By Sarah Alvarado
"...The school held a moment of silence in Joanie’s honor. Some people claimed to be closer to Joanie than they actually were in hopes of seeking attention. Though he had little to do with her in life, Joanie’s father was contacted and it was he who decided on her final resting place and paid most of the expenses. Hundreds attended Joanie’s funeral. ..."
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 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 ..."
By Brian Rivera
"... Fans cursed the player who scored the goal as he ran across the field with arms outstretched, ready to transcend into heaven. Men all around me buried their faces in their hands. You could feel the wound. Then Boca tied the game and the stadium erupted. Forty-six thousand people rose to their feet. The sound was white noise. Fans twirled their shirts over their heads. Others fervently kissed the crest on their jersey. ..."
By Susanna (Whitmore) Franek
"...Instead, after two days of trekking in the rain through Prague on my own – in the worst storm of the century – letting my intuition guide me, I acquiesced, realizing I had fallen in love at first sight with a partially blind man. ..."
By Fabiola Manriquez
"... Our home was known as the Kool-Aid house, since many neighborhood kids gathered regularly to play in our backyard, eat from the various fruit trees, and enjoy a glass of Kool- Aid. We were very poor and our backyard was much larger than our humble little shack. ..."
By Olivia Segura
"... He walked up the stairs and saw men in suits rushing in and out of the glass doors. He saw, too, his own reflection – a farm boy in work clothes. He turned and headed down the stairs and found a hotel facing City Hall offering rooms for two dollars a night. He sat on the twin bed and re-counted the money saved from his work in the farmlands of California. Miguel hid most of the money in a sock and placed it in a jacket in the closet. He headed back to Broadway where he paid 35 cents for a full meal at a cafeteria called Clifton’s. He bought a navy blue suit, white shirt and tie at a shop nearby, and then headed to Plaza Olvera for a haircut and a shoeshine. ..."
By Anika Malone
"...My family had just moved from Upland months before. We lived there for four years. The surrounding area was tired, run-down strip malls staffed with unpleasant folks. The neighborhood we lived in was filled with loud, boorish people who called the cops on me for walking outside. The guy across the street would accuse me of stealing my car at least once a month and every morning the street was littered with beer cans. ..."