Declo High School

A Tradition of Excellence

In November, The Creative Writing Club held a writing contest in connection with National Writing Month.
 
Prose winners were:
1st - Tori Davis
2nd - Miriam Weeks
3rd- Kaitlin Peterson 
 
Poetry Winners were:
1st - Tori Davis
2nd - Megan Bronson
3rd - Dustin Rodgers
 
The winning entries will be pasted below as they are received!
 

The Games People Play by Miriam Weeks
 
Jacqueline’s hair slid perfectly into the braid as if it had been trained to do so. She slid the mask around her eyes and her training kicked in. She took a deep breath and was instantly thrust back in time to the moment when she had first learned of the steps.

‘Step One’ lay written across the board in the training room. Chalk dust hung in the weak shafts of sunlight and shifted in the slight breeze from the breaths of twenty children. The personalities of the children showed in their positons. Some of the children were leaning into others, while others sat ramrod straight, as far away as possible. Jacqui could almost see herself now, sitting near the edge of a group. She looked relaxed, though Jacqui knew her younger self was not. Her darting eyes observed and analyzed everything. Her mother had told her to be wary, warned her of what she thought might come, though she truly had no idea. Jacqui’s family had needed the money more than they had needed her, so she was sent here—given to the government.

The door swung open, completely silent. The instructor strode in, speaking as he went. “I assume you are prepared for today’s lesson.” It was not a question, but a statement, and every child in the room knew it. They all realized their lives depended on, not only their abilities, but their preparedness.

“Step one,” he continued steepleing his fingers, “is a compound step. It starts very simply: breathe. Now for the nearly impossible part, we simply call it ‘flip the switch’. Some of you may find this impossible. If you do,” he paused slightly, “you are already dead. Flipping the switch implies—in the most basic of terms, turn your human off. Learn to not care. Learn to not feel. Learn to do as you are told. Be a machine. If you do these things, you will survive. Notice, I did not use the term live. We speak in terms of fatalities and survivors here. You no longer live. Got it?”

The snap of her latex gloves against the tender skin of her inner wrist brought Jacqui back to the present. Even amidst her remembering, she had continued to prep for her mission. She was dressed completely in black and armed more heavily than the royal arsenal of her ‘peaceful’ government. She clipped her favorite knife onto the inside of her forearm, the hilt barely poking out from under the edge of her sleeve. A royal blue robe that brushed the edge of her shoulders and the top of her knees completed her ensemble.

She had received the mission details under an hour ago. She had guessed it was coming. When the class began to shrink one or two at a time, she had feared what was happening. The children—who were no longer children—had been training together for years, now there were just the two of them left. Now, with this assignment, there would only be one.

Jacqui took a breath and flipped the switch. To survive, she knew she must do as she was trained; she must kill.

Responsibility by Megan Bronson 
 
Sinking, 
rolling, 
drowning, 
struggling for air. 
 
Heavy Weight, 
pressing down, 
pilling up, 
killing with its subjection. 
 
Suddenly the world above me, 
crushing with it’s burden 
holding me accountable 
for its life within. 
 
Trembling until my strength leaves 
and I betray that precious lilfe. 
The world a fallen church window 
shattered at my feet. 
 
I try to run from equity, 
but the broken shards and molten lead 
cut and burn my feet. 
 
I fall and wail, 
overcome by guilt, 
giving up, 
sinking, 
rolling, 
drowning, 
losing air, 
heavy weight.
 
CLOSE