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Summer of 2097

It is a Tuesday in the summer of 2097. I have just signed up for the vacation in the sky. Hopefully it is worth all of the money I paid. I don’t know what to expect because all they said you would need was three pairs of clothes, including the one you would wear there. They all have to be the same, three white button up & down shirts, three blue jeans, three pairs of socks, and black shoes of your choice.

One month later...

    Today is the day. I am walking to where the bus is to pick us up when I see someone walking in the same direction as me. The only thing that is different about this man is that he has a lot more things than me. I ask him, “Why do you have so many of your belongings?” The man says, “I don’t know how long I’m going to be here, and I’m not just going to leave my whole life behind me.

    We walk up to the bus. It looks weird. The bus doors open. I ask the woman in the driver’s seat, “Is this the bus for the vacation in the sky?” She does not look at me, but she nods her head. We board the bus. I see a couple of people in the seats. There is one other man about six feet tall and two young girls sitting side by side.

    I am surprised that they are here alone. The lady in the driver’s seat didn’t seem to be bothered by it. I sit by the two little girls. I ask for their names. The first one sitting on the outside closest to me says, “I’m Lisa,” in a small sweet voice. The other child wraps her arms around her legs and squeals out, “Rachel.” “Where are your parents?” I ask. They look away and don’t say anything. A few other people get on the bus and the doors close right before a man can board. She steps on the pedal, and we begin to move. The man runs with the bus and bangs on the side loud enough so the driver can hear, but she doesn’t stop.

    We start moving very fast, so I buckle my seatbelt. The driver pulls a lever, and I hear a loud grumble. Two large boards unfold from the sides of the bus.

To Be Continued...

Artists as Foods

Pitchfork 2016 was full of intriguing characters. Every artist had a lot of passion, talent, and flavor. A few acts seemed to have very specific flavor, some of which resembled my favorite foods...

JEREMIH
A rainbow bag of Skittles. It doesn’t matter if you like sugar or not. Once you taste Skittles, you’re in love. At least in the moment. This bag bursts with flavor and color, brightening up any party or even a night alone at home. This bag of Skittles brings people together, all their hands reaching to grab a handful. Each Skittle tastes so different, yet all the flavors work together in unity.

ALAN PALOMO of Neon Indian
A chilly slurpee from 7-11 — a mix of cherry and blue raspberry. The two flavors start to melt together, adding a subtle purple in the mix of this drink. It energizes you, despite having no caffeine. Its aura is of fun and enjoyment, and every sip brings back memories of sneaking out of the house to grab this delicious, colorful slush.

TWIN PEAKS
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, covered in neon-red powder that sticks to every part of you that it touches. The flavor is so sweet and painful and enjoyable. Before you know it, your fingers are stained red and your tongue is burning and your nose is running, but the feeling is so pleasant. Any time is a good time with a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. It’s crazy and delicious and brings up memories for everyone. You’ll always want a bag, wherever you are.

HALEY FOHR of Circuit Des Yeux
A double chocolate chip salted-caramel milkshake. It slams you in the face with powerful flavor, but the flavor is amazing and never gets old. There are layers and layers of flavor that unravel each time you take a sip and the icy drink hits your mouth.

SUFJAN STEVENS
A warm mug of mint tea. It isn’t hot enough to burn your tongue, but it is a pleasant warmth that you can feel sliding through your body. This tea feels purifying, and brings back memories of warm homes on cold nights. This flavor serves a purpose to whoever drinks it. On one level, it is a flavor on your tongue, but on another level it brings up feelings. Tingling in your nose, coldness on your skin. It is an experience.

CHRISTIAN HOLDEN of The Hotelier
A fresh piece of raw, red tuna resting on a bed of sushi rice. A really subtle, lowkey taste. It doesn’t jump out at you and scream FLAVOR in your face, but its subtlety is enjoyable. It brings you back to quiet nights in restaurants then walking home to a fluffy bed. You don’t notice your stomach getting full until it is bursting at the seams. It is a beautiful piece of food.

On Our Way Home

I wiped my nose and put my hands in my coat pockets. I could feel my fingers slowly freezing to the point that they started to burn. The smell was not so pleasant but I still walked slowly so my mom wouldn’t be walking alone. I took her hand and we made our way through the dark, cold alley.

The snowflakes felt like little ninja knives flying into my face, but I didn’t mind as long as the most important person in my life was by my side. We made our way up the slippery stairs that felt like an ice arena—the only thing missing were ice skates.

My mom slowly started turning the keys, and I could see that she could barely feel her fingers, too. As she opened the door, I felt my face get warmer.

Stomp, stomp, stomp.

We stomped our feet one by one on the carpet so no snow or salt would get on the shiny floor of our new home. I couldn’t believe it, but we’d made it.

As we took off our coats, my mom proudly said, “Welcome to America, kids."

Dog Olympics

Once upon a time, there was a dog named Daisy. She had an owner named Lily. Lily and Daisy lived in a beautiful house in Chicago with a pool and six rooms. Daisy liked two rooms: her bedroom and the exercise room. Daisy wanted to do the Dog Olympics but met Noah, a tall human who did not like dogs. He had tall hair and only one friend.

    The next day was the Olympic tryouts. Daisy wanted to try out, so she had to run on a treadmill, run up and down stairs, see how high she could jump by jumping on chairs, and see how fast she could swim. When it was Daisy’s turn, she first tried the treadmill. She ran faster than the biggest dog there, who had won the Olympics the year before. Then she tried running up the stairs and down the stairs. She beat the same dog. She tried jumping. She did good, but not as good as the other dogs because her chairs were moving. Other dogs’ chairs weren’t. The next and last tryout was swimming. Daisy could only swim in four feet of water, but Noah switched her pool to six feet! Noah switched the pools by giving her the wrong one but painting the right number. He put nails everywhere inside the pool. The nails were painted blue so they were camouflaged.

    Then, it was time for Daisy’s swimming tryout. She got into her six-feet-deep pool, slipped right in, and got paint on her paw, and was hurt at the same time. When she noticed that there were nails inside, she said, “I can do this.” She finally got through the pool after drowning six times and getting poked 30 times. When Daisy got out of the pool, she noticed that it was six feet deep and figured that Noah had done it.

    When Lily picked Daisy up, she asked, “What happened?” Daisy said someone named Noah switched her pool and put nails in. Lily went to Dog Olympics to complain and told them to fire Noah. They did as she said, and Noah was fired.

    At the Olympics, Daisy was winning because she swam underwater to get more speed, and… she won the Dog Olympics! Lily was so happy, and so was Daisy. From then on, Noah was never to be found, and Daisy was happy.

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