Untitled Poem


Beneath the Surface




Just A Boy


The Place


Untitled Poem 1


Untitled Poem 2










The Sun Set With Grace


Untitled Poem 4


You Are There


Untitled Poem 5






Revenge narrative


Can We Fly?








Short Story

My Lollipop


Bombs on The Island


Never Would Have Thought


Lie in Our Graves


Untitled Short Story


You taught me to walk in God’s holy light,
You taught to me faith, which now burns like fire.
You taught the difference between wrong and right
Your courage and your strength, I do admire.
You have often said, “I believe in you.”
You’ve shown that you love me in many ways.
I want you to know, that I love you, too.
I’m shy to show it, but I will someday.
I’m sorry for all the mistakes I’ve made
You do not deserve the pain that I cause,
You told of obstacles: “don’t be afraid.”
You have such patience, to which I applause.
No word can describe your love that’s so true,
I’ve been shaped into an image of you.

9th grader
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
About the author of "Mom"
My name is Vivian, I've always loved to write. "Mom" was actually a homework assignment that I have edited.

My fingers. They twirl, dance, and spin wildly. One pivots over the letter G to caress the letter K. My index finger has a love-hate relationship with the letter T. While T remains the most trustworthy of letters next to S, it has some nasty tricks up its angular, right-angled body. Fail to give it the due attention it demands and prepare yourself for 'he' instead of 'the' and 'hat' instead of 'that'. Winning it back is an arduous process, filled with twists and turns. Incessant taps on its door is one of the ways to capture its heart because none makes the convivial T feel better than a guest who can't get enough of its company. But I am unbiased for I favor no letter above the other except maybe Q.

And why shouldn't I? Could you imagine the world without the words 'quatrain', 'qued', 'quasar' and 'quaternion'? A barren world that would be. Being the queer little creature that I am, I find a questionable stream of exhilaration coursing through my body as soon as I chance upon an obscure word or expression that none have heard of. It is a strange affliction. My pulse races and I have an overwhelming compulsion to introduce my newfound friend to the rest of my wordy counterparts. It all started with three words, 'piscatorial', 'retsina' and 'sphagnum'. Spellbound by the way they rolled off my tongue, they constantly jostled their way into a piece of prose, poetry or on rare occasions, in daily conversation. However, after being bestowed with several quizzical expressions from my parents, I realized they were to be stowed away in the corner of my mind. There, they were left to age as a fine wine or a fine woman would. Once in a while, I would try again to bring them into t!
he living world but the deafening silence in the kingdom of simplicity exiled them to the corners of the world. What could I, a humble subject of words do? Nothing, except fashion my fiction around resin flavored Greek wine, fishing and moss that grows around bogs. I found them most uninspiring and was left with no choice but to capitulate to the demands of the world and relegate them back to the dusty dictionary where they belonged. Yet, once in a while, I coax them out of their exile and lovingly caress them and mould them into some of my favorite tales, just like a potter moulds the miry clay for the umpteenth time.

Sometimes, God gives them a last minute reprieve with his dastardly accomplice, hormones. Seated next to a fine creature, I thought to make my unwholesome intentions known. Deemed as an unsuitable partner for his delicately fine features, I was swatted away like a pesky mosquito that had chosen to insert its proboscis in the wrong human. Like a defeated hyena, I licked my wounds attempting to look nonchalant about my humiliation. It was then that my special booty of words gave me consolation. Who does he think he is, they whispered. I would rather be engaging in piscatorial activities along the coast while sipping a good year of retsina instead of spending a minute with an unworthy piece of sphagnum like him. As you can see, my wordy buddies have an incurable habit of escaping during my weak moments and unleashing themselves on their next victim.

Oh yes, I have tried to control them, every now and then but to no avail. They taunt me endlessly, reminding me of the invincibility of the written word and their unconquerable territories. I swear that I will never use them again in any writing and that they shall be erased from my mind. Never say never, they chant hopefully. To replace them, I engage in an extra-word affair. Secretly, I browse through the much-thumbed dictionary, seeking new loves. An exotic one glances knowingly at me as I pass it by. 'Seraglio' is its name and it refuses to volunteer any more information, hoping to draw me into its den of debauchery. I refuse to capitulate to its advances. After all, how much can one write about a palatial harem? It is not as versatile or flexible as retsina, I think to myself. Then, a scruffy, pint-sized one sidles up to me in the hope of capturing my attention. The name's 'pledget', it gruffly responds. I woefully shake my head. How can a small wad of lint compare to m!
y grotesque sphagnum? I move along aimlessly in a sea of lonely words that stare with longing eyes. Suddenly, 'guano' calls out to me. It smells a little but it has great potential, I surmise. I cajole it into telling me a little bit more about itself. It is artificial manure made from fish. Fish, I scream. Piscatorial has reached me deep in the recesses of the dictionary, reminding me of my vows of eternal devotion. I end an affair that has barely begun and run into the arms of retsina, piscatorial and sphagnum.

Before I know it, the cursor on my screen flickers awaiting a germane word and who would appear before me, but my faithful trio. A wide smile across their faces, they forgive me for my moment of indiscretion but warn me of ever visiting 'seraglio', 'guano' and 'pledget' again. Dictionaries have a bewitching effect on humans, they say. They take us on bewildering journeys into the shadiest districts of vocabulary, acquainting us with new friends who soon become an obsession. And for those of you who are engaged in committed human-word relationships, I advise you to steer clear of wordy temptations. But when no one's looking, I guess it's all right to give an exciting new friend a call. Just make sure, your new friend and your wordy companion are not acquainted in any way lest an agon for your attention ensues. We'll keep it between us, but 'agon' is one of those words that you can use whenever your beloved is out of town. It's a tad competitive, but otherwise it's a sweetheart. Who am I, you ask. I am a writer. No more, no less.

Dashini Ann
11th grader
Johor, Malaysia
My name is Dashini Ann Jeyathurai and I'm an eighteen year old Malaysian Indian writer and ASEAN scholar. My prose, poetry, commentary and book reviews have been published in several print and electronic publications such as Newsweek, Malaysian New Straits Times, Young Times, Youthquake, Dakota House Journal, Spring Time Writers, Atomic Petals, Patchword and E-Writers. I have also published in two volumes the 'Figments' anthology and 'Eye on the World- Remembering Tomorrow. I am currently awaiting publication in an anthology, 'Birthing of Creative Writing and Capturing Memories' that will be available during Christmas. I was also the editor of my high school literary magazine, Introspective and had a year long mentorship with internationally published author, Meira Chand.
Untitled Poem

A pile of used phone cards-
what purpose could they serve,
these green and white pieces of plastic,
smelling like the interior of a new car?

These cards are worth much more than ten dollars each;
these bendable pieces of plastic,
with Sprint scrawled across them
are symbolic of my time,
the most valuable thing I own.

Time goes by, and is forever lost.
Like energy, it cannot be created nor destroyed.
All my time is spent on one person,
a boyfriend, worth so much more than ten cents a minute.
His voice, soothes me after a long day.
The smile he puts across my face,
Is a smile that no one else has had the chance to see.
Time cannot be more wisely spent.

11th grader
Congers, NY, USA
I am an 11th grader at Clarkstown High School North.  I love theatre and music and performs regularly.  It was only recently that I discovered writing as my second passion. :)
My Lollipop

Ice.  Snow.  Cold.  It’s the lovely month of February, when everyone is sick of the snow, and Spring still seems like light years away.  Although, the cold air on windows during February always did make for good pictures in the steam of my breath.
As I draw a heart on this window, something outside catches my eye.  It is a girl.  She wears designer clothes and she has a pretty face.  She’s the type who wakes up at 5:30 to leave enough time to fix her make up, even though school starts at 7:25.  She is surrounded by a group of her friends, all of them chatting and laughing as they leave the school.  I envy her.  Not because she is beautiful, or because she has enough friends to last her a lifetime.  I envy her because it seems as if she  knows exactly who she is, and where she wants to be. 
The arrival of a white Camry interrupts my thoughts.  Her ride is here.  She waves goodbye to her clique as she climbs into the front seat, and the car door slams.
The car door brings my mind back to the night before.  It sounds just like my bedroom door did after I slammed it in an effort to escape from my mother’s angry voice.  However, her screams followed me to my room, and somehow found a way to penetrate my door.  They will remain with me for years to come.
Ten minutes before, I had pushed my four year old brother out of my path to reach something.  “Get out of the way,” I said. 
“No!” replied my brother.  He has a way of being directly in the way of something that’s important to me constantly, and it does no good to reason with him.  So, instead of wasting my time and energy, I just moved him out of the way.  This annoyed my mother, because she started yelling about how terrible I was with children. 
Now, in order to understand why this upset me so much, there is something you must know.  Anyone who has discussed my career plans with me knows that I like kids very much.  Not only do I plan on working with them in the future, I work with them now as well, and thoroughly enjoy myself. 
My mother knows this.  Yet, she continued to scream herself hoarse: “You have the worst personality when it comes to children, you had better start changing your plans quick!”  This stung afterward.  It was probably the worst thing she could have said to me.
I sigh as I manage to pull myself from the window.  A room starts to come back into focus.  On one side, there are tables with chairs and a blackboard.  The other side is more interesting, and is separated into little kitchen areas.  Spoons were set out on the counter, along with bowls and plastic molds.  Chocolate would appear later, ready to be molded into candy.
As I examine the pictures carved into the plastic molds, Mrs. Festa comes in with more supplies.  She is the advisor of a club called Helping Little Hands.  The club’s mission  is to plan activities for and to help underprivileged children.
A few minutes later, I hear another car door slam outside, but this time I am too busy to be looking out the window.  Mrs. Festa and I have started to melt the chocolate.  Within seconds of hearing the car door, eager feet can be heard pounding down our hallway.  The children have arrived.
Every year, they are invited by our club to make cookies or chocolate for the holidays.  The children are always excited to come back, and have memorized the rules by now.  They all know to get an apron, and to wash their hands before touching anything.  After those things are completed, the children wait for instructions.  I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that even those have been memorized as well.
We explain how to spoon the different colored chocolates into the heart-shaped molds, and the kids jump right into the project, even the youngest ones too short to reach the counter.  There were quite a few pounds to lift.
Whenever I am with children, I do my best never to have a favorite.  However, there are always one or two kids I find especially interesting.  Today there is a certain boy I am drawn to.  He is ten, but his attitude and the aura of toughness he was trying to create tells the story of a boy who had been hardened by the world and all the trouble it had caused.  His face looks much older than ten.
I especially notice the lollipop he is making.  By this time, most of the children have finished with their projects.  There isn’t much chocolate left.  He takes the remaining spoonfuls of all the different colors and mixes them together into one big swirl.  Just enough so that you can distinguish the different colors, but so jumbled that a person could not see where one color started and the next ended.
Over two hours have passed.  It is time for everyone to go.  Each of the children is given a bag, and they all split the candy amongst themselves to take with them.  The ten-year old boy comes back over to me after he had gotten his share of candy.  He notices that my hands are empty.  “Why didn’t you take any?,” he asked. 
“I wanted to make sure there was enough for everyone else,” I say. 
“Oh,” he replies, but I could see he doesn’t really accept my answer.
As everyone started getting ready to leave, I am occupied with buttoning coats, and I didn’t see the boy staring at me.  I get a hug from each of the smiling children as they slip out the door.
“Terrible with children,” my mother says.  What does she know?  Right, these kids are all just dying to hate me.  It’s obvious by the smiles on their faces,  I think.  As much as the previous night had made me angry, now her words sadden me.  It dawns on me that my mother didn’t just say that because she was angry, she said it because she really did think it was the true.  A person I’ve lived with for so many years really does know nothing about me.
My ten-year-old friend is the last to go.  By now, I have noticed the little tough guy looking at me.  He comes up to me once again, this time slower, looking around to make sure no one is watching. 
“This is for you,” he says, as he hands me a piece of candy.  It is the last lollipop he made.  The heart one with all the different colors mixed together.  I smile as he motions me downward with his finger.  As I bend over, he whispers into my ear, “You’re my favorite grown-up,” and for one second, his hardened adult face breaks into a wide, childish smile.
I kept that lollipop for months afterwards.  That piece of chocolate made by a child’s hands with swirls of red, pink, white and brown.  With all its colors in disarray, the stick on it chipped, and the ribbon frayed, to me that lollipop remains a special treasure.  I may never know exactly who I am, or where I’m supposed to be, but however insignificant it is to anyone else,  I do know one thing.  I am his favorite grownup, and for now, that is all that matters.
11th grader
Congers, NY, USA
I'm a high school junior who loves performing and working backstage for the theatre.  Good luck and happiness for the coming new year :)

Revenge, revenge,  revenge… That word had been crawling in my mind for weeks. I couldn’t stand my cousin’s tyrannical behavior anymore. I somehow had to make her stop telling me what and when to do. I was just waiting for the right moment.
The only strange thing about that day was that I couldn’t sense right away that my time had come. As I opened my sleepy eyes, I saw the sun shining through the curtains on my pillow and Nelly (my cousin) sleeping. What a wonderful picture to begin my day with! When I got out of the house I heard chickens clucking and saw my grandma working in the garden. There was nothing extraordinary, nothing exiting. I recognized a boring day, but I wasn’t right.
Walking to my grandparents’ part of the house I thought of waking Nelly up. She could think of something enticing that we could do, but she surely wasn’t going to if I woke her. In the next moment there was no doubt about what I was going to do. As I saw the fat, gray rat lying in the trap, a great idea came into my mind. I was in triumph. Finally I was going to make Nelly stop bossing me around.
I was ready for the show after calming myself down. I went to my grandma, pretending that I didn’t have anything on my mind, and asked her if I could carry the rat to the back yard for the cats to eat. She said yes. I feigned taking the animal to the garden behind the house, but actually I brought it to Nelly’s shoe in front of the door. I was smart enough to know that what I had done wasn’t complete. I slipped noiselessly into the house, set the alarm clock to ring after ten minutes and put it about three meters away from my cousin’s bed. The plan was fulfilled. The alarm clock was going to wake Nelly up, and she would have to get up to switch it off. Then she would dress up, go out to put her shoes on…and see the rat.
I walked out carefully, watching out not to wake Nelly up. Nothing could be more exiting than what had happened and what was going to happen. The best view of my cousin’s shoe was from the garden, so I went to grandma. I told her what I had done, but surprisingly she didn’t even complain. The only thing left was to wait.
My breathtaking plan worked. The single slam of the door was enough to give me the biggest pleasure I had ever had. I got revenge on Nelly for all that she had done to me that summer and the summer before. I was exalted that I had found a solution of my problem with Nelly. That occurrence became a precious memory that reminds me to be inventive as often as possible.

9th grader
Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
This is a piece of writhing that I did for writing lab classes
"Beneath the Surface"

Beneath the surface there is
A heart that pulsates
To its own drummer
Beneath the surface there is
An eye that searches
For the beauty in all
Beneath the surface there is
A mind that cogitates
The true meaning of its existence
Beneath the surface there is
A soul that weeps
Thirsting for a taste of love
Beneath the surface there is
An abyss that seeks
The filling comfort of forgiveness
Beneath the surface there is
An inquisitive child craving
The reason for our limitations
And beneath the surface there is
A weary spirit that longs
To sever its chains and fly free
10th grader
Staten Island, NY, USA
About the author of "Beneath the Surface".

Name: Ashley L. G.

I enjoy writing poetry and short stories. I've been writing since I was very young, and still believe there is much room for improvement. I love constructive criticism. I also post my writings on www.fanfiction.net under the pen name CareBear61787.

She lies, she lies,
That’s what they say,
what they don’t understand,
Is that it hurts worst everyday.

She doesn’t think that they know how it feels,
For day after day to be called untrue,
God only know what would happen,
If only they knew.

They pretend to be her friend,
But talk crap behind her back,
They talk about dumb things,
Like “Oh my God, she died her hair black!”

Sure she’s made mistakes,
But so has everyone right?
They don’t know she has changed, the way they treat her,
Makes her break down and cry each night.

She sits in her room,
And prays to God,
But quickly decides,
He’s just a fraud.

I keep on wondering more, and more,
What is happening, what could it be?
I don’t know what to think, or know what to do,
How could “she” really be me?
8th grader
Lake Tahoe, Nevada, United States of America
Just A Boy

Just a boy
Just a plain, ordinary boy
Waiting for someone
So I asked him, looking into his deep blue eyes, "Who are you waiting for?"
He looked down at me and smiled,
8th grader
Green, Ohio.  USA
About the author of Just A Boy
Hi, I'm Tiffany! I go to writers club at my school (Mr. Fuline my teacher recommended me) and my leader told me about this web site. I just love to read and write! Ever since was in 1st grade i loved to read and write.
Bombs on The Island

Strongbad sits on the bar stool with a mysterious shimmering in his dark green eyes.  Strongbad reflects a strong, but quiet man, the kind of man who gets up early in the morning everyday, to be worked as if he were a slave, owned by a big business company. 

He has short brown hair.  There springs a cowlick on his left side that looks like a curling wave. Strongbad also has one of those goofy mustaches, which curl up on the ends, like the mustache of a bullfighter or a biker.  The rest of his face is a field of 3 day old scraggily whiskers.  He definitely needs a shave.

A brown military suit, which needed a good washing, covered his strong, but used body.  His suit pants were worn and a bit tattered around the cuffs.  They had a coffee stain on the left pant leg just above the knee, and a big splotch of cranberry jam marked the other pant leg like a bucket of red paint splashed on the White House.  An old black, thick wallet stuck out of the back pocket.  This pair of pants needed a trip to the drycleaner.  The shoes he wore were tan color and severely scuffed up.  They needed about 3 coats of polish.  They didn’t quite match his pants, either. 

Strongbad removed his suit jacket and set it on the bar stool next to him.  He pushed up his sleeves to reveal a tattoo on his left forearm.  The tattoo pictured a screaming eagle with rockets and a machine gun under its broad wings.  The tattoo says, “Man of Honor.”  Strongbad had saved many men’s lives.

He spent 20 years serving for the military reaching the rank of a Sergeant Major in the United States Air Force.  Over that time he experienced many battles and scary situations.  He did not make it through all of those battles without bloodshed.  Pushing up his sleeves also revealed a long scar along his arm, down to his wrist.  The scar reminds us of where a bullet had been removed, after Strongbad was shot in a fierce battle at a remote airfield.  It was on a bloody mission that remains classified even today.

A strong warrior, who fought for his country is what Strongbad really grew to become, not the quiet man he appeared to be at first sight.  His full name is Strongbad William McGeorge.  He has a noble leader name, much like that of a freedom fighter.  Strongbad appeared to be just an ordinary guy, but he really was an amazing hero.
*  *  *  *  *

Playing pool in the Doghouse bar with his old war buddies was a favorite way to pass his time.  As the men took turns sinking solids and stripes, Strongbad’s mind drifted back to an earlier time in that same bar.

It had been a gloomy weekend at Whidbey Island Navel Air Station.  Everyone was relaxing and having fun playing pool, while sloshing down a few too many drinks.  Strongbad was just about to take the last shot in his pool game with Bill Jackson when the siren blared out a long, loud tone. 

Bill, Strongbad and the other Military personnel flooded out the door to report to their battle stations.  They hopped into a jeep along with 4 other men.  During the three-minute trip back to the base from the bar, Stongbad’s heart was beating like a rabbit, running from a pack of 30 wolves.   They tore up the hill to the command post to find hundreds of men rushing around franticly.  Commanders yelled as the soldiers ran to their stations.  All the men finally assembled.  The men stood at attention at their stations facing the center of the field. 

The Officer yelled to the company leader, “ A-Company, Report.”

“All present, “replied Strongbad in a strong firm voice. 

With relief, Strongbad sighed when the Commander announced that this was just a drill.  The Commander spoke about how Iraq had been planning an attack on the US and how we must be prepared.  After his lecture, the men returned to their free time activities with a new worrisome thought in mind. 

Stongbad worried about his surroundings.  He felt like there was something coming that he could not figure out, but the strange feeling would not stop scratching the back of his mind.  He knew something bad would be on its way.  He pushed this thought to the side and went back to the bar and played some pool to try to regain his good emotional state. 

At around 11:30 PM all the men left the bar and headed to their bunks.  Strongbad could not sleep.  He knew that something evil would show it’s face this night.  Bad thoughts and worries swirled around in his mind, like chicken noodle soup in a blender. 

Now 2:00 AM rolled around the clock and Strongbad still could not sleep.  He dragged himself out of bed to get a drink of water, and then fell back into bed.  At 2:25 AM he finally got to sleep.  That night, he had nightmares about what could have happed earlier that day at the drill.  What if it had been real?  What if they really were attacked?  Would Strongbad have survived? 

The siren sounded and Strongbad and the other men jumped to their feet and threw on some clothes, then ran out the door of the bunkhouse.  They ran up to the battle station area.  Airplanes flying overhead and gunfire haunted their ears.  “Iraq is attacking,” men yelled.  They all ran to their battle stations.

Planes screamed over the base laying down machine gun fire.  As one plane flew over the airstrip toward the water, Strongbad raised his M-16 rifle and took aim at one of its engines.  He fired five shots and amazingly, hit it with at least three.  The plane spiraled down over the cliff to the rocky beach.  Strongbad was amazed that his few shots could take down this fighter plane. 

He ran for cover in the armored building with cannons.  Five men were loading and preparing a cannon to be fired.  They rammed the shell into the 75-millimeter gun, and slammed the breech door closed.  Another fighter plane was flying straight toward the base from about 2 miles away.  Stongbad and the men took aim with the cannon and fired upon the fighter plain.  They fired and had a direct hit.  The plane burst in to a bright red fire ball and fell into the sea, only leaving behind a black cloud of smoke. 

Strongbad and the other men relaxed for an instant and slapped hands in victory, then got right back to work loading the cannon.  They opened the breech and popped out the spent shell, then placed a new one inside.  They looked out the viewing hole to see what was coming next.  Strongbad spotted a ship appearing around the end of the island.  He yelled in horror, ”Aaah, a destroyer!”  They quickly turned the cannon and aimed for the ship.  They fired and hit the ship on the port side.  The ship plowed ahead, but was badly damaged.  It now showed a big hole and was taking on water.  Men on the ship were rushing about screaming franticly.

Strongbad and his men reloaded the cannon and fired upon the ship once more.  This time they hit the bridge.  The ship’s bridge was now on fire, but it still lunged through the swirling waves.  A shot was fired a back toward the navel air station.  It flew high and hit a guard tower, which was unoccupied at the time.  The Guard tower was made of concrete and steel.  It crumbled and disintegrated, falling 40 feet to the ground like a statue made of glass.  Strongbad was relieved that the shot did not come close to him or hurt anyone else. 

Meanwhile Strongbad’s friend Bill Jackson was down at the water commanding a gunship to fire upon the enemy ship.  Strongbad realized this after he remembered that the Americans also had ships, which were ready to fight.  Strongbad radioed his friend Sergeant Bill Jackson on the USS Lollipop. Strongbad quickly got hold of Sergeant Jackson and asked him to fire at the ship. 

Sergeant Jackson yelled into the radio with enthusiasm,  “Yo, Sergeant.”

Jackson yelled to his men, “Grab the 50mm machine-gun and fire at will.” 

The head gunner yelled back, “O.k. Sarge. 

Strongbad and his men loaded the cannon for the third time and fired upon the ship.  This time they hit one of the three gun turrets.  They were very pleased with this shot and once again, slapped hands.  The ship was now very badly damaged, but plowed ahead.  This ship was extremely tough, and it would take a lot to stop it. 

Back on Sergeant Jackson’s boat, they were about to fire their
100-millimeter cannon.  The head gunner yelled ”Fire!” and the loudest explosion in memory, followed the shot from that cannon barrel.  The round went straight in near the bow of the enemy ship slicing through like a hot knife through butter, and blew up a fuel tank causing a massive explosion.   Black clouds rose up around the burning ship.  

The unstoppable ship finally came to a halt.  It began to sink into the dark freezing water while hundreds of enemy sailors jumped over the side, like frogs, and swam toward the shore.  The men seemed scared and frightened that they were going to lose their lives!

Strongbad congratulated Sergeant Jackson on his magnificent shot.  Sergeant Jackson thanked him.  For just and instant he felt they had truly saved many lives.  He also felt sad, because he had to take other loyal men’s lives to save his own people.  If only there was a peaceful way to resolve conflicts with militant countries.  Strongbad sucked up his emotions and looked out the small porthole of the cannon bunker once more. 

He spotted another ship, and it was gigantic.  It was at least 500 yards long.  Huge!  Strongbad and his men immediately started loading their cannon again.  They lined up a shot that they hoped would plow right into the bridge of the ship, and they launched the round.  This shot hurtled through the air and impacted right on target.  The bridge cabin burst into brilliantly colorful flames. 

Now that they had accomplished something big, Strongbad felt somewhat relieved.  He and his men loaded another shell, lined up the next shot, aiming straight into the hull at mid ship.  Strongbad yelled fire and the cannon barrel exploded with power, launching a giant steel bullet toward the ship.  The blazing shot went into the hull like a hot knife through butter, ripping a hole along the side, which quickly brought on water.  All of a sudden, a shot came back from the ship.  This shot hit the beach below them, but didn’t hit anyone.  Strongbad was now terrified.  He knew how close the shot had come, and that the next one could be lethal.

Sergeant Jackson came onto the radio announcing that he had spotted the ship and was about to fire a deadly shot.  Strongbad acknowledged Sergeant Jackson, and Jackson ordered the head gunner to fire at the gigantic ship. 

The head gunner yelled “All Righty, then.” 

The shot flew straight into the main gun turret of the ship causing a colossal explosion.  Sergeant Jackson, Storongbad, and the other men were all relieved.  The ship rapidly began sinking into the freezing cold Puget Sound, with massive gulps of water swirling around the gaping wound.   

It was now 10:00 am.  Strongbad looked out the window of the bunker again to make sure there were no more ships or other enemy planes.  He was relived to see that the enemy was now disappearing.  He sighed in relief that he was alive at the end of this dangerous encounter.  He got down on his knees and thanked God for giving him the courage to fight this horrible battle.  Strongbad was a true hero.  He saved so many American lives in so little time.  This battle was only seven hours long. 

The fearless Sergeant Major and his gun crew disengaged their cannon and sat back in relief.  They had won the battle for all the people in America.  They stopped the unstoppable and lived to tell about it.

Strongbad and his men emerged from their bunker and began to gather up prisoners along the beach.  Most of them offered no resistance, but there were a few skirmishes, here and there.  A shot rang out and Strongbad felt the heat and sting of lead ripping along his arm.  His friend cried out, “Strongbad, you’re shot.”

“Strongbad, you’re shot.”  The voice became louder and more intense. 

The voice became louder still and even sounded a bit irritated this time.  Strongbad’s mind began to focus once again upon his present situation.

“Strongbad, It’s your shot.”

Strongbad lifted his cue, took aim, and sank the eight ball in the corner.
11th grader
Seattle,WA, USA
The Place

There once was a place
Where I used to sit
Where my life died.

There once was a river
Where I used to think
Where my heart poured its thoughts.

There once was a tree
Where I used to climb
Where My mind stretched.

There once was a love
That would love me back
And my Place would die.

There will never be
There will never have been
And there never shall be..
A place where I sit.
8th grader
Oklahoma, USA
About the author of The Place. Meagan lives in Oklahoma. She plays basketball and softball. And loves to write Poetry
Can We Fly?

The ballet choreographer Jean Christopher Maillot once said, "Always the question for dancers is…can we fly?" When my mother bought me my first pair of pink ballet slippers at the age of three, I don't think that her intention was for me to find the answer to this question thirteen years later. After thousands of dollars in tuition money and thirteen years worth of blisters on my feet, a very special ballet teacher danced her way into my heart and through a journey that would help me answer that all important question.
The first month of my thirteenth year in dance shoes would begin on a cool Wednesday night in the middle of September; here would begin my journey. My stomach was filled with bitter apprehension as I entered the dance studio and saw my new dance teacher standing in the corner. She walked to the front of the studio and introduced herself as Dawnn, and then she began to dance. I watched in amazement how high her jetes were and how perfect her turns were, and I wondered what had brought her here. At the conclusion of class, I said a casual goodbye to Dawnn. I never suspected the things that she was about to teach me, not only about dancing but also about flying.
In December, I learned that a leap of fate was what brought Dawnn to me. During class, we sat in a circle and shared cookies, stories, and laughs. When it was Dawnn's turn, she explained how she was a member of the Joffrey Ballet Company until she twisted her ankle while performing a leap. Her injury required surgery, and after, she was no longer able to dance in pointe shoes.
I started to make sense out of Maillot's question when I watched Dawnn dance on stage for the first time. I saw how she was dancing with her heart and not just with her feet, just as she had instructed me to do in the previous months before. In those four brief minutes of watching her jete across the stage, I began to recall the past nine months of class, standing behind her, watching her reflection in the studio mirror. All of the pieces started to come together. Throughout our classes together, Dawnn was teaching me, a dancer, how to fly. She taught me that even though sometimes life places a stone in the middle of the stage while we're trying to land a leap, we have to learn to accept it and make the best of it. Dawnn's leap of fate brought her to me, and I was able to find the answer to Maillot's question.
Whenever I come across a rough or troubling situation, I always think of Dawnn and how she has gotten through her obstacle. I think of how Dawnn is teaching children how to dance and pass on her magical gift that was once taken away from her. If I am having trouble in school or am stressed about taking three tests in one day, I lie on my stomach with my hands on my forehead, listen to music, and picture Dawnn dancing. As I watch her in my mind, I am reminded that I shouldn't be intimidated by the bumps in the road and that I should dance through them because everything will work out in the end. I treat life as my stage for which I am to dance across. I see the troubles as breaks in the music that I must learn to dance to.
Dancers may not have little white wings attached to their worn-out dance shoes or blistered feet, but they do have wings attached to their hearts. They are able to stand on their toes and soar above everyone else Dancers are special because of their ability to fly. They learn how to soar through life and even overcome leaps of fate. Even as I continue to stand behind Dawnn in my classes today and try to continue to learn from her, I will never forget the most important message of her dance class. For it was she who flew to me and gave me my "dancer wings."

12th grader
Albertson, NY/USA
Untitled Poem 1

I close my eyes
and smile.
It's not a fake smile with pain behind it.
It is a smile that lets all the pain out and lets me be joyful.
The pure happiness runs through my veins.
God sees me dancing for Him
and smiles.
He lets the Light from His smile shine down on me.
Other people see me dance for God
and smile
because they know that they don't have the same relationship.
Not even close.
At that moment
God takes them in His arms
and His smile
breaks their hearts
and lets God's Light seep in.
If only they would smile
and know that God smiles for them.
If only we could realize God sent His Son for our sins
while smiling all the time.
If only we could all


have a smile.

11th grader
Bennington, NE, USA
Untitled Poem 2

Like a piercing cry
thick raindrops
pushed down firmly from the clouds
the high standing green trees,
that shade us from the light
the stretching branches
covered in the long extending leafs
collect the chilled water
softly the water falls to the grass
cold smooth hands delicately separate
themselves from the wetness.

10th grader
Redding CA

Don’t push me away
There’s a story to be told
Of corruption and deceit,
And blaming of the innocent.

There’s a story to be told
Before you shut the door in my face
You, the blamer of the innocent
Who decorated my soul with malicious graffiti.

Before you shut the door in my face
Listen to my words,
Decorate my soul with malicious graffiti
And then save yourself from the lies and hate.

Listen to my words,
For they will save you in the end,
Save you from the lies and hate
Which poison your nerves and obstruct your senses.

Don’t push me away!
Before you shut the door in my face,
Corruption and deceit -
Now there’s a story that needs to be told.
12th grader
Sudbury, Vermont USA
My name is Kyle, I am a senior at Otter Valley High School in Vermont. I enjoy writing, football, and wrestling .

Because your hair is uncontrollable
Your clock ticks to its own beat.
Because opinion is a state of mind,
You talk out loud when nobody is there.

Your clock ticks to its own beat
And that’s why you stay away.
You talk out loud when nobody’s there.
Your feet tap the beat the rain patters.

And that’s why you stay away.
You dress with a statement
You feet tap the beat the rain patters.
Always bare, when nobody is there.

You dress with a statement.
You mind soars high, beyond the sky.
Always bare, when nobody is there.
Because opinion is a state of mind.
12th grader
Brandon, VT, USA
About the author of Unique, it is a pantoum style poem that I wrote in my Advanced Writing workshop class.

Let space be a barrier between us,
Let walls muffle down your voice,
Let none ever hear these words again,
Let it not tick the bomb inside us all.

Let darkness envelope me,
Let music drown out my thoughts,
Let there be me and good music.
Or nothing at all.

I will retreat.

Up these stairs,
My pace matching my urgency,
My destination known,
I go all out with all my might,
An attempt to shake your words off.

I am retreating.

Into my room,
Slam-goes the door,
Turn off the lights,
Pump up the stereo,
Rock my doubts out,
Mend my deformed soul.

I have retreated,
Into the darkness,
Into the melody.
10th grader
Never Would Have Thought

“I want to go to Harvard,” Megan said.
“You should, it would be perfect.”
“No, I’ll never get in.”
“Sure you will, you’re the smartest person in our class.”
“No I’m not, I just pretend to be.”
“Think about it, you really are,” said Christine.
“Yeah okay.  I guess you’re right.”
“I know.  You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself.”
“At least all the boys like you.  They hate me.”
”Why?  You’re pretty.”
“They don’t seem to think so.”
”What makes you say that?”
“They are always mean to me.  Like Aaron, he always makes fun of me.”
”So what.  Who cares what they think?  You’ve got Harvard.”
“Yeah, I guess.  Bye.”  Megan turned into her classroom and took her usual seat in the front row.
“Haha, there’s the geek who’s smarter than everyone else,” said Aaron.
“Shut up Aaron,” said Megan.  Just ignore him, just ignore him.
But today, Aaron wouldn’t leave her alone.  Each opportunity he had he would pipe up and make a crack at her.  Megan just sat there and didn’t say anything.  She just let him bash on her.
At the end of the day, she rushed past Christine without saying hello and ran home.  She locked herself in her room and didn’t come out all afternoon.  Her mother came to knock on her door to tell her dinner was ready.
“I don’t want dinner!”
“Why not?  It’s your favorite, spaghetti.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“What’s the matter honey, are you okay?”
“I wish boys liked me,” she said under her breath.
Her mom didn’t know what to say to this, so she returned to the kitchen to finish setting the table.  Megan stayed in her room until the next morning.  No one saw her as she left for school either.
That day, in first period English, her favorite subject, she had a test.  She finished early like she always did, and got up to turn in her paper.  This would be about the time Aaron would crack some dumb joke about her finishing first, but today he said nothing.
Twenty minutes passed and still nothing from Aaron.  The rest of the morning, all the way until lunch, still nothing.  Aaron came over to her table and sat down in front of her.
“Hi Megan.  How are you today?”
“Fine.”  She was shocked.
“I was wondering if you might want to go out with me on Friday night.  I’m really sorry about all the mean things I said about you, but I really do want to take you out.”
“What?  I guess so.  Okay.”
After the weird experience at lunch, she returned to her English class for study hall.  In the middle of the class, her teacher called her up to his desk.  Megan wasn’t surprised; he often called her up to ask her to help him grade papers.
But this time he had something else to say.
“I graded your test Megan.  And I’m very surprised at your grade.  It’s like you just forgot everything you knew.  You got an F Megan.”

12th grader
Elk Grove, CA   USA
About the author of "Never Would Have Thought".  She is a senior in high school, ready to graduate and go to Sacramento State.  She wants to become a teacher and write in her spare time.
Lie in Our Graves

Her boots crunch through the snow. It’s freezing outside, in an unearthly kind of way, but she says nothing. She gives me a small smile before she enters my car. She clink-clink-clinks her boots together, letting the excess snow fall silently onto the pavement. The door closes with an air of finality, and I start my car. We are filled with warmth and we exchange a knowing glance; we understand what we have to do. She reaches underneath her seat and takes it out. She places it in the c.d. player, and takes off her coat, exposing a deep, black shirt. A voice fills the car:
“When I step into the light, my arms are opened wide…”
She smiles again, and I drive forward. She gently taps me on the arm and pushes a stray lock of gold curls behind her head.
“Thanks, man.”
“Hey, no problem.” I’m not sure what she’s thanking me for. It can’t be the ride—I’ve been giving her a ride ever since I got my license, since she practically lives next door.
“Any time.” I’m still not sure what either of us is talking about, but we never used words as a means of communication. His music, maybe, the speed of my car, sometimes, but words—never. They just weren’t necessary.
“Would you not like to be…sitting on top of the world?” He asks of us, his voice once again reverberating through the car.
Her body grows tense. We reach a junction; left means home, and right—well, right means more music, more freedom, more sanity. I’m tired, and we’ve been working at the school far too long. I’m tempted with thoughts of seeing my mother, drinking hot cocoa, and falling into the comforts of my bed.
She holds her breath. I turn right, and she instantly loosens up. Why is she so anxious to stay away from home? And why is she being so quiet?
A beautiful instrumental plays; an eruption of violins, guitars, and other soothing instruments sweep through my car.
“Would you not like to be…sitting on top of the world?” He beckons us again.
“Hey—“ I was going to ask her why she was avoiding going home. What awaited her there? Homework? Somehow I knew it wasn’t that simple. What, or who, was she trying to escape? However, I knew that her parents were spending the night in New York, so she would be going home to emptiness. Who was it that made her body so tense, who made her so afraid?
Something makes me stop my speech. I notice that her eyes are closed. She softly sways to the music, but her hands belie her calm demeanor; she runs her gold ring back and forth between her fingers (“My crazy poet cousin gave it to me. You like?”). She puts the ring on and pushes her hair back. It matches her ring perfectly. She looks up for a moment; her blue eyes are sad and lost; she is like a small sailor looking out from the ocean, knowing that her destination is miles away. Where was she trying to go? Clearly not home.
He begins singing again:
“I can’t believe that we would lie in our graves/wondering if we had spend our days living well…” He repeats the line over and over. She gently hums the tune to herself long after the pluck of the last string is heard. I’m not quite sure, but I think I see something glistening across her face.
“Hey—“ I stop again. I am sure. Her tears catch the moonlight. I sigh for her, and reluctantly look at the clock. It’s late, and I know my mother will never let me hear the end of it unless I turn back now.
“Sorry, but…”
“Sorry for what? Let’s go home. I know you’re tired.” She smiles with all her teeth. She seems fresh and fine—was I dreaming before? Was she really crying? I didn’t understand.
I turn the car around and we approach her house. Again she sways to the next song; somehow her movements are off, as though she were hearing a different beat. She closes her eyes again; she does not open them until we are parked in front of her house.
She musters a barely audible “’bye” and slowly opens the car door. She grabs her bag, and walks to her house with even more reluctance. Her boots eat up the snow.
        She turns around. She gives me a small smile, a tiny wave, and enters her big, empty house.

11th grader
Edison, NJ, USA
I'm just a student of life...

darkness within my soul
bane of my existence

my mother doesn't get me
she says that the things i do
make no sense

my father doesn't love me
he won't give me the money
that i ask for

my brother is a jerk
he made me eat leaves
i really didn't want to

the world must hate me
because i'm so useless
and ugly

do you love me
you are all i have
i love you so much

11th grader
Framingham, MA
i wrote this poem for my fiancé Jessica. all we have is each other and our poetry. look for submissions by her in the future
The Sun Set With Grace

The sky glowed with colors as the
Heavens seemed to open.
Each shade was distinct, separated from the others.

Such a beautiful site is rare in this world of turmoil however;
Underneath this watercolor scene, all seems to be perfect
No one fights or disagrees while watching this beautiful ball of fire

Set into the ocean.
Each sunset is a new experience
To even experienced onlookers

While the sun lowers itself into slumber
Individuals stare in awe of the wonder happening before them.
Tonight the show is shorter than usual. The
Heat of the summer day must have exhausted the provider.

Gradually he descended leaving behind his fans.  Despite his departure
Reassuring was the thought that tomorrow morning he would be back
Again to warm our hearts and minds.
Colors began to fade announcing the end of our spectacle.  With great
Equilibrium he dangled beneath the earth for yet another night of rest.

9th grader
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Untitled Short Story

The Unseen... that was what he was.  Someone that hid in the shadows, and fed on the night.  He had power.  Yes, utter and complete control over his followers, but he was oh so alone.  It wasn’t that he was ugly. No, in fact he was beautiful.  That was the only word for it, but you would have to call it a deadly beauty.  Once you got past the charming exterior you were left with a ruthless spirit that thrived on pain.  He only looked out for one person, namely himself.
He had spiked, white-blonde hair and bottomless, cold, black eyes.  He had an amazing grin, but it held very little humor.  Very few people had the pleasure to see it, and the ones that did disappeared…  Once he did use it though, it was like lightning; quick, brilliant and to the point.
He was the leader of a secret society, the Unseen.  They were the rulers of the underworld, and all condemned to the fiery pits of hell.  Their mission in life was to climb to the top.  Taking their enemies out, as well as a few innocent people just for the fun of it.  They were cold, swift and calculating, and not quite human.
That evening he stalked the night, sliding from shadow to shadow, seeking his prey.  Suddenly, someone reached out and grabbed his arm.  He whipped around to the person that dared to touch him, and stabbed the unknowing person with an iron stake.  The cold steel drove through his body, piercing his flesh and protruding out the back.  The warm blood slid through his fingers, splashing the brick wall behind them, and dripping on the floor.
Suddenly, the limp body in his arms jerked and stood up straight.  He pulled the stake out of his body and said to the man that had stabbed him, “Hey Ice.  How you doin’?  I always knew you got into a bad mood when you were on a hunt, but this is unbelievable.”  Ice watched as the skin that he had broken just moments before rapidly grew back together and mended itself.  “Hey man.  You cost me a shirt.”
“Sorry Snake.”  Ice said, clapping him on the back.  He reached out a hand and placed it palm down over the bloody hole in his shirt.  He concentrated his powers, and suddenly a dim, blue flash pulsed from underneath his hand.  When he moved away from Snake his shirt looked like brand new again.  “I didn’t know it was you, but you should know better than to sneak up on me like that.  You could have said something.”
“Hey cool man.”  Snake said, looking at his shirt, then went back to the conversation at hand.  “Yeah I could have said something, but would that have changed anything?  Come on, admit it.  You had fun.”  Ice nodded, and the two men shared a knowing, evil laugh.  “So, who are you going for tonight?”  Snake asked, flashing a bloodthirsty grin.
“You see that man over there?”  Ice asked, pointing to a young man leaning against the window of a bookstore across the street.
“Yeah what of him?”  Snake asked.
“He looks like a normal human being, but he’s not.  He’s a vampire, and he’s making our lives tough because he’s eating all of our toys.”  Ice said, referring to the humans.  “I’m going to see what his weak points are.  Actually, I think I’ve found one.  Her name’s Tara, and she’s a human.  I thought I might kidnap her and use her as bait.  I’ll lure him into a trap and kill him faster than you can say dead-meat.”
“And in the mean time you can have some fun torturing the human girl.”  Snake said knowingly, with an evil, cold-hearted laugh.
Ice pretended to laugh with him, but he had no pleasure in it.  See, he wasn’t like the others in their secret society.  They were blood-thirsty animals, but he didn’t share their feeling of joy in murdering innocent humans.  Even though they were as low (if not lower) than dirt, they did have emotions too.  A real hunt was when you went after a man that was worthy of your attention; someone that had the same powers as you did.  Humans were so weak, and fragile; such an easy game.  He looked over at his victim across the street, and smirked maliciously.  Yes, he was perfect.
Ice watched on as a young woman joined him (obviously the famous human, Tara), and began talking animatedly.  As she enthusiastically emphasized her words with quick movements by her hands, her luxurious, long, raven-black hair swirled around her shoulders like a rippling waterfall.  He caught a flash of her magnificent, deep-blue eyes and his breath caught in his chest.
The woman turned away, and he shook the feeling off.  He (the mightiest of the Unseen) had had a moment of weakness towards a human of all things, and a woman at that?  I must be getting old.  He thought as he tiredly rubbed his eyes.  In all of his four hundred years he had seen a lot of indescribable horrors.  There was so much spilt blood and anguish that it could bring a grown man to his knees.
Ice started after Snake, pushing his disturbing thoughts aside for the moment.  He had to walk quite fast to catch up to Snake’s powerful stride.  His own long legs ate up the concrete as they made their way through the crowded streets.  “So, what’s your plan?”  Snake asked, excitedly.
“Hmm.  I was thinking that I would follow Tara on her way home from work.  She works at a department store near her apartment.  She works the late shift, and only leaves for her apartment at ten o’clock.  I’ll follow her in the shadows and then, when there’s no one I sight I’ll kidnap her and bring her back to the house the I have in the country.  You remember it, you’ve been there before.”  Ice said.  He had decided against his apartment in the city.  For one thing, there were too many neighbors in earshot, and for another there were too many ways for a possible escape.
He had automatically thought of his mansion outside of town as his second choice.  It was perfect; no close neighbors to hear her scream, and lots of room.  He had bought t around twenty years ago.  He had spent his earlier years with the Unseen establishing his ground, and collecting money in the most illegal ways.  He had millions tucked away in the most elite banks all of the world.
“Isn’t that a little far to teleport her to?”  Snake asked, interrupting his thoughts.  “I know that for me, it’s incredibly hard to teleport another person as well as myself for even a short distance.”
Ice gave him a withering look, that of a leader to a follower who had stepped out of line, and said, “For you maybe, but not for me.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”  Ice said, dismissing him.  Snake looked as though his was going to say something else, but he changed his mind and walked off.
Ice breathed in a lungful of air (not fresh air, mind you.  They were, after all, in the city.).  Snake was his best friend, but sometimes he got on his nerves.  Snake was a young member of the Unseen, only about a hundred years old.  Ice had taken it upon himself to show him around at the time.  Ice had adopted him as a younger brother, but it seemed that lately he was striking out on his own and forgetting his place.  He had been amusing for a while, but perhaps it was time to get someone new to fill his place.
Ice glanced down at his watch, eight o’clock.  That meant that he had exactly two hours left before he had to “pick up” Tara.  Hmm… what should he do in the mean time?  Perhaps he should get something to eat; he was feeling awfully hungry.  He couldn’t go on a hunt with an empty stomach, after all.
Ice began walking down the street watching the humans disdainfully.  He stopped in front of a towering, metallic-gray building, and pulled open the heavy, glass door.  He took the stairs two at a time up to the top floor.  He entered his apartment and went to the fridge.  He took out a piece of cold chicken and turned on the TV.  He began eating while he was standing.
Ice flipped through the channels, trying to find something interesting.  He went through all of the channels twice, not finding anything.  He threw the remote on the coffee table in defeat.  What kind of a world was it that they were living in these days?  Nine hundred channels and nothing at all worth watching for more than five minutes.  It was incredible.  It was only eight o’clock at night and basically all that was on were horror movies like “Silence of the Lams”.  He had had enough of that kind of thing in his life for the last couple hundred years, thank you very much.
Maybe I’ll have a quick nap before I go get Tara.  Ice thought, as he flopped onto the sofa and stretched his arms over his head like a cat, his muscles moving in a taut, smooth motions beneath his shirt.  He settled down, his shoulders digging into the sofa as he shifted position.  He closed his eyes and promptly fell asleep.  His dreams were dark, unsettling, and soaked with blood.
He woke at exactly nine thirty.  “Well, that was well timed.”  He said, rubbing a hand over his face to wake himself up.  He stood up, running a hand through his hair.  He moved over to the mirror checking his reflection.  Ice decided that he looked presentable enough for a kidnapping.
He concentrated his powers, and got ready to teleport.  He disappeared in a flurry of blue sparks.  His skin felt like it was on fire; as though pinpricks of electricity were shooting through his skin.  For most of the members of the Unseen this was incredibly hard to master, even for the older ones, but Ice had it down pat.  He loved the feeling of his molecules splitting apart and swarming through the air like dust particles.  It felt like the richest from of freedom, the closest one could come to flying, but there was a certain amount of danger attached to it.  If he stayed separated too long and lost concentration, he would never return to his original form.  He would float through eternity in a world with no emotions.
Ice centered his concentration on the street Tara was to walk along in thirty minutes.  His molecules gathered themselves and he flew through the air appearing again on Tara’s street.  The hardest part was to once again achieve his original form.  He reached out with his mind, and gathered the stray molecules.  Ice compressed them together until he was solid once again, with his feet planted firmly on the ground.  All together, this took less than a second to accomplish.
He shook himself, trying to shake off the remaining feeling of thousands of pinpricks dancing over his skin, so that he could concentrate on the task at hand.  He looked around, assessing his surrounding.  The street was washed in dark, threatening shadows.  The tall trees at the side of the road loomed over him, blocking out the moon and the stars.  There was only one house at the end of the street.  It looked as though the owners had gone out for the night, sot there would be no pesky humans around to ask questions.
Ice walked along the street, making sure to stay close underneath the trees.  He looked up at the tallest tree, the cool night air whispering softly through the leaves.  He took one gigantic leap and landed at the top of the tree.  He settled himself in behind some larger branches, to wait for Tara.
After fifteen minutes his limbs were becoming uncomfortably stiff.  He was very happy to see her slight figure turn the corner.  Her face was lost in shadow, but he would recognize her anywhere.  Ice waited patiently until she had walked a few steps past the tree he was in.  He jumped down and landed silently on his hands and feet; crouched like a tiger ready to pounce.  Ice stood up, brushing his hands off on his jeans, stealthily walking towards her.  He reached out a hand and dropped it heavily on her shoulder. 
Tara whipped around, opening her mouth to scream.  Ice grabbed her arm and pulled her towards himself.  He covered her mouth with his hand to stifle her screams.  “Ssh.  I’m not going to hurt you.”  Ice said, trying to calm her down.  She began to twist and turn, trying to escape his grasp.  One high-heeled shoe came down on his foot, and he let out a cry of pain.  He shook her once hard.  “Ow!  For the last time; shut up, and for God’s name stop hitting me!”  Ice said, attempting to shield himself from her blows.  “I’m going to take you to a house, where you’re going to patiently wait for your boyfriend to come pick you up.”  Ice said, sneering.
Once again he dissolved into blue sparks, but this time he took Tara with him.  It took all of his power to keep her molecules close together with his.  He felt slightly weaker when they finally appeared, fully formed, inside his house in the country.
It was a gigantic house (much too big for one person).  The rooms were filled with warm browns and comfortable chairs.  Tara was quiet for a moment as she took in her surroundings.  She turned to Ice, who had let her go, certain that she would not run away.  Even if she did, where would she go?  There wasn’t another house for miles.  “Who are you, and what do you want from me and Steven.  We’re not even together anymore, you know.  I don’t even like him very much.”  Tara said, desperately finding a way out.
“I know, but he’ll come anyway.  He seems to be quite fond of you.”  Ice said, after realizing that Steven was the vampire that he was after.  He had never known his name, but you don’t have to know someone’s name, to know that you hate them.
“What are you going to do now?  Are you just going to sit there and watch me until he gets here to rescue me?”  Tara asked.
“No.  I do have a life you know.  I’ve put a spell on this house so that there is no way you could possibly get out.  Besides, I won’t be gone long.”  Ice disappeared in blue sparks, and Tara was left alone in the huge, empty house.
She ran to the door, and tried the handle.  A tiny shock raced through her arm and blue light flashed from the door.  “Ow!”  Tara said, rubbing her hand.  Tara raced to the window and tried it again.  This time the shock was stronger, and burned her fingers.  She shook her hand, trying to get the feeling back into it.  She went over to the sink and poured cool water over it.  “Looks like I’m really stuck here.”  She said to herself, looking at her hand.
Meanwhile, Snake was secretly following Ice making sure that he didn’t break any rules towards Tara.  She was a pretty young thing and Ice had been getting a little soft-hearted lately.  They had ended up in a dark street, on the worst side of town you could possibly get to (Snake felt completely at home).
He had established that Ice was following the vampire Steven.  “Good move, old man.”  Snake thought, with a proud little smile.  He does have some of his old self left in him.  Snake watched as Ice ran and caught up to Steven.  Snake moved back and hid in the shadows to watch what happened.  The two men conversed animatedly.  Suddenly, Steven smashed Ice against the brick wall near them.  They fought angrily.  All of a sudden, Steven stepped back and shrugged nonchalantly, as though to say, “Who cares?”  And with that he walked away.  Ice straightened his shirt and scowled in Steven’s direction.
Snake turned away from Ice, walking back the way he came.  He rubbed his hands together and thought greedily of how his plan had just been set into motion.  He was what all the Unseen were after… power.  Snake had a master plan of how he was going to betray Ice by making him break the rules and betray him to the High Council.  He was then going to slowly and painfully kill Ice, and then take his position in the Unseen.  Snake melted into the shadows, his evil laugh hanging, suspended in the cool, evening air for a second longer before it faded away.
Ice leaned against the wall, watching Snake walk away.  The little idiot, Ice thought.  Ice could hear Snake’s thoughts the whole time he had been talking to Steven.  The fool had forgotten to block his thoughts.
Everything was going according to Ice’s plan.  He had Steven in the palm of his hand.  He  had told Steven that he had Tara “safely” hidden away, and that it was up to Steven if he wanted her back.  Steven had gotten angry for taking his “property” and pushed Ice back into the wall.  He had yelled at Ice angrily and stormed off.  Ice was going to give him some time to cool off, and think it over.
Ice wasn’t worried about Steven at all, but Snake was another question.  He thought he had known where Snake stood in the scheme of things, but now he wasn’t so sure.  Snake was striking out on his own, and Ice hadn’t expected that.  Ice frowned.  What am I going to do about him?  Ice thought to himself.  Ice had believed that Snake was loyal to him, but that had obviously turned out to be false.
Ice looked at his watch; a half an hour had passed since he had last seen Tara.  He hated to admit it, but he liked seeing her pretty, little face and watching the light reflect off of her shining, raven hair.  Ice closed his eyes and teleported to his living room.  He looked around and didn’t see Tara.  Funny, he thought.  Where could she have gone?  I had all of the possible escapes sealed securely with magic.  Ice searched high and low, but he didn’t see her.  Last but not least, he went to the library that he had in the basement.  As he went down the marble stairs leading to it, he thought of how he would love to spend more time down there with his books.  When he was younger he had spent hours in the library (he had one of the rarest collections of books in the world, almost all of them were first editions).  He just didn’t seem to have enough time to read anymore.
He entered the library and found Tara looking through the books on one of the many large, wooden bookshelves.  She already had a pile of books in her arms, waiting to be read.  He watched her for a moment; she looked so graceful, and beautiful.  Ice stepped into the room louder than usual (he unconsciously moved silently anywhere he went, it was what he was trained to do).  Tara looked up surprised, and dropped the book that she had just pulled off of the shelf.  “Careful with that.  It’s worth quite a bit of money.”  Ice said, as he stepped closer.
Tara looked nervous as she bent down to pick up the book, but she turned to look him square in the eyes, not showing any fear.  “You know I’m not scared of you.  I don’t think you’re really as mean as you look.  At least anyone who reads Harry Potter can’t be all bad.”  Tara said, holding up The Chamber of Secrets.
“Who says I read it?”  Ice asked sulkily.  Tara laughed and turned back to the book shelf to put the book back.  Ice silently moved closer and stood directly behind her.  When she turned around she came face to face with him.  She gasped, and Ice moved his head down and covered her mouth with his.  All of a sudden she was in his mind.  What’s happening?  She thought in surprise.  We’re soulmates.  Ice thought in wonder, their thoughts bouncing off of one another.  They spent the next few hours exploring each others minds; finding out their secrets, their hopes and dreams, and their longings.
Suddenly Snake and Steven stormed into the library, where the found Ice and Tara laughing together over a book.  Steven seethed with rage, and Snake laughed with glee at the idea of a fight, his beady eyes flashing.  Ice got up and stood in front of Tara to guard her.
“My my, Ice.”  Snake hissed.  “I do believe you’ve managed to break quite a few rules in these short few hours.  Whatever shall we do?”  As if planned, Steven tackled Ice and knocked him to the floor.  The two men rolled over, and over trying to lash out at the other in any way they could.
Snake’s face transformed into a hideous mask and a long, forked tongue whipped out.  He hissed a powerful war cry and lunged at Tara, venom dripping from his fangs.  He smashed her into the table where Tara had companionably sat with Ice just moments before.  “Tara!”  Ice yelled and tried to get up, but Steven had him pinned down.
Tara struggled to get free, but Snake held her fast.  Suddenly, a purple light flashed briefly and Snake found himself lying on the floor, with two handprints burned into the flesh on his arms.  He screamed in pain, and Tara looked at her hands in horror and amazement.
With a great burst of strength Ice shoved Steven off of himself and stood up, brushing himself off.  “So you see, we didn’t break any rules.  Tara is a chosen one, and a new member of the Unseen.”  Ice said proudly to Snake, and he went over to stand beside Tara.
Ice turned to Tara and they threw their arms around each other.  Suddenly the door burst open, once again, but this time the people who entered were guards from the High Council.  They dragged Snake off, kicking and screaming.  After they had marched out again Tara asked, “How did they know that Snake was here, and what he had done?”
“Oh, the High Council pretty much knows everything that goes on.  They’re not such bad guys.”  Ice said, with his arm around Tara.
Steven came tentatively up to them.  “I just wanted to apologize.  Although all of it was Snake’s fault, you know.”  Ice glared at him, and Steven seemed to shrink.  “The Unseen need me in France, so I’ll be out of your way.”  With that he ran out the door.
Ice smiled down at Tara.  “What should we do now?”
“I want to see the world.”  Tara said.
“Your wish is my command.”  Ice said, and they disappeared in blue sparks.
In the days to come, Ice had a chat with the High Council and Snake was promptly brought to a place that had no doors, and where he only had years of unbearable pain to look forward to.  Tara was welcomed into the Unseen with open arms, even though she decided to use her powers only for good.  She quickly talked Ice into joining her in the fight against evil, and together they saved many lives.  After a year of happily traveling the world together, they were married under the watchful eyes of the High Council.

9th grader
Untitled Poem 4

We used to be friends,
Quite good ones in fact.
But maybe forgiveness
Was something we lacked.

I said some things,
You said some too.
And things changed,
As they always do.

We don’t talk anymore.
Not even at all.
When I see you around,
It’s like seeing a wall.

After that big fight,
I felt something in me die.
Ever since that day,
You just pass me by.

You think I hate you,
I thought I did too.
Only later I realized
How much I missed you.

I miss you still,
Even to this very day.
But “I’m over that boy”
Is what I seem to say.

I know that’s not true,
It’s one great big lie.
When I think of that day,
I just want to cry.

10th grader
Arvada, Colorado, USA
You Are There

When I am troubled and alone/
You are there/
When others reject and disown me/
You are there/
When I feel unloved and unwanted like there is no reason to live/
You are there/
When the planes hit the world trade center on that dark September day/
You were there/
When the people trapped in the buildings had no way out/
You were there/
When people sit around and ask why they deserved to continue living in this messed up world/
You are there/
When the kid down the street is about to end it all/
You are there/
When ever anyone calls on your name/
You are there/
And when it is all said and done/
Will be there/

10th grader
Canton Ohio, USA
Untitled Poem 5

Watch my eyes as they flicker
Desperately searching for something to hold my gaze
For a little while longer
Before I'm left alone again
To face the thought of never finding out
If my wildest dreams were anything more
Than a mere fantasy.

10th grader
This was really short but it felt finished.

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