Please tell me I wasn’t the only one. (via my middle school journal)
You’ve heard of our feature on elementary school journals, where we dive into the past lives of Kenyon students and humiliate them for all the internet to see. But what of the storytellers? You know, the kids who got picked last for dodgeball because their daydreams got in the way of their reflexes; the kids who filled the margins of their copy of Because of Winn Dixie with huge, winding fantasy novels about Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter; the kids who swore they’d be famous authors by age 20, college notwithstanding.
Well, today we’ve chosen to celebrate the young writers among us. We’ve unearthed a few selections from Kenyon students’ middle school portfolios and are publishing them for all the world to see. Buckle up, ’cause things might get weird.
Where the Wood Elves Hid, by Janie Simonton ’15
It all started the 36th day of the month of the crying lamb, the day I was born. That’s when the war between the elves and mortals broke out. That was when the elves cursed us by saying a mortal could not live over the age of 63. They would automatically die. The elves and my people (mortals) created this poem:
“No elf shall walk with mortal,
No mortal shall walk with elf,
And if the two shall meet,
A war will surely begin.
And if the two fall in love,
They have met their end.”
This means the two lovers would be executed.
* * * * *
One Summer morning I was working through my apprenticeship as a redblack, someone who stands at a booth selling candles, soap, books, etc. My master came to me and said, “Go hunt down a deer for my dinner.” Then he handed me an arrow. “For obvious reasons.” he said. He meant (1. To kill the deer. (2. To kill an elf that crosses my path.
* * * * *
I had entered forest 9 minutes ago. Rustle, rustle. I pulled my arrow to kill whatever made that noise. But the minute I saw it, I couldn’t. I saw a beautiful young elf of eighteen. The minute I saw her, I loved her. She had a straight blue dress with puffed shoulders. Her stomacher had braided golden rope zig-zagging across it. Her feet were bare. Her chestnut brown hair was waist-length. She led me to a bench engraved with Elfian writing. When we sat down, the palm of her hand flipped up. I saw the five lines of sin. Each time an elf sinned, a knife would slash through the first mark. Each time a slit was cut, they were one step closer to their death. By the time all the lines were cut, so was their head.
* * * * *
“My name is Mariann,” she said. “I am Princess of the Wood Elves.” Then she kissed me.
* * * * *
That night I was writing in my journal when my brother, Ducan (Duke) came in.
“You’re going to be executed.”
I looked at him in horror.
“I saw you kiss her.”
Then he promised not to tell anyone.
* * * * *
Postscript by Duke
When I first saw Mariann kiss Hans, I was with my friend Christopher. He told everyone. The day of the execution Mariann convinced everyone that love was not a matter of death. So they weren’t executed. But Mariann’s father took out a knife and held up her hand. He cut a slit in the first line of the palms.
* * * * *
Four days later Mariann’s father died, and Mariann and Hans married. So I was Duke, Prince of the Wood Elves, my brother was Hans, King of the Wood Elves, and my new sister-in-law, Mariann was the Queen of the Wood Elves.
The Adventures of Alice Wintercrest, by Gracie Potter ’17
I guess you’ve read this book 100 times before. Yeah, you know the story. Girl is awkward, girl meets guy, things are going good for the girl until something humongously terrible happens. The thing about this story is that it’s true. Totally and completely. And I’ll try to add some pizzaz to keep you a bit interested. Or at least awake.
* * * * *
My name’s Alice.
No, I’m not a freaky teen vampire. And I haven’t taken any trips to Wonderland recently. That’s just sort of my name. I don’t get why kids pick on each other’s names. It’s just a tiny, minute detail of a person’s life. I mean, sure, it’s what you hear a bazillion times a day, but it’s not like if you change your name you’ll become someone else. Although I guess some people would. Feel free to speculate.
Anyway, I’m Alice. I’m fifteen and I attend Riverdale High down here in little old Rocky Springs, Texas. Just a little background info to keep on file. Or whatever people do. So, that’s the basic junk that people have to add in these books.
I’m a dork, too. An outcast. I don’t have one person in my junior class that I can call friend. Except for Johnathen, but that’s only when he’s drunk and he has no one better to talk to. He’s our resident druggie here in Rocky Springs (population 2000 – did I mention?).
So I’m a dork because I messed up big in eighth grade. Yep. That’s the year I met Pamela Quimby, the gorgeous supermodel of a girl with the dad who made it big on Wall Street. I’m sure she’ll be the next Lindsay Lohan. Way back then, she was my best friend. And then I realized what she really was – a skank. I found this out when I saw her making out with Lisa Emerson’s boyfriend in the back gym. Naturally, I freaked and blabbed to Lisa, who exposed dear old Pam for what she really was. She was shunned for a couple days. Then word got around that I had made the whole thing up to get attention from Lisa because I had a huge crush on her. And can you guess who made up this adorable, creative rumor? Why, it was straight from the brain of miss perfect, pretty, popular, pompous, pratty Pamela. The one with the gorgeous blonde hair and huge… well, that’s enough about Perfect Pam. Long story short, she got the guys and I got my face shoved into the ground by exactly seventeen different people at middle school graduation. My class was definitely a fun bunch.
* * * * *
… In the middle of my family’s perfection, there’s me. Alice Wintercrest, age 15, 5’5″, mousy brown hair. You know that kid you always see at the back of thrift stores with the wool hat on in the middle of the summer, thumbing through men’s shirts? That’s me. And next time you see me, don’t say hi. Some of us dorks prefer to be left alone.
So, that’s every gruesome detail of my past and present. I suppose you’re now wondering what the whole point of my story is. And I reply: All in due time, my friend. All in due time.
END CHAPTER ONE
Ed. note – To the dismay of us all, this story was never finished.