The Future of Our World

By: Soren Skarsgard

He writes down the different names of the people he knew, Sam, Silas, Samantha, hearing the pen light up across the page like a swirling light bulb.  He imagined he was around buzzing bees and the trees growing on the peaks in Canada, without a care in this world. Then he looks around the scenery, finding a bench of wood.  He tried to sit down but when he did, he fell into a painstaking reality.  The bench was a fantasy in the harsh world of 2050 where there are no trees or wooden benches because the only things left are plastic.

 

Soren Skarsgard is 12 years old; he lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Soren plays basketball when he isn't trying to spread the word of saving our planet.

 

image by Egor Kamelow from Pexels



The Tetralogy of Light

By: Eddie Xu

Spark!
Under the elm
lie a child and a mother.
“Will the day come?”
“Yes, it will.
Do you see the stars?
They are sparks in the sky.
They ignited long time ago
to enlighten the people,
and bring hope to the dark time.”

“Then why are they disappearing?”
“Because even a star has its life.
Like us they perish,
but they bring light in their time.”

The child smiles.
So does the mother.
“Survive the dark,
and the light will come
to our side.”

Flame!
The little boy stares
at the raging fire.
His mother lies
peaceful and serene
after a torture to her mind
for people seeing through
the eternity of dark.

“Aren’t you afraid?”
asked the priest aside.
“No, she just ignites herself
like the spark in the sky.
She gives us the light,
and, one day, so shall I,”
said the boy;
cried his heart.

 

 

Eddie Xu is 16 years old; he lives in Nanjing, China.  Eddie attends the Foreign Language School British Columbia Academy; he writes about society and the conscience, but only after 10 p.m. Sometimes he is inspired by literature where animals appear as symbols to criticize societal issues.

Image by Kyuubicreeper from Pixabay



Last Seen in Bangor Maine

By: Morgan-Carter Moulton

Bangor, Maine: the oh-so exciting place where a statue of Paul Bunyan and waterfront concerts have become the city’s most cherished possessions. In this city of ubiquitous L.L. Bean boots, nobody is flabbergasted when the occasional girl walks by wearing Birkenstocks carrying an iced coffee from Starbucks...in December...complaining about how her hands feel frozen. In Bangor, we do not experience autumn, spring, summer, and winter; we experience cold, really cold, somewhat cold, and hypothermia. Here, everyone knows where Stephen King resides, and most of us have already taken a Halloween picture with his haunting home in the background. But, most importantly, in this city, where everyone’s hair freezes on winter mornings and the wind seems more powerful than Hercules, is a girl yearning to experience life like a wildfire. Here lives a girl longing to explore new territories far beyond mere pine trees and blueberry bushes. That girl is me. I crave an experience that “ extinguishes the small, inflames the great,” as Roger de Bussy-Rabutin says. And maybe once I experience a new life, I can figure out where I belong.

It will be hard to forget the smell of wintergreen and summer rain that comforted me when my world spiraled downward. Or, the numerous times I caught my nana picking up the fallen pears from a random pear tree that grew in stark contrast to the drug debris littering our 0.08 acre yard, the numerous sneakers thrown upon the telephone wires fifty feet high. I am mostly incapable of forgetting the time I bumped into a guy who became the combustible elements that brightened my ink-welled galaxy. Only his firecracker heart could blow me away, as if I were a mere, insignificant, autumn leaf. Blown away, discovered that just talking on the hood of his parked, white, chevy impala eating Oreo McFlurries was the definition of peace. The absence and total acceptance of humiliation between the two of us created a safe, warm haven that the frigid chill of Maine’s hypothermia could not penetrate. It gave me a sense of protection from my hometown. A warmth, almost like that first sip of hot, Treworgy’s apple cider on November first, enfolded me like a mother’s hug. But lately, that mother’s hug hasn’t been there, and lacking that overwhelming sense of home has led me to believe that leaving Bangor may be the only way to find it once again.

I have come to the decision that I have outgrown Bangor, Maine, and the way daily life is played out by adults here. So, goodbye, Bangor. I would prefer to make something out of myself and fall in love with yet another combustible element---with other flavors, other scents, other seasons and reignite the home fires that seem to have burned down to their embers---than to take one more trip to the pear tree at the end of my street. Maybe once I experience a new life, I can figure out where I belong.

 

Morgan-Carter Moulton is 17 years old; she lives in Bangor, Maine. As a writer, she is in love with the power of words and languages.

 

Image by Hamann La from Pexels



Intelligence

By: Spade Forest

Ms. Roger walked into her first period class.  It was a beautiful morning outside. The first day of school again, the day when she would have new seventh graders to teach, and watch them either succeed in her class, or fail. It didn’t matter, regardless.  Ms. Roger was the superior one her classroom.  She was teaching her students what she already knew; they could not compete with that.

Ms. Roger’s grading system was key to showing dominance over her students. Five percent of their grade was for completing the homework, regardless if they understood it or not. Twenty-five percent of the grade was based on quizzes. The other seventy percent of their grade was based on their tests scores. Her favorite strategy was to give her students lots of homework, to see who would be the most dedicated. Ms. Roger gave four quizzes every quarter to see if they understood or not. She gave two tests every quarter, including many topics on each one, leaving even the best students with a B.

Ms. Roger was the superior one. No one could succeed. No one could be perfect. Not against her.

As she graded tests, Ms. Roger would always smile. Never a perfect score. Never even close. She smirked when someone got one point away from an “A”.

One day there was one test at the bottom of her stack. Her smile sank. A perfect score.
She checked it twice, three times, but there was no mistake. Not even a missing name to deduct one point. Everything was there. The name read Brian. “Brian…” she thought.
He was sitting in the back of the class, waiting for the bell to ring.

“Brian,” She called. “Could you please stay a few minutes after school?”

“Sure, Ms. Roger,” Brian replied.

The bell rang a few minutes after, everyone filed out and the hall was filled with kids laughing and lockers opening and slamming shut.

“What did you need me for Ms. Roger?” Brian asked, looking eager to leave.

“I need to discuss something with you,” Ms. Roger replied. “It’s about your test.”

I will always be superior, always.

 

Spade Forest is 13 years old; he lives in Denver, Colorado. Fun facts about Spade -- he likes crafting and being a teacher's aide.

 

Image by Florian Doppler from Pexels



Parlez-Vous English?

By: Lucia Zac

The next day was the same as the first, and the next, and the next. It seemed as though I was never going to be able to communicate with people again. My routine of stressfully attempting to converse with my peers went as bad as it could have gone. I couldn’t believe my eight-year-old mind was so overwhelmed with positive thoughts, joy, and excitement. My optimism fully blinded me from the fact that the little English I was taught in Argentina was not going to be enough.

I vividly remember the day I walked into the American School of Paris, keeping my chin up high, not knowing what to expect. My small hands opened the big blue door to reveal a colorful yellow, red, and blue classroom. Holding my mother’s hand on one side, and my father’s hand on the other, I quietly walked into the dark room trying not to interrupt a presentation, and sat on the small chairs surrounding the typical lower school hexagonal table.

“Hello toay aim takin aodut de sted mard,” explained the presenter, “pole an wert roud levy.” I remember looking at my parents confused, begging for answers, unable to get them. “Owoer anep pewas senau wour own” he continued as he pointed to the screen, displaying pie charts and bullet points that I was not able to read. I remember going back home and not being able to sleep, wondering how the next day, and the whole year, would turn out. Every day was the same, except I was all alone, without my parents. 

One day, we had to sit in the quiet room and write about a special anecdote. I don’t remember exactly what I picked, but with my limited linguistic abilities I was somewhat able to get my point across. Halfway through my story, I realized I didn’t know how to say “inflable” in English. Shyly walking over to the teacher’s desk, I whispered my problem to her. She was trying her best to help me for what felt like ages. Finally, instead of looking it up on Google Translate or handing me a dictionary, she made sure everyone heard the clever idea she came up with of making me ask Juan Pablo. Juan Pablo, the quirky Mexican boy with a bowl cut, dark hair, and eyes as big as tennis balls. He happened to be the only Spanish speaking person in my grade and had a huge crush on me. My third-grade self was terrified. 

I walked over to his table and bent down quietly, making sure not to disturb anyone from their writing process. Of course, my efforts were useless since the entire class was already staring. I leaned toward him, hands on my knees, and mumbled in the lowest voice possible if he knew the word for “inflable.” He did not hear a single word I said, forcing me to continue asking gradually louder and louder, making everything even more embarrassing. All twenty pairs of eyes were on me, and, after it felt like I had repeated myself one hundred times, he finally told me to use “inflatable.” Not only had he told me the wrong word in his broken Spanish, but I had also gone through all of that trouble for absolutely nothing but embarrassment.

What I wanted to say was “bouncy castle,” the most simple and obvious word.

Before leaving my familiar, comfortable home in Argentina, I was not aware of the obstacles that I would have to face. But, the moment I stepped off of my parents' cozy white bed after jumping up and down as a reaction to the big news, I became a new person. I became a citizen of the world, a passenger with no home and no final destination. And that day, in that third-grade classroom, I learned one of the biggest lessons so far. Not how to say bouncy castle, not to stay away from weird boys who have a crush on me, but instead, not to rely on anyone to help me with my struggles; to learn to face challenges all by myself. And because of that, each new obstacle was able to become just another funny anecdote.

 

Lucia Zac is 16 years old and lives in Singapore. Some funfacts about Lucia is that she was born in Venezuela and has lived on four continents! She loves marine biology and her favorite animals are sea turtles. 



Raindrops

By: Addy Lee

I am filled with raindrops with

Lavender

Colored leaves

I am like a paintbrush snaking through

pools of color

Pools

Or confusion

I seem like a yellow pencil

scribbling words in color

Words made

with sweet smelling sunshine

I am a purple

star-deprived sky filled

with cotton candy clouds

Clouds disappear into the darkness

I am filled with raindrops

Dripping

down

down

onto the rough pavement

Sometimes I am a red paint bucket brimming

with vibrant colors

Colors

Gushing out of every corner

Rushing Into every room

Always changing

an art museum that hangs new pictures each day.

I seem like a watermelon red marker

never

Dries out

Never ending brilliance

I am an unlit

dark room

Crowded

With fireflies

An orange, warm fire

A beach ball sun.

Flying through the sky,

Pounding a rhythm on the roof

I am filled with raindrops.

 

Addy Lee is 11 years old and lives in Seattle, WA, USA. Some fun facts about Addy is that she has lived in Seattle her whole life and she loves music and cats.