Category Archives: Summer 2017

Laughter Heals All Wounds

“We wear uniforms to make us all the same, so we spent all our time emphasizing all the ways that we were different. In some ways it is a good thing, but in other ways, it is quite demoralizing.  My new school suddenly brought my race into focus.  For the first time, I started confronting what it meant to be different: a black, dark-skinned girl, growing up in a predominately white city in America.”

Truth and Lies

“Getting into trouble with him would be serious business, and if I wanted to come home with my limbs still attached, I’d better remove myself from this risky activity. Sebastian often came to the bar, and he had been known to get into fights. But Sebastian was smart, and he had caught onto what I was doing.”


“The water was dirty. He could see the grime washing off with every move of his hands over his dirty body; specks of blood flaked off into the water and opened old wounds that he didn’t know he had. His toes poked against the surface of the water, hair slicked back with shampoo. Months without relaxation, and he was tense.”

On Conspiracy Theories

“According to Merriam-Webster, a conspiracy theory is a theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators. People formulate conspiracy theories in order to cope with the fear of the unknown and to explain unprecedented phenomena that are frightening.”


“Sydney sat back in her chair. It was another slow day in the Extremely Large Telescope, and nothing was really happening, as usual. Sydney already knew that she wasn’t going to find anything. No matter how many signals humanity sent out from earth, they never got a response.”

Unexpected Visitor

“It’s raining so hard that the new roof begins to leak, and the pouring rain forces people to ditch the umbrellas for something stronger. Jennifer continues to stare out of her window, sitting on a chair in front it; she has been gazing at the mud sliding down the edge of the garden that once looked beautiful just a week ago.”

Black Girl

“I am expected to drop out of school at sixteen due to pregnancy, and raise a baby without a father. / I am expected to live off of minimum wage with a fast food job and welfare for financial support. / Expected to live in the projects for the rest of my life until I make it out of it, but really never make out of it.”

The Curious Cottage

“It stood with white brick, tattered with dirt and age. The door was a rustic red, gaping open in an ivy, spiraled archway. Over the years, it developed rotting wood, the pungent smell of dead rats, creaky floorboards, and the decay of things that had not been touched in decades. This only became clear when inside the house, but nobody dared to take a single step on the property.”


“The air was chilly, and the sky was cloudy while whispers and footsteps filled the streets of the Whitechapel District. A dark, heavy cloud had hung over the residents since the early morning. The bars were already filled with men and women alike, drowning their fears in bourbon. They all paid no mind to a lone figure, cloaked in black, shambling down Hanbury Street.”

Child Soldiers

“A massive barrier and issue during the Sudanese war for education was the unique and brutal recruitment of child soldiers. Many children who were still in school, during this civil war, were separated from their tribes and families. Some young children were forced to be child soldiers to aid the war efforts in many ways like cooking, fighting, prostitution, and shields for the adult soldiers.”

Misogyny and Bullying in North and South America

“There are many types of inflicted pain, like slavery, racism, mockery, bullying, violence, etc. but we are just going to focus on two of them: misogyny and bullying. Many of us have probably seen these two before, and most of us haven’t done anything to stop them, or walked away from the situation and tried to even forget it. This doesn’t stop the cycle.”

Social Skills and Social Media

“Social media is one of the largest growing phenomenons across the world, and it is still spreading. This marvel condenses conversations and relationships to the form of an app. The problem with these apps is that social skills, such as conversation skills, body language, and many others, are lost when using social media as a main form of communication.”

The Factory

“The factory was the most beautiful building in town. It stood proudly at the corner of 17th and Orlando Street. It was a treasure to the people of the town. To a passersby, it was obvious that it used to be a church. It had beautiful stained glass windows in the most vibrant colors, making it stand out in the otherwise dull cityscape.”

Jazz in Education

“Jazz has always been a big part of my life. I believe that jazz is important because it teaches creativity in a way that’s different from anything else. Jazz is a musical genre you can improvise on. Classical music, which is the genre schools teach, is only played one way: by playing the specific notes written on the page.”


“The man walked up to the school building early in the morning. The students wouldn’t be there for another hour, but he had to be there before anyone else. He groggily fumbled with his keyring, his fingers not awake enough to choose the right one.”

The Cure

“It began. I was in and out as they brought me to the operation room. I could see people running around me. The two that were pushing the bed had hazmat suits on, which only meant that there was a patient they weren’t so sure of. I felt something running from my ears — it was blood running like a never ending river.”

The Snake

“As I walk to the street corner where I work, I feel free. No one is giving me funny looks. No one knows what I’m keeping in my bag. Then I get to the street corner and set down my hat. Already, people are looking at me. I reach down into my bag and pull out my snake, Jimmy. I drape him around my neck and start the day.”

Space Baby

“Eliza’s eyes grew wide at the world. The space around her was light and airy. She floated up and around the little room in the aircraft. Her face was soft, cheeks glowing and red. Her lips were thin and moist, but no breath escaped them.”


“What’s happening? Where am I? These are the first things that come to my mind. I’m unaware of the darkness that surrounds me. So I begin to walk. I don’t know where I’m going, I just know that I have somewhere to be.”

Uncharted Territory

“Her screams seemed muted as they sometimes do in movies. I couldn’t make out her words because she was so distraught. Tears ran down her cheeks, and her face was red and hot. As I inched towards her to help her calm down, she swatted my hand away like a bug, a nothing to her.”

Annie and I

“I stared out at the desolate gloomy hills. They were mostly a greenish, brown color, like what you would see in pea soup. To make matters worse, my mom had told me that it would probably be raining everyday here in good old Hartford, Connecticut.”


“Harmonica. Harmonica, Harmonica. That was all Calum asked for consecutively for four years. He just wanted one. All his friends had one. Lucy had a pink one with jewels along the top, Hannah had a purple one with polka dots, and Mika had a green one with little dinosaurs across the top.”

Darkheart’s Curse

“Rain quivered with excitement as she crouched atop the Leaf Rock, watching as CoralLeaf, their leader, sauntered with her head held high towards her sister (Rosy), Weaver, Blazing, and herself. Blazing was letting out little peeps of anticipation, awarding a venomous hiss from Weaver.”

The Worst Roommate

“I had the worst roommate on the planet. You may think I’m exaggerating, but someone has to be the worst, and I genuinely believe it was this guy. The university I’m at has an absurd policy regarding changing your roommate, and if yours isn’t actively plotting to murder you, you’re out of luck.”

Countdown to Freedom

“The turquoise water shimmered. Small waves flowed onto the black sand of the beach before heading back into the sea. The island positively glowed with sunlight reflecting off the water while palm trees provided shade. It was picturesque, except for the old, wooden mansion that stood tall in the middle of the island.”


“Waking up is a shock, a flash to reality I do not desire, a pain put simply. I keep my eyes closed, just like I always do. Blackness is preferable to the greyness of life. And just as it always does, the fan with its choppy hum brings the whisper to my ear. What had once been affection is now a stab from the knife of everyday life.”

The Pactus Story

“Once upon a time, there lived Pactus. He was a cross between a passport and a cactus. He looked like a cactus, except he had a face and arms and blue rectangular wings with passport stamps on them and spikes all over his body. Everyone thought he looked ugly, so he stayed inside his house all the time.”


“The sunlight hit him like a wave, crashing over his skin, irritating his face. He shielded his eyes from the wave, squinting, and pulled his hood over his head. When he disappeared within the security of that hood, shading his eyes and looking at the ground, the world faded away, smearing into a big blur.”


“‘Try the blue button. Maybe that opens up the entrance to the ship, Hoshiko,’ Coco suggested. ‘No, I don’t think so. This might have just been a waste of time. With luck, they may come and find us themselves,’ I replied, sighing. We’d been on the run for three days now, and our faces were undoubtedly plastered across the Collectors’ bulletins.”

Baseball Nights

“We fly down the sidewalk, the wheels turning furiously on our scooters. The bags hanging from our handles swing as we turn sharp corners, coming close to knocking us down. ‘First stop, Sweet Green!’ I shout, the wind seemingly making the words trail out behind me.”

Downward Spiral

“George woke up sweat-drenched and anxious from his slumber. Before he could think, George’s thirst couldn’t be contained, and water was what he desired. Unfortunately for him, this was not possible. His surroundings began explaining themselves: the absence of windows, the tiny lantern serving as the room’s only light source, and worst of all, the rope that tied him to a wooden chair.”

A Rainbow Appears

When I started 6th grade, I thought I was gay because I liked to cross one leg over the other when I sat, and I liked talking about my feelings. Then I started finding girls pretty again and learned how to sit leaning back with my backpack on and my legs splayed out.


“I give in. It’s a box of pizza. This thing could last me like half a week. If I have two slices per day, I can make this last for four days! I store the box behind the dumpster along with the rest of my meager possessions. This includes a pair of shorts, for when the weather gets hot, and a jacket, for when the weather gets cold.”

Watermelon Tree

“I am Turd the turtle. I like my strawberry. My daddy turtle says that one day, my strawberry will rot and die. I don’t believe him. I try to hold my strawberry in my mouth, but my mouth is too small. I have to push my strawberry everywhere.”

LOL, the potato

“One day there was an average potato. That potato liked to play ahhhhhh! It was sort of like catch, but you were the one being thrown. Sometimes, you would get a major concussion or two, but typically, only minor ones. Otherwise, it was pretty scun (scary fun).”

Love of Tomorrow

“My name is David Y. Johnson. I own Cogsworth Industries, the largest company in the world, beating Amazon. I know, pretty crazy, right? I have about fifty-six main factories. As the second-richest person in the world, I have to work harder than any other person, but sometimes I can take days off. And there are relationships here and there, but never like this.”


“She closed her eyes. The world stopped existing. It stopped turning, people stopped breathing, and Allen barely felt like he was there. He didn’t feel himself sobbing and screaming and kicking and begging and running as far, far away as possible from her body.”

Accidents Happen

“Open. I was bored. I know high school parties are supposed to be fun and upbeat, especially when you’re a senior, but I couldn’t find myself having fun. I had been to one other high school party when I was a freshman, and I had regretted it as soon as I walked in.”

A Short Autobiography of the Great Max Abrams: Soon to hopefully someday be a major motion picture: “Written” By The Great Max Abrams Himself

“Reflecting back on my life experience, I am pleased to say that since my birth, my life has definitely increased in excitement dramatically. While starting out bland as the poor schlub who used to be the infantile Max Abrams, every year, my life has been getting more and more exciting for the most part, an attribute I feel is unique to myself.”

The Stag

“The cave was filled with the smoke of a thousand herbs smelling sweet, smoky and savory. Pools of water bubbled on the ground, releasing gouts of steam.  Somewhere, water dripped, making echoing, plinking sounds. Mara entered in her white robe, an acolyte of the Oracle. Her hair and face were covered by a light veil.”


“I listened to the pitter-patter of my footsteps as I ran and ran around the reservoir in Central Park, wishing for the angry string of emotions to disappear. But they wouldn’t. What people could do to you was shocking, and especially when you thought you knew them so well. When you thought they were your friend.”

First a Whimper, Than a Roar

“‘The hunt for the Leomates has gotten stronger. Military forces have been searching homes and office buildings,’ said a lady on the television. She had a bright red sweater on. ‘Thank God for this, Susie. The Leomates are a danger to the society, and I do not want them anywhere near me and my family,” said a man in a green shirt, standing next to the lady with the red sweater.'”

Mung Dhal

“We settled down to dinner. My nani put down the pot of dhal on the wooden dining table. Aayan plopped down in the chair across from me. He looked sweaty, his hair shining in the light for the old chandelier above the table. The room smelled of cumin, cardamom, and smoke.”

A Body That is Not Your Own

“When you are born, you receive two gifts. / You get a gender, and you get a name. / Most of the time, these gifts are kept. Most of the time, people are content with these gifts. / But sometimes, people don’t like these gifts. They want different gifts. And when they ask for different gifts, they often get the answer that they had hoped would be out of the conversation entirely.”

Inside Eden

“I am perfect. I try to tell the world how to live. I know what is right and wrong. I am the perfect child, perfect student, perfect human. I am beautiful, I’ll admit. But don’t worry, I’m modest. I get the best grades, and I’m polite and respectful. People like me, and I like them. People ask me how I am so perfect, and I just shrug and smile my white-toothed smile, all my teeth in perfect alignment.”


“It was colder than usual. Nothing was right. The wind blew so hard, the candles on the table went out. The sound of leaves whisking around the house was unbearable. The thump of high-heeled shoes walking across the wooden floor alarmed the girl.”

A Singing Sky

“Charles Wallace was as surprised as anyone when a great, shining, white horse knocked at the door just as the evening bell rang to send the children to their beds. The headmaster stood up immediately, an all-too-familiar look of irritation on his face.”

Thinking About Boxes

“Pushing is very interesting, if you think about it. It is either hard or easy, or it depends on what you’re pushing. If you happen to be a stronger person, then what you’re pushing seems lighter when it isn’t. Or maybe it isn’t the pushing that’s interesting.”


“What haunts me most had absolutely no effect on anyone but me. It did not hurt anyone, or change anyone else’s life. But the scene still replays in my head, as though I tore out the heart of my best friend.”

River’s Tale

“My name is River. My mother named me. Throughout my fifth year, I have traveled across what felt like the world. I used to live by the ocean in a tribe called Mist. Since the time I was adopted to Amethyst by Mrs. Moonstone, I felt like a part of something.”

Apocalypses, Real and Imagined

“In 1977, Robert Black walked up a steep driveway and into his one-level house in rural Virginia, expecting to see his mother in the kitchen. Instead, he saw an overturned pair of electric beaters, still dripping with cake mix, sitting on the counter. He called for his mom and received no reply. Suddenly, he understood what had happened.”


“I woke up today to the usual chorus of whining dogs on the farm. I arose from my small bed and looked over to the clock. 5:27 AM, it read. Mama and Baba would still be asleep. Time to start the morning chores.”

Ashes of America

“The nation was in shambles, rocked by conflict and corruption. The Republican Party had been in control of the White House for two decades, and their rule had seen America descend into turmoil. The 2034 election of Louis Moor was hardly a victory for the Republicans, whose use of voter suppression outraged the nation, leading to the three day “Red November” riots that wreaked havoc on the Capitol.”


“The Tyrian purple carpets of Dr. Howard’s waiting room gave the whole room a medieval feel, like I was waiting within the walls of a castle. Even with the navy blue carpeting in the outside that felt as modern as it could be. It’s funny how once you’re severed from the rest of a building, the entire aesthetic can change. Just like how this room looked like a place suited for royalty, but it felt like some sort of dungeon.”

Star Stealers

“Long, long ago, the beings of planet G-23 did not know the art of war. But the future, with its winged ships and armored spacesuits, dragged them out of their peaceful stasis. Ava Maria saw the first encounter from the port window of her room, her twelve-year-old human fingers against the reinforced glass.”

The Smart Oinker

“One day, when I was practicing making a sculpture out of wood, Momma Pig came into the living room saying she had an announcement. She said that she wanted me and my two brothers to move out of her house and live in our own home. Surprised by this announcement, I was excited to make my very own home.”