By Miguel Roura "... Suddenly a fog rolled in and enveloped the car. My thoughts dissipated in its mist. I felt lost. I waited for Nico to return. The night noises grew, augmenting with my breath and heartbeat. Tittering to myself, I suppressed the prayer I knew could save me, but I didn’t want to sell out my recently acquired agnosticism. ..."
By Felecia Howell
"... It came up fast, a checkpoint with several soldiers. They had blocked the road with sand bags, oil barrels and a long pole. They drew guns as I approached. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion as I crested the hill. One soldier raised his AK-47 and pointed at me. My hands went up, and somehow I kept my balance on the motorbike. ..."
By Cecelia Flores "... One of the girls saw us drinking one night in the dressing room and told on five of us. When Bob called me into his office he told me that I was fired. He then told me he would talk to the Fenton brothers on my behalf. I told him thanks but no thanks. I’d had enough. ..."
By C.J. Salgado "... He wasn’t much of a talker. But his tools were. Luckily, I was a good listener. Sometimes, it was the piercing ping-ping of his ball-peen hammer squarely hitting a brake drum that spoke. Sometimes it was the calming whirr of an engine cylinder bore being honed that put me to sleep, as I lay in my bed while my father worked into the night. ..."
By Rita J. Ray "... It was a portable, black machine with ‘Singer’ in gold lettering across its sides, and though it sat inside a suitcase-like carrier, it was rarely moved from the dining table. Except for the new clothes my father purchased at the beginning of every school year, our clothes came from thrift stores or the homes where my grandmother worked. So when she called me in to try on the dress she made for my school assembly, I stood stiffly, barely looking down at it. ..."
By Jian Huang "... For the first time there were white people in this part of the town who weren’t police officers or school administrators. They looked average. They were working class, just like us. I would later come to learn that these people were called `carnies,' but at the time I thought they just looked like the Americans on television. ..."
By Matthew Loflin Davis "...I was trying to come up with some copper to turn into the scrap yard the next day for my fix. The building behind mine was falling down and hadn’t had anyone in it as long as I could remember so I climbed to the roof and down through the hole the weather over the years had provided me. ..."
By Joanne Mestaz
"...There is a temporary society that forms daily on buses all over L.A. Unspoken rules apply. Find a seat and mind your own business. When something unusual happens on the bus – and that happens everyday – you behave as if it were ordinary. If you get involved in nonsense on the bus, you are on your own. ..."
By Olivia Segura
For the next several days Miguel dined on steak and listened to the stories of imprisoned generals and bureaucrats who claimed they had been betrayed. Every day he saw bodies dragged from the general population ward. And every day he signed the 500 peso vouchers with no way to pay, fearing he would soon join them. At night alone in his cell he would recall his mother’s lullaby and fall asleep imagining how different his life would have been if she were still alive.
By Manuel Chaidez
"I have always been awkward. The doctor who held me as an infant said I was squinting too much so he ordered me some baby glasses; they had a black thick frame. Some people ask me if they are the ones I wear now but I’ll never tell. ..."
By Andrew Ramirez
"... Before long the entire village and platoon was surrounded. Bullets rang from every direction. More grenades. Men were cut down left and right. The Vietnamese commander looked to his American advisors and yelled for an air strike. Ramirez grabbed the microphone. ..."
By Brian Rivera
"... We stopped at a mini-mall in San Ysidro. Blocks away, were parking lots for individuals who preferred to walk across the border. Oscar stayed with Luis. Luis handed me his birth certificate and his California I.D. I gave him a hug. He gave me his blessing. ..."
By Olivia Segura
"...The braceros understood very little. They talked among themselves trying to make sense of the situation. Some talked about deserting and going back to Mexico. Miguel learned one of the men from his home state had died. He heard of others near death. ..."
By Julio Navarro
"... Her nausea had faded by then, but the sense of something disturbing lurking in the apartment had not. She believed it was all in her head, and had forgotten her visit to the palm reader. ..."
By Susanna (Whitmore) Fránek
"...It was meant to be my first day of high school. I never stepped foot on campus. From there she dropped me at the house of another friend, who drove me to the border two days later. While some San Fernando Valley girls my age were preparing for their Sweet Sixteen parties in frilly dresses, I was planning an unlawful international border crossing. ..."
By Louie Flores
"...The mural that summer was funded by the county, which wanted to beautify the East L.A. area. The fire department donated the paint and the Kiwanis Club lent us the scaffolds. A mural was better than graffiti, they figured. It turned out to be a mural showing how long VNE had been there and how long we were planning on staying. ..."
By Eric Franco Aguilar
"...The journey up north was made easy by the human smugglers who were then abundant in her town. Laura, a woman from her hometown, met her at the bus station. Small in stature, large in confidence, the young Laura was an experienced human smuggler, and that day she was Margarita’s guide. ..."
By C.J. Salgado
"... Einstein’s genius was my telescope. His ideas took me away, far beyond the bubble. He showed that a tiny amount of matter could create an enormous amount of energy. Yes, E=MC2 meant that even this little boy’s few atoms were plenty poderoso, a power I found liberating and expanding. ..."
By C.J. Salgado
"... During onemagical night as a little girl, my mother heard the sound of the ears of corn brushing against each other, and saw the tassels of the corn swaying in the wind, as if waving her onward. She promised that night to God and herself, she tells me now, that one day she would go. In time, my mother came to loathe her life on the ranch. “No hay vida,” she would say to herself. ..."
By Araceli Lerma
"...Throughout the past thirteen years, people have come looking for the Leals, some recalling this house full of life and Mrs. Leal bringing out plates of homemade cookies. Others remember going there for business with their grandparents, to meet with Mr. Leal. It was the house where everyone gathered ..."