Leaves rustle and whisper in the breeze, telling secrets that no one else will ever hear. Posing against the bright blue sky, wisps of clouds form hats over the treetops. Grasses bend as short gusts of wind get pulled through the sky. The silhouette of an abandoned barn is clear against the cotton ball sky. The barn’s rotting wood is slowly being pulled down by the ivy that has already taken over half of the barn. Sloping hills stumble and trip toward the horizon. I came across this forsaken, peaceful scene long ago. I believe that I am the only person that comes here now though once it was probably bustling with activity. Sometimes I sit on a stump or a boulder and watch.
I see many different things here: geese in their Vs, robins building their nests, and trees that change colors in the blink of an eye. Sometimes I sleep, smelling the sweet grass in my dreams. I wake up stiff and sore but always more rested than if I were sleeping in a feather bed. Today is not the same. I shiver, wrapping my thick coat around me. I look around at the place I have seen so many times, knowing that I would never see it again. If anyone were there, they would see pearly tears slip down my face. Finally I turn away and trudge onward, trying not to look back, trying to resist the urge to run to the place that I had always thought of as home.
By Linden Wicinas
Clouds of dust rise up around me and badly graded assignments flutter to the ground. Coughing, I wave away the dust to reveal the faded colors of my childhood. Shelves and shelves of toys and books that I hadn’t touched in years fill the closet. Each one brought back a memory. There was Theo, the zebra who went with me to the coral beach where I met my first and last shark, he was inflatable with red eyes and plastic skin. There were my American Girl dolls, Kit, Felicity, and Molly, who accompanied me to my missions to the moon (A.K.A., the tree house.) There was Go Dog, Go, the first book I ever read, it’s cover ripped and torn and faded from so many readings. I looked at all the shelves that lined the forgotten closet. Then I look at my box. The cardboard walls might just be two feet high and its width could barely contain just one of my old dioramas for the science fair.
How was I supposed to fit my whole childhood in a tiny brown box? I start with Cloudy, a miniature grey cat that came with me to dreamland every night for about 12 years. Making sure she was comfortable I start on the next thing. My mother’s agitated voice rises up through the floorboards. “Lydia! Are you almost done? “ I look at the lone cat in the box and yell, “Just a little more time, Mom.” Finally the box is packed to the brim. I caress Zookie’s knotted mane, the horse that danced with me on the ocean floor (under my bed when the blue quilt was on it) and gently place him on the top of the box. I close the lid and carry it to the basement. I slowly place it in the section named Lydia’s stuff an the dust settles onto it and the fresh box just becomes one more box. Slinging my duffle bag over my shoulder I get into my car and head off to a new adventure. But this time, no toy can rescue me.
Linden Wicinas age 12, did the writing workshop for over a year and absolutely loved it. She is in seventh grade at PVPA now and can't stand that the school lets out after the workshop starts and therefore it's impossible for her to do it. Besides writing Linden loves to read curled up in odd places, cook, doodle intensive doodles on scrap paper, and embroider pillows.
By Ava, age 12
The forty minutes it took to drive to Meath was a very long, uncomfortable forty minutes. Day drove steadily, his grey cap pulled down over his eyes, casting a grim shadow over the top half of his face.
At first, Maeve, in as subtle of a manner as she could manage, stared at Day as he gripped the steering wheel. His eyes never strayed from the damp road stretching ahead of them. What Maeve was trying to do was analyze him, which was a hard thing, considering the fact that he had spoken about five words total in their time together, so far.
Actually, she felt slightly let down at the sheer unreadable normalcy of the guy. She was looking at someone who drove an ancient pink car with teapot decals. Maeve felt it was fair to harbor some hopes that he would be even just a little eccentric. Apparently not. So far Day just seemed like an antisocial person lacking any character whatsoever. And, as she had soon learned, there was nothing to be gained from looking at him.
After a while Maeve settled into the same tired position Tariq had taken behind her—head leaning against the window glass, eyes vacant. Outside, the scenery of Ireland slipped quietly by through a screen of soft rain.
During the rest of that drive, Maeve had had only a few thoughts, which were Ow the suitcase is hurting my legs, Are we there yet, and Bluuuh I feel so weird, all of which passed through her mind as she leaned, mostly asleep, on the plastic of the car door.
When Day finally slowed and made a turn into a little dirt road, she lifted her head, grimacing as her cheek ripped off the black plastic where it had been stuck for the past half-hour. (Ew, Maeve thought, was I asleep and drooling?)
Tariq had sat up too, and was leaning forward to try to catch a glimpse of the house they’d be staying in before they left for Co. Cork.
It was Maeve, though, who saw it first.
In a tangle of overgrown plants, hiding behind some squat apple trees that had dropped green apples all over the driveway, was a very large house covered in flaking white paint, with a huge lion’s –head door knocker hanging from the battered door.
There were two thumps as some apples on a low branch hit the car roof, and they pulled to a halt.
“Well,” Day said. “This is Caddigan house.”
Ava lives in Hadley and enjoys writing, drawing, and eating popcorn very very much.
By Hillary Atkinson
Chapter 1 A.S.A.P.13 year old Sophie was sitting on her king size bed watching Icarly on ONE of her double size flat screen televisions. “We’ll be right back on nick” said the television. Then an ad popped up and said “did you know that on your average hard wood floor has about 3 million bacteria on it and 4 bad odors but with the help of the all new oxydent floor cleaner your hardwood floor can be as 100 bacteria and no odors what so ever. So call now 1-800-CLEAN and be one the first 100 callers to g to 5 bottles of the all new oxydent floor cleaner delivered to where ever you like for just 6.75. Sophie clicked of the television and started to throw thing on the floor so that she could walk on the floor without touching it she kept throwing stuff until she was downstairs where her mom was “mom (gasp) we need to get the all new oxydent floor cleaner A.S.A.P.
THE END (FOR NOW)
Hillary Atkinson is nine years old. Her birthday is in Feburary. She has been in this workshop for a year and a half and enjoys it very much. She has 3 siblings, 2 brothers and 1 sister. She enjoys mostly music.