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  • Carolyn Cohagan

St. Andrew's Creative Writing Club Fall Semester 2014


Girls With Pens recently concluded a workshop at St. Andrew's Middle School. These girls were sharp, enthusiastic and full of beautiful writing. Please read their work below:

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Beware, Children

by

Anna Jackson

Huddle close to the fire.

Warm your fingers and toes.

Be a dear, Billy, and hold Suzie’s hand.

My tale is sure to give her a fright.

Beware, children, for I tell you now

of a cold and dark night, and a little red hooded girl . . . familiar?

I was clever, I was.

As I began to weave and warp

a tale to match this stormy night.

It gave me great pleasure

seeing Janie and Thomas and Dolly

shiver and jump when my words

were punctuated by a kathunk

or a midwinter’s wind

howling. HA!

I had boarded the windows . . .

So they weren’t unhinged by wind . . .

I bolted the doors . . .

So as not to let in something . . . wicked.

The children’s fear grew as did my deception.

Little did they know

the next morning the town villagers were in grief.

Something had torn apart the St. Evangeline’s home for children.

Their caretaker was nowhere to be seen, of course.

Claw marks in the woods.

Leftover pieces of Billy or Janie . . .

A wolf they say. Ha!

Beware, children, as I was there on that cold mid-winter’s night.

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Two Poems

by Ellie Long

––After Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

I am so cool when I flip my hair it causes hurricanes. When I breathe the wind blows

and when I jump the earth shakes. I am perfect.

I am so important that when I succeed at something volcanoes erupt in praise.

I am so beautiful the lakes came to be my everlasting mirrors for people to see.

I am as smooth as the sky and when I run it thunders.

When I cry it rains and when I am happy it is sunny.

I am as fast as a cheetah and as colorful as a tropical bird.

I am so heavenly I can walk on the ocean in a storm.

I am wondrous.

I am so sweet the earth gives fruits to try to replicate my sweetness.

I am so light the trees grew to shade me.

I am so clean, the grand canyon is my bath.

My hair is silkier than a spider’s silk.

My heart is the sun.

- - - -

––After Sandra Cisnero’s “My Name”

Elizabeth. I am called Ellie but I like both. Elizabeth looks like a lady during the Victorian times. It smells like a fresh spring day when flowers and bushes are sprinkled with buds. It tastes like a fruitcake when the jelly stuff on top flounces like a trampoline. It feels like warm air encircling you on a sunny day in California. I am like a bright flower filled with energy. When I cry it’s like the sunny spring days disintegrated like Nesquick in a glass of cold milk. When I laugh it’s like I am drinking the glass of Nesquick that I make with my tears when I cry.

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Two poems

by Grace Ozor

––After Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

The three wise men smiled down from heaven when I was born.

My mother told me I was so beautiful that one thousand models with the glossiest hair and whitest teeth with the brightest eyes and thinnest thighs trembled when they saw my face.

Sweetness is my middle name

but let us not cease to forget “funny, smart, and athletic, too.”

When my foot touches the ground,

people have found

that flowers rise up and birds make a sound.

When I cry it spreads round

for the people who abound

are awed by the shine of lashes.

Walk, walk, walk from Africa to Canada

and listen, listen, listen, listen, for the whispers

about how I skinny dipped in Australia

and sunbathed in Fiji

had tea in England

and slept in Ireland.

The President has me on speed dial.

His wife sends me daggers.

She’s in denial

but she knows that he knows

that I’m fitter and funnier and oh so much kinder

until you cross me like a black cat

on Halloween night

and you will feel the fright

as I soar like a pelican and come crashing down on the water that is your life.

Grace Ozor

––After Sandra Cisnero’s “My Name”

My name is short, five letters of my worst fear, mediocrity. Grace. It smells like the days between summer and fall, warm laziness mixing with woody blankets and pumpkin everything. It tastes like baked chicken, feels like your backpack, sensible and everyday. Grace looks like a declaration, simple and straight forward. I am like a piece of meat battered in cinnamon and fried up real deep. When I cry it’s like a still life of crimson flowers being dunked in water, red and blotchy and a blurry picture of what once was. When I laugh it’s like a bell went down the wrong pipe. I’m ringing and gasping.

Grace Ozor

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Ego Tripping

and

The Reaper

by Sarah Payet

––After Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”

I own the sun, the moon and all the stars.

When I was born, I cried and created the seas.

When I scream, the earth shakes.

Trees wither and die with my pain.

One of my eyelashes is worth more than your first-born.

I stomped my foot in anger and created Niagara Falls.

My laugh can bring world peace.

My eyes are carved from precious stones and my skin from the finest marble.

Mountains will move at my every whim.

I sit on a throne above Isis and Ra.

At the mention of my name, the lion trembles in fear.

The universe is my oyster.

As I blew out my birthday candles, I triggered Hurricane Katrina.

I crumpled the eighth continent long ago,

because it displeased me.

I am a fire soul.

- - - -

The Reaper

It is as I will tell it. I remember that fateful day when––wait, no. I forget. Your presence was and is as insignificant as a single leaf on a huge tree. You knocked on my door one day, and I didn’t care. But I still opened it, and there you were. You. With your sad brown eyes and weak little body. I said, “Come in!” and you did. It is a wonder that you did not quake in your little red shoes in fear of my hood and scythe, but, apparently, you are as foolhardy as you are tiny. And I said, “Come with me,” and you did. You let yourself be tied up, hanging by the wrists and ankles five feet off the ground. I remember just how fulfilling it was to dig my scythe into you, your muscles and flesh giving way like a curtain. Your soul was so dim, it was a wonder you weren’t already dead. You watched me rip your flesh without crying out, your soul’s glow growing ever dimmer. Now, you are unconscious, slowly dying or worse. I feel no pesky human emotions, but I cannot help but wonder, have you not heard their warnings? “Beware, children, beware,” they say. “Do not tempt the reaper.” And I wonder, in spite of myself, why? Why did you come to me? Why did you enjoy the pain? It almost seems like you wanted to die . . .

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Sir Bruce

and Villain

by Allison Rauch

Sir Bruce

It was a crisp, autumn night. Most of West London was safely tucked into their beds, dreaming of this and that. But not Sir Bruce Piggleton VII. Sir Bruce was roaming the alleyways, dressed impeccably in a porkpie hat, searching for 666 Midnight Avenue. Why, you ask? Well, dear reader, Sir Bruce had experienced a rather odd experience earlier that day. He had been on his way to his job as a constable when a large vulture that had been resting on an overhead gaslight had let out a sharp cry and soared towards him. Being a pig, Sir Bruce was frightened terribly and began to toddle away. But the vulture merely flew overhead, dropped a rolled-up slip of paper, and flown up to the gathering dark clouds. Sir Bruce found this rather odd, and was quite curious as to what the message said. So, he picked it up and read, “Dear Sir Bruce Piggleton VII, come to 666 Midnight Avenue at midnight. A special reward for your service as a constable awaits you there.” Now, dear, reader, you are perhaps worried at this point. You might be saying to yourself, “He isn’t actually going to go, is he?” But, you see, Sir Bruce was very curious as to what this award might be, so that is why he was wandering the alleys at such a ghastly hour.

Eventually, he came upon a narrow, filthy alleyway lined with debris. A smashed and dented sign at the edge of it read “Midnight Avenue” in fresh red paint that glistened in the moonlight. Sir Bruce Piggleton VII proceeded cautiously, occasionally stepping over shimmery gun capsules and cigarette butts. He soon arrived at a small door tucked into the brick wall. “666” was scratched crudely into the door paint. Upon entering, Sir Bruce found himself in a room strewn with plush carpets and tall, bead-encrusted floor lamps. A finely carved wooden nightstand stood in the center of the room, upon which rested a jar. Sir Bruce looked around the room for his host. However, there seemed to be nobody else there. He opened the door to leave when all of the gaslights, except for one aimed directly at the jar, clicked off. There was a slam. A voice, high and sweet, but with undertones of malevolence, descended upon the silence like a drop of ink in a glass of water. “Sincerest apologies, Sir Bruce Piggleton VII.” Sir Bruce was alarmed. “Who goes there?” The voice giggled. “Why, your hostess, of course. Are you ready to receive your reward?” Before Sir Bruce could open his mouth, there was a loud bang and a shower of red sparks flew into the darkness. Sir Bruce felt an odd tingling sensation. The floor lamp next to him became taller, and taller, and taller until he looked down and found that he was able to see the individual stitches in the carpet. He screamed, but it was to no avail for his voice was no louder than a lone jingle bell. A child’s hand scooped the tiny Sir Bruce up and placed him in the jar. Purple and green sparks pounded vigorously against the jar’s lid, sealing it tightly. His hostess opened a black chute that had not been on the wall before. “Goodbye” she called softly as she released the jar, leaving him to rot for eternity.

- - - -

Villain

My footstool disappeared yesterday.

Nasty little thing, how is a girl supposed to rule the world if she can’t take off her heels and prop her feet up?

Must have been the head slave. Ugh.

Note to self: maim and flay him after I figure out where that blasted footstool is.

Wait a second, someone is rapping at the window.

If it’s the head slave, he can get lost. I have kidnappings to be organizing.

The rapping won’t stop. I’m going to light whoever it is on fire with my cigarette.

But what if it’s the footstool?

I’m hobbling to the window now. I hate spike heels, but I have to look professional.

I can’t believe this. It’s a little boy! Ugh. I’m closing the drapes.

He called out “Excuse me?” How dare he. I’m ignoring him.

He’s stopped making noise. Maybe he’s gone?

He’s whistling now. I can’t stand whistling. Can’t the little beast see the BEWARE CHILDREN signs I have posted everywhere?

RRRGH!!!! Cannot plan kidnappings. Must get rid of that whistling!!!!

He’s disappeared. Probably ran back to poor old Mommy and Daddy.

I wonder if it’s better to capture the President or Congress.

The boy is in my office! He’s actually in my office. I’m getting out my lighter.

He’s stammering. I hate stammering, but I don’t blame him.

He’s holding something up. It better not be a worm or toy truck or something stupid like that.

Oh. It’s my footstool. What should I do?

Should I give him a reward? I guess so. But all I have are hand grenades…

It’s a shame I didn’t keep him for ransom. Children look adorable when they’re holding explosives.

#standrews #writingworkshop #blog #writingclub

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