Braden S. from Gretna Middle School
Growing up in the country wasn’t a problem for Marley Downs. It especially helped with her powers, echolocation and night vision. Every night when her parents thought she was sound asleep in her room, she snuck out into the fields to practice her powers.
Trudging out into the field dragging three targets, Marley set them up all in different positions, forming a circle. She then headed out to the middle of the field, pulling her sword out in the process.
Her night vision slowly adjusted, and she glanced around in search for the targets. Spotting her first one, Marley chucked the sword in the direction. Now using her echolocation, she grinned hearing the soft thunk of the sword hitting the middle of the bullseye.
“Years of practice.” Marley muttered.
Marley first discovered her powers back in the year of 2012, when she was 11 years old. The first power she noticed was her night vision. It was halloween, and Marley and her only friend Kayleen were out trick or treating when they heard something eerie.
“Did you hear that?” Kayleen asked. Marley looked around.
“No. Was I supposed to hear anything?” Kayleen shook her head no, frowning. They continued walking up the street, using more caution now. Something swooshed around behind them, and Kayleen flinched.
“Tell me you noticed that.” She said.
“Yeah, I did notice that.” Marley whispered.
Kayleen and Marley picked up their pace, and Marley got a weird pain in her eyes. Gasping, her hands went up to her eyes.
“Marley?” Kayleen asked, looking over at her friend.
“I’m fine, my eye just hurts.” Marley muttered, removing her hands from her eyes. Blinking, Marley looked around. For some strange reason, the whole scene in front of her was now a light green and white. She looked out by the bushes, and saw a figure that looked like a human.
Looking at Kayleen, Marley’s friend now looked like those pictures from x rays.
“What? Do I have something on me?” Kayleen asked, brushing a hand across her face.
“No, no.” Marley lied. She galnced at the figure again. He was moving closer.
“Look out, someones over there.” Marley warned, pointing in the direction of the person. Kayleen squinted in the direction, and rolled her eyes when she saw nothing.
“Mhm, whatever. Let’s keep going.” She said, grabbing Marley’s arm and pulling her along.
Marley and Kayleen reached the edge of the road, where the person was standing.
“Told you.” Marley grumbled.
Kayleen froze, staring at the shadowy figure.
“What do you want?” She asked. The man took a step toward her. Marley somehow sensed a stick nearby to use. Quickly grabbing the stick, she used it like it was a sword, and pointed it at the guy.
“Marley Downs.” The figure said, before disappearing.
Marley shook her head, clearing the memory out of her vision. That was 2012, this is 2017, She thought. Not feeling like she wanted to continue training, Marley grabbed all her things and walked back to her house.
Kassidy O. from Gretna Middle School
You know you like somewhere when you want to go to that place again. Never in my 14 years have I been to a beach, and in 2016 my wish came true. My grandparents took me to Clearwater, Florida to hit some amazing waves at the beach. Beaches are a fun, relaxing place to read a book, or get a very delightful tan.
First Clearwater Beach is a relaxing getaway place, to read a book. Clearwater Beach has the softest sand in the world. It’s pure white with tiny shells hidden deep inside the sand. The sand looks like a famous artist painted it across the beach. In the deep sand you’ll find shells that may be big or small. Some shells may have tiny unknown creatures in them. White crabs hide under the sand away from seagulls that are hungry for food. You may want to be careful so you don’t step on a crab. OUCH! Small seagulls turn, and soar over the clear water, waiting for tiny fish to come to the surface. Sometimes people forget there are trash cans so they throw the leftover food on the sand, hoping someone will pick it up, and yes the seagulls will eat anything that’s on the sand. Pelicans are the big grey birds with the floppy beak, and literally can eat anything. They sit on the tall, wooden posts dug deep in the water and rise up through the surface. They sit and watch the blue water hoping they can find some amazing fish to have for their lunch. Once they have found what they are looking for they swoop down into the water dive beneath the surface gobble up the fish and come up through the surface of the water.
Next the amazing attractions at Clearwater Beach. Clearwater is the number one beach in ‘America.’ So you are probably thinking they better have some stores, or attractions. The one thing you will find is two tall inflatable water slides. The tallest is blue with a white strip running across the sides and the middle. Before you can enter they spray you with water from the front, and the back. Then there are two very long, and tall ropes with steps going up the back of the slide. When you get to the top there is usually a person who has a hose with water and sprays you and the slide running down. One person can go at a time. Then you jump and slide down very fast and splash into water. The other slide is shorter than the other one, but you come out of a shark’s mouth. In Clearwater there are many stores to look around and many different restaurants to eat at. One of the main restaurants in Clearwater is a fancy restaurant, with 3 different hot dogs that are 12 inches long. One of those hotdogs is called ‘The Chicago Dawg,’ it comes with homemade green relish, warm blue cheese, pickles, and ketchup, with homemade potato chips on the side.
Clearwater is my favorite place because the soothing sound of the waves, coming to the shoreline, writing your name in the sand with your soft hands. The smell of Clearwater has a salty type of smell, that mainly comes from the ocean. Watching from the shoreline and into the horizon you can see dolphins leaping for joy, or even a scary thought a shark’s fin. Tiny little gray, and white fish swim frantically close to the shore looking everywhere for something to nibble on. Hidden shells hide beneath the sandy shore, different shapes, or colors all throughout the ocean. When I picked up a shell for my first time, it was a tiny one, nice and white with speckles of sand on it. On the shoreline is where you find the most shells, that get pushed to the shoreline by the heavy ocean water. The shell has a very bumpy texture, or some have a smooth texture, mine was a bumpy texture. Sand dollars are the hardest to find in the ocean, they have a sandy texture to them with a little star in the middle. Usually it’s hard to find a sand dollar, but I found a bunch of little pieces from sand dollars that have broke. When I relaxed on the soft, elegant sand I was amazed to look up at the sky and see the lightest blue sky I have seen. When you look towards the high ocean waves you can see the sky go on for miles and miles. Jet skies race across the ocean creating waves that come all the way up to the shore. Big boats sailing down the ocean, tiny boats with fisherman trying to see what they might catch next. People swimming up and down the ocean, or playing catch with a football on the sand. Surfers out in the distance trying to catch the biggest wave they can swim for.
Even if you just go for a swim, or relax Clearwater is the best place to do just that. Finding those amazing shells, with cool colors, or designs on them is why Clearwater is my favorite place.
Zachary W. from Gretna Middle School
“Chirp, chirp, chirp,” sounded the crickets. Crickets set the perfect atmosphere for a tranquil night in my backyard. Whether I be in my luxurious hot tub, playing soccer in my open grass area, or just spending a night outside with my family, I wouldn’t rather spend my night anywhere else.
First of all, my backyard contains a jacuzzi as calming as a massage. No matter what my stress is I can take a dip in the hot tub and watch it fade away with the bubbles. Sometimes I’ll get in after a really trying conditioning and turn on the jets; this relieves all my achy joints or sore muscles. My favorite thing to do in my hot tub is to just simply have a personal talk with my friends or family. Sometimes we’ll shoot away the breeze or have meaningful conversations of our hopes and dreams. I’ll also get in my hot tub alone and gaze up at the stars. This gives me an opportunity to get away from life and lay against the pillow like headrests of my hot tub. Clearly, my hot tub is a great attribute of my backyard.
In addition to my stress relieving hot tub, a key ingredient of my backyard is the open acre with a stunning soccer net that I train on. The area that I play soccer in is surrounded by my house, on the south, and a panorama of trees; all of varying size. The stark white of the net stands out against the latest layer of leaves in autumn; constructing a quite magnificent scene. Occasionally I will tromp out onto the make-believe pitch with friends and play a riveting game of crossbar challenge. The cicadas can compose a near symphony of annoying noises that can crawl all over my nerves. Well, that is until I punt a ball into a tree and they fall to a dull hum. My favorite smell of my backyard is that of freshly trimmed grass. The cut grass also makes for a perfect wedge to kick a ball off of. Obviously, my soccer area is very important to me.
To top it all off, my backyard makes for an impeccable setting for a family picnic and movie. For a picnic we position two tables next to each other for adults, and blankets are strewn around the yard for kids. Food is placed on my porch in a line and it operates like a buffet; kids get food first. There is always a wide variety of food; from wings to ribs, and from mac and cheese to peanut butter and jelly. Everyone claws for their favorite dish. When our meal is completed we attach a black tarp off the corner of our roof and dangle it to the cement around our porch. Then a projector is placed the appropriate distance from the improvised movie screen. Usually a children’s movie is played, for there are always a lot of fidgety kids that need a captivating movie. Everyone is content lounging on a blanket and gazing up at that night’s selection. The further into the movie we get, the closer the sun gets to the horizon. The sky is a hue of oranges and purples. It’s the type of sun set that makes you want to capture it forever; keep it in your pocket for when you’re feeling down. But as the saying preaches,“Nothing gold can stay,” and it is gone without warning. It seems as if the wind just whisked it away. As you can see, nights spent in my backyard with my family are like a dream you don’t want to wake up from.
In conclusion, my backyard is my favorite place because of my comforting jacuzzi, dreamy soccer area, and my splendid nights spent with my family. Although my backyard is not the most extravagant place on Earth, it is my favorite place.