MARY’S HANDS By Alina, age 11

Mary got a job at On Lok Retirement Home. She wore gloves over her hands during the job interview so nobody would know her hands were sticks. Mary had sticks for hands because she got into a car accident. A doctor sliced off her hands because they didn’t work any more. Then the doctor gave her sticks for hands.

“Mary,” her boss said on her first day. “It’s time for Mrs. Mon’s medication. She needs one teaspoon of Pepto-Bismal, Extra Strength.” She gave the medicine to the seniors by using her little branches as fingers.

Mary wanted to be a real person. She wanted real hands. She got the job because she knew people would die and she wanted to take their hands. Mary decided not to give Mrs. Mon the Pepto-Bismal. She decided to give her Oxy-clean instead. It’s not right, she thinks, but I want hands. She gave Mrs. Mon a cup of Oxy-Clean.
“This doesn’t taste like Pepto-Bismal.”
“It’s a new flavor.”
Mrs. Mon falls out of her chair. Mary’s boss walks in. “Why is Mrs. Mon on the floor?”
Mary checked the old woman’s pulse. “She’s dead. I don’t know what happened.”

The next day there was a funeral. And Mary went.

At the funeral Mary stood next to her friend Kate. “I need your help,” Mary said to Kate.
“What do you need help with?”
“I need help digging up the dead woman and cutting her hands off.”
“Are you crazy?! Why?”
“I’ll tell you, but don’t tell anyone else.”
“I won’t.”
Mary took off her gloves. “My hands are sticks.”

That night, Mary brought shovels and knives to the cemetery. She found Kate there. Kate was wandering around visiting the grave of an old friend. She still wasn’t sure if she wanted to be part of Mary’s plan.
“Will you help me dig up this coffin?” Mary said to Kate. “Now, because there’s nobody here.”
“I don’t know about that.”
“Please can you help me?”
Kate didn’t answer.
Then Mary asked, “How did your friend die?”
“A car accident.”
“I got into a car accident too.”
“Is that why you have stick hands?”
“Yeah, I got them in the hospital.”
“Why did they give you sticks?”
“They didn’t have anything else.”
“We could get in a lot of trouble.”
“I can’t do it alone.”
Kate looked at her friend’s gravestone. “She used to knit me scarves.”
“What did they look like?”
“They were beautiful.”
“What color was the yarn?”
“I was talking about her hands.”
Finally Kate said, “Ok, I’ll help you.”
They dug up the coffin. At last they found the dead person. They used knives to cut off the woman’s hands.
“How am I supposed to help you attach the hands?” Kate said.
They both thought. Flowers moved in the wind.
“I know,” Mary said. “Do you have Superglue?”
“Yeah,” Kate said. She had superglue in her pocket because she liked fixing stuff.
“Can you Superglue the real hands onto me?”
Kate glued the dead woman’s hands to Mary’s arms. They stayed on. Mary smiled, for the first time since the accident.
Kate picked some flowers and put them on her friend’s grave.

About the Author

My name is Alina and I am 11 years old. I want to be good at drawing someday. I am different from other kids because I am quiet. If I were an animal I would be a puppy because puppies are cute. I wish I would get along better with my cousin. I am also the author of Three Stories and Dan Hong Wu.

Writing by Alina, age 10

If Dogs Were People
By Alina

If dogs were people
then aliens would have voices
If books were giants
then onions would be flies
If bugs were buildings
then bears would be chairs
If buttons were medals
then windows would be tires
If erasers were skeletons
then paper would be shirts
So I would draw a self-portrait
and wear it
on a roller-coaster that goes
kind of slow
and kind of fast

By Alina

My name is Alina. It means “royal.” My mother named me Alina because she thinks the name is easy to call. I think my name fits me because it is easy to write and I think the sound of my name fits me because it reminds me of crickets and crickets remind me of me because they’re quiet. But my name also doesn’t fit me because I’m not into kings, queens or princesses.

My Chinese name is Wen Yu. It means “gets mad easily.” My parents chose it because they like it. When I asked them why they liked it, they just said they liked it. I think it fits me because it’s easy to say and I like easy words. But I also think it doesn’t fit me because I am usually calm. I get mad sometimes, but when I get angry I just go away from the person. I don’t brake things, throw things or yell at that person.

Three Stories by Alina, age 8

The Brown Monster

I was scared of a brown monster. Its head was a drilling thing. I screamed, “Help! Someone help!” No one came to help. But a green monster killed the brown monter. I ran to my mom’s room. She was scared too, but my dad did not wake up.

The Penguin

I saw a penguin with three circles on its belly. The penguin was blue. But I liked it. Other penguins were black and regular. I went and touched the blue one. It was cold and furry. My mom touched it and she said it felt soft. I said, “I love penguins” after my mom touched it. A little bit later we went home. We were all talking about those penguins. I said, “The blue one was cute.”

The Dream

I saw a dog. It was barking at me. I went closer to it, and the dog licked my hand. I liked it but I was scared because I saw a huge bear behind the dog and it was white. Its eyes looked cold. There were all kinds of animals there. They looked like robots. They were a little bit shiny and they moved slowly.

About the Author

I am eight years old. I am in third grade. My name is Alina. I wonder about animals like wolves and dogs. Why are they sometimes nice and sometimes mean? I am afraid of spiders. They are spooky. I am good at kickball and two-square too sometimes.