August Writing Challenge: Honorable Mentions — Joy DelGiorno, Zeandri Rautenbach, Ana, Mary Garret, and Alison

These entries from August's challenge were selected as Honorable Mentions. Those who completed  this challenge are now encouraged to share their stories in the comments section of the "August Writing Challenge."
Joy DelGiorno
14
USA

The sinister smile that spread across the man’s face was nothing to sneer at, but sneer she did. Despite the chill in the air that set her wings on edge, tense to the point of almost snapping in half, she could not help but oppose the pirate. He was a tall man of about thirty, all skin and bone in a way that made her wonder if it would hurt to bump into him, as his bones seemed needlessly sharp, just like the knife he now clutched.

Being a fairy, she was at a large disadvantage, but it also meant she could escape swiftly. At her diminutive size, nimble movement was her biggest asset, and as her wings were trained to maneuver quickly, she had no doubt that she could outfly this man. But as more of his so-called colleagues surrounded her, the thought of moving an inch became more and more terrifying. Who knew there was an alternative to both flight and fight? Stark fear would be that third response, as she was learning.

The trees above seemed to rustle with anticipation, almost cheering on the posse, willing them to attack, for what could be more entertaining than a group of grown men picking on a girl 1/60th of their size? Apparently nothing, and that was what made it all worse. She had aged along with these trees. They had been her friends and most trusted advisors. As a child, all fairies are taught to respect nature, but how can you honor that which does not deserve your respect?

Just as all hope seemed to be lost, a storm of squawks pierced her ears, all shrill and filled with excitement. What seemed to be about a million little boys all came down upon the men, dressed in animal furs and bits of fraying fabric. More than half of them had on what seemed to be reminiscent of war paint. It occurred to her that this might’ve been just that: a war, lost boy against pirate, and she was just caught in the middle. Suddenly, she was angry. Ears red, eyes narrowed, she gathered her strength and let out a strangled scream. Fairies don’t talk, but animal-like noises are more than fair game.

She could remember a time before lost boys and pirates. She could remember the quiet. She could remember how the trees had been kind, and the grass had been lively.

All of that was lost, gone without a trace, and that was infuriating.

The moment was still. Her screech had bombarded all of their ears, the foreign noise surprising to say the least, and it had ended any and all movement from the males in front of her. They all stared, wide-eyed, jaws slack. A man to the side, who appeared to be about six-foot-four and with muscle to spare, began to laugh. Soon the sound of men laughing was all the old fairy could digest.

“The little miss is angry!” one man choked out between his hysterics and gasps for breath. Her eyes zoned in on this one man, who had dared point out her anger and mock it. And before he knew it, one of his eyes was in crippling pain, blood tearing down his cheek, filling each pore and bit of puckered skin. His screaming overpowered the laughing, and soon that was all that could be heard. Once again, it occurred to the fairy to become frightened instead of livid, as the men were out for her blood, eager to avenge their comrade.

Being surrounded on all sides by both boy and man, her only path of escape was straight upward, one she followed with gusto. Before the men could lunge for her, she had sped towards the tops of the trees, brushing up against them, and hoping to avoid any branches, but in her haste, she crashed right into one. It was fairly high up above the ground, so she was safe, but the cries below were troubling. As she clutched her side, weeping silently in pain, the only sounds within the air were the sounds of mortal combat, something she never wished to hear again.

 

 

 

Zeandri Rautenbach
18
South Africa

At Sea

These raging waters peak higher than most mountains; roar deeper than the ocean’s depths. In the midst of this soul sucking storm, the withered novel that was my life is read to me in the steady voice that once belonged to my mother, and my guts twist just as it did the day I walked away.

I was only 13 when my innocence was stripped of me as I started working for the Andersons. They seemed like decent people, and my mum knew we needed the extra money, hence she couldn’t decline the offer from Mr. Anderson. Little were we aware of the truth hidden behind their masqueraded behaviour. Of course I felt like a grown man at the time. I mean, who wouldn’t feel all grown up at 13 if you’re born and raised on a tiny developing island with no real government or monarchy. I earned the extra wages by carrying tons of fish from dock to market, day in and day out. Didn’t seem like much at the time, but oh how I wish I could take back that clumsy little moment of mine. Even though fish aren’t the sturdiest of things to carry, I wish it would not have slipped. I wish it would not have spilled not one but three diamond rings. I wish Mr. Anderson had not met my eyes at that very moment. I wish I had not realised that I was working for a captain of a secret pirate ship.

Of course Mr. Anderson assured that I don’t utter a word of it to my mother. I was only 13 when I was on the receiving end of a threat. I indecisively paraded with the mask they supplied and soon enough was entrusted with great shipments of stuffed fish. It was only the beginning. I was drowning in the lies before I even set out on my first voyage at sea, never knowing if I will see my mother again — hoping that I would survive the unrelenting sea and, even worse, the wicked men who roamed upon it by my side. The voyage stretched across 5 months as we showed no mercy to the oblivious ships we came across. We returned with mountains of gold, hoping to please. Every time in vain.

Upon my 17th birthday, I was once again at sea to no surprise. My body had gained fair muscle, and I was no longer the shortest of the crew. We had just happened upon a promising ship. Deep beneath my layers of masculinity that had been covering the tiny boy that once was innocent, I still knew that those acts were not to my liking. Unfortunately, thick layers of masks and lies had already been plastered by countless numbers of threats. When we finally returned, I found none other than Mr. Anderson himself leading me towards his office. He made it clear to me that I was to board his ship once again and not to return. He got greedy and needed young men such as myself to take complete control of another ship and stay at sea as long as needed. I was given no choice and much less a voice, for my mother’s life depended on me.

The gallons of tears my mother cried still pours deep into my soul. Still I pray that she has forgiven me for the lies. Still I wish that I could turn back and tell her that I was only trying to protect her — that she was not the one that sold me like a slave. Still I try to forget the pain in her eyes as I had accused her for my leaving.

I have been at sea ever since; never took the opportunity to return home when it arrived. I always believed that my end would be met by a blade. Now as the waters envelope every inch of the horizon and the thunder groans deep within its belly, I hear the voice of an angel telling me that she has forgiven me, urging me to let go.

 

 

 

Ana
15
Colombia

Habeis sabido desde un principio quien es el malo de la historia…pero que tal si os dijera que todo ha sido una ilusión ocasionada por el polvo de hada.Me llamarian mentiroso,pero antes escuchen la otra versión del que todos llaman:garfio.

Cuando deje la isla de Nunca Jamás,guardaré  un asiento junto a mi,aunque nunca llegues y la desesperación se apodere de mi corazón.
Hasta los malos se enamoran en el País de Nunca Jamás donde los cuerpos no envejecen paro las almas se desgarran.
Donde los piratas y yo el capitán del Jolly Roger a la vista de los niños perdidos somos los “malos”.Queremos salvarlos.
Odian al mundo de los adultos solo por recibir órdenes pero nosotros mismos nos ordenamos y algunas veces luego nos arrepentimos.

Vi el mar que llamaba impaciente por mi, me siento vivo en el mar y no puedo negarlo, aunque por un momento pensé que estabas junto a mi,pero no era verdad.
La cosa más grande que nunca haré es amar y ser amado a cambio de nada.
Tigrilla me dio su felicidad pero a todo el que le hago bien me hace daño aunque ella nunca pretendió hacerlo.

  …………………………………… Él llora y llora.

Tienes simplemente que aprender a vivir dejar llevarte por el amor así como las olas se llevan a los barcos.

 

English translation:

You have known from the beginning who is the villain of the story… but what if I told you that everything was an illusion caused by fairy dust. You would call me a liar, but first listen to the other version of what everyone calls: hook.

When I leave Neverland Island, I will save a seat next to me, even if you never come and despair takes possession of my heart.
Even the bad guys fall in love in Neverland, where bodies do not grow old and souls are torn apart.
Where the pirates and I, the captain of the Jolly Roger, in the sight of the lost boys are the “bad guys,” we want to save them.
They hate the world of adults only for receiving orders, but we order ourselves and sometimes later we repent.

I saw the sea that called impatiently for me. I feel alive at sea and I cannot deny it, although for a moment I thought that you were next to me, but it was not true.
The greatest thing that I will never do is love and be loved for nothing.
Tiger Lily gave me her happiness, but anything good I do hurts me, even though she never meant to do it.

                                              He cries and cries.

You simply have to learn to live, to let yourself be carried away by love like the waves carry the ships.

 

 

 

Mary Garret
15
USA

The Forgotten Lagoon

I lie here, trapped in the forgotten lagoon.
I used to live in the wide open ocean, where I could be free.
But now I stay here, alone and contained in this small stretch of water.

I miss interaction with others,
I miss being able to roam,
I miss my freedom,

Sometimes I remember what it was like to have all these things.
When I was happy among the mer-people
When I could relax and be me.

When I could breathe.

But that was all before I was exiled to this deserted lagoon.
This abandoned stretch of water
Near the ocean, but not quite there

Day after day, week after week
I lie lonely, rejected, isolated.
I can’t leave, no matter how hard I try.

But leaving isn’t my ultimate goal.
No, I gave up on that long ago.
I’ve accepted that I’m here to stay.

What I can’t accept is the reason why.

The mer-people, you see
Like to keep to themselves
They like to stay within the limits of the ocean

And when one individual ventures beyond,
When one looks for more,
They become an outsider.

The farthest you can go,
The worst you can do
Is falling in love with someone of another kind.

Like I did not so long ago.

He was a human, you see,
Which was not accepted by the mer-people,
And forced to be kept in secret.

But we were found out,
And I was exiled to this empty lagoon
And restricted from ever seeing him again

This desolate lagoon is where I’ll die.
Never to see my true love again.
Trapped in a cage, not in the ocean and not on land

A cruel, heartless isolated in-between,

This forgotten lagoon.

 

 

 

Alison
19
London UK

The Forest

I spy with my little eye
Something beginning with P
It’s something from stories
That set sail on the sea
A cry
A shout
Crouching still
Eyes darting about
What is that?
Where is she?
Is that a fairy?
Could it really be?
Where does she go….
When he wakes at night?
Is she always there?
Just hiding out of sight?
Could she love him?
Like he loved her
Did she notice him?
Like he noticed her?
He slept in the cave
Waiting for the day
He had to find her
But did not know the way
A tail on the horizon
A land before time
A forest full of trees
For him to climb
A pirate
A lost boy
A boat in the distance
A’hoy mate…AHOY!
Day turned to night
Sun swapped by moon
He took off his clothes
And swam in the lagoon
Could she love him?
Like he loved her
Did she notice him?
Like he noticed her
He never stopped thinking
Hoping for her
Warmth in his heart
Feelings beginning to stir
A Fairy
A mermaid
Was it real or
had he been played?
The night was drawing in
The lights going down
He had to find her
So deep now he’d drown
Of tail or wing
He had no clue
But it was a love
He had to make true
The horizon not moving
The land slipping from sight
He was never seen again
Not after that night

 

 

Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.

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