Sunday, May 01, 2011

She Strikes Again; Give Her Thirty Minutes and You Never Know What Shersten Rosenfeld Will Write;

LAPD Announces Youth Advocacy Workshop May 5

Dear Readers:

Shersten Rosenfeld, 10, has been in my writing class for a long time, and what can I say, she just gets better and better and better. I would consider Shersten a natural writer, already beginning to bloom the moment she arrived, and forging ahead to the point where I can admit she will be a better writer than I within a few years. That’s why this class, Seven Golden Secrets to Writing, is important to so many children. They are allowed to grow without having their hands slapped for grammar and spelling. Because as they blossom, their abilities to grasp those two very things improves tremendously along the way. I am grateful to have students like Shersten, who reads a story – and all the students turn to me afterward  and say: “You better run this one on your blog.” -- Diana

Thirty Minutes Until Death
By Shersten Rosenfeld, 10

“Peyton,  wake up!” Mom yelled.

I tumbled out of bed and yawned.

“Peyton Allison Potter! Get down here!” Mom yelled furiously.  “I’ve got hotcakes and eggs on the table!”

When Mom says get to the table, she means GET to the table! She’ll make you wash the dishes if you don’t.

So I got dressed, put on my black Converse shoes and skipped downstairs.

“Okay, Mom. I’m here,” I said as I went down the last step looking down. The room was as quiet as a mouse. I looked up. The door was open and the window was broken.

“Mom!” I yelled. I went outside and yelled again: “Mom!”

I started to cry.  Usually, when I call Mom, she says the first time: “Peyton Allison Potter! Stop yelling at me! I’m going to help you when you come to me!”

I heard a rustling in the trees. I ran to them. Nothing was there but a gray rabbit with red, blood thirsty eyes.

“Come with us,” the rabbit seemed to say. “Come and become one of us so we will let your mommy go. Simply follow my red tracks.”

The rabbit disappeared. I stared at that spot in disbelief.

“I must be dreaming,” I said under my breath. I walked to my house and made myself a cup of hot chocolate and a sandwich to think. Then I decided I needed to go into the forest to follow the tracks.

I woke up in the forest. I was lying on the a tree, cuddled up. I took a stick and went through  my hair with it. Then I headed west, where the red tracks were.

 Oh, on the way, I spotted a dead raccoon, who died from disease. I was starving. I didn’t want to, but I made a fire and fried it. I ate the raccoon on a stick, only the meat. It tasted like chicken. I stood up, and there was a woman with gray hair and a black dress.

“They’re evil!” she screamed, a high-pitched, blood curling scream. “They will kill you!”

I ran away from the creepy old woman. I was breathing heavily, looking around to see if she was still there. She wasn't. 

I decided to be brave and walked into a nearby cave. It was dark and super creepy. I wished I had brought a torch or lantern.

After I exited the cave, I heard another rustling in the brush.  A bear crawled out.

“Your mother has 30minutes to live,” the bear exclaimed. “Our hideout is three miles. If you do become one of us, your mother will live.”

The bear vanished just like the rabbit.

As I was walking, my throat felt dry. I needed water desperately. Suddenly, a glass of cool water appeared at my feet. I gladly picked it up and drank. It was pure water, and it was infused with a minerals to give a fresh taste. Nothing made sense. Things appeared and disappeared. In confusion,  I continued to walk on and  spotted pictures of animals being killed by  hunters. It scared me, so I ignored the drawings.

Finally, I reached the hideout. It was a cave with many pictures and more drawings.

“Who goes there? A voice asked.

I jumped. It was a crow.

“I am looking for my mother. I followed the red tracks, “I answered.

“Go in,” the crow beckoned.

The door opened and I went inside.

When I walked in, these strange people with one eye and a horse body stared at me. I’m pretty sure those “people” weren’t “people.” I think they were Cyclops, one-eyed giants you read about in books. I looked forward the whole way because I was scared.

When I reached my destination, I was horrified. There was human heads on the wall, and they all had terrified looks on their faces and if they were screaming. I gasped in fear.

“So you’re looking for your mother, eh?” a rumbling voice said.

I turned around. I saw a shadow of a huge Cyclops with a mallet.

“Yes, I’m here for my mother. Please give her to me,” I said trying to not sound scared.

“Your mother has thirty minutes until death. If you want your mother, you must fight me,” the Cyclops said banging his mallet on his hand. He looked very tough.

“Okay, where’s my weapon?” I asked bravely.

“Oh, you’re a tough one. Here’s your weapon,” said the Cyclops as he handed me a mallet.

It was tiny and it only weighed a few pounds. I glared at the Cyclops. Why would he have such a huge mallet and I got a little one? I thought.

“You may become one of us if you don’t win,” the Cyclops said. “Your mom will be hanged. If you win, and you probably won’t, I will give you your mom and we will never disturb another human being again.”

“O.K., “ I said.

“One, two, three, start!” the Cyclops said.

“For what?” I asked.

“Duh, to start fighting! Oh, you just reminded me. Jedediah get the hanger ready,” the Cyclops said, chuckling.

“OK, let’s start!” he said.

I took my mallet and whacked the Cyclops in the head. He started bleeding furiously and he held his head in his giant hand.

“Good god, girl!” he yelled, stamping forward directly at me.

He struck, but I ducked just in time. I hit him again with the mallet in the head. He fell to the floor. I whacked him in the chest and then the head again. He cried in pain and stopped breathing. He was dead. I spotted my mom sitting behind the Cyclops. I grabbed her. She had tape over her mouth and legs. I took my pocket knife and cut the tape.

“Peyton!” my mom screamed.

She hugged me tightly.

“I’m so glad to see you!”

I let go of her and pushed her out of the cave. As we walked home, the cave disappeared in a cloud of dust.

Los Angeles Police Department Hosts a Youth Advocacy Workshop Wednesday 

The Los Angeles Police Department's Harbor Division will offer a job skills workshop to help youths decide if law enforcement and criminal justice is a career meant for them.
On Wednesday, May 4, police officials will teach about what is needed for such jobs from 5 to 8 p.m at the Harbor Division Police Station, Grace Bradbury Community Room, 2175 John S. Gibson Boulevard in San Pedro.

The workshop will include such things as explaining resume writing and teaching interview techniques. To attend, it's suggested you make reservations and bring a pencil or a pen. To reserve a spot, call Joe Buscaino at (310)-726-7925 or email him at or email Kimberly Balderrama at She also can be reached at  (213)-580-7505