These entries from May’s challenge were selected as Honorable Mentions. Those who completed this challenge are now encouraged to share their stories in the comments section of the “May Writing Challenge.”
Kylie Heinrich, 16, United States
Maybe I’ll Heal Under the Sun
The grass is slick and cold beneath me. I pluck a flower, a sunflower, and take out its petals slowly.
“I am strong enough to live.” The first petal.
“I am not strong enough to live.” The second.
My body aches with every petal plucked. I don’t know how much more I can bear.
“I am strong enough to live.” I drop the empty stem at my side as tears flood my eyes. Sometimes the simplest things can provide us with the most hope. I take in a shaky breath. My skin is warm. Maybe I’ll heal under the sun.
Keiarn, 16, Adelaide, Australia
Liam’s Love For Thought
So. Here we are. Although it’s finally summer, it doesn’t really feel like it. I remember when I was younger, things felt so much better. Love felt like something you could fall helplessly in; and the sun felt warm, even refreshing. But most important, it felt like something you could share.
Maybe that’s part of the struggle? Not the lack of love, but the lack of people or things to give it to. I’ve been alone a while, and that’s given me time to think.
I am not ahead or behind anybody. I am right where I need to be.
Clea, 18, The Netherlands
It is hot when I sleep in the garden, and the pond stinks. I open my eyes, slowly. Across the pond, an orange cat sits still, its stare fixed on me. The two full moons are swampy like the algae baking on the flagstones. I fished it out earlier because of the overgrowth this year, and now flies blanket it. Grass pricks the backs of my legs, painful, and I want to sit up. But I don’t want the cat to look away.
The tail moves lazily, sending flies buzzing. The stink grows stronger. The cat curls up, settling in.
Sree Ayswaryaa Krishnasamy, 20, India
Italian summers can easily do that. Cotton candy clouds dipped in tangerine skies intoxicating Her with a musky scent. 3’2”s chasing stars while holding small cups of gelato wash Her with nostalgia. Her skin reddens under the golden glare that hesitates from getting high. The elixir in Her hand dances nonchalantly of having fulfilled its prophecy. As Her fingers scour for that well-thumbed paperback, an epiphany hits Her.
Will She freeze this moment in the weathered pages smothered in viscous ink or savor the crisp salty air by itching every second in Her encephalon?
After all, she could only imagine.
Kiara Sharee, 20, Australia
Even Summer Melts
I used to wait on summer like a love-struck school girl. You could catch me chin and cheek in hand, gazing out the window—physically in History class, but mentally I couldn’t have been further away. I was daydreaming… about how summer was just around the corner and would arrive in a spectacle of flittering wings. June would waltz into my path next week, tugging you along.
Now, looking out the same window, I hear her just around the corner. Her wings are shattering as they drop to the floor, irreversibly frozen by the empty, wintery promises you made.
Vicki Mac Callum, 30, South Africa
Gone and Forgotten
A limp body sat slumped against a cold, grey wall. Police tape wrapped the perimeter—a single policewoman standing guard as if anyone would pay attention to a vagrant who lost his battle to the cruel hand the world dealt him. The bitter irony of the blankets he so desperately needed clinging to his lifeless body lost on passersby.
“Just some homeless dude,” a wealthy, privileged man spits to his neighbour.
The word “just” seems to linger longer than the rest. No name, age, or next of kin. Just a nuisance to the leafy suburb. Just another human, gone and forgotten.