Week 22: This Week’s Winning Stories
Spelling Story Catastrophe
by Roxie and Natalia
“But I don’t want to!” cries Roxie sounding dreadful,
“It’s due tomorrow and it’s easier to do it right now,” says Natalia,
“Fine,” Roxie says giving up the argument,
“Okay, what about a humorous and amusing story with lots of dialogue,” Natalia responds.
“No! We should do something with a lot of action, and put me as the valiant, heroic star,” Roxie says in disagreement.
“Ugh, Roxie, take this seriously. Come on, there is no time for silly ideas, errors, or mistakes,” Natalia states, knowing that this might turn out horribly.
“I know; sorry. Let’s make it a personal narrative from when we went to the lake on my birthday! We can start with this: we walk into the cold glistening water,” Roxie announces with her colossal ego fully showing.
“Yeah, and we could write an anecdote about that canoe disaster,” Natalia adds looking down at her display of organized and color-coded spelling words.
“Oh, yeah, I remember that. By the way, it wasn’t my intention to knock the kayak over,” Roxie says.
“Whatever, but enough jibber-jabbering. Let’s write something down!” Natalia exclaims with her not-so-placid attitude.
“Before we start though, I’m not sure we should write about that. I feel like it wouldn’t we be a very good story. There are so many ideas revolving around in my head, but none of them are that good,” Roxie sighs.,
“Okay, what about our trip to Rebounders?” Natalia queries.
“No, what about the time we rode bikes to Mr. Pickles?” Roxie replies.
“No, how about that huge sleepover with all the girls in our class?” Natalia states excitedly.
“No. I know! Why don’t we write about us trying to find a spelling story topic!” Roxie concludes the argument.
“Yes, of course! Let’s start.” Natalia says with relief.
Domino glanced behind him periodically to see if the chick was still following him, and every time, it was. He looked forward at Amethyst.
“We’ve been walking for a long time. Are you sure you know where my house is?” Domino grew skeptical of the she-dog.
“Keep calm and carry on,” she responded without even looking at Domino. “That’s what my father always told me.” Her fur glistened in the moonlight.
“What does that mean?” Domino bit his lip with frustration. He wasn’t exactly sure if this was an argument or just a simple disagreement.
“It means follow me or you’re dead meat,” Amethyst said and stopped walking and waited for his response. Her eyes gleamed with amusement.
Domino didn’t say anything. Anything he did say would just be outspoken.
“I guess you’ll just find out what I mean later,” Amethyst continued her rhythmic steps forward.
“You don’t know where my house is, do you?” Domino said in a placid voice.
Amethyst ignored him and prayed that he would just be quiet and follow her, that he could just not pretend to be all heroic for at least one second. Her mind wandered to her past. She remembered her sister and shoved the thought into her own imaginary void, where she put things she didn’t want to think about. It was always a mistake to think about those things.
“Do you?” Domino glared at Amethyst, now getting irritated.
“I do know where it is, I just don’t-“
“Want to go there?” Domino finished her sentence, then realized that he sounded dumb.
Amethyst mocked what he had just said. Domino felt more humiliated than ever now.
“Who makes you boss?” Domino tried to leave her speechless and it obviously didn’t work. She looked at him in a humorous way.
“Ha,” Amethyst dismissed her laughs and looked at Domino with a purposely serious face. “First off, the fact that I know where we’re going and you don’t, kind of has an effect on the whole leadership thing. Second, if you try to leave… some… thing, may happen to you, I’m not really sure what.”
“Fine, I’m leaving,” Domino marched away into the woods with a valiant attitude. Amethyst followed with a smirk.
The farther away Domino got, the more tired he felt until it was almost impossible for him the keep his eyes open. He collapsed onto the dirt with a thud. The next think he knew, he was being dragged away from the spot he collapsed. Domino sprang out of the grasp of Amethyst. She grimaced and waited until he was done panicking.
“What did you do?” Domino barked at her.
“Hmm, it’s best that I tell you later, none of this will make sense now,” Amethyst looked as if she were in deep thought. “What I will tell you now, is that your life is about to change.” She added in quickly, “starting with this long and annoying journey.”
Past Years’ Winning Stories
You tell me it looks horrible,
I say you’ve made an error,
We clearly have a disagreement
About my own apparel.
I feel the shoes and purse clamor
Like a kayak on a river,
Though, you think because of the color,
There seems to be a sliver.
There’s obviously been a dreadful mistake,
For there seems to be no agreement
That the two of us can make.
I would much rather display
The French braid in my hair.
But because of your new clip,
You really do not care.
I see you’ve organized
My layout of skirts,
But I told just a day ago
They must be paired with shirts.
During our extensive argument
I’ve made a new decision,
Our closets must be separate,
And believe me,
I ain’t kiddin’.
Always at a disagreement,
Never to agree,
Why this has to happen,
Is way beyond me.
One little error
Turns into one little uproar,
Which becomes a horrible, immense exhibit
For everyone to see.
One person gets pummeled,
But they cannot be valiant
And fight for themselves.
One is free,
While the other is trying to be free.
Always at an agreement,
Never to disagree,
How this was ever different,
Is much beyond me.
Turns into a little mistake
Which becomes a completely solved argument,
with nothing more to discuss.
One is free,
All are free.
The Big Camping Trip
I wake with a start, and groggily call to my brother who is wide awake and helping pack. As I am told to get in the car, I see our car with a canoe and a kayak stacked right on top of it and three bags in the back. When I question my father, he says, “Stop guessing, Pluto.”
The car rolls onto the placid road and speeds off in the direction of Lake Quill, a place we used to visit every summer, always having fun. I have brought my phone with a charger and portable wifi base so I can call anyone anytime I want.
When we set up camp, my brother says it’s my birthday party and that my friends will be here in one hour. When they come, they bring out small presents with my name on them and camping supplies for themselves for a couple days.
When my friends are done setting up, we go to the crystal clear lake that is colossal. There is a band playing, with a person pummeling a big drum. We find a serene place to sit. After a while, my friends go swimming, and while they are in the water, I am the most heroic thing they have seen. I climb a tree, jump off, and shoot up to perform a perfect dive into the water. When I swim over to them, my friends say that I was really valiant when I jumped off the tree.
Time passes and our group gets out of the lake. My friends have me rotate around in a circle, and then turn me around having me try to figure out what is what. When that is done, I ask for clues about one of my presents, and my friend, Brian, says, “It is immense.”
When we leave this fun place to return home, there is an error with my phone as I am writing an anecdote. “I will never forget that ever again,” I laugh as we pull away from the front gate of the camping area.
My Own Little Alcatraz
At the beginning of summer, all I could do was imagine myself at summer camp: kayaking through the blue lake, gleaming and glistening in the sun; the free all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet; listening to humorous counselors tell amusing stories around the camp fire. Boy, was that my mistake.
It had all started with the car ride. My mom thought that it would be good “bonding” time if my grandma took me to camp. She didn’t let me bring my electronics or books on the four hour drive in fear that we wouldn’t talk. It turns out, my grandma had ideas of her own. She brought her headphones and was listening to disco music the whole ride. Three hours into the car ride, her car broke down. By the time that I got to camp, I was three hours late and it was already dark outside. My counselor, Jenna, met me at the front of camp and led me to my cabin. That was when I realized that I forgot to pack pajamas. I ended up sleeping in old jeans and a t-shirt.
The next morning, we were awakened by banjo music at the crack of dawn over the loudspeaker. Jenna told us to put on our bathing suits as fast as we could. My cabin mates had already met, so they talked in a little group as I got dressed by myself. Then we filed down to the dock.
“OK, CAMPERS!” the camp director screamed through a megaphone.
“WHEN I SAY GO, JUMP INTO THE LAKE, SWIM TO THE BUOY AND BACK, AND THEN GET OUT! OK? OK!” Uh oh. They didn’t say anything about this in the brochure.
“GO!” he yells unexpectedly. Without thinking, I jump into the lake and am hit with the coldest water ever.
“ANYONE WHO DOESN’T JUMP INTO THE WATER NOW DOESN’T GET BREAKFAST!” he screams at the stragglers who were afraid to jump.
Thirty minutes later, we all trek up to the mess hall. I’m excited for breakfast, and I am wondering what fruit I’ll put on my waffles when I see the hall. The kitchen staff just made some plain oatmeal. There goes my endless buffet dream.
After breakfast the cabins split up and Jenna takes us to the lake. Yes! We finally get to go canoeing. But my dreams are then shattered.
“Okay girls. Girls! Quiet!” Jenna tries to calm us down. She continues, “Okay, so today we are going to be swimming laps around the dock. Now move!” she barks.
What’s this? I thought camp was supposed to be fun!
“Haley! You’ve made an error! Fix it!” Jenna yells at one of my cabin mates, Haley.
“But…But I don’t even know what my error is!” Haley sobs.
Two Days Later…
It has been raining all day straight today, and we haven’t been let out of our cabins. The cabin is open-air, with big windows without glass or screens, and a door frame without a door. My section of the cabin is facing west, and that is exactly where the rain is coming from, so my bed is completely soaked. I am just ready for this camp experience to be over.
One Week Later…
I got my wish! Camp is finally over! My parents just arrived, and I get to go home! I know that I thought this camp was not very fun, but looking back, It was a great experience. I made new friends (Only like, one), swam a lot (Lots of laps, that is), and had decent meals (Moldy turkey sandwiches and mushy oatmeal). Well, I guess it wasn’t the greatest experience, but it wasn’t like a prison. I take it back. This was like my own little Alcatraz. Get me out of here!
“Get up right now! It is time to go to the buffet,” my mother says, as she shakes my shoulder to get me up and out of bed.
I slowly stretch. I am too tired to have an argument with my mother, so I just stay quiet.
Och! My little brother has just pummeled me in the chest! I open my eyes to see my mother displaying a dreadful look at me. “He is only two! It was probably by mistake,” my mother says in a horrible voice.
Of course, my brother is making a smirky face at me when my mom scolds me. Being only two years old, his smirky faces are more humorous than rude.
I proceed to climb out of bed so I can start the day. My mom has organized nearly every part of our day at the lake. First, we are going to go to the buffet for breakfast. Second, we are going to go kayaking and canoeing. Third, we are going to met a famous singer down by the gleaming water. Next, we are going to go to the swimming hole called “Heroic Rapids.”
So, wish me luck. Och! My brother has just pummeled me again.
The Great Day
“Hello folks! I will be your tour guide. My name is Steve. I will take questions after the tour around the park. It will take about, let’s say, about two hours to explore the park, go on the rides, look at the animal exhibit, and take a look around the buffet. Any question before we start?”
“Yeah! Over here! Um… what if someone, such as my totally not horrible, dreadful crying baby, has a little accident in their pants when we are going around the park?” a woman in pink asked.
“We will wait for you, but if you take a really, really long time, we will leave you behind because this is an organized tour. We have to be places at certain times.”
Steve was interrupted by a clamorous sound, which came from a microphone on a tall, metal pole. “Hello everyone at Fun Land!” Then a soft argument was heard in the background.
“Sorry about that folks. One of our staff members made a little mistake. What I was supposed to say was that if you own a green and pink kayak, it’s getting towed because you are taking up five spaces, and some of the people are getting a tad peeved, resulting in us being pummeled by scrunched up napkins.”
Despite the organized nature of the tour, not long after the kayak announcement, people started leaving the park because the best ride at the amusement park, the roller coaster, shut down. However, most of the parents with toddlers remained, including the woman in pink with the not horrible nor dreadful crying baby, because all the smaller rides were still functional.
It was time for the Winter Olympic Games, and the snow was glistening in the sun. I was competing in the snowboarding half pipe Olympic qualifier. I had to complete two runs and display many different tricks to be scored by the judges. I had a whole section of people cheering for me, and I really didn’t want to have a humorous mistake and fall. If I had a colossal error in both of my runs, then I would not be able to make it to the finals.
Finally, it was my turn to snowboard and I picked up immense speed. On my second jump, I rotated too far and completely messed up the first run. I didn’t want the pressure of having to complete a perfect run on my second chance, but this was my final chance to qualify for the finals. On my second run, I got my craziest tricks in, and I received a score of 96.5. That was brilliant! I took first place, and I was advancing to the finals!
The Worst Food Ever
I had an argument with my mom about going to a buffet. She won of course. So we piled into the car. My mom, dad, and brother arrived at the buffet restaurant in total silence. When I walked in, I was filled with awe. The walls had kayaks and canoes plastered all over them. It was very well organized in the way it was decorated. My family and I squished into the booth. The waiter came and took our orders for food and drinks. We waited almost an hour for our food.
When it came, it smelled horrible. It smelled like feet and wet dog. My family looked dreadful. I knew it was going to be a big mistake for me to try this food. Nevertheless, I took a big bite out of my food. I gagged because it was the worst food I had ever eaten in all my life. It was such an error ordering this food.
After paying for the meal, we piled back in the car and left. My parents talked about how they wanted to pummel the people who made the food. I stayed home from school for a whole week because of the after effects of the food. When I went back to school, I told my friends my crazy adventure and how to never go there to eat at all.
Poor Choices at the Museum
When we went to the museum, we saw an exhibit with a canoe. During our tour of the museum, two kids got into a disagreement. The argument turned into a dreadful display and caused an uproar. The two students showed horrible manners by acting out. On elf the involved students admitted he had made a mistake and an error in judgment. The whole incident caused quite a clamor inside the museum.
The world was full of possibilities, but could a tiny pipsqueak like me really win the Olympics? The first time I went on a beam was probably my best experience ever. I was seven years old and cleaning out the garage with my grandfather at his house. I started digging through the piles of trash and saw a picture of a boy in front of a beam with a gleaming metal around his neck.
“Grandpa, who is this?” I asked wonderingly.
“Jackson, that is me after I won the junior regionals and claimed victory. After that, I was training and made a huge mistake. I tried to do a move that had never been pulled off before: a front flip, round about reverse, under the wing, handstand, also referred to as the triple threat. I made an error and broke my leg, I never did gymnastics ever again,” he said, trailing off and then returning to digging through the trash. I continued sifting through also and found a beam.
“Grandpa can we set it up?” I pleaded
“Sure, I guess we could do that.”
We set up the beam, and I got on. I walked across the beam, arms outstretched. I made it across without stumbling. The feeling was fantastic, and that was when I knew I wanted to be a gymnast.
Chapter 1: Competition
At ten years old, I was ready for my first competition. I sat in the car anticipating what might happen at today’s competition. I was the youngest one in the competition and was ready for the hurtful things that people were going to say. I walked out of the car and entered the gym. I heard people whispering snide comments like. “Pipsqueak, wannabee, and grandpa’s boy.”
“On the beam, introducing Jackson Santiago,” the announcer shouted. I flipped onto the stage. I slid onto the beam. I stood up and got on my hands walking across the beam. I did a complete rotation. My intention was to do a flip, but I ended up doing a somersault. Despite the change, it did serve a purpose to make the judges pay attention. I walked backwards and did a flip; then I grabbed onto the beam and did a backbend and walked towards the end of the beam. I concluded my routine with a flip and stuck the landing. I saw the judges’ scores of three tens shoot up in the air.
“We have our winner!” the announcer screamed. I threw my hands in the air.
Chapter 2: At School I Am Not a Champion
My alarm blared, and I rubbed my eyes. I looked across my room and saw my seven regional championship medals. I changed into my clothes and walked out the door. I realized that I had left behind my sweater. I did a backflip and grabbed it before running to the bus and finding a seat. I saw the school coming around the corner. I jumped out of my seat and ran into the hallway. I tripped on something and had to do a handstand to stop myself from falling. At that moment, the vice principal—I call him Sour Patch Face—decided to round the corner. Everyone was laughing.
“Do you find this amusing, Mr. Santiago? Breaking the rules is not humorous,” Sour Patch Face said. He pulled out the pink pad of death, a detention slip, and wrote me a detention. I looked at my watch. I had two minutes to get to the other side of campus for History. Mr. Duncan was super harsh about being late to class. I grabbed the slip and walked as fast as I could. Mr. Duncan was about to close the door when I grabbed onto a sturdy branch and swung to the door throwing my foot in the doorway.
“Today we are going to learn about the Olympics. It all started…” Mr. Duncan said.
Olympics, interesting. I thought. I made a plan and tried to figure out how to get into the Olympics. There was a qualifying round downtown, and I signed up. I was ready to go to the Olympics.
Chapter 3: The Olympics
There were two days until the qualifying round, and I went into immense training. I was doing flips, handstands, and somersaults. Finally, the qualifying round was here, and I was on the beam. I ran forward and did a backflip. Before I fell onto the beam, I grabbed the beam and pushed myself up. I spinned on my hands and then landed. I ran to the end and did half a backflip and then a front flip onto the ground. I saw the three tens shoot up. I was going to Russia in first place.
I saw the beam in front of me and slid on during the first round of the Olympics, and it felt great. I did a triple flip and almost fell, but I put my arms under me and pushed up and rolled. I pushed off from the end to send myself flying to the landing. I threw my hands in the air and saw two nines and an eight. The final overall score was 8.7. It was not the best score, but it put me in the final round.
Here I was in the final round of the Olympics. The person before me scored a 9.7. I had to get a perfect score to win. I slid on the beam. My grandfather always wanted to be here. I took two fingers to my lips and threw them in the air. This one’s for you, Grandpa, I thought. I did something that nobody had ever done. I executed the triple threat. I did a front flip and then leaped up into the air and spun around. I grabbed onto the beam and turned under it, and then I flew in the air upside down and landed in a handstand. I flew onto the mat and saw three tens fly in the air. I had just won the Olympics, but it wasn’t for me; it was for my grandpa.
Water crashes down off the edge. The colossal waterfall plummets hundreds of feet down and buffets against the mossy rocks. My canoe, no, my kayak, is wobbling furiously as I prepare to pummel down the immense waterfall. I am starting to think that this has been a mistake. Let me explain how I, James W. Kendall, ended up where I am.
It was two weeks earlier. I had read a narrative about a thrill-seeker living life to the fullest, so I had decided to be more like the valiant thrill-seeker. I traveled to Croatia Falls to experience the thrill of falling or “flying” off of a waterfall. With that said, I’ll take you back to the moment.
I am beginning to panic. The edge continues to loom nearer and nearer. The roar of the water crashing, what seems like miles below, rings through my head. Finally, I slide over the edge. It is actually quite serene falling. As I near the water, I position myself to land. I hit the water with such force I am convinced that I actually bounced back up to the top of the falls. Droplets surround me in a mist. I smile, fulfilled to the limit of never ever doing such a thing again. Ever.
We Are Free
When we are in a
Disagreement or argument,
We are free to be mad.
When we have art on
Display in an exhibit,
we are free to be blissful.
When we make a
Mistake or an error,
We are free to be annoyed.
When we are in a
Clamor or an uproar,
We are free to be loud.
When we go
Kayaking or canoeing,
We are free to be happy.
And we are free
To be ourselves.
Love is the bond
of a mother and a child
from one month old to one thousand years
with disagreements a plenty
including a plethora of vacations
like canoeing and kayaking
Love may at times be a troubled relationship
and other times,
exhibits public displays of affection
without an argument ever heard,
but with the occasional mistake
it should be forgiven
with a gleaming passion
Love is the dormant adventure
in a couple married fifty,
even sixty years
with the regular humorous
pop of the hip
or just an amusing joke
Love is family
and that’s what they’re for
your family loves you
and you should love them,
they know who you are
and you the same
that is why they are
Love is a bond,
a troubled relationship
a dormant adventure, and
love is family.
“Oh, my! Look at that…that… thing race for the door! Eww! I have to go through the black door! Ugh! You people ruin my life,” a Caucasian woman spat.
I stopped immediately. Tears sprung to my eyes, and I felt a river of tears falling out of my eyes.
“Why are you people such a nuisance? First Martin Luther King comes and messes the whole country up, and now you are trying to do something heroic? Look, kid, do us all a favor! Get out of our business! Consider yourself lucky we good people let you bad people live here.”
I felt my insides turn as hot as a fire from my anger. I thought quietly to myself, How can these people be so cruel? Martin Luther King delivered his speech more than a year ago! Why haven’t things changed yet?
“BARRY!” my mother shouted. Her face was as red as a tomato. You guys might be thinking, why the heck is she blushing?! Well, for your information, you couldn’t be further from the truth; you didn’t know my mother. She turned red when she was boiling mad, but when she turned tomato red, well, let’s just say it was worse than the worst punishment you’ve ever received.
Anyway, at home my little sister stayed quiet. During our mother’s you’re-in-trouble lectures, the family had learned that it was best to stay unusually placid, and serene.
“BARRY JACKSON! ARE YOU MAD? YOU KNOW VERY WELL THAT AFRICAN-AMERICANS ARE NOT RESPECTED IN THIS COUNTRY! YOU’RE ONLY TWELVE! DON’T TRY TO BE A HERO”! my mother yelled. Tears again rose in my eyes. I was furious.
“Why? Why, Ma, why? We are just as human as those whites are! Why can’t we live life like them? Is it because we are black? Well I’m glad I’m black! Look, Ma, I want to move right away! I can’t stand to stay here! How can I live somewhere where I am disrespected?” I queried. An immense power of hatred washed over me, like a colossal wave crashing on the shore. My mom stared at me quietly, and I saw something happen to her. She looked down for what seemed like an eternity. Finally she looked up. She stared at me coldly, and said, “Go to your room. Now.”
I was so shocked I almost fell down. After all I said, she simply said, “Go to your room.” Did I really commit a crime? Was there an error in my small speech? Why didn’t my mom understand me? I cried myself to sleep.
My head felt as if it was rotating round and round as I thought about what happened last night. I went outside and looked at the fence that separated the land of a white man’s property from ours.
Every day, I only wished for one thing: Equality for all. Was that really too much to ask? Why couldn’t whites and blacks kayak or canoe together? Or go to the same schools together? I walked away quietly. The rest of the day went slowly, but uneventfully. My mother apologized to me, and I apologized to her. We were both regretting what we had said, but I knew that deep down, my mother agreed with me. I was happy that she was trying to understand me, but I was still angry about the inequality we and other African-Americans were receiving. That night before I slept, I prayed to God. Please, please, give every human on Earth, the rights he/she deserves.
by Alex D.
I was in the San Francisco aquarium when the incident happened. I was trying to find a job in San Francisco. I was truly in love with all the fish, so I really wanted the job at the fanciest aquarium in the city. The boss looked dreadful. He said I needed to know more information about fish in case I had questions from a tourist. So I studied and classified the best of fish in the tropical fish exhibit area in the aquarium and was hired for the job.
That’s when it happened. Some people were enjoying their time looking at starfish, but some hooligans were tapping the glass to get the attention of the sharks in their tank. They got a shark’s attention, and the shark didn’t look happy to see them. The shark broke the glass and attacked the hooligans! The shark slashed around, desperate for water, looking horrified! Luckily, the shark received help soon.
The children had to be picked up by their parents, and guess what? Those miscreants were on a field trip, and the disagreeable episode created an uproar from the teachers. “It wasn’t the kids’ fault; it was the shark’s fault because the shark was moody.” The teachers had a point; the shark was moody because it was pregnant.
We viewed the video display to see evidence that the shark was a little moody in the area and to watch the fish in action while they were under water. Nevertheless, those troublemakers should not have put their little paws all over our exhibit tanks’ windows. The school teachers said they would pay the fine of $500 for the repair and damage. The good news was the kids got suspended. Yay!
No one was hurt except for me, of course. I had to get CPR because I was drowning in the dirty water. How did it happen? I was going to tell the children to move along, but the shark came out, and the water rushed toward me. Luckily, the CPR saved me. The other good news was the shark didn’t bite off my head! I had to reorganize the part of the aquarium that was soaked during the incident because everything floated away.
Later, I had an argument with my co-worker about the gender the shark’s baby would be. The shark had a baby girl a couple days later, and the baby came out happy and healthy; it was so teeny compared to its mother.
Another school group visited the aquarium that same afternoon, and I kept a good eye on them. At the end of the day, they did so well that I gave each of the students a shark magnet because our main exhibit of the week was sharks. That’s why I got a little mad when the other kids ruined part of the exhibition. The kids were so excited about the stickers that the teachers had to stop the clamor.
It was a bad day for me on the first day of the job, but I think I got through all the pandemonium of the children.