How Can Peace Be Ensured In A Diverse Society?

Around the world, different cultures have struggled with maintaining an equilibrium between their ideas and beliefs. Many have broken apart, but some exceptional countries have managed to maintain a state of tranquility among their people. The United States is known as a country of immigrants, and it is a place where people of all backgrounds and cultures coexist in a way that has never been seen before. So, how can peace be ensured in a diverse society?

With the acceptance of surrounding differences, there can be harmony between distinct people. Patriotism is the pride in one’s country, and American patriotism is largely perceived as taking pride in being able to coexist with people who have different backgrounds. This means that the United States itself is a nation that is built on embracing the differences and unique qualities of others. It also means that accepting others allows Americans to acquire connections with each other, and in turn maintain tranquility in society. 

Trust and communications are essentials for a unified nation; therefore, common goals are an essential factor for ensuring peace. In his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln declares, “It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” Referring to the Union’s fallen soldiers in the Battle of Gettysburg, Lincoln calls the Americans to action and implores them to continue their fight for the cause. This cause, equality for all, was the common goal which held Americans together during that difficult time. Their unity allowed them to have peace among themselves. 

A more recent example is depicted in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: one of the most devastating events in America’s history, but there was an abundance of help and support available for those who needed it. In other words, America was united with its common goals, establishing trust in each other and making it easier to communicate with each other despite any differences. A society with common goals, but not necessarily common beliefs and customs is a society which provides its community with a safe and peaceful environment.

From the Civil War to today, history is filled with conflicts between groups of people who have struggled to reconcile their differences. It is important to understand that peace can only be achieved through collective efforts, not by the pleas of a single person. However, the pleas of a single person can certainly spark a collective movement. In fact, it is up to courageous individuals to speak up and speak out for their dream (dream: sound familiar?) and inspire others to take a stand.

-Ayati M.

Alternate Ending for “The Landlady”

I recently read a short horror story called “The Landlady,” which was left on a cliffhanger. I decided to write an alternate ending for it! I would highly recommend that you read the original short story before reading the alternate ending. You can find the story at https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/landlady_text.pdf

Alternate Ending for “The Landlady”

Something, just something about this whole affair bothered Billy. He couldn’t quite place his finger on what it was, a stirring of the mind, a brief flash of thought. He attributed it, of course, to the heat of the room and the time of night. “I think I should like to go to bed now,” he said.

“Of course, dear,” cried the old lady, fussing over him, “I should think so!”
Billy sighed, stepping gingerly over the dachshund to make his way to the stairs. He turned back to look at the landlady. She had her back to him, serenely gazing into the dying embers of the fire, petting the dachshund, a cold, stiff travesty of a dog. Yes, something about this whole bloody business just wasn’t quite right. Shaking his head, he stumbled slowly up the stairs and into his room. He sat down heavily on the bed, still thinking. The fourth floor? The men were still here? But how? Eyes drooping, he fell straight to sleep, questions still echoing around his head.

3 a.m. the following morning
Billy started out of sleep, thrashing wildly about his bed like a trout out of water. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he looked blearily around the room. A quick check of the nightstand clock confirmed his suspicion that it was indeed very early in the morning. Just a minute! A voice was coming from the landing above his. It was a mere mumbling, but a voice nonetheless. It was a crooning, haunting tone that rose and fell eerily; yes, it was a voice as smooth as silk, yet as sharp as glass. Billy was wide awake now, no chance of ever falling asleep in this cursed house again! Pulling on his robe, he slowly pushed open the door to investigate.

He crept up the stairs, thoroughly examining his surroundings. He was on the third floor now. Looking about, he saw a small sewing machine, overflowing boxes of cloth, and shelves overflowing with a large variety of small bottles. The room itself smelled faintly of hospital disinfectant. Intrigued, Billy slowly stepped closer. A curious smell came from the flask closest to him. Reaching out, he pulled it from its place and gave it a cautious sniff. The flask reeked of bitter almonds and garlic. Covering his nose with his sleeve, Billy replaced the cask on its shelf and continued his trek.

Something wasn’t quite right. Billy was tripping now, stumbling and coughing. His vision doubled and his eyes watered. In front of him he saw the landlady, crooning gently to- to- he collapsed, the cold, dead face of Christopher Mulholland still swimming in his memory, mouth affixed in a plastic smile, ghastly and preserved.

The face of the landlady, cruel and hard, stared down at him. In the light, she looked a hundred years old, like the old Greek demons Billy had learned about in school. His head felt like a lump of stone. The woman leered down at him, spinning a scalpel expertly between her fingers. He rasped out one word. “Why?” The landlady’s lips turned down. She looked put out to see him awake. “Why, darling, I must keep you! You’ll wither away otherwise.” Billy coughed again, then screamed as a sharp pain sliced into his flesh, below his abdomen. As he floated in and out of consciousness, he heard the landlady singing. My Bonnie lies over the ocean, my Bonnie lies over the sea, my Bonnie lies over the ocean. The landlady smiled cruelly as she pulled her final stitch. “Please bring back my Bonnie to me…”

I hope you enjoyed it!

-Vaidehi B.

“The House” Short Story

I strolled down the sidewalk on the sunny Thursday morning, lost in my thoughts and worries. Was I ever going to find a home that was perfect? I idly examined the mansion I found myself in front of. Manicured lawn, tall hedges hiding the home, marble fountain bubbling up on the walkway… “I could live with this,” I mumbled to myself. I peer through the hedges, trying to catch a glimpse of the house. Suddenly, two boys sauntered up the lawn in front of me, no more than three yards from me! I fervently prayed they wouldn’t notice me, and they didn’t. Breathing a sigh of relief, I strained my ears to hear what the taller of the pair was explaining to his squat friend. “Yeah, the house is nicer since Dad put the new stone siding and fireplace in…” Hmm… a fireplace? I listened closer, sneaking around to the back where I could hear the boys’ voices through the open kitchen window. Newly painted living room, nearest house a quarter mile away? “Lovely, lovely,” I thought. Damp and musty basement? Could get a discount for that… But new plumbing was an added plus. A den was rather unnecessary but perfect for a home theatre system. “Speakers, projector, screens..” Quite lost in my reverie, I came to when the boys were already upstairs! I put my ear to the wall, and was barely able to hear Tall’s voice over Squat’s rapid questions. Three upstairs bedrooms… Perfect for a study and a recreation room. I could hear Tall’s voice more clearly now. “The bathroom in the hall is mine, since Dad added one to my sisters’ room for them… yeah, this is a leak; the roof finally rotted…” A leak! That was worth a hefty price reduction… Grinning to myself, I decided that I had heard enough. As I ambled down the street, I imagined myself putting in an offer, one they wouldn’t be able to resist. How did I know so much about their house? Well, that was my little secret… 

Linwood Custom Homes Named Finalist in Six National Home ...

-Vaidehi B.

Original Story, Greek Myth Style – Kumar and Ram: The Creation of Sorrow

Greek mythology is the basis of modern literature, and the brilliant stories to explain natural phenomena are so captivating that I decided to attempt to write my own myth, similar in style to the Greek myths. The following story attempts to explain why there is sorrow in the world:

Kumar and Ram: The Creation of Sorrow

Long ago, the universe was ruled by its king, Raja, and its queen, Rani. Together, Raja and Rani managed the universe and created a scene so beautiful that not even the most talented artist could depict it. 

Raja and Rani had two sons: their eldest was named Kumar, who was a very obedient and smart child. Their younger son was named Ram, and he was much more mischievous and playful than his older brother. The two had spent their entire lives watching their parents create stars, circulate planets, and sometimes send asteroids into projects that would not turn out the way they wanted. 

One day, Raja and Rani thought that it would be a good training exercise for Kumar to try and manage his own planet, and they provided him with a medium sized planet orbiting a small star on the edge of the Milky Way galaxy. Kumar was elated, and instantly began to decorate his planet with stunning seas, mountains, beaches, and forests. He even created a cover of gases around the planet which would protect it from any asteroids gone astray. Proud of his work, he named his planet Earth.

Like any younger sibling, Ram had always competed with his older brother, and was extremely jealous when he saw what his parents had gifted Kumar. This envy quickly escalated as he observed Kumar taking delight in decorating his planet. 

Wanting to show his parents that he too was responsible enough to manage his own planet, Ram went to his older brother and asked if Kumar would share some of the planet with him. Kumar denied his request at first, but then changed his mind and gifted Ram a small block of clay from Earth. Kumar told Ram that he can create anything with this piece of clay, and Kumar would keep it on Earth. If the creation is both beautiful and successful, it would be a clear indicator that Ram is also ready to have his own planet. If the creation failed to impress, Kumar would destroy it. 

Elated, Ram quickly went to work. He used the clay to create a creature that looked similar to him; it walked on two legs, had two arms, and had a smiling face. He named it a human and went to show Kumar his creation.

Kumar was very amused by Ram’s human and placed it on a piece of land on his planet. Quite soon, the human started to multiply, and its clones were all over Earth. They became very smart and started to use the nature around them to their advantage. They cut down trees to use as shelter, and killed other animals. They even started to create their own inventions that would release a horrible black substance into the gas layer that Kumar had created.

Of course, Ram was delighted upon seeing the intelligence and efficiency of his humans, but Kumar was furious at the harm that his planet had suffered at the hands of the humans. He tried to get rid of them, but they were much too populated. So, Kumar used his power to curse as many humans as he could with negative qualities such as greed, evil, arrogance, and laziness. Kumar knew that this would be just as much of a punishment to Ram, and hoped that it would teach Ram a lesson. To this day, Ram is still paying his price as he watches the evil and sorrow of his once-beloved humans.

-Ayati M.

Writing Tips!

Photo by Judit Peter on Pexels.com

Creating things can be difficult.  Frequently, writers develop a lack of motivation or good ideas, known as writer’s block.  When in one of these moods it can feel impossible to begin writing, like your writing is no good, or that you will never finish on account of not finding the perfect synonym for “yesterday”.  

My brain’s most frequent writing issue is that I ramble.  My ideas come so fast, my fingers don’t have time to get them down on paper, and before I know it I’ve forgotten what I was writing and moved on to a completely different topic.  This leaves my writing sporadic, confusing, and without purpose.  

A tip to cope is letting go of your standards when you first start writing and entering a “brainstorming” mindset where your fingers can get down the most important parts of your ideas without having to worry about grammatical errors or better word choices.  This allows you to get more work done and gives you more material to work with during revision later.  You’ll also feel more satisfied with how much you were able to write and express yourself.  

This brainstorming mode can even take the form of a list or other grammatically incorrect forms.  Long run-on sentences branching out your ideas or even sketchy, bulleted outlines of stories all work to combat writer’s block, give you more motivation and satisfaction, and help you become a more confident and efficient writer.  You’ll be surprised how much more you’re able to get done!  Happy writing! 

-Giselle F. 

George and Lennie: Curley’s Context (Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck)

What if George from John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men was charged with the murder of Lennie? What if Curley, the Boss’s stuck-up son was testifying? That too for the prosecution? I wrote my interpretation of Curley’s character and stance below – I hope you enjoy it!


I first met George and that monster-of-a-man Lennie the day they arrived at the bunkhouse. They struck me as strange from the beginnin’–they travelled together, and George wouldn’t let Lennie talk. My old man told me that Lennie barely said five words to him too. I knew they would be trouble, and what happened in the bunkhouse a few days later only made sure of that. 

Some of the guys had started to make fun of me after I asked them if they’d seen my wife, and I saw Lennie smilin’. I got mad! Usually, I can fight a big man and ever’body will hate on the big guy, and I honestly thought that Lennie wouldn’t have the pluck to fight back, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Lennie wouldn’t raise a finger until I made a proper job of his face, but when George yelled at him to get me, that big hulk grabbed my hand and crushed it in his. Slim convinced me to say that I got my hand stuck in a machine, but for some’un like Lennie to insult my dominance is unacceptable.

The day we found my wife’s body, I instantly knew who did it. I knew he was trouble, and I was still real mad about my hand, but I never could’ve imagined that the beast would take my wife’s life. I shoulda been the one to shoot that Lennie, and it woulda been completely fair if I had! However, Lennie’s death by George’s hands is a show of George’s cruelty.  

George and Lennie seemed to have the relationship of a dog and his master, with the dog completely dependent on his master but available at his master’s every wish or disposal. Lennie was a big guy, and he could’ve used that strength to his advantage loads of times, but he wouldn’t defend himself, or even talk without George’s permission. Workers never travel together, and Lennie’s actions make me think that the two were only travellin’ together because they were either runnin’ from something, or because they had foul intentions. Why, they could have been plannin’ murder all along.

As for the question of George’s sanity, I definitely think that he was in his right mind while shooting Lennie–he was not at all insane. Like I said before, if the two were runnin’ from something, George must’ve killed Lennie after the incident to spare himself a whole lotta trouble. It’s obvious that George sees Lennie as a burden, and shootin’ him under the excuse of Lennie being a killer was the perfect opportunity to lighten George’s shoulders.

-Ayati M.

What Life Is All About

Everyone seems to have their own outlook on what life has to offer and what makes life so precious. In my perspective, it’s the little things that make life worth living. When people think of what the rest of their life has to offer, most think about the major events like graduating or their wedding. Although those are major and amazing parts of people’s lives, it’s vital to notice that life goes a lot deeper than that. 

Life is a collection of small moments. Some of those are going to be good, while others may be bad. We don’t give those moments enough credit, the little moments where you look over and someone’s thinking the exact same thing, smelling a scent you remember, hugging someone you missed, etc. There have been so many days I’ve looked back on and all I seem to remember is the random person I saw dancing in their car or how perfect the weather was. Each day is like a treasure hunt, full of hidden beauties and it’s up to us whether we want to overlook or appreciate them. 

Live for the endless laughter, for the sunsets, for the little thing, and you’ll feel the joys of life. It’s not always about the bigger picture, details are important. So, if there’s something that you want to do whether it’s writing a book or smiling at a stranger, do it. Even if it doesn’t’ affect your life, it’ll affect theirs.  

-Kaitlyn Y.

Two Stories

Don’t chase dreams.

These were the words she’d remember, stuck between her riddled thoughts as though a shard of glass were lodged within. She’d press them or shake them, but their message remained the same.

Don’t chase-

Dreams. A fog in time, a cloud for her to fly in as space around her wilted to swim beneath the seas of age. She was an olive branch to her fears, a dove caught amidst the thorns of life.

She was torn.

Worn out, too, as though her skin were made of yarn, unwoven by the kindles of her sorrows. Such fantasies that hid in her soul’s cracks, she thought, could only be imagined by a madman.

She was indeed, mad, as ginger and rash as the freckles on her cheeks.

Once, as rain poured down like chords of a melody which spun from the tumultuous storms above, a spark in her blood awoke. With her in bed, she braided her harvest curls as though they had heard her traitorous ambitions and disapproved. Yet she could not help it, for she was, in her delusion, a dream too.

A shock of alarm struck her as quick as the realization came. For if she were to be the dream, then she needn’t pursue an illusion at all. 

A sudden smile crept to mark her lips, for a resolution had, for certain, come to ease her qualms.

She was the chase. 

─── ∙ ~εïз~ ∙ ───

She lives in her shadow, behind it, sometimes beside it. It does her everything, and that’s alright with her. It often cooks, or cleans the dust off shelves while she watches. She doesn’t impede. 

It goes on like this: it works, she sits. No one bothers her with chores, nor scolds her when she misses a corner, since she can’t. She just stares, content with her boredom.

Her nails grow thinner, brown at their sides. Edges near her eyes and ears wrinkle, though more often than not where she can’t see them. White hairs greet her black ones, and they accept their presence with no dispute. That’s how she’s worked through much of her troubles, anyhow. 

Her shadow continues its tedious labor, but she herself speaks none. Even her memories, alone and dim, have forgotten what it is to dream.

She waits for action to happen. For death to come, maybe, and rid her of misery. She’s naught, done none, never will do any.

Her shadow scrubs the floorboards, pats the beds. Feeds the pets, takes the kids to daycare. Day after night, past bedtime or at late dawn, it works. And she, ever in darkness, sits in her shadow’s wake.

-Emilia D.