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AbigailSauble

United States

Child of God
Pro-life
Wordsmith
Photographer
Marine sister
Blogger
English Country Dancer
Dessert enthusiast
Reader
Musician
Singer
Artist
ISFJ
Aquaphobe
Volleyball devotee
Movie quoter
Tea drinker
Airsofter
Cat lover
Youtuber

Message from Writer

' "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD.' ~ Isaiah 54:10

Proud USMC sister!

FAVORITE QUOTES:

"Most people never meet their heroes;
I grew up with mine." ♥

“And the one good thing about being down here, is that we’ll save on funeral expenses.” ~ Puddleglum (The Silver Chair)

"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

"Only in the darkness can you see the stars." ~ Martin Luther King Jr

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~ Winnie the Pooh

https://wheniwasanartist.blogspot.com/

Published Work

Lost

I'm lost;
drowning,
in endless monotony,
and the road stretching out to the far horizon,
like my heart,
feeling,
groping,
for hope,
or love,
or a bend in the road.
Heat scorches my back;
I can only go forward;
forever,
in endless monotony,
drowning;
I'm lost. 

Not as Smart as we Think we Are

Just when you think people are getting smarter, a hay truck speeds past. 
And the driver is smoking a cigarette. 
You cough into a fist; look at the ground. 
Nevermind, then. 

Not Alone

Perhaps the house was haunted. 
   I didn't really care. 
But mom did. 
She would rock for hours, muttering senselessly, hand cocked beneath her chin. 
Something about a ghost, I think, but I never paused long enough to pay much attention.
   Then one day, I saw it. 
At least, I think I did.
They say that ghosts are neither dead nor alive. That they wander aimlessly, between dimensions, wishing desperately for someone to understand them. You either believe in them or you don't. 
   And I didn't.
But I changed my mind.
   I don't exactly know why, but I felt sorry for it. 
It just stood there. At the end of the dim hall, staring past me. 
My grandma used to say that if a ghost looked you right in the eye, then when you died, you would be destined to live like it. Lost forever. No friends or home to speak of. 
   So I kept my...

From the Moment I Fell in Love

I walked quickly to my car in the parking lot, fiddling nervously with the velvet box in my hand.
This is it.
I could barely breathe from anxiety.
Will she say no?
It took three tries to unlock the drivers’ door.
Should I have gotten a different ring?
I slipped inside and fumbled with the engine.
Should I wait another month or two?
My heartbeat drowned out the purr of the engine; I breathed slowly and backed out of the parking space, my thoughts anywhere but on the mirrors.
Am I being premature?
For the hundredth time that day, I checked my watch, then pulled out into the 5PM traffic.
How could she say yes to a guy like me?
The light turned yellow; I stepped on the accelerator and sped through just before it changed.
I wished my heart would slow down, my hands were nearly trembling on the wheel. I reached over to feel the black velvet beneath...

When the Earth Fell Away

Gentry Maston brushed a stray lock of hair from her eyes and gazed out at the desolate landscape.
3100 AD had certainly started off on the wrong foot.
There had been no rain since last spring, and just last week, at the height of the Sun Festival, something strange began to happen. The sun darkened to a beautiful, honey yellow. The kind of color that kids usually used for the sun when they were too young to know better.
Every day since, the sun continued to darken. From orange, to red, then a gold-speckled shade of brown.
Gentry slipped the sun goggles over her brown eyes and looked up into the mid-afternoon sky. There had been an eerie green hue over everything all day, and one glance at the sun proved her suspicions correct.
The sun was now dark green.
A shiver raced across her bare arms even with the oppressive heat. Was the world finally coming to an end?...

Real Life Problems

I frolic with fairies on the weekends;
But during the week I fall on my face and get stitches. 

Erin

It should’ve been cold.
As my gaze swept the dusky church sanctuary, dotted with black-clad people, I wondered why it was not.
The casket in front was white, and so small, standing there by itself. Flowers trailed over its closed lid like colorful tears.
The flowers could cry, so why couldn’t I?
I felt like I should. Maybe if my imaginings of a typical funeral had conjured some real chill into the air, I would have been able to.
The far back of the revered sanctuary was where I sat, clutching a dying yellow rose like an abandoned friend.
And yet, I didn’t cry.
I should’ve made an effort to, I know. But instead, I cocked my one good ear towards the solemn-faced pastor at the pulpit and listened to his sad tones.
They traveled up and down, like warm laps of saltwater against the barnacled hull of a ship anchored in port. The depth in his sincerity was endless....

Grandma

There was a brown fence,
Surrounding my childhood safe place.
Now it’s all gray, broken down
Really should be used for firewood.
But I can’t do a thing but gaze at it
Memories fill my mind.
I imagine a ghost-of-a-thing
My grandma.
Bruised, wrinkled hands clutching at the fence,
Waving me off for school with a smile that knew many days.
And in my heart
I wish I had treasured it more.
Grandma’s low, trembling voice ushering me down for breakfast
The jar that I knew always hid a cookie just for me
Grandma’s old, frail arms wrapping around me for comfort.
I wish I remembered how many of my tears soaked the shoulders of her blouses
Or what she named the Blue Jay in the old maple tree
Or how she knew what I was feeling just by looking at me.
And I know that without Grandma
I would’ve proved the world right
That I was worthless
Unwanted
But...

To Gain and to Lose

I found love and lost it all in one day
His plans didn't include me
So I let my broken heart scatter
And put a smile on for the world
Because it wasn't really supposed to matter, anyway
 

Farewell

Farewell my love,
Your eyes warm, kind.
I loved you first,
You knew me not.

Farewell to thee
I wish you knew
How you stop my heart,
It swoons; I blush.

Farewell beloved,
A shadow I remain
To pass from sight,
My love forgotten.

Into A Silent World

I thought I was drowning.
   At least, it felt like it. All sounds were muted, like I was listening to the world through a brick wall.
   The warm breeze scampered across my face, drawing my hair into its merry dance. But I could hear the birds no more.
   Their bright images entered my mind, but their cheerful songs were dead to me.
   Tears stung my eyes; the hot sun dried them up.
Slowly through my childhood I had been losing my hearing. The day - this day - I would lose it completely was unavoidable. There was nothing the doctors could do. In preparation, I learned how to read lips. All the while daring to hope that I would never have to use it.
   But Fate had different plans.
And so, at the age of eighteen, I was pronounced officially, legally deaf.
   I was handicapped. I felt less than who I was. How could...

Shattered

Dusk falls across the horizon
Causing stars to dust the sky.
And I lie awake and wonder
If they symbolize my shattered heart.

Legacy

The foundation my parents have laid will stay with me forever.
As far back as I can remember, they taught me about God and the ten commandments He set in place. From there they encouraged my participation in AWANA youth ministry. That was foundation stone number one.
Through 14 years of AWANA, I memorized thousands of Bible verses, learned good teamwork, and learned the importance of dedication and perseverance. What I have learned will guide me for the rest of my life.
Foundation stone number two is family. As the seventh-born in a family of eight kids, I learned quickly about loyalty and cooperation. While being a youngest is at times a disadvantage, and perhaps I didn’t relish it then, it was preparing me to have a family of my own.
My love for my siblings has grown throughout the years, and I wouldn’t trade my relationship with them for anything. I have learned important lessons through each of them...

Practice Grad Speech

I don’t think many of us like endings.
Especially when it’s as personal as moving away from somewhere we love, or saying a final goodbye to a loved one. But everything in our lives has an end, except for one thing.
And that is the everlasting love of Jesus Christ.
He is the One who ultimately gives us purpose, and a goal. To give Him glory though we fail or succeed, then to stand before Him at the end of our lives, not with a list of our accomplishments, but to say that we believe in His love for us and followed in the footsteps of Jesus with every aspect of our lives. In our work, and in our personal time.
For my fellow graduates and I, this part of our lives, nearly 18 years, is ending, and in some ways we want to run back to the comfort of our past instead of facing an ominous unknown called the...

Sun Child

With open arms and unshod feet
I welcome the summer sun.

SHOUT OUT #14

i've always said by addictedtoreading (beautifully written, and I think, a little relatable to those of us who have lost a loved one)
young love by Mary Wall (nostalgic and relatable [I think] to many people!) 
Impossible to Grasp by Mary Wall (unique view, with a fun, descriptive personality to the story)
a wish of mine, i suppose by asteria (you'll fall in love with this cute, and oh-so-sweet piece just as fast as I did)
 

Childhood Love

Every day I see his brown eyes connect with mine
Every day I feel his fingers stroke my cheek
Every day I hope to see the words 'I love you' touch his lips
Every day I dream of our happily-ever-after

But maybe it was only my imagination
Maybe it was only my thirst for a soulmate
Maybe it was only my fairy-tale wishes that pictured him a knight
Maybe it was only a star wish that I believed in

Now I cry myself to sleep; dream turned nightmare
Now I hide my childhood stories; no more princes or castles
Now I wish I hadn't been so naive; so taken by wishful thinking
Now I wake up in the morning; night fades, and one by one, the stars do, too.

So Close Yet So Far

There was so much I could've said.
So much I should've mentioned.
But I let the time slip by
And eventually he did, too. 
Out of my life, but never from my heart.

New Year Phone Call

It was midnight when my cell phone rang.
Fireworks flashed and sprinkled the dark horizon, and I hardy heard the guitar strum above the laughing voices of my friends.
The bright screen glared up at me as I thumbed past home. Mom’s number.
“Hey mom. What’s up?”
Sobbing blurred the voice on the other end, and instantly anxious adrenaline sprinted through my veins. The chaos of New Years’ Day vanished.
“Mom, what’s wrong?”
“I took him to Providence.” Mom hiccuped between each word.
“Who, mom? Who? What’s wrong?” I didn’t mean to raise my voice, but I doubted mom would lecture me. She was scaring me really bad. Goosebumps teased my arms as fear blossomed in my heart.
I wish I didn’t feel as though my life was going to change forever.
And then with my mom’s next words, it did.
“Your dad had a heart-attack.”
I couldn’t breathe. The phone slipped from my loose fingers and tumbled to the...

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 15

23:02
Kennedy didn’t know how long she had been crying. She just knew that she had done the worst thing imaginable. She had betrayed Marianne and left her alone.
As soon as the elevator doors closed, the calm daze surrounding her had snapped, and she pounded on the doors, screaming Marianne’s name.
Now, nearly fifty minutes later, Kennedy’s throat was hoarse, her tongue, dry, and tears stained her cheeks.
One traitor. Me.
She swallowed back the nausea that threatened her empty stomach, then ducked her head between her knees. It had been so long since she last ate that she was dizzy from lack of food. And her ankle had started throbbing again.
My due punishment. Kennedy closed her eyes and sucked in slow breaths.
Then the elevator shot up the shaft, causing Kennedy to fall forward onto the tiled floor. Pain exploded as she hit her forehead hard; she felt her neck crack from whiplash. Spots decorated her vision,...

Possession: Prologue

For two seconds it felt like I was flying.
   And I thought I finally knew what freedom from anxiety, depression, and grief was like.
   But then I connected with the rough concrete of the interstate, and everything exploded in unimaginable pain. Raw red dots danced across my line of sight, and merciless coughs - tinged with blood - wracked my body. 
"Oh my God! She just fell from the bridge!" 
   And a woman's voice: "Call an ambulance!"
I heard car horns and squealing brakes. Then the world faded into gray, and numbness finally claimed me for its own.

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 14

22:02
Something welled up in Marianne’s throat. Joy? Selfish gratitude? Either way, freedom was staring her in the face, and she had only to step forward into its warm embrace.
Marianne rubbed her goosebump-kissed arms. How long had it been since she’d been truly warm? Or had felt any kind of emotion? Her brain had delved into a numb slumber over the past hour. Perhaps in fear of hope lost forever. Or simply because she didn’t care anymore.
Hunger gnawed at her stomach, and she pressed a hand against it to stem the feeling.
What time was it outside of this realm of darkness? Noon? Midnight?
“What time is it?” Marianne slanted a look at Kennedy who stood transfixed, her gaze on the open elevator doors.
“Kennedy?” She tried again and this time her friend jerked and caught her eyes.
Marianne couldn’t quite put her fingers on the emotion she saw in them, but it was wild. From fear or...

Forget Me Not

Forget me not
The end draws near
My time grows short
I’ve had my fill
Of sorrow;
Fear.
Forget me not.

Wise Proverb (3)

It is always possible to be kind;
whether you are or not is up to you.

Trouble for Bella

“You come right back out here!”
Bella Strong tapped her bare foot impatiently, hands on her hips, and glared through the doorway; dim compared to the sunny outdoors.
She cleared her throat as white whiskers and a pert nose peeked around the base of the navy-blue door.
“Bark ...” Bella added a warning to her tone. She pointed to the ground before her sharply. “This minute! Or else I’ll come in there and drag you out.” Bella eyed her cat knowingly. “And we both know how much you would like that!”
Bark (named after the fact that the pattern of her fur looked like tree bark) took two steps forward, then sat down to lick her two front white paws.
“I will not allow you to waste a perfectly beautiful, warm April day indoors.” Bella cocked her head to the side and glared harder. Bark blinked back as though she hadn’t the faintest idea what her person could be upset...

In Love

They hold hands and walk around the parking lot. 

And thoughts run across my mind.
How can they talk for hours and hours and not get tired of talking?
How do they never get bored of each other's company?
Do they think they're the only two people in the world?
How can one get so lost into another's words that they forget where they are?
Will it ever happen to me?


And I hope that maybe, just maybe, some day, I'll find a talking partner. 
So that I can get lost in their eyes, in their words, and realize that for the first time, I am absolutely, head-over-heels, no-turning-back, in love. 

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 13

21:02
Reuben’s gone. He just … disappeared. Kennedy squeezed her eyes shut against an onslaught of hot tears. Her brain was numb with a horrifying mixture of shock and fear.
And her questions remained unanswered.
How did he vanish?
Who took him?
Did he leave of his own accord?
Is he dead?
Will we ever find him?
They rose up against her with no answer. Just a wall of dead silence. Kennedy pressed the well-used button on her watch. The blue light flickered, then came on.
God, please don’t let the battery go out. I need it. A tear escaped and ran down her cheek.
The lighted face read: 21:02.
9PM. Her stomach groaned and writhed in protest. Kennedy wrapped her shaky arms around her waist, wishing for the gnawing pain to subside. Though it seemed impossible.
Kennedy had noticed her energy draining over the past hour.
Am I giving up?
Is the lack of food affecting my thoughts?
Is...

Love to Hate

She loved him for entering her heart;
She hated him for stealing it. 

Just Friends

Louise Alderman picked her way carefully across the Liquid Amber seed pod-littered lawn.
   They're like little spiky alien balls. She thought wryly, glancing up at the tall tree to support her point.
Her bare foot recoiled in pain as she stepped onto a pod with a subtle crunch.
   "Ow ow ow! Stupid seed pod." Louise gritted her teeth and leaned down to rub the red area on the sensitive bottom arch of her foot. Her angry muttering was interrupted by a familiar voice in front of her. 
"I heard that shoes work well out here."
   Louise looked up - pain forgotten - into the teasing-laced brown eyes of Anthony (Tony) Horton. Her heart rate bounced - or maybe rocketed into the ethersphere someplace - and she pushed a shaky smile onto her face and laughed.
   "Nah. I'm too smart for that." Louise felt the laugh lines around her eyes crinkle up. Her sister, Bethany,...

SHOUT OUT #13

The Quiet Ones by Kess (amazing descriptions and intrigue! [check out the rest of this writer's portfolio! You won't be disappointed])
#bigcolor White by Christy Wisdom (she uses unique descriptions to carry you away into the world of music) 
Rosaline's Story by lizbadiz (superb POV, and the writer totally pulls you into the story!)

 

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 12

20:02
Shadows. Darkness. Kennedy’s mind raced faster than her heart. She swallowed hard and blinked fiercely, attempting to quell the haunting memories.
No heighth, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate me from the love of God. Kennedy clenched her hand into a white ball at her side as though keeping the promise close.
But each step they took further into the tunnel, anxiety rose another centimeter up her throat. She hoped it was only unrealistic childhood fears.
But what if it isn’t?
The thought stopped her in her tracks. Literally.
Marianne bumped into the back of her shoulder.
“Whoa. I’m sorry Kennedy. It’s hard to see in here. Is something wrong?”
Reuben halted ahead of them.
Something could be very, very wrong. Kennedy squeezed her eyes shut. God? Are you trying to tell me something?
The tunnel hushed as though listening.
Kennedy’s skin crawled with the thought. If she could only shake the unnerving...

A Kiss and a Promise

He loves me. He loves me not. 
   I plucked each pure white daisy petal from the yellow nectar center, frowning the whole time. Last one. He loves me. 
Dumb flower. I watched it fall to the grass in disgust. It was about as good as a fortune cookie.    
   Well I have no boyfriend, so how can he love me? I dusted my hands of the dry, crumbly dirt of the church lawn, and pushed myself to my feet. 
   Usually I would be skipping and quite possibly dancing in circles beneath the mid-summer clear blue sky, but that Sunday my legs felt like lead. My heart weighed a ton, shadows lurked in my brain, and yeah, I was majorly depressed. 
No boyfriend, no job, no college plans, and no friends. What a life. Guiltily, my brain reminded me of my best friend, Joan, who was sick that day. Fine, fine. I have friends. Just. Not right...

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 11

19:02
Marianne’s heart beat wildly in her throat, threatening to break free. Her legs lay against the wall, having slammed against it in her fall.
Sweat crept into her fingers where she clung to a jagged edge a few feet down from the top of the caved-in wall, and a drop of blood oozed down her arm. Marianne grew faint. She’d never been able to stand the sight of her own blood, and with fright induced adrenaline sprinting through her veins, her brain produced endless possibilities of death.
I can’t faint. I can’t faint. Marianne squeezed her eyes shut as hot tears rose to the surface. God help me.
“Marianne!”
Her eyes popped open, and Reuben’s pale face came into view above her.
A thin crack spread across the wall she clung to. New fear caused her vision to blur. A sob escaped her throat.
“Grab my hand!” Reuben pleaded, arm outstretched.
Marianne’s hands whitened and started to slip from...

Wish Upon a Rose

The thorn stung her finger, and a petal fell to the cracked sidewalk beneath her bare feet. 
A gentle summer breeze swept dark strands of hair across her face, and she gazed after the fleeing figure.

"Roses are red, violets are blue. You don't love me, but I wish I had you."

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 10

18:02
Kennedy was wishing, longing, praying, with everything inside her that the source of light was real.
Maybe they were actually stumbling through the darkness, following a mirage. That wall hadn’t been real, so what made her think the light was any different?
Hope.
Faint assurance that they would get out of this situation.
Dead or alive, only God knows. She prayed for the latter. God, don’t abandon us.
Kennedy understood now what King David from the Bible felt like when he wrote those psalms of distress when he was hiding from his enemies.
Nowhere to go but up. She lifted her eyes to the light.
Marianne’s voice in front of her broke through her thoughts.
“Here it is. I think.” Marianne’s gaze roamed over what they could see of the walls.
And that dreaded corner. Unblinking, red eyes.
Kennedy swallowed a shudder; her pulse quickened.
Yes. Fear was ten times worse than the pain in her ankle.
The...

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 9

17:02
No where to go, no one to turn to.”
No where to go but up.” Kennedy had said. Had it really only been an hour ago?
Reuben laid his head back against the cool metal wall. It seemed like a lifetime ago.
Nowhere to go but up.
He swallowed hard and lifted his eyes to where the ceiling should be.
Nowhere to go but up.
And there it was. A shaft of light grazed an exposed, dusty beam.
Reuben blinked ad squinted, sure his eyes, imagination, or both, were playing a trick on him.
But there it was. So white and pure against the darkness that warm tears rose to his eyes.
How did I not notice that before?
Because you weren’t looking for it.
Reuben closed his eyes. Nowhere to go but up.
The image of the shelf that Marianne had bumped into flashed across his brain.
What if…?Reuben’s brow creased, ad he looked again at...

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 8

16:02
Marianne held her breath until her lungs felt as though they would burst.
Red eyes.
She shut her eyes and sucked in a shudder. The terrifying image wouldn’t leave her alone.
You can’t hide from me. It whispered.
She held her cold hands over her ears, but still it taunted her. The thirst for reprieve was so great that she wanted to die rather than go on.
Don’t go there, Marianne. She let out a breath. Not an option. She winced at the dark direction her thoughts had taken, and rubbed her arms. It’d been so long since she’d seen light that maybe her heart couldn’t remember, either.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. She squeezed her eyes shut, taking one slow breath after another.
One step at a time.
Kennedy and Reubens’ whispers awakened Marianne’s ears, and her heart tugged with a bite of jealousy.
The heart is deceitful.
Sometimes she felt like like...

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 7

15:02
So tired. Kennedy breathed slowly. Her eyelids were heavy, and she faded in and out of sleep. Her ankle throbbed where it was stretched out before her.
At least I know who I am. Kennedy’s lips curved upward in a feeble attempt to smile. Well, mostly.
The air itself seemed to be pressing down on her.
But I’m alive. Her empty stomach complained loudly of that. When was the last time I ate? Her brain was still foggy from dream-filled sleep. Not worth thinking about it.
Kennedy relaxed her back against Reuben’s shoulder, then closed her eyes and listened to the soft noises made by her two friends.
Their deep, steady breathing comforted her.
I will trust in the LORD, who is worthy to be praised. So shall I be saved from my enemies. Kennedy couldn’t recall a time when she was more grateful that she’d memorized Bible verses.
I may not be able to see my hands in...

Life Advice #1

If you're moping about not having a boyfriend,
Make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
With that aroma, you won't be moping for long.

Only In My Dreams

In my mind I saw us stealing smiles from each other across the room. 
In my mind I felt our hands touch as we walked laps around the parking lot.
In my mind I heard the words meant only for my ears: "I love you." 
In my mind I tasted your lips as the moment slowed down just for us. 

But in real life we are miles apart and only a miracle can join us. 
In real life, our eyes never meet, our lives are never to cross, and I exist only as a shadow in your mind.

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 6

14:02
Reuben was weary. His confident mask had fallen at last. No one would notice by looking at his face. He couldn’t even see his hand when he held it up.
A lump filled his throat, and he wanted to let go of everything and run. Anywhere.
Marianne had been silent for nearly thirty minutes, but he knew she was as wide awake as he was. Kennedy still slept, muttering nonsensical half-sentences every once in a while.
It might be the kind of thing for him to tease her about later. If there is a later. But his humor had long since died.
“Reuben?” Marianne’s whisper tickled his ear.
“Yeah?” Could she hear the weakness in his voice? He hoped not.
“I’m going to check on Kennedy’s ankle, but I need you to keep her up so that her head doesn’t touch the ground.” She shifted.
“Okay.” Reuben reached blindly behind Marianne and instantly felt the soft hoodie material under...

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 5

13:02
Marianne couldn’t believe that she could feel any less helpless than she did at that moment.
Kennedy was burning up with fever, her ankle was swollen and hot to the touch, and she had nothing to help her with.
Marianne turned to Reuben, who’s face was growing more worried by the minute.
“We may have to improvise with something to help Kennedy.”
“Right, yeah. What does she need most that we can give her?”
“The cause of her fever is her sprained ankle. So that would be first thing to take care of.” Marianne kneeled down in front of Kennedy, who was sleeping and hot to the touch as she slumped against the wall.
She bit her lip, then tugged her hoodie over her head.
“Help me put this on her.”
Reuben was instantly at her side.
In a few minutes, they had wrangled the small-sized, navy blue San Francisco hoodie onto Kennedy.
Marianne wished they had gotten more...

Alone

She was never so alone
As the moment he turned his back
And walked into the arms of another.

When I was a Child ...

She snacked on stardust
And drank the wine of innocence.

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 4

12:02
Kennedy could do nothing but stare in raw shock at the empty rope loop.
That deadman. Was he only my imagination?
She tore her eyes away to survey her friends.
They, too, stood transfixed, gaping at the now-empty scene before them.
Empty except for that noose. She shivered, and realized she’d been hoping that it was merely a mirage. She turned back. But there was the proof in front of her.
Or rather, what was left of it.
“Let’s head back.” Reuben’s voice shook; his eyes still dazed.
Kennedy nodded numbly. Marianne seemed to be in a trance, as though she was thinking of another time.
Kennedy hoped she was only imaging the glint of guilt in her pale complexion.
She couldn’t have anything to do with it.
She closed her eyes, picturing all the times they’d laughed together.
Why am I so suspicious?
They turned back toward the doorway, clinging to each other for support.
Kennedy’s practical thoughts...

Love-Struck

I pictured the constellations and galaxies
Instead I saw a son of earth, water, and sky
And maybe it was just my love-struck heart
But it suited me just fine.

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 3

11:02
For maybe the first time in his life, Reuben couldn’t hear God’s voice.
And he was afraid.
He shut his eyes; swallowed.
“It’s been two hours.” Kennedy’s voice echoed, choked with pain and a hint of fear.
Reuben breathed deep and glanced around. The air smelled of rotting wood and old dust.
Hopefully more of the roof won’t cave in. His gaze slid to Kennedy’s ankle, puffed up to twice the size of the other.
Their eyes connected.
Kennedy pulled one knee up below her chin. Reuben was only vaguely aware of Marianne hovering nearby, bottom lip snagged in her teeth.
“Anything I can do, Ken?”
Kennedy probed her ankle, shivering from a mixture of the cold and pain. Especially sitting on the cement floor. Reuben suddenly wished he had better accommodations for her. And just like that, he could hear his younger sister’s voice grinning in his head.
You don’t have to fix everything, Reuben. Just let...

Untouchable

He was the sun and the stars
Until he broke my heart
Then he became the ocean,
The salt water I could see
But never grasp between my fingers.

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 2

10:02
“Our strength comes from the LORD. Our strength comes from the LORD.” Marianne mumbled the plea over and over in hopes of belief.
Because the only thing she believed right at that moment was their certain – and perhaps imminent – demise.
She squeezed her eyes shut, sure she was cutting off all blood flow in Kennedy’s arm.
You’re so selfish. A voice inside her sneered. She clamped her eyelids shut to drown it out. No luck. You only think of yourself. Right now the only thing you want is to be back in your room chatting with your friends, or drinking coffee in the lobby.
Marianne’s jaw clenched. It was all true. Maybe that was the worst part of it.
In the midst of danger, her first impulse was to flee. And she hated herself for it.
Fair-weather friend. There was the nagging voice again. Pointedly, Marianne peered ahead into the darkness, dragging her thoughts from her inadequacy. ...

Thirteenth Floor: Chapter 1

9:02 AM
They stood there for the longest minute of their lives. Just staring at the words. Kennedy blinked hard, praying her vision was tricking her. But everyone else saw it too. She shut her eyes. Fingers tightened around her left arm as Marianne pressed in closer.
The darkness itself seemed to grow colder as they stood there. Goosebumps trailed up Kennedy’s arms.
Words, Kennedy. Words. She licked her lips with a dry tongue. “Maybe it isn’t intended for us.” It came out in a whisper. Her throat closed on a sob. She tried again. “It could be a prank. Or, or maybe from a long time ago.”
It seemed as though she had finally gotten through to Reuben, who turned his head. His usually light brown eyes were now pools of black ink because of the darkness. Kennedy shivered, and bowed her head.
Reuben’s tennis shoes scuffed on the floor as he took a step towards them and pulled...

Thirteenth Floor: Prologue

18-year-old Reuben Parker twirled the Starbucks take-out cup on the speckled, marble countertop in front of him. He glanced back at the 30-foot-tall ceiling-ed hotel lobby, surveying the dozens of people. Conversations of all sorts spoken with dialogues of primarily Asian origins echoed all over to form a beautiful melody of human chaos.
A smirk touched his lips, and he lifted the hot chocolate to his mouth, letting the warm liquid ease down his throat.
Nothing like a little chaos.
Reuben wiped the chocolate foam from his face and patted his back jeans’ pocket. No cell phone.
A frown darkened his eyes as he realized where he’d left it. Gulping the last of his drink, he plunked the cup down a nearby trash can, and set off across the carpeted room toward the set of silver-doored elevators.
His 5’11” reflection greeted him as he walked up, and the doors separated to reveal a copper-haired teen wearing a new purple Bangkok,...

To Trust and Let Go

Is there a happily ever after out there for me? 
   I sat back in the scratchy, red theater seat as the credits for Cinderella trailed up the screen. My eyes glanced over the couples sprinkled around the dark room. My heart jerked a little. There seemed to be someone out there for everyone. 
Except me. This was a bad idea. 
 
 I sighed, and pulled myself to my feet, crumpling my ticket with a tight fist. I was weary. Weary of feeling alone, and so ... lost. 
   The crunching of popcorn beneath my flat, lace-up sandals did little to make my mind forget. Forget everything. I traced the tile-patterned carpet out the glass doors of the Albany Regal Theater, pausing for a second on the sidewalk as I looked for my car. 
   My second-hand, beat-up, red Jeep. 
I frowned, fumbling with the keys in my purse. Why was I so dissatisfied? I knew that mom...

Love in Words

I Love You

My Father in Heaven ...

You made the wind, and the sky, and the flowers that bloom every spring. 
   The things that I love.
You crafted my family with your hands. Each one different; and together they make my home.
   The people who I love. 
You gave each of my friendships a different story. You taught me to love them all. 
   The unexpected blessings of life.
You gave me the chance to live in Heaven with You. Though I fail to deserve it. 
   The unfailing love of You.
You take my hand, and walk beside me. When it rains, or is sunny; You listen. 
   The agape - unconditional - love You give.
You will love me forever; to the end of this world and beyond. 
   You are the reason that I live on. 

   I love You.

SHOUT OUT #12

The Same Time by Alliyah (so sweet with beautiful imagery! I haven't read many of the 'tiny love stories', but this makes me want to read more =))
Oddly Enough... by LyraLynne (gives you a lot to think about ... also, I definitely recommend listening to her youtube version of this!)
how to love me by justmar (a unique way to look at love - really thought-provoking!) 
important reminder by justmar (partially because today's Valentine's Day, and partially because it's a beautiful reminder!)

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
Remember how much Jesus loves you. =)

SHOUT OUT #11

Hands by Johanna  (picturesque and so incredibly/beautifully relatable [if you read none of the others, please read this])
A Letter To Love by The Bubbling Pen (unique in every way [truly a must-read])
Cold by Alliyah (uniquely described, [I can feel the cold!!] also, make sure to support this great, new writer!) =) 

I know, this is a smaller list than normal, but ... hope you enjoy these all the same!

God bless! =)

The Life of Genesis: Chapter 1

My name is Genesis, and I’m a Reeschler.
Quick definition: A Reeschler is a shape-shifter.
Oh, have no fear, the weirdness is just beginning!
My favorite human form I call ‘Cassidy’, and she is 5’5” tall, has sea-salt blonde hair, electric blue eyes (it’s amazing the amount of comments I get on their bright hue), a straight, turned-up (ever so slightly) nose, and movie-star smile (I didn’t even need braces!).
The only problem with shape-shifting is that no matter who I become, my likes, dislikes, fashion tastes, favorite foods, etcetera follow me around. No matter who I am. So far, no one has caught on.
So it’s always me, just taking on a new look every once in awhile.

I suppose this prologue has gone on long enough, and now I shall inform you all about the life of Genesis.


§ Chapter 1 §
I Make a Friend (and it’s not what I expected)

Swinging my deep purple-and-blue galaxy...

The Day She Couldn't Remember

Grandma Nicole was staring out the window as I walked in.
   I smiled at the pretty figure she made. The cold January sunlight highlighted her bob of white hair, and she wore the sky-blue blouse I'd bought her for her 70th birthday last month. I always told her it accentuated the green in her eyes. 
   Grandma must not have heard me because she didn't look my direction.
I slid an arm around her waist, and pressed a wind-chilled cheek to her shoulder. "Hey Grams, how've you been?" 
   Slowly her gaze found mine, but she didn't smile. 
Any laughter died in my throat, and my tone softened. "Are you okay? Is something wrong?" 
For a moment, Grandma said nothing, and just blinked her eyes, as though trying to collect her thoughts. "I'm sorry, who are you?" 
   All the breath got squeezed out of me as though something heavy had fallen on my chest. Tears pricked the back...

Muffin Thoughts

I'm kind of like a muffin. 

I was thought up special, even though
I was in a batch of twelve. 

I have a pinch more salt and sarcasm than the rest,
But my share of chocolate chips, too.

At times I thought it was unfair that I was placed at the back of the oven,
Because those are the forgotten ones, the ones who get the most burnt.

At first I was untested, uncooked.
But as I learned more, I grew, as well. 

Finally I was taken from the oven,
But that didn't mean my troubles were over. 

I faced the cold, reheating, and stale times, too. 
But ultimately I was made for a bigger purpose. 

The complete joy of knowing that I placed a smile on someone's face
As they got to know me, and bit into my tough skin a little. 

And that's why I'm kind of like a muffin. 
 

Soulmates

It's you and me,
Soulmates for life. 
We're weird to some,
But we understand each other. 
So with your paw on my hand, 
We'll walk (and trip) through life
Together.

Wise Proverb (2)

Sometimes going through the hard times is what's best for you. 

SHOUT OUT #10

Please support these amazing authors (/pieces) by checking them out!
God bless!

Regrets by Christy Wisdom (relatable and so sweetly sad)
Tear Me Apart by user not found (short, but powerfully written)
surrounded by asteria (simple, picturesque, and sweet)
To You, My Love by Quille (picturesque, and so bittersweetly relatable)


 

Fears

Golden sunshine warmed her hair as she stood gazing at the ocean. 
Wave after wave rolled and splashed gently over her bare toes. 
The tear on her cheek matched the sparkling of the blue water before her.
And she shivered in the summer afternoon as memories haunted and mocked.

Some fears never die. 

Wise Proverb

It is better to bite your tongue than to go back on your word. 

SHOUT OUT #9

Please read these. =) 

For Better Or For Worse, We Have Changed by Grace Croken (beautifully written and relatable)
5 things insomnia taught me by EAurora (unique in every way =))
Radiation Burns by Silver Pen (picturesque, [and appealing to my 'heartbroken romantic' side] ;))
I promise by Chi Chi Zhao (imagery is fantastic, and the story is heart-wrenching)

 

The Night They Died

Ailsie opened her eyes. 
   It was dark; maybe three or four hours until sunrise. 
She sat up very slowly, so as not to wake Gavra, sleeping deeply beside her. Abba and Eema lay still, too, their chests rising and falling with every breath. She glanced over at the twins, Tobias and Tomas. Their faces shown pale in the moonlight from the bare window. 
   Ailsie crept out from under the gray sheep's wool blanket, her shoulders shivering in the chilly dessert breeze. Tonight was different. She could feel it in her heart. 
   She was sad, and didn't quite know why. 
The dry dirt of the hut clung to her sore feet as she padded softly to the window. 
   The empty street was incredibly quiet. Ailsie held her breath; she could hear her heart thumping anxiously. 
   Ever since she could remember, and many generations before that, her people had been in Egypt, slaving for pharaoh after pharaoh. But...

Dream Come True

It was a beautiful, cloudless June day for a high school reunion. 
   But I wished I had never told my church friends that I was going. I was twenty years old, in year three of achieving my Bachelor of Math and Science, but I didn't want to face my graduating class. 
   I suppose it was because high school was where my bad memories started. I was home-schooled up 'til then, and was suddenly thrust into this thing called Peer Pressure. While I never succumbed to it, I never made any lasting friendships, either. 
   So there I was, at 12:30 PM on the warmest Saturday of the year thus far at a perfect 80 degrees farenheit, wishing for a reason not to go. 
   But finally I did. Mechanically more than anything. I'd fussed for an hour over what I would wear, finally settling on a plain navy-blue casual dress with black leggings and ankle boots. While I...

Thoughts of a Motherless Child

I press my face against the cool glass of the window. 
   Steam swirls and dances as I exhale. My hands rest gingerly on either side of my face on the clear pane. I know they'll leave fingerprints, but I don't really care. 
   I want to go outside. 
The constant rain has finally stopped, and while gray clouds block out any sunlight, I know the grass, the birds are calling to me. 
   Aunt Jen wouldn't want me to go outside on a cold day like this. But my legs are yearning to skip through puddles, and my lungs are begging for fresh air. 
   Quickly I survey the cozy livingroom behind me. 
The flames in the wood stove are burning down to embers, and Reggie, the fluffy gray-and-white Maine Coon cat, is snoozing on the floral couch with her cute nose tucked beneath her tail. 
   Aunt Jen is nowhere to be seen. 
I step away from the...

Moment of Truth

As the black-clad figure climbed out of the black Ford Fusion, an owl hooted from a nearby tree, hidden from sight. Dark clouds swirled overhead, smearing across the moon, and making it almost impossible to see. Barely closing the door to the car, the figure walked quickly over the damp earth, and met up with another figure who stood waiting beside a dark car parked not far from the silhouetted trees of a forest. The first person held out a small piece of white paper, and the second person took it; squinting at the writing. After reading it through several times, the figure stuck it into a front pocket, and with a slight nod, climbed into his car.
   The other person darted back to the Fusion, and started up the quiet engine. No headlights announced the descending of the car as it drove back down the road it had come from. Several miles later, the driver turned on the...

A Happy Birthday Poem

My dear friend she is 
All five foot three stature. 
Her grin like the sun, 
Her eyes full of mischief. 

She makes others happy 
By simply being her. 
She sings like a sparrow, 
And flits like one, too. 

My friend is a daughter 
Of Jesus Christ most high. 
And though clouds threaten, 
She had joy deep inside. 

She has energy like none 
When she's doing things for others. 
And I wouldn't trade our friendship 
For anything in the world.

=)

My "joining" story is different from a lot of people on WtW. 
   I began writing at maybe 7 or 9 years old, and have never found it hard making myself known. In 2017, I began putting my heart into my writing. All short-stories or poems. 
   I joined WtW because my friend, Jessica Noelle, was a member, and so I tried it out. Later, my "adopted" sister-in-law, Aravis Tarkheena, joined because of a joint scheme (wink). 
   As I mentioned above, I've never had much trouble making myself known. And I wasn't anxious about my writing on here. It was just me on paper. 'What could possibly go wrong?' (Extra points if you know where that quote is from). 
   In real life, some might call me an extrovert. In other situations, I'm an incredible introvert. Which may be why the main characters in my stories tend to be quiet and maybe even shy. 
   The WtW...

SHOUT OUT #8

This is the last of this year's must-reads. =) 

Cinnamon Rolls by PalmLeaf (sweet and nostalgic) 
#ManateeContest | all roses have thorns by stripedfly1001 (picturesque, and beautifully written)
Brother by Christy Wisdom  (sweet and relatable) 
The Unknown by writing_is_art (Ayushi) (encouraging and well-written)
 

Sonder #myfirstcontest

I'm drowning, surrounded,
With millions of hearts
Around me
Breathing.
Beating.

Unexplainably lost
As I wander alone
In a forest 
Of people. 
Beating. 

Silenced and dizzy
Fluttering pulse
As clouds fly overhead,
And hearts pound.
Beating. 


 

2019

Imperfect Year Recipe

Ingredients: 

2 cups of your favorite hobby
1 cup of your favorite activity
1 cup of daily Bible reading
1/8 tsp (or a pinch) of sunny beach trips
1 tbsp of new things (©Rollercoaster Ride or ©Horse Riding Lesson are my two favorite brands)
2 cups of laughter (©Hugs'n'Smiles is highly recommended by chefs)
1/2 cup of tears (either happy or sad is fine) 
1 - 16 oz. bag of friendship (for hard times)

Directions: 

Sift first four ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. This will 
help keep any lumps out of your year. 
Add rest of ingredients one at a time so as not to overwhelm each day.
Grease 9x13 glass pan with a dollop of hope, and pour in yearly mixture. 
Garnish with extra friendship if desired. 

Love at 350°for the perfect golden tint. 

Cool slightly, so as not to burn your fingers, then dig in, and enjoy! 
May last up to 365 days in fridge. 

Just microwave, and...

My Ghost: Chapter 15

I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. I’d finished watching Ant Man half-an-hour ago, and was now reading through Joelle’s journal. Instances she mentioned in the latter part of the entries had me remembering times together. Some were sad, others meaningful, and others, like this one, were humorous.
It was just the way Joelle had expressed herself as she told me about something that had happened to her that made me laugh. She had had a way with words and expressions that could really get at my funny bone.
I set the book down on the coffee table and extracted myself from the couch. The white linoleum flooring felt cool beneath my bare feet as I walked into the kitchen. I was opening the fridge to grab an Odwalla off the top shelf, when there was a quiet knock on my front door.
I checked my phone for messages. None. Knowing that the Evans’ would’ve called or...

At Your Side

Let's just trip into life together; it's better, anyways, with someone at your side. 

SHOUT OUT #7

Here are some great reads for those of you who are either awaiting Christmas with bated breath, or getting over the shock of so much candy in your stocking. ;) 

like and love by lanipalmer (sweet and wistful w/ good rhythm) 
Dawning Adventure by AudienceOfOne (hopeful w/ unique word phrases) 
Fact or Fiction by nevaredhp (riveting and intriguing) 
Rainbow by Caitlan McLerran (picturesque and uniquely written) 

Merry Christmas, and God Bless! 



 

Angel-Stars

It was so quiet. 
   Usually on clear nights like this, the stars would dance and shoot across the sky as though on a mission. But they were quite still, as though waiting in anticipation. 
   As a child, I'd often wondered if the stars were simply angels taken physical form. When one of them crossed my view, I suspected it was a messenger from God to man, or vice-versa. 
   My grandma used to say that if one prayed about something real urgent, you'd see a star go right off, for it knew that God would want to hear every bit of that prayer and send a reply. 
   "Will God really answer me?" I would ask her in a near-whisper, eyes wide. 
Grandma Lois would chuckle, pulling me in close beside her so that I could smell her light lavender perfume, and say, "Yes, child. God's always wanting to talk to you. You just got to listen...

The Moons

The Moon family seemed normal at first. 
   Who better to move onto Starlight Drive? 
Mom invited them over once, and they were okay to be with. Mr. Moon had over-sized teeth which gave him a devilish appearance when he smiled. He mentioned the word 'basically' in basically every sentence, as though he was superior to the rest of us. I probably liked him the least. 
   Mrs. Moon was a homemaker extraordinaire. Mom was practically drooling after their long discussion about home decorating. There was a deep dimple in Mrs. Moons' left cheek, reciprocated by Annalise, their youngest daughter, who had one in her right. 
   We were told that the eldest, Sholtan, was away at college, so it was just the two girls left at home. Alethia and Annalise. 
   Alethia was a high-school junior with an interest in germs. When asked if she planned on studying medicine, she shook her head with a smirk that said 'what-a-funny-notion'...

To My Sister

As unalike as night and day,
You will work and I might play,
Cupboards open, towels thrown,
We argue, bicker, but never alone.

Bunnies you like, but cats for me,
You may say ‘one’, but I, ‘no, three!’
Five seconds long may we be mad,
But when one leaves, the other is sad.

Buddies for life; forever and always,
Reading a book, or exploring on some days.
I am for defense, you’re for ‘attack!’
But to you, my dear sister, this’ll always be true.

I love you to the moon and back!

I Wonder

I watch a boy and girl
So obviously in love with each other,
Laughing at the others’ jokes.

And I wonder
What it must be like to let your hand slip into his
To walk side-by-side, and hear his voice rumble softly in your ear.

And I wonder
What it must be like to walk into a room; your eyes connect,
And suddenly you are the only two people there.

And I wonder
What it must be like to have someone to text with at lunch,
When your co-workers and friends are elsewhere, and you just need a listening ear.

And I wonder
What it must be like to have someone hang on your every word,
As though you’re the only person around.

And I wonder
What it must be like to be so in love with someone
That two minutes away feels like an eternity.

And I wonder
If there’s just the smallest chance
That maybe, one day, someone...

SHOUT OUT #6

I know that I post these fairly sporadically, but c'mon, you can't expect me to keep
these delightful works of art from you guys for too long, can you? 

(long title) by RainAndSonder (awesome imagery)
The Way Home by NightReader (simple but beautiful and meaningful)
50 by Gideon Di Luca  (thought provoking)
I Grew Daffodils Too by The Bubbling Pen (great rhyming and message)
 

Angel Tears

I do believe
That when it rains
And sunlight dashes
Through the trees
That those diamond sparkling drops
Are angel tears
As they join in the joy
Of someone down here.

There's Something About the Way ...

There’s something about
The way clouds reveal blue
After a rainstorm
That makes me wish
I could be up there
With brisk wind rushing
Through my hair
And sunrays touching
My upturned face
And the pure azure of the
atmosphere when it fades
To starscape
And light trails the sky
With galaxies far away
And the moon reflects light from
The sun
Smiling upon me like
An adoring father
And when the clouds travel
Down to brush the tips of chimneys
I could reach out
And caress diamond-lush
Treetops and feel the softness of feathers
On my cheek as birds nestle
On my shoulder
And peep softly in my ears
Where the angels whisper too
With voices like a mother’s lullaby
That makes me drift off
To sleep
In the gentle arms of the sky.

SHOUT OUT #5

All of these are shorter (but no less well-written) pieces, and I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did! =)

doubt by asteria (thought provoking and relatable)
Hidden Sky #oneblue by Ryder (thought provoking and descriptive)
Aluminium Foil by AbiJoy (descriptive and humorous)
loneliness by Paperbird (wistful, and may I simply say that run-on poems are awesome) 

 

In Your Hands #oneblue

Hidden beneath the blue ocean waves, you are holding my heart in your hands. 

Loneliness (2

Loneliness feels like a blast of chilly air as a light-filled doorway is slammed in your face. 

URGENT MESSAGE

Hello, this is Patty Kirk, and I’m writing to you in the year 3018.
A few years ago, we lived in a fairytale. No joke. Please don’t close this manuscript just yet, this is very important. But to fully explain what we need help with, I need to start at the beginning.
So we had a king and a queen. I know, we brought back old regimes. I guess people like being delegated. King James V, and Queen Patience were nice as far as rulers with ultimate power go. But the one thing I hold against them is that they were Quakers. Oh sure, that’s not so bad. My grandma was one too, God rest her soul, and she was the kindest person on the earth.
But now I’m babbling.
The point is that the king and queen didn’t believe in fighting with the nations around us, or getting caught up in their wars. And there are some pretty angry...

When I didn't ...

When I didn’t look you in the eyes when you said ‘hello’,
It wasn’t because I was ashamed of you.

When I didn’t laugh at your fun-hearted joke,
It wasn’t because you weren’t funny.

When I didn’t reply to your emails right away,
It wasn’t because I was ignoring you.

When I didn’t ask how you were doing,
It wasn’t because I didn’t care.

When I didn’t meet you at Starbucks,
It wasn’t because I didn’t want to see you.

When I didn’t visit you at the hospital,
It wasn’t because I didn’t love you.

It was because I was afraid of losing you.

My childhood friend,
My trouble-making buddy,
My coffee-drinking pal,
My shoulder to cry on,
My everlasting encourager.

You were these things.

And I couldn’t bear to see you like that.
Cancer hollowing out your beautiful features.
Every time you laughed, it ended in a hard cough.

I couldn’t watch you without crying.
But every day I...

Living Nightmare

Another nightmare. 
   Jennifer was being buried alive. She lay, struggling, in a perfectly rectangle hole in the ground, sobbing. 
"Stop! Please stop! Please!" Tears coursed down her mud smudged cheeks, shining pale and white in the spotty moonlight of the forest. 
   Shovelful after shovelful of moist dirt was thrust down on top of her. The sharp contact of rusted metal against root-crowded ground grated in my ears. I wanted it to stop. I closed my eyes against the noise, willing, hoping, begging it to cease. Instead it grew louder with each plunge of the shovel. 
   In a desperate panic, my eyes flew open, and I darted a furtive glance around at the dark trees. Mere shadows against the moonshine. I wanted to run somewhere; anywhere
   "Andrew!" Jennifer screamed in utter terror from the grave. 
The plea tore at my rapidly beating heart. I was a coward; through and through. 
My eyes connected with Jennifer's shadowed...

Candlelight

I watch the warm circle of candlelight dance across my bedroom ceiling. Wisps of gray smoke rise in tiny spurts, as though the flame is inhaling, exhaling, in time with the beating of my heart. 
   Everything is sheathed with a soft, flickering glow; bouncing shadows decorate the corners. 
   And I wonder if I am like a lone candle in a very dark place. I skip about, making my own light, dancing away the darkness. Gusts of cold wind try in vain to blow me out in a final wisp of scented smoke. And even though at times I am reduced to a red ember, I will never fade away completely. 
   Until my tallow grows soft and low, and all that's left of me is a sweet memory. 
   And somehow, that fills me with peace. 
I smile, and the candlelight enters to my eyes to form a permanent joy; even though the world be gray and gloomy around...

#tenwords

Ten words uttered with last breath; devoured by fire, smoke.  

Journal Entries from a Fairytale #believe

Journal Entry #1

   Dear Journal,
We have finally arrived at our new home. Though really, it reminds me of a dilapidated country house. Three stories, and I suppose not as boring as some, but at least I get my own room. Druzilla is such a pig sometimes. 
   My step-sister is enviably pretty. But I wouldn't say so to her face. She wore her long, golden hair in a single braid all day. And the blue dress she was wearing was extremely plain, but matched her eyes. Her name is Ella, which I think is rather funny because Druzilla's and my name also end with an 'a'. 
   And about step-father, well, Ella has his blue eyes, and his clothes are slightly rumpled, but he has good tastes. I think I shall like him well-enough. 
   Now I'm so tired I think I shall fall asleep while writing. 
                                With all my love, 
                                    Anastasia

Journal Entry...

At Last #believe

Dark clouds hung across the afternoon sky like a thick curtain, obscuring the sun. The cool breeze smelled of rain. Caiaphas glanced over at the huddled group of cowardly Jesus-followers.
   Satisfied his plan had worked, he gazed back up at his handiwork. 
Jesus of Nazareth, the false prophet, who had been proclaiming heresies for the past three years, now hung from the splintered wooden beams. Crimson red spurted from various wounds on his arms, legs, face, and back. Even more blood oozed from around the nails which pierced the heretics' hands and feet. A crown made of vines with inch-long thorns clung to Jesus' bowed head. Blood-diluted-sweat trickled down his pale, weathered face.
   Caiaphas closed his eyes briefly and smiled. I'll make a sacrifice to Yahweh after the Sabbath in thanksgiving. Speaking of which. He opened his eyes to take another look at the sky.
   Sundown was coming quickly; Sabbath was near at hand.
As his thoughts...

It

The room was cold. 
   Biting winter air breezed through my open screen window. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't close it. 
I was afraid to fall asleep. Afraid to face the demons that permeated each dream. Afraid that if I fell too deeply into another nightmare, I might not wake up out of it. 
   Sitting up at the head of my bed, the cold wall prickly to my back, I clutched a blanket against my face. It was the one my grandma had made for me when I was a baby. It helped me to sleep.
   But not tonight.
   From the first moment I stepped into my bedroom after dinner, I'd felt a blood-freezing presence. 
It was just there. And that was the worst part of it. 
   Not knowing where it was. 
It could be under the bed, or in the closet, or even between my mattress and the sheet. And so I...

Washing Monologue

Down the sink, you evil germs!
Down you go, never to return!
I laugh in delight,
Say goodbye to the sun! 

   Thus is the internal monologue of a teen washing breakfast dishes.

The bubbles are going, going ...

Aaaaaaaand ... they're gone.

Bethany #DearGod

Dear Father,

I know we haven't talked in awhile. Tears on my pillow are evidence of that. 
None of it is Your fault, it's all mine. I just got caught up in things of this world.
My best friend, Bethany Shaeffer, passed away. And I forgot to look up to You for 
help during my grief. 
   I was so focused on me. On how her death affected ME. On how I was sad
that she was gone. But in a way, You hurt for me. And now I know where she is.
Up there, in heaven, with You.
   Heaven was always Bethany's favorite place to talk about. "Heaven has streets
of CLEAR GOLD!" or "When I get to heaven, I can finally ask God why He made spiders!"
She talked about You and heaven a lot when she was in the final stages of cancer.
   I know I shouldn't ask you this, but, it's been preying on...

SHOUT OUT #4

More must-reads!!

i wish by --RosieOnTheRun (from reality)--
Fake by ThemindofC
Skipping Stones by annie_cheng 
Falling by shadow+dust 

Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! :)

Prankster #WARNING

I live in a family of pranksters. 
   Oh, just the short-sheeting, toilet-papering, substitute-toothpaste-for-whipped-cream kind of people. In public, you would never think that we could ever be so devious. All of us (down to Beth, who's five), are very polite, and well-mannered. 
   But at home...
It's different.
   One particular day, (the kind of morning that the eaves overflow with water and dead leaves, and puddles form in potholes) I was in the dumps. No, not literally, but in my mind. Cross-legged on the warm fire-place hearth, I had been staring into the orange flames for at least an hour. 
   The reason? 
My novel was going nowhere. 
   Now of course I realize that books aren't supposed to just get up and walk away, that'd be silly. But I was in a state of...oh nuts, peanutbutter, crackers, and everything that is good and right in this world...I've forgotten the phrase. 
   Either way, I was brain-dead, uninspired,...

Selfless #ICBYShortStory

I stared across the table at Marianne in shock. 
   "You guys broke up? Why?" I couldn't believe my own ears. Marianne and Samuel were two weeks away from their wedding day. February 14th. The most romantic date ever. I was to be the maid-of-honor. 
   Marianne shrugged and lifted the fizzing soda-filled glass to her lips. She took a small sip; shrugged again. "I don't know. I guess we weren't really meant for each other after all." Then her eyes cut to mine. 
My heart sank. She knows. 
"Besides," she continued, "you love him, don't you?" 
   I couldn't breathe. Marianne had figured it out. I lowered my eyes; I couldn't look her in the face. Heat rushed onto my cheeks. 
"He's all yours, Renee. I give you my blessing." Marianne leaned forward, her hand connected with mine. Her eyes soft, tearful. "Because there's no one else meant for Samuel than you."  

My Ghost: Chapter 14

McKayla blinked her eyes open. She was confused; where was she? She was lying on a hard, rough surface. Definitely not her bed. Someone was crying. Wait, no, it was a siren. A migraine pounded at her head as she sat up. What was going on?
An EMT materialized before her. “My name is Elise. Do you hurt anywhere?”
McKayla shook her head in confusion. Why would she be hurt? Then her whole body froze. Where is Bethany?
“Where’s my daughter?” Her tongue felt like cotton.
Elise’s dark eyes flicked to somewhere beside McKayla. “Do you remember what happened?”
McKayla turned her head to the side, not sure she wanted to know what was going on. But when she saw Bethany’s limp form being lifted onto a white stretcher, she remembered the horrible scene before she’d passed out.
“Car accident.” She whispered and closed her eyes, shuddering at the awful memory. “Will she be alright?” McKayla stared hard into the...

SHOUT OUT #3

This weeks must-reads are:

Sunday School by Mary Wall
Her (extended) by Taureanmusing
Sensing Emotion by Made4Love
Rain by Mary Wall 

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!! 
God bless! 

Christmas Away from Home

Rain is drizzling outside. 
   Snow is on the forecast for tonight. But strangely I'm not filled with the usual excitement for coming snow-forts and frozen men with brooms in their "hands". 
   Instead, I think of my brother.
It's December. Thanksgiving is the past, and now daily there are cars zooming by with all-sizes of Christmas trees strapped to the top, or tossed in the truck bed.
   And my brother isn't home.
Often, I think I see him sitting at the piano, running his hands over the white and black keys. Other times, I'll see him outside in the miserable weather, stringing up colorful lights on the eaves.
   But my brother isn't coming home this Christmas.
You'd be mistaken if you think he doesn't want to come home. He wants it more than anything. As he sits on some exotic beach somewhere in the Pacific ocean, the sand turns to snow as it sifts through his fingers....

Eternal Commitment

I was scared to death.
   And as I watched my fiancee, Bethany Miller, walk down the church aisle with her dad, I could scarcely breathe.
She was too pretty for words. Her light blonde hair was tucked loosely into a low bun at the nape of her neck. A few stray curls framed her heart-shaped face. 
   In a few minutes, she is going to be my wife. Anticipation and anxiety mingled together and zipped through my veins. My eyes met Bethany's and hers' sparkled with love.
   I don't deserve her. 
A lump of emotion rolled itself into my throat and stuck. Breathe, Daniel, breathe. 
   Was I really ready to get married? Especially to someone like Bethany. 
   When Mr. Miller sat down with his wife, who sat in the front, dabbing at her red-rimmed eyes with a kleenex, Bethany slipped her small hand into my calloused one. 
   Her blue-laced gray eyes were so...

There's Hope

Her hand was pale and far too still. Her soft brown eyes, emotionless, unseeing, staring at me.
   I swallowed a sob; my vision blurred. 
   So this is what all of us were reduced to in the end. Flesh and blood. And now the blood itself had run cold. There'd never be another heartbeat, never be another smile.
   This was the end.
And somehow, through the whole thing, my mind was silent. No words of wisdom from my mom appeared. Now she was dead. Gone forever.
   I dropped my face into my trembling hands; my shoulders slumped.
I just wanted to be dead too. At least then I wouldn't have the awful pain squeezing mercilessly on my heart.
   Then I wouldn't have to face another day, another hour, without the woman who had been near my side when no one else wanted to be.
   "Hope is always there if you look for it." Came...

The Journal Entry of a Dying Teen - Pt. 2

January 8th, 2011

Dear Journal,

I have acute leukemia. 
   It's running through my bloodstream, killing me even as I write these words. My body turned against me. I thought it would happen later, rather than sooner. But the time is here. It's at my door. Every second is special. Every moment is savored. Every day I thank God that I'm still here. 
   When I first heard my diagnosis, I was in so much shock that I didn't believe it at first. Then a huge lump stuck way down in my throat, and I knew it was true. 
   My sister cried. My mom cried. My dad cried. I'm crying. I've never seen my dad weep before. It made me want to hurt myself for causing him pain. 
   He's my hero. He's always had something to encourage me with. But this time, there was nothing. Only pain. Only the cold emptiness that follows a death sentence. 
   For...

The Journal Entry of a Dying Teen

January 6th, 2011

Dear Journal,

I don't quite know what to write.
   Even know I'm still in shock.
Now I understand for the first time, how terminally ill patients feel.
   The hopelessness washes over you like unstoppable ocean waves. You stand up, and they knock you down. Over and over. A constant struggle of man vs nature.
   Only, I know that for me, "nature" will win out.
I can try all the remedies in the world. All the "doctor recommended" pills. But short of a miracle, I'm still going to die.
   The words seem surreal even as I write them.

I am going to die.

   I'm seventeen. A high-school senior, with no boyfriend, many artistic talents, and a college plan after graduation. 
But none of it is worth anything. None of it is going to happen. 
   
Because I am going to die.

I think of the time I had my mind elsewhere while...

Novel Writing Competition 2018

2058

January 26 - 7:08 AM

With a lurch I'm awake. 
My eyes are wide open. 
What woke me? 
My watch is strapped
to the bedstead. 
The numbers blink on 
and off as though I
had forgotten to set it.

7:09
The sun isn't shining. 
I bring the watch to my ear.
Tick tick tick. 
Then I see the year.
2058 
My heart nearly stops. 
I scramble out of bed
and stare out the window.

7:10
Nothing has changed.
The tall tree outside 
my window is still there.
Am I dreaming? 

7:11
Why isn't the sun shining? 
Dark clouds cover the sky.
I don't know which direction
the sun is in. 
I try to remember what 
year it was when I went
to sleep. I look over at my
wall calendar.
November 2025 
Right year.

7:12
I need to find my sister.
I pass by my dresser 
and glance into the mirror
on my wall. I stare at my
reflection. ...

2058

January 26 - 7:08 AM

With a lurch I'm awake. 
My eyes are wide open. 
What woke me? 
My watch is strapped
to the bedstead. 
The numbers blink on 
and off as though I
had forgotten to set it.

7:09
The sun isn't shining. 
I bring the watch to my ear.
Tick tick tick. 
Then I see the year.
2058 
My heart nearly stops. 
I scramble out of bed
and stare out the window.

7:10
Nothing has changed.
The tall tree outside 
my window is still there.
Am I dreaming? 

7:11
Why isn't the sun shining? 
Dark clouds cover the sky.
I don't know which direction
the sun is in. 
I try to remember what 
year it was when I went
to sleep. I look over at my
wall calendar.
2025 
Right year.

7:12
I need to find my sister.
I pass by my dresser 
and glance into the miror
on my wall. I stare at my
reflection. Is...

A Childs' Love

“Adeline, I want you to exercise Stinger. And don't just clip him onto the hot-walker, he needs physical touch.” The order came from Crystal Landon, the disappointed mother to an unhappy daughter, who sat lengthwise on the carpeted stairs, with an iphone in her two hands.
Reluctantly, Adeline looked up at her mom with obvious distaste at being ordered to ride her three year old colt. “But I'm texting with Natasha; We want to work on our history project together.”
“Nonsense.” Mrs. Landon said, unmoving. “You're almost done with that collage. Now go and do as I told you.” She surveyed her daughter closely.
Slowly, Adeline stood up and tucked the neon pink electronic into her jeans' back pocket, hoping that her mother would take pity on her. No such luck. Mentally sighing, she walked away from Mrs. Landon's watchful gaze. A warm spring breeze gently washed over Adeline when she opened the front door and stepped onto the porch....

In the House

Last Time

It permeated everything.
   Cold, unyielding, dark, evil. 
At the hearth, warm flames danced and hissed, but in the corners, it hid, watching patiently. 
   I felt it when I walked in from school. When I woke up in the morning. After practicing piano. 
Dread coated my house like dust. It settled over my clothing, in my hair, collected under my shoes. 
   The scent of imminent death was like a heavy wool blanket. 

My mom was going to die. 

There was no justice. There was no laughter. There was no hope. 

My mom was dying a slow, painful death of cancer. There was nothing I could do to save her. Nothing I could do to help her. Nothing I could say to comfort her. 
   All I could do was watch her, day after day, moaning in her fitful sleep. Growing thinner each day, a shell of who she truly was. 

I wanted my mom. I wanted hope. I...

Never Seen Again

It was dark.
   At first, I couldn't gather my bearings. Where was I? I put my hands up, searching for a clue.
Moist, dirt walls. A cold splash of liquid splattered on my nose from above. 
   I looked up, seeing nothing. I took a slow step back; looked behind me. A single pinpoint of white light appeared far away. I started walking towards it, placing one hesitant foot in front of the other.
   I froze as a warm breath of air teased my hair from the darkness. I shut my eyes. Don't look. It's nothing. Keep moving forward. 
   Anxiety urged me onward, towards the light, but a soft murmur in my mind made me pause. 
"Where are you going?"
   My heart skipped a beat at the gentle voice behind me. 
Had I only imagined it?
   But a quiet laugh sunk my hopes. 
"Don't be afraid. I won't bite." The voice was female; low, soothing.   ...

SHOUT OUT #2

I believe that it's our job as a writer's community, to not only boldly pour forth our soul into our own stories, but also to promote others, and encourage them in their journey. 

So saying, here is my next set of 'Must Reads'. :)

Trays by RedWriter (she has a lot of longer works that are worth the read =D)
Playing With Fate by Mary Wall
Popsicle Stains by Nadia Kotova
Lillian's Rain by Nadia Kotova (a fabulous writer!!) 
To you, the Moon by Roisin Dauth


 

Blue #prompt

Blue.
It’s the color I treasure most.
The color of tears, of the perfect summer sky, of the ocean, of my ‘Hopes’ folder (the one with my journey entries), of Reuben Donough’s eyes.
I remember the last thing he said to me.
When I come back, the first thing I do will be to schedule a pastor.” His warm breath sprayed across my face. We were so close, nearly touching. “Even now, I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to wait ‘til then to marry you, Maggie.”
I let my hand trail down his cheek, memorizing every detail. The gold flecks in his eyes danced at my touch; I blushed.
I will come back, Maggie.” Reuben crushed me against his chest; I didn’t resist. I didn’t want him to go. I didn’t want to wait six months while he went on his final scouting mission to Africa with his father’s mining company. I only wanted him. ...

Too Late #paperbirdcontest

Ellen Owneka's eyelids drooped as she watched the needle bounce back and forth across the metal detector's gray screen.
   So tired. 
Her nostrils flared as she stifled a yawn and adjusted her hands over the x-shaped hovercraft controller. 
   The sun was an inch from the bare horizon; Mama would be expecting her home for dinner soon. 
A cold shadow fell across the windshield, causing Ellen's eyes to open wide as she swerved the craft around a protruding shard of volcanic rock. She was suddenly awake, and she straightened up in her seat to avoid another possible catastrophe if need be. 
   Papa would not have been pleased if she had dashed Le Lunaire into tiny pieces across their home-planets' surface. 
"Not pleased at all." She muttered irritably. The day Ryan Owneka cared about someone other than himself would be the day the stars ceased to shine. 
   Ellen gazed out over the barren, black landscape. A rust-red...

A Journey

Butterflies whirled and danced in my stomach as though they were Monarchs migrating to Maine.
   I exhaled a shaky breath and pulled into the college parking lot, which was already bustling with cars. 
   Checking my slot number for the hundredth time, I slowly came to a halt between the bold, white lines. My hand shook as I set the brake, and checked my pale reflection in the rear-view mirror.
   Well now, Darcy, here you are. I studied the freckle-sprinkled face, light hazel eyes, and loosely-braided dark brown hair staring back at me. A college student at last, looking more like a frightened high-school freshman. I tried a smile. Only the tiniest wobble. With a nod of satisfaction, I stepped out of my white Explorer.
   Leaning back inside, I grabbed my pick backpack from the passenger seat and slung it onto my shoulder. I eyed the looming, gray-painted campus across the asphalt. The windows were eyes,...

SHOUT OUT to (some of) MY FAVORITE PIECES

*DRUM ROLL PLEASE*

These past few weeks, I've been very *cough* involved with WtW, and these are the pieces that touched my heart the most. :)
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!

God bless!

Love Is by Made4Love
being a writer by rosemarywisdom
The Music of Her Heart by CCReed
The Mango by Poppy.M

I may have missed one, but these are really great pieces. :) 
 

Red and Green

Why do we use the colors red and green when we celebrate Christmas? 
   To find out, we must look at the meaning behind each color.

Red stands for passion,
Of which there is anger.
Red stands for justice,
The truth must prevail.


Green stands for peace,
A meadow of flowers.
Green stands for honesty,
The inner calm it brings.


   We celebrate Christmas because of God. He sent His Son, Jesus, Who as a baby was a portrayal of peace.
'My peace I give to you.' (John 14:27)
'Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.'

Then red.
   The time of Jesus' ministry, the real purpose for His coming. His passion, driven by his intense love for the people of the earth. Past, present, and future. 
'I have come to bring freedom to the captives, to heal the brokenhearted.' (Luke 4:18)
'I have come to bring you life, and that you may have it more abundantly.'...

Life Colors

The last time I saw you
Your face was darkened with anger
Red

The last time I called you
I listened in hope you would pick up
Green

The last time I wrote to you
My fingers paused at the heading
Gray

The last time I smiled
I thought of our friendship before
Yellow

The last time I cried 
It was over the silence between us
Blue

The last time I hoped you'd come
My eyes bleary from emergency surgery
Purple

When you appeared in front of me
Our hands touched, I was forgiven
White

The last time I saw your smile
My heart was at peace, I closed my eyes 
Black

Blue

Blue
My tears
I'm drowning
Will I ever see the surface again?

Blue
The sky
It's closing in on me
Inhale; exhale. All oxygen is gone.

Blue 
My eyes
Reflecting the fear in my heart
The depression around me reels in.

Blue
The waves
Lapping at my feet
The only place I find peace.

Blue 
A flower
Forget Me Not
I'm the girl in the corner.

Blue
A color
Your favorite color
Your smile was my companion.

Blue 
The cold
Fireside conversations
Window panes tinged with frost.

Blue
A ring
Your eyes hopeful
My heart full at last.


 

He Kissed Me

A cold chill crept over Abigail Hunter’s arms, even under the thick hoodie material. She shivered.
   Who’s idea was it anyway to play hide-and-seek in the dark? Her thought was interrupted by a twig snapping behind her.
She whirled around, eyes wide.
   “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” Dick Baker’s grin flashed in the moonlight.
Abigail trembled again, only this time, not from the night air. Dick was close to her. Too close. He was devastatingly cute, even in the blue-tinted light.
   At 5’10”, he loomed over her slender 5’3” features.
Abigail caught her breath, and gave what she hoped was a non-interested smile. She couldn’t see his eyes. Oh LORD, save me.
   Abigail turned away, feeling a blush creep over her face. She exhaled slowly, then faced Dick again.
His face had gone deadly serious; she wished she knew what he was thinking.
   Biting on her lower lip, she crossed her arms to...

Wedding Day

I took a deep breath, trying, but failing, to relax my shoulders. I stared at my reflection in the floor-length mirror. The clingy bodice of my white wedding dress swept down into a silky twirlable skirt to the floor. Behind the embroidered veil, my face was pale and scared. 
   Was I ready for this? Was I ready to get married?
There was a soft knock on the nursery-turned-dressing-room door. I glanced over expectantly, the tips of my fingers tingled with both excitement and fear.
   "Yes?" It came out as a squeak.
"You ready?" My dad's low voice was soothing and calm. 
   "Yes." I didn't sound certain. I inhaled again, fingering the delicate silver chain hanging around my neck. 

Something old,
Something new,

Something borrowed, 
And something blue. 
 
   The wedding ditty rolled around in my head. The necklace was my mom's. She'd died the year before from lung cancer, and it was my way of honoring...

First Kiss

Sometimes you don't know how much of an impact you make on people. 
   And when Samuel Plett explained it to me (he was quite thorough about it)...

I didn't see it coming.

My school had taken a bus to see the new Egyptian artifact museum two towns away. I'd always been fascinated by ancient mythology, so of course I went along. My best friend, Sarah Matthews, was my seat-mate, and we chatted the entire way. 
   We kept by each others' sides nearly through the entire exhibit. And an exhibit it certainly was, for I had never been awed by anything better in my whole life. So I suppose it was little wonder that my group accidentally went on without me, and I was left gazing at a particularly old slab of stone with hieroglyphs carved across its face. 
   "Hope?" 
The small voice echoed in the large room, and I flinched. I'd completely forgotten that the world existed....

Too Late

Sophie's good-natured laugh trailed back over her shoulder as a response to my joke. 
   My grin slowly faded as she turned to look at me. 
Goodness, but she was pretty. The sun sat inches above the horizon. Ocean waves were tinged pink with the promise of a coming sunset. But Sophie was more beautiful than any of that, with her shoulder-length, dark waves, teased by the wind, and her eyes still hinting at amusement. 
   She smiled as she met my gaze. My face flamed when I realized I'd been caught staring at her. I glanced across the beach; avoiding her light brown eyes. They saw too much. 
"Something on your mind, Eli?" 
   The kindness sprinkled with curiosity that pooled in her words, and the unassuming expression on her heart-shaped face made me want to close the space between us and hug her real hard. Maybe press a kiss to her soft hair. 
   But I didn't. 
I...

What Have I Done

What have I done?
Aubrey took a step back in a daze. Her hand flew up to cover her mouth. Her light green eyes portrayed her complete horror at the picture before her.
It was all too real. Goosebumps raced up her bare arms, and she shook involuntarily. It was too much.
Oh God. Unbelieving tears sprang to her eyes.
Benjamin Farthing, her fiancee, lay before her, crumpled up in a growing pool of his own blood. He was still. Too still.
Aubrey stared down at her right hand, which shook as she held it out before her. It was coated in the same crimson. Benjamin’s blood.
A strangled sob escaped her throat, she wanted to throw up or faint. Anything to escape the horrible scene before her. But not just before her. All around her. Permeating her senses. The room was thick with the metallic smell.
A kitchen knife lay at her feet; its handle sticky with her red...

Forever and Always

Thick, soupy fog swirled around the oddly-shaped mansion. Most thought it was haunted. But the imagined candle flickerings in an upstairs room belonged to someone. Made of flesh and blood; not of the supernatural.
The person in question dragged herself to a dirty window. The mist was such that she couldn’t see ten yards past her house. Gaunt trees groped and loomed just out of reach, watching her.
A lonely figure fled the scene, their flashlight forgotten inside the mansion. They didn’t even take a final glance back at their worst nightmare. Just ran, ran, ran, until the owner could see him no more.
She was once more left alone.
“Help.” She mouthed against the window. A barely-discernible plea.
But no one was going to come.
She glanced down at her white blouse, where blood had soaked her side. Her hand was heavy, sticky with the crimson red. This was her life.
She sent a final look outside. Her palace...

My Ghost: Chapter 13

“Sunday morning, Sweets.” McKayla faced her daughter from across the kitchen counter. Bethany stuck a blueberry into her mouth and glanced back.
“What say you? Anything special you want to do on our last full day here?”
Three nights away had been blissful, but as a single mom, she couldn’t afford much time off from work.
Bethany picked up another blueberry between her forefinger and thumb before answering.
“We’ve gone to the river, made s’mores in the microwave, and drawn pictures.”
McKayla grimaced. “I know this hasn’t been the most exciting vacation ever.”
“No, no!” Bethany stood up straight on the bar stool and shook her head vehemently. “I’ve had fun because you’ve been with me the whole time.”
McKayla’s face melted into a smile ad she leaned forward to peck Bethany’s button nose with a kiss. “I love you, too.”
Bethany giggled and popped another blueberry into her mouth.
“How about we get ice-cream in town?” McKayla crossed her...

I Think of my Kitty

I think of how she'd look at me. 
Her round, green eyes.
Her piercing stare.

I think of how she'd come to me.
It was a mission.
She wouldn't fail.

I think of how I'd pick her up.
Her fur so soft.
Her paws all white. 

I think of how she'd meow and purr.
Held near my heart.
I felt hers; she felt mine.

I think of how she'd curl up.
Black, white ball.
Tail protecting nose.

I think of how she passed away.
I wasn't ready.
She knew not why I cried.

I think of how I showed my love.
Her heart near mine.
One beat; then none.

I think of how I buried her.
Childhood pet.
Memory lane.

I think of how I miss her still.
To feel her fur.
Her chin on my hand.

 

10 Second Essays

Ice or Green

"When rain falls down, you can make it into ice, or turn the grass green."

(In other words, when life throws you a curve, you can make it into a disaster,
or use it for the good). 
Aka. "When life throws you lemons, make lemonade." 

Describe-Yourself Challenge!!

This girl is like a Wednesday afternoon. Not to be outdone by the weekend, she proclaims herself as halfway through the week, and hopes everyone notices her contribution.
   The color most likened to her would be an all-out blue. She doesn't want to be forgotten, and she changes her appearance to prove it.
   A word to describe her is 'passionate', whether it's a hobby, a relationship, or idea. Nostalgia slams her from time to time, but her love for people overcomes.
   A 'bird of a feather', would be a Hummingbird. She feels drab compared to others, and though she may shy at a moment's notice, she can keep up a stream of chatter when prompted.
   Her Fruit of the Spirit is love. She will be kind in silence, but she remembers people's preferences, and will use her knowledge to please them. She knows that she is not perfect, but she will admit her mistakes and start...

Color A Name

Azure is the drama queen,
A woe-is-me Shakespearean. 
On weekends she, nostalgically,
Will stare at her reflection in a mirror.

Violet is a favorite flirt,
She's everyone's 'go-to' girl.
Of acquaintances she has a lot,
True friends, who has the time?

Red is a country boy.
Defiant, proud, "Am not!"
He'll climb a tree to prove his point,
Fall out, and stalk off his nickname.

Forrest is a thoughtful writer,
His 'element' is out in nature.
He writes His best in the field he loves,
But his ease with people is envied.

Rose is the dream daughter,
She gathers warmth from the sun.
No one can help a smile or laugh,
When she makes up her mind to please you.
 

My Sweetheart

You're my sunlight,
The warmth.
You stay beside me,
Your presence fills me with peace.

You're my journal,
A reflection.
Your eyes swallow my words,
You listen like no one else does.

You're my best friend,
A smile.
Your hand comforts mine,
You make me laugh when nothing else will.

You're my sweetheart,
I love you.
With you, I'm home,
I'll face anything if you will face it with me. 

Emotions

Joy is like a little girl
Skipping down the hall.
She twirls in a pretty dress,
Tiptoes up, feet bare.

Hope is like a pink sunrise,
The sun lies low and cold.
When sunlight falls across your face,
You know it'll get warmer soon.

Faith is like a bare, brown field,
Leaves lie about in heaps.
Yet in your mind you watch grass grow,
You see the field green. 

Love is like the perfect hug.
The kind you reach up into.
The warmth pulls you right in,
And you are safe at last.
 

Speech Writing Competition 2018

Democracy

Is democracy a fraud?   
   This is the question that has been tingling at the minds of US citizens everywhere for years. Does my vote actually matter? Will it make a difference? How can I help with just one vote?   
   The actual question we should ask ourselves is not does it matter, but what would happen if we didn’t vote at all. If you decide that your vote makes no difference in an election, maybe your neighbor feels the same way. Or your sister-in-law, or that sweet young family across the street.   
   This country was built as a democracy and a republic, by the people, for the people. What would happen if those same people ceased voting because they thought their voice didn’t matter among all the millions of other Americans? Elections would cease to exist because the voters’ participation ceased to exist.   
   “Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they...

Well-Kept Secrets

With a heavy sigh, I sunk down into the couch cushion. So much to do. I wanted to curl up in bed and sleep for the next six months. But no. 
   I rubbed my forehead to ward off the inevitable headache, and lifted the cardboard box lid. Mom had chronologically ordered all her most important files in a white box, and now it was up to me as her closest living relative to go through it. 
   Mom was tidy, if nothing else. I smiled for a brief moment, the memory nostalgic and sweet. 
Time to get at it. I pawed through the first couple files. Junk. I tossed them into the black trash bag I kept nearby. The next piece of paper was crinkly, almost transparent brown, and tri-folded. 
   Not wanting to damage the fragile paper in case it was important, I carefully smoothed out the edges and glanced across the page. Immediately, a word caught...

My Ghost: Chapter 12

It was the weekend. I had time to think. I hadn’t meant to mull over memories, and really it was most likely unhealthy. But they slipped in anyway.
My family were never big on tent camping. Cramming my sister and I, as well as my parents, into a deluxe yurt were as close to it as we ever got. My mom would spend the week-long vacation painting her nails, reading by the river, or driving to the nearest town for internet connection. She always brought a treat back with her. Usually icecream, or maybe cream-filled donuts. I knew that her intentions were well-meaning, but she’d rather give Samantha and I a toy, rather than play or read to us.
My dad was one of the top attorneys at his law firm, so times with him were few and far-between. I knew by the longing in his gray eyes that he wanted to be home more. But in the end,...

Home

The horizon teemed with purple hues. Slippery mist wound a trail around rugged, snow-capped mountain peaks. An ice-covered lake reflected a path of gold sunlight to the door of a warmly-lit cabin nestled among a backdrop of winter-laced fir trees. To some, this getaway was too far from modern convenience, city lights, and Monday traffic.
   But for one particular lady, this was perfect. A black cat with white paws and a spot of white on her smooth forehead lay cozy on the lady's warm lap. The 'mountaineer woman' held a book in one hand, stroking the bundle in her lap with the other. 
   Glancing up from the end of an exciting chapter, the woman took a contented breath. Her interest-laiden gray eyes lingered on the homey fireplace, with orange flames dancing and jumping in the reflection of the dull, swept hearth.
   A plain blue mug of tea sat close by, and she watched the transparent steam curl...

In a Year

Summer sunshine calls to me,
My face lifts to the sky.
Fond memories fill my mind;
Fun times, family, friends.

A year goes around and 'round,
A ferris wheel of days.
Spring rain, and winter snow,
Birthdays come and go.

But even when the year goes fast,
There is this thing called 'life'.
It's a mix of you, good and bad,
Of snowball fights and tears.

Enjoy each day, they won't slow down,
You have no lack or want.
God's given us our every need,
So treasure -don't waste- each year.

Charade

The wind frisks across her face,
Her hair shimmers gold.
Her eyes reflect the green below,
Her shirt is blue like the sky.

She's tired of being everyone,
Of dressing up like them.
Sometimes she wants to be herself,
To climb a tree or read.

But instead her nails are painted blue,
There are rings on her hand.
All her shirts are black or plaid,
Her jeans have fashion holes.

Deep inside her aching chest
Is a little girl, trapped, alone.
She wants to shout herdreams to all,
Drop all charades and run.

But something stops her brave step out;
The thoughts of kids her age.
She'll sit about with so-called friends,
But her heart is in the clouds. 

Must Read This...

Guys, you have to read this *crying* ... 
It's so beautiful.


Voicemail by Unamor_Unavida

In Service

We were headed to San Francisco. Or so I thought.
I’d never been on a plane before, but I was on my way to be the maid of honor at my best friend’s wedding. I’d met her fiancee before over Skype, but now I was actually going to meet him, and I was excited, though my knees kept knocking together in anxiety over the strange, new experience.
I knew that the flight would take five hours, so I had tried to be prepared. My Canon DSLR case sat at my feet, my silver Dell laptop lay under my nervous fingers, and a Terri Blackstock novel rested patiently in my leather satchel for emergencies.
I was all set.
But less than an hour into the flight, something went wrong.
We were flying strangely low. My heart thumped loudly under my ribcage, as though begging to get off the plane. I voiced my concern in a low whisper.
“Why are we flying...

I Wonder If You'll Ever Know

I wonder if you'll ever know
How my heart jumps when you smile.
Or when your eyes crinkle up
And I can't help but laugh with them.

I wonder if you'll ever know
What I think about at nighttime.
When the crickets sing outside my window
And my thoughts fill up with you.

I wonder if you'll ever know
Why my eyes alight at your approach.
Or why I'm better able to laugh
When you are close; nearby.

I wonder if you'll ever know
How I long to hold your hand.
To gaze into your soft brown eyes,
And tell you how you're valued.

I wonder if you'll ever know
When I first began to love you.
How much I wished you could be mine,
Holding my breath and waiting.

I wonder if you'll ever know 
Why I couldn't rejoice with you
As you celebrated an engagement
To someone else; not me.

I wonder if you'll ever know 
How much...

My Ghost: Chapter 11

McKayla couldn’t believe she’d been that vulnerable. Crying in front of a near-stranger, for Pete’s sake. She dried her eyes with the edge of her coat sleeve, her back to the store traffic.
“Are you okay, mommy?” Bethany’s beautiful blue eyes were wide with concern.
She’s so mature for her age. McKayla almost burst out in tears again. She shouldn’t have to watch her mother grieve for so long.
McKayla stroked Bethany’s pony-tailed blonde hair tenderly.
“Yes, hon. I’m alright.” She tried a smile. It held steady with just the tiniest tremor. “Okay,” McKayla took a deep breath, “now, on the list is cheese, eggs, and donuts.”
“Donuts?” A grin peeked out the corner of Bethany’s mouth.
McKayla couldn’t help grinning back. “That’s right. No camping trip is complete without donuts.”
Bethany nodded solemnly, a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. “Can I choose what kind we get?”
“Um,” McKayla surveyed her closely, trying, but failing, to hide an amused smile....

Doctor's Diagnosis

- Writer's Block -

An illness, (affecting authors) which causes acute self-pity, and some patients are even known to whimper at a computer screen for an hour. 
   Cause: Unknown. 

I Like You, Too

It was finally January. December had seemed to last forever, and I was excited for the new year. As people often do during January, Christmas decorations needed to be put away and Spring decor put up instead. My church asked for volunteers to do this, and I was more than happy to help.
   There were maybe ten of us on that Monday morning; running boxes up and down the church attic stairs. I never liked the attic. Light was dim, and it seemed to me to be a perfect setting for a ghost to appear.
   On one trip to the attic, a prickly wreath hung over my shoulder and I held a wooden cross in my right hand. I was rounding the corner to ascend the stairs when a shadowy figure stepped out in front of me. Naturally, I freaked, and might have jumped in fear, though I don't remember. My heart stopped, or I thought it did,...

She Was Different

I avoided her because she was different,
Her eyes were blue and sad.
“I want a friend,” they said.
But I listened to others’ voices,
“Too weird.” “Not good enough.”
And I kept my distance well.
One summer day, the sky clear blue,
Curiosity overrode all.
I summoned some courage,
And up I walked.
She was standing all alone.
I started out with just my name,
Then we talked about ourselves.
She liked to write, and I did, too,
Those voices had been wrong.
And now with three years friendship,
She’s the music and I, the words.
I can’t see life without her,
Her smile, kindness, wit.
Every day I thank the LORD
For bringing us together.
It wasn’t fate, or Santa Claus,
But God knew that I needed her.

Personal Narrative Competition 2018

I'm Home

It was an ordinary day. An almost-purple haze of smoke lingered in the summer sky from surrounding wildfires. Our American flag hung discouraged from its creaking metal pole. The lawn was dry and prickly with lack of water.
My small bedroom smelled strongly of lavender. I’d left several bouquets to dangle from my ceiling over the past month, and now with cut pieces of green cloth, and a needle with brown thread, I turned my wait into sachets.
In and out, in and out. I stuck the needle repetitiously through. The mundane process caused my mind to zone out.
In out, in out. Draw the bag closed. In out, in out. Snip the thread.
“Abby! Abby! Joshua’s home!” My younger sister’s excited screams startled me from my thoughts, and I forgot about the sachet.
“Are you sure?” I glanced at my wristwatch. My older brother wasn’t supposed to get home from North Carolina until tonight.
“Yes! Come downstairs, quick!” Her...

Unplug

If I Let It

I was in a rush. 
   With an orthodontist appointment thirty minutes away, and still in my pajamas, I had no time to waste.  
   I barely had time to gulp down a few cheese-laced scrambled eggs, and I only just logged onto Instagram to breeze through my friend's posts, liking as I went. I had nearly logged off, when my eyes snagged on a friend's photo. Several of my church friends were on all fours in the sand and on each other, making three rows to form a perfect pyramid.  
   My eyes stung with the familiar bite of jealousy.  
I'd been left out...again. My throat tightening, I surveyed the grinning group, trying to be glad at their fun.  
   But...no. I shook my head. It's not their fault.  
I sat in a daze for several minutes, a small battle raging inside me. To cry or not to cry; that is the question.  
   No. I stood up straight, blinking hard. I will NOT...

My Ghost: Chapter 10

Do you know what fire reminds me of?” Joelle sat in a pink camping chair beside me, hands folded in her lap.
Tell me.” The magic of the forest had long ago enveloped me. My gaze went to Joelle’s face. Warm light from the campfire danced across it, making it shine against the black background of the woods. A smile flickered on my lips and I turned back to the flames.
She didn’t answer for a long moment. So long that I glanced back up. Was that a tear in her eye? I almost reached over and took her hand. When she spoke, I wish I had.
Loneliness, separation.”
Oh Joelle. Then I reached over and laid a hand on hers She didn’t move; just swallowed hard. “The kind of loneliness that only a life without God can bring.”
I didn’t know how to respond.
I used to be like that.” She looked dully into...

Welcome Home

Where am I?
I opened my eyes, confused. From the pain, maybe, more than anything else. Something was shoving against my chest. I looked down, almost in an unreal trance. The steering wheel.
Where the windshield should’ve been was empty air. Blood ran in little streams down my face, but I couldn’t lift my hands to clear it away. I heard frantic sirens from somewhere.
Voices.
I was pulled from the accordioned vehicle. My accordioned vehicle. There was rushing all around me. Someone said something which may have been directed at me.
I couldn’t move my lips to reply.
“She’s in shock.”
No. I’m actually at peace. I wanted to assure them I was fine.
“Vital signs are decreasing rapidly.”
I felt so tired. I closed my eyes, remembering my mother’s face right before she died.

I’ll see you there, Bailey. Only, in heaven, I won’t have cancer. And I’ll give you the biggest hug.” Her smile faded, and...

Worry Not

This is it. I gazed forlornly back at the boarding area. Those beautiful, blue rows of seats. Those lovely, white airplane signs. The wonderful, busy San Francisco airport. Tears sprouted to my eyes like unwanted weeds.
Ugh. Stop being a romantic poet. I wrinkled my nose at my silliness. It was just a trip over the ocean for pete’s sake. The wide, deep, scary ocean.
I focused on the backs of my friends’ shoes. It was easy to tell who was who. The white converses belonged to Camilla, and the navy tennis shoes to Stewart. Just focus on them. Not on the long trip ahead. I sighed, and tried not to trip over anything in my way. My backpack grew heavier with every step. Rising panic boiled up in my throat, threatening to spew out in a scream.
But no. I swallowed. Get a grip, Shannon. I breathed; mentally relaxed. I’d done it a hundred times before performing piano in...

My Ghost: Chapter 9

Loud beeping broke through Keren’s dream. Her groggy mind scrambled for a way to find the source and turn it off.
Her alarm? Was it 6AM already? Her achy body tossed that theory in the trash. Then what?
Smoke.
Keren’s eyes flew open with the stinging scent that entered her nose. The fire alarm was beeping.
Fire? In the house?
Keren’s thoughts tumbled over each other in a sleepy rush. Blinking rapidly to clear her vision, she sat up and saw a cloud of smoke sliding under her door.
Mom. Dad. Her heart skidded to a sickening halt, and she jumped off the bed, suddenly awake, panic rising. Her hand stopped inches from the doorknob.
It might be hot. Phone. Where’s my phone? Keren grabbed the silver flashlight on her nightstand, knowing it was unsafe to switch on the light. She clicked it on and shone it around the room. Where was her phone?
There. Beside her Bible on the...

Freedom is a Gem

A thrill fills my heart,
A grin across my face,
Our country did start
It grew; place by place.

Have we forgotten the reason
We have this great land? 
Our fathers risked treason. 
They took a brave stand. 

They all signed their name,
Hope in their edict. 
They sought not for fame,
Each reaching a verdict. 

"We must have independence!" 
Was the cry in the streets.
They followed their conscience
Their minds made complete. 

Wear red, white, and blue
And salute with the anthem.
It's a beautiful view!
Freedom is a gem.




 

My Kitty

I listen for my kitty
To come back home. 
I listen for her sad meow,
Or her low, happy purr. 

I watch for my kitty
To come back home.
To see her black, white fur,
The half-smile on her face.

I wait for my kitty
To come back home. 
What I'd give to feel her fur;
Place a kiss on her forehead.

I want my kitty 
To come back home.
Her paws so soft;
Her whiskers tickle.

I cry for my kitty
To come back home.
I miss her; I need her,
Her chin resting on my hand.

I know my kitty
Won't come back home.
But she's in my heart;
Her ghost in my arms.
 

This Is It

I stared at my reflection in the floor-length mirror. 
   Does the dress swirl around my knees just right? 
   Are the straps in the right place? 
   Did I add too much eye shadow? 
   Maybe I should've gotten taller heels. 
   Is my side-bun too messy? 

This was it. The big day. 
   Graduation. 
Goosebumps raced up my bare arms in anticipation. Getting to this place had seemed too slow. But now I was looking back on my progress and wondering where the time had gone. 
   Just one more minute. Please? 
But no, this was it. 
   Checking the mirror once more, I shrugged my arms into the baggy, black sleeves of the graduation gown, and cocked the cap forward just slightly. The pink tassels brushed my forehead, and I smiled. Took a deep breath. 
   Yes, this is it. 
 

FACT

It Was You

They say that every October there is a Hunter’s Moon. But every October of my life had been disappointing, and as I looked up at the dark clouds covering the sky, I wondered how I could ever have thought that this year would be different. The beautiful, full, red-orange moon was hidden from view.
I sighed and ducked my head back inside my apartment window. As I did every October, I recapped the annual disappointments.
October 1992: I was born. My parents? Abandoned me.
October 1993: New foster family. No birthday cake.
October 1994: Family went bankrupt. Spent birthday in social worker’s office.
October 1995: Chicken pox.
October 1996: First realized I was different.
October 1997: Kindergarten. Teasing begins.
October 1998: Finally a nice foster family. Daughter breaks arm in car accident. Bills too much. I say goodbye.
October 1999: Almost get adopted.
October 2000: First crush. He moves to the other side of the country.
October 2001: Get glasses. ...

For the Rest of our Lives

"No no, I'm serious." He grinned down at me, our eyes connected. My heart fluttered as his beautiful brown eyes gazed into my gray ones. 
   "Okay." Well that was dumb. I kicked myself-mentally, of course-and followed him across the hot sand. 
I heard faraway laughter, and the lapping of waves filled the salty air. 
   Where is the group? I shielded my eyes from the sun's glare and glanced around the beach. There. I would recognize Melinda's purple I Love Jesus t-shirt anywhere. 
"There they are." I pointed, hoping I didn't sound too anxious to join them. 
   "Yup." Daniel stuck his hands into his faded jeans' pockets, and stared down at the sand. He didn't move, so I didn't either. Or at least my feet didn't; my heart was beating rapidly. 
   "Hey, Alex?" He turned to look at me. 
"Yeah?" It came out as a near-whisper. 
   Daniel opened his mouth as if to say something,...

One Day

I love you.”
A hard lump clogged my throat. It seemed like forever since I’d heard him say those words. Had it only been last week?
It seemed impossible that so much could happen in such a short period of time.
We’re just not meant for each other, Sierra.”
Then he walked away.
As though I’d never existed. I’d given him my heart, then he pushed it over a cliff. I watched as it plummeted down, down, down, until I could see it no more. I couldn’t even pick up the pieces, because each one had an imprint of his face, his laugh, his teasing smile. So I’d left it there, as I stood at the edge, letting the harsh wind push the tears from my cheeks.
My voice shook. “I can never forget you. You, Mark, are the only person I could ever love. Maybe one day you’ll see how much.”
I closed my eyes and whispered....

This One

Books, books, so many books. 
   The made-up jingle played around in my head as I gazed up at the library bookshelf. Dirty blonde curls framed my face, but I pushed them back to see the titles better. 
One Summer Night. The Bell that Rang in Yorktown. The Portrait. She Did. The Day I Died. 
   
My hazel eyes trailed over them all. My fingers yearned to stroke the colorful spines and uncover the truth behind each title. I glanced down at my black leather watch. Did I have time to read them all? 
   A heavy sigh escaped my lips, and I chewed thoughtfully on the inside of my cheek for a moment. I had to make my decision fast. Mom would be coming to pick me up in a few minutes. Hesitantly I reached up and pulled a faded red book from the shelf. I studied the black lettering on the front. Protect Me
   ...

Subtotals

Numbers of my Life

Photographs taken: 21,576 _ Photographs deleted: 13,900 
Stories started: 680 _ Stories unfinished: 104
Bees stepped on: 5 _ Allergic reactions to bee stings: 2
Portraits drawn: 41 _ Portraits liked: 37
Cats petted: 15 _ Cats liked: 22
Books read: 1,730 _ Books liked: 1,722
Instruments played: 5 _ Instruments liked: 11
Candles smelled: 56 _ Candles liked: 20
Tears shed: 1,155 _ Tears shed in joy: 800
Bible verses memorized: 601 _ Bible verses retained: 601
Memories made: 67,905 _ Memories loved: 50,864
Prayers sent: 150,700 _ Prayers answered: 150,700





 

Science Fiction Competition 2018

Dark Freeze

It was cold. Freezing, actually. The year: 2067. 
   Fresh snow-nearly two feet of it-crunched beneath my fur-lined boots as I strode across the barnyard. Or, rather, what would be a barnyard if you could see it. Colors flashed across my memory as I thought back to 2053. Spring. Where there were actually sweet, authentic scents in the warm, soft air. Instead of harsh, unavoidable cold. There was an ironic, bitter taste in my mouth as I thought of The Chronicles of Narnia, an outdated, but still well-loved book series. Perhaps there was indeed an evil witch clutching the world in her grasp. 
   What we needed now was a foreign foursome. 
I glanced at the leaden sky-briefly because of the wind stinging my brown eyes-and smirked. Maybe aliens would save us. 
   
My dad had predicted this day would come. Back in 2058, when rivers froze over and people were scrambling to believe someone else's words of false...

Call 911

The place appeared deserted.
Crumbling bricks, peeling gray paint, and shattered, diamond-shaped windows sitting in a row all along the top of the warehouse made it seem as such. Dusk settled over the condemned building, bringing with it a sense of the spooky supernatural.
Despite most stereotypes, however, the moon was not full, nor did an owl hoot in the darkness. It was warm. A summer evening, with the lingering colors of sunset clinging to the western skyline.
Two figures, one considerably shorter than the other, made their way to the once-red side door and slipped inside. The interior was expectedly dusty, and a support beam had collapsed, causing a gaping hole in the plaster ceiling, and debris to cover the cement floor.
“Kinda creepy, isn’t it?” The girl spoke softly, drawing nearer to the boy beside her.
“I prefer the word ‘mysterious’, but yeah.” He sent her a charming grin, which she answered with a smile of her own. ...

Science Fiction Competition 2018

Dark Freeze

It was cold. Freezing, actually. The year: 2067. 
   Fresh snow-nearly two feet of it-crunched beneath my fur-lined boots as I strode across the barnyard. Or, rather, what would be a barnyard if you could see it. Colors flashed across my memory as I thought back to 2053. Spring. Where there were actually sweet, authentic scents in the warm, soft air. Instead of harsh, unavoidable cold. There was an ironic, bitter taste in my mouth as I thought of The Chronicles of Narnia, an outdated, but still well-loved book series. Perhaps there was indeed an evil witch clenching the world in her grasp. 
   What we needed now was a foreign foursome. 
I glanced at the leaden sky-briefly because of the wind stinging my brown eyes-and smirked. Maybe aliens would save us. 
   
My dad had predicted this day would come. Back in 2058, when rivers froze over and people were scrambling to believe someone else's words of false...

Paint Swatch

Longing Olive

Longing Olive is the color of your eyes.
Deep, passionate, full of feeling. 
Your stare pierces my soul and leaves me wanting. 
In the sunlight the color deepens, 
I lose myself in their dark depths. 
At nighttime they light up, 
I smile in sync with you. 

Paint Swatch

Longing Olive

Longing Olive is the color of your eyes.
Deep, passionate, full of feeling. 
Your stare pierces my soul and leaves me lacking. 
In the sunlight the color deepens, 
I lose myself in their dark depths. 
At nighttime they light up, 
I smile in sync with you. 

Company

When you're emotions are at a low place, and all you want to do is curl up in a tight ball and forget everything, make two cups of tea (black, if you have it, though herbal works, too), and invite your friend to sit with you. 
   There are other people on this earth to help us get through hard times. 
If we were meant to get through life alone, we'd each have our own separate planets. 
   We can't shut out people in our lives, we must invite them in, and allow for some company. 

One Step At A Time

When you're feeling depressed, detached, and lonely, listen to God's gentle voice.
He'll lift your chin and say:
   "Dear one, you don't have to walk this path alone. Take my hand. Let's take one step at a time." 

Not Alone

I'm a typical Christian teen, trying not to get caught up in the world while striving to live every day for Jesus. The road's uphill, but at the top is a cross, and when I look around, I realize that I'm not the only one struggling up the slope. There are thousands and thousands of my brothers and sisters climbing with me. I'm not alone.  

My Ghost: Chapter 8

Keren lay awake in bed that night. Her dark eyes searched the ceiling, but her mind searched the past.
One of the incriminating notes had mentioned that the guilty would be retributed. Why was Joelle guilty? A memory surfaced which she hadn’t thought about in years.
Twelve-year-old Keren was passing by her mom’s bedroom door when she heard her name. Shoving away the guilt of eavesdropping that threatened her conscience, she paused to hear more. Had she done something wrong?
Have you thought about how it will effect them?” Grandma’s voice was angry.
Keren was surprised. Why would Grandma Mayward be upset at mom? She heard a strangled sob.
Yes. A thousand times. And I’ve come so close to ending the divorce so many times if only for them. But I can’t.” There were tears in mom’s voice.
Keren’s brain went wild. A divorce? Her parents? Her heart rate quickened.
Have you talked with them about it?”...

War's Price

A row of flags stood upon a green hill
Red, white, and blue; they bore with them a will.
They were a testament of bravery.
And reality of war.
They stood for the men who died long ago
Courage; honor; resolve, stopped with a blow.
These are our heroes; we owe them our lives.
They died for us, and now their gray stones thrive.
Let us never forget their great sacrifice
As we walk a free life;
Free because of war’s price.

Be Someone

Ashley sat cross-legged in the grass, fiddling with her black choker necklace as the sun set. The summer breeze played with her chin-length, blonde hair, whisking it across her face. Her gray eyes were fixed on the purple horizon, taking in the last streak of light before the day ended and night began.
Goosebumps traveled up her arms, and she closed her eyes, taking deep breaths. Darkness was always a source of anxiety for her. Fear of the unknown haunted her. Fears conjured up from her five-year-old mind, long instilled in her now-sixteen-year-old head.
I just want to let go. She opened her eyes.
Was she just a silhouette? A shadow? A nobody?
Hot tears pushed themselves down her cheeks, leaving glistening streaks.
You’ll never make it Ashley. You’re just a nobody like your dad. Stop dreaming.”
“You’re wrong, mom.” A sob escaped Ashley’s throat. She lifted her chin to the ever-diminishing light of the sky.
Did she really...

Sweet Embrace

It was a warm summer day, and we stood in the cooling shadow of an elm. My back to the tree, I gazed up into his brown eyes. I hoped he wouldn't notice the blush that crept onto my cheeks.
   "Amy," he began in a low voice.
I tilted my head up to hear what he had to say.
   But after a second, he leaned over and pressed his lips against mine. His fingers ran through my short, wavy hair, and I didn't resist. After a moment, he pulled away and we stood there looking at each other. My heart was pounding. 
   "That's what I wanted to say." He smiled.
My mouth refused to cooperate, and no words entered my brain, so I just smiled back. He reached over his hand and lifted my chin. Then kissed me again. 
   The world around us faded, and the warmth of the day hugged us in its sweet embrace. 

Risen Fears

My hand slid along the cool wood in the darkness. My eyes were wide and my ears alert. Slowly, I felt my way up the carpeted stairs, my fingers gripping the banister. Ever since I was a child, I'd been afraid of the dark. Maybe because of the stories my mom would tell of ghosts and indescribable monsters lurking behind every shadow. Or my dad's accusing voice always screaming in my head. I was afraid to shut my eyes or else his words would come back to haunt me.
   Then I heard it.
No. It can't be. My eyes filled with hot tears; blinking made them fall faster. At first I thought the voice was inside my head, but I realized with a frightened jolt to reality that it was coming from further in the blackness.
   "Bailey." It was a whisper.
I wanted to clap my hands over my ears and curl into a tight ball, but the...

Perfect

With my camo hat clamped firmly over my chin-length brown hair, I pulled on my dirty rubber boots and walked outside. There was something calming about going outside after a showering mist.
   The gravel of the driveway crunched and popped beneath my feet as I strode around behind the barn. Soft light fell from between the fluffy gray clouds, and the sweet-smelling warmth of spring enveloped me in its homey arms.
   My steps slowed in reverence as I passed through the iron cattle gate leading into the upper pasture. We hadn't had any cows in the field since last autumn, and the grass had been allowed to grow tall.
   I loved the feathery feel of it as the tips of the stalks brushed my hands. Silvery water drops slid off the smooth grass as I walked past. It was so magical. Calm.
   The field waved back and forth in the soft breeze. Some of the grass...

My Ghost: Chapter 7

Chanlee gazed at her phone, lying on the coffee table beside her.
Should I call him? She’d been debating the question for the past hour. She reached over and tapped on the black screen, causing everything to come to life. It was 10:38. If he was sleeping, she didn’t want to bother him. She got into her contacts, fingers itching to tap on his number. The debate ping-ponged in her brain, getting louder with every ricochet.
Then she made up her mind. Pressing the phone to her ear, a picture of him popped up into her head. It’d been hard in the past week to see him come to work so distracted. Thinking about Joelle, probably. Her eyes darkened with jealousy.
Even though Joelle was gone, she still invaded Nathan’s mind every second of the day. Wanting to spit the bitter taste out of her mouth, Chanlee tried thinking about something else, and her heart warmed as she remembered how...

Practice

You don't get better at a song by sitting on your hands and staring at the piano.
You must feel, breathe, and live the music.

Will Anyone Care

Hurry. You’ll be late.
Mercy raced through the silent church hallway, heart pounding in accordance with her silver high-heels. She’d arrived late for the concert, and now as she ran frantically, holding her long black skirt up past her ankles, she feared she was too late.
Ms. Hyport did not accept excuses.
The building was huge, and after awhile of nothing but dark doors and empty hallways, Mercy wasn’t sure where she was. Panting for breath, eyes wild, she searched the walls for a sign telling the location.
Sure enough, straight ahead was a dark wooden sign with yellow letters. Ah ha!
Sanctuary → it read.
With an ironic mixture of relief and dread, Mercy picked up the edge of her skirt once more and darted around the corner. Instantly, terror curled around her heart as a hand covered her mouth, and dragged her into the shadows. Mercy didn’t care if Ms. Hyport reprimanded her or not at this point....

My Mother

My mother is someone you cannot replace.
She’s taught me, she loves me; dirty or in lace.

She’s seen me in all moods; from child to adult.
She forgives me; she proves it, though I am at fault.

My eyes are green, and hers’ are light hazel.
We are both diff’rent, but kindness prevails.

She’s shown me Jesus; she’s my example of chaste.
My mother is someone you cannot replace.

That House

Rain trailed off the pink umbrella in my hand onto the back of my raincoat. The storm had moved off, but I stood still, the umbrella posed over my head and my left hand clutching a crumpled newspaper. A particular add had caught my eye that morning. A house was for sale. But not just any house. My childhood home. My source of ultimate fear and joy. 
   The same old emotions clawed at my heart, and unwillingly, my blue eyes pooled with tears. 
Fear. 
   My mother left when I was old enough to walk. Her face was a blurred memory, and frankly, an unwanted one. Why didn't she want me? Was I not good enough? If I had been a boy, would it have made a difference? I had always wanted to feel accepted by my mother. But I never saw her again. 
Joy.
   My dad brought me up with his gentle discipline and encouraging smile. His...

I Pushed Him

My heart thumped wildly and I gulped back a sob. 
   What had I just done? 
My sweaty fingers raked through my chin-length hair as I stared over the edge of the twelve-story office building. I was terrified of heights, but I had to know if he was still alive. Feeling as though I was going to tip over and plummet to my death, I knelt down, my entire body shaking. Black spots crossed my vision, and I shut my brown eyes, waiting for the moment to pass. 
   I swallowed hard, and crouched low. My knuckles were white as they clutched desperately at the cement rim. My brain wouldn't accept that I was on firm ground, and the street, one hundred and twenty feet below, seemed farther away than it really was. 
   But I had to know. 
A whimper escaped my trembling lips as I gazed down at the growing crowd. Sirens wailed mournfully in the...

Elm Tree

There was a green elm tree
In my backyard. 
One hundred years old, 
Many winters; many months. 

It'd stood strong; bold
For so many years,
I wondered what stories
It would share if it could.

Would it tell of the time
My brother fell from a branch?
Or the times I would dance
In its magic embrace? 

Many were the thoughts
Shared among two,
Beneath its strong branches;
Secrets told; Tears wept. 

I used to read novels,
Hard-back books; mystery tales,
The grass at my feet,
Firm bark at my back.

We held kin reunions;
The elm tree for shade.
In a way it became apart;
It shared in our fun.

And now as I look up;
The sky barely blue;
With those leaves whispering down,
I long to decipher. 

For within its thick trunk
Are more than just lines.
But memories entwined;
Life moments forever. 

Odd Writers

Do you know why writers are considered odd? 

It's because they are the few people on this planet who actually share their emotions. 
   Which is pretty odd. 

My Thinking Place

The cold, biting wind nipped relentlessly at my nose and made my eyes water. But I didn't care; I had to think. The big, green hill outside of town had always been my "thinking place". A haven where the sounds and sights of nature cleared my mind. 
   Tall, vivid grass came up to my knees. All I wanted to do was walk through it and let my fingers trail across their soft heads. But this time I kept still. My eyes flicked back and forth, watching the busy swallows. 
   Little dots of pink and yellow flowers peeked out from the grass, as though to say 'hello'. I could almost hear their sweet voices. The soft murmuring of chickens behind me caused my head to turn. 
"Welcome, sweets." A smile dawned on my face. 
   All of their black-feathered heads cocked at the sound of my voice. 
"Welcome to my thinking place." I whispered, turning to gaze back over...

Dear One

One day I met a man who said
He knew what was in my heart.
I laughed at him, and walked right past;
I felt his stare upon me.

He whispered then; I heard his words,
“You’ll know soon, my precious child.” 
Fear came to me, and gripped my heart.
What was this addled man after?

The image of him stayed for days,
And I wondered at his words.
This man was jesting; full of bluff-
I tried to convince my pond’rings. 

A year went by, then two, then three,
And I met the man again.
Same place, same time, as yesteryear;
He hadn’t changed at all.

“Do you want to know what I found?” 
He spoke with serious eyes.
“Do tell, dear sir, what says my heart?”
I gestured mockingly.

“In your heart are many things,
A trove of information. 
But I saw a thing that wasn’t there.
Dear girl, where is your joy?”

I stared at him; he...

Writing

Pen
Write
Inspire
Feel
Become

Pleasure?

Joy can't be bought. 
Love can't be bartered. 
Pleasure? Well, that can be had with just a frosted cinnamon roll. 

Moment by Moment

I wanted to fit in. But how?
I pretended I was alright. But I wasn't.
I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. But I didn't.
I knew I was being selfish. And I was.
I knew I was going to become an adult. But I didn't want to.
I wanted five more minutes as a kid. But it wasn't possible.
I wanted to give up everything. But I couldn't.
I wanted to feel something other than disappointment. And I did.
I wanted to hang out with people who liked me. I did.
I wanted a sign to show that life was worth it. And I got it.
   My friends, family, those who love me, go through the same anger, disappointment, hurt as I do. But twisted among those things are bright yellow streaks of joy, laughter, pleasure. We're all experiencing hurt and joy. Not all at once, but moment by moment; for the rest of our...

Some Day - Part 2

It was my promise. 
   Hope. Joy. Love. A long time ago.
I pictured her beautiful face, and the ring on her finger. My Renee. I promised that I would come back. 
   "Some day you'll see me walking up the avenue. A bouquet of daises in my hand, grinning like a cat. After the war, we'll be together forever." I paused, unsure I could go on. "I love you, Renee." A sob caught in my throat. 
   Renee tightened her grip on me. I didn't want to let go anymore than she did. 
What if I didn't return? Gently, I kissed the top of her head, breathing in the spring scent of her hair. I knew I was going to remember that moment for the rest of my life. I had to. For my sake as much as hers. I had to come back. 
   "I'll be here." Renee whispered into my shoulder. I heard tears in...

Some Day

It was a promise.
Hope. Joy. Love. A long time ago.
A diamond-studded silver band was her reminder. He promised to come back.
Some day you’ll see me walking up the avenue. A bouquet of daisies in my hand, grinning like a cat. After the war, we’ll be together forever. I love you, Renee.”
Renee dug her face into her hero’s shoulder, hiding the warm tears. She felt him kiss her hair. “I’ll be here.” She whispered, squeezing her eyes shut. She held him tighter.
The months had blurred by. Letters, crinkled from being passed from hand to hand, arrived. Renee added her own tears to the splotches and stains of the paper, and sent back replies. Encouraging her soldier from across the sea didn’t seem like enough. But it was all she could do.
A year after his deployment, another letter came. It wasn’t like the others. Daniel’s familiar handwriting was absent, and an official heading replaced his...

The Road To Somewhere

The sky was a blanket of gold. A sprinkle of dark clouds trailed across in a tentative manner, as though unsure they belonged there. The sun had begun to dip below the silhouetting hills, and through the forest of birch trees, golden light filtered in.
Autumn had left its mark on the world. The birch’s skeletal forms reached toward the sky as though pleading for a second chance at summer. Bright yellow leaves clung to the tip tops, realizing their time was short; soon they’d fall to the forest floor like their fellow brothers.
   Short, scant firs, like shy orphans, peeked out from behind the majority, knowing their presence was foreign and unusual. A road twisted through the trees. A hard-packed, less traveled path. Old, crusted wagon tracks were the only proof of civilization nearby; otherwise, bluebirds claimed it as their own.
   Along this road bobbed a floppy red hat. The owner of which had dark - nearly...

Promise

Soft wind rustled the leaves of the hundred year old elm tree above us. The sun fell softly on Anna’s long, wavy hair, catching its rays and shining brighter. Our hands met, then our eyes. Hers a soft brown; mine a dark gray. The world seemed to fade away as we stood there.
The slow creaking of the handmade swing hanging from an elm branch, the salutations and happiness of swallows darting this way and that, finding a last meal before the sun drifted back down to its bed. It all disappeared, and it was just us.
We didn’t notice the scattered patches of pink violets, or the near-transparency of moths as the sunshine passed through them, or the feel of the soft, green grass on our feet.
I knew I had to break the silence.
“Will you write me letters?” It was barely more than a whisper. Had she even heard me?
Anna nodded in response. A tear sparkled...

Rest In Peace

Amelia Bushner marched up the paved sidewalk to the bright red front door. Fury marked her face in an iron stance, and her green eyes pierced their surroundings. If looks could kill, there would’ve been nothing left of the house. She punched the glowing orange doorbell and heard it echo out to meet her. As Amelia waited for a response from within, she ground her jaws together, and rhythmically squeezed her fists into white balls. Choice words circled her brain; all she needed was someone to spit them out at.
Counting to ten, Amelia touched the doorbell again. Her anger was slowly melting away as the minutes ticked past.
“David! So help me, if you don’t open this door right now, I’ll tear it down with my bare hands!” There, yelling brought her earlier emotions back to the surface.
But again, there was no answer from inside.
“Fine.” Amelia clenched her teeth together and turned the knob.
It was dark...

Mirror Question

People ask: 
   How can there be a God if there is evil?

But I ask you:
   How can there be evil if there is no God? 

Please Read! You Won't Regret It!

The Breakup

This fantastic, uniquely descriptive piece by Grace Archer is a must read! 
   It's novel material, fascinating, and the descriptions seem to be alive. They swallow the reader into the story so that it's hard to draw yourself back into reality. 
   Please read it! You won't regret it. :) 

Have a great day! God bless!

The Little Girl

It was a blustery day. 
   The sky was covered over with gray clouds, a chilling wind blew, and puddles covered the sidewalks from the morning rain. Turning the corner to my house, I saw a small, black-haired girl sitting on a park bench, her white hands folded neatly in her lap.
   What struck me most about her was the dramatic contrast between her pale face and the dark sweater/skirt combination she wore. Her medium length hair blew about her face in subtle waves, and I wondered how long it had been since she'd last been outside.
   Her eyes were closed, and she smiled slightly, as though amused. Hesitating only a moment, I walked over to her. 
   "Hello. Are you alright?" 
Her eyelids popped open as though set on a spring. "Oh yes. I'm better than alright." Her voice was light, and she spoke slowly. 
   "I just wanted to make sure." I smiled, noticing the great...

My Ghost: Chapter 6

Chapter 6:
Increased Danger

When I got home, there was an email from Keren.
Nathan,
Yesterday, I stopped off at the Police Station to give them the sticky note, and asked if I could read through Joelle’s journal. I came upon this entry and thought that I’d share it with you. They let me take a picture which I attached below.
Have a great weekend,
~ Keren

I didn’t hesitate before clicking on the jpg file.

December 30, 2015
Dear Journal,
I feel like a single, microscopic snowflake trailing from the leaden skies, only to land on the ground with billions like me all around. In a few weeks, or maybe even days, I’ll be gone. Life is so fleeting, so swift, that you can’t but reach out and it’s gone. People will pass through your life. Some taking full advantage of their time allotment, and others squandering it.
Their God-given life is too-quickly used up, and then what? They’ll...

Perfect

From the street I watched the house. 
   Floor-to-ceiling windows; empty eyes. 
   Tall, brick chimney; not a breath of smoke. 
   New, golden brown paint; perfect on the outside. 
   Swept sidewalk, cut lawn. 
Just like I remembered. The perfect house to fit my perfect childhood. 
   Perfect only to those who lived outside of its walls. 
   Perfect only to neighbors who were jealous of the way we lived. 
   Perfect only to friends who spent the night.
   Perfect to everyone but us. 

   We were far from perfect, but we pretended we were. Inside, though, anger ate away at us. 
I used to lie awake at night, unconsciously grinding my teeth, tears glistening in my eyes as the moonlight poured through my perfect, clean window. 
   But now I was leaving. I was going to prove to myself and the whole world that I could be genuine. 
   Slowly, I turned, and left my perfect life...

Good Read by one of our WtW Members!

Never Too Late To Let Go (Continued)

This piece, by a very encouraging member of WtW (Bellbell0307), has good imagery, and a clear view of the emotions of the main character. 
   Check it out! And the rest of her profile. You won't regret it. :) 

God bless!

Please Check It Out

The Magic Jacket

Hey, y'all! This is a fantastic piece by Hannah Gaudette - JoyfulWriter
   She's a wonderful writer, so please check out her portfolio. :) 
There are lots of other fabulous pieces on this site, and I wish I could
promote all of them, but for now I'll simply start with this one. :)

Have a great day! God bless!

25 Words

Stronger

She told herself she would never go back.
Yet here she is, staring over the broken fragments of her past life. 
   But now she's stronger. 

Not Anymore

I was wallowing in my sadness.
I didn’t know how to get out.
Nothing helped.
No-one noticed.
It was just me and my problems.
I couldn’t escape them.
They followed after me.
Haunting my steps.
My decisions.
My life.
I felt so cold. Alone. Despairing.
I knew I was drowning.
And there was nothing I could do to halt my plummet.

Until I met Jesus.
Hope sprouted among the ashes of my heart.
And I’m not drowning anymore.

Alone

We were trapped.
   The soldiers didn't know we were down here, in the tunnel. They'd broken in, and killed my family. My papa, mama, and older brother, James. They were murdered in cold blood while I hid beneath the floorboards of our kitchen. The only one I had now was my baby sister, Lyddie, who I clutched to my chest, afraid to let her go. Papa had built the little hatch before the war started, and we hadn't needed to use it.
   Until today. 
The previous hour raced back through my mind.
   A cloud of dust billowed out behind the troop of sweaty horses that galloped down the road. James saw them first and came running into the kitchen where mama and I were making jam. 
   "Soldiers! Comin' up the road!" His brown eyes were wild with fear. Mama dropped the spoon into the boiling pot, causing red strawberry liquid to splatter everywhere. The stove hissed...

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2018

Stars

The sky's alive with dancing stars,
Some streaking, others sparkling,
Blue, red, white, gold, 
Singing in a choir. 

The white dwarf stars sing way down low,
The bass notes in the chord,
The ones who make up inspiration,
And fill you with emotion inside.

Red giants sing the next note up.
At times the tonic key,
They are vital and clear to hear
And tell you a story as well.

A neutron star sings the highest
Before it explodes in light
As a supernova, colorful, bright
And remains for light-years more.

These are the stars that make up the sky,
And hide when the sun is out. 
But if we listen with our head cocked and still,
We'll hear them singing fore'er. 

Warm Afternoon - Through Your Eyes

I watched the world around me with a keen eye. My white paws stretched out in front of me, and my chin held high. I was a queen, and basking in the afternoon sun was the best use of my time. I could almost feel the sunshine soak into my long, glossy fur.
   To my right, sitting on a low-cement garden wall, was my person. She's a decent girl who lets me inside as often as I like, though I can't say the same about her brother. There's not a kind fiber in him, I'll wager. Anyway, my person was furiously jotting something down in that blank book she's forever carrying around.
   A bright red, white, and blue flag flapped noisily behind her, but she didn't seem to notice. Just like she doesn't seem to notice me at present. So here I am on the gravel driveway, watching birds. Oh, there goes one now! But I'm too comfortable...

Wait

The chill air nips at my face, and mist drizzles down all around me. The songbirds are silent, and all I hear is the drip-drop of the eaves. An airplane engine can be heard far above me, but the gray clouds block it from my view. I've been wishing for days that the sky would clear and I could see the sun again. It seems like forever since I've basked in its warm glow. The flags hang sopping and limp from their poles, portraying my deflated mood. They wish for sunshine, too. It isn't right that they can't billow about.
   Daffodils lay defeated on the muddy earth; once sunny and free, now miserable and wet. A black crow flies about, darting in and out of the looming mist; but its cries are harsh and unloving. My heart aches to hear the lovely trill of a song sparrow or watch barn swallows flit to and fro, their orange bellies flashing...

Strong Enough

Through the blackness of the house, bright orange flames from the hearth awake shadows to life. I sit far away, my back pressed to the cold, hard wall, allowing demons to enter my mind. They tell me my failures. Every one of them passes before my eyes. 
   You're not good enough. You never will be. 
And I believe them.
   Then my dead heart stirs within me, as though puzzled. How did I get to be like this? I used to smile, make jokes, and laugh; play games, have fun. When did that end? Suddenly I notice the chill air where I sit, and scoot closer to the warm blaze. My heart begins to thaw, and I know that the demons will return time and again, but this time, I'll be strong enough to fight back. 

Eyes

Brown eyes are a sunny day;
They make you warm inside.
And when there is no cause to smile
They make you laugh instead.

Blue eyes have the gift of peace,
They speak a thousand words.
With one swift glance there’s naught to say
And everything’s now okay.

Green eyes are a mystery.
A veiled, blue, gray hue.
In a second they can make you laugh,
Or send a long, cool stare.

Gray eyes love a quiet day
They’re fans of peace and rest.
But if the moment does allow
They’ll strike up in passion or fear.

Brown Eyes

His eyes were brown.
Not muddy and dull as some may see them, but crazily enchanting. I could stare at them for hours if it wasn’t be considered creepy.
At first it seemed as though he had an overly serious disposition, but when he smiled, his whole face lit up, and his eyes danced. At that moment, a flame sprouted to life within the cold ashes of my broken heart, and continued to burn with a passion I’d never felt before.
I had to be cautious.
My heart had already been shredded like thin paper, and hadn’t begun to heal. It didn’t take long, however, for the shreds to surround a beautiful image of my love for Noah McMann. Our relationship was slow and steady. I was able to laugh, even relax at times. Which hadn’t seemed possible before.
Then I lost him.
Or so it felt to me. He didn’t die, or receive a fateful diagnosis. But he joined...

Look Closer

If you see something ugly from a distance, look closer;
you'll be surprised at the beauty you find.

He Is Risen

It was after the passover, a Sunday morning after the Sabbath was ended. I, Mary Magdalene, went with Mary, Salome, and Joanna, who Jesus cast demons out of. I shut my eyes briefly as my throat closed on a sob. Jesus. I had watched Him die two days ago. The Teacher, Who had done nothing wrong. The Pharisees and Pilate sentenced Him to the cross, and the Roman soldiers carried out the sentence.
The horrible scene of His death flashed through my mind.
Three wooden T’s towered over us, stained with crimson. The only one I paid any attention to was the Teacher’s. They hung Him in the middle. I cried at the nails piercing His hands, and the single nail through both His feet. He didn’t deserve this. He’d been slowly suffocating for the past several hours. Every time it seemed that He couldn’t push Himself up again, we stopped breathing with Him. Our faces (even those of His...

The Resurrection

And they saw Him die,
With thorns on his head.
And they cried for Him,
Their friend, Jesus Christ.
They had yet to know
That in three days
He would rise from the grave
And walk among men. 

Monostich

Goodnight

Moving over the horizon; goodbye, goodnight. 

My Ghost: Prologue

A small tap on the window drew Joelle’s immediate attention. Her journal forgotten, she peered over for a long moment. Nothing. Just a bug. She dismissed it, and once again the scratch of a pen filled the silence. When something tapped the glass again, goosebumps rose all over her arms.
Calm down. It’s nothing. But she feared the worst. Could it be . . .? No, it couldn’t. That’s only a coincidence.
Biting back her fear, Joelle continued to write. But a dull thud from outside brought her face-to-face with reality. Something was outside. Her thoughts inevitably strayed to her boyfriend, Nathan. She wished he was here to do something about it. Glancing over at the alarm clock on the nightstand, she knew her parents and sister would already be asleep.
No need to worry them.
Slowly she stood up, the chair squeaking as she did so. Taking a deep breath, Joelle ran a hand through her hair -as she...

Track Race

   We were racing on the train track.
It was an old one; hadn’t been used for years.
   Ashley was ahead of me, carefully setting one foot in front of the other in swift motion on the rusty metal line. I sped up, feeling as though I was nearly flying. My pink tennis shoes were a streak as I pushed myself faster.
   But in a wild second, I lost concentration and my footing. Instead of a face plant on the dirty gravel and broken track boards, my hands caught the brunt of the fall. I was up in a second, laughing at how ridiculous I must’ve looked. Katea asked if I was alright from behind me.
   I smiled in reply. “I’m fine.”
   But then I glanced down at my hands. Blood had started to gather on both of my palms, and immediately my head swam. I’d never been able to stand the sight of blood, but...

I'm Not Alone

Memories come rushing back, and suddenly you're ten years old again. Racing your best friend on the sidewalk, giggling hysterically all the while.
   Riding a bumpy, yellow slide down a steep hill, hoping you don't crash into the blackberries at the bottom, but knowing your best friend is there if you do.
   Secret agent. The enemy spy is right around the corner. Drawing my 'weapon', and using all stealth to bring her to justice. "Bang!" My best friend smiles. "Missed me!"
   At the verge of tears, only my best friend sees them brimming at the edge of my eyelashes. She holds my hand and gently tugs me outside. We talk and talk and talk. Soon I'm laughing at her humor.
   At the best and worst times of my life, I can look back on those memories, and a warm glow starts in my heart, and suddenly I'm not afraid anymore. My best friend may move away...

Let's Talk

Soft, frozen flakes entangled themselves in my unkempt hair as I purposefully strode across the yard. My tall, rubber boots crunched in the fresh snow, but I took no notice. A hint of a smile perked the corners of my mouth, and my glove-less hands were safely tucked into my hoodie pockets.
   A casual observer may have deemed the word ‘calm’ or ‘peaceful’ as my present emotion. A more thoughtful person may have noticed my hand-raked hair, and lack of a hat and scarf. But they too would’ve passed me on as someone merely appreciating the quiet that a snowfall usually brought. My smile brightened at the thought of how wrong they both would be.
While it’s true I had hastily thrown on a sweater before going outside, it wasn’t to enjoy the snow. Honestly, I despise the cold stuff. Too easy to leave footprints and other annoying marks. But my mission couldn’t wait, and it was best to...

Forever

I will leave my footprint on the world; God left His stamp on my heart. 
   My footprint will wash away from constant rain and wind, but God's stamp will never rub off. 
   It's there forever. 

Will I Be Ready?

It was a dream. It must have been a dream. Because I saw myself lying there. As though I was watching my physical self from the viewpoint of an angel, or perhaps my disembodied soul. Either way, what caught my attention was the absolute peace in all of my features. I was completely relaxed lying in the gaze of the Spring sun. There was just a hint of a smile curving my lips, and my closed eyes gave me the picture of a sleeping child.
   So innocent, peaceful, pure. There was nothing bad you could say about it. But then I got a sour feeling in my stomach; the sunny air grew chill, as though a cloud had passed across the sun, and yet the day remained bright. I did notice, however, that though the sun continued to shine, the joyful singing of birds had stopped. There was silence. Not a breath of air, not a sound to be...

Always

Fear. 
Anger. 
Embarrassment. 
Joy. 

These emotions swirled themselves together into a heap called 'My Brain', and poured their influence into a funnel directed at my heart. Giving a great shake, I was complete. 
   Fear of not achieving the 'completion award'. 
   Anger at someone's negligence to pay attention.
   Embarrassment at sounding like a ditsy teenager.
   Joy at being with the people who make my world go 'round. 

   What was I really? Was I a fearful teenager? Or a joyful one? Was I to be angry? Or embarrassed? 

1 Timothy 1:7 
   For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 


   No, I will not be afraid. I may be angry at times, and hopefully joyful most often. But through it all, the emotions I experience every day, God works in me. 
   Though I be embarrassed, lose my joy, or fear the future,...

Joy Everlast

My life was all normal
I had friends, family, fun.
But all of it changed;
It was quite unexpected. 

I felt all light-headed,
But thought naught of it,
Until it continued, and
My sister drove me in.

The hospital personnel
Took scans and wrote notes,
I wasn't sure what to think;
There were no words for my fear.

The doctor pronounced,
In a grave, quiet tone,
That I now had cancer
Growing in my brain. 

My life suddenly stopped,
The room whirled 'round.
I was terminally ill,
I had months to live. 

It was spreading too fast,
Said the doctor, eyes sad. 
We'd try chemo; more meds,
But the chance was too low. 

In a flash my life changed.
People meant more to me;
Memories flashed by,
Some good, others bad. 

There was no way to explain,
No one who could know,
The feelings that ate at;
Swallowed my thoughts. 

What was my life worth?
Did I have any value?  ...

But I Can't

If I could make you smile, I would.
If I could cheer you up, I would. 
If I could take away your burden, I would.
If I could remove your fear, I would. 
If I could help you understand how much I love you, I would.
If I could tell you how much you are worth to me, I would. 

But I can't. 
You seem to not know, not see, how much you are valued by God. 

A Child

I'm a whisper.
Nothing more.
A phantom.
Standing by herself.
A lonely soul.
Wandering forever.
A child.
Afraid of the future. 

Unspoken Challenge

I crouched low in the darkness. A black knit beanie donned my head in an attempt to conceal my frizzy, blonde hair. Black was my favorite color, and I used it to my advantage. Especially this night. A smile crept across my face, and I tightened my grip on the hunting knife in my gloved hand. Glancing at the sky, I hoped the clouds would remain fixed over the full moon. I had need of concealment.
   Suddenly, my ears picked up at the sound of soft footsteps among the cricket chirps and whispering leaves. Adrenaline shot through my veins, and a passing breeze caused a wave of goosebumps. I shivered. But not from the cold, from anticipation. My mind canceled out all other sounds, and zeroed in on the approaching footsteps.
   Slowly, I peered out from behind the tree trunk, and saw two light brown heads bobbing closer int he clouded moonlight. I knew many such brown-haired people,...

He Loves Me

I can barely breathe through my tears. No one will see them, because I bottle them away for when it hurts the most. I can barely swallow past the cold lump in my throat. My whimpers will never be heard, because I suppress them under blankets of refuge. No one will understand why I cry as I do. Because I don’t let them know. On the outside I am a hermit shell. On the inside I am empty. Even the hermit crabs have rejected my shell, because they find it against their liking. I can barely face myself in the mirror. My heart rejects me as ‘a wretched soul’ an ‘untamed vagrant’.
It is my fault.
   Guilt lays thick on my soul like fog upon a barren meadow. The sun hasn’t risen, and may not ever. I look up where the sky should be, and know that there’s something beyond the fog. Someone Who cares for me. I know...

Trust Me

Through all the waterfalls of life, You, my Savior, will catch me, and hold me.
Whispering into my ear.
"My dear, precious child, trust Me."

My Ghost: Chapter 5

Chapter 5
Nostalgia

The next morning, I awoke to find the note still lying on the table. It hadn’t been a dream. But how could it be real? I Had never believed in ghosts, nor did I particularly want to. But I had seen her. My ghost. Joelle. I couldn’t have imagined it, could I?
Again, I went to work, and while Chanlee tried to make me smile, I inwardly wrestled with my grief. Memories, ghosts, notes. They all swirled around my brain like an alphabetical soup. But it was foggy, and there was no light to give me a prick of hope.

*

Keren shut her Spanish book with a sigh. It was only 10 AM, and it already felt like an entire day had past. She’d woken up at 3:42, and hadn’t been able to sleep through the memories of Joelle that had consumed her. Guilt-stricken ones, good ones. There was a particular recollection that had stayed vivid. ...

My Ghost: Chapter 4

Chapter 4
The Appearance

Wednesday evening, I left work half-an-hour early. Chanlee noticed and asked where I was going.
“A Bible study at Joelle’s church. They always have them on Wednesday nights.”
“Oh.” Her face softened. “I hope you have a good time, then.”
I smiled and turned to go when she spoke again.
“Nathan, I wanted to tell you how sorry I am about Joelle.”
I’d never seen Chanlee look so sincere and earnest before.
“Thanks.” I swallowed, hoping I was beyond the cry-whenever-you-hear-her-name phase. I thought I was, but the genuine kindness in Chanlee’s words caused them to threaten.
“How are you doing with it?” Her piercing brown eyes penetrated mine, and I knew she could see my true feelings whether I told her or not.
“It’s hard.” I shrugged, fighting my constricting throat.
“Yeah.” She looked down.
A phone ringing nearby filled the silence.
“My grandma passed away a few months ago, so I kinda know how...

Friendship Tweet

Complete

When I got angry, you listened to me. When you were sad, I held your hand. I don’t like the cold, but we threw snowballs at each other. You don’t like the sun, but we ran through the sprinkler together.
   We’re different; but together we make a complete team.  

He's There For You

To one who is searching
For meaning to life,
God is the answer
For everyone living.

When things seem hopeless
And you are in pain,
God wants to hold you,
Make your pain go away.

When you're alone
Or in such despair,
God's right beside you
Helping you through.

He's a loving God
He cares for you,
And in all things,
He's there for you. 

Once More

You looked so lonely
So morose, and so sad,
That I wanted to hug you
To make the bad go away.
I wanted to see 
A smile on your face.
I saw one last week,
Where'd it go? Run and hide?
Your eyes don't light up,
Or dance with delight.
I so want to see
You happy once more. 

Me Right Now

This is an update on me. 

I am currently in the process of writing a novel. 
People who have never written one before (or who aren't currently) will probably smile and say: "Oh, how nice!" 
   But I'm dying here. I can't plan out my stories because then there's no excitement in it for me, and I'll get bored.
But I also don't have any inspiration right now, and my goal is 1,000 words a day. 
My thoughts are centered on writing the next 1,000 words and then the next, so you won't see a lot of other 
compositions by me except for the chapters of My Ghost
And that's me right now. :D 
   7,918 vs. 60,000 (minimum). 

I want to thank ~Wonder~ for encouraging me to keep going! 
And Kaitlyn ❄  for showing me how to do this cool link thingy. ;) 

God bless! And thanks for reading! 

My Ghost: Chapter 3

Chapter 3
The Odd Lady

The next morning, I bundled the strength I didn’t have with the enthusiasm I couldn’t muster, and went to work. I think it showed in my eyes as I stepped into the office. Chanlee Parrel greeted me from her cubicle located behind mine.
   “How’re you doing, Nathan?” Her teeth glinted pure white against her dark face. Some people viewed Chanlee as an inferior graphic designer because of her South African descent, but I knew her to be an intelligent source of joy, and was blessed to have her as my “next-door” co-worker.
   “I’ve been better.” I faked a smile which probably looked more like a grimace, and strode into my cubicle. I’d taped a photo of Joelle and I on the wall beside my computer over a month ago, but I didn’t have the heart to take it down. Not today.
   Beside my black keyboard was a mug portraying my first initial...

The Life of a Writer #2

Then comes the feeling of euphoria - glee!
The inspiration is here, and you won't see me.
For I'll be hiding, in my distraction-free closet.
Where my hand will be blurred against the white page. 
 

The Life of a Writer

The life of a writer is cold and dreary.
There's no one to write with, no feeling to show.
So I'll cuddle in a corner with a cat on my lap.
And stare out the window while Writer's Block passes.

My Ghost: Chapter 2

Chapter 2
A Cat and A Journal

The day had a crisp feel to it. Smudges of white appeared at every street corner because of a snowfall two days prior. My Nikon DLSR hung around my neck, and my bag of extra lenses and accessories was slung over my shoulder. The sky shone bright blue, and covered one end of the city to the other with the moon and sun at either end.
I knew some of the constellations hiding behind the daytime sheen. The sky had always fascinated me. When I was little, my family lived in the country where the city lights couldn’t shut out the stars. That’s where my love for photography had truly blossomed. My dream was to go to Alaska and see the Northern Lights.
Portrait photography was my second love, and never grew dull. I could watch people for hours. Taking candid shots was my passion. And Joelle had been a natural.
Don’t go...

My Ghost

Chapter 1
Joelle

She was my ghost.
   Sometimes she was just a flicker. A touch of nostalgia. But other times she was so real. So there. I felt like I could hug her, and everything would be alright. It was at those times that I heard her voice pleading with me to find her killer. The one who took her from me. At other times she’d gaze at me so mournfully, that my heart would brake all over again.
   Sometimes I’d feel her arms surround me, and other times she’d feel distant. Her blue eyes haunted me. In the wind that rocked the trees outside my apartment, I could hear her addictive laugh. When I focused hard, I could still feel her soft brown hair. The ache in my heart was often too hard to stand.
   One night I sat in a deck chair on my small, railed porch, staring up at the stars. The mug...

For Keeps

It happened in slow motion.
   Our eyes connected. Mine green, his brown. We both wanted the same thing. We both knew it. Hesitantly he leaned forward. My breath caught and I didn't move. Goosebumps zip-zagged all over me, causing me to tremble.
   My knees grew weak. Was this actually happening? He was so close, I could feel his warm breath on my face. Then our lips brushed, and pressed together. I felt his hands touch my arms, which hung limp beside me.
   The room spun around, my eyes closed, and I leaned in. It was the most wonderful sensation I'd ever felt. Better than joy, better than snow, better than anything. I don't know how long we stood there. It could've been a few minutes or hours.
   Then he pulled away. My eyes were sparkling, I'm sure. I couldn't say a word; He was speechless, too. I noticed that he was still touching me, so I...

My Ghost

She was my ghost.
   Sometimes she was just a flicker. A touch of nostalgia. But other times she was so real. So there. I felt like I could hug her, and everything would be alright. It was at those times that I heard her voice pleading with me to find her killer. The one who took her from me. At other times she’d gaze at me so mournfully, that my heart would brake all over again.
   Sometimes I’d feel her arms surround me, and other times she’d feel distant. Her blue eyes haunted me. In the wind that rocked the trees outside my apartment, I could hear her addictive laugh. When I focused hard, I could still feel her soft brown hair. The ache in my heart was often too hard to stand.
   One night I sat in a deck chair on my small, railed porch, staring up at the stars. The mug of hot chocolate...

My Ghost

She was my ghost.
   Sometimes she was just a flicker. A touch of nostalgia. But other times she was so real. So there. I felt like I could hug her, and everything would be alright. It was at those times that I heard her voice pleading with me to find her killer. The one who took her from me. At other times she’d gaze at me so mournfully, that my heart would brake all over again.
   Sometimes I’d feel her arms surround me, and other times she’d feel distant. Her blue eyes haunted me. In the wind that rocked the trees outside my apartment, I could hear her addictive laugh. When I focused hard, I could still feel her soft brown hair. The ache in my heart was often too hard to stand.
   One night I sat in a deck chair on my small, railed porch, staring up at the stars. The mug of hot chocolate...

My Ghost

She was my ghost.
Sometimes she was just a flicker. A touch of nostalgia. But other times she was so real. So there. I felt like I could hug her, and everything would be alright. It was at those times that I heard her voice pleading with me to find her killer. The one who took her from me. At other times she’d gaze at me so mournfully, that my heart would brake all over again.
Sometimes I’d feel her arms surround me, and other times she’d feel distant. Her blue eyes haunted me. In the wind that rocked the trees outside my apartment, I could hear her addictive laugh. When I focused hard, I could still feel her soft brown hair. The ache in my heart was often too hard to stand.
One night I sat in a deck chair on my small, railed porch, staring up at the stars. The mug of hot chocolate in my hands...

I Love You

Tears welled up in my eyes, obscuring my vision. 
   He is going to kill me. 
All I could see were my tears. Sorrow, pain, anger, shock, remorse. 
   What did I do to deserve his anger? 
   Through my tears, I saw him lock his jaw. Somehow I knew what he was going to do. It was the same way that I knew what people would say before they spoke. By their actions and my knowledge of their personality, I could know what they would say and how they'd say it. But what bothered me was that I couldn't see a reason behind what he'd do, but I still knew what his action would be. 
   "Sam, no." I shook my head, my cheeks salty riverbeds. "Don't do this." 
Pain flickered in his brown eyes. 
   "Avi." He whispered my name tenderly. I could see tears in his eyes as well. 
"Sam," I sobbed, locking my gaze...

We Got Lost in a Graveyard

It happened in a graveyard. 
   Quite a few chilling tales begin this way. What is more spooky than an old cemetery? Read on.
   We were just a group of high-schoolers (with a few college-goers sprinkled in) having a game night at a friend's house. It was misting outside, and the warm light and laughter of the house seemed twice as cozy compared to it. 
   Then Charles suggested that we romp around the cemetery nearby. Charles loved excitement. He was a glow-worm who attracted everyone to him, and carried a metaphorical bundle of gasoline-soaked sticks to make a fire with. All this said, he had an A+ personality. 
   Naturally, any protest against the wisdom of his suggestion proved unsuccessful. The extroverts won out. In the end, five stayed behind (to pick up our remains in the morning, no doubt), and the rest of us -eleven in all- trooped out into the cold night air. Our weapons were...

Let Them Go

I want to cry
Hit my head,
Scream and shout.
But my heart won’t let me
Its resistance is strong.
It’s something I didn’t choose for myself
But I gained it anyway.
In a shattered, tear-stained package
That bore my first name.
At first I was tough
I couldn’t let them know.
But my heart grew tender
The shield around it broke.
Now all I want is freedom
From this jail that I’ve built.
One that lets me say things,
My feelings, my inner-most soul.
Please learn from my small knowledge
Don’t block, or act too tough.
There comes a point in the battle
Where it’ll come out in waves.
But if you push away your feelings
You’ll push away people as well
And it’ll be harder as you grow older
To let those feelings go.  

Though I Be Alone

I went outside today, and discovered one lonely Daffodil. It made me sad to think that it was all by itself. The first flower bloomed for the Spring season.
   Then I realized that that Daffodil is a lot like me. I often feel lonely, or unsure of what I do.
The lone light.
A solitary Christian.
The odd-ball out.
   But I could in fact be the beginning to a wonderful generation of Christians. Through Jesus's work in me, I can be a light. Hope for those who have none. Though I be alone, though I face stormy trials, though I wither and fade away, God's Word never will.

Together

We stared at the moonlight together.
It was just he and I.
Alone.
We hadn’t planned it that way.
I had already been standing in the darkness,
watching the night sky.
Then he came out,
and I suppose he felt that he should protect me.
Or perhaps the moonlight attracted him like it had me.
Either way, we were alone.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t thinking about the moon or the stars
as he stood beside me.
I was hoping for someone to come out with us,
or perhaps secretly hoping that we could stay out here alone forever.
My heart beat rapidly,
My mind whirled with unspoken thoughts.
After standing there for long enough,
I forgot my anxiety and just gazed up.
Then I felt a quick kiss on my cheek.
I gasped.
My hand flew to the spot.
My eyes wouldn’t meet his.
I felt him tense up beside me.
In my shock, I think I laughed.
Quietly...

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day ~ A holiday on the 14th of February, credited for giving guys heart-attacks when they realize that they forgot about it. 

A Girl's Worst Nightmare

It was warm. Too warm.
It was early August, and I’d been outside playing volleyball for two hours under the direct glare of the sun. It was the speed variation of volleyball, and my team had just ran off the court to let team three on. I hadn’t had water for at least an hour, and was panting hard. My team stood under the relieving shade of an elm, but my body didn’t seem to realize the change in temperature.
Spots started to dance in front of my eyes. Water! My mind screamed at me, but my legs remained uncooperative. Then the dizziness started. Panting harder, everything turned black-and-white, and I leaned over, hands on my knees, to stop my head from spinning.
It didn’t work.
I’d spent too much time under the sun without water. I’d gotten heat stroke once before, and this was worse. My breathing quickened; I was hyperventilating. Everything felt so heavy. Faintly I heard someone...

Monster Flash Fiction Competition 2018

Behind My Curtain

The curtain growled. 
   With a start I awoke. Darkness enveloped my room, causing eerie shadows to dance across my walls. My heart ran beneath the covers while my alarmed eyes continued to peek out. I gulped. Why was I so scared? I had almost fallen back asleep when the curtain moved. My eyes fastened onto the subtle activity while my toes curled around part of the loose cover sheet at the base of my bed, as though clutching an invisible tower. 
   Not wanting to, yet curious, I watched the curtain for several moments. It went forward softly. A puff of wind? My head said so, but my heart screamed 'HIDE!' Goosebumps slithered up my arms. My spine was triggered to spring into action if spooked. Frantically, I mentally searched for something with which to protect myself. The softness of my favorite blanket came to mind. Smother it? What if it was stronger than me? 
   The curtain growled again.  ...

Love

"Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life" ~ Joni Eareckson Tada

You can choose to hate the hardships in your life because they are difficult, or love them because you know that God works through the bad experiences to create you into a more beautiful picture of a follower of Christ.

God is always there, and will always pick you back up into His arms. No matter the trial. No matter the cost. He's there, bearing nail scars because of His love for you.

Love in 13 Words

Your Smile

There was so much empty space.
And you filled it with
Your smile. 

It Is Time

The sliver of moon bowed low. 
As did the multitude of stars.
Then the sun sunk low it's proud head. 
The sky was barren and empty. 
A wasteland of black. 
There were no comets. 
No shooting stars.
Nothing moved. 

Then the sky was ripped apart. 
One half fled south.
The other, north. 
And I stood face to face with the Creator, Himself.

There was no feeling to describe it.
My knees grew weak.
My eyes dimmed.
My speech came to nothing.
I felt bare. 
Humble. 

The Creator's eyes were like blazing fires.
His cloak brighter than the sun,
who's face I had forgotten in my awe. 
His proclamation resonated all around me.
"It is time!" 
The ground trembled. 
I trembled. 
I hid my eyes from His glory.
His majesty. 

The end had now come. 

"To You goes all glory." 
I murmured. 
My lips shook. 

"My child." 

I lifted my head. 
Was the Creator addressing me? 
The wretch? 


"Your sins have...

It Was Only a Dream

I woke up from the nightmare. 
   In my grief, I almost didn't realize that I was looking at the dark ceiling of my bedroom. The dream remained fresh on my mind. Three tears dropped onto my pillow. 
   One for my brother's fun personality.
   One for his love of Jesus.
   One for how much I missed him. 

But I had to remember that it had only been a dream. A horrible nightmare. 
My brother was alive and breathing in the next room. 
   I closed my eyes, taking slow breaths. 
It was only a dream. 


   But was it? 

God Is There

God is there to hear your worries,
dry your tears,
and lift you to your feet.

He'll never leave you,
never be deaf to your cries,
and never cease to love you.

I'm Ready, LORD

I stared into his eyes. Eyes that held malice, pent up anger, and hate. Pure hate. Pure evil. 
   
   Then I realized how much I had to live for. 
   Then I realized why I couldn't see my future. 
   Then I realized that I was willing to die for my faith.

"Nothing you do can take away my faith." My words came clearly despite the pain that swarmed all over my body. I felt blood bubble up my throat. 
   "Then meet your God." He pressed the gun to my temples. I closed my eyes. 
I'm ready, LORD.  
He pulled the trigger. 
   

What If

I stared through the clear glass of water. No matter how still the liquid and cup were, the objects on the other side were still distorted. I sighed, sending ripples across the water's smooth surface. It reminded me of my life. No matter how I tried to get my life together and act normal, it seems as unattainable as making the water clear. The future was cloudy no matter what I did. 
   I fingered the strands of black-dyed hair framing my face. Part of the "change", to find out who I really was. I had hoped even something as silly as dying part of my hair would help me in my quest to find meaning to my life. But it hadn't. I listlessly watched as a fat fly buzzed frantically across the ceiling. It seemed to have as much purpose as I did. In a few hours it would be dead. I could die anytime. It happened to kids...

It Is Love

When he smiles, my face lights up. When he speaks, I listen. When he looks at me, I smile. 
   It's a feeling that's hardest to understand. To describe. It's like taking a sip of hot chocolate and having that cozy warmth as it trickles down. Or when the sun falls on your face, filling you to the core with perfect heat. 
   Except that this is better. This is more real. More intense. 
It is love.

About Me (Prompt by LASL)

1. I have nearly waist-length brown/golden hair with side bangs that curl and mess up for no apparent reason. One of my eyes is blue/green with a stripe of brown, and the other one is simply green (not referring to the cleaning agent). 
I am 5' 4", and am the shortest in my family. Being small has its advantages and its disadvantages. But I prefer the advantages. 

2. Jeans. All the time. (Except Sundays, or special occasions, of course). Since I have two Marine brothers, I have several military t-shirts, and a teal/black jacket that I wear nearly all the time. And I'm a sucker for jewelry, so if I'm not wearing at least one ring, a necklace, and earrings, then something's probably wrong with me. 

3. (I typically don't like to rant). 

4. If an intruder broke in, I'd probably hide in a closet with my camera and BIble, and record it. If my sister was with me, I'd call...

Color Your Week

Purple is a royal color, 
Flaunting its deep hue 
And reminds me of that girl I know,
Saturday by name. 

At morning she is fast asleep,
Or else chatting away.
At evening she cannot be kept
Away from laughs and fun. 

Black is a more foreboding one,
A background cold and dark.
And reminds me of that lad I know,
Monday is his name.

At morning he walks along
With a scowl on his face. 
At evening he is quick to flee
His responsibilities. 

Red is more perplexing
Why is it angry and drear? 
It reminds me of a girl nearby,
Tuesday, I think it is. 

No one knows why she is hateful
Or yells at everyone.
But she keeps to herself every minute
And glares at all from her desk. 

Blue can be quite cheery,
Or something of a sulk. 
It reminds me of, oh what's her name? 
That's right, her name is Thursday. 

Most of the time she...

Color Your Week

Purple is a royal color, 
Flaunting its deep hue 
And reminds me of that girl I know,
Saturday by name. 

At morning she is fast asleep,
Or else chatting away.
At evening she cannot be kept
Away from laughs and fun. 

Black is a more forboding one,
A background cold and dark.
And reminds me of that lad I know,
Monday is his name.

At morning he walks along
With a scowl on his face. 
At evening he is quick to flee
His responsibilities. 

Red is more perplexing
Why is it angry and drear? 
It reminds me of a girl nearby,
Tuesday, I think it is. 

No one knows why she is hateful
Or yells at everyone.
But she keeps to herself every minute
And glares at all from her desk. 

Blue can be quite cheery,
Or something of a sulk. 
It reminds me of, oh what's her name? 
That's right, her name is Thursday. 

Most of the time she...

It Began With a Ring

It was a long time ago.
   So long I can hardly remember what happened. As I grow older, each day closer to my final breath, I wake up to find that my memory is fading away. A second disappears, then five, then a whole minute of memory. Gone. No explanation. No ransom note. Just a cold, hard wall. And before the final shreds disappear entirely, I'll piece together what I do remember, and stop reminiscing. 
   It began with an old ring. My grandmother's, if I remember correctly. One with impressive purple jewels set into a wide gold band. Though the description of it matters little, what happened to it leads to an interesting conclusion. 
   My family had gathered at an old military chapel to mourn the loss of my grandpa, who had died at a good age of around ninety. He was given a proper military funeral, and grandma had received the stars and stripes in return...

What Would You Like To Do With Your Life?

There once was a girl named Abby,
Who liked art and things that are fancy.
But one day she realized
That those were just hobbies
So she picked a yellow, white pansy. 

As this same girl grew up, 
She stopped liking tea from a cup,
And decided to be
What she wanted to be
A photographer; macro; close-up. 

And then she read a guide-line,
To go into Graphic Design,
So on she went
To fulfill her goal
And became a Graphic Designer. 
 

What Is Your First Memory of Snow?

The sun touched the pure, white snow, sending it sparkling with a million diamonds. Or so it seemed. I could barely see through the brightness. Wishing I had brought my sunglasses, I shielded my green eyes with my begloved hand, and settled in front of my older sister on the blue plastic sled. 
   "Ready?" Her lilting laugh had a hard time keeping up with us as we sped down the steep hill. Snow sprayed into my face, but I stubbornly kept my eyes open. I was sure that we were going to crash into the creek at the bottom, but my sister dug her hands into the snow on either side of the sled, and gradually we slowed to a stop. 
   Then I laughed. 
"Let's do it again!" I giggled, and scampered after my sister up the hill. 

To You

To my dear grandma
Whom God took away
We miss you and love you
With each passing day.

With springtime will bloom
The yellow Daffy bulbs
And memories of you
Will spark up all day.

We mourn no longer
That you went away,
But thank the LORD
You are enjoying your day.

Sunshine will blossom
When the rain goes north
But fond memories of you
Will stay with us forever.

So tell the LORD ‘Hi’
And grandpa as well
For I’ll see you up there
You’ll be waiting at the gate.  

Here I Stand

I look back on myself from when I was young. In dancing slippers, jam on my face.
One thought hovers above the rest.
God has never let me down.

When I cried myself to sleep, thinking that life couldn’t get harder.
When I laughed as I searched for Easter eggs in the Tulip flowers.
When I hurt my neck sledding down a steep hill with a thick layer of ice.
When I switched churches, not knowing anyone there.
When I watched my favorite brother leave for Marine boot-camp.
When I poured my heart into writing, leaving it open wide.
When I finally realized how much the people in my life love me.

That’s when I realized that God has never left me.
And He promised to hold me in His hand forever and ever.

So here I stand. Holding my Father’s hand, and staring out with eyes open wide.
No matter what happens, He’s standing beside me.  

The Betrayal

It was dark. A chilling morning breeze entered through the window as I sat upon my bed. With it entered an idea. It was a wretched idea. An utterly horrible suggestion. But it could be done. My brown eyes flicked around the small room which was my home, searching for an eavesdropper or a shadow outside the door, as if they could hear my thoughts.
   I shook my head, knowing that I shouldn't do it. It should've been an easy thing to rub off. Betray Jesus? Absolutely not. Yet still, I hesitated. I stood, and walked softly to the bare window. The sun hadn't quite breached the horizon. Few people were up at this time. The priests and Roman soldiers would be, though. 
   I locked onto that thought. None of the other disciples were awake yet. They didn't even know that I owned this little hut.
   While my mind told me to betray the One whom I...

The Betrayal

It was dark. A chilling morning breeze entered through the window as I sat upon my bed. With it entered an idea. It was a wretched idea. An utterly horrible suggestion. But it could be done. My brown eyes flicked around the small room which was my home, searching for an eavesdropper or a shadow outside the door, as if they could hear my thoughts.
   I shook my head, knowing that I shouldn't do it. It should've been an easy thing to rub off. Betray Jesus? Absolutely not. Yet still, I hesitated. I stood, and walked softly to the bare window. The sun hadn't quite breached the horizon. Few people were up at this time. The priests and Roman soldiers would be, though. 
   I locked onto that thought. None of the other disciples were awake yet. They didn't even know that I owned this little hut.
   While my mind told me to betray the One whom I...

Truly Free

Nature called to me. 
   The sky did.
   The trees did.
   The leaves did.
   The wind did.
They all called my name.
   In a few seconds, I had slipped into my blue jacket and rubber boots.
Their urging voices reached into my heart and tugged me along. 
It didn't matter where I was going. I was free out here. 
   In the wild.
   In the outside.
   In the God-made wonder. 
I closed my eyes and felt the wind brush over me. 
A smile crept over my face. 
And I felt truly free. 

Crochet Hat

I stared at the soft object in my trembling hands with total disbelief. 
   Am I out of my mind?
But no. The diminished roll of yarn lay at my feet, the scissors lay on my lap with the sewing needle, and the finished product was in my hands. 
   I had actually made a crochet hat. 

Dizzy

My head spun. 
My breath quickened. 
Spots danced before my eyes.
Wind teased my hair. 
Leaves crunched beneath my boots. 
I knew I needed to sit down. 
   Get over it. I gritted my teeth. But the dots persisted. My head still spun. My breath grew shallow. And the wind continued to tease my hair.
I wished for the moment to pass. But it didn't. 
   Stop. Please stop. I closed my eyes and stopped walking. The breeze whistled past. Life slowed. I took slow, deep breaths. 
Please go away. I silently begged. 
   Finally my head stopped whirling. I opened my eyes. The white sunshine through the clouds stung my eyes, and they retreated beneath my eyelids. I waited a few seconds, and tried again.
   My breath slowed.
   There were no spots in front of me.
   Wind continued to tease my hair.
The dizzy spell had passed.
 

Thank You for the Memories

The sky was blue. 
Sparrows chittered in the forest beyond, filling the air with music. The warm breeze carried the scent of wildflowers. Shadows danced on the grass beneath the elm tree. Sunshine lay warm on my shoulders, but I didn't notice it as I stood before a small mound of fresh dirt.
   A tear slipped down my cheek. Pictures of my kitty and I fell across my memory, filling my mind with heavy thoughts. 
Snuggled together on the couch. Her gentle purr making my smile grow wider. Sitting together in the sun, me stroking her soft, black fur.
   "I love you." I'd whisper. 

   Here, in the sunshine, I gave my parting words to my dear kitty.
"Thank you for the memories."

The Rune

It was a cloudy day. Mist had settled over the Emerald Forest, whose tall trees reached to the sky. A waterfall rushed through these woods, sending a constant thundering crash everywhere around. Flying unicorns heard it and were glad. It was their source of life. They would never run out.
   On this particular day, the unicorns were meeting at the banks of the river, when a metal object, glittering even though the mist, drifted through the rapids. This at once caught their attention, and the leader, a gray stallion named Black Echo, was sent to fetch it. He laid it on the grass and they wondered what it was. Instead of metal as they thought, it was wooden.
   A carved rune.

Future

The future is cloudy
Fear fills my heart
My hands tremble
My legs are faint.

There's darkness ahead
There's darkness behind
There's nowhere to turn
Where can I go? 

Mist swirls around me
I fall to my knees
The mud sucks me in
I cry for help.

There's a light in the sky
I reach out in hope
It grows brighter
My eyes fill with light.

A bird soars high
An eagle's freedom cry
The future is no longer dark
It's within my grasp. 

I take a step forward
Onto dry ground
The mist clears
A path is laid before me.

Slowly, then faster
My legs gain strength
I run down the path
My heart fills with excitement. 

The future is no longer dark
It is filled with light
More than ever I want
To see what it holds. 
 

Our Imagination

Magic is found in butterfly wings,
And in the songs of birds.

Magic is found in sparkling snow,
And the laughter of a child.

Magic is found in colorful lights,
And silver fairy shoes. 

Magic isn't the made up things,
It's our imagination. 

But I Didn't

I got so mad
So angry
I wanted to stomp my foot
I wanted to yell at her
I wanted her to stop
I wanted her to listen to me.

I stared at her
She stared back at me
My gaze unfaltering
She blinked
I trembled in anger
She shrugged and walked away. 

"I'm sorry for trying to help you!"
I screamed after her retreating figure.
My pupils danced with anger
My jaw rigid. 

In every shadow 
Every window
She stood mocking me
Her unapologetic face
Leering back at me.

"I only tried to help you." 
I whispered
Tears jumped from my eyes.

Months later
Anger forgotten
I sat in the front pew at church
Staring at the casket in front of me

She was gone. 
Forever. 
I'd never gotten the chance
Never thought about it,
To say I was sorry.

I clenched my skirt hard
The one I let her wear
The one she wore to the ball
The...

The Disappearing Waffles

One day, I made waffles for breakfast. 
I poured batter into the hot iron, and sprinkled nuts on top. After locking down the lid, I went off to make some hot chocolate. Soon the waffle iron beeped, and I opened the lid. Surprise filled my eyes at the sight I beheld.
The waffles were gone!
   I started to hyperventilate. 
How could the waffles just disappear?!
Did the iron eat them?
   Cautiously, I put more batter into the waffle iron and closed the lid.
Or at least, I tried to.
It felt like there was too much stuff in the iron for it to close. For the second time, I opened the lid, and found the finished waffles stuck to the top of the waffle iron. 

Ice-Skating

On the ice, I felt for the first time
That I could truly fly


And then I tripped on the front of my skate. 

Not Anymore

I was walking down the street and felt someone's hand slip into my own. 
   I looked down, and saw six-year-old me smiling up at me. 
Memories rushed over me. 
   Saying "I love you" to my parents. 
   Singing hymns before bedtime. 
   Skipping alongside my parents as we walked to church. 
   Praying the prayer of repentance. 
   Reading my Bible. 

Six-year-old me spoke: 
This is where you came from. Why are you still running? 
   A tear slipped down my cheek. 

All God wants to do is hold you in His arms and love you. 
Six-year-old me smiled and disappeared. Her touch lingered in my hand. 
I closed my eyes, and felt warm all over. 

Forgive me, Father. 
I don't want to run anymore. 

I Ran

It wasn't me. 

Not the person God wanted me to be. I made excuses as to why I was running away. 
Running away from my family. My life. My God. 

I wasn't running because I had no room to grow in the way I wanted to. 
I was running from God. 

I didn't like His way of doing things. I didn't want His protection. 
I wanted to do things my own way. 

So I ran. 

And I've been running ever since. 
 

Dear 2017

Dear 2017,

You've been a year of change. First you took my grandma away, then my brother. 
Both in different ways, yet the house seems dead without them.
Then you took a better turn. I became more creative with my writing and photography.
School passed quickly and easier than before. A friend moved back, a friend moved away.
And I finally realized how much my friends care about me.
   I wasn't so depressed; I stored my sadness into my journal and short-stories, reserving none for myself.
Then I discovered that I can be myself. Who cares that I wear two rings on the same hand, or that I
don't have a Facebook account? I'll stick to my beliefs, my hopes, my friends, and simply be me. 
   Thank you for teaching me that nothing should be taken for granted.
Whether it be the freedom of our country, or my artistic skills. God's watching out for me, 
and loves me...

Time

I look upon memories
From two years ago.
Some laughs, some fun,
Photos with friends.

I switch my attention
To present time; now.
We're more grown-up,
Time's going by fast.

I can remember
A time not long ago.
When we played pretend games
And looked up to adults.

But now we have switched;
Our roles are now different.
I see kids playing games
Who look up to me.

Time continues on,
Faster, faster, 'round the clock.
More memories are made,
More stored in our minds.

We must savor the time,
Pesky in the moment.
For it will soon pass on,
Like dew drops in summer. 
 

A United States Marine

With a flag in hand,
And a grin upon my face,
I stood behind the fence
And watched the recruits run past. 

It was Family Day, 
And with my Marine shirt on,
I cheered for my loved one,
Who I hadn't seen since day one.

I'd prayed for him,
And sent him letters.
But now the day was here,
When I could hug and love him.

Everyone cheered for their loved one,
And I was no exception.
I searched the faces of those recruits
To find my grinning brother. 

Then there he was in cammies.
He looked into my eyes,
And there the grin still was
Lighting up his eyes. 

Then the moment ended,
He ran past with the others.
But still my heart felt warm
From his long-awaited smile.

The smile that had carried me
Through all the months of wait,
'Til the day I'd see my new recruit
Older, stronger, a Marine. 

I'd lit a candle for him, ...

Which Will It Be?

We are on borrowed time.
At the end, what will be the culmination of our deeds on earth?
Will our records show that we were faithful and did our LORD's bidding?
Or that we stood back, and did nothing?

You Are Mine

There was a black kitten who made me exclaim:
"He's the sweetest thing ever! And what is his name?"
"Nazgul." Was the answer, and as I laughed in reply,
I held him to my heart, and said: "You are mine."

Merry Christmas!

" . . . And there is born today, in the city of David,
a Savior, Who is Christ the LORD!"
~ Luke 2:11

Jesus loves you!
Merry Christmas!

Day 11 - Three Sentence Plot Twist

"I've come to find my mother, ma'am." Raegan spoke softly to the orphanage lady who had been her only guide her whole life. 
   A single tear slipped down Ms. Ebieve's cheek, "My dear child, I am your mother." 

Day 1 - What is Blue?

Blue is the color of sun-filled waves crashing onto the shore. 
Of when we laughed up at the sky; that endless blue above. 

Blue is the color of Christmas lights, that change from blue to red.
Of when we laughed up at the tree that glowed with a blue gleam. 

Blue is the color of your uniform, when you went into the service.
Of when we laughed together that day, and thought of memories. 

Blue is the color of your clear eyes as I stared at the picture frame.
Of when the colonel gave me the flag, and thanked me for your service.
 

Day 6 - Twenty Important Facts About Me, Myself, and I

1. I am a Christian; first, and foremost.
2. I have a hard time thinking of facts about myself. 
3. I play five different instruments.
4. The photographs I have taken take up way too much space on my computer. 
5. Animated characters are so much easier for me to draw than real-life people. 
6. I am the peacemaker between my two cats. 
7. Once Upon A December (sung by Christy Altomare), Blue Skies (by Hallal Music), and My Everything (by Owl City) are my three favorite songs. 
8. I'm so proud of my two Marine brothers!!!
9. My favorite colors are black, pink, and silver. Or 'blinker'.
10. I remember quotes really well and could possibly recite an entire movie for you. (As long as I've seen it a couple dozen times). Adventures in Odysseys are much easier to recite in their entirety. 
11. I have 7 siblings. 
12. I've played piano for 12 years.
13. Hot chocolate with...

Christmas

Christmas is a time of year
To think of Jesus Christ.
Of when He came to this poor earth
To become a sacrifice.

Jesus left all that He had known
And came to live on earth.
Where He died a sinner’s death
On a cross made of wood.

But Jesus Christ was not a sinner,
He is LORD of all.
And when He died on that wood cross
He died to set men free.

So sing ‘Amen’ at your Christmas feast
To the gift that He gave you.
His life in exchange for eternal life
For me, and for you. 

WILD

Frosty Creation

The frost sparkles silver 
Against the fir trees,
Then I hear a soft crunch
And a breath. 

The crunch was made
By one rabbit's paw
As it rested a bit
On the ice. 

The breath was exhaled
As a cloud of vapor
Which fell to the ground
As frost. 

It's long, furry ears
Turn every which way
To catch a sound
Or two. 

And I gaze in amazement
At God's creation
And praise Him for making
This day. 

I Miss Her

There’s a whiff of caramel,
And maybe chocolate?
Wafting out from a room.

It’s the familiar smell
Of fresh almond roca
Hot, right out of the pan.

I twist the brass knob
And push the door open,
To find the cold, dark kitchen.

It’s then I remember
That Grandma is gone.
She’ll make no more roca.

The delightful smell
Was a sweet memory
Of times gone and past.

When Grandma would leave
A pinch for me
With a sprinkle of almonds on top.

I cry right there
On the cold, hard floor
And pray that she knows I miss her.
 

Fudge Trouble

As I'm stirring the fudge, little pieces of something hard and white keep appearing in the bubbling brown. I stir harder, thinking it's only marshmallow creme. 
   It isn't.
As I pull the spoon out, half of the top is gone. 
   "I don't think it's supposed to look like that."

This To My Grandma

This to my Grandma,
Who in heaven will stay
Under God's gentle caring
And the angel's sweet sway.

While we place presents
Beneath our green fir,
I'll think of you, grandma,
And your voice in the air.

In each decoration
And the stockings as well,
I'll find your kind goodness;
It'll ring like a bell.

This is the first Christmas
Without your dear presence
And I'll try to follow
In your steps of forebearance. 

You will not be here
To laugh and join in
To the fun times and cheer
With all of our kin.

So to you, dear grandma,
I have this to say:
"I'll never forget you!
Please smile today!" 

Overcome

My steps sounded hollow as I walked along the dim-lighted corridor. My eyes strayed to each shadow as though it might form a grotesque figure. Millions of thoughts ran through my panicked mind. None of them wanting to be here. I shivered, expecting a wolf howl at any moment. My palms grew slick and warm. I wiped them on my black slacks. Not wanting to make any sudden moves that might frighten myself, I slowly reached up to cock my dark fedora further onto my forehead. 
   Don't look back. I peeked at the end of the straight hallway. Goosebumps feathered out all over my arms despite my warm overcoat, and I trembled at the troubling darkness. I'd been sent here with a mission. But would my many anxieties overcome my weakening courage? 
   I didn't want to explore the thought. 
My eyes fastened onto the rectangle of inky darkness coming nearer and nearer. My steps slowed. My heart...

Overcome

My steps sounded hollow as I walked along the dim-lighted corridor. My eyes strayed to each shadow as though it might form a grotesque figure. Millions of thoughts ran through my panicked mind. None of them wanting to be here. I shivered, expecting a wolf howl at any moment. My palms grew slick and warm. I wiped them on my black slacks. Not wanting to make any sudden moves that might frighten myself, I slowly reached up to cock my dark fedora further onto my forehead. 
   Don't look back. I peeked at the end of the straight hallway. Goosebumps feathered out all over my arms, and I trembled at the troubling darkness. I'd been sent here with a mission. But would my many anxieties overcome my weakening courage? 
   I didn't want to explore the thought. 
My eyes fastened onto the rectangle of inky darkness coming nearer and nearer. My steps slowed. My heart pounded loudly in my...

Christmas

Yesterday we got our tree from a neighboring farm. 
This is the tree farm from which we always have gotten our tree. For some 32 years. 
   As we trampled across the hard, almost frozen ground, looking for the perfect Grand Fir, recollections of laughter sifted through my mind. 
Old photographs of my entire family (most have left now) talking and laughing as we find a tree. Snow is on the ground; we're all bundled up in hats and coats. One of my brothers carries my younger sister around on his back. Only her feet and hands are peeking out from behind his big frame. 
   Present day, we have found a tree. The most perfect tree in the field. At least to me. 
We take it home, and decorate it with strings of colorful lights and varied ornaments. 
   Memories come to me also as we unwrap each one. 
A picture of one of my brothers as a baby,...

Mr. President

Mr. President,

First of all, I'd like to thank you for shaking this country
up. It's been left far too long in the hands of people who
disrespect it. 
   Secondly, I want to let you know that I'm behind you.
My prayers go out to you as you try to lead by the grace
of God. 
   May God bless you, and give you wisdom.
                            
                                Sincerely,
                                        A Christian American

Fought-For Freedom

A day of remembrance
Is December the seventh.
When our soldiers were killed
In the Japanese harbor.

The families of those brave
Men of all branches
Will remember this day
Forever and always.

We mustn't forget either
Of the men who fought bravely
To protect their loved shores
From those who would quench us.

God gave us great vict'ry
Over our enemies,
And over time we've forgotten
All that has happened.

But we mustn't forget!
No never! Not ever!
Or else we'll lose
Our fought-for freedom. 

Maybe

Sunlight filters through the trees, sending warmth to my upturned face.
   "Maybe just a little bit of snow, LORD? Maybe?"

Snow

Snowflakes are a wonderful thing
At any time of year.
Although the weather may not permit
The ground to freeze in summer.  

But in the fall is when we start
To pray most fervently. 
For it to freeze, by day, by night
And snowflakes to fall low. 

So as I gaze out through the window
And winter is drawing nigh. 
I must remember to be patient
For surely it will come soon. 

Snow Prayer

Water drips from the eaves, and I stand beneath, gazing at the sky. 
   "Dear LORD, please send us snow."

My December Competition 2017

God is Greater

I made mistakes. 
I moved on. 
I cried some.
I laughed more.
Friends moved away.
I stayed. 
The world told me to give up.
God told me to keep going.
I was depressed.
I was elated. 
Relationships changed.
I grew up. 

Life is hard. 
Life will fight back.
Life can be depressing.
Life can be unfair. 

But God is stronger.
God tells me to give the details to Him.
God understands me when no one else does. 

In all things I will give thanks for I know that no matter what happens in my life,
God is greater.

Ten Words to You

In the Northwest

Pitter-patter goes the rain.
The mist curls 'round the house. 
 

My Sister

My best friend.
Without her I feel lost.
We think alike.
In all things she is
My sister.

Rainfall

Rain, rain, rain . . . 
All day, every day for months.
Sopping leaves stick to my shoes whenever I walk into the barnyard.
My raincoat is constantly wet from going to and fro outside. 
The skies are covered with gray. 

And then I remember that 
Without the rain, the sun could never make a rainbow. 

And there's always sun at the end of the rainfall. 

I Watch the Sunrise

The wintry sunrise cracks the eastern sky open, sending thin, gold rays filtering across the barren fields. I watch this from my bedroom window with a sense of calm. While everyone may run around for Christmas preparations, God has given me peace. Calm. To watch His masterpiece, the sunrise, unfold into its full glory. Like an iris in the spring. Through all of life's emotions, sadness or joy, He is in control.
   So I quiet my racing heart and watch the sunrise. 

They Left

They left.
They up and moved away from their friends. Their memories.
It wasn’t easy. There were tears shed. Goodbyes said. Hugs given.
They didn’t want to leave. They didn’t want to move.
But they felt called. They had peace about their decision.

It still wasn’t easy. The day came when they said goodbye for the last time.
They laughed and cried over memories. Old photos. Fun times.
Their friends didn’t understand why they would leave when they
had so much where they were. So many memories. So many friends.

It was God calling them elsewhere. To make a big impact in another place.
To make different friends. Different memories.

By no means would they forget about their past friends and memories.
But through them, God had made them better people, better friends.
And those friends who they left behind, became better people because
of them.

And none of it was wasted.  

Christmas Decorating

Dozens of electric loops hung on my arm. With the other hand I strung them up with the long light hook. The cold air nipped at my red nose. My neck was sore from looking up at each hook. And I decided right then to leave Christmas decorating to tall people. 

We Thank You

We thank You for our every blessing
And for the fine weather.
And for our family, friends, and kin
Who make Thanksgiving better. 

Give Thanks

T is for the things we have,
H is for the humble
A is for all God does,
N is for our neighbors.
K is for our kin close by,
S is for our Savior. 

In Thanks

Time
Hot water
Apples
Nieces
Kittens
Sheet paper
Gardening
Images
Vacuums
Ice
Nephews
God

2058

January 26 - 7:08 AM

With a lurch I'm awake. 
My eyes are wide open. 
What woke me? 
My watch is strapped
to the bedstead. 
The numbers blink on 
and off as though I
had forgotten to set it.

7:09
The sun isn't shining. 
I bring the watch to my ear.
Tick tick tick. 
Then I see the year.
2058 
My heart nearly stops. 
I scramble out of bed
and stare out the window.

7:10
Nothing has changed.
The tall tree outside 
my window is still there.
Am I dreaming? 

7:11
Why isn't the sun shining? 
Dark clouds cover the sky.
I don't know which direction
the sun is in. 
I try to remember what 
year it was when I went
to sleep. I look over at my
wall calendar.
2025 
Right year.

7:12
I need to find my sister.
I pass by my dresser 
and glance into the miror
on my wall. I stare at my
reflection. Is...

Pain

The guests had left. Mom and I were picking up plastic plates, cups, and utensils scattered about the house. Board games lay in haphazard piles on the coffee table. The half-eaten birthday cake sat temptingly on the dining-room table. I eyed it hungrily. 
   "It was a success, then." Mom grinned, snitching a potato chip from the almost empty bag. 
"Yup!" There was a partial piece of cake on a plate. Sadly, I tossed it into the garbage can. 
   "Joanna, did you see my-" Mom was interrupted by the phone ringing. 
"I'll get it." Running over, I picked up the receiver. "Hello?"
   "Hi, this is Mrs. Dan. Are Trestan and Tina still there?" 
"Um, no." I exchanged glances with mom who gave me an inquiring look. 
   "Alright." I could hear a worried note in Mrs. Dan's voice. 
"Is everything okay?" 
   "I'm not sure." She paused. "They're not home yet, and it's already 11:00. Trestan said they'd be...

Year of a Leaf

I grew out in the spring
From under a snowflake.
I began as a green bud
And flowered into a leaf.

My first season was a happy one
Wind teased me back and forth
I expressed my joy by playing along
And providing shade with my clan.

Of my family there are many,
All look nearly like me. 
But we all have different voices
And our favorite weather, too.

My favorite season was summer,
The sky was empty and blue.
But that was how I liked it
And the season soon passed by. 

Next came swiftly; Autumn.
With different colors and sights.
Apples in the orchard
Me on my oak branch. 

This was a season of change,
Every leaf felt this.
We all turned red or orange,
Some fell, others stayed. 

Then came wet, cold winter.
I shivered on my oak branch.
Being the last of my family,
Was the loneliest thing ever.

And then one gray, wet day,
A...

Remember to Thank Them

Remember to thank them
For all their heart service. 
They left their families,
to serve our great country.

We mustn't forget how
We obtained our freedom.
It's because of these brave men
We have what we have. 

"We fight for America!"
Is their proud battle cry,
When they rally their forces
And protect their loved ones.

God gave us these brave men
And women to fight. 
It's because of the LORD
We have land to fight for. 

So remember to thank them
For all their heart service.
And salute them for loving 
The land of the free. 
 

Novel Writing Competition 2017

The Yellow Lamp

Light. I thought of it only as the physical brightness which is found everywhere on earth. When I thought of it, my mind would travel back to my first memory. 
   I tripped along next to my mom, who was in a rush to find someone. She'd told me so, and I kept quiet. My five-year-old self wanted to go to sleep, instead of running as fast as I could to get somewhere in the dark of night. We splashed through puddles, passed by homeless people; I waved to them. Some waved back, others ignored me. At every alley corner was a yellow lamp. 
   It was at one of these that we stopped. I, out of breath but glad to rest; my mom, anxiously searching the darkness for something. I didn't really care. What mattered is that I was with my mom. I tightened my hold on her hand. She looked down at me; I smiled. 
   "I love...

Novel Writing Competition 2017

The Yellow Lamp

Light. I thought of it only as the physical brightness which is found everywhere on earth. When I thought of it, my mind would travel back to my first memory. 
   I tripped along next to my mom, who was in a rush to find someone. She'd told me so, and I kept quiet. My five-year-old self wanted to go to sleep, instead of running as fast as I could to get somewhere in the dark of night. We splashed through puddles, passed by homeless people; I waved to them. Some waved back, others ignored me. At every alley corner was a yellow lamp. 
   It was at one of these that we stopped. I, out of breath but glad to rest; my mom, anxiously searching the darkness for something. I didn't really care. What mattered is that I was with my mom. I tightened my hold on her hand. She looked down at me; I smiled. 
   "I love...

Novel Writing Competition 2017

The Yellow Lamp

Light. I thought of it only as the physical brightness which is found everywhere on earth. When I thought of it, my mind would travel back to my first memory. 
   I tripped along next to my mom, who was in a rush to find someone. She'd told me so, and I kept quiet. My five-year-old self wanted to go to sleep, instead of running as fast as I could to get somewhere in the dark of night. We splashed through puddles, passed by homeless people; I waved to them. Some smiled and waved back, others ignored me. At every alley corner was a yellow lamp. 
   It was at one of these that we stopped. I, out of breath but glad to rest, my mom, anxiously searching the darkness for something. I didn't really care. What mattered is that I was with my mom. I tightened my hold on her hand. She looked down at me; I smiled. 
 ...

In Remembrance

Sisters. Not in blood, but in spirit. That was Annabelle and I. She had short, dark hair, and I, dirty blonde. She liked dogs; I like cats. But despite these differences, (and maybe even because of them) we were best friends. We had in common what truly mattered. 
   Our relationship with Jesus.
We went to the same church, prayed to the same God, and loved our families. 
   One Sunday morning, our church had just finished singing an energizing hymn, when the doors at the back of the sanctuary creaked open. I didn't think much about it, then suddenly there was a loud popping sound. Gunfire. People started screaming; I may have been one of them. My mom pulled me down in-between the pews. 
   "Danny!" She screamed to my younger brother, who looked wide-eyed at the chaos. "Get down!" He hastily obeyed. 
Carol Ann, my four-year-old sister, sobbed in fear. I reached over and wrapped my arm around...

Numerous Narrators

Nerves and Teases

Lillian's hands got sweater, her fingers kept slipping on the piano keys. Sight-reading music was not her favorite thing to do, and on top of that, she was extremely nervous. Ryker had come to the nursing home. She's hoped and prayed that he wouldn't. 
   Focus on the music, silly! She chided herself. But her peripheral vision kept shifting to the tall form sitting in a chair to her right. Focus! 
   She hadn't expected to be the hymn player that morning, and the butterflies invited their friends to join the party and did flips in her stomach. It's getting awful hot in here. She wished that the song would end so that she could loose the scarf around her neck. 
   LORD, get me through this song without fainting or something else embarrassing. 

Ryker's gaze flicked from the hymnbook in front of him, to the piano player. That scarf looks nice on her. He observed. A sharp...

Wish I Could Go Back

Wish I would've said hi to you on my way to class.

Wish I would've said that you could sit beside me. 

Wish I would've said something when Steven bullied you.

Wish I would've said something to cheer you up.

Wish I would've said what a great, smart, funny kid you are.

Wish I would've said that I wanted to be your friend.

Wish I would've said something when Steven's gang threatened you every morning.

Wish I would've said that you are cool and amazing.

Wish I would've said how much I appreciated your kindness even when I didn't show it back.

Wish I would've said just one thing before the accident.

And now I'm left wishing that you would come back to school so that I could re-do those years. 

 

2058

January 26 - 7:08 AM

With a lurch I'm awake. 
My eyes are wide open. 
What woke me? 
My watch is strapped
to the bedstead. 
The numbers blink on 
and off as though I
had forgotten to set it.

7:09
The sun isn't shining. 
I bring the watch to my ear.
Tick tick tick. 
Then I see the year.
2078 
My heart nearly stops. 
I scramble out of bed
and stare out the window.

7:10
Nothing has changed.
The tall tree outside 
my window is still there.
Am I dreaming? 

7:11
Why isn't the sun shining? 
Dark clouds cover the sky.
I don't know which direction
the sun is in. 
I try to remember what 
year it was when I went
to sleep. I look over at my
wall calendar.
2025 
Right year.

7:12
I need to find my sister.
I pass by my dresser 
and glance into the miror
on my wall. I stare at my
reflection. Is...

2058

January 26 - 7:08 AM

With a lurch I'm awake. 
My eyes are wide open. 
What woke me? 
My watch is strapped
to the bedstead. 
The numbers blink on 
and off as though I
had forgotten to set it.

7:09
The sun isn't shining. 
I bring the watch to my ear.
Tick tick tick. 
Then I see the year.
2078 
My heart nearly stops. 
I scramble out of bed
and stare out the window.

7:10
Nothing has changed.
The tall tree outside 
my window is still there.
Am I dreaming? 

7:11
Why isn't the sun shining? 
Dark clouds cover the sky.
I don't know which direction
the sun is in. 
I try to remember what 
year it was when I went
to sleep. I look over at my
wall calendar.
2025 
Right year.

7:12
I need to find my sister.
I pass by my dresser 
and glance into the miror
on my wall. I stare at my
reflection. Is...

2058

January 26 - 7:08 AM

With a lurch I'm awake. 
My eyes are wide open. 
What woke me? 
My watch is strapped
to the bedstead. 
The numbers blink on 
and off as though I
had forgotten to set it.

7:09
The sun isn't shining. 
I bring the watch to my ear.
Tick tick tick. 
Then I see the year.
2078 
My heart nearly stops. 
I scramble out of bed
and stare out the window.

7:10
Nothing has changed.
The tall tree outside 
my window is still there.
Am I dreaming? 

In the Morning

November 1 - 5:31 AM

First thought: It's Monday. 
   I'm tempted to stay in bed. 
I sleepily flop over onto my stomach
and reach over for the "light" button 
on my alarm clock. 
5:35
Second thought: Isn't something special
happening today?

   I decide to stay awake until my alarm
goes off. I hear voices downstairs. My
older brother's heading off to work. 
5:39
Third thought: It's not Monday, it's 
Wednesday! 

   My mind wakes up and recalls Halloween
the night before. (Reformation day to
my family). Carving a mini-jacko
lantern, the long Papa Murphy's
line, bowl of candy corn on the table, Ted
Dekker movie in the DVD player. 
5:41 
Fourth thought: Wednesday is my favorite
day of the week! I get to go to church 
tonight!

   I delay a few minutes longer, trying to
savor the warm, coziness. Then with a 
long, drawn-out squeak I'm out of bed,
stumbling in the dark towards my light-
framed door....

Awesome Wonder

It was dark. I needed my coat. How cold is it? I need light. I looked scornfully at my dull flashlight. A candle would be brighter. Why did I not bring my coat? I wondered where the rest of the group was. Being by myself in an expansive lava-tube, forty degrees, nearly pitch black, was not my favorite situation to be in. I walked faster.
   Then from far ahead, I heard a song. It rose up beautifully in the high-ceiling rock tube. I stopped and listened. 
"Oh LORD my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made." 
   I think I heard my previous grumpy thoughts shatter behind me. 
"I see the stars, I hear the roaring thunder. Thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee: How great Thou art, how great Thou art. Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee: How great Thou...

On the Last Day of the World

On the Last Day of the World

On the last day of the world,
I'd tell people "God loves you!"
That's why He came the first time;
Promised to come back again.

On the last day of the world,
I'd look up into the clouds;
Rejoice that I'd be seeing
My grandma gone before now. 

On the last day of the world,
I'd kiss my kitty goodbye,
And thank God for all the time
I got to spend with her here. 

On the last day of the world,
I'd clasp my hands and pray:
"Urge everyone on this earth
To trust in You today." 

On the last day of the world,
I'd watch the heavens unroll.
The trumpet of God will sound
And He will descend to earth. 
 

Chased

Did I hear something? Or is my mind playing tricks on me? 
   Tatum paused from her position in the darkness; flattened against the siding of a house. She held her breath. 
Crickets chirped steadily, a bat flew wildly across the path of the half moon. And leaves quietly crunching continued. They stopped, then went on. Nearer, nearer. 
   Tatum wanted to scream, run, anything but stay there paralyzed. She frantically searched her surroundings; mere forms though they were. Then she realized that the footfalls had ceased. What should I do? 
   Suddenly the moonlight was snuffed out as a cloud passed across it. NO! NO! NO! Tatum's senses went into overdrive as fear replaced the shredded nerves she had left. Then icy fingers curled around her arm. Tatum screamed. The touch of someone else burned like fire. 
   "Be quiet." A voice hissed. She knew that voice and trembled. "My dear Tatum, why are you afraid? Don't you...

Autumn

Bright colors stand against
The crisp, blue Autumn sky.
The one clear day through all
The months that go swiftly by.

Not a cloud mars the blue,
Empty, bright Autumn sky.
This blue doesn't have of
Summer's heat, but speaks quite shy. 

It warns us of the future
Months, when blue turns to gray.
When snow flies in a dizzy
Rush, and all will stay indoors.

But for now speaks the blue
Of days when leaves fall down.
A walker passes 'neath
A tree, and sees the bright red.

One will go outside, perhaps
A cup of coco in hand.
And will remark on these
Clear days, when Autumn looks its best. 

An Apple is . . .

C risp
R ipe
U nforgettable
N ourishing
C old
H ealthful
Y ummy

The Art of Specificity

The Century-Old Secret

The girl lifted the lid to the box. 

Jasmine felt for the latch, and swung the lid open to reveal centuries of fine dust. 

Curiously, Jasmine peered at the small, wooden box, and felt for the latch. It felt rusty under her soft fingers. Excitement filled her blue eyes, and she creaked open the square lid. Clouds of fine dust flew everywhere, and she sneezed. 

What's Your Name?

Jordan Miller, a fifteen year old freshman at Tualatin Avery High School, rode home from classes on her dark blue bike, hoping to come home to a quiet house so she could study and play games on the computer. Living in a five kid family usually kept the two story house ablaze with excitement and noise. Meanwhile, as her thoughts strayed, Jordan crossed the crosswalk and rode into a part of town by the Tualatin River that was very rundown and made her nervous whenever she rode through it. Mrs. Miller always cautioned Jordan to be careful when she went there. Suddenly, out from behind an old, red brick building, ran a black-haired woman, perhaps in her late 20's or early 30's. Jordan didn't expect it, and yelled, “Look out!” but it was too late. Bike and woman collided. Jordan got pushed to the ground from the force of the collision.

Her left leg was caught under the bike, between...

Move On

It stared back at me. A picture of myself from twenty years ago. Before I left. Or rather, was taken. The utter terror that I experienced during those years until recently grew in my head. The picture reminded me of who I had once been. Dark hair tied back in a ponytail, my favorite pink shirt with an ice-cream cone on the front, a short knee-length skirt. In my left hand I held a purple popsicle, my lips were the same color. I sighed in remembrance. Then my innocent was shattered. I became the victim of a serial kidnapper. 
   I was held under constant horror for twenty years before police found me. And it was only by accident that they went to the house I was kept in. My parents had died during that time; my younger sister had gotten married and now had six kids. My childhood and teen years had been taken from me, I'd never have...

Stardust

She lived between two stars. Her face was white and shimmery, her silver hair glistened with stardust, her amethyst eyes sparkled when she laughed, she wore a white dress made of pure sunshine. Her name was Fairnna, Keeper of the Butterfly Nebula. Each morning she'd awaken and dance across the golden sky to touch the hovering colors. They brightened, and shined vividly. And each evening, as moonbeams showed across her path, she'd whisper softly to the nebula, and they'd drift into a drowsy sleep. 
   On earth she may be seen - if you look closely enough - slipping a pinch of stardust into your hot chocolate, or murmuring laughter into one's ear. I saw her once, as a child. She winked at me, and placed a clear vial of stardust into my young hands. I have it still, tucked away in a treasure box. And sometimes, I'll take it out, and slip just a pinch into someone's hot chocolate,...

Why I Write

I Write to Feel

I write to inspire,
To put forth my dreams,
To enjoy life,
To cherish every memory,
To live life how it was meant to be lived,
To find joy in every piece,
To love the LORD in the only way I know how,
To laugh at my mistakes; and take criticism with a smile,
To trust in God's plan for my life.

I write to feel. 
 

A Teenage Girl; Imperfect

I'm on air, floating through the clouds. I played a game with the people I love the most.

I'm the worst daughter in the world. One uncalled-for comment and now I'm an enemy; my fault.

What does she have that I don't? I want to be her friend, but she hangs out with the other girl instead. 

There's no one to talk to. Best friend at college, sister helping a neighbor, me and my deaf cat.

My stomach hurts from all the butterflies flying around it. I'm playing piano in front of him; does my hair look alright?

There's no reason to be sullen. Why am I frowning, and replying in mumbles? 

I look like an idiot when I try to speak to a group of people. Why must my stuttering act up then? 

One lovely truth keeps me going. God doesn't expect me to be perfect.

Keep my eyes on Him; I'll never be alone. 

We Will Meet Again

I walked briskly down the muddy street. Thick dark mud clung to my laced-up boots, and splatters on my black wool coat and matching skirt made me look like a spotted hoodlum. My face was hidden deep inside my drooping hood. Drops of cold rainwater steadily dripped down from the edge to sink into the coarse material of my skirt. But I continued marching. Well, as much as anyone can while making sucking sounds as I stepped into the squishy mud. 
   The continuous rain had kept every sane person indoors; the street was empty. Brick houses, all alike to me, passed by one by one. The blacksmith's anvil was silent, the woodlot on the outskirts of town was empty, and I saw a few drenched customers warming themselves at the general store's woodstove. But I didn't stop until I reached the oldest building in town. My thoughts were heavy with the duty at hand.
   It sat apart from...

They Cried For Me

I died. Drowned in a pool with others around me. My older brother dove in to save me when he realized that I hadn't come up for air. But he was too late. I met God with a smile and a humble bow. Then watched as my family and friends grieved for me. My military brother got my mom's call and cried. My married siblings cried. My best friend cried. 
   I watched them and wondered why. Why did they cry for me? I was finally home, where I belonged. Jesus had prepared a room for me. I watched my family and friends arrange my funeral. My younger sister went through my computer files for pictures of me. When she clicked on a document named SIS AND I, dozens of photos with her and I looked back at her, smiling. She cried. My mom came over and cried too.
   My bedroom sat untouched, my journal unread. My camera sat...

Cyber Packrat

I was about to have a panic attack. At least, my breathing was rapid, spots danced before my eyes, and I was sweating. I stared at the computer screen, clenched the mouse with my shaky right hand, and slowly inched it across the screen to the flashing blue button. 
   A yellow ALERT sign warned me of my actions. 
Swallowing painfully, I read the words in the box again: Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files? 
   With one click, all of it was gone. The trashbin was empty. 
   I lay back in the computer chair, trying to relax my tense shoulders. It's over. Done with. 
"I actually did it!" I looked into the distance; a smile slowly spread across my face. 
Me, a cyber packrat, had actually deleted things from the computer. 
   And the day was only getting started. 

This Is Katie

I was homesick. Country-hearted me in urban surroundings. I wore sunglasses, had multiple ear piercings, and dressed in the current fashion. But it wasn't me. College life had grabbed hold of me. Hanging out with different friends, an "A" student with the occasional "B", but there was something missing. I pondered that one day while I stared out of my dorm window. It was Saturday afternoon, and my roommate had gone to visit her family in the next city. Mine was over the border.
   I'd started out the day with makeup, ripped-up jeans, and a gray tanktop. But around 1:00, I took it all off, and put on a pair of faded cowboy-cut jeans, and my once-favorite t-shirt from home. Compared to my every day attire, I felt out-of-date. My bare face stared back at me in the floor-length mirror. I was that awkward freshman once more. But it felt right. I took off my earrings. Yes, there. Now...

Flash Autobiography

Perfect Moment

It was raining. Glorious warm, wet splashes fell all over my arms. My face. My bare feet. There were eight of us. All outside, most of us without shoes, in the drenching summer rainstorm. The volleyball and net were sopping, streams of water fell from the cloth; mud puddles had formed all over the lawn at our feet. Our clothes were mud-stained and water-doused. A red-haired teenage girl stood to my right.
I grinned over at her. "Isn't this awesome?" 
"A warm blanket and a book sound good right about now."
   I laughed, then turned my head just as the other team's server sent the yellow-white ball sailing over the net; drops of water exploded from it as it collided with my hands. My heart soared as it went back over the net, to begin another round of setting. 
   Yes, this was a perfect moment. Hanging out with my friends in the God-made rain, playing my favorite sport in the...

Queen of This Alley

He stared at me. I stared right back at him. 
   Anytime, pal. My back slowly arched; fur frizzed, electricity zoom through my veins. Claws set at the ready. 
My arch enemy whimpered.
   That's right. Run and hide. A smirk spread across my face; eyes never left his. 
Looking from left to right, he backed up a step. 
   I have all the time in the world to stand here and stare you down. 
A little yip tore the friction around me. I flinched. Then a low growl came from my throat. You're not in charge.
   In a second, he was racing back the way he'd come. 
I slowly let my angry energy loose, then sat down to lick my paws. 
   Ah yes. I am queen of this alley. 

Absolute Joy

With one phone call, I was high in the sky, yipping and laughing with absolute joy. 
   Mom hadn't forgotten to get chocolate chips after all. 

Together

Purple.
Red.
Gold.
The mountain range was set afire by the climaxing sunrise. If someone were to look into your eyes as you stared at the breathtaking sight, two small reflections would gaze back at you. Matthew did this, his brown eyes sending shivers up your spine. 
   "Sunrises are so brief." You murmured. Your words came out with a puff of steam. You wrapped your arms tighter around you, digging your chin in the scarf for warmth. 
"But priceless." Matthew came over beside you, and laid an arm over your shoulders. You melted into his touch, never wanting this moment to end. 
   A far-away voice ended the beautiful silence. "Mommy! Daddy!"
Matthew chuckled; you joined his quiet laughter. 
   "I guess the kids are awake."
"You up for opening up stockings?" Matthew gazed into your eyes. 
   You smiled. "I'll get the water heating up."
As you and Matthew folded up the blanket which you'd been sitting on,...

A Second in September

It was the first week of volleyball practice. Everyone buzzing with excitement at having made the team, which was proudly named The Avengers. Correctly so, because of their ability to win almost every game, beating their competition. I was on that oh so proud team, and lined up for my scholarship because of my volleyball skills. 
   Life was supposed to be perfect. But perfect doesn't exist in a sin-filled world. My sister was dying. Does that sound perfect? My eight-year-old sister was dying. And it was all my fault. It was a stupid accident, which never should have happened. 
   Some friends and I decided to partake of alcohol. Not that much, but after a few drinks, it got out of hand. I left the party, stumbling outside to my car, and drove home. I had forgotten all about taking my younger sister to her basketball practice, and as soon as I pulled into the drive-way, Meganne bounded...

Fairywood

Oak, pine, and redwood trees stood as a welcoming wall. If you looked really close, however, you'd see paths through the trunks, leading you to somewhere magical. Sun rays streamed every which way, covering the trees in a sheen of gold. Butterflies danced in the open spaces; song birds accompanied them. 
   Was there a castle beyond these woods? 
Whispers beckoned me inside. I took a few steps, then a deep breath, and was never seen again.

Happy Birthday, Grandma

"Which book would you like me to read today?" Her amused laughter erupted when sister and I said two different books at once. "Then we'll do both."
   
Quickly, I pulled myself out of the memory. Grandma was gone. No more being read books, no more of her laughter.
   "I just need to get through today." I murmured. My glance fell on a framed photo of grandma, sister, and I. 
Love you, Grandma. 
   
Throughout my day, memories would hit me hard. I'd hear grandma's voice calling me to do a dot-to-dot. I saw her favorite cat sleeping soundly on the couch. I almost burst into tears. Once, I almost ran into my grandma's little apartment to tell her about a hummingbird that I'd seen. I made her favorite cookies, and a card. After offering a few to sister, I placed the card on my grandma's desk.
   "Happy Birthday, Grandma." 

I'm Not A Shadow

I write with my pencil
Outside in the wind.
Where my mind takes off
To far-off places.

I write about people,
Adventure, and fun times.
With my trusty lined paper
And red pencil in hand.

Some like my writing,
Plot twists and all.
But others haven't time
To read my poor words.

The sun casts a shadow
Of my small frame,
And sometimes I think
That I don't even exist.

But I have to remember
That I'm not a shadow.
I have friends who love me
And a cat by my side.

Wish I'd Done More

She had gray eyes. Set deep with fear and unspoken hurt. I saw her every day at my favorite coffee shop. I didn't like coffee, but always ordered hot chocolate with whipped cream on top. She knew what my order was. Usually she already had it made when I got there. I smiled, and said hello. She smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes. One morning, she wasn't there. I asked the other woman behind the counter where she was. Ashley, as her name-tag stated, told me that she was absent because she'd gotten a call about her mom passing away. She had decided to go back to her family. 
   I never saw her again.
But every morning, I'd stick around a little longer, just in case she came back. 

In Thanks

I tightly grasped the silver cross which hung on my dog-tag chain. It had been a gift from my Marine brother. My heart had stopped breathing when I heard the news. Mom sobbed, and dad held her, crying himself. Katja stood shocked with unbelief. I ran from the room. My best friend in the whole world, Corporal Josiah Sagemann, my brother, was killed in action on June the fifteenth while protecting his country from terrorists. My brother was gone forever. No more his engaging smile, inviting laugh, sparkling eyes. He had died protecting me. My family. His friends.
   So outside in the warm sun, I held back my hot tears, and silently thanked him for his service. 

Fall

The sun danced through the orange and yellow leaves, soaking through my green sports jacket. Warmth spread through my body, like a friendly smile. Strands of my unruly hair twirled in the afternoon sunlight, shining brighter than normal. Brown leaves crunched beneath my rubber boots with a steady rhythm. Far away bird calls greeted my ears, and I watched a gray squirrel scamper up into the welcoming branches of a sprawling oak. 
   Fall had finally come to Western Oregon. 

Dialogue Dexterity

The Proposal

"So." Daprine swirled lemonade around in his take-out cup. 
   "So," I frantically grasped at subjects, "how's Kewit?" 
"Fine. He just got a job in the states." He stared out the restaurant window.
   "That's good news." I took a long drink from my straw.
"I heard about Bisauve." Daprine said casually.
   "From who?" I tried acting casual as well, but it was hard because of the hurt pressing down on my heart.
"Hirvea. She's worried about you. But she wasn't sure why you two split up." Daprine looked into my eyes. I looked away.
   "Yeah, well, there's nothing to tell. We broke up, that's it." I shrugged, and turned away from his knowing glance. 
"Uh huh. It was such a small thing that you wouldn't talk to Hirvea for a week?" 
   "I was busy." Trying to forget. 
"Why don't you tell me what happened, Trinese? C'mon, I'm your brother! Just tell me." He leaned forward in...

Family Is Precious

I watched as my blonde-haired niece picked up a little blue bouncy-ball up from the floor. Her short legs tottered as she bent over, and her older brother ran by, almost knocking her off balance. Then she had the ball, and looked up at me. An impish grin adorned her face, and she giggled. 
   Family is precious. 

Goodnight

I'm going to sleep
All the night through
No dreams, no sounds
Nothing askew.

But first things first,
I must get into bed
My nice cozy mattress 
The best brand, it is said. 

But alas! Goes sleep
Right out the window.
How could I forget?
Up from my pillow.

I'm out of bed now
Closing the window
And now, ah ha! 
I lay down on my pillow. 

But still sleep evades
My weary, closed eyes
So now I count sheep
While my mind flies. 

Sheep do not work
To calm my wild brain,
Perhaps if I read
About a wrecked train.

My flashlight in hand
I read my best novel
About buses and people,
Places and travel.

A minute goes by
My eyelids are drooping 
The words on the page
Blurring and fading.

So now I've fallen
Into a deep sleep
And won't wake up
Until the sound of a beep.

 

Feel

The wind brushed over my upturned face, sending strands of hair fluttering across my lips. The sun sent a warm waterfall sensation spreading throughout my whole body. I lay a cautious hand down on the prickly grass which I sat on. I felt the soft petals of a flower, and snapping its thin stem, I brought it up to my face. Gently, I touched the delicate petals and imagined what they looked like. Even though I couldn't see the world, I could still experience it by touching, and personally being apart of it. My thoughts trailed, and the summer weather settled over me like a comforting blanket. 

My Light

There was silence. Only silence. What that meant, I did not know. All that I knew, was that there was absolutely nothing. That nothingness had been with me for my whole eleven years. While sight and sounds meant nothing to me, I had my own thoughts. Oh yes, thoughts of frustration, and hope. But mostly anger.
   For what or for whom I did not know. I’m not sure that I cared. I lived in darkness and silence. It was the only life I knew. I didn’t have any other, didn’t understand any other. Yet there was a slight hope. My fingers felt things. Everything. But what frustrated me the most, was that I did not know what they were. Did not have a name for them.
   I wanted to speak, and tell the world how angry I was. To yell at everything. But my voice remained silent. Only moans escaped my lips, and those I could not hear....

Don't Give Up

I breathed slowly. Even breaths in and out. In and out. Soothing. I knelt low to the dry ground. Brown grass danced around me in waves up to my shoulder. In my left hand I held my wildlife camera; my right hand posed to take a shot. My dull brown sweater and camo hat blended in well with my drab surroundings. All sorts of birds flew in the trees in front of me. A variety of woodpeckers, jays, sparrows, and the like.
   I flipped back through the pictures I'd taken of a gold finch, perched on a Queen Anne's Lace flower. It was a male, for sure, the feathers were so bright. As I adjusted the strap on my neck, the sun glanced off of the metallic ring on my fore-finger. It had been a gift from my grandma. An engraved image of a hummingbird dipping its graceful head into a Morning Glory.
   "Abby." She'd said, blue eyes...

The Forgiven - 3

Yedka sighed deeply. He had welcomed Pene to God’s family, but the quest to forgive her weighed heavily on his heart. How can I forgive her? Because God forgave you. This argument ran always in his mind, making his load heftier; harder to bear. Looking over the thick bundle of handwritten papers neatly tied up in brown string, a feeling of accomplishment pushed Pene out of his thoughts.
“It’s finally done.” He whispered thankfully. After many long months of transcribing the New Testament into a newer form, it was completed. Now he could pass it on and start a new group with which to meet with. Gazing up at the dark ceiling in his shabby dwelling, he spoke what was most on his heart.
“God, would you tell Vernik that I love her?” Tears sprouted unbidden after saying these words. Vernik, I still love you. “How can I let her go?” Head in his hands, his shoulders heavy with pent...

Dreams

The house sat on the top of a hill. A sloping hill with many trees, and a straight rutty road running over it. A tall, prim hedge marked the borders of the property, partially hiding the house from the road. Rhododendron bushes wrapped around the house nearly all the way, leaving room for the small, cracked patio at the back of the house, and two doors leading in. The first door had concrete steps leading up to a little porch with an ornate white screen door to the right. The second door was simple and green, with a bronze knocker having a carved picture of a house, with the words: Home Sweet Home.
   The paint on the outside of the house was jungle green, and white at the top-most parts. All of it was beginning to peel. The house looked like it was two separate homes stuck together. The left side rose up higher than the rest. Windows stared...

Missing

She was only a picture. Two blonde braids in her hair and a smile on her face. Olive green eyes, a simple cross on a silver dog-tag chain hanging around her neck, Marine sister shirt. Beneath the picture was typed in bold lettering: MISSING. She was only a photo to me, someone to find. But something about her grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. It was then I decided that I'd find her no matter what it took. 

Convening with Humans - Through My Eyes

The sun is in my eyes, you dummy. Move! No, not there, there! Whatever, I give up on you. I'll just go find another human to pay tribute to me. You there! Wait, never-mind, you're wearing a shirt with a dog on the front. Automatic disqualification. Here, this one with pigtails. Yes, that's perfect. Would you mind stopping that giggling? Why have you stopped petting me? Wait! No! Stop! I don't want to be picked up Set me down you confounded human! No! Don't put me by the dog! Take a hint! See? I'm hissing. That means 'go away!' Thank you, intervening human. I'll just go find somewhere cozy to take a nap. Adios!

Perspective

I watch a black ant
Scurrying to and fro.
Unbeknownst to him, I can't
Know how his world grows.
It is so large, open, and wild,
Not so unlike, to a child.

I watch an eagle
Flapping nary a wing.
Unlike a white seagull
Who's inclined to sing.
His cry is proud,
His world extensive ground.

I watch a blue whale
Peep over the sea surface.
He slaps his great tail,
His powerful base.
To him a small thing,
To us, unmeasuring. 

God watches o'er us
His people on this earth.
Make a big fuss
Over things of mirth.
We are His humble tools;
The earth His footstool. 

Friendship

F inally, I decided to walk up to her
R eaching out was the best thing I ever did.
I n the best and worst times, we couldn't be separated. 
E ven though sometimes we didn't agree, we remained loyal to each other.
N ever were we able to stay mad at each other for longer than a minute.
D ancing and giggling in the balcony of the ballroom was a favorite memory.
S ometimes we'd simply hold hands and walk around the church parking lot.
H owever long it took for one of us to not be sad anymore, the other sat with her. 
I nked and written into our minds was to love each other the best we could.
P romises to stay in touch even after we married new best friends will stay true forever. 

Parents' Examples

My parents make rules
To teach me life lessons.
Not to punish me for 
Playing too harshly. 

While I may complain
Or mutter profusly
My parents still love me
And tell me so always.

My mother shows patience
In all that she does,
While I moan and groan
She watches me study.

My father shows love
In a quite different way.
It's in how he works hard
And comes home each day.

So I thank God for parents
Who teach us life lessons.
Because their examples
Will be passed on from us.




 

Year by Year

Life Long

The only girl among five brothers ended in the middle of August one year. This was my first day of life.

A princess amid my attendants, a smiling star around the barnyard. This was my childhood profession.

Crawling beneath the church chairs, a smirk on my fairy-face. This is my first memory.

I had a new companion, a sister, my friend. This is where my imagination became vivid. 

Smeared jam upon my face, and jewelry in my hair. This was the epitome of my existence. 

I remember when my older sister would do my hair, and I'd dress up for photos. This was my golden age.

Curious to an extreme, reading better each day, and a frustration until I put on an enchanting smile. This is my journal. 

Cop and robber, sister and I, foraging through hedges, and plucking petals from flowers. This is where a lifelong friendship began.

Going to church all my life, a simple prayer to God....

Never Will

Drizzle had grown to large drops of rain. Moist dirt to mud. My mood hadn't improved any either. As I trudged through the sopping mess with my black tennis shoes and sports jacket, I thought back to the day before. Cathy and I had an argument. I didn't think that she was doing all that she could do for the kids. Halfway through the conversation, I realized that I was truly in the wrong, but it was too late to back down. 
   A cold gust of wind brought me back to the present. I turned a corner in the path, and froze. Slung by the side of the muddy pathway lay a body. I shivered. From the cold or from fear I don't know. Pulling out my cellphone, I glanced at the person's face. A sob caught in my throat. It was Cathy. My Cathy. But how? Disbelieving, I dropped to my knees, and looked closer at her face,...

I Am Loved

I am different.

People of today say to be different and cool. But that's not what they really mean. They expect you to dress, talk, and act the same way as they do.

I am an outcast.

Not in the ancient sense. I wasn't banished from my country for some heinous crime. Instead I am an outcast because I am different.

I am hated.

People of today say to be tolerant. But when it comes to what I believe, they say: "We meant all other religions. Not Christianity." 

I am rejected.

People glance at me and think: "Seriously, what planet is she from?" Looking over me, they judge me in the most unjust way. "Loser." Some whisper.

I am loved by God.

Because of this fact, nothing that the world says or does to me can hurt me. I am different because I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I am an outcast because I follow Jesus' example. I am hated...

Third Person Limited

An Apology

Tillie stared out the cozily lit window. Fog swallowed up the familiar landmarks of her birthplace, casting gloom across her angry thoughts. Water steadily dripped off the eaves, each plinking into the shallow pools below. 
   "Just use those eyes of yours once in a while." Mom laughed good-naturedly. But Tillie's fury had been aroused. 
Grinding her teeth, she dashed up to her room, nearly running over her younger sister in the process. Who watched bewildered, as Tillie raced past her without a glance back. 

   As Tillie thought back over it, she realized that it had just been a silly thing. She'd been trying to look up a word in the dictionary, but her mind wouldn't focus. Mom glanced over Tillie's shoulder, and asked what she was looking up. 
"Wherewithal" She replied, resisting the urge to rip out a few pages as she flipped them. 
   Mom started laughing, making Tillie angrier. 
"It's W-H, not W-E." She laughed harder,...

Point to God

The light-bulb points to Edison's work
Rome to its ancient architects

A donut points to its goodhearted baker
And literature to its writer. 

But lilies point to God up high
To whom all things should point to.

Precious

I look at myself in the mirror, and wonder what God sees in me. I am nothing. But He points at me and says: "That one. I want that one for my own." 
   And God never makes mistakes. 

The Forgiven - 3

Yedka sighed deeply. He had welcomed Pene to God’s family, but the quest to forgive her weighed heavily on his heart. How can I forgive her? Because God forgave you. This argument ran always in his mind, making his load heftier; harder to bear. Looking over the thick bundle of handwritten papers neatly tied up in brown string, a feeling of accomplishment pushed Pene out of his thoughts.
“It’s finally done.” He whispered thankfully. After many long months of transcribing the New Testament into a newer form, it was completed. Now he could pass it on and start a new group with which to meet with. Gazing up at the dark ceiling in his shabby dwelling, he spoke what was most on his heart.
“God, would you tell Vernik that I love her?” Tears sprouted unbidden after saying these words. Vernik, I still love you. “How can I let her go?” Head in his hands, his shoulders heavy with pent...

A B I G A I L

Ambassador
By
Infinite
Glorious
Asking
In
Life

Peach Ditty

One for eating, 
One for jam,
And the other,
Just for freezing them!

Never Alone

Oh to be a star up high,
Seeing the world round.
Or to be a flower bud,
Basking in the sun.

Oh to be a blue dolphin,
Jumping in the waves.
Or a seagull flying fast,
Above the rugged cliffs.

Oh to be a hummingbird,
Beating its small wings.
Or a little ladybug,
Sitting on a leaf.

Instead I am a child of God,
Loved and forgiven always.
No matter what I do in life,
I'll never be alone.

Summer to Fall

I'm wearing a coat in early September. Why? Because the sun decided that it was tired of shining for summer. Obviously the wind agreed, because every chilly gust makes my teeth chatter. The leaves are all turning orange, red, and brown. But my stubborn brain refuses to allow it to be fall. While the barnyard animals are relieved at the cooler temperature, I say (to quote my favorite comic book, Calvin and Hobbes): "Turn up the lights! Turn up the heat!"
   The bees are still busily gathering the last remaining specks of pollen from tired flowers. A hen's pitiful rooster imitation makes me turn my head just as a freezing breeze blasts into my face.
   "It's not w-worth it." I mutter, wrapping my arms around myself and running to the warm safety of the house.
   Hot chocolate and cookies comin' up! 

Silly Sally (Tongue Twister)

Silly Sally slipped sideways at the stop sign. She saw the street sign suddenly start to slope sideways. 
"Stop!" She screamed, scrambling and slipping through sparkling snow. Silly Sally's spinster sister, Sarah, said: 
   "Santa's shop is south!" 
Silly Sally's spinster sister Sarah had gone insane. 

Never Forget, Always Remember

"I love you, mom." I squeezed her hand.
Mom's gray eyes flicked with pain as she tried to squeeze mine back. But she was too weak. With all my heart I wished that I could take away her brain tumor.
   "Sweetie," she began, but broke into a hard coughing fit before she could finish. I stood by helplessly. Mom finally caught her breath and continued. 
"I want you to have this." Frailly reached over to the nightstand, she placed a necklace chain into my trembling hands. On it hung a simple silver cross. She wore it everywhere.
   "Never forget what I taught you, and always remember that God is in control." 
I nodded. Words seemed too hard to utter. 
   "I love you, Laura. Don't forget that." Mom's eyes glistened. 
The lump in my throat hardened as I shook my head. "Never." 

Year by Year

Life Long

The only girl among five brothers ended in the middle of August one year. This was my first day of life.

A princess amid my attendants, a smiling star around the barnyard. This was my childhood profession.

Crawling beneath the church chairs, a smirk on my fairy-face. This is my first memory.

I had a new companion, a sister, my friend. This is where my imagination became vivid. 

Smeared jam upon my face, and jewelry in my hair. This was the epitome of my existence. 

I remember when my older sister would do my hair, and I'd dress up for photos. This was my golden age.

Curious to an extreme, reading better each day, and a frustration until I put on an enchanting smile. This is my journal. 

Cop and robber, sister and I, foraging through hedges, and plucking petals from flowers. This is where a lifelong friendship began.

Going to church all my life, a simple prayer to God....

She's Shy, I'm Shy

There's a shy girl in the corner. Peeking out at the giggling groups of girls clustered toward the middle of the brightly-lit, square room. I'm standing in another corner, glancing up from my textbook. She looks a lot like me. Standing by herself. In one resolute moment, I tuck the ring-bound book under my arm, and stride over, watching out for any wastebaskets or stray book bags blocking my way. I come within two yards of the shy girl, and suddenly my mouth refuses to cooperate. 
   Come on! I urge myself. But my stuttering has already kicked in. My mouth opens and closes, and my head bobs as I try to force a simple greeting from my lips. The girl glances over, sending me a shy smile. 
   "Hi!" Triumph! "I'm Annaliese. What's your name?" I smile wide, both from my accomplishment, and from the look on the girl's face as I introduce myself. She's obviously never had someone...

Sports Journalism Competition 2017

Russia Clinches Third Medal In A Row

Team Russia's synchronized swimming performance in the 2012 London Olympics was beyond breathtaking. With every next position, the crowd held their breath in expectation. What would Russia do next? Moving quickly from one artistic position to the next, Russia continually brought new surprises into the spectrum. Each move was well-choreographed and rehearsed, making it seem effortless to an amazing degree. Team Russia seemed to have the same mind throughout their program. Each cadence and synchronization was executed smoothly. 
   The coaches watched from the sidelines, each letting out a big smile at the end. Their team had done Russia proud. 
Anzhelika Timanina, from the Russian team said: 'It was very good, it was really hard work. We're really happy because we've trained really hard and there were a lot of emotions but it ended very well.' The combined score for their Technical and Free routines was 197.030, beating Team China by 3 points, and Team Spain by 4. 
   Synchronized swimmers...

Childhood Nightmare

No, not there. Anywhere but there.
   
My breath quickened when I thought of returning to my childhood nightmare. When I closed my eyes, I saw myself walking down a long, dim-lit hallway,  heart beating rapidly. My eyes flicked from side to side, searching for the horrors which surely lurked inside every doorway. One face leered at me from the small, square porthole in a closed door. I gripped my backpack to my chest, as a comfort and a shield.
   Cackling laughter rose up in waves all around me, daring me to go further. Letting out a sob, I ducked my head, and ran down the few remaining yards of hallway into the dark beyond. I slammed the door shut, but my nightmare continued.
   How would I make it through another year of high-school? 

Sports Journalism Competition 2017

Russia Clinches Third Medal In A Row

Team Russia's synchronized swimming performance in the 2012 London Olympics was beyond breathtaking. With every next position, the crowd held their breath in expectation. What would Russia do next? Moving quickly from one artistic position to the next, Russia continually brought new surprises into the spectrum. Each move was well-choreographed and rehearsed, making it seem effortless to an amazing degree. Team Russia seemed to have the same mind throughout their program. Each cadence and synchronization was executed smoothly. 
   The coaches watched from the sidelines, each letting out a big smile at the end. Their team had done Russia proud. 
Anzhelika Timanina, from the Russian team said: 'It was very good, it was really hard work. We're really happy because we've trained really hard and there were a lot of emotions but it ended very well.' The combined score for their Technical and Free routines was 197.030, beating Team China by 3 points, and Team Spain by 4. 
   There were...

When the Sky Fills with Smoke

When the sky fills with smoke
We gasp for clean air
But God is still in heaven
Expecting a small prayer.  

Move Mountains

The world was toned yellow. Kind of like how you "colorize" an image on an editing program. The wind was heavy with ash and smoke. It was everywhere. Billows of it covered the sky and obscured the sun until it was merely a vivid red ball. Birds struggled to breathe; the air was unusually quiet. Everyone shut themselves inside their houses, glancing out at the eerie world. The nation as a whole wished for the fires to end.
   And one little girl lifted her hands up to the sky, and prayed:
"Dear LORD, send Your rain to relieve the thirsty earth."

    All she had was faith the size of a mustard seed. 
God smiled at her prayer. "With faith, you can move mountains." 

There Is A God

Quiet. Just . . . quiet.

Let the earth stop spinning, rotating, breathing.
Let everyone stop their busy lives. 
Let everyone listen for that still small voice.
Let everyone on earth acknowledge that there is a God

Some will scoff and proclaim that they don't need a God.
Some will stay silent, holding no voice one way or the other. 
Some will hold their breath with expectancy, rejoicing. 

But in the end, all will know that there is a God. 

 

Sniff, Sniff, Hippity-Hop

Sniff, sniff, hippity-hop!
Through the tall grass
My ears will flop.
My owner will find me,
Pet me, adore me.
Then I'll demand 
For a bite of dried apple. 

Goodbye My Friend

"Why did you not trust me?" She trembled, her dark eyes solemn. Her pale face was fading with the evening light.
   No words came to me. What could I say? 
"I'm sorry." I shrugged, trying to tear my eyes from hers. But they drew me in. I could see pain, and much emotional hurt.
   "You are sorry." She repeated back at me. Slowly shaking her head, she began to turn away.
"Wait!" My breath caught when she looked back. I opened my mouth but nothing came out. Maybe it was better that way. My words had only hurt others. 
   "Janette." She spoke my name as if it would unlock a spell. I held my breath, transfixed. "Goodbye."
I said nothing as I watched her leave. Overwhelming sadness filled me. My last remaining friend had left me, and I knew it was my fault. 
"Goodbye, Emma." 

Friend

F aithful
R espectful
I maginative
E couraging
N eedful
D efending

Dear Grandma

My grandma loved living,
She'd prove it each day.
In the way she baked cookies,
And enjoyed a good play.

She'd feed every wild bird
By her own hands.
And cared for, and loved for
Any bud strands.

She taught all her grandkids 
How to love God.
By her unselfish attitude
And prayers to "Dear God." 

Her legacy will stay
Forever with us.
As we thank God for her,
And strive not to fuss.

So this is for you,
Dear Grandma of ours.
Whom God took away
To heaven always.

Farewell

Breathe. Remember to breathe. Pebbles and loose dirt dance beneath my feet as I run.

Don't look behind you. I barely hear my pursuer's quiet footfalls over my racing heart.

Focus on surviving. My eyes glance around for something to duck behind.

Don't think about resting; survival first. My legs are so tired, is there nowhere to hide? 

You've been running for too long. I concentrate on the next step, not on my aching side.

Live to fight another day. My heart pace weakens; spots crowd my vision.

Hold on one more minute. My steps slow; I can feel hot breath on my neck.

Don't give up, you can do this. I stumble, falling to my knees.

Get up! Don't let him get you! My breathing quickens as his shadow falls over me. 

It's too late, it's over. I stare into the face of death. Those cold eyes draw me in. 

Farewell. 

I Close My Eyes

I am drowning.
My lungs beg for air, any air. My mouth fills with water, turning my frantic screams to toneless gurgles. I flail my legs, my hands grasp for the sunlight. I survey my murky surroundings; nothing to grab onto. My limbs begin to throb from lack of oxygen. My foggy mind pleads for help that will never come. My struggle has been for naught. I slowly relax, wishing I had told my dad that I love him.
I close my eyes. 

With Him Is Home

I stare out the window
And watch things go past.
Red trucks and small cars
Traveling fast.

The sun is up high now,
The wind whistles by.
Blue-jays and Starlings,
None of them shy. 

The road stretches ahead
Long and so endless.
Line upon line, and
Hill upon hill.

We turn this way and that,
Around curves of road.
Forests and fields
Each an abode. 

My dad whistles a tune
Then smiles at me.
It is then, I know
With him is home. 

Life Changes

Your life suddenly changes when you get a call at 7:30 in the morning from a neighbor two miles away:
"Hey! Um, I think your cow is in our backyard."
 

A Day In the Life of a Gas Station Attendant

Gas station employees must see a lot of humorous things, for they are in the middle of everyday life for most travelers. 
  
   A beat-up silver Toyota pulls in, slow and cautious. I smile at the sign taped to the back windshield: "Warning - Student Driver". I hear the mom in the passenger seat patiently urging the young teenager to drive forward a little more. The student's sunglasses hides her eyes, but I can tell that she has never driven into a gas station before. Quickly, she looks around for some sort of lever to open the gas tank. 
   "It's to the left of your seat, by the trunk lever." The mom explains. I stand nearby, holding back an amused chuckle. 
The teenager giggles nervously, then opens her door, peering over the edge of her seat. Almost there. I silently urge her on. 
   "Got it!" She exclaims in triumph, smiling up at me. "Sorry about that." 
"No problem."...

Remember

Pale light from the moon poured through the windows. I trembled in the shadows just out of its reach, but even there I could see my stained hands. A memory flashed through my fatigued mind. Knife lying on the floor, tinged red. It was all I could remember. What had happened? My hands shook with the possibilities. 
   "You're the sorriest excuse for a daughter." Mom turned away and grumbled some more. 
I wanted to reply. Say something against her allegations. "But mom . . ." My voice trailed off as my eyes filled with hot tears. 
   "Just go!" My mom's raspy voice spoke louder than my own thoughts. "Bother your father. You're as worthless as he is." 

Without waiting for her to complain more, I ran through the kitchen, the sitting room, the library, until I came to my escape route. The rusty, old emergency door. Beyond that was my little stone porch with the few steps off...

Remember

Pale light from the moon poured through the windows. I trembled in the shadows just out of its reach, but even there I could see my stained hands. A memory flashed through my fatigued mind. Knife lying on the floor, tinged red. It was all I could remember. What had happened? 
 

True Friends

"Let's play another game!"
   Elizabeth, a teenager with dark brown hair and brown eyes, groaned from her place on the picnic table. One of many in the brightly lit pavilion, which shone like a beacon through the black night around it. 
"Oh, c'mon! It'll be fun!" Rose grinned and shuffled her Dutch Blitz deck. 
   The gal with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes simply shrugged, and collected her cards into a small pile. "Okay."
"Olivia! You betrayed me!" Elizabeth moaned, eyes half-closed. "Is anyone as tired as I am?" 
   Darcy held her digital watch in front of her face. "It's only 11:50. Why not?" 
"If you'd rather not play, you don't have to." Rose flipped three cards into a row, glancing up at her sleepy friend. 
   "No, no. I'll play." Elizabeth mumbled. "Wouldn't be able to sleep anyways, with you three chattering monkeys." 
Darcy giggled. "Oh, believe me. We're all tired. Just some of us hide...

Unbelievable

The place was a disaster. Large beams had been torn down from the ceiling and thrown to the ground like rag dolls. Bales of hay littered the floor in a ripped-up mess. Sacks of feed lay strewn around the barn, letting their contents spill onto the floor. The door to the chicken pen stood open. The barn was strangely quiet. Cautiously, I took a step forward, fear rising in my heart. Should I call dad? I walked further into the confused mess, my senses alert to any movement or sound. Black feathers covered the floor by the barn door. 
   I paused. Taking a deep breath, I peeked around the door, not sure what I would find. I blinked twice, making sure I wasn't going crazy.
"Dad!" I screamed as I ran out of the barn. "Dad!" 
   I had seen a man's dead body lying on the chicken pen floor. 

Dear Future

Dear Future,

My, what a question you are! Nobody can know what you have in store. Will I marry my high-school crush? Or maybe that annoying boy who is forever sending emails to my inbox. I'll find out later, I suppose. Makes me almost giddy to think about it. Will I actually become a graphic designer? Will I do blue and silver for my wedding like I've always wanted? Will I ever publish that short-story series that I've been working on? What about my future children? Will they look like me? Will I be able to use my favorite names? What will marriage be like?
Whatever you have in mind, I know that God is in control.
                         
                            With Expectation,
                                    
                                    Jessica Louise Mand

Is It Right

Is it right to kill a baby? People say that we have abortion rights. In the 1800's, was it right to kill someone? No. What changed? Abortion is first-degree murder. There are no exceptions. But the people of our great country of America have said: "Oh, it's no baby. It can't feel pain." There are people in this world who cannot feel pain. Does that mean that they are not human? Absolutely not. 
   God made every human, every baby, with a specific purpose in mind. He also gave us freewill. We have totally corrupted and abused that ability. God will someday judge America for our wrongs. I pray for our country every day, in hopes that we will turn back to His glorious light, and away from ourselves. 
   Dear LORD, forgive us. 

She Fled

She fled.

Through the night air
From peering eyes,
Bright with cunning
And interest. 

She fled.

Her cloak fell behind,
They snatched it up,
Burned it to shreds.
"Dispose of her!"

She fled.

From her past life,
All she once knew.
Torn apart; gone.
Because of lies.

She fled.

She was alone,
No family 
Or homey place
To call her own.

She fled.

Her old home town
Now thought her dead.
"She was not here." 
"Who is Rose Bates?"

She fled.

The gossip spread
Throughout the town.
No truth, but lies.
Sinking deep down.

She fled.

Taking nothing
But a necklace,
Given to her
By her dead mom.

She fled.

"What did I do?" 
She couldn't know.
They would hear none
Of her defense. 

She fled. 

A light ahead.
Shelter! Warm fire!
"Please come in, dear."
"Sit down right there."

She stayed. 


 

Talking to “You”

The Dare

You feel the crunching stones under your feet, and the chilly breeze kicking up from the river in the ravine below. 
It has to happen tonight.
   Each step you take you get more anxious and begin thinking about what you are really doing. Sneaking into a graveyard at dusk has never been your favorite thing to do. Shadowy hands seem to leap out and grab at you; you wince, and pull away from their grasping fingers. Just touch it. You run these words over and over again in your mind, willing for all this fright to be nothing more than an overactive imagination. Your steady pace slows as you enter the fenced-in cemetery. It looks like no one has tidied up the place in decades. 
   "It's just a bunch of dead pioneers." You remember your friend, Sherry, saying. 
"Right. Let's see you do this." You mutter under your breath. You jump at the sound of an owl...

Why

My long navy blue skirt swirled about my ankles as I walked across the dry lawn. Dandelion seedlings lay in a thick blanket all around me. Even if I cared whether they stuck to my skirt or not, they were unavoidable. A stiff breeze swept up the collar on my black t-shirt, and my skirt billowed out behind me. The sun broke through the heavy gray clouds, causing me to hurry to the nearby shade of a tree.
   Brown leaves crunched beneath me as I sat down on the prickly grass. I watched a ladybug climb through the short stalks, and heard a fly buzzing somewhere nearby. A plane rumbled overhead, and eventually faded away. The rich scent of apples filled my nose as I breathed deeply. Summer was quickly leaving, and Autumn was taking its place. By the orchard trees, I could hear a squirrel chattering almost mechanically, and a single piercing note repeated many times by a...

The Warning

The sky had white billowing clouds obscuring most of its summery blue face. The grass was dry and dandelions littered the lawn like unwanted guests. Queen Anne's Lace added to the drab colors of late summer, and the trees had begun to turn different colors. I had been at a neighbor's house, helping her move out of her home to a smaller apartment in town, which is why I was driving up my driveway on my bike.
   Immediately, I rode behind the house to the handmade wooden swing hanging from the great Elm tree. I always swung on it when I wanted to relax. But a strange sight stopped me in my tracks.
   A flickering image of a young girl was already seated on the swing, slowly moving back and forth, her laced-up boots barely trailing on the ground. The tree made creaking sounds, so I knew that the swing was actually in motion, but perhaps it was...

The Warning

The sky had white billowing clouds obscuring most of its summery blue face. The grass was dry and dandelions littered the lawn like unwanted guests. Queen Anne's Lace added to the drab colors of late summer, and the trees had begun to turn different colors. I had been at a neighbor's house, helping her move out of her home to a smaller apartment in town, which is why I was driving up my driveway on my bike.
   Immediately, I rode behind the house to the handmade swing hanging from the great Elm tree. I always swung on it when I wanted to relax. But a strange sight stopped me in my tracks.
   A faded image of a young girl was already seated on the swing, slowly moving back and forth, her laced-up boots barely trailing on the ground. The tree made creaking sounds, so I knew that the swing was actually in motion, but perhaps it was simply...

The Ghost

There she was. 
Wringing her hands and staring down at the crumbling headstone. She flickered in and out, like a candle. I was afraid the wind would simply pick her up and carry her away. But instead, it brought to my ears her wailing song. Mournful, tragic. I felt so sorry for the poor thing. I don't know why I wasn't scared of her, but I wanted to comfort her somehow. For the longest time I stood there, staring at her. Finally the eastern sky turned pink, and the sun peeped over the horizon. The ghost fled back down the path of the old graveyard, and I haven't seen her since.

The Day In Which There Were Two Days

The sky was clear, with no trace of a cloud anywhere. Scrub, stellar, and normal blue jays scolded each other from mulberry shrubs and orchard trees. A white-chested emerald hummingbird hovered around a Fuchsia plant, dipping its long beak inside the intricate flower to retrieve the hidden nectar. Slowly, the warm morning grew colder. Glare from the sun wasn't as intense. The sky kept darkening, darkening, darkening. A family of bats chased each other around in the dimming light. Confused, but sworn to instinct. 
   The birds quieted their noises, and settled onto tree limbs, preparing for a sooner rest than previously anticipated. The streetlights flickered on, a cricket chirped somewhere below the porch. A few stars came out from their daytime hiding places, shy at first, then stronger. The sky began to brighten, birds sang again in confused tones. An old owl ruffled his feathers, and closed his eyes. The morning continued on as it always did. And the...

Slow Seeing

Morning Had Come

I couldn't sleep. My dreams were constantly bothered by trying to remember what it was like to see. Grasping the banister, I drowsily stumbled down the stairs, praying my parents wouldn't hear me and send me back to bed. The air was musty inside, from being closed up all winter, but outside I was free to breathe! Quickening my pace, I felt my way around the doorway at the base of the stairs, and set my hand to the wall. Ten paces, a pillar five feet to my left, rocking chair just beyond, go straight five paces, right four. 
   In triumph, I felt the cold metal of the doorknob, sending thrilling jolts through me. As quietly as I could, I turned the knob, and pulled it open. I didn't know what time it was, but I had to get outside. It didn't matter if it was midnight, any time was complete darkness. I slid my hand on the window...

A Step Forward

It was all wrong.
I was no longer me anymore. No longer human. I mean, I hadn't changed form physically, but mentally. I had the mind of an animal. A savage beast. Ripping and tearing, biting and scratching. No intelligence or orderly thoughts. Just fight, fight, fight. For some reason, my life depended on it. I couldn't even remember the reason. The humane part of me had been swallowed up. What had I been before? Gentle? Caring? All I could think was beat them all. Who was 'them all'? My enemies? Who were my enemies? Was I my own enemy? 
   Rising fear bit into my scattered thoughts. Was this was I was supposed to do? Was this my final destiny? To 'beat them all'? Destroying everything I touched, burning people's property. Was this me? I tried to recollect what color my eyes were. Blue maybe, but my sister always said they were silvery gray. Wait! My sister? What was...

A Step Forward

It was all wrong.
I was no longer me anymore. No longer human. I mean, I hadn't changed form physically, but mentally. I had the mind of an animal. A savage beast. Ripping and tearing, biting and scratching. No intelligence or orderly thoughts. Just fight, fight, fight. For some reason, my life depended on it. I couldn't even remember the reason. The humane part of me had been swallowed up. What had I been before? Gentle? Caring? All I could think was beat them all. Who was 'them all'? My enemies? Who were my enemies? Was I my own enemy? 
   Rising fear bit into my scattered thoughts. Was this was I was supposed to do? Was this my final destiny? To 'beat them all'? Destroying everything I touched, burning people's property. Was this me? I tried to recollect what color my eyes were. Blue maybe, but my sister always said they were silvery gray. Wait! My sister? What was...

A Time

An echoing scream. Bouncing off of the stone walls which stood all around the meadow.
A quick thrust of a sharp knife. Greed for life, to take a life, was all it held.
A moment of pure, eerie silence. As all the villagers let the scream sink into their minds, and the murderer ran guiltily away.
A minute of startled confusion. "Where did the scream come from?" "I think it came from Rylie's place." "No! It was from Setky's fields! I'm sure of it!"
A heartbreaking discovery. "It's Gracie Lee!" "My baby! Please no!" "I'm so sorry, Mable. There's nothing I can do." 
A time of grave, unexpected mourning. "She was only eighteen last Wednesday." "Two months engaged to Matthew Taske." "Too young to die." 
A period of reckoning and healing. "Sheriff says he got the killer." "Man from Kingsville, named Winston." "Gracie tried to save the cattle from his dirty thievin'." "High price to pay."
A difficult few months...

Night Creepers

Groping, groping over the sky
To fill the blue with white.
Bright day turns to black-filled night,
When all must go to bed.

There are a few who stay up late 
And sleep all through the day.
They creep and crawl, in silence lay
At the soft waters' edge.

Paws, have these, and whiskers too,
Though how many I cannot say.
You find their tracks in the morning gray,
And see their feats revealed by day. 

The Tree

I look up into the hills
Which meet the great blue sky.
A tree stands tall from all the rest,
A different-looking tree.

A long beam crosses its utmost top,
To make a single "T".
This is called the old cross,
And this is what it means.

There was a Man on that tree
Who died so long ago.
Soldiers nailed Him to it,
Though no guilt did He bear. 

He died to save our sins,
So many have we caused.
Willingly He gave Himself
To suffer on that tree.

Up from the tomb He rose, however,
On that gray, misty third day.
All our sins are paid for;
Satan has us no more. 

Flash Fiction Competition 2017

Revenge

"Tirzah!" 
   Abner surveyed the scene before him with growing horror. His younger sister stood, sword in hand, before the entrance to the rugged cave. Golden hair flung back; gray eyes steely with hate and anger. Shimshon, the murderer of their mother seven years previous, lay flattened against the dark rock wall, his own eyes fearful. Scooping up a rock, Shimshon threw it at Tirzah, hitting her full-force in the face. 
   "No!" 
In a second it was all over. Shimshon lay dead. A dagger sunk deep into his chest. Abner sobbed, clutching a still figure in his arms. 
"Tirzah." 

Room of the Forgotten

Dried lavender hung from the ceiling. Dust-clad boxes stacked in neat piles, cluttered the room. Dull gold trophies faintly glimmered from decades of sitting in a corner. A purple, green quilt lay spread out over an old white bedstead, with a solid oak bookcase standing at its base, crammed with thick and thin volumes. Series upon series of exciting tales, now resting on shelves to gather dust. 
   A desk with knick-knacks and glass trinkets stood in the corner of the room, with several photo frames sitting as the background. Papers, drawings, and awards littered the walls, on the wooden dresser was a lonely picture. A girl with blonde hair and mischievous green eyes smiled within the frame, clutching a black-and-white kitty in her arms.
   This is the room of the forgotten. 

Give Me Ice

The sun is warm, and I think I will melt
into a puddle of heat
The fields are all dry
Everything turns to dust.
The wind is scorching and I have to get inside
To the nice cool fan,
and lemonade.
Drink up, drink fast
Cool down your head,
I have a headache and sunburn
More ice, more cold
More breeze for me,
More ice to all!

Give me ice! Give me ice!
Can’t stand the heat anymore,
Give me ice! Give me ice!
To the fridge, and slam the door!
I don’t care if I even freeze!
Go outside if you’d like,
The heat is melting me all the time.

I don’t know why I prefer
Winter to Summer’s heat
Because I used in live in
Florida last year!
It’s time to get the snowballs out!
I saved them from the winter snow
No rules, no laws, it’s free for all!
War’s on!

Give me ice! Give me ice! ...

Resolve

I continued chasing my foe through the lengthy caverns. Down a stone stairwell, across an expansive hall. Diamonds twinkled in the rock ceiling above. Around every corner I saw a flash of red from Tana's cloak. Never nearer, but never further away. Determination surged through me, I pressed my legs to run faster. I gripped the black laser gun more firmly in my gloved hand. Tana had killed everyone important to me. Saska, Mitvawe, Auney. My friends. I thought of their still bodies lying on the hard ground. Black hatred clouded my vision. 
   Vahna, don't do anything out of vengeance. My mother's last words came to my mind. I tried pushing them away to focus on running faster. But they wouldn't leave me alone. Vengeance is not yours to pay. Give it to the LORD. What had the LORD done for me? Another red glimmer ahead. Faster, faster, faster. My lungs hurt from lack of deep breaths. I...

Resolve

I continued chasing my foe through the lengthy caverns. Down a stone stairwell, across an expansive hall. Diamonds twinkled in the rock ceiling above. Around every corner I saw a flash of red from Tana's cloak. Never nearer, but never further away. Determination surged through me, I pressed my legs to run faster. I gripped the black laser more firmly in my gloved hand. Tana had killed everyone important to me. Saska, Mitvawe, Auney. My friends. I thought of their still bodies lying on the hard ground. Black hatred clouded my vision. 
   Vahna, don't do anything out of vengeance. My mother's last words came to my mind. I tried pushing them away to focus on running faster. But they wouldn't leave me alone. Vengeance is not yours to pay. Give it to the LORD. What had the LORD done for me? Another red glimmer ahead. Faster, faster, faster. My lungs hurt from lack of deep breaths. I wouldn't...

Flash Fiction Competition 2017

Revenge

"Tirzah!" 
   Abner surveyed the scene before him with growing horror. His younger sister stood, sword in hand, before the entrance to the rugged cave. Golden hair flung back; gray eyes steely with hate and anger. Shimshon, the murderer of their mother seven years previous, lay flattened against the dark rock wall, his eyes fearful. Abner realized the man's motives too late. Scooping up a rock, Shimshon threw it at Tirzah, hitting her full-force in the face. 
   "No!" 
In a second it was all over. Shimshon lay dead. A dagger sunk deep into his chest. Abner sobbed.
"Tirzah." 

Flash Fiction Competition 2017

Revenge

"Tirzah!" 
   Abner surveyed the scene before him with growing horror. His younger sister stood, sword in hand, before the entrance to the rugged cave. Golden hair flung back; gray eyes steely with hate and anger. Shimshon, the murderer of their mother seven years previous, lay flattened against the dark rock wall. His own eyes fearful. Abner realized his motives too late. Scooping up a rock, Shimshon threw it at Tirzah, hitting her full-force in the face. 
   "No!" 
In a second it was all over. Shimshon lay dead. A dagger sunk deep into his chest. Abner sobbed. 
"Tirzah." 

A Silent Intruder

The west darkened as light fled from the sky. Shadows lengthened until they smothered the hills, meadows, forests with their groping arms. Stars glittered; the moon claimed lordship over the deepening night. Trees began muttering with each other, sharing tales and complaining about the growing population of squirrels and rabbits scampering among their branches and roots. Abruptly, all was silent. Not a leaf rustled, nor did a deer twitch its ear. 
   Soft, lonely footsteps. All the forest held its breath and listened. Quiet, tired panting. The cloaked figure seemed to notice the intense hush of the woods; and stalled his movement. Slowly the nighttime sounds began again. The silent intruder sighed a deep sense of relief, and continued on his way. 
   The night continued as it always did. Squirrels, tails curled around their plump bodies, sleeping peacefully in their holes. Badgers romping through the underbrush. A solitary wolf lapped at the chuckling stream, eyes alert. The figure disappeared...

The Seasons

Melting snow
Blooming flowers
Planting gardens
Plunging rain

Glaring sun
Buzzing bees
Swimming pools
Camping trips

Falling leaves
Hunting beasts
Pressing apples
Awing views

Freezing cold
Blazing fires
Singing songs
Playing games
 

Smile

Something
Motivating
In
Life's
Existence 

Greed

Greed. Selfish intent. Perhaps not totally purposeful on my part. At least, not at first. But it crept into my heart; stole my soul. I haven't seen it since. 

Wish

First dive. Freezing water. Gulping breath. My eyes blackened. Would I ever see light again? There it was. Twinkling in and out of the dark clouds. My star. The one I'd made a wish upon. Make my mom well again. Cancer had taken its toll on my only living parent. My adopted little brother couldn't grasp the significance of it all. Once, we were sitting together on the dock, our feet hanging over into the water, under such a star-filled night as this. 
   "Wish upon a star." He smiled innocently into my eyes. 
I watched his retreating form skip back to the warmly-lit house. A silly star can't help my mom. I knew. Looking back up again at the sky, my eyes settled on a glittering dot that stood out from the rest. Brighter, clearer. More hopeful. Who made that star? I wondered. 
"I wish for mom's cancer to be gone." I whispered; my words felt empty in the...

The Tire Swing

You all may think that I fell off the face of the earth. 
Well . . . the truth is, I did! Let me explain: 

My church went camping this past week, and one of my favorite hangouts is the park around the corner from our campsite. There is my favorite kid play-equipment of all time! A tire swing. 
With a grin, and an immature giggle, I mounted the plastic round tube, grasping the far chain for support as I distributed my weight equally over the hard apparatus. With a determined shove, I pushed off with my right foot, spinning in a dizzying, exciting twirl. 
   The playground, volleyball court, and tent field blurred and sped around. Pulling myself into a tight ball on the swing, it accelerated further. A laugh burst from my lips, my childlike eyes were open wide. Then a strong draft of wind began rocking me from side to side. The swing went faster, faster, faster....

God Is With You, All the Way

Once upon a time, there was this young girl, who so desperately wanted a more exciting life. She had been born into a large family, and lived out in the country. Her dad told the family funny and interesting stories about things that he had seen at his work. The girl had chickens of different varieties that she took care of faithfully, every day.
She had dreams of being an actress, then she had dreams of being a writer, then she had dreams about being an artist. After thinking about it, she realized that she really didn't have the skills to be an actress. So she gave up that dream. But she kept on thinking about it.
Soon, she got her very own bedroom! Now her older sister was married, and had left the house. Then her two oldest brothers left, and she started dreaming again. Life became a routine. She fed her chickens, ate breakfast, did her schoolwork, and...

The Tire Swing

You all may think that I fell off the face of the earth. 
Well . . . the truth is, I did! Let me explain: 

My church went camping this past week, and one of my favorite hangouts is the park around the corner from our campsite. There is my favorite kid play-equipment of all time! A tire swing. 
With a grin, and an immature giggle, I mounted the plastic round tube, grasping the far chain for support as I distributed my weight equally over the hard apparatus. With a determined shove, I pushed off with my right foot, spinning in a dizzying, exciting twirl. 
   The playground, volleyball court, and tent field blurred and sped around. Pulling myself into a tight ball on the swing, it accelerated further. A laugh burst from my lips, my childlike eyes were open wide. Then a strong draft of wind began rocking me from side to side. The swing went faster, faster, faster....

God Bless America

The sticky heat clung to my skin like an unwelcome insect. A slight breeze stirred the stale air, carrying more warmth from the scorching sun. The farmyard was unusually quiet. My long skirt rustled and twirled in the occasional wind, but there was little more movement. Birds sang half-heartedly in the firs and elms, which gave a solemn background to the barn and workshop.
   The cat's ear twitched as it slept in the shade of the lawnmower, trying to find relief from the hot temperature. The chickens were no where to be seen. My hair lay heavy on my neck; I pushed it back. Blue haze covered the mountain range in the far distance, obscuring its fine details. I swung my feet back and forth as I sat on the edge of the flat-bed trailer. Their shadows entrancing in the shimmering heat. I traced my eyes over the golden tulip outlines on my skirt.
   The low rumble of...

Writing Small

For You

The record ran around and around in the music box. Every atom. Every line. Caught her attention to the song inlaid inside the whirling disk. She gave a small sigh, relishing the last chord. There wasn't a hiccup, or hitch at all. 
   "For you." 
A quiet strike. The matchstick fell. 

Noon in November

Waves lapped at the sandy shore. Rocks and shells rolled over and over in their lulling touch. Seagulls cried overhead in hoarse, distinguishable voices. The sun was half-covered by a dark rain cloud, and a brisk November wind blew the damp blanket over the sky completely. The horizon was a simple gray line, presenting the earth's roundness. A spout of sea water spewed upwards, and a deep gray back rose and fell in the ocean waves offshore. A mighty slap of its heavy tail pronounced the departure of the magnificent mammal. 
   Rugged cliffs stood on both sides of the sandy harbor, cutting off contact with the world beyond them. The only thing missing from this scene was humanity. No clanging from a bobbing buoy, or roar of a boat engine. No carefree laughter, or beach umbrellas propped up on the sand. No dogs, or picnic assemblies. Only sounds of nature. A white seagull scanned the shore with its black...

Two Hundred Years Ago

Past Fears

The crackle of a twig. The whisper of leaves. Emily stole quietly through the trees, alert to all movement and sound.
   "Be wary of Indians." Mama had cautioned. 
"I will, mama!" Emily promised, waving. 

The silent woods had soon swallowed up her small figure. Every so often, Emily would look back at the opening in the trees, reminding herself not to stray too far. Then her foot collided with a hard object in the moist dirt. 
"Ow!" Emily squatted on the ground to rub her throbbing toe. Her surprised eyes caught on the triangular item that she'd encountered. Hesitantly, but with eager fingers, Emily picked up the sharp stone, and inspected it. It was an old arrowhead. 
   "You'll find lots of them around here, Em." Papa had told her, smiling and giving one of her braids a gentle tug. 
"And where there are arrowheads, there're Indians." Mama gave him a hard look, then turned to Emily. "You just...

We Find A Girl

We find a girl,
Hair limp with heat,
Reading a book
With eager eyes.

She feels no warmth
From the hot sun.
The earth fades out
Of memory.

The book's own words
Become hers too.
She soaks them in;
Tucks them away.

The sun beats down 
On her figure.
She does not mind
Or feel at all.

The grass is gone
From beneath her.
The world leaves,
Her own, she enters.

A Summers Day

A bluejay dances 'round the yard,
Catching a bug in its beak.
Its handsome feathers shining bright
In the hazy midsummer heat.

The black and yellow bumblebees
Stray from rose bud to Borage.
Licking up pollen on their tongues
And carrying it off again.

Flowers hang limp from thirsty stems
While others smile at the sun.
Some hopeful foliage prays for rain,
But most just soak in the heat.

People are like the summer blooms.
Most will wilt from the sun.
The rest will thirst for lots of it,
And will laugh at the blue sky. 

No Place Like Home

Excitement was ramping up. We were going to the airport to pick up my brother, who'd gotten military leave. Contemporary Christian music played on the radio, but my mom, sister, and I barely heard it over the excitement in our hearts.
   Mom had been fussing over the house, glancing at the clock every minute, before we left for the hour-long ride to the Portland airport. The highway buzzed with morning traffic, everyone going somewhere. I could tell, by glancing over at my mom in the driver's seat, that she was hard put to bottle up her joy, to try concentrating on the busy road
   Clouds had covered the sky most of the morning, but now the sun peeked through, revealing blue sky behind it. Trees and houses mingled together to present an almost ironic urban-rural look. Long lines of vehicles wound up three lanes to our left. A large American flag blew true in the breeze above us....

Nightdreams

A million sparkling stargems
Twinkle 'cross the sky.
As my eyelids close,
And daylight fades away.

My night dreams stray to daylight,
Watching the blue sea.
Seagulls fly past me,
Their searching voices call.

Calm waves wash up on my feet;
Rushing sand flows by.
The waves return home
To their sponge-cushioned bed.

I can't see past the blue line
Touching the clear sky.
Yet I still do know
That there is more beyond. 

Truths and Untruths

Ten (sometimes) Truths About Being Fifteen

1. School will not be on your favorite list of priorities
2. You will be more health-conscious; but won't necessarily follow your conscience
3. You will start thinking that high-school graduation is the end of the world
4. Old kid movies will be either the funniest or most embarrassing things ever
5. Art is suddenly most interesting when you're doing math
6. Skype emojis describe your feelings exactly
7. You wonder why you painted your glass unicorn yellow and red when you were five
8. All tables and chairs jump out at your feet
9. You start realizing that life isn't about you
10. God is still with you

Rose Flower

Little tiny pink veins
Show when the sun shines through.
Revealing life that is in all
The brightly colored roses.

Itty bits of pollen,
Yellow as a lemon drop,
Coat the tiny fingers, which
Reach up for the blue sky.

Snug up top the green stem
Does a vivid rose sit.
Basking in the afternoon sun,
As winds blow gently over it.

Healing

The distant sound of a motor reached my ears as I sat beside the road. I didn't know what time it was, but I was shrouded in thick darkness. The headlight beam signaled the arrival of another vehicle. I wondered who they were, why they were out so late, and where they were going. I wondered what they looked like, who their best friend was, and what their family was like. I wanted a connection. With anyone, really.
   My childhood golden retriever had died a couple weeks before from old age. Even to her last breath, July wagged her long tail, and gazed up at me with her soft, beautiful, adoring brown eyes. Then they closed for the last time. Her tail wagged once more, and my best friend was gone forever. Never again would she run around the house with me, or beg me for another treat, or lick up my salty tears when I was having a...

Goodbye

It was happening. Right in front of my teenage eyes. My feline friend, the subject of many amusing tales and my cozy comforter, was slowly dying. I can remember many an afternoon, cuddled together. I'd be reading an exciting novel, and Whiskers would be curled up, purring happily. My hand would listlessly stroke her soft black fur, as my green eyes gulped down word after word like a starving animal.
   I remember those days when I simply needed to speak my thoughts. Whiskers would stare up at me, blinking slowly. She couldn't hear or understand what I was saying, but I always felt better afterwards. She was the kind of cat who'd lean into your touch one moment, and leave your warm lap for another's, the next.
   Watching her stand up against dogs, always gave us a laugh. She'd arch her back; bright green eyes fixed on her curious victim. A deep growl would emerge from her throat,...

Goodbye

It was happening. Right in front of my teenage eyes. My feline friend, the subject of many amusing tales and my cozy comforter, was slowly dying. I can remember many an afternoon, cuddled together. I'd be reading an exciting novel, and Whiskers would be curled up, purring happily. My hand would listlessly stroke her soft black fur, as my green eyes gulped down word after word like a starving animal.
   I remember those days when I simply needed to speak my thoughts. Whiskers would stare up at me, blinking slowly. She couldn't hear or understand what I was saying, but I always felt better afterwards. She was the kind of cat who'd lean into your touch one moment, and leave your warm lap for another's, the next.
   Watching her stand up against dogs, always gave us a laugh. She'd arch her back; bright green eyes fixed on her curious victim. A deep growl would emerge from her throat,...

Goodbye

It was happening. Right in front of my teenage eyes. My feline friend, the subject of many amusing tales and my cozy comforter, was slowly dying. I can remember many an afternoon, cuddled together. I'd be reading an exciting novel, and Whiskers would be curled up, purring happily. My hand would listlessly stroke her soft black fur, as my green eyes gulped down word after word like a starving animal.
   I remember those days when I simply needed to speak my thoughts. Whiskers would stare up at me, blinking slowly. She couldn't hear or understand what I was saying, but I always felt better afterwards. She was the kind of cat who'd be leaning into your touch one moment, and leaving your warm lap for another's, the next.
   Watching her stand up against dogs, always gave us a laugh. She'd arch her back; bright green eyes fixed on her curious victim. A deep growl would emerge from her...

The Bud Will Open Soon

Winter clings to everything
But Spring is want to come.
The cold air bites, but warmth will dawn.
The bud will open soon.

Birds begin to sing again,
Building feathery nests.
Sounds of chirping fill the wind.
The bud will open soon.

Farmers start to plow their fields,
Praying the frost will leave.
The wind blows warmth from south to north.
The bud will open soon.

Restless creatures finally wake,
Sniffing the ground for food.
A tidbit here, a tidbit there.
The bud will open soon.

At last come the sun-filled days,
Where plants do want to grow.
The fields have been planted now,
The flowers have arrived. 

The Bud Will Open Soon

Winter clings to everything
But Spring is want to come.
The cold air bites, but warmth will dawn.
The bud will open soon.

Birds begin to sing again,
Building soft downy nests.
Sounds of chirping fill the wind.
The bud will open soon.

Farmers start to plow their fields,
Praying the frost will leave.
The wind blows warmth from south to north.
The bud will open soon.

Restless creatures finally wake,
Sniffing the ground for food.
A tidbit here, a tidbit there.
The bud will open soon.

At last come the sun-filled days,
Where plants do want to grow.
The fields have been planted now,
The flowers have arrived. 

Work of Art

Sparkling beads of dew clung to the delicate threads of the intricate spider's web. The brown-striped spider had carefully spun the silken masterpiece the evening before, and now the morning light shone through it; emphasizing the perfect circles of fine silk. The sun rays hit the water droplets, sending shattered light in all directions. A vivid rainbow crowned the web with a final touch of beauty. The spider shook herself loose of the dew on her handsome legs, and smiled proudly at her work of art. 

Healing

The distant sound of a motor reached my ears as I sat beside the road. I didn't know what time it was, but I was shrouded in thick darkness. The headlight beam signaled the arrival of another vehicle. I wondered who they were, why they were out so late, and where they were going. I wondered what they looked like, who their best friend was, and what their family was like. I wanted a connection. With anyone, really.
   My childhood golden retriever had died a couple weeks before from old age. Even to her last breath, July wagged her long tail, and gazed up at me with her soft, beautiful, adoring brown eyes. Then they closed for the last time. Her tail wagged once more, and my best friend was gone forever. Never again would she run around the house with me, or beg me for another treat, or lick up my salty tears when I was having a...

Summertime Daydream

It is perfect. Flawless. Pure. A round, cold, sugary goodness that numbs my brains and warms my heart. Little bits of peanut butter dot the surface, my tongue tastes the heavenly sweetness of the cold chocolate. My hand clutches the waffle cone, while I have eyes only for what nestles inside. 
This is my summertime daydream. 

I Can't Think

My brain has gone cold. Completely numb. I can't think straight. Which is why I ask:
"Mom, can I have more smoothie?" 

Two Hundred Years Ago

Past Fears

The crackle of a twig. The whisper of leaves. Emily stole quietly through the trees, alert to all movement and sound.
   "Be wary of Indians." Mama had cautioned. 
"I will, mama!" Emily promised, waving. 

The silent woods had soon swallowed up her small figure. Every so often, Emily would look back at the opening in the trees, reminding herself not to stray too far. Then her foot collided with a hard object in the moist dirt. 
"Ow!" Emily squatted on the ground to rub her throbbing toe. Suddenly, her surprised eyes caught on the triangular item that she'd encountered. Hesitantly, but with eager fingers, Emily picked up the sharp stone, and inspected it. It was an old arrowhead. 
   "You'll find lots of them around here, Em." Papa had told her, smiling and giving one of her braids a gentle tug. 
"And where there are arrowheads, there're Indians." Mama gave him a hard look, then turned to Emily. "You...

Songwriting Competition 2017

He Loves Us

(Verse 1)
A petal of
the flower here,
was kindly made
by God so near.
He made the world
for us to see,
and placed in it
His love for us. 

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.

(Verse 2)
All of the birds
He made as well
but people were
the best of all.
He breathed in us
His holiness,
and showed His love
on the cruel cross.

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.

(Verse 3)
​He made us all
for His good work
to work in us
In every day.
God has a plan 
for all mankind
and He'll be back
at the right time.

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.




 

Phobia Overcome

Step by careful step. Breath by even breath. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. In and out. Repeat. Anticipation crawled up my spine. Shadows leaped out at me in my imagination, creating dangerous monsters, and horrible figures. I swallowed, shoving the fear away. I wouldn't let my darkness phobia steal my nerve. Floorboards groaned under my feet, the wall felt rough to my fingers, the darkness all around me unyielding. I closed my eyes, and imagined what the room would look like in the daylight. 
   Fresh white walls, walnut flooring, dark brown furniture, blue carpet. The windows were on the wall in front of me, the grand piano to my right. A tiny blue light from the computer fed my light-starved eyes. I drank in the luminescent light for a pleasant moment. Almost there. Shutting my eyes again, I searched my tired memory for the last resting place of the novel I had been reading earlier. On...

On the Defensive

I crouched low behind the concealing bush, forefinger curled around the trigger. Anticipation zipped through my veins; I held my breath. Gentle wind fluttered my eyelashes, and blew the loose pieces of blonde hair in my french braid. Finches twittered nervously above me, unsure of my plans. A slight smirk lit my lips when I heard a soft footfall beyond my hiding place. Everything in me paused excitedly. Several more hesitant steps. A little closer. I silently bade my quarry. My green eyes caught on a shadow moving slowly towards my location. 
   I checked to make sure my gun was cocked, then sprang out in ambush, firing a deathly shot to my opponent's chest. Lyddie acted the part well. Even clutching where the nerf bullet had bounced off her plain brown shirt in pretend agony. After falling onto the ground, she peeked her eyelids open, and smiled. 
"Nice shot, Amelia." 
   Beaming with victory, I helped my sister to...

To Be A Shadow

Plain in the sunshine
Dark in the nighttime
Mysterious as a moonbeam
Shy as a violet
Undefined in its features
Unyielding as a secret
Smooth as a feather
Swift as a flashflood
Withholding its true character
Doubting its existance
Cannot stand against the light
But yet is always there
Standing off all by itself
Lonely in the corner
Vanishing in a lightless sky
To find it yet again.
At every angle it is found
But mostly on the ground
Off it runs with twin beside
To be a shadow ever. 

Nuclear Greed

- Chapter 1 -

A New Assignment

“Joy, please step into my office for a moment.” the voice of Mr. Sholts, the owner of Sholts Software, squeaked through the intercom. 24-year-old Joy Spalli pushed back her black leather office chair, and stood up. Sweeping her hair into a ponytail, Joy weaved her way around the employees. A phone rang loudly on Gretchen Vaughan's desk as she went past, and a filing cabinet drawer slammed shut somewhere to her right. Joy left the busy computer room then walked down the hall to Mr. Sholts' office. She knocked on the door's wooden frame, causing Mr. Sholts to look up from his computer. “Joy! Please come in and sit down.”
The office was dark, with a solitary lamp beside where Mr. Sholts sat behind his desk. A brown briefcase leaned against his computer chair.
Joy closed the door behind her, then sat down in the leather seat in front of Mr. Sholts.
“You...

Simple and True

Roads criss-crossing and winding in eternal lines and loops. Little red, blue, black, white, silver, any color cars inching their way along the roadway.
   We zoom in closer.
Horns blaring and the thick smell of exhaust fills our nose. Pedestrians jogging and moseying on side and crosswalks. 
   We zoom in closer.
Cracks in the road, and thin yellow lines, dot the middles and sides of the busy streetways. Trucks, minivans, and look! an electric car, rushing and rushing to get somewhere soon. 
   We zoom in closer.
Inside a dark red Honda Odyssey what do we see? Parents with their kids taking a trip. Bicycles on top, provisions and clothing inside, toys, books, snacks, and things eager to be used. 
   We zoom in closer.
In a young girl, maybe eleven or twelve, there lies a brave heart. Simple and true. 

Meriah

"Zachary! Please don't!" My mom whimpered, pleading unsuccessfully with her angry husband. I huddled on the wooden stairs, arms around my legs, tears pouring down my cheeks. I lay my head against the wall, wincing when I heard a slap, and thud
   "You betrayed me, Raelyn." A deep voice slurred. I heard something slide across the floor, and shuffling. My dad had drank too much. Again. 
"No I didn't. I promise!" Raelyn protested weakly. More shuffling. Slap! "Zach, don't!" She whispered. 
   Hide. Run. Escape. My thoughts screamed at me. I can't abandon mom! You're not. You're protecting yourself, and you know you're the most precious thing in the world to her. I closed my eyes against the inner struggle. Stay or flee. Listening to dad hurt mom or run and hide. Suddenly, thundering footsteps caused my eyes to widen. I sprang to my feet, and scampered up to the second floor just as my dad's foreboding shadow...

Meriah

"Zachary! Please don't!" My mom whimpered, pleading unsuccessfully with her angry husband. I huddled on the wooden stairs, arms around my lens, tears pouring down my cheeks. I lay my head against the wall, wincing when I heard a slap, and thud
   "You betrayed me, Raelyn." A deep voice slurred. I heard something slide across the floor, and shuffling. My dad had drank too much. Again. 
"No I didn't. I promise!" Raelyn protested weakly. More shuffling. Slap! "Zach, don't!" She whispered. 
   Hide. Run. Escape. My thoughts screamed at me. I can't abandon mom! You're not. You're protecting yourself, and you know you're the most precious thing in the world to her. I closed my eyes against the inner struggle. Stay or flee. Listening to dad hurt mom or run and hide. Suddenly, thundering stepping caused my eyes to widen. I sprang to my feet, and scampered up to the second floor just as my dad's foreboding shadow...

Meriah

"Zachary! Please don't!" My mom whimpered, pleading unsuccessfully with her angry husband. I huddled on the wooden stairs, arms around my lens, tears pouring down my cheeks. I lay my head against the wall, wincing when I heard a slap, and thud
   "You betrayed me, Raelyn." A deep voice slurred. I heard something slide across the floor, and shuffling. My dad had drank too much. Again. 
"No I didn't. I promise!" Raelyn protested weakly. More shuffling. Slap! "Zach, don't!" She whispered. 
   Hide. Run. Escape. My thoughts screamed at me. I can't abandon mom! You're not. You're protecting yourself, and you know you're the most precious thing in the world to her. I closed my eyes against the inner struggle. Stay or flee. Listening to dad hurt mom or run and hide. Suddenly, thundering stepping caused my eyes to widen. I sprang to my feet, and scampered up to the second floor just as my dad's foreboding shadow...

In A Coma

Gray. Misty fog all around me. Closing me in. I'm shut off from the rest of the world. In a corner by myself. Alone. It echoed in my memory. What did I remember? I closed my eyes to sharpen the faint glimmer. Laughter. Ringing laughter. Yes, it was there. Hidden under layers of fear, pain, and resignation. But it was still there.
   Shoving my thoughts deeper, I delved into my memory. Surely there must be something else. Who laughed? Why? A scene flashed past. I latched hold of it, feeling myself being pulled further into my mind. Warm, rushing air blowing me nearly away.
   Light. Was it really? Yes, golden light. Coming from where? I pushed open the memory. People gathered in a circle, playing a board game. Why were they familiar? I stared at each of their dim faces. Something clicked. I remembered laughing with the brown-haired woman sitting farthest from me.
   Was that the laughing...

May I Have This Dance

Off in a corner I stood. Watching the dancing couples with solemn eyes. No one had asked me to dance, much less talked with me. I tried to smile, but unwanted tears made it impossible. I gazed out at the beautiful farmland. The sun was beginning to set, shining golden light on the musicians and lively dancers. The music came to an end; everyone honored their partner, then the men led the ladies back to the pavilion. The sound of happy laughter rang in my ears, and I silently wished no one would notice me. I looked away. 
   Then a voice spoke beside me. 
"May I have this next dance?" The dark-haired gentleman gave a little bow. 
   I smiled in surprise, my tears gone. "Yes you may." I took his offered arm, and away we stepped to the end of the forming line. We stood across from each other, and he smiled. I sent a shy one back,...

The Dance

The thrill! The excitement! Set to your partner, join hands, and sashay down the center of the brilliantly dressed couples. A rush of energy, step by step, everyone clapping to the catchy beat. Turn to your neighbor; clap clap! Swing in a dizzying way, form a line, and off we step with the beat. One, two, three, four. Twirl your neighbor, join hands, and step forward lively. One, two, three, four. Skip down the row, adrenaline on fire. Reform the circle, and down we sashay once more. 

May I Have This Dance

Off in a corner I stood. Watching the dancing couples with solemn eyes. No one had asked me to dance, much less talked with me. I tried to smile, but unwanted tears made it impossible. I gazed out at the beautiful farmland. The sun was beginning to set, shining golden light on the musicians and lively dancers. The music came to an end; everyone honored their partner, then the men led the ladies back to the pavilion. The sound of happy laughter rang in my ears, and I silently wished no one would notice me. I looked away. 
   Then a voice spoke beside me. 
"May I have this next dance?" The dark-haired gentleman gave a little bow. 
   I smiled in surprise, my tears gone. "Yes you may." I took his offered arm, and away we stepped to the end of the forming line. We stood across from each other, and he smiled. I sent a shy one back,...

We're Friends Forever

I met you when I was young. We did everything together.
We became better friends. We were inseparable. 
My older sister married your older brother. We became related. 
We got into a silent argument. I never wanted to talk to you again. 
You never gave up on our friendship. We became friends anew. 
We shared our hearts with each other. We got closer together.
You moved far away. I thought our friendship was over. 
We emailed and talked over Skype. We became even closer than before. 
You came back. We're friends forever. 

Your World in Three Senses

Lemon Dreams

I glanced up from the hard-cover novel in my hands, a warm breeze blew in through the open screen door, revealing a garden filled with colorful roses. The setting sun kissed the hills, setting them ablaze with golden light. The pages in my book fluttered, and suddenly, the smell of sweet lemons drifted to me, and my goal in life was drastically changed. 
   "Violette!" My mother's sing-song voice came from the kitchen. "I need you to test these lemon bars!" 
I bookmarked the novel, and skipped to the cozy wonderfulness of the good-smelling kitchen. With a sigh of pure bliss, I let the lemony goodness of the golden delicacy melt into my soul with each new nibble. 
   Life couldn't get much better than this. 

Forest of Time

The forest was silent. Dark, unyielding, mysterious, haunting. Not a breath of wind evoked movement through the giant oaks, gnarly elms, and towering firs. A deep hush, a sound sleep, had settled over the grove. Dead stumps, like tombstones, held memories of fallen brothers. Green blackberry vines climbed up and around, over and through branches and sharp stones. Had there been inhabitants in this wild wood? People of old?
   There were no remembrances. But there was anger, Yes, much anger, hurt, and fear. Nothing breathed, all was still. The life had been extinguished like a candle. As the years, decades, and centuries passed, it faded from all thought, until a small figure stood shyly at the entrance to the ancient grove. Dirt which had not been disturbed, suddenly had little footprints dotting the surface.
   Into the very  heart of the woods the dark-haired boy trotted, whistling a nonsensical tune. The trees listened intently. Who was this? Deeper the...

Forest of Time

The forest was silent. Dark, unyielding, mysterious, haunting. Not a breath of wind evoked movement through the giant oaks, gnarly elms, and towering firs. A deep hush, a sound sleep, had settled over the grove. Dead stumps, like tombstones, held memories of fallen brothers. Green blackberry vines climbed up and around, over and through branches and sharp stones. Had there been inhabitants in this wild wood? People of old?
   There were no remembrances. But there was anger, Yes, much anger, hurt, and fear. Nothing breathed, all was still. The life had been extinguished like a candle. As the years, decades, and centuries passed, it faded from all thought, until a small figure stood shyly at the entrance to the ancient grove. Dirt which had not been disturbed, suddenly had little footprints dotting the surface.
   Into the very  heart of the woods the dark-haired boy trotted, whistling a nonsensical tune. The trees listened intently. Who was this? Deeper the...

Telling Time

'Tick tock' goes the clock
Against the dingy wall.
Smoke has fogged its handsome face
But still the hands run 'round.

Time has passed without a word,
So mourn its sorrowful speed.
The hours race, the cogs do whirl,
Pushing us into the future.

We haven't much time to do what is right,
But we must, all the same.
And never forget this wholesome truth:
'Tis God who tells the time. 

Forest of Time

The forest was silent. Dark, unyielding, mysterious, haunting. Not a breath of wind evoked movement through the giant oaks, gnarly elms, and towering firs. A deep hush, a sound sleep, had settled over the grove. Dead stumps, like tombstones, held memories of fallen brothers. Green blackberry vines climbed up and around, over and through branches and sharp stones. Had there been inhabitants in this wild wood? People of old?
   There were no remembrances. But there was anger, Yes, much anger, hurt, and fear. Nothing breathed, all was still. The life had been extinguished like a candle. As the years, decades, and centuries passed, it faded from all thought, until a small figure stood shyly at the entrance to the ancient grove. Dirt which had not been disturbed, suddenly had little footprints dotting the surface.
   Into the very  heart of the woods the dark-haired boy trotted, whistling a nonsensical tune. The trees listened intently. Who was this? Deeper the...

Forest of Time

The forest was silent. Dark, unyielding, mysterious, haunting. Not a breath of wind evoked movement through the giant oaks, gnarly elms, and towering firs. A deep hush, a sound sleep, had settled over the grove. Dead stumps, like tombstones, held memories of fallen brothers. Green blackberry vines climbed up and around, over and through branches and sharp stones. Had there been inhabitants in this wild wood? People of old?
   There were no remembrances. But there was anger, Yes, much anger, hurt, and fear. Nothing breathed, all was still. The life had been extinguished like a candle. As the years, decades, and centuries passed, it faded from all thought, until a small figure stood shyly at the entrance to the ancient grove. Dirt which had not been disturbed, suddenly had little footprints dotting the surface.
   Into the very  heart of the woods the dark-haired boy trotted, whistling a nonsensical tune. The trees listened intently. Who was this? Deeper the...

Songwriting Competition 2017

He Loves Us

(Verse 1)
A petal of
the flower here,
was kindly made
by God so dear.
He made the world
for us to see,
and has us watch
o'er land and sea.

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.

(Verse 2)
All of the birds
He made as well
but people were
the best of all.
He breathed in us
His holiness,
but we have gone
away from Him.

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.

(Verse 3)
​He made us all
for His good work
to work in us
In every day.
God has a plan 
for all mankind
and He'll be back
at the right time.

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.




 

Songwriting Competition 2017

He Loves Us

(Verse 1)
A petal of
the flower here,
was kindly made
by God so dear.
He made the world
for us to see,
and has us watch
o'er land and sea.

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.

(Verse 2)
All the birds
He made as well
but people were
the best of all.
He breathed in us
His holiness,
but we have gone
away from Him.

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.

(Verse 3)
​He made us all
for His good work
to work in us
In every day.
God has a plan 
for all mankind
and He'll be back
at the right time.

(Chorus) 
God is so good
to you and me
in everything
He loves us.




 

Songwriting Competition 2017

He Loves Us

(Verse 1)
A petal of
the flower here,
was kindly made
by God so dear.
He made the world
for us to see,
and has us watch
o'er land and sea.

(Verse 2)
All the birds
He made as well
but people were
the best of all.
He breathed in us
His holiness,
but we have gone
away from Him.

(Verse 3)
​He made us all
for His good work
to work in us
In every day.
God has a plan 
for all mankind
and He'll be back
at the right time.




 

The Accident

My heart thumped in my chest as I pressed on the brake. The car lurched to a complete stop. My green eyes searched the scene before me in disbelief and fear. Two car frames lay strewn across the road. One flipped over, the other on its side. Black smoke billowed high, causing the white-orange ambulance to stand out against it. A group of bystanders milled around, running worried hands through their hair, or talking with the policemen who stood about, keeping everyone away from the hot, smoldering metal. Hospital personnel loaded a yellow-haired girl into the back of one hospital vehicle, and a dark-haired young man into the back of the remaining ambulance, then hurried away with their sirens wailing. 
   I choked back a sob. Was one of them Martin? 

The Accident

My heart thumped in my chest as I pressed on the brake. The car lurched to a complete stop. My green eyes searched the scene before me in disbelief and fear. Two car frames lay strewn across the road. One flipped over, the other on its side. Black smoke billowed high, causing the white-orange ambulance to stand out against it. A group of bystanders milled around, running worried hands through their hair, or talking with the policemen who stood about, keeping everyone away from the hot vehicles. Hospital personnel loaded a yellow-haired girl into the back of one hospital vehicle, and a dark-haired young man into the back of the remaining ambulance, then hurried away with their sirens wailing. 
   I choked back a sob. Was one of them Martin? 

Fade Away

My left blinker clicked on and off. I tapped my right forefinger on the top of the wheel, checking for cars at the stop sign. None. My foot came off the brake, the Toyota lulled forward, and I tapped the accelerator. Suddenly, my eyes caught on something. A blue Pilot hadn't stopped at the sign, it was continuing toward me at high-speed. 
   I closed my eyes. Crashing pain caused my body to go numb. 
The world faded away. 

Fade Away

My left blinker clicked on and off. I tapped my right forefinger on the top of the wheel, checking for cars at the stop sign. None. My foot came off the brake, the Toyota lulled forward, and I tapped the accelerator. Suddenly, my eyes caught on something. The blue Pilot hadn't stopped at the sign, it was continuing toward me at high-speed. 
   I closed my eyes. Crashing pain caused the world to fade away. 

Firework Memories

"Ugh!" I spoke frustratingly into the cool night air. 
   My younger sister, Allison, glanced over at me from her spot on the flat roof where she was watching the fireworks go off in the distance. 
"Why won't this camera take a picture?!" My teeth gritted, I tried again. It wouldn't focus. Only bokeh dotted the screen. "Come on!" I looked over the settings to figure out what was wrong with it. 
   "Ooh!" Allison gasped with awe. "Did you see that one? It was the biggest one yet!" Her eyes were bright even in the darkness. 
"No, I didn't see it." I was trying not to yell at her. Of course I didn't see it! I'm trying to figure out my dumb camera! I peeked out at the horizon, lit with city lights and fireworks. As soon as I began fiddling with my camera again, the bigger ones went off. 
   "I think those were even bigger!" Allison...

Firework Memories

"Ugh!" I spoke frustratingly into the cool night air. 
   My younger sister, Allison, glanced over at me from her spot on the flat roof where she was watching the fireworks go off in the distance. 
"Why won't this camera take a picture?!" My teeth gritted, I tried again. It wouldn't focus. Only bokeh dotted the screen. "Come on!" I looking over the settings to figure out what was wrong with it. 
   "Ooh!" Allison gasped with awe. "Did you see that one? It was the biggest one yet!" Her eyes were bright even in the darkness. 
"No, I didn't see it." I was trying not to yell at her. Of course I didn't see it! I'm trying to figure out my dumb camera! I peeked out at the horizon, lit with city lights and fireworks. As soon as I began fiddling with my camera again, the bigger ones went off. 
   "I think those were even bigger!" Allison...

The Sacrifice

The rushing river foamed and roared at the base of the gorge. At the tip top of the cliff, a flower danced along its rim. Or perhaps not a flower, but a young girl. Skipping, laughing with fun and wonder. Golden ringlets framed her fair, round face. True blue eyes flicked with imagination and awe. Her little nose scrunched up when her features lit with a smile. 
   A giggle burst from her joyful lips as she darted after a purple-white butterfly. Tripping once over an old, gnarly root, she spoke one word to it, touched it with her inquisitive hand, and it slid into the earth out of view. Resuming her gaily laughter, a blue bird crossed her path, twittering promises of pleasant things. The butterfly forgotten, the carefree lass scampered up to the bird's perch on an ancient whispering oak. 
   Halting her pattering feet a few yards away from the little bird's roost, she solemnly walked up...

It Isn't Me

God does all the work;
I'm just His pen. 

The Mistake

I want to go back. Maybe it will turn out differently the second time. Instead of turning left like I always do at the light signal, I could go straight. Sure, that would've taken longer, but then I wouldn't have met with that oncoming car. The black one that ran the red light. I know I can't change what happened, but it somehow makes my sister's condition easier to bear. That lousy jerk disobeyed the law and put my sister in the hospital.
   I remember the loud, commanding siren of the ambulance. Of course the other driver was fine. Isn't that how it always goes? The innocent get hurt while the ones doing the actual deed remain unharmed. Yes, the distraught guy was sorry. That was his exact word: "Sorry." He ran a nervous hand through his dark hair, making it stick up all over.
   Well 'sorry' isn't going to fix my sister's leg. 'Sorry' isn't going to...

It Is Just Before Dawn

It is just before dawn;
The black night is behind,
A shadow in my thoughts,
But lo! Here comes the sun!

The darkness is now gone,
It fled to the valley.
The sun shines on the earth,
Upon our nation's flag. 

That symbol of freedom;
Red, white stripes and white stars,
Standing tall through the land,
This blessed country of ours. 

Let us sing the anthem
Which speaks of our true flag,
Which was won by warriors
Who fought to their last breath.

Celebrate our freedom
To honor those soldiers,
And don't be undeserved
Of their love for this land. 

 

The Sacrifice

The rushing river foamed and roared at the base of the gorge. At the tip top of the cliff, a flower danced along its rim. Or perhaps not a flower, but a young girl. Skipping, laughing with fun and wonder. Golden ringlets framed her fair, round face. True blue eyes flicked with imagination and awe. Her little nose scrunched up when her features lit with a smile. 
   A giggle burst from her joyful lips as she darted after a purple-white butterfly. Tripping once over an old, gnarly root, she spoke one word to it, touched it with her inquisitive hand, and it slid into the earth out of view. Resuming her gaily laughter, a blue bird crossed her path, twittering promises of pleasant things. The butterfly forgotten, the carefree lass scampered up to the bird's perch on an ancient whispering oak. 
   Halting her pattering feet a few yards away from the little bird's roost, she solemnly walked up...

Dear LORD, Protect Him

Mom and I were laughing hysterically over a song on the radio, when the call came. 
   My mom's cell phone is plugged into the van, so she just pressed ENTER on the touchscreen, chuckling once more as she did so. "Hello?" 
   "Mom!" My younger sister's sobbing voice came over the phone, sounding a little garbled. 
"What's wrong honey?" Worry suddenly laced mom's voice. 
   "Neil's been in a car accident." 
"What?!" The car swerved a little, showing mom's shock. 
   "Ruth said he has a broken leg." (Ruth is my brother's wife). Lacey started hiccuping, intertwining them with the continued sobs. 
   Oh LORD, please heal him. Give him peace. I prayed silently, my heart was on edge. My breath bated as I strained to hear my sister's voice. 
   "She w- . . ." Lacey's voice faded as we entered a dead-zone. 
"Honey?" Mom spoke, trying to keep her eyes on the road as my sister's words...

Dear LORD, Protect Him

Mom and I were laughing hysterically over a song on the radio, when the call came. 
   My mom's cell phone is plugged into the van, so she just pressed ENTER on the touchscreen, chuckling once more as she did so. "Hello?" 
   "Mom!" My younger sister's sobbing voice came over the phone, sounding a little garbled. 
"What's wrong honey?" Worry suddenly laced mom's voice. 
   "Neil's been in a car accident." 
"What?!" The car swerved a little, showing mom's shock. 
   "Ruth said he has a broken leg." (Ruth is my brother's wife). Lacey started hiccuping, intertwining them with the continued sobs. 
   Oh LORD, please heal him. Give him peace. I prayed silently, my heart was on edge. My breath bated as I strained to hear my sister's voice. 
   "She w- . . ." Lacey's voice faded as we entered a dead-zone. 
"Honey?" Mom spoke, trying to keep her eyes on the road as my sister's words...

Dear LORD, Protect Him

Mom and I were laughing hysterically over a song on the radio, when the call came. 
   My mom's cell phone is plugged into the van, so she just pressed ENTER on the touchscreen, chuckling once more as she did so. "Hello?" 
   "Mom!" My younger sister's sobbing voice came over the phone, sounding a little garbled. 
"What's wrong honey?" Worry suddenly laced mom's voice. 
   "Neil's been in a car accident." 
"What?!" The car swerved a little, showing mom's shock. 
   "Ruth said he has a broken leg." (Ruth is my brother's wife). Lacey started hiccuping, intertwining them with the continued sobs. 
   Oh LORD, please heal him. Give him peace. I prayed silently, my heart was on edge. My breath bated as I strained to hear my sister's voice. 
   "She w- . . ." Lacey's voice faded as we entered a dead-zone. 
"Honey?" Mom spoke, trying to keep her eyes on the road as my sister's words...

The Sacrifice

The rushing river foamed and roared at the base of the gorge. At the tip top of the cliff, a flower danced along its rim. Or perhaps not a flower, but a young girl. Skipping, laughing with fun and wonder. Golden ringlets framed her fair, round face. True blue eyes flicked with imagination and awe. Her little nose scrunched up when her features lit with a smile. 
   A giggle burst from her joyful lips as she darted after a purple-white butterfly. Tripping once over an old, gnarly root, she spoke one word to it, touched it with her inquisitive hand, and it slid into the earth out of view. Resuming her gaily laughter, a blue bird crossed her path, twittering promises of pleasant things. The butterfly forgotten, the carefree lass scampered up to the bird's perch on an ancient whispering oak. 
   Halting her pattering feet a few yards away from the little bird's roost, she solemnly walked up...

The Sacrifice

The rushing river foamed and roared at the base of the gorge. At the tip top of the cliff, a flower danced along its rim. Or perhaps not a flower, but a young girl. Skipping, laughing with fun and wonder. Golden ringlets framed her fair, round face. True blue eyes flicked with imagination and awe. Her little nose scrunched up when her features lit with a smile. 
   A giggle burst from her joyful lips as she darted after a purple-white butterfly. Tripping once over an old, gnarly root, she spoke one word to it, touched it with her inquisitive hand, and it slid into the earth out of view. Resuming her gaily laughter, a blue bird crossed her path, twittering promises of pleasant things. The butterfly forgotten, the carefree lass scampered up to its perch on an ancient whispering oak. 
   Halting her pattering feet a few yards away from the little bird's roost, she solemnly walked up to...

Simple and True

Roads criss-crossing and winding in eternal lines and loops. Little red, blue, black, white, silver, any color cars inching their way along the roadway.
   We zoom in closer.
Horns blaring and the thick smell of exhaust fills our nose. Pedestrians jogging and moseying on side and crosswalks. 
   We zoom in closer.
Cracks in the road, and thin yellow lines, dot the middles and sides of the busy streetways. Trucks, minivans, and look! an electric car, rushing and rushing to get somewhere soon. 
   We zoom in closer.
Inside a dark red Honda Odyssey what do we see? Parents with their kids taking a trip. Bicycles on top, provisions and clothing inside, toys, books, snacks, and things eager to be used. 
   We zoom in closer.
In a young girl, maybe eleven or twelve, there hides a brave heart. Simple and true. 

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

A Patriot's Freedom

I will fly my flag
All red, white, and blue,
For the world to see
A patriot true. 

For all the year long
And not just the fourth,
I will celebrate freedom
From south to the north. 

This country was founded
On God's holy word,
As the signers all prayed;
The paper procured. 

Thank God for freedom,
During your festivities,
Set off your fireworks,
With pride and civilities. 

Never forget those
Great warriors of ours,
But honor their fight
For the red and blue stars. 

 

A Patriot's Freedom

I will fly my flag
All red white and blue,
For the world to see
A patriot true. 

For all the year long
And not just the fourth,
I will celebrate freedom
From south to the north. 

This country was founded
On God's holy word,
As the signers all prayed;
The paper procured. 

Thank God for freedom,
During your festivities,
Set off your fireworks,
With pride and civilities. 

Never forget those
Great warriors of ours,
But honor their fight
For the red and blue stars. 

 

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

Mystery Writing Competition 2017

Raging Storms

It was a lonely, wintry sunrise. Pink and gold painted the sky in an endless array of beauty. Glistening snow hugged the mountain-range on the dark horizon. Brown deer flicked their tails as they leaped between white-clad firs, shaking soft snow-flakes from their warm coats. A single red fox slunk to the frozen creek's edge, licking at the ice with frustration. A white rabbit, barely visible in the dim light, against the pure snow, sprang through the deep drifts, its ears twitching with early noises, and a cloud of breath appearing when it exhaled. 
   Roxanne watched this with a mixture of emotions. Sadness; all the forest creatures trying to keep warm, and to quench their hunger. Awe; Seeing the world covered with a thick layer of perfect snow, changing the landscape to a winter wonderland. Glancing to the distance, her blue eyes clouded thoughtfully. The sun began rising, little by little, over the mountains, touching every tree with its...

She Has Made It Real

I watch her face as her pen scampers across the lined paper. Eating up blank space to weave a delightful tale filled with adventure and humor. Her chin rests in her cupped left hand, and the other dances along the page in entrancing swirls. Her forehead is scrunched in deep thought as she creates the character's emotions. Her eyes reflect her story; sorrow for sorrow, joy for joy. 
   Her hair frisks about her fair face, twirling in the wind, and catching the early morning sunlight. The words she writes are never still, working together in a flurry of colors, sounds, and emotions. A smile lights her lips with pleasure as the character has finally found true treasure. Feeling the inner toil and struggle being resolved within her heart.
   The last paragraph speaks of peace and hope. Things which she feels deeply in her soul, in her God-made core. With a sigh, she sets the pen down, her passion...

Music to Me

I'm floating through the air. On clouds of rhythms and spiraling arpeggios. My eyes closed with pleasure, music pulling me further into the sky. 
I'm dancing through the atmosphere. On wings of notes and moving chords. My lips move with imagined lyrics, tugging me into their warm embrace. 
I'm skipping through the galaxy. On stars of melody and flowing cadences. My foot taps with feeling, drawing me to the beautiful constellations beyond. 

Attack of the Strawberries

Erika slathered her moist cornbread with fresh strawberry jam. The tantalizing smell drifted up to her nose; she inhaled deeply. Sitting at the table, she was about to partake of her hurried breakfast, when suddenly, she heard a tiny sound. Glancing around, she saw no one. Whatever. She shrugged, and began putting the cornbread into her mouth. There was that noise again. 
   Irritated, she glared behind her. If Jacob is teasing me again then I'll booby-trap his bedroom. But no one could be seen. Huffing, she turned back to her stalled breakfast and took a bite. Mm. Pure bliss. 
"Help!" 
   "What on earth?" Crumbs dropped to the table as she stared at the cornbread. 
"Don't eat me! Please! I didn't do anything!" 
   Warily, Erika studied her food. "How are you talking to me?" 
"That's not important." The jam insisted. "Just please don't eat me!" 
"But you're my breakfast." 
   The jam simply wailed miserably. 
Erika sighed. It...

Behind the Sunrise

The darkness covers all;
Heaven blinks with stars.
Every creature sleeps.

Some morning light appears
Under the fading stars,
Next comes glorious color.

Rose red streaks the sky, 
In a moment is the sun. 
Sunshine bursts around;
Every creature wakes. 


 

In A Coma

Gray. Misty fog all around me. Closing me in. I'm shut off from the rest of the world. In a corner by myself. Alone. It echoed in my memory. What did I remember? I closed my eyes to sharpen the faint glimmer. Laughter. Ringing laughter. Yes, it was there. Hidden under layers of fear, pain, and resignation. But it was still there.
   Shoving my thoughts deeper, I delved into my memory. Surely there must be something else. Who laughed? Why? A scene flashed past. I latched hold of it, feeling myself being pulled further into my mind. Warm, rushing air blowing me nearly away.
   Light. Was it really? Yes, golden light. Coming from where? I pushed open the memory. People gathered in a circle, playing a game. Why were they familiar? I stared at each of their dim faces. Something clicked. I remembered laughing with the brown-haired woman sitting farthest from me.
   Was that the laughing I...

Life (of a Rabbit) - Through My Eyes

Edging nearer through the dewy grass, I discovered that I had come to the outer border of the forest. Sniffing closer at the hard, gray substance before me, I nosed it with a little push. It was solid. Faded yellow stripes ran down the middle of the stone surface, which lay past the forest edge and continued over a hill in both directions.
   Suddenly, a familiar scent awoke my senses. Clover! But I realized that to get to it, I'd have to go across the strange surface. I placed a hesitant paw forward; it was cool to the touch. Hopping further, I was soon in the middle of the gray area. Then I heard a strange, roaring sound from over the hill to my right. My eyes wide with fear, I gazed toward the noise.
   A red thing came snorting and zooming right over the hill, on the gray surface which I was rooted to. It didn't look...

Thunder Rumbled

A streak of white light flashed across the sky, its darting tongue licking the dry earth. In answer, thunder rumbled through the dark gray clouds. Filling the earth with its terrific boom. Rain began to fall, pitter-pattering through swirls of dust. The dry land soaked it up, thirsty, and perishing from the endless heat. 
   A lone figure stood in the gathering downpour. Gazing up at the starless sky. Little streams of water ran down her cheeks, onto her bare arms. Racing away to the parched earth. Her knee-length, plaid skirt clung to her trembling legs, and dark hair plastered her forehead and shoulders in a wavy mess. 
   Kneeling on the wet ground, she grasped a fistful of dirt and let it slide through her soft fingers. She raised her dripping arms to the heavens, and cried out, "Thank You, LORD!"
   A flash of light. The air resounded. God had heard her prayer. 
   

Zoom Out

A Morning in the City

Dark, furrowed brows set above pale blue eyes. A slightly up-turned nose perched over glossy lips. No words were heard from this person, yet her mouth moved as she read the newspaper. Her pupils danced across the columns, curiosity compelling further reading. Her slender hands clutched the edges of the paper, hiding their owner from view. Dark brown hair flitted across her shoulders as cars zoomed past. Fellow pedestrians talked and laughed as they walked across the street, down the sidewalk.
   The morning shadows shortened as the golden sun rose higher in the summery blue sky. A light-haired lady hurried by, a small purse slung over her shoulder, and a phone in her eager hands. A teenager sped along the sidewalk on a red skateboard, disturbing two little, yapping brown dogs. Their owner reigned them in, and pulled them down the concrete walkway. Loud drum beats filled the air as a vehicle, with its windows down, halted at a stop...

My Life was Redone

We write for pleasure
To find true treasure
No matter the cost
Or we will be lost.

Forever in the world
Our thoughts swirled
In endless monotony
And laughless irony. 

Is there yet hope
From this slippery slope
Which we have climbed
With rock and grime?

Finding ourselves
By empty bookshelves
Having done nothing
Which is worth loving. 

We open a book
To take just a look,
Finding an answer
To quench all our anger.

Christ is the key,
We bend on our knee
And offer our lives
Too weary with tries.

All that is the past
On Christ will we cast
Our sorrows and fears
Because You are near. 

We will live for You
Our hearts are washed new,
We'll tell everyone
How our lives were redone. 

Thank You, LORD! 




 

My Life was Redone

We write for pleasure
To find true treasure
No matter the cost
Or we will be lost.

Forever in the world
Our thoughts swirled
In endless monotony
And laughless irony. 

Is there yet hope
From this slippery slope
Which we have climbed
With rock and grime?

Finding ourselves
By empty bookshelves
Having done nothing
Which is worth loving. 

We open a book
To take just a look,
Finding an answer
To quench all my anger.

Christ is the key,
We bend on our knee
And offer our lives
Too weary with tries.

All that is the past
On Christ will I cast
My sorrows and fears
Because You are near. 

I will live for You
My heart is washed new,
I'll tell everyone
How my life was redone. 

Thank You, LORD! 




 

Zoom Out

A Morning in the City

Dark, furrowed brows set above pale blue eyes. A slightly up-turned nose perched over glossy lips. No words were heard from this person, yet her mouth moved as she read the newspaper. Her pupils danced across the columns, curiosity compelling further reading. Slender hands clutched the edges of the paper, hiding their owner from view. Dark brown hair flitted across her shoulders as cars zoomed past. Fellow pedestrians talked and laughed as they walked across the street, down the sidewalk.
   The morning shadows shortened as the golden globe rose higher in the summery blue sky. A light-haired lady hurried by, a small purse slung over her shoulder, and a phone in her eager hands. A teenager sped along the sidewalk on a red skateboard, disturbing two little, brown dogs. Their owner reigned them in, yapping and all, and pulled them down the concrete walkway. Loud drum beats filled the air as a vehicle, with its windows down, halted at a...

She Has Made It Real

I watch her face as her pen scampers across the lined paper. Eating up blank space to weave a delightful tale filled with adventure and humor. Her chin rests in her cupped left hand, and the other dances along the page in entrancing swirls. Her forehead is scrunched in deep thought as she creates the character's emotions. Her eyes reflect her story; Sorrow for sorrow, joy for joy. 
   Her hair frisks about her fair face, twirling in the wind, and catching the early morning sunlight. The words she writes are never still, working together in a flurry of colors, sounds, and emotions. A smile lights her lips with pleasure as the character has finally found true treasure. Feeling the inner toil and struggle being resolved within her heart.
   The last paragraph speaks of peace and hope. Things which she feels deeply in her soul, in her God-made core. With a sigh, she sets the pen down, her passion...

A Second in September

It was the first week of volleyball practice. Everyone buzzing with excitement at having made the team, which was proudly named The Avengers. Correctly so, because of their ability to win almost every game, beating their competition. I was on that oh so proud team, and lined up for my scholarship because of my volleyball skills. 
   Life was supposed to be perfect. But perfect doesn't exist in a sin-filled world. My sister was dying. Does that sound perfect? My eight-year-old sister was dying. And it was all my fault. It was a stupid accident, which never should have happened. 
   Some friends and I decided to partake of alcohol. Not that much, but after a few drinks, it got out of hand. I left the party, stumbling outside to my car, and drove home. I had forgotten all about taking my younger sister to her basketball practice, and as soon as I pulled into the drive-way, Meganne bounded...

Sunset in October

Pumpkins carved with lit faces leered at Alexandria and Trixie as they strode up to the door. The house had probably once been white, but over years of not being maintained, most of the paint had peeled away. A grinning, black cat adorned the doormat, with the words 'Trick or Treat' printed below in orange letters. 
   Unbidden, a shiver raced up Alexandria's spine. What a creepy night. Her thoughts strayed to a conversation with her mom, which had taken place an hour earlier. 
   
   "I really don't think that you should go. All those kids causing mischief." Mom shuddered. 
I set my hands on my hips defiantly. "You mean me causing mischief. Right?" 
   "Of course not, darling." Mom wrung her hands anxiously. "I just don't want you to get hurt." 
"I'll try not to fall into a manhole or something." I smirked sarcastically, slipping on a black zip-up sweater over my orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt.
   "You...

A Cat's Thoughts - Through My Eyes

No, you silly human. I don't want to be absentmindedly patted on the head. I want to be SCRATCHED! I have an itch right between my shoulder blades. You are not getting to the heart of the problem by simply brushing over my regal head. I, at least, am giving you attention. But there you are just reading your book and ignoring me. Why aren't you listening to me, you dumb human? 
   Seriously, I need some attention here! No, leave the paws alone! What about the words 'Do not touch' don't you understand? Okay, this is getting 
really annoying. I'm going to go -- Ahh! There goes your little sister. Surely she will pet me like I deserve. 
   Here, slave! I need a massage! 

At the Concert (Camera) - Through My Eyes

Smiling to myself, I listened to the music play. The musicians were wonderful! Flutes trilling high, the Bassoon hitting low notes, and the Clarinet singing its lovely voice. There were many other instruments as well, but I couldn't pick them out. Two hours later, the music stopped, and the audience clapped wildly (myself included, though I don't have any hands).
   Then I heard people milling about, and the sweet smell of refreshments and punch rolling out from the fellowship room. I fed on this wonderful sensation as I sat there, against the wall, behind where the musician's chairs and instruments were set up. Suddenly, everyone started leaving. I began to panic. Had my owner forgotten me? I waited there patiently for some time, then I heard the familiar purr of their car start up and drive away. 
   I don't think that I've ever been so scared in all my short life! I felt like crying, which isn't healthy...

Sunset in October

Pumpkins carved with lit faces leered at Alexandria and Trixie as they strode up to the door. The house had probably once been white, but over years of not being maintained, most of the paint had peeled away. A grinning, black cat adorned the doormat, with the words 'Trick or Treat' printed below in orange letters. 
   Unbidden, a shiver raced up Alexandria's spine. What a creepy night. Her thoughts strayed to a conversation with her mom, which had taken place an hour earlier. 
   
   "I really don't think that you should go. All those kids causing mischief." Mom shuddered. 
I set my hands on my hips defiantly. "You mean me causing mischief. Right?" 
   "Of course not, darling." Mom wrung her hands anxiously. "I just don't want you to get hurt." 
"I'll try not to fall into a manhole or something." I smirked sarcastically, slipping on a black zip-up sweater over my orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt.
   "You...

Sunset in October

Pumpkins carved with lit faces leered at Alexandria and Trixie as they strode up to the door. The house had probably once been white, but over years of not being maintained, most of the paint had peeled away. A grinning, black cat adorned the doormat, with the words 'Trick or Treat' printed below in orange letters. 
   Unbidden, a shiver raced up Alexandria's spine. What a creepy night. Her thoughts strayed to a conversation with her mom, which had taken place an hour earlier. 
   
   "I really don't think that you should go. All those kids causing mischief." Mom shuddered. 
I set my hands on my hips defiantly. "You mean me causing mischief. Right?" 
   "Of course not, darling." Mom wrung her hands anxiously. "I just don't want you to get hurt." 
"I'll try not to fall into a manhole or something." I smirked sarcastically, slipping on a black zip-up sweater over my orange Camp Half-Blood t-shirt.
   "You...

A Second in September

It was the first week of volleyball practice. Everyone buzzing with excitement at having made the team, which was proudly named The Avengers. Correctly so, because of their ability to win almost every game, beating their competition. I was on that oh so proud team, and lined up for my scholarship because of my volleyball skills. 
   Life was supposed to be perfect. But perfect doesn't exist in a sin-filled world. My sister was dying. Does that sound perfect? My eight-year-old sister was dying. And it was all my fault. It was a stupid accident, which never should have happened. 
   Some friends and I decided to partake of alcohol. Not that much, but after a few drinks, it got out of hand. I left the party, stumbling outside to my car, and drove home. I had forgotten all about taking my younger sister to her basketball practice, and as soon as I pulled into the drive-way, Meganne bounded...

A Second in September

It was the first week of volleyball practice. Everyone buzzing with excitement at having made the team, which was proudly named The Avengers. Correctly so, because of their ability to win almost every game, beating their competition. I was on that oh so proud team, and lined up for my scholarship because of my volleyball skills. 
   Life was supposed to be perfect. But perfect doesn't exist in a sin-filled world. My sister was dying. Does that sound perfect? My eight-year-old sister was dying. And it was all my fault. It was a stupid accident, which never should have happened. 
   Some friends and I decided to partake of alcohol. Not that much, but after a few drinks, it got out of hand. I left the party, stumbling outside to my car, and drove home. I had forgotten all about taking my younger sister to her basketball practice, and as soon as I pulled into the drive-way, Meganne bounded...

A Morning in May

1:00. 1:00. 1:00. The glowing dial on my digital alarm clock gleamed green in the moonlight. My heart beat fast, and my gaze swept over my dark bedroom. But there was nothing showing danger. After a moment, my mind grew sleepy once again. As I faded to slumber, my door swung open, banging against the wall. I lay there, stunned, slowly drawing the quilt over my terrified head. Maybe if I go back to sleep then everything will be fine. I reasoned. 
   Pressing my eyelids shut, I tried squeezing the fear from my heart. But little ideas kept running through my brain. There's no wind tonight. Is something coming into my bedroom? What's out there? Should I scream for help? I silently hushed my darting thoughts, and made an unsuccessful effort to go back to sleep. I don't know how many minutes I lay there, trembling, but eventually my senses dulled, and I began melting into the mattress. 
 ...

A Second in September

It was the first week of volleyball practice. Everyone buzzing with excitement at having made the team, which was proudly named The Avengers. Correctly so, because of their ability to win almost every game, beating their competition. I was on that oh so proud team, and lined up for my scholarship because of my volleyball skills. 
   Life was supposed to be perfect. But perfect doesn't exist in a sin-filled world. My sister was dying. Does that sound perfect? My eight-year-old sister was dying. And it was all my fault. It was a stupid accident, which never should have happened. 
   Some friends and I decided to partake of alcohol. Not that much, but after a few drinks, it got out of hand. I left the party, stumbling outside to my car, and drove home. I had forgotten all about taking my younger sister to her basketball practice, and as soon as I pulled into the drive-way, Meganne bound...

A Second in September

It was the first week of volleyball practice. Everyone buzzing with excitement at having made the team, which was proudly named The Avengers. Correctly so, because of their ability to win almost every game, beating their competition. I was on that oh so proud team, and lined up for my scholarship because of my volleyball skills. 
   Life was supposed to be perfect. But perfect doesn't exist in a sin-filled world. My sister was dying. Does that sound perfect? My eight-year-old sister was dying. And it was all my fault. It was a stupid accident, which never should have happened. 
   Some friends and I decided to partake of alcohol. Not that much, but after a few drinks, it got out of hand. I left the party, stumbling outside to my car, and drove home. I had forgotten all about taking my younger sister to her basketball practice, and as soon as I pulled into the drive-way, Meganne bound...

An Hour in July

I closed the book with a wistful sigh. That was a beautiful ending. My mind was still enveloped in the romantic/suspense novel I had just finished. After a moment, as reality set back in, my green eyes studied my surroundings. It was the middle of the afternoon; daisies, clover, and dandelions lay scattered across the lawn, soaking in the sun's warmth. Bees hovered around them, their dusty legs growing fatter with pollen. The sky was summery blue; no cloud in sight. 
   Once again, I sighed dramatically. Beautiful. My thoughts strayed back to the story. Finally, after so much hurt and trauma, Joyce and Edmund got back together. They had been apart since college, but found each other during a crime, in which Joyce got shot. And at the last chapter, ah, they had pronounced their passionate love for each other. So beautiful. My eyes misted. 
   Bzzzzzzz! I slapped the fly for disturbing my reverie. Grumbling, I stood up,...

Writing for Children Competition 2017

Are You Sure the Cat's Gone?

Once there were nine harmless mice. The Mommy's name was Katherine, the Daddy's name was Matthew, with seven young mice: Peter, Chip, Sassie, Drew, Twitter, Tina, and Little James. As all mice do, these ones ate . . . A LOT. Especially Twitter. She was, as her family called her, the "Snack Thief". So Daddy and Mommy mouse were always looking about the human's kitchen and pantry for a tidbit here and a tidbit there. There was a "family favorite" food in the pantry. Macaroni. Little James loved Macaroni, because it was easy for him to eat.
   Thankfully, there was one ally in the human family, Alice. She felt sorry for the little mice, so whenever she saw them scurrying here and there, she picked up Lizzie, the lazy family cat, and locked her up in her bedroom. Always putting her on the bed so that the cat would be comfortable. Lizzie was the most dangerous threat to the mouse family,...

Sunrise in June

I woke up shivering cold. My eyelids dragged down with sleep. Through bleary eyes, I reached over and tapped a silver button on my alarm clock. A blue light awoke the digital numbers. 5:30. Why was it so cold? Glancing out the window, my breath caught with awe. The sky was ablaze with golden orange, swirled with purple, and dotted with soft pink clouds. A flock of black birds crossed the scene. 
   Forgetting my tiredness, I jumped out of bed and snagged a gray hoodie from my desk chair. I can't miss that gorgeous sunrise! Quietly, I ran down the carpeted stairs, carefully avoiding the creaky places, and into the living-room, where I had left my camera the night before. I slung the black strap around my neck, and checked the battery. Three bars. Perfect. Dashing back upstairs, I flung my window open, and stepped out onto the roof. 
   It was cold and slightly slippery, so I walked...

Sunrise in June

I woke up shivering cold. My eyelids dragged down with sleep. Through bleary eyes, I reached over and tapped a silver button on my alarm clock. A blue light awoke the digital numbers. 5:30. Why was it so cold? Glancing out the window, my breath caught with awe. The sky was ablaze with golden orange, swirled with purple, and dotted with soft pink clouds. A flock of black birds crossed the scene. 
   Forgetting my tiredness, I jumped out of bed and snagged a gray hoodie from my desk chair. I can't miss that gorgeous sunrise! Quietly, I ran down the carpeted stairs, carefully avoiding the creaky places, and into the living-room, where I had left my camera the night before. I slung the black strap around my neck, and checked the battery. Three bars. Perfect. Dashing back upstairs, I flung my window open, and stepped out onto the roof. 
   It was cold and slightly slippery, so I walked...

The Seeker

It was so dark, I couldn’t see anything. But I could hear it. And it was coming quickly after me. I could almost feel its hot breath on my back, but I couldn’t see where I was running. Suddenly, I tripped over a stone, and fell headfirst down a long shaft. My scream echoed around and around the hole as I fell, ever falling, and I could hear the monster laughing raucously up above the hole.

I awoke from the nightmare, my breath coming in gasps. I came to reality once again, as Audrey Louise Nickle. The dream was still fresh in my mind, my scream bouncing all around my brain, eventually getting slower, and fainter as I swept sleep away. No, I would not be able to sleep again tonight. Groping around in the dark to the left of my bed, I grasped my flashlight, clicked it on, and searched my room fearfully. My eyes wide, searching for something....

My Light

My Light

There was silence. Only silence. What that meant, I did not know. All that I knew, was that there was absolutely nothing. That nothingness had been with me for my whole eleven years. While sight and sounds meant nothing to me, I had my own thoughts. Oh yes, thoughts of frustration, and hope. But mostly anger.
   For what or for whom I did not know. I’m not sure that I cared. I lived in darkness and silence. It was the only life I knew. I didn’t have any other, didn’t understand any other. Yet there was a slight hope. My fingers felt things. Everything. But what frustrated me the most, was that I did not know what they were. Did not have a name for them.
   I wanted to speak, and tell the world how angry I was. To yell at everything. But my voice remained silent. Only moans escaped my lips, and those I could...

Writing for Children Competition 2017

Are You Sure the Cat's Gone?

Once there were nine harmless mice. The Mommy's name was Katherine, the Daddy's name was Matthew, with seven young mice: Peter, Chip, Sassie, Drew, Twitter, Tina, and Little James. As all mice do, these ones ate . . . A LOT. Especially Twitter. She was, as her family called her, the "Snack Thief". So Daddy and Mommy mouse were always looking about the human's kitchen and pantry for a tidbit here and a tidbit there. There was a "family favorite" food in the pantry. Macaroni. Little James loved Macaroni, because it was easy for him to eat.
   Thankfully, there was one ally in the human family, Alice. She felt sorry for the little mice, so whenever she saw them scurrying here and there, she picked up Lizzie, the lazy family cat, and locked her up in her bedroom. Always putting her on the bed so that the cat would be comfortable. Lizzie was the most dangerous threat to the mouse family,...

Writing for Children Competition 2017

Are You Sure the Cat's Gone?

Once there were nine harmless mice. The Mom's name was Katherine, the Dad's name was Matthew, with seven young mice: Peter, Chip, Sassie, Drew, Twitter, Tina, and Little James. As all mice do, these ones ate . . . A LOT. Especially Twitter. She was, as her family called her, the "Snack Thief". So Dad and Mom mouse were always looking about the human's kitchen and pantry for a tidbit here and a tidbit there. There was a "family favorite" food in the pantry. Macaroni. Little James loved Macaroni, because it was easy for him to eat.
   Thankfully, there was one ally in the human family, Alice. She felt sorry for the little mice, so whenever she saw them scurrying here and there, she picked up Lizzie, the lazy family cat, and locked her up in her bedroom. Always putting her on the bed so that the cat would be comfortable. Lizzie was the most dangerous threat to the mouse family,...

A Cloud Covered the Moon

Airy, white mist slid across the floor eerily. Moonlight poured through the skylight, lighting up the empty room. Where was the mist coming from? Wynter slowly walked in, heart thumping in her chest. Her steps created quiet, hollow thuds on the creaky wood. A soft scurrying of little paws awakened in a corner. Her frightened, brown eyes went wild with fright. Just calm down. It wasn't anything. She sucked in a shallow breath, letting it out shakily. Focusing her mind, Wynter pushed through the fear to remember why she had come here. 
   "Just grab my book, Oliver Twist. I accidentally left it there by that old fireplace, you know the one. See? Easy peasy!" 
"Right . . . easy for you to say Karen." Wynter muttered crossly. "You're not the one going back in here at night." Why do I always let her talk me into doing things for her? Why did she come here? Why did she "accidentally"...

Glimmer

Darkness.
Shy light.
Rays of thin sunshine. 
Sliver of gold on the horizon.
Shades of pink in the sky.
Golden orb rising higher above the mountain range.
Sunrise. I am sitting in the sunlight, watching as the sun continues on its race around the earth. Sending a shower of warmth over me as I sit here. Drowning in my insecurities. In my sorrow. Even in my anger. Yes, this is my life. I am alone on this earth. Mom was taken home. Dad left. 
   So here I sit. 
I am falling in an ever deepening void of life. A whisper. Hope. Is there really hope? I am still tumbling. Head over heels in the darkness. Ever drowning. Flailing. I can't get out. A sigh. Let Me help you. No one wants to help me. Memories flash through my graying mind. Happy family. Before mom got cancer. A plea. Trust Me. Can I really trust? More memories. Dad opening the...

Glimmer

Darkness.
Shy light.
Rays of thin sunshine. 
Sliver of gold on the horizon.
Shades of pink in the sky.
Golden orb rising higher above the mountain range.
Sunrise. I am sitting in the sunlight, watching as the sun continues on its race around the earth. Sending a shower of warmth over me as I sit here. Drowning in my insecurities. In my sorrow. Even in my anger. Yes, this is my life. I am alone on this earth. Mom was taken home. Dad left. 
   So here I sit. 
I am falling in an ever deepening void of life. A whisper. Hope. Is there really hope? I am still tumbling. Head over heels in the darkness. Ever drowning. Flailing. I can't get out. A sigh. Let Me help you. No one wants to help me. Memories flash through my graying mind. Happy family. Before mom got cancer. A plea. Trust Me. Can I really trust? More memories. Dad opening the...

Glimmer

Darkness.
Shy light.
Rays of thin sunshine. 
Sliver of gold on the horizon.
Shades of pink in the sky.
Golden orb rising higher above the mountain range.
Sunrise. I am sitting in the sunlight, watching as the sun continues on its race around the earth. Sending a shower of warmth over me as I sit here. Drowning in my insecurities. In my sorrow. Even in my anger. Yes, this is my life. I am alone on this earth. Mom was taken home. Dad left. 
   So here I sit. 
I am falling in an ever deepening void of life. A whisper. Hope. Is there really hope? I am still tumbling. Head over heels in the darkness. Ever drowning. Failing. I can't get out. A sigh. Let Me help you. No one wants to help me. Memories flash through my graying mind. Happy family. Before mom got cancer. A plea. Trust Me. Can I really trust? More memories. Dad opening the...

A Morning in May

1:00. 1:00. 1:00. The glowing dial on my digital alarm clock gleamed green in the moonlight. My heart beat fast, and my gaze swept over my dark bedroom. But there was nothing showing danger. After a moment, my mind grew sleepy once again. As I faded to slumber, my door swung open, banging against the wall. I lay there, stunned, slowly drawing the quilt over my terrified head. Maybe if I go back to sleep then everything will be fine. I reasoned. 
   Pressing my eyelids shut, I tried squeezing the fear from my heart. But little ideas kept running through my brain. There's no wind tonight. Is something coming into my bedroom? What's out there? Should I scream for help? I silently hushed my darting thoughts, and made an unsuccessful effort to go back to sleep. I don't know how many minutes I lay there, trembling, but eventually my senses dulled, and I began melting into the mattress. 
 ...

A Morning in May

1:00. 1:00. 1:00. The glowing dial on my digital alarm clock gleamed green in the moonlight. My heart beat fast, and my gaze swept over my dark bedroom. But there was nothing showing danger. After a moment, my mind grew sleepy once again. As I faded to slumber, my door swung open, banging against the wall. I lay there, stunned, slowly drawing the quilt over my terrified head. Maybe if I go back to sleep then everything will be fine. I reasoned. 
   Pressing my eyelids shut, I tried squeezing the fear from my heart. But little ideas kept running through my brain. There's no wind tonight. Is something coming into my bedroom? What's out there? Should I scream for help? I silently hushed my darting thoughts, and made an unsuccessful effort to go back to sleep. I don't know how many minutes I lay there, trembling, but eventually my senses dulled, and I began melting into the mattress. 
 ...

A Morning in May

1:00. 1:00. 1:00. The glowing dial on my digital alarm clock gleamed green in the moonlight. My heart beat fast, and my gaze swept over my dark bedroom. But there was nothing showing danger. After a moment, my mind grew sleepy once again. As I faded to slumber, my door swung open, banging against the wall. I lay there, stunned, slowly drawing the quilt over my terrified head. Maybe if I go back to sleep then everything will be fine. I reasoned. 
   Pressing my eyelids shut, I tried squeezing the fear from my heart. But little ideas kept running through my brain. There's no wind tonight. Is something coming into my bedroom? What's out there? Should I scream for help? I silently hushed my darting thoughts, and made an unsuccessful effort to go back to sleep. I don't know how many minutes I lay there, trembling, but eventually my senses dulled, and I began melting into the mattress. 
 ...

A Morning in May

1:00. 1:00. 1:00. The glowing dial on my digital alarm clock gleamed green in the moonlight. My heart beat fast, and my gaze swept over my dark bedroom. But there was nothing showing danger. After a moment, my mind grew sleepy once again. As I faded to slumber, my door swung open, banging against the wall. I lay there, stunned, slowly drawing the quilt over my terrified head. Maybe if I go back to sleep then everything will be fine. I reasoned. 
   Pressing my eyelids shut, I tried squeezing the fear from my heart. But little ideas kept running through my brain. There's no wind tonight. Is something coming into my bedroom? What's out there? Should I scream for help? I silently hushed my darting thoughts, and made an unsuccessful effort to go back to sleep. I don't know how many minutes I lay there, trembling, but eventually my senses dulled, and I began melting into the mattress. 
 ...

A Morning in May

1:00. 1:00. 1:00. The glowing dial on my digital alarm clock gleamed green in the moonlight. My heart beat fast, and my gaze swept over my dark bedroom. But there was nothing showing danger. After a moment, my mind grew sleepy once again. As I faded to slumber, my door swung open, banging against the wall. I lay there, stunned, slowly drawing the quilt over my terrified head. Maybe if I go back to sleep then everything will be fine. I reasoned. 
   Pressing my eyelids shut, I tried squeezing the fear from my heart. But little ideas kept running through my brain. There's no wind tonight. Is something coming into my bedroom? What's out there? Should I scream for help? I silently hushed my darting thoughts, and made an unsuccessful effort to go back to sleep. I don't know how many minutes I lay there, trembling, but eventually my senses dulled, and I began melting into the mattress. 
 ...

A Morning in May

1:00. 1:00. 1:00. The glowing dial on my digital alarm clock gleamed green in the moonlight. My heart beat fast, and my gaze swept over my dark bedroom. But there was nothing showing danger. After a moment, my mind grew sleepy once again. As I faded to slumber, my door swung open, banging against the wall. I lay there, stunned, slowly drawing the quilt over my terrified head. Maybe if I go back to sleep then everything will be fine. I reasoned. 
   Pressing my eyelids shut, I tried squeezing the fear from my heart. But little ideas kept running through my brain. There's no wind tonight. Is something coming into my bedroom? What's out there? Should I scream for help? I silently hushed my darting thoughts, and made an unsuccessful effort to go back to sleep. I don't know how many minutes I lay there, trembling, but eventually my senses dulled, and I began melting into the mattress. 
 ...

Writing for Children Competition 2017

Are You Sure the Cat's Gone?

Once there were nine harmless mice. The Mom's name was Katherine, the Dad's name was Matthew, and the seven young mice: Peter, Chip, Sassie, Drew, Twitter, Tina, and Little James. As all mice do, these ones ate . . . A LOT. Especially Twitter. She was, as her family called her, the 'Snack Thief'. So Dad and Mom mouse were always looking about the human's kitchen and pantry for a tidbit here and a tidbit there. There was a 'family favorite' food in the pantry. Macaroni. Little James loved Macaroni, because it was easy for him to eat.
   Thankfully, there was one ally in the human family, Alice. She felt sorry for the little mice, so whenever she saw them scurrying here and there, she picked up Lizzie, the lazy family cat, and locked her up in her bedroom. Always putting her on the bed so that the cat would be comfortable.
   But Alice was not always there, so the mice...

A Day in April

It was a simple day at the beach. My family  had decided on a spur-of-the-moment day trip, in the rain, no less. True, my family is weird and crazy, as am I, but we loved new experiences, so I suppose we asked for it. I think the sky somehow knew that we were coming, because as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, the misty rain turned into a torrent.
   We had driven for two hours and weren't about to give up on account of a little rain. Well, little might be a slight understatement. The ocean waves were higher than I had ever seen them before. While we were unpacking our equipment, I thought I saw a person standing in the downpour. Not that I could really judge because I was doing the same. But I forgot about the figure until later on.
   Anyways, we found a very wet bench to sit and eat lunch on,...

I Stare at the Sea

I stare at the sea,
The gray, green, blue sea,
Hoping and praying,
That you'll come back to me. 

While the rain pours down
And the sand runs wild,
I stare at the sea
And I try not to frown.

For you said you'd be back
Before winter hit
But all that I see
Is an empty flashback.

A flashback of you,
And your dazzling, sweet smile
Always before me
For my love is so true.

I will wait no more
For you to return,
But I'll walk far away
And the sea waves will roar.  

I Stare at the Sea

I stare at the sea,
The gray, green, blue sea,
Hoping and praying,
That you'll come back to me. 

While the rain pours down
And the sand runs wild,
I stare at the sea
And I try not to frown.

For you said you'd be back
Before winter hit
But all that I see
Is an empty flashback.

A flashback of you,
And your dazzling, sweet smile
Always before me
For my love is so true.

I will wait no more
For you to return,
But I'll walk far away
And the sea waves will roar. 

A Day in April

It was a simple day at the beach. My family  had decided on a spur-of-the-moment day trip, in the rain, no less. True, my family is weird and crazy, as am I, but we loved new experiences, so I suppose we asked for it. I think the sky somehow knew that we were coming, because as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, the misty rain turned into a torrent.
   We had driven for two hours and weren't about to give up on account of a little rain. Well, little might be a slight understatement. The ocean waves were higher than I had ever seen them before. While we were unpacking our equipment, I thought I saw a person standing in the downpour. Not that I could really judge because I was doing the same. But I forgot about the figure until later on.
   Anyways, we found a very wet bench to sit and eat lunch on,...

A Day in April

It was a simple day at the beach. My family  had decided on a spur-of-the-moment day trip, in the rain, no less. True, my family is weird and crazy, as am I, but we loved new experiences, so I suppose we asked for it. I think the sky somehow knew that we were coming, because as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, the misty rain turned into a torrent.
   We had driven for two hours and weren't about to give up on account of a little rain. Well, little might be a slight understatement. The ocean waves were higher than I had ever seen them before. While we were unpacking our equipment, I thought saw a person standing in the downpour. Not that I could really judge because I was doing the same. But I forgot about the figure until later on.
   Anyways, we found a very wet bench to sit and eat lunch on, and...

The Freedom Flag

The flag is flapping in the breeze
So proud to know it's free.
With all its stars and stripes forever
It sings, and then decrees:
To all our warriors, small and great,
Thank you for serving us.
And for the freedom you have bought
With Jesus there, no less. 

I'm Almost Out of Space to Write

I'm almost out of space to write
In this lined notebook here.
Because I've jotted notes and things
And poems here and there.

Our time is growing short, you see,
And time will come to go.
But all that I have written down
Will stay here, this, I know. 

Shining Truth

Through the flowers stream the sun
While bees buzz 'round and 'round.
Revealing colors brightly hid
'Neath shadows in the night.

But now it's day, and shining forth
Is this so solid truth:
That God created us today
And loves us evermore. 

The Freedom Flag

The flag is flapping in the breeze
So proud to know it's free.
With all its stars and stripes forever
It sings, and then decrees:
To all our warriors, small and great,
Thank you for serving us.
And for the freedom you have brought
With Jesus there, no less. 

Can't Be Without It

Can't Be Without it


As the train chugged its way away from the handmade wooden platform holding so many people who were either waving to the departing train, or had gotten off the train at its coming, Alana looked longingly back at the little town that she had called home for 11 years. It was 1897, and times were good. Until her father died suddenly from a heart attack one year earlier. Alana's mother had decided to take them both back to an even smaller town in Illinois, where she was from. Alana twisted in her seat so much, that her mother, Patience, in her quiet, soft voice, said, “Please turn around, dear.” Alana did as requested, but turned her head around as far as she could to see just one more glance of her beloved town.
   The sun was sinking below the great green hills that sat below the pink, blue, golden yellow horizon, as Hoyville, named after...

Can't Be Without It

Can't Be Without it


As the train chugged its way away from the handmade wooden platform holding so many people who were either waving to the departing train, or had gotten off the train at its coming, Alana looked longingly back at the little town that she had called home for 11 years. It was 1897, and times were good. Until her father died suddenly from a heart attack one year earlier. Alana's mother had decided to take them both back to an even smaller town in Illinois, where she was from. Alana twisted in her seat so much, that her mother, Patience, in her quiet, soft voice, said, “Please turn around, dear.” Alana did as requested, but turned her head around as far as she could to see just one more glance of her beloved town.
   The sun was sinking below the great green hills that sat below the pink, blue, golden yellow horizon, as Hoyville, named after...

An Afternoon In August

Heat waves rolled up from the ground. Plants lay wilted in the garden, even though they watered them every morning. Even the birds were too hot to sing. That afternoon would've been depressing if not for two girls playing hide-and-seek in the barnyard.
   "Ready or not, here I come!" Katherine stilled her breath, and listened for the sound of giggling or pattering footsteps. But there was silence. Katherine headed in the most likely direction. The hay-barn. Ever since they had gotten a ton (literally a ton) of hay for their cows a week before, it had been Adeline's favorite place to be. 
   Katherine passed by her dad's red truck, noted that the peanut jar was gone from its hood, smiled knowingly, then continued on her mission. One of Adeline's favorite things in the whole world, (besides horses) were peanuts. Their dad called her 'The Peanut Thief'. 
   But when she arrived at the hay-barn, peanuts were scattered everywhere....

Silence

Silence
Always sad

Silence
To be had

Silence
With the weather

Silence 
Something better

Silence 
Without words

Silence 
Is preferred

Silence
 

Midnight in March

This March had been the most mysterious one I had ever lived through. My name is Michelle Janis, 14 years old, and I live on a farm. With cows, pigs, chickens, cats, a dog, anything having to do with farm life, you name it; we have it. The Mysterious Month of March began when it wouldn't stop raining. Seriously. It rained the ENTIRE month. My family went stir-crazy. And when 12 people living together go stir-crazy, well . . . let's just say it wasn't the most pleasant experience ever. 
   On the plus side, it wasn't biting cold outside, which meant that I could still explore with ease. Just, with a lot more water involved. The creek in the woods was record high, at least 5 feet above its banks. Our driveway was one wide creek, and anything we tried to grow outside was swept away because of the constant rain. So we came as close to a flood...

Midnight in March

This March had been the most mysterious one I had ever lived through. My name is Michelle Janis, 14 years old, and I live on a farm. With cows, pigs, chickens, cats, a dog, anything having to do with farm life, you name it; we have it. The Mysterious Month of March began when it wouldn't stop raining. Seriously. It rained the ENTIRE month. My entire family went stir-crazy. And when 12 people living together go stir-crazy, well . . . let's just say it wasn't the most pleasant experience ever. 
   On the plus side, it wasn't biting cold outside, which meant that I could still explore with ease. Just, with a lot more water involved. The creek in the woods was record high, at least 5 feet above its banks. Our driveway was one wide creek, and anything we tried to grow outside was swept away because of the constant rain. So we came as close to a...

Midnight in March

This March had been the most mysterious one I had ever lived through. My name is Michelle Janis, 14 years old, and I live on a farm. With cows, pigs, chickens, cats, a dog, anything having to do with farm life, you name it; we have it. The Mysterious Month of March began when it wouldn't stop raining. Seriously. It rained the ENTIRE month. My entire family went stir-crazy. And when 12 people living together go stir-crazy, well . . . let's just say it wasn't the most pleasant experience ever. 
   On the plus side, it wasn't biting cold outside, which meant that I could still explore with ease. Just, with a lot more water involved. The creek in the woods was record high, at least 5 feet above its banks. Our driveway was one wide creek, and anything we tried to grow outside was swept away because of the constant rain. So we came as close to a...

A Minute in February

The sky was streaked with pink and cold blue. Cassie wrapped her shivering arms around her legs. The wool sweater did little to keep her warm from the chilling air. Snow still coated the ground in places, creating a winter look. But Cassie barely felt the freezing temperature. She was thinking about what she'd heard the night before. Or what she thought she'd heard:
   Wrapped up in her warm blankets, Cassie was sound asleep, but a sound jolted her awake. Her bedroom was dark. The air was cold. What had woken her? Then she heard it. A lonely moan rippled through the cold air outside her bedroom door.
   Cassie froze. She tried to banish the sound from her mind, but it came again. A floorboard creaked. She started praying: "Dear LORD, please take this away. I don't want to be afraid." Cassie closed her eyes, squeezing out the sounds. The doorknob began to turn, then the moan turned...

A Minute in February

The sky was streaked with pink and cold blue. Cassie wrapped her shivering arms around her legs. The wool sweater did little to keep her warm from the chilling air. Snow still coated the ground in places, creating a winter look. But Cassie barely felt the freezing temperature. She was thinking about what she'd heard the night before. Or what she thought she'd heard:
   Wrapped up in her warm blankets, Cassie was sound asleep, but a sound jolted her awake. Her bedroom was dark. The air was cold. What had woken her? Then she heard it. A lonely moan rippled through the cold air outside her bedroom door.
   Cassie froze. She tried to banish the sound from her mind, but it came again. A floorboard creaked. She started praying: "Dear LORD, please take this away. I don't want to be afraid." Cassie closed her eyes, squeezing out the sounds. Her doorknob began to turn, then the moan turned...

An Afternoon In August

Heat waves rolled up from the ground. Plants lay wilted in the garden, even though they watered them every morning. Even the birds were too hot to sing. That afternoon would've been depressing if not for two girls playing hide-and-seek in the barnyard.
   "Ready or not, here I come!" Katherine stilled her breath, and listened for the sound of giggling or pattering footsteps. But there was silence. Katherine headed in the most likely direction. The hay-barn. Ever since they had gotten a ton (literally a ton) of hay for their cows a week before, it had been Adeline's favorite place to be. 
   Katherine passed by her dad's red truck, noted that the peanut jar was gone from its hood, smiled knowingly, then continued on her mission. One of Adeline's favorite things in the whole world, (besides horses) were peanuts. Their dad called her 'The Peanut Thief'. 
   But when she arrived at the hay-barn, peanuts were scattered everywhere....

A Night In January

The sun had set over an hour earlier. I had come outside to check on the horses, because I was worried about Opal, who was due to foal any time. I had never liked the dark, but knew my brothers would laugh at me if I brought a flashlight out with me. The moon was full, and the stars twinkled in the clear sky. The biting air was typical for January, but I could feel that something was terribly wrong. I shivered with a blast of chilly wind, then a coyote yipped, and was quickly joined by many others. The shadows in the barnyard seemed to darken and jump out at me. I quickened my pace.
   Once I had checked on the horses, I was about to open the barn door to go back to the house, when suddenly, I saw a pale face staring at me through the dirty, glass window. Its eyes were so black, they looked...

A Night In January

The sun had set over an hour earlier. I had come outside to check on the horses, because I was worried about Opal, who was due to foal any time. I had never liked the dark, but knew my brothers would laugh at me if I brought a flashlight out with me. The moon was full, and the stars twinkled in the clear sky. The biting air was typical for January, but I could feel that something was terribly wrong. I shivered with a blast of chilly wind, then a coyote yipped, and was quickly joined by many others. The shadows in the barnyard seemed to darken and jump out at me. I quickened my pace.
   Once I had checked on the horses, I was about to open the barn door to go back to the house, when suddenly, I saw a pale face staring at me through the dirty, glass window. Its eyes were so black, they looked...

A Night In January

The sun had set over an hour earlier. I had come outside to check on the horses, because I was worried about Opal, who was due to foal any time. I had never liked the dark, but knew my brothers would laugh at me if I brought a flashlight out with me. The moon was full, and the stars twinkled in the clear sky. The biting air was typical for January, but I could feel that something was terribly wrong. I shivered with a blast of chilly wind, then a coyote yipped, and was quickly joined by many others. The shadows in the barnyard seemed to darken and jump out at me. I quickened my pace.
   Once I had checked on the horses, I was about to open the barn door to go back to the house, when suddenly, I saw a pale face staring at me through the dirty, glass window. Its eyes were so black, they looked...

An Afternoon In August

Heat waves rolled up from the ground. Plants lay wilted in the garden, even though they watered them every morning. Even the birds were too hot to sing. That afternoon would've been depressing if not for two girls playing hide-and-seek in the barnyard.
   "Ready or not, here I come!" Katherine stilled her breath, and listened for the sound of giggling or pattering footsteps. But there was silence. Katherine headed in the most likely direction. The hay-barn. Ever since they had gotten a ton (literally a ton) of hay for their cows a week before, it had been Adeline's favorite place to be. 
   Katherine passed by her dad's red truck, noted that the peanut jar was gone from its hood, smiled knowingly, then continued on her mission. One of Adeline's favorite things in the whole world, (besides horses) were peanuts. Their dad called her 'The Peanut Thief'. 
   But when she arrived at the hay-barn, peanuts were scattered everywhere....

And Then She Went Away

I felt her joy and zeal for life,
I felt it every day.
She loved the LORD with all her heart,
And then she went away.

It wasn't because of any wrong
Or because of the books she read,
But God decided to take her home
"To heaven forever," He said.

You might yet say God hadn't love
For those she left behind.
But rather, gave us strength to say,
"She's singing with peace of mind." 

A Night In January

The sun had set over an hour earlier. I had come outside to check on the horses, because I was worried about Opal, who was due to foal any time. I had never liked the dark, but knew my brothers would laugh at me if I brought a flashlight out with me. The moon was full, and the stars twinkled in the clear sky. The biting air was typical for January, but I could feel that something was terribly wrong. I shivered with a blast of chilly wind, then a coyote yipped, and was quickly joined by many others. The shadows in the barnyard seemed to darken and jump out at me. I quickened my pace.
   Once I had checked on the horses, I was about to open the barn door to go back to the house, when suddenly, I saw a pale face staring at me through the dirty, glass window. Its eyes were so black, they looked...

A Night In January

The sun had set over an hour earlier. I had come outside to check on the horses, because I was worried about Opal, who was due to foal any time. I had never liked the dark, but knew my brothers would laugh at me if I brought a flashlight out with me. The moon was full, and the stars twinkled in the clear sky. The biting air was typical for January. But I could feel that something was terribly wrong. I shivered with a blast of chilly wind. A coyote yipped, and was quickly joined by many others. The shadows in the barnyard seemed to darken and jump out at me. I quickened my pace.
   Once I had checked on the horses, I was about to open the barn door to go back to the house, when suddenly, I saw a pale face staring at me through the dirty, glass window. Its eyes were so black, they looked empty....

A Night In January

The sun had set over an hour earlier. I had come outside to check on the horses. I was worried about Opal, who was due to foal any time. I had never liked the dark, but knew my brothers would laugh at me if I brought a flashlight out with me. The moon was full, and the stars twinkled in the clear sky. The biting air was typical for January. But I could feel that something was terribly wrong. I shivered with a blast of chilly wind. A coyote yipped, and was quickly joined by many others. The shadows in the barnyard seemed to darken and jump out at me. I quickened my pace.
   Once I had checked on the horses, I was about to open the barn door to go back to the house, when suddenly, I saw a pale face staring at me through the dirty, glass window. Its eyes were so black, they looked empty. Ratty,...

And Then She Went Away

I felt her joy and zeal for life,
I felt it every day.
She loved the LORD with all her heart,
And then she went away.

It wasn't because of any wrong
Or because of the books she read,
But God decided to take her home
"To heaven forever," He said.

You might yet say God hadn't love
For those she left behind.
But rather, gave us strength to say,
"She's singing with peace of mind." 

Clouds of Summer

I passed over you
And you looked up at me.
The sun was behind us
And shone beautifully.

Your eyes were like dewdrops 
Sparkling blue,
And your hair was all golden
Shimmering too.

You sang to my shadow
As I covered the sun,
And the flowers stopped blooming
The bees did stop buzzing.

Your song lifted me up
On winds of fair weather,
And made me disperse
All over the sky.

I saw you no more
As you waved me goodbye.
And I floated away,
With the sweet scent of summer. 

The Recommitment

I open a door, and what do I see?
Long, empty windows just staring at me.
I walk in a little and what do I find?
Dust on the shelves, and books of all kinds.
I wonder and marvel at all that I see.
The one lonely bedstead, a desk, and there's me.
I look a bit closer, and what is it there?
A dirty, old mirror beside the old chair.
I step a bit closer and how can this be?
My life in the glass, and one memory.
Which one is it, and how is it here?
I came to know Jesus and shed a glad tear.
What does this all mean, and what should I do?
I should share my faith, and make it all new. 

Life (of a Cat) - Through My Eyes

She was doing it again. Eating a tuna sandwich right in front of me. She knew how much it annoyed me, yet there she sat on the couch, munching as though she hadn't eaten in a week. 
   Humans are such rude, insensitive things. Here I was, sitting beside my owner on the couch, staring at that beautiful sandwich in her greedy hands. Couldn't she take a hint? I wanted some! It was driving my nose absolutely crazy. 
   It took all my willpower to just sit there. Once, she looked at me, and I felt hope for a split second before she smiled knowingly at me, and, patting my head, she said, "No, Whiskers. This is my sandwich." 
   I slit my eyes at my owner for a few more minutes. Trying to get her to cave. But the lovely, warm, tuna sandwich soon disappeared completely. 
   Disdainfully, I turned my back, settling down on the soft couch, with...

The Recommitment

I open a door, and what do I see?
Long, empty windows just staring at me.
I walk in a little and what do I find?
Dust on the shelves, and books of all kinds.
I wonder and marvel at all that I see.
The one lonely bedstead, a desk, and there's me.
I look a bit closer, and what is it there?
A dirty, old mirror beside the old chair.
I step a bit closer and how can this be?
My life in the glass, and one memory.
Which one is it, though, and how is it here?
I came to know Jesus and shed a glad tear.
What does this all mean, and what should I do?
I should share my faith, and make it all new. 

Kleines Fräulein

§ Kleines Fräulein §

Abigail Bauer, a pale yellow-haired girl with large blue eyes, lived with her großsmutter (grandmother) on the outskirts of Berlin, Germany. If you have ever been to Berlin, then you would know why Großmutter Jana choose to live beside the lake and in the woods of Berlin.
The two of them got along very well in the Großmutter's large, spacious villa (mansion) hidden among the trees. The villa had been painted white not too long before this story took place. It had a great many brown-tiled roofs set at different angles. There were two marble-floored porches, both with railings. The lower one (which was really on the second story) had a set of stairs leading down to the patio in the front. Although there were a lot of windows, (at least 6 on each side) they were all covered by white lace curtains.
Abigail had her room on the third story with a door that led out...

Kleines Fräulein

§ Kleines Fräulein §

Abigail Bauer, a pale yellow-haired girl with large blue eyes, lived with her großsmutter (grandmother) on the outskirts of Berlin, Germany. If you have ever been to Berlin, then you would know why Großmutter Jana choose to live beside the lake and in the woods of Berlin.
The two of them got along very well in the Großmutter's large, spacious villa (mansion) hidden among the trees. The villa had been painted white not too long before this story took place. It had a great many brown-tiled roofs set at different angles. There were two marble-floored porches, both with railings. The lower one (which was really on the second story) had a set of stairs leading down to the patio in the front. Although there were a lot of windows, (at least 6 on each side) they were all covered by white lace curtains.
Abigail had her room on the third story with a door that led out...

Creature View

The Hunt - Through My Eyes

The wind whistled through my ears as I rounded the corner of the brick building. My prey was near. Softly, quietly, I set down my front left paw, then my right, and finally my back two. This furry critter had gotten away from me the past two hunts. But he would not do it again. This was my time. My ears sensed sound to my left, but I ignored it. Set on my goal.
   Finally, I spotted my quarry ahead! Its round, gray ears poking up above the earth, and its whiskered nose sniffing in the opposite direction from me. Suddenly, as soon as I started to race forward, strong arms pulled me off the ground. I mewed with indignance. Stupid, interfering human. 
   As my owner tried to pet me, I scratched her hand, and she let go. I fell - er, rather leaped - to the warm earth, showing her my unhappiness. Head held high, I...

Synchronized Sounds

Loving God, Always There

Lying words, deceiving some
Laughing eyes, at someone
Listless hand, on the move
Languishing tears, clear and sad
Lacy curtain, in the breeze
Lyrical tune, rhythms sweet
Living thing, constant growth
Longing glance, for another
Lowest thought, with a sigh
Lonely leaf, falling hard
Lovely flower, such a treat
Light-filled sky, up and here
Loving God, always there

Synchronized Sounds

Loving God, Always There

Lying words, deceiving some
Laughing eyes, at someone
Listless hand, on the move
Languishing tears, clear and sad
Lacy curtain, in the breeze
Lyrical tune, rhythms sweet
Living thing, constant growth
Longing glance, for another
Lowest thought, with a sigh
Lonely leaf, falling hard
Lovely flower, such a treat
Light-filled sky, here and here
Loving God, always there

Creature View

The Hunt - Through My Eyes

The wind whistled through my ears as I rounded the corner of the brick building. My prey was near. Softly, quietly, I set down my front left paw, then my right, and finally my back two. This furry critter had gotten away from me the past two hunts. But he would not do it again. This was my time. My ears sensed sound to my left, but I ignored it. Set on my goal.
   Finally, I spotted my quarry ahead! Its round, gray ears poking up above the earth, and its whiskered nose sniffing in the opposite direction from me. Suddenly, as soon as I started to race forward, strong arms pulled me off the ground. I mewed with indignance. Stupid, interfering human. 
   As my owner started to pet me, I scratched her hand, and she let go. I fell - er, rather leaped - to the warm earth, showing her my unhappiness. Head held high, I...

Kleines Fräulein

§ Kleines Fräulein §

Abigail Bauer, a pale yellow-haired girl with large blue eyes, lived with her großsmutter (grandmother) on the outskirts of Berlin, Germany. If you have ever been to Berlin, then you would know why Großmutter Jana choose to live beside the lake and in the woods of Berlin.
The two of them got along very well in the Großmutter's large, spacious villa (mansion) hidden among the trees. The villa had been painted white not too long before this story took place. It had a great many brown-tiled roofs set at different angles. There were two marble-floored porches, both with railings. The lower one (which was really on the second story) had a set of stairs leading down to the patio in the front. Although there were a lot of windows, (at least 6 on each side) they were all covered by white lace curtains.
Abigail had her room on the third story with a door that led out...

Lady - Through My Eyes

Lady (the Cat): Through My Eyes


My babies were in danger. There was absolutely nothing else I could do under the circumstances. Now, normally, I like Whisper, the Golden Retriever, but he was sniffing around my week old kittens, and had no business doing so. I felt sudden rage rise within me as he stepped closer to where they slept. All tiny bundles of fur, who had just opened their eyes that morning.
I arched my back. My plooming tail somehow became more fluffy than normal. And my instincts went into overdrive. I would give that dog one more second before I took a swipe at his quivering nose. My humans watched in sheer amusement, as they surveyed the spectacle. They knew Whisper was getting too close. But they wanted to see what I would do.
Well, they weren’t disappointed. In one second, I bolted forward in a flurry of brown, and lashed out at Whisper’s nose. He was out...

Sunglasses - Through My Eyes

Sunglasses: Through My Eyes

My name is Sunglasses. Original, I know. But it certainly isn’t my fault that I have no name! I can’t speak, move, or do anything, really. My owner first pulled me off a store rack when the first warm weather hit Oregon in June. All the other shoppers took my cool friends away. The ones who were violet and rainbow colored. Me, I’m just plain black. Though plain is probably too much of a decorative term.
After about a month, no one had bought me for their own, until one day, I saw the re-stocker’s big hand reach toward me, and I started panicking. Not that a pair of sunglasses can hyperventilate. (Good thing for anyone who wears me). When a young shopper, maybe in her early teen years, pulled me off the rack, and out of range of the man’s arm.
She smiled at the man, and said, looking at me: “I want this one....

God Is With You, All the Way



God is with You, all the Way



Once upon a time, there was this young girl, who so desperately wanted a more exciting life. She had been born into a large family, and lived out in the country. Her dad told the family funny and interesting stories about things that he had seen at his work. The girl had chickens of different varieties that she took care of faithfully, every day.
She had dreams of being an actress, then she had dreams of being a writer, then she had dreams about being an artist. After thinking about it, she realized that she really didn't have the skills to be an actress. So she gave up that dream. But she kept on thinking about it.
Soon, she got her very own bedroom! Now her older sister was married, and had left the house. Then her two oldest brothers left, and she started dreaming again. Life became a routine. She fed her...

The Dreamer

Millions of sparkling water droplets splayed sunlight in all directions. Katherine stood speechless in the midst of the breathtaking sight. Suddenly, smoke filled the scene, causing Katherine to cough. A roaring, crackling fire overtook the luscious grass. Shattering the wonder.
   Katherine tried to run, but her feet felt like anchors. Instead, she doubled over coughing, gasping for breath. When she regained her composure, she lifted a soot smeared face to the scene before her.
   A dry wasteland of hot, scorching sands had replaced the wet, green field. Haze and smoke lifted up from the ground, encircling Katherine until all else was lost from her sight. 
   She screamed.

   Katherine Miller sat bolt upright in her bed. The scream bounced around in her memory. Breathing hard, she tried to erase the nightmare. But it stayed. She'd had it many times before. Never exactly the same, yet always with the same ending. The place she loved the most being...

Eternity


A great, white Stag,
Antlers held high,
Stood stately, with no lag.
Watching by and by.

As the sun fell down,
Over the mountain pass,
He gazed toward town,
Of a people, mass.

The stag turned,
Toward his brisk domain.
As the fires burned,
Where people had lain.

Yet those same folk
With no wisdom toward their doom,
Hid beneath their cloak
As the Stag bound into the gloom.  

Icy's Indian



Peaceful sky, warm sun, sleepy clouds. Isn't that the typical beginning to an exciting adventure? Well that certainly was the truth in this story! Here we find a farmer boy:

Nathanael Basford was lying beside a tree, sucking on a dandelion stem, to see if dandelion milk was as good as people said that it was.
“Ah, blech!” He cried out in disgust, spitting out the flowered-weed.
“Haha! You're a sight! Haha!” Emily, his younger sister grinned and laughed in delight at her brother's obvious disdain.
“Go'n torture a crow or a squirrel!” He said, embarrassed to have been seen in such a manner.
Her hysterical laughter lingered behind her as she went back into the sturdy, white house. Nathanael's face was bright red, and his pride was still slightly stinging, so he went to the pump-house and washed his face. “Girls.” He muttered, wiping his face on a brown shirt sleeve. “Em'll have the whole story out in one...

Icy's Indian

Icy's Indian

Peaceful sky, warm sun, sleepy clouds. Isn't that the typical beginning to an exciting adventure? Well that certainly was the truth in this story! Here we find a farmer boy:

Nathanael Basford was lying beside a tree, sucking on a dandelion stem, to see if dandelion milk was as good as people said that it was.
“Ah, blech!” He cried out in disgust, spitting out the flowered-weed.
“Haha! You're a sight! Haha!” Emily, his younger sister grinned and laughed in delight at her brother's obvious disdain.
“Go'n torture a crow or a squirrel!” He said, embarrassed to have been seen in such a manner.
Her hysterical laughter lingered behind her as she went back into the sturdy, white house. Nathanael's face was bright red, and his pride was still slightly stinging, so he went to the pump-house and washed his face. “Girls.” He muttered, wiping his face on a brown shirt sleeve. “Em'll have the whole story out...

What's Your Name?

                 
What's Your Name?



Jordan Miller, a fifteen year old freshman at Tualatin Avery High School, rode home from classes on her dark blue bike, hoping to come home to a quiet house so she could study and play games on the computer. Living in a five kid family usually kept the two story house ablaze with excitement and noise. Meanwhile, as her thoughts strayed, Jordan crossed the crosswalk and rode into a part of town by the Tualatin River that was very rundown and made her nervous whenever she rode through it. Mrs. Miller always cautioned Jordan to be careful when she went there. Suddenly, out from behind an old, red brick building, ran a black-haired woman, perhaps in her late 20's or early 30's. Jordan didn't expect it, and yelled, “Look out!” but it was too late. Bike and woman collided. Jordan got pushed to the ground from the force...

What's Your Name?

                 
What's Your Name?



Jordan Miller, a fifteen year old freshman at Tualatin Avery High School, rode home from

classes on her dark blue bike, hoping to come home to a quiet house so she could study and play games

on the computer. Living in a five kid family usually kept the two story house ablaze with excitement

and noise. Meanwhile, as her thoughts strayed, Jordan crossed the crosswalk and rode into a part of

town by the Tualatin River that was very rundown and made her nervous whenever she rode through it.
Mrs. Miller always cautioned Jordan to be careful when she went there.
Suddenly, out from behind an old, red brick building, ran a black-haired woman, perhaps in her

late 20's or early 30's. Jordan didn't expect it, and yelled, “Look out!” but it was too late. Bike and

woman collided. Jordan got pushed to the ground from the force...

Can't Be Without It

Can't Be Without it


As the train chugged its way away from the handmade wooden platform that held so many people that were either waving to the departing train, or who had gotten off the train at its coming, Alana looked longingly back at the little town that she had called home for 11 years. It was 1897, and times were good, until her father had died suddenly from a heart attack one year before, Alana's mother had decided to take them both back to an even smaller town in Illinois, where she was from. Alana twisted in her seat so much, that Patience (her mother), in her quiet, soft voice, said, “Please turn around, dear.” Alana did as requested, but turned her head around as far as she could so that she could see just one more glance of her beloved town.
The sun was sinking below the great green hills that sat below the pink, blue, golden yellow...

An Autumn Predicament

An Autumn Predicament 

    The fire crackles and pops as flames dart here or there. Making shimmery reflections on the polished hearth.
    The trees are bright with color and fun. Saying much to the present season, but hearing no warnings of the weather yet to come.
    The wind teases and nips, as a young colt would do. Having its fun after being held back by sunny weather.
    
    The sky is clear and blue, while it anticipates the coming months. Sending a shower of glistening dew while wistfully thinking of winter.
    The clouds merely come and go, sending its love in a wave of mist and fog. Traveling across the sky in puffy spurts, as geese fly hard to beat the snowy weather.
    The leaves scamper and play, whether in the trees or down below. Completely oblivious of future events.

    The smoke from fires everywhere spirals upwards in pursuit of higher dreams. Reckoning...

A Winter Assessment

A Winter Assessment

The fire sparks and bursts into flame after flame. Cheerfully trying to bring warmth during the cold months.
The trees are empty and cold. Filled with snow after losing every leaf to the harsh freezing weather.
The wind howls without pausing. Driving snowflakes around and around to make a whirling blizzard.

The snow falls down quick than gentle. Singing a song worthy of the angels.

The clouds cover the once blue sky. Sending darkness upon the snowy white earth beneath.

The grass is wet and brown. Laying deep down under snow drifts and skies full of dark clouds.

The smoke drifts up the chimneys and stovepipes, into the biting cold air. Only to join the gray clouds above the treetops.
This is a Winter assessment during the long cold months. Hoping for the days once again filled with blue skies.


 

An Autumn Predicament

An Autumn Predicament 

    The fire crackles and pops as flames dart here or there. Making shimmery reflections on the polished hearth.
    The trees are bright with color and fun. Saying much to the present season, but hearing no warnings of the weather yet to come.
    The wind teases and nips, as a young colt would do. Having its fun after being held back by sunny weather.
    
    The sky is clear and blue, while it anticipates the coming months. Sending a shower of glistening dew while wistfully thinking of winter.
    The clouds merely come and go, sending its love in a wave of mist and fog. Traveling across the sky in puffy spurts, as geese fly hard to beat the snowy weather.
    The leaves scamper and play, whether in the trees or down below. Completely blissful of future events.

    The smoke from fires everywhere spirals upwards in pursuit of higher dreams. Reckoning...

A Summer Rage

A Summer Rage

The flowers are in disagreement. Some are bright with color and joy, yet others fall wilted upon the hot dry earth.
The trees are lifeless without a breeze. Only half-heartedly rustling their leaves throughout the day.

The wind is no longer warm and soft. Harsh and scorching the already dry ground as if looking for revenge.

The sky is still blue with light. But without a thought for anything but itself.

The sun is merciless and unyielding. Poring down upon the earth a much greater strength than it itself wields.

The leaves look about them in awe. Wondering where the soft wind and grass had fled to.

The streams and creeks are now dead. Once flowing with pure clear water, now dashed down to the rocks.

This is a Summer rage during the merciless months. When every living thing thirsts for Autumn.

A Spring Sensation

A Spring Sensation

The flowers pop up anew through the melting snow. Gathering up their pale blooms to show forth something greater.
The grass is alive with excitement, and ecstatic with hope. Slowly peeking up above the moist earth and into the world around them.
The trees rustle and grow. Bringing with them the gentle blooms and blossoms of a promise well fought for.
The wind is gentle and kind. Promising to bring back the sunshine filled days of a warm afternoon.
The sky is illuminated with glory. Smiling down upon an earth of blessings.
The clouds are fluffy and white. Traveling slowly to catch a glimpse of pure beauty.
The sun smiles and benedicts a blessing upon the once stilled earth. Hastening to add more warmth in the future days.
This is a Spring sensation after a winter of longing and wishes. When the world awakens anew.

Only One

Only One


Aria walked back and forth from the clay-molded pot to the thirsty garden plants. Everyone in her town, which was called Stemity, figured that the reason there were so many flowers was because the planet was named Flos. Or maybe it was the other way around.
Dal, the Magenta Perin, chirped and tweeted merrily as she contented herself with cracking Obisian seeds in her beak. Aria paused besides the bird's cage, smiling brilliantly as she looked in. Dal had been a gift from Aria's parents for the occasion of Tibid, one of the annual bird holidays.
Suddenly the air shifted, and the star grew dark, making the town like twilight. “Bathum is merciful to all who obey him. I obey you, oh Bathum!” Aria chanted automatically, her arms stretched skyward, eyes closed shut.
The moment passed, and Aria let out a long breath. The star came out warm again, and the trees danced and sang with the birds...

The Hummingbird

The Hummingbird

The hummingbird sat, almost timidly, on the delicate branch of the budding apple tree. He sang in the only way that was operable for the tiny bird. Clicking and humming merrily made the little fellow feel the warm sunshine even more. Stopping for a moment in his unusual song, he listened to everything around him.
A cheery squirrel was scolding a bluejay, who was loudly daunting the furry critter. And a silent, black crow flew without a sound over the orchard, making the Hummingbird shudder. The golden sun seemed to make everything come alive! The grass and flowers were set in motion by hundreds of buzzing, greedy bees.
On the far edge of the exciting orchard, a hawk lifted its mighty wings and took flight, no longer able to cope with the happiness of the rest of God's creatures.
Then suddenly, a deep silence filled the woody place. A soft purr, and two alert ears sent alarm to...

The New Day

The New Day

The flowers are covered with shadow,
As the sun slips over the hill.
Because the day is gone,
And the moon must come out so still.

But again the sun will shine,
Over all the fields and trees.
And will make the birds shout and sing,
As they zip all around with the bees.

And like the end of the earth,
When the Lord will come back again,
The flowers will shine in heaven,
Because the Lamb is the Light who was slain.  

The Last Return

The Last Return

When Jesus Christ comes back again
He’ll fetch the church, His bride.
With trumpet sound and call, He’ll beckon
While we follow Him, our guide.

No matter what befalls us here,
Jesus shall lead us home.
To heaven, yes, that beautiful city,
With waters white with foam.

There we’ll meet our wonderful LORD,
And in His presence we’ll stand.
With voices loud and sweet we’ll sing
Many praises in that fair land. 

Thank You

Thank You

“Hail to the heroes who gave their lives!”
Is the salute of that grand old symbol,
Which shouts out with the widows and wives
As they persist to the cause with cloth and thimbles.

That old, yet new reminder of everything good and right,
Will stay with us forever, as it whispers its song to the night.
So let’s listen and remember why God gave us this country,
And give thanks to Him for our wealth and bounty. 

How Can They?

How Can They?

How can the streets of heaven be so sparkling and so bright?
Because God is there, and Jesus is the Lamb of Light.

How can the foundations of heaven be laden with jewels and gems?
Because God is there, and Jesus is the I Am.

How can the people of heaven be so joyous and so dear?
Because God is there, and Jesus will stop any tear.

How can the colors of heaven be so bright with joy and life?
Because God is there, and Jesus has no strife.

How can Jesus our Savior have so much love for all?
Because the Trinity are always there, and have love so tall.

Christians' Duty

Christians’ Duty

We must endure the race,
For which we have cause
To keep up the pace
Even though we bear flaws.

For Christ has commanded
That all Christians should stand
Because He was mistreated
And would have us withstand.

‘So bring light to this world!’
Is the call we all bear.
As the Word is unfurled
So that all men may hear. 

The Twilight Creates A Shadow

The Twilight Creates A Shadow

The twilight creates a shadow
Of the earth so dark and drear
As bombs explode all around us
And we protect our families at home.

It’s not for the government we do this
Or even for our comrades here.
But for the LORD do we fight as warriors
With His strength to get us through.

We may receive medals of honor,
Or maybe nothing at all,
But to God goes all the glory
As we fight with this passion of His.

We used to fight for America,
And perhaps we still do at heart.
But it is tearing apart its own borders,
And hating those in its walls.

Pray is all we can do now,
To rescue this country of ours.
Until the LORD descends from heaven,
And we can rejoice again.  

Nuclear Greed

Nuclear Greed

- Chapter 1 -

A New Assignment
“Joy, please step into my office for a moment.” the voice of Mr. Sholts, the owner of Sholts Software, squeaked through the intercom. 24-year-old Joy Spalli pushed back her black leather office chair, and stood up. Sweeping her hair into a ponytail, Joy weaved her way around the employees. A phone rang loudly on Gretchen Vaughan's desk as she went past, and a filing cabinet drawer slammed shut somewhere to her right. Joy left the busy computer room then walked down the hall to Mr. Sholts' office. She knocked on the door's wooden frame, causing Mr. Sholts to look up from his computer. “Joy! Please come in and sit down.”
The office was dark, with a solitary lamp beside where Mr. Sholts sat behind his desk. A brown briefcase leaned against his computer chair.
Joy closed the door behind her, then sat down in the leather seat in front of Mr....

My Light

My Light

There was silence. Only silence. What that meant, I did not know. All that I knew, was that there was absolutely nothing. That nothingness had been with me for my whole eleven years. While sight and sounds meant nothing to me, I had my own thoughts. Oh yes, thoughts of frustration, and hope. But mostly anger.
For what or for whom I did not know. I’m not sure that I cared. I lived in darkness and silence. It was the only life I knew. I didn’t have any other, didn’t understand any other. Yet there was a slight hope. My fingers felt things. Everything. But what frustrated me the most, was that I did not know what they were. Did not have a name for them.
I wanted to speak, and tell the world how angry I was. To yell at everything. But my voice remained silent. Only moans escaped my lips, and those I could not hear....

Nikon - Through My Eyes

Nikon: Through My Eyes

I am a camera. A digital camera to be precise, and everyone calls me Nikon. I don’t rather like that name but since I can’t speak, I haven’t another one to give. After I was manufactured, UPS delivered me to a large house.
At the time, I was covered up in bubble wrap and a big, cardboard box, so I couldn’t see very well. I remember seeing my owner for the very first time, when she excitedly ripped open the box. For a moment, she just stared at me with happiness.
Very gently, the girl lifted me up out of my wrappings and placed me upon a sturdy, wooden table. I figured that it was evening by the faint light coming through the windows. My owner also unpackaged the lenses which came with me, and a manuel, which she read before giving me my battery, attaching my strap, and positioning the 18 – 55 mm lens...

The Point of Decision - 2

The Point of Decision

Pene lay stomach-down on her tall bed, listlessly fingering the pink tassels on her new purse. Her mind had not been at rest since Vernik’s execution. The servant’s resolute face remained always at the forefront of her thoughts. It angered her. There had been no rest since Vernik was imprisoned. She haunted Pene’s dreams.
Clenching her fist, the purse landed in a crumpled heap on the floor. Pene’s eyes blackened with anger, her vision grew fuzzy. “She’s dead!” She screamed at the top of her lungs. “I squashed her like the little bug she was!” Picking up her mirror, she smashed it on the floor, then fell to her knees, weeping quietly.
A servant peeped through the door, asking timidly, “Are you alright, miss?”
“Go away!” Pene yelled at the frightened girl, who fled immediately. And Pene was once again left to her rage.

~

Carefully, slowly, with pen in hand, Yedka continued to copy the...

The Point of Decision - 2

The Point of Decision

Pene lay stomach-down on her tall bed, listlessly fingering the pink tassels on her new purse. Her mind had not been at rest since Vernik’s execution. The servant’s resolute face remained always at the forefront of her thoughts. It angered her. There had been no rest since Vernik was imprisoned. She haunted Pene’s dreams.
Clenching her fist, the purse landed in a crumpled heap on the floor. Pene’s eyes blackened with anger, her vision grew fuzzy. “She’s dead!” She screamed at the top of her lungs. “I squashed her like the little bug she was!” Picking up her mirror, she smashed it on the floor, then fell to her knees, weeping quietly.
A servant peeped through the door, asking timidly, “Are you alright, miss?”
“Go away!” Pene yelled at the frightened girl, who fled immediately. And Pene was once again left to her rage.

~

Carefully, slowly, with pen in hand, Yedka continued to copy the...

The Seeker

Abigail Sauble
The Seeker


It was so dark, I couldn’t see anything. But I could hear it. And it was coming quickly after me. I could almost feel its hot breath on my back, but I couldn’t see where I was running. Suddenly, I tripped over a stone, and fell headfirst down a long shaft. My scream echoed around and around the hole as I fell, ever falling, and I could hear the monster laughing raucously up above the hole.

I awoke from the nightmare, my breath coming in gasps. I came to reality once again, as Audrey Louise Nickle. The dream was still fresh in my mind, my scream bouncing all around my brain, eventually getting slower, and fainter as I swept sleep away. No, I would not be able to sleep again tonight. Groping around in the dark to the left of my bed, I grasped my flashlight, clicked it on, and searched my room fearfully. My eyes...

The Point of Decision - 2

The Point of Decision

Pene lay stomach-down on her tall bed, listlessly fingering the pink tassels on her new purse. Her mind had not been at rest since Vernik’s execution. The servant’s resolute face remained always at the forefront of her thoughts. It angered her. There had been no rest since Vernik was imprisoned. She haunted Pene’s dreams.
Clenching her fist, the purse landed in a crumpled heap on the floor. Pene’s eyes blackened with anger, her vision grew fuzzy. “She’s dead!” She screamed at the top of her lungs. “I squashed her like the little bug she was!” Picking up her mirror, she smashed it on the floor, then fell to her knees, weeping quietly.
A servant peeped through the door, asking timidly, “Are you alright, miss?”
“Go away!” Pene yelled at the frightened girl, who fled immediately. And Pene was once again left to her rage.

~

Carefully, slowly, with pen in hand, Yedka continued to copy the...

The Legacy - 1

The Legacy

The only light in the dark, stone passageway was the full moon, shining melancholy moonbeams over the city of Lander. A black-clad figure scurried silently along, taking furtive glances over her shoulder at the gloom.
Usually she enjoyed the full moon, but tonight had need of a cloud-filled sky. She darted into the shadows as a crash of some cans erupted nearby, startling the quiet. Hesitantly, she pressed on, until a cool passageway gaped open to her left, and swallowed up her slight figure. The street was once again left to itself.

~

She tip-toed down the damp, stone steps, until she was surrounded with utter blackness. Loosing her footing, she tripped over a loose rock, and fumbled back up to her feet. Placing her hand up the wall, she felt for the symbol which was carved into the wall at head-level.
She almost cried out in joy when her fingers brushed over the engraving. Feeling her way...