30 thoughts on “Narrative Writing, FHS 2019-2020

  1. First Time on The Train

    In New York City in the summer, walking down the stairs off the street to the subway feels like being swallowed by a dog— the air is instantly hot and much more humid. But my dog, who pants hot and humid breath on me everytime he sees me eating, is on the other side of the country.
    The first time I ride the subway by myself I make the mistake of wearing heels. I descend slowly down the stairs so I don’t trip over myself, but luckily— because it’s 8 am on a Sunday— no one else in the city is awake and I don’t have to face a crowd of New Yorkers in a rush to get to work. I make it down the stairs without falling and without holding onto the railing, which I’m sure is teeming with germs. I resolve to buy some flats once I get off the train at Lincoln Center.
    I stand and wait for the 1 train, which according to the sign update, is 5 minutes away. Under the city like this, you are surrounded by tile. There is brown tile underfoot and tile on the walls— usually with mosaics that have some picture or symbol associated with the station number. Because I’m at 116th, next to the mosaic announcing Columbia University is a gold-leafed relief sculpture of Alma Mater— one of the symbols of Columbia University. The Greek goddess is seated on a throne, her scepter in one hand, a book on her lap, a laurel-leaf crown making a halo around her head, and her other hand uplifted as if to say Behold my kingdom of knowledge.
    I regret my painful decision to wear heels even more as I continue to wait for the late train. I glance over at the worn wooden bench and decide that while it probably has a lot of germs too, if Carolyn Bessette Kennedy could sit on one while she waited for the train, I probably could manage it too. There are a few other people waiting for the train further down the platform— a couple sitting on a bench, and an old man reading a newspaper. Behind me I hear a banging noise, and turn to see someone jumping the turnstile.
    She almost doesn’t make it over— stumbling but then catching herself before she falls face first into the brown tile. I turn back to the book I was reading, but watch out of the corner of my eye. Clearly she is homeless. Her dirty t-shirt and oversized basketball shorts look like they needed to be washed, and one of her flip flops is broken. I watch, curious as only someone who hasn’t been in New York City for very long can be, and see her shuffling incoherently around on the platform by the turnstile, mumbling and occasionally singing parts of songs. After a minute, she stops in front of a crumpled napkin. Considering it for a second, she picks it up and examines it. Determining that it is not too dirty or that it meets some other standard, she then proceeds to clean herself with it— wiping her face, then her armpits and under her shirt, then pulling out the waistband of her basketball shorts and cleaning down there. When she’s finished, she drops the no longer single-use napkin back on the floor.
    Then, her flip flops dragging on the floor, she shuffles over to me— the next most interesting thing on the platform after the napkin. She puts out her hand, palm up, flat— the way I was taught to feed a handful of hay to a horse when I was little, so they didn’t bite your fingers.
    “Got any money?”
    My automatic response was, “No, I’m so sorry, I don’t carry cash. I’m so sorry!” I flushed with apology and pity. I felt breathless and full of regret that I didn’t have anything to offer her— what would she do with the volume of Dewey or the hefty edition of Woolf that I had in my bag? What should I do? Get her a MetroCard? Offer to take her somewhere to get something to eat? I froze as I tried to think of something.
    She shuffled away, unaffected.
    While my mind was whirling with conflicting feelings of disgust and indecision with how to help, she had shrugged and casually moved to the next person waiting on the train platform.
    When the train finally got to the station, I stepped on and gripped the pole tightly. I moved with the motion of the train as it lurched to a start. I swayed with the train as it bounced on the tracks, not stumbling like anyone new to riding the subway would have.
    The next time I saw a homeless person jump the turnstile, or pace around the subway stairs asking for money, I noticed, but didn’t feel that sharp sting of conscience that made me want to run to an ATM.

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    1. The Riptide
      Over the summer, my whole family took a week long trip down to an island off the coast of San Diego called Coronado. It was personally the perfect weather the whole trip with the forecast all week long consisting of 75 degrees! It was amazing! We stayed on the island, but everyday of our trip we toured around different parts of San Diego, and then returned back to the island and went to the beach for the rest of the day. I guess you could consider my cousins and I to be beach bums while down in Coronado. We would spend hours and hours at the beach body surfing the waves and just hanging out by the water every single day. We took full advantage of the beach front condo that we were staying at.
      With that being , on the last day of our trip a few of us wanted to ride the waves for at least a few more hours before our flight left later that afternoon. The select few that went out that last day was my two cousins, my uncle, and I. This was because everyone else in our family was very tired and just wanted to relax before the flight back home. With this being the last day my younger cousin named Sadie and I had the genius idea that “hey we shouldn’t bring a board out with us we should just surf the waves with our bodies!” This was the very idea that would have killed me if my older cousin kolten hadn’t decided to bring a board out with us. Now that the stage is set, I am going to tell you a story that has changed my perspective about how the ocean is beautiful but very dangerous.
      The date was July 27, 2019, it was by far the most beautiful day on that beach out of the whole week that we had been there. It was a clear blue sky with a few puffy cotton candy clouds sitting almost motionless in an ocean of blue sky. The waves were crashing into the shoreline just big enough to surf but not dangerously big! The scene of the ocean from the beach was almost picture perfect! It looked like it was going to be the best day of surfing all week. However, there was an unseen danger that we didn’t see right away. The riptide.
      My cousins and I went out and we started swimming out to where the waves were starting to swell, so we could get up on them before it crashed down on us and would be unrideable. After body boarding only a few waves we started to feel the small pull of the riptide at our feet. My uncle said, “OK guys, there is a small riptide starting to form where we are at. We need to start swimming over to the right before it gets any stronger.” At this time we all didn’t think too much about the riptide. I thought to myself ,“oh no big deal, we will just swim 100 yards to the right of where we are at now and the riptide won’t be a problem for us anymore and we could enjoy the rest of our day in the water.” Oh how I underestimated the strength and the power of that riptide that day.
      Where we were at the water was up to our chests before we started swimming out of the riptide. Within the time span of three seconds the riptide pulls us out further, and further, into the water to the point where I look down and I can’t see the bottom anymore. At this point the riptide was pulling as strong as it had been. I was absolutely terrified! Swimming absolutely has hard as I can and still getting pulled back further and further into the water made me feel completely useless in that moment. The riptide is the strongest its been at this point. It’s like an invisible rope is tied to me pulling me further and further from the shoreline. That strong pulling of the riptide is a feeling I will never forget. That feeling of the riptide terrified me.
      I looked in towards the shore that I was being pulled away from and I noticed that my younger cousin Sadie and my uncle were sharing a board, and were swimming towards the shore fighting against the riptide. The strength of both of them allowed for them to get past the riptide and swim into the shore. While Sadie and my uncle were swimming against the riptide my older cousin Kolten, who too was being sucked out by the riptide, noticed that I was being dragged further out to sea. The distance between me, the shore and my cousins was growing larger at a fast rate. Knowing I was in danger, he came out to me with his board so we both could stay afloat. While my cousin was swimming towards me I started getting really tired, and all my energy was sucked out of me from swimming against the riptide. In addition, I started to panic without a board to keep me afloat. Without anything to hold on to I was forced to fight to keep my head above the water so I didn’t drown and use the rest of my energy to swim through the riptide.
      I felt my body almost start to act like a fishing bobber with it bobbing up and down in the water with my mouth barely sticking out of the water and gasping for air. Once my cousin swam over to me with his board we both grabbed on and started swimming in. However, once we started going I realized that the further we went out into the water the stronger the riptides pull had become. I looked down with my cousin and I swimming with all of the remaining energy and adrenaline left in your body and noticed we were still being sucked out. I said to my cousin, ‘Kolten! We are still being swept out even with the both of us!’ During all of this time my younger cousin and my uncle were able to swim into shore and get the Naval Coast Guard to come and rescue us. Luckily, they were on lifeguard duty that day.
      I remember seeing them come out to us in there gear and take my cousin and I back into shore. I was so happy and so relieved when I saw them coming out into the water towards us! I remember them coming towards us and telling us that everything will be okay and that we are safe! When they said this, I thought to myself “I would feel safer once they get me out of this riptide and back into land again.” Once we finally arrived back onto shore I just fell down onto a blanket feeling completely beaten and tired. I remember the Coast Guard talking to us to watch for certain symptoms to make sure none of us didn’t have any water trapped in our lungs. Looking out into the water and being shocked about the whole experience, in which just happened to me and a few of my family members.

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  2. Mountain
    I have always been a part of the natural world. I have been going to the mountains for about as long as I can remember. It’s always been kind of an escape route for me. Whenever I travel there I can just feel the stress from my body leave from within and escape. This is about the day that I got lost and thought it was all over.
    We were packing the trailer and putting all of our hunting stuff in. This was always the worst part of the trip, and unloading the trailer of course. I was just so eager to get up there that i was just grabbing things and throwing them into the trailer and then my dad got mad because he wanted to bring the least amount of items as possible. My dad has always been a “take the least amount of stuff” kinda guy, and im not that way so it’s kind of annoying when he gets mad at me for bringing too much stuff. Anyways, we hit the road and the three hour journey to elk camp was on.
    Listening to the radio and signing while my dad looks at me like i’m a freak is always a fun time. He always tries to be the tough guy but deep down I know that he has a soft spot. Mostly only for puppies or things of that nature. I eventually got hungry after a while and made my dad stop and get some food at the Evanston Wendys. Of course he wasn’t happy because he hates spending money on things that aren’t useful. But it’s okay because it’s a good skill to have. After we got done eating our food at Wendys we started the trip again but we still had about two hours.

    After we were more than three quarters of the way there my dad wakes me up from my beauty sleep and says “Tyge you grabbed the batteries for the GPS right?” and me in the front seat still half asleep not knowing where i’m at i respond with “Yes dad.” I really forgot to grab them because I was so excited, I was just worried about getting up there and getting camp set up and hanging out with all my dads old friends and catching up on old times. That probably wasn’t the smartest idea and i knew it would come back to bite me but I didn’t know that it would affect me in this big of an event.
    We finally arrived at elk camp after what felt like we just drove across all the plains of Texas. The first thing we always do when we get to the camp is get everything set up as fast as we can so we can have time to socialize and talk with friends. We finally got everything caught up with our friends and we had some work to do with our bows because my dad wasn’t shooting the best before left back home. I’ve always bow hunted my whole life since I could at the age of twelve. I’ve always looked up to my dad so i thought i would follow in his footsteps and bow hunt as well. We had to get ready because the hunt started the following morning and when you get a chance to kill your animal you have to make the best shot to make your track easier and make the best harvest. You don’t get very many golden opportunities so when you do you have to make sure you capitalize.
    It’s the morning of the hunt. My dad is a morning person, so he decided to wake me up at 4:30 A.M. to start getting ready and to make coffee. We had to make sure we had all of our stuff ready because if you get stuck out there you might not have a chance at returning. We walk out of our trailer and i see frost on the ground and on the windows of the truck and my dad whispers to me “It’s gonna be a cold one this morning.” and I responded with “Ya think it’s 5 o’clock in the morning.” As we sat on the cold seats freezing our butts off driving to our spot me and my dad had a conversation about what to do if one of us got lost because we weren’t gonna be hunting with each other to minimize noise and strengthen both of our chances at filling our tags.
    I got a fair distance away from the truck to where I couldn’t see it anymore and I thought to myself, “Here we go, I hope nothing goes wrong.” As I was walking for a minute I happened to run into a couple deer, one doe and a couple of her baby fawns. They were the cutest things ever. I proceeded walking. I walked for about another two hours or so and I still saw nothing so I tried to turn on my GPS to start heading back to the truck and nothing. I mean nothing. My GPS wouldnt even turn on. I started to panic a little bit because it was getting dark and I knew I would be lost and couldn’t find my way back to the truck. I walked for about an hour and decided to call it a night. As the night grew older and the coyotes yelled louder, I just kept quiet and kept trying to make a fire before I froze to death. I never really fell into a deep sleep. It was more of just a resting of my eyes because my mind was spinning a thousand miles an hour. My dreams never came into a complete ending. I always woke up thinking if im ever gonna get found.
    As I woke up early in the morning, I could see my breath, I started walking and I knew my dad didn’t sleep all night because he was sick to his stomach that I didn’t make it back home. So I knew that the whole camp would be looking for me all day today. It’s been about two hours and I started hearing very faint voices talking and yelling my name so I directed myself towards that way. As the voices grew stronger and stronger my hopes of surviving got bigger.
    I finally found my dad and I had never been so happy. Being the father he is, he was pissed at me because I didn’t bring batteries. But inside he was glad i was found. From this day forward I will make sure that I always keep batteries in my backpack.

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  3. I’m Coming Home
    My dad had been in the army for as long as I can remember. Instead of going to college, he joined the forces and has been serving ever since. We would Skype, write, and make videos to stay connected to each other. My mom always had the camera out filming the simplest of things but to her they were important. “Say hi to dad.” , “What’d you do today?”, or “Show dad what you drew.” were the things I always heard because my mom wanted to make sure that my dad was still a big part of our lives and he would never be forgotten. As I got older I could create my own videos and I would take our camera up into my room making music, dancing, and story time videos. My dad is my best friend and it was the hardest thing to let him go after he had only been back with us for two weeks after being gone for two months. The cycle repeated.
    I Know My Shapes
    “Grandma and I are coming to help in your class today.” my mother told me as she was slicking my hair into a ponytail. Why? I thought, but I said nothing and she didn’t seem like she was waiting for a big reaction so I didn’t give her one. I walked into my room to grab my favorite reversible coat and light up sketcher shoes. My coat could either be pink or black and by pulling the sleeves inside out the color would change.
    I had a little bit of extra time to eat breakfast, Captain Crunch was my favorite, since my grandma was going to be taking me instead of my mom. I was confused because I didn’t see why my grandma and mom couldn’t ride together but I just went with it because what do second graders know?
    One thing I knew for sure were my shapes, I could tell you what the difference between a rhombus and an equilateral were and how they were alike. Just ask my teacher, Mrs. Ermer. “Okay, class settle down. Today is going to be a really fun day full of shapes!” This is the best day ever! Although I got in trouble for passing notes in class, Mrs. Ermer and me were on good terms. Now I liked her even more for dedicating a day to my favorite “subject.” I think that’s why Mrs. Ermer needed my mom and grandma to come help her in the class. “We have a guest speaker coming in to talk to us, any guesses on who it could be?” I didn’t care that much on who it was, I just wanted to get going on talking about shapes. We were told to get out a piece of paper and answer one simple question, what shape are the guests balloons? I had my pencil in hand and when Mrs. Ermer said come in, my focus went straight to the balloons. My eyes flashed to the face of the man holding the balloons and then I looked at my paper, but then looked back at the man. It was my dad, my best friend was in my classroom.
    I flew off of my seat and scrambled in between the desks trying to reach my dad. They were all close together and even my little body had a hard time squeezing through the gaps, but then I made it. Within seconds I was in my dad’s arms, just like I did whenever he would come home, holding as tightly as I could not only because I loved him, but because I was making sure he was real, and he was.
    I missed the rest of the class but I didn’t care because my best friend was home and that’s all that mattered. He was home for good and wasn’t leaving again, or so I thought.
    We went to my favorite Chinese restaurant, ABC Mandarin, and I got what I always ordered. Chicken lo mien and a side of fried rice along with a little bit of sweet n sour chicken. The noodles were thick and bland but the vegetables mixed in made it a perfect combo. Steam was rising from my plate almost as if it was making an escape through the gaps of the noodles. Today was perfect.
    Three years passed and we were all sitting at the dinner table, my mom, brother, dad, and me. I could feel the tension and I wanted to say something to break it but it was too strong and my fork of spaghetti filled my mouth before words could. My mom looked at my dad and my dad looked up to glance at my mom and then back to his plate. “We have something to tell you,” my mom said hesitantly. “Your dad is only going to be with us for a few more weeks before he goes back to Iraq.” My heart sank and I couldn’t breathe. The whole world stopped for a moment and it felt like things were moving in slow motion. Now the only thing filling my mouth instead of words was anguish and disbelief.
    I was mad. How could he just leave us again?

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  4. Masks
    Most of life is the same. You’re born. You live. Then you die. You are born and you feel like your life is perfect. You have a perfect family. The perfect friends. Then you have a perfect future and die a happy human. Sure, you have some bumps in the roads. Trials. Mistakes. You fall in a shallow hole. But you get back up. You keep going. You’re strong and you’re happy.
    But what if you are born, you don’t live, then you die.
    Let me elaborate.
    Most people are born and they live long but they don’t “live” before they die. They are born and probably have a small simple childhood. But did you ever think that maybe their life isn’t as great as you think?
    They put up a mask to hide their scars. Masks to hide behind. Masks of smiles. Masks of paint. Masks of muteness. Masks of grins. Masks of lies. To hide their pain. Their bruises.
    If we are insecure, we might hide behind the mask of name-dropping.
    If we are unsure of our power, we can hide behind the mask of being a bully.
    If we don’t think the world loves us, we hide behind a mask of anger.
    Did you ever think that bullies are the way they are because they are scared to just come out to say their feelings to someone. So they make others feel the same way they felt. Hoping that someone will see behind the mask they put on. To pull them out of the hole they’re in.
    Did you ever think that the people that turned their back on the world because they felt the world turned its back on them.
    When people say “I’m Fine,” were they saying they were okay? Or were they saying “help me.”
    Every day, someone we see has a mask. Sometimes, they slightly show emotion in their eyes. Other times they are showing it so much it’s like they are screaming in your ear, flashing neon lights in your eyes and making it seem like “help me” is written on their forehead.
    Do we help them?
    If yes, then congrats! You just saved a human being and helped them to live. You grabbed their hand and helped them take off their mask. You pulled them out of that pit they were in.
    If no, then what are you doing!?
    Are you blind?
    Blind to what they are trying to show you?
    Deaf?
    Deaf to what they are trying to tell you?
    Do you not want to help them?
    Help them escape their darkness?
    Or are you looking at the mirror and seeing that mask you put on yourself.

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  5. The Dragon’s Cave, by Jon Saunders
    (Hope it isn´t too long for you readers)
    Three weeks ago, if someone said that I would be going to some island near Greece, I probably would be thinking, “Greece? You ́ve gotta be joking.” And yet, it all started three weeks ago when I found an old book in a hidden slouch inside of the Library of Congress. It had this old, delicate and creaky brown case, with aged paper pages. And it had a symbol at the front. A capitalized D with a curvy edged dagger going through behind it. It was so interesting that I took it home. It described a man who can do anything. Has powers beyond imagination and lives in a cave on an island in the Mediterranean Sea that can only be found by those who have the “Compass”. In the back of the book, there was an old, odd looking compass with a needle and the four directions. But the needle wasn’t pointing North. I instantly thought that it was pointing to the island where this man is. Although I don’t believe in something like this, I was feeling something telling me to go for it. Find out if it is true.
    So three weeks later, with my brother Adam, we have flown to Greece with a combined effort of money. We didn’t spend a lot of time there. We went looking for a captain with a ship. And now we are sailing on a nice, shabby boat. Only two decks and one sail on the ship. Then there is only one bedroom, one bathroom, and a huge storage room full of just random crap. And it is called the most ridiculous name I have ever heard in my life. The Luckiest Duck that Swam to Shore After a Tornado of Sharks. Okay, maybe not the weirdest, but it is pretty weird in general. It has only been an hour after departing from Athens, we are deep in the ocean, and a storm is right over us.
    “This storm is going to tear the ship apart!” He yelled at us. “We have to get back to shore!” But the compass was pointing to the heart of the storm. And we were so close. But I ́ve come this far not to be beaten by a storm.
    “The Compass is pointing into the heart of the storm!” I yelled back at him. “We might be able to find it and land there! Let’s keep on going!” Even though the captain did not agree, he decided to head in the direction the Compass pointed. And soon after, we saw the island. A beautiful paradise island.
    The storm got calmer, and the captain came to us at the mast. “Ya know, I actually didn’t believe you when you said there was an island round these parts,” He told us. “Cuz there isn’t an island here on any map I´ve ever seen. This island shouldn’t even exist.” Hearing him say that was shocking to hear. An island that isn’t on any map. That piques my interest to a new level. We were able to reach the shore, but the storm was still blowing everywhere around the island. I saw a path that led inward on the island.
    “This path should lead us to the cave!” I said to my brother. “Adam, can you believe this? We are on an island that does not exist on any map in the world.”
    “Seeing, believing. But, sis, do you really believe that he exists?” He said. “I mean, we have come all this way, and we haven’t even considered the possibility of him not even existing. He sounds pretty made up doesn’t he?” I looked at him kind of raffled, but it occured in my mind. That this guy could be totally fake. There might not be someone that is all powerful.
    But I answered him, “Maybe, but that would mean that this island wouldn’t even exist. And here we are. Besides, don’t you want to see Mom and Dad again.” a little bit of sorrow creeped in my voice. My parents had died in a car accident when I was little. Little enough to not really remember much about them. Even their nice, kind voices that would always comfort me. It would mean the world if he can do that. To bring them back into the world for just half an hour. We then followed the path into the island and up the mountain. One portion of the island was cold and covered in snow. It was so cold, I was shivering down to the bone. The book never mentioned this, I thought to myself. There were also ice sculptures that were sabertooth tigers standing on two feet, and were holding swords touching the ground. They were even in armor made of ice as well.
    After a good 10 minutes of walking in the freezing cold, we reached the mouth of the cave. It was dark as a night without stars. We stood there for a bit. I was feeling nervous about meeting this person. Cause in the book, the author described him as “a man who has seen all wars and has a way to work with darkness, and live.” And even said to be weary of meeting him.
    After another minute, I said, “Well? Who is going first?”
    “Well, this was your idea in the first place,” my brother said. “Why don’t you go first?” I stood for another 10 seconds, took a breath, took out a flashlight from my brown bag, then stepped into the cave. There was a staircase that seem to go down into the mountain. My brother went behind me. It seemed to last for maybe an hour before we finally found its end. It opened to a large cavern. But no one was there. There was a big pond farther back in the cave with a clear blue color, and same color glow coming from it. There was an armor stand that was grayish-black, with red curvy lines all over it. It even had a pure black dragon depicted on the chestplate. Breathing blue fire? The sword at its hip was also black.
    “Adam, are you seeing this?” I said.
    “Yeah,” he said, with a bit of a surprising awe. There was also a wood-framed bed with some sheets. And there was a black, leather jacket? Yes, but not in a 1928 style of the jacket. Seeing that, it immediately stood out to me. I walked over to the bed and picked up the jacket. It had no zipper, and was more pure black. Pockets with no zippers, and a bigger collar that had pointy ends. And it was a bit longer, going past the hips a bit.
    “Adam,” I said. “This a leather jacket.”
    “I can see that Evie,” he said in a “duh” kind of tone.
    “Exactly,” I said back at him. “But it feels like it is older than 1928, when the first leather jacket was made. And it is made in a totally different style than the usual one.”
    “So what? He probably was the actual original maker of the leather jacket. Or he can see the future,” he said with sarcasm.
    “Then that would be the next thing that the author of the book forgot to mention,” I said. “Including those ice statues.” I looked into the pockets of the jacket, and in the right-hand side, I felt a piece of paper. I pulled it out, and unfolded it, and read it outloud.
    It said, “Dear Evelyn Angela Doxson, Yes, I know who you are, and knew that you would come to me after finding that book. And I know what you were hoping that I could perform. To bring your parents back so you can meet with them again. I can make that happen, but they would have to go back to being dead. And sadly, I saw that many dark lords will come seeking me before your time, with dark intentions. And for that, I now have hidden myself.
    “But let it be known unto you that they love both you and your brother. And may you keep that knowledge deep in your heart. And now this will be the last known setting of the home of the Black Dragon, of the Survivor of the Creation and of wars. The man who can never die. And I bid farewell, as I now await the right time to see my wife and daughter again.
    Sincerely,
    Dregonan Drehk.”

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  6. What Childhood Should Be Like
    Part One Of Garfield’s’ Life – Birth
    On April 16, 2003, in the Davis County Hospital, a small infant boy was taken out of whom early, do to his brother, who put my mother in labor early.
    His mother named the little boy, Garfield Fitts Montgomery (I).
    He weighed 7 lbs and 2 oz and brown hair.
    Part Two – The Saddest part
    3 years later, Garfield’s family moved to Washington D.C..
    After about 9 months since they moved there, Garfield’s dad, Fitts J Montgomery (III), died of a heart attack/ cancer. The medication he was on, weakened his heart.
    At the funeral, Garfield heard a small voice in his head saying, “ It’s going to be OK, Garfield. Everything is going to be OK.”
    He was going to tell his mother that, but he figured she already knew.
    One month later, the heartbroken family moved to Leroy township, Ohio.
    Then a little after that, Ferris, the family pet, black, white, and brown basset hound that was as tall as your shins, that has been with the family for 17 years (longer than any normal pet life) had to be put down, do to cancer also. Then shortly after that, Garfield’s great grandmother passed away because of old age.
    Part Three – The Bullies
    When Garfield started school at Leroy Elementary School, his mother wanted him to go by Fitts. Fitts didn’t really realize that school was a prison for children, while other kids did.
    Fitts loved school, he really enjoyed school. He answered almost all the questions, except when it was rhetorical. Kids made fun of Fitts for that, for being willing to answer.
    The next year, First grade, Fitts started to get interested in math and art. Math was like, cooking to a chef (which he also likes), he loved math. He love to solve problems, finding the patterns. He liked art for the same reason, finding the patterns.
    His mother was interested in Murder mysteries and Fitts loved it, it had patterns, it had thing to be solved, and he was doing good. The bullies made fun of him for that too, it seemed that Fitts couldn’t get a break, he was trying to do good, like what a boy scout was supposed to do.
    His brother, George J Montgomery (II), was a Boy Scout, Fitts wanted to like his brother, to be a Boy Scout, and to prepare he was trying to do good, to help change the environment.
    As Fitts joined the BSA (Boy Scouts Of America), his cub scout master wasn’t the best there was. He didn’t really do anything, just the first aid merit badge, how to put up a tent, even though they never went camping, and they did the pinewood derby.
    Fitts tried his best to win, but somehow he always lost. He was always ended up last place. It seemed like he could never win, and the bullies loved that he came in last place all the time. They used that against him every year, until he moved. But Fitts didn’t mined, it just gave him a chance to improve himself.
    It seemed like no matter what Fitts did, he couldn’t win.
    Fitts decided to kill the bullies, with kindness. He heard his mother say that to his brother that had the same problem. He loved the idea of killing them with kindness. It was a good idea. Originally, Fitts wanted to just hurt them, but he liked his mother’s way better. He didn’t have to get in the mindset of a bully, and it spreads kindness.
    As Fitts headed to school to “kill” his bullies, he thought about how he was going to do that.
    Was he going to do it by saying a compliment about them, or by smiling at them whenever they make an angry face at him.
    He decided to do both.

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  7. I think sometimes I feel things too strongly. I rarely just get excited, or just get upset. I always get too excited or too upset. Even on those days when things get to be too much and my body shuts down to try and make it less, I still feel everything. Like to try and protect myself– to muffle the emotions– I’ve poured an ocean in my chest, but still the emotions are there, floating just barely below the surface. The echoes still hover around my head. Sometimes it feels like I’m drowning them.
    On the nights when I wake up and am unable to move I can feel the emotions creeping from my toes up my legs and through my chest into my throat. There they make a nest in my Adam’s apple, causing it to swell and attempt to force its way out. And when somebody shows their disappointment through a disparaging look or a change of tone the emotions roar awake from their nest in my throat, and crawl past my lips, and tickle my nose until they reach my eyes. Rarely do I tame them well enough to keep them there– usually they spill and roll down my cheeks, only to be absorbed back into my skin and stored in my heart until they decide when to torture me next.
    Although, it’s not always bad. Sometimes feeling things strongly is nice. Like when I read a poem I’ve written to my dad, and he gushes about his daughter being so gifted, reading it out loud to everyone who crosses his path a new emotion emerges— happier and bright albeit brief that fights off the old ones just for a moment. Or when the person that I love reaches out for my hand and anchors me to the world outside of the turmoil in my throat, the full body tingles temporarily paint over the pressure.
    What I’ve decided is that even if the good is so brief, and the bad feels so constant the good is still enough that I can deal with drowning in the pain while I wait for the promise of the good.

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  8. Narrative Essay
    Have you ever experienced something in life that felt so right that it will forever be apart of you? Can you vividly remember the feelings you felt as you engaged in the moment? It felt great right? One of my big moments like that in my life was the first time I went skiing. I still remember the first time I strapped into the tight ski boots, the first time I clicked into my bindings, and I even remember the difficulty I had getting back up the first time I fell. Its moments like these that make life so beautiful.
    The very first time I engaged myself in the splendors of skiing was on my elementary’s Fifth Grade Ski Trip. At first I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I thought that it was going to be really cold and miserable and that I was gonna spend the whole day falling on my face, hurting myself in the process. As we got to school early that morning I remember the crispness of the air. It had snowed the previous day and all through the night, so there was a thick blanket of snow on the ground. I was bundled up in my oceanic camouflage coat and poofy grey snowpants. I looked like Randy from “A Christmas Story.” As we all piled onto the bus and neared Snowbasin, I felt feelings of excitedness, dread, and nervousness. And to think, the day had just begun.
    When we got out of the bus at the resort I remember seeing the moose statue for the first time. If you know anything about the skiing culture in Utah, you know the moose is a big deal at Snowbasin. In all reality, it’s just a tacky, bronze moose statue, but there’s something about that ugly moose that brings the biggest powder dumps to Snowbasin. Anyways, we turned right at the moose and went into the ski school up there. We got our skis and our ski boots that they picked out for us there. The first time I put those ski boots on, I hated the way they constricted my feet. They felt like super tight cowboy boots and my feet were not ready for the torture I was about to put them through.
    As we made our way over to the first express lift, I began to feel even more nervous than I had before. I knew as long as I stayed up, I would be fine, but I soon realized that is much easier said than done. I distinctly remember my instructor said, “Follow me to the enchanted forest trail.” Let me tell you, that trail was anything but enchanted. I probably fell like seven times and ran into a couple of trees during that trail. I also remember when learning how to stop and do slalom like turns I ran into Brooklyn Anderson and we both fell over. It was her fault though since I was doing my turns and she was stopped in the middle of the run. We had a good laugh and both struggled getting up. If you have never gotten up after falling on a pair of skis, it’s like trying to stand up with feet that are 5 feet long. You think you have it, then suddenly the ski slips on the snow and you fall right back on your butt. We skied for another hour or so before going into the Earl’s Lodge for lunch.
    After lunch, our instructors told us goodbye and left us alone to explore the mountain. Most of us stayed on the little lift and held races and tried to go off jumps. I’m sure the people who paid a hundred dollars to ski there for the day probably weren’t very happy when they saw a ton of first time skiers hauling butt, super out of control up and down the bunny hill. We started most of races from the top of the Little Cat Lift. There was a very small terrain park filled will helped turns, box rails, small jump features, and hills to help young skiers learn to distribute their weight to go faster. We raced around the turns and over the jumps and we even felt “sendy” enough to try the smaller features in the park. Looking back on that now, I often think to myself, those jumps that day were so small and so poorly constructed. Still, it will go down as a day that I will always remember throughout my whole life.

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  9. Who Do You Identify With?
    Who do you identify with? This question is in a lot of people’s minds. I would say that this question is in most teenagers mind not so much adults or young children.
    The reason for this is middle school and high school are rough on kids and they need friends to help them get through these 5 or 6 years of their life. A friend is someone who is there for you always and will have your back at everything. They stay after school with you so you can talk to that cute girl, they come over in the late hours of the night to help you study for a test or help you with your homework, they understand you and know what you need to help you.
    Everyone needs friends but those kinds of friends can be hard to find, so it is important to figure out who you identify with so that you can have those friends that share the same interests has you. If your friends have the same interests as you it will be much easier to talk and get along with them, compared to people who don’t share the same interests it can be hard to hold a conversation and it can be kinda awkward. So it is important to find friends that are similar to you so you can talk with each other and want to be around one another.
    There are many different types of people in the world and no i’m not saying gender or race or nationality, i’m talking more like gamers, book worms, outdoorsy, sport people (athletic), cowboys, and hunters. The list can go on and on but those I believe to be some of the more popular ones. Yes, some people like more than one thing like they can be football or basketball players but they like to play video games and that’s good because they can be able to talk with more than one kind of person.
    When I talk about this I can’t help but think “where or who do I identify with.” What comes to my mind is everything that I do either on a daily basis or weekly basis. Which are soccer practice or games so I like sports and am athletic, usually go hunting at least 1 day out of the week so I like hunting, I help my grandpa on the farm and I have a pair of cowboy boots so I’m somewhat of a hick. And all of these things take part outside and I enjoy being outside way more than being inside so you could say I’m outdoorsy. I think it’s important to have more than one interest because that opens up your chances to find more friends who share the same interests as you. It also can help you be more outgoing and willing to try new things, but when you only have one interest and that’s all you know then you won’t be to branch out you will be stuck with only a certain group of friends. Nothing is wrong with that it just lessens your chance to learn more and get to know more people.

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  10. Freshman year
    Ninth grade year. This was my year. It was just before my freshman basketball season. I was on a comp travel team, We were doing a few leagues around here and going out of state on the weekends. We were pretty much getting ready for the school basketball season. It was a Tuesday night and we had our tuesday night game at weber county.
    We were playing this team that wasn’t very good but they were pretty scrappy. It was late in the third quarter. A kid in the other team throws up a shot and misses. I jumped up for the rebound. As I grab the ball I feel someone take out my legs. Next thing I know I wake up on the ground gasping for air. I couldn’t breath. I got the wind knocked out of me. My head was pounding and my vision was blurry for a minute. I finally caught my breath but my collar bone was throbbing with a sharp pain. Next thing I know my coach is standing over me. He picked me up and I walked over to the bench and sat down.
    The next thing that I remember was being at the doctors office. The doctor was kind of worried because I had this huge bump on the back of my head were I had hit it on the court. He told me first off that I had a concussion then we went and took x-rays on my collarbone. I already new my collar bone was broken though because I could see it poking out of my skin.
    I had surgery the next morning and within the next few days we had school ball tryouts. I wasn’t able to tryout due to my collarbone but the coach knew who I was and I still made the team. Within about two weeks I started practicing. I wasn’t able to move my right arm so I just played left handed. I shot with my left. I dribbled with my left. I had to do it all with my left. I pretty much played the first half of the season with my left hand.
    At about mid season I was able to start to move my right arm and was kinda able to shoot with it. I was very frustrated though because I was a little off with my right because I hadn’t been able to use it. I still had a good time. I liked still playing with my off hand because it showed that I was better than most kids even using my one arm.
    The rest of the season went well. Until I was out feeding my cows one night, I just got done feeding them so I stepped out of the hay barn. Behind the gate was on of the cows eating, It was very cold outside. As I was shutting the gate to the barn one of the cows got spooked and ran me over. She stepped on my right foot, and I had broken my foot before the last game. Out again due to an injury. Pretty great freshman season I’d say.

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  11. Who Do You Identify With?
    Who do you identify with? This question is in a lot of people’s minds. I would say that this question is in most teenagers mind not so much adults or young children.
    The reason for this is middle school and high school are rough on kids and they need friends to help them get through these 5 or 6 years of their life. A friend is someone who is there for you always and will have your back at everything. They stay after school with you so you can talk to that cute girl, they come over in the late hours of the night to help you study for a test or help you with your homework, they understand you and know what you need to help you.
    Everyone needs friends but those kinds of friends can be hard to find, so it is important to figure out who you identify with so that you can have those friends that share the same interests has you. If your friends have the same interests as you it will be much easier to talk and get along with them, compared to people who don’t share the same interests it can be hard to hold a conversation and it can be kinda awkward. So it is important to find friends that are similar to you so you can talk with each other and want to be around one another.
    There are many different types of people in the world and no i’m not saying gender or race or nationality, i’m talking more like gamers, book worms, outdoorsey, sport people (athletic), cowboys, and hunters. The list can go on and on but those I believe to be some of the more popular ones. Yes, some people like more than one thing like they can be football or basketball players but they like to play video games and that’s good because they can be able to talk with more than one kind of person.
    When I talk about this I can’t help but think “where or who do I identify with.” What comes to my mind is everything that I do either on a daily basis or weekly basis. Which are soccer practice or games so I like sports and am athletic, usually go hunting at least 1 day out of the week so I like hunting, I help my grandpa on the farm and I have a pair of cowboy boots so I’m somewhat of a hick. And all of these things take part outside and I enjoy being outside way more than being inside so you could say I’m outdoorsy. I think it’s important to have more than one interest because that opens up your chances to find more friends who share the same interests as you. It also can help you be more outgoing and willing to try new things, but when you only have one interest and that’s all you know then you won’t be to branch out you will be stuck with only a certain group of friends. Nothing is wrong with that it just lessens your chance to learn more and get to know more people.

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  12. Fourth Grade. A time that would forever change my life.
    I was on my IPad and, being the innocent child I was, asked, “Mom, can I get Instagram? All my friends have it and I want it too.” Without knowing the effects it would have, she allowed my to download that app, not thinking much of it.
    I proceed to create an account and it started me down a path I would stay on ‘till this day. Social media can be an uplifting, loving place, but is more often a darker place than the deepest part of the ocean. It contains hateful words and images of people of people trying to prove themselves and putting on a mask, becoming people they are not.
    As a fourth grader, I never saw social media this was. But in eighth grade I would see its true colors.

    ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ ⚫

    My best friend is my little sister. She has the sweetest soul and is one of the prettiest people I have ever seen. She had the most gorgeous blond hair, the most stunning green eyes, and a smile that lights up the room. Everywhere we go, people ask her if she’s my older sister, even though she is two years younger than me, and the boys are always all over her. From the outside, she looks like a perfect person, that everyone wants to be. But on the inside, she has monsters of her own that are constantly trying to tear her down.

    ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ ⚫

    When I was in eighth grade, a new social media platform came out where you could send anonymous messages to people and there is no way to find out who said what. And I have no clue who thought this would be a good idea, but now looking back on it, it screams “HEY, LET’S CYBERBULLY EVERYONE! THEY WILL NEVER KNOW!” I participated in this stupid app once, but, thankfully, I only recieved very uplifting messages. Everyone I knew was using this platform and no one thought anything of it. If people were getting kind messages, that’s because they were a light to others. If teens were getting hateful messages, they probably deserved them. This was the thought process of most adolescents, including me.
    What people don’t see is the effect that words truly have on others.
    With all the the other sixth graders participating, my sister decided to try it out. My family didn’t think anything of it, for everyone was doing it. My sister had mentioned that she had gotten some horrible messages, but so did everyone else, right?
    Wrong. Not like the ones she was getting.
    Sixth grade is a really hard and awkward stage. Even for me, sixth grade was my most dreaded year and the year I hate the most. Everyone is trying to figure out who they are, who they should hang out with, and how they should act. As a result, many young teens have problems with self esteem, and so did my sister.
    She would go home everyday and watch youtube and scroll through Instagram, seeing all these cool things while she was sitting in her room, in the dark, doing nothing. This really took a toll on her mental health, and the stupid social media platform didn’t help.

    ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ ⚫

    For a few months, my sister did this everyday, but my family didn’t notice anything different. She found her fingers scrolling through the pictures posted by various people. It felt like everyone was a diamond and she was a dusty rock, like everyone was a rose and she was an unwanted weed. Her mind searched for the name.
    Worthless.
    Not only was she brought down by seeing others living a “better life than her”, but she was also getting anonymous messages on the platform saying, “You’re so ugly. That’s why no one likes you.”, “Maybe if you had eyebrows you wouldn’t be so fugly”, and the worst of all, “Maybe you should just kill yourself. The world would be better without you.”
    From the outside, she seemed like a young girl, living the life she dreamed. But on the inside, her mind was convincing her that she wasn’t good enough, that everyone’s life was better than hers, and ultimately, that this world would be better without her.

    ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ ⚫

    My sister did such a good job hiding it that we didn’t find out until one of her friends brought it up.
    Her friend called me one night, saying “Hey… I think there might be something wrong with your sister.”
    “What do you mean?” I questioned.
    “I think she might be hurting herself.”
    I laughed, thinking it was a joke, “What are you talking about? She would never.”
    It got every quiet and, in a very serious tone, her friend said, “You don’t understand. Just check her wrists.”
    I was shocked to hear those words, almost unable to talk. “Oh… okay. Thanks for letting me know.”
    I hung up the phone and looked over to my sister, who was laughing in the living room with the rest of my family. I walked over, trying not to make it obvious, and glanced at her wrist. I couldn’t see anything, for she had a long sleeve on. After a little while, I finally caught view of red lines that looked as if they had been tried to be covered by foundation.
    My heart dropped.
    I ran to my sister and my mom and told them what I saw.
    From then on, we were able to get her the help she needed and everything worked out fine.
    But what’s not fine is this still happens to people all over. Teens are getting addicted to social media and getting down on themselves for not being “as perfect as everyone else”. Not only that, but people are continually using screens to hide themselves and cyberbully those around them. This is a big issue that needs to be solved before more teens decide that they aren’t good enough and that they don’t deserve to live.

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  13. Mind in the Waves
    A beach, long white-sand beach with little critters scuttling around the small pebbles and hiding in their shells when I get too close. I’m not much for deep thought, but I feel like our lives are much simpler than we choose to think. We have full control of what we do — but no control of where we are going.
    Do I wish I knew where I was going? No. “Well, actually, scratch that.” Yeah, I do, the future equally intrigues me as it does confuse me. We really don’t have the knowledge of where we end up. Do I wish to know where I arrive in the end? There’s another question that goes with that, if I learn where I will go, will I go there? So to answer your earlier question, yes, I would like to know, but for fear of not ever going there, I won’t. Of course, every captain needs to sail his ship, but we’ll never tame the ocean.
    So, a little clarification, I am just a high school student, so not much in the eyes of certain people. I’m smart, “That means I’m not stupid so don’t call me stupid.” I know what I’m doing, I know what’s happening, “I’ll know everything, and that’s something you can’t understand.” Sorry, I was getting a little out of control there — I would like to believe that I make a difference, a simple high school student like me, changing the tides.
    “Difference?” Yeah, “difference” is a funny word, isn’t it? What is considered different. 7.6 billion people on the planet, am I able to be considered different from every single one of those. “Am I expected to be different? Or like everyone else?” No. Maybe. “Why Not?”
    “Why can’t I be the same or be different, I could be like everyone else, wouldn’t that make you happy? I could have something special, you know? I could have my own personality. My own laugh, my own smile , my own voice, my own tears. Where would that get me?” Being different is sadly a trait that is now ridiculed by the populous. “I can’t keep the smile anymore if everyone is frowning, I’m not going to try to keep you happy, I can’t keep you happy. Everyone wants me to be the same — Everyone wants me to follow the flock.
    Do “you” wish life was more simple? “Simple? Is life simple anymore?”
    “Do the waves move us through life, do the other boats drag you where they want you to go. AM I STUCK?! My sails, destined to never move again. No wind, no boats, just me. A captain needs a crew, but a crew can’t flock to a ship that’s different. I am the captain of an empty ship. Never moving, never flocking, never leaving.”
    I do wish life was different, that people could find the courage, the courage to be the odd-one-out. In the wise words of Robert Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, and that made all the difference.” I thought I was wise to follow that rule, be different, but that didn’t work. Maybe. Just maybe I could try being the same. I could follow the current that leads everyone to the same place.
    So I walk along the white-sand beach, and I think to myself, after seeing the birds flock to each other — seeing the crews of ships, doing the same. I see the empty ships, of empty captains, that will never move. I think of the waves of life dragging those ships to faraway lands, where they’ll never find home again. Wondering if they’ll take them where they’re supposed to go. So I’ll just sit and watch the tides. Maybe someday, I’ll have the courage to finally hop on my ship and sail away. Let my mind drift in the waves. I’ll make myself believe that life — is much simpler than I believe.

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  14. Mountain Biking In Utah
    Mountain biking in Utah is really fun because you have a lot of trails that you can ride on like one of the most famous ones is upper porcupine and lower porcupine in Moab UT. But there’s a lot of trials in Utah besides ones in Moab, you got trials on the Wasatch mountains, Some parts on the rocky mountains Also, you have a lot of trials in certain counties like Morgan county, Weber county, Davis county, Utah county, and a lot more counties that I could name.
    Biking in Utah is the funniest thing that you could do if you like mountain biking Because Utah has all tapes of trails, you got double black diamond trails which are one of the hardest trials that you could ride, or you got pro lines which are the hardest lines that you could ride, Also have blue, double blue, and greens trails which are the easiest trials that you could ride. Utah also has a lot of downhill parks which are ski resorts in the summertime, also has jump bike parks which are bike parks specifically made for jumping so you or someone could get some massive air off of a massive jump, or Utah also has a lot of flowey trials which are just really fast downhill trails that have some uphill but mostly flat and downhill riding those are my favorite trials to ride because i can go really fast and challenge myself at riding a new flowey trial or get faster on a trail I know.

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  15. Fate
    Beginning of my eight grade year, I knew this was going to be a great one! Walking to second period there he was, walking down the hallway straight toward me… I had known who he was, he played football I had seen him when I went and helped my dad out with my little brothers football practice. I have seen him around before hanging out with a girl I went to elementary with, but I never got along with her, so of course I had never talked to him before. We passed each other in the hallway and his big, beautiful, brown eyes met mine and then he kept walking away from me. I thought he didn’t know I even existed.
    I walked into second period, and staring right at me was a painful piece of my past. He had looked at me as soon as I walked through the door. While his eyes were on me all of our past came flooding back into my mind. I closed my eyes. A heart wrenching and depressing feeling overtook me. I felt like a bird falling, like waves crashing, like the leaves in autumn. Like pain. I searched for some word to describe it. Heartbroken. We had grown up together and I’ve never known life without him. We were just friends in elementary, but last year we were more than friends. He played basketball and when he made the school team, I went to all of the home games just to see him and the sly, cocky grin he always wore. A few months ago I got a text from a girl asking if we were still together and my stomach clenched and my heart dropped. I knew what her response was going to be when I said yes… and it broke my heart. And now there he sat completely unaffected by my presence. My heart started to race, my face turned bright red and my hands began to sweat uncontrollably, I was frozen. That ended up being the longest thirty minutes of my entire life. After the bell rang I couldn’t get out of there faster… As I walked down the hall to find my next class I was trying to regain my composure. .
    Third and fourth period came and went and nothing really happened. I knew I had first lunch because I had gym fifth. I meet up with my best friend, and we walk to the table closest to the window so we could watch the cars drive by and wish for the day when that would finally be us. I began to tell her about my already emotional day. My eyes started to wonder and see all of my surroundings and as soon as I met his eyes I immediately regretted it. I saw him, across from our table. My heart breaking basketball player, watching me. I wanted to forget my past. There was so much pain and regret, along with so much good and that made it hard to not look back and reminisce. I knew I needed to move on and forget it, but I never wanted to forget him. I knew that whether I wanted to or not he’d always be apart of my life, but little did I know this wasn’t the last time he’d break my heart.
    After lunch fifth was okay and sixth was really boring… seventh came and I sat down and just looked through some pictures and changed my wallpaper when a swift motion ripped my phone out of my hands and I looked up to see his big, beautiful, brown eyes sparkle with mischief. I reached across our desks to grab my phone to get my phone back.
    ̈ ̈Give me my phone!¨ I shouted
    As he laughed he teased, ¨You don’t need it for school,̈ and started to try lock combinations. I grabbed it back before he could lock me out.
    ̈Thanks for the show,̈ he said with a smirk, ̈Do you dance on tables for everyone?¨
    All I could do was glare at him. I was afraid to say the wrong thing and get teased for the rest of the semester… I didn’t see it then but that day my whole world changed; I became a different person. I became who I was going to be for the rest of my life.
    As the semester goes on I get further away from the painful memories of the past and my childhood boyfriend, and I get closer to the football player I never even imagined would talk to me much less be my friend. Instead of just staying after school for the home basketball games, I started to stay for the football games and begged my mom to take me and my best friend to every away football game. I loved seeing him after every single game. Little did I know that he’d become my best friend. We spend the rest of the semester in Mrs. Lee’s english class with our inside joke being #dancingontables. We ́d use the sports games as hangout spots and took advantage whenever we could. Winter break came and went faster than it should be allowed to, and before we knew it we were back in school.
    Me and him, the brown eyed, football player that I had bonded with over a simple, silly inside joke, we had a few more classes together. We had health, which was literal hell with the devil herself, I swear she made it her life goal to scare the crap out of kids and make their lives very miserable. We also had art where I sat by him and we’d talk about life instead of drawing or painting or doing anything we were actually supposed to be doing, we painted on each other and he helped me turn my hand into a skeleton and he turned a stripe of purple I had painted on him and made it look like the most realistic bruise I had ever seen.
    I didn’t see it then but I see it now he was becoming the person I would trust the most. That spring, he broke it off with his girlfriend and then he asked me for my number. Then summer came along with a few texts from him here and there, I probably wasn’t very much fun to talk to because I never really knew what to say to him… it was so much easier to talk to him in person as strange as that sounds. We grew apart in the summer and I never really saw him, deep down I did miss him though he was the only one who could make me smile even when I never wanted to and I guess thats what drew me to him. As Fate would have it we were reunited for our ninth grade year.

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  16. Eleven Years Old
    Eleven years old. Most kids are playing on the sidewalks with their friends in the neighborhood. Most kids are going sledding in the snow coated hills and laughing until they break their arm falling off. Most kids are learning about how they get hurt when they are reckless. I was playing inside. I was always with my family. We were so close. I would play barbies with my sister every day for hours. I would play hide and go seek. I was so close to my family, at the age of eleven I felt an obligation over my little sister. I was her second mother, I was her protector, I didn’t want her remember me as the sister who wasn’t there. I held tight to her little hands as we played all day long. My relationship with my parents was tight too. They were slipping away and I didn’t even notice.
    Ten years old. I already had experienced a scary side of my dad. On our second family vacation in the spring of fifth grade my dad had too much to drink. My brother, sister, and I were all asleep in the hotel room when my mom came into the room crying. We stayed asleep, she was quiet. She layed in bed sobbing quietly all alone in a room of four people. It was one o’clock in the morning. We had just spent the day laughing in the warm rain with the zoo animals. We had spent the day learning about flamingos and lions. We had just spent the day gazing at gorillas and eating cheap american food at a spendy restaurant inside of the great San Diego Zoo. The door opened fast and slammed against the wall. Light burst into the room and we all woke up, I saw my mom’s tear trails reflect in the sudden light. My dad stood in the doorway, he slammed the door behind him. He was yelling at my mom but we were too young to understand. My mom began to speak quietly as she slowly moved off of his bed onto the floor toward us, he flopped on the bed angrily and continued to yell. She cried and held us as we began to cry in confusion. “Please, you are scaring the kids. They are crying.” She begged him to calm down. “You are crying too aren’t you!” He yelled back at and looked up in the darkness. We began to sob heavier, uncontrollably and frightened.
    I remember praying to God at eleven years old. I prayed he would fall asleep and it would all be over. I prayed. My mom stood up and walked over to him as he yelled lying in bed. She put her hand down gently on his shoulder. “Please…” She tried to speak, to calm him down. He pushed her off of him and into the wall beside the bed. The room got silent. We closed our eyes tight. I tried to wake up, I realized it wasn’t a dream. My mom cowered to us in a hurry. She sobbed and held us. “Shhh, he will go to sleep soon. It’ll be okay.” Loud knocking on the door woke us up right before we could fall asleep. “Police!” Our eyes got wide. My dad began laughing hysterically. “Be quiet.” My mom walked to the door and wiped her tears. They got a call from a man in Salt Lake City, Utah. Saying there may be trouble here. My mom apologized and my dad continued to laugh loudly in bed, in the dark corner. They asked a few more questions and glared at my dad. They went on their way. My brother, Chase had told his dad what was happening through text messaging. My dad laughed and insulted him. The waiting continued, we held each other and cried until we fell asleep. When we woke up my dad was gone. He had taken the car, and left. He came back later that day.
    Eleven years old. I played with my little sister in the living room. My parents were fine– they always fought, it wasn’t anything new. We kept playing while they screamed in the next room. I heard my dad yell. All of the sudden it got quiet, my mom cried. My dad’s voice disappeared. I pretended like I didn’t notice, to keep my little sister calm. We played and my mom walked out of her room. She looked fine. No tears, my dad didn’t leave the room. “We are going to Lori’s.” She marched out with her purse on her shoulder. “Lets go!” I was confused but I listened, she seemed mad so I did what I was told, as usual. That was the most quiet I had ever seen my mom.
    We arrived to Lori’s house and she gave my mom a hug. They went into her room and locked the door. All of the kids went downstairs to play but i stayed upstairs and watched Shark Tank with my uncle. He was usually mean to me. He was never my favorite, ever since he made fun of me at Grandpa Tom’s funeral a few years before. He welcomed me that day. He talked to me for hours and let me watch his show. I was confused, he was being strange and I could hear my mom sobbing in the other room with my aunt. After a few hours the door opened, my aunt stepped out and gave me a look of pure sympathy. I looked up at her slowly, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next. I walked into the room, my mom was sitting on a tall queen size bed with a white comforter. I looked her dead in the eye and shut the door. “Your dad and I are getting a divorce.” I immediately began sobbing in shock and yelled “Why?!” I was heartbroken.
    Eleven years old. My heart was torn in two. I talked to my mom for hours and we cried. When we were done I walked out into the living room and my aunt and uncle stood up, my uncle gave me a hug. It felt like my dad’s hug. I almost cried again, but I kept it in and thanked him and Lori. We didn’t tell my little sister. She stayed there that night with her cousin. She was completely oblivious. She was only five years old, she wouldn’t understand anyways. That drive was even longer than the one before, when I didn’t know. There was no music, just silence, the sound of the engine running and the wheels turning against the wet, dark roads. When we got home it was dark, my dad’s truck was gone. I walked into my room and cried into my pillow so my mom wouldn’t hear me. She was one to cry, but then she switched gears. Her brain would flip, nothing had happened.
    I didn’t sleep much that night. Maybe an hour or two. I was wrapped up in my dad’s blanket that we watched movies together and wept all night, with my mom in the same boat again. The morning came and my mom switched, again. We got ready to go shopping. Lori was going to pick us up. I tried to distract myself, I tried to keep it in like my mom did so well. I tried so hard, but I layed on my bed and cried. My mom noticed my absence about an hour into getting ready, she came into my room and sat next tie me roughly. “He didn’t die. He is still alive.” She said it sternly. “Settle down we are leaving in five minutes.” I sat up, I wiped my tears, and I put my boots on. I walked into the winter cold and went shopping all day. It was miserable.
    I cried for a week straight. I cried so hard that I ran out of tears. I ran out of tears and just felt the emptiness seep out of me, at eleven years old. My dad eventually came back and it was never the same, but my mom acted as if nothing had happened. I learned I didn’t like to cry, I didn’t like the pain. I did not need it. I learned not to cry, not to let anybody in. I learned that crying is for the weak. I never let anybody tell me what I already know in a stern voice again. I won’t let anybody get that chance.

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  17. The Shadowy Object
    It was the July 15 2017, the beautiful summer morning seeping through the windows of my house. Today was the day to start the week long scout camp up in the mountains of Arizona. The week’s objective was to receive my wilderness survival merit badge, this merit badge consists of making and sleeping in a shelter you made with the things of the forest with no help from leaders.
    So when we arrived it was me, Jack, Connor, and Mckay all making this shelter to get the badge. We already knew what we wanted so we went big, the shelter we made had two rooms, a full blown lawn and it was completely covered in ferns. Our shelter looked like the ewoks houses from Star Wars, so you could say our shelter was legit. The process involved finding three trees and carrying a massive log and sticking it between the three trees as our main beam. We then created our first room for the three of us. Then just above us we made another little room for our other friend but made sure they were all connected, so we could talk and be next to each other. At our feet was a little pine tree that would protect us from creatures and the weather. When the time came to hit the hay we were all so excited to sleep in our amazing den! We all stayed up way too late and in the mountains there is nothing but you and mother nature. There was no moon, so our only source of natural light was nothing, the darkness was so thick that, to see your hand in front of you was nearly impossible. The conversations that night were the usual topics from boys, we talked about the girls we liked, the hard things in our lives, and we talked about our friendship, how we met, and how we have been friends our whole lives. Most importantly, we started to talk about the scary things that have happened to us in our lives. These stories began to escalate and we were all pretty freaked out by now. It was like the feeling of being lost and something is hunting you.
    In the moment of all the stories we grew silent and it was so quiet you could feel the silence, and then from somewhere in the mountains a terrifying scream broke the silence. The scream wasn’t human and it didn’t sound like and animal either. We were all in shock at what this could have been, trying to think of what it was made the mood feel unforgiving. We all went to the comfort of our sleeping bags and we all grew silent, in the distance you could hear something moving through the trees and underbrush. As it grew closer to us we knew it was not a person! Fear built up so high in all of our minds and body we were all literally frozen. As it grew closer you could hear the beast breathing, at this moment in time, it seemed like it was frozen. I decided to whisper to all my friends this is a bear!! We are done. All of us instantly began to pray to a greater being than us. By now the bear was at our feet going through our bags and trying to find food or something that smelled good to it. All of us were frozen solid you couldn’t even hear us breathing. At that moment the bear reached for my friends sleeping bag and began to drag him out of our hut. What was going through my mind was that I need to help my friend get away. My body physically would not move to reach for him, I was literally crying I was watching my friend being dragged possibly to his death or even just a really bad injury. Right at the last second my friend built up enough courage and moved in his bag, the bear flipped let him go and ran away. My friend was in shock we all began to cry and thank god for saving him, and us. The rest of the night we did not sleep we all were just holding each other close and trying to process what had happened. We knew this moment in time and place will forever be a memory we will never forget.
    In the morning at breakfast we told everyone what had happened and they did not believe us they told us we were seeing things and making it up. It wasn’t real to them because they were not in the heat of the moment. We don’t let anyone tell us we are wrong because we were there and no one could change our minds about the situation that had happened. If you have the same experiences as this don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong. They don’t know what you saw and heard and felt.
    The reason for this story was to always remember your friends and the good times you have together. You never know what could possibly happen to them so make the best times happen when you’re together. This story will never be forgotten by any of us and we will always keep it close to our hearts.

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  18. Dreamer
    The door opened slowly, silence in the air. A slow heavy breathing began to emerge from the darkness. The breathing got louder and heavier until it was right there, right in front of my bed. I hid under my covers scared of what was staring at me behind them. I didn’t move a muscle and took the slightest of breaths, I stayed as still as I possibly could. I began to feel something grab on my blanket, I hold in the fear. It began to pull on my feet with the slightest of touch I held still a bit longer until my blanket was ripped completely off of me.
    May 1987, my family and I moved into this new house in Nevada, a little town but everyone seemed to be really friendly. It was a nice house cute and small, I lived there now with my mom, dad and two little brothers. I didn’t want to leave my old house, I don’t know why we had to leave in the first place but here we are. My name is Maddy and im 13 years old. My parents are Tammy and John Stevens and my little brothers Jobe and Levi are 8. The first day we got to the new house we unpacked and got all settled in, my room was downstairs while my brothers and parents were upstairs, I didn’t really mind it, I liked having my own space. My mom woke me and my brothers up for breakfast “Come on kids breakfast”, when I went downstairs I asked my mom “why was it so cold last night? I almost froze to death.” She looked at me with a little confusion in her eye, she replied “It was well over 80 degrees we don’t have the air conditioning working yet, how on earth were you cold?” I just shrugged it off not thinking anything of it.
    When I got to school that morning all was well besides the fact that I didn’t know anybody and nobody really knew me being the new kid and all. When I got home after school that day I started unpacking and going through boxes, I was putting up some photos when I noticed some scratches on the wall I examined them not knowing what they were from, I called my mom up to ask her about it and she was just as confused as I was, she told me “just hang a poster over it, it’s nothing to worry about” and so I did. That night at dinner, my family and I talked about how our day went and what was some good things that we experienced, I said meeting my new math teacher because she was so nice! After I got all ready for bed I gave my family all hugs and went to lay down.
    Dozing off almost asleep a quick brush of cold wind woke me right up. I stood up confused but not seeing anything, I go back to bed. 2.59pm the door started to creak as if it was being opened, I sit up and look towards it but still notice nothing, I wait for a bit before laying back down. The next morning I got up for school and had to get dressed and eat breakfast as usual, except I have this weird feeling in my stomach today and im not quite sure what it is. After school when I got back home nobody was there so I just turned the tv on and start eating some snacks. Out of the blue I hear the same door creak downstairs, I assumed it was just the wind until it began to creak aggressively and swing back and forth, I go downstairs to see what was going on. I go into my room and see a huge black figure shadowning my bed. I stood and stared at the figure in awe. It slowly turned his head towards me I turn arounds as fast as I can and begin running away, but I wasn’t fast enough. I felt its hands wrap around my waist I didn’t know what to do besides scream and kick. I hear my mom arrive home and I yelled for her, my body becoming weak and I don’t know if I could fight this thing much longer. I see her and my dad run down the stairs, I felt my body go cold, my fingertips go numb and my eyes get tired and start to see them fade away until they were just gone.
    “Time to wake up kids, come get some breakfast.”

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  19. A Place Full of Memories
    Ever since I was young, I remember how much my grandparents old house meant to me and my family. Going there was the highlight of my week, whether it was a family party, or just going to visit my grandparents, it was such a special place. They lived in Hooper on a large piece of land, it was so peaceful and quiet. Their house was on a long road covered with trees that lined the street. The house was a log house and always reminded us of the toy Lincoln Logs. The house had a wrap around porch with a swing. Their house was like a kids playground. With what felt like endless amounts of grass surrounded by mature trees that all the kids were convinced they were made for climbing.

    When I think about some of my favorite, and most memorable memories from my childhood majority of them come from my grandparents house, some specific memories I have come from our family traditions. Our Thanksgiving tradition, where all the family would eat in the living room and every year we would get closer and closer because our family kept growing every year. Our Christmas tradition, the whole family would come on Christmas Eve and celebrate the holidays, my grandpa has read a christmas story every year. This tradition started in this house and has carried on for almost 20 years. Summer times were such a great time specifically for this reason, and this one is about my grandpa. Everyday in the summer he would have his radio on in the backyard. When we came over we would walk to the backyard and you would hear grandpa singing his country music. His country music was always on rain or shine also you were not allowed to touch it. It was his favorite thing, yet this hasn’t changed in their new house, it is always playing and if you don’t like it then oh well, its grandpa’s favorite !

    Now this memory though has to be my favorite for sure. It was a sad time but we decided to make our last day the best. The last week they were living there we were moving their stuff to their new house and we ended the night with having a big family dinner and had a big sleepover. But, this wasn’t just any sleepover, we brought all of our trucks and parked them in their backyard then we all slept in the back of them. Staring at the stars and seeing the moon slowly hide behind the barn. This was by far one of the best times we had there. The next day me and my cousin actually went back behind the barn and carved our names in the trees there. For the longest time I have wanted to go see if they are still there!

    “The Hooper House” will always be a special place that I will remember forever, and it will forever be a place full of my most important memories. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to know and grow up in this wonderful place.

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  20. My Grandpa’s Life
    When I was fifteen years old my grandpa told me a story, and it ended up being a story that I’d never forget.
    “Now listen up,” he said, his thick hairy arms pressed gently to his sides with strong weathered hands interlaced, resting on his extremely large pot belly. He started to lecture me about how to handle difficult circumstances with a positive attitude, the importance of honesty, and being a good person, the typical stuff.
    Only this time it was different.
    He started to tell me a story, a story that I hadn’t heard before, the story of his life. The mood in the room got very serious, I instantly felt bad for trying to blow off his lecture in a joking manner. All that I had previously known about my grandpa’s life was that my great grandpa wasn’t a super big part of it, nothing more. He told that his father was an alcoholic, and that he was still a good man, but he had a hard time putting off the things that he wanted at the moment, for the things that were most important, like having money for food rather than booze. He explained that he was very lucky as a young boy because he had a great example from his older brother, Jay, that was like a father figure to him. The bad part was, Jay died when he was sixteen years old in a car accident on the way to Davis Meats to pick up some meat for their family. As he passed over the railroad tracks on a foggy day, his car was blindsided by a train. The family was devastated and my grandpa was especially sad.
    Luckily my grandpa had some great aunts and uncles that helped him. His uncle Val taught him how to pray and started taking him to church with him. My grandpa explained to me how he found comfort from this, and continued to go to church with Uncle Val until he left on his mission, but he still wasn’t getting enough support from home. He paid his own way throughout all of high school. He didn’t have the time to play sports and do the things he loved because he was too busy working to support himself and help his family. I was told by him of times where he’d wake up at 3:30 before school to go and milk cows. He told me of times where he had a car, even when his parents didn’t. I was amazed by my grandpa’s work ethic and passion.
    “When I went on my mission, I paid for the whole thing, and when I came home, they sold my car without my permission.” he said. When my grandpa got married he bought some land from his father to build a house on and overpaid him for the land just to help out his dad.
    He explained to me that he paid for his younger brothers mission so that he could have the opportunities that he did. He told about all the times that he helped pay for his family and help them financially. “I knew the way that I grew up wasn’t how I wanted my kids to grow up, so I decided that I was going to be happy and kind and patient.” he continued, “I can honestly say that because of my upbringing, I am a better person.”
    He was sitting in his green recliner with a content look on his face. I always admired that about my grandpa, he was always happy no matter the circumstance he found himself in. It was as if he looked at life with a different attitude. Whenever something bad happened he just kind of looks at it with the idea of, “I’ve seen bad, and this ain’t bad.”
    I sat back in my chair, amazed at what my grandpa had just shared with me. I looked at my grandpa different from then on. I looked at him in awe, with pride, with love. I looked at him with admiration.

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  21. It felt like a regular competition morning. I had to wake up early to get my hair slicked back into a high, tight ponytail with as little flyaway’s as possible. Then I had to get my makeup done which always got messed up and had to be redone in the car on the way. After my makeup was done I tiredly got my uniform on just as I had done the years before. I rushed into my room and grabbed my stuff that I needed as fast as I could.
    I was rushing into the car once I had my stuff because my family was giving one of my teammates, Lizzy a ride to the competition. The car ride felt very long due to my nerves. When we arrived to Lizzy`s house I quickly ran to her door as fast I could. As I rung the doorbell I could hear her rushing down the stairs. The door was closed as fast as it had opened. We both rushed to the car and got into the backseat. On the way to the competition I had to do her hair and makeup. If we didn’t arrive fully ready and on time we would be in trouble with our coach.
    That day traffic was bad on the freeway so by the time we got there we were a couple minutes late. But to our surprise we didn’t get in trouble so we hurried and put our stuff away and started to stretch. After a couple minutes of stretching our whole team got up and got into their beginning spots. While we waited for the music to start I could feel how excited and nervous everyone was.
    After we ran through the routine we walked over to the warm up room to check in. When they called our gym name we hurried to the first warm up mat which is for stunting. We did all the stunts multiple times until it was time to switch to the second mat. The second mat is a long spring floor that is used for tumbling, we then went over to the biggest mat when it was time to switch and ran through the whole routine full out except for tumbling. After the time ran out on that mat we went to the entrance that leads to where we compete. We were all so nervous so when the team before us went out so we formed a circle and prayed. This was a tradition they started the first year I started to cheer.
    The wait for our turn to compete felt like a lifetime. Finally once they called our name we all ran out onto the floor with the biggest smiles. Once I got into my beginning spot my brain just turned off. Once the music started, I began doing my routine just like I had done a million times before in the gym. I was being as sharp as I could while making the biggest facials to catch the judges eyes.
    Everything went well until my tumbling pass came around, I was supposed to do a front walkover round off two back handsprings. Instead I just did a front walkover round off backhandspring (only one). A feeling of confusion came upon me, I could feel my finger tingling and it hurt a lot. Instead of running off the floor like any other person would do I just kept going. I knew that I couldn’t just bail on my team at that moment.
    Next I went and backspotted my stunt in the pyramid. Once the pyramid was done I did the ending of the routine which was the end dance.
    Once it was over we walked off the floor to meet my coach who was standing proud and confident. When we got off the floor I just started bawling uncontrollably because I was in so much pain. My coach couldn’t understand me but when my best friend Adreana pointed at my finger she knew something was wrong. So we went over to the paramedic table and they examined my finger. They then gave me an ice pack for the pain and told me to go to the doctor.
    At the time I was on two teams so I knew that I couldn’t compete with my second team. Instead of going to the doctors immediately I waited and supported my team. They were all so mad at me because they had to rework the routine backstage in the warm up area and then compete it.
    Once they performed I didn’t want to leave so I waited until awards were over for both teams before I finally went to the doctor. I didn’t get into see the doctor until around 12:30 Am.
    By the time I was done it was 1:30 AM , they had determined that it was broken and that I just needed a cast. I was devastated when they told me the news, because I knew that I couldn’t compete for nationals. If it didn’t heal right it would later need to have surgery and that would make it to where I couldn’t cheer the next cheer season.
    By the time I got home it was around 2 AM, I was so emotionally drained and tired so I just went straight to bed. When nationals came around this heavy feeling of depression come onto me. I missed the feeling of competing with my best friend and not being there with her. But that feeling was lifted when I arrived the practice after nationals.
    Without my knowledge the parents on my team had went around at the competition and they had collected money. With this money they got a bunch of stuff for me at the competition. They did this to make me feel like I was there and to remind me that I may not have been there but they were thinking about me. When they revealed the surprise I was trying so hard not to cry. I later found out that I didn’t have to get surgery and I ended up competing before the competition season ended.

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  22. Addict.
    The end of elementary school is where it started, nothing bad at first just a few hits here and there. Never really pushing it or seeking it. Always remember laughing at the lessons where they would drill that drugs are bad for you into your head. Never did think about myself years ahead involved in everything they taught me not to be. Sometimes I think if I could go back to those days where we thought we had it rough. Thought we knew about stress and depression. Maybe I could change the future and the past for the better. Or maybe it’s meant to be this way.
    The beginning of 7th grade is where I started learning, started experimenting you could say. Bought a little here and sold a little, never really getting too far out of my comfort zone, more of just expanding it. But the day always comes for everyone, always at different times during your life you’re faced with the decision to try it or not. The peer pressure isn’t really the problem they need to try and resolve. It’s the ease of access, kids of such young ages can get it. My big decision came during the first week of summer going into 8th grade. My friends bought some LSD from an older ̈friend ̈ we all knew pretty well. I was staying over at my best friend’s house at the time and I decided to give it a try. How bad could it be huh, little did I know.
    That would be a start to what I would say of the downhill decline. By the end of that summer I think I had experimented with two other drugs. And went into a fresh eighth grade year a proud stoner. With junior high schools not drug testing at the time I was all clear. My supply always came from my lunch money my mom would give to me. She hated using her card so every two weeks I would get a crisp 20 that would be gone the next day. All my friends and I would pitch in the money our moms would send us to school with to score whatever was rolling around at the moment. Most of the time it would be some ditch weed that we would get extremely overcharged on, thinking we got a good deal we all agreed to have one of my buddies hold it for us because he had parents that were not as scary as ours were. After what seemed like a whole year of school just smoking everything I could find my curiosity started to hum again. Looking for something different, a new feeling.
    A new feeling I would not find until around first quarter of my 9th grade year. I discovered a new thing, pain pills. Nothing strong at first just some low dosage stuff we could sneak from our parents. After a while of that we started asking around for what we were taking and I think that was when we realized how low level our stuff was. The first time we pitched our money for pain pills was probably the worst one yet. We obviously didn’t have a car so we had the guy meet us about a block or so from my friends house we stayed the night at, that’s when he showed us the new ways we could take them. We all knew about snorting things but never considered trying it. He showed us how to crush a pill up using a razor blade and make it as fine as possible so it went through smoothly. Believe me the first few times were absolute hell but I had never felt anything like it before. The sensation of floating and just the mindset you were placed in made you feel invincible. Around the end of my ninth grade year my childhood best friend moved. He didn’t move across the state or anything like that, he moved to Brigham. At the time it felt like a million miles away, I went from seeing my best friend every day to once or twice a month. At this point it turned into a competition. Who had the best stuff and who got it for the better deal, a recipe for disaster.
    I remember the day like it was yesterday, June 20th it started like any other day we hung out. I would get out of school gather all my ̈goodies¨ and get a ride from his or my mom down to Brigham to spend the weekend with him. When I got there he was showing me what he got. It was three bars of X. At the time I couldn’t help but think it was so cool. I asked him where he got it because I wanted to try some, the only good thing that came out of this day was the fact that he didn’t tell me who. I remember we were in his room playing video games around 8 o-clock when his mom walked in yelling at him about his laundry, which in his house was a huge deal to them. One thing led to the next and he got grounded so his mom took me home later that night at what I thought was an unreasonable time but she was the adult so I didn’t argue. I remember texting my friend on the way home about what his mom was saying and all she was ranting about. That’s when he told me he took advantage of the time she was gone to try out his new supply.
    He said he took a whole one and for anybody normal or any normal pill that would be completely fine. The thing that neither of us new is that it was laced with fentanyl. His mom found him in the morning, unresponsive. He died around 4 hours before she found him. When I got the news I didn’t know what to do. I cried for days on end and didn’t go to football conditioning because my parents didn’t have the strength to tell me to get up. His mom and family asked me if I knew anything about it and I told them I knew he got them from someone but he didn’t tell me who. I stayed home for the rest of the summer and only turned on my phone twice a day to check the time. I spent my time staring at the ceiling wondering what I could have done different. Around the start of sophomore year I decided to try and let go and put on a fake face. Which didn’t last long because around four weeks of the start of wrestling season my coach Jaydon Dean Rogers overdosed on the same thing three days after his birthday. He was partying really hard and was supposedly up for more than 72 hours running off a deadly mix of alcohol and pills. At this point I was completely destroyed and so was my brother. I knew him really well because he was like a personal coach to my brothers and I. Every practice he picked on us, making us better and showing off at the same time.
    That’s not the end, we had a funeral for him that the whole wrestling team attended (the ones that knew him anyway). And after we all just ended up going home while there was a family dinner planned that night for the team that attended. Two months after that my friend hung himself in the shed in his backyard. Nobody seen it coming this kid was always so happy and so go ecstatic. His funeral was by far the hardest, ever since then I’ve decided not to go the the viewing of anyone I know because that is not how I want to remember them. That’s not who they where to me or what they looked like. It makes me miss their crooked smile or their weird laugh that just makes them who they are, the crooked smile i will never see again or the weird laugh I wound ever hear ever again.
    After that I attempted suicide three times only one being close to successful. I started doing more drugs to take away the pains and found myself doing coke on the daily. I didn’t realize until around three months later that I had been stealing money from my parents and friends and that my friends no longer wanted to be around me. I decided right then that I was going to change and it was a hard thing to do but I don’t know where I would be today if I didn’t. Honestly probably dead in a ditch somewhere overdosed and shot. From all this experience it makes me look at life differently than most. I don’t understand shyness anymore and I don’t get embarrassed at anything. Life’s too short to worry about everything that comes your way. Sometimes you just have to shrug it off and keep on pushing. And remember to love yourself and love your family.

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  23. Swimming
    There I was in ninth grade deciding if I should do swim and have more chances to move on and go further with it. Or do basketball and not have as big of a chance to move on and go further and further with it. But I chose to swim and so far I haven’t regretted it except that I tried basketball last year and it didn’t really work out for me. Which made me not be able to do the swim team, so overall swim is the choice that I have chosen. And plus I get to do rec basketball already and church ball so I can pretty much do both and it fits perfectly with my schedule so I can have time to keep up with school and have extra time to do what I want.
    There are a lot of pros and some cons about swimming, the pros that I was thinking were like you get a real good workout in and you get to make new friends and get to know them well because your with them everyday for like 2 hours and swim meet days your with them from four hours to a full day, there is also a much bigger chance in swimming to get a scholarship or some bonus like that. Some of the cons about it is that if you drink soda or some candy and just a little of that is like putting a ten pound weight vest on you when your swimming and that whole day you’re just working on getting that one thing out of your system. There’s also if you miss a day or more than there’s a bigger chance of you getting in a race that you don’t want or there’s also a chance of you not even being able to swim next meet so that kinda sucks.

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  24. High School
    First day of sophomore year you’re wondering where your journey will start. That was me and probably 3/4ths of the sophomores at fremont high school. Figuring out who you are or who you want to be for high school for the first two months in high school is challenging. I remember being intimidated in the seniors. You think two years doesn’t mean anything but it sure does. Some of my brothers friends were seniors so they kinda were like my protectors.
    high school isn’t just what you do at school it’s what you do before during and after school. It is weird knowing your best friend/father figure live in fiji for two years for his mission. You always will have trials you don’t want to face. That’s life, that’s high school especially if you’re sixteen years old lost and confused. Sometimes you wonder about people’s high school life. You wonder if they’re flying on cloud nine one week as well as three days later in a mental breakdown episode.
    high school consumes you or you consume it. Friday night lights are the nights you are dying and thrive for. School spirit is everywhere around you. The trick for a good seat for the student section is come an hour early. Sometimes earlier depending on the game and where it’s at. The more spirit the better. I made up my own cheer this year for the crowd. It’s called “yeehaw”. So you say yee haw and do like a roping motion and rope something and then you say haw yee and reverse it. I feel like i’m fully involved into high school.
    You have to learn to love the good and the bad of high school. Friends come and go but family will never leave my mom tells me. As I really focus on all of my great friends I see one in particular really stick out to me. Her name is jordyn I’ve felt like i’ve known her forever. Considering she moved from cali from here im sure she wasn’t excited about coming to school were the smell of manure is right in your neighborhood. Or when you wake up in December you have to go start you car to defrost your windows. She has such a great spirit I’ve never met such a kind hearted and approachable person. She is anyone and everyone’s friend at this school already. She comes into school every day with a key chain clip with her keys on it and puts it on her belt loop of her jeans.
    She knows more about my life deeply then friends ive had since seventh grade. It is like I knew her before I was born. High school can be a bummer without a friend to go through it with you. Just like how the sky needs a moon and a sun. High school.

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  25. Lacrosse
    All my life I have played softball. I played that sport for about 6 years and then I finally just got sick of it. It just was not giving me the same joy and good feeling to play more. I never wanted to go to practice or games, they were starting to feel like a chore, something I had to do. I wanted to try something new.
    I heard that Fremont was starting a lacrosse team. A couple of my friends and I wanted to try it out. So we started to go to the practices. Trying to get used to the routines and the basics were new. It was hard at first, trying to get used to using the stick. But the seniors that were on the team who had been playing for a long time were a huge help and they were such a good example to me.
    After a couple months of practicing, I finally started to get the hang of it. We did conditioning every single day. Which started to feel like a never ending thing. We would either run for a long time or do work outs. This was hard at first and it really beat me up but once I kept doing it and working hard I got the hang of it and I got into shape so it became easy.
    I started to really like the sport and I was finding myself looking forward to practices. This was such a good feeling because with softball that never happened. When the games started, I was still a little bit confused about how the game and the field worked because I had never played. But after two or three games I knew how to read the field. Most of the team was like me, had never played before and had just learned how to do the basic stick skills. So before we had played a game I did not think we would do too well, considering the team was 85% brand new. But after a while, when we had kind of gotten a feel for the game, we did very good during the season. We won some games and lost some games. We stayed positive and played and a united team throughout the season.
    Something that happened that really had changed how my mindset was with lacrosse. Seeing how my coaches and how the experienced players on the team played and how they acted towards all of us make me realize that this was the sport that I wanted to continue playing for as long as I can.
    The season ended in May, but I did not want to stop playing. So I joined a summer team. We practiced like once or twice a week and played a tournament every month in the summer. Considering the team was mostly all new players trying lacrosse out, the tournaments sometimes did not end well. But they were still a good learning experience. After summer was over Fremont started to play and practice once again for off season. We recruited so many girls to come to the practices and try the sport. We now have a little over 30 people playing on the Fremont team and now we are able to make a JV team and a Varsity team which will be really cool. I am one of the captains for the team and my love for the sport has grown so much. Looking back, I am happy that I made this decision to start this and I am so excited for the next season and all the friendships I will make and grow.

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  26. Best Christmas Ever
    One cold Christmas morning we all awoke at 6 am. We have this tradition that once all of us are awake we call our grandma and grandpa and wait for them to get here, then once they get inside we wait till they get inside and sit on the couch, then we walked downstairs and they watched us open presents. This one specific Christmas was a great one! I was four and my sister was six. We had a brother waiting patiently to be born but he wasn’t with us yet. We walked downstairs and were so happy looking down at all the presents.
    My parents said that Santa brought a special present for me and my sister but we had to open it last. Me and my sister frantiquly were opening our personal presents that were wrapped with colorful papers. We finally got to the big special one!! We were so happy. My parents brought out the present and it was a big box wrapped in Christmas Mickey and Minnie wrapping paper. We were young so we didn’t catch on with Mickey and Minnie on the wrapping paper. Me and my sister ripped the wrapping paper off so fast but the box was taped so we had to run to the kitchen and grab a knife. By the way i was running with a knife which isn’t safe and I almost fell. Once I got back into the living room my sister took the knife from me and cut the tape. We lifted the two flaps on the side up and balloons flew out of it with a card tied to the end of the balloons that said pack your bags we are going to Disneyland tomorrow. Me and my sisters jaws dropped because we had never gone to Disneyland and we kept saying we really wanted to go. Pleasing a child is really easy. All you have to do is take them somewhere and they are the happiest kids on earth.
    Me and my sister forgot about all our other presents we got and ran to our rooms and started throwing clothes on the floor and just shoving them in a bag. We were so excited. My grandparents were recording, so on the plane ride there we kept watching the video. It was funny and we kept laughing at ourselves. For Christmas one gift I got was a pluto stuffed animal and I thought since we were going to Disneyland that i should bring it, so i packed pluto in my backpack! When we walked in on the plane, the seats were blue and looked somewhat comfy. Me and my sister sat by each other and my parents sat by each other. When we went to go leave they came on the speaker to the whole plane and said we are about to take off, if you have gum I recommend putting that in and chewing it. Me and my sister asked our parents for a piece of gum. It was green minty flavor. We started chewing and we took off. While we were on our way they brought out these cracker things and they were so good! I remember eating my dads because he has celiac and couldn’t eat them so i took them from him and ate them. They were so good! The plane ride felt like forever but way better than driving. We finally got there and got a taxi to our hotel and checked in.
    After we checked in, we went to the beach and played in the water all day. We went back to our hotel and swam in the pool. The pool was warm and you could hear and see the happiness of the kids playing pass with a football. After me and my sister got bored of the pool we moved over to the hot tub. It was a lot warmer than the pool. There were lots of bubbles and me and my sister were throwing them at each other! After we got done swimming we went up to our room, showered, and went to sleep.
    We woke up and it was finally the day we got to go into Disneyland. Me and my sister were up by 5:30 dressed and ready to go. Yes we were up at 5:30 because the park opened early and me and my sister wanted to be the first people there. We definitely weren’t the first people there but we were there early. It was a warm sunny day with no clouds in sight. Halfway through the day i got really hot and suggested we go on a ride where we get wet, so we could cool off for a while. I can’t remember what the ride was called but whatever it was I remember getting soaked. It felt way good! It was the funnest time and happiest place. We had a blast. Thanks mom and dad for surprising me and Hadlee with the best Christmas present ever.

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  27. The Walk Home
    Jorgin is an 11 year old boy in the 5th grade. He goes to Wahlquist Junior high in Montana. The school has about 330 students. In Jorgin’s grades there’s 84 students. It’s the day before Halloween– Jorgin is going to be Harry Potter for Halloween. Jorgin has been Harry Potter for five straight years in a row. His parents always suggest him to be something else but Jorgin loves Harry Potter. He won’t be anything else but Harry Potter.
    It’s the day of Halloween, Jorgin went with his two friends Tyler and Uriel trick or treating throughout the neighborhoods in his town. Jorgin went trick or treating for 4 hours. They lost track of time and it was 10 pm so they all decided to walk home. Tyler and Uriel live by each other so they walked home together and Jorgin lives two miles from them. Jorgin walked in the other direction to his grandma’s house which is about 3 miles from where they were at.
    They were at Fox town that’s where there parents said not to go but they went anyways because they give out the best candy there.
    Jorgin started his walk home he was scared he knew it would take him about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get home. His parents said he had to be home by 11 pm he knew he would have to run or cut through fields to get there on time. Jorgin threw his pillow case with his candy in it over his shoulder and started running. He would run for ten minutes then walk for five minutes.
    He was making really good time so far he was about a mile in and had about two more miles left. He could go all the way around the town or he could go through four corn fields owned by the towns farmers. It would cut the time in half and he could make it home on time.
    So Jorgin went for it he started pushing the corn out of his way trying to step through it after he pushed it out of his way with his candy bag. He is trying to go straight all the way through so he didn’t end up on the wrong side of the corn field. He’s going for a couple minutes and keeps thinking it’s going to end soon. He keeps going for ten more minutes and still corn fields. At this point Jorgin is doubting himself thinking he’s going the wrong way and thinking this was a bad idea. His costume is ripped up his shoes are muddy. He is thinking that his mom is going to ground him. Jorgin is having a little of a panic attack not know if he’s going the right way if he is going to even make it home alive. He’s thinking of the worst case scenario over and over he is stressing out really bad. Not knowing what his mom’s reaction is going to be or what’s going to happen when she sees his costume is ruined. He looks at his watch and it’s 11:10 pm. He can see a little bit of light through the corn his adrenaline is really pumping thinking he will be finally out of the corn. He pushing and shoving the corn out of his way, he finally gets to the end. Gets out of the corn and looks around cars are passing he requinizes the area he is only 3 blocks away from his house is super happy. Gets to his house at about 11:20 pm walks in the house and looks around and he realized he was in the wrong house.
    He instantly runs out of the front door and realized this isn’t his neighborhood he doesn’t recognize this place at all. He sees a sign that says welcome to Glendale He is eight miles away from his town. It’s 11:30 pm he missed his curfew. He is just thinking his mom is going to ground him for the rest of the year. He walks the rest of the way home gets home at 2:00 am.
    Thinking his mom is waiting for him but she is asleep. So Jorgin opens the door super quietly and walks on his tip toes in the house shuts the door quietly throws his costume away and washes his shoes and goes to bed. No one ever figured out he missed the curfew time and no one asked about the Costume. The END

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  28. Destiny
    The Name is Scotty and I am the Online Account that the person who is writing this owns. I have been on a lot of adventures but I think my favorite adventure is when my player stayed awake for three days straight. Ok so lets see,
    THE AWAKENING
    So the first day my player woke up at 5:30 at the crack of dawn to play with his friends across the pond. AKA his eouropean friends of course since they’re on the other side of the world they wake up and go to bed opposite the time we do. While they were just catching up in the online chat room one of the eorupean kids, SlewdCarp, my players best friend from the UK said to the other UK players guys let’s pull an all nighter so we can hangout with Scotty. The others agreed so here we are not even in a game yet there are four of us in the online chat room. Me, SlewdCarp, Bob445544, and Spartanloke770, also my full name is Scotty12277. Now we almost had a full fireteam for a game we wanted to play some of you might know the name Destiny so to fix this slight problem my player invited two other people TheBoss826 and Blaizinwheelz and we were off, we started off with the crucible (player vs player) in the game just to get some practice rounds in. of course to keep them awake the eu guys were playing music on pandora so of course my player and his friends started listening to their playlist now this next part we couldn’t have planned better if we tried so all at the same time pandora started playing Bad Company by five finger death punch and we all were like that’s what we can call our group The Bad Company and ever since the rest is history after crucible we went and did a raid The raid is called crotas end again this was a warm up but this was a hard warm up because this is one of the hardest raids in the game. The Raid is on the moon.
    End of Chapter 1
    December 23 2098
    Moon
    Earth Colony
    Colony Date December 24 2098
    We landed on the moon, humans have spread to the stars ever since we acquired jump drive technology and discovered habitable worlds all over the solar system. The Moon Colony was Earth’s first off world colony and the colony prospered until the fallen arrived and ravaged the planet and destroyed the earth colony forcing the survivors to flee back to earth. The Fire Team would be attacking the Prince of the the King oriks who is the one who coordinated the attack on the moon. Oriks is not from earth both him and his son are from a destroyed planet.
    End of chapter 2

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  29. Narrative Essay
    It was pouring, I was on the ground multiple times that day– not on purpose either. I kept screaming “catch that horse!” over and over again as I was hobbling back to my feet soaking wet from the rain and the water on the freshly irrigated grass. I got a little ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning of the week.
    My grandma has been getting back into the whole horse business. Both my grandparents have been racehorse trainers and when racing wasn’t hot in Utah anymore they sold all the horses and just stayed with the concrete business. Well, my grandma has been wanting to get back into the horses and has been wanting to learn how to ride. So, my grandma and grandpa bought some horses and brought some of their old racers back home to be used as broodmares. My grandma found this gorgeous black mare that was bred really well and was really broke. My grandma started to ride and get lessons on how to properly ride, but her and Tilly (The black mare) didn’t get along very well at the beginning because my grandma didn’t really know what she was doing and it was confusing the horse. My grandma got a little nervous after a couple months of Tilly throwing fits and wanted to see if they could find another horse that would fit her better. So they kept looking, and found a lot that might fit her but she just wasn’t getting the connection that she wanted from a horse.
    Finally, they found a sorrel ranch gelding that wasn’t tall but wasn’t short, he was just about right. My grandma bought this gelding and named him Walt. Walt was a good horse for my grandma for a couple months, then all of a sudden he started to act out. He bucked my grandma off when they were riding at the arena in Boise, Idaho. My grandma called me and told me what happened and in the past I have trained horses before and my grandma and grandpa are getting too old to be getting bucked off is what they told me. So, I offered to take the horse and ride him and see what was going on with the bronc.
    I had Walt for about a month and a half. The very first week that I had him and was riding him, he had me on the ground about 3 times, but he tried to buck me off at least 6 times after that. So, the first Monday I rode him was the first time that he bucked me off. Walt is just super random and explosive. He is the definition of a ticking time bomb. I rode him for a week straight, out working cows and cowboying off of, which means that we did a lot of ranch work off of Walt. Monday and Tuesday we did the same things. Monday me and one of my good friends went out to move 3 heifers, the cows separated and ran in different directions. I went to lope out around them to try and regather and start over. I asked walt to get to a lope and all of a sudden he blew up, he started to buck! It was the biggest hardest buck I had ever felt, and I’ve been on a lot of bucking horses in my training career. I held onto the best I could, all four feet came off the ground as he snorts and hits the ground. The rain starts getting harder as we are spinning and I’m holding on for my life. Finally, he lands and shifts to the left and I went off to the right. I thought I was going to die. The only thought I had in my mind was that it was my last thought. When I hit the ground everything went black and then I came back into consciousness almost immediately. I looked up as stupid Walt takes off throughout my 100 acre pasture. I yell to my friend “catch that horse!” she takes off to try and catch my horse for me and bring it back. I hobble to my feet dripping with water.
    I rode him the rest of the week everyday and nothing happened. I worked with him and doing a couple different drills to try and get ready for the branding that Friday. It’s here, it’s finally here! It’s branding day, I was torn on the fact of should I take a horse that I know I can trust or a horse that I can’t. I went with the horse I can’t trust and I went with Walt. Stupid mistake, but I had to try. I roped off of him almost all day long. It started out with herding the cattle to the pens where they then were separated. We weaned the cows from the calves and let the cows out back into the pasture. The calves were let out in groups of 30 or 40 and we roped and branded all of them. I roped probably about 160 calves and everything was fine, nothing happened.
    It was finally lunchtime and we had Little Caesar pizza with Mtn Dew and cookies to go with it. We had about a 30 min lunch break and was back at it. I got back on Walt and started roping again. I first got on and he started to hump his back, which means he is thinking about bucking, and of course that’s what happened. He blew up. My rope went flying one way as I threw it off to the side so I could once again hold on for dear life. I spurred him and pulled him to the side, as he continued to attempt to throw me off, I was able to ride him through it. I recollected everything including my rope and went on with the day like it had never happened. About another 160 calves go through and nothing happens, but like a bomb he explodes. This time I had a calf roped, a 400 lb calf was flailing at the end of the rope, balling and choking out as I’m waiting for the heeler to come in and finish the job. I dropped my rope and tried to ride this one out like I did the one before hand. It didn’t work, he dumped me. I hit a big rock and got the wind knocked out of me, I thought I broke my ribs because it hurt. Everything hurt. I looked up from the dirt as they were roping the horse while he was still bucking. They threw him in the tub of the corral and locked him up. I had to sit the next group of calves out because I had to catch my breath. Finally, I got back on and gathered my rope. By then we were done, we had to move the calves back out with the cows and move them across the road again. I was starting to feel a little better but I wasn’t in the mint condition I was in before that.
    In conclusion, that was the worst week in my career. I had never been bucked off so many times in my life. Especially, by the same horse every time. I was bruised up for about a month, on my thighs, arms, and ribs. I was in so much pain I didn’t think I would ever feel better. I had barely moved cause every little movement hurt. I finally got the buck out of good old Walt by repeatingly riding his hide off and making him work to the point that he was so tired he didn’t want to even attempt to buck and now I look back and laugh at the fact of how many times I got bucked off and how many times I got back on. I still continue to ride horses like Walt, but I have learned and am more experienced now on what to and not to do in certain situations.

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