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The Fuel

Clementine, my son.

Love came to me during a sunny day with nothing but the glory of the skies above. The skin on my body was rippled with sweat as the water from the grove sprinklers sprayed over us, rooting the soils and splattered on my skin. Atop the second lowest branch, where I lived, the Earth was at peace and the wind breezed through the leaves with a soft gentleness upon my whole body, round, supple and naturally orange. 

 

My name was Pomelo, but others called me Junior, because I was a medium sized gent with a penchant for water drops. At times I screamed to the top most branch where Old Pomelo was and he always said, "Son, there will come a time when your worth will enhance human kind. Think of all the many oranges in the world and the vitamins we preserve. We are giants of lineages of fruits!" I believed him, no matter how low I was to the ground and how much rotting days approached. I was sure I would one day be picked for something great.

 

My buds came early last Winter, and the grovesman planted a special fertilizer upon Mother to feed her nutrients. She sighed of relief as her branches drooped and she breathed out "growth" from the eye of her bark and kissed each Pomelo with a drop of liquid love. Pomelos lived hundreds of years and at times, thousands, depending on the grovesman and purveyor. We were their birthed inheritance, and treasured investments, so we all trusted on their kindness for foods, lodging, births of new buds and fertlization.

 But,...all dreams of family and love plucked out of me when a grovesman came and poked me. He took his syringe, as large as 50 mililiters, and sucked out the spirit and vitamins into his tubes. The orange fluid flowed into the plastic bottle, and I wiggled out of fear. "Please pluck me and have me with a decadent joy. Instead of taking my life this way. Please, spare me the suffering and bitterness of a rotting body over Summer and Fall. Please...," I pleaded and pleaded. He was ignorant and kept depleting my vitamins and body fluids. I wanted him to peel me off, and I felt I was sacrificed as a useless scrab. Uneaten waste was my destiny. He left with those plastic tubes of my juices as I wept. 

 

"Don't worry, my dear," I heard a voice. Her soft motherly voice came to my leaves and I heard her next to me. It must be the next tree nearby. I looked up, and I saw her, another orange, with a different life, different trait, different beauty. She was the most gorgeous species I've ever seen. Her skin brighter than my dark orange, with her peels matched the sunshine above us.

 

"I am Mandarin," she whispered, and giggled. She was smaller in size, but so beautiful, with perhaps a nectar sweeter than I could ever imagine. "We will meet again, but for now, let's dive deep our souls into our buds and branches for the sake of life. Our buds will regrow, and a new progeny will come," she explained.

 

"Mandarin, you've gotta tell me your nickname," I said. "Mine is Junior."

 

"Mei-Mei," she said. "I was planted when Mother was just a small three feet high."

 

"Your Mother was an immigrant? I was native here, but Mother has been here for decades." I told her.

 

"I know. We were planted here next door, for a new life," she said. "The Grovesman worked inside the plantation for a study. We are their main focus."

 

I, Junior, never understood "studies." I hoped it won't left my soul rotting away in the heat that my peels grew fungus.

 

"Stay quiet, they're back," said Mei-Mei.

 

Mandarins were beautiful, with a gentle tartness on the palate that was small and meshed with the taste buds as desserts for men and women. Their kind were loved by Mother's ancestors. We were long lived friends and the descendants of their friendships. My heart on the buds of the branches breathed in a subtle pink hue of romance and love. I was mezmerized by Mei-Mei. 

 

The grovesman came back, this time with more empty plastic tubes, yet, the searched for Mei-Mei, and palmed her in his hand. He kissed Mei-Mei, and inserted the syringe inside her body, and took a seed from her Mother, out of the top most branch, where another Mandarin had died out of the extreme heat in the Redlands Orange Groves.

 

Mei-Mei cried as her peels moistened, and I felt her spirit crept up the branch and stayed there. I did the same, leaving my body and peels at its place, as I crept up my branch to stay solemn upon the sympathy of the Mandarin carcass before me. 

 

We grieved together, and often, we came out to the tip of our branch and cried together. Remininiscing the long gone friends who were plucked as we stayed in spirit in our branches and Mother caressed our souls with songs and melodies harmonizing with the wind.

 

Mei-Mei and I, Junior, bonded over Summer and over the dead carcass of friends unplucked and over-ripened. We didn't get plucked instead our bodies were preserved inside a covered plastic, and it was kept there as Specimen A and Specimen B. 

 

Fall came and our souls sang together, in baby blue romance, bringing our hearts melodies of ripened red hues of love.

 

"We join us here, as souls to be. Our bodies lives on.....We gifted them with our harmony, and our hearts lives as one."

 

Mei-Mei and I sang all the time, and over Autumn, when our leaves fell as we grieved our barrenness and lifted our words of hope and faith to the Earth, for a harvest next season, in fortuitiy. 

 

A month before Winter, a grovesman came and dug a deep hole nearby, and Mei-Mei noticed a seed was planted before us. I, Junior, didn't want to witness another Mother came to the grove without a welcome, therefore, I summoned the dead leaves to cover her on the Earthen soil, protecting her soul.

 

"Another Mother tree, Junior," Mei-Mei screamed. "Another family."

 

"We must wait, and we must warn them of the grovesman and the impending deaths and plucking seasons," I told her.

 

Rain poured, and the muddy ground almost covered the new Mother. She must struggle through it, but came a leaf, sprouting up. Not all seasons were meant to break you, because some were meant to strengthen you and birth a new life.

 

The grovesman chaffed the planted Mother, and fertilized her, letting her grew speedily over the soil. A month flew by, and the new Mother, stood tall, about a foot, with growing tendrils of leaves teasing me of new souls inside her core.

 

"We will have an extension of us, Junior," said Mandarin Mei-Mei. "I overhead the grovesman, researching of its budding season, and sending more water to splash over it. We will have some, too."

 

"What breed?" I asked Mei-Mei.

 

Uncontained of my joy, I perched over the tip of Mother's branches, and saw the new Mother grew. Months flew by, and a tiny flower came bursting out into the nothingness of the grove, bombastically exploding with colors of white and tiny buds surrounding it. 

 

"Heeelllllooooooo SUNSHINE!" the little voice said. "Hello Mother, Hello Father!" The tiny flowers cracked the barriers of sounds between me, Junior, and my Mei-Mei, Mandarin romance. 

 

"Father?" I asked. "There was never one."

 

"Mother?" Mei-Mei asked. "I was just a few buds amongst the many."

 

"Oh, not so fast with those self-deprecating thoughts! My name is Clementine! I am YOUR SON!" the tiny voice called out loud. It was vivacious and with a strong personality, and outburst of optimism inside him. 

 

Mei-Mei and I, Junior, sighed and embraced the sound of the gentle wind as Spring kept on, and Clementine budded into small oranges, smaller than Mandarin, with peels as dark and smooth as me. 

 

A grovesman approached, and plucked me first, then Mei-Mei, and our souls crept into the branches, but our bodies were to be the delight of man. 

 

"Should I creep up to Mother," asked Clementine.

 

"My son, there are many things, we must say to you," I told him, as Fatherly as I could. "First, my name is Junior, and I am a Pomelo."

 

"My name is Mei-Mei, and I am a Mandarin," she said. "Echo. We must name him."

 

"Yes, I agree," I said. "Clementine is your family name, and your soul is ECHO!" 

 

"That means.....I AM ECHO and I am a CLEMENTINE! I AM THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE NEW DAY!" said my son, Echo, the Clementine.

 

Our family stayed at the Redlands Grove since then, and new souls came and by, but life kept on, as fruits blossomed, and seasons never faltered, but families stayed together.

 

The End. Just Write.

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Letting go

My hands were deep underneath the Earth, fingers searching for roots to pull up as I knelt to soil level over the green sprouts of my carrots. There were no rabbits, just my soul in joie de vivre inside the life I earned for the writing I composed. I was a local author in provincial Loveland, Colorado, not quite suburbia, but countryside with a few lovely families nearby and a farm to tend. Snow melted months before and butterflies 🦋 flew by beside me beyond the trails to run in early morning. I pulled the elongated carrots and placed it in my basket next to me, and stood up to water the other vegetables on the plot of land. 

 

My house was not the biggest in the block, but it was good enough to hold me in peace and I made enough to sustain a living. A life I filled with the love of literature and the joy of writing and best of all, he made breakfast to enjoy it with me. Perhaps, the family was asleep, and I was a mother, a true gift I never knew I could have. The love of my life held me close and kissed me, and we enjoyed the eggs over-easy on toast, and hopefully, my Mom was still alive.

 

The dream I once knew made me lagged behind as I clenched it, and stubbornly dwelled upon it, over and over again. It caused jibberish and prayers to utter upon days and moments of my life, without a wholesome truth behind it and it was full of the fears that I was a prey by the devil who wanted otherwise. But, the butterfly kept flying near and so did the blue jays, finches, red-tailed hawks, and several eagles. It was pregnancy of faith that I needed to unleash, because I kept on the dream of that quaint house with a plot of land and the love of my life with a life of literature.

 

Truth was, I was on a journey only God knew of the plan. I could pray and pray and hope and hope, to thwart the enemy's curses and prayers upon me, but it only built these walls of fears over me, and it closed in to my life. 

 

So, I had to let go. No more dreams, because I had to work. I was always working, but my soul was complacent. My mind was focused on the dream, not the now. It looked ahead and hoped for a future, a plan unshakeable and unbreakable, but I realized now, it was God's plan that was worth my days and nights. I had to surrender everything, even my dreams, and the hope I had, everything to embrace what may come. The butterflies kept flying nearby, and this time, the eagle perched on a tree, the finches hopped on the ground near my feet, and phaenopeplas flew all around the fields in the farms nearby my house. These beautiful birds entertained me and kept me in love with nature, life, my heart and God. It landed near me, always, and the caterpilar made its cocoon in my tomato plants last Summer. It was a sign, to enjoy it, one step at a time.

 

Dei Gratia. Just write.

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For Daddy

Immersed in the golden ray as I stood underneath the sun, my spirit soaked in the goodness of the will. The will of one I won't name but took my dearest who built me up. No more apologies, instead live on to the fullest to make him proud, my Father. No clues or compass to guide me, just persistence and drive, that kept me on with his plan each day, one at a time. 

 

I won't know what happened unless I invest my whole gut into it. Each page, each word, each sentence, and what became of it on the friendly empty pages of my documents. I won't know the ending until I wrote it down and I won't predict the future with my work for it metamorphosized into art in its own time. My job was to fulfill its destiny and mine, through passion, worth, and effort. 

 

My Father, my cloud of witnesses, had gone just a month ago, yet I felt his smile with each creation I made. Behest, the will of God, upon my life, I shall keep. It was for me to live and to work for. It was my destiny and with a promise to my Father, who had gone before me, I shall keep going. 

 

Just write. 

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Love Letters to Dear God,

February 27, 2010

 

To the Forever Gorgeous Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live,

 

Have I told you my love for you just hit its formative years? 

 

When I was little, I thought you were most likely that brave soul who wasn't afraid to hold my hand to play in the sand box. You whispered to me, inside my dreams, "It's okay to be shy. I still know who you are."  Then, you said in my dreams, "I have a huge monster in my backyard, wanna see him?" and I would be silly enough to believe that monsters really scared me at all. 

 

Times when the skies were grey made me wish you were my sand box buddy, because you would be the cutest sand box buddy I would ever have (and the oldest);and it would be completely fun to have you as my friend. 

 

Maybe if I was your sandbox buddy you'd be my best friend, although I never grew up with sand boxes or monsters in my back yard.  I grew up with lots of mud and rain that I played outside all the time, to watch the ground turned slimy and muddy. In the springtime, I would run outside in the fields of flowers where their buds bloomed and somehow, there was an ocean nearby, where I soaked my feet in the sand, and looked up to the sky and said, "Thank you for loving me."

 

I prayed for those wishes and prayers to be worthwhile for God, or for another soul like ours, to meet one day, from across the world. That perhaps a little girl and a little boy with the same wishes like mine, would meet and their hearts would take form, and they fall in love.

 

I know there were more important issues in the world than wishing for you to be my play mate. Like the fate of a little boy who carried a basket of rocks in India, or the little girls fighting assaults from the Rwandan militia; that my wishes of having you as my sand box buddy seemed like hop-scotch to God.

 

I prayed for those children too, that maybe they will have such a loving sand box buddy like me or you.  But today, I just wanted to love you very much, and maybe my wishes to meet you will one day come true.  I knew we live under the smile of heaven under the same moon and stars, with angels watching over us. Maybe they would notice that I was in love, and praised my wishes to God, to send you one day to be my friend.

 

For every letter I wrote, I prayed for every heart to be lifted up, and immersed inside that happily ever after I wished for everyone.  I also hoped for you to appreciate these series of love letters to God that I wrote for you. I raised them to heaven as a protest for love to conquer all.  For every child to grow up and experience true love as I wished in that vision of you and me, as sand box buddies. For the happy childhood and loving memories of all children to withstood the test of time. 

 

This sand-box buddy wishes might come true one day, maybe if not for you and me, then for two little children who God saw as a pair of doves, meant for true love.  If not, these wishes were still true, as I prayed dreams to come true, hearts to mend, and my heart to manifest to life!  In hope of you, Seth Meyers, that maybe one day, I would meet you.

 

Because I love you,

WishesOoohWishes

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Yousseff & Ezekiel

Yousseff and Ezekiel are two brothers from different families, with different dreams, and different everything. 

 

On the first day of first grade in the playground, Ezekiel meets Yousseff for the very first time.  

 

"I'm the nicest boy in the class," Ezekiel says to his new friend. "I am also the smartest, because my Dad told me so."

 

"I can drink a gallon of milk, without cookies," Yousseff boasts. 

 

"I can read without saying a word," says Ezekiel, lifting his chin as he turns his head away from Yousseff. 

 

"My mom said, if I don't eat my vegetables, I'll get nightmares," Yousseff whispers.

 

"But, if you live in another planet, you'd have different vegetables," Ezekiel replies, because he notices Yousseff's face and believes he must be from a different world.

 

"I know how to make GOOBERSNICKERS!!" Yousseff says to Ezekiel, with both of his palms open. "It's Poof, Puff, Goobers, Bake, and Slice! I just need a lot of grapes."

 

Yousseff writes down his recipe for fruit pizza for Ezekiel with a crayon and paper pad, always inside his pocket. 

 

"Do you bake?" Ezekiel asks, wondering how Yousseff knows how to make pizza, one of his favorite foods. 

 

"It will take about two hours to explain, but I won't do that to you," Yousseff says, embarrassed. 

 

"It's okay, I collect stickers," Ezekiel confesses.

 

"I have super powers!" Yousseff says, because imagination is his best friend.

 

"How did you get it?" Ezekiel asks, his eyebrows scrunching.  

 

"I'll explain it to you, but you'd have to be sworn to secrecy," Yousseff whispers into Ezekiel's ears and looks around the play ground. 

 

"What did you eat?" Ezekiel asks. "Besides GOOBERSNICKERS."

 

"It's not the GOOBERSNICKERS. I can make anything," Yousseff says to Ezekiel.

 

"Can you make grapes?" Ezekiel wonders, because anything means a lot of things.

 

"No," says Yousseff, as he shows Ezekiel a piece of paper from his pocket and points to a little drawing.

 

"I can build this! I just need your help," Yousseff whispers to his new friend. "It's my secret."

 

"That's a tree house! I'll ask my mom! She's six feet and two inches tall!" Ezekiel shouts out loud in excitement, because he may have a new adventure ahead.

 

Yousseff tries to calm Ezekiel and soothes himself and breathes in and out.

 

"I think you will be taller than your mom, Ezekiel," Yousseff says, still breathing.

 

"I'll just aim higher!" Ezekiel shouts again, smiling.

 

"We have nothing in common, but I think we're best friends," Yousseff says, as they walk towards the monkey bars.

 

"Yup, we can talk about anything!" Ezekiel says, nodding, as he calmly places his hands inside his pants pockets.

 

They continue to be friends, talking with each other about first grade with an open heart as they dialogue about everything inside their minds, together.

 

This was the story of Yousseff and Ezekiel, two brothers from different families with different dreams and different everything.  They never knew they would be able to talk about anything, for no reason at all, every time, every day.

 

 

The end. Just write.

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Let Mommy Be Here in the Morning

Today, Mommy and I bought some turtles at the pet store.

 

Right now, I'm on my bed, and I am hungry.

 

I want crackers and cheese, yet it is the middle of the night.

 

BOOM, KRAK, SHOCK, there are loud sounds coming from the kitchen.

 

"Is there a fight downstairs?" I wonder, jolting out of bed. "Did my turtles become monsters?"

 

I want to tip-toe outside my room to see what's going on with the turtles. 

 

The pet store clerk told me and Mommy, earlier today, "These turtles grow to only one pound." 

 

"Maybe, they are breaking out of their shells? How could they grow so fast, when they only eat peaches?" I say to myself.

 

I close my eyes, and count to one hundred again, and hide under my blanket.

 

Five year old kids can be superheroes, but I don't know if those noises are bigger than me.

 

"I hope those turtles are not dangerous," I say in the dark.   

 

When Mommy is here, there is always crackers and cheese, and fairies are flying around my room. Mommy tells me, fairies look like me, and she always hugs me and kisses me. With Mommy, fights rarely happens, and turtles don't turn into monsters.   

 

Mommy tells me to wear my red glittery shoes. She says they make me shine. 

 

On Spring days, Mommy and I will collect dandelions and try to make a "fuzz pile" out of its thistles.  Dandelions fuzz is Mommy's favorite trick, because fuzz flies in the wind like feathers. 

 

We usually run near a flower trail nearby our house, and I can see Mommy water the sunflowers and hope those flowers will grow towards the sky, taller than me. 

 

Mommy says, "Seeds grow into trees, when you water it everyday."

 

On Summer days, Mommy and I escape to paradise island in our dreams and pretend we are near the ocean.  I would close my eyes, and swim in the blue water, and those turtles we bought at the pet store will be perfect for our daydream. 

Mommy and I always have mango cola and let it fizz in our mouths to make our lips tingle.  Tiny bubbles remind me of Mommy's sparkly laugh. 

 

On Halloween, Mommy always makes me wear something cute.

I think this year, I will ask to be an animal expert and carry my new turtles inside a basket.

 

On Christmas Eve, Mommy will be with me at home with warm milk and folktales. 

We usually sit next to the Christmas tree and her smile reminds me of a beautiful angel. 

 

The noises I hear now would have different sounds with Mommy near me.

 

BOOM becomes Tap-Tap, the sounds of my new tap dance shoes!

 

KRAK becomes Kring-Kring, the sound of a bicycle ring.

 

SHOCK becomes Squih-Squish, the sound of a plush toy.

 

Right now, I don't know what's going on downstairs.

 

I will just think of Mommy some more.

 

Mommy will make heart shaped signs on my foggy windows on winter nights.

 

Mommy will knit out of woolen yarns and my hair will be curled up like funny macaroni. 

 

Mommy bought those turtles downstairs because they look like little dinosaurs that eats the little critters from the backyard.

 

Their names are "SMUSH" and "CATCH," because that's what I hear when  Mommy screams, because of the little monsters from the backyard.

 

But, right now there are noises downstairs, and BOOM, KRAK, SHOCK, like there is a fight!

 

"Please, let Mommy be here in the morning," I say to myself, still thinking of Mommy.

 

I decide, I am not afraid of noise!

 

I get out of my bed and take my blanket to make sure I'm safe.

 

Where is Mommy, is she fighting the noises downstairs?

 

I use my blanket to slide down the stairs, because monsters don't like fairies who make little tip-toe noises.

 

It's time to be very careful, because I have a little brother now.

 

On my tip-toes, I see the kitchen with the light on!

 

It is very scary because with all the noises because at night, even turtles go to sleep. 

 

But, what are these noises?

 

"Please, let Mommy be here in the morning!" I say to myself.

 

I peek into the kitchen, and I see, "DADDY!" He is rummaging into the refrigerator.

 

Now that Daddy is here, I remember when…

 

 

The End. Just write.

 

 

 

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Play, Play, Platypi

~ For every kid who ever felt strange or different than the rest. You are a genius! Be excited about your life! You're something special. ~

 

Play, play, platypi

Wake up, wake up

Don't let the sun go!

The day is short,

get out from the hole!

 

Play, play, platypi

Come in the water,

Swim across the river!

Look at this marsupial

Rare as a big, huge moose!

 

Play, play, platypi

Run like the squirrels!

Eat a ton of yappies.

Wiggle your short body

Flat foot and duck-bill, too!

 

Play, play, platypi

See the moon and stars

With your pretty little eyes.

Burrow into the Earth,

With your hind legs below!

 

Play, play, platypi

Send the toxic poison!

For protection from the fox.

Growl against the enemy,

Keep your fur intact!


Play, play, platypi

Keep your young near

Let your wife rear the clutch.

Your eggs will fully hatch,

For this mammal brainiac! 

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Good People

~ Dedicated to all of the children and young adults I met in my life. You are my bright shining Sun. ~


I'm a good kid

Because I know how to love

I know I care

About me and my heart

 

I'm a good kid

Because I can smile

When the sun shines bright

Or when the moon hides behind the clouds

 

I'm a good kid

Because I know I can fly

Even through the storm

And when the sky turns grey up above

 

I'm a good kid

Because I have courage

To stand, run, and dance

Even when the world will not give me a chance

 

I'm a good kid

Because I am strong

Even when I am weak

Or when the Earth turns upside down

 

I'm a good kid

Because I care enough to make it

Although the valleys are deep and wide

 

I'm a good kid

And I am on my way

To become good people

 

Because good people laugh

through the cries of sorrow

 

Because good people hug

to embrace another

 

Because good people speak

of lovely words with uplifting voices

 

Because good people live

and keep on breathing, through and through

 

 

Because good people are honest

taking lies away further from the truth

 

Because good people shine

living with pure light inside their minds

 

I am on my way

To become good people

 

Taking each step

One at a time

 

I am on my way

To become good people

 

Loving my life

Living with love

 

I am on my way, to become …

 

Everything I am meant to be

 

Precious

 

Beautiful

 

Wonderful

 

Honorable

 

I am a good kid

 

I love me

 

I love all I will be

 

Good people, I am meant to be

 

Good people, that's me

 

 

The end. Just write.

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The Rescue - A Christmas Story.

~Dedicated to The Denver Rescue Mission of Colorado ~

 

Amanda's hands tremored from the bitter frost on skin in the midst of a cold winter night. There was no room at St.Francis Shelter and her blanket was drenched from the snow on the concrete sidewalk. Matchstick men stood around the corner from where she was sleeping, and fear emerged out of the sheer feeling of danger from drug dealings or imminent assaults.

 

"Just let me be, please," said Amanda, to herself.

 

"You working tonight?" asked a man who passed by with his trousers sagging from his buttocks with his large cotton sweater stenched of semen and dirt.

 

"Nah, got hungry. I need some rest. Maybe one of the girls from under the I-70 is," said Amanda. Being seventeen and homeless meant a lot of side work with her body and dignity to make a quick buck. But not tonight, it was Christmas Eve.

 

"I just can't," she mumbled under her breath, fixing her blanket to cover her body. "I'd give anything for a change."

 

The man walked around the corner and yelled to the some of the drug dealers, "She ain't workin' tonight." A few moments later Amanda heard a loud yell, "Lazy whore!"

 

Her body shook but she curled her body tight and ignored the cold because once the shivers starts, there was no going back from holding the pain for the bone chilling weather. She clenched her teeth and mouth and held her wrists with each hand intertwined with her knees inside her arms.

 

"Won't kill my joy if I die tonight," she thought.

 

A police car passed by and the sirens jerked her body, with the red and blue lights blaring like annoying disco lights in a dark room.

 

"So…the ordinance is on," said the police officer, with his flashlights on her face, shining down inside the blanket like a scorching sun. "Let's go, we got to take you in."

 

"Oh man, Oh man…damn it! I ain't doing nothing," yelled Amanda, as tears flowed down her cheeks.

 

"Well, we gave you a ticket before, so you know the drill. Let's go, warm drink there and you're lucky, we're giving some pie for Christmas," said the police officer.

 

"God damn it, am I getting a ticket now?" she asked. Amanda twitched from the cold, as she pulled away from the police officer and putting her blanket inside the grocery cart.

 

"Leave that damn cart. Let's go," the officer yelled.

 

He pulled the back of her sweater and moved her to the back seat of the police car. Amanda slid down the car seat, but it was so warm with the car heater on that she didn't truly mind. 

 

The officer sat down in the driver seat, turned on his light, and started the engine. The Denver Police Department wasn't too far from the Ballpark area in downtown Denver, and as they passed by Snooze eatery, Amanda was half glad that she didn't have to do another job near the bus stop with some man she doesn't know.

 

"You like hot chocolate?" asked the officer.

 

"Yeah, my mom used to make me some when I was little, around this time," said Amanda, trying to answer every question just in case she can get on his good side. Sixteen and homeless meant jumbled memories of home, no matter how brutal it was. At least the officer asked about "hot chocolate" and not about school.

 

"You got folks back home?" he asked.

 

Damn it, Amanda thought.

 

"They died. Car accident. My uncle wasn't a good man. My aunt was a bitch, so I just left them,'" said Amanda, grimacing from the past. She was so perturbed that the officer even asked personal questions when he should damn well know that homeless kids didn't want to be questioned.

 

"Let's get off here," said the officer, stopping on the corner of Park and Lawrence. "Get out, and walk inside, my friend John is there. Tell him I sent you."

 

"What?" Amanda said, biting her lips because this was another one of those times where spontaneity meets misfortune, and only fate can dictate her destiny. "What do you want me to do in there?"

 

"Get the hell out and talk to John. Are you stupid deaf?" he yelled at her. "Get out, I gotta get another one."

 

Amanda ran out of the car and walked into the brightly lit entrance-way into a building she never entered before. 

 

Another officer met her inside, and said, "I'm John. Here fill out this form."

John handed her a paper form on a clipboard and she frantically filled it out.

 

Name, home address, telephone number, date of birth, reason for applying, not everything was filled out and three out of five wasn't too bad. Amanda Smith, homeless, not available, January 31, 1996, got ticketed at Ballpark bus stop.

 

"Go in that room and wait for me," said Officer John. He took the form from the clipboard and pushed her to a room filled with so much raucous that she was afraid to walk in.

 

Amanda opened the double doors and in front of her were tables and tables of dinner plates set up with napkins, spoons, forks, the works, like a real dinner table.

 

Near the back of the room were some folks dressed with red aprons serving plates of dinner with ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and sweet rolls on the side.

 

Amanda walked to the servers, and asked, "Can I have some?" She couldn't help but to feel so hungry all of the sudden.

 

"Hey, Amanda, yeah. Sit down, take your sweater off, we'll get you a blanket and eat up," said one of the ladies.

 

"How'd you know my name?" asked Amanda.

 

"It's there on your name tag, silly," said the lady in a white sweater and black pants with her red apron.  She had the most loving smile as if she was a family member that Amanda never met, but had grown to love.

 

Amanda looked down to check if there really was a name-tag on her body, and to her surprise, she was dressed in a red velvet dress with a white sticker of a name tag on her left chest.

She looked down her feet and she was wearing black slip-on shoes and black plaid patterned tights. She looked at her skin, and she was clean, but she hadn't showered for months. Her eyes widened and a buzz simmered inside her brain as it tingled inside her cranium.

 

"Holy macaroni," said Amanda. She smelled her underarms and much to her surprise, she smelled like a girl after a fresh shower.

 

"You gotta sit down, the house is filling up," said a skinny bearded man with a knitted green sweater. "Look, who's behind you! Hey, Malcolm!"

 

Amanda turned around and saw a jolly man with a huge beer belly and a smile, wearing a Christmas sweater with a picture of Rudolph holding a candy cane.

 

Malcolm walked towards her and said, "Amanda, you got the job! You'll start in the kitchen as dishwasher and you can work your way up to server at the soup kitchen."

 

"I have a job?" Amanda said, baffled. Her mind boggled as if a lost toddler in a shopping mall on Black Friday.

 

"Yeah, I thought it could be your present. Merry Christmas!" Malcolm said. He hugged her, and lifted her off the ground.

 

"I was homeless a minute ago," said Amanda. She was touched by some divine presence that she never knew existed. "I don't understand."

 

"Oh, don't worry about that. Just eat up and we'll take care of you. The room upstairs is yours till you settle down," said the lady who first spoke to her.

 

"I have a place to stay?" Amanda cried.

 

"Stop thinking about the past. Just eat," said Malcolm.

 

Amanda ate and ate and got seconds. After dinner, she walked upstairs behind the building and saw her room that looked strangely like a college dormitory.

 

"It's all yours kid," said Malcolm. "You can work here until you get back to school."

 

"Who did all this?" asked Amanda, with warm tears in sobs.

 

"You did. You don't remember?" Malcolm was confused. "You came in on Christmas Eve a day ago and asked us to help out. So here we are kid."

 

Amanda thought that she was about to be jailed just a few hours ago, but now it's Christmas? Did time just flew by without consent out of respect for her? Who was that officer? Where did he go?

 

"Merry Christmas, Amanda," Malcolm hugged her, and walked back downstairs. "Get back down and meet some new friends." He smiled at her and was about to walk down the stairs when he suddenly said, "Oh, this is for you."

 

He took out a small little stone with the word "BELIEVE" etched on the smooth surface. "It's from management," he said.

 

The End. Just write.

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Bing, The Imaginary Bear

Once upon a time, near the Great Wall of China in the suburbs of Shanghai, lived two little girls.

 

Mia of the Ming family, and Nia of the Nhan family.

 

After school, Nia and Mia played tennis together, shared their toys, candies and secrets.

 

They talked to each other, about their day.

 

"I got Mom to buy me an orange dress, and I saved all of my coins to buy some ice cream at the

 

store," Nia told her best friend.

 

"Great job! My dad said I look great in green?" said Mia.

 

They would talk, talk, talk, and talk some more, but always about themselves.

 

One evening, after dinner, when their parents were watching television, Nia had a thought…

 

"I wonder if people could read my thoughts? Should I write them down," Nia thought to herself.

 

That same evening, Mia became a chef.

 

Mia began to bake cookies, in the shape of tennis rackets, and sea creatures.

 

Everyday went by, and evenings after evenings, the two girls practiced their hobbies.

 

Their hobbies became their habits, and their habits became their skills.

 

Nia began to write down every single thought she felt important, and sometimes these thoughts

 

were written on her homework.

 

"I think watermelons tastes great with cheese," wrote Nia.

 

Mia would go to school with a green apron, green lunch box, and the most delicious homemade

 

salads, and sugar cookies for dessert, in the shape of tennis rackets for lunch at school.

 

Mrs. Turtlesoup, their second grade teacher, saw the girls and their changes.

 

"Nia, what are you thinking? And Mia, who taught you to eat so well?" Mrs. Turtlesoup asked

 

the two girls.

 

"I sometimes wonder if people could have the same thoughts when something happens," Nia

 

answered.

 

"I just think green is my new favorite color," Mia told Mrs. Turtlesoup.

 

Mrs. Turtlesoup laughed so hard that she started to cry.

 

"Nia, I hope people will hear your voice, and thoughts. Mia, I think you look great!" Mrs. Turtlesoup said.

 

Mia was so excited and hugged Mrs. Turtlesoup, and told her, "My father is a chef, and

 

I watch him at work everyday. I want to be like my father. That's why I love to

 

cook."

 

"My father makes tennis rackets at the local factory, and he never has time to think. My mom

 

told me to write down what I think my father would say to me, because he loves me," Nia told

 

Mrs. Turtlesoup.

 

"Do you think Bing, the imaginary bear would like to see your work?" Mrs. Turtlesoup asked

 

them.

 

"Who's Bing? And does Bing like salads and cookies?" Mia asked Mrs. Turtlesoup.

 

"What my thoughts?" Nia asked Mrs.Turtlesoup.

 

Mrs. Turtlesoup laughed, "Bing, is my imaginary bear, and he believes both of you are going to

 

be the most amazing girls in the future."

 

"What else does Bing know about us?" both girls asked Mrs.Turtlesoup.

 

"Bing thinks, if you love your skills, you can see your future," whispered Mrs.Turtlesoup.

 

"I like Bing's thoughts, and I think I will make little bear cookies after him!" said Mia.

 

Mrs. Turtlesoup laughed so hard again that she almost toppled over.

 

"But I will tell you a secret. Bing is just a little bear, and if you both believe in yourselves, then

 

Bing's thoughts doesn't really matter at all," said Mrs. Turtlesoup.

 

"Nia is going to write about Bing, the imaginary bear!" Mia was so excited.

 

"Mia will become a chef," Nia was absolutely confident about Mia.

 

"Lunch is definitely over!!" Mrs. Turtlesoup smiled.

 

 

The end. Just write.

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