News: Fridge Flash
Fridge Flash: Before the Law, 2018
Editor’s Note: Today’s story is by 4-year-old Sam, who is clearly channeling Kafka. His dad Marcus says that Sam told him the following story after building this awesome LEGO jail gate.
Before the Law, 2018
To get inside, you need the password. No one knows the password, so you have to press the button. There is no button. You need powers, but you don’t have any. Sorry.
Sam is four-and-a-half years old. He enjoys building with blocks and LEGOs, baking treats, and riding his bike. He cannot write words yet, but he can tell short, amazing stories.
Fridge Flash: The Enemy
Today’s Fridge Flash is from Nikhil Sampath, a young writer and cleaning warrior who strikes fear in the hearts of dust bunnies everywhere.
by Nikhil Sampath
Constellations on a carpet. They glimmer dark and gray. Use the vacuum with tough brushstrokes, deprive it of its liberation, from its viewpoint, you are an enemy. But you are just establishing your fortitude. You must not become Laissez-Faire with this enemy. You must defeat it. Down with carpet lint!
Fridge Flash: If Dragons Were Real
Today’s Fridge Flash is from Evie McClinch, who narrated this piece during one of her many imaginative play sessions. Her mom transcribed it as originally told, read it back to her, and solicited her edits. Evie is a true editor in the making! (more…)
Fridge Flash: Why Squirrels Don’t Care for Robots
The kids in Oliver Jones’ first grade class were instructed to imagine a story that took place outside of their school. They were to include at least one real element they have observed outside. Oliver chose to include squirrels in his story. He hasn’t observed any robots on the school grounds but he hasn’t given up hope.
Fridge Flash: Not Going Back
Today’s Fridge Flash is from nine-year-old Ethan. Ethan shares a poignant story about love, loss, and childhood friendships that last a lifetime.
By Ethan Hampel
Jone was standing outside his house with the pointy roof. Up in the pointy roof was nothing. But he, he didn’t think that was right. His whole house was empty but it was so full. But his heart was empty. His house only had him to live in it. He remember 20 years ago when he was 30. Back then he was married. The girl was Sharlet Amy Shewats. He thought back to when they were good friends when he was 11 and she was 10. They were on the playground.
“Umm… so how many times have you been on the slide” She would say.
He would say “ 9 19 29 39 49 59 69 79 89 I don’t know should I have been keeping track. Mabey 99.” He said every time she would ask.
One day she wasn’t there to ask him how many times he had gone down the slide. He got off the slide and looked around. The last place he looked was behind the school. There he saw her being bullied by a bunch of idiots.
He said “ Hey back of you…you…Idiots you shouldn’t be bullying anybody.” “Who you callin a-” The main one started. But before he could say anything else, he hit him. Square in the nose. Then he looked at him. You could tell he got teary eyes. He left. He was so proud of that one time. But Sharlet died of a heart attack. He had blamed himself for that every day. He thought he could do something but the truth was nobody could have done anything. But he thought of not going back.
Ethan Hampel was 8 when he wrote this and is currently 9. He lives with his parents and big sister Madelyn and attends school with his big sister all in Wichita, Kansas.
Fridge Flash: The Cool Air Giver
Today’s Fridge Flash comes from seven-year-old Shifa Asif, who extols the beauties of nature.
By Shifa Asif
You give us cool air and oxygen,
And they are very beautiful, (more…)
Fridge Flash: Volkswagen Picture
Today’s Fridge Flash comes from four-year-old Sherdil Asif, who shares his tale of a spider taking a ride!
by Sherdil Asif
The spiderman was going in a Volkswagon. He was happy happy.
Fridge Flash: A Duk Swam
Today’s Fridge Flash comes from six-year-old, Esben Møller Semmel. This cautionary tale is full of phonetic fun and is poetic in structure. Be careful of duks!
by Esben Møller Semmel
a duk swam in the water
the duk landed in the water
the duk splashed water on me
the duk saw me
the duk floo too me
the duk was mad at me.
Esben Møller Semmel is a six-year-old kindergartner. He likes to draw and write stories and play baseball. When he grows up he wants to play professional baseball for one of these teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers. Those are the only teams he will play for.
Fridge Flash: The Rubber Lizards Of Concord
In this week’s Fridge Flash, eleven-year-old Irene Meklin shares a story about the end of school days, jelly donuts, sleepovers, throwing rubber lizards, and the exhilarating exhaustion of childhood. We are excited to share this story from this talented young writer whose name we are certain to see again in the decades to come.
By Irene Meklin
Time is something that will not do your bidding. When you are waiting for something, it goes unbearably slow, and if you don’t want to go somewhere or do something it smiles and runs away from you at a mile a minute, grinning. I thought as I watched the clock. It seemed to slow down and dwell on one minute, one second even. Tick-tock, it went, as if it knew that I was waiting for it. Move! Move! I told it. Don’t you ever get tired of standing in one place? Move! Move, move, move! Finally, it struck two fifty. Only ten minutes left! Those ten minutes felt like ten hours. I zoomed out of what the teacher was saying, daydreaming about what was sure to happen that night. Then I noticed that everyone was packing up.
I stood up and got my stuff. I met Kesenia, my classmate, outside. We waited for her mother and when her mother arrived, we picked up Kes’s sister, Eliana. We drove to Krispy Kreme’s to get jelly donuts, since it was one of the nights of Hanukkah, also the last day of school before winter break in case you want to know. I remember clearly what flavors the donuts were. Some were maple, some chocolate with sprinkles, some glazed with jam, and some custard-filled. After that, we drove to Kesenia’s house. I remember that ride: Kes’s mother tried to make conversation as we drove on to her house in the rain.
Fridge Flash: The Great Pencil
In this week’s Fridge Flash, ten-year-old Nikhil Sampath shares an homage to our most important writing utensil, the pencil.
By Nikhil Sampath
In every pencil there is a story waiting to unfold. I as a writer have to let it unfold. When I write I let it come through without any thought. All hail—the Great Pencil.
Fridge Flash: A Fox in Paris
In fewer than 30 words, this week’s Fridge Flash from Raya Ghosh-Roy follows the journey of a wistful Parisian fox. Showcasing evocative, haiku-like descriptions, “A Fox in Paris” recalls one of the earliest forms of flash fiction–fables–with a cosmopolitan twist.
By Raya Ghosh-Roy
There was a fox in Paris swerving in and out of a dark, gloomy alley listening to echos. It was thinking of its family, back in the misty hills.
Fridge Flash: The Lions, the Litterbox, and the Lily Pads
This week’s Fridge Flash from Aubrey Reiter features illustrations, story, and loads of lovely alliteration from a talented budding writer! Remember to watch out for lethal lake snakes!
By Aubrey Reiter
Aubrey Reiter spends almost all of her free time with a book in her lap. She wrote and illustrated this alliterative story when she was eight years old. Aubrey lives by an estuary and hopes to become a marine biologist one day.
Fridge Flash: Left Corner
Today’s Fridge Flash comes from sixth grader Coleman Davidson, who expertly captures the chaos and drama of the final moments of the big game.
By Coleman G. Davidson
Today, I played awesome in goalie. I even saved a penalty kick. The other team was pushing, kicking, elbowing, and even kneed one of our players in the “boys.” The ref never called a foul against the opposing team. Like when one of the other players pushed Ethan to the ground during a dead ball. But, somehow Kadin was called for a foul inside the penalty box. What happened was Kadin finally got tired of all the pushing and extended his arm to try to clear the ball. The player tripped over the ball, and the ref called a foul against us! Crazy, right? Our whole team was shouting at the ref. Even my coach was screaming at the top of his lungs. One of our parents threw their chair onto the field.
I say to my team, “Calm down, I got this.”
I waited for the ref to put the ball down. I stared at the player’s eyes to see if he has a target… he does! Left corner. In my mind I say to myself left corner, left corner, left corner. I’m shaking, jumping, and can’t stop moving. I stand on my line.
I nodded to the ref.
Here we go. I am confident he will kick it on the left side. The player runs forward. He kicks it to the left. I dive. The ball hits my hands. I bounce up. I’m sprinting to go collect the live ball, and I look around to see a bunch of other players racing to pounce the ball. I feel nervous about diving on the ball, but I have to, because the other team could obtain it and try to score. I finally dive on it. I’m on the ground. I can’t see anything because everybody piles on top of me. The ref’s whistle freed me from the pile.
I finally spring up and say to myself, “awesome save!”
Coleman G. Davidson is an eleven-year-old sixth grader from South Carolina. He plays goalie for Discoveries Soccer Club. In his spare time, Coleman likes to practice soccer, play video games, and fingerboard. He is also a wonderful big brother.
Fridge Flash: The Conch
This week’s Fridge Flash from sixth grader Maddie Silver includes what might just be our new favorite onomatopoeic word. Read on to find out what it is!
By Maddie Silver
I was at the beach at the time, walking along the hot sand, not too far from the water. I happened to stumble and looked down.
“Why, it’s a conch!” I exclaimed as I picked it up. “Can I hear the ocean?” I put it up to my ear and heard nothing. I sighed and started to put it down.
“Wait!” Whispered a small voice that seem to be coming from the conch. “ I am stuck in this shell! please, can you come back at midnight to free me?”
“Hmmm… Well, I can try, but why midnight? Because I could always do it now.” I offered.
“I can only be freed at midnight.” The voice murmured. “So don’t do it now.”
“Alright. I will be back at the spot.” I declared.
What a strange little shell. But – wow! Someone trapped in the shell! I thought.
I left my motel room at 11: 50 P.M. and took the short 5 – minute walk on the beach.
I came to the place where I had found the conch.
“I am here.” I announced. “What do I do?”
“Oh, oh! Just stand, mortal! I am BACK!” The voice boomed out over the beach.
“What is happening?!” I shouted.
“I am NOT like you, mortal. Time for you to serve your time!”
“AAAAAHHHH!” I screamed as I started getting sucked into the shell.
I was in the shell.
And, to this day, I am waiting, waiting for my turn. For my victim to come at midnight.
Madeleine Silver is an 11-year-old 6th grader from Portland, Oregon. She lives with her parents, brothers, and her chihuahua named Bunny. She enjoys reading, writing, sleeping, and hiking. She aspires to be a lawyer one day and describes herself as determined, stubborn, and passionate. Maddie got her idea for this story whilst daydreaming in Humanities class, looking at a picture of the beach on the wall. She hopes you enjoy!
Fridge Flash: One Morning At The Zoo
On Thursday morning at the zoo, all the animals stretched and yawned their wide mouths and munched up their breakfast. Then, Marty the zebra found a curious orange egg and wondered what was inside. He thought, if that’s a real egg, I’ll have it for lunch. He wondered if the zookeeper knew what it was. A gazelle came along at that moment.
‘You’re wild,’ gasped all the animals.
‘Yes, I am, so just shut your big mouths.’
‘That’s a bit rude,’ said the tiger, who always said everything was rude.
‘Well, if you say one more word about me, I’m gonna eat all your food,’ said the gazelle.
‘First of all, we’d like to know your name,’ said the elephant.
‘My name is Antla and I don’t like being called Ant.’
‘Where are you from?’ asked the rhinoceros.
‘I’m from Kenya,’ she said.
‘So, why aren’t you talking to us in Kenyan language then?’ said the bear.
‘My mummy was English and taught me English, so I don’t like speaking Kenyan. By the way, if you even touch my baby with one paw you’ll know all about it!’
So, one dark and dusky night, they decided to look for her baby and find out if she was telling lies or not. That night, the zookeeper let the animals out of their cages because he trusted them and knew they would not escape.
The tiger said, ‘Quickly! Over here – there’s Antla curled up.’
‘But who’s that with the big horns cuddled up beside her?’ said Bella the cheetah. ‘That’s her baby, so it’s true.’
Then Antla woke up and yawned. ‘What are you doing here?’ she said.
‘Well, we wanted to see if it’s true that you have a baby,’ said Bella.
‘Leave now or I’m butting you with my big horns and he’ll hold you up with his.’
Quickly they fled, wondering what would happen next. They told the zookeeper everything and later something frightening happened. A giant dinosaur appeared.
‘I am the guard of Antla,’ he said, baring his fangs. ‘Antla is your friend now, I’m afraid.’
‘We will be friends with her,’ the animals all said together. ‘And she can live with us for as long as she likes.’
Marty the zebra remembered the orange egg and he gave it to Antla’s baby to play with.
Layla Gouhar is an Irish-Egyptian seven year-old third grader who loves animals, reading, drawing and making up stories whilst playing with her large collection of small animals. She also likes swimming, riding her bicycle, ice-skating, making cakes, shopping for books, and libraries. Layla has a cat called Stevie and wants to be a Vet when she grows up. “One Morning At The Zoo” was influenced by one of Layla’s favourite movies, Madagascar.
Fridge Flash: Little Foot
Today’s Fridge Flash from three-year-old Gretl Spikes-Gilbert is here to get you in the holiday spirit complete with Legos, lions, and quite the twist ending.
By Gretl Spikes-Gilbert
One time there was a little lion named Lambert. He was a cute little lion and he said,“RAWR!” He liked to jump on the trampoline and he said, “Come on dad, come jump on the trampoline with me!” He had a nice daddy lion and then the daddy lion died. And then Lambert died.
Then there was a little boy named Finnie and he wanted toys for Christmas. He asked Santa for toys and for Legos and Star Wars and Santa brought him all the toys. And it was Christmas! And then Santa died.
Gretl Spikes-Gilbert is three years old. She was born in San Antonio, Texas and now lives inLubbock, Texas with her parents, two older brothers (one of which is the family dog), and her baby sister. She loves animals, reading, investigating the nuances of family relationships and friendships, dancing outside, and candy. Gretl plans to be a medical doctor for mommies and daddies when she grows up. She loves telling stories and frequently “converses” with her parents in narrative. Gretl keeps all of her birthday cards and carries them around calling them “birthday books.” She frequently recites improvised poetry and short stories about her birthday books and has a poem forthcoming in her mother’s iPhone notes (if she can be pinned down to consistent wording).
Fridge Flash: The Bad Guy
Six-year-old Jasper penned the crime thriller below to tell the story of the Bad Guy in his chalk art. We’re so excited to debut what is sure to be the first of many thrilling stories from the talented Jasper.
The Bad Guy
So: this is a man inside of jail, and then he breaks out, steals the money, and then the police cars come after him. They shoot a taser at him, and then he’s captured, then they take the money back. The end.
Jasper is a six-year-old who spends a lot of his time making up stories and has recently started illustrating his ideas (and clearly he might have an interest in crime novels). He also really wants his Batman costume to come in the mail (This last sentence is from the dude himself! He also had strong opinions on the photo of him that was used).
Fridge Flash: 42
Today’s Fridge Flash by 13-year-old Annie Lee explores the pressures of school and friendship in the digital age with clear, vivid prose.
It was the last question.
Graph! Tangent! Trigonometry! Simultaneous equations! Pi! E! WHAT IS DIS? DOS? Dominant operating system or… what?
She wondered what Elaine had written or if she were even on this question. Maybe she’d already fin-
The timer exploded. A few of the other girls held up their yellow exercise books, muttering “Ngo yiu zhen ti mu!”
It was no good. Timer was God.
She scribbled 42 and put down her pen.
The next day, she was walking back to that very 42, back to her answer sheet, back to school.
“I so flunked this math test…” Elaine rolled her eyes and sat down on the stone steps outside Miss H’s Music Room. “My mom is gonna kill me!”
It was Elaine’s absolute favorite place. No matter what season, it was always at a perfect temperature of …well, room temperature.
“I barely scraped a twenty four.”
“I think I should seek help.” Elaine hugged her knees against her chest.
“How? Not the school psychologist?”
“I don’t know…”
“Miss H? Miss C? Miss K?”
Elaine tapped her fingers against her chin, “Miss H, maybe?”
Nadine made a mental note to talk to Miss H about it next time she saw her.
“Eh.” Elaine stared at her shoes. “Whatever.”
Elaine fled in a flurry of rustles and tears out of the classroom as she received her test score. Nadine half stood up, but was stopped by the teacher’s “Nadine.”
At lunch, Nadine walked to the staffroom. “May I see Miss D Huey please?” She asked in her Queen Margaret voice.
“Just a minute.”
The butterflies in Nadine’s stomach could rival the particle movement in oxygen as she mentally prepared herself for the confrontation. Elaine didn’t know she was doing this. Would she be mad?
After ten minutes, she was kindly informed that Miss H was not in the staffroom and it might be better if she came back the next day. She left, ignoring the Samaritans poster on the wall.
The sight of Elaine screaming at Cadenza greeted Nadine the moment she stepped into the classroom. Nadine tried her best to talk to Elaine, but quickly realized she was too caught up in the fight. I’ll talk to her after school, she thought.
A day passed then a school week, then a regular week, then a month before Nadine finally got hold of Miss H.
By that time Elaine had huge eye bags and was spending almost all her time near the Music Room.
“Good afternoon Miss H, I’m a friend of Elaine…”
“I wonder if you’d mind if I asked a favor?”
“Well…it’s hard to explain, but…Elaine…she’s been a bit…weird… depressed…I’m not sure how to say it exactly but she’s been having a hard time. I’d greatly appreciate it if you could help her…nudge her in the right direction maybe,” Nadine said, her heart pounding in sync with every word spoken.
“Yes, yes, of course. Just ask her to look for me in staffroom C whenever,” Miss H said, doing finger cartwheels on the desk. Was she bored? Or ADHD? Or both?
“I’ve arranged a meeting for you with Miss H.”
Elaine threw her calculator in the air (and didn’t catch it) “After school, right?”
Nadine nodded. “But I can’t stay, I have computer science class.
“Not even for a bit?” Elaine said. “I’m sure it won’t take long.”
“Okay. I’ll try.”
After school, they went down to the staffroom to ask for Miss Huey.
Thankfully, she was in the staffroom and they settled at a round table with chairs the color of fire engines.
“So, what is it?”
Elaine started talking about everything but her problems.
Four minutes of the keyboard family, five minutes of the film 1900 and seven minutes about the family dog.
This isn’t going well, Nadine thought as her watch struck 4. Maybe she’ll open up when I’m gone.
Silently excusing herself, she stopped at the railing and turned back, seeing only the back of Elaine’s head.
She spent the rest of the afternoon on App Inventor. To be frank, she preferred C++, for C was her native language, and though she often got the syntax mixed up, she could still construct fluent sentences.
App Inventor was about as hard as HQ9+, though she was the only one who thought so.
Elaine didn’t wait for her after school.
She wasn’t outside the Music Room either.
Nadine walked home alone, strategizing.
If I could get the source code of Elaine’s brain maybe I could execute a program to make her happy, or execute an algorithm.
Maybe it’d get her away from the Music Room too.
The next day came and went, and soon it was a week. A week of loneliness and sitting at the lunch table on her own, while Elaine and Cadenza chatted in the far corner about Beethoven and Pie.
Another week died.
Soon she stopped counting.
The sun was out but so were the clouds.
Nadine sat on the grass, though it said no sitting, staring across at the deserted music room.
There was a tree near the window, but that was empty too.
The birds had all died.
Nadine ambushed Elaine as she went to the vending machine for her daily chocolate milk. “You’ve been so distant lately.”
“Yeah, well…I have other friends that I have to make time for…” Elaine answered, pressing the button for lemon tea.
“I gotta go.”
“Those music people?”
Nadine wasn’t in math class that afternoon.
She wasn’t in computer class either.
A week later, when Elaine saw her again, she was black and white on the back of the newspaper.
‘Girl found hanged, no note left behind.’
Annie Lee is a thirteen-year-old student studying in Hong Kong. This is her first time being published in a journal online. Her first language is Cantonese, however she enjoys writing stories and fan fictions in English.
Fridge Flash: Five Mice
Five-year-old Cable gave his mom Jen this story for Mother’s Day this year. And now we are lucky enough to get to publish it.
Five mice tied my [shoe] then
they ran to [the] next
person then he gave
[them] some pie.
Fridge Flash: Timemasheen
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s Fridge Flash by 7-year-old Zo was written on wide paper, three pages’ worth, so his mom couldn’t capture it all with a photo. Here’s the story in its original “invented spelling,” along with mom’s translation below.
One day when I woke up I saw a timemasheen! I called Asher and Ethan. We all got in the timemasheen it was at the Ice Age. When we opened the door we saw a mamith. We ran through a blizzard thena asaber-tooth tiger jumped down at us. We ran we looked back at the saber-tooth and the mamith. They were fiteing. The saber-tooth kild the mamith. We ran and ran the saber-tooth was after us. But the saber-tooth stopped but why? Because a pack of mamith’s was comeing. They squoosht the timemasheen we cood not get back. The mamith’s all moste squoosht us but they didn’t. wen the mamith’s left we tride to fix it but needed a sab-tooth’s tooth and a mamith’s tusc but then a sab-tooth jumped down at us! From the timemisheen it was alive! It atackt Ethan. Wal it was eating we kild it. We cut out the tooth now we hat to do sumthing hard. We was looking we foownd one but it was not ded so we just left it alone. We have bin srchin yet we finale foond a ded mamith we tooks it’s tusc. We went back to the timemisheen we went back to me time, it was all one owr.
One day when I woke up I saw a time machine! I called Asher and Ethan. We all got in the time machine. It was at the Ice Age. When we opened the door we saw a mammoth. We ran through a blizzard then a saber-tooth tiger jumped down at us. We ran. We looked back at the saber-tooth and the mammoth. They were fighting. The saber-tooth killed the mammoth. We ran and ran. The saber-tooth was after us. But the saber-tooth stopped, but why? Because a pack of mammoths was coming. They squooshed the time machine. We could not get back. The mammoths almost squooshed us, but they didn’t. When the mammoths left we tried to fix it but needed a saber-tooth’s tooth and a mammoth’s tusk, but then a saber-tooth jumped down at us! From the time machine it was alive! It attacked Ethan. While it was eating, we killed it. We cut out the tooth. Now we had to do something hard. We were looking we found one but it was not dead so we just left it alone. We have been searching yet we finally found a dead mammoth. We took its tusk. We went back to the time machine. We went back to my time. It was all one hour.
Fridge Flash: Magic Cat
Hi, I am a girl cat. I am a superhero. Oh no, the bank is being robbed! Magic Cat is on the way! By the time she got there, the evil robots had the money in their hands. Then she ripped their robotic heads off. Then she realized that the robots lined up to spell SLUG. Dr. Slug was a scientist and he was doing experiments on slugs and then there was an accident and he got turned into a half-man half-slug. So then he said Oh, how about I be an evil slug scientist? Magic Cat went to Slug Labs where Dr. Slug was waiting for her with a Slug 6 Shooter. If you get shot with a Slug 6 Shooter, you become sluggish. But Magic Cat could dodge the gun and broke it but Dr. Slug had a Plan B: Getaway Catapult. He flung himself to Sandwich Island. Sandwich Island has coconut trees that grow sandwiches instead of coconuts. If you eat Sandwich Island though, it doesn’t taste like real sandwiches. The bread tastes like sand and so do the tomatoes. Magic Cat followed Dr. Slug to Sandwich Island and then they fought. Magic Cat won and Dr. Slug went to Slug Lover Jail. Magic Cat had an ice cream cone to celebrate. The ice cream was fish-flavored. The End.
Stella Z. Jancewicz is a homeschooled 8-year-old. Her current interests include cats, dragons, superheroes, and graphic novels. She’s getting pretty good at multiplication. Her favorite food is lox. When she grows up she plans to be an artist and a scientist. She is very proud to be the cover model for the 2015 issue of Night Train.
Fridge Flash: The Rise of the Witch
The Rise of the Witch: Witch Lamby
by Stella Urbanski
One day she planned a party for the evilest witch. They had a big, big ball. Afterwards she won the biggest, strongest, baddest idea and contest. And the biggest meanest thing in the world: the witch’s concert! And the mean wizard that lives with them (that’s where they get their power from); he throws it down by magic wand, the big lovely spring thaw. He couldn’t think what was happening to them. He said “Stop me, it’s so scary! Man, I told you, the bravest one.”
The witch’s cracks filled the air with mean collapse, so windy, a loud scream. Everyone is standing back and then…that…saved. Finally, she went to her friends. It was a magical ride from the wizard’s powerful magic, because the world had ended by all the witch’s powers and means.
The badder, the badder the witch’s powers made her, the badder the land had struck, the badder the Witch Lamby’s bad, the badder the loved.
Stella Urbanski is a kindergartener who often resides in what she calls “Stella’s imagination’s world.” She loves big books with pictures, and she would like to have her parents read her all of the Oz, Little House on the Prairie, Narnia, and Harry Potter books before she grows up.