Week 23: This Week’s Winning Stories

The End of Caden Ville

by Caden

It all started because of the experiment, when the first beast awoke and the explorer died. This enraged the people of the small town called Caden Ville, and the emperor, Caden, was not happy. He declared that all his huntsman and huntswomen would search for the horrid beast who had killed the innocent explorer. When the beast was not found, Caden was very angry, but didn’t tell the explorers, fearing that he would not gain more land if they were terrified of death from the beast. So the emperor just nodded his head as he heard the news from his huntswomen and huntsman and forgot about it the next second.

However, the explorers did not. After three more explorers had died, the whole empire began to collapse in on itself like a dead star. A civil war began. People who were the calmest, most loving, softest people you thought would never partake in such a war did because of their very strong, bold beliefs on whether the king was right or the civilians were right. After the guards had gotten all the people to calm down, the king made an announcement and stated that explorers and anyone to travel beyond the kingdom’s borders were endangered as a result of the harsh environment, which was perfect for allowing the beast to hide. So the king went his most trusted advisor and asked, “What shall one do when one is troubled the way one is now because of the awful deaths of our fellow explorers?”

The advisor suggested that he go to the most excellent engineer in all the land, who had just created an invention, one that made neighboring Addieville an attraction to all tourists: the wheel.

Luckily for the emperor, the inventor was visiting town that day and was looking for another job. When the king met the engineer, he was not pleased. The emperor, being a cocky emperor, thought that all people should be surprised to be in the presence of someone as great as himself, but the inventor just looked at the king like a person you would see every day, and the expression on his face showed it The king did not like this person but knew that he couldn’t do anything about him, so he put him to work right away and ordered, “Make the only and the best of the best protective shield for my explorers and make it out of the finest material in all the land so that my explorers will no longer be exploring death and instead excel in exploring.”

The engineer, being a smart engineer, knew that the emperor was a selfish, greedy emperor and that he wanted as much land as he could acquire. The engineer also realized that if he made this shield for the emperor, then the emperor would get what he wanted. Instead, the engineer plotted against the evil emperor and planned to take his throne, for if he didn’t, he would someday be working for the emperor for no pay. So the inventor stayed up all night and worked all day and finally came up with something that could finish the emperor once and for all, his own self esteem. The inventor told the emperor privately that he had finished his product and that the emperor should be the first to try it.

The emperor didn’t even have to think before he said, “Yes, of course. I am the emperor and I should be the first to try it because I’m the best.” The emperor walked into the woods with the cloth wrapped around him. The beast came out and snarled at the emperor, grabbing him and eating him in front of everyone. The beast, being hungry for more, chased after the people.

The people had to run back into the palace, and the inventor said in a murmur under his breath, “What a fool; he let his own desire to get more money and more things get in the way of what really matters most: his life and everything else.

The Emperor’s Clothes

Retold by Ava

Once upon a time, within the walls of China, lived an emperor named Sha Lo. He was a ruler of power and rule, that was greatly respected and his prophecy was to expand China far across the land. Recently, he had gained five billion acres of land. The great expansion called for a festival. Sha Lo desired a new robe for the celebration, one that represented his empire and its extreme power. So, he sent an envelope to the finest fitters in China, and waited. The first week, he turned away fifty people. The second week, he turned away one hundred. So on went this trend, until a pair of twins entered the palace.

“Oh, noble king, we come humbly to offer our skills. Enclosed within your letter, you mentioned you desire your robe to display the kingdom you so bravely rule. This fabric you see, might not be visible. Yet we trust you do, for only a pure and wise soul much like yourself can.” said the first brother.

“Yes, let us bring it to you to feel it. Only those of excellent intelligence can feel such silk, but you have nothing to worry about since you are so grand.” said the second brother.

So, the two brought up a wooden block, which they claimed to have the magical fabric, which was only an exaggeration. They were the only ones who knew such though. Sha Lo smiled and let his fingertips sink through the air. He felt nothing, but pretended to stroke the fabric for he was embarrassed that he could not. He quite liked the title. The two brothers looked at Sha Lo in such a manner that pressured him into saying he felt it. They smiled as he decided they would create his robe.

The next month, the two brothers gave Sha Lo his robe. “Look at the fine embroidery, all powerful. Look and see the grace and passion this robe holds,” they said. And so, the servants came and escorted the emperor and the twins to the dressing room. As he undressed, the servants inspected the robe.

“I cannot see it. Are you sure the king can wear such a thing made of air?” said one. He reached to feel it, but only air brushed his fingers.

“You must be insane. Of course, only wise and smart folk can feel and see such luxury.” he said as he batted the servant’s fingers away.

An hour later, Sha Lo was prepared and he walked out into the streets of the festival. All the energy tensed as the crowd heard the twins yell out the legend of the fabric. Suddenly, a little girl screamed out, “The Emperor is naked! Where are his clothes, mommy?”

The crowd erupted into cries of excitement, and the twins were ordered to death.


When something is untrue, do not push it to draw attention.
It is a form of greed.

Past Years’ Winning Stories


by Genevieve

The light shown down on Domino, and he grudgingly awoke from him sleep. He stared up at the sun for a second and yawned. He looked around and realized the chick was gone. Amethyst still lay sleeping.

“Chick,” he whispered. Domino sniffed around and began to grow frantic. “Chick!” he hollered at the top of his lungs. He bolted over to Amethyst and stabbed her in the chest with his paw until she woke up.

“What are you—“ she looked down at the sleeping chick right underneath her.

“You were trying to suffocate him! And eat him! I see that you had excitement about almost getting to eat him! It’s not funny.” Domino was disgusted by her behavior.

Exaggerating much?” she extended her paw out to the chick; it woke up and pecked her paw.

“Thank goodness he’s alive!” shouted Domino.

“Be quieter or you’re going to scare away every animal in the forest, including our soon-to-be breakfast,” Amethyst said and gave him an odd expression as he realized that they hadn’t eaten for awhile.

“Oh,” Domino said, half to himself. For some reason he felt embarrassed.

“C’mon, we have to get there before it gets dark,” Amethyst didn’t bother to explain where they were going, Domino had no choice but to follow, due to the fact that if he tried to go back home some strange thing might happen to him.

Amethyst glanced up at the sky and frowned. “We’re going to have to continue our little expedition in the morning,” she informed as she circled and let herself fall onto the ground.

“It’s not that dark; whatever you’re going to show me can happen now.” Domino looked ahead at a group of bushes huddled together.

“Fine,” Amethyst walked over and pushed the bushes apart to reveal a wide clearing. She cautiously stepped into it.

Domino marched into the space and immediately had a weird feeling: a pulling feeling. He walked towards the center of the ring of trees and brambles. Amethyst stared at him with shocked eyes and pulled the chick over to her. It scrambled free of her grasp and strolled over to Domino’s side.

“Domino, get over here!” Amethyst looked as if she were in great panic.

Domino felt a rumbling beneath him and he yelped with shock. He was about to run over to Amethyst when a giant crystal shard grew up in front of him. A new kind of energy jolted through his veins, and he accidentally howled in surprise. More crystals grew around him and the chick until Amethyst couldn’t see them anymore. She heard a howl, but this time it wasn’t the howl of a dog, it was of a wolf.

The crystals parted to show a wolf and a beautiful white bird. The bird had a crystal shard on its chest like it was another one of its feathers. The tips of its wings finished with what looked like flame, but a light blue flame. The wolf had a crystal on its chest as well, and its eyes were an icy blue. Its pelt was a glistening white and the tips of its tail and paws were light blue. The wolf and the bird were exchanging power; they both shared the energy from the crystals.

“Domino?” Amethyst crept forward. She hadn’t thought it would be such an extreme experience. A not so excellent feeling started up inside her; she was going to get in big trouble.

The Secret Life of an Employee

By Jack

It’s hard being an employee. Do this! Do that! One day, I will have my own business, and then I’ll be the boss. Yeah! I’ll treat my employees with a lot of respect from having the experience of knowing how it feels to be just another pawn in the game of “We Want Money.”

Although I have excelled at my job, there is always something I do wrong. To quote my manager, Mick, “Hey, you! Yeah, you. Come here. I can’t see my reflection in the floors, which means you didn’t clean it well enough, and even worse, I can’t see my beautiful face!”

I then tell myself, “Yeah, um, nobody thinks your face is beautiful, dude. Have you looked in the mirror recently, like in the last few years? I explain to him what happened and how it won’t happen again. If that is the only criticism I receive, then that would be the best day at work ever.

I forgot to mention that I’m an explorer. I like finding things out, looking around, and being nosy. One time, while sneaking around the building on my lunch break, I found something completely embarrassing to my boss: a knitting set! I had so much excitement, finally a chance to expose my boss’ true weirdness! I decided to mess with Mick a little bit.

The next day, I get to work, and I ask Mick, “Can you knit me a scarf? I don’t know many people who can knit, let alone a grown man.”

“I don’t knit,” Mick tries to say casually.

“Nice try. You’re not fooling me,” I say.

“How did you find out?” he asks.

“You left a clue lying about,” I reply. “I want a pay raise or else I quit and will share this photo with the world,” I tell him as I show him the photo of him with his knitting set I took from a steak out. His expression was priceless!

“Fine,” he says with a sigh.

Yes, Yes, Yes! This is excellent. I receive a priceless reaction from my boss with that experiment and receive a pay raise! Who’s the emperor of this empire now, Mick? That is the secret life of an employee.

It’s Good to Be King

by Joe

“I’m the reptilian emperor!” I say. “Bow down, peasants!” Well, actually I’m a house pet… to be exact, a snake. My owner likes to play with me and dress me up with a crown. When that happens, I pretend to be the king of all the reptilians. Well, I think that I’m the king because of the type of snake I am. I am endangered, and my owner is very special to own a snake like my kind.

When my owner dresses me up, he acts like I’m a king and does stuff with me, like he follows me around and gives me food to eat. When I grow into an old reptilian, I want to start an empire of my type of snake. I am an enthusiastic snake, and there is another thing that is very special about me: I can talk.

That’s going to be our little secret for now, but I want to tell my owner something. Three, two, one; my owner is standing right in front of me. “Hi!” I say. My owner jumps back and starts to walk away slowly. “It’ssss okay,” I say. I bet my owner is thinking this is an extremely scary daydream. “Bow down to me, human!” I command, hissing.

“AHHHHHH!” my owner screams, running away in fear.

“It’ssss okay; don’t scream!” I say, again hissing.

I slither back to him without saying anything. He grabs me and puts me outside. How can I get back inside? I think. I have an excellent plan, I think to myself, hissing happily. I go to a little hole in the house wall. I slither some more until I get to a crack in the wall. I slide right through it like a tiny insect. This experience makes me feel like an explorer. It is also fun because I have never been in the walls of a house. There is a lot of stuff in there!

After I slither through the tiny crack in the wall, I make my way to my owner’s

room and announce, “I’m back, peasant!”

“AHHH, how can you talk?”

“I don’t know? I just learned!”

He grabs me and takes me outside to look at me more closely. I decide not to

talk. The expression on his face is confused. “Hisss!” I say antagonizing him.

“Stop that now!” he yells at me.

I slither away back into the house. I have so much energy I can do anything! Just watch…..

An Extreme Expedition

by Jackson

“Gooooooood morning, David. Ready for a hike up Mount Scary?” Rob says enthusiastically, shaking David’s bed until he falls out.

“Thanks for the wake-up call,” David grumbles, rising to his feet. “And, yes, I’m ready…..as soon as we eat, get dressed, and pack all the supplies we need because I’m not sure pajamas, empty stomachs, and these tired expressions on our faces are very mountain-climbing-worthy.”

Today, these two friends will finally hike up to the very-feared top of Mount Scary. After much hesitation and stress, they’ve convinced themselves that it’s completely harmless, regardless of what everyone else says about it erupting at the worst possible moment or what the environment might have waiting for them.

After David and Rob finish getting ready, they prepare to endure the hike.

“All right, let’s do an equipment che–Rob what are you wearing,”David questions, staring at Rob’s embroidered sweater.

“My mom gave this to me last Christmas and told me it was for whenever I needed it, and I think this might be one of those many times,David,” Rob replies, staring down at his itchy, but cozy sweater. “I consider it my ‘lucky’ sweater.”

“I’ll just wing it and say we have about everything we need including a meal fit for an empire,” David announces

The two friends head out, and once Rob and David are at the base of the treacherous mountain, Rob takes a good look at the mountain and says, “Well, let’s get climbin’.”

“This is going to be an interesting experience….I guess,” David mumbles, fearing for the worst.

I, being the narrator, would tell you this trip went peachy, but keep this between me and you guys and gals: everything excelled in difficulty because the two friends only made it halfway up the mountain, and they barely survived the falling rocks and mountain lion, which stole 75% of their food in trade for their lives. So at this current point in the story, they now decide to make camp at a reasonably safe dirt path going upwards.

“All right, you ready for lunch?”David asks looking at the two PB and J sandwiches.

“Yes, I’ve been waiting so long for you to ask,” Rob says, yanking the sandwich away and slowly inching it towards his mouth.

A second before Rob takes one bite, there is a loud explosion-like sound that booms from above. Rob and David rush outside their tent and look up towards the peak of the mountain. The surprise isn’t too enlightening if you have been following the story of these two friends. They see red, hot lava pouring down all sides of the mountain and heading towards the bottom.

“Um, Rob, let’s hope you weren’t exaggerating about your lucky sweater and that it can make you fast because we need to run, NOW!” David yells, pulling Rob with him as he sprints down the soon-to-be lava-covered mountain.


by Fiona

Oh, how much you can tell,
by just looking at the faces,
of people passing by.

If they are explorers
who find excitement at every turn,
or expatriates,
leaving the empire they once called home
to enlist in the army,
or to start a career
protecting endangered species all around the world.

Their expressions tell you much about their personality,
whether they are energetic and enthusiastic,
or if they are embarrassed by everything they do and say.

Oh, how much you can tell,
by just looking at the faces,
of people passing by.

Super Narwhals

by Devin

There have been over 100 generations of narwhals, but these are the most special. These narwhals are the best for many reasons, such as that they all rule an empire (Narlandia), they are the top-rated sea creatures in the world, and lastly, they save the sea’s environment by killing all of the evil emperor squids. This particular squid presents the most danger to the narwhals because emperor squids will eat or try to eat the baby narwhal eggs and baby narwhals.

These squids had to be stopped, so the narwhals made an excellent plan and a most evil one, too. First, they had to enlist some of their clan into a battle army. The narwhals only picked the best of the best to serve in their war, so they would be hard to defeat. Second, the narwhals would have to set booby traps all around their base so when the squids attacked, the narwhals wouldn’t get hurt. In addition, the narwhals would attack the squids’ army, but only the weakest part, so the narwhals could get more squids out of the sea. Finally, it was time for the narwhals to do battle. They did horns ready and armor shining and launched their attack. It was great, and there was so much excitement, but they had to retreat because the squids had cannons, and the narwhals nearly got hit. Nevertheless, a few moments later, the narwhals came back and were about to experience the time of their lives, making the squids be more than just endangered.

Eventually, after two weeks, the narwhals were safe and had finally defeated the squids, or so they thought.

Moon Wars: The Empire Tries to Strike Back, But Fails Yet Again

by Annabelle

Yarth Mader paced back and forth in front of his employee, Grand Moff Garkin, angrily.

“Yuke Guywalker got away again? How could you let this happen?” he demanded.

“I…I’m sorry, sir–” Grand Moff Garkin tried to make an excuse.

“Sorry doesn’t cut it! Explain yourself!” Yarth Mader boomed.

“Yes…Yes, sir,” Grand Moff Garkin stuttered.

“Now, GET OUT! AND DON’T COME BACK UNTIL YOU HAVE CAPTURED YUKE GUYWALKER, and enlist better soldiers while you’re at it!” Yarth Mader screamed. Grand Moff Garkin turned around and left. Yarth Mader hologrammed his master, Yarth Kideous, otherwise known as Emperor Walpatine.

“You did not find Yuke Guywalker. How did this happen?” Yarth Kideous questioned.

“I am sorry, master. But I have plans. Yuke Guywalker will turn to the darkside tonight!”

Three hours later, in Cloud Town…

The glow-sabers collided, again and again, making little golden sparks. Yuke Guywalker and Yarth Mader had been battling for a solid ten minutes now, and they were now battling on a small walkway over a cavernous void. Yuke’s expression showed that he was in full concentration, for he was battling someone who had excelled in experience compared to him. If you have ever battled Yarth Mader, and you’re an amateur Jedi, you’ll know that it is incredibly tiring and sucks the energy right out of you. That is exactly how Yuke felt right now. Yuke and Yarth Mader would occasionally exchange glances, but they were mainly focusing on the battle.

“You’ll never get away with this!” Yuke Guywalker screamed.

“Oh, yes I will!” Yarth Mader responded.

“No, you won’t!”

“Yes, I will!” exclaimed Yarth Mader. With that, he put so much power into his next swing that Yuke was pushed back onto a narrow ledge.

“Yobi Van has taught you well. Did he ever tell you about your father?” Yarth Mader questioned Yuke.

“He told me enough. He told me that you are my father!” Yuke almost shouted at him.

“No, Yuke, I am not your father!” Yarth Mader said in a husky voice.

“Yeeeeeeesssssss!” Yuke happily shouted.

Twenty minutes later…

Princess Zaia, Mewbacka, and Ban Holo hurtled across the sky in the Willineum Halcon.

“There he is!” Princess Zaia exclaimed, pointing to Yuke, who was desperately holding on to a rod with one hand and a look of agony on his face.

“Hang on Yuke! We’re coming!” Ban hollered at him. He accelerated over to Yuke and dove under him. In fact, he was fifty feet under him.

“Mewbacka, will you open the trapdoor for Yuke to jump through!” Ban yelled at Mewbacka.

“Aaaargh!” Mewbacka answered in wookie. He jumped out of his seat and opened the one foot by one-foot trapdoor. Ban walked under the open trap door and shouted at Yuke.

“Just jump through this tiny door from fifty feet up and you’ll be safe!” Ban announced. Yuke jumped, and made it! He was finally safe! Yuke smiled.

“That was certainly an experience! I’ll tell you about it on the way,” Yuke said.

“For now, let’s go to Starbucks! I know I’m thirsty,” he continued.

“Yaaaaay!” everyone exclaimed.

With that, they flew off into the sunset, on their way to the Cloud Town Starbucks.

The Extreme Expedition

by Jake C. and Matthew

There once was man named Arnold who was an engineer who excelled in his work and who had a lot energy. Arnold liked to drive a jeep through the woods and trample the trees, just like an explorer would. He decided to drive through woods, trampling flora, because he had a lot of experience (and by experience, we mean it had been twenty-five years since he had seen a NASCAR race).

Once Arnold reached the edge of the forest, he suddenly saw a souped-up Toyota Prius that had crashed into the the tree. The Prius was behind him, but that was not important. Arnold was full of mad desire to smash trees (don’t tell Ms. Tandy), so he ignored the souped-up Prius and went full speed ahead.

Before Arnold knew it, there was a huge crash. Arnold thought he had smashed some trees, but it was quite the opposite: the trees had not budged an inch. They had, in fact, smashed Arnold and his jeep simultaneously. “No fair!” yelled Arnold in despair. He would get those trees!

Just then, Arnold came up with a “genius” idea. He would take the can of gasoline from his jeep, strap it to the crashed Prius he had seen earlier, light the gas can, and blast off! Arnold took his jeep license plates, memorable to him because of all the tree-smashing they had down together. Then he hiked back to the Prius, gas can in hand, and tried to jump in the front seat with his jeep’s license plate.

Alas, the Prius had other plans. The Prius, apparently an early prototype for the Google self-driving car, blasted off without Arnold. Bad prototype Prius! That car was now going to fly like a rocket to some far away place and live the life of an expatriate (and yes,what we just explained is how shooting stars first appeared).

Arnold knew he had no chance of trampling trees now, so he decided to go on foot when suddenly, he ran into the wall of a fortress, which belonged to an empire of evil hamsters. Adam thought he had discovered a time portal (as you may have noticed Arnold’s imaginary light bulb was a candle).

Once inside the fortress, Arnold’s expression changed because upon entering he noticed the place was just like ancient castles made of stone. Unfortunately for Arnold, he was captured by armed hamsters and taken to a storage room, where he would be kept as food for the mighty Emperor Bob (Bob had once been Arnold’s pet hamster). When Arnold saw the Emperor, he cried, “Why did you leave me?”

“Well, the pay is great, and it is good to be king,” Bob replied.

“But I miss you!” responded Arnold.

“Regardless of that, you are still to be my dinner,” said Bob while the hamster peons surrounded him.

After Emperor Bob’s departure, Arnold saw a broken jet pack in the storage room where he was being held captive. Just then, Arnold had an idea. He could quickly fix the jet pack. Luckily for Arnold, the hamsters had not checked his pockets for gadgets and tools, so once the hamsters were not looking, Arnold got out his hamster-rope-cutter-outer and his jet pack fixing gel. He started sawing away at the rope, and once he was done, he exchanged the tool for his phone.

With his phone, Arnold called his friend, an experienced escape artist who had never been employed and always had a bunch of excitement for no apparent reason, even after he ran a marathon. (This friend had even once tried to enlist in the army, but the military said he did not have excellent common sense, and you need a lot of that for the army). Using the advice of this experienced, yet devoid of common sense, friend, Arnold succeeded in repairing the jetpack, and he zoomed around the storage room, knocking over several hamster guards, who were holding dull-tipped twigs as spears (very dangerous, right? Yeah, we thought so, too). Still, those hamsters were great Earth Cadets; they used the environment around them, so that had to count for something, right?

Moments later, Arnold blasted out of the storage room, flying into the sky, only to discover that the jet pack had no controllers, which would have been nice to know before he was airborne. While flying crazily in the air, Arnold collided with eleven endangered birds and twenty pigeons. Most normal humans would be embarrassed by doing that, but Arnold, who definitely was not normal, thought it was fun, that is until the jet pack went zooming back down to the ground with a huge BOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

Arnold got up, dusted himself off after checking for broken bones, and saw two encyclopedias, two boys, and a mirror in which he could see the faces of the boys going from white to gray in all the smoke and debris from Arnold’s crash (and no, that is not exaggerated).

The crash was immediately reported to the superintendent of the school district, who was forced to hire construction workers to repair damage to the school grounds. So now you know why we sometimes have three-day weekends: it is because crazy people crash jet packs into schools.

New York

by Laura

The Empire State Building was extending its height by adding a few new floors, so it was undergoing an expansion. The building commission of New York City hired some enthusiastic engineers and some other construction employees to build these new floors. The high environment was a challenge. The workers exchanged a few words, and the excitement down below began as crowds gathered to watch the work.

As the additions were made, the contractors needed to employ more people to help. Soon, the floors were finished, and the experience was enjoyable for everyone, whether they were working on the project or watching. It will be a wonderful day for a while.

Family Fun

by Riley

basketball horse

Dribble, dribble. I bounced the basketball, while playing a game of Horse with my dad and my brother. Kyle, my brother, made the first shot, and then it was my turn. I hit the rim and missed, I had an H. Dad made the shot, and then it was Kyle’s turn again. He did the same shot and made it again. Dad missed it and had an H. I missed again and had to endure having an H.O. It was embarrassing!  I air-balled it and missed by two feet. The next shot I took was extreme, so it was a three-pointer, and it swished through the net.  I had excelled on that shot, and I expected to get Dad and Kyle both to an H.O. Dad rattled the shot in, but Kyle missed it. Dad had a relieved expression on his face when he made the shot.

The next shot that my Dad made was excellent, but he exaggerated a little bit on how good it was. It was a simple jump shot, so I knew I would not miss the shot.  However, my hand extended to the left too far, and I completely missed. I took the lead eventually, but was knocked out on a simple shot close up to the rim. When Dad got out, Kyle had an enthusiastic energy because he had won the game.  Even though Kyle won the game, we all still had a fun time, and I was looking forward to playing Horse again.

The Sock Expedition

by Ava


A groan escaped my lips. All the “I don’t want tos!” and “Please don’t make me gos!” didn’t work. I’m as enthusiastic as I would be if they enrolled me in military school.

“Stop exaggerating. We are just going sock shopping!” my dad says to me. I’m going to have to endure three hours of sock shopping? I look out the window, getting ready for total boredom.

Once we got to Kohl’s, we headed towards the sock section. It was the weirdest environment ever. There was a whole section for dress socks. The men’s undergarment section was right next to the sock section, so that was awkward. Suddenly, a Taylor Swift song came on the radio.

“Hey, it’s Tay Tay Swi Swi!” my dad exclaimed. I hid my face in my hands, I was suffering pure embarrassment. My dad continued with his sock hunt. He passed embroidered ones, checked ones, and striped ones.

“Dad, what are you looking for?” I asked impatiently. My dad excelled at wasting time.

“I’m looking for black checkered socks,” my dad answered.

I picked up some black checkered socks.  “Here!” I showed him the socks. My dad made an “ehh” sound and looked at some other socks. I groaned again.

“Honey, it’s called extreme sock hunting! Look it up.” I plopped down next to the rack of socks. Hopefully, next time we will be shopping for something easier, with fewer choices.


by Jackson


My name is Jackson. I am a normal high school student. I go to class, I get B’s, except for math, where I get C’s. I am a normal average teenager. My two friends are the exact opposite. My best friend I’ve known since preschool: Kyle Patterson and Jennifer Smith. Kyle is the exact definition of a jock. He is the star quarterback, plays hockey, soccer, basketball, karate, and jujitsu. This kid is the best to have around. My second best friend, Jennifer, I’ve known since third grade, and she’s been the smartest kid ever. She is a straight A student, she’s on the honor roll, and she reads textbooks for fun–the perfect person to cheat off of if you are that kind of person. I have the best friends ever, but my life is terrible; my dad walked out on me when I was six months old. My life will change. Being in the right place at the right time may send me on an extreme expedition of wits, strength, and just plain luck. I will have to endure great triumph.

I walk in the halls with Jennifer bouncing off her heels to get to math class and Kyle dreading the math test we are going to take. His mom said if he didn’t get a C, he would have to stop playing sports. I walk in the halls and notice my shoe is untied. I stop and start to tie it, and the hall starts to clear out, and I am alone. At least I think I am until Wade, the resident thug, emerges from the shadows with his cronies. I try to run, but they catch up to me. Wade shifts his weight and makes me go tumbling. I try to get up, but his cronies push my arm into my back. I yelp in pain. I turn over and am welcomed by a smack in the face. I extend my arm, pushing Wade away, but he jumps and lands on me. I feel my rib start to crack as he gets up, and I think he starts to walk away. Suddenly, though, I am being pulled up by my shirt, and Wade slams me into a locker; my head cocks to one side. He starts shaking me, and all my money flies to the floor. Coins rattle on the ground, and my house key drops. Wade grabs my key and drags me to the bathroom, where he forces me to watch as he drops the key in the toilet and flushes. He still is holding onto my shirt, but we’re alone. I start to tug away, and I am free for a minute. I slide to my left and do a spin kick to his chest. He goes flying, and I jump back. I see water on the ground and go on the other side of it. Wade erupts with energy. He charges me and stumbles in the water, so I strike him, pushing him into a stall. Wade stumbles backward, and I put out my foot so he trips backwards and lands on his back. He closes his eyes, and I walk to the doorway. A man is standing there.

“Who are you?” I ask.

“The name is Scotty Douglas. I am a employee of WWE. I would like to enlist you. You used your environment to your advantage; perfect.” He hands me an envelope with $25,000 as a signing bonus.  “Do we have a deal?” He reaches out his hand;I shake it.

“Deal,” I say.

I finally excel at something, wrestling, and I have my first match today. I step into the ring, eyeing my opponent. He bounds towards me, and I sidestep him. I dive the other direction and roll. I reach up and grab onto his shoulder; then I flip over him and pull him down. I scramble to the ropes, waiting for him to charge. I squat down, and he runs to tackle me, but I leap, throwing him over me. He reaches for the ropes and flings himself up. I throw my leg out, and he trips, stumbling into the ropes. I throw out my leg as he is running toward the other side. I kick him, and he goes flying over the ring. I throw my hands in the air in victory. I am in the WWE, a victorious wrestling star.


by Jon


Building an empire is not easy because you have to be a good emperor.  To start an empire, you also must first have excellent employees.  Second of all, you have to be in a healthy environment where there are not any endangered animals.  Third of all, you have to be a great explorer so you can experience different regions.  Lastly, you must not let excitement go to your head so that you are sure not to do any crazy stuff.

The Engineers Opinion

 by  Dylan

man_writingThere once was an engineer
Who one day shed some tears

He thought

Evil, vicious,
Expatriating, endangering, war-causing,
Laying off many employees,

But then he had a flashback:

When I was a child, I dreamed.
I thought the world would get better like the success of a dog begging for scraps
I endured embarrassing comments, and enrolled in schools, and I experienced friendship
When I was a child

Finally, he realized he had no power
So he wrote this poem next to his shower:

Giving orders in the effort of the globe, expansion of the American empire.
Outsourcing jobs to “save” the country money.
Vetoing important laws, which should be focused on.
Enthusiastic! I laugh when they fake about caring for the environment.
Running rampant in other countries,
Never looking back in the wake of their destruction.

The Slumber Party

by Emily

joscotsIt is time for my extreme slumber party!  I am having a—not to exaggerate—enormous sleepover at my house.  Three enthusiastic girls are coming to spend the night.  It is going to be an awesome experience.  My mom, who is an engineer, has an all-night shift, so we get the whole house to ourselves.

At the sleepover party, the first thing we do is makeovers.  Some will embarrass people; some won’t.  Next, we play Wii.  In one game, we must go on an expedition and fight monsters.  After that, we have a dance party.  We have to move the furniture so we can have more expansion in our dancing.  Then we watch horror movies, which creates an intense environment.  At the end of the night, we have to enclose ourselves in our beds for a good night’s sleep.

The Dreadful School

by Cameron

schoolhouseBam! A young boy named Rob slouched out of his cozy bed because he had to go to his new school called Horribly Hard Middle School that he had to enroll in after the move. He was not very enthusiastic about the move or the school. As he pulled up to the school, he didn’t have to exaggerate to explain this school was extremely terrifying.

Additionally, as he walked into the battered classroom, he noticed that the expansion of his embarrassment seemed to increase as he noted the look on the kids’ faces. This was not a good environment for him. As the teacher greeted him in a grim way, he noticed this was not going to be a good experience.

The teacher’s name was Ms. Writing. Everyone was working, except poor Rob, who was thinking about his old school, and all of a sudden, Ms. Writing came over to care for him. She was actually quite benevolent. She helped him excel, overcoming his fears of this school and encouraged him to look on the positive things about this experience.

On the next day of school, Rob arrived with a glimmering sparkle on his face. He sprinted to his classroom and began to talk to a student about his night and all of the things he wanted to tell someone. This was Rob’s first of a few best friends he would gain from this so-called dreadful school. It turned out young Rob’s initial opinion wasn’t correct.

Rob learned to never judge somebody by their “cover” and to never give up on something the first try. Ms. Writing became his educational engineer and taught him that this school wasn’t as dreadful as he thought it would be.

The Tropical Expedition

by Bailey

beachOn the planet of Tanzanel, an explorer looking for an adventure found one.  He had discovered a map leading to a lost empire.  He had endured many things on his travels, but he had never endured the things he did on his quest for the lost empire.

His first extreme experience in his quest was the crocodile incident.  He came to a river with an impossible number of twenty-foot salt water crocodiles; his solution:  he shimmied across a tree two feet above the crocs’ snapping jaws.  The environment was quite dangerous.

His next dangerous encounter consisted of an unfathomable amount of hidden traps.  He claimed that he jumped an exaggerated ten feet over a huge gap and also climbed out of a hole, twenty feet deep.  The hole had spikes at the bottom, apparently, so I’m not sure how he didn’t die when he hit the floor.  When I asked how he survived the fall, he became quite red and seemingly embarrassed.  Then he mumbled something and continued his story.

On the next portion of the quest, our adventurer found death’s latest enrollment member.  He was not enthusiastic about finding a dead guy enclosed in a room with him. Luckily, that was when he discovered the lost empire.  Huge and covered with vines, it was lit in the sunlight.  The adventurer told the residents of the nearest city, and they commenced to refurbish the lost wonder.

Spot’s Special Valentine

by Grace

The days were counting down until Valentine’s Day, and Spot couldn’t wait until the anticipated holiday finally came. There was to be celebrating all around; flowers being given, cards read, and chocolate eaten. But the real reason Spot was so enthusiastic about the upcoming celebration was the Valentine competition she had enrolled in not even a week ago. The contest was about making the best Valentine card out of all the other enrolled ladybugs. Spot had heard rumors of extremely fierce competition and tense atmosphere, but it didn’t put a damper on her excitement; it only made her eagerness stronger!

As the approaching event grew rapidly nearer, Spot tugged nervously on her antennae in desperation, hoping for a genius brainstorm. She wouldn’t be able to endure the embarrassment of bringing a drab, boring valentine, much less, not completing one at all! She couldn’t afford to think like that, though, no matter what the circumstances. Pulling herself together, she realized that she was just exaggerating the situation, making it seem worse than it really was.

Zipping through the village, she advanced towards the flowering meadow. Plucking only the velvety rose petals, moon flowers and the radiant asters, she hastened back home to begin her masterpiece. She pulled out her embroidery kit and plunged head first into her work. A sprinkle of fairy dust here, dashes of pollen and needlework there, and she was ready for Valentine’s Day.

With her tiny, but true heart beating wildly in her chest, she made her way to the twig leaf table to place her special Valentine card in the basket and to retrieve her number. This is certainly a new thing for me, Spot reflected, one of the many expeditions to come in life. As the judges took their places at the table and commenced to sort through the many entries, Spot hoped the invisible prayer she enclosed in her valentine would be answered.

Soon, the small gathering became an expansion of fellow ladybugs supporting the quivering-in-anticipation contestants. Finally, after a close huddle of heads, the judges stood up, and the chairbug of the group stepped up to the honeycomb microphone. A hush fell over the awaiting crowd as the chairbug began to speak.

“Greetings, fellow bugs, and welcome to our annual Valentine’s Day Festival! I would like to say good job to all of you enrolled ladybugs because you are all winners. Now, for the time you have all been waiting for! The winner of our annual Valentine’s Day card competition is … Spot! Let’s all give a hearty cheer for her now!”

My Future Is Mapped Out….Or Is It?

            by Camille

The world can be a dismaying place these days, especially in this horrid environment!  Thousands of employees get laid off due to budget cuts from the government.  People are so audacious that they are literally enlisting their names in any and all job employment papers they can find.  Soon enough, the government will own all of the human beings’ riches.  What shall we do, you might ponder? Absolutely nothing; human beings without power are just like scrawny little bugs wiggling through life in poverty.

All this excitement around finding jobs is awful, and it is not humane.  This is what my father used to say when he would turn on the news.   Not only can the government take control of us humans, but they now can even have a draft and make whoever they want do excruciating labor for only pennies an hour.   After those unfortunate people come back from their hard days of work, you cannot believe the stories they have shared about their enduring experience.

Is there a happy ending to life?  I would always wonder to myself right before I went to sleep. I do not know; all I can say so far is that making ends meet is going to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.  My father always had a good perspective on life.  He used to tell me that when he was a kid, he was literally a walking encyclopedia.  In his opinion, having knowledge was the best ticket to help yourself.  Yeah, kids teased him about being a geek and all, but he was proud to be a kid genius.  He excelled in every subject he put his mind to.  You could hear it in his voice; he wanted me to excel just as he did when he was my age.  I tried so hard to be a kid genius that I gave up my hobbies that I treasured so much.  I soon found out that I struggled in subjects, like math, science, and history.  I would never be a kid genius, and I told my father that I had tried; I had tried to follow in his footsteps, but I had failed.

He would always answer me in a tone and manner that made my ears endure a keen sense of hearing because my father would spat his words under his breath.   I always pictured my father as an emperor of a well-known and recognized empire.  Or at least, a well-known explorer, who discovered hidden craters and endangered animals that no one even thought existed. He was that kind of man, and I knew he expected much of me.

In order to escape our oppressive government, I used to dream up a world that was too good to be true.  I literally mapped out my future.  I shared my dream with my father one hot and muggy evening. I told him if some major detail didn’t occur, or if for some reason, a minor incident occurred, I would just turn my back to the problem.  After all, wasn’t that what our government was doing to us?  Somehow in my mind I would think, someone will fix it, but that someone just wouldn’t be me.  But…my father begged to differ.

Knowing that my father was always right, I soon acknowledged that you can’t find your future, if you don’t stand up to your responsibilities.  Some parts of your future will happen whether you are ready or not.  But what you choose to make of that future is always up to you!

Normal… Almost

by Sarah

“Why did you dye your hair pink? It EMBARRASSES me!” my mother queried, shaking her head.

Letting a sigh escape my lips, I rolled my eyes. “Mum, it’s my hair. I have to get to school, Mum. Bye.” I slung my backpack over my shoulder and closed the door, beginning my walk to the bus stop. As I clomped onto the school bus, loud laughs emitted from obnoxious little adolescents’ lips. I sat down on the leather seat and pulled out my iTouch, snagging my earphones from my backpack and pressing them into my ears, listening to Skrillex.

Teens my age hit me in the shoulder, yelling. “Freak!” Most people didn’t listen to Skrillex, but if they thought I cared, they were sadly mistaken. I was not into EMBROIDERY and fake extensions. I was into dying my hair, Converse, and Skrillex.

After math class, the popular crew, Ida, Caitlin, and Lynn ENCLOSED me, circling all around me. “Hey, Jen. Why aren’t you normal? Why do you like freaky music? …No wonder you have a lack of friends.” They all laughed.

Letting a smirk escape my lips, I laughed right back at them. “Why do you continue to annoy me? Why do you listen to Justin Bieber? …No wonder you have no life.”

“What-EVER!” The girls sniffed, obviously disgusted, turned their pretty little heads and walked away.

“God,” I thought. “If I have to ENDURE any more of this lameness…” A female around my age sidestepped the girls and glanced over at me. “Hey, is that Skrillex? I love Skrillex!”

I smiled and looked down at my Skrillex tee. “Yeah…. and same here. I’m Jen.”

“I’m Monica.” She grinned.

“Nice to meet you.”

“You too,” she said and blinked.

“I haven’t seen you around…are you new here?” I queried, as Monica sat down with me.

“I just ENROLLED here,” Monica answered.

“So, do you like it here?” I asked.

She laughed slightly. “Other than the bullies, it’s cool here.” Her attitude was ENTHUSIASTIC. Little did I know it was all a hoax.

The next day, I saw Monica hanging out with the popular girls. “Monica…? Why are you hanging out with them? I thought we were friends.”

“I think you’re EXAGGERATING. I don’t even know you…. I don’t even like you!” she shouted.

I raised my eyebrows. “Oh… ‘Kay then. I don’t care.”

A male that resembled Monica nudged me gently. “Ignore my sis. She’s a little bit of a twit.”

“MILES, be QUIET!” ordered Monica.

“Nah.” He grinned and turned to me. The EXPANSION of Monica’s scowl seemed to grow more sour each second. She stalked away.

“Hey, sorry about… her.” He laughed. “She tricks girls like you into thinking she likes you as a friend.”

“Does she really like Skrillex?”

“Nope, she stole that from me. She’s into history… Sacajawea, the Lewis and Clark EXPEDITION, whatever.”

“Oh, and I’m Jen,” I said with a smile.


“Miles and Monica…” I chuckled softly.

“The results of comparing me to her are insanely EXTREME,” warned miles, and we both developed a laughing fit, and our faces turned dark violet.

Later on, I realized that I couldn’t trust people all the time, that best friends would always be there for you… and that would never be Monica.

The Dream

by Lilah


Hello, I am the dreamer keeper or the keeper of dreams, and my job is to simply lock away and keep safe all of people’s dreams, but this particular dream wasn’t made for dreaming; it was made to happening………

An exceptional librarian by the name of Madeline Brook, a twenty-four year old woman who worked and practically lived in the most excellent book company since the time period of 1945, had a dream lodged in her head.

It was the year of 1960, and Madeline, a strong and hard-working employee, had worn a façade showing how she truly loved her job, but beneath, she hated it. Her real dream was to become a doctor—females couldn’t be doctors, engineers, or emperors in this time period, but every day she still studied encyclopedias and explored her library for books—anything about doctors and how to do their jobs. This experience was fun yet challenging for her.


One day, as I watched her become more skilled, she tried an experiment—an experiment which I “told” her to do— which included going to the hospital, speaking to head doctors, and becoming enlisted for the next opening!


Now thirty and living her life happily with a kind and loving husband, a fantastic home, and a life-changing and USA-changing career, she still looks up to me to thank me; the dream keeper.

Framed: Dear Family, I’m In Jail

by Giselle

“Why did you do it? Why did you commit the crime!?” asked the investigator, as he questioned the criminal.  You may think the criminal did something terribly wrong, but you are mistaken! The criminal is me, Sahara. I was framed for something I did not do. The story starts like this; I was walking downtown when all of a sudden a guy came and shoved me inside his car.

All I remembered was waking up in a dark, enclosed cell. I had a perfect life. The authorities hadn’t decided to find me guilty or innocent. Sadly, I had to be questioned once a day by different crime scene investigators. They thought I would just automatically confess to the crime, which was being the “Cab Killer.” The thing “I” supposedly did was to put noxious gas into the back of the cab, and the passengers would die. Then I was supposed to have thrown the bodies to the bottom of to the ocean.

My family members embarrassed me when they came to visit and asked me why I committed the crime. It was hard when they didn’t believe me. I was watching the news the other day, and I hated how they exaggerated about my case. My case was now turning into an extreme situation. I might have to stay in prison forever.

What was interesting to me was how the police had so many suspects, not just me. They even suspected an eighty-year-old retired engineer!  I had a lot of experience when it came to getting yelled at. The second day I was in the cell, the security officer arrived. He took me out of my cell. I was so excited! It turned out they had found the real criminal, but the criminal committed suicide so the case was closed.

I was so enthusiastic when I endured the sweet smell of being free. To my surprise, my family was there at my release. They brought me a fresh pair of clothes so I could take off the clothes I was wearing, which had extremely bad embroidery.  Since that day, I have learned that I should live every day with thankfulness to my family, which includes my kids, Nicole, Tyler, Dylan, Jaileen, and Savannah. I do not want to exclude my wonderful husband, Michael, from my gratefulness. Now I can enroll myself into my new life, and I hope I will never be framed again.


by Kyle

I am an explorer working for the military. We are working on an extreme science experiment to investigate life forms on a planet named Cenamora. This is the experience of a lifetime. We have high-tech machines used to get around, which require an excellent engineer. We gathered our gear and set off to study the plants and animal life in the jungle. We were specifically studying a certain plant that has the minerals to form diamonds in its leaves. This plant is the source that keeps the planet in balance. As we were walking along, we saw some of these plants, and we took one of the leaves to do some tests on it.  When the General saw the test results, he realized that the minerals in these plants could be put into a special machine and form diamonds that would be priceless. A few hours passed, and I overheard the General talking about a plan to destroy all of these plants in order to get the minerals to form diamonds. My heart paused. This could not happen because the whole planet would go out of balance. I couldn’t go through with the General’s plan to endanger all of these special plants.

“I don’t know what to do. There are a ton of people willing to help the General, but only one of me,” I said out loud to myself.

“You are not the only one,” said a few soldiers in the corner. “We overheard the
General, too, and we are willing to help you.”

“Awesome!” I muttered.

This was the most amazing environment I had ever seen so I wasn’t going to let some clueless soldiers destroy it.

We set off into the jungle and hid behind the base to listen to what the General was saying. He said he would call in all of the attack ships to destroy the main area were the plants were growing. Then he would take the plants, transform the minerals into diamonds, and deliver the diamonds to the U.S. military bank for money. I figured that since I was his top employee, he wouldn’t suspect me of going against his plan if he saw me. I walked into the room to listen closer to what he was saying.

“We will proceed with our plan at 6:30 p.m. tonight,” announced the General.

I was trying to figure out a way to stop the General. We had to sign a contract with the Emperor of Japan to visit Cenamora, and the contract stated that we could not destroy the plants. If so the whole planet would go out of balance, and we would be put under military arrest. I remembered that the Emperor of Japan was an expatriate from the U.S. I had a plan.

We went over to where the plants were growing, and I read the encyclopedia about them. It read, “When touched, these plants will close up quickly and blend in with the ground for a long period of time.” We swiftly tapped all of the plants to disguise them from the General. This was the beginning of my brilliant plan. Later, the others and I scattered tripwires and nets around the whole perimeter. It took a long time because the area covered 20,000 square kilometers of the planet. I excelled in building traps so I was sure that this would work. We hid in the bushes to wait for the right time to trap the General. I looked at my watch…it was 6:30 p.m., and the General showed up right on time with all of his weapons to destroy the planet. He was bewildered by the non-existence of the plants. The expression on his face did not look too happy, and he showed no excitement. I chortled as he tripped over the wire, falling right into my trap. The trap was a chain reaction that caused all of the General’s soldiers to be caught in the trap. They were placed under arrest, and it was up to the Empire of Japan to decide whether they were to be put in jail or not.

Since most of our soldiers were placed under arrest, we had to enlist more men. We gathered our gear and set aboard our ship, feeling a relief of happiness, knowing that we had just saved the entire ecosystem of another planet. Now life on Cenamora would forever thrive in perfect harmony.

The Endangered Owl

by Spencer

The endangered owl was searching food one night, and his expressions scared the mouse away. It was the owl’s worst experience ever. In his environment, most of his food supply was gone. An employee of the empire was an excellent hunter and did not want to share his food.  The owl needed to experiment with different ways of catching prey. He needed to enlist other owls to help him. The other owls showed great excitement to join him in his search.