Creative Corner: Edition #1

This is a new segment that will feature original works from students just like you in the form of short prose, poems, or anything else students would like to share. If you would like to have any of your own works featured on this column, please send your works to my e-mail at Enjoy this first short story written by me.

She felt the sweat pouring down her face as she stared intently at the page. Her hand worked fervently making short, dark strokes against the white paper. The concentration she had for her task was evident by her scrunched up features. Her breathing was shallow and unsteady, as if her breathing were an afterthought to her one-track mind.

“Emily!” Silence.

“Emily! I know you can hear me. Come downstairs for dinner.” Emily’s concentration was broken as she felt a hand envelope her own, gently tugging the pencil out of her hand.

“I’ll be down in a minute, I promise,” Emily tried to negotiate, although she knew her attempts were futile. Her older brother’s stern look told her she’d failed yet again.

As she followed her brother downstairs, her mind wandered in search of an idea of where her drawing was going. She had all of the outlining done, but now she had to decide on the style of the drawing and the theme of the piece. She was always doing her planning in the middle of her project instead of beforehand, it was just second nature for her to have no idea where a piece was going until she was well into the process of creating it. But for some reason she could never finish a piece. There was always something missing from all of her works, something she couldn’t put a finger on. It wasn’t a visible absence of paint or anything noticeable; most people felt her pieces looked ready and questioned why she didn’t display any of her artwork.To Emily, an intangible major component of the piece was always missing and so she never wanted them to see the light of day. This did not stop her from trying to create her best and first finished piece. In fact, the more she failed, the more determined she was to create a truly complete artwork.

As Emily thought about how she’d incorporate a swamp monster theme into her simple family portrait, her father’s voice managed to break through her thoughts.

“-many times do I have to remind you that dinner time, is family time?”

“Actually, dad, it’s been exactly 42 times and I’m still ignoring the message loud and clear.”

She doesn’t know why she says it, why she her once playfully joking attitude has now just become attitude. She doesn’t resent her father and she loves family time more than anything else, but she just can’t help herself when making such comments. She thinks it’s just her teenage faze coming in, but she’s only 12 and that doesn’t seem very likely, even to her.

Or maybe she does resent her father, although it was her mother who left. Her mother who left her alone with only a father and a brother to guide her growing up. A self-less, kind father and a protective, silly older brother her mother had left to care and comfort her as she went through struggles growing up. No, her mother did not know who it was she had left her daughter with. Emily probably said such horrible things she didn’t mean because she was angry at herself, blamed herself for her mother’s absence.

Emily looked across the table to see her father sigh and the next moment felt his hand envelope her own under the table. The warm feel of his hand was reassuring, despite the sweat slicked moisture of her father’s hand from making dinner, she had never felt more comfortable in her life.

No, it definitely wasn’t self-hate that made Emily say such things, it was her sarcastic teenage years beginning. She knew she’d make it through just fine without her mother, and that was no one’s fault except her own for missing out on such extraordinary people that Emily was lucky enough to rely on.

Emily squeezed her father’s hand back reassuringly and continued to eat her dinner, already thinking of the perfect way she’d complete the piece she had waiting upstairs.