This month, I've had a lot of fun hosting a writing competition. It was hard choosing the winners, but it was a lot of fun reading each story. There will definitely be more where this came from. :) This month's writing prompt was to write something involving yourself-- an experience, something you like, a person you know... The possibilities were endless. So without further ado, here are the winners:
by Jessica Cook
I have nightmares, he has dreams
This life is an illusion, nothing is what it seems.
A dream within a dream, the inception of deception, what is reality?
Three truths and a lie, doing whatever it takes to buy my precious time. Hitting me with those infamous lines, no one knows what hides behind the other side of the blinds. Perhaps your love is a disguise. Fear of the unknown, that may be my demise. The possibilities of my existence are endless, but from the outside looking in, I'm well on my way to becoming what I once despised. Surprise, surprise hiding the truth with a painted on smile. A slippery slope, no SOS no 911 to dial. My ego bruised, our bridge of trust defiled. I've grown so accustomed to this "love", your violence now feels mild. Feeling so trapped, metaphorically speaking my hands were tied while the gun sat on your lap. You watched me suffer, but all you could do was laugh. Telling everyone it wasn't true, but you and I both know it was straight facts. But this was all in the past, it was a rainy season, but it didn't last. I ran as fast as my heart would allow. Blood, sweat, and tears. Life with you was insanity, but I'm strong now because of all those miserable years. I've overcome all of the fears that once ruled my life, picked myself up, worked hard - despite all of the strife, I love myself, and you should too. Remember how strong you are, and you'll get through your struggle too.
Strength in Numbers
It’s 6:45. My room is pitch black, except for the shimmer of light escaping through the top of my blinds. I aim my hand towards my dresser, feeling for my glasses. I sit up, reluctant to leave the warmth of the blankets around me. I get up anyways and the familiar feeling of dizziness overwhelms me. I reach over to my flowery, pink water bottle, sipping the water in pitch darkness. I stroll clumsily to the door, feeling with my hands for the cold switch beside my drawers. As soon as my eyes adjust to the light, I walk to the bathroom. As soon as I am back, I put on the cute gray sweater I choose last night to wear and my favorite pair of jeans, faded from too many washes. I walk to the next room, where there’s a full double mirror. Something is off about my outfit. My thick black hair is poofy and my part isn’t right. I pace back to the bathroom, where I take my hair brush and attempt to fix it. My hair becomes static from the comb, so I flatten it with my hands and hope for the best. I walk back to the mirror, noticing gray sweater doesn’t suit me. I try my black one. Doesn’t match with the pants. I try on new pants but the whole combination looks even worse. A knot forms in my throat but I refuse to acknowledge it. I settle for my grey sweatshirt. I grab my bracelet, water bottle, watch, and phone on the way downstairs, checking my phone as I make my way to the kitchen. It’s battery is only at seven percent and I need the music on my phone. It’s 10 minutes until when I leave school, and it’ll hopefully charge to at least twenty percent.
“Waffles and milk?” My dad asks. He’s already spreading chocolate hazelnut spread onto two pieces of bread without crust, my usual lunch. “Mhmm,” I put all my school supplies into my gray backpack and pack my lunchbox. After eating breakfast, I thoroughly rinse my hands with soap and water to get rid of the sticky maple syrup. I can’t find my mints, so I head back upstairs and brush my teeth again. I take a final look at my room, confirming that I’m not forgetting anything. I do a mental recap of my due homework even though I did it last night and check my bag once again to ensure I have everything I need. I walk downstairs and slip on the black shoes I’ve had for years. My stomach churns but I head to my garage anyways. I get to school at 7:55, later than usual, and the bell rings at 8:00. I calculate the time it takes to walk to my locker and then to first period, feeling a shortness of breath as I think of all that could go wrong. Nevertheless, I reach to first period on time, and take just enough notes to get everything down without having to process anything. As usual, I’ll get home and review my notes, relearning everything in the comfort of my own room where I would be less stressed. Four hours pass in no time and I barely notice when the lunch bell rings. I try to get out of my dazed state but I can’t help but regret my promise. “Over here!” My best friends and I are sitting in the most secluded part of school, a quiet location beside the pool and the bleachers. I take deep breaths, failing to steady the heartbeat I could hear thumping in my chest and my head. I start, and before I know it, I tell them things I haven’t even said aloud. I’ve seen these same three people that I trust most every day of my life, but it’s hard to even consider talking about this. Before I know it, I’ve covered everything, from how I felt before to how I feel now. My friends patiently wait for me to tell my whole story, listening intently to what had took me so long to say. When I finish, I wipe the hot tears threatening to fall down my face. The knot in my throat refuses to leave, and I can barely look at them. But once my friends hug and comfort me, I know that these people will support me through anything and everything. I know that I have chosen the right people. From now on, I will not carry my burdens by myself and I do not have to hide. From now on, I can truly recover.
by Hannah Grace Patton
I was angry. It was raining and in my hurry to get home, my foot landed in a puddle causing water to splash up on my pant legs and run down into my socks. I shivered from the uncomfortable feeling and picked up the pace. I had left my umbrella at home that morning by accident; it had been sitting out drying from the previous day’s onslaught. It had been raining for five days straight. The iron-gray sky and Dad’s weather app promised three more days of this wet, oppressive torture. It was May. Not even the beginning of May, but the middle, and last year around this time it had been so hot that you could go swimming in the Little Danube. I sighed in frustration and pulled my hood back over my head after the wind so rudely knocked it off. My hair was already a lost cause, wet and plastered to the side of my face and I just wanted to get home, put on some dry socks and watch a movie. I didn’t know who to blame for the weather, Laci bácsi or climate change. Laci bácsi was an older man in our church, who went to my parents’ small group. Apparently, he had prayed for rain last week—because he’s an older Hungarian and all older Hungarians tend to worry about the crops—and the very next day the water poured down from above. I had to admit, Laci bácsi’s faith was admirable. I crossed the train tracks, looking both ways before doing so, because one time while I was listening to music I wasn’t paying attention and almost got hit by a train. I was almost home. I could already see our two-story house and my anticipation grew as I thought of those warm, dry socks. The distance from the bus stop to our house wasn’t really that big, it was only a four minute walk, but it always felt like an eternity. I considered just running the rest of the way, but the woman with a huge orange umbrella walking toward me made me dismiss the idea. I could make it. One minute later, I did make it, bounding up the steps to our front door, grabbing the handle and frowning when it didn’t budge under my hand. I sighed for the second time that day, dropping my backpack off my shoulders and reaching into the second pocket to grab my keys, only to come up empty and more miserable than ever. It seemed that my umbrella wasn’t the only thing I had left at home that morning. I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did. Next time, make sure you participate! Everyone has a story, and this is a great place to share it without too much pressure. :)