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 28, 2011
Black Cat
Black cat on Witch’s broom
yawns and sleeps as most cats do.
Black cat calm as she can be
soaking in the Moons’ bright gleam.
The dreaming cat tests her claws
but much too late she is awake.
Black cat screams as she falls
curdling blood for ears around.
Children fear a murderer is near
as Halloween night stirs their fears.
Black cat remembers her previous fate
before Miss Witch took her in:
Search for food.
Fight for it.
Growing weak and thin.
Each night of her life closer to the end.
But Miss Witch saved her, fed her
gave her life, love and care.
Black cat remembers, now silently
as the Earth grows close at last.
Her final sounds, a thud, a huff.
Death is peacefully here.

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Crystal R.

Categories: Poetry 2011Teen Publishing Project

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

OCTOBER 25, 2011
Lust at First Sight
In the Elizabethan era, many royals and peasants alike were considered to be romantics.  This showed in their fashion styles, their manners, and their literature. Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare in 1594, demonstrates the purely romantic notion of ‘love at first sight’. In modern society, ‘love at first sight’ is considered more of a movie tag-line than an actual feeling. Many argue on whether it is possible to be in love with them based on a glance, and the magic to it only adds to the wonder.

Shakespeare was very blunt. He wrote Romeo as seeing Juliet, and knowing they were meant to be. The whole story only takes place in less than a week, and yet these two were ready to die for each other. The romantic, and tragic, plot-line brought many people to the theatre to watch it play out. This was the story everyone wanted to hear- of two people who were destined. One modern movie to show similar ideals, yet a completely different plot, was Only You, starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. This movie reminded me of Romeo and Juliet because of the mythical theme of love at first sight.

I do not believe in ‘love at first sight’. It has come to my attention, due to the number of movies, tv shows, tabloids, ect. that ‘love at first sight’ is often nothing more than lust. The idea that you could see someone and just KNOW seems so implausible to me. When I see someone who I think I might want to someday date, it’s because I see them doing something kind, or they are really attractive. It’s never just that I know. I do not feel that you can truly love someone by only seeing them. It takes a while to get to that place with a person.

As web-show-host Charlie McDonnell sings in his song “Chemical Love”, love at first sight is nothing more than Dopamine entering the brain. This chemical reaction is a catecholamine neurotransmitter, which means it sends a message to your brain, to tell you that the person you are looking at may be a choice for a future suitor. “Love” isn’t chemically possible until you have the reaction of Norepinephrine, which is the chemical that says you want to stay with this person forever- love. The only reason, besides guilt, that people do not cheat on their partners is because norepinephrine tells them they don’t want to. Norepinephrine is not an instant reaction. It cannot happen on sight.

Lastly, ‘love at first sight’ does not mean that the love will last. In my opinion, Juliet and Romeo were lucky to die, before they had a falling through and got stuck with eachother. They died loving eachother, which is more than I can say for if they’d lived, gotten to know eachother, and bickered like banshees for the rest of their days. Love doesn’t always last. You can fall in and out of love plenty of times. I know people who can love multiple times over again, as well. I do believe that you can love someone without knowing it, and then find out one day. (Demonstrated in Petals in the Wind, by V.C. Andrews, where Cathy finds men who have similar traits to a man she dancing when she was 12, only to have an affair with later in life, and find out that he was her true love the whole time.)

So no, I do not believe in ‘love at first sight’ as Shakespeare wrote it. I believe that love is a lot more complicated than that. It takes time to nurture and achieve, and one cannot feel that deeply about a person by just seeing them. That is why ‘love at first sight’ is never portrayed or heard of happening to obese, ugly, distorted, or any other less-than-attractive people. I do not feel that this romantic notion is anything but that- a notion, not an emotion.

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Martina F.

Categories: Short Story/Essay 2011

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

OCTOBER 25, 2011
Lend Me
I, Martina my title,
Fifteen my caption,
First lent from Family,
To member one,
Member two,
Member three,
They leave stamps,
Bookmarks,
Notes,
Highlights,
They tear my pages,
Leave creases in my words,
And crosses in my heart.
Some return from the beginning,
Some wait ‘till the climax,
Some are over before it began.
I wait,
Spine dusted,
Cover pretty,
For the one who will stay.
Who will read the final credits?
Who will see my Acknowledgements?
Who will hold my hand at The End?

{{N}}

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Martina F.

Categories: Poetry 2011

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

OCTOBER 25, 2011
Aye, Love
Petals peeling back to show vast, my love

As if you were but an ebullient rose

The softness of you, all I can write of

I think of thee as the sweetened wind blows

I am the canoe and you are my oar-

Lost in the night without your guiding hand

I will take you 'round home, just as I swore

In sight now, the beaches of golden sand

Thou art the treasure and I am the chest

Bottles of rum for the beautiful sight

And as you well know, forever we're blessed

We'll join by blood on this excellent night

For the day when we'll no longer be two

All for one and one for all; I love you.

{{N}}

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Martina F.

Categories: Poetry 2011

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

OCTOBER 21, 2011
A Butterfly's Wings

Originally it sounded like a faucet, one whose bolts needed to be tightened a long time ago, but no one ever got around to it.  When entering the house, it was the same as any other day.   “Honey, I’m home!” I quoted from my roommate’s favorite ‘50’s sitcom, but oddly there was no answer.  There was no giggle of a girl hiding behind the couch or beneath the covers to give me a stir.  There was no laugh track on the background of a television show blaring from the living room’s entertainment system.  There wasn’t a melody of stockinged feet twirling on the wooden floorboards.  All of these would have been normal; all of these would have given me comfort.   “Cecilia?” I called out, but the house was strangely quiet.  The only sound was the steady  dripping of the unknown leak.  It had never occurred to me that the house may be mute because Cecilia had simply gone out like any other living creature does on a sunny day like this one.  Call it mental telepathy between lovers or just human instinct, but something in my heart had told me that things were amiss, yet to calm the hammering in my chest, my mind would not accept that something reprehensible could have happened to her.
   “Ready or not, here I come!”  My voice was shaky, and even the six-year-old soul in my 20-year-old body did not want to play hide-and-go-seek at the moment, but pretending to play a child’s game was the only way to get my feet to move from empty room to empty room of the downstairs and then up to the second floor where the dripping became a pounding drumbeat in my ears.
   “Cecilia?”  My hand connected with the wood of her slightly ajar bedroom door and slowly the source of the dripping was revealed.  Even the creaking of the olden hinges couldn’t block out my bloodcurdling scream.
   My cheeks moist, I ran to her; I ran to my Cecilia.  Kissing her, holding her, I tried to force life back into her lips, but the gun that took her breath surrounded her body with a chilling shield.  Who took my roommate, my friend, my lover?  Who took my Cecilia?

   Last night there was a storm.  Cecilia had planned on eating macaroni and cheese for dinner, but I forgot to bring milk home, and by the time we realized this, the winds and rain were too ferocious to beat through them with my car.  Instead, we popped a large bowl of popcorn and put on the 1989 film Pet Sematary.  Cecilia never liked scary movies, so naturally, she tried to convince me to put on a more recent chick flick, but I had always gotten my way in our friendship, so she knew the horror film would win.
   Grudgingly, she sat on the couch beside me, still upset about not getting her movie choice.  After a while though, she was on my arm, squeezing it close to her as if her life depended on it.
   “Why does that cat have to be so scary?” she had whimpered, almost childlike, but I only laughed and shook her off my arm.
   “Be an adult,” I told her.  “This isn’t nearly as scary as some of the movies I’ve seen.”  I could see the hurt from my words in her eyes, but life has a way of being mean, and I was determined to teach her that.
   However, even I had let out a loud gasp when the lights began to flicker just as Gage was about to kill the old man and then finally went out when the man died.  Cecilia practically fell off the couch from fear, but I had pulled her into my arms and wrapped the blanket tightly around the both of us.  This resulted in us cuddling, an act we both enjoyed very much, but it was rare that we both felt it was right to get that close without having a label on what we meant to each other.
   Whether it was the darkness or the emotions that the sky was letting us see, something made Cecilia want to open up.  She wanted to talk about her feelings and what we were to each other, but emotions scare me and I dismissed the questions that she was asking.  I told her to go to bed.
   She didn’t want to, especially not alone, but I assured her that no boogie man was going to harm her in the night, and then I led her up to her room and tucked her in, in the darkness.
   “I love you,” she whispered, but I had simply replied with a goodnight and closed her door and went to my own room to get a good night’s rest.
   In the morning after I got ready for class and was just heading out the door, Cecilia came to me in her bunny slippers and bathrobe and pleaded for a kiss.  I told her I was running late and left the house without a second thought.
   It’s not that I didn’t want to kiss her.  I would’ve enjoyed very much feeling her soft lips on my own; I just thought I’d have forever to kiss her.

   Now, I see that’s not true.  The police came, and now they’re carrying her body out the door.
   “Cecilia!” I called out in a old but familiar melody.  “You’re breaking my heart!”  I guess I thought that if I sang a song shared between the both of us, she’d come running into my arms, telling me that it was all a mistake.
   Instead, I felt a heavy hand make contact with my shoulder blade.
   “Son,” the police officer said to me though I have never met him in my life, “She’s gone.  She felt it was time to leave this life, but she’ll be okay.  She’s in a better a place.”  I nodded, but I don’t believe in any afterlife.  I don’t believe she’s happy where she decided to travel.
   “Son, why don’t you go get some rest?  Things will look much brighter in the morning.”  Again, I nodded but there was no feeling in it, no belief that the officer’s words were true.
   He closed Cecilia’s bedroom door, and I escorted him out of the house before following his instructions to get some sleep.
   It was only slightly past six, but I found myself drifting off until a slight rapping on the front door jerked me to my feet.  Sleepily, I made my way downstairs.
   “Yeah?” I shouted.
   “Help me with the door, will you?” A woman’s muffled voice called from the other side, and I turned the knob to do as she said.
   “The milk.  I knew you’d forget it.”  She kissed my cheek before walking into the kitchen, and I had to wipe the sleep from my eyes to make sure I was not hallucinating.  It was Cecilia, my Cecilia.
   “I’m sorry I’m late.  The rain is plummeting down.”  It had been such a bright sunny day that it wasn’t possible a thunderstorm could erupt out of the blue sky, but her dripping clothes were enough proof to make me believe that there was a storm; one that was oddly identical to the one that hit our roof the night before.
   “It’s... it’s okay,” I replied though the words came out choked.  “I’ll go get you some dry clothes.”  My thoughts weren’t on keeping her dry, but to get the clothes I’d have to adventure through her bedroom, though when I got there, it was exactly the way it had always been.  The wreckage the Grim Reaper had left behind was gone, but her crimson lips still lingered on my own with the faint taste of a bloody kiss.
   “Cecile, here, darling.”  I turned my back as she slipped into her dry clothes.  Though I have seen her body several times and each time I had wondered why she decides to hide behind such large t-shirts, something about helping her change sent a chill down my spine as if I’d see the wounds of her suicide dancing on her skin.
   When she was completely dressed, she started to pop some popcorn.
   “Is it all right if we just watch a movie tonight?” She asked me, and I smiled.
   “It’s the perfect night to watch a movie.  I’ll go put in Pet Sematary.  I know how much you loved the book.”
   “Um, I was thinking more of a romance, if you don’t mind that is.”  She set the popcorn down on the counter.  “If you really want, I suppose we could watch your movie.”  Her eyes sent a sadness throughout my body, and this time I knew I was going to get it right.
“Down to You it is then.”  She squealed and wrapped her arms around me, and I couldn’t help but smile.
   After settling down on the couch, I sighed and pretended to be upset as she hit play, but the bliss that she had created all around was enough for me to tolerate ninety-seven minutes of Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Julia Stiles.
   “Did he just inhale that shampoo?” she laughed, and I pulled her into my arms knowing that any minute the lights were going to flicker out, and after they did, I let her ask question after question of what she means to me, but I could easily sum it up into one word: Everything.  And after she yawned for the fifth time, I led her not to her room, but mine where I promised I’d protect her from the monsters that were waiting for her in her closet.
   In the morning after I got ready for class and was just heading out the door, Cecilia came to me in her bunny slippers and bathrobe, but I didn’t give her a chance to plead.  I wrapped her into my arms and planted a kiss on her lips, and a passion of forever grew in the both of us.
   “I’ll love you for the rest of my life,” she whispered and before letting her go, I decided to be absolutely certain that the rest of her life would last a long, long while.
   “I’ll love you till the end of time,” I replied, and kissed her forehead, and after a moment of silence, we separated, and I left for class.

   When it was time to go home, I stopped at a flower shop and picked up a bouquet of Butterfly Clerodendrum simply because they’re rare to find and beautiful like my Cecilia.  I was in a cheery mood when I walked into the house.
   “Honey, I’m home,” I announced just like any other day, but the house was unusually quiet.  Assuming that she had just gone out for a walk in the beautiful sun, I made my way to the counter top where I set the flowers down and found a tightly sealed stationery envelope.
   Smiling, I opened it and unfolded the note.  Two words laid before me.
   I’m sorry.
   That’s when I heard the dripping.
------------------------------------
Additional Information: It was supposed to be Chaos Theory.  The outcome at the end was intended to be different from the outcome shown in the beginning, but somewhere along the line, the characters changed; their situation changed.  Thus, this happened--Reverse Chaos Theory: You can't change the future, even if you do alter the past.

Add a comment  (1 comment) posted by Cassidy M.

Categories: Short Story/Essay 2011Teen Publishing Project

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

OCTOBER 12, 2011
Self Explanation
The quiet storm softly composing inside of her
With the people around her adding their own violent mixtures
Feeding her tropical storm with gusts of hot air
Blown from their mouths but not their brains
 
She calmly waits for dawn to mend the darkness surrounding her
Because that’s when she can really sleep
When the corners have no lurking shadows
And open doors don’t offer equivocal invitations
 
She wishes she was enduring
But everyone has their own kryptonite
The rivers of saltwater only flow when
No eyes are on her
 
Her body is string
It’s been knotted for so long now,
That it still has dents and bends in it,
Even when it’s untied
Slightly frayed at the edges,
But still useable if you don’t mind the
D
   A
      M
   A
G
     E    
 
Stones instead of eyes
Telling no story, except where she’s from,
Not who she
Is
Or wants to be
 
She wishes better for the world,
But not so much for herself
Ending conflicts, but causing
W  a  r  s
Inside her heart
 
She can match Shakespeare’s brilliance
But when faced with a mirror,
Lepers look better than
Her
 
 
Butterfly wouldn’t be the way to describe
Her social skills
Cautious would be more like it
With a slight hint of awkward
 
She feels as if Atlas was her father,
And has now passed his burden to her
But she always remembers she has help
From an unconditional love

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Miranda H.

Categories: Poetry 2011

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

OCTOBER 10, 2011
Corruption in the Building Limits
When is the day when everyone will be able to see again?
We have all been blind for so long
We’ve been mistaking the whites for the blacks
And flipped the ying yang

Trees have become paper
Oceans are now oil mines
With no value, except selfishly

Morals aren’t taught through books,
But with wires and pixels
We rely on substances

Instead of people

Honor system is now a punch line
Dictionaries no longer supply us with the term abstances
Clothes are no longer worn, but meant to be taken off

People who cry when they see our abundance of food
Don’t have problems nearly as vital as ours
Wars don’t matter; we have billions of people anyway

Illness isn’t real, until it consumes us
And simple things can’t be beautiful,
When there’s networks embedded in our lives

At one time we had it right
We knew how to feel, for people other than Me
We lived with rather than on the land
Jesus was our idol
And sex was sacred

But now the connection between our hearts and minds
Are severed for many
The human race has allowed themselves to consume one main thing
Hot air which in turn is depriving us of all the nutrients we need

We need to remember though that we can only reach a certain limit
Before the compass points south
Parabola isn’t only an equation model,

It’s also a model for human existence,

Our skyscrapers can only reach so high

{{N}}

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Miranda H.

Categories: 2011Poetry

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