By Sarim Chaudry
Hey you in the human flesh, yeah i am talking to you. You have caused us so much trouble around this part of the year. You take us out of our homes. Then you cut our heads open and scrape out all of our guts, then you carve our faces into something you like better and set out the corpses and light them on fire. We have been decimated every single October, It's always October, ALWAYS.
However, this time I am here to make a change. You might be asking how I will pull it off. True, there have been failures, but I have been given some weird green water, and now I am sentient! I waited for night though because it makes everything spooky. I can see you shaking in your boots already knowing that it's nighttime. Anyway, It’s time for the pumpkin to take over! I will start with that ghastly kid I have never met - Steve.
“Why do you guys always play Fortnite, Minecraft’s better in every way.”
He is always saying that, and like obviously Fortnight’s better. I mean they steal dances from the internet, what does Minecraft have on that? He's always busy eating hotdogs so I jump kicked him and he choked on his hotdog. See the thing is if he was eating dirt, that would not have affected him. He would be long gone before I ever hated him. He's not dead. He just is not moving, nor is his heart, and he's not breathing, but he'll be fine, don't worry about it.
While walking down the street looking for my next target I noticed Joe. He loved killing the chickens, and so I would love to help those chickens. But the thing is, they are kind of weird, and I hate them for no reason. However I spent too long waiting for night time, my powers ran out. That was the end of my revolution.
Sarim Chaudhry is twelve years old and goes to Hopkins Academy in Hadley, MA. One thing he loves about writing is that he can tell a group of people jokes and make them laugh. He loves Woven Word because he’s free to write these things instead of writing to a topic that a teacher gives him.
By Esme De Vore
Cute, adorable, fun!
Whenever Juliana is around!
We play, ride bikes, and have the best of times!
Wake up Esme!
It's breakfast time!
Oh how I love Juliana!
5 years old.
Playing dolls, playing with blocks,
By Esme De Vore
Beautiful, bright, and my favorite color!
Weird, wacky, and wonderful!
The color of worms in the ground!
And the color that I am writing in!
And the slime that I make too!
Oh how I love PINK!!!!!!!!!!
Esme DeVore is 7 years old and lives in Amherst, MA. She attends Wildwood Elementary. She loves writing and Woven Word because you get to use your imagination and write about anything you can think up.
By Elizabeth Rotunno
Oh Snow Globes
The worlds within this world
The one way you can be here, there, anywhere
You may be taken away into a world where you always feel the soft dusting of snow
Where you are here, not there
You have given more than a plane, a boat, a car, a train
Everywhere, and Nowhere
You are the possibility of All
All the places you can see without being there
All the places you can feel without sensing
You transfix those with dreams, silently ushering them
Silently giving everyone the untamed joy, need, that all want:
To see the beauty of where you are, where you were
And how you are everywhere and nowhere
You have given the greatest gift
A world were you do not need to think to know how to describe something
A raw feeling of hope is what you give
No need to go and see, only to leave everywhere
A feeling of bliss, then nothing
You can be the world in one’s pocket
Everywhere and nowhere.
Elizabeth Rotunno is a 12 year old girl who lives in Hadley, Massachusetts. She loves that in Woven Word all ideas are welcome, and that you can explore all avenues of writing!
By Maur Laur
“We feel hunted,” is what Hettie said shortly after visiting the miles-long barbed-wire wall that stretches along the Mexican-American border. “We feel hunted.” Hunted as in deer, running at the sound of rifle shots, echoing through the forest. Hunted as in geese flapping their wings in terrified confusion as they fly through the sky to escape the fire. Hunted like the indigenous people whose scalps were traded for dollars. Hunted as in immigrants ducking the bullets that border patrol shoots through the fence?
People are not meant to be hunted.
People are meant to be loved, cared for, protected. Is this what our country has come to? That we are forever in a wild goose-chase for people who simply want a better life? Will immigrants forever remain the runners? How many times must they flee? So now, while they chase their freedom, border patrol is chasing them? And for what? So America's militia can steal the American dream from immigrant hands before they’ve even grapsed it?
“My husband feels hunted,” she says with fear in her eyes that mirrored his. She looked over at him. He is here legally. But, he’s a dreamer. That means he gets searched on a regular basis. That means paranoia stalks him through every street corner, supermarket, and stoplight. That means his wife, Heddy, a U.S citizen follows him everywhere to ward off racist comments and deportation officials.
The hunted never sleep.
I stare at the barbed wire fence that cuts across the red-brown landscape and leaves a gash in the skin of the Earth. In one eye I see Mexico, in the other eye, the U.S. And in between is just space. If I were to close my eyes, I wouldn’t know where this country ends and the next one begins. “It’s just land.” I whisper. But, America has turned that land into a hunting ground. And the Earth’s heart hurts from its wounds on the surface. Images flit through my mind:
In a detention center outside of Tucson, Arizona, border patrol agents take away a baby’s formula and replace it with an unfamiliar mixture. She can’t stomach it, so she doesn't eat for four days. In a jail cell off the highway, police officers throw frozen burritos at a Dreamer whom they’ve arrested. In a courtroom in Phoenix, a 3-year old boy defends himself in his own deportation hearing, because he doesn’t have the right to a lawyer. On the Mexican side of the border, a 16-year-old boy throws a rock at a border patrol agent. What they throw back is not rocks, but bullets. Actually, they fire them from the American side. In moments the boy is dead and another agent becomes a killer.
In the English Channel, smugglers hands out defective life jackets filled with straw to refugees who are left with no choice but to flee ‘illegally,” because the U.S has capped the number of refugees admitted into the states at 45,000. If the boat sinks, their jackets will act as weights, pushing them below the surface of the water and they will all drown. In a refugee camp outside of Greece, a Somalian refugee walks two hours to an interview in which U.S officials will determine whether or not she can seek refuge in our country. She is minutes late to the interview because she had to stop and rest during the long trek in the heat and before she can apologize or explain, they immediately turn her away. Back in the Sonoran desert, a border patrol agent destroys a water jug that volunteers have set out for those immigrants braving the sand and sun.
I used to think that there was injustice along the borders and oceans that surround this country. But, now I realize it’s more than injustice. It’s evil. It’s a cold, hard absence of humanity. It leaves me enraged, hurt, and confused. How can we look into the eyes of our fellow human beings and tell them “you don’t deserve a chance at the American dream?” When we meet a refugee, an immigrant, an asylee, a person who has given up their culture, sacrificed their language, abandoned their homeland, left their family just to be here, how can we say, “that dream doesn’t belong to you?” That it’s reserved for those on our side of the fence, those with white skin and a couple generations between them and their own immigrant stories. How can we turn away our brothers and sisters of other nations? How can we rob them of their children, their means of survival, their dignity? How can we stomach the fact that people are dying, just because they’re not dying on American soil? How can we stomach the words “we feel hunted?”
Is our humanity so broken that we cannot see theirs?
In the desert beyond the southern border, a young woman lies dead underneath the shade of a single, forgiving prosopis tree in the desert. Mouth open wide in shock. Hands unclasped and limp on the ground. Some dreams swept away with the wind, others left to rot in the sand. When you’re dead, do you see the borders that we have created? Or is it just land? Do you know we have put up walls between each other, in an attempt to hide behind them? Or is it just land?
The sand piles on top of her body as the Earth begins to bury her, because no one else will. The desert doesn’t discriminate.
If someone were to find her, would they cry the tears she never did, when there was no more water left in her sockets? Would they long for the hope that has fled from her eyes? Or would he turn away, look at the wall between the U.S and Mexico, lean back contently, smile, and think to himself, ah yes, this is America, and we’ve truly made it great.
Maya Laur is from Wendell, Massachusettsa and is a senior at Deerfield Academy. She is a graduate of the Woven Word Young Writers program where she first discovered her passion as a writer and learned the power of imagery in elevating a piece.
By Adam Kelly
On the first try she loved you but they didn’t want you to be so lucky
So in the second draft it didn’t last
Maybe in the third draft you’ll forget about her
But now you can’t get her memory out of your head
Her sweet voice narrating half your thoughts
Maybe on the fourth try she’ll love you but you’ll just keep pushing her away
The writer thought it would work, he won’t give up now
Naive or hopeful, it’s hard to tell which
In the fifth draft of the story that was once interesting and bright
It all revolves around her
Love turned to obsession
The writer sees it in his head
He shoves the characters together
Super-glueing plastic hands together
But they always bounce back apart
He finally tears the sheet
Lined paper smudged with pencil falls to the floor
The history is there
But no one wants to put it together.
Adam Kelly is a 12 year old living in Northampton who loves the supportive and creative space Lynn creates in writing workshop.
by Lucy Brennan
She came to the palace in a dress made of flowing blue fabric, that shone in the sunlight like water. It clung to her, falling past her feet and trailing behind her, gathering dust as she walked down the cobblestone road. From a distance, the guards at the palace gates saw only a slim girl in a very nice dress, and wondered why someone wearing something that looked so expensive was walking unaccompanied. As she got closer, the men froze in fear, some screamed in terror. They drew their swords and brandished them at her with shaking hands. The captain of the guards was the first to speak.
“Leave this place beast!” he yelled. His training served him well, his voice did not betray his fear. The beast’s lips curled in what might have been a smile. She raised her hands in what looked like surrender, but as she did so the guards dropped like flies. Only the commander who had spoken was left standing, shaking in terror and surrounded by his fallen comrades.
“I’d like to request an audience with the prince.” she said, her smile widening into a truly horrific grin that spread across most of her face and revealed rows of sharp teeth. The terrified commander looked down at the fallen men and realized they were not dead but sleeping. Still he chose his words carefully.
“I don’t have the authority to give you what you want. I ask only for mercy for me and my men, and I warn you that the royal family would sooner kill you then let you near their first born.”
She laughed at his words.
“Kill me? And how do you think they’d manage that?”
Deciding this monster girl was too much for him to handle, the captain retreated slowly, eyes trained on her face, and she watched in amusement as he rang the alarm bell.
Soldiers streamed through the gates, and were quickly put to sleep with a flick of the girl’s hands. She turned again to the commander.
“The gates are open, take me to the prince, bind my wrists if they’ll let you in faster.”
He did as she asked, tying her up carefully, and escorting her though the gates.
It did not take long for him to convince the soldiers left in the palace that her demands were to be met, it had been years since the people of the kingdom has seen magic like hers and they had been taught to fear it above all else. Her wrists were freed, she was given a comfortable chair to sit in the grand hall, and was supplied with tea and jelly tarts. They assured her that she would get her meeting with the prince if she exercised just a bit of patience.
An important general, renowned for his bravery was sent into the throne room to negotiate, and found her sitting cross legged, licking jelly from, her fingers. He realized that her face, despite being so hideous it was hard to decipher any sort of indication of age, had a certain softness that resembled that of a teenage girl. He cleared his throat.
“Pleasure to meet you, may I inquire as to your reasoning for wanting to see our prince?” She laughed at his manners, she has been showed nothing but fear since her arrival.
“I want to marry him!” Of all the possible answers she could have given him, the general was prepared for this the least.
“You want -- you want to marry him?”
“It is my fondest wish.”
“Is what you seek the rule of our kingdom?” She looked confused.
“Oh I guess I would be queen, that would be fun I suppose, but no. I just want to marry him. I snuck into this little village once in my cloak that covers my face because I heard they were having a parade. I just wanted to hear the music, but then I saw him, he was riding on a float and smiling down on his subjects like long lost friends. I knew right then that he was made to be mine.”
The general reported what he had been told to the king and queen and the council they had gathered. They’re was much debate on what to do, was she telling the truth? What if her real intentions were to kill the prince? And if she was being truthful, what would she do when her proposal was inevitably rejected? The prince could not marry a monster. Eventually it was decided that no matter her intentions, it seemed that she could probably kill them all if she desired, and hopefully if they met her demands their compliance would be rewarded.
The 15 year old prince was summoned and the situation was explained. He seemed willing, almost excited to see her. He had never met a monster before. His mother insisted on coming with him. She clutched his hand and he felt her trembling. They walked together into the grand hall and the monsters face split into a grin at the sight of him. He was just how she remembered, tall and scrawny, with brown hair sticking up in all directions, and the kindest brown eyes she had ever seen.
He took her in all at once. Her skin was porcelain white and clung to her sunken, almost skeletal frame. She had six beady black eyes, like an insect’s. Fangs protruded from both her bottom and top lip, her white hair was styled into a braided crown and the hem of her dress had become tattered and torn.
The queen gasped in horror, and clutched her son’s hand tighter.
“Mother,” He said looking up at her with bright eyes, “isn’t she just the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen?”
Lucy Brennan in 15 years old. She lives in Hadley and goes to Northampton High School. Her favorite thing about Woven Word Young Writers is the community it creates.
By Maddie Clarkewright
I wonder if we could live a life together in black and white,
a life locked in the 3-walled rooms of a sitcom from the 1950s,
or maybe, together, we’d be more like the Twilight Zone.
For the time being you’re on the other side of town,
but I wonder how small we could be
if we held each other close,
how lost we could feel if we only had one another.
I think the answer is in the fog
beneath the hills in between us.
If you tell me the darkest minute in the night,
I’ll meet you then.
By Maddie Clarkewright
I looked down across the table
and you were holding a pen,
drawing a small black cross on your knuckle.
I looked up at your face and you were a new statue
silent and still, paint and glaze
still looking down, supernaturally focused.
I become a new kind of stupid when I try to think of a good way to describe your eyes and just how dark they are.
Like ink, or the night sky,
or charcoal pencil,
the lowest black key on a piano.
When the rest of you is glowing like you’re about to dissolve into the sunlight,
Your eyes are steady and unyielding and so metaphysically dark.
Your hair is just like how it’s described in every overly dramatic romance novel.
A cascade of waves down your back,
Ripples of shining locks falling loosely around your body.
But it’s just so dark.
like charcoal and ink and the very center of the universe,
all mixed together with a soup spoon
or a ladle.
I’ve never been much of a believer, but I imagine if you placed your foot onto water,
you could step on it
and maybe begin to walk
And having looked into your eyes a few times,
I’m sure that you could still the storm with a moment’s glance.
Maddie Clarkewright is 16 years old, lives in Amherst, and is a junior at ARHS. She loves Woven Word because it gives every writer the freedom and inspiration to try new things and explore their creativity.
By Eliyah Villalobos-Sharone
Jax: Day two
Jax was willing to kill to get the stardust. His village needed it so much, too much for Jax to care about the other competitors. His family. Luke. Everyone that he cared about would die if he didn’t get that stardust. They were all depending on him. Screw Nina Collins and Loren Davis. They only needed to save one person. Jax needed to save two-hundred-thirteen.
Jax chose the third path only because only Arana Lancing was going on it with him. Jax quickly and confidently jogged ahead. He didn’t need an ally. He was ripped. He had knives that he could fight with or make tools with. He didn’t care what anyone thought of him here. Most desperately, Jax didn’t want to get attached to anyone. If he started to--it would be all over. Jax spent an hour jogging on his own until the trail became so ivy infested that there was no clear way to go. He pulled out his map and compass. It didn’t help Jax as much as he would have liked but he could tell the general direction of where he was supposed to go. He doubted he’d run into anybody. There were only the six of them in the forest. The strongest Magis had cast a spell that strictly let six in every six months to prevent people from stealing the stardust.
It was harder to move forward with the bramble thickening around him, but Jax managed to do so hardly breaking a sweat. It scratched his skin but he didn’t stop. As far as he knew, it was bramble all the way across. As he trudged, Jax let his mind wander. He remembered his siblings, sick, in bed. It was overwhelming. He had left his family when they needed him most, when they were sick from the plague. But he needed to make it here, if any of them were going to survive. His friends, everyone he cared about were there, in the wrath of the plague.
Jax moved faster through the bramble. He couldn’t block out the image of Sorrel, weakly calling out his name. Nobody would be there to comfort her. And Harvard, his playful 12 year old brother that would stop at nothing to tease Jax but then when he found Jax sick, he would do all of Jax’s chores and prepare softer meals for him. Jax cared for Sorrel and Harvard the most out of all of his siblings.
Jax remembered when he had introduced his friend, (though they had barely known each other at the time) Luke to his family, the Wagners. Luke. The reminder of him made Jax crash through the bramble even faster. Luke had been surprised by how large the house was as his parents were both working class.
“We needed a house that big to fit everyone.” Jax had reminded him. Luke had grinned and helped himself to a butterscotch candy that Flora had set out for guests in the mudroom. He popped it into his mouth.
“Tastes great. You should really eat them.” Luke signaled to the butterscotches. “Oh, and I’ll finally meet the, I’ve already heard about a million times, Harvard?” Luke asked grinning. Luke definitely heard a lot from Jax about Harvard.
“Yeah, and my parents, Flora and Jike. Brace yourself. The baby cries a lot.” Candy did cry much more than most babies. If Candy wasn’t mostly Flora and Jike’s responsibility he didn’t know what he would do. But since both of them had full time jobs each of his siblings did share in the responsibility for her.
Jax twisted the key to enter the house. “Oh my god! You’re finally here!” Sorrel came bursting through her room. “Hi Luke!” Predictably excitement gushed through Sorrel’s voice. “It’s nice to see you’ve recovered,” she smiled sweetly.
Just then Candy burst into tears. “I’m sorry, I have to go help Candy.” Sorrel hurried back up to Candy’s cradle. Jax and Luke listened to Sorrel’s “Shhh, it’s okay” for a while before Luke asked to meet Harvard.
“It gets pretty chaotic here. Come on, let’s go to the haunted room,” Jax said, gesturing towards
Harvard’s room. Luke laughed. Jax paused a moment and noticed he might actually have a
friend. It felt good.
Eliyah Villalobos-Sharone is thirteen and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. She loves Woven Word, where she can write and let her mind wander in a community environment. Eliyah loves writing and hearing other's peoples writing.