Category Archives: Creative Writing

CW17- A World Awaits: Part 2

guess whaaat! i finally wrote the second part to A World Awaits! this assignment was, in a way, a free write, so i took the opportunity. but it wasn’t entirely free. i had to include 10 words– words that my classmates and i all contributed to– in the piece. and not just any words. they were terms for things found in a hospital: Death, ward, scalpel, knife, syringe, healing, surgeon, oxygen, formaldehyde, crutch, hydrogen peroxide, blood, and nurse, all of which are underlined.  Additionally, i could not use the terms in a hospital setting.  As it turned out, these terms fit nicely into my story, particularly “death”, “oxygen”, and “blood”. i think, though, that i found a loop-hole with the word “ward”… ;D

one more thing before i let you read this incredibly long “short” story: i sure got my heart pumping while writing the ending. *wipes sweat from brow*

“What’re you doing out here?” a cold and steely voice asked, as a cold and steely knife was put to my throat.

The man had come up behind me as I stood on a headland, watching the sunset. Either I was unusually engrossed in the golden glory, or the man had incredible stealth. It was strange for my senses to not have been piqued.

“None of your business, cur,” I growled in reply.

“Well now,” he said as the blade pressed closer against my skin, “if I was just an ordinary cur, it would indeed be none o’ my business. But as it happens, I work for someone very important who desires your services. You’ve hindered his business too many times, but rather than simply dispose of you, he wants to offer you the chance to work for him, instead of against him.”

I knew instantly who the ruffian was speaking of. A crime lord simply called “the Boss”, he was cruel, and could not be trusted. Knowing that anger could send negotiations in the wrong direction, I tried to remain as calm and diplomatic as possible. “So basically, I start doing dirty work for the Boss, and he spares my life?”

“That’s about the way of it. Now, if you’ll just come this way—” his words were cut short as he suddenly slumped to the ground, the knife slicing my shoulder at the same time.

I whirled around to see a young man standing behind me, a club over the head of the unconscious thug, and a smug expression on his face.

“Adrian!” I exclaimed, grinning at him. “It’s always good to see you, my friend—but this time your presence couldn’t have been more welcome.”

“Oh, Eva,” he laughed, “why is it you keep getting into pickles? It seems like I’m always having to save you…”

“Hey! I’ve saved myself plenty of times without your help—you gotta have that kind of skill when you’re a vigilante. Certainly I don’t need you as a crutch. I’ve even saved your ungrateful hide a couple of times!”

“Vigilante, eh?” he said, raising his eyebrows, “when did you start calling yourself that? Certainly not when you first came here.”

Throwing my head back in laughter, Adrian playfully punched me in the shoulder, cutting off the laughter as I gave a cry of pain. Looking down, I saw that my sleeve was partially soaked in sticky blood.

“Oops,” he said apologetically, “c’mon, let’s get you cleaned up.”

“What about him?” I said, gesturing to the slumbering man on the ground.

“Oh, I’ve got a feeling he’ll be out for a while. I’ll have someone come by for him later, and then he can sleep all he wants—in jail.”

“Sounds good to me.”

As Adrian and I began walking away from the disappearing sun and back towards the direction of town, he spoke up again.

“So, my joke about how you weren’t a vigilante when you first came here got me thinking… where did you come from before you came here?”

The question threw me off. “Well… I, uh…” I stalled, sending my thoughts back in time. For a solid year or more, I had lived in and near this town and the surrounding woods, acting as a sort of unofficial keeper of the peace. But going back much further than that, all I came up with was confused, blurry images. To be honest, I couldn’t remember a single thing about my life before coming to this area. Not wanting to sound insane, I simply shrugged.

“Y’know, I would, uh, rather not talk about it. I had a, um, bad childhood—I’d like to forget about it. Let’s stay in the present, shall we?”

Adrian seemed to accept it as a legit answer. “Sure thing. We’ve all got things we’d prefer to forget.”

I nodded and started walking with a brisker pace. I wanted to get back to town as quickly as possible to do something, anything, to get these strange, muddled thoughts out of my head. That, and I wanted to get my shoulder taken care of before it got too infected.

A short while later, we arrived in town and were at Adrian’s place. As he rummaged through a cupboard, he said, “Dr. Lane has been instructing me in the art of healing. He thinks I could make a fine surgeon someday.”

“Pfft, you?” I scoffed, “you wouldn’t make so much as a decent nurse. I’ll bet you don’t even know a syringe from a scalpel.”

“Ha, ha,” he said with slow and bitter sarcasm. “Laugh all you want, but I really think I can make a living out of this. I don’t plan on spending all my days apprehending criminals in the wilderness—unlike some people.”

I knew it was true. Although Adrian sometimes accompanied me on adventures of errantry,—at my insistence, of course—his real passion and fascination lay in the medical field. He now approached me with a bottle and cotton swab in hand, and began addressing my wound.

As the liquid bit into my flesh, I bit back curses, “What is that?! Are you trying to kill me?! Gosh, why don’t you just soak me in formaldehyde now.”

“Ah, ” he said with a smirk, “Eva, the rough and tough vigilante, is afraid of a little hydrogen peroxide, eh?”

I rolled my eyes, “Oh… just slap a bandage on it and let me be on my way. I told Mama Rosie I’d be on time for dinner.”

He complied, and after bidding him goodnight, I made my way to Mama Rosie’s Inn. I often stayed at her place, and would eat meals there whenever my business wasn’t too… distracting. She could always be relied upon for a clean room and a hot, satisfying meal. She and her other guests also made excellent company, constantly ready to tell a tale or spread gossip that was useful to me. That night, however, the food seemed strangely bland, and I felt out of touch with the other people. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something was missing.

Hoping to reestablish my equilibrium, I decided to go for a late night walk. It might have seemed risky, considering the incident just a few hours earlier. But such run-ins were terribly rare, and the occurrence of one made the occurrence of another much less likely. Sort of like being stuck by lightening.

Trying to ward off the cold, I pulled my brown leather jacket closer about my body.  Around me, the graceful trees danced slowly in the nighttime breeze; nighthawks chirped from their shadowy hiding places on the ground; and the full moon cast its glistening glow on me and my surroundings. But I was too preoccupied in my own thoughts to take much notice of the natural beauty. Without warning, a nearby voiced called out to me.

“What are you doing way out here?” it asked.

You have to be kidding me! I said inwardly and, placing my hand on my dirk, I spun around to face the speaker, determined not to be caught off guard this time.

To my surprise, it was not a ruffian but an old man. He had a long white beard, a wooden staff, and a large brown cloak.

“What are you doing out here?” he said again, his voice warm and kindly.

“I’m… I’m just walking,” I answered, not sure of what else to say.

“Had an interesting day, have you?” he queried.

“Well, yes, I suppose so.” I cocked my head to the side, watching him as he walked closer, a smile on his face.

“You’re quite fortunate to have friends like Adrian. You know that, don’t you?”

“Who are you?!” I exclaimed, “And how do you know I’m friends with Adrian?”

“My name,” he said, “believe it or not, is Clover. And I know a great deal about you—probably more than you yourself know, at this time.”

Although mildly alarmed at his words, I sensed that I had nothing to fear from him. Folding my arms, I said, “Ok, and how do you know these things that even I don’t know? What’s your deal, old man?”

“I am a Guardian,” he replied, “I watch over the Portals between Worlds. I make sure that no one is transported who was not meant to be transported. And, when the time comes, I send the Chosen Ones back to their own World.”

I stared blankly. “I didn’t understand a word you just said.”

“Of course not,” he sighed, “for you have forgotten. Although, I suppose that even if you had not forgotten, you would hardly comprehend my meaning. But that is of no consequence. I have a message for you.”

“I can’t believe this,” I said, slapping my face. “Out here in the forest—with a crazy old man.”

“Eva McDonald,” he continued, speaking with grave importance, “you must return.”

“Return where?” I groaned grumpily.

“You must return to your own World. You used to live on a planet called Earth, in forests very similar to this one.”

“I’m sorry,” I snorted impatiently, “but I have no idea what you’re talking about, and I don’t intend to waste my time talking to a madman.”

“Wait! Listen! Eva, this is imperative. You must return to your own World through the way which you came to this one—a Portal in a little picket fence. Down that road there about a mile, and then cutting across the field, and then over the hill, and from there you should be able to find it. I know you don’t believe me. I know you have forgotten. But you must trust me. You can no longer stay here.”

“And why can’t I stay here, grandpa? What’s gonna happen? Huh?” My anger was overcoming my civility.

“You cannot stay here because this is not reality. Yes, yes, it is reality for the people of this World—but not for you. Your time here is done. If you do not return, this World will disappear—and you will disappear with it.”

His words sent my skin cold. For the first time, I tried to listen. “What do you mean?”

“Eva, you have your reality; this is not it.” He placed a hand on my shoulder. “Go back, before it is too late.”

“When?” I asked, my eyes searching the man’s face.

“Tonight. Now. If you wait more than a night’s time, there is no guarantee the Portal will work.”

“But Clover,” I said, speaking his name for the first time, “I must say goodbye to Adrian and Mama Rosie, and many others. I can’t just leave.”

“But you must!” he insisted, “Besides, by time you get to each of them, they will have forgotten you, even as you have forgotten your past.”

“Forget me? They won’t forget me!” I said, my anger returning. “And, and… I still can’t remember any of which you speak. How do I know it’s true? How can I trust you? I can’t! I won’t go!” I began to storm off, heading back to town.

“No! Eva, you must do as I say!” he sounded desperate.

“I’m not going to listen to you!” I yelled, “You’re insane!”

I’m insane?!” he yelled back, finally losing his temper, “You’re the one who can’t remember the first seventeen years of your life!”

I whirled around, intending to hurl another insult at him—but he had disappeared. Huffing, I stomped away. Just forget about it, I told myself. As if more forgetting was what I needed. I mulled over all these compelling thoughts as I made my way down the shadowy streets, back to Mama Rosie’s, into my room and into bed.

I woke up the next morning with a start. Something was wrong. The sun shone through my window, but it wasn’t golden. It was grey. Sitting up and pushing myself to the edge of the bed, I tried to clear my mind. The more I tried to clear, the more the thoughts came in floods. They came in torrents. Suddenly, I saw them—my friends. My home. My life. Tears streaking down my face, I struggled to get dressed.

“Susanna!” I said aloud. “Susanna—I left you! You must have felt horrible. And Nickolas—we never made up after our last argument. Levi—you were going to show me your latest drawing when you had finished it. I left you! I left you all!”

Tripping over my boot as I put it on, I fell to the floor, sobbing. I rose back up and straightened myself out. I knew what I had to do.

Racing down the road at top speed, the wildlife around me already seemed dim and faded. Mama Rosie hadn’t noticed me running out the door. When I’d ran past him in the street, Adrian didn’t acknowledge my existence—not even when I called. But I knew they’d be alright; this World wasn’t really fading. I was.

Having followed Clover’s directions, I ran the last stretch of open ground, and then slowed down as I approached the fence. I began jogging along side it, looking for the Portal.

“It’ll be here, it’ll be here,” I said, “it has to be.”

I halted. In the fading light, I could just barely make out ancient-looking symbols on a picket. I dusted them off just to be sure. I had found it.

“This is it!” I exclaimed, “It’s still here! That means I’m not too late!”

With that, I hurled myself in between the bars of the fence. Standing up, I took in my surroundings again. All hope left me. Despair overwhelmed my soul.

“It didn’t work,” I whispered, “I was too late. I’m not back home. It’s just the other side of the fence.”

I yelled frantically, blindly, despairingly to anyone who might hear, “It’s just the other side of the fence!”

All went black. My body crumpled to the ground, and I could feel the oxygen leaving my lungs. Even the ground beneath me left. Death came.

Still, lifeless, cold.

I feel something. Dirt. My fingertips move slightly and touch the grainy material. My chest starts to move up and down—air is entering. A foreign sensation comes over me. Warmth. I lift my eyelids and see magnificent, golden rays streaming above me. I hear birds and smell fragrant blossoms. I see the trees of a northern California forest. Life floods my veins. I am alive. Yes, I am alive—and I can hear the voices of my friends in the distance.


CW14- My Media Autobiography

this assignment, to choose ten books/songs/poems/movies that chronicle my life and personality, was fun and challenging at the same time. part of the instruction was to be careful to choose media that actually reflect me, not just ones that are my favorites, and i was determined to do that at first. but the ones i chose– 4 songs, 4 books, 2 movies– ended up coming right back to my favorites anyway. i realized that the very thing that makes these my favorites is the same reason i chose them for the assignment: in each one, i connect with the author or a character in a way that makes me feel understood. 

Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary

(Book)

Emily's runaway imagination

   When I was about eleven, I picked up this book and knew immediately that I was dealing with someone very much like myself. It tells the story of a girl with a vivid imagination who was known for believing in the very things she dreamed up. As a kid, that description would’ve pretty much summed up everything about me. If I could imagine something, it was true. Animals could talk. Magic was real. Even inanimate objects had personalities. Strangest of all, between the ages of four and six, I actually thought I was a dog.

   To be honest, I’m surprised my parents never considered committing me to a psychiatric ward…

 

Peter Pan

(Movie, Animated. 1953)

Peter-Pan-and-Hook

   Throughout my life, growing up was something I always thought would never really happen. It happens to everyone else—sure. But will it happen to me? Never!  Like the legendary Peter Pan, I wanted to remain a kid forever. To me, the realm of adulthood was frightening and enigmatic—not something to be desired.

   I think I was around the age of twelve when I realized that growing old was inevitable. But at the same time, I also realized that growing up was optional. So I made a promise to myself. I promised myself that matter how old I got—twenty… forty-five…  ninety—I would never forget what it was like to be a kid. I would always keep the “child inside me” alive and kicking. At heart, I will always be free and childlike.

    “All children, except one, grow up.”

 

Mess Of Me by Switchfoot

(Song)

   This song is always a reminder to me that I’ve messed up; I’m a sinful, selfish, wretched human being, and I have no one to blame but myself. But, as the song states, I want to spend the rest of my life alive—not in death and decay. And I don’t have to lock my soul in a cage; by sacrificing His life for mine, Jesus gives me the daily chance to wipe the slate clean. I have made a mess of me, but He has made a saint of me.

 I’ve made a mess of me

I wanna get back the rest of me

I’ve made a mess of me

I wanna spend the rest of my life alive

 

  The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

(Book)

giftset1vol-cover-rsz

   This trilogy in and of itself has played a huge part in my teenage years. I’ve read the books four times, watched the movies a dozen times, and you could probably say that I’m mildly obsessed with Middle Earth (my parents joke that I would go to hobbit college. It’s true.). But some of the themes present in these books also reflect themes in my life. For me, one of the most meaningful parts of the story is the example of friendship. As I get older, I realize more and more how truly blessed I have been in the way of friends. Godly, loyal, mature, always there for me, and just plain fun, my friends have helped shape me into the person I am today.

  “You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin—to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours—closer than you yourself keep it. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.”

 

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein

(Book)

fallup

   A collection of poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein, this book reflects one hugely major part of my life: humor. I am almost constantly laughing or making people laugh. Like Silverstein’s poems, my humor is sometimes outright hilarious, sometimes silly and pointless, and oftentimes sarcastic. It was once said of me that ninety-nine percent of all the words I speak are sarcastic—which is not true, of course. It couldn’t be more than ninety-five percent. But seriously, I’m kidding.

 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.— Proverbs 17:22

  

Rise Above It by Switchfoot

(Song)

   One lesson that I’ve been learning, particularly in this last year, is that no person and no circumstance can control who I am. No matter if I am being judged, feeling alone, or going through some kind of trial—God will always give me the strength to rise above it. I think I’ve always been something of a rebel, but lately I’ve been discovering how true it is that no one can tell me how to live my life. I will never let another tell my soul what to fear.

Just because you’re running doesn’t mean that you’re scared.

Just because it’s law don’t mean that it’s fair.

Never let another tell your soul what to fear.

I get so sick of it,

It feels so counterfeit.

I rise above it.

 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

(Book)

hobbit

   This reflection is actually a paradox, because my personality is, in a way, the exact opposite of Bilbo Baggins’ personality. While he would have preferred staying home with his comfy chairs, I would rather seek out excitement and adventure. But both Bilbo and I had (and I still have) the same lesson to learn: what we most desire is not always what is best for us. Gandalf pushed Bilbo out the door to an adventure that would change his life. Likewise, sometimes when I can only see how a life-changing adventure could bring good things, God simply says, “No.”

   Oftentimes, immediately after disappointment I can see how it was for the best. Sometimes, however, it takes months or even years. There may even be some things I will never fully understand in this life.

 “Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning! But please come to tea—anytime you like. Why not tomorrow? Come tomorrow! Good-bye!” With that the hobbit turned and scuttled inside his round green door, and shut it as quickly as he dared, not to seem rude. Wizards after all are wizards.

  

True Grit

(Movie, 2010)

truegrit

   The very title of this movie pretty much says it all. Like Mattie Ross, a fourteen-year-old girl bent on bringing justice to her father’s killer, I am stubborn, rugged, and outspoken. Although I’ve never formed a posse, I often take on challenges that no one expects, and I don’t let anything—fear, pain, doubt—get in my way.

 “Most girls like to play pretties, but you like guns do you?”                

Mattie Ross: “I do not care a thing in the world about guns. If I did, I would have one that worked.”

  

Tidal Wave by Owl City

(Song)

   Let’s cut to the chase: sometimes I feel lonely. Clung to by insecurity. Followed by fear. Haunted by depression. When I go through times like that, this is always my go-to song. Adam Young (Owl City) so perfectly and beautifully articulates what it feels like to experience such uncertainty. But then he reminds me that “I’ve found a new Hope from above,” a Hope that transcends all fear and doubt. A Hope that will never let me down.

It hurts just to wake up whenever you’re wearing thin.

Alone on the outside, so tired of looking in.

The end is uncertain, and I’ve never been so afraid,

But I don’t need a telescope to see that there’s Hope,

And that makes me feel brave.

 

Amy’s Song by Switchfoot

(Song)

  If I could have one thing said of me after I’m gone, I would want it to be said that I was on fire. I don’t want to be a lukewarm Christian; I want to be someone who makes a change—someone who was different. Someone who, like the girl in the song, leaves people burning with an unquenchable hunger for salvation.

Salvation is a fire in the midnight of the soul,

It  lights up like a can of gasoline.

Yeah, she’s a freedom fighter, she’s a stand-up kind of girl.

She’s out to start a fire in a bar-code plastic world.


CW12- How the Chicken Got its Flightlessness

when i was little, one of my favorite animated movies was The Jungle Book, the story of a boy named Mowgli who was raised by wild animals in the jungles of India. when i got a little bit older, my dad read to me the original tales of Mowgli’s adventures. the author, Rudyard Kipling, also wrote what he called Just So Stories, most of which tell how an animal got a certain characteristic, like How the Leopard Go His Spots. others tell of the “first” of one thing or another, like How the First Letter was Written. my own favorite Just So Story is How the Camel Got His Hump, and the following story is somewhat modeled after it.

Now this is the next story, and it tells how the Chicken became flightless.

Once upon a time, when the world was still very young, there lived a beautiful, slender Chicken who flew gracefully through the sky. Now, My Beloved, even though the Chicken was beautiful, nobody liked him much because he was a terrible coward. If ever anyone asked him to do something brave, he would squawk, “Never!”, and he would fly away.

Presently, the Dog, who was ‘scruciating busy (with the world so new and all), found the Chicken strutting around being useless, so the Dog said, “Chicken, O Chicken, why don’t you help us? Even with the world so new-and-all, we are afraid of dangers that may come to disturb our peace. Come to defend each other like the rest of us!”

“Never!” squawked the Chicken, and he flew away; and the Dog was appalled by the Chicken’s cowardice.

The next day, the Crow saw the Chicken strutting around being useless, so the Crow said, “Chicken, O Chicken, why don’t you make yourself useful? Even with the world so new-and-all, we are afraid of dangers that may come to disturb our peace. Come make clever preparations like the rest of us!”

“Never!” squawked the Chicken, and he flew away; and the Crow was appalled by the Chicken’s cowardice.

On the next day, the Ant saw the Chicken strutting around being useless, so the Ant said, “Chicken, O Chicken, why don’t you work and scurry? Even with the world so new-and-all, we are afraid of dangers that may come to disturb our peace. Come gather food in case of famine like the rest of us!”

“Never!” squawked the Chicken, and he flew away; and the Ant was appalled by the Chicken’s cowardice.

Well, the Three were so appalled by the Chicken’s ‘scruciating cowardice that they got together to decide what to do about it.

“Beat him!” barked the Dog.

“Squash him!” chirped the Ant.

“I know what we shall do,” said the clever Crow, “we shall tempt him with such scrumptious foods as he cannot resist, and we shall make him so fat that he can never fly again. That way, he cannot be cowardly and fly away from danger.”

The Ant and the Dog agreed to this, and the Three ‘mediately set out to gather the most scrumptious foods as they could find.

So the next day when the Chicken was strutting around being useless, the Three called out, “Chicken, O Chicken, come see what scrumptious foods we have for you. We have cake and bread and fruit and all sorts of things.”

The Chicken did come; and the Chicken did eat the scrumptious foods. When the Chicken had eaten most every bite and he lay on the ground as round as a pumpkin, the Three said, “Chicken, O Chicken, are you quite full of scrumptious foods?”

“Oh, yes,” replied the Chicken, “unless you have more scrumptious foods?”

“No,” said the Three, “but we do have work for you! Since you can no longer be cowardly, you must help us prepare for danger that may come to disturb our peace.”

“Never!” squawked the Chicken, but he could not fly away; he was too fat.

Even though he could not fly away, the Chicken still did not learn his lesson about cowardice; and to this day, the Chicken is still ‘scruciating cowardly. And to this day, the Chicken is still fat.


CW15- The Faithful Boat

this assignment was to write an extended metaphor, similar to The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. i first read the story about unconditional love several years ago, and i found it rather depressing– but it got the point across. in my version, i use a longer and less poetic style, but i tried to keep the gentle repetition and simplistic feel.

Once there was a little girl who found a sturdy wooden boat on the beach. The little girl was lonely and bored, and she wanted to do something more than most little girls do.

The little girl said, “Boat, I want to go on an adventure. Will you take me?”

The boat said, “I was made to be strong and carry people. I will take you anywhere you want.”

The two went on an adventure, and they became friends. After that, the girl and the boat went on many adventures, paddling up and down the coast in search of pirate treasure or damsels-in-distress. And the boat took her wherever she wanted.

One day the girl said, “Boat, will you always take me wherever I want?”

The boat replied, “I will always be here for you. I promise. As long as you do not ask me to do anything that would be wrong, I will take you wherever want.”

“Always?”

“Always.”

“Even if I change?”

“Even then,” the boat promised.

The faithful boat and the little girl became even better friends, and they had many more adventures.

But when the girl got older, she forgot how fun it was to go on adventures, and she forgot about the faithful boat.

One day, a few years later, the little girl (who was not-so-little anymore) was bored again, but she wanted more than to paddle around the coast looking for childish treasures

“Boat,” she said, “I want to go on another adventure. I want to go to the island way-out-there—the island that nobody has been to. It has been a long time since we went on an adventure; will you still take me?”

And the boat said, “Climb in. I will take you wherever you want.”

The girl climbed in, and the two paddled out to the island. They found adventures there that they had never dreamed of before, and the boat and the girl became good friends again.

For a time, the girl remembered that she loved adventures, and the boat took her wherever she wanted.

But then the girl forgot again, and the little girl became a grown-up woman.

When the girl remembered the boat years later, the boat was a little more worn, a little more lichen-covered. But the boat was still sturdy.

“Boat!” she cried, “there is an emergency! Someone is drowning in the rough storm down the coast; I need you to help me save the person. But it is very dangerous, and you might be wrecked. Will you still take me?”

“I will always be here for you. I will take you wherever you need,” the boat answered.

That day, the boat and the girl were heroes together. But the girl was a busy woman, and after their heroic adventure she did not have any more time for the boat.

But one day the girl came back to the faithful boat. She was an old woman now, and the boat was falling apart. She sat down on the coarse sand next to the boat.

“Hello, boat,” she said warmly but wearily.

“Do you want to search for pirate treasure?” said the boat, hoping to cheer up the girl.

“I don’t care for pirate’s treasure anymore,” replied the girl, “the only treasure I care about is my family, and they have grown up and moved away—or died. I am lonely and bored, just like when I was little.”

“Do you want to discover new land?” the boat asked.

“All the land that is there has already been discovered,” sighed the girl.

“Well,” said the boat, “do you want to save a person in danger?”

“People in danger don’t need wooden boats anymore; there are helicopters and motor boats to do that.”

“Oh,” said the boat.

“Boat,” said the girl, “you once told me you would always be there for me.”

“Always.”

“I have changed.”

“So have I,” said the boat, “ but I am still here for you.”


CW13- Musical Motions

this was definitely one of the most unusual assignments i’ve ever had: to write a description of a party using words that do not contain the letter ‘e’. whenever i think of parties and weddings and such, all i can really think about is music; so that’s what i wrote about. i guess the theme for this piece could be “Dance like no one is looking,” as sung in one of my favorite Newsboys songs, Dance.

Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation from life; it is life itself.” — Havelock Ellis.

  As music fills all nooks of this room that I’m in, I sway to a tantalizing harmony that flows through my body. Painfully conscious of any judging minds, and not wanting humiliation, I try not to succumb to this captivating song. But with such a rhythmic pulsation coursing in all that I do, I long to submit to this lyrical undulation.

   Watching all humanity in my surroundings, I can only think of opinions that I worry might inhabit minds. If I waltz on my own, will anybody laugh? If I should whirl around, would I catch wind of scorn? Not knowing if folk would fathom my frolicking, I aim to stand still, with dignity intact.

   At long last, I find that I cannot stand it. With a fantastic application, I allow an alluring, musical rhapsody to control my actions. Casting off my bonds of immobility, I catapult into a thrilling, vivacious display of motion. With charm and passion, music unchains my soul. A footfall, a whirl, a jump, a twirl— I skip around with abandon. A throb, a strum, a vibration, a hum— this vibrant sound brings joy. I am daring and audacious. I hold no worry.


CW11- The Move

at first, i was a little worried about writing a story with almost pure conversation. but i actually greatly enjoyed this assignment, which was prompted by the picture below.

“Marsha, please tell me we’re almost there!” Jake moaned, exhausted by the long hike away from the cabin.

Having no sympathy, and simply telling her brother to hurry up, Marsha burst through the trees into the clearing.

“Look, there it is!” she exclaimed.

“Whoa, this is awesome!” Jake gasped, looking around in surprise. “I had no idea there were train tracks way out here.”

Marsha shrugged, “Yeah, I think it’s pretty legit. I came across it yesterday when I took one of the horses from the ranch on a trail ride.”

Inspecting the ancient tracks, Jake said, “Well, I guess you were right about one thing: this vacation isn’t as boring as I thought it would be!”

“Right about one thing?” she laughed teasingly. “Oh, my dear brother, I am right about everything.”

Glancing at the tracks she continued, “All the same, I don’t know everything… for example, I have no clue what these tracks are for.”

Jake rolled his eyes, “Gee, maybe a train?”

Mockingly throwing her hands up in defense, she responded, “Hey, we can’t be sure! For all I know, aliens put this here.”

The pair sat down on either side of the railroad as Jake continued the banter.

“Ok,” he conceded, “but even if aliens did put it here, what would they be using it for other than a train? Did they put it here just to confuse us poor humanoids?”

“You never know with aliens,” she replied mysteriously. “Their motives are always enigmatic. Their actions are always unexpected.”

A long pause ensued while Jake stared at his sister as if he thought she belonged in a mental institute, and she stared back with a grin. The silence was interrupted as the two broke out in mutual laughter.

“Anyway,” Jake began, “when you said you had something to show me, you also mentioned that you wanted to talk. So, what’s up?”

“Ok, well,” Marsha cleared her throat. “I kinda found out that… well, Mom and Dad taking us on this vacation isn’t just a vacation.”

“What do you mean?” Jake looked worried by her nervous tone.

“Jake, I overheard them talking— they’re taking this trip to sort of scout things out. You see, they want to move here.”

“What?! They want to move? Here? Permanently?” he looked as if he’d gone into shock.

Marsha nodded.

“But, but—it’s practically the middle of nowhere! This town only has like, what? Three gas stations?  Two grocery stores? And the only movie theatre is in the next town!”

She tried to calm him down, “Hey now, it’s not that bad. If you think about it, it’s got pretty much everything that we’ve got back home.”

“It hasn’t got all our friends! Our hangouts! Our home! We can’t leave!” He began fuming but suddenly stopped and lowered his voice as he asked, “Are you absolutely sure about this? You’re certain you didn’t misunderstand?”

“Yes, I’m certain! They were talking about buying a house, and finding a school for us, and whether we would go to the church on Main Street or the one across town. It was clear they were serious—too clear.”

Jake put his head in his hands. “I’m so confused. Why do they want to move? And why won’t they at least talk to us about it?!”

Marsha sighed, “I’m not really sure. It could be that they just feel we need a change. And I think that they wanted us to get used to the area first and start liking it before they shocked us with anything.”

“It doesn’t matter how much I like this place—it doesn’t change the fact that all of our friends are back home! I can’t believe this is happening.”

Trying to remain positive, Marsha replied, “We’d make new friends, I’m sure. And we’d keep up with the gang back home by email and telephone.” She bit her lip and added quietly, “But gosh, it’ll be hard.”

His anger dissipating into passive depression, Jake mumbled, “Hard doesn’t begin to describe it.”

They sat for a few moments in silence, both mulling over their own thoughts. Wanting to return to a light, playful tone, Marsha spoke up with a grin.

“Seriously, could moving here really be that bad? I mean, there’s that pretty girl who works at the ranch—I’m half certain that I saw her almost smile at you the other day.”

“Oh… shut up,” he said, trying to sound grumpy. But his body started to shake. He couldn’t help it; he was laughing.

She took his hand into hers. “We’ll be alright, y’know? Whatever Mom and Dad decide in the end, we’ll all be together. That’s what matters. And we’ll be alright.”

Jake sighed and then smiled gratefully into his sister’s eyes, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

She laughed as she leaned forward to hug him, “Oh, my dear brother, I am always right!”


CW10- To Meet One’s Hero

in the way of literary heroes, i really only have two: Horatio Hornblower, and Sherlock Holmes. i chose Holmes because his story is a little bit less defined– it has no ending. plus, it is assumed that not all his tales are told, which makes it easier to add to. and i didn’t write myself into a mystery, because, quite frankly, i suck at writing mysteries. =P (awesome soundtrack here)

“Mr. Holmes! Mr. Sherlock Holmes!” I cried desperately, trying to catch the man’s attention.

I raced down the beach, my feet flying over the soft, white sand as I ran after him on his daily morning walk. He paused as I caught up to him, a warm smile forming on his thin face.

“Good morning, Miss Campbell,” he said in good-natured greeting.

I fell in step with him and replied breathlessly, “Good morning, Mr. Holmes.”

As we continued on in silence, I took in the salty air, the ocean crashing against the shore, and the crying gulls. The restless wind tossed my hair just as it tossed the waves nearby; I pulled my jacket tighter around me to block the chill which I knew would dissipate as soon as the sky cleared.

My thoughts wandered over the past week that the renowned Sherlock Holmes had been with us; even though I remained outwardly calm, I still jumped with joy inwardly as I had wanted to do when he first arrived on our doorstep with his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson. How many times had I read Dr. Watson’s accounts of his friend’s daring adventures, quick calculations, and inhuman intelligence? I’m not sure, but I do know that every magazine and newspaper I owned that contained tales of Sherlock Holmes was worn and falling apart. And now my hero stood before my very eyes: not an apparition, not a fictional character, but a real human being who had come to stay in my family’s beachside inn. Apparently, Dr. Watson occasionally insisted on Holmes taking a vacation from the stress of city life, but I could not believe that our homely place had been selected as their destination.

Since his arrival, I had taken every moment I could to learn from him and his ways—as much as I dared without worrying that I bothered him, although I’m sure that I still did. I found myself greatly disappointed in my inability to effectively learn his methods of deduction despite my former perusal of his reasoning used in the stories.

I had also persuaded him to give me lessons in boxing; I believe he was pleasantly surprised to find that despite my small size, I made a willing—and able, if I may say so—student who eagerly picked up the art of self-defense.

And then there were the fascinating discussions which I eavesdropped on—ahem, accidently overheard. A myriad of guests at our inn could often be found in the dining hall, guests whom Holmes would converse with on sundry topics. Sometimes the discussions became quite heated; some of them I wanted desperately to join in on; others went right over my head.

I wasn’t sure how long Holmes and the doctor planned to stay; and I didn’t want to ask. I wanted to savor every moment and pretend that this time would never end—an almost magical time that every fan dreams of but rarely receives. To meet one’s hero. Once it passed I would never feel that I could know for certain: did it really happen—or was it just another dream?