Hiya and I are experienced 7th graders (very professional people) and we have some advice that will make your 7th grade year a little easier (only a little).

1.) Don’t leave your homework at homeif you do, your teacher will hate you, you’ll have no friends, and I’ll make fun of you

2.) Don’t forget your notebook paper – if you do, your supplier will never be your friend (oh wait–you don’t have any, cause you left your homework at home)

3.) Don’t, I repeat DO NOT bring gum. EVER. – if you do, you won’t live to see the light of day

4.) Don’t buy lunch on the 1st day of school – if you do, you probably won’t be at school the next day

5.) Don’t fall down the stairs (it hurts) – if you do, everyone will make fun of you

The Forest

“Why me?” I muttered, as I sloshed through the muddy lake. “Why did I have to volunteer for this stupid search? Can’t someone else find this stupid golden chalice? You’d think that a shining gold cup would stand out in a forest of brown muck.” I stepped out of the muddy lake and looked down at my boots. I sighed, Mother would be furious when she saw the dirt caked on my boots. “Whatever,” I said, “I just want to get out of here as soon as possible.”

I could leave without the cup, I a.ways knew that was a option. But that would’ve meant that I had failed and I’d be kicked out. Mother would probably be even more furious if that happened. “Generations of our family line have gone to the school, Talia! Of course you’d be the generation to end that long lasting line.” I rolled my eyes. Mother could be so dramatic sometimes.

My foot caught on something and I tripped and fell. “Great,” I stood back up, attempting to brush the mud from my clothes, “now Mother can yell at me about my clothes as well!” I turned to see what had tripped me. A long line of string. Who would tie string here just to trip people? Who would even go someplace like this? I thought, Me. I answered my own question. But why would they just leave a piece of string tied to a tree like a perfect…trap. I need to get out of here. Now.

I turned around and ran the way I came, hoping I remembered correctly. I trudged through the mud as quickly as I could, but it felt as if something was pulling me back. A splash sounded behind me. Then a closer one. And another one. And another one, this time right behind me. I felt something wrap around my leg and pull me down. No! I trashed at the surface, fighting to stay above the dark, muddy waters. I reached for my ankle and dug my nail straight into the body of a slimy creature. It hissed and unwound. I ran through the mud as fast as I could. Just a little longer! I told myself. I could see land. Once I reached the land, I could run faster. Half swimming, half hopping, I ran for the surface. Finally my fingers grazed land as I pulled ,yield up.

But right as my leg was about to come up, I felt the creature wrap around my ankle again, this time pulling harder. I screamed and thrashed, hoping for someone to hear me. Seemed I got my wish, as right as I was about to be dragged under, I saw a pair of muddy boots appear in front of me. Help! I thought, hoping my eyes showed it, since my mouth was already under.

But instead of leaning down to grab my outstretched arm, the person spoke, “Finally,” a male voice said, “it’s been a long time since anyone has entered this forest. But never has anyone gotten out.”

Everything went black.


Xirena Starr stumbled out of the alleyway, the bright sunlight blinding her. She kept her head down as she walked down the street with unstable steps. A loud honk sounded as a car veered quickly to the side, just barely avoiding her. But she didn’t care. This was her chance, her one chance to be human. She couldn’t waste it. But one mistake was all it would take. The deal was, if she transformed into her demonic form, just once even, her soul would return to the Keeper. He had given her just one chance. But that’s how it was in the Underworld, don’t expect demons to be fair. Slowly, she walked to the other side of the street, making sure to take deep breaths. This was it, this was what she had wanted for years, her chance to finally prove she could be human, she could be good. For the first time in what felt like forever, Xirena smiled, a true, real smile.


Xirena stepped into her apartment, her groceries in hand. As she turned around to lock the door behind her, she felt a hand press over her mouth and something cold flash against her throat.

“We can do this the easy way, or the hard way. I’m only going to ask you this once. Where are your valuables?” a cold voice asked behind her. I’m being robbed, the thought came to her. Living the human world for a month had taught her things, not all of them good. Anger flared in her as she attempted to push it down.

“Where are your valuables?!” the voice was getting angry too. That’s two times, not once, Xirena’s sarcastic side whispered. Xirena dropped her groceries and yanked the hand off of her mouth.

Xirena strained against the pull of her demonic form. Most people would be scared about something like this, not furious, she told herself. After all I’ve been through just to be human, I can’t give it to something like this! But it was too late, she had already given her demonic form a small entrance to slip through.

“You messed with the wrong person,” she said, as her demonic form took charge. She formed a fireball in her hand and threw it a the robber. The man lit on fire, his surprised face turning into fear. The man exploded, only a small pile of dust left. Xirena eyes opened wide as realization hit her. Her heart contorted in pain and she fell to her knees. A blue wisp flew out of her mouth and floated into the air. Her soul was gone, but the pain wasn’t. She was dying, and right before she had died, she heard a whisper in her head, “I never lose.”

A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

Sunset behind the cloudsCreative Commons License         Vins StoneM via Compfight

A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky


A BOAT beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July —
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear —
Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?
I really liked this poem because of the imagery it gave. I really liked the last stanza and the way that the last line ended in a question. I love the way that the last stanza tied into the first stanza really well and how it talked about the boat under the sunny sky again. 

Three Tourist Attractions

If you’re bored of staying at home and seeing the same images everyday, come to Texas, where you can find fun, bold, and new sights. Here are three gorgeous, unique, and exciting places in the city of Austin.

1.) Zilker Park Kite Festival


Matt Gibson via Compfight

The Zilker Park Kite Festival is a fun place to visit with family on a cool, windy day. All the kites flying in the air, the laughter floating around, the feeling of relaxation, it couldn’t get much better than this.

2.) Austin City Limits

ACL Fest 2015

David Ingram via Compfight

Austin City Limits is one of the biggest music festivals in Texas. With great artists, loud music, and lots of friends, you cannot miss such a big event.

3.) Trail of Lights

Traffic - Lisbon, Portugal - Urban photography

Giuseppe Milo via Compfight

The Trail of Lights is a beautiful light show centered around Disney themes. The beautiful lights, the cute designs, the tons of pictures, the Trail of Lights is a great place to come with kids.

Out Alone

Irina Dale lived in a small log cabin-like house near the edge of town. Irina hardly ever had visitors, so when a knock sounded from the front door, she was obviously surprised. Cautiously, Irina turned off the gas for her tea, and walked towards the front door.

“Miss Irina Dale?” A tall man with dark hair read from a white sheet of paper. Irina nodded.

“What are you doing out here all alone, miss?” The man’s eyes met hers.

“I like it out here,” Irina responded, proudly.

Irina looked up, expecting to see surprise painted across the man’s face. Instead he was nodding, as if this didn’t surprise him. “If I may ask, are you really out here because you like it, or because someone hurt you?” the man asked.

“Before I give you all the details to my personal life, may I ask who you are and what you are doing here, sir?” Irina spoke, her tone sharp.

“Of course, sorry miss,” the man didn’t even flinch, “My name is James North, I’m an FBI Agent. I’m here investigating a murder that occurred in this area.” Irina immediately felt bad for snapping at James. Then again, how was she to know? She hardly ever went out.

“A murder? I didn’t realize, I’m sorry,” Irina tucked her head.

“No problem, miss. Now, if I may continue with my questioning?” James asked. Irina nodded and decided to politely answer all of James’ questions.

Irina didn’t understand how half of James’ questions would help with the investigation, but she didn’t say anything about it.

“Sorry to waste your time miss, last question, I promise. Do you have any friends or family that you contact regularly?” James asked.

Irina didn’t understand how this would help, but she still answered, “My sister Iris contacts me about once every month or so. She visits me a couple times a year, but other than her, no one comes to visit me.”

“Thank you miss,” James wrote something down on his paper before placing it inside his jacket pocket.

“Before you leave, sir, I was just wondering. Who was it that was…murdered.” Irina’s voice softened.

She expected James to look remorseful or sad, but instead he grinned at her and pulled something shiny out of his pocket. “You,” he said simply before plunging a dagger into her heart.

The Cure

Year 2047
Erena slipped her arms into the long white coat as she pushed open the door to the lab. She grabbed a set of glasses from the equipment table and walked over to a station near the corner. Three others were working on the same project as she: a cure for skin cancer.

They finally thought they had come up with something— something to cure one of the world’s most deadly diseases.

Erena carefully pulled out one of the tubes from the holder and held it over the microscope. Finding what she wanted, she carefully turned around to place the tube away.

“I don’t think this is the right cure.” Erena said to her co-workers for the fourth day in a row.

“Erena, you’ve said that for days.” Bella didn’t even look up from her work.

“I know, but I have a feeling.” Erena sighed.

“Oh yeah, let’s give up on a cure for the world’s most deadly disease because Erena Novett has a feeling.” James said, caustically. Erena rolled her eyes.

“I’ve been right every other time, haven’t I?” She muttered to herself.

Erena turned around abruptly, her elbow gently hitting the test tubes. But gently was all it took. The clear glass shattered against the hard wood, the green liquid sloshing everywhere. Erena jumped back in surprise. James glared at her as he grab a towel and started to dab the liquid, careful to only let the towel touch his gloves.

He thinks I did it on purpose. Erena thought to herself.

“I’m sorry.” Erena blurted out, but no one looked at her.

James was careful to try and wipe every last spill, but still we brought out the cones to have the floor here cleaned better.

4 months later

An new epidemic was spreading rapidly throughout the town. People were dying in a matter of 2 days. No one knew how this was happening, or what was causing it. But Erena Novett had a guess. Her mistake in the lab roughly 4 months ago couldn’t have been a coincidence. The liquid that was supposed to cure skin cancer, was now killing people off, one by one. Soon the whole town would be dead, and there was no way to stop it.

Phantom of the Opera

Irina Effrayant entered her dressing room, proud of her last performance. Her dressing room was overflowing with bunches of roses, lining every corner, but as Irina looked around, the bright red rose sitting on the white dresser called her attention. Although it was only a rose in a room full of flowers, Irina knew this one was special.

Irina stepped towards the dresser and picked up the beautiful rose. She brushed her fingertips across its petals and she looked in the mirror. Her pale skin looked even paler in comparison to the bright flower. As she stared dreamily into the clear glass, Irina heard a voice in her head, telling her about her performance.

“Bravo! Bravo!” The voice called, loudly. Fog started to slowly cover the floor, draping over Irina’s feet. A figure appeared in the mirror. The figure held out his white-gloved hand through the mirror. “Come, Irina, come.”

Irina’s eyes glazed over as she walked towards the figure. Her hand slowly reaching outwards to meet the figure’s.

The Phantom, she chided herself. Somehow she knew his name – or at least what he was called.

Irina’s hand touched the Phantom and electricity shot through her. The Phantom pulled her through the mirror and Irina followed without question, her mind dazed.

They walked down what seemed like an endless staircase until the finally reached a dark, mysterious room. The Phantom’s lair.

The Disease

“Daren.” I called out into the darkness of the alley, “Are you there?” A figure stepped out of a small crevice and walked towards me. “Thank god. I was starting to think you’d never co-” I stopped. Daren had stepped into the moonlight, allowing me to clearly see his scars. “Not you too.” I whispered. Daren simply nodded, tears coming to his eyes. Half of Daren’s hair was tinted red and his eyes had taken on a bloody color. His skin had turned a ghostly pale. I took a step back, not because I was scared – this was my best friend, he would never do anything to harm me – but from instinct. Hurt clouded his eyes. Hurt from my sudden movement.

“Isyla,” he breathed, “Isyla please. I would never harm you.” Daren’s voice was hoarse. I nodded and took a step forward, hoping my face showed no fear. I wasn’t scared inside, I knew Daren would never hurt me. But the reasonable part of me kept saying that he’s changed. He’s different now, the disease has affected him in ways I could never know. I forced a smile as I stepped closer. His eyes softened, losing the hurt.

“How are you feeling?” I asked, filling the awkward silence between us.

Daren shrugged, “Fine I guess. Once the disease left me, I felt the same as always. I can’t even feel the scars.”

“Your eyes…” I broke off my thought.

“They see the same way as you would.”

“Isyla,” I hear a new voice from behind me, “Father is asking for y-” I turn around to see my little sister Irina staring in shock at Daren. Everyone knows about the disease, whether you’re 18 – like me – or 15 – like Irina. The disease is not known to spread person to person, but then again, fears tend to overwhelm the mind.

“Irina,” Daren voice was gentle, “I’m the same person you’ve always known. I won’t hurt you, Irina. I promise.”

Irina was silent for awhile, but when she finally spoke, her tone was harsh, “No one ever knows what the disease can do to you, Daren. For all we know, you could be lying.” Irina turned to me, “Let’s go, Isyla. Oh, and Daren? I recommend staying away from my sister for awhile.”

“Irina!” My eyes flew open, “Daren she didn-” I tried to comfort him, but he was already gone. I shot daggers at my sister, but I didn’t argue. I understood why she acted how she did, I just wished she hadn’t been so rude. “You could’ve been nicer.” I muttered to Irina. But she just shook her head.

“No, I couldn’t have.”


It was everywhere: surrounding her in both her mind and eyes. She screamed in pain. In pain of memories lost, of hearts broken, of trusts broken. In pain of shattered bones, of bloody skins, of torn limbs. In pain both inside and out, she sobbed. She heard a door open, but knew it wasn’t hers, for it sounded years away.

“Please,” she breathed, barely able to whisper. The guards had left her in a room with the Myndryth root. The root clawed at her mind, erasing any memory of happiness, leaving only pain and sorrow.

Someone called her name, but she didn’t look up.

“It’s fake. You’re fake. Everything’s fake. Everything’s fake.” She whispered to herself, repeatedly.

Again someone called her name, but this time she felt hands under her chin, pushing her face up. But she tilted her eyes down, not looking at the figure.

“I’m real,” she heard the same voice say. When she dared to look up, she was met with the twisted, horrid face of a monster. She shrieked and stumbled back until she hit a wall. The image of the monster laughed maniacally and strode towards her.

“How could you believe, you stupid little girl?” his eyes flared.

She closed her eyes tightly and pressed her hands onto her ears.”

“It’s not real.” She repeated, forcing herself to believe it.

She heard nothing in her ears and when she opened her eyes, she saw nothing. The light was snuffed out. All that was left was darkness.