Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Plea for Silence by Eloisa Lopez

A Plea for Silence

By Eloisa Lopez

The sound of the bell brought a smile to her face and silence to the library. She had spent half an hour dealing with student complaints and requests; thereby, her patience had been destroyed. Once the last student exited through the door, she sighed in relief and enjoyed the tranquility that remained.

As the librarian took out the moist sandwich from her lunch bag, she saw a student approaching the door. Her facial expression experienced a drastic transformation. The happiness she had reflected moments before vanished instantly. She saw a student looking through the glass opening of the door and she let out a sigh of frustration. The librarian then put her sandwich down and stood up from the three legged stool.

Meanwhile, Eloisa approached the front desk while looking at the ground as if avoiding eye contact. "May I use a computer?" she asked as she clumsily looked through her bag in search of her student I.D.

"Shouldn´t you be in class?" responded the librarian.

"I was testing. I couldn't come during lunch," said Eloisa while taking her I.D out of her bag. "I need to print an assignment,” she added, “it is due today."

"That is not my concern,” responded the librarian, “I am on my lunch break, young lady."

Eloisa looked at the clock while the librarian glanced at the open book in front of her. She had been reading the book since the previous day and was anxious to continue doing so during her free time. After concluding that Eloisa's stubbornness would not let her finish the chapter she had left on, she put it aside and let out a desperate sigh.

It was after receiving a second, "No," for an answer that Eloisa left the library, walking faster than usual. She headed towards the assistant principal's office.

Glad to see Eloisa gone, the librarian picked up the remaining half of her turkey sandwich and took another bite. It no longer had the same taste. Unwilling to let it go to waste, she took a final bite. Suddenly, the phone rang and once again she was interrupted.

"Hello," she said.

"Hello, this is Mr. Gonzalez. I’m calling to ask if you can please allow Eloisa, the student you just talked to, to use a computer and print her essay."

"Yes. No problem," she responded as she raised her eyebrows in disbelief.

"Thank you," he said.

Eloisa entered the library once again. This time, she looked straight at the librarian. The librarian stared back, too angry to speak to her. Without asking, Eloisa extended her arm, trying to grab a computer mouse from the front desk. The librarian was fast enough to grab it before Eloisa did.

"Excuse me," said Eloisa.

Putting the mouse aside, the librarian responded, “Students are allowed to print either before school or during lunch."

"I already told you I could not come during either time!" said Eloisa.

"That is not my problem," said the librarian as she walked to the back of the room with a stack of textbooks in hand.

Eloisa walked out once again. When she returned she was no longer alone. Mr. Gonzalez accompanied her. He asked the librarian to follow him into one of the conference rooms. Meanwhile, Eloisa grabbed the computer mouse and headed to the nearest computer.

"Please explain to me why you did not allow this student to print," asked Mr. Gonzalez.

"She came in without a pass, during class time, and to make matters worse, with an attitude," said the librarian, hoping he would understand.

After discussing the matter for several other minutes, they both walked out of the room. Eloisa glanced at them as she waited in front of the printer. Mr. Gonzalez smiled at her as he left the library. The librarian, on the other hand, avoided her. She picked up the other stack of textbooks from a round table and headed to the back of the library. Seeing Eloisa grab the warm sheets of paper from the printer to place them in her two inch binder, the librarian could not help but drop her stack of books with force on the intended table.

The noise startled Eloisa who began walking towards the exit, forgetting to place the mouse back in its place. As she watched this happen, the librarian's anger began to grow incrementally by the second. She narrowed her eyes, vowing she would make things harder for Eloisa the next time she visited the library.

"A rose by any other name..." by Taylor Garcia

“A rose by any other name…”

By Taylor Garcia

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Noah and Chris were hanging out with nothing yet planned. Chris said, "Why don't we pick up the girls and hit the mall?"

"I'm down!" Noah replied.

"Tell Taylor and I'll tell my girlfriend."


After some convincing from Noah and Chris, Taylor said, "Okay, I'll go."

Before they picked up the girls Noah and Chris decided it would be cute to buy the girls roses.

As they pulled up to Taylor's white and red house, the only house with a u shaped driveway and a big window in front, Noah texted her, "We’re here."

"On my way!" She replied.

Noah held the beautiful rose in his hand. He had spent a whole dollar and ninety five cents on it. He looked at it and thought how much he loved and cared about Taylor. He thought how the flower itself could not compare to her beauty. She walked down the driveway, squinting her eyes as she approached the car because the sun was in them.

The sound of her saying, "Oh my God!" filled everyone's ears. For Noah, her eyes said it all. He compared the look on her face to one of a child who has just awakened to see that Santa has left presents under the tree.

When Taylor and Noah finally reached each other, Noah handed her the almost completely blossomed pink rose, surrounded by baby dandelions. She embraced him and it seemed as if no one else around them existed, as if they were in their own world, alone and completely happy.

He simply said, "You’re welcome," and then instantly regretted his reply. 

She whispered, “Thank you,” again just as the car door opened.

They climbed into the car.

Taylor said, "Hello everyone," with a smile that could make anyone in the world smile back.

"Hello," they said.

"Noah actually bought that for me,” Chris said, as soon as the car started moving, “but I told him to give it to you instead."

"I bet he did," Taylor said with a giggle.

She held the rose up to her face and smelled it.

“Why would you get me a pink one though?" she asked.

“What?” Noah’s body stiffened. "Are you seriously kidding me?"

Taylor didn’t answer.

Noah quickly turned away, as if to look at something outside the car window. Did she really just say that, he thought to himself? How could she not appreciate what he had done for her?

He thought back to the moment, just minutes before, when he’d handed the rose to her in the driveway. Hadn’t her face said it all? Hadn’t her eyes said--?

Suddenly Noah felt like he couldn’t breathe. What an idiot he was! What a fool!

He turned away from the window, only to find her staring at him with a blank, expressionless look on her face.

How could he have been so wrong about her? 

Then she smiled at him… with a smile that could make anyone in the world smile back.

Ball of Anger by Isabel Zamora

Ball of Anger

By Isabel Zamora

Under the rays of the unmerciful desert sun, Adeline sat by the lonely sandbox contemplating last night’s horrifying episode. You’re ugly, you’re stupid, you’re worthless. These thoughts ran through Adeline’s mind as she picked up the sleeves of her sweater to view the bruises that she obscured. The only solace Adeline could ever receive was in her solitude. No one understood Adeline, for she was an outcast. Adeline was regarded as a creep, a loner, but not a single person gave a second thought as to why she became this way. All she wished for was a kind word or a person to say “I’m here for you,” but the world was oblivious as to how much she cried on the inside.

On the other side of the sandbox, Adeline noticed a small white ball. The ball glistened in the sunlight, reflecting the light on Adeline’s face. She got up to pick up the ball and when the white sphere was in her possession, she suddenly felt it harder to breathe. Blood rushed to her legs and face. Her heart began to beat viciously against her chest. Adeline knew she could no longer stay at her location. She felt as though if she waited a second longer, she would go crazy. As though by enchantment, her legs began to run and Adeline had no say in the movement of her limbs. The wind blew past her face and her long brown hair swayed. She ran as though she were escaping a tangible danger.

            Adeline’s legs drew to a halt once she reached the Boys and Girls Club. Twenty yards from the building, Adeline spotted a girl she knew from her P.E. class, Isabel, with her friend Sandra under a shaded structure drinking raspados. Adeline immediately knew what she wanted to do in order to release the tension she felt in her being. She walked calmly over to the two girls with a silly grin on her face. Isabel looked up from her raspado and made eye contact with Adeline. The instinctive tension of Isabel’s body was apparent to Adeline.

“What the hell are you doing here,” Isabel said through her teeth as she set her raspado down.

Adeline did not respond to her. She took Isabel’s question as a rhetorical statement not meant to be answered. Isabel was a small petite girl who wore retainers. For Isabel to attempt to be menacing towards her was laughable. In Adeline’s eyes, Isabel was far from intimidating. She looked down at her right hand to confirm that she still had the ball from the sandbox, then looked back up to Isabel’s glaring face. “What an easy target,” Adeline thought, “she is just right there, right in front of me, I can easily hit her with this ball.” The thought brought a smile to her face. With one swift motion of her arm, Adeline threw the ball at Isabel’s face.

Whack! The ball rolled back to Adeline’s feet. Adeline noticed Isabel’s eyes began to water as she rubbed the reddening spot on her cheek. A high pitched sound escaped Adeline’s mouth. Gradually the sound became a regular and hysterical laughter. Adeline could not contain herself; she grasped her stomach to hold on to the painful happiness that unfolded itself in her abdomen wall.

            Adeline was so elated she did not notice a furious Isabel lunging after her. Before she knew it, Isabel grabbed Adeline’s shoulders with a vicious force and threw her to the ground. Adeline attempted to free herself but Isabel countered her resistance. Isabel pinned Adeline with her knees on her back and yanked Adeline by the hair multiple times with a force of pent up anger.

“I’ve had enough of you always annoying me, you better stop!” Isabel yelled.

“Oh my God, you’re crazy!” said Adeline between laughs.

            Though Adeline was in intense pain, she continued to laugh hysterically. Her laughter reached a point where it was no longer controllable.

“Come on Isabel,” Sandra hurriedly said as she tried to get Isabel to stop. “Let’s go, that’s enough.”

            Isabel finally released her grasped of Adeline and left her bedraggled and with an acute pain on her head, face, and back.

            Once Isabel and Sandra were out of sight, Adeline allowed tears to roll down her face. She found herself abused once again. Adeline felt a hole in her heart, for she realized that once all is said and done, misery seeps in. Isabel was like the others, they would never understand the pain--the true pain in her soul.

Best Not Good Enough by Michael Bussiere

Best Not Good Enough
By Michael Bussiere

Jose's face crunched up as he frowned, thinking to himself how much he hated his father. He watched the faces of the other students, thinking how happy they all looked and his face grew even more sour. By lunch, his jealousy was showing with each step that hit the concrete, sounding like Sasquatch's feet. Finally, he saw his best friend Danny from a distance.

“Jose,” Danny called from afar, throwing his hands up. "Was good, bro!"

"Just chilling."

"What's wrong, bro?" Danny asked as he got closer.

"Nothing dude, let’s go to lunch already."

The lunch line was taking forever. Jose had time to become even more outraged at his dad.

"Why can't you ever do anything right, Jose? You’re such an idiot!"

"Dad, I'm trying my best!"

"Your best isn't good enough—!"

"Hey Jose, Are you okay?"

"Yea,” he said, coming back from his day-dreamed nightmare. "Yea, let's go."

As he and Danny walked toward their kick-it spot, he saw the rest of his homies throwing food over the wall. Jose grinned slightly to himself and he laughed a little laugh, more like a chuckle. Things weren’t really as bad as they might seem, he realized.

"Why are you guys throwing food over there?" asked Jose.

"Yea!" Danny added.

"These fools on the other side have been throwing food back and forth with us… it's actually pretty funny."

Just as Jose turned to see which one of his friends was speaking, something orange came flying toward his face.

"Ahh!” he screamed, reaching for his eye. “What the f—?!"

Better off Not Knowing by Mariana Hernandez

Better off Not Knowing

By Mariana Hernandez

Johana and Mariana had finally purchased their tickets after waiting in line for so long. As they walked through the gate to enter the football game, the chords of the national anthem were being composed from the field. It was the final and biggest game of the season. The crowds from the visitor's side reflected bright greens and golds in contrast with the dark sky. The girls found seats at the far side of the bleachers and sat down with a group of friends.

"This is going to be one exciting game!" Johana said throwing her hands up in the air.

"Yes it is!" Mariana laughed in agreement.

Johana's phone began to vibrate. It was Ray. "Are you at the game?"

She rapidly opened the text, shifting her phone to her right side in order to avoid the risk of Mariana catching a glimpse of who was texting her. Johana knew how Mariana felt about Ray. Johana quickly tapped the keys and hit send, "Yeah I just got here."

Someone tapped Johana on the shoulder. "Come with me to buy a slushy," Elmer said grabbing a lock of Johana's hair and twirling it around his finger.

"Ok let's go. I'll be back, Mariana."

"Ok, be back soon."

The concession stand was nearly empty. A few people stood near, revealed only by the dim light illuminating their bodies. Some were leaning against the wall, hands securely tucked in their pockets, deep into their conversations.

Elmer stepped up, leaned forward, and spoke into the window asking for his drink.

Johana stood behind him looking at her reflection in the darkened glass window, fixing her hair.

The sudden vibration of her phone caused her to jump.

"I just saw you!" Ray's text read.


"Yes! Come over to where I'm sitting."

Johana remained looking at the text until she finally responded simply, "Ok."

Would Mariana notice she didn't come back? She wouldn't be gone long, just a few minutes.

Johana and Elmer were heading back to the bleachers, Elmer slurping on his slushy through the straw when Johana said, "Go on ahead, I'll be back."

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going with Ray real quick."

Elmer shrugged. As he was turning to leave, Johana lightly tapped his shoulder, "Hey," she said, "don't tell Mariana."

Johana walked up the steps of the bleachers turning her head from right to left, her eyes scatter searching for Ray. She spotted him in the middle of the crowd with a couple of friends.

"Hey!" Ray shouted. "Johana!" as he waved his hand in the air.


"Who did you come with?"

"With Mariana. So I'm going to have to leave soon."

His eyebrows narrowed. "Are you serious? If you don't want to be here just say so."

"Come on. That's not what—"

"Just go!"

She managed to catch the eyes of a few people around her that were staring. She stood up and walked down the steps. Did she say something wrong? Why was he acting like this?

Well, he always acts like this.

As she walked towards her seat, her eyes met with Mariana's, whose eyes were following Johana, her face emotionless. Only a few seconds after Johana had sat down, Mariana said, "I'm hungry. I'm going to go buy some nachos." She stood up, turning her back toward Johana, walking away slowly.

"I'll go with you!"

Johana's sudden offer made Mariana stop, but she did not turn. She remained with her back to Johana long enough for her friend to catch up, and then after a few seconds she began to walk again.

They headed towards the concession stand where it was no longer lonely. Now groups of people surrounded the stand and were waiting in line.

"Where did you go just now?” Mariana's voice was demanding and serious. “You didn't come back with Elmer."

"Oh," Johana looked at the ground, trying to grasp onto the first words she could think of. "My cousin kept calling me over from the bleachers so I went to go see what she wanted." She has just lied to Mariana, to her best friend. It was for the best though. She was better off if she didn't know.

Johana noticed that Mariana began to walk a little faster. She was a few paces ahead of her pushing past strangers as if they blocked her way. Johana began to get an uneasy feeling, but she couldn't figure out what was making her feel this way. Maybe it was the way Ray had reacted towards her, Johana thought. She knew just the thing to do. She would buy him nachos and a drink. That would surely make amends.

They waited in line for what seemed like hours. When they finally bought their food, they headed back. Johana realized that Mariana hadn't spoken so much as a sentence while they had been in line. All she got were light subtle smiles whenever she made eye contact with her, as if she was saying, "Nothing's wrong. I'm fine."

Johana was reluctant to say anything, but as they approached the stands, she finally said, "Wait,” as she raised the nachos and PowerAde, “I'm going to give this to someone."

She saw Mariana's eyes narrow. "Who?" she asked. "Is it Ray?” She wouldn't even let Johana explain herself, "It is, isn't it!"


She scoffed, "I can't believe you're talking to him!"

"Why are you getting mad at me?" Johana could hear the desperation in her own voice.

"Do you seriously have to ask that?" Mariana rolled her eyes, "You know I don't like him! It's like you have no consideration of my thoughts or feelings."

"But...” Johana cried, “you know I do!"

"Well you need to figure out what you're doing here,” said Mariana, “because it's either me or him." Then she walked away before Johana could say another word.

Boy Bands by Polette Zavala

Boy Bands

By Polette Zavala

            He leaned into the window and pressed his heated forehead against the cool glass. His mom had gotten to the bus stop late, and now she was talking about something, but his attention was drawn to Drake's muffled voice coming from the radio. His ride home was short, and before he knew it he was walking towards the perforated white door of his home. He hadn't even turned the knob, when he heard loud screeching from inside.

            The TV was on, but his sister was lounging upside down on the couch. He could hear the upbeat rhythm of the pop song booming out of her headphones from across the room. He glared at her and she turned her head to the side to look up at him, brown eyes squinting. While her eyes were focused on him he took that moment to grab the TV controller off her stomach.

            "I downloaded their new album!" She spoke to him as if he were deaf.

            "Yeah, I know, you started having a mild seizure while we were watching Almost Human last night." She still hadn't taken off her headphones, so he decided to speak just as loud, his voice booming in the otherwise quiet living room. He really hoped she wouldn't push the topic on him. He hated them and he hated talking about them, because her usual response to him telling her how much they suck could be compared to pouring lighter fluid on an already blazing fire.

            "You should listen to it!” he heard her shout from the living room as he threw his backpack onto his bedroom floor. “It's so good!"

            He closed his eyes and saw what the outcome of a fight with his sister would be. He could already hear his mom's aggravated yell and could see her face: nostrils flared, eyes set to a glare, and her mouth in a tight-lipped frown.

            Today was just going to be one of those days. He hadn't even gotten a bite to eat yet and his sister was already badgering him about something.

            "They aren't even talented, and they suck," he spoke to her, his tone final, as he sat down in one of the chairs surrounding the dining room table.

From the corner of his eye, he saw her leap off the couch.

            "You know you only say that because all of your little friends think that. I've heard you humming to their songs before." Her smile was smug and her stance was that of a know-it-all older sister.

            His reply was immediate, "Yes I probably hummed to their song, but I said they weren't talented. You can have catchy songs and still not be talented."

            "Woah, hold on there you spawn."

He looked up at his sister, face puzzled.

            "One: thanks for admitting you think their songs are catchy, because they totally are.”  She placed both of her hands on the space in front of him, looking down at him. “And two: you have to stop lying to yourself, you know you love them!"

He looked up, an eyebrow raised. All he could compute from this was that his sister was annoying. He stood up from his chair. "Dude, they freaking suck!" he shouted, face to face with his sister with only the table as a barrier.

            "Get over yourself," she said.

He watched her push away from the table, and head to her room. He sat back down and bit back a grin. His food was still warm and with this next episode he would be all caught up on Supernatural.

But I Get First Player by Jamilet Ochoa

But I Get First Player

By Jamilet Ochoa

She stepped closer, crossing her arms, challenging him to do something. The air felt thick, television shouting for attention, but that was the last thing anyone cared about in that moment. The living room was empty; they were the only ones in there.

"Look, you have to show more respect. You don't speak to me like that. I'm your older sister!" The voice was strong, both feet planted on the ground, eyes shining as if staring a building burning in flames.

He began to move closer, feeling no fear towards her. "Like if I care what you think, you're not my mom. I don't have to respect you." She wouldn't do anything, he thought. She has no authority over me.

This whole nonsense wouldn't have occurred, he thought, if the events of that morning had taken a different turn.

A sense of regret took over his body.

That morning, the sun had been shining through the window curtains and the heat covered the house like a thick furry blanket on a long summer day.

"Hey, hurry up, my dad wants to leave already!"

He had sat there, slouching, eyes glued to the computer screen, letting her words pass over him like the insignificant buzz of a fly.

"Okay dudeee,” she had said, dragging her words, “ignore me."

"I freaken heard you.”

He couldn't help but notice that her voice sounded even more annoying than usual. It was as if she had been yelling though she was speaking at a normal volume, but in an irritated tone that would have driven anyone insane.

“Man all you do is boss me around,” he had said, “you're so annoying."

"I'm only saying this so we can get to school on time, plus that's my laptop. I could easily take that away from you, so shut up."

"Here, take it,” He had thrown the laptop on the couch as soon as he stood. “I don't care." Then, as he had approached her, he purposely bumped into her on his way past and had not looked back.

It was a morning he wished had never occurred… Now her eyes were filled with anger, more than that morning.  

She swung her arm back to gain strength.

He couldn't believe what was about to happen...

Her fist met his face.

It all happened so quickly, with no time for him to react.

"What the hell?” he shouted, his temper rushing in full speed. “You can't hit me, I'll hit you back!"

"Do it,” she said, a confident, mocking grin spreading across her face. “I dare you."

With clenched fists, he held a grip on the present, releasing the past.

A sigh gently left his mouth.

“You know what… whatever,” he said, “You always get mad about the dumbest things. I don't even care anymore.”

She relaxed her body as well, no longer standing up as straight as a soldier ready to fight.

They stood there facing each other uneasily.

She looked like she was about to say something, but then stopped herself.

Another awkward moment passed.

“I'm so boooooored," he finally said, dropping down onto the couch dramatically.

"Hey dude,” she said, joining him there, “let's play guitar hero?”

"Yeah, but I get to be first player."  

Canceled Plans by Maria Fuentes

Canceled Plans

By Maria Fuentes

It was late afternoon when Saul was on the phone speaking with friends that he hadn’t seen in a while. His sister Maria arrived home from school as he got off the phone and began getting ready to go out. He was going to meet his friends at 7:00pm that night.

When his sister went up to his room, he was excited as a little boy in a candy store to tell her his plans for that night. “Hey guess what,” he said with a smile wide as a bus, “I’m going to the movies with my friends.”

He thought his sister would have been happy for him, but he was wrong. To his surprise, he noticed that his sister was steaming in fury because she was red as a tomato and her hands were shaking convulsively. “What do you mean you are going with your friends!”

“My friends and I made plans to meet up tonight since the last time I saw them was like a month ago.” He was confused and didn’t know why his sister looked angry.

“Do you remember what we decided yesterday?” she asked, sounding like a mother getting her son in trouble.

“No. I just remember us talking about going to the movies, but it wasn’t a for sure we were going.” He was getting angry as well with all these unclear things his sister was saying. His frustration was noticeable because he just kept tightening his hands trying not to get mad.

“Yes! We did make it a for sure! Remember I told you that I would cancel my plans with my friends to go to the movies with you.”

“Well I don’t remember that. I’m still going out with my friends. Maybe next time I’ll take you.”

“You know what, have fun with your friends!” she screamed and walked away stomping like an elephant.

Saul was surprised at his sister’s response. He couldn’t understand why she was acting like a mad person. Still not knowing what the argument was about, he went back to getting ready for the night. The problem was that he couldn’t stop thinking about his sister and the way the argument ended. “Why is she blowing this out of proportion?” he thought. “Why can’t she just get over it? She’s always trying to make me feel bad, but this time it won’t happen.”

“Bye!” he said to his sister in a sarcastic tone.

“Whatever, just leave already!” she said, almost in tears.

Saul was having fun with his friends when he suddenly realized why his sister was annoying him with the cancelation of their plans. He had noticed that ever since he entered college and started working, things were not the same. He and his sister hadn’t spent time together as they would normally do.

"Where are you going?" asked his friend.

"Home,” he said. “I have some business I have to deal with."

By the time he arrived though, his sister was asleep.

The next day, he greeted her with energy and happiness, “Good morning sister!” 

His sister did not reply and anything he said to her didn’t get a reply.

All day she ignored him and any time he would get near her she would walk away in a hurry.

By the time it was 6:00pm, Saul decided he was done with his sister’s childish behavior and he spoke to her like he was the boss. “We need to stop this,” he said. “It has gotten out of control and this isn’t us. I know now why you are angry and I can acknowledge that I was wrong.”

“Well,” she said, striking a pose that said she knew she was right all along, “I’m glad.”

“Let’s just go to In-N-Out,” he said, “and hang out.”

They both got in the mustang and drove away.

Cracks Never Go Away by Diana Reza

Cracks Never Go Away

By Diana Reza

The mother chopped away at the vegetables, forcing her energy into cutting through the hard yet delicate skin, then slicing straight through the soft inside. The oven was on, warming the already heated air in the room. The girl was at the sink, rubbing and splashing the dishes clean and looking out the window in front of her at the sun that was just beginning to fall onto the other side of the mountain, filling the sky with a vibrant red. The room was filled with silence. The mother saw it was best to keep her lips closed, to hold her thoughts inside. The girl began to mumble angrily to herself, and the mother wondered if it was meant to be heard. Even though she knew better, she opened her mouth.

"What are you saying?"

The girl closed her lips shut, and continued to stack the dishes on the rack to dry.

"Now you don't want to answer me?"

She stayed quiet, staring at the sunset that filled the sky with a bright, red color.

"I'm still your mother and when I was a girl I did my work quietly, never complaining."

"I know. You remind me every time, but you just don't understand."

"I do understand, and I'm only trying to teach you." Truthfully, she didn't understand. She didn't get how her own daughter could become a complete opposite of her.

"I am trying to learn, just not what you want me to learn."

"And you can't do both?"

"You couldn't."

The girl never bothered to turn around to face her mother, cowardly hiding. The mother, wide-eyed, looked at her daughter not knowing whether to scream, hit her, or let it go. "I never had the opportunities that you have been given. You don't know how much I've had to fight." As she began to remember, she felt the pain all over again, and shoved the memories away once more.

The girl said nothing. The silence became overwhelming.

"Should I make pasta or rice," the mother said, trying to change the subject.

"Your son’s opinion is the one who matters the most, so ask him."

The mother bit her tongue, not wanting to escalate things further, but there was no use. "Leave if you want, I can do everything on my own like I always do."

"That's what you think because you never open your eyes to actually notice all the things I do."

"I notice, but there's not much to see."

The girl stopped washing the dishes, turned around to finally look at her mother. Tears flooded her eyes as her cheeks began to turn red and she bit her lip, hard enough to make it bleed. "You have me for one more year and when I leave, you're gonna finally see everything that I have done to try to get you to love me as much as them." The girl put away one last cup, slamming it into the dish rack, and walked away from her mother.

The mother opened her mouth not knowing what would come out, and to her surprise, nothing did. She let her go; too busy trying to grasp how she could think that she didn't love her.

She walked over to the cup that was last thrown by the girl, and picking it up, she noticed a new crack at its base. Immediately deciding the cup could no longer be fixed, she walked out to the backyard to throw the cup away. As she walked back in she saw the front door close behind her daughter.

The mother walked to the kitchen window and watched her daughter step further and further away. The sun, in a position where it now filled the sky with a plush orange, slowly dimmed before turning to complete darkness.

The Eagle and the Squirrel by Ricky Corona

The Eagle and the Squirrel

By Ricky Corona

Connie, minding her own business, was scanning through several channels, looking for a show that would capture her attention. As Connie finally settled on a good show, she started to relax on her fluffy bed, along with a nail file and polish in hand. Almost immediately after laying down, she heard the sound of sandals clacking in the distance. She rolled her eyes when she heard her brother Ricky’s awful music drawing near.

Ricky flung open Connie’s door, immediately ruining the relaxing vibe she had just created. Connie was extremely frustrated, filing her nails to a sharp point, as Ricky moved about her room moving Connie’s objects around. Ricky, craving attention because he was bored, grabbed a picture of Connie and her best friend Moy when they were at their favorite store, Game Stop. He dropped her prized picture on the floor beneath his feet. Then he grabbed Connie’s remote and turned up the volume. Having no intention of putting up with her brother’s foolishness, Connie began to get restless. Her eyes started to redden at she fixed her glare on Ricky. “Get out of my room!” she said, but this seemed to only spur Ricky on, as the smile on his face was growing wider.

Connie finally had it when Ricky got one of her pillows and hit her on the arm with it. The thud of the pillow against Connie made Ricky laugh hysterically. Connie  jumped off of her bed like a tiger who had just spotted its prey.

Ricky, realizing Connie was out for him, dropped the pillow and darted straight out of the room. Ricky finally had what he wanted: a crazy sister who could make him feel the rush of being chased.

Connie was in hot pursuit. Her footsteps moved like a freight train, knocking from the wall the painting of an eagle swooping down to capture a defenseless squirrel that their mother had bought at a local thrift store. The painting clashed to the ground and the frame instantly dismembered into tiny fragments. This did not stop Connie. She got closer and closer to Ricky, cornering her pray.

Ricky came to the end of the hallway. He looked frantically about, his eyes moving, desperately looking for a way out, but he could only stare at the wall in front of him. He had nowhere to go. His head started to shine. “Maybe I should have thought this through,” Ricky mumbled to himself. This was his fate… there was no going back now.

Connie quickly came upon her pray, examining her victim closely, noticing the fear in Ricky’s eyes. His grey shirt had Cheetos stains from lunch, his hair limp like he had just come out of the shower. Connie savored the moment. She knew that she was going to enjoy this.

Ricky made one last attempt to prevent a beating. “I’m sorry I’m sorry!” he wailed like a child who had just received detention for throwing a tantrum in class.

Connie beamed down on him like a police officer over a criminal. “It’s too late,” she said. “You shouldn’t have bothered me just because you were bored.”

He stretched his arm out like a person reaching out to Jesus, asking to be forgiven for his sins.

“You have this coming to you,” she said, and went in for the kill.

Later, as Connie walked back to her room with a dignified motion, she was careful to step over the shattered image of the eagle and the squirrel.