Never and Always the End by Ben

photo by Mikko Lagerstetd

The world was straight. But it appeared to me to be moving in all directions across all dimnsions. I fell to my knees, gasping as I saw the words flash before my eyes, living and writhing. "The End." Everything went black.
And then I was back at the beginning. My head had cleared. That was the cruelest part. Every time I began the journey through my story, my story, I could remember every bit of agony and sorrow from the last time I completed my travels for the thriller I had written. I had tried to make the book end at the beginning and begin at the end. The End. The first words I had written. Somehow I was then pulled into a story my words wrote for me. An agonizing, bone-chilling thriller. The final chapters were worse that all the pain and suffering on all of planet Earth. Not that I would ever see it again. I knew the story would move forward, eventually to Chapter 23, but for now I sat down to sob into my arms. After all, it was part of the story.

The Cliff

picture by Saffron Blaze
Prompt: Write a story that begins or ends with "everything went black."

The 2,000 foot walk to the top was treacherous enough without having to jump back down. The mountain was more like a mural of 15 foot tall knives.  I should not have let my mom talk me into this. "It will relieve stress," she said. "It will be fun," she said. Ok, let's get this over with.  I couldn't walk back down to save my life. I tried to stall as long as I could; kicking rocks, drinking water, adjusting my parachute. I wasn't fooling anyone. I jumped. Everything went black.

Reality by Shilo

Prompt: Write a story that starts or ends with "everything went black."

My heart pounds as I try to grasp the reality of what just happened. The blood pools at my feet. But it's not mine. Just a few seconds earlier I had been running home from school. Who knew I would come home to this? I hear a door slam but don't register what it means; I'm too wrapped up in my misery. A sharp scraping noise next, and I'm snapped back to reality. I fall to my knees, but this time, the blood is mine. Then, everything went black.

A Hole in the Wall by Haley

Prompt: Write a story that includes a balloon, smoke, and a keyhole.

"That's our new house" says my dad. "We're finally here." I look up at the old mansion we will now be living in, with it's assortment of vining plants growing up the sides, brown lawns, dead trees, cracked paint, and broken windows.  "Yup, this certainly feels like home" I say, "I'm so glad I left all my friends in Washington to move here." "Now sweetie, I know you don't like but we had to move here for your dad's work. So you're just going to have to get used to this old place" says my mom. "Old is right" I reply, and with that I pick up a box and head for the door. I notice a deflated green balloon hanging from some bushes, why did we have to move to this dump? I head up to my room, put the box down and look around. It's a really big room with two chandeliers hanging at least twenty feet above my head, and a walk in closet as big as my old room. Then I see something so out of place I jump sky high. It's a little trail of smoke coming out of a tiny hole in the wall. No, not a hole, a keyhole. Then I see the outline of a door. Why is there smoke coming out of a keyhole? Why is there a door in my closet? I hear a small pop,the scuffling of many pairs of feet, then the smoke is gone. I look into the keyhole and am met with the strangest sight I have ever seen in a closet. There are what I can only describe as faeries but really they aren't because they are my height and taller. Not only that but there are several other creatures I don't have a name for and a forest as far as the eye can see. I lean forward and...the door falls open and I am dumped into a pond.
To be continued...

Must include: the first day of school, a love note, and a recipe with a big mistake. by Haley

It's the first day of school. I finally made it through middles school, now I just got to get through high school.  I head to my locker, as I am walking over I notice a few people staring at me, I wonder what they are looking at.  I check behind me, there's nobody there, so I look down at my shirt; maybe I have a stain or something, nope nothing there either. Then I look back up and I see him, my crush from middle school.  But that doesn't make any sense because he was supposed to be going o a different school.  Oh well, no time to think about that now, class is starting in 5 minutes.I hurry to my locker and open it, a little note comes fluttering to he ground from inside my locker.  I pick it up, it's a love note. It reads "Hi, I liked you last year but I was afraid to say anything.  I hope you don't think I was being mean, I was just too scared to talk to you. I love you a lot so please meet me after school on the playground. If you don't show up I'll understand." Jeez, talk about a long love note but wait there's more writing on he back, it's...his name! My crush's name! Rrrriiinnnggg! O no it's time for class, and I have even got my books together yet! I quickly grab my books and rush to my first class, home ec. The teacher assigns seats then takes role and announces that today we will make chocolate chip cookies. She directs us to the kitchen which is at least 5 times the size of our classroom.  We are paired off in teams of 2. I am teamed with my crush. I suppose by now you're wondering what his name is. I will tell you, it's Will; anyway Will and I head to a cooking space and look at the recipe. The first thing I notice about the recipe is that it was hand written, I wonder why. I start to read the instructions but Will says "Let's get the ingredients first.  Umm, what are the ingredients?" I reply "the ingredients are 1 cup of flour, 2 tbls vanilla, 3 cups of sugar, and 1 chocolate chip.  Hmm, does any of this sound right to you?" "No, but I don't think we would have this recipe if it was wrong. " "You have a point. Come on, let's get to work." We finish the cookies and somehow the 1 chocolate chip multiplies during the baking so that each cookie has 12 chocolate chips.  I head out of class and onto my next one. I don't have any more classes with Will.  After school I walk to the playground, hoping he doesn't show up but of course he does.

Awesome Things (inspired by

With selections from TWINE members
Finishing a book - Playing with chicks and puppies - When you remember a cool idea that you forgot -
Making a new friend - Getting a new puppy - Building something really cool in Minecraft - Remembering what book had a certain scene - Finding out your great-something left you a million bucks - Chocolate - Publishing a book - Chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake, chocolate EVERYTHING Cones - Finding a ladybug in your strawberry plants - poking your best friends - Eating popcorn while watching your favorite movie - Saying caterpillar in an English accent - Finding a $10 bill between the seat cushions - Getting a puppy - Owning a red-eyed tree frog - Finding out you're going to have another cousin in December - Playing the paper game - My best friends - Getting the perfect hairdo in the moring - Bugging Trevor - Your best friend calling you to wake you up - An odd colored stitch (string) in a black shirt - Springtime!!!!! - Your baby brother climbing into bed with you in the middle of the night - The perfect shower heat - Seeing somebody you used to be close to but haven't talked to in a long time - Tortellini soup - Candy, coffee, anything with sugar - Prank calling people - Bright neon green hair ties 


There's no other witnesses, just us two.
The man had slipped seemingly out of sign of him remained. It was as if some unseen creature swallowed him whole. Lily clutched my hand as we watched. He had knocked on the door then just disappeared.  My mother said that there were some people like him left, but not enough to be afraid of. Lily, of course, was too young to understand, after all she was only five. She shivered in my grasp, her small hand in mine. I almost laughed at her innocence and incomplete knowledge of the real world. In the real world, you might say, pewople do not dissapear out of thin air. Well I'm sorry to break it to you, but you are sorrowfully mistaken. In the real world there are people who teleport, time travel, read minds and so many other unspoken gifts.  For all you know your best friend could have any one of those gifts.  But this occurance, this was different. Usually when teleportation happens, you can see a swirl of air and the dissolvement of the person's body.  No with this, he just evaporated out of the air. I was forced to believe some unseen presence provoked this circumstance, and I personally do not want me or Lily involved but like usual things 

Something I Remember by Crystal

I remember dogs.
I remember red roses and a garden.
I remember the house and the church.
I remember speaking and laughing and playing.
I remember some people.
Most of all, I remember my family.

Something I Love by Caity H.

I remember when I met my 4 dads.
I remember when we went on vacation and I smelled the beautiful scent of trees.
I remember the beaches and the ocean.
I remember jumping and running and hiding.
I remember the red roses.
Most of all, I remember my friends.

Vampire by Eli Johnson

I remember blood.
I remember death and speed.
I remember the werewolf and the dragon.
I remember drinking and killing and hunting.
I remember pain.
Most of all, I remember you.

The Darkness by Chris

I remember Death.
I remember shadows and devouring.
I remember the light and the angel.
I remember ripping and cutting and tearing.
I remember Death.
Most of all, I remember resurrection. 

Alphabet Advice by Dane Kittock

Accept difficulties     Be Courageous     Care for everyone     Devote yourself to your passion     Evaluate your circumstance     Fix broken hearts     Go     Help others     Insist on changing    
Join the underdogs every now and then     Keep your head high     Love!
Man up     Never give up     Open your heart to someone     Please others (not yourself) often
Quit? No!     Rely on no one     Stay focused     Train yourself     Use the thing in your head!
Violence isn't always the best solution     Why?     Xcercise     Yellow is a terrible color
Zoinks is an awesome exclamation

"Untitled" by Dane Kittock

The costume I chose for Mardi Gras is a very special costume.  Very special indeed.  For to get this costume, I had to travel to the Amazon river in search of the infamous Green Anaconda.  My river guide took me deep into the heart of the jungle before we even spotted one, let alone caught it.  After a couple of hot, humid, sweaty hours of searching, we found it.  The perfect-sized snake, somewhere in between 5 and 6 feet in length.  I was immediately upon it, striking the back of its head with a rock.  I skinned it then and there, and caught the next flight home.

These snakes are so large, you can wrap them around a full-sized man as if he is being swallowed alive.  That is what my costume is.  The head is engulfing mine, its eyes are my eye holes.  Then the rest of the body is coiling around my own.  Ta da.

"Their perspective" by Dane Kittock

Artist: Rembrandt van Rijn


I don't like March.
It makes my spinal column arch.
It's too cold and windy
For my aunt Cindy.

I like the weather nice 'n' hot
Whether you do or not.
The only upside to the weather
Is the bounty of young lambs for supper.


I love the month of March!
It makes my wool feel useful
After all the warm weather of the summer.
The only downside I have,
Is the countless lions and lionesses
Prowling the dark.

"Costumed Mystery" by Alicia Judd

I walk downtown, my black wallet in hand.  I've been invited to a Mardi Gras costume party, and now I need to find a costume.  Mardi Gras is tomorrow, and all the good costumes are taken.  As long as I don't end up in a chicken suit, I don't really care what I get.  I head down a side street, to a large speciality costume shop.  For some reason, before I get there, I turn down a dark alley and onto a small dim street.  It is rather creepy, but, oh well.  I notice a door across from me and I walk in.


My voice echoes through the small shop.

"You don't need to shout."  I jump and swivel around.  An old man, bent with age, stands hunched over an elaborately carved cane.  "What do you need?  I s'pose you want a costume?"

My voice catches in my throat, and I barely manage a small nod, accompanied by a squeak.  The old man totters into a back room and returns with three packages.  The first is a bright blue and yellow frilly dress, covered in bows.  The mask is beaded and looks like a butterfly.  The second dress is brown, and looks like faux fur.  It is accompanied by a small, eyeglass-like mask.

Finally, he takes out a black, slim dress.  Along with it is a shimmery feathered black cape.  The mask looks like bird wings.  I know which one I want.

"The Lion, The Lamb" by Alicia Judd

Artist: William Blake


March.  A terrible month.
The rain!  Oh, the horrible rain.
My prey hides, my tummy feels pain.
My vision, obscured
Yet I am undeterred.
Then comes April, the dreaded April.
For they say
April showers bring May flowers.


March! How fun!
It's great to have a run
in the rain
I feel no pain
Flowers after showers!
Flowers?! Yum!

"Malfunction" by Ben Read

I wonder
what a valentine
is.  This humanoid
gave me it on
February 14.
It was 3:47 PM
58 seconds.
My hand turned
when she gave it to me.
I thought
I was malfunctioning.
I couldn't compute
that chill.

"Seeing Red" by Ben Read

I'm seeing red.  The world is a spinning mass around me.  I don't know why, but what sticks out above all the red is the blood.  My hair is wet with it.  My brother's eyes.  All their eyes.  I wish I could say this was done by some monster, but that would be a lie.  Humans are despicable beings.  The muddled mess that is my thoughts finally clears and I shake my brother.  He doesn't move.  I look around.  I'm in my bedroom, surrounded by the dead bodies of my family.  You think that's grim?  Well, life's grim.  I remember the day I painted this room red with my family.  I run to the walls and try to claw the paint off to no avail.  But in all that red, the one thing that keeps me rooted is the blue stone in the necklace my brother gave me.  And suddenly I realize it is being pressed against my hand.  I turn to look into my brother's eyes. awake as ever, alive as ever, now blue again.

"Not to Blue" by Katie Huested

When I look at the red rose I
think about the love that was shared,
When I look at the red picture
I think of the pain that you caused
But most of all when I look
all around I think about all
the intense moments we had
whether happy or sad and how
we have made it through this
red room without feeling blue.

"What's That?" by Katie Huested

What is a heart?  It is my brain
that hurts all thoughts things you
wrote what does it mean? LOVE,
Love you said that a lot, I love
you were the words. but I have
nothing to say back actually to
be totally honest you scare me
and I hope you know I don't
care that you're probably crying right
now because I don't feel any
thing you're a very interesting thing I'm
not sure what yet but I guess 
besides you freaking me out a little
you're...alright in my book.

Triangle [instead of a heart] --Robot

"Love in a Genius Town" by Haley Ryan

"Why is this whole room red?" I ask the robot named Bob.  I only call him Bob though because his technical name sounds something like "Beepbeepbloopblod."  So he is Bob.
"I don't know miss," he replied.  "Perhaps I should call a painter robot."
"No, I'll just try out my new program," I say.  "Room: green."
Everything in the room, myself included, turns a gross barf color.
"Maybe I have to be more specific," I say.  "Okay, um, walls neon green," and the walls go back to red.  Now I'm mad, this room was supposed to be like a smart phone, only for a whole room.  "Great.  Now I'm bright red.  Bob, try to fix the room, please.  I'm going to go see Will.  Maybe he can help."
"Will do, Miss."
I head out the door and go to see Will in his lab.  He probably can't fix my room, but I go anyway.
"Oh, hey, Alice."
I jump.  "Oh, it's you, Will.  Sorry, I was off in my own little world."
"Oh, no problem."  He looks at me and I start to get butterflies like I always do when I look into his eyes.
"Can I ask you a question?" Will asks.
"Sure," I reply.
"Alice, will you go out with me?" he asks.
And that's how I found love in a town of genius teenagers.

"Emotionless" by Haley Ryan

I don't know how to love
I am emotionless
I'm sorry to break your heart but
I am emotionless
Why did someone program me to be
I'm so sorry but I am stuck being
Someone programmed me to be suspicious of love so
I'm emotionless
I don't believe love exists because
I'm emotionless
People fall in love but I'm a robot
I'm emotionless
No one ever stays "in love" forever
So maybe it's for the better that
I'm emotionless

"She Is" by Kiersten Moss

He hit the wall with his fist, watching the crimson
ripple from the impact.  Why does she do this? he wonders.
He knows she likes him.
He knows she loves him.
And he sees her with all the other men.
He knows because he can read her.
She is an open book to him.
She is no blank page.
He sees red.
All the other men, they don't know her.
She is not just a pretty face.

"The Red Room" by Alicia Judd

I've been trapped in here for days now.  Mom says I need to cool my hot-headedness.  So she brought me here.  The red room.  Doesn't she know I hate red?  All the food is red.  Apples, cherries, strawberries.  Even strawberry lemonade.  The bed.  Red.  Even the windows are tinted red.  The extra clothes I was given are red.  Even as I think about it, I can feel the anger bubbling up inside of me.  I threw my red apple at the red window.  I was about to run, when I heard the glass shattering.  An idea popped up in my head.  I knew it was risky, but I went with it.  I used another apple to get rid of any remaining glass.  It looked like a pin cushion.  Carefully, I hauled myself out the window.  Just then, there was a knock on the red door.  I froze, then dropped out of sight.  I realized all my anger had been spent.  I glanced at a busy road and wondered how I would get home.  As it turns out, my mom was coming to get me.  I hopped into the white car.  Thank goodness that was over.

"Robotic Love" by Alicia Judd

You love me, but do I love you?
I love you
I love you not
I love you
I love you not
I love you
I'm out of petals
and though I don't know you
I guess I love you, too.

"All Red" by Reyna Flores

Artist: Mark Rothko
It was all red.  I stood in a red room eating red carrots and red celery.  Drinking red juice and thinking red thoughts.  Nothing mattered.  I hated the world and especially myself.  Anger possessed my mind, body and soul.  At first, when they locked me in here, I screamed and cried for hours on end, but now I am tired and defeated.  The only thing that keeps me going is the fire that is unquenchable inside me.  Just as I was about to lose hope of ever putting out that fire, the painter arrived and painted everything blue.

"Untitled" by Reyna Flores

What is this piece of
Shaped like a heart?
I do not understand what it is used for.
It expresses
A love for me in words that are written on it.
"Why?" I ask myself.
"Why does this person love me?"  I do not
Understand love.
So I will
Write a letter back that says I don't know how to
Love at all.
And I'm not sorry.
I do not have feelings.

"Untitled" by Alicia Judd

Chinese New Year painting, artist unknown.

This year will be a good one.
This year will be a good one.
This year will be a good one.
The resolution we repeat, repeat
repeat.  But it will only be as
good as we think it is.

"Untitled" by Alicia Judd

A year is like the rings of a tree
Does it matter that a new one is made?
Does it matter how many rings there are?
It matters when a tree is grown,
it matters when a tree is chopped.
But why should it matter that
there is a new ring this year?

"Untitled" by Alicia Judd

Sphere within Sphere, Vatican, Vatican City
I found the strangest thing in my pocket last night.  This is how it went.
It was a cold dreary winter break and all it did was rain.  We had had three feet of snow previously, but the rain washed it away.  So there was nothing to do but sit in the house and mope.  I had been wearing my faded blue jeans.  I stuck my hand in my pocket, and to my surprise, there was a cold metal object.
It was spherical and quite solid.  I pulled it out.  It was obviously very old.  It was made of gold, and seemed tarnished.  On the top, there was a huge diamond.
"Mom!" I called up the stairs.  "Where is the jewelry polish?"
"Upstairs in the bathroom cupboard," came the reply.
I bolted up the stairs and grabbed the bottle.
For the next hour I polished it until I could clearly see my face reflected in it.
On her way to the city hall, I had my mom drop me off at the library.  As soon as she was out of sight, I ran next door to the gold buyers shop.  The owner nearly fainted when I brought out the sphere.  I left the shop pretty satisfied.  I had $10,000 in my pocket.
So perhaps it will be a happy New Year, after all.

"Memories to last a lifetime" by Desirae Thosath

I found the strangest thing in my pocket last night.  A penny.  We had no change at my house.  We had used it all to pay off the rent.  As I stared at the penny, my mind traveled back to the house by the lake.  The house with the small dock.  My father would take me fishing on that dock.  One time, I accidentally fell in.  I saw a shiny coin on the bottom of the lake, so I picked it up.  It was a penny.  I showed it to my father when he dragged me out, laughing at my curiosity.
"Why son," he said.  "This is a lucky penny."
I stared in awe at the little miracle in my hands.  "Does it grant wishes?"
He laughed again.  "No, but luck is all you need to grant your own wishes."
Back in my new room, I smiled.  Maybe this will be a happy New Year after all.

"Imagination" by Dean

I found the strangest thing in my pocket last night.  A glowing object, so intricately and enigmatically shaped that it bore no resemblance to any earthly thing.  It caught my attention for a moment, but when I looked through my window, seeing the evil of this Earth, my thoughts were only of sorrow.  I was awakened from my despair when I heard the sound of my grandfather ascending the staircase.  He peered through my door, and then I thought it was a favorable time to ask him about the object.  "It is imagination, child.  You have always had it with you, but just now you have seen it.  Use it for good, and you may be able to weaken the world's evil."  So perhaps it will be a happy New Year, after all.
Artist: William Blake

"The new year brings" by Haley Ryan

The Forest in Winter by Theodore Rousseau
A old year passes
A new year comes
In the cold of winter
the new year brings
the warmth of new hopes
the comfort of new friends
the possibility of new discoveries
an old year passes
a new year comes

"The dragon in my pocket" by Haley Ryan

I found the strangest thing in my pocket last night.  It looked like an oddly shaped stone, but when I pulled it out, it changed colors.  It churned red and then it lifted its head and roared at me.  I stared at it for several seconds before realizing it was a dragon.  It had spikes starting at the top of its head and ending at the tip of its tail.  It was beautiful despite its tiny size.  It was so small it could not even wrap around my thumb.  I started to laugh but then it started growing.  I instantly dropped it and it quickly grew to my height and continued to grow until it was thirty feet tall.  All of this took about five seconds.  It looked down at me and I felt its conscience touch mine.
It said, "Hello, little one.  I have waited a long time to meet you."
I said something really intelligent, like, "Oh."
"You see," the dragon responded, "you are my rider. That is why I appeared in your pocket."
"Um.  Yeah.  Okay," I said.  "My name is Haley.  And yours?"
The dragon's eyes twinkled with amusement.  "My name is Thalia," she replied.
"Well, I thought this next year would be boring.  But now I'm the rider of a dragon."
Thalia replied, "So perhaps it will be a happy New Year, after all."

"Hidden" by Aaliyah Caliente-Zymph

Though another year is past,
I feel locked on my current path,
nothing changed but nothing died,
I will always have to hide.
Am I human or am I not?
I feel unlike my current lot.
Will I die?
Or will I lie?
The sheer unimportance of it all,
is enough to make one fall.
This life of mine,
is like a ball of twine,
It would unravel at any minute,
for I do not know my limit.
Docs everything lovely end?
Or is it simple a reality bend?

"Elsewhere" by Aaliyah Caliente-Zymph

I found the strangest thing in my pocket last night.  It's round and shiny, light blue but kind of warm.  It's not like any stone I've seen, too round, too perfect.  I stare deep into the entrancing orb, and the world around me fades away.  I blink, startled, and notice I am not quite where I was.  I watch a fish go by and panic.  I'm sure not in Kansas anymore!  Thus I decide to go and explore, and I find myself in the sea.  I'm in a different reality!  Here maybe nobody cares about how I dress or when I speak.  I may stay here a week!  Maybe forever.  Back to the old world I will never go.  I am safe and I bet I'll be loved.  Then I hear somebody call, "So perhaps it will be a happy New Year, after all."