Creative Writing

Unexpected Love…
By: Mikayla Maritch

I didn’t plan to fall in love…
I guess you could say I tripped.
Tripped so unexpectedly but the good part is I actually didn’t fall alone.
He fell along with me.
We laughed the whole way.
Love is beautiful in the unexpected spectacular kind of way.
One of the most happiest.
One of the greatest stories to tell is the one you never saw coming.
For that I think this love will last as long as we are falling together.

Unexpected Love…

Raging Waves in Her Eyes
By: Mikayla Maritch

Her eyes…
There are waves raging in them.
It’s about to start fooding over.
One tear….
          Two tears…
They flown down,
The waves are crashing against the edge.
She can’t stop the flooding…
Just like she can’t stop the breaking of her heart.
One crack…
       Two cracks...  
It’s shattering and shattering into smaller pieces than ever before.
I’m sorry for this pain…
But one day I believe that your heart will mend and be happy and that there will be no more tears and only laughter.


She can’t stop Writing
By: Mikayla Grace

She puts the date on her paper.
Once you see that, you know she’s about to write something amazing.
All her thoughts just spill out onto the paper.
All the things she wants to say but can’t.
She’s friends with her mind but sometimes there is a war going on.
She writes those beautiful and meaningful things.
But only after when the war in her head has died down after a while.
Compare it to a thunderstorm…
It’s loud, distracting and sometimes dangerous.
Just like her thoughts up for battle.
But the thunderstorm slowly dies down and it becomes peaceful, quiet and sometimes there’s a rainbow.
Just like her mind after the war.
Becomes calm and quiet until she gets a piece of paper out and it begins.
The thunderstorm hasn’t ended yet.
So it rains a little harder than before.
This is when she begins to write like there is no tomorrow.
That’s when all those beautiful and deep thoughts hit the page.
Then the rainbow comes out to let everyone see it’s beauty.
But be careful, because you get so distracted by the world you don’t even notice the rainbow…
That’s like her, she may not say much…
But she does write and when she shows you her thoughts written out on paper… Pay attention.
Why pay attention? Maybe because they are just as beautiful, needing to be noticed.
When you look into her eyes when there is a war going on in her mind…
You can see the hurt but yet you can also see how strong she is.
But when that war dies down, you can see the peace she feels and the lesson she’s learned.
They are some amazing thoughts that she just has to write down.
When you look into her eyes in that moment, you can see she’s excited and wanting people to see her for the beauty of her mind…
When she’s done writing and her hair's a mess from running her ink stained hands through it, when she looks up with that look in her eyes and smile on her face…
You can see she just wrote a masterpiece.
When you also look at her you know she’s a masterpiece herself.
She’s a mess of that beautiful chaos, but you can definitely tell in her eyes.

Her Younger Self
By: Mikayla Grace

She is who she is…
Sadly she’s not a little girl anymore.
Where everything was happy and she was so full of hope.
She didn’t fear the future.
Her favorite colors was always so bright.
She laughed at society.
She didn’t mind to be herself in front of everyone.
She had so many friends and was always with them.
When her favorite song would come on she would dance and laugh til the very end.
She was so helpful to everyone.
She always hugged her mom and dad before school.
She loved school…
So sad to see that amazing little girl gone and now changed.
Sadly she’s now 17 years old.
Now she sees everything so differently.
Where everything is cruel, depressing and so frightening.
She now fears the future, she’s terrified.
Her favorite colors are oh so dark.

Love so Beautiful but Dangerous
By: Mikayla Maritch

How could I be so naive, believing everything you said to me?
It hurts losing someone you love so much…
Even late at night when you get that one message from them.
The one that makes you fall to the ground gasping for breath as the tears start to fall down your face.
The kind of pain and hurt that makes you want to throw up between every sob.
The kind of cry where your mouth is open and all you want to do is scream… but there’s no sound.
You just physically and mentally hurt.
You try to stand up only to realize your legs are weak and shaking…
So all you do is just lay down on the floor and cry as your tears hit the carpet.
With one hand on your stomach and the other on your head…
For all the memories won’t stop rushing in your mind and giving you a headache and feeling sick.
If you want to feel pain just fall in love…
Because for when the love dies, you die a little on the inside too.
Your body becomes overwhelmed so you just lay there, tears falling one by one.
You feel everything and yet nothing all at once.
You’re just sorta numb.
Staring at the ceiling not moving and barely breathing.
Your heart is racing but oh so bruised.
You feel so alive but yet so dead.
You just can’t stop the thoughts…
So you look down at your wrists thinking it’s everything you need right now.
How can someone be so broken, damaged and dead that the only way they know how to feel alive is the stinging of the blade against their skin?
It’s a beautiful but yet dangerous feeling.
When it doesn’t go right, that’s when you feel like your world is pointless.
Love is pain…
It’s suicide for your heart.
Can you let go?
Yeah, you could.
But will you?
One day, I believe you will let go but not today but maybe tomorrow…
For your body, heart and mind don’t want to let go for it’s everything it had to stay alive.

By Mikayla Maritch
She cries from what society has done to her.
She’s too afraid to be herself because she feels judged every second.
She’s lonely and can barely keep one good friend…
But yet once that “friend” leaves all she feels she has is the blade sitting on her nightside table.
Her favorite song now describes depression, the only dancing she does is barely tapping her foot to the beat.
She’s tired of helping people…
Because when she needs their help they shut her out.
Now all she does is fight with her mom…
Her dad left two months ago.
She doesn’t love school anymore either…
Too many judgmental teens.
It’s so sad what happened to her.
She wishes she could go back and warn her younger self of what the world is really like…
She wishes she could tell her, “Never believe what the society says or thinks of you.”
If only she could warn her it would save her from a lot of pain.
Oh… why did it have to turn out like this?!
It’s so sad.
She is who she is…
Sadly it’s not her younger self.

“The Magic Coin”
by Derek Aunspaugh

    One day there was a boy walking through the woods when all of a sudden he stopped
and bent down.When he bent back up he had a coin--a “magic” coin.  A coin that could do most anything that you wanted it to do. The little  boy went home and found his mommy on the couch passed out because...only God knows why.The little boy said, “Mommy, wake up! You're scaring me!” The little boy tried and tried to wake his mommy, but she did not move. The little boy started to cry. He just wanted to die, but then he just stopped and looked at his little, cold hand. There, he remembered the coin he had in his hand, and he prayed to see his mommy again. He ran outside begging God to give her back to him. Then out of the dark blue sky, he saw her face staring back at him. He felt  cold chills spread across his body. As he looked in her eyes she said,  “I love you son. I’m sorry I’m gone, but keep that coin on you at all times, son.”  

“Why mommy?” he asked, but before she could say anything, she was gone again

When I met you it was the best time of my life. We talked nonstop every day, and eventually you were mine. It was amazing because you made me forget what hating myself felt like. But you started acting different after a while. You never wanted to hang out, you made excuses not to call me, I went hours without replies, and then you told me you found someone else. I remember you saying how much better she was. It destroyed me because all of my self hatred crashed back onto me like waves on the beach.

But I forgive you. I’ve moved on, and I wish you the best.
I want to say thank you for making me realize what I deserved.


"Declaration of Independence from Depression"
By Leticia Mancilla

Depression. It means a lot of things to a lot of different people. The scientific definition for depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest, but to some people it is so much more.

In this short amount of time we get on this planet that is full of great things to find, great people to love, and precious moments we get to cherish forever, no one should feel as if they have a 50-ton bag of bricks to carry on their back.

They shouldn't not want to wake up in the morning.
They shouldn't avoid telling people how they feel because they don't want to seem like the annoying, sad person.  
They shouldn't feel like they can't make it through the day.
They shouldn't feel worthless in this world.
They shouldn't have to lose passion for something they love.
They shouldn't want to lie in bed and not do anything all day.
They shouldn't want to be 6 feet under instead of living.
They shouldn't deserve to feel lower than somebody else.
They shouldn't miss out on daily activities because they feel like they can't do it.
They shouldn't feel as if walls are closing in on them.
They shouldn't not care about their well being.
They shouldn't feel ashamed of being who they are.
They shouldn't miss the opportunity to experience happiness.
They shouldn't have that constant feeling of nothing.
They shouldn't be sad; no one deserves that.
They shouldn't feel like they can't go on another day.
They shouldn't lose the people close to them because they have changed or got worse.

No one should experience any of these heart crushing feelings for any reason at all and based on the things people with depression experience in everyday life. I declare that depression be eliminated from everyone's life. Everyone has earned the right to be in their own happy, little world.

By Samantha Crossen

Lilac. A flower as sweet and pure as the flower girl throwing petals. The smell of lilacs always made me happy and giggle. The music began and I closed my eyes letting this happy moment sink into my memory as I could feel the breeze of air conditioning pass my face. The handles of the doors in front of me rattled as “Here comes the bride” played just for me. The doors slowly pushed open and there was my moment. I pushed my head up and swayed down the aisle touching the smooth lilacs with my bare feet. My long poofie dress trailing behind me as I made my way past the pews and to the altar. He stood there in awe waiting for me to arrive and finally be his. Nothing could be more perfect than this moment.
As I arrived the man of my dreams he gave me a beautiful smile and pecked his lips softly against my cheek. I grabbed his hand and smiled. The priest cleared his throat and began the ceremony. I was perfectly happy until I realized I couldn’t comprehend his words. When I looked up at him he was meters away. Am I in the wrong spot? The blurriness grew and I found myself getting nauseous and feeling dizzy. I gripped Vincent's’ hand and he leaned in and whispered.

“Lila what’s wrong”

“He is not saying this how we rehears-”

I had to stop short as I gagged and wobbled in place. He wrapped an arm around my waist to keep me steady.

“Lila what’s going on you look sick?”

“Vincent I don’t feel good.”

“Should we stop?”

“No absolutely not!”

I yelled it without realized I had and everything stopped.

“Lila let’s just postpone this-”

I nodded and sweat dripped down my face. He used his handkerchief to wipe it away and then grabbed my hand to turn me around. The moment I did, I felt my whole body soar down and crash to the ground as people in the audience gasped and screamed. Vincent was yelling and shaking me.
“Lila! Lila wake up! Lila!”
Everything went black.

As we arrived at the hospital, Vincent scooped me up and began hauling me through the emergency doors as my mother drove the car over to the parking area. Groggily bobbing my head side to side as he rushed me inside, I was placed onto a gurney and rushed back heavily sedated.
I woke up to beeping around me and to my husband laying right next to me. I sighed and vincent jumped awake.
“Lila! You’re awake!”
I laughed
“So what did they say was wrong with me?”
“You are not going to believe it…”
“Vincent spit it out!”
“You really don’t want to know”  
He said turning into his pillow.
I gave him a death glare.
“You’re allergic to lilacs”
He laughed.
He couldn’t help but laugh. I found myself giggling as well.
“I can’t believe this”
“It’s okay Lila. Next wedding we will have roses-- If you’re not allergic to those too”
I punched him in the shoulder and smiled.

“Roses sound perfect.”

You could write for hours and hours about the things in your mind, but somehow you can never get them in order to put them on paper.
You could open up  to someone about the thoughts that want to be let out, but you can never find the words to say.
You could paint a picture to represent the thoughts that suffocate you day and night, but it would end up a paint splattered mess.
So you let the thoughts eat you alive because no matter what, you can never find the best way to express them.


A Thought

By Jordan Long

“Laughter is the best medicine” is one of the biggest lies I’ve ever heard, because I laugh all the time. Yet I still have this overwhelming sadness that keeps taking over. I feel like I’m drowning, but nobody notices. I don’t know what to do, because how do you tell the woman who gave you life that you don’t want it anymore?

The Boy That Got Hurt But Is Strong

By: Mikayla Grace

He’s hurt and he’s broken…
His heart is falling to pieces and yet he doesn’t know which piece he wants to follow.
He’s confused and feels like he’s dying on the inside.
He’s just sort of numb.
No tears will come forth yet he wants to cry.
The pain is so great…
He’s trying to forget the emotional pain of it for he feels like it’s taking him over.
He thinks it’s all he has left.
He just wants to go away…
Not ever come back.
That one dark thought doesn’t want to stop haunting him with every breath he takes.
Just thinking of when his last one will be…
People keep telling him, “It’s going to be okay.”
But for him… he feels like he’s never going to be okay again.
But yet, he’s strong.
He may not feel like it, but he is.
He doesn’t deserve this pain…
For he’s just trying to live.
You already know he’s amazing and kind.
He’s everything a guy should be.
He’s loved, even if he doesn’t feel like it… he is.
It’s sad… really.
You want to help him…
But how can you when someone beautiful asks for their heart to stop beating…?
Because deep down you know what it’s like.
You know how much it hurts…
So how can you tell someone they can’t die, if that’s exactly want you want to do too?
You see…
That’s why God made us…
To help each other through the hard times so they don’t have to go through it alone.
I know he’s strong and I know he can fight his battle for he’s not fighting the battle alone.

After this battle falls, he shall be stronger than he was before.

Her Younger Self

By: Mikayla Grace

She is who she is…
Sadly she’s not a little girl anymore.
Where everything was happy and she was so full of hope.
She didn’t fear the future.
Her favorite colors was always so bright.
She laughed at society.
She didn’t mind to be herself in front of everyone.
She had so many friends and was always with them.
When her favorite song would come on she would dance and laugh til the very end.
She was so helpful to everyone.
She always hugged her mom and dad before school.
She loved school…
So sad to see that amazing little girl gone and now changed.
Sadly she’s now 17 years old.
Now she sees everything so differently.
Where everything is cruel, depressing and so frightening.
She now fears the future, she’s terrified.
Her favorite colors are oh so dark.
She cries from what society has done to her.
She’s too afraid to be herself because she feels judged every second.
She’s lonely and can barely keep one good friend…
But yet once that “friend” leaves all she feels she has is the blade sitting on her nightside table.
Her favorite song now describes depression, the only dancing she does is barely tapping her foot to the beat.
She’s tired of helping people…
Because when she needs their help they shut her out.
Now all she does is fight with her mom…
Her dad left 2 months ago.
She doesn’t love school anymore either…
Too many judgemental teens.
It’s so sad what happened to her.
She wishes she could go back and warn her younger self of what the world is really like…
She wishes she could tell her, “Never believe what the society says or thinks of you.”
If only she could warn her it would save her from a lot of pain.
Oh… why did it have to turn out like this?!
It’s so sad.
She is who she is…
Sadly it’s not her younger self.

She's A Storm

By: Mikayla Grace
Not everyone likes them.
But she does.
She loves them.
If she could choose between sunny and stormy…
She’d choose stormy.
When she tells people that…
They think she's dark and depressing.
Yes, she is depressed.
But maybe, just maybe she likes storms because she’s a storm herself.
Storms comfort her.
She loves listening to it all.
The rain…
The thunder…
The wind…
The rain represents her long cries at night and all those tears falling down her cheeks.
The thunder represents her screams.
The wind represents her gasps for air and letting them go quickly.
She is a storm herself.
But not just in a sad way, but yet in a great way.
Storms are strong but she is too.
She is a storm herself but yet she goes through so many.
They say that storms can get so bad there become deaths…
But she has became so strong and fierce from battling other storms…
That the storm inside of her can’t kill her.
She’s so amazing and beautiful, just like storms.
But yet people hate storms but yet love her.
But I guess that’s the beauty of it…
She may be a storm but it’s not the kind you runaway from it’s the one that you want to chase.


Life Renewed  

Dark. Everything was dark, dark and confined. It was hard to breathe as well.

Wait a minute. What’s happening? Why do I have thoughts? Shouldn’t I be dead? My death date was yesterday wasn’t it?...

I reached up my arms. Only about a foot, before my hands hit something cushiony but still firm. I felt around me, running my fingers delicately over what I determined to be a box.

A coffin. I was in a coffin. So I did die. But I came back? What if my family already buried me?!

I started banging on the top of the coffin vehemently. Hoping and praying that maybe it was the middle of my funeral and that I haven’t been buried yet.

I heard a loud commotion before the coffin lid creaked open and the first thing I saw was my mother.

“Aella! How? What-what-wh-wha?! How are you alive?!” mother exclaimed “You died four days ago! You were out riding Harlow, you all the sudden lost consciousness, and fell off Harlow. What was strange about it is that a man brought you back to us while we were working out in the field. He handed you to your brother, told us not to worry, looked longingly at you, and kissed your forehead. Then he mounted his stallion, and galloped off towards the north mountain.”

I had no words. I didn’t understand.

Who was that man? Why did he kiss my forehead? Why did he tell my mom and siblings not to worry? Did he have something to do with me being alive?

As the last thoughts filtered out of my head, I glanced down at my wrist to see my tattoo, my death date. My mouth went dry. The date was changed. It was no longer four days ago. I stood there, surrounded by friends and family, mind boggled at the fact that my death date was now set to seventy five years from this day.

“Mom….Look at my death date..” I uttered apprehensively.

She gently took my hand in hers and pulled it to her. Her widened and her face paled slightly.

“What?.... How is that possible? There’s only one way to renew a death date….One has to go see the witch Jilaiya. She does not like to be disturbed. But she’s the only one with the capacity for anything death related….” she trailed off. “What’s peculiar about you dying anyway, is that your death date was so short….I mean most people's’ death dates are several hundred years…”

A deafening sound of a horse running caught everyone’s attention.

A broad shouldered, muscular man brought the sable colored horse to a rushed stop just a few yards before mother and I.

He quickly clambered off the towering equine and sped over to me, catching and keeping eye contact with me the entire time. He gently framed my face with his hands and ran his thumbs over the apple of my cheeks delicately.

“You’re the man who brought her to us! What are you doing! Leave here!” my eldest brother, Archer, bellowed before he began to stalked towards us.

“No. Stop, Archer.” I said, “It’s okay, he’s.. He’s my soulmate…”

A collective gasp echoed around us.

“She’s right.”, my soulmate murmured.

“Can you explain how you did it?” Alan, the younger of my two brothers asked suspiciously. “And tell us who you are?”

“My name is Maddox Cadmar.” my soulmate began, “I was taking a horseback ride the other day, the day you were to die,” he spoke to me with a pained expression, “when I saw Aella. She was riding her horse when her eyes rolled to the back of her head and she fell to the ground. I rushed towards her, felt her pulse and when I discovered there was not one, looked at her death date. As soon as I realized what happened, I followed her horse back to her family’s cottage, put her in her brother’s arms and told her family not to worry.”

“Did you have to go see Jilaiya, the Witch of Demise?”, someone in the crowd asked.

“I did,” Maddox answered, “It is true that she does not like to be bothered, but I did receive what I asked for. Which was to renew your life.” He stared at me, as if trying to memorize every detail of my face.

“Surely she didn’t just do as you asked…”My mother inquired dubiously, “What payment did she require?”

“Well, she thought it only fair to trade life for life.” Maddox stated.

“Wait, what? What do you mean “life for life”?....”I questioned nervously, “Will you die?!”

“I will eventually, but not anytime soon. “ He said, relieving my fears. “I just traded seventy five of my life to you. I was originally supposed to live to be one hundred seventy five. I’m twenty four now, so I still have seventy six more years with you.” he explained.

“But, you just gave away nearly half your life, for someone as insignificant as me.” I exclaimed.

“No, I gave away nearly half of my life away to someone as incredible, exquisite, and brilliant as you. It was a pleasure to give this gift to you. I’ve been dreaming about finding you since I was thirteen. Eleven years I’ve yearned of finding you. I’ve scoured this land, traveled to other countries even, searching for you.” He spoke with so much conviction I began to get weak in the knees.

“So yes,” He finished, “I did trade some of my years for you. And would do it again.”

We stared at each so long I swore I saw some stubble beginning to grow on his chin.

“Well? What are we waiting for?” my mother yelled, “Let’s get these two married and on their honeymoon, I want grandbabies!”

Maddox laughed and took my hand as I blushed at my mother’s words and we strolled along after my family to my cottage.

by: Mikayla Shaw

I Do

“You may now kiss the bride!” the preacher announced.

I looked forward and everything fell into place as I gazed at Ryan’s face, seeing him smile from ear to ear. He looked happier than I had ever seen him before.

Ryan finally, after an eternity, slowly but surely leaned in, and kissed my cousin smack on the lips.

I mean geez, it is their wedding day. It was the main event and Ryan stood there like an idiot, staring at Karri’s face. Then of course the preacher waved his hand in front of Ryan’s face to get him out of La La Land.

It really was a beautiful ceremony and I was quite proud. It was my doing, considering I am the wedding planner. Although I tell you, it was not going smoothly this morning.

I hurriedly hopped in my Kia and sped over to Karri and I’s Aunt Dena’s house to check on the cake. Aunt Dena makes a mean classic vanilla cake.

Dena came rushing to the door covered in flour and sprinkles after I knocked several times.

“Oh hey, Ella! What’re you doing here?”, she asked, quite out of breath.

“Um, I’m just here to check up on the cake, that’s all.” I answered, a tad concerned.

“What cake…?? OH. Right. Kar’s wedding cake. Geez. Sorry. Well. We have bit of an issue…..” She trailed off guiltily.

“What kind of an issue?” I asked apprehensively.

“Well… Jimmy mixed up my order and instead of regular self rising flour, he sent all purpose flour…. And I already checked early this morning and the Piggly Wiggly is completely out of self rising flour… I’m completely out of ideas, El…” She finished.

“Okay, um. What if we… no that won’t work… wait what…” I trailed off, everything that came to mind a terrible idea.

Aunt Dena looked exhausted and like she was seconds away from bursting into tears, “I’m such a failure! I can’t do anything right! It’s no wonder my husband left me for a women half my size and weight! My kids only visit on holidays and when I call to talk to them, I get some crap excuse saying they’re busy, or on vacation, or they’re sick.” Aunt Dena exclaimed while pacing and running her hands through her dark brown lob stressfully, tears dribbling down her now flushed cheeks.

“Hey, you’re not a failure. This wasn’t your fault. You can’t help that Jimmy got your order wrong.” I spoke gently, trying to console her, knowing it wouldn’t be smart to start a conversation about my estranged uncle and cousins.

“Look, I’ve got an idea, since we have all this flour, why don’t we turn this wedding cake into little individual sponge cakes instead? I mean, I know it’s not traditional, but Karri loves sponge cakes, they're her favorite dessert. And we all know she’s not really traditional anyway. She wasn’t planning on doing the whole “cake cutting ceremony” thing anyway. She and Ryan are planting a tree instead, since they’re getting married in the field by the house. ” I finished, feeling confident about my idea.

Aunt Dena had stopped pacing when I started talking and was now looking at me, a thoughtful expression on her face replacing the somber one.

“You know, I think this very well could work. And her colors are mint green and ivory….so I could put little fondant trees on them!” She finished excitedly, her eyes lighting up.

“Alright. Good. Problem solved. Well I’ll leave you to it. You know how much of a mess in the kitchen I am. The most I can make is mac ‘n cheese.” I said sheepishly.

“That’s right. Now shoo shoo!” She said hastily.

I strode through the house quickly and sat back in my car. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before letting it back out slowly. I turned the ignition, and reversed out of Aunt Dena’s gravel drive.

I sped into Flora’s Flower Shop and headed straight to the counter. After I had given Flo a quick call to confirm the flowers were ready to be picked up, she gave me some news that I really didn’t want: her cat had somehow gotten into her storage room and tore up all the flower bouquets.

“Flora!” I called frantically. “Where are you?”

“I’m coming!” Flora came racing from her her storage room carrying her red contact book.

She flopped it on the counter, swiftly flipping through pages.

“What are you doing? We don’t have time for you to order takeout! We have no flowers!” I asserted, feeling irked that she was thinking about food at a time such as this.

“I’m not ordering takeout, El! What kind of person do you take me for?” she said, still flipping pages, “I’m looking for The Flower Power Place’s number in my phonebook. Sara’s a really good florist, and I hear she’s really good for having an excess of flowers for last minute things, coincidentally.”

“Here it is! Let me call her right quick!” She said, holding her place on the page and picking the store phone and punching the number in. “Hi, is this Sara? Good, okay my name is Flora from Flora’s Flower Shop, and I’m calling on behalf of my friend who’s planning her cousin’s wedding and we had a bit of a situation….”, her voice faded from my ears and I stood there lost in thought for what felt like hours before I heard Flo telling Sara thanks.

“Okay, so we have good and bad news.” She started and I brace myself for the worst. “Good news is she does have enough flowers to fill your order…” She trailed and I waited anxiously for the bad news.

“Bad news is she doesn’t have the white carnations, only red and pink, but she does have hydrangeas and jasmines. She said if you want either of those, to just head on over there and she’d fix you up.”

I knew my answer immediately, “Well I obviously have to go with the hydrangeas, Karri’s allergic to jasmine flowers.”

“Okay, then. You get on out the door and I’ll call Sara and tell her you’re on your way.” Flora said, smiling and picking the phone back up.

“Thank you so much Flo! Sorry for snapping at you! See you at the wedding!” I hollered on my way out the door.

I barely heard her reply as I was already zooming out of the parking lot and to The Flower Power Place.

Half and hour later my trunk and backseat of my car was filled to the brim with white hydrangeas and I was on my way to meet Margaret, our photographer, at Ryan and Karri’s new house, praying to God nothing else would go wrong.

I quickly pulled in the gravel drive relieved to see my momma, Aunt Farah,  Aunt Renee, five of my other cousins, Haleigh, Millie, Nelli, Jessica, and Catie, along with my grandma all helping set up tables, chairs, tablecloths, and centerpieces. My younger sisters, Kelly and Shellie, they’re twins, were unloading coolers and pans of food in warmers and placing them on the ecru colored food tables.

Nelli came over to and hurriedly started unloading all the flower arrangements from my car and I jogged over to find my Aunt Farah, Karrie’s mom.

“Hey Aunt Farah!” I called. “Where’s Margaret?”

“She’s not here yet, I don’t think….” she said, her eyes scanning the area.

“What! She was supposed to be here….”, I glanced at my watch, “Fifteen minutes ago!....”

At that moment my phone began ringing. Sighing, I pulled it from my back pocket, relieved to see it was Margaret.

“Margaret! I’m so glad to hear from you! Where’re you at? It’s ten thirty five, you were supposed to be here at ten twenty.” I said, feeling irritated.

“Look, Ella, I’m really sorry, but I’m not gonna be able to make it… It’s my daughter’s 13’th birthday party today, and I obviously have to be there….” she quickly spoke.

I didn’t say anything for moment, breathing in and closing my eyes. I could vaguely hear Margaret asking me if I was there. Aunt Farah was still standing there, watching me with concerned eyes. I told her I’d be right back and quickly strode to the front porch of Karri’s new house.

“Margaret?” I calmly asked.

“Yes?”, she answered feebly.

“How long have you known about your daughter’s birthday party?” I questioned through gritted teeth.

“Oh.. about a month, I suppose. Why?”, she asked, completely serious.

“A month. Seriously? You’ve known for a month you weren’t gonna be able to take my cousin’s wedding pictures, and you’re waiting until a few hours before it starts to tell me this?!” I seethed into the receiver, my face probably as red a cherry tomato.

“Well, I mean, I didn’t think much of it.”, she stuttered. “I-I-I honestly forgot about it… I’m sorry! But you still have some time. But hey tell your cousin Jessica to call me about her maternity appointment, because I have some great ide-” I hung up on her, so irate that I could have melted ice cubes in my hand.

I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to somehow to release the tension and stress that I seemed to be drowning in.  I was pacing angrily back and forth across the wooden slats of the porch when an amazing idea sprang into my head.

I hastily whipped out my phone and began dialing a number that I was surprised I still remembered.

It rang several times and I nearly gave up on her answering before she picked up on the last ring with an out of breath, “Hello?”

“Susannah! It’s Ella! Ella Wickers! Remember we went to college together, I modeled for some of your assignments for your photography course, we shared a dorm out junior and senior year….?” I tried.

“Oh yeah, that’s right! Hey girl, how’re you?”, she replied.

“Good, I’m good. Look, you still live in Stockwell, right?” I asked, hopeful.

“Yeah, I do, why? You need something? I’m not busy today. My son’s at school and Donny’s at work..”, she said and I let out a relieved breath so powerful I felt like the wolf from the Three Little Pig story.

“Actually, I need a favor.” I said.


I went back over to Aunt Farah and explained to  her what happened and that we now have a different photographer, who will be here in about twenty-ish minutes.

A big breath whooshed from her lips. “Lordy. Okay, well. We’re good then right?”, she asked.

“Yep. Everything’s fine.” I said, smiling. “So long as nothing else happens…” I mumbled to myself.

All the girls were finished setting up a few minutes later, and we all headed to the house to help Karri get ready and get ourselves ready.

Geez. Louise. I sure hope everything goes smoothly from here….

Lost Time

Time is fleeting, flying by you this very moment
You reach for it, long for it
It dances around you as you grab for it
It’s slipped away right before your eyes
You need it, you want it to come back
But it’s gone
Since you were busy, it left
It figured you didn’t need it anymore
You had more important things to do
Sometime or another, it may return
Nevertheless, it can’t stay
Before you know it, it’s once again disappeared

  • Mikayla Shaw

Seasons Are Coming - Mikayla Shaw
Spring aromas fill the air
Birds and blossoms found high and low
New life brought forth on a lone hill somewhere
Hibernating creatures are emerging from their boroughs

Summer has marched forward
Vivacity and mirth float across the land
Fruits and greenery of all kinds sprout again amidst the orchard
Horses graze while homesteaders harvest all they can

Fall beckons a cool, crisp breath
Vibrantly hued leaves begin to flutter to the ground
Before long, one by one, they will succumb to death
The essence alone will compel one to be spellbound

Winter is coming, they say…Winter is here

Lock your doors and windows and stay inside at night
If you don’t, the consequences could be devastating
For the white winter wolves are prowling, waiting
Waiting on curious, naive wanderers to venture out into the moonless twilight

"Frances Dances" by Mikayla Shaw
If you listen closely, in White Ridge, South Carolina, you can oft hear music. Soft, gentle music; most usually the Waltz. It floats in the breeze, whispers through the tall and billowing pine trees, and waves back to the coast covered in white, sandy beaches and clear blue waters. The music leaves an aura that constantly lingers. Never withdrawing but still out of reach. It’s one that you long to touch, but you know you shouldn’t.
If you were to ask the townsfolk, they’d simply give a sad smile, shake their head, and trudge away. They know. But they don’t tell. They don’t tell because they know it’s not their place. Out of respect, they say nothing.
On a lone ridge, coincidentally, lays a mansion that overlooks the ocean. A glorious mansion at that. Three stories, two grand kitchens, ten fully furnished bedrooms. Several of those bedrooms that, at one point in time, would’ve belonged to several children. In the living room sits a shining grand piano, four luxurious patterned sofas, and a wide stone fireplace, where a single picture frame sits, directly in the center. Though the finest feature of this house is the vast balcony that overhangs the length of half of it, on the southside of the dwelling six imposing ivory columns support it all. This is the home of Frances Thomas.
The music, the melodic and harmonic music comes from this abode. The music comes from the balcony that once, a time that seems ages ago, a monumental celebration took place. This celebration was a merger of an engagement party and a going-away-to-war party --the engagement of Frances Lillian Thomas to Jackson Calvin Hughes. They were to be married some seven odd months ago.
Seven and a half months ago, on a sunny early afternoon, ironically, Frances received a letter, a letter explaining that Jackson Hughes, her dearly beloved, would not be coming home to her. Well, not alive and well that is. A casket actually.
So now she dances. On and on without end. She dances. Day after day, night after night. Most often to the Waltz.
Frances’ maids and housekeepers don’t breathe a word. They don’t say how dire and unhealthy it is, how it will not bring her beloved back, how she must let go.
No. They say nothing. Not when she dances in the rain and cold, not when she barely touches her dinners, not when she finally falls into a restless slumber on the daybed in the parlor by the balcony.
And on she dances. Dances all across the same balcony where once she and Jackson danced almost every night before he was called to war. The Waltz. Over and over. She remembers when he first taught her to dance, how she constantly stepped on his toes and tripped over her own long, flowing dress. But by now she’s perfected her routine. All the customaries. From the bowing at the beginning to the curtsying at the end. It’s always the same. She holds her arms exactly in place. As if Jackson were there with her. Except he’s not. Frances knows that. She just won’t accept it and let go. She pays no mind. She doesn’t anguish about what others might say. Of what they will say.
She pines continuously for her lost love. Who she was supposed to build a life and a future with. Only, it’s too late for that.
And so, Frances dances, with only one memory replaying on a loop in her mind.
Frances Lilliana Thomas sat daintily in the eggshell painted metal patio set. It was situated delicately under a growing Japanese cherry tree in her backyard. Far enough back that one might have to shout for the person sitting there to hear their voice, but close enough that your eyes would have no need to strain to catch a glimpse of them.
“Frances,“ called a gentle but strong voice.
Frances turned around, not recognizing the man who called her name but answered with a calm, “Yes?”
The man lightly jogged down the white cobblestone path that paved the way to where she was seated.
“Your mother said the tea and spice cakes are ready. One of the maids was going to fetch you, but I volunteered,” the man said. “May I escort you back?”
“I’d be delighted,” Frances told him.
“May I ask you a question?” the man asked after a brief minute of walking.
“Of course, what is it?” Frances answered.
“Well,” he scratched his head with his free hand and cleared his throat. “My names is... Jackson Hughes and...I am a good friend of your family, my parents and I, so I’m not a stranger or anything...” he paused.”
Frances just looked at him as he attempted to finish his sentence.
“What I’m getting at is that I would be absolutely elated if you were to accompany me on a date this Saturday, early afternoon….” he quickly concluded.
Jackson heard only silence and snuck a glance over at Frances.
She was staring ahead towards her house, no expression visible except the left corner of her mouth was tilted upwards. It was quite obvious that she was doing her very best not to grin at Jackson’s nervous, albeit adorable struggle to ask her out on a date.
“Sure, I don’t see why not,” Frances replied after a moment, pursing her lips.
“Wonderful,” Jackson said, a relieved smile painting his face as he opened the parlor room door to the house once they reached it.
“Be sure to wear riding boots. I’m taking you horseback riding.” Jackson spoke, no longer nervous or embarrassed.
Frances looked back over her shoulder back at him after he bowed and allowed her to pass through the door first.
A coy smile graced her lips as she casually sauntered through the doorway, her hips swaying sensually.
“Is that so?” she countered.
The nervousness and uneasiness returned, and a bead a sweat began to form at the top of Jackson’s forehead.
“I-I-I-mean if you want to,” he spoke frantically. “We can always do something else. We can go into town, have lunch if you’d like.”
Frances grinned, “No, we can go horseback riding. I absolutely adore horses.”
She peered over her shoulder once more, seeing Jackson’s jaw slack and his eyes widen before they returned to normal.
He blinked and shook his head slightly.
Then they both beamed at each other and Frances took Jackson’s arm that he held out to her a second time, and they leisurely strolled to the tea room to join their families.

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