Poems and Short Stories
By Cristiana Nevaeh
Second Place Winner in the 2022 Milton Arts Council Creative Writing Contest
Living from sail to sail,
Life truly is a breeze,
Letting the salty air blow
From the magnificent seas.
"So small in your ship,"
Might say a mighty whale.
To whom wed be but a pest
To flick away with its tail.
When not marveled by the waves,
See the vastness of sky.
Its infinite blue stretches too far
To be reached by even the eagles eye.
"It must get boring,"
A fool may surely insist,
But every day is far more beautiful Knowing it may one day be missed.
January 20, 2019
It's funny how people change
their behavior with the drop of a hat
It truly is fascinating
how easily humans do that
When they find a person worthless
they are sure to make haste
to remind them that even at their best
they will always be a waste
But once humans find they have value
or could bring them some gain
they flip and surround you
like they loved you all the same.
January 20, 2019
Gazing up at the sky
I start to wonder why
I can't soar like a shooting star,
That dazzles through the night.
How wondrous it would be
if all the world could see
as I shone a light oh so bright,
a radiant display of beauty.
If only I could show
the lengths to which I'd go
just to be admired
by all the ones I know.
But now I stand here
the water below me, so clear.
With a breath, I decide
that with this leap, I swallow my fear.
"Where’d you put your bag?" my mom demanded urgently.
"I... thought I put it right here," I muttered as I looked around the table.
"Well it's not here, is it?" she asked, sounding more irritated by the second.
"Go check the Lost and Found," she instructed. "We need to go."
"Yes ma'am," I grumbled before rushing toward the glorified closet known as the Lost and Found, careful not to slip on the puddles covering the tiled edges, only to be shot in the ear by a kid with a water gun.
I hate the pool. I never understood why my mom always forced me to come with her. It's not like she'd spend time with me; she'd just lie in the sun and talk to her friends about how annoying their kids were, even though I was her only one. I mean, it's not like I'd want to swim in an oversized bathtub full of germs and unsanitized strangers, anyway. I usually wished I could've stayed home and just read my books. The worlds inside them were always so much better than the lame real one...
I looked up from shaking water out of my ear and saw that the closet was even worse than I remembered. At this point, it was less of a closet and more of a worn-down shack, with broken shelves poorly fixed with duct tape and glue and the walls practically falling apart with cracks and splintered wood. Nonetheless, miscellaneous water toys, sandals, and sunglasses were mindlessly littered about, confirming that this safety hazard was, in fact, the Lost and Found. The closer I got to it, the more it looked like it could fall apart at any second. Nobody was inside, but I saw someone had put my bag on one of the shelves. As I grabbed it, something caught my eye. I looked over, and I saw a dusty old spyglass. It looked ancient and must've been abandoned for years. Its carved swirls and designs seemed worn away from decades of being held toward the sky, and I might've seen stars when I looked at the glass of the eyepiece.
I figured I might as well make the most out of this trip, so I took it off the shelf and brought it with me. As I walked back to my mom with the spyglass in my hand, I tried blowing the dust off it. Right after I did, the wind blew the cloud right back into my face. I sneezed and gagged, only inhaling the ancient grime faster. Without realizing it, I dropped the spyglass suddenly to cough and rub at my now watery eyes. Once I could see and cleared my lungs, I saw the telescope roll off the edge and into the pool. Without a second thought, I dove in after it, hearing my mother's loud protests shortly after. Unfortunately, as I would not soon enough discover, it fell into the deep end, which happened to be about ten feet down.
I know I should've turned around. I know I should've swum back to the surface and just forgotten about the stupid thing, but something was pulling me toward it. Something was insisting that I couldn't leave it behind. Something about it told me that, even if I heard my mom calling me, she could wait just a few more seconds. I was right on top of it when my head started to hurt.
"Jeez, how far down is ten feet?" I wondered to myself. Not that it mattered anyway. I was so close now. Just a couple more strokes.
I felt my vision fade as I touched the floating scope with the tip of my finger.
Things started to go black as I finally wrapped my hand around the telescope. I should've been worrying, or even a little concerned, but nothing else mattered.
I had my treasure and I wasn't letting it go.
When I opened my eyes again, everything around me was dark. I gasped, expecting to be soaking wet on the hard, slick tile on the edge of the pool. Instead, I didn't feel anything. In fact, it felt like I was floating. I looked around, wondering what the heck was going on, and I saw sparkling dots all around me, littered throughout the massive darkness I seemed to be stuck in. I squinted and realized…they looked like stars. I went to squeeze the strap of my bag as I have a habit of doing, only to feel some sort of cylinder in my hands instead. I looked down in my hands to find that while all I had on me was my swimsuit, the telescope was still there. I started looking it over, turning the larger lens toward me only to see that it was glowing.
Before I could question it, I started to hear a muffled echo through the empty space. I couldn't help but wonder if I'd drowned, figuring that maybe someone had pulled me out of the water. Anticipating voices of panic, encouragement, or even "Don't go into the light" s, I was taken somewhat off guard by what I actually did hear.
I quickly looked around, the voice sounding almost like someone whispered in my ear, only to find nobody there. At this point, I could hardly tell if I was dead or just straight-up crazy. I swallowed before letting out a sigh. It's not like I had anything to lose.
I hesitantly put the scope to my eye and looked around, and what I saw blew me away. A beautiful array of stars danced across my eyes, sparkling and lighting up the black and purple sky with a spectacle of glimmering lights. I smiled to myself as I lowered the glass from my eye, only to find a large building before me. My feet now planted in wet grass, and my swimsuit no longer on my back, replaced by some kind of cloak, I found that I had somehow arrived in some sort of flatland, a giant observatory in the distance.
I was about to run towards the building when I realized I hadn't even stopped to process what was going on. The first thing to note was the brown leather cloak over my shoulders. I looked at the buttons down my torso and saw I was actually wearing a coat. There also was a familiar navy blue and golden star pattern just underneath, telling me I was still wearing my swimsuit...but I hadn't even felt it. I felt my hair still pulled back in a poofy bun, but it was dry as dust. In fact, I was weirdly dry, considering I'd been in a pool moments before. The only explanation was that I must've been dried off while in that weird starry space.
I was still barefoot, so I noticed the grass beneath my feet quickly, which actually wasn't wet either. I ran my fingers through it and found it was freezing cold instead. Normally I'd expect the air to be somewhat equally cold, with the grass feeling more like snow under my toes. However, the air wasn't remotely as frigid as the grass made it seem.
The best way I can describe the air around me is it didn't have much substance. Usually, you can feel moisture clogging up the air if it's humid or cold wind biting at you in the winter, but here I didn't feel anything. I’d imagine it was how it felt when the summer sun wasn't there to warm your skin on a windless day. I looked up at the sky and saw no sun or clouds, not even a moon. All I saw was a starry night sky that was much more colorful than what I'd watch from my window.
Still, even though it looked like a night sky, something told me that this night wouldn't be ending anytime soon.
I decided to look through the spyglass again and saw stars that looked nothing like the constellations from home. I even saw some nebulas in the distance. I figured this telescope must've brought me here. That or I was still unconscious and being brought to an emergency room. Still, if this was a dream, that meant I could've woken up any second. I could've pinched myself to check, but I felt comfort in the lack of a definitive answer. After all, I wanted to make the most of whatever this was while I could.
I looked back down at the telescope in my hands. I saw it wasn't glowing like before, so I wondered if I'd only imagined it when I was at the pool. I put it to my eye again and decided to look around, aiming towards the observatory. Doing so got me a better look at the massive scope sticking out of it. The lens wasn't pointed straight at me, but it was turned enough to see that it was glowing. Not in a light-reflecting way either. It was shining all on its own, the same way that my telescope had. When I took it away from my eye, the glowing had stopped, and it looked like ordinary glass again. I couldn't help but wonder if these telescopes were similar somehow.
Not wanting to waste another second, I ran to find this observatory, and if this wasn't a dream, maybe get some answers.