Teens take the challenge
This Could Be an Auto-biography of the Future
This could be a piece on wanting. Wanting a life that doesn’t exist yet, wanting someone I haven’t met. I could show you a glimpse of it, perfect and succinct and aching. Something nobody can take from me. I could do it in fifty nine words or I could do it in six: her lips, her eyes, her hair.
Helen is quite the prolific writer. She informs us she’s just completed her fourth novel—so such short fiction is a good challenge for her. As a home-schooled senior studying through Hearthstone, she’s already applied and been accepted to Williams College in Massachusetts. We wish her luck!
Not the Video Game
We smoked with a stranger, passing through. He’d been in the Persian Gulf War, had the tan jacket on. He came home to nothing. A kid stumbled upon our group, wanting a smoke. He’d taken some pills, didn’t know where he was. “Does that jacket mean you’re a big, f—king Desert Storm fan?” He slurred. The veteran muttered, “Sure.”
Ana, a 10th-grader home-schooled through CORE Butte Charter School, accepted the challenge of writing a story in precisely 59 words with open arms. The soft-spoken young woman says she loves to write, and we hope she continues.
The Girl in Apartment #8
No one understood her; no one even cared. She meandered through the daily routine: shower, work, home. Her showers ran cold and her work was terribly drab. There was no reason for her to enjoy her life as it was. She could only hope things would get better. Not once had she enjoyed her time alone. Being lonely sucked.
Rachel was surprised to hear she was a finalist for this contest because she’d written her story for a class assignment. Pleasant Valley English teacher Mrs. Rix apparently liked the students’ pieces so well she entered them into the contest. Rachel, a senior, says she loves to write—and we’re glad to hear it.
Fifty Nine Words
A character (who I lack the necessary space to develop fully) exists. You wonder if this is autobiographical. I don’t have room to explain the differences between us, so I pick a male character. You still wonder. This character, this beautiful, complex, snarky, queer, clueless, adorable, misanthropic, terrible, loving character does something out of the ordinary. You almost laugh.
Her Own Person
Boom! Head shot. She smiled as the digital bodies fell by her blaster. Her mother walked behind her, disapproving eyes directed at her and the computer in her lap. She knew that her mom wanted her to put on her cute clothes, go shoot hoops, be her sister’s clone. But she didn’t care: she had a galaxy to save.
I Climbed a Tree
In my defense, it was a menacing tree and snobbishly begged me to climb it, even though the task seemed impossible. I worked hard, but I fell harder, one misstep and all my work was gone! But as I looked around I saw something; the top of the tree, already in my grasp. I just needed to look down.