The Leaves! They’re on Fire!
By Page Luca V.
“The leaves! They’re burning!” Tom said when he saw a wildfire in the forest.
Tom quickly ran into his house and told his mom right away. Tom was just on his way to play in the forest with his friends then suddenly a wildfire has interrupted him. He went to get the extinguisher.
On a sunny day in the mid-1900’s, an explosion happened which cause a wild fire in Nebraska. Then they saw multiple firetrucks coming there way. Thank god nobody was hurt but, the red and orange fierce flames weren’t put out yet. All of the houses were burnt down in the neighborhood, but everyone was ok. The next day, we all were in tears. Many people were injured including my sister, Annie. We rushed her to the hospital as she was burnt and screaming in pain.
When we got to the hospital, they took her into surgery immediately. She was in surgery for 8 hours. Annie had to get 76 stitches down her chest, and her hair was completely burned off. From now on, I learned not to play with fire.
By Page Tate C.
The leaves! They’re burning!
That was Piper’s first thought when she and her friends walked into the woods in San Francisco, California, in the middle of a scorching afternoon. Jake almost didn’t notice the flames and walked right by them at first. When Leo saw the flames, however, he just stopped in his tracks.
“We need something to put them out, or the fire will spread across the woods, and we could die!” Leo shouted. Leo was always like this, super dramatic and having a loud voice. His green eyes also made him even more dramatic.
Piper shook her head, saying, “Leo, it will be fine. You’re over exaggerating like you always do.”
Jake agreed. “We could use our shoes to step on the fire!” he said.
Piper nodded. Suddenly, the fire spread and one of the trees nearby caught fire. Leo screamed. The three all ran away as the tree fell, making the fire even bigger. Piper felt more scared than she had in her whole life. She remembered her mother’s words, “If you run into a fire, remember to just use the walkie talkie I gave you.”
The walkie talkie! Of course! Piper wondered why she hadn’t thought of it before. “Leo! Jake! My mom gave me a walkie talkie! We should see if it still works!” Piper said.
“PIPER! LEO! LOOK OUT!” Jake shouted at them.
Neither Piper nor Leo reacted in time. A tree came falling down on top of them, thankfully being small. The pain was like nothing Piper felt before. She screamed. Leo’s eyes were wide open. He must have been literally out of his mind. Piper immediately knew that her right arm was broken. She wriggled out from under the tree. Leo just lay there, under the tree. Piper noticed that the tree he was under was catching fire.
“Leo! Get up!” Jake shouted.
Jake must have seen there was no other way. He used all of his strength to lift up the tree and pull Leo out from under it. The three kept running, with Piper and Jake dragging Leo behind them.
“Jake. I can’t do this much longer. My strength is running out,” Piper said. It was true. With her hurt arm, Piper only had one arm to pull Leo, and every muscle in her body ached.
Jake stopped. He said, “Piper, it’s okay. We’re out of the woods.”
Piper looked around and saw that they were standing in a grassy plain. She looked back and saw the woods erupting with fire behind them. Jake set Leo down to rest. Piper suddenly doubled over, trying to catch her breath. It had to have been from the poor oxygen from the fire.
“Piper!” Jake said. “What’s wrong?” Piper tried to breath, but it was like inhaling knives. “N-need…..w-w-water…,” she croaked.
Jake plucked his water bottle out of his backpack. Piper drained half the bottle and immediately felt better.
“Are you alright? Do you need any medicine?” Jake asked.
“No, thanks. I’m okay now. Thanks Jake. We should probably head home now,” Piper replied.
Jake gasped when he saw her arm. “Piper! Your arm!” he exclaimed.
“Jake, I’m fine. Now let’s pick up Leo and head back,” she said. Piper helped Jake carry Leo back to her house.
When she arrived, her mom gasped. “Oh my goodness! What happened to your arm, Piper? Why is Leo unconscious?” she said.
Piper and Jake set Leo down on the couch and told her mom the story.
“Well, Jake, you should rest. You’re welcome to stay here as well for the night. Piper’s father will take care of you. Piper, we need to take you to the hospital,” Piper’s mom said.
“Okay,” Piper replied.
Piper came back from the hospital with a cast on her right arm. She ate dinner, brushed her teeth, went to bed, and fell into a deep sleep, with amazing dreams.
The Ever-Growing Brush Fire
By Page Dominic H.
“The leaves! They’re burning!” John said as he fled from the ever-growing brush fire that seemed to cover the earth.
It was an afternoon in November 2019 in Alice Springs, Australia. John was walking on his usual pathway for his walk when he began to smell burnt leaves. John thought nothing of it, bush fires happened frequently in the area, and he carried on with his walk. A few hours later, he saw something in the distance; it looked like a wall of fire was hastily approaching. Without hesitation, John ran away from the fire and alerted the fire department. However, he was not receiving a signal on his phone, so he did the only thing he knew how to do, run home. Little did he know that a gush of wind was pushing the wall of fire towards him and making the fire grow and grow.
After John had run for about five minutes, he looked back to see his progress. But it seemed he had not moved at all. John knew that he had no chance of outrunning the wall of fire, so he did the only thing that came to mind. Dig a hole and wait for the fire to pass over him. Luckily, John always carried a shovel in his back pocket, just in case. As he frantically dug into the dirt, the wall of fire got closer and closer. As if by some miracle, John was able to cover himself in the dirt just before the wall of fire could reach him. John waited about ten minutes until he was positive the fire had passed over him.
As he moved the dirt off his body, he felt his skin burn and he saw that his clothes were on fire. John exclaimed, “The leaves! They’re burning!”
He threw the leaves off his body and jumped out of the hole he had dug. John looked around and saw that the landscape was scorched by the fire. He could still see some bushes that had remained firmly attached to the ground but were burning into ash. When John had finished marveling at the damage, he saw in the sky a helicopter that was putting out the fire.
Since the wind had died down, the wall of fire seemed more like a two-foot barrier. However, the fire was still kilometers long, so it was far from being fully put out. John tried to get the helicopter's attention to get a free ride home, but the pilot did not notice him. John sighed, and prepared for the long walk home. When John arrived at his house back in Alice Springs, he brushed the soot and ash off his body and clothes. He ate dinner, brushed his teeth and flossed, took a shower to wash off the remaining soot and ash, and went to bed. As he drifted to sleep, he realized how deadly a simple batch of burning leaves could be.
Gauntlet 3: Wordventing
A protologism is new word or phrase, recently invented. At one time, Lewis Carroll’s chortle was a protologism. Other examples of words that used to be protologisms include laser, agitprop, robotics, McJob, quark, gas giant, and scrooge.
To answer this week’s challenge, you must invent a new word. Create a dictionary entry for your new word in the style of Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. (See the Writing Resources page for that link.) Make sure you include a sentence or two showing your protologism in action.
When you've revised and edited your submission, save it as Gauntlet 3 [Insert Your Name Here]. For example, my file would be named Gauntlet 3 Mr Chance. Before Friday, 27 November, email your response to the challenge to mchance at theregisschool dot org.
Day of the Some-What Dead Blobfish
By Page Tennessee G.
My uncle took a trip to Jamaica and bought a dead blobfish at a flea market. His name is Hank, and I don’t like him. Hank is quite heavy, weighing almost 20 pounds, which we can pick up, but his stench is so pungent that we can’t get him out of my room. He lives in the bathtub. My room is off limits due to it probably being a biohazard area, and it is a rule that we wear gas masks when going in there. One time, my parents and I went upstairs, and we found Hank laid out across the floor, oozing his disgusting ooze. Dad was the first one to take initiative. He tried to pick up Hank, but the floor was so slippery that he fell down and received a crack in his pelvis. His gas mask fell off, and he looked terrible, just breathing the fumes in. Mom was wearing high heels because she had a work meeting that day, and she managed to pick Hank up before the heel cracked and she fell into the filled bathtub. I was on the phone calling 9-1-1 when Dad started to have a heart attack, and Hank was flopping everywhere. Mom got up and started to get out of the tub when she slipped on her broken heel and did a flip and landed on Dad. Then he threw up his waffles he ate that morning, which our Hank took care of cleaning off the floor. Not what I thought when I asked my uncle for a fish for Christmas.
Wrong Answers Only
By Page Dominic H.
The creature in the picture above is a booger that became sentient when I accidentally inhaled plutonium particles that were in the air at the nuclear power plant where I work. Throughout a month, it began to crawl out of my nose. At first, the booger was only able to move using appendages like those seen on an amoeba. But gradually it grew muscles and bones that helped it moved with much more precision and detail. Due to the plutonium, the booger, whom I have called Bobby, has an innate sense of where I am at all times. However, if there is a barrier of lead, Bobby is unable to sense where I am and my exact location. As time went on, I got used to Bobby following me around, so I decided to build a pen for him made of a mixture of lead and tin, called solder. I made the pen out of this material due to its high availability. Also, solder is not as dangerous to me as pure lead. I have come to regret owning Bobby due to his high maintenance. The only material that he can digest is solid plutonium, which is very hard to obtain, and his pen needs to be replaced every two to three weeks. The reason for this is that Bobby secretes a green goo, which is a mixture of plutonium, fecal matter, and boogers. The mixture is highly acidic and slowly wears away at the solder until it dissolves into a pool of liquid metal.
Someone Has To…
Do you know anyone who snorts when they laugh? I do; therefore, I might write something to the effect of, “Melonee snorts when she laughs!”
Amusing, to be sure, but how verbose!
In 1871, Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There introduced the word chortle to the world. Chortle combines chuckle and snort to create a new word. Carroll penned chortle as one of several nonsense words in “Jabberwocky”, a masterpiece of nonsense poetry. While most of the nonsense words in “Jabberwocky” never caught on, chortle did. It’s in the dictionary today, having made the honorable trek from nonsense to sense.
Therefore, thanks to Carroll, I can be frugally wordful, writing instead, “Melonee chortles!”
Wrong Answers Only
By Page Tate C.
Weird pets have become a new trend around the world. There have been pets like cheetahs, sharks, even pigs. But I have the strangest pet ever to be known.
I own an Axolotl. It looks like a very strange lizard. Its body is pale and white, with some sort of red horns, six of them. The way that it became my pet was very strange and eccentric. I was on a trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I was able to ride in a helicopter and fly over the canyon. Everything was going great. I got to see a bunch of the Grand Canyon, as well as the river flowing through it. The pilot even found a few places that were flat to touch the helicopter down and let me out to explore the canyon. We started to run out of gas and had to start making our way back. I got into the helicopter and the pilot started flying me back. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it back. The helicopter ran out of gas in mid-air! I’d never skydived before in my life, and I was scared to death, but at the time, I was ready to take any evasive maneuvers.
I put on a backpack that held a parachute (How does a backpack hold a parachute anyway? I’ve always wondered that.) and jumped out of the helicopter, along with the pilot, as it crashed into the river and exploded. The pilot and I touched down in the middle of the Grand Canyon. When we touched down, I saw an Axolotl. It looked like it was scared of me. I picked it up. It squirmed in my hands. I reached into my pocket. I had remembered that I had some bread and water in there in case of things like the situation at hand. I picked off a piece of bread and fed it to the lizard-like animal. The Axolotl gobbled it down. It ran up my leg onto my shoulder.
The pilot said, “Look! I see tourists! We’re probably close to getting out of here!”
We found our way back out of the Grand Canyon. I thanked the pilot and headed home with the Axolotl. I decided it needed a home, so I took it in as my pet. I named it Tucker.
Over the years, I have come to love my Axolotl more and more. He doesn’t destroy my furniture or eat my food. He’s a good animal, and I have no regrets having him as my pet.
By Page Luca V.
The creature in the picture is my pet Alfredo. He is a blobfish. I once wanted a fish, so I made my way to Pets Mart. When I got there, I saw the entrance. When I got to the entrance, it was locked so I went around the back. When I was in the back, I saw a green carton. So, I thought there might be a fish in it, but it was not a fish at all.
I took the carton home with me. When I got home, I looked and that slimy thing was looking at me, making the weirdest gurgle ever. After a while it started to be quiet, so I looked over, and it was sleeping. I thought it might want a home, so I bought a tank for it. Then I named him Alfredo.
The next day I took it out of the carton, and it was the slimiest thing I have ever touched. Then it jumped out of my hands and flopped everywhere. That’s when I started to regret having him. I got complaints that a big slime ball was in their microwave and jumping on their kids. So, I got Alfredo and put him back in his tank. I regret that because he is so noisy, always making a mess, somehow getting in my neighbors’ microwaves and splashing water on me. I like Alfredo very much even though there are countless things I hate about him. He is still my pet and my responsibility, so I decided I would keep him.
The Annoying Mammal
By Page Eren O.
The creature in the picture was a bear. I ended up with him as a pet by hunting in the forest for ducks; then I saw the bear. I have come to regret owning it because he is always very stubborn and would not stop not listening. When I tell him to sit in the basement, he walks around my dorm all day, and he actually cooks as good as Gordon Ramsey.
There was this one day that was one of the days I thought I was going to bring him back to the forest. Basically what happened was I woke up and saw him in my room looking innocent, and I was wondering why, and when I stepped down on the ground, I felt why he was acting innocent. He peed and pooped all over the floor, and I stepped in the poop. After that I had to clean all of it off. I brushed my teeth and realized that there was ear wax all over the toothbrush because he thought it was an ear waxer.
After that I went off to work and about on my lunch break, I got a call from my neighbor saying he heard something breaking in my room. When I got to my dorm room, I saw the bear breaking all my images of my grandma and grandpa, and I saw a video that he somehow recorded of him breaking things like the pictures with an axe and with a baseball bat.
That is my pet bear.
The Knights of the Mightier Pen gather in the hallowed halls of the Regis School in Houston, Texas, to share their tales and poems.