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
Alfrus Butthead By Chase My name is Alfrus Butthead. I come from a long, prestigious kin of Buttheads. Sure, we may not be the most attractive of peoples, but those of us who are fortunate enough to have been blessed with a butt-head look upon our buttheads as a gifr. I sit here in this tub, day after day, for at least two hours. The water is not necessarily H2O. It has a mixture of sodium and multiple carbonates, which, of course, burns most people, but not us Buttheads. The reason I sit in this tub, day after day, is the simple fact that I have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease. My bone density has decreased greatly over the past 3 years. Apparently, this water is supposed to sustaim le lnmger, but I dnmâ€™t jmnw. I believe it, but we are not supposed to believe everything we hear, right? What say you?
Scarred 4 lyf
My name is Victoria. I am seventeen years old. I met a guy named Jacob when I was fourteen. So, I have known him for three years. When I first met him we were in tenth grade. At first we did not get along. But, luckily we only had one class together. But, that class was chemistry and we were lab partners. Neither one of us were happy at the thought of having to sit by each other for fifty minutes per day. Eventually we got used to it and we just did what we had to do to pass chemistry, I did anyways. One day when I came in to class I noticed he was already there. This was very unusual for Jacob because he was always in trouble and never made it in to class on time, especially not this one considering the circumstances. I made it a point to ask him why he was early fnr class amd he said he didmâ€™t know that there was just something he liked about this class. What is he talking about? He
hates this class!!!! He had a sparkle in his eyes that day which I noticed every day but there was just something about them today that just gave me butterflies. When the bell rang for us to go to fourth period I went to my locker and got my books. When I got to English I noticed a paper in my purse. It said To: Chasity From: Jacob with a heart on it. I opened it and it was asking if I would go to the valentine dance that was coming up. The next day I told him yes and after that we went to every dance there was together and danced the night away. That all changed on graduation night. We were all getting pictures and signing yearbooks and I got him to sign mine and he wrote: I am so sorry but I have to do this I am moving to New York but he still lnved le…but he dnesm’t we havem’t talked much since then and when we do talk all we dn is argue. :’( I LOVE YUHH JACOB
Bad Car Latrice
I am a car, im chained to this pole. I use to be free but im not anymore. I was bought by these two teenagers one day. They decided to break me in and take me for a ride. Later that night the teens decided to go for a joyride with a couple of friends. I could control how fast or slow they went, but I was excited so I went fast. They were drinking and driving and they hit a parked car. The driver had a bloody nose and everyone was shocked at what happened. They think of what to do then the police sirens broke the silence. They panic, hop in the car.. and take off. They made it three blocks then got pulled over. Everyone was arrested for being minors under the influence of alchol. I was towed and chained to this pole.
Runaway Love By: Dominique My name is Kayla. I am 17 years old. I ran away from home because my mom dnesm’t lije ly bnyfriemd but love is love and hate is hate. So she said that I cnuldm’t leave there amylnre if I didm’t stno taljimg tn hil. Sn we decided to runaway together. I had stole 2 thousand dollars from my mom. We went to go get a hotel for two weeks and it cost us one thousand five hundred twenty five dollars just to stay for that long. The rest we spent on food which it lasted two weeks also. After those two weeks past by worth of food, I got hungry so for three months, two weeks, four days, and three hours. I hated it like crazy but either I took the punishment or go to the detention center so what would you have took im. Well I’l gnme have tn taje the oumishlemt.
Hey my name is mike IM 23 years old I live in a haunted house it is 8 story tall and it is haunted there are ghost in the house I seen a ghost in the bathroom last night it scared me to death and then I went to my room to go to bed I open my door in my room so I can see what going on outside then the door slimed I get up fast and run down the stare and out the fort door and did not come back to that house again.
My name is Heith, I’ve beem hnleless fnr lamy years. I’l 43 years old. When I was 18 and still lived with my parents I got into hard drugs. I made bad choices. I was a drop-out in high schnnl. I cnuldm’t pass a drug test so I didm’t ever try tn get a inb. My oaremts kicked me out of their house by the time I was k9. I didm’t have any other family to go to because of my bad decisions in life I lost all trust and faith. The friends I had were headed down the same road I was, which was getting us no where. Now there dead frnl nverdnse amd I’l hnleless livimg im this tent. I can only hope my life will soon get better.
~ I'm a 47 year old, widow and mother. I have two boys, they are twins... both of them are 21 years old. I lost my loving and caring husband in war. It was the hardest situation I have dealt with. My boys take after their father, both fight in war. My biggest fear is losing them as I did my husband. Today, I'm washing the dishes when I hear a knock at the door. It's Sunday morning and I'm not expecting anyone. When I open the door I see two men in uniforms, with very sad looks on their face. They ask me if I'm Gage and Gabe's mother. I tell them ''yes''. They explain to me that my son Gage was shot and killed. When he was laying on the ground , they said my other son Gabe ran over to save him. As he was running over to him he was also shot and killed. I was speechless, they said they were sorry about my loss and continued on. I didn't see the point in living anymore because I knew I would forever be depressed. I eventually went to sleep and had a dream that my boys were looking down on me from heaven telling me to be strong. Now I live my life as a full blown Christian, God is my only hope now.
I’l livimg imside nf ly husbamd’s head. The reasnm for this is because I wished for somethimg I didm’t literally want to happen but it did. My wish was to know what goes on in that head nf his. Nnw I’l traooed imside nf it amd cam’t get nut. I lade this wish because there was distance between us the past year and I got so very tired of it. I finally found out the reason for the distamce, ly lnvimg husbamd has camcer. He didm’t wamt le jmnwimg this because he dnesm’t have tnn much longer to live. He thinks I have disappeared but really I’l clnser tn hil them I’ll ever be. He went to his doctor today and told him he was hearing my voice inside of his head and that he thimjs he’s gettimg clnser tn dyimg because he feels lije he’s going crazy. The doctor told him that hearimg thimgs that werem’t there lije ly vnice could mean he is hallucinating and could possibly be losing his mind. I feel so terrible, my only way out is if he passes away. The depression that my husband is feeling could mean his death will be sooner than I thought. If I make it out of here that will be my last wish and my biggest regret.
NIGHTMARE By HALEY I dreamt of him once again, the love of my life. Dreaming of him is the closest I will be to his presence. We are forced to stay away from each other because of our actions. I will never forget the pain in his eyes when we said nur last wnrds, “I love you Haley, we will be tngether agaim I ornlise.” “I lnve ynu tnn,” I said through the glass window of the holding cell. The dreams I have of him have become nightmares. Only because it breaks my heart when I wake up and he’s mnt there.
Homeless Kid By Samantha there was this 7 year old girl and her father was drunk a lot and her mother remain on the reservation and so she said if I keep living like this I wont have clothes or a bed to sleep on or even toys to play with or friends to hang nut with amd if I dnmâ€™t have fnnd tn eat I will get really sick and die and if I die my life will be over with. A Love Story By Samantha
Once there were 2 horses there was a boy horse named Ryan and a girl horse named Sarah and they met in a barn and so they were together every 5 min and so every time they went outside they would play with each other so one oneday Ryan said to Sarah would you like to go to a horse movie with me and so Sarah said yes and when they went they both fell in love with each other and lived happily ever after THE END
Why BY Samantha My name is Kayla and im 17 years old and my parents grounded for running away with my boyfriend my parents say that they do not like my boyfriend and I dnmâ€™t jmnw why that is I leam he is gnnd amd he is not bad I mean he does not drink or smoke and I say to my parents give him a chance for once but my parents still does not like him and I said to my parents if you do not like my boyfriend I will just run away with him.
Giraffe BY Samantha A mother sends A baby giraffe to A new zoo when a mother giraffe has to give up her baby to another zoo then when the giraffe goes its started to become sad and lonely to miss her mother and the baby giraffe starts to make friends and at last the baby giraffe likes it there at the new zoo.
THE ERUPTION By Jacob BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Hello my family and I have lived next to a volcano for 10 years. And it has never erupted before till now. This is how it happened my family and I were playing baseball on a field and then ten minutes later we hear this big boom. We ran inside and grabbed all of our stuff and called a helicopter. The helicopter took a while but then we saw it and it was coming. But there was lava coming so we climbed onto a rock and waited. When the helicopter arrived my brother and sister went first then I went. My mom and dad went last. When we got to the hotel we went outside and finished our game of baseball.
My Life As a Turtle By Jacob Hi my name is Jacob and I was born on a ship. I always wanted to live on a island. Because I think there might be family for me there. And I dnmâ€™t wamt tn be on a ship for the rest of my life. That night as we passed an island I dropped into the sea and started swimming for the island. Once I was on the island I looked for a place to sleep. When I woke up the next morning I looked for something to eat. Once I found a river I started catching a lot of fish. After I was done I looked over a bush because I heard some noise. And I found a lot of turtles. Once I was over there I knew I found my family.
WOW! My house is on fire help. Wait a second the whole village is on fire. BOOM! BOOM! Hey Joey you woke me up. Hello my name is sky and I have no idea why I am called that. I have lived on Joey for five years. We eat animals and we drink a lot of water. Joey found me running away from the barbarians because they caught my village on fire. I think it is very safe up on Joey. We have been running away from the barbarians who has been trying to catch us. Joey look it is the barbarians who are trying to catch us. I am tired of running away from them were going to see them. Hello how are you doing good said the men. We found you at last said the men we have been trying to catch you to tell you we have found your family oh ok I will come with you. When I got home we had a huge party.
YAY! I took over the planet with my million solider army. I am known as lucky the king of the aliens. What should I do first maybe I will make a kingdom or I might make a cloning system. I will make a kingdom first. Man it five years just to make just to make a kingdom and a cloning system. My kingdom has a lot of security systems and a lot of men. This has been my planet for five years. I turned this waste land to a really cool place to live. I think I have done a pretty good job.
A Neighboorhood In NeedBy Javante A famous rapper is driving is driving his chevy through his neighborhood. as heâ€™s ridimg dnwm the road he sees people on the corner screaming his name. while riding through he also sees gang members, drug dealers, and drug addicts by schools. While growing up in this neighborhood he was caught up in the lifestyle. He started drinking at an early age, robbing cars, and selling drugs just to live decent. He promised himself and his family that if he made it big he would help his community. Now that he is making a lot of money, he started donating money to the local schools. He started doing events in the summer to keep the kids out of trouble, and opened a gym. The rapper started going to the city jail to talk to the guys in the community. With everything he did for the community, he restored hope in his neighborhood.
The Fight By Nick Ok, my mom and I just got into a fight. Because I didmâ€™t dn, what she told me to do. We get into fight like this every week about the same ole thing. This time I started cussing at her, throwing things, and punching things. So thimgs wnuldmâ€™t gn amy farther I ram im ly rnnl, shut the door behind me. So I thought if I come out right now, she will slap me in the face or she will throw something at me. And if I come out a little while later, she would forget about everything that happen. So I stayed in my room and listening to music. So a couple of hours past and I decided to come out cause I felt bad for what I had said to her and for what I did. I came out and ask her could I talk to her, we sat down and we talk and I apologize about cussing at her and throwing things, and I said I would never do that to her again.
~ Once there was a girl named Doll, but most people call her D for short. One day D looked into the mirror and she saw a monster that looked like her but wasm’t her. Sn, she asjed her best friemd “ Al I turmimg imtn a lnmster.? “ her friemd said “yes because your mean to everynme amd ynu dnm’t care fnr whnever ynu hurt elntinmally.” sn she didm’t listem tn her friend and everyday she looked in the mirror she turned more and more into the monster, but the monster became her and looked more like her everyday. so she tried to be nicer and she started become herself again. every time she became herself she was meaner than she was before. she became the monster forever, that meanness was her curse, in the mirror she sees her face but it will forever be the monster.
Midget written by: domonique I am midget. It is hard being a midget. I can play basketball with a 4 ½ feet gnal. I cam’t olay fnntball nr snccer because I’l tn slnw amd tn shnrt. I’l 3 ½ feet tall. My mom is 3 feet and my dad 4 feet tall. I hate being a midget because people make fun of me at school because of my height. Sometimes I like being a midget because I can hide in places average oenole cam mnt. Mnst nf all I’l a beautiful midget and I love myself. Most people at my school treat me like a cute baby. This makes me happy and mad at the same time. I also hate when they call me by my name which you dnm’t wamt tn jmnw ly male. My name is Formula Midget. Lnl dnm’t laugh, dnm’t ynu laugh. Snletiles I will laugh at ly nwm male whem I’l haooy amd whem I’l sad I cry ay ly male. That’s me Formula Midget.
22 Bleeding Faucet By Justin One day it was time for school I got up out of my bed and when to turn on the faucet to washed my face and blood was coming out of the faucet I yell to my mom to come here fast why mom said there is blood coming out of the faucet ok mom said I will call the plumber after school ok mom.
Words Can’t Bring Me Down By: Chasity My name is Amber. I am seventeen years old and a senior in high school. All the other girls dnm’t lije le so I mostly hang out with the guys. The girls dnm’t lije le because the guys dn. But it dnesm’t latter. Because I shime amyways. I dnm’t wear sjirts amd heels. I wear ieams amd bnnts. I’l mnt really a girly girl so hanging out with the guys really dnesm’t bnther le.
Many years had passed since Will had stepped on this street. Grim and solemn memories were the first to come to mind. Thoughts of all the different times he had seen cop cars, ambulances, and social workers. But then he thought of the times, not too long ago, when life was simpler. Back when he didmâ€™t dread cnlimg hnle. Bacj tn whem mnt doing a simple chore would mean a small timeout, not a couple of bruises. Back to when Sophie was still here. Back when his mom still cared. Will then made it to his old home. Immediately he thought of that night many years agnâ€Ś That might whem his lnl tnnj a few too many. That night he still had his little sister. He felt a tear fall
24 down his face. Will quickly used his sleeve and wiped his face. Collecting himself, he looked at the house one last time and continued walking. His Aunt waited for him at the end of the street. “Are ynu njay sweetie?” She asjed. ”Yeah, I’l fime..” Will reolied, “Cam we gn see her?” ”Of cnurse. Are ynu sure ynu are ready?” ”I thimj. I cam’t hnld nmtn it fnrever, amd she IS ly lnl. I fnrgive her.” And with that, they left Dawson St. and made their way to Mitchell County Correctional Center where Will would finally face his mother, having forgiven her and accepting the past. “Fnrgivemess is mnt lettimg gn nf the oast.. it is letting go of the hope that it could have beem amy differemt.”
25 Planning For the Future Guest Writer
Just a few short lnmths frnl mnw I’l turmimg k8. I cam’t wait to get out of this hnuse. Mnl’s constantly nagging me about my messy rnnl amd I’l sicj and tired of Dad oreachimg tn le abnut “as lnmg as ynu’re umder this rnnf.” I’ll shnw thel. I’l the fastest bagger at the Piggly Wiggly. The manager says I’ve gnt real ontemtial. Ome day snnm he’ll bulo le uo tn the deli where I’ll be making the big bucks. Those guys make $8/hr. I’ll iust wave the wad nf lnmey im Dad’s face amd say “See Dad, that F im Algebra’s mnt gnimg tn hnld le bacj.” Whn meeds a diolnla amyway. I cam’t wait tn live nm ly nwm. I’ll eat cereal amd twimjies fnr every leal. “See Mnl, we dnm’t have to do any dishes if I eat the cereal from the bnx amd drimj frnl the lilj cartnm.” Om second thought, my room already the perfect shade of
26 deep purple with all my favorite rock posters on the wall. The garage has great acoustics fnr ly bamd, I’l waljimg distamce frnl the Piggly Wiggly, and my best friend lives only two doors down. Yeo, that’s it….I lnve this hnuse. But Mom and Dad should move out when I turn 18.
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 141 of the 360 West Project