Here are our wonderful second and third prize winners from the teen writing contest. We're always in awe of the teens' talent! P.S. If you haven't read it yet, be sure to check out our first prize winner in the previous blog entry. Enjoy! -- Anne and Ellen
Forever . . .
by Kathleen Herbst, age 14
“We’ll always be best friends, right?” A girl on the swing asks the one parallel to her. They are swinging in sync, trying their best to stay like this, but only successful for a short while before one starts to stray.
The girl next to her answers, “Of course.” And they both believe it.
They go along on the playground, creating their own world in the sandbox, being Cinderella in the fort, trying to fight the evil Captain Hook by the teacher’s bench. As one of the teachers is framed as the Captain, both aim with their sticks in that direction.
Sitting in timeout, the girls are supposedly thinking about what they did wrong. But the first girl asks, “We’ll still always be friends right?” Worry crosses her small frame, the thought that she might lose even her best friend because of the trouble they caused. But the second girl brushes the worry away. “Of course. And I think we beat Captain Hook!” she adds, before being shushed by her teacher.
A few more years of adventuring follows. Yet the girls are, for the first time, put into separate classes. The first girl, biting her lip, asks, “We’ll always be best friends, right?” The friend looks at her for a moment, then answers, “Of course.”
They continue on with their times; they join the local basketball team together, being much of an enjoyable for both (as one is intensely coordinated, whereas the other is quite the opposite); they have biweekly sleepovers where they get some magical energy to stay up to the early morning from chocolate chip cookies; they go to the mall together and watch people’s quirks and laugh as they drank steaming hot coco from the coffee shop; they do, as all good friends do, the usual secret telling, stories, and laughter. Their frustration with the “popular” people escalates as they watch them turn to the exact replica of their older siblings. One of the members of the clique comes and gives the second girl an invitation, turning red as she avoids making eye contact with the first girl. The first one watches as the second girl gives a look not of contempt matching the first girl’s, but rather slightly creased brows with a small frown, her head tilted to the side as she holds the invitation just given to her. “Best friends forever, right?” the first girl asks hurriedly. The second girl waits a moment, but nods and says, “Yeah. Of course.”
Again, a couple of years go by. The first girl says sadly that she will be going to a different middle school than her friend. The second girl says that she “really wishes we could go to the same school,” using a tone that strikes the first girl as slightly suspicious. After all, “Best friends always, right?” The second girl nods with a sigh. “Yes. Of course.”
As was planned, the first girl goes to her new school. She makes friends cautiously, being sure not to become too close (a few times having some rather close calls). After all, she already has a best friend, and who could replace the perfect best friend? She invites her friend over, and they plan to meet that weekend. However, “something comes up” and the friend says she cannot come. On the phone though, the first girl asks, “We’ll still be best friends always, right?” And the second answers, with a sigh, “Yeah. Sure. Of course.”
The second girl starts dating, wearing her makeup, choosing clothes of the most popular style. The first girl ignores her impulse that this is exactly like the second girl’s sister, and refuses to call her best friend’s new friend group a “clique.” The first girl is still painfully uncoordinated, but has joined many teams and clubs for mental ability. Though she tried so hard, the first girl has become friends with many of these new people. But when she sees her best friend at a district student council meeting, she says, “Best friends forever, right?” and the second girl rolls her eyes, and answers “I guess so.”
The girls go to high school. The first girl becomes involved in many extracurricular activities and takes the maximum level and amount of courses. Stressed out and overwhelmed, she calls her friend. On the phone, she starts crying, telling the second girl about all of her stresses and worries. The second girl replies, “I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go. Erin is here.” The first girl bites her lip and asks, “Who is Erin?” The answer comes back without hesitation: “My best friend.”
In March of their senior year, the first girl is killed in an accident. The second girl is called and notified of the death. They tell her that her friend regarded her in a journal as “her best friend.”
But the second girl only shakes her head. She does not remember the girl on the playground.
But somewhere in the back of her mind, a voice asks, “Best friends forever?”
“No” is all she says.
Rumpelstiltskin: The True Story of the Little Man
By Jaidyn M., age 13
My name is Abigail Weaver. A lot of people have heard me and my friend Rumples’ story, but I’m here to tell you that the newspaper print got it wrong. Rumple was not some crazy, maniacal man. He was a friend that was just trying to help me.
Now everyone thinks they know what happened in my story. A short old man comes in, weaves some gold and all of a sudden I have to give up my baby? Come on, how realistic does that sound???? What really happened was a completely different story.
The whole reason this started was because my dear old father had to open his big mouth and say that I could weave gold from straw. I’m pretty and smart. I am not some magician that can magically transform it.
After my father went boasting to the King about my special “talents”, I was shipped off to the palace to spin a room full of straw into gold (as if the king didn’t have enough gold!). The cruel King said that, if I didn’t spin all of it into gold by morning, he would sentence me to be killed!
Now, this is where most people are wrong. I didn’t sit there crying until my demise, I started thinking. I tried to think up a plan on how to get out of this, when my good friend Rumpelstiltskin came in.
I was overjoyed when I saw him. Rumple had always been a good weaver and I wasn’t looking forward to my untimely death, so I begged him to help me and he said he would. But of course there was a catch (there was always a catch with him). He said he would spin the gold if I gave him something in return. The only thing I had was my necklace, so I gave it to him.
He weaved all night, as I nodded off. In the morning when I woke there was a note next to a stack of gold.
I did you a big favor last night, and you did pay me for my services. I liked weaving it for you, so if you need me to do it again, just call my name and I’ll be there. But of course, my services will come at a price, so be prepared.
Just as I finished reading the note, King Big Mouth came stomping in. He started demanding his gold, like he just spent hours working on it. What a jerk! I scowled as I pointed to the large stack on the floor. Apparently, he was pleased with it because he clapped his hands and had it carried away.
Of course, he then wanted more. So I had to spend another night in a creepy, dark dungeon while he lavished in his gold. I called “RUMPLESTILTSKIN” and again, he came and wove that straw into gold too. This time I surrendered my ring that I cherished for his services.
After that, the King still wanted more and he said, if I could do that then he would make me his wife (as if I’d want to be his wife!). Still, between the choices of marrying a disgusting, hairy, King and death ~ I’d have to go with marriage. Rumple came one last time and said that he would weave the gold if he got to have my first child with the King (I was disgusted just at the thought of having kids with the king) so I said yes not knowing that I would have a child. He spun it all night and in the morning the King made me his queen.
A year had passed and I had a little girl named Grace. You see because Rumple had never visited me throughout the years, I had forgotten his name. For all I knew his name was Lord Voldemort!? My baby and I had grown very close. So when he came and asked for my little baby girl, I couldn’t give her up. Seeing my distress he said that if I guessed his name I could keep little Gracie.
I guessed Ronald, Mickey Mouse, and Harry…. All the names you could think of. But it wasn’t any of them.
I remembered the spinning wheel, and calling him Rumple. Then it clicked in my head. I guessed RUMPLESTILTSKIN and instead of being a baby over it like the story said, he actually apologized to me and said his final goodbyes and left forever, but not before the press came and fabricated an entirely untrue story that was passed down through the years.
That’s the end of the story. There was no sinister little man trying to steal kids, there was no cruelness (besides in the King) and I am still not talking with my father for getting me into this.
That was the real story of Rumpelstiltskin. Now a message to all you newspaper prints, GET YOUR STORIES STRAIGHT!
Told by: Abigail Weaver (Queen)