She had been running for what seemed like hours and had no recollection of where she was or how she had ended up there. Looking down at her feet, she realized she had lost one shoe. Her left sock was muddied and had taken on the appearance of the remaining shoe on the right foot—stiff and drenched enough by whatever she had run through that it almost passed for a shoe. She stood, finally able to pause and catch her breath, looking around—feeling oddly safe, in this tunnel of sorts. Was it an overpass? She could hear voices above. Her first thought was to cry out to the voices, but then she quickly stopped herself; what if they were the reason she was down here? The walls showed the existence of many others before her in their graffiti-ed glory: Blues + Reds; Leon’s the King; KILL; and an intricate design that she supposed was a gang symbol, meandering its way down the wall. Along with the graffiti was a battered lost shoe (too bad it was too small for her left foot, she randomly thought to herself) and amidst all the grime, litter, oil spots here and there, and general overall filth, there was something that looked like a blood stain a few feet from where she was standing. Her body reacted to the possibility of spilled blood with an involuntary shudder. If she squinted and stared straight ahead, she swore the whole end of the tunnel was the same red as the nearby spot—lit up by a glow coming from another light source. The smell emanating throughout was dank. Basements had never been a favorite place of hers, and this underground whatever it was captured the exact scent of the worst of the worst. Things that came here usually stayed here, she was guessing. No happy endings here. As she stood there, there came a sound of breathing, panting, and a feeling like the earth was shaking. Then, she felt it again. Her hand tapped her leg. It was herself; she was just now recovering from whatever had chased her here. The shock was wearing off. Breaking down, she convulsed in sobs; she wanted to leave, go home, be safe in the refuge of her own four walls but that seemed like a gargantuan accomplishment at this point. Her only salvation was that she was alone here—the thing or person or being who had chased her here was not here. At least she felt she was alone—for the moment.
Ancient Greek Historical Narrative
A gasp. I awake. Swift sweat beads roll their way down my temple. They taste like pure salt, they probably are. I gasp for a breath. Another. One more. Inhale… exhale… repeat. I scrunch up my eyes and then open them wide. Too wide. My head is aching as if it’s been pounded like mochi. I can feel my heart racing and my hands shaking. I raise my arms and slap my face. Ahhhh, awake and ready! I think, savoring a small, personal smile. I rub the sleep out of my eyes and stretch my arms and shoulders, then take in my surroundings. There’s a window up above and a smoldering sun peeks in from behind the stone frame. That’s odd, I ponder. Isn’t it autumn? I get up, stone cold flooring greeting me. I yelp and jump about. I hear someone stirring nearby. My floor is wooden… I turn to see my bed in the middle of a room, a room that my house doesn’t own. My eyebrows hurt from the widening of my eyes. I blink. Once. Twice. One last time. Open! Nothing changes. I pinch myself. Once. Twice. One last time. Nope, not dreaming. I walk through the room, finding an entryway. It leads to a courtyard, no wait! A town? I walk out, the sun hitting my skin. I look down. New clothes? A… toga? What the heck? My face grows warm. I hear a voice calling out: “Morning, Miss!” A man with brown hair and white streaks calls out to his neighbor, a young lady with tightly pulled back black hair. The woman smiles and replies, “Hello there, sir!” They, too, are wearing togas. Huh, odd. I walk through the town a little and reach a pantheon, which my house’s surroundings certainly does NOT have. Inside the pillars there is a statue of a woman. She looks fierce, a spear in hand. I look at the plaque, the language is weird, and looks nothing like English, but I can read it, nonetheless. Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, Patron Goddess of Athens it reads. Uh-oh…
“Father!” someone yells out. “Father, there’s a girl out here!” I spin around, a teenage boy comes out from the entryway. “Father!” he yells again, pointing at me. A man with grey hairs comes and stands next to the boy and smiles. “Hello, Ophelia.”
They were expecting me. Apparently. Anyways! Basically, the situation at hand is that this man, my host (he insists on me calling him Uncle Tobias) has been expecting me. Something about the gods telling him or something. His son, Mathias, and daughter, Callidora, live together in Athens, back in Ancient Greece. How I got here, I don’t know and nor does he. Mathias is 15 and clearly a grumpy teen. He sulks when Uncle Tobias tells us about how we are all going to be spending the day together and then stomps off to his room. Mathias has a young face with black hair that’s short and wavy. He’s tall and has wide shoulders. Callidora is the figure of her name, gift of beauty. Her golden-brown hair is long and comes down to her waist. She has brown eyes that light up and tanned skin. She is younger and shorter than me, maybe 12 years old. She looks up at me with excitement.
“The whole day, Papa?” she asks Uncle Tobias, keeping her eyes on me. When Uncle Tobias nods, her jumps with joy. “Hurrah!”
First thing on the agenda: pray to the gods. Since I’m here, Uncle Tobias brings us to the pantheon to pray. Inside the pantheon the statue of Athena lights up with the sun. I follow as Uncle Tobias and Callidora get on their knees and bow low. Uncle Tobias murmurs something about good fortune and good health for the coming week and a mention of thanks and then we stand up but. I notice that Mathias stays standing for the entire thing. The skies darken.
Next up: we go hiking in a mountain, to see all the crops. Grape and olive plants flourish under the sun and Uncle Tobias explains the farming routine.
“See, the mountains are rich with grapes and olive because of the sun shining in every season. In the spring, Persephone” – goddess of spring – “comes back from the underworld and with her help, the farmers harvest the crops and trade some of them with our neighbors for grains.” Uncle Tobias states, proudly. I look at the crops, they seem to be doing amazingly well, and the farmers are scattered and hard at work, tending to them. “We have olives from the gift of Athena, during the battle between her and Poseidon when they were trying to win Athenian approval for who would be the Patron god of Athens.” Uncle Tobias explains. “Of course, Athena won. Now we use her gift, olives, for oils and food for our people.”
Moving on, Callidora spots a wonderful river and decides we will play in there for a refreshment and break. She jumps in and is quickly followed by Mathias. His smile comes out when he splashes with his sister in the clear water. I wonder why he only smiles with her.
Uncle Tobias sees my questioning look and reads right into it. “When Mathias was young, maybe 5 years of age, his mother died in a sickness that spread across Athens. He blames the gods. He thinks that they could’ve stopped it. Callidora is an image of her mother. Mathias wants to make sure nothing ever happens to her, especially because of him. He was but a boy, but he believes he could’ve saved his mother, even though no one could’ve. See, when Pandora’s boxed opened, monsters of plague and drought spread across our country. Since the gods created Pandora as a part of Prometheus’ punishment, Mathias thinks that they killed his mother. Of course, yes, that is true.” Anger sparks Uncle Tobias’ eyes, but is quickly cooled down as he smiles. “I thought the same. But my anger is long gone. It has been 10 years, see. The gods have given us much back in return. My children are alive, my business is booming. Callidora has found many men to be her husband and Mathias’ education is going well. Athens is stable and I can put food on the table every day. The gods have given me many reasons to forgive them. Although Mathias disagrees.” A dark wave sweeps through Uncle Tobias, and his eyes darken. “My boy needs to learn how to keep his thoughts to himself though, or else he will get in trouble.”
By now Mathias and Callidora have gotten out of the river and are racing each other to us. Callidora’s legs pump and she slowly gains on her brother but is bested by him at the last minute. She sulks quietly as she dries off and sits next to Uncle Tobias, glaring at Mathias, daring him to sit next to her. Since he is proud, he doesn’t sit next to her, and instead sits next to me, to his dismay.
“So, what’s so horrible about the gods?” I can’t help it; it just slips out. Luckily only he hears it.
“They are selfish brats,” he scoffs, glaring up at the sky. “Only care for themselves, they do. They don’t care if half of us die off, if they can still rule over us. Prometheus gave us fire, he helped us, he saved us. If he hadn’t done that, how would we be here?” He gestures around us. “They took mother, and I can’t forgive them for that.” Ok, Mr. Dramatics. I think to myself, resting my head on my hand, elbow on my thigh. I mean, I am very sorry for his loss, but why can’t he do as Uncle Tobias? “Besides, they didn’t want us here to be happy,” Mathias continues. “We’re here to be ruled over, nothing else. We are the entertainers at their castle, nothing else.”
After that brief intermission, Uncle Tobias leads us back into the city. A crowd has formed around the middle of the square and as we push our pay to the front, I see two women sewing away at their looms. As their sewing comes to an end, the taller of the two holds out a magnificent tapestry. The shorter of the two shows hers. It is much more beautiful and holds a message. The second one has images of Zeus messing around with Athenians and the woman who made it smirks. The taller woman yells in anger and throws her arm out to her. Slowly, the shorter woman changes, she grows legs and eyes and turns into a… spider?! The crowd screams and disperses. Uncle Tobias leads us back to the house. Mathias stomps around the room and grits his teeth.
“What just happened to Arachne?” Callidora asks, clearly as confounded as me. She stands by her father before moving towards her brother. She takes is hand and squeezes. “Brother? What happened?”
“That was Arachne,” Mathias explains, looking at me. “She’s the best girl on the loom in the whole of Athens. The other, taller woman was Athena.” He gulps. “Patron god of Athens. Arachne must’ve been gloating again. She must’ve insulted Athena somehow. They had a competition. Arachne’s was about how much the gods are disrespectful to us, hence the images of Zeus. Athena’s was, well, just a good tapestry. Not only was she very offended by the message on the tapestry, but she was also probably jealous of Arachne’s talent.” Mathias looks proud as he says this, a smile on his face but as quickly as it came it disappears. “So, she made her that… thing.” He finishes, wincing as he remembers it. Callidora squeezes his hand again and Uncle Tobias walks over to his son.
“Cheer up son,” he says, trying to help him. “I know you two were close, ever since you were little, too. But remember, she offended Athena.” Wrong move, Uncle Tobias.
“But they didn’t have to do that!” Mathias yells out, exploding. He screams in his father’s face, tears flying out of his mouth. “They didn’t have to do that to her! Did they ever realize that she had a point! No! Will they ever realize? No! Never!” He pushes his father away and stomps off to the back of the house. I hear his footsteps faint as he moves further away from us.
“Oh dear.” Uncle Tobias wipes his face free of sweat. “I suppose he has a point.” He looks at me, eyes full of meaning. I hate how I had to intrude on their day like this. “Yes, the gods are mean and are not as kind as we would like, yes this is true. But look what else they give us.” He gestures to himself and then to his daughter and to the back of the house. “I am living, I am alive, and I have two wonderful children to keep me company. Athens produces food and I can buy it. We can live here, even if we are without a wife or mother. Callidora will marry someone rich and bring us fortune, I can afford education and food, and take care of everyone. Callidora can cook and can have fun in these years of her life. Mathias is a bright child with a bright future. The gods sure can take, but they sure can give too.” His arms that were up to the ceiling fall back down and he smiles, a small, sad smile. Callidora hugs him and I see Mathias is the doorway of the room. Tears fill his eyes, and he catches my gaze. He looks away, grieving and remorseful. Grieving for Arachne and upset at his foolishness, foolishness to not see what he has been given. Mathias’ shoulders rise as he stifles a sob. This sets of a dominoes effect and everyone begins to cry. Once again, I’m sorry I had to intrude on their family moment.
“I’m so sorry, father,” Mathias sobs, falling to his nears. His hair falls over his eyes and tears stream down his face. “I’m so, so sorry.” His father just cries. For what, I don’t know. Mathias goes over to join them and then looks at me. His eyes are bloodshot, and his face is red. Tear tracks mark his face and he wipes his nose. But his pupils, his pupils are begging for forgiveness. Not from me. He looks up and sobs, “I’m sorry, Zeus. I am so, so sorry.” Thunder booms in a reply. Mathias lowers his head onto his father’s shoulder and sobs. Again, I feel like I’m intruding.
I close my eyes and take a breath. Something calls to me. And… open. The scenery isn’t the same. There is no Mathias, no Callidora, no Uncle Tobias. My bed is warm underneath me. I know these walls. I know that cupboard. I’m back. I’m home. Beijing. A cat purrs between my legs, radiating heat. Ahhh, home again. I think and sigh, my head falling further into my pillow. Even though I’m where I want to be, I can’t help but miss my ancient friends.
When I woke up, I couldn’t move my body. At that moment, many people were looking at me and I blacked out again and awoke to the sound of a man and with a bright light. A total of 18 hours of surgery made me live again. The operation process was very rough. I was there, watching it…but how?
First, they were tearing into my abdomen with a hot electric knife and using water suction to repair my broken ribs. I returned to consciousness three days after surgery. The first thing I found when I came back to consciousness was my family and lost memories, all flooding back to me. I barely opened my eyes, checked that my mom, dad, and sister were next to me, and breathed a sigh of relief and went back to sleep.
Alice’s Travel by: Hayley
“Alice!”. My head shot up from my desk in surprise. Ms. Donny was looking at me with a disapproving look on her face, shaking her head. “Please try to stay awake. I know it is almost the end of the day, but if you keep falling asleep, I will fail you in this class.” I groaned and shrunk down in my chair. I could hear other students snickering in the background. Of course. The new kid falls asleep and the teacher has to make the day even worse. I thought. This wasn’t my first day, but I was still considered an outsider. No one wanted to sit with me at lunch, so I just didn’t go. Ms. Donny went back to droning on about Ancient Greece and how we had a test soon. I laid my head back on my desk, not caring if I failed, and fell into a deep sleep.
Clang! The sound of metal against metal sounded in my brain. I awoke with a start to see what was going on. I blinked a few times as my eyes adjusted to the light. I looked around bewildered. I was not in Ms. Donny’s class anymore. There were people in weird costumes thrusting sword at each other. I had to quickly roll away as someone almost stepped on me. I looked at them with hate on my face. Why did you almost step on me?! Wait, why was that in my head? Hello? Why can’t I speak? I stood up and brushed off my clothes. I walked in front of one of the soldiers out of curiosity. They didn’t notice me at all! I saw a long piece of metal aiming at my chest as I stared in horror. I closed my eyes, anticipating the feeling of metal piercing my flesh and going through my body, but it never came. I looked down to see that it had gone straight through me without hurting me. The realization hit me like a bus. I was invisible! Yes! I could have so much fun with this. I reached for a helmet to mess with people, but my hand went straight through it. I am like in a memory or something? Maybe it’s like Harry Potter with Tom Riddle’s diary. I thought. I gazed around so I could get a look at where I was. There were lots of people with costumes on, the buildings looked really weird and nothing like they did in my town. They seemed sort of familiar in some way though. Like I had seen them before. Then I remembered, I had seen them in the textbook on school for Ancient Greek architecture. Oh. That means that I am in the middle of Ancient Greece. Most likely Sparta because of the outfits. I felt an odd itch at the back of my neck. I turned around to see what was happening and saw a young 16-year-old boy staring at me.
The sun was beating down on my back as I was working with the other soldiers. The sound of metal rang through my ears as we continued to fight. I could not get distracted by anything. I had already been beaten so much yesterday since I didn’t steal anything. I also really needed to finish a piece of art. I almost got caught buying some supplied, so I claimed I was stealing. I was fighting against Hestia, one of my only friends, when I saw the air shimmer. After a few seconds, I person appeared out of thin air. They looked so weird. They were wearing these weird clothes. They walked over to Al and tried to tap him on the shoulder, but she couldn’t. He then proceeded to throw his sword in her direction, but it went right though her. I stared, amazed. Who is this? How did she do this? Why isn’t she bleeding? How is she not being seen? Millions of thoughts like these went through my head in confusion. She reached to the back of her neck, like she was swatting something away, and turned around. My eyes caught hers, and we just stood there for a few seconds. The older soldiers excused us from our lessons to go home. We were different from the other groups. We were allowed to go home and take a maximum of 2 breaks during training. Everyone started to clear out, but I just stood there, staring at the odd girl in the middle of the field.
The boy started to walk towards me as we just stared at each other. So, he can see me?
“Yes, I can see you.” He said aloud. Wait. So, can you hear me? He nodded softly. He stared at me wondering what was going on. I don’t know where I am. I was in the middle of my class before I fell asleep. I said like I was reading his thoughts. I think I travelled back in time. I was in the year 2020 before I came here. He looked at me like I was speaking alien.
“What the hell is 2020?” It’s the year I was in. It is like centuries from now. So, what do you do besides training for the army? I assume that’s what you were doing since you were throwing swords at each other. “Yeah. I am supposed to be in the army. My father is like one of the biggest war hero’s ever. Everyone expects me to be like him. I’m not. I hate fighting. I hate stealing, and just hurting other people in general. I like to make art though. Its kind of lets me express my emotions without getting in trouble,” He replied sheepishly. “No one knows though. If anyone were to find out, I would be dead right then and there. I hate that. Everyone in my family are amazing fighters. Except my Uncle. He was exiled. I don’t know why though. My father will never talk about him. He ran away to Athens to get away from everyone.” I stared in bewilderment. This random guy had just spilled all of his secrets to me with no hesitation. He looked to the ground and shuffled his feet. I bounded across the 6 feet in between us and rapped my arms around him.
I stiffened as she held me, but I eventually melted into her arms. I had never been hugged before. We didn’t do that here. You were considered weak if you showed any sign of emotion or affection.
“Do you want to see some of my art? You can come to wear I stay. I assume that I am the only one to see you, so I don’t think anyone would mind if you came. She nodded happily as she let her arms fall to her arms and step back. I turned on my heel and started to walk to my house. We passed lots of merchants selling who knows what, and lots of beggars. We finally arrived at my house and we entered through the doorway. I headed straight to the secret cellar. “I’m Alejandra by the way. Alejandra Alastair.” I whispered. I pushed the rocks that blocked the entrance out of the way and stepped inside. She stepped in after and her jaw dropped. I smiled softly. She walked over to some of the statues and ran her hand along the marble. She gaped at the paintings I made. I cringed as she picked a piece that I was working on. God, I hope she doesn’t break anything. I thought. She turned to face me.
“These are amazing Alejandra. By the way, my name is Alice. Since you told me so much about you, I’ll let you know some stuff about me. I am 16 years old; I play lots of sports, I don’t have friends, I like to sing but I would never do it in front of anyone. I don’t know who my year parents are since I was adopted.” I looked at her in confusion. “It means that I was raised by people that weren’t my birth parents.” She explained. I nodded in understanding.
“So, are you going to sell any of these, or are they just for you?”
“I actually want to go to Athens. Maybe I can go and find my Uncle and he could take me in. I don’t want to fight anymore. I find it completely useless. I want to make art and express my feelings through that. I can’t do that here.” I replied shakily.
“When are we leaving?” She questioned. “We?” I countered.
“Yes we. I am going with you. No arguing. I want to learn more about Greece. Maybe I can use this stuff for school. Alright. I was thinking that we could go tonight. There’s no time like the present.” She smiled and looked at me expectantly. I let out a sigh and started to [ack my tools.
We had finished packing at around 3 in the morning. They didn’t have any clocks, so I just had to guess. We tied the bag and tip-toed outside. He let out one of his many of his horses and tied the bag to the back. This guy was rich. They had like 30 horses and so much gold. They lived in a huge palace. Alejandra could’ve just used on of the giant rooms to make his art, but he chose the cellar.
“You know how to ride a horse?” He asked breaking my out of my thoughts. I nodded. I had taken lessons back in my time. I mounted his other horse and we started to ride. He took me to some allies behind the houses so it wouldn’t look like there was a horse riding itself. We had been riding for a few hours when he spoke up.
“So, how are you going to get back?” I stopped abruptly. I hadn’t thought about that. How in living hell was I going to get home? Damn it! I don’t know how to get home. Shoot.
“You know I can hear you when you do that?” He looked at me with a laughing face. I threw him a rude glance and continued to think of ways to get home. There was nothing I could do. I would be stuck here forever. He brought his horse closer to me and touched my shoulder, as if to say, everything will be okay.
It was mid-morning the next day when we were starting to get closer to Athens. I was so close. Now all I had to do was get to into Athens without being arrested. We were just riding in a slow trot when I heard pounding behind us. I glanced behind us and saw at least 100,000 men on horses. I did a double take and started to panic. They were coming. They were after me. I was so close to the border. This couldn’t be it. I looked over to see if Alice had seen them, but when I turned to look, she was gone. There was no one there. I was all alone.
I was riding along when I started to fall asleep. I bobbed awake a few times, but finally fell into a deep, deep sleep.
I awoke abruptly to see that I wasn’t on a horse anymore. Alejandra was gone. I wasn’t surrounded by desert. I was back in Ms. Donny’s class. I felt my heart break. It was all just a dream. None of that was real. That didn’t happen. I was woken from my thoughts when Ms. Donny made an announcement.
“Class! I would like you all to give a nice warm welcome to our newest student. I looked to the front of the class and gasped. “His name is Alejandra.” He was here. He was alive. It wasn’t fake. He looked around the class and his eyes fell on me. We gazed at each other before he sat down in the back of the class. I was over the moon. He was actually here.
“Alice! I was going to give you detention, but I think it would be better for you to be the new boy’s welcome buddy.” She thought that was a punishment. Ha. I smiled sweetly to confirm that I would do it. She looked back to the rest of the class and started to drone on again. I started to fall asleep, but this time, it was just sleeping.
We have to make many choices in our lives, some easy, some hard, this is the story of the hardest choice I have ever made. My parents are divorced, and when they told me, it seemed that the whole world was crashing down on me, but the more time went by, the less it hurts, and soon I was used to it. On school days I mostly live with my dad, and on holidays mostly with my mom, but my dad forced a hard decision on me.
It all started that night when my dad was teaching me math, this was new and I didn’t quite get it, and I was trying, but my dad didn’t seem to care, and started yelling at me. Though I get yelled at very often, I can never get used to that scarily anger-distorted face with those eyes boring into me. It was constant threatening, it always felt terrible as if I were a criminal being interrogated.
He is a scary figure, and my mom knows it too, every day when I come home, I hope my dad is in a good mood, because if not, it is most likely that havoc will break loose. This particular day, my dad was in a terrible mood and when he saw that I didn’t do the questions correctly, he erupted in a tornado of anger and disappointment, then the fateful words came: “You will have to choose where to live forever, I cannot take this anymore. If you choose your mom’s side, you won’t see me again, and I will care less, if you come here, I will still treat you like I do currently.”
I knew that the good choice was to go to my mom’s place because it’s a much better environment, but on the other hand, I didn’t want to leave my dad. Everything was a hopeless cyclone of sadness. I couldn’t make the choice! But in the end, I mustered up my courage and fought for my independence, I had decided to come to my mom’s side.
Though I feel bad for my dad, I never wanted this, yet he kept on pushing, he went too far and therefore made me come to my decision. I’m sorry dad, but I had to become an independent child.
Interesting…this plate seems quite ancient, left by the first humans on the moon. It says: “Neil
Armstrong was here.” This was a huge breakthrough because he was revered as the pioneer of inter-planetary travel. This could be very valuable; I have to report this to earth as soon as possible.
I hear the rocket’s engines fade away as the plate is being delivered to the NASA headquarters. I start my boring work of digging up holes to put our oxygen producers in, it’s dull, but vital, with this thought I go back to my work.
It seems like an eternity, but I finally got a message back from headquarters, they thank me for finding this and give me a sum of $500,000 as thanks. This was quite an achievement, since now he is famous all over the world, he was on ads, on TV and even movies were made about him!
Soon we dated this plate to over 200 years ago, at that time they could still only reach the moon! Now some people even live on Mars. This just about shows how far humanity has gone. Looking back those people seemed so primitive, but when those people were alive, they thought that earlier people were so primitive, this cycle continues infinitely.
Leaning upon the crumbling red brick fence, she rung the doorbell twice and took out her handkerchief, wiping her sweaty forehead. It was a humid evening, more humid than usual. The door creaked open to reveal an old lady whose appearance startled the young woman. The old lady was a shrouded figure, whose height reached Jennifer’s chest, and cradled a large, ginger colored cat with green eyes like the ones of a witch’s cat. Her face was wrinkled like the bark on an old tree and was missing her left eye. When she opened her mouth to talk, a strong, unpleasant smell of alcohol wafted out. Just hidden under her thick lips were a couple of yellow, crooked teeth.
“Come on in.” old lady said. Her voice was hoarse and rough. The young woman looked around hesitantly before taking a deep breath and followed the old lady into the house. The young lady glanced around the strange house, taking note of the foul odor drifting from above. The carpets were a greenish greyish color and were mushy like moss. The walls were dark and there were cobwebs hanging from the corners. To her left was a staircase which was decorated by statues that seemed like angels fallen from grace. The young lady heard someone talking by her ear.
“Pardon me, would you mind repeating?” The young lady asked the old woman
“I asked for your name.” The old lady answered.
“Green, Jennifer Green.” The young lady replied.
“And what, may I ask, are you doing here.”
“I’m here to rent a room, ma’am.”
“Well Miss. Green, here is your key to your room, second floor turn right at the first corner. Rent will be 18 shillings a week.”
Jennifer placed the key in her pocket and made her way through the moss-like carpet to the staircase. Just as she started her way up, she heard the old lady say casually,
“I say this as you seem naïve and simple: youngsters are always after revenge. But they never know the dangers and consequences. Look in front of you, stop dwelling on the past.” Then the old lady slinked back into the shadows of the house.
Jennifer scoured the rental room. It was shabby, but something Jennifer can accept due to six months of travelling in this wretched town, trying to find the person that drove her father to desperation and broke her family apart. The room was small and unusually dark; there was a single-poster bed with worn and threading sheets, a small cabinet in the far corner of the room in which the door was slightly open. On small table by her bedside was a tall glass of water. At the farthest wall was a rectangular outline that stretched up to Jennifer’s chest. To the right of the lumpy, one-poster bed was a bathroom, where the sink was stained in a glossy reddish-brown colour. Jennifer sighed, and began unpacking her suitcase.
After hanging up her clothes and briefly organizing her small rental room, Jennifer, unsuspectedly, took a drink from the glass of water, wrinkling her nose due to the funny taste. Drowsily, Jennifer climbed into bed and fell into a deep sleep.
Assured that the young woman was fast asleep, the door at the farthest wall of the room creaked open. A middle-aged man stepped out.
“This is Green’s daughter?” The man’s voice echoed. The old woman nodded, and, like before, slithered back into the shadows.
By Linda Wang
On a warm sunny day, I was walking alongside the beach. The soft sand was squishing in between my toes. All I heard was the calling of the seagulls, the swaying of the ocean, and the wind blowing on my face. Then I got distracted when my foot hit a shiny object in the sand but all I could see was something that looked like a teapot. I tried pulling it out, but it was stuck. So, I got on my hands and knees and started digging around it, until I pulled it out. It was golden and very shiny; it had an Arabic imprint: إذا فرك حذر من أن يكون
It said if you rub me be warned!
I couldn’t read Arabic, so I rubbed it and it was as if a hologram appeared, but it was made of mist.
A floating man came out and said you have three wishes but choose wisely.
So, I sat there thinking what I can wish for?
There are so many things.
So, at first, I thought to myself what about I ask for 1 million wishes? He started to chuckle then busted out laughing, saying that is what everyone chooses but it never works.
So, first I said I wish I could speak and read every language fluently!
I looked down at the tea pot’s ancient writing and I could read the Arabic as if it was English.
Then the floating man said here I will speak in Spanish try to understand me.
Tu estupido niñito!
He said you stupid little boy in Spanish.
I said hey, why did you call me stupid?
The weird man then said, I was just testing to see if you understood me, and you see you can. Wow, you’re right it worked!
Now it’s time for your second wish but this one is the most important. If this wish is selfish of any kind, it will happen to your greatest enemy. Ok, thanks for the heads up I said sarcastically.
I wish I had the ability to breathe underwater.
Then man said, I warned you not to make it selfish and what did you do, you made it selfish. What???
That wasn’t selfish me knowing it was and wanting that ability so bad. Fine, it was selfish hoping he would give it to me.
Now you must beg the water for forgiveness, wait what??
You want me to talk to the stupid water? Yeah, right there is no way I am doing that. Oh, did I say talk to the water? No, no! I meant this. Then as if I got teleported, I was on a deserted island. With nothing but a palm tree and a couple coconuts. I was surrounded in water!
I screamed let me out let me out but knowing no one was going to save me anytime soon I went to the water and started talking.
Hello Mr. Water if you don’t mind me calling you that, I apologize for making that one wish selfish I really wanted the ability to breathe underwater!
Why am I doing this…it’s not like you can respond back to me.
Then something started forming in the water, something big something powerful and I knew it wasn’t good.
Hello boy! I understand, many boys come here for that wish but yours is different, you are special. I will give you this ability and bring you back to humanity, but I am going to need something in return, something big something dangerous……
Well don’t keep me waiting what is it? No one really knows but I don’t really have my powers right now because they are on this dangerous mountain and I need someone great, someone powerful to help me get them back. How did they go missing? Well, when I was sleeping at the very bottom of the ocean not a single sound to be heard. I thought, well no need to guard my powers no human can possibly make It this deep. So, I let the guards go and I went to sleep easy. But then when I woke up my powers were gone, and I know exactly who took them. Well don’t keep my waiting who was it? It was my brother Zeus; he took it because he knew my power was growing far too powerful. Alright I will do this, but can I have a weapon?
This is all you will need, and he gave me this coin and spoke كل ما عليك فعله هو قلب العملة but since I could understand what he said I nodded my head and departed for the island. About 3 days into the boat ride, I could finally see the island. My boat smashed against the island breaking a few wood pieces. Now I was stranded until I got his powers……
I started up the mountain every step I took it was getting more and more difficult. Until Eventually it was nightfall, I had to set up camp for the night. I got my tent he lent me, and I clicked a button and it popped right open. I went inside and went to sleep, about 5 hours later I started hearing rustling sounds outside I just thought it was a raccoon or something, nothing to worry about I told myself forgetting Zeus was guarding this power. Then I awoke by a sudden BAM my tent fell and now I knew this was no raccoon. I slowly made my way through this broken tent and outside. When I saw it huge red eyes and razor-sharp claws. Its huge teeth had fresh blood on it, and I knew it wanted mine next. I got out the coin and did as he told me flip the coin and out came a green sword. It Pounced at me dodging the attack by a hair, I turned around and took a swing at it. I hit it but only a hair, I saw blood dripping down not sure if it was mine or his, but I knew one of us was hit. Then when I turned around, I saw blood dripping from this weird creature, and I knew it was really hurt so I threw my sword in the air and it turned into a coin again and I said, it’s alright little buddy no need to be scared I am not going to hurt you anymore. The big animal laid down and started screeching from the pain. I opened my backpack and took out my few bandages I had and wrapped it around its wound. It was screeching flapping its wings around everywhere in thanks and it flew away in glee. So, I went back to sleep and I fell into a very deep sleep, so deep it was almost like I was moving while I was sleeping, but that wasn’t possible, was it? Then it was morning but, I went out of my tent and I grabbed my stuff and went up the mountain, but something a wasn’t right I could feel it. I felt like someone was watching me but not someone something. So, I continued walking up the mountain when I could see his trident. Nothing was guarding it which made me feel like something was off. I was here finally; I grabbed the trident, but the ground started to open, and the trident turned to dust.
I was falling for what felt to be 30 minutes and it kept getting darker, darker then pitch black. It started to turn red then orange then orange, and bam I hit the bottom and barely missed a spear which would have impaled me. It was hot over here fuming hot and I was surrounded by dead bodies and lava….
To be continued