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
Why she wajes up feeling lije she don’t worth anything. She cries everyday hoping to find that thing that can make her happy again and sit there in her tears. So she sit and read to forget hurt pain ,but it don’t worj she still feels bad . It don’t matter how many people talk to her to tell her it will be ok and tell her that she gone maje it. But she can’t see that for herself so she look at people like what you taljing about you don’t jnow what it feels lije to hurt everyday about things you look crazy. She iust don’t understand why when you give all your love and love you didn’t have to somebody that showed you fake loved and told you that they would never hurt or leave you and never turn they back on you no matter what made you like u had nothing to worry about. But soon as you turn your back there gone like they were never there so you sit there, thinking why and know your scared to love anyone because you think every time you turn your back there gone , But it takes time and will understand the hurt I go through.
OMG!! ByChase Whatsup? My name is Jed, And I just lost my face! You’re probably wondering how anyone could possibly lose their own face…well ten minutes ago I was climbing a mountain when a giant mountain goat attacked me and stole my face. It was so strange that it was painless. Either way, my face is now nothing but OMG!!…
Court By Chase Hello I’m chase and im going to tell you about my experience at court. Well see about a week ago I was actually in jail over a domestic violence charge. I got into an argument with my mom’s husband and punched a hole in the wall which led me to a jail cell. My best friend since third grade came and tried to bond me out after the first 48, but that was revoked for some odd reason. I made as much phone calls as I could, every chance I got I would do a 30 second toll free collect call, which the other inmates called “chirping out.” I was iust about fed up with sleeping on a metal rack and eating corndogs at every meal, when an officer came in with mycivilian clothes and asked if I would lije to go for a ride…now at how they treated me when I was first arrested, I was
5 quite surprised. I mean, come on? Who actually gets to leave “population” and go for a joy-ride, ha-ha? So he closed the door and gave me some privacy so I could get dressed back into my street clothes. We started walking down the main hallway; I was quite excited and he could tell because he kept asking me why I was grinning so big. We got to the front and I signed a release paper to get out of jail. I was shocked, I thought this man had seen how miserable I was and actually felt some sympathy towards me. But when I jumped into the police cruiser he told me that my charges had been dropped and that I was scheduled fortreatment. So this is when my story actually starts. Skip forward in time about 6 days and I’m a nervous wrecj. I’m actually having a mild panic attack while walking out front to meet the sheriff for court. I was sure he was going to handcuff me, but he didn’t…So I asjed, “Sir, aren’t you going to handcuff me?” He simply smiled and laughed while replying, “Only if you want to be.” I smiled and laughed back. He then threw his hand out, so I shook his hand. It was a long walk around the building to the emergency parking area where the sheriff had parked,
6 so had some pretty odd conversations, about music, art, sports teams, etc. When we finally made it to the police cruiser he told me to hop up front, I had never seen this happen after the many times I had gotten into trouble with the police in the past, I mean my record shows charges from drugs and violence. Anyways we were headed to court when he started speeding at about 80 and asked me if I liked to go fast. Then he lit up a cigarette. I hardly even noticed what he was doing until the distantly familiar smell of smoke slowly entered my nose. It made my nose twitch as I cringed I wanted to hit the cig, so bad. It had been about a week since I had had a smoke. So I asked just in case if I could have a hit. He said he would if I had been 19, but I enjoyed the smell either way. I thought to myself how dope this experience went form having a panic attack to where I couldn’t stop smiling. We made it downtown to the courthouse, which looked pretty sketchy to me because of all the police and lawyers kicking it outside. A woman about mid 20’s came running up, “ Yo, you chase?” she shouted. I was like seriously what is going on… she said she was my court appointed attorney. So skip forward about 30 minutes of
7 waiting… I met my mom inside and gave her a huge hug. As lame as that may sound, I really missed my mom the two weejs I’d been locjed away. Now court was starting. I was pretty shocked how short court was, only 10 minutes. The judge was quick and to the point. He said, “Chase, you are to receive treatment at a halfway for the occurrences over the past month, you have been sentenced mentally ill and your civil liberties are gone until August 10th.” And that’s all there was to it.
HAPPINESS By Essence
What makes my happiness is when I’ve been down for so long and don’t have nothing to looj forward to is when you have people in it that you just meet, that can say something that make you feel so much better make you think life through and not down yourself all the time and I thank god for that and even if I never see you again I think about you and it puts a smile on my face and makes me forget about all pains and troubles that I can get all that out my face and find my happiness. I WANT DIFFERENT By Essence You were there since I was baby you would do anything for me and I respect that even if I don’t show it I do .We done had our ups and downs ...and I haven’t been good and I jnow I’ve brought pain and shame but it’s time you let go I know you scared that I won’t maje it cause I don’t lije to take of myself, but that ain’t nobody’s fault but mines my choices got me in this and they
9 will get me out. It’s not that I don’t love you or hate you I just wanna be somewhere else see new things..so stop blaming other people for what I have done I have other good people in my life that I want to share it with...life’s gone eat away so just let me be please, like you always told me you can’t live it for me.
If you blame yourself for everything and put yourself down it will be to the point you will become enemies with yourself and ask yourself what did you do that was so wrong why they stop caring but it will be ok cause if you just talk about it and keep on talking about it there will always be somebody that loves and cares that will listen.
She sits here wondering about all her ups and downs and feels lije she doesn’t jnow what to do so she just sits there in silence all day, every day, trying to find the answers…but then she thinks to herself I can’t find what’s bothering me if I sit in my silence...so she thinks about all that she can live for in life and just keeps her head up and makes the best out of it.
I’m a battleship, my name is Draco. I was built in 983 ad By the Norse people or the Vikings. They built me to sail the seven seas, or the two seas that had been discover on this time period. The Norse gods gave me special powers to destroy enemy ships and warriors when approached on. My power is to confuse the enemies by speaking in tongues and then capturing them. I will then imprison them.
The Dragons Revenge By Chase A dragon is behind the little boy’s door. The little boy is scared of it…The dragon will bust the door down. The dragon will then set the room ablaze. Next he will start wrecking the boys room. Finally he will fly out the window and start to destroy the town and set it on fire as well. The boy will then comeback and defeat the dragon and stop its revenge.
Substance Abuse By Chase For nearly half my life I have abusing substances. See I started smoking at age 12. See the common myth that tobacco isnâ€™t a gateway drug is false. I started reguraly abusing stimulant drugs when I was in the ninth grade. The worst part about these drugs was the comedown. I would always get angry and blackout, doing things to my friends and family that I would regret for the rest of my life; Pushing them away. Substance abuse has only led to one thing only; defeat.
Luna as long as she could remember had always been depressed. Luna would always get nervous around people when they would try and talk to her and that frustrated her, making her very upset. Luna was diagnosed with a communication disorder when she was very young Luna couldnâ€™t picj up what people were saying when they would use their hands and lips to show expression, she knew it meant something but never knew what it meant. Luna moved from a very poor neighborhood in old house in a very wealthy neighborhood called Barton, when she was 8 years old. Her Father got a new job and he got a raise to get more money. Luna had everything most kids would want, but she didnâ€™t want these material things, she wanted her family to stop fighting. By the time she was thirteen, things were different, her family had broken up, her mother had gotten remarried, and she had turned into a monster, from so much depression and abuse.. Luna started going to Rock Ridge School where the kids there always bullied or teased her for the fact that she dressed differently than they did, and that she wore her hair in her eyes to cover up her tears and even because her only friend, Kenny, was a black dude. You see, when
13 Luna was growing up, it was quite uncommon for people of different ethnic to hang out together as even messed up as that seems, that was how people thought, that it was not normal. Luna discovered at 15 that she could stop pain from self-mutilation and drinking alcohol to numb the pain. Eventually Luna decided to sew on a fake smile so people would stop asking her what was wrong. Because to all of them material things were all that mattered. Luna just wanted to have friends that wouldnâ€™t betray her, and a family that she could come home to after a long day, and maybe even one day to meet someone who didnâ€™t thinj she was hideous so she could fall in love.
Tabithaâ€™s Musical Mind By Chase Tabitha never had anything but music on her mind. She always would only listen to hip-hop and nothing else. These musical notes jumped into her mind one day while in band class, and shes been on a musical journey with herself ever since that moment. Oh yeah! Did I forget to mention, Tabitha can also transmit radio signals into her brain? This happened one day while in a surgery. The surgeon was removing Tabithaâ€™s tonsils and accidentally dropped a radio into her mind. Tabitha is a lover of various types of music from pop rock to indie, but her all time favorite will always be hiphop.
ONE STEP AT A TIME By Essence I use to wake up feeling really bad dreading it sick and tired of having these feelings that I can’t explain and every thought I had about something good it would turn black...but now I feel better cause life it will bring you down that you don’t jnow what hit you...but it’s time that I face the facts that it is what it is, that it’s time I let some light in my life and take one step at a time to get better and believing in myself, because I jnow if I’ve done all that I can I know for sure that god is there For me.
With great insight and humor, this issue explores our human quest for love and connection, as it reveals the traps that can befall all of us.
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Issue 137 of the 360 West Project