At 2 a.m., he was trying to break in. My wife called the police. I went downstairs. I saw him wearing a black cap and jacket. He felt my stare and faced me. The front door was between us. Time stopped. He was fearless. I was angry. D.C. law says one cannot possess a handgun, pepper spray or any "dangerous weapon." When it came time to defend my family and home, I did the only thing a man could do in this city: I just stared and waited. He pretended to be lost and went away.

Truby Chiaviello


Ijump at the sound of gunshots. I sit up and say I can't wait to get away. I get up, get dressed and walk up to the bus stop. I try not to get hit by the cop chasing the boy down the street. I get to school and learn how to be a writer and learn how to be the one who escapes from it all. I won't be the one being chased or shot at, but the one writing about it.

Tiffany Mitchell


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