These entries from May'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 "May Writing Challenge."
Once Upon a Time
Once upon a time
In a land not very far
There lived a simple girl
As simple as you are
She was quite a dreamer
Ambitious and so strong
Believed in all the fairytales
She won’t be proven wrong
She spends her days writing
Stories not yet known
Stories she can only hope
For them to be her own
She writes about her dreams
How she wants things to turn out
Expecting things will turn out right
Without a single doubt
So she wrote about a boy
She dreams of meeting soon
How perfect he would be for her
To kiss under the moon
She chose a special time
A special place to meet
She wants this boy to be her prince
How that’d be very sweet
She wanted to look perfect
To look just fine indeed
The boy will love her right away
A love that’s guaranteed
Full of hope and expectation
She puts on her best smile
With her head held up very high
This time will be worthwhile
She wrote about a perfect prince
A prince without a name
And she has waited all her life
But that prince never came
The trees were talking.
I could hear them whispering, judging, discussing my fate outside my window. Looking through the dirty window I observed their arms flailed in the wind, who had come along to pick up the gossip. It was a cold day, and the weight of what I was about to do and of what I had already done froze on my shoulders, and I wondered if the decision would ever thaw. I had decided to give in to the sorcery, the magic, the voodoo, whatever you call it.
We all know it’s there – don’t pretend you don’t notice it.
So, I slipped out of the papery sheets and onto the marble floor of the dorm, as the staff at the retreat called it. It seemed more like a hospital to me — with patients coming in sick and going out better. Rebecca came in just yesterday. She told me all about how she lives in France and speaks French and goes to visit the Eiffel Tower every day. That was confusing because she didn’t have a French accent at all. That was all she got to tell me before the nurses took her away, as if she might be contagious. Or as if I might be contagious.
I crept along the concrete corridors, past the signs to Ward A and B and out the fire exit. The fake lights faded behind me and the darkness enveloped me, holding me close, a disguise from the nurses of the retreat. I was free now.
Free from the jabs, the questions, the doctors.
Free from the taunts, the jokes, the funny looks.
I imagined myself in a beautiful white dress, like I will wear on my wedding day, as I approached the forest, because imagining is one step closer to believing and believing is basically being. Anyway, the trees will know.
The serenity between the chirping of birds and the calm wind against my face are the opposite of the war in my head, the brewing storm that is my thoughts. The environment and my mind are just not meant to be wed right now.
All eyes are on me, evident judgment in their faces as I fail at blinking away the tears, staring at the archway, our alternative altar. My hands grip tighter against the bouquet of flowers and an uncut thorn pierces at the skin of my thumb, but the physical pain was nothing compared to the inner workings of everything within me.
When I’ve mustered enough strength to finally move, I make a step. A step backwards and away from the crowd. The crowd that Adam and I had gathered in a forest for the most unusual wedding, behind me right now, as I try to run towards the opposite direction of where I should be heading.
I hear gasps from them behind me as I throw the bouquet as far as I can manage, taking most of the layers of my dress in my hands. The heel of my left shoe digs into the damp land and snaps into two, furthering the ache of my feet. I rush to take them away and in my hands as well, before finally deciding to throw them towards the direction of where my flowers landed. I just need to get away as soon as possible. Before anything could catch up. Before everything else disappears.
The adrenaline in my veins subsides when I reach a more open area within the forest, where Adam and I spend our wilderness night-outs under the sea of stars. I free my hands of clothing, wiping the moisture in my face as I keep my head towards the sky. I engulf the luminous glow of all the various flowers surrounding me, as well as the beautiful dancing of the fireflies all around.
I try to smile in awe instead of dwelling into what just happened; I couldn’t think of it right now. Maybe tomorrow, I can start anew. Maybe I could create a new book from the left unwritten pages of where our future should be. But as I watch the grace of every flying miniature being above me, I couldn’t help but think I should be dancing with my love as well.
A butterfly circles in the air just in front of me, successfully grasping my attention. The feeling of it intentionally getting me to follow is surreal yet so pulling. The beautiful creature swirls the air once more before it flutters away, leaving a trail of dust and light. Maybe butterflies are long lost relatives of fairies. I erase the thought. I find myself following its trail.
The sun begins to set, and I doubt I’ll find anything within these trees when it goes fully dark. I hope the stars would be there to guide me tonight, for I don’t feel like making my way out of this labyrinth of a forest. Just as I was about to quit following, a shadow of a man sits on a log a couple of feet from me. My heart picks up. My eyes refill.
He must have heard a whimper escape from my lips because it was then that he turns around, dull light illuminating his puffy red eyes. My heart sinks. I have no idea what to feel now that I can see him up close. My throat feels drier than usual. I want to run into his arms, but I’m not sure if I can.
He stands up and closes the distance between us, cradling my hands with his. He presses his forehead against mine and closes his eyes before asking about my being here ever-so-quietly, like he’s afraid to voice himself and scare me away. He can never scare me away, though. Not now, not ever.
“Looking for you,” I whisper back, throat hoarse and body tired from all the running. I try to hide the tears in my eyes. “Please answer me, why weren’t you there, my runaway groom?”