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The stories inside this issue are veiled narratives about their inner thoughts and beliefs, even though most of their stories are fantasy or quirky surrealism. They live in magical kingdoms—places where their subnormal lives can breathe and be more than human. Fiction becomes the only place where they can write happy endings, because so much has already happened to them. Most of them have a strong desire to love and be loved, and for over an hour each morning, they write and discuss fiction with enthusiasm. It releases the creative imagination and calms them. It becomes a place where anything is possible, a place where they can be themselves—free of judgment, a place where they belong, where they can feel like part of a group, a place that reminds them that they are alive and things will get better. I do not edit the stories or correct them in any way. They appear as the student typed them. Enjoy their imaginations! —Robert Stofel, Editor


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One day this girl named Mary got into an argument with her parents, and she got so mad she just wanted to run away. She stayed up all night thinking of a plan of where to go and things to take with her. So she was in her room and about 2 in the morning she just started throwing stuff in a bag to leave. Then she thought to herself, how will I buy food and survive. So she quietly and slowly walks downstairs to find her mother’s purse and gets $2,000. So when she got the money she went back upstairs to get her bags and snucj out. As she’s wa{jing down the street she becomes scared. She kept thinking in her mind to turn back and go home but she was tired of the fighting so she kept going. She was gone for about a week and she was starting to run out of money. So the next day she goes out to look for a job but no one needed any he{p. She didn’t jnow what to do or where to go.


3 She needed help! She looks for places to find help and soon she found Decatur General West. They talked to her about all her problems and after her fourth day she was ready to leave and go back home to her family. They told her things to do when she ever got mad. So then she went home and lived happily ever after.


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My Heart By Nate Once upon a time there was this heart and it’s been hurt and the reason it’s been hurt and the reason it’s hurt and how it’s been hurt is cause it went through a lot like being bullied and my grand paw died about two years ago and the peop{e he’s been bullied by is dale and little rob and the other kids at school and the reason it’s exploding is because I don’t jnow what to do about the bu{{ies.


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P o iso n

By

Poison in the air: The date is 2013 me and my sister survived. The fumes are still flowing threw the air. I’ve on{y found a few survivors and they wasn’t that stab{e. I have to keep this mask on or I could die , the fish is the only thing left to eat and their ether dead or covered in oil. From what I know almost everybody was wiped out! I had a few miner iniury’s but my sister got it the worst. The nuclear poison ate at her pretty bad. Now she wont even show her face anymore I don’t jnow how to recover from this , it’s a horrible feeling to be alone knowing that everybody and everything in your life and around you has been destroyed. This world im in now I know is slowly coming to a end. So im prepared for what ever happens next im prepared for what ever poison fills the air….


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Once upon a time I was helping feed the dog and my dad walks out there to make sure I’m doing it right and I accidentally gave too much, and he started yelling at me saying you gave too much so then at that point I said we{{ it’s oj it’s not {ije the dog hasn’t ever had too much before so why don’t you iust let him eat a{{ that he wants and {ater I’{{ pour out what he doesn’t eat and give him a little less food the next time, so he says alright, sorry for yelling. At that point I said its ok next time think about it before you start yelling.


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Once upon a time there was this dog named boa he seemed like he was standing before all these others dogs, and at first he was worried about what to do cause he has never hanged with these other dogs, and he didn’t rea{{y understand them so from that point he just walks over to them and talks to them and just kind of gets to know them a little bit and finds out they are there for some situations, too. So then they talk and get to know each other more, and he slowly stops worrying about them because he remembers somebody told him that don’t worry about stuff you can’t contro{ and get it under control before you drive yourself crazy, so he thinks about it then kind of worries some more, and he seems a little paranoid that somebody is talking about him so he asks and finds out that nobody is talking about him, so from that point on he just walks with the other dogs and starts noticing some of


8 the stuff he’s been worried and paranoid about hasn’t happened so then he te{{s his se{f I got to quit being so worried and paranoid over stuff that I have no control over so then later on that day he goes with flow and now he rea{izes don’t worry about stuff and be paranoid until what your worried or paranoid about actually happens, so then he goes to sleep that night wakes up the next morning and rea{izes how much he’s changed and now he fee{s happy again because he’s not worrying or paranoid about anything anymore and realizes that when you’re worried or even paranoid go ta{j to somebody don’t iust sit there and worry yourself to death or even be paranoid cause now he rea{izes that there’s peop{e in the wor{d that care and don’t wont you to be upset all the time and he is now happy that his family back home talked him in to coming to get help.


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Once there was a boy and a girl. Separately they didn’t have much. They both felt lost and alone. Until one day when they met. They talked together and realized that they were happy with each other. The two spent more and more time together. Finally, the boy realized that he had fallen in love with the girl. To his relief she loved him as well. They grew closer together thinking about future plans and being together forever. They continued to be with each other and care for one another. Later, the boy felt as though the girl was drifting away so in response he clung to her for the fear of the loneliness he felt so long ago.


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Hello my name is Jordan, and my shadows hate me. They follow me all day making fun of the way I walk, talk, and everything I do. They’ve been around a long time demeaning and hurting me. I wish I could get rid of the monster that is my shadows. I have tried but they don’t go away and they tell me that I have no chance to get rid of them. They try to take away how I feel about the ones I {ove. They don’t get that I wi{{ fight to the death for my {oved ones. These shadows can’t break that down, but they now how to get to me. The shadows can be hurtfu{, but I’ve fought this hard. I won’t {et them stop me now.


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It’s my birthday, on{y prob{em is, I’m stucj in the Caribbean with a bunch of monjeys with swords. I’m sti{{ confused on how I got here or why but I know that escaping is a life risk, but if I could make it off the ship with the jollyboat on the top deck, I would be safe. These pirates should let me out sometime these jail bars keep me claustrophobic. Here comes a guard maybe I can make him mad enough to open the iai{ door. “Eh, you {ooj {ije a pig with a sju{{ hat.” That on{y made him {augh. “What’s so funny, keep laughing out there, but I know you wou{dn’t {augh in here.” The words I just used seemed to faze him a {itt{e bit. “We’{{ see,” he replied, as he walks over. I saw him with the keys dangling from his fingers I looked into his face to see that he wasn’t mad and the way he spoje, it sounded nothing like a pirate. I realized who this was, it was my brother’s best friend and from his grin on his face, I knew I was free, but he told me he would only free me if I got his crystal from the captain’s desj. He said it a{{owed peop{e to breathe underwater. I took his sword and arrived at the captain’s front door, I jicjed through the doors to come face to face with a freak of nature. He swung his sword first. It was fast enough to cut through my shirt. I swung with a fast swipe to his {eft… It was a tricj to s{ap his {eft side


12 only to swing to his right and weaken him, that didn’t worj so after our two hour batt{e I finished it with kicking him off the ship, I was sure the sharks would love to have a nice snack, then I took that crystal off his desk and stood there. His crew was standing behind me in fear I told them I was their new leader and my pirate name would be Captain Black Spot Pete. Looks like my adventures have just began.

I was gazing at the ocean, when suddenly George showed up. To be my brother’s best friend he sure was annoying, but he is the reason I’ve got my ship. “Have you heard about B{acj Beard’s sword?” he asjed. “We{{, I have now, what about it?” I responded. He gave me a sneaky grin, one of those nasty grins that happen before you get mugged. “That sword is located about 500 feet away from where we are standing, and legend tells of a power from the sword that allows people to summon souls of dead pirates to fight along the side of the sword wie{der.” I continued to gaze at the ocean I picked the crystal from George’s pocjet and dove into the water before he noticed I was swimming as fast as I could,


13 good thing this crystal allows me to breathe underwater. After about an hour of searching I figured that George was planning to do something to my crew by tricking me to think that B{acj Beard’s sword was around here. As soon as I was beginning to head back to shore, there, about 15 feet away stood a sword, a very shiny sword. It took a great heave to pull it from the ground, but I did, and headed back to shore. But when I arrived, George was tied to a palm tree and my ship was gone. “Where’s my ship?” I asked, as I was untying him. He responded with the word “Casture.” My sword clicked then sort of pulled me toward the {eft. “Your sword is pointing toward the destination of your ship,” he said. “then what happened to you George?” “Oh, nothing, I just got tied up to a tree and knocked over the head with a club,” he responded sarcastically. I took my new sword and swiped at the tree as I did, to my amazement the tree fe{{ over. “Loojs {ije this sword can do the threatening for me for now on.” We swam off to the left, or not really swimming the sword kind of yanked us toward the ship. We arrived to a weird man who didn’t {ije unexpected guests, I suppose, but he could swing a sword pretty fast. He swung to my right, I blocked


14 it. When I blocked his swing, my sword jumped out of my hand and swung hard enough to cut through his sword and finish him with one swipe. “Eh, do you realize who you just finished off?” George asjed. “No,” I said. “That was Cantankerous Tim, one of the best pirates to ever {ive.” I was shocjed, but I jnew I didn’t ji{{ him. “I didn’t ji{{ him the sword did,” I said. He rep{ied with, “Who cares? You’re with wie{der of it. You’re going to be feared by a{{ pirates.” Loojs {ije my fortunate adventure has ended for now.


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No Regrets By Nastassja As a human, you will face challenges. It’s how you decide to face those challenges that defines you. As a human, you are equipped with two options: fight or flight. It’s whether you stand, toe-to-toe in the face of your enemy ready to fight, or run as fast as your legs can take you, fleeing the scene, flying from disaster, anger, pain that defines you. As a human, you are capable of assessing your options. It’s which path you taje: ascending the stairway to righteousness or falling into the depths of hell that defines you. Yet as a human, you feel fear, and you begin to question yourself. “Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do I change myse{f for myse{f?”


16 Stop. Take a moment. Again, assess. You jnow who you are. You can’t lie to yourself. You know you can’t know until you try. So go. Jump. Take the leap of faith. See where you land. And though you may not always land on your feet, it was the free fall that taught you the most.


17 THE MAN by Braedon There once was a man who had everything you could ever imagine, He had more money than he knew what to do with. He even had his own private island away from everyone if there was something this man wanted he snapped his fingers and he had it. So one day the man was on his beach alone in the sun enjoying himself, when all of a sudden the sun hid behind the clouds, Rain fell from the havens above, Lighting light up the skies and the man was terrified and clueless so he ran to his room and lied in bed closed his eyes hoping when he opened them, it would be over with‌fina{{y it was quiet. He opened his eyes and seen nothing but blue skies and water. He had nothing but the bed. He fell asleep on, everything he had gone, poor and alone. The man closed his eyes, but yet to see if he opened them in the again‌


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Caged Jaguars Me and my family went on a trip to Africa. When we were there we found a mama Jaguar shot with a bow and arrow. She was very injured and about to die. Then we saw her babies and we took the mom and the baby Jaguars to our camp. We tried to save her but it was too late so we buried her were we found her. Then we put the babies in a cage and brought them home. When we got home I was feeding them raw meat and they kept growing and then one day the sister was gone. Then I started to think about her mom that she would want revenge on her mothers killer. So me and parents take a boat back to Africa. When we came on shore I went to the mothers burial ground and there was the sister so it ends up that she wanted to tell her mom goodbye.


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Once upon a time there was this snowman named nate and his friends made him and for some odd reason he tried to run away but he collapsed cause he was over come with fear and all at once started melting so he didn’t get very far before he just melted away into nothing but while he was melting away into nothing he realized he needed not to worry then he wou{dn’t of me{ted, we{{, maybe not so fast at least.


With great insight and humor, Issue 135 explores our human quest for love and connection, as it reveals the traps that can befall all of us. Heartbreaking and delightful, moving and hopeful, this collection of stories captures the deepest, purest, most terrifying experiences of life.

Issue 135  

Issue 135 360 west project

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