The unintentional incident of the cat in the night-time

By Sille Veilmark

Ditte walked out of the front door in stockings and stepped thrice on her toes before she reached the garage. The almost 6-foot-tall plant wall in the driveway had newly been cut. Among tools, bikes and a big refrigerator for extra food storage in her father’s garage, Ditte carefully slid through the dusty darkness toward the left corner, where a couple of bottled Green Tuborg beer cases were stacked. She snatched two bottles, went back to the driveway and back inside the house.

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Multicultural dinner is family tradition

By Katie Zdunek

Twelve ramekin-size white dishes are brought out on a brown plastic tray by an older Korean woman who speaks broken English and spends her time between the front and back of house. We, the largest and only multicultural family in Koreana II, sit in the middle at long, pink laminate covered tables to celebrate my birthday and Jeffrey’s adoption day dinner, while several Asian families sit at four-tops that hug the walls near the barred windows. We thank her as she places a tray on each end, not knowing one tray will only be picked over by Mom and my nieces, Maddy and Caroline, my family’s pickiest eaters.

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You know, until you don’t

By Laryn Hilderbrandt

“Who do you want to be? What do you want to do?”

I remember the clicking and tapping sound throughout the computer lab, the whirr of the monitor and the hushed conversations of the children around me. The smell of Expo markers uncapped, the musty but cleaning agent smell that only schools seemed to have. I was a child, seven or eight. Mrs. Vicki walked around the room, preaching about dreams and goals, peeking her slightly grayed head over small shoulders.

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My small, black suitcase

By Kacie Brockman

I remember the continuous packing. Every Friday afternoon I would gather up my clothes for the coming school week and my ratty, stuffed golden retriever, Shadow, who was my riding companion from house to house. I would cram my belongings into my small, black suitcase that rested at the end of my twin-sized bed. I would say my goodbyes to whichever parent I was parting from for those seven days, always ending with a kiss on the cheek and an “I love you.” That was my weekly routine for as long as I can remember. From the age of 5 on, I lived out of that small, black suitcase.

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Jimmy with Asperger’s: The Early Years

By James Humphrey

It was a typical preschool classroom in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on a hot August day in 1997. Four-year-old kids were playing with toys and socializing with one another as they waited for someone to pick them up. There was one boy who didn’t have any toys out. He was sitting in a corner, reading a book, alone by choice. This boy didn’t play with toy cars often, but he could point out the difference between a Honda and a Toyota in a parking lot. He saw little reason to socialize with other 4-year-old, and preferred the company of adults. He read books, and scribbled in them – not drawings of far-out space aliens or cartoon characters, but coherent words like “Dual Airbags.”

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