Pens and Dreams

Central Middle School's Literary and Art Magazine 2019-20

Our Mission: Bringing the keyboard and the JPEG together for your online enjoyment!

This year, well, it's a different sort of year. And often with situations in which we are put in, we have to make and shape something good out of what's not. We are forced to creatively construct new modes of thinking and in this case, of expression. We recreate what we had, that is, a decades-long paper literary magazine, and craft into an online resource for the whole Long Hill community to enjoy any time, any day, time, or year.

So the question is: Why produce art, whether literary or visual? Consider this question before you read, during your reading, and after you have completed this online book. Be part of a community of readers and interpreters, and know that you are part of much more than an online group of viewers, but are the very links to our community, and the very reason this exists: so that you, audience and contributors, may be inspired.


The goal is to get you inspired. Below, two ideas are included so as to expand your visual awareness. Try these two exercises if you'd like at your leisure and then continue on your creative journey!

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Student Work

Your peers created this for your enjoyment. We appreciate all the contributors who shared their ideas and efforts!

Somebody's Life

History Tests

They seem pointless



A total pain

And they take a lot of studying

But if you ever stop

And just think

That you are being tested on somebody's life

Somebody's experiences

Then they become less pointless

And if you ever stop

And just look around you

At your experiences

And how they might be written in packets

Handed out with choices

As somebody is quizzed on your life

And if you look around currently

At how the world is today

You would see that history is being made

Even though you may be spending that time

Skipping your assignments or sleeping

But although history is being made

We’re looking past it

We’re dwelling on the downs

We’re taking this time for granted

What we don’t notice

Is that we have more time with our families

More time to take care of ourselves

More time to learn.

-Julia Moakley

Dream by Bella Sluyter

A Day at the Beach by Taylor Guli


Goes the waves as they crash

On the sandy shore

By my feet

I run into the water

The sun beating down on me


I jump into the waves

The fish scatter

I hear a simple pitter, patter

Something passing by my my feet

A shark...No...a clump of seaweed passing by


The water is getting colder

I must turn around before the sun fully sets

My mother calls me into shore

I swim back to the shallow water


The sun is now gone

Seagulls sing their song

We ride home and the stars are out

The oceans gone

Till tomorrow at dawn

Taylor Guli

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The Beach by Madison Guli

The Great Adventure of Lia by Lia Long

Lia went outside towards snow,

Lia ripped up some waves at the beach,

Lia made a snowman with no nose,

Lia found a book she could not reach.

Lia went sledding down a hill,

Lia ripped up some waves at the beach,

Lia dove into the cold pool,

Lia ate a big candy peach.

Lia skied down a steep slope ,

Lia ripped up some waves at the beach,

Lia shredded cheese at the store,

Lia heard Ava yell a screech.

Lia hiked all the way up the hill,

Lia ripped up some waves at the beach,

Lia zipped down the zipline,

Lia yelled cause she saw a leech.

Okay by Lilah Marchese

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Rock, Paper, Scissors, Kidnap!

by Aadya Bharadwaj

“Be a good little monkey!” my mom calls as I hop out the front door. I spin around and pull my worn black bag off my shoulder, throwing it roughly to the ground. I face her, bringing my hands up for a ‘rock, paper, scissors’ battle. She meets my gaze with her dark brown eyes and a hard look of determination on her face.

“Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!” we yell, whipping out our hands. My mom throws the symbol for rock, her hand in a tight fist. I put out the sign for paper instead, my palm facing down in an open hand.

“Yes!” I yell, pumping my fist up in triumph. “I beat you yesterday too! I’m too good, Mom, you can’t beat me anymore.”

“Nice job, love,” she praises, flashing me a toothy smile that shows me her pearly white teeth. She brings up her hand to muss up my hair, and I laugh at her antics as I swat her strong arm away. “Remember what I always tell you? Don’t-”

“Talk to strangers,” I finish, grinning up at her, showing her my own brace-covered teeth. “We do this every day, Mom. I remember.”

She chuckles. “Alright, love, I’ll see you after school.” She plants a kiss on my forehead and steps back, finishing our morning ritual. I grab my backpack from the ground and sling it over my shoulder, turning around to walk away towards my bus stop.

“Bye!” I shout, looking at my mom over my shoulder. Just before I can turn the corner of my long driveway, I hear her say something again.

“Make sure you eat all of your lunch!” she yells, her voice cracking twice from her deafening volume.

I look back at her, seeing that she’s hanging half out of the front doorway, waving frantically at me. I wave back to her in the same manner before I turn back around and saunter away, laughing at her enthusiasm.

Once I exit my driveway, I turn right and begin to trudge uphill, huffing annoyedly under my breath. Can this hill get any steeper? I grouse silently, internally whining about the amount of effort it was taking me to walk to the bus stop. I absolutely despise walking there every day. It’s not even near my house.

I continue strolling up the hill, and take a moment to admire the surrounding nature. It’s a lovely day today; the trees are lush and green, the sun blazing brightly in the cloudless ether. The air was moist and smelled of morning dew. Instead of a sweltering heat, which I expect because of the sun’s significant presence in the sky, it’s more of a warm, fresh temperature outside. The light breeze sends a splash of coolness through me as it flows through my long, dark wisps of hair.

After about five minutes of walking on the freshly paved tar road, I arrive at my stop. Breathing in the fresh scent of spring air, I walk over to my favorite tree stump and sit down. I take my backpack off once again and put it on the grass, and place my elbows on my legs, my head resting comfortably in my hands.

A few minutes pass, the cars coming and going on routine. Suddenly, a worn down dark blue Honda coupe catches my eye. Unlike the other cars on the road, it’s driving at an agonizingly slow speed. Unfortunately, instead of passing me, it turns and pulls over next to the sidewalk in front of my stop. An uneasy feeling falls into the pit of my stomach, and I have the strong urge to run, but I push it aside. I can not miss the bus again.

To my dismay, the window on the passenger side rolls down and reveals a sneering - and slightly wrinkly - old man. He has pale white skin and dull blue eyes, a stark contrast to his jet black hair. The man sits comfortably in the driver's seat, an arm resting languidly on the door. He begins to speak and my mouth goes dry.

“Hello there, princess,” the stranger greets in a low and gravelly voice. “What a lovely day, ain’t it?”

Hesitantly, I nod, still unsure about the situation. Not sensing my agitation, the man continues speaking, holding my attention with his unyielding gaze.

“Well, it’s a little hot too, am I right? I’m sure you’re having a mighty tough time staying cool in those jeans you’re wearin’ there, eh kiddo?” he observes as he sticks his head farther out the window. I’m too unsettled to speak as I remember my mother’s famous words. “Don’t talk to strangers,” she always says. “You never know what their intentions may be.”

The sound of the man talking again snaps me out of my thoughts. “Why don’t you come in ‘ere? It’s nice and cool. I’d bet you’ll like it. I can even drop you off to school,” he offers.

I gulp. “Um… n-no thanks,” I mumble, stuttering from uncertainty.

The man smiles at me warmly, but it doesn’t reach his eyes. “Aw, well, how ‘bout you just sit ‘ere for a few minutes? I promise I won’t bite.”

I stand up from my spot on the tree stump, pick up my bag, and back away. My breathing picks up speed and the hairs on the back of my neck rise as I notice the cold, malevolent look in the man’s eyes. I fidget with the hem of my shirt and stay silent.

“Now that’s no way to treat your elders, is it? C’mon now,” he presses, “get in the car.” He says more to me, but my heart is pounding too loudly in my ears for me to hear it. My eyes drop to my shoes and I shake my head in response.

“Get in the car,” he growls. “Get in the car, and get in now.”

My mouth fills with the sweet, coppery taste of blood and I realize how roughly I’ve been gnawing at my lip. Sweat slides down my back and I look around quickly. Not a single person in sight.

I turn back to the persistent man. He’s fumbling with something by his pocket, and my heart stops in my chest when I realize he’s unbuckling his seat belt. Fear becomes a tangible beast sitting on my shoulders, breathing down my neck, watching my every move. I can feel my fight or flight reflexes kicking in, filling me with adrenaline as all of my rational thinking goes out the window. My vision blurs and tears start to stream down my cheeks.

I need to get out of here. Now.

And I do. I run quickly, as if there are armies of ogres slashing at my feet. My surroundings blur, the wind whipping my hair behind me.

I don’t stop.

I don’t look back.

I decide to take a shortcut through the woods surrounding my house. I jump over decaying logs and dash through tall, primeval trees. As I run, I get scratched by sharp thorns and twigs, but it doesn’t deter me. My feet fly over rocks and leaves in a desperate attempt to put as much distance between me and the man as I could. My legs begin to tire and my breath comes out in short gasps.

After what feels like a lifetime, I find myself stumbling over the rotten wooden steps that lead to my front door, and I barge into the house, relief flooding through me. I hear a yelp, and my mom comes rushing over to me. She lets her eyes pass over me before she meets my eyes again. Her confused expression turns into one of intense concern after seeing my tear-stained face.

“Honey, what’s wrong?” she asks. “Did something happen? Did someone say something to you or did-”

She’s cut off by me as I throw myself into her arms. Her body is tense around mine, but it relaxes once my tears begin to soak her shirt. Instead of asking questions, she strokes my hair and gives me the comfort of home. I feel safe at last, snuggled cozily in her familiar warm arms.

Again, think about why we create. Is it to better understand the world and our place in it?

A Link that Celebrates: "A Poem for All that Life Brings" - Discussion with Irish Poet Talking about an Ancient Poet and a Native American Poet

This is written by an Afghani poet born in the 1200's.

This poem was referenced above. It is by the Afghani poet Rumi, written in the 13th century.

More Work from our Peers

Pinnacle by Kevin Feinstein

Human beings are the pinnacle of nature,

The brightest and the boldest.

The creatures who think and feel and create and explore,

The creatures who take in what is around them and make the world their own.


The human being spends its time on this lonely planet only hearing without listening,

Sending ideas through a tunnel ending at either ear, never thought of.

The human being locks away his mind from what is around him.

The human being only sees without looking,

Clearly portraying the picture of





And never think anything of it

The human being spends its time on this lonely planet reading without comprehending,

Lifelessly attending to every page because he or she believes he or she will be smarter for it.

The pinnacle of nature only touching the pages for who knows why.

The human being locks away every thought from its mind, trapping its thoughts from leaving its subconscious by an endless stream of something interpreted as nothing!

This creature of such great possibilities creates without thinking,

Pretending along with all its other kin that it has created something,

But in reality what it has made has been thought before,

Made before,

Experienced before,

The human being believes he can see what is in front of him but only views a two dimensional piece of glass covering its eyes, entrapping its mind!

It believes it thinks for itself but is only suggested to think one way by those who are only

Thinking in the same way.

Memories Gone A Shakespearean Sonnet by Anton Levonian

With no avail shall he try to reminisce
On years flown by like bitter winter winds.
Impressions gone, cast in a dark abyss
Are all that is left of his vacant mind.

He thinks: Where have I been two scores ago?
Beside the whirling cauldron of the sea,
Or else reveling in a flaky bed of snow?
The answer seemed like under lock and key.

His mind was filled with agonies unheard:
Have, all this time, I lived without a life?
That could not be: yet why does not a word
Remain with me from early days? What strife

Has all this musing caused inside my head.
It may be better that I go to bed.

Taking Care by Ava Barritta

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Information on how to write a sonnet and the creative challenges it offers:

The Elizabethan Style Sonnet popularized by William Shakespeare

They are fourteen lines and possess an alternating rhyme scheme. Therefore, all even lines will rhyme with each other and all odd will rhyme with another odd line with which it “matches.” The poet can only rhyme at the end of the line. Once that ending sound is used a total of two times, that sound can no longer be used. This continues until the end of line 12. At line 13, the pattern is broken, and the poet forms a couplet. This is a set of matching lines that rhyme one after another. As a result, line 13 will rhyme with line 14. Each line has to be 10 syllables long to make the process even more challenging!

'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' - Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 | Doctors - BBC

Delmonicos by Ms. Aimette

How’d grandma get grandpa crazy?

When buying caviar at Delmonicos!

“Don’t go to that shop!” he’d complain.

Yet on Fridays, there she would go!

They just came to the United States,

When buying caviar at Delmonicos!

Worked as a maid but went straight there!

With her cashed paycheck, spent it so!

He would open doors in a tower

She’d buy from Delmonicos!

His body ached from the work

With hard-earned money, oh he loathed!

Loathed yet loved, this was never said!

Slurping eggs from Delmonicos!

(He’d rather disapprove to her!)

And on Fridays, the week he’d close.

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Our Symbol by Jason Zeng

The Flag

There is one universal symbol of a nation

The flag, hanging gloriously on a pole

It is what represents the nation best

It is what represents the nation whole.

It represents how the nation is formed

The flag, hanging gloriously on a pole

It is what represents the glorious beginning

What every schoolboy would know.

It represents how the nation will continue

The flag, hanging gloriously on a pole

It is what represents the nation’s life

It is what represents the nation’s soul.

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What is a Ballad?

A folk ballad was written in the middle ages because people were illiterate and they needed to remember family history. In making it song-like, it was easier to remember and recite. Traditionally, it possess at least three stanzas. These stanzas act as "paragraphs," and are sectioned off in four lines or "quatrains."

The second line repeats throughout each quatrain and the second and fourth line rhyme each time.

Darkness at the Cinema, a Ballad by Isabella Mele

We were going to the movies;

To see the newest one.

It was about an evil sorceress ;

It was supposed to be fun.

And when we got there,

To see the newest one,

It started to pour,

But the movie had begun,

So we went to watch the movie,

To see the newest one.

And almost at the end,

It was like someone turned off the sun!

When we went to the movies

To see the newest one,

I didn’t think the power would stop

And ruin all our fun.

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Both above and below by Michael Fazari

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Sandy, No Candy by Aubrey Jungels

In 2012 there was

A hurricane called Sandy,

Flooded New Jersey so

We had buckets Handy!

Jeez that storm was awful,

That hurricane called Sandy,

We lost power and did not

Get it back, How Unhandy!

We worked so hard during

That hurricane named Sandy,

But Halloween was canceled

So no one got Candy!

I Realized Something Different by Jessica Szekeres

As I sit under an oak tree

I realized something different

The pink flowers started blooming

Instead of their blunt concealment

As I read my book outside here

I realized something different

Instead of covered in white snow

The tree leaves were really giant

As I knit my favorite pattern

I realized something different

“Spring is here!” I hear people say

And I knew winter was ancient

Pure Entertainment: Taking a story we know and shaping it into something new

Cinderella, Twisted by Sophie Lam

Once upon a time, in a far away place there was a girl named Cinderella. She lived with her evil stepmother, and her two stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella who treated her with nothing but respect. In only a week Prince Charming would be hosting a ball to find the love of his life and all the ladies in town would be going.

The day of the ball came and Cinderella was sitting in her bedroom debating between a gold necklace and a silver necklace. After about five minutes, she chose the silver necklace because her mom gave her the necklace right before her brutal death. She was just about to clip the silver necklace around her neck when she heard a locking noise, it was her door. She ran to the door and said, “Let me out! Please let me out!”

She didn’t hear a reply but she heard Drizella saying, “With Cinderella out of the way Prince Charming will have to choose me to marry.”

When she heard that, she knew that them being nice to her was just them acting. This hurt her so much because she had gotten so close to them and they betrayed her. She started sobbing hysterically on her rusty old bed. After sobbing for about twenty minutes, she heard a whirring sound coming from the left dark corner of her room. There appeared a fancy young man in a suit and a wand, he said, “hello there, Cinderella, I am going to get you fixed up for Prince Charming’s ball.”

First, they chose her dress but she only owned one and it was already torn up and in rags. The fancy young man used his magical wand to create a beautiful blue ball gown, and it sure was better than any dress anyone had that was going to the ball. To help her get into the gown he had his animal friends help, two birds and a rabbit. The two birds held up the gown and she slipped into it. Then, the rabbit used its magical powers to make a tray of hair accessories and jewelry appear. Cinderella chose a blue hair ribbon and a blue amulet, and they matched. Then, the little birdies made her hair into a bun and tied the blue ribbon around her head like a headband. Then, to do her makeup, the fancy young man used his wand to make a vanity appear with all sorts of expensive makeup and brushes. He put light nude eyeshadow on her and pink lipstick and of course a lot of pink/red blush on her cheeks and nose. Lastly, her shoes, all the animals and the young man combined their powers to make a glass pair of high heels that fit her perfectly. She said, “Wow I look so beautiful I don’t even recognize myself!”

She was now ready for the ball, and she was going to be the most fashionable person there. Just two problems, she didn’t want to get caught by her step sisters and evil stepmother and she didn’t have a ride. The young man easily fixed the ride problem by making a carriage called The Pumpkin Coach and it was made of diamonds and gold and the most expensive materials out there. For the other problem, they had to think about how Cinderella was going to get home before her step mother and step sisters. The young man almost forgot to tell her, “All the magic ends when the clock strikes twelve.”

That was it she would run home at twelve, so she wouldn’t get caught. With her almost perfect plan, she got in her carriage and was headed off to the ball. When she arrived and was walking inside, everyone was stunned by her beautiful presence and immediately Prince Charming welcomed her and danced with her. She knew that her step sisters were watching and they were jealous, but she couldn't care less because she was having the opportunity of a lifetime. This was her chance to get away from her stepmother and stepsisters and start a new royal life with a loyal loving man. She and the prince danced for three hours and then, the clock struck twelve. She dashed out of the ballroom without even knowing that she left her shoe behind. She tried to get back in the carriage but it was already gone, she ran home and locked the doors. Then, she ran to her room and her whole outfit already disappeared, she quickly changed and went to her bed. An hour later, she heard a knock on her door, she opened it and to her surprise there he was, Prince Charming and his right hand man.

Prince Charming said, “Please sit down so I can put this glass slipper on your foot to see if it fits.” Cinderella knew what would happen and she was so happy that she would finally be able to leave that horrible place, so she sat and they put the shoe on. She knew it would fit, and it did. He took her back to the castle and they got married. Why, of course.

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Hopes and Dreams by Tom Osmond

“Darn it, Cyperus is going to be mad,” I said worriedly.

“He doesn't have to know,” Mordecai replied.

“He has a way of finding out. He has eyes everywhere.”

“As long as we stick to the plan, he'll never get his hands on this again.”

“What if it doesn't work?”

“Trust me.”

I followed him into the vault where our crew leader, Cyperus, had his most prized possessions. Kate, Miles, and Mac were waiting for us at the entrance.

“Do you have the codes?” asked Mordecai.

“You know it,” replied Miles.

Kate looked straight into my eyes, “So Magnus, you actually important to the mission or you just coming along for the ride as Mordecai's pet?”

Mordecai heard that, and intervened, “You fixing for a fight? Let's focus on the mission. We can do that after.”

“You haven't answered my question.”

Mordecai clenched his fists held it up to Kate, “You really want me to do that?”

“Okay boss, whatever you wish.”

“Let's just open the darn vault.”

Miles entered the code, and the vault door swung open.

“Another gosh-darn wall? You got to be kidding me.”

“Good thing Magnus brought the Dynamite.”

We laid the dynamite down in front of the door and lit the fuse. We stood back and watched the thing explode as smoke filled the room.

When the smoke cleared, we found ourselves held at gunpoint by other crew members.
“Darn it, I should have known Cyperus would have security.”

When the men took the sacs off of our heads, we saw a line of guards with Cyperus on an elevated platform above them.

“Well, well, my old besties. Trying to play me like a game of chess? Well, you should know, that chess is a very hard game to win. Seriously, I just played it to my numbskull hermano over here. Long story short, neither of us could figure out how to win. My point is, that unless you have the brains- which I see none of you do- then you're going to fall face-first into a pile of dung. Try getting that stuff off. Buena Suerte (Good luck), it stains.”

Mordecai was the first to respond.

“No, not at all. I hate chess.”

“Well, then you tried to play me like… Chutes and Ladders. That's a popular game, we all like it, yes?”

“Sure. We're sorry we played you like Chutes and Ladders.”

“Oh no, you've had your chances.” Cyperus turned to his right-hand man, “take them to the incinerator.”

Once again, men placed bags over our heads. Suddenly, I felt immense heat coming from the center of a room. They took our blinds off to see a sprawling machine pumping lava into a metallic chamber with pipes branching off of all sides.

“Who wants to go for a swim first?” one of the men asked.

None of us responded.

Pointing at Mordecai, the henchmen said, “You look like you're the leader, pretty boy. Why don't you take a hop in.”

“Sorry, but I just don't like getting wet.”

The hench-person, along with one other, picked Mordecai up and dragged him into the chamber.

“I recommend putting your feet in first, it's a little hot. Extra points with the boss man if you do a cool trick.”

“I'd rather not.”

“The henge people threw my best friend, Mordecai- the leader of are splinter faction- into the burning hot lava. I thought by some miracle, he would come back, but that was a pipe dream.

A story that transports us and helps to find ourselves on the road AND a story of hope in the emptiest of places

Road Trip by Abigail O'Mullan

Prologue- My mom, my two sisters, and I were on a road trip. We were going to Minnesota to see the 10,000 Lakes. We had to drive through Wisconsin to get there. We drove into this town called Muloney and there was nothing for miles, so when we saw a diner we thought we would stop because it might be the last time for a long while.

As we pulled into the parking lot of the, ‘Welcome Staircase’ diner, we felt at home. We had been in the car for so long eating pre-packaged sandwiches we were all ecstatic to hopefully have a nice meal. We were seated by a nice man named Brandon. He pointed us to a booth and filled up our waters. We gazed at the menu then back up at each other. We all knew what we wanted. Pancakes.

A young waitress walked up to our table and exclaimed “Hi! My name is Hope and I will be your waitress today! What can I get you today!”

We all told her our orders and with a smile on her face, Hope brought it to the kitchen. We sat at the booth and were chatting happy to not be in a moving vehicle but I was getting impatient. I did not like to wait; I never have. As the chatter faded to silence, I voiced my unhappiness of waiting by saying “Ugh! I am hu-” when suddenly my complaint was ended early by the sound of a man choking three booths over! He could not breathe but no one knew what to do! Someone called an ambulance. He was choking so badly that we were afraid the ambulance would not be quick enough. I heard a man call out over the commotion, “Does anyone know the Heimlich!” I did not though. I felt scared for this man though I did not know him. This place seemed to do that to you. Everyone else in this diner seemed to be well acquainted with him. I found out his name from a lady beside him saying “Don’t worry, Jeff; we will get you help.” I was guessing she was his husband or close friend because they seemed the same age.

After much uproar and loudness our waitress came up to him and said “I can be of some help. I know the Heimlich” she was about to save his life!

She performed it beautifully without fail. Our waitress saved a man's life! This was a much more crazy pit stop then we were expecting! This place feels much more than a diner. It is a place to go to feel warm and cozy. It feels like a second home for a lot of people. After all Hope had done he thanked her many times, of course, but they all went back to their food, or their work, and acted like nothing just happened. Hope brought us our drinks, and through it all, delivered us each a gorgeous stack of pancakes. We all agreed they were the best pancakes we had ever had. As I slurped my chocolate milk and looked around I saw more than just a diner full of customers, I saw a family. This was the most feeling of home I had since we started our journey. I was not sure I wanted to leave this wonderful place.

As we left we thanked them for the food, and paid of course. And as we walked out the door we all felt an urge of happiness. We felt quite blessed to have had that experience and witnessed the saving of a life. Also, for having met such nice people, and blessed for the wonderful food!

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The Boy on The Wooden Box by Timothy Robertson

I don’t know what happened; I went from having a good, normal life to living in a reality worse than imaginable in just a couple years because of the Nazis. It started when my dad got a job in Krakow, the city we would later move to and the Nazis would later occupy. My brother Hershel stayed behind in Naweka with the rest of our family. My brothers David and Tsalig, my sister Peza, and my mother and father. We figured that the German soldiers would be nice to all people that they invaded like they did in World War I, so we stayed in Krakow while many people fled east. This may have turned out to be the worst decision my family ever made.

Life was hard in the Ghetto of Krakow. There was a scarce amount of food and the Nazis would beat, kill, and pull people off the sidewalk to work. There have been many deportations to concentration camps; lucky for us, our father had a work permit that kept us safe until one day, my father and brother, both working at the same factory, were being moved to the Plaszow concentration camp. Tsalig, my older brother, did not have a work permit and was sent to a different concentration camp. I would never see him again. “Leon, it looks like it's just you and me now,” Mom said while sobbing.

“It’s okay, Mom; Dad, Tsalig, David, and Peza are all safe,” I said to comfort her, not actually knowing if they were. A week or so later, not that I could keep track, Mom and I found ourselves being rounded up for a deportation to the same concentration camp as David, Peza, and Dad. There was one problem; I was put off to the side because I was in the kid group while all of the adults passed through the gates. I had to act quickly, so I waited until the guard was not looking and started to follow the adults out of the gate to march just a couple of miles to Plaszow concentration camp. When I entered the gates, the first thing I thought to myself was, I am not going to make it out of this camp alive. The camp commander, Amon Goeth, walked around camp killing people for his entertainment, along with his henchmen. My mom and I were separated because of gender and our barracks were on opposite sides of camp from each other. Lucky for me, my father and brother were in the barracks next to me. Sometimes I would visit them at night, but this was very risky. If I got caught, I would be killed.

Shindler, Dad and David’s employer, was taking a workforce of 30 people to come to his factory and minicamp to work. Somehow, my dad was able to get him to put my Mom and I on the list. When I found out my name was on the list, I felt a little sliver of hope for the first time in a while. There was something strange about Schindler; he treated us Jews as regular human beings and liked to talk to us even though he was a Nazi. Sometimes, he would put word in for me to receive an extra piece of bread at dinner time. Although this did not make my constant hunger and starvation go away: it kept me going.

We gathered enough information to realize that the Nazis were losing the war on both the east front and the west front. Food became even more scarce but we had hope that the Allies were coming soon. Then it happened, one day we heard the tanks rolling down the street to come and save us. All the Nazis started to run but the Allies shot them. We all cheered and hugged.

Later that night, the Allies served us a feast. There was probably more food than we were given in the past year. It was a miracle; all of us except for Tsalig and Hershel survived. I will never forget the American soldiers who walked into the factory on that day.

More Adaptations: Changing the Original

The Little Red Rabid by Julia Stine

Prologue: Have you ever contemplated what it would be like to walk through a forest on your own, feeling frightened and hearing spooky noises? Well I have gone through just that. My name is Little Red Riding Hood. But when I wandered through the forest, I didn’t really hear all those creepy noises. I was very ill with rabies, and started hallucinating things like wolves that tried to trick me. My father never wanted anyone to think I was deranged, so he wrote a story that made me seem heroic and smart. Today I will tell you what really happened on the way to Grandmother’s house.

First, “grandmother” is not really my grandmother. She is an old lady who lived on the far end of town and sold cornmeal. My father bought some cornmeal from her to feed our chickens on the farm. To pay her back, father and I baked blueberry muffins to give to her (They were my mother's recipe). The next morning I was supposed to walk the muffins over to the lady, but I had fallen ill. Neither my father nor I could find out how I would have gotten this sick. I told him it would pass and that I was still well enough to take the muffins over. Father said that was fine, but I could tell he was uneasy. I headed off on my journey and that was when strange things started to happen. I could feel my head getting dizzy and my steps getting wobbly, but I was determined and pursued on. Instead of heading along the straight road to the cornmeal seller's house, I took a detour and headed through the forest. The forest was lush with tall evergreens. There was a narrow dirt path shaded by the trees. Droopy moss was hanging from tree branches. The whole place felt mystical and eerie. Only a few minutes into the thick bush, I could hear birds chirping; they sounded demented like growling bears. I came to a fork in the path and did not know which way to go. I heard a howl, and soon after a great, big, animal with shaggy fur and a fiersome snarl creeped out of a bush and tip-toed towards me. He told me to take the right side of the fork in the road. Not knowing if I should trust him or not, I took the left path. I thought I was being smart by not following what the wolf said, but really, I just walked into a trap. The wolf wanted me to go left, for it was the longer way to the old lady’s house. He waited until I walked on and took the right path, directly to the lady cornmeal maker. About thirty minutes after I saw the wolf, I came across a lumberjack cutting down some small trees. He asked me if I were okay, for I was not, but I said differently and told him just to keep cutting wood. The lumberjack must have heard something in my voice when I replied because he told me to sit down and rest. At this point my legs were more than wobbly and I had to restrain myself from collapsing. Sitting down and taking a break felt like heaven. I just wondered if I would be able to get back up. The lumberjack told me how he saw symptoms like slurring words and wobbly legs in animals a lot because he worked in the woods. He diagnosed me with rabies. I told him about the big, bad wolf I saw at the fork and how it was headed to the cornmeal makers. He assured me there were no wolves in these parts of the woods and said I was hallucinating. Later, I learned it was just the old lady’s dog that had been barking when it was wandering about. He said firmly to go home and see the doctor. I replied, “I need to bring muffins to the cornmeal makers for payment,” but the lumberjack forced me home and said, “I will deal with payment of the cornmeal.”

When I arrived back home with the basket full of muffins, my father didn’t seem surprised. Father said he knew that I was too sick to make the journey, but also knew that arguing with me wouldn’t have changed my mind and made me stay. I was too determined, caring, and smart to ever not accept a challenge. The doctor was already waiting for me when I got home and in a few days time, I was good as new. The old lady cornmeal maker was very satisfied with her payment of finely chopped lumber and continued to do business with the Lumberjack and me. We all lived happily ever after, of course. The End!

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Harry Potter and the Starbucks Secret by Sadie Ciamei

Prologue: (Ever Since I got this invisibility cloak on Christmas, I've been sneaking out of my room to explore the main hallways. Every once in a while, I see Snape in the middle of the night walking around very suspiciously, he stops and looks around to see if anyone is in the hallway. Maybe he’s up to something. The first time I saw Snape, I ran straight to my room to tell Ron. I noticed Snape had some kind of stains on his shirt, almost like he spilled a drink on himself which was strange.)

Before I went to bed, I set an alarm for 1:45 am so I can put on my invisibility cloak to look around and try to spot Snape since I’ve been seeing him sometimes. When the alarm woke me up, I looked around to see if anyone was awake but they were all asleep. I got up and tip-toed to the chair that had my invisibility cloak, and put it on. I walked to the door and pushed it open very lightly so it didn't creak. I ran downstairs and through the heavy, black door. I had to go through the moving stairs, which made lots of noise. Creak, creak, creak.When I got to the main hallway, I decided to go through the library to see if they had any books about Voldemort, because Hagrid told me that Voldemort was hiding something. I was looking through the books when I heard a door open.

“Who’s in here?” a grouchy, old voice called out.

I wasn’t really panicking because I was invisible but, I accidently knocked over my lamp and it shattered. The guy turned out to be Argus Filch; he was always grumpy. I ran out and turned the hallway corner. I heard some voices as I did this and surprisingly, I saw Snape and Quirrell. I think they were fighting about something, but I heard them say something about a drink shop somewhere hidden. Snape walked off after going somewhere, and the sound of a door closing came to my ears. I ran as fast as I could to the Gryffindor lobby and up to my room to wake up Ron.

“Ron! Ron! Wake up! We need to go follow Snape!!” I said, whispering. Ron slowly sat up.

After Ron put on his shoes, and I covered the cloak over both of us. We left the room and walked around. Then, we finally found Snape! He had an apron on, which was really bizarre.

“What is he wearing?” Ron said, “It looks like he just made something with food.”

“Yeah, there are stains on his apron.” I said. “ I saw the same thing before! With stains and everything, remember when I told you?”

“Maybe he’s doing something down there,” Ron whispered. “But whatever it is, it must be weird. Why in the school basement or dungeon?”

I thought for a moment, and came up with a great idea. If we follow him, we can see what he’s doing. So, I told Ron my plan and he agreed. We followed Snape as he went through this door that I’ve never seen before. As soon as we went inside this door, I was shocked. It was a giant dog. It wasn’t just a regular dog, it had THREE heads.

“Let’s get out of here!” Ron said.

We ran as fast as we could to the moving stairs. When the stairs brought us to the right hallway where the Gryffindor lobby is, we opened the door and took off the cloak. Maybe the big dog was hiding something…

“Let’s go back tomorrow and actually get through the door. We can trick the dog so we can see what’s in there,” I said.

“Okay, fine.”

Ron and I walked quietly to our room, so we could go to bed.

The next morning, Ron woke me up at 6:00 so we could go to class. After we both got dressed, we went down to Snape’s class with Nevel and Hermoine. As we all walked in, some kids were sitting down already. Hermoine and I sat down at our seats while Ron went to his. Snape wasn’t in the class. After 15 minutes of waiting, Snape rushed in the door and he looked quite strange. He had stains, and a small cut on his leg.

“Sorry everyone, I’m late. I had to run some errands. So, let’s get started,” Snape said, quickly.

For the whole class, I wasn’t paying attention at all. I could tell that Ron wasn’t either by the look on his face. I was mostly thinking about where Severus Snape could have been that made him 15 minutes late. Maybe he was in the place he was hiding? It made perfect sense. The cuts on his legs could have been from the big dog! He’s definitely up to something, and I don't know what. After class, we told Hermoine about what we saw. She agreed to come with Ron and I tonight to go see what Snape is doing with the big, three headed dog.

Later that day at around 10:00 pm, all three of us bunched together in the invisibility cloak. We snuck downstairs to the hallways where Ron and I saw Snape the night before. Ron, Hermoine, and I went to the room with the dog. Once we were there, we opened the door and snuck in. The dog started growling fiercely.

“Hermione, make the dog go to sleep with your wand!” I demanded.

After Hermoine waved her wand and said the spell, the three-headed dog fell to the ground.

“Great job! Let’s look around now!” Ron said, amazed.

She stated, “Thanks, I guess I am smarter than you guys after all.”

I looked around. It was very dusty and it had a bad smell, I guess from the giant slobbery dog. It was just laying there, snoring. Out of nowhere, I heard Hermoine yell.

“Harry! Ron! I found a trap door leading to a staircase! Let’s go through it.” she said, excitingly.

“Okay… let’s go. Remember to walk quietly.” I cautiously replied.

We stepped in the trapdoor. It had a strong smell of coffee. Ron and Hermoine also discovered that. As we walked further down, I heard some loud sounds, like shaking, or blending.

“Ahh, perfect,” a low voice said.

“Is that Snape talking?” Ron asked.

Hermoine replied, “Yes, Ron. Who else would it be.”

“Shhh! He’s gonna hear us.” I yelled quietly.

As we got to the corner of the small, cramped hallway of the trap door that seemed to lead into a dungeon, all three of us peeked. There he was! Snape. Severus Snape.

“Look! Up there, it’s a Starbucks logo. This can’t be real. Why would he have a Starbucks shop in a dungeon being guarded by a huge dog?” Hermoine whispered to us.

“Who's there?!” Snape ordered. His voice sounded low.

I put my hand over Hermione and Ron’s mouth while looking at them in a way that said, don’t say anything! Snape walked slowly closer and closer to where we were sitting. He was now infront of us, staring. As soon as he caught us, we got up and RAN out of there.

“GET OUT!” Snape yelled.

“Go, go, go, go!!!” We said under our breaths to each other.

After running, we felt like we just exploded, out of breath. I looked at them in a scared, and a what just happened way.

“We should tell Professor McGonnagall that Snape was hiding a secret starbucks in a dungeon.” Hermione said bravely, “Come on, let’s just go to sleep.”

The next day came by. It was very sunny and warm. During our lunch, Hermoine, Ron, and I went to Professor McGonnagalls office and told her all about it. The feel of relief hit me because I want to get Snape in trouble. A while after, we all told Severus; a big ‘meeting’ was called in the room where the sorting events happen along with the holidays. Once it was time, I went with the Gryffindors. We were all sitting down at our long tables.

“Hello, everyone. Today I would like to make an announcement.” Albus Dumbledore said.

“Recently,” He look in the audience, straight at Snape. “I discovered something in the dungeons. It was a hidden coffee shop, known as Starbucks.”

“As a punishment for Mr. Snape, he will be getting “banned” for two days. But he won’t be leaving Hogwarts, he will just stay in his room. In the meantime, Starbucks will be opening to the whole Hogwarts! It will be opening officially on Thursday.” Dumbledore yelled, happily.

Now, there was so much cheering. All I heard was yay!! And clapping. I know, we can’t wait until it would open.

On Thursday, there was a big crowd surrounding the doors.

“Welcome, everyone! This is the new Starbucks! You may come in,” Professor Dumbledore said.

Hermoine, Ron, and I opened the doors. It was SO cool. They got rid of the dog, and the trap door. A nice staircase was in the open. It had a sign that said, “Grand Opening!” This was very exciting. I looked at Ron and Hermoine; they looked so happy!

We walked down the stairs. It had lights which were much better. All three of us turned the corner. There were students already ordering! It smelled so good in here.

“What are we waiting for? Let’s get some Starbucks!” we said, altogether.

A Poetic Aside

Buddy by A.B. Glusko

I have met horse in Florida.

He is a gelding named Buddy.

His shiny coat is Chestnut and white with a blond mane

Unless, of course, he's muddy!

I must say I've fallen in love with him.

He loves to jump as much as I do.

He is a little nutty.

His favorite treat is peppermint,

Unless he's feeling cruddy!

We have had some special times together.

He is a fuddy-duddy!

I swear, I would not leave him,

If I did not have to study!

We jump all morning and run our courses.

It really is quite lovely.

The barn is my “happy place”,

Oh, how I love the country!

My story has not always been so good.

I have not always been so lucky!

I have ridden horses since I was five,

And some have left me bloody!

I guess by now you've heard enough,

How this new horse is my honey!

I am such a happy girl,

And man, do I feel lucky!

Favorite Dessert (A Tribute and Short Story in One) by Philip Levonian

What is my favorite type of frozen dessert?

My favorite type of frozen dessert is, and will always be, ice cream.

Now, you may ask me, why don’t you prefer sorbet or frozen yogurt?

I must say, firstly, I’ve never tried frozen yogurt before. Tell me when you can find a frozen yogurt place, maybe that will become my preference next year.

But for now, I shall explain why I prefer ice cream over sorbet.

Ice cream. You can always buy ice cream anywhere. In the parlor, in the stands, in a cafe or restaurant, a sports game, at the supermarket, etc. Ice cream is just so common! It’s everywhere!

Sorbet. It’s not there. You can only buy it at the supermarket and at a restaurant. Besides, the supermarket barely cares about sorbet. And at restaurants, sorbet is barely even an option! Sometimes there are only three sorbets on the menu. And all three are so exotic! Cranberry, passion fruit, acai… if only those were ice cream flavors. If there were more sorbet I might’ve chosen sorbet over ice cream.

Ice cream. It’s smooth and soft and you can eat it without utensils.

Sorbet. You really have to dig in with your spoon. Just too tiring. And you might want to eat sorbet so much but you have to wait long minutes until it melts like ice cream.

Ice cream. You can choose so many different things to go with your ice cream — sprinkles, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, ice, hot fudge, oreos, peanut butter cups, caramel, hard chocolate coating, cookie dough, melted marshmallows, nuts, cereal, a cherry on top, and maybe even fruit! Etc.

Sorbet. When’s the last time you heard someone putting toppings on sorbet, if they even know what that is? Maybe the only topping there is for sorbet is fruit, because sorbet is literally that.

Ice cream. It comes in different shapes. Swirls, spheres, triangles, domes, cylinders, and maybe just circles on a stick!

Sorbet. It’s too hard to shape it. It’s just spheres.

Ice cream. It melts quickly and you can drink it. It’s a versatile dessert.

You can only eat sorbet.

Kids like ice cream. As long as the kids in this world are happy, the world is a-okay.

When I was a kid, we did ice cream fights with my neighbors and friends. We loaded water guns not with water, but with melted ice cream!

Now, don’t try this at home! I got badly hit in the eye one time. That James kid used his new Nerf Gun and loaded it up with ice cream. What a poor waste of good ice cream!

Ice cream can be put on popsicle sticks, unlike sorbet. Well, any of these cons about sorbet may be tried at home. You may be the first to put nuts on your sorbet.

Two years ago, I was over the phone with James’ sister who I was inviting to my house. She asked me whether I can make sorbet. I said, “Oh, Jamie, I can do anything for you, just don’t bring Shark Dodson.” Shark Dodson would be James or his dog, Shark Dodson, a Tibetan Mastiff.

The next day, Jamie came over and my sorbet was ready to serve. The problem was that I didn’t make it myself. The “sorbet” I did make myself was one I did not want to serve. My sorbet was liquid.

When we were eating the real sorbet, I felt quite nervous. I was trembling. I have lied to a friend.

“Helgie, why are you trembling, your own sorbet is wonderful!” exclaimed Jamie.

“Jamie, that’s...that’s...not mine...not my sorbet…” I nervously replied.

“Did you make one?”

“Yes, but...but I tasted it's terrible!”

“We’ll see about that.”

Jamie stood up and went to the fridge. How dare she touch my fridge!

“Jamie, do you not know better? You’re not supposed to rifle through other people’s fridges!”

“But it was my fridge before! I gave it to you for free. As a gift! Remember?”

“No. Or, yes, I do, but it’s… it’s… mine, right?”

“Can we share the fridge?”

“A fridge isn’t a company. You can’t buy a share of a fridge.”

“But, but, but it’s mine! I have every single right to this fridge! It’s my fridge! I have purchased it thirty years ago in HomeGoods of Oak Village! EEEEEEEEEEK!”

Through the front door came Shark Dodson.

Jamie and I were stunned. We did not move a muscle as Shark Dodson paraded through the corridor, approaching the fridge. It was as though his menacing face read, “I want to try this thing!”

Then, breaking a very awkward silence, I said, “Why is Sharkie here—”

I was interrupted by a bark from Shark Dodson.

“Helga, my advice is to never call him anything but Shark Dodson,” Jamie said.

“Fine!” I replied. Then I started in a cutesy tone, “Shark Dodson! Shark Dodson! Come here, boy! Tu tu! Come, come! Awaiting you is a big bag of chicken nuggets!”

“Helga, though Shark Dodson does love chicken nuggets, you can never lure him with them.”

“Fine, then I’ll come to him instead!” I approached Shark Dodson with a big bag of chicken nuggets. “Now, I will take a little ride!” I sat on the Tibetan Mastiff and said, “Go!” while throwing to him a chicken nugget.

Surprisingly enough, Shark Dodson went to the front door. I opened it and we came out of the house.

When we were outside, I climbed off Shark Dodson and he ran back home. I started towards my front door.

Unfortunately, I was met by Jamie standing in the doorway with a disappointed look on her face.

“You take the dog, I take the fridge. Deal?”

“Fine, deal. But you’re not coming back here ever again, after what you said just now about the fridge. I’m not trying to be selfish, but you gave the fridge to me yourself. Why are you demanding back your gift to me? That’s not fair. Now let’s get out of here, and I’m going to catch up to my Tibetan Mastiff, now that I know you’ll never apologize for that.”

“Yeah. You’ll catch up to him in two minutes, and the Tibetan Mastiff will get to James’s house only in twenty.”

So Jamie left the house, thanked me, and drove away.

As I was getting into my car, I thought that the exchange was worth it. After all, I knew that Jamie would not apologize for what she did.

After two minutes at the wheel, I opened the door, reached outside, and lifted the Tibetan Mastiff into the seat next to me. However, he didn’t fit, so I had to put him into the back seats.

Basically, sorbet’s hard to make. Because of that I lost my fridge covered in white flakes. Besides, when’s the next Black Friday so I can buy a new fridge?

However, all you have to do for ice cream is just put it in with milk and sugar and the maker will generate ice cream! It also doesn’t lose you furniture.

Despite what I said about sorbet, it still tastes excellent. Toppings and shapes are just too childish. What I just said was just my opinion when I was a kid. Now I do like to make sorbet, especially when you do it correctly. Ah, how much better it feels when you do things correctly!

You should prefer sorbet over ice cream. Or the other way around. Just have a preference

Once a Wave, Twice a Wave by Kiran Schroff

Two waves

One of water,

One of hand

That motions in the sand.

It waves right over--

Not the hand,

But the one with water

--in the sand.

Over and over the sand

It goes,

Over the wave with the hand

It flows.

Waving beneath the water

The hand is almost gone,

The water waves once more

And now the hand is gone.

Beneath the sand it lies,

And now the water stops.

Beneath the sand it lies,

Both of them are gone.

Keep reading, writing, and drawing! Eighth graders, you are in our hearts! Keep growing your literary and artistic roots! Soon to be eighth, seventh, and sixth graders, study your world this summer and be ready to create. Enjoy your summer!