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Speechless

19 Oct

By Lily Lemme
6th Grade

My head is throbbing, laughing at me, saying, “Na, na, na, na, na. You forgot your notes.” I look around me. The boy on the stage is finishing his speech. I rub my temples, searching frantically in my mind for something that could help me.

I hear clapping, and the boy walks down the steps of the stage. Slowly I stand up. My thoughts are dry. Walking up to the stage feels like a mile. It feels like my funeral march: Bum, bu, bum, bu, bum, bu, bum, bu. I hear a drum march in my head. I want to run and curl into a ball, in a closet where no one will find me.

I scold myself for leaving my notes on the table and rushing out without them. Why?! I ask myself. Why?! Why?! Why?! Why did they pick me to give a speech for continuation? Why does everyone think I’m so perfect? Why didn’t my alarm go off when it was supposed to? Why did I forget my notes?

At last I reach the stage and walk to the podium. “Hi?” I say.

Their eyes stare through me like stones pelting a brick wall.

There is a saying, “It’s bound to get worse before it gets better.” This saying is true for this story.

I hear snickers going around the room, and a murmur of, “When is she gonna start?” and “If she doesn’t say anything, she should give up.” I feel like crying.

Suddenly I remember something my mom once said to me: “If you give up now, all you will remember is that you didn’t try.”

My confidence is back, my pulse is slower. I start again with full confidence. “Hi,” I say. “My name is Lillian Lemme.”

That day I realized that things don’t always go your way and things always get worse, maybe, before they get better. I learned that speaking from the heart is more powerful than any notepaper, and confidence is all you need to get better. That day may not have been perfect, but I like to think of it as a day I learned from my mistakes.

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The Curse of Ruthesiam

9 Sep

By Claire Mann
5th Grade

Barbra Washington is my best friend. She comes to school every day and always (It’s a little bit weird) she smells like lavender-and-lilac hairspray. She is so perfect. Her house even smells like pine air-freshener. She even gets to have a dog. I didn’t know she had one because whenever I saw her there was no dog hair in sight. But I’m a little suspicious because every day she disappears after school. It has been this way for about a year now. And it’s time for me to figure out what’s going on.

Chapter One – Menace

As some of you may have read, my best friend is acting mysterious. She is disappearing and I am going to figure out what’s happening.

Oh, wait. You don’t even know who I am. I’m Christina Vine, but Barbra calls me Cat. I don’t like ever talking to people anymore now that my best friend is basically gone. I used to talk to people all the time. We would laugh and everyone loved me. But it’s almost like my voice went down a long, ringing well. I try to hold back my sorrow from showing. I want people to think I’m still cheery, but I can’t. I just want to drown my sorrows down that well forever.

I need to find my friend. It was like we were sisters. So, today I devised a plan to get my own friend back

Chapter Two – Barbra

I cannot stand holding back any longer. I’ve heard about Cat and I cannot bear to see her like this! But I have to. Nothing can be done. I am forced to do this! Barbara told this to herself solemnly as she took her usual route to school.

Walking along, she brushed her fingers along the tall ivy-covered tree trunks that tickled her fingers. The flowers brushed against her feet as she walked through the dead, silent, still meadows, cut off from the other world. The meadow smelled of honeydew and soft sweet grass as she walked toward the small but deadly blade of grass. As she silently touched it, all the world went to sleep.

The moon rose up over the small, frail, decaying body of Barbra Rose. Her eyes were small red pellets, the only new light brought to the world. Her hair was tousled, and many parts had been ripped out. Her clothes were all black and ripped. She was barefoot and her skin was pinched and burned.

Barbra Rose was not who she used to be. The spell had ripped through her, turning her inside out. She knew what was going on. She knew what happened. She knew who did it. All she didn’t know was that she was not alone.

Chapter 3 – Foggy

I don’t want to follow my best friend into the dark world, but then I find myself watching Barbra as she repeats the curse of ominous sleep. Watching sadly, I finally figure out where she is, and it’s not good at all. At all.

Something brushes past my face and lands on the floor. Patting my ear, I gently pick the object up. It’s a piece of paper. I smile. It must be from Barbra.

Unfolding it, I see Barbra’s handwriting. The paper reads:

 

Dear Friend,

I think it is time to tell you where I am. (Too late for that, Cat thought.) I have been cursed and I have to put the world to sleep and remain trapped here. I’ve tried to get out, but I can’t. I just wanted to tell you so you wouldn’t feel bad. I get food that tastes like stamps and respect like an ant that gets stepped on. It’s bad. I just thought you deserved to know. I miss you!

Love,
Barbra

 

I feel like crying. She did that for my sake. She’s awesome. The stamp part reminds me of when she and I had a sleepover and she showed me her stamp kit and we were looking at it and ended up with stamps in our mouths. Good times, good timeI know now that Barbra is in Ruthesiam, which is a strange world. Well, it is now. Ruthesiam was inhabited 1500 years ago and was filled with creatures of all kinds: large, small, hairy, long, short. It had land, water, and things of all sorts. It was a beautiful place, once filled with beautiful waterfalls and streams and trees and honeydew grass. The land was hidden away, so there were all these wonderful things but no joy.

One day a beautiful girl came upon the land and called it her own. Her name was Malient. Then there was joy in the land. But as she grew older, kings and armies came looking for gold. She had to kill. Her blood turned cold. She destroyed her own land in fury. Now when anyone comes near she destroys them with deadly fog.

I can’t leave Barbra to that fate! I will go get her right now.

I grab the letter and stick one arm in. I feel a strong tug on my arm. Something gently pulls my body in. It feels weird. It feels humid and cold at the same time. It feels harder to breathe in there.

I pull out the note. Uh-oh, I didn’t read the P.S. It reads:

 

DON’T COME IN HERE TO SAVE ME! No matter what!

 

Double uh-oh. I try to hide, but I step on some leaves

Barbra turns around, sees me, and gasps. “What are you doing here?”

“Wow, nice to see you too!” I say.

“I’m sorry, but why did you come here?”

“To save you!”

“Did you read my letter?”

“Yes, I did. But I felt bad for you.”

“Do you realize what you’ve done?”

“What?” Angry, I lean over and slap Barbra in the face, hard.

Gasping, Barbra immediately puts a hand up to her face. Feeling the red mark, her face hardens. “Well if you want to play that game…” She raises her hand high. Her hand comes down.

Expecting this, I reach up to take hold of her arm. “Stop it,” I say.

She unclenches her hand.

“Thank you,” I say. “Barbra?”

Barbra’s eyes are open very wide and she stands stock-still with fear.

“What? What is it?” I say.

Finally coming to her senses, Barbara drops onto one knee. Turning around, she almost stops breathing.

The curser is here.

Chapter 4 – Blind

Cat falls to one knee, looking up at the woman. She had pictured the curser more like a rodeo guy with a pistol. This figure was six-foot-four and dressed in a purple shirt, black pants, and a sky blue cloak.

“Well, well, shorty,” the woman said. “ Barbra, I thought you were sensible enough to not bring someone else here.”

“But, but I—”

“Silence!” the woman said. “You have gone far enough with the curse.”

Barbra’s eyes lit up, hoping she would be free.

“So,” the woman said, “you will be taking on the savior test.”

“What does that mean?” Cat said when she had the courage to talk.

“Oh, you’ll see,” the woman said. “Oh, and if you need me, say ‘Malient.’ That’s my name. Not like I was going to help you. I already gave you some help, so no more. That is where you’ll be taking the test.” Malient pointed behind them a ways. “Over there.” Malient smiled.

“Wait, what do you mean?” Barbra turned around, but Malient was gone.

“Great. What do we do now?” Cat asked. She felt worried. Her insides were turning inside out.

“Well, let’s go and see what we have to do,” Barbra said with a sigh. She was very frightened, but she did not want to show it. “And maybe I will stop tasting shapes. Apples are so sharp here!”

Okay…um, that is not at all weird. What the heck? Cat thought, confused.

“Well, let’s go do this random test.” Barbra made it sound easy.

Walking up the hill, Barbra wondered if she was going to get out alive. They both walked up the hill to nothing but a single flower. No! it’s another curse plant! Barbra thought, shuddering slightly.

“Why is there only one flower? There should be more like it in the rest of the fields,” Cat said. Hmmm, a little suspicious, but pretty, she thought.

“Whatever you do, don’t touch it,” Barbra squealed, afraid. She knew it was a lost fight. Cat always tricked her.

“Why not?” Cat asked. It can’t be that bad, she thought.

“The first time I touched something unfamiliar in here I got cursed. Almost for life,” Barbara said. Don’t touch it! Don’t touch it! the words repeated over and over in her head.

“But it’s so pretty,” Cat said dreamily. I’ll just go ahead, she thought.

“Don’t touch it,” Barbra growled this time. She was about to lose her best friend. Yes, Cat was still her best friend, even if she had gotten them both stuck in this world.

“Too late,” said Cat in a mocking tone. “It couldn’t hurt, right?” She reached out and plucked the little flower from its root. Cat smiled. “See. Nothing happened.” Barbra was wrong, finally. Yes!

“Really? Nothing happened?” said Barbra, annoyed by Cat’s lack of attention. Ugh. Dumb Cat. Again. Barbra pointed to the other end of the strange world.

A dark sky was rapidly coming toward them. A dangerous storm started. Lightning flashed all over the darkening sky. It lit up the now black world. Shivering, they both looked up. The faint figure of Malient was hanging in the sky.

“I knew it!” they both shouted at once.

Malient shouted a strange incantation as she hung over the world. It was in the Ruthesiam language. She grinned evilly. “This is your first test,” Malient shouted. She smirked at the sight of their frightened faces. She cackled and disappeared.

The storm stopped as fast as it started, but something new came in. Ready for this, Malient thought. A dark grey fog washed over the land, clouding their vision. It was killing everything in sight.

Cat cried out. “Barbra! Barbra!” Not being used to things like these, Cat was freaked out with no sense of directi

“I’m here!” Barbra shouted through the fog. She had to stay strong for Cat.

“We are going to run through it together,” Cat yelled. “We will stay together no matter what.”

They put their arms around each other, crying. They had tried their best. Cat was shaking. I will never let go of Barbra, ever! she thought.

“Cat!” Barbra shouted. “I’m with you.” I will keep her safe, she thought guiltily.

Cat felt better with Barbra by her side. “Run!” Cat yelled. “Let’s go

They sped off, and Barbra reached out and groped for a wall, clenching it tightly. Barbra pulled Cat over to the wall.

“Let go of me! Just hold onto the wall,” Barbra shouted. After seeing Cat’s face, Barbra shouted, “Do it! Do you want to die?”

“Fine!” Cat yelled in pain. “It’s getting harder to breathe.”

“I know. Just run!” Barbra shouted.

Cat sprinted, holding the wall as well, breathing heavily. She wondered, Why would Malient do this to us? Why?!

Barbra was getting farther and farther away from Cat, but she did not care anymore. She just wanted to get out of there. Cat was now ahead of the fog.

Cat realized they were in the same place where they had gotten into the dark world. Maybe they could get out.
“Barbra, I found it!” Cat called out.

“Coming!” Cat could hear Barbra’s faint voice.

Now it was Barbra’s turn to make her break. Gathering up all the strength she had left, she conjured up a ball of purple light and shot it out of her hand. In a split second, she appeared next to Cat. Cat’s eyes went wide.

“How did you get here so fast?”

“I’ll explain later, okay? Now let’s get out of here before the fog gets any closer. We don’t have to do anything, I don’t think. Just walk through. Three, two, one, go!”

They both ran at the wall, hoping to get through. Barbra braced herself. To her surprise and joy, she ran right through.

“Yes! We did it, Cat!” Barbra exclaimed with joy. “Cat? Cat?” She turned around, and her grin faded when she saw that Cat did not get through the wall. “No! Nooo!” Barbra yelled, sobbing, and threw herself against the wall, hoping to slide through. No luck. She stared at Cat’s wide eyes on the other side of the wall. Then she could look no longer as her friend got devoured by the fog.

She cursed under her breath as the fog slowly receded. As it became clearer, Barbra could see Cat lying on the ground, not moving.

Barbra was angry with Malient. She fired out an incantation in Ruthesiam. She had never heard it before. The dome started to collapse. A large gaping hole formed. Cat’s body rolled straight out of the hole. The fiery glow around Barbra receded, but then it fired up again. A red ball of light sped out of her fingers, into the sky, and back down on Cat. Cat slowly opened her eyes in pai

Barbra tackled her in a hug. “Cat! Let’s go home.”

“Yes, please,” Cat said.

They walked along the path back to their home. They walked up to Barbra’s front door.

Then they both shouted at once. “We’re back!” They stared at each other in surprise. “Uh-oh. Hahahahaha…”

The Bark Collar

24 Jun

By Sophie Pollock
6th Grade

“Shush, Jake!’ I hear Laila shouting from the house. She comes out and smacks me with the newspaper she’s just gotten from the driveway. “You’re such an annoying dog! Why do we even still have you?” she yells. Laila storms back inside.

I keep barking. I can’t help it. What am I supposed to do, just stay with this family forever? They hate me, and I hate them just as much. I really want to get out of here and find a nicer family to live with. I chew on the rope tying me up, and try to run and break free.

Just then, Laila’s husband, Jackson, comes out of the house, furious. “All right, Jake, since you won’t stop barking I’ve come up with a new solution.” He’s holding two collars in his hand, one black and one made of chain with another long piece of chain coming off of it. I see Laila walking behind him.

“This is a bark collar. Now every time you bark, it’ll give you a small electric chock. That should help with your constant loudness. This”—he holds out the chain and puts it around my neck—“is a new chain to tie you up with, so you can’t chew through it.

He clips the bark collar onto me, and I slump down, disappointed. I decide I will try to sneak out that night.

***

That night when they’re asleep, I slowly stand up from pretending to be asleep. I carefully grab the chain in my mouth, trying not to make too much noise. I quickly discover that it’s not going to be easy to chew. I twist around, trying to wiggle my way out, but that doesn’t work either. Finally, I pull backwards as hard as I can. I try and try, but neither the chain, nor the post that it’s tied to, budges, not even just a little bit.

I bark in frustration, forgetting about the collar. It buzzes, and I feel a sharp pain. Then I hear the back screen door open. It’s Jackson. “Jake!” he whisper-yells, “you don’t want Laila to hear you.” I start whining. “ Jake, I’m sorry Laila hates you so much. I keep trying to get you to stop barking and stop trying to run away, so that we can keep you and Laila won’t hate you.”

I never realized that Jackson didn’t hate me as much as Laila did. I continue whining.

“I know, Jake, but I really want to be able to keep you. Your old family was my brother, you know. He didn’t want you, but I felt bad for you so I kept you. But maybe you would be happier with a different family.”

I wag my tail and start panting.

Then the door swings open again, and Laila steps out. “What are you doing out here?! It’s one a.m.!” she yells.

“Laila, I’m thinking maybe we should find Jake a new home where he would be happier.”

“Ugh, finally we can get rid of him. But I thought you liked Jake.”

“Yeah, and I still do, but he’s not happy here.”

“Okay. Well, I’m going back to bed.”

The next morning, Jackson puts me in the back of his truck with a new dog bed and bowls of food and water. He drives me out to some farm. “I’m taking you out to go live with an old friend of mine.”

A man walks out of the house, and we go over to talk to him. “Nick, this is my dog, Jake. My wife, Laila, hates him. Do you want to take him in?”

A little girl comes out of the house and runs over to us. “Doggy!” she yells. She runs over to me and I lick her face. Then I run around, wagging my tail and barking.

“Wow, this dog’s bark is so loud he might even help scare off the crows!” Nick says.

“Bye, Jake,” Jackson says and pats my head. Then he drives off in his truck.

I’m so happy to finally be with a good family! I help Nick and his wife scare off the crows and do stuff around the farm and play with the little girl, whose name is Emily. I have so much fun at the farm with everyone.

The Love For Books

3 Apr

By Liliana Salcido

Once upon a time, there lived two orphans, a brother and a sister. The sister, Stephanie, a.k.a. Stephie, was in love with books. The brother, Joe, was in love with his handsome face. Even though they had no problems, they practically hated each other. One day, Stephie went to the book store. She decided to buy a book about magic. Of course, she didn’t think it would actually work. But when she got home and read it, she got sucked in it. Literally. Now Joe was the only one who could save her.

“Help me! Help me!” yelled Stephanie, still trapped in the lonely darkness. She walked through the thick pages. She was crying and her heart was beating so hard, as if it were dancing. She felt as if she was in a dream, a deep dark one. She tried to look at the bright side of the situation, but there didn’t really seem to be one.

Joe, on the other hand, was enjoying his day. He was at the local market checking out girls. Apparently they were checking him out too. But, he had a feeling (who knows why) that his sister was in trouble. Usually he wouldn’t care, but this time it felt to him as if it was very important. So he went back, running to his small old cottage, where something important was yet to be found out.

When he arrived, he saw books on the table. He once heard an old man say to him, “Never trust magic books or books that describe magic. Some people say that the queen in the books has a spell to trap people inside them. They say it’s for disturbing her property.”

So, Joe checked out the book. Everything looked normal. Except for the fact that his sister was in it! Joe wondered, “What am I supposed to do with this twerp in this book?”

He went back to the local market to see if anyone knew the solution to this nonsense. And someone did! It was a woman and this is what she said, “You must find another magic book, but it has to have the letter ‘R’ on it.”

Well, Joe did find the book, but the only problem was: which spell was it? There were over one thousand spells.

Of course, when you’re trapped inside a magic book you can’t see what’s happening in the outside world. You can only see three things: darkness, the paper, which was brownish-whitish, and the letters! It was awkward though. Stephie wasn’t brave nor strong. So what would she do in this lonely darkness?

When Joe fell asleep, he woke up again, remembering something. Joe had had a dream. It wasn’t a weird dream but it still was unusual. He was dreaming of what had happened throughout his day. Not all of it, though. He dreamt about when he got the “R” book. He remembered there were over ten or fifteen “R” books. He didn’t even know what the “R” stood for. Until, something hit him. Literally.

It was the older woman he spoke to during the day. Her name was Ariel. She spoke with a thick, foreign accent. And she said, “You fool. You didn’t wait for me to finish. I was going to say. “The only real ‘R’ book is in a far-away land, where an evil witch rules. Her name is Mora. So what are you waiting for?! Go on. Oh! And the “R” stands for revenge. Watch out for elves!”

And in fact, after Joe packed all his belongings, he headed toward the far-away land. It was a long way, but he made it. Apparently the land was called Far Far From Anything, or FFFA. The place seemed dark, but Joe had seen worse.

Joe kept on walking. He bumped into little people. They were elves! They all lined up in a line. They asked Joe a question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” If he didn’t answer the question right, he couldn’t leave. So Joe answered, “To get to the other side.” And they let him pass.

That night Joe spent the night in a cave. The cave was amazingly clean, but it was hard to find its location. He kept on thinking of the thick, foreign words Ariel had said, “In FFFA, an evil queen, Mora, rules.” He didn’t know whether to believe Ariel or not. This was because the land seemed quiet and pacific. It didn’t seem as if it were ruled by an evil queen…But, something interrupted his thoughts. It was a bright light.

He walked towards it. It was a really bright light. It almost, he thought, blinded his eyes. Then, it seemed to him that an “R” appeared on a rectangle-shaped object. He picked it up. It was the “R” book. Wait. Could it be? Or was it another replica? But then he thought, “It has to be the right one.”

“Woah! Hold on a second,” Joe thought. “I thought Ariel said there was going to be an evil queen. That lying woman.” But he spoke too soon. Somehow the evil queen, Mora, appeared in front of him. She demanded the book.

Joe knew where she was going with this. But before she even lifted her weightless wand up, Joe read a spell and recited it. Right then and there, a huge explosion happened. The queen was dead and everything was back to normal.

After Joe killed the queen and saved his sister, someone adopted them. And they lived happily ever after, but of course Stephie and Joe got along better.

The End

Why Music is Magical: A Present-Day Folktale

3 Apr

By Alyvia Gonzales

Life’s always the same: get up, go to work, go home. Of course, that’s not very different from anyone else in the world. The world has been this way since I can remember. My parents are probably the most boring people in our apartment. Can you believe people can be even more boring? Well, in my world creativity doesn’t exist.

I’m in history class right now. I go to New York School of Arts. Ha! Like art is even possible. We are learning about how cavemen used to make melodies using pots and pans. I realize now that that’s music. At least creativity and music used to exist. Maybe a long time ago, but they still did exist. That’s awesome to know.

“Maya-Ann!” the teacher calls. Uh-oh. I’m not paying attention. “Would you like to tell me what cavemen are doing in your textbook?” I guess I’m in trouble. “Well?” she said. Mrs. Kat is my worst teacher.

“Um,” is all I can come up with.

“That’s it! Go to the principal’s office!”

Mr Myer is the principle and he is quite boring. I’m not very afraid of him because I know what to expect.

I just got home. There is no way I’m going to mention Mr. Myer’s office to my parents. They would totally freak. I wonder how they would react if they were creative. Either way, they would probably be pretty furious. Lately I’ve been thinking about what it would be like to live in a world with creativity. I’m going to do something about this horrible world.

“I’m home,” calls Mom from the doorway. She’s wearing the same black skirt as always, with a white shirt and a black shawl. Compared to what I’m wearing – a blue shirt, polka-dot shorts, and green Converse – my mom is as boring as black and white. Although she does have one advantage: she doesn’t have to make her clothes. I do because mine are not sold in stores. I’m a limited edition.

Mom walks into the living room and sits down on the white sofa. She tells me to do my homework. “Now,” she says.

“Okay, I’m going.” Now that I’m on my way to my room I realize everything is the same two colors: black and white. How boring.

My room is a whole different story. My room is probably the coolest in the whole entire world. It’s painted blue and has green bedding with polka dots. My favorite flowers are orchids. They cover my room with colors such as pink and purple. I have all my artwork on the wall and a lot of pictures.

I know exactly how I’m going to get this world to change. My plan sounds crazy, but that doesn’t matter. I know I can change the world. Maybe I’m on my own, but I can do anything. With that decided, I’ll tell you my plan. This plan is something I can do on my own. I’m a pretty good artist and I can paint fairly quickly. So that’s how I came up with the plan to paint the school tie-dye.

It’s midnight and I’m sneaking out with four gallons of paint combined. My school is only a block away, so I won’t lose too much energy. I’m at the school. I hope there are no security cameras. I’m literally throwing the paint on the school. I’m going home again to get more paint.

Finally I’m finished. I think this place looks a lot better. I need to get home.

I’m on my way to school and I can already hear the gasps. Everyone is standing there like statues. I stroll into school and act as if nothing has happened. Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Meyer appears. He summons me to his office. In the office sit my parents with the look on their faces. They are playing a video of me painting the school. I’m dead, very dead. And don’t forget, grounded for life. I know this how? My parents are giving me the look: big eyebrows and a frown.

Well, now my parents won’t take their eyes off me. It’s been a week. I’ve been sitting in my room for three hours straight. I’m going to consider my life over. I think that after a few more months they will trust me. Although by then the school will be black again and no one will remember what happened. Time for a new plan.

The only way to change the world is using music, clearly. The school is cool and some kids do show up in color, but not enough. I only need to do one last big thing. All I need are some really large speakers and I’ll be ready to rock. Those speakers will play music and people will like it.

Over the past few days I have gotten five speakers with an incredibly loud volume. Now I have to get them on the roof. That will happen at three o’clock after school tomorrow. My plan has come together.

Here I am on the roof with five speakers. My head is covered in sweat. The speakers are heavy. I look down. There are at least two hundred people down there. It’s now or never. Here goes nothing. Bam! The music is playing, but people look confused. Wait. They are dancing. They look like they are having a great time. I can’t believe it. I’m so happy. I knew it. Music is magical.

The End

One Royalty, Two Women, One Story

3 Apr

By Dexter Hill-Schmick

This was probably the most exciting and important day of Princess Lilia’s life. She carefully put on her silver, silk dress that her governess had made for her. The pearls of white that strung her sleeves and skirt jingled as she placed the diamond tiara on her head.

She was then jolted by her jolly, plump governess, Diane, bursting through the door. “Tomorrow’s your big day!” she exclaimed. “You will marry Prince Philip, and everyone is so excited. Oh my goodness, you look like you’ve seen a ghost! Open the window and take off your wedding dress. It’s late and you need your beauty sleep.”

Reluctantly, Princess Lilia took off the dress and climbed into bed. “Good night, Diane,” she whispered.

“Good night, darling,” Diane replied. And with that, she closed the door.

Princess Lilia lay drowsily on her bed. She had almost reached the shores of sleep when she heard a CREAK! She waited a while, and then got out of bed. She slipped on her fuzzy slippers and a bathrobe over her silky pajamas, which were as soft as a lamb’s wool. She wound her hand around a candle on her night tabel. Princess Lilia silently scouted the dark room. When she did not see anything unusual, she said out loud in a soft voice, “It must’ve been Richie.” What she did not know was that Richie the cat was sleeping peacefull with Diane, and that a stranger was creeping up behind her. Before Princess Lilia had time to react, a cloth with a sleeping potion was shoved near her nose and mouth. She felt herself slump into darkness.

Princess Lilia was awakened by the feel of something cool and moist on her forehead and the cold, damp floor beneath her. The air was crisp and smelled of stone, and a bitter taste of blood lingered in her mouth. When she automatically sat up to survey her strange surroundings, a cold cloth fell from her head.

“Rest child,” said a voice from the corner of what looked like a cell in the dungeons. A magician dressed in long purple robes trimmed in green appeared out of nowhere. “So, do you feel any better?” he asked. “Forgive me for forgetting to introduce myself. I’m not very used to being proper. My name is Nober.”

Princess Lilia then introduced herself: “I am Lilia, Princess Lilia. I was sleeping when I was kidnapped by someone or something.”

“My dear child,” said Nober. “It is clear that you do not know about Fiona.”

“Who’s Fiona?”

“Fiona is your twin sister. She was cursed by a swamp hag with a dark heart, so your parents put her up for adoption. She probably felt jealous of your royalty and tried to take your place.”

“And today’s my wedding!” Princess Lilia gasped.

“Worry not!” Nober cried in a triumphant voice.

With a flick of his wand, a snake appeared. It squeezed through the crack at the base of the door and, using one sharp fang, it picked the lock and opened the door. It hissed in a sharp, metallic hiss, “Go!”

Once the cell was open, Princess Lilia felt a rush of excitement to be free. However, a series of “proper” thoughts rushed into her mind. “I must walk poised,” she thought. “I must keep my chin up and stare directly ahead.”

“Hurry up!” boomed the magician, and as if reading her thoughts he said, “We have no time to be proper! Now run as fast as you can.”

“But I mustn’t ruin my heeled shoes,” Princess Lilia complained.

“Begone with your shoes!” cried the magician, waving his hand. Her flashy, purple shoes disappeared as quick as a wink.

“Ew, my feet are touching the dirty, slimy floor,” thought Princess Lilia. She delicately picked up her dress and began to run. Then, she ran up the steps to the parlor.

Meanwhile, in the parlor, Fiona sat chatting with Prince Philip. “So, Lilia,” he said. “Are you excited about tonight?”

“You can bet your sweaty socks I am,” Fiona said, a malicious grin spreading across her face.

“I-I’m g-g-glad,” stammered Prince Philip, shocked at the language he’d just heard.

At that moment, the door burst open. Princess Lilia stumbled through the doorway.

“You! What are you doing here?!” shouted Fiona.

“I came to take my fright place as princess,” retorted Lilia, glancing at Prince Philip, who looked so confused he might faint.

“I won’t allow it,” Fiona stated firmly, and she dove at Princess Lilia. Before Fiona had time to cause any more harm, pain shot through her arm. When she glanced down, she saw the snake from Nober’s cell entwined around her arm.

“I’ve been bitten by a snake!” Fiona cried.

“Call in the doctor,” demanded Princess Lilia, as Fiona ran out of the room.

“Looks to me as if you finally found your courage after all these years,” said Princess Philip, no longer confused about who was his bride. “Come on, our wedding will be starting soon.”

A few days later, Diane burst into the parlor where King Philip and Queen Lilia sat reading. “I have good news. Your twin had to have her arm removed, but she did not survive the surgery.”

The End

The Popular

3 Apr

By Yahaira Hernandez

One day there was an ugly, bad, no-good girl in the School of Highland. She was an evil person, so she thought that everyone liked her, so she decided to call herself The Popular. The Popular became bossy and greedy. Everyone as too tired of her. All the students wanted her to leave the school.

In the community where she lived, everyone was nice and respectful, but not her. She would always pretend to be texting with a Barbie phone. The Popular would not listen to her parents, and at school she would not care about her grades.

Days passed, months and years… Then she became more disrespectful. Nobody could stop her.

One day, The Popular went to school and everyone was crowded around the new girl. The Popular was so angry, because the new girl got all the attention. The Popular went up to the new girl, called Daniella, and told her, “I’m the boss of Highland, so move it! What is this commotion all about?” The Popular did not have feelings for anyone. She even did not like the new girl at all. When The Popular talked to Daniella, she did not know what to do, so she went crying to the bathroom. Then the bell ran and everyone went to their class.

At lunchtime, The Popular would always forget her lunch money and she would steal it from people. This time, Daniella was in front of her and The Popular saw that she had a purse and a little bag that had money. The Popular did not think twice and took the money. But Daniella did not remember about the money in her purse. The Popular thought that she would not be able to eat because she did not have money, but Daniella had some money in her pants. The Popular got so mad that she was going to open a bag of chips and it exploded. Later, Daniella know that the money was missing. She figured out it was The Popular that stole it. Daniella was not a normal girl. She had a mission and that special mission was with The Popular.

Daniella did not want anybody to know her secret, not even where she lived. One day some girls invited Daniella to a sleepover, but first she had to know if The Popular was going, because she had to know everything. What was especially Daniella’s mission was to investigate everything about The Popular and hang out with her. Daniella did not know how to hang out with The Popular or how to act.

One day, Daniella started acting like The Popular in school. Nobody knew what was going on. The Popular started to find out that she and Daniella had a lot in common, so she decided to hang out with her. One night, The Popular and Daniella were going to a party, but something unexpected happened. Daniella revealed her secret to The Popular.

Daniella’s face started to change. She turned ugly and old. Her skin turned green, her nose grew, a giant wart popped out. The Popular tried to run away, but it was too late. She was in Witch Land.

The Popular was so scared she did not know what to do. She saw witches everywhere. Daniella told all the witches to leave and to tie up The Popular and leave her alone. After that, Daniella was always treating her bad. She stole her money, pushed her, and did everything to her that The Popular did to other people. Then Daniella left her for days, maybe months. The Popular did not know the time, but just wanted to get out. Daniella said, “I really don’t have time to get her out. Anyway this will teach her a lesson.”

In Highland, everyone thought that The Popular left the school and she would never come back. Everyone in her class was so happy, even the whole school was excited that she had left. Now the teachers finally believed all the students because the parents were complaining about The Popular.

The parents of The Popular were really worried. They thought that she would never come back. They even went with police officers so they could investigate where she might be. But the police did nothing about it. The parents were desperate. They put signs everywhere asking people to call if they had information about their daughter.

Daniella was so tired of The Popular. She was always screaming, saying, “Help! Help! Help me, please!” She did not let all the witches sleep, not even Daniella. Daniella decided to let her go, but she would always take care of The Popular.

When The Popular got back to Highland she acted differently, because she remembered that Daniella had told her, “I’m going to watch every move you do.” The Popular started being nice so that Daniella would not come back for her. Everyone was happy that The Popular was acting differently. They did not know what had happened to Daniella. Now that she was nice she changed her name to Gabriella. Now Gabriella could tell people that acted like she used to act to really be nice to other people.

Always treat people the way you want to be treated.

The End