People aren’t born kind or inconsiderate;
it’s the way people live their lives that defines them
and the impressions they leave on others: gentle or fierce, joyful or painful.
These impressions are a collection of their actions,
Which influence our beliefs.
Our beliefs determine our thoughts;
Our thoughts become words;
And words have the potential to change our lives.
by Micherice Tao
One day when my friends, Ben, Dylan and Liam, and I were playing at the neighborhood park we noticed a guy wearing a fancy suit and sunglasses that shaded his eyes. He told us he worked for the CIA and was looking for a terrorist that lived in our neighborhood. He then let us go…
A few weeks later there were bombings all over the city; there were destroyed buildings and dead people all around. People were being escorted out of the city and we joined them but lost Dylan on the way. We turned back and rescued a scared but safe Dylan from the basement of the terrorist headquarters and brought him out of the city to his family. Everything was back to normal few weeks later, but we still don’t know what might happen in the years to come…
by Daniel Ruppert
The future changes continually, for the age affects prospects for good and evil.
by Claire Bye
In the silent night,
the boy lies searching the sky
wrestling with a problem,
contemplating every option,
seeking for a sign.
As dawn breaks,
The boy feels the world wake
And hope springs anew.
by Micherice Tao
My Mom and I live in the lower ninth ward; ever since Katrina, we have two pit bulls. Talis, the female, and Symon, the male, are fierce, sly, cunning, and quite frankly listen more to my mom than to me. They are generally used for training experienced fighting dogs.
One night I was walking Symon and Talis around the block for some air before they would have to go in. Just as I see our wrecked, ruined, Katrina-demolished house, I said “C’mon Talis. Time to go home, Symon.”
Unexpectedly Talis and Symon stopped their humdrum rhythm of walking. At first I wondered why, but then I saw two particolored chickens flap by us, squawking loudly. Talis and Symon began to chase the chickens in what seemed like a friendly manner. It is as if it the chickens were playing tag against Talis and Symon.
Suddenly this friendly play turned for the worse when Symon got hungry. Symon opened his jaws wide and all you could hear was a loud screeeeeeeeech, but the loud noise wasn’t from the chicken.
I turned and saw that Symon had bitten Talis in the neck. My Mom, who was watching from the porch, screamed. She immediately took Symon and tied him up with the leash on the outside of the pen. I sat down with Talis simply trying to bring her back. Then right before our very eyes Talis put her head down and never came back. She was gone, as was much of the usually upbeat New Orleans.
by Alyson Lee
Allen had had a good life. He lived along the beach in a beautiful California town, had a loving family, a nice house, and had all of his basic needs covered. That was behind him now as he lived in an orphanage, had no money to his name, and had entered a different school after the accident.
His closest friend at his new school, Jake, tried to talk to him about the accident, but Allen had been avoiding it. He still had flashbacks of that terrible night.
It had been a dark and rainy night, and Allen, his mom, dad, and two sisters were driving home from Allen’s grandmother’s funeral. She had been his last living relative outside his immediate family. As they were driving, Allen had a sudden premonition, and he looked back to the road behind them. He saw an eighteen-wheeler try to slow down behind their car, but fail! Allen jumped out of the car with a split second decision. That decision kept him alive. The next thing he heard was a cacophony of screams and then the shrieks of an ambulance.
None of his family made it out alive. He regretted jumping out of that car. He should have told his father to pull over the car out of the way. Even if his father couldn’t have swerved, Allen would at least still be with them. Allen had once had a dream to be an astronaut. Now Allen just wanted some semblance of a normal life most days.
At first, Allen tried to get through the emotional pain by not talking to anyone. However, that didn’t help, especially around a friend as tenacious and kind as Jake. Finally he decided to open up to Jake. That was the best thing he could have done.
Jake made him laugh by telling him jokes and made him feel better about the small everyday events. And, Jake helped him fit in at his new school. When Allen had started at his new school, he was the new kid and no one, except Jake, talked to him. However, with Jake’s help, Allen began carving out a niche at the new school, and found some friends. Having friends served him well, especially when Jake left the school (Allen never did find out why). It was a struggle at first, but even without Jake, Allen was still feeling better about himself, and he was happy again. He began to feel that his life was getting better, and that maybe, just maybe, he could go to the stars.
by Roman Peregrino
Post-It Notes: Dog (Spot), President (Mr. Alex), and narrative (story)
On the coldest Friday morning of the year, Mr. Alex set off for work. While opening his kitchen door, his dog Spot went running out of the house and ran away! Mr. Alex chased after him, but soon enough Spot was gone. Checking in the neighborhood, looking under parked cars, Mr. Alex wondered, where did his playful spotted dog go? Spot was lost, and Mr. Alex knew he had to find Spot before the pound found him. Mr. Alex decided to go to work because he had an important meeting. He would look for Spot after work.
Meanwhile, the pound found Spot as he was chasing a black cat under a car. They caught him and brought him to the adoption home. During his one-hour break outdoor, Spot discovered a hole under the fence and escaped. He took off for home, when all of the sudden, a truck nipped his left side. The ruthless truck driver went on with his business as if nothing happened.
An old lady with salt and pepper hair was walking around Mr. Alex’s neighborhood when she saw a dog just lying in the middle of the street. Ms. Pickleberry couldn’t help but pick up the dog with a white spot over his right eye and take him home. After petting him for an hour, Ms. Pickleberry felt better and the dog seemed to respond. The kind lady tucked a blue blanket around Spot so he would feel comfortable and could take a nap. But once again Spot escaped. Luckily, Ms. Pickleberry had gotten a hold of his collar! Ms. Pickleberry called Mr. Alex at his work to inform him that she had his dog, but that he escaped. She also told him that she had petted him briefly. Lastly, she told him if he needed any help to let her know and asked if he would call her if he found Spot. Mr. Alex told Ms. Pickleberry that he was going to drop off some stuff at home then look for his dog.
Back at the pound, the employees didn’t even know Spot was gone so they just continued to work. As soon as work was over, Mr. Alex fled home. He found Spot sitting in the cold all by himself just waiting for his owner and wagging his long tail. He let Spot in the house and gave him a warm loving hug. The next morning he called Ms. Pickleberry and told her that Spot had been sitting in front of the house just waiting to get out of the cold. The old lady thanked him for the call. Next, Mr. Alex called the pound and told them that Spot was home sweet home. Since the busy pound employees still hadn’t even realized Spot was missing, they were surprised but pleased.
by Katelyn Lee