By, ~The Shadow~
Annabelle was your average two-year-old girl. With bright red hair that sparkled in the afternoon sun. She had deep chocolate eyes, and loads of freckles.
Annabelle was currently playing with her favorite thing. A small, old, red, squeaky wagon that was filled with all her favorite little dolls and other assorted toys.
Her momma was sittin' on their old-fashioned, worn-out front porch watching her play. When suddenly thee came a rumblin' engine down the quiet country road.
Annabelle had known that sound for what seemed to be forever.
It was her daddy, come home from work.
Annabelle waited. She waited for him to get out of his pickup, waited for him to greet her momma, Hi Kim, He said, how's my honey darlin'?. And to this she'd reply, Hey Bill.. And that was her cue. Annabelle dropped her doll, got up and ran as fas as her leg would carry her. Daddy! I really missed you!. And her daddy replied, So, how's my little Ann? Did you have fun today?, as he picked her up and they hugged each other. She loved him more than anything. She loved the way he always smelled of cinnamon in th fall. Loved the way he looked, with his black hair, and his eyes so bright blue it almost looked as if they glowed.
Did you have a good day at work? asked Kim.
It was alright, but I was given an offer that I think we should talk over. He said.....
The End for now...
by, Danielle Meek
The moon is bright and the night is young,
Care to have a run my friend? Care to have a run?
The stars shine down in the sky,
just like a million pairs of eyes,
Care to have a run my friend? Care to have a run?
A mournful wolf song fills the night air,
it's throughly bellow says, I'm here!
Care to have a run my friend? Care to have a run?
They come on pads so soft and swift,
then eyes shine out from the mist,
Care to have a run my friend? Care to have a run?
White fangs gleam in the moon's silvery sheen,
your heart beets fast as they ask...
Care to have a run my friend? Care to have a run?...
A walk in the forest
By Mary Dumas
A girl, completely unaccompanied, except by her thoughts alone, walked along the pathway leading into the deep dark forest.
She looked around her, at the thinly veiled dark drooping trees, seeing only the good, she thought. What could be wrong with this forest? She thought to herself. Why did everyone tell me that this is not a good path? The girl walked on, without caution or even a care on her mind.
presently, she was distracted by something scratching her shoe. She looked down and saw a small black creature. Almost like a squirrel, but too small and twisted looking. It did not stop, she saw that it used tiny claws to scrape the side of her shoe, and it just walked along with her as she moved. It annoyed the girl so much that finally, she just tore off her shoes and threw them into the trees, and the creature ran to it, screeching happily. She cursed the animal and walked on.
She looked around her still without even a hint of fear, in fact, this was a great walk, she thought.
But even as she walked, she felt a hint of shadow behind her, swell up against her back, and she spun around. There was nothing there though, and the girl started to walk yet again, but this time, she started feeling just a little bit uneasy.
The girl suddenly saw, from the corner of her eye, a motion in the trees. She turned quickly, back hunched slightly, ready to run if need be, but yet again there was nothing in its place. As she looked into the deep trees though, she started to notice for the first time since entering this forest, that the trees were not really as bright as they had seemed before. She tried to ignore this, and turned fast, wondering if this really was the path she was meant to tread upon. It was starting to get dark now, and the sky was turning a dark blue color. And with it came a feeling of gray dread, for what, the girl did not know. Why had she not listened to her friends?
And then, abruptly, a vulture, out of the sky, swooped down on her.
It scraped her viciously with big, cruel claws, making her bloody. She tried to fight it, but it was to no avail, for it was so fast, and then when she looked up, it was finally gone. She scanned the sky quickly for any sign of the bird, but there was none.
I cannot go back now, she thought, for I have come so far, I would not find my way. And so she continued along the path once more, dearly wishing now that she had not started on this rode.
And then she saw a person. In the distance, walking slowly, so slowly. The girl was so overjoyed that she ran up to the person. And leapt back in horror. The mans face was coated in shiny red blood, dripping, gushing, pouring in sheets to the ground, mixing in with the dirt and dust. There was a deep gash on his forehead, and blood was pouring from the wound.
The man looked up solemnly at her as she stared in terror. “Turn back now, before it is too late.” He said sadly. The girl looked down quickly, so she would not have to endure this sight. And when she finally looked up, the man was gone.
The girl stood up, she looked back the way she had come, but it was shadowy, a dark mist seemed to flow through it in drifts. And she turned to the path in front of her. It was just the slightest bit lighter than behind. She walked on ahead.
The girl felt suddenly as if she were being watched. She tried not t look anywhere but straight ahead, but she could not resist the urge, and she looked into the forest. A girl, around her age, sat on the forest floor, elbows on her knees, watching her intently with wide, alert eyes.
the girl walked on, trying her best not to be distracted by any presence. She would not be stopped from this path, she would not stray, no matter what happened.
The forest only got darker, even long after the sky was black with night, the trees still cast deep shadows over the path and they loomed, near and in the distance, like ghosts of the past, waiting to be unleashed.
Several people tried to stop her with words. saying, “Turn back, turn back, before it is too late.”, but time and time again, the girl ignorantly ignored the voices and did not look their way.
presently, the girl saw a lone figure in the distance, not like all the rest she had seen, but the figure was tall very tall. Cloaked all in black, face tipped downward. A dread filled her as she walked toward it, a dread deeper than she had ever felt before, a black dread, misty dread. And she knew now that taking this path was the worst of many mistakes she had made. she turned, but knew she could never go back now, it was all dark behind her, there was no way out, it was too late now.
She turned back to the cloaked figure, and felt her heart drop when she saw the scythe raised high by a deathly white, skeletal hand. She bowed her head forward before the darkness overwhelmed her for the last time, her last sad thought was that the world would never remember her now.
A Butterfly in the City
By Rachel Best
It was a sunny day in April. The first sunny day, in fact, for about a month or more. Looking up at the sky, Emma was reminded of what it was like back at their farm, when her older sister still liked to play with her. She could still faintly smell the dirt and growing plants, and feel the wet dew evaporating. As children, she and her sister, Maeve, used to love to play hide and seek in the corn fields, and even though Maeve was six years older than she was, it didn’t seem to matter. They were the only children around for several miles, and so they were the only playmates each other had.
They used to play together, but not anymore. Their father’s farm had gone bankrupt, and now that they lived in the city, Maeve, a young lady of fifteen, had plenty of other friends to play with. Well, not “play” precisely. What was it she told Emma? That she was too young to “hang out” with them? Yes, that was it; Maeve and her friends “hang out” now. Emma had no idea what satisfaction they got out of looking at clothes for hours, and giggling over the disgusting, immature boys in their high school. Before they moved, Maeve used to tell Emma about how she would never be like that – she would never obsess over her appearance, or slather her face in make-up, or –
Emma was snapped out of her reverie by a young monarch butterfly. It was floating on trembling, red-gold wings, and beating at the window. The same wings were the same color, in fact, as Maeve’s good Irish hair. Their father used to always sit them down and tell them of how he and their mother came over from Ireland together, so they could all have a better life. Lately, however, Maeve seemed irritated by how… Irish her parents were.
“Father! Mother!” she would say. “It’s bad enough you two are straight off the boat. It’s bad enough I’ve got bright red, curly hair. Not to mention my name! What kind of parents names their daughter Maeve?”
“The Irish kind! What’s wrong with your name, daughter? It was my mother’s name, and she one of the first women to-“
“Dad! I’ve heard this story, like, a million times! I don’t care! Couldn’t you and Mom at least tone down your accents? It’s embarrassing!”
Maeve used to love being Irish. She used to sing the traditional songs with their father, and tell Emma the stories that she’d inherited from her father, of the Sidhe, the faerie people, the Night People, who come to steal children away, the old gods, and how Ireland came to be. Just a couple of weeks after moving to the city, however, Emma had to beg her to even sing a short lullaby.
The butterfly drew Emma’s attention again. It had somehow found a small opening, and was now bumping against a picture of lilacs on the wall of their kitchen. Perhaps it had smelled the cake her mother had made last night. Emma wondered how it had even gotten there. Butterflies are simply never seen in the city. She didn’t know why precisely. Maybe they were eaten by birds – but there were never any birds, either. Maybe they were just repelled by the ugliness of the concrete. Not many beautiful things could thrive here. They could barely get a pot of lilies to bloom on their living room window sill!
“What are you doing here, little one?” Emma asked the butterfly. “You haven’t got much of a chance living here, have you? I’m glad you came, though! I’ve been needing something beautiful.”
Emma’s conversation with the butterfly was interrupted by a fight between her mother and Maeve.
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph! What have you done to your hair, girl? And what is this? Do you think your father and I will be letting you out and about like this? You had best think again, hadn’t you?!”
“Mother! It’s no big deal! Almost all the girls at my school dye their hair, or at least have highlights. I only lightened it a little. Calm down!” Maeve sounded faintly annoyed.
Emma and the butterfly sank back against the cool metal of the kitchen chair.
“This could take awhile,” Emma told the butterfly. “When they get started, it’s like there are two storms bashing their heads together. Except one of them is angry, and one of them is bored. I bet you can guess which is which.”
The butterfly nodded its wise golden head, and then hopped around to face Emma’s father as he entered the kitchen.
“Well, what have we here?” he asked no one in particular as he pulled the grey chair around to face his daughter and the butterfly.
“It’s a butterfly,” Emma answered him, “but I think the yelling is scaring it.”
“It’s scaring me too! But you know what they say,” her father laughed, “’There are only three kinds of Irish men who can’t understand women: young men, old men, and men of middle age.’ It’s lucky for me, Emma, that you aren’t quite a woman yet.”
“Oh! I will never be like that!”
“That’s exactly what Maeve told me. And I’m sure that’s what your mother told her father, but look at them now: full-fledged women, and I’ve never the slightest idea what either is thinking!”
Her father laughed again, and stood to go back upstairs.
“You, Emma, remind me so much of your sister at your age. Hold on to whatever good in yourself that you can!” As he turned, she could barely hear him mutter into his beard, “Heaven only knows how long the precious things in life can survive.”
Emma got up to get a bowl of cereal. She wondered if the butterfly was hungry, and got it a spoonful of tap water with a bit of sugar mixed in.
“Butterfly,” she said, “I know my sister may scare you know, but you should have met her even two months ago! She was my favorite person ever; she was so happy, and she always had so many fun ideas. Maeve didn’t care about what she looked like, or impressing anybody, and she just wanted to be herself. She never wore any make-up, except maybe chap-stick when her lips were chapped from being out side all the time.”
Emma’s eyes took on a very wise expression for so young a girl.
“I know she’s different now, butterfly, but she may still go back!” Deep down, Emma wondered if Maeve really could go back. “She may have them hidden, but I now she has the old her buried somewhere! I just know it…”
Emma could hear footsteps on the stairway, her mother quietly sobbing, and her father’s soft voice. Her sister would be in the kitchen shortly, ready to get on the bus and have her friends exclaim over her new look. Please, please, don’t let her be too different! Emma thought. She couldn’t bear to look just yet, and so she rushed outside with the butterfly to set it free.
“Whatcha got there, kid? Some kind of bug, is it?” Emma could hear her sister’s voice behind her at the door.
“It’s a butterfly,” Emma answered without turning around. “A monarch butterfly. Its wings remind me of your hair.”
“Not anymore, they don’t! Wait’ll you see my new color. It’s fantastic! You know if you let it go, it’ll die. The world’s a big place. Something like that can’t survive here anymore than those flowers can.”
Emma still didn’t turn around. She couldn’t bear to see what her sister had done to her lovely hair.
“You never know, Maeve. Maybe it’ll be lucky. Maybe it’ll be the one beautiful thing to survive in this city. Even if you think it can’t make it, some things surprise you.”
She lifted her hand and raised the butterfly to the clear blue sky, waving a silent good-bye. Emma finally ventured a small glance behind her and held back a gasp. Her sister’s once glorious red hair was now a sleek, shiny, platinum blonde. Maeve’s beautiful clear face was covered in a mask of foundation, concealer, blush, eyeliner, eye shadow, lip-liner, lip-stick, and who knows what else. She looked like all of her other friends. Emma tasted a sour, metal taste in her mouth.
“Ooh, tough luck, kid,” Maeve said, and gestured with her right hand. “Look what happened to your bug.”
The butterfly had flown out into the middle of the street, hit the windshield of a passing car, and, as both Maeve and her father had predicted, died.