vol. 3, edition: 2 November 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

Phylicia M- Smithfield Middle School


With my stomach in knots and silent prayers rushing through my head, awaiting the results of my brothers tests, hoping everything was okay. So many different things could be happening to him. I felt so out of control, this was the type of thing I couldn't protect him from and that terrified me. I didn’t know what to do, so as a release of frustration and anger, I tapped my foot so fast that it looked like it was vibrating.

It all started when my little brother, Joshua, got sick at school. He was on bedrest for an entire week, and had terrible headaches the whole time. My mom went to the store and came back with two bottles of “Gummi Bear Children’s Vitamins”. She said she wanted us to start taking them everyday, so we didn’t get sick like Joshua did. She gave us each two of the gummies, and we all went into the living room to watch a movie together. Just like any other normal day.

Gabriel, my youngest brother, slowly got up and slowly wandered to the bathroom. He came out about two minutes later and continued to watch the movie just like he was before. Once the movie ended, Gabriel got up once again, this time to get my blanket so he could take a nap. Suddenly, we started hearing noises, the sound of my brother throwing up. My mom took him into the bathroom and told me to call my dad. We needed someone to watch the other kids while we took him to the hospital.

We frantically got into the car with only an extra pair of Gabe’s clothes and the bottle of vitamins. We drove about a mile from our apartment to a pediatric emergency room. We waited there for about twenty minutes just to be told that our insurance wouldn’t go through. We then drove another mile away to “Memorial Hermann Hospital”. They put us in a room,and we told the doctor the entire story. We gave her the bottle and watched her take a couple of tests. She left and we waited to find out if he was okay.

About twenty minutes later she came into the room. “The vitamins don’t have iron in them, and that’s the only reason he’s okay. He probably threw up because he ate too many. I would suggest throwing these away and replacing them with powdered supplements that can dissolve into milk, water, and juice.” I was so relieved. It felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted off of my shoulders. We picked up dinner and then drove home.When we got to the apartment we all ate together, and when we laid down for bed, we knew everything was okay.Even after such a stressful day, everything was okay.

After going through this frightening experience, I learned that it’s really important to pay attention to pay attention to your surroundings. I also learned about the fact that minuscule details can change situations in drastic ways. I think that this moment in time gave me a new, more cautious outlook on life.

Chloe B- North Ridge Middle School

The Heart of Fluff

I think I got the zoomies-- Oh boy I’m so excited!

Growl-- who are you new human?!

Sniff sniff, lick lick, bark bark.

I do not smell like squirrel poop… NO BATH!

Wimper, why did you leave me in that cage?

Did you say treat?

The moon is as impressive as the thousands of stars in the sky that fill my eyes of shine and luster.

I…. Must…. LICK HIM!!!

I am the almighty Shiba-Chi Lord.

I will protect Amy and everything she loves with my life.

Any intruder that comes for Amy will not be afraid to- SQUIRREL!

My nose dragged me off into the kitchen-- I smell bacon!

The plate echoes as it hit the floor.

On that day I’m pretty sure I ran faster than a moving car!

I really wanted that food.

Drool melted down my mouth as I ran to my human. I greet her with a smile.

I get to have the savory, delicious cookie treat.

I almost felt the Earth move still.

The warmth of a million hearts made me fall deep asleep.

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Aubrey G- Haltom Middle School

The Day of Mystery

Screaming, yelling, and crying. I heard this all on April, 21, 2012, and I was terrified. My mom had been yelling at my dad, and then ended up yelling at me to get in the car with my grandma and grandpa. My heart did not skip a beat, and I ran outside and jumped in the car with my grandparents, not knowing what was going on, or what was going to happen next.

We arrived at the hospital, and my mind went blank. We went inside through the double doors and walked to the front desk. A lady working there was nice. She gave us a number and kindly said, “have a good day.” I was only five years old at the time, and a lot of thoughts were flowing through my mind. For example: What was the number she gave us? Was everything okay? Was I in trouble? I had no idea, but I did know that I was terrified.

We walked to the elevator. The number the lady gave us was 613 which was on the sixth floor. We arrived at the sixth floor at the DING of the elevator. We walked down the long hallway to room 613. My mind was racing.

I walked in the hospital room to see my mother smiling and my dad crying tears of joy. I looked at my mom, and she was holding a weird creature. She then asked me “would you like to hold your new baby brother?” The first thing I thought was “brother?” but the first thing I said was, “yes!”

Victoria C- Watauga Middle School

Tick Tock

goes the clock.

When will this moment last?

everything goes so fast.

One hand is rushing

the other hand is resting

Have I seen this number before?

I´ll just run a little more.

Now I´ve ran too fast

or maybe it's because you´ve already passed

Gabe W- Smithfield Middle School

My Most Fearful Moment

Panic arose as I saw that awful sight. Frightened, I questioned am I going to be alright? Most importantly though, how is this going to affect my future and everyday life? This injury is going to most definitely change my life in ways you would never know physically, and mentally.

It had just been a regular morning at Jack C. Binion elementary school, with all of the regular things. There was normal math, reading, science, and all of our morning routines. But that normal day I was talking about was about to go down the drain. It all started when we were going to recess on that very dreadful playground. It was a nice cool day outside on a Monday morning. I was just playing with my friends on the equipment like usual, when I thought it would be cool to jump off the push up bar. Well, that didn’t end up quite as planned. When I jumped off a classmate ran right under me, so I attempted to dodge him but landed right on my arm! When I looked up I saw my arm was in the shape of a U. I don’t remember it hurting because it all happened so fast. The only thing I did was panic.

When my teacher, which by the way was very quick minded, rushed me immediately into the school nurse's office. The nurse put a cardboard splint on me to temporarily hold it up until my parents could get me and take me to the emergency room. When my dad, who arrived first got into the nurse’s office he tried to keep me calm and relax me. When my mom got there she did the exact same thing as my dad did. Right after, they took me to the emergency room. When we got there they wanted to see my arm, which meant I had to take off the splint. I let the doctor take it off, but I had to look away because I didn’t want to see that awful sight again. Afterwards they took us back to into a room where they put me into another temporary cast/splint, just this time it was a little better material. The doctor that put the temporary cast on was very nice and had a good sense of humor. It was something nice to take my mind off my arm. The fact that I still remember that to this day really shows something. I really appreciate how he comforted me that day, itś something that I will probably remember for the rest of my life. Unfortunately my crazy day had to get just a little bit crazier. The emergency room sent me to the Cook Children's hospital in downtown Ft. Worth for surgery! When we got to the hospital we had to wait for a little while because we weren't quite as urgent as some of the other people there. We were called back into a room with a nurse, where she informed us about how the surgery was going to go. The thing that frightened me the most was that I had never had surgery before or one I could actually remember. Also there was the part where I was going to have a needle injected into my hand to knock me out so I didn't feel anything. So I hugged my mom and dad, then they poked me with a needle and I was out in a matter of seconds. While I was out, the doctors reset the Radius and Ulna bones in my forearm so it was in the correct shape again! I faintly remember waking up just as they were pushing me out to the waiting room where my parents were waiting, well I wonder where the waiting room got it got its name. I was really loopy or out of it after the surgery. I had to wait about an hour before I could leave the hospital. When I finally could leave they had to wheel me out in a wheelchair. I was in an orange cast that went from my hand all the way up to my shoulder! I was out of school for a week, so that was a bonus. Unfortunately I had to go to the hospital every other week to check up on my arm for four months!

During that time, I was excluded from so many things I love to do. It was very hard mentally and physically for me. It was difficult to just sit on the sidelines and not be able to do anything. At least I didn't break my right arm or I would have had some serious issues. Finally the day came when I got to get my cast off. First they had to saw off the cast! It looked like it was going to hurt, but the nurse sawed on her arm first and told me it doesn't cut your skin or hurt. After it was off they asked ¨if we wanted to keep it?¨ We were like ¨no way¨ because it smelled so bad. When we excited the hospital for the first time without my cast on it was like I was finally free again. It felt absolutely amazing to not have it on anymore.

Even though the breaking of my arm caused some very rough times for me, it has helped me become a better person. It has taught me how be a very patient person even when it may be hard to, and to always be careful and pay attention to what Iḿ doing no matter what it is, even if it just jumping off a push up bar. Lastly, I appreciate all of the people that helped me get through my tough times, like amazing doctors that kept me healthy, my family, and friends and classmates.

Astra Y- North Ridge Middle School

The Perks to Drawing

The pride I take

in the drawings I make

is more than you would think.

The concentration I use

is a thing I’ll never lose.

When I finish, I draw… Again!

And when I pass by the art store,

I wish I had a pen.

A pen to express myself,

my feelings and trends.

My secret resort,

my private island.

Much better than a trip to the beach,

or sighting upon the highlands.

The smell of the ink.

My eyes not allowing a blink.

The paper feels dry.

I feel like I’m going to cry!

I try not to make a mistake, I try.

In the end, my drawing could be Picasso’s.

Or who knows, maybe even Vincent Van Gogh’s.

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Ethan R- Watauga Middle School


Something mysterious, glowing in the sky.

Coming closer, but no one knew why.

People were scared, as it soared fast.

But were relieved, as it flew right past.

Avent K- Haltom Middle School

Breathtaking, Literally

Going to a waterpark should be a memorable moment. However, you would not expect it to be a bad memorable moment, and that is exactly what happened to me.

My family and I were having so much fun at this waterpark in California. My family was staying in the lazy river with the cool water gently pushing their tubes around. Meanwhile, I rode every slide they had to offer!

It was starting to get dull, and I was wondering what I should do next. Somehow the cool air and smell of funnel cakes that I could smell from a mile away brought me an idea. I decided to go fast on a remarkable slide that I had been avoiding: The Freefall. This slide went twice as fast as any other slide, and my nine-year-old brain thought this was a good idea.

I waited in line for what seemed like forever. The whirling echo of screaming of other riders ended, so I got on the tube to start my turn. The lifeguard told me I was “good to go,” and I was overcome with a rush of fear, but decided to still go. I pushed the walls to gain speed and thrust myself forward. “WOOOOO!” I screamed in excitement as I flew jet fast down the ride. The fresh air was slicing through me as I yelled.

Little did I know that the end of the slide I suddenly CRASHED into the water at a steep drop. The air I was breathing betrayed me, waving goodbye. I panicked. I saw my mom waiting for me at the end of the ride. I tried to get up when the slide slowed down, but it felt like there was a snake constricting around my neck as I began choking. My mom looked at me with concern turning to fear. Her teary eyes stared into my soul and may have hurt me more than the actual accident.


Raegan B- North Oaks Middle School

I Am

I am clear yet esoteric

I wonder why our world is so quick to depravity

I hear the cries of my brothers and sisters

I see them fall

I want to be a daybreak to those who only see dusk

I am clear yet esoteric

I pretend its not there

I still feel the urge to slide open the doors

I touch the brighter colors

I worry for those who won't turn their tables

I cry for those who never had the chance

I am clear yet esoteric

I understand some things won't change

I say one step takes you miles away

I dream of a better destination

I try to make it real

I hope it will be

I am clear yet esoteric

Caiden C- North Ridge Middle School

I was walking up to bat. We were in the final inning, tied six to six. If I hit the ball or walked and made it home, we would win. Readying myself, focusing on the ball, I swung, and missed. Getting back into position, the ball soared towards me, and this time I was jolted by the vibration of the bat and a loud CRACK! I was so surprised. I stood there, not knowing what to do. Finally, I realized what had happened, and took off, speeding to first base. Everyone on my team was cheering for me. I was determined to make it home.

My teammate had already walked up to bat, and the pitcher was getting ready to throw. I was jolted to another CRACK! The ball landed right behind the second baseman, and I began to run faster. Before the second baseman could tag me out, I had already slid underneath him. If I could make it to second base, I could make it to home.

As the pitcher got ready for his next pitch, I took a huge lead, not worrying about the pitcher turning around and getting me out. He pitched towards the batter, and I ran. I easily made it to third. It was the final stretch. I told myself again, if I make it home, we win.

The ball lurched forward, and my teammate hit the ball to outfield. I ran slowly, taking my time, and scored. I went back into the dugout, and my team congratulated me. I was extremely excited to have finally hit the ball and pulled my team ahead for the victory.

Alain T- Haltom Middle School

There are many characteristics you need to be a great leader. Here are some astonishing leaders that I believe have the most important characteristics.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a very open-minded individual. He believed that everybody should be treated the same despite their ethnicity, race, or skin color. MLK also conducted many speeches during The Civil Rights Movement and viewed his ideas and conflicts in a way many other people didn’t view at the time.

Another brilliant leader with great characteristics is Rosa Parks. Rosa parks was an African-American who was dedicated to standing up for her rights, and refused to get off the bus when told to sit where the people of color were supposed to sit. She was an inspiration to people and also helped lead The Civil Rights Movement.

Lastly, Barack Obama. He was the 44th president of the United States and the first African-American to be the president. He was elected twice. Mr. Obama was a inspiration to all people. He tried to assemble passports for immigrants and raise awareness and much more. I believe he is someone many people should look up to.

Without the sacrifices of leaders like MLK and Rosa Parks, Obama might have not been president without their great leadership.

Ava H- North Ridge Middle School

Candy Land of Dreams

The sweet little lollipops

And the yummy little gumdrops

All in a lovely land of dreams

With tons of ice creams

A chocolate filled river

With candy getting delivered

This delicious place isn’t on the map

Did I fall for a yummy trap?

No! No! I can’t go

I can’t leave the cookie dough

But some things don’t last long

And before you know it, your alarm will be going ding-dong!

All the candy will be gone

Once it hits about dawn

But tomorrow the sweets will come back

And there will be sticky sweet snacks

Kayleigh B- Watauga Middle School

The night was silent. The eerie kind of silent, like what happened before an attack, or a surprising secret. And then the air was suddenly filled with howls. Hungry, desperate howls. Wolf howls.

A lynx, brown fur a light fawn fitting for the winter, suddenly broke out into a run over the snow. She was slowed by the heavy weight of her stomach, which bulged out in a way that screamed, "I'm almost having cubs!" Still, she was flying over the ground, huge paws slapping against the snow and sending up sprays of powder in her wake. She narrowed her dark brown eyes and looked around briefly to realize she was heading straight towards a ravine, surrounded on either side with tall, steep stone walls, the only way to pass through it going straight ahead. She tried to veer off to the side, turn away from the ravine before she entered it, but a wolf leaped out at her and drove her back. She had no choice but to race into the ravine, the runway narrow and the wolves too close.

She picked up speed, but the terrain was too unfamiliar, too small and twisting for her to run through confidently. She almost tripped and careened straight into the wall at a tight turn, pushing off with her hind legs and feeling a claw catch and slice a wolf's nose. The creature yelped, falling back and letting one of its pack mates take its place. The lynx hardly had time to gloat over her success, continuing to sprint through the ravine with only instinct to carry her on and hope she could escape before it was too late.

She leaped clean over a small stream, which came from a small hole in the wall and left through another hole in the other. The wolves splashed through it with about as much grace as a flying chicken, but their speed did not waver, so the lynx's didn't either. She could hear a few wolves howling up on the top of the walls on each side, encouraging the wolves below because they themselves couldn't jump down to join the chase. The howls seemed to fill her pursuers with strength, for she heard their panting increase, felt the puffs of warm air on her behind, and sensed they were gaining on her.

She didn't have much time.

And then, by some sort of curse they happened upon a dead end, a sheer wall that blocked the lynx from running. The wolves on top continued howling and baying, an odd sort of cheer. The lynx was about to slow down and accept her fate when she glanced up the wall.

It was not a curse, but a blessing!

It was not a dead end, but merely a raised platform. The wolves would not be able to jump up. She just had to hope she could leap high enough and not be weighted too much by her stomach.

She prepared herself, rocketing forward with speed and ferocity she didn't know she had. And then she jumped.

Her claws caught on the edge, and she pulled herself up, panting heavily. The wolves below snarled and howled in frustration, their kill snatched from them.

The lynx ignored them, slowly walking away until the sounds faded and disappeared.

Ayla L- Haltom Middle School

My Cats

My cats

Don’t like hats

They would rather

Chase some bats

They like to eat tortillas

Straight out of the bag

They blow up my house

When nobodies home

They ripped all the tines

Out of the comb

When nobodies home

They eat all of our food

And when we come back

They’re in a good mood

They get into the cabinets

To eat all the food

Even tried to eat a magnet

Found out when he pooed

But my cats are great

Even if I don’t know what they ate

They’re the best

Oh no

I’m obsessed!

Carrie M- Richland Middle School

Role Models

By Carrie Miller

Role models are very prominent in today’s society, but are they really as important as we think?

Yes, role models are very important! Three of the main reasons are: they give you a goal to achieve, they show you how to act, and they can help you through problems.

First, role models give you a goal. It does not matter if your goal is to get healthy, or happy, or anything in between. Looking up to someone is how you discover change. If you see someone striving to get healthy, and it’s working great for them, you would do what they’re doing.

Secondly, they teach you how to act. When you watch your role model do something that benefits them, you are going to act like them to get those benefits. They are showing you your “ideal” way of life.

Lastly, they can help you through problems. Now, they won’t come up to you in person and talk through the problem necessarily, but they can help you without realizing it. If you look up to them, and act similarly, then chances are that they’ve had those problems as well! Because they have had the same problems, you can see how they got through it. Once you know how, you can get the issue solved, and then feel like your role model did!

Role models are more valuable than we realize. They give usa goal, teach us how to act, and help us solve our problems. The next time you think about your role model, think about how important they are to you!

Brenden T- Smithfield Middle School


In the air

Beside a hand

On the floor

Into a hoop

Under a player

In a hand

Through legs

Beside the sideline

Into the crowd

Behind a back

Through the paint

Over a head

In the ref’s arms

In the bleachers

By the steps

Where people forgot about me

Kaitlyn S- North Oaks Middle School


The air outside is unsustainable to breath in. It is polluted with deadly chemicals and radiant gas form a factory explosion. The metropolis and its people are in great danger.

October 30, 2076, 5 minutes before the explosion.

“So y’all ready for Halloween?” Abigail said cheerfully.

“Yep it is the only time of the year where I can scare little kids, and take their candy.” said Jabez with a wide smile.

“Dude we talked about this.” said Nina in a frustrated tone. “You will not scary kids, and take their candy while they are crying”

“Well I am stay here tonight.” said Kaleb.

“You are staying home tonight. Wow you are so…” the t.v interrupted Jabez before he could finished.

“We interrupt your television program with breaking news.” the news reporter exclaimed.

“Hey could you turn the volume up Nina?” said Abigail. She was slightly nervous. Breaking news was very rare in Georgia, but if the was it was super horrible.

“There has been a factory explosion in Marietta, Georgia. The explosion released deadly chemicals out into the air. We advise you to not go outside, the air is poisonous to breath in. Lock all windows and close all doors, block anyway for the air outside from getting in your house. Rescue planes and cars will get to you as soon as possible. Thank you for understanding and stay. Tyler Jones signing off.” When the new reporter finished the t.v switch back to the t.v show they were watching earlier. Everyone was staring wide eyed at the t.v.

“Well that ruined my Halloween plans.” said Jabez throwing his hands up.

“I think we have bigger problems then that.” Nina said frustrated.

“Yeah” Kaleb chimed in.“Who knows how long until the rescue team gets here. We could here for…” Abigail screamed cutting Kaleb off.

“The..the...the” Abigail stuttered

“Come on, spit it out!” Jabez yelled.

“The...the...WINDOW!” Abigail screamed out in fear.

“What is that. Is that a zombie” Nina questioned. They all were quite for a while until Jabez muttered something under his breath “Wait, no, it can’t be” he said with a questioning tone.

“What” Kaleb, Abigail, and Nina said in unison.

“So I read this nonfiction article.” Jabez said.

“Hold up you read? A nonfiction book?” Kaleb said surprised.

“That’s not the point.” Jabez said rolling his eyes “So I read this article, and it was talking about people mutating if they somehow survive breathing in the deadly chemicals. They would morph into a monster type thing.”

“So basically the moment the air make contact with your lungs you could morph into a monster?” Abigail asked.

“Yes, you could morph, or you could umm...die.” Jabez said. But you would die either way.”

“Oh well how are we supposed to get rid of that thing?” Abigail said pointing to the window. The mutant was banging on the window. Now the mutant was banging harder. They were all horrified.

“Maybe if we go into a different room the monster will just leave because we left.” Abigail suggested.

“Possibly, or they would just break down the door or something to find us.” Kaleb added

“Yeah, but at least we would be in a different room” Nina said. “Come on lets go to the closet it blocks out the air float from outside, plus there is no windows.” The moment they started to walk to the closet they heard a crack. They all slowly turned around, and saw that the mutant had cracked the window.

“Run!” Kaleb yelled! They were all screaming and they finally reached the closet Abigail ran to the corner and curled up into a little ball.

“I feel weird.” Nina said looking like she was going to pass out. “My...my lungs feel like they are on fire.”

“No Nina, you can’t leave us like this.” Jabez said shaking her really hard.

“Did she breath in the poisonous air?! If she did i thought the moment the air makes contact with your lungs you die or…” Kaleb pauses staring wide eyed to Nina, he backed into the wall “or turned into a mutant.” his voice shaking with fear in not only his life ,but in his friends life. Then Nina collapsed.

“AHHH!” Abigail screamed “Nina!” Abigail bursted into tears.

“Does anyone have there phone?” Jabez said with a shaking voice.

“He...he...here.” Abigail handed him her phone. Jabez called 911, but no one answers.

“Ugh” Jabez yelled.

“What.” Kaleb questioned.

“No one is picking up!” Jabez said with a tome hinting that he was about to cry.

“Looks like we just have to wait until the rescue team gets here.” Kaleb said sounding depressed.

They waited for 2 hours before the rescue team to get them. They got to safety and rushed Nina to the hospital. She was in a coma for 3 weeks.

This is not the first, and will not be the last. Marietta, Georgia is cursed. Every 50 years this event happens again, and taking new lives with it.

Ayrina L- North Ridge Middle School

The Doomed Quilt

Peace filled the air. The birds chirped, the sun shone and it seemed that the best thing to do was settle down and read. Suddenly Dad’s voice shattered all peace. “Ayrina! Come over to the living room. I have a great idea!” Dad called. Curious, I slowly walked to the living room, wondering what scheme could possibly have popped into Dad’s head this time. On the old, brown couch sat Dad, in his favorite black T-shirt and shorts, holding a cheap polyester sheet. That’s odd, I thought. Dad’s brought out the sewing kits, yet he never does anything with a needle. “Dad, what’s all this about?” I inquired. Dad hurriedly explained while I idly toyed with a loose thread from my tattered, white pajamas. “Ayrina, we should make a quilt together. It’ll be fun and we can bond as father and daughter.” I thought about the request for a minute and immediately connected this to a book, also about a quilt, I had just checked out from the library. Generations would tell stories around the quilt, and descendants would pass it down for centuries. My legacy would last forever!

However, Dad’s ideas appeared different from mine. “See, we’ll cut out squares of fabric and stitch them on.” When I noticed how much space we had to fill, felt flooded with skepticism. The sheet also looked unusually thin for a quilt. “Hey Dad!” I exclaimed, “That blanket doesn’t look warm enough for a quilt.” “We’ll buy thick fabric and sew it on when we finish the design,” Dad replied. The explanation didn’t sound watertight, but all skepticism disappeared once I realized I had an opportunity to sew. I could finally do something big, and we’ld even have a nice present for Mom. This project could also be a fantastic chance to use old clothes. However, another part of my brain thought that the weather seemed perfect for reading outside. On the other hand, Dad looked so excited and I realized I probably wouldn’t have another chance to make a quilt. “OK,” I agreed. “Let’s start.” “Great. Now keep this a secret and we’ll surprise Mom with it,” Dad whispered. Eager to begin, I snatched a old, purple skirt from the fabric pile.

I carefully selected a metal needle. I licked the black thread which felt odd, before inserting it into the needle. I grabbed the scissors and started cutting a sloppy square, the blades making a swoosh sound as they neatly sliced through the fabric. Once that was finished, I undertook the arduous task of tying a knot in the thread. Dad copied me with a ragged, stained white shirt. Unfortunately, after only a few minutes I had stitched half a square on while Dad had finished two! How can Dad sew so quickly? Immediately, I started working faster. “Look Dad, I’ve already finished one,” I bragged. “Well I’ve finished three,” Dad retorted. Sure enough, on the opposite end of the sheet, lay three squares of fabric. “If I tried, I could easily sew faster than you!” I exclaimed. “All right. I challenge you to a competition,” Dad replied. Determined to beat my competitive father, I began sewing as fast as possible. After about 15 minutes of this, an ocean of sweat had erupted from my fingers, and Dad had finished twice as many squares as I had. Accepting defeat, I asked, “How can you sew so quickly?” “Years of practice,” Dad answered. After some brief examination, I discovered the knots slowed me down. To correct this, I tried pulling the thread extremely hard, but the thread just broke. At that moment, the sheer amount of work required to finish such a large project sank in. Nevertheless, I continued to sew with all my might.

In half an hour, I had managed to attach 12 pieces and the alternating pink, purple and white aesthetic practically leaped off the sheet. Unfortunately, sweat drenched my hands, and the needle slipped out of them. Naturally, I started panicking. After the initial shock wore off, all sorts of thoughts and circumstances flew through my hand. Thoughts regarding the number of needles already lost and Mom’s reaction when she finds out another needle disappeared. “Dad!” I yelled. “I dropped a needle!” “Did you see where it went?” Dad anxiously asked. “No!” I answered. “Maybe it fell on the pillow?” Dad suggested. We both started freaking out. I analyzed every possible place the needle could have landed and strained my eyes searching for the needle. I shoved the quilt aside and turned over the couch cushions. The musty smell from the couch wafted upwards. The ridges of the rug scratched against my leg. Thoughts darted like hawks through my brain. What if Dane swallows it? What if it ends up in our food? What if someone sits on it and it punctures their butt? Suddenly, I saw a glimmer. I had found the needle! “Phew! I found it Dad,” I called. “We sure dodged a bullet there!” Dad joked.

At of nowhere, we heard the scratchy sound of a key unlocking a door. Mom had apparently finished shopping. The golden 313 on our door briefly flashed before Mom slammed the door shut with a whistle and a bang. Mom moved so fast, her orange T-shirt and blue shorts turned into colorful blurs. At the moment, her face held a withering expression, and her annoyed fury practically seethed off her. Immediately, I knew better than to cross paths with her. “Honey! On the way home a box fell off a pick-up truck and nearly hit a dozen cars. Then two sports cars ran a red light and almost caused a crash. These California drivers!” Mom shrieked. She must have had an extremely stressful week to react so badly to comparatively minor occurrences. I planned to slip off to my room and wait for Mom to quickly burn herself out when I noticed Mom gazing quite intently at the quilt. A bit scared, I awaited Mom’s verdict on it.

“What is this trash?” Mom hissed. Her voice cutting as sharp as a knife and her Korean accent gradually revealing itself. “This will only clutter up the house! Pure junk and it belongs in the trash!” Mom barked. As Mom whisked the quilt away, I felt the cool wind it made. Mom opened the trash can, and the scent of rotten orange peels floated out. I started to feel tears forming in my eyes. “Don’t cry Ayrina,” Dad comforted. You only lost a quilt. It never occured to me that I could salvage it later, but I did notice that Mom’s reaction definitely resulted from too much stress. Mom in her rage, had slammed the garbage can lid on at a slightly crooked angle with a tiny corner of the quilt peeking out. Instantly, I sought the safety of my room.

In my room, I silently read my book leaning against my small bed. Sunlight streamed through the leaves outside, gently illuminating them. Mom slowly eased the door open, her voice much calmer. “Ayrina. I’m sorry for lashing out at you. The concept probably could have turned out fantastic. Would you like to work on it together?. Reflecting on the quilt, I understood how little thought Dad and I had put into the project. We probably would have ran out of fabric at some point. “No Mom. I don’t want to waste time on a project that will likely fail,” I replied. “Ok.” Mom answered. That day I learned that dreams don’t always work out, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have worked. I learned that outside forces can certainly affect the outcome of ideas for better or for worse.

Regina A- Haltom Middle School


You fly as

High as the sun

Can go you’re a

Million colors you’re

A gentle feather

Flying around

The world your

A butterfly

Kai F- Richland Middle School

Role Models

Role models. You hear about them all the time, but why are they so important?

Firstly, role models are important because kids and teens need someone to look up to in life. Without a role model, most people wouldn’t have a starting point for life. They’d probably be really lost right now.

Role models are also important since they might keep people from doing bad or harmful things to themselves or other people. Some people might want to do harm to themselves, but they could think of their role models and stop themselves from doing anything to themselves.

Another reason role models are important is because they could be a good influence. Everyone has done something good in their life, right? Well, there’s a good chance that it was because of a role model. Most role models are good influences because they usually know about the people who look up to them. To make a good impression, they might do good to make the people they influence do good, too.

Role models are important because they set good examples, spread positivity, and make the people who follow them do good.

Asher C- Smithfield Middle School

Journey To The Woods

The smell of the pine trees in mid-winter pull me into the woods. What will I find? I thought, hoping it would be a baby deer or something like that. As I walked into the woods I stumbled upon a nest, but the nest was destroyed. What once was a family home is now a burnt pile of sticks. When I picked it up I saw the scorch marks all over the sides of the nest, someone had done this on purpose. After a minute or two I gathered up the sticks and put them in the soft, cold pocket of my jeans so I could take it home and make a new nest out of it.

When I got back to my cabin I witnessed my mom and dad fighting, they have been doing this a lot recently. They have been talking about getting divorced, but I think they will be fine. They’ve been fighting a lot about where we should settle, the choices are Anchorage, Alaska, or my dad’s hometown Santa Fe, New Mexico. But this choice isn’t easy for dad because he wants to be an independent family, but also be close to family. I would much rather stay here though. The trees and the birds are vibrant and beautiful while in New Mexico, there are dry, hot desert areas me and mom aren’t used to at all.

Dad hits me. But I don’t ever tell anyone, except mom. She never cares though, she’s too occupied crying about her own problems. Her work, marriage, and money are all more important than my safety. I don’t complain though because if I do it’s Beatville, USA for me. Dad beats me when I get a B in math or if I forget to do something. Dad is okay on hunts though, that’s where we forget about him beating me.

Dad and I go hunting every Saturday and this time I’m making mom go with us. My dad didn’t like this idea one bit, so he didn’t talk to her the whole trip. Where we live isn’t the only thing they are fighting about because if it was, that would be ridiculous. Mom hates Grandma, Dad’s mom, so much that she doesn’t show up to Christmas dinner when Dad invites Grandma. I love Grandma, but that doesn’t mean I like her. She is mean and old fashioned and nags at Mom and I. She nags at us for the way we’re dressed, our posture, and even Mom’s cooking. My dad hates that Mom doesn’t like Grandma because he loves her to death. Every time she comes over his face lights up with joy. To our annoyance Dad doesn’t even care if she hurts our feelings. One time mom told him about what Grandma was doing, and he told her she was being stupid.

The hunt went well in my view. We shot a couple of squirrels and rabbits. But Dad gave Mom the job of skinning the animals we shot. I didn’t let her because on the first squirrel she screamed and cried. After I took over, my dad secretly hit me. When my mom found out, she went crazy and that day Mom and I moved out of our house and moved to an apartment in a small town by the name of Freedomville, Alaska.

The first few nights there we both cried. But after two weeks or so, we forgot about Dad. Mom said there was a forest behind the apartment complex, so I went to go check it out. It was beautiful. Even more beautiful than our house’s private forest. The trees glistening in the dullness of this sleepy town. The white and red roses popping out of the snow. The moose drinking from an unfrozen pool of water. Beautiful birds singing songs, and him. A black and white baby husky with big, green eyes. That day I took him home. Mom frowned when I entered the small room. She told me that a small living space like ours is not fit for a dog. I told her that if we let her go she would be hunted or worse. When she heard this she immediately responded with, “Ok fine.” I named her Emerald.

Emerald was my new hunting dog that I would bring with me to hunt. The fist trip is the one Mom came to; we didn’t catch anything. Distracted by our brand new puppy we didn’t realize that Dad was following us. When Emerald barked at him we came to a stop. My dad just standing there, holding his arms out. Waiting for me to hug him. I didn’t want to, but I was afraid of him hitting me or something, so I did. It was frightening and awkward.

What I didn’t know was at that very moment Mom called 911 to finally tell them that Dad hits me. So I’m guessing that Dad heard her and thought that if he was going to jail he might as well beat us both. He charged at Mom and Emerald bit him. He hit Emerald back and switched to me. I bolted straight into the woods and Emerald followed. I ran as fast as I could. I remember Mom, but I kept running because I didn’t want to feel that pain again.

After a couple of minutes running for my life I come to a complete stop and threw up on a tree. Then I felt dizzy and hot, and I fell to the ground.

Because I passed out so quickly, I didn’t realize how beautiful this part of the woods was. But that was off topic so I brushed it off. Then I realized the worst, Emerald was gone. I lost my house, my family, and now my dog. I cried for a couple of hours in a cave waiting to just die, but my survival instincts kicked in and I started to create a shelter.

I guess this is home now.

Lauren M- Watauga Middle School

I look out from my fogged
small window by my bed.
Into the dark deep white blanket of
an unwelcome snow pile.

I spot a tall crooked
tree in my yard.
The same tree that’s seen flashes
of lights and water fall.

That tree also saw me.
It stared straight back into my
brown stinging
eyes. I felt like I let my guard down as
it read my past and future.

My tree grew up with me.
As I got taller, so
did she.
I told her all my darkest secrets
as a young child.
It’s been years since I’ve
climbed up
into the sky and talked
with her.

Seeing her in
this cold freezing
weather looked like
she missed me.

Ryan P- North Ridge Middle School

“Wake up Ryan, we need to go now,” A booming voice yelled through the haze of my sleep. As soon as I opened my eyes, she announced that I was going to somewhere which name I could not decipher due to sleep still at my eyelids. “Five more minutes, Mom,” I said, dreading the thought of waking up this early just to get a half off deal at Kroger or something like it. Looking past my blinds out the window, I saw that the sun hadn’t even risen yet! Just as I was preparing to go back to sleep, my mom shook me back awake into the conscious world while reminding me that this event could advance my math academics. As the morning haze cleared away, I processed her words more and more clearly until my mind screeched to a realization: this event my mother was talking about was none other than the telescope test, the event that was, as my mom said, quite important to my math academics. As I got dressed, I asked why it was this early. Last evening, we had checked the schedule, saying that it was held in the afternoon at a place called Shannon Center. My mom, looking ever so slightly annoyed,said that around midnight they had retained where the test was held but moved the test to 9 in the morning, which was only two hours away from now, I discovered, using my trustworthy radio clock. Shaking off these pieces of information for now, I finished dressing and went went to eat breakfast down the stairs where my mom had already gone.

Halfway down the stairs, my second grade mind started imagining ninjas were chasing me to liven things up. I hurried into the kitchen and rushed over to the dining table, where a bowl of cereal and a cup of milk were waiting for me. Consuming these with a record breaking speed (and almost choking myself), I dashed to the bathroom and quickly brushed my teeth until they were sparkling white. Satisfied with defeating my imaginary ninjas, I tidied up via the mirror on the wall and called out to my mother that I could go now. As my mom started to start the car, I glanced at the clock right outside the bathroom. “7:48,” I thought. “I made great time.”

Once I was in the car for what seemed like an eternity, a question popped into my mind. “Mom, how far away is Shannon Center?” “About..maybe an hour way, I think,” she replied. I nodded in acknowledgement, thankful for my hasty actions. “Um… do you know what the score is for me to pass?” I asked. Thinking for a moment, she said, “Hm... I’m pretty sure it’s a ninety.” After asking these questions, I became bored, and I started to review what someone said about the Telescope Test on a fairly reliable website my mom and I found. “Telescoping is a program that allows your child to partake in advanced classes in math, science, or reading,” I recited in my head. Then, out of the blue, my mom called out that we were there already. I blinked in surprise, and a feeling of uneasiness came over me. I suddenly toyed with the possibility of time travel to the past to prepare more for this.

However, nothing can stop the passage of time, as I had learned during my measly attempts to will my way back into the past as my mom and I walked towards the front entrance. Finally, as we were entering the building, I stopped attempting this and soon arrived in front of their receptionist. Greeting us, she registered us in and ushered us over to the waiting room. After a minute or two, a blonde, plump lady entered the waiting room, told my mom to stay in this room, and told me to follow her. Jittering with mixed emotions, I sprang up while my mom wished me good luck. The lady already disappearing past the corner, I said goodbye to my mother and rushed to trail after my guide. As I rushed to catch us with her, I was suddenly awestruck by the massive network of corridors hidden behind the corner a moment ago. Shaking it off, I resumed my task of tailing the blonde haired lady.

After traveling down a little ways past the fifth hall, we entered a room filled to the brim with computers. In addition to these computers, I also noticed five other people, one who appeared to be an supervisor of sorts and the other four that seemed to also be taking a test. After the blonde haired lady and the supervisor chatted for a bit, she exited the room, the supervisor supplied us with a bubble sheet and a copy of the test we were taking, two no. two pencils, and said, “Begin.” Taking a deep breath, I skimmed my test and the bubble sheet to see how hard the questions are. When I did this, I discovered an astounding sight: the bubble sheet was filled to the brim with a hundred questions! Almost collapsing from the amount of questions- and word questions at that- I took a deep breath, picked up one of the pencils, and started the test.

Two or three hours later, I slumped back on my car seat, exhausted at the mental ordeal I had to go through. As soon as we arrived home, I collapsed on my bed and slept through the rest of the afternoon. When I woke up, I found my mother patiently waiting at the front of the computer. At her beckoning, I came closer to her and asked what happened. “Ryan, the test result are in,” my mother said. Before I got a chance to say anything, she followed it up with, “and for your score,”

Letting the tension drag on, she paused here, and then said, “you got a ninety two!

Suddenly, with those few words, a new road full of new dreams and hopes burst open for me, shining happiness on me and my relatives.


Jasmine P- Haltom Middle School

An Intense Game

My heart is pounding,

My thoughts go crazy.

The day we play,

The time not to be lazy.

We walk through the doors,

I could see the faces.

Of all different colors,

Of all different races.

We begin the game,

And shake their hands

To the sound of the audience

In the stands.

My head is throbbing,

I can't see straight.

Our score is three,

Their score is eight.

We're down by five,

We're catching up.

My turn to serve,

Please don't mess up!

My serve is over

To the right.

Out of bounds,

Out of sight.

“Oh no!” I yell,

The other team cheers.

Their turn to serve,

I'm close to tears.

Her back is straight,

Her arms are long.

Their score at eight,

But not for long.

The toss goes up

The crowd goes wild.

Her serve is short,

Her team grows mild.

Our turn again,

To serve once more.

It's in the air,

It hits the floor!

One point for haltom,

Still down by five.

But not for long,

We're coming alive!!!

It's still our serve,

She throws it up.

What a curve!

We're catching up!

Their faces blank,

They don't know what to do.

We got it back and won the game.

We stole the ball,

Put them to shame.

As you may see,

Volleyball is an intense game.

But when you win,

No one's to blame.

Ellie S- Smithfield Middle School

Region Band

The rank scent of exhaust reached my nose. However, I was too petrified to notice. Every hair stood on end as I looked up at Carroll High School, home of the dragons. I was considering turning around and going home, when my mothers goodbyes shattered my thoughts.

I took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I didn’t think region band would be this stressful. As I stood in front of the looming building, I thought about everything that could go wrong, from wrong rhythms to simple high notes. As I walked, my heart thumped harder than it ever had before. After awkwardly walking around for a while, I found my friends and we camped out in the hallway next to the cafeteria. Seeing my friends calmed me down a little. I practiced as best I could, but I had to be wary not to wear myself out. My friend tapped me on the shoulder, and I realized it was time to go.

As I escalated up and up the stairs, the distant sounds of other musicians testing and playing their instruments sounded like impending music. I wanted to stop and turn around but I took a deep breath and pushed onward. The walls of the hallway seemed to be pressing toward me. I had arrived. I had arrived at the room that would decide if all of my hard work was worth it. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to know. Regardless, I entered the room. We were each assigned a letter they would call us by when our turns came up. My letter was N. Fourth in line to play. The letters dwindled slowly...until it was my turn. My heart was racing, a horse about to finish the race. Then I started my Eb scale.

The performance didn’t go that badly. There may have been some bumps and bruises, but considering I was a seventh grader who’d only been playing for a year, I did good. Once it was over, it felt like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders. For the past month and a half, the stress had been unbearable. Now, I could finally rest, knowing I tried my hardest.

Athena G- North Oaks Middle School

His Story

If our days were numbered then I would be

5047 days old

Many will be 17804 days old

But their stories are still being told

As their hearts grow stronger

Their minds forever had honor

But many couldn't hold any longer

As one day, upon yander

One great soul had wandered

He had great honor

Yet his heart was damaged

So the people asked what happened ?

The young man smiled weakly

As he told them, “I had fell in love, deeply,”

“But she fell in love briefly.”

So the man told his stories weekly

To teach ones about heartbreak

And also many mistakes

How he once was betrayed

But also how he was ashamed

Kaidin I- Haltom Middle School


As I step onto the boat with my pole,

It’s my goal.

Hearing the metal plates when I walk,

That smell of the air when I first step outside after a while.

Bringing in a fish,

Planning to make a dish,

I can smell the saltiness and the sweet seasoning coming from it already,

Hearing the birds chirping,

Gradually waiting for a thump.

Locking my eyes onto a fish,

Swimming to my bait.

Reeling it in,

Using all my force,

Placing my hand onto it,

Feeling the sliminess almost like mucus.

As I smile seeing the largest one I have caught.

This entertainment is like

Another earth,

Second nature.

Maggie R- Watauga Middle School

My life is like a flower.

If I were a rose maybe more people would like me.

My life is like a plane.

One wrong move from the pilot and disaster is bound to happen.

My life is like a heart.

It beats for me and the ones I love, but if someone rips if out, I die.

My life is like a piece of gum.

People chew me up and then spit me out.

My life is a candy wrapper.

Once people get what they want they throw me away, like I wasn't the one that protected what they wanted in the first place.

I'm just a burden.

My life is worthless.

Jacob D- North Richland Middle School

I’m a Giraffe and I’m Stuck in a Tree!

AAAAHHHH!! That is the craziest thing I have ever seen! I can’t believe that ta giant giraffe like me was able to jump and climb up into this tree.

My worst fear is the giant komodo dragons that live out her on the hot dry land. These komodo dragons have chased my family around for five years now, but I can’t seem to get over the fear of them, they’re just scarring. Even from when I was just a little baby, these creatures would chase me and try to eat me, but not today, for I have found this mighty tree that has guided me to safety.

Today, I was just roaming the land, until a giant komodo dragon starts running at me. My first instinct was to run, but I was too frozen in fear that I couldn’t move. As the komodo dragon got closer, my motion came back to me, but I wasn’t in control. I was running straight for a giant tree where my legs took me, all the way up so that I was safe from the terror of the komodo dragon’s wrath.

In my time up in the tree, I met a little chameleon, who became my friend for awhile, until I could control myself. His name was Carter, like mine, but my name is Porter.

“Why are you up in a tree? You’re a giraffe,” said Carter.

“Well, there was this komodo dragon, and it is really a long story,” I said.

“Well, if you’re too scared to go down, I’ll stay here with you,” said Carter in a friendly tone.

“That sounds really nice since I’m petrified and all,” said Porter in a shaky voice. Later that night Porter and Carter slid down the tree and said their goodbye’s.

In the end, face your fears like Porter did and make new friends every day.

Courtney M- North Ridge Middle School


Today was another boring day,

Nothing exciting happened.

Then I got home.

The floor on which I stood collapsed,

You were viciously taken,


Ripped away from me,

Like everyone else.

I was hurting,

So very badly.

I miss you,

Like crazy.

Why did you leave?

Did I not matter enough?

Did you even think about me?

Did I cross that thick minded skull of yours?

You left me,

Stolen from me.

I haven’t gotten over it.

I don’t think I ever will…

I love you,

But I hate that you left me,

Without saying goodbye.

Emmalynn D- Smithfield Middle School

The Blood Flower

My parents have always been overprotective of me, for as long as I can remember. My entire house was padded and safe guarded, even when I grew out of my toddler years. I was homeschooled and someone was always hovering around me and watching my every move to make sure I didn’t trip or hurt myself. I always thought they were being irrationally overprotective until one winter day, my hands were so dry that my skin broke and cracked. A drop of blood fell to the ground and almost instantly, a bright red flower bloomed from where it landed. I suddenly wondered if that is the reason I’ve always worn light colors like white, yellow, and baby blue, so my family could always be making sure I wasn’t bleeding or injured. After several long, deep thoughts similar to that one I snapped back into reality and noticed a vase worth of red flowers in front of me. I realized how light headed I felt. My vision started fading in and out of focus and I collapsed, but I wasn’t unconscious. My mom had heard me fall from downstairs and came bursting into my room already on the phone with 9-1-1. Her mother’s intuition knew I wasn’t okay. That’s when I fell unconscious. I guess it was a few hours later, I woke up in a hospital room with my mom holding my hand and speaking with the doctor. They whispered so I didn’t hear. The doctor left and my mom turned around and smiled, but immediately melted into hot tears that ran down my fingertips. I guess I knew the news, but I didn’t want to think about it. Since I had lost so much blood, the sound of crying gave me a pounding headache so I fell back asleep to shake the pain. The next morning I woke up with several doctors and my mom surrounding the bed. That’s when my doctor told me I wasn’t to leave that room, ever again. I started asking questions and demanding explanations, but no one said a word to me about it. I learned to stop questioning my tragic fate of never being able to leave that prison again. A few weeks later, someone else ended up in my same room in the other bed. After a couple of days of listening to the doctors speak with her mother, I found the same exact thing that happened to me, landed her here too. We each asked our mothers for a vase of our own red flowers as reminders of all the beautiful things we would never get to see again. Over the course of the next day or two, we became best friends. It’s not like we had any other friends because we hadn’t ever left our own houses. We have the same birthday and look really similar, which we decided was creepy and cool at the same time. Her name is Lorelai and mine’s Lanie. Our names even start with the same letter! We called ourselves L squared. We were more content than we ever thought we’d be inside that room. Knowing neither of us would ever leave, we made the most of it. We were able to get out of bed as long as we didn’t leave the room, so we were able to do most things normal teenage girl best friends do within the walls of the hospital. A few days later we both got deathly ill and weak. We looked at each other in our individual beds. She mouthed the words, “let’s go” and I nodded sullenly with a faint, tired smile. We reached our hands out to the corners of the nightstand between our beds and sliced them across it. Because we were so sick we lost our blood faster than normal. Our beds overflowed with vibrant, exquisite red flowers. The leaves and bright petals engulfed as if they were becoming a casket. What felt like a few minutes later, we woke up here in this realm. We saw a letter on the ground in front of us that told us our earthly bodies were dead. But not at all here. Lorelai and I agree, we couldn’t feel more alive.

Michelle R- Haltom Middle School

The sound of snow crunching beneath my feet was the only proof of life

Seeing my breath in front of me

My nose and cheeks red as a ruby from the cold

Looking up at the sky wish for the impossible to be possible

Thinking if i stay as still as a general sherman tree

I would hear the earth breath

Hear the wind speak

Hear the wild creatures that lurk in the tree line

Hear everything that the loud city detains

Seeing the sun's life fade

Like dying candle light

The sky a sad dark grey

And the only color in sight is white

It all speaks with sorrow dripping from every word

Giving the feeling of being

In a cage with no way out

Never lost but never found

As a continue my walking

My legs feel like there is boulders attached to them

My eyelids heavy with a sudden urge to sleep

As I think i might give in to the yearning

I smell something unbearable

The odor of a group of dead animals

Most dead from the cold and lack of food

But some

Lay there with their the throats torn out

Whether it was wrong to feel sympathy for them

They have families

Loved ones, even if they show it in a different way then we do

But all the same, still living.

Practically running away

The only thought

In my mind is

That the color of sorrow and death is white.

The lack of color. Of vibrancy. Of life.

Alex N- North Richland Middle School

What is That Metallic Monster?

What IS that metallic monster? With wheels rolling faster than the speed of light, bounding higher than any rabbit and is louder than a stampede’s charge. However; what’s even more, add - I realized I am “up” on a tree?

You see, before that monster, me and my group of giraffes (that’s me) were wandering wholeheartedly throughout the vast savannah. We realized the vast beauty of nature, seeing the story of many organisms, their hardships, their passions, and more. Not long after us giraffes have become the wisest creatures in our region.

Everything changed when a new, invasive group of organisms changed everything. Using massive, rustic machines, they ravaged the homes of our friends and harmed many of us without regard. We know that we had to fight back. After realizing their slow nature, we noticed that by swarming them, we could halt their advance.

We animals, united under one banner, now march to protect our homes. As we engaged them, injuries were sustained by all. However, reaching the end of the line, we pushed those machines back, nearing them to the brink of destruction. Our victory imminent, we all were about to celebrate. However; pushing them to the brink, they used their trump card.

The rolling, bouncing, and deafening machine centered the battlefield. Bodies battered, we readied ourself, but we knew we could never stand a chance. It rolled, pounded, and hopped as it was about to take one of our own. At that moment, regardless of race or culture, a child ran in front of the vehicle preparing to sacrifice his own to preserve another. That’s when my body moved before I could think. One leg after another, my four legs ran at speeds of which I could not comprehend. Instinct led my actions in which my body latched upon a tree. I first questioned, “Why am I on this tree”, but then I realized the true purpose of my actions. As the tree fell, time slowed down. With each fiver in my body, I begged, I pleaded, for the tree to “touch down”. CRASH! The tree has crushed the rolling, bounding, bouncing machine.

In the face of danger my body moved faster than i could think, saving the lives of all that fought so valiantly. This is why I was “up” on that tree.

Mia Y- North Ridge Middle School

Why bully? Why?

The bullying brings me down to an all time low
I get anxiety just from seeing humans
I cry just from existing
Why bully? Why do you have to be so cruel?

"Why are you even here?”

My bully says,
“No cares about you!
If you want to be important, try harder!
Actually, that wouldn't make a difference because your hardest isn't enough"

But in reality no one says that to me
I wouldn't be able to find the bully
Because the bully is me.

Myranda A- North Oaks Middle School

Depression, you aren’t welcome

You lurk in the shadows of my soul waiting to attack when my happiness is now the prey

I wait knowing you are there, waiting and watching like an eagle in the high mountains hunting

You love to torture me with your hatred for life and have stolen my face and identity

I’m not me anymore i am a figure that you have taken the reins on and made me the worst person i could be

My loving, happy personality is now just a figure of my imagination that you have taken away

I have lost people in my life because of the negativity I radiat off with you in control

When i look in mirrors i see you not me, and i am done having you run the house

I was the first, the original me that not even you could take over

You aren’t wanted nor welcome in my home, in my heart

I must put stronger locks on the doors to keep you out, but no matter how long it takes for me

To find my true self again and live the best life I can, you will not be welcome nor taking over again

Sidney O- North Richland Middle School

Brian King Joseph

Inspiration,it means to do or to feel something, but when you add Inspirational Person it kind of mixes it up. An Inspirational person to me is someone that doesn’t care about the odds of something people tell them they can’t do. What they choose to care about is the thing that makes them happy, and in this case the thing that makes this person happy is his violin. His name is Brian King Joseph.

Brian King Joseph is no ordinary person, what he does is play the violin. His passion for the violin started when we watched his sister play the violin and then he got more interested in it. When he learned how to play the violin, he learned new skills, because he was so talented he got offered a full Presidential Scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston MA. Sadly he stopped attending because of his nerve disease. Though He was the winner of MTV Cover of The Month Winner 2016, and you might even recognize his name, he was on the show America’s got Talent. He ended up getting third place in the competition, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves.

Brian King Joseph inspires me because of his willingness to never give up. He doesn’t seem to care that much of what people think of him unless it is good, but when he was a little younger than he is now he got diagnosed with Neuropathy. Neuropathy is a nerve disease that causes Brian’s hands and feet to feel numb or weak sometimes,eventually in his life time it will spread to his whole body. When he got diagnosed the doctors told him that it will be hard to do anything, including playing his violin. Even though the doctors said this it just encouraged him to never give up. His passion for the violin is one thing that inspires me, by showing that he won’t give up even with the biggest of hardships people have put him through.

Another reason Brian King Joseph inspires me is his positivity. When he was diagnosed with Neuropathy it was very upsetting but his positivity made the situation better. A lot of times the littlest things can bring people down including myself but as soon as I look at Brian King Joseph my negativity goes away just by seeing his smile. When he made third place on the show America’s Got Talent he didn’t get upset, he smiled because he was proud of himself for going this far, and I think that showing happiness just by his smile is how everyone should act.

The last reason why Brian King Joseph is inspirational to me is his hard work. Since he has the disease Neuropathy it encourages him to try even harder when he makes new music using his violin, and this encourages me and others to work hard with the littlest of things. Just by watching his performances online or on tv shows you can tell he puts effort into every little detail so he can prove to people that just because someone might have a disability doesn’t mean that they can’t work just as hard as anyone else. Brian knows how to work hard but he makes sure that he is having fun with what he is doing. For example he makes great music with his violin and he puts effort into that ,but he does want his music to be entertaining, and something he and his fans will enjoy. I admire him, especially when he proves to people they have something to work for.

All of these reasons are why Brian King Joseph inspires me by not listening to what other people think you can’t do, showing positivity no matter what might be holding you back, and proving to anyone that anything is possible just by hard work. Brian King Joseph is the person in my life I look up to, so I call him an inspirational person.

Lissvette M- Watauga Middle School


It’s near, everywhere I go

It stares into my soul ,and doesn’t let me know

That’s it’s coming for me everywhere I go

I know I can control it but I just don’t know

What might happen to me or anyone I know

It feels like someone’s staring no matter what I’m doing

Am I being followed, am I being watched

It crawls inside of me in a flash

Faster than my watch

I’m just going to control it

Don’t let it take the power

I know I can do it

Grace M- North Richland Middle School

Inspiration, a word that means you are being influenced by someone to do something good in your life. People are inspired every day by different celebrities, family members, objects, and many more things. For me, one person has inspired me to go out and be the best me there is in this world. That person is Meryl Streep. Meryl Streep inspires me because she is humble, hard-working, and gives to others in need.

First off, Streep is inspirational because she is humble. In 1978 Meryl Streep won ousting lead actress at the Emmys for her role in the movie Holocaust. The shoot was not only very hard but it also took countless hours out of Streep’s life. You would think if she spent time and dedication on this movie she would collect her award ,but she did not. Instead, the award got mailed to her in box. During the situation she said, “I wish i could assign some great importance to it,” but that it had “no lasting power.” This proves that Streep didn’t let her first win go to her head. She still stays humble and doesn’t think she is better than anyone because of this win.

Secondly, she is very hardworking which makes her inspirational.

Shooting for Meryl Streep’s movie Kramer vs. Kramer was very hard and sometimes it got a little crazy. Dustin Hoffman ,Meryl’s co actor, taunted her throughout the filming of the movie. He would constantly whisper names of Streep’s lost loved ones to get a reaction out of her and he even shattered a wine glass right next to her. She didn’t let him get in her head and faze her though. She finished filming the movie and even went on to win an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for her work in this film. Meryl’s hardworking abilities made her work through this tough situation and really made her shine.

Lastly, Meryl Streep is very inspirational because she gives to others that are in need. Many people like the idea of giving to a charity or foundation but little do ,Meryl Streep is an exception. She has donated thousands and thousands of dollars to charities such as Actors Fund of America, Healthy Child Healthy World, Stand Up to Cancer, and many more. In 1983 she even started her own foundation with her husband called Silver Mountain Foundation for the Arts. Through this foundation Streep and her husband have donated about one million dollars to New York Meals on Wheels, the Coalition for the Homeless, the National Women’s Museum, and numbers of other organizations. The special thing about this though is that she makes her donations anonymous. She doesn’t need the recognition of other to do something good; she does it because it’s good to give back to others. To me that is one of the most inspirational things a person can do.

A person who inspires me in my life is Meryl Streep because she is humble, hardworking, and gives to others in need.