Winter Violin

It was a chilly autumn morning. I pushed my hands into my pockets as I walked out of our house to the car. “Don’t worry, Renee,” said my mom, “you’ll do great.” Still, though, I worried. Today I had an audition for a competition to play at Benaroya Hall. I had practiced and practiced and [...]

Crosswords and Crumpets

I found the crossword puzzle section of the newspaper and picked up a pencil. One across: Roman goddess of wisdom. That was easy enough; I had studied Greece and Rome in fourth grade. I breezed through the crossword puzzle until I came to thirty-three down. “What will fly away if you don’t grab it soon [...]


Arachne was my sister, but we were as different as night and day. I was tall and lanky, tanned from hours spent on the seashore hunting for the shellfish that Father used in his dye. She was small and pale from hours in front of the loom, doing the weaving that had brought her fame. [...]

The M31: Borrowed Bus Stories

Every day, you wake up, eat breakfast, and walk down the five flights of steep, stone-cold stairs. As a cheery neighbor greets you, you put on a fake smile and fast walk out the door. You’ve never been a big “people person,” or a dog person, or even a cat person for that matter. Should [...]


Reject. That’s what I was. My parents claimed that eight children in the house was too much for them to handle, and that they couldn’t support them all, so they sent me away to live with my grandparents. That wouldn’t have been as much of a problem, except that Granny and Gramps lived in Maine, [...]

A Night of Fire

A gloomy hole sheltered the shivering cardinal during a raging thunderstorm. The hole was an incomplete snake house, burrowed with consummate skill. The cardinal knew he had to get out before the hole filled with rainwater. Ever so carefully, he worked his way up the shallow passage, his gorgeous red feathers now streaked with dirt. [...]

Navy-Blue Cloth— Words and Pain

“He was mostly your dog.” The words flew in flurries around my head. I shall never forget them. “He was mostly your dog. Mostly your dog. Your dog. Dog.” Never-ending words, a round of angels whispered in my head. A comfort I drank like I would drink elixir. I found a blanket in those words. [...]

The Highest Football

It’s funny, sometimes some things that are supposed to make perfect sense are actually totally the opposite from the truth. Like the fact that opposites attract. Mike and I met in the good old days. Second grade. The good old days. It was actually the day I came to my first elementary school, Floral Street [...]


Everyone was startled at the Loud BBBLLLAAAGGGHHHH sound. I had just sneezed Into my trombone! Instantly, most of the class turned And looked my direction. What awkward timing! We were all in the middle of playing a song. I felt kind of embarrassed. I knew that was one thing I wouldn’t do again. But I [...]

The Mighty Jump

This was it. I could see it in front of me. The stream was ending. I had to jump. The strong current was blinding. The mischievous drops of water were going against me. I picked up speed. Flapping my tail fin one hundred times a second. Propelling forward faster and faster. I jumped. Elegantly soaring [...]

I Cry

I feel tears welling up in my eyes I try to suppress them I don’t want to cry At least not here In front of people But I do I do cry I cry and I cry And I try to push it back But I’ve waited too long I think about it About the [...]

A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park; Clarion Books: New York, 2010; $16 Have you ever found yourself running as fast as you could but not really sure where you were going? Maybe you were trying to clear your thoughts or simply running for pleasure. Maybe, like eleven-year-old Salva Dut, you were trying [...]