A Lonely Halloween Night
When you wake up to demons hunching over you, would you grin in pleasure or shriek endlessly? When you come home to a wonderful feast of eyeballs and slime, would you sigh from happiness or faint from horror? Join the Halloween spirits for a fun (and creepy ) Halloween adventure!
One lonely Halloween night, a poor family was sitting near a burning fireplace watching a tiny cable expectedly. It blurred and shattered as the screen fluttered from black to white to gray. They were in a very old and deserted ghost town. It was once a great city full of beautiful skyscrapers and a big population, but now it was just a lonely lonely little town. The family consisted of one mom and one girl, and her dad was so far away from work that they couldn’t contact him because of the poor network in this little town. Today was Halloween and the girl wanted to celebrate, so they bought two lonely pieces of candy and used their whole year’s savings just to buy a little basket for it. They shared a little tin of black market biscuits as they watched the screen flicker from a football game to a cartoon. Their family could not possibly afford a TV with a remote control, so they had bought a small used cable instead. They had nothing to do during the day except sit around and eat, so the cable was the only source of entertainment.
In the neighborhood they were definitely alone: there were weeds and moss growing in the backyard and wrapping around the trees. In the neighborhood, there was nobody living in the houses. The windows were blocked off and there was construction- but not what you would expect. It was completely deserted. Before, the house was complete, but now it has been torn down by the years of vines and wind and rain. Grass was growing everywhere! You could hardly see any houses and trees through the windows because there were so many vines and wavy grasses that stretched up onto the walls of every building they could.
Meanwhile... far beneath the woods of the lonely little house was a little home to spirits, spirits called Black and White. Black had little black strokes that fluttered and flew everywhere she went. White was a little guy that liked to make a loud racket. Of course Black was the older sister and of course White was the younger sister. The young fella really wanted to eat! She was really hungry, and she had not eaten for days, when she caught a whiff of something sweet and something savory - something that she could use as a snack. The girls went inside a little house and found blue masks, then they got long, flowy robes that floated carefully as quietly as cats to every house, in search of food.
Finally the little house where the poor woman and little girl were, was the only place they hadn’t searched. They knocked once, twice, thrice. They heard a happy gasp followed by creaking floors and then the door was open. A little girl came up to greet them, and she said “Happy Halloween!” Black and White answered with a happy “Trick or Treat!” The little girl handed them both pieces of candy and they could tell that she was grateful that they had come to her house. The two ghosts wanted to repay the family’s generosity, so they put a big metal tray which they filled up with a feast: steaming hot roasted chicken with seasoning and cranberry juice with all kinds of yummy pulp and fruit. Finally, there was the best milk, eggs, and butter- but that one special thing that they made sure to put in was one small woven basket of candy.
Jazakee and the Serpent
“Jaz, you must go to your grandmama’s house,” said Mrs. Tomuro.
“Yes, Mama,” said Jazakee.
“Go ask her for oil for the lamp. We are running short on that. Bring Tobuka, too.” Mrs. Tomuro pointed at the Siamese kitten lying in the corner.
Jaz and Tobuka set off into the forest. It was all dark and the trees seemed to have shriveled black. Tobuka meowed in fear. “The forest can be…scary at times like midnight.” Jaz tried to sound brave as she told Tobuka it was normal to feel scared sometimes.
Owls hooted, mice skittered around frantically, and coyotes howled in the distance. Jaz shivered. She felt as if someone were following them. Then she saw something move in the bushes. She did not wait to see what it was. Turning around, Jaz broke into a sprint. Tobuka was right behind her.
Something was slithering behind them. “Don’t turn and look around!” Jaz told Tobuka. “That is a serpent which can turn you to stone if you make eye contact with it!” She had heard stories about the deadly creature from her grandpa when he was alive. She knew about its green scales and red eyes. But her warning came too late. She heard a dreaded crackle of rock magic behind her. She squinted and turned around. Tobuka was a big statue. But the serpent had slithered off.
Jaz shuddered as she looked at Tobuka’s rock body. Something about it made her feel nervous. Its mouth was wide open. Its eyes were sightless and under the moonlight, the entire statue seemed to move as if it were shivering with her. Its shadow cast onto a tree. “Rest in peace for now. I will defeat the terrible snake to revive you,” promised Jaz as she looked away from her best friend’s statue.
She turned around and reached into her pocket for a piece of watermelon flavored gum. Chewing gum helped to relieve stress. But she pulled out a little mirror instead. She remembered it in an instant. Her mother gave it to her as a birthday gift. She suddenly realized the key to defeating the serpent.
But first she would go to her grandmama’s house.
Jaz walked the treacherous way to her grandmama’s little red hut. Thorns snagged at her dress and she thought that a few vines were probably snakes, watching her. She walked in. It was all dark. “Had mother not told gran that I would visit her? Had she turned off the lights?” Wondered Jazakee.
She called, “Granny?” No answer. “Gran?” Nothing. Then she heard an odd slithering noise. No---the serpent! The lights went on. Jaz closed her eyes and held up her mirror. She heard the serpent hiss in pure terror.
Opening her eyes, she saw that the serpent had turned to stone. It saw its own red eyes and was defeated by itself. She heard a gasp and then, “Jazakee Tomuro?”
“Granny!” cried Jaz.
The snake statue disappeared into thin air. Where would it go? Thought Jaz. But that was not important now.
“Gran, may I have some oil for the lamp?” asked Jaz.
Gran handed Jaz the oil cup and Jaz said, “Arigato.”
Jaz skipped away from her grandmother’s hut. She had destroyed the killer-creature! Now even the midnight forest seemed to be home. Then, she saw a little cat pacing around the area where she had met the serpent.
“Tobuka?” The little cat turned around and ran toward her. Jaz picked him up and hugged him.
Then Tobuka and Jaz hurried home to give their mother the oil for the lamp.
Serena Wang is a 4th grader at Cedar Crest Academy. This is her first story with the Youth Review.
In Which Luna Convinces Her Mom
Luna had her mind all on the poster she read yesterday. She didn’t hear one word that her teacher had said. She either had not paid attention, or learned anything new.
After class, Luna wandered over to the same poster that hung right down the street of her classroom.
She glanced away, but looked back. Luna made her choice. Though it might be impossible, Luna would try to persuade her mom to let her go to the secret island.
She walked closer to her home. Once she arrived, she became more confident she could do it.
“I have something to say,” Luna said when she closed the door.
“Huh?” Ada asked, a little startled.
“We’re listening, Luna,” said Mrs. Luni.
“Alright. Well, I saw this sign on the streets. Basically, a few people can go together to investigate a mysterious island, and well . . .”
“You are telling me that you want to go?” Mrs. Luni interrupted, gasping.
“I guess so . . . Ada can also go with me.” Luna said.
“No, there is no possible way. Luna, you are only eleven. Why don’t you ask someone else to help you investigate?” said Mrs. Luni.
“Please? We really want to help!” Luna and Ada both stared at their mom.
“Hmm . . . I guess you both can go this time.”
Ada and Luna scampered upstairs to prepare their things.
“I can't wait!” Luna said to Ada while they were packing.
“You got me into this,” Ada said. “Even though I'm starting to worry I’m also bursting with excitement.” Ada had just packed her last thing.
The Real Warriors
No school — yay! Mom told us to wake up, and then get ready for a sumptuous breakfast. Wow, sumptuous? We'll be eating fancy food and be in a humongous restaurant? I’m super duper excited!
“We're going to go now!” Mom hollered as I scurried out of bed.
After a while of walking, we finally arrived at the restaurant which was located right across the street in our neighborhood. I was fully thrilled until…
“How’s this special? It looks so old, but so many people are outside waiting to order their breakfast! Mom, what is happening?” I asked, confused.
“It’s a little but popular breakfast restaurant...”
I sighed with hundreds of questions. Was this really called a restaurant? I’m not sure…
The smell was floating into my nose, but the ambience wasn’t as good as I thought. It looked wrecked, broken, and little. When I touched the seat, my hands were covered with dust. Meanwhile, all I could hear was people chattering.
Shortly, a woman with plain clothes came towards us warm-heartedly with a smile, bringing us four kinds of food. She seemed to be really tired but dedicatedly cleaned the table and put the dishes in front of us.
“Thanks for your patience, Here is your order, the ‘Four Warriors’. They are the most famous Shanghai breakfast!"
I looked at the plates closely and curiously found one that held a pocket of warm air and is fragrant with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. There were some fried dough sticks that were very light. Another one was silky soy milk mixed with lots of different kinds of sauce. The last one was a ball of rice with some secret ingredients inside.
Although I was born in the USA, my mom and dad were born and raised in China. It follows that my hometown is in China. I used to go there every year until I started school. The last time that I went to China was in 2016.
When I went to Xi'an in China, I would always eat a lot of yummy foods. The last time I went back to China, I ate barbeque. I asked for no spice, but in the end, I still got a little bit. That was the first time I had ever eaten chili, and I was very proud of myself. Whenever I ate a meat piece, I would drink a lot of water, then eat another piece.
I also remember getting a toy from a movie which was about a police car. I really wanted the toy, but they didn’t sell it in the USA. The toy was only sold in China. When I went to China later that year, I got the toy. When I got to my grandparents’ house, I rushed to the toy.
Where my grandparents live in China, there was another kid with the same name as me. I played with him. Once, we were lighting fireworks. I also remember playing with fake guns. We were pretending to be the police.
I went to a wedding of my grandparents’ friend. I ate a piece of candy with something I was allergic to. After I ate it, I thought I was going to throw up. I never ate any candy from China after that day.
I was born in Kirkland, Washington. Therefore, my homeland is the United States of America.
When I think of my homeland, I think first of its natural beauty. There are many national parks in the USA. There are many cute animals in the national parks. We went to two national parks recently: Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Park.
At Mt. Rainier, we hiked up the mountains. I saw a few chipmunks. Feeding wildlife is against the law, but some people fed the chipmunks. My mom took videos, and I watched the chipmunks. My dad and my brother hiked further than me and my mom on the trail.
At the Olympic National Park, we went to the Hoh Rainforest and Hurricane Ridge.
At the Hoh Rainforest, we hiked in two trails: the Spruce Natural Trail and the Hall Of Mosses trail. We took a break after starting to walk the Hall Of Mosses trail. We saw ducks swimming in a pond. One by one, they went on a log. Then, they went back into the pond! They are like a troop who follows orders. The ducks were funny copying what everybody else did!
At Hurricane Ridge, we hiked only one trail. We walked back to the parking lot to take photos. We also saw a deer. We took photos and a video. It was eating some small plants. After taking many photos, we took a close-up view of the deer. Its ear was hurt!
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is widely spread in my homeland of the USA. Because of COVID-19, we rarely go to national parks these days. I hope the restrictions of COVID-19 can end so we can explore more national parks and see more animals without worrying about getting COVID-19.
Chapter One: In Which We Must Not Waste Time
There is time, the most precious thing in our world.
How do you know? There are much more precious things.
Time can not be rewound, and nothing can be repeated the exact same.
But why? Sometimes I have to do the same things at the same time everyday.
Child, you shall stop asking about what things are. You must focus on what you are doing right now. Time will not be the same every time.
But this is knowledge, and sometimes we must learn!
Yes, you must. You shall. But right now, time is being wasted from the questions you ask by the minute.
Fine, fine. But questions are another way to see everything your way.
Yes, there are things you must learn and see, but time has fled from us right before your eyes.
Chapter Two: In Which Problems Can Be Fixed
It was a bright summer day in Alter town. Luna, a ten-year-old girl, strolled around the city, looking for some stores to buy food from. The street was bustling with crowds of people, many people walking from place to place. Luna had to be rapid so she could find somewhere to buy lunch.
Then, Luna spotted the perfect store, one that had what her mom told her to buy written right on an enormous sign. She rushed past the road, and dashed into the store. Instead of a few people, there were many -- about a count of sixteen!
Quarter of an hour passed without any movement, and only five minutes were left to spare. Would she be on time to go back home?
Just then, someone walked up to her and tapped her shoulder. The stranger said something that Luna did not understand.
“What did you say?” Answered Luna, prudently. She spun around.
The stranger laughed. “I asked if you need help.”
It was Ada, Luna’s big sister!
Luna was confused. What would she be doing at the market? Ada was supposed to be in piano class!
“Huh? I thought you were in Ms. Vitney’s house?”
Ada shrugged. “You should’ve looked at the time. Also, you are late to come back home, so mom sent me here to help you out if you needed that.”
“Hey, how did mom know where I am?”
“I’ll tell you later. Oh, and, I got the food already at another store.”
Off the two sisters went. They walked all the way back home, until they noticed that both of them, now, were thirty minutes late!
They darted back to their cabin.
“Mom! We’re back!” Ada yelled.
“Oh dear, you guys sure are late! Luna, your class is starting soon. You should get ready.” Mrs. Wilson said as she rushed to the door.
“Yes, mom,” Luna replied.
She placed her hat on the coat rack, then ran upstairs to pack. She took out a piece of paper of what she needed for a language group.
Luna stuffed everything in her backpack rapidly. She was determined to be on time for this class!
- Language Arts book
- Vocabulary flashcards
- Pen, pencil, and eraser
- Pretzels and Yogurt
As Luna walked along the streets, she saw something on a sign that caught her eye. Something she was interested in, and wanted to know a lot more about.
Chapter Three: In Which Time Can’t Be Rewound
She stared at the sign, reading about it. Woah, a mysterious island which needs to be investigated. The sign was carved with these words:
This island is unpredictable of what is on it, but we will be hiring people to investigate the island. This will help with our investigation program. Remember, it is not easy work, so if you decide to help out, make sure you bring everything you might need. This includes bags of meat, vegetables, fruits, bottles of water, a flashlight, some batteries, a small tent, a sleeping bag, many clothes, sweaters, pairs of shoes, a first aid kit, a backpack, some books, a pillow, many towels, a cell phone, and any other things that may be needed for a long, terrifying trip. Are you interested in going? Please contact 1927-313-2810. Reward is $500.
Curiosity shot through Luna. Everything seemed very interesting, but absolutely dangerous. Should she go? Luna could do this. She may be the person who could help. But it was hazardous, a decision that wouldn’t be easy to make.
If I want to help out, thought Luna, will my parents be too worried and decline my request? How should I convince them?
Attack of Pearl Harbor
John Brown, a 16-year-old boy, is in the US Navy. On the morning of December 7, 1941, John Brown was listening to the radio. Suddenly, he heard that the Japanese were attacking. At first, he thought that it was a drill but when he went outside, there was a bunch of Japanese planes. He quickly went to the navy airship launcher and went to one of the planes. Suddenly, one of the Japanese planes bombed the place where John was just standing. He was determined the shoot all of them down.
“We have more planes coming in,” said John’s boss. He was one of the best pilots in the Navy. John always looked up to him. When he grew up, he wanted to be just like him.
A very big plane zoomed by John. He had already seen the red dot of Japanese planes on it. He turned his plane around and prepared to shoot the plane. When the plane was in the target range, he shot the plane down. The plane exploded when it almost dropped another bomb. Just then, another Japanese plane flew by and this time, it was targeting John. John was very afraid and started to turn and run away but the other plane had already shot. John was scared as the plane plummeted from the air.
John slowly opened his eyes. He was crashing from the sky. The plane was turning around and around. Just then, there was a raging fire and the plane crashed on a beach.
“Hello?” asked a nurse, “Are you awake?” The nurse dragged John to a temporary hospital near the beach.
John finally woke up and asked the nurse who she was.
“My name is Mary Webster,” said the nurse, “I found you on the beach near a plane crash. We have trained doctors to help you.”
When she said that, a doctor walked into the room.
"Hello, my name is Doctor Robert Bell. I am very pleased to help you. I will make sure that all your wounds will be gone."
The doctor gave John a drug which made him go back to sleep. The doctor then sewed the wounds on John. When John woke up again, he looked as if nothing had happened. Just as he was waking up, a bomb had been dropped onto the hospital where his friends were working. He instantly jumped up and run towards the hospital. The hospital was collapsing, and people were rushing out of the building. John went into the building to rescue some people. He first went to the floor where the doctors were working. He saw that they had already escaped but some other people weren't that lucky. John helped some of the doctors to get out of the building before everything fell apart.
When he helped another doctor out of the building, the building couldn't hold anymore and collapsed. John felt sad for the sick people who couldn't escape the building. He knew that he had to go fight the Japanese navy again but there was a small problem: every single plane was blown up. He decided to shoot from the ground.
"Watch out!" shouted another person as a bomb flew above John. John ducked and got a machine gun. He started firing at the sky above him. He had successfully shot down a plane.
John was even more determined to shoot down more planes. He had helped a lot in reducing the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Ghost Town Island
One wispy night, Odysseus traveled on his ship for days and days until he finally found an island. The island was very tropical, but this island was not as it looked like. It was mysterious, creepy and usually if people went in there, they never came out.
Odysseus needed to escape this island before sundown or the island would swallow him whole. On the island there was a monster named Milligoo who was roaming the island or, should I say, he was the creator of the island. He set a tent, a table, and even had a barbecue set up. Milligoo was stubborn and he had T-Rex hugs. His hugs were very big. You needed to beware of the hugs, because if you stay too long you will get stuck on the monster’s body. Then the monster will wait till you melt and Milligoo will swallow you up.
When Odysseus saw Milligoo, he knew what he was in for. Milligoo did not take Odysseus seriously, as he was just really stubborn and wouldn’t let Odysseus go off his gigantic body hugs. Odysseus waited and waited.
Eventually Odysseus ran out of patience, so he lassoed the monster. But he accidentally lassoed himself into the sticky bundle. Until he squirmed as quickly as possible, and then ran towards his awaiting ship. Unfortunately, some of the goo was still stuck on his shoe. He ran and ran until he took a break. He took a break for five minutes and the goo got harder and turned into hard rock. Now he couldn’t run anymore. He was stuck.
Odysseus didn’t know what to do. He could only stand there and think of a way he could get back to his ship. Until the song “The Blue Danube” was played by the island. This was very drowsy music. He was almost asleep when he remembered he needed to go back to the ship before sundown so he thought of a one and only idea. He got a special gift from Athena who was the Greek goddess of Wisdom. The gift was a lasso sword that has portable gem medicine. He ate a gem medicine from his sword. He remembered the goo was only stuck on his shoes and took off his shoe and on barefoot he ran all the way back to his ship.
The good part was he had found some fruits on the island and he ate it so he wouldn't starve and had a full belly. He finished his adventurous trip on the island so he went back to sailing around the world.
After a whole week’s sailing, he saw a tropical island. He recognized that island was the Ghost Town Island. One week ago he saw the same island. He did not know what happened to the boat’s course but figured he had sailed back around to the island. He picked up the map to study the Island and saw something he hadn’t caught before, but should’ve -- something that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up in fear.
He read: Once a person gets on the island, if the person leaves the island, the island will follow the person.
Once a person gets on the island, if the person leaves the island, the island will follow the person.