Writing the Novel with Carolyn Cohagan
We offered this class for the first time this year. Over the years, I had too many students telling me that they had already written multiple novels! I decided it was time to offer a class on how to write longer work. Some campers arrived with projects underway and some created brand new stories. Please enjoy these pieces, each of which could be the beginning of a very juicy novel.
The Fate of the Cursed
By Alaira Banks
How does the world change so fast? One day you're sitting in your room, listening to your favorite band reading a book. And the next, the world is in flames, you're running, trying to survive when everything wants to kill you. This was life on earth in the 23rd century. Every few months a fellow country would drop bombs on another, bombs that would infect anyone who was unfortunate to be in its blast radius. This infection wouldn't kill, at least not immediately; it would make you go insane, a disease not unlike Rabies, but there one a difference, not only was it incurable (even though almost every country knew how to create it), but it would change you, not only mentally but physically as well. Your face would lengthen, turning almost snoutlike and your skin would grow fur or some other type of animal hide. They called them the Were, based after the Werebeasts of the stories. Tefi Wrate was a Were, she had been for six years. But for her it was different, sure she looked part Cougar, and acted like it most of the time, but she never completely lost her humanity. There were some days when she lost herself and killed people, but usually she could control the disease. But she was a murderer and everyone knew it. She was chased out from every town she found, usually with guns blazing. She was forced to live in the wilderness outside of the town walls. For how can you keep your humanity if your own mind cannot comprehend it? Tefi was going to starve for the night again. This was common, she could rarely hunt without losing herself to the Were inside her, hungry for control. Usually she could control it, but when she hunted or did anything animal-like she started to lose herself to the disease. A small crunch noise came from a bush like someone had shifted their weight. Any lesser animal wouldn't have been able to hear it but Tefi was no lesser creature. Her large feline ears could hear a leaf fall from a tree and she had spent the last six years of her life staying alive in the Wilderness. Tefi took a sniff of the air, and smelled the familiar sharp scent of a Werehunter. Werehunters are specially trained individuals hired to kill Were's. Usually hired by rich landowners that live near the Wilderness, outfitted in powerful armor designed to find Weres, hunters were dangerous adversaries. But this one, this one was injured. Tefi's feline face twisted into a sick smile. Maybe she would have dinner after all. The bush was too small and tangled for Tefi's elongated frame to fit in to attack the hunter where he was hiding, but she was patient. She walked to the other side of the clearing in which the bush grew and curled up in a pile of fallen leaves. Tefi couldn't attack the hunter in his hiding place, but she could still draw him out. Tefi lay curled up for thirty minutes before she heard the hunter climb out of the bush. Something was wrong. The hunter’s footsteps were too loud, usually their steps were quiet, almost indistinguishable from the sounds of the forest. But Tefi could always hear them, and she always killed them. The hunter stepped closer, now he was only five feet away. Calm yourself Tefi, she thought, he must just be an apprentice, he’s just new, that's all. The hunter was four feet away, then three, two, one. He was right behind her. Tefi jumped up, spinning to face her opponent, but what she saw froze her with fear. Instead of a human body like she was expecting, Tefi saw a robot like form standing in front of her. Power armor, the hunter was in real power armor. But she could see the blood seeping out of a large wound in his gut, the metal around it was pealed back so she saw the large bite wound. There was only two puncture wounds, like a snake bit him. It was too large to be a normal snake. It must be a Were, she didn't know that Weres could look like snakes, but whatever it was, she hoped it wasn't poisonous; it would spoil the meat. The hunter startled, he hadn't realized she was awake. His power armor covered body only reached up to her ribcage, even though it was well over seven feet. But he wasn't as surprised as Tefi thought, because when she leapt to attack him, he swatted her out of the way and pulled out a large gun. Tefi leapt onto him, clawing at his helmet, struggling to tear it off his head. The Werehunter reached up and wrapped his hand around her thin arms, throwing her off him. But Tefi had already ripped off part of his helmet, and through the hole she could see a green eye, dark skin, and a tendril of light brown hair. The hunter roared in outrage, and shot Tefi. Tefi was confused. How was she not dead? The hunter had shot her in the head, her body should be lifeless now, her brains scattered across the forest floor. But Tefi wasn't dead. Her body still held life, and her head hurt awfully. Through her haze of pain she heard the hunter start cursing at his gun, apparently he had set it to stun instead of kill. But something wasn't quite right. The hunter’s voice was too high-pitched to be male. Then the hunter took off what was left of his helmet, and Tefi saw a smooth dark skinned face with rounded features, green eyes, and short brown hair. The hunter wasn't male, she was female. This surprised Tefi. Usually the Werehunter business was very discriminating towards anyone who wasn't male. As the hunter’s back was turned, Tefi took off into the forest, choosing to run rather then fight, whatever that gun was, she was sure she couldn't survive another hit from it, even if it was set on stun. The gun had done something to Tefi's brain. The world was spinning and she was pretty sure it didn't do that before. As she ran, she crashed into a clearing and fell to the floor. The last thing she saw was a pair of brown eyes staring into her own before she faded into unconsciousness.
Humanoid body with legs, ears, and tail of a grey wolf.
Heterochromia is an indicator of possible supernatural affinity.
I looked at my reflection in the mirror through the square outline of my glasses. I had contacts, but I had a rule of no touching eyeballs before kaffa. I pulled the half of my hair that reached greedy tendrils down my back away from the puffy stems on the other side. My hair was the only part I really liked about my appearance, thick and almost-pink. My uneven blue and red eyes, slightly twisted nose, and too straight teeth seemed to hate it. I tugged a sky-blue shirt over my torso and wiggled into off-white shorts. The shorts were apparently made of spider webs. I wasn’t quite sure I believed that but they were definitely my sturdiest pair.
I took the stairs two at a time, nearly slipping on the landing. I downed my cup of kaffa and devoured a plate of tardigrades while I waited for the stabilizing effect to kick in. Satisfied that my hands were steady again, I folded my glasses away and replaced them with my grey contacts. Mom came in with Maurue clinging to her tail. His gown was too short for him.
“You’re going to be late.”
“It rained last night. No one’s going outside for at least a day,” I pointed out. Right now a water droplet sat guard right outside our house. She pinched the bridge of her nose and picked up Maurue. I took him from her and she disappeared inside another room. I gave him his breakfast and sat down, listening to the creaks and groan of the ground.
A warm drink used to treat a variety of
neurological conditions and mental disorders,
along with general-use mood stabilizer.
It was a full week before it was safe to go outside again. I slung my bud full of trinkets over my back and raced along the vine leading to school. I had to hop along it to avoid having my feet swept out from underneath me due to a glider.
I finally sat down next to my friend, Skyler.
“I wish it rained again today,” he grumbled, flicking a stray dust mite away from him.
“If that happened, they would hold us on the weekend,” I pointed out. His ears flattened against his head and he grimaced.
“Still wish I wasn’t here. Want an aphid? I found another under my bed,” he said, producing the little bug. I turned it over and picked the sour meat out of the shell.
The day passed in quiet boredom. We were learning about microbes again. Bleh. Finally, they released us to go home. I rushed along the vine home when a raindrop fell to my left.
Fella, fella, fella, not now! I screamed in my head and ran faster, until my foot landed on the smooth top of a glider. I desperately floundered for a grip, but only managed to push myself and the glider off of the vine and into a puddle. I took a deep breath and winced when my body hit the surface before falling through.
I tried to push out, but one attempt was all that was needed to prove that futile. A tardigrade swam by my face. Another ‘pup was trying to use his glider to break the surface. I grabbed it to try and help, and then I was gasping for air.
A weak barrier formed through hydrogen bonding on the surface of water.
The air was gone, but something was filling my lungs. I opened my eyes and I was staring down at . . . a puddle? Something that looked vaguely dewpup-like, only without ears, a tail, and with weird eyes and legs was coughing next to me. The weird thing was, I was sure I had seen that face before.
“Skyler?” I whispered and his head whipped around to look at me.
“Zel?” he asked.
“What are you?”
“I’m a dewpup. What are you?”
“A dewpup. You don’t have a tail, or ears, and your arms and legs look funny.”
“That’s what you look like, only you don’t have on clothes.”
“Neither do you,” I replied, biting my lip as blushes dotted both of our faces.
“We have to get away from the water.” I broke the silence.
Skyler stuck his hand into the puddle and easily pulled it out. “I don’t think we’re dew-pups any more, Zel.”
by Liam Harris
Author’s Note: Table Wars is the story of office supplies that come to life to do battle and the very human qualities the pencils and markers have. I was inspired by a pencil box and a marker box on my writing table. I imagined these pencil and marker boxes were battleships and created characters from the contents inside.
“Commander!” shouted General Neonbrown, a bright brown marker. “The pencils are firing pens at us! We don’t stand a chance against them.” General Neonbloodred sat in the front seat, just hoping, waiting that death may not fall upon him.
“We need help!” shouted Neonbrown.
“Let death fall upon you, Brown,” Papermate said. “And, let your crew fall, too.”
A final tear dripped down Neonbrown’s face before his life splashed down to the bottom of the ground.
How did this happen? How did Neonbrown get here, staring at his possible demise?
Before Neonbrown boarded the military training battleship, all he could think about was not being able to see his mother again. At this point, Neonbrown was celebrating his 18th birthday. He was at his father’s house, finishing up his chocolate drizzled strawberry cake with whipped cream on top. He had decided he wanted to work as a military band player. Life wasn’t easy with his parents having been divorced when Neonbrown was two. All of the kids made fun of him for it. Even through those times, Neonbrown kept on going to follow his dream of being a military band player. He thought about his mom again. Neonbrown loved watching movies with his mom. It was their thing to do on Saturday nights.
As the boat was unlocking from the harbor, he gave one final wave to his mother before a voice rudely interrupted Neonbrown’s farewell.
“Hey, what’s your name, Fat Face?” asked an eraser.
“It’s Neonbrown,” the marker said. “But you can just call me Brown.”
“Stop bragging and get in your lines, fools,” said the highlighter. “Or, you’ll be dead meat in front of Commander Neonbloodred’s feet. Get into your lines. Band members on the far left, pilots next, then sailors and finally soldiers.”
Neonbrown rushed toward his line of band members when the eraser, that same one, pushed forward to headlock him. Neonbrown squirmed, but none of the officials noticed. The eraser brought him over to the soldier line. Neonbrown tried to run, but the eraser kept grabbing him.
When Neonbrown finally came to realize that he could never escape the eraser, he marched forward, along with the line of soldiers.
The officials examined Neonbrown as he trained for different possible attacks. He worked his hardest and was one of the strongest out of his team, but he still could never fit in with anybody. His training continued. Neonbrown looked around again and again for the eraser, the one that put him in this class of military, but he was never seen again.
“Haven’t you heard?” yelled Neonyellow, Neonbrown’s roommate.
Neonbrown replied, “Heard what?”
“It’s all over the news! Papermate declared war on us!” shouted Neonyellow.
All Neonbrown could do was wonder; so, he asked any way, “Who is Papermate?”
“Who is Papermate?” Neonyellow said sarcastically. “Papermate is the highest official of all pencils.”
Neonbrown was shocked about what he heard. He had only recently become a general, so he would have to fight in this war. He would work with the other markers, General Green, Officer Grey and Commander Neonbloodred.
When boarding the battleship, this time for war, Neonbrown felt like he was leaving home a second time, leaving all his friends, all of his neighbors and his parents for unknown worlds. He didn’t even get to say goodbye. “Goodbye,” he murmured, as his dreams sank to the bottom of the ground.
Neonbrown had an idea. “No, he thought, “more like a fantasy.” He knew that every battleship had a hatch to open it. He could either open it from the bottom and close it to sneak attack them, or again, go under, and leave it open for a while to sink them. This was, of course, if he lost the battle.
The ship undocked. The battle has begun. He can’t turn back now. He could already see enemy ships in the distance. The fire was burning. Now was the time.
* * * *
He sank. Neonbrown sank to the bottom of the ground, the hard, black ground. It seemed like forever. Death had fallen upon him. Death is unforgiving. But death is NOT strong enough to hold Neonbrown down. It never will be!
He swam and swam and swam. He swam until swimming didn’t matter. He opened the hatch of the enemy boat, closed it and hid. Neonbrown found the storage of pens in the room next to him. He knocked the racks of them over.
He ran. He ran fast. This caused attention. He desperately tried to open the hatch, but it wouldn’t budge. The pencil guards took their staplers out and started shooting. They missed. They tried to pull off his camp until they realized the pens had gone off. One of them shouted, “Run!” and they immediately ran off without him. He took a crowbar and easily pried the hatch open and closed it again, taking the crowbar with him. He saw pencils trying to open it and failing. Just then, he heard the loudest noise he had ever heard. The enemy ship exploded.
Wood, metal, lead and eraser bits flew everywhere. Neonbrown decided that it was safer under the table. He then recognized Papermate’s eraser. The eraser on board the training ship must have jumped off after forcing Neonbrown into the soldier line. Not too far from the dock, the eraser swam to it. The eraser must have already worked with Papermate. Neonbrown remembered an eraser bullied him as a child, too. He wondered if they were the same. He swam back to shore as a war hero.
The news reporters were all over him with cameras and microphones. He made the headline for the newspapers as the only surviving solider in the battle. Some blame him for the crew’s death, but he still enjoys like with his family and friends.
The End (for now)
by Treana Greene Vickery
My name is Michelle. I live in New York City with my younger brother, Mom, and Dad. We live in a ginormous apartment on 37th street; it has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, three TV’s, and an extremely large living room. Personally I love New York but some people don’t, there are advantages and disadvantages. It has really cool places like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Museums, and best of all Time Square. But since there are so many things to do, everybody wants to go there, which means loud noises like cars honking all the time and ambulance sirens. But the thing that bothers me the most is that lots of people smoke so you almost always smell smoke in the air. But anyway let’s get onto my story.
So I was born in a hospital called The Mount Sinai Hospital in room 236 at 6:00am on the dot. The doctors took one glance at me at me and they were so… shocked that more than half of them peed their pants. My story is that half of me is white and the other half is black.
If you look at me the color goes from the lightest skin to the darkest skin possible. Literally, if you compared my right pinky to my left pinky you could think it’s a whole different person. The left side of my body is the lightest skin you could imagine and the exact opposite for my right side; if you look at my stomach the colors just fade into each other. Even my eyelashes––my left one’s white and my right one’s brown. The only thing on my body that is not half and half is my hair. My hair is straight black hair except for one strike. The strike is about as much hair as occupies your finger and it’s all white. That’s what I look like.
Even though I look different, I still like normal things. It’s not like I’m an alien from outer space. My favorite thing in the world is basketball. My room is filled with pictures, medals, and posters of basketball. My dream is to go to the National State Championship. Of course I share this passion with my best friend in the whole wide world, Jessica. We’ve been together ever since we were 5; she stole my basketball book that I was reading and we instantly became best friends. I feel like with her, even though she loves my skin tone, that she doesn't talk about it much because she knows that’s not my favorite topic. Instead she looks at the inside of me and I feel that I can express the way I want in front of her.
But anyway we were talking about the transition from middle school to high school. I told her that I was very scared for the transition because I had only been in a class of 10-15 people max and I had been there ever since I started walking. On the other hand, Jessica was super duper excited because she wouldn't have so many eyes watching her so she could have more freedom and be “evil” as she put it.
The next day I woke up bright and early at 6:00am even though school didn't start till 8:00am; but that’s how I always did it. I rolled out of bed making myself breakfast, eggs, and spinach using my Grandma’s special recipe. After I packed my school bag with all my essentials, I looked at the clock and it was only 7:00am. I can now hear my brother waking up and begging my mom if he could be on screens, but he knew as well as I did that we weren't allowed to be on electronics on school days unless it was “educational.”
I plopped myself on the couch in the living room and start reading my book “The Outsider” by Stephen King. After five minutes I flip the page to 163 and get scared so I stop reading. I get up from the couch and decide to call Jessica.
I start to say “Hey Jess, how are you?” and she answers saying “Aren't you so excited for your first day of high school?”,
“Yeah I guess, my mom’s about to take me to school in her––”
Jess interrupted me. “Wait, your mom’s going to take you in her car?!”
“What's the matter with that?” I answer in a defending voice.
“Well, usually what happens is that you'll get humiliated on your first day of high school, and trust me you don't want that!”,
“Ok then, how am I going to get to school?” I asked confused.
“Just take the subway.”
“Well, ok then, see ya sucker.”
When my mom came downstairs, I told her that I wanted to take the subway. She did the whole “Aww sweetie your growing up” thing and gave me a kiss.
I told her “love you mom,” then walked out the door.
I made a left and then a right and ran down the subway stairs at 34th street. I already had a subway card with about five dollars that would last me through the day. I went to swipe my card but instead of letting me go through it said “Please Swipe Again.” I swiped the card again and I got through this time.
I had not noticed what time the train was leaving so right as I walked up it had just arrived. I got onto one of the subway cars and sat down. It was going to be a long ride and a two minute walk to school. I knew this because I had visited the school before. My mind trailed off to what was going to happen at school today. When I came back to the real world, I noticed that a few people in the subway were staring at me. I didn't really care so I ignored them. I thought this is how I should handle things at school but the difference is that I was going to see the people at school everyday and the people in the subway were people that I wouldn’t see everyday.
When I arrived at school Jessica was waiting for me in a secret place we both knew. It was very close to the school and there were no people staring at me.
Jessica said “Are you ready?” and I answered, “No, but if we don't go we'll be late”.
We walked around the corner and their was a ginormous billboard saying “Welcome to Regis High School” and there was a roadrunner next to it. I looked around and saw that some people were throwing me some quick glances but they immediately looked away when they noticed I glanced at them.
Jess noticed that people were staring at me and then whispered in my ear “Ignore them!” so I did.
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be until me and Jess noticed that we had different schedules. Her class was at the east side of school in room 258 and mine was at the west side of school room 861. I didn't want her to leave me but I didn't want to act like a baby so I didn't make a big deal about it. I started walking past people trying to get to my class because I was going to be late!!!.
Right before I was going to turn into my class there was a pretty wide hallway with sets of lockers against the walls. Lots of the “cool kids” that were ditching class were there. One guy who looked really popular started to move a table to the center of the hallway. Everybody was backing up and watching.
He stood up on the table and said, “Hey, hey, you over there.” I noticed immediately that he was talking to me.
I said “Me?” pointing to myself so he would know I heard him.
“Yeah you. Did your parents like try to roast half of you or something?!” Everybody laughed.
“No, I was born this way!” I said with very low self-confidence.
“Come here, don't be afraid” but I said “No!”, but some girl that was on his side shoved me up to him.
He grabbed me around my waist and whispered “Relax, I’m not going to hurt you…too much!!!,” then he laughed evilly. But then I kicked him and screamed but he would not let me go. In fact he took me to a door that said “EXIT” on it, meanwhile the “cool kids” acted like nothing ever happens. He used my head to open the door and we went out. I woke up in the woods realizing that I had dozed off. Then I looked around and wondered where we were. I lived in New York City but we were in the woods. As I was looking around I noticed that I was in the guys hands and immediately jumped out saying
“What's wrong with you, weirdo?!”
“Well first of all I have a name. It’s Mazon, and I'm not the only one who thinks your weird, everybody does!” He answered his phone out of his pocket. He showed me a photo of myself with a bunch of comments underneath, and of course they were all hashtagged “Half-sided,” my worst nightmare had come true!
I noticed that I was walking with him but had no idea where he was taking me, so I asked him, “Where are we going?” and he said “Far, far, away.”
Then I said, “Wait, how many hours have we been gone for?”
“Like, twelve hours,” he said and I repeated, “Twelve hours, where are we?!”
I started to run to try and find my way but instead he just said, “You’re never going to find your way back. I took as many turns as I could.”
And that's when I noticed he was right, there was no way to get back! I was so mad, I was throwing anything I could find at him but he didn't even seem to notice. I glanced over at him after a while and noticed he was looking at the news. I think about it then think how does he have a cell phone signal. I grabbed his phone out of his hands and I was able to see at the top of the phone a symbol, then he grabbed it back. I recognized the symbol from my parents phone. It basically meant that if you pay a lot of money each month then you can have wifi anywhere, I mean anywhere. I peeked over his shoulder to see what the news was and on the phone there was a bunch of police officers. The news article had a headline that said “Michelle Ken and Mazon Scruzer gone missing!!!”
Immediately I told Mazon to bring me back home but he wouldn't. I tried to fight against him but he was too strong.
When I woke up the next morning everything that had happened was put together in my mind. All of a sudden I had a really big anger mood swing. I yelled “Get me out of this place right now!''
He just laughed and then put his hands around my waist so I couldn't run and said, “No” with an evil grin.
I screamed “LET ME GO, LET ME GO OR . . . I’LL FIGHT YOU!” and right after I said that I knew I would regret it. Before I could say something else he punched me as hard as he could in the face and in my stomach. I threw up. I was really dizzy but I could see him running back using the GPS on his phone. I muttered some words probably like “Save me” but it was too late. I passed out!
I woke up a few hours later trapped in the woods having no idea were I was!!!
To be continued . . .
City of Monsters
By Mirari Porras
My arm is struggling to stay up. I’m sweating and I can feel my strength declining. I don’t know how much longer I can go on.
That’s when my arm gives out and it hits the table.
“Dang it!” I yell and push my friend Zoe on the shoulder.
“Hey,” Zoe laughs, shaking her right arm. “It’s not my fault you’re so weak!”
I scoff then put my left arm up on the table.
“Do you really want to go again?” Zoe asks.
“Positive,” I say.
“Okay,” Zoe says putting her left arm on the table and grabbing my hand.
“Ready?” she asks.
“Ready.” I start counting. “One, two, three.”
We start arm wrestling once again, trying to bring the other’s hand onto the table.
After being stuck on the middle for sometime, I finally muster up enough strength to move my arm about a centimeter forward. Once I start, I keep going.
“No,” Zoe grunts. “No . . . no!”
I slam her arm down on the table and let go.
“Yes!” I exclaim, holding my hands up in the air. “Now we’re tied!” Zoe sighs. “Well, I guess we’ll have to find another competition to see which one of us is the strongest.”
“I guess we shall.” I laugh and jump up. “What shall we do next?”
“We’ll need to do it tomorrow,” Zoe says, looking at her watch. “It’s almost ten o’clock.”
I groan. “Do we really have to follow that stupid curfew? There aren’t even any monsters right now.”
“But they could come at any second,” Zoe protests. “Anyway, I thought you wanted to live to graduate high school.”
“Then you have to stop making stupid decisions so you can live another year.”
I roll my eyes. “Fine, but at least I’m not dead yet, like the rest of those idiots.”
“Well, those idiots were out friends,” Zoe reasons.
“That doesn’t mean they’re not idiots.”
“Charles decided it would be a good idea to check out an old empty cottage by himself.”
“He heard a noise.”
“That turned out to be a murderous elf. Also, Marrissa. She thought it would be a good idea to be alone in the woods wearing platform heels. A zombie easily caught her. A zombie!”
“Okay, but Marrissa was actually an idiot,” Zoe agrees.
“Yeah, and Celia, she––” I cut myself off when I remember exactly who Celia was. Zoe is looking down. “You know, Celia actually wasn’t an idiot. She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
A tear rolls down Zoe’s cheek. “I could’ve saved her.”
“Then you would’ve died,” I say. “And I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Zoe groans. “I just want to leave this stupid town.”
“We could try,” I suggest.
“I thought you wanted to live until next year,” Zoe says. “Come on, you know about the curse. If you try to leave the town, you’ll die.”
I roll my eyes. Yes, I know about the curse. The curse some moron cast upon this town that woke up all the monsters in the underworld. Now, because of the curse, each type of monster has attacked this town, trying to find that moron who woke them up and kill them. So far, they’ve been unsuccessful.
In the past ten years, we’ve seen a whole variety of monsters. Every time a new monster comes it’s more powerful than the last. We’ve gone from dumb zombies to powerful witches and wizards.
“I know we can’t leave town,” I tell Zoe. “But I just . . . You know what, never mind. We’re at your house anyway.”
“Will you be okay walking home by yourself?” Zoe asks.
“What? Yeah, yeah, I’ll be fine,” I say, starting to walk off.
“Ximena,” Zoe calls out to me.
“Yeah,” I ask, turning around.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, right?”
“Yes, Zoe,” I say. “You’ll see me tomorrow.”
By Nataleigh Salas
Hi, my name is Ivy and I live in the sea. Me and my dad live in a big peace of coral right by a lake (yes a lake in the sea). However, it is very different from your lake. This lake is filled with acid and if you stay in it to long than you can die. There is only a few animals that can live in the lake without dying.
My story begins when I was five. When I was five, my parents and I moved to a huge house on Algae Street. When they got the house, it needed to be remodeled.
While the house was being remodeled, we stayed at my parent’s friend’s house. However, one night a giant, squid came and attacked me and I lost my arm.
After that the rest of my life was normal .I went to school to learn how to become a seahorse trainer. After school, my mom died of a heart attack. It was very hard on my dad and me. However, any way after that I fulfilled my dream of becoming a seahorse trainer.
And, that is where I am today training my favorite seahorse Rocky. Rocky is my best friend Ginger seahorse. He is so sweet and listens so well!
After training Rocky, we go to lunch at Carols. They have the best seaweed salad! BOOM! “What was that?!” asked Ginger then the sirens go off. Not the hurricane sirens the giant squid sirens!
“AHAAAAHA” screamed a random woman. Everyone starts swimming as fast as they can to the lake. The lake is the only safe place but you have to wear protective clothing to be able to survive. This clothing is made out of fish live fish it only lasts a few hours before the die after that you’re in truble.it only takes a few seconds to make your protective clothing because the fabric on your clothes is made to stick to fish so you can just grab a few random fish and put them on your clothes.
By now, everyone’s already in the lake while the squid is trying to eat us. A few hours go by and almost everyone has lost all of their fish. Except me, I am fine. The squid is usually gone by now but it’s still hear! I have to do something! Therefore, I snuck out so my dad wouldn’t see me because otherwise he wouldn’t have let me go.
The first thing I did was grabbed many fish and took it down to the lake and took the old ones out before they died. Then I had an amazing idea we could put everyone in a basement. It’s very risky because the squid can smell them. However, we could put the squid in the lake and it would die and are problems would be solved!
So I went down to the lake to tell everyone my plan and they liked it. So while everyone moved to the basement I was fighting the squid .the squid wouldn’t go into the lake then I had a genius idea instead of fighting the squid how about I lure it with food!
Therefore, I grabbed a few fish off my shirt and swam over to the lake. It was working! The squid was fallowing me! When the squid was right, over the lake, I dropped the fish in and the squid fallowed! The squid died instantly and we were finally free!
The Lost World
by Sedona Schlemmer
“Kylie! Your oatmeal is getting cold!”
I could hear my mom calling me from downstairs.
“Almost ready!” I replied.
I quickly put on my favorite black shirt that said ‘GIRL POWER!’ on it outlined in silver and colored in with purple. I pulled on my checkered skirt and my grayish leggings. I posed in front of the mirror to see how I looked. I decided that I didn’t quite like the leggings and shirt together, but I didn’t have much time. So I just left it the way it was. I blow-dried my hair because it was still wet from when my brother pranked me this morning.
My little brother, Frank, was a complete prankster. He loved to pull pranks on me and my mom, but he stopped pranking her because after he put charcoal in her toothpaste, he finally met her dark side. Now, since my mom is off the list, I get pranked almost hourly. He basically always uses Charlie as an excuse, saying, ‘Oh, that wasn’t me, it was Charlie,’ or, ‘Charlie was the one who spilled his disgusting chunky wet dog food in your make-up.’ So I was pretty used to his pranks.
When my mom installed security cameras in our house, I was relieved, just because I thought that Frank would stop trying to prank me. But, he decided to take down the security cameras and ATTEMPT to get away with it. Lucky for me, Charlie had a GoPro attached to his collar, so my mom could see where he is at all times. But whenever Charlie watches Frank set up, I can expect when to ‘get pranked’.
But, my backstory is a lot different. I was born four or five years before Frank. Frank never met my father. My father was the one person in this world that I looked up to. I mean, sure my mom watched me while he was gone, but my dad was the best person in the world to me. Just before Frank was born, he had to go on a last minute business trip. At this point, he didn’t know that my mom was pregnant. Her plan was to surprise him when he got back because it was only supposed to last a few days. After three days went by, my mom and I started to get worried. He wasn’t responding to any of our texts and wasn’t answering his phone. My mom decided to give me a babysitter for a night to go look for him. When she came back, she had a look on her face that I would never forget. It was hard to explain. It was like she was worried, but also sad and let down. She had tears gathering on her cheeks and I just stood there and asked if she found him. “It’s going to be okay” was all she said. I didn’t know if that was a good sign or a bad sign. I just knew that it was going to be me, my mom, and the new baby.
It really must have been hard for my mom to handle both of us in one small house. She worked at Starbucks, cleaning tables and mopping floors just to get enough money to raise me and Frank. But she soon got promoted to being a coffee maker. It still doesn’t seem like she would get paid enough to raise us and keep our house, but it is. So we have a pretty ordinary life in an ordinary home, going to an ordinary school.
That was true, until that day.
“Kylie! Come on!” she demanded.
“I’m coming, I’m coming!” I sarcastically said as I finished brushing my hair.
I ran down the squeaky clean stairs that shone as they had just been polished, like the 50 pairs of shoes I owned. I slid down the last rail and right next to my white and gold Adidas, so I slipped them on and ran to the table to eat my breakfast.
“So, how is it?” our chef Fabio asked.
I gobbled down my eggs and wiped my mouth quickly with big, wide eyes. “It’s really good!” I said as I kept eating and asking for more.
“Well, I’m glad you think so. Here are some more.” He offered me some more eggs and scraped them onto my plate.
“Thank you for cooking for us this morning, Fabio,” my mom said.
“Yeah, FaFa. These eggs are great. I can’t believe you made these,” my brother said as he threw his eggs and bacon into his mouth.
“Do I not always make good eggs?” asked Fabio with a worried smirk on his face.
My mom cut him off before Frank could say anything else offensive.
“What he means to say is that they are really good and [that a chef like you can’t make eggs possibly as good as these are],” she said, with the same awkward smirk that Fabio had. This was just getting weird, so I decided to change the subject.
“Hey mom, do we need more milk? I could go grab some from Q Mart on my way back [to] school if you want.”
“Oh, yes, we do in fact need some more milk. Yeah, uh, don’t forget your subway pass if you’re gonna do that,” said my mom, relieved that I broke the weird and awkward moment.
“Okay, Mom, I’m ready,” said Frank.
“Great. Wait for your sister. I’m gonna need to leave a little early today. Some work issues.”
My mom and I looked at each other, reminding ourselves about what had happened when dad was still here.
My mom still wouldn’t tell me what happened to dad. The first few months I didn't bother asking. It could have been too sad to talk about. But she never mentioned it. When I finally asked, she didn’t say anything.
“He’s fine, okay?”
She told me in a loud, cranky voice after asking her a million times. She had that face that I saw when she walked in the door that night. I would never forget that face, especially when I thought that she had it because of me.
When I finished my eggs and bacon, I quickly packed my books and swung my backpack over my shoulder.
“Okay, Frank. Let’s go!” I told my brother as I walked to the door.
“Coming!” Frank said as he shoved his toy cars into his oversized, overweight backpack. I never actually knew what made his backpack so heavy, but I was guessing that it was full of stuff to prank me.
“Wait––” he said as I opened the door.
“Come on, Frank,” I said.
I heard a large bucket over my head as stepped into the doorway. I looked up, and, not surprised, a large bucket of slime poured onto my face, which I took hours to make it not look sweaty. I looked at him and gave him the you-really-are-going-to-regret-that face. I threw a slimeball at him and it landed on his Boy Scout badge that he apparently worked so hard to get.
“Mommy, Kylie threw a slimeball at me!” he whined.
“Well, you did pour a huge bucket of slime on her, so…” my mom said as she gathered our dishes.
“That wasn’t me. It was from Charlie,” he said, of course, blaming it on the dog.
“Frank, let’s just go already,” I said, so he wouldn’t do that again.
At this point, I just didn’t really care anymore. I walked out of the door, my brother following far behind me.
The bell was at least one minute away from ringing when we got to the front door of Maple Leaf Elementary. I had to drop off my brother and then walk a block more until I got to Maple Leaf Middle School. Maple Leaf was the neighborhood that I lived in, so apparently, they named every school that was in our neighborhood Maple Leaf.
When I got to my school, the bell had already rung. I tried to sneak into my classroom. I quietly walked through the halls without making my shoes squeak on the clean floors. I usually thank Ms. Jacqueline for mopping, but at this point, if I see her in the hall, I would do the complete opposite. The floors were so squeaky and I was worried that I would get caught any second.
“Kylie Johansson, please come to the office at once,” I could hear the Vice Principal, Mrs. Shelly, say over the speaker.
I didn't know that I would get caught that easily. I walked to the office with my head down and slime dripping all over the floor. So there I was, everyone in their classrooms staring at me as I walked past. It really was a dramatic moment, and I could just imagine music playing in the background with a black and white screen in a romantic comedy movie. I don’t know why I think about that stuff so much, but it usually keeps me busy when I do.
I walked into the office. Mrs. Shelly looked at me, shocked by all the slime in my hair and on my face. I think she tried to forget about it as she shook her head like she was dreaming and straightened her papers.
“Well, Ms. Johansson, what were you doing in the halls sneaking on the walls like a detective of some sort?” she said in her weird English accent.
“You see, I was late because--"
“And why do you have slime all over your hair?”
“Again, I walked my brother to school, which is about a block away, and when we were about to leave the door, he pranked me and poured a giant bucket of slime on my head, so we were late. It wasn’t my fault, I swear!”
I told her as I acted out everything that happened.
“Well, that explains the slime and the tardy,” she said in a sarcastic way. “But then why didn’t you just come to the office for a tardy slip?” she asked, confused and worried at the same time. I stood there, my face red and hot, and my words were all scrambled up in my mouth. I knew that if I opened them then I would be saying what she likes to call nonsense.
Like a weird person would do, I grabbed a small piece of paper and one of the flower pens that Mrs. Shelly kept on her desk. This is what I wrote: I thought that I would get sent to detention if I was late. So I tried to sneak through the school to my classroom.
She read it and looked at me like I was a crazy person or at least a new person at a school. But I wasn’t.
“Yeah, but you know that there is a thing that’s all around our school called security cameras?” she said like I didn’t know my way around the school.
“We have those?” I whispered to her as I leaned forward. She backed up and I realized that she didn’t want to feel the slime on her clothes. So I backed up, too.
“Hey, excuse me, Mrs. Shelly, I have a question for––”
I turned around to see who was talking. At first I felt embarrassed, because I had slime all over me and the person sounded like he or she was about my age.
I saw chocolate brown hair with lots of gel in it and deep blue eyes. We stared deeply into each other's eyes long enough for Mrs. Shelly to think that we were each other's exes.
“First time in a while, huh? I felt that before, too. It feels so nice but also that I want to rip the other person to threads for breaking up with me.” Mrs. Shelly said as she looked at us like love birds.
We both smiled and were both so confused about what she was talking about.
I couldn’t feel my feet, and I really didn’t care that I had slime in my hair anymore. I had a feeling that he liked me, and that I liked him back.
Mrs. Shelly stepped out of the room when she thought we didn’t notice. The boy had neat clothes that looked like they were for picture day. His shoes were black and white J’s that caught my eye when I saw them.
“I like your shoes,”I said, nervous he would think that I was weird.
“Thanks. You, too,” he said, with a half smile looking at me. I feel like he felt the same way as I did.
“Uh, what happened to your hair?” he asked me. I was worried that he would notice. I mean, it’s hard not to, but I didn’t want anyone to make a big deal about it.
“Well, let’s just say some little brother issues,” I said. We both giggled and I then I had to go shower off.
“Bye,” he said.
“Bye. See you later, I guess,” I could hear him whisper to himself the words I hope. I was relieved he didn’t think I was a weirdo. Maybe today would be a great day after all.
I went to the shower rooms and showered off when I heard someone walk in. And what do you know, it was (Sarah). She was the bully of the school. Next thing you know, she takes a photo of me naked and posts it on the school feed. Luckily, she didn’t know I was in there. I could tell that she was in there to take a shower, because I could smell her through the stall walls. She was humming some sort of song about breakups and suicidal thoughts. I didn’t get why she liked to listen to that kind of music, but it sometimes played in the school halls on her request, just because her dad is the principal. I turned off the water just to get out of there. I didn’t want today to be as bad as this morning.
I hid in one of the stalls just to see what she would do next. She turned off the water and all you could hear was her humming and drying off with her rough towel she always used. If you don’t already know, this is not the first time I have ran into her in the girl’s shower room.
Suddenly, her phone rang. She answered it right away, of course.
“Hi, Josh!” she said over the phone.
“Oh yeah, uh, I’m in the girl’s shower rooms, you know, just showering off after gym. Uh huh… Okay, yeah! That sounds fun! Great. See you soon! Bye!”
Josh was her boyfriend that everyone thinks doesn’t go to this school. But Sarah says that he does. It’s just that no one knows who he is. He’s like a teacher’s assistant or something. I still don’t know why they just get proof from the security cameras.
School goes by really fast when you’re busy, so that’s what happened today. We had to work on a science project for the science fair all day. Mine was a volcano of some sort that was supposed to erupt when you add baking soda. Yeah, It was a pretty basic project, but it was the only one I had time for.
As I hopped onto the subway, I was looking for my friend Amy. She was supposed to meet me so we could hang out after I go grab some milk for my mom. I couldn’t find her, so at this point, I was thinking that maybe I went onto the wrong subway. When I got on the subway, everyone got off. So I was sitting there with no one else on the subway.
But what was creepy is that they kept calling names of stops and telling people to get off, and my stop was the last one they called.
I could hear strange mumbling noises each time they called a stop, even though I was the only one there. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention, because when they called the stop for Q Mart, I forgot to get off, and I got scared because I didn’t want to go too far north.
I felt like telling the person over the speaker at the front of the subway. But I didn’t feel like it. I had too many butterflies in my stomach, and they kept multiplying as I slowly crept towards the door. The door was different than most subways. It was made out of wood, but not the kind of clean wood on your bedroom floors. It was almost some sort of bark, tied together with strong, dirty rope. And then what really creeped me out was that there was a sign written in sloppy handwriting that said Ghost Train Conductor. I didn’t know what a ghost train was, but it definitely wasn’t the train I was hoping to be on and meet Amy.
I tried to ignore the sign as best as possible and just walked through the door. The door slowly creaked open as what I saw made my face go pale. Two seats, like in an airplane, with two ghost-like dolls sitting in them. I wanted to scream, but I was too scared to even breathe. I was hoping that this was all just one of Frank’s pranks, but I don’t even think that he could pull that off. He has never freaked me out in any of his pranks before. I didn’t know how to get off now, and I was starting to wonder. If those mumbling noises I heard were some sort of ghost people. I had a plan. If I were to just get off at the next stop, then I could walk home. I guess I will have to hang out with Amy some other time.
I walked off the subway the next time it got to a subway station. I found a staircase that would hopefully lead me out. I just wanted to walk home on foot, and my mom was probably starting to get worried about me. I carefully took myself up the staircase, but it kept going up and up. When I finally saw light around the corner, I was relieved, because it started to smell like dead fish in the staircase. I ran up as fast as I could, expecting to end up next to a bus stop or something, but I was so wrong.
Half of the land was dark and gloomy and the other half was all sparkly and shiny. I felt like I had to choose which side to go on. I decided, for some stupid reason, to go on the dark side first. I don’t know why, but it was really peaceful there. I mean, sure it was all dark and sad and you could hear the echoes of crows dying, but there was really no noise at all.
“Excuse me, ma’am,”
Said a voice behind me. I turned around to see who it was. It was a knight dressed in black armor and was riding on a black and white horse. He took off his helmet, and I couldn’t believe it. It was the boy from the office.
“Wait, are you the girl with the slime hair?”asked the boy.
“Yes. And, please don’t call me the girl with the slime hair. It can be really offensive to some people,” I said, trying not to sound too bossy.
“I’m sorry. Oh, and I never got your name.”
“Oh, yeah, uh, sorry about that. My name is Kylie. And you are…”
“Josh. Josh Huggins,” he said. I sorta forgot to ask him why he was in this place. It seemed sort of abandoned.
“Wait, as in, Josh? Like, the Josh who is dating Sarah Hughes?” I asked him, worrying that he would say yes, and if he was and he was lying, then I would be really mad at him.
“Well, not really…”
“What do you mean by not really?”
“Well, you see, I am, but I’m not dating her anymore.”
“Oh. Well, why and how did you get here?”
“Oh, I work here.”
I looked around with wide eyes. I can’t believe that he worked here. I decided to walk to the castle and explore.
“Ok. Well, bye.”
I walked off to the castle.
To be continued……..
by Cameron Schoch
Naida woke up in a circular spacecraft. As she stretched, she looked around. Naida slowly remembered her surroundings, and she thought to herself, The first phase of my mission is complete. I have completed my three year slumber, and I shall find the location of the distress call. Nebula Galaxy, here I come.
Naida landed on a strange blue green planet. She looked back at her spacecraft, The Infinite, and then she set off. When she looked around, she saw people in flowy, sea green robes. The air smelled like fresh flowers and streams. Naida saw moonstone attached above doorways and littered around on the planet. Weird. This place looks like my bedroom! Naida thought. She kept her mission in mind. Go through all the planets, and get to Planet Zodiac. This must be Pisces. Now I have to go to, Naida looked for the second planet, Aquarius.
Naida rushed through Aquarius, Capricorn, and Sagittarius. She felt no need to look around in the other planets. Now she was at planet Scorpio, but as she was walking along the sandy ground, a boy that was about her age tapped her on the shoulder.
“Yes?” Naida asked as she turned around. “Hey, I’m Harvey!” the boy said. “Where are you going?” Harvey asked. “First of all, I’m Naida, and second of all, I’m going to planet Libra.”
“Just a hunch, but are you going to Planet Zodiac?” Harvey questioned. “Maybe, why?” “Because I could take you there.” Harvey paused, “but you would have to
tell me why you’re going to the god’s planet.” “Fine, I’ll tell you, but you have to swear not to say a word,” Naida sighed.
“Okay!” Harvey said eagerly. “I was sent to the Nebula Galaxy from Earth,” Naida started. “NASA heard a distress call from Planet Zodiac and they sent me here.” Harvey nodded and smiled. “Good enough for me,” he said. Naida shook her head as he took the lead. Wow, the first person I see and
it’s this boy. Then Naida though she saw a glint of darkness in his eyes, but she just brushed it out of her mind.
Naida and Harvey went through Scorpio and Virgo pretty easily, but when they got to Leo, things changed dramatically. First of all, lions were everywhere. Pisces did have some fish ponds, but this was crazy. Also, almost every thing was on fire. All the food was charred. Houses were burning, and the street was covered in flames. Naida and Harvey didn’t stay long in Leo, that's for sure. In Cancer the pair found a lot of crying and hugging beings in comfortable clothing, and in Gemini they found twins talking in synch.
Now the pair only had to pass through Taurus and they would be on Aries, which is the planet that has a space-bus to Planet Zodiac. Taurus was by far the easiest planet to go through. All it had was grandmothers inviting Naida and Harvey for brunch, and people of various ages laughing and skipping everywhere. Now it was time to go to Aries. To pass from one planet to another, you have to step on a security bridge that looks like a hologram, and walk to the next planet. It’s really simple, but for some planets there is more security.
Now Naida and Harvey were going to board the space bus, but right before they entered the station, Harvey made a noise that sounded like a growl.
“Harvey?” Naida asked, confused, “are you okay?”
“Oh, I’m fine Naida, but if you try and board that bus, you won’t be.” Harvey smirked.
Naida suddenly thought of the glint of darkness. “No Harvey, you can’t be an illusion!” Illusions were shadows that form to trick people, and maybe even hurt
them. They can only be vanquished by the one who summoned them. Sometimes you can tell if something is an illusion, like a small flicker of darkness. Then Nadia remembered the item. NASA had given her a small pocketknife in case she ran into trouble. This was definitely trouble by Nadia’s standards. She whipped out the Pocketknife. One quick fact about illusions, they are terrible at dodging. So when the blade touched Harvey, he dissolved into a shadow once more.
Naida burst out onto Planet Zodiac, expecting complete chaos, but everything seemed peaceful. When she jogged up to the Alphas temple, where inhabitants can pray to Land, Air, Water, and Fire, she met a guard.
“Who goes there?” the guard bellowed. “Uh-I’m Naida. I recieved the distress call?” “Lies! Get out of here before I call the defense unit!” Nadia sprinted away, and when she was catching her breath, a thought
came to her.
It was you Harvey, wasn’t it? You took me on a wild goose chase! But of course, Naida, her mind whispered.
Always Take a Stand
by Serenity Williams
I step into my bedroom from dinner and start glancing around my baby blue walls and white desk-top with my baby blue canopy and bedsheets. I chuckle and grin. “I love my room,” I say.
My dog comes running into my room. Today I’ve gotten bullied again and called a two-faced but a very ugly one. It kinda broke my heart but I was fine. I just stood back up and kept going.
I’d usually hear my sister Julanie facetiming her best friend Julieanna, but I was the first person to finish my dinner. I jump on my bed and my dog follows. I watch YouTube. Most of the time I watch my mom’s model blogs or my dad introducing his books.
“Alanie.” My sister walks in.
“Yes?” I say.
“We are about to play UNO. Do you wanna play?” Julanie asks.
“Um, sure!” I exclaim.
“Uno!” Dad says.
“Awe, dang it, Jordan,” Mom says.
“Hahaha,” Dad chuckles.
“Reverse card!” I say.
“Well, it’s 8:30pm and you guys have school tomorrow. So let’s get ready for bed,” Mom says.
“Okay,” my sister and I say.
The next morning, the girls and parents get ready for the day laid out in front of them. “Buzz-buzz” goes my alarm. I wake up. I see a blur in my vision, then like ten seconds later it goes away. I feel a knot in my stomach. Some5ing that’s not so pleasant. I’m gonna get bullied today. I just know it.
“Sweetheart,” Dad says, as he enters my room.
“Yes, Dad,” I say.
“I have work until about nine tomorrow so tell your mom when she gets back from work,” Dad says.
“Ok, Dad, love you,” I say.
I get out of bed and get my outfit on. Today I’m wearing my black and white sweat-shirt with some checkered vans and two French braids. I look normal, don’t I?
“Yes,” Julanie replies.
“Oh, you heard me,” I ask.
“Yeah,” she chuckles. “I was going to tell you that you are worth the world and can ignore the bullies,” my sister encourages.
“Thanks, Sis,” I say. “I really think today is gonna be a good day.”
“Me too,” Julianne says,”
“My bus is here. I have to leave,” I tell my dad.
“Ok,” he replies.
“Me as well,” Julanie says.
“Ok. Love you guys,” Dad says.
“I’m here at school. Just me, my sister, and a bunch of other kids. Gabrielle Robinsin. She is my bully. So I try to ignore her and move on, but she doesn’t ignore me.
“Students, we have extra break so we will be going outside at this moment,” Mrs. Richland says.
“Yay!” the whole class exclaims.
We’re outside. I’m on the bright yellow swing. Jonah Beck is on the light blue monkey bars. Andi Mack is on the blue and white balance beam talking to her friends like normal. Gabriella’s coming to bully me again so I get up and try to run. Of course, she’s faster than me.
“Hey little piece of garbage,” Gabrielle says.
“M-hmm,” I mumble.
“You were a total MISTAKE,” she says.
“No, I’m not,” I say.
I start to cry.
“BIIING” goes the whistle.
“Mom, we’re back from school,” Julanie and I say.
“And Dad said he’d be working until nine,” I add.
“How was school?” Mom asks.
“Terrible,” I replied.
“Is that Gabrielle girl messing with ouu again?” Mom asks.
“Yes,” I say.
“I’m going to call Dad and tell him and we’ll figure out what we’re going to do,” Mom says.
“Ok,” I say.
I go into Julanie’s room with her and we talk.
“So what’s with this Gabby girl?” my sister asks. “Why are you crying?” she continues.
“I’m just tired of her being at my school just to bully me,” I say.
“Oh,” Julanie says.
“Ok, girls. Dad’s gonna be here earlier to talk to the principle about it,” Mom says.
“Oh, ok,” I say.
Gabrielle’s there with her Mom and Dad. And I’m with my mom, dad, and sister.
“So, Gabrielle, you’ve been bullying Alanie?” Principle Ardino says.
“Yes, because she’s a little––” She pauses as her parents give her a look. “Brat,” she continues.
“Well, explain what you did/say to her,” Principle Ardino says.
“I’ve punched her. I celled her a brat.” She pauses.
“This cannot go on anymore,” Principle Ardino adds. “You are EXPELLED for one month.”
“Ok,” Gabrielle says sadly.
I come home feeling confident, then I got a call from Gabby and she says she’s truly sorry. I accept it. Then we become best friends.