It Was all a Dream Until It Wasn’t


Artwork by Michelle Roehl

We’re talking to you. Yes, you. How are we talking to you? Well we’re



Chapter One: My Death Day is June 6th 2006


     My birthday is July 4th. Everyone was so happy when I was born (I hope). My mom told me there were fireworks going off that day. I am a Cancer which is a  zodiac sign, I had never thought anything of it until ironically I got cancer. So now, I am a part of the 5.5% of people who have cancer. My illness is holding me back like dark heavy chains around my ankles. My illness is killing me. Slowly, but surely. It’s skin cancer that I have, the zodiac sign too but also a deadly illness. Which is known to kill people and stop people’s dreams. I thought a while ago that my dream was to become a basketball player, but I soon gave up on my dream once skin cancer tried to steal my soul as if it didn’t even care that I had a life. But to be honest I didn’t have a very social life. Most of my friends moved to a wealthier town and they weren’t even allowed to visit me because of “Hospital Rules”. Specifically rule number 66. No visitors under 18 can visit the sick. So there’s my pathetic social life.

It was 2 years ago when I was diagnosed. When I was little, I would play in the sun a lot. Unfortunately, I never liked the smell of sunscreen so I didn’t put any on. Not ever, not even once.  Then one day, I noticed this dark irregularly shaped spot on my left arm. When I was going to my annual doctor’s appointment, they warned me to get it checked on. Soon after, I was rushed to the hospital. 

My doctor, Dr. Lanigton rushed into the room. He is the one that’s treating my skin cancer. His golden, honey hair is gelled back so when he does medical procedures it doesn’t get in the way. He is six feet and four inches tall. Talk about some height, plus he’s Swedish. 

Life in the hospital is different, but I got used to it when the doctor told my mother the ugly truth that this might be my deathbed. My heart jumped out of my chest. . My deathbed? I almost slapped the doctor in the face, but I couldn’t because I’m too sick and weak to even do a simple task like that. Lucky for him.

            But that was a month ago. A very long and sickening month ago.

The doctor is now saying that I’m thriving but I know I’m not. I feel the illness spreading throughout my body constantly. Every day after that, the door of death is opening wider and wider. Trying to pull me in.

     The doctor walks in and says “Great news! We can get you off of your IV today” as he unravels the IV from my arm. “Are you sure?” I am worried.  Are you sure this won’t make me sicker? Are you sure this won’t make me die?

Are you sure….

“Yes I’m sure, I’m sure.” the doctor says.


That night I put on my teddy bear onesie and read my favorite book, The Wake of The Dead. Which is pretty cool, considering it’s about zombies. I wonder what kind of onesie a zombie would wear or what book they would read. Probably a brain onesie and a “How to Harvest Humans Cookbook”. I start to drows off to sleep. Weak, I fell asleep… One thing I didn’t know was if I would wake up tomorrow, would I see another sunrise? Or would I fall into life’s dark empty pit of darkness? Forever.

But I didn’t. 

                     I survived.

                                       I survived the night

As I slowly wake up I feel my stomach growl of hunger. It’s 1:00 pm already!? 


Dr. Lanigton walks in with a pleased look on his face. “ Great news Misty” He says excitedly. “You can go home today! I didn’t tell you yesterday because of how nervous you can get, but last night was just to make sure you were ok off the IV.” 

I was beyond excited to go back to MY soft fluffy bed, MY clothes, MY room, MY toys, MY food, MY pets, MY basketball court, MY friends and most of all MY LIFE. I missed out on so much so I’m happy to finally get back. I packed up my stuff silently praying NEVER to see that kind of bed again. I had spent some of the worst days of my life there. As my dad Paul Parker wheeled me out of that Bluefield hospital, I felt like a superhero gaining back my strength after a long and hard fight. As I sat down in that cream comfy warm car seat I was the most relaxed I’d ever been. Smooth sailing I was cruising along the highway with my dad and then…





My name is Claudia Amtin. Or at least that’s the name on all of my legal documents. But I don’t like that last name. My dad’s last name. So when anybody asks me, I tell them my mothers maiden name. “King”. Claudia King. It has a nice ring to it. Unfortunately, my mother “lost” contact with us after she purposely lost her custody case. I don’t blame her for it; I would do the same if I could. Since our parents divorce, my older sister Khloe and I live on our own. My sister also goes by King as her last name because our father tried to kill her. Khloe is 19 years old, yet she refuses to move without me because I’m only a year away before I can legally move in with her. And believe me, I’m counting my days.


To make matters worse, I have absolutely no friends, because no one wants to be friends with the “school psycho”. Sometimes, I wish I had a friend that wasn’t my sister. On the bright side, I’m drop dead gorgeous. Well at least that’s what people say. I’m not trying to be cocky at all, it’s just the one thing I appreciate about myself. Anyway, I’m trying to run away right now because my freakish and worthiness dad crossed the line. He threw a glass bottle at my head and screamed at me saying “THAT’S WHAT YOU GET YOU @#$%^!”. All of that just because I decided I didn’t want to listen to him nag at me about running away. That’s how my sister and I ended up driving past Bluefield Hospital while going eighty miles per hour in a sixty mile zone…




Hola, my life feels over. Get all your laughs out.

You won’t be laughing,

for long…

You’re probably not worth my time, but I’ll talk to you.

When I feel like it. And right now I feel like it.

I’m Indi, Indi Bouer, my Ma is the best Ma ever. I’m really into zodiac signs and specifically finding them out. I am an Aries, fight me and you’ll ravish the pain. Mess with me and you will regret it. I’m sassy, bold, strong and I do everything with an attitude. I have been sent to the principal’s office many times because of my fierce and rebellious attitude. I have gotten suspended 3 times because of my rich and snappy attitude. But I was also diagnosed with ADHD about a year ago. Now I have to take these stupid pills that have made me throw up so many times. I get in trouble tons of times because I can’t stop talking and fidgeting from my ADHD. But when I get in trouble only my dad can get me. The sad thing is that my Ma died a few months ago… I don’t have the sharpest memory, but that day lives in my head rent free. I can hear every last word of my Ma, I can still smell the terrible scent that filled the room and I can feel my empty pit closing around me.


Now you might be wondering how my Ma died, well it was a fire. You’re probably saying, “Just get out of the house!” Well, we couldn’t. Both my Ma and I had a strong passion for baking. Sometimes we got way too into it. We have made many delicious treats including brownies, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pies and one time we even made someone’s wedding cake! But on June 6th, a day like any other, we decided to try something different… This required a lot of focus but that day I forgot to take my ADHD medication. And I know this sounds weird but it takes a few hours for them to kick in, so there is no point in taking them now. I felt all over the place as if I had one hundred thoughts swarming through my head at once.

This dish required us to move swiftly like a snake striking fast. 

So far I had dropped 3 glass bowls, spilled oil everywhere and completely missed the mixing bowl when I dropped the flour in or at least tried to. My Ma, the one and only Chrissy Bouer had suddenly stopped me and asked if I was okay. 

“Yeah Ma!” I said, but I couldn’t sit still. I just couldn’t couldn’t. You know the saying “you’ve got ants in your pants?” Well that’s what it felt like just 100 times worse.

“You have to focus, honey. We can’t screw up and get hurt ok?” My loving Ma says. Then, she lets out a piercing screech. I had set out a glass bowl but I had forgotten it. The bowl fell on my Ma! Suddenly she cries out in pain as glass shards stab into her leg. The blood was flowing rapidly down her leg.Then as suddenly as a bolt of lightning the oven suddenly EXPLoDEd!!

Fire was everywhere. We were crying in pain as the remains of our kitchen were stuck into our bare legs. 


The ceiling fell down, attempting to finish us. It was crushing us as the house burst into orange flames. We were dying.

Slowly, my vision was failing me. My vision turned as dark as an endless abyss.

I was knocked unconscious by my own ceiling.

slowly opened my eyes, batting my eyelids. The world around me started to clear up and I could see I was in a car. I tried to sit up and see who was driving the car but my head exploded in pain like the oven set on fire. But I could see my Ma sitting next to me. She looked badly burned, worse than any pictures I had ever seen. I closed my eyes again and only opened. Then when I was back in a wheelchair this time going away from the hospital. I looked around but my Ma wasn’t there, only the couple across the street pushing my wheelchair. My Ma had to spend the night in the hospital so I went home with the Browns. We were cruising along the highway then…





My name is Max Baron

                           I was once a twin


My life and family fell apart one year ago September, 18, 2004. That day is my twin sister’s who was my best friend’s birth-and-death-day. It’s not fair to my sister, the nicest, greatest person on earth. She had to die while I Max, the shoplifting idiot, got to live. My sister died from a stupid cold which was nothing, but then it got progressively worse. We both had it. We were in the same room when she died. I was the only one there, I had to watch the life drain from her eyes. As her last words slipped out from her lips, “see you next time.” 


Well that was one lonely year ago. 


My parents are lesbian. Which made an effect on my life. The effect of loving others no matter what. Now I’m starting to think harder about it. About if I am attracted to women. 

Am I?

      Am I not? 

                         I have a little brother, a crazy little brother named Liam. Somehow I have no clue how but my little brother is homophobic! My own brother!  I suppose my parents’ attempts to cram some decency into him had failed.  He was raised by lesbians and may have a sister who’s a lesbian too. I walk out of my small town home and into my car. I take out my iPhone and open a text from my mom.

5:56 pm

 “Get eggs, butter, and juice from the supermarket. Take Liam with you.” 

“Ok, got it.” I responded.

“Uhhhhhhhhg” I let out an exasperated sigh as I trudge back to the front door and holler “LIAM GET DOWN HERE!” 

“COMING!” He shouts back. I hop in the driver’s seat and tap my foot waiting for Liam to make his way into the car. The second he sits down I start making my way to the store. I pass Bluefield hospital and see some crazy lady going 20 over the limit. Oh no. 


     “What’s going on?!” He yells alarmed.

     “I love you.”