It was the summer of 1983 and eight-year-old Danny Brown was having a terrible time. A shy and serious only child, he had recently been forced to move with his parents and, as far as he was... [+]
It was the summer of 1983 and eight-year-old Danny Brown was having a terrible time. A shy and serious only child, he had recently been forced to move with his parents and, as far as he was... [+]
One March afternoon in 1969 I was on the deck of a Chinese junk listening to the water clop against the wooden hull and enjoying a breeze that blew toward the South China Sea. The junk bobbed... [+]
The doctors, explaining the consent form, referred to him as an allergen. That’s the only reason he could figure they prescribed Claritin. Well, technically they didn’t prescribe Claritin, being... [+]
It was the first time that I had ever hated the sound of my own name. “Tommy, you’re up,” the coach had yelled down from the entrance of the dugout. I was sitting on the end of the bench next... [+]
“Voicemail. Faaabulous. Anyway... Good morning. I’ve arrived. And let me tell you: There’s nothing like heading to a job interview and praying to God that you don’t get it. (Oh this is... [+]
They stood at the end of the tobacco row, just beyond where the north end of the field met the woods. They stood in the shadows, perfectly still, watching only her. They reminded her of deer: thin... [+]
Ain’t no such word as “slomp” Jessey had scolded me just yesterday. But a crawdad pokin’ outta the deep mud ditch alongside the river always made kind of a slomp sound to my ears. That’s... [+]
Asia is a strong, happy, hopeful, and intelligent woman, but she was not always like this. There was a time when she felt that no one cared about her. She felt sad and alone in the world. Asia was... [+]
Klyde was different than everyone else. For one, he didn't play any of the sports that everyone else played. He didn't use a bike to get around. He used his skateboard. He didn't listen to Migos o... [+]
Tyler is more or less an average child. He was an only child, with a mother and father that loved him very much. He has a big heart and loves helping others. He is in a missionary group of people... [+]
It started just like any other day. I woke up, put on a pot of coffee, and waited by the win. The sound of the brewing coffee reminded me of the way Papa used to make it. Mmm, Papa. I read the daily... [+]
Charlie had a big decision to make. He and his friend Javier were being offered professional surfing contracts with Rip Curl Men. Charlie and Javi were of course happy, but they also didn’t know... [+]
In the years 2085-2088 the Flegómeno War (Greek for the Blazing War) was a devastating time, where a crime organization would set fire to their targets’ houses. A boy named Alan Clifton suffered... [+]
My name is Alice Fowler and I’m here to tell my story about having cancer. I have a husband named Danny, two kids named Hailey and Victoria, and a dog named Oliver. The day that I was diagnosed... [+]
Ten year old Jordan was diagnosed with autism when he was four years old. He has been nonverbal ever since. He never has joy and his mother, Karen, feels like she does not have a connection with... [+]
Shaequan Williams is a seventeen year old high school basketball player. Shaequan is from Lafayette, Louisiana, and lives in a bad part of town surrounded by gang activity and violence. He wants to... [+]
Olivia Rhodes is a volleyball player who got seriously injured but overcame her injury and became a really good player. Olivia was the outside hitter for her high school team in Greensburg... [+]
Johnny is an eighteen year old playing his last year of high school basketball for the East New Orleans Hawks. He was having a breakout year averaging a triple-double every game as a six foot two... [+]
Christopher Frost was the number one prospect in soccer coming out of Portside High School in Galveston,Texas. He had always had a passion for soccer. From a young age, he excelled beyond the others... [+]
I stared at the the courtroom bench in front of me, tracing the wood grain with my eyes. The scuff marks where jewelry had struck the top of the bench. The small nicks on the arm rest. The faint... [+]
As I lay in my bed looking at the two dark wooden beams on the ceiling, I thought about stuff, our day, my new clothes, but mostly about Ty. Ty is not my real brother, not exactly. Ty is my... [+]
I am the only one of my kind.
No one knows me. No one understands me.
It’s for their own safety.
No one can know. No one.
I trudge down the muddy main road, a bucket of fish in one... [+]
He is always here. No one can see him. Even I can’t see him; but I know he is there. I can feel him. The presence floats around me like a soap bubble that will never pop. Sometimes when I stand... [+]
The yells for creations surround Yoshi as he learns the little things. He observes the chef chopping the onions, the silky folds falling from the orb, his fingers wandering down the length of the... [+]
Lying in the dark, he whispered their names. The same names he whispered every morning.
“Spencer, Mack, Jones, and Cox.”
Luke Murphy woke up before the alarm, not because he was... [+]
After my mind fully communicated my whereabouts to my eyes, I immediately realized that I didn’t want to be here. I quickly shut my eyes in hopes of catching another glimpse of that blissful dream... [+]
The lights, the cameras, the crowd---the vibrations below his feet, they were what he loved---lived for. His loved ones, he could recall, asked why he chose to do what he did.
Why sing?... [+]
Glittering snowflakes drifted gently from the grey skies like colorless confetti in a brilliant wonderland. Cold and sharp, it blanketed the earth like a blank canvas, eagerly awaiting to be colored... [+]
She didn’t want to do it anymore. Her breaths were coming out ragged and sharp, and her throat was extremely dry. She could feel the cold wrapping around her, like a large hand trying to choke he... [+]
It was fall, and the traffic lights were changing to gorgeous shades of yellow and red. Charlie Aires paid them no mind. He was pushing eighty, dropping speed only when one exit and then the next to... [+]
Once upon a time and in a galaxy where the impossible can be possible there was a system of stars so beautiful and majestic you can find yourself getting lost In the glitters that fill up the dark... [+]
I was fifteen years old when it happened. I lived with my family, which included my mom, dad, my sister Lea, and my brother John, who was the same age as me. John and I did everything together, and... [+]
Loser. The world would be better off without you. Those are phrases that stuck with Dante Clemson, a young boy from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Being of Dante’s color in the town that he lived in... [+]
It was a bright, cool, sunny morning in October in a small town in Maine close to the border. The population of this small town was about 1900 people. Every morning, the air smelled of fresh baked... [+]
Operation Deadlock was a very bloody operation in our corrupt world where there is only war and bloodshed left. I would describe it as more like something you would expect to see in... [+]
Here I am at this Face Your Fears Event about to do something I've never been able to do. My mind took me back to that unforgettable day.
I entered a stall in the girls' bathroom. Assured by... [+]
I opened my eyes and groaned. The twin, white dwarf sun’s light shone bright in my eyes. I forced myself out of bed, and dressed, trying to ignore the way the light bounced off the icy walls.... [+]
Nicholas jerked his head up at the sound, the word ‘hypothesis’ left unfinished on his paper.
His grip on his pencil tightened.
He hated blood. And he hated Alex... [+]
Being a cat isn’t easy during these times, especially when there are humans around.
I remember the day I first rescued my human. I don’t remember anything about my real family, my mother and... [+]
Upon seeing the diving board, Jack performed the Eddy test. That is Jack looked at his friend Eddy and made sure he wasn’t the only one unimpressed.
“Huh,” Eddy said, “maybe it turns... [+]
It was raining when I left. The heat drained from my cheeks and I welcomed the drench, pairing with my shame the way only rain can. As I walked home, the shame remained, but it folded in on itself... [+]
As the teleporter transported me to the spaceship emitting the distress signal, it became clear that its inside was as bad as its outside. Scarlet sirens blared rhythmically. I heard hurried footsteps... [+]
Bernadette brought me coffee and a cruller. I dunked the pastry and bit off the java-flavored end. “Anything?” she said.
“Nope.” I wiped my fingers on the napkin and went back to... [+]
Another small town day, and he was still invisible. Further down the strip mall alleyway access where they leaned against the building, there were other invisibles, hiding behind their shopping carts... [+]
The days couldn’t manage to become any more miserable or dour, could they? Drysalio Cervera sulked, swiping away the pile of expensive books that lay sprawled across his desk.
Books fo... [+]
You’re a single father with an 11-year old son who learned to lie faster than he learned how to tie his own shoes. On the couch embroidered in permanent marker forged “on accident” years ago by... [+]
On a brisk Halloween night in Maine, the crisp air flowed all around. Timi Finkl and his friends went trick or treating for some candy. Little did they know one of the areas most wanted criminals... [+]
Dan was a gold medalist for the Netherlands alpine skiing team. He was the best on the team and made a great salary One day, when he went to the doctor for his yearly check-up, the doctor found... [+]
It was his boots that came into view first. Large, brown, well-worn leather ones. The little girl in the corner held her breath as they walked past. She didn’t want to be found. More shoes followed... [+]
“I won’t let it happen again,” the dog said with the kind of authority dog’s liked to project when they were faced with injustice. The cat was dubious.
“What exactly do you think you... [+]
Legend has it that the weary sun brings about the longest night, and at such a time the Radiant Bird shall rise to rejuvenate the sun, delivering a yearlong blessing. In a small town surrounded by a... [+]
There’s a long road, 9 miles to be exact, that leads down to Soro River. The water is always rushing to it’s basin, white caps gracing the surface like topping on a meringue pie. The water is... [+]
Serilda walks along the road, her white gown sweeping the ground as she makes her way toward the town center. The center is marked by a giant silver beast of a building, the agreed middle point... [+]
A growling noise roused her from her thoughts and she lowered her sword toward the threat. Due to the darkness, she hadn’t seen what it was immediately, but when her eyes finally made it out, fea... [+]
Gravity’s hands pushes against my body. Pinning me down on my bed. For the past two days, it’s been like this. The only time I’ve gotten up was to use the bathroom. Eating is on the bottom of my... [+]
Beneath me, the wind howled as it whipped tiny clumps of dirt up and over the side of the cliff. Even a few feet back from the tipping point, the air caught in my clothes, billowing them out like a... [+]
As my car shuddered to a stop, I reminded myself again that this was the worst idea I’ve ever had. Who asks their crush to prom a week before it happens? With a groan, I let my head fall back onto... [+]
All things at the molecular level are made of energy. Energy cannot be destroyed. In the end it merely changes form.
I open my eyes with anticipation. Good, I think to myself, I am still here... [+]
She listened while he spoke. His voice was like a fuzzy caterpillar and barely audible against the glow of the holiday lights, sparkling blue and green, white and gold. Tiny bulbs like fireflies in... [+]
Vrrrrrtttt...Katie jumped as her phone vibrated her out of her daydream. “Hello.” she said with a slow hesitation, hoping this was the call she had been waiting for all day.
“May I speak... [+]
I sit here in the dark wondering where I am. Another day of not even knowing what is going on right in front of me. I hear the footsteps-- heavy, loud. His hand grabs my arm, the whole thing fitting... [+]
The old woman comes around every day. Selling her beloved chuk-chanti in the Ugandan village. The spicy delight brought warmth in the poor souls at the market.
No one knew what age she was... [+]
Amanda’s heart was beating so hard it threatened to break the walls of her chest, but this paradoxical fact still remained: she was a dead woman.
She took one last look down at the words... [+]
All I noticed was a loud beeping sound. My eyes were blinded by the white light above me. Each passing minute made it clearer as to where I was. My eyes were sore, and I just started feeling my... [+]
Edmund smiled up at the sun as his hands rested gently on top of the box of old records. There were thirty one. Two of them double albums. He was twenty-three but dressed like a much older man... [+]
“We have a sub in Mrs. Abernathy’s class!”
My blood runs cold at the words, my PSP hanging limply in my hands. The Dissidia boss I had been so desperate to beat a second ago blasts my... [+]
“Millennials don’t seem to want to work very hard.”
I’d heard this statement more than a few times before I observed this gross generalization firsthand. As pigeonholing and... [+]
They had been at the beach all morning, the three of them baking slowly, going into the water at different intervals and for different lengths of time. Their positions on the beach were similarly... [+]
The salty ocean air whipped against her small body, shaking her. Rocks rolling against each other as the tide pulled pebbles back to the water filled the emptiness that managed to make her feel more... [+]
Kay stared in wonder at the sprawling castle that loomed larger and larger as the van bumped its way up the driveway. She had seen pictures of course—like the one on the front of the study abroad... [+]
“For a civilization built on accumulating knowledge, the people of Veritas know surprisingly little about courage.”
I turned, unsettled, but saw nothing unusual, just rows of bookshelves... [+]
I opened our medicine cabinet to check Mark’s diabetic supplies, his test strips and insulin needles, because he would always let them run out, and based on his recent behavior, I had a feeling that... [+]
The myth of the Giant is a scary one. many people claimed to have seen this Giant, but they all describe it differently.
It was a Giant with wings! Michelle exclaimed, and it grabbed me and... [+]
Lora Bookman was a young, ambitious , young lady that loved to see the
world. It actually became a sudden decision for her to move away from her
normal world to step into the unknown. It all... [+]
There once was a frog who did lived in the jungle. His name was Freddy. Freddy was a very special frog not like the others. Freddy loved to sing and dance but most of all he loved to jump. He was the... [+]
Once upon a time, in an ocean far, far away, there was a great sunken city called Atlantis. It was ruled by a pious king named Aquadeus. All of Atlantis’s citizens were kind-hearted and disliked... [+]
His sneakers sloshed across the wet concrete. It was not raining at the time, but the smells of salt and damp earth clung to the humid air. The sky was overcast and grey, threatening to drop the... [+]
His legs dangled off the cliff, swinging unrhythmically with one another. The trees rustled and whistled in a slightly out of tune with the grass. Every once while, there would be an additional, out... [+]
For me, it took all the courage my entire being could collect just to open my eyes.
“She continues to show increased activity,” I heard the doctor inform my parents as I drifted in the foreign... [+]
My brother always told me the story of the people of Israel and the brass serpent. They were sick; poisoned. The only thing they had to do to be healed was to look at the brass serpent that Moses had... [+]
We are eating, and then suddenly the table shook and threw all of our dishes to the floor. “Earthquake”! Papa yelled. Outside, the ground was shaking and people were running around, trying to... [+]
I woke up late in the morning. I even knew something was up since it was 9:16, and my mom typically forced me to go to school at 7:30. What had happened? Did we have the day off of school? Well... [+]
I was in my room one night, talking to an Internet famous man online. Jason Sanders. He was using a different account and thought no one would pick up on it being him. He used it for negative... [+]
The day when I got my first pet was the most extraordinary day in my life! I was expecting a nice looking pet to cuddle with, but, what I got was... well a whole different story!
It all started... [+]
Valarie pulled her robe tightly around her body as she shuffled slowly down the dark hallway. The only light that penetrated their second story window was the faint yellow glow from the drug store... [+]
The breeze swung me side to side as I listened to the world around me. The sound of the leaves brushing against one another, the billowing of the grass, and the calming voice of the wind. It... [+]
Everyone in Whistlewood Forest is getting ready for the annual fall talent show. Sabra is helping her older sister Elda and their two friends; twin sisters Mia and Pia practice their dance routine... [+]
The gentle clinks of silverware reverberated off the thick walls of the long dining room. Irene pondered yet again why her parents choose to utilize this particular large room for normal dinne... [+]
It's been 23 years since they buried Vix alive, hoping that would be enough to kill her. They were right. She felt like a corpse, rotting and worthless. So when she broke out, she only had one thing... [+]
Tearing my axe out of the mass of diseased, mutated flesh and bone before me, I take a step back, breath rattling in my throat. Maylana, my girlfriend, crouches down next to the fallen beast, poking... [+]
Her eyelids fluttered lazily over glassy eyes, seeking to cut short her last sacred moments. Harper dropped to his knees at Akali’s side, pulling her tentatively onto his lap. He hugged her close to... [+]
Mason was a simple character, a young boy with a loving mother and father. Mason so desperately wanted to be a knight, a guard or servant of the royal family. This would seem like a normal dream of... [+]
She peered into the room and flipped the switch on the outside of the door. She watched as light spilled onto the bare floors and white walls, but there was no light source. No bulb on the ceiling o... [+]
1. the ability to do something that frightens one.
2. strength in the face of pain or grief.
In my opinion, there should be a third.
3. the ability of a student... [+]
Before time and space, there was nothing, just darkness. Empty silence, a void baren of all things. It's quite simple really, God desired light, so He created the heavens and the earth. The heavens... [+]
The car screeches, nearly missing me. The driver stops to yell at me. That what I get for walking against the light. I almost leave my suitcase in the street. It’s hard to pull my bag, with my arm... [+]
Before she opened her eyes, she could feel the difference in the room. The Gray Lady was coming, her presence announced by a slight static in the air that sent a minute, tingling sensation down... [+]
3AM really wasn’t the best time to be finishing reports, yet here Lexie was, using the dim light of the old computer in front of her to guide her pen along the paper, the third cup of coffee that... [+]
Chapter 1: A Long Exposition rabble to a disappointing resolution
Gunshots, and sirens fill the less than lovely city of Smilva, Wisconsin sitting right on the edge of Lake Michigan. Just like... [+]
“What is courage? What does it mean to have courage? Thoughts everyone?” Vivian didn’t even look up as her teacher addressed the class. English was by far the most boring subject, and her worst... [+]
On nights like these, the apartment is quiet.
There isn’t a lot to say, after all. The missions always leave something behind: an imprint on their skin, calluses on their fingertips, a heavy... [+]
Emily rolled over and opened one eye hoping to sleep five more minutes before waking for school. The clock was dark, the house was dark and there was no smell of coffee coming from the kitchen. She... [+]
The day started like any other day and then suddenly it all changed. The garden master called the caterpillar over and proclaimed," You have been in this place and in this place long enough. You’ve... [+]
My nose wrinkles in disgust as the foul stench of indigestion fills the room. Zeke, my fifteen-year-old canine companion, is finally showing his age, and his death looms over my head like a persistent... [+]
Jerome looked down at his phone as he whispered the phrases “I am handsome. I am worthy. I am man enough. I am beautiful.” He closed his eyes and repeated them once more. As he took a deep breath... [+]
Eira the Scaros had been walking towards the Citadel, her place of work, staring straight ahead in order to avoid the stares of countless human slaves. One look at her alien maroon body and long... [+]
The sculptor was working when he died. There was dust under the his fingernails and sweat on his brow. Lines were carved in his face, though they were less delicate than the ones his skillful hands... [+]
“Funny thing isn’t? Courage, I mean.”
A man in a dark suit leans forward in a wooden chair. A single light bulb dangles from a cord above his head that casts a faint glow around the small... [+]
My family lived in the small village of Natchez, Louisiana, on Cane River. At the corner of Highway 1 and Main St, three white crosses sit next to the railroad track, marking the place where three... [+]
The constellations, seated on their heavenly thrones, liked nothing more than to watch the trivial lives humans lead. Every once in a while, a human would lead a particularly interesting life that... [+]
For years I contemplated how I would react when I found it and now that the cave rest before my eyes, fear swallowed me whole. It was a relatively cloudy night. The moons glow had been fighting with... [+]
I met Loic while attending our small boarding school tucked between the two hills of Mont-L’Eveque, where I was sent after the first bomb struck Boulogne. He would come to save my life and I would... [+]
I will assume for expediency’s sake that you know, or think you know, the story of “Sleeping Beauty,” or “Little Briar Rose.” Known by her parents as Rose and her friends... [+]
I set out on my first voyage in the summer of 1991, when I married my first love.
I wouldn’t consider myself an adventurous person, however the anticipation of my first voyage filled my soul... [+]
The pale golden hue might have been vibrant once, she couldn’t remember. Now it faded before her, replaced by the image of a man, a silhouette shimmering into focus. It was the same each time. The... [+]
The vampire queen left an hour before dawn to shop for groceries. She had a black cloak, a basket, and a little bat nestled inside the hood.
“We better hurry back,” the bat hissed.... [+]
The sirens are deafening.
Yet, I tune into the people screaming, the cars crashing into buildings and exploding into great balls of fire. The children cry as their parents rip them from their ca... [+]
Really, she thought, hospital dramas and teen novels should be more accurate. There was no “steady beep,” no hospital smell (or maybe there had been and she’d simply grown accustomed to it ove... [+]
“Com’on Goliath everybody says we’re good,” urged Lucy. Lucy scratched her ear in rapid motion with her rear left paw.
“I know and someday we’ll do a show,” quaked Goliath. The... [+]
There I was, staring up into the universe of bright magentas, yellows, reds, and this almost pearlescent white, which seemed to crawl across the sky. A fire kindled in my chest with each breath of... [+]
Her hands shook as she spoke.
Each word laced with uncertainty as it glided through her tight lips. The feeling of smooth indents against her hand from her fingernails that absentmindedly dug... [+]
Footstep clack hard against the marble road as I walk towards the golden-white gates. Swords and skeletons of men alike scattered the scenery with an eerie gloom.
And where many warriors had... [+]
Wesley paced back and forth in his kitchen while his wife, Diane, stood leaning against the counter. She stood, arms crossed, following him with her eyes. He scratched at his hair until he almost... [+]
Laying in that cell, I could almost feel my bones deteriorating. The cold, damp air added to the body shaking cough I had developed and the lack of sun had turned my golden skin snow white. I was... [+]
He found himself filled with a restless, crackling energy. A feeling of being bigger than himself grew from his shoulders to his toes, radiating with a fervent, burning passion. It was good though... [+]
I went downstairs and into the kitchen, my mom was making pancakes and today I leave for the great adventure and the best part is that I will be going to the Amazon River, alone! I sit down on the... [+]
The day Squiggle failed, I went to a hotel. For five days, I laid in bed. I didn’t sleep or bathe. I didn’t eat, but I drank. On the sixth day, I dragged myself to the shower, trying to scald... [+]
Corbin Green sighed, slipping his shoes off his feet as he entered his home. Another long school day was over, for which he was grateful. Tiredly, the teen dropped his backpack in the foyer and padded... [+]
Kyle was in a cramped cage that was hung deep within a cave. Cold droplets slid down her neck. Beetles scurried across her numb fingers that still limply clung to the cage bars. The acrid smell of... [+]
“I always thought it would be sex and not music,” was her answer when she finally made it to the couch.
“Sex is good, very good. But sex passes. Music lasts.
“All of a sudden... [+]
I pulled and yanked on the Animal Kingdom diaper bag trying to get the zipper to close. There was no doubt I overfilled it. How does one determine what to take for an overnight hospital stay... [+]
The wind blew in my face, bringing with it the smell of smoke and burning wood. I gagged at the smell... couldn’t stand it. I stood frozen in the road with thirty or so other people, screams let out... [+]
An oddly familiar noise stirs me from my thoughts on the couch. My attention is drawn to the front door. How do the dogs not hear this? I look to my snoozing pups on the couch next to me. They don’t... [+]
You’re a Star
Nine-year-old Star sat alone at the lunch table in the cafeteria of her new school as she picked at her cold lunch with a fork. She had no appetite. None of the other children... [+]
I am numb when I arrive in Tegucigalpa, traumatized after three weeks trapped in Olancho with no way of knowing if I would ever get out alive.
The city is surreal. We pass soldiers searching... [+]
They reminded me of prayer beads.
But I could tell from the look on her face that my daughter was not open to this idea at all.
I listened as the nurse continued, "Every time you get... [+]
A blizzard is nothing out of the ordinary for a city like ours. I should be used to it by now, but I can almost feel the bitter, cold air forming ice crystals in my lungs. With every breath, it is... [+]
I saw the gun in his pocket as we sat down on the couch.
“Here, let me take that,” I said as I gently took it from him.
I held the gun awkwardly in my hands. Now, what am I going... [+]
Hi! I’m Bryleigh and looking back now from the vaunted perch of my 21st birthday I know I grew-up fast, basically in a day. Fourteen years ago, on my 7th birthday, or what passed for it anyway, my... [+]
The wind and rain pummeled him from all sides like a pack of street punks eager to humble an old man, but the world-weary veteran was undaunted by the blinding storm. Reaching through the gale, his... [+]
“We are gathered for the official nomination of Mr. George Counts...” a male voice booms over the intercom of the wooden interior of Regency Courtroom. Over 100 people gathered to view the... [+]
Harley woke up feeling like a bus had run over him. Weak, and a bit nauseous, and most definitely like he wanted to pass out.
Which wasn’t at all unusual considering his anxiety disorde... [+]
She has a studio apartment, he has a rented room. Both are transient and lonely but she finds feels stable in how they can be a little less lonely together.
She’s planned this moment and she... [+]
I busied myself with the last of my lunch biting into a dark purple plum then sucking the juiciness, so it wouldn’t land on my yellow tank top. But as always, it did. The water sparkled with... [+]
My mother would tell me that each freckle around my nose resembled spots where whiskers would grow and that my wild red-orange hair reminded her of a lion’s mane. She also made sure to tell me to... [+]
I followed Nora through the forest. It was dark in the early morning hours, there was fog setting on the forest floor. The ground crunched beneath our feet as we headed through the dense maze of... [+]
“Wake up! Please!”
That was my voice, broken and filled with sobs; I couldn’t believe it, nor could I stop it. I shook him hard, watching incredulously as his head flopped around limply. I... [+]
Apathy was a woman who didn’t feel anything. Apathy didn’t feel any emotion, making it hard for her to feel things, even the most simple things like eating brought her sadness. The things that... [+]
Ben fell in his desk chair, his head in his shaky hands; they were only steadied by weak knees. NO! he begged, pushing a fist to his eyes. Not again! But nothing could stay this horrible plague of... [+]
The space around the park was packed with screaming teens. They were so close together, Cam could barely push his way through. Of course, that kind of treatment was the norm for any building Julian... [+]
I began life as an acorn seed dropped into the soil and trampled on by squirrels, their ancestors now climb my branches, build nests and teach their young how to forge my fruits. They must be aware... [+]
My brother, Glen, was born six years after my birth. When asked by my mother, “Do you like him?” I stated a resounding, “No!” “I wanted a girl.” I held my position as the baby for six... [+]
Loose teeth ached in Andie’s swollen jaw. Shapes drifted around her as she put together where she was. Something dug under her shoulder. Andie rolled to the side off a broken plate, its forme... [+]
Long before I reached the pass I knew something wasn’t right.
I had already logged ten miles since leaving the trailhead at noon. First up, then down, then up again. And again. And again... [+]
Fireworks are an American tradition. We use them to commemorate our independence, New Years, and extravagant events. Most people love the beautiful array of colors - the oranges, purples and red... [+]
Cross-legged on the couch, almost room temperature coffee sitting on the table next to her, Lynette lifts her pen off the paper to look down at her words. Though not expecting genius, perhaps they’d... [+]
My foot gently tapped the ground as I waited in the plastic office chair. The surveys, the paperwork, my fears all given to the receptionist behind the glass window. My finger lightly pressed down on... [+]
“Ruby, shh. Shh!” I hurriedly put a finger to my sister’s quivering lips.
“But it’s not mom,” she whines a little too loudly.
I force my palm against her mouth, sweat causing it to... [+]
Beep beep beep. The sound of the alarm filled the house with its constant noise. It was five in the morning and time for work. Awoken, I had gotten up to do my mourning routine. It consisted of waking... [+]
Ella sat on the edge of her bed, beads of perspiration building on her forehead. The dreams were back. For so long she had kept them hidden, buried under stress and layers of alcohol she regularly... [+]
Olivia lives in the small town of Cornfield. She was born with Cerebral Palsy, which is a brain injury that occurs while the child's brain is developing before birth, immediately after birth, o... [+]
Courage was the one thing she failed to recognize inside of her. She was never supposed to have been born; she was the “accident” baby. From the time she took her first breath she would come to... [+]
There’s an old adage that says, “If you’re not at the table then you are on the menu.” Geneticist Dr. Ted Jacobs repeats this to himself several times a day as he works tirelessly to perfect... [+]
Fear had paralyzed her from a very early age. Although she didn’t know the name of it. She had learned to recognize its appearance creeping up from her toes gluing her feet in one spot, it reached... [+]
He walked away from the casket, his heart heavy and his spirit weary. Did he do the right thing?
“She is happy now.” Someone said to him last night at the viewing.
Yes, he thought... [+]
“Cover for me,” Sophia hissed. “Or else.”
Zipping her backpack, she threw one strap over her shoulder. Sophia looked at me in that unquestioning way of hers, confident that I’d do... [+]
It’s not death that I’m afraid of, really. It’s the unknown. What lies beyond once life leaves these sacks of meat that we live in? But if I must choose between the unknown and the sacrifice... [+]
Jason reached behind himself to pat the stapled-on tail. It was still there. He swung it around a couple of times, reveling in the quiet swoosh. He watched Kimberly high-five Stephen, whose silve... [+]
She stood silently in front of the door. The grip on her books tightened as she took another breath. Only the door in front of her was blocking her from her destiny. Her hand froze at the touch of the... [+]
Sophia had always been rather quiet. It wasn't that she didn't like talking or that she didn't have anything to say, but in her house, if you wanted to be heard, your voice had to be the loudest... [+]
When her coworkers label Erna Holmes the best in the field, they’re not exaggerating. She is the embodiment of journalism—fair, keen on details, gives a voice to the silenced. She pursues the... [+]
Llanzo Khori lived in poverty in the streets of Red Ground, Jamaica. People knew him as Dart, because of his speed, and another talent not many others had. He was commonly found in the bars on the... [+]
Katherine makes salmon for Thanksgiving.
She doesn’t make a show of it – just a baking pan of salmon plunked down on the table with a duck-patterned potholder, a steamed bag of spinach and... [+]
Three sisters were having a conversation about relationships and marriage. “I will be walking down the aisle in two years,” exclaimed Ann. Her sisters laughingly asked her, “Oh, yeah? “Who... [+]
My body crashes into the trunk of a tree, the deep strips of bark digging into my back. I nearly cry out, but slap a hand over my mouth. I can’t make a sound. If I do, she will hear me. And then... [+]
With one hand Eve scrolled through her phone and with the other she stroked her son’s chest through an opening in the incubator. The ventilator cycled a steady rhythm and his tiny ribs expanded as... [+]
The bus slowed down as it approached the small Oklahoman town, passing the highway sign indicating-Confederate Museum Left Exit and continued passed a railcar frozen in time. A marker made of local... [+]
I grip the railing under my hands more tightly. It is slick so the action does not make me feel more secure in my position so close to the sea, moving further from land with every sharp intake of... [+]
Courage is defined as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. I never knew what that meant before I came to prison. I grew up in a loving... [+]
I don’t know which is harder – not knowing when your mother is going to die, or being entirely aware of the exact moment her last breath will leave her body.
“Anna,” she said, with... [+]
The sun crept over the horizon, allowing the mountains and the many foot hills to cast long shadows upon the nearby forest. The sun had a vibrant, golden hue and the morning skies were bright blue... [+]
I lay in my bed staring at nothingness as waves of anxiety crashed on the shore that is my brain. I wanted to move. I knew if I could just sit up this feeling would go away,
this void in my... [+]
"Don't be afraid of it, Son. You have to step into it, make hard, persuasive contact. Let it know you are in charge!"
"But dad, it's thinking the same thing! I'm not really ready for this."... [+]
Your life can change in an instant. Everything can be perfect. You have no reason to fear, no reason to call upon courage, and then everything changes. Everything you’ve ever feared comes rushing to... [+]
Red mountains ring beneath the eternal blue sky. The echo of galloping hoofbeats drifts among them. The lonesome throatsong I hum is their only companion. The solitary sun hangs like a baubled incense... [+]
Makalia pressed her lips and forced a smile until she could no longer hold it in.
“Ah, what an ominous sound! Why is that damned rooster clucking at this hour of the night?”
“It seems... [+]
We were made to be courageous we were not designed to fear! Crying tears of sorrow or feeling like we’re out of gear, their once was a girl who never knew her way though she was brave she’d neve... [+]
I’m waiting at the stoplight. It’s windy and cold and I can’t stop thinking about everything that’s happened. The erratic beat of my fingers tapping onto the steering wheel breaks the... [+]
The America’s, 1778
The wind blew fierce, foreshadowing an angry storm which cradled the dark horizon. With each whistling blow my hair flapped in the air and the smell of a violent ocean... [+]
Soft, salted summer winds rolled off the shore, swaying the green dune grass. The colors of the setting sun bled through the sky, creating a vast canvas of purple, pink, and white. They held hands as... [+]
“Mama?” Adelita stood uncertainly in the doorway, watching her mother rush around the house gathering up things and throwing them into a worn floral print bag.
Mama glanced up, not pausing in... [+]
Moments ago, I tucked you into your crib upstairs. I had a good cry on my way back down the stairs. During my soggy musings, my thoughts stopped on the subject of promises. It seems... [+]
The Night Squad didn't exist. They didn't consist of creatures out of myth, including Canadian werewolves, a vampire on loan from the French resistance, and an American mage and his Familiar who... [+]
It was the sixth time Max had fallen asleep at school, but only the third time he’d been caught. He sat in the principal’s office with his face covered in sharpie. This time they’d only given... [+]
Multiple times. I’ve run away from Death multiple times. Too often.
Chills run along my spine whenever it senses his presence. He’s infatuated with me. And I, too, with him.
My moaning of low, monotone sounds - so deep they would be terrifying if the situation was different, echo throughout the hall. Pausing at the bottom of a flight of stairs, rubbing my pregnant belly... [+]
It started with a face. A face that fastened itself to my every thought. It was so magnetic; so very bright and expressive. A smile that demanded my focus because it seemed constant. The eyes were... [+]
I remember it was sometime around last fall when all this happened. The whole shebang with the secrets and things, I mean. It was one day in particular, cold for late October, when I could see myself... [+]
The people are everywhere. I couldn’t understand a word of this lingo everyone seemed to speak. The giant whiteboard on the wall says my name is Alex. Alex Green. 18 years old. Says my days are 15... [+]
“We’re gonna be late for class if you don’t hurry up, Leah.”
“Oh relax, Gina”, Leah said as she opened her locker, “ It’s senior year, we can afford a few tardy slips... [+]
The rays of the blazing sun beat against Avien's sweaty skin. His clothes clingy to his body, covered in dirt and tattered. Avien sits underneath an abandoned wagon, too tired to think. He roughly... [+]
In the middle of an ending world, on the edge of a burning town, in the corner of a creaking house, the small frame of Lucy Manning sat curled up. She was in such a deep sleep, snores echoing from the... [+]
When she left him, it wasn’t a moment too soon. She had stayed for far too long but couldn’t imagine her life any other way. She felt stuck. Stuck where she lived. Stuck in this situation. Stuck... [+]
I was taking one of my favorite strolls along the river, when I heard a little girl scream up ahead. Two or three people were beating and kicking somebody on the ground. I heard someone threaten the... [+]
Vada felt the first drops of rain hit her on the top of her head. It reminded her that she had left her straw hat down by the creek. She had thought about it earlier, when she saw the clouds... [+]
Courage isn't always the things we do; sometimes, it's the things we don't.
It wasn't an extempore decision. Perhaps, if it had been, the incident wouldn't haunt him as much as it does. He can... [+]
Old woman dreaming -
Things always come to hush you,
but dance anyway.
You are having the dream again. It is the one you have been dreaming your whole life - that dream you long to hold... [+]
She’d never admit it to her, but Amira was starting to see why her mother had been against her moving out.
The apartment was low rent, had a laundry room, and covered utilities, and at first... [+]
“I don’t know,” she said, twisting the pendant on her necklace.
“Alright,” he said. “What about this one?”
“I don’t know,” she repeated.
He leaned on the desk... [+]
Butch Armstrong was well past the prime of any ordinary man. Especially by the hyper-speed measuring stick of a professional football quarterback. But Butch was no ordinary man.
His pigskin... [+]
It was here. The day she had dreaded for the last six months. Today an era would end, and she was not ready. She was not ready for the certain loneliness that would follow such a devastating... [+]
After Hurricane Christine struck northern Florida Noland Murphy and his family were left devastated with no place to call home, no food to feel their believes and no one tot turn to for any help... [+]
She was young and quietly attractive in her soft, pink, polyester dress. She stood alone looking down into the casket at the old man. He was neatly dressed in the new shirt she had bought for him... [+]
It was his prying eyes of hope; it was his smile so you could see his crooked teeth; it was his talent to make me feel better than how my head was feeling: it was he who taught me how to love. He... [+]
“You have some real courage little missy,” my father said right before he walked out of my life forever.
That day I couldn’t find the words tell him I was sorry, to tell him what I had... [+]
The spell was broken. Now all that was left to do was find the strength to get himself out of this mess but Niklaus Alistair was digging his own grave. Literally.
There was a devil, rathe... [+]
You are dead already. Do not let this fact scare you. Embrace it.
Soon, summer will sweep you away, and you will be at the mercy of the wind. You will float along highways, maybe across a car o... [+]
The café has a hard bite to the air instead of the soft, rich scent it should—burnt espresso, sweat, and hopelessness. And you’re already there, relaxed, perched at a high top.... [+]
When I close my eyes and lay down in bed, all I can hear is the sound of tires screeching, and I can feel the impact of the car. I shoot up from my bed panting and sweating. My mom rushes into my... [+]
It was August 6, 1945, when we first decided to use the nukes, but after that every country produced them. Sixty years before the bombs fell in 2258, Spain nuked two countries, England and France, so... [+]
Courage, that word means a lot for some people. Courage can be different for different type of people. I believe courage is what you make it, it’s not always good in someone people’s eyes. Now... [+]
“Are you sure you’re not scared?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” Lies. I can feel my heartbeat pulsing through my shaky hands.
A playful breeze flirts its way through the sky, darting this way... [+]
The foyer of the stately Pennsylvania mansion has twelve-foot ceilings and a blistering chandelier that glares down at her like a vulture circling its prey. The heavy stench of disinfectant assaults... [+]
Rain falls outside of my window. I sit at my desk, absentmindedly drawing a palm tree. The weatherman says that it's going to be a long one.
“Buckle up folks, this storm is going to be a little... [+]
It was the coldest morning of October and the walk from my brother’s car to the school doors almost gave me frostbite. For the first time ever, I was happy to be in school. The heating here was much... [+]
Ever since I was six, I’ve known that I am different. My whole town is made of the same people with different faces. They all went to school here, went to a local collage, fell in love with someone... [+]
I still have the scar. It's about three inches long, a quarter of an inch wide. Under the thin veneer of the translucent epidermis, the dirt-engrained flesh is visible underneath. I touch it with my... [+]
I was twelve and eyeing the first girl I ever loved from the sway of a schoolyard swing set. She was a the girl that wore dresses and looked good in them, never letting them hold her back from playing... [+]
Her magical world showed her biggest fears, how she was being consumed by her own mind.
She saw a Dream, a Princess and a monster that were herself, all of them, part of her that she couldn’t... [+]
With his heartbeat hammering in his ears, Mariano looked up at the gray sky slowly being tinged pink by the the first hints of sunlight. Any other day, the rising sun would have brought a smile to... [+]
Tears burned in Luna’s eyes as her mom said goodnight. Leaves rustled outside the great window and hardly any light leaked in from the crescent moon.
“You can do it, Luna,” her mothe... [+]
Joseph mused in his mortification. How does one go about gracefully stumbling, face first, in front of a clandestine crush? No high school textbook prepared Joseph to answer such a question... [+]
Picture a biracial girl starting high school; little freshman, a hair taller than five foot, just turned fifteen, and terrified of what might happen in the days to follow. Now imagine that girl was... [+]
Vlastanian imperialism came to an end due to hubris at its finest. For years, they warred against all that was not human, and all that didn't adopt their ways. Their ideal world placed the sons of... [+]
The pool of protestors that I have grown up knowing to embody the legs crossed, head bowed, quiet and collected, harmonious congregation has mutilated into a ravenous mob that knows no limitations... [+]
Last night was arguably one of the best and worst times of my entire life. It all started once I woke up. I’ve always been used to getting up in the middle of the night for things like snacks and... [+]
I see him. He is across the classroom, always smiling, never dull. One glance my way and my throat constricts, almost choking. I can’t face him. There is a beam of heavenly light wherever he goes... [+]
They will be coming in an hour of so...I lie here in bed...will I be able to walk again? I’m scared. A stroke...a massive stroke they called it... and here I am...73 years old and waiting to see... [+]
“We’ve learned to be afraid, learned to cower in the darkness, we’ve been told that we’re worthless, that we belong in the shadows where we were born and raised. But who said that we should... [+]
Dot was a lady bug, but the thing about Dot is he had no spots and everyday Dot could expect to be bullied. Not only was he bullied but also his best friend Wendy the butterfly. The problem was Wendy... [+]
Small gasps of breaths echo through the silent room, then a loud high pitched screaming can be heard along with the sighs of relief from the doctors. A hand quickly unbuttoned my shirt and the small... [+]
"Where there is a will, there's a way." My grandmother said those words to me the day I decided to jump on a plane to the new world. This is my will and this is the way to finally bringing my dreams... [+]
It was another late night at work. I wanted to just leave and spend time with Nate, my son, but I needed all the work hours I could get. The pay wasn’t good either, but in this economy, it was all... [+]
Seven hundred years ago the land of Kutuphane was ravaged by a massive war. A war that left the mountains just outside the capital of Bilgi destroyed and lifeless after a catastrophe known only as The... [+]
I can feel my heart beating in my feet, my breathing is so intense that black clouds are beginning to consume my vision. I take a step forward as the line condenses. I look ahead of me and see only... [+]
As Master Onimoto pulls his unconscious student up 2000 meters from under the sea he is sure his student will never live up to the legacy of her Elite Warrior mother and grandmother. Though he is... [+]
Where could the fleeing woman have gone? The men wield their flashlights, powerful beams of light that slice through the darkness. They rip into the undergrowth, searching. This is what they... [+]
I know when my husband goes to work bartending each evening, there's a chance he will not come home after work.
He is a charming and funny guy - which makes for a great bartender. He can talk... [+]
I turned in church to get a look at the woman behind me. She was a year or two above my twenty two years. She was pretty in her soft yellow dress but plain. The churches rule was no make-up and no... [+]
Frank knew the horrors of war. He saw the flashing lights, cascading over the summer sky and thought of only sheer terror and mass panic. A sophisticated novelist might call this event... [+]
The bravest people that we think of in our early lives are our parents. They help you with everything you need, and they protect you when things are bad. But, eventually, you need to replace them in... [+]
She stood at the edge of a city devoured by the night and conquered by the stars. The moon hung precariously, held captive in the sky by the thousands of thin, glimmering threads crafted from the... [+]
“Benedict! Off the field!” Coach says, finally fed up. I yank my helmet off, and rush to the side lines where my other teammates are. Calls come from them from worry.
“Nate, you doing... [+]
In 1977, I was elected “Class Sergeant” by fellow cadets for graduation ceremonies at the Southern California Police Academy. This was the first time a woman cadet would be calling cadence and... [+]
The grass was once a feathery green ocean, rippling waves back and forth in the humid summer breeze. I loved this wind, with the air so thick it turned your lungs into a comforting, energizing... [+]
There was a change in the classroom that morning. Something made the room unfamiliar. As the children filed in and slid onto the seats of their desks, they saw the reason. A new boy was standing with... [+]
There was nothing going to stop her. She’d known about the club for a while and had been wanting to join for so long. Today, she was going to do it. Walk in, sit down, and challenge the boys.... [+]
I don’t have history with God.
He wasn’t someone I had funny stories with from when we were kids, He wasn’t someone I could reference in a best man speech, and He wasn’t someone I... [+]
Jacobson pressed the pistol into the palm of her hand and wrapped her fingers around it, making his intentions clear. Ashley clenched the pistol in her fingers, mindful of the trigger and looked up... [+]
His name was Roman and he was a knight. He wanted to find a cure for the princess, who had a rare illness. So he decided to search the world for one. The kingdom relied on him and didn't know if he... [+]
Kyle couldn’t say why he walked into the Anglican church down the street.
It was a Sunday afternoon, the last weekend before he left Seattle for his senior year of college in California, and... [+]
The family had one ritual that was somewhat normal. On the days that the step dad was off work they would all pile into the jeep and go exploring into the mountains. These trips were second on the... [+]
I had just gotten home from work and was walking down the hallway of my apartment complex. As I approached my door I saw a pair of keys dangling from the lock. ‘Hmmm that’s strange.’ The doo... [+]
There were exactly five clocks in the room where I couldn’t talk.
Three of them were placed on the numerous walls and around corners where I couldn’t see, but the last two were on the... [+]
The lie that I was telling in those days was that I wasn’t afraid. I channeled my nervous energy into trying to convince my instructors that skydiving evoked no fear in me. I sold it well –... [+]
He was a soldier. He was confused and tired and homesick, or maybe lovesick, or maybe a cruel combination of the two. He made his way through the jungle, stumbling on the shards of broken sunlight... [+]
Five foot two, eyes of blue, echoed in Tanya’s mind every time she thought of her mom dancing around the living room and singing. Gramma Judy, as the grandkids called her, had been blind for several... [+]
A terrifying, deafening bellow filled the room.
Old gray trash cans had been overturned in the cramped locker room, and seniors on the football team were banging loudly on them with their cleats... [+]
At the time it didn’t feel like courage, it felt like dark hell. Every step was hell. Hell, hell, hell. Only a couple months later did a friend tell her the Winston Churchill quotation: “If... [+]
“It is my great honor and privilege to introduce to you, Sgt. Rick Madden. Purple heart recipient, war hero, and an inspiration to all our great men and women in the service. I will now turn the... [+]
Jeremy, Jane, Tyler, Axel, and Rachel were sitting in last hour at Ridgefield Middle School. They were staring at the clock, waiting for the bell to ring. The group of friends has been planning this... [+]
Jamie finally shut her eyes after a long day of appointments and surgery. She was beginning to regret becoming a surgeon after not being able to save Tommy, the little boy with a brain tumor. As she... [+]
“What do you mean you’re afraid, Roberta? Just fill it out. The paper and ink are free, so get busy,” the young teacher, Miss Smythe, said handing the college application back to the nervous... [+]
What is courage? What is a courageous act? It is said that the brave and cowardly person are both fearful. However, it is the brave one who faces his fear and does what needs to be done. We will be... [+]
Coagulate clouds hung in a thick haze over my eyes, floating lazily like a dense morning fog that follows a night of thunder. I forced myself to stand. Clothes were thrown shabbily about and... [+]
The fire crackles, pops, and spits as I add another piece of oak wood. My hair smells of the fire as I wrap my wool blanket around me just a little tighter. My soul grows comfortable, drinking my... [+]
Everything still felt like one big dream. I needed to see and believe everything that was going on. I needed proof. I pulled my hands from underneath the covers. My smiley face ring was suddenly in my... [+]
When we came into these world we are born to have rights and be free. That's not how these world is turning out to be. There is a story about a 12 year old that had enough of it and had courage to... [+]
We’re finally here, we’re finally here! I have no idea where it is, but I love it already. Blades of grass tickle my feet as I run across the field, my head up and legs pumping. I cross a dirt... [+]
“This is it-the final one”!
They took over our town a long time ago, but now they’ll be gone for good. This is the first demon I have to kill and it will be my last. My siste... [+]
Once upon time, a young girl by the name of Cindy was spoiled by her parents. She had everything she wanted except love from her brothers. Her two brothers were a few years older than he, but it... [+]
Amelia sat on the beach. Yes, it was the middle of the winter, and yes, she was freezing, but nothing would get in her way.
Everything was silent except for the crashing of the waves. The smell... [+]
I met Tim in class at an improvisational acting retreat. He was a stocky guy, with a rubber-mask face that could only be described as Howdy Doody-like and Bassett Hound eyes that made him look sad... [+]
A zephyr. People moving to and fro. Buying and trading. An ordinary day in the market place. Her muse continued to walk alongside. A gasp. On the right across the street. Signage behind the crowd... [+]
Ann didn’t realize she had forgotten her jacket until she arrived at the train station.
Westford was a sleepy town, so it didn’t make much sense for its station to be more than a single... [+]
My muscles ached and I wondered if they were bulging through my spandex pants from the strain of hiking the long trail up to the lake. I pushed myself to keep moving forward; I hoped that as my legs... [+]
It was a normal sunny day in Greenville; Gray was walking to school wearing his dirty white high converse like he always does. As per usual he stalled at the Donut Shop and bought himself a chocolate... [+]
Before I explain why I despise you so, it's important for you to know, it's personal. Your very essence drives me livid, and so my preference is to get as far away from you as possible. Better yet, to... [+]
Emily sat in her chair with her feet pulled up and hanging over the front edge. Her shoelaces were untied, but she didn’t have time to worry over that unimportant detail. Emily was worrying about... [+]
The monster’s eyes were wide open, in uncontrollable fright. He had been trying to fall asleep for two hours, but the dark switch was off. All the monster could see in the blinding brightness of... [+]
Katherine spent many years depressed and feeling lost.
She cried many tears and lost much time wasted in life.
Katherine had a friend that she looked up to for she was brave.
She took life... [+]
My daughter and I watched the wedding planner.
A moment earlier, a few seconds before we were to enter the chamber where the ceremony was to take place, a fire alarm went off and a recorded... [+]
Dawn wasn’t sure where she was going or why she had left her friend’s party in such a rush, but instinct told her to keep driving. A familiar exit came along on her right and without thinking, she... [+]
It was 8 a.m. on an early St. Petersburg, Florida, morning. I always liked to get an early start on Saturdays. I grabbed my deck of Bicycle playing cards and a Beatles 8-track tape, “Sgt... [+]
The room was hot and stuffy, and oddly smelled like pepperoni. Sidney subtly sniffed her armpit to make sure- yep, it was definitely the room. The room was also smaller than she expected, which... [+]
“Paolo, it’s time to get up.” My mother places her hand on my shoulder and wakes me up with a gentle shake. Her slender frame hovers over me like the lingering branches of a willow caressing the... [+]
June 26th 2015 8:32 PM
I open my eyes to complete darkness. My heart is racing, blood pumping, with sweat rolling down my skin. The pressure is undeniable. I can’t breathe. I can’t speak. There... [+]
My mind is racing. I hear every noise, yet I hear nothing. I can’t believe it has gotten to this point. I have so many questions for myself. Mostly angry questions. I don’t like this feeling. I... [+]
On the corner of Plum Avenue, there stands a house. Some call it big, some call it small, but no one is exactly sure what size it’s supposed to be. From the left, the newer coats of paint reveal a... [+]
The sun leaks through the cracked window, making it nearly impossible for me to peer outside this small car.
I close my eyes, desperately trying to forget the horror of the past year. Images of... [+]
It was just any usual day at Garden City, Kansas. When the clock hit three P.M., three friends headed home on their school bus numbered thirteen. Nothing seem out of the ordinary but something was... [+]
“Aimee,” called Mrs. Branson, “start serving dinner. The king is bringing his new bride.”
Aimee walked in from the setting up the dining room.
“Alright,” Aimee replied.
Waiting at a lover’s door for courage to alight, who would think to call me a coward? For me, it’s wisdom that keeps me at bay, a nature well-versed in courtship and circumstance. In my case I... [+]
Houses have an ability to take on lives of their own, to becomes homes and to mirror the inhabitants within. Growing up, it was said that my house was haunted and none of my friends dared to spend the... [+]
I can still back out. No one has a gun to my head. I can tell them I won't be doing it, and just walk out.
Can I really do this?
"There are a lot of things that sound like they... [+]
“Mom? Dad?” I yell.
“What, Jade?” my mom calls from downstairs.
“I need to talk to you about something!” I shout.
“Come down here, I can’t hear you!”
Here and now. Under the sun. I never would have thought that this – this would be my endgame. Somewhere there must be, somewhere I must have, the resolution to see it through to the last move... [+]
The moon was nice thought Ernest. Tomorrow it would be his job to kill that man and his family. That would not be nice, that would be anything but nice. But that was tomorrow. Right now, the moon, the... [+]
Now, what was that word?
This happens daily now. I am writing something or speaking to my husband and what I want to say goes out of my head, or I can't come up with the right word. Right now I... [+]
Thursday, January 25
College applications are due next week. Mr. Haven said my personal growth essay would be excellent for them. I told him I didn’t think college... [+]
Jamie sat staring out the window of her third-grade classroom. Her class had just finished lunch. Recess was next; the most anticipated time of day, every child’s favorite subject. Every child... [+]
The sun was finally beginning to descend in the sky. The eastern horizon darkened to a deep saturated blue that promised a cloudless night. Though the moon was waning, still there was sufficient light... [+]
He knew how to leave prints behind him. Wherever he went by, he left a piece of art. Or at least, that was the way he called them...
Dozens of empty milk cartons, crashed cars, bed pans, old shoes... [+]
Bono Malum Superate: 1
The screaming and clashing of weapons echoed throughout the house. Just stay under the bed. Stay under the bed and you’re golden. It kept getting worse and worse until it... [+]
I looked up from my copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe because I heard a series of taps on my window. I rose from my bed and walked across the room to the window, where I peeked out of my... [+]
As the doors to the old keep were strained opened a thick dust fell. Rays of light shone through the cracked stained glass windows and casted harsh shadows into the dank interior. Snow came in at... [+]
Everybody has something. It’s not a physical thing you’ve received like the shirt you bought last week or the groceries you had to get for yourself. You never know how or when you got it. You... [+]
I could feel the fire in my eyes, my anger as sharp as the branches scraping my bare arms and legs as I flew through the Forest of Kala. I landed, panting slightly, on a charred branch, my wings... [+]
Vanessa arrived home just after 8 o'clock. Delays on the MTA again. Switching problems or trash fires or both. They never explained and Vanessa never asked. She had enough of her own problems.... [+]
The black banker pony would canter down the beach with Betsy hanging onto her mane while the mare's long black tail floated in the breeze behind them like a pirate flag. Truth be told, some folks on... [+]
“When someone’s heart breaks so does a piece of our world; this creates fissures, valleys, and even cracks in the pavement. Tell me the story behind the Grand Canyon”
It is common... [+]
Joseph was always the life of the party since he was growing up and everyone loved him. Whenever you had a conversation with him he always listened and gave his genuine opinion, while never judging... [+]
Darla heard the knock on the front door all the way back in her bedroom with her door shut. This house wasn’t built for privacy.
That would be Mr. and Mrs. Harvey from across the street... [+]
Deep within the mysteries of the human mind lies the magical land of Cyntheisia, a land with passionate forests, tempting oceans, and soul chilling mountains. Countless unique creatures call this land... [+]
Rumination: n. a deep or considered thought about something.
I must look so pathetic sitting on my bed, crying, thinking about how horrible my life is. It’s terribly ignorant of me to feel so... [+]
The bed always feels colder without him. We were inseparable. I was his Bonnie. He was my Clyde. It was like that until the day he died. To make matters worse, I had a heart attack when I heard the... [+]
She stood looking at his face under the unforgiving lights in his hospital room. His hair was startlingly white against his browned skin. The stroke they said. His face was the same, maybe a little... [+]
It was always cold weather that put me in these determined moods. A mixture of dry air and sore muscles put my mind’s thoughts on the edge between barren and overflowing. Days like these- the ones... [+]
Her blazer kept getting wrinkled.
Before they had arrived, Aniya realized it was buttoned improperly, but upon fixing it, the wrinkles wouldn’t leave. If she went up there with uneven buttons... [+]
Rowan’s breath came out in short, frosty clouds, similar to the ones above him. Attached to his hand was Annabelle, her long hair flying in the cold wind.
It was almost a miracle, seeing the... [+]
Delicate white feathers arranged in an overlapping manner which stretched three feet in length. Soft as down plucked from a duckling, these feathers have felt the hands of but one. Yet they managed... [+]
Tomorrow is the day that Betsy starts kindergarten. Betsy was usually very brave, she wasn’t afraid of the potty, or broccoli. She wasn’t scared of spiders or the dark. She never cried when she... [+]
“You gotta stop doing this, kid.” Ben said as he rolled down the window.
I got in, buckled up, and pulled down the mirror. A couple pieces of paper fell down from the mirror. They were all... [+]
One evening in May of 2017, a dog named Mollie gave birth to an exceptional litter of 8 puppies. The litter was exceptional because they were of all different markings and colors. Each had their own... [+]
Sonia was the oldest child of 13 children born to Aiden and Sophia. Aiden worked in the mines for very little pay, while Sophia stayed home.
One day an unusual man came to the village with... [+]
I sit silently missing the radiation waiting room where everyone welcomed each other and openly discussed treatments and failures. I learned more about my therapy with the scorched team of pugilists... [+]
The sunlight streamed through the blinds as the alarm clock screamed in his ears. He reached out and fumbled to find the clock, slapping at the buttons until, finally silence. He laid back on his... [+]
William was a stout, stubby little man hiding in the corner of his own bed. A large pillow separated him and his wife, Ann, like a barrier. I watched him as he rubbed the barrel of a polished... [+]
A pale and white moon set on a dark, wide, and starry night. All the times I have stared at the same sky with the same stars back at home it will never compare to this. The sky, so infinite, makes you... [+]
I could hear humming and some familiar voice, but I just couldn’t put it together.
“Derek!” My father. He was calling for me.
“Finally, I have your attention... [+]
I am afraid. I am positively made of fear. This shouldn’t be frightening, and yet here I am. Adrenaline is coursing through my veins, my blood more coffee and panic than iron and plasma. I am so... [+]
Winifred Oaks realized the pain was escalating with no end in sight. Looking out the window she couldn’t help but to let one tear slide down her hot cheek. I will not cry, I will not cry, she... [+]
A fly swatter started Connor’s bad dreams, and it took the Roman Empire to get rid of them. Connor discovered the fly swatter in the kitchen cupboard and couldn’t put it down – he smacked... [+]
She was born in the morning as the sun rose over the hills, the air was crisp and full of promise. Her mother held her tiny newborn hand and took a breath full of exhausted relief as she watched he... [+]
I hold it there in my palm, grasping it hard enough to leave an indent in my skin. Your pen. It’s red cap next to my green. It wasn’t anything of worth; just a basic utensil. But to me, it’s the... [+]
My pulse picked up as I looked at Alexander, down on one knee before me. We’d been dating for two years, but I’d never expected this. Not here and not now. “Alexander, no. I’m so sorry. I’m... [+]
I tightened and untightened the straps on my pack as I stared into the entrance to the caverns. I had always taken it for granted, but today it seemed menacing, like a bottomless black pit that no... [+]
It’s a common myth that Thomas Crapper designed the first flush toilet, but that’s not the real story. A gentleman named Sir John Harrington actually designed one all the way back in the late... [+]
"No." Alec stood five feet away and still couldn't stop the scaredy-cat shiver that began with a scrunched up nose. "It says ‘sewer’."
"It's a doorknob."
"That's not better!" He was... [+]
Dear Father never once did complain about his time in Korea. His medals hung over the fireplace was his pride and joy.
We watched war movies together and he sat, watched the old movies with a... [+]
My eyes were glued to the screen, fix on the new fashion trends today. I was always looking at the newer stuff because that’s what everyone else was wearing, even if it wasn’t my taste. Like the... [+]
It is amazing how an email can make you reconsider your life. Before you read it you have the perfect life and family. One that others envy, even off of Facebook. Then a few characters later and... [+]
She tells me I can calm down, that he’s not here to hurt me anymore. I wake her in the middle of the night, but she’s there, wrapping her arms around me from behind. She never complains that... [+]
Slowly she opened up her eyes. Flashbacks of yesterday rushed into her mind like broken levies. The musty air of the funeral home was nauseating. The dingy gray pews were beyond uncomfortable. The... [+]
He sees himself there again. The sounds and feel of the explosions around him make him shutter. His uniform is pressing in on him, and it feels like heavy pressure crushing in on his chest and... [+]
The world was wrapped in sleep and silence. Inside the shed, it was cold and dark, save a few pools of moonlight spilling in through holes in the roof and seeping through gaps between the narrow... [+]
Last night I had a dream. In it I was walking down a country lane on a warm Spring day. Everything around me was lush and blooming and the air smelled of wildflowers. I walked slowly, savoring the... [+]
Courage was always a strange thing for me. I was never courageous, I always took the safest route and stuck with what I knew. The most courageous thing I may have done was go to college in Moscow... [+]
Chigger was such a little dog. He did not mind being little too much. Chigger could hide in some really great places that the big dogs could not reach; but, Chigger could not do a lot of the things... [+]
I’m walking home from school today because my parents refuse to pick me up from afterschool detention. I got in trouble for “ruining” a science experiment. It wasn’t even my fault. Well... [+]
It was 1:30 AM when I sank into the middle-aged mattress as the darkness embraced me into her arms. Like every individual, I toss and rotated my body in a quest for comfort while my saliva fell onto... [+]
Her pink toes curled around the edge of the swimming pool. The water lapped the sides, splashing onto the tile floor and wetting her feet. Other kids pushed and laughed and screamed, but she stood... [+]
I became the “Protector of Power” while waiting in line. I, Valentina Cortez, a high school dropout, showed “patience, responsibility, kindness, perseverance, and courage” while waiting to... [+]
One by one, students stood up and gave their answers. Most gave short, simple responses. José was brief to explain why he wanted the part of Miguel, the boy who helped Esperanza and her mamá... [+]
I should have noticed things weren’t ideal when I found myself holding my knees to my chest, sobbing grossly in the shower. Each heave was followed by a short, desperate gasp for air. My fingers... [+]
She had known this day was coming for years. It was always so far away, but it had just approached so rapidly. Of course, she had been trying to avoid it for as long as she could remember, but that... [+]
The polyps in my uterus keep getting compared to food (or things that remind me of food). They are sesame seeds, an M&M, a thumb, a stalk. A thready device with a camera, knife, and mouth is going to... [+]
Children realized the school day was done when it packed its bags and walked out the imaginary door, soon to start lecturing again the next morning. Small thin boned pupils rushed out the solitary... [+]
“Do you like pineapple on pizza?”
The doctor looked up from her chart and gave me a cheery smile. “Ugh, I know. Asking that kind of question nowadays is so silly, but... [+]
Jane peeked out the curtains. The small yard was empty, but the wooded area that surrounded it? She shivered as she considered the possibilities.
Her husband Martin had been gone almost 24... [+]
Despite the insufferable heat, a cold chill ran down Rebecca’s spine. She instantly recognized an unmistakable sound. She held her breath. She forced herself to stand perfectly still.
Mae told me blackberries are poisonous when we were younger. This was back when we were still something resembling sane before Mae shut out the entire world and before I realized her sharp edges... [+]
It all started with mismatched socks.
It escalated from there and ended with solitary dinners,
and evenings so quiet that she pressed her hands against her ears, forcing her eardrums to... [+]
“Did you see Dr. Anniston’s wife? It’s no wonder we never met her; he probably keeps her hidden out of embarrassment.”
“I know. I hate to be so mean, but what a church mouse, so... [+]
Today is the day. Adrenaline rushes through my body. I can feel both my hearts beating. My stomach is in knots, except I’m not sure if it is morning sickness again or if I’m just so nervous it is... [+]
I grew up as the child of a king, well respected and feared. I grew up side by side with the princes of neighboring kingdoms. Out of the five kingdoms, I was the only daughter. I had to grow up tough... [+]
It seems the weather has lifted for the moment in my little world and the wiggly ass alarm clock that hangs out at the condo woke me to a beautiful morning. Leashed and spastic, Buddy pulled me out... [+]
One day there was a boy named John.He was 8 years old and his biggest fear was the dark , So when John went to sleep he would turn on his light on.Until one day his mom said "it's time to get ove... [+]
“Court is in session,” the bailiff announced. There he was, standing as if he was not of this planet. No emotion, still as a statue, jaws tightly clenched, lips opened just... [+]
Lightning splits the sky, and the rain whips sideways. Krae can’t distinguish between the thunder and the waves crashing against the nearby cliff and the ship rocks violently. Krae questions the... [+]
I’m walking on the trail. The farm is a few miles back. It’s a nice day, probably around sixty degrees, seventy in the sun. The dirt path I’m traveling on is hard, baked in the noonday heat... [+]
Mr.Preston has been anxious recently.
His fences are torn, his business is wrecked, his workers’ ribs are broken, and they are putting out their two weeks notices. He has been moaning fo... [+]
“I’m Sierra Miles, age sixteen. I live in a small town called Miral. I have no father, nor do I have any siblings. The class I will be majoring in is Mythology. I’ve gotten into this college on... [+]
It had been 364 days since the last November 4th. Tomorrow’s November 4th would be a sort of anniversary.
Sophie threw her phone down and slammed her head into the pillows. Her phone still... [+]
Aaira. A name, a beautiful sound, a state of mind. August 22, 2017, Aaira al-Meer sauntered into our eighth grade classroom.
She wore denim jeans and a cobalt UCLA hoodie, like half of ou... [+]
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
— Elie Wiesel
The fluorescent light of a phone screen... [+]
Another day of terror, waking up and going on the school bus is a nightmare already. The other kids pick on me every day. I always work alone on projects. nobody talks to me, nor do I socialize with... [+]
Once upon a time, in a kingdom so far away it staggers the imagination, there lived a handsome prince named Mortimore. To be perfectly honest, Mortimore was not that good looking. He wore tremendously... [+]
I wake up already feeling the knife digging into my back. Or at least that's what it feels like. I roll out of my wrapped up taco of a blanket and the tiniest piece of my stomach hits the cold wood... [+]
Courage didn’t come easily to Cordelia nor did it come when she wanted it usually she was small and meek with big brown eyes covered by thick glasses with a wild head of hair often tucked into a red... [+]
Jack and Senna huddled together on the cot in the small bunker that had been their home for the last six months. Their little bunker was one of many and though its furnishings were meager, it was home... [+]
Hank half listened to the dean’s presentation as he wrote the letter.
Dear Abbi, I’m so very proud of the woman you have become. It seems like only yesterday I was dropping you off at... [+]
They're going to carve pumpkins.? Or at least one. Deciding on the proper way to cut is my decision, I suppose. Because I am Pumpkin? Pamela. And while a pumpkin is a squash, they be cuttin on my... [+]
As I ran, I felt the rain hit my face like a thousand needles. I stop to grab some air, and as I did I could hear the footsteps hit the brick floor. I must get out of the city. it's our only chance... [+]
It was now officially fall, and winter was coming swiftly. The temperature stopped changing at random, finally gave in and decided to be cold. You could tell because Maisie was wearing three layers... [+]
In our generation “Generation Z” we have a misconception that age has an effect on our life choices and decisions. But in reality, the only thing that affects our capability when it comes to... [+]
Every night, the lion from the Kingdom of Sher sneaked into the Kingdom of Mir and ate sheep that belonged to families who lived there.
“This has to stop!” proclaimed the King. “I will have... [+]
I left my room with my hands full, but still managed to quietly and slowly shut my door. At the end of the hall I could see the open doorway to the living room. The lights from the room reflected in... [+]
Leah pulled up at the restaurant and turned the car off. She stared up at the once white sign on the door, now so dirty she could barely make out the hours. She didn’t need to see them to know they... [+]
The pyre had been built and ready for almost an hour now, and the village below the hilltop was aglow with the setting sun. All that was needed now was for the few villagers that were able to come to... [+]
For the first few miles, the excursion was painted in bitter silence. Harrison’s socks were wet and his knee ached. The couple hiked, sucking wet air, dispelling vapors; neither mentioning a plan... [+]
Have you ever listened to silence? The heavy, soft silence of a room where someone is sleeping or the peaceful, golden silence after a rain? What about the silence waiting for someone to speak or the... [+]
That piercing sound split my ears with a ringing and the world went black. A sharp, direct pressure shoved me backwards. Eyes squeezed shut, I stumbled and fell flat on my back, wheezing as... [+]
Benjamin’s bones ached and his skin stung from the harsh winter winds. The past five hours had been nothing but non-stop trudging through the freshly driven New England snow and he felt no closer to... [+]
Aliens had been infiltrating Earth for three years, but no one in the tiny town ever expected to see them. They had nothing the aliens could want. It never occurred to them that the aliens would want... [+]
Jake met Willow at the hood of the truck and laced their fingers together while Willow led the way into the long-term care section of the hospital. The sounds and smells assaulted them as soon as the... [+]
I stood in the hallway, not wanting to believe what was going on. This was the first time I’d been in a situation like this. How could this happen? I thought to myself, as nurses and doctors rush to... [+]
I was never what they called or described as "normal". Even as a child I was considered strange. Other kids would say I was a freak or nobody, while my teachers and family member said I had eyes that... [+]
The sound of her heels echoed as she hurried down the corridor. Jim was hosting The National Endowment for Cultural Arts’ annual fundraiser, so he was otherwise occupied for the moment and wouldn't... [+]
Seagulls’ cries overhead were drowned out in the slap of the ocean against the rocks. It was almost high tide, and I watched the waves swallow up the sand. From my perch on the edge of a cliff, the... [+]
Dear future me,
August 30th 2017
It is officially the start of Junior year and forget any dreams you had of changing schools.After homeroom as I walked down the hall... [+]
“A spoonful of sugar over trouble gonna get you through, boy.” Bright lights, pull up the sheet. “Did you hear me?”
He’s talking so early. “Yeah. Yes. Thanks. Morning.” Inhale... [+]
Christmas was drawing near and for Percy the owl, this was his favorite time. Every year during Christmas, he would fluff out his snowy wings, fly down to the city, and watch the twinkling display of... [+]
Lindsay Watkins stood in line behind the usual covey of women who attended the noon Weighty Matters group. The woman in front of her removed a jacket, a scarf, her shoes, and a wristwatch as she... [+]
This weekend was the weekend that I was going to get his attention. I was ready and I had my friends with me for support just in case he walked right past me like I was an ant on the ground. See I've... [+]
Father Jim wants the old people at the pavilion, so I’m walking slow with each one until only Minnie is left waiting for me, sitting patiently on her bed.
Except that she’s not.
There are 68.5 million displaced persons and 25.4 million refugees worldwide. To overcome losing everything takes courage...and a helping hand
He hung on tightly to Mother's thick fur. He could... [+]
After the birth of Roxy and Graham’s high maintenance children, Roxy became obsessed with sleep. Julio and Reyna were born one year apart and had finally sleeping through the night. Roxy’s husband... [+]
Jojo filed into the tiny plane, feeling like a worm jammed into a tackle-box. She had just completed an intense symposium on the importance of listening to clients and observing their non-verbal ques... [+]
In the olden days when the Earth and its people were young, there was a peasant whose name was Hythes. The peasant had a wife and two children who were very young. They were very poor and rarely had... [+]
The music slowed, the lights dimmed, and I looked around to see all my classmates hold their dates closer. Jessica draped her arms around my shoulders, and I moved my hands cautiously to her hips... [+]
Once a year, the Storment cousins gather at their uncles’ and fathers’ tombstones and they remember. They remember their family history, they remember their lives, and, most importantly, they... [+]
The day before, I woke up. Everything was still. The only movement came from the dust particles, floating through the filtered sunlight. There was no rush, so I took time to stretch my tired limbs... [+]
I grimace at the mirror as I see something in the mirror, that is staring back at me. It moves with me, it waves when I do, it shakes its head when I do, but what I see in that mirror is not me.... [+]
June 24, 2014
One day to make it. Fifty-three miles. An impossible distance to fathom. I've never walked that far. Let alone crossed mountains. With wheels strapped to my feet.... [+]
She dug into her closet. Then she sat on the edge of her bed with a small green box.. It seemed like just a normal box—cardboard, not very large. Not artistically decorated. Yes, by anyone else's... [+]
“I had a heart attack” Those words echoed through her mind as she let the syllables escape her lips. This was the first time she said them out loud. She looked at her reflection in the mirro... [+]
NEW CONFEDERACY GUNMAN KILLS PRESIDENT
In the investigative aftermath of the president’s assassination on Tuesday, the joint FBI/Secret Service taskforce has unearthed disturbing evidence that... [+]
The day began with whispers.
I could just barely hear them speak, but I could feel the rumble of their voices through the bed. When I peeked one eye open, Mom and Dad were on their sides facing... [+]
Willow was a shy girl by nature, only 17 with long chocolate brown hair and bright blue eyes. Standing only at 5’3 with a small smiling mouth and a twinkle in her eyes. She was the spitting image of... [+]
“Courage,” she said. “Courage. How can I possibly write a story about courage? I don’t even know the meaning of the word. I’ve never experienced it. This will take some thinking.”... [+]
The man wakes with a start, his thoughts riddled with a foggy confusion. He stretches his arm out, trying to get his bearings, only to feel cold beside him instead of the usual warmth. Slowly, the... [+]
The trail was cold, and the dog stopped to catch the wind. A young man scurried across the street towards a coffee shop, collar turned up to the cold. The dog bounded to the restaurant door and... [+]
In the early morning of a dusty town that doesn’t deserve a name nor does it deserve a nickname, the caravan came in. The caravan filled with jugglers, poets, bards, and others that went against the... [+]
Shentasia was a girl who lived with many siblings and had many, many friends. That was until the summer of 7th grade. She had a condition called Alopecia and it affected her her whole life but no one... [+]
“So, how are-”
“If you ask me how I’m doing I swear I’m going to punch you,” My desperate anger brings out the hot-tempered part of me.
“Okay,” he says solemnly.
We both... [+]
The surface of the bench was frigid, and a chill leached through Kirk’s jeans, as if he’d dropped onto a sheet of ice rather than a seat of steel.
Beside him, his young daughter Leah had... [+]
Like a ship sinking into a stormy sea, an empty bottle fell from his hands hitting the concrete floor with a crash, and shattering into a thousand pieces. He sat there half lying, half sitting in is... [+]
She told me to count, for every 3 seconds, a child was adopted. She then said that if I kept counting, I would be adopted as well.
Your before and after chose you and it doesn't hurt. I thought it would hurt but it's the opposite. Something has been taken away, the part of you I didn’t realize I still thought was... [+]
Each time the blows resounded on the door of his mother’s house, he ran to hide under his childhood bed. That’s how life had been for two weeks since he got cut off from the Guerrilla... [+]
Over the time of my marriage, I have become quite the expert of explaining a black eye, busted lip or a broken bone or two. Friends and family know the real story, but I continue to lie and blame it... [+]
They say God is dead. I reckon I agree with them.
“Please, sir?” The girl stood on her tiptoes, peering over the counter. Her pleading eyes pierced my heart. “Please?”
She was... [+]
He was charming in the beginning, his wolfish grin evoking in her a shivery thrill. He leaned in close and told her he loved her red dress. “Not many women would be bold enough to wear that... [+]
Fear was my companion.
Ever since a 6th-grade bully kicked open a bathroom stall where I sat in 1st-grade vulnerability, laughed at my terror, then clicked off the lights and left me in... [+]
"Prescott, help me! Please, I don't want to die! You promised!" said Bill. He had fallen victim to the Kolnar Contagion, the World Killer. The plague had rendered him with blood red blisters that made... [+]
There once was a giant, who was afraid of a little red ant.
He lived in a giant house, where he hid from the ant. He was afraid the ant might bite him.
He was so worried, he decided to... [+]
Johnny Smalls is a fourteen year old student at Crescenta Valley High School. He is five feet and one inch tall, which is short for his age. Johnny has a passion for the sport of football, but he... [+]
The hot sun beat down on the same red path of every day with the same smell of sweat and blood and those sounds of men that are scared and refuse to show it. Spit bouncing off the dirt. Low whistles... [+]
Porcelain. The cold, and admittedly dirty, porcelain sink was all he could feel. That and the sick, nervous feeling in his stomach. First show...no, not first show, this is the first real show in... [+]
As I emerge through the cafeteria doors, I am keenly aware of the juxtaposition of my solitary presence to that of the many groupings of friends, acquaintances, and classmates that I pass on my way to... [+]
Elisia was the last of her line. Her people, dragon shifters, were a strong people, but needed a ruler. After her, the legacy of the Dragon Queens would be gone. It was her duty to marry well and... [+]
Whap! The hand slapped me square on the cheek, a cold glare from the person attached to it aimed right into my eyes. The girl in front of me, much taller and much louder, wasn't going to let me go... [+]
In a village in africa there was once a kid named Kimo and he was very smart the smartest person his parents could ever think exist but it was because he liked to read and he had a very smart... [+]
Freedom-her hearts cry as she ran through the lavender fields. Joy, flowing freely behind like a translucent robe flowing with the wind. A smile spread across her face causing her cheeks to ache... [+]
We have to find courage. I have to find courage. Courage to be strong again, Courage to stay alive. It’s not just me, it’s everyone.
Peoples loved ones are falling to death overnight and no... [+]
A young man from the old neighborhood has died, her mother tells her. She enters her house in her modern, diverse neighborhood with a yawn, kicking the door shut behind her. Everything is in its... [+]
Alarms shrieking. God, how alarms annoyed Gerald. As if it wasn’t stressful enough as it was. As if the ship really needed to yell at him about the dire situation. He had a general idea something... [+]
We go to our kingdom with kings and queens from different realms everywhere in the ballroom of Magic Town. Instead of having a good time we hear them discuss about the “Beast”. A horrible dragon... [+]
Grandpapa, I can’t find the puppy. He was just here on the couch Adira. Well, he couldn’t have gotten to far then Grandpapa. We have to find him, Grandpapa. Ok Adira, you check the basement, the... [+]
She sat quietly in the dark bedroom, deep in thought while tugging at the homemade curl she fashioned with pink sponge rollers. It was a nervous habit. In fact, a single brown curl hung free while... [+]
Why are you so angry child? The ancient lady looked at me then asked the question again.
Is this what anger looks like ? I did not feel angry. For all that was done to me I should fell angry... [+]
Her hand trails across the rack of colorful clothes as she walks, fingers weaving in and out of the spaces between each hanger nimbly. A myriad of textures and colors explode underneath he... [+]
I’m finally done with the spring quarter of college. The fall quarter doesn’t even start till the middle of September. That means three months of staying home and doing whatever I want! Well, most... [+]
Octavia was explaining how teacher explained it to her. “She said there’s only correct way to balance your checkbook. Arithmetic doesn’t lie. Learning your spelling words is the same. You’re... [+]
After her audition, Shania Johnson left the conference room on the twenty-seventh floor. She stepped into the hallway. The metal door shut behind her. She had auditioned enough to know what... [+]
Light rain clouds my vision as I walk from car to car. The flowers clutched in my hands dripping onto the pavement below.
The brilliant pink and white buds are what is keeping my sister in... [+]
She took a steadying breath, attempting to keep her composure. Oh, how he longed to see those darling green eyes of hers. He knew if he got a glimpse of them, his own eyes could convey to her the... [+]
“Darn” sighed Cody as he weighed in, “I’m still in the 70 lb. class!”
All of the other kids had moved up a weight class or two. I knew that I had been tired and hadn't been very... [+]
“Those people have lost their minds!”, Amanda thought to herself as she stood there watching people jump off Mount Kjerag. She watched them fall down the side and decided that it would be a great... [+]
The tractor took its usual stubborn time to start up after lunch, helped along by the men banging on it and cursing. Finally, Mr. Bergerson shouted: “Get going you crazy iron beast!” and it... [+]
"I understand you're busy right now Will, but will you please pick me up? I don't want to walk home in the rain." After a moment of silence Will answered, "Alright fine, I'll pick you up in an... [+]
The sun is just starting to set as he pulls my case out of the van. Behind him, a banner above the door to the bar proclaims “KARAOKE TONIGHT!” for all who drive by to see.
“Great,” I... [+]
Friends told me when you adventure to Baja California you want to drive a crappy old car and let your hair grow out. Also, avoid shaving and grow a beard and downplay anything of value. The... [+]
As the shells explode over me, I knew that this war is no joke, in fact it is a terrible hell spawn that only something as hellish as man could create, I have realized that sitting here in this... [+]
Francisco walked the dusty road. The day was sweltering; school began in mid-August. In Yuma, the hottest time of the year.
Francisco dreaded second grade after last year. However, his mother said... [+]
A river of feet rushed the auditorium. Simply listening to the wild chorus of voices caused my heart to flutter like a hummingbird’s wings. Trying to clear my mind, I went over Mrs. Bauer’s... [+]
Every day is the same; I wake up at seven in the morning, debate on if I want to go to school for around ten minutes and stare up at the ceiling. A sense of dread fills my chest at the thought of my... [+]
Why do we bother to live if we're going to die? What's the purpose of life?
These questions I have wondered since I was 7, you might think why do a 7 year think these kinds of stuff. When you're... [+]
“So you up for it, big guy?”
“Yeah. I’m up for it. Hell YEAH I’m up for it, man!”
Striving for forceful, my delivery is forced.
These are "The Chosen Ones". "The Ruling... [+]
Five more minutes to go. I tapped my fingers vigorously against the right side of my leg as I anticipated the resounding ding of the school bell. I was focused on one thing, and it wasn’t M... [+]
Eugene had a habit of avoiding light. His mother said he disliked all things good for him. Vegetables, water, going outside. But he especially disliked sunlight. The thought of the rays falling upon... [+]
As I entered my adolescence, I started to become more aware of the people in town. However, I was entering that time where everything became about me. Every look was in my direction, every frown was... [+]
I marvel at the numbers dwindling away on the scale. With toes sprawled and hands clasping my chest, something is beginning. I can feel it tossing about and poking at my ribs. The walk back to my... [+]
Aaliyah was one of those girls. The popular ones, who told everyone what to do with a smirk on their face without a care how they hurt others. Despite her attitude she was a beautiful young lady... [+]
When you were born they warned us, your parents, that this might happen.
“Count from her due date, not her birthdate.” Dr. Vena said to us as we were leaving the hospital. We were anxious to... [+]
It began as one of those days that anything could happen, ANYTHING!
Life felt real hard that day and deep in my gut, I knew that if I were open, something transformative would happen and I... [+]
Tuk swallowed hard anxiously and stepped backward, eyeing the god before cracking his knuckles. He'd never fought a god before, or anyone with a particular magic set. The first he'd found was Karma... [+]
On a humid summer’s night, a light like a firefly’s flew across the sky, although; it traveled far too fast to be a bug. The light was set on-course for a small one-story house, heading towards... [+]
It was always cold weather that put me in these moods. A mixture of dry air and sore muscles put my mind right on the edge between baren and overflowing. Days like these- the ones where everyone is... [+]
The machine breathed.
Its chest rose, fell. Each hiss followed a gasp, each flap, a hollow thump.
The father remembered.
His chest rose, fell.
Tears chased smiles, each memory, an... [+]
I have come to realize recently that the most timid little “hello” can really change everything. Could make you, break you or take you from indifference to sweet reverence all in the course of a... [+]
“Oh........one more is coming............”
“One..two..three..four..five..I guess this is a real one”
“I am going to die......Oh.......”
“Honey, I am with you. Let’s go... [+]
“Wake up, Bob!”Bob’s mom yelled. “Time for school.”
“Ok Mom,” Bob yelled sarcastically, yawning. “Be down in a minute,” Bob said, falling back asleep.
“Bob are you sleeping... [+]
As I moved my feet around in the cold pool water, watching them become distorted, it reminded me of the winter we had some years back. Winters like that never happened here, so on that occasion is was... [+]
Rocking. Back and forth. Forearms forcibly strangling shins. My body a pendulum of fear.
My brain shouting lyrics to memorized songs in attempt to drown out the panic-inducing whispers. What... [+]
Riding in a helicopter is my favorite thing ever. I can look out the window and see things I never see anywhere else. The best part is that when we land it’s always Time to Go to Work.
This time... [+]
Love. Love is always a special feeling. One of great power at that. I’ve always felt as though love was a joke. Especially after my ex Luke. When I first met Luke, I didn’t feel like myself. And... [+]
You always hear about the superheroes in books and movies. The underdog that rises above it all and saves the day. I don’t have to explain it to you; I’m sure it’s all around you. Hell, I’m... [+]
Something scared them. The noises of the night threatened their children’s dreams. Nobody else was there to make sure they were fine. It was all up to them. Three women and their children. They knew... [+]
The little Mayflower aches and moans as the dark ocean waves beat against her. She sways back and forth making the people atop of her grab onto what is closest, and glance up at the shimmering stars... [+]
It finally happened. After years of marriage, I now had the classic symptoms – nausea, aching lower back, appetite of a horse. We didn’t think it was going to happen, but here I was, staring at... [+]
i stare at my plate. there are so many colors, so many choices. why did i put so much food on here? no way i can eat it all. they say it's what i need. i say they're wrong. but if only i can find the... [+]
The girl’s name was Dalena Manoban. Being the only child born and raised in America she travels for the first time to her parents origin.
“But I do not wish to go!” Says Dalena as he... [+]
My baby boy, he’s only eleven months old, he’s so fidgety on the plane. He is crawling up and down the aisle, and I’m letting him because it allows me to walk up and down the aisle. I have just... [+]
“What gift do you have?” I peer at Lux while we continue our walk through the garden. Last night’s coming-of-age ball was just the beginning of my search for a husband. It hasn’t been a day... [+]
It really is humbling to be stumped by a water fountain. And yet here there he stood, standing stuck with a coin in the palm of his hand watching the water spout. What brought him here? A wish. It had... [+]
The number of seconds that pass in a minute, the number of minutes required to claim an hour, the interior angles of an equilateral triangle, the number of carbon atoms in a Buckyball... [+]
The winter’s full moon cast long tree shadows across the soybean field in front of the house. The Korean winds whistled a blistering tune through the cracks in the weather worn wooden door when... [+]
Cold winds howl. As it has been for nye on a thousand years. The tyrant has had a tight hold on the nation for far longer than any should. All view it as unnatural, yet none have it with in them to... [+]
My family and I were among the throngs of people returning home from the Fourth of July celebration held in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We’d spent the day picnicking with... [+]
Her whole life, she was told that courage is about doing something you never thought you could. Her mother always said, "If you're going to do something good, make sure someone is watching." Now here... [+]
My name is Rylen Jones, and I am fourteen years old. I am too young for the beast, or at least that is what everyone says. But, here I lie staring at the white ceiling tiles counting the cracks... [+]
Carrie rounded the corner and came to an abrupt stop. Several kids—older than her, she thought—hurried past, most of them looking back. By the time they reached her, most of them were running. She... [+]
She sprints through the woods, her long dress, torn and ripped apart by the passing branches. The woods crowd around, intimidating her. Her hair is disheveled, face overwhelmed... [+]
Elliot Hansen leaned nervously against the sleek fighter plane, his eyes bloodshot from a night of little sleep. He drew a pack of cigarettes from his leather flight jacket. He looked at the box... [+]
The room had become his world, for the most part. Two or three times a day he would totter to the little bathroom in a corner nook that had surely been a closet when the house had first been built... [+]
Hypothetically, a story of courage, and a lesson in ethics. In 1994, at age 17, living in Portland, Oregon, I was your all-around American girl (Height 5'8", pale white, blonde hair, blue-eyed, and... [+]
When I think of Courage, I think of Radisson Dana. Radisson selflessly lost his life trying to rescue his beloved father from a burning house in 2012. The story began on a frosty November evening... [+]
I’ve asked everyone. No one knows anything about them: Ma, my sisters and brothers. I sent them word I’d come back here. I’ve been to every contraband camp near Norfolk: Poindexter Farm, Fort... [+]
Once upon a time there was born a little girl. This girl had sunlight in radiant rays in her eyes and summer’s kiss pressed upon her rosy cheek. She danced along the silky breeze as her rich... [+]
If you would have asked 9-year-old me, there was nothing strange about how we lived. I mean, I thought I had whatever one else had. A roof over my head and toys to play with. I would have neve... [+]
I woke with a quick jolt, there was rattling at my door. Someone was trying to get in. My clock said it was 3:50 am. I slowly crawl out of bed while lifting the blanket off of my self, to make sure... [+]
He woke up with a smile on his face. He was optimistic, because he burned the bridges from yesterday. His mother kissed his left cheek, and his little sister waved goodbye after he tickled he... [+]
Here we are, two strangers standing at a deserted corner, waiting for a bus to come, while knowing deep in our hearts that it will never appear. Only a dull street lamp illuminates our view of the... [+]
“Goodnight mommy. Goodnight daddy.”
I clutch Nemo, my teddy bear with a missing eye and red threaded stitches up its left arm. “Don’t forget to leave the doo... [+]
They say I am traitor. Maybe I am, Rose thinks as she surveys the scene. The house is a mess. A glass Coca-Cola bottle lays on its side. The cupboards stand open. The house has been ransacked. I did... [+]
Lucy was 14 years old when her mother was on her second divorce. Her mother married her father when she was 15, had her at 16 and her two sisters by the time she was 21. Her mother had a hysterectomy... [+]
Your closest friend, something that everyone has. Growing up I went to a lot of different schools. Because I didn’t stay in one location for school, making a close connection with someone was... [+]
Roberto fanned out the cards which held his future on the kitchen table. The words written on each side led to winning the prize his cousin Juan had promised: an American flag. Another round with the... [+]
It has been five months since I've left my house... five months. Exactly the amount of time that has passed after his death. I refuse to open my curtains or even to look out my windows. My smile is... [+]
"We need code names!" Shanna exclaimed.
Cora shook her head. "This is a two-man operation and we're not going to get separated. Why would we need code names?"
"Woman. Two-woman. Night... [+]
Elijah Avery brought his curse to the town he founded in 1649. He swindled hundreds of people in the New World, selling them worthless land claims. A merchant discovered his scheme. Avery murdered... [+]
It’s supposed to be easy. Isn’t it? You pick up a phone, dial a number and then... But it’s not easy. It’s not easy, because the phone has a full battery and you have everything ready to... [+]
The sun was beating down on the front porch, so hot that anyone who wasn’t used to the South would be running inside. Rocking chairs creaked across the wooden slats, back and forth and back and... [+]
No flashlights. No talking.
Above the silence was a calm swish of pants ahead as the depth of darkness flowed behind. Our trek moved outward, as if no one was there; as if there wasn’t a... [+]
You can't pick your family is what they say. If you could things probably would have went a lot differently for Lisa. Growing up in a small town outside of Columbia South Carolina was tough; in Lisa... [+]
Mothers are not supposed to die.
At least not while their children are still being raised.
But someone forgot to tell that to the universe, because my mother died six weeks before my 14th... [+]
Two teens, almost men judging from the roughly shaven stubble, were arguing over the quality of their performances. One of the teens, with a name tag over the right side of his chest labeled... [+]
I knew Raul for only eight hours. He was an elementary school teacher; unusual work for a young Latino. And, he was a grad student of mine in a Master’s degree class devoted to “at risk... [+]
A year before Mom got sick, Dad installed the net in the driveway. It wasn’t just for Derick and me. Mom’s yearbooks were full of pictures of her taking shots in funny looking bloomers. When we... [+]
What is this feeling? This feeling that makes me shiver. That just holds me down like a weight. I don't get it, what's the point of this feeling? The young teenage girl thought while she walked home... [+]
Daddy married Miss Helen in 1954. I was almost eight years old. Their marriage was a surprise since I’d only met her once.
Our new stepmother had lived ten miles away in Homewood with he... [+]
I stare at the gold letters on the door of the apartment, making a list of all the reasons why this was the right door to choose.
49 is the square of seven which is the best number out there.
Troy, NY 1848
There was one day I was looking for Morrissey. It was around the time of his first bare knuckle prize fight. He hadn’t told me he had a job with a mule skinner moving some... [+]
Carmen's rooms in the senior high-rise contained the flotsam of more than eighty years of life. Romance, finance, religion, politics, diversions, all were represented by some physicality.... [+]
They say the ghosts of the bulls charge in Pamplona. The pale whispers of their mighty roars can be heard as the wind blows in the distance. They cry for their fallen brothers in anguish and in... [+]
It seems we search for small joys in peacetime, but need them more desperately in wartime. Surely the first spring flowers that end the gray days of winter will lighten many hearts. For others... [+]
“The time was long spent, colored mostly by pain, fear, and overwhelming panic. The clips that I saw through partly opened eyes, like the white linens colored with stark crimson in a haphazard... [+]
My sister’s brain tumor was a slow elevator down from the honor roll to the funeral page. In between was an eighteen month decline that she pressed forward to her sixteenth birthday, which we... [+]
My name is Caroline Stevens. I am a 7th grader in Battlebrook Middle School. I hate that school with a passion, it is the worst. The kids there like to pick on me because of my small and frail body... [+]
I always thought I had a strong belief in God and I could handle anything life threw my way. I would not shed many tears when a family member or friend left this Earth. I felt sort of heartless in... [+]
“They said it. They said the five words I had hoped they wouldn’t say. Said them so many times I lost all feeling for them. So many different doctors, all connected by those five words. So many... [+]
The balmy evening sent warm air rushing through the open window of Garrett Roth’s F-150, joining with his fingers as they ran through his salt and pepper for the hundredth time since leaving the... [+]
Constance did not notice that there was something peculiar about the bread. Nor would she have said anything to her mother if she did. Bone-tired, she was kneading flour in the candlelight. She had... [+]
Theo Beauman walks down the mildew scented hallway half-smiling and half not because he cannot decide how he is feeling. While he walks, he swings his backpack to his front and unzips it to grab the... [+]
“It was nice talking to you too. If you need anything-call me.”
He turned off the phone, sat back on his couch and let the last two hour's conversation sink in. Claire had gone off the grid... [+]
We circle like wolves. Our blades like bared teeth prepared to strike at a moments notice. Our movements synchronize and I feel each second stretch into an hour. Each step we take resonates like a... [+]
My eyes won’t open. I’m not talking about I don’t feel like opening my eyes, they simply refuse to open.
What the hell?
I feel strange, warm and fevery. Is that even a word... [+]
He didn’t want to leave his cushy life. It would’ve been easy to continue his news anchor job at the TV station. He’d been there fifteen years and had a ten year plan with retirement in his... [+]
This story is not for the faint of heart, for within this text lies the terrible horrors of the dark ages. To those who continue to read, you have been warned...
I awoke that morning to the... [+]
After Mom passed away, I got rid of all her belongings, except a cedar chest that dated back several years before my birth. That old dust covered scarred wooden box held documents she saved for all... [+]
When it’s quiet, I climb through my bedroom window out into the early October night. I hold a bottle of my dad’s dark brown beer in one hand while pulling myself onto the roof. I wobble from one... [+]
Cole Smith squinted across the street, looking at a weird bump at the curb. She looked at her watch then both sides of her. Seeing no vehicles were coming, she hurried across. If it was what Cole that... [+]
Finley the Betta Fish was a smart, vibrant, charismatic little fish. He went to school, he did his homework, he was always very helpful to his fellow peers. Finley seemed like the perfect fish. But... [+]
Nico shoved his back into the cage, the metal was cold against his thin t-shirt. His cheeks were wet from tears and his throat was sore and tired. As he pulled his legs into his chest and wrapped... [+]
There is no one who exemplifies courage more than my younger sister, Bev. She was diagnosed at birth with Mental Retardation due to anoxia, a lack of air at child birth. In the late sixties, mothers... [+]
“I call you DEATH!”
“Nooooo!” Treena screamed, turned and ran. Her grandfather had always told her “have courage young one, face your fears.” All well and good, but this was... [+]
He pushed them through the door and into a small room with two other sets of siblings.
“Don’t get to comfortable. Girls and boys are gonna be separated soon.” William, the newest patrol... [+]
As the storm drew close, my apprehensiveness grew exponentially. Hurricane Florence had now been given a category four rating as its cloud grew greater. Me and my daughter live on the Cape Fea... [+]
On the afternoon of December 24th, Yoshie Lee, a plump, twenty-eight-year old brunette with a sweet smile and a winsome streak of pink in her hair, touched the piano’s familiar keys. Chicago’s... [+]
Darkness filled the town, cold and soft. It slipped its fleecy layers around the corners, down chimneys and over the beds of the sleeping citizens. The only light present streamed from the moon’s... [+]
The world is scary, frightening, nothing but a total void that cannot be escaped. The room is crowded with people, all talking frantically and fast, in languages I do not understand. I pretend not to... [+]
Everyone looked like giants to me. Even my first-grade classmates towered over me. It was 1946, and the first time I had been anywhere without someone from my family. It's true that my brothers... [+]
Michel woke with a splitting headache. What in the world had he been drinking last night? He couldn’t remember getting drunk, or, in fact, drinking any alcohol.
He searched his memory, but came... [+]
I was tired, dirty, and needed a break. I had been working in this mine for far too long. Not by choice either. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t in this mine. Banging my pick against a wall... [+]
“Look, Tracey,” sighed, Mom. “Dads here.”
I leaned in close to Mom’s ear, “I loved Dad,” I said. “Please tell him I loved him very much.”
“Bert,” said Mom... [+]
When Harry told people he did puppet shows at a mall, they laughed at him. This was before they even saw his act. When they saw he was serious, they asked why he didn’t have a real job. Afte... [+]
I have tried and tried to be the best daughter I can for my dad so that I can feel that he loves me. I would go to my mom and cry because I never understood why he wasn't there and why he didn't care... [+]
As the night of the mission drew closer, the troops became more and more eager to fly over the Arvand River. The mission was to be executed on the other side of Arvand amidst the night. Ebrahim and... [+]
I remember being small and pulling a red beaded bracelet out of a bubble gum machine. They were supposed to be good luck charms or something. Mine said "Courage". I had to get my mom to read it to me... [+]
My morning began in the most usual way, running out the door, saying goodbye, quickly, with something in my hand on its way to my mouth... so very quickly, like every other day. That's the thing... [+]
The pain was so intense, Cara felt her whole body bending into it, even as the nurse said, “Just breathe, Cara. Deep breath, in, out.” But Cara’s ability to think about breathing was gone. The... [+]
It was day 29 before anyone noticed the tomato plant growing in our backyard. His backyard, I should say. He is the one who bought this house for us. Anyway, it was just one day short of a month and... [+]
The alarm clock whined pitifully.
‘It can’t be time already’, thought Alana. She could pretend the shrill ring was a part of her dream for only so long. The dream was not even that... [+]
Global Warming reared its ugly head and swallowed up the Sunshine State. Florida is now a sandbar. No one believed the scientists. No one ever does. The scientists submitted their findings and the... [+]
Everyone picks their nose.
Or, at least, the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry says ninety-one percent of us do. Yes, the government, also known as you, paid for a study on the matter. Fat lot of... [+]
The long weekend had left me in a daze of tired drunkenness and everlasting dread. Homework had taken over my life and I was just about done with it all. School was such an inconvenience due to the... [+]
There was the City of Umbrellas. Many different Umbrellas lived there. Big and Black, very important and serious walked slowly on the streets and bow to each other when they passed one another. Light... [+]
Jimmy went into shock when he heard the shooting: “pap...pap-pap...pap.” Never in his life had he felt so afraid...so utterly afraid.
He was vaguely aware that the other students in his... [+]