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.
In my family we don’t talk. We eat. Whenever there is an issue that festers in our hearts, my mother cooks an elaborate dinner and we sit next to each other in silence chewing away our worries, washing them down with respectable amounts of beer or wine.
The more things we eat, the bigger the problem. The better the cake, the greater my mother’s effort to hide what was on her mind. Year after year, I learned how to read what was for dinner, like others read Tarot cards or palms. I became ‘The food whisperer’.
This night’s special was my brother’s disappearance. A usual occurrence in our household but never one that made my mother roast an entire turkey for three people. As soon as I saw the lifeless bird on our table, I knew it had something to do with Alex not calling to let mum know he was okay.
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.
Don jolts awake the next morning like he was burnt. He's shivering a little since he's still above the blankets, muscles stiff from apparently being in the same position all night. It's barely dawn outside his east-facing window and it can't be the light which woke him, but a feeling lingers that still makes him want to run, flee.
He strips off and doesn't bother opening his travel-case to get any more clothes, staggering to the bathroom and splashing cold water over his face and down his chest. There's no need, really, he's more awake and actually aware than he's been since he got the first call, but he squeezes his eyes shut and just lets himself feel the slow trickle of droplets against his skin. Calm, focused, just for a little bit.
It's late Friday afternoon when Don steps off the plane from Boston into New Orleans airport, breathing in the scent of long-travelled miles and the air of a different history. There's a man tooting out jazz phrases on a trumpet as he makes his way outside, perched on a street corner with a coin-lined case open in front of him. Down the road he can spy a French bakery and an antique shop, across from a long and quaintly-designed house with gardens bursting in colour. The short walk to the taxi rank is made through the sound of car horns and revving bikes, a knock on a window and a scrap of shakily-addressed paper pulled from a pocket before he lets himself fall into the passenger seat .
Don's eyes are closed as they make their way through the winding streets. He vaguely hears the trumpet melt slowly into the distance only to be replaced by another, different tunes and instruments fading in and out every few blocks, but he's not really listening. He's barely slept in the past thirty hours, yet even with the darkness behind his lids and the lulling repetitive bounce of the taxi he can't possibly drift off now.