Pixels & Pages

Calling all creative teens! Send us your best poetry, stories, and artwork! Accepted entries will be featured on this page, with a chance to be published in Pixels & Pages, our annual Teen Magazine! Submit your work at any MCPL location, or online at www.mcpl.us/teenzone/publishing.
OCTOBER 25, 2012
A Day I Wish to Forget
It all started six years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

My sister was turning twelve, that dreadful day, and the whole house was in merry spirits; at least for part of the time.  The temperature, freezing cold, was twenty degrees below zero. Nobody seemed to notice, though, for we were all happily bundled up in our new mansion.  We sang carols, ate birthday cake, and played board games.

“Okay girls, get off to bed,” my mother commanded Josie, my older sister and I.  Josie ran upstairs, but I stayed for just one more piece of cake.  That’s when I heard the scream.  It was a horrible, death-curdling scream.  As you would expect any six-year-old child to do, I started to cry.  “Mommy, Mommy!” I wailed.  My dad quickly jumped up and ran towards the stairs while my mom tried to hush me.

“Marie, come quick!” my dad yelled.  The panic in his voice made me scared for my dad never panicked as far as I could remember.  My mom, still tightly clenching on to me, ran towards the scene.  There lay my sister, dead.

“Josie, why are you sleeping on the floor?” I questioned her knowing my sister had a comfy bed (that was also good for jumping on) in her room.  My dad looked up at me, “Lucy, look at me.”  I gazed down into my dad’s intense brown eyes which were usually full of laughter and joy. Now looking sad, a tear slid down his cheek.” Lucy, Josie’s not asleep; she’s dead.”
           
My dad said the last word so sincere that I didn’t know what to think.  My dad was always goofing around and found a joke to say about everything.  I looked at my sister.  Was it possible? Could she really be dead?  I had experienced death before when my gerbil died.  Of course I thought it was just sleeping and got mad at my dad for feeding him to the evil ground, which swallowed him up.  I hoped Dad wouldn’t do that to Josie, too.

My mom told me to go off to bed.  I lumbered up the steps complaining about how I wanted Josie to come up too.  It took me awhile to fall asleep.  I kept glancing back at Josie’s empty bed and wondered why my sister was so peculiar as to want to sleep on the floor.

I heard weird noises.  The door opened and I heard the sound of running and shouts of men.  I knew I shouldn’t disobey my mother, but curiosity finally won over.  I crawled to the top of the stairs and peered down.  I saw men heading this way and that, examining everything.  Josie was being put in a big car with flashing lights (which I found made the strange noises.) “Gosh, Josie is a heavy sleeper,” I thought wondering how she could possibly still be asleep through the entire racket.
             
The next morning I ran down the stairs to where I found my dad sitting in his great big chair staring at the fire with red and puffy eyes.
            “Where’s Mom?”

My dad, either ignoring the question or not hearing it at all, didn’t move.  That’s when I got the horrible feeling that I would never see my mom again.  I didn’t cry, or get mad, or anything.  I just stared at my dad.  Without moving anything, but his mouth, he spoke, “What are you staring at?  Get out of here and make yourself useful!”  I took one step back, still staring at my dad.  “Go on, go!” My dad bellowed.
           
I turned around and ran out of the room.  I ran outside and kept running. I ran through the town yelling for my mom.  She couldn’t be gone.  I couldn’t imagine life without her.

Finally, after hours of running and shouting, too exhausted to move I plopped down on the sidewalk, “Maybe Dad is happier now,” I thought, “Maybe if I go and apologize to him he won’t be angry anymore.”  So I got up and walked back home.  When I arrived, though, my dad was nowhere to be seen.  “Well, maybe I will make him dinner,” I decided.

I opened the fridge and pulled out a slab of turkey and mayonnaise.   Luckily, a turkey sandwich was my dad’s favorite.   That’s all I knew how to make.  I was in the living room for hours awaiting my dad.  I got really bored so I decided to go exploring.  There must have been one hundred rooms that had gone untouched.  I decided I would start on the left side of the house.  The first few rooms weren’t very interesting and I was about to stop, but got the urge to check out the next room.  I slowly opened the door and peered inside.  What I saw made me gasp.
           
Hanging on the walls were pictures of a girl and boy.  In all the pictures they were smiling, laughing and having fun.  In one picture the girl was holding a baby girl.  Next to that were more pictures of her playing at every age.  The last picture was of the girl blowing out the candles of her twelfth birthday cake.  I looked for more pictures, but there were none.  As my eyes circumnavigated the room I saw a little table in the corner of the room.  I saw a little table in the corner of the room with a white cloth on it and dying rose in a vase.  There were many other things in the room that were all packed away in boxes.  I took my time to carefully unpack each one and examine the contents.  I arranged everything beautifully in the room and even watered the dying rose, which looked much better afterwards.

I loved the tiny room and went there whenever possible.  My father came and went just to get something to eat or to stare blankly at the fire crackling in the hearth.

You may wonder how I live such a lonely life, but the truth is that it’s not that lonely.  I have befriended all the little critters such as mice and rats.  That’s how I came to realize something was wrong.  All the creatures started to act strangely and wouldn’t come out of there houses, not even for a piece of turkey!  Apart from that I sometimes feel as if someone is following me.  The scariest part of it all is that mytwelfth birthday is in a week. I don’t know for sure yet, but I’m pretty positive that I’m finally putting the puzzle pieces together. There’s something or someone who has something against twelve years old birthdays and wants an end to them all.


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