AUTHOR: The Writers’ Room Students in East Harlem  |  AGE 11-14

Middle school students from PS/MS 7 and Global Tech prep work in the Writers' Room with 826NYC staff and volunteers to complete writing projects and assignments. Their work is featured here!


A Quick Loan by Dakota Mitchell

“Mom, how are you feeling?” mumbled Troy.

“Not very great. I’ll need medication quickly,” Mom said softly as she lay on her hospital bed.
“How much will the medication cost?” Troy said curiously.
“One thousand dollars,” mumbled Mom.
“But we can’t get that kind of money right now!” screamed Troy.
“Well, we’ll just have to see and wait,” said Mom.
Troy wanted to cry, but he tried his best not to. He wanted to show his mother he was strong. He loved her so much. She had been there for him through all his troubles, so now he wanted to be there for her. As Troy was about to leave, his mom stopped him and said, “Don’t do anything stupid.”
“Sure,” Troy said sarcastically.
Troy was obviously planning something. He decided to go outside to look for a part time job. He thought, “Why not? It’s summer and I’ll definitely have enough money racked up in one month.” But Troy wondered, “What kind of part time job can get me enough? Minimum wage can get me $45 a day. So in a month, I’d have more than enough! The first thing I can think of would be… fast food!”
So Troy went on to get a fast food job. He decided maybe a McDonald’s crew member would be a good start. Troy thought, “I’d rather be a cashier, but I’m not necessarily of age for that.” He walked over to McDonald’s. He thought, “Well, they are looking for workers. This is a great time to apply.” He walked in, asked about interviews and was able to get a scheduled interview the next day! He didn’t have very nice clothes, but he indeed wanted to show off as a great person.
Troy was at the interview. He was having a nice, casual conversation with the manager.
“You have quite the record here, don’t you?” said the manager.
“What do you mean?” grumbled Troy.
“Stealing and many other different things, things I’m not mentioning right now,” nagged the manager.
“So I can’t get the job?” Troy said sadly.
“Absolutely not!” screamed the manager.
“So be it,” Troy said as he zoomed out of the interview.
Troy was crying. He had no idea how he would get enough money for his mother. He just ran into an alley and sat there crying.

A shady man walked up to him. He asked, “What are you doing here, little man?”
“That’s none of your business!” screamed Troy. The man had appeared out of nowhere, which made Troy suspicious.
“Don’t worry, I can help you. I promise,” the shady man said in a persuading tone.
“All I need is money,” mumbled Troy.
“He doesn’t know me. Why would he help me?” Troy thought.
“Sure, I can get you that. How much?” said the shady man.
“One thousand dollars,” said Troy in a low tone.
“Sure, I can get you that, but make sure you pay me back, okay?”
The man opened up a briefcase with lots of money. He took $1000 out and handed it to Troy. Troy said, “Thanks! I’ll definitely pay you back, sir.”
Troy felt as if he hadn’t done anything bad. He had the money. Now everything should be good, right? The man seemed like a decent guy anyway. A nice suit and tie, nice shoes… “Now I gotta hurry back to my mom!” thought Troy in his head.
Troy got to the hospital and came to his mother’s room with a large bag. “What’s in the bag?” said his mom, confused.
“The money,” Troy said almost as if he was scared.
“Money?” Mom yelled.
“Yeah, you know, the money for your medication?” Troy said. As Troy opened the bag, his mom immediately screamed, “How did you get all this money! Did you do anything stupid” she asked.
“I, um, borrowed it,” he said dejectedly.
“FROM WHO?” Mom shouted.
“A man on the street,” Troy said.
“Okay,” Troy said. “Why is Mom so upset?” he thought. “I didn’t steal it. I didn’t even ask for it. The man was creepy, but he offered it to me. I’m gonna pay it back. Why can’t she just take it?”
Troy went back to the street looking for the man who gave him the money. He saw him talking to another boy in the same alley. “Hmmm… weird,” he thought. Troy threw the money back near the shady man and said, “I don’t need your money!” And Troy ran back to his mom.
“I gave the money back,” he told his mom.
“Good,” said Mom in relief. Troy started crying.
“How am I gonna get the money then?”
His mom smiled and said, “A nice man has actually decided to donate it. We don’t owe him a debt or anything! Troy hugged his mom and they both started crying tears of joy.
“Thank goodness!” said Troy.

The Adventures of Nutriman and Junkster by Saeed Bah

One Monday night in the month of May.
“Man, today for lunch was salted french fries and greasy burgers, but tomorrow is going to be a festive, fresh, yet healthy, Taco Tuesday,” said Dylan (otherwise known as Nutriman) in his bed. He can’t believe how people’s faces are going to be when he brings out the tacos.
The next morning, Dylan went to class with his friend Josh. “Wow, man, it’s already fifth period, five minutes until lunch,” said Josh.
“I can’t wait,” said both Josh and Dylan at the same time.
“Okay,” said Dylan with a tingly feeling in his throat, “I have to go use the bathroom, see you at lunch, Josh.”
“See you later … Nutriman, ha ha ha!” Josh muttered and cackled under his breath.
Dylan came out of the bathroom wearing his suit. “This is a job for Nutriman!” he said. He walked into the lunchroom and there he saw everybody groaning and holding their stomachs. “What happened to you?” Dylan asked a fellow classmate.
“Some guy in spandex tights came and put junk food and fried foods on our plate. I took a bite and it felt good, but it also hurt my stomach. We ate more but it made it worse. Ahhh,” his classmate said as he was in pain.
“Who could have possibly done this,” Dylan said. Dylan saw Josh walking to the lunchroom. “Fellow citizen,” Dylan said in a manly voice. “Why aren’t you sick and groaning like them?”
“Uhh … because I am a vegetarian, yeah, I’m a vegetarian and didn’t eat that food,” said Josh.
“Okay, thank you, sir,” said Dylan. He went home and thought about who had done this. “Hmm … Ant Man … Red Fury … Dr. Sickmania? Who could it be?” said Dylan.
The next day at school, Dylan thought about it. “Well … Josh did sound like he was cackling, and I did get a tingly feeling in my throat when I was talking to him, but why would my best friend do this?” he asked himself. “It’s time to crack this case and find out who did this. I need help and I know just the right person: Captain Nutritional, a good friend of mine.”
Nutriman talked to Captain Nutritional. Captain Nutritional said, “The plan can be that I would offer Josh junk food to give to the kids, which would actually be kale brownies”
“Got it,” said Nutriman.
In the cafeteria, Nutriman said, “Cap, come on.”
“I checked fingerprints and it’s either your friend Josh or some kid named David,” said Captain Nutritional.
“What?! Maybe it is Josh. But Josh has been my friend since kindergarten,” Nutriman.
“Ha ha,” said Junkster (aka Josh) walking up to them.
“I can’t believe it is Josh, and not only that, but the plan has been foiled,” said Nutriman.
“Attack him head on,” said Captain Nutritional with a confident voice.
“Nutriblast!” shouted Nutriman as he blasted fresh greens and beans at Junkster.
“Give me the power of calcium,” said Captain Nutritional, also aiming greens at Junkster.
“Ahhh! The vitamins have destroyed me!” yelled Junkster. “Don’t worry, Nutriman and Captain Nutritional, more villains will come and avenge me. Avenge, I say! Avenge!” yelled Junkster.
“Josh, no,” said Nutriman.
“It’s over,” said Captain Nutritional. The day was saved. Vitamins, nutrients, and calcium were restored back to the food in the cafeteria. Everything was healthy again.

Post Credit Scene

“Don’t worry Nutriman, I’m coming for you,” said an anonymous villain. “Muhahaha!”

Nutriman and Captain Nutritional will return!

Mercury, the Messenger on the Run by Courtney McCall

Once upon a time … Wait, no, this is no fairy tale, so …
There was a girl named Mercury who really wanted the best for her neighbors. She wanted to start a business that got rid of all the bad and high-fattening foods and replace them with healthy foods. She wasn’t getting rid of all the junk food, because she knew what people liked and how they all wanted a cheat day sometime in the week. But there was a man that didn’t like the fact that she was replacing his business, and he wanted to stop her business.
The man that wanted to take down her business usually went by the name of “J. F. Man.” Yes, I know that sounds stupid, but the J. F. stands for Junk Food. He didn’t really give a care in the world to actually thinking about the neighborhood’s diet or if they were trying to get on a diet or stay away from junk food. He just wanted money from the neighbors. But Mercury didn’t really care about the J. F. Man. She wanted to make sure that her neighbors were happy with what they were eating. She would make tasty things for breakfast, like avocado toast; or replace the bacon in bacon, egg, and cheese with low-fat turkey bacon or toast the bread with low-fat butter. She’d put yogurt on it and make yogurt toast.
There was a big event happening, and surprisingly, Mercury was hosting it. She was making all her famous healthy foods that everyone loved. The event was called, “Healthy on the Run!” Everything was going great until the J. F. Man came and crashed her event. He took down her big poster, turned off the fire, threw her food on the group, and then took her microphone and made a very disrespectful statement: “Mercury and her healthy foods suck! If you come back to me, you’ll realize I’m right!”
Mercury’s face became very red and her eyes were so watery they looked like an ocean. But she knew that being violent would get her nowhere. So she decided to wipe her eyes and be nice. She offered to give him some of her food. At first he tried to deny that avocado toast could actually taste good. Then he couldn’t hide it anymore. He finally said the nicest thing he had ever said since this whole rivalry had started. He said, “Buy her stuff, it’s good.”
Everybody replied, “I know!”
Long story short, she and the one very weirdly named villain in this story, J. F. Man, became friends. Good friends actually, and they collaborated on making many good foods.