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My grandma's garden.



I have visited my grandma’s garden ever since I can remember. She has always loved and cared for her plants as if they were an extension of her flesh and bones. Her garden wasn’t aesthetic. It wasn’t big, either, nor would it be considered astonishing in the eyes of the average beholder... yet it had something that, to me, made it seem as a real life Wonderland: somewhere where you could hide between the green of the leaves and get drunk on the flowers perfume. Some place where your wildest thoughts could come to life. She grew flowers and succulents long before they were popular in the hipster community. She harvested tomatoes once, but other than that, no edible grew there. Butterflies and hummingbirds were common visitors. They would wander around this tiny jungle and sometimes, “play” with us, the grandchildren. Looking back on it, it was more of a hunting game where tiny humans got a hold of the poor butterflies’ wings and tossed them around until they could no longer fly. I wish I had known I was hurting them. I didn’t see the harm back then. I was naive enough to think I was just “appreciating their beauty.”

This caused our flying guests to stop coming. The garden was just as fun as ever, yet it felt some kind of lonely. One particular winter, the cold killed most of my granny’s plants. The grandchildren didn’t want to play there anymore. Outside, the garden’s corpses laid on pots, fragile on the dirt. Everyone gave up on them, everyone but my grandmother. She sang and spoke to them as if she were to get a reply. She watered them religiously until she brought the magic back from the dead. Eventually, her plants grew vigorously again. It recovered its old charm, and, as of right now, it remains. Not too long ago my grandmother adopted two little yellow birds because she loved their melodies. Everybody was very glad for her because, as time went on, it became harder for her siblings to visit her as often. The birds keep her company and, in return, she gives them all her love. Her garden is their home, and now, it is the most beautiful it has been in a long time. You literally can not stand straight without hitting your head with a pot. It’s amazing.It blows my mind to realize that her garden has aged with us. It has been a key witness to our family development: it was there during my mom’s childhood, my aunt’s pregnancy, my cousin's departure and my first date. It has been our quiet companion and confidant through all these years. If it could speak, I wonder what it would say.


Tequila, A Christmas Story

Alonso Carranza de la Parra

A01230366

Tequila, a Christmas story.

 

Every single year, around Christmas time, the Garcia family held a family reunion, and they gathered the entire family not only to celebrate Christmas, they also celebrated grandma’s birthday which was on December 18. This year’s meeting was taking place on Jose Garcia’s house, and it was going to be a special meeting because Grandma Maria was turning 85 years old, so everyone in the family was excited and they wanted to join grandma in this huge celebration, so every single member of the Garcia family took the trip to Guadalajara, the Garcias from Mexico City, the Garcias from Sinaloa, the Garcias from Monterrey, and even the Garcias that lived in Arizona and Los Angeles, California.

When they all arrived in Guadalajara, everyone was happy to see each other again, the little ones played soccer with their primos and the aunts chatted while they smoked cigarettes. Everyone was happy, except for Jose Garcia, this was because his brother, Oscar Garcia was also in the meeting, they have had a big problem between them, before Oscar moved to Arizona, and Jose had not forgiven him since that day, even though that the problem was 5 years ago. When they first met, Jose Garcia didn’t even say hello to his brother, this made Oscar Garcia feel very sad, because he thought that after all this time, maybe his brother could forget what happened. So the party kept going and everyone was having a great time except for Jose and Oscar. And the time came for the “Tequila Contest” this contest consisted that every male member of the family, uncles, cousins and even grandpa, gathered around a table and drink as many tequila shots as they could drink, and the one who drank the most, was the winner and would win the big price of $2,000 pesos. So the tequila started flowing and the contest was on, everyone was able to handle the first 3 shots, but after the fourth one, some of the contestants started having trouble, the first ones to abandon the competition were Pedro and his brother Pablo after 4 shots. The Tequila kept flowing and soon enough there were just 3 contestants left, Jose Garcia, Oscar Garcia and uncle Nacho, who was the favorite to win the contest, but surprisingly after the 18 shot, he decided to quit. So now it was all left for Jose and Oscar, they didn’t even said a word to each other, they just kept drinking. After the 25 shot, they started showing sings of weakness, their legs started to tremble, but after the 30 shot, Jose couldn’t drink anymore, he felt like he was about to die, but just for his pride, and not letting his brother win, he poured more tequila in the glass. His brother Oscar, noticed that Jose could drink anymore shots, and even when he felt that he could still drink some more and beat him, he quit the contest and let Jose win.

After the contest, they were both wasted, 30 tequila shots ain’t no small thing, so they started dancing and singing those Vicente Fernandez songs they liked so much when they were young, and soon enough they decided to talk about the problem they had, so finally they apologized each other, and it was all forgotten, Jose and Oscar became close brothers again!

What we can learn from this story is that, Tequila brings families together.

 

Alejandro Fuentes Evelyn Bermeo

The Bear and the Turtle

 Laughing

The sun came out that morning, gradually illuminating leaves of a large tree that was near a river, that river was the reunion spot of all the animals, here they gathered to talk about their day and about how beautiful it was the place where they lived. All animals were very close, but there was a pair of inseparable friends, a bear and a turtle. The whole world was very curious about this friendship, and also they found it kind of funny. They are very different, said the rabbit, the turtle is so boring!, said the bird, but none of this comments mattered for them, they were happy with that friendship. They became friends since the begining, when all of this started, when the huge trees were only small plants and there were no sun or stars in the sky, they were already togheter. Altough they were very different, they mutually support themselves, the bear always defended the small turtle from the other animals whom want to take advantage of her, and the turtle taught the bear how to be more patient and tolerant with everybody else. The creator of the world wanted to make the world peacefull and all the animals should like each other and treat each other like family and brothers just like the turtle and the bear. Animals had to learn to live with each other and protect each other. There was a lion in the community of animals and he was jealous of the great relationship the bear and the turtle had. The lion was lonely and angry all the time and he didn’t like that the turtle and the bear were happy all the time. The lion made a plan to ruin  the friendship between the turtle and the bear. One day the lion approached the happy bear and told him that the small turtle was saying bad things behind his back. At first the bear didn’t believe the arogant lion but after hours and days of trying to convince him the bear got angry and enraged. The bear wanted vengance and went on a hunt for the small turtle. The turtle was happily drinking and swiming in the river when the bear approached him very displeased, sad and angry. The turtle asked him what was going on and without saying anything the bear plunged over the turtle. Right at that moment the turtle was able to get into a conch right by the riverside. The bear tried break the shell but just couldn’t. After hours of trying his claws started to get sharp. The bear and the turtle were never able to get along again. Now the turtles have a big shell around their bodies to protect themselves from big animals like the bear and the lion. And the bears have great sharp claws from scratching them with the turtle shell.

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Te Wai Pounamu

Te Wai Pounamu


Freezing and with an empty stomach, Chuck woke up, sore from shrivelling all night. His skin was almost adhered to his bones and he seemed to be moulting, but was just weak. He was astounded, his duck instincts indicated that it wasn’t time for winter yet but the temperature was dropping drastically day by day. The animal council was getting desperate but no one was thinking of a solution.

Chuck was getting tired, he was too young to die. After minutes of meditating, he decided to go for advice with the wisest of the animal kingdom but there was a problem, this animal had been hibernating for months and Chuck was not going to survive much longer. The old Eloise, was deep into the cave and did not like to be bothered, this was making Chuck anxious  but something had to be done and he needed help. In his way to the end of the cave, he ran into Tim the vulture, his old thoughtless friend. “Hey Chuck, where are you going in such a hurry?”

“I’m on my way to see Eloise the tortoise.”

“Really? Mind if I join you?”

“Nah.” Chuck said reluctantly.

After arriving to Eloise’s chamber Chuck told Tim to be quiet, but Tim as always, didn’t listen and made Eloise furiously wake up. “What is this nonsense, who dares to wake me up?”

“They call me Tim, did I wake you up granny?”

“Shut up Tim, show some respect.” Chuck interrupted.

“What’s the big deal Chuck?”

“She’s Eloise the wise, I came to ask her something.”

“Well ask her damn it, don’t tell me to shut up again.”

“Alright Tim, whatever. So, Eloise, you know we’ve been having a hard time because of this weather right?”

“Right” Eloise answer irritated.

“Well, I’ve been trying to find a solution for this problem, we can’t keep on like this, not for much longer. Do you know if anything can be done?”

“I don’t know, but hundred of years ago in the last ice age, I heard a story of of the Ice Sage whose advice helped to prevent an even greater disaster.”

“Really?” Chuck asked excitedly.

“Yes, but if you want to talk to the Ice Sage, you must go to his lair and ask him yourself.”

“I will, where can I find him?”

“The peak of the highest mountain in Te Wai Pounamu.”

“Te Wai Pounamu?”

“Humans used to call it, New Zealand. It’s a land far far away, you must fly south-west. Take this with you, it’s an ancient charm, Greek sailors used it to ask Aeolus for help when their boats were stranded because of the lack of wind.”

The next morning Tim and Chuck began their journey to Te Wai Pounamu.

At first the journey was simple, the sun would slightly warm them up but as soon as the moon shined, the weather got worse and steady gusts started blowing against Chuck and Tim’s will. They knew, they wouldn’t be able to keep up flying in this conditions, and asked to Eloise’s charm to help them in their journey. Minutes passed, and Aeolus seemed to be helping them. The air warmed up and it started blowing in their favor. Days of devastated landscapes and suffering passed. Out of nowhere Tim said “Look Chuck, is that it?”

“Is that what?”

“You know, the mountain we’re looking for.”

“You’re right! I’m quite sure it is.”

“Let’s hurry, I’m getting tired of this.”

After landing in the peak of the mountain they scanned their surroundings, looking for the Ice Sage. They found a sign made out of bronze quoting “Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it’s how we behave while we’re waiting -Joyce Mayer”. After not finding the Ice Sage, they decided to wait for the night in a nearby cave to continue searching in the morning. After a long and exhausting journey, both fell into a deep dream where fantasy appeared to be real. In the middle of the dream, Chuck saw a bright speck of light. “Am I dead?” Chuck asked to himself. “No.” A deep voice emerged from the speck of light. “What are you?” Chuck questioned.

“I’m who you’re looking for, I’m the answer, I’m the Ice Sage.”

“So you know why we came looking for you?”

“Yes, I know why you’re here.”

“So? Tell us how to stop this disaster, please.”

 

“Stay strong, fight for your survival only the strongest and the most patient will survive.”


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The Cocky Coackroach

He woke up, went to his balcony and shouted “filthy peasants!” from his eleventh floor penthouse “shut the hell up!” a loud answer from one of the lower floors came back. He didn’t care; he played some Nickelback and poured himself an Irish coffee, not holding himself on the whiskey. 

Chad the cockroach, the most hated being on Insectlandia, had been stomped a thousand times, flushed through the bathroom, ran over by a double-decker bus twice and not a scratch on his wings. He held the world record for outliving most disasters, and the world record most times kicked out of a city. 

Chad lived on his own, he had no friends whatsoever, he outlived his family (which he didn’t appreciate a lot), and was okay with all of this. He just needed himself, he didn’t think about no one else, he didn’t want any kids, and his only goal in life was to be sprayed with Raid by Vladimir Putin only to prove he was invincible. 

The day continued, as a normal day; after his first drink he watched some TV, same old, same old, then he tried to continue writing his novel called ‘How to survive 20 stomps, and then 40 more’ but as every other day he just wrote a sentence and went to find some sugar out town. At the local store everyone knew him as the drunken douche bag, but he didn’t even notice anyone. At the end of the day, as usual, he drank himself to sleep, continuously repeating “I am not alone if I have me, I am not alone if I have me”, and so on. 

 

Chad woke up the next day from a profound sleep with a massive head ache, he rolled over to the other side of the bed to get some sugar water, but there was nothing on the side of the bed. He could not believe what he was seeing. He went to his balcony to check things out, but there stood a big lump of nothing. The whole city was in flames and he could see what once his neighbors were, now were ashes. Still with his silk tiger print pajamas on he screamed to the top of his lungs from the balcony. In that moment he heard from the city speakers: “ The world has got out of orbit and we are approaching the sun at a rapid rate, please get together with your loved ones and see you on the other si….” now there was no sound. Chad slept through the whole thing. The cockroach who could endure everything was now the only living thing in the whole blackness of a planet, Chad was it. 

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