"Portal" by Alicia Judd

I woke up early one winter morning, and one quick glance out the window confirmed my hopes.  The snow was much higher than I thought was possible, except in Antarctica or something.  It was up to my third story bedroom window.  Happily, I pulled on a sweatshirt, grabbed my favorite book, and fell onto my beanbag chair.  I opened the book to the first well-loved page.  What I saw was a mass of swirling purple.  I touched it tentatively with my finger.  As soon as I did, I regretted it.  I was sucked through the book and was whirled around crazily.  "Why did I do that?" was my only thought.  Finally, my legs hit some cold, hard surface and I fell to the floor.  I heard some clattering from behind me.  Groggily, I lifted my head and wished I hadn't.  Standing above me was a stern man wearing rusty, dented armor.  He shouted something I couldn't understand and I crawled to my feet.  Instantly, he slammed manacles onto my wrists and pulled me toward a gilded door.  I suddenly noticed a strange purply tinge to the gold.  Charging forward, I hurtled through blackness.  I was back in bed.

"Time" by Alicia Judd

Where have the 1300s gone?
The days where we
farmed the fiefs.  The nobles with
their vibrant cloaks, embroidered by delicate
hands.  Where are the days when we
sat around the hearth, joking merrily?
What about the years when we were
sent to the crusades?  What happened to
chasing the chickens at twilight?  We
would stumble through streams, calling
vainly for the cow, who was really
asleep in the pasture.  Alas, gone are
those days.

"Vampire Hunter" by Marie O'Grady

Artist: Edvard Munch

Time travel is one of those things that never gets old, no pun intended.  My first time was when I when I was twelve years old.  Life was going to that far off world with flaming pits of fire.  Not a good thime for me.  Anyway, I happened to notice something weird from my bedroom mirror.  I was looking into it and instead of seeeing me as twelve, I saw me as twenty-five.  Scariest thing ever, I tell you.  I couldn't help but reach out to the other me; after all, she was pregnant and scared.  When I reached out, I went through the mirror and came to sit next to future me.  I didn't say anything, I just sat there.  That's when she looked up at me and started crying.  I reached out again, and this time hugged her.  As I hugged her, I noticed our surroundings.  We were in a damp cellar.  It was dark and creepy.
"Why are we here?" I asked in a whisper.
"They've taken over..." is all she would say.
"Who?  Who took over?"  I asked, freaking out.
"Don't you watch TV?  I know we did."  She looked damaged and scared at the most.
"I watch TV.  What of it?" I asked.
"Vampires...they're not myths," she whispered back.
"Why would they make shows of vampires, if they're real?" I asked, leaning on her shoulder.
"They made the shows, so we wouldn't be able to stop them."
"If they took over, then how are we, you and me, still alive?"
"I met one in high school," she said, twirling her wedding ring.  "He and I are mated, but he has to keep me locked up so that others can't kill our child."
"Why doesn't he stop them?"
"His father is the leader..."


"1920s" by Marie O'Grady

1920's, those were the days.
Corsets and hoopskirts oh joy.
Gunshots and punches,
Bandits and goons.

TV in black and white,
Horses and carriages,
Saloons and inns.

1920s: time for fashion,
time for goons,
time to let loose.

"Where have those days gone?" by Haley Ryan

Artist: Leon Battista Alberti

Remember 1200 B.C.?  We had freedom to
explore, a whole new world to discover.
Some of us lived in castles and some on quiet, peaceful
farms.  Where have those days gone?

We went on adventures in the summer.
In the winter, we sat by a warm fire.
I miss that time, that time of freedom.
Where have those days gone?

The whole world was open to us, waiting
to be discovered.  Where have those days

"How I found out my journal's a time machine" by Haley Ryan

My favorite attempt at time-travel was my first.  I was sitting in bed writing in my journal about how cool it would be to time-travel to a time when we can live on other planets.  All of a sudden I was in the 41st Century, sitting in an apartment.  I thought, "OK, so I must still be on earth, just somewhere else in time."  I couldn't have been more wrong.  I looked out my window and I saw fish swimming by -- at least, I thought they were fish, but they didn't look like any I had ever seen.  So I decided to explore.  I walked around until I found somebody and I asked them where I was and what year it was, just to be sure.  Their reply: "Planet 51, year 4011, of course."  Oh yeah, like that was totally obvious.  I then realized I was still holding my journal.  That gave me an amazing, wonderful, crazy idea.  My journal was a time-travel device.  Well, there was only to make sure.  I wrote the year 2011 in my journal and suddenly I was back in my room, sitting on my bed.  Oh, yeah!  Now I can do whatever I want.  Time better watch out, because here I come.

"That's it for today!" by Dane Kittock

The 1924 Everest Expedition Team
I jumped through the window in my brother's bedroom once again, off to a new adventure, who knows when, who knows where.  I had discovered this time/space travel device when I accidentally fell through his window in a NERF war.  Now, generally, you don't want to do this because the window is on the third floor.  We don't usually open it either, but we were hot from running around the house.  That time, I'd ended up in the day before.  Not so exciting.
The sensation of going through space and time is rather odd.  I guess you could describe it as having all the molecules in your body taken apart, rearranged, and then put back together again.  The light is so bright you have to close your eyes.
When I opened them, they stung as the freezing wind hit my face.  It seemed it wanted to rip my flesh right off of me.  Every part of my body was cold now, and I was having trouble breathing.
When my eyes stopped watering, I found that I was above everything, everywhere.  It must have been in the future, because there were flying saucers floating below me.
I was on Everest.
I suddenly felt woozy as my fear of heights kicked in, and I jumped back through the portal, which stays open until someone goes back through.
I awoke to find myself in my brother's bedroom.
That's enough for one day! I thought to myself.

"Roar" by Dane Kittock

Oh, prehistory
boy, I'm sure glad it missed me,
for if you step outside your door,
you may be thrown against the floor,
by a very vicious velociraptor,
who would make good food,
if you could catch her.
Limbs so strong and muscular,
where's Jessie?
Do I hear it munching her?
Oh my, I've been thrown against the floor,
and the last thing I heard
was Roar.

"The Boy" by Alicia Judd

Artist: Claude Monet

As I walked into town, I heard the loud exclamation of the baker, the only one who you could hear half-a-mile away.  He was saying, "Why don't we all give a warm welcome to this young feller here," while holding up in his massive hands an embarrassed-looking boy.  The moment the baker put him down, the boy grabbed his suitcase and stammered, "Um, I think I should go."  As he ran off, a piece of paper fell from his pocket.  Picking it up, I saw there was a weird little drawing of a 10-headed dragon on the backside.  Running after him, I asked if it was his, but he just blushed and said, "Don't interrupt me, I'm in the middle of an important journey."  And with that, he sprinted to the train station.

"The Arrival of the Goddess Aphrodite and Her Pets" by Marie O'Grady

Sculpture: "The Bartlett Head," artist unkown, circa 330-300 B.C.

Things have gone topsy turvy since they arrived.  "They" happening to be the beautiful Goddess Aphrodite and her faithful subjects.  I was walking around downtown Seattle when, out of nowhere, the sky parted and a staircase appeared.  I was dumbfounded.  What the?  How?  I looked around me and I was the only one seeing it!  When I looked at the stairs again, there were huge muscular men carrying a very beautiful blonde goddess-like woman.  Within seconds they put her down and I still couldn't speak.
"Oh dear, we've frightened the young girl," she said.
"Goddess, shall we introduce you?" one of the hunks asked.
"No, Fernando, I'll do it."

[second page missing...to be continued]

"Instant Enemies" by Laurel

The Enemies of Snakes, by Jan van Kessel

Ever since he arrived, nothing has gone right for me.  I know he looks innocent enough, but now I can't even cross the front lawn without stubbing my toe or stepping in a freak mud puddle.  I used to be the luckiest girl at school, now I'm the opposite.  "No-Luck-Hannah," they call me.  His family moved in on the day of my soccer tournament.  I saw him staring at my window and from that moment on, everything went wrong.  I lost my ball, then my cleats, then my water bottle, and all the time the clouds got thicker and thicker until it started to pour.  We lost, miserably, 0-15.  His name is Justin Howard, and he's my worst enemy.

"The Flabbergasses" by Katie Perry

Artist: Vincent van Gogh

In this small town, everyone is like one big family, so when someone leaves and another comes, it's a little horrific.  Everyone was heartbroken as Jan left this town in search of a new life and family.  Months had passed and suddenly there were two whole big moving trucks and different faces.  Everyone followed them to Jan's old house, which really made everyone mad because no one was really over her leaving yet.  Nobody likes the new people.  They never wave or say "hello."  They are all so pale and different and keep to themselves.  These new people are strange people, but in time we will learn what to expect from Mr. And Mrs. Flabbergas.

"Untitled" by Haley Ryan

From the HubbleSite Picture Gallery

When I wake up, I am momentarily confused.  I'm not in my bedroom and when I look out the window, all I saw were stars.  Then I remember the events of the night before.  How I had been attacked and my attackers had just dissolved, how Will had told me it was my powers that caused it and that he was part of the new republic come to take me back to my planet so I could save the universe.  "Why did I agree to this?" I ask the ceiling.  "I can't control my powers, let alone save the whole universe."  I realize it won't do me any good to wallow in self pity, so I get out of bed and look in my closet.  I am surprised by all of the fancy gowns I see.  There's not one t-shirt or pair of pants, just dresses.  I look around the room and see a panel on the wall with a lot of buttons.  One of them is labeled "wardrobe."  I think, "Wow, really?  A spaceship with a wardrobe button?  Oh well, anything's better than these dresses."  So I press the button and order a pair of pants, a shirt and some boots.  When they arrive, I put them on and they fit perfectly.  A voice announces that we will be arriving at the new republic in three hours...

"Dragon" by Laurel

I am the last dragon.  The last one of fire, the
last one of nobility.  This is the end...of a noble
race...one of fire, of power, of passion.

"The Last Mockingjay" by Haley Ryan

I am the last mockingjay
I am blue, white and black
I sparkle like the sun's ray

I am the last mockingjay
My feathers liquid gold
To be free in the sky
is my way

I am the last mockingjay
I sing with a perfect voice
Everyone does exactly
what I say

Because I am the last mockingjay.

"Last Uniasor" by Katie Perry

I am the last uniasor, which would
be a unicorn dinosaur mix, the
humans call me a hero as
I saved them from all the ITS
in the world with my super-fast
speed, laser eyes and x-ray vision
with super strength.  I am one
to live forever, for no one shall
harm me in any way, I am

"Don't eat me" by Alicia Todd

I am the last squirrel. My home is
an upside down elevation.  My fur is so
disgusting, I look like a drowned rat.  My teeth,
without anything to chew, now retreat past
my paws.  My eyes are wo wild I look
rabid.  My claws have gone unclipped and can now
knock any creature far into space.

"I am the last dragon" by Marie O'Grady

I am the last dragon.  It's been over a hundred
and fifty-seven years since I watched
the second to last dragon slaughtered.
I have survived only by hiding in this
ridiculously small cave in the dark with
only birds to keep me company.
I finally receive a visitor, but,
apparently, he was sent to kill me. I
easily stop him by using my telepathic
powers. I mentally calm him and he comes
to sit by my scaled legs, as I bury my head
between my feet.

"with some help from our hearts" by Ben Read

The Little Deer by Frida Kahlo

"I'm gonna jump off the rail, and I'm gonna, like, fly over
the city and I'm gonna be like, 'What's up, Bill Gates?'"
the boy in the flat-brimmed baseball cap
says as he walks by.  What does he mean?
I wonder what can be taken
from a statement
such as that, and what
can be taken from a single moment.
Take this one.  What can be taken
from the scratch / of pencil on paper?

And so as we wonder,
we also wander
down the path
our imagination (with some help from our heart)
sets for us.

"So Long (Forever)" by Ben Read

I am dying.  Simple as that.  Yep.  I know you're probably all screaming at me to run.  But no.  I, of all things, am thinking about the time Shilo told me about the supervolcano.  A bunch of false news stories, I thought then.  Oh, completely.  Can you sense my sarcasm?  Just wondering.  It's weird how imminent death makes you mental.  Or is it just me?  Am I just weird for thinking that the end of the world is something to FREAK OUT about?  I guess so.  But I don't care.  It's settled, decided.  I am going to die.  Yessiree.  I've already decided what my last words are going to be.  "SHILO!!!!!!!!!"  (Yes, all the exclamation points are necessary).  So long! (Forever).

"Algún Día" by Kiersten Moss

"You didn't come back," she said.
"I waited and you didn't come back."
The man nodded.
"I know."

~poem inspired by dialog~

Artist: Edward Hopper

"The End" by Kiersten Moss

Lovers Leap by Marcus Stone
The sun rose over the ashes of the city, filtering slowly through the haze.  Fires still smouldered.  My shoes stamped out flames and I tried desperately to save what little I could.  It was pointless, I knew.  This close to the center we were so lucky to be alive...even though we wouldn't be for long.  The two of us looked at each other, knowing.  We could do what we could for as long as we could, but in the end, it would be pointless.  He took my hands, I kissed him, and we both jumped.

Publishing and scholarship opportunity for teens

Hey TWINErs! Here's an amazing opportunity to submit your favorite original poem to a nationally-recognized competition: the Kenyon Review's Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers.

"The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers recognizes outstanding young poets and is open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world. The contest winner receives a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop. In addition, the winning poem will be published in The Kenyon Review. The runners up will also see their poems published."

You can submit your work via their website, at the link provided above (be sure, as always, to read and follow the submission guidelines carefully). Give it a go! It's definitely worth a shot.

"Untitled" by Reyna Flores

Snow Storm by J.M.W. Turner
As I looked up at the sky, it turned black and angry.
The wind howled like a mean dog.  As a matter of fact,
it was a dog!  I stared in surprise as cat after cat and
dog after dog fell from the lightning-lit sky.
Other people didn't take notice, but since I was in
a foreign country, I noticed it.  Everyone kept walking,
or driving, or window-shopping.
"Um.  Excuse me," I stuttered to an oncoming
woman.  "What is happening?"
She replied, "It is simply raining cats and
I looked at her as if to say, "Are
you crazy?" But I didn't say it.  And she just
walked away.

"When Our Town Was Invaded" by Reyna Daniela Flores

A UFO flew above the town and everyone looked up at it.  Most certainly it was not a plane or bird, it was a UFO.  Just then it landed in the street and a trap door opened from the top.  A staircase emerged and twenty or more green figures with some sort of guns ran from within the blue object.  Everyone ran in different directions and the town turned to chaos.  The green figures took the blasters and pulled the triggers again and again.  People fell to the ground all around me.  I decided to hide in the trash can on the street.  I opened the lid but the reeking smell turned me away.  I jumped into a recycling bin next to it, instead, and hid for dear life.  That is why I am still alive this morning.

"Volcano Explosion" by Katie Huested

Artist: Mark Rothko
When I woke up this morning, it was hard to believe what had happened to me and everyone else yesterday.  I went outside to see the final reults of that big hot river of death, and the sky a dusty mess.  We all lost something and someone that day, but we keep going.  It's hard to see all of my friend's, family's and neighbors' houses spread around like stalks of wood, all burnt up, but the fantastic thing is that we have this land to ourselves.  All of the mean people and people I didn't like are gone and out of the picture.  Now it's time for me to shine, to...take...over the world!

"Untitled" by Katie Huested

Perro Semihundido by Francisco Goya
It was a hot summer night
me and Emily were sitting outside
on a log talking about life and
the boys we like but they are
so confusing we talked about dogs
instead, "Do you have a dog," I asked.
"No, but we used to.  She got ran over,"
Emily said with a happy yet sad expression.
"Oh, I'm so sorry.  If it helps my
puppy got parvo but she survived," I said
with as much sympathy as I could,
to try and make her think happy
thoughts but instead we ended up
talking about sad dog stories all night
while inside we watched Jake
the dog walk around as happy as could
be.  So we went with a smile and a swing.

"Untitled" by Desiree Barnes

David Slaying Goliath by Peter Paul Rubens
I was sitting in the park writing an essay
when I heard someone shout.  "Somebody,"
help!"  My essay forgotten, I ran towards
the voice.  "Hey, leave her alone!" I
shouted.  I had just interrupted a bully
trying to beat up a kid.  "Fight someone
your own size," I added.  The bully
was a big kid.  I figured he was a
football player.  "Alright.  I'll fight
you if you think you're all that."  He
came at me but I dodged.  A police
cruiser came by and intervened.  I
walked back to my essay and then headed
home satisfied with what I had done.

~poem inspired by dialog~

"News Flash! Catastrophe is Coming!" by Desiree Barnes

"Mr. President!  Come quick!  Something just landed in the middle of the ocean late last night.  We have to go!  Now!"

I stood from my seat as my secretary burst into my office.
"What happened, Ms. Byant?" I demanded.

"I'm not sure.  But a major catastrophe happened!  Millions are dead or missing!  We must flee to the middle of the country!"

Just as we got to the plane, people began to drop dead around us.  "Lord, preserve us!"  I cried out before I, too, dropped dead.

"Laser Show" by Marie O'Grady

Last night was crazy!  I mean, there were laser light shows, explosions, screaming and panicking.  I couldn't believe it.  When the thing happened, everyone was in an uproar, running as fast as they could and screaming.  They never came up with a slogan for last night's disaster, but watching these weird creatures kill nearly everyone was amazing, both in an awesome and totally scary way.  My dad was out of town, so he's probably okay, but who knows?  Not me.  My mom tried taking my older brother away from one of the things, but they were both eaten.  It was grody, man!
At least I know that my little brother and I are okay.  We have to hide though.  Now some of these things are friends of mine.  They started to like us, me and my brother, and didn't think that we deserved to die.  That could be because I lead them to a group of the stupidest and moost annoying people I know, and they were willing to let me and my little brother survive because we supplied them with a big herd of moving food.  Like I said, it isn't all bad; it sucks that big brother and Mom are gone, though.  There's probably, maybe, one hundred thousand people left...but hey, whose counting.  Gotta go now.  Little brother is trying to get into the sleeping chambers of the things.  I don't want to lose him, too.  Until the next disaster, be careful out there folks...it's ugly.

"The Talking Critter" by Marie O'Grady

Musical Cricket by Henry Walter Bates
I'm sitting at my desk in my room.
I'm working on my latest project.
I'm hearing weird noises coming from outside.
I'm walking to the door.
I'm opening the door.
Once the door is open, I see my mother
crouched down talking.
"You're such a cute little fellow."
"Mom, who are you talking to?"
"Just a little cricket."
"Okay...why are you talking to a cricket?"
"Because it started talking to me."
"Hello."  I jump.  "Who said that?"
"It was me, a friendly little cricket."
"Crickets don't talk."
"Well, neither should birds, but they do."
"That's because they're parrots; they're smart birds."
"Well, then that makes me a smart cricket."
"Whatever; mom have fun talking with your little friend.  I'm going back inside."
I walk inside and work on my project pondering
on the talking cricket and my mother talking outside.
"Since when do crickets talk?" I ask myself as I write it
down for my next writing project.

~poem inspired by dialog~

"The Gimme Gimme Bird" by Haley Ryan

Blue Heron (plate 79) by Eleazar Albin
I was swinging in the park with my younger cousin, when
I looked over and saw she had a bag of
popcorn.  As I swung by I said, "gimme, gimme."  She
looked around and then went back to eating popcorn.  On my
next pass I said, "Gimme Gimme" again.  This time
my cousin looked at me and asked, "Did you hear that bird say 'gimme gimme'?"  I said, "No, I
was saying 'gimme gimme.'"  She
looked at me for a while and then said, "So
you're the gimme bird, would like some

~poem inspired by dialog~

"The Apocalypse" by Haley Ryan

Melting Volcano by Georgia O'Keefe
No one thought it was more than a mountain, just a place for dare devils to climb to the highest point on earth.  On June 23, 2013, we all learned differently.  Some hikers had gone to climb the mountain.  My dad was one of them.  5 days later they reached the top.  What they saw was not the top of a mountain, it was a pit of boiling lava.  Today is the day after the explosion that destroyed over half of the earth's population.  This is my journal of life as one of the few people who survived.

Entry 1:

My family died in the explosion.  My dog is all I have left.  I cannot leave the house because the air is filled with ash.  Any hope I have of finding another survivor has been dashed.

[End of Entry 1]

"Untitled" by Reyna Flores

Artist: Vincent van Gogh

I remember the blue sky.
I remember the green hills and grey mountains.
I remember the trees and the grass.
I remember running and flying and jumping.
I remember the red sunset.
Most of all, I remember the blue sky.

"Untitled" by Nikki Carter

Artist: Edgar Degas
I remember dancing.
I remember pointe shoes and partners.
I remember the dedication and the pain.
I remember stretching and hurting and pushing.
I remember grace and shame and lonely nights in empty studios.
Most of all, I remember a different time.

"Your Turn" by Nikki Carter

Some people swore that the house was haunted.  Jack was brave.  He stayed in that house for a whole hour.  Timmy lasted three.  Jane was determined to beat the boys.  They said she'd be part of the group if only she'd stay in there for a whole night.

An hour passed.  The house creaked and groaned.

Two.  Windows flickered.  Power lines sparked.

Three.  The roof shingles fluttered.  A few tumbled.

Four.  The cellar door rattled.  The lock over it shook.

Five.  The front door swung shut, and the lock clicked.

Six.  The power lines sparked again, and the dead tree caught fire.  The wood collapsed and the house burned like a matchbox.

Seven.  The smoking fizzled and hissed in the rain.  The body was brought out in a box.
Jack and Timmy swore up and down they didn't know why she was in there, and they felt cold fingers on their necks.  At home, their rooms were trashed, mirrors shattered, and written on the walls was the message.

And nothing was ever the same again after that.

"Untitled" by Ben Read

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Some people swore that the house was haunted.  I know the truth.  I went in only on a dare from my best friend, Ty.  It was dark, and rain battered the house.  Why did I have to choose this night? I remember thinking as I climbed the creaky staircase, the carpeting rotting away under my feet.  As I came to the top floor, I heard a whimpering.  I was tempted to turn and run, but my curiosity was stronger than my fear.  My hand shook as I reached for the doorknob and turned it.  I entered the room and noticed a dark shape quivering in the corner.  As I approached, I saw the outine of a cat, curled up fast asleep.  I took another step forward and the floorboards groaned beneath my weight.  The cat jumped to its feet and in the moonlight, I saw the creature was little more than skin and bones.  Something drew me to him, maybe it was the haunting look he gave me, a look of sorrow and hopelessness.  I put my hand down, and the cat came to sniff it, but when I tried to stroke him, he ran under the bed.  I made a vow to myself that night to take X into my care.  I came back every day after school, until he let me stroke him and eventually I took him home.

When I returned, Ty greeted me with an expectant, "Well?

"It's haunted," I lied, trying to sound as convincing as possible.

I never told anyone about that night; it didn't seem like something to be told.  Whenever someone asked where I got my cat, I said I found him in the alley.

But I always remembered.  And nothing was ever the same again after that.

"Untitled" by Ben Read

I remember its bloodred eyes, filled with hunger.
I remember pain, suffering, and disbelief.
I remember the darkness and the fight going out of me.
I remember kicking and screaming and falling.
I remember what it felt like to die.
Most of all, I remember my desire for vengeance.

"Untitled" by Shayna Beeching

Artist: Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Some people swore that the house was haunted, others swore that it was just being overtaken by the years of neglect.  But only two people know its true story, the one of pain and joy, hate and love.  I walk past it most every day, but this is the time I finally muster up the guts to walk across the dried brown grass and grasp the cold metal handle with the ivy carved around it.  I don't have to push hard for it to come swinging open, a cloud of thick dust coming with it.  Boxes line the walk and white sheets hang over the couches.  Something moans in the corner where a leather armchair sits.  My heart pounds as I make my way over to it, fist clenched and feet ready to run.  An old woman, frail and grey, stares out at the window, screaming.  I sigh.  There's not much an old woman can do to me, right?

"Loved and lost.  Lived and died," she whispers to herself as she rocks back and forth.  "Loved and lost!  Lived and died!"

Then I see it.

He hangs by the window by his neck.  Decay has made him almost inhuman.

"You stay away!  Save yourself from such pain!  Love will only kill you!"
I run from the house, crying and shaking, and nothing is ever the same again after that.

"Untitled" by Shayna Beeching

I remember ink.
I remember thoughts and words.
I remember the pain and the joy.
I remember laughing and crying and most of all feeling.
I remember a love.
Most of all, I remember you.

"The Vampire's Haunted House" by Marie O'Grady

Some people swore that the house was haunted. 

I, myself, didn't believe it, so I decided to go check it out.  I went on Friday night with a group of friends.  When we got there the place was completely dark on the outside.  We went to the door and walked in.  I went down the hall and they followed me.  I thought they were pathetic, but once they were all near me the front door closed on its own.  We walked further into the house and then split up to see different areas of the house.  I ended up in a very old fashioned looking dining room, like from Dracula's castle, so I was definitely freaked.  I looked at the hanging portraits and saw some very interesting people; then someone put their hand on my shoulder.  I would have screamed, but I was too shocked.

There, standing beside me, was a good-looking guy.  He stoof before his own portrait on the wall, a very old one.

The first that he said was, "Miss, you must go save your friends.  They've gone to the basement and have got themselves stuck."

I nodded and he escorted me out of the dining room.  When we got to the downward stairs, I heard them all screaming.  I tried opening the door but it was locked.

"How am I supposed to open the door?"

He told me that the house had ghosts that loved to hear children scream, and that the only way to set them free was to do something for the ghosts.

"So it really is haunted by ghosts and I'm standing next to a vampire.  This is just great."

He laughed at me and I called the ghosts to me.  They slowly one by one came forth and asked me if there was anything that I could do.  They said that the only way was for someone living to inhabit the house.  I nearly dropped to the ground.  All these creatures needed was a companion?  After scaring my friends, that's all they needed?  I said that I'd agree to it, but they'd have to let me get my stuff and say goodbye, and I'd also need a library full of different books to keep me busy.  They agreed and my friends were let go.  My friends were confused as to why they were freed but they decided to ask my later.  We left.  I went home and gathered my belongings and left a note for my mother saying that I'm moving out.  When I finished, I walked back to the haunted house.

And nothing was ever the same again after that.

"Days of a Werewolf" by Marie O'Grady

I remember my first day as a werewolf.
I remember the pain and agony of my first change and my first fight.
I remember the quick recovery and the will to tear something apart.
I remember jumping and running and hunting.
I remember having to keep secrets.
Most of all, I remember the freedom for one night of every month.

Artist: Paul Gustave Doré

"My Collection" by Ben Read

I walk along my garden path, admiring my trophies, triumphing in their fear.  I stroke one particular centaur's head, now cold stone.

Artist: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
"Oh, what a lovely statue you make, not the miserable scrap of life you once were," I breathe, though I know he can't hear me.

I stroke the cold skin of my snakes.  They hiss happily.  I turn back the way I came.  My servant awaits nervously.

"Medusa, your dinner's ready."

"Good," I say, without looking at her.  Amalia is a good servant, too good to lose.

She remains standing on the spot.

"Away with you," I hiss.

She jumps and quickly walks down the path back to the house. 

I hear a scuffling noise.  I turn to look at the rat, which immediately turns to stone.  I smile.  Another trophy for my collection.

~ short story inspired by Medusa ~

"Witch Life" by Karolyn Wambold

I was born a witch
I was found out and got burned
Now I'm reborn a human

--haiku inspired by witches

"The Loud Ghost" by Marianna Fischer

I am a loud ghost
My footsteps don't make a single sound
But when I eat...slurp!

--haiku inspired by ghosts

"Gawd! I'm not a pony!" by Jacquelynn Womrer

The girls squeak at me:
Horsey!  Horsey!  And try to saddle me.
Look!  I'm NOT a HORSE!

--haiku inspired by centaurs

"A Fiery Disappointment" by Ty

Cold food is really gross
so I decided to use my torch.
Instead of deliciousness I got sickness.

--haiku inspired by dragons

"Zombie Attack" by Marie O'Grady

I must eat you all.
Watch as I fall while trying to
catch my screaming, running dinner.

--haiku inspired by zombies

"The Center of the Labyrinth" by Ben Read

I dream of the sunlight
warmth splashing like water against my face
There's no sunlight in my labyrinth.

--haiku inspired by the Minotaur

The first T.W.I.N.E. workshop is a success!

We wrote haiku and short stories from the perspective of gorgons, centaurs, werewolves, vampires, mermaids and other monsters.  Then we engaged in the creative mayhem of the world-famous Paper Game

Now, T.W.I.N.E. is delighted to post the first in a series of writing samples from today's activities.  We're starting with Ben Read, who wrote a beautiful poem from the perspective of the Minotaur (see above).  Ben does an amazing job with imagery in this poem, so that not only do we feel the sunlight hitting our faces, we also sincerely ache for this usually vilified monster's loneliness and longing.  Great work, Ben!

Other TWINERs: keep checking back!  T.W.I.N.E. will be posting one haiku or story a day for the next couple of weeks, so it won't be long before your name is up in bright lights on the marquee.

New Pages Young Authors Guide

For all of you TWINERS out there looking to get published, check out this awesome resource: New Pages Young Authors Guide. It lists dozens of journals and magazines eager to read your polished work. We'll discuss this and other teen writing resources at the first T.W.I.N.E. session next week.  Can't wait!

Welcome to TWINE's [Informative/Stunning/Self-Flattering] New Blog!

Hello Future TWINERS.  If you're visiting this blog, it's likely because you are an emphatic teenage ink-slinger living somewhere in the Inland Empire. The purpose of this blog will be threefold: to inform you of upcoming workshops; to showcase the writing produced during said workshops; and to share local and national opportunities for publishing your work individually.

Just imagine: one day your very own writing might appear right here for all to peruse and admire -- only, of course, if you participate in one of TWINE's workshops.

I can hear you cracking your knuckles and sharpening your pencils.  When, you ask, are these wondrous workshops taking place?

Excellent question!  Please note the handy dandy schedule to my upper right.  Okay, to your right.  My left.  Whatever.

Hope to see you at the Spokane Valley Library, or the Moran Prairie Library, or both!  And we'll be meeting monthly after these dates, so keep revisiting the blog for more information.