Winners in the Fiction 59 teens category

First Place

How Now, Brown Cow?
“Moo,” said the brown cow chewing cud. My mouth moved to answer, but stopped and wondered if she had meant to drop in a question mark, tally in an exclamation point, or add a semicolon along with un-uttered “moos.” Another possibility: punctuation was simply neglected due to literary ignorance. I nodded my agreement, “Moo,” said I, chewing my peach.

by Asharah Banik

Asharah is 15 and attends the C.O.R.E. Butte charter school. In addition to coming in first place for the teen category, she has an honorable mention published. Asharah, also an artist, plans to attend the Laguna College of Art and Design and go on to work for PIXAR. We wish her the best of luck.

Second Place

My brother stands in front of me, hands raised against the cruelty surrounding us. His smile is music, is reckless, is earthquake. “You cannot hurt us,” his eyes shout. My softer smile (unlike his, not angry or afraid), joins in, riffing on the music of his humanness. As twin earthquakes, we will tear the world down and remake it.

by Helen O’Brien

Helen has a love for words she hopes will continue to blossom as she gets older. The 15-year-old is home schooled through the Hearthstone program and received an honorable mention in last year’s Fiction 59 contest.

Third Place

Incessant Kisses
Look at them, madly in love. How they hold each other in comfort, not noticing time go by. Ah, sweet kisses planted on each other’s lips. She gazes at him, he leans in and places a kiss on her cheek. As I walk by, he winks at me. Too bad she doesn’t know his lips were mine last night.

by Bronté Spaulding

Bronté is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School. Her college prep writing teacher assigned each student to try his or her hand at the contest. A number of her classmates’ work is published below. Bronté says she loves to write and plans to attend Chico State next year to study English or education.

Honorable mention

Seven crows and the coquettish sun gathered around the girl on the sand. Her feet sunk in but her stature was naturally erect; in those naked extremities lived her interminable creation. Not in dead wind-swept hair, nor empty irises. Diseased crows swooped under her arms and crook of one leg. They flew, toes dangling in the thick air.

by Celia Eckert

Butterfly Minds
The butterfly migrates as I sit on the hill eating peaches. I recall times when butterflies frolicked with me, the hill was a separate world, and the taste of peach juice dreams never left my mouth. The taste is gone when I tongue my lips. The road is a walk away. I am not known in butterflies’ schizophrenic minds.

by Asharah Banik

It’s a warm summer morning, the sun is already beating down. Thirsty, I rifle through the fridge for a chilled carton of milk. I am consumed in thought as I get out a glass. My thoughts abruptly shift towards the man who discovered milk …

What was he doing to that cow?

Suddenly, I have lost my appetite for milk.

by Catherine Vecere

Country Girl
I like country music, wearing boots, and don’t mind getting dirty. I get shit on my boots and don’t bitch about working hard! Don’t judge a country girl! You are just jealous that you can’t lift hay bales and drive a big green tractor! But that’s OK, I don’t know any big clothing brands … wait, does John Deere count?

by Hailey Davey

Sea of Thoughts
I felt rushed, frightened, and loved; these thoughts were swimming into my ears and grasping my brain. They were suffocating my brain, and I was losing all my oxygen. The only thing that could save me was the little man in the boat floating by. He rowed into the Gulf of Thoughts and opened my mind with his paddle.

by Ashley Vosburg

The Sniper
I always wonder what it would be like to know my target as a friend, seeing him up close from over a mile away, watching him for days and, learning everything about him. Knowing that both our lives will change forever. Suddenly the radio squawks. A shot rings out. My heart breaks and the parched earth drinks its fill.

by Brett Krehbiel

Other notable entries

Cum Laude Society
Did they think because we’re all smart, we’d be buddies? No, like things repel. Behind feigned camaraderie, tension fizzes. Our fundraiser discussion is oddly strained. We know our applications will be rubbing shoulders in a pile at Harvard. It’s for the credit, the applications, the résumé, our eyes say. We’re just doing our time in the Overachievers Breakfast Club.

by Clare O’Brien

The Fate or the Fall
All shades of blue darken to black as your pulses are guided by whim until darkness swells; your dependence on sight has you following the only light. The angler leads you to an abyss where bare feet find every crumble, magnified in your heel. You could press your palms to each ridge. Weight wavering on the edge, you’re rigid.

by Celia Eckert

A Moment I Will Never Forget
Thunder rumbles in the sky, threatening rain, clouds hide the moon. A girl I once thought as my enemy gallops away. Then, in an instant I will never forget, time almost stops. She throws back her head and laughs, caught in the moment, just horse and rider, a bond as deep as the sea, as lightning strikes behind her.

by Elizabeth Allen

One boring day in Corning, I went to 7-Eleven and bought a pack of gum. Every five seconds I would munch on a new piece. Like a minute later I blew a bubble. The bubble grew bigger and bigger. Then popped on my face. It got stuck. Everyone that passed by me, told me, “Ha, nice mask, stupid kid.”

by Joseph Gutierrez