Category Archives: Summer 2018

Ancient Eyes

“I woke up in a hot sweat. I had heard it again! It was so clear this time, so profound a sensation, I knew it had to be coming from within the room. I bolted upright, shouting at the top of my lungs, ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH MY BLOODY EYEBROWS, YA GREASY PIG!'”

Disney Breaking Out (Part One)

“Holly ordered her sweet peppermint hot chocolate after waiting in the line for way too long. She settled down in her usual spot for the last ten years. The peaceful corner table with quiet music was what she loved about her special time in the cafe. If it were up to Holly, she would spend every moment at her magical reflecting table. Every memory, every moment of happiness, fear, and anger, led up to this one spot.”

The Memories

“April opened up her dictionary and gasped. ‘Jackson!’ she screamed. Her friends thought it odd to have a pet caterpillar, but it was amusing sometimes. This was not one of those times. ‘Jackson!!’ she screamed, even louder this time. She finally saw him on the corner of the table. ‘There you are Jackson. How many times have I told you not to eat my dictionary!'”

George

“Beep! Beep! Beep! George sat up. He turned off the alarm. He put on his slippers. He walked into the kitchen. Crack! Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle ssssssssss. George cooked himself an egg. He poured some orange juice. He ate his breakfast in silence.”

Dry Water

“I walk every morning. To the store. Then back to my home. My tiny wooden shack, where Mother, Marco, Aba, Javier, and I somehow manage to live. The tiny wooden shack where we sit and eat the scraps of a rich man’s meal. Where we mourn. Where we dream. Where we cry. Where we sleep on the floor. Where we are.”

You, Simply

“The sunshine was hot and bright, reflecting on the stream like rippled fireflies. I could feel the world around me, moving, changing too fast. Sometimes I felt like it was moving without me, like it needed to move without me; like I was running and I couldn’t keep up.”

Forever Standing

         When someone looks Down on you When they laugh At your differences When they criticize Your similarities When you want it all to end So you hide away Tears streaming […]

The Food Chain

“As I stepped out of my house that day, I saw my neighbor George putting a leash on his pet human. They did this every day, walking down to Little Piggy’s human-burger shop to grab a bite to eat, which disgusted me. It is horrible how animals treat humans like nothing and are treated as lower than low to the rest of society.”

What Separates Them All

“The air around the harbor blows every which way, cool gusts of wind sending the waves that lap by the shore into a frenzy. The summer sun sinks into the sky, replaced by dark clouds that settle on the horizon, as a light breeze shifts to colder, increasingly high temperatures, frigid enough to make the hairs on Farah’s neck stand up. Everything around here changes in a fraction of a second.”

The Bathroom Mirror (Excerpt)

“The next day, Mary woke up to find a note on her bedside. Of all things, her sister thought this was the most appropriate. Love letters on how much she missed her. Mary snatched the paper from her bedside and opened it. You have been warned. If it had been written in any other way, then maybe she would have taken it seriously, but the font Helvetica? Really? She was worth way more than this basic font. “

Michael (Excerpt)

“His mother was able to get him a plane ticket and arrange for him to stay at his friend’s house for a week or so. Daniel was excited and could barely sit still on the flight. Texting and calling weren’t the same as seeing his friends in real life. He walked down the street, avoiding the crowds, while turning off airplane mode on his phone.”

Telekinesis Boy

“My name is Igor Parentheses Daily, and the moment I woke up today was the first day of the rest of my life. When I woke up, my phone was on the other side of the room. I didn’t want to get up to reach my phone, so I imagined the phone flying into my hand and thought, That would be cool, so the phone got up and flew into my hand! I was so surprised that I dropped my phone. At least that turned the alarm off.”

Elite Cat Trainer

“I used to be a dog person. Dogs were my whole life. I was a professional dog trainer, and not just any professional dog trainer. I was sponsored by Fluffy Friends™ and licensed by the American Dog Corporation. Until… my favorite dog, Betsy Fluffercins (the s is silent), a dog I had raised from birth, betrayed me.”

The Purple Guard

“Chris woke up to find that all his wounds were healed. He felt no pain on his leg where the elephant had impaled him, and he saw no blood staining the clothes he wore. He sat up to see the elephant facing him. A million thoughts whizzed through Chris’ mind. How was he healed? Did the elephant heal him? And most importantly: what should he call the elephant if he could control him? It needs a name!”

Alice’s Choice

“Outside was a ravishing forest. Different types of flowers populated the sylvan landscape, and the sky was roofed by vast trees. The sun-dappled ground was covered with moss and ivy, and the forest smelled of petrichor and pine. Cool humidity settled on Alice’s skin, and a flock of birds flew past her. She soon realized they were not birds at all, but a deck of cards flying in the air.”

Germany

“He hoped the government wouldn’t find out what he searched, but they controlled the Internet, so he thought they might have already known and would come to arrest him the next day. He heard footsteps and instinctively fell on the bed to pretend he was sleeping. The door opened with a creak behind him, and he heard his mom whisper, ‘I think he is asleep,’ and closed the door behind her.”

Summer Bod: An Analysis of Body Image and its Impact on Young Women

“Marilyn Monroe once said, ‘To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero, you’re the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.’ In the cruel environment we live in today, society’s wrath of a constant strive for perfection gets intentionally strung and tightened on the necks of so many young women.”

Little Lemon

“Once upon a time, in the village of sugar lemons, Momma and Poppa Lemon had just announced the arrival of Lester the Lemon. Even from miles away, you could still hear Lester crying while his parents were celebrating. Sugar Lemon Land is all yellow and happy. There are positive quotes everywhere. The water is bright blue and sparkling. Everyone knows everyone.”

140 Miles to You (Excerpt)

“Isabel Cheston was feeling. Sitting in the doctor’s office one Saturday morning. She actually wasn’t really sitting. She was pacing the large white room while freaking out about her blood test. I could see why — she was getting four vials of blood drawn! Her hands were sweaty and clammy from her worrying. Her short brown hair tangled and knotted from her pulling.”

19 minutes

“I woke up in the morning to realize that my alarm clock hadn’t even gone off yet. It was only four in the morning. Meh, who cared? I would be early for work. Plus, I was the head of the company, no one could get mad at me for being early — right? Wrong.”

Change It Now

“…I always thought that I couldn’t do anything about it because I was just a little girl, but there was something about today that felt different. Maybe it was the fact that I had a little extra sugar from the Fruit Roll-Up, or a little extra confidence from acing my test, but I decided to go confront him.”

Emery’s Revenge

“He was the son of King Timothy, one of the strongest kings that were alive today. But he was only strong because of one stone that carried strength. He desperately wanted the stone, and he was jealous of King Timothy. King Timothy kept the stone in a mountain that had the strongest gusts of wind that would blow anyone off to their death. Emery hated his dad a lot, because he was weak.”

If Only

“Long ago, when people didn’t destroy the Earth and people were the Earth, there were two. The water belonged to the Goddess, and the land belonged to the God. The Goddess and the God were in a relationship of sorts, as they worked together and around each other. But that was all they could do, because the land and the water were separate. They longed for each other.”

Dave

“Sharpie Dave was a very shy brown cactus who came from Colorado and was ‘born’ in a toilet,  a.k.a thrown in the toilet to die by some random cactus farmer. Since then, Sharpie Dave had always felt unlovable and scared, but Dave had learned to accept that bad things happen in the world.”

The Path of the Soul

““Dargos and Herga. Rise. You are now one with the soul of nature.” Tapping them on the shoulder with his knarlwood cane, the cleric’s green and white robes fold as he ends the short and sweet indoctrination ceremony. Bowing to each other and the cleric, Dargos and Herga swiftly leave the auditorium of the city-tree.”

Envy and Murder

“Sweat trickles down my neck. Why am I here? How did it come to this? I stand over the body and let the moment sink in. I look at my hand and see a gun. I drop it. It clanks against the floor, echoing for what feels like forever. I turn to the shattered mirror and see the monster I have turned into. “

A Love Letter to Myself

“As my being develops and evolves in the world, so does my sense of self. The different layers that shape my identity each tell a different story, and looking back at my past experiences, I am not ashamed of who I have become despite the ever so present obstacles that face me and the countless other people that look like me.”

The Warehouse (Excerpt)

“I tried to crawl faster, my limbs sinking into the muck on the side of the now strawberry-colored creek and coming up with loud sucking sounds that would definitely alert any guards to my presence. Lucky for me, there probably weren’t any guards in the area. In fact, there was probably no one at all.”

Mercy

“It was dark outside. Her blood and bones ceaselessly begged her to go back to sleep, but that’s about the only thing they seemed willing to do. She felt as though she needed a cup of coffee to give herself the will to get up and make coffee. Iris Adley woke up.”

The Art of Kidnapping

“Why do rainy days always bring trouble? Keira Keegan certainly didn’t know. She was just five. And reading ‘War and Peace,’ of course, as beads of water dripped down the window of her room, splattering on the moist grass below. Her green eyes scanned the page as her short black hair fell across her face. Suddenly, she heard a piercing scream.”

Robot Battle League

“Dianna hit her alarm and got out of bed in a flash. Today was the sign-up for the championships! She had to get there nice and early. Downstairs, she was greeted by a warm hello from Silo and a bowl of cereal, which she devoured in seconds. She grabbed Silo, and they ran out of the house…”

Forsythia

“It had always gone on, ever since that horrid day. She had not, as a young wench, understood why the whole village, nay, the whole world, didn’t stop for Cynthia.”

The End of a World

“For the most part, they are silent and still. Only Hussein paces back and forth across the cramped white room. Not even the heavy thuds his boots make seem to distract anyone. The quietness that drapes the rest of outer space in a smothering quilt now covers the tiny space cruiser.”

Testing

“I remember the before. I don’t think the others do. I have flashbacks from before the plague. I remember them: my family. Not everything. Just bits and pieces. The one I remember most is a little boy. My brother… I think. Sometimes, if I let my vision go fuzzy and squint just right, I can see a pair of hazel eyes staring down at me. The same pair that in my memories looked up at me as I held… my brother’s hand.”

Untitled Novel (Excerpt)

“He shivered. After hours of searching through the forest, Ky had curled up on the roots of a great oak. Even though the huge branches and thick leaves kept the worst of the rain away, some had still made it through, soaking his already wet clothes. His brain was still a bit dazed from the confusion, but he was sure this wasn’t a dream.”

Train Ticket

“I woke up with the sun. I never used to wake up with the sun, sleeping well into ten o’clock, but very recently, my body began to shake me awake in time to watch the sunrise. I didn’t know what change had caused that, but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant. Sure, it required an extra cup of coffee at work, but I didn’t mind watching the yellow and orange hues of the sky.”

Mastermind (Excerpt)

“I stepped over the broken glass shards and entered the bank. Right in front of me was the reception, and to the left of me was a flight of cobble stairs. To the right of me were three doors. The first one was an oak door which said money counting room. The second one read file room, and the third one read surveillance room. This was at midnight, when the number of guards was smallest.”

Siri’s Story

“My name is Siri. I was a normal 16-year-old girl, who went to a normal school. Until a week ago. I’m going to tell you my story, which is a complicated one. Just remember the difference this makes the next time you use your phone. Now you will know the true, crazy story of your virtual best friend…”

A Ripple in the Waters

“I peered out the window, letting out a long sigh. Rain sucks, I thought miserably. I had made plans for that day with my aunt Ruthy, who was staying that week. Today was her last day, and we had arranged for us to go up to the park and take a walk together. Well, it looked like that plan was screwed.”

The Game

“As he scrolled through the the colorful pages, something caught his eye; it was a little tile that had a picture of a muscular chrome-clad warrior standing below a towering red-and-black patterned hydra. In blood dripping italic letters were the words, Swords and Sorcery.”

Ham and Cheese

“I looked back at my laundry machine and found myself staring right into the eyes of a fish. It was red with tinges of blue on its head and fins. In all, it was about as big as my two fists placed side by side, pretty large for a fish. I didn’t scream, or run away. I just stared open-mouthed. I probably looked like a fish myself. “

Triplets Chapter 1

“‘Angelika, wake up. It’s time for — ‘ Angelika raised a slim, manicured hand, signaling that she was, in fact, already awake, then settled back under the covers, closing her eyes. Angelika’s mother sighed tiredly. ‘Angelika, please get up. You’ll be late for school. Don’t you want to go learn?’ Now it was Angelika’s turn to sigh.”

Safety for Turtles

“The safety of turtles is important for them and us. Nearly all the turtle species are considered endangered due to humans destroying their habitat, slaughtering them for food, and for unpermitted release. Unpermitted release can cause harm to the environment too. Therefore, turtles in captivity should be kept.”

Hedgehog Human History

“Hedgehogs have coexisted with us for over 15 million years, and we have benefited off of them since the time of ancient Egyptians. Throughout the centuries, our relationships with these creatures were never faultless. After a long, complicated history with humans, hedgehogs have become our miniature, prickly friends.”

Lavender

“He wakes up early that morning. The room is dark, and the sofa is lumpy. He flips the pancakes and chops the strawberries and leaves them on a chipped plate on the wooden table. The shards of porcelain dishes turn the floor into a dangerous mosaic he tiptoes over. He sets a note next to the plate, a plea for forgiveness scribbled on it with a ballpoint pen.”

Oh College

“She keeps testing me until we get to class, where most people are testing each other on the bones. Susy is the best student in the class, so I am sure she will pass the test. This is our one chance to get our master’s in the orthopaedic class, or else we will have to take the class for another year. Ding ding ding, the bell rings for the start of class.”

Drowning

“From above, the waters looked serene. It was twilight, and the setting sun cast a brilliant glow across the gentle waves. The turquoise waters were deep, deeper than anyone knew, with shades of periwinkle and navy mixed in the dark depths. Yes, it seemed like the ocean was taking a rest for the night, lulling itself to sleep with the rhythm of the undulating waves.”

Hell is People

“Hell is not a place. Hell is people. There will be people anywhere in the world who will put you through hell — or at least that’s what I thought when I grew up in this facility. They always told me that they would ‘cleanse’ me, to ‘fix’ me. But they only made things worse. “

Rock Climbing

“On the first day of summer vacation, I went straight to the rock climbing gym. This is the place where I had first conquered my fear of heights, and where I had done my first pull-up. This is where I go if I ever have some spare time and $5.50 on my MetroCard. Whenever I had to walk across the gym, I would always notice it, and whenever I noticed it I kept walking. I acknowledged it, but always kept a distance from it, the ten-foot red paracord with green lines going through it, stained with chalk.”

Me, the Woman and the Man

“In the corner of an illuminating empty, dull, gray room, I stand with pale hands that shiver like a shower in mid-December, shaking like the earth I am on. All over this neighborhood are factories, left to right. There is not a single park here. The smoke stacks develop into the sky like an evil crop of corn, and they give off these fumes which cover many of our homes with dust. It almost looks as if I had put black paint on my hands and rubbed it all over miniature, lego-like houses.”

How Kombucha Ruined My Life

“I wake up Saturday morning and check my phone from my bed. Looks like it will be another sunny day that I spend inside. I have been rehearsing the musical Legally Blonde all week, and tonight is the performance. I play Brooke Wyndham, an exercise queen accused of murder. Some of my friends and family are coming, so the show has to be really good. While I’m sad it’s almost over, a sense of relief washes over me. It has been a lot of work.”

The Forbidden Island

“He went to bed with Mario on his mind. In the morning, he went to his parents the next day to ask who this was because this person had the same last name. Antonio’s parents looked at each other with nervous looks on their faces, but obviously they had to tell him the truth about his brother who sailed to the island and never came back home when he was three months old.”

The Odds Of The New Nun

“It’s approximately 3 AM, and I have walked miles in pain from a motel that I vaguely remember was in Iowa. Oddly so, a laugh begins to find its bearings on my body, and I begin an uncontrollable cascade of belly laughs that alleviate all of my momentary anxieties. Your body begins to display these erratic behaviors even in its sleep once you’ve put it through what I have.”

“don’t know when i’ll be back again”

“It wasn’t supposed to end like this. The coral-colored suitcase open on the bed, the clothes hanging ready to be packed, the car come to take her away. The sun streams through the window, illuminating the pictures on the wall, reminders of a happier time. Outside, birds are chirping and children are playing in the park across the street. By all rights, it should be a beautiful day.”

Softball Setback

“It is my first day of middle school. Everyone says middle school is where you mature and become more responsible. I don’t want to go to middle school. At this middle school I am going to, everyone knows each other from elementary school, so it will be much harder for me to make friends. I had to leave all my friends and my home for this school, well at least the people I thought were my friends.”

Morty’s

“There were many documented experiences of people who survived the voyage from Germany and other war-affected countries to America, but this is one that truly stood out. This is the story of a six-year-old boy named Yanek Levine, who journeyed to America by boat at the age of 10…”

Mercury

“It was on the red cinnamon hill. The rocket. It glistened in the sun. Their very own rocket that had blasted the two off to Mercury. It was in beautiful condition, ready to take off. They’d had enough of Mercury. The awful heat, it was so close to the sun. Every ration of water felt like an oasis in the middle of a raging desert.”

Controlling Fate

“My heart beats extra hard as I step onto my bike. The ride to school isn’t that long, but if I take the main road instead of my usual back alleyways, I might be able to stretch the ten minute ride into fifteen. That’s five extra minutes I don’t have to spend taking my math test. Five extra minutes I don’t have to spend watching numbers dance uncontrollably across the page, twirling just out of my grasp.”

Bakery Blues

“Being hardcore is well, hard. I have to party all night and sleep all day and never study to keep up my image. Do you think I want to be doing shots on the weekends? Please, I’d rather be watching the Barbie TV show with my four-year-old sister. But we all have images to keep up. Some more than others. And we all have a breaking point. Mine was earlier today.”

Three Minutes

“Three minutes before school ended, the only noises to be heard were the ticking of the clock (that ran two hours too late), the tapping of pencils (like that Britney Spears music video), and the sporadic, panicked scratching of pens on paper (pop quizzes are never fun).”