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Author: Zack Riesland
Age: 17
Posted: April 18, 2000

An Honest Loser

Joseph Cataldo strolled down the sidewalk of his suburban neighborhood. It was a beautiful day; the weather was cool enough to wear a sweat-shirt, but warm enough to wear shorts if you wanted to. The sky was clear and beatiful. Joseph didn't really have a destination in mind. He just had to do some important thinking. A decision faced him, and he wasn't sure how to handle it. Many people wouldn't even consider the decision that he had to make a hard one; indeed, many would consider it a streak of luck. Joseph sat and thought about his day up to that point.
It had all started quite normally. He woke up at dawn and ran his typical five miles. Then he had come home, showered, and had his usual bowl of cereal. After a short devotional, he had gone to work at the insurance firm where he had worked for the past ten years: Pauci Praemiae Inc. He hated his job. He didn't mind the work so much; no, the work wasn't what bothered him. It was the people whom he worked with. His superiors were all self-serving jerks. Every time Joseph would come up with a good idea or would begin to get recognized for his meritorious work, Mr. Thomerson would take credit for it. Joseph often wondered if anyone in the company, besides Mr. Thomerson, knew how hard he tried to do a good job. And even if anyone did, it didn't matter, because they were all like Mr. Thomerson, and weren't looking out for anyone except for themselves.
At two o'clock, Joseph had left for his lunch break, and headed to the bank. When he had gone to withdraw some money from his account, he found that the savings account which had contained $1,326.54 the previous day, now contained $61,326.54. Joseph cassualy asked the teller when the last deposit had been made, and she responded that the Pauci Praemiae Insurance company had transfered $60,000 dollars to his account during the previous night. He knew that this must be a mistake, but he wasn't sure how to handle it yet, so he just smiled and took his leave.
That had all happened in the past six hours and now he sat in the park, resting from his walk, just now realizing that he had to be back at work in eight minutes. He sat on the park bench for the better part of an hour, a conflict raging in his mind. He knew that he should give the money back; it was the right thing to do. But $60,000; that could change his life. He could finally replace that old jallopy of a car he was driving around; and he could invest some of it and have a much more comfortable retirement. He normally wouldn't struggle so much with such a decision as this; if the money had come from anywhere else he would have quickly decided to give it back, but he hated his employers so much. "They owe it to me," he thought. "If I had been working for any other company all this time I would have made at least that much more. And let's face it; they're never gonna miss it. They make so much money from their rediculous rates and scant coverage that they may never know it's gone." The buzz of a school bus driving by alerted him that it was after 3:00. He walked back to his car at a brisk pace and headed back to work.
When he sat down in his cubicle he was a full 90 minutes late. He recieved a few raised eyebrows from some coworkers but his superiors were accustomed to taking two-hour lunches so there wasn't anyone of importance there to note his tardiness. He finished his day as usual and headed out at 6:00. On his way out of the office he scheduled a meeting with Mr. Rosenbauhm, the president of company, for the following morning.
He drove home after work, struggling to keep his mind off of his afternoon. He went to bed early that night; still, he still didn't sleep much. At sunrise he went for his morning run and it helped to clear his mind. He drove to work that morning with a good feeling. He had decided that he was going to give the money back. When he arrived at the office there was an e-mail waiting for him which explained that Mr. Rosenbauhm had to leave the country for a week or so, but that Joseph could meet with Mr. Thomerson that afternoon and that Mr. Thomerson would meet with Mr. Rosenbauhm that evening. Joseph cringed at the idea of having to even speak to Mr. Thomerson; however, he knew that he wouldn't be able to sleep, or even think clearly, until he had this settled. He put it off all morning but right before lunch he approached the office of Mr. Thomerson. The secretary informed him that he could go on in, so after a deep breath, he did. He sat down and collected himself, and then proceeded to explain the whole situation. When Joseph was finished explaining what had happened, Mr. Thomerson sat there with an indistinguishable look upon his face. "I'm sorry, Mr. Cataldo, but I'm afraid that what you claim is impossible. I am the head of monetary transactions in this firm, and I would know if $60,000 were suddenly missing from our accounts." Mr. Thomerson spoke with a look upon his face that concerned Joseph. He responded, "But sir, with all due respect, how do you account for..." Mr. Thomerson broke in abruptly: "Mr. Cataldo! I'm very sorry, but you are confused. If $60,000 were missing from company accounts, I would already be fired. And as you can see, I sit before you now, so you must be wrong. Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do." Joseph sat silently for a moment and then with every ounce of morality he had left he spoke up for a final time: "So you're telling me to keep the money that has been inadvertantly transfered to my bank account Mr. Thomerson?" "No, Mr. Cataldo, I'm telling you that no money has been transferred to your bank account. Now as I said before, please let the matter rest." With this, Joseph left the office and went to lunch. As soon as he was gone Mr. Thomerson called to his secretary to get Mr. Rosenbauhm on the phone.
By the time Joseph returned from lunch, he had decided to let the matter rest until he could meet with Mr. Rosenbauhm. If Mr. Rosenbauhm reacted as Mr. Thomerson had, he would keep the money; but surely the president of such a wealthy company would have more sense than that. There was something very puzzling to Joseph about Mr. Thomerson's hasty reaction to a situation that he felt was so important. He thought about it for most of the afternoon. He finally decided that he had done all in his power, and to let it rest until Mr. Rosenbauhm came back.
He left that evening and headed home. As he walked from his car to his front door he was approached by two men in suits. "Are you Joseph Cataldo?" one asked. "Yes, what can I do for you?" Joseph replied in a shaky voice. "I'm afraid we'll have to ask you to come with us."

Author: Tamara S. Battles
Posted: March 19, 2000

From the Ivory Side of Misfortune

The storm was raging inside of my broken heart as I tried to grasp at the terms of the way my life was heading. He was leaving me for something younger, something smarter, something richer. She was everything that I could never be and he wanted the pieces that were missing on me. I didn’t have the cup size of a huge flowerpot or the thin back that he didn’t want to grab. Most importantly, I wasn’t the right shade of darkness. Unfortunately, after the encouraging words of my sisters of how I could do better, I was still aching from the top of my head to midriff of my body.
The clouds rolled over the house and I could feel the thunder bursts through my ears. The torturing sounds of a heart crushing and pounding of the thunder outside. The dismal moments in my life could never compare to the way I felt at that moment. Crumbled up in my lavender recliner waiting for the rain to end or just to soften up enough to venture into the outside, somewhere I barely saw since the day he butted out of the front door with his clothes being flung at him by yours truly.
“I am sorry.” I heard echoing in my mind over and over as the compact disc player had done the repeat of Toni’s unbreaking heart. The song related to the way I felt, every word that Braxton bellowed out were the words I heard my heart preaching to my brain and to my empty hole he had abandoned below. “I am sorry for the pain I caused. I am sorry for the hurt I inflicted on you.”
What if he was sorry? What if he was depressed? What if he was just in dire need for a good piece of flesh that wasn’t me? What if he never did it again?
What if was what if. Imagining me, the authority of throwing him out the moment he cheats, letting him come home. Back home to the warmth of his desk in the study were he mellowed out his greatest poetry to me or in our bed where he laid me down like a kitten to a soft pillow and eased into me like the waves on our wedding day. I can only imagine what could there be left to savor except the past of our two hearts beating as one in a combined motion of sweat, tears and utter joy as we found comfort in one another’s arms through the storms of life. He was my safety net just like I was his comfort zone. Now the net had left me out to sea and the comfort zone is in another location.
There I sat, watching the rain pour down from the dark skies trying not to shed one more tear or scream out one last profane word to the empty room. He was far away from my heart but near to me in the body. The man belonged to another woman now, a beautiful, tanned girl from New Orleans with a college degree and four years of law studies to back her up. I was just a simple, shy woman from a small town called Lena with no formal education except for the twelve years spent at Northwood High. How sad had I become? The socialite of the area of barely a few hundreds had dropped her crown and wasn't able to find it. The beautiful precious daughter of money had turned into the soul-searching wife of a man who left her ivory shade for something more exotic and urban. I thought he wanted the country girl he met years before at school. I thought that he wanted her to always stay the same.
“I can change.” I heard myself say to him before I found out about the “other woman” in his closet. After finding her missing silk, I threw him out without the least bit hesitation of bringing him back in. I could have fought for the man but my sisters, my dear sisters, say that he wasn’t worth it because he fell for the ghetto scene, not the country queen.
I would have changed for him. I couldn’t change the skin tone or the long blond locks that were inherited from generations of Blaque women. I couldn’t get her out of his heart or him away from her dark midriff. If I could have, I would have. Now the story was done unlike the rain still pouring clear drops outside.
No more tears, I said to myself as I opened the drawer of the table beside me and reached in for the one thing to ease my pain. I touched it, felt how smooth and round it was. Temptation was pouring in to me. It was still chilled from before, almost empty of it contents, but was ready for one last drop. I pulled at it slowly, with not a single tear on my cheek. That would have made Mama sound proud of me. If she could only been there with me when I kicked him to the curb or to the end of the dirt covered driveway.
I felt the end of it once more and could feel all my innocence slowly drifting away. Suddenly, I was no longer in control of my body or my mind or my spirit. Someone else had me to grab at the cap. Someone else eased my hands around the hole. Someone else had me force the open space against my pink blistered lips into accordance with my tongue.
“Close your eyes.” This voice said to me in my head, a voice of a man, and calm, cool hard voice. “Relax. Soon enough, the pain will subside and you will be able to rest.” The voice was of someone I had never heard before. “Don’t move an inch. Just relax.”
My heart felt easy, my stomach felt empty and the sweat pouring down between my legs was suddenly cooled. This was a moment of simple pleasure for me. The pain would go away just as soon as I stuck my tongue against the hole and allowed the wet around it to lean against my lips. A moment of relaxation had hit me and I wasn’t a dismal person anymore. I was a goddess enjoying the moment of the agony to end.
“Just relax and close your eyes.” My eyes were shut comfortably. My hand moved down to the end of the conclusion. It move back up and I felt my forefinger bend as I could feel this sense of relaxation.
One huge gulp! One huge explosion! One sharp thrust through my throat and down to the rest of my body. The intensity of the blow left me powerless yet so strong. The world stopped around me and I had stopped with the world. One huge explosion. One huge gulp.

Author: George Herbert Beighey III
George Herbert Beighey III's Homepage
Posted: March 21, 2000

The Letter

"Oh God!" He thought, digging his fingers into the sand. "How could this have happened?"
Joe never believed anything like this could happen to him. Even though Sarge said that he should expect to get shot, that half of them wouldn't be coming back. He didn't believe it when he saw the explosions from the boat, not when he saw everyone around him going down during the assault on Normandy, not even when the grenade went off next to him, and not even when he felt his foot explode in agony. Joe thought he was impervious, protected by something, his faith, his importance to those he loved.
Yet now, as he lie on the shores of France, a country he'd only read about, bleeding on the wet sand, he knew how gullible he had been.
"I gotta hide!" He screamed to no one in particular.
He looked around, but he could barely see. Dirt and smoke filled the air, screams, explosions, the shriek of bullets filled his ears, the ground itself was hot from the war above it. Still, all Joe knew was his leg was ruined, possibly gone. He hadn't the courage to look down at it. He was too scared to actually see it. As though not looking left the possibility that it might be alright. It just hurt so much!
He grabbed his weapon in his right hand, and dragged himself across the beach with his left, until, at length, he found something of substance. He still couldn't see through tears, smoke, sand and blood, but whatever it was, it was wet, warm, reasonably solid. This last, at the moment, was all he cared about. He grabbed ahold, and began to slide this shield over him.
"Stop . . . what are you doing?"
He looked up, choking in fear, "omigod, it's a German," he looked in horror into what was left of the face of another American soldier. "Sorry, I . . ."
"Help me." The soldier replied.
At one time, Joe thought, this guy might have been handsome. But now, as he looked more closely, Joe saw that the man who he was using as a shield was horribly wounded. His face was torn away on one side, exposing the cheek bone and nasal cavity, his eye completely gone. His shoulder was blown off, and part of his breast and collar bone were exposed. Sand had packed itself into the gaping hole, slowing the bleeding.
"I'm not a medic." Joe gasped.
The soldiers eyes rolled back in his head for a second, "your name, just tell me your name . . ."
"Joe." He replied quickly. Then, he made to roll the soldier off of him.
"Don't," he said quickly, "it's alright."
Joe shook his head. He couldn't believe what he had heard. Did this guy just volunteer to be his shield?
"We've got to get out of here. Find some cover."
The soldier gagged, spitting blood. "I'll cover you, Joe." He tried to smile, but didn't have enough tissue left. "It's okay, just, don't leave me here alone . . . please."
"Okay . . ." Joe whispered, pulling the soldier close to him. He was ashamed. How could he be such a coward? Still, his fear far outstripped any such noble emotions, and it was obvious that this soldier was a goner.
A round of machine gun shells pelted the sand beside them. Joe pulled the soldier tight against him. The soldier's mouth was next to Joe's ear now, he whispered in. "Joe, I don't have a letter."
"Letter?" Joe was shaking.
"You know, a letter . . ." he choked, "just in case." He laughed painfully. "I never thought this would ever happen to me, you know."
Joe clenched his eyes shut. He did know. He didn't have one either. If he died there, his wife would never know how much he loved her. Joe had never been the kind for such emotional crap. His baby boy would never know what his favorite color was, or what food he liked. All he could say was,
"I know."
Bullets rang all around them, Joe felt impacts near his feet and legs. The wounded man winced and groaned.
"Oh God! You're hit again!" Joe shouted.
"It's okay," he wept, "there's no time for that now."
"But . . ."
"Shut up!" He swallowed a mouthful of blood. "Just . . . listen."
Again, Joe tried to roll out from under the soldier.
"Stop it!" The soldier cried. His teeth dug into Joe's uniform, breaking his dog chain. He head butted Joe, splitting Joe's lip. "You've got to listen to me . . . please!"
"Shut up! I think I can get us to a medic . . ." Another round, impacting near their heads.
The soldier put a bloody three fingered hand over Joe's mouth. "Man, I begging you, don't leave me here! Don't you think I know what happening? You think I'm so stupid not to know I'm dying? I gotta . . . last a few more minutes. That's why I stuffed sand in the hole . . . in my side."
Joe relaxed his muscles. How could he argue with that?
"I'm your cover, I don't care, but you owe me."
"Owe you?" Joe was confused.
"You've got to live. You've got to listen to me, before it's all over, Joe. You've got to be my letter home."
"Look . . ."
"Shut up . . . shut up and . . . listen. You be my letter and I'll be your shield."
Joe nodded.
"My name is Steve Walker, I'm from Colorado Springs. I have a wife . . . she's pregnant." The soldier gasped for breath.
Joe fought his tears. He never cried, crying was for women or cowards. Then, he looked into Steve's one eye and wondered just who was the coward here. He pulled the soldier to his ear once again, so that he could hear him over the bombs and bullets.
"She's so pretty, Joe, so small. She used to look at me with those eyes . . ."
"What else?" Joe whispered.
"She likes to wear pants." He laughed. "But she has to shop at the kids section to find something that fits. I first saw her in science class, eleventh grade. She was writing a paper, and I thought, how delicate. Just sitting there, so into her work, all alone, no friends. She was like a rose petal, Joe. She needed me . . ." He began to cough.
A grenade exploded nearby, sand raining down on them.
"What do you want me to tell her?"
"Tell her . . . tell her that I should have told her . . .should have shown her. I should have written her poetry, sang her songs, bought her candy every day of her life. Tell her that I never spoke, never said how much . . . I loved her because . . . I was too stupid. I never found the words to say what I felt. Tell her I'm sorry, I never thought I'd die." Bullets whizzed by another striking the Soldier again, but now, he failed to even react to it. He was little more than dead weight upon Joe's chest.
"What else?" He slapped the soldiers face to rouse him.
"Daddy?" He said through a blood encrusted mouth. "Daddy, I'm sorry. It hurt so bad, please, dad, are you there?"
"It's me, Joe. We're in France, remember?"
"Joe, remember?"
"Y-yeah. Y-you got kids Joe?"
"A boy." Joe wept.
"That's what we were hoping for, but not now. I want . . . a girl. Someone who doesn't have to be afraid of . . . this. Someone who doesn't have to worry about . . . writing . . ."
Joe sobbed openly, like a baby, unable to hold it in. More bullets rang out. A mechine gun, somewhere close. Joe pulled the soldier closer.
"Dad, don't cry, dad! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"
"Quit it!" Joe screamed. "I'm not your dad! Do you here me? Shut up!!" He shook the soldier, but there was no longer any life within his ruined body. "Oh dear God! Somebody help me!" Joe screamed, holding the soldier tight against him.
"Ain't anybody out there!? Can't somebody hear me?" He screamed. "Doesn't anybody care?" Joe was alone now, only a corpse for a friend in a land of hot flying death. He slammed his eyes shut and clenched his shield with all his strength.
After an eternity of screaming bullets, mortar shells exploding, dirt flying, smoke choking, machines growling around him, finally, all he heard was the ocean. He crawled out from under the bullet ridden corpse of Private Steve Walker. He looked at his foot, which had gone completely numb. The boot was in pieces, leather, rubber and grenade shrapnel embedded and fused with the skin. The toes were still there, although they pointed in five different directions.
Joe just sighed and looked at the soldier. Beside the corpse, glistening in the sun like silver in a chest, were two dog tags. Joe took them, clenched them in his fist.
"Thank you, Steve Walker. Your letter's in the mail."

Author: James Garcia
Age: 32
Posted: March 22, 2000

The Accident

As the sun was coming up that morning it illuminated the Sky, you could hear in the distance the bird singing their joyful song, the smell in the air was that of a new day, a new beginning. The trees were blooming with their leaves and fruits. Spring was here and she sure was beautiful. The tree outside my window showed the joy of the day as the wind rocked it back and forth. What would this day hold for me?

I was lying in my bed thinking of how my life would change as I would graduate from high school and go to college. What would the future hold For me? I stared at all my sports posters and thought, will I be one of the stars on the poster someday. I got out of bed and went to the bathroom for my morning shower, my day was about to start.

The last day of school was always a hard one for me, but this year it would be different since it was my last. I walked past the yellow hall and saw my life past by me, four years of my life have rushed by and were about to end. I traveled through the hallway until I reached my homeroom class. There at his desk in his big brown suit sat Mr. Freely, he was one of the biggest person that I knew, he had to weigh about 400 lbs. and had to be about 6 7". Everyone in the class room was afraid of his enormous body. Mr. Freely was also a very gentle human being, he was known in town for his rescue of two children during a house fire. When none of the firefighters moved in to save the children, he did. The children's parents died in that fire, but Mr. Freely was there for those children especially when he found out that they had no family. Mr. Freely, a single 35 year old man with so much love in his heart, he Decided to adopt the two children ages 5 and 6. Mr. Freely also has one of the biggest heart that I know, I was proud to call him my teacher and coach.

As I walked into the classroom, I notice Frank was sitting in the back of the room. Frank was 19 and he was still in high school, he was hoping to graduate this year and if he didn't this would be his last day anyway. Frank looked like a boxer, with all kinds of scars on his face. He was known as the trouble maker in the school and most people did not even talk to him. His face showed all lines of a bad life. Frank had been kicked out of his house when he was 16 after he was accused of setting the fire that made Mr. Freely a hero. He swore he did not do it but most people did not believe him and are still accusing him and waiting for him to fall. Finally when the police finished their investigation, they had no choice but to clear him, but still his parents did not want him in the house. His face showed fear more than anger. He was hurt and nobody wanted to understand him. For a while he dropped out of school but by my persuasion he came back.

He waved me over and I walked toward him and sat next to him. We had been friends since we were kids. Everyone knew him as the tough guy, but I knew him as my best friend. He started to tell me that he was not going to graduate, but I assured him that he would.

The bell rang for lunch, and as I entered the cafeteria the smell of macaroni and cheese filled the air. I knew this was the day that I should eat out. Frank came over and I shared my idea with him and he was set, anyway, it was the last day of school and I had never done this before. We headed to the parking lot and got into Frank's car and we drove out to the country corner store to gas up. Frank pulled up and went into the store as I pumped the gas. The fume of the gas penetrated my nostrils with a burning fire. The day was dry and hot therefore making it worse. I turned around and frank was getting in the car, I finished and got into the car when I noticed that frank had blood on his pants. I will never forget the look on his face; it was the look of death. His face was pale and his eyes were shot with pain, he even had tears coming into his eyes before I could even ask what had happened he took off making the car shoot dirt in all directions. I kept asking what was wrong and were did the blood come from, I noticed that he also had blood on his hand and this made me more nervous, But he was silent. I started to think back and remembered the same look the night that he was arrested for the arson of the home, as he faced the judge he had the same look. I knew something was wrong but I could not get it out of him.

We had been driving for 25 minutes without a place to go when the sound of the car rolling down the road was interrupted by the sound of sirens. I looked behind me and three police cars were behind us, I noticed that frank started to speed up. I tried to calm him down. I kept telling him that there was nothing wrong. He turned and faced me and spoke the last words that I heard from him. He made a hard left turn and the car flipped over several times, I was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car several feet. I hit the ground with such impact I heard my leg snap and it broke like a twig. I was able to remain conscious and see the car explode into a ball of fire. Frank was still trying to get out! I could see his burnt body reaching for life as the fire consumed the car. I could smell his burning flesh and hear the roar of his screams as he was dying in the fire. I could not do anything! Just then about five police officers jumped on top of me and started to handcuff me. I could not understand what was happening and I am still not sure of what happened that day. The police tried to extinguish the fire but it was too late for frank, he was dead. The police picked me up with no concern for my broken leg. I tried to tell them but they were not interested in what I had to say. One of the officers who was a friend of my father made his way toward me and read me my rights. I asked what was going on and he told me that I was being arrested for murder. At that moment my life flashed before my eyes. The police officer continued to say that the store clerk at the country store was murdered. He said that Frank and I were the last two individuals who had been in the store and evidence at the scene indicated to us. Just at that moment it hit me, the blood on his pants and the look on his face, could it be that he killed someone and had now brought me in into this mess. He was dead and so was the truth. I could not believe it, frank was dead and I was being arrested for murder.

The next couple of months went by real slow as I sat in the county jail awaiting trial. Then the day arrived and it came to pass, I was guilty by association. I was Frank's friend; therefore, I was guilty.

As I sit here on death row thinking about my future there is always the thought of where would I be if it were not for the "accident."

Author: Jesse Saylor
Age: 41
Posted: March 27, 2000

Running With the Cretins

Nick Mecca stood still and listened. He then scented the air. Something had alerted him. The city was busy this night, and the pack roamed at will, blending in, not allowing any to see them as they truly were. What they were capable of becoming. In timespast, the pack had roamed wild, taking what they wanted, killing randomly and excessively.
The pack had no fear, showed little emotion among the human cattle they preyed upon. At one time, they too, had been cattle, but they had been chosen, to become something else entirely, a new species on the face of the earth. How they had come to be was a mystery, even to the elders of the packs, who created them anew.
They knew not if they were all that existed of thier species, or if more packs roamed the earth, in other cities, in other countries. Nor did they care. All that mattered was that they be able to hunt, to feed and to do as they wished. However, now, they were being trained to become something more than animals in human guise.
Nick Mecca was teaching his pack how to become human once more. He was new to the life, a pack member for only three seasons, yet he was strong, with a will of iron and a mind that was quick and sharp. He had defeated the elder in battle, and though he could clearly recall the pack howling for the elder's blood, Nick Mecca had refused to kill the old man.
Nick Mecca had been able to do what few of his kind could. He had held fast to his mind while being transformed. The transformation process was slow and painful, five days of torturous surgery and injections, the pain almost coma inducing, and the only escape from it, unconsciousness. But Nick was stubborn and he had endured the pain, held on to his mind, and thus retained the knowledge of what it was like to be wholly human.
Nick surveyed his pack, picking them out easily, though they were no different in appearance from the street people around them. He took groups up every night, not the whole pack, but select members, to hunt and to enjoy themselves with whatever pleasure they chose. He himself chose not to hunt each night, he was still human enough to realize the danger in that.
Nick and his pack lived in Morgan, a city of roughly eight hundred thousand. It was huge and impersonal enough for him to do what he must. He smiled a bit as he thought of the rumors that had surrounded Morgan since the city had begun. In the late seventeen hundreds there had been tales of things that snatched up small children, of glowing lights and ethereal veils of shimmering radiance. Nick had never seen evidence of such things, but he supposed they might well exist. After all he had never seen a Cretin either, but he knew they existed. He was now their leader.

Author: Becky
Age: 25
Posted: March 31, 2000

The Arrival

Samantha and Tony had been waiting for this time ever since they fell in love four years ago. They are going to have a baby. The pregnancy had been a perfect one. Samantha ate healthy and exercised like the doctor told her to. Everything had been great. Tony decided to go ahead and go to work, even though she was due any minute. He was half way through a meeting when his pager that the hospital gave him started beeping. It was Samantha. He rushed over to a phone and dialed as quickly as he could. She told him that her water had just broken and her contractions were already really strong. He knew that he would not be able to get home to take her to the hospital, so he asked a co-worker to call 911 and have an ambulance sent to his house. He would just have to meet her at the hospital. He could hear how much pain she was already in and she said that the contractions were already a minute apart. He stayed on the phone with her until she told him that the ambulance had arrived and then he raced to his car and off the emergency room.
When he arrived, he saw Samantha being wheeled in on a stretcher. He rushed to her side. The nurses quickly moved her up to the maternity ward and into her room so they could get her hooked up to the monitors to see how she and their baby was doing. Once the nurses got her hooked up to monitor the babies heartbeat, they noticed that it was very weak. One of the nurses hurried over to the phone and paged her doctor stat. Tony kept asking them what was wrong and they kept telling him that he would have to wait for the doctor to come. Samantha kept screaming from the pain and kept asking for something, but the nurses refused. When the doctor appeared, the nurse that paged him was telling him something and Tony could see his face turn to worry. He came over and explained to them that their babies’ heartbeat was too weak to be delivered naturally. He was going to have to do an emergency “C” section on her. Samantha asked him if her baby was going to make it and he reassured her that he could have their baby out in less than a minute if necessary.
As Samantha was being rushed up to the operating room, she couldn’t help but start crying. Here her pregnancy had been so wonderful and she was ready to start a new life with her child and now this is happening and she didn’t know why. Once they got her prepped, they allowed Tony to be by her side. The baby was having a harder time with each passing second. Once the doctor opening up Samantha, he hurried and got the baby out. The nurses immediately took the baby over to another table and started working on it. Samantha was worried because she hadn’t heard the baby cry yet and the doctor reassured her that the baby is fine, the nurses are just cleaning it up. The doctor told them that they have a son. Tony walked over to the table and when he looked down at his son, he noticed that he didn’t look normal. He asked the nurse what was wrong and they told them that he has Down syndrome. Tony couldn’t say anything. He just started crying. How could this of happened? Why wasn’t this detected on any of the doctor’s visits that they went to? Why couldn’t someone prepare them for this? How could they get through this? As he was asking himself all of these questions, he turned to Samantha and she was smiling. He walked over to her and she took his hand in hers. She told him that God had chose them to have a baby with special needs, just as God chose them to find one another and fall in love. Tony couldn’t help but be in awe of his beautiful wife. He knew that if he needed anything strength to get through this, then she would be it. One of the nurses brought their son over to them and placed him in Samantha’s arms. She looked down at him and he looked so peaceful. She let a tear fall to her cheek and looked at her son and said to him “I am your mommy and that is your daddy.” “Happy Birthday Thomas, we love you.”

Author: Emily Lehmann
Age: 16
Posted: April 08, 2000

Tomorrow Morning

Act 1 Scene 1
(The scene opens. This is a room of sickly people. The clothing style is impoverished 30’s in Europe. This is the Warsaw Ghetto. The clothing of all five of the people in the room is marked with a yellow star on each of the costumes. There are 5 people on stage. A woman in her early fifties, standing near a black curtain that is over what represents a window. There is a woman in her late teens holding an infant. A boy of seventeen, and another boy of no more then ten. The lighting is minimal and dreary. There should be a representation of disorder. There is silence, until the girl with the light brown hair holding the infant begins to hum a common Polish lullaby to her child. The girl is Ruth, and she is an attractive young woman whose mere appearance mirrors strength. The light fades and there is a spotlight on Jacob. The seventeen year old. The humming continues. Jacob is of average height and build, average looks. He regards the audience with a wry smile and nods to them. He is standing center stage in front of the table. He studies the audience carefully before he speaks.)

Jacob: Welcome. Welcome to my home. My name is Jacob Adler. I am seventeen years old. (Pause) I hate you. All of you. Do you hear me? I hate you! Do you see her? (He calms, Spotlight on Evelyn) That is Evelyn Edelmann Goldstein. Married James Goldstein in 1908 when she was 19 years old. She has been the only mother to me I have ever known. They took me in when I was orphaned. Raised me from the age of seven. She used to be beautiful. Now she talks to herself and doesn’t recognize us most of the time. James was a teacher. A teacher at a secondary school. He taught history. A good man. They loved each other dearly. They had two children. Ruth and David. We lived in a modest home. We lived a modest life. We were happy until... until the Fuhrur came to power. Heil Hitler. Men came in the night with loud clicking boots and took James away. To a work camp they say. He’s dead. ( Pause ) That’s why she has given up. Evelyn is fading away. Deteriorating. ( Light on Evelyn fades) This is what we must deal with. ( He nods to the girl holding the baby who is rocking back and forth humming, the spotlight comes up on Ruth) That is Ruth. We’re the same age. Seventeen. She’s a few months older then me. She was madly in love with Jeffrey Baumburger.. thus the child in her arms and the one in her womb. Two months. They are not married. This crushed Evelyn.. I do not call her Mother because she is not, though I do think of her as such.. it would be strange, for you see I am in love with Ruthie. Don’t tell. ( He laughs a little) She thinks of me as a brother, as it should be. Well.. her Jeffrey recently joined the Hitler Youth.. and he spat on us as we walked by. Taken from our home. Our crime? Being Jewish. Ruth still loves him. She’s a blind fool. ( The girl continues to rock back and forth, humming. The second spotlight now moves from him to the little boy sitting at the table reading a book.) And this is Peter. He’s 9. He likes to read. He never really asks for anything. Even when he cries out in his sleep because his stomach hurts from being so hungry. Starving. Never would he ask for anything. ( The light goes out on Peter) And then there’s me. I care for my family. I dreamt of becoming a Doctor ever since I was a little boy. I’ve wanted to help people. To save lives. James would have paid for me to go to college, even though I was not his biological son, and money is sparse. He wanted me to succeed in what I wanted to do. Well, it’s impossible for a Jew to go to University. Has been for sometime. Now it’s impossible for us to do anything but wait to die here in this ghetto. The Warsaw Ghetto. We’re dying. Starving to death. Full of lice. Plagued with diseases that don’t even have names. My Doctor’s degree would do wonders now, wouldn’t it? Who has made this impossible? Hitler? Sure. Why not? It couldn’t possibly be you. You who have just sat there and let it happen. You watched us from your window. You never raised one finger to stop us from being sent from our homes to this nest of death. ( He sighs and shakes his head. The lights come on all over the stage and activity begins. Evelyn babbles to herself and Ruthie continues to hum and Peter reads) That’s what I'd say to them, Ruthie. That’s what I'd say to our Polish brothers and sisters who never stopped this from happening to us. (Ruthie smiles a little)
Ruth: It’s not worth it, Jacob. We can’t dwell. We need to make best of the situation we’re in.
Jacob: Make the best of it! Damnit, Ruth!
Ruth: ( She sighs softly and cradles her infant) Quiet, please? You’ll wake Jeffrey.
Jacob: You shouldn’t have named your son after him.
Ruth: Please.
(Peter glances up)
Peter: Ruth? I want to fight the Nazi’s.
Ruth: You are Peter.
Peter: How?
Ruth: You’re reading. You’re learning. You’re alive.
Jacob: ( Sighing deeply, shaking his head) I’m going for a walk.
Evelyn: Jacob.
Jacob: ( Stops, just before exiting) Yes, Evely... Mother?
Evelyn: Don’t use that language please. Your father will be upset if he has to come downstairs and tell you again what language is appropriate.
Ruth: Mama, Papa’s not upstairs.
Evelyn: Of course he is, dear. Where else would he be?
(Jacob stalks out of the house)
Ruth: Don’t worry about it, Mama.
Evelyn: What would I worry about?
Act 1 Scene 2
( The lights go out and come up again on a street, Jacob is standing near a young woman in dark clothing, and a boy near his age)
Jacob: Josie, Michael. Is it true?
Michael: I’m afraid so.
Josie: Clearing out Saturday.
Michael: It’s Tuesday. We need to get into hiding, and warn as many as we can. They’re taking us by train to work camps is the rumor.
Josie: It will be fine.
Jacob: No. No it won’t.
Josie: ( Touches his arm and watches him) Listen to me. I have friends.. powerful friends. They’re not going to hurt me, or any one I'm close to. Understand?
Jacob: What are you talking about?
Josie: Think about it. You’re not stupid, Jacob.
Michael: Josie. Stop it. You know that’s dangerous. The SS are NOT your friends, no matter what they say to you. I don’t care how many of their beds you have shared.
( Josie slaps him)
Josie: Listen to me. I swear, you don’t ever say that again. What I do is my business and mine alone. If you don’t want my help... then you will be my enemy.
Jacob: What’s the matter with you!?! Josie. You’re Jewish! You’re a Jew! They killed your Mother!
Josie: She was not my Mother. She deserved what happened to her.
Jacob: What’s wrong with you!?!
Josie: Nothing’s wrong with me. I’m smart. I’m going to live through this war. You’re going to be sent away. Deported. You and your family. You’re all going to die. I’ll see to it. ( Jacob stands numb) Enjoy Ruth. You could have had something good with me, Jacob. You could have made something of yourself. Now all you’ll ever be is a play thing for the Nazi’s.
Michael: No. That’s what you are. ( He turns and walks away)
Jacob: How could you, Josie? Sleeping with Nazi’s.
Josie: It has been said it is better to share the devil’s bed, then to be in his path. I’ve shared beds with worse then Nazi’s. For instance, Michael. ( She glares after the man who is walking away) And what about my Mother’s lover? I was 10. No. There’s far worse then Nazi’s out there. Ruth would be quite surprised if she knew her beloved was in my bed, wouldn’t she?
Jacob: You’re filthy.
Josie: You’re dead.
( Jacob watches her and then walks away. She watches him go and then stalks in the other direction)
Act 1 Scene 3
( A bedroom, some music has played and the lights have changed to show some lapse in time. Josie is laying on a bed in a slip. She is next to a man whose Gestapo uniform is strewn over the chair)
Josie: (Quietly) Jeffrey.
( He glances to her, sneering, he’s smoking a cigarette)
Jeffrey: What is it, whore?
( She winces slightly)
Josie: Don’t call me that.
Jeffrey: It’s what you are.
Josie: No, I'm not. If I'm a whore what would that make you?
Jeffrey: What is it you wanted to say?
Josie: I know a family that should be deported.
Jeffrey: Why is that? Who?
Josie: The Goldsteins. They have a library. They hold a school for the Jewish children...
Jeffrey: Ruth Goldstein and her family?
Josie: Yes. Her.
Jeffrey: I know her.
Josie: Pretty well it would seem. She’s having your baby.
Jeffrey: She already has my baby.
Josie: She’s having another. Would you be shot if your superiors knew that? Or whose bed you frequent? Do I have that much power?
(He grabs a handful of her dark hair)
Jeffrey: Don’t tell me what I know. They’re going to be on that train, and guess what, beauty. So are you.
(She lets out a cry and the lights go out)
Act 1 Scene 4
(Evelyn is sitting at the table, rocking back and forth, mumbling to herself. She’s alone. The apartment is empty.)
Evelyn: ( She’s smiling to the empty chair across from her.. her words are just beginning to be understandable) Oh yes, James. I think so too. Quite the Doctor he’ll be. He loves to help people. ( Pause) Yes. He’s a good boy. I know he’s not ours, but he’s always been a special little man. Yes, we did save him, you’re right. We did. We did. He’ll be a Doctor one day. I know it. ( She nods as if he’s speaking) Yes, and Peter’s going to grow up just like you. He’s going to teach History you know. At a University. I’m sure of it. He’s a good boy. A very good boy. He loves to read. He’s smart. And Ruth. ( She smiles as if he’s speaking about her) Oh no. She’s far prettier then I ever was. She’s going to win a thousand hearts. Yes, yes, you’re right. She already has. Who could blame her? ( She nods) I know. She should have married before having the child. We were so torn up about that.. but really, she’s a good girl. He’ll marry her yet. You just wait James. ( She smiles, her eyes lighting up) Oh, you think so? I always did like this shade of blue. This is the shade I was wearing when you met me. Oh James, you’re such a tease. Oh yes. I will always love you. You know that. How can you even ask? ( Tears stream down her face) Why don’t you come here and hug me? I miss being held by you. Oh yes.. I know.. I know you’re busy with work. Yes, I know. It’s hard. I love you, James. Yes, dinner’s in the oven. Your favorite. Roast turkey with... ( Peter’s standing at the door watching her speak to nothing. She blinks and glances to him) Oh, hello Peter.. your Father just left to go get.. well I don’t remember now.
Peter: Alright Mama. It’s been a long time since I talked to Papa.
Evelyn: Oh no, he read you a bedtime story just last night. The one about the dragon...
Peter: Yeah, Mama. You’re right. ( He’s crying and he hugs her tightly)
Evelyn: There, there, Peter. What’s the matter? Why are you crying?
Peter: No reason Mama. None.
( The lights fade.)
Act 1 Scene 5
( There is yelling heard. Four men in Gestapo uniforms are kicking and laughing at a little boy who is laying in the street sobbing. Ruth walks down the street and blinks, watching, pressing herself against a wall. She knows if she speaks out against this she will be deported immediately. Soon the boys cries fade until there is nothing. One of the Nazi’s pulls out his gun and shoots the little boy. They leave. Continuing to find their next play thing. Ruth races to the boys body and kneels beside him, tears streaming down her face)
Ruth: My God! My God! He was only a child! ( She takes the boy in her arms, careful of the blood, her hand shaking brushes over his eyelid to close his open vacant eyes. She just sits there and cries) You were only a child! ( She continues her sobbing, rocking the child back and forth in her arms slowly. Footsteps are heard and she glances up with a tear streamed face. It’s Jeffrey. The father of her children)
Jeffrey: Filthy Jew.
Ruth: Jeffrey.. it’s me. It’s.. it’s Ruth! ( She stares at him, pale)
Jeffrey: (Pulls her to her feet roughly, the dead little boy moves from her grasp back to his place of death. The filthy ground of the Ghetto. His resting place. Jeffrey stares into her eyes with true hate) I know no Jewish whores. ( His knee hits her stomach, hard. She falls to the ground) May you rot in hell, filth. (And he stalks away. Ruth just lays there on the ground, clutching her stomach, tears streaming down her face.. and the lights go down.)
Act 1 Scene 6
(Ruth is laying down on a bed, her eyes closed. Jacob is right by her side, holding her hand. Watching her sleep.)
Jacob: I’ll kill him. I swear it.
Ruth: ( Whispering) No. No. I will not lose you too. ( She squeezes his hand and her eyes slowly open) I won’t lose all of the men I love in this world. Do you hear me, Jacob? ( He stares at her.) What good would it do for you to die too? I’ll have lost Papa, the man I thought I loved... What will I have left? What will happen to our family if you’re gone? We will make it through this. You hear me? ( He only nods)
Evelyn: (Calling from the kitchen) Supper’s ready.
Jacob: She’s making water with a potato for supper.
Ruth: Let her believe things are the same. It will do no good to tell her otherwise. All it will do is hurt her. She’s been hurt enough.
Jacob: You’ll eat my soup.
( She smiles a little and shakes her head)
Ruth: I don’t know what I'd do without you, Jacob.
(Time lapses with the use of the lights)
Act 1 Scene 7
( There are sounds of boots clicking, and yelling.. nothing distinguishable, just screaming and sobs the lights come on and our characters are standing around silent, watching their door, which is offstage left)
Evelyn: This is a nightmare.. nightmare.. nightmare.. nightmare.. nightmare.. nightmare.. nightmare...
Jacob: Stop saying that!
Ruth: Please.. everyone, this doesn’t help. ( She rocks the infant back and forth)
Peter: ( coughs) Is this it, Jacob? Are they taking us away?
Jacob: It’s too soon! It’s only Friday! They’re not supposed to come yet! ( He paces back and forth- Ruth’s baby begins to cry, then Evelyn joins in with hysterical sobs.) SILENCE! ( There is complete and total silence for 5 seconds and then the door is thrown open. 3 men in Gestapo uniforms with swastika’s on their sleeves burst inside)
Gestapo 1: Out filthy Jews!
Gestapo 2: Schnell! Schnell!
( Peter runs to Ruth and wraps his arms around her waist. She holds her son in one arm and runs her fingers through his hair with her free hand)
Ruth: It’s alright Peter. We’ll be together.
Evelyn: Let me find my husband.. he’ll tell you this is all a mistake.
( The third man who has been silent up to this point raises his gun and aims it at her)
Gestapo 3: Silence!
( Jacob steps forward)
Jacob: We will go without protest.
( The group walks out of their small filthy apartment in the Ghetto silently. Jacob walking first. Followed by Ruth who holds Peter’s hand, and the infant Jeffrey in her arms. Behind them is Evelyn walking slowly. The curtain falls.)

( There are sounds of a train moving. A sound of a screeching halt and the curtain comes up. It is dark, like always. Three cattle cars are on the stage. They are thrown open and people pile out of them, being pushed.. slowly the cars turn with the revolving set and disappear.. in it’s place appears a sign. Arbeit Macht Frei. The men and women are separated. The women disappear back stage and the men are separated.. Jacob is sent to the Right, and Peter to the left. They disappear and the women appear back onstage, a man grabs Ruth’s arm)
Man: Give your child to your mother. It will survive with her. They treat women and infants well here. ( He winces at the words he says.. he is a Jewish man and he knows what will happen to the girl if she hangs on to her baby)
Ruth: (nods) Thank you.. When will I see them again?
Man: ( He watches her and his voice is flat) Tomorrow morning.
Ruth: ( she nods) Mama..
Evelyn: Yes, Darling? ( She glances around.. there are so many people surrounding them)
Ruth: Take Jeffrey with you. Take care of him. I will see you tomorrow morning. I love you Mama. ( She offers him her child)
Evelyn: I love you, Ruth. I need to find your Father and talk to him.. ( And they are separated, Ruth to the right and her mother and child to the left. There is great commotion, the people on the left begin to spin around Evelyn, the baby is taken from her arms, and the spinning continues. A man appears. The variation of his clothing is a deep contrast to everything else. He is in a clean white suit that was stylish in the twenties. He smiles, a hand outstretched to her. This of course is James. Her husband.)
James: Evie. My beautiful wife.
Evelyn: James. I had been worried sick, you didn't’ come home yesterday.. and the children told me you were..
James: No, love. I’m fine. Just fine. So are you. Take my hand.
Evelyn: Where are we going?
James: We’re going home. (Hand in hand, he turns her, people spin around them, and then she is on one of the wheelbarrows, along with a number of other bodies, and the lights go out. )
Act 2 Scene 2
(The lights are down to suggest night and in the backdrop are small flickers of light that could very well be stars. There is a wide stretch of barbed wire going horizontally across the stage, and then also to stop relation between the two segmented camps with in Auschwitz. There are four people. Two on each half of the barb wired cubicle. On the womans side are Ruth and Josie. On the men’s side is Jacob, and another man named Eric. The clothing is far worse then in the ghetto. Filthy striped dresses for the women, and a uniform much like it for the men. The Star of David on each but Eric's. He wears a pink triangle. They are together yet each separate.)
Jacob: God. Is there a God?
Josie: There’s no God, here. Not for me.
Eric: How to keep faith, when you die more and more each day.
Ruth: How can I survive, when they’ve taken my name?
Jacob: A tattooed number.
Eric: Loving men over women. Condemned for being gay.
Josie: My father a Gypsy, my mother a Jew.
Jacob: Alone with so many.
Ruth: Jacob.. what can I do?
Eric: My family.. nowhere.
Jacob: My brother. Gone.
Josie: They shaved off my hair.
Ruth: I’ve been here 3 months. Alive for how long?
Eric: I see the barbed wire.
Josie: I want to escape.
Eric: I’ve walked through the fire.
Ruth: Jacob are you there?
Jacob: Ruth.. Can you hear?
Ruth: They murdered them, Jacob. Mama. My baby.
Josie: Death’s the only way out of this place.
Eric: Little time left.
Josie: What have I become?
Ruth: In a world full of hate...
Jacob: How can one get ahead?
Eric: The Crematorium, shall now be my home. (He steps back.. and he is gone)
Josie: The doctors and soldiers.. so many beds to warm.. so many experiments for them to do.. How long before my body’s through?
Ruth: To remember the past.
Jacob: To forget the present.
Ruth and Jacob: To pray for the future.
( All voices join in) What will become of our souls...?
( Blackout)
Act 2, Scene 3
( Lights come up. There is a tree in the middle of the camp. There is no one there. The tree is focused on for a few moments, and then Jacob comes out. He stares at the tree. His voice is quiet as he speaks, his back to the audience as he faces the tree)
Jacob: How do you think it is that in a place like this a tree... a tree can live. ( He turns around to face the audience) How could anyone or anything live here. ( He looks heavenward. His voice quiet) Is this a sign, God? Not to give up? (The lights change to show the passage of time and he glances to the other side of the barbed wire where a woman stands. He whispers to himself) Ruth. ( His voice increases in volume) Ruth! ( The woman glances to him yelling her name and her eyes widen. She races to the fence and stares at him.)
Ruth: (Whispering) Jacob, is it you?
Jacob: Yes... Ruth, it’s me.
Ruth: Peter?
Jacob: Dead. Mother? Jeffrey?
Ruth: Dead.
( Silence)
Jacob: You’re alive. We.. we have each other.
Ruth: (Crying) I dreamt you were alive.
Jacob: God, I wish I could hold you. Ruth. You’re so beautiful..
Ruth: ( Can’t help but laugh. Her appearance was nothing beautiful for certain, but he wasn’t talking about her looks. He was talking about something far deeper then that. Her voice was a whisper) I love you.
Jacob: Every day. We will meet.
Ruth: Yes.
( And with that, they part. A simple meeting that would save both of their lives. Give them something to believe in. A hope. A dream that something was going to be alright. That God had not forgotten and forsaken them. He was there. Beside them. The lights go out.)
Act 2 Scene 4
( Ruth stands near the wire they meet at)
Ruth: It has been a long time since this all started.. I’m almost nineteen. We’ve lost everything. Jacob and I. Yet.. we’ve gained. We’ve gained each other. Or we did. I haven’t seen him in two days. I doubt I could carry on without him. He’s kept me strong this far.. and I can’t really see getting through this without him by my side. The Russian’s are advancing I've heard. That’s been the latest word throughout the camp. It’s so hard to see the people that go through here.. Every morning they come in and collect the dead bodies. I’ve been here over a year. There’s only one other woman in my barrack that has been here that long. I’ve seen so many... They give up. They have nothing to believe in. The foul stench of death is.. it’s indescribable. The only reason I've survived this long is Jacob. I love him. My heart beats because of him. I remember my name. I’m not just the number tattooed onto my shoulder. So many forget. Some have too. Life is just too painful for them to continue with. ( Glancing to the wire) So many throw themselves against it. Others just will themselves to the showers. The crematorium. (gestures to the smoke) That’s a new shipment. ( Laughs a dark, pained laugh) Rumanian Jews. Those are the children and the elderly.. that smoke right there. They arrived a few hours ago. We waste no time here at Auschwitz. Arbeit Macht Frei. Work Brings Freedom. This work brings death. When will you see your family again? Tomorrow morning. ( The lights fade)
Act 2 Scene 5
( Jacob stands alone in the middle of the stage, next to his wall of barbed wire)
Jacob: She’s gone. Dead. ( He’s trembling) I was in the infirmary for.. for.. 12 days. I just escaped the ovens.. God.. She didn’t. She’s dead. She would be here otherwise. 12 days is not that long. They killed Ruth! ( He collapses to the ground sobbing. As he cries a man in a Gestapo uniforms takes an axe and cuts down his tree. The tree of life that is right next to him. Time lapses.. and he is still crying there and all of a sudden the set turns.. and it is the death march. All of the prisoners that are able are being walked out of the death camp. Barefoot and what not through snow. If they fall, they are shot. This is scene many times.. and the dead bodies lay there.. Jacob marches.. and in a few moments through the use of twirling and spinning the Gestapo are gone, and Russian soldiers have taken their place. Liberating those prisoners. Jacob glances around)
Jacob: (Whispering) I’m free. By God, I'm free. ( He collapses to his knees in the snow and he sobs)
(There is silence for a long time, everyone disappears from the stage and slowly a young woman comes onstage, she kneels beside him and asks softly)
Ruth: I am looking for a man named Jacob Adler.. do.. do you know him?
Jacob: ( He glances up at her words and he stares at her.) Am.. am I alive?
Ruth: More then you’ve ever been. ( Her hand moving to brush his cheek, she is in the snow beside him and he wraps his arms around her tightly and they sob. The lights fade.)
Act 2 Scene 6
( The lights come up and it is a modern day living room. There is an elderly old man sitting in a chair. It is of course an elderly Jacob. Around him are 2 adults, that resemble him and/or Ruth, and seated at his feet are 2 little children)
Anne: Great Grandpa, Great Grandpa.. is this a true story?
Jacob: Yes, sweetheart. It is.
Marie: Of who, Grandpa? Did you know them?
Jacob: Yes, Angel. I did.
John: Marie, Anne. This is a true story about Great Grandma and Great Grandpa.
Anne: Who were you, Gramps?
Jacob: ( He smiles) Jacob. Ruth is your Great Grandmother.
Marie: I wish I coulda known her, Gramps.
Jacob: She was an amazing woman. Strong, and beautiful. She will remain in my memory forever.. and she lives in your heart.
Anne: Gramps?
Jacob: Yes, Anne.
Anne: How can someone live in your heart when you never knew them?
Jacob: That, my darling, you will have to take up with her when you are old and gray and are in Heaven with her. She told me to tell her grandchildren that she will live in their hearts.
Marie: Gramps?
Jacob: Yes, Marie.
Marie: Do you have pictures of her?
Jacob: Yes. Yes I do. ( He takes a picture book for them to look at)
Marie: Gramps?
Jacob: Yes?
Marie: Why all the pictures.. why did you tell us this story?
Jacob: Because I never want the world to forget. When people don’t know their history, they’re doomed to repeat it.
Anne: Gramps.. that could never happen here. Our friends would never turn on us because of something little like religion or hair color or something.
Jacob: You wouldn’t think so, sweetheart, but.. we thought the same thing in Poland. When people are full of hate they are blind to the truth.
Marie: Grandpa? What is the truth?
Jacob: Now that is a question that you’ll have to find the answer to one day for yourself.. but until you do, all I can tell you is that the truth is what you know in your soul to be right. The truth is that everyone in this world is equal. No matter what they believe in, no matter what color they are. None of that matters. The truth is when you are kind to someone you don’t even know.
Anne: Gramps? Can we go to Poland some day?
Jacob: Why do you want to go to Poland?
Anne: Because I want to see these places. Will you take us some day?
Jacob: Alright sweetheart.
Anne: When Grandpa?
Jacob: Tomorrow morning. (Anne giggles) It’s time for all of you to go to bed now.
Marie: I’m not tired, Grandpa.
Jacob: Go on. I’ll see you tomorrow morning. ( And they all go to their beds and he sits in his chair. )
Jacob: I told them, Ruthie. So.. so our story would live on. (He slowly drifts into sleep and the young Jacob steps out, Ruthie steps from the other side and they take each others hand.)
Ruth: I know you did. You’ve never let me down. I love you.
Jacob: Marry me.
Ruth: Of course.
Jacob: (Twirls her around) I live for you.
Ruth: We moved to New York City after the war. We did marry, and we had three beautiful children. We never went back to Poland. We did not need to see Warsaw.. and we certainly did not need to see Auschwitz. We knew those places well enough without revisiting them. We both finished school.
Jacob: I did become a Doctor.
Ruth: I became a teacher, like my Father. Like Peter would have.
Jacob: We spent 40 wonderful married years together.
Ruth: I moved on to the next stage of life...
Jacob: And now, so have I. ( He glances to the motionless body of the elderly version of himself.)
Ruth: We’re together. That’s all that matters.
Jacob: That’s all that’s ever mattered.
Ruth: And we’re free.
( The entire cast comes out on stage and they say in unison)
All: We’re Free.
( The cast then proceeds with curtain call)
The End

Author: John Bonanni
Age: 15
Posted: February 21, 2000

The Warehouse

On the left side of a very conservative town called Deonada, there stood a large, brown building. Among the other buildings of this traditional town, this one stood proud and tall. From the outside, it appeared almost as humble as the town's church. Inside it was the left over remains of an old vacant warehouse. Predictably, curious adolescents soon found the once productive factory, and the abandoned warehouse soon became a sanctuary for the convoluted minds of the town's many teenagers. Those that had absolutely nothing to do with this house viewed it as " a fine example of what is wrong with the world." And those who were involved with it viewed it as the first step in a movement, the first place to help people to realize that there was no escaping the reality of life.
In the building, teens spoke of the wrongs that had been done to them. Some spoke of school (the main peeve of this huge crowd), others spoke of family life, and the rest simply listened. Sometimes deafening curses would fill the air of this haven. Even so, the warehouse was an outlet for the passionate rages of the town's younger, angry generation.
As one can imagine, the building soon became a very controversial item: "What is this place corrupting the minds of our children?" "Who authorized the formation of this underground society? This must be stopped immediately!" "My Billy has become so opinionated lately it's scary! What happened to our sweet, little conformist?"
Soon normal, everyday problems were blamed on the warehouse: "I saw a scrape on Susie's knee yesterday. When I asked her about it, she just shrugged and said it was no big deal. I think it's because of that warehouse she's been playing in. It's dangerous I tell you, dangerous!" "The power went out last week. It must have something to do with that warehouse. I bet the electrical wiring in it somehow caused all our circuits to go haywire." "Two teenagers skipped mass last Sunday. Said they felt that God was a fictional being society created in order to escape personal guilt and that it would be wrong to worship someone they didn't, in their heart, believe in. I just know it has something to do with that big brown warehouse they've all been going to. It's corruptive!"
Sadly, the angry parents of this town, along with the school administration and religious clergy united. In a riotous rage, they lit torches, rushed the building, and burned it to ashes. The teens sobbed uncontrollably in desperation while the content parents smiled. Then, in the midst of their sorrow, the teens gathered and began to share their thoughts on this issue upon the ashes of their dead friend.
-the end-

Author: Mallori
Age: 12
Mallori's Homepage
Posted: February 19, 2000

Average Life

My Average Life! Fiction
Hi my name is Nicole. I am 13 year's old. I have an average family, average school, and an average life! I am going to summer camp in two week's. Believe me when I tell you that I hate camp! It's boring, smelly and waste's my whole summer! I mean come on what dumb kid would look forward to camp? I'll tell you who my ex-friend and ex-boyfriend, probably! I'll be honest I use to love camp until we broke up. Let me take you back to last year when I was packing up and ready to...
Come on Nicole, you'll be late! Coming mom! I can't wait to go mom. Well if you want to go hurry up. Ok I'm ready. You're not wearing that are you? (I was wearing a tube shirt that was green and had glitter on it. Also I had on short's that well, let's just say wouldn’t be aloud in school.) Why what's wrong with this? The only thing that I can see is skin! Oh mom! Oh well you don't have time to change. Yeah! (I ofcourse said that to myself!)
Where here! Finally, I said under my breath. Then that's when I saw him, later to be my first boyfriend. Give me a kiss honey. Mom! Please! Oh fine! I gave her a kiss really fast and she left. So I went to my usual bunk, unpacked, and went to the cafeteria, were we go to talk about what were going to do for the two month's that were there for. So the consoler, Jim talked and talked. Then it was "Friend Time". That is, when you make new friend's and talk and stuff.
Hi Jessica. Oh hi Nicole. How's it going? Fine and you? Well my mom's pregnant! Congratulation's Jessie. What? My life is ruined. Why? It's going to be horrible, the baby has to go in my room! So. Dah, now no boy's can came and watch TV or whatever, when the baby's sleeping! (Jessica is the kind of girl that does everything before you. She gets a boyfriend before you, a T.V, and so on.) Well, at least you can have boy's come over! Well what is the point of that Nikki? I don't no. I have to go now Jessie. Sure just leave me here alone. Just sop dwelling already Jessie! Ok fine I have to go too then. Bye, Nikki. Bye Jessie.
So I went to try to get the boy I saw earlier to notice me. I thought it would be hard to do that, but I was wrong! I walked over to were he was standing. He noticed me within two seconds. Hi, he said softly. I said ha ha hi like a big dork. He chuckled. What’s your name? Nic Nic Nicole, I replied. Well, Nic Nic Nicole me name is Jeff. We both started laughing. Do you like camp so far Jeff? Sure, now that I met you! I just stood there for five minute’s. Hello, you there? Um... yeah. He chuckled again. So do you have any friend's here? I said huh, stupidly. Do you have any friends here? Yes, do you. Yes, you’re my friend Nic Nic Nicole. We laughed loud this time and a couple people looked. Well I got to go to my bunk now. You do? I said staring at him. Yes, see you later, bye! Bye
I just met this boy and he like's me. He is so dreamy. Great your in boy heaven and I'm in baby #$%*. So, what's his name? Jeff.You mean the one with sandy blonde hair, baby blue eye's and a great big smile? Yes. Oh he truly is dreamy Nikki. I know. You are so lucky. Later, it was time to sleep so we went on our bunks and fell asleep. At midnight, I heard knock, knock, KNOCK at the window and got up. It was he, Jeff...
I opened the window. What are you doing here, I whispered. I had to see your beautiful face again. Get in here! He came in and shut the window lightly. What do you want Jeff? He wouldn’t answer. Jeff, I said, "kiss". He gave me the most romantic kiss ever. That's when I heard another knock. In came Jim! What may I ask are you doing here Mr. Jeff Comer? He ah... he came to give me... Jeff finished for me, I came to give her a kiss. Jeff, I whispered. My heart was pounding. Well finish what you had to do,
then get back to your bunk. I was shocked that he did not care, and better yet let him stay for a little longer.
Now Nicole to finish what I started. He gave me another kiss. As we were kissing, Jessie woke up! I was to into Jeff to notice. Well look what we have here. Jeff and I looked. I then said we have the right to kiss if we want! Then she said you guy's are not even boyfriend and girlfriend, so no you don't. You’re just jealous Jessie! Then Jeff added and we are boyfriend and girlfriend! I looked at him and said we are? Yes if you want to be! I said oh yeah, I do!
Jessie apologized. Jeff and I forgave her. So for about a month we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Now, I'll tell you about the breakup. We were at the camp's movies. When Jessie came in and started kissing Jeff. I couldn’t tell if he was trying to pull her off or kissing her back. I didn’t care, I ran out of the movie's and locked our room. The next day Jeff tried everything. I ignored him, and wouldn’t give him my phone number or address. I would not talk to Jessie either...That's the day camp was over so I never talked to either of them.
That's why I hate camp! I have every reason to, right? A year later...
Guess what? Jeff and I are back together! He said that Jessie just was in love with him, and jealous. Jessie said that he was telling the truth and apologized. Were friends again. I had to forgive her. That's just how I am. An average, (now 14) year old girl. Jeff and I love each other. Jessica and I are best friend's and it turn's out she love's her baby brother. Jeff is for me, and Jesse’s new boyfriend Brian (who her baby brother, Tommy love's) is for her. Thanks for reading my not-so average story!
Mallori L. Lunsford

Author: Collene Handson
Posted: January 28, 2000

Murder in the Mist Part 1

As Dr. Amanda Bently investigated the body of a young woman at
the age of 28, she notice that the woman must have put up a struggle. Her wrists were badly
brused. The lady was found in the lake near an abandon cabin twenty miles from town.
While Amanda went over the body, Lt. Steve Sloan came up from behind.
"So, did you get anything?" Steve asked, startling Amanda.
"Jeez Steve! DON'T DO THAT!" Amanda said.
"Well, what have you got?" Steve asked.
"She was found in the lake this morning, from the temperature
of her body, I'd say she was in the water all night",
"Did they identify the body?" Steve asked noticing that the girls
hands and feet were tied.
"No, but we did find similar cases like this earlier," Amanda
"Is there a pattern?" Steve asked.
"Yeah, every month on the 19th," Amanda said.
Steve looked at the body once more.
"Send me the autopsy will you," Steve said.
"Sure thing," Amanda said.
Back at the Sloan residents, Dr. Mark Sloan, Steve's father and
consultant for the police department, and Steve were looking over
the autopsy report they received from Amanda moments earlier.
"This doesn't make sense!" Steve said. Steve had checked out the
murders of young women in lakes which date back into January of
this year. "I know this doesn't make sense but there has to be a
connection with the killer and the victim," Mark said.
Before Mark could speak, he was interupted by a knocking at the
front door.
Mark got up to answer the door.
A tall girl with very curly brown hair and silver framed glasses
stood before Mark. Mark knew the face from somewhere.
"Uncle Mark!" the girl said throwing arms around Mark.
It took Mark a minute to think who it was.
"Margret?" Mark asked.
"No! Margret is my older sister! but try to remember".
Mark looked at the face more closely.
"Caroline?" he asked.
"Hi!" she said giving him another hug.
"I haven't seen you since you were ten years old," Mark said.
"Was really that long?" She asked.
Mark showed her up to the living room.
Steve was still going over the autopsy report.
"Stevie, Stevie is it really you?" Caroline asked.
He knew that voice.
"Carylil?" he whispered to himself.
Steve turned around.
"Caroline!" he ran up to her and gave her a hug.
"What brings you here?" Mark asked.
"Well, I have a new job down here," Caroline told them.
"What will you do?" Steve asked.
"I'm going to work as a computer and internet programer".
"Wow! that must be an interesting job," Mark said.
"Yeah, I also have a apartment about six blocks from here".
That night, they disscused the past.
The next day at Community General Hospital, Dr. Jesse Travis,a
young doctor at Community General and close friend of Mark,
went to see Amanda about the murder case she was on.
"Hey Amanda," Jesse said, "Have you seen Steve?"
"Does it say person finder on my head!" Amanda snapped.
"Well no but, I have information for him," Jesse said.
"Really now," Amanda said.
"About what?" Amanda asked.
"About the murder and the murderer," Jesse said.

Author: Mark J. Argyle
Posted: January 20, 2000

A Picture That Meloncholy Painted

part one - china dolls and the superstar princess

Alfred Jenkins’ empty, hollow eyes gazed north over the bleak city landscape, tendrils of smoke arose from fetid, grey buildings, the decaying structures took their places as shrines to mankind’s decay. Closest to him were the hills that defined the border of the horrid city of Banus. The buzz of traffic filled the air. Even from here the irritating noises of city life still managed to undermine the gentle beauty of nature. Little machines carrying around their insignificant little occupants. The sky was blotted with ominous dark clouds. Soon it would rain again. He turned his back to the rotting metropolis and walked towards what was symbolically his fetid prison. It was a Kingswood, 1986 he thought. The outside was painted a mottled brown which contrasted nauseatingly with the red fake leather interior. He held the handle and took one last breath of the relatively fume free mountain air. As he got in he brushed aside the half empty packet of cigarettes and took the wheel. He!
drove down the winding road towards the city. He looked at the passing trees, tall ugly trees twisted by time, horribly contorted. He noticed his surroundings growing relatively more urbanised as he proceeded towards his city apartment. A young woman jogged past and glared as she noticed the subject of his glance which was not, as is acceptable in western culture at her lightly tanned face. Mr Jenkins looked away somewhat sheepishly yet he didn’t care too much. As he glanced back at the rear of the young woman he felt the beginning of an erection. He longed to do terrible things to her. ‘Could I take her? Could I take her by force?’ he asked himself. Then he rebuked myself. He shouldn’t think such things.

Later that night he lay in my bed piously studying the glossy magazine that greeted his eyes. ‘Hot Whores Want You!’ screamed the magazine cover. ‘Goodie!’. He opened it, once again his penis began to extend. He started rubbing it at first slowly. Increasing the intensity gradually. He continued for a few minutes before closing the pages angrily. He cast aside the magazine that had for so long defined his existence. He had become a dirty old man. He longed to be something more. Than just as quickly as the previous realisation, the fact that he could never change who he was tore him open. He thought to himself. Forbidden thoughts. If he was destined to be a dirty old man he would be a fulfilled dirty old man. Not a stupid pawn that made every possible effort to fit society’s expectations. He would be fulfilled just like daddy wanted. Just like daddy wanted.

"Misery, misery, misery me, you are so cuddly you fill me with glee!" He stroked his silky black cat that he had named Misery. She sauntered onto the couch and then made her way into his lap. She was so pretty. Almost instantly a brilliant idea leaped into his head. "Oh Misery, where would I be without you?" The cat smiled back at him approvingly. She had convinced him to begin.

He drove down the crowded street, trying to find the princess. He saw a pretty young girl walking her dog. Was this her? Perhaps. He followed her greedily home and recorded her address in his little book. Soon he would know if she was the real princess. He returned to his apartment and rested for an hour. When he arose he went to his bookshelf and examined his collection. They were predominantly children’s books, fairy tales. From his literary tastes many would conclude that Alfred was not an intelligent man. Yet they would be mistaken, he was actually exceptionally intelligent. He proceeded to glide his hands over the contents of the bookshelf finally bringing them to rest on his favorite book ‘The Princess and The Pea’ he retrieved and called out to Misery. "Story time Misery. Story time, it’s your favorite tonight." In reality the cat attempted to tear away from Alfred’s outreaching hands yet in his mind Misery was leaping into his lap. He held Misery firmly in place and be!
gan to read to her. "Once upon a time……."

"The end." He closed the book gently. "See Misery, we have to find out if Melancholy (the name he had established for his possible bride to be) is a real princess. That is what we will do tonight." The cat spoke back to him in the unique dialect they had developed. Only they could understand it. Alfred responded "I know that I need to bring some peas. That’s obvious you silly duffer."

Later that night Alfred removed a single pea from the one kilogram packet he had purchased earlier, discarding the rest, he placed the pea in a small circular plastic container, he replaced the lid and placed the container in his pocket.

Alfred observed that everything seemed so much more beautiful at night as he drove to the castle. He stood outside the humble brick villa and saw Melancholy asleep in her bedroom. She wore a white nightie she was about fifteen he thought. He stood there and watched for a little longer. Her ebony hair flowed gracefully down her shoulders over her developing pubescent breasts. They were high and full, even though he could tell that they were not supported by a bra as he could discern ripe young nipples protruding through the thin material. The rest of her body was covered with a quilt, he was looking forward to exploring the delights that lurked down their. He was becoming extremely aroused. He intentionally brought bile to the front of his mouth and excreted it on his hand then used it as he had often to lubricate his throbbing shaft as he pleasured himself over the young girl. She had playful little eyes that seemed to illuminate the landscape for miles around her, a cute litt!
le button nose and a moist wet mouth. Strands of hair hung over her fair face. The colour of her skin, lightly tanned and glowing seemed to paint her whole presence with a sense of innocence. That aroused him to the point of furious wanking, which soon brought him to discharge the runny, white liquid all over his wrinkled hands and moldy old trousers. He had been giving the suit he was wearing now for his eighteenth. "Great present," he muttered sarcastically
to himself. "So you’ll look the part in court," they had explained. His parents had always wanted him to be a lawyer. They had enough ambitions for him that he had no need for those he produced himself. He had become a lawyer but generally dealt with boring crimes like shoplifting, and the theft of statues from fast food restaurants. He was nothing. He returned his attention to the young cherub sleeping in the bed amongst her fluffy animals and grotesque little dolls. He hated dolls, not just a hollow, empty dislike, but a full blowen hatred. He had been in trouble as a little boy for destroying his sisters dolls in mock executions. Then he saw the doctors, they worked hard at him becoming a good little boy, now he was a good little boy. Hooray.

He stepped forward in an attempt to get closer to Melancholy. The security light blared on, he hissed and pulled up his pants, scampering off into the night.

Author: Deon C. Sanders
Age: 32
Posted: January 5, 2000


The year was nineteen ninety-nine, and twelve year old Steward Charles Hamilton, street name Tyke was about to embark on a twilight zone close encounter of the spiritual kind.
Now, Tyke did not start off as a gang banger. He was not considered by gang philosophers as your everyday self-made gang banger. His brothers name was, “Big T” who was the leader of a neighborhood street gang on the South side. Unfortunately, when Tyke relocated to stay with his father and his brother “Big T”, that hereditarily made him one. Tyke ventured forth at his knew school the same as the other, but just a little improved. Tyke became a straight A student at Harvey Elementary verses the B student at his old school. His B was accomplished despite the agony he went through at his old school from bullies and average Joe's. However, at his new school Tyke was living the life. “Leave him alone, he rides with that gang, and man his brother is the Chief.” This is what he heard as he walked through the hallways of the school. He was a made man, a king amongst kings.
Yet in still, Tyke could not fight and was very timid at heart. Tyke lost every fight and sometime was considered a reversed ghetto robin hood at his old school because he was poor, it was taken from him, and it was given to the poor by the poor, with force. It was a cool time for Tyke in his new school and outside of school. There were perks for being the brother of the chief of a gang. Tyke did not have to be jumped in or anything. He was just part of the gang in dress but not in spirit.
“Big T” started to buy him new clothes, gyms shoes, and gold to keep his mind set on banging.
Nevertheless, when he was in his room alone he would do all of his homework and due his chores around the house where as his brother did nothing. He was only in the gang for protection while he pursued his dreams of becoming a doctor, even though deep down he was starting to enjoy the gang life. Being so young and innocent Tyke was unaware that this life could lead to prison or even death. “Big T” never explained this to him , he just needed some soldiers and his brother Tyke was a great victim. Mentally afraid, physically unfit, and lacked street knowledge despite his book sense. But he would shoot someone if “Big T” told him, that’s what big brother wanted. He wanted someone more afraid of him, that was the ticket.
As the months rolled on, things were going good for the gang and Tyke. The gang was selling lots of drugs and Tyke was passing all his classes with flying colors. He even received a letter from one of the best high schools in Chicago. They wanted him to come there and would pay his tuition for all four years. Tyke was very excited, but kept it to himself and away from his brother and the other gang members.
On November 28, 1999, the dead of winter. Tyke’s father asked him to go to the store for some milk and cheese for dinner. “Big T” was out running the gang and hardly ever came home for dinner. So it was left to Tyke to do the running for his father. Many times Tyke went to the store for his father. But this particular night would change his life for ever. Tyke grabbed his gym shoes , his coat and his baseball cap that symbolized the gang he was in and went in to the kitchen where his dad was getting the money ready. When he put the money in his pocket, he turned and went back to his room to grab the red scarf that went in his back pocket.
When Tyke closed the door behind him, out of the sight of his father, the metamorphose began. He turned his hat to the left, untied his gyms shoes, put his scarf in his left back pocket hanging down, and pulled out his 22 caliber handgun to make sure it was loaded. The travel to the store was easy . He went in gathered the things his father wanted and paid for them. As he left the store he saw a member of his gang standing on the opposite side of the street. So he walked over and talked to him for awhile and then it was time to get to the crib. The other member walked East and Tyke walked West. As Tyke reach the corner, there walking down the street was the rival gang. “What to do, he thought as he stood there frozen in place.” By that time the other gang spotted him and started to run after him. Tyke dropped the bag and ran back east in the direction his friend was walking. When his friend saw him the friend did not wait he darted up in to his house and locked th! e door. Tyke knocked on the doo r repeatedly, but he would not open it. As this was going on the rival gang was getting closer. Tyke started to run again, breathing hard and crying knowing he would die if they caught him. Tyke ran and made an abrupt right, down an alley and concealed himself behind a dumpster. Breathing hard, Tyke placed his hand over his mouth. As he hide there for awhile, he turned and saw a light. It was coming from a peep hole in this deserted ware house that his back was resting on. It was three blocks from the tavern on Lyon’s Ave. across from Al’s Gas Station. In the shadows of the neon lights that illuminated threw the warehouse’s cracked windows. There in front of him lay a figure, limited in stature, around the purity of all ages which was twelve in Tyke’s mind. The twelve year old boy had a partial beam of light covering its body and was semi-submerged in a puddle of darkened and bug infested water dormant in place. The scenery of the warehouse was old and decrep! it. It used to be an old d! istribution business in which they distributed imported carpet and rugs to different stores.
Tyke was nervous, he did not know what to do. Should he run for help or should he try to help? The leaving idea was not beneficial, the rival gang was still after him. Nevertheless, he could not just leave, the boy could still be alive. But deep down Tyke perceived he was dead by the way he was positioned. Fabricating the role of a fallen mannequin losing its balance in a department store window. He did not know what made him run down this particular alley that night, maybe it was just destiny.
While looking for a way in he noticed the feeble and decaying two by fours covering the entrance door. Still, hoping the boy was alive Tyke wondered if he would be a hero or would he be a mourner at a demise of a person he did not know. Tyke placed his hand on the first plank that was nailed dead center of the doorway. Tyke began to tug and kick at the door. Racket was not actually a problem in this part of town,unless in Tyke’s situation someone was chasing you. Then it was extremely wise not to make much noise. The police hardly ever came over here unless someone reported a body or something. It took Tyke awhile to get in even with the extensive pulling and kicking. But finally he had made it through the blockade.
There was debris everywhere, and several blankets that were left behind by the homeless tenants that used to dwell their. Tyke reached in his pocket for a lighter to light the passage to the boy. Slowly, he maneuvered through the trash to the clearing where the young boy laid. As he stared at this boy he reflected on his twelve years of life. Thanking God he had not fallen to his death in this manner, lonely and suffering without a family member to comfort him. The boys’ wardrobe seemed very fashionable and expensive. His three inch in diameter silver charm floated in the water. It was attached to a silver rope chain about twenty-four inches in length and a fourth of an inch coagulated. His gym shoes cost approximately one
hundred and fifty dollars. There was also a substantial amount of money that protruded out of his pocket.
As he stood over the body he still could not get a good look at his face. This was because of the way he was laying with his back to Tyke. Tyke did not want to have contact with the body. So Tyke looked around to find something to turn him over with. Eventually, he found a mop handle that was alongside of him. Suddenly, Tyke heard a racket in the ally, so he concealed himself behind a metal barrel. It was the rival gang still searching for him. The gang walked right pass him without even stopping to check the warehouse. “They were all yelling, we are going to kill him when we find him.” At last, the coast was clear, so Tyke proceeded to turn the body. He placed the mop handle in his side adjacent to his mid-section and pushed downward with minimal force. The water puddle showed small waves as the boys’ body tilted in to a different position.
Tyke started his inspection with his shoes, moving upward to its face. As he reached visual contact with his face. Tyke’s soul became like stone, his heartbeat increased drastically, and his eyes fixated on to the boys’ face in a ghostly manner. He closed his eyes and fell to his butt. He could not believe it, it was himself he was looking at laying there. It was him, dead in the water like a ship lost at sea. Furthermore, a bullet hole was lodged dead center of the boys’ head. Actually it was Tyke’s head. The emotional wrinkles on the face of the boy showed pain and suffering outlined by black and blue bruises and footprints that overlaid his nice black jeans.
As Tyke lay there with his hands in between his legs and rocking back and forth perfuse. His own image stared right at him with those cold dead eyes. Enlightened by this image, Tyke’s outlook on life and the misfortunes people in a gang have ran through his mind. After awhile, Tyke partially regained his
composure, got up and staggered to the door, clinching his fist in soulful pain. Finally, reaching the door he peeped out to check if the coast was clear. Everything seemed to be serene. But as he took the first step out of the doorway he decided to look back at the body. But to his amazement the body was know longer there. It had vanished, disappeared from the face of the earth. Tyke stared for a moment, gathered himself mentally, and bowed his head. At that instant, in a deep silent conversation with God, Tyke gave up being a gang banger. Steward in slow motion, proceeded to change his destiny by casting down his red color bandana, turning his hat straight, pulling up his pants, tied his shoes, and discarding the handgun in the same dumpster he hide behind. It was time for a adjustment to his madness, his life meant more to him at this pinnacle. Twelve was not far from twenty-one and he wanted to live to see it. That night, Steward Charles Hamilton...was nev! er known again as Tyke the Gang banger. He was “AWAKENED”.
Thank you God for what you have done for me.
I’m now, 21


Author: Kavanna Debohawk
Age: 30
Posted: December 31, 1999

The Differance Remains

Margo replaced the receiver back into its cradle and smiled to herself. Her boy was on his way home. Another hour or so, and he would be back under her safe protection. With lightness to her step, she returned to the kitchen where she had been preparing dinner.

Jason Doyle sat at the head of a small wooden table, leafing through an assortment of accounts that scattered themselves over the lacquered surface. He was middle aged, greying black hair cropped closely to his skull, a thin frame covered in a rich tan, leftover of years working under a blistering Australian sun.
“Who was that?” he enquired as Margo came into the kitchen, a mixture of cinnamon, stewed apples and strawberries assailing her senses. She was a pretty woman, her hair still hinting at an auburn richness, a few character lines deepening her face. She snatched an apron that hung over the back of one of the chairs, and tied it securely about her slender waist.
“Nathan”, she answered, making straight for a half finished apple pie on the side counter. “He rang to say he has left Perth now”. She grabbed a lump of sweet dough resting peacefully in a Tupperware bowl and began to knead it vigorously.
“Left it damn late”, Jason said, his tone non-committal.” Said he would be here yesterday”.
Margo wiped her brow, leaving a smear of white flour.
“Nat stayed behind until Patrick finished his exam, then they decided to drive up in the morning. Something about safety”. A sense of tension suddenly sprang into the surrounding air. It was subtle, but Margo felt it. After thirty-five years of marriage, Margo knew her husband well enough to gauge his non-verbal actions.
“I hope they are going to pay their own way while staying here. We aren’t running a half-way house you know”. He threw a few papers around, ran his fingers over a small calculator, and scowled at the neon figures flashing on the screen. “ These bills are endless”, he muttered to himself.
“Its only a week Jason”, Margo explained, rolling the dough flat then placing it over steaming apples. She pressed down gently, trimmed the edges, and then pricked it three times to release any trapped steam. “We haven’t seen Nat in more than five months”.
“And who is to blame for that?” he piped up. “Only lives an hour away, but can’t seem to find the time to see how we are”.
“University takes up most of his time”, she defended, placing the pie into the oven. Jason muttered something she did not catch, and then resumed his attention to sorting out the accounts.
“I’m going to have to go out to the farm tomorrow”, he announced after a short span of silence. “Joe needs a hand with the fencing. May take a few days”.
Margo sighed and leaned against the sink, her hands soaking in the warm, suds-filled basin.
“Don’t do this Jason”, she whispered. She turned and faced her husband. A look of sorrow, anger and pain danced across her striking blue eyes. Jason glanced her way.
“The farm doesn’t run by itself”, he chipped in. “There are deadlines to the sale date, and Joe is finding the pressure is getting to him”.
“You had weeks to go out there”, Margo pointed out, her tone on the rise. “ Why don’t you take Nat and Patrick with you then? I’m sure they would be only pleased to…”
“They would only be in the way!” Jason snapped. He knew he jumped too quickly, and fell silent, realising what he just said had hurt his wife’s emotions. Margo wiped her hands dry onto the apron and sat opposite. The silence hung thick, an undertone of things to come.
“This has nothing to do with headlines, or money problems, or the farm”. Her voice betrayed sadness, even loneliness. “You just don’t want to deal with your son”.
Jason threw down an account ledger. The effect sent papers sprawling about the linoleum floor.
“I’m tired of getting into this all the time Margo”, he spat, a cold edge of steel to his voice.
“But we do anyway Jason”, she breathed. The love she nursed for this man rang loud and clear, which infuriated her intensely. She felt like a wedge between two rocks, trying to bring some light into dark, closed minds about her. “You did the same Easter and last Christmas. Nat saw you once, then you were gone”.
“The farm was having its first appraisal! I needed to…”
“Stuff the bloody farm!” Margo shouted, slamming her fists down onto the table. The force stung her palms, sent shockwaves up to her shoulders. The rawness of the sting obliterated the clouds about her thoughts, made her anger taut. “You have been running since the day Nathan told you he is gay”.
A wince crossed Jason’s’ face, his gaze dropping in shame.
“I just don’t know what you want from me Margo”, he dryly told her, getting up at the same time to leave. Margo rose just as quickly and with agility found herself confronting her husband.
“Don’t you dare run out on me”, she warned. “You might find it easy to turn your back on your only son, but I’m here, in the flesh and whether you like it or not, you have to face me”. Tension hung in the air, foul and building by the minute. Jason stared his wife down. She was small, but by her stance, he detected raw determination.
“I’ve already told you, I don’t want any part of his..his..choice of lifestyle”.
“Choice?” she vehemently spat. “ You think he chose to be this way? You think he wants to be ostracised by people he loves? You think he enjoyed being victimised everyday of his life at school?” She paused and allowed the anger to flow through her veins. It startled her, to be speaking so freely about a subject that just over a year ago she had not even considered relevant in her community…in her life. The occasional thought had crossed her mind, but explanations were a wondrous tool, on hand at all times, ready to replace those blinkers most parents wear when it comes to their children.
“It’s an abomination against God”, Jason threw in, retrieving a can of beer from the fridge, snapping it open and guzzled a third of its contents.
“Don’t give me that Jason Doyle! You haven’t a religious bone in your body”. Margo whipped off her apron and threw it into the corner by a waste bin. It landed into a crumpled heap of paisley material. “He is your only son, so what’s eating at you happens to be your own manhood”.
Jason took another swig, wiped his mouth and confronted Margo again.
“How is a man supposed to be proud of someone he created, when he turns out…wrong?” That final word enveloped Margo’s heart and crushed it.
“Is that what you think our son is? A mistake? You make it sound as though he should be erased!”
Jason didn’t say a thing. He had no need to. The damage was done. Tears blossomed in margo’s’ eyes, blurring her vision. She loved this man so much…with all her heart, and yet here was a side of him that raked across her bare nerves, exposing flesh and erupting so much anger it engulfed all rationality. Mother’s instinct to protect her son locked itself into place.
“What’s going to happen when the farm is sold Jason?” Margo asked. “Where will you hide when Nat comes home?”
“Maybe it would be best if he didn’t”, Jason put in, finishing his beer and crushing the can, an act of finality.
“You don’t mean that”, Margo whispered through tears. He looked at her, and for the first time, Margo felt she was with a stranger. The sensation cut like a knife. Jason shook his head, threw the can onto the sink, and stormed from the kitchen. A door slammed shut on his way out. Margo waited to hear the Landrover roar into action, pull out, and then disappear before allowing herself to breakdown. The tears came in floods. It wasn’t until the familiar laugh of her son on the porch brought her back. With a quick touch up, she pulled herself together and strode out to greet her son and his partner.

Author: Theresa Williams
Age: 33
Posted: December 28, 1999

Reaching Out


There are often many people who touch our lives from one time or
another, and actually that feeling of loneliness is enough in itself to make a person change everything about themselves. In some case, change their personality completely. When you are constantly circling the globe it is hard to find an inner peace or even someone to talk to, to relieve any anxiety of being alone. You could possibly spend endless nights on end drinking up at many varieties of bars. Until one day you meet someone by accident and everything that you know to be moral and decent, right or wrong, suddenly does not even matter anymore.

Is this when reality sets in? Not necessarily. Sometimes the pain of reality takes us on a journey towards oblivion. This can make a person go crazy. Forget all those Doctors who charge an arm and leg for their services. Assistance can be just a step away. The key is to search within yourself and look for what you desire or even hope for.

When we are faced with life’s troubles are destined to handle it by ourselves? Is there noone we can turn to? Is there more than one person we can rely on to help us handle our troubles?

Who decides what is right or wrong or moral? Ask yourself this question: What would help you get through the daily wind and grind to help your sanity? Ponder on this awhile…... Are the consequences of indiscretion worth your soul? If you answer no. You are probably right. On the other hand, if you say yes, does that make you a bad person? What if is there is something lacking and it needs to get assessed? What do you do? Who do you turn to? Picture this incandescent lighting, a cool breeze and your mind at ease. Isn’t worth it to feel this way always? So calm, so serene, so tranquil like waves in the ocean.

Feeling this way can no way change the person you are right now. Consider this: If you want to seek and challenge yourself taking in consideration that No matter the consequences you want to hold on to that feeling for as long as possible, no matter how short the time spent with that person. What matters at this point at is what is going on at the present time.

Some days are harder to get through and others fill us with euphoria. Is this reality view it from another’s eyes:
Who decides what is best for us? When is it enough, to be satisfied with life has handed you?
Theresa Williams

Author: George Beighey
Age: 33
Posted: December 20, 1999

The Envelope

Joe was a lonely, broken man, walking cold wet streets late one Christmas Eve. He wore, contrastingly, the jolliest of outfits, clad in the uniform of his latest job a mall Santa Claus. He was a poor imitation of St. Nick, sad, slumping , looking thin and depleted, in spite of a mound of stuffing around his middle. He oozed the odor of Jack Daniels, and walked as only a drunk could walk. He staggered down the street, thinking of family he never saw anymore. He was alone and angry, he hated Christmas. In fact, the only reason he kept his Santa job was because he felt it fitting to collect on this awful day any way he could.
Finally he reached his destination, a place simply called the Corner Bar. This was an appropriate, if unimaginatative name, for it was a bar, and it stood at the corner Yule St. and Tide Ave. Joe went inside, took out fifty dollars, and plopped it on the bar.
"Jack Daniels, and keep it coming until this runs out. I'm not driving." He grinned.
The bartender brought him his drink, and Joe sipped it. As he lifted glass to lips, Joe noticed that a man had sat down beside him. Joe peered at him from the corner of his eye. He couldn't help but notice how out of place the man was, clad in an expensive looking tuxedo, top hat and cane. The man sipped at what appeared to be Champaign, and held the glass with fingers bedecked in diamonds. "Not driving, you say?" The man said.
"No." Joe replied gruffly. He chuckled to himself, knowing that, before long, the fancy man beside him would soon be relieved of his diamonds. What would bring a guy like him in here? Joe wondered.
"My driver made a wrong turn, I'm afraid and I ended up here." The man said. Joe wondered at the timing of this remark, as though made in reply to Joe's thoughts.
"I take it one of elves will handle the sleigh tonight, eh?"
"What?" Joe asked, becoming quickly annoyed.
"It's Christmas eve, after all, and you said you weren't driving tonight." The man smiled.
"Whatever." Joe grumbled.
"You don't seem very jolly." The man said.
"Should I be?" Joe finished his drink and signaled for another.
"I'll get that, barkeep." The man said of Joe's drink.
"Thanks." Joe said, half heartedly, but he accepted the gift.
"Merry Christmas." The man smiled and for the first time, Joe looked at his face. The man seemed middle aged, a neat beard and moustache, both of black. His eyes were dark, yet he seemed to have joy there, the same inexplicable joy Joe saw on the faces of all the kids who sat on his lap during the past days.
"If you say so."
"That's a pretty poor attitude for jolly old St. Nick."
Joe turned to face the man. "Look, I don't know what your trip is, but I'm not St. Nick. I'm just wearing this for my job, which, I'm glad to say, is done."
"Earning money to buy presents, eh?"
A concerned look overcame the man. "Don't you have any family?"
"What about you son and daughter?"
"What did you say?" Joe said, the only thing which kept his fist from flying was his curiosity. How could this rich clown know he had kids?
"I know many things, Joe." He smiled. "You should come with me." The man stood, throwing money on the bar.
"Where?" Joe snapped, but as the man walked off, he followed after dutifully.
Outside, Joe walked with the man, patiently waiting for answers. How could this fancy stranger know all these things? How could he, seemingly, have read Joe's thoughts? Joe was hooked, waiting for answers, but the man said nothing. He just smiled into the cold air, watching his chilled breath disappear into ether.
"What's this all about?" Joe demanded. "How do you know me?"
"Oh, the weather outside is frightful. . ." The man began to sing.
"How did you know I had kids?"
"And the fire is so delightful. . ."
"What are you, some bill collector?"
"So, since we've no place to go. . ."
"Stop singing and answer me!" Joe screamed.
The man stopped, looked at Joe for a moment and then, "Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow!"
Joe's muscles tightened, he was furious, confused, scared. Then, he felt something upon his nose. It was a snowflake! Almost as though the man commanded it with his song, it had begun to snow. Flurries fell, coming in greater and greater quantity.
"Come along, Joe." The man said, continuing down the street.
Joe chased after. "How did you do that?"
"Do what, Joe?"
"How did you make it snow?"
"Surely you don't believe a mere man can make it snow, do you, Joe?"
Joe said nothing else. For another six blocks, he simply followed the man in the tuxedo. Down the streets, in the snow, listening as he whistled Christmas carol after Christmas carol.
"What happened to your children Joe?" The man asked at length.
"They're fine."
"You didn't answer my question." He said, with a patient, almost fatherly smile.
"They're with my parents, in California."
"Their mother died a few years ago from cancer."
"I meant, why aren't they with you, Joe?"
Joe laughed. He laughed long and hard, his bellows were heard all about the neighborhood. "Look at me! I can't be anyone's father!"
The man did. He looked Joe up and down, side to side. "You look fine to me, Joe." He kept walking, Joe coming after.
"I'm a bum! I a loser! I ain't got no time for kids to be hanging all over me! My wife was always the one who was good with the kids, not me! I hate kids!"
"Yet, you dress as Santa."
"It's just a job!"
"A job you don't seem to like very much, eh?" He stopped beside a huge, eighteen wheeler, parked outside what appeared to be some sort of shelter.
"No, I hate this job." Joe said softly.
Joe gritted his teeth. "It's not fair. I promise all these kids whatever they ask for, whether they're going to get it or not. I know a lot of those kids aren't getting squat tomorrow, but I smile and nod, and they get screwed. What kind of job is that?"
"You seem as though you actually care, Joe." The man said quietly.
"Yeah, well. . . if kids are gonna get screwed, I just don't wanna be the one doing it, I guess."
"What if I told you that it didn't have to be that way?"
"What?" Joe replied.
"You see this truck?"
Joe nodded.
"It's mine. It's filled with toys."
"So, what do you want from me?"
"I want to hire you to give these toys out to the children who live in this shelter."
"You're kidding." Joe smiled.
"Not at all. The children will be out here in a moment. All you have to do, is sit them on your lap, listen to them, smile and give them whatever they ask for. No empty promises, no one gets "screwed"."
Joe thought for a moment, "What does it pay?"
"Yeah, I think we've established that I'm not really Santa, after all."
The man smiled and reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out an two envelopes.
"You may have your choice. One of these envelopes contains one first class ticket on a plane tonight bound for California. The other has two thousand dollars cash."
"So, that's your angle, eh? Look, buddy, I don't know who you are, or who sent you here, but I'm not going back to California. My kids are better off without me, and so am I."
"The choice shall be yours, Joe. I'll not pressure you one way or the other. You shall be completely free to take the two thousand dollars, if you like. Will you take the job? I should think two thousand dollars buys a lot of Jack Daniels, eh?"
Joe eyed him with suspicion, but then nodded.
"Good, for here come the children."
Out they came, dozens of them, boys and girls both big and little. All amazed at the wonderful sight of Santa sitting on the bumper of a semi trailor full of toys. Joe listened to all the boys and girls, looked at the wonder in their dirty little faces. Whatever they asked for, whether great or small, was produced from the truck by the man in the tuxedo. Joe laughed with them, listened to their stories, the ones which others ignored, the ones which Joe ached to hear. After a time, it seemed as though the truck should have been empty, but the toys kept coming, and Joe gave them all what they wanted. He felt better than he had in a long time. He actually fulfilled the wishes of these poor, parentless children. He reveled in each face, each giggle.
A girl sat with him, and Joe could not help but notice that hers was not the expression of an expectant child. Her head hung low, as though she hid her eyes from everyone behind a curtain of reddish brown locks. Still, for this night, Joe was truly Santa Claus! He felt a kind of magic flowing through him. Surely, he could cheer her this Christmas eve.
"What would you like, little girl?" He asked.
"A football." She said softly, never looking up.
"A football, eh?" Joe took the ball from the man in the tuxedo. "Tough girl? I'll bet you terrorize those boys on the gridiron."
"No. I don't play." She replied.
"Then, maybe you'd rather have something else? You can have anything you want, don't be afraid to ask."
"You can't give me what I really want, Santa. It's okay, I'll take the ball."
"But why?"
"It's for my little brother."
"Well, Santa will give your brother a gift, don't worry."
She looked up then, tears filling her blue eyes, but never actually falling down her face. She held them where they were, through sheer force of will.
She whispered. "The doctor says I'm gonna die. I've got cancer. Please, can you . . ." She couldn't talk anymore and still force the tears to remain where there were. Joe held her, squeezing her, holding her little face against his own. He clung to this brave, selfless little girl and he couldn't let her go. The one child that even Santa Claus could not make happy. Finally, Joe heard the girl sob against his shoulder, and he knew she finally allowed herself to cry. She clutched at his ragged Santa suit, pouring out her fear and her anger, everything that she had been keeping inside herself for months and months. Finally spent, the little girl stopped. She pulled softly back, looking at Joe and she smiled weakly.
"Thank you, Santa."
Joe nodded and gave her the football.
Joe was lost in his sympathy. As bad as he felt for her, he felt worse for himself. He was ashamed. He knew greater guilt than anything he'd ever known before. He couldn't do anything but hold the dying child and wish his life were different. Wish that he had been there to hold his own daughter when her mother died years ago.
The man in the tuxedo saw this and he smiled. Then, he climbed into his truck, emerging a second later, clad in bright red and white. His tuxedo was gone, his beard had gone white. He bellowed a mighty "Ho ho ho", and he finished passing presents to the rest of the children. Joe just sat, watching dumbly, utter exhausted, utterly tired, utterly ashamed.
When the job was done, Santa Claus took Joe by the hand. "You did a good job tonight, Joe."
Joe said nothing.
"It's payday, Joe. Have you decided which envelope you want?"
"I'll take the one with the ticket." He lowered his head, embarrassed.
Santa smiled. "Take them both, Joe. Have a merry Christmas." Santa embraced Joe and smiled into his eyes. Then, with a job well done, St. Nick climbed into the back of his eighteen wheeler. A moment later, the trailer opened wide. There was a jingling sound and hoofbeats, and then, a grand sleigh and eight tiny reindeer flew out the back, high into the air. Santa Claus winked at Joe as he flew by and then the sleigh rose into the air and quickly out of sight.

Author: electroteen
Age: 14
electroteen's Homepage
Posted: December 16, 1999

Rolf Adventure in Sim

Rolf was a 14-year old ungainly boy of about 4'3" and about 150 lbs. However physically inept Rolf was, he was not mentally so. So, when the Net went virtual Rolf naturally conned his parents int getting him all the proper gear.

When the stuff arrived, Rolf decided to hook it up right away. His parents were away for the evening and he didn't expect them to be home anytime soon. He went on and set up the life support and sensory systems in his basement. When he hooked in he thought in all the proper information to the computer.

Then the system asked him what scenario, Rolf thought then said"Si-fi dash Adventure dash Mystery" The computer made a short humming noise and the asked him to create a charecter. The charecter was 6'7" and 150 lbs. The computer then showed a sexless hairless naked figure."Red hair, just above the ear, male police uniform with bullet proof vest and a service revolver". He then scanned his own face on and thinned it proportionally.

The future cop was overall handsome and tough. He then decided to do away with his name and named him Ace Johnson. He then commanded to be plugged in.

The Chief came up to him "Johnson"he sid gruffly"we got a robocide on 154th street and Neosho, apartment 114" When Johnson left the biulding one of the servo-mechanists walked up to him."Let's go, we'll use my car"
They got into a new BMW Hover Series 9

When they pulled into the garage Johnson paid the ticket and they proceded toward the elavator. On the way there Rolf asked what're the particulars " He asked the man, whose ID read Arnolds. "Well" he said while pushing the button "It seems that an independent 'bot was dismantled while still turned on"

When they got to the scene, Rolf noted that the sight and feel sensory wires were still connected to the head, which was on the counter."Pretty grusome" he said.

The body was strewn every where but all thje wires were connected, so that the bot could feel every move."It seems that the bot had to use a self-destruct mode in the end" Arnolds, the servomechanist said. When Arnolds passed by, the bot's hed jerked to one side and a hand grabbed his heel "YOu-111111-did-7777".

Rolf looked at Arnolds and he bolted for the window. "Stop!" He yelled "Stop right there, or I'll shoot!" He said as he drew his revolver. It was no use, Arnolds lept out the window. As Rolf looked outside, he saw Arnolds stop moments before hitting the ground and shot upward.

Rolf saw that as he passed the window, Arnolds pulled a laser saw from his belt and oriented on Rolf. Without out hesitation, he fired twice, nocking Arnolds out of the sky. When he heard the splat, he radioed the chief.
"Yeah, it looks like Arnolds was th dismantler. He signed off.

Rolf went upstairs and nuked some hot links. He still had an hour to go till hisparents got back. What to do!

Author: Young Dickens
Posted: December 7, 1999

Morals Are So Important!

' I am divorced."

She said in a confident voice as if she were happy of
her being so , " before our marriage, we were a
perfect couple, people were envying us for the great
love we both had for each other ."

' that is lovely and so sweet , love is a great thing
and believe me , the whole world will change to a
better state if everyone loves the other , alas , how
we do miss love nowadays!"

It is really wonderful to know people quickly and to
gain their trust easily! , I met that nice, sleek
elegant lady in a bus , she was no more than thirty
five I guessed, she had a long red hair and nose , her
eyes were dark brown . she was wearing a dark blue
blouse and a pink skirt (a stupid contrast in colors
but who cares!) . I was going to college and the
traffic jam was for sure to delay me so I found it
nice to have a conversation with her ( or to be frank
let's say that she found it a good chance to talk with
for me for she kept looking at me for sometime before
asking if I were indian! ) but it looked to me as if
I had gained her trust sooner than I had expected for
in less than five minutes, she was telling me about
her own personal life but who cares !, I didn't even
want to know what her name was, IT WAS KAREN by the
way, I didn't ask her but she told me!

I am indian , but I live in NEW YORK , wow a fantastic
place to me and to everybody , I adore this place so
much indeed , you can never get bored if you are
always busy doing things , always having a friend or
you had better go back to your counrty ! but after
all in NEW YORK , you can easily have the possibility
of meeting different people from different countries
and ofcourse by doing so , you gonna no doubt gain
more experince but who cares! .

As a teenager , it was very difficult for me to
convenice my family who is a strict one , to leave
india and to come alone to new york , they refused at
first , the idea itself was a silly one to them ,
specially that I have no brothers or sisters .

" What was the reason for your divorce," I asked her
She hesitated for a while before giving a deep sigh ,
and said that I was
too young to understand the reason, ' I am not that
young! I am eighteen!" I said quickly .
" A girl in your age shouldn't bother herself with
such issues, enjoy your life, have fun, meet people,
date young men, you should make the best use of every
moment in your life, do u have a boyfriend,' she asked
and my answer was the affirmative

But still, I wasn't convinced that I was that young
so I was determind to know the reason of her divorce
so I asked her again

" Well, he cheated me twice and I couldn't accept to
live with a cheater,' she said
' But haven't you ever cheated him too?." I asked her
" Well, I did it once but that was long ago, but later
I knew how wrong I was and managed never to do it
again for I don't like to lie!"
' Did your husband know that you cheated him ?.'

She told me that she wasn't crazy to tell him so "
Good heavens , what can you be thinking of!" she
wondered ( why was she wondering , I didn't know!)

" But why are you blaming him for what you did
' Well, it was so hard for me to know that my husband
had a love relation with my sister, I was shocked by
the idea itself , but I am so happy now , I can tell
you , I do what I like I feel free ( but wasn't she
free too when she were married!!!) I am totally
independent , I earn my living , I see my boyfreind
when ever I like , I live in my own apartment , why
would I then bother myself thinking about my ex
husband again."

Her last phrase denoted to me a different meaning
from what she said , the way she said it , the way her
eyes and lips looked like showed that she was for sure
still in love with her ex husband , and that his
betrayal was a blow to her , I even felt that she
was going to weep , but I was so surprised by what
she meant , I never knew that American women are also
like other women all around the world! I didn't know
that they are jealous too, that they get mad at the
idea of being cheated by their husbands, all my life I
have been hearing people talking about the open
relationships that happen during marriage in the
Americans society, people say that an American man
will never mind to know that his wife loves another
guy or vice versa but who cares!

" indians are so conservative , right ? ' she asked
" well, you are correct , most of the indians family
are so strict with their kids , they bring up their
children in a good way , they teach them morals which
, they think , will benfit them later on when they
grow up and face difficulties in life , but after all
when the kids become old and apply what they had
learnt they find out the total difference between
morals they should use and morals USED! But after all,
who cares!

Author: Charles Winkle
Posted: November 23, 1999

Should Have Known Better
A Scott Allen Adventure

The hot August sun was warm against his face. This was the final trip he had to make. He and
his mother were on their way home. It had been three long weeks of packing, driving, and hauling. After
his parents divorce, his mother wanted to move back home.

Home was Grahamn, Missouri. In his mind the fun, warm, southern town he had only seen on
The Andy Griffith Show. He had mixed feelings about moving to this place, meeting new people, and
starting a new life. His mother knew most of the people in Grahamn, because she grew up there. He, on
the other hand, only knew his grandmother. They planned to move in with her until they could find a
place of their own. He wasn’t worried about that, he was worried about how he might get along in a new
environment. He was worried about meeting new people and, more importantly, being accepted.

Back home he was popular. Everyone liked the tall witty young man with dark brown eyes. He
was the type of guy who got along with everyone. Although he was popular, he was not the average
popular student, he wasn’t very athletic. He wasn’t a big muscular guy, he was the opposite, he was thin
but tall. His hair was not long, something very uncommon for a man in the south.

All worries he had were put aside when his mother announced that they were almost there. He
looked forward to seeing her and became very excited when they pulled into the drive. His grandmother
was standing outside. He got out of the car and walked quickly towards her.

“It’s so nice to see you Scott!” Grandma said.

“Its better to see you Grandma, I’m so glad I’m here to stay!” Scott replied.

His mother joined the reunion.

“Mom it’s so great to see you!” Carol said.

“I’m so glad we can all be together from now on. I’m so excited. I’ve waited all day for you to
get here.” Grandma proudly proclaimed. They all embraced each other. “Lets go inside I’ve cooked
dinner.” The trio walked inside. It would only be a few days before school started in this small southern
town. It would only be a few days before Scott Allen started his new life at a new school, but it would also
be only a few days before his first adventure began. . .

Grahamn, Missouri was an area of endless flat land where trees scattered the horizon. Grahamn
recorded record high temperatures in the summer and record low temperatures in the winter. The town
had a population of about 800 people. A typical bustling metropolis with a resturant, barbershop, service
station, and of course grocery store. Believe it or not, it was also the home of Grahamn High School.

Grahamn High School is probably the most outdated school in the entire state of Missouri. Local
history has recorded its destruction and resurrection at least three times in the past 80 years. It has burned,
been condemned, and burned again. Unfortunately, any disaster has never completely destroyed the
building. Somehow the city obtains enough money to rebuild and refurnish and ultimately educate the
children of Grahamn. A very embarrassing place to go to school. Scott Allen thought that if Frankenstein
was a school it he would be Grahamn High School. Some of it is new, most of it is old, and all of it is

It is August 26, school starts today. After an unprecedented pep talk Scott Allen walked through
the doors at school. The halls were long and wide. They were painted in a beige color. The floor shined.
It was made of twelve by twelve tile that is no longer available in hardware shops. On both ends of the
halls there were lockers and an occasional door that led into a classroom. Scott looked around, he felt like
he was being watched. He was, in a way, because at the school he went to before he could be lost in a
crowd, here was different the entire student body didn’t make crowd.

He walked pass a group of two beautiful girls. His eyes met theirs. He really paid attention to
one she had long brown hair and beautiful smile. Impure thoughts raced through his head. He shook
them off so he could say something when he walked by.

“Hi, you wouldn’t happen to know where the office is do you?” Scott smiled.

“Go down the hall and take a right. Can’t miss it” the brunette smiled back.

“Thank you” Scott said in return.

“Well your always welcome. By the way what is your name” she asked.

“My name is Allen, Scott Allen” he laughed.

“Mine is Sarah. Maybe we’ll have a few classes together,” Sarah said.

“I hope so.” As he turned to walk away he said “ see you around’’. He walked down the hall and
took a right just like she said. She was right nobody could miss this, it reminded Scott of a lemonade
stand in Hell. The office was spacious with a desk in the middle. An older woman in her seventies sat at
the desk and typed on her keyboard. He walked up to the desk and the woman stopped.

“What can I do for you?” she asked?

“Hi, my name is Scott Allen I came to pick up my schedule” he said.

“ O.k. let me get it.” She walked around the desk to a filing cabinet and pulled out his schedule.
My God, he thought, this school must be stuck in the ice age. She handed it to him.

“Will that be all” she asked.


“By the way my name is Mrs. Roberts” she said.

“Its nice to meet you. I think I’m gonna like it here” Scott lied.

“That’s nice,” she said in reply. He really didn’t like the way things were going so far. The
school was simply outdated, he felt primitive. He turned to walk out of the door. When he turned a
beautiful shorthaired blonde woman was standing in front of him.

“You must be new here! My name is Ms. Ross”

“Scott Allen” She held out her perfectly manicured hand. He gently shook it and said “Its nice to
meet you.” Scott thought that this woman was probably in her mid twenties. He always had a recurring
fantasy about an older woman. He would love to seduce an older woman. He thought he might give it a
shot one-day. If he successfully seduced her it would not be the first time she slept with a student.

“Well I hope you enjoy your first day here!” Ms. Ross said.

“Thank you, see you in class later” Scott said. He walked out of the office. When he got outside
he looked at his schedule. He was not enrolled in Ms. Ross’ class. Damn, he thought. Oh well, he
thought again, there is always next year.

For the next half of the day Scott was lectured, entertained, and put in his place. He attended
class meetings and other initiation ceremonies.

After orientation Scott knew what time it was, it was time for lunch. This was a big problem.
Who would he sit with? Would anybody let him sit with them? These questions ran through his mind as
he stood silently in line. The cafeteria was serving pizza today. Not a bad choice for the first day he

Scott made his way through the line and paid for his lunch. He looked around not knowing what
to do. He stood there for a seeming eternity but in reality only about two seconds when she saw her.
Sitting across the cafeteria was Sarah. Scott felt that deep down inside she liked him, so he walked over
to her table and sat down. “Hello Sarah, you don’t mind if I join you, do you?’’ Sitting across from Sarah
was a short pencil thin blonde, presumably Sarah’s best friend, and Scott thought that she was really
beautiful. Scott had remembered seeing her earlier that day.

“Of course I don’t mind,’ Sarah said, “ This is my friend Lana.” Sarah made a hand gesture
toward Lana.

Lana held out her hand. Scott shook it and said, “I’m Scott.”

“Its nice to meet you,” Lana said out of routine.

“You sure know how to pick friends,” Scott said. What a dumbass thing to say he thought to
himself. He was slightly embarrassed. Scott didn’t know it but Sarah was flattered.

“Scott there is someone else I want you to meet,” Sarah said. Scott Allen’s heart jumped. He
was immediately excited. He wondered to himself what hot friend of hers he would be introduced to next.
A nanosecond passed and his bubble had been busted. Sarah motioned for a guy to join them. Scott Allen
was immediately repulsed by the young man’s appearance. He was a very tall boy who had an ugly face
covered with acne. His hair was cut short almost to the scalp and he was at least 50 pounds overweight.

“I want you to meet by boyfriend, Anthony,” Sarah bubbled. Anthony made his way to the table
and sat down beside Sarah. Sarah turned to Anthony “This is Scott Allen, he is new here.” Scott reached
across the table to shake his hand. Anthony reluctantly took it.

“Nice to meet you Anthony. Sarah has told me a lot of great things about you.” Anthony’s grip
on Scott’s hand was very tight. If Scott wasn’t mistaken Anthony really didn’t like him.

“Sarah and I have been together for two years,” Anthony said harshly. Scott got the point.
Anthony felt very threatened by this handsome stranger that had entered their lives.

Scott couldn’t resist bull shitting with this guy. “Sarah told me that, she also said you played
football.” Scott had no idea that he played football but it was a good guess he thought.

“I’m captain of the team,” Anthony boasted. Lana remained silent. She was shy around
strangers. Anthony connected with Scott when football was brought up.

“Of course you are.” Scott Allen found girls at Grahamn High School warm and sweet and most
important attractive. He found the boys, on the other hand, to be obnoxious rednecks who loved to talk
about big trucks, big guns, beer, and who could beat whom in an arm wrestling match. The conversation
went on until the bell rang. It was time to go back to class.

The cafeteria was a new addition to the school. It took about two minutes to make the journey
from the school to the cafeteria by foot. Scott Allen was one of the last ones to leave the cafeteria meaning
he got the privilege of watching everyone walk to class. He noticed Anthony and a few other of his
football buddies trying to trip someone. Scott watched as the tried and tried to trip this thin helpless boy.
Anthony tried one more time and he did it. He tripped him! Scott was outraged! He had never seen such
an injustice in all his life. Why don’t they pick on me he thought to himself? “Hey assholes leave him the
hell alone,” Scott yelled as he ran to the scene. These guys were laughing. They had the audacity to think
that it was funny.

“This ain’t none of your goddamn business,” one jock declared.

“It is now! You guys have no right to do this to other people,” Scott screamed. In an instant he
was transformed from a tranquil boy into the champion of justice he aspired to be. He was not going to
stand and watch them pick on some defenseless guy. He was going to take action he was going to stop
this once and for all.

“Easy, there asshole! We may just have to kick your scrawny little ass,” Anthony crowed.

“You just may. I’m not going to watch you fat asses harass him.” Scott could feel his heartbeat
grow faster. Butterflies violently attacked his stomach.

“Give it up man,” the little voice from the ground said.

“I’m not giving up until you bastards apologize to him!”

“Who do you think you are? Do you think that since we don’t know you, you can just bully us
around?” Anthony crowed.

“Your damn right!”

“I don’t like you anyway you Yankee son of a bitch! And you know what, Sarah doesn’t like you

“I disagree, and to tell you the honest to God truth I don’t see how she stands to be around your
fat ass,” Scott said. He turned around to see the defenseless young man standing in front of him. Sarah
joined the scene.

“Drop it! Both of you! Anthony lets go,” Sarah commanded. Anthony obeyed like a
well-trained dog.

“Go to hell man, I don’t have time to screw with a prick like you!” Scott’s heartbeat slowed back
to normal. Anthony and his goons turned and walked away. Scott stood there dumbfounded for a
moment. What a bitch. Why did she turn on him? What in the hell did she see in him? He may the best
football player in Grahamn but he was also the biggest.

“Look man, I really appreciate your help back there,’’

“You’re welcome. Scott Allen,” Scott offered his hand. The two boys shook hands.

“Fox DeMarco.” Fox avoided Scott’s eyes. He was ashamed. Together they started to walk back
to class.

“Why were those guys giving you such a hard time?”

“They do all the time.”

“Well maybe they’ll leave you alone for awhile!” They went their separate ways and went to
separate classes. For Scott Allen the rest of the day dragged by slowly. Finally, at 3:00, the bell rang. It
was time to go home. Scott walked to his locker he put his books away. He made his way towards the
door when he saw Fox standing at his locker. “Hey Fox!”

“Oh hi,” Fox’s eyes never met his. Scott watched as Fox was taking everything out of his locker.
He had every book in his hands. What a nerd Scott thought to himself.

“Need some help with all those books?’’

“No,” Fox lied.

“Don’t give me that bullshit,” Scott said as he grabbed three of the books from the stack. “I’ll
drive you home.”

“No you don’t have to do that.”

“I know, but I will”

“Alright,” Fox said. A faint smile grew across his face. He was beginning to like Scott. They
both walked to his Blazer. They got in and made their way home. During the drive they talked of all the
things to do to Anthony. Fox suggested replacing his shampoo with Nair. It was perfect revenge.

“So where do you live?’’ Fox directed Scott to his house. It turns out that Fox lived right next
door to Scott’s grandmother’s house. Scott helped Fox carry his books into his house. They spent the rest
of the night plotting revenge against Anthony and the rest of the football team. Scott started to like Fox in
the period that they got to know each other. Fox was not the typical citizen of Grahamn he was not a

Later that night Scott looked back on the day. He flirted with beautiful teachers, beautiful girls
and was even rejected by one. He smiled to himself. The day went a lot better than he expected, even
though he almost got into a fight and even though the most beautiful girl in school shot him down. He
had mad a friend, and got along with all the teachers and he even looked forward to going to school at
Grahamn High School.

He got ready to go to bed. He looked at his Superman statue that he got for his fifth birthday. It
was one of his favorite things in the world. It gave him inspiration. He looked at it and thought about
what he did during the day. He took up for someone weaker than he was. Superman would have done the
same. But deep down inside he felt that he could never be like Superman. He could never save the world
like Superman could and he probably couldn't even save someone’s life like Superman could. Scott
should’ve known better.

At that same moment, in the house next door, Fox sat at his writing desk. All the books from his
locker were stacked on top of it. He opened his bottom drawer. In the drawer was a gun. After the
constant harassment he decided to end it all. He decided to kill himself. No, not tonight. He had a good
day. Someone stood up for him. He had made a friend. He felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time.
He felt power. He felt the power to stand up for himself. He knew he didn’t have to be picked on any

Fox looked down at the gun in the drawer. He closed the drawer. He wouldn’t need it. He
would never need it. He turned off his light and climbed into bed. Lying there in bed his excitement
grew. For the first time in a long time he was excited about going to school the next day. In the house
next door Scott felt the same excitement. Grahamn High School isn’t as bad as he thought it would be.

Scott gave something to Fox that he will never know. Scott gave Fox the gift of life and
friendship. A feat that would make anyone proud, even Superman.

Author: Mathieu Ravier
Age: 22
Mathieu Ravier's Homepage
Posted: November 22, 1999

Holly At The Mall

I wake up at 2:17 with a blistering headache and a pleasant hangover. Without opening my eyes I reach out of my shorts and out to the bedside table for a Tylenol which I quickly slip under my tongue. When the bitter admonitory taste hits I have no choice but to get out of bed and head to the bathroom for some water to swallow the damn thing. A ciggy to kill the pain. I know for sure the fridge is empty. A trip to the mall is looming. This is shaping up to be another SunnyDale day.
I fumble into some casual suburban designerwear, grab my Amex and keys and head down the stairs and out the door. Outside the heat is deafening. God it must be at least 94° I think. I cut through driveways and backyards to maximise the shade factor but to no avail: when I reach the mall my m(a)dma(n) t-shirt is soaked with sweat and clinging to my skin. I make the last dash to the automated doors powered by that familiar lust for soothing stale air-conditioned air. I step into the gargantuan neon-lit interior and the muzak hits me like a wave of nausea. I curse myself briefly for forgetting the MD player in my urge to locomote and propel myself into the temple of consumption. My stomach is tingling.
I pass the games arcade where a group of neo-geeks are lined up on the video dance pads, jumping up and down in sync, in a frenzy of programmed dance steps. Since when do the geeks know how to dance?! God, things seemed so much more predictable in the world last week...
I stop for a while and stare as they take turns holding each-other's horn-rimmed glasses to beat the high score on the Sega dance pads. I'll take that J-pop mayhem over the muzak any day. I pop a piece of gum and nod my head to the tunes, strangely captivated by the spectacle. Suddenly I catch myself chewing frantically, my jaws clenching in time with the bassless beats. Oh shit I think. I can almost feel my pupils dilating. Damn it that wasn't paracetamol but an e I swallowed. I am bursting with fruit flavours.
By the time I reach the news-stand, I am feeling predictably elated and start to sweat. Four Buffy lookalikes are picketing in front of the magazines in sandals and complete Dries Van Notten apparel. Isn't anyone going to school anymore? I go up to a familiar looking girl I think I may-be recognise to find out more. She rolls her eyes in every possible direction before answering where have I been the last two hundred years. That of course they're protesting because the clueless newsagent stopped selling Les Cahiers Du Cinéma and gosh, culture is flying out the window and access is everything and don't I, like, you know, care... I flash her a killer smile, pay for my copy of Homes & Gardens and make a beeline for Pay'n'Save.
I have to restrain myself from like, skipping. My heartbeat is accelerating steadily. I am flying the friendly skies. From somewhere deep beneath my aching synapses I start hearing the loudening bassline of some long forgotten Chicago house track. I am buzzing all over, hips, lips and fingertips. I make my way past the fruit and vegies, around the fish counter towards the cereal aisle, wanting to frenchkiss every mothafucker in my way. The whole place is ringing with brightness. I need to find D'arcy.
My homegirl D'arcy has sorta set up shop between the fruitloops and the Special K and sells the best skunk this side of Beverly Hills. Just what I need to better manage that unplanned high. D'arcy, who looks really good in her Re-Invent The Middle Class T-shirt, goes James, long time no tea, and hugs me like a tree. Hey I go. She looks into my eyes and goes man look who had sugar with his cereal this morning and I shrug sheepishly. She slips me this pre-rolled spliff that's pink for some reason and I wave to her on my way out, totally overjoyous.
I light up on my way out, winking at the overweight security guard. Standing right outside the doors I slowly take in the sunlight on my skin and the hot wind violently caressing every inch of my frail body. I feel like a pre-ludovico Alexander DeLarge. I take my time across the SunnyDale parking lot, pulling on the spliff and pausing to rest my hand on the burning metal of parked BMW hoods.
But then fifty yards ahead I see this giant 6-feet-tall evil slimy reptilian with bloodshot eyes and razor-sharp teeth crouching behind a purple Mercedes. I follow the creature's famished gaze to a fat Gucci-clad middle-aged housewife loading groceries in the trunk of an oversized Hyundai. I think I recognise her from rehab. Her daughter's in my class, Charisma or Chastity or something. Suddenly, the lizard leaps into the air from its shady spot thanks to its powerful muscled back legs and lands ten feet away next to its unsuspecting prey. The housewife lets out a quick, surprised scream before the cold-blooded monster sinks its long teeth in the soft wrinkled flesh of her neck. Sitting in a shopping cart oblivious to the real life Pokémon tearing at his mother's flesh a few feet away, her six-year old son keeps his eyes riveted on a GameBoy. I look at my watch. I should probably go over there and wheel the kid to safety but I'm late for my geography class. I keep walking.

Author: Barbara Greenberg
Barbara Greenberg's Homepage
Posted: November 21, 1999


As I sit here, watching her, the bitter taste of anger, regret and sadness sits inside my mouth. My tongue is thick, I’m in need of a drink but I sit here and watch her. She is sleeping now. I watch the rise and fall of her chest under the crisp white sheets. She seems lost in that bed. Her tiny frame looks so fragile. She does not even look peaceful in her sleep. Her eyes are sunken and there are black marks under them. I can see her cheek bones jutting out like sharp nails. I look at her collarbone, it pokes out so far.
How did this happen?
I can’t put my finger on when it all started, probably from birth she was born a girl, born with the odds against her. Women are more prone to depression, eating disorders, rape, low self esteem the list is endless. I don’t know why though. I can’t understand it. I’m not a woman, I’ll never understand, but I wish I could. I wonder if she knows that. I should tell her.
She always wanted me to tell her things, anything.
“Tell me stupid things that run through your mind,” she’d say seriously. Her hair was blowing in the wind like birds across the sky. We were swinging on the swings like little kids. “Blair,” I shook my head with a smile. “Why?” I asked her with a grin.
“So I can understand you better,” she declared, with some sadness in her voice, “I want to understand you...” her voice trailed off and she began to swing higher and faster. She wanted to be a bird. She told me that once. She would have made a beautiful dove.
I wonder now if it had begun back then and I just hadn’t seen it. I can’t remember when she started to leave the table after we ate only to throw up. I never heard it either. How was that possible? I must have been deaf.
A sudden movement from her little body has jolted me back to the present. She blinks her grey eyes open. She rubs her eyes and makes an attempt to say hello to me.
“Hey you,” I say softly. She looks at me as if I am a stranger. “How are you feeling?” I continue, realizing that it was a stupid question. She feels terrible obviously. How would my body feel if I’d taken it to hell and back? God, she must think I’m an insensitive fuck. I feel like crying. I look up and she’s biting her bottom lip. She still hasn’t answered she knows it’s a stupid question.
“Sorry,” I mumble and pick at a nonexistent piece of lint on my shirt.
“It’s OK,” she whispers barely audible. Maybe she doesn’t have the energy to speak.
I shouldn’t push her, but I ask, “Is there anything I can get you?”
She blinks at me, her face is blank, but suddenly she says, “Yes.”
My head snaps up, yes, it’s like a holy grail sighting. I take this yes and run with it.
“What would you like? You can have anything. A magazine? A drink? Food? What?” I’m so eager she must think I’m crazy.
Smiling she says, “Cream, some lotion, you know, the vanilla stuff I’ve always used? I’d like that.” Her eyes have a more alive look in them. I stand up as if to go right now and buy it, but she grabs my arm.
“No, don’t go yet. Just bring it with you tomorrow?”
She wants me to stay, so I stay. I sink back into my chair and nod. She nods back. Tomorrow she said.
There’s a long awkward silence. Her face has changed again. It’s blank as she stares at the yellow wall across from her bed. I guess they figure they paint it that to make the patients happy. I don’t think it’s working.
I wonder what she’s thinking, but I don’t ask. I never know if she wants me to or not.
The silence is broken by a moan from the bed next to her. I can’t remember the girl’s name Carrie, Kim, Kelly, something like that. Blair moves her focus to the curtain separating the two beds. Suddenly she leans close to me, smelling like baby powder, and in a low voice she says, “Kate was brought in last night, I heard the nurses talking about her.” Kate, so I was close. She stops, for effect or to make sure Kate can’t hear us, I’m not sure. She continues, “They brought her in because they found her on the street. Apparently she’d been drugged up and beaten. They think she was raped, but they don’t know for sure yet. That’s the first noise I’ve heard her make all day.” She stops and leans back.
I want to say something back to her, something intelligent and caring, but I can’t think of anything. Instead I say, “Oh. That’s terrible. I hope they figure out what happened to her.” I hope she knows I meant that, because I did.
She nods in agreement and says, “Me too.” She closes her eyes and speaks no more.
It wasn’t always like this. I’m sure she just doesn’t have the energy to talk anymore. We did that a lot, talk I mean. We talked a lot, endlessly, for hours about anything. Once we went for coffee after a bad movie and talked until four in the morning. The best part of it was we didn’t even know what time it was. We didn’t care either.
Wait- she didn’t eat anything that night. She had bottled water instead. She wasn’t hungry she said and I didn’t think anything of it. I had my coffee and a slice of pie, apple I think. She wouldn’t even take a bite of it when I offered. I think she was offended when I tried to make her.
Her eyes narrowed and darkened, “No.” she said, just like that. No. Not no thanks, just no almost like a growl or a bark. No. I must have been deaf.
“What are you thinking?” she asks me. Suddenly I am aware that she has been watching me while I lose myself in memories.
“Oh, nothing really.” I should tell her.
“Oh,” she says quietly and lowers her eyes so her lashes touch her cheeks.
“What about you?” I ask. “What are you thinking about?”
She shifts her position towards me in the bed. God, she looks so lost in those white sheets.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she pauses for a second, “I was thinking about you.”
“Me?” I am surprised.
She nods firmly, I’m afraid her neck can’t handle that. “What about me?” I ask.
She stares at me, searching my face for something but I’m not sure what.
“Well?” I say, when she doesn’t answer.
“I don’t know. Why are you still here? I’m as good as dead.”
I think she just zapped me with a million volts of electricity. “What!” I almost yell it at her. I want to shake her, but I know it’s too late for that it’ll do no good.
“Shh,” she says, “You’ll wake Kate.”
“I don’t care!” I say loudly. I am angry. Why did she say that. God I want to punch the wall. I hate this.
“You should,” she says softly, she’s so serene.
“Well I don’t.” I stare at her, she has her head bent down so I can barely see her face. God it looks so hollow. Her bottom lip is quivering, and I can see a tear falling down her cheek. Oh God, why can’t I fix her? Another tear falls, followed by more and more. I’m frozen here what can I do? I reach for her, but she pushes my hand away. Those are the worst kind of tears, the one’s you can’t hear.
“Blair,” I say softly, but I stop, I don’t know what to tell her. “Oh God Blair, tell me what to do.” My voice is shaky. She hears that and looks up at me, her eyes wide and full of tears.
“Help me Mark,” she whispers. “Please.”
God, help me.
Those words. Help me. When was the last time she said that to me? Was it when I found her in the bathroom? Her parents had given her a surprise party for her twenty-first birthday. It was their way of trying to fix all that had ever gone wrong, and throwing it together was supposed to erase everything from Blair’s mind. They made her a chocolate cake and ice cream She had a slice, probably so she wouldn’t offend them. Then she disappeared. I think it was Tara that was asking where she went, so I went looking for her. I’ll never forget the noise I heard. She was all the way up stairs, the third floor, so we couldn’t hear her. The bathroom was attached to her room, or her old room now she lives in her apartment. It sounded like she was dying. I thought she was sick. Maybe there was something wrong with the cake? I flung the door open to see her crouched over the toilet bowl. I think I said, “Oh my God,” but I can’t remember. I know she looked up at me, her fac!
e was pale and there was a bit of brown around her mouth.
She was shocked to see me there her eyes widened in horror and she covered her face with her hands screaming “Get out! Get the fuck out of here!” I remember backing out of the room in horror or disgust, I can’t remember which one. But I stopped after I closed the door behind me. I sat on the bed, her four poster bed full of white pillows with little embroidered flowers on them. I flattened out the blue and white comforter while I sat in shock.
The toilet flushed, the water ran, there was a pause and then the door opened. She emerged, her was face back to it’s original colour. I tossed the pillow I had been holding aside. I opened my mouth to say something, but she held up her arm like a police man.
“No. Don’t start with me,” she said angrily.
“But, Blair-”
“Don’t “But Blair” me Mark. Who do you think you are bursting in here like that?” she demanded.
“I thought you were sick.” As I began to explain her face softened.
“Oh,” was all she said.
“Are you OK?” I asked her after a long pause.
She nodded. “I think I just ate too fast,” she said. I nodded and she continued, “I didn’t want you to see me like that.” I nodded again, “I’m sorry.” I nodded, that’s what I did. I nodded and didn’t think about it. She ate too fast? God, I must have been deaf, blind and stupid.
No she didn’t say help me then. Maybe I should have heard her cry for help anyways.
“Mark?” she speaks.
“Why don’t you go get something to eat? You must be hungry.” Oh the irony is killing me. I should get something to eat? I must be hungry? Good God Blair. Listen to yourself.
“No. I’m OK. I’ll wait until your mother gets here ok?”
“Fine,” she sighs and shifts in her bed again. Suddenly she’s swung what are supposed to be her legs, but looks more like the table legs, not human legs, over the side of the bed. Pulling her IV with her, she still doesn’t look much like a living being. I watch her skeletal body move towards the bathroom. I’d bet all the money I could ever earn that the IV stand weighs more that she does.
“You alright?” I ask, getting up from my chair. I’m afraid she’ll fall over, she can’t pull that thing with her.
“I’m OK,” she grunts, struggling to keep herself and the IV going. I can hear her toes cracking on the ground. Her toe nails are painted blue. A dark blue, and every other one has silver sparkles across them. They don’t really match the pink and green on her finger nails, but it doesn’t matter. She has bruises on her legs, and along the inside of her arm where the nurses had to try six or seven times to put the IV in. Her gown is about ten sizes too big for her. I look away because I can’t stand to see her shuffle along like an eighty year old woman with cancer. I hear the click of the bathroom door and I watch the clock. If it takes her longer then three minutes something is wrong. She could be throwing up, she could have taken a razor to her wrist. The toilet flushes, water runs and the door opens again. I hear her bare feet shuffle along, the IV stand begins to squeak a little, but I don’t turn around. I can’t turn around. I make it appear as if I am looking!
out the window so she doesn’t think I am avoiding her, even though I am.
Suddenly I feel her hand on my shoulder. I know she hasn’t done it for support, but affection. I know she can’t say the words, but she wants to. She bends over to kiss my cheek and stands upright again.
All of a sudden there is a screech from the bed next to her. It’s Kate. She has begun to scream. I jump up and swing the curtain open. She’s screaming her head is thrown back and tears are streaming down her cheeks. I freeze. I don’t know what to do. Blair has hit the button for the nurses’ station. A voice comes back it does not sound impressed it must be Judy.
“What?” she snaps.
“Get in here! Can’t you hear that?” Blair is yelling back.
I reach for Kate, to calm her, I think, but she lashes out, her nails scratching my arm. I pull away but I can still feel her claws in my skin. Two nurses have run in one glares at me and pulls the curtain back around the bed. I think she puts a needle in her while the other nurse holds Kate down. I can hear them murmuring things to each other.
One says, “Where are her parents already? Good Lord.”
The other says, “I don’t know, probably at work.” Their voices trail off as they leave the room. I turn back to Blair who’s gotten back into bed.
“How’s your arm?” she asks, reaching for me. I examine it there. Three red puffy marks have formed down it, but no blood. I show her and she smiles.
“I think you’ll make it.” I laugh a little.
“Are you sure?” I ask, and she nods. I laugh, she smiles again. It’s good to see her smile. I love her smile.
“Do you want some water?” I ask her. I need to feel useful.
“Sure,” she says. I get up to leave the room.
“Be quick,” she calls after me. Suddenly I’m thrown back to when she called out to hurry up when I had to call the ambulance.
She was lying on the kitchen floor in front of the open refrigerator door. I had come back from my classes and knocked on the door, but no one had answered. I tried the door anyway because she was supposed to be home. It opened and I entered. The apartment was still.
“Blair?” I called. She was supposed to be there. I walked through the living room into the kitchen. There she was, the phone was off the hook lying beside her body. She was on the floor, the door to the refrigerator was open there was a carton of orange juice lying on it’s side on the floor.
“Blair!” I ran over to where she lay, suddenly seeing how malnourished she looked, like those kids in the commercials on Sunday mornings. I shook her, but she didn't move. I grabbed the phone it was making that buzzing noise to signal it had been off the hook too long. I hit the receiver button and dialed for an ambulance. I don’t remember what happened after that, but somehow they brought her back to me.
How did this happen?
So here I am getting her bottled water, yet wanting to force feed her nutritious food. The halls here seem so small.
I enter the room, the bottle in hand. Blair is sitting up now. I think she brushed her hair, but I can’t be sure. She’s put on sweatshirt, it is red and also ten sizes too big for her. I hand her the bottle, she opens it and has a sip.
“Thank you,” she says. I nod and sit down again.
Suddenly I find myself talking, “Was there anything I could have done? Anything at all?” She looks at me as if I’ve opened a can of worms. Maybe I have. “I mean,” I continue, “Why? God, why?”
“Why?” She asks back. “Why?” She raises her voice a little. “Good God Mark, what a question.”
“I know, but...” I trail off not know what to say.
“Are you blaming yourself?” she asks.
I shake my head, “I don’t know. I can’t blame you, so maybe I should blame myself, or the world, magazines, TV, something.” I throw my hands up in the air and they drop down into my lap.
“Sure, blame them all,” she says.
“Did I not tell you I think you’re beautiful enough? Did I need to reassure you more?” I’m desperate to find the cause of all this.
She takes a deep breath and begins:
Before I now you, a long time ago. I, I, oh God I don’t know when it began. I’ve never loved myself, ever. I’ve always though that I am ugly. It didn’t matter that my parents said I was pretty. They’re my parents, they have to. It’s an unwritten rule of some sort. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I can’t explain it. I can’t tell you what I don’t understand myself.”
“So there’s nothing I can do then?” I say, it’s half a statement, half a question.
“I don’t know,” she murmurs. “Maybe not, not yet anyway.”
“Was it a rebellion? Against your parents? I mean did you blame yourself for their divorce?” Why am I asking this? Have I learned nothing from those pamphlets I read?
“I had no control over that,” she says thickly. I’ve touched a nerve. I feel a lump form in the back of my throat. This hurts both of us. I nod and lower my eyes. She had no control over that, was that it? I read in a pamphlet she brought home something about control. That was one of the first ones she brought home with her.
I can’t understand this, this wanting to never eat. This enjoyment from an empty stomach. This need to be slim, no not slim, walking bones. Did she think I’d love her more if she was this way?
“Blair, just tell me how to help. Tell me how to fix it. You know I love you right?” God I hope she does. I want to marry her more than anything else in the world. But you can’t marry a corpse.
“I know you do. You’re the only thing that keeps me sane.” She begins to cry again, except this time her body shakes with her sobs. God I hate this noise. The lump in my throat has grown and I feel a wave of tears overcome me, but I swallow them. I want to cry too. I should tell her that.
I reach for her and take her hand. I let her cry because she used to tell me it did her good. I stopped worrying about her tears when she told me it was ok to cry. So I sit here, holding her hand while she cries. Before I realize it, I begin to cry too. Just one tear falls, and then another until they’re flowing down my cheeks like the river by the woods. She had her eyes closed so she hasn’t noticed, but when I take my hand away she looks up. I can’t tell if she’s shock or horrified, she has never seen my cry. Even when my father died two years ago. I let her think I was strong, but I can’t pretend anymore. I cry. I cry because I can’t help her, because she can’t help herself, because we’ve been through too much together, because I’ve been blind, deaf and stupid, because I love her and she is dying, because I need her more than life itself. It is killing both of us, this thing, this disease, this disorder She is dying, physically and mentally I am dying with he!
r. These thoughts are cut off by a sudden movement, she is ripping at her arm, trying to get her IV out. God she is hysterical.
“Blair!” I’m yelling at her, trying to get her to stop, but she won’t listen.
“Leave me alone,” she screams she is choking on her tears, “I want to leave. I hate it here!”
I don’t know what to do so I hit the button for the nurses station. She is still screaming.
“I want to die! Get me out of here. Oh God let me just die.”
Judy comes running in. “Blair, Blair Blair, what are you doing?” She calls for Patti over her shoulder they sedate her with something, but it’s not easy. “Now, now Blair, be a good girl and everything will be ok. Come on now.” They are so sweet it is making me sick. Maybe this is some type of weird reverse psychology.
All the while I am sitting here crying, I can’t stop. I can’t watch, I can’t see her like this anymore. It hurts me too much.
Once Blair is quiet Judy and Patti start to leave. I find myself asking if I can have a nap on the empty bed across from Blair’s.
“Fine, fine, you’ve had a long night.” Judy nods and leave the room.
I kiss Blair on the forehead and smooth out her brown curly locks of hair and then curl up on the empty bed. It smells too clean and sterile. It’s kind of hard but before I can being to count my sheep I am asleep.
I wake up to the sound of Blair’s mother, but I don’t open my eyes. I pretend I am still asleep while they talk.
“ to try Blair.” I hear her mother say.
“Don’t lecture me mother, just go back to your boyfriend and leave me to die.” Blair’s is cold.
“Don’t you dare pin this on me,” she raises her voice, “Just eat something for Godsakes. What’s the matter with you?” She’s making it worse. She doesn’t know what to say so she’s pointing fingers, putting the blame somewhere. I think there’s a rule about not doing that in one of the pamphlets I read. I don’t think Blair showed them to her.
We’ve tried to fight this before. We’ve done the therapy, the nutrition lists, the “family” sessions. Those are hard when the family doesn’t show up.
I’ve zoned out a bit and just catch her mother saying the words, “I give up.” I open my eyes in time to see her walk out the door. I sit up and look across to Blair she’s crying again, but I can still see the anger she has.
“What happened?” I ask her point blank.
“The usual. She yelled, I yelled back. Why does she even bother? It just makes it worse. I may as well be an orphan,” she spits out. She’s snarling through her tears.
“Where’s your Dad?” I ask, trying something else.
“Mexico,” she says without emotion.
Dead-end. “Oh,” I say.
“He won’t be back until Friday.” It’s Monday now. Well, apparently Monday evening from the way the sun is disappearing behind the building out the window. We have almost made it through another day.
Suddenly I’m aware of a tray on the table.
“That dinner?” I nod towards the covered tray.
“Yup,” she says, wiping her eyes.
“What’s for dinner?” She shrugs at me and I open the lid. I can smell fried chicken, potatoes and green beans.
“Gonna eat it?” I ask.
She stares at me blankly. I’ve asked another stupid question. “Maybe just a bean at least?” I ask. I hope with every ounce of my body that she will say yes, but she just stares at me. “If you want that IV out you have to start eating.” I remind her.
“I know,” she says. Her eyes have glazed over.
I spend the next twenty minutes trying to convince her to let me get her one of those breakfast shakes so she can get her vitamins. My arguments are weak and I begin to resort to pleading, until finally she says okay. I’m shocked an excited all at once. I want to run and buy them now before she changes her mind, but she won’t let me. So I push the try of chicken towards her. She eats three green beans before she stops.
She got very good at picking at her food and making excuses about why she wasn’t hungry. Maybe because she has that apartment all alone, maybe I trusted her when she’d say, “Oh I had a really late lunch, but you go ahead.” Or, “I’ll just grab something at home instead.” Maybe that’s how she hid it.
But she ate, I should be rejoicing. Now I have to sit here with her until it’s digested, so she can’t get rid of it. So I talk to her about school and my job. Even though I know that I am only talking to fill the air.
She seems uninterested, but I talk anyway. I wonder if she hears me. I stop in mid-sentence and say, “Are you even listening?” She nods.
“Of course I am,” she answers.
“It looks like you don’t care.” I find myself saying.
She smirks and says, “Oh give me a break.”
I stare blankly at her. What's the point?
I stand up. Maybe it’s a power thing, so I rise and loom over her bed. “No I won’t,” I say. She looks shocked, maybe it’s how I’m standing and not sitting. I know I should shut up but I continue, “I don’t understand anymore. I don’t know what you want from me. I read those bloody pamphlets and try to understand but it does no good. I love you and I hate seeing you like this. You’re killing yourself, you know that right? It’s the slowest and most painful way to do it, but you’re doing it. And what’s the worst part? I can’t save you! I can’t throw you a lifejacket and pull you in.” I’m throwing my hands in the air like a madman, but I keep going, “You don’t tell me what I can do to help so I sit along side of you all this time, before when I found out, no, then, forever, until you-” I stop. I can’t say it.
“Until I what? Die?” She’s screaming at me.
“Yes,” I say firmly. “Until you die. “I didn’t ask you to stay. I didn’t, why don’t you leave them? Leave if you can’t take it. Go, just like the rest of them. Leave me the hell alone.” She stops she is hysterical, but she’s not crying. I stare at her and cry again. I can’t help it. “I don’t want to leave you, don’t you see that?” I slam my fist down on the tray in front of her and the whole thing bounces and knife clatters loudly to the ground. She stops suddenly and bursts into tears. We’re both crying now, and she reaches for me. She reaches for me, and says, “I don’t want you to go either.” So it’s settled then, neither of us will leave. So we lie on her bed in each other’s arms, crying, but it does us good.

Author: Kavan Tate
Age: 17
Posted: November 6, 1999

The Mistake

I roll over underneath my flannel sheets and reach to cut off the alarm clock. I notice that my clock had awaken me five minutes late, but I still have time to do what I need to do. I throw off the covers and climb out of bed. I had been planning this day for three months and now the time has come. I walk over to my dresser where my favorite outfit had been laid out the night before and dress myself.

-----Stage one is complete, now to stage two.

As I straighten my room, I notice the pictures neatly arranged on my desk.

-----Oh how I miss those happy moments, but now they are frozen in time and encased in a wooden frame. That is all they are.

I calmly walk through the living room to the kitchen. There is no need to be quiet since, by now, everyone has gone to do their daily duties. I place my hand on the drawer where the knife lies in wait.

-----Should I really do this? Yes, it must be done.

I slowly open the drawer and take the lethal weapon, which I pre-selected yesterday, into my right hand. I hesitate for a moment then continue on. I tighten my grip of the wooden handle and pull the sharp blade vertically through the soft flesh of my left wrist.

-----God this hurts! What am I thinking?! No, it must be done. It needs to be done.

I switch the knife to my left hand and slice the flesh of my right wrist. Two rivers of blood I now see before me.

-----Now...I wait.

I begin to cry and the salty tears burn when the kiss my wounds. I turn to look at the rest of the cozy kitchen and notice a small card on the counter across the room. I walk over to the card, and it is addressed to me. I tear open the envelope, pull out the card, and begin to read.

Dear David,

Just wanted to tell you I love you and

have a nice day.



-----She does love me! NO! What have I done! What do I do now?! Damnit!

The loss of blood makes me weak and I fall to the hard tile floor landing on wrist and screaming aloud.

-----The phone! 911! If only I can get to the phone!

Unable to walk, I crawl in the direction of the phone leaving a trail of blood behind me.

-----I see it! I see it! If only...

I reach out to grab the life-saving telephone, but miss. I try again, but miss again. The blood drains from my body, and I can try no more. The blood builds up around me creating a lake.

-----If I could onle reach the phone...If I could only...

Author: Sal
Age: 19
Posted: October 20, 1999

Fallen Angel

You are my fallen angel, nothing more. I remember when you were illuminated by the pure brilliance of your halo, but we cannot live in the past. Sure, once you were pure as freshly fallen snow, innocent as a fawn. But the hunter has walked through the snow covered fields and tracked down his quarry. Oh child, do not blame me. You are not my victim, nor were you ever. You were an angel once, with clouds for wings and a waterfall for a gown. You had a halo of purity and a harp of innocence. You gave them both to me. Don't mince words, I never took anything. I never even asked for them. You gave them to me willingly, almost forcefully. Look at you now. Your virtue hangs off your beautiful shoulders in tatters, showing me the breathtaking delight hidden underneath. Your hair, once a cascade of honey, is nothing more than a tangled web. Your mask of dirt is flawed. Your tears must have smudged it. Poor child, come here let me hold you in my arms. You cann!
ot fly away, your wings are torn. They were dragged along the ground for far too long. Things of heaven were never meant to touch this sinful earth. Perhaps if you had stayed there, you would not be here with me now. But you are. Come here. I will hold you. I will protect you. You never thought of the consequences of your actions, did you? But you made them, nonetheless. You've made your choices. I didn't push you. I didn't force you. They were your choices, your ideas. I was only here to help you with them. Did you not enjoy them? Don't cry, my love. You've only just tasted sin. There is still a feast awaiting us. You can't go back, but you can always move forward. And I'll go with you, my heart, my love, my fallen angel.

Author: Theresa Williams
Age: 33
Posted: December 28, 1999

Seek and Find

She was tired of all the psychics, psychotherapists, doctors and all the advice columnist. She needed something before she exploded. She felt turbulent everything that has happened in that year was pure tragic. She had lost everything she had dearly and now she was alone. She wondered to herself “who can I seek help from” There was a familiar type of loneliness set in the room of her apartment building. She could hear the children playing at the nearby playground. She listened and longed for the sound of her own children, which were long gone. She remembered the laughter of her babies as if it were like nothing happened. She knew to her dismay it was not her girls. As she looked out the window the memory of Darine and Daphne playing at the playground. Laughing with the other children having a fun filled day. The sun highlighted their beautiful faces and made them look like angels. She watched her husband David twirl then around and around as yelled louder “Daddy faster, fas!
ter!!!” She reached out as if she could reach and touch them, but it was like a window into the past. It was years ago and it still agonized her daily. The doctors kept telling her it will take some time. She was tired and wanted to move on away from all the misery and pain. She had lost everything that day including her sanity. All that was left was the painful memories. She looked back on her life in general, there was no happiness, no fond memories. Everyone she had ever loved or cared about was gone. Every catastrophe that could happen to one person seems to follow her relentlessly. She even found solstice in the bottle, but only wake up the next morning with a wallop of a hangover. She tried making new friends, the people she often met were self important only focused on themselves. One day came and she decided to pack it all in. She got rid of every pain item she owned and moved to Sitadel, there was a lot of opportunity and nothing here to remind her of her past. Sitade!
l was a beautiful town, clean, jobs galore, and the people seemed nice. She had sent her resume to Tagenci Advertising Agency and they liked what read and scheduled an interview. She gathered her portfolio, picked out her best work. Chose her outfit for the day. She viewed herself in the full-length mirror, her reflection seemed unfamiliar. She had not looked at herself so critically. Her red hair was luminous and made her look lovely. She was not a tiny girl, just medium. She never prided herself on her looks, she always thought she was ordinary. Her 5’9 build was enough to make her look like a model. Her blue eyes were like new sapphires. She had a certain look about her that made her look fresh from a magazine. She gazed at her watch, grabbed her keys, portfolio and hurried for her car. It was a pleasant day. When she arrived downtown, the building seemed enormous. She approached the receptionist.
“Danielle Stewart to see Mr. Weaver,please”.
“Yes, Ms, Stewart please have a seat in our reception area. It will be just a few moments.” Danielle sat near a window, rechecked to make sure she had brought all she needed.
“Ms. Stewart?”
“Come right in,” she walked through to a room with a large table and several chairs. With a desk make with very expensive edgings. She sat in a nearby chair.
“Ms Stewart, I am Stephen Weaver”,

“Nice to meet you,” she offered her hand and shook it.
“I have looked at your qualifications and quite an impressive list. Our department is not very large, but we are productive and the policy is teamwork. There are not loose cannons here, ”

“Yes, I understand what I am getting into and fully prepared for it.”
“We will see.” He studied her, watching to see if she was genuine. She was pretty he thought. He reviewed her work and continued the interview for another thirty minutes. Danielle was a little nervous at first, but he seemed very straightforward. They concluded the interview and Stephen introduced her to the rest of the staff. She would have her own office, and assistants. At the end of the meeting she gathered her things and set off to take a look at her new diggings. When the interview ended it was like a tremendous weight. She was very proud of herself, she did quite well for herself.
As she drove home to her apartment on Severen Street, she noticed a playground a with a beautiful park. She stopped and decided to take a walk. The was a large fountain in the center of the park. She watched the water trickle from the face of the child statue and suddenly she felt a pain in her stomach. She took a breath, and sighed. Thinking to herself.{ D and D would be 10 years old by now. How they loved playing on the playground and having David spin them around in circles.} She smiled at the memory of her family. It did not bring with it a lot of pain. Her mind was still recalling memories when a passerby-er said “excuse me, are you ok,”
Caught off guard by the remark, she turned to see a rather handsome man standing there looking at her questioningly. “why yes I am fine. Just admiring this fountain isn’t lovely?”, she asked.
“Yes, it is.” He said.
It was starting to get late, “oh, I have to get going, nice to meet you” she called.
“Likewise,” he turned to leave. She hurried for her car. Drove home and prepared herself for her first day at work.

Theresa Williams

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