Grace Maneein

United States

6teen and probably reveling in nostalgia

Published Work

Travel Writing Competition 2018

Where Evergreens Reign True

At first glance, it doesn’t look like much. Gentle, sloping hills of pine and oak fill the landscape that stays vividly green despite the changing of seasons. The ground remains hard, brown, and littered with pine as the Earth travels around the sun. It is only fitting, after all, for Peachtree City, Georgia is a place where evergreens reign true.
 
My parents first entered the city of their new home around twenty years ago, thundering in on a small moving truck. Laughing, they often tell me how the trees, the birds, and the deer had fooled them into thinking that their GPS had mistakenly taken them to an American national park. Both foreign city dwellers, one hailing Bangkok and the other Taipei, it’s not surprising that they would make such a mistake. Prior to meeting Peachtree City, neither of them had ever seen so many trees in one place.
 
However, that was twenty years ago. Development of this...

A Lifetime's Worth

THE WORLD SWIMS AROUND ME, flickering in and out of focus. My ears throb painfully. My arms are tingling. My legs are tingling. Something soft and damp is pressed against my cheek.

It takes a lifetime of effort to peel my eyes open, and immediately, I regret it. The sky is beautiful and orange and golden and too goddamn bright. I want to turn over to reorient myself into a position that’s facing away from the sun, but I can’t.

I can’t.

I have already used up a lifetime’s worth of effort. It would be far easier to just close my eyes.

So I do.

In a picture of perfect serenity, the wind swirls around me.

Improbable Flavor

The Taste of Surprise

THE TASTE OF SURPRISE
is a bitter one; 
rich yet cacophonous and
so inherently bold.

it tastes of ruckus, of anger,
of getting duped;
of being left in the dark 
when everyone knew.

except you.

it's addicting to some,
for the ones who appreciate 
the bright, clementine taste
of sudden realization and
savor the lingering bitterness 
that accompany old lemons
left too long in the sun.

an acquired taste that is
not at all bland, but perhaps
too jarring for mild of heart;

the unknown is wild, and
revelation is always exciting

Without Chaos

01. Chaos

    Without chaos, what remains?

02. Lettuce

    “I think that’s the lettuce your mother bought a month ago,” her father says after a long look into the refrigerator.
Through the gap between his legs, she catches sight of a football-sized, fuzzy, and greyish-blue thing sitting in the bottomost drawer. She has no idea why it is there in the first place. Besides her mother, nobody in their family knows how to cook iceberg lettuce. Why would her mother buy it if she was planning to let it rot?

    Her father answers her unspoken query. “She probably meant to cook it, but forgot. Get me a trash bag and a pair of gloves, will you?”

03. Flinches

    She flinches as her mother yanks a comb through her hair.
    
    As usual, her mother’s mind is clearly elsewhere.

04. Nondescript

    The man with a foreign name is nondescript in every sense of the word. He’s of average stature, with brown hair...

Tale of a Heartbrokwn Wedding Guest

    Ben the bartender was very, very, very bored. And very tired. His shift began six hours ago, and he was pretty much ready to die. Despite the fact that there was a plethora of extremely attractive girls milling around the place, he had long discovered that most guys didn't appreciate it when a bartender was trying to pick up chicks. No matter how bored he got, Ben would never have the slightest desire to get in a conflict with a drunk male.
    Most people would've thought he was going crazy - for God's sake, he was mixing drinks for people at a wedding reception. How often did one get to experience the joy of watching a freshly wedded couple beam at each other and exchange extremely sappy looks?
    But this wasn't the first time he had been present as a bartender. In fact, if anyone ever bothered to make small talk with him, they would discover that mixing drinks at...