By Fabiola Manriquez
"... Then with a gentle push, she opened the door and peeked her head into our area, calling three little girls to come to the dressing room. They were standing near me - her daughters or nieces, I think. I froze and then on impulse I followed the girls. My entire body trembled as I made my way four feet through the backstage door. And there I was -- Donna Summer, her bodyguard, and me. ..."
By Peggy Adams
"... Bertha Mae poured her second cup of coffee and went to the front porch swing. She never sat on this swing without remembering how she and Homer Ghee sanded, stained and put the beautiful walnut-boards together. The one project they accomplished without an argument. Swinging and combing the fur of her cat, she heard a scratching sound and then a grunt. ..."
"...Two years had erased the vitality in his face. The man I remembered had never heard a woman scream while getting raped at a motel, hadn’t heard of gang wars, or drug addiction, or seen a human body twitch after getting stun-gunned. He hadn’t seen black people, or brown people, and only theorized that we all bled bright red inside.
“We wear our lives on our faces,” my dad said. ..."
By Maria Fernandez
"... The gun battle that followed between the the Salcedas and the Valdovinos left only one wounded man on the Valdovinos's side; but nothing was ever the same. Most of the Valdovinos clan had to move to another town. Aureliano's family home and his father's land had to be sold. Aureliano missed his friends, and working on his father's fields, but more than anything he missed Esther. ..."
"...Maybe that’s why I stayed with Costello – I was curious about this man. Padrino knew, without having met me, that I was going to leave. Aside from my initial dream, that was the first time I experienced his gift. ..."
By Rita J. Ray
"... At lunch, I met some of the girls. Like most school cafeterias, the white students tended to eat together and the black students mostly sat with other African-Americans. I struck up a conversation with the girl from my home school. Pat and I had not been friends before. She dressed in tight skirts and she plastered make-up on her face and had a reputation for not backing down from fights. I was pretty much her opposite and yet, there we both sat in our cheap, cotton maternity tops. ..."
By Monique Quintero
"...When I was growing up, my uncle Bobby was a mystery to me. I rarely saw him. I didn’t understand why relatives whispered his name; I often heard my grandmother, Angelina, praying for him. I had the sense that he had no permanent residence, and that he traveled a lot. And yet I felt so connected to him. ..."
By Trace Richardson
"... Zula Mae was made in Mississippi. Her ‘sippie roots made her tough for hard times. She taught the family what it meant to love unconditionally and not be afraid to do so. She was born to sharecroppers. Her parents where a mix of Cherokee Indians, whites and African slaves. Her granddaddy had been a slave as a boy, and could never talk about his experience during slavery without crying. ..."
By Celia Viramontes
"...But braceros murmured late at night. Some fellow villagers, ill or injured, hadn’t returned after a stint on other U.S railroads. Wives and mothers had implored officials in both countries, eager to learn the fate that had awaited their husbands and sons in El Norte. Still, Don Luis and his buddies toiled where Chinese and Irish laborers once had. ..."
By Jian Huang
"... He only ever spoke enough English to get by at his motel job, but never had the opportunity to learn more. My mother on the other hand didn’t speak any, so by default I was the family’s representative. I struggled with how to translate the word “seizure.” I translated the diagnosis as a malfunction of the brain. The word “lost” I translated into “disappeared” so to clear up any ambiguities about recovery. My dad, who was 65 then, seemed to understand. He turned his head away from me after hearing these words. My mom, who was mostly deaf, didn’t bother to ask me to repeat into her ear what I had just said; she guessed from the looks on our faces. ..."
By Maria Fernandez
" ... One night, mom and dad noticed a surreal blue shape climbing one of the walls inside the house. This shape resembled a small serpent. They looked around the room trying to find a source for what they were seeing. Nothing. When it appeared to them a second time they panicked a little more.
`It wants to show us where the other treasures are,' said my mom. But my dad was not about to start digging for treasure after what Jose told him. ..."
By Andrew L. Ramirez
"... I turned to the kid in the row next to me. “Are you excited?” I softly asked so as not to attract attention. “What’s your name? Do you want to be friends?”
I could see the boy was distracted. Focused on the ongoing introductions two rows away he didn’t even hear me. It didn’t matter. I was relieved. I had let out enough steam. The pressure was off and manageable. I felt a sense of relief. I felt good. I could wait my turn. I turned my attention back to the introductions when, moving fast across the room, the nun swept in toward me like a hawk diving for prey. ..."
By Peggy Adams
"... JoAnn was hovering over a boulder and trying to keep her face out of the water. But soon she tired and started to cry, which really scared me ‘cause I had never seen my sister cry. As JoAnn struggled, Vida Mae went into the water pushing and holding her up. She yelled at us to get Daddy. As I turned to leave, I looked back and saw Jerry riding down the center of the river like a log on its way to the pulp wood factory. ..."
By Ondrej Franek
"... I was born in Czechoslovakia in August, 1970. Society Normalization – the government’s Newspeak for Russian occupation – was in full swing by that time and life was not much fun for anybody. Everyone’s career had been planned already by the Communist party planners who lacked any sense of adventure. Almost-blind children were no exception to that rule. ..."
By Michel Stone
"... We not talking in there. But then one man he get very crazy in the head,” Angel says, his perpetual smile lost now. “Is very bad. He screaming and he wanting his mama, but is no space in there and is no mama, either. I want to hit him in the face! You see, is no because I am a bad guy, but this man, he could get us caught, you know? ..."
"...Two years have passed and still no one has seen Rosalba Andrade. She was kidnapped soon after her 46th birthday, and has not reappeared. Her houses, cars, clothes, and other property have been divided among those who envied her and befriended her. Even her own family has stripped away at her riches. ..."
By K.C. Glynn
"...I discovered a letter written by a World War II B-17 bomber pilot who captained a crew that had worked the system to get themselves assigned to the same airplane in the Eighth Air Force. They liked to wear women’s clothes while bombing Germany.
Other letters were from “alpha males” who, after retiring from Fortune 500 careers, wanted to make tea and arrange flowers while dressed in Dior and bathed in Chanel No. 5. ..."
By Susanna Fránek
"... I was working for the Spanish-language daily that catered to the immigrants of the “lost decade” of Mexican economic stagnation, and Central Americans who were fleeing civil wars. My early clients were small businessmen. There were the Iranians who had fled the new Islamic Republic that came to power in 1979. Savvy entrepreneurs that they were, they set up shop in Hispanic neighborhoods, learned Spanish, and sold electronics, appliances and other household goods. ..."
By Fabiola Manriquez
"... Teenagers and elders alike chanted Viva La Raza and Chicano Power outside Al’s Produce and across the street at El Gallo’s Bakery, at Our Lady of Soledad Church, and at neighborhood gatherings. But years passed and things changed. East LA was 80 percent Hispanic, mostly Mexican-American then; now it is 98 percent, and many folks are from Mexico. The police and teachers are mostly Hispanic now; most of the businesses Hispanic owned. ..."
By Jasmine De Haro
"... He then told me in great detail how I was a witch, my sister was a witch, my mother was a witch and how he and my brothers were warlocks. So the statement “this is our day,” meant something far more than I could have imagined. My father was into the occult and often referred to himself as a Pagan. ..."