My journey is a trail waiting to be hiked, a mountain waiting to be climbed, and a path that inevitably leads to death.
It all started in California, when I began my life journey. I fluttered my wings, streaking a line of orange through the ripple of dawn lights as it shined down on me. I was blinded by the bright glow, which lit up the dark blue sky, bringing some happiness into this world. I looked at the city below, and it looked like small swarms of fireflies. But before I knew it, I was swallowed by a black and inky sensation. The moon was the sun in the night, my only source of light and hope. I know I cannot complete this journey on my own, but I shall continue on my legacy in my death, and pass it on to my descendants. I am the Monarch Butterfly.
My journey is a trail waiting to be hiked, a mountain waiting to be climbed, and a path that inevitably leads to death. I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, and settled down for a few days. I lived on the surrounding trees and ate the soft leaves. Trees and water were scarce. I watched a coyote burst open a cactus and water splashed out. I swooped down. My antenna caught droplets of shimmering water. What I was actually thinking is that this place is too dry for me to settle down.
Hello, dear reader. My name is Finn, and I have a story to tell. It is a story about myself, and I must warn you, it is quite strange. Now let us begin, shall we?
May 26, 2022
“Wonderful. Take him to Doctor Wheeler.”
I woke up to a very bald man peering down at me. I was still in a haze from just waking up, so at first, I had mistaken him for an egg. Perhaps Humpty Dumpty? Well. Anyways. Just as I tried to look around, everything went black.
“Testing, testing. Hello? Can you hear me? HELLO?”
I jolted awake. I had been placed in a tray on a large desk. In front of the desk sat a pale, slender woman who slightly resembled a grasshopper. The round framed glasses she wore were much too big for her face and they made her piercing gray eyes look like tiny little pebbles.
“Ah. There we go.”
She cleared her throat.
“You must be confused. Let me explain. I am Christina Wheeler, the head of OAS(, Ocean Awareness Society). A team of our finest and most devoted scientists here have spent months designing, planning, building, and perfecting you. Now, you may be wondering who or what you are. You, my dear, are OAS’s very first robotic fish prototype.”
Liam woke up to the sound of noise outside his window. The adults of his community were coming together to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the community. Liam was still sluggish from a long night's sleep and dragged himself downstairs. There, he found his parents making him breakfast.
“Cheer up,” his mom noticed his drowsiness, “Today is the big day. It’s the bicentenary of this community.”
“How come we still have to go to school? Isn’t today a holiday?” Liam dreaded school. It was just teachers reading off books and giving piles of homework.
“Now, eat your breakfast, and don’t be late. You don’t want to be tardy on the anniversary,” Liam’s mom gave him his food and left for the celebration.
“You heard what your mom said, don’t be late,” Liam’s dad left him.
Liam heard the sound of the bus and scoffed down his meal. If he was late, his parents would be mad.
He rushed out the front door and headed for the bus stop. He got there and barely made the bus. Liam headed to his normal spot in the back with his friend Julius.
“Hey, what’s up?” Liam said, instantly getting a rush of energy.
“Nothing much. I still don’t understand why we have to go to school. The parents have the day off, so why can’t we?” Julius was delighted at the sight of Liam.
“Same,” Liam said.
Liam sat down and waited to go to school. He felt that this time, the bus was exceptionally fast.
When the bus finally came to a stop, everyone looked like zombies. Like Liam, they all dreaded school. They walked as slow as possible, so they wouldn’t have to suffer in school. But they still had to unless they wanted to get in trouble with their parents.
However, inside the school was a buzz of activity. Until the bell rang, friends met and talked about what happened in the community. After that, everyone went to their own classroom and wouldn’t be together before lunch.
After a couple hours of learning, which in Liam’s perspective felt like a century, lunch finally came. He got the chunky food that the school served. There were pieces of uncut cheese and slimy stuff. He didn’t want to eat it, but he would be hungry otherwise. Liam held his breath and ate it.
He thought that he barely survived and went to play. While he was playing basketball with Julius, a magical portal appeared. There was a ring of fire, with an orange middle. Liam, being curious, stepped into the portal, and was transported to another place, the evil dimension. Julius followed him into the portal. They tried going back, but the portal closed.
Liam thought that he might as well just explore the place that he was trapped in. He walked around but found nothing. Julius went looking in the other direction. He did find something and called for Liam.
“Liam! There’s something here. Come look,” Julius gestured at where his feet were.
Liam ran over and saw a creature. He thought that it was another thing stuck in the dimension, but he was wrong. Liam went to wake the creature up, and it was furious.
Of course, it couldn’t talk in human language, but its face was as red as a tomato. It began grunting loudly and started to swing its arm.
The creature was a Bodel and was in the middle of hibernation. It was buff and had the power of 100 people. Liam had woken it up when it was getting rest and the Bodel need some for sleepless days.
While it was swiping its arm, it hit Liam. Julius saw that and yelled for help while dragging Liam. The Bodel, now awake for its hibernation, began chasing after them.
“Help us! There’s a creature chasing us, help us!” Julius was on the verge of crying.
Just then, another portal appeared. It was in the center of the community, where the celebration was held. All the parents came and saw Liam unconscious. Their sense of community was strong, and they had to beat the Bodel.
Trying to avenge Liam, the parents started to hit the Bodel. While they had a good reason, to avenge Liam for the greater good, the Bodel didn’t have a good one. After being hit a couple of times, the Bodel went back to its burrow. The community returned to the community center, but the celebration ended. Liam was hurt.
The community came together and drove him to the nearest hospital where Liam recovered.
“What happened?” Liam woke up. Everyone was elated when they found out Liam was still alive.
Liam’s parents explained everything that had happened to Liam.
Liam learned two important lessons that day. First, don’t go into random portals. Second, the community is stronger than power.
My community is Bellevue, where I live. My community is also my school, Medina Elementary.
First, there is a lot of fun in this community. There is Medina Beach Park, Medina Park near Medina Elementary, and Bellevue Library in Bellevue. At Medina Beach Park and Medina Park, I used to play there sometimes. In addition, I go to Bellevue Library from time to time. I went there a few days ago to get my prize for the summer reading. We also checked out some books and brought them home.
Also, the jobs in Bellevue and Medina can save us. For example, firefighters can save us from fire. Also, the police protect us from crimes. These jobs can save our lives, and they are very critical in Bellevue/Medina community.
I know the school better than anywhere else, except for my house. I know all the places, except for some special places that I’ve never gone to. For example, I don’t know much about the 5th-grade hallway and which teachers teach which classrooms in other grades. That’s because I’ve never been there before. Still, I know a lot about the school.
Medina Elementary and Bellevue are my community. It is like my house as if it were home, and I like my community, where I spend most of my time. My community has provided me with many resources to let me grow. When I grow up, I also want to contribute to this community to help it become better and better.
It all started in California, when I began my life journey. I fluttered my wings, streaking a line of orange through the ripple of dawn lights, as it shined down on me. I was blinded by the bright glow, which lit up the dark blue sky, bringing some happiness into this world. I looked at the city below, and it looked like small swarms of fireflies. But before I knew it, I was swallowed by a black and, inky sensation. The moon was the sun in the night, my only source of light and hope. I know I cannot complete this journey on my own, but I shall continue on my legacy in my death, and pass it on to my descendants. I, the Danaus Plexippus Plexippus, or the Monarch Butterfly, will truthfully grant this omen.
My journey is a trail waiting to be hiked, a mountain waiting to be climbed, and a path that inevitably leads to death. I travelled to Phoenix, Arizona, and settled down for a few days. I lived on the surrounding trees and ate the soft leaves. Trees and water were scarce. I watched a coyote burst open a cactus and water splashed out. I swooped down, down, and down. My antenna caught droplets of shimmering, glittery water. What I was actually thinking is that this place is too dry for me to settle down.
The next day, when dusk knocked at on my door, I took flight into the darkening sky. I arrived in Utah and saw much. I was satisfied. There were many thriving trees and enough water. Something in my small mind, though, says that I was not cut out for this kind of place. I was impatient to find my home, but I knew this was far too early. I left the next morning.
To Alaska I went! But unbeknownst to me, way before I arrived, a storm awaited my arrival. My dainty wings proved to be were no match against the strong blows of the howling winds. It felt like a dagger piercing through my mind and numbing my senses to no end.
It all ends here. I collapsed in the soft pine leaves, and waited for death to call my name.
The Emerald Youth Review is back with a special summer challenge!
Submissions are now open for our 2022 Summer Contest. Whether a family around a Sunday night dinner table, or a rowdy football team, we think of community as the people who surround us, as our friends and family.
But community can also be a place, a culture, or a set of shared ideals. With this contest, we encourage you to think outside of the box. Where do you feel like you belong? Maybe you're a shapeshifter, a social butterfly who flits from group to group, harnessing the power of your many interests and unique qualities. Draw your multiverse of friend groups: your comic book club, your Scout troop, your homeroom desk buddy, teaming up to fight evil with you. Paint the secret spot you and your best friend promised you'd never tell anyone else, ever -- behind the giant oak tree in their backyard. Write about the trials and tribulations of a misfit orca whale in the world's first all marine-life cheerleading team!
Up to the challenge? Win best in show in your division (Elementary or Middle/High School) and win a custom embossed cloth ribbon presented by the Emerald Parents Association Board.
Make sure to include your name, grade, school, and title of the piece when emailing your submission to YouthReview@EmeraldParents.org. Headshots are optional, but we'd appreciate them!
All writing and art will be due by Friday, August 5th. We are extremely excited to field your most delightful and whimsical creations.
The contributing editors for this series are Victor Xia, Kailani Ye, and Eva Chen.
The Youth Review presents our 15th series, "New Year, New Me", in celebration of the annual time for reflection and reset.
Derek Wang's New Year, New Me, Teresa Jiang's New Year Resolution, and Brendon Wang's New Year, New Me each list the writer's individual resolutions for the months to come. Whether it's playing basketball, reading books, or practicing piano, let us all wish them the best of luck in accomplishing their goals!
On the other hand, Eva Chen takes a different approach in her beautiful coming-of-age poem, No Change, filled with thought-provoking imagery and perspectives.
Be sure to also check out the final chapter of the longer series The Mysterious Island by Teresa Jiang and Lindsey Mo! If you missed the previous chapters, you can start here.
Last year was challenging in some ways, but it led to other great things like learning new things. I hope this year will be better and the pandemic will stop. This year, I will exercise more, get better at Chinese, get better at playing the piano, and improve at math.
First, I want to exercise more. I have been sitting at the computer for the past year, and it’s bad for my body. I will do 100 jump ropes per day. This will also help me grow faster. Whenever the weather cooperates, I will play tennis. This will make me better at tennis and provide a workout.
Next, I will get better at Chinese. During the weekend, I will write a paragraph about Chinese. I will also write words during the weekend. Doing this will help me get better at Chinese and fill in my free time.
Then, I will also improve at playing the piano. I will practice every day without my mom reminding me. When I practice, I will concentrate on playing the piano instead of doing other things.
Finally, I will improve in math. Although I am already good at math, I always make silly mistakes. This year, I will be more accurate. This will help me get better scores in math contests.
In conclusion, I will do things that can help me become better at some skills, and help my body recover from sitting in front of the computer all day. This will make me a better person overall.
Starting as early as October, some might say, is when the holiday season begins
Halloween, creepy things, Snicker bars and Twix
Children running down the streets
Evening, moonlight, a gentle breeze
Orange plastic jack-o-lanterns
Sit on desks with candy stashes
Biggest chocolate bars never get eaten
I think I’ll save them until the time is right.
But that day
Seasons grow cold, Thanksgiving appears
And fades away as quick as it came
It’s here, it’s there
The spirit seems to resonate everywhere
All the preparation, excitement
Gift buying, surprises
Leading up to only two magical days
Then dreams fade
Reality settles and stays
Gloom until the very last day
One fateful friday
When the children are tucked away, already fast in slumber
The clock ticking
Why does it sound louder?
Excitement running high
Peering at the sky
A new morning, a new day
A new year,
But no change
Eva Chen is a seventh grader at Eastside Preparatory School.