Student Writing Gallery!

This year, we are publishing a featured piece of student writing every month on the 26th. Each piece will be accompanied by an original illustration.

This is My Mission

Ms. Brown’s eighth-grade class at Estabrook Elementary in Ypsilanti


MARIA and COCONUT are walking into the mall. MARIA is carrying COCONUT and holding his hand. It’s a beautiful day in sunny California. What a great time to be a teen at the mall!

MARIA (a person) is wearing a pink-and-white polka dot dress. COCONUT (an actual coconut) is wearing shorts.

I love you.

Okay, thanks.

I really do — even though I can’t tell my dad.

Why can’t you tell him? Are you hiding something from me?

A bird flies overhead as a woman steps out of her car.



In the mall parking lot we see a slim, tall white woman (about age 23) step out of a Ferrari. She is wearing Sketchers. She enters the mall. She walks past a cardinal who flaps its wings and flies up.

We see a close-up of the woman (BILLY JOANNE) looking at the cardinal suspiciously.   



MARIA and COCONUT are walking in the mall.

(hesitates nervously)
I’m not hiding anything from you.

Then why can’t you tell him?

My dad is allergic to coconuts, so he thinks they are unholy.

COCONUT sees the cardinal land behind a fountain in the mall. When the cardinal lands it becomes a girl. KURO is Native American, about fifteen years old. The camera shows COCONUT watching the cardinal land and a girl pop up.

Let’s get promise rings and promise to always be truthful with each other.

COCONUT and MARIA walk to the jewelry store.



They notice the woman (BILLY JOANNE) in the store with an Eiffel Tower pin. The woman seems to be watching them. KURO walks into the store. KURO has a cardinal pin. They are both wearing black.


Watch where you’re going!

They notice each other’s pins and nod at each other knowingly.

MARIA and COCONUT are looking at rings and they pick out one with a weird jewel.

BILLY JOANNE takes her arm and rushes KURO to the corner.

What are you doing here? This is my mission.

This is my mission! To spy on Maria!

Who is Maria? I’m here for Coconut.

We’re both here on a job and we need to work together. Now pipe down and act normal!



MARIA and COCONUT are inside the jewelry store. The jewelry store is crisp and clean, and the carpets are cream with displays trimmed in mahogany. The displays show fancy rings and necklaces.  

BILLY JOANNE is outside the store looking at the window.

KURO is already inside.

DIAMOND is dressed as an old lady with a hunchback and is pretending to be a jeweler.

COCONUT and MARIA are looking at rings.

Maria, how many karats do you want?

I don’t see any carrots.

(disguised as a jeweler)
Let’s go to the back to find your ring size.

Maria and the robber go to the back.


COCONUT passes out.

BILLY JOANNE and KURO run to the back. The back door is open and they can see the robber running away carrying MARIA.

Watch this. I learned it in a foreign country.


BILLY JOANNE uses an app to shoot a tracking device at the robber.


What was that?

It’s a tracking device.


The robber puts MARIA in a Ferrari.

(banging on the door)
Coconut, help me.




I need help!

BILLY JOANNE and KURO look at each other and nod.

We can help.


During the robbery I managed to put a tracking device on Maria.

You have a tracking device?

Long story. We can talk about it after we get Maria.

KURO takes out a device that looks like a compass but it opens and reveals to have a GPS tracker inside.



KURO, COCONUT, and BILLY JOANNE are outside of a building that looks like an old chocolate factory. There is a logo on the building that says Almond Joy.

This is the place.

(scared and hesitant)
This place seems familiar.

Before we go in, let me check for danger.

BILLY JOANNE takes out spy glasses that look like normal sunglasses. She can see heat signatures in the building showing two people. One person is tied to a chair and the other is standing next to her.

The coast is clear. There’s only two people.

The three of them approach the building and the door is locked.

I got this.

COCONUT’s legs extend and he is able to use his tiny, sharp feet to pick the lock. They all go inside.



DIAMOND is shocked to see them and she trips over her feet. We can see that she is wearing two right-footed boots. KURO and BILLY JOANNE grab DIAMOND. COCONUT unties MARIA and gives KURO and BILLY JOANNE the rope to secure DIAMOND.

Who are you?

(to KURO)
Wait, who are you?

KURO takes off DIAMOND’s mask and she is in complete shock to see that DIAMOND looks exactly like her. KURO starts stuttering.

Hey, it looks like you two have the same locket.

KURO opens her locket and DIAMOND’s locket, and inside there is an identical picture of two people – their parents!

Are we twins?



BILLY JOANNE throws COCONUT at DIAMOND’s head and some of her jewels fall to the floor, including the ring.

This isn’t finished.

Who are you and what do you want from us?

Just because we are sisters doesn’t mean I’m going to let her go!

If you don’t let Maria go, we’re calling the police! Your identity is already revealed.

What are the cops gonna do about it?

COCONUT starts to cry and his coconut hair falls out. He begs on his little coconut legs.

Please let her go! I love her so much! I don’t know what I would do without her! She’s my first love and my other half.

DIAMOND looks hesitant but begins to unlock MARIA’s hands and feet.

(picks up the promise ring)
Maria, I can’t wait ’til we get out of this messy situation and stay together forever.

Someone clears their throat. Everyone turns around and gasps. The pastor has been listening the whole time. Dramatic music plays. PASTOR enters.

I am so appalled by your behavior, Maria. I told you that you were not allowed to have anyone as a boyfriend. You disobeyed my command. And you are in love with a coconut! With little legs! You think you’re grown but you are not, Maria!


Artwork by Natalie Marion,

Twenty Years from Now

Carson Hawkins, Age 6

Twenty years from now I will be twenty-six. I will be a robot. I’m going to be fighting robbers and evil. I will live in the Detroit Robot Factory. I will live with Ennis, my best friend robot.

Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Cameron Plesco, Age 16

I grew up learning simple things.
We all went to school,
All of us learned it was 1-2-3.
There were 26 letters in the alphabet,
Not 911.

In my time we learned what to do
When there was smoke on the other side of the door.
What to do when we find a gun.
Find a safe place.
Find an adult you know.

How do we find an adult we trust
When we are being beaten
By their belts?
Spoiled by their hands?
How do we find a safe place
When our safe place isn’t safe?
When we don’t have one?

I grew up learning that
Cat rhymed with rat
Hats were worn,
And Bat and bat were not the same thing.

But I also grew up learning that
I was not good enough.
That my voice didn’t matter.

That it did not matter
That I knew 1-2-3
I knew there were 26 letters
Not 911.

It did not matter that I knew
Tug and pug rhymed,
Mugs held my hot chocolate,
And snug was something you
Got from a sweater.

But someone out there
Doesn’t even get snug.
They get cold

They get a festering wound
Not on their flesh but
Written in angry verses
On their heart.

Verse after hateful verse,
Stanza after wretched stanza.
These someones cannot
Bandaid their hearts.

I grew up learning that
If you don’t have anything nice to say
Then do not speak at all.
But what if our words are now actions?

See, this is not just a playground war.
Punches being thrown.
They are childhood memories
Being taken.

And to the someones saying, “I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND!”
No, you don’t.
To the someones whispering, “I understand.”
Do not be scared.

Stand up and rip the belts from their hands,
Burn your not safe places.
Do not take 1-2-3
Do not take rhymes
Do not take 26 letters
Take 911.

And use it.
Do not let the world ruin you.

Dear someones,
Respect your parents
If they respect you.

Dear someones,
Do not let them tear you down.

You are NOT nobodies.
You are NOT shadows and NOT darkness.
You are NOT dogs and NOT hoodrats.
You are somebodies.
You are someones!

Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Sam, Who Played Football

Samere Brown, Age 8

It all began when Sam played football. The football field, it had a field goal, numbers, and a line. Sam was round; he had strawberry jelly inside him. He was not good at football. They stepped on him. The pink jelly came out. The coach threw pink jam and Sam licked the jelly. The jelly came out, and the coach threw more strawberry jelly at him. When he got up, he tripped over the jelly, and he got stuck in the jelly. They tried to throw the football and it went through his hole. They’re friends, but they don’t know he is a donut.

He went in the break room and took all his stuff off—-his football jersey, his fake legs, his shoulder pads, and his eyes and hair. Then he rolled down and got stuck in a closet. He sat there in a closet. They won the game because Sam left. He ate himself, and came back as a plastic donut. He rolled out, and they found out he is a donut.

After the game, they went in the break room—-Sam was crying candy and watching Inside Out. A car came in and hit him, and turned him into part elephant, dolphin, and cotton candy. His team felt excited, because he was part elephant, dolphin, and cotton candy. He then ate his own cry because it’s candy.

He got to stay on the team. After he ate his cry, he threw the football into the endzone. Then when they won, he read a book that turned him into cotton candy, and he got stuck as cotton candy. He got eaten, and came back as a person. He ain’t no good football player as a person.

He was at the shoe store, then he got stuck in the shoe because he was a tiny, tiny person. Then he turned into shoes! Then he got out of shoe form, and then he started a new life. The end.

Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Dear William Carlos Williams

Fern Murray, Age 8

How dare you!
You owe me some new plums!
I was gonna eat those
with my fruity-looty Froot Loops!
And watch funny cat videos!
Also, you owe me a new ice box!
You slammed it too hard and made a dent!
I’m so mad.

Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Broccoli Time Machine: A Business Proposal

Kaiden Ellis, Age 10

The BTM (Broccoli Time Machine) provides free time machine experiences that run on broccoli, and it also produces its own broccoli. Now, we can go back in time to solve our Earth’s history mysteries. Or for school you can take field trips into history to experience it. You can either spectate or be in history and change it. So because of that, you have to be a good person in order to get one. I say, “Get one!” because they are free! All in all, this invention will help mankind! Thank you for hearing my idea!


Artwork by Natalie Marion,


Each month, we feature EIGHT new pieces of student writing on the TWENTY-SIXTH of the month. (Get it?) This month, we are are featuring writing from our Creative Writing Workshops program.

826michigan Creative Writing Workshops Programs

Meredith Fischer, 8
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School
Beyond Goosebumps: A New Take on the Scary Story

Long ago . . . an old, weak lady loved the water. In fact, whenever people saw her, her pruny body was in the water. People were starting to get mysterious, and many rumors were said. She heard the rumors and disliked them. She was so upset, she decided to swim to another country. Halfway through her journey, she became tired. There would be almost two days until there would be a good place to rest. So she closed her eyes and sank . . . She woke up after one hundred years. Weak, she swam to another country, and when she got there, her secret was told . . . How did this happen? Wasn’t loving the water a good thing? What was next for the lady? The last time anyone ever saw the lady was when she knew her secret was told. The next day, everyone was searching for her. She wasn’t found.

Naomi Maxwell, 10
Letter to Kiwi
Ann Arbor Open
A Writable Feast—Flavorful Food Writing

Dear Kiki-Wi,

When I taste you, you bubble up in my mouth. You shine green . . . like algae. You’re tough and fuzzy and I believe you can fly. You smell like water on the green part and dirt on the brown part. You are mushy and moist in my mouth like dew on a clover but with a little bit of sugar. After I eat you, I feel tingly on my tongue. I shouldn’t have eaten your skin. I looooooove you, but you are not as good as your friend doughnut. Bye!

I love you mostly,

Amaya Melendez, 12
Letter to Kiwi
Clauge Middle
A Writable Feast—Flavorful Food Writing

Dear Kiwi,

Remember the first time that we met, when my mom bought you in the grocery store? After that you were right in the center of the bowl. You were the best looking—no bumps—and you were the ripest kiwi. When I picked you up, you felt soft, and when I started cutting you, it felt so soft and juicy. You were as green and ripe as a tree that had been rained on for hours. I bit into you, and at first you had this really good sour sort of taste like Sour Patch Kids. Then after that it was this really pure burst of sweetness that was as sweet as a soft ripened peach. Your taste was just like my favorite candy, Sour Patch Kids: sour, then sweet. The reason why I like you is because you are like candy, but healthy! My favorite reason why I like you so much is because you are a mix of sweet and sour, and that is a taste that people could devour. Your brother was tasty too, and now you are both sliding down my throat and going into my stomach. I am so glad that I met you and ate you.


Zander Richardson, 6, Burns Park Elementary
Wesley Roberts, 7, Eberwhite Elementary
Scare Scream and Spikey Man
Monster Meet

Scare Scream: [stomps down into the stadium and has an evil grin]

Spikey Man: Do you want to play football?

Scare Scream: [deep voice] I don’t have hands. If I play I will destroy the ball.

Spikey Man: Do you want to read some books? Like, cowboy books?

Scare Scream: Maybe, but what is a cowboy?

Spikey Man: They are from the desert and the Old West with old-fashioned hats and small masks and sometimes with small guns.

Scare Scream: Oh, so you mean blasters.

Spikey Man: No! Not that new. They are the oldest guns.

Scare Scream: Wait, did I land on Earth in my pod?

Spikey Man: Let’s end this conversation now, okay? We can read cowboy books, please!!!

Scare Scream: Fine. I am ten thousand light-years behind on this planet.

Spikey Man: How ‘bout I show you around?

Scare Scream: Okay.

Maia Sears, 11
Pit bulls
Fortis Academy
To Whom It May Concern: Letters to the Public

Dear People of Michigan, I’m not really just talking about Michiganders! I’m talking about the people that talk bad about pit bulls. I have my own dog that is a pit bull, and his name is Peanut Butter. My family and I adopted Peanut Butter at a dog shelter in Huron Valley. My family and I love him so much! Unfortunately, we don’t take him on walks very often. We are afraid that people will feel threatened or scared by him! So we try not to let him see too many strangers out in public. We are not taking any chances!! You are the ones who are afraid from him! My pit bull is probably more scared of you than you will ever be of him!! Peanut Butter was so scared when we first saw him. At first we saw him in a huge cage in the shelter. We wanted to meet him, so we got put in a room with him, and Peanut Butter was so scared of us. I know that I would never do anything to an animal to harm it in any way, shape, or form. Anyway, Peanut Butter was trying to get used to us, but I guess his body refused. I know that because he was shaking like a horse trying to get flies off of it! He was acting like he was having a seizure! I was actually concerned! Although, I think me and Peanut Butter REALLY CLICKED!! If you just give them a chance, they won’t be very scary. Saying that pit bulls are bad is just an offensive stereotype. It isn’t very nice to say. It’s not like the dogs will understand you, but just to not hurt people’s feelings about their love of pit bulls, I suggest that you don’t say that. Especially in public!! Love dogs FOREVER!! I always like to say to my dog: “HUGS AND LICKS FOREVER!!”

Winnie Jalet, 11
A Bigger Word for Nervous That I Didn’t Even Know
Tappan Middle School
Magical Moments and Memories

I was nervous as I got up to the block. Thoughts raced through my head like tiny race cars on a track called “my brain.” I was at the pool in Carmel, Indianapolis. This pool was special. It was the pool where they held Olympic trials. I had almost a year to practice for this meet and a week’s worth of tapering. I had worked for this. I had earned this. I stepped up to the block, my body shaking like a massage chair that you see at the mall. I was nervous, wait, more than nervous. A bigger word for nervous that I didn’t even know. I reassured myself, it was only a fifty breaststroke. “I’ve swam a million of these,” I said to myself. The pool was where I worked my magic. I was a magician in a Kneeskin. “Take your marks,” said the meet official. I stood on the block as still as a tree branch. I positioned myself on the block. “GO!” I launched myself off the block and was ready for whatever would come.

Calvin Sears, 14
The Saga Continues
Washtenaw International High School
Magical Moments and Memories

Okay, so I like this girl. Her name is [redacted]. So I’m all like, “Dang [redacted] so fine, but she probably won’t notice me” every day of my life, just being an awkward pimply teenager as usual. I swear, if I wasn’t thinking about [redacted] twenty-four seven, I was probably thinking about food, but still. So anyway, I’m at this hair salon, which is called *Censored* Cuts. So, I’m at *Censored* Cuts texting my good pally <<404>> about the [redacted] situation, and who “ships” us or whatever. I’m sitting in a leather chair gushing sweat like Niagra Falls, heart beating so fast it might get a speeding ticket and a $500 fine, and I’m just debating with myself about whether or not I should confess my feels to [redacted]. Luckily <<404>> and [redacted] were at school still with a few of my other friends, so it wouldn’t be so awkward. Probably. I was clammier than a seafood place, white-knuckles clenching my phone, and finally pouring my feelings out at my keyboard like a glass of water, hoping that texting [redacted] would make me feel better. BOY WAS I WRONG! Not like I got rejected or anything, more like everybody, myself included, was flipping OUT. Suddenly, I was being swamped with texts and calls from <<404>> and his brother—error—even WHILE I WAS ON THE TOILET. So, I’m sitting on the toilet and <<404>> is all like being mysterious and not responding, and every now and then she’ll be all, “her phone died broseph” or send a word of encouragement while—error—is just textin’ and callin’ like crazy about everything and WOW OH MY GOD WAS I TERRIFIED. And when I did finally get an answer back from [redacted], she was just as awkward as me, all vague and all. But, finally I did run into her, and her two friends jumped on me like guard dogs and scoped me out like a freakin’ telescope fan club. It was terrifying to be sure. Anyway, I’m out of time, but this was all about a week ago so THE SAGA CONTINUES.

Henry Ortiz, 11
Breaking and Entering
Maltby Intermediate
Magical Moments and Memories

“Hey Mom, can I go up to Cullen’s house?”
“Sure,” said Mom.
“Thanks, Mom!” I dashed out of the house quick as lightning and ran up the hill as fast as a bullet. I felt like I was in a race. When I got to Cullen’s house, I immediately rang the doorbell. I couldn’t wait to see Cullen’s smiling face. Then, when nobody answered, I rang the doorbell again. I finally got something, except it wasn’t Cullen, it was a barking Molly. That’s when I realized Cullen and his family weren’t there. So, I walked around the house and I went in through the side door. I was going through the garage, and went to the door, and pushed with all my might. I grunted, and Molly trotted up to me. I could smell Molly’s toxic breath, and I went past her. I looked around, and then I had an idea. I went to the den to get a piece of paper with Molly following. I wrote: “Dear Cullen, hi. How are you? Where are you? Maybe you can stop by my house later. From, Henry.” I put the note on the kitchen counter and ran back down the hill to my house. I opened the door and Mom said, “Oh, hi Henry. Where were you? I thought you and Cullen were playing.”
“Uh . . . ” I stammered. “They weren’t home.”
“So what were you doing this whole time?” my Mom asked.
“Uh . . . I went in their house.”
“YOU WHAT!?!?!?!?!?” Mom yelled.
“I went into their house and left a note for Cullen.”
Mom sighed and started to explain why I shouldn’t enter people’s houses when they’re not home. Mom went to get her phone to apologize. Cullen’s family found my note when they got home and they all thought it was funny. My note now hangs up on their fridge. Now I know not to break into people’s houses. I won’t be breaking and entering into anyone’s house again.

Each month, we feature EIGHT new pieces of student writing on the TWENTY-SIXTH of the month. (Get it?) This month, we are are featuring writing from our In-school Projects.

In-school Projects

Laylah Rea Bailey, 7
My Unicorn!
Adams Writers Workshop
Adams STEM Academy, Ypsilanti

Author Bio
Hi, my name is Laylah. I am seven years old. I was born in Ypsi. I am in second grade and I like school a lot. I like to read, write, play, and play games!

My Unicorn!

My unicorn lives at home with me and its other friends. My unicorn’s name is Lucy. My unicorn feels as soft as a cloud from the land of unicorns, but she has really big eyes—they’re as big as two thumbs. And she tastes like socks. And she smells like grapefruit. She smells really yummy! She has really small ears, but she can hear things from across the world. She has a squeaky voice—it sounds like a mouse. Lucy’s fur is pink like an eraser but a little bit darker. Her ears and horn are purple. Today my unicorn is going on a special adventure. She is going to ride a rainbow. She will be going on it in about an hour. When she goes on the rainbow, she will turn into different colors.

She went to the other side so she could see her friends, but when she got to the other side, she drowned in a pot of gold and she found out it was chocolate and she ate it. But she doesn’t get to see her friends because she ate a cloud and it tasted like marshmallows. Then she jumped in a pond. Then she found a mermaid: the mermaid Tina. Then, Tina turned Lucy into a mermaid. But in the pond there were thousands of pickles and she ate them in one bite. Then a witch ate Lucy. But then she found a pickle in the witch’s stomach and she ate it. But then she threw up. She ate the witch. But her friends started the tea party without her.

Samantha Maloney, 7
Space Dolphins Come to Earth
Adams Writers Workshop
Adams STEM Academy, Ypsilanti

Author Bio
My name is Samantha, and I like to have friends over to play with me. When they come we have a lot of candy. My favorite sleepover was when Saharra spent the night and gave me the French snip he uses with the heart on it. So I never took it off.

Space Dolphins Come to Earth

A space dolphin is a dolphin in space. It sits in space all day and all night long but sometimes they do tricks, too, and their names are Rosie and Olivia, and they were born in space. Rosie and Olivia can breathe under water, too, because they came to Earth in the water. When they got in they could not breathe but they got used to breathing underwater and in the water. They saw a star fish and squid and another dolphin and they were all nice. And they eat fish and coral and they feel rocks. Rosie and Olivia are not in space anymore because they fell from Earth. In Earth they landed in water, and they were cold, but when they got out of the water they were warm.

Zaida Pelzer, Age 7
Inside My Heart
Cloudy with a Chance of Simile
Mitchell Elementary, Ann Arbor

Inside my heart lives
One black and white cat
Two puppies playing
Three ants building an ant hill
Four growing red roses
Five deer eating
Six black bunnies hopping
And Sharks swimming in the ocean

Kellan Saylor, Age 6
How to Get a Mouse Out of Your House
Adams Writers Workshop
Adams STEM Academy, Ypsilanti

Author bio
My favorite book is Cat in the Hat. My name is Kellan. My favorite color is blue. My favorite animal is a cat. My favorite food is tacos. I don’t like bats. I don’t like bullies. I don’t like melting. I don’t like gum. I don’t like rain. I don’t like fire. I don’t like bugs. I don’t like full bellies. I don’t like the number seven.

  1. Put a piece of butter cheese out of the house.
  2. Make a cheese path.
  3. Don’t turn the oven on.
  4. Trap the mouse in a balloon.
  5. Count to four-hundred and it will get out of the balloon.
  6. Get another mouse and make them friends.
  7. Make two cheeses, two butters, and two cakes.
  8. Mix them all together.
  9. Make a skateboard for the mouse out of butter.
  10. Set it in the ocean and make the mice go surfing.
  11. Rescue the mice if they fall off the skateboard.

Allan Taylor, Age 7
Evolving Robot
Robot School 101 Workshop
Perry Early Learning Center, Ypsilanti

His name is Dpficus. He is an evolving robot. He goes to an elementary. When he gets to school, he notices something suspicious. Nobody is at school. A man with red eyes walks across the hall and says, “Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

Savannah Daval, Age 7
Robot School
Robot School 101 Workshop
Perry Early Learning Center, Ypsilanti

Maya was late for school and her field trip to the farm. They almost left her behind but she got to go. She was so happy she came. Maya got to ride a robot horse and it was so fun. She said, “That was fun,” on the way back to school. When they packed up for school there was something in her mailbox. She said, “Hey, what is this?”

Sidney Putala, Age 7
Robots Go to School
Robot School 101 Workshop
Perry Early Learning Center, Ypsilanti

Madalyn is going to a new school today. The name of the school is Estabrook. She is fun, funny, and caring, and she helps me with my homework. Her superpowers are snow and ice, lava, and invisible. She even has a heart.

Jason Gibson, Age 7
Pirate Away
Robot School 101
Perry Early Learning Center, Ypsilanti

A pirate robot likes to find treasure on a quest. He goes on his boat. He has a map and he sees land. He goes on land. He sees an X. It was the gold. He dug. He stopped. He opened the treasure chest. He closed the chest. He takes it to Perry School. “Hey, my boat!”

Each month, we feature EIGHT new pieces of student writing on the TWENTY-SIXTH of the month. (Get it?) This month, we are are featuring writing from our Drop-in Writing programs at Ypsilanti District Library and Detroit Public Library branches.

Ypsilanti and Detroit Library Drop-in Writing Programs

Alma Varela, 10
Dear iPod
Clippert Academy
Wee-Bots Drop-in Writing at Detroit’s Campbell Library

Dear iPod,

Sorry I lost you. How’s life? I’m good, and you? I saw you last when I was eight. How’s your screen? Not broken, I hope. I am in fifth grade. My birthday already passed. Oops, I almost forgot. Happy birthday. I hope you forgive me for forgetting where I left you because I’m not even sure where I left you. I hope you’re in good hands. Please don’t be slow on your Internet just because you’re mad. It doesn’t mean you have to give a bad attitude. One thing that’s good is I am going to have your cousin, the neon iPod blue back. I hope you send me who your new owner is because I just want to make sure you’re in good hands. Don’t forget to take photos and send them. Oh, here’s my phone number so you can text me. It is (725) ***-****. Call me, iPod. One advice is try not to download games, please, because you’ll get shut down. I wish you were here. Why don’t you come back? I hope you’re happy.

Alma Varela, Your Owner

Denise Angel-Arriaga, 7
The Raindrops in Trouble
Bennett Elementary
Wee-Bots Drop-in Writing at Detroit’s Campbell Library

One day, I was in the rain forest and I saw a green dinosaur. I was scared and I slid down the dinosaur’s tail. I went to the river. I saw a raindrop friend, Emily, go to the ocean. We found more friends and we played with the ocean. I saw a green fish and we played with the fish. We all went home and I went to sleep and started the story all over again tomorrow!

Nylah Stringfellow, 9
The Wolf
Wee-Bots Drop-in Writing at Detroit’s Redford Library

Lucy was having a party at the water park. She was walking to the party room. Someone told her that there was a wolf behind her. She did not believe them. Then another person came and told her. She did not believe them either. So one more person told her that, then she looked back and she saw the wolf. She screamed very loud. Then she said, “Do you want to join my party?”

The wolf said, “Yes!”

DaJanae Lauderdale, 8
The Treasure
Weston Preparatory Academy
Wee-Bots Drop-in Writing at Detroit’s Redford Library

One morning Jimmy and Violet went outside. Jimmy said, “Let’s go find something.” Violet already left him. Jimmy decided to follow her. Jimmy and Violet found something. It was an old bottle with a message in it. It said: “My name is Captain Crook. I have hidden a treasure somewhere I cannot remember, maybe, some say.”

Jimmy got scared. Violet said, “Don’t be scared, Jimmy, pirates are not real.” Jimmy went away. Later on the ocean, Captain Crook said, “Arragh, no one’s getting me treasure.”

Meanwhile on land, Violet thought the treasure was with the pirates. Jimmy agreed. So they grabbed their boats and started to go into the ocean. Five hours later, they started to sneak into the ship. They found the treasure. Jimmy and Violet were so happy the treasure was theirs. The end.

Calvin Sears, 13
Life as a Twenty-Something-Year-Old
Washtenaw International High School
Teen Drop-in Writing at Ypsilanti’s Michigan Ave Library

Timothy Johnson was your average twenty-two-year-old college student at Hawaii State University, stressed out, smelly, and overall a poor decision maker. He was not exactly your typical charmer. We joined him during one of his many cram sessions, choking down cheap, greasy pizza and sugary coke in his dorm room, attempting and failing to study for a Calculus 102 exam. It was three in the morning and he was about to doze off, until one last bite of pineapple-onion pizza did it. BOOM! Timothy blacked out, his head slammed into his desk. He stayed asleep for a while, until he woke up to the sound of talking.

“How did I lose the ????? This has never happened before. Uh. Control-Alt-Delete? No. Control-Alt-Delete? No. Control-Alt-Delete. OH MY GOD! How’d you get in here?”

Timothy stood up, dazed, and confused. “Who, me?” he asked, slurring his words.

“Yeah, you! You’re supposed to be out there, not in here! How did you get in here?”

“Well, that depends,” said Timothy, looking around. “Where the heck am I, anyway?”

The strange man looked around frantically, then said, “”Well, uh, I don’t know how to put this simply, but you’re inside your own mind.”

Timothy didn’t believe him at all. “Oh, really, now?” Timothy inquired sarcastically. “Then who am I?”

“Timothy Jordan Johnson Jr., born on December 26, 1982. You grew up in a small village in Idaho, then your mom won eighty-three million dollars in the Mega Millions and moved you down to Honolulu when you were four. Your dad’s a soldier who withdrew from the Army after the lotto win, and your mom’s a well-known author. You’re going to school to become a doctor, but your dream job, at least, when you were five, was to be a superhero named Hot-Dog man. “Is that enough for you?”

Timothy stared at the strange man, dumbfounded. “Who, are you?”

“I am Brian, the Grand Keeper and Watcher of the Mind and All Its Secrets, Worldly or Otherwise,” he responded nonchalantly.

“Is that your actual name?” Jeremy questioned.

“No,” responded Brian. “It’s my nickname. My real names is so long that my birth certificate was broken up into three hardcover volumes.”


“No, I’m just kidding. It was broken up into four volumes actually. But back to the topic at hand. How in the name of cerebellum did you manage to get inside your own mind?”

Timothy pondered this question, taking a good look at the man asking it. He had gray skin, one eye, the horns of a ram, and a long, flowing red robe with glowing gold symbols that Timothy didn’t recognize. In his hand, he held a staff made of dark black wood topped with a large, sparkling ruby.


“Oh, yeah, right” mumbled Timothy. “All I remember is eating pizza and drinking coke, when I had one more bite and then blacked out.”

Maia Sears
The Wandering Pig, 10.5
Fortis Academy
Youth Drop-in Writing at Ypsilanti’s Michigan Avenue Library

Waddles likes to wander around a lot! He got it from his owner. His owner’s name is Tim. Tim really liked to travel around the world. But one day they had to separate from each other. Tim was about to fly to Canada. Usually, Tim just liked to travel around America. This time, Tim realized that he had enough money to fly! He flew to Canada without his little pig. Tim felt very lonely—as well as the little pig. He wanted to see his pig, but he felt like he needed to see more things in the world. Before Tim left, Waddles wandered into one of Tim’s suitcases, when Tim picked up his bag, he wondered why his bag was so freakishly heavy. He was about to see if there were any huge bricks inside. But then he glared at his watch, then Tim had a huge panic attack. He realized that he was late for his plane to Canada. Tim had to run out of the door as soon as he could. He was so nervous that he might miss his plane to Canada. Waddles wondered why the suitcase that he was in was shaking so much. As Tim got in his car, he put his suitcases all in the back of his car. He was in such a rush that he just threw all his suitcases in the back of the car. Waddles fortunately did not get hurt in any way. The clothing in the suitcase that he was in broke his fall.

Mary Nguyen, 10
Hey, Michael! Surprise!!
Brick Elementary
Youth Drop-in Writing at Ypsilanti’s Whittaker Road Library

Michael’s mother rushed home to deliver a surprise birthday present. Serena (Michael’s mother) parked in the middle of the street instead of parking her car in the garage. Without closing the door, Serena runs to her house. Ding Dong. “That’s weird,” said Michael, before opening the door. Serena asks Michael to come with her to the kitchen table to open his birthday present. Michael opens the present wrapped in multicolored foil paper to find a silver, black, white, insect-looking wind-up.

Serena yells, “Show your friends!” Michael slowly walks over to his friends who are not focused on their homework.

One of his friends whispered, “What’s that?” Frightened by the silver, black, white, insect-looking wind-up, Micheal wound up the toy as if holding a jumping spider. The wind-up squeaked, crawled, and stood up on its hind legs ten times. It stopped for ten minutes and then it started squeaking and crawling all over again. Haunted by the squeaking, crawling thing his friends ran home!

Rasyid Notowidigdo, 14
The Raid,
Lincoln High School
Teen Drop-in Writing at Ypsilanti’s Michigan Ave Library

The screams. The yells. The smell of wood crackling in a fire. The sound of blades clashing and horses galloping. Nightmare fuel for the child promised an overwhelming destiny. A destiny that could make or break the future, depending on how he handled it. All he could see was darkness, and all he could hear were the sounds of pure terror. The child sat in a feeble position with his head down and knees to his chest. He wanted to cry and wail and scream, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t make a sound, or his village’s sacrifice would be in nothing but vain. Hours passed. Eventually he recognized the sound of horses galloping away. He sat there, paralyzed for a moment. Did he want to risk going back out? Was it worth the risk?

The child paused before slowly standing up. He had to. There was no other choice. He pushed up on the floorboard of his own home, and swinging his arms so that he could try and crawl up onto the floor. Through the whole process he kept his eyes closed, as if doing so could help deter the carnage he knew awaited him. Yet, his curiosity was begging him to open his eyes to know what had exactly happened. The curious side of him was louder. Slowly he opened his eyes, and the sight before him almost made the child want to crawl back under the floor and close himself off with the loose wooden floorboard.

The only thing he noticed was still in one piece, the family heirloom sword clattered next to the bodies while within its scabbard. The child bent down to pick up the blade; hands trembling with fear. As soon as he stood back up with sword in hand, the smell of blood and decay finally hit him, as if holding the family weapon gave him full awareness of his senses. The smell was terrible, not even the village’s worst cooking could smell like the smell he found that day. He wanted to puke. But instead, he turned on his heel and carefully started stepping out of his home. Well, previous home now. He had a mental map of what he needed to do. Find the stables, hope there’s a horse, and get away from here as far as possible. So he did just that. But the more steps he took, the more he wanted to forget all caution and run. The worst part of a small village is that everyone knows everyone. This was no exception for the child, for he recognized everybody he came across. Most he wanted to mourn for, but instead, he marched on.

Soon the child found the stable, and he was relieved to find that a black gelding was left there. He remembered the horse named Atticus. He entered the stable and carefully mounted Atticus. No words needed to come out of his mouth, the two seemed to share similar goals. To get out of the ravaged village of Terra. Without a word said, the child and Atticus left the village, and not a word was said until he knew that no one could possibly overhear him. And Styx never came back.

Each month, we feature EIGHT new pieces of student writing on the TWENTY-SIXTH of the month. (Get it?) This month, we are are featuring writing from our in-school partnership at Ypsilanti Community High School in Liz Sirman’s English Language Learners class. We offered a science fiction writing workshop called My Future Robot Self, led by volunteer Ariana Orozco, and these are some of the stories the students created. You can find the full collection of stories in our recent publication That’s How I Became the Greatest Hero in the History of Fiction.

*Ypsilanti Community High-School In-school Partnership*

Wilder Fonseca, 18
Vampires in Victorian London

I remember when I worked in a company, I could see all of the city and the vampires. I saw when the vampires were after all of the people. The horses had fear. We needed to destroy the vampires before they destroyed us and took control of all the city. We made a spell that made the vampires like apples instead of blood. Maybe they would have a better life in the city.

Didier Landa, 14
Godzilla vs. The Hero Didier

Long, long ago, I met a villain named Godzilla: The Greatest Villain on Earth. He was in London, England. At that time, London looked very beautiful, but Godzilla destroyed everything. I told the government, “I’m going to challenge Godzilla.”

They said, “Okay!” If I defeated him, I was going to be in peace. People would celebrate and rebuild the city of London. All the monsters would disappear like dinosaurs. On October 30, 1890, Didier defeated Godzilla. Godzilla looked angry, seventy feet tall, and 2,000,000,000 billion pounds. At first, I was scared, but when I defeated him, I felt strong.

When I saw him, I said, “Godzilla!”

He said, “What do you want, little creature?”

I answered back, “I want to battle you!”

He said, “You got it, but I’m going to throw you!”

I said, “I’m not afraid of you!”

He said, “Let’s start!”

We fought for four days total. The first day, he almost crushed me with his long feet. The second day, I almost won, but he was too big and tall. The third day, it was a clear fight. The fourth and last day, I called all of the heroes.

They told me, “You can use our powers!”

I used the spiders. I flew like Superman. I used Thor’s hammer, and finally, my magical Hulk hands made him fall down. I defeated Godzilla. Everybody was happy about it. This is how I became one of the greatest heroes in the history of fiction. I defeated Godzilla. I did it, I did it. Afterward, I felt like I could do anything. I was tired. They gave me twenty liters of water and all kinds of food. I was tired, but this would always be on my mind. People came from all around the world to appreciate what I did. London became more beautiful than before.

Wendy Vega, 18

When I went to the past, I went to Victorian London in 1890. I met zombies. They started following me and trying to get me. I ran very fast and I hid in a house and the zombies couldn’t find me. I stayed in that house for almost eight hours and then I went outside. I was scared because I couldn’t see the zombies. When I ran, I felt my heart go fast and my breathing too. I tried to have control of my emotions but I couldn’t because the zombies scared me. They looked very horrific. They had worms in their faces and blood everywhere. Their bodies looked broken and decomposed. It was very scary. The only thing I wanted was to go back to my home, because the zombies were disgusting.

I went back to the machine and went back to the present. I knew that in that city, zombies took over all the humans. But some people went back to that place. Those people were a man and a woman. The man was tall and white, and his hair was brown. The woman was short and white, and her was brown. They went to the place and they took the city back from the zombies, and reconstructed the city. They started to live there and when they finished everything, they had a beautiful place and they started to have babies.

Dulcinee Landa, 18
Zombie Girl, Come Back Soon!!!

Once upon a time, there was a family that had children. One of them passed away and returned as a zombie. She never knew she was a zombie until her birth parents kicked her out. She felt bad to know that she was a normal person like us, but after dying, she was a zombie. She never gave up. She left and opened her own business—a coffee shop with food for zombies, only zombies. She passed away for the second time last year. I hope she will come back again to cook because she had some of the best food in her place, Zombie’s Coffee—for example, chicken nuggets, salad, zombie double, zombie artisanal coffee, etc.

Ahmed Hassanin, 19
Thor Zombies

One day, I dreamt about zombies because I watched The Walking Dead. The next day, I woke up and I was on a cruise with my friends. We were playing frisbee. They threw it so far that when I was trying to catch it, I jumped high and I fell into the Bermuda Triangle. It took me to Victorian London.

When I got there, I started walking. I noticed that everything was old. Even the people were wearing weird stuff. The buildings were old. The streets smelled so bad because of the horses. I was so confused about what was happening around me. I thought someone was filming. I tried to ask the people around me. Nobody answered me until I asked one girl. She was standing by herself. I went to ask her. She turned so slowly and looked at me for a second and told me to run. Then she started to sound weird and she tried to pull me. I started to run. Not only was she chasing me, but a ton of people were trying to get me. I found that people were coming in front of me. They looked the same, so I went into a big building. I locked the door. They were trying to break it, but the door was so hard to break. I sat in my prison for a while because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what was happening around me. I wished that I could get back to my friends. I thought I was dreaming. I started to punch myself a little to wake up, but I wasn’t dreaming. The place around me was so dark. I went upstairs to find something to eat or anything to protect me.

When I went upstairs, I was walking so slowly because I couldn’t see anything. Then a guy jumped out at me. We fell. I got away and ran to the roof. The zombies broke the door and were coming upstairs. I had two chances to jump to another building or stay and try to fight them, but there were a lot! I decided to jump. I jumped, but I didn’t reach the other building! Then I woke up. I was on the cruise. I was wet. My friends were around me. I said, “No, please, don’t do anything to me!” I tried to push them, but they told me to calm down. Then I asked what happened and they told me that I was drowning and they had saved me.

Arwa Hamed Abdulwahab, 14
My Best Friend Turned Me Into A Zombie

I looked from my window. They were walking to my house. I was so scared. My best friend, Simeon, tried to make me calm down. Then he told me to go hide in the bathroom and he was going to close the doors and the windows so they couldn’t get into the house. I did what he told me, but I was so scared to go to the bathroom by myself. But I did it. He took forever to come to the bathroom. I was thinking about my family and how mean I was when I left my house without caring about them. Then I started crying because I was scared that something would happen to them.

Then Simeon opened the bathroom door and his hands were full of blood. I looked at him and I realized that there was something wrong with him. Then I realized that he was a zombie. I tried to fight him, but he was stronger than me. He turned me into a zombie. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see anything different. Everything was the same.

Carlos Gomez, 15
Haunted by a Vampire

There’s a guy standing in the middle of the road. I think he’s a vampire who is always standing in the middle of pictures. Maybe he also has the power of reading minds and super speed, so that he can go stand in the middle of pictures. And maybe he’s around us and we don’t know it, but he can also be you, and you haven’t noticed that you have such powers and you don’t know how to control them. And after a long time, I have become friends with a vampire named Javier and I try to help him control his supernatural powers that he cannot control. I am trying to help him. We tried to travel to the past and ask his ancestors so that they could show him how to use his supernatural powers. They could camouflage with other people around us and not even be noticed.

Abdu Rahman, 15

A long time ago, I woke up in the place of weird things happening! People were doing weird stuff, like cleaning other people’s faces. I was thinking, what in the world kind of place is this? It was beautiful to see the tall buildings outside. It was so dark and less people were outside than usual. I didn’t see a single woman outside. It was weird.

I asked a man, “What is this place?”

He said, “It’s Victorian London. Please leave this place immediately or you will die!”

I knew that something was wrong. I was going to ask him why, but all of a sudden, something big happened. Zombies! I heard the sound of people shouting and yelling for help.

People were shouting out, “Zombies, zombies! Run for your life!” I could not believe I was seeing zombies. The zombies looked ugly and their faces were covered with blood. Some zombies had eyes popping out. I was as scared as a cat! I stood in the road thinking about my life and family. I had nowhere to go. I was doomed.

Liberty Street Robot
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