last week the fire alarm went off
everyone filed out of their classrooms
but my teacher told us to wait
until the intercom buzzed and
told us there was a fire
he didn't say why
but we all knew.
yesterday we had a lockdown drill
the alarm blared and they told us to
lock the door
stack the desks
pile on the chairs
hide under the remaining tables
away from the windows
always away from the windows
make sure they don't know where you are
my teacher never told us who
but we all knew.
yesterday my english teacher apologized to us
not in so many words
that she was sorry we were inheriting
such a shitty world.
a shitty world where we have to practice
barricading ourselves in the classrooms to hide from shooters
where we can't walk out the door if the alarm goes of until we're totally sure
said shooter isn't roaming the halls
where we never talk about it outright but
we all know.
tomorrow it's going to be the same
the next time i hear about a shooting my stomach will churn
but there'll be that slight twinge of relief
one more time it wasn't my school
one more time i'm safe.
the day after that
the week after
we'll keep hearing about those shootings.
we'll hear about those high schoolers
those innocent, wide-eyed
with their whole lives ahead of them
and every time we do
the shock might feel less real
the gut-wrenching feeling of imagining the family's pain
might subside even quicker
because whether we see it or not
we're becoming numb.
whether it's practicing how to hide under desks
or reading about the four-hour lockdown in the next county over
it's less and less surprising to us because it's so...
today is the day we have to do something
to change this scary level of normal
before tomorrow becomes the nightmare
we're so relieved to avoid.
our inheritance of a shitty world
can become the gift of a
to the next generation
and the generation after that.
it shouldn't be about dodging the bullet this time
but making sure that nobody else
ever has to.
why i believe there’s more out there than us humans ;)
the simple fact that we have absolutely no way of proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is nothing out there, and i struggle to believe that in a universe with billions of galaxies that there is not some far off planet with life forms we have yet to understand that could be magical. there's just no way to know.
(and that right there is the only reason i would ever want to be immortal, to see the possible day humans discover something as insane as that.)
Herman the hungry bear...
*while this post comes off a bit childish, I definitely write a fair amount of not so happy stuff so I thought it would be fun to just write something fun and silly about a bear in Yosemite looking for food. very random ;)*
The sun beat down on Herman’s shaggy back, penetrating the thick wall of fur he had for protection and baking his massive body. He rolled over onto his paws and lumbered through the meadow towards a stand of trees, hoping desperately for shade. As he sunk into the soft grass, enjoying the marginally cooler temperature, he noticed the long line of cars parked on the road, not twenty yards away. Herman remembered what his grandpa used to tell him,
“When the line of cars gets longer than you can see, you know what time it is…”
“Summer!” Herman would reply, to which his grandpa would smile.
“Yes, but also-”
“Snack time!” Herman growled to himself, excitement flooding through his veins. He shuffled towards the cars, watching to see which one might contain the best food. Trudging through the dirt just along the road, he plodded over to an SUV with tinted windows and snuffled up against the glass. Bug spray and a pair of sunglasses? He though incredulously as he scanned the trunk. Fools. Who doesn’t bring bug spray hiking in Yosemite? They’ll get eaten alive. Serves them right for not leaving food in their car, he thought savagely, already plodding towards the next vehicle along the road, a red Toyota. Herman peered through the window and sighed. The only thing in the trunk was a large, cylindrical container and an unrolled sleeping bag. In the container was more kinds of protein bars than he could count, as well as trail mixes and energy gels, but the sticker reading BEAR PROOF CANISTER told him he’d do better to keep moving. Stomach rumbling, Herman proceeded to a beaten silver Acura with dust coating every available inch of the car. Back from some off-roading, he noted gleefully. Maybe they brought a picnic and saved ME some leftovers! Looking through the windows, he chuckled to himself.
“A packing blanket?!” He growled in shocked delight. They really think a 20 dollar packing blanket from Costco over their cooler and snack bag can stop me? I’m not blind, you know. With a sense of satisfaction at finally securing a true meal, Herman backed up a few feet, then a few more for good measure, and catapulted himself at the car with all the force he could muster.
THWACK. He collided with the trunk door and his snout glanced off the window.
“Ow ow ow ow ow,” he howled, rolling onto his back. As he looked up, he noticed he had attracted an audience of picture-snapping tourists. Herman sighed dejectedly. After such a blow to his pride and common sense, he decided there were better options for food. I guess it’s back to salmon, he thought despondently. I’m so sick of salmon. Does nobody realize bears like some variety too? Giving a violent shake of all his shaggy hair, Herman collected himself and trundled off down the road, concluding that while human’s creativity and innovation lacked in concealing food from bears, they made up for it in window technology skills. Although maybe I made at least a good dent or two in the bumper, he wondered to himself. Greatly cheered up by this thought, Herman continued back onto the meadow, growling happily at nobody in particular. Who knows, maybe I can actually catch a marmot today. Miracles do happen.
it’s getting bad
you know it's bad when you glance outside and it looks like the world has been coated in one of those too-bright camera filters that makes everything appear slightly over saturated.
you know it's bad when you have a cold and can still inhale and recognize the sickly sweet burning smell that's become all too familiar the past few years.
you know it's bad when typing air quality map into the search bar has simply become a reflex, and the climbing numbers, the unhealthy or severely unhealthy registering without the shock they used to hold.
you know it's bad when your family owns too many fans and have to look into air conditioning installment because keeping windows open in late summer isn't an option.
you know it's bad when you stop calling autumn 'autumn' and start referring to it as 'fire season', the months it lasts stretching out even longer, much too long, september an october now becoming late july through november, smoke-free months dwindling as people determinedly ignore the signs of climate change.
it's easy to pretend when half your state isn't burning, right?
you know it's bad when the smoke reaches the east coast and some people just say the red sun is 'pretty', but we californians we oregonians we west coast natives know it's more than that, we know red sun means time to hide, time to stay inside maybe even wear masks till firefighters can put out the flames that read 50% contained on any website you go to, we know now that we have to fight because as more of our home gets consumed, there's going to be nowhere to flee when everyone wakes up and realizes this isn't a west coast problem it's a nationwide problem it's a world problem because
the world is going up in flames
the world is sinking
the world is flooding
the world is being
and billions of us have to work together to stop it
or else the blaze is gonna swallow us all.
I just found a paragraph that I wrote for school in fifth grade about something I love. While my sentences were very, very short and don’t really flow, I like the message and I thought it was sweet. Honestly, makes me wish I could go back and hug my 10-year-old self just a little tighter, but anyway... :)
One thing I love is books. A very important reason is that they are very interesting and the topics vary. Plus, they never get boring! I can always find something that interests me whether it be historical fiction or fantasy. I always say I’ll only read for a little and then I finish the book because I can’t put it down. People have to tell me go do something else, otherwise I’d never stop reading. Also, they are very inspirational and intriguing. They can inspire me to do things I never thought I could! I find myself reciting passages to my family because they are so interesting or funny. Plus, books are my companions. They are always “there” for me. Whenever I am mad or sad, I go downstairs to my room and read a book, and after twenty minutes or so, I feel better about everything. And even if I lose a friend, or anything like that, I’ll always have books. The characters are like friends, and they teach me about things I probably would never learn anywhere else. I can meet new people, make friends inside books, and I’ll never lose them. There are so many characters to learn about and love all the way through the story. Finally, books can teach me about things you don’t know. You can learn about other cultures or religions, like buddhism or about a nomadic tribe. I might think another culture is weird, or funky, and then you read about it and find out it’s actually really cool. I can learn fun and interesting facts. There’s always something interesting or new to learn, and I barely even know I’m are learning. All in all, I love books, and life wouldn’t be the same without them.
Book Recommendations (all 75 of them)
Each list is ordered from most to least kid-friendly, since a lot of these books are from when I was younger but still enjoyed. Some of them are more tween books (9-12) ish, even though I read a lot of them a little bit younger than that, that’s the target age, and some of them are a lot darker and cover much heavier themes. A couple are just placed more towards the bottom of the list because the older you are when you read them, the more you will get out of the book and pick up on the symbolism and underlying themes.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
Dear America Series by many authors
Jimmy’s Stars by Mary Rodman
Rodzina by Karen Kushman
Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Refugee by Alan Gratz
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Auma’s Long Run by Eucabeth Odhiombo
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
My Mother the Cheerleader by Robert Sharenow
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Holocaust/World War Two (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata
The War Outside by Monica Hesse
The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
A Chance to Live by Pieter Kohnstam
The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
In My Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke
Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen
Wonder and Auggie and Me by R. J. Palacio
Drumroll Please by Lisa Jen Bigelow
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan
One For The Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis
Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry
Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mylknowski
Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee
The Running Dream by Wendelin van Draanen
Runaway by Wendelin van Draanen
Run by Kody Keplinger
Now is Everything by Amy Giles
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Wild Bird by Wendelin van Draanen
3 Little Words by Ashley Rhodes Courter
Good Enough by Jen Petro-Roy
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
People Like Us by Dana Mele
These last few I would put in the 12 or 13+ category without a doubt, especially the last three.
13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Heroine by Mindy McGinnis
Paperweight by Meg Haston
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Impulse and Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Realistic Fiction With Magical/Fictitious Elements
(yes, that is a genre now)
The Swap by Megan Shull
Bounce by Megan Shull
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn
Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Dry by Neal Shusterman
These are technically all children’s books or written for younger audiences but I still would enjoy all of them now...especially Harry Potter and Land of Stories, two all-time favorites.
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Candy Shop Wars by Brandon Mull
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordian
Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
The Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
A pretty small category, but I don’t read very many classics (though I hope to change that.) These are my absolute favorites of what I have read!
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
And just for fun: Books that a lot of people like (and also some sort of obscure or not that popular books that I’ve read) that I personally think aren’t worth reading, but you are entitled to your own opinion, no judgement!
1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I really tried with this one. I swear, I tried.
2. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Wood
Winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Newberry Medal, and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Youth / Teens, but I just couldn’t get into it. I finished it, but didn’t find it particularly interesting.
3. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
I was told it was an extremely scary book and thus rated 18+ on some websites. I didn’t think it was scary at all, I guess I can see that it’s scary because it is true (supposedly?), but I wasn’t a huge fan.
4. Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull
I have read his other series, Fablehaven, but Dragonwatch was very difficult to even start, so I gave up eventually.
2 Year Anniversary
I have officially been on Prose for two years since May 24, 2019! (Technically two years and a day, I forgot to post this yesterday). If you want to read my first ever post, the link is here: https://theprose.com/post/276793/silent-anger. Unedited, shockingly, though it's tempting. I hope that the fact that I cringe reading my early posts means I have grown as a writer and improved my abilities over the past two years. It's been a crazy ride, and despite going M.I.A. for a few months here and there, it's been fantastic to be a part of a community of such incredible writers and people. There is an insane amount people that I want to thank, but putting hundreds of names would be tedious to write and no doubt tedious to read. So many people have made my experience on this website one of the best ever and I hope I will be here for years to come. You guys are amazing. Thank you. <3
Where Do You Come From?
Where the grass is greener on the other side
'cause we don't get rain
unless sprinklers count.
Where we've got four seasons
winter, spring, summer, and
Autumn isn't when the leaves turn gold and yellow
but when the sky glows a similar orange hue and signals, what?
just a normal day in September in California!
Global warming hits us harder every day
but our natural beauty is tough to compete with
gotta enjoy it while it lasts, right?
we're sinking faster than the Titanic and
our twenty lifeboats?
They left a long time ago.
Come to Cali!
Stunning views to spare!
Enter if you dare...
Thoughts I Have While Running: Winter Edition
Note: I already did a post 'Thoughts I Have While Running', (link if you'd like to read it: https://theprose.com/post/361349/thoughts-i-have-while-running) this is just a part two because people liked the first one and it was fun to write!
1. *tying my shoes inside* This is going to be a great run! Such a nice afternoon.
2. *actually walks outside* why. is. it. so. f*cking. cold.
3. My hands are already numb. How are my hands already numb. *puts my hair in a ponytail* gosh, I should have done this inside.
4. *starts running* Oh wow, I have a cramp already. Fun, fun, fun.
5. Why are there people ALREADY? Can't I run in peace?
6. *realizes the people aren't crossing the street* Oh, you're going to make me cross the street, huh? So that's how it is? Guess I just won't say hi to you. Rude.
7. Hmm. My quintuple knotted shoes are *cough* coming untied. Funny how that works. Guess I'd better stop for two minutes to untie *ahem* retie them.
8. *resumes running* My knees hurt? Why do they hurt when I stop?
9. *switches the hand that has my phone to give my freezing fingers a break* wHy aRe mY fiNgErS nUmB AgAiN?
10. *sees more people* *what I think* why are they walking on opposite sides of the street taking up the whole street when they could walk single file on one side so I can get through without saying excuse me twenty times because nobody hears me when I talk? *what I say* “cute dog!”
11. *watch buzzes* ew, is that seriously my mile split? We’re just going to blame that on the ice. It’s a valid excuse...right?
12. Okay, I must be almost done. *checks watch* not even half. way. there? I’d better stop to *cough* stretch.
13. More people? MORE PEOPLE?! This was a deserted neighborhood, a deserted street, till I went for a run. What’s up with that?
14. *almost falls* f*ck. That’s what we call ice, folks. Good thing I caught myself. *actually falls* I TAKE IT BACK. I TAKE IT BACK OKAY.
15. Owwww my knee hurts for two reasons now. Why am I so cLuMsY??
16. Ooh, I have reached the sacred *uhh* stop sign. With dog...excrement...and muddy snow all over it. So special. Maybe I need to rethink my turnaround point. Anyway, music time!
17. *keeps running but tries to turn Pandora on at the same time* that’s ice F*CK that’s ice yay I dodged it nope there’s another patch WHERE IS MY SONG wait most people listen to Spotify why do I have Pandora OW my kNeE more ice oh ok FOUND MY SONG.
18. *speeds up, music adrenaline* *slows down two seconds later, wheezing* yeah, we need to stop doing that.
19. Wow, I talk to myself when I run. The cold is getting to my head. And my fingers.
20. *starts coming up with dumb poetry? (not sure it deserves that title) in my head because why not right?* ohmygosh that is a gorgeous rhyme I just came up with! Even though it’s not a rhyme. Fingers? Never had ’em. Toes? What are those? Cold? I F*CKING HATE IT.
22. OH MY GOD I ONLY HAVE FOUR MINUTES LEFT
23. Why is it icy now? This is where my finishing kick is supposed to be instead I’m slipping and sliding and going really. really. slow.
24. Ohmygosh ohmygosh I’M HOMEEEEEEE
25. *struggles to untie shoes* yeah, my fingers are dead. At least I still have my toes. Maybe I can be like that girl on YouTube who was born without arms and learned to do everything with her feet.
...yeah, I don’t think that would work.
26. *walks inside* Time to watch Netflix and eat cookies. I mean, who stretches after they run? Certainly not me…….
Edit: I'm really b*tchy when I run, at least in my head, I don't actually hate people this much I just say rude things in my head to focus on something besides the pain...
tear it to shreds
i wrote a list of things i hate about myself
it filled a whole sheet of graph paper
then i tore it to shreds.
i twisted my shirt around my finger
almost ripped it
every time someone talked to me
’cause i couldn’t think of what to say back.
they tell me i have
a n x i e t y
i think i’m just a teenager
with too much time to kill
wishing my problems would disappear
like that piece of paper.
i n s e c u r e
can’t be written down
not that easily.