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short stories


									Open Collaborative Writing Time
There are twelve pictures on poster boards and on the
  tables in the room. Compose a Tweet (short caption)
  about the pictures. If you like yours, post it on the
  bulletin board beside the picture you’ve Tweeted
  about. Then, you may want to reply to others’
  Tweets about the pictures, by posting your reply
  under theirs.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                               Central High School
Off the one-way lane on a nearby terrace a ceremony was underway. The flowers were decorative,
although matched to nothing and the vivid bright were backed by washed-out creams. They didn’t
intend to get married, after years of hidden caresses, they never expected their relationship to grow.
Death does strange things to people in this instance it brings them together. Yes, Kacie and Demetri
are married on this day due to tragedy. They decided to change a tragic memory to a beautiful

Although the time was the best of times, Demetri knew what was to come. The very
darkest of words. However, today their future was hopeful. James, Demetri’s best man was
on the bathroom floor, with a bottle of champagne, ice, and a maid whose name he
couldn’t remember.

They had the time of their life on a cold, dark December. Memories of past times came up to
the surface, of past lives of past lovers of the never ending swirl of time.

Yet their hidden love story could not be far away anymore. It was finally time to have the
fairytale. Where she could be beautiful and he could be handsome. The only thing missing
was family blessing. Yet for all they cared they were in love. Finally a wish came true.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                                Benton High school
“These are for wishing, Anne Marie. These are for dreams.” I closed my eyes. I could hear her voice,
even after all these years. It carried on the wind, a series of musical notes in the warm summer
breeze. It caressed my shin as she once had.

It kissed my cheeks as she once did; it whispered things she used to speak to me. It was
all gone now. The warmth, the feelings, the love of a mother was supposed to give their
child, but mine was gone vanished, with her. I wished I had more than just that painful
memory of her leaving me. I came home, mother and father fighting, as usual, but this
time she was crying and screaming. Her belongings all packed up into boxes the size of
me. At first I didn’t know, but she was leaving by force.

What was wrong this time? Did I do something to cause all this? All I long for is
for her to come back. I held on to the magical flower like it was the answer to the
world’s problems. The memories of a life spent with someone who only cared, but
couldn’t stay long. I would give anything for one more day, but I knew that
couldn’t happen so I closed my eyes and drew a breath. “One, two, three!” I
counted and blew. “I wish she would know that I love her. No matter what, you’ll
always be with me, if not in person, but in my heart, Please God, let her know
that.” I whispered as the beautiful seeds scattered over the ground.
                         Platte County High School
Sometimes I like to sit and think about the old days, when I was six and it was a big deal if you
could blow all the wishes off a dandelion.

The old days where you could sit for hours making sure you made that perfect wish. The one
for the pony you’ve always wanted, or the new deluxe Barbie Doll that just came out that all the
other girls already had. One wish, one chance. What happened when you couldn’t blow the
entire flower top away?

In the old days you could just pluck another dandelion and start over, hoping that this time
you could blow furry seeds away. But, it’s not the old days anymore. You can no longer
pick another dandelion and begin again.

In the present I have no dandelion to wish upon, no star to attach a wish, only now. Now the
present, now the pain, no forgetting my dreams I held so dear.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
My hands illustrate my life. They may not be beautiful to you, but to me they mean something. The
res on the tips of my fingers represent the blood for the people in my village who were killed. I held
my daughters limp; blood drenched bodies in my hands till it stained. I don’t live a very happy life. I
have lived through a lot.

They came and destroyed my village leaving hundreds dead. I am the last one
left, and I intend on taking my revenge for my people, my family, and myself.
They will not go unpunished.

In three days we will ride to war. The excitement rushed through the town. The night before
they rode to war they were attacked again. This time they all died.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                          West Platte High School
Scattered out like spilled skittles, the penguins surrounded the big underwater donut. They were
amazed that such a delicious thing had graced its presence in their ocean. They swam through the
hole, broke through the water and landed on the soft cushion of the fluffy donut. They were
mesmerized by the sudden stickiness. One penguin took a bite and discovered the stickiness was a
sweet substance. The penguin told the others and they began to eat the donut. As they got half way
through the donut became mushy and soggy.

They were saddened. They watched morose, as the soggy half-a-donut sank to the ocean floor. Then
they swam back up through the hole and returned to their old, boring, fish filled lives.
                        Mid-Buchanan High School
One cold arctic day several families of penguins plunged into the chilling waters. Scouring for food
in uncharted places that they’ve never seen before the females hunted like they hadn’t eaten in

They spread their wings and swam toward the light. As they swam the sea gave
off beautiful colors of green, yellow, blues, like nothing most people have seen
before. With the penguins, it was almost dreamlike.

They began doing something that appeared to be a dance. Their dance was beautiful.
They were happy to see a break in the ice.

Once they broke through completely they plunged into the waters and ate like
they never ate before. All of them were happy and full. They would never hunger
                              Central High School
The light was something I’d been curious about ever since I could remember. I’d swim around,
admiring that small hole of bright wonder for as long as I could remember. My parents always told
me it was dangerous, but their authority could never contain my curiosity. I decided one day with my
group of friends that we’d find out what went beyond the surface. That was the day that changed
my life forever.

I had to know what was beyond my sheltered boring life. Of course I need rules
and boundaries, something to keep me safe, but I kept swimming either way. I had
to get at. I just had to because if I didn’t life as I knew it would be completely over.
I didn’t want that. I wanted more. I wanted everything I could have.

My little body whipped, lashed and struggled and thrived. Though my beak led
the way my heart was ahead of myself. My friends gurgled air in encouragement.
We were going to escape, be free and find our very own selves. In all my
excitement and acceleration all I really cared about was my palpating heart.

Then TINK! What? TINK! The call came too late. Two great jaws of black plunged down
into the water, beads of saliva floating about it. Pearl white teeth bit at me, crunched.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                          Platte County High School
“How could this have happened?” Dexter murmured incredulously, staring out the helicopter
window as he and his team where whisked away. It all started twenty years ago, my brother
had just died in a hover car accident with a plane, he always did like flying too high.

He was a risk taker at heart and as a child it began. Whether he was dared to eat a bug or to scare
the neighbors he always carried through. Fright never entered his eyes, even as he faced death.

I remember the last thing my brother said to me was “Fear is for the weak, and the uninspired.” I
eagerly urged him not to take this particular trip. I knew the feeling in my gut had a purpose it was far
too strong not to.

When he took off that morning mom and dad and I watched, as we weren’t scheduled
to see him again for 18 months.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                         Platte County High School
I have been walking for miles, and this is the first morning that I have seen such a hopeful sky in my
path. This journey has been quite long, but under this blue sky I feel captured by the colors that wash
overhead. I wonder why every event I have been through has led me here, on this journey.
Since I left my family, I’ve taken on a whole new perspective. Life is more delicate, I value people
much more, or at least I will when I come upon someone again.

It seems as though I have walked forever, yet I feel I am meant to be here, as though all my
footsteps, all my questioning turns have not been for nothing. The intertwining colors of the sky call
out to my heart. It tells a story I can heat, yet I understand.

I understand that u must now follow the path of the sky, the path that has
been laid here for me. There’s no turning back now. I must forge a new path
and carry on.
“When the clouds coil in the sky, my son you shall be ready.” His words echoed in my mind as I
watched the cloud Gods writher in agony, twisting themselves to impossible angles. I was born to
the tribe of Saz-Lalit, the last of mankind. Regents say we were marooned in this world by great
flying mountains which carried our ancestors to the stars.

The elders whispered that one day a great boom in the sky would signal the
coming of our ship and salvation, but in the meanwhile, we were dead to this
world and it showed that to us by the foreboding climate and nightly raids of
primitive creatures resembling shadows and nightmares. My name was Jimbo,
and I was the son of Galenarigen. Our family held the tiger blood, and we were
renown for our warriors.

Warriors who stood bravely before all. Our warriors provided my family with large
amounts of protection.

The eldest man pointed up to the sky and began to shake. I went over to the man and began to
shake him to get him to answer. All he did was point to the sky, and I saw it. The people screamed
they thought the end was near, but I calmed them down and said, “this is just the beginning my
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                            Maryville High School
One day my brother and I decided to go fishing out on the rocks. We packed up our tuna fish
sandwiches and departed for the sea. We were riding our bicycles and my brother got a flat tire.
“Oh no a flat tire,” was at that was said. We weren’t anywhere close to a town, just out in the
middle of the country, when we met a time traveling gnome. He asked where we were going, and
we told him.

He transported us to a magical ocean under a green sky. When we turned to
ask where we were, the gnome was gone. We discovered we were alone in this
strange place. “Might as well fish,” my brother said. We were both soon wary of
the strange, sparkly landscape around us. The grass was a glittering gold and
was spotted with bright red stones here and there.

We climbed out to some rocks in the midst of the thick, lime water. For hours we
stood, hoping the gnome would return or we’d at least catch a fish. Three hours
later and both came true. There was a heavy tug on my line that I reeled in with
much grunting and heaving. To our disbelief, the gnome was hooked to my
fishing pole by his ponytail. He sputtered out, “What are you fools doing?”

As I stared in disbelief I though back to what Luke Skywalker would do. Then all the pieces began to
fit together. The little green gnome was really Yoda. No way was I going to let Yoda go. I won’t tell
you how Yoda died, but now he rests on my Star Wars shelf next to my first edition light saber.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                              Leblond High School
Lonely was never the word to describe the Island of Waken. It was full of people and
entertainment. The one thing that made the island special was there was a hill and on that hill was
the one tree on the entire island. Philosophers had theorized that hundreds of years before
civilization the top of the tiny hall was the only thing that showed above the water. This was a
product of time. Gradually, the water rose, and slowly corrupted the civilization as it took the only
land that was obtainable to them.

One day, before the water rose up above the ground the only people left on the island tried to
escape so they built a raft and started floating south.

They were all eaten which is what inspired the movie Piranha 3D.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                          Maryville High School
It was a beautiful, sunny day at the beach. Sure I would rather be with my friends than my
mom and little brother, but when the weather is this perfect, who is complaining. I laid on
my towel, soaking in the sun, listening to my brother splash in the waves. Suddenly a chill
ran through my body. I had long since learned to trust my wild, primitive instincts so I sat
up swiftly and looked around. My Hawk like vision picked up an almost impermeable
threat. A mid-size plane was hovering over our heads. I knew what had to be done. I
opened my mouth and let out an ear splitting scream. All those who heard it understood my
message. “There is a midsize plane attacking. It would be in your best interests to
evacuate before you are incinerated.”

Then it hit me. Running wouldn’t get us anywhere, well besides from point A to
point B. The best idea was to bury our heads in the sand, like ostriches. As I
began to dig a hole for my brother, I remembered what they said on the airplanes.
“Help yourself before assisting you child.” So, I did exactly that.

I started burying my head in the sand and did not look back. I was concerned for my brother, but I
didn’t look back. I had to save myself from the plane. My brother died, but I saved myself.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                             Central High School
“Why did he want me to meet him here?” Josh thought to himself as the helicopter circled the
small white building. The hillside formed waves of green around the building.

It was a quiet place, a little too quiet for someone wanting to meet at. Josh started to feel a little
anxious as the helicopter circled back around and once again flew over Josh’s head. He checked his
watch and realized that Marcus was fifteen minutes late. Looking around, he just saw the green fields
and the helicopter coming towards him once more. This time as it passed, a small box was dropped
that landed thirty feet away. Instantaneously Josh ran to the box that was now beat up on the ground.

The box held a key and a note that was even more misleading than the rest of the situation. “Don’t
come back until you’ve found it.” Josh wouldn’t be able to return to this spot until he had stepped foot
on every single country’s land and experienced great depths of soul searching. The horizon was
loudly bright and mundane, but quietly desolate.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                              Cameron High School
The lily pad is on the water. It floats delicately, until boom! It bursts into flames and morphs into a
small green creature. It was the scariest sight anyone could ever see. That relating scene suddenly
transformed into a mass of chaos as every other lily pad repeated what we had just witnessed.

And just when I thought it was over, the little green creatures stared around, sat
in “The Thinker” pose and grew larger. What used to be a pond full of lily pads,
went to a pond of small green creatures, and is now a pond of rather larger green
creatures with horns.

They stare at me, and I am filled with fear, but yet they just stand
peacefully, the water circling their ankles. The fear, turns into tranquility.
Then I remember what they once were. And the thought comes to me, how
could these creatures be anything, but peaceful? They are indeed beautiful,
and majestic. I walk away, no longer afraid.
                             Central High School
“The ethereal love that we share with each other is a buoyant force that must transcend to the
heavens.” The rubbery green lips of the elder pursed wisely, “that is why our homes float.”
Raindrops speckled the lily pad village. They formed puddles on leafy awnings and made weeds
bloat up and wilt. The grasshopper messengers clicked about the water’s surface on the heels of
Helios, chirping as they went.

The dragonflies skipped across the pond, humming along with the beat of the
rain that tapped on the water.

As the rain continued to pelt them, all that the habitat could translate
were symphonies. Symphonies that could transcend the love they had
spawned for each other. And so the waited for the better days.

The rain that brought them symphonic joys and love brought their neighbors irritation.
They were tired of all of this sickening love and symphony. They packed up and left for a
place that fit them better.
Write a Tweet about this photo.
                          Savannah High School
“Look, I’m not sure what you did to tick off the big guy but, in case you haven’t noticed,
this is a freaking desert! What happened to the land of milk and honey dude? You see
this sand? This isn’t what I had in mind. Look, I don’t care if I’ll be enslaved and beaten;
I’m going back to Egypt.”

“The Lord doth but test us,” Moses said. “His power shall sustain us in our time of deprivation.”
“Poppy-cock! Deprivation is when there is too little food and too many beatings, not when there is
too much sand and too much theology.

Then suddenly from the depths of the sea emerged a monstrous kraken. “Ba
ga” it yelled. “Wait, there is no sea here,” said Moses. The Kraken then rose his
Kraken-like-Kraken arms “if you want the promise land, then you must travel
to Libya!
 Photo Credits
Thanks to Christie Leigan, Prairie Lands Writing
  Project Program Director, for locating the photos we
  are using at today’s opening session. She
  downloaded the photos on 3/7/2011 from the
  National Geographic photo web site. Urls for the 12
  images used today are listed below them.

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