GOODBYE, LOFU By Destin, age 10
“Take care of yourself,” my mom said. She lay on the hall carpet. Blood dripped down her forehead and oozed into her eyes.
A red beam pointed at my brother’s head and I yelled, “Watch out.’’
“What?” he said.
A bullet crashed through the kitchen window. My housekeeper hit the ground. Her blood dripped onto my foot. I was only eighteen years old.
Paramedics arrived in an ambulance. Bright lights blinked in my eyes, burning them. Across the street, my neighbor stepped off his front porch. From his direction, I heard the click of a gun cocking. The sun reflected off the barrel of his revolver and shined in my eyes. He pointed it at me. I ducked. The bullet hit a boulder behind me. He ran across the street and kicked me to the ground, smiling and giggling. He pointed the gun at my head.
“Any last words before I blow out your brains?” he said.
I was about to yell but my brother Lofu ran across the street and kicked the guy in the stomach, grabbed his gun and shot him through his head. Then my brother carried me into the ambulance.
I woke up in the hospital strapped to a stretcher. A lady was screaming. Crimson knives lay on trays next to bowls filled with bloody water. A man with a hole through his heart rested on a stretcher. I thought they might take my heart also. A nurse rolled me into one of the rooms and transferred me onto a bed with wires connected to an outlet. The sheets felt soft and smooth. A doctor told me to open my mouth. He threw a sleeping pill onto my tongue. Yellow ducks swam through my dreams. I couldn’t see anything. Black clouds hovered in the sky. I was in my brother’s arms.
I opened my eyes. Lofu had me flung over his shoulder. We were on our front porch. He jabbed the key into the lock, but it got stuck.
“Crud,” Lofu said. He climbed onto the roof with a hose somehow. He found a rope and threw it down the chimney and opened the door from the inside. I walked to Lofu’s room. The floor creaked. He stuffed a shirt into a suitcase.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said. “Go pack up.”
I trudged to my bedroom and looked at a picture on the wall. My dad hovered at the edge of the frame, catching a football. My mom sat on the bleachers behind him, smiling and clapping. The picture was taken when I was eight. My family had gone on a picnic. I remember throwing the football. It spiraled across the field. My dad caught it. He ran, dodging my attempts to tag him. He jumped and reached the end zone. Touchdown! My mom clapped. “Yay,” she said. We ran to our car. My father turned on the radio. Pitbull was singing, “Rain Over Me.” I sang as we drove. At home, I crawled into bed and pulled the sheets up to my neck.
This was before the trouble.
My stomach growled. I crawled to my dresser and grabbed a Pitbull CD. I stuck it in the player and turned it on. Let it rain over me. I walked to my brother’s room.
“Let’s go,” Lofu said.
We headed out the door. The cool breeze blew through my hair. The sun shined on my face. As I walked, I fell into a deep sleep. I saw food everywhere. Grass grew carrots, trees grew chicken and rivers streamed with Coca Cola.
Back at home I awoke to the sound of sizzling in the kitchen. My brother came into my room with a tray of steaming hot sausages and scrambled eggs with green onion. There was a fork and a knife on top of a napkin.
“I’ve never seen you cook food for me in my life,” I said.
He laid the tray on my lap. I could feel the heat through the blanket.
“It’s burning my legs,” I said.
He lifted the tray and I pulled off the blanket. My skin was red. I placed the tray on my desk and kicked the blanket off.
“What the heck are you doing?” said my brother.
“It’s so hot,” I said.
I leaned over the tray and picked up the knife and fork. I sliced into the eggs. I tried to stuff them into my mouth. The green onions almost made me puke. I walked to the kitchen and threw the eggs in the garbage. They smelled like fish. I put the plate in the sink. I heard footsteps coming. There were creaking noises in the hall. I took a peek.
“What are you doing?” my brother said.
“Um… throwing away the eggs because I’m full,” I said
“Do you even know what you’re doing?”
“You are just wasting my money.”
He threw a tomato. I dodged it. It splattered on the wall. I grabbed what was left of it and threw it at him but he caught it and all the juice splattered on his hand. I ran across the kitchen and we looked inside the tomato. A worm slithered through its seeds.
“I guess you don’t even know how to pick good tomatoes,” I said.
He threw the tomato back at me and the worm hit my face. It crawled around my scalp and must have laid eggs. It felt so itchy. I scratched my head and killed a baby worm with my fingernail. I went to my room and got some Raid. I told my brother to look at my head. He cut off four hairs and placed them on a plate. It looked like a hundred lice were sleeping on each strand.
“Your scalp is infected,” said my brother.
“Really. What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. Maybe if I take you to a veterinarian,” he said. “I think I’ll help you get to the hospital.”
“Okay. Let’s go.”
We hurried to the Lamborghini. White flames snaked along the sides of the car. The headlights blued the midnight sidewalk. My brother drove. As he turned, I shook right and left. When we arrived at the hospital, we walked inside. There were two glass doors that opened automatically. A man lay against the wall near the entrance. His t-shirt read “Max is the best.” I signed a piece of paper on a clipboard and handed it to the nurse. We walked to room 415. I heard footsteps in the halls. I ran to the main entrance. Lofu looked at me through the glass. He opened the door.
“Hurry, they’re coming.”
“Hurry!” My brother dragged me down the sidewalk.
“If you get out of this building I’ll call my buds to come and get you,” someone yelled from the window. His voice was deep and full of sorrow.
Lofu and I rushed away from the building. The man took out his walkie-talkie and said, “They just rushed out of room 415.”
We ran as fast as we could. We jumped over fences. My brother found a ladder and climbed onto the roof of a house across the street from the hospital. I followed him up then we threw the ladder in the bushes.
“Why did you do that?” I said. I looked over my shoulder. The men began pushing through 415’s window.
“Stop clumping the door way,” said the guy in the Max shirt.
I rushed to follow my brother. We hopped from roof to roof and jumped to the ground. We rolled across the street.
“Where do you think you’re going?” someone said behind us. It was Deep Voice, the guy from the window of 415.
I kicked his thigh. Then he looked up. I kicked him in the face. Max watched the violence. My brother sneaked behind him and took his gun. We ran across the street and hid in a Chinese produce market where my dad’s friend Andy worked. He wore a white apron. We hid behind the cash register. Deep voice and Max ran inside the market.
They showed Andy pictures of Lofu and me. “Have you seen these two kids running by?” Deep Voice said.
“No, I haven’t,” said Andy.
The two men took off.
“See ya,” I said to Andy, and walked out the door with my brother. We ran behind the house next door to the produce market. I heard a voice.
“Go check inside this house,” the voice said. I peeked around the corner. The voice belonged to a guy with fuzzy hair and black boots. “Search the perimeter. Go door to door, make sure they did not run away,” Fuzzy Hair said.
“Shh,” I said to Lofu.
“You always act like you’re dad,” my brother murmured.
“What did you just say?” I asked.
“Huh, oh nothing.” Lofu found a ladder in the bushes and laid it against the wall. He climbed onto the roof.
“Where do you think you’re going?” I said.
“It’s called a sneak attack,” he said. “Quiet down.” He jumped down and darted across the street. Fuzzy Hair ran around a house across from where I stood. My brother pushed him to the wall but Fuzzy Hair pointed his gun at him and said, “Just kneel to the ground so I don’t have to shoot you.”
I froze. My guns were in the car. My brother kneeled down and smiled.
“What do you think you’re laughing about?” he asked.
“Behind you,” my brother said.
He turned around but there was nobody there. When he turned back Lofu was pointing a pistol at him. “Just put your gun on the ground so I don’t have to shoot.” Fuzzy Hair moaned and fell on his back.
Max appeared from behind the house and threw a blade at Lofu. As it pierced his heart, the grass crunched and Max’s golden hair swooshed around the corner of the house.
“Why did you do that?” a guy with a crow tattoo said. “We could’ve kept him for good information.” He placed his hand on Max’s shoulder.
“Who cares,” Max said.
Crow Tattoo whispered, “He looks like Sherry. Maybe he’s related to her.”
I ran to Lofu and pulled out the blade. I tried to throw it at Max’s head but Crow jumped in front of it and Max ran across the street. I ran to the Lamborghini and grabbed a gun with a scope. Both men were inside the house. They peeked through the windows. I pulled Crow into my crosshairs and fired but he moved too soon. I tried firing again. No ammo! The two men disappeared down a hall. I grabbed a grenade from the glove box and approached the front door. Footsteps echoed inside. I threw the grenade at the porch and dove into a row of bushes. Flames roared from the house’s windows. Black puffs of smoke hovered in the sky. Sirens blared from down the block. I ran to the Lamborghini, jumped inside and drove off.
A yellow mustang swerved into me on the freeway. The guys in the Mustang wore black masks. One of them glared at me like he knew me. His mask left his eyes exposed. I knew those eyes. I knew who it was. My dad.
I kept driving, cutting off other cars. The Mustang swerved in my direction and I stepped on the brakes. The masked men zoomed past me and crashed into the median. I glanced in the rearview. They kicked open the doors, squirmed out and flagged down a Camry. One of the masked men opened its door and threw the driver on the pavement. I drove to my house. My brother’s keys still hung from the lock. I opened the door and took a bottle of Coke from the refrigerator. I twisted the cap off and slouched down on a wooden chair.
About the Author
Hi my name is Destin. I am ten years old and I live in San Francisco with my dad, mom, and my sister. I like to play with my Maltese dogs, Lexie and Crystal and I like to play Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. I want to be good at drawing. When I grow up I want to be an inventor or a veterinarian. If I were a machine I would be the snake machine at the Academy of Sciences because I love snakes. My favorite book is Trouble in Madagascar, and the author of that story is me! The scariest moment of my life was when I was doing laundry with my sister in the basement. It was pitch black. I couldn’t see a thing. When we got closer to the washer, the light turned on! If I could go forward in time I would want to go to the year 3011 because I want to see if people will have flying cars. My family comes from Vietnam. If I had the chance to go, I would because I have never been there and I would like to experience how hot it really is. The languages I speak at home are Chiuchao and Vietnamese.
BEEF JERKY By Brandon, age 9 & Destin, age 10
A piece of beef jerky hanging from his mouth, Ruff scurries past a circle of pigeons, an old crone with a stick and a Quickly, then turns down an alley wiggling with rats and bats. He stops and jumps inside a dumpster. Robert sneaks up behind him, tongue wagging. “Boo!” He drools for Ruff’s beef jerky.
Ruff hops out of the dumpster and climbs up a tree, shaking. He looks over his shoulder. Robert is climbing up behind him. Ruff whines and yelps. Robert snatches the beef jerky from Ruff’s mouth. Ruff chomps into Robert’s hand. Robert doesn’t feel it and drifts away.
“Slow down!” the Old Crone says, shaking her cane. She swings it in front of Robert. His face pelts cement. The jerky flies across the street and lands at Ruff’s paws. He devours it.
About the Author
Hi, my name is Brandon. I live in San Francisco with my mom, dad, sister and brother. I like to draw and I am good at ice-skating. Someday I want to be good at writing neatly. When I grow up I want to join the army and write kids’ books. At the Academy of Sciences, we went into an exhibit that measured body temperature. When I went in my reflection turned red. Everyone else’s turned blue and yellow. This shows I am hot and other people are cold. My favorite books are the Goosebumps books because they are scary. I am also the author of Trip to Vietnam and Shadow Cliffs. Beef Jerky is my first published fiction.
GHOSTS & CHERRIES By David, age 10, Ahn, age 9, Destin, age 9 & Dustin, age 9
GHOST By David, age 10, Ahn, age 9, Destin, age 9 & Dustin, age 9
MS. PAC MAN By David, age 10, Ahn, age 9, Destin, age 9 & Dustin, age 9
PAC MAN By David, age 10, Ahn, age 9, Destin, age 9 & Dustin, age 9
SPLINTERING By Destin, age 9
This poem is part of a class poetry project inspired by the song “Old Glory” By the band Harvey Milk.
How do you think the T-shirts feel,
full of holes
Have you ever felt this way?
threw away my snails.
How do you think the skateboard feels
when it cracks,
Do your guts ever feel like that?
TROUBLE IN MADAGASCAR By Destin & David, both age 9
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?”
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.