Entries 2018


Sasha BALLERINI – The Bell Tower of Formaggio – was in 4th grade at North Beach Elementary.

Excerpt from the story
One stormy night, long ago, the bell tower rang loudly in the small village of Formaggio, Italy. A village where the seaside meets the mountains. The villagers rushed to the bell tower to see what was going on.

“Pirates!” Luigi the tower watchman cried!” It seemed another pirate ship had found its way into the seaside village, but thanks to Luigi, the pirates were spotted and chased away by the angry villagers. Everyone was relieved, especially Luigi!

You see, this was not the first time that pirates had tried to invade the village and steal the villages wealth. The first time, was when Luigi’s grandfather was a young man and the bell tower had not existed yet. The pirates made off with all of the villages jewels, and gold. ”Its entire wealth, gone in one night!”

The small village had to start from scratch, rebuilding their wealth once again. Luigi’s grandfather and the other villagers swore that chilly, foggy night, that they would never let pirates invade their village again! So they decided to build a bell tower to guard and protect their village, and that is exactly what the tower has been doing all these years……..

Lucia Rose DAHN – Alone – was in 7th grade at Gulliver Academy


Excerpt from the story
In a compact cabin in Eastern Woods, Alaska, sat a girl named Fiona Luvalle. There are a few things you should know about her, and these are that her mind was grand, her body small and meek. Fiona had lived in the same cabin for five years, and as she was only twenty one, it was a somewhat memorable time for her. To Fiona, these past years had felt like forever, but time passes slowly when one is alone.

The cabin was six hundred square feet, built out of wood beams and covered with a metal roof. One part contained a fridge and a counter with a microwave and stove, another part had a bathroom and bed, and the last, the most important, a desk, a sofa, a bookcase, and a computer.

Fiona rarely left the cabin, and would show her face to no one. She ordered her groceries and other amenities through her computer to have them delivered, and would wait until the delivery person left before stepping outside to retrieve her packages. Some might say she was lonely, and she was. Some might say she was wasting her life, and she was. In reality, she was just scared.

Today, March 1st, she sat in her desk chair, writing a poem inspired by a dream she had recalled that night. It had to do with flowers in a garden, growing flowers, picking flowers, dying flowers,… bunches of metaphors. And sun. There was sun somewhere in it.

Fiona’s shoulders pushed forward and her fingers skimmed the keys, her long wavy brown hair falling across the front of her body, and her dark chocolate colored eyes focused on the screen. As she finished typing, her body slid backwards to the back of the seat, and she heard a voice. “Fiona.” ……..

Alexandra GONGLEWKI – Limbo – was in 11th grade at Palmetto Senior High School

Excerpt from the story
…….. The woman looked dreadfully cold, even as she leaned into the early-August night. She didn’t shiver, she didn’t look like the type to shiver, and she didn’t cower into herself reaching for warmth. But something about her stood out to me. She was stricken with the kind of chill that ironed her clothing every morning into a form-fit cage, that pulled her face inwards to a singular, mousey point, that hollowed out cheekbones and desaturated her skin. Even as she brought a cigarette to her lips, and let the embers leak into her lungs, her bones were inlaid with a permafrost that wouldn’t melt away.

I never asked for her name, but she knew mine. It was stitched into the polo I wore, ​Gail, ​ despite being spelt comically wrong. She’d been coming into the 7-11 every night at nine o’clock sharp since I started working there. If I had a nickel for every time I’d scanned a pack of Camels under her unblinking gaze, I’d be spared from the task for the rest of my life. After she wordlessly snatched the box from the counter, she’d lean against the railing outside for hours, watching ghosts that weren’t there.

My graveyard shifts, spent alongside the buzz of the air-conditioning and intoxicated night owls, were hooked in the woman’s spidery fingers until the night fell into an ashy morning. Her presence was uneventful, but enrapturing. Dark, but framed by a thick nimbus of the building’s harsh white light. Hopeless, but unwavering.

She was the only “regular” that I could recognize. People came and went; I never really knew if all the little towheaded girls with stained off-brand princess dresses bolting towards the Slushee machine were the same person, or a commodity in this backwater between city and suburb. But this cold, ghost of a woman and her freshly-pressed gray suits had this overwhelming hold on me………

Lili LORETTA  Rose and Percy – was in 4th grade at Somerset Gables West.

Excerpt from the story
It was a brisk autumn evening in Florida where Rose lived, and since they were so rare she had
decided to take a walk. She told her mom, then put on her shoes, coat and hat. “Look out for
panthers,” her older brother, Ethan, teased her just before she left. Rose just shook her head.
Her family did live close to the Everglades, but there hadn’t been a panther sighting nearby for
at least forty years.

She walked out the door and decided, “I’m going to take a walk farther out this time.” Then, she
closed the door behind her and she started walking. She hadn’t been walking for long when she
heard a rustle of leaves in the tree. “It’s just a critter.” She told herself. As she walked on, she heard more rustling. Rose started to worry. Could her brother be right? She looked towards the
direction of her house. She had never walked this far off from home alone. I should head back,
she thought………

Sofia PEREZ – Asleep and Nothing More – was in 7th grade at Young Women’s Preparatory. Academy.

Excerpt from the story
…….. The moonlight snickers with the stars, laughing at us lowlifes, hypocrites in their thrones,
heroines nevertheless. The sky pats the obedient boxes and the wind tries to knock me down and it almost does. Little does it know that when it dies, I will reign. The sun smiles at the stillness, the sky breathes, trying to gently prod the city awake, for it is
asleep and nothing more.
I am awake among the battle between night and day, the dark blanket of space smoldering the fires of light around it. Their incessant battle will last forever till the sun is shot dead of age and the night is what remains. Nevertheless, for now, when the city wakes, the night is slowly forgotten, not mourned, erased from the memory.
I talk to the stars, I ask them for help. They are the only beings in the universe that know I’m not
crazy. How can you be crazy when you are so human, so normal in your motives? Perhaps crazy is simply a synonym for passionate.
I always wondered why people hated me. Was it that crazy meant different? What it the difference people feared? I left the home of all those crazies because I was not worthy of living among them. I was never different from the rest of society. I was just me………

Nicole NIXON – True Value – was in 11th grade at Gulliver Preparatory School.

Excerpt from the story
…….. Suddenly, I noticed something that turned my blood to ice. Grandad’s chest wasn’t moving. He wasn’t breathing.
Trembling, I slowly backed away from the bed and let out a long, earth-shattering scream.

The hours after that were an amalgamation of broken images and garbled sounds. I remembered the thundering sound of my entire family ascending the stairs as one. I
remembered the panic, the grief, the tear-stricken faces. I remembered warm bodies pressed against me, arms wrapped around me and maybe they were supposed to be comforting but all I was thinking about was how I wished Grandad was as warm and alive as these bodies around me, instead of cold and unmoving and gone…

Suddenly, it was my turn. I stared up at the old man and, instead of the bird, I chose the only object I wanted, the one that had meant so much to Grandad and now meant so much to me, “I want the game box.” I said. Several people snorted in disbelief, but all I saw was the smile that had suddenly broken out on the old man’s face.

“You’re in luck.” He winked at me, “I happen to have it right here.” He pulled it out from behind his podium and handed it to me. I stared at the small box full of priceless treasures and I knew I had made the right choice.

I heard a sigh and turned to see Mom watching me, her gaze full of confusion and hurt. I stared back and though there was nothing but air between us, I could feel a wall of misunderstanding pushing us apart. She shook her head and left the room. After several awkward glances at me, the rest of my family followed suit………