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Poetry Essay Short Story
You Know Him

You know him.
The hot shot in your school.
Star basketball player,
Star football player.
Friend to everyone.
I suppose that every school has one.
Our school certainly does.
Especially in small towns.
All you need is a name.
With the right last name,
You can do anything you please.
You can even rape a girl,
and when she tries to be brave....
No one believes..
Not him, they say.
He wouldn't do that.
Well, he did.
And he got away with it.
I am not surprised.

11th grader

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Hysteria Focused

your whispers. hushed.
hidden by your hand and
your eyes advert
my confidence. crushed.

my mind. stumbles.
and my walk is paranoid
and my mouth parts
my words. fumble.

the Hysteria. focused.
and i plan to speak my mind
but i'm talking to myself


11th grader
Tempe, Arizona

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Dropped 6 way to cool,
seven days 'til Sunday
I am
and I am tired
of being the resident fairy
I cannot come down
I cannot even think about it
But I can do something brain-dead
and then beg you to beat me

And I feel
with a vein full of battery acid
And I burn
all my bridges with my public addiction
I am so sorry
I am sick and I am tired
of being caged because I care
I am a cruel joke
taken so SICK
and far too far
I am so sick (inside)

11th grader
Bowling Green, Ohio
About the author of SICK: Amidst the mists and coldest frosts, with stoutest wrists and loudest boasts, she thrusts her fists against the posts... and still insists she sees the ghosts.

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A real friend

A real friend understands you,
Cares about you,
Worries about you.
A real friend listens to all you have to say
And they tell you just as much.
A real friend talks about everything,
Leaving no subject untouched.
A real friend jokes around with you,
A real friend makes you laugh
When youíre feeling down.
A real friend cries with you
When your entire world seems to be falling apart.
A real friend gives you a hug
Without asking if you need one.
A real friend loves your presence in their life.
A real friend likes you for who you are.
A real friend is the best person in your being.
A real friend is your second half.
Your other self.
Never let go of your real friends.
Because friends come and go,
But a real friend
Lasts an eternity.

12th grader
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
About the author of A Real Friend
I'm not one to write poetry, but I gave it a try this once. Something
occured in my life, and it made me think. And I could only write it in
poetic form. So, A Real Friend, found it's way to paper.

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So strange,
The blankness of eyes staring from a caged existence
Shackled by the untold rules of society

Blank eyes coupled by shallow smiles
A feeling hidden, a notion dismissed
An idea quelled by the pit of wasted uselessness

Could there be more?
To follow ones heart would be to dismiss the head
The head is the wearer of masked emotion
The mask suffocates the heart

The heart?
Can such a thing exist?
Buried in an Avalon of hidden thoughts and desires
Waiting for a chance to the called.

A chance that cannot come.


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You say it comes and goes
This feeling that you know too well
But I wonder if you cried for real
If your soul would be compelled

To change no matter what the cost
Tochange for fear of getting lost
Inside that thing you call a heart
But that makes your thoughts just fall apart
Can you breathe inside your shell
Or do you live some other way
The fear that holds you tightly
With these illusions makes you stay
Does your mind think youíre alive
Or did it let hope go too
When you speak do people hear you
Or is attention something new

You canít be alone
ĎCause the silence screams at you
You canít exist all by yourself
For fear of what youíd do
You think youíre ok
Your friends just think youíre crazy
The line between reality and fantasy
Is blurred, for you itís hazy
The colors run together
In the picture thatís your life
Canít be happy, canít be fulfilled
Until youíre through your strife
Living on dreams is how you play it
ĎCause life is just too real
And you hide from whatís really wrong
Itís easier to conceal

So you wander as you wonder
How you got here, though you know
But youíve forgotten how to be happy
So on and on and on you go
But you canít see the angels
Who care for you, despite the lies
Theyíre the only ones who try to bring
That shine back to your eyes
So as life just wonít cut you a break
You still donít understand
That even though you hate the silence
Without it you canít stand

10th grader
Columbus, OH

About the author of Silence. I am male, 15, play and love sports and loove to write. I started writing regularly just a few years ago.  This poem is about someone who hides behind who everyone thinks they are, a theme that often times surfaces in my writing.  Hope you like it. Enjoy!

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Losing Myself

Crumpled balls of college ruled paper camouflage her Doc Marten sandals.
She was trying to compose a masterpiece,
Desperately scribbling her free form thoughts,
Trying to get it out before it ate her up.
Apparently, she was too late,
And her laboring was futile.
There are no more feet to fill her shoes:
And my
                                  Of slightly
Inform you that
The crumpled wads of paper wonít suffice.

11th grader
Little Rock, Arkansas

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The Color Blue

I can't be pregnant
I'm far too young
To have a little one
Suck his thumb
To dance around in Pampers smooth
To see him sprout a baby's tooth
To have her cry while Mommy's gone
While I go shop for this, my son
But I can't bear to see him dead
That beautiful little limp, pink head
So this I sing a lullabye
Alone I sit and start to cry
I watch the test as it turns blue
And find out all along, I knew.

9th grader

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A slight disturbance floods my mind
Digs deep into my soul
An apparition disregarded
As something that was whole
My imparishable covet to
Uphold my ravaged heart
Is slowly and intensively
Tearing me apart
I bow my head and start to cry
Each moment I despise
I hate each secound as they hate me
My tears burn my eyes
I repent in the moons pale cast
My sorrow so entire
This pain caused only on behalf of
My devilish desire

10th Grader
New Glasgow , Nova Scotia , Canada
each question answered asks another

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your whispers. hushed.

hidden by your hand
and your eyes advert
my confidence. crushed.

my mind. stumbles.
and my walk is paranoid
and my mouth parts
my words. fumble.

hysteria. focused.

and i plan to speak my
mind but i'm talking to myself

11th Grader
Tempe, Arizona

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All About Me, and My Mask

Sometimes...myself and my mask don't match.
I know I am sad, but I should hide my feelings.
I know I am happy, but I should hide these feelings.
Sometimes...those feelings I couldn't catch.

Happiness, sadness, anger, and lies.
You could see those things through my mask.
But you couldn't see what on my real face is.
My mask smiles, but my face hurts.

All the lies that make me smile,
getting deeper every single day.
And the mask that makes me cry,
started sticking on my face.

If I could take my mask off.
I would take it off.
Then I would go see the moon.
And wash my face in the morning sun.

But...what the heck.
Use our mask as long as we still live in this world.
Because people need a creep.
And creeps love to flatter.

11th grader
Union city, New Jersey

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Show Who Is Me 

I know who I am.
I know who I was.
But who will I be?
I donít know because
there will always be changes-
some large and some small
that most definitely will affect all
the choices I make
the help that I give
the right to be me
and how I will live.
Now how I do that
Will remain to be seen.
Each choice that I make shows
Which way I lean.
But for now
Iím a child
With no worries, carefree
but how long shall I wait
ítil I show who is me?

8th grader
Saginaw, MI

Hello. I am Jayni. I will do as I please, and I hope that my choices are the right ones. I like to read, it gives me knowledge, I like to write, it is expressing myself, something I must do.  I like to live, to love, to learn.

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Secret Angst

Can speak my mind openly, freely.
Not afraid to cry out loud.
Can laugh at what I feel is funny.
Humiliation follows me every step I go.


Still unsure of myself.
No matter where I'm standing or who is near,
Self-consciousness is hiding inside me,
Waiting to jump at the first compliment and
Eat it alive,
Devouring every nice word until it's gone.
Can words really be trusted?

Everyday it grows bigger, my self-consciousness,
Digesting every last ounce of self-worth
Until one day it will grow so fat, it'll explode
Into a million compliments and nothing more.

12th grader
Brethren, Michigan

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Midnight breaks
One single tear
Another to the puddle
My world slowly falls apart

Shattered peices
Of yesterdays smile
My mask is unveiled
Left naked in my sorrow

You came
And I loved
Knight in shinning armor
Brought up, to be dropped

Twelve strikes
I stand alone
And dream of you
Calling out for your return

12th grader
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
this is for someone that was very special to me.

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Burning Seasons

As bittersour the lips of the demon
As sweet the touch of the angel
As tart the scent of small temptations glowing through the air
The sugarless rememberance
Stays charred with me
Never tasting you again will blister me inside

I fell awake the day I learned to sleep
Decades kill us all before the centuries can load their guns.

Icy halo of blue fire fading fast away
The old familiar smell of burning seasons has announced its arrival
How much can I burn you
before you turn from flame?
Sugar lit ablaze can never taste like it did

You sticky skin can feel the warm breeze
But it seems that you can never let yourself let summer in.

Wading through the stagnant dark
Voids of ink-eyes
Abysmal depths, the pains of strangers,
All fading with the scent
Lost inside the tartness of space
Shrinking all the time
Still so infinite and vacant from the echoes of injustice

As fast as I can never seem to go
You leap to speed so faithfully, neven letting the weakness show

11th grader
Bowling Green, Ohio

About the author of "Burning Seasons": Still fumbling toward the truth, which could very well be lies, more than a little confused about it all. I'd definitely appreciate comments on this one.

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Mother Earth 

One being, seeing to all forms of life
Looking at a single stone

Ragid, not smooth

Grey, not colored

Simple and yet

If it was to be removed

In its place would be

A bit of nothing

Where no creatures could live

Or behind which any preditors hide
Mother Earth cherishes it as her own

As so she does the smallest grain
Because Mother Earth knows her children

7th grader
Macungie, Pennsylvania

Look for meaning in the smallest words and give them the biggest meaning.  In this you will find reason.

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A Lover's Gone 

Pain slashes through my breast,
I see you leave,
I wish to strike out at you.
Force you to stay.
I know not your face,
Yet I relish in your company.
A company so soaked through with a odor.
I choke on it's thickness.
It is a poison to my body.
Such a torturous life I live.
To love something so much and to watch your world shatter, into a million, 
tiny, little peices so that no glue could put it back again.
There was always that fire, raging within.
A foolish flames of hope, and so called dream, You call it.

10 Grade
Red Bluff, CA

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Winners or losers? 

Congratulations !

You have created

the most sophisticated weapons of all

You have invented

the most destructive bombs

and most advanced missiles

that come as thunderbolt from skies

You certainly have created

supersonic war planes

and ultra modern submarines

capable of eliminating the human race

in the blink of an eye

Great !!

You have tamed the wild

and have poisoned the waters

You have explored

the tiniest secrets of the earth

You have injected

your satellites into space

You have built

machine guns

nuclear bombs

land mines


and blah blah blah

You surely have

slapped the nature in its face

You have made

mockery of life and death

And you have caged the God

Achievements !!!

--- to name a few.




--- the mightiest powers,

could not

wipe away that single tiny tear

from that girl's face

whose doll was found dead

alongwith her mother

in the quake at Turkey.

You could never bring

even the faintest of smiles

to that old man's face

who lost his only son

in Vietnam.

You could not

make that widow's eyes glow

whose love

embraced her,

promised to be there

at the birthday of their child,

and went to Kargil

--- never to come back.

You could not provide

a single slice of bread

to the child

who died - starved - in Somalia.

You could not make

that little bud bloom

whose colours

you snatched at Hiroshima.

How will you ever add

a stroke of colour

to that American mother's face

whose kids

with blue eyes

went to school

and came back home early

with shut eyes

and chests pierced with bullets?


Your weapons

couldn't erase the divide

Your missiles

couldn't destroy hatred

Your warcrys

couldn't mute innocent screams

Your experiments

couldn't bring smiles

Your guns

can't sing the cuckoo's song


You have lost.


`Ropar, Punjab, INDIA


About the author of Winners or losers?
Age : 19
Nationality : Indian
I am doing a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. My hobbies include reading and writing. Some of my works have been published in various magazines and have been accepted for publication in several others.

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Performance of Life

She steps up to the piano
(She sees her life ahead of her)
She remembers her lessons
(She remembers what people have taught her)
She poses her hands on the keys
(She begins her life journey)
She starts the song slowly
(She takes her first cautious steps into the world)
She gains confidence in the piece
(She gains confidence in herself)
Her song ends, but her music remains
(She is forever remembered on earth and beyond)
The audience begins to applaud
(She has accomplished something great)
A standing ovation
(She has made a difference in the world)

8th grader
New Jersey
About the author of Performance of Life:

Megan is 13 years old. She has been playing the piano since she was 5, and has participated in numerous piano guild competitions. Megan's other hobbies include reading, writing, and dancing.

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Listen to the Children

Tuesday afternoon I watched
The breaking of a rule
Teens were shot and killed inside
A Colorado school.
I thought about the teachers
And the victimsí families
But I remembered most my fellow kids
So listen to me, please.
I know kids pulled the trigger
And I know now kids are dead
But the question lacking answer:
What went on inside their heads?
Kids picked on them, they felt the need
To even out the score
They needed help and badly
Why was nothing done before?
Placing the full blame on children
Is easiest for anyone
But in reality remember
That the killer was a gun.
Had people listened and people cared
The outcome may have stayed the same
But maybe Littleton could have remained
An unfamiliar name.
Listen to your children, please
We have opinions, too
Our voices, thoughts and feelings count
We need them shared with you.
We have our insecurities
We experience fear and doubt
We need to know that weíre important
Please donít leave us out.
We want to know that guns will be
Locked carefully away
So kids with worries in their minds
Find peace another way.
The students find their strength from friends
And gracious God above
Let us shelter them with kindness
And our constant thoughts and love.
So listen to your children
For this contract never ends
Pay attention to our words
And we wonít lose our friends.

8th Grader
New Jersey
About the author of Listen to the Children:
Megan has been writing poetry for several years. Her other hobbies include reading, playing the piano, and dancing.

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Outside Me

I squirmed and tried to fade into a spot
that splattered on a spotless wall so
I wouldn't have to hear you call me
"Asian girl, that Asian girl"

9th grader
Chicago, Illinois
The Author uses poetry as her creative outlet and the back to pile all her burdens on.

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D O N ' T T U R N A R O U N D

on the edge

look down

dust rocks solid ground

fathoms down below

turn around

sheís standing there

her eyes



my eyes


turn around

heís standig there

in midair

reaching for her

not me

I want

to hold him

he is weightless


turn around

she is gone

turn around




holding one


turn around


d o u b l e

s i d e d

c l i f f

11th grader
Salt Lake City, UT

Cool stuff about the author of Untitled Pain.  Jen has been writing stories and poetry her entire life, but this is her first submission to any website or collection of writing. She is 16 and lives in Utah. With a busy high school life, she uses her rare spare time to write poetry or short stories.

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Orin's Secret

The reds, browns, and yellows of autumn shifted uneasily in the stirring wind. The pines' elongated shadows stretched ominously across the freshly mowed grass of Angelwood Asylum, and two hazy gray eyes peered between the bars of a small, square window. The eyes' gentle vacant stare widened as the black shadows thickened and molded together, slowly conjuring the darkness of night. A hesitating copper moon peeked through the trees, seeming self-conscious of its abnormally large size. The two eyes blinked and disappeared from the window.

 A dull thud sounded quietly as a figure closed the large side door and pressed up against the looming outside wall. Those hazy distant pools, the uncertain hue of a misty spring morning, darted across the stretch of yard and fell upon an old, run-down shack. Cascaded in folds of black, he tip-toed forward, over and around the shards of light cast by that sky suspended penny.

 "Orin...Oooorin..." the whispering breeze moaned his name, whipped around his ebony hood, and beckoned him to walk in the moonlight.

Infuriated by the prodding attempt, he shook his head fiercely and cursed the wind while brandishing his fist in the air. Orin stared down at the dark, dew infested turf as he clambered on, stubbornly avoiding the faint rays; the groping, claw-like rays withered back as he reached the musty wooden door of the shack.

 Mumbling and trembling, he extended a slender fingered hand and pushed open the creaking, squeaking slab of mildewed boards. Orin cringed at the loud screeching and stood as still as a monument for a few critical moments.

Just as the shapeless silhouette of his figure began to melt into the infinite wonders of darkness and silence, he slowly edged forward. The door slammed shut behind him, and he unheedingly stared forward, his gaze transfixed upon a large shape lit up and shining in a dim light pouring through a tiny window across the room. Orin walked forward slowly and lowered his eyes in a reverent manner. When he reached it he raised his head and gaped down at an old piano.

 The white keys, slightly brown with age, were still perfect in his strange eyes. The top of the instrument was speckled with gold from the trees outside of the open window. Looking down at the wooden bench, he noticed how inviting it was; the dark, natural knots, a soft plaid cushion, and the keys spread out right in front of it. Waiting.

 Orin seated himself carefully and extended his long, light-enchanted fingers over the keys. Whispering a prayer, his lips moved automatically.

A gust of wind whooshed through the window, and he drew the humid, flower-scented air into his lungs deeply. His eyelids fluttered shut and still he waited. There was a desperate stillness in the air as if time itself had ceased, and the moon shifted behind a dark cloud as if in fear.

 His eyes still shut, he moved his poised hands down and struck a chord that sung of some failing ecstasy. A tinge of sadness danced the air as his delicate hands drifted across the piano. A pair of nightingales lit in the window and watched him with a mesmerized look. Hours seemed to pass as he incessantly played, reaching the impatient, fast peak of the music, and then moving back into the vague sadness. Even when the two birds suddenly turned and flew from the window as an orange, white streaked beam of morning sunlight shone through into the shack, he never noticed them.

 Orin's eyes snapped open. He leaped to his feet and stared around the room with wide, bewildered eyes. Dawn's light rained through the window and spread throughout the place, and it was rid of the night's fleeting shadows.

He stared down at his throbbing red hands and then at the piano. He poked at a key curiously and then jumped, beating his chest at the loud, clanking note.

 Orin made a mad dash for the door and quickly ran out into the expansive yard. The grass was dripping with a light dew and blanketed by a thin layer of fog. The Asylum seemed like an overbearing demon when compared to everything else in sight. Its darkness was a mysterious contrast. He could hear the rustling of bushes from around the building, but he didn't bother to look.

"You there!" A uniformed man emerged from around the Asylum and walked toward Orin hurriedly. Orin just stood there, still staring straight ahead, as the guard reached him. The man, dark haired and muscular, arched an eyebrow and then grinned, taking Orin gently by the arm, "Come along now, young man."

The two walked back around the building and entered quietly. They ascended the long staircase until they finally reached Orin's level. The guard and Orin made their way to very farthest end door and stopped, their footsteps still echoing through the white-walled hallway. Orin found himself, once again, locked away in his room.

The reds, browns, and yellows of autumn shifted uneasily in the stirring wind. Waiting. Two eyes stared through the bars of a small, square window down at a small shack in the very back of the yard. There was a knowing wink, a momentary twinkle in those eyes, and then they blinked, disappearing from the window.

12th grader
Pierce County, GA, U.S.

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Three Travelers 

Every mountain curve they turn brings the shaggy-haired car full of dew-eyed dreamers that one degree closer to a car-crash death. There are three of them in all: Matthew the driver and plan-maker; Daniel the sensitive punk; and Amy the writer of poetry about other peopleís business. She is trying to sing along with Adam Duritz on "Mr. Jones" with as much soul and beauty as she can muster (to that, Matthew turns up the volume....) She stops singing and cranes her neck to see if her audience is enthralled, and seeing that it is not, lowers her voice and studies the interior upholstery. The mix CD changes to the next song, and she watches as shot-gun Daniel bobs his head softly up and down to "Love Fool" by the Cardigans. She wonders if heís listening to whatís on the stereo, or playing out his own punk concert in his head, in an attempt to drown out the pink gooey bubble gum-ness of the situation. Matthew drives, and, Matthew drives. He flips through the tracks on the current CD with strange (but not unordinary) instability. His black -shirt is wrinkled, moth-eaten, smells of fabric softener, and is covered in a fine nap of carpet lint/various other materials; itís obvious that he is comfortable around the two, able to cut loose that silly starchiness of appearance. The only comments towards fashion made on this trip were some notes on topless dancers made by the backseat poet, and pressing her forehead against the window, wondered what it would be like to have breasts grand enough so that men would pay money to see them.

But that, is something to talk about during the next long ride.

11th grader
Harrison, Arkansas

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Every morning, when Carrie woke up, she looked at the big, burning numbers on the face of her alarm clock and remembered that, the morning before she had looked at those same numbers, and would look at those same numbers each morning for years to come.

 Needless to say, Carrie was not an optimist. Not a one of us can really blame her. Nothing is truly optimistic anymore. Every day is soaked with violence and bigotry, from what we hear on the nightly news to what we see as we walk the streets. Everywhere are slurs, prejudices, stupidity, materialistic things, contradictions, pains, grievances, and a slew of other ills that no one was really meant to face. A select few can find the courage and the fair to rise above these modern problems. But the more down-to-earth portion of this species becomes depressed, angered, or just plain bored with the redundancy of the overlying themes that saturate the world.

 This morning (the date doesn't really matter because they were all like the rest), Carrie ventured through the darkened hallway and into the kitchen for her cup of coffee. As she let the bitterness between her lips, she became once again resentful of herself. She hated the fact that, to get moving in the morning, she had to feed her chemical dependancy for caffeine.

The littlest of things made her feel so weak, so filthy that she could cry.

 Make no mistake, Carrie was not always as downbeat as this, and was actually rather content with her life. She was attending a fine local college that would enable her to get a nice job in due time, she could afford a decent apartment in a part of town that was not overrun by hoodlums (just ignorant rednecks), and she had plenty of friends to keep her company during the endless hours of boredom she often endured. Sometimes, though, during the periods where her mind was most vulnerable (very late or very early, or when she was preoccupied with something else), the guilt and the frustration would come avalanching back, threatening to bury her under a cubic mile of depression's hard-packed snow. It was all downhill from there. 

 "Aw, fer the love 'a God... Ishtar!" she shouted at her feet as she tried to stand. The purring Siamese cat wrapped itself lovingly around her ankles, sensing bubbling temper. Ishtar, Carrie's companion for over five years, knew when her friend was in a bad mood and when her frustrations might be taken out on the poor feline. Ishtar sensed when she should come, and when she should stay away.

 As Carrie shoed the cat gently with her foot, she went to the mail-slot in her front door and picked up the two envelopes and the flattened, folded newspaper. Then she returned to the cramped, dark kitchen and flicked on a light. She squinted against its harshness, and Ishtar turned tail and ran into a shadier section of the apartment.

 "Phone bill," sighed Carrie, tossing the first envelope aside. "Credit card application. Splendid. I can have an introductory APR of 4.9%, be still my heart."

 She wadded up the application into a tiny ball and tossed it into the trash can across the room. Then she unfolded the paper.

 This periodical was a classic example of how the pessimism in the world reaches us long before the optimism, and by that time we've stopped listening. On the front page, there was an article about an earthquake in California that had killed 300 (along with a very charming picture of a bruised and bloodied young lady on a stretcher), a column on how two veteran police officers had been committed of sexual harassment toward a fifteen year old, some inconsequential sports scores, and a small feature on the purchase of hundreds of acres of forest to be purchased and cleared for a new shopping center in the area.

 Shuddering, Carrie flipped to the comics, past the articles on the latest White House scandals and celebrity arrests, past the schedules for the sleazy talk shows and the music video channels that no longer played music, past the pointless opinion pages and advice columns. There was actually an overwhelming feeling of relief as she reached the last page of the paper; the comics. Her theory was that the editors put the comics at the back of the paper so you would have to wade through all the other garbage to get to the good stuff, just so the comics would be that much funnier. That, and they were a bunch of sick and twisted people.

 This day, the heavy-heartedness was so steadfast that even the comics, even "Dilbert" couldn't get Carrie to crack a smile. That was angering enough in itself, and Carrie put down the paper feeling more dejected than ever. She did not want to drive to class, did not want to take notes, did not want to come home and get ready for work, and did not want to slave away at her part-time job at the coffee house until all hours of the night. She wanted to curl up into a little ball in her nice, warm bed and cry herself to sleep.

 She was actually toying with the thought when Ishtar, having braved the bright light and wandered back into the kitchen to find a bite to eat, noticed a corner of the paper hanging over the edge of the kitchen table.

Mesmerized by its slight movement, Ishtar crouched, then pounced the paper, knocking it to the ground. As Carrie cursed loudly, pages fluttered all across the kitchen. Before her master could threaten the little Siamese, she was gone, huddled under the couch until she could safely show her whiskered face.

 Still grumbling, Carrie crouched to pick up the papers. The nearest page was a single, boring thing with line upon line of small print and no pictures, frowning, Carrie picked it up and examined it so she could rearrange the paper.

 It was the obituaries.

 Groaning at the omen, Carrie was about to sacrifice the paper to the same fate as the credit card application when her own morbid curiosity snatched her and pulled her eyes to the page. She began to read the first one her eyes landed on.

 "Charles Alverson," it was titled, in small bold letters. The print went on for another four paragraphs.

 "Charles Jay Alverson, 79, of Crawfordville, Fla., formerly of Grand Rapids, Mich., died Wednesday at his home.

 "He was a vocational teacher at Columbus Tech, Columbus, GA, and then at Lively Tech in Tallahassee, FL. He was also a bailiff at the Wakulla County Sheriff's Dept. in Florida. Mr. Alverson was an Army Veteran of WWII and served in the National Guard during the Korena War.

 "Born to Charles and Minnie Alverson on July 14, 1920 in Findlay, OH, he married Bessie Craft in 1944. She survives. Also surviving are one daughter (Linda McLeod), two sons (Ronald Alverson and Michael Alverson), as well as five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a brother, Thomas, and a sister, Betty.

 "The funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. in the Wright Funeral Home. Burial will be at Portage Cemetery, Pastor Judith Frankwill officiate."

 Sighing, Carrie finished picking up the rest of the paper, and folded it quickly into a pile on top of the table. She went to the almost nonexistent closet and removed her denim jacket. Though it sounds a little disgusting and inhuman to say this, reading the obituary put a small smile on Carrie's face and made her strong enough to face the day. There was a man on page twelve of the paper, a normal man, a mundane man with no great achievements, a man with a family and a job and a home. On page twelve and only on page twelve does this man still exist to all but those who knew him. His life was over, and for all that anyone could tell, there was nothing more to this man than those four paragraphs. No home, no heart, no humanity; nothing that makes us so proud to be, nothing that can pierce through the veil of pessimism and proudly proclaim that we will not go quietly into oblivion, that there is still some goodness and truth in the universe, and that there is, indeed, something!  worth living for.

 Knowing she had it a little better (at least for awhile) than Charles Alverson, age 79, on page twelve, Carrie shouted good-bye to Ishtar and exited through the front door, being sure to lock it behind her.

11th grader
Bowling Green, Ohio

About the author of "Obituary": I think that my previous submissions will suffice to give you the details about me. Now is a good time to go and check those out. :)

The Valley 

In the background, the world is unaffected, all-natural, 100% pure beauty in its highest, glory be, praise jay-sus, hallelujah and amen. Everything that her pinhole eyes can take in is like a portrait; the expanse of the forest, all emerald and swaying slightly in the breezes that whip through the valley. Up and down, up and down, hills slope and dip. The sky on the horizon is bleeding into pinks and purples as the atmosphere catches the light of the drowning sun and refracts it. Everywhere else, the heavens are still flawless blue, with one lonely cloud still plodding along toward infinity.

 Then she listens.

 Where birds sang their chirping hymns before, a few still squawked nervously, bravely, waiting it out until the last. Others screamed their bird screams as they took off, alone or in massive clumps, abandoning their homes as the mechanized warriors approached. Their buzzing, humming tumult drowned out most everything else, though they were not close enough to be deafening yet. She'd heard them before, as they weed-whacked their way through town and city alike, clear-cutting civilization before destroying nature.

 A section of the forest swayed more than the rest, shuddered as it was invaded, violated. Some trees crumpled to the ground, no longer supported by their mighty trunks. They most likely though (if trees can think) that they were being attacked by the inventions of the humans, axes and saws and bulldozers. It was probably best that they think that way, because the horrific truth might have been too much for them to bear.

 The place that was once secret, sacred, untouchable and serene now being decimated like the rest of the world, the world she had once secretly wished would come tumbling down. Watching it, she feels a pang of guilt but cannot dwell upon it because her heart is too busy dying. She stands her ground, the last ground she or anyone is willing to stand, and waits for the inevitable, hoping and yet not really hoping, that she will wake up.

11th grader
Bowling Green, Ohio
About the author of The Valley: Take it as you will, my friends, take it as you will.

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