Menana: A Story from my Childhood

Once upon a time, I came to Earth from another planet.

This is a true story of a slantedly true story.

Time pulls apart like taffy and then is wadded back together into a ball, so my understanding of my childhood timeline distorts with the more distance I gain between then and now. I rely mostly on my instinct alone to place my memories from an era when I never minded time or schedules, and when in doubt, I use my mother as a timekeeper, a guardian of what I could not remember for myself during my youth.

With my gut as a compass, I deem this is a story from my eighth year of life.

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301 Seneca Ave: A Short Story

Monica Dagwood always stopped to tie her shoe in front of 301 Seneca Ave during her evening jog. Even if her shoelace wasn’t untied and flapping around—aglets whipping at her ankles—she would stop at the tree stump across the street from the 301 Seneca Ave house and retie them. This stopping place was at the top of a hill and by the time she arrived here, her breaths were gasping from the ascent, and the warmth in various parts of her body began to feel uncomfortably humid. After this break, the tightened shoe stimulated the energy in her feet and she imagined flames shooting from her pink Nike’s as she continued her jog, now in the home stretch back towards her house.

Monica always stopped to tie her shoe in front of 301 Seneca Ave, but it wasn’t just because she needed the shoe-tying boost to power through the rest of her run; no, it actually had more (or everything) to do with the 301 Seneca Ave house itself: Monica was in love with it. She never spoke about it, though—Monica kept her obsession quiet and strictly within the scape of her fantasies. It seemed silly to her that she idolized a stranger’s house so religiously, but yet, it was the kind of house that demanded to be idolized.

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N.T. Ed and the Ghosts of New Years

I was not dead: this must be understood. There is a little bit of doubt about whether I was awake or asleep though; I’m still not completely sure whether this was all a dream or reality, but the writing on the wall does not lie. The strangest thing occurred to me last night, which I will now recount to you.

It was New Year’s Eve, an hour before 2020 would dissipate and 2021 materialize, a moment as simple as a single digit changing, yet an immensely anticipated event for cynics all around the globe. 2020 was the year the COVID-19 virus launched its evil plan to take over the world, and its oppressive regime seemed to change the fate of all humanity. Multiple other tragedies compounded on top of this disaster, leading to a worldwide attitude of hatred towards the year 2020. Like many other intelligible citizens, Bryant and I were spending New Year’s Eve at home.

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N.T. Ed and the Farm of Horrors

So you want to hear a scary story, do you? One that thrills your anxious nerves and excites the depths of your imagination? A mysterious tale set in the ambiguous climate of autumn? Coincidentally, this fine rainy evening has put me much in the mood for telling such a story, and I happen to know a very haunting tale of a skeleton named Ned Theodore Ed and the time whence he visited the Seven Levels of Hell, one unsettling October eve.

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The Spider Earrings: A Short Story

Ritter was staring out her kitchen window when, in the distance, she saw a body fly into the air.

The sudden movement in her line of sight broke her trance and caused her vision to re-focus on the wooden fences, tool sheds, and tree trunks outside. The body fell—the movement only visible through a slight crevice between trees in her neighbors’ backyards—and then arms were flailing upwards yet again. She sighed, realizing it was a child on a trampoline a few houses up. The Saturday morning sunshine filtered through cider-tinged leaves and twining branches, peppering her face with bursts of brightness.

“Oh to be a child again, and experience the existential bliss of bouncing into the air,” mused her left earring.

Her right earring scoffed. “Yeah, right! Do you know how many kids break their arms on trampolines each year?”

Both earrings dangled in quite the same manner, each a silver wire-wrapped spider clutching a gem, her left earring encasing a light blue opalite crystal, her right, a black obsidian rock; however, their commentary almost always contradicted the other, which was even more confusing because independently, Ritter often agreed with them both.

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The Cheetah Who Hated the Zoo

The Cheetah Who Hated the Zoo

Written in 2002

Once upon a time on a nice summer day there was a Cheetah who wished he could go to California. He hated being stuck in the zoo. People always stared at him. One day he asked his friend if she could help him get out of there. “Okay,” said Bear, as she was getting out of her cage. Then she thought if they could climb over the gate? But they already tried it when they tried to get Polar Bear in. Then they asked Lion if he would and could help. “Okay,” said Lion. “Maybe you could ask the zoo keeper.” “No way,” said Cheetah. “The zoo keeper usually screams when she hears us talk,” said Bear. “Yeah, but maybe she will understand,” said Lion. “Maybe Lion’s right,” said Bear. “Well, I guess so,” said Cheetah. Then he slowly walked to the zoo keeper. “Zoo keeper, I… I… I… want… to… um.” “You want to what,” said the zoo keeper slowly. “I want to go out of the zoo,” said Cheetah. “Well, why didn’t you say so,” said the zoo keeper. “I don’t know,” said Cheetah. And the zoo keeper let Cheetah out.

The End

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The Hat-Giving Hickory Tree

A slanted story by Brittany Cole

Most days, Rodney never thinks about the baseball hat hickory tree. When Rodney does remember that tree and that period of his boyhood, during which the hickory thrived and blossomed dozens of baseball caps overnight, he still feels somewhat bewildered by its undeniable yet utterly miraculous existence. It seems so long ago now, that he questions his memory—was it all a dream? Something he has misremembered and imagined over the years?

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