In the land of Charmingville there lived a seventh grader. She was carefree and whiled away the days riding up and down the street on her bike. A purple and black blur of speed, her father had bought it for her Christmas of sixth grade. That morning she had come into the living room and her eyes filled with glee at the sight of the bike. She had begged for two years for a mountain bike. Finally, she had gotten her wish. Now, she spent her afternoons riding around the neighborhood with her two best friends. She would quickly finish her homework and get on that bike as fast as she could. It was her ultimate freedom. Her chance to really be a kid, she was after all only twelve years old.

Bianca’s copper hair fell past her shoulders. She did not live in the land of Charmingville. Bianca lived in our world. My world. I don’t think she ever owned a bike in her life. But, she had a pair of Jordans (Nike hightops), that were her pride and joy. When she wore those shoes she was not just another student in a uniform, she was somebody. Bianca’s father wasn’t home. He hadn’t been home since she was in the second grade. Her stepfather took off two years ago. She lived with her mother, if you could call it that.

When Bianca left for school her mother was lying on the couch. When she came home from school her mother was lying on the couch. The only difference was the beer cans that littered the floor and table were fresh. The stale cans were crumpled and cleared into a corner. Her older sister took up one room of the house with her infant son. Her older sister was seventeen. Bianca had been looking out for herself since fourth grade, no body else was going to do it for her. But, she wasn’t sure what she was looking out for. Then seventh grade happened. Her life turned a corner she never would have imagined. But, then again, she didn’t spend a lot of time imagining things. She lived to survive.


Word Demons

I am followed. Words follow me around they are in the shadows of my mind. They play at my thoughts and taunt my dreams. All day lexicon begs me to write. My imagination drips with endless characters. They waltz into my lessons marching like ghosts between my students. They look back at me their silent faces and pleading eyes watch me while their bodies are covered in word vomit. Places they wish to be from, settings I will one day write.

I feel some thing wet splash across my face, and I look down at my toes. I see the words rain, and storm rolling across the carpet like tiny army ants. i stare back at my students, can they see the words too? The words they are haunting me. On my way home darkness cowers around me. Black, vile, ominous— is this another story trying to fight its way onto the pages of my notebook? Everywhere I look, the images are replaced with words.

I can no longer see a leaf. The leaf is covered with the words: floating, crisp, Autumn, golden, dying. The word demons follow me. They Invade my every breath. Until I only breathe in words and everything else has left me, and now I write.