S: Creative Writing
BC: The End
FC: C reative L oving A spiring I nspirational R idiculous E nergetic | Natural Light, Naturally Written
1: TABLE OF CONTENTS Short Story...Page 2 For All the Marbles Play...Page 8 New Heights Haiku...Page 18 Sneakers Love The Dunmore Candy Kitchen Rhyme Royal...Page 19 Dancing in the Rain English Sonnet...Page 20 Trip to the Beach Italian Sonnet...Page 21 Life Rondeau...Page 22 Come Walk With Me Pantoum...Page 23 Roadtrip Villanelle...Page 24 Tiger Limerick...Page 25 Special K | Ode...Page 26 Ode to My Spikes Free Verse...Page 27 Dad Typography...Page 28 Blueberries Concrete Poem...Page 29 Monarch Cross Out...Page 30 How Can They
2: For All the Marbles Glistening in the sunlight, they shone like diamonds. He held one between a stubby pointer finger and thumb, twisting his wrist back and forth to admire the swirls of bright color. He smiled. The marbles were his everything. Everything he ever had and everything he had ever known. At eight years old, even the bag containing them seemed a treasure. The purple velvet sack was so majestic and regal-looking, and the satin ribbon of a drawstring was golden like the sun. It was about the size of a grapefruit, a fruit he never had the chance to taste. He did not regard himself as deprived. Instead, he focused on this one bag full of marbles. They were, after all, his everything. The rain came down slowly at first, the clouds chasing the sun and frightening it away. As the sky opened up, the droplets pitter pattered against the window pane of the abandoned house. Living in Yuma, Arizona, the sound was almost foreign to Scooter’s young ears. He faintly remembered the last time it rained. It may have been two years ago when the skies erupted with a thunderstorm. The shock of weather upset him for a minute, but then he smiled at the prospect of being confined to the house. He longed to explore in the attic once more, and this was the opportunity he needed. He scooped up the marble bag and bounded up the stairs. The rain continued as he creaked open the door. The handle turned slowly and the latch clicked. The attic door was only opened on rare occasions and opportunity for exploration was few and far between. After all, it was not even his own house, but merely one he was borrowing for a while. He did not like the risk of being caught indoors, though he made the exception on rainy days, and today was most definitely rainy.
3: The squeak of the ancient hardwood had a soft give to it. Scooter had spent countless hours planning his next expedition, running the path over and over in his head till it was engrained on the inside of his eight year old brain. He stopped. Took a breath. Approached the first step. The old coats hung from the bar in the ceiling beams. The plastic 64 gallon buckets labeled CHRISTMAS and ST. PATTY’S were stacked as tall as the eye could see. The containers of shoes and outgrown children’s clothes had faded labels on them as well. In the corner of the vaulted ceiling, the dresser was dusty, showcasing its years of lacking makeup artistry and gussying up. Everything looked the same as the one other time he ventured upstairs. His nervous heart pounded in rhythm with the rain. He started in the front, working his way back. He sifted through the years of collected junk and knick knacks, pushing aside dolls and lampshades to make way for his prying little fingers. The ancient trophies and the coffee table globe did not interest him at all. They were not the marbles he so desperately wanted to clutch. The first time he found a marble was the day his mother disappeared. She kissed Scooter goodbye just like every morning, briefcase in hand and coffee at the ready. The lipstick lingered on his cheek for a minute, just enough time to leave the impression of her love before he wiped it off with the sleeve of his pajamas. Scooter never saw her again. Like evaporating rain in Arizona, she vanished. No phone call, no letter, no way to track where she had gone to. Instead of finding her shining green eyes for guidance and love, he found the glass marbles everywhere he turned. The first one turned up that very night in the corner of the windowsill. He sat there, waiting for her to come home at 5:24. Scooter, at that time, was not your typical four year
4: old. Most could not be left alone, but without a father or a second paycheck, a babysitter was not an option. He knew how to use the phone and knew how to pour milk into cocoa puffs. What more did he need? He knew that night was different. First, his mother did not show up. Next, the marble did. The tardiness frightened him slightly, but the amusement of the marble subdued his anxiety a bit. He never felt something so smooth and so precious before. Even his teddy bear was nothing like this, and Teddy was one of a kind. His mother was a strong woman, caring and dedicated to her son. Then why did she not return? She made him dinner and longed his childhood would turn out better than hers. He did not have the network of cousins or aunts and uncles that would have nicely helped out at a time like that, but he did have the intuitiveness of a soldier, a resourceful and adventurous sprite of a young boy. It did not stop when he lost his mother. It only got stronger. So, Scooter’s life consisted of waiting for his mother and finding those marbles, battling the cruel world each and everyday. After an entire afternoon of searching for a marble, he found one wedged between the crevice of an old yearbook and an atlas of Arizona. He stuffed it into his pocket and bounded down the stairs. It had just stopped raining, and he knew it was not safe inside. The family of three would return home any minute, and he did not wish to be caught in his secret act. He scurried out through the basement window and rolled out onto the yard. He was off to see Janie, his only playmate in the world. Janie had crystal blue eyes, dimpled cheeks, and ringlets of blonde hair like the sun. Her 5 year old smile was an adorable picket fence with about 6 dollars worth of tooth-fairy investments. She skipped off to Gatsburry Park to jump rope and swing, her pink checked dress blowing in the
5: wind. She just learned to whistle and loved to show off her new skill; that and hopping on one foot made her feel like the Queen of Gatsburry Park. He waited for her behind the third swing, sitting on a deflated soccer ball scooped up from the litter of Saturday afternoon rec games. Soccer looked fun to him, but playing on an actual team in a real uniform never even crossed his mind as an option. He didn’t mind. Janie came right on schedule. She absolutely always had PB&J at 2:30 and watched half an hour of cartoons before she came to the playground. She sat on the third swing and waved to him. “Wanna push me?” she asked. Scooter nodded. That was the absolute extent of their conversations each and every day. She smiled through all three of her words, and he would nod and push. He loved the way the sunlight shone through her bouncing hair, the soft cotton dress upon her back, and the rocking sound of the swing. Her company was just enough to give them an afternoon of serenity together. After half an hour of swinging, Janie hopped off the swing, thanked him, and skipped off to her yellow abode on Pondor Street. Her aura of wonderment was the daily dose of hope he needed. He lingered for a moment more, but knew he had his own schedule to keep. Scooter continued down in the opposite direction toward the bakery and sat on the curb by the broken meter. Then he waited for the bakery truck. Len was a fantastic truck driver; had just enough hard rolls to spare him one. The highly anticipated lunch was a blessing and a necessity to him. As much as the marbles were his everything, they were not at all edible. Len’s mustached smile gleamed through the bakery truck window. “Afternoon, stranger,” Len hollered out to him. “Hungry?”
6: Hungry wasn’t the word. He was absolutely famished. In addition to the daily hard roll, Mr. Simolini from the butcher shop gave him a piece of ham at the end of the night for sweeping the sidewalk outside. Scooter also carried grocery bags for old ladies at Alan’s Shop ‘n Save grocery store, hoping to scrap out a dollar or two in tips. So, to the outside world of Yuma, he put up a faade of knowing just how to get by. He was a just boy, motherless, hungry, and even a tad sad. But Scooter refused to go to soup kitchens, refused to admit he was orphaned, refused to believe he needed the help. He had to get the marbles now. The idea of having a purpose and a driven goal was the only way to keep his sanity. First he strolled down the road, kicking the rocks that littered the side of the street. He watched as the pebble skirted across the asphalt, tumbling down the pavement. It danced on the storm drain, hovered for a minute, then plunked into the runoff below. He jumped up on the sidewalk and walked down the balance beam of a curb. His eyes scanned the drying grass for a flash of light, a spec of glass. At last, he found one just under the maple tree tucked tight in the crevice of a gnarled root. He found the marble but his job was not over- it had just begun. If this marble were like the rest of them, there would be words engraved inside, giving him a duty and task to complete. Scooter held his breath then held it up to the light. It read: “Give love.” This was shorter than most he had found. Last week’s marble said “Find an animal that needs a friend.” He reminisced about one two months ago, saying “In the darkness, save a soul.” But now, why “give love?” It confused the eight year old very much and he wasn’t sure where to begin. It frightened him, because he had only till the sun set to complete his marble obligation. The purple marble sack had rules embroidered in gold, saying:
7: “The glass shines in the day Through a round marble sphere. The task for you is written, It is perfectly clear. Look through the marble, Hold it up to the light. You must do as it says Before the end of the night.” Scooter never let a task go incomplete. Ever. Now as far as giving love, what would he be able to do? The only people he had contact with were Janie, Len, Mr. Simolini, and the old ladies. Did he love them? How would he show it? He missed his mother. Scooter knew that love could be shown through chocolates and candies, expensive jewelry and clothing. But his little budget consisting of grocery tips and the occasional spare change not allow for such frivolities. He also knew that finding marbles became more than a past time; it was a task he needed to complete. After pondering for a moment, he thought of flowers! His mother always took him to the edge of the field down in the outskirts of Yuma during the summer. Together, they would pick a few different colored plants, arranging a bouquet with Mexican poppies, desert mallows, and penstemons. It didn’t seem too outrageous; in fact, he could easily gather and deliver the flowers by sunset. He just hoped it would count as fulfilling this marbled command.
8: It did, at times, seem like he went through so much trouble finding and satisfying the marbles. But if he managed to do as the marble said, a shooting star would wish him goodnight. Each time, without fail, a star would race across the wide expanse of nighttime sky. Scooter took it as more than a coincidence, but a seal for a job well done. Those very marbles were a reminder to keep looking for the light and searching for the truth. He promised himself that once he grew older, he would make it his mission to follow the marbles across the country until he found his mother. Each one made him feel closer and closer to her, knowing the end could only have her at his side once more.
9: New Heights | A Play about Life.
10: Character List ELEVATOR MAN- small, Chinese man, works the elevator in an apartment building. COREY- a 17 year old boy MADDIE- a 16 year old girl BENJAMIN- a 6 year old boy SHINY SHOES- a man
11: New Heights Alarm rings. Two tiny feet swing off the bed and slip into two tiny shoes on the floor. A black plastic milk crate skids across the tile floor and is scooped up by two little hands. These hands button five brass buttons on a red velvet jacket. The elevator signal dings. BENJAMIN (very rapidly) - “Mornin! I have a spelling test today and I didn’t study and mommy says if I don’t get a good grade I’m gonna get a spankin’ and if I do get a good grade mommy says I can go to daddy’s house for the weekend but I didn’t study so I’m in trouble and I don’t know anything. I hate school. I hate it. Hate it. Can I push the button?” ELEVATOR MAN nods. BENJAMIN (rapidly) - “I think I wanna play soccer but mommy says I can’t play on account of her job and the frown-payment on the rent or somethin’ but I think I’m gonna try and ask her again tomorrow or maybe tonight or maybe I’ll make my own team. Do you like soccer? Wanna play with me?” ELEVATOR MAN takes the black milk crate to the back wall of the elevator. He steps on the crate, surveys the hundreds of white slips of paper, and picks off one fortune taped to the wall. He gives it to BENJAMIN. The elevator dings and the doors open to reveal the lobby of the apartment building. BENJAMIN (accepting paper) – “ ‘Keep your head up, you never know when they will call you in.’ Thanks mister! You’re still crazy, you know!” The doors close. The elevator goes up to the 5th floor and in steps MADDIE, a teenage girl. MADDIE – “Hello there. Ugggh, I have to get new mascara. Sarah said she would come to CVS after school with me today, but I don’t get my paycheck till next week. Oh well. It’ll just have to wait, won’t it?
12: ELEVATOR MAN stops and takes a good look at MADDIE. She is very tall, with strikingly gorgeous features. He says nothing. MADDIE – “Well, no matter. Oh my gosh, if only Corey would just look at me. I’m sure it’s because I’m so awkward in class. He must think I’m a total loser. Who am I kidding, I don’t even have a chance with him. I’ll be riding solo to prom this year, I just know it. I’m so embarrassed. He saw me yesterday in my pajamas in the lobby. I had my retainer in and everything! Why can’t he just live in the West Hall Apartments? Then I could visit when I look presentable. Uggh!” Again, ELEVATOR MAN drags the milk crate to the wall, this time to the top right corner and pulls one down. He folds the sheet and gives it to MADDIE. The elevator door dings and she steps out, carrying her bag for school. MADDIE – “ ‘Beauty does not come and go on a daily basis- beauty is within.’ Even this can’t save me now, I just know it. I’m doomed! But thanks.” The elevator doors close and ELEVATOR MAN sits on his milk crate. He thinks quietly to himself, pondering his morning encounters. Ding. Up to 12th floor. COREY (speaking with a mouth full of poptarts) - “I’m screwed! I’m so late and Mrs. Gibson’s gonna freak!” He has one sneaker on, half an arm in his hoodie, and that “messy hair look” all on his own. He does not seem phased by his disheveled appearance. ELEVATOR MAN gives a look, questioning his tardiness. COREY understands. COREY - “I was thinking about her again. I was daydreaming and next thing I knew, it was 7:00 already. I seriously can’t stop thinking of her. Her hair. Her smile. Her quirky little laugh. She’d never go for me. Even you know that.” .
13: ELEVATOR MAN looks down. He does not comment back, though he knows she is crazy for him too. He has been up to date on COREY’s love life for quite some time now. COREY – “I wish I had the courage to ask for her number, see if she wants to go get a coffee or something. I found 5 bucks in my jeans on the way down here. After that, though, I’m broke. I need a job. Man. You’re lucky you have one.” ELEVATOR MAN nods. Once more, he picks out a fortune from the wall. COREY accepts. Elevator dings and the lobby is exposed. He picks up his mesh drawstring bag and slings it over his shoulder. COREY – “ ‘Rush not, but wait never.’ I could never do it. Later, man.” He rushes out the door to head for school. ELEVATOR MAN pushes the close door button and sits on his milk crate. He waits. ACT I SCENE II The day is steady as usual. Mr. and Mrs. Pronton come right on time to head out to their daily brunch. Reily leaves to take the twins on a walk around the block. Tyson hopped in only to remember he left his keys in his car. The elevator has been steady. Later that day... COREY - “School was ridiculous today. 3 detentions before 5th period. Give me a break!” ELEVATOR MAN looks up at COREY, shocked. COREY - “I know! First I’m late, next I’m “disruptive,” then I forgot my Spanish notebook. Honestly, I don’t think they want me to pass sophomore year.”
14: As the door is about to close, BENJAMIN flies in. BENJAMIN (rapidly, to COREY) - “Good thing I didn’t miss the ride! I really gotta go the bathroom. Hi! I’m Benjamin!” COREY - “Whatsup little buddy? You look fast enough for soccer or something.” ELEVATOR MAN knows money is tight for BENJAMIN. He looks down. BENJAMIN (rapidly) - “Well, I’m fast enough. I just don’t have a team yet that is good enough for me, that’s all. Mommy says someday I’ll play but I just gotta keep askin’ her cause she sometimes forgets but she said I’m having mac and cheese tonight. Yes! I love her so much. Do you love her? Who do you love?” COREY - “Haha look little guy, I don’t know your mom but I’m sure she’s great. Listen, I have a special girl in mind and she lives in this very apartment. Crazy, huh?” BENJAMIN - “Ewww! Gross! Cooties! I gotta get out of here!” ELEVATOR MAN gives him a fortune and smiles. BENJAMIN - “ ‘Love can never lose.’ This is too mushy for me. I’m only six!” The elevator doors ring. BENJAMIN leaves and runs down his hallway. COREY - “Man, I wish I had the money for him. I know he wants to play so bad. Real bad, man. I really loved soccer. And mac and cheese. I’m starvin’. I wish Maddie and I were going out to eat together. That would be the perfect world. Food and a chick!” ELEVATOR MAN gives him a look, then an encouraging smile. He gives him an extremely old fortune.
15: COREY - “ ‘Chess can only be won by making the right moves.’ Whoah, I guess I’m never winning chess then. I can’t do it. I just can’t. Thanks, dude.” As soon as COREY gets out to his floor, ELEVATOR MAN takes out a few pieces of origami paper from his black milk crate. He begins folding feverishly though very precisely. When MADDIE walks into the elevator, he hands her a swan made of the paper. MADDIE - “What’s this? I love it! I wish I knew how to do that stuff. It looks so complicated with all the folds and creases. Ooh! There’s a note inside. ‘Dear Maddie, I was wondering if you wanted to grab a bite to eat tonight. Nothing too fancy, just some food at the Treat ‘n Sweet. If you are interested, meet me in the lobby at 7. Take it easy, Corey.’ OH MY GOSH. OH MY GOSH! I was just asked on a date!” ELEVATOR MAN gives her a huge smile and a fortune as always. MADDIE - “ ‘Love is more powerful than man.’ Or a really hot man just might ask you out on a real life date! AAAH! Thank you, I gotta go!” ELEVATOR MAN does the same set up to COREY, who thinks it is from MADDIE. That night, both COREY and MADDIE hop in the elevator. COREY (nervous) - “Hey there. You look great. “ MADDIE (just as nervous) - “Thanks, you too! I love Treat ‘n Sweet. Their sundaes are out of this world.” COREY - “Definitely. I’m really excited for tonight.” MADDIE (smiling) - “Me too.” ELEVATOR MAN smiles too, surveying his handiwork. He hands them both a fortune to share as the doors open.
16: COREY AND MADDIE - “ ‘The more you know, the more you want to know.’ Thanks!” ELEVATOR MAN pushes the doors open button to let them out. Then, as the doors are almost closed, a foot steps in to stop it. It is a shoe ELEVATOR MAN does not recognize. The man attached to the shoe is sweating profusely. SHINY SHOES - “You are gonna listen to me, got it? No funny business and if you think you are smart enough to outsmart me, you are not smart at all. Kapeesh? ELEVATOR MAN is petrified. He does not like strangers or conflicts, both which exist in his elevator at the moment. SHINY SHOES (shakily) - “Keep your mouth shut. If you want to live to see tomorrow and your precious little fortunes, then you won’t tell a soul I was here. If you spill one bit about my presence in this elevator, I will personally come and shove you into a Chinese food to-go box.” ELEVATOR MAN shakes his head yes in agreement. SHINY SHOES - “Good. Now I need you to watch this briefcase while I go and grab my boss’s jacket in his room. This elevator stays on this floor, understand?” ELEVATOR MAN shakes his head in agreement once more. SHINY SHOES (as he rushes out the doors) - “I’ll be 3 minutes tops. And remember what I said. It stays on this floor only!” ELEVATOR MAN feels sick. He knows this man is up to no good. He choses to defy his orders and head down toward the lobby. Once in the lobby, BENJAMIN greets him with a smile. ELEVATOR MAN’s ghostly white face exemplifies his fears for the man upstairs. BENJAMIN - “What’s wrong with you? You look sick. Eww."
17: ELEVATOR MAN opens the briefcase on the marble floor of the lobby. BENJAMIN - “Look at all that money! I can’t even believe it! There’s at least a million dollars right here! Where did you get this, Mister?” ELEVATOR MAN keeps a straight face, but is struck with an idea. ELEVATOR MAN - “This money is for you. It was given to me by someone who no longer needs it and should not have had it in the first place. I want you to go and play soccer for the rest of your life.” BENJAMIN - “But what about you? Don’t you want this money?” ELEVATOR MAN - “I have my own fortune that I think works well in this situation: ‘The memories you make and the friendships you build will never stop benefitting all your days.’ That’s what friends are for, right? I must leave now. Goodnight Benjamin.
18: Sneakers Ready, set, and go Lightning speed around the track Smiling, heart beats fast. Love Always on my mind Laughter and smiles galore Hand in hand we walk The Dunmore Candy Kitchen Bell twinkles softly Peanut butter cups? Of course. The taste of childhood.
19: Dancing in the Rain Dancing in the pouring rain, We laughed, sang, and cried out As murky water rushed like a train. It continued to fall, never a drought. It would rain forever, we had no doubt. The squish of grass and squash of dirt Soaked through and through, mud never hurt. Steph and I went sprinting Through her back and side yard. The sun made no hinting As the droplets fell hard. Two carefree girls who lost all regard For sitting pretty and clean, Who cares of mud is not so pristine?
20: English Sonnet Trip to the Beach As the water rolls along the shore, The seagulls peck pieces of trash. The sunshine shines forever more And waves continue to crash. The ever-present happiness Of this blissful beach adventure Fills the air with cheeriness And is worth the car ride venture.
21: Italian Sonnet Life How can this world be so mean? The babies are unborn yet have a heart. They are people, too, right from the start. How can the doctors wipe their hands clean? Under the table slips the green, Like paying for apples from a grocery cart. They act as though they are not a part Of the crazy mass murdering genocidal scene. Forgive my harsh words, but Something has to be said. The babies cannot speak out For their vocal chords are cut. Many, many tears now have been shed For the number of babies the world is without.
22: Rondeau Come Walk With Me Come walk with me and talk awhile, I love your laugh, I love your smile. We both are happy, carefree too, This summer’s meant for me and you. Never once wronged by cheat or guile, We stroll along for o’r a mile. Pretending this grass is the aisle, My racing heart just wants you to Come walk with me. We don’t consider it a trial, We know it’s perfect, like glass tile. The sun is high, golden in hue, Reminder of the strength of our love so true, One that will last as long as the Nile. Come walk with me.
23: Pantoum Roadtrip Andrea, Steph, Tim, Jill and I Cruising in the car, Having the time of our lives Singing song after song. Cruising in the car, Heading west for Pittsburgh, Singing song after song, Laughing mile after mile. Heading west for Pittsburgh, Coming out from under that bridge Laughing mile after mile, Taking pictures of it all. Coming out from under that bridge The city lights shining, Taking pictures of it all, Nothing could stop us.
24: Villanelle Tiger It silently crawls across the rocky street, An orange and white striped kitty cat. The nature of the beast is free. It scampers quickly on nimble feet, Jumping over this and jumping over that. It silently crawls across the rocky street. With a smile, I’d like to greet The orange magician, minus one hat, The nature of the beast is free. I wish to give it just one treat, It is probably hungry like a rat; It silently crawls across the rocky street The summer is merciless with the heat, In the cool shade, it lays down flat, The nature of the beast is free. So cross the road and then repeat The act of eating till nice and fat. The nature of the beast is free, It silently crawls across the rocky street.
25: Limerick Special K The cereal pours out the box, Excited, I dance in my socks, The flakes of the K They brighten my day, I eat a breakfast that totally rocks.
26: Ode to My Spikes Oh my favorite type of shoe, How I love your silver and blue. Around the track I can sprint Because you’re fresh like mint. Giving me a weightless sensation, Your light design is worth emulation. I can tie up your laces Then zip you up to win races. The nike swish on the side Leaves me burning with pride. You fit like a glove And for this, I show love. Keep up the great work, you. My devotion to your pair so true.
27: Dad Days went by. Oblivious to the magnitude, To the severity of it all. Days went by. Never once did I question, Did I doubt any cough. Days went by. You were too weak, Too weak to speak and slowly the world was Crashing downward. A blur, The focus forgotten And the picture Ruined. And it was just too much, Too much to handle All at once. For this wasn’t real- it couldn’t be. You always got released, Time after time, Treating the months of fear and uncertainty Into nothing more than a checkup And we’d eat the fruit baskets Delivered quickly, so quickly. Then why was this time different? The hospitals and their stupid linens And the women who Paraded with coffee and Vending machine treasures, All comfortable in those too-happy fabrics. But we were there for the white board And the remote controlled bed- The magic carpet ride that could only be stopped By the changing IV or an accidental red button fiasco. Stop coughing please. I don’t like it here. | Coming home? That has to be good. Right? That means no more two door elevator rides Or sleepless nights praying you would see another sleepless day. Days went by. The truth was real. Real like a game of yahtzee on a hot summer’s night. Hot like a cup of tea- I never could steep them. Your crystal blue eyes Saw everyone gather around as we recited From that book, its pages still glistening with tears. I loved the Brad Pitt haircut right down to Your bony, cold knees and swollen feet. I’d do anything to hug again. Anything.
30: How Can They