Meet the Young Authors Collective 2020-21

Instead of traditional “about me” pieces or bios, the Young Authors Collective (YAC) takes an inventive approach to writing about themselves. This year’s assignment*: take a well-known story (such as a children’s book, fairy tale, myth, folklore, etc.) and create a retelling that helps the reader learn something about you. 

We also have a new addition to the blog: the Virtual Young Authors Collective (YAC-V). This is the inaugural year of YAC-V. It’s designed to always be online (hello, zoom) so that high school writers from around the globe have access to a dedicated community of young writers. 

Meet this year’s YAC and YAC-V Members:

Abi Horton YAC

Alex Beversdorf YAC-V

Alma Ortiz-Sawaya YAC

Carly Boies YAC

Chloe Weiss YAC-V

Coco Browning YAC-V

Danni Werhane YAC-V

Eleanor Thorman YAC-V

Eliana Rothman YAC

Emma Schulman YAC-V

Jacob Block YAC-V

Jonas Rosenthal YAC

Kai Moore YAC

Kara Morrow YAC

Lily Thomsen YAC-V

Lucero Armendariz YAC-V

Lydia Frey YAC-V

Macy Gardner YAC

Malia Walker YAC-V

Maya Rapp YAC-V

Rebecca F. Wallace YAC

Salem Schreiber Hansen YAC-V

Sonya Zakarian YAC

Special thanks to YAC-V members Chloe Weiss, Coco Browning, and Lily Thomsen for all their work to post these blog pieces!

*Due to changes at semester, some members do not have pieces for this particular prompt.

Chiyo’s Last Tour

Adapted from Girls Last Tour by Tsukumizu

By Lydia Frey

War

I remember reading somewhere that it’ll take a decade for every light on Earth to go out after 

the human race is gone. However if you count the light produced by toxic waste then it would take centuries. I think the book that said that was dated 2018, a couple centuries ago, I think, so it’s reasonable to say this is outdated information. According to another book, in the year 2073, scientist Artamonov Yefim Vsevolodovich invented a type of self sustaining nuclear battery that would create power infinitely, which means that any lightbulb or street lamp plugged into it would stay on forever. The lights of humanity could shine for eternity after that. The world rejoiced for what appeared to be a new dawn of man, one marked by endless, clean, and cheap energy. One thing about the first generation that never ceases to amaze me is their ever present optimism and hope for the future. One thing that never ceases to sadden me is how quickly their hope turned into despair. Infinite power became infinite tanks, bombs, infinite casualties to be crushed under the feet of infinite robots the size of skyscrapers. Infinite death on a scale no one had ever seen before. Less than 10 percent survival rate globally. Most of the lights on Earth went out, or broke I guess, after that.The endless power didn’t matter anymore. A light in a home was equivalent to saying “I’m here, bomb me”. I’m not sure what those first wars were about, I don’t think anyone does. Most things from the first generation did survive, their armoured cities, their weapons, and everything on the world wide web(whatever that is, the book didn’t explain) was still around. But all the information about why or how the wars were fought was just gone. Like someone had wanted to erase that ugly part of history. But the craters in the ground haven’t been erased yet, and once we figured out how to turn them back on, their lights have yet to burn out behind their bullet proof glass. But maybe there’s a different reason why the grass stays brown, the forest stays silent and the trees grow leafless and in strange patterns of branches. One that the hand written history book Grandpa gave me didn’t mention. I would never know if that was the case. 

I’m fairly confident there was a second war though. With only a century or 2 to brush off the ashes of the biggest loss of life in human history, humans went to war again, a war that wasn’t hard to figure out. Even with a diminished population, there were shortages of almost everything. Food, clean water, clean air, farm land, livestock, wood, fish, you name it. But there one one thing that there was never a shortage of. Weapons and gunpowder. 

The books stop there. They stop at my generation. The ones with no hope of rebuilding or remaking the world anymore. The ones who’ve grown up in darkness and silence. The 1 percent of the 10 percent to survive. The victims of the victims of wars whose calamity blends together in canvases of broken rubble and shattered glass. The last generation of man. Ever. I don’t really know this of course. It’s impossible to say if there’s not really a secret legion of humans that has survived underground and is preparing to repopulate after the dust settles. But the dust has already settled in every corner and every floor of the world I see. So I don’t think that’s the case. I think the world is ready to be without us. 

Encounter

I’m not sure what the exact year is now. A couple years ago I think I heard Grandpa wish Grandma a happy 2828, but that could’ve been one of his jokes. Grandpa loved jokes almost as much as he loved books. That’s what I remember most about Grandpa. His collection of books, ancient, wonderful, books, was my favorite place. My best childhood memories are of staring at the torn, stained, and sometimes handwritten pages, tracing my fingers across the worn down spines, and thinking to myself how many shelves and readers these books had gone through before they found their way to my tiny hands. Letting myself dissolve into the story. Forgetting who I was. The books set me free, let me escape from everything. I wish I could read them all one more time.

They came at night, with big loud machines and rifles that cut through our camps defences in barely an hour. What a terrible barely an hour that was. I remember screaming, people trying to load as many of their possessions, loved ones, and/or life’s work into the tanks as they could. And the tanks could barely fit any of it. Tanks aren’t typically optimised for storage you see. We were attempting to use bullet proof vests as life jackets. The raiders outside said that they didn’t want to kill us, but everyone inside the camp knew they were going to. They were going to break into the camp, take everything they could get their hands on and kill anyone who protested. Humans just can’t stop killing each other it seems. It’s an addiction. Grandpa was holding my hand and I was holding Yuuri’s. He’d let us pack a small bag before leaving. Mine was full of my favorite books and a bottle of water. Yuuri packed hers full of food. I think Grandpa must’ve been someone important in the camp, because we were allowed to board a smaller tank with seats on the outside. Grandpa had taught me how to drive this tank before now, I guess he knew it was only a matter of time before I would have to use it. Me and Yuuri escaped the camp right as the Raiders broke through the wall. The result was more sounds than I had ever heard before or since. Horrible, horrible sounds.

Streetlights

The growing lights of the city and the rumble of the tank’s engine are the only things that convince me we’re still moving across this endless snow covered field. I didn’t think it would take this long to find the cities but these past months have proved to me, beyond the dusty maps of Grandpa’s study, that the world really is a unreasonably large place.

“At this rate we’ll probably reach the city by tomorrow Yu” It’s an optimistic guess but I want to believe it so bad, the scenery so far along this route has been nothing but snow and mud. I look back at the dropping frame of my sister Yuuri. She pushes her blonde hair out of her face and she looks at me.

“More driving?” she half asks half wines. 

“Driving is what we do Yu, it’s what grandpa told us to do. Drive until we find the cities” 

“But we found the cities, can’t we stop now?”

“No, we have to keep driving until we reach the top levels”

“And then?” her voice keeps going up in pitch with each question. I hope she doesn’t keep asking questions because the truth is,

“I’m not sure” I state flatly “But there’s something up there Yu, something good” Yu’s eyes sparkle with the far away lights of the city. Her endless optimism, like the fuel canisters we pour into the tank, is a precious commodity on this journey. It keeps my foot on the gas pedal and her eyes ahead of us, even if there’s nothing waiting for us there. I am not an optimist. I used to be proud of that fact. I lorded it over my sister like it was a mark of intelligence or superiority. But my pessimism has no place on this trip. So I keep silent about my true thoughts and let Yuuri believe that Grandpa and I came up with a clever plan to find….something good. The truth is that the last time I saw Grandpa, he was telling us how much he loved us and apologizing for the world we have to live in. I still resent him for that. 

Yuuri thinks(or more accurately stays silent) for a bit and settles back in her chair. 

“Is there food up there Chi? That’s something good”

“Yeah maybe” I agree half-heartedly. Food is another thing we could never go without, and not just because we need it to live. While Yu might keep me going, its food that keeps Yu going. If there was only one piece of food left between us, I’m certain Yu would take the pistol we carry in the back of the tank and direct the barrel at my head. I would give it to her regardless of course, pistol or not. You may think that sounds horrible and, to be fair it does. The reason I still love Yuuri is because I know that she would never actually pull the trigger. And the fact that I keep the ammunition in my pocket. 

“Is there more chocolate up there? Chocolate would be a’mazing!! That’s something good, something really good” Yuuri is doing that thing where she cheers herself up by pretending something good is going to happen. 

“There might be” I answer in the most noncommittal way I can

“Yaaay!!!🎵Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, in the top levels of the city… chocolate waits for you and meee. Chocolate, chocolate, lots of it, lots of it. I can hardly wait…🎵” Yuuri sings loudly and offkey. I’m still not sure if I love it or hate it when Yuuri sings. It’s a more entertaining sound than the rumble of the engine I guess. I look at the city again. The lights are definitely closer now. Yuuri continues singing and I continue driving. What a dynamic duo we are.  

Starry Night

“Chi, can we stop Tank?”

“No Yu I told you, we have to keep driv…”

“No I mean stop her for tonight, I’m so tire…” She yawns loudly ”….I wanna be asleep…” her voice is thick and more stupid than usual and I can’t help getting a little annoyed, after singing for an hour and a half she napped in the backseat while I stayed at the wheel nonstop. I’m about to speak my mind when my own yawn cuts me off. I never seem to remember how tired/hungry I am until Yu reminds me. Another reason I need to keep her with me. I make a noise in my throat to let her know I’m pulling the tank over for the night. She lets out a celebratory whoop in response and The corners of my mouth pull up, just slightly. The engine slowly dies and the silence of the universe wraps its arms around us once again. Nighttime(when the tank is off) is when I realize just how alone the two of us really are. Yu hops out of the tank and starts unpacking the sleeping bags while humming an old song quietly. In less than a minute she looks at me, shivering. Even in this pressing darkness I can read her expression and what she wants.

“No Yu, I told you already”

“But it’s so cold! Without Tank running it’s like negative a’ thousand degrees out here!” 

“We’re not turning on the tank, it wastes fuel”

“Then we could start a fire, we have tons of books in the back and gasoline too. All we need is…”

“No!” my voice comes out sharper then I meant it to “We’re not burning the books either”

“Chiii!” Yu whines, but it’s no use. I promised myself I would burn Grandpas, or any books we found. 

“They’re far too important, and irreplaceable” I explain “ If you’re cold then sleep close to me ok?” Yu’s frown doesn’t leave her face but she nods. She doesn’t have what it takes to argue for more than that. We lay our sleeping bags right next to each other in a small ditch that’ll give us some relief from the icy wind that blows across the field. The stars shine dimly in the black emptiness above us. It must be the light pollution from the city that’s diluting the stars tonight. I’ve never seen the night sky without light pollution, a century or 2 of darkness can’t erase the damage already done and the few cities that are left standing don’t give the sky time to heal itself. Even seeing stars is a rare sight these days. It doesn’t rain that often, but clouds and smog are common. Maybe, it’ll be better for every light on Earth to go out. Nothing lasts forever, or at least nothing should. Yuuri’s slowed breathing tells me that it has taken her less than 4 minutes to fall asleep. I wonder if people with empty brains find it easier to become unconscious. My eyes stay fixed on the sky and I want nothing more than to see the lights of the stars as they used to be. Bright and full. And unwavering.

#

Jacob for Lydia: I learned that Lydia’s writing is very much inspired by a nihilistic philosophy, and features a great depiction of physical discomfort.

Cinderella One Act Play: ‘Troubles of a Writer’

By Chloe Weiss

CHARACTERS:

WRITER’S BLOCK (stepmom)

CHLOE (cinderella)

PUNCTUATION (stasia)

FORMAT (drizella)

ICE CREAM (prince)

SETTING: 

Cluttered desk in a tiny, sparsely lit room. A young, ragged looking girl sits at the desk in front of an old computer, staring intensely at the screen. 

CHLOE: (muttering) Would that be direct or indirect characterization? If I put a comma here…..

WRITER’S BLOCK: (from off stage) CHLOE! Come here!

CHLOE: You’ve got to be kidding me.

The sound of a door slamming open comes from the side of the stage, and in struts WRITER’S BLOCK, a thin, sharp looking woman, carrying a box filled with random objects. She slams it down onto the desk in front of CHLOE, shoving the computer onto the floor. As it falls we catch a glimpse of an empty Google Doc.

WRITER’S BLOCK: Where have you been, girl?! I needed this clutter cleaned up hours ago! Get off that computer and make sure this house is perfect!

CHLOE: (distressed) But I’m so close to starting – !

WRITER’S BLOCK: You think I care? No more writing for a week! Now get to it, or it’ll be a month!

WRITER’S BLOCK stalks out of the room with a self-satisfied smirk, slamming the door behind her. CHLOE slumps in her chair, looking defeated as she rubs her temples wearily. She picks up the box with a sigh, and exits the room with one last longing glance at the computer.

Several hours later, we hear the door open with only a slight creak. CHLOE enters, looking around nervously. Snatching the laptop off the floor, she settles at the desk, still glancing around the room. She opens the Google Doc once more, fingers hovering over the keyboard. Just as she is about to begin, PUNCTUATION and FORMAT emerge from the shadows. 

PUNCTUATION: What’re you doing there, Chloe?

CHLOE: (startled) How did you get in here?

FORMAT: We have our ways, stepsister. (leans forward) Oooh are you writing

CHLOE: (stiffly) Yes. 

PUNCTUATION: Well, we can’t have that, now can we?

She snatches the computer off the desk, slamming the screen shut as she prances to the other side of the room with FORMAT, giggling madly.

CHLOE: Give that back!

FORMAT: (snickering) No, I don’t think we will. 

PUNCTUATION: Give us one good reason why we should.

CHLOE: I just want to write. Can you please give it back?

PUNCTUATION: I’m not sure that was a good enough reason…what do you think, Format?

FORMAT: (still laughing uncontrollably) Nope. Horrible reason. Writing is so overrated. 

CHLOE loses it, lunging across the room and tackling PUNCTUATION around the stomach. Both of them collapse into a shrieking, wiggling heap of limbs while FORMAT leaps out of range, the computer crashing to the floor. 

FORMAT: (screaming) MOM!

A fist flies out from the tangle of girls and hits FORMAT in the knees, making her collapse on top of CHLOE and PUNCTUATION. The girls are screaming at the top of their lungs when WRITER’S BLOCK enters, her face shocked and contorting with fury. 

WRITER’S BLOCK: Girls! (louder) GIRLS!

The three girls spring apart, each sporting a brilliant souvenir from the scuffle. CHLOE has a vivid purple bruise rimming her eye, FORMAT an oozing split lip and PUNCTUATION’s nose appears to be swelling rapidly.

FORMAT and PUNCTUATION: (in whiny unison) She started it!

CHLOE: That’s not true!

The girls start bickering loudly while WRITER’S BLOCK rubs her temples.

WRITER’S BLOCK: (yelling) That’s enough! Shut up, all of you!

They fall silent, still glaring daggers at one another. The fury radiating from each of them is palpable. 

WRITER’S BLOCK: Well, that was intense. [ FORMAT begins to speak up, but WRITER’S BLOCK stops her with a shushing noise ] No need to explain. I know exactly what happened here. CHLOE must’ve not been doing her responsibilities and trying to write again, and you two tried to stop her?

It takes a moment for the lie to sink into both FORMAT and PUNCTUATION’S view of the situation, but once they accept it they’re faces twist with evil glee.

FORMAT: Yes! Yes, that’s exactly what happened!

PUNCTUATION: Of course!

CHLOE: What?!? They took my computer!

WRITER’S BLOCK: You horrible child! Telling lies right to my face! No productivity for a week!

[ silence as all the blood drains from CHLOE’S face – she is clearly horrified and furious, her emotions robbing her temporarily of speech. WRITER’S BLOCK, clearly satisfied with the effect that they have had, now addresses her two offspring, PUNCTUATION and FORMAT ]

WRITER’S BLOCK: Come now, girls. We have an appointment at the spa – Chloe, your job is to clean up this mess (she gestures to the room around them, which has now dissolved into utter destruction and generally a disgusting pile of clutter) And I expect you to be done by the time that we get back. 

[ and the three antagonists take their leave, leaving a horrified silence in their wake. CHLOE slumps to the floor, looking distraught, gazing numbly at the heap of disorganisation that is now her room. From far off we hear a faint whistling, that gradually grows louder. CHLOE notices it, and her head swivels around looking for the source of the sound. ]

CHLOE: Don’t tell me they’re coming back already!

[ the whistling intensifies, and ICE CREAM bounds onto the stage. A tall, dark-skinned boy dressed in brightly colored clothes, he is stunning and exactly what CHLOE needs right now. ] 

ICE CREAM: What do we have here? A damsel in distress who cannot fend for herself?

CHLOE: (defensive) Nothing of the sort. I can look out for myself, thanks.

ICE CREAM: of course, of course. But, I gather, a damsel still not altogether happy?

CHLOE: You could say that again. 

ICE CREAM: (considers for a moment) How would the NOT damsel in distress like to go out for a treat? Perhaps lift her spirits? 

CHLOE: That sounds amazing.

[ They exit the stage hand in hand, leaving the mess behind them without a care in the world. We fade to black.


Coco for Chloe: I learned that Chloe struggles with writer’s block. In her piece, she takes the basic plot of Cinderella: a girl facing challenges and uses it to describe her struggle with writer’s block. While Cinderella is facing her evil stepmother and stepsisters, Chloe turns these characters into the three things she struggles with while writing: writer’s block, punctuation and format. It is a very clever idea and very well written. I am not sure if this is the case because the piece is not yet finished, but based on the character of the prince being ice cream, I also learned Chloe likes ice cream.

Heracles Movie

By Jacob Block

The movie starts with Heracles grieving his dead wife and children. He travels to an oracle and explains that he went and killed his family. The oracle tells him to go to his cousin, King Eurystheus and serve him for ten years in order to be forgiven for his wrongdoings.

As he sails to Tiryns Ares, the god of war, visits him and tells him that Hera was the one that made him kill his family and also the one that had the oracle tell him to go to his cousin so that he will die, but he must still do it because it is the only way he can forgive himself for the murder of his family. But he will survive the challenges of Eurystheus and later father the greatest rulers of Greece.

When Heracles wakes up he is at the shore of Tiryns, where he demands to see the king. He meets with Eurystheus and says he wishes to serve him to redeem himself. Eurystheus tells him to wait as he leaves to think it over alone, where Hera appears and tells him that Heracles is destined to overthrow him, but she has an idea to get him killed. Eurystheus accepts Heracles’ offer and says he will give him missions to accomplish in his servitude.

When Heracles gets to a town in Nemea, he meets a young man named Iolaus and tells him that he is here to kill the Nemean Lion. Iolaus says he plans to sacrifice himself to Zeus, but if the Nemean Lion is defeated, the townspeople will sacrifice a mortal lion in his place. Before Heracles travels to the lion’s den, Iolaus says the cave has two openings, so he should block one. When he gets there, he is ambushed by the lion and he attacks it with his sword, which slides off the Lion’s skin. Eventually he gets to punch it in the eyes to stun it, then strangles it to death. He returns to the town with the skin of the lion, and the townspeople celebrate with a banquet. Iolaus tells Heracles he wants to serve him so he can teach him to fight.

 Before Heracles and Iolaus get to Lernaea to fight the Hydra, Iolaus tells him that the swamp the Hydra lives in has poison air, so Heracles tears the skin of the Nemean Lion so they can cover their mouths and noses, then walk into the swamp. Once they come in contact with the Hydra, Heracles quickly cuts off one of the heads and sees two grow from the wound, so Iolaus tells him to cut off one of its heads while he distracts the other heads then cauterizes the wound with his torch.

Heracles and Iolaus come to Tiryn, to tell Eurystheus of their successes. The king says he did not agree to any help, and orders that he continue without the help of Iolaus. Heracles says goodbye to Iolaus and gives him Hydra’s blood as keepsake.

Heracles decides to meet the centaur Chiron to ask for advice on capturing the Erymanthian Boar. Once he finds the location he meets other centaurs who are having a banquet with the god Dionysus, who asks Heracles to join them. He agrees and drinks their wine, which makes him hallucinate his family talking to him. Chiron comes along and sees him crying drunk on the ground and he tells him to come to his house to sober up. Once he does, Chiron asks him why he is here. Heracles says he came to ask him how to defeat the Erymanthian Boar, then he met Dionysus, and he got drunk and saw his family that he killed. Chiron tells him to get it together then he tells him how to take care of the boar: It is immortal when charging, so he must have it run itself into the earth, then immobilize it. Heracles does so, and snares the boar in a net and carries it to Tiryn.

Eurystheus sees Heracles carrying the boar in a net to the palace and he goes to his statue of Hera to ask what to do. Hera appears and tells him he must send Heracles to fight an army.

When Heracles gets to the palace, Eurystheus says his next task is to retrieve the belt of Hippolyta for his daughter. Heracles takes a ship and sails to Themyscira for the belt.

They rest on the island of Crete, where king Minos orders to have Heracles captured. His crew fights off the Cretan soldiers, but one of them is killed in the fight. Heracles rages and dips his arrows in Hydra blood and breaks into the king’s palace and kills two of his sons. King Minos begs him to stop and offers his grandson as a replacement. Heracles agrees and they leave the island with the new crew member and continue to Themyscira.

When they get to Themyscira, Hippolyta comes aboard in curiosity. Heracles asks for the belt as requested by king Eurystheus; and Hippolyta agrees to give it to him, in return for a night of celebration. As the crew parties on the boat, the Amazons grow paranoid of what is happening on the boat. One says they may have captured her, and they attack the ship. The Amazons kill most of the crewmembers before Hippolyta tells them to cease. She demands an explanation, and they say they thought she was held captive. Heracles guesses this was Hera conspiring to have him killed. He says Eurystheus likely sent him to Themyscira so they would kill him. Hippolyta decides they will invade Tiryns to punish king Eurystheus.

When the Amazons get to Tiryn, they raid the palace and apprehend Eurystheus. Hippolyta says to him he has insulted the Amazons by using them for his conspiracy. The Amazons leave with the palace treasure as the cost for Euryshtheus’ arrogance.

Heracles comes to Eurystheus with Hippolyta’s belt and asks for his next task. Eurystheus promises he will not conspire with Hera against him anymore. Heracles says he wishes only to redeem himself. Eurystheus says he must go to the Hesperideans and collect the fruit of their garden to feed Mycenae, and then he will be forgiven.

Heracles returns Tiryn with the Hesperidean apples he took, and when he gets to the palace, He sees that Admete, Eurystheus’ daughter, is sitting on the throne. She says that her father was disgraced and cast away, and she has taken his place. Heracles thus leaves the kingdom of Tiryn.

As Heracles wanders, he meets Ares again, who tells him that Tyndareus, king of Sparta, has been overthrown by his brother and Heracles is meant to return Tyndareus to his throne. So Heracles goes to find Tyndereus.

Once at the gates to the Spartan city, Heracles demands to enter. When the guards refuse, he kills them all, and a guard sounds the alarm.he demands to be let in. When the guards refuse, he knocks all of them out and breaks the gate open. The alarm sounds and Heracles runs through the city, trying to get to the palace, but there are too many soldiers, and he is subdued.

Heracles is sent to the prison under the palace, where he hears the voice of Tyndereus. Heracles has been greatly injured, and is not strong enough to break his chains. Suddenly the belt of Hippolyta appears in front of him. He puts it on and is revived to his full strength. He breaks off his chains and busts open the bars of his cell. He frees Tyndereus and breaks them both out of the dungeon. He runs through all the guards to get to the throne room, where Hippocoon is hiding behind the stymphalian birds, chained to the ground. Heracles takes them out with his poisoned tipped arrows, then pulls one of their beaks off and throws it at Hippocoon like a javelin, breaking his bones.

Tyndareus returns to the throne and asks Heracles what he wants as a reward for saving him. He asks for new clothes and a banquet. So Tyndareus throws a feast in honor of Heracles, and invites all of Peloponnesian royalty; eventually an orgy begins, afterwhich Heracles meets the princess Deianira, who shows interest in him. After a short conversation, they spend the night together. In the morning, Deianira tells Heracles that the river god Achelous has threatened to kill her if she doesn’t marry him. Heracles agrees to go to the god and settle things.

When Heracles arrives at the Achelous river ready to fight, Achelous takes the form of a man with bronze armor and swords from the river; he gives Heracles a sword, agreeing to spar for the right to marry Deianira. At first, Heracles dodges his attacks, but Achelous eventually knocks his sword out of his hands and swings his sword at his head, which is rejected by the Nemean lion skin. Heracles takes out a beak of one of the Stymphalian birds and pierces Achelous’ armor with it. Achelous yields, and Deianira jumps into Heracles’ arms with joy.

Years later, while Deianira walks in the garden of her palace, Hera appears and descends from the sky. She says that she knows how much she loves Heracles and so she gifts her with a tunic she says will make him faithful to her. Deianira gifts it to Heracles, who suddenly goes into an immense amount of pain. He can’t take off the tunic, and he ends up throwing himself into a fire and becoming a god. He forgives Deianira for being tricked by Hera, and then flies to Olympus. 

Deianira’s palace is attacked by Eurystheus; her children flee and find Iolaus, who sails them to athens. Eurystheus demands that the Athenian king Demophon forfeit Heracles’ children. Ares appears and says he will bless his army for the sake of Heracles’ children. Battle begins between the two kingdoms and prince Hyllus ends up killing king Eurystheus.

The End.

Lydia For Jacob: I learned that Jacob is very passionate and interested in Greek mythology and myth. He likes things to be historically and mythologically accurate, which is why he rewrote the Disney Hercules movie into a more accurate version.

Lucero for Jacob: I learned that Jacob really likes and knows a lot about Greek mythology, that’s obvious because he wrote about Heracles. It seems that he either knows a lot about this specific movie, or did a lot of research, or both. Probably diligent at learning about things he’s really interested in.

The Little Prince

By Kara Morrow

Chapter one:

The baobab tree, commonly named the tree of life, is a stubborn breed. This tree sends a constant plague of green shoots from the cracked earth of the Little Prince’s home everyday. A contest of will: the trees or the Prince, deciding who got to stay. The baobab tree can grow to be eighteen meters tall with a trunk diameter of nine meters. If the tree was allowed to grow to such heights, it’s massive roots would split right through the core of the Little Prince’s planet and reduce the world to pieces of rubble that would scatter into the open cosmos. Dutifully, with all the golden sunrises, red sunsets and silver starlight that phased past his home, the Little Prince had his knees in the soil and fingers combing through locks of green grass until the feel of thick, wiry saplings were revealed. He would twine the pale green shoot around his finger and pull until the dirt gave way to a bundle of white roots clinging to the soil with claw-like intensity. When he felt dreariness upon him he would walk halfway around his planet and climb the snowy mountain top, six feet or so in height, and rest his weary head in the soft cushion of freshly lay snow. 

One sunrise, where the sun was making a more rapid journey across the sky than usual, and the Little Prince was back-breakingly bent over his toils, he found a seedling quite different from the rest. Unlike the watery green, with a sickly pale-yellow overtone of the common Baobab sprout, this plant had a vibrant green body, full and rich in color. A single leaf was sprouting from its side, a stout little thing with finely jagged edges like that of a ribbed knife. The Little Prince was filled with insurmountable, and certainly unreasonable, joy at finding such a unique little sprout on his home. Dreams of its awaited beauty taunted his thoughts and filled his fantasy. However, despite his sudden fondness of the plant the Prince would still have to watch its growth with care, and be ready to deroot the seedling if it showed signs of becoming a baobab tree. 

After every sunrise and sunset, the Little Prince would pause his labours and check upon the plant. The sapling grew stronger with each passing of the sun as well as more beautiful. Her stem was petite and elegant like that of a swan’s neck. Leaves, a dark green seemingly plucked from the Little Prince’s stoic eyes, fanned out like wide open arms receiving a hug. At the very top there was a blossom that worked its way out of a green cocoon to present large crimson petals all curled and layered around a soft yellow center. One day, as the Prince was admiring the flower’s beauty, she spoke to him. Her voice was that of sweetness on a breeze and dew drops mimicking diamonds on a spider’s lace, “hello.”

“Hello.” Replied the Prince and curious about the new found species on his planet asked, “who are you?”

“I am a Rose.” The flower told him, “I am the only one of my kind. Who are you?”

“I am a Prince and I live on this planet.”

“It’s a very nice planet,” said the Rose and the Little Prince agreed, “very much so.”

“May I live here on this planet with you?” Asked the Rose and her flower’s petals reflected the setting sun like the shine of an apple, glowing warmly under the light. 

“Of course.” The Little Prince was delighted to have such beautiful and exotic company, “I will take care of you just as I take care of everything on this planet.” 

The Rose soon proved to be a very temperamental and fragile creature. She got cold at night and asked for the Prince to shelter her when the wind blew, but the Little Prince could not do so for he was far too busy with his duties. So instead he brought her a glass bell jar that would shelter her when he was away. The rose also found the rain that fell to the earth far too harsh and abundant for her delicate form and asked the Prince stand over her in the rain so that she does not wilt, but through rain and shine the Little Prince had to tend to the baobab shoots, so he got her a net to cover her with when it poured. 

The Prince no longer climbed the mountain when he went to sleep, instead he rested his head in the bed of the flower’s roots and talked to her. She told him about many other worlds and lives beyond his own. She spoke of a flower that could move and burn people at the touch.
“What is a burn?” The Little Prince asked her curiously and she explained sweetly, “it is when something is very warm, so much that it melts.”

“Like the snow on my mountain turning to water to drink.”

“No, ice does not burn, only creatures like you and I can burn.”

“Why’s that?” Of course the simple Rose did not know, but since she loved the boy’s admiration she lied simply, “because ice is supposed to melt, and we are not.” 

Their daily talks consisted of the Rose telling stories that brought color to his cheeks and sparkles to his eyes. The marvling Prince adored her knowledge and beauty, and the vain little Rose loved his compliments so dearly it seemed to be more important to her than the sun or water that gave her life. Once, when the Little Prince rested his soft brown hair into the nest of grass caressing his face, he asked his Rose, “Dear Rose, how is it that you know so much?”

“Well, where I was from-” The Rose started to say, but the Prince jolted up right to counter, “but you are from here. I watched you grow out of this very soil.” 

“No, I am not from here.” Insisted the Rose, but the Prince knew better and his trust was betrayed. Suddenly the tapestry of stories the Rose had wove him unwound thread by thread and distrust bittered the Prince’s heart. He was no longer sure of anything the Rose had told him and decided that now he must learn the truth for himself. 

Chapter two:

The Little Prince planned dutifully for his leave, he spent many sun cycles weeding out every last baobab sapling down to its roots and filling the displaced earth with snow from the mountains so that it may be too cold for anything to grow. Lastly, he placed the glass dome over his precious Rose so that she could stay warm in nights he was away. On departure he called a cloud down from the sky to help him travel the stars. As the cool misty arms of the cloud dragged him up into the starry world beyond, the Rose wept and cried to him, “I love you,” but the Prince was yet to know love, and therefore return it. 

The first planet the Prince came to was much like his own, small and occupied solely by one person. However this planet was made only of fine dirt and dust, dull brown tones covered the world as far as the Prince could see. A woman with long, black curly hair was running in laps across the world, a pale ringlet of compacted earth set her track from the many times she had run the trail before. The Prince was delighted to watch her speed and agility, her feet landed so lightly that she might as well be flying. The woman was so busy running that she had not noticed the Prince until he asked, “what are you doing?” She slowed to a stop beside the Prince, “I am running.”

“Why?” The Prince had never found a particularly good use for running, so he was intrigued. 

“Because if I run I cannot be sad.”

“Is that true? I am rather sad, I don’t know where I should be headed and I have left a friend behind.”

“If you run your body won’t let you be sad.” The woman began jogging in place, “I will get sad if I stop too long, I’ll be off. You may run with me.” The Little Prince was delighted to try this magic cure-all and joined her. He ran in her wake, far too small and inexperienced to keep up. He puffed up his chest and stretched the length of his stride, his arms dragging the air beside him back and forth. While running did serve to help him forget his troubles for the moment, it reminded him of the heaviness in his legs, the frailness of his body and the feeling of his cheek in a pillow of snow. Soon growing tired the Prince stopped and caught his breath, watching the woman run further into the distance until she was approaching on the horizon. One more time she came to stop beside him, “Why have you stopped running?”

“I am tired,” explained the Prince through thin breaths, “and I don’t feel any happier.”

“That is because you have stopped running. You wouldn’t be sad if you were running.” The woman looked at him with disdain and spoke to him in short breaths as well, though it was hard for the Prince to tell if it was from anger or exhaustion. 

“What if I don’t want to run?”

“Then it’s your fault you are sad.” 

The Little Prince thought for a moment, if he had to run forever to be happy, maybe it wasn’t worth it. Perhaps he could find his happiness his own way. “Alright. I suppose I will be sad then.” The runner shrugged her shoulders, already running past him, “suit yourself.” 

Chapter three:

As the Prince set sail for another planet, one with thick, tropical scenery caught his eye. When he landed upon the planet he could feel the air thicken with moisture and was bombarded with the loud ambience of bugs calling, birds squawking and an old man muttering, “this won’t do, this won’t do.” The old man had his curved back to the prince, hunched over something on the ground. He was dressed in black robes and had a cascade of fine silver locks flowing from the crown of his head. The Little Prince was eager to explore, but also to help. He sat down beside the old man, “what is wrong?”

The old man didn’t seem startled in the slightest, as if the Prince had always been beside him, “this won’t do, this won’t do at all. The ants keep killing my Jasmine flowers you see.” And the Prince observed the fallen and chewed petals of what must have been a field of sweet, white flowers. 

“Perhaps you could use a net, to protect them from the ants,” offered the Prince.

“No, no, that simply won’t do.” The old man shook his weathered head so furiously his sunken blue eyes rattled in his deflated face.

“Why is that? Do the ants need the plant for something?”

“No, but they are allowed to go and do as they please. The land is free for all my creatures.”

“Well.. maybe you could teach the ants not to eat the plants.” The Prince offered but the old man shook his head, “won’t do. This won’t do.” The Prince folded his arms over his chest, starting to get the feeling that all of his ideas would be rejected, “hmm. Well if we can’t protect the flowers perhaps we could get rid of the ants.”

“I do not allow any of the life on my planet to be harmed!” The old man howled and waved his arms so frantically they disappeared in a blur of motion. 

“But you are letting the Jasmin die.”

“Young man, ALL lives matter.” The man said sternly, his blue eyes were both hurricanes, watery, cloudy and twisted. 

“Of course, but it’s the flowers that are dying. They are the ones that need saving.”

The old man was silent, and the Prince thought perhaps the man was considering what he was saying before he went back to murmuring, “this won’t do. This won’t do..” 

The Little Prince thought that at least one of the Jasmine’s should be saved from the carnage. He went deep into the field of dying flowers until he found one that stood strong enough to be separated from its home. “Don’t worry, I will take you someplace safe.” The prince told the beautiful flower and cupped her roots in the palms of his hands. He left the planet in a hurried fashion before the old man could notice. 

The next planet the Prince visited was deep into the night sky. The Prince walked across the planet and found the ground beneath him quite odd. It was rock hard but smooth and reflecting the faint glow of stars above. “Is there no dirt here?” he wondered, “how does anything grow?” As he walked on, a shape grew larger in the distance. A big desk with a single lamp and a single man, writing tirelessly on a single scroll of a paper. His head was hung so low that shadows masked his features.
“Excuse me sir, do you have any dirt on this planet?”

“Shouldn’t.” He muttered with a hot and heavy voice. 

“Oh. Do you have any sunlight?”

“Unfortunately.”

This is a most confusing place the Prince thought, “what are you doing?”

“Counting the stars, I own them.”

“You own them?” The Little Prince turned to stare into the spectacle of warmly flickering lights, candlelight too far to reach, “Well, I suppose you might as well if that is something you feel like owning. Do you know a place where I can plant this flower?”

“Mm, I’ve heard Earth has many plants.” Delighted, the Prince thanked the man and set out for Earth. While he did fully intend to stay awake, the many adventures had tired him out, and the Little Prince fell asleep. 

Chapter four: 

She was used to many visitors in her home, spectators would flock to gaze lovingly at her beauty and the radiance of her sisters in wonder, or to take a few of her sisters away in a proclamation of love. Sometimes her and her sisters would be the veil between worlds, where lovers could sink away in the feeling of kisses and laughter. Among her many guests, the Rose had never seen or heard one with such despair. Her garden of eden had never drawn misery or sorrow before, and she was quite alarmed, “little boy, why are you crying?”

He was a rather average looking boy, with pale skin, brown hair and green eyes, but the amount of sorrow in his youth set him apart from the other children she had seen before. Something in his gaze. The boy had red spots forming under his eyes as salty tears spilled over his high cheeks and down his slender jaw to land on a dying Jasmine flower. He turned to look at her as she spoke and tried to speak through the hiccuping and gulps of air. “M-my Rose. She told me she was the last-last of her kind but-but she’s not. She said she was sp-special but she’s not. She is just a common rose.” 

She paused and considered the delicate situation, it held both the tension and the insignificance of a raindrop about to slip from her petals. To her it meant nothing at all, but only because she was bigger than something so small. She bent her head down slightly as she spoke, curving her long spine down to lean in close to the boy, “well little boy, do you care about this rose?” The boy sniffled, “yes, very much.” 

“Then she is not common you see, she is special to you. She is unique because she is yours. Just as you are not a common boy because you are special to your Rose.” 

“You are not her as she is not you. You are similar as two roses but she means the stars to me and you I only just met.”

“Correct.”

“So, we are special if we are loved?”

“No, we are loved because we are special.”

That seemed to satisfy the child and his tears stopped flowing suddenly, like a faucet he’d simply turned off. He looked down at the wilting plant in his hands, “may I plant her with you?”

“Yes, but hide her in our brambles or else someone might pluck her out.” She moved her thorny bushes aside to create a home for the delicate flower. As she was settling her greenery back in order she noticed the boy already walking away, talking to a snake that had joined his side. 

Chapter five:

Dear Rose, 

I remember how you told me that I am not meant to melt, but I fear the cold within me has allowed my body to do so. I am not burning as you have described, instead of fading to ash my skin grows red and peels itself. I don’t know how many layers I have lost yet, but I do feel thinner. 

The Pilot allowed me to wear his hat from time to time and I hid from the melting by laying under the belly of his wrecked plane. Water tastes so much sweeter here. We had to walk a great distance to find some, so long that I could have lapped our planet three or four times. 

The Pilot crash landed here. He has a big metal bird that fell from the sky because it was hurt, but it’s all fixed now. The Pilot will fly away in his great machine and in my time here on the planet called Earth, I have learned I must fly home too.

A kind snake has offered to help me, his voice is almost as soft and sweet as yours. He will bite me and send me up to be with you. I have a small doubt though, I saw the alarm in the Pilot’s eyes when he saw the snake. He tried to kill it and begged me not to go with the snake. But this is the only way I will see you. 

I do not know exactly what death is, but I’ve seen it in the plane. Death leaves everything physical behind but takes away something we cannot see, and something I cannot understand. A spark. If that is what happens to me I don’t know if I will ever see you again, or be able to take care of you. 

Know that I will not be sorry because I have died, but because I have left you behind.

However I won’t be leaving you with nothing, this note and the sheep will be attached to my person when I go, and since they are for you I am sure you will receive them. The sheep will eat all the Babao sprouts for you, and the glass dome will keep you safe from its hunger. I wish I would have gotten a muzzle for the sheep as well but I realize now there will always be something left to do that won’t get done. 

Happily, I am coming to you. 

Love,

My love, from me to you,

Your Little Prince. 

Chapter six:

Where does heaven lie, if the stars reach forever? To work so hard, to be so strong, for death’s final endeavour. Is she falling, is he flying, looped in a dead ringer, an old man’s touch, a thousand bolts, leaves sparks to linger, figments to let us burn, We shall be brave, we shall be true, for death is not what bothers you, but fallen planes, sunken ships, wilted petals and ice cold lips are thoughts that sever tongue tied ties, before you say I love you. 

Eliana for Kara: The main thing I picked up from Kara’s piece is that they have experienced many things in life and have gone on many journeys. These journeys and experiences have made them who they are today. They have found their identity by visiting multiple “planets”, discovering the life there and what that life means to them. I noticed that the rose is a very common occurrence in Kara’s story. At one point the little prince says,  “M-my Rose. She told me she was the last-last of her kind but-but she’s not. She said she was sp-special but she’s not. She is just a common rose.” The woman he is talking to responds, “well little boy, do you care about this rose?” The boy sniffled, “yes, very much.” 
“Then she is not common you see, she is special to you. She is unique because she is yours. Just as you are not a common boy because you are special to your Rose.” 
The rose could be interpreted as many things in Kara’s life; it could represent their identity as a whole, a specific person in their life, an event, a memory, etc. The point is that in the story this is when the prince discovers what it means to be special, to be one of a kind. He discovers what it means to be loved and what a large concept that is. This kind of event is a very large one in a person’s life. This too could be interpreted as many different things, but it seems like the point in Kara’s life when they began to embrace themself. I could be wrong, but that is how I interpret it. Lastly, the story ends when the prince dies. It is interesting that this is how Kara chose to end their story. It seems like a sad note to end on, but Kara presents it as a positive thing-with the kind snake and the pilot, and the prince’s final letter to the rose. It is a peaceful scene with many characters, and expresses the end to a long, difficult journey. Overall, this story is very layered and complex but it says a lot about Kara, no matter how you look at it.

In which Rabbit has an unexpected visitor with a very large appetite.

By Lucero Armendariz

In the very early morning, Rabbit awoke to a trilling bird outside his window. He sat up in his little bed with a bleary eyed blink around his room. Gentle sun melted through the window as the forest woke up. It was then that Rabbit remembered that it was a Lazy Day, so he wouldn’t have to do much at all. Not at all. But of course, being a rabbit with a very anxious disposition, he arose to tidy and tend to his small garden. Tra la, I think a nice piece of toast with a bit of honey may do well for breakfast, Rabbit thought to himself. He set down a little porcelain plate down onto his table, and poured himself a cup of black tea. 

The day passed slowly, Owl had dropped by Rabbit’s house to inquire upon his fragile state of mind and growing collection of books, and Rabbit had responded that he was doing well, and that he had recently acquired a book that detailed how to care for gardens. Owl chuckled and perched upon a tree branch above Rabbit’s head, and there they sat to discuss the going-ons of the Forest. After the wise old bird had taken his leave, it was quite far into the morning indeed. He then picked up around his burrow, and checked on the carrots he had been growing. It was then around lunchtime, so Rabbit stood in his small kitchen and contemplated lunch options. The cupboards were quite full, as Rabbit grew and cooked his own food. The wheat he had sown and harvested in the fields across the stream had been used in a variety of pastries, one of which looked positively scrumptious to Rabbit at the moment. “Carrot cake!” he said aloud to himself, and pulled it down, along with the condensed milk, so as to pour on top of it. 

He had only just settled himself into his seat to tuck in, when there was a voice from outside his door. 

“Is anybody at home?” 

The voice in question belonged to a certain yellow bear who was notorious for eating quite a lot of honey. Rabbit considered for a moment. Pooh was a kind neighbor, if not a bit daft, but Rabbit was not in the mood to share all of his honey. 

“No!” He yelled, as he busily put his lunch away somewhere that the ravenous bear would not find it. 

“Bother! Really, no one at all?” Asked Pooh, with a hint of glumness. 

“Nobody.”

There was a pause, and then the bear said, “well there must be someone there, because else no one would be saying that there isn’t anyone home!” 

Blast! Rabbit pinched the bridge of his twitching nose as a yellow head emerged through the hole, should never have replied he mused. 

“Hullo Rabbit!” 

“Hello Pooh…”

The bear heaved his way through the little hole that was Rabbit’s doorway, until finally he had his whole body in Rabbit’s house. He looked at Rabbit expectantly, as though waiting for something.

Rabbit sighed and then looked back at the bear standing in his parlor. “Care for something to eat?” He asked begrudgingly, to which Pooh nodded his head and ambled in. 

In Rabbit’s kitchen, Pooh settled himself on one of the stools around the small table and tied a napkin around his neck. Then he turned to Rabbit and asked “what about a mouthful of something?

“Honey or condensed milk with your bread?” Rabbit asked as he began getting out the plates and mugs, knowing very well what was coming.

“Both,” Pooh answered, then said “but don’t bother with the bread, please.” 

Rabbit looked petulant, but dropped a bit of honey onto his plate. “Is that enough?”

Pooh stared down at the dollop of honey sitting on his plate and mumbled “Oh quite, quite, but perhaps a bit more?”

“Well how about I simply give you the–” But Pooh had already snatched it from Rabbit’s hands and begun to spoon the gooey substance into his mouth. “Thank you, Rabbit!” But Rabbit couldn’t understand, for his voice was muffled and sticky. 

Hours passed as quickly as the honey was being eaten by the bear. Rabbit couldn’t bear to watch his entire honey stockpile be eaten, so he went about his business as Pooh occupied himself with his late afternoon snack, then dinner, and then desert. Then darkness had fallen over the Hundred Acre Forest, and Pooh was only then preparing to leave. 

“Good evening, Rabbit,” he smacked, grabbing Rabbit’s hand and shaking it vigorously, leaving it covered in honey. “Thank you for the lovely meal! I must be going now.”

“Must you?” Rabbit asked, so as to not be impolite.

“Well, is there any honey left?”

“No… I suppose there isn’t.” Rabbit shook the honey off his hands daintily and then grimaced at Pooh.

“I see. Well! I’m off then!” and he waddled over to the front door. 

Rabbit stood with his hands behind his back, watching as Pooh struggled to heft his mighty girth through the door again. Rabbit watched as the bear squirmed in his door, dread creeping up behind him as the yellow, honey covered bear grumbled about small doorways. After a few more moments of this, a voice came faintly through the other side of the door.

“Bother. I believe I’m stuck, Rabbit.” 

The dread that Rabbit had felt quietly creeping up, bit down on his head. He threw his hands up to his face and said “oh dear. Oh gracious. Well. Hm. It all comes from eating too much!”

“It all comes from having too small of entrances!” Pooh responded, as Rabbit gave him a great shove in the hopes that he might pop out. 

“Oh dear, I believe we’ll have to call Christopher Robin,” Rabbit said, his voice filled with anxiety. How would he survive with this large bear blocking the entrance to his humble abode? It would be absurd to go around back to leave the house, no, that would be preposterous, because according to Rabbit’s Routine, you were not allowed to go out the back door unless you were gathering vegetables or hanging clothes to dry. All other meetings or jaunts through the forest had to begin with the front entrance, else he very well could cause his crops to die, or some other terrible thing could happen. “Yes. Christopher Robin. I’ll fetch him immediately.” And out the back he bounded, even though this was against the Rules.

Soon, Christopher Robin and the rest of Rabbit’s neighbors were all crowded around Rabbit’s plugged doorway. Christopher Robin patted Pooh on the head and promised he would get him out soon, as he evaluated the level of Stuckness of this situation. He offered Pooh his hand, and began to pull him. Rabbit soon joined in, grabbing Christopher Robin’s shirt and tugging at it. Then, after trying to pull him out, they stepped back. 

“It’s no use,” Pooh grumbled. “I’m stuck.” 

“Well, if we can’t pull you out, we could try to push you back in?” Christopher Robin suggested. 

“Oh dear me, no, not that! Goodness gracious! No.” Rabbit scrambled back into his house and began to push at Pooh again. “Having got this far, it feels a pity to waste it!” 

Rabbit’s efforts were unfortunately futile, and Pooh was forced to stay in the door.

“Well, it seems as though you’ll just have to wait until you get thin again!” Christopher Robin remarked after that. 

Rabbit slumped against the wall next to Pooh’s backside. “Dear me…” 

Pooh didn’t look delighted either, he looked worriedly up at Christopher Robin and asked “how long will that take?”

Eeyore, who hadn’t said anything up until this point looked up from where he was grazing and responded “could be days… Weeks… Months… Who knows.”

I don’t know how I’ll be able to stand this, Rabbit thought to himself, his hands on his hips as he glared down at Pooh. Why does this always happen to me…

The following weeks were slow, every morning Rabbit would walk down the stairs to the foyer and find the yellow rump of a slowly thinning bear still stuck in his doorway. Pooh often had visitors to help pass the time. Christopher Robin would flip through the pages of picture books with him, as neither of them could read very well. Rabbit often talked to Pooh as he walked about his house, though the mumblings weren’t always nice. He was peeved that he had to deal with his door being stuck, and he felt it was unfair this had happened since he had only been trying to be hospitable. Rabbit’s life didn’t change drastically, but even small change wasn’t welcome in the twitching rodent’s home. He now had to exit through the back door, which he was slowly growing accustomed to, but still worried every time he exited to do something that wasn’t hanging laundry or gardening. Not one day had gone by that was as peaceful as the morning of the fateful day that this had all begun. 

Rabbit worried constantly that Pooh would never leave his doorway. He worried as he read books, wrote, washed dishes, made dinner, and even before he fell asleep every night. Pooh was an intrusion, whether or not Rabbit was talking to or near him. 

This is how Rabbit spent his days, doing chores and worrying. Until one morning, when Rabbit wearily leaned against Pooh’s foot, and the bear inched forward in the hole. “You budged!” Rabbit cried, throwing down his robe and barreling out the back door to call Christopher Robin. 

Soon, once again, the whole neighborhood was gathered around Rabbit’s doorway. Christopher Robin took both of Pooh’s paws in his hands and began to pull at the bear. Rabbit was next, grabbing onto Christopher Robin’s jacket and hauling at him. Then their other neighbors began to form a line, all of them pulling at the yellow bear in the hole. Finally, finally, the bear was pulled with such force that he flew out of the hole and got stuck in a hollow tree across from Rabbit’s house. Rabbit was nearly rabid with excitement to be able to go back to his old routine, but he was tired. He hadn’t slept well in weeks, so he crawled through his newly open door, walked up the creaky stairs that led to the second floor of his burrow, and fell asleep in the armchair near the window, where the morning sun was seeping in once again. 

Lydia For Lucero: I learned that Lucero is very anxious and likes to stick to a routine, even when said routine might not make total sense. She gets distressed when things get in the way of her routine, big or small. The stories of Winnie the Pooh give her comfort in a sometimes chaotic world, which is why she chose it. She also relates to the character Rabbit.

Alex for Lucero: I learned that Lucero and I have a lot in common, and that she’s skilled at expressing her challenges through writing, which makes her work feel authentic.

The Fairy Mashup Mix

By Emma Schulman 

First Godmother perspective:

Over three million ballroom dresses, and especially for a very famous princess a long time ago. I do have to think about how the dress might go in different stages.  There will be the stage of wanting to go to Washington D.C. Even though she has something to say she will be criticized for her clothing. She will want to document the events that have and both currently and in history. So the dress may need to take her back in time. She’ll want to ask other women what happened to them. Make sure she fully understands the events. Whether that be Christina Bailey Ford or the Cambodia dress code law. After all, she will need the pen to record things after the way she heard christa Blasey Ford made people speak. She will use the pen to create worlds of her own as well. But we are not going down that rabbit hole. The dress will need wings when she wants to escape. When she wants to travel. The dress will need to stand out in the night sky so she can see. She will need to have the dress available to play. She does have two siblings after all and a couple of baby cousins. What she doesn’t need is a dress, she needs something else. But let’s keep the wings. She’ll want to speak and speak louder. If only Cinderella had these options. This dress is not just meant for her though. That will always be on her mind. After all her ration ship with clothing as a whole is compacted. But it can nonetheless be fixed with time. She will need a sword. That’s for sure. 

Cinderella once got locked in a closet and was not allowed to express herself. It was by someone who didn’t understand her yet. I think that it didn’t help that when she gained the ability to walk out something was just pressing on her. She had a love, but it was for the queen, not the prince, and this infuriated people. Not everyone, but it did a lot. People did wonder why the queen? She seemed like such a good girl. Why was she going down this route? Had a simple answer:  she just loved the queen. She didn’t realize it but the queen was also being locked in a tower. The village girl had a glass slipper she was trapped within her castle.  She broke the glass slipper, turned it into a sword to cut down the door. When she cut down the door dreams filled in, such as a dream you wish your heart makes. The queen stuck in her castle, needed help from the village girl The village girl went off because she realized that once she freed her from the castle, she could help not only the queen but every other woman. 

The village girl had made mistakes. She had not realized what the caste system was in place in the kingdom, but she would learn. The castle was a huge symbol of this cast system. She was scared, however, that if store it down she would hurt the queen. She was able to get out of the tower to meet the princess. The townspeople had been turned against the queen,  by the king. What would end up having to happen is that the inside of the castle would have to burn. For this, they would need an army and two women would have to meet.  But why I’m I is still talking about these women as though they are a part of a fairy tale. Let’s look at what women are doing with their lives. 

London

What one woman is facing:At a fundraiser where only men were invited, the women waitresses were told to wear matching underwear and heels, according to the financial times. . Some of you know this at the presidents club charity dinner. For our first woman, her boss was at that event. 

This is how this woman, named Iris, is being impacted. 

The screeching alarm box is going off. How do people do this? How are people just expected to obey the orders of a thing that is yelling at you to get out of the warm blankets? Ding dong.” Who is it, I’m wrapped in a blanket, leave me alone. “ I brought you coffee and a bagel, now get up you little dimwit. I immediately pull the blankets over my head and rush to the bathroom. I pour some toothpaste on my toothbrush, scrub my teeth with it for about five seconds, run to go toss on clothes, and grab a part of nonmatching socks.

I threw them on and headed out the door with my brown trench coat. She smiles at me.

“You know you are an incredibly cute hot mess. “ I roll my eyes. Now listen, be nice. Don’t make jokes about last night’s evening. And just remember to be nice to Johnny,” says Mariah, pushing her long hair away from her face. 

We get in a cab. Last night we caught our boss putting his hand up a  waitress skirt. We were told to give a file to our boss, but we couldn’t wait so we ran to the event. I know Mariah doesn’t want to get fired. Neither do I.  She’s just trying to protect us. That’s when we saw what I wrote down on my napkin :

Some of the men were executives from different government departments. Some of the men our boss included were extra inappropriate with the hostess. At 10 pm. Only men were at the event at the presidents club, a charity event that was supposed to be giving money for hospitals. The only women that were there were the hostess and they were dressed in black. I’m sure there are others. There are probably some photos of the event taking place. 

Now, why would I joke about something as serious as this? Because dark humor gets me through a lot of different things. When we get to the office, I put my napkin in an envelope with a letter addressed to a friend who lives in Russia. Maybe she can give me some advice about what to do. I have to tell somebody. 

 When I get to the office, I see we have a new employee.  I think my boss mentioned where she was from. It is some strange land that I have never heard of before. I think it’s called gynaika polimistis ( female warrior in greek). She described it as a kingdom far, far away. I see a sticky note on her desk. It says that she is going to be out of the office for a few minutes. 

When I sit down at my desk, I look at my schedule. I am going to go to NYC in a few days with Iris. We thought we would try to take a few days off. Maybe then I can try to get her to do something about our boss with me? I mean we stood up against the evil queen, all of those years ago when she kissed me and woke me up, why not do something brave now?

Poland 

combat violence against women. According to the same news site, after protests 

Poland recently considered leaving the domestic abuse treaty, AKA the Istanbul treaty, according to the New York Times. Poland is also one of the stricter  European countries when it comes to access to birth control and abortion. 

This is how this woman, Iga,  is being impacted. 

I’m about to get on a train because i can’t do this. I can’t do this thing. I am tired. I tried not to make him angry. I tried going to the police. I tried. One thing I can not try to do is have his baby. I have already tried other more dangerous methods and I almost had to go to the hospital. This thing is going to take out my life span and  I can’t do it. I am on my way to the train station. I see some protests going on about the new law. I want to join them,  but I can’t. I’m scared that my husband will see me in the photograph from the protest.

Once I arrive in London, im getting an abortion than,  I’m getting on-air plain to go to NYC.I have been going back and forth with a friend named Iris, who’s helping me pay for this trip.   I’m about to open a letter, when I think I see .. pixie dust? What the hell. I don’t have time for this. I get on the train when I am seated, I see a woman, with what I think is a sword. Admit not this shit again.  I sit down access from her. She smiles. She finishes, leaving an envelope. I, being the idiot that I am, pick up the envelope. It tells me about my mission. I sigh. 

Cambodia : 

According to Reuters news agency, a new law in Cambodia that would go into effect next year would ban men from wearing t-shirts and prevent women from wearing anything too short or see-through. A woman was also charged for wearing “ revealing outfits “ while on a live Facebook stream. 

What Chantrea is facing 

Okay, I know I’m not the first woman on the run for something like this and I won’t be the last. I know getting around immigration will be easier said than done but it is possible. Gosh, I have not even gotten in trouble yet and I am already thinking about it. I am thinking of all of the worst-case scenarios if I go live with my aunt in the UK. I saw a woman get pulled out of where she was living a few days ago. I even wrote everything down as to what happens:

A few days ago the women posted on Facebook wearing what would be considered revealing clothing.” At 3 pm today an officer came and knocked on her door. There was some argument going back and forth between the officer and the man she was living with. 

I just don’t want someone to report me for what I posted on my social media. I have school to finish a life you know? Plus that gorgeous lady at the library, okay no no focus. There is a protest today. People say they keep seeing some weird figure at them, but they do. That scares me though I have to entirely try to fight this or run.  I then turn around to see a photo of my aunt. Running it is. 

A few days later I packed my bags. I head to the airport. When I’m on the airplane, I swear I saw a woman with a sword. She also looked like she was wearing slightly broken glass slippers. She also winked at me.

  When I get there the two other women are there to greet me. One of them says ‘ I think this stupid fairy wants us to got to get to greet another woman, and she gave us a riddle to try to figure out who she is ” she says. 

Godmothers perspective: the one with the glass slipper

Women all around the world are finding their power. Everywhere they do they bring the magic with them and they’re turning down their own castles. Irs, Iga, and Chantera are all having the same thought at the same time, how do we tear down this system. Oh, wait before I forget there is another place these women have to be. I’m so sorry I almost forgot. 

But first some background. Do you remember when said the women would have to meet? Well, I cursed all of them many years ago. I poised an apple that one of the women ate and they had to come together to fix the problem. Thus how Mahira and Iris fell in love. 

Just like I fell in love with the queen all of those years ago. Then my fairy godmother gave me her magic when she died.

Now I know none of this makes sense. It doesn’t have to.  See you in Nyc! 

Love,

Your favorite fairy godmother. 

New York :

What Juilet is facing: there were two deceives charged with raping a teen in Brooklyn,  both of whom received probation.   USA Today article. This victim is not the only one who’s received this kind of mistreatment from police officers.

Julia’s perceptive:

As a social worker for the state of New York, I have to take notice of when one of the kids I look after has violated their probation, even when they have had a terrible experience with law enforcement. I’m wary about reporting this to any law enforcement officers. This poor young woman has already been so traumatized and to make matters worse she can’t go to therapy, because she can’t afford it.  I know she violated her probation, but there’s got to be a way to cover that upright? I’m struggling here. I get a call from the office phone: there’s a woman here to see you, ” she says then hangs up. 

I get up and go to the bottom floor. A woman who looks like a queen is staring at me. At this point I’ve seen so many crazy people,  this doesn’t phase me. “Can I help you?” I say. “Yes you can, actually,” I’m looking for these women. Their names are Iris, Iga, Mariah, and Chantrea,” she hands me the photo. Lady, I’m not the police, ” I say. She grabs my arm and hands me a file. That would be able to get the kid I’m working with therapy. Oh my gosh. I start my search. 

A few days later I found out I was staying in a hotel. I go to meet them.right before I knock on the door, someone opens it. ” she’s here,” says someone. She lets me in. ” Well lets up this dress fits her, ” says another woman,. ” what is going on,” I say. They explain to me that they’re trying to help a fairy godmother find her girlfriend. If they do, a bunch of domestic violence shelters will be funded. This is because the fairy godmother’s kiss will crush the banks into giving out loans. Iris and Marah exercised this the first time. The other women are involved because they benefited from the funding. the fairy godmothers trust them to make sure everything goes over smoothly.  Aplenty so do I. Regardless of whether or not these women have magic, if they’re rich and need help, I will go along with it. 

 Apparently, we were supposed to put them together at the event we’re going to. 

At the ball: the  queens perspective

I have been trying to find the women who wanted to break me out of my castle all of those years ago. Tonight might be the night. I had to go through the rabbit hole and meet Alice who guided me through wonderland, but it was worth it. I put on my best purple dress with my heels. Women have worked so hard to get us together. I am going to read them with gold. 

But of course, a dragon had to show up. When the dragon showed up. People were running all over the place. The dragon almost burned down the empire state building but of course, we were able to convert him back into the king. But none of that is really important. Mostly because I kissed her. 

Us, the two fairy godmothers lived happily ever after. 

The end. 

Macy for Emma: What I learned about Emma is that she is very aware of social imbalances, specifically, equal rights for men and women. She is an activist for the equality of men and women (which I admire) s how people may perceive her, whether they are right or wrong, and she still stays true to herself. She is a deep and wants to improve the world for the better. 

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by Eleanor Thorman

Quivering fingertips traced the window frame. Hair, once colored fire red, now salted and capped over an elderly woman’s face. Below the tower, she watched the waves below strike at rock again and again. “Ariel” voices below her echoed but she paid no attention, her thoughts wandered now with the sea. Years before, she had longed for a chance to peruse among the shoreline – longed to go past the limits of the sea. It had been years since she had touched the water, a fear she had held with her since she had last submerged herself below. It wasn’t her anymore, she reminded herself. She was not the child who had so long ago swam beneath the castle and through the ocean, wishing for a different life, not anymore. She was the woman who lived in the castle, along with her husband and she was queen. Still, thoughts of the ocean had taunted her since she left, something she couldn’t quite let go of. Perhaps, she thought, it was time to go once more, perhaps this once could be the time to do it so that these thoughts would plague her no longer. She slipped off the windowsill, walking slowly towards the shore. As she walked, she felt the weight of her feet grow, her pace slowed and she walked for a long while before her feet hit the sand. Only then did she realize how close home had been for so long. The years had drawn her further from the shore and into the towers and ballrooms. Once she came upon the sea, she lifted her feet out over the sand and put it into the mesh of seaweed, the cold washing over and back to shore. The feeling felt foreign, yet so close to home that she couldn’t decipher anything about it. But so simply too did she feel that both could be home. Head, then feet and toes submerged, and she was the ocean once more.

Lily for Eleanor: I learned that Eleanor is grateful for what she learned when she was younger and feels like her younger self is important to who she is today. I liked that she used the imagery of a castle and the ocean to represent two different parts of herself and show that both are parts of her.  

TITLE PENDING

by Salem Schreiber Hansen

It is in the great expanse of nighttime, 

Computer buzzing like a false star to the tune of raucous music, Scarves hung up on walls like drapery, 

That a painting may sit unfinished. 

Old idols with hands reaching past star fields, 

Quaint whispers of tired words between reels, 

Coaxing the sleepless to stay awake. 

How many nights had gone pass, 

Lost in thought beside traveling house, 

Laughing joviality pools of unsureness? 

A young child, 

Told old soul and ticking clock and remnant thought, Lies counting the stars, 

Thoughts halfway cast between here and Mars. 

Goodnight to the roses, 

The needle pricks and the proses. 

Goodnight moon, sun 

Goodnight earth, fire, wind and air; 

‘Good night noises everywhere’

#

Alex for Salem: What I learned about Salem is that they often rely on themself for company, but have found solace in it and have a positive spirit. 

Charlie and the Library

By Macy Gardner

Charlie lived in a middle-class neighborhood, but his house was probably the biggest on his street, though it doesn’t look like it. He lived with his dad, mom, and sister. The house was the right size, if maybe a little big. 

Charlie and his mother loved to read. His mother, Paige, had a library that was rarely used to read in and more of a storage room for books. But nonetheless, the floor to ceiling shelves were chock full of interesting titles, but of course, most were off-limits for him. Charlie kept his own books in his closet, but he was running out of room so much so that books were stacked on top of each other. There wasn’t a solution in sight. 

One of Charlie’s favorite places to go in the world, besides London, was the library. It didn’t matter which library, just any library. Most of the time, Charlie would go to the public library after classes got out. It was a few blocks away from the school, so Charlie would walk and spend a few hours doing homework or reading a thick book. The library was beautiful. It had a few different sections: an adult section, a teen section, a kids section, and an audiobook/CD section. That was also where the holds were. Charlie’s favorite part of the library was the floor to ceiling windows in the teen section. There were window benches and it had a perfect view of the mountains. 

After a particularly challenging day at school, Charlie headed to the library as usual. As the double doors swung open, Charlie’s cell phone buzzed. The text read, “Hey Charlie! I need you to come home and watch your sister today. Love Mom”. Charlie groaned and stuffed his phone back in his backpack. He turned around and headed out the doors of the library. 

By the time Charlie returned home, his mom had already gone and Jenny, his sister, was doing her homework at the kitchen table. Jenny was ten years old and seemed to always miss when someone said something remotely important, but never missed a mention of her name.

“Hey Charlie! How was school for you?” she asked as Charlie set his bag down on the table. She glanced up briefly, but back down at her assignment. 

“Fine. How about you?” Charlie replied. He wanted to be in the library, but their mom was way too overprotective of Jenny. She still didn’t trust Jenny to put the steak knives in the knife block after they’d been washed. 

“It was pretty good, but Katie called me a crabapple because she said I was always grumpy, so I called her an onion because she made people cry. And Mr. Robinson partnered me with David, Alex, and Jacob for our group project and-” Charlie cut Jenny off because she knew that she wouldn’t shut up until she’d gone through every single detail of her day up until that very minute. 

“That’s great, Jenny. Listen, I have some homework to go do, okay? Let me know if you need anything.” Charlie bolted up the stairs to his bedroom, his sanctuary. Charlie threw his backpack on the small bed in the corner and went straight to one of the many bookshelves that lined the walls. He selected a small red leather one. Charlie knew that he had to finish his homework before he could start reading, otherwise he would never finish the work. The book was merely motivation.

A few hours later, Charlie stretched out on the sofa and opened his novel. But as he did, a large silvery bookmark fell out of it. Charlie was no stranger to random bookmarks, but he was certain he’d never seen it. However, it looked cool and a bookmark was a bookmark so he set it aside and began to read. The book was captivating, though he had read time and time again. He read so hard that when his parents came home from work, he didn’t notice the door, which creaked quite loudly. 

Just before dinner, the book completed and back on the shelf, Charlie went to go find Jenny. She had a habit of disappearing to the basement to watch television secretly. 

“Jenny? Are you down here?” Charlie called. He climbed down the stairs and sure enough, there was Jenny, three feet away from the screen. 

“Charlie, watch this! You should try it!” Jenny shrieked. So, Charlie sat and watched. It was a stupid infomerical at first, but then Charlie realized it was sponsored by the local library. 

“Hey bookworms! Have you ever wanted to take a tour of a library? Specifically, a VIP tour? Well, now’s your chance! For the next two weeks, beginning Monday August 5th, you can! Just look for the silver bookmarks hidden in your books! Select libraries participating. Secondhand glitter on the bookmarks may cause itching, shining, redness and irritation.” the tv said. Charlie leaned back, hand clapped to his forehead. August 5th was last Monday. That bookmark I found came from one of my books though. 

“Jenny, I have diarrhea, be back soon.” Charlie jumped off the sofa and ran upstairs. 

“Gross, TMI!!” yelled Jenny. She shuddered and faced the tv again. Charlie went straight to the red leather book. Sure enough, there was the label of the library. Luckily, Charlie always saved the check-out receipts. He went through them at the end of the month. The book was checked out on August 6th. This is it! I’ve won! 

“Charlie, Jenny, dinner’s ready!” Paige yelled. Charlie hurriedly washed his hands, grabbed the book and bookmark, and what hopefully appeared as nonchalantly, walked to the table. Dinner was fettuccine alfredo, the perfect dish for Charlie’s ecstatic mood. 

Charlie’s dad, Sam, was already sitting at the table. He had his napkin in his lap and his phone in hand. Sam was always working, but he also always had time for family. 

“Charlie, no books at the table.” Sam reprimanded. That was one of the house rules. Charlie pretended not to hear. The news was too important. Paige set the plates down on the table.

“Charlie, no books.” Sam repeated, “Thanks, Paige. This looks great.” Charlie looked at Sam. Sam stared right back. 

“But, Dad, it’s important news, and I want to show it to all of you!” Charlie spoke fast and excitedly. He may not have been jumping on the outside, but he certainly was on the inside. Seriously, he felt like his stomach was in his esophagus. Sam regarded Charlie with a puzzled expression, but allowed the book to remain on the table. 

Once everyone had sat down, and were done jumping up to get water or salad dressing, Charlie spoke….or tried to and was interrupted by Jenny. 

“Did I tell you that Katie called me a crabapple today? So then I called her an onion, and Mr. Robinson paired me up with Jacob, Alex, and David for our group project, so I’m worried they’re gonna do nothing and then I’ll do all the work and get a bad grade.” Jenny paused for breath and during that brief moment, Charlie jumped in. 

“Guess what? I’m so excited about this! I checked out a book from the library last week and it had a silver bookmark in it!!” he yelled. Charlie’s family just stared at him, confused. Jenny harrumphed, Paige’s eyes lit up, while Sam stopped mid-chew. 

“Really, Charlie? Oh my gosh! That’s amazing!” Paige shouted. Sam still looked puzzled and Jenny was just mad Charlie had interrupted her story. 

“Charlie, do you mind elaborating, perhaps?” Sam asked. He hardly watched TV and when he did it was one of four things: the news, Spaceballs, Star Wars, or Battlestar Galactica. So, Charlie explained about the commercial he’d seen and how he had checked out the book. 

“Charlie, that’s awesome! I’m really happy for you!” Sam said, when he finally understood what was going on. Sam didn’t quite understand why Charlie was so excited about books, but he was happy that Charlie was happy. 

“I know! And look, it says I can take someone with me!” Charlie yelled. He sprang out of the chair and started pacing as he thought. Mom would enjoy it the most, Jenny would talk the entire time, and Dad would probably be really bored. Mom is the obvious choice, but… 

“Charlie, please sit back down and finish dinner. We can decide who will go with you later.” Paige picked up her fork, as did everyone else at the table. Jenny continued talking. 

“I might talk to Mr. Robinson about it. Maybe he’ll let me switch to be with Emily, Katie, and Alexis. Also, Jason from soccer, you know him, yeah, he kicked me in the shin at practice, but it was okay because I had my shin guards on and then-” Jenny paused, once again, but this time to shovel food into her mouth. Cream sauce splattered all over her face as she jammed her mouth so full, it was a wonder she could talk. 

“Ay chiched yay sin vack ath e wath nad at ne” Jenny tried to speak some more but Paige reprimanded her.

“Jenny, chew with your mouth closed! And don’t talk with food in your mouth!” she scolded. Jenny closed her mouth and finished. 

Dinner passed in much of the same fashion, but Charlie didn’t hear another word of what anyone said. He was too busy thinking about who he should choose to accompany him to the library. He knew that anyone he asked would go with him, but he wanted it to be the most meaningful experience he could make it. Okay then, he thought, Dad it is. 

“Dad, will you do the library tour with me?” Charlie asked. Sam stopped once again, but instead of confused, he was shocked. 

“Charlie, you realize what you asked me right? I am possibly the worst person to take on a library tour. Why don’t you go with Mom instead?” Sam exclaimed. He knew it would be a great opportunity to be with his son, which didn’t happen very often, but why did it have to be a library?

“Yes, Dad, I know what I asked, and I’m sure of it.” Charlie declared. Charlie was determined to have a good time with Sam, whether Sam wanted to or not. A tiny little bit of Charlie’s heart hoped that Sam would at least understand what books could do, maybe not love them like Charlie did, but certainly embrace them a bit more. 

“Well, if you really want to do it, son, I will.” Sam told Charlie reluctantly. Sam hadn’t done more than drop off and pick up Charlie from the library, but this was the first time in all his time living in the neighborhood he’d ever stepped foot in it. 

“Really, Dad? Thank you! Thank you so much! You’re the best!” Charlie crowed. He ran to hug his dad. 

Two weeks later, Charlie and Sam were waiting outside the library. They had gotten there a few minutes early, and Charlie was just about to pee his pants with excitement. Sam stood very still and grimaced slightly every time he saw the sign that read “Library” above the double doors. More people arrived and within a few minutes the assistant librarian unlocked the doors and spoke into a megaphone. 

“Attention to those participating in the tour. Please stand on the right and everyone else on the left. We will allow civilians in first and soon the head librarian will be with the tour shortly.” she announced. Charlie and Sam obediently stepped to the right along with five other kids and parents. 

Everyone was let into the library and the head librarian walked out. She was a tall woman with her vibrant red hair pulled back into a tight ponytail. Ironically, she also wore red heels and an oatmeal-colored power suit. 

“Welcome to the finest library in the United States. My name is Wendy Wheedleman. I am pleased to show you all our fantastical secrets.” Wendy said. She spoke with a British accent, which made Charlie wish he could be in London at that very moment.

Emma for Macy: There are a few things I learned about Macy from their piece. Macy often enjoys reading and going to the library. Mostly because it’s a good place to escape to. Macy often dreams of moving away, to a faraway land….. known as London, or anywhere.