Xarius A’Duravar: This is my story

Hmm. Where to start, where to start? I guess I will be cliché.

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 2.41.45 PMScreen Shot 2018-10-07 at 2.42.10 PMLet us start from the beginning.

I was born into a pitifully poor family nestled deep underground. I, if you will bear with me for a moment, was actually content with this life. Can you believe it? Regardless, my relatives came to the conclusion it would be beneficiary for me and my siblings to reside above ground. And that is where, for lack of a better term, everything took a turn for the worse.

Near our small farm in the Enchanted Forest, there was a small hill that my brother jokingly named Crystal Hill after the pond and river nearby of the same name. The name was coincidentally apt, as there was a vast cavern leading to the heart of the incline that was absolutely filled to the brim with glowing crystal. Naively, I decided to venture into the cave to harvest the crystals and show them to the rest of Diddorol.

Little did I know, there was more than crystals in Crystal Hill- there was an entity beyond mortal imagination. She was a demon that some aspiring hero captured and deposited in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, it seemed that this hill was closer to civilization than they expected, and I stumbled upon the demon very easily.

If I am to be frank with you, the she-demon tricked me into brokering a deal with her. If I found a way to release her from the cave that had become her prison, she would grant me unlimited power beyond anything I could ever dream of. Foolishly, I accepted without question, and immediately I was bound to her will. Even to this day, that is how I remain- trapped in a pact I did not want in the first place.

The day after, I left home. I swore that I would defeat the demon once and for all. I still don’t know her name, but no matter what, I will find it. My search has taken me all over Diddorol, and to realms far beyond. One day, I will find her weakness, and I will strike her down for good.

How do I know? That’s easy.

I am Xarius.

 

NEXT STORY: Ryan Ross eats out waffle house again!

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“Music in her Head” by #4

La, di, da, la, di, da, la, di, da…Screen shot 2014-06-02 at 2.21.46 PM

That’s the music I’ve heard in my head ever since the accident.

It was late at night and I was sneaking in my house past curfew, like a normal 16-year-old would. I had it all planned out in my head; I was going to bolt upstairs and jump into bed so I didn’t get caught. As I was tiptoeing to go to bed, a large shadow frightened me. At first I didn’t know who it was but I could tell by the bulky outline of the shadow; it was my dad. He slowly crept around the corner. I stopped, frozen in my tracks, had a mini-heart-attack then sprinted the other way hoping that he didn’t see me; but, I know he did, and that I was in BIG trouble.

“Who’s there?”  my dad furiously asked.

Does he not know who I am? I had hopes that maybe he was sleepwalking, but sadly that wasn’t the case.

“I can see you!” he squealed.

Now I definitely thought he was crazy. My eyes adjusted to the dark and I saw an outline of his shadow. I was really confused when I gazed upon what was in his hand. What would he be doing with a frying pan? At the time I didn’t understand; I was frightened to find out what would happen. Then suddenly, I was struck with it, right on the parietal section of my skull. I crumbled to the ground feeling as if I had been betrayed, hit by my own father.

The next morning, I woke up to really loud, annoying music. I slowly forced my eyes open to see that I was in my room; I wished I hadn’t, but I remembered what had happened the night before. I was curious about how I got the music in my head.

“Mom, Dad turn down the music!” I said as I moped down the stairs.

“Honey, we aren’t playing any,” answered mom.

“Dad, why did you hit me with a frying pan?” I asked. Once again I was confused.

“Sorry. I thought you were an intruder. Are you okay?” confessed Dad.

“Oh, yeah, I’m fine.” I didn’t tell him the truth. There was no point in bothering him with some stupid music I was hearing; he has enough to worry about already. I figured I’d just try and ignore it.

After about two weeks of the music playing non-stop in my head, I decided to try to do something about it. I tried not thinking about it, and many other stupid ideas that I thought might work.

I jumped on the computer and did some research. I read about some rare cases where people got hit really hard on their parietal bone. It can cause strange music to play in your head for the rest of your life.

Still to this day, which is three months after the accident, I still can’t think of anything to do about it. I’m so sick of hearing this music. Honestly, I would rather die than keep hearing this stupid music. I won’t live my life anymore with a constant headache. I know what I have to do. So, I spend hours thinking and contemplating ideas; and decide to try and do the last thing I will ever think of trying.

I jump to my feet, go over to the concrete wall and carefully place my hands on it. I take a deep breath, and start banging my head on the wall, vigorously, over and over again, with as much force as possible. Even when the pain is too much, I keep on going.

BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG.

When the blood starts shooting out of my ears and onto the grey walls, I still don’t stop. Even when the pain echoes through my head and makes every part of my body agonize in pain, I don’t stop.

BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG.

 

I know I will soon pass out.

BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG. BANG, BANG, BANG.

I’m laying here helplessly on the floor.

As everything goes black, I hope to never awaken, so I don’t have to hear that dreadful music ever again.

LA, DI, DA, LA, DI, DA.

I know I never will; I lay here, blood dripping onto my long blond hair and listen to the last thing I will ever hear: My music.

La, di, da, la, di, da, la…

“Eyes” by Alorah

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Photoshopped image by Anica Raine

Seven eyes. Staring endlessly into my heart, tearing me apart like razors cutting through a block of butter. They grab my chest and reveal the secrets hidden deep within me. It destroys me. It slowly kills me. I crumble into the warm sand beneath my worn-out feet. Look away! Just turn your head around and walk away from this monstrosity! But I can’t. These eyes are so horrible, so terrifying, yet so mesmerizing. I wander from each eye and soon come across the one, gleaming, dark-blue eye filled with fear. My heart clenches up and I can’t breath. I quickly pull my eyes away from it as tears stream down my face. They swiftly blink on the smooth, grey, heart-shaped rock they are forever embedded into, because of me. Because of the worst mistake I’ve ever made.

It all started at an old, dark, eerie, and mysterious shack in the middle of the Barrington Town Forest. 7 friends and I dared each other to camp out half a mile from the main trail that runs through the forest. We were all somewhat afraid of the dark, so it would be a hard dare, which is the most fun ones. One of my closest friends, Alisa, agreed and laughed when people said they were afraid of the dark. But in her gleaming, dark-blue eyes, I saw fear that I’ve never seen in her before. I pushed that away and focused on packing, but it always lingered in the back of my mind. We were soon ready and headed out to go on our daring adventure, but it was more like a nightmare to me.

It was just starting to get dark outside when we arrived, so we quickly walked down the winding paths to find a flat area to put our tents up. As we strode through the thick wood, I saw someone. Not one of my friends. It was a young woman, clothed in a tattered and blood-stained, white dress. She had thick, matted, black hair that fell down to the small of her back. Her skin was so bright. It was translucent! There was only one eye on the woman’s face and her throat was sliced, but I didn’t understand until later. Her face was filled with sorrow and she beckoned me to follow her. I stopped dead in my tracks. My friends were looking at me with worried looks and were asking me questions, but I could only hear the hushed, ghastly whispering of a girl. She slowly lifted her scratched arm and pointed into the woods. I followed her finger and it lead to a small, wooden shack in a clearing. She started towards the house and as she took every graceful step, a ghastly mist followed her.

I realized my friends were shaking me and screaming at me, but I jerked free of their grip and stumbled towards the shack with the waiting woman.

I remembered an old tale my dad used to tell me to scare me when we went camping; A young woman was once walking through the Barrington Town Forest when she lost sight of her parents. She kept walking down the trails, searching and searching until she came upon a little shack in the woods. She knocked on the door and 2 scary men dragged her inside and torchered her. They cut out one of her eyes and put it in a box with  a little heart-shaped stone in it (these men were mentally insane). They slit her throat with a pocket knife and left her in the house where she was never found. To this day, she haunts the Barrington Town Forest and tortures people like the men did to her as a way of revenge.

I should turn around. Walk away with my friends, but I couldn’t. Something was calling to me. Something from in that house. So I kept walking and stumbling, away from my friends, away from safety.

I was at the front door almost immediately and only a foot away from the woman. The big wooden door opened, revealing a cobweb-filled room, which I presumed to be the dining room, due to the huge table set with wooden utensils and chipped plates. To the right of the dining room, I saw 2 beautiful sofas with the smell of camphor. A fireplace was in front of the sofas, full of dark-grey ash that occasionally flew out and floated into the rest of the shack. There was a little kitchen to the right of the sofas with rotting wooden cabinets. The woman made her way to the corner of the house and pulled up the corner of a musty carpet, uncovering a trap door with broken metal latch that’s been over used. It opened with a creeeeek. I wanted to leave, but the woman (who I now presume to be a ghost) pulls me towards it with her forgotten stare.

As I stepped down into the old cellar, my friends appeared at the front door. They screamed and ran towards me, but the ghost grabbed ahold of them and gestured down the stairs, which meant to go on. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to go into the cellar. But I had to. I don’t know why, but I just had to.

I slowly stepped down, down, down, towards a small, flickering light. It was a deep orange color that wrapped around every inch of me and it almost felt… warm. I steadily inched closer to it and I realized it was a torch in the middle of a circular room, stuck to a rusty, metal pole. Beneath it sat a box with a beautiful floral pattern on a pitch-black background. It was covered with an inch of dust. I was only a few feet in front of the box when the ghost strode up beside me. She wasn’t holding my friends anymore. I quickly took my endless gaze off of the box and frantically searched for them until I saw them. They were tied up to a pole beside the one with the torch. I tried to run over to them, to untie them, but the ghost stepped between us and pointed to the box.

“No! Let my friends go! Leave us alone!” I tried to yell at the ghost, though only the word “no” came out. The beautiful, young woman turned into a horrifying monster! Her fingernails grew out into long, yellow claws and her teeth stretched out into razor-sharp points. That one, big, round eye turned blood-shot red and her pupil thinned out like a cat eye. She towered over me and reached for me. Run. Now. I dived to my right, dodging her hands by an inch. The cobble ground dug into my bare knees and made small cuts all over the front of them. She screeched and darted after me. I fumbled with the rope tied around my friends, but it was tied in a knot I have never seen. It must’ve been ancient, but there was no time for me to study which way one piece of the rope wraps around and pulls the other. I remembered my dad putting my pocket knife in my pocket. Thank you so much. I began to saw away at the thick, spiraling rope. Just as it began to give way, the enraged ghost wrapped its long, bony fingers around my waist and lifted me off the ground and I dropped my knife. I squirmed and shrieked, but her death grip around my wouldn’t budge. As I kicked and punched empty space, I knocked that torch onto the ground. The small flames crawled around, catching on stray strands of straw, slowly forming a huge wall of inferno heat. The ghost let go of me and I landed hard on my back. The ghost screeched as the fire crawled up her dress and hair. Ignoring my intense back pain, I sprinted over to my friends and hacked away at the last little strand of rope. My friends broke free and we headed for the cellar stairs, but I remembered about the box. I went back and grabbed the box and ran back to my friends. But not before the ghost saw me. She swiped aimlessly at me and I dodged each one, except for the one that ruined my life. Her claws caught on the holes in my shorts and she tugged so hard that I fell flat on my face, banging my head pretty hard. The box flew out of my hands, dropping so hard that the lock broke open. It burst open, exploding with a blinding gold light and flashing colors. I covered my eyes with my arm, but not fast enough to not see my friends get sucked into the little box.

“No!” I screamed, but it was too late. The light disappeared. So did my friends. I pushed myself off the ground and ran to the box as fast as possible. This is where I found the stone. The heart-shaped stone with the eyes of my 7 friends.

 

“The Army of the Enemy” by Kanen’to:Kon

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When we think of the War of 1812, or any other early-American conflict at that, we naturally sympathize with the Americans, our founding fathers and ancestors. But the British, our common enemies, also had an impressive and admirable military with skilled, well-trained generals, officers, and soldiers. Their tactics and strategy on the battlefield won the British Army many battles on all fronts, and the British Royal Navy dominated the entire Atlantic Ocean.

The official British Regular Army was established in 1707. The British Parliament passed the Act of Union, which combined the English, Scottish, and Irish regiments into a single force. This army became one of the strongest powers in the world later that century. The Royal Navy, Britain’s maritime war force, was also created as a result of the 1707 Act of Union. England’s navy, which had been growing in size since as early as 900 A.D., merged with Scotland’s three warships to become the British Royal Fleet, the largest in the world during the 18th and 19th centuries. No one dared to attack the newly-united kingdom of Britain directly until World War I began in 1907. Their military maintained a strong influence throughout Europe and the Americas, and suffered very few losses. (“History”)

During the War of 1812, the British forces were stationed in Canada. In this war, they were mostly on the defensive side. This was not how Britain usually operated, but they were unprepared for the war and did not have enough reinforcements or resources coming from England to launch many attacks against the United States. Since, back in Europe, England was prioritizing a war with Napoleon on their own doorstep, they could not spare anything for the forces stationed across the ocean in Canada. If the war in Europe was lost, then Britain would lose its independence and become part of Napoleon’s Empire. As well as being outnumbered, the British in Canada were also at a geographical disadvantage. Their already-small force needed to be divided between outposts in Quebec City, Montreal, and Northern Canada. (McGuigan, Ron)

Though they were fighting to stay alive on land, the British still dominated the open seas. They had hundreds of large, heavily-manned, heavily-gunned warships known as Men-of-War, with up to 124 cannons on each ship. Almost four-thousand sailors manned the ships around America all together. Some of these seamen were undoubtedly impressed from seized American vessels before the war. (Shmoop Editorial Team) The British wanted to take advantage of their domination at sea in every way possible. They blockaded ports, attempting to cut off trade and create an economic standstill. They tried to take control of the Great Lakes as well, but didn’t have as much of an advantage with so many of their vessels stationed in the blockades. Also, the Americans were already prepared to fight the British with their own ships in the Lakes. Many naval battles were fought in the Great Lakes, including the Battle of Lake Erie. The British were defeated in this battle, and therefore lost control of the city of Detroit. The Royal Navy was forced to retreat back up the St. Lawrence River. (“The Battle of Lake Erie”)

British soldiers on land were called Regulars. During the War of 1812, they would have been mostly stationed at camps or in Canadian cities. Only about 6,000 British men served in Canada at the time. Each soldier had his own daily routine. After waking up early, around 3 or 4 a.m., they began their duties. They often marched around the area, in any kind of weather, wearing special marching uniforms. This was a British military custom; they considered it a proper way of demonstrating strength and discipline. Each soldier had a different job. Some would cook, sew and mend uniforms, clean, or act as servants to officers. Every British soldier was issued a musket, which is a long-ranged firearm widely used in battle at that time. They had blades, called bayonets, attached to the end of the barrels, which were used for hand-to-hand combat. Officers also received smaller flintlock pistols and light, curved cavalry swords. After firing a shot, the soldier would need to place a new musket ball and gunpowder into the barrel of the musket and push them down with the ramrod, which is a long rod stored under the barrel of the rifle. As you can imagine, this process is very time-consuming; many soldiers lost their lives after the first shot. (Henderson, Robert)

It seemed that the British forces in North America could be easily crushed, but they had another ally: the Native Americans. They gave the Indians guns and encouraged them to fight against the Americans and attack settlers coming into their land. This made the Americans especially angry, and was one of the reasons why they declared war on June 18, 1812. The large majority of Natives were allies of Britain until October 5, 1812, when their leader, Tecumseh, was killed in the Battle of the Thames. Tecumseh had rallied all the Indian tribes to fight together against the Americans, and at the loss of their leader much of the Native American support for Britain withdrew. (“Tecumseh”)

On August 24, 1814, the British defeated the Americans in the Battle of Bladensburg in Bladensburg, Maryland. After the victory, General Robert Ross led his forces to the United States’ capital, Washington D.C. There they burned several public buildings, including the White House and the Capitol. Though General Ross saw this as a substantial victory, both the Americans and much of Britain were shocked by the burnings, seeing them as needless vandalism. However, Ross suffered no consequences for going too far with the destruction of the unguarded capital. He was killed before the Battle of North Point on September 12, 1814. (“British Capture and Burn Washington”)

Though the British were our nation’s enemy in the War of 1812, we can still recognize and even appreciate their superior military warfare and tactics. Britain had professional soldiers and a navy that was widely considered to be the greatest in the world. But despite their advantages, they were far from home and unprepared for the sudden war. In the end, the United States prevailed over their British adversaries. On December 14, 1814, the Treaty of Ghent was signed and the War of 1812 officially ended. (“Treaty of Ghent”) The British returned to Europe to join the fight with Napoleon, and America laid down their weapons and began working toward a bright and promising future.

Works Cited

“The Battle of Lake Erie.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

“British Capture and Burn Washington.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

Henderson, Robert. “Morning Routine of the British Soldier in the War of 1812.” Morning Routine of the British Soldier in the War of 1812. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

“History.” – British Army Website. Crown Copyright 2011, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

McGuigan, Ron. “The British Army Stationed in British North America: 1812 – 1815.” The British Army Stationed in British North America: 1812 – 1815. The Napoleon Copyright 1995-2013, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

Shmoop Editorial Team. “The War of 1812 Statistics.” Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 02 May 2014.

“Tecumseh.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

“Treaty of Ghent.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

 

“My Friend with an Orange Head” by Alorah

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I have a friend with an orange head

I see him once a year

He sits atop my kitchen table

‘Til I am ready to switch my gears

 

I start off at the top

And cut my way around

His little orange head

That isn’t very round

 

With a spoon I scoop out seeds

From his little head

And with the seeds I find some mush

That makes him seem almost dead

 

Now I’m at the eyes

I cut them with my knife

These littl triangular holes

Make him come to life

 

His mouth is in a smile

At the bottom of his face

With two little teeth

That point up into space

 

My little orange friend

Is almost complete

All he needs now

Is a body and some feet.

 

Sadly for my friend

I never find a body

Instead he sits on my front porch

Welcoming everybody

“With Only 6 minutes and 32 Seconds Left” by #17

It was the middle of January, the 12th to be exact. My team and I were playing in Connecticut against the Northern Lights U14 team. The score was 3-1; we were winning. It was the third period and our goalie, Megan, made a save, so the whistle was blown. Everybody lined up and the ref blew the whistle again. I moved back right away to make a poke check against one of the girls on the other team. I hit the puck into the corner where Sammie picked it up. I heard a bang and the puck was given to the other team. The point defensemen took a shot and I blocked it.

Next thing I know, two girls are on me. We are all battling in front of the net for the puck. A girl from behind me then trips me; I fall to the ground, taking a girl about twice my size with me. She crashes down on my arm. A shot of pain races through my lower arm.

I get right up and head to the bench. I then sit down and take my glove off of my right hand. I slide up my jersey to reveal my right wrist which has no bruising and isn’t swollen at all. I take the next shift off until there are 3 minutes and 27 seconds left in the game. I go out and give it my all. My arm is completely numb now so I play like normal. Once I shoot the puck, I realize there is a problem…my arm had turned ice cold and I didn’t feel a thing. I rush off the ice as soon as I get a chance. I don’t cry at all which surprises me, but I do have a pretty high pain tolerance. When the end of the game comes, I slowly get up to shake hands with the other team. We had won the game, but I know something is wrong. Really wrong.

The next three days my wrist looked like my other. It seemed as if there was nothing wrong with it. On the fourth day after the game, my mom took me to the urgent care in Lee because it was still a little cold and numb. They took MANY X-rays, and the doctors concluded that I had a really bad sprained wrist, so they put me in a brace with a thumb-hold so I couldn’t move it. They also told me to follow up with a specialist.

A week after that I went to my orthopedist. They took even more X-rays. Dr. Bruno said I had a completely severed growth plate and six fractured bones in my hand and lower arm. I got put in a cast for a month, and when that came off it was still broken so I had another cast for half a month. Then I was in a brace for 1 month and physical therapy for three months.

That one fall ruined half of my hockey season. I fell behind and had to build my strength to shoot again. The one activity that I love more than life itself was taken away from me. One week without playing is too much for me to handle, but from January to June is way to0 much.

As soon as I could put my ¼” blades back on the ice, I did. I went to all the games when I was injured, I sat on the bench during practices, and once I got permission to get on the ice (but not play), I did. I went to every single practice and put my warm-up suit on with my skates and just got the feel of ice again.

Now, since that it all over with and I’m back on the ice, I feel so great again. I hit my ultimate lows when I couldn’t hear the blades scraping lines in the ice, the pucks creating scuff marks on the boards, and the sticks chipping the ice when we call for the puck. Hockey is the one activity that I haven’t gotten sick of, the one thing that I haven’t wanted not to do, and the one thing that I will always count on to make me happy, no matter what.

“My Kingdom” by Korra

There is a place not so far from here.  It’s a place where everyone can go somewhere that everything is possible. It’s a kingdom–a kingdom of hope, love, and everlasting joy. This place is called the Kingdom of Lunatopia.

        This Kingdom you can only visit in your sleep, even though you may want to visit every single second of the day. When you first come through the gates of the palace you will see a big looming tower of clouds and around those clouds are vines wrapping and twisting up the tower of clouds like a snake slowly making its way up a tree branch. And in this tower of clouds is where every single dream or happy memory you’ve ever had is stored, so you can revisit them whenever you want.

Next to the tower of clouds is where the real magic begins. Sitting atop the tower of clouds is the castle, with cascading tendrils of sleepy fog falling down its walls and brilliant blue stone bricks built up to make the outer layer of the castle.

        Inside the castle, things are busy and bustling with people. Every inch of the place smells of lavender and makes your whole mind go numb and happy. The throne room sits upon a flights of stairs that run up the inner walls of the magnificent structure and come together to form a balcony. In the throne room, it as if heaven has kissed the walls and furniture, for everything has a light silvery glow and  stars are sprinkled across the ceiling making an eerie but breathtaking sight.

And there she is: the Queen of the Kingdom, Katara. Her deep black hair resembles the darkness of the night, but her eyes sparkle with a silver light, making them as mysterious and beautiful as the moon. She is the one who decides what your new dreams will be like. A swish of her hand could make you float away to a pirate ship , or land the new job of becoming the president.

There is so much in this kindgom that is left untold and left unexplored. And even though you go there every night, you will always find something new and more interesting. The Kingdom of Lunatopia is where your dreams begin and where they end. This is where you can go to have your hopes fulfilled and your deepest fears taken away. This is where your dreams come true.