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32 x December 21, 2017 -

32 x December 21, 2017 - January 3, 2018 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 and all of those who have made a difference in my life. Honorable Mention A Memory by Samantha Payton Windermere Once, on Christmas Eve, a girl, dressed warmly, was sitting on her porch, when she saw a dog shivering. She felt sad for the dog, so she approached it and gave it one of her many layers of clothing. The dog stopped shivering and turned into a beautiful sorceress. She had never seen someone so magnificent and majestic. Then the sorceress spoke. “You, darling child. You have a very kind and pure heart. What is your name?” “Tai Angelis,” the girl said. “Well, Ms. Angelis, you have earned yourself a gift,” the sorceress said. After wondering if she should get something for her family or something cool, Tai answered, “I would like ice powers, please.” © 2017, Fresenius Medical Care, All Rights Reserved. Then, the sorceress pulled out a sphere-like orb, handed it to Tai, and said, “Just twist the orb three times carefully to the right before you brush your teeth. Also, keep the orb with you at all times.” And just like that, the sorceress vanished. Tai immediately went to tell Sam, her twin sister. “Sam!” Tai exclaimed as she burst into their room. “What happened?” Sam asked as she jumped off her bed. “Don’t worry. I’m alright. Look, I got this orb from a sorceress, and if I drink the liquid inside it, I’ll get ice powers.” “Whoa, Tai, how do you know it’s not poison,” Sam asked suspiciously. “I dunno, but I guess we’ll find out,” Tai replied. After eating their Christmas dinner, Tai was ready. “OK, on the count of three. One, two, three!” Once Tai finished drinking the sweet liquid and brushed her teeth, she fell asleep. After awhile, the door creaked open. It was Sam. “Tai? Are you sleeping?” Ready to thrive on dialysis? We’re ready for you Fresenius Kidney Care treats the whole you, offering quality dialysis care as well as education, support and inspiration to help you live a full life. Now offering nocturnal (nighttime) dialysis. Fresenius Medical Care Clermont East 17319 Pagonia Road, Clermont, FL 34711 407-877-0454 Fresenius Medical Care Clermont 312 Mohawk Road, Minneola, FL 34715 352-243-1200 Make an appointment today. Learn more about your treatment options and how you can thrive on dialysis. FreseniusKidneyCare.com There was no answer. She pulled out a key and unlocked a secret door in the closet. Sam whispered, “Riccamora.” She opened the door and headed down the dark passage way. The next morning, Tai woke up early to test her powers. After waking up her twin, they met in the living room. As she was focusing on her new powers, ice blocks came out of Tai’s hands. The girls played with Tai’s ice powers every winter for the next couple of years until a terrible storm hit their town. Tai was about to go inside the house when she heard a screeching noise. She turned around and saw a car spinning out of control. Although Tai was capable of helping the out-ofcontrol car, she did nothing to stop the car from crashing. “Sam, I just witnessed a car crash on the icy road!” Tai exclaimed. “Did you try to stop it?” Sam asked. When Tai responded “no,” she saw a disappointed gleam in her twin’s eyes. “Why do you use your powers only for playing?” Sam asked. Tai saw the same troublesome look on her sister’s face two years ago when she first got the orb. Sam asked Tai if she remembered why she got the ice powers. “No, I don’t,” Tai replied. Sam had no words to explain her disappointment. Tai sat down gingerly, as she pulled out the orb. Sam took out a key from her pocket. With no words, Sam opened a secret door and gestured Tai to go in. Once they were inside, Sam asked for the orb. Tai gave it to her, and Sam put it on a torch holder. Without warning, the torch burst into flames. They were not ordinary flames, they were pictures of when Tai helped the dog. Then, Tai realized she had been selfish. “Tai, promise me you’ll use your powers to help others,” Sam said. Tai promised, and she kept her promise forever. Honorable Mention White Christmas Prayer by Bryce Barbon South Bay In my small town, just outside of Chicago, it was a snow-less Dec. 24. Being 12, my siblings and friends were bored. We couldn’t go sledding, iceskating, skiing or snowmobiling with the absence of snow. It was unthinkable that tomorrow morning was Christmas Day, and there would be no snow for Santa’s sleigh, let alone for our traditional winter fun. As we closed our eyes and drifted off to sleep, we each prayed a “white Christmas prayer.” When I awoke on Christmas morning, I looked out my window. No snow — just frozen, barren brown grass. Despite it being Christmas, spirits were down. We had never experienced a Christmas Day without snow. Without snow, what would we do while Mom, Dad and my grandparents spent the day preparing our Christmas feast? On past Christmases, we had frolicked in the snow with cousins and friends. I also secretly worried that the reindeer food sitting outside my window sill on our roof had gone untouched. Of course, reindeer can’t land on rooftops without snow! We gratefully opened our gifts. New toboggans, racing skis and hockey skates had all been neatly wrapped with colorful foil and ribbons. The exciting new winter toys quickly became a tease as we knew we couldn’t use them on the frozen brown grass outside. After opening gifts, we decided to check on the reindeer food we had left out the night before. Shockingly, when we peered out the window, it was snowing heavily. It looked like white icing had been spread over the landscape. Our “White Christmas” prayers had been answered! Rushing to put on mittens, hats, scarves and boots, we returned to our gifts strewn under the Christmas tree and gathered them up to head outside. The same scene repeated itself from every front door on our small town street. Hoots, hollers and screams of delight echoed in the cold, crisp air. Snow had miraculously been delivered. It even seemed as though my parents and grandparents were giving a sigh of relief as all of us kids ran out of the house. Neighborhood friends zoomed down backyard slopes with new toboggans, skates were laced up for a hockey game, and snowmobiles could be heard zooming in the fields behind the houses.

FAIRBANKS AVE GARDEN AVE Winter fun would be had after all! Our prayers for snow had been heard and delivered. I pondered this thought as I later walked into church with my family. I looked up at an intricate stained glass window at the end of my pew and saw an image of Jesus in the stained glass. I saw a twinkle of sun come through the stained glass. It seemed as though He was winking at me. Quietly, I wondered if He had something to do with the white Christmas miracle for all the children — and our parents — in our small Illinois town. Honorable Mention Stranded in Space by Zachary Yadi The Willows On Dec. 24, 2001, John McGuffin, a former astronaut, was sent out to space to work on a satellite that had been damaged by an asteroid. John was a family man with an ex-wife and a seven-year-old daughter. At 7:08 a.m., seven hours before John was sent to space, he was packing for his trip. His daughter, Clare, walked into the room while he was packing. “Do you really need to leave? It’s Christmas Eve.” “I know, honey. I want to be home too, but when duty calls, I can’t say no. But I promise you, when I get home we will be able to have as much fun as any other Christmas Eve.” “Promise?” “Promise.” At 12:27 p.m., an hour before John was sent out, he got his astronaut suit on and headed inside the spaceship. “Your directions are to get to the satellite, fix it and get back as soon as possible,” said the flight commander. “When you get there, you will need to turn on the power so you can get it up and running and be able to see. But before you leave, we are going to need to do a systems check.” Two hours later. “We are ready to lift off. We will begin the countdown. John, are you ready?” “Affirmative.” “T minus five, four, three, two, one, blast off! We have liftoff.” John reached the satellite at 6:55 p.m. He grabbed his gear and headed inside the satellite. He fixed the satellite with no problems. He pressed the button that hooked him to the ship. When he got back to the ship, he headed back toward Earth. He put the ship on autopilot and decided to take a nap. He was dreaming about Christmas and all the joy in it. He woke up 15 minutes after he had put on the autopilot. He looked out the window and saw that it was all black outside. He could not see a thing, then sparks started flashing. The ship got hit really hard and started going out of control. When the ship turned, John saw the reason why he was hit. He was in an asteroid field! He put on the thrusters and tried to get his ship to safety. When he did that, he felt another bang. Red lights turned on, and the speaker started beeping like crazy. He realized that if he got another hit like that, the ship might explode. He turned his ship around, but when he did that, a small asteroid hit the back of the ship and sent it straight toward Earth. John’s ship started to deform when a fire started, then everything went black. When John woke up, he was in a hospital bed with a bunch of people surrounding him. All he was thinking was that he made it just in time for Christmas Eve, or at least he thought he did. Then, a nurse walked up to him and said, “What is your name?” “John McGuffin.” “OK, John McGuffin. You have been in a spaceship crash. You have broken your left hip and legs, and your chest was punctured badly. Luckily, the thick coating on your suit protected you from the worst. You will be fine, but it will take a long time to heal.” Clare came running in and saw her dad. She asked the nurse if he was OK, and the nurse said, “He will be fine. God has blessed you with a Christmas miracle.” Hearing that brought Clare joy. Honorable Mention Story of the Season by Jacob Lee Falcon Pointe What do you think Santa does on Christmas Eve? He takes presents around the world, of course. Usually, he starts his trip at the North Pole. But this www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x December 21, 2017 - January 3, 2018 x 33 time, he started someplace different ... Universal Studios of Orlando! Well, it’s a long story, but here it goes. During the off-season, Santa visited Orlando to enjoy sunny days and brought most of his crew with him. The only problem was he and his crew had too much fun at Universal Studios and forgot where they parked his sleigh. Santa ran inside Islands of Adventure looking for his sleigh. He thought it might be at Hogwarts. He looked all around, but it wasn’t there. Then, he went to the Marvel comics section. As he arrived, he saw The Hulk roller coaster. And there it was — his sleigh! So, he jumped right in. When the ride started to move, the safety bar moved onto his shoulders and chest. The ride started, and Santa was launched up a steep hill and went into a loopy-loop. After he came out, the sleigh turned down, and it felt like he would fall out on to the ground. But the sleigh kept going. Santa begged to get off, but the ride wasn’t over. It can’t get any worse, Santa thought. But Santa was wrong. A FREE EVENT FEATURING AWARD-WINNING CAMELLIA BLOOMS AT THE LARGEST SHOW IN THE SOUTHEAST U.S. FREE PARKING! WINTER PARK GARDEN CLUB CLUBHOUSE AT MEAD BOTANICAL GARDEN 1500 S. DENNING DR. VISIT WWW.CAMELLIACFL.COM WINTER PARK, FL 32789 FOR MORE INFORMATION SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 2018 activity schedule 7 – 10 a.m. Enter camellia blooms (ANYONE!) Volunteers available to assist with registration. Self-Guided Tours: Camellia Garden, Legacy Garden, greenhouse & other gardens throughout Mead. 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Camellia Show officially OPENS to public. See thousands of competition blooms up close! (Location: Winter Park Garden Club – Clubhouse) sponsors map 4 p.m. Show ends EXIT 87 WINTER PARK GARDEN CLUB Gardening Since 1922 72 nd ANNUAL CAMELLIA SHOW Dedicated in Honor of Arthur E. Crocker (1899 - 1971) Molly Moore Davis Camellia Drawing by Arthur E. Crocker Just then, the sleigh climbed up so high, it felt like it was touching the sky. As Santa held on tightly, the sleigh fell over the hilltop and down it plunged. Nightmares filled Santa’s head. I want to get off this ride, Santa thought to himself. He heard people yelling at the top of their lungs. Santa felt like he was going to take off into the air. But instead, his sleigh slowed down right in front of his elves. The ride was over. Then, Santa got out of his fake sleigh, and the elves were yelling at Santa. “Why are you on that ride?” they screamed. “You only have a few hours left!” Quickly, they hooked up the reindeer to the sleigh and took off into the night. “Ho, ho, ho,” Santa said with a laugh. “Merry Christmas!” The staff of the Southwest Orlando Bulletin extends special thanks to everyone who participated in the 26th annual holiday short-story contest. Editor’s note: Entries may have been edited for grammar, punctuation, length and content. To honor as many holiday short stories as possible, School News does not appear in this issue. ª (Location: Winter Park Garden Club - Clubhouse) 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Camellias for sale with other plants, merchandise and food. (Location: Clubhouse Area) 10 – 11 a.m. Camellia 101 Class with Robert Bowden, Director of the City of Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens – (Location: Barn) INTERSTATE 4 S.ORLANDO AVE HWY 17-92 MINNESOTA AVE S. DENNING DRIVE camelliacfl.com n mead gardens