“Winter” by Leo Russell and Sophie Alzona

Summer had lung cancer.  Why?  Why did this happen to me?  Why me?  I loved her.

“Hey,” she said, reaching for my hand. We were in the hospital; I was sitting on the cot in the white room while she was tucked into the covers.

I pulled my hand away with tears in my eyes. She looked so innocent lying on her hospital bed, she was barely able to breathe, probably. “I love you but,” I said as a tear rolled down my cheek, “I can’t be with you. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I’m sorry.”

Summer looked defeated. Guilt swelled up in my chest. It was the right thing to do. I loved her, but I didn’t feel the love anymore.

I quickly exited the hospital room, exiting Summer’s life as well.

Soon after, a girl named Spring walked into my life.  We had met in Science class, when these girls were bullying her.

“Omigosh, she’s so gay!  No girl in their right mind would like her back!”  one of them taunted.

“Stop,” she said calmly, but I could see tears forming in her eyes and barely spilling onto her cheeks, as one of them shoved her against the wall.

“Admit it,” another said.

Tears were now streaming clearly down her face.  “Shut up!” I yelled.  The group turned to look at me.

“What is your problem?” I cried.  “Why would you do that to her?”

The girl, who had stunning green eyes, looked up at me once the girls were gone.  “Why did you do that?” she asked, with quite a lot of courage.

“U-uh, I know what it’s like to be homosexual,” I stuttered, feeling my cheeks heating up.

“Okay,” she says, pulling me into a hug.  Once she pulls back, she says, “It’s okay.  I’m Spring, your average high school gay.”

I stick out my hand in what I hope is not a nerdy manner.  “I’m Winter.”

“See you around, Winter,” she says, shaking it.  She then turns and walks away, leaving me with a shocked expression on my face and a blush creeping up onto my cheeks.

A couple weeks later, I was with my friends at Starbucks.  Suddenly, the bell rang, and that same girl walked in.  The girl with dark mocha hair and bright green eyes.  Spring.

“Hey,” she said, noticing me, speaking in a loud voice.  “Aren’t you Winter?”

I made a shushing motion and then pointed to my friends.  “L-let’s go somewhere else,” I said quietly.

“Sure,” she drawled.

“Hey,” I said to my close friend, Ann, “I gotta go to the bathroom.”

“Sure,” Ann responded.  “Go hang with your girlfriend.  Just leave us here.”

“Thanks,” Spring said, either not understanding or not caring.  She grabbed my hand and pulled me over to another table.  “Stay here,” she said.  “I’m gonna go get an iced tea.”

She then left me standing there, staring at her skinny, black ripped jeans that hung super low on her waist, Fall Out Boy shirt, and stylish pinstripe scarf that she wore almost like a jacket.  Just staring.  Again.

“Hey,” she said when she got back.  “Want something?” She handed me five dollars, and I shoved it right back at her.

“N-no,” I said, trying to hide my stutter.  “Y-you don’t need to, uh, pay for me.  I can, um, uh, pay for myself.”

She just grinned, shoved the money back in her pocket, and sat down next to me, a little too close for comfort.

“U-uh,” I stuttered.  “I, um, like F-Fall Out Boy, too.”

“You wanna hang out sometime, other than now at a Starbucks? I mean, if you want to,” she rambled on.  “We can just sit and listen to music or something.  Only if you want.  I don’t want to make you come over, but if you want to?”

“S-sure,” I said.

A few months later, we met up for the fifth time, at my house.  My parents weren’t home.  As soon as I told her that, she started screaming and running around the house, throwing her stuff all over the floor.  We laughed and played around until she stopped suddenly, staring at me with those bright green eyes that I had grown to love.

“What?” I screeched, tossing a pillow at her.

“Nothing, nothing,” she said quickly, turning away.  Her phone buzzed and she looked down at it. “Huh.”

“What?” I asked, softer this time.

“I-I gotta go home,” she said.  This was the first time I had seen her flustered.

“Okay,” I said, understanding.  She didn’t want to hang out with me anymore.  Of course I had to blow it.

“It’s got nothing to do with you!” she said, reading my face.  “I really, really like you, Winter!  My dad just got fired, I’m really sorry.  Maybe you could come over next week, just not right now.  We could do something fun!”

“Sure,” I replied, weakly.  I had known her for a while now. Something was wrong, really wrong, but I still let her go.  “Okay.”

“Thank you so much,” she said, her voice tone changing.  “I’m so, so, sorry that this had to happen right now. I mean, I’m sorry.”  She looked down at the ground then kissed my cheek quickly.

“Bye!” she said.  She grabbed her stuff and left.

I couldn’t help worrying about her.

The next week, we didn’t meet up at all, unlike what she had suggested.  She barely looked up in the hallways, and when she did, she just sighed and looked down again.

When we got to Science class, all she did was take a seat as far as possible away from me and pull her knees up to her chest.

She was wearing an oversized blue sweater and a very short galaxy skirt that probably broke the dress code, along with white high-knee socks and black high-heeled loafers.  She had on a dark grey scarf that was almost black, that was styled in a double-knot, something she had shown me but I had never gotten.

In other words, she looked absolutely stunning.

I slowly walked over to her, holding my breath.  She looked over at me when I sat down in the seat next to her, dropping my binder onto the shared table with a clatter.

“What?” she said, turning away.

“N-n-nothing,” I responded, trying not to let my stutter show.

“It must be something,” she snapped, “if you walk all the way over here to sit next to me.”  She said her name like it was a dirty word.  I instantly felt bad for her and felt my madness fading away.

“I just wanted to see if you were okay,” I said, leaning in to wrap my arms around her.

“Go away!” she said.  “You’re already dating Summer and now I know it!”

I was shocked. “What?!” I cried.

“I think we need to talk this out,” she said without a trace of regret.  She tugged at my sleeve and pulled me outside.

“Sure,” I said, reluctantly.  She dragged me through the hallway, carefully drawing no attention.  She pulled her arm away after we had gotten outside.

“Follow me,” she said.

“Sure,” I said, “where are we going?  What are we doing?”

“The bench, skipping class.”

“Do you do this every day?”  I asked, scared for the answer.

“Nope,” she responded.  “You’re special.”  She tapped me on the nose and I reddened from her touch.  After I giggled, she recoiled, as though remembering something.

“Oh, y-yeah, about why you’re so cranky,” I started.

“I’ll talk to you about it if you listen.”

 

 

 

 

“A Monkey’s Nightmare” by Lucia Gutierrez

There was monkey who lived in a tree

He was very authentic and weak

He had bananas for breakfast and Bananas for lunch

And you guessed it, for dinner too

He lived in a tree high above

Alone but happy he had a great life

UNTIL

One-day poor monkey came home from his walk where he found tall men by his tree

One cut, two cut then there were three

No more was monkey’s tree

He felt lonely he felt depressed

He wanted to feel all better again

He smelt the cruel gases from the equipment of the men thickening second by second

Monkey tasted the sweet, tender taste of bananas in his mouth that was no more

Monkey was terrified of what he would have to do now

But all he did know was that he felt dead

 

 

“A Sound from Above” by Lucia Gutierrez  

There was a sound from above creeping every night

Louder and louder it grew

Annoyed by its presence

Angry for its returns

The sound was not kind

Everyday aggressive it grew

Stronger and infuriated

It rubbed of frustration,

Confusion,

Emotion and

Anger

Until one night it disappeared

High in the sky

Lost in the world

The sound that was once horrific became

MISSED

When the realization was that the sound

Was what made the peace

 

“The Bad Feeling” by Lucia Gutierrez  

The fog drifting from all angles was blinding me like a deer in the headlights

Every breath I inhaled filled me with a dark feeling of desperately

I could feel walls around me caving in slowly like a sloth reaching for his dinner, a leaf

I heard loud sirens whirring all around me

I could smell the grueling and murderous smell of gases lingering

I could see darkness from miles away

I thought I wasn’t thinking straight, unsure of what I was doing or where I was

I felt eager to get out of this world

Then I woke up

 

“MY SIDE OF THE SUPER STORY” by Rachel K. Carter        

RING! RING! Went the last bell of the day. “Finally!” I whispered to myself as I headed out the door of my 6th period health class. Health class was my least favorite of all my classes, and I think EVERYONE agreed. At least I didn’t get stuck with clean up job this time. I left class in a hurry, and by the time I got to my locker on the 3rd floor I realized that I left my library book on my desk in health class on the 1st floor. I groaned and headed back to health class with my backpack that said, “Girls rule! Property of Sid,” resting on one shoulder.

By the time I got to the 1st floor I noticed that everyone had already left for home. “Great!” I thought to myself, “Nothing like being the creepy kid who stays after school just creepin’ around.” When I got to the door of my health class I heard a voice coming from inside. I stopped and stood under the door frame.

“Ugh! Why can’t the janitor just do her own job and clean up the classroom, and why did the teacher have to assign me clean up job on a Friday afternoon when he could have done it perfectly fine by himself?!” Oh yeah, the teacher had given the new girl the clean-up job.

I felt kind of bad for her, so I decided to ask her if she wanted some help. I mean she was the new girl after all and that’s hard enough itself. I was about to walk in when I saw the weirdest thing in the entire world . . .

I SAW A BOOK FLOAT ACROSS THE ROOM BY ITSELF!!!

I was so shocked when I saw this that it took me a second to realize that it was my library book (I could tell because it had a green flower on it). I leaned against the cold wall just outside of the doorframe. I was terrified, stupefied; I didn’t know how to react. Then I remembered, the new girl was in there. I wanted to run but I knew there was no way that I could let her get attacked by some floating book! So as quietly as I could, I leaned my head into the classroom. I saw her in the corner facing away from me organizing some books, oblivious that I was even there. The floating book was traveling toward her now only arm’s length away. I was about to warn her, but then the second weirdest thing I’ve seen today happened, she held out her hand and the book landed on it! A few seconds later the new girl started singing quietly, “It may be hard keepin’ my secret but when you got powers it be a treat oh yeah!” Suddenly, I blurted out a very loud, “WHAT?!”

The new girl whipped around, the terror on her face that matching mine. “How much did you see?” she asked me trembling.

“I didn’t see anything,” I lied, wanting nothing more than to be far away from here. “How much did you see?” she asked, this time with more force. I didn’t answer her. I just ran.

 

*****

 

PART 2

I breathed hard. I sweated like I never had before in my life. I was also pretty sure I was going to throw up. I was running down the halls lost trying to find an exit. I rounded a corner and nearly screamed. It was the new girl. I quickly turned around and saw an exit at the end of the hall. I bolted toward it.

“Wait! Please!” the new girl cried. I turned around briefly and yelled, “NEVER!”

While I was turned around I saw her stick out her hand and suddenly my left foot wouldn’t leave the ground.

“AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!” I screamed as I hit the ground with a hard thud.

“Oh my gosh!” cried the new girl as she came closer to me. “I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you!”

“GET AWAY FROM ME!” I yelled at her. The new girl took a step back with shock. I realized that I probably sounded really rude.

“I’m sorry,” I said to her.

“It’s fine,” she said. “I’m used to it. Are you okay?”

I just realized that I couldn’t feel or move my left foot from my ankle down. It didn’t hurt. I don’t feel like I went into shock like when you break a bone. It was just stiff, really stiff.

“What did you do to my foot?” I asked her while trying to move it side to side. “I’m not really sure,” she replied, “but whatever I did I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay; it doesn’t hurt. I’m Sid by the way,” I said holding out my hand.

“Jaylin,” she replied and helped me up.

“Can you walk?” Jaylin asked me as I tried to get my balance back.

“Not really,” I answered her as I swayed back and forth. Jaylin held onto my arm so I wouldn’t fall over.

“When do you think the shock will wear off?” I asked.

“When do you think the shock will wear off?” I asked.

“I don’t know; I’ve never done this before,” she answered.

“What have you done?”

“Well so far I have been able to move small objects with my mind,” Jaylin answered me as she picked up my backpack that fell on the ground when I “tripped,” and started walking to the door, her arm around my shoulder so that I could stand.

“Wow, that is so cool!” I exclaimed.

“It’s okay,” said Jaylin, “So when is your mom or dad coming?”

“I walk home. Both my parents work,” I said. “Although I do have a fifteen-year-old sister who is probably celebrating me not coming home.”

“Hey, at least you have someone to hang with, my parents also work and I’m an only child.”

“Do they know about your powers?” I asked.

“Yes, but they don’t act all weird about it. They actually ask me to use my powers once in a while which really helps me gain control.”

“Hey do you think your parents will let you come over to my house?” I asked. “My parents said it was okay for me to have up to three guests at my house and go to friends’ houses once a week as long as none of them were boys,” I said. We stood by the car pick up lane.

“I’ll have to ask first, but I think they’ll be okay with it,” said Jaylin as she took out her phone and called her dad. I heard the phone ring and then heard the bits of the conversation that Jaylin was saying, “Hi dad, I was wondering if I could go over to a new friend’s house… she lives, um one second. Where do you live?” she asked me. I told her my address and she repeated it to her dad.

“Okay, Dad, I’ll be careful… she, uh already knows… okay talk to you later. Love you. Bye.”

“Can you come?” I asked hopefully.

Jaylin smiled. “Yes!” she said excitedly.

“Great! Wait a minute, do you have my library book?”

“The one with the green flower on it?”

I nodded my head.

“I, uh, I left it in the classroom,”

I stood silently for a few seconds then said, “Okay come on let’s go get my book, but seriously if I see Wonder Women I’m going to lose it!”

“More than when you saw me?” said Jaylin with a grin from ear to ear.

“Maybe,” I replied as we both headed for the school Jaylin still supporting me.

*****

PART 3

“Are you hungry?” I asked Jaylin as I went through the refrigerator drawers, in the kitchen at my house, still balancing on one foot from when Jaylin stunted it.

“I’m good thanks,” replied Jaylin, “Hey, do you think that I could try to un-stun your foot?”

“I don’t see why not,” I said hopping over to where Jaylin was with a water bottle in my hand.

I sat down facing across from Jaylin at my family breakfast bar with my stunned foot resting on the seat between us. Jaylin extended her hand a little bit in front of her concentrating on my foot. Suddenly Jaylin got a weird look on her face and started going, “Ah . . .  ah . . .”

I was about to reach for a tissue at the end of the counter but it was too late.

Jaylin let out a loud sneeze. Then out of the blue, the top of my water bottle shot off and water started squirting everywhere!

“I’m so sorry!” said Jaylin reaching for a paper towel, “That happens sometimes with my powers.”

“WHAT THE HECK SID!?!” screamed my older sister Martha as she came downstairs looking for the source of the loud sneeze that came from Jaylin a second ago.

“What happened? Where did all this water come from? What powers? Sid you are in SO much trouble if you don’t answer me!”

“How can I when I don’t know what you want the answer to?” I said hoping she forgot about the super power question.

“Fine then! First I want to know were all this water came from,” demanded Martha.

“I spilled it, sorry, I’ll clean it up,” Jaylin answered.

“I also want to know who the heck this stranger is!” yelled Martha

“I’m Jaylin, Sid’s friend,” said Jaylin then looked over at me with a ‘was it okay that I said that?’ look on her face. I smiled in return.

“Really? I didn’t think that Sid would ever have any friends,” said Martha, “Especially if you knew that her real name is-”

“DON’T YOU DARE MARTHA!” I yelled.

“Sid’s not your real name?” asked Jaylin.

“Sid is my nickname,” I said.

“SECOND OF ALL!” Martha started again, “What was that obnoxiously loud sound?”

“That was also me, sorry again,” said Jaylin.

“Also what powers? What are you talking about?” asked Martha.

“What are you talking about? Powers! That’s ridiculous!” said Jaylin convincingly. Wow Jaylin is a great actor. She would have totally convinced me that I was hearing things if I hadn’t seen her powers with my own eyes!

“Fine then! I guess I’ll just check the Cat Cam!” said Martha.

I gasped. Jaylin looked confused. Martha saw the confusion on Jaylin’s face and explained, “The Cat Cam is a hidden camera in the kitchen that used to be for Captain Fluffy, the cat we had a few years ago, and we never took it down after Captain Fluffy went to live with our Grandma Sally.”

Now it was Jaylin’s turn to gasp. Martha turned to leave the kitchen when she stopped dead in her tracks nearly falling over, “What the heck!” yelled Martha, “I can’t move!”

I looked over at Jaylin who had an extended arm and a smile on her face.

“Please lets me go! I won’t tell anyone about your powers! I promise!” Martha begged. I looked over at Jaylin. Jaylin said, “Okay fine, but seriously you need to be way nicer to Sid! She’s super nice to you-”

“Trust me I’m not,” I said to Jaylin.

“Okay, I’ll be nicer to Sid,” said Martha giving us a half smile, “and your secret is safe with me.” Then Martha left and me and Jaylin let out a sigh of relief as we started to clean up the spilled water.

“Hey, I can feel my foot again!” I pointed out happily to Jaylin.

“That’s great!” said Jaylin. Suddenly I heard a buzzing sound come from Jaylin’s pocket. Jaylin pulled out her phone and told me her parents wanted her home now, “Bye!” I said.

“Bye,” Jaylin echoed and left.

Well, I thought, all’s well that ends well. That is unless you now have to delete all of what just happened off of the Cat Cam and do all of your homework before Mom and Dad come home. I’m going to have a busy night ahead of me.

 

 

“The Cloak” By Grace Zhao

She was running for her life, again. She quickly turned a left then faked a right, shaking them for a bit, but she knew that they wouldn’t stay fooled for long. She headed to the streets where a small sign, rusted from time, but still recognizable pointed to Alpha Peak street. She had wandered the past for a long time, but this time she wanted to change it. A risky choice, and a usually fatal one for most people, and Shana was warned it would be risky and dangerous, but not as fatal as it turned out to be.

All she had to do to escape from the past was to twirl her new cloak once, but she needed, wanted to save her father. She darted quickly through the streets, turning right at Bradsby and approached the pristine white building with a sign that said “Medical Research Center for All Diseases” or MRCAD. Shana paused for a moment, remembering how she used to joke about it, before quickly snapping out of it. “Don’t get distracted,” she muttered to herself.

“Run!”

She headed toward the back entrance to not disturb the strict security inside. Suddenly, a rough hand burst through the wall that circled the lab and snatched her cloak, hollering, “I got ‘er! I got ‘a wretched girl!” Shouts quickly arose, and the sounds of heavily thumping feet quickly started town.

“Abort mission, and leave it to enemy hands, or lose her life . . . Those were the most sensible choices, but Shana, being a rebellious one, chose neither.

She tugged with all her might at her cloak, praying it wouldn’t rip. She had originally imagined the cloak slipping out of the man’s hand, but his grip was so tight, that he stayed on. Shana heard a thump from the other side and the man’s grip reasonably loosened. “He probably hit the wall,” thought Shana “I didn’t realize I improved so much.” Footsteps were nearing with the owners not bothering to hide their sound, so she gave another quick tug, and the unconscious man’s feeble hold let go. She had no time to fight them, she was on a tight schedule. So all she could do was hope the reinforcements would arrive.

She dashed into the dimly lit entrance, hoping she could save her dad.

“It’s Personal” by Gabe Higbee

“Greed, Sloth, Pride, Gluttony, Envy, Lust, and especially you, Wrath, please, please behave yourselves, just for today! I can’t have you messing up my presentation!”

“With a persona as boring as yours, we can’t help spicing up your life. Though I dare say it’s just yours!” Pride mocked in his usual, teeth-grindingly, snarky voice.

“Don’t worry about me, Skyle,” Sloth assured me, “I’ll try not to take over.”

I sighed. I must look like a crazy person right now, a small, brown-haired kid, who looks too short to be an 8th grader, talking to myself like a madman. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had multiple split-personalities. They’ve plagued my life since childhood:  taking over my brain at random, and making me do stupid stuff.  

The first one of them to appear was Wrath, who acts like the demon on my shoulder. Then came Sloth, the lazy version of me, and Gluttony, the extreme version of me who acted like a daredevil on energy drinks. After that arrived Envy, the cry baby; Greed, the rude uncle version of me, who also acts like a cowboy; Pride, the snarky personality who thinks he’s a prince; and finally Lust, who’s trying to get me a girlfriend. I’ve never told anybody this, however, but everybody notices how much of a weirdo I am already, so telling them I have a mental disorder isn’t too helpful.

“Hey, Twitchy!” Greed alerted me in his cowboy accent, with his usual rude nicknames, “The bus is coming in four minutes.” I grabbed my backpack and ran out of the house.

“Forget the bus! Let’s run it!!” Gluttony suggested, as I sprinted to the bus stop.

“I’m never going to have a normal day, am I?” I muttered to myself defeated.

Luckily for me, Gluttony took over my brain, and I was able to race to the bus stop on time (he was not only extreme, but had more endurance than my regular self). When I finally made it to class, Sloth crying in my brain, I collapsed into my seat. I sat through that and an hour and a half of Math class, almost getting a detention when Greed started judging my teacher’s fashion choices. Finally, it was lunch.

I sat down at a table by myself, until a kind girl my age decided to join me at the table. It was a nice thing to do, but it was the most painful lunch of my life, as I trembled in my seat, hoping Lust didn’t make a move.

“You are truly a majestic being,” Lust said, taking over my body as I struggled back.

“What?” She asked back, taken back by surprise from my sudden change of mood and terrible pickup line.

“You are like a beautiful crimson rose, drifting among the ferns and weeds; a true spectacle of beauty!” I winced in my brain at the cheesy poem.

“Oh, um . . . ok . . .” she startled, as I (mentally) slammed my face into the table. Lust, seeing he had failed to get me a “perfect soulmate,” gave up, and I took control of my body; but it was too late to do anything.

The girl got up awkwardly and left the table, leaving me alone there again, Envy made me slam my face into the table (but it was alright, I wanted to do that anyway). I felt my lip quiver, but not from Envy and sadness, from rage at Lust. But then I stopped as I felt Wrath starting to wake up.

I know the feeling of him waking up very precisely: it felt like a longing in your stomach, a long ancient longing for destruction, for justice, like a volcano brewing. I always felt Wrath, even before he was an actual personality of mine, he was wound into my soul, along with everybody else’s; he was a curse in the truest of ways. Wrath has always been the most extreme of my personalities, a spirit of unending rage that slept through months (if I was lucky) until eventually, my anger wakes him up and he takes over my body. I fear for not only myself, when he takes control, but also for people around him. I only had a little while ‘till Wrath took over. I got up hurriedly and ran out of the lunch room through the hallway. I felt Wrath about to wake up.

“Hey! No running in the hallway!” A random kid said, grabbing my arm. I knew this kid. The kid’s name was Peter; Peter always was one of those snotty kids who always gets on your nerves, and I especially despised Peter! That was enough to wake Wrath up. As Peter began to tell me off for running, Wrath took over.

“What did you just say?” Wrath asked Peter, as I watched in horror, and maybe a bit of satisfaction (I wasn’t Peter’s biggest fan after all), but mostly horror!

“I . . . uh . . . said that,” Peter stuttered back, fear so thick in his voice you could cut it.

Unlike the other personalities, Wrath doesn’t retain my regular stature and characteristics. When he takes control over my body, he changes my voice to that of a demon’s, and my body takes a frightening form: my eyes become a cloudy black, my skin turns a tone of purple (equivalent to what happens to a dead body’s skin), and my joints become crooked. So he had a reason to be scared, seeing a random kid turn zombie-like. I lost consciousness as I watched Wrath approach Peter.

I came to in control of my body again, and instantaneously jumped up to my feet. “What did Wrath do?!” I asked my other personalities. “The kid ran away before Wrath could do anything, so Wrath trashed your locker instead. Hopefully Peter doesn’t tattletale on you.” Pride informed me. I breathed a sigh of relief: Wrath had fallen asleep again.

“I’m sorry to bother you, Sir, but it’s time to get to class!” Envy whispered in his usual shy, sad voice. I rushed off to get to my next class. This is the worst they’ve been for the past month, and on the one day I need them to be normal, like a curse of annoyances I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life.

I made it to class, and sat down at my seat. I then waited through the other kids’ presentations, which all seemed so much better than mine. I started to sweat I was so nervous! Until finally it was my turn to present. I walked up to the front of the class and got ready to present. I felt Envy crying in the corner of my brain as all those eyes stared up at me.

Me.

Me, Skyle.

Me, the weirdo.

Me, the stranger.

Me, the kid nobody knows.

Me, the person plagued by seven annoyances in secret.

Me, Skyle, Wrath, Greed, Pride, Gluttony, Envy, Lust, Sloth.

Me, the person about to be publicly humiliated.

I felt Pride giggle as I stuttered announcing the title of my presentation “The Election of 1800.” The faces of the audience stared at me judgingly. I felt myself beginning to cry. But then, I stopped. I felt a surge of calmness, like somebody telling me that everything was going to be alright. I smiled nonchalantly, and began to give my presentation, and explained the first slide.

The presentation was going swimmingly; but then, my worst fear happened: Greed took over my body. I freaked out! Was he going to mock the teacher?! Is he going to ruin my presentation?! All I could do was listen to him. I hated them! They ruin everything! If I’m happy, they come to destroy it! Do they take some satisfaction in my tears?! They drive me insane, and there’s nothing I can do about it . . . even now, all I can do is watch Greed ruin everything. Watch them ruin everything.

“(Country accent) Dat Thomas Jefferson! He acts like he’s royalty here in ‘merica! Sorry to break it to ya, ya Francophile, but this is a democracy! I’m vot’n for dat Aaron Burr!” He said in his country voice. To my surprise, the class laughed!

“But Aaron Burr is even worse! He has no opinion on any subjects! Voting for him is like voting for a shoat in an allurement tournament! Thomas Jefferson has my ballot!” Pride added in a classy tone. The teacher smiled!

“Hey guys, what about that John Adams? Ain’t he running for re-election?” joked Sloth, before returning my body to me.

“Out of the question!” Gluttony hollered jokingly. This was going, but then, I felt Wrath appear! But to my surprise, he ranted,

“They’re all sorry excuses for candidates: Thomas Jefferson is a croissant loving, blockhead who pretends to be royalty; Aaron burr is an opinion-less toddler who wants to be president, just so he can be president; and John Adams, don’t get me started on John ‘Moron’ Adams! He’s out of the question!”

“Those were the opinions of the American citizens,” I lectured, feeling a surge of confidence. “Aaron Burr found support in the poorer, while Jefferson the richer…”

I finished the speech with flying colors, supported by the comedic remarks of Greed, Pride, Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, (surprisingly) Envy, and even Wrath! When I was done, I was met with applause; and not just the normal applause given to every other speaker: the five seconds of polite clapping as they left the stage. No. It was real, true to the heart applause: people were smiling as they clapped loud as they could, some even cheered, and it went on and on and on! After school ended, people congratulated me, gave me high-fives, patted me on the back! I felt Pride doing his happy dance. I went home, as school ended, and sat in my room, thanking my personalities.

“We thought it was finally time to help you, after all, you are the master of our body; and we’ve been nothing but a pack of freeloading parasites to you.” Pride responded to my thanks, in the warmest tone I’ve ever heard from him.

“Not our body, my body. You’re part of me too!” I replied, smiling. “All of you are part of me!” I added.

And for the first time in my entire life, I felt Wrath smile.

 

“Summer” By Elola Eckford

Sunshine bathes my face in light,

All the trees in bloom!

I can’t help feeling upbeat,

But the autumn’s coming soon . . .

 

Grass is lush green in the meadow,

The flowers are a sight!

Days are long and joyous,

And there’s barely any night!

 

On the beach you can have fun,

Bathing and relaxing!

Seagulls swooping overhead,

While ice creams for brill snacking!        

                                                             

The pool looks cool and inviting,

Compared to the scorching sun!

Little one’s paddling in the shadows,

While avoiding their mums!