vol. 3, edition: 1 September 2018

Welcome to #BirdvilleVoices Digital Literary Magazine!

This digital literary magazine is a compilation of writings from the budding PAP middle school authors around the district. Please enjoy their insights, humor, and writer's craft.

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6th Grade

Kendell A-North Ridge Middle School

Hooves on the Clouds

I used to think my life would be boring & adventure-less, but now here I was, minutes away from getting on the back of a half-ton animal that could kill me at any second. But I wasn’t thinking about that. I was here for two things: that first place trophy & the thrill of the ride.

I’d begun horseback riding lessons a year ago, & now I was finally ready to compete in my first barrel race, a speed event on horseback that many people have died doing. Sure it was dangerous, but I was ready. As I sat atop the starting gate with Teagan & Logan, I listened for Steph, the owner of the barn, to call me down so I could ride my favorite horse, Buck. As I waited, I glanced down at my watch. 5:28. The event started at 5:30, so I still had two agonizing minutes left. As I stared at the second hand, I heard Buck whinny with anticipation. He seemed quite fidgety, as if he wanted to win as much as I did.

I peeked at my watch again. It stared back at me as if taunting me as it read 5:29. Growing frustrated, I took a sip of water from the bottle sitting beside me to accommodate my parched status. I forced myself to wait yet another minute before looking at my portable master of time yet again. Finally, 5:30 had arrived. A triumphant smile graced my features. As I began to climb down from the starting gate, I heard yet another noise, but this time it came from a human.

¨Kendall! Buck´s ready if you are!¨ Oh, I was ready. I finished climbing down & scrambled to where Buck was patiently waiting. I slipped the reins over his head & practically flew into the saddle. I walked him around the arena for two laps then trotted for two laps to both calm my nerves & to warm up his muscles. After completing this procedure, all the riders lined up near the starting gate. There were three barrels arranged in a large triangle shape in the center of the arena, with what could be called the “base” of the triangle nearest to us and the “point” of the triangle farthest. The object of the competition is to complete the pattern the fastest without knocking over any of the barrels. We begin by cantering to the barrel on the right and making a right-hand turn around it. We then proceed to canter across the arena to the second barrel, and make left-hand turn. Finally, we canter from there to the top barrel and make yet another left-hand turn, ending the run by galloping as fast as possible to where you began, the starting gate. Simple, right? Well, in theory, yes, but when it’s being done with an animal that doesn’t speak your language, weighs 1,000 pounds and has a mind of its own, not so much. We would each get two practice rounds, then it was time for the real deal. I went through both of my practice rounds flawlessly, but only cantered to save Buck’s energy. Then, after many weeks of preparing, it was finally time to put all of my practice to good use. Time to risk my life for a sport I loved so much. Time to turn ‘n’ burn (equestrian slang). The last rider took her turn, and then it was mine. I tightened my grip on the reins and listened for Steph to start the timer.

“Get ready, boy,” I whispered. “Let’s-”

“GO!!!” screamed Steph. I clicked my tongue twice and Buck shot off like a rocket. First barrel, perfect turn. Second, I clipped it a little bit, making it rock (which scared me so much I nearly fell off), but it stayed up. Third barrel. This was it. The one that mattered the most. If I had a bad turn, it would mess up my path back, making my time much longer than what I’d hoped for. I reached the third barrel and sucked in my breath. It felt like it was in slow motion, but it happened in seconds. We turned around the barrel with an inch to spare and sped off, the wind hurling itself at us. We slid to a halt at the end of the arena. I dismounted as asked Steph what my time was.

“25 seconds,” she replied. YES! THAT COULD WIN! I thought. After everyone finished their runs, Steph called us over to give us our prizes. “And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for,” Steph began dramatically, a large grin on her face. “The first place trophy goes to………. KENDALL!!” I stepped up proudly to receive the trophy, my smile as bright as the sun. After everyone else had gotten their trophies and ribbons, we were free to leave. As I walked to the car, I realized I would never forget the day I was riding on the clouds.

Cameron P- Smithfield Middle School

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease like a raging fire,

Spreading and melting one’s brain,

Twisting memories, and warping thought,

Driving them insane.

A cure impossible to find, as anarchy rises in the mind.

Famous king or homeless man,

Male or female it cares not.

For Alzheimer’s like a mindless beast,

Looking on a brain for which to feast,

Rapidly multiplying, as its victims are slowly dying.

Daniel E- Richland Middle School

Seattle Sounders

When we went to the Seattle soccer game we wouldn’t believe what we saw.

On the 1st of December me and my family went to Seattle ,we decided on the 9th we we will go to watch a Sounders game (Soccer game). I was super hyped about that day too because after the game we were going to get presents for our family members in Seattle who didn’t go to the game.

It was the 8th of December, the day before the game.You wouldn’t believe how much I couldn’t wait for tomorrow.To pass time me and my family threw the football around, kicked the soccer ball around, and played volleyball which was for my mom and sister.

Then next thing you know it’s the 9th - game day. Me and my family got ready and went to the stadium.We went to get food outside the stadium and drinks.When we actually went into the stadium it was loud and packed and the fans were singing songs of Seattle Sounders.Seattle vs Toronto was the biggest rivalry in the MLS(Major league soccer).

Seattle and Toronto faced each other 72 times in history of the 2 teams. When it was kickoff I was looking right at #10 because he is my
favorite player on the team. When it was 1-3, the Sounders had the most possession in the first half. In the start of the 2nd half it was still 0-0 till my favorite player scored so he made it 1-0.Toronto answered 15 minutes later and tied it 1-1 when they tied it i knew the game was going to be close till the end of the game.

There was 15 min left in the game and Toronto conceded a foul and Seattle had a chance to score and win #2 took the penalty and scored and we were in front with a 2-1 lead.When time ran out the crowd celebrated the MLS Cup win vs Toronto.

Seattle has won 1 Cup in their history but after the celebration my favorite player came towards us and autographed my jersey and my brothers. I will never forget that day.

Angelica B- Watauga Middle School

Aria stopped in front of the mark Jackson had told her about, an abandoned tree house. Though it wasn't lived in, it still didn't look bad. Large stones surrounded the base of the tree, set in order from smallest to largest, creating a staircase to the open door frame. The leaves sent light dappling across the ground, the random patterns changing as the wind blew the branches. Vines hung from the branches and moss surrounded its bottom. A rope was looped around the handle of a bucket dangling inches above the ground. Looking up, Aria saw that the rope was around a pulley at one of the windows. Curious, she dropped her backpack in, then pulled one of the sides of the contraption. The bucket was pulled upward, but dropped as soon as she let go of the rope. "Huh," she left her bag there and began to climb the stairs. It took barely over a minute, and soon Aria was inside. There was a bed and a dresser, both covered in dust. When Aria took a step, the dust around her foot puffed around the sides of her boots, looking like a mini explosion until it settled and blended in with the rest of the floor. The bright sunshine blazed through the window, the only source of light in the small room as she lied on the bed, dust outlining her body as it flew. "I can stay here," she thought out loud. "Just for a little bit."

Drew K- North Ridge Middle School

Getting the Win

The fightin’ Richland Rebel football team was playing at the immense Dallas Ford Center. The Rebs were down 21-7 going into the intense 4th quarter. The massive crowds were screaming in their Rebels T-shirts. From the concession stand, the aroma of burning hot nachos filled the air. The opposing bands were playing so loudly you couldn’t hear someone screaming in your ear. The destiny of this year was on the line.

The Rebels had the ball, yet I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact the clock was slowly ticking down… tick, tock tick, tock. We quickly traveled down the green and white field. Then, TOUCHDOWN! Our confidence was immeasurable!

Our Blue and Gray obtained the ball again. Suddenly, I saw a man wide open, and the brown and white ball spiraled gracefully into my receiver’s outstretched hands for another TOUCHDOWN!!! The scary but blessed extra point was good, and we were headed to Overtime!

We received the ball after losing the precious coin toss. It was imperative that we score or face defeat. We scored 7 snappy points and now it was their turn to attempt the tie. On the next play, a miracle happened. Our amazing corner intercepted a crucial pass to seal the ballgame!

Never give up was the message of my story. Our fate was in our own hands. The Richland Rebels reached a level of winning percentage not attained in many years. Since we persevered against all odds, we climbed the mountain to VICTORY!!! This magical season would be in the record books for eternity.

Audrey S- Smithfield Middle School

A Letter from Tatiana

Dear Grandmama

I hope you are well. I miss you very much. Just so you know we landed safely in America. I started school today. The school in america is different than the one in Ukraine.. Nobody wears uniform, and everyone is mean to me. Nobody sits with me at lunch, and they all laugh when I mess my english. I am probably using lot of words wrong, because I am not fluent in english.. It is slippery and twisty, and my tongue can’t make words. I only spell right because I use a fat book called a dictionary. But it is better here in america, there are no wars. Please tell Tante anna we miss her, and that Danylo drew a picture of her in class today.

All my love, Tatiania


P.S., I will translate this letter to Ukrainian but I needed to practice writing in English

Шановна бабуся,
Я сподіваюся, що з тобою все в порядку. Я дуже скучаю за тобою. Просто так ви знаєте, ми безпечно приземлилися в Америці. Я сьогодні почав школу. Американська школа відрізняється від того, що в Україні. Ніхто не одягнений у формі, і для мене це означає. Ніхто не сидить із собою під час обіду, і всі вони сміються, коли я ламаю свій англійський. Я, напевно, використовую багато слів, тому що я вільно не володію англійською. Це слизька і твістська, і моя мова не може скласти слів. Я лише називаю це право, тому що я користуюсь жирною книгою, яка називається словником. Але краще тут у Америці немає війн. Будь ласка, скажіть Танте Анну, ми її скучаємо, і Данило сьогодні малював її в класі.
Вся моя любов, Татьяна 8\25\15

Dear Grandmama

Papa got a job last week! He is a doctor, like he was in Ukraine, but he he got an even better job since he speaks english and Ukrainian. Now he can treat American and Ukrainian patients. To celebrate Mama made Potato Varenyky to celebrate. It was delicious, but I couldn't enjoy it because it made me think of you and Tante Anna to much. I brought some cabbage borshch to school for my lunch, but everybody said it smelled and held there noses as I walked by.. I wish I could be more American, or have my friends from ukraine here. It gets cold at night here so Danylo got sick last night, but papa says he will be OK, and that it is just a cold. He says he misses you, and papa says to give Tante anna his love

All my love, Tatiana


Шановна бабуся!
На минулому тижні папа отримав роботу! Він лікар, як він був в Україні, але він отримав навіть кращу роботу, оскільки він говорить англійською та українською мовами. Тепер він може лікувати американських та українських пацієнтів. Відсвяткувати маму зробив картопля Вареники святкувати. Це було дуже смачно, але я не міг насолоджуватися цим, тому що це змусило мене думати про вас і Tante Anna набагато. Я приніс в школу деякий капустяний борщ, але всі сказали, що це пахло і тримав там носи, коли я ходив. Я б хотів, щоб я міг бути більше американцем, або маю друзів з українки тут. Вночі тут холодно, тому Данило хворів минулої ночі, але папа каже, що він буде добре, і це просто холодно. Він каже, що він вас пропускає, і папа каже, що дасть Танті Анну свою любов.
Вся моя любов, Тетяна 9\14\15

Dear Grandmama,

Thank you for the quilt you sent Danylo. Papa says it kept him warm and made him stronger. And guess what?!? I made a new friend today . Her name is Rose and she said that she was also an immigrant, but not from Ukraine like me. She is from Japan, and recently got her citizenship. We are getting our citizenships soon to. The date for our swearing in is october 4. And we are excited. And my english is better to. Also tomorrow I turn 12 years old. I still miss you and Tante Anna, but I have new friends in America, and Papa Got us a dog to celebrate my birthday, and he is white with black markings, so we call him Panda.. Rose also invited me to sleepover at her house.. I think I like America now. .I love and miss you and Tante Anna, but the United States has been good to us.

All my love, Tatiana


Шановна бабуся,

дякую за ковдру, яку ви надіслали Данило. Папа каже, що він зберігає його тепло і робить його сильнішим. І здогадайся що?!? Я зробив нового друга сьогодні. Її звуть Роуз, і вона сказала, що вона також є іммігрант, але не з України, як я. Вона з Японії, і недавно отримала її громадянство. Ми скоро отримуємо громадянство. Датою нашого присягу є 4 жовтня. І ми раді. І мій англійці краще. Також завтра мені 12 років. Я все ще скучаю за тобою і Танте Анна, але у мене є нові друзі в Америці, а у Папи є собака, щоб відсвяткувати свій день народження, і він білий з чорними маркуваннями, тому ми називаємо його пандою ... Роуз також запросив мене переїхати до неї будинок .. Я думаю, що зараз люблю Америку. Я люблю і сумую за тобою і Танте Анна, але Сполучені Штати були для нас корисні.
Вся моя любов, Тетяна 10 \ 1 \ 15

Dear Grandmama,

I can't wait for you and Tante Anna to come live with us! Of course, I wish it were under better circumstances. I was devastated that our old house was destroyed by a bomb, but I can’t wait to see you and tante Anna. I can’t believe that you and Tante Anna are coming to live in Colorado with us. My teacher says my english is improving. And Mama thinks she is pregnant! I hope it is a girl. .Rose is teaching me Japanese,and I am teaching her Ukrainian. And Panda is 10 weeks old now . I wish you all my love

Sincerely, Tatiana


Шановна бабуся,
Я не можу дочекатися вас і Танте Анни прийти жити з нами! Звичайно, я хотів би, щоб це було в кращих умовах. Я був спустошений, що наш старий будинок був зруйнований бомбою, але я не можу чекати, щоб побачити тебе і танцю Анну. Я не можу повірити, що ви та Танте Анна приходять, щоб жити. Мій вчитель каже, що моя англійська покращується. І Мама думає, що вона вагітна! Я сподіваюся, що це дівчина. Роза навчає мене японському, і я вчу її українці. А панда зараз 10 тижнів. Я бажаю всім моїй любові
З повагою, Тетяна 12 \ 31 \ 15

Arleth O- Watauga Middle School

My hero told me to keep going, to never give up

My hero told me everything will be ok

My hero told me that they love me

My hero told me to not worry about them

My hero told me to believe in myself

My hero told me to love myself

My hero told me people love me

My hero told me that I'm not alone

My hero is in the sky looking at me

My hero is really proud of me

My hero has been through things but never told me

My hero wanted me happy

Thank you grandma, RIP

Kate S- North Ridge Middle School

The Burglar
Goosebumps slithered down my arms as the movie started to get scary. I nestled into my assortment of blankets, waiting for the big bang to happen. All was well until I heard the voice of an intruder. The cold, raspy voice had hissed out “Hey, look what I found.” Before I could blink, my adventure began.
Just like a moth drawn to a flame, I went to my door and locked it tight. Then, with trembling fingers, I scooped up my phone and went to my closet. Heart pounding like a drum, I grasped the sleek doorknob and quietly closed the closet door. Like a person in a trance, I then dialed my moms number.
Fear consumed me like a pack of goldfish. My heart froze when my mom did not answer, so to get my heart beating, I called again. Instead of my moms soothing voice, a manś voice answered. Now scared beyond beyond belief, I screamed and launched my phone into the air.
Life flashing before my eyes, I grabbed the best nerf gun I could find and crept like a spider in a web downstairs. Fearing for the worst, I turned the corner to find… my dad. He was holding my moms phone and looking puzzled. I let out a half-hearted laugh when I realized that the ¨burglar¨ was my dad and the show he was watching.
A question without an answer is like a hand without fingers. If the question does not have an answer, it may cause chaos and adventure. The best thing to do in those situations is to be patient before things get out of hand. In conclusion, look further into the ¨question¨ before you start something unneeded.

Jocelyn Q- Richland Middle School

My First Soccer Game

It was a sunny day, a perfect day for soccer. Today was my first game and I was pumped up, and ready to win. Two people got chosen to be captains which means they got chosen to meet up with the other team and referees to decide who was defending first and who was attacking first which means if you’re defending then you are going to help your team defend the goal, and if you’re attacking than the other team will be attempting to score.Matthew and Jacob got chosen to go and meet up with the other team. When they got back they told us that we were defending our goal and the other team was attacking. Then the coach told us our positions and I was chosen to be middle forward and that to me was a very big honer and a middle forward is a person who scores most of the goals.

When I heard him tell me I was so thrilled and nervous at the same time! I got on the field and gave it my all and that tired me so much that the coach took me out and told me to start attacking the other team more and I just said “okay”.After just TWO MINUTES he put me back in! By the time I came back the score was 3-4, The other team was winning! Then just a few minutes later halftime happened and we took a short break while the coach was lecturing us about taking away the ball from the other team. We drank some water and went back straight to our positions, ready to play. Just after only a few minutes pass disaster strikes! Our best player, number ten, Matthew got hurt by the clumsy goalie that slid with his feet out straight out with his cleats in front of him, struck Matthew in the knee! The referee told our coach that he needed to take him out for a few minutes. So the coach decides to put me in Matthew’s position which is midfielder, a midfielder scores the most goals and is the most important. I was so surprised and honored to be chosen.

Just only a few minutes and I just suddenly get a elbow to the eye by three people coming at me at the same time! When I first crashed in to them my first thought was’”wow, this is awesome” and “wow this really hurts”. The moment we collided was like when I opened my chin by falling of my bike when I was about 7. The pain was unreal, it felt like nothing I have ever felt before, PAIN, I blacked out for a few seconds and came back to earth and realized that the people who had hurt me were on top of me. I pushed them off and rolled twice on the ground because of the pain! Just a few seconds later I get up and run over to the coach and the second I opened my eye I regretted the decision because everything in one eye was fine but in the other everything was so blurry I couldn’t really see anything but blurs. I ran to my coach and he examined my eye and said “Just tell everyone that you were hit by a gorilla and he got one shot at you and hit you in the eye and then you beat him up and he went back to the zoo”.

After that I was attempting to cry but nothing would come out, it was like all my tears were just in the back of my head not wanting to come out, instead I felt proud, proud that I took that shot for my soccer game. Just after that the game to an end and we lost by 3 and the score was 7-10. After that the coach just told us a couple of things and let us leave. On the ride home I just sat in silence, ready for my new game. Two things I learned that day, Never give up and just keep going no matter what.

Tena L- North Richland Middle School


I got back from Girl Scout camp

everything was the same

At least i thought it was

‘Til i saw a dog without a name

I didn’t understand

Why this dog was in my house

He would follow me around

Quiet as a mouse

I looked into

his beautiful eyes

A color blue

Just like the skies

I stared straight at

His brendal shade

Was this the dog

For i had prayed

I asked the lord

For a dog to save

A dog that’s cute

Big and brave

I prayed this prayer

The night before

But my parents explained

It would add more chores

But this morning

Came a huge surprise

This loving dog

Was an angel in disguise

Laiana J- Haltom Middle School

Today, early, 8:30 am. I was working on floor 67. Moments later a plane crashed in the North Twin tower building, where I was. A million things rushed through my mind. Is my daughter okay? Where is she? Was she alive? I attempted to run to the phone. Blood trailed. I realized my leg got slashed. I still kept going. I tried calling her, no answer. I called again, no answer. I called about a hundred times until a strange women picked up the phone. “I’m so sorry. Your daughter….. passed away. She got cut from falling glass. Then a air conditioner fell on her. I’m so sorry for your loss.” I hung up. I couldn’t breath, I was light headed. My heart was pounded like it was almost about to break my rib cage. I wanted to call her mom, to see if she was okay. No answer, no answer….no answer. There is no point. I have no family and the tower could collapse any second now.

I thought for a second. I made a decision. I used my elbow to break the window. I looked down. People were swarming to find families, but in the back of their mind, they knew it was to late. I knew is was the right thing to do. I could see my wife and daughter again. I was calm. I jumped.

My daughter ran into my arms. My wife leapt into the hug. I looked around, kids and adults were with their families. Big white clouds were making their way across the sky.

I was in heaven. Thank you God.

Marco F- Smithfield Middle School


It was a hot summer day in the blistering heat of the morning in Haltom City. I was on my way for my last day playing baseball; the season was ending. We were going against the Atlanta Braves, who were invincible throughout the whole season, but I felt that that was about to change. I’ve been training and playing for six years and I knew that I was prepared. We were the New York Yankees and in second place, doing great, defeating almost any team that faced us. My name is Marco Antonio Fortuna and I am prepared to play my last game.

The first inning was about to start but first I had to warm up. I have to warm up with the catcher because I am the pitcher, and that's how things work in baseball. My teammates are Dolorosa, Sergio, Carlos, Geovani,Tony, Omar, Diego, Jeremiah, and A.J. We were going to bat first and I’m the ninth one to bat. So let the game begin!

Their pitcher looks like the type of kid you could hit any ball he pitches, but never underestimate someone and especially in this sport. First goes Carlos and he has a big smile on his face so I could tell that he was ready. The pitcher named Noah, he backs up, picks up his leg and launches himself off that mound and the ball goes kind of faster than I expected. Carlos didn't hit it and the next thing I hear is, “Strike one!” We are all in shock that he couldn't hit the ball, but he did hit it the second time and made it to first base. Now it was A.J.’s turn to bat. He’s twelve and taller than me, so I’m telling you now he can hit. Noah throws the ball and A.J. hits it to outfield but only makes it to second base. “Safe!,” says the umpire.

Now it's Jeremiah's turn to bat. “Strike one!” … “Strike two!” On the third pitch he connects but he hits it towards first base and Jeremiah is out! We cheered him on so he could do it next time when it was his turn to bat. He stayed positive and had a smile on his face. A few minutes later we had three outs and scored three points only. The last one to bat was Omar. Now Dolorosa is going to pitch first, I’m playing shortstop for the first two innings.

Now, we always say, “Three up, three down.” But it wasn't like that: they scored four points before they had three outs and we were surprised! We started getting serious and Dolorosa never had looked so sure before. I was thinking that he had a plan to win this game. It was Tony’s turn to bat but the other team had switched to a new pitcher that threw so fast I couldn't see the ball pass by. Tony looked kind of nervous but he tried to be brave. You could see it in his eyes. Tony swung as fast as possible but only made a foul ball and then he hit the ball to shortstop and it was a miracle that he made it safe to first base! Geovani could hit any ball you pitched him and it was about time he batted. Everyone strikes out every once in a while, but today wasn't the day to fail; he got up there and hit it all the way towards left field. Tony made it to home base and Geovani made it to second. Sergio is a good batter and he hit a pop fly and they caught it. Geovani tried to steal to third base, but he couldn't--they were too good. A thunderstorm was approaching so we knew that the game was going to end sooner or late. We weren’t going to tie or loose.

It was Diego’s turn to bat. “Strike one!” “Strike two!” Then, “Boom!” He hit it to third base. When they threw it to first, Geovani took off and made it to third, but it didn't end there: Diego went to second so Geovani went to home and it was just a distraction so Geovani could make it home! The score was 5 to 4. Two outs and it was my turn to bat. I was scared but I had to act brave. On the first pitch, I hit so hard that I almost hit it over the fence. On my way to home base I ran as fast as possible but they passed the ball to the catcher. I slid… “OUT!”

A lot of coaches, parents, players, and more were watching this game because we are two incredible teams facing each other. I was embarrassed. We played two more innings and the score was 8 to 10. “We are losing.”

I pitched the next inning. I was stressed out, so I did some practice pitches. I threw the ball again and again. “Strike one!” “Strike two!” “ Strike three!,” and “Out!” “One out already,” I thought. “Wow. Just wow!” The second batter hit the ball and was safe at third. I struck out the third batter, but the runner was stealing bases one by one. Finally, the fourth batter hit the ball right toward me. I threw it to first. “Out!”

This was it: our turn to bat and Sergio was up. He hit it all the way to outfield and made it to first. Diego’s turn to bat and he hit it past the first baseman, running to first. Geovani hit a pop fly but they didn't catch it. The bases were loaded and it was my turn to bat. That pitcher had a grin on his face. “Strike one!” “Strike two!” “These are curve balls he’s throwing,” I thought to myself. It starts to rain. Three minutes left, bases loaded, either I hit that ball as hard as I can or I let my team down, then…Kaboom, I hit that ball over the fence and run in happiness, wiping off my tears as the rain gets stronger. I actually made a homerun! With a big smile on my face I stepped onto homebase. We had won.

Miles B- North Ridge Middle School

The Side-Winder

The instant I heard the blood curling scream of the Side-Winder’s last victim, I knew I was in for a rude awakening. I stared at the straight drop down and the wide turns at the base of the water slide. I was in awe as I looked at what I was about to experience.

I told myself that I could do it as I started up the waterslides long stairs. My feet began to burn from the sun’s violent heat but kept on going up the steps. That’s when I saw at least 5 people walking down the slide shivering in a deep trance. Suddenly I heard the loud thud of the glass door dispensing its victim into the slide water.

The line was shortening, all of a sudden a rush of adrenaline went straight to my brain almost making me faint. I heard the words “ Next up.” come from the lifeguard. I shivered as I crawled into the capsule. The lifeguard showed a thumbs.

He pounded a big red button on a large console. A automated robot’s voice began to count down 3, 2, 1, and the glass door to the Side-Winder sprung open and plummeted me into the shallow water. I looped around and around until I almost threw up inside my mouth but held back the urge. I began to slow down and all off a sudden I hit a wall of water creating my to instantly stop.

Once I stepped out I realized how fun and that I actually wasn’t scared during the slide. My brother, Matthew, was at the base of the ride greeting me as I got off the slippery plastic and stepped onto the warn concrete. It was at this point I realized that you can have the most fun and exciting time if you just tell yourself that you can and will do it.

Kaydn G- North Oaks Middle School

How I Got My First Dog

Have you ever seen something so cute you just couldn't handle it? Well, I have and I´m going to tell you about how I got my first dog.

I got her six years ago, almost seven, for my fourth birthday. On that day I wanted to go to the pet store to get a new dog. We arrived at the pet store and I was so excited to get a new dog. When we went in there was loud barking and scratching on cages. It was really annoying but that did not stop me from wanting a pet. I searched for the dog area and all I smelled was rubber dog toys and dog food. Do you know that dog area smell where you smell rubber but it's like there's tons of it? Well, that's what the dog area smelled like.

I saw loads of dogs and then I saw her. She's a black and white Shih-Tzu and probably the cutest dog I´d ever seen. I felt her fur when we took her out of the cage; she was so fluffy. And when I chose her they brought her up to the front for us to take home.

When we were on the way home I thought a good name for her would be Pixie so I chose it. I wondered if she would be bad or good or how she would act or how much she would eat. When we got home she was pretty good and did not eat a lot so we decided to take her on multiple vacations like the ones to Galveston and she played on the beach. Over all I love my dog. And that's how I got my first and favorite dog.

Isabella T- North Richland Middle School

dear myself

I don’t know who

I am anymore

No one talks to

Me anymore

It’s almost like I’m

Invisible in this

Midnight clear

At least I have my

Eyes to tell me

Where I am, but

There’s still one problem

I don’t know who I am


Liliana R- Haltom Middle School

It was 9/11/2007. It was just a normal day, until a plane crashes into the Twin Towers not once but TWICE. Not only the Twin Tower but also the Pentagon. This was just a normal day for people to wake up, get dressed, and go to work. But it was not a normal day. Instead, the Twin Towers and many lives were gone.

The world will never forget because of the terrorists who brought pain. This tragedy happened in a blink of an eye. One second, people are admiring the Twin Towers. The next second, people have pain in their eyes. People try to evacuate, and at this point, they cannot even escape. People are jumping off to to end life peacefully, rather than getting crushed. It started our a normal day, but then people were had to decide how their lives would end.

U.S.A was under attack, hearts are broken. Firefighters, Army, Marines and so many more were risking their own lives. Both towers had FALLEN and many lives were gone. After this huge tragedy 2,996 people are killed and 6,000 injured, at the Pentagon 125 people are killed.

It is now 17 years since the Twin towers have been gone. May every single life now rest in peace from this horrible tragedy they had to live through. The Twin Towers and many lives may be gone but never forgotten.


Leslie A- North Richland Middle School

Disney World

“We’re not celebrating Christmas,” said Mom.That was the only year my Mom had said that, but little did I know my Christmas was bigger than any.

Christmas was the most important part of the end of the year and I was really mixed up with my parents decision. Later that day, my Parents said “Instead of Christmas we are going to Florida for “work” and we will be staying the whole week so pack for Florida weather.” Although, Florida seemed exciting they were going for work so that meant staying at the hotel trapped with my annoying sisters.

While packing tears almost fell from my eyes. My sisters, Juliet and Michelle to cheer me up by telling me that we might be going to the beach. That didn’t make my mood any better. Making sure all my stuff was packed I hopped in the car.

The definition of road trips for me were a bunch of people stuffed in a car with bags, snacks, pillows, and blankets. Which was always fun but going for a business trip was never exciting.

Once we got to Florida I was still bummed. We went to our hotel and my parents said, “the reason we are here is not for work.” I was so confused my thoughts started whispering from ear to ear. Why didn’t we drive back? What are we doing here? After all the stress flew away I went to bed.

In a blink of an eye My sister Juliet screamed in my ear and said “We’re going to Disney World!” Rubbing my eyes I replied “sure we are,” Juliet said anxiously, “hurry up!” Still not suspecting a thing I rolled off the bed to the freezer cold floor. When I finally had the courage to get up I crawled over to my Mom who was doing her makeup and I asked, “what’s going on?” Juliet interrupted, “ we’re going to Disney World!” I turned to my Mom and she said, “Merry Christmas.” My eyes were finally awake, my insides were screaming. I got ready in a split second I was as fast as lightning.

We headed to Disney and I was dying inside. I could see the entrance and I screamed. My sadness quickly transformed into happiness I was so blessed to go to Disney World.

Later, we got through the entrance and we rode The Disney Railroad to Epcot. Epcot has a lot of different countries like France and Japan, just to name a few. We only went to Epcot the to enjoy all of their delicious worldwide foods.

After, spending time eating amazing food. We went to Animal Kingdom, Animal Kingdom had lots of exciting rides, but the ride we rode on was in Pandora, which is avatar world. The ride was called Flight Of Passage we had to wait 3 hours in the long line because it was a new ride. Although, we had to wait forever the scenery was breathtaking and it made Pandora come to life. Finally, we got on the ride and we all transformed into avatars. Then, we sat on our “Banjees” (a species of dragons in Pandora world). Our instructor gave us glasses that were 3D like. The ride started and we were in a wormhole it actually felt real. Once we were out of the wormhole I saw lots of Avatars, one of the Avatars yelled, “Banjees go,” and I started flying it was exactly like a virtual roller coaster. I got to see the beautiful scenery of Pandora and got to ride a Banjee for the 1st time.

As soon as the awesome ride was done we went to Magic Kingdom to watch the Parade. I got to see many Disney characters. When all of that was done we went to go buy souvenirs and left to the sky “snowing”

In conclusion, being surprised for Christmas impacted my life a lot. I realized how blessed I am for actually having a Christmas. Every kid should be able to go to Disney.

Leah C-W - North Ridge Middle School

Forgotten Memories

I am a long forgotten memory.

I used to wonder, but my thoughts have since been bound by pen and page.

I watch streaks of glass track lines though maps of all colors.

I see yellow, red, and orange fingers picking up the frail paper and burning away the ink till only ash remains.

I hear the dawn’s call, bringing stone cold mountains whose only task is to feed the fingers paper to consume. And consume they do, until nothing remains.

I am a long forgotten memory.

I pretend. Pretend every time that golden sphere passes overhead, every time that expanse of blue fades to black; I pretend that every tick on that clock isn’t a second closer to the last beat of my broken heart.

I cry tears like a desert, salt cracking my skin as if it is nought but paper on the rare occasions they come.

I feel the marks of a thousand maps thrown to fire and thousands more, yet to be burned away by greedy hands.

I touch the ink drawn onto pages by an unrelenting pen. Ink that will never come off for it pierces more than just the map’s pages.

I would worry, but there is no longer any point.

I am a long forgotten memory.

I understood more than I should have and less than others wished.

I spoke out once, but I dare not do so again. Tongues of flame are not the only things that wish to taste paper.

I do not dream. Nothing my brain imagines can compare to the nightmare raging around me.

I try to hold on to the scraps of long lost friends, but a pile of ash is nothing to perfectly flawed maps of blood and bones, pages of skin, and ink tattooed on forever, though I wish it was never there in the first place.

I have no reason to hope. No human could survive this place. And that’s what I am. My body a map, skin paper. But still, human.

I am a long forgotten memory. Don’t follow in my footsteps.

Peyton S- Smithfield Middle School

I Am Anne Frank

I am brave and strong

I wonder why people hate me

I hear guns going off

I see death everywhere

I want to be free

I am courageous and indestructible

I pretend to be a princess, waiting for my prince

I feel alone and quiet

I touch the sad world I used to live in

I worry my family will be found

I cry for friends I lost

I am brave and strong

I understand I’m not wanted

I say I’ll be wanted

I dream to live through this

I try to stay positive

I hope to be free

I am brave and strong

I am Anne Frank.

Lluvia D- Watauga Middle School


Band, Choir, Athletics, and everything else
It all piles up until there is no more room
They give you more and more to do
I feel like this is my doom
Forever overworking myself

I am being swallowed whole
By the Crashing waves
It is all taking its toll
On me
I cave
I listen to my agonizing thoughts
They are like the wind shrieking
“Do more!
Not Enough!
YOU are not enough!”
All the while
I have to fight
Stay above the water

When will it all be over?
The stress
The anxiety
Everything that makes me a mess
The disappointment that eats away at me when
I feel like a failure

I feel like half a being
Half me
Half worries
Not a whole being

People laugh
Make jokes
How can they do this?
I stand here and want to cry
I cry to excess
I wish my tears would dry

This is all so overwhelming
Sometimes I think it would be better to
Than live in this misery
Death would suffice

Elizabeth C- North Oaks Middle School

An Unnatural Romance

Have you ever fallen in love with a ghost?

Kyle and Elena had both had a crush on each other ever since they met in the 5th grade seven years ago, and they became immediate friends. Both wanted to share their feelings but didn’t know how it was Kyle who finally mustered enough courage to come clean on his feelings.

Elena and Kyle were walking down the street and talking about senior prom. Elena was gesturing with her hands when, just as Kyle was working up the courage to explain his feelings for her and ask Elena to the prom, her loose, jangly bracelet flew off into the street.

Kyle ran instinctively to retrieve the bracelet. Just then, a car came up behind him, before either Kyle or the driver could react, the car hit him.

Elena tried everything she knew, but deep down she knew it was too late, he was gone. Elena called 911 to bring him to the morgue where he would be housed until his funeral. After that, she wept all day and cried herself to sleep. When finally it was time for the funeral she spoke the longest.

Every day, she went to the cemetery to see him on her way to school. On graduation day she came to visit. That day a cool breeze swept past, sending goosebumps down her spine, she walked past more quickly than usual because of this.

That night she was haunted by dreams of him. And when she awoke she saw him standing there, but it was as though he wasn’t there at all. Slowly he faded away into the shadows.

Elena knew what ghosts were; spirits who had work left on earth. She decided to help his spirit find rest. The next night she waited for him to appear. When she asked, at first he didn’t answer but instead faded away. After a couple of days, he answered. He said his unfinished business was he never got to express his love for her.

Elena still loved him and decided to arrange a secret wedding. She bought a flowing white dress covered in lace and a veil to match. Her shoes were glass heels that sparkled like glitter. Her bouquet was full of colorful flowers. When they finished their vows Elena leaned to kiss Kyle but realized there was nothing to kiss and pulled her head back. Still, they were married.

When the clock finally struck midnight Kyle disappeared, this time forever.

Jacob A- Smithfield Middle School

I Am

I am theatrical and musical,

I wonder if i will make A team,

I hear ocean sounds,

I see the ocean,

I want Rainbow Six Siege,

I am theatrical and musical.

I pretend playing football,

I feel amazing,

I touch my xbox controller,

I worry that i’m not good enough,

I cry about life,

I am theatrical and musical.

I understand that I’m shy,

I say Jesus is real,

I dream of playing football,

I try to play football,

I hope my grandpa doesn’t die,

I am theatrical and musical.

Ella P- North Ridge Middle School

School Got Me In My Feelings Rap

Students are you listening Do you hear me Say you never leave your name on your paper Cause I want ya And I need ya To follow the instructions Students are you listening Do ya hear me Say you never leave your name on your paper Cause I want ya And i need ya To follow the instructions Man my classroom is really pretty busy And ya gotta feel me I'm teaching all this reading And teaching all this writing So these are all your options And i been working hard No this teacher is not stopping When I get your paper And i see that you been learning And when I give out hundreds Just know that you have earned it And on your report card You probably have deserved it Just know that you are smart, at the top And that confirms it 7th grade are you with me Cause I got you in your feelings

You got this grade cause you did it I know you special kid no debating Students are you listening Do you hear me Say you never leave your name on your paper Cause I want ya And I need ya To follow the instructions

Zoe D- Haltom Middle School

“My First Show”

I sat behind Pride Rock. I was crowded by Scar and the hyenas, who were played by my castamates. I felt a bead of sweat drip down onto my brow. I wiped it off carefully, trying not to fall off and onto the ladder below me. I felt a pit of anxiety from my stomach as I readjusted my costume. I was freaking out, but I had to--

Sorry! I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me start at the beginning.

I was hanging out with my friends Maddie and Matthew. Those guys are two of my best friends. We have a lot in common, which is what makes us so close. We were chatting before our last dress rehearsal. Eventually, we got in costume and makeup. Then, we started our very last dress rehearsal.

“Cir-cle of LIIIIIIFE!!” We sang loudly. We practiced our bows, and then the rehearsal was over. I ate lunch in the back of the theatre with Maddie and Matthew, like always. We sang some songs from musicals. It was nice. Then, I realized tonight was opening night. We would be performing after lunch! We got into our costumes again, but this was the real deal. It was a full house. I felt the dread hit me in the face as our stage manager called, “PLACES!” I hear our entrance music, and entered on stage with my queue.

I felt great about my performance, but then there was my big scene. I had multiple lines, a stage fall, and a super fast and stressful costume change. I ran across backstage, still adjusting my costume. I rolled down my sleeves and as I bolted up the ladder. I squeezed past my fellow actors and actresses to get my spot in the cramped space. The people who played scar and the hyenas got in position on stage, but I stayed hidden behind Pride Rock. I wiped my brow, almost messing up my makeup.

“SARABI!!!” That’s my cue! I stepped on stage and performed my scene.

Afterwards, we did our bows and exited the theatre. I met up with Maddie and Matthew outside. I was overflowing with feeling of happiness, joy, and relief. As I took pictures with my friends and our fans, I knew this show had changed my life forever. And so did the next nine.

Ava L- Richland Middle School

Around my neck he is remembered

Ayana M- North Richland Middle School

Take the Upgrade

I had been in this room may times before, so I was puzzled as to why the heavy door closing made me jump, and why the reflection of myself in the mirrors made me feel even more disheveled and pathetic than I usually did. This wasn’t even much of an audition; it was sight reading, skill testing, and performing a snippet from a song I knew by heart already. Paired with the fact that my supervisor was my director that I knew and trusted, this audition should go by quickly and easily.

My hands fiddled with the hem of my shirt, the fabric rough and somehow comforting as it twisted around my fingers. My voice was decent at best; I managed to plow through the sight reading and the verse of the ensemble song without any voice cracks or slip-ups, although the shakiness was painfully evident. It was fast, overlooked by the director due to its apparent insignificance.

Pushing open the door to return to the classroom and the presence of my fellow choir students, I mused on how significant it truly was through my own eyes. This was an all or nothing situation. Make it or break it. The director had put on an indifferent mask in response to everything I’d done, so I had absolutely no clue what I had performed with accuracy and what I had performed terribly. A single wrong note, a single miscounted flat- something so small could ruin my chances. I stepped over pencils and papers and students to return to my spot in the risers, murmuring an attempt at a cheery response to my acquaintance who asked how it had gone.

Over the next few days, I received similar inquiries from the few people who cared. Each one made me more and more unsure of myself. Every time I assured a friend that it had gone well, I wracked my brain thinking of every little thing that I could have failed at and what I could have accidentally overlooked. Did I properly describe the difference between sharps and flats? Did I stay on key when I performed the snippet of the song? Did I read the sheet music correctly while sight reading? What if my voice had been too shaky? Too quiet? Hell, even too loud? I didn’t remember my own actions vividly enough to provide myself with an answer, which made the unsure feeling weighing like a rock in my chest grow heavier with each moment I thought about it. It was exhausting, especially seeing how my fellow classmates who had auditioned didn’t seem to have a care in the world. I was bewildered; getting into such a high-ranking choir meant too much to me, and I could never just be indifferent to the outcome. This was the focus of my entire life right now, and maybe it mattered more than it should have, but I couldn’t help but care.

The thing was, I spent each day of an entire week waking up each morning and thinking that today was the day. It was pushed off by the directors every day, and each time I went home I was simultaneously dejected that I hadn’t gotten it over with, and relieved that I had at least another day to prepare for either ecstasy or letdown. The paranoia grew. The confidence lessened.

On the true day of the announcements, I hadn’t come prepared. I had been let down so consistently for the past few days that I almost forgot about it. I wasn’t expecting it to happen. I went through the day as I typically did until I got to eighth period - choir - and then the statement was made to the class that today was the day it would happen.

From that moment out, I so tense that my classmate beside me periodically casted concerned glances in my direction. I watched the director who was to announce the people who got in- Mrs. Taylor- walk back and forth taking care of things in the office, in the next room. I was, admittedly, impatient. The other director was speaking, but her voice sounded a bit more like ringing than words. I wasn’t focused on her. I was scrolling in my ever-churning mind through the endless list of possibilities, feelings and results I could walk out of class with today.

At long last, I watched Mrs. Taylor pull open the office door and step out into the room. I glanced down at my hands as if I hadn’t been waiting anxiously for her entrance.

The class went quiet, and she spoke some brief words about the honor of being in varsity choir and such. After getting some nods from a few of the students, she began reading off of a list.

She called four names, then another. Five. She wasn’t done.

Now, I was named after a character from a Japanese video game that my father used to be hooked on playing. The final letter was changed for some unknown reason, but the pronunciation was the same. Every time somebody asked me why I had the name I had, this was what I told them. Its origin had never really meant much to me, and I wasn’t proud or anything when somebody spoke my name or I had to write it down.

However, in that moment, I had never felt more glad to hear my simple name roll off of the director’s tongue so easily.

It was a quiet process. She listed off a few more names after mine, then smiled and congratulated all of us. We stood, and the rest of the choir politely clapped. It felt awfully formal. Mrs. Taylor instructed the small group of us to come retrieve a printed piece of paper that held dates for rehearsals during the summer, and having the information right there in my hands made me feel strangely comforted. She spoke to us briefly, before the final bell sounded from speakers above us and the choir congregated towards the exit in an instant.

I, however, hung back for a moment longer. I walk home, so I have a bit of flexibility when it comes to how fast I leave the school grounds and head off for the day. I lingered outside of the choir room in the shade, surrounded by the content chatter of band and choir members alike, and pulled my phone from my back pocket.

I, like most other people who share my interests, have friends online that I speak to and confide in on a daily basis. I opened an interactive site that feels like home to me and typed out an ecstatic post, hardly hesitating to send it out into the endless oblivion of the internet.

[ you guys ]

[ guess who just got into varsity choir !! ]

I got a response soon enough.

[ oh my god that sounds awesome,, ]

[ I told you that you could do it . ]

I smiled to myself at my friend’s reply. I’d been ranting about this for the past few weeks, so of course they all knew about it. And, she was right- they had all encouraged me endlessly, saying that there was no way I wouldn’t get in. I had been reluctant to believe them, but it was time for me to admit my false view on the situation.

Standing there in the May sun outside of North Richland Middle School with students streaming past me and my phone in my hands, I had a moment of realization in which I accepted that I was good enough for this. There was no getting into varsity by default. I deserved this, because I had what it takes and my potential was visible. This would be an exhilarating and impactful experience for me, and I was ready for it.

Rachel E- Watauga Middle School

  1. Selfish, Broken, and Past the Point of No Return
    Spinning and spinning.
    The world goes round.
    All of it slowly falling apart.

    Children learn.
    They learn math,
    Social Studies,
    Physical Education.

    But they never learn what happens.
    What happens in the world,
    What they should do,
    To care.
    For themselves.
    For others.

    More and more of the globe.
    Ignoring the facts.
    Ignoring their responsibility.
    Murdering the only thing keeping them alive.

    Less and less people.
    Trying to help,
    Trying to talk to,
    Trying to love,

    There’s nothing we can do.
    Except try.
    Try to push ourselves.
    Out of the miserable,
    Void we’ve thrown ourselves into.

    We’re past the point of no return.
    That’s what they say.
    We can’t turn back.
    We can’t fix

    Our world is broken.
    Broken and wilting.
    Are broken.
    Broken and withering.

    We ignore everyone else.
    “Only Me.”
    That’s everyone’s motto.
    No more heroes.
    No more inspiration.
    No More.
    No More.
    No More.

    No one cares freak.
    You should cheer up.

    Anxiety Attack?
    You’re so dramatic.
    Just stop stressing out about it.

    Thinking your useless?
    Just a way to get compliments.
    Stop being selfish.

    “Others have it worse….”
    So you can’t be upset.”
    But others have it better.
    So then,
    I suppose,
    You can’t be happy.

    Internal battle.
    Internal war.
    Internal apocalypse.
    Nobody knows.
    Nobody sees.
    Nobody cares.

    You are alone.
    I am alone.
    We are past the point of no return.

    Or are we….?

MaddyBlue C- North Oaks Middle School

Come with me

Come with me

With old grass-stained jeans

Sunsets and hills

Fun-filled days end so quickly

I look at you

You look at me

And laugh

Until the stars pull us apart

Readying us for another day

With birds

With bees

Come with me

To the place we used to play

All night

All day

Without thought and care

The heaven was hidden by trees

Only known by we

Hiding us from the storms

Come back to the place

Of tired eyes and swingsets

Standing side by side

Staring at the pond

Skipping rocks

With muddy boots

And tangled hair

Bathing in the sunlight

Exploring every blade of grass

That our little eyes can see

Come back with me

To the place we both belong

With shared memories

Listening to the same twelve campfire songs

Where we lived happily

Looking at the same faded paint

And rusted metal

Just you

Just me

Listening to nature happily

Catherine S- North Ridge Middle School

I am Poem

I am weird and respectful

I wonder about my brother

I hear the engines of the C130

I see an airplane

I want another chicken

I am weird and respectful

I pretend to know everything at home

I feel excited for the new year

I touch a dusty book

I worry about my family chickens

I cry when I fail

I am weird and respectful

I understand the hardships of school

I say "never give up"

I dream of school

I try to be the best person I can be

I hope for good grades

I am weird and respectful

Julissa R- Haltom Middle School

In my opinion, the worst thing about the internet is when it’s slow.

The reason why is I can’ text anyone on Snapchat. When there is no internet Snapchat stops working and thats where I text people. So I can’ tsend streaks. Then I have to use my moms phone to sign-in but waste her data & she’ll get mad.

Another reason is Fortnite won’t work. The game need Wi-Fi. It will go slow & I get killed or it logs me out. One day I almost got a “victory royale” but it logged me out. So that gets me mad.

One of the last reasons is my phone lags. If there’s slow wifi (internet) and I try and fix it it gets my phone messed up. It’ll delete pictures and apps. Then I won’t be able to get it back. Sometimes it’ll turn off and take forever to turn back on. It gets annoying & the wifi will turn off without knowing so all these thing happen without warning.

Those are the 3 worst things about the slow internet (wifi).

Taylor M- Richland Middle School

Laughter rang out in the DARK

Sydney W-North Richland Middle School

“Wake up Wake,” up my cousin yelled as she wacked my

face with a pillow. “My dad will be here in about an hour, so get

up, get ready; be a human.” “ no.” I groaned back.

“ We are going to the Baker Hotel!” My cousin Quin said

trying to convince me to get out of bed. As soon as that came

out of her mouth I shot out of the tangled cozy blankets with

excitement and curiosity. Once I was human, I heard an

enthusiastic knock at the door, my Uncle Chris have arrived. We

ran through the pouring rain and hopped in the car, clicked

our belts and looked up spooky stories about the haunted

Baker Hotel.

Even the erie stories could not keep us occupied during

the long car ride. But we made it! We parked and we came up to

the old hotel. We ignored the old rusty no trespassing sign and

hoped over the old worn down brick fence. Their I was, soaked

to the bone from the rain, ready to explore the the unknown of

the Baker Hotel.

In awe we walked around the red brick grand foyer taking

pictures of the beautiful industrial/antique styled building. All

of a sudden, Quin, Uncle Chris and I hear a loud BAMM! My

cousin Beck slipped on the slick brick, ha, ha, ha, we all laughed

include Beck. My Uncle Chris said loudly, “It sounded like

someone dropped a brisket.” We all laughing even harder. My

cousins and I explored around the back, where a drunken lady

in the 1960’s jumped from the top balcony thinking that she

could make it to the pool, looking for any evidence of

supernatural things. Out of the corner of my eye I see a police

car slowly driving around. I tell my cousins, they look at

eachother, with big eyes and all, “RUN” yelled Beck. Confused, I

ran after them. Beck started to explain to Uncle Chris that there

was a police car driving around the hotel. Beck and Quin

jumped over the brick fence on to a cinder block. Uncle Chris

started ask a bunch of questions to them; “where is he”, “what is

he doing”, and “how far is he?” My cousins would not say a word.

Beck and Quin shared the thought of “you can’t see me, I can’t

see you”. Uncle Chris and I jumped the fence and start to talk to

the cop in the patrol car.

Still confused and in shock about being caught by the

police, I stood next to my Uncle Chris and listened deeply to

their conversation. The police officer explaining that we could

get a citation or even go to jail for trespassing on government

property. Lucky for us, the officer that stop us let all of us off

with a warning and told us some good advice, stay off the


Needless to say, I crossed a few things off my bucket list

such as, exploring a haunted hotel. I have also learned some

police officers are understanding to curiosity.

Layla G- Smithfield Middle School


I am a dreamer and a lover

I wonder about life after death

I hear my failing heart

I see an intangible future

I want my own Santa Fe

I am an individual

I pretend to see the blind man’s light

I feel the soft lullaby

I touch your face

I worry about our generation’s tears

I cry for you

I am a romantic

I understand the Moon

I say I’ll be there

I dream of Santa Fe

I try to push it aside

I hope for your impossible return

I am Layla Garcia

Leyda C- Richland Middle School

Phone take up, discovered the world


Loraine S- North Oaks Middle School

Blood in the Street

There is blood in the street,

There is blood at my feet,

There is blood on everything I see

But most of all there is blood on your hands.

Those of you who don’t make the right choices

Because “guns are in high demand,”

When we speak up you say “quiet you’re

Too young for this discussion,

But what I’m truly too young for is

Your choices and their repercussions

My friends are dying in the street,

My friends are dying at my feet,

For your choices those of us who are “too young” take the heat,

But you care so much about the kids in the womb,

How ‘bout you come out and say it,

You’re fine with our deaths as long as it benefits you.

Kaylee H- Haltom Middle School

A Little Piece of My Life

By: Kaylee Hercules

Diego, hurry up and get ready for school.

We’re going to be late. Dylan you okay too?

I think to myself why do I have to be the oldest, but

oh well it’s my responsibility. Hurry kids lets go!

Ah my back hurts, but I’m almost at school.

Diego hurry up and catch up. Slow walker.

After school. Walking home. So tired. Heads hurting

and back still in pain. Oh well.

Get home and cook for family. I think I always

do everything, but oh well.

Parents get home tired and weak. Sit at the

dining table. I wait. Mom says “Nice work honey,”

And Dad “Keep working hard girl.”

Then it’s all worth it. All to be well.

Leilani Hoff- North Richland Middle School

Everyday is like a rollercoaster

With constant flips and sharp turns

And big ol’ mood swings

I can't make out the next hill

Or find a new path

I'm not afraid but stunned

By the fast pace changes

Every second is different

A new obstacle awaits

Will I climb this one

Or go spiraling downhill

I try to think these challenges

Are for the better

Still I struggle to see the good

I see the hurt

I see the lies

I see the struggle

But where is the positivity

The empathy

The love

The honesty

Its somewhere

Hiding in fear

Maybe in the tunnel ahead

But each day is the same

All I see is a blurry future

With nothing but change

Chelsi L- Watauga Middle School

City Celebrations

Skyscrapers light the sleeping sky.

Even though the sky is asleep, the city is not.

Congested streets full of people.

Taxis and cars lining bumper to bumper.

Lights make the city glow.

All are heading to the tower.

Ten more minutes and a new chapter begins.

The air fills with happiness as celebrations erupt.

I don’t walk in a rush.

Keeping the recap in my head

Replaying memories

There’s others like me

With a mask of joy

And a clouded mind.

BreAnna B- North Ridge Middle School


The World is a Stubborn thing
a hot shot that makes it sting
with any pistol it can fire
we fight back
to end this deadly choir

but they shoot higher and Higher.
yet I’m glass to their pistols
shattering at any bullet they fire
like the glass shards

don’t even Matter to even ceasefire

as glass shards are sharper
we get smarter
we learn to hide or burn
the things that make us churn at any turn

waiting for something grand in return

I wish for greatness through every Shard
every part of me is in that very scar
showing my journey
and how I’m getting this far

I don’t want to hide the scars I made
by this game called life I play
that’s how I learn to get through this day

every pistol makes me stronger
though at torturous expense
for life is journey
that’s very intense

through every tear I cry
will become dry
and every argument to be
will be next to every treasured
memory to see

through every death
there will be new life of breath

through every triumph
there be glory waiting for you in the end

that every shard will be worth
all those obstacles you endured

that every scar
will shine upon you
like a story to be told and heard

so don’t fold
in this game of cards
and don’t disregard your glass shards

cause it really just starts from here

and all the fear
you had before is clear

that no pistol will make you weak
because you shouldn’t be afraid to be loud and speak

Adrianna F- North Richland Middle School

I Am Nothing

I am Nothing. I feel Nothing.

I am a blank piece of paper,

Ready to be written on.

You are the bright red pen

I wait for you

I wait for the wonderful feeling of Not Feeling Meaningless

Still, you ignore me and I remain Nothing

Megan P- Smithfield Middle School

The sun climbed in the dusky sky, bathing the world in the glorious light only it can give. As the sun rose, so did the birds, rending the air with jubilant music. Together, they chirped out an ode to the dawn. They seemed to sing, “Welcome the morning! Glorious dawn! May the earth come alive with the light of the sun!”

Amidst all this glory, a lone figure leaned upon the railing of a dock, pondering the waves. She had golden hair that flowed down her back, held at bay only by a thin wire of silver that signified nobility. Her dress was made of the finest silk, a deep blue that matched the waves she was staring at.

This girl was Princess Elana.

Though she had a pretty face, her heart was rent in two, cleaved open by a recent tragedy. As Elana contemplated the waves, she also thought of a man who used to sail them. This man was called Dominic, and he had been Elana’s true love.

When she thought of him, her mind always sought out her remembrances of him. Normally, the princess tempered down these painful memories, but not today. Today she let them surface.

Dominic’s face swam before her own, and she lapsed into the memory. Elana saw his chocolate hair that shone copper in the sunlight. She envisioned his bright, hazel eyes that twinkled with mischief.

Then, Dominic’s face expanded into his entire body, which proceeded to dance through the motions of times they’d spent together. Elana recalled rolling through the sweet-smelling grass with her love, dances illuminated with moonlight and accompanied by nothing but the sounds of the night. She thought of the time when Dominic locked his hazel eyes on her blue ones, and they shared their first blissful kiss. Elana sighed deeply and relaxed into the sweet memories.

But alas! the comfort of these cherished remembrances could not last. Almost immediately, they were punctured by the thoughts of the man she associated most closely with the loss of Dominic. Sir Rupert the Dreaded. Pirate. Their. Murderer. Princess Elana’s beloved Dominic had been out on a voyage across the sea when his vessel was taken captive by the horrible Sir Rupert the Dreaded and his devoted cronies. Brave man that he was, Dominic shouted, “To me! Fight these horrid intruders, for they have no right to possess us!” Those were his last words, for the pirate Sir Rupert felled him personally.

Thinking upon this news brought to her a scarce fortnight ago, Elana was filled with rage. She hated, hated that awful Sir Rupert for what he had done to her and her beloved. The fiery sparks of anger in Elana’s stomach curdled into a blazing inferno, and she screamed her rage to the sky.

Stop. Elana commanded herself. You are a princess, not a wild animal, and you must act as such. Be cool, calm, reasonable. Almost immediately after this thought, Elana envisioned her elder sister, Esmeralda, the picture of serene. She thought of Esmeralda’s dark hair pulled into a single braid down her back, her cool, clear, bright green eyes. Elana began to calm down, her fiery rage ebbing into a tide of misery.

Then, as if thoughts had summoned her, Esmeralda walked down the path. Because Elana knew that her mother and father would be enraged at the thought of her falling for a common sailor, at 25 and four years Elana’s senior, Esmeralda was the only living being that knew of Dominic and Elana’s feelings for him.

So of course, Esmeralda knew why her younger sister stood by the waves, weeping. Compassion tugged at Esmeralda’s heart, and she wrapped her arms around her sister. They held this position until Elana ceased her crying. Flood of misery abated, Esmeralda took Elana by the hand and spoke to her gently, “Come, Lanie. Let us begin to heal your broken heart.”

One final teardrop escaped Elana’s eye and left a track of misery down her face.

Julisa S- Haltom Middle School

I Am

I am a human

nothing less

nothing more

I am a student

who learns to become


We are all human

We all bleed red

We all breath

We are all the same

We shouldn’t be

Treated differently but

Sadly we are

John L- North Oaks Middle School

The Story of X

My name is X.I am the last Aldmer the rest of my people devolved, mixed and disappeared.Gone are my brothers and sisters who I weep for every night because I know I am alone and cannot ever be taken into companionship without this biting loneliness.I have had this burden for a long time but I am done carrying it alone maybe it's because i'm weak maybe its because im not powerful enough but I will tell this story.

I was born in the Summerset Isles at the start of recorded time many thousands of years ago to a lovely couple of aldmer. When I was seven they thought it was time to start my training. So my father taught me conjuration and destruction while my mother taught me alchemy, restoration, alteration, illusion and my other scholarly skills such as reading, math and writing.

When I turned twenty-three my parents said I knew everything they could teach me and that I now had to live on my own.So with brief goodbyes and a loving smile I left.When I was a good distance from the house I started practicing my telekinesis spell by throwing a gold coin into the air then catching it with my favorite spell. Some bandits spotted my spellwork or, maybe just the gold and thought it would be a good idea to rob me. One gruff man with a scraggly beard and enough scars to show he wasn't good at his job walked up to me with a short iron sword and stabbed me. I had already cast Oakflesh beforehand so it didn't even pierce my cloak but it shocked him. He immediately pulled back his sword and chopped at my neck. This time however I summoned Bound Sword and married his blow while he was stunned I put Bound Sword though a rib, his heart and out the back.As I desummoned Bound Sword his lifeless body fell to the ground with a dull thud.I had killed before but only animals never fellow mer.What was I to do that? I had the power to subdue him and give him to the authorities but I took it upon myself to end this man,my brother of race.What cruel god would give me this cursed power or the ability to judge someone as less than me?What was I?Was I a monster now? Was I no better than the familiars and daedra I summoned.I didn't know who I was anymore so just ran and ran until I couldn't breathe anymore. Then I dropped to my knees and cried for a time unfathomable. While I was crying I heard a motherly voice I looked up to see what I thought to be the divine form of Lady Mara.Shocked I could do nothing but stare in awe as she says

¨My chosen one do not cry for I am here for you and you are strong¨

¨Why should I not cry I weep for i'm a am a murderous monster that does not deserve your presence nor your love!¨

¨A monster?Why would I choose a monster.Do you doubt my judgement?¨

¨NO never but maybe you chose me before I turned against you.¨

¨How have you turned from me¨

¨I ki-¨

¨You did what you had to so you could survive and serve me I will hear no more of this you are not a monster however if you continue to say you are I will make you one then smite you myself.¨

Then she was gone. I dried my tears and picked up my bag for as I had been weeping it had fallen to dark so I moved closer to the road and set up my tent I summoned a familiar to guard me through the night as I lay down to rest that night I prayed to Azura and said ¨Your trickery did not work this time.¨ then I fell into a fast sleep knowing that the Twilight Star had spoken to me today.When I woke to the morning star I slew my familiar with a swift strike using Bound Dagger. Though it pained me to kill my summons I did not have the power to hold them forever so I had to send them back to Oblivion where they came.With my familiar gone and the fire long dead I watched the sun rise wondering if the Lady of Dusk and Dawn heard my prayer and is watching me. With all of that behind me I left my measly camp and started walking

I spent the forty-seven years traveling the Isles and doing small good deeds.Teaching those younger and learning from those older by this time I had amassed a vast collection of knowledge. That's when the first Akvari Invasion hit daggerfall.I had decided that I would not be apart of it for I saw no reason to take part in the war.Thirty years after the Akaviri Invasion I decided to get married I had just passed my first century and felt the tirings of age. I met a lovely Aldmer woman named Empathiety. She was taller than me and was not a Mage but a Warrior which might seem like a strange match, but she was my first love and I didnt care if she used sword or spell. We were married for twenty-three years before our first child Aldus was born. He was born tall and strong taking after his mother much more than after me, though he did have my strange blue eyes. Aldus grasped sword with a prodigy's grace and grasped spell well enough to heal and survive without weapons but not for combat. Which was fine by me I was so intent on my studies sometimes I wonder if I abandoned him and made him the way he was later in life?

To be continued...

Betty V- North Richland Middle School

An Old Book

Life is an old book. The dust on the thin, fragile pages are the old tender memories stored in the back of her mind. The first few chapters are her first little baby steps and jumbled up words. Each new group of pages is the start of a new goal or dream. Every person she ever drove away with fear and sadness are the little rips and tears of the worn out pages. The people she once trusted who turned their backs’ on her are the dents and cuts on the cover. The spilled drink stains on some pages are the mistakes she have made and can’t go back to fix. The middle few chapters is her dramatic, hectic school life. All the problems she poked at are the paper cuts that have come back to hurt her. Any type of little relationship that broke her heart are the little waves of emotions that hit her with every glance at each word. What was once folded pages, are now the missions she never completed but failed. She can try to completed it again but they’re the creases that will never go away and stay forever. The last few chapters are the turning points. When everything seemed to be going horrible, the end of suffering was near. When she was dying to find out the ending, the back of the last page was really, really close. All the tough situations she had fought past are the dried up tears that are no longer visible on any page. All the happy memories that are trying to be freed from the back of her mind is the sight of the last page that pleads her to skim through. Skimming through the page, she finishes reading the happy ending and all the memories that were once forgotten, floods through without a second to spare. With the slam of the book closed, the heart monitor comes out flat with a long and loud beep. The old book is her life.

Diego LR- Watauga Middle School

Mattress Stores Cause Outrage throughout Country

Idsee B. Paider, FNN
Updated 13:60 PM FST, Mue February 31, 2018

Washington (FNN) — Today, President Persimmon Man addressed a major concern involving the rapid spread of mattress stores throughout the country.

It is part of a wide string of allegations that the Department of Labor is facing after the opening of around 120,000 mattress stores in America. Near the White House, protests have appeared, saying that “the economy is too dependent on mattress stores”.

Indeed, mattress stores have appeared around intersections with strip malls in them. In Little Rock, Arkansas, eight mattress stores appeared in the same intersection. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an entire strip mall was occupied only by MattressFirms. In Times Square, the entire area was filled with ads for mattresses.

In a speech to the press regarding the sudden increase in mattress stores, Persimmon Man spoke about the mattress stores. “They built mattress stores in all my hotels. I don’t even know what’s going on, I was just talking with China and all of a sudden, this guy comes to me saying that there’s a hundred thousand mattress stores!”

Rumor has it that the mattress companies are conspiring to form a sovereign, independent state known as the Mattress Republic, where it would be law to change your mattress every eight months and mattresses would be under $200 dollars, but only if you head to your local mattress store today and order now. Free shipping for orders over $1200.

Mia Y- North Ridge Middle School


I exhale, seeing the cloud of condensation form before my eyes, but it disappears just as quickly as it forms. I rub my hands together trying to keep warm from the cold. I had decided to go to the park since the forecast said it wouldn’t be cold enough that I would have snot running down my face. Having snot on my face makes me cringe with disgust, since I had a cut under my nose. All I could do was constantly wipe the snot off my nose with my sleeve, since I hadn’t brought any tissues.

I looked around the park and saw a lonely rusty swing set hiding behind all the shiny new playground equipment. I squinted because it had looked like there was a little girl on the rusty swing set. When I had gotten closer I saw that the small girl was actually just an old lady. I walked towards her since it looked as if she was dead. Her eyes were closed and her skin looked as if she was centuries old. “Miss,” I said, while tapping her shoulder. She didn't respond, so I shook her body a bit more. “Shhh,” the old lady said. “Miss isn’t it cold out here, you should really go inside,” I had said. The old lady hadn’t responded, so I stood there silently observing her. She had a face of peace and calm. It seemed she wasn’t bothered by the cold although her nose and ears were red. “Isn’t it so calming to just listen to the nature?” The old lady said, “Just close your eyes and listen.” I looked at the old lady as if she was crazy because she did seem like a crazy old lady, but I decided to do what she said. I closed my eyes and listened to the nature. All I could see was darkness, just darkness. I could hear the wind howling, just the wind. “Miss this isn’t calming, it’s actually rather opposite,”I said. “It’s fine child, I didn’t appreciate the silence of nature at your age either. When you find the joy of the silence of nature, please appreciate it,” the old lady said. I stood there dumbfounded, that sentence hadn’t made sense at all. This old lady was definitely crazy. I turned around to leave, but then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and saw the old lady still with her eyes closed and sitting on the swing. “Darling where are you going? Come enjoy the silence with me,” said the old lady in a mellow tone, so mellow that it seemed creepy. “Miss I really need to go back ho-,” I said just before I was about to get stabbed in the ear. “I don’t have a choice but to be stuck in silence,”was the last thing I heard from the lady.

I shrieked, waking myself up from the nightmare. What was that? I’ve never have such vivid nightmares. My heart was racing and a tear had rolled down my face. Why must you make me remember such terrible experiences? I already feel guilty enough. I’ll appreciate having the sense of hearing once you stop torturing me about it. I couldn’t do anything for my friend, no one could.

Michelle R- Haltom Middle School

I am From

I am from the world in my head, where literally anything is possible.

I have big beautiful midnight blue wings.

Flying is all I have to do to feel free.

Like I’m not locked in a cage with expectations

Of being the perfect model they want.

And I know as soon as my feet hit the ground,

I’ll still be free.

Kenzie A- Smithfield Middle School

A Dream?

Jake awoke groggily, slowly raising his head from a soft bed of grass. Wait...grass? He rubbed his eyes, attempting to wipe away his sleepiness, and observed his surroundings. He was lying on a field of grass sprinkled with varied bright colors of flowers, each one appearing more unnatural than the last he saw. A couple of dragonflies circled the field like children running in their yard. Jake squinted hard when he tilted his head up a bit, after forcing his eyes to greet the sun. The sun created a warm glow for everything it’s rays shone on; a small part of dawn remained close to the horizon. The sky was a blend of light blue, indigo, and purple, giving the entire place a fantastical sensation. The most bizarre part of this place, were the cotton ball-like pink clouds, sort of slowly swirling around the sky. The vibrance almost unnerved Jake, because no normal world could appear this colorful. Now, the real question, how did Jake get here? He’s never been to any place even remotely similar to where he was now, and he didn’t remember falling asleep. Last he remembered, he was sitting in his room reading his- Oh. He was reading his new fantasy novel, sitting on his bed. He must’ve fallen asleep while he was reading! Now he remembered the description of the sky when he was reading. ‘The sunrise was clouded with outstanding color, and the clouds were twisting and spiraling through the sky.’ When Jake had pictured the scene, he hadn’t thought of anything this beautiful. The sunrise must’ve been breathtaking.

His concern decreased, and his fascination got the best of him so he decided to stand up. Everything felt so real. The breeze was cool, blowing all around him. There were blooming eucalyptus trees surrounding the field he was in, all with light pink blossoms peeking from the leaves; they looked like specks of tiny puffs of cotton candy. Suddenly Jake remembered a part of the description. ‘Below the field lied a sparkling clear lake, standing in between the field and the kingdom of Wendril, bustling with merchants and subjects.’ It wasn’t one of the most descriptive lines, but nonetheless gave the scene. Jake turned and walked forward, pushing aside a couple of eucalyptus branches, and realized he was on a hill. The hill declined gradually, and led to a lake, which glistened from the reflection of the sun. He was amazed with what his mind could come up with during dreams. There was another hill on the other side of the lake, and Jake could see something made of stone peering over it. Curiosity overtook him; he walked down the grassy hill, and noticed the difference between the hill and the large valley he was in. The grass surrounding the lake was more swampy than he expected, and there was mud in a few places. The lake appeared significantly less magical than the rest of the world he was in. As he climbed the other hill, he felt more athletic than he was in the real world. He climbed with ease, and gaped at the sight before him. Indeed there was a kingdom, and it was the brightest, most fantastic place he had ever seen. There were merchants selling items to beggars and aristocrats alike, and children were running and playing through streets. Happiness radiated from the town, and everyone seemed to enjoy each other’s company. It seemed too perfect. Unnervingly perfect. Jake had a rotten feeling in his stomach. He decided he could explore the town, since he seemed to be stuck here for the duration of his sleep. At the town square, there were priests selling bibles on multiple street corners, clothing salesmen, and a couple of weapons like swords, daggers, and bows were being sold. No one seemed to be giving them any business, though. Jake was getting strange looks, definitely from his real-world clothes. He felt something clinking together in his pockets, and he discovered four shiny golden coins. The people around him were mainly using silver coins, and a couple people stared at the coins, confused. Evidently, the golden coins were the highest currency here. He looked around and saw the weapon stand, and one of the signs under the sword said exactly four pieces of gold. That seemed a bit too coincidental for Jake not to buy the sword. He stepped over to the empty stand and admired the sword. He had never seen a sword up close in real life, considering he was a suburban teenager, and he never really had a chance to. Even then he still knew the sword was extremely high quality. The hilt was made of a rustic bronze metal in a pattern swirling towards the blade, which was very sharpened and new. The weapon merchant observed Jake’s gaze, and almost strutted up to him.

“Fancy the sword?” He boomed with a thick English accent, grinning with a few rotten teeth.

Jake nodded, “Yes, sir.”

The merchant leaned over the sword on the table. “Well, you’ve got enough coin to buy it, boy?” His voice was loud and a bit irritating, but excited. Jake handed the gold from his pocket to the merchant and picked up the sword. It was heavy in his hands, but not nearly as heavy as it should have been. The merchant handed him a leather sheath decorated with bronze swirls, like ancient cursive.

“Thank you, sir.” Jake smiled and left the stand, holding the sword down from the hilt awkwardly. Suddenly, a minute later, a scream erupted from a jongleur running through the street. “Monster!” The boy shouted, backing up quickly in the other direction. Every single townie in the square turned their head and immediately bolted the same way as the jongleur. A dark shadow began covering the kingdom ominously, and it was coming from the direction Jake had come from. He looked up, and lo and behold, a scaly, swampy dragon emerged over a tall stone building. Well it was almost a dragon; it didn’t have wings. He glanced at the sword, and then back up at the dragon. The main character of the story, Chance, was not showing up. Evidently, it was Jake who was to defeat the dragon. The dragon was pretty thin compared to stereotypical dragons in stories, but the teeth and claws were just as sharp. It wasn’t hard for it to squeeze between the buildings, and claw at everything in sight. There were stairs attached to a few of the buildings and towers, so that people could reach some of the higher story rooms. Jake saw that the dragon was coming across the opening to the town square. He backed up and, with a rush of random adrenaline, ran to the stairs, climbed, unsheathed the sword, and sliced at the dragon with his new weapon. In reaction, the dragon clawed towards Jake, and hissed at the sword hit. Jake fell to the ground, and felt his arm stung with a new open wound. Pain coursed through his arm, and his eyes became tearful. Then he realized something. You’re not supposed to feel pain in a dream, right? Except, he knew that his arm was in pain; excruciating pain. A sudden thought swept over Jake’s mind: Is this not a dream?

Raif O- North Richland Middle School

All Together

We are all together a giant, strong elm tree

As individuals, we are tiny fragile leaves,

Easily swayed by the wind and

Crushed beneath the smallest force

Together, we are a firm rooted tree, immobile

And stuck together, living, and existing

For hundreds years time