Every year, students from our Writing Competition class, under the instruction of teacher Angie, will participate in the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens: Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Besides submission to the award, students can also have the opportunity to be published on the homepage of People’s Republic of Creativity and Haringey Unchained, two student blogs led by Teacher Angie dedicated to featuring students’ works.
Below are five students’ works that were featured on both blogs, as well as being submitted to the competition.
1. Poetry submission for Writing Competitions
2. Short Fiction
The fishnet lead of the old attic window ensnared the scrub and pines of the forest beyond the front garden, lumpen with snow. But winter’s twilit chill didn’t reach Sam. In fact, winter never reached beyond the bushes, it seemed.
The gardenias were in bloom. Ten bushes that should be dead in this climate, glowed whiter than the duvet of snow, the liquid stink of them stronger, still.
They always made him think of Gran. ‘Don’t you let Sam touch my petals, Sal! He’s a sensitive wee soul…’
He’d never known what “my petals” were; Mum’d said it was just the hangover of a muddled memory echoing from Gran’s past.
Later, he stacked and re-stacked boxes, looking for the Christmas decorations. Instead, he found an old scrapbook, bulging with inserts and fold-outs, and pages headed in Gran’s scalloped handwriting:
To Bring Pressure to Bear on an Enemy; For Love; For Abundance; Consecration…
‘You mysterious old bird,’ he said to the rafters, smiling.
A dried petal fell out. Nine more, glued in a circle, decorated a page headed Witching Posts, and beneath where the petal had been was a sketch of a squared, timber post. He could make out others drawn under the affixed petals.
Mum slumped, gin-lulled, in a chair like a pile of laundry – so he stole into the dark, moving to the nearest gardenia. Heat oozed from it like a secretion, and when he poked his head in, he banged it on an ancient wooden post. At his touch it transformed into a charred thing, and from above came screams and the hungry crackle of fire. Sam ran indoors as if the very Devil chased him.
Before, the village’s name seemed rural, but now he understood just how rural Tenburnstake’s history was.
Link to submission: HERE
3. Flash Fiction
She was so angry when she shouted: “If I come next time and you are still playing, don’t blame me if I do something crazy!” Then, she slammed the door, leaving me outside. Alone.
My parents died when I was 5. I never knew how they died, but they went to a magical place called Heaven. At least, that is what my uncle told me every time I asked him. He was the only person who could make me feel warm and welcome in their family, until he died in an accident. They had a daughter, Aleida, who had just turned five.
Laying down on the cold floor, I couldn’t believe I had now lived in this terrible family for almost 6 years.
I stood up and walked outside, wandering the streets looking for a new home. I was tired of an aunt who treated me like an animal, an annoying little freak that views me as a servant.
When I walked near a pond, I suddenly saw a reflection of myself looking back there from the water. Skinny and weak, with scars tattooed in my skin where my aunt had whipped me. I fell to the ground in tears.
This was not the life I wanted. When I opened my eyes, I saw a cozy, small house with a warm fireplace. My mother is there, holding me in her arms and whispering stories. My father wiped my tears away. But when I closed my eyes and opened them again, they were all gone. I was still sitting near the pond, alone and weeping. My dream had seemed so real. I wondered, do other people only dream of what they have lost?
I stood up and I ran. I ran away from fear, away from loneliness. Miles and miles I ran without stopping; there was no way to turn back. Eventually, my body hurt from running, and I had to stop to catch my breath. But I couldn’t stand up straight. I reached into my pocket, and pulled out the only picture I had left of my parents for comfort. I smiled peacefully, and closed my eyes. I didn’t realize that I was in the middle of the road, and I didn’t see a car coming from around the bend.
When I opened my eyes again, angels flew around me, and there were stars in the sky. I reached into my pocket, but the photo was gone. Instead, it was replaced by so many photos of my mother, father, and me. A family. I looked up, and saw my parents standing right in front of me. I rushed towards them, and my uncle who stood next to them.
“It’s Heaven,” he whispered to me.
I didn’t want to wake up, and so I never did.