Tuesday, April 21, 2015

So Close Yet So Far

So Close, Yet So Far

By:  Holly Mitchell

So Close, Yet So Far.

By:  Holly Mitchell

The air is crisp as I stand in front of the magnificent oak tree.

The wind blows my hair about my rose colored cheeks and nose.

Today is a good day to climb this giant of trees.

I reach out my hand but it's barely out of reach.

So I jump with all the strength my legs can give me.

I catch hold with a hand; I am now dangling a foot off the acorn covered ground.

I'm now swinging back and forth, kicking and scrambling with my legs, as I try to find a foothold.

Finally my feet wrap around the branch, I feel like a sloth in the Amazon jungle.

I then pull with all the fibers in my body to propel myself onto the branch,

I am panting from the strain, but I have a feeling it won't be the last time I’ll need a breather,

Soon my breathing is back to normal, I crouch on slightly shaky legs, my hands grab for the next

branch that's a little above my auburn-brown hair.

I clutch the rough bark in my moist hands, and then pull up with all my might.

Soon I'm scampering up the trees limbs, climbing, squeezing in places I did not know I fit,    

crawling between low hanging leaves.

The sun has become a ball of fire in the morning sky.

Now I am near the top of the tall oak tree, I can see lush green meadows in every direction, and the

glistening ribbon of the ocean blue as the sun's light bounces off it.

I only have a few more branches till I reach the very top of the oak tree.  My body is soaked, I can

feel perspiration slide down my chilled back.

I stretch out my flush-colored hand which suddenly feels sticky. I look down; my palm is covered in

the tree's gooey brown sap.

I attempt to wipe off the annoying substance, but fail miserably. So I try to ignore it the best I can as

my hand sticks to every branch and surface I touch.

Soon the branches are swaying and moaning with the effort of holding me away from gravity.

I'm almost there; I can feel the anticipation building up inside of me. I can do it, I tell myself, I am

almost there.

I reach up, I snatch the last thinning branch of the great oak tree in my hand, yes I’ve done it, I’ve

truly done it. 

Then... I hear a heart-wrenching crack.

Suddenly I am falling, falling. “No!” I moan.

My goal was swiped from me like a horse swipes a fly with its tail.

I'm still falling, ever falling; I hit one branch then another.

My world has become a tumbling motion of green, blue, and browns.

Oh the pain that shoots through my body.

Then my world becomes silently black.

My eyes flutter open as the light of the setting sun shines through the oak tree branches.

I am laying on the sun baked ground, I moan slightly as I attempt to move each and every muscle

and bone in my body to make sure nothing is broke.

    Thankfully nothing is broken; I’m just bruised in every imaginable place and might have sprained

my ankle and wrist.

Slowly I rise from the hard earth ground.  I lean heavily against the coarse tree trunks bark.

I am taking deep, gulping breaths as the pain is coming in wave after wave.

Slowly it subsides; all that is left of the agony is a dull headache.

Finally, I have gathered enough energy to try and stand.  

I painstakingly reach for one of the trees new growth stub of a branch to help me up.

It takes me a full minute to finally stand on my two shaky legs, but I can feel the strength slowly

returning to my beaten body.

There is a dead branch laying on the ground next to me, with difficulty I pick up the branch, it will

make a good walking stick to lean on.

I shuffle my way out from underneath the great oak tree, I am now hobbling my way home.

I cross the darkening green meadow that's covered in lazy yellow sunflowers and turn with a look of

determination at the majestic great oak.

As I stand there leaning on my temporary crutch for support, I whisper a promise on the wind, as it

rushes past me on its way to the ocean blue in the distance.

“I will come back one day my friend and I will make it to the top of your branches and behold your


Then I turn, with my back to the great oak and my purposeful face toward home.

Hang the Witch

Hang the Witch

By Savannah Nelson

Claude stood in front of the jeering crowd on the frigid February morning.  He watched the woman he loved being guided to the platform.  The hanging noose swung indifferently in the sharp wind, beckoning to the woman--the witch.  With a clench in his heart, Claude saw her face.  Her jaw was rigid; her eyes hard and cold.  Claude began to shake.  A heavy arm crashed upon his shoulders.  It was his father’s.  Claude watched as the witch climbed up the platform.  His breath came out in sharp thrusts.
“Mary Calamy, you have been accused of participating in forbidden rituals that are consistent with the works of the devil.  For these acts, you have been proclaimed a witch.  You will be executed on this day, February 15th, 1692.”  The priest’s voice rose high and clear into the cool air.  “Do you wish to publicly confess your sins?”
Claude drew his gaze downward, guilt tugging at his heart and blackening his mind.
“I only wish to confess the sins of others,” the woman said coolly.  Claude could feel her stinging gaze upon him.  
“This man.”  She paused for a moment.  “This man I was to marry has told disgusting lies.  I am not a witch, nor have I participated in such heinous acts as he has accused me of.”
Silence hung over the crowd.  Claude felt his father lift his arm off his shoulders and step forward.  
“She lies!  Hang the witch!” he thundered.  Claude closed his eyes in despair, thinking of Mary, the woman he loved.  The witch.  He thought of her lovely, open face in the firelight when he first told her he loved her.  He thought of his father--his idea of the accusation.  It was his father who had threatened him to accuse Mary.  It was his idea.  Claude’s resignation to the devil himself.
A chant from the crowd brought him back from his sorrowful memories.   It was low, rumbling, and song-like.  “Hang the witch.  Hang the witch.  Hang the witch.”  Claude looked at Mary.  She wore her necklace of rope and stood upon a wooden crate.  The executioner stood behind her.
At once, Mary looked down at Claude.  Her eyes were overflowing with anger and sadness. Claude opened his mouth, ready to free the words that were caught in his throat.  Then the box was kicked out from under Mary’s feet.  Claude watched silently, mouth open and dry, as her feet went still.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Winter Story Contest Second Place Winner

Rise of a Legend

By: Chase Call

  In the bitter chill of the wind, in the desperate hour of the blinding wind. A voice spoke out to one still asleep, calling, crying, whispering in despair for that lonely one. Then a tremble, a tremor, a quake, and a shake. A sound like glass, splintering, and shattering, roared over the snowy mountain side. And then a silence was produced, a calmness, a stillness, and then, with my face planted in the fresh, yet crisp snow, I awoke.

   Returning to consciousness wasn't a joyride, but it definitely made me remember something; however, I couldn't recall what it was. All I know was that I loved the cold, and the thrill, the exhilaration, but most of all, it gave me a purpose.

   A voice then called my name, it was a soft, quiet voice, yet pierced to my mind, whispering in a high, yet feminine voice.
   I whipped around, but there was only silence, hanging in the air. I knew something wanted my attention, but I couldn't see where it was.
   I scanned the area around me looking for clues, yet only found shards of ice, scattered across the hill...wait!
   I looked up the hill, and then saw my mistake, resting on top, was a misshapen lump of ice, imposing high above my head.
   "A glacier," I pondered, "which would mean that..." I scanned the trees surrounding  me in a wide circle, then returned my gaze to the prominent, yet noble, glacier.
   "...I'm in the mountains" I confirmed.
   "...Zero..." It whined once more, "...where...you...?"
   I caught a glint of metal, and whirled around.
   A sword sat in the snow, tip downward, as if someone had stabbed it all the way up to the hilt.
   I approached it without a second thought, kneeled on one knee, and reached for the hilt.
But when I reached to grab it, a second voice entered my mind.
   "...A cautious word to those who come.." this voice said in an older, wiser, and most certainly in a masculine tone.
   I paused with my hand outstretched towards the guard, my mind, full of curiousness, and so the second voice continued speaking.
   "...What you seek, is far more a burden, than a gift..."
   The voice then wheezed.
   "...To those full of pride, these are not the dangers for you..."
   A pause filled the air.
   "...And to those who are bold or daring...these are not the tasks for you..."
   "What do these things mean to me?" I questioned myself.
   "...But before I can leave, forever, I need your trust..."
   "But what do you mean by your parting?" I asked aloud.
   "..You...," then a cough or two, "...need...to..."
Another cough, this time with a wheeze.
"...promise me...that you'll...watch over my...daughter's soul...," it finished.
   "What?" I said.
   Then I heard its breath die out with a sigh.
   I withdrew my hand and stood up.
   "Can I even make that promise?" I asked aloud.
   "...Zero...," the first voice replied, "...Zero..."
   I looked at the hilt, full of blue inlay, carved with master craftsmanship, swirling and whirling like snow, and was a silver. It also looked chilling to the touch.
   I knelt down in front of the hilt, in the white snow, and started making swirls in the snow with my finger.
   "I, Zero."
A light blue color started to float up from the swirls.
   "A man, lost from his past."
   More colors darted out of the lines.
   "Will take upon me..."
   Reds, purples, oranges, and grays now shimmered in the air, swirling, along side the light blue glow.
   "...The promises that you wanted me to make..."
   Black, white, and many other colors erupted from my lines and all the colors flowed together like water, yet never mixed with one another.
   "...And seal myself to protecting your daughter."
   Then, the colors stopped moving.
   Then encircled me and the end of he sword, blurring all sense of reality beyond me, and I grabbed the sword with my left and pulled it upwards.
   The colors then halted and stopped flowing around me.
Suddenly, the colors ran into the blade, and into my left hand, a freezing sensation flowing through my hand and throughout the sword, then it flowed through me and then back into the blade.
   Then I felt vulnerable, and fell, face first into the snow, and I blacked out.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

   My hearing came back first because I remember someone humming and moving about, though her voice sounded oddly familiar.
   "Oh, you're awake, well I hope you're alright, what were you thinking when you climbed all the way to the top of Mount Xerex?"
   The only words I could utter were, "...Ugh.."
   "Oh, sorry. I almost forgot to give you this."
   I felt a bowl touch my lips and I sipped the substance. It was cold, and reminded me of the snow.
   "Thank you," I surprising managed, and I felt a warm sensation flow through my body.
   "You're welcome," she commented, "oh, by the way, my name is Xero."
   "...Xero...that's an interesting name." I replied.
   "Well, of course it's the one you picked."
   "What!? I...picked your name?"
   "Silly friend, how did you think I could help you if you didn't promise to protect me?"
   "What? ...Wait a sec!"
   I peeled my eyes open, and found my face was planted in the snow.
   "See ya next time...," she sounded; her voice vanishing into the distance.
   I sat up, and caught a glimpse at my sword, watching a bluish glow, fade from the blade.
   It was different than any "normal" blade, wherever these thoughts came from, and the actual edge was the color of steel, yet the actual material was different from it. Along the blade, blue lines ran down it in intricate patterns, almost like the swirls I remembered making in the snow.
   Then a thought hit me. The voice was the same as the one that called me when I awoke, but how could a person come from, or even become, a sword?
   "This is creepy," I said aloud. "But what was real, and what was imagined?"
   "You look lost stranger," a deep, male voice came from behind me. "Would you like me to show you off Mt. Xerex?"
   Puzzled, and still confused, I answered, "Yeah, I would appreciate that."
   "What's your name, son?"
   "Would you please tell me yours first?"
The man chuckled.
"Stingy one, eh? Ok then, my name is..."
   A rumble, and a quake interrupted his sentence.
   "A tremor!?!" he exclaimed. "But that could only mean..."
   He never got to finish his sentence.
   The snow behind us climbed, crested at its hight, then crashed down and rushed towards us, almost in an instant.
   I jumped up onto my feet, my black, skinned boots, clinging to my feet.
   "AVALANCHE!!!" the man yelled, then he tried to move, but the fresh fallen snow was gripping his brown leather boots.
   All of this happened while I stood there looking at the snow. Then, when it was a few yards from me, I felt a chilling sensation collect in my body, desperate to escape. And with my right palm facing upward, I exhaled.
   The sea of snow started to slow, and eventually halted right in front of me, as if it would never move again.
   Finally, it froze, as a sheet of ice covered the entire avalanche.
I looked back towards the man, to find that he, in his very fine wool coat, had already fainted.
   I looked down at my right hand, and then back at the frozen snow, only I now found a cavernous entrance looming over me. The snow was only ten feet tall, but the entrance was monstrous compared to the icicles, which were up past torso and tipped to a point.
   And even though it was seemed enormous, for one my size, I looked back first to only see a barrier of colors, quite like the many I saw when I made my promise.
   Then I made my decision, I sheathed my blade over my back, and then realized what I was wearing. I was wearing a white shirt with light blue swirls on the left side, gray pants with a belt full of brown leather pockets. In addition, I wore two colorless sheaves on my back, crossing in an "X".
   I glanced back at the cave, a strange aura, flowed within. It also filled me with energy, and I stepped forward, entering the cavernous room.
   The cavern was full of ice, and icicles, larger than life, hung past the floor, hanging over a large and breathtaking crevice, which ended with another ledge, higher than fifty yards up the wall. With a clear crystalline structure, the entire room was flawless ice.
   "I see you arrived well," an impressive being, thundered from the ledge. Something seemed odd about the air about him, it almost seemed as if it was an illusion.
   He wore a white robe with blue markings, and had long, impressive, black hair that hung to his shoulders.
   "Now that I have you here, will you be so kind as to return to my collection?"
   I felt annoyance, flood through my veins. And my mind began to remember.
   "You! You were the one who caused the avalanche!"
   He shook his head and made some sort of tisking noises, then he replied, tone becoming harsh, "You know, for a small one, you really can get on my nerves. However, you remind me of your kind, distinctly as a thorn in one's palm."
   I didn't like his deepening tone, yet, something seemed out of place. Why did he shake his head? I almost felt...oh wait, felt, not knew, but FELT.
   Almost like a flame, I knew his name.
   "What do you want, Frost?" I pressed him.
   "Hmm...what do I want," Frost said in a taunting tone, "how about you in my collection, back from where you came!" he roared like a dragon. That made me feel very uneasy, and I reached for my sword.
   "But first, I'll take your friend." he continued.
   "Friend? Even if I had one, I wouldn't let you take..." I stopped mid sentence, as my sword was missing from its sheath.
   "Yes, I mean HER!" he finished. Then he grinned.
   "What did you do to Xero?" I yelled, rage building in my body.
   "Oh, nothing special...except for placing her in my collection." he said, laughing his head off, "You are so easy to toy with.
   "You monster!"
   "What are you going to do about it? The same thing you did last time?"
   With my anger about to boil over, I yelled, "Stop speaking in riddles! Its very annoying!"
   Then the room started to shake, and the icicles trembled in fear.
   "Tisk! You angered it again," Frost said in disgust.
   He turned to leave, then called over his shoulder, "If you want to ever see her again, then you are fighting a lost cause." And then, he departed.
   My frustration, my furry, and my pain, over filled me, and I burst in rage and ran towards the edge, when a roar, louder than Frost, and more vicious than a viper. It shook the room, vibrating it worse than ever before, the entire room started to crack and the icicles swung from side to side, crashing into the floor, wreaking the place apart.
   While the room was falling apart, I jumped on and dashed about the crumbling floor, until I finally jumped for a swinging icicle.
   The floor shattered like glass and fell in shards.
   I grasped an icicle just before it groaned and trembled. I glanced up, my heart racing, and saw, to my terror, the icicle break its grasp from the cavern ceiling.
   In desperation I scanned the room for something to hold, something to hold onto, but it was to no avail. And so I plummeted, grasping for security, into that darkened pit, with fear evident in my eyes, then I remembered my promise. And closed my eyes, as a calmness swept over me, and that's when I decided to accept my "fate".

   But "fate" I later learned, is only an excuse to accept your circumstance.

End of part 1

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

6 Word Stories

In a recent Literary Magazine meeting, the members of the club had a contest to see who could come up with the best six word story. Everyone was amazed at the creativity displayed in each. Here are a few of the entries for your enjoyment.

Cancer scare lab results mistakenly discarded.

Just one more pie - bad idea.

Forgot about oven, remembered on flight.

Heads tilted, leaning in, sudden decapitation.

"I love you..." "We're just friends..."

He looked. He slipped. He fell.

Eventually, she stopped lighting the candle.

Red rover today, only four dead.

Misses the woman he never met.

Went in, looked around, went out.

The car stopped, the driver didn't.

Scissors cut, hair falls, prince dies.

NSA Statement: Your life is hilarious.

Leaning tower straightens up, finds employment.

Unforgettable night, now back to reality.

Too late, not my problem anymore.

Deep dark cave, leg now missing.

At most you'd break a leg.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a six word story? Any MMHS student wanting to participate can send their six word story to the literary magazine's email address to enter their six word story.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Love Lost Forever

A Love Lost Forever
By Julie Carlson

Once upon a time, Julie went to a San Jose Giants game in a faraway land and sat in the front row. Eager for a fantastic night, she scanned the field in search of good-looking baseball players. She was disappointed to find that the catcher (her personal favorite position) wasn't as handsome as she had expected. In fact, none of the players caught her eye. Wasn't that the point of a baseball game, to find the endearingly handsome players and cheer them on? Darkness seemed to creep in around her, mocking her for even showing up. She knew she was in for a sad and uninteresting game.

Then along came . . . Bat boy! Oh yes, someone her own age with a graceful stride and a manly demeanor. “You don’t even know what he looks like!” her cousin Ashley argued. “He’s got that helmet on.” But while Ashley wasn't looking Bat boy took his helmet off and shook his hair out. It was like . . . the sun shining through the clouds on a rainy day! Indescribable! Julie drank in those luscious golden locks that spilled out and couldn't seem to get long enough of a look.

When a player broke their bat, Bat boy immediately dashed over with a new one. “He’s so reliable,” Julie said dreamily. “He’s the one,” she told Ashley.

“Get real,” countered Ashley.

Many times did Julie consider jotting down her phone number and slipping it through the net that separated her and her true love. But, just as she was about to search her backpack for a scrap of paper, her dad complained that he had a bad toothache and, alas, they were on their way home, Julie silently crying out for her future companion!

Julie managed to compensate for her loss by listening to her Kelly Clarkson music. Her personal favorite songs were “Never Again” (Never again would she see Bat boy), “Don’t You Wanna Stay” (“You’re the one that left him!” Aunt Bonnie said), “Already Gone”, “Since U Been Gone”, and “Breakaway” (just hearing that word crushed her heart).

And thus the curtain closed on what had the potential to be a heart-wrenching story of love and sacrifice, the

sacred strands of time, and an overpowering feeling that would change both lives forever.