Okinawa Writing Rally

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Education

Okinawa Writing Rally

by: Samy Fineman | .
DoDEA | .
published: May 17, 2016

The Okinawa Writing Rally was held April 23 at Lester Middle School. In its second year, the Rally is a friendly competition among writers from the three middle schools on island.

This vision of two middle school teachers, Valerie Roshong and Hilarie Meadows, grew from the belief that students need an opportunity to explore and share their love of writing.

After months of participating in creative writing clubs at their respective schools, students wrote to two prompts within two rounds and subsequently rated their peers’ papers for first and second place winners of both rounds.

This is the component the founders are most proud, the determination of the winners by their fellow writers. Teachers are often caught up in the mechanics of writing, whereas students are spellbound by the stories.

A total of 15 students from Kadena Middle School, Lester Middle School, and Ryukyu Middle School took part in the creative writing challenges throughout the day.

Editor’s note: Round 1 winner and Lester Middle School student Alexandria Gregory’s creative writing essay Reason. She wrote this after getting a writing prompt of “the empty window”.

Reason

By Alexandria Gregory, Lester Middle School



She sat surrounded by shining, dazzling fragments of light. The dark red of her blood, a sharp contrast to her pale skin. The stripes circling down her arm from her shoulder gave the impression of a candy cane if it weren’t so menacing. Her hollow screams echoed through the room, and created the illusion that you could see through her soul, into the depressed depths of loneliness and pain. Reflected in what was left of the window was her tired, empty face, hiding her true emotions, if you couldn’t hear her shouts. The screams of agony slowly faded into a choked sob. She looked dried out even though she hadn’t shed a single tear. The whole atmosphere radiated hatred for just a moment and her eyes flared into focus, until she disappeared under another wave of emotion. She had flung herself into the window in an attempt to shatter the reality closing in on her. The only other living being in the room was the man in the dark suit.

He had his hair in a neat mess atop his head, and his eyes were those who had seentoo much. He showed no emotion and was a blank canvas hovering over her doorway. He had had enough experience with this kind of thing to know that he couldn’t help her. Not yet. Not until she passed into another stage of grief. Denial. He couldn’t comfort her, he couldn’t stop her, he couldn’t tend to her wounds until she was violent no longer.

Inside he was crying with her, for her even, but showing it would only make it worse. After all it wasn’t his grief. To an ignorant observer, the cause of her pain would be the sharp pieces of glass around her, dipped in blood, but he knew that wasn’t true. That wasn’t the cause of her pain, only the effect. He only had eyes for the sheet of paper, thick and solid, lying beside her, horribly untouched by the disaster. He knew what it said even if he couldn’t read it from where he stood. “We regret to inform you that so­and­so was unfortunately lost in the battle of so­and­so. We offer our deepest condolences.”

Her son, the only one she had, was dead. After her screams died down, she started mumbling, over and over. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry...” The man couldn’t tell if she was talking to him or her son, but he knew it was time for him to go.

He closed the door behind him and walked with careful steps towards the official black car he came in. He was already on the phone asking an ambulance to come help the woman. His job was done. By the time an ambulance arrived her house was silent. They knocked on her door, getting no reply, and went in the unlocked door. They found no trace of the woman, only the horrible paper with something scrawled on the back and stains of blood. Written were the only two words she had said since getting the horrible news. “I’m sorry.”

About a mile away was a bridge overlooking a violent river. On the edge stood the woman. She whispered something that was never heard, and leaped into the air, looking for all the world like a bird about to take flight. She soon disappeared into the water below. Her words... “ I’m sorry... David.”

Editor’s note: Kadena Middle School’s Morrigon Berry captured 1st place in Round 2 with this story.

Only Daisy Knows

By Morrigon Berry, Kadena Middle School



It was a typical day for me. I was out working on the farm. For once, I was actually doing my work. After I finished all of my work, I went to see my favorite horse, Daisy. Daisy is a beautiful tan horse. When she puts her head up, she is taller than me. She always acts like the perfect princess she is.  After I had bathed and brushed her, I said goodnight and went to bed. In the middle of the night, I woke up suddenly. I had no idea why I woke up, I just did. When I couldn’t get back to sleep, I went outside to see Daisy. As I walked out of the house, I realized that I was still in my nightgown. I ran back upstairs, put on a loose T-shirt and a worn out pair of blue jeans, and then I went outside.

When I got to the stables, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. As I went along the stables, I counted the horses. “1, 2, 3, 4,” then I gasped. I let out a scream. My husband comes running out of our house pulling on a T-shirt. “What’s wrong?” He asked. “Daisy’s missing! I put her in her stall before I went to bed, and now she’s just gone!” I started sobbing. He hugged me, and just like that, he was off to go find her.

I ran for the shed. When I get to the shed, I found my spell book. I put all of the ingredients into the cauldron. I felt the heat from the cauldron warming up the shed. The potion looked kind of like mud. I poured all of the potion into a small glass bottle. After it was all in the bottle, and the bottle was properly corked, I ran for Daisy’s stall.

Once I was in the stables, I uncorked the bottle and dumped the contents onto the ground of Daisy’s stall. The mud bubbled and spat. The ground transformed into a mirror-like surface. It showed our child, Lily, coming into the stall and getting Daisy and leaving. I called my husband and told him to keep an eye out for Lily.

Later that week, Daisy came back. But, Lily was nowhere to be found. We called everyone we knew looking for her. The police put out a missing person warning, but no one ever found her. To this day, I still wonder what happened to our little girl. She never came home.

Tom, my husband, died about a year after Lily disappeared. He just couldn’t handle the grief of losing a child.

I had to sell the farm, and all of the horses, to get by. But, I kept daisy. Daisy is the only one who knows where my baby girl went. ONLY DAISY KNOWS.