Posts filed under ‘Denton Writes 2009’
Participants in the Denton Public Library’s creative writing contest, Denton Writes 2010, have just received a little more time to fine-tune their work and submit it to email@example.com. The last day to submit writing has been extended to April 25.
If you are interested in participating in the creative writing contest and would like submission guidelines, go to http://www.dentonlibrary.com and click on the Denton Writes 2010 banner.
For additional information, contact Juli Gonzalez at 940-349-8741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other news items on the City of Denton, visit our website at www.cityofdenton.com, go to Quick Information and click on Press Releases.
by Hannah Bradshaw
Hannah brushed her hair, put on PJ’s and got into bed. She was almost asleep when she heard a witch laughing. The witch said, “I’ll cast a spell on you. Whenever you’re scared, you’ll shrink until your teeny tinier than a germ. And when you’re really scared, you’ll become a mouse.”
The little girl felt so scared that she turned as small as a tooth. Her mom came to her room to give her some milk and screamed, “Hannah! Where are you?” Finally, she called the police, “911, we have a missing daughter.”
The police showed up and heard a small voice. They looked behind them and saw a little girl.
She looked like Hannah, sounded like Hannah, but she couldn’t be Hannah. She was tinier than a tooth.
Her brother asked, “Ish she the thooth fair-wee?”
“No. I’m not the tooth fairy. I’m still your sister,” said Hannah.
A witch flew over with her short broom. She stopped suddenly. Her broom was out of batteries, and she fell flat on her face. Yucky green stuff came out of her head. She grabbed some new batteries and put them in her broom. Then, she flew up and broke through the roof.
Daddy said, “I think that nasty witch did something to my Hannah.”
Mom asked, “What should we do? The roof’s on top of me. It bonked my head hard.”
“That mean witch hurt my sweetheart,” said Dad.
“I shill think she’s the thooth fair-wee. I’ll always bewieve it,” said Hannah’s brother.
Hannah asked, “Are we in a nasty fairytale?”
“I don’t know,” her mom answered as the policeman helped her up.
Bright blue wings grew on Hannah’s back. All her clothes were blue petals. On her head was a small hat made from a blue flower. Everyone saw blue pixie dust on her wings.
Mom said, “It looks like we’re in a big fairy tale mess.”
Dad said, “I think she is a fairy.”
Her little brother said, “I thold ya.”
“Maybe one of Tinkerbell’s friends has turned big and changed clothes with me.”
Suddenly, they heard a noise. The house was cracking.
“It’s going to explode!” said Dad.
“I think we thould look for thelther,” said baby brother.
They rushed outside, and the house went splat.
“Oh dear, there goes our money,” said Mom.
Everyone was unhappy except little brother. He was smiling. “Maybe the fairies’ houses are collapsing right now, too.”
The tired family looked for a place to camp. While they were asleep, the witch did a magic spell with her wand and sent them to Pixie Hollow where all the fairies live. When they woke up, they saw this big person that looked like a fairy.
The big fairy asked, “How’d you get here?”
Hannah said, “I don’t know, but I heard a sound when we were asleep.”
“Do you know how I got big? Me and some other fairies were in a fight. I heard a laughing sound and a witch flew over Pixie Hollow. I heard her say, ‘Willow, Willow, turn so billow. Once you’re scared, you’ll turn so yellow.’ Then I got bigger and had yellow petals—but huge yellow petals. Everyone was looking at me. The other fairies started laughing and flew off. Then I heard an unusual noise,” said Willow, “It sounded kind of scary like a strange bird.”
“Oh no, look,” Hannah pointed towards the sky.
“Wow, it flew right over us.” said Willow.
“ I thon’t think I thaw it,” interrupted Hannah’s little brother.
“Let’s work together to find the witch so that we’ll be unspelled,” said Hannah to the big fairy.
Then Willow asked Hannah’s mom, “Are you okay? You look like you have a cold.”
“I’m okay, but I feel tired.”
“Stay here while Hannah and me look for the witch. I’m certain we can find her,” said Willow.
After walking for hours, Hannah asked, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“I don’t know. How can I think what your thinking?”
“It’s just a saying,” laughed Hannah.
“That’s strange” said Willow. “I never heard of that.”
“What I mean is, I wonder if we should camp now. It’s getting dark.”
“What is camp?”
“You don’t know?”
“Fairies only know certain words.”
Hannah put her cold hand in her pocket and found a key. “Do you know what a key is?”
“Something that makes potions?”
“Not exactly. It’s something that opens doors and jewelry boxes.”
“Oh,” said Willow, “What’s a door?”
“Something you use to go into rooms.”
“Oh,” said Willow again.
“We need to look for shelter.”
“How about that hollow tree over there?”
It started raining. “Wait. I can’t fly,” said Hannah.
“That happens when you get wet. Better get inside the hollow tree.”
When they got there, they found a door with a lock on it. Hannah remembered the key she’d found in her pocket. She put it into the lock and twisted. The door opened.
“Should we go in?” asked Hannah.
“Come on. We can be brave.”
They slowly crept inside. They saw icky spider webs.
“I’m scared of spiders,” said Hannah. Sparkles went round and round her. She shrank tiny as baby’s little finger.
“Don’t be afraid. Here, I can light a match to burn the spider webs and to light our way.”
“Okay,” said Hannah in a shaky voice. “As long as you promise to be in front.”
“Fine,” said Willow.
They crept into the hole one step at a time. Then they heard sounds like the wings of a bird.
“I’m really scared,” said Hannah.
They saw this huge bird above them. It was almost as big as the whole tree inside.
“Oh dear,” said Hannah, “It better not eat me.”
“I’m scared, too,” said Willow, “Uh oh, I’m getting bigger!”
“Oh my, it’s flying towards us!”
“Hello,” said a low voice. “I haven’t seen anything in this hollow tree in years.”
“Who are you?” Hannah asked.
“I’m Pallas. Can I help you?”
“We need to find a short witch with a magic broom.”
“Well, I heard of a witch that has a broom. I think we should look in the magic mirror. Here, this way.”
“Whoa, what’s this?” asked Hannah.
“It’s the underground magic mirror. Magic Mirror, Magic Mirror, show me the witch with the long nose.”
A sound like wind brushed through their hair. They saw a tall witch with a long nose and a long broom.
Hannah said, “I don’t remember that witch. The witch we’re looking for has a short broom and a short snout and lots of green goo on her head”
“Oh, that witch. I think I saw her flying over this hollow tree once. I saw her with a short nose and broom, but never with green goo.”
“That’s because she flew through my roof yesterday, and she got an owie.”
“I suppose that’s Guffaw.”
The wind began again. It nearly blew off Hannah’s petals and her cute hat. She had to hold on tight. Then, they saw the witch.
“Yes!” said Hannah and Willow. “That’s her!”
“Show me where Guffaw is,” demanded Pallas.
Wind whistled and the mirror showed the witch in a spooky forest where coyotes and ghosts lived. The witch was making soup.
“Many witches live in that forest,” said Pallas.
“You mean she lives there?”
“Maybe,” said Pallas.
“Why did she go where I live?”
“Maybe she was having some fun and games. Now, enough talking. I’ve been to the forest before and I can take you if you want.”
“Oh thank you,” said Hannah.
“Jump on my back.”
“Okay,” said Hannah, and they were on their way.
Hannah saw flying fish, mermaids and rainbows made by ponies. They came to the forest and heard creepy sounds like howls and footsteps. They also heard Guffaw laughing. When they landed, they saw her.
The witch said, “Well, well, well. Looks like I have company.”
“Oh no,” said Hannah, “I’m really scared.” She shrunk small as a mouse and started to grow mouse ears and a tail. She was so small no one could see her anymore.
She crept behind Guffaw, and even though she was scared, she bit her as hard as she could. The witch screamed and fell half-way into her boiling pot.
“No more witch,” said Hannah, picking up the magic wand. Hannah looked into the pot and saw her reflection. She saw that she was big again and Willow was her normal size, too.
Hannah took the wand. They got on Pallas. Quicker than you can blink, he was off. He flew up in the air and took them back to Pixie Hollow.
“Oh, you guys are all right. I’m so happy…Aaachoo!” said Hannah’s mom.
“You got a rare sickness that usually only fairies get,” said the wise bird.
“Can she get well again?” asked Willow.
“Well, usually not, but..”
“The wand,” said Hannah, and she waved it in front of her mom’s face, “Please help Mom to be well.” Her mom felt all better and no one got that illness again.
In the meantime, they had to get home. They all slipped on Pallas’ back.
“Willow, you will always be my best friend,” Hannah yelled from the sky. “When I was scared, you were nice to me. Bye.” She waved while Pallas took them all home. Quick as a wink, they were next to their broken house.
“Oh dear, I forgot about that,” said mom.
“Thon’t worry. We have the wand,” said baby brother.
“Please help our house to be like it was,” said Hannah while she waved the wand.
Then it was just like new. They were all so tired from their adventures that they went right to bed.
Jackie and Fred Adventures
by Levi acord
The day was raining. That’s not phrased right. It was a day. It was rainy. Still not right. It was a rainy day at Jackie’s’ house. That sentence sounds good.
Fred was staying the night at Jackie’s place. That day, since it was raining, Jackie and Fred played chess.
Jackie moved a pawn.
Fred moved a pawn.
Jackie moved a pawn.
Fred moved a knight.
Jackie moved a pawn.
Fred moved the knight and captured a pawn, etc.
After 188 games of chess, they got awfully bored. They wandered around the house, when Jerry showed them an invention.
“Try it,” suggested Jerry, not saying anything about how to use it or what it did. Jackie flipped a switch into the on position. A barely visible purple light filled the room, probably along with UV light.
Jackie and Fred looked around. They were standing on a large square of concrete, with smaller squares drawn with sidewalk chalk along it, in a checkerboard pattern as if one was playing chess.
A little girl, approximately 6 years of age, wearing a bow in her hair, was jumping rope on the concrete. She was missing a front tooth.
A man in a majestic mauve robe and a golden crown walked up, wearing a majestic mauve robe and a golden crown.
“Excuse me, honey; it’s time for dinner” said the man elegantly, “how foolish! I haven’t introduced myself. I am the White King,” and sure enough, the King’s skin was as white as a polar bear in Antarctica eating vanilla ice cream during a blizzard, in the brightest part of the day with the lens of the camera photographing such image painted white.
The king took the girl, Jackie, and Fred to the castle.
They were in an enormous room, elegantly stained glass made up the walls. Long tables lined the width of the room. Numerous people, from the smallest dwarf, to the largest giant, and everyone in between, were seated at that table. In front of them, golden plates, on them there was every food from apple-flavored asparagus, to zucchini zest, including multi melted meat muffins, nice ‘n’ nicer nougat nuggets, totally twisted toasted tasted tofu, purple painted pork pastry, and an assortment of foods of which you’ve probably never heard. Jackie and Fred dug in, which, of course, is a casual term for began eating. The king explained the situation.
“All of White Chessville is in danger. The dreaded Black Knights are advancing, and we still don’t have a plan of action. Before I ask for suggestions, I would like to welcome our new guests, um,”
“Fred and Jackie” said Fred with an elegant gesture.
“Ah, yes, Fred and Jackie. Anyway, we need someone who is good at chess, someone who can map out quite a few solutions. Someone who knows which directions we can move!”
Fred, of course knew what to do, because he had won 189 of the 188 rounds.
“Me, me, me” volunteered Fred, who had obviously not learned it is a bad idea to shout out me, me, me, particularly if you want to get called on and you are in a fancy castle.
The wizard asked Fred to carefully draw plans for a number of scenarios. In Jackie’s journal, for he had no other paper, Fred got started. Anyone could tell that he was not an artist, but at least everything was labeled. Besides, Fred’s handwriting was legible. In fact, his handwriting had serifs, which are, of course, the decorative little tip things on the letters in most books, including this one. Sans serif fonts have no little decorative tip things like this: This text is sans serif. Most peoples’ handwriting is sans serif, but Fred’s wasn’t. So, the rest of the people at White Chessville relaxed a little bit.
The king sent the royal reporter to interview the king of Black Chessville. Jackie and Fred went with, so Fred could learn a bit about the black King’s personality so he could draw his plans better. They entered the castle and assembled in front of a man, whose skin was as shady as the dark side of the moon at midnight, painted a dark color with the sun removed from the solar system. Well, I guess then it wouldn’t be the solar system.
“Whad’ya want?” asked the king, grumpily.
“We r here 2 interview u.” replied Fred.
“You shouldn’t talk in abbreviations like that,” pointed out Jackie.
“Interview me, now” insisted the king.
“The first question,” Fred began, “If you were being chased by a tiger, would you run, if your legs were tied together?”
“I couldn’t run if my legs were tied together,” grumped the king.
“Grumpy, grumpy” said Jackie.
“Stay out of this, Jackster” replied Fred.
“Question two, why are you always so grumpy?” asked Fred, that question was not on the sheet of questions he was sent to ask.
“When I was a little boy, I went to the Burger-Queen all the time. My mother would always spare me a quarter, to buy a drink, a hamburger, and a carton of waffle fries. The cartons had precisely 17 waffle fries. Well, once the man at the counter gave me only 16. I was mad. The story only goes downhill from there. When I got home, I told my mother about that unfortunate happening. She informed me that it was okay, and that I shouldn’t worry. That thanksgiving, we got a smaller turkey. Only twenty-seven of my eighty-three cousins were able to make it. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was I only could have twenty-seven pieces of pumpkin pie, instead of my usual forty-three. That made me madder than I was at the incident with the waffle fries. Later came Christmas. I only got fifty-eight presents, instead of sixty-four. In my stocking, I always got two-hundred-and-seventy-three jellybeans, but this year, I only got one hundred and four. On New Year’s instead of twenty-seven cupfuls, I only could have five. We only opened six crackers instead of eleven. And the story continued to get worse,” concluded the King, “I felt as if I was always being short changed.”
“Question three” Fred continued, which was really the second question he had to ask because the second one wasn’t on the sheet. “If you moved in one way, and a pawn would catch you and in another direction a knight would catch you, which way would you move?”
“I would either send another piece somewhere, or move in a different direction than either of those pieces could catch me,” replied the king.
“Question four” Fred said, this being the third question on the sheet and the last one the king had asked for, “Why did you decide to become a chess piece?”
“I wanted a place where I had total power, somewhere where I was the boss.”
“OK, thanx” replied Fred.
“Again,” said Jackie, “Don’t talk in abbreviations,”
They headed back to the castle. This time, the king wasn’t around to let them in.
“I’m taking you to the dungeon, unless you can prove you’re welcome at this castle,” said a rook.
“Let’s explain to the rook that we should go to the castle,” suggested Fred.
“No, I think we should go to the dungeon, this chapter needs more length,” replied Jackie. He is, of, course right, so I think that it is a good idea that they go to the dungeon, simply to add length to this chapter.
They walked through a dark twisting passageway. The passage way was small, and they had to feel their way. Jackie, who had sensitive hands, was able to guess the shape of the shape of the symbols, into something surprisingly accurate. It was as follows:
“Fred, check this out!” exclaimed Jackie.
“What?” asked Fred. Fred felt the symbols. “Wow,” he breathed. Jackie copied the symbols in to his journal.
Yes, he can write in the dark.
June 19, 1999
Today, Fred and I found these weird symbols on the inside of a tunnel to the dungeon. They look like this: ‘D F’C ÂZMQ
They continued though the tunnel. The expression, a light at the end of the tunnel, is usually a metaphor that is hardly ever literal. This occasion is a rare one, in which I will use that expression and it will have a literal meaning.
Jackie and Fred saw a light at the end of the tunnel. They started running. They were now in a large room, made of thin planks of wood. The room was brightly lit. In one corner, a dragon was cowering. Yes you heard, or rather, saw correctly, a dragon that was actually cowering.
“W-who’s th-there?” stammered the dragon.
“We mean you no harm” said Fred, who though that would be a good way to say that to a mystical beast.
“You are aware that dragons aren’t real, right?” asked Jackie.
“Yes, I’m perfectly aware that I don’t even exist,” replied the dragon, sounding annoyed.
“Do you know of the runes on the walls?” asked Jackie, showing the dragon the page in his journal.
“Yes, the first set of symbols simply means that the light is dim, but gets brighter further ahead. The second set of symbols means something along the lines of at a particular time at night, something will explode,”
“What will explode?” asked Jackie and Fred in unison.
“To be honest, I don’t know, but I think it has something to do with flying,” replied the dragon.
“This way, leads out of the dungeon,” insisted the dragon, gesturing to the way out, which was above them.
“We can’t fly” pointed out Jackie.
“I always forget that humans can’t fly,” said the dragon, “I’ll have to take you out myself,” They slowly began to mount the dragon. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride bareback on a fictional creature. They quickly gained altitude, soaring high above mountaintops, floating effortlessly, over rivers so clear that you could count the scales on the fish below. They landed in front of the castle. The king let Jackie and Fred in. “Here are the results,” said Fred, as he handed he king the interview form the Black King.
“Wonderful. Did he say when we could have the match?”
“Yes” replied Fred, “Wednesday, June 23.”
“That’s in four days! Everybody, we must get to work! Our royal yard has to be perfect!” The gnomes, giants and everyone in between franticly hurried around the yard, picking up every bit of trash and putting it in multiple waste bins around the yard. They then gathered the waste bins, and ran them to their proper locations in the castle. Because lawn mowers had not been invented in the medieval times, they used all sorts of things, the blacksmiths cut the grass with hacksaws, and the knights cut with swords. Everybody cut the grass with something or another. The yard soon looked as if it should be advertised in a gardening magazine. The king ordered the royal artist to draw a perfect chessboard on the slab of concrete. He did so.
Finally, the day was over. As they went to bed, Jackie showed the symbols in his journal to the king.
“By Jove, we have to do something!”
“What does it say?” asked Jackie.
“It means at exactly midnight, a time bomb will go off! It will send a plane into space. I happen to know that that kind of plane does bad things to the castle!” The king said worriedly.
“But those runes are hundreds of years old. How can you be sure that the plane event will happen today?” asked Fred.
“I can just feel it, boy. When I was young, I was endowed to feel something close, but only if it was said. Sometimes my friends would pick on me by asking when someone would sneeze. It got annoying, but now I’m thankful that I have my endowment,” the king explained. So that night, they went with king to deactivate the time bomb plane. All they had to do was to flip a switch at the top of the castle.
At last, it was time for the long awaited Chess game.
“Let’s work this out” said the White King, “If we win, we will be friends, and if you win, we will be enemies, and you can continue advancing and try to take over our castle,”
“Deal” agreed the Black King. The select pieces that are used in chess arranged themselves onto the board in their proper places. The king’s daughter started whining that she wanted to play. Using Fred’s best plans, Jackie’s journal was open to that page. First it was the Black’s first move. They moved a pawn. They had not written out plans. After precisely 78 moves, the chess game was down to one move. It was White’s turn. The king sent a rook and it captured the Black King.
“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” said the White King, “we won!”
“So you did,” grumped the Black King.
After that, the White King took Jackie and Fred back to the castle. He showed them an invention he had found. It was the one that they had used to get there in the first place. A small red button on the side read RETURN HOME. Jackie and Fred pressed the button, and home they were.
“Grandpa,” asked Jackie, “Why do we always go on the adventures?”
If I went, the stories would be about an old guy who isn’t very funny, none of the readers could relate. Besides, I don think the author knows how to phrase it how an old guy talks,” explained Jerry.
Part II: the Second Adventure
“We are going to take a vacation to Hawaii” Jerry announced. Jackie ran out of the living room and into the kitchen—without even turning the TV off—jumped up, and clicked his heels.
“Can I take Fred along?” asked Jackie.
“I’ll tell you what, Jackie” answered his grandfather. “You can take Fred if we can take a friend of ours.”
“Deal!” And they shook on it.
Jackie went over to Fred’s to tell him about going to Hawaii.
“Guess what, Fred, I’m going to Hawaii!” Fred just sighed.
“What’s wrong, wont it be fun?”
“Oh, are you taking me?!?” Fred asked
“You better pack your bags, Fred. We’re leaving tomorrow!”
That night, Jackie wrote in his journal.
June 12, 1999
Today, I learned that we are going to Hawaii. Grandpa says Fred can come along if Grandpa can take one of his friends. The trip is going to be exciting. Crystal clear beaches, refreshing coconuts, hot girls in hula skirts, okay, maybe just kidding about that last one.
The next morning, at about 10:00 AM, they went to the SFNHA, an abbreviation that stands for San Francisco Northern Hemisphere Airport.
Such an airport only exists in this story. The actual airport in San Francisco has a different name. Anyway, that’s where they went. They drove into the parking garage. They headed into the airport. Jackie noticed that it must have been recently tiled because the tile was new and shiny, but also because last time they were there, it had carpet. They put their luggage on that luggage cart thing to be taken into the plane.
So, on the plane they were. The plane service was good.
A lady wearing a funny apron asked if they wanted anything to eat.
“Yes,” they all replied at the same time. Or should I say “simultaneously”? That means at the same time, so it’d work, but I said “at the same time” so it doesn’t matter what I should’ve put, because I didn’t put it.
By now, after all my blibber-blabber about what I should have put, you’ve probably forgotten that the story is about Jackie and Fred going to Hawaii.
“You said you’d bring a friend too. Where’s your friend?” asked Jackie.
“Oh, she’ll meet us in Hawaii,” answered Jerry. “She didn’t want to drive all the way out here to go with us. She’s using a different airport.”
“She’s probably going to sit around and play bingo with your grandma.” Fred whispered.
Six hours later, the plane landed in the Hawaii Airport of Hawaii, which is of course as made up as SFNHA because a fictional plane can’t land in a real airport any more than a real plane can land in a fictional airport.
They booked into a hotel. The large clock on the wall read 2:00 PM. If it took them six hours, then how come they were there at two? If you do think this, then you’re forgetting that the time changes as you travel to different time zones. They got checked into room 356. It was like any other hotel room. That wasn’t the exciting part.
Jerry reached into his suitcase and…I should just leave it like that for a couple of pages just to torture you, but that wouldn’t be very nice. He pulled out a machine that was small and seemed purposeless, it was about the size of a thimble. It hit the doorknob and beeped. Then fell to the floor.
“It’s a metal detector,” Jerry explained, “just a small portable one.”
They went outside to play. They saw crystal clear beaches, refreshing coconuts, hot girls in hula skirts, okay, like his journal entry, just kidding about that last one. Anyway, they asked permission to use Jerry’s machine to see if they could find gold.
He said okay, so that’s what they did. Jackie would flip the detector like it was a coin. Fred would crawl along behind him and pick it up.
Finally, it started to beep. Fred and Jackie started digging. Then on those crystal clear beaches, down fell some refreshing coconuts. I use those adjectives because they were in Jackie’s journal, so that must be how he feels about such, but I can imagine the coconuts aren’t that refreshing when you’re’ trying to dig and they fall on you. They kept digging. Fred leaned over forward. He fell, and he landed on the bottom of the sand pit they dug. Then the sand collapsed, and Fred fell some more.
At that moment some hot girls in hula skirts walked up (this time I’m not kidding).
Jackie turned crimson. Crimson is a fancy word, which in this context means a reddish pink color. He was sitting there digging like a dog, while his best friend had fell down a hole. I could say he was embarrassed, but I don’t want to make an understatement.
“Hi,” said one of them in a sugary voice.
“Er, hello” replied Jackie awkwardly.
He always was shy when he was with someone he had never met before.
“What?” Fred called up from the hole.
Jackie felt more embarrassed. Fred didn’t. He had no way of knowing that some hot girls in hula skirts had walked up.
Fred climbed up and poked his head up the hole.
“What?” he called again. He looked around, saw the hot girls, and realized the importance of not shouting stupid things like “What?”. He climbed up out of the hole, dusted himself off, and cleared his throat.
“Ooooh,” they cooed.
A man, pushing an ice-cream cart walked by, pushing an ice-cream cart.
“Bye” said one of the hot girls in hula skirts in another sugary voice. The girls walked over to the man with the ice-cream cart. They pushed and shoved, trying to get to be first to get ice-cream. They shouted out their favorite flavors.
“Pistachio fudge ripple!”
“They don’t make broccoli ice cream.”
They looked down the hole Fred had fallen into, and there in the bottom of it was a large treasure chest.
“I thought that those were only in pirate stories,”
“Guess not,” replied Jackie.
“Or, maybe, this is a pirate story, and were about to be attacked by pirates!” suggested Fred.
To make a long story short, they were not attacked by pirates. They opened the treasure chest. Inside was something that was not the biggest, smallest, longest, shortest, fattest, roundest, squarest, loudest, quietest, thinnest, best, and worst object they had ever seen. I will leave you wondering what that object is, and how it can be opposites, like that, because it was getting dark. Jackie and Fred went back to the hotel. An elderly lady sitting in a chair, who had not been there before, well, was sitting in a chair. That sentence sounded kind of redundant, but that sentence needed a verb. The voice of the woman in the chair sounded. “Your grandma and I are going to go play bingo.” She patted Jackie on the head.
“What’d I tell ya?” asked Fred, loudly.
“Here,” the woman in the chair offered them peppermints. They accepted them gratefully. Not to eat, of course, you should never eat candy from strangers, but they might come in handy. The candy, of course, not the strangers. Anyway, you are probably wondering what Jackie and Fred did next. So, that’s what I’ll tell you.
“Y’all can come to bingo with me and your grandma. You can take your friend with,” she informed Jackie. They went with her to bingo.
“Bingo” someone shouted.
“Bingo” shouted Christina, which if you don’t remember all the way to the beginning, is Jackie’s’ grandma’s name. “$25,000 for you, Ms.,” said the guy calling out numbers.
“Thank you, now we won’t go bankrupt on the flight home. That doesn’t stop the hassle of the airport though,” She laughed at her last remark.
“I’m bored” Fred informed Jackie.
“Don’t say that so loudly” he replied.
That night, Jackie’s grandma’s friend, Rose, slept on the rollaway bed. Jackie got his pencil and journal ready for writing an entry.
June 14, 1999
Today, Fred and I found an odd treasure.
We went to play bingo with Grandma and her friend, Rose. Grandma won $25,000. (Yay!)
The next morning, they went outside to play. Jackie opened the treasure chest. Get ready too see the most gold you’ve ever seen in one place before.
The treasure chest was empty!
“Now how are we supposed to show the reader all the gold?” Fred asked.
“We’ll have to find it,” Jackie guessed.
A large ship, made out of wooden planks, on it hung a flag, with a skull and crossbones embroidered on it. Such a flag is called a jolly roger, and it is generally known as the pirate’s flag. On such a ship, Jackie could just make out a figure.
Such a figure was standing on the deck of the ship, cackling. Such a figure was the pirate, Polka-dotbeard. Sure I’ll bet you’ve heard of Blackbeard, and Redbeard, so Polka-dotbeard is just another pirate. Their names just have a color and the word “beard”.
“Look,” cackled Polka-dotbeard, “those children have come looking for our treasure,”
“They unburied it, Cap’n” said Ferocioustoes, Polka-dotbeard’s first mate.
“And we stole it from them,” Polka-dotbeard grumped. ……..
The ship was now ashore, so Jackie and Fred walked around back and snuck aboard.
“Why’d we shipwreck here, Ferocioustoes? We was tryin’ ta get further from da kids, not to’ards ‘em!” shouted the Cap’n, which is much shorter than spelling out Polka-dotbeard, so, that’s what I’ll write, or rather, type from now on.
Jackie and Fred went to the captain’s quarters, where they found pirate uniforms. That’s an overstatement. Pirate clothes, which also wouldn’t work because it is still an overstatement. Rags often worn by pirates. That works!
They put them on, headed to the top of the ship, and pretended to be crewmates.
“Cap’n,” Fred asked, for he was the best at phrasing things, “Where on the ship is the treasure?”
“In the cupboard at the back of the third brig to the left below deck, of course!” roared the Cap’n, whose eyes narrowed and he looked suspicious, “Why?”
“Um,” began Jackie.
“So we can better guard it!” exclaimed Fred.
So, as one can probably guess, they went to the third brig on the left, and opened the cupboard, inside was gold in one place.
At that very moment, about 1.3 marks, mark being the seafaring word for six feet, so 1.3 marks would be 8 feet, anyway, that distance above them, Cap’n Polka-dotbeard was screaming. He was being attacked by Cap’n Pimplenose! Pirates like to attack each other. It’s not like one is good and one is evil.
“The Crystal of Hope is unleashed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” shouted Cap’n Polka-dotbeard, who called it the crystal so Pimplenose wouldn’t know it was gold, and he also punctuated his sentence with extra exclamation points to make it more dramatic.
Unfortunately, at that moment, the ship began to sink.
“We have less than a page left to escape and finish this story!” exclaimed Fred.
“Relax, bud” Jackie said soothingly, “the author will extend the chapter if he has to,”
But Fred wanted a quick getaway. They hopped in to a lifeboat and paddled to shore as quickly as they could.
Whoosh. They crashed into the shore. The hot girls in hula skirts walked up.
“We went on an exiting adventure. We fought pirates and everything!” Fred began to tell the story, which he made as verbose and heroic as possible. Jackie recorded Fred’s version of the story on a page in his journal. Later, it was dark. They went back to the hotel, and Jerry announced that they were leaving the next day. They got packed and ready to leave. Jackie wrote in his journal.
June 15, 1999
Today, Fred and I got the treasures from pirates.
They left next morning.
My Little Brother
by Katherine Dickens
I love my little brother, but sometimes I wish I could just pull my hair out and scream. When I try to sit down and read, up comes Jake wanting me to give him a piggy back ride. I sigh and save my place. Even though he can be a pain in the neck, I love that little boy. I can’t imagine what it will be like when I’m 18 and he’s only 10 like I am now.
I have 3 brothers but only 2 live with me. The oldest (Trevor) is the one who doesn’t live with us, he is 16. The middle one (Nick) is 12 years old. He is a pain but somewhere deep, deep, way deep down he loves me. And then there’s Jake, the 2 year old. He is always bouncing up and down. He calls me “Tate” even though my name is really Katie. He clings on to me when I pretty much go anywhere. He knows how to make me giggle by just being himself. He runs up to everything he likes and pretty much messes it up.
Jake also wears the same shirt almost everyday. It is yellow with the Wiggles on it. That is one of his favorite shows. He also loves Blue Clues. He makes me draw pictures of paw prints and hide them. When he finds them he yells “a clue” and gives them to me. I give it to my mom to hold on to. He is always asking for “tato’s” which is what he calls apples. We don’t know why he calls them that but he just does.
This is something we actually know why he does it. When someone says I love you, he answers with bye! He does it because when Mom is talking to Dad on the phone, she says I love you and then bye. So Jake thinks that’s what you say when someone tells you that. Jake really makes things his own way. When someone goes to the bathroom, Jake yells their name and sticks things under the door for us.
Jake doesn’t like to hear the word “no” from Dad. When he does hear it from him, he bursts into tears. Then he goes over to Dad and starts doing something by brushing his hands over him and yelling in gibberish. Every question we ask him he answers it with “no”. Dad asks him things like: “Am I your Dad?” Then he answers with no, like always. What I’m really saying is, Jake is a pain, but I still love him!
Watchman of the Night
by Lucas Fili
Delightful is he who lights the night,
Laughing playfully from his great height.
He gazes wide-eyed down from space,
A smile across his round, full face
In my window, his gleaming light streams.
On my bed lay bright moonbeams.
He gives the field a bright, silvery look;
Then turns his eyes to the bubbling brook.
He invites the wolves to howl their song,
And wakes the bats to hum along.
He shimmers and shines like milky pearls,
Tucking covers ‘round dreaming boys and girls.
by Shaina Owens
One Sunday afternoon, Shayna’s Nana came to see her. On this particular visit, Nana brought Shayna an arrowhead and a painting of an Indian princess. “Do you know who this is?” asked Nana.
“No, but she’s very pretty,” said Shayna.
“This is your great, great, great, great, great grandmother, Pocahontas,” answered Nana.
Nana handed the painting to Shayna. “Whoa!” said Shayna, but then she took a closer look. “Wait, we look nothing alike.”
“I know, but you’re still related,” said Nana. Shayna wondered if she and Pocahontas had anything in common.
“Oh my, look at the time. I’m late for my quilting class,” said Nana.
“But Nana, I want to talk more about Pocahontas,” said Shayna.
“I’m sorry sweet pea. We’ll catch up on my next visit,” said Nana as she kissed Shayna’s cheek.
Shayna laid the picture on the bookcase and stuffed the arrowhead in her pocket. Her mind was racing with thoughts of Pocahontas. “I think I’ll go for a ride,” thought Shayna. For some reason, she could always think more clearly when she went on a trail ride with her horse, Magic Marker.
“You ready for a trail ride girl?” asked Shayna as she saddled up the brown and white paint horse. Magic Marker nodded her head which made Shayna giggle.
Shayna felt a bit adventurous and decided to ride to Keebler Creek. Magic Marker hesitated. She knew Keebler Creek was off limits with no grown-up along for the ride. “Don’t worry girl. We won’t go far. I just want to see the cliff,” said Shayna. Magic Marker obeyed as she trotted towards Keebler Creek.
Shayna and Magic Marker arrived at the cliff. The view was spectacular. The sky was a mixture of blue, pink and purple, with a touch of orange where the sun sat on the edge of the earth. As Shayna gazed at the horizon, something caught her eye. It was a flicker of light from a cave located on the other side of Keebler Creek.
“Come on Magic Marker, we’re going to check out that light,” said Shayna as she dismounted her horse and led her down the steep cliff. Magic Marker pulled back on her reins and refused to move. “It’s okay girl. I’m right here,” coaxed Shayna as she patted the nervous animal’s neck.
By the time Shayna and Magic Marker reached the cave, the strange light had disappeared. “Where did it go,” she asked out loud.
Magic Marker let out a loud snort. “I know girl. It’s getting late. We better get back to the ranch,” said Shayna as she turned to mount the horse. Just as she placed her boot in the stirrup, Shayna heard a noise. “What in the world was that,” she gasped.
“Bum, bum, brumm, brumm…bum, bum, brumm, brumm.” “Drum sounds?” she thought.
Shayna led Magic Marker into the cave. As they walked deeper into the darkness, the drums became louder. She considered turning back, now that it was almost impossible to see, but the drums lured her to continue. Suddenly the drums stopped and a glimmer of light danced on the cave wall.
“Oh…my…gosh,” Shayna whispered. It was a giant Indian “Dream Catcher.” The ancient relic stood seven feet tall and five feet wide. Colorful yarn, leather strips and hundreds of feathers were wrapped around the sides.
Shayna noticed Indian symbols notched on the surface of the object. One of the images resembled the arrowhead her Nana had given her. “I wonder,” she said as she reached into her pocket. She carefully snapped the arrowhead into the matching shape.
A gust of wind filled the cave and fog swirled within the center of the Dream Catcher. Magic Marker stomped her front hoofs and neighed loudly. Shayna shielded her eyes from the dust. But all at once, it became dead still. Shayna opened her eyes.
“Magic Marker, do you see what I see,” she asked as she rubbed her eyes. It was a real, primitive Indian village located smack in the middle of the Dream Catcher.
“I must be dreaming,” said Shayna. “There’s only one way to find out,” she thought to herself. Shayna held Magic Marker’s reigns and stepped through the Dream Catcher.
Once on the other side, Shayna turned to look behind her, and to her surprise, the Dream Catcher was gone. She didn’t panic, but walked closer to the Indian village.
It didn’t take long for the Indians to notice her. “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea,” she whispered to Magic Marker. Shayna forced a nervous smile as the people stared at her.
One of the Indians ran to a large tepee, but quickly reappeared with a young girl. She looked familiar and couldn’t be more than twelve years old. Shayna herself was only ten.
The girl smiled and gestured to Shayna to come sit with her in front of a fire by the large teepee.
“My name is Pocahontas,” said the Indian girl.
“You’re…Po…Po…Pocahontas,” she stuttered. “I guess that Dream Catcher does more than take you back in time. It actually allows you to understand other languages,” Shayna thought to herself.
“Yes. And who are you?” asked Pocahontas.
“My name is Shayna. This is so cool!” she exclaimed.
“What do you mean?” Pocahontas asked.
“Well, I’m from the future and I’m related to you,” explained Shayna.
“Really?” said Pocahontas.
“You’re my Nana’s great, great, great, great grandmother,” said Shayna as she chuckled slightly, not sure Pocahontas believed her, or maybe the Indian princess simply thought she was crazy.
After a moment of silence, Shayna had to ask, “Is this a dream?”
Pocahontas smiled as she stood and reached for Shayna’s hand. “You’re not dreaming,” she said. Shayna took Pocahontas’ hand and stood beside her.
“Would you like to go for a ride,” asked Pocahontas.
“Oh, yes!” answered Shayna. Pocahontas mounted her spotted Appaloosa named Flying Eagle just as Shayna climbed on top of Magic Marker. Pocahontas led the way as they rode down a winding trail.
“Are you a real Indian princess,” asked Shayna.
“Yes. And this is my tribe. We are known as the Powhatan people. My father is the chief of our village. Is your father a chief,” asked Pocahontas.
“No, he’s a rancher,” Shayna giggled.
“What is a rancher,” asked Pocahontas.
“A rancher is someone who takes care of a ranch,” answered Shayna. Pocahontas thought for a moment and then she asked, “What is a ranch?”
Shayna laughed. Pocahontas laughed too. Both girls seemed to be in their own time zone as they talked and talked about their lives, past and present.
The sun was almost gone from the sky. “I’m sorry to cut our ride short, but my parents will worry if I’m not home before dark,” said Shayna. “Mine too,” said Pocahontas. The young riders took off in a flash as they raced back to the campsite.
Pocahontas and Shayna stepped off of their horses. The young princess reached around her neck and untied a beaded necklace that she always wore. In the middle of the necklace was a turquoise horse. “So you will remember me, I want you to have this gift,” said Pocahontas as she tied the necklace around Shayna’s neck.
Shayna held the tiny figure in her hands as she looked at Pocahontas. “Thank you. I will never forget you, or this day,” she said as her eyes filled with tears.
“Follow me,” said Pocahontas as she led Shayna and Magic Marker into the large teepee. Standing in front of them was a large Dream Catcher just like the one in the cave. “I was beginning to wonder how I would get home,” said Shayna.
“To make the Dream Catcher work you must dream of the place you wish to go,” instructed Pocahontas.
Shayna dreamed about her parents, her Nana and her ranch. All of a sudden, the wind began to blow and a hazy fog swirled within the Dream Catcher. “Look!” Shayna shouted, “It’s my home!”
Shayna waved goodbye to Pocahontas as she and Magic Marker stepped through the huge circle. She looked back only to see the trail she had traveled on earlier that day. The Indian village, Pocahontas and the Dream Catcher were gone. “That was some trip,” said Shayna as she walked Magic Marker to her stall.
“I wonder if the Dream Catcher and my arrowhead are still in the cave,” Shayna said out loud as she unsaddled her horse. She didn’t have time to investigate the possibilities today. The sun had set and Shayna’s mom was calling her to dinner.
Shayna walked to the house, slipped her boots off and went inside. Shayna’s mom filled a bowl with beef stew and set it on the kitchen table. “How was your trail ride?” her mom asked.
Shayna sat down at the table, untied the necklace and placed it beside the bowl of stew. “It was pretty amazing,” she said as she gazed at the gift from Pocahontas and dreamed about returning to the Indian village.
by Sierra Thomas
Half a century ago, gas costs fifty cents a gallon, Dwight Eisenhower was president, and Singing In the Rain was playing in nearly every movie theater across the country. In other news, my grandparents were walking down the aisle to pledge their love. Even though their wedding didn’t make headlines, it was an historic event in my family tree.
Rita and Terrence knew of each other at Jefferson High School, but didn’t actually meet until both worked at El Paso Natural Gas Company. They became further acquainted during coffee breaks and small talk in the parking lot. Against the backdrop of a nine-to-five job, their friendship blossomed. My grandfather was soon smitten, but there was a problem: Rita didn’t feel the same way. Truth be told, she had her heart set on another young fellow, and had no desire to go on a “pity date” with Terrence. Besides, she believed big shot football players like her new friend had egos longer than their playing fields. So every time he asked her out, she gave a courteous “no thank-you.” Terrence was heartbroken, but determined. Quitting now was not an option in the game of football or love. He requested her company three more times and on the fourth try, my grandma finally agreed.
On the night of their first date, my grandpa picked up Rita in a car with which she was strangely familiar. When she asked Terrence about it, he told her that his car was in the shop so he borrowed his friend Roger’s. To his surprise, Rita had been in the vehicle before while on a date with Roger himself! After that awkward moment, they drove to a club where they spent the night dining and dancing. By the end of the evening, my grandma’s first impression had changed. From gallantly opening the door, to hanging on her every word, the man she thought was a big-headed jock, turned out to be polite, respectful, and courteous: a true gentleman. Now that their feelings were evident, the two began a serious relationship.
On Valentine’s Day, my grandparents shared their first kiss over a box of chocolates. A few months later, Terrence proposed. Rita’s parents appreciated the caring young man their daughter was dating, but when the subject of marriage came up, they completely disagreed. After all, Rita was only 18 and the two had been together a mere six months. They were married anyway, although my grandpa was legally underage at 19, and his father had to sign a “permission slip.”
The day of the wedding was an eventful one. My grandma spent her Tuesday “vacation” at the beauty parlor. As soon as the other females in the shop learned of her later plans, they crowded around clucking like hens. “Who is your husband-to-be?”, “What color are the decorations?”, and “Describe the dress!” Because she was distracted, Rita didn’t notice the stylist’s finished work. Upon finally seeing her reflection, however, she wasn’t pleased. The rest of the afternoon was spent re-doing her hair. Then another unexpected bump; her maid of honor was late! Eventually the young woman arrived and everything fell into place. All the troubles of the previous hours melted away when my grandma saw the peaceful grin on her fiancé’s face. On that beautiful day in a church surrounded by friends and family, the two were married, and their history began.
Several months ago, my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Seeing the couple re-new their vows was a heart-warming experience. I can’t imagine a
better example of love than my grandma and gramps. Their relationship is an inspiration to anyone in hopes of having a successful marriage. Currently, they live in Stephenville, Texas in a quiet neighborhood spending their days gardening, painting, and enjoying each other’s company. I can’t think of a happier ending.
by Sylvia Li
The wooden floor is yellow-orange, like the peel of a navel orange or like a dark shade of custard. A shiny gloss coats it, reflecting the lights in the lofty ceiling, which creates a pattern of bright rectangles that briefly checker the floor. If you walk with your eyes facing the ground you’ll see scuff marks and scratches from shoes, endpins, wheels, chairs, and stands. In the corners and along the edges of the room lie dust and dirt that haven’t been swept for almost eight months. The room wouldn’t be as cozy without these blemishes.
Look up. Black chairs and stands and grey stools surround the podium. Rock stops, rosin, and sometimes sheets of music rest next to the chair legs. A forgotten necklace might be coiled up in a chair. It will be picked up tomorrow morning by its owner, if a watchful friend has not already returned it. The podium itself is littered with binders and papers, filled with attendance and music scores. The baton is in the middle of a sleepover on these papers with some pencils and markers, as is its custom almost every day.
Colorful smears prevent the whiteboard from remaining white. These smears are the remnants of past music, reminders, and messages. “Congratulations” is written on the board somewhere. There might be a “Happy Birthday!” in bubble letters too. Perhaps somebody drew flowers. Try to find them; they look like chrysanthemums or sunflowers. It would not be surprising to find octopuses and boa constrictors drawn on the board either. Don’t be troubled if you see something malicious written. That’s just human nature. Somebody will erase it soon.
Tilt your head towards the ceiling. A line of brown plaques sit on a ledge. They are surrounded by vivid posters of concert-program covers hung on the walls. Above those are the practice rooms, which also occasionally serve as studying and napping rooms.
The most striking thing about the room though, is the people. Return your gaze to eyelevel. If it is lunchtime and you look around, you will encounter small congregations of friends, laughing and chatting. One group might be encircled around the computer, watching a video, listening to some heavy metal, playing a game, or reading a Wikipedia page. Some guys will be standing and leaning against the bass stools, telling stories and cracking jokes. Another student will be enmeshed in playing the piano while amazed listeners admire his skill. A few others will be finishing homework, perhaps typing essays that are due next block. If you peek into the ensemble room, you’ll see three to four dark haired guys, heads bent over a sheet of paper and hands furiously scribbling answers to a UIL Number Sense test in the meager ten minute time limit. Behind you resounds the rambunctious gaggle of girls laughing. The aroma of their delicious lunches floats through your nostrils. One of them has brought pesto. Another one is savoring her curry, and a third girl is bringing pasta with tomato basil sauce out of the microwave in the office.
This is the orchestra room. It is a snug corner of the school where people can enjoy music, relax, and laugh with one another. In here we are all family, and in here we are at home.
Efrain F. Jr
by Ana Coronado
Green deep circled eyes
And soft smooth baby skin,
The smell of white, fluffy, baby powder
In the air.
I hear his giggle small smile
And the blur, blur
Of his want-to-be talk
As the bubbles form
In the slimy saliva
Dripping down his cheek.
To be loved with a blessing that big.
Everything Dies Before It Lives
by Mike Welyczko
The intoxicating aroma of roast coffee beckoned the young man to enter the café to escape the bitter cold. The warmth and smells the café melted away is frost and he began shedding his jacket when he saw the camera sitting on one of the tables. He hung up his jacket and picked up the camera. There was nothing special about it, just a regular digital camera. He looked around the little coffee shop. Besides him, there was a woman sitting on the sofa in front of the fire reading a book. No one else was here to claim the camera. The man needed a camera, for he had lost is in London the year before on vacation. He was about to slip the camera in his pocket when he became curious. He turned the camera on and began scrolling through the pictures.
The first couple of photos showed a young teenage couple having a picnic on a hillside, minutes before sunset. The next few pictures showed the same couple standing with their friends wearing formal clothes in front of a limo. The next few showed them all surrounded by blue and silver balloons dancing at their prom. The next photo showed the couple slow dancing, but they weren’t looking at the camera. They were looking in each other’s eyes. The next photos were all the same, the couple together sitting on each other’s laps, swinging on a swing set together, laughing, living, loving. The next photo showed the woman waving her hand at the camera, ecstatic. The woman had a ring on ring on her finger, a diamond ring. He had proposed. But looking at the picture closer, the man realized he had proposed to her in this very café. That was the last picture in the camera.
He felt a warm rush of affection for the people in the pictures, and couldn’t bring himself to steal their memories. He placed the camera back on the table keeping the last picture showing. He ordered his coffee, put his jacket back on, and left back into the cold.
Meanwhile, the woman by the fire finished reading her book, and was about to leave when her eyes landed on the camera. She walked over and picked it up. The power was on and the screen was displaying a picture. She grazed through the photos.
“Well aren’t these nice?” she said, before hitting the Delete All button. She slipped the camera in her pocket, and left the café.