Newton Sunday Creative Writing Group
Untitled Diary, by Rachel Amster
Alloy, by Maris Brail
First Chapter of Work in Progress, by Emma Goldstone
Tucker the Bunny, by Zoe Shleifer
Escape, by Isabelle Shub
Untitled Murder Mystery, by Sabrina Smith
by: Rachel Amster
You know what I really want?
Well I’ll tell you right now. Treatment for cancer.
But there’s something blocking me from getting my treatment, almost like a stone that is in my way from even trying. The hospitals here do not have the best health facilities. I need to move to America. My mom is the thing stopping me from doing this because she refuses to leave her boyfriend and hometown.
I am not an average kid. I, Scarlet have a personality that is quirky, but kind. Even though I have cancer, dancing is one of my favorite hobbies. Do you know why? I can dance ... even with cancer. Dancing makes me feel happy and filled with joy. I can move around in a big wide room.
Now you have the chance to read all my scary, but interesting entries:
Entry One: Hiking in the Rainforest
I am hiking in the rainforest outside my brick, ancient house (my house is on a pathway) and suddenly I hear a noise. A thumping noise. Repeating itself over and over again, as loud as a church bell. This noise I hear in the distance.
"What could it be?" I ask myself several times.
As I walk closer to the noise, leaves are rustling and crunching beneath my feet loudly. I hear birds chirping, wind blowing, and see trees swaying back and forth very slowly. It is a hot summer day. The sun is shining in my eyes, blinding me from seeing. I'm sweating all over. Emotions are mixing all together in my stomach as if two lions are coming to fight each other, to see who will be head of the family.
All of sudden I see a dark shadow behind a tree with lots of leaves on the branches and lots of bark on the trunk. I start walking into the woods, slowly and quietly. I feel like the leaves are terrorists blocking me from getting to the other place I want to go -- America. I take ten steps closer, this time tiptoeing.
Behind the tree, the shadow is a lion, a huge scary lion with a heavy coat of fur. It's walking towards me very slowly. It's silent. Nobody is around me. I am terrified, VERY terrified.
Entry Two: In the hospital
Out the hospital window I think I see Doctor Cartaro having a discussion about my health with my mom in her gray draping sweater, but I am not too sure. Just then I realize it is Doctor Cartaro by seeing her brown long hair, tan and brown cowboy boots, and her bright orange shirt.
My mom doesn’t have a worried look on her face, she has never really cared for or loved me. All she cares about is going to spend the night at her boyfriend’s. But Doctor Cattaro has a worried look on her face, almost like bad news about my health is coming towards me any second now.
I watch her body coming closer to me in all black and white. My world is coming to an end. I only see in black and white, I see no color. (This is an medical condition that happens to 1 out of 3 people in their lifetime wide world. As you just found out, I am one of the 1 out of 3 people that got this condition.) When I see Dr. Cartaro coming closer, my heart starts to pound heavily almost like a big, dirty pit bull barking louder and louder in me. I can not keep up with my own breath. I start chewing on my bright, yellow pencil trying not to chew off the eraser glued to the bottom. The pencil triggers a memory about my dad's death...
Entry Three: Memory about dad’s death
Slowly, the pencil was scratching against the white, lined notebook paper with three holes. Who was drawing on the piece of paper, you’re probably wondering. My friend, Sabrina was drawing on the white notebook paper, when my dad came through the door, into my room and started asking both of us where we want to go for dinner, on a Friday afternoon after a long day of school. All of a sudden we heard shrieking from my dad, like there was somebody attacking him. He stopped shrieking, and I looked out the window, at the beautiful rainforest trees, for only a second . Scarlet, Scarlet, Scarlet!, Sabrina was yelling in an urgent tone of voice. I looked over my shoulder and saw him scratching against the bright green and yellow wall, falling slowly down to the slippery, hardwood floors.
by Maris Brail
A single drop of blueish silver drips into the green vein that is in my forearm. Though I can’t see it, I can feel every movement. Every pause. Every second dragging by on the silver clock above my head.
A blindfold covers my eyes, preventing me from seeing how my blood reacts. I can feel the blood wither with the arrival of a new element, but I ignore the strange feeling I have and try to prepare myself for the ceremony that will arrive in just a few short months.
I will receive a ring that will classify me for life.
My position in society will be determined, and soon I will join my parents in the working force of factories and servants.
Not all of us siblings have been as lucky as my older sister, Jayde, who was classified as a glowing Silver. She left my parents and me and my three other siblings to fend for ourselves.
The way everyone receives jobs,food,and houses in ________ is classified, based on how our blood reacts from the blue diamond substance.
I am sure my blood will glint with the industrial shine of steel. A bronze maybe, where instead of being a servant I could teach or become a doctor.
I laugh at the thought of me being an elite silver, gold, or diamond blooded. Silvers are celebrities.
Gold are nobles.
Diamonds are the royalty, ruling the court.
In the Steel city, we scorn these elite and even though my sister Jayde is one, I do so more than ever.
My mother, sits on the wood chair moving her mouth trying to prepare me for the harsh reality of my life. Her steel ring glints in the evening light reminding her and everyone else she meets that she is a low servant, nothing more than an uneducated thing that will never be able to escape her social class. All because of a simple dull, industrial ring that is, and always will be, on her finger.
“You know, not everyone is as lucky as Jayde. A Silver coming from a Steel family doesn’t happen often,” she says.
She continues to explain to me that I will remain in this low class for the rest of my life. She pretends that she doesn’t know that I’ve heard this speech a thousand and one times and it’s practically been drilled in my brain.
I don’t listen, all I can focus on is her ring, that strangely beautiful band that wraps its way around her old weakened finger.
The rings choke everyone, liking a cobra wrapping its fat sluggish body around a neck stopping everyone for breathing, trapping and limiting them.
However, in the strangely bright sunlight it looks almost like the precious metal that makes up the silver band that my sister wears on her, too smooth, too perfect, hands.
I remember the day Jayde stood on the pedestal, waiting to be choked into a class. The moment they called her name she smiled easily but her fingers was trembling, as if they knew what was about to happen.
“Jayde Indigo Meav has an unusual classification”
I felt my stomach twist as I focused myself on her trembling pale, ring-less finger.
“Jayde has been classified as a silver.”
The man’s voice boomed into the microphone.
Then I watched as her once trembling fingers smoothly place the ring onto her fingers. She smiles confidently and joins the elite on the pedestal.
“ Eyva!” My mother says.
I tear my eyes away to look at her and once she gets my attention she continues to talk. One she is satisfied at my attention she continued to talk. My eyes return to my mother’s ring and I watch as sunlight fades away leaving my mother’s ring asdull and industrial as it always was.
by Emma Goldstone
“Paige" my aunt calls
"Yes" I reply
"I'm going to the grocery store and I'll be back in 15 minutes"
"Ok," I say.
I hear the door swing close and the key turn to lock it. I fly down the old wooden stairs into the small cedar wood kitchen. Igrab a Milky Way candy bar and plop in the bean-bag chair in front of the ancient TV. Here in the woods you have to adjust the antennae a certain way for a certain channel, 102.43 degrees to get FreeForm and 27.89 for ABC. I unwrap my Milky Way and take a bite. The chocolatey caramel nougat filled bite reminds me of the first Halloween I can remember.
I was 6 years old and was invited to my friend, Hayley'sHalloween party. I remember the fake skeletons hanging from the beams, the spiderwebs on the bushes, and the carved pumpkins sitting on the front steps. I had dressed up like as a princess that year. Everyone there was with their mom. And I was with my aunt, the closest thing that I had to a mom.
Everyone was saying "Mommy look at me, Mommy, Mommy" and all I said was "auntie look at me, auntie look."
I just wanted to be like everyone else. All that night I only ate Milky Ways. For dinner and dessert. And that night I went to sleep with the joyous taste of Milky Ways in my stomach. Longing for someone who I could call mom.
Now, as I look out the window, I look at the forest nature, animals passing the driveway, and brown crinkly leaves falling from the tree.
Suddenly, I hear the leaves crinkle under a car. I check my watch, it has only been 5 minutes since my aunt left, and I look out the window. This is not her car. Then I see it, the little blue sticker on the right side of the license plate, the one that I had seen many times before, they were here. The people who want my mom. I don't know why, but now they are after me. I grab my getaway bag, The one I always have packed in case of emergency. I leave a note on the fridge door for my aunt, and run through the door into the dark forest. A million thoughts run through my head, who were they? Why did they want my mom? Who was my mom? And why did they want me?
Tucker the Bunny
by Zoe Shleifer
Once there was a bunny named Tucker and he loved to get in trouble.
Tucker was a little white bunny with a cute little pink nose and big floppy ears. One lovely May morning, the sun was streaming through the window making the room feel as if it was one hundred degrees. Tucker was roaming around the kitchen when he noticed a deep, creamy, mouthwatering aroma.
But where was it coming from? Tucker wondered.
“Oh, the counter, of course!”
People, in their funny white coats, had been carrying large platters full of wonderful food into the house all morning. Scents of delicious food echoed throughout the house.
Then, Tucker remembered that Oliver’s cousin, Charlie, was getting married that afternoon.
“The food must befor the wedding” Tucker realized.
Baked goodies probably, a beautiful pink cupcake or plate of gooey brownies.
“Taking a peek couldn’tdo any harm, could it?” Thought Tucker.
So he scampered across the tiles, shimmied up the refrigerator handle, that stood beside Oliver’s old, not-so-good art projects that hung from the soccer ball magnets, and took a giant leap on to the counter.
There it was. A fluffy yellow pound cake filled with creamy vanilla icing and topped with rich gooey fudge.
“Nobody will notice a little nibble. Will they?” Tucker thought.
Tucker scurried over to the cake stand and took one delightful little nibble. The cake tasted even better than it looked. The icing felt smooth on Tucker's little tongue, Tucker couldn’t resist, he took one more little bite, then another, then another, then another, until the cake was nothing but a couple crumbs and dark smears of fudge on Tuckers pure white fur. Then, a happy sleepy feeling washed over Tucker and he fell into a deep happy sleep.
“TUCKER!” called Oliver.
Tucker jumped awake, very startled. He turned around to see a very, very angry Oliver reaching out to grab him with his clammy, cold hands. Oliver was Tucker’s owner, a very nice one, in fact. He was a short boy with a head full of bright red hair with little strands poking out in every direction, his face covered with orange freckles that almost seemed palpable.
So, just like his bunny instincts told him to do, he sprinted. He scrambled across the counter, leaped onto the window sill, and hopped out the window which was open just a crack in order to ease the excruciating heat inside.
by Isabelle Shub
I awoke from my bed, lined with silk and tassels all around the edges. My servant, Bushra, was standing at the door, my outfit draped in her arms. Her figure like an angel outlined by the hint of sun shining through the window. Her eyes were facing down, looking at the golden rug below me, but I could still see the faint eye makeup that she’d worn the night before at the Meeting.
The Meeting was held once a year downstairs for all of the staff at the Palace or anyone else involved with the Procession. Make up was required for all who entered the Salman’s presence; he was the leader of Saudi Arabia.
Bushra was like my friend. My first real one.
For the past three days she was always there.
Kids never had servants. In fact, there was a serious lack of kids who belonged to the Saudi Arabian government. That’s what today was about. They would make us look pretty and privileged to convince the civilians to have kids.
The government wanted kids who were voiceless. Kids who would never ask questions — just work for them. Work solely required soldiers. Valids. People who’d passed their assessments — would strut their bold uniforms and kill. Kill anyone who was different. Feelings were irrelevant, that’s why they were beneficial to the government. That’s why they weren’t put in tunnels, like us.
We were the rejects, the ones who’d failed our Inspection when we were toddlers. There was a small, microscopic genetic trait inside of us that could be tracked through neurotransmitters at age two. We were given a nice life for a few weeks, that’s when everything turned around. After the Inspection, that only took about 50 minutes, we’d be sent back home. Once our given three weeks had passed we’d be taken away, to the tunnels. It was misery for the families, I don’t even know who my mother is.
That’s why there was a lack of kids. Parents were scared that their most prized possession would be taken away and abused.
That’s what today was all about: to show parents there was no harm in having kids that lived in the tunnels. Everything seemed safe.
We would sit on the tracks that weave through the city showing off our contentedness. That was the Procession. But at the end of the track we would be sent back to the tunnels were we used to live, torture stricken. We’d only live in the palace for the three days leading to the ceremony. In about three hours we’d be back to where we came from.
We all knew, even Bushra.
Once my eyes had slowly opened completely, Bushra approached. I disrobed and she placed my emerald green silk dress onto my frigid, cold, scared flesh. As I put my arms through the wrist holes I noticed gold embroidery that lined the area below my wrist.
“Habiba, don’t be nervous, they're trying to help you by giving you some more friends,” Bushra said in her calm voice that she was trained to use around us, the rejects.
That’s how the government wanted it to sound. We get to “meet” people on our yearly journey and hope to be friends.
Kids who failed their Inspection were considered dumb. Our failure of the test was considered the government’s official diagnosis of our mental state. Everyone believed it, too.
The Inspection was very quick, relatively to other tests we take throughout the years of underground schooling. We followed the Inspectors finger, for about ten minutes. They tried to see if we’d look away, if we were distracted, if we had even the slightest chance of looking away from the government’s orders as we grew older and became soldiers, as we definitely would by age 16. They wanted to see if we’d become traitors or Underground soldiers, ones who fought in favor of freedom and against the values of “tunneling.”
Next, they’d place in front of you a copy of the Saudi Arabian national anthem. It sat two feet away from where the toddler was sitting. For seven minutes, a lucky number in my culture, the rotting but beautiful piece of paper sat, stationary. Finally a staged actor dressed in all black would run and grab the paper. The Inspector tested the child’s response. Would they try to protect it? Would they cry or just sit still? This tested the child’s allegiance to their country.
Finally came the worst part, the genetic test. A needle would be injected slowly and carefully into the child’s forearm. Pain would shoot through the veins, searching for even a microscopic gene indicating imperfection and the possibility of not siding with the Saudi Arabian government. This test almost always was accurate, very few passed and become traitors, those were the lucky ones.
We both knew Bushra was lying, right through her black teeth. I touched her arm looking for some mercy, hoping by some miracle that’d she’d grab me in her soft arms and we’d just run, never looking back, past the hills, past the fields, past the corn that rarely grew, past all of that we’d be free. Bushra had the power to do this, she was free. Many years ago, when she was seven, the Inspection didn’t exist. That’s why she was free. Once she was finished dressing me I stood up to use the washroom. She slipped a small piece of paper under my robe. I could just faintly see the black print.
“After the track ride slip under the box, there’s a small door to escape. Look at this note, go to the address. They are safe; they are our allies. They are India.” Bushra whispered into my ear.
“Habiba! Habiba! I could faintly hear the call of Myriam in the bedroom beside me. Myriam who was just a few years older than me had won the favor of many of the guards when we lived in the tunnels. She was tall with jet black hair. She had the most glorious eyes, brown of course but with a lighter tint that was clearly irresistible. Myriam used to go on and on about her appearance talking about little hacks she would use to primp despite the gross conditions among the wet moldy concrete tunnels. She truly stood out among us with our battered hair, charcoal colored teeth, and fatless skin. I could never understand her obsession with her looks. It was of no advantage to her, she’d always be a “tunnel child” as they call it. The bitter taste to the words “tunnel child” echoed on my tongue. Like we were rats, soulless, it was the government’s dehumanizing process. I used to say it to myself constantly, so did most. Of course, most of those kids committed suicide.
I slowly opened the door to just to find Myriam behind it. She grabbed my hand and took me down the golden steps. There must've been at least fifty of them. By the time I got to the bottom my legs were sore, the thought of retreating back upstairs seemed daunting. As Myriam’s hand quickly guided me to the dining room I quickly checked to make sure the note was still there.
The thought of escape seemed crazy and completely unethical but yet something inside the pit of my stomach forced me to be sure it was still there. Thankfully, the soft crinkle settled my battle in the bottom of my intestines.
As we were guided to our designated chairs at the long table, I couldn’t help but notice the servant standing in the corner across from my seat. It wasn’t uncommon to find a servant in the palace. In fact, servants lined the walls, ready to help. They wore their blank smiles and looked as though they were in another land, like they were high on a laughing gas anesthetic. But, on the end of the row of servants stood a servant, a male, short brown hair, very scrawny. I mentally named him “Scrawny” He seemed to be looking around very attentively unlike any other servant. I was curious and couldn’t pull my eyes away from him.
“Attention! Attention!” The baker called, pulling dishes out right and left.
“Over here we have poached eggs, to the left are jam filled bread snacks!”
I was mesmerized so much by the food, my mouth drooled. Never had we ever gotten the opportunity to eat such amazing food. Never had we ever had such privilege. For a second I felt important, a worth, a value. It was a quick, but sweet, feeling that spread throughout my entire body.
Shortly after my eyes ventured back to the distinct servant. His big brown eyes seemed to have moved to the vacant doorway lined with gold crownings and chipped paint. I noticed the sun that seemed to penetrate through his veins resulting in moisture dripping down from his forehead.
I suddenly felt a slight tap on my right shoulder, I turned around and to see a meager girl with thin brown hair, braided down to the bottom of her neck since it was so short. Her teeth were filled with yellow spots and her eyes seemed to droop with fatigue. I was curious. Scrawny moved his hands into his pocket to grab a small piece of paper, it was orange, unlike the white paper in my pocket. He studied the paper vigorously then quickly placed it back in his jacket.
“Ex-excuse me,” the young girl croaked. I nervously shifted my eyes to a small face talking to me.
“Do you know what time the e-ev-event begins?”
I gulped under my breath. I felt a rush of annoyance. I’m not really sure why I felt so annoyed, I had everything I wanted, but I guess the nervousness of the address in my pocket was starting to get to me. Before I could whip up an answer to the inquiry I looked over my shoulder again. The Scrawny grabbed a plate of chocolate breaded pastries from the back table of extra food and set the food on the other end of our table.
“It's happening later,” I managed to choke out under my complete and utter annoyance.
As she turned away, I remembered my target. The Scrawny had returned to his nervous position, standing and muttered a small sentence to the servant beside him. I wondered what the content could be.
“Thank you.” The girl belatedly responded. She seemed to appreciate my minimal help. The girl dressed in a green robe, just like I was, nodded her head, slightly, and returned to her juicy, red, fruit on her plate. My servant opened the door and left the kitchen. I couldn’t stop wondering about what the paper was about.
by: Sabrina Smith
“This what is what I remember.” Madeline’s mom, Melanie says.
Melanie’s face is gaunt, her eyes sunken, and so dark she looks as if she had been awake all week. Her blonde hair, usually in a tight, neat, ballet bun, is now a half- hearted pony tail. Her usual stylish clothes, are swapped with an old extra large, Bob Marley t- shirt and ripped jeans.
“Madeline had opened the car door and jumped in,” Melanie began.
“Usually she hated going in the car because it hurt her stomach, but that day was different. I was driving her to go pick out a Halloween costume. When we had gotten to “Party Central”, the Halloween shop, Madeline had jumped out of the car 10 times more energetic than she had jumped in. She had skipped and galloped right into the shop. I guided her to the fairytale costume aisle. “Which costume would you like?” I had said.
“She had pointed to a little red riding hood costume. It had a crimson hood with floral designs on it and a cute white dress with frills. It had come with shoes too, which she didn't need, but Madeline had been so excited about the costume that I let it go. It was only $4.99 after all.”
Melanie looks down at her shirt remembering when her worst worries were over over-priced cute clothing and new decor for her house.
Melanie resumes talking, “Those few weeks, before Halloween, went by so fast. Finally it was Halloween. After breakfast Madeline went upstairs to put on one of the outfits I lay out for her every night. She was a very independent girl and never liked getting help. Instead of wearing the cute sundress with sandals, I had laid out for her, she came downstairs in the costume. I had told her to take it off for it might get dirty, but she refused. She was really a sassy little rebel.”
Melanie smiles thinking of her daughters little mischievous smile with many baby teeth. Melanie then realizes she has paused for a few awkward minutes and in a slow dry voice keeps talking:
“She had begged me not to take it off. She was already late, so I had said yes. That day had gone by so fast… And then I went home from work. Madeline was standing, nose pressed, against the door, which is what she did on all the weekdays when I got home from work. She had kept her promise, the costume was crisp and neat as if it had never come out of the cheap package. She had been very ready to go. We grabbed our buckets for candy and went down block by block. ‘Trick or treat,’ we had said in perfect unison… like robots!”
Melanie’s face crinkles and she starts to laugh. Her face has so many smile wrinkles from past childhood days of fun. The laugh then starts to sound crackly and fake. It hurts in Melanie’s ears. Melanie stops, knowing if she doesn't, this laugh will turn to tears. She crosses her arms and her legs becoming conserved once more.
“Then it had grown dark. Madeline started getting hyper,” She said. “She ran from house to house. It was getting hard for me to keep up, and then she rounded the corner and out of sight. I was frightened of losing her in the orange, pumpkin decorations. As I rounded the corner my heart stopped.”
Melanie looks at the officers for once in the interrogation. Some people say eyes are windows to the soul. Her eyes are as gray as Athena’s. They show how much she has suffered. Melanie starts choking up, but knows if she wants the officers to find the culprit she must continue.
“You, you kind officers, know the rest of the story, but I will repeat it. Madeline was lying in the middle of the street. Her body was in a-- a weird position. The costume was mud covered and mucky, which broke m-m-m-my heart.”
Melanie starts hysterically crying and Officer Pricilia hands her a handkerchief. Melanie blows her nose loudly.
Then Officer Arigji says, “Madam, it is okay take your time. We promise we will solve this case.”
“I know-- I know officers. But I we will have to carry on with this interrogation t--tomorow. I am so-- so sorry.” Melanie croaks.
She starts to cry. Big tears run down her cheeks. She slams her elbows on the hard table and covers the handkerchief over her eyes. Melanie looks up as if to conclude the interrogation, sniffs very loudly and then continues.
“I still can't believe my smiling, bubbly, little pumpkin, is-- is dead!”