The Rope Bridge By June Tun and Carolina Sapriza

    “The Rope Bridge”

By June Tun and Carolina Sapriza

There once was a little girl named Mary. It was her birthday, turning seven years old. Her mother had promised her that after she picked up her sister from school, she would bake her a chocolate cake twice the size of her head.

“But don’t stray from the dirt path,” her mother warned, “or else bad things will happen.”

“Yes, Mother,” replied Mary.

“Now off you go!” Mary’s mother walked her to the door and let Rosemary walk off onto the dusty dirt path.

Oh this path is so long, Mary thought. And quite boring.

“I should go to the rope bridge path. It’s so much faster. It’s my birthday after all,” she declared out loud. And she marched off to the Rope Bridge.

Oh, what a wonderful birthday, she thought, I’ll get back home quickly with my sister, eat that big chocolate cake and…

She halted. She was at the end of the Rope Bridge. She confidently looked up, expecting to see the other leafy green trees and a clear azure sky. However, the landscape was not at all cheery and bright. It was the complete opposite. The woods were bare, the sky was gray and bleak, and, at the center of the Rope Bridge, stood her raven-haired sister, looking downwards. Slowly, very slowly—slower than any human could move—her sister looked up staring into the eyes of Mary. But, her sister couldn’t look her in the eyes.  

Because she had no eyes.  Her face was completely blank, blank as a white sheet of paper. Mary gaped in horror, and let out the loudest shriek her lungs could manage. She whirled around and began to flee, not daring to look back. Mary ran all the way back to her home for safety.  As soon as she placed both of her feet down in her house she slammed the door as hard as she could and locked the door. Mary crumpled in front of the chestnut colored door, panting like a dog. Two minutes passed and Mary finally got to her feet. Then she wondered, Where is mother…?

She walked around the house, calling and calling her name.

“Mother? Mother?! MOTHER?!”

She then heard a thunk.

It was coming from the kitchen.

She sprinted to the kitchen. She peered out, and there was her mother, sitting in a chair, facing away.  

“Mother!” Mary cried, and ran to her, arms stretched.

The wretched mother turned; however, it was not her mother, but a white-haired woman. Without a face. Mary stopped in shock.

“Who…Who are you? And what did you do with my mother?” Mary trembled. The woman didn’t move. She simply sat there, head turned to face poor Mary. Where’s my mother!?

She tried to say, but her mouth couldn’t open. The world had turned into a black, noiseless, scentless oblivion.

Because she had no face anymore.


To Kill A Mocking Tyrant By Eden Arnoff

To Kill a Mocking Tyrant”

By Eden Aronoff

I wake up at 2am to train. I go to the secret gym, so nobody will notice me. I click the air and a bright, silvery screen pops up. I scroll down and go to the gym settings and press on the “weights” button. A silver, 30-pound weight crashes to the floor. I wrap my fingers around it and lift it up and down, up and down. Sweat beads on my skin. The light from the sun rising behind me glints off the silver weights. It reminds me of my father’s swords that he showed me. I think back to when I watched him practicing to be in the Marsian army. I was two then. So young. I could not think of what would happen to my father. Later that night a government official spied on my dad with his beady, watching eyes. They took my father away and killed him. No one was allowed to be in the army or prepare for the army if the high tyrant doesn’t say so. So, many years later, I am still fighting for him. But, I hear Luxa crying from her nursery. I run into her room and cradle her. I am also fighting for her, my baby. So that she can do whatever she wants to do, and not what the government wants her to do.

One Year Later

I am going to the dump to find a small foam sword for Luxa. I can’t go to any store because the high tyrant would not allow anyone to have swords. I find two small, gray and blue foam swords. I slink back home. When I get home I clean the grime off of the swords. I find a big, plastic birthday present bag. I lay them inside.

Several months later

I open my journal and start to write…

I just resigned from the army. It seems crazy, I even think I might be going mad. But, I want to do something bolder than being in the army. I want to do something that will change our nation.

I have some ideas:

Overthrow the tyrant

Protest–(not the best, might get murdered or tortured)

Harm the tyrant

Kill the tyrant–I could get tortured just for suggesting it but, he won’t see it coming. But, it is the best course of action–I have a plan!

That night….

“Come on!’’ I insist.

I am coming,” Ian whispers as loud as he dares.

We plan to assassinate the tyrant, Sir Gan. I have put Luxa in the nursery.  

“Can you take care of her?” I ask my sister Neon.

“Ok! I will!” she says enthusiastically. She picks Luxa up and tickles her belly.

I hug her then get in our shiny, grey jet. Ian pulls on the thrusters and we are speeding towards the South grid, where Sir Gan is waiting. The jet speeds along the jetway. I feel like time has slowed down. I see the particles of dust in the air. Ian, my husband, leans back in his red, padded chair. I hear the engine whirring and wheezing. Finally, we enter the South Grid. The sun is pounding down on the city. I look out of the jet’s window and I see grey, cracked buildings and people with depressed looks trudging through the sunbaked streets. We land silently in a jet lot.

We cautiously walk out of the jet and turn on our invisibility suits. We walk out into the street and head towards the biggest building on Mars, the high tyrant’s lair. We take out our blasters and hold them ready. Ian and I slink into the lair and walk up the clear, glass steps. We sneak in and see the high tyrant. He is asleep, his long hair hanging around his shoulders. A wine glass in his hand, filled with bright red liquid. Ian lunges at him and hits his neck. A long stream of bright red blood oozes from his pale neck. His eyes shoot open in surprise. Slowly, the light and hate leave his eyes. They are vacant. Ian turns around and kisses me. We did it! We sneak home and go to bed, dreaming of a better future. The next morning, I wake-up snuggled next to Ian. He is smiling in his sleep. I slide out of bed and go check on Neon and Luxa.

“Ma-ma’’ Luxa giggles.

“Hello,” I say cheerily to her.

I pick her up and face Neon. “Hey, neon! We cut the rotten stump,” I whisper.

“Oh, that is news indeed!” she cried.

My phone buzzes and I check it.

Hi, Sweetie! There are some people at the door. –IAN

OK, I’ll be right there! –ME

I hurry out of Luxa’s room to answer the doorbell.

At the door is a mob of pro-Gan activists. And they are pointing their rusty, silver guns right at my sweaty, pale face.

“How could you?” a woman shrieks.