Silver Pen and Youth Imagination Magazine encourages and fosters creative writing, and especially writing by younger authors - teens, preteens and young adults. We also encourage writing for this young audience, and love to see great stories by adult authors, too. When stories are developed and workshopped, there's always the questions, what's next? We have the "what's next" right here - a magazine that focuses on the creative writing by, and for, our youth, sparking their imagination.
Dennis stood on the doorstep and rang the bell. He idly looked across the wide expanse of the front lawn to the country laneway. Suddenly he heard the telltale clicks of the lock being opened and the handle turned. The door swung opened and Wilson waved him in. "Come on in, Dennis. I'm just finishing up. Mom and Dad are away this weekend so this would be an excellent time for a test."
Dennis stepped in and shut the door as Wilson disappeared down the corridor. Dennis could hear the whirring of a machine in a back room. As he walked down the hall, he made note of the folded pieces of cardboard stacked against a wall along with several large pieces of Styrofoam. The noise got louder as he came to what constituted a workshop.
His friend Wilson was hunched over a grey machine, the source of the noise, set up on a sturdy metal table.
I bet you’re wondering how I came to be here, crammed into a mental hospital with the crazies. You’ll notice I didn’t say other crazies because I’m not crazy at all; I’m as sane as you are. And I’m going to tell you how I ended up here so you don’t suffer the same fate. Not only am I sane, I’m a nice guy. Didn’t expect to find that in the loony bin did you?
It all started a month ago, when I first heard the voice. I was in the library looking for a book on some guy called Shakespeare. Okay, okay I know he’s not just some guy, he’s the guy. I hadn’t read any of his stuff though. Why would I? Comics were more my scene. Our English teacher, Mrs. Pleasant, loved this Shakespeare fella though and our major term paper was to write an alternative ending to Romeo & Juliet. Have you read that stuff? I hadn’t but Mrs. Pleasant had quoted plenty of it during class; all those thees, thous and verilys made my head spin, I knew I needed help.
Chapter Thirteen - Bo
A car rumbled up the gravel road in front of the house around eleven o'clock on the worst night of any of our lives, ever. I had put Sydney to bed almost four hours before because she was weak and hot and fell asleep at the dinner table. Aunt Georgia had taken her temperature and given her Tylenol and a lukewarm bath to try to bring the fever down. Poor kid didn't even want me to read her a story, she was so tired. So Hayley and I watched a little TV and then went upstairs. Hayley was watching music videos on Youtube, and I made myself comfortable lying on my bed with my feet propped up on the wall.
"Your mom off work early tonight?" Hayley asked when headlights flashed across the backyard.
"I dunno," I answered. Momma worked eight to eight, five days a week, or at least that was what she said. She never seemed to take a sick day, not even now that Sydney wasn't doing so hot. She said she had such good helpers, and Aunt Georgia was capable of taking care of a kid with a fever. I knew mom was lying to me because she talked to me all fake cutesy like I was Syd when she called me her good little helper. I knew what she was probably doing all the time, but I didn't want to think about that.
Instead of passing by, the car turned off the road and up the driveway, keeping its headlights shining on the backyard. I went into Momma and Sydney's room to look out the window. The car's lights shut off, and a man got out. He had long hair and a baseball cap on, and he was carrying something, but I couldn't tell what. The security lights Aunt Georgia had put on the house flooded the guy with bluish light that also lit up the room some. Even though he looked like a character in some mystery movie in that shadowy light, it wasn't hard to guess who he was. All the pictures of Bo from the newspaper showed him with long hair. The farm hands had all gone home hours ago, and none of them had a long ponytail. My stomach dropped to my feet. I ran back to Hayley.
"I think it's Bo!" I half whispered.
Chapter Twelve - Mother Dear
When Momma came home from work the next morning, I was waiting for her, sitting cross-legged on the bedroom floor with the rolled-up baggie between my fists. Sydney wasn't in bed. Hayley was making pancakes with her in the kitchen, which meant they wouldn't be upstairs for quite a while. That was the plan. Hayley would keep Syd out of the way for a while so I could try to get the truth out of Momma. Or yell at her. Or something. I didn't really know what I was going to do, but there I was, nonetheless. My plan was kind of fuzzy after that.
"Hey, sweetie," Momma said lightly without really looking at me. She wore her green gas station uniform polo and black pants with sneakers. She dropped her keys on the dresser before pulling off her shirt and slipping into another one. I didn't look down. I was around her all the time, so it didn't matter that she changed clothes in front of me. We were both used to it. We were both girls, anyhow.