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Creative Writing Portfolio

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Hajur El-Haggan

on 11 May 2013

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Transcript of Creative Writing Portfolio

CREATIVE WRITING PORTFOLIO BY: Hajur El-Haggan eflection My experience as a writer this semester was a really good one. I love creative writing and expressing myself through words. I was definitely challenged with all the poems and specific prompts, but it was a lovely challenge. I've definitely grown more as a writer. I'm usually strictly just a short story type of person, but I've found myself a little more comfortable writing poetry, despite my outright antipathy towards it. Now don't get me wrong I love reading poems, I just don't exactly enjoy writing them. But thanks to this class I'm slightly more open to the idea.

As for my revision process, I usually just write something without giving it a second glance, then come back a day or two later to re-read and fix up a couple things here and there, then leave it again for a couple more days just so it can mull around in my brain a bit. Finally, after about a week or so I'll sit down and add/take away/fix the piece. Sometimes it comes out to be a completely different piece, and other times it's just a simple add-on/improvement to the original. When it comes to strategies, I’m a big fan of leaving a piece, working on other stuff, and then coming back. I feel like when you’re completely focused on one thing you come up with your best ideas when you’re away from it. Not only that, you catch more and more errors with each reading. Also, by “giving it space” you kind of let your life get more involved with the piece. Let’s say a huge event happened to you or a friend and you decided to incorporate that into your story/poem. Or you overheard a conversation and decided that that’s something your character might say. With the given space, your story will constantly be in the back of your mind and everything you observe/ go through will somehow start to relate to your story or the characters in it.


I also like the strategy of going for an imaginary walk on the beach with your characters. It actually does help with gauging their personalities. I know it sounds crazy, but you get to visualize your characters in a setting that’s unfamiliar to them, so you start to learn their true personalities and quirks. Another strategy I use is peer editing. I’m never one to shy away from getting criticism about my work from others. I have a group on my email that I constantly send essays, stories, poems, and other pieces to in order to receive feedback. We’ve been doing this since middle school, and it helps every single one of us become better writers. A lot of the time when we’re writing we know the whole story, so we tend to leave out key details and critical parts of our stories. But once an outside source that knows nothing about your story reads it, it’s a whole other ball game. They can easily detect plot holes and grammar mistakes, while also providing you with feedback from the audience’s perspective. On the whole, those are the main revision strategies I use during my process of taking a piece of mine to the next level. he Toilet Original Revised oices Original Revised Crusty Ol' (B) itch Original Revised rdinary Original Revised alling Original Revised iny S uSu Original Revised Original Revised "Mommyyyyy nooooo! I can't use the potty! It'll eat meee!" Little Johny said as his mother tried and tried to get him to sit on the toilet.

"Now don't be silly Johny," she said "toilets can't eat people! They're inanimate objects."

"Well, I don't know what inaminanimate means but trust me, as soon as you leave it'll suck me right up!"

"Now Johny, we've talked about this, there's no such thing as toilets that eat little boys." she said as she left the bathroom, rubbing her temples.

That's what she thinks, Johny thought to himself.

As he sat there, too afraid to pee, he started to count the tiles on the ground.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" he screamed and soon found himself hanging upside down off an old water pipe. He felt a warm liquid inch up his pants.

Great, He thought, now I pee.

And just as those thoughts crossed his mind, the pipe broke and he landed in a huge pile of toilet paper rolls.

"Where am I?" He silently asked himself. "Pick me!" a voice urgently called.

"No! PICK ME!" another said.

"Quiet you two, pick me. I have the best ideas!” a third said.

"Would you all be quiet?!" Max yelled, rubbing his temples intensely. "It's hard enough trying to make any decision without you all arguing!"

"Well aren't you a bit crazy?" a voice said, "it's not like we're real or anything!"

"Right. I tend to forget that. Whatever, just shut up ok?" Max pleaded.

"Fine." The three voices said in monotone unison.

Max sighed and rubbed his head some more. What do I do? He thought.

"You could let us help" the voices tempted.

What did I tell y’all?! Max scolded. He hated them. Every single one of them. Each voice brought on a different personality with a different view on everything. There was no escaping them. But there was no time to mull on it. He had a task at hand, and limited time to complete it.

Think, think, think. It's almost sunset. If I don't enter the Nargle King’s castle, I'll lose Mary forever.


"Stop thinking, and just ACT! She's your sister for goodness sake, and is in the hands of morphed gargoyles that smell like ancient crap!" a different voice called.

I know. Max thought. But it's not that easy, It's not like I can just prance right in! Whatever, I think I have a plan.


"He would've had one hours ago if he just listened to us!" the first voice said.

"Too bad we're a tad malevolent eh?" a second replied.

"And a bit narcissistic" a third added.

"Uhg, why'd we have to be stuck with Max, out of all people?" the second voice whined.

"I know, the goodie two-shoes of life." the first voice teased.

GUYS! Max thought.

"Sorry" they all said in a droned insincere mull.

So off Max went; down the enchanted paths, through thick forests, and up steep hills. He was silently planning, or as silent as possible with various voiced personalities constantly talking.
"Could you believe what he did?"

Guys, come on. Can I just get a little quiet for once? Max pleaded.

"That wasn't us." the voices replied.

Oh! That was real! Max realized.

He hid behind a corner and peered over the bend to see where the real voices were coming from. He saw three nargles posted at a gate.

The King's Guards. Of course. Max thought. Just as he started to back away, he stumbled and knocked over a bucket. "Who's there?" the guards called.

Crap. We're screwed.

"We?" the voices said. "no, just you buddy. DO SOMETHING."

Max quickly got up and prepared himself to fight. The Nargles were known to be a brutal and violent bunch. They threw everything they had at him. He was defenseless. He dodged, ducked, and darted away from everything he could. They were gaining on him and he became weary.
Just when he thought he was a goner, the Spartz Key materialized in his hands.

"Why do you always forget about the key?"

"Oh right! I have the Spartz Key!" Max whispered excitedly.

"Idiot, how’d you forget that you're the sole owner of the most powerful weapon that exists?" a voice said, "it does anything at the owners will. Plus, it's a great back scratcher!"

“And it only comes when needed dummy. It'd be unfair if you had it all the time." another voice added.

Two minutes later the Nargles were dead, and Max entered the kingdom. He had hope, and a plan. He was on his way to save his little sister. Imagine: A small lanky 4th grade girl about 8 years old. Big brown eyes, thick eye lashes, long dark curly hair, and always with a smile on her face. Now imagine the same girl with pink eyes, lashes wet from tears, hair drawn over her face, and no smile to be found. As cliched as this may be, that girl was me. And the only thing that could've turned a sweet innocent 8 year old into a melodramatic scene from some drama was the most abhorred subject of my elementary school career; math class.

I was in GT math. Don't know how I got there, nor do I think I ever will. Maybe it was because my mother's a math professor and made me study a bit too much, or maybe it was because my teachers thought I could handle it. Who knows! All I know is that I never looked at math the same way after this year.

It wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't have a prison guard as a teacher. Oh the times we had in that classroom. Mrs. Weinberg was ruthless, relentless, and just plain rude. She planted a deep hatred of mathematics into every child's heart. And each day the plant would sprout new leaves of resentment and hate. It may seem dramatic but it's not. Here's a little background. We had her class right before lunch, and as fourth graders our lunch was at about 12:30/1pm. That seems like decades to a kid! And every class she'd go on a little rampage about how eating in class wasn't allowed, and you couldn't go out for water. Now that would be okay if it was any other teacher. But no, Mrs.Weinburg would eat delicious salads, subs, soups, and other delicacies right infront of us! I could go on forever, literally, but I have a story a tell.

So, it was another horrible day in math class. We started class like every one before it, took out our homework and placed it in the upper left hand corners of our desks. She'd then peruse through the isles and "check" to make sure everyone had it. I say "check" because she would pass right by her favorite students and then linger a lot longer over the desks of the students she didn't prefer. I'm not going to disclose which student I was because it would just open a whole other can of worms.

After she did her little homework "check" we'd actually go over the assignment and grade it. This class she actually trusted us and let us grade our own, in pen of course. So down we go checking through the problems upon problems of math. I had a very hard time with this assignment. She had barely gone over it and I had to teach most of it to myself. I was doing really well so I'd smile after every question or say a silent little "yes" under my breath after the particularly hard ones.

After we finished grading them I had a smile plastered on my face. I had gotten them all right. I couldn't believe it!

"What are you smiling at Hajur?" Mrs.Weinburg croaked.

"Uh...nothing Mrs.Weinburg." I mumbled a little too quietly.

"I said, what are you smirking at?!" She said aggressively, "is there something funny I should know about?"

"Oh no Mrs. Weinburg, I was just really happy that I got an 100% on the homework" I said just audible enough for her to hear. I never liked people knowing how well or horrible I did on anything school related.

"You did not get them all correct! Let me see" She said as she snatched the homework from my desk.

I didn't really know what was happening, and I was started to get nervous. My stomach knotted up and my cheeks started to redden.

"Hmm...well it doesn't look like you erased anything. Oh, of course you got them all right, your mom has all the teacher books at home! You probably looked at them, all the answers are right there. It's no surprise." She said degradingly.

Everyone's mouths dropped. They all knew my mom. She was a stringent women when it came to math. If the homework assignment was just evens or just odds, she'd make me do them all, and extra. I didn't even know where she kept the teacher additions!

"No I didn't! I did this all by myself! My mom wasn't even home this week!" I said.

It was true, my mom was in the hospital earlier this week for a follow-up appointment after her recent surgery.

"Uh-huh ok." She said nonchalantly.

I was furious. And upset. And sad. And just all bad emotions all at the same time. I worked SO hard on those problems and she just brushed off this HUGE accomplishment! I spent the rest of class staring at her crusty, fat, disgusting toes with God knows how old red nail polish glopped on her toenails.

Later on that afternoon I went home and when my mom asked me about math class I lost it. I started bawling, and pulled my hair over my face to cover it.

"Sh-sh-she didn't believe me mama." I said between cries.

"What do you mean? What are you talking about?" My mother asked.

"M-M-Mrs.Weinburg accused me of cheating on my math homework and didn't believe me when I told her I got an 100%." I said trying to pull myself together.

My mom then asked for the full story and I disclosed every painful detail. Little did I know life was about to get pretty awesome. My mother is the type that has no hand in most of your life and never shows up to parent teacher conferences, but when it comes to a teacher doing something wrong to one of her children, there's no stopping her. She goes on a rampage, and everything in her path basically dies.

She called up my teacher the same afternoon and yelled the living crap out of her. Fortunately she had her on speaker so I could hear it all. Oh how I loved it.

"HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT TO MY DAUGHTER?! YOU EMBARRASSED HER INFRONT OF THE ENTIRE CLASS! NOT ONLY DID YOU MAKE AN A-HOLE OUT OF YOURSELF YOU TORTURED HER INFRONT OF HER PEERS! YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT AS A MATH TEACHER AND PROFESSOR I WOULD NEVER AID AND ABET MY CHILD INTO CHEATING, NOR WOULD I EVEN TELL HER THE LOCATION OF THE TEXTBOOKS. SHE WORKED HARD ON THAT AND YOU RUINED IT!" my mother passionately screamed into the phone. I zoned out a little bit from extreme glee, but when I rejoined the conversation it ended a little like this,

"WHO IS THE ADULT AND WHO IS THE CHILD IN THIS SITUATION?! MY DAUGHTER ACTED LIKE THE 50-SOME YEAR OLD WHILE YOU ACTED LIKE A SNOBBY LITTLE BRAT OF AN 8 YEAR OLD! SHE GAVE YOU THE UTMOST RESPECT WHILE YOU HUMILIATED HER. I SWEAR THIS WILL COME BACK TO BITE YOU IN THE A**." -click-

She hung up the phone and then called the principal. We've known Mr.McCoy since before he was even a principal at my school. He's the most fair, level-headed, and amazing leader a school could ever have. My mother calmed down a little bit and threatened that if Mrs.Weinburg wasn't fired that she'd pull me out of the school.

"Oh no, Mona, please don't. I'll straighten this all out." he said calmly, "I'll have Mrs.Weinburg apologize to Hajur tomorrow and I'll make sure this doesn't happen again."

That satiated my mother a bit. The next day, Mrs.Weinburg pulled me out of my reading class and apologized, spewing some random crap about how she didn't mean it and blahblahblah. I just went along with it. When my mom asked about it later that day she was furious again.

"OH NO! She's gonna apologize to you infront of the ENTIRE class tomorrow." My mother said while frantically dialing the phone. She was calling Mrs.Weinburg again.

The day after that in the middle of class Mrs.Weinburg had an announcement.

"Hajur?" She said barely making eye contact with me.

"Yes?" I said trying to be as innocent looking as possible.

"I'd like to apologize to you infront of the class for my actions two classes ago." She said almost begrudgingly.

I wasn't going to let this go so I said, "what ever do you mean Mrs.Weinburg?" I felt so sadistically evil, twas lovely.

"I wrongly accused you of cheating, that was childish of me." She said again, pausing every now and then.

"But you already apologized yesterday after Mr.McCoy talked to you." I said trying my hardest to conceal the smirk that was breaking through.

"Yes" She said clearing her throat, "but the only right way to fix this is to make sure you and the class know what I did was wrong and I am sorry." She said, her face getting red and her muscles tensing.

"Oh, ok." I shrugged her off and continued working. She took the hint and had us do homework in groups for the rest of class.

The rest of that day, kids were talking nonstop about what Mrs.Weinburg did. They LOVED it and thought I was the toughest 4th grader. It was a feeling so beautiful that I couldn't help but bask in it. Mrs.Weinburg would soon be my 5th grade GT teacher the year after, and thanks to my mom she never bothered me again. The best part though, was that she was fired the year after I left Elementary School. Her life was ordinary

The only thing that set her apart,

Were the burdens she carried.



She was a student, a daughter, a sister

Pressured by magazines and the images that insist her,



To think seconds and thirds

Before getting seconds and thirds.

Forcing her to ignore the words,



Of her crying mother.

Desperately trying to cure

The pestilence her dying daughter endures.



But to no avail,

Her mother fails.

And now watches her daughter weaken, so frail



She'd look at her reflection,

Pinching loose skin

Then skip more meals, spurring her end.



And now she's laid to rest in fragments,

Leaving her bereaving mother to pick up the pieces, stagnant,



Like a flowing river haulted.

Seeing pictures from the magazine,

That her daughter exaulted.



And there laying on the bottom of the shelf,

Was the bantam swimsuit,

The standard for herself.



Her life was ordinary

She was a student, a daughter, a sister,

The only thing that set her apart is what killed her. A closet in a closet
Full of clothes, shoes, mysteries, and a fridge
It eats things alive, nothing exists
Rainbow throw-up all over the walls, random trinkets hang in a
Closet in a closet, too small

But even though it's tiny and suffocating
It has character, pizaz, and a bit of everything
The Jolly Rancher house you so lovingly gave me
After our first trip to Hershey Park- I make sure it's never empty

Or the Powerpuff Girl covers that lay limp on the bed
The same ones that used to hold us together, but now you're dead.

I wish you could see what this place has become
From an empty, barren room, to what's now my home.
Or maybe more like a house since you've been gone.

The walls scream for you, as I used to.
But I've hushed them all with memories of you. Falling off the face
But never from grace
A paragon that the most inspired imaginations couldn't create
She's falling off the earth

She is his replinisher
When he’s depleted
She is his triumph
When he’s defeated
She is his finisher
He’s completed

She elevates his aura when he delves in animosity
Yet humbles him when overzealous
She is his viscosity

She understands
She gets
She wants
She makes
Him feel like falling, in truth, insanity, in love
And if you can't tell
He already feels like he already fell

She is his fantasy, chimera, ideal, and embodied; personified
When he looks into her eyes, reflected is the man that he should be
The man that he could be and she is his potential.

He is a pauper
That she can turn into a king.
He is a beggar
And she lifts him off his knees

But he dreams of the day
That he can drop back down on one
Presenting a ring

But for now he’s falling
She's falling
They're falling...
And don't want to be caught Her :Susu Original: Everyone has a hero:
A fireman
Superman
A mother
Or a father

Those are all great choices
But what about the smaller people?
My hero is 3 feet off the ground

A mischievous 4 year old girl
That’s gone through too much
But through it all
She’s still a ball, of sunshine

Every time she meets someone new
She blows them kisses, gives them hugs
Like she’s known them forever.

And when it comes to what she wants
There’s no negotiating
Even though she can’t talk
She’ll get her point across.

Whether it’s “mm” for more
Her sign for all done
“guh guh” for yogurt
Or “bah bah” for Barney
She’ll make sure you know.

She’s revolutionary
She leaves doctors at Johns Hopkins flustered
They said she’d never walk
But if you look at her now you’d be surprised

She runs when she seems something she loves
Yogurt, Tv, Water, or a new face.
She’s an ideal child
Your trash, is HER treasure.

Everyone that meets her loves her right away
And every time she sees me
Her face lights up.
She starts to say “haa
”Trying to say my name

And don’t get her mad,She may be small, but she’s fierce.
And if she can go through all the hospitalizations, surgeries, and tests
While coming out with a smile,
Then why can’t I?

Because of her there’s no reason for me
To give up, because there will always be
A plus, a pro, or a silver lining. Revised: My Everyone has a hero
A fireman, brave, courageously saves
Mothers and fathers who selflessly raise
Big brothers and sisters, who tend to amaze
Us.
Susu

My biggest hero I don’t look up to
But down
My hero’s only 3 feet off of the ground
Who’s taught me so much,
Been through so much,I
love you so much,
Susu

Born with a condition
No one could describe
They swore you wouldn’t make it
And yet you survive

You leave the “big shot” doctors at a loss for words
By the most brilliant ears
Your case has been heard

At only 6 months old
You took your breath away
The tube that kept you breathing
You got sick of it one day

You pulled it out,
How did you survive?
Was an angel by your side?

They thought you wouldn’t walk,
But look at you now
Those little feet of yours
Barely stay on the ground

And if you have something
That fits Susu’s taste,
Yogurt, T.V, or a brand new face,

Be prepared to get run over.
They thought you wouldn’t walk
You’re a tiny bulldozer.

I love the smack of your kisses
You give the gentlest hugs
You brought our family together
You’re the one we all love!

You still haven’t graced us
With your very first word
Now we know you, so
We don’t think it’s absurd

You do what you want,
When you want,
When it’s time.

Someday words will come out
But for now you just sign
And make it clear what you want.

The way you tell us you’re finished,
Your silent “All Done”
And when you go “BahBah”
Your quest for barney has begun!

“GahGah” for yogurt
Your more is “Mmaahh”
You’re the only kid I know
Who really cries “Waahhh”

Our trash really, truly is your treasure
Serving spoons and candy wrappers
You could play with them forever


You’re the charmer of charmers
You always brighten our day
Everyone that meets you
Loves you right away!
Susu

You try to say my name
You only utter “Ha”
A hero for me, a hero for all

If she can go through all the
Hospitalizations, surgeries, tests,
And still have smiles and kisses to spare
Then why can’t I handle my worries and cares?

Think of those whose courage is blinding
Who never give up,
Who always find the silver lining.
And you may find in your heart
A hero has been hiding. Reflection
The Toilet
Voices
Crusty Ol' (B)Witch
Tiny
Ordinary
Falling
My Hero: Susu Table of Contents “Mommyyyyy nooooo! I can't use the potty! It'll eat meee!" Little Johnny said as his mother tried and tried to get him to sit on the toilet.
"Now don't be silly Johnny," she said, "Toilets can't eat people! They're inanimate objects."
"Well, I don't know what inaminanimate means but trust me, as soon as you leave it'll suck me right up!"
"Now Johnny, we've talked about this, there's no such thing as toilets that eat little boys." she said as she left the bathroom, rubbing her temples.

That's what she thinks, Johnny thought to himself. As he sat there, too afraid to pee, he started to count the tiles on the ground.

1.2. 3. 4. 5

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" he screamed and soon found himself hanging upside down off an old water pipe.
He felt a warm liquid inch up his pants. Great, he thought, now I pee. And just as those thoughts crossed his mind, the pipe broke and he landed in a huge pile of toilet paper rolls. "Where am I?" he silently asked himself.

He looked around taking in the scene. There were tons and tons of water fountains spurting from rainbow toilets, trees that had rolls and rolls of toilet paper streaming from them, and tiny worker people dressed in snazzy sanitation outfits.

“Welcome to Latrine Locale!” a pint sized man said, wearing a citrus orange and grey suit with the words “Newbie Welcomer” stamped on it in bold.
“W-what?” Johnny asked, highly confused.
“Latrine Locale! You’ve never heard of it? It’s only the best place in the whole wide world for any child that’s learning to use the big kid toilet!” the worker man said enthusiastically.
Johnny just stood there, staring at the man. He didn’t know whether or not to scream or just pee in his pants again.
“It seems as if you’re a bit confused there son, how about I give you a tour?” the welcome man said, stretching his arm out.

“Umm…my mom said to never talk to strangers, and definitely never to leave with one.” Johnny said.
“While that’s very true, you’re a long ways from home, heck you’re in a completely different world. This place is everything you’re imagination could ever think of. It’s like a toilet-themed amusement park! Except that anything you could ever want-while toilet related- is here!” He said trying to reassure Johnny. “Well…okay mister, if you say so. I don’t see how a toilet-themed park of any type could be fun…” Johnny said while holding the man’s hand.

The worker blew a toilet-shaped whistle and a motorcycle appeared out of nowhere! It was nothing like Johnny had ever seen before! The propeller was toilet that spurt out clear, sparkling water through a funnel and a water engine! It was a pristine porcelain cycle!
“Woaaah” Johnny said awestricken.
And off Johnny and the worker went. He showed him the streams of sanitary sustenance, the lakes of luxury, and the hills of hygienic hope. He skipped through bunches of toilet paper soft as a baby’s bum, and bounced off of flowers made entirely from baby wipes and toiled springs. It was the most fun he’s ever had!

“So-bounce-why-bounce-exactly does-bounce- this place exist? Johnny asked between flower bounces.
“Well, that’s simple! Its whole purpose is to make kids, just like you, less afraid of the toilet. You see, most children are afraid to potty train because they think the toilet is a scary thing that’ll eat them when they flush it. So we try and bring those kids here to Latrine Locale so that they can have fun with toilets and see that they really aren’t all that scary.”
“That’s awesome! But wait, isn’t it a little weird to bring kids that are afraid of getting sucked into a toilet by sucking them into a toilet?” Johnny said.
“Hmm…that’s a good point.” The worker said, scratching his head.
“But, by sucking them into the toilet it shows them that nothing bad will happen. It’s like having them face their fear and have fun at the same time!” “Ahhh…gotcha! I like it!” Johnny said, jumping into the air.

“Joooohhhnnnyyyyyy. I’m coming to wash you up in a minute, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you!”

“What was that?” Johnny asked.
“That was probably your mom. The reception between your bathroom and Latrine Locale is a little murky sometimes when it has to travel through water. Tehehe get it? Murky?” The worker asked with a huge grin on his face.

“Umm…no. Sorry!” Johnny said.
“It’s okay. Anyway! We need to get you back home before your mom realizes you’re gone! But remember, you can’t tell her about this place, or else you’ll never be able to come back.” The worker man said, staring Johnny right in the eyes. “Got it?”

“Got it! But wait, how can I come back?” Johnny asked.
“With this-“ he snapped his finger, and in his hands a miniature white plastic toilet whistle, attached to a silver chain appeared. “Blow on this, while sitting on the toilet, and you’ll come right down into Latrine Locale!”

“Thank you so much!” Johnny said, grabbing the whistle necklace.
“Any time! Now stand in that pile of toilet paper and pull on that handle hanging from that string twice.” The worker said while gesturing to the rope handle.

“Thank you mister! I’ll see you soon!” Johnny stood in the pile and pulled the handle.
“I’ll be waiting!” The smiling worker said, waving goodbye.

Johnny zipped up through the pipes and shot out of the toilet, landing ever so gently on his bottom. He quickly unzipped his pants and sat on the toilet.

“Alright Johnny, I’m coming.” Johnny’s mom said as she walked down the hall to the bathroom.Johnny quickly tucked his necklace with the toilet charm under his shirt.
“Wow! Look at that! You used the big boy toilet!” His mom said, washing Johnny up and flushing the toilet.
“Yup! And I’m not afraid anymore! You’re right mom, toilets can’t suck people up, that’d just be silly.” Johnny said, giving his mom a big hug. "He’s so indecisive and just too good for his own good! He'll never save Max." the third voice added.“Not to mention- he’s such a mama’s boy!” another voice said.GUYS! Max thought, hoping it would shut up the voices."Sorry" they all droned insincerely."Whatever," Max whispered to himself, "I don't have time for this. I need to save my sister, and I need to do it now!"So off he went; down the enchanted paths, through thick forests, and up steep hills. He was silently planning, or as silent as possible with various voiced personalities constantly talking."Slow down Max! You're going to miss the hidden entrance." a voice said."What do you mean? I didn't know there was a hidden entrance into the Nergle King's castle!" Max exclaimed loudly. “Welp, now you do?” the voice said sheepishly.He stared at the rock-encrusted doors hidden behind a thick of trees."Okay" he said to himself looking around. “How am I going to get this door open?! It looks so heavy!”"Oh stop being such a wuss Max! Just grab something to hit the doors open!" a voice said to him."What?!" She said aloud. "What if I break something? I’m not the strongest guy around" he said in a panicked tone." YOUR SISTER IS IN DANGER! THINK OF THAT" another voice urgently said.Oh right. Stop thinking about yourself Max! Mary needs you. He thought to herself.He mustered all of his strength, took a rock and banged it into the decrepit doors.Don't worry Mary, I'm coming. Max thought as he entered the cave. As soon as he entered, he wanted to gag. The smell was absolutely horrid."I can do this, I can do this. Bugs don’t bother me. Rats? Nah. Nothing I haven’t seen in my own room before…” he said."Oh goodness..." the first voice said."At least he’s prepared...?" another added."Sure, if that’s what you wanna call it." the third concluded. Why do you guys have to be so mean?! I’m reassuring myself! I mean, I am being a bit more outgoing and heroic right? So what if I’m such a slob that a sewer doesn’t bother me?! He thought, retorting to the voices in his head.He trekked through the sewer water, cobwebs, and rusty poles until he heard a voice."Could you believe what he did?"Guys, come on. Can I just get a little quiet for once? Max pleaded."That wasn't us." the voices replied.Oh! That was real! Max realized. He hid behind a corner and peered over the bend to see where the real voices were coming from. He saw three Nergles posted at a gate.The King's Guards. Of course. Max thought. As started to back away, he felt a vibration in his pocket. Oh no. He thought to himself. He ran backwards as fast as he could, so that the guards couldn’t hear him.“MAAAAAAAX” his phone yelled.“Unique ringtone…” the first voice said.“Oh hush-“ Max said to the voice. “Yes mother?” Max whispered into the phone.“What’s she want?” another voice in his head said.“She always calls at the worst times!” the third added.“GUYS! Please!” Max said.“Sweety, are you taling to yourself again?” Max’s mother asked. Pfft, if only she knew. Max thought to himself.“We heard that!” His voices replied.“No mom, what’s up?”“I need you to grab me the remote control, it’s too far down the table, and I’m too weak to reach for it.” She said.“Too weak, or too lazy” The voices in Max’s head chimed. “Umm- I’m kinda busy ma- can you ask someone else?” he asked.“No. Mary’s off somewhere, and your father’s cell is off.”“I wonder why” voice number two said with a chuckle.“GUYS I’M ON THE PHONE!” Max yelled at his voices.“What’s that dear?” his mom questioned. “Oh nothing mother.” Max said shyly while hitting himself in the head.He started to inch back towards the gates of the castle again, hoping to get his mom off the phone. He peered across the bend again, and saw even more guards than before!“Great.” A voice said, “you’re gonna get attacked and all you have is a phone with a ridiculous mother on the other end.”“Hey ma-““Who’s there?” A guard yelled.Crap, we’re screwed. Max thought."We?" the voices said. "No, just you buddy. DO SOMETHING." Max began to sweat. He didn’t want to hang-up and be rude, but he couldn’t have his mom finding out what was really going on. He sluggishly stood up and prepared himself to fight. The Nergles were known to be a brutal and violent bunch. “Max baby, I’m waiting. My soap’s coming on in an hour and I can’t change the channel!”The Nergles spotted Max and started advancing. They threw everything they had at him, and he was slightly defenseless.“Hey ma? I love you, and I’d never say this to you if it weren’t direly important-“ he paused to dodge, duck, and dart away from everything he could.A Nergle charged, screaming “YAAAAAA”“-One sec ma.”“CAN’T. YOU. SEE. I’M. ON THE PHONE?” Max grunted while using a pole to whack the Nergles.“Hey, I’m back. Love you, but get off you tush and grab the remote! Gotta go! Bye!” he said as he abruptly hung up.“Well that was nice.” A voice said.“Oh quiet!” Max retorted.The Nergles were coming at his in flocks. He broke the pipe he was using on the last Nergle, and started to panic. Just when he thought he was a goner, the Spartz Key materialized in his hands."Why do you always forget about the key?" a voice said."Oh right! I have the Spartz Key!" Max whispered excitedly."Idiot, how’d you forget that you're the sole owner of the most powerful weapon that exists?" a voice said, "it does anything at the owners will. Plus, it's a great back scratcher!"“And it only comes when needed dummy. It'd be unfair if you had it all the time." another voice added."I swear, the brain on this one is just so small. You'd think that because he's a guy he'd be smarter. But nooooo" the first voice said. GUYS. Max thought. YOU AREN'T HELPING!He held on to the key for dear life. He used all the powers within it to shoot tar and spells at the Nergles to disintegrate them. Within two minutes later the Nergles were dead, and the Spartz Key disappeared.Max was breathing heavily and squatted to catch his breath."I..*heaves*...really...*heaves* need...*heaves*...to...*heaves*...work-out...*heaves*" He said between breaths."That's not the only thing you needa do to improve yourself." a second voice said sarcastically."Ouch, harsh much?" Max said."STOP RESTING AND GO SAVE YOUR DARN SISTER!" the voices all yelled.Max got up and headed through the Kingdom Gates. He had a small glimmer of hope, and a whiff of a plan. He was on her way to save his little sister, and no matter what, he'd try his best to rescue her from the Nergle King. "Pick me!" a voice urgently called.
"No! PICK ME!" another said.
"Quiet you two, pick me. I have the best ideas!” a third said.
"Would you all be quiet?!" Max yelled, rubbing his temples intensely. "It's hard enough trying to make any decision without you all arguing! Geez...how can a dude think!?"

"Well aren't you a bit crazy?" a voice said, "it's not like we're real or anything!"
"Right. I tend to forget that. Whatever, just shut up ok?" He pleaded out loud. He fixed his hair, and continued pacing back and forth trying to think.
"Fine." The three voices said in monotone unison.

Max sighed and rubbed his head some more. What do I do? He thought.
"You could let us help" the voices tempted.What did I tell y’all?! Max scolded in his thoughts.

He hated them. Every single one of them. Each voice brought on a different personality with a different view on everything. There was no escaping them. He already didn't know what to do on this quest, and they weren't helping! But there was no time to mull on it. He had a task at hand, and limited time to complete it.

Think, think, think. Come ON Max! It's almost sunset. If you don't enter the Nergle King’s castle, you'll lose Mary forever. He thought to himself.
"Stop thinking, and just ACT! She's your sister for goodness sake, and is in the hands of morphed gargoyles that smell like ancient crap!" a different voice called.
I know. He thought. But it's not that easy, It's not like I can just prance right in! Whatever, I think I have a plan.

"He would've had one hours ago if he just listened to us!" the first voice said.
"Too bad we're a tad malevolent eh?" a second replied.
"And a bit narcissistic" a third added.
"Uhg, why'd we have to be stuck with Max, out of all people?" the second voice whined.
"I know, the goodie two-shoes of life." the first voice teased.
"He’s so indecisive and just too good for his own good! He'll never save Mary." the third voice added.
“Not to mention- he’s such a mama’s boy!” another voice said. GUYS! Max thought, hoping it would shut up the voices.
"Sorry" they all droned insincerely.
"Whatever," Max whispered to himself, "I don't have time for this. I need to save my sister, and I need to do it now!"

So off he went; down the enchanted paths, through thick forests, and up steep hills. He was silently planning, or as silent as possible with various voiced personalities constantly talking.

"Slow down Max! You're going to miss the hidden entrance." a voice said.
"What do you mean? I didn't know there was a hidden entrance into the Nergle King's castle!" Max exclaimed loudly.
“Welp, now you do?” the voice said sheepishly.

He stared at the rock-encrusted doors hidden behind a thick of trees.
"Okay" he said to himself looking around. “How am I going to get this door open?! It looks so heavy!”
"Oh stop being such a wuss Max! Just grab something to hit the doors open!" a voice said to him.
"What?!" He said aloud. "What if I break something? I’m not the strongest guy around" he said in a panicked tone.

" YOUR SISTER IS IN DANGER! THINK OF THAT" another voice urgently said.
Oh right. Stop thinking about yourself Max! Mary needs you. He thought to himself.
He mustered all of his strength, took a rock and banged it into the decrepit doors.
Don't worry Mary, I'm coming. Max thought as he went into the cave.

As soon as he entered, he wanted to gag. The smell was absolutely horrid.
"I can do this, I can do this. Bugs don’t bother me. Rats? Nah. Nothing I haven’t seen in my own room before…” he said.

"Oh goodness..." the first voice said.
"At least he’s prepared...?" another added.
"Sure, if that’s what you wanna call it." the third concluded.
Why do you guys have to be so mean?! I’m reassuring myself! I mean, I am being a bit more outgoing and heroic right? So what if I’m such a slob that a sewer doesn’t bother me?! He thought, retorting to the voices in his head. He trekked through the sewer water, cobwebs, and rusty poles until he heard a voice. "Could you believe what he did?"
Guys, come on. Can I just get a little quiet for once? Max pleaded.
"That wasn't us." the voices replied.
Oh! That was real! Max realized. He hid behind a corner and peered over the bend to see where the real voices were coming from. He saw three Nergles posted at a gate.

The King's Guards. Of course. Max thought. As he started to back away, he felt a vibration in his pocket.
Oh no. He thought to himself. He ran backwards as fast as he could, so that the guards couldn’t hear him.
“MAAAAAAAX” his phone yelled.
“Unique ringtone…” the first voice said.
“Oh hush-“ Max said to the voice.
“Yes mother?” Max whispered into the phone.

“What’s she want?” another voice in his head said.
“She always calls at the worst times!” the third added.
“GUYS! Please!” Max said.
“Sweety, are you talking to yourself again?” Max’s mother asked.

Pfft, if only she knew. Max thought to himself.
“We heard that!” His voices replied.
“No mom, what’s up?”
“I need you to grab me the remote control, it’s too far down the table, and I’m too weak to reach for it.” She said.
“Too weak, or too lazy” The voices in Max’s head chimed.
“Umm- I’m kinda busy ma- can you ask someone else?” he asked.
“No. Mary’s off somewhere, and your father’s cell is off.”
“I wonder why” voice number two said with a chuckle.

“GUYS I’M ON THE PHONE!” Max yelled at his voices.
“What’s that dear?” his mom questioned.
“Oh nothing mother.” Max said shyly while hitting himself in the head.

He started to inch back towards the gates of the castle again, hoping to get his mom off the phone. He peered across the bend again, and saw even more guards than before!

“Great.” A voice said, “you’re gonna get attacked and all you have is a phone with a ridiculous mother on the other end.”
“Hey ma-“ Max started to say.
“Who’s there?” A guard yelled. Crap, we’re screwed. Max thought.
"We?" the voices said.
"No, just you buddy. DO SOMETHING."

Max began to sweat. He didn’t want to hang-up and be rude, but he couldn’t have his mom finding out what was really going on. He sluggishly stood up and prepared himself to fight. The Nergles were known to be a brutal and violent bunch.

“Max baby, I’m waiting. My soap’s coming on in an hour and I can’t change the channel!”
The Nergles spotted Max and started advancing. They threw everything they had at him, and he was slightly defenseless.

“Hey ma? I love you, and I’d never say this to you if it weren’t direly important-“ he paused to dodge, duck, and dart away from everything he could.
A Nergle charged, screaming “YAAAAAA”

“-One sec ma.”“CAN’T. YOU. SEE. I’M. ON THE PHONE?” Max grunted while using a pole to whack the Nergles.
“Hey, I’m back. Love you, but get off you tush and grab the remote! Gotta go! Bye!” he said as he abruptly hung up.

“Well that was nice.” A voice said.
“Oh quiet!” Max retorted.

The Nergles were coming at his in flocks. He broke the pipe he was using on the last Nergle, and started to panic. Just when he thought he was a goner, the Spartz Key materialized in his hands.
"Why do you always forget about the key?" a voice said.
"Oh right! I have the Spartz Key!" Max whispered excitedly.
"Idiot, how’d you forget that you're the sole owner of the most powerful weapon that exists?" a voice said, "it does anything at the owners will. Plus, it's a great back scratcher!"
“And it only comes when needed dummy. It'd be unfair if you had it all the time." another voice added.
"I swear, the brain on this one is just so small. You'd think that because he's a guy he'd be smarter. But nooooo" the first voice said.

GUYS. Max thought. YOU AREN'T HELPING! He held on to the key for dear life. He used all the powers within it to shoot tar and spells at the Nergles to disintegrate them. Within two minutes later the Nergles were dead, and the Spartz Key disappeared.Max was breathing heavily and squatted to catch his breath.

"I..*heaves*...really...*heaves* need...*heaves*...to...*heaves*...work-out...*heaves*" He said between breaths.
"That's not the only thing you needa do to improve yourself." a second voice said sarcastically.
"Ouch, harsh much?" Max said.

"STOP RESTING AND GO SAVE YOUR DARN SISTER!" the voices all yelled.

Max got up and headed through the Kingdom Gates. He had a small glimmer of hope, and a whiff of a plan. He was on her way to save his little sister, and no matter what, he'd try his best to rescue her from the Nergle King. Imagine: A small lanky 4th grade girl about 8 years old. Big brown eyes, thick eye-lashes, long dark curly hair, and always with a smile on her face. Now imagine the same girl with pink eyes, lashes wet from tears, hair drawn over her face, and no smile to be found. As clichéd as this may be, that girl was me. And the only thing that could've turned a sweet innocent 8 year old into a melodramatic scene from some drama was the most abhorred subject of my elementary school career; math class.

I was in GT math. Don't know how I got there, nor do I think I ever will. Maybe it was because my mother's a math professor and made me study a bit too much, or maybe it was because my teachers thought I could handle it. Who knows! All I know is that I never looked at math the same way after this year.

It wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't have a prison guard as a teacher. Oh the times we had in that classroom. Mrs. Weinberg was ruthless, relentless, and just plain rude. She instilled a deep hatred of mathematics into every child's heart. And each day more resentment and hate would be added. It may seem dramatic but it's not. Here's a little background. We had her class right before lunch, and as fourth graders our lunch was at about 12:30/1pm. That seems like decades to a kid! And every class she'd go on a little rampage about how eating in class wasn't allowed, and you couldn't go out for water. Now that would be okay if it was any other teacher. But no, Mrs. Weinberg would eat delicious salads, subs, soups, and other delicacies right in front of us! I could go on forever, literally, but I have a story to tell.

It was another horrible day in math class. We started class like every one before it, took out our homework and placed it in the upper left hand corners of our desks. She'd then peruse through the aisles and "check" to make sure everyone had it. I say "check" because she would pass right by her favorite students and then linger a lot longer over the desks of the students she didn't prefer. I'm not going to disclose which student I was because it would just open a whole other can of worms.

After she did her little homework "check" we'd actually go over the assignment and grade it. This class, she actually trusted and let us grade our own, in pen of course. So off we went checking through the problems upon problems of math. I had a very hard time with this assignment. She had barely gone over it and I had to teach most of it to myself. I was doing really well so I'd smile after every question or say a silent little "yes" under my breath after the particularly hard ones.

After we finished grading them I had a smile plastered on my face. I had gotten them all right. I couldn't believe it!

"What are you smiling at Hajur?" Mrs. Weinberg croaked.
"Uh...nothing Mrs. Weinberg." I mumbled a little too quietly. "I said, what are you smirking at?!" She said aggressively, "is there something funny I should know about?"
"Oh no Mrs. Weinberg, I was just really happy that I got an 100% on the homework" I said just audible enough for her to hear.

I never liked people knowing how well or horrible I did on anything school related.

"You did not get them all correct! Let me see" She said as she snatched the homework from my desk.

I didn't really know what was happening, and I started to get nervous. My stomach knotted up and my cheeks started to redden.

"Hmm...well it doesn't look like you erased anything. Oh, of course you got them all right, your mom has all the teacher books at home! You probably looked at them, all the answers are right there. It's no surprise." She said degradingly.

Everyone's mouths dropped. They all knew my mom. She was a stringent women when it came to math. If the homework assignment was just evens or just odds, she'd make me do them all, and extra. I didn't even know where she kept the teacher editions!

"No I didn't! I did this all by myself! My mom wasn't even home this week!" I said.

It was true, my mom was in the hospital earlier this week for a follow-up appointment after her recent surgery.

"Uh-huh ok." She said nonchalantly.

I was furious. And upset. And sad. And just all bad emotions all at the same time. I worked SO hard on those problems and she just brushed off this HUGE accomplishment! I spent the rest of class staring at her crusty, fat, disgusting toes with God knows how old red nail polish glopped on her nails. Later on that afternoon I went home and when my mom asked me about math class I lost it. I started bawling, and pulled my hair over my face to cover it.

"Sh-sh-she didn't believe me mama." I said between cries.
"What do you mean? What are you talking about?" My mother asked.
"M-M-Mrs. Weinberg accused me of cheating on my math homework and didn't believe me when I told her I got an 100%." I said trying to pull myself together.

My mom then asked for the full story and I disclosed every painful detail. Little did I know life was about to get pretty awesome. My mother is the type that has no hand in most of your life and never shows up to parent teacher conferences, but when it comes to a teacher doing something wrong to one of her children, there's no stopping her. She goes on a rampage, and everything in her path basically dies. She called up my teacher the same afternoon and yelled the living crap out of her. Fortunately she had her on speaker so I could hear it all. Oh how I loved it.

"HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT TO MY DAUGHTER?! YOU embarrassed her in front of the entire class! Not ONLY did you make an A-HOLE out of yourself, YOU tortured her in front of her peers! YOU should know that as a math teacher AND professor I would never aid and abet my child to cheat, NOR would I even tell her the location of the textbooks. SHE worked hard on that and YOU ruined it!" my mother passionately screamed into the phone.

I zoned out a little bit from extreme glee, but when I rejoined the conversation it ended a little like this,

"WHO IS THE ADULT AND WHO IS THE CHILD IN THIS SITUATION?! My daughter acted like the 50-SOME year old while YOU acted like a snobby little brat of an 8 year old! SHE gave YOU the utmost respect while YOU HUMILIATED HER. I SWEAR this will come back to bit you in the A**” She screamed.

She hung up the phone and then called the principal. We've known Mr. McCoy since before he was even a principal at my school. He's the most fair, level-headed, and amazing leader a school could ever have. My mother calmed down a little bit and threatened that if Mrs. Weinberg wasn't fired that she'd pull me out of the school.

"Oh no, Mona, please don't. I'll straighten this all out." he said calmly, "I'll have Mrs. Weinberg apologize to Hajur tomorrow and I'll make sure this doesn't happen again."

That satiated my mother a bit. The next day, Mrs. Weinberg pulled me out of my reading class and apologized, spewing some random crap about how she didn't mean it and blahblahblah. I just went along with it. When my mom asked about it later that day she was furious again.

"OH NO! She's gonna apologize to you in front of the ENTIRE class tomorrow." My mother said while frantically dialing the phone. She was calling Mrs. Weinberg again.The day after that in the middle of class Mrs. Weinberg had an announcement.

"Hajur?" She said barely making eye contact with me.
"Yes?" I said trying to be as innocent looking as possible.
"I'd like to apologize to you in front of the class for my actions two classes ago." She said almost begrudgingly.
I wasn't going to let this go so I said,
"Whatever do you mean Mrs. Weinberg?" I felt so sadistically evil, it was lovely.
"I wrongly accused you of cheating, and that was childish of me." She said again, pausing every now and then. "But you already apologized yesterday after Mr. McCoy talked to you." I said trying my hardest to conceal the smirk that was breaking through.
"Yes" She said clearing her throat, "but the only right way to fix this is to make sure you and the class know what I did was wrong and I am sorry." She said, her face getting red and her muscles tensing.
"Oh, ok." I shrugged her off and continued working.

She took the hint and had us do homework in groups for the rest of class.The rest of that day, kids were talking nonstop about what Mrs. Weinberg did. They loved it and thought I was the toughest 4th grader. It was a feeling so beautiful that I couldn't help but bask in it. Mrs. Weinberg would soon be my 5th grade GT teacher the year after, and thanks to my mom she never bothered me again. Turns out, she was fired the year after I left Elementary School.

Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t an evil little child, nor was I ever one to condone revenge, it’s just that sometimes you can’t help but feel good when justice is served. It’s just a little reminder that the way you treat people may come back to haunt you. If you treat people well in life, life in turn will treat you well. But if you are malicious and doubting of people, like Mrs. Weinberg, life might just fire you. A closet in a closet
Full of clothes, mysteries, and a fridge
It eats things alive, nothing exists

Rainbow throw-up all over the walls
And random trinkets hanging in a
Closet in a closet, too small

But even though it's tiny and suffocating
It has character, pizaz, and a bit of everything

The Jolly Rancher house you so lovingly gave me
After our first trip to Hershey Park-
I make sure it's never empty

Or the Powerpuff Girl covers that lay limp on the bed
The same ones that used to hold us together, but now you're dead.

I wish you could see what this place has become
From an empty, barren room, to what's now a home.
Or maybe more like a house since you've been gone.

The walls scream for you, as I used to.
I've hushed them all with memories of you.

But enough lamenting,
It’s too depressing and sad
We must move on
To the happier moments we’ve had. Her life was ordinary
The only thing that set her apart,
Were the burdens she carried.

She was a student, a daughter, a sister
Pressured by magazines and the images that insist her,

To think seconds and thirds
Before getting seconds and thirds.
Forcing her to ignore the words,

Of her crying mother.
Desperately trying to cure
The pestilence her dying daughter endures.

She'd look at her reflection,
Pinching loose skin
Then skip more meals, spurring her end.

And now she's laid to rest in fragments,
Leaving her bereaving mother to pick up the pieces, stagnant,

The mother stands still- haulted.
Seeing pictures from the magazine,
That her daughter exaulted.

And there laying on the bottom of the shelf,
Was the bantam swimsuit,
The standard for herself.

Her life was ordinary
She was a student, a daughter, a sister,
The only thing that set her apart is what killed her. Falling in place
Without a trace,
A paragon the most inspired imaginations couldn't create

She is his replenisher,
When he’s depleted
She is his triumph,
When he’s defeated
She is his finisher,
He’s completed

Her beauty is surpassed by none
Her character couldn't be written in a fairy tale
Her modesty brags about her overwhelming amazingness
Her smile inspires him to allow his heart into her hands
Her personality is breath-taking
And he doesn’t even wanna gasp for air

She elevates his aura when he delves in animosity
Yet humbles him when overzealous,
She is his viscosity

She understands
She gets
She wants
She makes
Him feel like falling, in truth, insanity, in love
And if you can't tell
He feels like he already fell

She is his fantasy, chimera, ideal, and embodied; personified
When he looks into her eyes, reflected is the man that he should be
The man that he could be
And she is his potential.

He is a pauper
That she can turn into a king.
He is a beggar
And she lifts him off his knees

But he dreams of the day
That he can drop back down on one
Presenting a ring

But for now he’s falling
She's falling
They're falling...
And don't want to be caught
Full transcript