Short Story



Wandering the eternal plains of existence, I stumble upon beauty.
It is in the form of a being flowing gracefully with the essence of nature,
Long dark hair tickling the wind and deep eyes absorbing me,
Silk skin softening the light and full lips cushioning the night.
A corona of light encompasses her like a total solar eclipse,
And I am the moon passing into her sunrays of passion and glamour.
Her earth is temporarily blocked of the rich light of emotion she possesses,
Yet it does not desist to flourish with the greenery of life.
I have yet to be acknowledged by this Aphrodite of heaven,
I am merely an observer, a Galileo absorbed in her celestial being.
The telescope of my heart is far from strong enough to observe her,
She is the untouchable, the unthinkable, the unforgivable, and the unforgettable.
Passing next to her is like passing through a portal to distant lands,
A wave of emotion overcomes me, and my blood flow pauses in awe.
All physical feeling is ceased, my nerves frozen, my spine petrified.
There are only my eyes and my heart, working dually yet solely.
Her beauty and my vexatiousness coming together is spectacular,
A moment so inconceivable in nature, similar to surviving absolute zero.
In the back of my mind, I know it will last merely seconds,
Seconds lasting an eternity for my inner self, seconds of sweetness yet utter sorrow.
For I know I will not even be the most minute of stars in her universe,
I am the small grain of sand in her pearly, smooth, and vast beach.
I am the lone blood cell, coursing solemnly through her bloodstream,
Never to be seen, yet always there, yearning to reach her heart.
The entity of beauty passes by on graceful feet, escaping my reach.
She carries away a piece of me once hidden to my eyes and my heart.
Her form gradually disappears in the distance, caught in a stream of light,
And then she is gone, never to be seen again, yet fixated in the corner of my eye.
11th grader
The Woodlands

With the chiming of the hours comes the dawn of the day
Christmas morning has bestowed us upon our celebration and pray
Greeted by cheers of wholesome bliss
Merriment has touched us with her flowering kiss
Tearing open presents and chanting their joy
They descend into a spell of enlightenment which none can destroy
I scurry to receive my rewards and blessings
Only to discover a gift hovering upon the tree cherries
It withholds no address or labeling
Just a book about saving your soul in a world of rebellion
Returning to my abode I peruse the pages
Finding myself enthralled by these spiritual preaching
Redemption, forgiveness, repentance and sanctity
Washes my soul with new found intensity
Remembering days of sinful duty
Salty waters visit my pools of ocean blue beauty
Plenty a time had I done prejudice to many
That penetrated my heart now with sorrow so heavy
Realization of the whole truth flashes before me
Appalling my vision of what I believed humanity
Now doors in my heart open to someone who waited with such endurance
Without much thought I raise my palms to the light in inference
Tightly shut eyes, down on my knee
Whispering those holy words forgive me
this was the Christmas morning of my reawakening
10th grader
Durban,Kwazulu Natal,South Africa
About the author of Rohini. I'M Sixteen years old and am in grade 10.I am not really into poetry, I usually write short stories so this my first time at writing poems. The poem is quite long but it was the only way for me to do justice to the whole idea and to convey my message to the readers
Building Assets by Empowering Youths

Statistics show that one person dies every eight seconds from tobacco use. When presented to a group of people, this fact is usually met with faces of shock and disbelief. This reaction is to be expected. Who would have ever thought that one of the leading causes of death in the world could be caused by a legal substance?

In the summer of 2001, youth from across New York State came together to participate in the kick-off of the state youth empowerment program called Reality Check. At this summit, teens were informed that the tobacco companies were targeting them as their replacement smokers. Through a series of workshops, the youth worked together to learn public speaking, how to address the media, and how to lobby for change. They also worked together to brainstorm ideas for a state wide initiative.

Over the past year, students all across NY spread the word about Reality Check. County chapters were formed, and area summits were held. Recently, a select few of Reality Check members went to their schools, and communities to work on an initiative called "Chalk the Walk." Through this initiative, students drew body outlines in the parking lots to represent the millions of people who die from Tobacco.

Presently, Reality Check has over 10,000 members, and they're still growing. If you live in NY, you can see their commercials on channels such as MTV, BET, Nickelodeon or CNN. Reality Check members hope that their program will soon go national. These students should be commended for their hard work and dedication to a worthy cause.

12th grader
East Bethany, NY, USA
About the author of Building Assets By Empowering Youth.
Cassandra is an active member in Student Council, her County Youth Board, her school newspaper, and Reality Check. She was recently chosen to be one of three youth journalists at the National HCHY conference put on my Search Institute that took place in November of 2002. She hopes to major in Broadcast journalism while attending College next year.
History's Hide-and-Seek

Remember the skipping games we girls played:
“Ten-twenty,” “Chinese garter,” jumping rope in the halls,
And the dancing – free for anyone to join in,
Not to forget to mention hide-and-seek, tag, “ice-water,”
“Cops-and-robbers,” dodge ball, and “Moro Moro.”

Reflect on the songs we all had sung in class –
Do they have any meaning to us today?
The programs, contests, and medals have long faded,
But not the music and words that imprint on me.

Recall the secret passages of the old villas,
Those palm trees behind which we used to hide,
The rooms where our old books and childish voices stayed,
The old basketball ring, wherein I managed to shoot the ball.

History's Hide-and-Seek

Retrospect on the familiar, friendly faces
That we had encountered for days, months, or years,
On the tears shed from our eyes or from our friends,
On the pang of separation, on the feuds we underwent.

Relive the moments of storytelling and jokes,
The memories of good teachers and schoolmates,
The laughter and smiles of naïve frolicking;
Revive the moments that have made life worthwhile.

11th grader
Doha, Qatar
I write poems, short stories, and plays, and I have also completed one novel so far. Reading/writing and music are my passions. "History's Hide-and-Seek" is dedicated to my schoolmates.
My Hands

My hands used to be workers of art
True childish beauty from a child's heart
My eyes used to view the world with love
And watched Winnie the Pooh
My nose used to sniff the daisies
And then I'd pick one for Momma
My feet used to dance in little ballet shoes
And walk so sweetly down the school halls
My lips used to speak loving words to those around
And give sweet kisses to my friends

My hands are now corrupted in     
And touch those things of the flesh
My eyes now see the stained memories
Of a life spent in tears
My nose inhales the aromatic flavor
Of incense and ash
My feet are donned in knee-high boots and heels
And dance such sinful ways
My lips speak hurtful words
And I have kissed the face of 

9th grader
Pine Knot, KY
About the author of "My Hands":  I'm 14 and constantly write.  I'm hoping for publication, so if anyone has any pointers, let me know.  http://www. my diary ID is God's Wounded Wing.  check out my diary and leave me a note.

How do we fight without words?
Laying next to one another
But so far apart
Why do the tears come?
When no words have been spoken
How do we hurt each other so bad?
When rage and anger has silenced our voices
Why does it hurt so much?
When we fight
Why do we cry late in the night?
No words were spoke
But two hearts breaking in the silence
Behind the closed door
A violent storm starts inside young hearts
Souls torn apart in the darkness
You look at me and ask what I’m thinking
I’m sorry when I don’t know what to say
But you know it all
You search my face for signs
And my eyes for answers
Those are things
That even the dark can’t disguise
But it bothers me when I know 
That someone else wants you like I do
But it hurts when it feels like you want them too
You swear that you don’t and that you love me
But if it was you
Watching someone fall in love with me,
What would you do, how okay would you be?
Don’t you see this is tearing me apart?
And I understand it hurts you too
But your not watching it happen
You don’t feel the one you love is slipping away
Your brilliant disguise doesn’t work
When you’re holding me
I can’t run and hide this time
Cuz it’s you I run to
You know it in my voice
just like you saw it in my eyes
There’s a continuous reminder of you
The cards, photographs, pictures of you
Everything there is to make me see
Where I want to be
I know you love me
That’s not a reason to stay
Stay because you want to
Because you couldn’t live another day
Without me there,
Tell me you can’t bare it
But please don’t hold my hand
Telling me that loyalty is what matters
Or that you made a promise
In the end that’s not what matters
It’s that you want me
That you need me
There’s no place you’d rather be
That’s what is true for me 
Because I hate it when we fight
Laying next to one another
But speaking no words
Why do the tears come?
How do we hurt each other so bad?
There’s a violent storm starting inside young hearts
Behind the closed door
two hearts breaking in the silence
Souls torn apart in the darkness
It all happened
With no words

12th grader
About the author of hey! I'm tasha and i love to write, this was am assignment for my senor writing class. it reached the person i wrote it about, and i hope it reaches someone else that reads it.
Untitled Poem

I repair a window,
As it was shattered by that baseball.
An empty room,
Musty dank cold--
Dirty, very dirty.
The walls not textured,
Gray and without feeling.
Solid, still never moving,
But still ever changing with memory.
Dry wall, paper tape, and putty.

I repair the window,
Taking my time to hear memories.
They sing softly,
Leading me away from the window,
A surge of gravity steals me off my feet
And onto a deeply stained maple bench.
The dark wood cools my skin,
Soothing to the tough.
My sun tempered hands slide up and down the carved piece.
A feeling of new and old,
But the world cannot be perfect.

My shaking hands feel the yellowing keys,
A feeling of Ivory,
A texture so smooth, but
Covered in layers of the desert dust,
And ever longing to be played.

So I left a note on a door.
So I shouted instead of whispered.
So I played some music--

Images of black and white photos are
Remembered with those
Melancholy black and white keys,
Each a key for a new door,
Somewhat untouched.
Images of how life began,
How an understanding unfolded.
Images of children here,
In this house, loving and breathing life.
Black and white images of
People who love life,
Hate life, and deal with it on a daily basis.

The music those keys used to make,
And the memories of the sounds
I used to hear
All remind me of a time
When sound was not so forgiving.
But no one ever wants to
Remember the horrible days
When they are having an agreeable day.

Images, black and white photographs are
Remembered with those
Melancholy black and white keys.

People who fought for what
They believed was right,
And those who preferred
What they understood
Always told me that
I can repair a window any day,
But that there may be
Few chances to do
What people don't expect from you.

So I left a note on a door.
So I shouted instead of whispered.
So I played some music--

So I left a note on a door,
Left an idea imprinted upon
Those who passed the door,
Reading a silly little note.

So I left a note on the door
Asking about my future,
About my life
And every misconception
Made between that door and me.
Oh! So many black and white keys.

So I left a note on a door.
So I shouted instead of whispered.
So I played some music--

I slowly stand up from the bench,
Pick up a piece water stained paper,
Which contained a melody written in pencil,
And set it upon the dying piano,
And give up a wish, a note, and a desire…
As I finish the repair job.

12th grader
Tucson, AZ, USA
How Come

How come you make me feel this way?
How come when the sky is dim my world is not gray?
How come I love every word you say....how come?
How come every time you smile, my world  gets a little brighter?
How come every time you laugh, my heart gets a little lighter?
How come every time you're sad, I am sad too?
Could it be because I'm in love with you?

10th grader
Champaign, Il

I’m rushing down a river

                  constantly submerged
                  In the violent rapids

                                      I reach
                                      Into the freezing air
                                      Trying to grab something.

My body slams against a rock
And I think I’m saved

                   but the raging river
                   Jerks me forward

                                     I wince as the freezing water
                                    Enters the wound on my arm
                                    Stinging the fresh blood

                                                     Then, I see a branch
                                                     Jutting out over the water

                                                                          Just as a deafening cry
                                                                          for oxygen
                                                                          Leaves my lungs
                                                                          I grab for the tree
                                                                          pull myself
                                                                          Out of the stream,
                                                                          wet and shivering
                                                                          but able to breathe

My lungs sigh
as I wrap myself
In the fluffy towel
Of poems

Warmed by the words
I fall asleep

10th grader
Untitled Poem 2

Has anyone seen my smile?
I can’t find her anywhere
She doesn’t appear anymore
And no one seems to care

Has anyone heard from my laughter?
She is gone, too
Someone may have taken her
But who, I haven’t a clue

Has someone seen my heart?
It was hanging on my sleeve last time I checked
But now I seem to feel it in the pit of my stomach
 Put there by my leading suspect

Has someone seen my energy?
I used to have her everyday
She’d get me up every morning to go have fun
Now, in my bed, I just lay

Has anyone seen my passion?
She’s completely vanished from sight
She was like my muse
She was in everything I’d write

Has anyone seen my soul?
It’s seems it’s abandoned me completely, too
It all left me absolutely empty
The moment I said goodbye to you

9th grader
Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA
Five Ways to Feel

If I had to count
On the fingers of one hand,
The ways you make me feel:
Happy, Wanted, Sexy,
Intelligent and real.
Happy because you talk to me
And try to understand.
Wanted because you stroke my hair
And let me hold your hand.
Sexy because you kiss me
In bed, and on the tram.
Intelligent, you praise me
And see me how I am.
Real because you fill me
And teach me how to feel,
And it isn't just these feelings,
My love for you is real.
About the author of Five ways to feel. I am 18 and live in the UK. This is my first piece of writing for a long time

It’s so beautiful,
So perfect that it hurts inside.
It’s that aching feeling that you get when you think you’re in love,
Only to then experience your first broken heart.
I miss him.
“Oh, baby, baby it’s a wild world,
I’ll always remember you,
Like a child, girl…”
On and on he’d sing,
Like an angel,
Flowing through this ugly world
With white, beautiful wings.
He was my angel
My replacement for the god I don’t believe in
Yet around him I believed so strongly,
Strongly that maybe he was sent here to make me better.
To make me see a purpose to the life,
I so desperately wanted to end.
And then he was gone,
He got taken away instead of me.
They said that he got hit crossing the road
He wasn’t even identified in the paper
“21 year old male hit and killed…the weather has a high of 72 and a low of 59”
and on the world went even though I thought my heart was breaking,
shattering into a million tiny pieces
and going down the drain.
I miss him.
10th grader
West Chestire, PA/USA
About the author of Untitled. 15 years old from Philadelphia. Has submitted poetry to Teenlit before and has had it published in books.

The last tear
Was not forgotten
As her painful life
Came to an end
With shaking hands
The cycle of life
Whether it be
Hate or
Love that
Ended this girl's life
Tell can no one
But with this year
Last final tear
Dies more than her
But dies her soul

8th grader
Hammond, Indiana
I am an average thirteen year old girl with a huge passion for reading and writing.  My favorite book is, "The Giver." I first read it in fifth grade, and have read it many times since then!  I highly recommend it!
Untitled poem 3

All I see is passion,
in his smile and his stride.
All I see is enchantment,
drifting throughout his eyes.
People like him,
I want to touch.
I want to understand,
their bliss in simplicity.
His young head gazing up in awe.

He makes pirates, and sailboats out of the clouds.
He sees opportunities of laughter in every step.
He crawls on his belly to hide from the monster.

Where did this come from?
Someone's desire to fly,
or to want to meet a dinosaur,

or the need to be held,
by someone who you know loves you.

How does a mind comprehend how to fold each finger by finger by finger,
back to its palm?

10th grader
Greensboro, north Carolina, usa
Me, well I'm into finding more out about myself, and for the past 5 years writing has been my form of doing that.
Untitled Poem 4

Outside the birds fly
To a rhythm unknown by 
Even the wise men

Sand drifts, waves crash, while
The sun falls into its sleep
For another night

All is quiet yet
So loud. As this still world sleeps
Awaiting the dawn

Flowers sway with the
Unseen breeze as if dancing
In vast fields of gold

Beautiful clouds sing
Down from their throne in heaven
Holding us in song

Big and small we all
Are one residing on this
Giant sphere of life

9th grader
Jupiter, Florida, USA

I have a strength
deep inside,
for i know this
because when i hide
i feel it come on out
my mind starts racing
i look all about.

I feel a tad weird
this is only something
i have dreamed of before
it makes me feel not like me
so i try to ignore.

My friends don't know this
i have conquered a fear or two
because of them
i have no clue
of who this person is
although it does feel good
I will try to keep it around
but if it doesn't, wait, it
always could.

8th grader
Dayton, OH
Untitled Essay

The only time I ever cried in public, I was trapped in a dream.  After wandering through crowds of vacant façades, I came to a great dried plain. In the hazy weight of sleep, I remember Tim, maddeningly middle-aged, striding towards me, his pure baby skin weathered and an ashen shade of exhaustion. I gaze adoringly at him, still a teenager ridden with terrifying emotions and private angst, still intensely in love with her little brother. Without touching me, he opens his hand over mine, and fades gently into the shifting mist. There is a watermelon seed, encrusted with earth and sweat, on my cold palm. It is the most painful moment I can imagine.
Sometimes, when I blink, I can see myself in focus. My perspective flies out and away and I move in slides and angles, like a Picasso dream. I see myself sucked of color, like a cold breathing portrait incapable of speech. Occasionally, I grasp my life through Ansel Adams’ lenses; once, Man Ray snapped me in a shot of many years. The memories spawned from these plain images are surrealized by time, but more than all the manufactured Christmases and artificial birthdays, I remember those simple, living frames.
But first, many blinks in the future, I am betrayed by almost every schoolmate I considered a friend. My life takes on the glossed sheen of soap operas as I regurgitate every pleasant ideal of trust, friendship, and honesty I’ve ever digested.  I score higher than my number-obsessed peers on the last chem. test, and suddenly, my incorruptibility is blindsided by three million equally vicious versions of a single ridiculous rumor. I walk the halls completely oblivious to accusing whispers from people I don’t know swearing they’ve seen me cheat. A boy I’ve grown up and laughed with scrawls “Tiffany Hsu, cheater ho” on a flyer on the teacher’s door. A friend starts a discussion on his website’s forum dedicated to the “fact” that I’ve cheated on every other test that year. Silence stalks me. I am only told about my abrupt infamy four days afterwards. I stand stunned, like a fawn yet to realize that it’s been shot by an overeager hunter with nothing better to do, and then my hear!
t explodes, and I lose my faith in the mess. I forget how to stop crying for six months.
Daddy brings home a watermelon at noon; just an average-Joe type of fruit, exhausted and scarred from days of incessant housewife inspection. He’d dropped by the supermarket that everyone else went to, coming home from the only job he’d ever enjoyed. His daughter looks up from the counter, where she butchers a sandwich and dances. She dances in the intersection where she is freedom looked in the eyes by the certainty of age and virtue’s death. Momentarily, she stops twirling to look up at her father, and in her passion-blurred vision, sees her Babi standing enormous, beautiful, though he is short, already with speckled with gray, and a little grumpy. He is a superman, magnified by adulation, walking into his living room with leather under one arm and watermelon in the other. Later, Mum sliced the fruit open with the same vicious tenderness she usually reserved for my brother and me. Its blood soaked the knife, seeped into the white wood of the cutting board. Then, the seeds !
were picked out one by one, and I touched the individual cubes gently to check if they were cold and crisp, and then, in a ritual of love, set them in a heart-shape to present to Daddy when he came downstairs. I fought with Tim over the bitter white rind squares so that Babi could eat the sweet watermelon heart in peace.
Seven years later, I want to jump out a window. The pain has become a fixation; a frenzied whimsy that is oddly comforting. Each horrible, smothering night, the thought of it gapes at me through every membrane of the eager darkness, grinning silently. It mocks me for the melodrama of my teenage anguish, for fantasizing about a glamorous Aida end. Many darknesses pass as I lie shifting under cold covers, chatting with the devil’s empty face as he perches on the ceiling, wings of storm clouds folded politely. I am so ashamed of my weakness, the defenselessness of my honor and my pride. I am unwilling to live for the scandal of human nature and the death of its values. The disgrace of blindness to so many years of plastic niceties settles heavily in my blood.  Mom is also traumatized. She wants me to always smile. She wants me to chortle and guffaw and snigger through my tragedy. I don’t comprehend why it’s necessary to laugh uproariously seconds after I’ve sobbed. No longer wi!
ll I prance in this twisted pantomime of fantasy. I’ve simply stopped caring. But I don’t want to give in to shallowness. I want to fight the pettiness, want to endure the agony of college applications, want to eat more watermelon with my Babi. When school opens again, my shell begins to wilt, and I take faltering steps towards healing, towards the precipice of redemption. Most people know this cliff simply as ‘depression’, but I know it well enough to hide its existence from gossiping eyes. But still, I fear it terribly – it seems to threaten me, taunt me relentlessly. Nightmares ooze from its pores.  When I glimpse faint glimmers of hope, it disappears from view, and the ground is hidden in a shroud of smoke. But I know it’s lurking somewhere in the fog of my mind, lingering and waiting. My gut is consumed with dread of hideous things, like shards of integrity, hiding at the floor of the drop. Within my mind’s consternation, each neuron grasps violently for somebody to drag me back if I fall. Sometimes it’s tempting to take a running leap off and pitch downwards, and sometimes I want to gracefully glide out forever. It came as a considerable shock that most of the 2003 graduating senior class has bragged about their innovative cheating with no trace of conscience. It’s a funny feeling, martyrdom.
Once, history took a snapshot of me and hid it in its dusty archives. I sit reading blankly, a cheap radio on my leg. Sade croons a quiet duet with the static. My toes drag cornrows into the carpet. The Ott-Lite glows weakly, sickly yellow, suffocating in the melancholy blue of the earliness. Wisps of tea steam float upwards in a ballet with the brittle air. Fate has a funny habit of never tying its knots neatly. In my maelstrom of misery, God had found me once again, and He pushed me off the overhang. As I plunged towards happiness untempered by spite, I realized that my search atop the precipice had crashed to a glorious close the day I pieced together the innumerable little sacrifices of adoration, of devotion, from my many earthly angels. Sadness went into its death throes the day I rediscovered love.  On my plate, watermelon seeds bathe in pink juice. I can’t see the cliff, but I’m not looking for it either. Instead, I’m laughing uproariously. I am laughing and laughing!
 and laughing.

12th grader
Danville, CA, USA

Do you think that I’m a freak?
Never smile, never laugh
Locked in silence, muted pain
Who knows what my sad eyes see

Quiet scowling angry freak
I look normal but you know I’m not
I look harmless but you know I’m not
Listless care in a roaring sea

Shut this mouth shut these curses
Another hopeless judgment day
Miserable blubbering chokes desperate words
Cry alone alive in the grave

You don’t even know what’s wrong with me
I’m not a failure
I believe there’s a sign on my door that says Only FREAKS Allowed

I’m just a stupid confused teenage freak
You’re just like all the others
IGNORANCE is your defense
But beware of what I know

Barbed wire love
My voice is scarred, my will, impaled
All care, interrupted

FREAK FReaK freak
Divorce yourself from reality

12th grader
Danville, CA, USA

im scared, scared to death that you know me better than i know myself.
that scares me a lot, because that means we're close, it means i could lose you at any moment.
i couldn't bear that, i couldn't handle it.
where would i go, how would i live .. live without you?
i couldn't, i wouldn't and i won't.
so please be careful with your life and while you take care of yourself, take care of me too.
12th grader
The Banshee In My Closet

I lay awake in bed, listening to the wild thunderstorm outside. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t even
close my eyes. There was something in my room . . . something . . . evil. I could feel it. My heart
started beating faster, and my breath rose steadily. I was cold, dreadfully cold, even though I was
covered by a thick blanket. I turned my head and looked out the window. The trees outside blew
wildly and the rain poured down so hard you’d think it would break the glass.
The wind screamed like a banshee, and that made me sit up in bed. All was quiet in my
room, save the rattling of my window. I looked at my closet, my closet with the brown cedar door
and gold-colored knob. I don’t know why I did this. Perhaps I was frightened by the wind’s
shrieking, or by the gigantic claps of thunder coming from overhead. All I knew is that I could
feel some terrible, unexplainable presence emanating from my closet. I lay back down, and tried to
go to sleep. But my attempts were futile. I couldn’t stop thinking about my closet. What was it
that was in there? Was anything in there? What in the hell made me think that something is in my
closet? I mean, why my closet? Why not under my bed, or outside my door, or down the hall, or
outside my window, or in my shoes? What was it? I couldn’t stand not knowing. It drove me
Suddenly I head a dull creaking sound. I stopped breathing for a second. I listened hard. I
heard nothing. But there it was again. The same, dull creaking sound I had heard just a moment
ago. Suddenly I knew that I could no longer be protected by the white-armored Storm Trooper
poster on my wall, or by the menacing black gaze of Darth Vader. My knees trembled as I
struggled to hold on to my sanity. I was practically going insane. The creaking grew louder.
Louder. LOUDER. Soon it was not a creaking anymore, but a sort of . . . wail. Oh my god,
someone is crying. My mom? Dad? My baby sister? What if they’re in trouble? What if . . . I
stopped. It didn’t seem to be coming from anywhere else in the house. No, it was coming from
somewhere much closer than that . . . not downstairs, or in the kitchen, not even outside my
window. It was coming from . . . my closet.
My eyes grew watery as I almost started crying from fear. I looked warily at my brown
closet door, and the doorknob started to turn. Oh god, it started to turn. I let out a small little
shriek and hid my head under my covers. My covers . . . my sanctuary from evil. My special little
place that protects me from goblins and monsters and imps and evil wizards . . . but not now . . .
no, it wasn’t my safe place anymore. I felt unprotected, defenseless, not knowing.
I could hear the closet door opening slowly, and I started to cry quietly. There came a
huge clap of thunder from outside, a deafening sound that made me want to die there and then. I
felt cold all of a sudden . . . Very, very cold. I tried to shake myself out of it, tried to tell myself
that perhaps the power lines fell over or maybe the pilot light for the furnace stopped working.
But no . . . no, it was a different kind of cold . . . the kind of cold which felt almost . . . unholy. It
got closer, closer to me. Soon it was on top of me, and I couldn’t help but shake with horror.
With a jolt of terror, there came a loud, ear splitting scream . . . a scream of agony. A scream of
misery. A scream of . . . loneliness.
I don’t know what made me do it. Perhaps I was braver than I thought, or perhaps I was
dreaming and I would be a  big strong hero, or maybe I was delirious, but I threw the blanket
away with great force and froze with horror. I could see nothing . . . not one thing. I looked
around, analyzing every thing in my room-the small, brown little night stand next to my bed, my
red little lamp, the blue and green striped wallpaper on my wall, but I could see nothing. Then, all
of a sudden and unexpectedly, the shriek sounded again, and before I had time to pull the blanket
back over me, I saw, with my own eyes, the ghastly form of an old hag. A hideous old hag,
floating there in front of me. She screamed at me, louder and louder, and opened her mouth so
wide I could smell a rotting, putrid stench. The stench of death. She screamed with all her might
and flew right at me, and I screamed as loud as I could. I felt cold, scared.
Suddenly, though, everything stopped, the storm outside, the shrieking inside. Everything
stopped, and I was shaking. My parents burst into room, yelling with horror and asking me what
happened. My face was white, I was deathly cold, and I was ready to faint. I told them what
happened. I told them that a banshee had come into my room and wailed so loudly and horribly
that it made my blood curdle.
They smiled a little bit, and told me that it’s all right, that nothing is wrong, that it was all
a dream. I told them no, that it was all so real, that I could not sleep if I wanted to, so that it
must’ve been real. But they just reassured me that it was a dream, that everything was fine. My
dad picked me up, lifted me over his shoulder, and said, “How’s about you sleep in our bed
tonight, kiddo?” I hesitated, then I agreed. I thought maybe they were right. That everything-the
banshee, the screaming, the horrid stench was all just a figment of my imagination. That I had
conjured it all up inside my small little head. But as my mom went out the door, and as my dad
carried me out of my room, I could smell it...the horrid stench...wafting from within my closet.

11th grader
About the author of "The banshee in my closet":

Chris is a 16 year old from CA. He likes to write short stories and is currently working on a book
Untitled poem 5

There is no one on the grassy fields
No small children playing on the hills and plains
The sky is a deep cerulean
The willow branches sway
Today the town is silent
No mumbles or complains
Even the wind is almost hushed
You can hardly hear the stirring of hay

The busy bees rest
For the flowers are asleep today
No commotion whatsoever
On a peaceful summer day

10th grader
live in the annoyingly sunny state of California and love to read, write and draw whenever I can.
Lost in a Paradox

Do you travel down an endless tunnel because you
want to reach the end?
Do you cross a road so you do not get run over?
Do you gamble your life savings purely because you
want to lose?
Do you remain silent because you are dying to be heard?
Do you smoke in order to remain healthy?
Do you never stop laughing incase you begin to cry?
Do you bleed to stop the bleeding?
Do you begin to love a person just so you can watch them leave?
Do you tell the truth just to be accused of lying?
Do you appear happy only to be dying inside?
Do you preserve your dignity in order to be labeled cheap?
Do you walk alone down a dark street to keep yourself safe?
Do you try your hardest to become a failure?
Do you hate to prove you love?
Do you remember the past because you want to forget?
Do you admit defeat to prove you've won?
Do you live, to die?
Are you lost?
You're already dead.

10th grader
About the author of Lost In a Paradox.  My name is Natasha.  Just wanted to say thanks for reading my poem.  Hope you enjoyed it.
The Trip

In all my life, I have never experienced anything like the three weeks I spent, during the summer of 2001, on a mission trip in Mexico. I was shocked to see flea-bitten, possibly rabid, stray dogs loitering in the dirty streets, dogs that we were warned to stay away from. If approached by a stray, natives cautioned that the best defense is to pick up a rock or large stick and attempt to act intimidating. Personally, I think it would be difficult to act intimidating when, assuming you survive the attack, you are planning your emergency visit to the nearest health care facility to be tested for rabies. 
In the midst of unfamiliarity, I gained a new outlook on joy and faith in the Lord through the kind, generous, and very spiritual people I met. These Christians, from the church and the nearby neighborhoods, had an awesome amount of joy for the Lord. It seemed that they were very poor, yet they had all they needed: their savior Jesus Christ. The poorest families, for whom we constructed small homes, insisted on cooking for us and providing us with good food for lunch, even if meant less food for their own table.  Feeling guilty for taking when we have so much and they so little, we once tried to decline. The woman adamantly insisted until we finally accepted her delicious meal of rice, beans, chicken, and (of course) tortillas. Had we continued to refuse, we would have been insulting her generosity.
The hotel we stayed in was no Holiday Inn by any stretch of the imagination. The running water was contaminated, so we had to be careful while showering and use bottled water for drinking and brushing our teeth. The hotel was set up hacienda-style, with a large courtyard, ideal for a worship service, surrounded by individual rooms. The courtyard boasted trees, shrubs, and parking spaces for cars. Lacking any type of decorations or furnishings, and containing only a dresser, a bathroom, and a bed without blankets or pillows the rooms were scarcely what we were accustomed to. Surprisingly, the hotel actually did include a “honeymoon suite;” however, with only an added coffee table and mirrors, that room differed only slightly from the others, and we would not have recognized it as the honeymoon suite if we hadn’t been informed. 
About midway through my second week there, musicians, from an outreach band at Principe de Paz (Prince of Peace), a local church, playing instruments such as guitars, drums, and tambourines, performed for us in the courtyard of our hotel. Blaring loud music into the night and dancing to invigorating rhythms, we praised and sang for several hours. I had never taken a Spanish class in my life, and had no idea what most of the songs meant. Recognizing only a few because of their English counterparts, and picking up a few words I learned during the trip, a majority of the time I merely clapped and observed the people around me.
Surprised by how many forms of worship went on at once, I looked around me, and watched many people from the church and the few Spanish-speakers on my trip singing, crying, and praising the Lord. Some prayed, in groups or individually, others sang out loud or hummed silently, while still more began dancing and clapping, but all these events happened at the same time. Noticing the emotion etched on their faces, I was very moved. I was puzzled as to how I could show my emotion, because I couldn’t sing along. Kneeling to the ground, I prayed, “Lord, I don’t know what they’re saying, but help me and the others who don’t understand to praise you with our hearts, because we can’t praise you with our voices.” I looked around again and others must have been feeling the Holy Spirit too, because I wasn’t the only one kneeling prostrate, crying, and praying. The presence of the Holy Spirit that night was tangible, felt by the entire group, and I was reminded of Luke 19:40 where Jesus !
said, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out,” a verse which perfectly summarizes the intensity of our worship that night.
About the time those thoughts were running through my head, members of the church began meandering through the crowd and praying for each person individually. A woman I had never met, approached, knelt beside me, and placed her hand on my head. She said a prayer for me, in which I caught the word peace (paz). Tears ran down my cheeks as I felt the Lord’s peace come over me. Suddenly, all the responsibilities and worries, which I felt I had been facing alone, were shared with my savior. I simply had to allow him to help. At that moment, I felt cherished in a way that I have never experienced, which gave me a new perspective on God’s love and grace. 
As the musicians played their closing songs and prepared to go home, our entire group was still crying and hugging. I’m sure there wasn’t a dry eye. Looking back, I realize that, although I didn’t understand many of the words that were spoken that night and the service style was foreign to me, God’s love and peace broke through the cultural barrier. I know that lives were changed that night, including mine.


12th grader
Hudsonville, MI, USA
About the author of The Trip that Changed my Life. I am 17 years old and a senior in high school. I wrote this essay as a response to my feelings about my trip to Mexico.

Every time that I look into your eyes.
A feeling comes heavily over me.
Something that I can not disguise.
No one can understand what you do to me.
Your eyes burn deep into my soul.
Your hands touch the core of my heart.
And I’d give you anything at all
Cause you are me inside.
You must forever remember
That you can turn to me when you cry.
I’d softly kiss your tears goodbye.
And your fears will vanish before you know.
Please call on me when your down.
And let me catch you before you fall.
I’d soothe you through all the pain.
And make everything be okay.
May love for you runs so deep.
It’s something so sacred to me.
And when I think of you and I
Being together for all eternity
Bliss overwhelms me tremendously.
11th grader
About the author of Bliss
My names Tara, I'm 17 and I've been writing ever since I can remember.
By Lisa

5:01 am
“Your plane will land at 12:00.” Mom told me as I got out of our old van. I looked down at my scuffed white shoes as I pushed the toe of my shoe into the cement. A plane went overhead and I looked up. It roared. The thundering sound felt like a hammer beating in my chest.
“Yeah Mom. Whatever.” I grabbed my suitcase out of the trunk and heaved it to the ground. I was mad that I had to fly alone. Even more mad that I had to visit my dad and “Annie,” my new step mom.
I hugged and kissed my mom and checked my bags. I walked through the airport to my gate and sat down with a book and read. When the flight attendant called row B I jumped up and presented my ticket. It was at that time that I realized that I was the only person boarding the plane. There was not one person at the gate or even in line. Uneasily I stepped into the cold gray carpeted tunnel and walked to the plane.
I listened intensively for the sounds of other passengers. I heard a slam and a thick lock slide. I dropped the handle of my suitcase and ran down the hall. Full speed I slammed against the cold gray door. I banged on it a few times. The flight attendant never even turned around.
Biting my lip I walked slowly down the hall back to my suitcase.
“Its okay. Everything will be okay” I told myself. “This really is like ‘The Twilight Zone’ though.”
When I reached the doorway to the plane the plane attendants were standing there all smiling. The two captain turned around and smiled at me.
“Nice to see you again Jessica.” the caption said. My mouth dropped. How did HE know my name? I had NEVER seen him before. No way. What was going on???
Before I could ask anything the stewardess glared at the pilot and shoved me into my seat. She turned around and pushed the thick blue velvet curtain behind her. I sat there confused and shaken. I stood up, but as soon as I did another one came back out and said in a loud clear flight attendant voice, “Please, if everyone will take their seats we can begin the flight instructions.” She looked out towards the seats as if there were tons of people in the plane. Not just a 12 year old girl alone in a plane terrified.
She started to demonstrated how to get off a plane in case of emergency and how to buckle a seat belt the correct way. And with that she left, turned on the seat belt sign and the plane started to roll down the runway.

6:05 am
We were really high up now. So high so fast. I thought at least I could see the town a little, but once off the runway we were in the clouds. I had a sick feeling around me. Almost as if I was going to throw up. I was dizzy. My vision was distorted. I pulled a pillow out from the top and put it behind my head. I shifted in my seat till I was comfy and fell asleep.

12:52 pm
When I woke up the flight attendant was standing over me. I jumped a little. She smiled like a jackal, all cocky and mean. She was all ghostly too. Pale and sweaty.
“Um....what time is it?” She cocked her head at me. As if she didn’t understand. Then she opened her mouth all surprised. As if she figured out something important.
“12:52.” she answered slowly. She turned around and ran behind the velvet curtain. In a minute she announced over the loudspeaker, “We’re sorry for the delays. We’re happy to announce that we have in fact reached San Francisco Airport. It’s 76 degrees and the skies are sunny. Thank you for flying Johnson Airlines and have a nice day.”
Glad to be off the plane I grabbed my bag and ran through the gray tunnel. When I reached the door I couldn’t wait to see my dad. But when I looked out through the gate, I saw nobody. Not one person. Nobody was around.
A wave a fear so intense it physically hurt swept over me. My palms were sweaty and my stomach hurt. I walked towards the pay phones. I called my dad and Annie, but I only got their answering machine.
I slid another quarter in and called my mom in Maine. She picked up the phone on the fifth ring. She sounded tired and dead, as if she had been up all night crying.
“Hello?” she said.
“Hey Mom! Its Jessica. Listen Dad-” I heard a dial tone. She had hung up on me. Confused, I called her again. This time when she answered she was hard and mad.
“Mommy... it’s Jess-” she cut me off with so much anger and thrust I pulled the phone away from my ear.
“Listen. Whoever you are. I’ll give you credit for sounding like Jess. But your really sick. Jessica is dead. She died on a plane crash while to visit her dad three weeks ago. Now leave me alone.” She hung up. I stood there holding the phone. My stomach lurched. I slowly hung up the heavy black phone. I turned around and looked at the gate I had come from. The two flight attendants and the captains were staring at me. I took a step back.
“No.” I whispered. I started to walk backwards. The two flight attendants came close to me. One grabbed my wrist and the other my arm. I started to scream.
“I’M NOT DEAD! I’M NOT READY YET! NO!! NO!!! EVERYONE HEAR ME!” They grabbed me and pulled me through the tunnel and into the plane. I pushed my feet on the ground and tried to stop. When we got onto the plane they pushed me into my seat. I screamed and pounded on the window. Somebody grabbed my shoulder and pulled me back. It was the flight attendant. In a low calm voice she said, “Nobody can hear you,” and pulled down the window screen.
8th grader
Chicago, IL
Hey! I'm 13 and from Chicago, Illinois. I wrote this story for creative writing class and I got the idea from a friend's dreams. I like to swim, cheerlead at my school, and of course, write! I want to be a director when I grow up, if not a journalist.
Untitled Short Story

It is early morning.  The night seems afraid to stay too long and the sun rises much too soon.  As I lay in my bed, hoping my Mama will forget to wake me, I can hear a bird chirping its merry song. I shift uncomfortably.  The floor of the wagon is very hard and rough.  Not the best bed I’ve ever slept in.

“Camille! It’s time to get up!” I hear her soft voice call from outside the schooner.  She is making breakfast noisily, banging the pans carelessly together, presenting a familiar alarm clock.  It is a welcomed sound though, a sound that comforts me a in a weird way.

I can see her though the crack where the thick canvas that covers the wagon meets in her worn pink dress and scrappy boots.  Papa had given her the outfit for Christmas of last year.  Last year.  It seems like an eternity ago.  Back when we lived in Virginia.  Back when we had everything we could ever want.  But then Papa lost his job on the railroad because of the tragic accident that left him with a limp.  He was one of the lucky ones.  We had no money.  Papa was crippled so no one wanted to hire him and no one needed Mama as another housemaid.  It was a terrible time for us.

But now we are headed for “more riches than we can dream of”. Or so we are told.  I certainly hope so.  It seems we have been on this trail for years when it has only been three months.  It started out as a grand adventure but now I yearn for the solace of my home.

I push the thought from my mind and roll onto my side to face our grandfather clock, one of the few personal items we brought.  It reads 10:19 but I can only wish it was right.  To sleep past 4 in the morning seems like a crime.  I let out a tired sign, sit up and rub my eyes.  It’s a chilly morning.  Fall is coming.  I quickly dress under the covers, trying to stay warm. 

As I clamber over the tailgate out of the wagon I can smell the meaty aromas of bacon and sausage patties.  There are men bustling around camp, like women doing chores.  They have already eaten and are itching to get an early start.  I plop down next to my older brother, who is 13 years old.  He is at an awkward age, not quite a man but no longer a kid.  He just doesn’t quite fit.

“Morning, Gus,” I say to him, pushing my sun-bleached hair out of my eyes.  He glances up and gives me a weak smile but looks back at his empty plate.  “What’s wrong?” I inquire.  He lets out a grunt for an answer.  Before I can get anything more out of him, he stands up quickly and heads toward the horses.  Of course, being his kid sister, I get up and follow him, leaving my breakfast behind.

As we approach the animals we can hear hushed tones of men talking and a woman sobbing.  “Last night…search party…Adia” is all I can decipher.  I look at Gus, about to ask what is going on when he lets out a muffled sob.  He tries to hide it with a cough but I know better.  Adia has been his best friend since we left on this journey to California.  She is a pretty girl with ever blonder hair than mine, blue eyes, a friendly smile and the smallest, gentlest hands you’ll ever see.  Compared to me, tall, skinny and boyish, she looks like a princess out of my story book.  To tell you the truth, I think Gus is a little sweet on her.

I see a tear roll down Gus’ tanned face from beneath his shaggy brown hair.  He quickly wipes it from his cheek and looks away from me.  I take his hand and give it a little squeeze.  I hear a man shouting, calling the train together for a meeting.  We all hustle to the inner circle formed by the wagons.  Gus pushes his way to the front of the crowd.  I am not so strong as he and end up in the middle of the mass.  Even with as many people that are there, it is gravely silent. 

“Last night, Jim and Maryanne Binka came to us and reported that their 13 year-old daughter, Adia, was missing,” the wagon master begins.  “They were not overly concerned and assumed she was with one of her friends as she normally was.”  The man looks at the crowd, avoiding eye contact with the Binkas.  “As of this morning, Adia is still missing.  Does anyone know the whereabouts of the girl?”  We all start to murmur, “Where did you last see her?”, “Was she at the swimming hole?”; “Are there any wolves around here?”  Many questions are asked but no answers can be given. 

Soon the crowd goes silent once more.  The leader, James, looks aged.  His beard is long and unkempt, slowly turning gray.  His eyes are tired and distressed, a pale green instead of the brilliant teal they are every other day.  His huge, ruddy hands are clasped as though praying that someone knows where Adia is.  But no one does.

“Alright, men, we are going out to search for her.  Meet south of here near the oak tree and we’ll organize ourselves.”

Everyone slowly leaves the meeting, most hanging his or her heads in sadness.  Some are crying.  I’m still in shock.  It hasn’t yet occurred to me what is happening. I realize my mouth is hanging open and slowly close it.  I know there are many dangers on this trail but so far we have been lucky.  Until now.

Gus decides he will help search.  I stay behind with Mama to comfort her and the other girls.  None of us dare ask to leave the circle to pick flowers or play in the river.  But then again, none of us really want to.

Time passes slowly.  It seems to me like it is extending itself, just for us.  Just for her.
The sun is completely up now and it is beginning to spread its warmth over the prairie.  It almost comes as a sign of hope.  We girls are sitting beneath a tree pretending to play with our dolls but we’re all thinking the same thing, Where is Adia?

It is noon now and the men are returning.  The women have prepared lunch but no one feels like eating.  They come with disappointed looks on their faces.  We know that it means.  Adia is gone.  Gus is holding a scrap of blue cloth in his hand.  It is Adia’s handkerchief.  He passes me without a word.  I start to follow him but Mama grabs my arm and shakes her head sadly. 

Papa limps over to Mama.  She pleads, “Go and search some more.  Take the horses.”  But he silences her. 
“It is no use,” he says, “if we haven’t found her by now we never will.”  Mama starts to protest again but breaks down into tears.  Papa holds her awkwardly in his strong arms and tries to comfort her.  Tears flow down his cheeks into Mama’s dark brown hair.

We stay in camp for the rest of the day.  No one wants to leave in case she comes back.  A few men go back out in last attempts to search for her but all return empty handed.  We all face the reality that she is gone.  I try to ease his pain Gus the best I can but there are some things words cannot fix.  He clings on the handkerchief with such a grip that he is almost tearing it.  But no one wants to take it from him.  It’s all he has left of her.  Just that and memories.

It is a sad and tragic event but so goes life.  We are almost to California but not as joyful and optimistic as we were even yesterday.  No one expects these things but they happen.  We still don’t know where she is or what happened to her.  We continue on our trek across America, sad and overly cautious, but we have lost one too many already. 

11th grader
Imperial, Ne

What is this we call Love without
the tender deep and warm affection
what is this I call My Life
this bottomless pit of despair and dejection
Can you possibly know what I've been though
My soul is swimming in what we call Pain
And the cause if this morbid prolonged suffering
Is none other than you yourself, the one and the same
All these years, choosing It over me
Just a stupid state of momentary primordial bliss
do you not realize its a freaking societal delusion
Every sniff, every puff- an imitation of Euphoria's Kiss
Is that how you like to see It
A kiss, a blessing, a woman, something other than me
Perhaps it is life, or death, or love itself
a common misperception, these drugs are simply an escape from reality
Now picture this, lets just visualize
In the delirium resulted of your half baked brain
you keep going, never stopping, shooting up, inhaling deep
Until your body can't take anymore and It takes your life in vain
Now freeze frame, you are dead
How does it feel to be disconnected from your soul?
Yes that body host that you constantly abused and berated
Years of cheap dope for quick fixes has finally taken its toll
Well now it has, fast forward into the future
And you'll see you've missed it all
Every waking moment of me has slipped from your grasp
Seven years later and I've got a life of my own
You're not part of it, sorry, that must be a real kick in the ass
Too bad, so sad, really sorry for the way its turned out
Sorry I missed the times you couldn't be there
To be part of the biggest moments of my life
Wait I forgot, you're wasted now, so you don't really care
I seem to forget that little addiction
You keep telling yourself its okay, nothing wrong
But wait there is, you can't stop yourself, can't control it
Tell yourself "It can't kill me" as you take a drag from your bong
Instead of spending that precious little time with me
You'll smoke it up, subject yourself to another dimension
With those damn talking colors, such a great feeling, so live it up
Cause you're killing my seven-year old heart to the point of no-redemption
That's right, no turning back now, Too Slow Joe-
Your time is up and you had your shot
I'm now that young woman with a mind and a life
And don't think for even a second that I've forgot
Sleepless nights, tossing and turning
Always thinking, contemplating the turmoil of love and hate
Was it me? Could I have been a better daughter?
Is it fixable or is Daddy's little girl just too late?
Perhaps its your own damned fault, Dad
There's no one but you to blame
I still love you but I'm afraid I don't want you
My life with you is like your life that you've flushed down the drain

10th grader
Lyons, Ks, USA
Poet's despair.

The dawn of this day holds significance,
For me and many others awaiting his return,
It marks the sixth month f his absence,
Since he has set off to seek his sanctuary,
Out of this town where inspiration has been soaked up,
The poet travels to lands the simple townsfolk cannot perceive.

The children, his students cling to my skirt,
Their longing for their teacher breaks the heart,
Cheers streaked with tears, whimpering voices, asking for the poet's return.

Old Mrs. Noelle next door,
Misses his recitals sorely,
The lonely old woman sits in her garden,
With several other audiences of the poet,
They study the floor with intense concentration,
As if expecting to see his shadow at any time.

The men of the town misses his quirky antics,
They'd come over to ask about him, every once in a while,
But how could they comprehend a poet's despair/
So I smile and make promises,
Surely he would return,
For a poet's despair would surely end,
Inspiration will come,
Like an unexpected rain on a sunny day.

I'm bound to see my poet's smile,
Not so long from now,
A triumphant smile to seal his victory,
He'll win the battle against writer's block.
10th grader
I am at peace when watching football, listening to musis, singing and writing.
Suicide Essay

According to the National Mental Health Campaign, suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens. Sadly, many parents and friends fail to recognize that even their own children or peers could be in danger of depression, which in turn can lead to death. However, I couldn’t ignore my best friend’s mental illnesses and therefore lost someone that was so special to me.
May 1, 2002, was supposed to be just another regular day at Arbor Hills Jr. High. I hopped on the bus and sat next to my best friend, Carol Lindman. “Hi, Carol!”
“Did you do all of your homework?”
“I have a really funny story to tell you!”
“Why do you think I care about some dumb story?” said the angry Carol. I could tell already that Carol was going to be in another one of her bad moods again today.
Every day before fourth period, Carol and I would always go to the bathroom and talk about the mornings’ events, but today Carol had gone without me.
As I entered the restroom, I saw Carol crying. “Carol, are you okay?” I asked.
 “Alex, I’m not happy here anymore.”
“Well, did you get a bad grade or did someone say something mean to you? If they did, I’ll—“
“Alex! Listen to me! I hate life! I hate my parents! I want to die!”
“Carol, no, you don’t, just wait; everything will be better soon,” I offered.
Carol pouted, “no, Alex, I can’t be here anymore. This might be the last time I can see you but Alex, but if you tell anyone my plan won’t work; promise me you won’t tell.”
“No, Carol!” I exclaimed, “I love you, you’re my best friend, let me try to make you happy.”
“If you want to make me happy, you’d let me go. Please Alex, I’m counting on you…don’t tell, promise me, promise me now.”
I hesitated, “Ok, Carol. I promise, I won’t tell.” I hugged Carol and then we both went to science.
Throughout science and a few classes afterwards, I thought about the promise I had made. I knew I was wrong, but I also felt helpless; I didn’t know what I could do for Carol. If I told the school counselor, Mrs. Myers, then Carol would despise me forever, but if I didn’t, then a young woman would die for no reason at all. Inside, I was so conflicted.
Eighth period, I walked into Mrs. Myers’ room. “Mrs. Myers, something horrible is going to happen if you don’t help me.” I explained everything that Carol had told me to Mrs. Myers and she told me she would do everything in her power to make sure Carol would be all right.

Later on that day, Carol was called into the counselor’s office. Confused and terrified, she denied the entire thing, but Mrs. Myers finally got through to her. Carol told her that life no longer excited her and that she wanted to end it.
Minutes later, after Carol had been dismissed, Mrs. Lindman was called. She screamed at Mrs. Myers for getting into her daughters’ business, and told her that it was perfectly normal for a young teenager to feel depressed and want to die. After doing everything the law allowed her to do, Mrs. Myers ended the conversation.
When Carol got on the bus that afternoon, she knew it was me who told on her. She made me believe that what I did was wrong and that I ruined her life instead of enhancing it.
To this day, Carol has not received help due to her mother’s parenting style. I know that when I told Mrs. Myers about Carol’s unwillingness to live, I was doing the right thing, and even though Carol won’t talk to me anymore, I still believe that one day she will thank me. Not today, not tomorrow, and chances are, not next week either, but I know that later in life, she will become happy with herself and start to see the good points instead of the bad.
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined. Hopefully, my friend Carol will not be one of them.

9th grader
Toledo, OH USA
Violette is a 14 year old writer who has been writing for many years. She has won multiple poetry contests and is just beggining her career as an author. Before you understand the true meaning of life and friendship, you have to read her stories.
Nothing is Forever

Kiara lay shivering on the dusty ground. Tears poured down her cheeks, and she looked up at the starry sky. The stars were out, but it did not appeal to her anymore, it no more looked beautiful, it had lost its glamour and shine. Her heart cried out loudly as she painfully remembered the events yesterday.
                       * * * *
It was 10.00pm in Afghanistan, Kabul. “Good night Kiara, sleep well” said her mother, as she tucked 10 year old Kiara to bed. Kiara closed her eyes, and soon fell asleep. Suddenly, she woke up with a start, on hearing gruff male voices, and she heard a blood-curdling scream. Scared, Kiara slowly got out of bed, and went to the living room. To her utmost horror, she saw bodies sprawled on the floor, and gasped as she realized that they were her parents. She felt a wave of nausea and shock, and suddenly things went black…
3               * * *
“Come along, Kiara” Kiara barely heard what they were saying. Her neighbours had told her that some thugs had broken into her house, and had murdered her beloved parents. Since Kiara had no other relatives, she was forced to go to an Orphanage in Aliabad, and a neighbour was to drive her there. After about an hour’s journey they reached the orphanage. A young woman wearing a shawl came over to greet her, and shook hands with Kiara. Kiara sighed unhappily, and followed the woman whose name was Mrs. Mohammed upstairs to her bed. “You sleep here. Good night, Kiara!” Mrs. Mohammed smiled at her and left.
Kiara couldn’t sleep for a very long time. I’m all alone in this world, she thought, the light in my life has ceased to shine. Her pillow was very wet that night…

Kiara woke up in the morning with a heavy heart. After she got dressed, she went downstairs, and saw many girls about her age running about. In the corner, a girl was reading a book. She had a pleasant smiling face, with black hair falling over her face. She had wise, thoughtful brown eyes. Kiara approached her nervously.
 “uhh, hi! I-I-I’m K-Kiara Kazmi and –“ began Kiara stammering”. “Oh hi there! I’m Adrianna, and I’m 10 yrs old? You?” Adrianna asked, but Kiara never got to answer because Adrianna had begun talking again. “I suppose you’re new here. The owner of this orphanage is Mrs. Mohammed, but don’t you worry, she isn’t a martinet or anything! Do you know English or only Arabic?” she asked Kiara. Kiara replied that she was 10 yrs as well (“Oh that’s great then!”), and that she knew only Arabic. Adrianna grinned at Kiara “oh, well I’ll teach you English then!” she gave another dazzling smile, and Kiara warmed up to her immediately. Adrianna asked Kiara about her parents, and Adrianna just smiled and told her that she’d be happy here.

A few weeks passed. Soon Kiara and Adrianna were best friends, and they loved each other’s company. Kiara learnt that Adrianna was thoughtful and wise, and at the same time fun-loving.
One day, as Kiara was outside the building, she saw a mother hugging her child. Kiara felt a chill in her heart, as she realized that once, she also had parents. She also had parents, who were taken from the cruel world. Tears ran down her cheeks, and her hands grasped the beautiful locket tied around her neck which her mother had given when she was six. Adrianna came running to Kiara when she saw her crying. Seeing Kiara staring at the locket and weeping, Adrianna put her arm around her. “Kiara, don’t cry. Death has to come to every one, sooner or later! Do not think about the years you have to spend without them. Instead, try celebrating the beautiful ten years you enjoyed with them!” she said softly.
Kiara wiped her tears and stared at Adrianna gratefully, who smiled, and took her hand. “This is for you, treasure it” she said, and slipped a small, silver ornamental sword. The handle was embedded with delicate looking frescoes, and on top of it, was a carved letter of “A”.

More days passed since this event, and soon five years flew by. Kiara and Adrianna were both fifteen. It was the year 2002, and the earthquakes that had hit Kabul and other minor cities were reported. On March 26th, Kiara was just reading a book and Adrianna was reading a newspaper article about the American quest on trying to find Bin Laden, when Mrs. Mohammed came running in, carrying a small white parcel, looking aghast. “Kiara! Please, be a darling, and deliver this package to Mrs. Sofia Riz? Her poor daughter is injured in those minor earthquakes. This package contains food and first-aid, so handle it with care!” she said. Kiara was in a very bad mood, as she and Adrianna had had a small fight over something. She looked at Adrianna “Adie, you do it. I’ve been doing your errands the whole of yesterday”. Adrianna glared back “No way. I did your errands that day when you were hit with fever!”
“You only had to go a small distance!”
“But I had to go walking! You went in the van!”
“I went in the stuffy van for 3 hours! Why don’t you do something for me this time? You’ve never done anything useful, for me or anybody! Make yourself useful, and go deliver that parcel!” Kiara said angrily. Adrianna stared at her, shocked at her outburst and ungrateful attitude. She bit her lip “Fine Kiara…I suppose I didn’t do anything for you after all. I’ll take the parcel. And I am not going in the van. I’ll take that bus which comes this way and heads to Nahrin daily”. She picked up the parcel, grabbed her shawl, and just before she went out, she looked at Kiara sadly. “Adie, wait!” Kiara called, but she had disappeared with the parcel.
3 hours had passed. Still no sign of Adrianna. Kiara paced around the room nervously. Finally Mrs. Mohammed told her to watch T.V to calm her nerves. Reluctantly Kiara switched on the television and immediately a T.V reporter came into view. “The earthquake in Nahrin has killed a lot of people…”. Kiara gasped. That was the place where Adrianna went…No, no, it can’t be, thought Kiara, frightened, she couldn’t be caught to the earth-quake… Could she? Kiara reached for her shawl and ran outside to Ahmed, the young driver of the mini-van owned by the orphanage. “To Nahrin, Ahmed! Hurry, please!” Kiara instructed desperately. Ahmed, who loved Kiara and her antics, felt the note of urgency in her voice, started up the van. Kiara couldn’t stay still for the rest of the journey. She kept seeing Adrianna’s sad face when Kiara had ordered her to deliver the parcel. Kept hearing the last words she said. Kept praying.
Finally, they reached the town of Nahrin. Kiara was horrified at the wreckage. Houses were destroyed. Shops had collapsed. The whole scenario made Kiara even scared. After instructing Ahmed to stay, she went out to investigate. It was terrible everyone was crying. Suddenly, she saw something lying on the ground under the sun. Squinting her eyes, her heart almost stopped as she realized what it was. It was the white parcel. She rushed to it and looked around. “Kiara….” Kiara whirled around, and to her immense horror, she saw her friend Adrianna, a deep cut on her head, lying on the ground, her limbs partially covered with heavy rubble. Kiara at once tried to get her limbs out. “It’s no use, Kiara darling. I think my legs are broken and my left hand is crushed. But I’m so glad you came Kiara. I’m quite sure this is the last moment of my life. And the last person I wanted to see was you, Kiara” she said, her voice strained. Tears at once poured out of Kiara’s eyes, agony in her!
 heart. She held Adie’s hand.
“Oh Adie, I’m sorry! It’s because of me you’re going through this terrible ordeal! Don’t talk like that. You’re going to live. You will get through this!!” it seemed to Kiara that she was trying to convince herself. Adrianna smiled that same, beautiful smile “Kiara, didn’t I tell you that nothing is forever? That everything that influences your life will not be there forever? Kiara, it is time for me to go. I’ve been happy all my life, and so must you. Good bye, Kiara. My friend…” “Noooo” Kiara screamed. But Adie’s eyes closed, and her hand fell from Kiara’s grasp.
 Just then, something fell from her pocket. It was Adie’s silver sword. Crying, she held it to her heart, & whispered I was so wrong, Adie. You have done something big for me. You taught me the meaning of life. I love you, and you’ll be in my heart for eternity. She sat there for quite a long time.

8th grader
About the author of Nothing is Forever...
Hi everyone! My name is Kavishna and I've always loved writing out stories, my feelings. I think writing is a beautiful way of expressing yourself, and easier too. Other than writing, I play sprots of all kinds, Basket Ball, Badminton, Table Tennis, Ice Skating, etc.. I love hanging out with my friends, and I like playing with guys 'coz they're so much fun. I'm sporty, friendly, people say I'm funny.


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