, either. She actually felt accomplished to be fluent in language and sign language when most aren't. It's just weird, she decided to herself. And nothing's really going to change that. 366

•••• She was late. Not the kind of late where you spend too much time in a drive-thru and miss an important meeting. No, Emily was pregnant. At least, she thought she might be. Just thinking about it made her stomach churn, unless it's morning sickness! Emily's hands tightened convulsively on the wheel and started to shake. Well, if I really am, doctors will find out, right? She was just too scared to take a pregnancy test. It wasn't the test that frightened her, it was the trip to the drug store, and the judging looks she knew she'd get in the drug store, that she couldn't face. She parked in a parking space towards the Front Entrance of the hospital and headed inside – hood on and head down to escape any unwanted attention. •••• Jenn's father, coincidentally, parked beside a Mustang convertible. Jenna cringed. It was definitely the same car from the interstate – it had the same bumper sticker, "Drink Till He's Cute." Disgusted, she headed into the hospital, with her parents signing animatedly to one another ahead of her. She was unable to fully shake the feeling of unease that always accompanied her when walking through those unappealing glass doors; to her, it was as welcoming as a graveyard •••• "Come on, I have things to do besides wait," Emily complained loudly, shoving her hands in her pockets. A flash of irritation crossed the receptionist's face. "I completely understand, but please. Take a seat and the doctor will be with you momentarily." Emily rolled her eyes. "Whatever." She found an empty chair and settled down to wait. After a few minutes had passed, she got bored staring at the same floor tile and let her gaze wonder. A family seated opposite her caught her attention. The mother and father were obviously deaf, and the daughter was signing away – telling a story? She wasn't for sure – and the father was laughing. Though she's seen deaf people before, Emily couldn't help but stare. Not at their hands, but at the daughter's face. Emily couldn't even remember the last time she had looked at anyone in such a loving way before. Her relationship with her own father was hardly considered a relationship. When she was barely eighteen, she had been in a terrible argument with her father over a guy named Riley Smith. At the time, she was in love with him. Despite her father's disapproval, she left home and moved in with Riley. Soon afterward, Emily discovered that her father had been right about him. Riley had come home one night, hardly able to walk from being so intoxicated, and she began to confront him. He didn't appreciate that and decided beating her would make her understand. She then packed up her things and moved in with a friend temporarily until she could afford to rent an apartment for herself. 367

Maybe I wasn't really in love. I think it was just an opportunity to leave home, and I took it. The realization left a bitter taste in her throat. She glanced down at her cell phone which sat silently in the palm of her hand. Maybe if I called Dad first… No, she told herself firmly. He doesn't know where you are and it needs to stay that way. Emily's vision blurred and she blinked furiously. "Emily Blakely?" "Yes?" "The doctor will see you now." •••• Satisfied, she left the doctor's office in a daze. Her hunch was correct this time. What am I going to do? Before heading out the doors, she glanced back towards the family; only, the daughter was seated alone. On impulse, she strolled over to the teen and stood before her. The girl looked up and grimaced. "Oh, it's you," she muttered, glaring daggers. "Do you plan on flipping me off, too?" Emily blanched. Then comprehension hit and she sighed. "I really am sorry about that. I'm just having a really bad day." With nothing else to say, Emily turned and began to walk away. She wasn't sure what made her stop, but she turned and added, "You're lucky, you know. My mother passed and my father doesn't speak to me. If I were you, I'd hold on to them." Once she was comfortable in her car, she snatched her cell phone out of the holder and, with shaking hands, dialed his number. Silence...and then, "Emily?" "Dad?" "I've missed you, kiddo." "Good," she laughed, "because you're about to love someone else pretty soon." Lauren Morgan 11th Grade Sequatchie County High School Natalie Kimbell


Love While You're Here When I was young I always heard my friends and family say "You never know what you have until it's gone." I never actually put much deep thought into that statement until a year ago when my relationship with my grandparents was altered forever. Little did I know that within five minutes my whole lifestyle was going to be flipped upside down and that my way of thinking would be altered forever. A simple call did the trick; it brought the news that my grandfather had been diagnosed with an incurable type of leukemia. When I traveled 300 miles to my grandparent's house I saw that simple everyday tasks for me were a struggle for my grandfather to perform. My grandmother had much more difficulty. She has Alzheimer's and she is bedridden. She is practically like a newborn; everything must be done for her. Watching that was one of the most difficult things in my life. When I saw my aunt feeding my grandmother; my mind kept reminiscing to the times her and I talked about my life in Chattanooga. How she would always give me a bar of ice cream while we talked about typical things. The same scenario happened when I saw my grandfather lying on the hospital bed with needles in his arm injecting the chemo into his veins. I remembered when my mother and I, accompanied by my grandparents, would sit and talk. My grandfather would bring a pan, some apples and a knife with him. While we all conversed about the traffic my mother and I encountered along the journey from the city to the country my grandfather would peel two apples and cut them into slices. He would hand each person a slice or two. I was forced to return to my habitual life of school; but the things I saw and learned in the country also traveled along with me to the city. I was now starting to realize what this cancer was doing to my grandfather and the rest of my family. I realized that a change was about to creep into my life, and I could do nothing to stop it. My grandparents had four children. In order for my grandfather to receive the necessary chemotherapy, someone had to accompany him to the hospital. At the same time, someone had to stay constantly with my grandmother who was bedridden. As you can see only having three people is a difficult for the situation at hand. My mother decided to join her siblings in the task of chaperoning my grandparents. She had to leave me behind, due to schooling. This was the first time since I was three that I had been away from my mother. I did not know how much she was apart of my life until she was two hundred miles away. It was during the weeks that she was away that I learned a valuable lesson I had heard all my life. While she was gone it dawned on me that the quote I had heard did indeed have truth to it. I had no clue how much my mother meant to me, how much I loved her and how much I missed her until she was miles and miles away. I remember everyday was a struggle; trying not to burst into tears at the thought of going home and my mother not being there. I remember the days she would have to leave; oh how I tired not to cry, to be strong for her. That was impossible. I was sixteen and was not prepared to be forced to handle this kind of situation. Her homecomings were days I looked forward to. I simply could not wait until I saw her car pulling into our driveway and her walking through the door. The day I could finally give her a hug and talk to her face to face rather than over the phone. The days that she came back to visit me were days I treasured. I never wanted to waste a single minute because I knew that soon she would have to return to my grandparents. I know that teenagers think that they own the world. That they control their lives; I was one of them. I felt like I had every aspect of my life under control. I felt so powerful, so right; yet it was so wrong. I was not fully enjoying my life. I look back in regret at the years I wasted when I was with my grandparents when I was young. I had no clue at that time how precious each minute was. How every minute that goes by can never be relived again. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. I regret not talking more to my grandparents; not learning more about them as individuals; not valuing those moments that my grandmother and I talked or those moments that I sat and nibbled on apple slices my grandfather had prepared for me. 369

Even though I'm here in Chattanooga, parts of me are still with my grandparents. It's difficult knowing something terrible is happening yet being able to contribute no ounce of help. Even though my life is flexible, my grandparents' life is not. Everyday the same tasks must be accomplished. It matters not if you have had a bad day, or if you simply do not want to do these things. The must be done. My grandmother must still be hand fed. My grandfather must still go to chemotherapy every month. Nothing changes. Everyday is the same. I wouldn't say that my epiphany came too late; it just came later than I wanted. All in all I'm glad that I learned the true value of that statement for myself now; rather than later in the future when it is forever too late. You never know what you have until it's gone. Remember that and live that; what do you have to lose except a wasted life? Amber Yates 11th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Taryn Humphries

I'm the Only One Who Knows… I'm the only one who knows of what really went down on the night of Dave's murder. It all started a week ago when Dave got involved with the wrong crowd. Everyone knew that the Jaden Boys were bad news. Tales were told of how they would mug some of the homeless people on the street, rob local convenient stores, and just generally cause problems for everyone; and Dave had managed to set the bar to all time height after getting into a bit of a mess with one of the member's girlfriends. I can't say that there was no way he could have guessed what was going on. The young girl came up to him one night last week, apparently under the façade of crying her eyes out. I was there with him for it was one of our special Bro's Night Out events; so we were heading over to Sam's joint to have a beer or two or just hang out while watching sports. Dave felt bad for her – I mean who wouldn't feel bad for her – so he invited her to come with us on our night out. Mistake #1. The broad suddenly brightened, as though she was faking from her excessive crying (which I think she was), and tagged along with us. I had to say, I was under the assumption that that night would have been disappointing but the young lady was actually pretty cool. She and Dave were hitting it off to a pretty good start as they laughed making jokes. After a moment's notice, Dave put his arm around the young girl and drew her close. Mistake #2. To be completely honest, I have never known Dave for being a lady's man. In fact I used to think that no cute girl would ever want to go on a date with him. But there was something about that chick that I didn't get; something about her that I have yet to have understood as to why she was so interested in him. But after a few hours at Sam's joint, the three of us finally left to go home. I waved goodbye at Dave as he gave me one of his famous salutes before walking with the girl. Suddenly, she kissed him (on the lips) and said goodbye. Mistake #3. He smiled sheepishly and returned a response. I couldn't help but to chuck to myself as I heard him whistle his way home. But would have been the last night I would ever see Dave again. The next morning, I got the news Dave was murdered from that night. As I turns out from rumors, the young girl that was with us was the girlfriend of one of the members of the Jaden Boys. He got word from his girl about what didn't happen, gathered a few of his boys, and broke into Dave's house and killed him. I couldn't believe what had happened to him; how the girl played him for suckers just to have a little fun. Rumors may claim what had happened to Dave, but I'm the only one who knows what really went down on the night of Dave's murder. Joshua Marshall 11th Grade Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts Meri Sowders


You Wasted Life, Why Wouldn't You Waste Death? The grass felt damp, despite the sun shining. Cassandra's white dress soaked in dew, leaving her calves shaking. James listed her pal off of the Earth and brought it to his lips. "We'll go to Paris," he told her. "You can buy new clothes ever day and throw out what you wore the previous. On Tuesdays, we'll wear berets." "I've always wanted to go to Paris. Egypt, too," she responded. Her eyes glossed over as she daydreamed. "Then we can go to Egypt directly from Paris. We'll wear headscarves." "I already wear headscarves," she reminded him. "Exactly!" he proclaimed. "We can blend in. We will get tan and beautiful." Cassandra fell back onto the ground. "You're already beautiful." James laid in unison and placed her hand on his chest. "And so are you. So imagine how beautiful we can be when we're tan. And even though we'll be getting older, we'll stay great looking." She closed her eyes and imagined. "Where will we settle when we get too old?" "Alaska!" he shouted. "On our wide, wooden front porch there will be "his and her" rocking chairs which we'll watch the Northern Lights from. When you fall asleep, I'll carry you inside." He stood up and lifted her bridle style, mimicking his story and taking her a couple yards to a new place in the yard. "You keep saying "we", Dear," she remarked, settling into the new spot and picking a leaf off of a weed. "Of course, Love. There is no me without you. Which is why I'm holding on to you forever." He sat next to her and kissed her shoulder. With the slightest touch of Cassandra's finger to the side of the leaf, small edges caught and drew blood from her fingertip. She jerked her hand without contorting her face. "As long as we still bleed, forever is finite." Her unscarred hand ran across the short find airs that barely grew on her head. "As long as my hair won't grow, I won't grow old." James hushed her words and held her close. Softly, he whispered in her ear, "No one grows old in Paris." Rose Sampley 11th Grade Center for Creative Arts Meri Sowders


Escape "Please?" he begged. "No, and that's the end of this discussion!" His mother walked out of the kitchen and into her office, slamming the door behind her. All he wanted was to go to his friend's house for the weekend. Apparently being grounded meant having to endure the Wrath of Mother along with no phone, no television, and extra chores for two weeks. What was her problem? Was a D in English really enough reason to make him miserable for two weeks? It's not like it was his fault in the first place. His English teacher was the devil – ground her! The dishes were waiting in the sink, so he rolled up his sleeves and turned on the hot water. It burned his hands as he scrubbed last night's lasagna off of the casserole dish, but he didn't mind. The pain kept him from thinking too much. As he finished, he dried his hands and walked into the hallway. The places were family portraits once hung were empty. The walls looked bare, lonely. Just like the rest of the house felt. Even the living room felt like death. "I just love this place now that Dad's gone," he muttered under his breath. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he climbed the stairs towards his room, then stopped halfway up. Mother forgot to take the keys away. Why would she? He still had to drive to school Monday morning. An idea struck. He ran to his room for his things, and quietly slipped out the front door. Half an hour later, the phone rang. His mother sighed and reached for the receiver. "Hello?" "Is this the Walker residence?" a gruff voice inquired. "Yes, sir. Can I help you?" "Ma'am, there's been an accident." The receiver fell to the floor. Elizabeth Ruch 12th Grade Central High School Amanda Petit-Shaheen


The Bridge I could feel the heat of the sun against my skin. Above me, the sun towered optimistically in the sky. Letting out a sigh, I turned around and began walking the length of the bridge. I took a quick glance to the city in front of me, then turned my attention to the people passing me. Everyone's got somewhere to go, I thought to myself. They've all got something they're focused on. I mean, I wasn't wrong. They did all have somewhere they needed to be, enwrapped in their own petty lives. Why does no one care? I stopped around the middle of the bridge, and I looked out to the river. My hands ran along the length of the rail. I checked over my shoulder and around me to make sure no one was watching. I didn't want to attract any attention, or look too conspicuous. Stepping away from the edge of the bridge, I took a seat at a nearby bench. I tried to remember that none of them knew. I couldn't blame them, but that didn't make for the fact that every day was torture for me. It has been like this for quite some time now. I wasn't ever the type of person to live with routine, but every day, I wake up, go to class, eat somewhere in between, and go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. Everyday. That wasn't the type of person I am. Maybe I could just go back to the dorm, and forget about all this. I could even study for midterms for once. I needed it. My grades weren't looking too bright, and I couldn't fail. Where would I go if I did? I couldn't go home. I couldn't show my face to them after what had happened. It was too late for reconciliation, but it didn't matter. I didn't even want reconciliation. "The birds seem to be hiding today." Surprised, I glanced next to me. An elderly gentleman had taken a seat next to me and was resting both of his hands on the handle of his cane. As he looked to the sky in wonder, I replied, "Yes, sir. It's around lunch time, though, so they might be downtown trying to pick up scraps." His gaze never left the sky. "Is that so?" He pondered what I had just said, then responded, "I guess that's right. I just haven't seen many lately." He seemed to be choosing his words very carefully. "I miss the birds." "Yes, sir. They are good company in the summer." The man was intriguing. I didn't know if he knew what he was talking about, or if he was just rambling. He nodded his head in agreement. "I never really seem to notice 'em 'til they're long gone. You don't really notice 'em while they're here." He chuckled to himself. "But you do when they relieve themselves on your windshield." I smiled; he was a funny old man. Our conversation after that didn't last very long after that, and soon he rose and slowly made his way off the bridge. It was a bitter-sweet moment for me. It was true that he was quite a fascinating man, but I would probably never see him again. Briefly, I looked to the sky; he was right, the birds were gone. I didn't really care for birds though. It was soon time for me to rise also. Funny old man or not, I came here for a reason, and it was time for me to decide whether to go through with this. I walked to the edge of the bridge again, and I placed my arms on the rail that safely separated me, and everyone else, from the impending, treacherous fall below. By now, it was probably already time for supper. It would get dark soon, so I needed to decide. It was now or never 373

I once more ran my hands along the railing of the bridge. No one would miss me, I thought to myself. I have no one to be missed by anyways. No reason to go on in this empty shell I call my life. My life really had been a living nightmare lately; I couldn't even describe the feeling in words, I couldn't begin to name all the things that have led to this moment, yet here I was. Inevitably, this moment had come. It was finally time. I could finally end the feeling of loneliness inside me! You see, most people come to the assumption that when people come to this point of breaking, that they are distraught or lunatic. However, I truly believe that it is simply from relief. They desire relief from this world that has grown too mW1dane and monotonous for their bearing. Now, I desire relief from this world that has grown too mundane and monotonous for my bearing. I thought of everything in my life that had lead me to this point actually. And the more I thought about it, the more I decided that I really didn't have anything in life figured out. I felt so new to it, like I haven't got a single clue what's going on. I knew I didn't want to end this way. As I looked over the edge of the bridge, I began to grow afraid of the fall. And now, an internal battle was raging inside me to decide whether I was more afraid of the leap, or of what's to come. The worst part was, I wasn't sure which side I wanted to win. Finally, I let out a long and loud sigh. I looked to the horizon, where the sun had just begun its descent below it. I slowly turned around, and, dragging my feet, began my journey back to the University. I dug my hands into the pockets of my jacket and took one last look to the sky. Where were those stupid birds? Braden Wahl 12th Grade Silverdale Baptist Academy Taryn Humpries

Bits of Skin The world for a moment is silent. I can see nothing but darkness, if I'm really seeing at all. But soon I hear something familiar – my mother's voice, speaking firmly that I get out of bed. I do without question, seeing as I'm just that kind of person. The kind to wake up instantly and go about some routine with relative ease. Today's another normal day-full outside, crisp and blue with a biting contrast of orange. It's less orange that it was yesterday, and will be even less so tomorrow. I get dressed for the day and sit down to work. The studying flies by and soon I find myself relaxing. I sigh slowly, wondering if it's even legal for a person to be so content-my mind just likes to wonder in that way. But something is wrong-Mother is still yelling at me occasionally, but it's muffled. I call to her asking what she needs, thinking she's just in the next room, but it sounds much further away than that. She yells again and again, the same thing ... Or perhaps just the same tone. What's going on-? I jerk hard, instantly tasting the pale morning grime inside my cheeks. I've learned not to move my tongue more than I have to keep from tasting it. It's cold around me and the hairs on my arms are standing up. I can hear yelling, still, but I can't seem to remember something important. Wasn't I just finishing my school work? It was beautiful outside. But the firm yells continue-"Get out of bed-it's nearly two!" it screams. Mum. I moan and roll over. Have I 374

really slept in? Again? Two more minutes and I'll be up. The world is nice. The whole house seems to radiate warmth and hospitality, and I can smell candles burning on the hearth. I'm not wearing shoes, as always, but it's perfectly alright. The green carpet is worn down but soft and sort of curls under my feet when I walk. It's chilly outside but perfect in here. I make my way to the living room. Mum's not in here- must be the kitchen or the other bathroom. I sit on the couch and a large orange cat greets me and proceeds to flop down on my lap like a cushion with legs. Again I gasp. This is ridiculous. Have thirty minutes really gone by? How late was I up last night? I can't remember. Frantically I try to untangle the covers as the television blares in the next room. The news is on and I can faintly hear something about a murderer on trial, then a forest fire in the next town. By now it's freezing, and why not? I've left the fan on from the night before. Angrily I reach up to turn it off when I hear a sickening thud. My bed is built to the ceiling and I can easily reach it, but the chain for the fan itself recently broke and if I'm not paying attention this happens. I peer at my hand where it's scraped, finding a good portion of skin hanging off my left pinkie finger and can see it's already covered in blood. Hastily I leap over the side of the bed, hardly bothering with the ladder, and hit the floor with a great thump. The fall, on top of everything else, causes a catch in the arch of my right foot-not uncommon for me, but rather painful. I stumble angrily across the hardwood floor. It's absolutely frigid on my toes. Off I go, limping like an elderly woman, half-blind because my glasses are somehow missing from their spot. I grumble how stupid of a person I amhow everything is somehow my own fault. How the world is such a dumb place. I tum the water on hot and wait for a tell-tale knocking sound in the pipes letting me know the heat is working before shoving my bloody finger under it and watching the water steam. It burns, but I don't care. That water is hot enough to boil an egg, but something inside me says it feels nice. Eventually I pull my hand back out it and nudge the handle to tum off the faucet. I stare at the skin, hanging off one side, and carefully pluck it off-there's no use in trying to put it back. I study the cut for a moment. Some might call that odd ... But it's just the sort of person I am. That other world so perfect. How do I know I'm not dreaming now? In the other world I'm a leader – I've fought battles. I'm agreeable. Bad things happen but I get through them. The cut starts to bleed again and I dab it with a wad of tissue. The torn edges of skin look so fragile ... So thin. I've been learning about skin at school, and how the cells are put together. "So delicate," I say, ironically, groggily, as if my finger is some kind of separate creature from myself. I dab medicine on it and wrap it with a bandage. I groan, realizing it's the spongy kind of bandage that never dries when I wash my hands- going to be regretting that one later. I sit down in the floor against the wall, and continue to stare quietly at the rest of my hand. The tendons move so nicely. By the way lover-use them they should not be in this good of condition. But they heal. All by themselves. I wonder for a moment why my world was so perfect. The simple answer is because it was so vague. My dreams are only vivid enough to mimic reality in its simplest form. I longed to go back to it somewhat because ofthe ignorant bliss ... But then I would miss looking at intricately tom bits of skin. Sydnie Enecks 12th Grade Hilger Higher Learning Shelley George