By: Margot Andreasen


The slimy worms in my blue bowl are drenched with lava. The hot lava leaks over the top and down the side. Chunks of thick, large, cream colored, shreds fall from above. Rescue planes dive in to grab the survivors. Swirled around and lifted into the air, the hot liquid drips off. They are gently placed into a warm, pink, cove. 

Quarter Collecting

By: Andrew Hopkins


I found the final quarter two days ago. It was in my lunch money. I got home and emptied my pockets, tossing my pencils, pens and homework on my desk, and then I took out my guitar picks and change. I went to put the coins in my bank and I always check the quarters, trying to find the last one. I looked through the change, and said aloud what I had. "Nickel, penny, penny, dime, nickel, quarter." My Papa and I have been collecting state quarters from the time I was eighteen months old. Four or five come out each year until they are all out. They finished coming out in 2008, and I'd been looking for the last coin, from Hawaii, for the past year. We kept our collection together by nailing them into a board. The quarter board is one of my most valuable possessions, and I would be very upset if I lost it. My Papa put in a few quarters when I was too young to start helping him. I always wanted to try to hammer the coins into the board myself, but he didn't let me until I was three or four. He didn't let me because he was always so afraid I would mess up the dining room table, since we hammered the coins into the board while it lay on the table top. My parents and relatives remember how I always wanted to hold the hammer, but he was always too worried about my safety and his dining room table. I remember he had a big bag of quarters he would pull out of his large desk drawer as soon as I would walk in the door. Anytime he got a quarter that's where they went, into that bag in his desk. We went through that bag of quarters two times a week and found new ones each time. I don't remember one time when we didn't find a one new one or more. I especially like the Utah quarter because it has two trains facing each other. I like it because it reminds me of my Papa because he used to work on a train. Once we were at his dining room table in Bangor, where we used to live, and I began to hit all the quarters with a hammer. I remember how the hammer used to sound, banging on the table. One by one each quarter popped out as I went down the line hitting the one next to it. He came into the room and started laughing. I remember him saying, "Oh well, we can just put them back now.” Most people would have gotten mad or flipped out, but he just laughed. That’s just the way he was with me.

When He Dances

By: Eleanor Dow


Picture this: a four-year-old boy is at L.L. Bean, picking out a fleece. He runs toward the rack of pink ones and says, “This is the one I want!” At home, he dresses up in his sister's ballet leotards and puts on a white poofy skirt they use for dress up and goes to show his mom saying, “Look mom, I'm a ballerina!” Brown eyes turn on him, crinkling at the corners She breaks into a smile and asks, “Do you want to do ballet like your older sisters?” “YES!”

The little boy has three sisters, and both of his older sisters have taken ballet lessons. The oldest one walked into her first lesson, promptly stated that it was stupid and a waste of her sixth year on earth, and marched out. She never went back. The second sister went for almost two years, but got fed up with having to go each week and she quit, too. The little four-year-old boy got black tights and a white t-shirt and, at long last, his very own pair of black ballet shoes. He started out in a class with girls - he was the only boy in there - and all they did was leap around like gazelles as four year olds do in ballet. Fast-forward eight years. The boy is twelve. He, out of all the siblings, stuck with it. Now this little boy is over five feet tall, he is in sixth grade, and he is still dancing. Everyone in his class teases him because he dances. They have called him gay and said dancing is stupid. He comes home from school looking sad with his head bent towards the ground. His family asks him what is wrong and at first he refuses to tell them but they keep bugging him until he spills. His two older sisters share an evil look and offer to kill them to death with zombies, but their mother says no, even though the look in her eyes clearly says that she thinks zombies would be humane compared to what she was thinking. So, they hug him and tell him that he is more amazing than any of them could ever dream of being. They say that his classmates are just jealous because of the many hours he spends with girls dancing in tight leotards every other day. They tell him that the other kids are also jealous of the frightening amount of muscle he has for a twelve year old. His second sister reminds him that the tides have turned and if they wrestled now, she would stand no chance against him. Slowly, he begins to smile again. When he feels better and goes outside to play with the dog for a while, everyone else sits on the couch thinking about just how fantastic he is. After six years of his class giving him hell, he still dances.