Short Story: Quarter

By: Pineapple Blueberry

“That’ll be $4.50, ma’am” The barista in the coffee shop spoke with a smooth, hippie voice that begged me for money.

“Oh, and we don’t take credit cards.” The barista smiled, but I wanted to tear her face off. What type of coffee shop doesn’t take a credit card? I was never coming back.

I fumbled in my bag desperately searching for that last quarter. The customers behind me yelled impatiently. This is New York after all; its citizens were incredibly irritable.

“Screw you!” I shrieked back into the crowd of blood-hungry Americans. My hands fumbled for a quarter, that final 25 cents. They were getting louder and louder, and I was getting more furious as ever. The only quarter in my grasp was sewn into the lining of my purse, and I wasn’t going to give it to some desperately bankrupt hippie with freaking dreadlocks.

One of the neanderthals behind me saw the quarter. His barbarically inflated hand reached for the quarter. My heart stopped. No one besides me had touched that quarter in five years.

“You have ten cents here; get something cheaper and leave.” He shouted at me, though it was mainly spittle. The idiocy in his words were astonishing.

I wiped the spit off my face, though the pure anger in my eyes could have made it evaporate.

“That is a quarter, you fool. It’s twenty-five cents; the American school system has truly failed you, you unbelievably stupid sasquatch. Scientists should study you; we can use your brain cells on the enemy.” My words flowed out of my mouth. It felt so good to argue again. Screw my therapist.

I snatched the precious quarter from his meaty hands. Taking great care, I wiped the quarter gently trying, and failing, to erase the barbarism now imprinted on the coin. I’m going to have to boil it now. A futile expression still hung on his simple face– even though it had been almost three minutes. Finally, my words had dawned on him. His face got crimson; the blood poured into his brain– destroying the few air molecules up there.

“What’d you say to me?” He said in a drunkenly slurred voice. His fat fist drew up. The scene was too funny; up until the part where he punched me in my face. I blacked out. Chivalry truly is dead.

 

………………

 

I woke up in the interrogation room. The classic one in all the great cop shows, and movies. It had the double sided mirror/ glass window. As an incredible “cop show” fanatic, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. However, as a trained specialist in this area with my experience in watching all 15 seasons of CSI, I professionally deduced that I screwed up.

The detective walked into the room with a commanding gait. His badge was the old model; they had updated it eleven years ago. He was an old one. With more than eleven years in his arsenal he had to have either been a captain of a precinct, or– if incredibly useless– at least a head detective. Since Captains don’t conduct interrogations, I can glean that the man in front of me was the head detective of this precinct. Thousands of hours watching crime shows weren’t all for nothing; plus it said his title on his mug in his hand.

“Are you.…” He looked up. “…Sarah Zhou.” He said those words looking right at her.

“I refuse to say anything without a lawyer. And you haven’t read me my Miranda Rights, so I can say anything without being prosecuted.” I said those words proudly. The detective looked fatigued.

“Calm it right down GI Jane.” His irritated face glared at me, and I shut right up. Maybe he wasn’t useless. “We just want to ask you a few questions about the fight.”

“Fight? What fight?” Questions surged inside me, but there was too many to say.

“After you passed out, a fight broke out. People started throwing chairs, and punches. Eventually the cavalry was called.” He said these words annoyingly, like it was all a waste of his precious time. However, for me it was devastating; it was all my fault.

“Was anyone hurt?” I sighed. I never thought that it would become serious. The detective’s face softened when he realized that I had a conscience.

“No,” he said. Thank God. “But… witnesses say that you started it…” he looked at his case file, “… over a quarter.” The disbelief was clear on his face; he thought I was an idiot.

I put my head between my hands and laid down on the table. I couldn’t lose that quarter. The day I found those 25 cents was the day my life started.

The coin was just sitting there in the snow surrounded by the dying trees. It glistened and shined surrounded by all the reflective snow. I just thought that it was pretty, so i picked it up. And, my life changed forever.

For fifteen years the quarter stood with me constantly finessing good luck. It was my goodluck charm. Now, the minute it gets taken away I get arrested. My life depended on that quarter. When I was without it the paranoia immediately sets in. The claws of perils reach for my soul; everyone around me is an enemy waiting to ruin my life.

As I sat in that room, without my coin, the fear has settled and seeping into every nook and cranny of my paralyzed brain. Sweat coated my face, the same expression sat dumbly on my face. I needed my quarter.

“Take me to my quarter. Please.” I begged.

I knew the detective could tell the story of my quarter without me even having to say it. He knew everything, and I didn’t have to say a word.

“Fine,” he said. “It’s in our tech lab downstairs. Our technician, Amanda, has it. I’ll take you to it.”

Relief washed over me as a wave washes over a seabed; it takes the worry, and shells away.

I hesitantly stood up; the effect of the missing coin still lingered in my head. But, I would soon be reunited.

We arrived later down in the basement.

“Hi,” their lab technician was chirpy and happy. I liked her. With her around I felt more at peace. She gave some spiel about some science thingy; I understood nothing. Her face looked grim; as if it were coated with bad news. Something was coming.

“I understood none of that.” I told her. “You’re avoiding something; I know it. Just talk.”

“Okay,” she said. “This quarter used to belong to… Hitler. It was what was in his pocket when he died.”

Disbelief washed over my mind. A numbing feeling paralyzed my thoughts and stabilized my face in that clueless, idiot face. She gave me five seconds before talking again; I was grateful for every last moment.

“I’m not done,” she continued. “17 years ago, a pawn shop was robbed. This quarter was one of the prized possession belonging to the owner. It was a partner job. They killed the owner, and one of the robbers turned up later, dead, frozen into the ocean. The man who robbed the store has been wanted for nearly 20 years. This coin….” Her voice trailed off.

She didn’t need to finish. This coin, my life, was witness to murders. With an “s”.

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Book Review By: Molang B.

This story receives a

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This society is divided. The Reds are regular people, just like us; the Silvers have powers that are out of this world. They think that Silvers are superior just because of these “superpowers,” and the Reds won’t disagree. They would get killed if they disagreed, but one night, working as a servant for the Silvers, Mare Barrow showcases her surprising Silver-like abilities. Hiding in plain sight, Mare is stuck as a pawn in the Queen’s game.

I really enjoyed this book, and one of the things that made this book memorable is that there was THE biggest PLOT TWIST. Seriously. You have to read it, and when you get to the plot twist, you’ll be FREAKING OUT. It is just that good. I didn’t see it coming, and I read a lot of books with a lot of plot twists. When (not if) you read this book, you can rant to me about the plot twist.

Also, there are many other components to this book… romance being one of them. I think that there is a love square, but there is definitely a love triangle. What is with all these books have love triangles? Every single time I read a book, there is always a love interest, but it’s cool in this one because it makes the story more interesting.

Now for the quotes….

“The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.”

Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

 

These quotes are almost as good as The Fifth Wave’s quotes. Almost.

“It’s our nature. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.”

Victoria Aveyard, Red Queen

 

It is also depressing…. Anyway, you should totally read this book, AND the best part is that the second book came out THIS FEBRUARY. THANK YOU, VICKY. Yep, I call the author Vicky. We’re tight like that. NOW GO BUY THE BOOK.
Red Queen series:

Red Queen

Glass Sword (Feb. 9 2016)

Short Story: Foolish Child

By: Pineapple Blueberry

The depressing truth behind the transformation of a child into an adult during the Great Depression of America’s 1930’s.

The clopping sound of horse’s hooves reverberated through the valley.

The child lay on the rocks finally content after days of slowly rotting away. The kind stranger–a camera man–had given him water and food that would sustain him for at least a few days. But what a foolish child, he savagely devoured all the food as fast as the economy went downhill. The foolish child. He would need that food later.

His bare, begrimed feet dangled off his makeshift shelter as he thought about his brief but dismal life. 2 million people were left homeless after the depression started, but they never imagined that they would be victim to the life ending pestilence of poverty. At least not until mama had died. After that…his life was over.

Papa started drinking, gambling, anything to take his mind off the loss. Soon after they got evicted from their house, he lost his job, and his four year old child was left without a mother, a home, or most times even food. Still, the child whistled through life with euphoria. I guess that’s one upside to being a child; no matter how bad it got, he never felt the impact. All he had was his oblivious bliss. He may have had his father, but that incompetent plague did nothing but spend the little money they had. However, his son adored him.

The child’s ignorance also blocked out his father’s impotence. He only recalls the sacred times with his mother–when his life was whole and his future promising. The foolish child.

The quick devouring of the food resulted in quick hunger. Within the hour of the cameraman’s departure the boy was, yet again, famished. The gritty taste of dust dictated his senses. The luxurious taste of water haunted him as he roamed the desolate valley.

He never doubted that failure of a father for one second. His papa’s promise of return resounded through his head. He had been gone for two days now. His father had just left an hour before the cameraman did. No thoughts of abandonment dared to reach the child’s mind; his saintly father was still preserved in his naive brain.

Their shelter stood alone in the vast empty valley. The unwanted rubbish they found off the road served as a temporary home. The everlasting smell of mold trailed the chairs used to prop up the fading blanket. It wasn’t much, but, to the child, it was paradise. The foolish child. The boy was bored by the second hour, by the third hour he had explored everything that the sovereign cave had to offer. The child’s imagination was all he had left, and it gave him immense joy. However, it’s fuel was running out. He was starting to doubt his father.

By the third day he was sad, broken down, and entirely distraught. 72 hours without food or water has torn away the hope and life in the young child. The tears he had cried coated ho dry face. The water blended with the dirt on his face making a bumpy tear stained face.

Only the power of a Great Depression could break down a child’s spirit like that. The desperate child begged and yelled loudly for anyone. The languishing cries would frighten anyone. His imagination and ignorance were long gone. The and by the third, his fitful mind discovered everything the valley had to offer. His imagination made the melancholy valley a place of dreaming and hope.

However, by the third day, his whimsical blessed ignorance had faded and in came the stifling mindset of an adult. The eccentricity of a child is quickly dislodged by a life ruining burden of maturity in the Depression. Children skip the age of pure joy in these times. The child’s desolate cries permeate the valley and grieve anyone in ears length. His dry tears had mixed with the dirt and created a bumpy paste that covered the boy’s face. The realization of his father’s deficiency had finally dawned on the newly grown young man. The craving of food was dominating all possible thoughts. He wouldn’t last long. The foolish child.

…….

The clopping sound of horse’s hooves reverberated through the valley. A man rode into the canyon on horseback. He stood next to the inept shelter by the head of his cold son. Silence reigned through the plain, the only noise audible was the low sob of a grieving father.

Short Story: Pure Eyes

By: Pineapple Blueberry

“A house of ivory, with windows of crystal. Hidden under the steps; a door. A door to the treasure. A door to the secret. A door to the truth.”

My father’s last words echo through my head as I pace through the barren land. He died last month. On his death bed he said those words. After he died, the government threw his body off the spaceship. The government is a mystery to me, and to everyone. They gave us numbers for identification. No names. But my father gave me one anyway. My name is Atticus. My father said that it is a powerful, and honorable name. He taught me to live up to that name. The citizens of The Society came from a forbidden land, a land that was full of violence and bloodshed. So they left on a spaceship; the S.S. Trump. No one gets the name though. The S.S. Trump has been floating in space for almost thirty years. My father left the forbidden land at age ten. At that time it was 2016. As I step on the street, I step on that forbidden land. My father wanted me to come here. My father needed me to come here, to find the ivory house and the crystal windows.

Two birds roam through the field, making, loud obnoxious noises. They are bright red, a color that the Society told us was never to be used. The only words the citizens are allowed to use are what they consider “pure” words. The only thing anyone can think or talk about are “pure” things. But anything interesting is anything but “pure”. I asked my father his definition of “pure”, he would always respond the same way.

“Son, everything you are taught, everything that surrounds you, everything you know, none of it is “pure”.”

I look at the two birds and realize that these are the only other life forms that I have seen, except humans. The thought sinks in. I smile. The forbidden land has always seemed daunting, and alarming. But now as I stand here, I realize that there is peace, and serenity here. Suddenly, one of the birds turns toward me. His beady eyes bore into mine as I quickly turn away. The Society tells us to never look in someone’s eyes. When people’s eyes meet, you can look into their soul. You know about their history and their life. The Society always warns us of the perils of eye contact. And everyone knows, you never disobey The Society.

The last house on the street I am walking on looks vaguely familiar. I’ve never been to this land, but it still looks familiar. The color of the house is distinctive. Its a creamy white shade, with an antiquey look. The ivory house has alluring, shining windows; crystal windows. This is it. I open the beautiful ivory door. The old hinges make an eerie sound. The wooden floors creak and echo as I guardedly enter the house. An elegant wooden staircase lies on the back wall. Craning my head, I look up the stairs, but I only see darkness. The stairs are made with rectangular pieces of wood. One of them had to lead to the door. I started picking, and pushing on all of them. Until I had gone to every last board did I realize that my father’s departing words were only the slurred speach of a dying man. I sit down defeated and depressed. With much agony I slam one of the boards. The entire stair wall collapses.

Before me millions of people’s blank eyes stare up at me. I try to avoid them, but it is inevitable. I look into the eyes of a little girl.

I hear crying at first, and then I see her life. I see her being a maid and working when she was just an infant. I see her getting beaten and crying. I see her watch people die. I see her almost die herself. I see every small depressing detail of her life, and I see it all from her eyes.

Then, I look into the eyes of an old man next to her. I see his life too. I see the violence of the forbidden land. I see him getting put into concentration camps to work. I see him getting beaten, and hurt. All the people of color got herded into camps. The Society was in the middle of all of it.

The vast sea of helpless, beaten people only made all this worse. Questions filled my head. Who are all these people? What did the Society do? What do I do?

Poem: My Life

By Lemon Chiffon

The poem is so hard to write

I am so tired

Hopefully spring break will come soon

Why does Mr. J give us so many group projects?

The renowned Molang B. is sitting next to me

That’s a vocab word

Shout out to Bosley

A serial killer has been created

by Pineapple Buleberry

I can’t spell

What does water taste like?

Why I am writing this poem?

What do you mean?

Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun

Potato Banana

The Martian grows them

The poem is so hard to write