Friday, May 31, 2013

ACTING ON IT By: Shaindle

“Max, quick now, everything must be perfect for the plan to work.” Dania Pollack said, talking to a man. She was in a glass walled office, with papers scattered everywhere. On the walls of the office were multiple animal pictures. It was 1997.
“Max let’s practice, I'll go first. My name is Dina Polovaichik, I own a famous fur trading company in Russia, and I came to the Amazon Rainforest to hire two poachers. I want three black jaguars killed, so that I will be able to make a very rare coat.” Dania said.
“Are you confident in what you're saying?” Maxwell Glasser asked.
“I think I was okay. All I need to do is repeat this over again for me to be confident in myself. Max, are you almost ready?” Dania said with concern.
“I sure hope you know what you are getting us into. One false move from these poachers and we'll be rare fur coats.” Max said.
“I know, but someone’s got to do something about animal rights. This is the only way. Now you need to tell me again who you are.”
“I'm your husband, Mikael Polovaichik, willing to pay whatever the price, so that my wife can have a new fur coat in her closet.” Max said a dull tone on his voice.
“That doesn't sound very persuasive, Max. Give a little bit more love in what you are saying.”
“I am! I thought all married couples sound like that, it’s usually what happens after marriage.”
“No wonder you're not married!” Dania answered.
“You're not either! Besides I’m your partner, being a rescue ranger for LIVES RESCUE WILD ANIMAL RESERVE! I’m not an actor playing the part of Romeo and Juliet!” Max shouted.
“I know you're nervous, and so am I, I'm just saying for right now, be Romeo, or you'll have the same ending as Romeo.”
“Well just stop saying your little jokes, this is serious business, so did you call for backup if we need any?” questioned Max.
“Yeah, so are you ready?”
“I guess. Are you ready to kick some poacher butt?”
“You bet....”

It is the Amazon Rainforest. There is a cold breeze. The rainforest seems to be silent. Trudging through the Amazon Rainforest were two camouflaged suited Russian men carrying guns. It gives warning of violating poaching laws. There are many trees with lush green all around. There is dew on all of the plants.

“This forest really is a beautiful place,” Chris said, “I can breathe in the fresh air.”
“That is good. A good place to hunt is a sign of a getting a good hunt.” Alex said, “Oh, and what a plan of a hunt do we have.”
“Indeed, I've never hunted down a black jaguar before, let alone three.”
“It will be spectacular. I have only seen a black jaguar once. They are hard to find, because of their black coats in the deep dark rainforest. That is why the price for them is so high and rare. This is a going to be a great challenge, but I can handle it.”
“So can I. Now where are our clients?”
“They are coming right about now.”
“Oh I see them now. Are they a couple?”
“Darn, the woman looks pretty.”
“Chris, this is business, not pleasure. Now keep your lips shut. I’ll do all the talking” Alex said, now turning around to his clients, “Mr. and Mrs. Polovaichik, is it?”
“Yes, indeed, and you are Mr. Taner I presume, but who is he?” said Dania, pointing at Chris. “I thought you, Mr. Taner were going to be working alone.”
“This is my good friend of mine, Chris Stefenovich. There is no need to worry madam, he has fine poaching skills, we'll still get the job done, if that’s what you're worried about.”
“My wife isn't worried about that Mr. Taner, but only of the quality. When can you begin?” Said Maxwell
“Immediately. We obviously have all the tools we need.” said Alex
“Oh, about that, we need to check your weapons.” Dania interrupted
“Why is this?” Alex questioned.
“To see if they are state-of-the-art, I always want to have known that I have employed the best person with its equipment.” Dania said.
“Fine,” said Alex, looking at Chris.
“Great, we’ll be back in a few minutes.” said Dania.

Max and Dania left, as Alex and Chris were looking behind them.
“Do you think they are suspicious?” said Dania to Max.
“I don't know, but when you said you wanted to check their weapons, Alex had a weird look on his face.” Max said.
“Oh, I hope they just think we're crazy.” Dania said with concern, “in order for this plan to work we need to make them totally helpless and without a thought of us interfering with their plans.”
“I hope you know what you're doing.”
“I do, and now that we have their weapons you call for backup. Tell them to look in the Eastern part of the rainforest, I want to scare those poachers.”

While the Polovichiks examined their weapons, Alex and Chris saw a bunch of Rangers. They were coming in their direction. Scared, they ran into the rainforest and didn't look back. They run into sleeping group of gorillas. The dominant male gorilla sniffled in his sleep.

“Quick Chris! Give me my 7MM MAGNUM, I need to shoot that gorilla before it fully wakes up.”
“Um, Alex, we don't have our weapons. They’re gone with our clients.”
“Alex, the gorilla woke up, we need to make a run for it!”

As soon as they ran, the gorilla was chasing them. Terrified, they heard the huge beast crashing through the brush behind them, as they ran for their lives. Sweating profusely in the wind. The gorilla seemed even more masculine than possible, horrid with its canine teeth showing. It was unbearable to hear the gorilla’s horrid growl. They felt their end was coming near, and they were helpless. During the chase Alex and Chris went two different directions, each trying to save himself. The gorilla chose to follow Alex. After Alex had gotten a mile away from the gorilla’s sleeping grounds, it had stopped running after him. After walking for a while, Alex came to the Amazon River. He noticed a body on the ground and ran to it. It was Chris, dead. Before he realized what had happen, he heard voices. Dania and Max.
“Mr. and Mrs. Polovaichik, what are you doing here?” questioned Alex.
“Who is that?” asked Max.
“It’s Chris, he’s dead.”

“Oh my Gosh! Max, he’s dead.” Dania whispered to Max.
“It looks like a herd of tapirs stomped on him.” Alex continued, “I don’t know how this could happen. He’s dead and there is nothing I can do about it. Poor Chris, he was probably just tired and wanted a drink, and then....”
“Just like what an animal feels?” Dania said.
“What?” questioned confused Alex, “You're not making any sense.”

“Alex, we're rangers working for LIVES RESCUE WILD ANIMAL RESERVE,” said Max showing his ranger badge. “I’m Maxwell Glasser, and she’s Dania Pollack, and you're under arrest for the attempt of poaching.”
“I can't believe this is happening, I never get caught.” Alex said.
“Well, you'd better come quietly now,” Max warned. “We'll deal with Chris.”

Max and Dania called for backup. They took Chris away, buried him, and Alex was sent into five years in jail. While in jail Alex thought of changing his life, and once he got out of jail he called up Dania to meet with her. They met in her office at  LIVES RESCUE WILD ANIMAL RESERVE, where she still worked. The office was neatly done, where the papers, and everything else was in neat piles.

“Nice workplace you have here” Alex commented.
“Thanks, I try.” Dania answered back.”
“How’s Max, do you still pretend to be married” Alex said
“Not anymore, it’s the real deal, we got married four years ago.” Dania proclaimed,
“so... you wanted to meet me here, because you said you want to change your life?”
“As weird as it seems, when I was in the rainforest I realized for the first time what it felt like to be a hunted down animal. My friend Chris, felt it even more, this is why I want to change.”
“What do you want me to do about it. I can't change your life for you. You have to do it yourself.”
“Yes, but you can teach me how.”   
Alex ended up creating an organization which helped young adults to be aware of the nature around them, and helped them find their purpose in life.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The dancer

Hello, my name is Cassie, and this is my story. My father, or as others like to call him, Papa Joe was the former owner of a theater in New York. It was nothing like Broadway but in the dance community it was like Broadway. My family was made up of me, Papa Joe, and Michelle, my sister. Back when I was three, there was another member, my mom, Leah. My dad and my mom met centuries ago at a…yep, you guessed it, at a dance recital. My mom was an amazing dancer, or at least that’s what dad used to say.
It was love at first sight. Leah was the main dancer, and my dad was a talent seeker. He worked for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAA) and was looking for a new member. After Papa Joe offered my mom a job, they started talking and talking, and soon they were dating. Leah continued as dancer of AAA until she had to retire. A few years later her retirement, my dad proposed. My mom wanted to be a lower case teacher and Papa Joe wanted to keep looking for talent, so they opened up their own theater and dance company. The years passed and Michelle came, two more and I, Cassie, was born.
When I was two, mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. Two weeks before my birthday, she was gone. Ever since, my dad has tried to forget that month ever existed. The theater became very popular and when AAA closed, dancers had nowhere to go, so they came to Leah’s theater. My dad decided to rename it after mom passed. Since I was born in an artistic family, my life revolved around dancing and dancing. God forbid I was interested in anything but dance, especially sports! Thankfully, that was never my problem. I always enjoyed dance, and it was what pleased Papa Joe the most. As I grew older all I wanted to do was please dad and be just like mom. Well, I didn’t really have much of an option. By the time I was seven, my dad had planed our lives. Michelle was going to attend Skidmore College while I helped Papa Joe with the theater. After I graduated high school I would attend the same college, while Michelle helped dad with theater. Once I was done with my studying me and Michelle would run the theater. I didn’t mind the plan as much as Michelle did. She had different ideas. She wanted to be bigger, dance for major companies, and go on tours. She thought she belonged in Hollywood.
A couple of years later. I was at home, still dancing, still helping Papa Joe, and one more year till I graduated. Michelle was then in college and, yes, she made it to Skidmore College. The problem was she didn’t want to follow the other half of the plan. She wanted to be famous and acted a bit spoiled. It almost summer, and dad was trying his hardest to convince Michelle to come back home. He believed that if he got her to come back for the summer, she would’ve come right after her graduation. Papa Joe had been planning and planning, leaving him with no time to do anything and me with too much on my plate. I was used to it. Growing up without a mom wasn’t easy. I had more chores than friends when by the time I was five.
After weeks of thinking, Papa had finally come up with a plan to bring Michelle back.  Papa Joe would hire a dancer, pay him to date Michelle, make her believe they were meant to be together and would convince Michelle to stay after graduation. Michelle was then a junior in college, so if this guy became Michelle’s summer love she would want to stay and help Papa Joe with the theater. The guy Papa decided to pick was some dancer named Bob.
June finally came and Michelle was home. The first thing Papa made her do was work at the theater. Michelle HATED IT, and she made sure EVERYONE knew how she felt.
“Ughh I hate working here!! All my friends are traveling the world and enjoying life, and all I ever do is work for Dad!!” Michelle said, and I quickly snapped at her “Are you kidding me!?! I’ve been working here the ENTIRE year. You just here and you’re complaining. Brat” instantly she responded with, “Whatever.” I hate when people said “whatever,” and my sister new that. She was trying to get me mad. At that time I could not wait for Papa to present Bob to Michelle, but little did I know what was coming.
Two days later everything changed. Papa Joe organized a casting for incoming dancers. Dancers from all over New York, including Bob, came to our theater. At that time I didn’t know that. Dad knew that keeping secrets wasn’t my thing, so he thought it would be a good idea not to tell me. A few hours after auditions had started, a cute, handsome, tall AND muscular guy showed up. I remember Michelle’s face expression like it was yesterday. She quickly looked at me and , “let me take care of this one.” Like always, I said yes. The eye contact they were making was intense. As I was interviewing another girl I could feel the tension between them. Michelle’s heart was beating extremely fast. I could have sworn it was going to come out and the way this “mysterious guy” looked at her it was like love at first sight. Michelle looked at the guy and started asking him questions. “Why do you think you’re eligible for the Leah’s theater team?” The mysterious guy answered, “Well, I’ve been dancing since I was four, Dancing is my passion. I’ve been watching Leah’s dance recitals since I can remember.” Oh my god. His voice, no EVERYTHING about him was so perfect. I was dying of envy but there was nothing I could do. Michelle happily nodded her head at everything he was saying. She was practically drooling. Michelle wrapped up the audition, “Well, Bob I think you’re wonderful dancer, and you can definitely expect a call by the following week.” I started choking so hard I swear I saw my life flash before my eyes. Could this really be “the” Bob, as in the Bob dad had hired?!?! At that moment so many thoughts were flying through my head I didn’t even know what was going on anymore. Before I knew it, I was on the floor surrounded by Michelle, Bob and three other people who aren’t really relevant to the story. I just stood up and nodded every time someone asked me if I were okay. All I wanted to do was to run to Papa Joe’s office. He confirmed everything. That was “the” Bob. The miraculous Bob who was supposed to work his magic over Michelle, at least that’s what we thought he was going to do.
That summer Michelle and Bob were INSEPREBABLE. They did everything together. They ate together; they danced together; they worked together; they even shared some of the same clothes. I know, how disgusting? Since Michelle had left for college we started to grow apart. I wouldn’t have really minded if I had other friends but working at the theater and balancing friendships wasn’t easy. I didn’t really mind that she was spending so much time with Bob, because after all I knew they weren’t going to last. I remember watching Bob and Michele hangout. I could not believe Bob was pretending to like her, it seemed so surreal. They were known as the perfect couple. The summer was coming to an end, and I had no idea what Bob or Papa Joe had in mind.
One afternoon after work I found Papa crying. I quickly ran towards him, “Papa, what’s going on, are you okay!?” He tried to speak but nothing came out, yet he was sobbing so hard he was shaking. “ I.. I.. I don’t know what to..oo do.” I asked him to explain but for the following ten minutes all he did was sob. After a while he finally got himself together and said, “We’re done. Bob keeps asking for more money, and we’re in debt, and I don’t know what to do.” He was still trembling but no longer sobbing. “How much is Bob asking?” I asked, afraid of the answer. There was a pause. It felt like it an eternity. He answered “Too much, and I don’t have the money.” at that moment I was starting to get angry. I kept on wondering why he wouldn’t want to tell me sum. I practically managed everything at work. I guessed he read my mind because he said, “Eighty-five million, and he wants it by the end of the month.” All I could think of was what a douche Bob was. He no longer seemed miraculous-let alone handsome.
That afternoon during dinner, Michelle announced that she was finishing college here in New York and would still work for the theater. I just smiled at Michelle, said congratulations and hoped she wouldn’t read my mind. Papa Joe did pretty much the same thing.
A week later, on a Sunday morning I woke up. I remember feeling like something was wrong, but I couldn’t quite shake the feeling. I thought that I had maybe forgotten to turn the lights off from the theater, so I headed down to go check. Right as I was opening the door to leave, Michelle yelled, “Wait up!! Where are you going?” as I rolled my eyes, which of course she didn’t see. I said, “to the theater! I think I forgot to turn off the lights last night.” As she came out of her room, she said, “I’m coming with you, think I forgot my purse there, I can’t find it anywhere”. We both headed down together. As we opened up the back doors of the theater we realized only one light was on: Papa’s office. We both exchanged a look, and without saying a word we started to walk towards the office. The door wasn’t even closed. We opened the door and there was Papa. Lying on the floor. Everything paused. There was blood everywhere: Splashed all over the walls, floor, desk and papers. He was just there. I felt like I was just hit on the stomach, multiple times. I couldn’t breathe and every single part of me felt numb. “Oh my god!!!” I was suddenly back in reality. Michelle was screaming, shaking. She touched Papa’s face. I tried to speak, but nothing came out. She yelled “What are you doing? Call 911!” I took out my phone and started to dial, told the lady who picked up the phone what had happened and before I knew everything went black.
 I woke up in a hospital bed. A nurse said “Hello sweetie, are you feeling better” my head was hurting so bad, so I just asked, “where’s my dad?” Her mood instantly changed, “He’s dead.” Everything around me was spinning and I felt like I was going to pass out again. But this time I didn’t. She held my hand and said “Everything is going to fine.” After I had calmed down I asked to see my sister. A girl that looked a year or two younger than me walked into the room. Her eyes were red and puffy. It took me a couple of seconds to recognize her, yet she was my sister. Michelle sat on the bed next to me and cried. We both cried for an hour straight. We had not yet exchanged a word but our eyes said everything. She explained everything to me. She said someone attacked dad. He was stabbed in the stomach multiple times and once in the heart. After Papa was stabbed a large quantity of money was stolen from the safe. The police had no suspects.
The months went by and nothing about Papa came up. Michelle and I took over the place. We never realized how much work Papa had. Every day felt emptier than the one before. Our mornings weren’t the same. Our afternoons felt empty and the nights made us feel nothing more than lonely. Bob helped us tremendously. He helped us run the place. During that time we needed a male figure in our lives. I had completely forgotten about the eighty-five million dollars, or at least I made myself forget. Until one day Bob came up to me, “Hey Cassie, I know you’re really busy and everything but I was wondering if you knew about the deal I had with your father?” My heart beat started to rise, but I managed to keep my cool and responded, “Umm, no. He never mentioned anything” He acted like nothing had happened and said, “Oh, alright no problem. It was nothing important,” we both said bye and walked away.
I wanted to tell someone, but I couldn’t. I had no close friends and my only semi-close friend was Michelle. That night it was my turn to close the theater. As I was turning off the lights I decided to stop off at Papa Joe’s office. It had been cleaned by the police and anything that had a drop of blood was taken to a laboratory. It no longer looked or smelled like his office, but it still felt like his. As I was looking at what was left of the room, I heard a noise. The noise was coming from Michelle’s office. I silently walked towards her office. It was a tall man, muscular man. He was dressed all in black. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t figure out who it was. As I began to search for my phone to call 911, something grabbed my wrist and before I knew it, I was flying across the room. I landed on the floor. I opened my eyes, and I saw the man was wearing a mask, I don’t know how I got the courage to say anything but I did “Who are you?” Nothing. “Who are you!?”I repeated. Nothing, “Who are you!!” I yelled. The man reached for his head, and slowly took of the mask. I gasped. It was Bob. “You know what your father owes me, so where’s my money!” There was no point on lying, especially when I thought I wasn’t going to make it out of that room alive. I answered calmly, “We have no money” His face expression got more and more angry “You’re lying!!” before I could protest he quickly walked over to me, until his face was less than five inches away from mine, and said, “Don’t provoke me or else you’ll go through what Papa Joe went through.” In that moment everything clicked. Bob was the man who had killed Papa. He stabbed him in the stomach and in the heart, yet he was the one who was there all these months pretending to care. I felt so angry with him, but mostly with myself. He had been right under my nose. How did I not know it was him!? I kept asking myself. Before I knew it, he had picked me up again. He swung me across the room, and once again I landed on the floor. Bob was filled with so much rage I thought he had rabies. I’m almost positive he did. Once again he picked me up, but this time he threw me towards the window. We were on the second floor, and I can remember looking around the theater as I was falling, thinking it was going to be my last. Me and shattered class hit the floor. I didn’t feel anything. My back was numb. Bob went down the stairs and took a glance at me. I pretend I was dead. Bob laughed, and walked out of the theater.
I woke up in a hospital bed. I could not feel my back. My sister had found me a couple hours after the incident. I saw a nurse walk in the room. It was the same nurse from last time, but I don’t think she remembered me. “Excuse me, why can’t I feel my back” She looked at me and gave me a look I didn’t quite understand, “Sweetie you’re spinal cord is broken” Before I could process what I had just been told, the nurse went on “You’re paralyzed for life” She walked out of the room. I couldn’t even comprehend what the nurse had told me. I kept on wondering if that meant I could never dance again, not be able to travel, get a job or got to college. My soul and mind were filled with rage. At that moment the police came and interviewed me, they asked me what had happened and if I recognized the man who did this to me. I said no. I believe Bob wouldn’t be able to be punished properly by the law so, I decided to take care of it myself.
After the cops left, Michele came into the room. I told her everything. Her heart shattered. I told her how it was Papa’s idea to hire him so she would stay, how Bob asked for eighty-five million, how he killed dad for not paying and how he hurt me. After hours of planning, we came with a plan of how to destroy Bob like he destroyed our family.
Michele would invite Bob for a romantic dinner in the theater. She would wait behind the doors and right when Bob  would come into the room she would stab him multiple times before he could get up again and used his rabies strength on her. Once he was unconscious Michelle would take a larger knife and cut him into little tiny pieces. The pieces had to be tiny enough for them to fit in a blender. Michelle would blend everything up until it turned into red paint. That’s exactly what Michelle did. Everything went perfect. We just didn’t know what to do with the bloody, grinded up body parts. Michelle came up with the idea of buying white curtain for the theater and soaking them in the blood. She said it represented how pure our lives where before Bob, but after Bob came everything fell apart. I didn’t think of anything better to do with Bob’s blood, so we stuck with her plan. Either way we needed new curtains.

Fast forward to today. I now have a husband. He’s blind in one eye, but he’s a wonderful man. His name is James, and he and I run the theater. Michelle met another man, who also dances and is not paid to be with her, let alone a killer. She has been traveling the world with him on dance tours for the past two years. Michelle and I have never been this close, and yes, we still have the curtains. 

Fearful Faith

Two tall men in blue uniforms stood outside Phoebe Wilson’s door. A loud knock on the door awoke Phoebe who was lying on the floor of her living room with an empty bottle of wine in one hand and a half empty pack of cigarettes in another. Before Phoebe could even walk to the door Child Protection Services barged into Phoebes home.  The two men quickly begin searching through Phoebe’s house and found a colossal amount of empty bottles of wine stacked beside the couch. One of the men took out a walkie-talkie from his belt pocket and spoke a blur of words. Soon three more men appeared at the door. They didn’t even bother knocking this time since the door was already open. One of them walked towards Phoebe explaining that a neighbor had called the child protection service giving over information that there was suspicion that Phoebe, an alcoholic, had been taking poor care of her child, Faith. Phoebe automatically knew what this meant: CPS was going to take Faith away from her. Her theory was proved right when she saw Faith being carried away by one of the men in uniform. Tears filled Phoebe’s eyes and she began to sob. Before she could even comprehend what just happened, CPS was gone, and so was Faith. Phoebe reached towards bottle of tequila yearning for it to numb the pain, make her forget about the loss of her daughter and help her cope with the fact that her daughter would be put up for adoption.
Zack and Kelly Miller waited in an adoption office agency filling out the last stack of paperwork. This is the moment the Millers have been waiting for since they found out Kelly was sterile. The Millers were taken into a room with five rows of babies. Zack and Kelly walked over to baby that looked about three months with a band around her ankle that read “Faith”. She had blue eyes and a full head of brown hair.  Zack and Kelly smiled as the held their new daughter for the first time and took her home excited for their new lifestyle that waited for them.
Faith woke up and found her parents next to her holding a cupcake with a candle in the shape of the number 18. They began singing the familiar song, happy birthday. Faith rolled out of bed, got ready for school, and ran to catch the bus. After a long day of school, Faith was eager to come home and spend the rest of her birthday with her family. When Faith got home she found a sticky note in the kitchen. On it was written:
Happy Birthday, sorry sweetie had to work late. There’s a surprise waiting for you in the study. We’ll be back around seven.                                                                                                                                     Love, Mom and Dad.
            Faith rushed to the study and started looking through the all the cabinets to find her surprise. As she was looking for her surprise she came across a manila folder with Faith’s name read across it. Faith wondered if this was the surprise her parents were talking about so she looked inside and found something peculiar inside the folder. She started analyzing the papers in the folder and staring at them for few minutes. Faith came to realization that the papers in her hand were adoption papers with Faith’s name on them. This clearly was a surprise to Faith. It was certainly not the surprise her family intended on giving her. Faith sat at the kitchen table in shock with news she just discovered. To Faith, now her whole life felt like a lie. She began to wonder what other secrets her so called parents were keeping from her. The parents she thought she knew now became strangers to her. Shortly, she began to research her birth-mother  On the adoption papers the only information given about her mother was her name, Phoebe Wilson.
           This news greatly changed Faith’s perspective on life. Now there were only two things she yearned. The first was to find her birth-mother  and the second was to get away from the roller-coaster of emotions brought upon by the adoption. She knew a solution to each of these problems. In order to find her mom she would continue researching, although the only solution to free her from the emotional roller-coaster was drugs.
            Faith walked in to school the next day with only one goal. There was a certain alley behind Bayside High School infamous for being occupied with stoners and druggies. Faith walked into that alley as a tense confused teenager and walked out with a small plastic bag that she thought was the solution to her problem. Faith made an appearance in the alley almost every day. The drugs made her body feel numb and blocked all emotions from her. After a few weeks of research about her birth-mother  Faith finally came across where she could find her. Faith yearned to meet her birth mother. She decided she was going to run away from home in order to find her.
            Later that night, Faith packed her gym bag with a few necessities and drove off to find her. The two-hour drive was sufficient enough for Faith to reflect on her behavior the past few weeks. After a long drive Faith finally reached her destination. Faith sat in the car for almost an hour waiting till she saw the woman from the picture. To make time pass faster, Faith made the immoral decision to get high. She thought this would make reuniting with her mother easier. She sat in the car waiting till she saw the woman who looked just like the woman in the picture that she found online. After another half an hour sitting in the car, a tall brunette with big blue eyes got out of her car. The woman had the same face as the woman in the picture yet she looked totally different. The woman in the picture wore and orange jumpsuit and had red swollen eyes. The woman Faith saw getting out of the car walking to the red brick apartment building looked very put together. She wore a navy blazer with a navy pencil skirt and a white cotton button-down top. Her hair was pinned back into a bun and she carried a briefcase in one hand and a shopping bag in the other. Faith knew she was her mother. Faith stepped out of the car and with a questioning tone she said, “Phoebe Wilson?”
            The tall brunette turned around and answered, “Yes? Who are you?” Faith immediately answered, “My name is Faith Miller.” Before Faith could even finish her sentence Phoebe’s eyes filled up with tears and she wrapped her arms around Faith and they both began to cry. In a low-toned voice Faith whispered, “Hi mom.” Phoebe walked Faith up to her apartment and when they entered Phoebe made Faith some tea, and they sat at the kitchen table. Phoebe began to tell Faith why she was put up for adoption. As Phoebe began to tell Faith what happened that afternoon CPS came to her house Faith burst out into laughter. At first Phoebe kept on ignoring this, but Faith continuously kept on giggling at every other word Phoebe said. The only feeling Faith felt now was lightheaded. Phoebe began to sense something and she asked Faith, “Are you high?” Faith denied it. She abruptly asked Phoebe, “Can we get something to eat?” Before Phoebe could respond Faith grabbed her keys and ran towards the door. Phoebe followed her and grabbed her keys as well because she was not going to let drive when she was high. Faith leading, Phoebe followed Faith to her car. Faith reached towards her pocket to take out her keys but before she could even reach for them Phoebe said, “I am not letting you drive high!” Faith responded, her tone automatically changed her tone filled with anger, “Don’t you trust me? What’s the worst that could happen? It’s the least that you could do after letting CPS take me away from you!” Phoebe just stared at Faith with a blank face and no response. She got in the car. It was the only way she felt she could prove she was a good mother, even if it meant risking her life.
            Faith uncontrollably backed out of her parking spot, Phoebe knew this was going to be a hazardous drive. Faith drove off into oblivion hoping she would find something to eat on the way. As Faith frenziedly drove onto the bridge, the car was silent. The ringing of Faith’s phone cut the silence. Faith reached towards the side and grabbed her phone, not noticing the deer in the headlights. The car screeched and Faith had no control of the car suddenly the car flew on its side. The glass shattered and flew into Phoebe’s stomach and Faith’s face. An Ambulance rushed to the car crash. Two paramedics pulled Faith and Phoebe out and carefully put them each on a stretcher. The ambulance took them to the hospital, and they both lay there unconscious.
            Faith woke up the next day not herself, not in the hospital room anymore, and not anywhere close to her mother. She was surrounded by a trees plethora of wild animals. She followed the noise of the creek and when she got there she looked down at her reflection. The face that stood in front of her did not look at all like her. She stood there on four feet, her face covered in fur with two big ears coming out of her head, two big black eyes across her face and a medium size nose with a black snout at the tip. Panicking, Faith started to run around in circles. It took a while to take in but faith had to cope with the fact that she was now a deer. The life of a deer is a life in despair; it was not the life Faith wanted to live. It would be extremely difficult learning to adapt to a life surrounded by predators. Before, Faith was living a life running way from problems, now Faith was living a life where her greatest fears were chasing her. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rochy by Sarah Baila Lederman

I’m Rochy, a fourteen-year-old spider who is, surprisingly, so excited for school to start! This year, I am finally old enough to enroll in Arachnid Academy, the high school down the block where all of my sisters went. My best friend and next-door neighbor May is also going there. We applied a week ago, and our acceptance letters should be in the mail any day now.
Ding-dong! I run to open the door, and I see May standing there, hardly able to contain her excitement.
“I got my letter today! Go check your mail!” She shrieked. I ran to my mail web and was back in a flash, glossy pink envelope in hand. We sat down on my living room couch and opened them. May took out the green piece of paper inside declaring her acceptance to the school, and I followed suit.
“Hey, what’s this? There’s another piece of paper in here, and it’s yellow.” May exclaimed. I took mine and unfolded it.
“Oh, it’s a list of classes for us to choose from. Look, it says at the top of the page to circle the ones we want and mail this list back to them.” I responded.
“Great! We can make sure to circle the same ones, and then we’ll be together the whole day.” May said happily. The first four options were the choices of regulars or honors courses, and those were no-brainers. May and I knew that we could pick the same ones without even looking at each other. We went down the list: history of spiders, regular; math, honors; arachnid anatomy, regular; and English, honors. The next option was a selection of second languages to study.
“I’ve always wanted to learn Spider’s Spanish,” I said. “Do you?”
“Sure.” May responded, circling it. “The next thing on the list is an elective. Should we take AP Weaving or join the soccer team?”
“You know how much I love weaving, May.” I said. “Maybe with this course I could even become a professional weaver one day.”
“Oh.” May’s face fell. “I mean, I know how much you love weaving but I love soccer just as much, and I was really looking forward to playing it every day.” We looked at each other, knowing that we shared the same thought. Every program that we had ever joined we did together. If neither of us were to join the other’s class, it could be the first time in our lives that we were not to be in the same group. Would our friendship be able to withstand it?
“Well, we will miss each other,” May and I start to say at the same time. I stop, and she continues. “But I think that we should each follow our own dreams, and at least we’ll have all our other classes together.” I agree and halfheartedly trace my pencil around AP Weaving while she circles soccer.
“Hey, May,” I called when I saw her coming down the hall. “That was a really nice play.” May had just scored the winning goal against Arachnid Arts School, clinching the championship for her team.
“Thanks! I saw your sunset weaving hanging in the art room.” May said. “It’s stunning!” We smiled at each other. We did miss each other each day, but we enjoyed our electives. Weaving has been a lot of fun, and I love my teacher, Mrs. Minerva. May and I headed towards our next class. It was history, our least favorite. The material is so confusing. I had no idea that spiders had done so many things before we were born. May and I have been dreading the final since the beginning of the year, but at least this is something we’ll go through together.
“Rochy, what’s wrong?” Mrs. Minerva asked, noting the glum expression on my face. It is already May 9, just one week before the AP exams. Last night, my parents apologetically informed me that they would not be able to afford $100 for the test. I pretended everything was okay and that I didn’t care so much about it anyway, but today I broke down crying and told Mrs. Minerva everything. I explained that I really wanted to take the test this year because I wanted to take AP Weaving II next year. I didn’t notice May standing in the doorway listening until she spoke up.
“Rochy, do you just need a fast way to earn $100?” She asked. I nodded silently. “Mrs. Minerva, our soccer net broke and we will need to hire spiders to build a new one before the championship. Do you think maybe...?” She trailed off. Mrs. Minerva answered.
“That’s a wonderful idea!” She exclaimed. “Rochy, if I talk to the principal about this, would you like to spend next Sunday weaving a new soccer net?”
“Oh, of course I would!” I cried delightfully. “Thank you so much!” Mrs. Minerva walked to the principal’s office while May and I went home to begin studying together for the history final.
It is June 1, and I am incredibly nervous. I got a 5 on the AP test and watched May win the championship, but the history final is today, and I am just as confused as I was a month ago. May and I studied together all night last night, and I guess we’ll both just try our best. We take our seats and look up in surprise as the principal walks in.
“Kids, I have an unfortunate announcement to make.” He said. “Yesterday Mr. Jove, the history teacher, fell ill with turn-into-a-dictionary-itis and was, well... turned into a dictionary.” He paused. The class gave no reaction. We were wondering what was coming next.
“There will therefore be no one to grade your final. In light of these unexpected developments, the school has decided to cancel your test and give all of the students an automatic A+. Since this is the last final of the year, school is officially over for all of you.” He left the room. We sat speechless, but not for long, of course.
“Yay!” “Yes!” “Woo-hoo!” Shouts of joy filled the room as we rushed out to breathe in the sweet smell of summer. I found myself walking contentedly next to May. She turned to me and said. “Well Rochy, I guess our friendship can withstand one hour a day of separation.”
“Yeah, I never thought weaving and soccer could go together the way it did. Let’s do something to celebrate our surviving through this year.”
“ I know! There’s a sale on high heels at the mall. Let’s go!” And off we went.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


This is a brilliant novel, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived during the years of 1859-1930. A famous author known for writing Sherlock Holmes Mysteries. Many adored reading his books. The Hound of the Baskervilles is about a curse on the Baskervilles family. The curse is a supernatural hound that hunts the family. When a Baskerville dies mysteriously, Sherlock goes on the case. Is the curse real or is there a murderer? I adore this book. I recommend the book to anyone who is wanting mystery,adventure, and a bit of a scare. Those that want to use their brains to try and solve the mystery before Sherlock Holmes does.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review of Percy Jackon: The Sea of Monsters

Percy, a thirteen year old boy, who’s the son of the god Poseidon, had been having many strange dreams about his friend Grover being in danger, was worried about him. Mean while in Camp Half Blood, someone poisoned Thalia's tree- which protected the borders of the camp- so the camp was in a lot of danger. Percy, Annabeth, Clarisse, and Tyson went on a quest to find the Golden Fleece- which was the only thing that could save the tree- and to rescue Grover.
I recommend this book to others because it's a book that keeps you on your toes. I really liked how the book brings back al the fun fro, the first book.

"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green-Review

John Michael Green, the author of ‘The Fault in our Stars’ is a young adult fiction writer, a You Tube vlogger, critique, educator and father. He was born on August 24, 1977 and grew up in Orlando, Florida. He went to Kenyon College and double majored in religious belief and English. Next he attended the University of Chicago Divinity School yet he also went to the local children’s’ hospital to volunteer. Being around Children with illnesses got him inspired to write ‘The Fault in our Stars’. Green wrote many other successful books such as Looking for Alaska, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Paper Towns, Let it Snow, and more.
The Fault in our stars is story about a sixteen year old girl named Hazel who is diagnosed with remmisioned lung cancer. She is very reclusive and maybe a bit depressed. One time while she went to her support group, she met seventeen year old Augustus Waters. The quickly became best friends and begin to have picnics, watch movies, and read the same books. They even manage to have an amazing adventure.Yet the entire story completely turns over.
I think this story is the closest thing that you can get to knowing how people with diseases feel. The way that John Green writes really make you feel like you are in the persons shoes. In general, I think the story line was also very creative. I loved how this story connected together at the end. Even though this is an amazing book, it can be hard for some to read. It does have content such as illnesses and close to death experiences in it. It shows the sad part of people’s lives who have cancer.  Overall, ‘The Fault in our Stars’ is a sad yet unbelievable book that hopefully more and more people will read and get the experience that I did. 

"Mossflower" Review

The Mossflower by Brian Jacques 
Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England, where he lives today. He has worked at many 
different professions such as a longshoreman, a stand-up comedian, a long-distance truck driver, 
and a playwright. His most recent job is a presenter for BBC Radio Merseyside and host of 
Jakestown, his own program. In addition to the much-admired Redwall series, Brian Jacques’s 
works include Seven Strange Ghostly Tales and a storybook, The Great Redwall Feast. 
 Mossflower is about the plight of the woodlanders who live in Mossflower woods. Kotir, 
a tower outside of the woods, has been taken over by a group of wildcat soldiers who oppress the 
small animals. When a mousethief named Gonff is thrown into prison in Kotir’s dungeon and 
meets Martin the Warrior, the two escape and set out with Dinny the mole on a dangerous quest 
for Salamandastron hoping to find Boar the fighter, their only hope to set Mossflower free. In 
their absence, two baby hedgehogs are kidnapped. The woodlanders are left to rescue them and 
hold down the fort until the questing group returns, but are in the dark about the perils they are 
 Mossflower is a highly entertaining and exciting read with colorful and humorous 
characters that lighten it up. I could not put it down once I started reading it, and I would highly 
recommend it for anybody looking for a fun thriller. 


House At The End Of The Street, a novel based on a movie written by Lily Blake in 2012, is about a teenage girl, Elisa, and her mother moving to a new town. They moved to a new house which is located next to the house in which Mr. and Mrs. Jacobsen got murdered by their own daughter, and that’s why Sara (Elisa´s mother) was able to afford it. There is a rumor that says that Carry Anne, the Jacobsen´s daughter, had an accident in the past, so now she is mentally ill. According to the rumor, one night Carry Anne woke up in the middle of the night, and attacked her parents. Then she ran away into the forest. Ryan Jacobsen, Carry Anne´s older brother, still lives in the house where the incident had occurred. He believed that his sister still lived and was hiding somewhere in the woods, but why would a little girl murder her parents at such a young age? Was she really the one who murdered them? How can she possibly still live alone in the woods? It seems like nothing makes sense, Ryan must be hiding a secret, something that will change everyone´s belief of what really happened. Elisa is about to find out what really happened, but she is going to have to go through many horrible things that she would never expect to happen.

Review "Enders Game"

Orson Scott Card is an American author.He did his studies at the Brigham Young University.When he was in school he wrote plays and poetry.After University he got a job at BYU Press and as he worked there he wrote his first novel "Ender's Game".Orson Scott is mostly know for writing "Ender's Game" which won the Hugo and Nebula awards;Ender's Game is not the only book that he wrote, he wrote other continuations to this book, the book he wrote after Ender's Game also won the Hugo and Nebula awards. Card now 61, is co-producing the film adaptation of Ender's Game which will be released at the end of 2013.
Ender's Game is the journey of a 7 year old who has been recruited to Battle School.Earth had just ended a second war with an alien specie known as the "Buggers" and felt that they needed to be prepared incase a Third invasion came to be. Ender gets recruited for Battle school because the government is in need of a new commander who will be able to defeat the buggers if a Third invasion happens. Ender is a lonely boy who does not fit in, at home he gets threats from his older brother who tells him that one day he will kill him; The only person he loves and trusts is his sister Valentine.
The government has been watching Ender since he was younger, the government felt that Ender was destined to be the next commander who would stop Earths destruction. As Ender starts his journey he has proven to be what the government suspected "the best,of the best". In Battle School students prove how good they are as soldiers and commanders by training in the Battle Room:The Battle Room is a simulator that allows students to fight as if they were in a war but it does not cause physical harm.As Ender continues his journey in Battle school he gets pushed to the extreme.His teachers isolate him to the point were everyone hates him, they put him under pressure and exhaust him. In order to make sure he is "the one" that will save earth.As Ender gets pushed to the extreme he develops strong feelings of self hatred to the point were he no longer wants to play, he is tired of this games that are being inflicted upon him.Ender finds himself giving up on all of this, he does not understand why he has to figh or what he is fighting for.
I would definitely recommend this book.What made me enjoy the book the most was the way that you get to see how Enders character grows, how he learns from his mistakes or chooses to ignore his problems. Its as if you are looking at a kid grow and change into something greater.As i read the book i found myself forgetting how old Ender was;because he is only a 7 year old but as i read it i felt as if it was the story of an 18 year old going to war, only at his weakest did i see a bit of his 7 year old self.I like how Card writes this children because all of them sound so grown up and have ideas that a kid that age is not supposed to have. It showed me how responsibility can change a persons way of seeing the world. And in general it just makes you think and as i continued to read i felt for the characters which for me is the most important thing about a book. To read and understand them even learn from them.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Divergent Book Review

Veronica Roth is a remarkable author. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University in Illinois. Veronica Roth was born on August 19, 1988. She was born and raised in a small suburb in Chicago. She dedicates her life to writing and it very passionate about it, particularly about creative writing. Veronica Roth has been working on the Divergent trilogy since her first year in college, the third and final book is planned to come out later this year.  
            Divergent is a novel about a young teenage girl, Tris, who lives in a dystopian society. Her society is split up into five factions; Dauntless, Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, and Amity. She is forced to choose which faction she wants to devote the rest of her life to. Within each faction come dangers and challenges Tris must overcome; especially when she discovers she is divergent. Being divergent is very hazardous in this dystopian society; normally it leads to death if discovered. She faces immense challenges and is forced to learn to adapt and survive in the new her lifestyle.  
            I strongly recommend Divergent. Veronica Roth is an incredible vivid writer. Throughout the novel, the imagery and details makes the reader feel almost as if they are part of the novel. Veronica also describes the charters in away where you feel like they are real people and you begin to feel for them when they struggle to adjust in the factions. The thrilling novel is filled with apprehension, betrayal, romance, bravery, and adrenalin.  I recommend this novel to teenagers who enjoy reading novels filled with suspense and excitement. This novel takes you into a new world and takes you along on thrilling journey to the corrupt world of factions. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review of "Looking for Alaska"

Biography: John lives with his wife and son in Indianapolis, Indiana. John has been a finalist for the LA Times Book Price. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and has written many other novels like Printz Medal and A Printz Honor. John has also won the Edgar Award, has a YouTube channel under the name of "vlogbrothers" and 1.1 million followers on Twitter. 
Summary: Miles Halter, known as Pudge, decides to leave his boring old town in Florida to attend a boarding school in Alabama. Miles doesn’t have many friends and believes this new environment is the great perhaps. Him and his roommate, the Colonel, click instantly and names Miles, Pudge. The Colonel introduces him to his friends and tells him what there’s to know about Culver Creek. Alaska is one of Colonels best friends and soon becomes Pudge’s best friend and mentor. Alaska tells Pudge about the labyrinth, the “great perhaps” and her ideas of life. As he gets to know Alaska he starts to fall for her but Alaska has a boyfriend who she’s supposedly in love with. Meanwhile Alaska is in the search of a girlfriend for him, Laura. The Colonel, Alaska, Pudge, Laura and Takumi (another friend) decide to prank the Weekday Worriers. The Weekday Worries are the so called wealthy kids of Culver Creek. They decide to prank the Weekday Worries because they have been messing with them and want to get them back.  As these five friends get together and prank these snobs they all become insanely close. After the prank, Laura and Pudge start to date.  Soon Miles finds himself in a love triangle. He knows he can’t have Alaska so he settles for Laura. One night the Colonel, Pudge and Alaska get together. Quickly the tables are turned and Pudge and Alaska start kissing. A few minutes after Alaska leaves the room and comes back crying and freaking out asking the Colonel and Pudge to distract the Eagle (Culver Creeks dean) so she can drive away. They help her without asking why and soon after Pudge and the Colonel regret helping her more than anything.
Review: I would recommend this book to anyone. Since this book does have one inappropriate part I would only recommend this book a reader that has a high level maturity. Other than that semi-sexual part this book is wonderful. John Green makes you question the way you look at life, and you’re religious status. I personally learned a lot form this book and I think others can too. I began to question life, and to notice things I never did before. I owe it all to John Green, so yes I would recommend this book to anyone.