Tired of lockdown boredom? Discover student creative writing! Read this ‘Fantastic Fiction’ 3 part series of short stories and poems! Students from S1 all the way to S7 from ESMol present their short stories and poems they have written over the past year.
Edited by Santiago Colón-Zolikoff,Ariosto Colón-Zolikoff and Hristina Strumelieva
Written by Azzurra Massucci, Sofia O’Loingsigh, Hristina Strumelieva, Soleine Schilte, Savannah Wight, Selena Sathish Johnson and Santiago Colón-Zolikoff
Meters Apart ~ Azzurra Massucci (S3)
Heavy rain and deserted streets,
a grey sky upon our heads.
White rooms and the sound of silence,
death is crawling nearer.
It feels like we’re meters apart,
when we know that it isn’t true.
This is what happens as fear visits our houses.
Suspicion and prejudice are in the air,
and despair rules over them both.
There’s still a bit of hope,
in the tiny hearts of the children of tomorrow.
The medics battle for people’s lives,
but defeat always conquers them.
Quickly the darkness spreads,
even if the solution will always be out there.
Ready to be found and brought
to the people of this world.
Sometimes, it feels like meters apart
but I know that’s not true,
as I will never lose you.
The Naked Eye ~ Sofia O’Loingsigh (S7)
I feel a cold breeze brush over my skin. It’s an air filled with loneliness and hate. Hate that is planted into the ground, spreading through roots, roots that can find even the most hidden places. I lay in a cocoon, built from both hope and misery; waiting.
My heart beats through my ears, it’s a drumming sensation that fills my body, numbing my soul. I am a listener, I hear the chatter of people all around me. I can hear two girls in the corner of the room talking about what they are going to do in the weekend, I can hear a group of boys discussing a new game. Everyone’s thoughts are packed into my head yet mine I cannot find…I search…still nothing.
My searching is disrupted by the school bell, the high pitched screech can be heard from a mile away. I dully sit up and grab my pencil case then I stuff it in my bag. I walk out the room. Though I walk these corridors every day, they still seem new to me. Every mark tells a story, you just have to look close enough to see it. My day isn’t over but the door to leave calls me, beckoning me to come over. I walk to the glass and look outside…I focus on the deep blue sky yet to me it looks grey. Everything looks grey. I used to see beauty and make things mean more than what they meant but now I have no power. I long to feel the cold air, I long to leave this prison yet I am the cage.
The noise. It pulls me in. The sounds of people hurrying to get to where they need to be echoes through the corridors. I don’t belong where I am supposed to be. I push the door…
The first thing I feel is the air, fresh. It tastes like nothing as it is nothing but I know it’s there. Here it’s quiet, no sounds, no nothing. I walk. I stop. I want to walk but I don’t move. I know the consequence that would fall upon me if I walked yet it makes me want to do it even more…my fake smile washes away as I think of what would happen to me…that brings upon me a new and real smile. Not one to put on an image, not one to wear as a disguise but one to understand that I’d be free of this world. I think of what I could do, what I want to do it. It saddens me to think that this is what I’ve come to. I want to sleep and dream forever, I want to dive into the sea and not swim back up. I can’t. I promised myself that it would change, that one day it would go.
I sigh, I know I must wait. I have kept it together for so long that it would be a waste to throw it away now. I turn around. I breathe. I open the door. I walk inside.
I walk up the stairs. It’s two forty-five which means I now have English. I sit down and take out my books. My teacher, Mrs Andrews, is explaining something but I’m not listening…I’m staring out the window; day dreaming…I’m thinking about my childhood, when my dad and I used to walk to the ice-cream store together (my favourite was always banana and strawberry). We would chat for hours upon hours until my throat would start to hurt from talking! He always had a way of intriguing me some way or the other. It was because of him that I was so excited to grow up. To tell stories of the past like he did…
Growing up, intransitive verb.
: To grow toward or arrive at full stature or physical or mental maturity. To progress childhood toward adulthood. To stop thinking or behaving in a childish way.
To begin to exist and develop.
Exist, to exist… am I really existing? I’m here but I’m not really here. I speak but my words skip everyone’s ears. Am I growing? I look older, I feel older but I am still a child. I want to stay young. Growing, being an adult, used to be my dream but now it is my nightmare. I want to keep having fun with my friends…friends? What friends?
I am alone.
I sit alone.
I walk alone.
It’s just so different than what I imagined it to be. I dreamt of popularity, fame, walking down hallways where flocks of people would move to the side for me…saying hello, to me! I am nothing, I am muted, I hustle through the hallways pushed from side to side by those passing by. I am invisible.
Invisible, the word I’d use to describe the parts of adolescence that laid under the skin of those who lived it, every day. The bad part of growing up that tormented those who dealt with it, yet was unseen to the naked eye. We all see but do we see? Some see nothing, some see half but no one sees all.
Ode To A Stargazer ~ Santiago Colón-Zolikoff (S3)
I have not lived wise, well or long, for I am not, one truly strong,
Not truly skilled, not truly bright,
But I will always, look to the light.
Finding hope when in despair, finding love in devil’s lair,
None what crippled by desire,
Will of steel and heart of fire.
But above the masses, I do not tower,
So tell me, is this truly power,
Is it winning that is truly strong?
Or living ‘till the days grow long?
A mighty sword, a hidden knife,
The sharp control over a life,
Though seeming, perhaps strong to you,
None of this is power, true.
Power doesn’t always roar, for after all the sorrow,
Power is the quiet voice, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow’,
When day alas has broken, and all devoid of light,
Power is the trust that leads you through, the everlasting night,
What draws you up, in your darkest hour,
That is courage and truly power,
It is never once, throughout your strife, ceasing to brave the storm of life.
I have not lived wise, well or long, for I am not one truly strong,
But to live and love, trust to great length,
That weakness is my source of strength,
With this alone, you’ll never fail, so let your heart, your light, prevail.
Searching… ~ Hristina Strumelieva (S4)
I am a thirteen-year-old girl and my aim is to discover the world around me. What started the curiosity? It was one physics lesson and a word – power. While the teacher was explaining what power was, something in my head was telling me that it wasn’t only ‘work divided by time’. I had to see if that voice inside my head was right. I decided to ask different people and try different things to discover what power is. Is it muscles, a state of mind, an emotion or a feeling?
The first person I went to was my dad, he is a doctor. He has a philosophical point of view. He said that he feels power, whenever he succeeds in achieving a goal. His goals are to cure a patient or to manage his team. I tried to see if I would also feel power if I achieved a goal. The thing I struggled with most was thinking of a realistic one, one that might help me feel power. The only one I could think of was to try and become better at a subject or an activity. I chose math, which for lots of people is really hard. To achieve my goal, I was really persistent and I practiced a lot. I had excellent results in all my tests, but in the end, I felt satisfaction not power.
I moved on and I asked my mother what power is for her. My mother is a scientist, she has a more practical approach. Her work involves combining knowledge and practice. She told me that she feels power whenever something goes according to her plans/predictions. It sounds interesting to me, because I have never thought about power in that way. So, I decided to give it a try. The most realistic idea I could think of was to plan out a whole day trip. I decided to call it a family day. After that, I had to convince my parents to do it my way. I was so happy when they finally agreed. We went to Amsterdam and we had a lot of fun. At the end of the day I was not sure what exactly I felt, however I am pretty sure it wasn’t I continued my journey, by asking my sister. She is a gymnast and when I asked her, she told me that power is all in the muscles and perfection. Now, I think that I might have finally found it. I decided to try her way. I knew that I wasn’t fit for gymnastics, so I gave it a try with my own sport – archery. I doubled my trainings and my concentration. In the end I performed really well in some competitions. Of course, it took me a few months, so I had to be patient. This made me stronger, both physically and mentally. I felt physical power, but I could sense that something was missing.
Now that I was getting closer, I couldn’t just stop. I had to ask one more person. I had to ask my grandfather. He likes to tell stories, so he had a more old-fashioned approach. He told me the story that his grandfather told him.
These were his exact words:
“During the Second World War my grandfather was sent to the front,” he began, “I remember that night really well, it was a cold, stormy December evening. A few days later I recall receiving a letter. It was from my grandfather. He had promised to write to me. He told me about one of his days at the front and how he was nominated to lead an impossible attack. I remember he wrote that he had spent all night thinking of a good strategy, where no one would die. The time flew by and by morning he had to go with the only plan he came up with. They were going to die if it wasn’t for his last-minute plan. I remember that in the letter he wrote that he felt power that day and that nothing could stop him. He told me that to feel power, you have to be brave and be ready to makes sacrifices.” He finished off his tale with a satisfied look on his face. I like the idea, however I don’t think that I can go off and join the army or go to war. In our society wars are not as often as they once were. Despite that fact, I would like to be a volunteer at a hospital. Unfortunately, I am too young and not prepared enough to do that now.
Now that I know more about what power is, I know one thing for sure: it depends on the person. An athlete will tell you something different than a scientist. A colonel will have a different point of view from a medical doctor. For me power is a mixture of everything I have heard so far: state of mind, self-confidence, physical and mental abilities… I should have spent more time telling you what power means to me but, unfortunately, my laptop is showing me its favourite sign – the ‘‘power off ’’. As you can see for yourself, even machines have their own interpretation.
The Papercut Frenzy ~ Soleine Schilte & Savannah Wight (S3)
Power means many things for different people. For some, it might be energy, while others think it’s a superpower. For me, power means self-control.
My name is Scarlett Rosenberg, and I’m not your typical teenager. You see, two weeks ago, I turned 15 for the 500th time. You may think this is abnormal, but let me tell you my story.
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m a vampire! You’re probably thinking, ‘I know what a vampire is,’ but trust me, YOU DON’T!
Here are the basics:
- Don’t sleep
- Super speed
- Super strength
- Get a power boost every 100 years
Before we move on, let me introduce you to my friends and family; otherwise, you might not understand the story. My friends are Riley Miller (my best friend), Allie Lopez, Blayke and Blaize Smith, and Parker Hale. Finally, my ‘adopted’ brother, Daniel Rosenberg (also a vampire). Oh, I almost forgot, I live in New Orleans.
Remember when I said that, I think, power means self-control? Well, here’s where it went wrong:
Saturday, April 11th
The day of my Birthday and the day of my power boost. I planned to do nothing because I knew that my powers would go haywire, but…
I hate mornings! They almost make me tired. Wait a second, it’s my Birthday! As soon as I realize this, I run downstairs.
Rosalie, my foster mom, spotted me. “Well, you’re up early. Excited for your big day?”
“Yeah,” I said sarcastically.
“What’s wrong honey,” Rosalie asked, sounding worried.
“Nothing, I’m fine, just tired,” I said; while trying to fake a smile as best as I could.
“Okay, if you say so.”
I get a glass of water and head back up to my room to wait for Daniel to ‘wake up.’
At around 8 AM, Daniel stood fully dressed in my doorway.
“Hi, sleepyhead,” I tease.
“Hey!” he answers, “Happy Birthday! Whatcha gonna do today?”
“Hmmm, let me think… Nothing! What else would I do?”
“Oh right, race you to the forest!” he shouts jumping out the window.
“I am so going to win!” I called out chasing after him.
“No, I am!”
“We’ll see about that.”
I won the race (like I always do), but Daniel is determined, and he will beat me one day. Anyways, I had an alligator for breakfast, and around noon, Riley came around, with a Vanilla Frappuccino from Starbucks. She knows it’s my favorite, the taste of caffeine, always destresses me.
While giving me an enormous hug, she says, “Happy Birthday! You’re coming to my house! Come on, let’s go.”
“What! Why? Can’t we stay here?”
“No, what fun would that be?”
“Then why are we going to your house?”
“To get your present, silly!”
“Fine, but Daniel has to come too.”
So, we go to Riley’s house, and it turns out my friends planned a surprise party for me. Yay… I was dreading this more by the second.
“Surprise!” They all scream. “Happy Birthday Scarlett!”
I tried my best to look excited, which must have worked because I seemed to be fooling them. I look around; there was a long table filled with party snacks and drinks, a beautiful cake, and my friends in the sitting room setting up Monopoly. There were banners and decorations everywhere, and most of them said ‘happy birthday.’
Blaize came up to me and personally wished me a happy birthday. So did Blayke, Allie, and Parker. I play along with everyone else, eating cake and playing games. Everything was going fine! I thought that maybe nothing would go wrong…
We are playing Monopoly when, without warning, Riley gets a papercut. Now, usually, a papercut doesn’t bother me, but since my powers weren’t in check… you understand, right? No? You don’t? Fine, I’ll tell you what happened.
I couldn’t control myself. I promise you I tried, but I just couldn’t do it. I run and, in no time, I am on Riley, trying to restrain myself from sucking her blood, do you know how hard that is?! Everyone is staring, but I don’t care. I can’t just suck my best friend’s blood! Less than a second later, Daniel pushes me to the wall. I could feel Daniel trying to calm me, but my thirst was turning into a frenzy, too wild to be controlled. I push him away and found that Blaize is helping Riley and got some blood on his shirt. In no time, I am next to him, my mouth inches from his neck with Daniel trying to pull me away. I am mentally crying. WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN TO ME!!!!! Before long Daniel drags me outside, I breath in the clean air; I am trying not to have a panic attack. Soon, my ‘friends’ joined me.
“Oh no!! We failed to keep the one most important secret; we are going to have to move again,” I thought. Daniel gave me a reassuring look, but that wasn’t helping.
“What in the wo-” started Blayke.
“Who are you?!” shouts Parker, which was unusual for him because he was always so quiet and polite.
All of a sudden, we hear police sirens heading our way. I turn around and see Allie putting her phone back in her pocket. Before I could explain, Daniel grabs my hand and together we run into the forest…
Saturday, April 25
Life in Island Park, Idaho has been getting comfortable. It’s very quiet, and civilization is always too far to see us. We are still trying to get used things, but I’m glad we moved. I just hope I won’t mess things up for me and Daniel.
I’ve learned my lesson now. I will do whatever it takes to restrain myself and never hurt the people I love and care about… The End
Just kidding!! I am not a vampire!! I just made it all up! Did I fool you?! Were you a true believer?! Anyways, I hope you liked it, Scarlett out! 😉
The End… For real now!
Behind the smile ~ Selena Sathish Johnson (S2)
“OK, first day at a new school, you can do this,” I told myself as I stepped into the cold, grey building. I was wrong of course; at a new school there could be thousands of things to worry about. For example: mean teachers, people disliking you, not being able to adjust to the new environment and bullies, just to name a few. I was thinking of all of those things as I stepped through the gates.
I plastered a smile on my face and walked through the hallway. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as I stepped inside the classroom. “Well, well, well. What do we have here?” the teacher exclaimed as I walked through the door. “Everyone, I would like you to meet Miss Amy Adeiaza. Would you like to introduce yourself?” I just smiled and nodded. ”Hello everyone, my name is Amy and I moved here from America 2 weeks ago.” Lie. “My father is a pilot,” Lie. “…and my mother is a flight attendant.” Lie after lie left my mouth and I heard people whispering things like ‘Wow, that’s so cool’ and ‘Amazing!’ after each one. Once I was satisfied with my introduction the teacher gestured me to sit next to this girl at the front. “Hey, my name’s Eris. Are you OK? You look upset.” I smiled and didn’t say anything. After school she offered to walk me home. I politely refused her saying, “Maybe another time, we just moved in, it’s a mess.” ‘I can’t let her see what my life is like at home’ I thought to myself.
Once I opened the door to my home I was immediately greeted with the malodorous smell of alcohol. People say things like ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.’ I decided to make my own quote: “Home is not a place; it’s hell.” My mother stumbled up to me, bottle in hand. “Where have you been?” she growled. “School,” I answered without looking at her as I ran upstairs. “WHERE DO YOU THINK YOURE GOING?! GET BACK HERE YOU-” I shut the door, to my room, cutting her off before I could hear any further. I smiled, leaning my head back on the door hearing my mother’s screams of rage and feeling her banging at my door mercilessly.
I know I’m not a happy person. I know that I can smile all I want but on the inside I’m not. I smile because I can’t cry. I smile even when I’m sad. That’s my life.