Check out some local talent! This short story and poem won our Spring Writing Contest for Teens!
Crazy In Love by Clare Cragg
Her hands were cold as I held them in my own ungloved hands, massaging them gently, they’d warm up eventually.
“You don’t have to do that, you know.”
I gave her fingers a gentle squeeze, smiling down at her red face, it was hard to tell whether the flush was from the cold or embarrassment.
” I don’t want you getting frostbite Julia, and your fingers feel like they’re about to fall off.”
We sat together on the porch steps of the old farmhouse where I had grown up, white powdery snow falling around us lazily, adding to the white cotton of the blanket of fluffy ice layered evenly over the fields and into the forest of maple not too far away.
“No parts of me are falling off anytime soon, Mark.”
“I don’t know, you seem to be pretty good at that sort of thing.”
She rolled her eyes.
“Falling over does not equate to limbs and digits falling off.”
“The two can definitely be connected though, Miss falling-head-first-into-a-snowbank.”
I finished trying to warm her hands and pulled her close, wrapping her up with me in my oversized coat.
“I’m still not sure how you managed to do that.”
She snuggled up against my chest with a contented smile.
“Clumsiness is a talent?”
“Of course, what else would it be?”
“You make a good point.”
I tilted her head upward to face me, pressing my lips to hers for a brief moment.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world then, getting to date such a wonderfully gifted woman.”
“You most definitely are.”
“All the men in town must be incredibly jealous of me, I get to be the boyfriend of the most amazing girl to ever exist.”
She laughed, and my heart swelled at the sound, it was such a clear and beautiful noise, like a thousand sparkling diamonds personified in the joy of a girl so perfect it almost didn’t seem possible.
“That’s ridiculous, Mark, I’m pretty cool, sure, but nowhere near “the most amazing girl to ever exist”
“I’d like to disagree with that, you know I’m right.”
“Yeah right, if I was the most amazing girl to ever exist, you would have married me already.”
“I really want to, Julia, believe me.”
The joviality in her voice fell, turning to a more serious tone.
“Then why haven’t you?”
There was a moment of silence as I met her eyes, the swirling blue crystals matching the pale pallor of the winter sky.
“It’s too late.”
I looked into those beautiful eyes, their shine vanishing for a fraction of a second, going dull, glazed over, like an unpolished crystal ball left to fade.
Then it was gone, her eyes were back to normal, she was still there in my arms, she was still safe.
“It’s a beautiful evening, isn’t it?” She asked wistfully, looking out at the darkening sky.
“Yeah, a little cold though.”
“Should we go inside? We probably shouldn’t be sitting here on such a biting night, we’ll freeze.”
I shook my head a little, holding her a little closer to myself.
“No, I don’t see why we should leave, this is where we sit and talk every evening, that shouldn’t change.”
“You’ll get cold.”
“That doesn’t matter, you’ll keep me warm.”
That wasn’t true, no matter how close she was to me, it wasn’t getting any warmer, she felt as cool as the night air surrounding them.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m fine, are you?”
She nodded, wrapping her arms around my neck.
“Snug as a bug in a rug with a mug of cocoa and all wrapped up in a hug.”
“I like that addition, it’s adorable.”
“You think so?”
I nodded, hugging her tighter, almost crushing her slight frame, longing for her warmth that wasn’t there. I tried to remember what it felt like to feel her heat in vain, the memories were vague, just like all the rest.
“Mark, you’re hurting me.” Her voice was calm, but the words struck me directly in the heart.
“I’m sorry, Julia.” I loosened my grip on her, my hands shaking.
“I’m so sorry…”
I shuddered as memories flooded into my mind, horribly vivid, blood, the snap of broken bones, the groan and creak of crushed metal.
Her voice coming from beside me sounded distant, a whisper in a violent snowstorm.
There had been a blinding snowstorm that night, I hadn’t been able to see anything through the car’s windshield, she had asked me to pull over, to wait until it passed to continue forward, but I hadn’t listened.
“Come back to me! Mark!”
Her voice seemed farther away as I recalled the jolt of the car crashing into the tree, her scream that cut off as we both flew forward through the glass. I had gotten out mostly unharmed, she hadn’t gotten out at all.
I had held her in my arms as her body lost the last of it’s warmth, her lifeless eyes staring up at the unceasing storm that blew around us.
She was gone, dead, I would never feel her warmth again.
I blinked, looking up to see her face a few inches from mine, eyes wide in concern, her cold arms wrapped around me.
“I’m here, you don’t have to think about that ever again, I’m here and I’m safe, just look at me, okay?”
I nodded slightly as the horrible memories faded away, returning her hug.
“Are you feeling better?” She asked softly.
“Yes, a lot better.”
I smiled at her, the beautiful lie my mind had created, I’d never give it up, I had sworn long ago that I would never face reality. Insanity was better than a world in which she did not exist.
“Are you okay, Julia.”
“Yeah,” she smiled at me, “just a little cold.”
“Let me try and fix that.”
Her hands were cold as I took them in my own ungloved hands, massaging them gently. They’d warm up eventually.
We Changed by Alexa LaSalle
You don’t know my favorite color anymore.
I changed it.
It used to be purple,
but purple is the same as yours,
so now it’s green.
I started using a new perfume too.
This one smells like roses,
not like the rain scented one you used to love.
My bed sheets are different too.
I don’t have the white ones we’ve slept in
and over anymore.
They’re blue now, and softer.
I bought a new phone,
one that you haven’t called.
I’ve changed a lot of things since you left.
I find this odd comfort in the fact that
you do not know me anymore,
just like how I no longer know you.
But the difference between you and me is that
you changed because you wanted to
and I changed because I had to.
But at least I now smell nicer,
and my sheets are now softer,
and my life is more green than purple.