Who is Stronger? by Olivia X

“But grandma, I don’t understand why!”, protested Kayla Jones, a girl at the age of 14.
“Why what, my dear Kayla?”, her kind and understanding grandmother asked.
“Yeah, Kayla, why what?”, questioned her older sister who was 17, named Kaitlyn.
“Why it always has to be the knight in shining armor that saves the damsel in distress, not the other way around?”, Kayla clarified.
“I do not know,” admitted her grandmother with a sigh. “Although I always wondered that too.”
“The storyteller people just made it like that, I guess. Maybe they thought boys were somehow stronger than girls. Which is not true,” said Kaitlyn.
“Yeah, of course not. I mean, Bella won the 100-yard dash at school, not Alex,” Kayla added.
“Maybe not physically stronger, but stronger inside,” said their grandmother.
“Well, we aren’t weak inside either. Simon cried when their grandfather died, and Lilly seemed sadder though, but she never cried again, not even when she got the news,” Kayla added about the twins whose grandfather passed away recently.
Their grandmother sighed again. “It is late, and you two should be getting some sleep.”
She tucked them into bed, said goodnight, and turned off the light.

Kayla sighed and stared up at the ceiling, covered with glow in the dark stars. She brushed away a strand of strawberry blond hair out of her face. She could hear her sister’s even, slow breathing, which indicated that she was asleep already. Kayla thought about her mother, Evelyn. Her beautiful straight hair, the same shade as her own. And her bright blue eyes, also the same shade as her own, although her mother always thought Kayla’s were brighter. She had inherited not only the same looks from her mother, but the curiosity and brains. She always was wondering about something, and almost always used her brain to find the answer. They also shared a love of books.

Kaitlyn was more like her father, Robert. Light brown hair and emerald green eyes. Both were charming and also smart, but not with as much curiosity as Evelyn and Kayla. Robert was the most popular boy at school for quite some time because of his looks, and Kaitlyn was the most popular girl in from grade nine to right now. But being only popular won’t get you anywhere. I like me and my mom’s curiosity better than Kaitlyn and dad’s charm better anyway. Also, they like movies better than books, which I just don’t understand. 

Kayla knew that one day she would prove those storytellers wrong. One day, the damsel would be the one saving the knight. And she would be that damsel.

The next morning started off normally. The sisters dragged themselves out of bed and headed off to school, walking as they only lived one block away. They separated ways, Kayla going to elementary school and Kaitlyn to middle school. Kayla and her two best friends, Lilly Anderson and Bella Endro, met under their favorite shady spot under a huge tree. The “Shady Tree”, as the three girls called it, had been their meeting spot for many years since they met in kindergarten. Kayla shared with them the talk that she had with her grandmother and sister the previous night, and both Lilly and Bella agreed with her. Of course they thought girls were stronger than boys, if not equal. 

During lunch, Kayla wandered off by herself to the library, an often visited place for her. She browsed the fantasy section and discovered a book that she had never seen before, even in the dozens of times she visited. It might have been a new book, except for the face that it looked about a century old. Its leather cover was peeling off, and the pages were yellowed and smelled musty. She flipped through it, being careful not to rip any of the pages.

Suddenly, Kayla flipped to a page of a beautiful fairytale village, capturing the perfect image of townsfolk bustling about, and in the distance, on top of a green mountain against a blue sky, was the most amazing fantasy castle that Kayla had ever seen in her entire life. I must borrow this book and show the pictures to Kaitlyn, she thought. Hugging it to her chest, she set it down at the librarian’s desk.
“I would like to check this book out,” she said, and gave her her name.
The librarian looked confused. “This book is not in our catalogue, but since you found it in the library, you may take it home. Please don’t destroy it in any way, as it looks very old.”
Kayla thanked the librarian, and left.

At home, Kayla sat at her desk and flipped open the book and found the picture. She breathed in the musty aroma, which strangely, to her, smelled good.
“Ew, what smells?”, said Kaitlyn, fanning the air around her and pinching her nose.
“Sorry, it’s a book. Ever heard of one? And I actually like this smell. Look at this,” she said to Kaitlyn, and showed her the picture.

“Uh…Kayla…the page…it’s blank…”, said Kaitlyn, looking very perplexed.
“What?”, Kayla gasped, even more confused. 
The sisters looked down at the page, which sure enough, was blank.
“What?”, Kayla said again. “It had the most beautiful picture of the most beautiful fairytale village! Like literally five minutes ago!”

Suddenly, the sisters felt like there was something really weird happening, which is probably would everyone would feel with a book that had disappearing pictures. They looked around, realizing to their horror that they were in the middle of a swirling vortex of green and blue light! 
“What the heck is happening?!”, cried the two sisters in unison.
A blast of bright white and yellow light filled the room. And Kayla and Kaitlyn disappeared with a flash.

BOOM!! Everyone is Dead by Gladd M

“Way up!” I woke up with a gasp. It was my sister Rai. “Rai, you will finish by giving me a heart attack if you continue,” I tell my sister. I look at her, she is wearing a white dress with neon pink rhombuses all over it with matching shoes. Her hair is as always as curly as noodles,, but all I have was straight dark hair and bangs. sometimes I feel like she is better than me even if I am 11 and she is only 5. “I am sowy,” she says
“It’s okay, now wait for me I need to get dressed for school.” I take a quick shower and put on a t-shirt and jean. Today is a very important day it was one of those days when we take down houses. Because Japan is at war with America, we need to take down some houses so they don’t destruct many things if they drop a bomb in our city or something. They haven’t dropped any bombs on our city yet, but we can’t take risks. Some people say that maybe it is because they think Hiroshima is too beautiful to be destroyed. I grab my emergency kit and and my backpack. As I ran out the house my mother yelled “Amaimono, you didn’t eat breakfast yet”
“But I don’t want to I need to get to school early to take down a house, mama” I yelled back.
“There is Miso for breakfast,”
“I would like some, but I need to go now”
“But….”
“Bye!!” I sputtered as I grabbed my lunch and off I ran with Rai.

“Goobye” Rai wailed. She always cries when I drop her off at school. I really do not get that girl. “ Bye” I say back. As soon as she gets into her school I race to school, on my way I see a military airplane. Fear shoots through me is this really it I think is this the day we all die? I open my emergency bag and put on my emergency coat. It protects me from ashes and fire. When I am safely in it i run toward the nearest “sheruta” A waterfall of tears fell down my face. As I cry I think about my favorite song by Ella Fitzgerald called “Summertime” I wanted to end my days singing a happy song. I sang the chorus.

Summertime and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
So hush little baby, don’t you cry

One of these mornings
You’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to the sky
But ’til that morning
There ain’t nothin’ can harm you
With Daddy and Mammy standin’ by

After a while I realized that the military plane was just passing over. Fewf I really thought this was the end. Everybody around me were looking up at the sky just in case it will come back. I looked up too but there was nothing. I continued my run to school.

“Okay class today as you all know is a very special day.” Says Ms. Sazuki. I have a smile on my face I am so excited this the first time I will be taking down a house. I have been waiting for this moment for months. “So I hope you all have your lunches because it’s time to go” she continues. As soon as she finished her sentence the class was in line ready to go. I could see my teacher was stunned, because our class has never been so obedient. “ I guess we should do this more often,” She uttered. The class smiled at her.
As we were walking down the hallways, I noticed that all the pictures and posters that were hung up in the hallways weren’t there anymore.. A horrible thought came to my head What if we are going to be taking down our own school? No of course not with all the people in the school we couldn’t possibly taking down the school. After what felt like an hour of walking we got to the house we were supposed to destruct. “Okay class I am going to divide yøu into 2 groups” Rin and I directly looked at each other. I know she is wishing the same thing as I am. Please let us be together I think. “Rin, Tora, Toshi, Tami, Hiroshi, Sasaki, and…” Please let it be me. “Ruri”
“Yeaya!!” I shout and join Rin’s group.
“ Rin’s Group is going to be in charge of getting the furniture out of the house” And off we go. At 8:30 Rin and I take the first couch out of the house.
And then it happened suddenly the radio blurted out “ATTENTION EVERYBODY THERE IS A B-29 CIRCLING THE CITY. I REPEAT A B-29 IS CIRCLING THE CITY!!!!!!” Everybody suddenly looked up and, sure enough, there WAS a plane circling the city. I completely freaked out while putting my jacket back on I didn’t know what to do so I ran. I ran to my sister’s school she was running out of the school with her friends. I didn’t risk to stop so i just grabbed her thrust her on my back and continued running. “What are yo doi Yuyi!” I heard Rai say.
“I am running away from the danger and you are coming with me.” I looked at my watch It was 8;45 and it’s at that moment that I feel a gush of hot gas. And I realized then that they had dropped a bomb I covered Rai’s eyes as I looked back to see where the bomb has dopped. OH NO!!!!! I think THIS CAN’T BE POSSIBLE. THE BOMB DROPPED ON THE HOSPITAL. At the same moment Rai removed my hand from her eyes. I let her look because I was too stunned to keep her from looking. My parents were in that hospital visiting my dying grandma. A drop of tear ran down my face I quickly wiped it away it will have been the first time my sister will have seen me cry and I don’t want this to be the first time. “Wayan’t momma an dodda ware?” Rai asked
“Yes” I said firmly It’s at that moment that I realized that the city was completely destructed. What had once been a beautiful city became Ruins. “I so hut year” Rai said. It WAS hot out here. Actually it was burning. I start running again but in the opposite way into the river.,

“This feels so good” I say as we get into the water. I then realized many other people were in the water. Some of them had horrible looking scars. My sister started crying “It so unair,” she said. At the sound of those words I remembered my parents and the hospital. Tears came to my eyes again. “ Are yo cryi” My sister said. Oh no she saw me crying. But I didn’t care anymore. I just want my parents to be here with us.

After a while I decided to go to Ninoshima were my cousins are maybe they could help me. It was a long walk but we finally arrived at the port. I had enough of my allowance for the both of us to get a boat to Ninoshima. We didn’t talk for the whole path I guess we both were too sad to talk. Then I realised I didn’t know where exactly my cousins were. Whatever I will just call my aunt. I got out my cell and dialed my aunt’s phone number in. But nobody answered the phone. Weird I thought normally she answers the phone as soon as she hears it ringing. Then It came to me OOOh I thought I remember she moved to the United States two month ago. So What am I going to do when I get there?

When we get to Ninoshima I tell my sister “Okay I don’t know where we are supposed to go now because Aunt Manu moved away.” My sister went pale and looked at me with pale eyes. Her face was slack and her mouth was slightly open. Her voice was barely audible when she spoke to me. “What are we gonna do now.” Those were the last words she said before she stumbled to the floor. I looked at her. Her face was expressionless. “Rai?” I said “Rai? Stop joking with me” she stayed still. I started to panic. “RAI?……Rai?” That’s when I realized what had happened. My sister was dead. “RRRRRAAAAIIII!!!!!!” I cried. The other people on the boat came to me.
“Calm down” someone said. It was a woman’s voice. It was so soft it almost made me stop crying. Almost. “I can’t,” I said with tears rolling down my cheeks. “She was the only part of my family I had left” I looked up and saw the woman. She was definitely not japanese. She looked like she was American. But what was an american doing in Japan? We were in the middle of the war with America.
“Let’s get off the boat, doctors are going to come take care of your little sister.” She said. I followed her off the boat. We entered a car. I didn’t even know where we were going but I stayed silent. Something about that woman made me comfortable. It’s when she looked at me that I blurted everything out. Everything that happened.

When we finally got off the car A huge house stood in front of us. There was a man and a girl waiting on the steps. As soon as we got off the car the man and the girl came running to the woman. I guessed it was her family. After they all hugged they looked at me. “Who is that little girl Margaret?” the man asked.“
Oh there was a tragedy.” Margaret answered. “As you must have heard there was a terrible accident in her city and her parents died. And she was on the same boat as me then her sister died on that boat. So I thought that we could help her.” OH MY GOSH are they going to adopt me? I was not ready for that at all. If they asked me I will definitely say no. The man looked at me “I know this is a bit too soon but we will like to…”
“Yes”I squealed “Yes you can adopt me I also know this is a bit too soon but I am depressed I don’t know what to do with my life anymore. I lost everything, you heard me? Everything I had and now I will gain them back with a new family.” I burst into tears right then.
“Oh my gosh what’s wrong one moment you were all happy and now you are in tears again,” Margaret asked in a worried voice.
“I just miss my family so much!!” I cried. The girl held my hand
“Come” She said “Let’s get inside so you can calm down. As we were walking towards the house I looked up at the sky. Somehow I knew my parents and my sister’s spirits were looking back at me. I smiled and looked down. Then looked back up and said “Anata wa itsumo watashi no kazoku ni narimasu. Watashi wa, anata o aishiteimasu” You will always be my family, I love you.”

Author’s Note
Boom Everyone is Dead is a realistic fiction story. Ruri, Rai, their parents and her new family weren’t real people. This story is based on the tragic attack of hiroshima in 1945 at exactly 8:45 in the morning. The B-29 that had dropped “little boy” (the name of the atomic bomb) was called the Enola Gay. It was driven by Colonel tibbets. Apparently “Little Boy” was the first ever made atomic bomb. It killed more than 8,000 people when it exploded. But even after the explosion there was radiation that stayed in the air. It got people sick and die. It continued for many year. All of this was because japan bombed pearl harbor in hawaii.

Sheila Johnson by Gladd M

“SHUT UP!!” I shouted. It was my little sister, Raina, annoying me. I was peacefully doing my homework when Raina started bragging about her dumb goldfish that mom bought for her yesterday. “ But I want you to play with me and Mr.Bubblegum.”
“Mr.BUbblegum and I” I corrected her. You see the inconvenience of having a five year old sister? I mean who names a goldfish “Mr. Bubblegum” that’s just stupid. “ Well I don’t want to play with your dumb goldfish,”
“But I thought you liked him,”
“ Isn’t it obvious I don’t? Now please get out of my room,”
“But….,”
“ No buts get out of my room NOW!” She sighed and said “Fine, I guess I will play alone with Mr.Bubblegum” her voice was soft and a bit strained as if someone had hit her in the guts and she was still recovering. I watched her as she walked out of my room her head was turned down. Ugh sisters can be so stressful sometimes. WHY WASN’T I BORN AN ONLY CHILD!!

I walked downstairs to look for something to eat. As I got into the kitchen I suddenly tripped and fell right on my head. “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH” I screamed as I fell down everything blacked out for……. A few hours I guess.

I woke up with a start and looked around me there stood my mother looking at me bug-eyed. “OH MY GOSH ARE YOU OK!” she shouted. “Yes, I…:”
“Don’t talk I know you are too tired”
“Ok” My mother can be so overprotective sometimes. I mean it’s not as if I died or something.“You scared me so badly! I thought you died or something” My mom continued. And it’s at that moment that I saw her the little brat, and just by looking at her I just knew she was the one who tripped me. “YOU LITTLE BRAT I PROMISE I WILL GET REVENGE ON YOU!” Suddenly her hands started shaking as the color drained from her face and a tear fell down her face “SHEILA JOHNSON YOU STOP ACCUSING YOUR SISTER SHE DIDN’T TRIP YOU, YOU JUST TRIPPED OVER SOMETHING,” My mother said. It’s usually when she is at me that she Uses my full name, but fortunately I have a very embarrassing middle name that my whole family promised not to tell anyone about and never mention it. But when I did something really terrible like the time I almost killed Raina. I had a knife in my hand and at that moment she was getting on my nerves so I actually wanted to kill her so I turned around and almost cut her head off and at that moment my mother was entering the room. She was Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay angrier than you are thinking she was.

I tried desperately to calm down but I just couldn’t. How could she do that to me? I looked at her she was looking at me smiling. Now I know it’s really her. I got out of bed, locked the door, and took the latest book I was reading. It’s called “SO WHAT?” It’s very interesting. It’s about a boy who somehow makes bullies scared of him. I read five times already. That book usually calms me down when I am stressed out or mad.

After reading a couple of chapters I went downstairs carefully looking where I was going. You never know that demon in human form can be anywhere. As I entered the kitchen to get a drink I saw Raina on the floor crying I went over to look what was wrong with here. I saw that there was a little cut on her right thumb and she was sucking the other one. “What’s wrong Raina,” I asked. I know sometimes she can be annoying but she can make me have pity in her. “I was trying to to cut that piece of cheese for Mr. Bubblegum, but then I cut I finger while doing it.” She choked.
“First of all you shouldn’t give cheese to your dumb fish.” Raina took the knife and handed it to me. As soon as it was in my hands she started wailing even louder than she was already. “IT HURTS EVEN MORE!!!!!!!!!!” She shouted. At that same moment my parents came rushing into the kitchen to see what was happening. They looked at Raina with horrified looks. Then they rushed over to her and hugged her saying things like. “Oh my gosh are you okay?” or “Show me that thumb of yours.” And then they looked at me with angry and horrified looks. “ OH MY GOSH” oh oh she is going to say my middle name!! “SHEILA DUCKY JOHNSON!” My life was completely ruined when I found out I had that name. I am sure they gave me that name on purpose so they could say it when they were mad at me. I mean what kind of parents name their kid “ducky”. How come they didn’t give an embarrassing name to Raina. Simple answer they love her more than they love me. At first I didn’t understand why they were shouting at me when I was just trying to help Raina. But then I realized I still had the knife in my hand. OH NO. WHY WASN’T I BORN AN ONLY CHILD!!!!!

To be continued…