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.
JUNE 16, 2011
Clueless

  I quietly close the door to my bedroom and tiptoe down the stairs. I blend in with the shadows in my black outfit. Halfway down the stairs I hit the creaky step.
"Not this time step!" I whisper as I step over it.
I get to the bottom and quickly step off the stairs.
"Aaii!" It groans.
Crap, I hit the deadly creaky wood. I quickly freeze and listen for signs of life.
"Annabelle? Is that you?"
Caught. By my mom.
"Yes" I say reluctantly and step into view. I look into the living room and see it is lit by our fireplace. My mom sits in her favorite chair by the fireplace sipping tea. The chair matches the red sofa next to it.
  My mom puts her tea down on the glass coffee table in the middle of the room and walks toward me.
" Where are you going?"
"No where."
"Are you sneaking out to that party?"
   Her face betrays no emotion. She is good. I can't even do that.
"Yes" I say quietly and hang my head in guilt.  I know she disapproves of me going to it.
     I brace myself for the yelling. Instead, she hugs me.
  "Go have some fun, but be back by midnight."
That gives me three hours.
"Thanks Mom!" I say.
I walk and open the door.
"Bye mom."
"Bye sweety."
     I close the door and walk to my bug. I open the red door and get in. Turning on the engine I check my makeup. After that I drive away.
     Now I think back and wish I would've said more to my mom. I wish I would've said goodbye to my dad and my sister, my brother and my dog. I wish I could go back and never go to that party. But most of all I wish I wouldn't have been so vane. I should've looked back at the house. Maybe I would've seen the smoke . Maybe things would've turned out different.
      But then I was sixteen and going to a party. How would I have known it would change my life?


{{c}}

Add a comment  (2 comments) posted by Helia G.

Categories: 2011Short Story/Essay Teen Publishing Project

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JUNE 9, 2011
Untitled
The days have grown longer
And the weeks we have together
Have faded away
We were anxious for them to pass
But now we wish
They would stay
We have all grown together
But today is our last day

Some will come back
But some will never return

But no matter what
We know
Things will never be the same


{{N}}

Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Lena B.

Categories: 2011Poetry Teen Publishing Project

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JUNE 9, 2011
Lock and Burn
    How could I have been so foolish, so childish - so blind? I should have just ended it then and there - let her burn, let her die, let her fall - but for some reason… I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The harder I tried, the harder it seemed to become. Those eyes, that skin, that voice… infuriating!
    But to see it burn… like hell itself.

~~~

    I yelled out in frustration as I tried again and again to knock the shackles loose of my wrists. Another shock ripped through my body by way of a collar around my neck each time I hit. I cried out in pain after each recursive blow bounced back; staggering back to rest on a thin ledge that had formed out of an outcropping from the wall, I sat in defeat.
    Panting heavily from the exhaustion that came with having my energy thrown back at me time and time again from the shackles stealing and using my effort, I could barely move anymore for the pain. I was sweating heavily from all the work I was putting into my escape; the salty liquid running down my body and evaporating instantaneously so that I began to shiver in the sheer cold of the dungeon. Letting out a light chuckle, I resigned myself to thought - as was the only thing that a locked up and condemned man can do.
    “They don’t have anyone else down here near me… heh.” Reaching up, I grasped the collar around my neck tightly, feeling it closely as my heated fingers wrapped around the cool metal frame. Nobody who is alive, anyways… well, that’s not going to be me.
    I closed my eyes and tensed. Letting out a shaky breath, I pulled on the collar to test its physical strength. As I increased the force that I subjugated it to, it sent bigger and bigger waves of electricity throughout my body, sometimes being visible off my skin as it charged my body.
    Taking in a final deep breath and holding it, I tried to use all my strength to pull it off in one final push. Ribbons of enchanted lightning rolled over my skin, coming to a rest over every inch of my body to repay me doubly for my efforts.
    I cursed in defeat and relaxed my body, waiting for my punishment. I bit back a cry of pain as the electricity ripped through me in the largest shock yet. Breath faltering for a moment, for a second or two, I felt my heart stop beating from within my chest. My entire body went numb as the last of the sparks diffused from my flesh and I fell forward, collapsing into a heap on the floor - my energy almost completely spent on a fruitless attempt to break free of my bonds. I laughed slightly under my breath at the hopelessness of my situation at this point, the technology I was trapped by being like nothing I had ever known before.
    The guards may be a pathetic bunch, but not at the least is it from faulty equipment to back them up.
    In the silence after my thrashing had been completed, I heard the drip-drop of water. Using some of the last of my strength to move my head slightly to the side, I found the source only a few feet ahead of me. I crawled weakly toward it like a dying buck of the forest that had all but been shot down by the hunter’s arrow, thinking only of how even a single drop would feel on my dry tongue as I came upon the small puddle that had gathered. Drinking up every drop, I savored it as it rolled down my scorched throat and filled my empty stomach. When every last drop had been consumed was when my body finally collapsed, completely giving out and exhausted to the point of death in any other soldier.
    Death. I had come to kill another; to get revenge. Stupid, childish, empty revenge… if only it had really been so simple as all those other times that I had fought; so simple as all those other times that I had chosen to end a life. That first evening when the pink blossoms of the trees were falling, that first night when the stars and the moon would be so bright… instead of feeling the hate that had plagued me in my waking and dreaming nightmares for years, I had felt drawn to something else. Every fibril of my being had seemed to undergo a shift - and had been drawn to something other than that black-and-white vengeance. I wasn’t sure why, but I had followed my gut-feeling instead of a thoroughly thought out plan, and ended up like this because of it. Because of… a pathetic little girl.
    All for a distraction.


{{N}}

Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Jamie J.

Categories: 2011Short Story/Essay Teen Publishing Project

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JUNE 9, 2011
Lakeside Reprieve
    Looking around again, I took in each and every detail from the world around me. From the silvery water lapping the shores to the piles of rustling leaves, I engrossed myself in analyzing and remembering the locations of each and every tree and bush. Hearing the abnormal rustling again, my ears led my eyes to focus at a point to the side of the lake where the water and forest met; something the size of a small animal seeming to crawl out from deep within the overhanging brush.
    I couldn’t see it very well from the way it was shrouded in the darkness, but it seemed to have the shape of a small dog, and from the way it moved, it had to  have been hurt. An overwhelming feeling of feminine need to heal swept through me, compelling me to maneuver slowly closer. My body moved on its own, being drawn to the tiny creature as I went forward one step at a time to get a better look - my steps faltering once in awhile as my weak muscles barely kept me on my feet.
    Getting closer, I could see that it was in fact a dog of some sort - kind of like a small fox - panting heavily as it lay hurt in a pile of leaves barely off the bank. Falling to its side I seemed to startle it, but still it was unable to move and instead let out a deep growl that I would not think to be possible for so small and delicate looking a creature.
    “Shhh… shhh…” I hushed it as I reached out slowly; the creature’s eyes darting quickly back and forth as its breathing sped up and its sides heaved up and down, still unable to get to its feet no matter how much it struggled. When my hand finally rested on its side, it stopped breathing for a second, seeming almost to be too scared to do anything but freeze. “It’s okay, honey… no need to be scared…” I whispered softly again to it as I bent over its tiny form.
    The moonlight shifted with the trees billowing in the wind, revealing with its smoky white light the creature that lay so quietly in front of me. My eyes widened at the sight of it; the creature so small that it was probably no longer than the length of my arm from tip of nose to tail, the leg and some of the back and face completely covered in a heavy coat of blood. There was no way for me to know if it was this animal’s blood or not, but either way, I just couldn’t help myself.
    Still cooing lightly to it as I slowly worked my hands beneath its body, it whimpered lightly and weakly snapped at me when I began to pick it up off the ground and its bloody nest of leaves.
    “It’s okay, baby, no need to be scared, let’s see if I can’t help you out a bit… that‘s right.”
    It seemed to understand my intentions then, curling up into me as I held it closely to my chest beneath my jacket, not seeming to mind my presence so much anymore. Being careful as I walked in my injured state, I went over to the side of the lake , kneeling down gently at the shore and laying the wounded animal in my lap as I ripped a length of cloth from the hem of my dress - not that it would matter, the thing was so tattered and torn already, it was nothing more than a rag. The small dog seemed to be disturbed by the sound of ripping cloth, so I spoke to try and drown it out, knowing that it probably wouldn’t understand me anyways.
    “It’s alright, this dress wasn’t doing so well anyways.” I chuckled lightly at the way I was talking to it, trying to put it at ease when I was hardly in the right state myself. Dipping the length of cloth into the water, I rung out as much of the dirt and my own blood as I could, folding it into a square and getting it wet again. “Now, just hold still for me, okay?”
    It flinched when I ran the cold, wet surface across its fur, brushing clean a large amount of blood after just the one stroke. I rung it out again and did the same thing over and over, slowly cleaning the blood and matted dirt off bit by bit, from the back, to the eyes, to the feet, and finally the tail. It seemed to be wary when I got close to the eyes, so I took extra care with its face. Slowly I revealed pretty brown eyes, cute little ears that stuck up almost like a rabbit’s, and strange, almost other-worldly markings such as a black collar of fur, and longer fur that was almost like hair flowing down its back, and stripes that wound around the forearms. There were even small stripes pointing down from its eyes, beautifully accenting them. It was a cute little thing, and upon closer inspection while I cleaned its belly, I fount that it was a girl. She twitched her tail in complete bliss as I finished her body, moving to her feet.
    She hissed and nipped at my hand when I moved to wash the last of the blood from one of her front ankles, and looking closer, I saw what had been causing her so much pain and strife. A deep, serrated gash hand been cut through her skin, looking undoubtedly painful as it still bled slightly now that I had begun to clean the wound.
    “Now, now… almost done, and then you will feel much better, I promise.” She seemed to relax after that again, letting me slowly finish with the cleaning and ripping of a new piece of cloth to tie loosely around the wound and keep it clean. “There, all done, little cutie.”
    There was no way for me to stop her as she got to her feet and tried walking, now more easily able to move after she was clean, bandaged, and able to relax. A light misting had begun to rise from off of the lake, settling on her coat and shining like the silver stitches from within Eon’s clothes. I rocked back onto my heels and got up, watching as she bounded lightly around in the mist nearby before coming back to wind between my legs, rubbing against me like a cat in thanks.
    “Well, you are very welcome,” I said to her, giggling lightly when she let out a cutely trilling little purr from within her throat. I bent over to pick her up and she happily obliged, letting me hold her softly in my arms, rocking slowly back and forth like a mother with her newborn. She nuzzled my chest and let out another purr, yawning with a squeak as she twitched her tail around happily.
    “You look so pretty with your fur shining in the mist, don’t you?” She flicked her tail through the air again, nuzzling my chin with her little nose and still purring softly with the trickling water all around. “I think I might just have to name you Misty if you would like to come along.”



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Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Jamie J.

Categories: 2011Short Story/Essay Teen Publishing Project

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JUNE 9, 2011
Things Remembered, Things Forgoten
    Do you remember, the smell of the rain falling around our tree, or the feel of the bark beneath our wet toes?

    Do you remember, the taste of the dew we collected in little clay pots, or the sound of our laughter echoing down the empty street?

    Or has it been to long?

    To long since we swung through the evergreen trees, and ran through the grass that brushed up to our knees?

    Though we were young then,

    I still remember.

    I remember those nights when we made pictures from the stars and floated small leaf boats out over the calm waters of our bay,

    Though many things have faded away to be but a distant memory.

    But unlike so many other parts of a half forgotten past,

    I remember.

    I will always remember the smell of the grass and the feel of our feet hitting pavement as we raced the wind that blew through the trees.

    But over time...  I will forget.

    Our past will be pushed aside to make way for newer memories.

    And slowly we will forget,

    We will forget those nights when we made pictures from the stars and floated small leaf boats out over the calm waters of our bay.

    We will forget the smell of the rain falling around our tree and the the feel of the bark beneath our wet toes.

    We will even forget the sweet taste of the morning dew we collected in little clay pots.

    But maybe, after the moon drags it's self across the sky many, many more times dragging a memory away with it each pass, after all all the memories are gone and we have grown old, the memories will come back just one more time.

    A stark contrast to such a bleak, peaceful, oblivion.



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Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Lena B.

Categories: 2011Poetry Teen Publishing Project

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