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Imagine Pierson Middle School Literary Art Magazine 2019

Imagine Dedicated to the Memory of John Lennon 1940-1980

Cover art by Kai & Poppy Bassches

Anabelle Rousell

A Story of Entia By Kai Basseches Grade 6 In Entia, no one left the Geyser. To keep it stable, no one was allowed to leave...forever. Once you were born on the Geyser you stayed on the Geyser. Simple as that. No one really cared though. The Geyser rose 900 feet above the ocean and there were crystal clear views for dozens of miles. Because of the high oxygen content the food was delicious. There was squid, haddock, and Entian cod, a rare breed found only within a few hundred yards of the Geyser. Since Entia was at the very top of the Geyser, all of the houses that were upon this giant floating base looked a bit like very large dinghies. You needed boats to get around and the air always smelled like fish. The only source of fresh water was from the salty ocean water that was filtered. Why would anyone ever want to go? But one girl did. Aya. Aya had studied the outside world beyond the Guul ocean. The monuments, grass, the soil. She had even read about giant flying balloons! She had always been interested in the outside world. Ever since she was a little girl she loved to visit the park, the only place on the Geyser with lush, gree, vibrant grass. Aya loved the way it squeaked and shined; how it swayed in the wind. She loved the squirrels in the trees and the trees against the bright blue sky. She would spend hours watching the ants who marched along in lines as if they were soldiers awaiting battle against the true environment outside the park walls. Aya spent her days gazing out her window imagining that she could travel to the outside world. But all the while it was just her and the wide blue ocean. Aya’s mother and father were quite nice but just like everyone else, they were completely isolated on the Geyser. Life on the Geyser never changed. Everyone did the same thing day after day and there was never anything new or exciting to talk about. Everyone except Aya’s best friend Yani. She had the brightest smile and was always ready for an adventure. But when Aya suggested escaping the Geyser to her Yani just couldn’t bring herself to go along. She just couldn’t let go of the good memories she had with her family and friends.

But Aya couldn’t stand it: she had to see the outside world, beyond the Geyser, beyond Entia, beyond the ocean, beyond the endless stretch of water that surrounded the place she called home. So, one night, she attempted the escape she had plotted for months.

She could hear the waves building up and clapping against each other in endless repetition, and the geyser rising up and crashing down to the surface far below. The stench of the ocean made her eyes water. At this time, 10pm, there was always a large cargo boat that made its way around the Geyser.. Aya could see its lights. It was not far away at this time so she prepared the hang glider she had been working on. This was it. There was no turning back. She didn’t know how or if she could possibly return to the Geyser again. She realized that she might never see her family again. She would never see her family again.

Ready for liftoff, Aya blew her mom and dad a kiss goodbye. A tear ran down her face. This really was it. She couldn’t believe it. Nevertheless, Aya pushed her foot back, and ran to the edge the balcony, hang glider in hand. When she neared the end, she jumped up, and leaped off the railing. She had never tried hang gliding before, but it was surprisingly harder than she thought. She twisted through the night air, salt spraying in her face. Nothing could stop her now. To her surprise, she was reaching the boat pretty well. That is, until her sleeve caught on a string. She was so close, but, as her mother always told her, “a life of almost is a life of never.” She came crashing down, twirling as if she were a graceful bird looking for a fish. But that was far from the truth. Every time Aya tried to withdraw her arm, her sleeve became more tangled. She was so close, just a hundred feet from the ship, but she would make contact with the water in only a few more seconds.

So this vain attempt was where her life would end. All those drab years living on the Geyser came to this conclusion, plunging to the ocean. Isn’t this what she wanted? To be out in the world? Off the geyser? Her tears stung her like the water would when her life would slam to a close. It was so cold, so cold…

The heat! That’s it! Aya got out her emergency torch and lit it in a hassle. As Aya neared 40 feet above the surface, she slowly started floating up, up, until when she looked aloft, she was sucked up into the foam of the sky. She drifted along, until she burst through the delicate, silky clouds, and she could see the stars beyond the farthest reaches of the sky. Through the layer of cloud, the sea far below was a blanket of warmth, protecting the Earth, and radiating heat all the way up to Aya and her little gadget of fire.

But she wasn’t the only one in the sky. A ‘V’ of majestic birds had peaked the clouds and the parade was heading her way. They had long and proud necks, and a gray and white feathery coats. They seemed to fly as if they were as rich and powerful as the stars themselves that surrounded them. Aya pet the birds, smoothing out their feathers, until they were out of reach, gliding away. As if on cue, a harsh wind started to howl, immediately blowing out her little torch. It threw Aya and her hang glider as if it was tossing a salad, up and down, through the clouds. She could hear the RRRRIP of the hang glider. Although hard to see, the sea now seemed like a monster in contrast to what she had just seen before.

THUMP! Aya had crashed into a hard surface. The sound of her impact echoed like hollow wood. Surprisingly, she wasn’t hurt, She stood up easily, even in the harsh wind. But then she looked up. It was absolutely spectacular.

Dozens of hot air balloons danced around the sky, in all kinds of patterns. Reds and pinks in polka dots, oranges in swirls, blues and purples in stripes and lines, green in spirals, cascading across the sky, borne in the air like a parade of rainbows. Then Aya noticed that she herself was standing on a balloon. It was brightly colored with oranges and greens. A few feet from her stood a tall man dressed in a blue sweater and grey pants. His eyes sparkled with a brilliant hazel hue. Aya felt that somehow this man had saved her life. He gazed at her intently, then stretched out his hand to beckon her. When she reached him, he stretched out his arms, and gently embraced her. Aya softly rested her head on the man’s shoulder. She felt herself falling into a dreamy state.

Then, one by one, everything disappeared; the man, the sky, the balloons, until all Aya knew was a warm black. Aya woke up in a room in a soft white bed. In the corner of the room was a rocking chair, strangely rocking by itself. There were two orange windows. Outside of them, she saw the vast ocean far below. Wait a minute. Far below? Aya let out a breath of disappointment. Well, there was only one thing Aya could think of: Better luck next time.

Helena Kolhoff

The Curse To Know By Zoe Richardson Grade 8 I know so much. Am I to be kept silent? I’m stuck in the midst of an Earthquake. There is no place to escape. Do I keep still? Do I scream for help? I’m in a limbo. All is black. You forced me to turn my back. How could you be so blind? Your eyes are consumed with white… Can you really not see? Are you hurt? Does any of it matter at this point? Am I to be kept silent? I know so much.

Poppy Basseches

Fear By Helena Kolhoff Grade 7 I opened my eyes, and blinked a few times, trying to get my eyes to adjust to the darkness. Gradually , I was able to see the shadows. Crickets screeched outside my tent. Amongst the racket, I heard the high pitched buzzing that I recognized as a blood-sucking mosquito that had made its way into the tent. I rolled my eyes in the dark. Of course, I thought, just my rotten luck. Why had I allowed my family to bring me on this cursed camping trip? I knew that I didn’t want to go in the first place but I was dumb enough to let my family convince me to tag along on this hot, stuffy, mosquito infested hiking trip for the weekend.

A twig snapped outside my tent. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end. My mind reeled with all of the possible monsters that could have made the sound. Could it be an opossum? Racoon? Coyote? Bear?!?!

My eyes widened with fear as I retreated further into my sleeping bag. This was our last night out in the wilderness. I thought I had made it through the ordeal; but no...I heard more twigs creak and snap. At first I thought it was my imagination. I could have sworn, from the corner of my eye, the eerie light of the stars illuminating the shape of something moving around the outside of my tent but as I tried to follow the shape it disappeared. My breath quickened and I began to shiver with terror when I heard the scraping sound coming from the outside wall of my tent. I was frozen in panic. I sat there silent, eyes squeezed shut in fear of what I might see if I opened them.

Then, suddenly, the noises faded away and I gradually collected the courage to open my eyes.The moment I did I noticed that the door of the tent was opened wide even though I know I had zipped it securely before turning in. What I did next, I can’t explain. Without thinking, I crawled to the mouth of the tent and looked around. I spotted something illuminated in the pale moonlight and without a second thought I bolted and ran.

I didn’t know where I was going or why. My only thought was that I needed to get away from that thing. Sprinting past the other tents I finally stopped at the shrubs some distance away. I scanned the scenery wearily but there was nothing to see. My heart pounded in my skull. Adrenaline pulsed through my veins; I was in full fight or flight mode.

I froze as i heard another twig snap; this time behind me. I whirled around and came face to face with

Something. My brain didn’t have time to register what it was. I found my hand flying out in front of me and my fist connect with something hard and a loud “OW!” nearly stopped my heart. “Lena!”, I screamed in confusion as I looked down at the face of my older sister. “What was that for?” she demanded. I noticed her holding her hand to her shoulder. My hand flew to my mouth in horror when I realized that I had just punched my big sister! I helped her up but then I remembered. The thing in the bushes. “Lena, there is a monster in the woods! I heard it outside my tent!” “What are you talking about?, Lena answered. “I was just outside your tent. There was nothing there!” My eyes widened as the realization hit me. It was Lena the whole time! I felt so stupid, of course there was no such thing as monsters! Lena explained that she wanted to see if I was awake so she could show me something. “So what was so important?” , I asked. “I couldn’t sleep so I came out to look at the stars.” Lena glanced up and I followed her gaze to the sky. The second I laid my eyes on the Milky Way all of my anxiety and fears vanished. It was so beautiful; the sky filled with deep blue and dusted with small glittering gems. It was all so indescribably magical. Looking back at my sister and seeing the stars reflected in her eyes, I felt all of the doubts I had before about this trip fade into the night. I realized that I had let my imagination run wild because I allowed my fear and worries to take over.

Annie Husband

Who Am I? Soaring Fire By Milla Campomar Grade 6

High in the sky A swish of my wings Fire in my throat The heat of my home And the burning volcano beneath me They call me Soaring Fire

Idel Escolastico

Salty Water By Hannah Donahue Grade 6

Fiona Martin

My back as hard as a rock And as delicate as a feather Brown with some green The smell of the salty water The feel of the coral The deeper I go The bigger feast I have But one wrong move can kill me

Lily Babcock

When it’s Gone By Chloe Lucyk Grade 8 I guess I didn’t know what I had until I lost it. The Jack to my Rose, the Jenny to my Forest, and the Hazel to my Agustus. I was his Leigh and he was my Aaron. I thought I would always have him by my side no matter what, a smile to laugh with and a shoulder to cry on. I thought that I didn’t have to show him affection or attention, that he was just there. I wasn’t the best person in the world, nobody was. I was just like any other 17 year old girl in a small town. Sneaking out, telling a couple lies, maybe I spread a rumor or two, but Aaron never cared. People told me I didn’t deserve him. I remember once Molly Davis came up to me at lunch, looked into my big, hazel eyes and told me, “Aaron deserves better, he doesn’t deserve an idiot like you.” That one stung. Molly and I used to be best friends in middle school. Then during the Steven Ponzini summer of ninth grade I told her that Aaron Daniels asked me out and I said yes. Turned out that Molly had a crush on Aaron that she never told me about. Instead of confronting me she cut me off completely and proceeded to ruin my life out of jealousy. All the girls were jealous of me but I couldn’t care less. Aaron was always good to me though, wouldn’t hurt a fly. He had a lot of friends and they all seemed to be pretty fond of him. I mean he was no all star quarterback, but he was okay for me. I only blew him off a couple times and I’d answer his messages occasionally. Sometimes at school he’d try to have a conversation but I wasn’t in the mood, people thought I was crazy for that. He really loved me though, so I knew he wouldn’t leave. It was February 3rd, 2014. The day started off as normal as any other. I woke up, brushed my long brown hair, put on some jeans, a tee shirt and the warmest jacket I had. After all a February in the north was freezing, literally. Then I waited for Aaron to come pick me up. He took me to school as per usual and we walked in the doors. I might have “accidentally” ran into someone and their books knocked over and maybe I threw a couple dirty looks, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. Then it got weird. I was at my locker and Molly came up to me more sarcastically, peppy and annoying than usual and said, “maybe if you were somewhat nice to people your life would actually be truly happy.” I didn’t get it at the time. I had a loving boyfriend, a roof over my head, food on the table, what was I missing? Man I didn’t like her, she was so fake. Other girls would bow down at her feet but not me. I just let it go and went on with my day. After school was over Aaron dropped me home and I got ready to do endless hours of essay writing and studying. It was about 9:00 pm when the phone Steven rang, noPonzini caller ID.

My parents were away for the week, but I answered it anyway. A low voice came through, “don’t you dare say one word.” I shut up. “I know you better than you think and you’re about to feel what you deserve. About to feel how terrible you make others feel.” The phone cut out, they hung up. I was terrified, so I called Aaron. No answer. This day kept getting more and more unusual. I tried Aaron again. He picked up but all I heard was breathing. I was practically yelling his name in tears through the phone, but still not a word. The breathing got slower then slowly faded out, he hung up. I was a mess at this point. I couldn’t reach my parents or Aaron. That creepy caller never called back and I couldn’t do anything more. I was scared of the dark voiced caller and I eventually I must have cried myself to sleep. I hate February 4th. I woke up and yesterday was a blur. I felt like it was all a dream and I’m not positive it wasn’t. I waited outside for Aaron to come pick me up but he never showed. He’s so selfish, he must have overslept and not have time to get me. I’d missed the bus so I had to walk to school. I still got there a couple minutes before the bell and I could feel all eyes on me as I walked down the checkerboard tiled hallway. I didn’t feel like dealing with them, so I ignored it. As I walked past the office to my locker, Principal Johnson called me in. We had Steven Ponzini become pretty well acquainted over the years, I was no angel student. He didn’t look mad this time, more concerned. “Hi Leigh, how have you been?” This is odd, he usually just hauls off on me and gives me a couple detentions right off the bat. I replied with “I’m fine... why am I here again?” Johnson realized that he had to get to the point. “Your boyfriend, Aaron Daniels, how has he been lately.” My eyes couldn’t roll back far enough. I snapped back, “I don’t know considering he decided not to answer my calls and make me walk to school this morning.” Johnson looked speechless. He always had something to say but today he seemed different, he couldn’t find the words. “Ms. Brown I have some devastating news. Your parents e-mailed and advised me to share it with you. Aaron Daniels was murdered last night and the killer is unknown.” My jaw dropped to the floor and I ran. I don’t remember when I stopped running. I remember crying and running away for what felt like hours. I couldn’t breathe. I heard the sirens above me and I could feel the paramedics putting me into the back of the ambulance. I didn’t care. I wasn’t positive what was happening or where I was going. Half my life seemed to be a blur these days. I woke up. I was confused as ever. I couldn’t completely tell where I was. Shoot, I couldn’t tell what reality was. I saw my mom sleeping on the chair next to the bed so I tried to speak, but only a little mumble came out. My mom woke suddenly and called the nurse into the room while saying, “I’m so glad you’re okay. The hospital called and someone must have called the police and an ambulance when they saw you drop. Your dad and I got so worried.” “What happened?”, I managed to get out. The nurse gave my mom a sympathizing look and began to take my pulse. “Well Leigh, honey, you were running so much and crying that you lost your breath and fainted. Nobody knew where you were going and you were so in shock. You’ve been asleep for a couple hours, it

gave your dad and I time to get here. I don’t know if you can remember or not, but Mr. Johnson told us some alarming news. Aaron was murdered last night and the police still aren’t sure who did it. Oh Leigh, I’m so sorry I know how much he loved you but at least you weren’t crazy about him.” I was doing okay. The hospital let me go home a couple hours later. It didn’t take me long to get over Aaron. After all there were other fish in the sea, right? All I wanted to know was who did it. I wanted to help find the murderer and their motive. I decided to stop by the police station on my way home from school the next week. I talked to Chief Murphy and he said I wasn’t really allowed to help with the investigation. I told them about the phone calls that I received the night Aaron was murdered, they told me it probably wasn’t relevant. That maybe someone just hated me for the way I acted. Understandable. I told them what I heard when I tried to call Aaron but they said that that didn’t help them any. They got frustrated with a little girl trying to do their job so they told me to go home. I wasn’t known for following the rules so he should have known that I was going to find a way to help anyway. I guess I was going to have to figure it out myself. Steven Ponzini It had only been a week and I already hated my life. I walked the lonely streets of my small town everyday, just looking for hope on now hopeless roads. I missed him.

Helena Kolhoff

I missed his short black hair and the way his green eyes sparkled in the sun. I missed the baggy Nike sweatshirt and shorts that he wore. I never thought I really loved Aaron when we were together, he was just there. I started to think that people were right, that he was too good for me. The cops still hadn’t gotten any leads whatsoever on the case. I hadn’t either, I was too lifeless to try. Everytime I started to call someone to ask them questions I just broke down and started balling, then I got myself together and tried to call again and the same thing happened. It was an ongoing cycle that seemed to take over my life. After about three weeks I gave up completely. I had no motivation, no purpose, no life. It was weird to think that just a month ago I was going about a normal teenage life. I knew I wasn’t a great person but at least I had the decency to acknowledge that. I knew when I recovered I would become a different person, someone new. On April 5, the newspaper came out with the story of the death of Aaron Daniels. There were multiple factors that the police took into consideration. The killer forgot to put on gloves when they touched the doorknob, an amature. They found a strand of medium length red hair, Steven Ponzini presumably a girl. The Daniels’ had a dirt walkway leading to the house, the police found a size 7 footprint in the ground, small feet so probably still growing. The indents weren’t deep so it was probably someone that was petite and didn’t weigh much. They found Aaron’s body with his wrists and ankles tied together, there was a smudge of pink lipstick on the rope. The police knew that it was a teenage girl with medium red hair, petite build, size 7 shoe and pink lipstick that killed Aaron. They took it to the school. There were only about 40 girls in the senior class of 2014 at Gold Shore High. Chief Murphy interviewed each and every one of them to hear their alibi on what they were doing on the night of February 3rd. All the girls had strong alibis and Murphy paid extra attention to the red-headed ones. There were three, Casey, Samantha and Molly. The police realized that maybe the phone call I got was relevant. They got a warrant to search the girls’ call history. Only one matched up. It’s crazy to think how far jealousy can take someone, how one thing can affect a innocent person’s life. I didn’t believe it at first but then all the pieces fit together to form a strong motive. The attitude, jealousy, feeling that she wasn’t good enough. It all made sense in the end. She wanted revenge on me for taking something that wasn’t hers. Molly Davis murdered Aaron Daniels. Molly had succeeded in her goal of making my life a living hell. I had to watch my childhood best friend be forced into the back of a police car and I wasn’t sure how to feel. I was nothing without Aaron. I took him for granted in the beginning, I thought he would be there no matter how much of a bad person I was. I guess I was wrong. I missed him more everyday and I regretted the way I treated him and others more and more as time went on. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I knew I had to change though. I guess I didn’t know what I had until I lost it.

1915 The Yellow Gas By Gus Hayes Grade 8 It was a cloudy wet day in April. I was not in a good mood. I had received a letter from home about my brother in prison for thievery. I wanted to be in Britain so badly, but no, I’m in a stupid trench in France and couldn’t go home. Besides, I wouldn't be in this mess if France could hold their own against the Germans. People keep calling the war ¨The Great War”, but I don’t see how great it really is. I looked around to take my mind off things and spotted Robert and Howard sitting on the side of the dreaded wooden step that went down the entire horrific trench. People hated the “step” because that's where most people were killed or injured. I stood up and trudged through the muddy center of the trench that curved inwards. My boots squelched in the mud as I stepped through it. I knelt down next to Robert. “Andrew! Want to join us in a card game called war?” Robert asked. Howard was silent, like always. “No thanks,” I replied. I wasn’t really that good at card games, I opted to watch them play. After a while with them slapping cards down and laughing, a few bullets flew overhead. This was normal and happened constantly. The bullets dug deep into the dirty mud outside the trench. My head shot up, looking at the wooden wall that was now splashed in thick, brown mud. A few more bullets zipped by our heads. I slid down and hunched my back into slumped position, my tan shirt now uncomfortably wet with mud. I scratched the small brown goatee I grew. “Those germs won’t give up!” Robert cheerfully said. Somehow he enjoyed the war that the rest of us dreaded. Howard had a fearful look in his eyes. Then, another barrage of bullets flew overhead. It must have been a machine gun, this was an abnormality. Men freaked out and dove onto the wooden planks that were covered in mud. Mud splashing everywhere. The gunfire seemed to never end. After a minute or two, it stopped. No one dared to look over the trench top. We all scrambled to grab our bags and rifles that leaned on the only dry part, in probably the entire trench. The slippery mud from the previous rain made a few men fall face first onto the raised wood planks. The playing cards that used to be white, were swallowed by the mud . We stood ready, a few men peaked over the step, and one shouted “Hey look! A yellow cloud!” ,

followed by hysterical laughing. I thought he went insane, I peeked over and then saw the plume of yellow coming towards us like a smoke stack from a slow train. “He’s not kidding!” I shouted. Confusion filled the trenches, and I soon realized that the cloud would fill the trenches too. The gas was so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, if you dared to stand in the gas cloud. I slowly began laughing, the sight of this cloud was anything but normal. But then a gust of wind blew the gas in our direction. The plume of yellow gas blasted forward, running over the field’s bumps and filling the shell craters in its way. It flew into the trench and men began screaming. As it hit me, my eyes began burning as if boiling water was poured in your eyes. My skin felt like it was peeling away. I clawed at my eyes, falling onto my back and splashed into the thick mud.I felt as if I were being pulled, the mud seemed to be sliding under me. I heard a door fly open. Then I was thrown forward, smashing into a bed. I cried in pain, as my entire body burned. I squinted through the pain, to see a brown stained wood floor. I looked up to see Robert shutting a door. Someone threw a cold, wet fabric over my eyes. The pain eased, and my burning eyes turned into a sting. I pulled off the fabric and looked at my arms. My pale, paperwhite arms were now splotched with horrific burns, and red, irritated skin. I gagged and almost threw up. “What is going on?” I asked through the agony. “Some yellow cloud got in our trenches!” Robert shouted over. I then realized they were trying to seal the cracks in the doors with blankets and pillows. I stood up and saw that they too, had horrific burns and gashes. “I’ll take over! You guys need to help yourselves!” I said, grabbing a blanket from the bed I had ruined and scrambled over. They backed off and treated their wounds. I crammed the blanket into a crack in the makeshift wooden door. I walked forward, rubbing my bright red arms. I slid down on the wall with my back pushing against it, until I was sitting. My legs raggedly laid straight out in front of me. I looked around the room. There was a small table, a number of beds, and chest of drawers. I assumed it was a bedroom, like mine, with a few posters and books. The room was silent, except when we groaned in pain. “Can we still play cards?” Robert said. “Shut up, it seems like all you care about are your stupid cards.” I snarled. “Can’t you lighten up!” Robert hollered “Both of you shut your bloody pipers!” Howard shouted. I sighed, and rubbed my temples, and thinking, how can Robert be that stupid? The room once again grew silent. I stood up, walked over to one of the mattresses that we stripped of its bedding. I set down my bag on the mattress and then lying down I rested my head on my bag. The matress let out a horrible creaking noise. I stared at the ceiling, which surprisingly was held up by nothing more than the earth that was

dug into. Then, some chatter was heard outside. It was inaudible, and it was quick. I pushed myself up looked over. I shook in fear. Then, the door busted inwards, the thick gas stormed inside, and an outline of a person began to appear in it. My heart froze. A group of men walked through the gas and appeared. They had giant masks on, and holding rifles. They were in gray. Germans. I whimpered. I raised my hands high above my head. They waved their rifles around the room. Then, one walked up to me and slammed the butt of his rifle right into my forehead. Everything went dark.

Livi lombardi

Locked Room By Isla Panton Grade 8 They pulled up into the driveway, the new family just moving from the outburbs into the suburbs. One mom and dad and their 4 children. The Tuckers were a bizarre family. When they pulled into the driveway they looked like they had been driving for days even though they only moved from their old home a few hours away. Their new house had been priced right, almost too good to be true. But what the Tuckers didn’t know they were about to find out. The twins, Lenny and Kenny, bust through the front door and ran shouting around their new home. They were loud and adventurous 7 year olds. Theo, the baby in the family was calm, not at all like his brothers. Then there was Ariel, the oldest at 14. She had green eyes like everyone else but her hair was red while all the others were blond. Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Alfred, the narrator of this story and I’m about to tell to tell you about something no one else saw. The first night Ariel couldn’t sleep. The ticking of the grandfather clock was mesmerizing in a bad way. She got up and decided to investigate. She went out into the hallway quietly, trying not to wake anyone. As she tiptoed along the hall, a door caught her eye. It was covered in molded rotten wood and the hinges were rusting as if it hadn’t been opened in ages. Ariel looked through the keyhole and saw a girl sitting in a chair in the center of the room. She was looking out into the night with the wind tossing her hair. The girl wore a loose white dress that appeared to have dark smudges and the ends looked ragged as if they were burned. Ariel turned to run back to here room when she heard a hypnotic whistling coming from the room. She ran as fast as she could and dove under her cold bed sheets. She woke in the morning still trembling with fright. She never ventured down the hallway after that. One Year Later By this time Ariel was never quite the same. Her parents were concerned and took her to see a therapist. Ariel tried to explain what she saw but was frustrated because everyone thought she had lost her mind. Her parents also hid the key to that room hoping that Ariel would lose her fascination with the room. Gradually she began to forget. One night, while everyone was asleep, Ariell woke to a familiar sound. It was a whistle. Not just a normal whistling as you would hear on the street or your mom whistling her favorite song. It was the hypnotic, eerie whistling Ariel heard exactly one year ago.

After tossing around under her sheets, Ariel couldn’t take it anymore. She jumped out of bed and began looking for the key to the locked room. She decided to start in her parent’s room. As she started heading there she past the locked room. When she peered through the keyhole she saw the girl in the white singed dress with the wind tossing her hair, whistling by the window. Ariel ran down the hallway and quietly opened the door to her parent’s room. The key way on the shelf above her parent’s bed. She was afraid to wake her parents. She knew they would be upset and would probably throw away the key and ground her. She stealthily and silently reached over the bed and grabbed the key off the hook above the shelf. She ran down the hall toward the room. The whistling became louder and louder until finally she reached the door. She quietly turned the key. A cold creepy breeze rushed out from the doorway. The room was filled with a chilling sense of death. Everything was covered in layers of dust and old suitcases were strewn about. She noticed a ouija board on the floor. The girl was nowhere to be seen but Ariel noticed a locket. She opened it to find a family photo of three, 2 parents and a girl. Suddenly Ariel felt a cold chill run down her spine. She turned. There was the girl in the white dress, the girl that haunted Ariel’s thoughts for a whole year. She was pale as her white nightgown. Ariel let out a terrible scream and then everything went black. Sometimes things are kept from you for a reason. Mr. and Mrs. Tucker woke from the scream and ran toward the room with the open door. There she was, still and silent. Dead. Pale as a ghost. This was the murder of Ariel Tucker. The murderer was never found and the case never solved. No one could imagine how this happened. The room should have never been unlocked.

Cailin Collister

Tremendously Annoying Not Knowledgeable In the Savanna By Sadie Campsey Grade 6 The hot savana sun dries me out Gray and brown with mud Water that I throw on myself comes out of my spout Sagging skin that’s what I have for my weight Walking across this dry land with my baby and my mate

Steven Ponzini

I Am?

Stephanie Gordillo

By Grace Golomka Grade 6 Territory marked by scratches In the rainforest whispering leaves Growling through the trees Energy to hunt my prey Razor sharp teeth

Wishes By Milla Campomar Grade 6 In a very cold place, in a very cold room, someone sat shivering. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is the story about a young girl whose life took an unexpected twist. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It was a beautiful spring day, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and a girl was sitting on a swing in her front yard drawing. Her name was Athena. She lived in a giant house with her father, aunt and older brother. Her house had wide open rooms, long hallways and large windows. She lived in a small neighborhood, small but sweet. The children were always playing and having fun in the bright sun. Trees green, growing high over head and grass soft and warm in the spring, but rough and cold in the winter. Athena loved to draw. Her sketchbook, the last gift her mother gave her before she died, was filled with drawings. Her mother also loved to draw; and so did her father until her mother died. Now, her father liked nothing to do with art. Athena really enjoyed drawing flowers, she had an amazing flower garden at her house. It was full of roses and irises, all different types. Athena was trying to draw a white iris, when a big truck parked in front of her and blocked the light. I wish that truck would just go away. She thought to herself. Suddenly, the truck and the truck driver just disappeared. Athena didn’t give it much thought and continued to draw. Later that day, Athena was laying on her bed and pulled out her sketchbook and began drawing. As soon as she began to draw, her brother started to practice his drums. “Jason, stop practicing playing the drums, I’m trying to draw!” “No, I have to practice for school!” Her brother shouted back at her. I wish he would just be quiet already, she thought. And just like that, the loud sound from her brother’s drums fell silent. Again, Athena continued without a second thought. Not realizing what she had done. The sun high in the sky shining down through Athena’s window, the perfect light to draw. The children of the neighborhood were playing tag, laughing as they ran. The laughing was too loud for Athena to concentrate. I wish they would all disappear. Then, they were gone, faster than you can snap your fingers. Quiet again, Athena looked back at her sketchbook and started to draw. “Athena, come do your homework, you can draw later,” her Aunt Elizabeth told her.

“But I want to draw now,” Athena whined. “Now, Athena.” Just leave me alone. Athena thought. She looked away for a second and her Aunt was gone. With more than half the day gone already, Athena only had a few pages left in her sketchbook. It was dinner time and her father called her to the table. She refused to come, so he came into her room - she hid her sketchbook behind her back. You see Athena’s father didn’t like drawing, actually he didn’t like anything to do with art. He thought it was foolish and wrong to draw when there was work to be done and money to be made. Who had time to draw when they were doing all of that?!? “What are you doing, Athena?” he asked her suspiciously. “Just reading a book,” Athena lied. “What is that behind your back?” “Nothing,” she lied again. “I wish you would just go away!” Then, he was gone. Now Athena was all alone in her giant house. Actually, she was all alone in the world. Without realizing, she wished everything and everyone, away. Athena stayed in her house for a few days. The food slowly ran out, and so did the light, warmth, and the pages of her sketchbook. In a very cold place, in a very cold house, in a very cold room, someone sat shivering. That someone was Athena, all alone in the world with one page left in her sketchbook, with no way to ever get her family back. There she sat in the cold, because she wasn’t careful, now everything is gone. Be careful what you wish for, because it is not always what you want.

Sadie Campsey

Annie Husband

Poppy Basseches

Being Impaired Beings By Zoe Richardson We can hear you Though do we deem you worthy? We have not forgotten you You are in our reflection Though you must yield! You continue to make things worse Under harsh circumstances You begin to be harsh yourself Where is that child that was once there? You know it is still within you But now you are blind And we can’t hear you

Red Water Steven Ponzini

By Hannah Donahue Grade 6

I must stay low So I don’t scare my prey I must wait for the right time My timing has to be perfect And it always is Then I strike The blue water starts to turn red Other fish swim away When they see me exit the crime scene

Anabelle Roussel

Seafoam Eyes By Nola Hollyer Grade 8 “Shoot, gotta run!” That’s the last thing I heard before I went unconscious. My brain started spinning in circles, like a carousel going in different directions at the same time. Everything in my mind slowly faded away though not in a relaxing and zen way. In fact, in the most eerie way possible. I woke up in a dull, super small hospital room. It was painted with the most boring ivory color ever, and the bed was covered with scratchy, obnoxious orange sheets. My head had lots of cords attached to it. My mom, dad, and sister were by my side. I wasn’t really sure what happened to me, but I was pretty sure I hit my head. At least it felt like it. “How are you, Cel? Are you hungry?”, my mom asked anxiously. “Nope.. what happened to me?”, I asked. My mom proceeded to tell me about what happened. It turns out I was right! I had a concussion, and some minor memory loss. I had also had a very large scratch and a scar on my scalp. They told me that it all happened at my favorite place, the garden. How? With who? I honestly don’t remember. The doctor said that my memories would slowly come back to me, but he wasn’t sure when. I started thinking about what I wouldn’t be able to do with a concussion. Would I be able to write? To go to school? To read? And then I realized.. I wouldn’t be able to dance. Dancing was my passion. I danced 20 hours per week, and even a day without dance class and rehearsal would get me out of shape. Dancing helped me cope with all of my emotions. Happiness, sadness, frustration. Whatever was going on in my life, dance helped with it. I loved to dance with all of my heart, and if it got taken away from me, what would I do with myself? I honestly wasn’t sure. “Are concussions permanent?”, I asked. I was so scared that I would never be able to dance again. “No, but they do last for some time. Now that you have one, you have to be extra careful.” My mom explained to me that I also wasn’t able to go to school for two weeks. Jackpot! But the studio was my home. I wouldn’t be able to go there for a full month, at least. It made me so incredibly sad. The next day, I was allowed to go back home. I was so relieved because being in that uncomfortable, springy hospital bed made my back ache a bit. I just wanted to get home and jump into my soft, comfy bed covers and sleep my heart away. After I jumped into my loft bed, I started to remember how I got my injuries. It was slowly coming back to me, and I had to think very hard to remember. I remembered that I was sitting

next to my favorite tree at the garden. I saw men and women holding hands, and the beautiful pond shimmering, looking like it was sparkling just for me. That garden was like heaven on earth. So blissful and gorgeous. How could anything go wrong there? I slowly realized that I was with Jax, my best friend since pre-nursery. Me and Jax were like two peas in a pod, and we did everything together. We danced together at the same studio since we were three years old. He had brown, wavy hair, olive skin and seafoam eyes. I always told him how amazing his eyes were, and how I didn’t know anyone else who had eyes like his. There was nothing and no one that could separate Jax and I. It was always “Jax and Celina.” Well, until eighth grade when things started to change between us. I think it was because I won a scholarship to a year-round dance program at a prestigious dance competition that we both applied to, and he didn’t. He acted a bit delusional thinking he should’ve gotten a scholarship, but I usually just say nothing whenever he talks about it. As my memory slowly started to come back to me I remembered that someone started banging my head into the tree I was sitting under! I was so shocked when this came to my memory. But… who was it? I had to figure this out. I stayed up for nearly six hours and got almost no sleep. It seemed like I just couldn’t stop thinking about the situation. I laid awake in my bed for hours, until 3:00 am replaying the scarring memory in my head over and over again. Suddenly I remembered the face of the person who did this horrible thing. It was a boy. Right after he got done with his little spree, he bolted out of the scene. He looked like every other boy I knew. Except for one little feature that made him different than the rest. Seafoam eyes. Livi Lombardi

Zoe Richardson

Together Again By Isabelle Caplin Grade 7 As I leaned over the bridge, my long chestnut brown hair flowing over the edge, I watched the current drift beneath me along with the lily flowers bobbing in the drifting tide. My hands gripped the railing, feeling that the wood had been there for a very long time. It was painted a light green color that has long since started to fade. I used my arms to push off the railing and sit down on the splinter covered ground of the bridge, memories starting to flood my head. I remember, as a little girl, barely being able to see over the railing. My mom would lift me up to see the glistening, crystal clear pond beneath me. My parents held my hands while showing me the lilies below that gave me my name, Liliana, and my nickname, Lily. I remember sitting on my mom’s lap, she holding me tightly as I cried, because my friend Eloise Reirsif was leaving to move to a city far away. I remember rushing across the bridge to my weeping willow after finding out that my mom had fallen ill with influenza, a disease that people rarely recovered from, especially in the middle of the woods without a skilled doctor around for miles.

Briana Torres Zoe Richardson

I feel as if I am drowning in my memories. As I get up, my dirty dress catches on the ground. I haven’t had a new one for a few years now and this one is starting to get really tight. It is a faded color now, just like the bridge. I run towards my weeping willow and sit beneath it, my back resting against the trunk, sobbing my heart out. I miss my mother so much, more than you could ever imagine. I chose the weeping willow as my place to hide from the world, a place for comfort, and a place to cry. It feels as if it understands how I feel when I weep, more than anyone else. When I was little I wondered why it was always weeping and I would try to comfort it since it always comforted me. Nothing that I did worked so I used the tactic of empathy to show the lonely tree that I cared and understood what it felt like to cry. When you cry you never know when you will be all cried out, this tree, I’m afraid, may never be out of tears. When I was all out of tears, I slowly got up and walked toward my home, a small little light brown cottage that some might think was too tiny, but I was always satisfied with it. I opened the door and peeked in making sure my father wasn’t there. He would be able to tell if something was wrong right away even if I said there wasn’t. My father was in his study and the door was slightly ajar. He works as an editor in the closest town which is a day’s trip away. A messenger comes once a week from the town to give him the things he needs to edit and that same day my dad returns the work he has edited from the past week. As I tiptoe past the door, my father calls out, “Lily, come in.” I quickly wipe my eyes and slowly walk in. He is so lost in his thoughts that he doesn’t even realize that I have been crying. He hands me a letter that the messenger just brought him. I unfold it, since it was already taken out of its envelope. It says: The rent for our house in the city has become too expensive so we decided to are come back to our house in the woods. Our dear Elouise is delighted and looking forward to seeing Liliana. We send our condolences for your dear wife Elizabeth’s passing away. We are sorry we could not attend her funeral. We will be coming back to our house on May 5th. I believe you have our house key. If you still do, please clean up the house. We will be glad to pay you. -The Reirsifs When I read that Eloise was coming back I was overjoyed! They wrote in such a formal distant manner though. Very different from how I remember them. So many questions ran across my mind. Would Eloise act the same as before? Also, why were they sending their condolences now? My mother passed away 3 years ago when I was twelve years of age. Also, May 5th was tomorrow and if we were to clean up their house by tomorrow then we must get

started right away! It would probably be very dusty since they moved away seven years ago when I was eight years old. My family needed the money that Mr. and Mrs. Reirsif would provide but my father had a lot of editing still to finish so an hour later, geared with a mop, I was walking through Eloise’s house that was as large as a mansion. We shared so many memories there. Both of us chasing each other through the winding halls and hiding in the closets trying not to giggle when our parents told us it was time to leave. I remembered the day she left, both of us hugging each other, never imagining letting go and crying on each other’s shoulders. I did not want Eloise to leave. I knew we were going to miss each other so much. Eventually, our mothers had to tug us apart. With their strong embraces they gathered us up and carried us home, or to a new one. I remembered that day so clearly, especially in the hall by the large, detailed, and ornate door where it all happened.

Livi Lombardi

I walk up the narrow staircase to Eloise’s room. I look down at her bed. There is no way that she will still fit in that bed. Anyway, I take out a rainbow quilt that I stuck in a bag from my house and make her bed. We didn’t have any extra pillows so they’ll just have to add them when they get here. We have many extra quilts though because, here in the woods, the winters are so cold our doors will freeze shut and even with the thickest windows the cold still seeps through. I go to her parents’ room and lay a large, light-grey and pale-blue quilt down on their bed. Eloise and I used to imagine the stories of all the pieces of the quilts and how they intertwined to make one large story. The blue and grey one was always hard to make stories about since all the pieces looked the same. We came to the conclusion that whoever made the quilt was sad since blue and grey are very sad colors. Even though, I put it on her parents’ bed anyway since it was the only quilt my family owned that would fit over their large king sized bed. I am so happy she is coming home. I used to look at all the letters when the messenger came to drop my dad’s work off to see if there was a letter saying that she was coming back to her house in the woods. I have been waiting for this day, but now that it’s here I am wondering if it will actually be a happy one. What if we don’t recognize each other? What if we don’t have any of the same interests anymore? What if I don’t know how to act since I haven’t been with any kids my age since she left? Finally, the next morning, a beautiful day. I eat breakfast and wait reading outside on the porch listening for the sound of horses’ steps. I know it is uncommon where I live for a girl to be able to read since we don’t go to school but it is pretty hard not to learn how to read if you are curious and your dad is a publisher. Books are literally scattered everyone around the house and piled up high on his wooden desk in his office. Late in the afternoon I finally hear horses’ footsteps clip-clopping down the dirt path. “Eloise!” I shout running down through the woods on the thin path toward their house. I knock on the door waiting, wondering how our encounter will go. Her mother opens the door in a very fancy gown. She looks me up and down and holds up her nose. She is probably thinking about how dirty I look. Her family must have gained their fortune in the city. I politely ask where Eloise is. She replies that she is resting from the long journey and to come back later. Disappointed I walked back to the cottage thinking that things will never be the same between us again. Suddenly, I hear a knock from the upstairs window. I turn around to see Eloise sticking her tongue out and waving at me. I giggle and wave back. Maybe things won’t be so bad after all. She presses a note against the window that says;

My mom is making me “rest from the journey�. Meet me later by the pond? I give her a nod and a large, goofy smile. I wave to her and race to the edge of the pond and wait, watching the current drift, making the lilies and lily pads bob and drift with it.

Livi Lombardi

Being Impaired Beings By Zoe Richardson We can hear you Though do we deem you worthy? We have not forgotten you You are in our reflection Though you must yield! You continue to make things worse Under harsh circumstances You begin to be harsh yourself Where is that child that was once there? You know it is still within you But now you are blind And we can’t hear you

Livi Lombardi

Emily Squires

Once upon a Creature By Briana Torres Grade 6 Long ago, there was a streak of a blue light in the sky. I wasn’t sure what it was so I went after it….. Earlier that day… It was a hot summer day. The bees buzzed, and the light breeze danced with my long brown hair. I found myself walking. I wasn’t sure where I was going or when I would get there, but I didn’t stop. I was lost in the infinite imagination of my mind, wondering how it would be to live in an opposite universe. There I would be able to do anything I wanted, whenever I wanted. Having friends, being myself and being the queen would be mandatory. After a while, I become conscious of where I was. As I slowly opened my eyes I noticed a familiar shape hovering over me, it was my mother. As I got up from the leafy green grass I had been laying in, she grabbed my arm and dragged me home. All the way home she kept asking, “ Why do you do this Hope, why?” Was she wondering about the stains on my clothes, or why I wasn't like other girls? I couldn't tell. I care for my mom very much, but sometimes she just doesn’t let me see the world. As if she didn't trust me enough, or just chose not to. While passing the school I saw a group of girls, sitting on a bench talking and having fun. Considering I don't have many friends, I've never felt what it's like to be included. If only I had something nobody else did, maybe people would see me differently. Instead of the quirky, lonely and shy person that I am.

Livi Lombardi

Later that night... Before going to bed I was looking at the stars above. I was thinking about how their light lasted for so long. Why do they go away during the day? Are they scared about being judged? Sometimes I like to think of myself as a star; different, out of this world, yet hiding away for fear of what could happen. Suddenly I noticed something bright glowing in the distance. It left a pattern of light and dark blue streaks in the sky. I should’ve stayed inside and went to bed, but my curiosity just grew more and more. Without my mother knowing I ran outside to get a closer glance. I knew she would stop me from going after it. I ended up running into the woods and getting lost. While trying to find my way back I heard a crash nearby and slowly began walking toward the sound, hoping it would be what I had come out here for in the first place. What happened next was alluring! There in front of me was a small rocket ship that had dug a huge whole into the ground. Looking around to see if there was anyone or anything there, I had found the courage to approach the strange rocket ship. I could feel chills creeping up through my body for the fear of what it could be. When I got closer, I could make out that there was some sort of lost figure in the smoke of the crash. Once I got close enough, I reached for it and pulled it into the moonlight. It was like a creature that I’ve never seen before. I hoped it would be a mystical gift that could solve all my problems. The unfamiliar creature was brightly colored all over, it would be hard for any eye to miss it. Its spikes glistened and its eyes that looked big and vulnerable. It contrasted from all the other animals that I ever knew. Around its neck was a necklace with a note hanging from it that read, “This is Arue, take care of my child.” At first, I was confused of what that might’ve meant. I looked around the rocket again hoping to find some more clues. I found something odd. On one side of the rocket ship was a sign that said “To Mars, from Janco.” How could I have missed this? I’ve heard about Janco before, it’s where aliens live. Most say it’s not real so I believed it. Now, I know it's not true. Janco was real and so are ALIENS!! I was so happy that I had gotten what I’d been wishing for. Finally, I had something nobody else did. I thought about showing off Arue, that way I could have friends. Real friends. But, it didn't seem fair to use her as a toy. It was midnight and I didn’t want my mother to worry, so I hurried to try and find my way back home. 2 years later.. It’s been 2 years since I found Arue. I ended up discovering everything about her family and how she won’t ever be able to see them again. While her parents stayed on planet Janco, she was sent to land on Mars, but her rocket ship never made the full trip. So, she crashed to the nearest planet which was Earth. I ended up teaching Arue to do many things.

We both learned to communicate, even with the different languages that we speak. I haven’t told anyone about her. I don't want someone to take away my only friend. I'll never let Arue go. Meeting her was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Sometimes it’s crazy to think that all of this happened just because of some lights in the night sky!

I Found It, But It’s Gone Now By Zoe Richardson Grade 8 I found a telescope But I don’t see anything Something fogs my lense I wanted to see beauty I hoped to see stars up above I expected an answer But it’s all blocked I expected an answer I hoped to see stars up above I wanted to see beauty Something fogs my lense I don’t see anything I found a telescope

Just Skip Back Home By Zoe Richardson Grade 8 Prologue The only place they would ever talk about death is in a hospital. The hospital is the one place the topic of death cannot be escaped due to the sick and dying people. At those times even the light and airy happiness everyday people experience is seeped into the topic of death. They say when you die, you see a white light. It is calm and serene. It isn’t specified if this white light is at the end of a tunnel, at a distance and moving closer or if the white light appears for a short period of time, for just a millisecond. Hospitals are to be avoided with all precaution. But there was one time I had to go into a hospital. One of my relatives had passed away for only one minute on a hospital bed. By the time we came to see her, they revived her with CPR, but she said she saw something in that one minute when she died. She said she saw white, a lot of white, and Angels. She said there must be a heaven if she saw Angels, and she felt she was about to go. I don’t know if what she said was true, when matters get dark most people bring a light up from the shadows to ease the tension. I would like to wish that there is a Utopia waiting for me when I pass away. I’m only 15 so hopefully I won’t have to worry about that for a long time. Even though death is so far away from me, I have this recurring dream. I haven’t had this dream for a while, but I often had this dream when I was sick, though sometimes I did have it on a normal night when I was feeling healthy and well. In the dream, I am in the subway, though this subway is much cleaner than the ones in Manhattan. At the same time this subway was dark, but it was also light. There was no train on the track, but a big black block. The track didn’t keep going like a normal subway track, it came to a end at a concrete wall. People were lined up in front of the block. The line went from the block to the back of the station. These people weren’t random strangers, they were my family. Sometimes in this recurring dream I’d see my friends, but not often. You may ask, what were they in line for? Well, the person at the front of the line would be tied to the block by a rope. Once they were tied to the block, the block would move extraordinarily fast and hit the concrete wall. It is a disturbing picture to imagine, but the thing was when this block hit the wall, it would come back with no evidence of a person ever being tied to it and all the rope was gone. I remember my parents being tied on it and the cycle would repeat. No one was at all scared, in fact everyone felt at peace and relaxed. You could feel it in the air.

At one point I remember someone telling me that it was my turn. Even I felt at peace and relaxed. Once I was tied to the block, all I could see was my body thrashed forward and blackness rushing towards me. I felt no fear. I felt ready and relaxed. The minute I would hit the wall, I wouldn’t feel pain or even see the wall coming. I would wake up. When I wake I felt almost like I was still in the dream. Just as blackness was rushing towards me, I would see my lamp getting closer and closer, then bouncing back to its original position, then once again moving closer and closer to me. At some point the dream would end even in real life. Even now, and when I woke up, I still feel relaxed and at peace. I’m not disturbed, though you may be. Is this what I’m to see when I die? Does this represent me accepting the fact one day I and everyone else will die? I am still unsure. Though I am the kind of person that needs answers to almost everything that happens. I feel uneasy not knowing what my dream means. I feel uneasy not knowing what I will see when I die, or what I will feel. The thing that is the hardest to accept is blackness. If when you die, there is absolutely nothing more to do. Your body is shut-off, and you can’t consciously think anymore. Then I wonder, what about dying? Not the outcome itself, death, but the process. Dying. Is it flashes of white? Flashes of blackness? Or pure acceptance? Well, we still don’t know, because we ourselves have never experienced our own death. Mia Gangemi

The Boy with the Sword By Sebastiano De Felice Grade 7 Every child treasures something whether it is a toy or a stuffed animal or a person it could be anything, for Tim it was a sword, but this is no ordinary sword. Tim lived in ancient Rome twas the year 410 AD his mother owned a bakery, and his father fought in the army, he was the general of the first army. They never lost a battle; everyone who challenged the general feared his sword. Some say that gods made it and only the family of the general could yield the sword. Even the smallest strike could cut through anything and kill anyone or anything that comes across it. After a long battle with an enemy kingdom that tried to steal from their empire the general encountered a young enemy, the enemy murdered the generals best friend, so the general had the enemy killed, little did the general know the enemy was the Prince of the enemy kingdom. The father was the King, and when the news came home, that his son was killed the King was mourning and furious he wanted to seek revenge. After the celebration of the victory the general was tired, he went to his bed and fell asleep. The enemy King sent a highly trained soldier under disguise to sneak into the Kingdom and kill the general. There was a scream, and the general was found stabbed while in bed still alive but soon to die, his last words were to his son, “Take my place as general, and the sword shall show you the path to victory.� The sword soon was given to Tim, everywhere Tim went he would bring the sword with him. When he would, the sword would be beside him. At the age of fourteen, Tim joined the army and was trained for four years. He was put in command under the same military that his dad once commanded. He uses the same sword his father used. As promised from his father the sword has only brought Tim victory. The sword is Tim's treasure.

Zoe Richardson

Do Not Eat White Meat Chicken By Anonymous Rainbows have colors All children have biological mothers And sometimes they have fathers And sometimes they have patterns On their shirts Because shirts are cool I swim in a pool But only in the summer Cause the winters are cold and that's a bummer Bands have some drummers LIke drum sticks Of a chicken But white meats make me feel sickened Curse words are changed to frickin ANd life‌. HAs leprechauns

Zoe Richardson

Zoe Richardson

HUMANITY By Kai Basseches Grade 6 Humanity was no longer safe. With gorillas in control, the world smelled of rotten bamboo shoots and more gorilla delicacies. New York City had fallen to ruins, and the few structures still erect were inhabited by the more dominant gorillas. The broken humans still remaining survived in the crevices ; the abandoned vans, the swampy bogs, the run-down shacks, the rainforests of South America, the deserts of Africa. Gorillas were ruthless. If humans were found by a group or an individual, so the stories told, they would be killed, torn to pieces. No one could bring the human race back up to par. It all started when a German scientist messed up a crucial experiment. The year was 2056, and Germany lead the world in science and biological engineering. They had created rats that walked on two legs incessantly and kangaroos that walked one foot in front of the other. A scientist named Niko Schreiber had been trying to create an intelligent gorilla that could reproduce frequently. At that time gorillas were becoming extinct. If successful, his experiment would have been one of the most important steps in engineering human intelligence. But the experiment failed. In Schreiber’s damp and musty laboratory, it was easy to get uncomfortable, especially in the confined cage the gorilla was kept in. The gorilla was getting uneasy (after all sitting in a cage all day with nothing to do is not fun) until it couldn’t take it anymore. It tore up all of the equipment, and destroyed the place, and it escaped into the African wilderness. Luckily, a tracker had been installed in the gorilla’s left arm, but after a few days, the signal disappeared, and any sign of the gorilla was terminated forever. Nothing happened for a while, until 20 years later, when the growing gorilla population could not contain itself anymore in its shrinking habitat. So they were forced to attack humans as we did to them. Instead of us destroying their habitat, they were forced to destroy ours. With every coming decade, the gorilla population grew larger, and the humans were forced to slip away into hiding. Soon enough, Southern Africa was taken over. The whole of Africa. The Americas. Gorillas had found their way to Eastern continents, too, like Australia. Even Parts of Asia and Europe. But in spite of the technology, humans were losing this battle. 74 years later in 2150, gorillas had taken over the entire planet. Vast sites of gorillas attacking in large groups had appeared everywhere, and the gruesome and even fatal events were often enough to force people to run away to the few safe and secure places.

Temperate forests were mostly the hotspots for escape. Stuck in hiding, though, humans had nothing they could do. Of course, there were brave people who stood up to the giant apes, but it was no use. That is, until two teenagers, deep in a forest in Africa found something that would save our species. Gina and Felix were out on a walk admiring the view of the water until they saw something hiding in the trees. It wasn’t just the usual fallen mopane or sausage tree, it was something… human. Gina saw it first: “Hey, Felix, you see something over there in the trees? I think we should check it out.” The forest was a luscious green, with hints of orange and yellow welcoming the coming fall. The sky was closer to gray than blue, and the forest cast a dull glow on the darkening sky. “For the last time, Gina, it’s just a tree.” Despite their color, the trees’ leaves had a sad attitude, like the ground, a dismal color of grey and brown. The air had a desperate taste. “But really. I think it really is something this time. Come on. Can we just take a look?” Felix, feeling a bit nervous just wanted to head home but Gina persisted. “It’s over there. Look where I’m pointing!” At this Gina grabbed Felix’s shoulder and pointed towards the man-made object “You won’t regret it!” When Felix finally turned his head to look, he instantly forgot the urge he felt to run back home. Instead he just stared. Gina and Felix, suddenly realized what they were looking at. They excitedly ran over to the man-made object as if they were 7 year old kids racing toward a Mr. Softee ice cream truck. It was a Molecular Teleportation Device, an MTD, a microwave sized machine that is connected to a twin teleporter that can transport small objects like books, computers, and jars. It was very useful for many reasons, back before the apocalypse. This MTD caught Gina and Felix by surprise. They had heard stories about MTD’s. What would one be doing laying around in the woods? “Let’s see if it still works,” Gina said once she fell out of her trance. So they began to examine the piece of equipment. MTDs needed to be charged, and according to their examination it was not. In fact Gina didn’t think it worked at all. But then Felix overturned the MTD, and he found the reason of its dormance: “It’s just powered off, see?” He flipped the switch and the neon green light in the corner slowly faded on. The illustration of the battery indicator showed that the MTD was 50% charged.

Gillian Tanner

Gina and Felix both put 2 dried up leaves from the ground into the machine, and pressed the button that activated the teleportation. BEEEP The leaves disappeared before their eyes! The MTD worked! “Wait ‘till we bring this home! Gram and Lana will love it!” Gina exclaimed. BEEEP A few minutes later Gina and Felix looked down to see the 2 leaves in the MTD as if they had never disappeared. They were sent back! “There must be someone at the other end?” Felix brushed the leaves out and placed a pinecone into the machine. BEEEP They waited for an answer. Millions of thoughts were running through their heads. Felix, although scared, was very intrigued, and felt it was their duty to keep investigating. BEEEP The pinecone came back the same as before. “Who could be at the other end?”, Gina asked “I don’t know, maybe it’s a gorilla?” said Felix. “Maybe. Felix, do you think it’s dangerous?” Could it be a human?” “Gina, will you stop asking me questions that I don’t know the answers to!” But before Gina could think of anything else, she noticed something she hadn’t noticed before. Something right behind Felix, creeping up on him. So she told him as quietly as she could to turn around very slowly. When Felix turned around, he saw what he would least want to see in the world; a 6 foot tall, jet black gorilla staring right down at him who looked particularly old. Felix stood up and backed away slowly. The gorilla continued to stare. Soon Gina and Felix were 50 feet away from the gorilla, and the gorilla kept staring down at him. 60 feet, 75, 90. The gorilla was relentless. Then it began walking toward them. Closer and closer. 60 feet, 45 feet. The gorilla was gaining distance, and fast. The gorilla was launching itself forward so fast, it would’ve been almost impossible to see if it was running past them. Except it was racing straight towards them. Gina and Felix had once heard a story that a gorilla had chased someone down until they fell over with exhaustion. Then the gorilla took time to smash the bones down to grinds and ate the poor character in one gulp, then tramped away as if nothing had happened. Felix nor Gina had time to think, only to scream to the other “RUN!” Felix took Gina by the sleeve and started running away from the gorilla.

45 feet turned into 30 feet, then 20, and Gina and Felix felt their lives slipping away from them, one sweaty step at a time. KU-THUMP Felix had tripped on a root, and had brought poor Gina down with him, who could not run as fast as Felix and was getting dragged behind. Abaft was their pursuer, who had now reached them. To Gina and Felix, it was to their bewilderment that the “menace” was not tearing them limb from limb, but was sniffing them as if they were a strange new foreign delicacy. Meanwhile, Felix and Gina were both as still as a rock; Gina was about to faint from pure fear, and Felix didn’t know what to think. But before Gina had a chance to faint, the gorilla stared right into her eyes. Gina could see the fear in the gorilla’s eyes. The black beyond stretched for miles, but she couldn’t help thinking why? Why was it staring into her eyes like a baby and why wasn’t it being the savage beast in the stories of the terror of innocent humans beings being shredded like paper? As for Felix? When he looked into the gorilla’s poor eyes, he didn’t see as much depth, because, of course, he was more off to the side (the gorilla was staring at Gina head on); but he certainly got the message: this gorilla wasn’t the terrible beast he thought. Felix and Gina weren’t alone on their way to home. In front of them were their thoughts of the remarkable encountering, behind them the encountering itself, the human’s mortal enemy. When they arrived at their makeshift home, which was much like a log cabin, they looked back at the gorilla and exchanged glances. What do we do with it? What would Gram and Lana think? Would they panic as they did? Faint? Their question would be answered soon enough. Lana bursted through the door, Gram close behind. “I was just wondering if you’d ever get home” 一 at this time Lana saw the big bulky creature of her nightmares in their front yard 一 “GORILLA! AAAAAH!” Gram had the same reaction, and they both ran back inside the house terrified out of their shoes. In fact, Lana’s shoe did come off, and fly in to the air, positioned so that the gorilla was tempted to jump up and catch the shoe in his mouth. He sat there like a dog, then he ambled to the front door and lightly placed the shoe down. Felix and Gina and the gorilla sat there for two minutes waiting for a response. When none came, Gina strode confidently to the door and opened it. “Hello? Anybody home? He’s not gonna hurt you.” Then she said to herself, “But we do need to figure out the deal.” Then Felix went to the door and opened it just like Gina, but unlike her, he went inside. When he came back out, he was holding a memory identification kit. He held the two wires to the gorilla’s head, and waited. The gorilla could only be thinking, What is this and Is it food?

After a minute, the chartreuse screen showed this analysis: Memories include but are not limited to: Separation from kin Habitat loss Remorse Death Sadness Hunger Hangryness Fear The last word stung Felix and Gina’s hearts like a hornet. They realised that it was not the gorillas’ nature to attack, it was their obligation. With humans destroying more and more of their habitats and the growing population, it was their only choice, for the benefit of their species. It was at that moment that Felix and Gina decided it wasn’t the gorillas who were meneces; it was us. Felix and Gina went on to save the human race from devastation. They taught us to overcome and adapt, like the gorillas did. They told the world it was our fault that our humanity failed us. Humans did not have the technology anymore to go to space, so they learned to deal with what they had. Livi Lombardi

The Hurl of a Thunderbolt By Zoe Richardson Grade 8 Thunderbolts are constantly thrown at me They come down from the sky And They wish to strike me down One time, I got hit I felt fine, then I felt a pang of pain My body burned in flames Since then I have been ducking all the thunderbolts I have been hit before I do not plan to get hit once more A thunderbolt almost hit me today One more hit and it will be doomsday The close call is already a crash and burn I must run away as they all laugh Hide in the bathroom stall and let my tears go Panic and let my fears go No one sees my side So how could they know? Even as blue ribbons stream down my face They ask, Did you see her fall? Did you see me fall? Do you wish to see it again? No matter the expense? Share it to all the Gods whom laugh at me? Watch your mere mortal dance humiliated to cry Continue to hurl the thunderbolts my way anyway It is already justified as a mistake Is it a mistake to punch me and throw me to the ground? But It is a mistake to knock me down Only with the hurl of a thunderbolt.

Experiment 00 By Emily Squires Grade 8 Mind racing, heart pounding in her chest, the girl ran to keep up with her friends. Six teenagers, all around the age of thirteen, ran as fast as they could down the burning hot sand toward the cool release of the ocean waves. The tall boy with curly brown hair made it first, the girl with the long black hair right behind him. The shortest boy stopped at the edge of the water, hesitating, until the blonde haired girl dove under a wave. He ran into the water at the same time as the blonde haired boy, who smirked before diving under the cool water. The girl dove in last, not running fast enough to beat the others. The blonde boy smiled and waited for her. They swam to catch up with the others, wading their way deeper into the water. The boy with the brown hair recklessly dove under waves, trying to impress the others, but not succeeding. The girl with the black hair laughed and told him that the lifeguards would think he was drowning if he kept diving that way. “The lifeguards know me Skye, they won’t think I’m dead. Carter and I came here everyday last summer, right Carter?” He glanced at the blonde boy. “Sure, but honestly James, you're not impressing anyone,” Carter replied, laughing as he dove under the water and tumbled back to the surface. “See, even I can do that.” Everyone but James, who frowned at Carter’s clever remark, laughed until the next wave came for them to dive under. It went on like this until the water was ice cold and the teens were forced out by the setting sun. The girl stepped out last, her brown hair curled by the salt, and lightened by the sun. The black haired girl turned around to wait for her. They walked up the now much cooler sand, and waved goodbye to the others. It had been a spectacular day, one of my best. It was also my last. I woke up in the white room, out of breath. The white walls, the deadly silence, the racing heart. The same as everyday. The same dream. The same names. The same memory. Repeating for three years. I couldn’t breathe. The pink hospital gown that was as uncomfortable as wearing paper scratched at my thigh, and I struggled against the ties around my wrists too fix it. I tried screaming. That got them to come last time. No sound. Not even a whisper came from my dry, cracked lips. Three years. Three years of a prison made only for the suffering of my mind. The only people who came to see me were the stern men who came to feed me, the lady who would cuff me and drag me to the washing room, and Dr. Nox. hadn’t seen my family in years. The doctor told me they wouldn’t come, that I had no family. I believed him, for if I had a family they would have come by now. If I had a family they wouldn’t have subjected me to this torture.

Kai Basseches

I asked about my past quite often, though I never got any answers. The doctor would give his smirk, which was full of malice and inhumanity, and tell me that the past was not important, for this was my life now. I never told anyone that there were still things that I remembered, still pieces of a past long forgotten by my broken mind. I could remember that last day of my thirteenth summer, how the sun shone down on six lively kids as they swam in the cool summer waves. I remember the face of a blonde haired boy with the blue eyes who smiled and laughed with me, a black haired girl who would talk to me as we wandered around the warm sand that stuck to our feet and legs. I remembered a brown haired boy who would recklessly dive under waves to make the girl with black hair smile, a short boy who feared the cold water, a funny girl with blonde hair. I could remember their names too. Carter, Skye, James, Oliver, Hannah, yet I couldn’t remember my own. Not my real one anyway. However, I knew the name they had given me here by heart. Experiment 00, The Failed Experiment. I knew I was alive only due to the fact that they needed me to fix their theories, to improve their operation. I knew that the longer I made myself useful, the longer I would live. Nevertheless, despite the constant fear of me losing my usefulness, I never dreamed of escaping this horrid place. Escape was risky, possibly fatal, and I had few memories of the outside world. No place to run to, no life outside this laboratory. Yet that day was different, the lab silent. Of course, the lab was always silent, but it was too quiet, and the white clock hanging on the wall read ten thirty two, two minutes too late. The men should have come in with food by now. I waited until the clock read a quarter to eleven. The men were always on time, and when they weren’t, they were punished severely. Something was off, I could sense it in the air around me. I struggled to sit up- though it was less like sitting up and more like exaggerated flopping- and bit off the ties binding my wrists to the hard table for far too long. If they found me, I was dead, but today something was wrong, and I knew that for some reason I had to leave, that today it was worth the risk. I untied the knots at my feet, being as silent as I possibly could. I let my bare feet hang over the edge of the bed, glancing at my wrists; worn and bloody from the ropes. My ankles scarred and swollen, my mind broken, thinking of a thousand foolish plans, searching for one good one. If I stayed in the white room, Dr. Nox or the washing lady would eventually come in and see that I had attempted to escape. That was not an option, there was too great a risk of this resulting in torture. It could be fatal. The next option my mind developed was just as foolish, which was simply exiting the door. There were far too many flaws in this plan. The first of which being that there was a camera right above the door monitoring who entered and exited the room. Secondly, there was no guarantee that the door would not be blocked by armed guards, or that Nox and his team wouldn’t see me exiting the room. Even if these things were guaranteed, where would I go? I had no clue how to exit the lab, nor where the lab was in the first place. I closed my eyes, praying for another solution. How could I escape?

If the camera wasn’t there, if I could only know for sure that no one was waiting to kill me on the other side of the door... the heavy metal door that I could never open in the first place. Sure I’d been given strength by the experiment, howbeit I had never learned how to use it, I haven't even taken a step from the white room in three years. It was all so frustrating. All I wanted to do was leave, to be normal, to see the outside of this white room that held me hostage since the age of thirteen. A thousand plans, a thousand things that could go wrong. Every option risked torture and pain. I needed to see my opponent’s position more clearly, I needed to know what was behind that door, that darn door! I glared at the door with such animosity and resentment, wishing I had some way to open it without the doctor seeing me. Anger seemed to pour from within me, I would get caught no matter what. The door was my best option, my hardest obstacle. Suddenly a thousand shards of metal flew from the rooms exit. I stumbled to my feet, staring at the shattered door in utter shock, confused by my own abilities.I was frozen in utter shock until I heard a familiar voice shouting, and a thousand heavy footsteps pounding the floor leading to my room. I hesitated, wondering what they had done to me, if I caused the door to shatter open. The footsteps grew closer though, and I realized it was run or die. I chose to run. As I exited the room, there were two hallways, both filled with men in black, both hallways filled with dozens of guns, that were pointed at my chest. Before me stood Dr. Nox. “Experiment 00,” he exclaimed, “how lovely to see you here. I was just about to come to your room to discuss your use to us and this experiment. You see, we seem to have gathered every piece of DNA and information necessary to finding the flaws in our procedure, and I am quite disappointed to tell you that you are no longer useful to us here. However it seems that your strength and your unforseen knowledge of the experiment will prohibit us from letting you leave.” Dozens of armed men behind him, a sixteen year old girl facing her death in front of him, and through his entire extravagant speech, his voice remained cool and monotone, nonchalant even. “So as you can see,” he continued, “I have gathered my men here, and I will give you a choice. The easy way, or the...” I looked him right in his ice cold eyes. For a fracture of a moment, fear flickered behind my eyes, until I realized something that the foolish doctor hadn’t. Had he forgotten that his mess was not a complete failure? “Hard way” I growled, my voice heavy with loathing, and flipped him off before running right into the longer of the two hallways. The bullets bounced off my skin. A few stuck, but they were painless, my hands softening their blow. I held my hands out like a shield, and with the same power that shattered the door, I rejected the bullets from hitting my skin. Sure, the doctor’s experiment had been a failure, but it left me different, changed. Of course I was not bulletproof, I was no superman, but I was stronger, I was different. My bare feet hit the ice cold floor, dozens of boots hitting the ground behind me. I had no clue where I was going, I just kept turning down the less crowded hallways. A young woman who looked around the age of twenty stopped to stare, bewildered,

as a young sixteen year old girl in a pink paper gown ran down the hallway next to her, followed by a swarm of men in black uniforms with heavy rifles. The look on her face was so innocent, so surprised, and I wondered if she even knew what was going on behind the locked doors at the laboratory. Most likely not. I kept running. I burst out of the laboratory, assasins not far behind me, before realizing where I was. The mountain top looked down on a city, a city I had never seen before. Once again, my mind searched for a way to escape. I had no clue what kinds of abilities the experiment gave me, nor what kind of flaws it provided me with. There was no guarantee that I would survive if I jumped off of the cliff. There was no end to the possible ways I would be tortured if I turned back. The cliff was steep, an impossible climb, and I knew that they would kill me before I reached the bottom of the mountain. The footsteps were gaining ground, and I knew that I was running out of time. So I did the one thing any desperate sixteen year old experiment would do, I jumped. I hit literal rock bottom. I was alive, which was more than I could have hoped for, but the limits of my abilities prevented a smooth fall. I had hit the ground hard, and I struggled to regain my balance. My powers had slowed my fall, but did not soften the landing. In the more metaphoric terms of “hitting rock bottom,” I had no clue what my name was, where I was, or where I was going. The only thing I knew about my life were five names, five faces, and a memory of the ocean engraved in my mind. The one memory I had kept, the one that was not erased from my mind by the experiment. But I also knew that there were a million Carters, a million Skyes, and that I didn’t know where mine were. God, I didn’t even know if they were real! I mean, the doctors could have easily implanted that memory into my mind! The men looked down on me from the cliff high above, bewildered looks on their faces. I had no clue how long it would take for them to find me, and my only plan was to find out more about what little I remembered. I had very little confidence that I would be able to find out anything about my old life, yet it was my only hope, so I pushed myself up and began to trudge towards the city, whatever city it was. Occasionally in my sleep I would get flashbacks. Another name, another town, but I never remembered them, just that I would wake up, struggling to breathe, startled by something from a past life, a memory from when I was not locked up alone in a white room. That night I remembered one. Skye Hunter, 83 Blue Lane. I could remember a long road leading to the house I would go to almost every weekend, the last name of my best friend. I figured that was a start, that perhaps I could find the full address in a phone book somewhere, though I doubted this city was near my home town. As neared the outskirts of the city, I began to see people, cafes, possible places for me to find answers. I needed the internet. I had no clue what day of what month I was living in, or what city this was. I decided that I would have to keep walking, and hope that somewhere I would find answers. I wandered until I found a stand full of shirts that said “I heart NY” and “The Big Apple.” “So New York City,” I whispered to myself.

Emily Squires There was no one running the stand, and I was barefoot and cold, so I quickly took a bag from behind the counter, shoving a shirt, sweatpants, and a pair of slides into the bag. I had no money, and the pink hospital gown would stand out too much in the crowd. There were already startled glances pointing my way. I hated stealing, but this was my only hope. I found a place to change and continued walking. The city was crowded and unfamiliar. I closed my eyes. I was tired, lost, and had been walking since early in the morning. I had no clue where I was going, and I just needed to be able to sit down and think. My eyes shot open just before I could run into a tall man with brown eyes. “Hey! Watch it kid,” the man yelled. “Sorry,” I mumbled in return. I kept moving. The sun was high in the sky when I began to slow my pace in front of a large library. I thought to myself that perhaps the library would have computers, or at least a place to rest before continuing on. I trudged up the tall steps and into the dim library. It was quiet, and a wall of computers and chairs proved my theory correct. As I entered the room, a old women behind the big desk at the front of the room startled me. “May I help you miss?” She asked. “Oh, Hello,” I responded. “Actually, yes, may I use one of the computers over there?” The women nodded and I made my way over to the row of chairs and computers. I noticed that the bottom of the screen read May 31, 2019. I was surprised to see the date so late. The numbers were strange to me. I hadn’t known the day in so long,

I was shocked to see how much time had passed. I sat down in one of the empty chairs, signed into the computer in front of me as a guest and began searching names. I entered Skye Hunter, 83 Blue Lane in about ten different combinations before finding a town name. Madison Connecticut, which was almost one hundred miles from the city. I groaned. How on Earth was I supposed to get one hundred miles away without any money. I had no clue if Madison was even my hometown! Once again my mind dug for answers, for possible plans to escape the city. I couldn’t take the bus, it was too out in the open, and I had no clue if the doctor had his team looking for me. I closed my eyes. The library was warm and quiet, perfect for thinking, yet my mind came up empty. “Dammit,” I muttered. I knew I had to keep moving, but I had no clue where to go, how to get to Madison. I was tired and had far too little energy to fight off one of Nox’s teams. “Excuse me miss,” a quiet voice said from behind me. “Are you almost done with that computer?” I hadn’t realized that the seats around me had all been filled by students working, people researching things that I couldn’t dream of. “Uh, yeah sure, sorry,” I muttered as I shuffled out of the chair. The quiet boy thanked me before sitting down and typing. “Madison Connecticut huh?” I turned around. “What?” “You forgot to close your tabs,” he said. “I saw you were looking up how to get to Madison Connecticut. It’s a nice town, my brother lives there. Are you thinking of moving there?” “Oh, no,” I replied. “Well, yeah, actually. I grew up there, and I was hoping to maybe go back soon. Do you know how to get there?” “Well, I usually take the train, or I’ll drive sometimes.” He replied, confused. “Do you have a car?” “No,” I replied quietly. “The bus is probably the cheapest option then, next to an Uber, though the bus is probably safer.” The boy smiled. “Thank you,” I replied. “Oh, and what’s your name again?” He replied with a smile, “Thomas Hunter.” The bus was too risky, I decided. I had no clue what an “Uber” was, and that left me with one option: I was going to have to hitchhike. I waited on the side of the road, unaware of what a mess I appeared to be to the public eye, until I saw a white van pull to the side of the road up ahead. The man who got out did not see me as he trudged to the back of the van. He opened the back door that was labeled “Madison Plumbing Co.” and pulled out a tire. He walked back to the front, leaving the back door open, and got to work replacing his deflated tire. This was the best chance I would get, so I began to crawl quietly toward the van. When I reached the van, I quietly slid behind a large box of tools that the man had stored in the back. Once I felt that I was no longer visible, I waited for the man to return. After ten minutes, the man reappeared carrying the old tire. He heaved it into the van, shut the door, and trudged back to his position in the driver's seat without a For the first time in three years, I smiled. I let my heavy lids fall into place over my tired eyes, and I slept peacefully to the quiet humming of the van, the sound taking me home. When I woke again the van was slowing down. The world outside had grown brighter, and I figured we had reached our destination; I was home. I hastily crawled to the doors at the back

of the van. If I didn’t get out soon, the man would see me, and I had no clue how to explain my current situation. I opened the doors to the bright light of the sun shining on a small plumbing store. The air was cool, and I could smell salt water. The van was parked in a small driveway, and I quickly jumped out before quietly shutting the van doors and walking out into the street. I turned around. I realized that I had no clue of my exact location, nor how I would get to Blue Lane. “Excuse me sir,” I choked out. The man who had been driving the van turned around. He was old, around his mid sixties I assumed, and looked as though he was exhausted. He glared down at my with irritated annoyance and waited for my question. “Do you know where Blue Lane is?” The man seemed to be puzzled by my question, but didn’t seem to notice that I had come from the back of his van. “Why?” He responded in a rough, miffed voice. “Well, my friend lives there, and I’m new here. I need to get to her house, and uh,” I struggled to come up with a realistic back story. I couldn’t simply tell the man that I had escaped a laboratory, walked to New York City, hitched a ride in the back of his van, and now needed to get to the house of some girl that might not even exist. “My mom dropped me off, she thought this was the right road I guess, and now I’m lost.” God I’m terrible at lying. I tried to smile. The man scoffed and told me that I was on Main Street, and that Blue Lane was a few streets over. He gave me directions, and Ariel Ayala

turned back to his work. “Thank you sir,” I called, but the man simply nodded and continued his work. I hastily walked in the direction he had pointed me toward until I saw a street sign labeled “Blue Lane.” It was a rural area, and by the time I reached the house, my legs were tired, my stomach full of a thousand tiny little butterflies flapping their wings frantically as my mind searched for words. I walked slowly up the driveway labeled 83, and hesitated before knocking on the large wooden door. A young girl with long black hair opened the door. Her face looked tired, and though she had a smile on her face, it didn’t reach her eyes. “Hello,” she whispered in a voice that sounded solemn, like she had been waiting for years for something to crawl out of the oblivion and knock on her door, and like she had finally realized that that something would never come. My mouth wouldn’t move. I didn’t know what to say, there was the girl from my memories, standing in front of me. I suddenly realized that I must look completely different. I was filthy, and my hair was grey from the experiment. However still her brown eyes flickered with recognition. When I later asked Skye how she knew who the filthy girl at her door was, she said there was something in my pained blue eyes that hadn’t changed. Her mouth hung open, and she shook her head slightly, as though she couldn’t believe what she was seeing was real. I could see the moment her eyes gained emotion, the moment she realized what she was seeing was no hallucination. I watched as a tear ran down her face, and before I knew it, she had me in a tight embrace. She was crying. I never thought that people would notice I was gone, that they would care this much about my return. Skye demanded that I come inside and tell her where I had been, what had happened to me. She handed me a towel and told me that I should clean up, and that she would tell everyone that I was here. I headed to the bathroom and Skye began to dial numbers on her phone. I looked into the mirror. The girl staring back was not the girl I remembered. Her face was caked with dirt. Her hair was messy and long, and more notably grey. I realized that I was wearing the clothing from the stand in New York City still, and I felt a wave of guilt wash over me. My feet were cut and dirty, and my wrists scarred. I had deep circles under my eyes and cracked lips. I was no longer the thirteen year old who wore a smile with every outfit, who had light brown hair and a summer tan. Who had a name, a life, friends. She was lost. I didn’t know what I was. I undressed and entered the warm shower. It was the first time in years that I entered a shower without being dragged by tied wrists to a freezing cold water. I closed my eyes and let the warm water wash away the dirt from my skin. When I got out of the shower, I found a set of clean clothing into which I changed before reentering the room where Skye was sitting. Skye was waiting for me with two men who looked at me with stern eyes. “Daisy,” the taller man said. “My name is Officer Davis, and my partner Officer George and I are here to ask you a few questions about the situation you have been in for the past three years.” I was confused by the statement. I hadn’t heard the name that they had spoken before, though it sounded familiar, as though from a past life. I wondered if Daisy had been my name previous to my disappearance. “Daisy,” Skye said, and I assumed it was.

“The police just have to ask you a few things, they want to understand what happened to you. Your uh, your parents moved away a few years ago, and my mom is trying her best to get in touch with them so she can tell them that you are here. Uh, Carter and James wanted to see you too, but I said you needed a little bit of time, and the police had to ask you a few questions first.” “My-my uh parents?” I stuttered. I was told that I had no family, no one who cared. Even if I did have a family, why had they subjected me to the torture of the laboratory? My fragile mind was taking in far too much all at once, and I couldn’t process it all. Skye whispered something to the police about me coming in confused and dirty, and that she had no clue what happened to me after the hospital. “Daisy, uh, can you explain what happened, where you’ve been?” Officer Davis asked. “The day you went missing from the hospital, the whole town was searching for you, everyone thought you were dead. Can you tell us what happened?” Skye stood quietly next to the men. She seemed stressed, like the girl in front of her was not the Daisy she remembered, not the girl she had been waiting for at the door. Which was the truth. When you’ve crawled through the fire and survived you come out a different person. I sat down on Skye’s soft grey couch. Everyone was watching me, their eyes cutting like lasers into my soul. I didn’t know what to say, people who I barely knew were waiting to here the story of a girl who no longer lived within me. “I don’t remember.” I started cautiously, trying my best to think of everything that I could recall from the past three years. “I don’t remember anything from my past. I remember you Skye, and Carter, James, Oliver, Hannah. I remember bits and pieces of my past, though it isn’t much. Occasionally I’ll remember another name, that’s it though. To be honest I didn’t even know my name was uh, Daisy you said? The past three years I’ve gone by the name the doctors gave me, Experiment 00. I can’t tell you where I went, I don’t remember being in a hospital. I remember one day at the ocean when I was younger, a few names and faces, and the white room that followed. I remember the experiments they did to me, but not my family. I can only tell you that I have been in a laboratory somewhere on the outskirts of New York City for the past three years, that they gave me abilities that I only know the beginnings of there. I know that my memories were erased, that I escaped from the lab three days ago, and hitchhiked here. That’s all I know. I-I...I’m so sorry.” The shorter officer was taking frantic notes, the taller one watching me with puzzled yet intrigued eyes. Skye was frozen in shock, and I sat there feeling confused and tired. We stayed there for sometime like that, it was perhaps worse than the silence at the laboratory. Seeing people who knew the girl I used to be, not the girl I am, trying to catch a glimpse of the girl they remembered, coming up short. When the silence was finally broken, the officers decided to let me rest. They whispered something to Skye and her mother before exiting the house. My exhaustion grew as Skye asked me more questions. These questions were then asked multitudinous more times by the police at the station I was driven to later that night. The police asked my name, my birthday, my parents names, and hundreds of other details about my life that I was expected to remember.

Ella Schmidt

Confused glances were exchanged my the men as I repeatedly told them that I had no answers to their questions. The flood of questions and stares began to die down at around midnight, when I was finally driven back to Skye’s house to rest. I woke to the sound of birds chirping and a dim light shining through a low window. I sat up, my heart racing, until I realized where I was; home. Yet the thing was, it didn’t feel like home. Everyone was frightened of me, careful not to scare me. People kept asking questions that I didn’t want to answer. However, today would be different. The day Skye had been planning for me since the day I got home. Today I was meeting Carter, James, Hannah, and Oliver. I would finally get to see the people who led me here in the first place. I got up and showered, the clock reading seven fifteen when I finished getting ready. It was warm outside, the air smelled like salt water, and finally it was the salt water that I would see. Skye drove me to the ocean, where she had told everyone to meet. I could smell the sea as I waited for the people I had waited to meet for so long. A boy with curly brown hair and a smile on his face. I realized he was James, the one who would always try to impress Skye in my memory. I smiled. “Hi Daisy,” he said before bombarding me with questions and hugs. He eventually seemed satisfied with his results and leaned back to rest an arm around Skye’s shoulders. She smiled. The next to arrive was a girl with long blonde hair and blue eyes. I recognized her immediately as Hannah, though she was missing the smile I remembered. She saw me and seemed to do a double take, and covered her mouth before whispering, “Daisy?” She ran up to me and hugged me. “How,” was all she could manage to say before a short boy with olive skin reluctantly arrived. He glared at the blonde girl, and at that moment I realized how much things change when you are dead for three years. “Hi Daisy,”he mumbled before once more glancing solemnly at the blonde girl. “Hi Oliver,” I replied. He stood awkwardly to the side, like he didn’t want to be there. James and Hannah kept talking to me about life while I was gone, about where I had been, asking about what had happened to me. The small talk persisted until another car pulled up. A tall boy with long blonde hair pushed open the door of a black truck. He looked shy and confused, not the boy I recalled. Tears were running out of his ocean blue eyes. He was missing the smirk that I remembered, and there were dark circles under his eyes. “Hey Daisy,” he whispered. Carter looked as though he hadn’t slept in years. He was a tragic disaster, accompanied by tears pouring down his pale face. There was something about him that I remembered, pieces missing to the puzzle that was my disheveled mind, and at that moment I ran into his arms. He was crying more than anyone else had, and I was diving as deep as I could to find memories lost in a beautifully tragic mind that had been taken from me. There was something about him that I couldn’t quite remember. He pulled away and I smiled, for the first time in a long time, I felt a real, wide smile spread across my face. I knew that things had changed, I could feel tension in the air around me, but I had finally made it to my destination. I had escaped the torturous laboratory, I had made it. I left the burning fire a new person,

Sonia Koncelik

stronger, more resilient. From behind us I heard an engine though, and I turned around. A man with grey hair and an evil smirk stepped from the car. The face all to familiar, the perfection around me crumbling to dust. It was all to perfect, an ending too sweet. I watched as my utopia crashed around me. The portal sucked me back into the white room, back to my painful reality. A loud crash came from beside me, and I watched Carter tumble into the room behind me as the portal closed. I thought I had finally escaped. I watched as the tall, grey haired doctor entered the room with a sneer. Carter stared at me in utter shock. You can run as far as you like, but I guess the fire will always catch you at some point.

Blue Ocean


By Milla Campomar Grade 6

By Poppy Basseches Grade 6

I see beautiful leaves and trees as I soar through them The sun is going, but I chase It to stay warm My feathers as many different Colors as the sky and sea I warn my friends when there Is danger They call me Blue Ocean

Eggs are here, Eggs are there, and Eggs are almost everywhere. But eggs are never in the Sky. They don’t ever Jump that high.

Steven Ponzini

Steven Ponzini

Milla Campomar

Number 13 on the Third Floor By Greylynn Guyer Grade 8 It all started on a cold, brisk, and raw snowy day in 1899 in Salem, Massachusetts at the Hawthorne Hotel. The Hawthorne is an old, worn down hotel surrounded by dead beat up trees with branches that looked like hands trying to grab you. Everyone used to say that a witch lived there. No one wanted to go anywhere near it and people started to wonder does someone actually live in there. One day when Othello was three, his parents got a letter in the mail which said their great grandfather has passed away, and they will inherit a hotel in Salem, Massachusetts. Othello’s parents, Jane and Randall, had to move from a small town far away, in Rome, Italy. When they moved, and finally got to see the hotel they felt very overwhelmed. Since the hotel was so beat down and creepy, Jane and Randall decided that they would want to live on the Steven Ponzini first floor only, because the were too worried to live on the second or third floor. Ten years later on October 13th, Othello’s 13th birthday, he heard someone’s creepy old voice calling him, but it sounded like it was coming from another floor in the building. Othello and his dog Blanche decided to sneak out from his apartment and travel up two floors up to the 3rd floor. When he got to the third floor he saw a dim glow coming from a door down the hall. He started walking down the hall until he stopped and heard the creepy old voice again saying, “Come in” it was room 13. So he questioned himself “should I, or should I not.” Othello thought for a long 5 minutes until he decided to open the door, but when he tried, the door didn’t open. It was LOCKED! He tried one more time but the handle wouldn’t budge. Othello decided to go back to his apartment, but when he opened the door Blache ran into the room. When Othello got into his apartment he saw his parents sitting on the floral designed couch in disgust wondering why he was coming home past his bedtime and not in his room sound a sleep. Now it was the next day and Othello still wanted to find out if someone lived in that room. So once his parents were off to work, Othello decides to go to the front desk to get some information about room 13. Once he started talking to the receptionist and he wouldn’t stop, Othello was even able to get his name which was Piers, but soon Othello finally brought up that room 13 is locked. The receptionist was staring at him very confused, the receptionist then got a hold of himself. Piers finally said “There is no room 13.” Othello was shocked because he saw with his own two eyes, room 13. Othello brought up that it was locked again, Piers then looked at the key cabinet, the room 13 key slot was there, but there was a room 13 key. So then Piers and Othello started talking for a long time, and Piers was even wondering a lot about room 13 too. When Othello went back to his apartment Blanche barked, until he got his bowl of kibble.

One Wednesday when Piers and Othello met up they went down to the police station, which had old, cracked black and gray pain all over it, on the inside it smelt like hot coffee and doughnuts, also inside the police station it was a whole bunch of crammed offices, and inside it was very hot and stuffy , and that’s where they met Dr Atticus J. Adler. Atticus decided to walk back to the hotel with Othello and Piers, Atticus walked up to the third floor with Othello and Piers. They walked down the hall until they found apartment 12 and apartment 14, close together like they were supposed to be together, but no apartment 13. Othello wanted to scream, but he didn’t. When he started talking he stuttered a lot, but he was finally able to say “I saw apartment 13 the other day!” Piers and Atticus stood in awe. Othello was frustrated so he said goodbye to Atticus and Piers and walked down the hallway with his head drooped down full of anger. Again Blanche started barking, like always. When he got into his apartment he went straight to his room, and plopped down on his bed, soon before he realized he was sound asleep. When his parents arrived home they called and called Othello’s name. Until they realized he was sound asleep on his bed. Now it’s a week later and the only thing Othello has been thinking about was, why there was no room 13. Instead of Ponzini giving up like he thought he was. He met back up with Atticus andSteven Piers. They all went up the stairs to the third floor, when they got to the third floor Atticus was all sweaty and out of breath, it was clear he wasn’t very active. They looked around until they found room 12 room 14, and even room 13. They were all shocked. Atticus told Piers and Othello to keep watch of the door, while Atticus slowly walks down to the police station to find some sort of tool to get the door open. While Atticus was gone Othello and Piers started talking more and more about the door, and soon they completely forgot about room 13, until they turned around to a disappearing number 13 door. Then the door in a puff of smoke disappeared. Othello and Piers sprinted down the stairs, to find Atticus eating a jelly doughnut with a big, steaming cup of hot cocoa, but no tool to open the door. They should of realized he was a lazy person. Now a year has gone by without spotting room 13, but what has been spotted was a whole bunch of angry people leaving in a big rush. Othello wondered why they were in such a hurry, he talked to Piers about it, and he said “people have been leaving because there has been strange things going on up on the third floor.”Othello went straight up to the third floor with Atticus and Piers, and sure enough room 13 was there. Luckily Othello was able to tell Atticus to get a tool to open the door before they would get up to the third floor. When Atticus brought the tool near the door, it started to glow. Atticus brought it even closer, and the door grew brighter and brighter, Atticus still tried to pry open the door, and he did. When they opened the door it creaked a very loud and obnoxious creak. Once they took one step into the room, they started shivering because it was so cold, they then realized that someone had left the window open, when they walked in further an old and creepy voice said go, but they didn’t. They started to think what if someone was able to get

in through the window, without anyone ever knowing until now, and maybe they were also able to take the key without anyone ever knowing. In the room there were thick ugly looking vines covering almost every part of the room. Once they started looking around, they found at least eight dusty old magic books. Othello decides to look at one called The Great Book of 101 Spells. Othello looks at some of the spells, until he finds one that catches his eye, it said it made water disappear and then turn into a giant explosion, but soon after reading a few more spells, Othello heard a screech, which made Piers and Atticus scream like little girls, and it made Othello drop the book. Once the book hit the floor, it caught on fire, and disappeared. Soon after they heard that obnoxious screech they sprinted out of the room, and then slammed the door, which led to a big explosion, and they never saw that door again. The next day Othello woke up with Blanche panting on his lap. He told Blanche to get down, well Blanche wouldn’t get down, so Othello tried to give him a nudge, but Blanche squealed. Othello was confused till Blanche fell off the bed, then Othello realized that he couldn’t walk. He didn’t know why he couldn’t walk he just wouldn’t get up. He then decided to run down to see Atticus. Atticus wasn’t at the police station, like he always was. Othello goes home to see if Ponzini Blanche was any bit better, he wasn’t. So Othello picks him up andSteven puts him on his bed, with a few dog treats, of course. A few hours later Othello’s parents get home to see Othello sound asleep with Blanche cuddled up next to him. They called Blanche to get off his bed, but he wouldn’t. Jane and Randall soon woke up Othello to see why Blanche was on his bed “Well” he said “Blanche can’t walk.” His parents didn’t believe him until Othello showed them. That was then Othello thought, what if I was cursed or Atticus was cursed maybe even my great grandfather was cursed because he has always been healthy, even when he was a kid a never got a cold even the sniffles . Years and years have gone by and Othello was still never able to find anything out about room 13. This all began when someone left the window open. Gimi Lama

An Echo of Time By Zoe Richardson Grade 8 A long time ago, I believe this date was a holiday. Today is December 25th, 2341. I think today was once something called Christmas. There was a religion that was called Christianity. The holiday existed celebrating the birth of Jesus, their god. It was really big and went on for many years. I don’t know the exact dates. We learned about it when I was very little. They stopped enforcing school in 2322. I was 7 years old then. People just kind of gave up on learning and being studious. There are geniuses out there, but they are very rare. I’m smarter than most people, but I’m definitely not a genius. When school shut down, I continued studying. I am really fascinated with History in particular. Our sources can trace back to as far as 1500! There are also theories on other things that may have happened further back in time, but we aren’t quite sure. I assume whoever is reading this is really far into the future. I wrote this with the hope that there would be some survivors left after the world finally burst into flames. I figured if someone were able to read this after the flames, I would be able to tell them of how it was when everything was green and beautiful. I myself have not witnessed it, but it was supposed to be wondrous! Everywhere you went there was at least a little bit of greenery. The water was a beautiful greenish-blue. I feel like it may have looked better than orange. Cities had very few people in them compared to now, and towns were sparsely populated! It was extraordinary! There were many animals of different kinds! There were even some in the ocean! I’m afraid the only animals that we have now in the water are turtles and whales that eat plankton. Most people don’t know this, but the water is orange because there is too much plankton due to the lack of predators. I believe most of the ocean wildlife became extinct in 2115. It had started earlier, but I believe that is when the mass extinction occurred. Am I correct that there aren’t many people left?

I assume the flames left almost no survivors, in fact no one might be reading this right now if there were none. Right now there are about 20 billion people populating the Earth. The population should have been larger, possibly around 26 billion people, but the Ooranée Government started the executions. My mother barely survived them. They stopped the executions in my life time except for crimes, but they organized wars to decrease the population. They were not able to organize mass executions about 200 years ago and any further back in time. The world had many nations, so if there were to be multiple executions, they could only do it within their country. Since the ice in the north and the south mainly melted, the water flooded a lot of land, so now the world only consists of one nation called Oorania. They found it simpler to unite all nations. Fascinating isn’t it? In my studies I discovered that I come from British ancestry. It is extremely fascinating. I am one of the luckiest people in this world. I may live in this dystopia, but my great grandfather was a billionaire. I inherited his fortune and managed to actually obtain even more money. The first trillionaire was a man in the 21st century. It is a rare thing to be a trillionaire, but I managed to be one by investing in booming companies. I also invested in many solutions that would prolong the amount of time until the world burst into flames. I earned a lot of money from that especially. People really want to live. Now the world only has a little bit of food, I assume whoever is reading this in the future has even less food. It’s a shame all that radiation from the earth killed our crops. It still continues to seep out now I’m afraid. I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford the little amounts of food left compared to others. Food just became so rare that the expenses skyrocketed in the food industry. If you don’t at least have one million dollars, you may die of starvation or thirst. I wonder how much water there is now. Many wealthy people donate food to those who can’t afford it, but still many people die. There have been riots against wealthy people who don’t share their food. Before the Ooranée government rose up, there was a president of a country called America and he was very selfish and found ways to take food from the country to feed himself and his administration and his family. Many people stormed into his house, the White House.

Neila Thompson

They killed everyone in the building and then burnt it down. That was actually the fall of America. Britain was alright, but when America fell, they came up with a treaty to unite all the nations, including America. It is said everyone agreed due to the fear of wars and the many natural disasters that were occuring. It would be easier to flee somewhere safer. Use of passports would be easier as well. There are a few theories that those who disagreed with this plan were blackmailed or tortured to be coerced into the plan and to keep quiet. They couldn’t agree what to call the country. Most of the nations just wanted their own country to be named. They all compromised and named the country Oorania. Now everyone in the world belonged to one country. They were the Ooranée. Many scientists have tried to find a way to stop the flames, but global warming is so far advanced that it just can’t be stopped. Sure, there have been many ways to slow it down, but it just can’t be stopped. Sad isn’t it? A real shame. A group of scientists came up to me a few days ago. Since I am known to invest in the best solutions to delay the inferno, they came to me and told me they had a new idea, a last resort. They decided to take the richest, fittest, and smartest of the population and give them a second chance. I’m not so sure what it is yet, but they told me to contact them when I had the chance. They wanted me to be a part of that lucky few. So I signed a contract they gave me. It had so much writing that I just couldn’t bother to read it. I thought I would write this paragraph after I found out what the scientists were up to. Well I have figured it out now. They want us to go back in time and convince everyone to stop polluting the earth and teach them how to do so. They expect to bring us back to the year 1960. I Don’t know how I feel about this. I’d love to see nature in its prime and be able to have some alone time without people constantly around, but I wonder how risky is this? I have a collection of movies made about 200 years ago, pretty neat right? The ones about time travel usually end with a time loop. The same things happen over and over because once you change the future, the future changes back but that happens over and over again. It’s a very strange theory made by a scientist many years ago. I assume the scientists

Gillian Tanner who worked on this project figured out a way to fix that otherwise I’d be stuck in a time loop without knowing it! I may be already. You may be as well. The scientists briefed us on how we will be entering the past. They say they must put us in a tight body suit to protect our bodies from any side effects. They say they are also going to slather us in gel to sterilize our bodies and protect our bodies from any germs that could interfere with our travels. We cannot bring anything with us, which means in this ‘new’ world I will be a poor man. They plan on training us before the journey. I’m actually quite

excited and curious. My first training was today. It was very strange. They had us work on speaking exercises and taught us different greetings used in 1960, such as shaking hands. You grab someone’s hand and shake it. I’ve never done anything like that before, strange. They also briefed us on how people lived which is incredibly different than now. They told us streets would be much larger than they are now, and not to be alarmed if we saw something called a house. They say there are apartments there just like in this time period, but there are other living arrangements and only some people had roommates. It sounds so interesting, I can’t wait to see those arrangements! Today I had to put up a fight. The Scientists took all of us to a room. They said they had to give us a “treatment” before we go back in time. They refused to elaborate on that. They started dragging us into these rooms. I tried to fight back, but five men were against me and I had no chance. They gave me an injection and everything went black. I woke up in a bed feeling blank and lonely. I felt soft and vulnerable in a sense. I still feel so. It is an awful feeling. One of the scientists who did the treatment came in. He said “Hello Sir, the treatment you have undergone has prevented you from having children. We are sorry for your loss, but we hope you will not go against our contract or I fear you will have to be put on a ship as punishment. We can’t risk you going to the old world and making the population larger, we just wish you may change our fate.” Those words are haunting me. I feel so empty… I’ve never felt this way before. I can’t have Children now. There have always been regulations on how many children a person can have in their lifetime, one to be exact. I believe the treatment I have undergone today is normally done after someone has a child. The world can’t risk anyone breaking the rule. I haven’t had a child, yet they gave me the operation. I had always hoped I would find someone to raise a child with, to love and to cherish, but I guess I no longer can. I think I understand why they had to do this. If we found someone in the old world to love, it’s possible we could expand the population early on and there would be even more people than there are now, which is very hard to even think about.

The scientist had informed me that the contract I had signed binds me to this project, and if I no longer proceed I will be put on a ship. We all know what that means, death at sea. It’s how they did the executions. Take the people on board and throw them off. At least we managed to keep up the shark population by giving them free food. This to what is done to those who have committed crimes. If you steal something or do anything worse than that, you will be put on a ship. You are told this from when you are very young. I have never committed a crime before and I don’t plan on doing so by breaking this contract, though I feel as if they have stolen a human right from me. It’s like that all the time these days. There is no point in taking any action. I realize that the world’s fate depends on me. That’s what the scientist said. If I wasn’t selected in the first place, who knows what could happen? Maybe the flames would come in a few days for all I know! There have already been many wildfires, it’s almost time for the whole world to become a wildfire. Now I realize, that maybe I’m the one to stop it. Of course this burden rests on a few others, but I am one of them. A few other members of the project did not arrive for training the other day. I looked in the public listings of people brought on to ships and there it was, Mr. Weller, Mr. Trapshire and Ms. Reatzer. Three members of the project who refused to continue. There are only ten of us left. You may think I’m a coward for not standing up for myself, but I will do what I can to survive, and I just hope that I may do whatever I can to help our race stay alive. That’s what it’s come to. We’ve gathered even more information on our travels. If successful, this run back to the past will buy more time so that scientists can perfect time travel. They told us 1960 was the furthest back in time that they could possibly go. They hope that we can convince the people of that time to conserve their energy while they can and slow down the worlds demise. If we do that, the scientists may have enough time to perfect the time machine to go even further back in time so they may send another group that will put a stop the world’s demise, not slow it down. Put it to a complete stop. I can’t help but smile, something I don’t do so often. It’s a wonderful word, smile. Maybe whoever is reading this in the future should smile. Take the edges of your lips and move them

up your face. I don’t care if you are miserable, just do it. I think you will find it an enlightening sense no matter your mood. It’s glorious. Today’s the day, January 1st, 2342. We are going back. I can’t bring anything with me, not even this document. I really do hope this is found. I believe it may have been illegal to reveal this plot. In my contract I was sworn to secrecy not to reveal anything about the scientists and their research and their proceedings of such research, but I feel it’s a human right to share this with the public of the future. Who knows, if this works then maybe I’ll be revealing how the future public was saved and not about to be roasted by flames. Maybe I’ve saved you all. At least they can’t punish me for this information by putting me on a boat, because I’ll be in 1960! --Sagittarius Euar

Zoe Richardson

America’s Pastime By David Kriegsman Grade 6 Batting so well you will destroy the ball. Aching at the sight of your team’s loss. Super rookies turning into subpar players. Eating ground balls instead of making errors. Base thieves outrunning catchers. An umpire’s error angering millions. Losing a game because of a bad bullpen. Leaving a runner stranded who would have won the game.

Steven Ponzini

Seattle, America, 1997 By Grace Flanagan Grade 8 “Come on Janie, you know there is no other way for us to succeed.” “I know, I just wish that sometimes I wasn’t living this secret undercover life at sixteen years old.” I took a deep breath while keeping eye contact with Ms. Elizabeth. “Alright, I will go to New York. But only if you come with me. I need someone, I need you. In Egypt, I lost my mind without human contact for four weeks.” “I can come, but I can not technically help.” Egypt Africa, 1996 “Okay. okay, okay, okay. I can do this. I got this. I just need to find the magic portal. Oh no Steven Ponzini biggie.” I walked through the dunes of sand, the hills and valleys of a place I didn’t even know. It took me eight days to find the first clue, then five for the next. Then the next two weeks solving every possible code. While I had all that time to myself, I realized how insane of a position I am in. a sixteen year old spy. Ms. Elizabeth is like a mom to me. She has basically raised me, or well, tried to raise me. I have known her since I was eight, when my mother died. My father was in the agency like I am. He risked his life constantly for his job, and in 1990, he was stranded on an island. Ms. Elizabeth didn’t take me in because she wanted me, she took me in because she needed me. I am the only one who can unlock all of the portals. Seattle Airport, 1997 I am currently boarding the plane to New York, when a notice a ton of other kids my age here as well. “Ms. E, what is going on?” “This mission is a little different then the others.” “And of course, you can’t tell me.” “No I can not. But don’t worry, it will probably help you make friends. And this isn’t new. It is an annual tradition in our secret little world.” “I’m going to sleep”

September 21, 1997, New York I woke up to the dings of the plane and the people rising out of there uncomfortable seats. That is when it hit me. This mission is different. I am not the only one on it. It must be a competition, but for what? September 27, 1997, New York “Okay Everybody, thank you for being here.” a man said into a microphone on a podium. It was Mr. Washell, the head of the spy industry. “I wish everyone luck, as you most know, this mission is one of our hardest. This is a competition, the prize is at the end. There are not teams, but alliances and friendships will be found along the way. There is a maze, and a course through the woods. That is the first stage. The second stage is mind tricks. You will have to be hypnotized, and you must find your way out of the hypnotic state. Lastly, you will go on a boat, Steven Ponzini and you and whoever you choose will be stranded, and must find your path to success. There are hints, but they are impossible to find if you don’t think between the lines. There is no time limit, but cheating has the worst consequence, you are kicked out of this program, and will be brainwashed. So, with that said, I wish you all good luck. We will meet here in four days when the competition begins. So go rest and eat, because soon it will just be the resources around you.” The crowd clapped but everyone looked nervous. I knew what was about to happen to us. Some will survive, and some won’t. Of course I was scared, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. October 1, 1997, New York I was wearing an athletic suit, with a coat and gloves. I don’t want to freeze to death. Mr. Washell said we can pack a bag of whatever we need, and I will run out of water right away, so instead I bought a water pump that turns dirty water into drinkable water. I brought a lot of matches, and many granola bars. I packed a pen and notebook, because you can only do so many things on a boat. I brought a t-shirt incase the weather cleared up. And lastly, I brought a book on survival. Mr. Washell walked onto the podium, wearing a nice suit. “Hello again everybody. Welcome to the official 1997 undercover competition. I hope everyone is doing well, and that our young up and coming spies are ready for the unexpected. If you are feeling nervous, I am glad. You could not be prepared for something like this. Behind this huge curtain, is the

entrance to the giant maze, and once you enter, you are in. If you turn around and come back out, you are disqualified. There are twenty of you, and usually only eight make it to round two. So prepare yourself for what is about to happen, and don’t give up.” Everyone was eager. I turned to Ms. Elizabeth and hugged her. “I am so scared.” “You can do this janie. This is what we have trained to do. You are the only one here who has been on intense and scary adventures. Everyone else has been through normal training school. You have the advantage. We have made it this far.” I nodded while giving her another hug. I walked forward to the canvas, and stood in a row with the other kids. To the left of me was a boy, a little taller than me. To the right was a very small and tough looking girl. We made eye contact and smiled. I stuck my hand out to her, and she shook my hand. “I’m Janie.” “Hey. I’m Christina.” “You nervous?” “Yep, but I am not giving up.” “Good luck, maybe I will see you again later on.” “Good luck to you too.” Steven Ponzini The canvas rose, and a whistle blew. I looked back to Ms. Elizabeth and waved, and then turned back and ran into the maze. My backpack was slung against my back, making it harder to run. I remembered reading something about mazes. It said that it is easier to stay near the sides of the maze. So I found the edge, and I stayed along them. It felt as if the maze was never going to end. I ran into some dead ends, but quickly got myself on a steady path again. I felt like I have walked miles, but my watch says it has only been twenty minutes. Five minutes later, I saw it, I saw the end. I ran to it. I saw no one ahead of me and no one behind me, which means that they are still far back in the maze. I was looking into the woods and I wasn’t sure where to start, when I saw it. In the distance I saw a ladder hanging from a super tall tree. I ran as fast as I could, not wanting anyone to see me. As I was climbing up the ladder, almost to the top, I heard footsteps from a distance. It was that boy next to me. He was looking around, super dazed and lost. I was too high up for him to see me, I was in the trees. I was debating lifting the later up, so that no one else could get up, but it wouldn’t matter. There are probably other ways to get to stage two. I reached the top of the ladder, but there was no platform or anything. Just tree. I hopped of the ladder and onto a thick branch. I decided to pull up the ladder, and shoved it into my bag. I was just sitting in a tree, feeling super dumb for not thinking that it was probably a fake entrance to the path. Then I saw it, the rope. Two trees away, there was rope flailing in the wind. I climbed through the branches when all of the sudden it started raining. The branches started to get slippery. I got onto my hands and knees to try and balance myself. My knee slipped and the bark ripped it open. The cut was bleeding pretty badly so I used a t-shirt that I packed and tied it around my knee. I kept on going, I was determined. Once I reached the rope,

I looked around for a long time to see what was next. I heard someone walking beneath me. It was Christina. I whispered her name, and she looked around super confused. “I’m up here” I whispered. She looked up at me and smiled. “Wait one second, I have a ladder.” I reached into my bag and pulled it out. I used the rope to tie it to the tree. She quickly climbed up and I threw the ladder back into my backpack. “Wow. Thank you so much” She Whispered. “No problem. I am having trouble figuring out what this rope is for and I have no clue where to go.” “What about over there?” Christina said while pointing at a door with gold trim far off in the distance. “How did you just find that? I have been standing here confused for what feels like hours.” We let out a giggle and started to make a plan. We took the rope and continued in our quest to the gold door. We assume it is the door to stage two. Christina has long, wavy brown hair and bright green eyes. She seems nice, and I am hoping to become friends with her. It became dark quickly after, and Christina has a lamp. We made it to the gold door at two in the morning. We entered, tired and scared out of our pants. Steven Ponzini It was dark, all I could see were the slowly dying flames of candles. The lights turned on, and Christina unexpectedly screamed at the top of her lungs and I covered her mouth with my hand. I didn’t want anyone finding out where we are. The room smelt really nice, it made me feel relaxed and all sleepy… I woke up all of the sudden. I was laying on my back, staring at the tapestries on the ceiling. I turned my head to the side and I saw Christina sleeping. But it didn’t feel like she was sleeping, then I remembered what Mr. Washell said, this is the hypnotic state. I pinched her hand, and her eyes slowly opened. We made eye contact, and she whispered, “We need to go.” We got up, and ran out the door across the room. There he was, standing there. They boy that was next to me. We walked up beside him and we all stared at the large dock full with boats. He was tall, with light blonde hair and brown eyes. I turned to the vast ocean ahead of us. He turned his head and looked at me, exhausted. “I’m Peter.” “I’m Janie and this is Christina.” We walked over to the dock, and there was a little sign: Three to a boat. Remember, it’s not as obvious as it seems. Look in places you wouldn’t. Good Luck! We all hopped on the biggest boat and Peter started the engine. “I am not going to pull out, but I bet it needs to be warmed up.” We all sat on the boat in a circle. We made a plan to go up and down the coast first, then branch out as far as possible and go lateral to the coast. We took everything out of our bags, figuring out what we will need. We continued going along the coast for two days, and then started to branch out. We were going up and down and going further out for days, when we stopped to eat and drink. We were admiring the ocean and strategizing a plan, when I noticed a small little island quite far away.

Peter didn’t want to risk going that far out, but Christina and I said that it was our only option. We were surrounded by water, with very little hope and optimism. We reached the ocean after a couple of hours. We docked it and started to figure out where to sleep. It was getting dark and not one of us has slept since we started. I woke up to the sounds to the rough waves and the rocking of the boat. I woke up Peter and Christina, eager to investigate the little island. It took as all day, and then I saw it, an odd looking rock. I walked over to it, and realized it was hollow. I walked around the rock trying to figure out what could be going on. I noticed a handle. “Guys! You should come over here!” Peter and Christina ran over to me. “What do we do?” “I guess we should open it” Christina said. “I guess so” Peter mumbled. “Alright then.” I pulled open the door with all my force. The inside of the rock was dark, except for this huge trophy. It was beaming. It seemed like it was the most magical thing in the world. We walked in, crouching around the trophy. Christina was the first to speak, “It can’t just be some ordinary trophy. This must be the portal.” Steven Ponzini “It must bring us back somewhere.” Peter said while admiring the gold. “We should all touch it on the count of three… 1,2,3… It all went black. Then we were back where we started, at the entrance of the maze. There he was, Mr. Washell, clapping his hands. “You have done it, you have succeeded. Congratulations. You three are now no longer spies in training but real spies. Good luck to your future!” I walked to the nearest phone booth with the trophy in hand, and called Ms. Elizabeth. She came and got me, running to me in full sprint. We hugged for a long time. “I am so proud of you Janie. Your father would have been just as proud.”

Isabelle Mitchell

The House of Answers At The Stop Sign By Zoe Richardson Grade 8 Is there a designated path? If so should I walk on it? Or should I just walk in the woods? You may say it's possible to get lost in the woods... But what if I didn't get lost? What if I managed to build my own path? I would build mine out of stones. But what if I can not find any stones? Are there any other materials to use? I would do anything to avoid the designated path‌ Could I change the circumstances? Is my fate still? My fate‌

Paulina Nava

The House that Changed my Life By Uma Nolan Grade 8 My name is Christine Smith I am 14 years old and today is the day my life changed forever. It was October 4th on a Wednesday at 3pm, my 9 year old brother Evan and I were sitting in the back seat of our family’s car when we heard the news, we are moving. My dad, Michael, got a job offer in Connecticut and our family could use the money. We have lived in the same house for as long as I can remember but everything is about to change. “Mom this house is creepy.” We’re halfway up the driveway to our new home, and I can already tell. “You can’t tell if a house is creepy by the outside” mom says hopefully, but with the long narrow driveway and the dark sky filled with clouds I could tell that something was going to go wrong. Our new house was at the end of a dead-end road and there was not one kid Steven Ponzini playing in their yard in the entire neighborhood. When I walked into the house the door slammed behind me and I jumped “It’s just the wind honey!” My dad yelled from the other room trying not to laugh. I walked up the old, creaky stairs and entered my room. It was bigger than my room in my old house, it had two large windows and plain white walls. I was relieved, after seeing the outside of the house I imagined it being worse. “We’re leaving to take Evan to his friends house, be back soon” My parents yelled from the bottom of the stairs. I was home alone now, the house was much scarier when I was alone. I heard noises coming from downstairs, I tried convincing myself it was just the wind but no windows were open. “Mom, Dad?” I yelled down the stairs, no one answered. Ten minutes had passed, I went downstairs to get food, when I was walking down the stairs I felt like someone was watching me, I looked around and there was no one there. Suddenly the front door opened and my parents were home, the house felt safer when my parents were home. I told my dad what had happened when he was gone and he thinks its just my imagination but I still think otherwise. It keeps happening, I keep hearing noises, feeling cold air and the feeling of someone watching me, but nobody believes me, it only happens when i'm alone. My brother is at a sleepover and my dad is at work so me and my mom are the only ones in the house. I was sitting on the couch with my mom and I started hearing noises but this time, my mom heard them too. When my dad and Evan got home we told them what had happened and finally, they believed it.

We decided it would be best to move out. We’re moving to a different house in Connecticut since my dad still had the job as a doctor. We’re driving up to our new house, it’s in a nice neighborhood, it is white and surrounded by privet. When I walked in to the house I felt safe, my room was nice and bright. As I fell asleep in my bed that night I started to hear the same noises, feel the same cold air and have the feeling of someone watching me. I can’t believe it’s happening again, I guess it wasn’t the house after all. Here we go again...

Steven Ponzini

Livi Lombardi

Brothers By David Kriegsman Grade 6

People have called me a barking squirrel I live in a burrow with dozens of others At night I sleep in a burrow with a few others. That’s connected by tunnels to all my brothers. I call warnings about predators to my brothers. In a language known by us and no others. Steven Ponzini

By Olivia Roussel Grade 6

Energetic Loud roar Extraordinary Ginger color with dark spots Amazingly strong and fast Noticeable Tolerant but terrifying

Mikey Ayala


Cheddar gouda blue and brie All are my favorites All are for me Traps that catch and traps that steal All try to keep me from my favorite meal I scamper I scutter Through gardens and gutters To find the holy cheese!

Poems By Poppy Basseches & Anabelle Rousell Grade 6 Livi Lombardi

Steven Ponzini

Lazy the crazy dog There once was a dog named lazy Everyone thought he was crazy He jumped off a cliff His back went stiff From then on he was hazy

Obesity There once was a cat from Japan She ate as much as one can She got bigger and bigger Til’ a mouse pulled the trigger Splat went the cat then BAM!n zini

Siren By Ava Garabedian Grade 7 Once upon a time, in a faraway place, called Atlantia, there was a girl named Ara. Ara is 15 years old and is very kind, curious, adventurous, daring, and brave. Ara is a tall girl who has light blue eyes. She loves how the ocean waves wash up on to the shore, and how the breeze blows her long golden red hair back and forth. Ara loves the color blue because it was her mother´s favorite color before she took her last breath. Ara has a twin sister named Trina. Trina is the alter ego of Ara. She is less brave than Ara, but is more caring and kind, than she is. Trina has long blonde hair and is as tall as her sister. One day when Ara and Trina were coming home from school, the strangest thing happened. ______________________________________________________________________________ Steven Ponzini

DIARY ENTRY 1, 6/8/1998 You will never believe what happened to me yesterday! I left school on Friday with my twin sister Trina. We went home and quickly did our weekend homework. After that like always we asked dad if we could go outside to the ocean. Since we live near the cliff side, dad always lets us go to the beach after we have done our homework for the night. Dad said yes, and we went down to the beach. Trina and I went swimming and were diving in the waves. Trina and I dove under a wave, but that time I did not come up from under the wave. The next thing I knew I was being pulled down in the water. I could see Trina above the water swimming, but she could not see me. I was starting to lose my breath, and when I thought I was about to drown, I regained all my breath! I did not know how this happened, but that is all I remember. Next thing I remembered I was lying on the beach with Trina hovering over me. Trina said that she had found me washed up on the shore when she was going back to the house to tell dad what had happened. When I tried to sit up, I couldn't! When I looked down, I saw a tail! This was the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me. After I had dried off, my tail transformed back into my legs, and I stood up right away. After this moment Trina and I realized that I had become a Siren! This felt like the worst day of my life! Now every time I touch water I turn into this horrid creature. Now I can't go into the ocean with anyone other than Trina. No one can ever find out that I am a Siren. My name is Ara.

The day Ara wrote this entry, she soon after told her dad about what had happened the day before. The father did not believe Trina or Ara and told them that it was a myth. That weekend on Sunday, Ara and Trina went out back into the water, to investigate. When they went out into the water, Ara started to transform into a siren. She started to swim away from Trina into the distance. Trina didn't understand what was happening. Ara was acting as if she was being controlled, like if she was in another person’s body. Trina started to swim after Ara, into the extremely deep water. After an hour had passed, Trina was out in the middle of the ocean and was far from the cliff side. She could not see the shore. She was stranded. Trina was far too tired to swim all the way back to the shore. Trina was frightened and thought that this was the end, but then, she saw what looked like her sister. Ara was sitting on a rock in the middle of nowhere. Ara had changed since the last time Trina saw her. Ara had black scales, and her long golden red hair had changed, to long black hair. Trina was upset that her sister was gone, and had started to cry. When Trina started to cry Ara turned back and stared at Trina. Trina thought this meant that her sister was showing through the evil spirit of the siren. Ponzini However, when Trina got closer, she had realized thatSteven her sister was singing. Trina knew that this meant she was trying to lure sailors to her so she could lead them to the grave. Trina still was resistant to believe that her sister was gone, so she went up to her. When Trina touched her sister´s shoulder, Ara turned her head towards Trina in a creepy and slow manner. Trina saw a human body in front of Ara. She soon after realized that this meant that Ara had already found her willing victim. While Trina was glancing at the dead sailor, Ara was figuring out a diabolical plan to get rid of her sister. With the blink of an eye, Ara was gone, off the rock into the depths of the ocean. Trina was left there sitting on the rock with the poor dead sailor. After 15 minutes passed Trina decided that she should call for her sister. “Ara, Ara” Trina called loudly. Trina repeated this line over and over until she felt a chill down her spine. Trina felt a sharp pain in her back, as her long-gone sister scraped it, with her long dagger-like nails. This made Trina turn around quickly yet cautiously. Trina quietly stuttered the words, “Aaaarrraaaaa, II-III knnnnnnooooowwwww yoooouuuuurrr iiiiiinn theeeerrrreeeee.” Ara screeched, and then she screamed back at Trina, “TRIIIIINNNAAAAAAA, YOUR SISTEEEEER, IS LOOOOOOONG GOOOONNNNEEEEE…. I AM A SIREN!!!!! I AM SEIRLENA!!!!!!!!!” And with the sound of that, “Ara” screeched again. Trina screamed in vain, and that was the last time anyone saw Trina. Seirlena had stayed by this spot but had not begun feast on her. Trina was lying dead on the rocks next to her. Meanwhile, the twin's father was starting to get worried that the girls had not gotten home yet, and feared the worst. He had thought to himself that the girls might have been telling the truth, about Ara becoming a siren, and decided to go out and look for them.

The father had gone out on his boat searching for them when he heard Seirlena singing her song. He knew this was a trap, but could not steer the boat in the opposite direction. She had all control over him. The father had now known that Trina was gone. Seirlena lured him closer and closer until he saw her. Then he got a glance at Trina before he was torn apart by Seirlena. No one ever heard of Trina or her father again. Some say that Seirlena still lurks around in the waters of Atlantia, and no one has ever come out of the water there again!!!!

Steven Ponzini

Helena Kolhoff

Imagine Pierson Middle School Literary Art Magazine 2019 Advisor: Ms. Kira McLaughlin Editors Kai Basseches Anabelle Roussel Poppy Basseches

Steven Ponzini

Assistant Editors Isabelle Caplin, Cailin Collister, Ava Garabedian

We would like to give special thanks to Pierson’s ELA teachers, Mrs. Read, Mrs. Caulfield, Mr. Freij, Mrs. Farrell, and Middle School Art Teachers Mrs. Cataletto, and Mr. Solow. Also thanks to Mr. Nichols, Pierson Middle High School Principal, Ms. Carriero, Middle School Assistant Principal and especially to Mr. Fisher, Director of Technology for their support. Board of Education Diana Kolhoff, President Jordana Sorbey, Vice President Brian DeSesa Alex Kriegsman Susan Lamontagne Susan Schaefer Chris Tice Katy Graves, Superintendent of Schools

Profile for Sag Harbor Schools

Imagine - In Honor of John Lennon  

Literary Art Magazine Pierson Middle School Sag Harbor, New York May 13, 2019

Imagine - In Honor of John Lennon  

Literary Art Magazine Pierson Middle School Sag Harbor, New York May 13, 2019