“This Poetry” by Isabel Ostheimer

“This Poetry”
by Isabel Ostheimer

This poetry is sorta sucky.
I can’t reach deep into my heart and pull out the feelings
The reasons why people write poetry is to get it out
Bu there are always some things that would be better off bottled up
So maybe can’t write poetry because I can’t fully access my feelings.
Oh well
I tried

“Free Style Poetry” by Isabel Ostheimer

“Free Style Poetry”
by Isabel Ostheimer

Many think this should be written with deep depressing thoughts
Voices in your head that you just can’t get rid of
Haunting thoughts that whisper in your head
Making up something would be so easy
My brain says it’s logical
My heart says it would be beautiful
But my soul says it would be dishonest
Poetry is all about being honest, about telling a story that connects with you
So I’m going to try to be honest
It might not be heart breaking
It might be trouble
But it will be me
So don’t tell me what to write
If you don’t want to see don’t read.

“My Dream” by Isabel Ostheimer

“My Dream”
by Isabel Ostheimer

It is the thing that I have been thinking of since Kindergarten
An achievement that can shape my life
I’ve been planning on doing this for as long as I can remember
When thinking about it I felt so confident
But now it’s sooner than ever
I’m not prepared
This isn’t the movie in my head
I’m freaking out
My parents tell me if I don’t get in it will be OK
They will love me all the same
I know they will
But mom never mentions it while dad continuously asks me
“Why don’t you study so much”
“Do you even care”
“You might not get in”
I’ve been wanting this since kindergarten and now I’m having to face the fact that it might not happen.

“Lisa” by Emma Lin

“Lisa”
By Emma Lin

It was colorless. Just like it always was. The world’s color seemed to vanish all at once. The dark grey sky hovered over the town as small white flecks began to drop out from them. It was as if the heavens was gifting them with these precious gifts. Soon, the town was covered in a thick layer of snow. The sky’s dark grey color became light. The ground was not visible for a thick white blanket covered everything. Within seconds children got on their thick coats, their little boots that barely managed to fit and their small gloves. Their hats dangled clumsily on their heads as they stubbornly laughed and threw snow at each other. Soon teenagers and adults crept out of their burrows in their comfy houses. Adults shoveled, and tiny figures dragged their wooden sleds up snowy little hills. Little did they know, this joy that was brought to them was the sorrow of someone else. Lisa. Lisa remembered. She remembered everything. The day of her first day, to her very last. Her colorless eyes stared from above in the clouds and watched the joy of those down below. She remembered it all very clearly.

It was a dark 1800’s night; her father didn’t come home yet. The snow was pouring down already. The wind howled for what seemed like for hours. Her little siblings curled up in front of the fireplace. Her mother was pacing in front of the door.

She was coming to her mother’s side and touching her mother’s shoulder. She wrapped her thick jacket around her and moved outside. She was going to find her father. At least she thought she was. For hours, the wind blew against her. Her fingers were white. Her face was red. Her boots were full of snow.

She still never found him. “PAPA!” She remembered yelling. The wind howled back at her. She felt tears well up in her eyes. Her last breath. Her last glance of the world. It was not with her family; it was out in the cold. No color. Only white.

“The Tale of the Gold Girl” by Sofia Manalo Kwaterski

“The Tale of The Gold Girl”
by Sofia Manalo Kwaterski

My name is Aiko Akamine. I have a sister. Well, more like I had a sister. Her name was IA(ee-ah) and I lost her long ago. Before I get into that I better start at the beginning, but don’t be fooled even though I am writing this—it is her story. She was a sickly child and for a long time we didn’t know what caused it. I still think it would be better if we hadn’t found out at all. She had the fatal disease Lebriah. It’s something you’re born with, and there’s no cure. Everyone who ever had it had died before 5 years, so I wouldn’t even call it living. Anyway, because of her illness we had to move to an underground city that supposedly treated people. Little did we know that this so called city was actually a trap. The city was called Hirashima Ugi but everyone called it Hell’s Corner. And it was. The city was not a medical treatment station but a slave trap. Anyone unfortunate enough to step foot in that place would surely not see the light for a long, long time. And, unfortunately for us, it was too late to turn back.

As slaves, life was hard and the work was grueling. If you stepped out of line they would murder you without a second thought. We grew up with death all around us. No hope, happiness—no nothing. We feared for our lives but mostly we feared for IA’s. She was nearing 5 years and not getting any better. Till one day my mother and father proposed something in secret. They knew that IA would likely not live but they still wanted to give me a chance at life. They would make me disappear. The devised a plan to make it seem like I had died of hunger when in truth I was being sent to a better place-or so they said. It was better but I missed out on having a sister and I don’t know if it was worth it. But I left and no one was the wiser. Even my dear sister did not know that I was actually alive at the time. She learned the truth eventually of course, when I finally found her. So, I’m going to go back in time, to a time where IA was just 5 years old. Keep reading, don’t stop.

*****

“Aiko has left,” “She’s just gone on a little holiday,” and “She’ll be back soon.” Mother had said these things over and over to me, but I knew the truth, Aiko was dead. I saw the man cart away her body that was wrapped up in a carpet. I tried to stop him I really did, but it was no use. Father hissed that the Absinthe soldiers would kill me, if I tried to interfere any more than I already had. She was gone, a year has passed since she died and I had moved on. Everything was fine now, no beatings, sure there were still executions but I lived with it. Everything was fine. Or so I thought.
Screams echoed throughout Hirashima. My father jumped up and ran outside to see what the commotion was. My mother was as pale as paper. She turned to me and said, “IA, I will go outside and see what is happening , you stay here and hide.

“No I won’t! I’ll come with you!” I protested.

“IA D Gold. You will do what I say right this instant!” I relented and hid while my mother left. There was a huge explosion that shook the whole house. I became worried that mother might have been caught in the blast. So I left to go find her. I ran and ran searching for her silvery pink hair, or her purple cat like eyes, I heard her voice east to me and headed that way. I spoted her with some of the invading soldiers.

“Why are you here?” She cried. “Just leave us alone. We’ve done nothing wrong!

“You Gold scum always think you’re in the right!” an unfamiliar voice sneered. “We came for the keys!
Now tell me where they are!”

The keys? I thought to myself. Oh yes! I remember now! (flash back 10 or so minutes before) “Oh wait!” my mother gasped. She quickly ran down stairs and when she came up she was holding something. 20 crystal keys that reflected light in beautiful shades. Each bore a different symbol. I was entranced by them. She put them in a little pouch and tied it to me.

“Why do I need these?” I asked.

“These are the Twenty Commandments. They are our sacred keys that have been passed down for generations. Keep them safe for I have a sinking suspicion that the reason they came were for these. I have to go now but soon—some day—all will be revealed!” (fast forward 10 minutes) I had the keys, my hand reached down to get them and save my mother from certain death but. She quickly looked at me, and did the smallest shake of her head. I stopped frozen.

“All right if you’re not going to tell me where they are, then your useless to me!” The soldier yelled. He unsheathed his sword and murdered her in cold blood without an ounce of mercy to share. I watched her fall to the ground. Saw the men cruelly laugh as if it was some kind of game. I turned around and ran tears streamed down my face, but still I kept on running. Away from the father that never really loved me, away the screaming crowds, the burning buildings and up the stairs and outside.

The sky was a brilliant blue and the sun was shining down. I shielded my eyes temporarily blinded. I had never once seen the sun or sky only read about it in my books. It was ironic really. My mother had just died and yet the sun still shined and the birds still sang. I walked for a long time. Till I came upon a town. It was surrounded by a wall on all sides. I stared up in awe at it.

“I don’t think I’ve seen you around here, who are you?” I turned around startled to see where the voice had come from. It came from a girl with brilliant red hair and mercury colored eyes, “Well? I’m waiting?”

“Oh, sorry. Umm, my name is IA, IA D Gold,” it was a miracle I even managed to get something to come out of my mouth.

“I see. Do you have parents?”

“No,” I said, sad to say.

“Well, you can come with me I suppose.”

She led me inside the town and through a tall metal gate. She talked to a grownup who looked down on me with cold unfeeling eyes. They talked some more and nodded.

“What was that all about?” I asked her.

“I asked Korose if it would be okay for you to stay here.”

“Oh, okay. My names Akane by the way.” She held out her hand and smiled a warm smile at me.
I shook it and asked, “Akane, what?”

“Huh,” she said confused. “Your last name.” I insisted, “What is it?”

“Oh . . . I don’t have a last name. Or at least I don’t remember it.” She looked down sadly.

“Well that can’t be helped. We’ll just have to give you one.” I said.

“Huh? Give me a name?”

“Yeah!” I said excitedly.

“Like what?” she inquired.

“Hmmm . . . well how about . . . Oh! I know! Your hair it’s bright red like the color of a red rose!”

“So?”

“We’ll call you Akane Rose! Now I’ll never forget your last name. All I have to think about is your pretty hair!”

She thought about it for a moment and then answered, “I like it!” She grinned at me and right then I knew that everything was going to be just fine.

“Hidden” by Nilaya Kuntamukkala

“Hidden”
by Nilaya Kuntamukkala

I live in a secret village- only known to griffins like me. It protects us from dragons and other ferocious predators. Most griffins aren’t allowed to leave the village, BUT a select few are allowed to. To make sure we are extra safe there are jobs for all the griffins. When every young griffin grows up we get to pick a job. For many of the jobs, we must tryout to see if we have what it takes. The job options are . . .

The guardians. (I WILL HAVE THIS JOB. YUP. I WILL! And we all know it…)

The hunters. (I guess hunting is okay)

The scouts. (Yeah, I’d much rather be a guardian)

The caretakers. (Meh, kind of boring)

The mentors. (Teaching is so BORING. And mentors are so MEAN. I’m definitely NOT being one of those).

The guardians, hunters, and scouts are the more difficult and dangerous jobs. The jobs you need to try out for. The jobs you have to train for since you were a little whelp.
The guardians have the most dangerous job. They . . . well, guard. They protect us from threats. Fight dragons or any other creatures who mean us harm. In case you didn’t notice, it is the job I will have when I grow up. The job I WILL have. I WILL- there is NO DOUBT I will have this job. And the tryouts are tomorrow.

*****

“I’m so sorry Moon, you’re not cut out to be a guardian,” The lead guardian sighed.

“NO. THIS ISN’T ACCEPTABLE. THE GRADING SYSTEM IS BROKEN.”
This can’t be happening. I prepared! Since the beginning of my life. I mean . . . I might not have payed attention to the teachers. And I failed at everything I was supposed to do. And the teachers hated me. OK, so maybe I didn’t do a good job preparing. MAYBE. I thought.
“No, I’m not broken. Just so you know I grade you all; therefore, I am the grading system. I’m pretty sure I can grade perfectly well. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”
I paused, “Oh. Oh. That’s true. Can I retake it? Can I redo the tryout? I PROMISE you won’t regret it!”

“No,” the lead griffin, Flare said. “The tryouts are held ONCE every six moons. You’ll just have to keep training.”

“But- but. I’m ready!” I begged. “PLEASE!”

“No. You’re dismissed,” Flare pointed at the exit. “I have to go grade the other students. Bye.”

“But, no! NO! I-”

“Go,” The big griffin said sternly.

“FINE!” I thundered off.

I sat in a corner. Thinking about what had happened. Then I heard footsteps of someone coming behind me.

“You did well . . .” A soft voice called out.

“You’re just saying that to be nice,” I argued before I even knew who I was talking to.

I turned around and looked at the griffin speaking. She was a tiny bit smaller than me but she was
just as fierce. Correction—more fierce. Her name was Breeze. She had already completed the tryout. Guess what—she’s a guardian!

Breeze thought for a moment. “Yes, you’re right. I was just saying that to be nice.”

I scowled at her. “Wow. Well, you’re SUPER nice.”

“Well, I was just agreeing with you.” She smiled at me. “You did have it coming.”

“You’re not supposed to agree with me!” I growled.

“I’m serious.” She sounded serious.

“I can tell,” I agreed.

Breeze frowned at me as if trying to decide if I was joking or not. “Let me speak! Okay. I’m serious-”
“I know.”

“STOP already! Okay, I’m serious, you—”

“I know.”

“SERIOUSLY. You need to pay more attention to your mentor,” she paused as if expecting me to interrupt again. “And, maybe. Ya’know, since I’m an expert, I can train you.” She winked at me.

“First off, you ain’t no expert. Second, sure great idea, EXPERT!”

“I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not.”

I just smiled and then walked away.

Just as I was walking away someone else walked up to me. “Hi Emerald.”

“Hello, you did great.” She said to me.

“I feel like this is going to be a repeat of another conversation I just had.” I added, “No I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did.” She responded.

“No, I did not.”

“YES, YOU DID.”

“NOOOOO!”

“YESSSSS!”

“GRRRRRR.”

“GRRRRRR.”

And that pretty much sums up that conversation. So, it got pretty weird after that. You don’t wanna know.

As I was walking home I heard a horrible sound. A HORRIBLE SOUND. ALMOST as horrible as Emerald’s dancing. The sound I thought I would never hear . . . the sound of dragons. But—I thought our town is safe from dragons! The only way a dragon could have found our home . . . oh no. They got a hold of the enchanted jewel that hides our town. OH NO. I need to defend the school.

WHY’D THEY ATTACK THE SCHOOL? Oh, the poor little griffins trying to learn (okay, OKAY, I know I pretty much just called myself a little griffin because soon I will be going back to that school. UGH). And I know the guardians are the only ones allowed to fight, but I can’t watch the dragons hurt my fellow griffins.

My parents are going to hate me after this . . . I thought.

And then I dove into battle.

“If a Tree Fell” by Danni Klein

“If a Tree Fell”
by Danni Klein

Something was wrong as I crashed through the woods on my way to my shaded sanctuary. The birds were not singing. Not only that, but the birds were nowhere to be seen. I understood why the moment I saw the state of my beautiful banyan tree. It was my home away from home. My favorite place in the universe. No place was like it, no place brought back just as many memories. But there it lay, on its side, its branches cracked, broken, and bare. I had found it here three years ago. It had a disease, and I read about the illness and nurtured it back to health. But this spring it didn’t bloom with pink flowers, and I knew that this day was soon coming. I knelt respectfully in front of the fallen warrior and murmured a few words of goodbye. After a few moments of silence, I stumbled blindly back towards my home across the woods, feeling cool, silent tears trickling down my pale cheeks.

I lay on my bed like a statue. I was silent, but my sister Saoirse still padded in and pulled herself onto my drab gray covers and snuggled into the nook of my arm. She could tell without me saying a thing to her that I was broken inside. Saoirse understood me like no one else could- more than I could, even. She looked just like me with black hair, clover green eyes. But her hair was silky and curled at her chin. My hair was straight all the way down to my hips.

The next morning, colorless November light flooded through my shades, onto my face. I had tear streaks from the night before still marking my pale cheeks.

The night before I had decided I was going to sit with the tree for the whole day. I knew it was just a tree, but it meant more than that to me. I flung open my closet and pulled out my best dress. It was stunning- there was no other way to describe it. It was long and flowy, and the palest blue imaginable. A silver braided belt cinched the waist and the bottom was flowy silk.

Saoirse followed me out the door and into the forest. The wind howled through the branches above me. It dragged my hair out behind me and pinned the front of the skirt to my legs. I ducked behind a tree and pulled my hair up with the black ribbon I was wearing around my wrist, pulling Saoirse close.
When we reached the tree, we sat down against its fallen trunk, using each other for warmth.
The ribbon was ripped out of my hair, and got caught in a branch. As I reached to grab it back, something flew in from the other side of the tree and the wind pinned it to my hand.

It was a banyan seed.

“Best Friends” by Iman Ilias

“Best Friends”
by Iman Ilias

It is true what they say
At the end of the day
Friends will pick you up when you fall
Best friends will push you back down and laugh

Many ponder the significance of this proverb
What does it mean?
Friends will make you feel like a queen
And it’s for friendships like those
That we are so keen

Polite people,
And polite friends
Will be very amiable and very sweet
And at a party
They’ll be the first to greet

But when you are close to a person you know,
No such formalities should be bestowed
For it’s friendships like these that you’ll never outgrow

They will laugh at you
And point out your flaws
And even shove you to the side

But that’s what they’re for
To teach you that you’re not perfect
But that’s fine
They accept you the way you are

They joke
Sometimes crudely
To show that they are comfortable with you
They’re fine being their most embarrassing selves around you
And they know that you won’t mind
Their jokes or their personalities

Because that’s what best friends

“We Are All Different” by Iman Ilias

“We Are All Different”
by Iman Ilias

We are all different
Look different
Act different
Learn different
Think different
Feel different

We all come from different places, and form our own opinions
We all feel and think differently about different things,
We all have different ways of doing the same thing

Some like vanilla,
Some like chocolate.
Some indulge in pleasures, some have no choice but to work without stop

One can find blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes
One can find straight hair, wavy hair, curly hair
One can see tall and short,
One can see light and dark

There are those that speak English,
There are those that speak Spanish,
There are others that speak Chinese,
And others who speak Hindi

And some people who just won’t see certain things the same way

But we can all compromise
But we can all understand
But we can all appreciate

And we can find flavor in each other’s food
And eloquence in each other’s tongue
And beauty in each other’s countenances
And logic in each other’s opinions

Even though

We are all different

“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.