“The Only Thing to Fear” by Sarah Coons

She heard the stomping of feet heading towards her room, but it was too late for any sort of reaction. With guilty eyes, she glanced up at her mother standing in the doorway of her bedroom.

“Helen, haven’t you finished dressing for bed yet?”

“Sorry, Mum,” she murmured, absently adjusting the apron on her favorite doll, who’d just a moment ago been hiding from the scary paper planes that flew overhead and dropped blocks from the ceiling.

Her mother sighed and quietly took the doll from her hands, gently caressing the yarn hair from the toy’s face. “Why do you make believe about the bombings?” she inquired softly. “Don’t you realize how dangerous they are?”
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“Pear Trees” by Caitlin DePauw

[Chapter 1 of The Red Brick Road]

You don’t have to know where a journey will end to begin.  Think about it.  If Christopher Columbus hadn’t set sail on that fateful day in 1492, would the Americas ever have been found?  If Thomas Edison hadn’t come up with the design for the light bulb, would we still be using gas lamps today?  If Lewis and Clark had not set out to explore and map the west, would there even be 50 stars on the American flag?  All these famous people changed our world by taking the initiative to start a journey.  The same goes for the young girl in our story.  While she isn’t well known in our universe, her actions caused a change that spanned two worlds.

Our tale begins on a normal day.  The sun was high in the sky, which meant lunchtime was just around the corner.  All the father munchkins were hurrying home for their lunch breaks (in that day everyone went home for meals) while the children came in from their adventures in the backyard.  The smell of delicious foods floated through the air along every street.  Munchkins are best known for their fantastic food, next to their size, anyway:  blueberry chicken, apple scrunchel, roasted pumplets, and krimple dibblets, just to name a few.  Fairs decided every year which family could produce the most amazing meal.  As you can guess, these competitions never ended without some intense discussions.
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“The Symmetry Stands Alone” by Brian Patterson

1

Marvin Oran Mansfield had crossed a line.

This time it seemed as though there was no turning back. He ran back upstairs and into his bedroom while tears of regret began to stream down his face. His adrenaline had his heart pumping at an unbelievable rate and his hands were beginning to shake.

You see, Marvin’s love for symmetry had become such an obsession that he felt an overwhelming desire to purposely go against it, just to see what would happen. The problem was, he wasn’t sure about the best way to do it. He had various ideas such as wearing two different shoes or even cutting one side of his hair to look different than the other side. Nothing seemed effective enough. He thought and thought and as ideas came and went he wondered if he was actually just beginning to lose his nerve. Continue reading

“To Him Who Overcomes” by Laura Juve

Excerpt from He Who Testifies

Pressure shifting against Prinneira’s legs awoke her. She hadn’t meant to sleep, she realized, as her eyes flew open. She carefully maneuvered till she sat upright, managing not to disturb the little girl who slept sprawled across her shins. In the dim light she strained to make out her husband’s face as she anxiously cradled him in her arms. Continue reading