MY BROKEN LIFE By Arnold, age 10

Forehead Scar

I was in the shower. My skin felt isolated from my body. When I stepped back from the soap holder, the soap bar fell. I slipped and my head hit the corner of the sink. It felt like a piece of glass piercing the skin above my left eyebrow. The blood looked like watery red paint. My head felt cold. My brother walked in and told me, “Hurry, go lay on the bed.”

Scattering Rice

He brought me some paper towels and told me to put them on my head. My mom came home and told me to get two band-aids. I bled on the bed, my mom had to wash the sheets. My brothers wrapped me with a blanket in a cocoon. I couldn’t use my hands. They were tightly bound in the blanket. I wiggled my head over the edge of the bed. I wiggled too much and my face hit the floor. My brothers helped me up but I tripped over a shoe and banged my toe on the corner of the door. I broke my toenail. My nail bled. My brother brought me a hot rice pack but it unsealed accidentally and rice scattered all over. My brother stepped on it and the rice got mashed into the green carpet. He burned his foot on the rice and hopped around, tripping over a chair and crashing into the door.

Broken Wall

Earlier that summer my brother leaped from the table to the bed, his head flew into the wall. When he pulled his head out of the wall pieces of plaster shattered on the floor. Wall crumbs whitened his hair. In the morning my mom found out but she didn’t yell at my brother. She yelled at me.

Collapsing Curtains

The next day my brothers yanked the curtain string really hard and the curtains collapsed to the floor. When my mom came home she got so mad. She told them to get my Grandpa because he knows how to fix things like that. When he showed up, he got mad. He thought we were playing but it was an accident.

Dog Bite

The last time my brother went to Vietnam our dog jumped on him and bit him on the nose. The dog bit his right nostril, but he bled from his left nostril.

Chick Eye

The next day my brother threw a pebble at the eye of a chick and the eye came out, stringy and gooey. When he told me about this I felt weird inside, a tingling feeling in my stomach.

Milk Flood

One day last year when the sky shone yellow, my mom came home with food and milk and my brother and I stomped on it and I popped the carton. My mom got mad. “Go clean it up all of you!” she said.

Melting Water Bottle

Three days later my dad took me home. I took out a Lipton teabag and I made tea inside a plastic water bottle. I poured hot water inside. My brother and I saw the bottom of the bottle shrinking and I started screaming. My brother yelled, “Stop yelling and get paper towels.” Tea gurgled out the top of the bottle and my brother tried wiping it up with the towels. The tea scalded him and he hollered and my aunt called and said, “Why are you yelling” then she hung up on accident. The burn healed and no one found out until now.

About the Author

My name is Arnold. I am ten years old. I live in San Francisco with my brother and my mom. I like to swim and draw. I want to be good at math one day. When I grow up I want to be a chemist. I would like to be famous for being a chemist who builds bomb shelters and bombs. I am different from other kids because I have a huge and complicated family that is like a regenerating body. If I were weather I would be rain so I could grow trees so they can give us air. I like the book Valley of Thorns because it has a character that drives off a cliff and dies in a valley of thorns. If I could ask the world something, I would ask: Why do people live if they are going to die? The scariest moment of my life was when I got a hole in my head, the one I wrote about in this book. If I could have a super power I would want to communicate telepathically and to control anything. If I could go back in time I would go the year 2001 to see myself being born. My family is from Cambodia, Vietnam and San Francisco. I would like to go Vietnam. The languages I speak at home are Vietnamese and English. I am also the author of The Bad Example.

THE BAD EXAMPLE By Arnold, age 9

“I dare you!” John said.
“No,” Jason said.
The crowd said, “Go go go go go!”
“No,” Jason said.
“I will give you thirty dollars,” John said.
“Do not bribe me with money!” Jason said.
“You scardy cat,” John said.
“Am not,” Jason said.
Are to,” John said.
“Shut up,” Jason said.
“You scardy cat,” said John.
Jason said, “Am not.”
John said, “Prove it.”
Jason ran up to a tree and hugged its trunk. He reached for a branch and he missed. He stretched his arms as he dropped and hurt his backbone and his ankle on the ground. He looked at the dirt. Mealworms wiggled through the grass and ants carried leaves to their anthill.

Jason woke up in the hospital. He had a cast on his ankle. His parents came to see him.
His mom said, “What happen? Your teacher said you were hurt. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Jason said. “Can we go home now”?
They went home and Jason’s parents told him to never listen to that boy.

The day Jason got his cast off he went outside for recess. He climbed the monkey bars. John pulled on his leg and Jason kicked him in the face. A purple bruise oozed on his cheek and broken teeth fell out of his mouth.

Two kindergarteners named Steven and Nick saw John and Jason fighting. They watched for a while then Steven stepped on Nick’s foot. Nick yelled and punched Steven in the stomach. Steven whacked nick in the face. John and Jason heard the little kids fighting and broke it up. Their teacher heard about what they did. She said, “Can you both stop those little kids if they fight again?”
Jason and John thought about it and both said, “Ok” then they started home together.
“I’m gonna get you,” John said.
“I’m gonna hunt you down.”

About the Author

My name is Arnold. I’m nine years old. I live on Eddy Street in San Francisco with my two brothers and my mom and dad. I like to draw and swim. I want to be good at math someday. When I grow up I want to be an FBI agent. I wonder why whales have spouts. Why not gills? If I were weather I would be rain so I could help save water. I wish my brothers and I would get along so my mom won’t be in pain.