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The Blue Pill

Lloyd Williams

“Ok Ms. Therapist lady. This is what happened, and it’s the truth. I used to lie, but my mom says lying is bad.My mom yelled at me. She yelled “Cas honey did you take your pills.” Yes I yelled back, only I lied, because I really didn’t take my pills. I have to take little blue pills. The doctors say I have to take three every day. My mom says they keep me calm, but I have more fun when I don’t take them.

My mom told me she was taking a nap, and that I shouldn’t let anyone in the house. I went to the door, and told Tommy, Jake and, Max, that my mom was sleeping, so they could come out now. Those guys are my friends...At least they used to be. That doesn’t happen until later though, and my teacher says we are not allowed to skip ahead.

I told them that we should play a game, and they were all on board. That doesn’t mean they were on a train, it means they agreed with me. Tommy said he wanted to be a lion. I told Jake he should be a lizard warrior, and Jack was the evil wizard. I was a super prince, with rocket boots, and a golden swords. Why are you looking at us like that the lion said, only I acted like I didn’t hear him, because he was a lion, and lions don’t talk. You better go run evil wizard I said, holding up my sword. I’m gonna slay you.

I started running towards the wizard, and I hit him with my sword. His eyes got watery and he yelled, at me. Then he wasn’t a wizard anymore, he was just plain old max. Plain old max looked really mad, and he punched me in my arm, and said hey why’d you do that. I fell down onto my green carpet and started crying. I wasn’t really crying though, because I’m brave and brave people never cry. My mom came out of her room, and boy did she look mad, when she saw tommy, jake, and max. She looked like she was gonna yell but then she just shrugged and told us to be quiet.

We watched T.V. for a while. I wanted to watch “Jerry Springer”, but we watched “Spongebob” instead because my mom says that’s what ten year olds watch. I remember because it was the episode with “Mermaid Man, and Barnacle Boy.” My cat ran through the living room and I got a great idea. Let’s play hunt the cat I told my friends. We were all excited, except for Tommy. Max called him a chicken, and we all started flapping our arms and saying chicken, chicken.

Then, I had another great idea. My great idea was that we should play hunt the chicken. The chicken was scared, but we all started moving close to him,really slow. The chicken started running, and it ran into the deep forest. Me and the other hunters, started to chase. The chicken slipped between some trees, and we couldn’t find it, but we did find our weapons room. We all got big swords, and went to look for the chicken some more.

We found it climbing towards a cliff, and cornered it. The chicken was clucking, like crazy and it almost sounded like a person was talking, only that can’t be right because chickens can’t talk. I held out my sword, ready to chop off the chicken’s head, and the other hunters started screaming. They kept saying the game was over, and trying to stop me, but I was a brave hunter, and they couldn’t stop me. Just when I went to bring down my sword, Tommy fell out of the window. I dropped the knife I was holding, and my eyes started to water. I was going to cry, because Tommy was my friend and I was afraid he was gonna die. Then I heard Tommy Crying, and screaming, and saying “My leg!, My leg!”. Then I started crying because Tommy was crying, then Jake and, Max started crying too. My mom came out and started saying bad words. She took us to the hospital, and tommy got a cool cast on his leg. He wouldn’t let me sign it, and now his mom won’t let me see him. I can’t see Jake or Max either. I still have plenty of friends though, even if they only come to play when I don’t take my medicine.

Q1 Sugar Skull

From what I know Sugar Skulls are a Mexican celebration.  Sugar Skulls are used for day of the dead and they are a offering to the dead. Day of the dead is a day to celebrate relatives that have passed away. 

The meaning a my Sugar Skull represents me in a lot of ways. I didn't want to do a skull that was dark, I wanted to do one with a lot of bright colors and flowers. I also wanted to keep the skull basic I didn't want to make it to busy so that it was hard to look at. 

For the plaster I used Jereimah's face. I started by cutting up the pieces and making sure that water I was going to use was warm. I put the vaseline on his face to make sure the the mask did dry directly on his face and it would be hard to take off. Then I started by plastering his forehead and I made by way down his face. I let that plaster dry for about 5 minutes. Then I started on the second level of the plaster. I worked from the forehead down then let that level dry for about 6 minutes. When the plaster seemed to have dried I took the mask off his face and let dry. Twos days later I was able to start painting the mask. I made sure that I had all of the primary colors so that I could mix any colors I wanted. I started by painting the top of the mask first and then I worked my way down the mask. I lastly did the mouth cause I was not sure how I wanted to paint it. 

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Brandon Yam:You And The World (YATW) Gay Rights Blog Post #1

My name is Brandon Yam and for my english project, I was told to choose an issue in the world, research about it, and make a change. There are many issues in the world, but the one I’ve chosen to do was Gay Rights. Now, I’m not saying that the other issues aren’t just as important, it’s just that I feel I’d be able to tackle this issue much easier. What I want to achieve through this is educating others about the world around them and how issues like this can affect them. I want to teach you, the readers, that we can make a change if we work together. We are the ones who are going to take the first step in this journey of a thousand miles. Click here for more information.   Gay rights is a big and problematic issue we’ve had on our hands for a while. Many people are discriminated because of their sexual orientation and some are even stripped of their rights. For example, in the United States, only five states permit same-sex marriage; that means forty-five other states don’t permit it. Can you imagine how bad some people feel knowing that they won’t be able to marry the one they love because they are the same sex? The five states that permit it are Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. In addition to that, transgenders are not protected in thirty-seven states. How can we be so cruel and still have the nerve to say that we treat others equally? 

Just recently, the Roman Catholic Church funded $2 million in an attempt to further discrimination against LBGT people during the election cycle in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. Of course, the attempt was unsuccessful, but it still shows how desperate people are to deprive others of their rights. This surprises me because I thought a church was a place where love and the understanding of god took place, not discrimination. Some say that to be gay is a sin, but isn’t it a sin to discriminate others? Click here to read more about the Roman Catholic Heirarchy case.

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Photo that was provided in the article of the event

One day I was on Facebook and I saw someone post as their status something along the lines of this: “I don’t understand why guys hate gays. Aren’t they just giving you less competition with girls?”. I thought to myself, that is true and I’m still not sure as to why people hate them. I support gay rights to the fullest extent. I’m straight, but I can’t imagine how I would feel if I was going through the same things gay people were. It’s just absolutely horrible. Many are beaten and mistreated for their sexuality. An example is John Bosco Nyombi, who was beaten and bundled on a plane by the security staff. Yeah, you read that right. By the security staff. I believe security is there to help, save, and protect others, not beat them up. Click here to read the article.

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Photo of John Bosco Nyombi

I believe we are moving forward with the issue little by little. I’ve just read that a Utah School was sued because of restricting a book about lesbian family’s. A lot of people are now openly supporting this movement. Some celebrities are officially gay such as Jim Parsons from “The Big Bang Theory”, Adam Lambert from American Idol, and many more. I’d say there is a good amount of people who disliked them after hearing that and some who actually supported them as well. It was equal on both sides, but their rights still aren't the same. That’s what we want to change. We want equality for all, not just a certain group. 

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Photo of certain celebrities announcing that they are gay.

I'm still left with the question, can we obtain equal rights for everyone? If so, how long will this take? I would like to know the answers to these questions, but only time can tell. What I would like to learn about as I go on is the status on gay rights. I would like to know what things get passed and which are on hold or even denied.
Click here for the pros and cons of gay marriage. 
Click here for a list of sources used in this blog.


Picture on the Wall

I haven’t hung up a picture on a wall since I was a kid. I don’t want to think about it, whatever. I was such a scared little girl, damaged. Even though I was only 11 I remember it all so clearly. Every now and then he would just flip. He used to punch holes in the walls when he got so mad. When ever I knew I was going to have a friend over, I would hang up a picture frame over the holes in the wall. I thought it was a normal thing for dads to be so angry. It never upset me until he replaced me with the wall. I was covered in bruises. Where are all those gross bruises from?- everyone at school would ask. Soccer. They were from soccer. Mom didn’t even notice. She didn’t even notice that he was smoking again. Which is surprising because he stunk up the whole house, it made me nauseous. The last thing I wanted was mom to find out about him being violent because I didn’t want them to get a divorce; that’s the last thing I wanted to happen. So what? A little bruise every now and then. At least he wan’t hurting mom. I walked over to grab a plate off the table, the plate was wet and dropped on to the floor; scattering in all different pieces, different directions. I could feel him standing right behind me. “ Sarah clean it up! Clean it up now!” He screamed. I ran to grab a broom, I ran down the hallway with the broom. If I didn’t clean it up soon he would get even more mad. I knocked a picture off the wall with the broom.
“ Anything else you want to break?” His voice got deeper. His arms looked strong as he walked towards me, his fists tight and red. His eyes were glassy and bloodshot. He had a sharp face, he always looked so angry, like his veins were about to burst. How could someone who just sits around and smokes all day have so many complaints? I could feel his eyes read me as I backed away slowly. Here we go. He grabbed my braid and pulled me close to him. My scalp was still sore from when he pulled my hair yesterday, when I forgot to close my closet doors.
“Oww, stop. Let go.” He bent over so he was looking directly into my eyes.
“ You mess everything up! Everything was fine with me and your mom till you came around.” He slapped me across the face, with his other hand still tightly gripping on my braid. Mom always used to braid my hair before she went to work, she was good at it too. Where is she anyway?
“Ow, dad stop. Please” I screamed as he pulled my braid tighter. Mom walked in. Her face pale and blank. She didn’t look very surprised, like she had expected dad to do this to me.
“ Why are you hurting her like that! Get off of her! Jim have you been smoking in here? That’s so bad for Sarah.” She screamed as she walked closer slowly looking at the smashed plate on the floor. She knew something was wrong. She sensed it when she saw the china plate shattered on the kitchen floor. He let go of my hair and slid over to her quickly, his hands in tight fists. My mother hit the floor. She was yelling and he stood over her, his hand still in a fist. She was shaking. I tried closing my eyes because this is so hard to see but they wouldn’t close. Sure, my mother wasn’t in my life a lot; but thats only because she works her ass off working to pay for the bills. I loved her, she was my best friend.
“Stop! Get off of her” I thought in my head but the words wouldn’t come out. She wasn’t really moving now. He walked away, grunting every now and then. I ran over to mom.
“Mom, are you ok? What should I do?” she must have hit her head on the table on the way down because there was blood on her head. Blood on the carpet. Blood on the table. She didn’t say a thing. She just stared at me, her pale blank face. The blood on the carpet began to sink in and turned brown. All I could feel was my heart drop and break.

A Full Life

(Warning: Violence)

(Sitting and looking at chair. Resting pistol against his head.) Four thousand, one hundred and sixty dollars. Phew. There’s no way to say that lightly. (Stands up. Pacing.) What has a man done with his life to owe four thousand, one hundred and sixty dollars of his livelihood to another man. What paths does he have to follow to bring him here, today. Ropes binding his hands and feet in some display of pitiful arrogance towards his ancestors. Sitting, waiting, ready to let go, ready to die. (At die pulls pistol up and holds it at chest height. Stays there for a couple of seconds. Holds pistol back down. Sits down and looks out over pool.)

You know, they say that taking a life is the hardest thing man has done, but man, MAN, has always been capable of incredible things. But what am I, incredible? No. What have I done to deserve such a title? My title is Janitor. “Sweep,” they say. “Sweep, clean out the pool. Sweep, clean the damn bathroom.” I... I’m goddamn tired of this job. (Turns back to man) For twenty thousand dollars a year I am a... a servant of the working class. And do you know what? I am damn good at it. Maybe that’s why I don’t leave. Plus there’s this; this “job”, if you want to call it that. Dirty, nasty business. That’s all it is. The dirt and grime rejected by society. Lowlife criminals like yourself owe someone like your boss a lot of money, no? Haha. But you know how this goes. I am the end of the line. I am the last face you will ever see. And they’re paying me a hell of a lot more than twenty thousand dollars. (Laughs)

You lived the life of these men, damn near walked in their shoes. How does this make you feel? Your whole life has led up to this very moment. Every (emphasis) decision you have made since your eyes first caught a glimpse of this magnificent world of ours has brought you to this. Very. Moment. (Pauses) Every decision I have made has brought me here today. And what have I done right to be the one holding the gun and not looking down it’s barrel. Maybe none of my decisions were right. Maybe my decisions were just less wrong than your’s. 

Who’s to say you haven’t lived a full life? Hell, I don’t know a damn thing about you. You could have once had a dream, a life, a girl. But you threw that away didn’t you. Crime itself is a drug. That’s what I always say. (Emphasis) You think all of those dealers and druggies on the streets are out there throwing it all out there for a reason? No, no man. They are a slave to the rush, the, the false sense of purpose and power that comes from disobeying. They seek to overthrow, to prove their worth, and for what? Status and singularity. They long to be unique and to stand out from the crowd. It starts young; they always do. I did. And I’m not talking about selling weed on the corner. I was never about that life. Harvard educated, not top of the class, but up there. I had a girl, a life, a dream. But I just couldn’t be happy, could I? I had to go and rebel, I had to be unique, to stand out. (Laughing) But look at me now! (Gestures around room, arms spread) A rec center my kingdom and a mop my staff! This is living, is it not! (Laughs)

No, I should be as fortunate as you to have the comfort of death. You don’t have to worry about anything at all. Not a care in the world. At least, not in this one. But, ah, listen to me ramble on. I am selfish, taking up so much of your time. We have work to do, do we not? Thanks for listening. (Raises pistol quickly and fires almost instantaneously. Picks up mop and begins to clean up blood. Fade to black.)


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Micah Getz                                                    

And I’m all alone again, with only a deadline here with me.

Really? Nobody stayed to build the set. Sure they’re all young, and don’t understand it, but our jobs are on the line. If this stage isn’t built the boss will get pissed off and we’ll all get fired.

Which would kind of be okay, since the director is such a dick, but the job markets down man! With CGI around, even master movie set designers like me have a few issues finding a job. More than a few issues or I wouldn’t have such a dick of director right now. I mean, this deadline is impossible to meet.

The only people who don’t care are the tech people. They’re always on a constant ego trip though, so they don’t count.

You know what man? I quit, I quit, I’m done!

It was better back in the day, before all of this technology. People were honest then, with the master worker leading me and my bros, and we actually wanted to make the movie, we weren’t working there in the middle of college, just to get the spending money our parents wouldn’t give us. No! Because back then they worked for the sake of the work, for the vision, for the movie. Not like these kids, always following “The System”. Also coffee isn’t as good anymore. Back in the olden days, I could stay up for three nights, with just coffee, and be completely fine! It was far out! Now, 10 o’clock, BAM! Asleep! Done! And 5 in the morning I’m up no matter what. Sleeping sucks man!

And then I’m tired, and I’m in charge, and I’m supposed to be telling all of these kids what to do, and I realize I’m not getting paid enough for this you know? This job is my life, except the movies I’m working on is a drag, and the deadlines are tight, so you know what that means? My life sucks right now!

I don’t have time to date, I barely get enough money to get by, and once this movie is over, I don’t know where I’m going to go!

…Maybe I shouldn’t quit then.

I could change jobs! I could be an artist! I could spend all of my money for a time in Paris; to admire art and get inspired, so that when I get back here I can paint! All of my work will be my own, my dream, my credit, no one else to screw it up, it would be a blast! I could experiment with different styles, change things up, as no monotonous stage job ever could, I could let everyone around me see my true worth! As an artist, I could paint nudes, and pick up chicks, and work from home, and have medical pot, and get blitzed, and be called eccentric!

…Or I could be out on the street in weeks, or caught by the fuzz, with no one there to help me, after all most artists wash out of the scene and die within month’s of becoming an artist.

I could do the opposite! I could get a degree at a college, get a good job, move out to the suburbs and buy a house. American dream, right? Moving out to the suburbs and living in isolation for eternity?

Actually, that would be a bummer man. And where would I get the money for a degree? I’m not made of cash. Going back to school would be stupid anyway. I wouldn’t be in this situation if I had been good at school.

If it’s too late to change at all, why even try? I could definitely do well right where I am. Sure life sucks, but it could always be worse right? As long as I’m good enough, my job security doesn’t matter. And even if I don’t get a job, well, that would be the perfect time to change my lifestyle. I could live off of the government any way. I mean, everyone hears stories about it, it’s gotta be true.

I guess I’m not going to quit. (Thinking) This is a lot of work to get done…(Pointedly looks around) No one else is here, so no one will care if I book it right? Right. Problems can always wait until tomorrow



Childhood Friends

(Lying on her bed) My childhood friends, with there big smiles and there eager eyes waiting on me to speak. “Mr. Shnuggles, Nyla, and the best one of all Peachy.” I instantly leapt straight into my story describing how my mother called me down the steps.My father was sitting in his chair watching my every move like a hawk. I immediately sat down on the couch, and waited for the conversation to begin. As I got situated in the chair, my mother walked toward me and handed me pieces of paper with lines and lines I couldn’t make out. She told me to read the paper and explain. So I held the paper to my face and knew what was about to happen. The words that I had held in my hands were all of the messages I sent to my girlfriend. Now a lot of people would say what’s so wrong, but when your a teenage girl living with your parents that praise the becomes a big deal. So when I looked up over the paper my mind completely left my body as I saw my mother jump around and throw a tantrum of a 4-year old child. She kept repeating “You are nothing more than a lesbian, and won’t be anything in your life because your gay now.No man wants a woman that is interested in woman. People are going to call you names, and do so to me and your father as well. So now all I’m going to say is that “this” is just a “Phase” and your not allowed to be gay!End of discussion. I stood at the end of what looked like the longest stairwell there was, watching as my parents left with no hint of a “goodbye”. My mother had simply turned the knob, and stepped out with my father right behind. All I could make out through my throbbing throat and watery eyes was “Damn...Angel messed up, I messed up? Or did I?” I slowly pressed the side of my back to the wall and dragged myself up to my room. I practically tripped over my cleats, into the middle of my bed. I forgot earlier to remove them from the path, but I didn't care. I just laid there just doing nothing. All I needed was just somebody to listen to what I had to say, but thenI looked up and there they were just waiting for me to tell what happened. Why would she ever say such a thing? (Turns on her back) O, I know why....because she hates me! I mean would your mother say such a thing to you?(Holds Mr.Shnuggles up in the air and places him next to her leg on the bed.) Don't even answer that Nyla,it was an expression of my feelings. But you know what?That's it right there, it's MY feelings! I mean so what that I have a girlfriend and that I'm gay.Does it truly make a difference in my mothers heart?But overall of that, why did my dad just sit there and not say anything? Doesn't he have a take in all of this? That's exactly what I'm saying Peachy, like do you really wanna be here, or do you just want to hear your wife talk? I'm truly sick of all this. But the sad thing is, is that it has just begun. An I really want another network for my phone.Cause that's the way she found out about my relationship, oh sorry, my "PHASE".(Angel does air quotation marks.) It's not a "PHASE" Nyla. It's who I am, and if she can't except that, than that's her problem. (Peachy falls on the floor, and Angel picks her up.)  Peachy,why in the he'll would I start paying my own bill and why you falling on floors? As a matter of fact I shouldn't have to do anything, because that's my personal privacy and her and nobody can take that away from me.

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Transient Inspiration

I have no inspiration! I’m an artist right? Then why can’t I think of anything to paint? What’s wrong with me? I have my paint set out, brushes, a palette and then there’s a white paper sitting there mocking me. All I can draw it seems, are doodles, little scribble lines in bright blue and yellow. I paint these until the page is a muddy off-brown color sopping from layer after layer of paint weighing it down to the point of tearing. I take it and place it to dry but only to reveal another identical white paper beneath it. “Maybe I’m an abstract artist”, I think to myself, so I start to draw more squiggly lines, being careful not to overload the page like I had last time. After I was done I looked down to see a painting the likes of which can be found in the average kindergarden classroom. In that moment I realized how abstract art works: you still need to have inspiration for it to be interesting.        

So I dig down into a place of deep raw emotion, dip my brush into a blob of yellow paint and I draw a telephone phone, well... some might mistake it for technologically enhanced banana, next, I write the words “love you” squeezing out of the receiver, then, this time intentionally, I scribble it out. It’s harder to to artistically scribble something out than one might imagine, and I give this painting up, concluding that it too is a lost cause. 

To rationalize things, I tell myself “I’m only a sophomore in high school, I don’t have the emotions built up to the point that I am able to paint something in particular or well for that matter”. Feeling better, I sit at my desk doing nothing, as if to wait for some sort of inspiration to walk through the door and strike a pose in front of me. This, unfortunately does not occur, so I am left again with my mocking white paper. I start twirling my brush in the dollops of paint on my palate, mixing red, then white then yellow, then more red. I lift my brush from the palate and onto the paper, then slowly I drag the bush in a straight line 3/4 of the way across the page, then to my surprise the brush takes a sharp 120 degree turn, then another 60 degree turn, and then a final 120 degree turn returning the brush to finnish it’s straight line across the page. When I’m finished I have a read streak across my paper making the same shape you might see while watching one of those heart rate monitors in a hospital. I wash my brush off in a little plastic solo cup and watch the red paint disperse and dye the water. I mechanically like before dip my brush into a dollop of blue paint and draw a second line running parallel to the first. I look down and I have done it. I have made a successful painting, and I know what my lines symbolize too. This was the heartbeat that started my future as a painter. 

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Eggs, Milk, Canned Corn

This isn’t living. Waking up and knowing your wife isn’t beside you, your mother isn’t in the next room, and your son isn’t downstairs watching saturday cartoons. I don’t know what to do. I left them. That’s what I’m reminded of every time I see one of those creatures out there, stumbling about looking for the next person it will rip to shreds. I left them for bait. My wife, my son, my mother. Everyday since the first outrage came on t.v.,  I’ve been giving them a false sense of hope. They relied on me. They trusted me to keep them same. And I just left them. It all happened so fast. The door was broken down by dozens of them. The entire house was filled with their disgusting odor of dead meat and dried blood. I reached for my handgun, the one I used to get rid of the groundhogs in the back yard. My son, Steve, he just kept crying in Ana’s arms. I used my gun to shoot them, but I couldn’t reach the ones that were climbing up the stairs in time. In a matter of seconds I heard my mother scream and then the growling. That one moment of distraction was all it took for those bastards to run me over getting to Steve and Ana behind me. They stepped on me, and all I could hear was them yelling my name. Their screams were also consumed by the growling. I dragged myself across the floor with my gun in hand to reach the street outside. They noticed me and I starting running, I didn’t think twice. I didn’t stop to think about my family I just left behind. I ran and ran. I passed a couple of stupid ones who didn’t know what the hell was going on. I didn’t look back. I didn’t even look forward. I looked down at my running feet and stopped after I was sure I wasn’t being followed. I stopped here, at this doughnut shop. By the looks of it, it was out of business for a long time now and there were signs that a horde had torn the place up. I looked for a way to get in and I found the back door wide open. I closed it and chained it back up. I found this tape recorder in here. It replayed a young woman’s voice . She lists all these groceries. Eggs. Milk. Canned corn. Groceries remind me of my wife’s cooking and I realized, and it’s still on my mind at this moment. I realized that my family was dead. They were back there, on the house with the once beautiful garden I planted for Ana. They were there completely disfigured to the point where they can’t even be considered to have once been alive. I just stared at the blood on the wall. I wanted to cry and I would have given up anything to do so. The tears wouldn’t come. I was overpowered by other emotions. Disbelief. Shock. Fear. My family was killed by those freakish man eaters and I couldn’t do shit. I only saved myself. I wish I could go back out there and die like they did. But, fear gets me every time I try to open the door. I’m so damn selfish. I’m a coward. Some father I came out to be. I just keep checking my ammo. How bad of an idea is this? One bullet left. Yeah, this is how I’d rather it end. I don’t want to carry this guilt anymore. Shit. There’s a horde outside. I might as well do it now. There’s no way I can fight them off. Mom, Ana, Steve. I’m sorry. See you soon. 


The Invite

“What is that? I’ve never seen anything like it.” This was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the unusual looking creature with an odd stick. 

He was holding it very fiercely yet the focus coming from its eyes paralyzed me.

I’ve heard many stories about these creatures or as I should say humans.

Me and Foxy remain paralyzed with confusions and curiosity as to what the purpose of the stick was for. 

It seems to look like a stick but it was spiting something out of it, what looked like rocks and the noise coming from it was so loud that it exploded the inside of our ears.

“Whoah, what was that?” I just can’t stop repeating these words. “What is that thing coming out of the stick?”

When me and Foxy saw what it did to the tree, the rock going through the front and exiting the back, we knew that we had to avoid getting hit. Then we realized the human was aiming at us. 

At this point I’m really scared but yet still confused about what this is and what is happening. Why is the creature pointing that stick at me?

Ahhhh … another rock!

I gotta get out of here!

Galloping through the woods, I hear Foxy’s paws scatting across each leaf.

I feel her fear and confusion through every breath she takes as if we were both in the same mindset.

 I start to get tired but I don’t slow down. I feel my fear taking over my hooves and I feel as though my pace is beyond its average speed.

I hear something go off. I hear another one and another, but I can’t see them.

Wait … Where’s Foxy? The noise from the stick is so distracting that I forget to listen for Foxy’s scatting paws across the leaves.

I stop and turn around and see foxy nowhere in sight. I run back hoping that she just fell behind. I feel myself getting anxious as if I’m gonna see her face any minute now.

With every second I get more nervous and nervous. “Where is Foxy?”

I’m trying not to panic.

I see something that wasn’t there before. Red in the grass, I knew what it was but I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t believe it.

It seemed like the whole world went silent, even the loud noises came to a stop.

“No, No, No!” “Get up!”

I knew it was no use. I faced a reality check that my best friend was dead.

As the tears formed, out of the corner of eye was both a tear and the figure of the creature, I mean human, whatever.

When I looked up, our eyes meet again. He has the same fierce look in his eyes. But this time instead of me being paralyzed with fear, I look up with the same intensity as him. We both had that same look as if looking in to a mirror.

Then he looked down and I looked to where he was looking.

“Why was looking at Foxy? I know he’s not thinking of taking her body.”

I couldn’t let him hurt me either though.

“Think, think, think! Think faster Bambi, he’s putting the rocks into the stick again”, I say to myself.

“Whatever, I’m going for it!

This is for you Foxy!”

I charge at the human with full force.

Once again something took over my hooves but this time it was ambition and vengeance.

My world goes silent once more but I continue charging.

With my antlers, I chug the human with all my mite just enough to knock him over.

He hits the ground with a hard force and I stomp on the ground so hard, he ends up dropping the stick.

When he got back on his feet, making sure he had his balance, he looked in my eyes and saw a familiar reaction.

This time the tables turned and I had the fierce look and he was paralyzed with fear and confusion.

The human soon disappeared with the trees and I turned my focus back on Foxy, as if someone popped me back into reality.

I walked over to her and see her lay there so lifeless and begin to blend with the stillness of the trees.

I place my nose on her cold body saying in my head “You’re really gone.”

A single tear runs down my face.

Suddenly I begin panting heavily but not because I’m crying.

My legs get weak and are unable to stand any longer.

I collapse and notice the warm liquid against my skin.

I look to see what it is and realize that I’m bleeding. I too have been hit, several times.

My heart begins to race uncontrollably which triggers my breathing.

As I lay next to my best friend I intensely look into her open yet lifeless eyes, knowing that I am dying and silently say, “I guess I got the invitation too.”

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The Real Story by Sophie De Oliveira

People don’t know the real story, what really happened. I’ve tried to tell as many people as possible, no one ever listened to me. I have begged and pleaded for them to change it, to change what they think happened. I just hope they let me out early, so I can see my niece. She was just born did ya know ? I only saw the kid once. But once I get outta this joint, i’m going to bundle her in my arms. So since i’m stuck in here, I might as well write out my feelings on this crumpled paper and crappy ass pen they gave me. I’ll start from the beginning.

It was a nice day, just gotten the call from the pops saying Sierra, (my niece) was just born. Of course i wanted to go see her, but i wanted to give her something nice. Something she would remember, or that a baby would love. Of course i didn’t know what to get for her, since i myself, have never had a kid ( or never wanted one to be clear). So i decide to get her 3 things: A huge teddy bear, quality bacon, and a huge tv she can watch “Dora the explorer” on. The first place that comes to my mind to get the teddy bear is a gift shop around my cousin’s way. The only thing is, i think the owner is scared of me but i really don’t know why. Anyways, i head up to the store and start looking for the bear. “Found it! Sierra would love this” as i held up the bear in the light to see it better. It’s soft fur would make her fall asleep right in it’s arms. I go to the cash register to pay for it. “Well look who it is” I hear Mr. Pig say abruptly. “Hey I don’t want any trouble, i just want to buy the bear.” I say. Mr. Pig rolls his eyes and says “that would be 25.99”. I look at the tag on the bear and see that it says 10.99. “Apparently you did not ring this up right, it says 11 bucks.” I say confused. “Either pay for the bear the price i said, or get out”. Gosh i hate that pig so much. As i pull out my wallet, i feel a sneeze coming. I better hurry up, i think to myself, my sneezes can be vicious. It’s Too late. “AH, AHHHH, AHHHHHHHH CHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” As i open my eyes, you see everything toppled over, upside down, sideways, papers scattered from the tornado i just caused. As i look around, Mr.Pig is no where to be found. As i look over the counter, i see that the cash register fell on something pink...I quickly take the bear and run. As i run out the store, i hear someone say “I’M CALLING THE COPS ON YOU!” Oh well, on to the next thing on my list.

The quality bacon.  I can already tell this is going to be a problem. As I go into the corner store, I see Mr. Piggy (Mr. Pig’s cousin) stocking the 35 cent bags of chips. I remember when those things cost 25 cents. I can see Piggy giving me a stank look. I ignore it, and look for the quality bacon I came here for. I find the packet of bacon, Go to the back of the store where the butchery is, and ask how much it is. As i get my wallet out, I can feel another sneeze coming on. “Uh,oh i better hurry up” i think to myself. “AAAH, AHHH, AHHHHH, CHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO”. Im scared to open up my eyes to see the damage i have caused. As I slowly open my eyes, all you see is knives everywhere. I look for Mr. Piggy, since he was back there pricing the bacon for me. I see  him with multiple knives stuck in his back. He is still. The thing is, I had bacon in my hand, and he look some what cut up... What would you think happened if you walked in to this situation? I ran as fast as i could, on my way to the electronic store. 

I walk into the store and see Mr. Pigster. Guess who he’s related to. I look around for the right TV, and i find it. Big, High def, and a what beauty it is. I wanted to quickly get out, because at this point i’m just sweating bullets. As i go to the counter and ask how much it is, I pull out my wallet. I feel ANOTHER sneeze coming. “I need to hurry up” i think to myself. Too late. “AAAHHHHH AHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHH CHHHHHOOOOOOOOO”. As i open my eyes, i see Pigster killed by the “grand TV “ he was selling for 4,000 dollars. Fell right on him, what a damn shame. I run out with the TV in my hand, struggling to carry this thing out the door. All you hear in the background is “I’M CALLING THE COPS ON YOU” . I run back to my house, but all you see is cops surrounding my home. As i try to run the opposite way, i realize its to late, they saw me already. Police officers running toward me, I can hear there heavy boots hitting my neatly lawned yard. Im not sure what happened next, i was just told that i ran into my shed and i was knocked out. Next thing you know, i’m in here, wishing i could see my niece. Well there you go, thats my story. now you know they truth, but apparently a wolf and 3 dead pigs in a story don’t go to well.

~ Mr. Wolf.

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Picture on the Wall

I haven’t hung up a picture on a wall since I was a kid. I don’t want to think about it, whatever. I was such a scared little girl, damaged. Even though I was only 11 I remember it all so clearly. Every now and then he would just flip. He used to punch holes in the walls when he got so mad. When ever I knew I was going to have a friend over, I would hang up a picture frame over the holes in the wall. I thought it was a normal thing for dads to be so angry. It never upset me until he replaced me with the wall. I was covered in bruises. Where are all those gross bruises from?- everyone at school would ask. Soccer. They were from soccer. Mom didn’t even notice. She didn’t even notice that he was smoking again. Which is surprising because he stunk up the whole house, it made me nauseous. The last thing I wanted was mom to find out about him being violent because I didn’t want them to get a divorce; that’s the last thing I wanted to happen. So what? A little bruise every now and then. At least he wan’t hurting mom. I walked over to grab a plate off the table, the plate was wet and dropped on to the floor; scattering in all different pieces, different directions. I could feel him standing right behind me. “ Sarah clean it up! Clean it up now!” He screamed. I ran to grab a broom, I ran down the hallway with the broom. If I didn’t clean it up soon he would get even more mad. I knocked a picture off the wall with the broom.
“ Anything else you want to break?” His voice got deeper. His arms looked strong as he walked towards me, his fists tight and red. His eyes were glassy and bloodshot. He had a sharp face, he always looked so angry, like his veins were about to burst. How could someone who just sits around and smokes all day have so many complaints? I could feel his eyes read me as I backed away slowly. Here we go. He grabbed my braid and pulled me close to him. My scalp was still sore from when he pulled my hair yesterday, when I forgot to close my closet doors.
“Oww, stop. Let go.” He bent over so he was looking directly into my eyes.
“ You mess everything up! Everything was fine with me and your mom till you came around.” He slapped me across the face, with his other hand still tightly gripping on my braid. Mom always used to braid my hair before she went to work, she was good at it too. Where is she anyway?
“Ow, dad stop. Please” I screamed as he pulled my braid tighter. Mom walked in. Her face pale and blank. She didn’t look very surprised, like she had expected dad to do this to me.
“ Why are you hurting her like that! Get off of her! Jim have you been smoking in here? That’s so bad for Sarah.” She screamed as she walked closer slowly looking at the smashed plate on the floor. She knew something was wrong. She sensed it when she saw the china plate shattered on the kitchen floor. He let go of my hair and slid over to her quickly, his hands in tight fists. My mother hit the floor. She was yelling and he stood over her, his hand still in a fist. She was shaking. I tried closing my eyes because this is so hard to see but they wouldn’t close. Sure, my mother wasn’t in my life a lot; but thats only because she works her ass off working to pay for the bills. I loved her, she was my best friend.
“Stop! Get off of her” I thought in my head but the words wouldn’t come out. She wasn’t really moving now. He walked away, grunting every now and then. I ran over to mom.
“Mom, are you ok? What should I do?” she must have hit her head on the table on the way down because there was blood on her head. Blood on the carpet. Blood on the table. She didn’t say a thing. She just stared at me, her pale blank face. The blood on the carpet began to sink in and turned brown. All I could feel was my heart drop and break.
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Self Confidence

*Talking to a basketball* *snorts a line of cocaine*
Walking into practice I knew I was the best ability wise and skill wise, I know I can carry a team and showed that in high school and college carrying my team to consecutive titles.
My coach was talking about something and I just cut him off and asked him if he was ready, he asked for what, and yelled fry time. So I took the ball from him and started playing, because I get buckets, I was frying and making everyone look stupid while making my teammates look better than they actually are. Then he had the nerve to stop me while the scrimmage was going and told me that him and the coaches saw enough from me. So I started yelling, I kept asking why until he finally answered my question and his answer was “First of all calm down because we already know what you can do, but just make sure you’re here in 2 days for the championship game against Team USA."
Techincally he didn't answer my question, but I was in shock from what he said. He saw it in my face that I was nervous, and before I could get a word out he said, You heard me, Team USA, and yes, you have so stick Kevin Durant.
I asked him why didn't you tell me this 3 weeks ago, and he calmly replied, I wanted to see what you could do on the fly, just make sure you’re at practice tomorrow like sticking Kevin Durant was a piece of cake.
*leaves the gym*
I don’t think I’m ready … *picks up a 50 pound weight and starts lifting*
I have to be ready! I will be ready I need to more muscle, I need to build up my stamina, I need to practice, I will fry Durant like chicken, and like he’s every other basketball player whose skill don't measure up to mine. I will destroy durant, I will embarrass durant, *lays on the bench press and begins to lift 150 pounds*
*1 Day later*
I’m still not ready and there’s one day away *lifts 190 pound wieghts”
* halucenating about the basketball taking back to him*
“Don’t you think you're pushing yourself too much?”
I'm not pushing myself enough *throws everything on the floor*
Fuck this !
*picks up a needle*
You don't need that, you're ruining your life and your basketball career, the drugs are taking over you
Fuck you ! *takes the empty needle and pops the basket ball then continues to lift weights*
Fuck everybody I can do this !
*takes out another needle and a bottle of alcohol*
I can't do this *starts to cry*
Come back Steve ! Come back ! I'm sorry ! I can't do this by myself ! I'm sorry !
*pulls out a knife and slits his wrist*
As he lies there in the pile of blood his thoughts run rapid, please Steve just come back, im sorry. But Steve never shows.

For Char

I told you, I was going for something totally new. It all started with me cruising into the parking lot of my childhood barber shop, every crack in the street there was too familiar. Walking into the room to wait for my turn felt different than all the rest had, but maybe because I was never so nervous about a cut like this one would be. I'd only been sitting for a few minutes when my elementary school friend Christian came up to me. "Arlo! It's been years since I've seen you!" he'd shouted in a deep, excited voice. 

We caught up with each other, and he showed me his stepdaughter, who was on the other side of the shop playing "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper from the old jukebox. Yeah, Christian was married. Wow. Right as he asked me if I had any kids running around, Lucille, my barber, came into the main area from the back. She gave me a quick glance and nodded towards her chair to tell me it was my turn. By the time I barely was out of my seat to walk over, she was in my arms giving me a bear hug. "Arlo, my baby! What can I do for you today?" she asked. Guess it took her a double take to recognize me. I pushed off her question and said, "Hi, Lucille. How are you?" She was more than happy to take this invitation to talk, and told me about everything big that went on while I was away at university. I didn't even notice the walls of the shop were repainted and the new mirrors. "Always took you a while to recognize new things. Head always in other places," Lucille laughed. "So really, what can I do for you today? The rush is about to start soon." Before I said anything I went over in my head what style my niece Charlotte had come up with. She was always trying to get me to do new things. I only went with this because honestly, I wanted something new, too. Her exact words were "You should dye your hair, and... chop off a few inches, it's a little long."

Why I would take advice from a flamboyant teenager like her, I'm not sure, but I wasn't gonna dwell on the thought and punk out at the last minute. So, I said, "Maybe a tr—cut— up to here," I put my hand to the part of my neck where my chin ended, "and I wanna go brunette." I looked around to make sure no one had overheard that last part. Did most guys dye their hair? Lucille gave me a questioning look like "You sure about this?" And like I’d read her mind, she said just that. I nodded quickly. "Alriiiiiigght, anything for you," she said and started on my hair. "I guess a dark brown would bring out your pretty blue eyes. What is this for anyway?" Lucille asked. 

I told her about the wedding I was in. "It's tomorrow, actually," I said, smirking some. Lucille didn't let that past her and asked what the smirk was all about. "Well, I gotta look good for the ladies," I smiled. She laughed. Really laughed. To her that was a knee slapper. "Aww come on Lucille, I was telling the truth." I chuckled a little. So what if it's been a while since I've had someone? Okay, a little longer than a while... Since my third year in college, actually. So, like, three years. Not bad. "Okay, okay, Mama Lucy's gonna hook you up," Lucille said and patted my shoulder. Then she said something I dreaded would come out of her mouth. "Wait... you're the best man for Nick? Wasn't he tripping rainbows over that one girl you dated? Oh, what's her name..." I mumbled, "Selena, yeah." Right in the damn bull’s eye. I forgot how smart this lady was.

Selena and I were the closest; inseparable. I don't even remember what made us split up. Distance? I couldn't stand to be far away from her, I remembered that. Yeah, I'd gone off the college and she was at home finishing up high school. She was so beautiful, from head to toe. Those light brown eyes lit up a room when I saw her. But she was a memory now. For me, at least.

I didn't realize I was daydreaming and left Lucille chattering on. Soon enough I came back to life to see Lucille coming back to my chair with a mirror. When she gave it to me, I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes. No more dirty blond, no more hair making my neck hot. I opened my eyes to dark brown strands of hair hugging my face. I barely saw myself. Definitely new. "You must like it, the smile says it all," Lucille said. "Yeah," I said, "I could run with this for a while, actually."

It still looks pretty okay, right?

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The Pitiful Plight

This is ridiculous and just down right unacceptable. This has happened to many times this week. I don’t understand why they can’t just leave the food tin open. They’re inconsiderate thats why. They literally think of no one but themselves. ‘Lets let them starve’, they say. ‘I wonder if they’ll be alive when we get back?’ they question. ‘Probably not’ are their answers. Well I am sick of it! I am sick of their shenanigans. Ya know, one day they’re going to come back from their luxurious adventures on the town and I’m not going to be her. The girl will cry and I will laugh because I’m cruel and better than all of them. Psh, the Christmas’. YOU DON’T EVEN DESERVE THE NAME! I’m hungry and upset. The plight of my life. I bet they would leave the food tin open is this fat tub of lard didn’t exist. “It’s your fault!” Ugh he doesn’t care. Nobody does. Is it even worth it living here anymore? I mean, what’re the benefits staying here anyway besides; being able to sleep without worrying about getting clawed to pieces by an illiterate stray. But could I really go back to living on the streets? Would the gang even accept me after how I left on such bad terms with them. I mean theres a chance. I could call in a few favors, but that’s so much effort. I am a cat and cats are lazy. Its genetics. Besides living outside isn’t that great anyway. I don’t wanna go where the sun lives. The sunlight hurts my eyes and burns my skin. Of course I could always just live in the alley ways. That’s what all alley cats do anyway. Duh. What could really go wrong though if I left. I mean if I think about it realistically. There’re people out there waiting for me right this minuet. I know it! I mean besides the fact that I have no claws so I wouldn’t really be able to hunt for food when I’m hungry or defend myself when I’m being bombarded, and that I’m not the sexy cat I was 6 months ago, I could still make this work... Ya know the more I contemplate about leaving the more I realize how possible this is. And the more I realize you’re not actually listening. Oh, wait they’re home. Thank god I’m starving. Forget I said anything. 

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Nothing Lasts Forever!

Alexis McCormick

E band

Nothing Last Forever

Why  Rou (teddy bear her dad got her), just why, I mean I wouldn’t be a bad girlfriend I think I would be a pretty good one matter of fact, doncha think? Why can’t I just find that boy who will make me that girl he can show off to all of his friends and we can be together forever, where is my prince? I mean daddy called me his little princess all the time but after he died no one called me princess since. I miss it rou, I mean you don’t understand. I want to fall in love but then again I loved daddy and he left me. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Should I just give up? Should stop trying to find someone that will never want to find me? What should I do, (sniff and tear). Why aren’t you saying anything, what you don’t love me anymore either? Are you going to leave me too because thats what seems to happen every time. Fine just leave, get out now I don’t what no one anymore not even love (throws teddy bear behind her).

(Still  crying to herself, singing a song her father sang to her when she was a little girl) 

Baby I love you and I'll never let you go. But if I have to my little princess I think that I should            let you know. All the memories that we make can never be erased And I promise you that you will never be replaced, god gave me a gift and her name is Stella she’s my little princess forever.

(Girl starts pouring down crying for a little bit then looks back at the bear) Its not that I hate you Rou its just that I don’t want to lose someone I love so easy again. (Stella goes over to the bear and hugs it so tight)I love you Rou, I just don’t know what to do anymore. I miss daddy so much. Gosh, I would do so much to see him one more time. Its just that mama said he’s looking over me now, she said he would be so happy on what i'm becoming as a person. Remember the first day daddy gave you to me, I felt like my heart smiled Rou. Can you just promise me something Rou, please don’t ever leave me(scene ends with the girl hugging the bear really tight with a smile on her face).

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Never say never.

    Quitting time is here. Just 3 more hours until my overtime is over. I peeped that the girl I want to approach is still here, she is working overtime also. I look around the office, and see Tina and Phil. Im normally not shy when it comes to girls, but with her words get jumbled, and its not a good thing. I hate how i can’t speak around her. I feel like a kid, i feel like a nut. I heard around the office she is going to paris to expand business. I thought in my head about asking to go also, but that would only work if i could talk to her. She is nice, but I just can’t talk to her. I put what i’m going to say in my iphone, and i think about just reading it as a note. Even then i can’t get the balls to say even hi. I had multiple opportunities, like at the christmas party, at the banquet for the boss’s 20th year at this job, and even at the retirement party of the oldest worker here.
    Every opportunity I had was a fail, and every chance i get i blow it. I should say “hey, how are you doing”. Maybe I can play it cool, and say “sup babe”. Wait no, scratch that it won’t work calling her babe, she might think i am disrespectful. I got to think, after 2 minutes of thinking my brain hurts, I give up. My brain hurts, I go to the coffee maker, and she walks by. She walks by, and gives me the half smile. The one she gives everyone who doesn’t talk to her. That only being me and harry. I watch her switch, as she goes to the printer. She turns back to see me eyeing her heavily. I turn away quickly, and pour my coffee. To find out I spilled some on the counter, while staring at her. I go to my desk, and goof off for my overtime (until the last hour, and then do my work). I finish what I call overtime, and wait for the last 15 minutes for overtime to be over. I watch the clock anxiously, and then see everyone leave.
    Except for Ana, who also leaves at the time I leave at. I drink the rest of my coffee, and throw it in the trash can. Suddenly there is a earthquake, and we are forced to stay in their building. I approached her, and said are you okay? Then I tried to play it cool and ask her name, knowing that it was Ana. There was an awkward silence, and she broke it by saying I” see you around the office”. We were stuck, and this was my opportunity to talk to her. I was not going to let this go by. I was still folding to speak to her. An hour goes by, and no words are said. Finally i go and sit next to her, bringing 2 cups of coffee. I offer her one, she takes it, and gives a smile. I ask her about her paris trip, because then i won’t have to say many words. I’ll just have to listen, which is better for me.
    Ana tells me about what is expected to happen in the future, and i listen eagerly. I know she will ask me something, and I think about what I’ll say. She continues talking, and i stare into her blue eyes. Which look like a big blue whale, who jumped in the air. I finally interrupt her stuttering, say “Th-th- that’s interesting Ana”. I’m getting comfortable talking around Ana, figuring that we have been stuck for a couple hours now. We have been talking for a couple hours and now its getting personal. She asked me "do you have a girlfriend". I replied with a no, and asked her. She said no. Which made my heart beat hard. As i was going ask for her number, firefighters knock at the window for a supply rescue. I was angry, but didnt express it. I simply got up and grabbed my things to leave. As i walk across the parking lot to my car I see a piece of paper on my window which says " 215-xxx-4089, and call me sometime".
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That Kid's a Piece of Shit

“Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” That’s from the book Fight Club. We used to keep this book in the bathroom for toilet reading. This quote makes sense to me. Mainly because it applies quite literally to my life. 

“That kid’s a piece of shit.”  

“Well of course he is, his dad is an asshole.” 

My dad is an asshole. You know that. You know my whole story from when I was flushed to when we became friends down here. We live in a cesspool  of grime and disease but I mean, that’s the sewers for you, right? My dad got rid of me while we were on vacation in Paris. Bam, right down the toilet after his feast of steak frites and various french wines. He couldn’t hold me in so he ran straight to the bathroom after he paid his check. 

I can’t talk about this anymore. At this point it makes me more irritated to think about it then it makes me sad. You know how it feels, Sanchez. Your parents flushed you after they thought you were dead. You went straight to the sewers while you were sleeping. They didn’t even care enough to see if you were awake. They just assumed, “oh he’s not moving... He mustn’t be alive.” 

To the outsiders, our friendship might seem unlikely or perhaps even scientifically impossible. I have news for them, the laws of science don’t apply down here. Down here it makes total sense for a goldfish and, well, a person like me to be friends. What am I even talking about, you ask? Okay, fair enough. You know that big crazy dumb sports game that’s happening today? Yeah the one that everyone’s been talking about. Like a soccer game or whatever. Yes I know, sports suck. They’re about to make our lives and every other sewer dweller’s lives a lot worse.

So when this game gets to halftime, all the humans are going to go to the bathroom. This is going to cause a massive flood for us, almost on a biblical scale, if that helps with perspective at all. When this happens, we’re all goners.  I hope this flood goes all the way up to the streets of the human world and they have to walk amongst thousands of goldfish and rats and excrements like me

I figure it’ll happen within the hour. This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time. I got that from Fight Club. 

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Power and Control

The cranes outside are moving the ships and here I am, sitting in the comfortable chair across from him. (sigh) He was screaming into the phone at someone and it’s making me scared so I back down and shrivel in the chair. Oh what do I do? I could hear the phone screaming back at him so I focus my attention to the room around me. It’s a small office consisting of two file cabinets, a wooden desk and a couple lamps in the corner, along with the dying plants next to them. (pause) Should I try to get his attention? “Sir, I would like-” This made me nervous. I get up to leave but he cursed at me, promising to fire me if I walked out the door. Fine by me. I walk to the door but he calls me back with a slam of the phone and cursing under his breath. “May I-I talk with you for a second s-sir?” I stutter out the question. He ignores me through a swig of the silver flask on his desk and twirls to face his cabinets. I shuffle around nervously. He grunts an approval and I continue. “I got an o-offer a-at another location and I-I...” I couldn’t continue. I was too scared of the man I was facing. I notice his neck muscles tense. Oh my gosh. Is he mad? (crane outside moves, creating loud noises) I suddenly awoke to the smell of alcohol. That’s what he was hiding in that flask.

“I’m quitting this job!” I almost shouted but shouting wasn’t needed. I had got my point across to him clearly. He faced me with an icy glare and I shuttered. Was he going to kill me know that I know his secret? The thoughts raced through my head as I stood frozen in front of him. His slow movements across the room towards me frightened me and I backed up to the door slowly. This didn’t feel right. He muttered and spat onto the floor, wiping his mouth with clenched fists. I could feel the room get cold. I had to leave but my feet wouldn’t let me. What could I do? That’s when it hit me. His uppercut knocked me off guard and I fell to my knees, holding my throbbing nose. The blood oozed out and it made me dizzy. The guy was drunk and there was nothing I could do to stop him. The next blow hit me in the temple. My vision blurred immediately. I dragged myself to the door, using the handle as a brace and lifted myself to my feet. This damn idiot. I needed to get myself out. I swung the door open and ran as fast as I could while stumbling over my own feet. I could hear his staggered footsteps behind me and I braced myself as I opened the door leading outside. I had escaped.

A Samurai's Way

Richard V. Yoeun


“Samurai’s Way”

Character(s): Asura (main)

Setting: 1800’s, Tokyo, Japan, Zen Garden

I will be successful, as a General of the 4th battalion, trained to be the highest ranked and best men around. Striking upon millions to know our wrath. Japan may be a country in which we battle with the upmost respect, One on One combat to see which is superior, but when it comes to my people, I will battle to the best I can do to make sure we all go on living. 

(Pulls out Katana) This Katana has spared so many lives, but slain so many without mercy. The sharpness of the blade runs through a human body like a hot blade through butter. The thousands of lives you took and yet you have not one bit of guilt within your thoughts.

Yasha!! Where are you? Odd, no response. He usually is around here somewhere. Yasha!!!! Where are you?! I need to talk to you about our later plans of attack against China, bring Wyzen with you too.

(There is no answer.)

Hmm... Where have those two disgraces gone? Wyzen!?! Yasha?!? ANYONE!!!!!! Bitter silence is going to test my patience. 

(Walks into the Garden) 

Where are.... no... How can this be? My two greatest generals... Dead. I will find who has done this. I will slain them slowly and painfully. My blade will slice every bit of their body without a bit of skin left unharmed...  (Tears come down) My best friends gone.I have two choices. Join them or avenge them. It was my duty to watch upon them, a simple task to protect them and I screwed it up!!! Why can’t I accomplish this task that was very important to my army and myself?

(Sits in the garden)

What is it to take the life of those you care about and not those you hate most? There’s no need to fight anymore... Yeah that’s it, I should stop with all my terrorizing. Maybe I should just become a broker or whatever I could put my skills into. Better yet! Maybe I can go back to my wife and daughter!!!  Durga and Mithra... I love those two. My Beautiful Wife Durga, she’s my complete other half. Not to forget my Beautiful lil’ bundle of joy... Mithra! I love that girl, just my sunshine. Maybe going back isn’t a bad decision what so ever, might be look upon as a failure perhaps. No... I can’t... Not go back... 

It ends here... This is what i strive to live for and all I do. Great ancestors please forgive the judgment for I will lay my.... life.

(Stabs sword through Heart)


The Unknown

“Mr. Johnson, could you please tell me and Lieutenant Smith what your night was like on January 7th, 2012?”

“Well you see officers, it went like this...

Its a cold Wednesday night at 11PM. I am freezing; in fact, it’s more than freezing, its 13 degrees. As I walk back to my house on the South side of Chicago, I try not to act like I am freaking out. I want to seem “chillin.” Doing that is a considerably hard task because I do not even know if my wife is home taking care of Maya and Leah. You see, the thing is that lately my girl and I have not been on the same page. It’s crazy that after all this time we can both just lose feelings for each other at the same time. The worst part about it is that she does not even care about our two little girls. 

Finally I get off the El and its just 5 more minutes until I can see the two people that can always put a smile on my face. I never get a chance to see them in the morning because I have to be at my first job at 6 AM. I keep on thinking to myself if my babies are safe or not; will she even be home? Where I live one must know where to go and where not to go this late at night.  The moment I have been waiting for all day is just seconds away but as I approach our porch I realize the door is open.

I step into the house and there is complete darkness. Some how I find a light switch. My house had been robbed and everything that I have worked for for the past 7 years has vanished. But that is not my main concern. Where are my children? I run into the bedroom and find my two little babies handcuffed to the heater. I start to break down into tears. Maya and Leah have bruises and scars everywhere. I try to wake them up but they are unconscious. Since I cannot afford the phone bill, I have to run down the street to a pay phone to report what had happened.

As I wait for the police and ambulance all I can do is sit by them and wash them off. I just cannot understand why someone would do this to me. I have lived a respectful and hard working life; what did I do to deserve any of this? My mother taught me that things are earned not given, and I earned everything that was once in my house. 

The second big question I have is who. Who would do this to me and my family? I have a decent relationships with everyone on the block and I have never had any problems with my coworkers. The only person that has been disrespectful and violent towards me lately is Natasha, my “wife.” The past few months she has been coming home later than me drunk and all drugged up. I cannot think of anybody else that would do such a thing to me, besides just a random thug.”

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Green Card

Avocado is sitting there all sad, and a fly comes along and lands next to him.*
Hola, little fly, I’m Bob. Nice to meet you. Ju know, I have a lot on my mind and I’d really appreciate it if you’d hear me out. You will? Gracias, señor. *deep breath, exhale* Well,  It’s been a couple weeks since I first arrived at this Whole Foods, and I mean, things were looking muy bueno. I wasn’t worried about a thing. Let me give you a little background on how I got here, little fly. My life began on an avocado tree not too long ago, maybe a month ago. Things were looking good m’hijo, really good. I had successfully snuck into the transportation box that I had spotted not too far from the avocado tree I dangled from. I felt my little avocado hairs stand on end as I fell from the tree to the box as the box loaded up the truck. All without any harm being done to me! I was on my way to Whole Foods! Hahaha, I couldn’t wait for the driver of the truck to start up his engine and drive me to the promised land. *pauses, sad look slowly developes* Sadly though, from the excitement I passed out unconscious and ended up here. I woke up and.. I looked around... and.. none of it even looked familiar. Yet I suddenly realized just what was happening. I had made it to the Whole Foods! Across the border! Freedom! ¡He escapado, he escapado! I almost let out a shriek but I can’t because there are customers peering into the box I’m chilling in, and I can’t just freak out at a human, you know, ‘cause like.... I’m a fuckin’ avocado! We can’t talk. Instead, my eyes fill with water as I feel the chills overcome my whole body. Freedom. It’s all real. Suddenly, I hear “Mommy? Why is that avocado so ugly? It’s all bruised up and looks like a little green turd.” Still smiling, I looked around at all of the flawless green fresh avocados and thought, “Who could she be talking about?” *pause, smile turns to blank face* I felt my smile slowly fade into a blank expression as I realize, ‘Ay dios mio, back on that stupid truck ride, the impact must have beaten me up a little. And, being beat up just a little is enough for me to become the avocado that nobody wants, the reject. What am I going to do..... ay dios mio... What shall it be like for me, sitting here as the ugly avocado of the group? Shall it be that day after day, people take one look at me and move right on along because they know there’s no way they’d want to give me a chance? Do I not meet the stupid standards of all the great fresh avocados that they sell here? This simply cannot be. It’s just not fair. But, hell mister fly, you’re just a little critter. You’ve got your own problems. Don’t worry about me, amigo. Fly on, litle fly. Fly on.


Thoughts From an Old Chair

Two weeks is what the doctor told me today. In a way, it’s comforting. I’ve been waiting... waiting for so long for a date. Half my life, it seems. No, it’d take a lot to be half my life. My nurse told me today that she would arrange everything for me for when I die. She comes to see me everyday, even today even though it’s her day off. She told me she wanted to be with me when I found out. It’s nice to know that someone cares about a haggard old lady. 

I told him today. It was the first time I’d heard his voice. It was the answering machine, but that’s the most I can ask for. Even that is better than nothing. He wouldn’t see me if I told him I was on my deathbed. A part of me wonders if he ever thinks about me. He probably has better things to do than wonder how his old, sick mother is. What was it he said? ‘Driven mad by time’, he told me. A ‘raging lunatic’ he said. Maybe I was, but not for much longer (cough out a laugh hoarsely). I haven’t laughed in a while. Not since Christmas in ’99, I think. Or was it Christmas ’09? Well, not since... since I heard. It took me so long to accept it. I wasn’t sure I ever would. He didn’t. Said I had gone off my rocker. I said he was crazy, because I couldn’t get off my rocker without assistance from a specialist, but he said that joking made it worse. I haven’t seen him since. He won’t let me near my grandkids either. Two little girls. They’ll never really know me I guess. Just how he wanted it. 

How many weeks was it? Two weeks is all I have now. Two weeks, an estranged son, three shabby cats, and this old chair that I can’t seem to get out of. There’s not time, it seems, to fix all that. Well, it won’t matter. Not to me, I guess. I won’t have to worry about standing up from this chair for another minute. Will he come to my funeral, I wonder? There probably won’t even be one. All my friends are dead, who’s left to come to mine? I wonder what he’ll do with this old chair. It’s been here for so long. Ah well, it won’t matter in... what did the doctor tell me? Three weeks? One? It won’t matter when I’m gone, I mean. 

I’ve spent so much time on this planet, you’d think I deserved an award. I’m sure no one from my year in high school is still alive. Good thing they stopped having reunions a while ago, I would be lonely there, dancing by myself. No one else graduated in my year that stayed in Birmingham. In... what year was I? Oh well, no one else stayed around these parts. My old leg’s fallen asleep, but the nurse won’t be here to stretch it till later. She comes at the same time everyday. What time will she come? Soon, I hope. I should probably try to stand up to get rid of those pins and needles. That’s what my mama called them. I wonder when she’ll come see me again. 

My damn old leg. Don’t I have a doctors appointment soon? Yesterday, that’s when. I guess the doctor will call me soon. I should tell my son. I miss him, and the grandkids. I know I saw them yesterday, but days seem so long when you’re sick and old like me. When’s that doctor gonna call?

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Happy Meal

Mmm. That was the best food I’ve had in a while. Especially that burger. Or the fries. I can’t decide, but I think that the burger was better. But then again, who am I to judge? I can’t even remember the last time that I had a McDonalds. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time that I had my own money to pay for food.


Chicago is rough, man. It starts with your heat being shut off. Then your water. Then a notice telling you to pay your bills. And then an eviction notice. And then all of a sudden the city if fed up with you not paying and you’re out on the street. It’s not as bad in the summer because of all the tourists, but the winter is fucking cold and windy.


Hm. Maybe there are more fries in here… (digs). Yes! More salty heavenly fries at the bottom of the bag. I think that the McDonald’s worker gave me more fries on purpose. I guess he could tell that I hadn’t eaten a while. (eats fries)


I liked him—the worker. He didn’t look at me like most people do.


Don’t make eye contact,” they whisper, “we’re not going to give him any money. Just keep walking.” It’s like people think that homelessness is contagious. If they come to close to me, they might catch it. Do you know how insulting that is? They think that they can regard me as trash because of my state. But news flash for you-- I’m still a human, and I’m trying to change my situation.


It was my fault though. And I fucking hate myself more every day for those decisions I made. Ya know, when you hear that trying drugs just once can get you addicted, most of the time you think “Yeah, right”, but now I’m thinking “Yeah. Right.” It happened fast. I’ve never had lots of money to begin with, so once I lost my job I was basically a goner. Hitting the streets was hard, but it made me realize that this is real. I’ve got to get my shit together.



But no. Not him. Not this worker. He smiled at me as I ordered my food and did not seem to shy away from me as I reached out to hand him the crinkled dollars that I got this morning.  But he wouldn’t take them. Can you believe that? He refused my money, and in turn handed me a bag full of food. I could see the grease spots of the bag.


“Enjoy your meal, sir,” he had said.


Nothing more happened then. I left with my food and money. He wished me a goodnight, and I told him thank you.


Turns out he gave me a happy meal. With a Shrek figurine.


This world is kinda twisted, don’t you think? I’m the kind of person who, if I had anything, would want to share it all with people who are in my position. But no, I have nothing to offer, especially considering that people won’t even take a kind word from me. I wish I had it in me to change the world.  


Thanks to this man, I have had my first meal in days. And furthermore, since I left McDonalds it’s like an internal fire has been lit in me.  Maybe it’s the warmth of the burger or the fries that have seeped into me. Or maybe it’s the way that he smiled at me and did not judge. Since I left that restaurant, this cold air hasn’t felt so cold any more.

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Forgive me Not

If I don`t kiss him correctly will he hit me while we are on the honey moon? What if he starts a scene right here in front of all our friends and family? The church looks beautiful, the isle covered in rose petals, and the glass floor as sparkly as a car that`s just come out of the car wash. The room filled with beautiful people however can`t change the fact that there are ugly lies that I try to tell myself about this event.  A part of me wishes someone would rescue me from this misery (right foot, step). Then again a part of me would miss the money and luxury. No one loves me the way he does. Then again if he loved me, I would`t have these bruises on my wrist. I know that if I run away I would not be able to be with anyone else. He would take it upon himself to kill anyone that I would want to be with (left foot, step). If I leave I will be back with my mother out on the street, I cannot take the humiliation. My friends are looking at me with “the look”. The look that asks me “why are you doing this?”. They know the whole situation, and have been trying to get me out of it for ten years now. Even though I still haven`t left, they`re still trying hard to convince me other wise (right foot, step). I`m almost there, the fake smile that he is giving me is making my skin feel like it`s twitching (left, foot step. Feet together standing still). I can`t do this, is what I should of said. However, I decided to go along with it instead. How could I been so stupid! If I would of ran away I would of never been where I`m at. These four walls are driving me crazy, my roommate has about six charges, and the toilet stench gives me a headache every night before lights out. Sixty years I have in here. Sixty years in a worse hell hole for stabbing a husband who beat me! I thought it was self defense? In sixty years my family will be celebrating my 95th birthday, I will be in here for the rest of my life for being driven over the edge. I repeat the wedding day reminding myself “what if?”. Every night the story having a different ending. The guard is walking around telling the ladies we have five minutes till lights out. As I try to settle myself to go to bed, I close my eyes and go back in time all over again. “I`m almost there, the fake smile that he is giving me is making my skin feel like it`s twitching (left, foot step. Feet together standing still). As I am standing at the alter, I throw my flowers on the ground and run for my freedom. Never to return again.”
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