Inklings Book Finalist: Amy Gillson


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Amy Gillson! Amy finished 4th grade this past school year. She wrote a short story about the perpetual fight between cats and dogs. We loved getting lost in the alternate pet world Amy created. Enjoy!



Bud and Marmalade
by Amy Gillson

Animals are smarter than humans think they are…


Bud, a black Great Dane, felt his earpiece vibrate.

“Neighborhood 56-57,” a dog blared through the receiver, “Newspaper alert! Newspaperman coming in 5, 4, 3, 2…” Bud raced to the door, barking furiously.

“Okay, okay,” the man Bud worked and lived with sighed, “Stop barking. What is it now?”

As Bud’s human opened the house’s blue door, Bud hardly noticed that under Andrew’s curly black hair and denim jacket, instead of wearing a dog shirt, he was wearing a cat shirt. As soon as the door cracked open, Bud raced outside, grabbing the newspaper and chasing the paperboy away. Then he ran back into the house, proudly finishing his daily job.

Suddenly, a movement caught Bud’s eye. Behind Andrew, Bud noticed a cat lurking in the shadows before disappearing again. This got Bud thinking. Andrew, a total dog person, was almost definitely wearing a cat shirt. And a cat was in his house! The two things had to be related.


A few hours later, when Andrew was at work, the cat came into view.

“Dog 44-68-6. I repeat, Dog 44-68-6. Cat at House 56-72. Roger that?” Bud yipped into his earpiece.

“Dog 56-72-1. I hereby grant you permission to growl and make your dominance clear. Nothing more,” the voice of 44-68-6 commanded. Although he sounded fierce, he was merely a small black Scottie dog.

Bud nodded approvingly; he agreed that it was best to show his dominance.

“Hello, Dog. How are you today?” Bud heard the orange tabby cat in front of him say snarkily.

The cat is in my house, raged Bud, I can’t let him live here, destroying my entire life!

Grrrrr, Bud growled menacingly. Even though he knew he wasn’t allowed to answer the cat, Bud did. “Get. Out. Right. Now.” he snarled. Bud’s fur stood on end, and he was about ready to attack the cat.

Just as Bud’s receiver buzzed, he realized his grave mistake. Oh no! Bud thought frantically. He had disobeyed a strict order! Now he really was in trouble. Finally, Bud answered the call.

“Dog 56-72-1. You disobeyed specific orders and therefore defied the Dog’s Code. This is your third act of disobedience this month. Come to the council meeting held tomorrow.”

“Yes, Dog 44-68-6 –” Bud started, but was cut off by his receiver giving a warning.

“Turning off in 16, 15, 14, 13…” Bud sighed and started pacing. He had never liked the feeling of being ordered around by a voice in his earpiece, but how else would he be able to stay at House 56-72 and keep living his easy life as a normal dog?

Just then, Bud heard a familiar mocking voice behind him. He had forgotten the cat was there.

“Oh, poor pooch. In trouble, eh? Cats never have problems like that.”

Bud didn’t choose to think about what he might have heard under the mockery: sympathy.


After a while of thinking, Bud was surprised to find himself questioning the Dog’s Code. Since it sounded like cats didn’t get in trouble very easily, why did dogs have to follow precise orders from their “bosses”? Bud didn’t have an answer for his question.

Realizing that Dog 44-68-6 wouldn’t be able to hear Bud talking to the cat, he growled, “Why are you here?” His ruff was bristling uncontrollably.

“Oh, didn’t you hear? I’m Andrew’s wonderful new pet.” The cat’s voice was sickly sweet, and for a moment Bud believed him. But then he came to his senses and realized the cat must be lying. Andrew would never switch his loyalties to the cats’ side.

“Prove it,” Bud demanded. He was looking for the special metal sphere that was given out to a cat or dog when they were adopted. The cat smirked and pawed the certificate hanging off his collar with glee, watching the giant, gaping dog towering over him with amusement. Bud had to live with a cat the rest of his life!

To try to get the astonishment out of his mind, Bud asked Marmalade (that was what the certificate said the cat’s name was), “Does your kind have a Cat’s Code? Because it seems cats are the most uncivilized animals on Earth to me.”

“Excuse me, but if I may say so myself, our great and amazing Rule of the Cats is much better than what your Dog’s Code seems to be, rude animals you are,” Marmalade retorted.

As the insults continued, Bud started to get more and more worried about the council meeting.


Eventually, Bud heard his earpiece turn on. “Turning on in 16, 15, 14…”

Immediately after the countdown ended, Bud talked into his earpiece. “Dog 44-68-6. I request permission to talk to Dog 56-73-2 at House 56-73, my neighbor, for twelve minutes,” Bud said.

“Dog 56-72-1. I hereby grant you permission to talk to Dog 56-73-2, although you must be supervised. I will be listening,” was the reply.

“Thank you, Dog 44-68-6. This time, I shall do exactly as you say.”

As Bud walked to the other side of his yard where the fence was separating House 56-72 from House 29-73, he started to wonder why he wasn’t called Bud, and was called his House numeral followed by his dog number instead.

As Dog 56-73-2 saw Bud coming, she muttered some unintelligible words into her earpiece before looking up.

“Hi!” Dog 56-73-2 exclaimed. She was an ecstatic border collie called “Coco” by humans.

“Oh, hi. Did you hear? I broke the Dog’s Code and so now I must go to the council meeting tomorrow. Wish me luck.”

“Oh, that’s so sad! I hope nothing too bad happens. But after all, you did break the Dog’s Code. What happened to make you break it?” Dog 56-73-2 asked.

“Well, Andrew, the man running my household, adopted a cat. The cat had a certificate and all. I had been told only to make my dominance clear by Dog 44-68-6, but I told the cat to get out of the house anyway. It’s good I was caught, though, because if I wasn’t I might of started to break other parts of the Dog’s Code that are even more important.” Bud only said the last part because he knew Dog 44-68-6 was silently but intently listening at the other end of his earpiece. Bud could tell Dog 56-73-2 was having a hard time containing her words, too.

After a few minutes of them both whispering into their receivers, Dog 56-73-2 blurted out, “I have the most fantastically fabulous and amazing news! I had puppies!”

As if on cue, five adorable little border collie babies ran up to the fence. They were so young, Bud realized that they still didn’t have earpieces.

“This is Tory, this one Belle, then there’s Spot, Wags, and Muttles.” Coco rested her paw on each of their heads as she said their names. Dog 56-73-2 looked proudly down at her puppies before saying, “They don’t even have their dog identification number yet, the wee little ones.”

“Congratulations, but I need to leave, Co–uh, Dog 56-73-2. I have some business to do at home. Goodbye.”


With that, Bud rushed to his house, quickly found a satisfying spot behind a tree, and promptly pooped. Then, Bud slid his paws through the wet lawn before finding Marmalade smirking at him.

Is a dog allowed to have some privacy? Bud almost muttered before remembering his earpiece was on. What is with me today? Bud wondered. I’ve been breaking the Dog’s Code, almost speaking without permission, and questioning the Law.

“Dog 56-72-1. The man living with you is home. Go greet him in 5, 4, 3, 2…” Dog 44-68-6’s voice blared through Bud’s receiver.

Bud raced to the door and started barking enthusiastically before jumping up and licking Andrew’s face once the door was opened. Then, Bud followed Andrew into the kitchen for his food and a drink, where he found a cat food and water bowl next to his. Andrew then displayed what he had bought at the store, which consisted mostly of cat toys.

“Do you like Marmalade, Bud? I hope you do. You’ll be living with him for a while,” Andrew said casually.

The rest of my life! Bud thought bitterly, aghast at being reminded of the thought. Then a thought occurred to him: dogs didn’t need to be enemies with cats. Bud slowly ate his food, barely tasting his usually delicious kibbles before lying on his dog bed, thinking about all the things that transpired in the last day.


The next morning, Bud woke up to the sound of a cat clawing at a scratching post and his earpiece blaring.

“Turning off due to the council meeting today. I repeat, turning off due to the council meeting today. Turning off in 16, 15, 14, 13…”

Bud sighed. He decided he should ask Marmalade about the Cat’s Rule while he could so he knew the differences between it and the Dog’s Code in case some of the information could help him have a shorter sentence from disobeying the Dog’s Code.

“Hey, dog,” Marmalade smirked. “I hope you have fun at the council meeting today. Maybe you could–”

“I was looking for you,” Bud interrupted. “I was wondering about the Cat’s Rule.”

“Well, first off, spy on dogs when you want, be mean to dogs when you want, and all of that jazz. Then we have the stuff like be clean, be annoying, rip stuff when you feel like it, et cetera. And then follow important rule: be free…” Marmalade rambled on, but Bud got the gist of it. Cats were allowed to do anything they wanted to.

“Thank you, Marmalade. I will keep this in mind,” Bud said politely once the cat was done speaking. Bud had to admit, Marmalade was a bit sympathetic. He assumed that no cat would tell a dog their Rules unless they wanted to help.

Bud looked up at a clock stationed on the far side of the wall, and realized how late it was. Registering this, Bud quickly muttered to Marmalade, “I need to leave. Bye.”


Bud ran across the driveway and crossed the street without watching for cars. He had to make the council meeting on time! After swerving around people and passing large buildings that were skyscrapers to Bud, he rounded a corner and skidded to a halt. A rustling in a bush caused Bud to turn around, but then it was quiet. He shrugged to himself and walked towards his destination. Finally, Bud found it. In the otherwise empty clearing before him, a rusty old trashcan loomed ahead of him with dog kibbles strewn across the ground.

“In here,” Bud whispered to himself, “Just go in here and you’ll be escorted to the council meeting.” Bud started sprinting towards the trash can, trying not to inhale the revolting smell that was so disgusting, it blocked out the normally appealing trashy odor of old food and interesting human scents. Slowly, he came to a stop and poked his head in. With a sinking heart, Bud came to the conclusion that the trash can was the entrance to Dog Central, the location of the council meeting. He slid his body into the garbage and found himself scrambling down a steep channel and landed in a stuffy, underground den. Bud approached a dirt passageway leading to a long hall. As he stumbled towards the dark path, he spied a doggy door ahead of him. Once Bud arrived at it, he stuck his head and front legs through it, sniffing the air and looking at Dog Central with sheer amazement; the bustling main room was made of thick quartz with many intricate doggy doors leading to other rooms and halls. On every wall, the Dog’s Code proudly watched over the citizens and other dogs in the massive metropolis.

Suddenly, two guards appeared in front of Bud and demanded to know why he was there.

“I was told by Dog 44-68-6 to go to the council meeting taking place today. I am Dog 56-72-1, and live with my human Andrew and a cat named Marmalade.” The guards growled slightly at the thought of a cat.

“Well, where’s your Adoption Certificate?” one asked. Bud jangled the certificate hanging from his collar before following the two rottweilers to the council meeting, where around fifty dogs were patiently waiting for him to be seated. Bud seated himself quietly as the meeting started.


Despite having waited for him, the Dog Council proceeded to act as if Bud wasn’t there. “First, we have this cat issue. Many dog owners are taking in cats, too…”

“There are starting to be as many cat owners as ancient times, before dogs became a man’s best friend. We need to do something…”

“ … And that brings us to the issue of this dog here who has broken the Dog’s Code.” Bud’s ears perked up and he started listening attentively to the pit bull speaker. “Why is this, Dog 44-68-6?” Bud searched the crowd and spotted his “boss” in the front row.

“Dog 56-72-1’s owner adopted a cat to whom 56-72-1 then told to leave, disobeying my strict orders to only show his dominance. This wasn’t his first act of disobedience. We must punish him at once, as the Law states, but what shall it be?”

“He must go to jail!”
“Be deprived of any rights for a month!”
“Be deprived of treats for a week!”

Bud shuddered at the punishments, but knew what he had to do. Over the past day and a half, his views of things had changed.

“Fellow dogs!” Bud called, his voice reverberating off the walls. “I am as sane as you are, but you must understand something. I do not care what punishment you give me for saying this now, because my perspective has changed.” His voice wavered before continuing his speech. “Cats are free. Dogs are not. Why is this? Cats and dogs are enemies. Why is this? Why is everything so different between the two species? It seems much better to be a cat.”

Outrage broke out. Shouts of “Treason!”, “Silence him!” and “Grab him!” rang from the Council. Bud had never seen them so angry, but then true chaos erupted. Not only had Bud made them mad, but suddenly Marmalade burst into the room with a pack of dogs chasing after him.

“Nice speech!” Marmalade yelled provocatively as he proceeded to gain attention. Bud realized that for whatever reason, Marmalade had followed him. Not only that, but he either accidentally or purposely helped Bud. Bud raced after the horde of dogs, an idea forming in his mind. He reached Marmalade in record time and pretended to herd him towards the guards, but instead led Marmalade to the exit of Dog Central where they burst through the doggy door and departed the building, panting.

“Th-thanks,” Bud said.

“To you too,” Marmalade replied gruffly. It was obvious that he didn’t thank dogs much, or cats, for that matter. “Well, onward! To home!”


At House 56-72, or, as Marmalade called it, home, Bud and Marmalade tried to figure out a way to change the rigid Dog’s Code.

“…If we make a protest, will that work?” Bud asked to no avail. Marmalade didn’t have the slightest idea. “Let’s just try it, and see what happens. We don’t have any better ideas.”

“Excuse me, but I never said that. And anyway, who else would be in the protest?” Marmalade questioned with his usual arrogant flair.

Bud sighed. “Do you have any better ideas?”

Marmalade looked uncomfortable. “Uh… of course not! When did I give the slightest hint I had any…” Marmalade faltered, and Bud cracked up.

Bud’s face turned serious again and he said, “There is the issue of getting dogs for the protest. You most certainly won’t be there when we recruit dogs, Cat 56-72-2.” Bud snickered at the term before getting back to business. “We only have one hour before my receiver turns on, and it’s stuck. Literally. I haven’t been able to pull the thing off since last year.”

It was Marmalade’s turn to give an exasperated sigh. “Well, get-a-goin’ then. I’ll write the speeches.”

The first place Bud stopped was at Coco’s house. He knew the border collie well, and was sure she would be grateful for a change in the Dog’s Code for both herself, the other dogs, and most importantly, her puppies.

When asked if she would join the protest, Dog 56-73-2 answered immediately. “Of course! Who has already joined?”

“No one, yet,” Bud replied, “You’re the first one I asked.”

So then, the two trotted off twelve houses away to a Saint Bernard, pug, and Great Dane’s house. The three looked like promising contributors, although only the pug, Dog 56-85-3, or Fluffy, joined.

The tan Great Dane immediately denied the offer, saying, “I’m an ol’ dog an’ the rules keep from us doin’ bad things, like hangin’ ou’ with cats.” and he shot Coco, Fluffy, and Bud a look.

Fluffy argued, “The rules are too harsh, and y’all know it. I’m-a saying it right into ‘da earpiece, ya know.” That received growling and barking from the other end of his receiver, which could be heard from five paces away.

Half an hour and three blocks later, three chihuahuas, a crazy terrior, four labs, two pugs, six German Shepherds, a sheepdog, Coco, three dalmations (one blind), and a few others had agreed to the protest. It was a surprising amount of dogs considering they all agreed to having a cat involved and were all found in less than an hour.

Each one had memorized their lines by the time the dogs and cat had to leave for the board meeting. Every dog was lined up before the fifty canines in the Council, with the only cat, Marmalade, in the front with Bud.


The protest began. Instead of a raucous demonstration, the dogs spoke their case logically and passionately so the Council would see that dogs didn’t need a strict Code to remain dignified and well behaved. Every dog in the Council listened intently, because they had to listen to the twenty-six canines in front of them if the Council was to keep its own dignity.

After the protest, the Council talked for a moment.

Finally, one of them said, “We have made many considerations. Numerous canines agree, as we can all see, but this cannot be changed at this very moment; however, we will consider changing the Dog’s Code, soon, though.” The dog spoke gruffly. “And… Dog 56-72-1. Your punishment will be revealed tomorrow.”

Thirty dogs and one cat marched proudly from the council room, savoring their victory.

“Let’s go home, Marmalade,” Bud said. “We should rest.” Cat and dog walked home, curled up in their beds, and let sleep fall over them.


The next morning, Bud woke to the sound of his receiver saying: “Turning on in 16, 15, 14, 13…”

Dog 44-68-6 spoke immediately. “Good morning… Bud. The Dog’s Code is being changed as we speak. The Council has also decided your punishment. You and the cat must try to make peace between the two species. And… thank you for helping the Council realize that the Dog’s Code was too rigid. That is all.”

Bud could hardly believe his ears! Dog 44-68-6 (Bud didn’t know what else to call him) had both called him Bud, thanked him, admitted the Dog’s Code was too rigid and was being changed, and given Bud the best punishment possible!

Bud immediately told Marmalade, who was just as astounded. (Although Marmalade, ever the cat, complained that he had to have a “punishment,” too.)

That very day, the two friends started their work to help both dogs and cats see a new, better, and happier way to live.

Inklings Book Finalist: Britton Cheney


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Britton Cheney! Britton finished 6th grade this past school year. She wrote a poem with colorful visual elements. We enjoyed Britton’s use of personification in her poem.  Enjoy!


Paint on a Canvas
by Britton Cheney

“It’s the end of the day,”
Said the sun to the sky.
“Time to paint a sunset,
Time for the day to die.”


The sky got all ready,
Getting rid of its last blues.
The sky is a canvas,
Across it, the sunset sweeps its hues.


Then came the colors.
First an orangish-red.
Then pink and purple,
As the colors began to spread.


The people on the beach
Stared up in awe.
Some of them couldn’t believe
Just what they saw.


The soft hush of the breeze,
The salty smell of the ocean,
The colors in the sky;
This is nature in motion.


At last it was over.
The sunset was finally finished.
Stars filled the heavens,
Night’s beauty was not diminished.


Now the moon reigned the sky.
And the sunset was done.
But in the morning,
The sunrise would come.

Inklings Book Finalist: Rhea Jain


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Rhea Jain! Rhea finished 4th grade this past school year. She wrote a short story about three girls and a haunted house. We especially enjoyed Rhea’s use of detailed descriptions in her tale.  Enjoy!


The Haunted House

by Rhea Jain



Chapter 1

Once there were three sisters named Anna, the calm one, Rhea, the talkative one, and Luisa, the cool one. Luisa was the oldest, Anna was the middle child, and Rhea was the youngest. Soon it was Rhea’s birthday and also Halloween, so she decided her birthday party could be a Halloween party. That night they were all going to be rock stars for Halloween. But when they went in the store they could only find two rock star costumes.


“What should we do?” Anna asked.

“Maybe we can buy two costumes and then go to a different store and buy one more,” Rhea replied.

“I know, I know!” Luisa screamed, “We can make our own costumes.”


All the girls liked that idea so they went home and started to make three rock star costumes. They made one black costume for Luisa, a blue costume for Rhea, and a pink costume for Anna. That one night they all dressed as rock stars for Halloween. Then, they went for trick-or-treating.



Chapter 2

After going to a few houses, the girls noticed a very strange house. It had blood stains on the walls, there were no lights on, and there were creepy sounds coming from the back yard. Anna, Luisa, and Rhea were very scared. Suddenly, it was extremely quiet.


Luisa finally asked, “Should we go in the house?”


Rhea and Anna were very scared, but they said, “Okay.”



Chapter 3

They carefully stepped on the path that lead to the house. When they arrived at the door, Rhea put her hand out and knocked. Just then the door opened by itself. There was nobody. The three girls stepped in. They tried not to make a sound but every step made a loud echo. The house was huge and scary. Then the door slowly closed behind them. All the girls froze, they looked behind them, the door was closed. At first, they did not notice but then when they tried to get out, they found that the door was locked!



Chapter 4

Rhea and Anna began to cry. Luisa was trying to figure out a way to get out instead of giving up. But soon they all begin to cry, there was no way out of the house. Then they heard a loud bang from the back yard, Anna carefully went to the cracked window and didn’t see anyone outside. They heard it again a little bit louder but there was nobody outside.


They all checked the window and there was still nobody there. The noise seemed to get louder by every second. Soon, the noise was as loud as drums banging together. Rhea noticed a tall shadow coming closer to the window. All the girls screamed. They noticed the tall shadow was not from a person, it was only a shadow.



Chapter 5

Soon the shadow was in the house. Rhea, Anna, and Luisa were hiding from the shadow. The shadow seemed like it had been here before. All the girls were very scared but didn’t say a word. Somehow, even though the shadow was see-through it could eat, drink, and move things around. The shadow was very unusual.



Chapter 6

Luisa screamed! The scream got the shadow’s attention. Soon the shadow was coming towards the girls. The girls didn’t move at all, but they were very scared.


Then as soon as the shadow came close enough he asked politely, “Who are you?”


All the girls were relieved that the shadow didn’t do anything bad.



Chapter 7


Rhea quickly said, “I am Rhea,”

Then, Anna and Luisa introduced themselves.


The shadow told the girls that it was under a spell and how it got trapped in the house.

Rhea told the shadow how they got locked in they house.

Then Anna asked, “Who had put you under this spell?”


Chapter 8

The shadow slowly answered, “There is somebody living in this house.”


The shadow began, “It is a witch. One day, I was lost in the house. I heard something was coming from the bottom floor. Just then, the door opened and I was very scared. I carefully peeked from the second floor. An old lady came in the house. I tried to hide from the old lady but eventually she found me, then she said some words I didn’t understand. Then some blue colored thing that looked like sand came floating towards me. At first, I had no idea what she was doing but then I realized that it was a spell. Just then I saw my body disappearing and soon all that was left of me was a shadow. I have been trapped here ever since,” the shadow said.


Chapter 9

Just then, the shadow and the girls heard a screechy noise coming from the bottom floor. Luisa peeked from above, an old lady came in the house. She had short black hair. The shadow seemed like nothing happened but the girls were very scared.


Just then Luisa screamed, ”Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!” That got witch’s attention.


The girls tried to hide but it was of no help, the witch found them.


Chapter 10

Then the lady said, “Stay here” in a polite voice.


The girls were very surprised that the old lady was nice. The girls did as they were told because they were scared that the lady might put a bad spell on them like she did to the shadow.


When the old lady came out she looked like an old, green-skinned, lady wearing a witch hat. She was not nice anymore and she had a low and grumpy voice. The witch was holding a big, rusty, old, huge pot. Inside the pot, there was a green bubbling liquid.


She put Rhea’s left hand in the pot, and her hand turned green. Then the witch put Rhea’s whole body in the huge pot. When Rhea came out she was all green like the witch, and not only did she look like the witch, she acted like the witch! Rhea and the witch together put Anna into the pot, the same thing happened to Anna she also looked and acted like the witch, but Luisa managed to escaped Anna, Rhea, and the witch.


Chapter 11

Luisa quietly and quickly ran to the third floor of the house. But on her way up, she tripped on a rotten banana peel. Luisa fell hard on the concrete floor which made a huge bang that echoed. The witches and the girls saw Luisa and got her too! But just when haunted Rhea was about to put Luisa in the huge pot, the shadow pushed Rhea away. Rhea fell on the floor with Luisa on top of her. Rhea was so mad at the shadow she got up and pushed the shadow into the huge pot. The shadow turned green and was soon also a witch. Now, it was up to Luisa to save everybody.


Chapter 12

Luisa ran and hid before any of the witches could see her. She ran in a room on the second floor. She tried to think of something to save everybody but she just couldn’t concentrate.


Suddenly, she had a thought, “when the witch came in the house she looked like a regular old lady. Then when she told us, stay here she came back as a witch.”


Luisa kept wondering things about the witch. Just then she heard footsteps coming her way. She quietly ran to the little dusty room where the witch kept and stored everything. She looked around for sometime and found the potions in one small corner. She saw potions of all different colors. Then something bright red caught her attention. It was a bright red potion. Luisa didn’t know why, but for some reason she thought that was the potion to undo the spell.


Chapter 13

Luisa kept staring at the potion. She kept asking questions to herself like, “Should I try if the potion works?” “How should I see if the potion works?” and “Maybe I should just give up.”


These questions just exploded in Luisa’s brain. She just didn’t know what to do!


Then Luisa made her decision. “Maybe I should just try the potion?”


Chapter 14

Luisa ran with the potion in her hands to where the witch, haunted Anna, and haunted Rhea were. When she got there, she hid behind the wall. She bumped into the wall not that hard, but it still made a little noise that echoed.


Then the witch and haunted Anna and haunted Rhea came to Luisa. The witch said, “What do you think you are doing?” in a high pitch.


Luisa was to scared to talk or run, so she just stood there. Then finally she mumbled, “Uuuuuuuuhhhhhh, nnnnooootttthhhhiiiinnnnnnnnggg.”


Then the witch asked, “Where did you get that potion?”


Chapter 15

Luisa was so scared that she accidentally dropped the whole potion on the witches feet. Right away, the witch started to shake. She shook for about 5 seconds. Luisa, haunted Rhea, and haunted Anna just watched. When the witch stopped shaking, she looked like a regular old woman with short black hair. By then, Luisa had figured out what happened.


Then the lady asked, “Where am I?” and “What are we doing?” in a nice voice. Now all Luisa had to do was to save haunted Anna and haunted Rhea.


Chapter 16

But then Luisa wondered how to get some more of the bright red potion because all of it had spilled on the witch. Luisa ran to the room with all the potions.


But on her way the kind lady asked, “Where are you going?” but still in a nice voice.

Luisa didn’t know what to say so she just lied, “I am just getting some exercise by running.”

“Oh,” the lady said, “Don’t let me stop you.”


Luisa ran to the little room. She looked around for the bright red potion. Luisa found lots of potions, some were bright green or orange some were pale colors, but she could not find the bright red one.


Then she had an idea. “Maybe I can pick up the potion and reuse it.”


Chapter 17

So, Luisa went back to the potion. Over there, she found the lady.


The lady asked, “What are you doing now?”

“Uuh, I was just going to clean up this mess over there,” Luisa lied pointing at the spilled potion. “It’s just fruit juice,” Luisa added.


Then Luisa got the pot and tried to get some of the red liquid into the pot. She ended up with very little, but enough to turn haunted Rhea and haunted Anna back to good.


Chapter 18

Luisa slowly walked towards haunted Rhea first. Then she poured a little bit of the potion on Rhea’s head. The same thing happened to Rhea, she shook for about 5 seconds and then turned back to normal. Luisa was so happy that it was working! Then she did the same thing to haunted Anna.


Soon, everyone was back to normal except the shadow. So Luisa, Anna, and Rhea worked together to turn the shadow back to normal. After all that chaos, everything worked out just fine.


Chapter 19

Soon Luisa was shouting, “Let’s go, let’s go!”


Suddenly, I opened my eyes and I saw that I was in my room and not in a haunted house.

My little sister was shouting, “Let’s go, let’s go, we are getting late for school!”

Then I realized it was all just a dream – rather, a very unusual and scary dream.

Inklings Book Finalist: Reece Sharp


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Reece Sharp! Reece finished 4th grade this past school year. She wrote a set of two lovely poems for us. We loved how Reece’s word choices were simple, beautiful, and clear. Enjoy!


The Moon’s Little Friend
by Reece Sharp


The moon has risen
the moon has set


the moon has brought
out a friend while its left


the moon’s friend
is as bright as a light


the moon’s friend
says good night


the moon has come
at exactly the time


when the moon’s friend
has left us behind




When it Happens
by Reece Sharp


When it happens
the sun will be bright


When it happens
you’ll say goodnight


When it happens
there’ll be no trees
and the smell of the wind
will be like bees


When it happens
the moon will be bright


When it happens
you’ll be tucked in tight


When it happens
the stars are not there


When it happens
there’ll be unicorns in the air


When it happens
it’s called a dream


Sleep tight little girl
you’re about to see

Inklings Book Finalist: Aubrey Turner


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Aubrey Turner! Aubrey finished 8th grade this past school year. She wrote a dramatic and touching story about a young soccer player named Karina. We loved Aubrey’s use of sensory details and the feeling of immediacy she created in her story by using the present tense. As part of her revisions, Aubrey chose to change her story from third-person point of view to first-person point of view in order to create an even stronger sense of immediacy for her readers. Enjoy!


Not Won, But Two
by Aubrey Turner



7am. It’s the beginning of my day. I sit upright on my bed and start nibbling away at my nails. This isn’t a typical, ordinary day. Today is what I have been dreaming about for the past 8 years.


I give myself a pep talk. “I’ll be okay. I’ll do fine. I will absolutely, positively do just fine.”


With googly-cartoon eyes I look down at my uniform. My name is printed in big, black letters on the back of my team’s shirt. Seeing my name reminds me of something I said to my father during the early days of my soccer training.


“Daddy! Daddy! Did you see that goal she scored from midfield?!?! When I get older I wanna be that good. And I’ll have my name printed on the back of my shirt just like hers.”


As I join my teammates and walk downstairs in pink, fuzzy, bunny slippers and a messy bun on top of my head, I smell melted cheese, flaky, golden, buttery croissants, and French toast that I can picture covered with juicy, bright red strawberries. I can’t wait to pile my plate with cheese that I will eat with the olives I’ve stashed in a jar in the pocket of my sweatshirt. Man, I love olives with cheese and can’t live without them!


Mmm, it smells so good it gives me a warm feeling, the kind I might feel if I were playing soccer, getting a back massage, and knitting all at the same time, I think to myself. I grab another plate and fill it with two pieces of toast, eggs and pepper, and about 20 Nutella snack-packs.


When I get back to my room from the breakfast buffet I take a steaming shower, floss my teeth (because the dentist has shown me pictures of what can happen if I don’t floss), and then throw my hair into a pony tail. I grab my cleats and another memory comes to mind.


“Open it, sweetheart!” the two of them sing.

“Brand new Nike cleats!” I say and tears brim my eyes. “Mom, Dad, you didn’t need to do this for me!”

“Honey, your mother and I know how much you love soccer and we want you to have a decent pair of cleats. Go on, try them on,” my father says.

I slip the cleats on and take practice kicks. “These feel great! Thank you, guys.”


The memory fades away and I grab my bag, reach into it, and pull out the right shoe of my first pair of cleats. The inside of my shoe is worn away at the heel and the top of the shoe where the Nike swoosh used to be has a hole poked through from so much playing.


“Karina, ready to go!” Hope, our goalkeeper yells from the adjoining room.

“Yep, be there in a second,” I holler back.


Vroom-vroom-pop! The bus pulls away from our hotel.


“Guys, I see the field!” Alex, one of the attackers screams.

“Alright, guys. This is a very important game today. It will determine if we go to the quarter finals. So we are gonna go out there, do our best, and never quit until the whistle blows at the end of the game,” my coach says with a mountain of enthusiasm.

“Alright, here’s your stop. Good luck in the game. I hope you guys do great!” the bus driver says.


Click-snap-click-click-snap. I’m biting at my nails again.


“Um, excuse me Mr. Driver, did you happen to drop off a man who is about 6’2” tall? He has a navy blue suitcase with the words Forfia in sliver at the top. The bag rolls on four wheels instead of two?” I ask hesitantly.

“No, sorry I haven’t seen him,” the bus driver answers in a strict voice. He seems upset about being stopped in the road.

“Where’s my dad? He said he’d be here?” I whisper to myself.


“Everyone, huddle in!” my coach, Laura, yells from the bench. “Alex, you’re going up top center forward, Christen left wing, and Clara right wing. In the middle we’ll have Aubrey and Grace as attacking mids, and Karina you’ll be holding mid. Center backs will be Ava and Sofia, outside wings Peri and Laila. Hope, you’re obvisouly in goal and the rest of you on the bench.”

“Okay guys, this has to be our loudest cheer possible. We need to be so loud that the other team crashes to the ground crying!” I holler loud enough to get the team pumped but not so loud that the other team hears me.


I… I!

I believe… I believe!

I believe that we… I believe that we!

I believe that we can win … I believe that we can win!

1,2,3 US!


Fweeeep! The game begins. Alex passes it to Grace who then passes me the ball.


Kerplunk! The defender falls to the ground and I dribble down the field. After I commit the defender I play the ball to Clara who dribbles to the corner of the 18-yard box and crosses the ball.




“Ugh! Nice try, Christen! You got the next one,” Clara tells her.


There are two minutes left in the first half and it’s still a tie. I have the ball, Aubrey yells that she’s open but I keep dribbling. As I’m about to shoot the ball a defender comes out of nowhere and crashes into me.


I fall to the ground.




I scream in pain.


“Ref, stop the game! Ref!” Laila yells.

The ref can’t hear her.

“Ref! A player is injured!” Ava shouts across the field to the ref.


Once the game is stopped, Laila and Ava dash over to me. “Oh my gosh … Coach, come quick!”

“Karina, what happened?”

Between sobs I try to explain. “I … I drib… sniff-sniff… ling and the gi… girl kicked my an…kle then I lan…ded wrong.”

“Let’s get you off the field. Grab my arm, Karina,” Coach says.

“Can someone get ice?!”

“Here’s an ice pack,” Sabrina says softly and hands it to me.

“Can you sit here and ice your ankle?” Coach asks.


Tweet-tweet. The game’s over.


“Darn, we lost,” I say as my team exits the field into the locker room.

“Okay guys, huddle around. We came this far and blew it. But I’m not mad, just disappointed,” Coach says as she always does when our team loses. “Karina, we need to get you to the hospital now,” Coach says.

“Wait, I need to talk to my dad,” I say faintly.

“Okay, we’ll find your family.”


“Hi, we’re just coming from a World Cup game and a player has been injured. Are you able to get her into a room as soon as possible please?” my mom says nervously.

“Mom, where’s Dad?”

“Honey, not now. We have to get you into a room,” my mother says.

“Karina? Karina? Sorry to wake you but a room is now ready for you. We had many people from a plane crash come in today,” the doctor says and takes me to a room.


As we head to my room I notice something. A navy blue suitcase with the word Forfia in sliver at the top. It has four wheels instead of two wheels.

Inklings Book Finalist: Aditi Biswas


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Aditi Biswas! Aditi is going to start 5th grade next year. Today, she is giving us the gift of Christmas in July with her short story all about a Christmas tree named Holly. We were especially impressed by Aditi’s skillful descriptions of her main character’s thoughts and feelings. Enjoy!

Holly, The Christmas Tree
by Aditi Biswas

“Oofh!” groaned Holly, a Christmas tree. She was being tossed around in a truck like a pancake in the air. Mr. and Mrs. Nimh had bought Holly from Mr. Frisby’s Christmas Tree Nursery. Holly was confused when Mrs. Nimh said, “Let’s buy that tree. It’s just the perfect size for our living room.” And with that, Holly was picked up and loaded onto a white truck. Holly replayed this moment in her mind over and over again. She still couldn’t understand why Mrs. Nimh said, “It’s just the perfect size…”. All of a sudden, there was a jolt, as if an earthquake had happened for two seconds. Holly didn’t know this, but the “mini earthquake” was actually a speed bump, indicating they were in a parking lot. Struggling, Holly got a glimpse of her surroundings. There was a supermarket called, “Betsy’s Groceries”. A while ago, Holly was waiting for someone to buy her. Now, things were different. At last, she was going somewhere.


After this long and boring supermarket visit, the Nimhs and Holly reached their destination, the Nimhs’ home. When Holly got unloaded from the truck, she was carried into their living room. The living room had a rich red and gold carpet that covered the entire floor. There was a black leather sofa with striped and embroidered pillows. Next to the couch, was a small side table. There was also a TV. The dining room was right next to the living room, so they could see the dining table. Mr. and Mrs. Nimh were whispering about something. Holly could barely hear what they were saying over the chirps of the birds and the wind.


“Let’s move that flower pot near the side table,” suggested Mr. Nimh.
“The flower pot looks just fine where it is.” protested Mrs. Nimh.
“Don’t worry, it’s only for 3 days,” Mr. Nimh said, “After that we’ll throw the tree out anyway. Then you can put the flower pot back there.”
“Fine.” Mrs. Nimh said angrily.


Holly was placed near the entrance door and the flower pot was moved next to the side table. Standing upright, she was six feet tall. She had dark green leaves. A string of Christmas light was draped around her. Then another string. Then, another followed. Soon, there were ten strings on Holly. She wondered if the lights would ever be comfortable. But by “lights out” time, Holly had grown used to them. She felt homesick, even though she never actually had a home. She had always been moved from one place to another. However, Holly had a feeling that she would never be moved again. She wondered if she would ever get accustomed to her new life. Holly thought and thought throughout the night. Finally, after she thought for five minutes, she fell fast asleep (she was tired from all that thinking).


The next morning when Holly woke up, she saw two girls surrounding her. “What on Earth are those girls doing?” pondered Holly. Turns out, the girls, named Lavender Nimh and Matilda Nimh, were hanging ornaments on Holly. The ornaments were gold and silver with glitter, and red and green. Holly felt a rush of happiness washing over her trunk and leaves. It was actually Christmas Eve, so in the evening, the whole Nimh family gathered around Holly and sang Christmas carols. Some of the songs they sang were “Jingle Bells,” “Let it Snow,” and “Joy to the World.” After dinner and singing, Lavender and Matilda wrote their wish lists to Santa.


Lavender’s wish list said she wanted…
1. The Complete Guide to Flowers
2. Lavender scented candles
3. A rainbow bracelet


Matilda’s wish list said that she wanted…
1. Matilda by Roald Dahl
2. A photo frame
3. A rainbow ink pen




After writing their wish lists, the girls hung their red and green stockings. For some reason that night, Holly could not sleep. Every time she was about to doze off, something would catch her attention and snap her back into alert. Holly predicted this was happening because she was not used to being in the dark without any other trees. Then, at midnight, Holly heard a strange noise. It sounded like bells, one of Holly’s favorite sounds. Suddenly, a big fat man with a white beard, red coat, and red cap came into the room! He was carrying a brown sack. Then, he walked towards Holly and put gifts underneath her. Holly didn’t have the foggiest idea of what was going on, so she just stared at him. The mysterious man waddled over to the stockings hanging by the fireplace. He read the wish lists, opened his brown sack, and filled the stockings with presents. Then, the man ate the cookies and drank the milk that was on the dining table. How did he know it was his? Because there was a name tag next to the cookies and milk! Since Holly knew how to read, she read the name tag. It said, “ Santa Claus”. Holly inferred that the funny dressed man was called Santa Claus. She thought that the name was as weird as being draped with lights that glowed red, green, blue, and many other colors.


When Santa left, Holly could smell lavender. “It’s probably Lavender’s lavender scented candle,” Holly told herself.


But still, Holly was scared to the bone. Also, chilled to the bone. It was freezing cold outside. After all, it was winter. Finally, after what felt like 99 million hours, Holly fell “fast” asleep. Except it didn’t happen quickly. When Holly woke up the next morning, the sun was already up. She checked the clock. 7:30, it read. Holly knew that the Nimhs woke up at 8:00, so she had to wait for half an hour. Although Holly had been here for a day, she hadn’t bothered to look around, which was strange. Holly decided this was the perfect time to explore her vicinity. The only change to the room were the presents placed below her. Surprisingly, looking around took 30 minutes. Holly saw Lavender and Matilda climb down the stairs and rush to see their stockings. They were super excited. Finally, Christmas had
arrived! Merry Christmas! After a few seconds, she heard squeals of delight as the 10-­year-­old girls opened their gifts. Then, they ran to Holly to unwrap their presents. Mr. and Mrs. Nimh got presents too. Mrs. Nimh got a charm bracelet and Mr. Nimh got an iPhone 6S.




Later that afternoon, the Nimh family got dressed and headed out the door. They were invited for a Christmas dinner at Lavender and Matilda’s aunt and uncle’s house. When they were gone, Holly tried to remember all the things that made her cheerful. All of a sudden, Holly remembered the grim conversation Mr. and Mrs. Nimh had discussed two days ago. Holly recalled Mr. Nimh saying after Christmas she would be thrown away. Holly could feel it echoing through her mind.


“No,” she whispered. “It can’t be true.” Holly shivered at the thought of it. But even as she reassured herself, she knew what was coming. All she could do is wait.


Around 11 o’clock that night, the Nimhs came back home excited but drowsy. They went upstairs and fell asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Holly did the same despite her worries. The next morning, Holly saw the family gather around her. They were removing the Christmas lights from her. Holly’s fear started to turn into reality as each string came off. Finally, when they had taken off every string and decoration from Holly, they picked her up and carried her to the white truck. As the truck started to move, Holly became more and more scared. Suddenly, the truck jerked and came to a halt, as if a giant had stepped in front of it! Then Holly got unloaded. She had expected to see some dumpster with dead trees, but instead, she saw a friendly­ looking woman.


Out of all the things Holly didn’t know, one of them was this woman named Jessica Stevens, an artist. She had called the Nimh family in the morning to ask if they would give her their tree. Though they were curious to know what she would do with the tree, they happily agreed to this offer because they wouldn’t need the tree anymore. But why did Miss Jessica want Holly? To snip Holly into a… tree! Holly was very happy and relieved when she realized she wouldn’t be thrown away.


At the city park, Holly was placed on a marble podium. On it, were engraved the words, “Here stands a Christmas tree to remind us how much nature gives us.” Ever since, Holly has been living happily with lots of tourists visiting her.



Inklings Book Finalist: Julie Shi


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Julie Shi! Julie finished 4th grade this year and submitted a poem called “The Tree of Happiness” We loved Julie’s use of details in her poem. Enjoy!


The Tree of Happiness
By Julie Shi

There is a Tree of Happiness,
Happiness it brings.
It can calm down angry dinosaurs,
It can make the lovebirds sing.
There are actually more than one of these trees,
And they all can be anything.
A cookie or a crumb,
Or lots of diamonds rings.
Different objects, different styles,
Humans from different races.
Different cultures, different ways,
From our planet’s many faces.
These trees are found in every hole,
Every crevice, every nook.
In fact, they are everywhere,
If you care to look.
These happy trees are ‘round the world,
Or in a person full of mirth.
From a solid, black stone,
To a baby at its birth.
Every leaf, boulder, stream,
Every bubble, horse, grape.
Every little, little pebble,
To a big, great ape.
These are all trees of happiness,
Whether you recognize it or not.
They all radiate happiness,
Even a simple flower pot.
The leaves on happy trees
Never ever droop,
The birds around these trees are free,
They’re never kept in coops.
The flowers on these special trees
Are very, very colorful.
The sound that these trees radiate
Are never monotonous, never dull.
When you are with these awesome trees,
Nothing ever can go wrong.
There is sunshine, rainbows, excitement,
Lots of laughter, and so on.
These trees bring peace
Wherever they go,
Leaving trails of joy,
But never sorrow.
They correct ancient wrongs,
Make everything right.
They turn on our lights,
Leave us in the bright.
If you’re optimistic and observant,
And you work so very hard,
You will find these trees, step by step,
Foot by foot, yard by yard.

Inklings Book Finalist: Hailey Fiske


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Hailey Fiske! Hailey finished 2nd grade this year and submitted a story called “The Saint Gabriel Knights and the Dinosaurs’ Time Invasion” We loved Hailey’s humor and use of dialogue between her characters. Enjoy!

The Saint Gabriel Knights and the Dinosaurs’ Time Invasion
by Hailey Fiske

One day, the Saint Gabriel Knight Super Heroes — Daniel the Imaginative Tall Tale Teller, Haley the Cunning, Ian the Brave, Henry the Smart, Veronica the Clever Fun Girl, and Dominic the Intelligent Archaeologist — were reading super hero books by the bookstore window. Suddenly, they felt the ground tremble. They thought it was their imagination. They heard deep roars. They thought they were hearing things. Then out of concern, they looked up from their books.They saw huge shadows that darkened the library window. They realized that this was all real.


Daniel said, ”DINOSAURS!!!”


Dom rolled his eyes and said, ”Dinosaaaws” in a mimicking voice. “It’s just your imagination again, Daniel.”


Veronica said, ”One minute!” and ran outside. Veronica came back inside screaming.


“What’s the matter?” asked Haley.


“DA-DA-DA-dinosaurs!” shouted Veronica.


For a moment everyone was quiet, then suddenly, they all started panicking.


Henry said, “Okay, everyone try to calm down.


Ian said, “Yeah, let me go out there and stop them!” starting to go towards the door.


Henry said, “NO! We have to do this together.”


Ian said, “You’re right, It’ll take all of us to withstand that awful rotting fish smell.”


Sniffing the air, everyone held their noses in agreement.


Then out of nowhere, a tall thin, nervous-looking lady with purple glasses appeared, she looked angry.


“Shhh!” She hissed.


That lady was clearly the librarian. The Super Heroes looked around the area and noticed everyone was looking at them. Clearly, they and the dinosaurs had been making too much noise.


“Sorry,“ said Ian.


They decided it was best if they discussed the matter outside. There they were allowed to talk freely, and besides, there was a jungle gym! They thought the dinosaurs wouldn’t be there.


They were wrong. Looming over them were long brown, grey and green necks, attached to large heads with jaws filled with pointy teeth. Luckily the Super Heroes could hide between the play structures. There, they drew up a plan.


Henry said, ”Listen here! We’ll outsmart them. The dinosaurs will come towards us and Daniel, will you tell them a tall tale?”


“Yes, but why?” Daniel asked.


“You’ll see. Just make it fantastic,” replied Henry.


“What will I do?” asked Veronica.


Haley said, “Just be your regular old fun and clever self.”


“Yippee!” exclaimed Veronica.


“What about me?” chirped Ian? He was smaller than the rest, but very brave.


“You are courageous. We’re counting on you to know what to do when you’re needed, right everybody?“ Haley said


“That’s right, Haley.” Henry replied as he nodded.


Dominic said, “I’ll discover where they came from, what they need, and where to put them back! And when it’s my turn to add something else, I’ll just pitch in.”


“Okay! Let’s do this!” said everyone together.


“Wait a minute… what am I going to do?” Haley asked impatiently.


“You’re the cunning one. You figure it out,” Daniel piped in.


“Don’t worry, Haley. You can do it!” Veronica added, encouragingly.


Soon enough, the dinosaurs came charging at them. Daniel told them a really good tall tale about how his friend cooked a dinosaur meal. The dinosaurs were worried because they thought the tall tale was real.


“Did he really?” they asked, their large bodies shaking in fear.


“Yes. He just barbecued the dinosaur and put him between two giant loafs of French bread and then invited us all over for a big Dinosaur dinner. It was the most delicious meal I ever ate. I never knew anything tasted as good as Dinosaur meat!”


The dinosaurs started to look more scared than scary.


The Super Heroes snickered quietly.


Meanwhile, Veronica and Ian planned what to do next.


Veronica whispered “Psst…. Let me at ‘em. I’ll make them have so much fun and laugh so hard that they’ll get dizzy.”


“Then I’ll be able to tie them up in ropes!’ interjected Ian.


“Can you really do that with those humongous dinosaurs?” asked Veronica.


“Yes, I am brave!” Ian proudly said.


Dominic wisely warned, “These creatures are very dangerous. Even for someone that is very brave. I know about these beasts from my studies. You must be careful, and we must all be intelligent in how we handle them.


Haley had been quietly listening in and thinking.


All of a sudden everyone exclaimed at once, “Then what are we going to do with a bunch of dinosaurs that are not supposed to be here?!”


“That’s where I come in!” Haley burst out, holding up a tape measure, a clock and a circuit board she had made with her Super Hero Friends.


Everyone looked confused as they asked, “How are we going to use those things to send them back in time? We made them, but how do we use them?“


Then Henry said, “I think I figured it out.”


Henry whispered in Haley’s ear.


“That’s right, “ Haley replied. ”That’s exactly what I was thinking, Henry! We can measure back in time. If they could measure forwards, we can measure backwards. ”


Everyone said, “Wow!”


“I didn’t know that, but I get it now,” said Ian.


“That’s brilliant! I get it too,” said Veronica.


Dominic said, “I wasn’t thinking that way, but now I am.”


Daniel added, “That’s amazing science! I thought that kind of science only existed in my incredible imagination.”


“Okay, you guys…” Haley said. “Veronica, you tell your clever riddles and make them laugh really hard. Henry and Daniel, you connect the circuit board, measuring tape and clock together. Ian, you tie the dinosaurs to it and wrap this wire around them. Dom, you find the exact place in time where they have to go back to.”


Haley handed Ian a red wire. “Connect the wire to the circuit board once you have them tied up.”


“Then we’re all going to turn the clock back as fast as possible, over and over again,” Henry explained.


“Dominic, you find the date!” said Daniel.


“I’ll entertain them and tell clever riddles and make them laugh so hard they’ll get dizzy again,” offered Veronica, “so they don’t know what’s going on.”


“Just thinking about that makes me dizzy!” said Ian.


Sure enough, the Super Heroes performed as planned. When it was time for them to be tied up, Veronica kept swooping around them in circles while telling them clever riddles. It made them laugh so hard and get so dizzy that they fell back onto the circuit board. Then Ian got a rope and tied the dinosaurs to the clock, circuit board and the measuring tape and wrapped the red wire around them. Daniel and Henry connected the circuit board, clock and measuring tape together.


Dominic said, “I need to quickly find their place in history… I got it!!! They died 65.5 million years ago!”


Haley smiled at Dominic glowingly.


Daniel and Henry quickly adjusted the clock to 65.5 millions ago. Ian was ready to connect the red wire to the circuit board.


Then Daniel told the tied-up Dinosaurs (that were trying to get loose) that they (the Dinosaurs) were going back to a time where there was no one that ate Dinosaurs. They seemed happy about that.


Veronica told them, if they went back, no one would make them woozie from riddles and running around them. They sighed in relief.


Ian told them no one would tie them up or be stronger than they were.


Henry and Haley said… well, they actually just looked at the Dinosaurs in the eyes and said “HAH! Go back!!”


Then Dominic pulled out an ancient calendar and adjusted the clock and circuit board to it and Ian inserted the red wire and…




The Dinosaurs started spinning around and around in a whirlwind, as they gradually rose from the ground and became smaller and smaller.


The Saint Gabriel Knight Super Hero Kids watched in astonishment as the Dinosaurs gradually disappeared into the sky, and the last fleck vanished forever.


The Dinosaurs were gone and the St. Gabriel Knight Super Hero Kids saved the day!


…As they celebrated with lemonade and cookies, they noticed a mysterious little wooden door on the side of a brick wall…

Inklings Book Finalist: Lauren Meier


Today we are featuring Inklings Book Contest 2016 finalist, Lauren Meier! Lauren finished 5th grade this year and submitted a poem called “The Train to Nowhere.” We loved how she used line breaks and formatting to emphasize the rhythm and pacing of her poem. Enjoy!

The Train to Nowhere
by Lauren Meier

Time, slow down.
I beg of you.
Slow    your      train.   For me.


We all ride the train of time;
the train,
the, second,
we, want, it,
hurry up.
The train’s wheels run-like-an-Olympian-the-second-we-wish-the train- would-slow-down;the-second-we-long-for-the-wheels-to-trot.


All we want is to be the Conductor;
quicken the turtle-like pace when we want to,


slow the train’s cheetah-like speed when we want to.


We are all passengers.
When we board,we are infants,
infants at life,
infants at everything.


When we get off,
we are aged;
we are old;
for time has not been kind to us.


When we disembark,


we are ready to be dust again.


Why do we ride the train?


Because,dear,the train is our life.


We are forever riding the train


To nowhere.

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