TWO AT A TIME By David, age 10

Nelson cut veggies on a chopping board for carrot soup. Victor loaded BBs into his gun at the kitchen table.

“Can I take a bite off your head?” Victor said.

“No!” said Nelson. “Victor, are you crazy? It is my precious pear head. If you’re jealous then I’m not your friend, dude.”

Victor lunged at Nelson and took a bite out of his head. Red juice and black seeds squirted from a gash below his ear. Nelson’s face turned red. His eyes swelled shut.

“Aww,” Nelson said. “Dude that’s my only head. Go dial 911.”

Vcitor dug his cell phone out of his pocket.

Beep Beep Beep.

“911. What’s your emergency?”

“Hi, My friend is bleeding. We need an ambulance and a couple of smart medics now.”

“I’ll send one now, okay? Remain calm.”

“Open up now! This is the cop. Hello you there? Are you okay?”

Victor locked the door and pushed a table in front of it.

“Open up or I’ll break down this door.”

He dragged a sofa up against the table.

“I’m going to give you five seconds. Five, four, three, two, and one.”

The whack of an ax. A blade splitting the door in half. A table leg snapping off and splintering.

Victor grabbed the knife from the counter and stabbed the medic behind his ear. The medic fell. A needle rolled out of his first aid bag. Words printed on the needle said, morphine. Victor poked him with it and walked out the door, mumbling, “Yeah, smart medic, who’s stronger now?”

“Victor, are you crazy,” Nelson said softly. “You killed the medic that wanted to help me.”

“Bye, I better get out of here,” Victor said. “See you in the hospital. Yahoo. I’m going to the store.”

Victor jogged to the corner store and picked up a Mr. Goodbar from the candy rack, whispering to himself, “Nothing happened, okay. I’m feeling weird, ready to blow up. I’ll get something to eat and stay cool. What do I want? Hmmm lets see, a candy bar, or a bag of chips? I’ll get a bag of Ruffles with sour cream and onion.”

Victor got in line and thought about the last time he ate Ruffles. He’d been walking home from the store with Nelson. Rain drizzled on the chips.

“We better hurry up and eat the chips,” Victor had said.

“Why?” Nelson said.

“They’re gonna get all soggy.”

“Ok,” Nelson said. “Eat two at a time.”

A siren squawked from the street. Victor walked back toward Nelson’s house, munching the chips.

About the Author

Hi my name is David. I’m ten years old. I live with my two sisters, my dad, and my mom. I like to play sports such as soccer, basketball and many more. I want to be better at not kicking the ball out of bounds in soccer. When wrote this story I could barely think of the words, so I want to get better at making choices faster. When I grow I want to make a new videogame system. I’m very different from other kids because all I want to play is sports most of the time. I don’t like sitting down and talking about random stuff. If I could be a plant I would be a cactus because if you tried to touch me, sorry I would poke you. I would like to be famous for bringing someone back to life by magic. If I could ask the world a question it would be: Who came up with god, or is it real? If I could go back in time I would go to the 1800s because I want to see what the Gold Rush was like. How many people died trying to get to the gold? This is my third published book. I’m also the author of There are Five People in my Family and Trouble in Madagascar.

TROUBLE IN MADAGASCAR By Destin & David, both age 9

Chapter 1
Where’s the Vanilla?

Chicken stew boiled on the stove. Colonel Tang dropped pieces of fruit into the blender. A rice cooker sat on a marble countertop, pots and pans hung on a rack above the sink. Spices in jars stood on top of the stove. Tomatoes and potatoes rolled off the counter, bouncing on the floor.

Colonel Tang lived in a white mansion in Washington DC with Captain Gao. The men were in charge of the Third Infantry Division of the United States Army. A collection of rocks from wars sat on a shelf in the hall. At the end of the hall a knight stood at attention. Pictures of bloody bodies hung on the walls in the living room.

Captain Gao pulled a cookbook off a shelf above the stove. It was full of Madagascar vanilla bean recipes. He flipped to a recipe for vanilla ice cream. He loved vanilla ice cream.

He opened the spice drawer and pulled out his bottle of vanilla extract. It was empty.

“Hey Jim,” Captain Gao said. “Did you drink all the vanilla extract? Do you know how much money I spent on it?”

“I didn’t drink it.”

“How will I ever get more?”

Chapter 2
The Contract

Ding Dong. Colonel Tang opened the door. There was a man waiting on the porch to give the officers instructions for a secret mission.

“Hello,” said Colonel Tang.

“Hello Colonel. I’m Sergeant Wu. He handed Colonel Tang the papers and pointed at the bottom of the first page. “Sign here. These are orders for your next mission. You’re going to Madagascar.”

Colonel Tang signed.

“Would you like me to come with you?” Sergeant Wu said.

“Ok,” Colonel Tang said.

That night Sergeant Wu, Colonel Tang and Captain Gao got on a plane headed for the Indian Ocean with the Third Infantry Division.

Chapter 3
The Flight

The next morning they ate breakfast on the airplane. They had eggs with soy sauce and bacon with salt.

“How long is this gonna take?” Captain Gao said.

“About a day or so,” Sergeant Wu said.

“WHAT!!!” Colonel Tang said.

“Why is it that long?” Captain Gao said.

“Oh, it’s because we are going across the sea,” Sergeant Wu said. “Didn’t you read the instructions?”

“No,” said Captain Gao.” I was thinking about the vanilla bean.

Chapter 4
Mess Hall

The Third Infantry Division landed at a military base in Australia and headed to the mess hall. There was a crowd getting food to eat for lunch. So Captain Gao, Colonel Tang, and Sergeant Wu joined with the crowd.

“What do we have for lunch?” Colonel Tang said.

“Oh we’re going to have fried duck, chicken, and beans,” Sergeant Wu said.

They got trays and sat down quickly.

“This tastes like clay,” Captain Gao said.

“Maybe it’s just the cooking,” Colonel Tang said.

While they ate, they heard footsteps running through the halls. And the footsteps were getting closer.

Chapter 5
The General

“That sounds like the General,” one of the men said.

Footmen kicked through the mess hall door. Everyone stood at attention until one of the footman gave commands. “The general says all of you follow me. The Madagascar government has been leaking important US military secrets to the Iranians and they are hoarding their vanilla bean reserves.”

“All we have to do is distract them,” Colonel Tang said.

“But they have many weapons,” Captain Gao said.

“I’ve already got my orders from the General,” the soldier said. “We’re heading to Madagascar.”

Chapter 6
The Battle

Colonel Tang’s troops were not prepared for the Madagasy assault. His soldiers couldn’t see. Their eyes were covered in blood. They were sprawled out along the Madagascar shore with their mouths open and their tongues sticking out. Soldiers buried their dead in the sand. Something shiny burned Colonel Tang’s eyes. He moved closer. It shined bright as the sun, white and shocking. It was a box filled Vanilla Beans. Colonel Tang reached out to touch it but a soldier from the Madagascar Army was blocking it. He spread out his arms and held a sword in his right hand. When he squatted, the armor on his legs shined. The soldier set off a bomb attached around his neck. He blew himself up and the box of vanilla beans flew threw the air. Colonel Tang’s soldiers hit the ground, covering their heads like there was an earthquake. A cliff overhead collapsed and rocks fell down on the troops.

“We need to get out of here,” Colonel Tang said.

“We need to dig,” one of the men said. “We’re trapped.”

But all of the sudden light shined in the American soldiers’ faces. The Madagasy were digging out Colonel Tang’s troops.

“What are they doing?” Colonel Tang said. “Why are they helping us?”

“They’re not,” Captain Gao said. “They’re trying to salvage the vanilla beans.”

Colonel Tang a handful of the vanilla beans. He heard the click of a gun trigger and he felt something wet oozing from his gut.

Chapter 7

Colonel Tang lay on the ground. Helicopters landed nearby. Medics jumped from the helicopters, carrying first aid kits.

“Let’s get Colonel Tang to the chopper and bring him back to base,” Sergeant Wu said.

The medics loaded Colonel Tang into the chopper and Captain Gao hopped in behind them. Off they went, flying across the cool waters of the Indian Ocean.

“Finally I got some,” said Colonel Tang, strapped to a stretcher, clutching the vanilla beans.

Captain Gao pressed his hand over Colonel Tang’s heart. It was beating slowly. Colonel Tang’s heart beat even slower and he ran out of breath. Captain Gao yelled to the medics, “Help, we’re losing him.” Blood streamed out of Colonel Tang’s mouth and dripped from his eyes.

“He’s gone,” one of the medics said.

In his kitchen Captain Gao mixed the vanilla beans into a batch of ice cream then he tasted it and thought about Colonel Tang.

About the Authors

Hi my name is David. I am nine years old. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad and sisters. I am good at sports and making friends. I want to be good at drawing someday. I want to be a doctor when I grow up. If I were weather I would be rain so I could torture people who hate storms. I wish I had a brother that would play with me a lot because now I only have sisters.

Hi my name is Destin. I am nine years old and I live in San Francisco. I live with my sister, dad, and my mom. I like to play Soul Caliber 4 on my Play Station 3 and also I like to play my Nintendo Dsi. I am good at math. I wish that I could be good at drawing and fighting someday. I would like to be a scientist inventor when I grow up. I am usually confused about why adults forget to keep their promises. If I were a tool I would be a screwdriver so I could fix toys. If I were granted a wish I would wish to get along with my sister so we won’t upset our parents.

Poetry by David & Jocelin, both age 9

The Old Times
By Jocelin

If the 1900s were nerds
then the Ice Age would be a genius
If pencils were curious
then erasers would be know-it-alls
If airplanes were socks
then helicopters would be slippers
If cups were MP3s
then lockers would be CDs
If plants were Scrabble players
then leaves would be Scrabble pieces
If drawings were pencils
then paint would be brushes
If file folders were business people
then computers would be genies
If monkeys were women
then ostriches would be men
If arms were bracelets
then legs would be anklets

If Cars Were People
By David

If cars were people
then backpacks would be books
If houses were desks
then computers would be fatter
If doors were paper
then windows would be clocks