Sometimes it's nice to stop and take in the details, whether it be through still life, painted or drawn, or the precision of a vignette poem. Send us a freeze frame from your day-to-day existence; a moment to remember.
Don't forget to include your name, grade and school, and an (optional) headshot with your piece. Send your submission to YouthReview@EmeraldParents.org by Friday, November 13th, and happy creating!
EDIT: We're extending the deadline for submissions to Wednesday, November 18th!
Murder in the House
"Whao," says Pa. "What was that?"
"Thunder" replies Ma.
"Really? We never had thunder here before."
"Sure we have, you just never pay attention." Now reader, the loud "boom" you heard was not caused by lightning. It was a house blowing up.
Pa and Ma both look at Bob, their only child.
"What do you say, Bob? Have we had thunder here before?" they both say at the same time.
"Well... We have, but I don't think this is lightning."
"Why do you think that?"
"Well, a few weeks ago, I bought a newspaper."
"We live on a farm," says Pa. "How did you get it?"
"Remember? When we went on that trip to buy a carriage to travel easier, I snuck off for a moment to grab one."
"Bob, for that you are grounded for--"
But before Pa can finish talking, a loud boom happens again but only closer.
Pa and Ma say, "Bob. What is that?"
“In the newspaper I read, they said a guy is murdering a bunch of people and the booms are rocks thrown by big catapults."
"So what?" asks Ma.
"Well... it said the guy is targeting farms and we are the only farm in the city".
"Bob! What have you been reading? That is just a rumor." Ma says.
"Oh yeah? The news also said that the murderer likes to go to the house to end his victims off."
"So that's why you have been getting scary dreams lately?"
"Yeah, I guess I have to admit it," says Bob.
Suddenly, there is a knock on the door.
"We barely get visitors, especially at this time," says Pa.
"Bob, go look out the window to see who is there," says Ma.
"Mom! Dad!" says Bob. “I see a guy in black at the door! I think he has a gun in his hand and has another accomplice hiding in the grass.”
"What?" they shout back.
"I think the murderer is here!" Bob exclaims.
Now you will have to wait for the next book to keep reading.
Pumpkin Patch and Others
In a small town called Connellsvlie, in my cozy little home, I was sleeping soundly when suddenly someone knocked on my front door.
I groaned, then pulled on my glasses and checked the time. It was 1:03 a.m. in the morning. Who in their right mind would be knocking at this time? I slipped on my fuzzy white slippers and trudged to the big old red front door. I undid the deadlock and swung the door open.
I was hit with a blast of cold air. Shivering, I looked outside. There was nobody on the porch or even on the street.
“Hello?” I shouted.
“Anyone there?” I yelled again.
Still no reply. The shadows of the houses flickered as the streetlights waved in the wind. The eerie silence of the street made it possible for me to believe that my mind was playing with me.
Probably one of those nasty teenagers, ding dong ditching me again. Since I was awake, I decided to get a cup of water. I walked towards the kitchen in the dark, groping the walls. I found the light switch and flipped the kitchen lights on. Brightness illuminated the kitchen. I got a glass cup and filled it with clear cold water.
I let the water slowly trickle down my throat when suddenly someone knocked on the door again.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
This time I rushed towards the door to try to catch the culprit. Again, no one was there.
“Come out, I know you’re there!”
No reply. Every single house on the street was pitch blackand the trees swaying in the cold breeze.
I was about to close the door when a sudden cold blast of air flew by me into the house. I spun around and saw the most terrifying thing I had seen in my life. The monster of your nightmares, the devil himself. I felt transfixed to the ground. Not wanting to look at it, but couldn't move away.
I dove past whatever it was and into my room. I slammed the door and slid into the cramped closet.
I could hear the steps coming close and closer. I tried to stay as still as I could but my heart was pounding so loud I thought that the monster could hear it.
The monster opened the door and walked in the room...
The leaves are changing. It's time to break out the mugs, play some old tunes, and fend off the growing chill in the air. But wait: is that scratching sound just the wind or something more sinister? Our featured work this month are guaranteed to make you feel fall -- whether that means cozy or creepy.
Olfactory and auditory strains blend together in "Fall Tunes", a drawing by Serena Gao. It's all about ambience here.
Ambience of a different kind — the crashing sound of thunder -- sets the scene for Nathan Yang's scary story "Murder in the House".
Artist Faith Yang uses bright colors and close details to evoke a pumpkin patch, a Thanksgiving feast, and a rushing waterfall.
Finally, Tim Mei's short story "Invisible Monster" brings the terror of the unknown right to the reader's doorstep.
We hope you enjoy this month's edition of the Emerald Youth Review. Leave a like or a comment to show your support.