Poetry Continued


Short Story



As the sun rises, the brightest star of the day, just hanging there, warming the world, Open your eyes it's a brand new day. As the time just passes, passes till night falls, an illustrious sky has blanketed the earth Gaze at the sky, they're all over, you can talk, they'll listen, or just look, look up at the midnight sky ,just think, think of all your problems ,just remember, remember the good times, just look, look above There's a shooting star, just wish, wish about anything…Maybe your dream will come true, If not just concentrate, concentrate harder the next time you see that star. The sun has risen again, beginning the process, a bright start hung in the baby blue sky…. Now just wonder, wonder how many are captured in the moment of navy blue night Gaze at the sky they're all over.

10th grader
North Wales
My name is Ashley and I enjoy writing poetry, it's one of my past times. Poetry is a way to put emotions on paper or to describe a situation.
Untitled Poem

That Love Unknown
Someone loved you did you know?
He died for you did you know?
He loved you dearly did you know?
If someone had told you would you have swallowed all those pills?
Did someone tell you, and you just didn't listen, or did no one bother,
But sadly now it's to late for you to know that love unknown

8th grader
Untitled Poem 2

Every night I sit at the coffee table

Ritualistically waiting for the bastard

To speak his dysfunctional words

But his silence is suffocating

He offers no direction

For he is pathless himself

A rusty nail never shines like new

I'm a sinner and so is he

In desperate need of a miracle

Sip my tea and direct my questions

To quiet, empty eye sockets

Bricks weigh down my flight

Destined to crash and burn

Right back where I started

I like to call it home

Attempting to forgive the falling snow

The cup is almost empty

Still searching and aching for answers

Vapid thoughts lost in black market music

Entrapped in everything real

Creating a new form of judgment

Say nothing at all

The answers are at the bottom of the cup

12th grader
Lansdale, PA, USA
Untitled Poem 3

Standing outside I'm looking in Lost in the darkness trapped within
Through the mirror my reflection is trapped So scared am I, I've almost cracked
These feelings are circulating through my heart Moving so fast I'm falling apart
Why can't I explain to him how I feel Even when I know these feelings are real
I'm staring ahead trying to find A way to show feelings before I'm left behind

Standing outside looking in I'm closing on the end
I'm so scared to be alone Someone please send me home
Afraid am I of love Though I just can't get enough
Will this feeling go away  Before my dying day
My mind is going crazy My vision growing hazy
My heart is closing down I'm hearing not a sound
Is the hurting almost over or is it just the cover
to this book that never ends Can my soul make amends

Standing outside I'm looking in I will never love again
My heart has been taken and is already breaking
My heart cannot die another day There is too much for me to say
Memories are all I have The only thing I'll ever have
I want to find a way inside Instead of always having to hide
In the darkness I'll not always stay Someday inside I'll find a way

9th grader
Ashtabula, Ohio, u.s.a
Foot of Your Throne

Why God why do I have all of this pain
No acceptance from either church or friends
Filled with anxiety, darkness, and shame
This world has left me, please God make it end

I view the sky and my past brings me down
Asking you Lord to please help me stay strong
In this sea of sins will I surely drown
Throw the rope, save me from depths of wrong

The Scriptures tell me of a promised land
Streets of gold, no tears or pain-only love
True to your word i find a guiding hand
To lead me from here to my home above

My hope tomorrow; though now I'm alone:
Be accepted at the foot of your throne

11th grader
Kettering, OH
About the author of Foot of Your Throne.
I feel gray in this world of colors, but with the Lord I will make it through.  (I will sing for money  :)
Untitled 4

The imagination flew silently through the dark and musty room.
The artist drowning in his own intoxication turning the white fabric to
The sleep of his mind was covered with snow
No longer able to consider the precious gift
In which he has grounded from the world.
Not allowing the world to see his extensive imagination.
Quitting his life to join the real world he has given in and conformed.
The pity is overwhelming and the real world is all hypocrisies and lies.
Nothing is solid not even bricks that are holding up the building.
This life he has just joined is boring and his “real” home lies in his imagination
With all the greens, reds, and blues of the world
Nothing is new but real to him and his life.
He hates the real/fake world.

12th grader
Landsedale, PA

This wasn’t supposed to happen.
You weren’t supposed to die.
We were just supposed to go
For a tiny little ride.

You were supposed to come with us
We would take you to your house
But we had a little accident
Now your playing quiet mouse

I don’t remember much
It all happened so fast
All I saw were your feet
Surrounded by broken glass

I kept screaming at the people
Asking how you were
They didn’t have to tell me
My heart, it knew for sure

I’m so, so sorry Adam
You had so long to live
I wish I could turn back the clock
Your life to you I’d give

This wasn’t supposed to happen
You weren’t supposed to die
We were just supposed to go
For a tiny little ride

8th grader
Dexter, MO
This is my second poem I have sent in to TeenLit. I wrote this poem after a tragic car wreck that i was in at the begging of January, 2002. In the wreck, four of the passengers in the car I was in had minor injuries, but one, his name was Adam, died. We miss him very much and feel that the dates on his obituary were far to close together. He was only 15. I wrote this for him to express the guilt and pain I felt. We miss you and love you Adam, and we know you're watching us from up above.


Darling's in her little cage
Gomez run away!
Fighting off the dizzy haze
Gomez run!
Tonight our dreams are dressed in black
Gomez run away!
Feeding underneath our hat
Gomez run!
Infecting us like a soar
Gomez run away!
Diving into all our pores
Gomez run!
Lightning cracks outside this maze
Gomez run away!
Sweeping deeper in our daze
Gomez run!
They chase us all through the night!
Gomez run away!
As we scatter all in fright
Gomez run!
Scream we might, fight we try
Gomez run away!
No matter what we all shall die!
Gomez run!
Please escape my dear friend
Gomez run away!
For this nightmare...
It shall never end.

8th grader
I'm 14 and live in PA. I enjoy writing, reading, participating in band where I play flute and marching band where I play piccolo. I also participate in my school's plays and like to sing.

I can taste your blood.
       Salty and bitter.
I may feel your tears.
       Smooth with glitter.
I can see your hate.
      Mean, full of guilt.
When I touch your lips.
    I taste salty bitter blood.
 It covers my inner thoughts.

Someone stares with those glaring black eyes.

Making my hands tingle only single.

What to do?

Only see who.

Which I’m happy  it was you.

9th grader
Tucson, AZ
About the author of "You''. I was just in class. Wanting to write a sad, depressing poem but at the same time include the one I Love.
Ripped apart at the seams

She screams,
A cry of pain.
He laughs,
Masking shame.
You run,
From all the bad dreams.
I cry,
Ripped apart at the seams.
Your mom,
Does the dishes at night.
Your dad yells,
Never ceasing to fight.
You run,
From all the bad dreams.
I cry,
Ripped apart at the seams.
He reaches,
For what he knows he can’t have.
She closes her eyes
Trying to forget all the times of bad.
You run,
From all the bad dreams.
I cry,
Ripped apart at the seams.


10th grader
Philadelphia, PA, USA
About the author of Ripped Apart at the Seams. She is a fifteen year old from Philadelphia. She likes to write.

An Angel's Love

Life is so much different than how it was before,
All the things I used to love don’t matter anymore,
I miss the way you smile,
Your kind and gentle ways
I miss the way you laugh
How it could brighten someone’s day.
And I wish that I could see your face
Just to see you smiling one more time
To guide me through the darkest days,
Of regret still on my mind,
Because I never got to tell you,
That I loved you too,
The timing just wasn’t right,
And I didn’t know what to do.
I can’t explain the feelings
Or the thoughts I had back then
But I do know that it kills me
Every time I think what could have been
And I want you to know that I am sorry,
My regret these mere words can’t hold
And I will cherish all your memories,
Until I am old,
Because I still have all these emotions,
And feelings that still run so deep,
That taunt me while I’m awake
And haunt me while I sleep
And I will never watch the sunset
Without a thought of you,
And deep within my heart
I know you’ll be there too.
And my life will take me on
And finally let me be
Because I can go a lifetime
Knowing that and angel had loved me.


10th grader
About the author of An Angel's Love
 I am 16 years old. I wrote this for a good friend of mine that was killed in a car accident in August. He was only 16 years old and full of life. He was the greatest person I have ever met. I am dedicating this poem in his memory...because he will always be my angel.

Untitled 5

You left when I was two
Did you think what it would put me through?
I never thought I would see the day
When you really went away

Your true love is work and not with me
I miss sitting on your knee
I want to hear "I love you"
But I'm not even sure if you do

Are you too busy to pick up the phone and dial?
Don't treat me like I'm a child
You only went to one basketball game
It is truly a shame

It's like you're not even there
And honestly, I really don't care
I wonder if you ever did try
Did you know that I cried?


10th grader
Citrus Heights, CA, USA

This is a poem I wrote, it started out as an English project but once I realized what I was writing it became easier for me to write. It's a very personal poem, and I am very proud of it. Its the best poem I have written and it has a lot of meaning in it.


Here's to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They aren't fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them. Disagree with them.
Glorify or Vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do*


9th grader

Untitled 6

When I first saw you
I knew it was true
We danced and had fun
At times I wanted to run
But then we became one

We have had lots of great times together
Hopefully it will last forever
What will happen next?
We wish for the best
We will end up in a lover’s nest

Now silver wings have taken you away
Until that day
Where you will be mine
And at the right time
Two hearts will be joined as one

Until that day
My dreams will stay
Even though your not here
The thought of you brings me cheer
And at some times it brings me to tears

I miss you so much
Yet I have lots of trust
Being so far apart
It tears up my heart
My dear, I hope we never part


11th grader
Kyle, TX
I'm in the 11th grade at Hays High School in Mrs. Malott's English class.

Fear is a snake biting at my feet.
Fear is something that can never be beat.
You fight it, you claw it, and it will never go away.
It will follow you always to the end of your days.
Fear is unstoppable, a relentless force.
It will never give up, never stray off course.
No matter how much you seem to grow.
No matter how much bravery you show.
It will always be there, watching and waiting;
Fear is a shadow, always lurking behind.
But when it gets you, you can’t press rewind.
Fear falls upon you like a veil of black.
There is no escape and you can’t look back.
From the moment we enter crying,
To the moment we leave dying.
It is always there, watching and waiting.

10th grader
St. Joseph, MI
About the author of fear. I am 16 years old and a student a St. Joseph high. I play basketball and soccer and enjoy writing


11th grader
Untitled 7

You’ve always been there
Right here by my side
Never left me alone
Or out in the cold

I’m blessed to have you as a friend
All the things you’ve done for me
I’ll be here for you
All the days of our lives

We tell each other everything
No matter what it may be
I know I can trust you
And you’ll never let me down

Through the good and bad
We held our heads high
No matter what was said
We made it through

Of all the people in my life
You’re the one who always cared
You’ve filled my life with laughter
 Shared sorrows, joys, and tears

The years have gone by fast
And the end is almost here
Soon we’ll walk the stage
And go our separate ways

To college we’ll go
I wish you the best
I’ll never forget you
Cause we’re friends till the end

11th grader
Buda, TX
I am 16 years old and live in Kyle, TX. I wrote this poem for my best friend.

Untitled 8

The morning comes
The cold wind hums,
The house is warm
Despite the storm,
On Christmas morn.

Excitement drums
The moment comes,
With graceful form
This giving storm,
For Christ was born
On Christmas morn.


10th grader
Saint Joseph, Michigan, US
Untitled 9

Rain Rain,
Cold Cold rain,
Falling down in fear and pain,

Falling. Burning. Crashing.
Drowning angels,
crazy with fear,
blinded by tears,

Braking. Hurting. Dying.
Trapped with sin,
Always in a fight
I cry with everyday and every night,

Rain Rain,
Cold Cold rain,
Brings me so much fear and pain.

10th grader
St. Joe
I wrote this poem when my grandpa got in a motorcycle accident and it just started raining when that happened so it seems like God with crying with me.

Untitled 10

With the air of a queen
She walks down the street
Striding to her own beat, the finest tune
Her head held high in confidence
Nothing she can't do
Her strong facial features captivating
Her unexplainable beauty glowing from the inside out
A one of a kind
The kind of person everyone wants to meet
 A person you want to be like,
That you always want to be around
Lights up the room with her unexplainable presence
To men she's irresistible, its just they way she is
They can't explain the way she keeps them breathless
Never predictable, doing her own thing
To women she's a role model, a sister, a best friend
Always there till the very end
An adventurous friend that keeps everyone on the tip of their seat
She possesses a power that captures attention
Able to do anything she sets her mind to
Success is her only option
Able to lead the most independent bunch
Able to be a learning follower
Never underestimate the power?.
Of a Strong Woman

9th grader
Bloomington, IL
About the author of Strong Woman
Hey my name is Adrienne and I am 14 years old and i have just taken up writing poems and I love it. Tell me what you think about my work's), thanks :)

People always want to be something they’re not.
It makes me so frustrated to see people trying to be Individual or prep.
I’m not sure what I am
And I don’t care what anybody calls me
Because I’m me
And that’s all I care about.
And that’s all I care about.
Because I’m me
And I don’t care what anybody calls me
I’m not sure what I am
Individual or prep
People always want to be something they’re not.
It makes me so frustrated to see people trying to be


8th grader
Topeka, Kansas
If Your Lucky

Memories will wither
The faces will not last
Things you thought you'd never forget
Will slowly be forgotten in the past

All you thought you had
You will loose in the end
Slowly you will realize
Not everyone's your friend

Even though it breaks your heart
You will come to see
Even though it feels like love
Doesn't mean its meant to be

What once you thought was your destiny
Wont always turn out right
Sometimes in order to survive
You must learn how to fight

The world is a twisted web
Designed to deceive
If your lucky in the end
You will dye knowing what you believe

11th grader
La Crescenta, Ca.
About the author of "If Your Lucky"
This was not written to make you depressed, just to bring attention to the fact that disappointment is real and can happen to you when you need it least. No matter what happens in though, the one thing you will never loose is your faith, so hold it close and don't let go.

Untitled 11

Long ago
On a hilltop in June,
A little boy stole
The King’s silver spoon.
The guards chased him down
Through the cobblestone streets,
Offering him candy
And other sweet treats.
When finally they caught him
The boy knelt and pleaded,
“I’m starving, I’m tired,
And my sweat is all beaded.
I’m thirsty, I’m poor,
And all I ask of you,
Is a little forgiveness,
And a bit of food too.”
The guards, they refused
And that moment right there,
The small boy escaped
With the King’s silverware.
8th grader
Seattle WA.
Untitled 12

the Dawn is breaking.
the Dawn envelopes the world.
a sweet, slow Dawn.
crying tears of loveliness,
it weeps for you.
the Dawn loves.
love is a many Splendora thing.
knows no bounds
sleep now.
awake, to the elegant


10th grader

This feeling won't stop
it's too much to bear
nothing will change this
so why do I care?
The temperature is rising
and scorching my soul
I'm falling and falling
down this rabbit hole
Won't someone please catch me?
Before I hit solid ground?
I'm lost in this emptiness
I wish to be found
But there's nothing for me to grab on to
it's darker than coal
I'm falling and falling
down this rabbit hole.
Plunging further and further
"Help me!" I scream
This cannot be real
It has to be a dream
But no, it is real.

10th grader
Toledo, OH
About the author of Falling:
This is Keanna's second poem on teenlit.com. Her other one, titled "Deep Inside" was published last year and is in the August 2001 archives. Keanna still enjoys Martial Arts, and is happy to report that she now has a blue belt. She also would like to tell everyone at TSA "hi."

Sweet Sixteen

Young and wild;
Sprit is free,
Only at the age of
Sweet Sixteen.

Sweet Sixteen,
And never been kissed,
Wondering what else in life
She has missed.

Dazed and confused,
Living in the past,
With nothing to lose,
Nothing to last.

Sweet Sixteen,
Not a care, not a clue,
Of what tomorrow may bring,
or what she may do.

Feeling alone,
With her friends by her side.
Strong and tough,
Her feelings, she'll hide.

Sweet Sixteen,
And never been kissed,
Wondering what else in life
She has missed.

Young and wild,
Sprit is free,
Only at the age of
Sweet Sixteen.


11th grader
About the author of Sweet Sixteen. I go to a small school, in a small town. I have a few very good friends and I love to hang out with them a lot, but although they are close, I do not really share a lot of my feelings with them. (Although I know I can trust them.) Writing helps me free myself from everything and it helps me to lay my feelings out. Although, I do not always write non-fiction, sometimes i mix it up a bit.

Untitled 13

I always envisioned meeting you,
The happiest day of my life.
I’d smile and think that finally,
Something’s right.
And now I’m confused and feeling a flurry of emotion,
I’m not sure which are right and which are wrong.
Half of me is filled with overwhelming ecstasy.
The amazement of how beautiful you look,
Lying there, blissfully unaware of my presence.
But part of me's in unimaginable pain.
Our meeting shouldn’t have ever been this way.
There should’ve been the uncomfortable small talk,
Then going out to dinner and having no problem sustaining conversation,
Before arguing over whose going to pay for it all.
Then we’d go home via the beach,
And walk along the edge of the sand, water lapping at our feet.
Saying nothing because nothing needs to be said,
Saying nothing but hearing everything.
But not now.
Nothing’s being said because I don’t have any idea what I should say,
And who knows if you’d hear me anyway.
So instead I sit here watching you,
Wondering if you’re tears are inside while I feel you drift away,
Before I’ve even had the chance to hear you say hello.


11th grader
I'm me, you're you, the poem is a poem.
Untitled 14

Falling up the stairs there's no way too untear that feeling of despair coming from the stares of ignorance surrounding the feeling of innocence you can't protect the affect of the mind that entwines the what seemingly turns out to be just fine in the end my friend nothing compares to falling up the stairs.

There’s nothing more frustrating then not having that last piece to a puzzle, not being able to find a pencil with an eraser, or the right pill that’s supposed to put your mind at ease.
When all the batteries are dead and your bread falls butter side down.
When your favorite CD is scratched, and no matter how hard you try, the same song is playing on every radio station.
When your favorite shirt is dirty, and your parents just won’t leave you alone.
When you just miss the metro and your socks are wet.
I bite my tongue to silence all the things I think and just to feel myself bleed.
Life works against us so much and I’ve learned that it’s useless to try and fight the tide.
Whether you’re ready or not Monday is right around the corner, and the movie you waited all week to see is sold out.
Your shoelaces just won’t stay tied, and you miss the phone call by two seconds.
You lost your wallet, and forgot about your friends’ birthday.
We dance around the hours trying to waste time in order to pass the moments by.
We stare for hours at clocks that restrict our every movement.
Suppressed by our past and anxious to get to the future that will later become the times that we dread.
It’s a cycle not worth fighting. (We can’t freeze time and God knows we’ve tried.)
A game we have to play but know we’ll lose.
What’s the motivation to breathe if each one empties your soul a little more?
I’ve learned that the less you struggle the easier it is to let go.

11th grader
Bethesda, MD, United States
 From Stealing Ones Innocence To Another. 

So I lay here, still, oh so still in my own delicate, frightening world, with nothing but a bed surrounding, to comfort me, to help me feel, safe?  Yet it is so uncomfortable, unstable, so uneasy, but I just lay here as I gather my thoughts.  Nothing can enter my mind, all is incompetent, all is shown the exit sign and all, quickly escape in time, all but the past which after ten years, manages to haunt my fragile world, drags me down, way down to the ground going beyond the soil which also lays still, and remains so untouched, though I lay still, I still lay touched, my innocence, stolen, stolen from a man which I grew to love, to respect, to trust, and luckily, that thief did not become my step father.  At the ground is where I may be, but must I be so alone, so isolated, so confused that it makes me so unaware of how I should actually feel?  Should I feel scared or unsafe?  Or should I be relieved or, content?  No one can tell me how to be, how to feel, how to see t!
he future, the past, for I am too low, too far down, too alone, as at this point, to me, no one else exists.

So I lay here, now crying, weeping, screaming at the top of my lungs, calling out in desperate need of some attention, for someone to call back to me, to understand the hurt, to know the truth, my truth, my life.  My hands now scrape down my face, scratching, tearing away at the flesh as I continue to scream with agony and hurt while I still ponder in confusion, attempting to solve the unsolvable which is so frustrating, which makes me want to scrape on, till the blood drips, merging in with the salty tears.  Still I am here, all alone with only the echoes of my cries and the drips of my tears and of course, my thoughts, no one to help me solve this equation, this unearthly pain.  Seems to me as though the past isn't all to blame, for it has been and gone, yet it haunts me, haunts me because I have actually allowed it, and is now slowly taking over my cynical world.  Am I more terrified at the fact that it could happen again, or mortified at the fact that I may forget it ever happened?

So she sits here next to me, side by side in our happy worlds, not crying, nor weeping, nor screaming at the top of our lungs, she is, or so I thought, unaware that I am still alone regardless of who may be around.  She slowly opens her mouth and, lowering her voice, begins to speak.  She mentions how alike we were, and how different we have become, for my past isn't so personal as one other may have, without question, stole her innocence.  Suddenly the crying which bleeds inside of me comes to a halt as my body and mind are now focused as I gaze with fixed eyes on nothing and no one but her.  The words which now are pouring out of her, pouring as though they cannot be stopped, as though a cut has gone far beyond the stop sign, splits open the vein and now, uncontrollable rivers flow.  From the words that she has spoken, out of her mouth which came from her broken heart and her crushed soul, she really is still haunted by the past, the past which she, unlike me has learnt to!
 deal with, her epiphany which she sees night by night have again turned to real life.  To her, this devastating epiphany, or real life encounters feel more and more natural, like God has given his reasons and she has to except which she has, but unwillingly done.  To her it no longer hurts, it actually feels right which to her, shouldn't need to be stopped.  Suddenly my life doesn't feel so fragile.

So here I walk, taking one step after another, my left hand lifting slightly as I flick my half smoked cigarette, and the other hand, holding my bag which feels as if one to many weights have been shoved inside.   As I walk down the long, quiet street which since today, seems somewhat larger than before, I feel the cold biting at my back, shooting down my spine, forcing a shiver through my mouth as I exhale the smoke into the freezing air which appears visible as the smoke begins to fade.  The sun appears in between each house almost blinding me, and as I walk, disappears again only to reappear moments later, then fades again.  My music booming through my ears as I listen to my walkman and watch the ice begin to melt and treacle down on the brown shivery slates on the rooftops.  On comes one of my favorite songs and for some reason, reminds me of her, if fact, she never really disappeared out of my mind, not even for a second as, since she told me, for certain reasons, has !
started to become almost like an obsession, I keep running her words through my head, over and over and thinking, what should I do? What can I do?  I feel as helpless as she does, almost.  Walking towards my garden now, the gate opens and closes with the wind and releases a squeak as though it cries out with fear.  I stop for a moment and observe the house, for once, it seems more safe, and yet I continue to walk down the street, further and further away from safety, usually by the time I reach the bottom my insecurity hits.  I've reached the bottom, I feel secure.

So a week later, I wake up, my eyes red raw, tired from lack of sleep, tired I may be, but relieved as she finally realized, finally admitted to herself that this life, this world that she lives, it just wasn't right, finally persuaded her to tell, to confide in someone like she once did me, and she did just that.  So I walk the streets, lay on my bed which now feels stable, enjoying life with not a tear shed from my eyes, no cries of pain forced out of my mouth, no weeping, no screaming, I feel, my work is done as I managed to overcome my fear of the past, and the future by saving another's which at the moment has not quite cured the pain, the unearthly pain, but has brought the pain to a halt, now only a scab remains to remind, in a way, we helped each other.

10th grade
About the author of From Stealing Ones Innocence To Another.  My name is Natasha, I am 16 years old.  I love to play sports and enjoy playing the piano and saxophone.  I recently wrote this piece, I hope you enjoy it.
Untitled 15

This is the story of a widow, Geneva.  A homemaker who could no longer support herself after a fire left her homeless & hopeless.  She was generous and caring and stayed out of people’s way.

 She was an orphan without family or friends,
Who met a handsome, young man that sold Mercedes- Benz.

They started as friends, and then began dating,
And he proposed while they were ice-skating.

She was a high school drop out, but a caring lady,
And so they married in nineteen-eighty.

He worked hard to provide for his wife,
And promised her a long, loving life.

One night a fire tore threw their home,
Leaving the widow all alone.

So she moved from the windy city,
Away from her neighbors’ pity.

She looked for a job, but without a high school degree,
She ended up homeless, living under an oak tree.

When the soup kitchen would give her a meal,
She’d share it with others, so they wouldn’t have to steal.

She didn’t mind that she was homeless,
It gave her time to practice the game of chess.

She tried to stay positive threw the whole ordeal,
And just concentrated on getting her next meal.

The Homeless Ladies Tale

“Hi Ed, do you want the regular?” questioned Stan the cashier at the 9th Street Deli.
“Yep, that would be great,” answered Edward, who was speaking of his regular lunch of stacked turkey on sourdough with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise with chips and a large Coke.  He had been getting the same lunch at his deli for the past three years.  After he got his lunch, he bought a newspaper and headed to the Hillsdale Park where he would sit on a bench under a huge oak tree facing a fountain.  This fountain was the focal point of the entire park.  It was gray granite and enormous.  In the summer, water would splash out where children would run and throw their change in to make a wish.
“Move!”  Edward barked as he walked past a group of homeless people, almost knocking them over.  ‘My god, why can’t the police do something about these lazy homeless people?’  Thought Edward as he sat down and opened up the paper to the Sports page.  An old woman caught his gaze, digging in the trash wearing dark stained brown pants with a baggy blue sweatshirt.  Her hair was greasy and matted to her head, and on her feet she wore a pair of worn out yellow tennis shoes.  The mere thought of someone digging through the trash made him want to vomit.
“Gimmie your wallet!” shouted a husky male voice.
“What?” questioned Edward as he turned around, only to be knocked over the head with a bottle.  Ed fell to the ground as someone took his wallet and ran.  As he rolled over, out of the corner of his eye, he saw one of the homeless ladies push her cart into the robber’s path, knocking the man over.
“Stop him!” yelled Ed as he struggled to get up.  He saw two people tackle the robber and they waited until the police came.
“She planned this.  I don’t believe it,” chuckled Ed as he told the police.  After talking with Geneva, the homeless lady, Ed decided not to press charges on her as an accessory to burglary.  Plus there was no real evidence against the lonely, old homeless lady.  As he was turning to leave, Ed looked into Geneva’s old, hurt eyes and actually felt a twinge of guilt, but he shook it off and threw his half eaten sandwich in the trash.  When he turned around to make sure he didn’t leave anything on the park bench, he saw Geneva digging through the trash for his half eaten sandwich.
This daily routine of eating his sandwich at the park continued, despite the fact that he was mugged.  Everyday he saw Geneva but he didn’t give her a second thought.  Then one day, the unthinkable happened.
“We’re sorry to interrupt your current program but we have a special News 2 Bulletin.  Our own Lucy Wilder has just been murdered.  She was married to Edward Wilder a lawyer.  At this time, the police have one suspect in custody… Edward Wilder,” came the booming voice of Steve Patrol, a reporter on Channel 2 News.
        “Where were you on February 27 at 12:15?” questioned Officer Johnson at the Ninth Precinct.  Ed and the officer were in the interrogation room.  Ed blinked and scratched his head.  He could not believe this was happening.  He was being held without bail at the police station for the murder of his wife. “I was at the park eating my lunch,”  he answered without hesitation.  He was there every weekday.
“Are there any witnesses?  Anyone that can confirm your whereabouts?” the officer questioned as he made notes in his notebook.
“Um, well… it was a cold day, so I don’t think anyone was sitting in the park,” he answered, digging his brain for a face on that day.  “Wait!”  He yelled.  “There was someone there.  Geneva… Geneva, well I don’t know her name, but she’s an old, homeless lady.  I see her everyday at lunch,” he remembered.
“Well, we’ll have an officer go to the park and try to find her for questioning,”  responded Officer Johnson as he left the room.
“Excuse me, ma’am, do you know a Geneva?”  questioned Officer Richards holding his breath trying not to choke on the stench.  He questioned three ladies before he found her.
“What do you want?  I haven’t done nothing wrong,” defended Geneva.
        “Ma’am, we need to ask you a few questions.  Please come with us,” Officer Richards told Geneva, ignoring her questions.  Back at the station, they led her to a small dark room to question her.  “Did you see anyone at the Park on February 27 at 12:15?”  asked Officer Richards as he opened his notepad.
“Well that was a cold day, I didn’t see many people, but…” started Geneva.  She was reaching the depths of her soul trying to decide if she should
help this Edward.  This was the same man that glared at her, accused her of robbing him and treated her like trash.  “I saw Ed, he comes to the park everyday.”  She finished fidgeting in her seat.
“Well, that’s great that you’ve given us a statement, but we have no evidence.  I think we need something more than your word of mouth.”  (sarcasm) The officer told her.  Geneva knew why they needed more evidence.  She knew that they didn’t trust her because after all she was a dirty, lazy, old homeless lady.
“ I have evidence,” Geneva whispered.  The officers continued talking.
“I said I have evidence,” Geneva repeated a little louder.  They all stopped to look at her.
“Well, what is it?” challenged Officer Richards.  She told them she had it at her “house”, and they left for the park.  Thirty minutes later she retrieved an old crumpled brown paper bag.
“Um, I thought you had evidence, not your lunch.” (sarcasm) Officer Johnson joked, except no one was laughing.  Especially when she reached into the bag, and pulled out a receipt from the 9th Street Deli at 12:13 on February 27.  She explained that one that certain day, she got his leftover sandwich out of the trash and ate it and then put the crumpled bag into her shopping cart.
Edward was eternally grateful for Geneva’s generosity, but he had his dignity and pride.  “Let me give you something to thank you.  Money, food, clothes.  What do you want?” asked Ed as he grabbed his wallet.
         “Nothing, I don’t want anything.  I didn’t help you so you would pay me or give me anything.  I did it because I felt obligated to.”  With that Geneva walked away, leaving Edward standing there alone speechless.

11th grade
St. Joseph
Wrong Place at the  wrong time

 suddenly heard the sounds of gunshots coming from above my head.  Bullets were roaring through the air as I saw a sniper wearing a green Republican overcoat firing at some unknown target.  I suddenly heard another round of shots coming from the opposite parapet across O’Connell Street.  It must be two enemy snipers firing at each other. 
An armored truck was flying by, splashing the rain all over the cracked sidewalks.  I had barely seen it coming when I was crossing the street.  The truck suddenly stopped in front of me.  The big driver slowly rolled down his window and pointed a shiny black handgun, which was just waiting to unload its bullets directly at my head. 
I could see a Free Stater logo on the side of the truck.  It must have weapons or food inside, I thought.  I figured that I would keep safe and play along. 
“I’m a Free Stater.  I’m on your side.”  The driver seemed to be fooled because he immediately placed his deadly handgun on the passenger seat of the truck.  “There is a Republican sniper up on that parapet,” I foolishly pointed my wrinkled index finger up to where I saw the sniper a minute ago.  I looked up and saw the snipers true identity, with  the moonlight shining bright on his face.  He looked shocked, possibly remembering me and remembering that I was a Republican as well as he.
The sniper quickly posed his rifle on the edge of the wall and skillfully pointed the nozzle at my head.  The truck-driver saw him do this, picked up his handgun, and opened the latch on the roof of the armored truck.  Simultaneously, I ran straight down a narrow road.  Being old, however, slowed my speed down quite a bit, allowing the sniper to pull the trigger.

About_the_author: About the author of "Wrong Place at the Wrong Time"

I have a fun time writing fiction and poetry, sometimes in study halls I will just open my notebook and write whatever comes into mind.  I don't like writing in journals, I have tried and I don't see the fun in it.  I write lyrics to songs and I am very musical.  I play the piano, guitar, and I sing in the school choir and the church choir.

comments: I would like to thank you for looking at my short story, this is my first short story which I am trying to publish.  I wrote it for a school project and it did very well and it is one of my favorite works I have written yet.


Untitled 16

 began writing what and where I was told. My first diaries came structured and efficient. They assumed time occurred in predestined, rational patches. I was frustrated by how I would fail at slotting my life away. So I made days up. One diary, full of gaudy, elaborate headings, assigned one paragraph per month to your worst day. I would sort through my memory, disappointed at the pure lack of rhythm. My days oscillated within themselves to greater extremes than the tides. I thought I envied whoever could look back and recognize that one day which stood out as if highlighted black on the calendar. And so I wrote, along the efficient, formidable lines, the day I hurt myself. It seemed practical and with an inarguable honesty. I imagined someone might look through the pages and turn to me with alarmed curiosity, inquiring further. I felt sure I’d be able to pull out a day from among the rubble of dislocated time when I’d been hurt. I imagined tending to a scraped knee or!
 rubbing away a potential bruise. Those mysterious days, lying between lie and truth, became my clarity. They were a sensibility that I relied on, like footholds in a rushing, vicious current of furious time.
Gradually, however, I have come to despise the simplicity which evades me. In a frenzy of revolt I now buy boring black notebooks and fill their empty pages with my raw complication, like the fiery spread of chaos from one being to another. I give meaning to my every sensation, I breathe life into each stale emotion. I delight in contradicting myself every month, every day, every moment. Often I finish an entry more confused then when I began. Furious triumph.
I sometimes think of life as a search. I once swore that I would never encounter an experience or feeling that couldn’t be translated to the page and I have never been proved wrong. I’ve believed every moment holds reasoning, every failure means deserving. When my own words fail me I tear through old magazines and pull out any word that fits. They come from makeup ads and article headings: Illumination, Boldness, Mystery. It is as if each one completes some desperate vein in my body so my blood can run whole again. I paste them onto the page: there, a senseless explanation of all I just can’t explain. Still I search for definitions, rolling displaced fragments of life into sense.
Talking fails me more. Something is always lost between my thoughts and whatever sound the air produces. When spoken, I find words were often corruptible, injected with insincerity or misrepresentation. So, I’ve decided, there are things not to be spoken: the whimsical occupations of heart and mind. The sudden thoughts that keep us alive. Words are packaged and presentable, ready to be received. But my pages are raw and repulsive, like open wounds that refuse to heal. In them I make discoveries every day, revelations of half-true clarity that exploded like forest fires in my mind. Soon subdued. I carry along their ashes always, remembering what I knew for a moment.
In my family, winter evenings are like respites for our rhythmic lives. The world outside becomes lost to us in murky darkness so that only our own house seems to harbor life. One evening lingers in my memory. Like so much of my life it is beyond logical explanation. I can’t link reason or sense to what happened. Not a single word of meaning was passed, no gestures or promises made. It was a night beautiful to me in its quiet, breathtaking way; one I will remember for its simplicity, like a calm lake in my mind. That evening the house was full of our parents’ guests. There is always an informality to these gatherings. It’s in the casualty of their words, their jovial swearing and ridicule. Quick, knowing smiles and sincere, throaty laughs. That night they sat in the other room, plates full of decorative finger food, exchanging witty banter, their language cutting one another’s air cleverly. Men wore thin, cashmere turtlenecks under refined, coffee suits. Elegant perfumes and!
 modestly outstanding jewelry lit the women up from each seat they occupied.
On those winter nights, the house adopts its own circulating life. I love our house- its breathing, living sounds that emerge from the walls and floors. Sometimes it seems to rain only on our roof. A mysterious, plucking noise coming from above when the rest of the world stays dry. At night you can hear water hiss through the walls, the motor grumble coming from the basement. The unbothered hum of its foundation.
I was lying by the fire. As the flames exhaled themselves upon me like an invisible, scorching breath, I oscillated between vigilance and dozing. I let my eyes open or close as they decided.  My sisters came and lay down beside me. Our bony, sockless feet mingled close to one another, long and wiry. Dusty chocolate hair poured around like syrup, slipping across our chins and foreheads, yawning over our shoulders.
Between sisters rages a violent chain of overwhelming closeness and torture. We blend into one another, read each other like planets swinging in a single orbit. The same gravity is pulling us together and igniting our furious partings. When a sister cries, you feel yourself shoved into the enigma and desolation of her tears. When she hugs you something slides into the empty place of a puzzle. Whole. We feel each other’s lies like cracking whips and face one another’s sorrow with an inherent sense of duty. Sometimes we resent the burden of this love. Then we slide away, do something to further print our own selves into time. But we always come back.
I watched a log shrivel and grow scales under ripping wings of flame. I watched clumps of dust crumble away and the woody skin become lost in air.
I thought of myself as a blend of a sought knowledge and mysterious impulse. Within me lingers a fragility, a vacancy, a needed completion. I’m sometimes frenzied by irrationality, dancing and drowning in rampant confusion. Though occasionally there is a rest, one gentle sigh and a sudden balance as if you are untied from the inside out.
In one moment it came. That night. Another revelation, the settling of a thousand images and of my raging, desperate spirit. For one instant I built my world, I felt the numb comfort of falling into place. I was filled with endless, scattered pieces that suddenly wove together. I began to make decisions about what I knew while the fire heaved and stretched its sputtering fingers higher. I saw a river running through my heart, pumping into each narrow crevice and then spreading out. It ran into my fingertips, it circled my jagged heals. I felt it set a rushing rhythm. For me to live by. It carried memories through my ears like driftwood; songs I knew once, phrases in foreign languages and smells that attached me to the past. Rules and truths that I had made and rejected floated by like dead leaves caught in a current. I was sinking in one instant, lost to the ignorance of a soaring, complete joy. For one moment, one heave of the river, I supposed I’d never really know.


11th grader
Price for stars

In a time long, long ago, there was no such thing as night. Glorious light flooded the world with an ocean of clear blue skies. Even in the day, these skies were full of twinkling stars whose guiding radiance protected the animals and granted them their wishes. The animals knew nothing of darkness and lived in peace, having everything that they could ever want.
As time went on, however, the animals began to get greedy. They each felt that they were better than their neighbors, and should thus lead better lives.  They became angry at one another and many animals stopped being friends. The goals that they wanted to achieve in life changed; before, the animals simply wanted to be happy. Now, they wanted to become more special than their new enemies.
Back then, the stars were much closer to earth so that they could give the animals their love and blessings. They dangled in the air like precious earrings, dazzling the world with their sparkling splendor. The animals saw the stars as valuable jewels and began to steal them from the sky.
The rabbits stole stars and made their tails a dazzling flash of brilliant white. The fish stole stars and covered themselves with glittering scales of every color from the rainbow. The birds stole stars so that they would sparkle like real ones when they flew in the air. The lions and tigers stole stars so that they could have gleaming teeth and glossy nails. The animals all boasted of their new possessions, and the more they boasted, the more they wanted and the more jealous they became.
The tensions mounted and mounted, until one day, fighting broke out. An ant had just stolen a star and made his body into a fine pearl black. He was bragging about this new accomplishment to an anteater, and the anteater became so angry that he struck out against the ant and killed him. A swarm of other ants saw what happened and immediately attacked the anteater, killing him. When the whole incident was over, all of the animals fled in shame and in fear. What had happened?
That day, the sun and the stars called all of the animals together. They were all very sad and disappointed at the animals. The sun said, “we’ve taken care of you, given you everything that you wanted. But you chose to ignore our love and to live life in your own selfish way. You even brought hatred and anger into the world when you stopped loving your brothers and sisters. You have abandoned us from your hearts, and now we cannot be with you like we have before.”
The sun went to each animal and told it about its new life. "You wanted to be different? Fine, now you will all be unique, with different gifts and different powers. Rabbit, you stole a star to make your tail shiny and white. Now, you must keep that tail. The tail will expose you to
new fears and new enemies. You will use the tail to warn others when danger is coming; it will no longer be a mere accessory of beauty.
"Tiger and lion, you each stole a star to make your teeth and nails shine. Now, you must rely on those teeth and nails to obtain food and to hunt your prey. All the other animals will fear you because you will kill and eat them. You will become friendless in the world. That is the price for your newfound gem."
"Finally, because you have each become so different and turned your back on our ways, we will no longer be here to guide you all the time. Time will be divided into day and night. I will be here to protect you and nurture life in the day, and the stars will be here to look after you at night. At nighttime, however, the stars would be much farther away so that you cannot reach up and grab them. They will look down at you from a distance, and much of their light will be lost along the way. The world will become dark and black; you will become fearful and must care for yourselves. We will make clouds to block us from your world, so sometimes you will not be able to see us at all. We will still be here even if we cannot be seen, however, but remember, because of your actions, things will never be the same again."
The animals went back to their homes feeling guilty and ashamed. They had so many new troubles and so many new enemies in the world. They went about in their lives with a new sole purpose of survival, and soon forgot all about the times of peace and prosperity. No matter what happened, however, the sun and the stars kept their promise. They stayed in the sky, always ready to guide and help the animals. The sun provided light and warmth, while the shiny stars waited to be wished upon.


11th grader
Tokyo, Japan
About the author of Price for Stars
Rosemary is an 11th grader living in Tokyo, Japan. She has also lived in New Jersey, Oklahoma, and North Carolina.
Untitled 17

study people.  It’s a hobby.  I know, I’m a weirdo but it’s interesting.  People are strange.  See, there’s the kind that are “popular,” there’s the punky ones, the preppy ones, and the freaky ones.  I don’t see why everyone segregates himself.  They all have the same problem:  Everyone is just trying to survive in a scary world.  People think they have nothing in common with the next person when really those two people could switch lives and not notice the difference.
I find it really interesting how when you observe a normally sweet girl mixed into a group of friends, suddenly she is a vicious animal.  But when you get to talk to her alone, without all the other people, she can be such a good friend.
I used to know someone.  Her name was Emily.  She was my best friend for years.  That was before she got sucked into the land of the beautiful and popular.  Now when Emily is with her friends, she sickens me.  She’ll make fun of anyone just to get the approval of the crowd.  Whatever matters to them is what matters o her.  She doesn’t have any opinions about anyone or anything of her won anymore.  Emily has just taken the shape of the mold like so many have done before.  I can’t even look at her now.
One day a few months ago, I was supposed to eat lunch with Jessie.  Jessie had been even closer to Emily than I was.  As I was walking down the hall, I saw Jessie.  She was surrounded by Emily and her friends.  They looked like a pack of wolves ready to pounce on their prey, ready to rip and tear  Jessie apart, one imperfection at a time.
That’s when I knew Emily was really gone.  I lost her.  I tried so hard not to.  It took about three years but she’s completely gone.  Now Emily is just another face in crowd.  There used to be a time when I could talk to her without her group, but I can’t anymore.  I can’t tear her away.  I guess I’m not cool enough.  I bet Emily’s still nice when she’s not trying to impress and please everyone but herself, but I can’t reach her anymore, so I guess I’ll never know for sure.
Other people’s opinions about me never bothered me much.  They were just not important enough.  What has always mattered to me is how I view myself, and whether or not that makes me happy, not if it pleases someone else.  Emily wasn’t able to do that.  She forgot who the important people really were.
When I think about it, I guess I could have just as easily been Emily and she could have been me.  I could be the one trying to be accepted by people that don’t even really care about me, always trying to please and never making myself happy. So maybe even though now the person that used to be my best friend disgust me, and she won’t even look at me because I’m not good enough anymore, I guess I’m the lucky one.  I wish I could have made Emily see what they were doing to her.  I wish I could open her eyes to what she does to all the people she tortures everyday.  But I can’t.  the Emily I lost is  never coming back.


11th grader
Congers, NY
Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a world, much unlike our own. Green grasses so long that when someone ran through them, their very tips would tickle the waist. Once upon a time there was a land with a sky so blue that a person could see up to the stars, up to the planets and even beyond that, so their gaze could rest upon the heavens beyond. Once upon a time, there was a land so rich and ripe that the water that flowed from the earth could quench thirst for many days, and the crystal liquid could cure all wounds. A world where trees reached far into the sky; a world where animals roamed freely without fear of being hunted and killed for pitiful reasons. A world... devoid of anything that was dark. Once upon a time, there was a world that was what all people would refer to today, as utopia.
But then the darkness came. He swept over the land, ravaging all that was ripe and good and true. He drank the rivers dry, he harvested the trees, burned the grasses, and he filled the  once beautiful crystal clear skies with clouds of smog and poison. The stars and the heavens beyond, were lost forever.
There was nothing left, on the poor little planet. Nothing but death and decay, and a venom that seemed to seep into the very earth itself, continuing to destroy for months, then years into the future. There was no sound. Not even the wind dared to blow anymore. Only the haunting sense of death lingered, forevermore.
And once upon a time, was all but forgotten.
“Taylor Taylor!” Cheryl grabbed the book with frantic fingers, snapping it closed. She grabbed Taylor painfully by the upper arm and hoisted her to her feet, paying no heed to the fact that her nails were digging into the younger ones skin. The woman's eyes were frantic, the pupils nothing but small pinpricks in a wild, frothy sea of white. “We have to go! Hurry; they’ll be falling soon!”
Their steps echoed down the cold metal staircase. A blast of hot wind hit them head on in the face as they ran outside; Cheryl never letting go of Taylor. The cold faces of the soldiers greeted them outside but showed no compassion or sympathy as they forced them onto the street. Their long, metal guns reaching into the sky. A grim reminder of what was taking place.
“GET DOWN! Don’t breathe! HOLD it!”
The people fled. The scent of sweat, blood and urine caught in the scorching hot wind. It slapped the horrified crowd in the face, driving them on with both a primal instinct and fear. Those who fell, never got up again as the feet of a hundred thousand people trampled over the individual before such a chance was given.
The soldiers pushed them into the crowds then, into the constant flow of people running like a tormented river. People jousted her, elbows, hands and shoulders digging into every possible part of her body. Cheryl’s grip tightened over her forearm, her long nails digging into the tender flesh there lest they fall, and become victims to the ground. Tears began to prick Taylor's eyes as her feet continuously trampled over soft, wet objects. She tried desperately not to think of it.
The sirens began then, their great voices like songs of death echoing endlessly into the black, into the unnaturally black, sky. A panicked scream rose up from the people, running and following the huddled masses whereas they belonged. The soldiers wore gas masks, thick pieces of rubber and glass that covered their faces. But even through the thick glass Taylor could see their terrified expressions, their eyes that now looked so much like Cheryl's. Nothing would save them now, Taylor knew that for certain.
Was she imagining things, or was that the distant roar of engines she heard? Motors, tearing through the sky? She turned her gaze skyward, back to the blackened night as Cheryl dragged her endlessly on. How she managed to stay upright, standing on her feet was lost to her. The ground was beyond  them, the only light guiding the terrified refugees was the harsh electrical outposts every fifteen feet or so. It was darkness like their never was before in all the history of men, and Taylor clutched her little book close to her heart.
There! She saw them now, like little fireflies upon the night sky. She heard the sound of the engines clearly, it was impossible not to as their constant roar drove out everything else. The people screamed now, and panicked. Anything that had even remotely resembled order was torn away as the people scattered. Taylor let out a soft cry as Cheryl's nails dug painfully into her skin and then were gone. The woman cried out and, for the briefest of moments the sight of the Cheryl's hand reaching to her filled Taylor's vision before it was lost to her. In the frantic sounds, any cry made was instantly snuffed out.
Something connected with her gut and she slammed into a lamp post, gasping for air. Slowly, using the weight of the lamp post at her back, she forced herself into a sitting position. The roar of the motors, so close now, drew her attention skyward again. They were so close that she could see the hatches beneath them opening, the green tanks that the hatches held looking like foul waste upon the black night.
She narrowed her eyes and straightened her back. She would not run and hide; nor would she turn her gaze away. She would watch this happen because, she knew that everywhere else in the world the exact same thing was happening. There was no where to run from the end of man.
“So this is the price we pay.” Her voice came out little more than a murmur, and it was instantly swallowed up by the sounds of the crazed masses of people. Above her, the first of the tanks began to fall. “This is the price that the darkness has to pay.” The first of the tanks shattered against the ground and her eyes, unblinking, followed the forbidden yellow cloud that floated up from the point of impact. “This is the debt that man has to pay!” Blood curling screams rose up from the earth, ending off in choking, gurgling sounds as more and more of the tanks, of the gas, fell to the dead earth. Taylor threw back her head and stared vertically, at the tank that was falling less than a meter away from her. Somewhere between a shout of courage and a curse of valor she found her voice and released her cries to the heavens that had long since been lost to the poor little planet. “This is the PRICE WE PAY...!”
The tank shattered.
“....for destroying... once upon.. a time.”
The book fell, uselessly, to the ground.
“Mommy?” The little girl blinked her  innocent eyes at the little bundle of paper half buried in the sand. Her ears perked forward and she closed her little fingers around the pile, pulling it free from its coffin for more than a decade. “What’s this?”
Another figure lumbered over to the little girl, her own eyes reflecting curiosity. She crouched next to her daughter of six years and gently took the bundle from her grasp. She turned it over once; twice and ran her calloused over the old, leather bound cover. A smile carved into her face. “This is quite a prize.” She handed the book back to her daughter and straightened. “Quite a prize indeed, Trinity.”
Trinity frowned and licked her lips, blinking at the strange scribbling inside the book. “But.. what does it say? What are all these funny... things... inside?”
“I don’t know,  no one does. Whoever wrote this, the age, and the meaning behind them, are long forgotten to us.”
Trinity’s little eyes widened, covering  her face. Her mouth opened once, twice, but all she could manage was a little whisper. “Why? What happened ?”
The woman looked down at her child, then once again took the book from her grasp. She lay it gently back in the sand, covering it slowly with the yellow grains. As the sand fell onto the leather bound cover, she spoke softly. “Things from such an age should remain buried, my daughter. All ages must eventually end.” She bowed her head, her black hair slipping past her shoulders to the front of her face. Her voice was barely above a whisper. “But, life shall always continue.”
The young woman shook her head and picked her child up. Balancing her on her hip, she turned and began to slowly walk across the endless desert. Towards the strange civilization constructed out of rocks and hardened desert sand. A strange civilization, that had sprouted from the ruins of the old one.
A hot wind blew across the earth and stirred up the sand. For the briefest of moments, the words ‘Once Upon a Time’ were visible, before they were swallowed by the earth.
And in the distance, if you listened carefully and opened your mind, you could hear the laughter of a young girl named Taylor, who had existed nearly a millennia before.
Once upon a time there was a great civilization, with sky scrapers that jutted out into the sky. It was a world where the population had discovered so much that there was no sickness or disease! Light could be produced without heat, heat without fire, ice without snow. Once upon a time there was such an age that spawned strange languages, strange stories, and even stranger people. But then, like all things before it, once upon a time was forgotten.
Once upon a time....

11th grader
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
About the author of Once upon a time.
I'm a new author and I hope one day to become published and well-known. In short, I hope one day to make a living off of writing.
My favourite things to write about our fantasy, but I sometimes like visiting the Sci-Fi or fiction genre, like is portrayed in Once Upon a Time.

comments: Thank you for taking the time to read my submission!

Sometimes I imagine this is all a joke
I imagine that
You will come home to me
And hug me with your tearful face.
You will tell me how much you miss me and love me.
I wait so patiently by the phone
To see if you will call home.
But there's no answer from you.
So I sit by the door
To see if you will come through
But still no one came through that very door you left.
I sit in my room and pray to God that I will soon see you .
But until that day comes
I go out in the rain
To hide all my tears and pain.

8th grader
Omaha, NE
Brandi is an 8th grader at Central Middle School.  She likes to write from personal experiences. This poem was inspired by her brothers Steven and Michael.  They both died three-years-ago.  Michael died at the age of fifteen on Brandi's birthday.  Steven died six weeks later at the age of seventeen.
Sleep Over
"Hi, um, Beth," he said, " I'm looking for the home theater section." 
"Okay," said Beth.  "That's all the way to the back of the store, in the far left corner."  Her voice had a certain phlegmy quality to it. 
"Thanks," he said, already on his way there. 
For three years Bill had been narcoleptic.  The doctors were confused as to how he had been afflicted with this condition.  All four of Bill's doctors agreed that it had something to do with his car accident a month or two before his condition had arisen.  Some wires had been crossed in his brain, it seemed.  He didn't fall asleep that often, but when he did, he was completely out of it, deeply asleep, and no one could wake him until the bout of narcolepsy passed.  These spells of deep sleep usually lasted anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour.
That morning, Bill walked down to Best Buy to look at the home theater equipment.  He was unable to drive because of his condition, but he loved the fresh air, and walking was just fine.  He looked at the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway overpass above him, and just laughed to himself.  When he arrived at Best Buy, he stepped onto the doormat, triggering the automatic doors.  They opened, flooding him with a cool breeze. 
He was slowly getting over the many things, like driving, he wasn't able to do.  His wife or son could drive him places, and he only had occasionally bouts with narcolepsy.  Before the accident, he had been a driven lawyer.  Now, he was able to sleep at night, and didn't feel stressed out.  His condition had given him a new lease on life, and that was alright with him.  He spent most of his time working at a nearby law firm, the Dunce Brothers firm, with flexible hours.
As Bill stepped into the store, he realized that he had forgotten his glasses and couldn't read the store map.  He walked up to the information desk, where a large plaque said "Beth Roberts."  Bill asked where the home theater section was.  He noticed her voice was kind of phlegmy or something, but he had never really liked the sound of his own voice anyway.  She probably thought he sounded gravely, like an electric can opener.  She was very helpful, and Bill was in the back left of the Best Buy, looking at DVD players and quarter and eighth inch speaker wire. 
"Do you need any help?" a voice asked. Now Bill wondered if everyone noticed people's voices as much as he did.  This voice thing was a recent idea for him, actually.  At this point, he decided two things: One was that he needed about twenty feet of copper speaker wire, the quarter-inch kind.  The other was that this salesman had a voice that was a little phlegmy also.  He wondered if the guy had a cold, or if he was related to Beth at the front desk.  Bill wanted to look around, and he knew a few things about home theaters, so he said that he didn't need help, but thanks so much.  Bill felt he was a nicer person now that he walked everywhere and dealt without people more often. 
He looked at the new Sony DVD player, decided it was for amateurs when he saw the lack of outputs on the back of it, and promptly fell sound asleep behind the DVD display rack.  He landed with a thud, but didn't notice a thing.  He was out like a light, and when it was announced over the P.A. that the store was closing in five minutes, he didn't even budge.  About a dozen people poured out of the store.  All of the nine Best Buy employees walked around the store, turned on the alarm, flipped off the lights, and locked every door but the back one.  When this was done, they were all fairly satisfied that no one was in the store, and they left out the back door, locking it behind them.
Bill woke up twenty minutes later with no idea where he was.  It was pretty dark in the store, but he soon remembered that he had been looking at DVD players.  He got up and fumbled around for a minute, but soon had turned on all the TVs in the home theater section.  This gave off enough light for him to see the light switch.  He flipped it, and the fluorescent lights slowly flickered on.  Now he could see some of the store, at least from home theater down to the car stereo section. 
A thought crossed his mind.  Didn't places like this have major alarms?  He thought that maybe they only went off if a window broke or a door was forced open.  He hoped he was right, but saw a large alarm box behind him, and decided to make sure.  The box wasn't locked for some reason, so Bill just pulled the door open.  He then pulled some wire clippers from the shelf behind him, and looked at the wires.  He saw they had all been cut and bypassed with speaker wire except for the relay to the alarm company.  This was surprising, but a good thing, so he decided to move on. 
He slowly wandered around the store, fumbling for the light switches.  He really only needed his glasses for close-up things, but the light switches still gave him a little trouble.  When he finally had the whole store lit up, he decided to call his wife.  His cell phone was locked in the car at home, so he decided to go to the help desk to use the phones.  As he rounded the bend, he saw that the help booth seemed to have been locked up.  He walked up to the door and pulled, but sure enough, he couldn't open it.  He went to the cell phone aisle, but they were all demo models made out of plastic.  He tried the doors.  All of the customer entrances were shut with heavy electromagnetic locks.  The back door was inaccessible because it was through the warehouse, but the warehouse door had been locked.
Bill was feeling more than a little trapped, and he decided to go watch a movie to clear his head.  He wasn't really thinking that clearly as he made his way to the movie aisle.  He pawed his way through the DVDs, and finally settled on Cast Away, with Tom Hanks.  Just as he popped the DVD in the player, he realized that they weren't hooked up to the TVs.  He spent the next twenty minutes constructing a home theater system in the store, figuring that when he finally got out in the morning, Best Buy would really appreciate his handiwork and offer him a position as manager.  Finally, he sat, surrounded by speaker wire and optical cable boxes, watching his movie. 
He was feeling a little uncomfortable and went to the computer aisle to pick himself up a computer chair.  Just as he was wheeling himself back to the home theater section, feeling like a little kid again, he heard a crash.  He tried to place where it came from, but couldn't.  Maybe it was just a rat, or something flew off the freeway overpass onto the roof.  Now, he was really hauling down the white-tiled aisles back to home theater.  On the way, he passed a Lifesavers display stand, and figured a good nutritious snack would do him some good.  When he arrived at home theater, he put his foot down and parked the chair in front of the TV.  It was almost like he was driving again, and it felt good. 
It was only about 8 o'clock according to his watch.  All the stores around closed at 5:30.  He figured he was doing pretty well so far, and was really enjoying himself.  Then he heard another crash.  At first he thought it was Tom Hanks, emanating from the surround speaker behind him, but then it happened a couple more times. 
Now Bill decided to go investigate.  He paused Cast Away and left the chair behind.  He thought the crash was above him, and maybe somewhere around the hi-fi equipment.  He decided to cut through the movie aisle and stay low the whole time.  When he heard the crash again, he peeked up and saw one of the fiberboard ceiling tiles slide out of place, and a pair of dirty legs hang down from the roof, about eight feet above a beautiful Aiwa five-disc changer stereo combo.  He almost yelled at the legs to "Stop!" an innocent piece of hi-fi equipment was about to be destroyed, but thought better of it, and he just stood there, watching the legs keep lowering down. 
Soon, he saw a waist, and then a ripped and dirty jacket, and then a pair of arms stretching up into the roof, obscuring a head with a grimy hat that looked like it had a sports team on it.  The body was now only about two feet above the stereo, and about eight feet above the ground.  The person was swaying a little, and Bill caught a glimpse of a bearded face.  It didn't even occur to him that he should probably hide, and he knew there was no way out, except through the roof maybe.  Bill was just mesmerized for minute or so, watching as the figure gracefully swung down, completely avoiding the stereo shelf and landing on the floor. 
The figure, which Bill could now see, looked around, a little confused, probably because all the lights were on.  The man was smaller than Bill was, but looked strong and kind of wiry.  Bill figured he could beat the guy if it came to a fight, and decided to approach him.  He continued down the aisle slowly, and as he turned the corner to go up to the hi-fi section, he yelled, "Hello, who are you?" 
The man whipped around and saw Bill.  "What are you doing in my Best Buy?" he asked, but not in threatening way.  Bill replied that he had a condition that made him sleep, and that he fell asleep in the store. 
"Oh," said the man, "what was your first question again?" 
"I don't know," said Bill, advancing a little closer.  "I think I asked who you were." 
"My name's Jim Durancee, former stunt-man.  Some of my friends call me Ghost Rider after that comic-book stunt guy.  I also get Eval Knieval a lot, but to be honest, I like my real name best.  Call me what you will.  Who are you?" 
Bill tried to take in all of the information this chatty gentleman had just provided him with.  "Um, I'm William, I'm a lawyer.  My friends call me Bill, but you can call me whatever you want also." 
"Pleased to meet you," said Jim, "I'm going to go get a chair, do you want one?" 
"I got one already, but I'll meet you back in computers in a second, let me go grab it from home theater." 
"Don't bother," Jim replied, "just come with me, and we'll unpack a couple more chairs." 
"Sounds like a plan," said Bill. 
They walked down to the computers and unpacked a couple of Best Buy's finest, the Executive Leather Brand, with wheels.  Bill couldn't believe he had missed such a magnificent chair earlier that evening.  "Where did you come from?" asked Bill. 
"Well, I am originally from Kansas actually." 
"Sorry, I meant where did you come from before you popped through the roof." 
"Oh, that.  Um, a couple months ago, I was walking on that freeway overpass, and I just looked down.  About ten feet below, and past a pitiful amount of razor wire, there was a perfect rooftop.  In case you haven't figured it out, I'm homeless.  Roll with me as we talk," said Jim.  "Do you mind if I smoke?" he asked, but had already pulled a large pipe shaped like a skull out of his pocket and lit it with an antique Zippo. 
"No, go ahead," Bill said, and they rolled down the aisles, talking, with Jim puffing away. 
"I was a stunt man in Hollywood, but I got kicked out of the union and was homeless.  I've been doing, and still do, some stunt work occasionally, but I just don't see the point of paying for a house if I can have view of the valley for free.  So, I jumped onto the roof from the overpass one day, and set up my house right on the roof.  I fixed up the alarm system a while ago, so I can have free range.  Sometimes I come down here to watch TV and go to the bathroom.  I also like to check my email." 
"You have an email address?" asked Bill, saying something for the first time in a couple of minutes. 
"Of course, I am a businessman, and my home has all the modern conveniences.  I just pop down the roof access hatch and crawl down through the roof.  It's full of pipes.  I just have to swing and climb, and then hop down.  It keeps me in practice for stunts.  I just climb down a rope ladder from the roof to the ground if I have to get some food or do something else.  On aisle eight, which is the appliance section, I have a fridge to keep food, and there are also microwaves.  It really works out well." 
Except for the fear of falling asleep while climbing through the roof, Bill couldn't imagine why he shouldn't just pick up his family and move to the roof too.  Jim asked Bill about his life, and Bill explained about the car accident.  "I used to know a lot of lawyers because of the liabilities of doing stunts," Jim said. 
"Weird," Bill said,  "I almost feel like I know you from somewhere.  I actually represented a couple of stunt people, but that must have been fifteen years ago or so." 
"What's your last name, Bill?" asked Jim. 
"I thought I recognized you from somewhere.  You're William Grover.  My name back in the eighties was Slim Jim.  I thought I needed a more Hollywood name back then, so I changed it, but I changed it back to Jim Durancee a year or two ago because I like my real name." 
"I remember you," Bill said, "You were in court for accidentally setting fire to the set of Backdraft.  You used to eat dinner with my wife and me.  Do you remember Lydia?" 
"Of course.  And you would barbecue and burn the tri-tip every time I came over." 
"Yeah, I still do that.  Jeez this is bizarre meeting you here like this.  Tell me your email address so we can talk to each other," Bill asked. 
"No need," Jim said, "just gimme a call on the customer assistance phone.  It's 555-9755." 
"There's a phone here?" 
"Yeah, it's attached to the post by the video games." 
"Good, because I should be getting home soon," Bill said. 
"Yeah, me too," said Jim, "but hey, I'll probably talk to you soon.  Small world huh?" 
"Yeah, small world," Bill said. 
Jim rolled over to the stereo shelf, and soon disappeared into the roof.  Bill headed to video games, whispering to himself, "what a small world."   He picked up the customer assistance phone to call home, and fell asleep with a thud on the floor of Best Buy.
12th grader
Ojai, CA
My name is Graham, I'm from California, I wrote this over the summer.  Um, yeah.  Hope you like it.
Have You Ever

Have you ever felt the pain I feel
Have you ever had a loved one die behind the wheel
Of a car that somehow lost control
And took a life, and took a soul

Have you ever seen your best friend
With tubes pinned to his arm
Sat there and watched his life end
Knowing you couldn't save him from this harm

Have you ever seen your big brother
After drinking that liquid pain
He says, "I'll have an other round."
Before driving off in the rain

Have you ever seen your confidante
Lose all hope and faith
That he'll aver regain his true loves heart
After making those mistakes

You don't know my agony
You don't know what I've seen
I shouldn't have to go through this
After all, I'm only thirteen.
8th grader
Dexter, MO U.S.A.
About the author of Have You Ever. My name is Abby. I'm 13. I live in a small town so one of the only things to do is write. This is about and dedicated to a few people i know and used to know
First Shot

He was a fat man with a red, plump face and a British soldier. He hated patriots. He was very exited when he found out that he was going to be one of the men to capture John Hanncock and Samuel Adams! He polished his pistols and the buttons on his coat. He made bets on how many rebels he would kill. After they had started he grumbled about the slow pace of the marching men, the patriots and everything else he could think of.

 When the patriots made their stand, he urged the men around him to shoot now, never mind the cowardly commanders who hadn't ordered them to fire on the rebels yet, they were the mighty British army!  Their opponents were the dumb, untrained rebels. Kill them, capture there leaders and destroy their ammunition, that would stop this stupid rebellion.  The king knew what was best for the people not these stupid rebels.  A common man couldn't  govern himself.

 All he had to do was shoot his pistol. Everyone was nervous and ready to fire at anything.  Fire his pistol and someone was bound to start shooting. It didn't matter what side started, once the shooting started they would crush the rebels. No one was looking all eyes were on the rebels making their stand. No one was looking his way, he pointed his pistol down at the ground, he dare not fire at the rebels. No one should see him fire but if by chance he was seen he would say that it had gone off by accident. If he shot  a rebel no one would believe his story. So he started to pull the trigger but he couldn't. Then he tried it again but once more he failed.
Just then a bird chirped. Just a bird but to the keyed up and nervous man it sounded like a cannon going off. He jumped and accidentally jerked his trigger. His pistol rang out like an explosion!  Then somebody else shot and another man shot. When it was over a war had begun. He never told anyone that he had fired the shot for fear. He died in battle soon after.  Who knows what would have happened had he not shot.

9th grader
Belding,MI USA
Found Together

She is lost, and still looking.
Twisted, turning, guessing in which direction to travel.
Hopeless to see any light, especially the one she longs for.
Walking, running from it all in fear of the emptiness.

I have an answer!
Simple, plain, and easy to take.
Just open your mind and let in the truth, grasp it fast!
Hold to it, and let go inside the understanding love.

Can she believe me?
Such an easy answer, such a confusingly simple step.
Is it too obvious? Will she fall? Can it catch her? Yes!
Tired from the running, looking to rest, it calls her.

I am eager to show the home of love to her.
Restored in grace, rested in mercy, and begging to share.
Asking her to trust, step out of fear and come into
The long awaited light that is safe, that is warm.

She steps slowly, broken, and uncertain.
Love surrounds her, and mends her wounds.
She realizes what I've shared is real and powerful!
Tears of joy, she and I have come together at last, at home.

Now we can both rest in the arms of love,
Trust, patience, for we know the glorious truth.
Found, changed, and glowing, I smile at myself.
11th grader
Whittier, Ca, USA
I am 16 years old, I was 14 when I wrote this. It's got a hidden meaning-see if you can get it! I like to write, read, dance, talk and quilt. I love to go out with my friends and watch movies.
What's The Matter

Who are you to ask me what's the matter?
You don't care.
You didn't ten years ago, when I needed you the most.
Why now, out of the blue, you show up in my life?
Where were you ten years ago when I would fall and scrape my knee?
What about when I lost my first tooth, my first heartbreak, or my first broken bone?
Where were you? Not there.
Who do you think you are, my father?
No, you weren't one then and things don't change that fast.
So now you ask me, "What's the Matter?"
Do you really want to know?
Nothing Dad, I'm all grown up.

9th grader
E. Tawokoni, Tx
Hi, my name is Leslie and I love to write poetry. I usually write it when my emotions start to build up and I feel like I could kill someone. I pick up a pen and write down what is on my mind and all the anger goes away.

I wrote this poem out of the blue one day for no apparent reason at all. It has nothing to do with me and my life what so ever. Actually my dad is the one who does more for me that a child could ask for. When my best friend read this poem it brought her to tears. Her dad walked out on her family so it has a lot to do with her emotions. So what I am getting at is I want to dedicate this poem to her... I love you Jen.
Lost Magic

In this place there is not time. Time, motion and direction do not exist. There is nothing but a numb consciousness, driven by the bitterness of pure shadows to find some true purpose. In this dark and dismal nexus, this was where the light of mana was born. Here the spark of the universe was ignited, and it is here that all things originate. Some call it the heavens, or nirvana. For some it is the place where we go when we die, and for others just a parallel dimension. The force known as Magic was brought into existence, and soon began to be channeled through all other forms of life. Thus the endless void was given light, thus the endless existence was given purpose, direction, motion. All was revealed, but all was not perfect in the land that has been forgotten due to time.
Once long ago a culture found a way to utilize this ultimate force and built a great nation. Founded from the boundless depths of Magic, these people discovered away to enlighten themselves, and to harmonize with the elements of life. But as is human nature, for some this enlightenment was not enough. And as humans tend to do, they greedily searched for more and more power. Their thirst for power and control would never be quenched. And so a great war raged, and many terrible battles were fought. And in the end, all they accomplished was the death of more than three-fourths of their people, and the lost light of Magic.


Alone in the darkness
my deep hiding place
I think of you
and let my thoughts run by
I wonder what I could do
to make you realize how much I care
but maybe I should leave this secret in the darkness
and live like I feel nothing
but inside I feel I'm bursting
with feelings that must be real
but I don't want to ruin our friendship
find out this love is one sided
so for now I sit and hope
dream a million dreams of you
in the darkness

10th grader
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Hey all I know this poem is a little choppy but I needed to get what I'm feeling out and the best way to do it was this, bye ya'll

To close your eyes
and ignore your sharpening senses,
To be gone in presence
and present in flesh,
What talents!

To lie to your conscience
and to believe yourself,
To draw comfort
from your own flickering tongue,
What talents!

To wander in thoughts
and be lost in mind,
To not accept reality
but create another,
What talents!

They call me crazy,
eccentric, insane.
They're wrong;
Imagination is my
only grip on sanity.

9th grader
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I'm not really insane, but I was going through I really tough time and just wanted to get away from this world. I found myself daydreaming a lot more and I wondered if I was going crazy. I guess this poem was just a little self exploration.

The Sky lights up, as evil attacks
And I, on the ground, run fast with my pack
Weighing me down with a feverish smack
The Sky lights up, as evil attacks
A man, just like me, is who I must sack
My soul, I must beg, for God to give back
The Sky lights up, as evil attacks
And I, on the ground, run fast with my pack.

Buffalo, NY, USA

The lyrics,
That beautiful poetry.
The glorious play of words,
With meaning behind each letter.
A message for the better,
to influence the generation.
A tale of corruption,
of beauty,
of love,
of life.
Nothing is more beautiful,
and understanding,
and therapeutic
than the sounds traveling
from my ears to my soul.
Music is for me
Music is to me
Music is about me.
Always there.
The words take me into my heaven.
The beats bellow at my heart.
The voice shakes my soul,
and I am changed.

10th grader
Lexington, MA. USA
OH Angel

When salty waters
wash ashore
And my windows mist over
A distorted tunnel of vision shows
Life as just a blurry passage
When all that was once everlasting bliss
Is now only infelicity
You bathe my soul
With a soft brush
Of your snowy wings
I'm blessed with virtuosity
A smile, and my heart
Is engulfed
In a sea of warmth
Your cherry red cheeks
And dancing eyes
Is a new breath of of life
To descend my sorrows
And wrap me in consolation
Even in my solitude
An ambience of despondency
Your joyous laughter
Sings a serenade of love
In my melancholy, in my distress
Your presence
That I am not alone
Oh angel, my angel
Whom wears the crown
That god has bestowed
Upon you
To brighten life
And when I am lost
In a reign of darkness
Be not but my candle
But also my dear friend
11th grader
Durban, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Untitled 18

Sick of the lies,
Her different disguise,
Distant from perfection,
Alone in the night she cries,

Never truly fulfilled,
She agonizes,
In attempt to fill the void
She cannot escape,

Solitude provides endless time,
She thinks for hours
And wastes and wastes away the days,
She becomes useless,

Always so distant,
She dreams up different ways
To dig herself deeper into darkness,
She would rather be dead than barely alive,

Frozen under a ladders,
Always landing on the sidewalk cracks,
Tripping over black cats,
All lucky numbers vanish,

Bruised and bleeding,
Empty and ugly,
Full of animosity,
She falls to her knees,

She mimics the shadows,
Invisible to the common superstar,
She wonders how she lost herself,
She feels the whole in her stomach
Where her soul used to be,

So full of poison,
She screams towards the sky,
She believes no one will listen,
She turns her back on God,

It's too late for faith,
All she can do is burn her cross,
She heads underground,
Eternally resting in the flames.

12th grader
I love writing poetry. It's the only escape for the insanity of reality.