Revenge of the Ankle Bully

Have you ever heard of the ankle bully? The old people say he stalks all the basketball courts in Harlem looking for easy prey. I even heard Ms. Jerry from the 4th floor saying he was born with the appetite for ankles, she thinks he eats them. Some say he is a myth, a story told to kids at campfires, but actually his name is ZRC which stands for Zahir’s Ridiculous Crossover and he’s from the Bronx. 

It’s 5pm, friends Zee and Kele meet at 135th street off the 2 Train. They are going to play basketball.

“What’s up bro?” Zee asked. “I got your text.”

 “Nothing much,” Kele said, “I was just thinking about going to the park on 145 and Lenox, we always beat those kids.” Zee shook his head. 

“Nah man. We should go to the Cage to get worthy opponents.”

 Cool! Let’s go!

When they got there, they saw a figure making people fall and cameras recording him. Kele is a big man with locks and Zee is a shooting guard that can shoot, dribble, pass, and dunk. Kele is a big man that can dunk and make flashy passes, but can’t shoot or dribble. They walked up and they got a clearer image of the ankle breaker guy and they saw he was light skinned and was about 6’3. He was fast and had a galaxy headband that made people look at the stars when he crossed them and he got into a lot of fights because people’s homies were getting crossed. 

They walked up to the sign up for the tournament and the guard asked,

“Are you guys signing up or spectating?” The friends said they were playing and they put their names on the sign up sheet. After signing up they noticed signs around the park that said “WARNING: The ankle bully is here and you’re going to play against him. When you play him, he will embarrass you and it will be recorded.”

“Yo Zee I can take him I’ll just post him up I see all handle no skill. 

“I know but he could just shoot your eyes out and cross you up without you touching the ball. 

“I know but he’s probably just a fake ankle bully, one of those imposters AMONG US.  

“Let’s just see.”

They went inside the cage and saw all types of people sitting, cheering on bleachers. chairs, etc. It was so loud in there it sounded like if 10 speakers were on blast in one room. Every time someone scored, people started cheering. 

“We got next for the duo tourney.” 

And everyone got hyped and started placing bets because the duo tournament was about to start. The first two teams were these two tall guys versus a tall guy and a point guard.

The first people to score were the tall team because they just kept posting up, but when they lost the ball game they just got flat out embarrassed and they raged, cursing, fighting, throwing balls at people. Someone even pulled out a gun before they were removed. Zee and Kele were up.

They were up against a team with two small forwards and they could both dunk. Looked like one was a park player. The other was a high school prospect that could dunk like he was doing in the warm ups and shoot. He was the real problem. His teammate was a park ball player. They came on the court and started hyping  people up and getting the ball ready for tip off to see who got the ball first, even though it was half court. They tipped it and Kele kinda has hops, but not that much. Their big man, the park player, is a pro dunker so obviously he won. They got the ball and the high school prospect, HP, shot the ball from deep mid range and scored 1-0. They’re going to 10 soon. The dunker got the ball, jumped over Kele, and dunked it. The score was 3-0. For the bonus dunk they had to come back. The dunker went up for a dunk and when Kele went up to get it, he changed his position and tried windmilling it, but Kele head hit the ball with his big head and they got it. Finally, a chance, but of course they knew what to do. Zee got the ball, drove to the basket, went up for the lay then kicked it out to Kele for the drive layup, but instead he went with his weakness and shot the three and missed like always but Zee was there for the rebound. He drove back out, did his little in and out behind the back snatch back and shot it. He almost missed, but Kele tipped it in and it counted as a point for Zee. They got it and Kele threw an oop to Zee and Zee threw it back in the air for a slam dunk. A double oop that gave them extra points and the score was 4 to 3. Kele and Zee were up. Kele wanted to make himself seen because right now he looked kinda dog outta water. So he skyrocketed for a dunk and tried jumping over the dunker, but he flipped over and threw the ball in the air and out of luck, it went in. 

Zee stared at Kele and said,

“That was a horrible shot. If you take that shot again, I will hit you with the 300 Mac truck deluxe ReSpEcTfULLy! Then you’ll really be feeling like a dog straight out of water.”  Kele knew he was wrong and said,

“Sorry, I’m rusty Zee.”

“Yeah okay buddy. Just don’t sell.” They got the ball and Kele went for the easy lay, but the dunker was not having it and he blocked Kele and then passed it out to the HP. He swished the 3 and said “All net.” The game was 5 to 5 and if someone made a half court shot they got five points, full court is automatically a win. The HP scored two easy buckets. One was a dunk, the other a mid range pull up. They were losing 7 to 5. The dunker got the ball at half court and did the iconic Jordan dunk over Kele and he got two points and it was game point with a three or a cool finish. The HP brung the ball up the court and sauced up Kele and put it behind Zee’s back. Then he went for the layup, but Kele blocked it, brought it back, and shot the 3 and it did a swirl around the net and finally went in. The score was 7-9. Zee brought the ball up, did a professor move, and then bounced it off the dunker’s head. He pulled back, shot a half court, and looked away looking like Curry. He made it, but it bounced out and went to the top of the backboard and then went in and everyone went crazy, even his own teammate.

“I told you dont sell! If they come back I’m quitting and I’ll be mad at you.” 

“Sorry I just got overwhelmed and did the wrong thing.”

“This is the game plan. Steal the ball, pass it to me, and I’ll fake shoot and dish it in for the easy dish.”

They got back on the court and took the shot. They missed. Zee got the rebound instead of Kele and passed it out to Kele. Kele took the fake shot and passed it to Zee inside, except Zee was on the outside and he passed to the HP and he took the dunk and started celebrating, but then remembered you have to take the ball out and by that time the friends Kele and Zee were trotting away with a win, waiting for the next round. They watched the round for a little, then went to go get a drink and bumped into a 6’5 guy that was dribbling a ball while walking. He had a neon hoodie with a galaxy headband and was kinda buff, but everyone was backed up because they did not want their ankles broke. Anyone that was near him when he was dribbling was now on the floor in shame or holding their ankle. 

Kele walked up to him and said,

“Hey, you that ankle bully guy?”

“Yeah,” said AB.

“I’m bout to put you on the menu when I pull up to the court and end you.”

“I don’t think so but we’ll see because you don’t know me and I don’t know you. I’ve never had an unknown person challenge me sooo. I crossed up LeBron James, that’s what got him motivated to be the best. I taught LeBron and now you’ll see the resemblance.”

With that, they got on the court and AB and his little sister who was 10 and bad at basketball were on a team while Kele and Zee were on a team. They battled it out and until the last points, it started getting interesting. They were going back and forth, both Kele and Zee glowing blue while AB was glowing red. They made a force field that was so big and their energy was so high that they broke the building around them and then Kele went for the dunk. AB tried to steal it, but tipped the ball instead. Zee caught it, passed it to Kele at three, and Kele spawned the three so hard it made the Splash Brothers look like a desert and he baca with the ocean and the ankle bully started fading away and with every other follower. He passed out and became a normal human and said,

 “Where am I? How’d I get here?”

Opal Shore

“You’re going to be late for work!” 

I pull up my swim trunks and pat my hair, as if that will keep it down. I’d hardly call my job at the Opal Shore Beach Club a job at all. I’ve been a member since before I can remember. Our family has been members for decades. Generations. My grandfather obtained one of their ultra-exclusive memberships back in the 60’s. He passed it along to my parents in the 90’s. One day, probably within the next ten years, my dad will pass grandpa’s membership to me and my siblings, and we’ll continue going with our children. So on and so forth.

Today, I work as a lifeguard, but rarely act like one. I basically get paid to sit in a high chair, get tan, and ogle girls in bikinis.

My mother’s in the kitchen wearing an apron. Her cheeks upturn into a radiant smile when she sees me coming down the stairs. I grab the lunch she made for me, kissing her on the left cheek, as it glows like a sunbeam. 

“Don’t forget your pendant,” says mom, as I leave the house on another sun-splashed day for work.

But first, I untuck the chain from my shirt so mom can see it. The gold cross is an unofficial uniform at the club.  Opal Shore is all white and Christian. I kid you not. And, my town is equally segregated. Sure, private clubs can choose to accept and reject anyone they want, but it’s odd that every member of Opal Shore is a rich, white, Anglo-Saxon protestant. Just saying.

So, I get in my car, and drive out of my garage onto a street lined with identical houses with spacious, elegant lawns. My car was gifted to me a year ago on my 16th birthday. What’s even more cliche is that every family on my street lives in carbon copy homes, with carbon copy cars, kids, even dogs. I pull into a parking lot chock full of luxury cars, many sporting MAGA and NRA stickers. Opal Shore wasn’t the Hamptons, but we’re pretty close; albeit seventy or so miles west. And, the people in both communities act the same I guess, except for my mom. Today at Opal begins like any other. I make my way down to the shore, drop my stuff at the lifeguard tower, say hi to my boss, and flex at some girls. Working at Opal has gotten me a nice tan. Plus, I need to stay fit for football season, which starts in a month. Everyone at the club knows one another, and, like me, the other lifeguards play on the football team. A few have graduated from high school and attend college.

I watch the waves crash through my sunglasses, while working on my tan. I can tell the members apart since I’ve been an Opel member all my life. However, if you were new to the club, everyone looked the same. The male members sit in lounge chairs by the ocean drinking beer, while the women gossip. Young children build sandcastles or swim in the ocean. Honestly, this job is pretty boring. I’ve only “saved” one person the whole time I’ve worked here, and they weren’t even drowning. To pass the time, I usually ogle the pretty girls when there aren’t many people in the ocean. Yeah, OK, maybe this sounds a bit cliche, but what else can I do? 

Everything was same old same old until I noticed a girl I never saw before. She’s wearing a polka dot, two-piece with frills tied at the sides. She’s striking, with long black hair that coils up, bouncing when she walks. To get a better look, I lower my sunglasses to the bridge of my nose. Club members were staring at her and her family. I was pretty pleased by the sight, but no one else seemed to be. The drunken laughter and gossiping from the adults completely stopped, with all eyes on this girl and her family. They weren’t actually on Opal’s property, but on the fringes of the club adjacent to ours.  Honestly, I don’t get why everyone was giving them the stink eye. They were just enjoying the beach like everyone else.

Boss drives up on his beach motorcycle seconds later, a vein popping from his forehead. Someone must have called him, and he hates getting called. He walks up to the lifeguard’s chair. 

Although I wasn’t the youngest lifeguard at Opal, Boss and the older lifeguards still call me “Junior.” When I was 14 and started lifeguard training, I was short, scrawny, and willing to do anything asked of me. I was naive and went with the flow. My mother always told me to form my own opinions, but the moniker stuck.  So, unfortunately, I’m still Junior. 

“Hey, Junior. Do you see those people over there?” Boss Langdon says, his voice low and scratchy. 

Mr. Langdon moved to our little town on Long Island from Manhattan, and his uptight accent stuck. He points to the family having fun and minding their own business.

“Them being here is going to be a problem, Junior.” 

I didn’t really understand, so I just nodded. I didn’t want to get fired. Boss grips his lanyard, while disgust strains his face. 

“These Jews come around here, disrespecting the Lord’s name, wearing them damn six- pointed Jew-stars around their necks.” 

Boss’ voice grows louder. He doesn’t care that others overhear him. A couple of white guys with beer bellies within earshot mutter anti-Semitic slurs. It’s not like I haven’t heard them before in jokes, just never directed at people. 

I notice the riptide pulling this family closer to our shores. This was actually fine, as the law clearly states that the ocean is everyone’s property. So, Opal Shore doesn’t own it; just the sand on our beachfront. Even so, our members aren’t happy. The more this family drifts toward us, the angrier our members get.

The striking girl with the polka dot bikini, as well as her mom and dad exit the water, while a little boy, whom I assume is her brother, remains in the surf. He’s scrawny, and his swim trunks are several sizes too large. And, while I don’t think it’s smart leaving him alone in an ocean with a splash of riptide, I say and do nothing.

A little later the surf gets rougher.  Opal members take their children out of the water. But, the scrawny little boy remains.  By now, the tide has pulled him in front of my chair.  For a moment, I doze off, having nothing important to do, or girls to ogle.

Suddenly, I’m awakened by the voice of a screaming child. 

“Hey, mommy look, look!” 

I perk my head up to see what’s happening. I spot the little boy, the riptide pulling him farther out than moments before. He’s clearly struggling, with arms flailing. I look for his family, finding them tanning and chatting. His mother is walking in the opposite direction.  I look at our club members. They should be helping, but no one is moving. They’re ignoring him! I realize my time as a lifeguard has come. But, for some reason, I freeze. All my training has led to this
moment. My swim trunks remain glued to the lifeguard’s chair. 

A beach motorcycle rides up behind me. Great timing. 

“Junior, tell me why I got another call?” 

Boss puts his hand on his forehead, casting a shadow over his eyes. 

“Junior, that’s the Jew kid, right?” he says while squinting into the sun.

“You have no obligation to get him, Junior.” 

He puts his hand on my shoulder. I swivel toward him, surprised and aghast. On the one hand, I knew I didn’t have to save anyone who wasn’t a member of our club. On the other, wasn’t it basic human decency to save any drowning person, be they a stupid member or not? 

“Junior, you look like you’re about to stand up, don’t even think about it.”  His grip on my shoulder tightens.

I look back out, scanning the ocean. The young boy appears and disappears, bobbing up and down beneath the waves. His tiny lungs prevent his screams from reaching the shore. I once again look at our club members. They’re listless, uncaring, unbothered, disinterested, and heartless.

Boss glares at me. Everything is happening lightning fast, but to me, it’s all in slow

My hand holds the rescue buoy without feeling it. My brain frantically races from the drowning boy, to my heartless Boss, the other lifeguards, club members, football, school, home, and my mom —

My mom. She always saw the best in this job, and in me. She was so proud I’d be saving
people, even though I saw lifeguarding as an excuse to get tan and watch girls. Mom would want
me to do what’s right. Still, if I lost this job she’d be so disappointed.  We didn’t need the money,
but it wasn’t about that.

Screw it!

I grab the buoy and stand up. 

“Junior! If you go out there, you come back without a job!” 

I throw my sunglasses in Boss’ chest. 

“God, will you please shut the hell up?” 

I run, dive into the water, and swim out to the boy. His head pops up less often, as the riptide pushes me away. I keep swimming until I reach him. 

“Grab onto this, buddy,” I say, as I push the buoy into his hands.

The boy’s grip is weak, but he holds on while coughing up a ton of water. 

Towing the boy, I swim back to shore, ignoring the piercing, furious stares of my Boss and Opal Club members. The kid’s family thanks me profusely.  I dismiss it, patting the kid on the shoulder. I’ve never seen the Boss so mad. 

“You’re fired, Junior. I’ll be sure to tell your mother about this.” 

“Fine,” I respond.  “But, know I’d rather lose my job than disappoint my mom, and myself
by letting someone drown. Isn’t that what lifeguards are supposed to do?”

I return the buoy, grab my shirt, and start walking toward my car. 

“Yeah, keep walking, leave the club, and don’t come back,” members murmur amongst themselves. 

So, I drive out of the club’s parking lot, likely for the last time. Of course, I’m scared what my mom will say when she learns I got fired. But, I have a feeling she’ll understand. No one else would, of course. Mom was always the exception. I turn on the radio, flipping the control until I hear a song everyone my age was listening to. 

I suddenly relax and smile as I drive home in my generic car, past the generic houses and lawns, with the generic adults, kids, and dogs. 

I smile, because my mom is no longer the one exception in town.


(Italics are Jesse’s out loud thoughts while reading the essay.)

(Bold is the stage directions.)

Jesse is writing their college essay to the admissions officers of their dream college. They’re sitting on the campus of the college they’re hoping to get into called UCLA. They’re typing on their computer that is set up on the grassy dirt.


From the start, I didn’t know where the hell I belonged. I probably should delete “hell.” I don’t think the admissions officers would appreciate my steller word choice. From the start, I didn’t know where I belonged. Now the sentence is bland, but I’m not using any cuss words just in case the officer reading my essay is ultra-Catholic or something. 

(Jesse stands up with their laptop clutched to their chest and starts to type more aggressively as they stand on the grass.)

I kept walking back and forth over this invisible line from the girls, who at that time were all obsessed with colored powder and sticky stuff you put on your lips for fun, which I never understood; and the boys, who would do very repulsive things like punch each other until one of them bled, and tackle each other over an oddly shaped ball (which I later found out was a football). I never understood that because if you liked someone and wanted to hang out with them, why would you want them to bleed? Why would you want to see them hurt? 

(Jesse starts pacing around the field/campus, still with the laptop clutched against their chest.)

Not everyone at my school was like this, but the people that would catch your eye in the hallway did those things and persuaded everyone around them to follow their lead and be part of their clique. I won’t name names since I’m not using this essay to tattletale. Rather, there was one person that led the clique with not an iron, but a gold fist. He or she, because it was only he or she, I guess loved to be and act old fashioned since all he or she wanted was “normalcy.” The last four years I’ve been asking, what’s normal? What is normal? I’m genuinely curious to see if anybody or anyone has an answer to this. A legitimate answer. If our teachers were really trying to teach us that everyone is different, then how come the word “normal” even exists? If everyone said that they were a genderless blob, would that be considered “normal”?

(Jesse stops pacing.)

 To be clear, practically all of my grade was one big clique of people that dressed in clothing I couldn’t afford and acted in a repulsive manner. They just didn’t seem to have any care about the people that didn’t fit their “ideal style,” whatever that meant. I spent most of high school pretending I was talking to some friends on the phone, reading numerous gender studies books like In Their Shoes by Jamie Windust, and desperately trying to find clothes that wouldn’t make me look like a girly girl or a jock. In my school at least, there was no in-between. The in-between was something I was trying to create, but no one was joining me because my bet was that they were scared of everything besides the status quo. 

(Jesse’s voice gets louder with more passion to it and they put down their laptop and walk to a nearby rock that’s on the field/campus and climb on top of it.)

I knew I had to do something. Not for me, not for my friends, but for the people out there who had similar feelings as me. Who had similar thoughts and desperately wanted change. On the very last day before spring break, (I’m currently writing this during break), I stood on the wobbly cafeteria table and asked the question to everyone who would listen, “Who am I?” One responded that I was a loner, one said genius, one said try-hard, yet no one said I was a man or a woman. I took note of that and responded, “No one here has said I am a man or a woman. I was expecting someone to mention what my gender or sex might be but no. 

(Jesse’s voice gets even stronger and louder with more passion and they start pointing at the invisible people in the crowd from the rock they’re standing on.)

None of you said anything about that. I was expecting someone to say I’m a guy for the way I dress or I’m a girl for my hobbies and interests. I believe the reason none of you mentioned that is because deep down you all know that everyone deserves to define themselves how they want to. Everybody. Every BODY. Who you are is who YOU are and not who somebody else is. Someone else is a woman, someone else is a man, some go by she/her/hers, some go by he/him/his, and you want to know who I am; what I go by? They/their/theirs, I am them. Respect that and I’ll respect you.” 

(Jesse walks back to their computer, stretches their hands and back, takes a big sigh, and sits down comfortably. Jesse’s voice softens.)

The amount of love and relief I felt afterward was tremendous. I felt more relieved than after I took the PSAT! One single moment I’ll forever remember and cherish is when that person with the gold fist looked up to me, smiled, nodded, and clapped along with everybody else. I knew right then and there I made at least some change, a good change. I didn’t fix the world, I didn’t fix everything, but what I did do was make a small yet huge improvement in my community that will very much spread to other communities and places around the globe. 

(Louder typing sounds.)

To whoever is reading this essay, thank you. Truly from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Whether I get into UCLA or not is honestly not my number one priority. My forever number one priority is inclusivity of every single body. Thank you.

Jesse hits the submit button on their laptop and gives themselves a round of applause as they stand up and take a deep breath. They did it. 

How To Persevere

Perseverance is something that everyone should want or have. It helps us reach our goals. But it’s not that easy to just start to persevere. In this short article, I hope I can teach you more about perseverance and how to implement it into your life. 

First, what does it mean to persevere? Who perseveres and how? According to, perseverance means to have a “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” It is a quality that most “winners” and successful people must have. For example, let’s say you are taking a really hard test in school, and you forgot to study the day before. You keep going and keep trying even though your work isn’t great and you will ultimately fail the test. You keep on going and trying your best, even though the test might be challenging. You try to keep away your thoughts of how you will do on the test, and just keep trying and not giving up. 

Frontline workers, especially now, must persevere a lot through their work. If they do something wrong or if they are treating a challenging patient, they must persevere and not quit during the most challenging events. They need lots of motivation and perseverance to do their jobs. As previously mentioned, it is a quality that most “winners” and successful people must have. The most successful people such as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, etc., also need lots of perseverance in their jobs, too. If something went wrong, or if something was challenging, they didn’t just end and quit there. They kept working towards their dreams, towards what they wanted, and never gave up. If they simply gave up, they would never be the famous successful people they are today. 

Now, let’s answer the question you all were waiting for. How do we teach ourselves to persevere? How do we implement the ability to persevere in our lives? First, you should encourage yourself. One of the cancers of progress is negative thoughts and negative self-talk. Negativity wants you to feel sorry for yourself and doubt your abilities to succeed. Think of yourself and your work positively. Never follow the path of, “If I failed one part, I failed the entire thing.” Nothing will ever get done on this path. Another piece of advice I can give you is to identify your goal or your “why.” Know why you are going for this goal and how it benefits you or others. Make sure the goal is meaningful to whatever you are doing. When starting a new project, know what you will do, what your intentions are for this, what you want to finish, etc. Finally, and this kind of goes along with negative thoughts and self-talk, don’t think negatively of the past or the future. Don’t let your past mistakes stop what you’re doing now. Live in the present. Try not to think of the future as a bad thing, too. Don’t get attached to what you do. This makes you have a greater fear of losing it and makes you doubt yourself more. 

All in all, perseverance is a very important quality to have and also may open up new opportunities. It might be hard to persevere at first, but I hope these few tips helped you to teach yourself what perseverance is and how to use it.

The Eve of Eve

It was the morning of Christmas Eve as Eve woke up. A cold breeze tickled her face and her eyes fluttered open. Outside her window, snow as white as her bedsheets covered the ground, causing Eve to smile and jump out of bed. It was 6:00 A.M., so Eve knew no one would be awake. She tiptoed down the stairs to the kitchen and started making breakfast. Eve was amazing at cooking, so she had her own recipes. She decided on making gingerbread pancakes for herself and her family. 

As she flipped through the book to find the ingredients, another recipe caught her eye, elf sugar cookies, and Eve saved the page with a bookmark. She got out all the ingredients, and started to bake. Around 6:52, she finished making breakfast and decided to make hot chocolate and coffee. She made two hot chocolates and two coffees. She put the food on four different trays and started up the stairs with her parents’ breakfast. She put the trays on their bed and shook them awake.

They almost yelled at her, but then smelled the delicious aroma of gingerbread and swiveled their heads around. They saw the pancakes and hugged Eve and proceeded to scarf down the pancakes. Eve then decided to wait a bit longer to wake her older sister, she hadn’t gotten enough sleep lately since she was studying. She walked back to the kitchen and cleaned everything up, and made sure Julia’s breakfast was on the table. Then she scarfed down some pancakes as well, feeling satisfied with her cooking. 

She ran back up the stairs and skipped to her bedroom. She laid out some comfy clothes and ran into her bathroom. Eve turned on the hot water and let it run for a bit until getting into the shower. When she was done, Eve went to her desk and did her makeup, seeing as a lot of people were coming to her house later for dinner. She ditched the comfy clothes and got out her favorite dress, it was a satin red dress with spaghetti straps.

Her parents were cooking dinner by the time she got downstairs, and it was only 7:36 A.M.! “Why are you guys already cooking?” Eve asked her parents, confused. 

“We need to prepare since we are having a lot of people over, and we’re cooking a lot!” her dad told her as he put the chicken into the oven. Eve’s mother was preparing all the vegetables and dicing them into a salad. 

“Can I bake dessert?” she asked her parents.

 “Yep,” her parents said at the same time, completely focused on the food they were preparing. Eve opened the cupboard with all of her baking supplies and reached for her cookbook. She flipped through until she found a gingerbread spice cake. She gathered all the ingredients needed, scouring the kitchen for some extra nutmeg. She started by mixing the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients. She then put everything in her family’s black KitchenAid mixer and added spices while mixing.

When her batter was done, she poured it into three circular stainless steel pans, and slid them into the heated oven. She put a timer on for twenty minutes, and ran up the stairs to her room.

Once she got to her room, she sat down at her desk/vanity, and started getting ready. She styled her hair into a braided bun, weaving a red and white ribbon in the braid before pinning it up. Once she had perfected the bun she got out her makeup bag, her other passion. She started with a bit of foundation, bronzer, blush, and highlighter. She made sure to match her skin tone to look natural. She got out some red and white eyeshadow, and did a fade-out from red to white on her eyelids. She topped everything off with some black eyeliner. 

Eve ran down and checked on the timer, two more minutes! She decided to start preparing the frosting. In the middle of gathering ingredients, the cake was done! She checked to make sure the cake was fully baked through, and then put it in the refrigerator to chill. She checked up on the frosting ingredients and started mixing them all together. She decided to keep the frosting white but took a bit to color red and green, for some decorating. 

The cakes were ready to be decorated, and Eve started right away. She did a crumb coat to catch the crumbs, then chilled that, and then slathered on some frosting and smoothed it out. She got the piping bags ready for her red and green frosting. She piped some swirls onto the top and finished decorating. Her parents came over, looked at the cake, and complimented her, and then took it to be put on a tray, saved for tonight.

Eve’s parents told her they had invited her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, and some other family members. She was really excited to see her cousins, especially her cousin, Riley. Riley was her favorite cousin, and she had a lot of cousins. Riley was just super fun to be around, it was like she had positive energy surrounding her everywhere she went. Riley and Eve had a lot of sleepovers in the past, and still do have a lot. They shared a lot of common interests, like makeup and baking. Obviously, Eve was a bit better at baking, but Riley was better at makeup so they were equal.

Eve went upstairs to her room to get everything ready. Once everything in her room was organized, and not a speck of dust remained, Eve got to work. She started vacuuming the whole top floor, her sister doing the bottom. They decided to both clean everything other than the kitchen, since her parents had that covered. Eve left no spot untouched, except for her parents’ closet. It was so disorganized it gave her the creeps whenever she saw it. It wasn’t like anyone was even going to go into their bedroom anyway.

Once Eve was done, her sister was just finishing up. The whole house was super clean, even her little brother’s room, which is surprising since it was usually overflowing with garbage and random toys. Her sister’s room was clean, it was usually just a little disorganized so it wasn’t much of a difference. Eve’s room could be super messy, or super clean, depending on her mood. Her parents were still cooking so Eve had a little free time, so she went into her sister’s room. Her sister was there sitting on her bed, so Eve sat down as well. They both just chilled there for a while, not saying a word to each other. They were just on their phones.

At 2:00 P.M., their parents finished the majority of the cooking, now only making sauce for the turkey. Both sisters had to take out the trash. They got up unwillingly and trudged towards the trash bags they had to take out, and walked out the door towards the “bigger trash cans” as Eve called them. After they did that, they got back inside and their parents started ordering them to do all sorts of things like setting the table, putting even more Christmas decorations up, and other random things. 

Eve’s parents were sure they had finished the food and made it delicious. Eve’s dad let her try some of the turkey… and it was revolting. The turkey had molded or something! She started gagging and almost threw up. Her dad was very surprised by this and tried the turkey himself, he had the same reaction. The turkey had been cooked for three hours! How would they redo their turkey with only two hours until the guests came?! 

“What’s wrong with it?!” her mom yelled frantically.

  “It tastes moldy,” Eve said.

“What do you mean, moldy?! We spent hours on that turkey!” her mom yelled as she grabbed the fork from Eve and tried some. She vomited in the kitchen sink.

“Do you guys still have the turkey packaging?” Eve asked her dad.

  “Yeah, I think we do, it’s right there.” 

He pointed at the counter, the packaging said it hadn’t gone bad.

“It hasn’t gone bad, now what?” Eve grumbled. “Wait a second…” Eve peeled off the label, and underneath, there was another which indicated it had gone bad two days before.  

“What kind of joke is this?!” Eve’s mom yelled, frustrated. 

“Maybe the store made a mistake?” Eve said, trying to appease her mother. 

“Yes, there had to be a mistake,” her father soothed quickly, catching on to Eve. Her mother did not calm down, so she left the room. Eve and her dad knew they had to do something but didn’t know what they could do. 

“Wait, can’t we just get a chicken since sometimes they take shorter to cook?” Eve asked her dad.

 “Good idea! Tell everyone I’m going to the store.” With that, her dad ran out of the kitchen to go to the store.

Eve knew she had to do something while her dad was out, so she got a good chicken recipe, and started making the sauce for it. Her dad came home a few minutes after she was done, and the oven had been heated. They exchanged very few words, just working hard to make a good chicken since their family was coming in an hour. Once the chicken was in the oven, she and her dad just high-fived and cleaned up. Eve called her mom downstairs.

Her mom moped down the stairs, clearly thinking they didn’t have the best news. As she walked into the kitchen, her eyes lit up and a smile formed across her face. “You guys got more food ready?! When was this? How did you manage?!” Her mom bombarded them with questions, Eve and her dad smirking at each other. 

They all decided to try a bit of the chicken to make sure it was fine. Her dad took the first bite and he put a thumbs up, indicating it was good. Her mom then decided to take a bite to try it too, Eve didn’t wanna already be full so she passed on the offer. About 20 minutes later, her mom rushed to the bathroom, clutching her stomach. Seconds later they heard retching noises, and possibly vomit. Eve and her dad rushed to her mom’s aid, not expecting to just see her projectile vomiting.

Eve and her dad didn’t know what was going on, until her dad ran to one of the other bathrooms, sick too. It was clear to Eve that this was food poisoning, but she didn’t wanna get near any of her parents cause she has emetophobia. Eve sprinted towards the medicine cabinet in her parents’ master bedroom, trying to find the right one. One time, her mom had gotten food poisoning and her dad gave her a pill and she was fine in about 30 minutes! Eve had searched the cabinet for a solid 3 minutes, but then on the way back, she saw the little container. 

She grabbed the little pill container and ran downstairs, getting two glasses of water for the pill. She ran to her mom and gave her one while trying not to look. Her mom took it and gulped it down in a matter of seconds. Eve then ran as fast as she could while holding a glass of water, and gave her dad a pill and the water, almost getting sick herself from the sight of vomit. She then got to the kitchen and gulped down some water so she wouldn’t get sick. Her sister came running down the stairs, “What happened?!” her sister shrieked as she caught sight of some vomit. 

“The chicken apparently wasn’t good enough,” Eve said, pinching the bridge of her nose. 

“What happened to the turkey?” 

“It was expired.” 

“Can’t we just order Chinese food?” 

“Why would we do that?!” Eve huffed on edge. 

“Well everyone is coming in about… 40 minutes.” 

“OK, YEAH, LET’S GO ORDER IT!” Eve yelled sliding towards her laptop.

 “Ok, we need a lot, 4 white rices, 3 basic noodles, 2 fried rices, 3 serving of spring rolls, and some shrimp?” Eve’s sister listed. “I’m gonna add some spicy chicken, and a serving of some normal chicken.” 

Eve shut her laptop right as they finished paying. “When are they coming?” Eve asked, turning her head towards Julia.

“In about fifty minutes I would say, not quite sure though” Her sister replied, tilting her head. 

“Ok I guess that’s enough,” Eve said, nodding her head. 

“I’m gonna go clean my room some more, you should do the same,” her sister yelled from halfway up the stairs, Eve just nodded knowing her room was perfectly clean. The food was supposed to be arriving in about twenty minutes, enough time to get here before all of their relatives. Eve could hear her sister trying to speed clean, since they didn’t have a lot of time.

Eve was sitting on the couch when the doorbell rang, she rushed to get it crossing her fingers that it was just the food, and not every relative she had. She opened the door already not sure who was outside. Thank God. It was only the delivery guy with three bags of Chinese food for them. She took the bags inside the kitchen and heaved them all up onto the counter. Her sister was already at the bottom stair running to come help. The two of them worked together to get everything plated on platters. Eve got her cake and put it in the fridge so it would still be fresh when they ate it for dessert. Eve’s parents came into the kitchen, feeling better, and helped them set everything up. 

Everything was ready and Eve’s mom started making some pasta for her little brother because he didn’t like Chinese food. After a few minutes, the doorbell rang again, and her parents went to get the door. They were greeted by hugs from everyone, and everyone was there. They all just chatted until it was time to eat, and everyone seemed to like Chinese food. The night ended up being amazing and everyone complimented Eve’s cake. Christmas Eve was Eve’s favorite time of the year because she got to be with her family. 

The Facility


John has always been a curious person but now he has gone off the rails. Follow John and his two friends, Ash and Echo, into the world of horror…


*Crack* Twigs snap under my feet, lightning cuts through the sky, rain pours down, drenching me in water. My friends, Ash and Echo, stand under a tree. John, Echo, and Ash have known each other for years and will stick together no matter what, or so it would seem… 

“Are you sure about this?” says Ash. 

“It could be cursed… ” says Echo. 

“*Pfft*, it can’t be cursed, I’m sure that it was a glowing red crystal,” I say, annoyed. 

“Yeah, bu — ”

“No buts, ands, or whos,” I say, frowning.

“Alright, let’s just do this fast, okay?” squeaks Echo as we walk into the cave. The stalactites make the cave look like a monster with big fangs. I walk in first and inside is a gleaming crystal. 

“Wow!” I say, shocked. I walk over to it gingerly, almost as if it can disappear. I touch it… 

Suddenly, I hear voices, my body starts to shake violently, and my mind goes blank… 


“J-John, are you okay??” I say, frightened.

“The John you know is dead and now I am born anew,” says John, the crystal now implanted in his chest. “HAHAHAHA,” laughs John menacingly, and as quickly as it all started, John lunges forward with such inhuman speed. Ash doesn’t even have time to scream. John grabs Ash by the legs and pulls him farther into the soot-black cave as the screams of Ash slowly fade away…

I stand, frozen in place in pure horror… I blink and I go sprinting down the cave.


“Ughhh…” Why does my body hurt so much!!! I open my eyes. I am in some kind of large tube and in front of me is John.

 “John, why are you doing this!!!” I yell. He does not reply. 

Instead, he says, “In a few seconds, I will fill that tube with liquid nitrogen and you will slowly freeze to death or drown. I wish your insignificant friend luck for he will not make it far, HAHAHA!!!” The liquid nitrogen slowly fills up the tube until it gets to my waist…


*Huff* huff* Where is he?! I think, wildly running down the hall. I turn the corner and the walls are a stark white like a hospital or a facility… I slowed. Why is there a facility here in a cave?! I think, confused. I start running again, then I come into a room full of these big tube thingamabobs (Thing-a-ma-bobs) and there is Ash in the biggest one! He is banging on the glass and yelling something but it’s muffled but I can tell it’s something bad because his face is all scrunched up. “Don’t worry, Ash, I’ll get you out of there in no time!!” I say, more sure than I feel. I look at the keyboard next to the tube.

 “Uhhhh… ” I push a big red button in the center and suddenly a hole opens up in his tube and he gets sucked in. “ASH!!!” I yell, but a hole opens up in the ceiling and he falls on top of me. 

 “Oof!” says Ash. 

“You’re okay!” I say happily 

“You should not have done that,” says Ash.

“What?!!” I say, mind blown. 

“Because Johns here… ” Ash says, pointing out a shattered glass window at a glowing red light around the corner of the hall, slowly getting closer. “Quick, hide!” says Ash as we hide under the table. 


My heart is pounding so hard you can probably hear it from a mile away. John opens his hand and a giant sledgehammer appears in it with a smaller crystal in it. “You cannot hide!!!” John says like a psychopath. He brings down the sledgehammer to the table with such strength that it shatters like glass… time seems to slow, shards of wood cut through my clothes and into my skin, then it comes down on my head, the sledgehammer, and my mind goes blank…


My body hurts so much and my vision has become blurry, but then I focus. I see Ash crumpled on the floor, a puddle of blood getting larger around him. I turn to see John. He smiles so evilly, the corners of his lips almost reach his ears. I stare, horrified, as he laughs deeply and coldly. 

“What has happened to you, J-Jo?” I can’t even say his name anymore after what just happened.

 “I will spare you for now,” he says, then walks away. I slowly crawl out from under the rubble. I look at what remains of Ash. 

I will finish this, I think with a sudden feeling of power… I yell out a name, John.


I run down the seemingly endless corridors. “Which way is the exit?!” I say aloud, my voice echoing down the halls, but then I see the unforgettable cave entrance where it all started. It has only felt like a couple of minutes but with the golden light of day beaming through the teeth-like opening.

I sprint at full speed. I run and run with all my memories gushing past me — John, Ash, and me playing basketball in the park. I run all the way home. I kick open the door but then when I open it, there is only the cave. I run in, not looking around and when I do I realized I am trapped in, looking behind me as the mouth-like cave entrance closes, shutting me in. Then I see the glowing red light of a crystal as the thing that John once was brings the hammer careening down onto my skull as everything goes black. 

To Be Continued… 

Fast Forward

One day, there was a little boy who was playing computer games with his brother. He saw a clock on the computer, and he said, “What’s this?”

His brother said, “I don’t know, you should press it.”

He pressed it and the computer started glowing. When their mom said, “Thing 1 and Thing 2, the food’s ready,” they said,

“Coming, Mom.”

They ate and they were eager to get back to the computer to figure out why it was glowing. When they got back upstairs, they saw a glowing beam that had numbers on it. He looked at the computer and saw a timer. He and his brother saw 10, what is this?! 9, what’s going on?! 8, 7, oh no! I don’t like this. 6, 5. “Make it stop!” his brother pleaded. This is cool, he thought. What if it puts us in the game or something? 4, 3, 2, 1. There was a big boom and their whole room and everything inside of it was floating including them!

They yelled for their mom, no answer. They noticed a globe and it showed their mom and them playing video games but on their watches and phone it said 10:00AM but the globe said it was 1:00AM so they thought, how could this be? Either we’re in a dream or we’re in the future. They were very confused. 

The brothers were arguing over what happened and who was responsible for the time warp. The boys went to their phones and they checked where they were on Google Maps. They were in Australia! Their family didn’t live anywhere near Australia; they lived in the United States. The older brother said, “What if we got transported to a different state?” Both checked their calendars. It wasn’t 2021 anymore, it was 3031! They freaked out and then calmed down and said, 

“We need to get back.”

Drew, the younger brother said to CJ, the older brother, “this is so cool!”

CJ was trying to act cool and stuff so they tried to get in a glass prism but it did not work. They tried kicking the glass, punching, breaking the globe, but nothing worked until the floor started to crack from all the jumping! Both looked down. Once they realized what they were falling into, they were as still as a dead mouse! CJ said, “Don’t move a muscle.” But then the glass was still breaking slowly. The glass could not hold their weight any longer. 

Praying and hoping it was not what they saw, they were falling into a big pile of lava!!! They were screaming, “Mommy!” All of a sudden, they heard a very loud noise and then saw an Air Force plane, what a miracle! The plane picked them up and dropped grenades into the lava. 

At the moment the brothers wondered what they were doing, a lava monster named Corrupt was going to war with a supernatural lava monster. So far, he’d done a lot of damage. He blew up a few towns and flooded a bunch with lava. So far, those were the towns that he’d tried attacking. Some towns were surrendering. That was why the lava monster wanted to rebuild his community. 

The plane landed and they hopped out and said, “Gentlemen, please state your position.”

The brothers said, “We were doing fine.” 

The soldier asked them to confirm their division. The bros said, “We are from Division 1.”

They said, “Oh, so you guys are from the O.G. Division? You are so young,” the soldier said in a daring but cautious tone. 

The bros said, “We are from the past and we’re 30 years old. The O.G. Division made a time travel machine to stop the lava monster. Trial tests showed that it worked.” 

The soldiers allowed the boys to pass. The boys finally located their house and went to it, but when they got there, their house was one of the houses that had been burned down and destroyed and the only thing left was the bro’s room, a tv, a couch, and a couple more pieces of furniture and accessories. They stared in shock as they watched the lava monster burn and destroy another house. 

K was the first bro and J was the second and their last names were Day. Together, they were K.J. Day. The lava monster was at least 30 feet high and had lava spitting out of him.

When the monster tried speaking, he sounded like a swerving car. The lava monster was so strong and powerful that he lured 13 men and women army people and he himself killed them all but left one to live so he could tell the tale. That night, he went to his house and burned the building down.  

They went to their couch and sat down and tried thinking about their house, and slowly things started appearing so they thought harder and everything was there. They heard their mom yell, “Kids, time for dinner.”

Shocked, they could hear C.J. Day stutter and yell, “C-c-c-o-oming.”

Later that day, their alarm went off and they said they did not set alarms. What’s going on? 

“The alarm said it’s your gaming time!”

They responded, “Okay, hold on. Are we back home?” To confirm, they checked the time. They were in 2021 and back home. 

The next day, they saw some of their friends looking at them weirdly like they should not be there. They said, “What’s going on? What happened? You guys are not supposed to be here.” 

They whispered, “You got into a car crash the other day and are supposed to be in the hospital recovering.” 

After school, their friends went to show them their room and they saw people who looked exactly like them and everything. They thought they were cloned in 3030. When they approached, their clones turned into 2 small lava monster pets! They wondered if they started the lava monster war! Then they heard them saying some weird words that sounded like: sacrifice the hot water! Sacrifice the hot water!

The bros saw something red start to come out of the bed and there was a portal that looked like it was from the future. Lava monster was in his cave attacking just like in 3030. What if the monsters were from the future? Running to their house, they started game planning. While planning, they started getting off track and playing video games. Their access line was suddenly cut off! The United Forces came on the screen and said, “Evacuation is mandatory! Leave the city immediately! We will compensate everyone for everything they have lost in the evacuation. You can’t bring anything but family and friends.”

Hopes and Dreams

We, the successors of this country

Are grateful for being born in a country

Where there is freedom and democracy 

Where anybody can become president

Where you can be

My hopes and dreams are to become a president

Of a free country

Where you can say what you think

This country is not perfect of polished

This country is not striving

But is moving forward blindly

I hope this country will 

Accept people from different countries and cultures

People with different backgrounds and beliefs

We still have miles to go

Before we are perfect

But we are not trying to be perfect

Nothing is perfect

We should welcome people

But right now we aren’t

We have to start a new chapter in our lives

We have to treat everyone like Americans

Storytime with Beanie — Halloween Edition!

          Welcome to the first story of Storytime with Beanie, this story is: HALLOWEEN EDITION!!! The way things work in Storytime with Beanie is I’ll read some stories from my storybook that I wrote and you can pick some you want to read, (or you can read all of them ;)). BEWARE, these are all real and you can come sit down on the couch if you dare to have a chill down your spine… >:)

1.  Night of the Living Grogush 

This story begins on a happy sunny day. A comedy duo was playing at the town hall, they were the best of the best, Gary and Grogush. Gary was a well-known man who had a fun, bubbly sense of humor. Or so people thought. Grogush was an unappreciated doll who people thought was controlled by Gary. Gary used Grogush to earn money and fame. Grogush was a living doll who was plotting his revenge day by day. At Gary and Grogush’s performance, they began to do their famous ventriloquist act. Things were going well until the end. 

“What do you call an ugly animal?”

“You!” Grogush responded.

They did a few more jokes and got a lot more laughs. Gary tried to take Grogush off his sweaty hands to take a bow, but he wouldn’t come off. Gary tugged and pulled. 

“HEHEHEHEHEHEHE!!! YOU STUPID STUPID PEOPLE!!!” Grogush screamed, his terrible noise bouncing off the walls in an echo. “SOOOOOO STUPID.” 

Gary tugged some more. “CAN’T YOU SEE THIS GUY IS ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY???!!!” 

“Dhfgfcvhhljvnmhgfd!!!!” Gary wailed, now jerking his hand like a lunatic. He fell into a ladder and bonked his head, finally letting go of Grogush. The audience was terrified and this probably ruined their experience in a theater. Grogush sat on the wooden stage in the empty auditorium rocking his legs back and forth. 

“This is only the beginning.” he whispered to himself, adding a slight chuckle. 

A police investigation has begun on Grogush to find where he is, and what he’s doing. We think he now spies on people to get information, he usually spies on people who don’t appreciate their children, then he steals them and feasts on them. Here is a letter from a recent victim. He claims to have bought an action figure for his little boy. 

HeLlo HuMAn, IF YoU ARe WORryInG aBouT YoUR SON, doN’T WoRrY, hE Is GOnE NoW, I HoPE YOu ArE HaPPy, A FeW DAyS AGo YoU WErE COmPlAINIng ABoUt HoW TiMOthY WAs SuCh A HANdFuL, SO  I SUcKed HIs  BlOoD ANd FrOZe HiS vAinS UnTiL ThEy WeRE COld AS IcE. I DId ThE JOb FOr YoU. IF YoU wAnT ME To dO IT tO VeRONIcA I WoULd Be HApPY To, TImOThY WaS a FEaSt, WhO KNEw tHE KiD HAd sO MuCh FaT!

YOU’Re WeLcOMe, 


Oooooh, wasn’t that spooky? It wasn’t? Well then, maybe this one will be better.

2. Twisted

On May of 2018, I was 11 and a half years old when this all started, IT started. Oops, I almost forgot to introduce myself — hi, I’m Amanda McDiggarty and I live with my mom in a tiny home. My dad left when I was 4 and I don’t exactly remember what he was like. Mom says that’s a good thing. My best friend is Martha-Anne Scuerts who bosses me around and acts like she is the superior. But she stands up for me and supports me when I need it, so I call her my best friend. One day, she was acting, strange. Stranger than she usually is. When I went to school, she was quiet. She didn’t shout out any answers like she usually does. She didn’t sit at our regular lunch table, she didn’t sit with me on the bus, and she didn’t BOSS ME AROUND. Something was fishy. After school, I followed her home, for good and curious reasons. She went into her backyard and I went into the bushes to sneak a peek at what she was doing. She. Was. Summoning. Something. What? I have no clue. She drew some random symbols in the sand and took out a book from her backpack. She then put three shiny crystals down and read from the book. This was the first time I’ve heard her speak all day, and it sounded weary and raspy. 

“Come out, come out, oh mighty lord, from wherever you’re hiding or have been stored! THE PEBBLES ROCK MIGHT SKID THE WATER!! KILL THE SHEEP FROM THE SLAUGHTER!!!” 

What was she talking about? She sounded like she got those lines from a nursery school. Well, I guess it worked because the next second was me looking at my life flashing before my eyes. When I opened my eyes, everything was the same. Well, I thought everything was the same. There was fog everywhere and Martha’s high ponytail and big Crocs had been turned into revolting creature. It twisted and turned with its body, the color of my aunt Tina’s pea soup. She had bags over her sleepy eyes like she had not slept for years. 

“IM FREEEEEEEE!!!” screamed this mushy, yucky, DiSGuStiNg thing!!! That was not my friend!!!

I looked out the bushes finally and saw a bright light sucking up this monster into the clouds. I ran towards it after the monster had been sucked up already and hopped on. I felt light and free like a feather. I felt like I had no worries and that everything was going to be alright. I fell asleep… 

I woke up after a few minutes realizing I HAD A MISSION. I walked weirdly to what seemed like their base and opened the door. I was amazed at what I saw next, millions of buttons lined on walls and at the center of it all, Martha-Anne Scuerts. She was frozen in an ice chamber. Martha had wires connecting to the buttons. Each of the buttons said a simple task and under, it said: “under construction.” I wanted to run to the ice chamber and hug it when I heard a voice. I quickly scurried underneath the table. I heard a bunch of gibberish and nonsense from these walking jellies. “Adddfghjkiuygtfdsxcfghjkjhgfdsfghjikoiuhygfdsxdfghjklkjhgfc,” they confidently stated. Martha’s monster form walked into the room and dropped Martha’s backpack near the table I was sitting under. I grabbed the backpack to my chest and held it tightly. The three alien monsters jiggled away. When I felt they were gone, I grabbed the plastic table and tried smashing it into the glass-ice chamber. The glass was resistant and held up. I put the table on the floor and started looking at the buttons. There was nothing that said self-destruct or open the ice chamber. I looked at the wires next and found a wall in the alien base that was uneven. I pulled the square out and found the button to open the ice chamber. I pressed it and saw some dramatic fog come out of the chamber. Martha’s eyes flew open. “Oh, hi.”

 I hugged her. 

“Listen,” she said. “I have a lot of things to tell you.”  

“I met a girl at summer camp, she was funny and sweet and we became friends. Her name was Mia. A few months ago, I had a sleepover at her house and found her talking to her parents. They turned into jiggly monsters and I screamed very loudly. They made an agreement to have me never speak of them and they wouldn’t hurt my friends, family, and me. Long story short, they thought I would snitch on them and took over my body anyway.” 

“You, Martha, have done a lot of weird, funky things in your life but I was surprised to hear that you made a deal with literal demons!” I whisper-screamed. 

“Hey, it was either: don’t tell anyone about us or die. Take your pick.”  

“Good point,” I said. 

“Okay, enough bickering, we need to find a way to defeat these alien people,” Martha said with her determined face on. I could always never tell if she had a determined face on or if something really stank. 

So she said, “I know the aliens’ worst enemy, fear. It sounds weird, but if we scare them out of their pants they wo — ”

“Orrrrrr… We can cast a reverse spell in the book I have.” 

“Hmmph, I guess that could work, too…”

“Great! Now we just need to cast the spell.”

I grabbed the book out of Martha’s Alien’s bright red bag and heaved it out onto the floor of the “lab”. I checked for the reverse spell and found it quickly. I pulled the table I threw onto the floor before and hid under the cloth again with Martha. I took a deep breath. 

“WHEN THE MOON GOES DOWN, THE SUN COMES UP, LET THIS BE REVERSED — ” I heard the aliens running to the room to see what all of this commotion was about. 

“Keep going!!” Martha said. 

“LET’S NOT CALL THIS DAY HARMONY, REMOVE THIS ONGOING CURSE!!!” My eyes glowed wide open with my eyeballs forming a pitch black hole as if you were seeing into the mysteries of the universe. My body levitated into the air and wind started forming around me, I could see a glimpse of Martha, and the aliens’ eyes wide open, afraid of what I had just done. I felt like I could see into every moment of the past until everything stopped. I was placed into time and saw Martha running towards me. I felt like something important had just happened to me but I wondered what. It was as if a memory had been plucked right out of my head. 

Martha finally said, “Do you believe in aliens? I don’t.”

What, what! Didn’t think that was going to happen, did yo — okay, I’ll stop. But I have to warn you, the next one is a looooooonnnnnnnggggg one. 

3. Little Dead Riding Hood

You might recall the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The story of the sweet little girl who was about to deliver goodies to her grandmother. She was stopped by a greedy wolf who wanted the goodies all to himself. He dressed up as the grandmother to eat the goodies, he locked the grandmother in the closet while he ate, and he was about to eat the grandmother too, when a man with an axe came to save the day! He saved the grandmother and the sweet little girl, and they lived happily ever after. This story has many versions, and this is one of them. In the real little Red Riding story, it wasn’t a happy ever after.

I’ll tell you the real Little Red Riding story, here it goes. Beware, this story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Once upon a time, there was a bratty little girl named Mary, who was a rebel. But despite her reputation, she lived in a tiny little cottage house in a tiny town called Once Upon a Time town with her mum, who worked tirelessly to take care of her daughter. But Mary had no pity for her poor mother.  She never listened to her and always stayed up late. One fine morning, she was going to deliver her sick grandmother her special, homemade, burnt biscuits. 

“They look worse than ever today,” she confirmed. 

There, she went into the edgy woods, all alone. No matter what time of the day it was, the woods were always dark, with only a little sunlight poking through the trees. The animals were peacefully resting in the woods, well, until Mary came. She started kicking pebbles and the animals started to flee. She soon bumped into a wolf lounging on a tree, almost like he was waiting for her the whole time. 

“So I hear you’re a rebel, Mary,” the wolf said with a small grin. 

“Yes, I am,” Mary said happily. Finally, someone understood her. 

“Come this way to deliver bissssccuits, the quickest way,” the wolf said intently. He put his head in the basket and sniffed the burnt biscuits while licking his lips. 

For once, she actually doubted herself. Should I really be trusting a wolf? She thought about her cousin James who passed away because he was being mischievous, and pranked the village a few times but then he really did get eaten by a wolf and no one was there to help him. She also thought about the three little pigs who almost got eaten by that terrifying wolf, but then her instinct kicked in. Wait a minute, why should I be afraid of a silly little wolf? I’m a rebel, and rebels can do anything they want to do.

“Okkkkkaaaayyy?” Mary said, her eyes darted from left to right. She then skipped down the way. The wolf told her to and started kicking pebbles again. 

The animals whispered to each other, “Only the dumbest would go that way.” 

A few minutes, and what felt like hours to Mary later, she arrived at her grandmother’s house. She dearly loved her grandmother but she needed to keep her reputation of being a rebel. 

“Hello, dear grandmo — ” Mary dropped her burnt biscuits. She took a good look at her grandmother, who was sitting in her plaid white and pink bed. “Wh… What big e… eyes y… you h… h… have.” She was shaking and trembling.

  “To look at my beautiful granddaughter with.” 

“Wh… what a… a b… big n… n… nose y… you h… a… ve.”

“To sniff my wonderful garden outside my house.”

  “W… what a… a… a big m… m… o… uth y… you h… a… ve.”

“To eat my Granddaughter’s wonderful burnt biscuits with.”

Mary took a good look at her “grandmother.” There was something so strangely familiar about her grandmother but she couldn’t put her finger on it. “Um,” Mary said. Her “grandmother” was sweating intensely. 

“I’ll help you pick out your clothes.” 

Her “grandmother” took a sigh of relief. So, she was about to open the closet when, “Don’t open it!” She was walking away from it when she realized her grandma wasn’t the boss of her. Her body, her rules. She then yanked the closet door open. 

“NOOOOOO!!!” Her “grandmother” screamed. 

Mary stood there in disbelief, she was looking at her grandmother, her real grandmother, who was suffocated by ropes in the closet. She was dead. Was it because of how long it took to figure out that the lady there wasn’t her real grandmother? But then Mary realized something, if that wasn’t her real grandmother then who was tha — 

She turned around to the bed where her “grandmother” was sleeping. No one was there — of course, the wolf! How could she have been so dumb this whole time! She ran outside her dead grandmother’s house and tried to find him, but he was already there in her grandmother’s, ready to pounce. She saw the wolf, and the wolf saw her. Mary ran, faster than she ever ran before. Mary didn’t care about her reputation anymore, all she cared about was running for her life. She was running and running and running. So was the wolf. He wanted supper and she wanted to go home. She just wanted to be in her safe little cottage with her mum. 

She screamed, “HELP HELP!! A WOLF IS CHASING ME!!!” 

A lumberjack heard her nearby and attempted to throw his axe at the wolf, but he missed, hitting Mary. Blood splattered on the pathway. The wolf really did have supper and ate well that night, as for Mary’s mum, she searched everywhere for her daughter. Even though Mary might not have been a good person, she was still family to her mum, and the only family she had left. So that was the story. Please don’t be alarmed, but unfortunately the wolf went unharmed, so though it was dark, it was hard and true that the wolf that night had Red Riding Hood stew. 

4. Mary, Mary.

Mary Mary was a talking doll. Much like Grogush from the 1st story, she lured her victims in. 

I ran with my mommy to the toy shop and found a baby doll!! She had wide eyes and curly hair, and the minute you pulled a string, she blinked her eyes and said, “Mary Mary wants to play with you!” 

The Cashier had a slight smile on his face as I ran out of the store with Mary Mary. When I got home, I put Mary Mary on the counter. We ate dinner and I looked for Mary Mary. She wasn’t on the counter anymore, she was in my bed. “Awwww,” I said. Mary Mary wants to go to sleep! I slept for about 5 hours when I heard a noise. I couldn’t make out what it was. I usually don’t like danger and often run away from it, who wouldn’t! But this time, my curiosity led me walking down to find what this peculiar noise was. I walked and walked through the apartment until I could hear it clearly. I heard a soft female voice singing, “Ring around the rosie.” I kept walking through the empty dark hallways of our apartment building, until I got to the courtyard. It constantly felt like someone was whispering this eerie song in my ear. I walked through the patches of grass covering my ears. Then I saw it. I saw her. Mary Mary sat there feeling the blade of the knife through her tiny hands. She kept singing. I felt like running, but for some reason, I did not. 

“Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes.”

She grabbed me and pulled me toward her blade. I could feel her tiny hands holding my neck hostage as I tried to squirm away. 

“We all — fall — DOWN!” 

She sliced my head off.

Narrator: The next day, this young lady’s family tried to find her. When they walked in the courtyard, they found the poor girl with her head chopped off. They also found a bloody knife and a note that said, “Mary Mary wants to play with you… ”

That one was probably inspired by Gabby Gabby from Toy Story 4. Except creepier. (And maybe a bit of Coralline :D.)

I hope you enjoyed Storytime with Beanie — Halloween edition! I had a really fun time coming up with these spooky stories and trying to make them a bit ridiculous too! I hope you have lots of questions and a bunch of conspiracy theories but the real question is…

What did we learn today!? Uhhhh, I have no idea! 

It Might as Well Have Been Winter

The air was cool and the winds were strong. Below me, I could see hues of scarlet and shades of golden, with a handful of orange. Buildings were scattered around, some lights on and some lights off. The sun had barely risen.

It was so frigid outside, it might as well have been winter.

We stood there in silence for a long time, in thick scarves and puffy jackets. 

“Why have you brought me here?” Cersei asked, her voice painted with curiosity. She was in awe of the view, you could see it in the way her eyes glittered as she admired the horizon in front of us.

“I just wanted to talk,” I mumbled.

But really, I didn’t want to talk.

I wanted revenge.

And a tall mountain was the perfect place to take it.

“Talk about what?” she asked. Was she oblivious of everything she’d done to me? Was she completely unaware of the crap I’d put up with all this time?

“Why did you do it?” I asked her flatly. She furrowed her eyebrows and took a deep breath.

“I’m not sure what you mean…” 

I was just about ready to slap her, if that’s what it took to get an answer out of her.

“What do you mean, you don’t know what I mean?! How can you not know what I mean? After everything you’ve done, how can you not know?” I accused, and Cersei gave me a stare that was almost psychotic.

It was like, all of a sudden, the cold air had gotten colder.

“Your money?” she asked, and then she laughed out loud. “It’s all done and over with, why worry now?”

“I will worry now, because it was you who ruined my life! You’ve always ruined my life, Cersei, and I never took note of it!” I exclaimed.

“I want something, I’ll get it, Freya. I don’t think you’re in any place to confront me about what I’ve done. You know how important the money was to me, how desperate I was for it. How can you be so selfish?!” Cersei spat. I inhaled deeply and stood up, Cersei following along.

“You’re right, it is in the past, Cersei! Silly me, I shouldn’t have even brought it up. Let’s enjoy the view,” I said with a smile, and she nodded in satisfaction.

“Good girl.”

I fidgeted with my coat, and looked around quickly.

“I’m queen of the world!” Cersei yelled in joy, and she spun around in front of the view.

This was it.

This was the time.

Do it, Freya.

Do it.

The Candy Fairy’s Skateboard

My life story, or at least the part of my life story you’d be interested in, begins where a tragic story might end — with the digging of several holes. Before we continue, I will assure you that this story is nothing like that, but if you’re looking for a story with that kind of drama and sadness, please ask your librarian to refer you to the tragedy section. With that out of the way, let’s get back to the story: I ran frantically around our miniature backyard, waving and digging with my plastic shovel like a maniac, my brain bubbling full of hatred and loathing for my older brother. Although this may seem like a funny anecdote from your end, I can promise you that it was a horrendous experience, for me, at least. A week ago, Ben, my older (and devious) brother, told me that if I buried my candy in the ground and dug it up again a week later, a majestic candy fairy would exchange it for money. I thought this was an extremely clever plan and did exactly what Ben told me to do. I even put a card in the hole to tell the fairy how much I charged for the licorice. However, after I dug the loot back up, all I found was the card. On the back, in my brother’s handwriting, read:

Sorry, but I’m not very liquid right now, but tHAnks for tHe cAndy! – C.F 

Now, after completely destroying the backyard, I finally had to accept the truth: the whole thing was a huge scam! I sat down on the now ruined lawn and began to cry. Like a guardian angel, who can sense sadness and despair, my mother came flying out the back door to comfort me. It was only until she dried my tears that she noticed the wrecked backyard. 

“Goodness me, Marley! What in heaven’s name happened to the backyard?” she exclaimed, as she scanned the destruction. The flowerbed was half crushed, the grass was nearly all torn up, and the cherry tree in the corner, the only nice thing in the entire neighborhood of bleak houses and cheap grocery stores, had a groove in its trunk, most likely from my shovel. 

“Ben happened!” I pouted, waving my shovel and breathing heavily in the humid summer air. I told my mom about the whole ordeal, expecting her to grow angry at Ben for teasing me, and unleash her whole sympathetic lecture about how her older siblings teased her when she was a kid. However, to my astonishment as well as disgust, she started laughing. At first it was a small snort, then a giggle, and all of a sudden she was laughing so hard that she pressed her hands to her stomach and doubled over, giddy tears streaming down her face.

“Mom!” I exclaimed, shocked and feeling extremely betrayed.

“I’m sorry, honey, but you have to admit, it was kind of funny.”

“What???” I said, in complete disbelief, “I thought you were on my side!”

“I am, Mars. Here.” She reached for my hand. “I’ll prove it.”  

She grabbed my hand and helped me stand up. 

“Where’s Ben now?” she asked.

“At the pizza place with his skateboard,” I said, “He was going to head to the park afterwards.” 

“Good,” she said. “Let’s catch him there before he goes to the skateboard rink.” 

I followed my mom with a new bounce in my step. As we walked through the neighborhood, I thought of the ways Ben would get punished. Maybe he’ll get grounded, I thought hopefully. Or no candy for him for a whole month! The pizza place was probably the nicest thing around our neighborhood, besides the park. And even then, that was saying a lot. By the looks of the paint job and the dirty tile floor on the inside of the shop, you could tell it hadn’t been cleaned in years. When we got to the pizza place, instead of finding Ben prancing around eating pizza, we saw him sitting dejectedly at one of the tables, his arms wrapped around his skateboard, his pizza to the side, forgotten. When he looked up at us, I saw something in his eyes that I had never seen before. Tears. My mom rushed over.

“Sweetie, what happened?”

Ben wiped the tears from his eyes, “My skateboard,” he said, holding it out to us. “It broke.”  

My body was shaking with rage. Mom had promised that she would punish Ben for using me, but now she was comforting him, drying his tears. The only thing that stopped me from throwing a full on tantrum was the skateboard. I loved fixing things, and recently I had been breaking things on purpose to put them back together. (The last time I did this was on the vacuum cleaner, and I lost the airbag, so now we don’t have a vacuum cleaner anymore, as well as something for me to fix.) My curiosity took hold of me, and before I knew it, I was bending down to have a closer look. I winced. One of the wheels was almost torn off, hanging by one measly nail and a whole lot of hope. 

“Dad would have been able to fix it,” Ben spluttered. “He made it himself, but now he’s gone… ”

“It’s okay,” my mom tried. “We can get a new one–”

“No! This is all I have left of him, I won’t throw it out, broken or working.” Ben hugged the skateboard to his chest, still crying. I felt like I had just been punched in the gut. What was I even doing? Would Dad want me and Ben to fight each other?  I looked down at my feet. 2 minutes ago, I was all for seeing Ben down in the dumps, but now I could see that he was just like me. He missed Dad as much as I did… 

  “I-I think I can fix it,” I said, surprising myself. I always had the innate ability to fix things, and in the hot summer days it was hard getting through all of the boredom. My only friends were the nuts and bolts in my toolbox. When Dad was still alive, I spent a lot of time with him in the workshop, and hopefully I learned enough to get the wheel back in place. After walking home to our run-down neighborhood, I thought about the tools I would need. I thought of it as what Dad would have done. Though as I slowly made progress on the skateboard, I later had to begrudgingly admit that it had been fun. A day later, I handed the cherished skateboard back to Ben, grins on both of our faces. Ben took the skateboard gingerly, turning it over in his hands. Then he looked back up at me. 

“I have a thank you gift,” he said, looking back down at his feet. 

“You do?” I said, my heart pounding. Maybe he’ll apologize. Or he could buy me a slice of pizza. Or he could let me have a go at his gaming computer!

“Your licorice was delicious,” Ben said with a smirk. “I have to go meet my friends at the park sooooooo… bye!!!” And with that, he retrieved a bunch of black licorice wrappers, stuffed them in my hands, and ran out the front door before I could even react. I stumbled back into my room, numb with anger. I felt like punching Ben in the face. After all I did for him, and he couldn’t even give me a simple thank you? Throwing the useless wrappers into the trash can, I turned around to collapse on my bed. But I couldn’t, because there was already something on it. A kit to build your own bicycle. To the left was a note.

I staShed my emergency supply of licOrice in your desk dRawer: you aRe going to need a lot of energY to build this thing – C.F 

P.S  AND did you know THAt if you doN’t rub your Knee a thouSand times your nose will fall off? 

Before this story ends, I would like to inform any youngsters who are reading this that if you don’t rub your knee a thousand times, your nose will not fall off. However, I will point out that burying money instead of candy will grow a money tree, which will give you far more profits than exchanging candy for money. With that said:



If there were a choice that could decide the fate of your loved ones, and whether or not you were put in jail for the rest of your life, would you take it? Of course you would, without hesitation, or at least I did. My name is Evner Dubs. Fourteen years ago I was put in prison for the murder of my girlfriend, Lea, and my best friend, Dexter. We were a merry band of friends. Well, three of us were. I was always the dour one but the others were happy. Lea was the ever-loving sunshine of my life; Dexter was quieter but he laughed when it counted. Of course, the last member of our party whom I have not mentioned yet is Felix. He was always the happy to my morose, loquacious to my taciturn, energetic to my indolent. On top of all this, he was Irish, meaning he had the creative cursing skills of a drunk pirate. I had not been out long before I went to see him.

It was a stormy evening, and, as the moon rose, I shouldered my way past the heavy front door of the “Osrí ar Meisce.” This was the bar Felix owned; apparently, the name of the pub was “The Drunken Oyster,” but seeing as I didn’t know Gaelic and I was too lazy to learn, I had always taken Felix’s word for it. 

As I crossed the threshold, I was warmly greeted by the smells and sights of this familiar place. It smelled of good beer and fresh velvet. The tables all had chairs lying face down on top of them, and the booths lining the sides were just as I had remembered. Each had a different member of The Beatles on a poster under glass table tops, all surrounded by iconic settings from their songs. Strawberry Fields, Abbey Road, an entirely yellow submarine, and a church, (presumably the one where Eleanor Rigby was buried). I had never been able to tell, but I don’t know what else in their songs it could be referencing. It had to be said, Felix certainly did have a taste for decoration. 

Behind the bar was the man himself, Felix Gallagher. He was using a rag to clean out glasses, methodically holding the rag up to the inside of the glass and twisting until it had gone the circumference of the glass three times over. The rhythmic squeaking from the inside of the glass was almost a testament to how many times Felix had performed this action over the seventeen years he had owned this place.

“We’re closed. Go home.” He did not look up from his action for about thirty seconds. When he realized he hadn’t yet heard the door open and close a second time, he looked at the offender. “Oh… Dubsy, I would think you’ll be needing a drink.” He smiled with that patented Gallagher smile. I could still remember the first time I saw that smile. It had been when Dexter first introduced us.

“Evner, never heard that one before,” he had said. “Does anyone call you Dubsy?” I shook my head. “Great, I’ll be the first.” Then, he flashed that smile. He had called me Dubsy ever since, and that smile never got old.

Felix stopped his robotic cleaning and poured me a tall pint. He knew what I wanted.

“Do you think I did the right thing under the circumstances, taking the plea bargain?”

“I think it was the only thing you could’ve done. Nothing would bring them back, and that was the simplest way to minimize further damage.”

“I was just trying to do something good for once; to be a hero for someone.”

“Oh, Evner,” he sighed. I realized that this was the first time in a long time he had called me by my first name—he didn’t use it lightly. “There are no heroes, Evner. There are only people. You should know that.”

“I suppose I should.”

We sat in silence. Both of us knew I hadn’t killed Lea and Dexter, and now that I was finished paying for a crime I didn’t commit, we could finally be honest about it. Ironically, now that we could talk, we said nothing. What was there to be said? We lived happy lives, he and I, and stayed friends through all of it. I gave a eulogy at his funeral, and when I die, I like to think I’ll get to see him again, one last time.

Here lies the mortal remains of Evner Leroy Dubs


Thought to have killed his best friend and girlfriend, new evidence comes to light after his death that suggests the perpetrator was in fact a man currently on death row for numerous other crimes. This is just one of the new charges surfacing against him.

Dubsy will be missed.

The Medic’s Son

Charles Smith was born in 1898 in Bath, England, and usually went by Charlie. Charlie’s father had died of Tuberculosis by the time Charlie was two. Charlie had very little memory of his father, and although it was an inconvenience to his mother, it never was a terrible inconvenience to Charlie other than his mother taking up whatever extra jobs she could find. Even though she had to work a lot, Mrs. Smith always found time to play with her son and was, overall, a very loving mother.                                                     

Charlie was a very active boy and was always going on adventures around whatever town they were in. He had always wanted to be a knight; rescuing a princess and fighting a dragon all sounded quite fun to him. So by the time The Great War broke out, Charlie had decided that he was going to be a soldier and that was that. The day he turned seventeen, he signed up for the war, and the doctors decided he was in perfect health. 

His mother had admonished the idea and thought that it was very dangerous but could not stop Charlie. 

She knew what wars were like because she had been a medic in the Second Anglo-Boer War and had left Charlie at her mother’s house, and she did not want Charlie to go through a similar experience. She had tried to tell Charlie that she needed him at home to take care of her, but he only responded that he would be home soon enough once he won the war. 

Seeing that he was so optimistic to the point of delusion and that nothing she could say would make any impact whatsoever, she signed up to be a medic, even though it brought back some bad memories, so that she could keep an eye on him. Charlie had no problem with that as he loved his mother dearly and wanted to go to war. He thought she would make a great medic, as she would always clean his wounds when he got hurt on his adventures.

Charlie was made private, was given a gun, taught how to fire it, and was sent off to the trenches.

When Charlie looked around the trenches, he saw that it was not a fairytale. Dirt and mud threatened to overflow the wooden walls; gunshots filled the air; men sat down with weary expressions; blood dripped onto the wooden walls; the sky was a dark grey, even though it was only 3:00; lanterns flickered and shook; and yells pierced the air.

Although Charlie was experiencing horrors, they were nothing compared to the horrors that Mrs. Smith was facing. Bandaged limbs still oozing blood, countless bodies covered with sheets, men begging for death, bombs heard as though they were right outside, and the worry about her son. She would look very closely at every face to make sure that it wasn’t her Charlie. With every gunshot or bomb that she heard, she wondered where Charlie was, and if he was safe.

The next day, Charlie was woken up, or would have been woken up if he had gotten any sleep, by the sound of a bomb crashing nearby. He scrambled out of his bunk and curled up into a ball. 

As soon as he calmed down, he changed back into his smeared uniform and grabbed his gun. As soon as he exited the bunker, he was startled by a large crashing sound called war. He was ordered to go to the wall and “empty his ammo,” or whatever that meant. Charlie started firing into the opposing trench and watched as a soldier fell and did not get back up. A sick feeling filled his gut as he wondered what his mother would say.

His mother, in fact, was charged with being the medic, wandering around the trenches and dragging the bodies back to the bunker. Seeing these horrors and wounds of war made her yearn for news of her son.

Just then, as she gazed out into the patch of light surrounded by smoke which was her sun, a bullet struck her and she dropped to the ground.

She woke up in the very bunker that she was in yesterday, although she felt something was wrong. She looked down and saw that she was bleeding quite heavily from her abdomen. The tray beside her had tongs and a bloody bullet. She could piece together what happened and knew that she didn’t have much longer left. At this moment, she was only thinking of her son, Charlie.

She found a pen and paper lying on the nightstand next to her, for notes on the condition of the patient, and started writing a note to Charlie. 

“My Dearest Charlie,

I am so sorry that I have to leave you in this world all alone. I love you so much, and I hate to leave you. Please try to remain safe, my son. Live your days fully, and enjoy your life, for it ends too shortly. So do not grieve knowing that I am exiting in peace with thoughts of you. Life is too short to be sad. Goodbye, my dearest.



That was how the nurses found her a few hours later, clutching her last words that she had written for someone who she held dear. The nurses took pity on her and sent out that letter to Charlie.

Charlie had just sat down to a game of cards with some of the other fellows when a very tired-looking soldier came up to their table and asked if there was a Charlie Smith among their group. At this, Charlie stood up and replied that he was in fact the boy in question. The man handed him a piece of paper and left the bunker, back out to where the world was tearing itself apart. 

Charlie decided to take the note back to his bunk so he could read the contents in peace. 

As Charlie read his mother’s final words, tears made tracks down his grime-stained face and onto the paper, blotting the page and cleaning his face. He felt numb to the sounds of war. 

His mother, the calming presence that had always kept him safe, was gone, and it was his fault. He had insisted on going to war so he could be like a knight and save some sort of princess and fight monsters. He had been so foolish and childish without any real notion of what the world was like, and he had led his mother to her untimely death which he would pay for for the rest of his life. Charlie started to cry in earnest and buried his head in his pillow and fell asleep.

The next morning, people could sense a visible change in Charlie. He was not the same boy who wanted to rescue princesses and kill dragons; he was a man, in the middle of a war, with no parents, fighting for revenge. 

They stationed him at the wall again, Charlie had a different plan. He and some other men had decided to sprint to the other side to try and kill as many of the Germans as possible and most likely die trying. 

Charlie gave out the signal and they all ran out of the trenches with the other soldiers screaming after them, and charged to the opposing trenches with hate in their eyes. They had gone about three meters when the Germans shot a bomb at them. Charlie had just turned around to see the bomb land near his friends and him before he was blasted back into the bloody grass.

Charlie woke up in the hospital and looked around and only saw crimson flowing from missing limbs as screams of agony mixed with the sounds of gunshots from the trenches filled the air. Charlie looked around at his friends, lying limp with glassy eyes, and watched as the nurses covered them with blankets. Tears ran down his dirty and bloodstained face and dropped onto the grimy cot. Charlie thought of not only his missing legs, but his fellow soldiers, and his beautiful mother who were all gone because of this god-forsaken war. He had been so foolish to do this, he had killed everyone he held dear. His mother and now his friends.

Blood was still oozing out of the bandages that covered the stumps that were now his legs. He knew he would die soon so he just waited for the reaper of death to take him and all of the other lonely souls that were lost because of the war.

When death finally came, as light through the door of the bunker, Charlie saw that it was not a skull figure in a dark hood, but his own loving mother, still wearing her bloodied medic scrubs and her dark brown hair tucked beneath a white cloth, holding out her hand, with a sad smile on her face. Charlie took her hand and she gently carried him away from the war and out of sight.

Like Living Creatures

Music. It’s what keeps us entertained, it’s what people have in common, it’s what genres we listen to, it’s what cultures we spread, and what languages we speak. Music is all around us. It is what makes my life so special, both now and when it first inspired me. In every way, shape, and form, it is the instruments that truly make music come alive. 

Music, and the instruments it is played on, have been a part of my life ever since I was little. The first time I was inspired to play music was when I listened to a popular classical piece by Ludwig van Beethoven called Fur Elise. The different techniques used to play this piece captured my imagination and showed me so many new possibilities: how fast the fingers moved, how loud or how soft it was played, how fast or slow different parts of the piece were, and what notes were played with. The moment I heard and experienced this piece, I knew that I wanted to start playing the piano. I never looked back, nor do I regret it. 

Beside the piano is one of the places where I feel the happiest. It makes me come alive. The keys on the piano make me feel so free. Every single black and white key located on the piano has a different tone and pitch. You can play two notes at once and they will sound different. The moment I touch the piano, I let out all my emotions and just focus on the beautiful instrument in front of me. Piano is also what inspired me to start playing the violin.

I prefer the violin over the piano because the violin has a much more pleasing and delightful sound. Like the notes on the piano, each note on the violin brings its own unique sound. Each string on the violin is a different thickness and texture. The lowest string on the violin, the G string, is a lot thicker than the E string, the highest string on the violin. Violin requires you to have diligent and concentrated fingers in order to successfully execute the violin. Every single technique used to properly execute the violin requires concentration and diligence. 

Of course, concentration and diligence mean nothing without lots and lots of practice. You cannot expect to be perfect all the time, or right away. As the famous violinist Itzhak Perlman says, “One must always practice slowly. If you learn something slowly, you forget it slowly.” When I first started playing, it was a nightmare. My violin sounded terrible, my notes were all out of tune, my bow sounded scratchy, and I had poor knowledge of where the notes were on the violin. It was not a very pleasant experience. A scratchy bow on the violin with out-of-tune notes is equivalent to the sound of a dying goat. Not a very delightful and pleasant sound. 

 But I practiced, I had lessons, and over time, my playing got much better. Before playing the violin, I had no idea that composing music, and not just playing it, would be life changing. I discovered a new passion that I had no idea I loved so much. I also gained new friends because of orchestra and got to experience what it is like to play in a full orchestra. Playing as part of a full orchestra is an entirely different and fantastic experience. I got to be surrounded by the music in a way that felt entirely different from just playing by myself in my living room. 

My piano is located in the living room of my house. There, it sits waiting for me to warm it up and move around its keys that are getting older day by day. Everyday, it waits for me to sit on its seat and put music on its stand, and flip the pages of its music books. Every hour of every day, it sits in agonizing silence, waiting and waiting and waiting. I look and walk past it everyday in my house. My violin sits in a case in the family room of my house. In its case, it is nice and snug, sitting in the right environment to keep it from breaking or cracking. Everyday, it sits cozy in its case while waiting for the right time to be used. When it is time for it to be used, its strings prepare to make beautiful sounds, and its bow prepares to produce the beautiful sounds that come out of the violin. As every minute, second, hour, and day goes by, it loses the beautiful pitch and tone that it makes, gradually growing old, and eventually unusable. Instruments are like living creatures. Without the right care and nourishment, they will quickly rot and eventually die or become unusable. The longer they are in use, the slower they will break and become wasted. Music and my instruments is what keeps me engaged, dedicated, and passionate. Without music, I may not have discovered my true talent. I cherish every part of my music journey. 

Music brings me joy, happiness, peace. I hope by describing why music makes me happy, it will show how important and meaningful it is to me. Not just because of the way I play or what sounds come out, but because of the way it allows me to express myself without actually having to say words.

PERSEPHONE / Wake of A Dark Rose


A tendril of a person, wrapped around a bruised finger.

An obsession, as you’ve said before.

Problems and struggles and flaws and fault

When really, 

What is fault, when everything has two sides? 

Not two dimensional, so deep,
So rooted into the pure

Existence of something so realistic

You and me, but that’s not what it was anyways

That’s how they describe normality 

Not like we ever fit that anyways.

Dial the pinned number on your phone,

Cry and scream and kick long limbs around like it’ll fix things.

But those scars came from cuts;

Cuts that healed over time and bandages made of paper,

Paper that was bound to end in flames.

Homes in each other,

Homes made of sand and salt flakes that make my head hurt,

Built up galaxies that were always bound to crumble.

Like you, like how you are, 

Collapsing on yourself like a brittle shell,

A white globe descending through time.

For it’s so easy for those

Numbers, gliding through zeros and stages of life.

Because that’s what life is;

Are you what life is? 

A number and some vertical ovals on a page, 

A ripped-out love note on a paper, 

Discarded into the speeding archway path of what you’re going through? 


A thorned, romanticised flower, 

An elusive figure in the distance that never got close enough to be tangible, 

A figure that left her keeper

Nipping at shadowy, aching heels 

While you kick dust into the air behind them 

And I inhale it, over and over again, 


I do it for you.


I make mistakes, 

and you

Claim that I challenge you, but really,

Do I scare you? 

Are the cuts on your upper arms fears, 

Engraved souvenirs of the past that are just starting to fade? 

Will you tell people that they’re my fault? 

Or are you just afraid of being wrong? 

Or am I just afraid of being wrong?
Or are we just afraid of being without the other? 

Really, I’m the we that’s afraid, 

Because the other is you.
And in our reality, 

I’m just facing the elephant in the funhouse mirror, 

And realising that I’m not sure what to do without you. 

Beowulf, the Real Antagonist

In the book, Beowulf, Grendel and his mother are the main antagonists. From Beowulf’s point of view, Grendel basically marches into his hall, massacring many of his men, until Beowulf can pin down Grendel and rip off his arm; Grendel then runs away and dies. Later on, Grendel’s mother wants revenge on Beowulf, so she sneaks into Beowulf’s hall, retrieves Grendel’s arm, and abducts one of Beowulf’s men. So Beowulf goes to her lair, defeats her, and lives happily ever after until the dragon kills him, but that does not affect this essay. 

From Grendel’s point of view, it is revealed that Grendel only starts attacking Beowulf’s hall because of the loud clamor and noise that disturbs him every night. After trying and failing to reason with Beowulf’s men, he decides to take action. But when he moves to attack, he’s ganged up on by a group of warriors. The text reads: 

“But Higelac’s hardy henchman and kinsman

Held him by the hand; hateful to other

Was each one if living. A body-wound suffered

The direful demon, damage incurable

Was seen on his shoulder, his sinews were shivered,

His body did burst.” (Beowulf, XIII, lines 21-26).

Here, we learn that Grendel was unfairly outnumbered by all of the men. It also shows that this wound was “incurable”, meaning that Grendel wouldn’t have been able to use his arm again. At that point of the battle, there was no reason to kill him. In the book, the henchmen and kinsmen have successfully restrained Grendel, so capturing him should have been enough. 

After that, Grendel slinks off miserably to die. And, it is reasonable that Grendel’s mom wants to retaliate. Retrieving her only son’s missing arm is justified, and attacking one of Beowulf’s men is also fair — one for one.    

She would’ve left Beowulf alone and lived without causing any more trouble, but of course Beowulf decides to hunt her down. She is caught by surprise, and after a short battle, in which Beowulf steals a sword, is killed.

So Grendel’s mom dies at the hands of Beowulf while trying to avenge her only son, who was also unfairly teamed up against, and is killed by Beowulf. Beowulf finds that Grendel’s mother took his body. We see later in the book that Beowulf knows Grendel is tired of conflict, his joys seizing from him. 

“When he saw on his rest-place weary of conflict

Grendel lying, of life-joys bereavèd,

As the battle at Heorot erstwhile had scathed him;

His body far bounded, a blow when he suffered,

Death having seized him, sword-smiting heavy,

And he cut off his head then.” (Beowulf, XXIV, lines 30-33)

And yet Beowulf still cuts off Grendel’s head and takes the sword that he killed Grendel’s mother with for no other purpose than to use them as trophies, without any guilt of the deaths that he was responsible for. Beowulf’s subsequent death by dragon? Instant karma. 

Works Cited