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This piece is dedicated to those lost in the recent Connecticut shootings. My heart and prayers go out to the children and adults lost and the grieving families. Your courage and strength amazes me to no end, and I hope you find your time of peace as soon as possible, because no one deserves to have life ripped away from them this soon, especially near Christmas time. Please rest in peace.

Safe</i>


Jack Frost thought he was going to explode.

He couldn't fly through Burgess fast enough, leaping from rooftop to rooftop in seconds even though it felt like hours. He had to get to the house. He had to get to Jamie. After what he had heard about today . . . he had to see him.

Finally, Jamie's home came into view. It was decorated for Christmas, golden lights dotting the roof and bushes, a wreath hung on the front door, and Jack's snow coating the ground, a foot deep. Jack knew it was late, but he just had to see Jamie if he couldn't talk to him.

Jack inched close to Jamie's window, trying to peek inside. He saw Jamie's sprout of tawny brown hair in bed, his back to him, shoulders rising and falling with his breathing. Relief settled over him like a quilt. "He's right there. He's there," Jack whispered. But he knew it wasn't good enough. He had to hear his voice. Jack tapped the window with his staff and waited.

Jamie didn't stir. Jack tapped again, harder, but still nothing. Heart racing in impatience, Jack knocked one more time, the hardest, an echo in the night, and then Jamie finally sat up and stared at the window. His lips moved, a question spoken aloud, and then he gestured for Jack to come inside.

Jack didn't think twice. He shoved the window open and flew into Jamie's room, landing on his feet at the front of Jamie's bed. "Jamie?" he asked tentatively, eyes scanning over his first believer. He got on his knees on the bed, staff in front of him.

"Jack, are you okay?" Jamie questioned, rubbing his bleary eyes. His stuffed bunny was in his lap, blanket draped over his legs.

The sound of Jamie's young voice was suddenly too much for the Winter Spirit. Jack lunged forward and enveloped Jamie in a cold, desperate hug, pulling Jamie into his lap. Jamie, obviously surprised, melted easily into the embrace, arms around Jack's neck as Jack's arms wound around Jamie's waist.

"Oh, Jamie . . ." Jack inhaled, breathing in Jamie's scent of mango shampoo and Christmas cookies. "Jamie. Jamie, I'm so glad you're okay. Thank MiM you're okay."

"Jack . . . you're scaring me." The impending fear was apparent in Jamie's unsure tone. "What's wrong? I'm fine . . ."

Jack released Jamie, who fell back against his pillows. Jamie's face was tinted with rosy pink from Jack's natural freezing body temperature. Jack ran his hand through his white spiky hair, taking deep breaths. "Sorry," he rasped. "I don't mean to scare you. I know this is random." He met Jamie's curious gaze with one of sad concern. "Um . . . you've heard about the thing that happened in Connecticut yesterday, right?"

Jamie immediately winced, squeezing his bunny tight. "Yeah. It's been all over the news."

Jack glanced out the window, noticing MiM's brightness and fullness tonight. "It's been a terrible couple of days." His voice broke. "We . . . the Guardians and I . . . we've been a wreck. We held a vigil earlier, and my mind sometimes wandered to you. So I just wanted to see you . . . at three in the morning," he added sheepishly, noting the digital clock on Jamie's desk that read 3:09 in eye-hurting red. "I—I just wanted to make sure you were okay."

Jamie stared at Jack, worry painted on his face. Jack had red outlines to his azure eyes, he kept on wringing his hands, and he was as white as the sheets he sat on. "I'm alright," Jamie admitted quietly. "My mom was crying when I got home from school yesterday. The second I walked in, she hugged me and kept on telling me how thankful she was that I was safe. Same for Soph too. We had a moment of silence last night before dinner, and I had one with just me before I went to bed."

Jack nodded silently. "Good. That's real nice of you." He paused, chewing his lip.

"How did you guys find out about it?" Jamie asked, wide awake now. He loved talking with Jack—he was willing to give up an hour of sleep if it meant soothing his Guardian.

Jack gulped, like he was trying to push his anxiety down his throat. "North called us all in. Whenever he wants to call a meeting, he sends out these pink and green lights in the sky, and wherever we are, we can see them. He told us that a bunch of lights had zapped out in the same area, so we went to where they had been to see what . . . what was up . . ."

Jamie sensed the tears perched at the edge of Jack's voice. "You don't have to go on if you don't want to."

"Naw, I want t-to," Jack said, clenching the ends of his hoodie.

Jamie reached over to his desk and grabbed a fuzzy brown teddy bear with a band around its head with a red cross on the front. He offered it to Jack, slightly embarrassed. "I've had Doctor Bear since I was really little, like my bunny. Do you need him, Jack? I know it sounds a little babyish, but, I mean—"

Jack snatched the bear from Jamie and held it close, looking at it with tender eyes. "Doctor Bear?" Jack chuckled.

"I was four," Jamie giggled.

"It's perfect. Thank you, he'll help." Jack breathed out. "We got there afterward. There were police cars and parents and newscasters everywhere. We watched from a roof on the other side of the street. We listened as the facts of what had happened unfolded. We watched . . . we watched them bring out the safe kids. But then we heard the body count . . ." Jack hugged Doctor Bear like the stuffed animal was a lifeline. "We hated ourselves, Jamie," Jack said in a small voice.

"What? Hated yourselves?" Jamie was almost insulted. "But, you guys didn't—"

"Exactly. We didn't do anything. We failed those kids, and look where they are now. We're . . . we're Guardians, and we didn't even do our one job!" Jack was crying now, crystal-like tears sliding down his pale cheeks. "When we got back to the Pole, we were so upset, Jamie. We talked about it a little. North talked about how we can't protect every kid . . . that we have to do our best to protect the ones we can . . . Tooth just broke down and sobbed. Bunny smashed a few things. Sandy . . . Sandy's silence was almost deafening—he floated up to the ceiling and stayed there. North stood by the Globe for hours, just staring at it."

"What did you do, Jack?" Jamie asked gently.

"I left." Jack sniffed, wiping his tears on his sleeve. "I couldn't stay there, where our failure was so tangible. I stormed out the nearest window and just . . . flew. I sat in clouds, I shot ice spikes at mountainsides. Nothing helped, Jamie," Jack whimpered, miserable and teary. "Our fault was still there. It'll always be there. We failed those kids, we were supposed to protect them. And because of us—!" Jack stuffed his face into Doctor Bear and cried, wails muffled.

Jamie practically felt his heart shatter. It was a strong, aching slash in his chest, and then a hollowness that made him feel hot and cold at the same time. "Jack," Jamie said, "c'mere."

And he did. The Winter Spirit that Jamie had always thought didn't have the ability to cry, always thought his sunny confidence, sarcasm, and mischievous nature took up too much room in Jack's body so that the spirit was without tear ducts, threw himself into Jamie's open arms, bawling into his shoulder. He would sometimes blubber, "My fault, my fault," but otherwise, it was just his cries.

Jamie was frazzled. He didn't know how to properly comfort Jack—how did you comfort someone so upset? So Jamie just held Jack with a vice-like grip, having to stand to even out the height difference, as Jack was on his knees, smoothed the silvery-white hair, and murmured, "It's okay, Jack . . . shh, it'll be okay . . . I'm here . . ."

At three-twenty, Jack's cries decrescendoed, turning into sniffles and gasps. Jack's breath was hot against the back of Jamie's neck. "Jack? You okay?" Jamie whispered.

Jack let go, settling down and drying his tear-stained face. "Jah . . . I'm sorry, Jamie," he mumbled. "You shouldn't see me like this. It's not good for you."

"I don't care," Jamie said, passion flaring in his furrowed brow. "Neither are cookies, but I eat those anyway."

"Cookies are good for the soul," Jack joked weakly, earning a giggle from his first believer. "Gah, thank you. I needed to let all that out. It just hurts so much, knowing . . . I mean, they were younger than you. It's . . . it terrifies me, the idea of that happening to you. I wouldn't know what to do." Jack smiled faintly at the boy. "You were my first believer. You're like a little brother to me."

Jamie grinned toothily. "And you're a big brother to me, Jack."

"Good, good. This'll pass with time, I know . . . we'll move on. I mean, it's like what North told me: we can't save every child every day. But the pain is there now, and it . . . it hurts, is all," Jack murmured. "It hurts knowing we failed."

Jamie considered Jack's words carefully, glancing down at his bunny. There was a full minute of silence before Jamie spoke. "They're not really gone, you know."

"Huh?" Jack looked at Jamie with watery blue eyes. "What're you saying, Jamie? They're . . . they're gone."

"I don't believe that." There was softness, and a touch of determination. "I've always thought . . . well, okay, let's look at it this way. When I didn't believe in you . . . and I couldn't see you . . . that didn't mean you didn't exist. I can see you because of belief, but you exist on your own, even if some can't see you."

"Okay," Jack whispered. "Go on."

"Well, to me, that's always how death's been . . . my grandpa died when I was seven, but even though he was dead physically, he lived in my memories and the photographs of him that hung on the walls of my grandma's house, and he even lived when we talked about him. People always live if they're remembered." Jamie met Jack's gaze, innocent yet wise brown eyes boring into shaky blue ones. "If we remember those kids, they'll always be alive. They may be gone physically, but their memory lives on in their parents and friends. They're not gone, Jack. They're just . . . invisible."

The Winter Spirit stared at Jamie, slack-jawed. "Jamie . . . you're ten, right?"

"Yeah."

"There's no way you're ten."

"Well, unless I've been lied to my entire life . . ."

Jack revealed a tiny grin. "Surprise!"

Jamie laughed and then smiled at his Guardian. "Do you feel better?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I actually do. Thank you so much, Jamie. Thank you for everything."

"You're welcome, Jack." Jamie yawned, blinking sleepily.

"Tired?" Jack asked.

"Only a little," Jamie replied, already in the process of lying back down in bed. He noted Jack glance at the window, torn, and offered, "Jack, you wanna stay over tonight? Just so that . . . in case you feel bad again or something."

"I'd love to." The relief flooded through Jack's features. "I'll crash on the floor. Lemme borrow a pillow?"

Jamie tossed a pillow to Jack, who settled down on the floor next to Jamie's bed. He kept Doctor Bear close to him, suddenly exhausted. "Night," Jack murmured.

"Night, Jack."

A moment of warm silence.

"Jack?"

"Hmm?"

"Please know that I'll always believe in you. You won't be invisible as long as I'm around."

Bliss sunk into Jack's fibers and fueled strength into his bones.

"Thank you, squirt. That means so much to me."

"No problem. My name isn't squirt, by the way."

". . . Surprise!"

Jamie's laughter made Jack smile. "Night, Jack Frost."

"Night, Squirt Bennett."

"You're lucky you have snow powers."

Jamie's breathing evened out and deepened a few minutes later, showing he was asleep. Jack snuggled into Doctor Bear, eyes shut. He remembered how it had been twenty kids, and how he had flown around all day and watched news reports on those twenty kids, revealing their faces and names.

Jack Frost sighed, and then went to work to memorizing the faces and names of twenty brave children and six heroic adults, all of which he now believed were floating around him with wings, perfect, unharmed, and safe.
SUMMARY: A piece in dedication to the Newtown, Connecticut shootings. Jack Frost, after dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy, rushes to see Jamie in Burgess, only to get some consoling himself. And it's when young Jamie offers some profound wisdom that Jack realizes that, even in death, some people never really leave you alone. 
Ever since it happened, I've been a little jumpy and paranoid, so I wrote this for a number of reasons. For example, in church last Sunday, whenever someone got up to leave, I was struck with the image of that person entering again with a gun. It shows how scary society has become and how quickly things can go from normal to downright terrifying.
I've been completely in love with RotG for months now, so this was a bittersweet thing to write. I love these characters (especially Jack and Jamie) but to have them suffer like this was an experience.
I hope everyone enjoys! Or really, appreciates (kind hard to enjoy something like this, but whateva.)
Rise of the Guardians (c) DreamWorks Animation and author William Joyce
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:iconla-hija-de-dios:
la-hija-de-Dios Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I can just see it! The next morning would turn out like this:
Emily Bennett knocked softly on her son's door. "Jamie? It's time to get up." When she got no response, she opened the door. She was greeted by the sight of her boy slumbering on his bed, covers kicked to his feet. His mouth was open, his chocolate brown hair falling on his forehead. The thing that confused her was the fact that his fluffiest pillow and stuffed bear, Doctor Bear, lay on the floor.
'Maybe he just knocked them off in his sleep,' she mused. Since that seemed like a reasonable assumption, she shrugged it off. Leaning over Jamie, she shook his shoulder lightly. "Jamie? C'mon. You need to wake up."
He rolled over, mumbling, "Jack."
'Jack?' Later on, she dismissed this as her being tired, though she had been fully awake for two hours, but she thought she saw Doctor Bear move.
She finally managed to get Jamie up, but, before he left for school, he went to check on something in his room. When she went to see what it was, she saw him leaning over the pillow, talking to it, or Doctor Bear, or maybe an invisible friend. She didn't know, but found it kind of cute.
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:iconla-hija-de-dios:
la-hija-de-Dios Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, man! I should've had her try to grab it, but have Jack still be holding it so she couldn't! :)
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:iconkurino-sama-alpha:
kurino-sama-alpha Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
o my god that was so beautiful. i started tearing up. i still am. and you're right, as long as we remember those we love, they're never really gone.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
Thank you sooo much (: I'm so glad the point of the one-shot go through so well! 
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:iconchillydragon:
chillydragon Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014
Hi my friend, 
Thank you for joining "Fan Story for Cartoon project" contest.
Now you have 3 days to edit everything you want in your entries.
You may want to see some tips: chillydragon.deviantart.com/jo…

In round 1, I only judge the plot of the story. Too long stories will also be eliminated. ( I will use the tool that was mentioned in the tip, and minus half a minute. )

Good luck to you!
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
Thank you so much for the update! 
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:iconchillydragon:
chillydragon Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
Please do it fast because the result will be posted in 10 hours.
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:iconfirestorm2121:
Firestorm2121 Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This caused me to tear up a bit. Well done, and may those little ones rest in peace. At least they're safe now.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013
Thank you so much! :aww:
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:iconelandvary:
ElandVary Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
I hope that bastard rots in hell where he belongs. This is a beautiful fic and you should be proud of yourself. May all those little angels rest in peace
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013
Thank you very much! :la:
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:iconelandvary:
ElandVary Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
no problem, it's awesome and I was glad to find it.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013
Thank you so much! (:
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:iconkittycataddict:
KittyCatAddict Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It was very sweet that you wrote this in remembrance of the kids that died. You did a very lovely job on it, and I could feel myself even tearing up a little. :)
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013
Thank you so much! :airborne:
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:iconwhitelighter5:
whitelighter5 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
Wow this is deep... I kind of figured events like these would definitely hit close for guardians of childhood. I can certainly see them reacting the way they did here and Jaime's words are very comforting.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
Thank you very much! (:
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:iconferinhite0:
FerinHite0 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013
Thank you. Thank you so very much for creating this.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
It was an honor to write this for such an important tragedy. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It means the world (:
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:iconrin-lombardi:
Rin-Lombardi Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
FEELLLSSS
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
THEY'RE EVERYWHERE
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
Haha I just cracked up xD
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:iconls-arcaniaux:
LS-arcaniaux Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012   Writer
Although I don't read/watch RotG, Vera-chan, but I've read it and I'm amazed and liking so much how you inserted the plot along with the Connecticut shootings (and how it all made sense, too), Vera-chan~~!!!:iconhappytearsplz::iconaawplz:

and yeah, those kids... :cling: :iconsympathyplz: try not to be so paranoid there Vera-chan...:hug: I'm always here if you wanna talk/verbalize your feelings~~~~:iconyuiglompplz:

and I noticed how well your grammar and construction here is very much smooth and composed~~!!!:iconnicejobplz: really, you've got your edge and even more of that since we have on booksie, you've improved a lot and definitely even, Vera-chan~!!!:iconaawwplz::iconrubcheeksplz:


keep up with this and yeah, Merry Christmas, Vera-chan~~!:iconfinallyplz::iconaawplz:
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:iconconejo-sama:
Conejo-sama Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012
I had to read it again and again. Jamie made me smile too :)
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012
Haha aww thank you! I love writing Jamie (:
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:iconhenpukumaru:
Henpukumaru Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow. What a lovely, moving piece, a fine tribute to those wonderful children. Thank you for sharing it here.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Thank you very much! It was my pleasure to share. (:
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:iconnaraku0014:
naraku0014 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
....i cryed so hard once i heard the full thing....i kinda did what bunny did i smashed a few things.....
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Yeah, it was such a tragedy :(
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:iconnaraku0014:
naraku0014 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
if they exsisted (the guardians) they would react like this....
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
I feel the same way. I mean, maybe not as harshly, because kids die everyday, but they'd definitely be upset.
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:iconnaraku0014:
naraku0014 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
well they are meant to protect the children
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Very true, but I feel as if children die everyday, and up until the point of Pitch trying to overthrow them, it probably wasn't a huge thing to protect them physically. But I think that after defeating Pitch, they became a lot more weary of the fact that children can easily be hurt, so the shootings hit them a lot harder.
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:iconnaraku0014:
naraku0014 Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
yup and so close to christmas...north's holiday
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:iconanimestalker93:
animestalker93 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
My school was shut down today because of a bomb threat to the Elementary. WHat has to world come to. Thank you for writing this. Its awesome
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Jeez, thats crazy. But thank you very much! :la:
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:iconanimestalker93:
animestalker93 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Your welcome and yes that is very crazy
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:iconsilverlady7:
SilverLady7 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Jamie helping Jack... I can really figure him out doing that. :sniff: That kid is really amazing.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Sooo true, I adored Jamie in the film! :aww:
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:iconnovanplz:
Novanplz Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
:happycry::clap:
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Haha thank you very much! (:
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:iconnovanplz:
Novanplz Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012
No prob!
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:iconnineteennintytwo:
nineteennintytwo Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Student Writer
This was really sweet :) Very nicely written.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Thank you so much! :meow:
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:iconmoonpuppy4:
moonpuppy4 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
*grade 1, sorry was crying and couldn't see what I was typing...
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:iconmoonpuppy4:
moonpuppy4 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
I like it, in the ways it can be liked. When it happened, it was hard for me to imagine, but as i thought about it more and more I had two thoughts, one was of course my wishes to the families and friends of those kids, the other was of my little sister, who is 6 years old and in grade 2, lately all i can think when someone mentions this is that kids her age died. Kids full of life and imagination, who had just started living.
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:icondarkballerinaqueen:
DarkBallerinaQueen Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
Thank you very much. And so true, it's such a heartbreaking shame :P
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:iconmoonpuppy4:
moonpuppy4 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012
:( it makes me sad, and should make everyone sad, really.
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