I Didn’t Mean to Kill Her

I didn’t mean to kill her…. Tuesday, October 8th, 1963. I woke up that day with a sharp pain in my head. The night before, me and the “gang” hung out. I probably fell or something. Suddenly panic ran through me: I remembered. 

It was now five A.M. I sat up in bed and jumped out. I landed with a thud. I had forgotten I was on a top bunk. I got up then tiptoed to the bathroom. I took my “things” and hid them where they wouldn’t find them. Then I tiptoed back to the beds. As I started to climb up the ladder, I felt someone’s hand on me, then I winced. Emely grabbed my night shirt and pushed me to the ground. I blink away tears. 

She said, “They’re coming soon, be ready and alert. And remember they’re like wolves; if they see a weak link they’ll come for you.” Emely said.

“I know, thanks.” I said.

I sat on the floor for a second, then got up to wash my face again. My lip had started to bleed when I hit the concrete. When I came out, Emely had gotten dressed, and she was sitting against the wall. Emely… I liked to think of her as family. Although we had just met, I felt a bond to her. Then she motioned for me to come over. After all, I was new to all of this.

“You should’ve figured this out by now.” She took a pause.

“When you wake up, wash your face, then come and sit on the wall, no blankets covering you. Just you.” Emely said.

“Sorry. Since I’m new here I just thought that–” I was cut off
“Shh,” Emely said

Then I realized why Emely cut me off. Loud footsteps were coming closer and closer to our door. Then I heard something like a bat hit the door. I flinched then closed my eyes. Emely punched my shoulder. I opened them and saw four large and angry looking people standing right in front of me. I didn’t know what to do. Luckily I didn’t have to do anything, except for cooperate.

“Stand UP!” one of the men said.

So I did. They went into my bunk bed and looked around. Then in Emely’s. I didn’t mind, just as long as they didn’t find the picture. As I expected, they didn’t find it. They left after looking around, and threatening us. Now I know why parents always warn you about not committing crimes, and it’s because of prison. I’ve only been in prison for eighty days, and I’ll be here eighty more years. If I survive, and if I behave. I’m just lucky I didn’t get the death penalty. 

It was only two weeks ago when it happened. Cecelia and I killed Natalie. We had been planning for weeks. Natalie was a drug dealer, we had been buying. She had told us that if we stopped buying, she would tell. I was young then, naive. I hadn’t known that her mother was the chief of police. She was the perfect child in her mom’s eyes, whatever anybody said about her that wasn’t amazing was a lie. 

Cecilia and I snuck into Natalie’s house through her bedroom window. We had tape, a rope, and a knife. Cecilia tied her up, and I taped her mouth shut. I took the blade and touched it to her chest, then her eyes opened. I winced as I saw her mouth try to open but it couldn’t, and instead a slow tear dripped from her eye. I couldn’t deal with watching her suffer. I lifted up the blade and brought it back down to her chest. I felt the blade break through her skin, I saw the blood rush out of her body, I saw the last tear she would ever shed, I saw her eyes shut for the last time.

30 years later…

I realize what I did then was wrong. I will now be paying the price for my actions. 

I waved to the man at the desk behind the glass, he didn’t wave back. I looked down, then I sat in the chair. BZZZZZ 

Emely was let out of prison five years after I had come. We said our goodbyes, she had said that she would write to me everyday, but less and less often the letters came. Cecilia had been killed in a stabbing twenty years after we had gotten to the prison. And finally my one prized possession, my picture, was confiscated. It was a picture of my sister, Katherine. She understood me, and she loved me. Unfortunately the police found my picture in a surprise inspection. 

A Story About a Boy Named Oliver

Oliver was always bored. Oliver was always alone. Oliver was twelve. He went to a public middle school. Oliver never got outstandingly good grades, but never got outstandingly bad ones. Oliver was not outstandingly tall, short, fat, skinny, fast, slow, strong, or weak. To put it simply, Oliver was very average. 

As I mentioned before, Oliver was always alone. He was always alone, but never lonely. Oliver liked being alone. He liked thinking, reading, and watching movies. Oliver went to school one day. That school day was very average, very predictable. Oliver went home from school on that said day, finished homework, finished a book, and went to sleep. This said day was almost every single day for Oliver, minus the weekends. (For almost every weekend Oliver would wake up, watch movies, read, and think along with having meals in between, if you were wondering.) 

One day, Oliver went home to his average house, went upstairs to his average room, only to find a very unaverage thing. That very unaverage thing was a thirty-seven year old man named Jack.

“I am thirty-seven years old and my name is Jack. It is a pleasure to meet you, eleven year old Oliver,” said Jack.

“Hello thirty-seven year old Jack,” said Oliver, “Might I ask how you know my name and age?” he asked.

“I know your name and age simply to tell you that the world is going to end in exactly five minutes and thirty-six seconds, and I want to take you to an alternate dimension to save you.”

“What an odd person,” thought Oliver.

“So how are you going to bring me to this alternate dimension?” Oliver inquired.

Jack pulled out a strange contraption out of a fanny pack that Oliver had not noticed.

“Just press this green button,” Jack instructed, “But not the blue or red button. Never push the yellow button, and only press the orange button on alternating Thursdays and the thirty-first of January.”

Oliver was going to push the green button, but he tripped and pushed the blue button, instantly killing both Oliver and Jack.

“Now look what you’ve done!” exclaimed Jack.

Jack and Oliver were in what seemed to be an endless plane of wheat fields.

“Where are we?” said Oliver.

“Well the afterlife, of course!”

Oliver considered himself an atheist, so he was surprised that the after-life existed.

“So where is God?” asked Oliver

“What is that?” responded Jack.

“It is something people think exist,” said Oliver.

“Well then they’re wrong.” said Jack.

“Are you sure?” questioned Oliver.

Jack stopped and thought about Oliver’s question for a moment before responding with a simple, “No.”



“Didn’t you say that the world was going to end today?”

Jack checked his watch.

“In exactly thirteen point forty-six seconds,” said Jack matter-of-factly.

Exactly thirteen point forty-six seconds after Jack said that, seven point eight billion people along with billions of animals and other organisms spawned into the afterlife. Exactly two point four seconds after the world ended, Jack started to walk off in the midst of the confusion. 

“Where are you going?” asked Oliver, catching up with Jack.

“Well, I’m off to see if this God character is real,” said Jack as if Oliver were to take that for granted.

“Would you mind if I tagged along?”

“Nobody is stopping or forcing you to do anything at all,” said Jack.

And that is where a frightfully unaverage adventure began.

Jack and Oliver walked for about three months, and had grown quite used to each other. The three months they had spent together were very uneventful and dull with little to no conversation—not anything Oliver wasn’t used to. One slightly less uneventful day Jack and Oliver stumbled upon a grand fortress consisting of several gargantuous medieval-style castles surrounded by awesome cobblestone walls that they should have been able to see kilometers away, yet still seemed to appear out of nothingness into somethingness. Oliver would have been flabbergasted but nothing seemed to startle him any longer. Jack and Oliver went to the walls and the entrance of the kingdom to find a doorbell. Oliver rang the doorbell and the gate swung open crashing into Jack and Oliver. When the two got up they were almost surprised to find a muscular child, not much older than Oliver opening the gate.

“Salutations,” said the child, “I am Steven.”

“Why are you so young but so…” began Oliver

“Muscular?” suggested Jack.

“I’ve gotten this body from hundreds of years of training. I do not age because I’m dead, but I can still get stronger,” said Steven, in a seemingly offended tone of voice.

“May we come in?” said Jack

“Absolutely not!” exclaimed Steven.

“Why not?” asked Oliver.

Steven remained silent, staring at Oliver.

“Fine!” Steven shouted, letting Oliver and Jack in.

“What an odd person,” thought Oliver followed by a feeling of deja vu.

Inside the wall, there was an entrance to the first castle. Oliver was about to ring the doorbell to the gate when it swung forward, crashing into Oliver and Jack. Behind the door was another Steven.

“But you were just…” Oliver began.

“I am Steven’s twice-removed great uncle,” said Steven’s twice-removed great uncle.

“But you’re so young!” exclaimed Jack, “And you look exactly the same as Steven.”

“I jumped off a bridge when I was eight, and then my sister went on to marry somebody, and Steven-having been born four months prior to my sister’s wedding became my twice-removed grandnephew,” said Steven’s twice-removed great uncle.

There was a brief moment of silence before Jack and Oliver abruptly dashed into the castle. The castle itself was filled with a grand, rich town with beautiful buildings, awesome towers, and gorgeous citizens.

“Welcome to the Kingdom of Solitude and Ending!” exclaimed Steven’s twice-removed great uncle.

“What a terrible name for such a beautiful town!” thought Oliver.

But as he walked into the town, he could see people’s eyes, filled with boredom and nothingness. He and Jack walked around asking for somebody who knew about any God character for hours on end until one depressed sounding lady suggested asking the King of Solitude, Benjamin The Conqueror.

“Well where do you find this Benjamin guy?” inquired Jack.

The woman simply pointed up.

Oliver could never have explained what happened in the entirety of his death, he could never quite grasp it, but he saw colors that were impossible to see, sounds that were impossible to hear, smelling smells that were impossible to smell, feeling sensations that were impossible to experience. But it was almost like it didn’t happen at all, because after that Oliver still couldn’t quite grasp how he felt, saw, heard, or smelled anything that had happened, but this is all irrelevant, because at this point in the story Jack and Oliver were sitting in front of Benjamin the Conqueror who was currently explaining that he would accompany the two on their way to God.

“There are two paths to get to God. The Road To Imminent Doom, Danger, and Death, or the Everlasting Road.” said Benjamin, “The latter option takes infinite time to travel across to reach God whereas the first option will lead to imminent death to reach God.”

“Both sound equally as terrible and impossible as one another,” remarked Jack.

“Nothing is neither possible nor impossible nowadays,” replied the king dreamily.

“I choose the first option,” said Oliver abruptly.

Jack and Benjamin looked at Oliver surprised.

“Fine by me,” said Jack after a brief pause.

“Ditto,” seconded Benjamin the Conqueror. 

And so the trio went out of the fortress, down to the Road of Imminent Doom, Danger, and Death, in search for a mysterious religious figure named God.

It took about four days until the three reached the road, and about another week until they reached living (if you can really use that word anymore) beings. It was an old merchant. The merchant was sold out. Out of the Road of Imminent Doom, Danger, and Death, out of the afterlife, out of anything really, as long as you brought the Out to God. 

“So God is real?” cried Oliver.

“No, not to my knowledge,” said the merchant, “But others would disagree, claiming he’s just down the road,” said the merchant, gesturing to the seemingly never-ending road, “Others have and will always disagree.” He sighed.

“Well could we purchase an Out?” said Jack.

“Sadly, I’ve sold out. I’m just on my way to replenish my stock,” replied the merchant.

“Well how long will it take for you to return?” asked Benjamin.

“It could take up to infinite years,” said the merchant.

Unfortunately, the three did not have infinite years to spare. So they continued down the Road of Imminent Doom, Danger, and Death. Along the way, Benjamin the Conqueror decided to tell the story of the Road, the Kingdom, and God.

“When I was alive, in a time before records, I had conquered land from Vrehnguard to as far away as Blaqtek and Garn’s Sea.”

Oliver didn’t seem to recognize any of these places, but continued to listen as he had nothing much better to do walking down a road that led to imminent death in search of God. 

“Nothing stood before me besides terminal illnesses which ended my life twenty-three years into my rule. After I passed, I joined fallen brothers and comrades, rebuilding my kingdom, Aapq. Time passed. The living kingdom fell, and the citizens came to join the kingdom, spreading sadness and despair. People began shutting themselves off from the outside world, they began, with lack of a better word, stopping. I forget how it happened, but the kingdom’s name became what you know it as now-the Kingdom of Solitude and Ending. People began seeking what the Kingdom once was. A semi-small group went on a search for God. Eventually, the party split into two groups. One of the groups was almost entirely driven to death, while the second one got lost in Infinity, giving birth to the Road of Imminent Doom, Danger, and Death and the Everlasting Road.”

“That reminds me…” began Benjamin,  “Oh well, would you look at that! A motel!”

There was indeed a motel. The motel was named Imagination, Oliver imagined. The three walked into the motel, and a man welcomed them in.

“Welcome to the motel, Imagination,” Oliver imagined the man exclaimed.

Oliver imagined that a series of events unfolded that led up to him getting a room for the night to himself. Oliver couldn’t fall asleep. He got off and wandered throughout the motel getting lost in Imagination. He began to picture lions with several heads, gods with two faces, infinite money, inumerous wonders. Oliver finally wandered so much that he found that he was in a new land. It was tiresome to walk through, he could barely stand it. It was almost as if all the dopamine was drained from his brain. There was blackness, numbers, facts, letters that Oliver couldn’t place together. He wanted to, he needed to break free. But he didn’t know what to break free from. He couldn’t kill himself. He didn’t want to kill himself, but he didn’t know what else to do. He collapsed onto the floor. He was crying. He didn’t know why. There was no point to crying. No point in doing anything. But he still wanted to find God. He didn’t know how it would turn out. Oliver didn’t care. He wanted to see how it would turn out, and if he didn’t like it, he was going to be doomed and die anyways. Dopamine returning to Oliver’s brain, he found himself back in his motel room. It was late morning already.

When he went back into the lobby, he saw Jack.

“Where’s Benjamin?” Oliver imagined he said.

“Oh, he killed himself,” Oliver imagined Jack replied.



So the duo continued on their perilous journey.

Walking down the road, Jack and Oliver found a very interesting part of it. Various animals were running about the street, selling numerous drugs with absurd names, and Oliver found himself in a manfight. Chickens and dogs betting on which human would kill the other. Seeing this, Oliver tried to escape, but it was futile. Jack and Oliver were thrown into a cage by two large, muscular dogs. The two were about to fight when the chicken police ran into the facility, shooting down all the chickens and dogs. None escaped. Jack and Oliver were released.

“What brings you to the road of Imminent Doom Danger and Death this fine, fine day?” inquired the chief police chicken.

“God,” said Jack.

“Oh… You’re one of those ones.” said the chicken chief.

“Gabriel!” the chicken man shouted.

An insane looking, ragged old man that was a chicken stumbled up to them.

“God!” he squabbled, “God! This way! God!”

“No,” said Jack, repulsed by the disgusting chicken man, “I’m not sure if I believe in God, I just want to see if he exists.”

“Ohhhh, well you shoulda just said that to begin with!” exclaimed the chicken man chief police, “Come right along with me! My name’s Robert, by the way. Nice to meetcha,” he said charismatically, holding out his wing.

“My name’s Jack,” said Jack, shaking Robert’s wing.

“And I’m Oliver.”

Robert brought the two to a police car.

“My police car goes infinitely fast, so we can arrive at the end of the road in infinitely minimal time,” explained Robert.

Oliver, not knowing what else to say, simply said, “Okay.”

And then they were there.

At the end of the road there was a man. The man lead them through infinity and back, reaching the stars, reaching Heaven, coming back to Earth, finally back to the realm of the dead. And then there was God. An old man, completely still, completely silent.

“Are you God?” asked Jack in awe.

The man turned to Jack, who repeated his question.

“I don’t know.” said the old man.

“Does God exist?” asked Oliver.

“I’m not sure.”

“Who are you?” asked Robert.

“I—” but the old man couldn’t finish the sentence, for he collapsed onto the ground, dead.

“I still don’t understand how people die in the afterlife,” remarked Jack, four point sixty-seven seconds before Robert, Oliver, and himself died of abrupt heart attacks.

Best Friends Wait What!!!

Ludovico Cordara’s POV 

It is the year 2034 and it is a rainy Sunday night in my Chicago penthouse on the top of the Sears Tower. I wake up and do my usual 20 pushups and I run on my treadmill. Then my kind maid cooks me imported and sweet Belgian waffles. As always, I am super hungry so I eat 3 entire waffles. Eventually, I am done eating and I go to my room and I pick my fanciest suit because today is a super important day. Today is the day where I graduate from Harvard Law School where I am a graduate with two S.J.D.’s 

I am incredibly proud of myself. My parents are there and they surprise me with a courtside game of the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs. It looks like a copy of Super Bowl LIV. 

Nick Bosa’s POV

It is a super bright day and the rays of the sun are blazing through my window. I wake up and run to take a boiling hot bath because I have an incredibly momentous game coming up. The Super Bowl. I am super agitated, but at the same time, I am calmer than ever. After my bath, I go to my kitchen where a fantastic breakfast is prepared. It is composed of a bowl of organic fruit from my garden, a bowl of raw oats, and 7 scrambled eggs. I divulge it all in a matter of 20 minutes. After that, I meet with my parents and we go to watch a movie at my parents’ private movie theater. The movie is about this astute lawyer named Ludovico Cordara. It tells us all about his background and how he graduated from Harvard and in all the photos, we see 49ers merch, which makes me feel good. After the movie, I go to Levi Stadium with the coach and my teammates and we started stretching and practicing. We need to practice because in a week, I will be playing the most important game of my life.

Ludovico Cordara POV

I go back to my house and I can’t wait to go into my Anti-Gravity room in my basement. As soon as we get there, we put on helmets and a specialized platinum suit. I’ve done it before, but most of my friends haven’t and I remember my first time doing it and it felt like being awake while sleeping. It’s such a fantastic and weird experience that I don’t even know how to describe it. I invite all my friends and we have an intense game of dodgeball. I am so electrified that I finally get to play with all my friends. Afterwards, we go and relax in my pool. Then I go with my very best friend Guglielmo and we have a lot of fun watching a movie. The movie we watch is called Bad Boys. It is hilarious. Will Smith, who is one of my close friends, comes over and we have a classic battle of ping pong. I am exhausted after our thrilling game which was, unfortunately, a debacle in my aspects. Eventually, I go into my heated water bed which feels like you’re riding waves without ever getting wet and being so close to the sun as you could grab it without ever being hot. It is the perfect combination of sleeping.

Nick Bosa POV

As soon as I get to Levi Stadium, Coach yells at me and tells me to run 5 suicides. 

I reply, “ Coach, I’ll run 10. I need to be ready for our game.”

Coach says “That is exactly why you are my captain and this team’s leader.” 

After 3 hours of practicing, I go to the weight room and I start doing my daily exercise which is composed of 20 pushups and 30 situps plus 30 bench presses. After practice, we all go into freezing cold and glacial cold tub. After we have cooled down, we relax and take a soothing hot tub and massage. Finally, it’s about 7;00 and the team and I go out to dinner at a famous steakhouse in San Francisco called Strip Steak. The steak there is more than fantastic, just tasting it gives you a rapturous feeling in your body. After the fantastic day, I’m still a bit sad because no matter how much I love football, I just feel like I have a different calling. Well anyway, I go on my customized German mattress. 

Ludovico Cordara POV

I finally wake up and I instantly go to the kitchen and grab a banana and run to take a shower. My alarm didn’t work and I am late for work, and listen to this, I’m defending the freakin’ president. This might be the biggest cause of my life. I can’t believe that there is no time to take a shower. I put my clothes on in a hurry and my maid is cooking me breakfast really quickly. The breakfast today is a buttermilk pancake with no butter and some diced strawberries on top. I drive my Lamborghini as fast as I can, and by the time I arrive, I’m too late and the president is really mad at me. I decided I’m tired of being a lawyer. I go to meet my friends from the 49ers and we talk about the game strategy over sushi. I ordered a spectacular green dragon roll and a plate of Japanese Chirashi which was amazing. Afterwards, I go back on my super fast car and all of a sudden, a dim light bulb crashes into me and I am knocked out.

Nick Bosa POV

I wake up at 6 and I run to my massage place where my doctor is giving me a soothing and relaxing back massage before my big game. My whole body feels like a temple, I am hyped. Afterwards, I go to practice and my coach tells me I might not be able to play in the big game. I am desperate when I hear the news and I decide to run out of practice and drive all the way to my house, but while I am driving, my car stops and a truck rams into me.

I am unconscious.

Ludovico Cordara POV (really Nick Bosa)

I wake up and for some reason, I am 6 ft 4 inches and I am extremely buff and strong. I go look in a mirror and I am freaking Nick Bosa. The doctor comes to check on me and I notice that it is an impostor because the doctor’s eyes are blinking, his heartbeat is very high, and his pulses are sweating, and I might add the fact that he has a gun in his hand. My body starts panicking and I run at him and I tackle him in a way that I could have never dreamed of.

I am finally dismissed from the hospital and I go to a gym to see how strong I am. It turns out I can bench press 524 pounds. Afterwards, I open my phone and I call my massager and tell him if he can give me a message because my back is swollen. I am starting to enjoy being super strong and fast. Unfortunately, I now live in San Francisco instead of Chicago.

Nick Bosa POV (really Ludovico Cordara)

As soon as I wake up, everyone is asking me if I’m okay. And I have never seen this many people care for me. And then the doctor comes in and says, “Sir Mr. Cordara, how are you?” I freak out because I just realized that I am super rich and super smart. I command the doctors in a slightly volatile voice and tell them to release me at once, the doctor does so. I go into the garage where I see my Lamborghini and I think, “oh hell ya.” I drive super fast and as soon as I get to my house, the press is right outside. I don’t know what to do until 15 super buff security guards come and save me and clear the way to my building. When I enter, the 7 maids 9 cooks 4 butlers, 3 coaches, and 6 personal trainers, all tell me “How may we help you, Mr. Cordara?”

Nick Bosa POV

Since I am now in San Francisco, I decided to go to a famous steak house called 5a Steak House Lounge. The steak is freshly made from the rugged mountains of Kobe beef in Japan. As soon as you taste the amazing meat, it would melt in your mouth like a snowman in summer. Then the intense sapor of the steak gets to your brain’s neurons and instantaneously attacks your taste buds and gives you a sweet aroma of juicy and croquet taste. Afterwards, I ask for a gold plated chirashi with salmon imported from the smooth beaches of the rugged coastline of Japan. The gold is found in the harsh and poor mines of the caves in Kenya. Afterwards, I call my driver and tell him to drive me home.

Ludovico Cordara POV

Seeing all these people makes me feel anxious. I normally see this many people at a game, but not at my house. All these people greet me super politely and they are awkwardly kind. It almost feels as if I were dreaming. Well anyway, I’ve decided I’m going to sleep. As soon as I enter my room, the butler says, “Mr.Cordara, would you like a Swedish massage on your back and relaxing Shiatsu on your shoulders and neck?” 

The massage is so invigorating and invitational that after the session is over, I ask for more. The massage is so relaxing that I almost fall asleep. He gently massages back and forward on my spirit gate on the inside of my wrist and cracks my back like an experienced chiropractor. He cracks every single rib and soothes it later with a great massage. Eventually comes supper and my chefs have prepared an assortment of food composed of fruits, vegetables, sushi, steak, burritos, and many more tasty goods. I devour it all instantaneously and I’m still hungry. It’s like my chef read my mind and makes me a brand new plate of lasagna, which eventually quenches my hunger for the next week.

Nick Bosa POV

It’s finally a bright summer day and I have decided that I’m going bowling with Coach to talk about our game plan. When he comes, we decide that we run Tampa 2 cover 1 robber press. Which refers to the defensive line piercing through the middle, the cornerbacks playing man, and the safeties on the zone. The linebackers alternate depending on if they are running a slot option or simply RB FB Tight End blocks. Coach and I eventually go to meet the rest of the team and he says, “Run 30 suicides.”

I stop and complain, “30, are you crazy?”

He looks at me in a befuddled fashion, and exclaims, “What the hell, Cap! I thought you liked running.” But since I am not actually athletic, I am deadass exhausted after only 3. I tell Coach I just have a sore stomach.

Ludovico Cordara POV

When I wake up, I have a severe stomach ache. It is so weird. I’m assuming it’s from the ton of lasagna from yesterday, but I’ve never had a bad reaction to lasagna so I’m a bit befuddled. Well, who cares. I have a court case today and I’m working for $500 an hour. Which is a lot. I am super afraid I will mess up. If I win this case, then that means that the law firm will be entitled to my name. Which means I will make over $700 million dollars a year. If I get all this money, then I can retire and just be the rich owner who doesn’t do anything but can still relax, which is my main mission. It’s time the case is about to begin. As soon as it starts, I instantly get contradicted and don’t know what to say. I’m panicking. My client looks at me with fear. I freak out and say something smart but off-topic. The opposite lawyer who has been my archenemy since we were kids is against me, he knows my every move, and well if I was Ludovico Cordara, then I could have known his every thought. I’m in a bad position so I slam my head against the table. And everything is black.

Nick Bosa POV

The referee blows the whistle and it’s the defense’s time to shine. I call a hike, and I sprint but get knocked out at the first play.

Ludovico Cordara (OG)

I wake up from my brain trauma and I see I am back to being myself. I am so happy that I yell let’s go. Then I look around me and I see that the court case hasn’t started yet. I am extremely relieved. As soon as my opponent comes in and so does the judge, we begin the debate. The debate is over after 5 minutes. I already defended my client successfully and the judge’s official decree was “not guilty.” I am so soothed.

Nick Bosa OG

I wake up and hear, “Hike, hike!” I follow my instincts and charge through. I force a fumble. Every single play, I force a sack except for the last play where I get razored to the ground and I am in extreme pain. We have already won the game. But unfortunately, the doctor said I tore my ACL which will take 6 months to heal. I eventually go with my buddy Ludovico Cordara and we go to the Los Angeles 49ers house and we chill in the jacuzzi. As we are relaxing, we see Guglielmo Cordara and Deforest Buckner, my old companion, arguing. We are so tired we are about to sleep in the hot tub. And the last thing we hear is, “ I WISH I WERE YOU.”



The following is not a true story, but it includes murder and cannibalism. Reader discretion is advised.

(It is horror as well as comedy. There will be funny parts throughout the story in hopes to cheer you up. This also takes place in the 1800s, which will be useful information to know. It’s also really weird. Like, really, really, really weird. If you don’t condone weirdness, don’t read this.)

My dearest Theodore,

I am afraid I will not be able to complete the task. I have recently been cursed. Do not worry, I have not been harmed. This may sound weird, but every knife I slice with now screams “FLOOF!” I know that floof is not a word, but it may be in many years, as it seems that the witch who has cursed me may be a time traveler. I know those are fake, and science fiction, but this witch was not dressed in black, as most are supposed to be. She had small, blinking machines surrounding her. When I saw her, she had almost flickered into existence. The fact that she managed to curse me is proof in itself. I have reason to believe she was a time traveler, as I have just explained, but that is beside the point.

I cannot complete the task due to this. I am afraid you will not receive your meal on the twenty-first, as you have specified. I will find someone else to finish the task, and swear them to secrecy. They shall send the meat to me, and I will give it to you in person. They shall think I am the one asking for this, and I shall pay them myself, do not worry. No suspicion will ever be pointed at you, all will go towards me. You will get it as soon as possible, but that will not be tomorrow, or the twenty-first, I am afraid. I love you, as always. Give my baby Mary my hugs and kisses, and tell her it was from me, her dearest, Elizabeth Johnson. I have the honor to be your obedient servant.

E. Johnson, 1800

That was the letter Elizabeth sent to Theodore on December 19, 1800. It was sent the day before, at 11 o’clock precisely. It arrived at his house at 3 o’clock. Theodore’s response was simple, sent at 4 o’clock.


Get it to me on the twenty-third at latest, or you will be next.

T. Wilson, 1800

Elizabeth was rushing when she received the message (8 o’clock). It was the 21st already! Who would she hire?! Looking up, the witch flickered into existence once again.

“You…” Elizabeth glared. “Get away, cruel beast!”

“Deal with it…” That was all the witch said before leaving the poor woman.

“Deal with it? That must mean I might go through with my project and succeed! Thank you, mysterious witch!”

A letter was immediately sent to Theodore, of course.

My dearest Theodore,

I am letting you know that the meat may be ready today. I will try not to disrupt anyone. My neighbor, Ryan Robbins, will be assisting me, as you might say, in my project. The witch visited me again, and said, I quote, “deal with it” so I shall. You may get your wish earlier than recently thought. The wedding will happen tomorrow, and I shall enjoy it. I love you, as always, and am awaiting living with you. Tell Mary I send her warm wishes. I have the honor to be your obedient servant.

E. Johnson, 1800

Theodore received the letter, and a slight smile snuck into his eyes, though his mouth stayed firm. He erased it once Mary started crying, and burned the letter, just like the rest. No one could know the undergoing process.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth was knocking on Ryan’s door. Her foot was impatiently tapping, waiting for him to come out. His house was huge, and he only lived with his parents (Yeah, he still lived with his parents at the age of 35. I know, right?), so he was the perfect person—not too old, not too young, and an easy victim, despite the noise. No one seemed to be home. She decided to wait until nighttime.

At home, Elizabeth was reading. Well, trying to. At least the book she was reading was on cannibalism, right? But she was too nervous to focus. She thought it would be easy, at least for the person she loved most, but her heart started racing. She closed the book, and the title flashed in her eyes—Fables, Ancient and Modern. She was so out of it. The book wasn’t even on cannibalism! She decided to change into a black dress, to be ready for later. Sighing, she looked out at the sun. It had hardly been an hour, the sun just peeking into her window. She wanted to visit Theodore and Mary, she really did, but she knew he would be mad to see her.

I can imagine it now, she thought to herself. “You should be ashamed of yourself! You aren’t providing the food for your fiance like you should be! Where is the ‘Ryan Robbins’ you talked about? He should be ‘assisting’ you right this very second! Leave!”

She saw her fiance’s quartz complexion, baby Mary’s slightly darker skin behind, pointing at her olive self. The dimly lit room, so much detail as to the rain drizzling out the thin glass window. Elizabeth felt a tear slide down her cheek, followed by more. How real this was, she realized. Did she really love him?

“No.” A voice said.

Elizabeth’s head snapped up, “Who was that?”

“Just the ‘witch.’ You don’t love him, but you’ll do ‘it’ for him anyway. Yes, before you ask any questions, I can read your mind. Yes, I am a witch. Yes, I am a time traveler. Yes, I know what you’re going through because I’ve gone through it before. Yes, the exact same thing including killing someone for cannibalism. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I want to help you so you don’t make the same mistake.”

“Who?” Elizabeth wiped her tears away, embarrassed.

“I’m sorry, what?” The witch stepped closer.

“Who did you do it for, who did you kill, who are you?”

“I did it for my wife, I killed Ryan Robbins (a different one), and I’m Rayne.”

“You had a wife and you’re a girl?”
“There’s a thing called gay, you only like your gender. I’m gay. Well, technically pansexual, but I won’t get into that. I’m also non-binary, so not in the gender binary, aka not male or female. Anyway, back to you. No matter what I say, you’re still gonna do it. So come talk to me after. I’ll be here when you get upset.” Rayne put her hand on Elizabeth’s shoulder.

“Were you cursed with floof?” Elizabeth sniffed, and Rayne stifled a laugh.

“Yes. Someone centuries ahead of me did the same thing. It almost stopped me, but… well, I thought like you, but slower. I hesitated more. And the messages were faster. Like, automatic. But, pretty much the same. I thought it would work better on you, but it didn’t. I’ll have to change my tactic.” Rayne sighed, and opened her mouth to continue, but Elizabeth interrupted.

“Sorry to interrupt, but… who was your wife?” Elizabeth started to feel more confident.

“Her name was Rose. She wasn’t as harsh, and she just wanted to kill him, not eat him, but it was a big mistake. On both of our parts. Yes, he died, and no, neither of us got in trouble. But she’s probably talking to your husband right now. She’s asking him to stop, like I’m asking you. It’s our job now.”

“I’m doing it. Like you said, I’m still killing Ryan. I… I think I love Theodore, so I’m going through with it. If I’m going to, I have to go now. The sun has almost set, and I need to strike, no matter the floof.” Elizabeth stood up, slipping a small dagger up her sleeve.

Almost immediately after she did so, she heard a knock on her door. A man stood there, looking tired. He handed her a pamphlet, and spotted Rayne in the back. He explained that he was openly campaigning, and gave a summary of the pamphlet. Leaving, he said, “It’s 1800, ladies, tell your husbands, ‘vote for Burr!’”

Elizabeth, walking behind him, shouted, “No, thanks! I don’t care how approachable others say you are, Theodore’s going to vote for Jefferson!”

“Lady, then, tell your husband!” Aaron Burr turned around.

“I’m not a lady! There’s a thing called non-binary in the future! Where people decide to not be male or female!” Rayne shouted, trying to act angry while stifling a laugh.

“Good riddance,” Elizabeth muttered under her breath, knocking on the door of Ryan’s house (well, technically his dad’s house, but same thing. He would inherit it, anyway. That is, if he wasn’t a total failure in life. He was, though, so his dad would probably give it to literally anyone but him…). Anyway, no one answered, as Elizabeth had suspected. His parents were out, and she could tell because their carriage was gone. Locks didn’t exist in the 1800s, as some of you readers might know, and you might just say to yourself, “robbers are gonna get caught, so they’re safe anyway,” but, unluckily for Ryan, that wasn’t the case. Elizabeth opened the door, and calmly walked inside. She was wearing the black dress, one she had from her mother’s funeral. It was tight fitted, but still the best thing she had to sneak around the house. Her frilly dresses would definitely not work, with all the bright colors and sound. Anyway, she walked in, and immediately blew out all the lamps in sight. She couldn’t be seen by Ryan, otherwise he would… scream for the nearest house? There weren’t any for miles, so, he wouldn’t really do anything. But Theodore told her that he likes the taste better when they were taken by surprise, and she wanted the best for her love.

She crept up the stairs, where she heard Ryan snoring loudly. It was so loud, it covered up all the creaks as she climbed up the steps slowly. She reached his door, which was already open, luckily for her. Walking in, she saw he was turned away from her, his short brown hair in a mess, although it was super short except for the top (Elizabeth couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be a super short mohawk, or just was supposed to look really weird).

Good, she thought, and tiptoed closer, pulling her knife (pronounced ka-neef-ay) out of her sleeve. She somehow heard the rustle over his noise, so she thought her senses were on high alert. But then she realized that his snoring had not only quieted, but changed in sound. Was he smart enough to know she was there? Elizabeth didn’t think so, but she wanted to be careful anyway.

She crept up to his bed. He was covered in silk. It would be such a shame to ruin this, she thought, but it was too late to turn back. Besides, she couldn’t not do it just for silk. Her life was on the line! She smacked herself in the head. Why had she not told Rayne that? Rayne would have understood better if she had! Ugh! And then she almost smacked herself again. Ryan was staring at her and her knife (still pronounced ka-neef-ay), eyes wide.

“WHO THE F*** ARE YOU‽” He screamed. Loudly. Like, really loudly, louder than his real and fake snore combined.

“You were supposed to not know I was here! Ugh. Can you turn around and pretend like I’m not here? I’ll wait until you’re asleep. Or until your parents are coming back. You need to be taken by surprise!” Elizabeth said, in a rush. I mean, what was she supposed to say?


“Look who’s talking,” Elizabeth muttered under her breath.

“What did you just say?” Ryan was suddenly angry, but in a different way than before. His voice was (somehow) really deep, and his face was all squished up. It looked uglier than before, which seemed impossible to Elizabeth (and me).

“You are 35, and still living with your parents. You must be stupid. Also, why are you cursing? It isn’t proper.” Elizabeth kept going with insults. She had just remembered that Theodore could never tell the difference between a surprised meal or an angry one.

“Cursing isn’t proper? You’re coming to kill me, and you’re telling me that cursing isn’t proper?” Ryan smirked with disbelief, even while he was about to be killed. He’s crazy, right?

“Well, I’m not saying killing is proper, because it isn’t, but cursing isn’t either. Anyway, I’m going to kill you now. Also, I didn’t think it was possible for you to be uglier, but with your face all scrunched up like that, I was clearly wrong.” Elizabeth pointed at his face in a disgusted manner, and walked towards him, knife (ka-neef-ay) pointing towards his chest.

Ryan got really, really angry at that, and jumped at Elizabeth. He was obviously stupid, because he forgot about the knife (ka-neef-ay), and jumped right onto it. Needless to say, not only was he angry, but he was also taken by surprise, making Ryan taste the best for Theodore. The knife (ka-neef-ay) also said “FLOOF!!!”

Ryan saw her smile as he died, and said, “I have the honor to be your obedient servant… R dot Rob—” through gritted teeth, but his voice died off as he did. It was to annoy her, because he knew how many letters she sent (a lot, most to Theodore, and some to Theodosia, her friend), and thought it would annoy her, but it just made her smile more.

Bowing, Elizabeth sang to him (like the way it’s sung in Hamilton) “I have the honor to be your obedient servant! E dot John.” Elizabeth only said the first syllable of her last name to match Ryan, and because it sounded better. She cut him up quickly, forgetting about Rayne entirely. The knife (still ka-neef-ay) sounded not like a lot of loud floofs, but like “F-F-Fl-Floo-F-F-Floo…” because it was getting interrupted.

She wrapped him up in the sheets quickly, ignoring the silk. She tied the top, and brought the bloody pieces over to her house. Rayne was waiting there, along with who Elizabeth assumed was Rose, and Theodore. Rose had long, blonde, curly hair, and was wearing the same sort of gadgets as Rayne.

“You already did it?” Theodore asked, stepping forward.

“Yeah, you a**hole. Here’s your ‘food,’ you monster.” Elizabeth stopped smiling, and threw Ryan’s remains at Theodore.

“I shouldn’t have done it. I—”

“You what? You love me? You want the best for me? You shouldn’t have f***ing threatened me?! Well, guess what? You can get out of my f***ing house, turn yourself into the police, and leave me alone! Give me Mary, too! Or did she die?!” Elizabeth threw up her hands, flooded with emotion.

“Yes. She’s de—”

“Of course! You took everything away from me for your stupid ‘meat!’ I don’t want to see you ever again! Get out of my house! Now!”

Theodore turned away, and started towards the door. “I’m sorry…” He whispered.

“I don’t f***ing care! Get the f*** out! And take the rest of Ryan with you, too, you cannibal!” As Theodore left, Elizabeth let out a sigh of relief.

“You didn’t have to do that…” Rose whispered.

“I did. And I did it because of you two. Thank you.” Elizabeth turned towards Rose and Rayne.

“I’m sorry this happened to you,” Rayne stepped towards Elizabeth.

“I am, too. Theodore was more messed up than me!” Rose said, making everyone smile, even if just a bit.

“Goodbye,” Rayne said.

“See you on the other side,” Elizabeth replied, and with that, Rose and Rayne flickered out of existence.

Do I Really Have to Play Soccer?

“Do I really have to play soccer?” I asked Dad. 

Dad started, “No—”

I couldn’t hear the rest of his words because of Mom’s shouting.

“Yes, absolutely,” Mom cut in. “It’s necessary for your health. You haven’t done anything athletic in years! You’re even having trouble picking up your laptop! If you don’t play soccer, what else are you going to do?”

I thought, sleeping, or reading, or doing anything else rather than play a sport! I still vividly remember baseball, and then said, “I’ll figure it out later. Anything is better than soccer! Remember my first game?”

Thoughts of the game flooded my mind…

It was three weeks ago and my team was on the field, in the middle of our first soccer game. Except for me. And my attention.

I was thinking, honestly, I wish I could be sleeping instead of sitting here in this stuffy uniform with all of these shin guards and stuff—

Wham! Someone from the other team ran straight into me, sending my skinny body soaring through the air and landing on the grassy earth with a thud. Looking back in retrospect, I think I might have flown eight or nine feet through the air.

Well, now I know why I need the shin guards, I realized. I can’t believe I’m playing soccer. Maybe if I fail, my parents will think I’m too bad at soccer to keep playing.

I heard the piercing shrill of a whistle being blown.

“Are you okay, son?” the referee asked.

I looked at the ref and slowly realized that he actually wanted me to answer.

“Yup, I’m all right,” I quickly muttered.

I gathered my dignity and stood up, painstakingly slowly. The ref looked around, then blew the whistle right in my ear, giving me more injury than the guy who plowed through me, and the game resumed. The splitting headache and hearing loss didn’t help things either.

Within a minute, I had the same guy who had floored me earlier bearing down on me with the ball at his feet.

He was coming closer. Time seemed to stop. I was so close I could see his bloodshot eyes, counting the viens. What did George Washington or whoever say? Something about the whites of his eyes. Unfortunately, there were no whites in his eyes to look at.

I had to make a decision. I could feel the flabby muscles in my body tense up and…

No way in heck was I standing in the way of that guy! I dove out of the way and the guy went on to score easily on the goal.

I heard a voice say, “Everyone makes mistakes. I’m sure you’ll improve.”

I was snapped out of the past, back into the middle of the conversation.

Dad commented, “I don’t know. He seemed pretty bad—” Mom cut him off with a glare sharper than daggers.

Dad revised his life goals and stammered, “Oh, you can definitely improve.”

I glumly said, “I don’t think there can be much improvement in that area.”

Mom suggested, “Failure is necessary for improvement. You’ve just got to grit it out.” Inwardly, I rolled my eyes. How many times has my mom said this? A hundred? Two hundred? No, at least a thousand times. Grit, failure is good, success, yada yada yada…boring!

I asked, “Uh huh, sure I can. Just like football and basketball and baseball and lacrosse and—”

Mom sternly informed me, “You only had to quit because you got injured. You were on the cup of improvement. I know it!”

Dad said, “On the bright side, you get along well with the other players on the team.”

The memories of the practice after the game seeped into my consciousness…

I stepped out onto the field, where my team was awaiting the instructor for criticism. The team was sitting around in a circle, just sitting and chatting. I inwardly cringed, ready for the upcoming constant bombardment of complaints and angry comments. What I was met with surprised me.

I stepped out onto the field. The entire team simultaneously stood up. This in itself was weird, but wait! It gets weirder! Instead of being bombarded with negative comments, all of my teammates actually crowded around me, giving me encouragement like “You’ll get ‘em next time!” or “Nice try!”

I was so confused. Instead of acting like, I don’t know, rational people, they were being super nice for no reason! I was just standing there confused until the coach blew his whistle in everyone’s ear and I faded back into reality…

I say, “Not really. They were just being nice because I had failed. They won’t be so nice next time.”

Mom says, “I believe that with just a little more time, you can improve!”

Dad glances at Mom with a skeptical expression and I roll my eyes.

I say, “Sure, Mom. I can definitely improve, especially after the Incident.” I exaggerate the last few words and Mom sighs.

The Incident’s memories revived themselves in my mind…

It was the next soccer game and everyone had encouraged me to do better next time. The game was in full play and I really wasn’t paying much attention. To me, everyone was just running around, chasing a ball on the other side of the field—

“Hey! They’re about to score! What are you doing!” the coach screamed at the team.

I blinked and realized the other team was bearing down on me, reminiscent of the last game. They had somehow gotten halfway across the field!

As I scrambled into position, a teammate to my right yelled, “Here’s your change Dillan! We believe in you!”

I thought, just don’t screw it up. Anything but that.

I sprinted towards the ball, hoping I wouldn’t trip over it.

There was someone dribbling the ball towards the goal and apparently I was doing a good job because he stopped and started to move in a weird, squiggly way after seeing me. Having learned from soccer practice, I moved along with him in the exact same way. I was putting up a great fight and then I saw an opening.

I saw the ball.

I kicked the ball.

And guess where it went? Into my own goal. Whoops.

A stern voice pulled me back into reality.

Mom conceded, “Alright, I admit that was bad, but failure is a way to improve from mistakes. Failure leads to improvement, which leads to success!”

I looked over Mom’s shoulder to see Dad, sitting there, with a spaced look in his eyes. I said, “I really don’t think I can improve. I mean, I scored in my own goal! Right, Dad?” I stress to Dad.

Dad snapped his head up and said, “Yeah! Yeah! Whatever he said!”

Mom sighed and glared at Dad, but then, grudgingly, said the words that I had been straining to hear for weeks, “You don’t have to play soccer anymore.”

Inwardly, I cheered. Finally! I won an argument with my mom! She just says, “Because I told you so,” I thought. I wonder what else I can quit next? Maybe gym class? Extra math? Or… how about piano lessons!

The Day the Moon Fell

It was Friday, May 13th, 2017. The day the moon fell.

I woke up in a cold sweat. Something seemed different. Not better, not worse, just different, quieter. And I didn’t know why. I wouldn’t know why until later, much later.

I got up out of bed and got dressed. That’s when I realized it was darker than it usually was at 6:00 in the morning. There was a strip of light beaming across the corner of my room. It was bright and shaped like a banana and looked like I could jump into it and fall into a pit of nothing.

I put on my NASA t-shirt and some jeans. It was time to start my day or, little did I know, my night.

I went downstairs and sat down at the kitchen table. Normally, Mom makes breakfast for my younger sister and me, but that day she wasn’t downstairs. My sister, Sky, wasn’t up either. Neither was Dad.

I suddenly got really confused, why was no one awake? Did their alarms not go off? Or maybe mine went off early? I looked at the grandfather clock we had in the corner of our dining room. Nope, it was definitely 6:00. Something was wrong.

I went back upstairs and knocked on my parents’ bedroom door. No answer. I slowly turned the knob and crept in, being sure not to make any of the floorboards creak.

My parents were still asleep, but my Mom’s phone alarm wasn’t going off, almost as if she had turned it off. But my mother’s never done that, my mother never will do that. What was going on? I tiptoed over to the bed, once again being sure not to make any noise. That’s when I looked over to where my dad usually sleeps, but nothing was there. My dad was gone.

I started to panic. Maybe he had something to do with the fact that my mom’s alarm never went off. Or why it was so dark outside. No, he couldn’t have done that. Only fairies and wizards and demons do that. And everybody knows, fairies, wizards, and demons don’t exist. Little did I know, I was wrong, very wrong.

“Mom! Mom, wake up!” I yelled as I shook my mother left and right. She was definitely alive, her pulse was racing as if she was really scared. But she was asleep.

“Please, Dad’s in trouble!” She didn’t move a muscle. My mother was normally a really light sleeper. Maybe she was really tired, I thought. Maybe she got home late last night or something. No, no, something was definitely wrong.

I ran into Sky’s room and saw her asleep in her toddler-bed we put together a few weeks ago. She loved that thing. 

“Sky,” I whispered. Whenever someone would yell, Sky would cover her ears and scrunch her eyes and dance around in a circle until they stopped. And with everything that was going on, I was not in the mood for one of her tantrums. But if I had known I would never hear her yell again, I would have done it in a heartbeat.

“Sky, wake up!” I said again, this time a little louder. “Please, Sky, you’re the only one left!”

Nothing happened.

I started to panic even more. My mother and sister weren’t awake, my dad was nowhere to be found, and for some reason everything had changed.

I looked back at the clock. I read somewhere that if you think you are dreaming and you look at a clock twice, the clock time should have significantly changed. But no, it was still 6:00 am. It never crossed my mind that it was still 6:00 am.

I looked around a little, trying to find something, anything, that could help me out a little. Even a spider would have been nice. But no, all the spiders that hung out in my sister’s room were standing still next to their webs.

I finally decided to look outside, hoping someone or something was there that could explain everything. I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

Cats were stopped short. Drunk college kids were standing in the middle of the sidewalk, and a plane was still in the sky. The moon was the only thing that looked normal, twinkling as it usually did, and slowly moving west. The sun hadn’t come up yet. No wonder it was so dark.

I turned away from the window and ran back downstairs, not knowing what to do next. Maybe I could run to the neighbors’ house like my parents always taught me to do “if there was ever to be an emergency.” I was pretty sure this counted as an emergency.

I turned the doorknob to go outside, half expecting it to be bright and sunny, the flowers to be blooming, and the birds to be chirping. Little did I know, I would never see a flower bloom or a bird chirp again. But, like I guessed, it was still dark and all the flowers were doing was standing stick-straight up.

I ran outside and pounded on my neighbors’ door, getting more and more worried. What if no one answered? What if it was just me? Maybe I was going crazy? Maybe I had died and this was the afterlife? I asked myself these questions every time I knocked on another neighbor’s door, just trying to get some answers. I wish I had known that one of those answers turned out to be true.

Eventually, I got to the end of Pickleberry Lane and had to take a breather. It all seemed so, what’s the word, unreal. Everything was frozen, and not frozen like snowy frozen. Frozen

I looked up at the moon. You know that feeling? The one where you just need company even though you don’t want anyone to talk to you, but just their presence makes you feel better? It was like that, except with the moon. It gave me comfort. It was the only thing that had stayed the same throughout all this chaos. I wish I had thought about that more, because if I did maybe I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I walked back home in silence. Literal silence. Nothing was making noise, not even the factory on the other side of town that keeps everyone up at night. Not even the crickets or the wind. But I swore I could hear the moon moving. No, that wasn’t possible. Oh, but it was. It definitely was. 

Suddenly, somewhere within the silence, I heard a scream. It was faint, but it was there.

“Hello?” the voice screeched. “Anybody? Please?” She had an accent, British, I think. I didn’t know what I should do. Should I yell back? What if, somehow, I was dreaming and I ended up yelling in my sleep? Sky would never let me hear the end of that. It could help, though. And so I yelled back.

“Hello?” I screamed as loud as I could. “You still there?”

“Yes, I’m still here,” the voice said, this time a little softer. “What’s your name?”

Jackson. Jackson was my name. But I thought twice about telling her. I mean, I knew nothing about this person. Maybe she was some sort of creep, trying to kill me? Or maybe she was my unconscious, trying to lead me in the right path.

“Jackson,” I yelled, lifting myself up onto my tip-toes. “What’s yours?”

“I’m Luna,” she yelled. “Do you know what’s going on?”

“No,” I said. “Where are you? Maybe we could meet somewhere?” It would have been nice to finally see another person, even if I didn’t know her.

“Bloomsbury,” she said. “Where should we meet?”

Bloomsbury? I’d never heard of it. Maybe it was in the rich part of town or something. There was nothing that could prepare me for what she was about to say.

“Which part of Massachusetts is Bloomsbury in?” I yelled. “I’m in Cambridge.”

“Massachusetts? Bloomsbury’s in London.”

London? So this girl, Luna, is telling me I’m hearing voices from London? 

“How am I hearing you?” I asked.

“They think time has frozen,” Luna said, sounding sad. “They say since all the noise is gone, there isn’t any noise to drown us out.”

“They?” I asked. I was so confused. “Who’s they?”

I wish I had known those would be my last words, because if I did, I would have said literally anything else.


I heard a thump. Luna must have heard it too, because she suddenly went silent.

I looked up and saw the moon coming closer and closer, like it was falling to the ground.

“Jackson?” Luna yelled. “Jackson, I just want you to know…”

And then it went black.

So, if you’re reading this, please, if anything seems out of the ordinary, tell someone. Anyone. Before it’s too late. Or you could end up where I am now, with them.

Kind regards, 


I put down my pencil and went to sleep.

I woke up in a cold sweat. Something seemed different. Not better, not worse, just different. Quieter. And I didn’t know why. I wouldn’t know why until later, much later.

Dear Mockingbird

Dear Mockingbird,

Mockingbirds repeat what people say

I guess this is your way to spend the day

What do you do when there is no sound?

Do you just sit around?

When you mock people are you loud?

Does this make you proud?

Do you sometimes hear the same sound?

Do you repeat it or once again do you just sit around?

I ask myself repeatedly why do you mock

Is this the way you talk?

Flu Shot

My mother drags me, kicking and screaming, down the sidewalk. She is taking me to the doctor to get a flu shot.

“Ellie!” she scolds. “What is wrong with you?!” 

People on the street are giving us very strange looks. I don’t care. My mother pulls on my arm and I try to go in the other direction. I am crying loudly. 

I am deathly afraid of shots. Just thinking about a needle in my arm makes me shudder. 

“I… don’t want… a shot…” I wail, but I am so panicked my words get slurred together and my mother doesn’t understand what I am saying between my uncontrolled sobs.

Suddenly I realize we are right in front of the entrance to the doctor’s office. How did we get here so quickly? My mother opens the door, holding me by the wrist, and we walk in.

My sobs get quieter as I take in the familiar waiting room: colorful chairs and wallpaper, some toys and coloring sheets in the corner, and the receptionist’s desk across from us. I think to myself, can it really be that bad?

The peaceful setting calms and distracts me a little. I pick up a crayon and scribble on a coloring sheet while my mother signs in with the receptionist. I hear her say “flu shot” and I bite my nails nervously, resisting the sudden urge to make a run for the door.

A few minutes go by. A young nurse comes into the room. “Ellie Thomas?” she calls.

I jump when I hear my name. Clutching my mother’s warm hand, I follow the nurse into a narrow hallway out of the waiting area. We enter a smaller room that smells like bleach and sanitizer.

The nurse pulls out an alcohol pad and a syringe. Seeing the needle, I panic and start to sob again.

My mother bends down so she is eye-level with me. “Shhh. Ellie, it’s going to be fine. You can squeeze my hand. Don’t look at the needle.”

It takes me a few tries to find my voice. “I’m scared,” I manage to say. 

“Don’t worry,” she reassures me. “It’ll be over before you know it.”

I hiccup and my heart gets caught in my throat. I am rooted to the spot with fear.

I feel the sudden cold sensation of the alcohol pad rubbing against my skin. Wondering when the nurse is going to inject my arm, I turn to look, taking shallow, short breaths. 

Big mistake. In slow motion, I see the needle just as it pierces my skin. I let out a strangled noise as I feel a sharp stab of pain. I grip my mother’s hand tightly.

And then it is all over. The nurse sticks a bandage where the needle entered. Blinking, trying to process what just happened, I lift my arm. It feels a little sore, but that’s it.

Smiling, the nurse hands me a lollipop. My mother gives me a hug and says, “You were so brave.” Relieved, I walk out of the door. Everything is a blur. My mother signs us out and we leave the office. I feel the warm sun on my face. I did it. I survived a flu shot. It really wasn’t all that bad.

Happily sucking on my lollipop, I trail behind my mother and we walk home.