Student Work

7th Grade Short Stories: Enthios by Maren Cooper

7th Grade Short Stories

The 7th  grade recently completed a short story unit, culminating in an original short story.

After reading “7th  Grade” by Gary Soto, and working to understand plot structure, figurative language, and characterization, the students were assigned the task of developing their own story.  The first step was to create two characters and complete a chart describing their physical characteristics, like and dislikes, hopes and dreams.

Next, the students developed plot diagrams.  Then, they drafted stories and conducted peer reviews.

After revising to produce second drafts, they again conducted peer reviews.  Finally, students completed their short stories for publication. In class, we shared some of the stories, and we would like to share a few here with our community.

Enthios
By Maren Cooper, 7th Grade


As I came into the “Fuzzy Friends Pet Shop,” I saw Cacy, the store manager, brushing one of the new kittens we had just got the other day from the shelter down the street. It had gray and white spots, and the fur was slightly matted. For some reason it kind of reminded me of my History teacher, Mr. Nelson. He was a middle-aged man who always wore the same camouflage t-shirt and baggy cargo pants, day after day. Once, I asked him if he ever washed them because whenever I talked to him, there was this weird moldy mushroom, sour cream smell, and you know what he did? He sent me to the principal’s office for rude behavior! Well, back to Cacy, who was now fidgeting with her hair as a customer strolled in the door.

Cacy was probably the prettiest person I had ever met. She had shoulder-length red hair, with a hint of gold, slightly tanned skin, the most gorgeous turquoise eyes. The delicate features of her face complimented her elf-like ears, which were very unique.

I could tell she was nervous because today was the day when the employee from the Community Safety Regulation Company was supposed to come and inspect the shop. It was already five minutes after when she was supposed to come. Just then, a tall slender woman with blond hair and brown eyes came in.

“Are you Miss Wood?” The lady asked, and before I could answer, Cacy came up from behind the cash register.

“No. This is one of my employees. I am Miss Wood,” she explained, her turquoise eyes shimmering in the light.

“I am assuming you’re Miss Williams from the department of CSRC?”

***

“Phew! That was stressful. I am glad that’s over,” I said to Kit as we walked back to my house. Kit was my best friend. We had known each other since we were young, and we have always gotten along very well. He’s also Cacy’s younger brother, and since all three of us work at the pet shop, we see each other a lot.

“Ugh! I can’t believe I forgot about it! I am such an idiot! Cacy told me to be there on time so I could watch the store while she gave the inspector a tour of the shop. I blew it! Now I am never going to get that promotion.” Kit sobbed, running his hands through his perfectly styled hair. Cacy and Kit looked uncannily alike. One of the only differences was Kit’s chiseled features compared to Cacy’s delicate appearance.

“Why are you making such a big deal about it, I’m sure she’ll forgive you” I said.

“You think?” Kit asked with a glint of hope in his eyes.

“Nah. You know how she keeps grudges.”

I knew what I said wasn’t very funny, but, yeah, there’s not really a good excuse for that. I’m just really bad at making jokes, and I’ve never been a really funny person. Now, Kit on the other hand, has always had a knack for making people laugh. The only time I’ve seen someone refuse to giggle at one of his jokes was when we were in Ms. Doyle’s class. She’s probably the strictest teacher I’ve had.

“So, Kit, why were you late in the first place? Was there …”

“Shhhh,” he interrupted as he reached slowly into his bag as we reached my house. He pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and started writing. Once he was finished, he handed it to me and it read: I think there is someone in there, we should be careful.

“It’s not my parents. They’re on a trip and won’t be back until next week, and Cacy’s still at the shop.” I took in a deep breath and took a very slow, quiet step forward. Just then a hooded figure jumped out of the second floor window, looked at me, and then ran and jumped over the neighbor’s fence and was gone. It had all happened so fast, I wasn’t sure if I had seen it or just imagined it.

“You- you saw that too, right?” I stuttered turning around to look at Kit. “Kit? Hey, Kit, snap out of it!” I ordered when he didn’t respond.

“Yeah…Do you think we should call the police?” he replied, still looking where the hooded figure had jumped over the fence.

“No.” I said firmly, “You know they won’t believe us.”

Kit and Cacy’s older half-brother, Declan, in the past had made some prank phone calls to the police, and ever since then they’ve had their eye on us and think we’re delinquents, too.

“Let’s see if there’s anything missing.”

***

“Huh, that’s strange, it doesn’t seem like there’s anything missing, and the only trace they left behind that indicates someone else was here is this.” He pointed to a small silver cube that had some strange runes on each side that had been laid on my night stand near the window.

“I don’t necessarily want to touch it, but we should try to find out what it is,” Kit suggested.
“What are you so scared of? It’s just some weird little cube thing.” I said as I reached for it?
“No! Wait!” He said as he reached to stop my hand from touching …too late. I had already touched it, and-nothing-no, not nothing, it was nothingness. I couldn’t see anything, feel, hear, smell, or taste anything, it was just darkness, nothing else.

***

“You need to wake up!” a stiff unknown voice rang through my ears… wait, my ears? Was I… where was I? What had just happened? The last thing I remember was touching that cube and…..the cube!

“She’ll be fine, Amalia’s tough, and a little pain won’t bring her down” a familiar voice said in a calm tone as cold clammy hands gently shook me. I opened my eyes and adjusting to the light, I saw a very unfamiliar face staring at me with cold, ice blue eyes. I jumped to my feet, not caring about the pain I now felt in my side, turned around, made a fist and…

“Ouch! What did you do that for?”

“Geez, you reacted worse than I did,” I turned around to see Kit leaning against a tree.

Wait, who had I punched then? I had been in such shock that my first instinct was to defend myself.

I turned back around to see a boy about my age, maybe a few years older than me, with those ice-blue eyes I had seen before, raven hair, and pale skin, clutching his stomach and muttering something I couldn’t understand.

“Who are you? Where are we? How did we even get here?” I demanded, trying not to sound as shaky as I felt.

“Slow down, one question at a time. First of all, I’m Hugo, Hugo Rem, and all the rest of your questions you may want to ask our friend over there.” He pointed to Kit, who was still leaning against the tree.

“It might help if you hear it from a person you know.” Hugo turned and gave Kit a look I didn’t understand at all.

“Well, I’ll try to explain this as best as I can. So … we’re …how do I say this… we’re, we’re in a … in another universe,” Kit said with a straight face.

“Ha ha ha, very funny, but seriously, where are we?”

Kit didn’t say anything, He just anxiously stared at me.

“Wait, you’re serious?” I stuttered, realizing my voice now sounded as unstable as I felt. I looked around. I hadn’t paid much attention to my surroundings at first, but now as I took it all in, I realized, this definitely wasn’t my hometown. We were in a small, green field surrounded by tall trees with winding roots and branches that had some sort of glowing blue fruit dangling from them, and when I looked up at the sky, I saw planets in the distance, drifting in a salmon citrus sky.

“But …how?” I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

“For now, we should get somewhere safe, and we should get moving before they spot us,” Hugo said, picking up a brown satchel off the ground, flinging it over his shoulder and heading toward the trees.

“How do we know we can trust you?” I asked.

“For now, you don’t really have a choice. You’re in a totally foreign place, and no one else is here to help you, and for all you know, there could be wild, unknown animals lurking in the shadows, getting ready to pounce as soon as you let your guard down,” Hugo said without turning around.

“He has a good point. If he wanted to hurt us, he probably would have already done it. And besides, he has some pretty cool weapons that might come in handy,” Kit finished pointing to a stash of small daggers attached to Hugo’s belt.

“Exactly why we shouldn’t trust him,” I muttered to myself.

***

“Hey, Amalia, back at your house when that hooded figure looked at us, did you … did you see their eyes?” Kit whispered.

I knew at once what he meant, and I understood why he was choosing his words so carefully.

“I know, but it couldn’t have been …It’s not possible,” I answered, choking on my words and letting out a small sob as I whispered to myself, “Sam …”

Sam was my older brother, who had been missing for over two years, and while my parents had seemed to tuck it away in their basement of memories, I had never been able to let Sam go.

About June, two years ago, my brother and his friends went on a short trip up to the mountains. The day they were supposed to come back, we got a call from the police. They told us that there had been a car crash, that there were no survivors, and that my brother’s body had not been found. For a while I believed he might still be alive, but I gave up on that hope a long time ago. There is no reason to believe in something that just can’t happen.

The reason why Kit had mentioned the stranger’s eyes was because they looked exactly like Sam’s, one an icy blue, like Hugo’s, the other a dark hazel.

“We’re here,” Hugo announced, stopping in front of a large tree.

“We’re sleeping here? I mean, I don’t want to be too picky, but …,” I said with a slightly annoyed tone in my voice as I stared down at the muddy, mossy ground.

“Oh, this is just the entrance.”

Hugo put his bare hand on the trunk of the tree, and for a split second there was an iridescent glow. Then it was gone again.

“Um…was something supposed to…” I was interrupted by the sound of an old door creaking open, but I couldn’t see anything until Hugo stepped aside to reveal a hidden door that opened to the tree. Inside I could see a spiral staircase leading to the top of the tree.

***

“Wow! You built this place all by yourself?” I had to ask as we reached the top. We were standing in a huge treehouse that had different levels branching out to all sides of the tree, and although it seemed so big from the inside it was almost invisible from the outside.

“Yeah, I built this place for a hideout so I wouldn’t be seen while the co-empire scouted out the royals. I didn’t suspect it would be my home for the next three months.” Hugo told us.

A long silence followed before I broke the tension in the room.

“I really think now is the time to tell us everything you know and everything that we need to know. And before I punch you again because I trust you less and less by the second.

“Well, to answer your questions,” Hugo took a deep breath before he started, “you are currently on the planet Zilose, third planet from the moon Enthios. As for how you got here, I’m as clueless as you both are.”

“Have you ever heard of Earth? That’s our home planet,” I said.

“Earth?! Are you serious? You must be joking.” Hugo exploded with laughter as we sat there and stared at him.

“Why are you laughing?” Kit asked. “Is Earth a myth to people on your planet?”

“A myth? It’s much more than a myth. It’s a little kid’s story, but you are serious, aren’t you?”

He said as he finally pulled himself together.

“Hey, Hugo?” I asked.

“Yeah?”

“How come we can understand each other, and how come you look human if we come from totally different planets?”

“Well, first of all, the people on this planet can replicate any language with only collecting a small bit of data. And why we look human? I am not sure about that, but I’m pretty sure you don’t have these,” he announced proudly, pulling up his sleeves to show strange purple scales going up to his shoulder.

“In our solar system, each person is born with a unique marking that gives us powers, as you saw earlier down at the bottom of the tree when I used my powers to take down my invisible barrier.

“Wow! That’s so cool!” Kit said, practically drooling over Hugo.

“Don’t get off track,” I said, trying to hide the fact that I was also pretty impressed. “What’s the Co-Empire, and why are you hiding from them?”

“The Co-Empire are the second-in-command leaders of this planet. They took over the palace and captured the royals. I have been trying to figure out what they’re up to, but with all the citizens locked up, I haven’t been able to find any help until you guys dropped out of the sky.”

Hugo was trying to be funny, but no one laughed.

“Before you go on, let me get one thing straight. You’re one of the royals, right? I thought you said they were all captured.”

“I escaped before they could capture –Amalia, Kit! Look out! Behind …”

The rest of Hugo’s voice was muffled as someone held a cloth to my face. The sweet stinging scent filled my senses, and it was as if I couldn’t even control my own body.

***

“What do you want with us?” Kit yelled as I slowly regained consciousness.

“How did you find us? I was sure I covered our tracks,” Hugo demanded, struggling to get out of the chains that now bound all three of us to a tree.

“Ha! You little maggots think you can outrun the great Co-Empire!” A soldier standing next to me said. We were surrounded by guards in all-black armor, spears in hand and ready to pounce at the drop of a hat.

“Now, now. No need to be rude to one another. After all, if you come quietly, we won’t have to hurt you.” A tall man said, stepping out from the shadows. He was different from the other soldiers. He had the same armor but with a long flowing cape and what looked like a wolf mask.

“But, General, we can’t show any respect to these little cockroaches. They don’t deserve any respect whatsoever,” the guard from earlier said.

“I should have known it was you, General Hawk,” Hugo spat after he said the General’s name.

“That’s a pretty lame name, dude. If you’re gonna have an evil-villain name, it should at least have some ring to it, like Wolf Blood or something like that,” Kit announced.

I rolled my eyes. Even though we were probably in the most dangerous situation of our lives, he was still making jokes.

“Shut up! I don’t want to listen to your childish arguments about villain names,” the General snapped.

He turned to me. “Amalia, leave these weaklings and come with me.”

“How … how come you know my name?” I asked.

He slowly lifted his mask inch by inch until finally his identity was revealed.

“It can’t be, no, it’s just not possible,” I whispered. “…Sam….”