Why You Had to Break In

You are 16 years old and you and your friends have just been caught breaking into the local gas station. After your parents post your bail, you must explain why you did it, since this is not something you would usually do. What your parents—and others—don’t realize is that you did it for heroic reasons.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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104 thoughts on “Why You Had to Break In

  1. Ratboy111

    “Explain yourself Leroy!” My mother commanded me while we were leaving the police station. “I walked into the gas station the day before to buy a cappuccino when I heard some strange noises coming from the owner’s office. I thought nothing of it at first, but as I got closer, I heard a familiar voice coming from inside the office. The clerk came and asked me if I was going to pay for the cappuccino. I went to pay for my cappuccino when I noticed something very strange. Hanging on the wall behind the cash register, I saw the diamond necklace I gave my best friend, Alice, on her birthday. After I paid him the money, I left the store in a brisk manner and assembled a team of friends to help me break into the store to rescue Alice. The team consisted of myself (the leader and driver), Alexander (the muscles), Lisa (the computer genius), Max (the master of disguise), and Penelope (the actor). Penelope and Max distracted the store clerk while Alexander, Lisa, and I crept towards his office. We snuck inside and searched for something out of the ordinary. Lisa stumbled upon a secret room with an electric lock. “Don’t worry guys, this should be a piece of cake,” Lisa whispered. She decrypted the lock and opened the door to reveal a secret tunnel. We heard screaming noises echoing through the tunnel and followed the noises. Not only did we locate Alice, but we also discovered a sweatshop full of young children who went missing from the bus accident that was on the news a few months ago. “Are you kids alright?” Alexander asked. As we were freeing the kids from their shackles, the store clerk and another guy walked down the tunnel holding guns to Max’s and Penelope’s heads. “You brats thought you could save these children? Well, I’ve got news for you. You’re all going to jail for breaking into my store except for your friend Lisa. I could use a computer hacker to help me out.” He declared. He and his partner forced me, Max, Alice, Penelope, and Alexander through the tunnel and out of the gas station where all of us were arrested. Unknown to him, I took a picture of the children with my cell phone and showed the police before you posted bail.” I explained. I showed her the picture and she was surprised. By the time the police arrived at the gas station, the clerk was gone. Fortunately, I knew where they took Lisa and the kids. Alexander, Alice, Max, Penelope and I drove to where the van was at. It was at a place not too far from the gas station. Alice called the cops and Alexander and I broke into the house where Lisa and the kids were. We tackled the clerk and his accomplice to the ground and held them there until the police arrived. The kids were returned safely to their parents and we became heroes.

  2. Smileyface256

    Okay, everyone, I’m new to this site. Here is my first ever published piece of writing! Any tips or advice would be more than welcome.

    I sit in the front seat, looking out the window and feeling as if there’s a lead ball in my stomach. I’m still shaking, my palms are still sweating, even though the excitement is long passed.
    Finally my mom asks the question. “Why?”
    It’s amazing how much anger, hurt and disappointment can be heard in on word.
    I swallow the lump in my throat. “Mr. Fredrickson was having an asthma attack.”
    “He has asthma?” my mom keeps her eyes on the road.
    “Yes. He had already locked up when I saw him stumble and pull at his collar.” My words tumble out. “I pulled on the door but it was locked. Jared grabbed a trash can and smashed the glass because I wasn’t strong enough. I was giving Mr. Fredrickson a shot from the medical kit when the cops showed up. They thought I was drugging or poisoning him.” I bite my lip as I remember the sick, worried feeling I had when I saw Mr. Fredrickson gasping for air, stretching his collar with clenched fists, the moment of wondering if we would be too late and the relief when I jabbed the needle into his arm. “The cops slammed me and Jared to the ground and slapped handcuffs in us like we were crooks. They wouldn’t believe us.”
    My mom is silent for a minute. She stopped at a light and looked me straight in the eye. “Is that the truth?”
    “Yes.” I don’t even blink.
    The light turns. She drives on in silence for a minute. “You’re a brave girl.”
    There’s warmth in her voice. I look at her and she’s smiling.

  3. SkittzleFrizzleBop

    “Breaking and entering,” my mother screamed at me from the front seat of the car. “What were you thinking, Sam? You can’t just go around breaking into buildings! Do you want to get yourself thrown in prison?”
    “But Mom, I…”
    “Don’t you ‘but Mom’ me! You are in so much trouble Mr.! You’re grounded! You hear me? Forever!”
    “Mom, I was…”
    “Forever! You are never leaving the house again!”
    I stared out the window. I watched the blur of trees and sighed. My mother was staring at me but I was done trying to talk. She wouldn’t let me.
    “Don’t be ridiculous, Sharon,” my father said to break the silence. “He can’t stay inside forever.”
    My mother turned towards him and glared at him. “Do you want to be grounded too,” she asked.
    “No,” he said. “I was just saying. Besides, you haven’t even given the boy a chance to explain himself.”
    My mother continued to glare at him for a while. Then she turned to look at me again and said, “well, go on then. Explain.”
    “I was just trying to save Mr. Jenkins,” I said. “He was in danger.”
    My mother continued to stare at me. “In danger?”
    “You know that gang that hangs out down by the docks?”
    “You mean those drunken idiots who wear pirate costumes,” my mother asked.
    “Yes. Them. On my way home from school today, I overheard them talking. They said they were going to rob the gas station and then blow it up. I ran straight to the gas station to warn Mr. Jenkins. The sign said it was closed but I figured that he would still be inside taking a nap like he always does.”
    “So you broke in?”
    “Yes, Mom. I broke in. And then the police came and they wouldn’t listen to me just like you wouldn’t.”
    “What do you mean I didn’t listen,” she asked. “Of course I listened.”
    “No, Mom. You didn’t. You’ve been lecturing me for hours now and every time I tried to tell you, you would just keep talking. Dad’s the only reason I even got to talk this time.”
    She looked a little ashamed but then she asked, “why didn’t you call the police, Sam?”
    “I don’t have a phone remember? You took it last week because of my math test score.”
    “Oh, yeah. I did, didn’t I? But that’s not the point! You really expect me to believe that you broke into Mr. Jenkins’ store to save him from a pirate gang?”
    “You know what? I’m tired of always having to explain myself. You never believe me!”
    A truck behind us honked its horn and started to pass us. It was going way over the speed limit. As the truck passed by I could see that it was flying a Jolly Roger on a pole and in the bed of the truck was a cash register and a fuel pump that had been torn out of the ground.
    My mother was speechless.

  4. heybritney08

    I walked outside, as slowly as I could, trying to savor these last few seconds of freedom. I was in so much trouble. My license and the new car? Gone. I doubt I’d be seeing them any time soon. I should probably kiss the ground now because I won’t be stepping outside for a long time.
    The car idled by the curb. I stopped. There was no avoiding it. I had to get in the car sooner or later. Every fiber of my being warned me about getting in the car, but it was unavoidable. Might as well get it over with. I took a deep breath, put my hand on the handle and opened it slowly. I hesitated for a moment before climbing in. Mom sat in the passenger seat with her arms crossed. Her eyes fixated on a point somewhere in the distance, but I doubt she was seeing anything but red. Rage and disappointment hung in the air, so thick I swear I could taste it. Crap, I thought.
    Nothing was said, that scared me even more than the yelling. I waited, hoping she’d break the silence. Nothing. I looked to the police station doors and saw Dad stomping towards the car, the vein in his neck bulging. I’m so screwed! He reaches the car, yanks the door open and throws himself in the seat so hard the car moves. After that, he slams the door shut with so much force I’m surprised the glass didn’t shatter.
    “Just what the HELL were you doing?!” he screams while he moves to put the car in drive. He’s so outraged that his hands just linger halfway there.
    “You wouldn’t…” I start.
    “Don’t you dare start your argument with ‘You wouldn’t understand.’ If you know anything you will not start with that.”
    I sit there, stunned. I have never seen him so angry before, and that’s saying a lot since I’m the youngest of four boys. They had been caught doing everything that someone could get in trouble for, from toilet papering their mortal enemies to stealing a car. There was no chance I could tell him what happened, I was done for.
    His eyes are bulging out of his sockets. Mom is still sitting there, making no motion or sound.
    There was no chance I could tell him the truth. He’d think it was stupid, and it probably was but I don’t care. It was worth it to me.
    “I’m sorry, Dad, I just really wanted a soda.”
    “A SODA?!” He starts scream again but I zone out. I was only thinking of how Sandy was going to finally love me. I found her necklace; the one that Max stole just because she dumped him. I knew it meant the world to her and she was going to love me when I gave it back to her.
    It was worth it.

  5. rutlandwriter

    I’m sitting in a jail cell next to my friends who are all crying, hysterically. God, they are so annoying. It’s noisier here than I would have imagined. Police officers are laughing, inmates crying, some yelling. It’s very chaotic.

    My friend Alicia is shaking so badly that I think she might break. I try to hold her but she’s inconsolable. Kayla is curled into a ball on the floor. She’s hugging her knees and bawling. Freddy and Luke are both sobbing like babies too. Luke is covered in mud and Freddy’s arm is covered in blood. Luke keeps muttering that he won’t get the scholarship to UCON now. Freddy keeps saying his father is going to kill him.
    As for me, I don’t see what the big deal is. Sure, we got arrested but it’s all a misunderstanding and everything will be fine. No need for hysterics.

    Our parents all arrive together, as if they came in one car. I can hear my dad talking to the police officer. My father is a big man with an even bigger voice, which is now echoing off the concrete walls. Kayla stands and walks over to me.

    “We are so dead.”

    I roll my eyes. “No we aren’t. It’s going to be fine. Will you all stop being so dramatic!”

    “Easy for you to say, Siena. Your father is the best defense attorney in the state.”

    This is true, but it’s not why I know we will be fine.

    The officer walks towards the cell and begins to open the door. I tell the others to get up but they refuse.
    “My life is over if I walk out of here,” Freddy sobs.

    “Whatever,” I say as I walk over to my parents. We leave the station in silence. The doors to the car shut in unison. My dad puts the key in the ignition and the car comes to life. I think I hear my mother crying.
    “Mom, are you crying?” She doesn’t answer. As we drive away, I see the others coming out of the police station. Everyone is crying. Everyone.

    “Dad, you have to listen, it is all a mistake.”

    “Siena, you broke into a gas station and stole food and cash. I’d say you made a big mistake alright.”

    Wait, what? They think we broke in? They think we stole? How could…..“Dad, someone was shot! We went in to help! I saved the guy from dying!”

    My dad stops the car, looks at me, and then he pulls the car over to the side of the road.

    “What?” My mother is now twisted in her seat and staring at me.

    “Didn’t they tell you? We were getting gas and saw a robbery. This crazy guy was in there with a gun and he shot the clerk. When the robber left, we went ran in to help. I put pressure on the wound and gave the guy CPR. We called 911.”

    “Siena, there was no clerk.”

  6. Mspencer

    We passed by the run down structure, a faint light glittered through the broken window.
    “Did you see that?” he asked.
    I cautiously replied “yeah.”
    “Let’s check it out” he said as he spun the car around, heading back toward the hauntingly dismal structure.
    The night was clear and the moon was bright allowing for just enough visual clarity. We crept as shadows toward the gas station, holding hands. A shiver of fear and excitement went down my spine as we neared the broken window. A muffled voice carried by the breeze, brought me to a halt almost causing both of us to fall.
    “What is it?” he whispered.
    “Don’t you hear it?” I squeaked.
    He listened for a moment and heard the voice and clatter of objects. Against my never wrong gut feeling, we approached the window and plopped down silently.
    “What if they have a weapon? I am sure there is nothing in there worth stealing.” I stated.
    “There is no way they are armed” he stated reassuringly, reaching for my hand.
    I could hear nothing over the accelerated thudding of my heart. A few candles had been lit, illuminating a shrouded figure before a metal box. We watched as he opened the box with a crowbar, lifted the lid, and exposed a bright array of coins. We both sank to the floor as the six foot figure began to turn around.
    “We need to do something” he said.
    “I don’t think so, have you lost your mind?” I asked heatedly.
    “You stay here and I will go make noise to distract him. While he is distracted, go in and get the metal box. I will meet you back at the car in twenty minutes. You can so this beautiful.”
    Then he scurried around the corner leaving me speechless. I could not believe what he wanted me to do or that he had left me. Soon I heard him making noise and the figure disappeared into the front room. The window screeched as I pushed it open and slipped inside. I grabbed the box, stumbled out the window, and ran faster than I ever had before. The car materialized as the headlights came on, a beacon of hope that I would make it. As soon as the door shut, the window next to me shattered. I had not realized the six foot tall goliath had been right on my heels. Just as we rounded a corner the old red and blues were flashing behind us. Seeing the metal box in my lap he inquired about it, this lead to our arrest. I could just imagine the tiny pieces that my parents would tear me into for being so reckless. They must have been angry because they did not come to bail me until the following morning. I expected a lecture and beating as I walked toward them, and out into the bright sunshine. I had actually been a hero, saving an old man’s life savings from a thief.

  7. interiordesigner

    I opened my eyes, scanning the area to make sure no one was around. Running up to the window of the gas station, I slid my palm across the glass. Inside, I could see shadows thrust upon the walls, giving it an eerie feel. Checking my watch, I realized time was running out. Walking along the outside walls, I stopped by the back door, silent. Bombarded by the strong smell of gasoline that told me I had to act fast or else she was going to die. Running around to the front again, I took my long sleeve shirt off and wrapping it around my arm; I broke through the glass and jumped inside as the alarm sounded. I could hear muffled coughs coming from the back room as I got closer. I looked for anything to pry it open with, knowing the handle would probably be too hot to touch. A few moments passed, then I kicked the door in and had to step back as smoke filled the open room, the flames suddenly becoming thicker with the introduction of more oxygen. I whipped off my long sleeve shirt and tied it over my nose and mouth and stepped into the room, trying to locate the trapped woman. Off to my right, I caught a glimpse of brown hair reflected against the orange flames. Moving quickly, I made it to her lifeless body leaning up against a few boxes. Picking her up in my arms, I lowered my head, plowing through the flames to the main room of the gas station towards the front entrance. Busting into it with my shoulder, we were finally out in fresh air. In the distance, I could see flashing lights and hear sirens blaring. I carried her to a safe area away from the gas station, and then continued on foot. Reaching a hill that overlooked the gas station, I watched. Satisfied, I breathed a sigh of relief, and then blacked out. Waking up in the hospital bed was a pretty sweet deal. My parents weren’t very happy with me and I had managed to get them to agree to hold off dishing out punishment until I recovered. But that didn’t stop my Dad from giving me a verbal tongue lashing. “How could you do something so dumb? Are you that desperate for a good time that you resort to dangerous stunts like this?” I could see the look of disappointment on his face and I wanted to explain what had really happened; why I had broken into that gas station, but he was right. I had risked my life and had almost lost it all because I had seen my neighbor’s jealous husband lock his wife in the gas station. I knew they were disappointed and perhaps wouldn’t trust me again for a long time, but turning the TV on and seeing my neighbor being hauled off to jail in handcuffs and his wife and baby safe made it all totally worthwhile.

  8. shopgirl349

    Explaining to my parent is one thing, when I do something minor. However, tonight my thoughts were going a thousand miles a minutes, trying to figure out the best possible way to explain why I would ever do this. Breaking into things was not at all what I do and is completely out of character for me. Somehow, I needed to get that across. My parents were silently sitting up front. Dad was driving and Mom was thinking very hard about what to do in this situation. The best possible way at this point was the silence.

    We arrived to our little home, in one of the subdivision in St. Louis. It was a quant little house, two stories, older home; that had a lot of character in my opinion. Dad parked in the driveway and stopped just in front of the white two door garage. He put the car in park and started to open his door.

    “Why would you do this?” he said under his breath as he was getting out of the car, more as a statement rather than a question.

    Mom shook her head and climb out of the car, as I followed shortly thereafter. I was hesitant, knowing what was coming next. I took a deep breath and started walking down the large rock pathway that led to the front door. Inside, we all sat down in the living room.

    “I’m not sure what or how to approach this,” my Dad started, “you know better than to ever do anything like this.”

    “We trusted you, how could you let us down in this way?” replied her Mom.

    “Now, please let me explain,” I interjected.

    “Alright, go ahead,” Dad said.

    “Alright, so I was crossing the street and saw someone running from the back of the building. So I went to the back where he was at and saw a little girl lying on the ground. She was semi-conscious, I made sure she was still breathing at that she had a heartbeat. But, I left my cell phone at home, so I had to get to a phone to call 911. So I was trying to find a way into the building. Just as I was getting to the phone, I heard the sirens and so I was running to the back of the building. As I was going to the back door and they threw me to the ground and I was shuffled off to the police car and put into the back seat. I was just trying to help the little girl. The cops just didn’t believe me.” I said.

    I finished it all without a word from my parents. My parents were more stunned than anything. Why wouldn’t they be, I looked them straight in the face when I was talking to them; they had already received the story from the cops and they were just trying to make sense of it. They had heard about the little girl, but didn’t know her condition or the situation of which she was found. There was no reason to believe that she was lying.

  9. junglecat

    My friends and I were walking past Bob’s service station on the way to Pandora’s to shoot some pool. I looked over and saw a big red dog in the office. The dog looked like it was in trouble, panting really hard. I started running over to the window to get a better look and the others followed me. We could see from the window that something was wrong. I spend 3 nights a week after school cleaning up at a vet’s office and from what I could see, the dog was ready to have pups, and was in trouble. I called the vet and left a message telling him what was going on and asking for help. We had been waiting about 10 minutes when the dog started yelping really loudly. We all loved dogs and wanted to help. I had seen the vet deliver pups before and I thought I could help.

    We went around back and found a window open just a crack. I pushed the window open and Joe got through it and opened the door for the rest of us. I didn’t see an alarm so I didn’t figure they had one. We all ran to where the dog was laying. Three puppies had already come out but another one was trying and looked stuck. Mom was yelping as if in terrible pain. I didn’t think. I got down on the floor to see what I could do. Mark was walking around the store and yelled, hey, there are some plastic gloves over here. He brought me the box. I slipped on the gloves, closed my eyes and went for it. Maybe 3-4 hours or maybe minutes later, I had a pup in my hand and the mom was no longer yelping.

    We found some rags in the back and covered up the pups. We didn’t want anyone to find them until mom had a chance to clean them up and nurse. We put stuff in front so they couldn’t be seen right away.

    We were on our way back out the window in the back when a cop car drove up. Before we knew it, 3 more cars had arrived and they had us in handcuffs. They didn’t ask what was going on, they called us punks and said we would do some time for this break-in. They shoved us all in the cars and took us in. After we got to the station we tried to tell them what was gong on but they said, they didn’t see any dog and pups and we were lying sacks.

    Our parents were called and well………….

  10. brandongd

    I’m scared. We were just about to pull out of the Petro gas station when I heard the squealing of rubber on asphalt. My mother’s old beat up, clunky Crown victoria peeled around the corner and pulled into the parking lot. My mother was upset, clearly. She had received the call about 15 minuets ago. No mother wants to hear about her son pulling a stunt like this one. I tried to reason with myself. Once this is all over she will understand. After all. I’ll be a hero! That thought lingered in my head for a while. Then my mother’s car door opened. Here we go. “Where’s T.j? Mom cried. She rushed over to the puffy chested big shot cop standing at the rear of the cruiser I had the pleasure of resting my feet in. The cop murmerd a couple sentences into his radio and then drew his attention to my frantic mother. I still haven’t really been able to conjure up a way to break something like this to my mom. When I thought of it in my head it went a little something like..” Im sorry. And ended in me crying and my mother driving me back home to feel the wrath of my father, hopfully I go back home after this, and I don’t get in anymore trouble.
    After talking to my mother briefly, the big shot cop fumbled with some keys and opened the back door of the cruiser. My mom threw her arms around me and embraced me like she had never embraced me before. I think I heard my ribs cracking?! As I rose to my feet I see the Law enforcement officers making a semi- circle around me and my mother. Half the cops had smirks on their faces amused by my mother’s affection she had for me at that moment. The others a stark furrowed brow and the scowel of disapproval. “Well we are going to have to take him in and process him. He shouldn’t get any time for this just a misdemeanor and some community service”. “Court will be held tomorrow morning, you will have to bail him out then. What were you doing in there anyways son?. “Distracting you guy’s I thought”.
    “You’re friends are fast runners. We are going to need the names of the ones that got away” said the puffy chested officer. He hands me a pen and a pad of paper with a picture of sparky the fire safety dog on it. I had remembered him from the fire safety instructors from first grade. “I cant say who they are… because I….. think T.J think! I don’t know who they are .. we uhhh just met.. and I was actually just heading home and uuhh… the second cop on scene stops me mid-sentence “ Yeah, save it for the judge kid. That’s what they all say”. My mother looks at me in disapproval.. “I’ll be at the court house first thing in the morning to bail you out sweetie, says my mother.. And she gives me a loving smile. Now looking at my feet I don’t say a word. And a single tear falls down my cheek. I get back in the cruiser and the car door slams shut.. My mom standing near the gas pump clenching her hankercheif and waving goodbye as a peer out the window at her. Now I’m making my way down to south central station. “ok” I say to myself.. “Pull it together, you can survive one night in jail… This isn’t even the real jail. It’s merely just a holding tank. I’ll be out in the morning and I can move on to phase two!

  11. jrderryberry

    The car was silent on the way home. I knew that Dad would be the first to speak, I just didn’t know when. I never knew when. I looked up at Mom and Dad from the backseat only a couple of times. Both of them were just staring at the road in front of us. Mom let out a few heartbroken sighs every now and then, but Dad was a statue. I finally convinced myself that they weren’t going to say anything, at least not until we got home. That’s when he spoke.

    “Just what were you thinking, Sam?” The anger in his voice made me jump in my seat. Mom looked at Dad; Dad glimpsed into the rearview mirror, staring at me with a look that made me feel five years old again.

    “I don’t know,” I said weakly, my hands shaking. I clasped them together, then stared out the window to my right.

    “I don’t think you were thinking,” Dad said.

    It was so cliche, but it worked. It made me feel like I couldn’t think for myself.

    “Sam,” Mom said. She spoke without turning to look at me. “Getting in trouble at school: that’s one thing. We deal with things like that and then forget about it. But breaking into Gordy’s? That’s another thing. That’s a felony!”

    “I know, Mom!” It was all I could say.

    “Really?” Dad snapped. “Then why did you do it, son? Did you want money? If that’s the case, then get a summer job.”

    “Well?” Dad said when I failed to answer them.

    I spoke slowly.

    “Me, Joey, and Mark had heard that Gordy was a bad man. We heard he was an ex-convict. They say he killed two kids. We thought maybe he got Cory and Jason and that he put their bodies somewhere in the gas station.”

    “Wait, wait, wait…” Mom interrupted. “Where did you hear this? And why did you think he killed Cory and Jason?”

    “Mr. Vern told us. We talk to him after school.”

    “The janitor?” Dad asked. “The janitor told you that Gordy was a murderer?”

    Dad looked into the rearview mirror at me.

    “Sam! Mr. Vern hates Gordy! He used to work for him! He’s a drunk and all he cares about is putting Gordy out of business!”

    “But what’s this about Cory and Jason?”

    “Well,” I started, “they haven’t been at school in a couple of weeks, and we heard that their mom was really depressed and couldn’t stop crying.”

    They both looked at me like I was stupid.

    “You don’t know much about your friends, do you?” Dad said. “Their mom and dad got divorced! They’re living with their dad for a while. And you, mister, are going to work for Gordy and clean up the gas station. You’re grounded until Gordy says you’ve paid him back.”

    I slumped in my seat, staring out the window, desperately wanting to get home.


    I held Heather’s legs as she lowered herself through the roof of the dark gas station. She hovered near the checkout counter grabbing at the credit card. She dangled back and forth past the potato chips, chocolate candy and magazines. A police car pulled in the lot and parked.

    “Heather!” I whispered.

    The police ate doughnuts and drank coffee. My heart raced as my arms struggled to hold the weight of her body.

    “Heather!” I said louder.
    “I almost got it!” She answered.

    She slipped from my hands.


    She knocked over counter displays, the coffee pot and everything else that was nailed down. The police heard the noise and saw her trying to get balance. I ran to the back of the roof when they got out with their guns and flashlights pulled.

    “Open the door!” The taller cop yelled.

    I heard heather explaining the “the alarm would go off.” The police called for backup.


    The lock clicked and the alarm sounded. Within minutes police cars came from everywhere. Heather told the cops, her accomplice was “on the roof.” They came around back.

    “Angel! Come down with your hands up! NOW!” The cop yelled.

    The cop had his gun pointed at me as I hurried down. He called our parents and I knew mine wouldn’t understand. My mother and father arrived looking like they were in the middle of the throes of passion when they got the call. My mom wanted to talk, I wanted to be in my room and my dad wanted to watch the sports channel.

    “We’ll talk about this later Angel.” My dad said.
    “We’ll talk about this now Angel!”

    We climbed in our old SUV and headed home. Dad turned on WSPORTS Radio. Mom quickly turned it off.

    “Say something young lady!” My mom said.
    “Give her break will ya.”

    Mom cut her eyes at dad and then me.

    “Angel!” she yelled.
    “Mom, Dad, Heather’s parents are getting a divorce because her dad had an affair with a 16 year old who had his baby. The baby fell down the stairs and died. The authorities accused her of killing her baby and her neighbors wanted her to go to prison the rest of her life. We were scared the girl would get beat up daily by gangs while reliving the nightmare of losing her baby. The girl tried to commit suicide but she couldn’t complete the job. Now, she’s a vegetable in a mental ward being mistreated by the staff. They never wash or take care of her properly. So, Heather stole her mother’s credit card to buy the girl soap and deodorant from the gas station. We took the stuff to the girl and Heather realized she left the card. We returned to the gas station and saw the card through the window but it was closed. We figured a way to get the card. I’m sorry.”

    Dad pulled in our driveway.

    “Angel, speaking of divorces, your dad and I…

  13. huzzah616

    “So, why did you do it?”
    My mother looked at me solemnly. Her eyes and face were tired as if she had been battling some kind of demon for days. I knew it wasn’t like me to do something so horrific. I paused, trying to make sure that I could use the right words to make mom understand.
    “You don’t understand mom. It’s not what you think.”
    “It’s not, huh? Well then help me understand.” Her eyes were raging now as she put her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side.
    “I tried to talk them out of it, tried to help them see it was a bad choice.” I paused. “As we got to the front of the store and Barry threw the brick through the window, I noticed something. Back by the cooler there was a girl mom.”
    Mom looked at me. A frown furrowed across her brow. “And…”
    “She needed help. As Barry and the other guys went into the store and started putting stuff in their pockets I made my way back to where she was. She had curled herself up and covered up with a blanket so that the only thing visible was her face. She had a broken her leg and couldn’t move. I knew she needed help. I dialed 911 and called for police and ambulance assistance. As I was going back to get her something to drink the police showed up and caught us all. We were arrested and brought downtown.”
    Mom stared at me. “Why didn’t you just tell the officers that you were helping that girl?”
    “I tried to tell them that we had found her there. But it was true that we had broken into the gas station. We were guilty of that. “
    I knew that I was going to pay for the bad decision even though I had helped someone in the process.
    “Well. I’m glad you were there to help that girl. But it still doesn’t erase the fact that you went into that gas station after your friends broke the window. You’re grounded for two weeks. No tv, phone.”
    “Ok.” It was all I could say. There was no use in arguing with mom once she made up her mind.

  14. chris

    “A gas station, Josh?” My dad slammed the car door shut and started the car. “You work two part-time jobs and broke into a gas station? Why?”
    “You wouldn’t believe me, if I told you.” I stared out the back seat window.
    “I know why, Dad.” My older brother, Mark offered. “He’s never seen a naked girl, and Murphy’s Lube & Liquor have the best nudie mags.”
    “Shut up, Mark!” I kicked the passenger seat from the back.
    “Please Mark, stop . . . Josh, tell me why. Was it revenge for the granny underwear they hung from your locker?”
    “They also Saran-wrapped the Dean of Discipline’s car.” Mark added. “And rigged it so the cheerleading squad got blamed.”
    “It’s because . . .” I hesitated. “It’s the oldest building in town.”
    “What does that have to . . . oh no . . . are you serious?” My Dad’s eyes glared at me from the rear view mirror.
    “Dad, I have proof. I saw it, they were there!”
    “Oh my god, Josh; Not another alien invasion theory.”
    “It’s called ancient astronaut theory.” My voice cracked at my thin argument. “The aliens came here thousands of years ago. I saw the proof, Dad. The Murphy’s are descendants of aliens! Please, yuv gotta believe me!”
    “Josh . . .”
    “We found a room full of heads, hanging on the walls.”
    “They’re hunters, dumbass!” Mark added. “If you turned on the lights, you would’ve seen, those were animal heads.”
    “Josh, no more alien TV shows and you’re grounded.”

    We got home and I trudged up to my room; slamming the door behind me.
    From my corner window, Sean fell onto the floor. He liked to use the side porch as a ladder. “So Dude, howdit go?”
    “Perfect.” I replied.
    “Awesome.” Sean grinned. “It’ll just take me a sec to power up and connect to my wireless router.”
    “The Murphy’s are out of control.” I stated.
    “Dude, they got the cheerleaders disbanded.”
    “Yeah.” I replied. “I heard a witness said they saw a burly cheerleader running from the Dean’s saran-wrapped car.”
    “Targeting cheerleaders, it’s un-American.” Sean tapped the keyboard.
    “Is it working?” I peered at Sean’s laptop screen.
    “Houston, we have lift-off.” Sean’s grin faded to horror. “Wow, it’s true; they really do dress up as . . . what is that?”
    “You’re getting all this?” I asked. “The cameras I planted; they’re recording?”
    “In Hi-Def, Dude.” Sean grinned.
    We laughed at the screen. The two burly Murphy boys acted out scenes from Romeo & Juliet – they always boasted about their acting. One brother dressed as Juliet; as in Shakespeare’s time; men played the female roles. The Murphy boys were traditionalists.
    “We finally have it – leverage.” I stated. “They’ll have to admit what they did.”
    “Dude, we’ll be heroes – gods, even.” Sean looked at me. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
    “Oh yeah.” I smiled.
    And we chimed in unison:
    “Grateful cheerleaders.”

  15. Birdee0809

    They stand outside at first; waiting for their nerves, or nerve, to direct them further. At the insistence of the others (there are almost always others), they walk up to the glass and press their face to it, as if they can’t help themselves. How long they stand there, however, is another thing entirely. Some look in quickly then run away. Some curve their hands and place them on either side of their eyes before peering inside. They look around, not sure if there is truly anything to see at all. They may sense something or they may not. They’ve heard the tired rumors and they’ve come to see for themselves.

    This night is especially busy, this special night. One of them stands out from the rest; I’ve seen him before and always on this day.


    “Come on kids, get into the patrol car,” Officer Bill said wearily then turned to Joe, “I’m taking them home and you to the station, this has to stop, now.”

    Bill had pulled his nephew out of the gas station before but he was always alone. Now he was making juvenile delinquents of his friends. No, it had gone on long enough and Jenny and Al needed to know.

    “Uncle Billy, I think I did it this time,” Joe whispered to his Uncle once the other kids were in the car. He had a look of wonder on his face.

    “You go there every year? Are you kidding me?” Jenny said looking from Bill to Joe and back again.

    “Joe, what is it you think you were doing in there?” said Al, trying hard to understand why his model child was not only caught breaking and entering but had been doing it for years.

    “But I won’t have to go back again, I figured it out,” Joe said.

    “He told me long ago that he was trying to help Mr. Landmeier,” admitted Bill.

    “That mean old man who owned the station?” asked Jenny then said with a sigh, “it’s late, we’ll get to the bottom of this tomorrow,” then frowned at her son and said, “and we will talk about this.”


    The policeman and kids are gone but the door is still open. It’s been open before, why is it that I feel I could go through it now? The kid, Joe was his name; he said he was my friend, didn’t he? He said he would remember me, he promised it. The times before he always said those things but nothing happened. This time was different, he brought others. Were witnesses needed? He was only a little boy when I first saw him, before the fire that took my life and I was trapped, friendless and without mercy in this burnt out shell of a building that had become a real and metaphoric portrayal of my life.

    There are others outside now but they are not among the living, they are here to take me to my rest, finally to rest.

  16. lenawyn

    I stood there watching as my parents walked into the station, faces dripping with disappointment. The corners of their mouths seemed like a magnet to the floor. I had an explanation. A good reason for doing what I did. Watching the bailiff turn the key was a momentary relief until I realized I was trading a real prison for four walls of misconceived failure. I only hoped they could hear me through their stunned silence.
    I knew my greatest hope belonged to the ears of my mother. “Mom, I know this looks bad, but I had a good reason.”
    My mother simply looked back at me in the backseat with raised eyebrows meant to silence any attempt to be forgiven so easily.
    “Mom, I did it for Emily.”
    “What does Emily have to do with you breaking into a convenience store Jacob?” my mother said with disdain.
    “You don’t understand, her parents kicked her out and she had not had anything to eat all day!”
    “So, you are telling me the best solution you and Frederick could come up with upon finding Emily hungry was to break into the QT and give her stolen cookies!!!”
    Somehow the plan didn’t sound right coming out of my mother’s mouth. Emily was starving! We had to do something! Freddie and I had been out driving around in my Ford Wrangler when we ran out of gas. To our dismay, neither of us could get a single bar on our cell phones. So, we grabbed the gas container out of the back and started walking toward the gas station. We had only walked a mile when we heard the sound of a muffled cry coming from the desert to our right. I glanced at Freddie hoping his face would give me the courage to look in the direction of the cries. But, before I realized I had the courage, a recognition alarm went off in my brain. I had heard these cries before. Without even thinking another thought for my own safety, I started running towards the sorrowful sounds.
    Emily was sitting with her back against our old make-out spot. The shadow of the large rock almost covered her completely, but I knew the sound of her quivering voice without ever seeing the tears on her cheeks.
    “Emily? Is that you?” my voice was shaking almost as much as hers as I ran to her side.
    Emily looked up, a salty river streaking her face. She had no reply, my presence made her shoulders shake uncontrollably. I sat not knowing what to do. I eased my arms around her small frame hoping my warmth could calm her down. In between sobs, Emily explained how she and her mother had fought that morning. She said her Mom kicked her out of the house with no food or money and she had not eaten since dinner the night before. Frederick and I only thought it was logical to get her something to eat at the gas station. If only they had been open, none of this would have happened.

  17. xokavi

    They wouldn’t believe me, and even I couldn’t believe the lies I cooked up. It wasn’t good enough, y’know, the whole story about how there was this homeless guy on the street and he was dying and if only they could have seen the look on his face they wouldn’t have been able not to help! They weren’ t buying it, prolly cuz I was a terrible liar.

    Hah, they weren’t buying it. Get it? Cuz shoplifting? If you’re not laughing, your sense of humor’s shit. F—k off.

    Anyway, they wouldn’t believe that it was a fairy. Hah! I sound like a fruit now, don’t I? And real nutters? But I really, truly mean it. A fairy. I don’t mean with like, butterfly wings and pixie dust and shit, but it was a fairy and it was magic. And it was dying.

    It was weird, because nobody else could see it, you know? But I’m with friends, and we’re walking down this street at 3am in the morning and maybe we’ve had a little to drink, and maybe a little something stronger than alcohol, and we were probably on our way to no good anyway, but there it was, you know, laying there on the curb right next to the sewer drain. All beat up and bloody and looking ten kinds of pathetic. I couldn’t miss him, and yeah it was a him because fairies don’t have to be little hot pixie chicks covered in leaves or whatever) but he was glowing. Like, GLOWING. But it was this dim kinda glow, like there wasn’t any… conviction to it. There’s a word, and my English teacher says I never pay attention in class.

    I didn’t believe it myself, at first. Like I’m thinking I’m crazy, like there’s nothing there. But he saw me, and our eyes actually met and it was like this scene out of a movie, and then he said my name.

    Well, he called me Half-Wit. But everybody calls me that, so that was good enough for me. And standing there, outside this 7-11 drunk off my ass and my friends are bugging me, telling me to come on and I knew, I just knew I had to help this guy. Cuz who the f–k else is going to help some fairy they can’t see, you know?

    The police thought it was kinda unusual, I could tell, some kid like me had gone and grabbed first aid and shit like that, I could see it on their faces even though they didn’t say anything. But maybe they just thought it was for me cuz my hand was bleeding like a bitch after I punched through that window. And you know, that fairy guy wasn’t even there anymore, so I didn’t even get the chance to point and say, right there! Can’t you see him?

    Now that I think of it, you know what?

    Bet that bastard set me up.

  18. KKM

    A rat: the only thing I’ve ever stolen in my short, sweet life. A plastic rat in a gas station. The theft was a carefully engineered power maneuver to earn me a favorable status in a gang of adolescent thugs. I had so far failed in this pursuit thanks to my love of literature and respect for women; they wouldn’t tolerate that kind of gentle garbage in their gang. These were not amateurs: these were men of violent nature. They took swigs of vanilla extract from their backpacks and defied our teachers; they listened to the Sex Pistols. I was toast.

    But I needed a gang. High School is a dull and lonely world; I sought desperately an organized expectation of conduct to conform to, some good old fashioned groupthink to choke on; I needed a tribal affiliation to build character, so that college could be a time of breaking free: my triumphant pursuit of self. I would write my memoir during this period: My Time in the Gang. It would later serve as my thesis.

    When I found the gang, and began my probationary period, I could think of nothing but rats. Rats form gangs, too. They move about in terrifying numbers, their population blooming exponentially as they scour the streets, kicking over trash, chewing things to bits and gnawing Styrofoam. The males vie for power and respect – they commit terrible crimes to be King; but the males that are weak are shunned and for lack of any other option they ban together and form a satellite clan, and they become extra violent and homosexual with their frustrations. The homosexuality is particularly disturbing because they don’t prefer it – they do it out of rejection rather than free will.

    The night at the gas station the Gang and I stood staring dumbly at the darkened door. We had come here for debauchery but the moment upon us, not one man moved to action. I saw my opportunity and seized it – I lifted a shovel that rested on the ground beside the window and heaved it wildly into the glass; I did it again and again like a lumberjack hacking away at a resilient tree, and the glass split, then shattered. I reached through the jagged frame and unlocked the door, opened it with ease. I walked in wordlessly, the shovel dragging alongside me. When I turned, I saw the Gang running terrified from the door and through the lot; the horror of my abandonment turned to immediate cold sweat panic – I saw at once the cop car gliding forth, its sirens silent but lights spinning.

    I looked around me with despondence until I saw it – the plastic rat, in a bin of other plastic rats. I grabbed it without hesitation, shoved it into my pocket. Fifty cents these rats were selling for, and I was going to the slammer. I set two quarters behind the counter, where they wouldn’t be seen. Then I turned bravely, heroically, to face my fate.

  19. floridasunshiny

    On him, death looks a lot like his life. Menacing. Invasive. Violent.

    Pow. Pow. Pow. Pow. Pow. I fired five successive rounds from the 45 I picked up from a bearded guy in the Douglas Street alley two nights ago. One by one, the bronze-tipped lifesavers whizzed through the air and ripped through his pale white flesh. He stumbled, and then fell to the ground in slow motion, knocking over a Lays potato chip stand. With his eyes reduced to little slivers, red ink gushed from his body and surrounded his dirty blond hair like a devil’s halo. I did a good deed. I helped a ‘dead man walking’ to die.

    I didn’t always live a Robin Hood-esque life. It’s something I acquired over the past couple of months. At 16, I haven’t lived long. But, I’ve lived long enough to know that he, the gas station clerk, didn’t deserve life.

    My friends and I do everything together. We serve in student government, volunteer as tutors and were even inducted into the honor society together. Friday night, that all changed. They had no idea that our night would turn out like this. But, I knew. This has been in the works for weeks now.

    Since my good deed happened on a Friday night and my friends were considered my accomplices because we were together, we sat in the county jail throughout the weekend. Monday morning, though, the judge granted bail. And, it was expensive. My parents had to put up the house they just paid off as collateral.

    A full 24 hours after being released, Mom continued to ask God through her river of tears how he could place such evil on my heart to take someone’s life. Dad sat in his favorite chair in the den, stared ahead and puffed through three packs of Kool Menthols. The phone rang non-stop. My school pictures flashed across the TV screen as breaking news. The local ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates camped out in the street in front of our house, waiting for a statement.

    This is a big story for our small town. How could an honor student with college scholarships already lined up kill someone? What they don’t know is that I didn’t kill anyone. I saved lives. I saved the lives of faceless and nameless children in our town that could have been his next victim.

    Two weeks ago, I saw three of his victims. They were no older than 10 years old. These kids, armed with handguns, were going from corner to corner to make drops and pickups for him worth thousands of dollars. They were making him rich for a few dollars to feed their families.

    The police did surveillance, but continued to let him ruin the lives of these babies and of the people inhaling the powdery white substance he trafficked. It was time to get him off the streets. If the police couldn’t do it, I would. And, I did. Justice has been served.

  20. wanderwr8ter

    (Hi, this is my first time on this site! Also, my first time writing as a male character. Hope you like!)

    Handcuffs. I don’t like them in the bedroom, and I sure as hell don’t like them now.

    My older brother, Zedrious (who prefers to be called Zed), is terribly upset, judging by the way he’s wringing his hands vigorously. He’s just bailed my best friend and I out of jail, and he’s possibly wondering why we weren’t moving from our small holding cell.

    The female officer that previously cuffed us–a demoness with eyes as bright as magma–wipes down her glasses prior to placing them on the tip of her red-skinned nose.

    “Well, Mr. Davies, it looks like these two want to repent for breaking into poor Mrs. Shillings’ Delicacies for the Dead,” she says, addressing me with her attractive gaze. I heard from Pennix that Demonesses had a thing for Gargoyles, but I never thought that he was right. Hell, that’s half the reason why I’m in here with him, now.

    Pennix is to my left, his head tilted back against the wall. His silverish-pink hair is matted to his forehead, which glistens with sweat. Nymphs are usually an easygoing race, but considering what happened to us earlier, I don’t blame him for seeming stressed.

    “N-Now, D-Desmond,” stutters Zed, the gray skin of his hands bleeding into a light brown as he applies pressure, “why did you do it?”

    “Zed,” I urge, my forehead against the cold bars, “please calm down. I can explain everything.”

    After experiencing many lectures from my brother, I know that his erratic and unstable speech isn’t due to the fact that he himself is nervous.

    It’s because he’s nervous for me.

    So before he turns into an eight-foot-two stone giant to grind me into a nasty paste, I tell him everything.

    Being careful not to exclude my soul-eating ex-girlfriend, Bethesda.

    The soul-eating part shouldn’t bother you; the fact that she’s absolutely psychotic that should. Not to sound prejudiced, but most Phoenixes are. Anyway, Pennix and I are contracted to her family as servants five days of the week. I had decided to skip out on work, ignoring Pennix (who’s usually right about these things) when he told me not to.

    I had realized my mistake when I went upstairs to use the bathroom.

    I was in the middle of doing my business when the shower curtain suddenly snapped back, revealing Bethesda in my bathtub.


    She was the picture of insanity. An impossibly wide smile, vermillion hair tumbling over her…assets. I would’ve spent more time enjoying the sight if she wasn’t so obsessed with castrating me.

    I ran out the house, where Pennix was waiting for me. He followed wordlessly as we ran, trying our best to avoid the screaming streak of flames in the sky. He suggested that we break into Delicacies for the Dead, since Phoenixes steer clear of places that might stir up the souls they’ve eaten. His plan worked. I remembered feeling smug as Bethesda cawed at me from outside, her feathers literally ruffled.

    Too bad I have to work tomorrow.

    1. chris

      Very creative take – I was really drawn in. Your style flows smoothly with good humor throughout. Funny opening line too. Just a thought; i wonder if you kept the story mostly dialogue (instead of switching to character summation in the 2nd half). Its tough w/ the 500 word limit, but you have sucha humorous style that it might be brought out more w/ the back & forth of dialogue. Just one guy’s opinion though – Great story! Welcome to the site.

      1. wanderwr8ter

        Thanks for reading, and yes, I would’ve loved to get more dialogue in, but the five-hundred word limit kinda killed it for me. :( But thanks for the suggestion. Maybe with the next prompt that comes out I’ll try to bring out some more dialogue. Thanks for the welcome!

  21. Mittens1326

    My mother is crying when she walks into the police station. My dad doesn’t say a word.


    They sit in a chair across from the cop who responded to the alarm.

    “The owner decided not to press charges,” he tells them. “Not once he heard the situation.”

    “I wish he would press charges,” my mother huffs, nostrils flaring. She speaks as if I’m not there. “My daughter broke the law.”

    Of course. She has to launch into her I’M A GOOD MOM routine. My head’s about to explode.

    “I saved Hannah’s life.” I know how much easier my life would be if I just shut my mouth. But I can’t force myself to do it. “I shouldn’t have lied about the party,” my voice rises and I feel like a baby, “but I saved her life.”

    “Breanna Lynn Taylor,” she turns her eyes on me and I cringe. “We will talk about this at home.”

    The cop looks embarrassed and starts shuffling papers.

    “What was I supposed to do?” My voice is trembling now. “I thought Hannah was dying.”

    She shoots me a death glare and I sink back into my chair.

    And it’s all because of that asshole Garrett Vreeland.

    Hannah dragged me to his stupid party. He was flirting and she was giddy. Not like that was anything new. What guy didn’t flirt with her? He was drunk and her insulin ended up in the pool. Too bad she needed to take her next dose like, four seconds after that. She didn’t want to make a scene. We couldn’t call our parents because we weren’t supposed to be there in the first place.

    Hannah thought she could make it home. She always thinks everything will turn out fine. And everything always does. For her. But after twenty minutes of walking she got all shaky and couldn’t see straight.

    Of course. The one time I lie my best friend ends up going into diabetic shock. I had no money and no phone thanks to my parents who think cell phones are “educational distractors.” Hannah left her cell at the party on purpose as an excuse to talk to Garrett on Monday. I love her to death but sometimes she’s a complete moron.

    I guess I could’ve figured out another way. But Hannah was sitting on a bench shaking and I panicked.

    I heaved the fire extinguisher through the window and shoved an orange juice in Hannah’s face as fast as I could. She could barely hold her head up to drink it.

    My hands are still sticky from where it spilled on me. I twist my fingers together and clench my teeth as my parents sign some papers. They march out of the room and I follow like a bad puppy.

    No one speaks in the car.

    Sixteen years without one fuck-up but this is all they’ll ever remember, I guarantee. Meanwhile Hannah’s probably getting some hot doctor’s number at the hospital right now.

    Yeah. That’s fair.


    1. Chrisgiraffe

      Funny, I hadn’t even read yours and typed along the same lines above as a reply to someone. It doesn’t seem too far a stretch to break into some place for something to help a diabetic. I can see gas station owners who read the WD prompts are putting out cups of OJ and Snicker bars in front of the doors at night with a sign: “If your diabetic friend is in shock, please don’t break the window. Just help yourself. Oh yeah, and Marty436Dog, that was a great story but you really need to work on punctuation.”

      1. Mittens1326

        Nice!! Seemed like a believable scenario, right? Confirmation that diabetics everywhere can feel free to break & enter when in crisis. Gas station owners beware!

    1. Chrisgiraffe

      I dreaded the drive home more than anything, but I expected it.

      “You know that bail money?” My father said.

      I grunted to imply ‘yes’.

      “You’re paying that back. Mowing the yard, taking out trash. I have a list a mile long. Man, you’re gonna be working that off ’till you get in college.” He could lay it on thick.

      “Here’s what I don’t get. You didn’t take anything.” My mother always tried to find the logic behind my many mishaps. “So you’re breaking into gas stations, now, for the thrill of it? I just don’t get it.”

      “Can I explain?” I asked.

      “Let’s start with why you were five miles away from where you said you’d be.” My dad didn’t miss a detail.

      “OK, that part’s not so good.” I could feel my parents eyes roll. “Mike wanted to see this girl from school and, well, I don’t know, it sounded like fun. I had no idea it was so far away or I’d have never snuck out with him.”

      “Yeah.” my father said sarcastically.

      “Do you know what can happen to a kid your age, that time of night, out on the streets like that?” My mother insisted.

      “I know, I know, it was stupid.”

      “Alright. Then what.” My dad pressed.

      “Well, we get to her house, she’s asleep.”

      “Around one in the morning. Yeah Jimmy, most people go to sleep around then.” My mother adjusted the temperature control.

      “Go on.” My dad said.

      “So we head back and Mike says he’s dizzy. I didn’t think anything of it but the next thing you know he starts talking all crazy. It was kind of scary. Then, he falls back- right to the ground.”

      My mother turned and looked back at me.

      “I didn’t know what was happening at first and then I remember. He’s a diabetic. He’s sitting there shaking and I’m wondering what to do. Then it hits me. I saw this show where they gave a guy like that some candy and he was better. But it’s late, nothing’s open and Mike looks like he’s going to die. So, I panic. We’re right by Carson’s Quick Stop. I smash the window with my skateboard, grab a Snickers and put it in his mouth.”

      The car was dead silent.

      “It worked. I couldn’t believe it. I was just dumbfounded.”

      “Wait a second. If that’s true why didn’t they get Mike?”

      “He heard the sirens, freaked out and ran. I didn’t know what to do. Before I get a chance to think about it i’m surrounded by two cop cars yelling at me. I just didn’t know what to do.”

      “Jan, call Mike’s parents.” My dad said. He had to be sure.

      Maybe I did the right thing but I still saw myself working on a list of chores until the day I left for college.

      478 words :-) If I can do it you can do it too. Just give yourself a chance. Start your story, get it where you want it and if it’s too long practice your editing. Hang in there. :-)

  22. JDimakos

    I walked behind my mom and dad, head bowed, shame creeping up my face as we passed by an officer and the gas station attendant. I wanted to say something to him but the look of anger he gave me as I passed was enough to never want to see him again so talking to him was definitely out of the question.

    My parents walked briskly, the tension in their shoulders practically visible. How could I explain to them that I had to break into the local gas station? What explanation would make if we had not broken in and gotten the police there that a much worse thing would have happened later in the evening and the attendant wouldn’t have the ability to give a statement to a police officer believable?

    The car ride home was no better than the walk through the police station. The silence of my parents was starting to make me a little nervous. Usually by now they would be demanding explanations or telling me how disappointed they were in me. I did not know what to make of it.

    I found out when we got home. My dad, without saying a word, pointed at the couch and I obediently sat down. I looked up to see two of the angriest faces I had ever seen before. I gulped and waited but I didn’t dare take my eyes away. My dad was the one who spoke. “Well? Would you like to explain yourself young lady?”

    I didn’t look away or blink, much. “Well…. Earlier this evening Chase, Madison and I were being stupid and messing around with Madison’s mom’s tarot cards. We were having fun, just messing around. It was Chase’s turn to read me and she had the cards but then went all rigid. Her eyes turned white and she laid out three cards; a masked man, a torch, and a burning building. Then she spoke about how this gas station was going to get robbed at 11:00pm and the man running it would die because of it.

    We went there immediately, telling the guy he had to close up or call the police or something. But he wouldn’t listen. He called us nutty and told us to leave or he would call the cops on us. We left but didn’t go far. We had an hour till the robbery. We tried calling the cops ourselves but they flipped out on us for pranking. So we decided that his option of calling the police on us was the best one. It was worth getting in trouble to make sure he didn’t die. So we went in and started knocking things off shelves and pretending like we were taking things and he called the cops. I’m sorry but it was worth it to save his life.”

    I couldn’t tell from the shocked faces if they believed me but after saying it I didn’t care. I helped save a life today and it was worth it.

  23. hedwigy13

    Here goes nothing:

    “Why the hell did you do that, Brady!?” my father shouted at me. “I raised you better than to go around stealing and breaking and entering!”
    “I didn’t steal anything,” I said coolly. I closed my eyes to try and rid myself of my father’s face, I face I wish I’d never seen. A man I wish I never met.
    “That still doesn’t answer my question, young man! You’re damned lucky you’re a minor!” he screamed in reply. His face was red. It always was. He slammed his fist against the wall, and I jumped a bit. “And you’re real lucky I’m even paying to get you out of here! That’s money we don’t have, Brady!”
    “I’d be better off if you just left me here,” I whispered. “Maybe they should send Matt down here too. Then you couldn’t kill him.”
    “We’re talking about you right now, alright!? Now answer me! Why would you go and break into a gas station!?” he yelled, and I winced. It reminded me of home, something I wish I could forget.
    “Mr. Chamberlain, place your hands where I can see them!” a police officer demanded before I could say anything.
    “The hell did I do!?” my father asked. He held his hands in the air. They were balled into fists.
    “You hit me, every single day! You hurt me, father, and you hurt Matt, too!”
    “Brady!?” he choked as the police officer placed handcuffs on his wrists.
    “You think this is easy for me?” I said, shaking.
    “Just tell me why you broke into that gas station.”
    “This is New Jersey, dad. I couldn’t have with all those attendants swarming the place. I came down here and I told them about you, but that there’s no way you’d come down. So someone said I should pretend I was arrested.”
    “My charge! What’re you charging me with?” he begged.
    “Domestic abuse and murder,” the cop said.
    “What!? Murder, abuse!?” he muttered.
    “The abuse of Matthew and Brady Chamberlain and the murder of Nicole Keller-Chamberlain,” the police officer responded, leading him away. For the first time in years I smiled.
    “That was for you, mom.”

  24. Erick Jacobs

    I sat, staring at my bloody palms. A few small shards of glass still protruded from my skin. Jake was in an adjacent cell, Harry in one behind me. I didn’t see Scott anywhere. The whole evening was a blur, but we had made it out.

    How would I explain what happened without ending up as patient number four thousand three hundred and something at Bell-Arc West Mental Treatment Hospital? I snickered. What else could I do, cry? My eyes welled.

    The clack of the turning lock on the cell door startled me.
    “Jumpy, are we?” Officer McMillson asked.
    I shrugged it off.
    “Bail’s been paid so your free to go, but don’t wander far.”
    I sat up, wiping my hands on my pants. They hurt.
    “Don’t say anything, Denny.” Harry said exhaustingly.
    “I’ll do what I have to, just like I did tonight.”
    “Then we’ll be dogged forever.” Jake pleaded, crawling out from under his cot.
    “How will you get them to-”
    “Little luck, maybe.” I paused “Where’s Scott?”
    “I think they took him to Bell-Arc.” Jake said, “He’s freakin’ out.”

    McMillson seemed to nod in agreement, though I could’ve been mistaken. He walked me out into the open arms of my mother. That’s a good feeling. Dad stood behind her, arms crossed, right eye twitching, dress shirt half tucked in, and two different shoes. He’d always said if you wind up in jail better call your mother first. So I did.

    We walked out of the station, Dad five steps behind. Our path crossed with Harry’s parents as they were walking into the station. I felt their distain searing my innards. They believed everything Harry did wrong was a result of my influence. How little they knew about their only son.

    As we got to the car, Jake’s parents drove up. Mom pushed me inside; she followed. His Dad and mine exchanged glances. Then Dad opened the door and sat quietly; no doubt deciding what disciplinary recourse he should take or if this escapade warrants an undiscovered punishment. Mom started the car.

    “You ok Denny?” He asked.
    Tears streamed down my cheeks. Snot rolled from my nose.
    “Yeah.” I said in a crackling voice, “Yeah, I’m ok.”
    “Why Denny?”
    “It was either that or let everyone die.”
    Dad peeked over the seat with a puzzled look and spoke piercingly.
    “You four broke into Eastland Sammies, stole lighters, cigarettes, a propane tank and a butane torch to stop Death?” He looked at my mother. “Make sense to me, how ‘bout you?”
    “I had to break in to save Scott and you and mom and everyone.”
    “Pull the car ov-”
    “Dad, we went down to the old Brent farmhouse. The one-”
    “I know the place.”
    “Then you know what we found. By accident though, not on purpose thanks to Scott’s fat ass falling through the weakened floorboard – I told him to watch it. I sealed the cavern best way I could, from within.”

    Mom slowed the car onto the shoulder.

  25. sara

    “I’m Going to be Just Like Jimmy Conway”
    by Sara Jacobelli

    My boyfriend and his mom and brothers and sisters scrape by on welfare and food stamps. His mom works part time as a dishwasher, and Angelo dropped out of high school and is looking for work. His mom is $100 bucks short on the rent and they’re facing eviction. They have nowhere to go.

    When my friends suggested breaking into Fiorito’s gas station and store on East Main Street, I figured why not go along with it and help Angelo and his family out? I don’t need the money. Our rent is paid, and both my parents have half way decent jobs.

    As for stealing from the Fiorito’s, well I look at it this way. First of all, they charge way too much for their gas and groceries. Second, they have insurance. And third, they have plenty of money. My Poppy says Tony Fiorito is a slum lord. Besides, he’s the landlord who is evicting Angelo and his family. Angelo has one sister who is deaf and one brother in a wheelchair, and his dad is a deadbeat when it comes to paying child support.

    So in this case I didn’t think stealing was wrong. I mean, I did it for all the right reasons. And, unfortunately, I got caught. Now I’m in big trouble, but. . . I just have to convince everyone that even though I technically broke the law, I did it for a good reason. We stole $432 dollars. Divided four ways, me and Patty and Donna and Joan get $108 dollars each. So I can give Angelo’s mom $108 dollars, which should help keep them from being evicted. Just when it’s getting cold out, too.

    I only have one problem. That is, after I convince Mom and Poppy that yeah, I made some bad choices, but my heart was in the right place. My problem is this: Well, have you ever seen the movie Goodfellas? That gangster movie made back in the 80s? My Poppy just loves that movie, so we have it on DVD and I’ve seen it plenty of times. Remember that guy in it played by Robert De Niro? That guy, Jimmy Conway? Well, there’s this one scene where him and his buddies hijack trucks. And the guy doing the voice over, Henry Hill, he says that when it comes to stealing, Jimmy Conway, “actually enjoys it.”

    See, that’s me. That night we broke into Fiorito’s? That’s the first time I ever stole anything, swear to God. But. . . I gotta admit. I really enjoyed it. I never felt so good in my life. I’ve never gotten off on drinking or drugs, but stealing. Man, that’s some kind of high.

  26. Charlie Hustle

    We were more than halfway home before my dad finally broke the uncomfortable silence. “Jake,” he said, shaking his head. “What in the hell were you thinking?”
    I continued to stare out the window as the cool fall afternoon was rapidly turning into night.
    My dad hit the steering wheel in frustration, making me jump. “Are you even listening to me?”
    I looked at him and nodded. “Thanks for bailing me out.”
    “Thanks for bailing you out? Are you freaking serious son? Do you know how much trouble you are in?”
    I looked away from him and continued to gaze out the window as we turned onto our street. The truth of the matter was that I knew exactly how much trouble I was in, but honestly, I didn’t care.
    My dad continued to grill me as he had finally found his voice after leaving the police station. “Are those punks you were with even your friends?”
    I shook my head no.
    “Then what were you doing with them?” My dad asked, his voice growing louder. “Damn, Jake. You’re smarter than that.”
    My dad was right. I was smarter than that. Way too smart to break into our town’s local gas station and try and lift some money. That’s why I didn’t do it. I just took the blame.
    I couldn’t tell my dad because he would never understand. Honestly, I didn’t really understand why I did it, but it just felt right.
    I had been walking home from football practice when I saw them break the window. I was still pretty far away, but I could tell that the ringleader was a kid from my algebra class. I wasn’t friends with him or anything, but a few weeks ago we had been paired up in class for an assignment.
    His name was Cody Teller and he wore a baby blue UNC Tarheels coat that was his prized posession. He told me that his mom had just lost her job and that he would never be able to get a new coat or new anything.
    Like I said, I didn’t really know the kid, but for some reason his story hit me hard. The way he confided in me and the look in his eyes when he told me just landed, like I knew that he was legit.
    So when I saw that coat from up the street I knew it was him. I saw him throw a brick and in a matter of seconds I heard the wail of sirens. I made my decision and raced towards the gas station.
    Cody came out with a scared, but proud look on his face. He had money sticking out of the pockets of his coat. His eyes locked with mine, daring me to turn him in as a police cruiser skidded to a stop in front of us.
    “Go,” I said. “I’ll take the heat.”

  27. Chrisgiraffe

    “Alright Mr. Henderson, your parents posted bail. You can go now but you’ll have to appear in court at this date.”

    I walked to the waiting room to see my parents. They were silent. We walked to the station wagon, I got in back and we drove home. After five minutes my father cracked.

    “Why?” It’s all he said.

    “Heroic reasons.”

    “Are you on crack, honey?” my mom asked. “We’ve heard about kids breaking into places for crack money.”

    “I’m not on crack.”

    “We have insurance, we can get help.” My mother added.

    “I’m not on crack.”

    “Were you following the crowd? It’s normal to want to belong. We can talk about that.” My mother was always sympathetic.

    “I wasn’t following the crowd. In fact, I organized it.”

    “Why?” my dad repeated.

    “I saw an ad.” My parents waited for more. “On the TV. It said ‘these children need your help tonight. Every day you wait another child dies.”

    “What?” my father asked.

    “I didn’t want to ask you two for the money and I didn’t want to let a child die so I got my friends together and we broke in. I didn’t realize the cash register would be empty. Some kid probably died because I couldn’t send anything.”

    “Son.” My mother said in earnestness. “You are probably the dumbest hero I’ve ever met.”

      1. Chrisgiraffe

        Thanks. I actually saw an ad for feeding hungry kids, had this prompt on the brain, the two collided and I had my story. I guess my mother was wrong- watching TV ISN’T a total waste of time. lol. :-)

      1. Chrisgiraffe

        Thanks Mittens! I think I had the mom from ‘Better Off Dead’ and the one from ‘That 70’s Show’ in mind when I wrote her. Both are very good characters to pull from. :-)

  28. Chrisgiraffe

    “Kid, that wallet really important.” He stressed the word ‘really’ in a way I found funny but I wasn’t going to laugh. The guy was obviously some kind of Russian immigrant and, well, you never know.

    “No problem. I’ll get there as soon as I can.”

    If I had gone straight to his apartment and returned the wallet things would have been much, much different but a craving for a Slim Jim and Coke changed all that. I even raced to the place on my bike because everyone knows Mike’s Jiffy Stop closes at midnight on Sundays.

    “That’ll be $3.58.”

    Everything costs an arm and a leg when you’re living allowance to allowance. I coughed up a five, got back my change and headed out. I didn’t even hear Dmitri Karpichkov’s wallet drop out of my back pocket. When I walked up to his door I could tell this was all a bad idea. I had no business being in this neighborhood. I felt rude ringing a doorbell that late but he said it’d be fine. The door opened and I didn’t know what to expect.

    “You got my wallet?” the scruffy man asked.


    “Good kid.”

    I reached into my back pocket and…

    “What?” He could see something was wrong.

    “Oh no.”

    “What you mean, ‘Oh no’?”

    I frantically searched every pocket.

    “You lose my wallet?”

    I kept searching while he kept repeating that phrase “You loose my wallet?!”, getting angrier every second until he grabbed me by the shirt collar. No one had grabbed me like that before. It scared me. “I don’t have wallet I’m dead man. You understand?” He threw me to the ground and I started crying. “You don’t get that wallet, you dead too. Understand?”

    “I think it’s at the gas station.” I cried, “But they’re closed.”

    “We go. Now!”

    He walked me to Mike’s Jiffy Stop. All the lights were out. I was petrified. I was sure he was going to kill me then and there.

    “Go look.” He stayed at the edge of the parking lot for some reason.

    I put my face to the front glass and couldn’t see anything at first but my eyes adjusted and sure enough, there it was on the floor next to the chips. I ran back to Dmitri.

    “I see it. It’s near the chips.”

    “You go get it.”

    “But they’re closed.” I said.

    “You break in. Here.” He went to the curb, picked up a large, broken block of concrete and handed it to me.

    “I can’t. I’ve never done anything like that.”

    “You go now. Understand?” He barked.

    I understood. I didn’t think I could do it but the glass broke like, well, glass. Alarms went off and my head started spinning. I climbed through the hole I’d made, ran inside, grabbed the wallet and ran back. Dmitri took it and ran off into the night. Before I turned my head I heard the tires squeal and an officer yell, “‘Freeze!”

  29. Laurie

    My parents posted bail. Officially I am free to go; however, I am still in the county jail. The arresting officer, Constable Kelly, asked us to wait as he has some further questions.

    The room we are directed to is small. Barely large enough for the four chairs and table within its dreary grey walls. The room is too small to contain the anger bubbling over from my parents. They do not need to say what they are thinking. Disappointment. Anger. Failure. Disappointment in their only son’s repeating a crime after being released from youth jail a year ago for breaking into a grocery store stealing cigarettes with intent to sell. Anger at the bad choices I made. And failure for obviously this is a direct result of bad parenting.

    As my parents’ anger boiled over filling this room, my feeling of jubilation threatened to overflow and occupy the same space making a tangible tension in the air. I broke into the gas station for a reason and I succeeded at my task. I hoped nobody would find out the real reason of my transgression tonight. Tonight was not about cigarettes or money nor was it about reputation or infamy. Tonight was about protecting someone.

    Constable Kelly entered the room filling the remaining space with a dense cloud of hatred. He looked at me with venom in his eyes usually reserved for perpetrators of much worse crimes.

    “Did you record this?” he asked tossing a DVD on the table.

    “No.” I said.

    “How did you get this? Were you going to sell this? Post it online?” Constable Kelly asked me.

    “No. I was going to destroy it.” I said.


    “What is it a video of?” my dad asked.

    “This piece of vileness”, Constable Kelly said looking at the DVD with disgust “is Ms Pike and the high school football team’s captain engaged in intercourse. I want to know what this criminal plans to do with it and how he got it.”

    Dad’s jaw dropped. Mom turned a new shade of crimson.

    “Ms Pike, your teacher? Chris, what were you going to do with this?” Mom asked.

    “Mom, I was going to destroy it. Honest.

    I was at the gas station after school. Andrew, the football team’s captain, works there. He was laughing when I walked in, said I have to see this. It was a video of him and Ms Pike having sex.

    Andrew said his grades have slipped and he is being put on academic suspension. He is going to use the video to blackmail Ms Pike into falsifying his grades. He says even though he’s 18, she would still be in trouble.”

    “How did you get this?” Constable Kelly asked.

    “Andrew said he was going to lock the DVD in the cigarette cupboard overnight. I broke in to get the video before he used it against Ms Pike.”

    “Is that all true?” Constable Kelly asked.

    “Every word.” I said.

    “Son, Ms Pike is my sister.”

  30. Chrisgiraffe

    “What the hell were you thinking?” My father yelled at me. “Seriously, Mark, what the hell got into your head?”

    “Christmas is ruined,” my mother added. “I’m so embarassed.”

    “I wanna know how I’m supposed to explain to my boss why you trashed his store- The store he trusted me to watch over so I could buy your shitbrain some presents.”

    “George!” my mother said to my father. She didn’t like him cursing, even under these circumstances.

    “Sorry, but… really, I can’t wrap my brain around it and obviously Mark doesn’t even use his brains anymore.”


    “No! Shut it. There’s absolutely nothing you can say that’s going to fix this. You broke into that gas station and trashed the place. Not only am I going to be fired, I’m sure I’m going to be paying for whatever you wrecked, so just shut it.”

    “You really think we’ll have to pay for that?” My mother suddenly started realizing the implications of my actions.

    “They’ll probably sue.”

    I could see a very worried look in my mother’s eyes. I almost spilled the beans then and there but I kept quiet.

    “Mr. and Mrs. Richards, your bail has posted for your son. We can release him to your custody.” The officer enjoyed watching my verbal smack down.

    “I say we let him stay overnight. If he’s going to act like a criminal he should get a taste of what to expect.” My dad meant it.

    “George,” my mother said with an air of defeat ”let’s just go home.”

    My father grunted, nodded to the officer as if to say ‘alright’ and I was out.

    Yeah, I was in trouble and probably grounded for life, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I couldn’t have felt better. The only hard part was I could never tell my parents the real reason why I did it. Seriously, how could you explain that you went through some kind of time travel thingy at a science fair and kept your father from getting murdered during the night shift the next day?

  31. jenjane

    Toby has had the hiccups for 3 days now, and it was starting to bug us. We decided to get rid of his hiccups somehow. I remember Mum trying to scare me to cure my hiccups after too much pop corn on a movie night when I was little, I can’t remember if it worked though.

    Alex’s shock of red hair jumped out from a tree in front of us as we were walking into town.
    “Hiccup… You scared me Alex!” Toby screamed and interrupted by another “Hiccup”
    “Good one Alex, that really worked, you idiot!” I said as I dragged Alex to his feet.
    I needed to find a solution for Toby. “Hiccup” Toby’s hiccups are now causing him to snort snot each time and it was making me feel sick. Desperate needs calls for desperate measures.
    Without even thinking I reached for the nearest rock on the roadside and threw it into the service station window. The noise of the glass shattering and crashing to the ground sent me into a frenzy of energy. My mind was in overdrive. Grabbing Toby by the arm I pulled him through the opening and into the Servo. Alex, screaming obscenities, followed. Once inside I didn’t know what to do next. I looked at my friends for guidance, Toby’s face was white, Alex’s face was red, somehow I noticed it matched his unruly hair. I was fuelled by adrenalin. Running up and down the aisles I began throwing drinks and lollies at the boys, who still stood motionless. Time seemed to stand as still as the boys. I reached the last isle and headed back to the boys, that’s when time speed past me. Behind Alex and the still white Toby was a police officer. Time was up now; we were taken and put into the back of the police wagon. “What the heck was that about?” Alex yelled.
    “Toby’s hiccups” I explained “I was trying to scare him out of his hiccups”
    Toby was silent as we pulled up at the station. The van doors swung open to reveal our parents standing waiting and looking quite angry. We climbed out and looked at each other “Sorry guys” I apologised “I’ll take the rap” I whispered.
    Toby opened his mouth to speak “HICCUP”

  32. sarahbecker

    Dear Jenny,

    I can only hope you figured out the code from my last letter. Dad would never want you reading this story. You asked, the last time I was home, why I got sent to military school. I can only assume you asked so as not to follow the same path. I can’t say that I blame you, but I must say, no, argue, that military school may be the best thing that ever happened to me.

    But, how did I get here? Easy: I was arrested. On a cold October night, the kind that chills your blood to the core, I went to my old friend PJ’s house. You wouldn’t remember him. I did my best to keep him away from the house as Dad would never approve. PJ was a trouble maker. He had the biggest file in school, bigger even than Jackie Jones and you know what kind of nut she was.

    Me and PJ sat around his basement playing Mario Bros. The lights went off as we were finishing the last level. So, pissed at the world and with the world in a blackout we decided to do something daring. The first gas station we came to we robbed. I have to admit that I egged PJ on far more than he ever did me – something Dad refuses to believe, even today. We took a few beers,and tried to break into the safe. The cops arrived not long after. Since you know I was arrested you’ve probably already guessed that we were caught.

    Dad paid my bail. When we got home we had a talk. Here’s what we said (if you don’t want to drown in the same river, pay attention):

    “You’re such a good kid, Toby, why the hell didcha go and do a thing like that for?” Dad said.

    “I wanted to know what it would feel like.” I responded.

    “But why? You had a future, Toby, a real future. You were going to go to college.” Dad said in that voice he uses when he talks about his old hockey dreams.

    “That’s just it Dad, I don’t want to go to college.”

    This of course stunned him. He sent me to my room and two days later I was on a bus going to Madison Military School.

    Did you pay attention?

    I’m not going to college. That’s why dad sent me here. It backfired on him. Because now I’m not just disciplined to do what I’m told, I’m disciplined for all the things I want to do. And I want to be a writer. Which is why I robbed that gas station, Jenny. I wanted to know exactly how that felt so that I could write about it. And now I’m going to write about my dumb father who can’t be his own person. Going to college isn’t the only thing, it is one thing, and the more people who know this the faster the world can progress.



  33. Morgan Le Fables

    We were being tailed by the police.

    They probably decided to follow our car the moment mom and I pulled out of the police station. Especially after mom and Mrs Graves, got into an argument over bail.

    “Luanne is not a thief!” Mom had raged at Mrs Graves, aiming a pointed finger into the woman’s chest.

    “Well it’s not my girl’s fault!” Mrs Graves raved back as she tugged her daughter, my best friend Jessica, closer into her body as though trying to physically shield her from the accusation.

    It wasn’t until I tugged on mom’s sleeve, (my urgent whispered reminder letting her know the CCTV camera’s now focused on us), that she began to calm. As soon as mom remembered camera’s were watching – the way the governments network of camera’s everywhere were always watching — she grabbed my hand dragging me out of the station, as she left a still ranting Mrs Graves behind.

    Guilt clawed at me as we made the long drive home. As we left the station mom made a point of telling me that she’d used up what little gas rations our family had left, to come pick me up from jail.

    Mom checked the rear view mirror, casting a nervous glance back at the car shadowing us. “Why Luanne”. My mothers anger had long since drained away, her voice strained. The tired expression on her face made me feel even worse, and for a moment I preferred when my mother was shouting.

    “I dunno”. I shrugged folding my arms tighter. I tried to drop further down into the passenger seat, eyes glued to the floor. For a second I glanced into the side-view mirror. The black car behind us kept its steady distance.

    “You must know why you broke in”. I resisted the impulse to answer, shifting uncomfortably. “Why on earth would you and Jessica break into a gas station?” Mom huffed with irritation. “When I got the phone call I said, ‘no Officer Richards’ “. My mom comically mimicked herself, “No way would my little girl be responsible for a break-in”. She turned to face me, pinning me with a stern look. “Was it Jessica? Did she make you do this?”

    My gaze stayed drilled to the floor. “No”, I mumbled, “It was my idea”.

    My mother fell silent. After a few long moments, just as I’d begun to relax in the subdued hush of the car, she spoke her voice sharp. “Luanne. I need you to be honest with me.” I raised my eyes to find mom’s worried ones trained on me.

    “The hospital needs more gas for the generator”. I dropped my eyes back down to the floor. “Jess and me heard you talking before, about how the hospital would have to close”. Our small town’s only hospital, where my mother worked as a doctor, survived on little besides local townspeople’s gas donations.

    Ever since the government made it illegal to buy or stash away oil, (forcing everyone on to gas rations a couple of years ago), nothing seemed to work anymore. Yet somehow those big city government buildings never had a blackout, or went without heating, or ran out of gas to travel around in their big fancy cars.

    I figured they wouldn’t notice if a couple canisters of gas went missing. “I was just trying to help”.


    Authors Note :: This story was difficult for me in terms of trying to find my characters voice. I think the inner voice of the character sounds too mature for a 16-year-old, but sounds about right maybe for a girl living in a dystopian type future. However that world isn’t fleshed out enough in this story. If I had a bigger word limit, I’d expand on the story to show why the character has had to mature quickly.

    1. chris

      I like your writing style. “Guilt clawed at me.” awesome verb usage- very descriptive. Sounds like a great start to a longer tale. I wouldn’t worry about a 16 yearold sounding too mature; kids have ruled empires. Plus you can always use humor to juxtapose where the kid’s brilliant one minute, but clueless the next i.e. relationships, or no sense of direction etc. – adds depth to the character. Great job!

  34. TomV

    Old man McCorley had run the filling station on the corner down from the Piggly-Wiggly since forever. Pa said that station had been there even when he was a kid, way back in the days before TV. Maybe even before the radio.

    McCorley had other businesses too, besides pumping gas. You could get a pint of something strong from him, even though Blackmoor County where we lived was as dry as dessicated bone. He could get other things too . . . for a price.

    I was standing at McCorley’s station’s back door with Jimmie and Maxie Broadus, my best friends since our first fistfights on the playground back when. I was a still-growing 16 now, but the twins had been held back a year and were both 17 going on 20. We were all at Blackmoor High, on the football team, all full of piss and vinegar, my Pa said.

    I said, “Give me the prybar, Jimmie.”

    Inside, we went to McCorley’s small office. Nothing in the till except some small bills and change. In the center drawer of the desk, all junk. Then, along the front edge of the drawer bottom, I felt a metal flange. I got down on my knees and looked underneath. There, on a sliding shelf welded to the drawer bottom, a fat kraft envelope with a string closure: paydirt. Betting slips for McCorley’s bookie operation. Names on the slips of a lot of bigwigs, even the preacher.

    But what I had come for and found were photos of Miss Wemberley, the Drama teacher, and Coach Tynes doing it. Wow. But see, Coach was a decorated WWII vet. He taught history and was our Varsity Football Coach, so I looked up to him in a lot of ways, but most importantly, he saved my Pa during the war. Didn’t brag about any of it, but my Ma told me the story. Pa never did.

    Bootlegging is okay by me, but no way was I going to let McCorley keep up with his blackmail. I couldn’t get the twins to back me up, though, unless they could get a good look at Miss Wemberley’s privates. I guess they didn’t admire Coach the way I did.

    Of course, the cops showed up, came in the front door with guns drawn, made us lean against the wall.

    Spikes, the big police sergeant that had known us all our lives said to me, “Jordy, your Pa’s gonna kill you. And you Broadus’s? Man . . . .” He belly-laughed, really enjoying himself.

    In the big ashtray shaped like a tire on McCorley’s desk, sheets of photo paper had turned to ash, their thick edges deckling and black-curled to char.

    When he came down to the station to get me, I said, “Pa, I know it was wrong to break in there.” He looked at me closely, like examining something small, in fine detail. “But I had to do something. I had to.”

    Then I told him why.

  35. Craig

    Dad was in the front seat gripping the steering wheel so hard I was positive he was going to rip it off the steering column. And that vein in his neck was sticking way out, throbbing like crazy. There was no way he was going to hear anything I had to say. My mother was silently sobbing in the seat next to him. They had made it clear on no-uncertain-terms; I was to remain silent until we got home.

    Maybe we would have been believed had we not been in trouble before. Johnny and his damn brilliant ideas were always putting at us odds with just about every adult in town. We were the captains of chaos or as my dad had been saying lately, the delinquent duds. Johnny’s parents had money and were still dumb enough to give Johnny an allowance that kept us all in hot water. This time, he had downloaded these plans from the internet on building an advanced listening device and with a few parts from Frey’s and a little applied science; we had a supped-up version of it.

    We found out how to intercept cell-phone conversations and were planning on spying on a few girls we knew. Thought it would give us the advantage in trying to ask them out. We didn’t have any access to their diaries, so this seemed like a great way to get the inside scoop on how they think. Or at least collect some down-and-dirty information on someone from the gossip queens.

    Debbie turned out to have some very dirty conversations with Michelle. I will definitely remember those two. While we were pointing towards Debbie’s house, Mike bumped the frequency switch and we caught a conversation from the weird homeless dude who was usually rummaging through the trash. At first we were wondering why a homeless guy has a cell phone when we heard the guy on the other end of the line ask if the bombs were ready yet. We were stunned, bombs!

    The homeless guy said “I stashed them at the old gas station. No one has been there in years. I will plant them this evening and you will hear about it at the home-coming game.”

    We got busted as were trying to break the lock. The police wouldn’t even listen. Now we spent the night in jail and most of the day getting lectured and booked. They wouldn’t hear out our outrageous fantasy and wouldn’t search the station. They also refused to question the homeless guy. The judge indicated there would be no leniency this time.

    As we pulled into the drive-wave, I tried to explain, but my dad yelled shut-up. In the silence that followed we heard the explosion. A half-mile away, the bleachers at the home-coming game were in splinters. Gone were 42 people and another 127 injured. Friends and people I had known all my life. We had season tickets and would normally have been there had I not gotten into trouble.

  36. Sinem Keleman

    It is not my mother tounge so, sorry for the language mistakes…

    “I don’t know why I am getting involved into this, but if what you said turns out wrong, we will be in big trouble!” I said to Carol, though one part of me trusted her, as she have had that weird thing since we were kids. Like, my cat wouldn’t have become a doormat under a car, if I had listened to her warning me to keep him at home that day for she had a bad feeling about him. This time the life in question was not a cat, but Mr. Harrison. Being an 80 year old man, it didn’t sound so unlikely to me when Carol said he would get a heart attack that night, alone in the shop.

    My thoughts were broken by the sound of the back door window crashing.

    “Oh my God Carol. Couldn’t we have just called out to him?”

    “He won’t be able to answer if he is not alive, you genius.”

    We could hear someone moaning inside. When we entered, we saw Mr.Harrison laying on the ground, behind one of the benches. He looked at us half conscious.

    “Kids, what are you doing here?”

    I was intending to answer when the police sirens crashed the silence.

    “The alarm…” I muttered to myself.

    Before their blinding torch lights were shining the room, Mr.Harrison had already passed out.

    “We need to take him to the hospital! He is having a heart attack!”, Carol screamed, still not aware of how all this looks like.

    One of the policemen checked his pulse. He ordered the other two to carry Mr.Harrison to the car and us to put our hands back.

    “We will get medical help for him and you guys will tell me in the police station what you have done to this man.”

    This was the moment when I saw the fear in Carol’s eyes. It was the realization that our explanation would sound just as how a 16 year old would sound to get away with such situation.

    I could finally go home the other day, when my dad came paying my bail. Mr.Harrison’s condition was stable.

    “I understand you are through a difficult period.” he said, when we finally got into the car. “But breaking into an old man’s gas station? For God’s sake Tom!!”

    “Dad, I told it to the police as well. Carol had a ….”

    “Yes I was told. She told them that she’d had a prevision about him so you guys went there to save him.”

    He didn’t believe in us. Neither did the police, but Mr.Harrison woke up the day after and didn’t raise any claims. In contrary, he was thankful to us for saving his life. I think this is why he didn’t report it to the police when he realized that his collectors item gold coins were no more on the bench.

    “This is not much, comparing with a life.” Carol said, holding the coins shining in her palms.

  37. BraveBrenden

    After my mother bails me out the first thing she tells me when I see her is that I need to explain why I did it, when we get home. Luckily I have a half hour so to think of something. The car ride was quick, too quick. When I get through the door it slams behind me. I look to see my dad standing behind me. I swallowed hoping that I could get myself out of this one. Mother asks “Why did you do it?” I immediately reply “first, I need to tell you that this was not my idea it was Mitchell’s.” mom rolls her eyes, she didn’t like Mitchell I needed her to believe I wasn’t leading the operation. I continued “second, Mitchell needed-” mom cut me off and said “Drugs?” Mitchell was a jerk but he didn’t do drugs. stunned I reply “What? Uhh… no, he needed some cash, him and Zach… they wouldn’t tell me what they needed the money for! I asked they just told me to be quiet while they emptied the register.” mom said “Give me your phone.” I knew then that she didn’t believe I said desperately “I would never do that! Mom I’ve never had any malicious intentions! Please you don’t need to take my phone!” mom was quiet when dad said “give your mother the phone.” I slowly pull out my phone and yell out “Not now!” I hope they can’t see my battery as I say “My phone! It is dead!” I try to head upstairs when dad says “our phones have the same charger; I can charge your phone.” Darn it! I handed it over hoping I remembered to erase my texts from my phone, I went to my room to hide my iPod after an hour mom came into my room and asked “why did you lie to us?” What? There was nothing on my phone to indicate I was the mastermind. Was there? I ask “What do you mean?” she calmly replies “You know exactly what I mean!” Wait! Was there a text saying something about drugs? I stammer “I… I don’t know what you mean?” He replied “Zach called your phone, he explained the whole thing.” Zach? Why… I reply “alright, fine. What I said was true Mitchell was head as Zach told you and if he told the truth they didn’t tell me anything.” He asks “and?” but that was it they weren’t supposed to say anything… I reply “and Mitch handed me the rock to break the window…” mom gasped in astonishment that’s when I was unsure whether Zach really called or he didn’t tell them that they immediately said “we’re taking your computer.” I knew I was caught I decided to just remain quiet. My first robbery went wrong completely. I silently found some amusement. Rob the store they said. It’d be fun they said. My parents forgot about my iPod. My dad forced me to watch as they dropped the laptop from the roof and drove over it. The horror, made me remember never to do it again.

  38. nitapita

    It was May of 1982. I was just 16 years old and a Sophomore in high school in the small town where I had spent my whole life. Up until that fateful night I’d never been in any trouble, never even skipped a class or come home late.

    My parents were beside themselves with worry and disappointment when they had to bail me out for breaking and entering.

    “Why on earth would you do such a thing?”, Mom asked as tears rolled down her cheeks.

    “Well, you know how Joe and I always go to Quick Stop after school to finish our homework and play video games?”, I asked.

    Mom nodded, so, I continued to explain what had happened. . .

    That day my girlfriend, Becky, had gone with us and we all finished our final reports for Mr. Clark’s class. We were all excited and relieved to be done. The final report would count for half our grade and was due the next morning. The problem was, Becky accidentally dropped hers from her back pack as we were leaving. When we went back to get it, we could see it under the table we’d been sitting at, but the Quicky Super sign said it was closed until Monday.

    Well, Becky was a straight A student, all set for honor roll, and her dad was kinda strict. By kinda strict I mean he sometimes hit Becky if she didn’t do well enough in school. Becky started crying, she was pretty sure he’d kill her. So, I told her I’d find a way to get it.

    At this point in the story, mom asked, “Why didn’t you just go ask Mr. Baxter to let you in?”

    “I did go to Mr. Baxter’s, but he wasn’t home. His neighbor said he had gone camping. So, we went back to the Quicky Super and Joe hoisted me up so I could climb in through the side window. I got the report and was half way out the window when Officer Quigley showed up and demanded we explain what we were doing there.”, I continued.

    Mom was silent, but her eyes had gone wide.

    “Obviously, we couldn’t tell Becky’s dad why we were there, so we said nothing and he arrested us.” , I concluded.

    Looking back, I can honestly say it was not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. But, my parents were pretty understanding and only grounded me a month. Mr. Baxter dropped the charges because nothing was missing or vandalized, and he’d known us all our lives. Becky got an A, and she gave me the best thank you of my life that summer.

    Yup, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  39. Icabu

    “I told you – I wasn’t taking money from the register. Charlie keeps that key with him. I was putting my change from the movies under it.” Eric barely held his watery eyes in check. Being thought of as a thief by his parents and the sheriff was almost more than he could take.

    “Why were you leaving money?” Eric’s dad paced in front of the couch where Eric had plopped after the horrors of the arrest, the judge, his parents bailing him out and now the inquisition. “Why were you in there at all?”

    “Mr. Davis didn’t have money for gas. He left his wallet at home.” Eric started his explanation for what felt like the millionth time.

    “Just because Charlie was kind enough to give you a job after school doesn’t give you the right to give gas out to anyone that asks,” his dad ranted, again.

    “It was an emergency,” Eric pleaded. “Mrs. Davis …”

    “Is pregnant,” Eric’s mom said, panic in her voice.

    “She was screaming in the back seat. Mr. Davis was pushing the car into the station. I helped him, but he’d forgotten his wallet that had the gas card in it.” Both parents were staring at him now. Eric swallowed hard and continued. “I know the station’s back door latch is loose so I got in that way and set the pump for five dollars. Mr. Davis pumped the gas and raced up to the hospital.” Eric looked from his dad to his mom. “I hope he got there in time.”

    His dad paced silently for a few minutes. “You should’ve called the ambulance.”

    “Bobby’s dad is at his baseball game tonight. It’d take too long to get someone else out there. Mrs. Davis was screaming really loud and Mr. Davis was shaking; he was scared. So was I.” Eric hung his head as a tear slipped out.

    The phone rang and his mom went into the kitchen to answer it. His dad paced. Eric dried his eyes on his jacket sleeve.

    After a few minutes his mom stepped back into the room and sat on the couch beside Eric. She had tears in her eyes, too. Eric feared something bad had happened to Mrs. Davis or her baby. He could barely breathe. What if he should’ve called for the ambulance?

    “That was the sheriff. He checked out Eric story,” his mom said softly. “Mrs. Davis has a healthy baby girl. The baby was breech and they had to do an emergency C-Section. He said that if she’d been minutes later that they may not have been able to save them both.” His mom cried for a few minutes. “All charges have been dropped and Charlie says you can have your $3.85 back and a full-time summer job.”

    Eric grinned. “I’ll buy the baby a present. She’s had a rough birthday.” He was stunned when his mom nearly crushed him in a sobbing bear hug.

    1. hillsworth

      As usual, Icabu, another great read. Although I think you should have added to the ending for that sniffly, weepy-eyed, tightness in the throat effect that Mr. and Mrs. Davis named their daughter Erica (but maybe that’s just because I’m partial to the name Eric, or as my parents chose to spell it, Erik).

  40. penney

    (Sorry guys and gals, I haven’t had a chance to write in three weeks and this one hit me perfectly. I’m a little over the word count.)

    Me, Bailey, and Jordan sat at the table wondering where we should start.

    “Well?” My dad growled.

    Our parents looked questioningly. Mom busied herself at the sink. “Now Henry, I’m sure if you give the girls a chance…” They had predetermined my dad as the interrogator.

    He stopped her. “Chance, she had her chance and, she still goes off in the middle of the night and gets arrested!” His fist hit the table sending saucers and cups rattling.” Well, damn it! Come on Brady, lets hear it, and by the way, this it the end of your so called Private Eye gang. Do you…”

    “But, Dad, please. It was real, there really was something going down at Mr. Farley’s gas station.” Bailey and Jordan both shook their heads vigorously.

    Mom passed the plate of Moon Pies and rested her hand on my shoulder. “Go on tell him honey.”

    We had been picking someone from town each summer since we could remember. Our job; was to see what kind of dirt we could find. We had everyone profiled except old Mr. Farley, owner of the sole gas station in Two Forks. We wanted to prove he had a false leg, but we had to catch him take it off.

    He lived above the station in a small apartment. There were many late nights spent on his fire escape or following him home from the bar on the outskirts of town. Mom didn’t like hearing that part. She swiftly took the Moon Pies with a stern “Humph!” Jordan and Bailey seem to be observing a deep crack in the table.

    Shortly into our investigation, we noticed he was being tailed by someone in an old 70’s Cadillac convertible. Before we could camp out on his fire stoop, some creepy looking man with a ponytail had stolen our spot. We new something was wrong when that guy showed up where ever Mr. Farley was. Eventually, Farley seemed to notice it too, and his actions got weirder. This cat and mouse went on for a while till one day we followed Farley to the bank.

    Jordan looked up from her crack in the table. “Yah that was the best day ever. I followed him into the bank and that’s when it happened!” Jordan almost quivered with excitement.
    Mom refilled each cup; the room was silent with intent listeners.

    It turns out the leg was fake, both of them and hollow to boot. Mr. Farley was hiding all kinds of loot in them. We kept following him and his shadow until last night, when all hell broke loose. From the fire stoop, we watched as Farley finally met up with the man with the ponytail.

    “Mom, Dad, he was bad, really bad. I don’t know why Farley has that stuff in his legs but that man hurt Mr. Farley, took his legs and was starting to run. We had to do something. We didn’t know how but the only thing we could think to do was to break into the station to set the alarm off. It all happened so fast. Bailey and Jordan ran to get you but the police were there first. I rescued his legs, I didn’t steal them.”

  41. T.Myers

    Thomas Myers
    I’ve done some stupid things. I drank a bit too much once, threw the malt liquor up all over the toilet in my home. I smoked some weed once too, ended up eating all of the saltines and cornflakes in the cupboard. I didn’t ask for bail money today. It will come with conditions. I don’t think my answers will satisfy, yet the questions will be asked just the same. As this tunnel gradually slopes upward, my walk slows and the natural light from outside increases. At the end will be my family. How do I explain methadone to them?
    Drinking gets to me. Lately it has, at least. I see these fools with their Light Beer cases in the back of their rusting truck, and my stomach churns. This town has copious drinking. That’s how it is here in Columbus. When people hear Columbus, they usually think Ohio, but this here is the desert, New Mexico or Nuevo Mexico as it is pronounced here on La Linea. Coke, Heroin, Weed, hash, and of course booze; this is the pastime ingredient list for my friends. So, most everyone I know has some sort of addiction. I chafe, just from being here.
    My friend Flaco used to be called Gordo, he is skinny when he used to be large-he has smoked heroin for a year now, he also drinks. No one family is rich here in Columbus, Flaco’s though, is one on the most poor. His father left a longtime ago, and his mom is beyond hurt, and past the point of ever being sober. A one-way bus ticket to a rehab in Phoenix is around fifty bucks. I know Flaco needs methadone. His eyes used to hold sparks and flames. He is already dying, the death smell comes through his pores.
    The Fina station is over on Broadway, no theater companies here though. Walking home after pocketing both of us some sodas, Flaco tells me his plan. Usually his plans are to get more dope, and I tune out or chide him quietly. This plan I listened to, he seems sincere. Flaco wants methadone to kick. He tells me we can break into the Fina after closing, and steal the safe. I listened to him, and now I am walking up the tunnel to daylight. Flaco will be there, my Moms and Pops too. He will be sick, eyes sunken, and looking far removed from my friend. My parents will be angry, eyes darkened with fury.
    As the light looms brighter, poised to explode into the first fresh air I have had in days, my tongue dries up as my eyes swell. Flaco still needs the money the Fina was supposed to bring, if there is a time to ask for it, it was then. The problem is still in need of a fix, first, I need to explain Methadone.

  42. Andy Brackett

    It was a long and silent ride home. My parents were certainly not impressed with having to come out, in the middle of the night, to bail their son out of jail. “But Mom, I…” were the only words I had been able to sputter out before I was told to “Zip it!” Dad had little else to say. His eyes would occasionally glare back at me through the rear view mirror. I’d never seen him so mad before. I glanced over at Mom in the passengers seat and saw that she was crying. I felt terrible. I wondered if Jimmy and Mike were facing the same treatment. Would their parents believe them? Probably not, I was there and I still don’t believe it.

    We were headed home after playing softball with some other kids from school. As we passed Arts’ Texaco we saw a man pacing back and forth in the parking lot. He seemed to be talking to himself and he kept running to the garage door and staring in. “C’mon, guys,” I croaked, “Let’s get out of here.”

    Before we could turn away, the man was upon us. His hair was dirty and grey and wild looking. His face a leathery brown with deep wrinkles. His clothing was tattered and worn, and hung from his small frame. His bony hands struck out like that of the Grim Reaper himself. I wanted to run but, something in his blue eyes told me not to. Those eyes. His eyes were such a brilliant blue and stood out against his ruddy complexion, but they held a look of worry…no…distress. He was rambling, “Fritz…Fritzy…such a good dog.” Over and over and he kept running back to the garage door.

    We finally figured it out. This guy was homeless, living on the streets, just him and his dog. And his dog had somehow gotten himself locked in the garage. Our poor homeless friend was frantic. Jimmy said, “Let’s just call the police.”
    “No!” Mike replied, “We can get the dog out.” I looked at Jimmy and then over at Mike. Mike was already headed over to the garage door. “Mike!” I shouted, but he just kept going. I turned back to Jimmy and said, “Looks like we’re rescuing Fritz.”
    We circled the building trying to determine where the dog might have gotten in and before long had found it. A small hole in the back wall that had been partially covered with plywood. Mike went in first, followed by Jimmy and then myself. We slowly crawled through the dimly lit space calling the dogs name as we went. A sudden crash to our left made us all jump as a blur of dirty white ran past us. Just then all the lights went on in the place and a booming voice yelled “Freeze!”

    The three of us were taken out of the garage in handcuffs and stuffed into a waiting police car. We tried pleading our case. We told the officer about the old man, the dog, even the hole in the back wall but our pleas fell on deaf ears. The old man had vanished. The dog was gone.

    Now, sitting in silence in the back seat of the family sedan, I stare out into the darkness. As we pass under a street light, I see something. Off the road, under a tree I see him. The old man…and Fritz. Our eyes meet ever so briefly, and I see his lips move. “Thank you”.

  43. JackStride

    There was one reason I did it. But I won’t tell you just yet.

    It was after school. My backpack sagged behind me, holding an iPod, a laptop, and a few books. I wasn’t in the mood for music as I briskly strolled down the sidewalk. Ben was up ahead, and I put on some speed and caught up with him. “Ben!” I said. “What are you doing?”

    “I told you,” he replied. “What I have to.”

    “You’re gonna break into a gas station and get arrested just to go talk to your brother?”

    “It’s important,” he told me, a bit anxiously. “I…” Ben faltered, and stopped.

    “What?” I asked.

    “He knows, Amy…where my dad is.” Ben turned to face me, pain flashing through his eyes as he spoke. “And he can’t chat with the guards listening in. I have to get myself in there. This is the only way. Go home, Amy. Look, I’m sorry.”

    I wanted to slap him. But I couldn’t. The grief, Ben’s sadness…he wanted his dad back more than anything else. He was eighteen, so he’d go to actual jail, not just juvy. And he’d see his big brother and find out where his dad was…what? I was hit with a jolt. He would have to get out before he could go find his dad. What the heck was he thinking? “But you’d have to break out before you went to find him,” I said, quizzically.

    “Victor says he knows how to escape,” Ben told her simply. “So I’m going.”

    Long story short, I tagged along, to help Ben. I wanted him to see his father again, and although I doubted the escape plan would work, I guess I didn’t know what else to do. Ben was going to do it, whatever I said. So I might as well help him.

    We waited till it closed down, broke in, and Ben pulled out the drawer of the cash register. He grabbed some cigarette packs and shoved them into his jeans pockets. We soon heard sirens. Ben looked at me. “Amy, I–”

    I didn’t wait for him to finish. I kissed him, and started sobbing into his chest. When the cops came, we were huddled together on the floor by the counter, resignation in our eyes.

    Ben’s mom didn’t post bail; she was dead. And no one knew where Ben’s dad, famous bank robber, was hiding. So he went away for good. My parents, however, bailed me out.

    “Why did you do that?” My dad yelled, as we came into the house. He had come to pick me up. Mom was sniffling on the couch. I didn’t answer. I got grounded.

    Two months later, the headlines told me that Ben was out, with his brother Victor, and long gone. I smiled to myself as I read the article.

    1. handyman43127

      wow. I like to leave some things up to the readers imagination, especially when there is a small word limit. However, other than the reference to the F.B.I being everywhere, and that you would have to take the fall, you were never actually arrested, never picked up at the police station by your parent’s, no reference to a gas station and no attempt or reason to explain what had happened and why. If I were to critique you on this prompt I would say to read a little closer and follow the prompt. Welcome and look forward to seeing more of you’r work.

    2. The Wired Journal

      Welcome aboard, I am fairly new here also. I strongly suggest you explore and navigate this site. There are tons of educational resources here to help improve our writing. Start with creating your home page..In the nav bar at the top under the community tab click on “The WD community” link, from there you can blog, join various writing groups, etc etc. tons of help here and plenty of resources to help improve your writing.


    I was hopeless. How could I possibly explain the R.I.F.T. that had appeared within? I could see countless eyes watching my friends and I. I couldn’t tell. For the sake of myself and my family, I had to take the fall. The FBI was everywhere: I recognized some familiar faces. What could I do? Then Roger walked up to me. “I told them”, he said. I stared in shock. Roger gave me a paper. “What is this?” I asked. “A poem,” he said. A strange man in glasses called him and his family over. The man claimed that he was a police officer. I knew better. And so did Roger. “You IDIOT!” I said through my teeth. He turned around and left. I opened the note. It was a familiar poem. It was very familiar. It reminded me of a girl. Then I realized who it was: Roger’s sister. She had committed suicide two years ago. This was her poem…

  45. handyman43127

    Silent Secret’s

    Steal door’s closing behind me, the embarrassment of deputy Brian finding me hidden in a dark corner of Mr. Johnson’s gas station, that I had broken into, the look on my friend’s face’s when they found out I had lied to them to get them to help. I would re-live all of them again to avoid the crying of mom and the silence of dad, on the drive home.

    Looking out the window, we pass the school. I imagine what the morning will be like, teacher’s staring, student’s laughing and giggling, and my friend’s, well, I probably don’t have many now. If I had known all of this would happen, I would have done it anyway.

    Arriving home I started up the stair’s and was stopped by my father.

    “Go to the living room, Frank is coming over and you’r gonna explain to all of us why you broke into his station!”

    What would I say? I could not tell the truth, the future would be destroyed. I knew Mr. Johnson was probably disappointed with me. His son Joey and I had been best of friends since first grade and his family was like my second.

    Sitting on the couch I heard Mr. Johnson’s wrecker pull up in front of the house. He had been on a road call when I broke in, Joey was with him.

    All of us in the room, mom still crying, dad standing with his hand’s on his waist, Mr Johnson sitting, disbelief on his face and Joey just looking at me.

    “Well let’s hear it, what was you thinking?” asked my father.

    “I don’t know”.


    “I don’t know!”. I answered, with tears running down my face.

    “You don’t know, Frank you have anything to say to him?'” asked dad. Shaking his head no dad ordered me to my room.

    As I lay in silence, I could only think of the promise that Joey and I had made to each other. He wanted to be a dancer and go to Broadway, I wanted to be a journalist and travel the world. We both knew our parent’s had different plan’s for us. He would take over the station, I, I would work in the mill like my father and his father before him.

    Hour’s we would spend practicing on each other, no one else knew or could they until the day we would leave, to chase our dream’s.

    If Joey had not forgotten his dance paper’s where his father might find them, if he had not gone on the service call, if I had not given my promise of silence. This would be only a nightmare for me now.

    1. chris

      Nice take on the prompt. i like the 2nd paragraph; i could totally see the kid wondering what school would be like if everything was back to normal. I think everyone who’s ever been in trouble had a similar feeling. Great job.

  46. guineapiggyluver536

    My parents don’t realize that I am trying to save so many kids from this psycho guy who is mutilating animals by pouring gasoline all over them and torturing them by lighting a match a few feet away. He then kills them. He is crazy! I needed to break in to get proof!!!! I mean I doubt they will reprimand me for trying to save helpless creatures!!!!

  47. csnyder

    “Young lady you are grounded for a month! I’m taking your car keys away too…”
    “Mom!” I yelled interrupting her “Would you just freaking listen to me!”
    “OK, make it two months. And we’re taking your TV and stereo” she continued on, and on, and on. At this rate I wasn’t ever going to get to tell her what really happened. I don’t normally go around breaking in to gas stations.
    She hasn’t yet noticed that one of my friends is missing. She spent the last couple hours waiting in the lobby at the police station with Heather and Alicia’s parents. None of them noticed that Niccole’s parents were not there too. The four of us are always together, always. Niccole didn’t get arrested like the rest of us; instead she got a trip to the hospital.
    We were driving home after leaving the movie theater talking about what we liked about the movie. When suddenly, Niccole slumped over in the back seat next to me. I shook her arm and yelled her name. She didn’t respond so I screamed at Heather to pull over. We all live a few miles out of town so we were in the middle of nowhere with no way to call anyone. Normally we would have Alicia’s cell phone but her mom took it last week because she got caught texting in class. We were 5 miles from the nearest house but Heather had pulled over at the gas station. The only problem was the gas station was closed. The pay phone has been out of order for years so that wasn’t an option.
    We could see the phone on the counter. We had to get in there and call 911! Niccole was still unconscious and we didn’t know if she was going to be OK. We obviously were not able to get in through the door so our only option was to break the glass door. Heather found a big rock and threw it as hard as she could. It bounced off the glass and landed at our feet. I picked it up and threw it. Nothing. Alicia threw it and it finally cracked. A couple more throws and we were in.
    It must have been a silent alarm to the local police station. As Heather was calling 911 we saw lights and sirens coming towards the gas station. I ran out to flag down the patrol car. Three of them pulled into the gas station. I started to explain about Niccole but they wouldn’t listen. Then just kept yelling at us to get down and put our hands behind our backs. Heather’s call must have gotten through because an ambulance was the next to show up. Once I saw that they had her on the way to the hospital I didn’t fight and let them handcuff me.
    “Mom!” I screamed at her again. That finally got her attention. “Niccole’s at the hospital, we have to go now! You can ground me tomorrow.”

  48. jacord8

    Gentleman never tells! A lesson most boys are taught about sharing intimate details about girls. I’m not sure it’s a lesson most guys adhere to now a days but it was one I was determined to abide by, especially when it came to Brandy, my first love. For this reason, I now sit explaining to my parents why they had to bail me out of jail this evening.

    It all started Friday night. Brandy and I had gone to a movie and on the way home, we stopped to get a coke at the Main Street Gas Station. We both had to go to the bathroom but the woman’s was occupied so Brandy waited outside the woman’s while I walked right into the men’s with no wait, as is often the case. I wasn’t finished yet when Brandy started to knock on the door frantically. I quickly zipped, then opened the door.

    “What’s up?” I asked

    “I really gotta go.” She responded, with crossed legs and uncomfortable bouncing.

    “I just gotta wash my hands.” I said as I leaned toward the sink, still holding the door with one foot.

    “I can’t hold it!” she said as she pushed my leg out of the way, locked the door with me still inside and pulled down her pants and sat on the toilet.

    It was uncomfortable to hear and to watch her in the mirrors reflection but at sixteen it was also a turn on. We had been dating all year but had only made it as far as making out in the car in front of her house.

    When she finished she calmly walked over to the sink and stood next to me as if nothing had happened. I stared at her reflection in the mirror not sure what to do. I definitely could not step outside with the current state of my manhood. As she finished she looked up and met my gaze in the mirror, she then turned to me, kissed me and before we knew what was happening we both shared our first sexual encounter there on the bathroom sink of the Main Street Gas Station.

    We both regretted the where but not the when or the with who part of the experience and for the next few days we didn’t speak of it. Not until Brandy’s hysterical call earlier today. Apparently, she heard through a friend that there was a site with video footage from hidden bathroom cameras and rumor had it, some of the footage was from our own local gas station. Brandy searched and found the video of our encounter right there for the world to see. Our faces had been blurred but the thought of someone having the original video with our faces in clear view terrified Brandy. I had to get the video! As a guy, I wasn’t as embarrassed but I understood her concern and loved her enough to want to protect her reputation because a gentleman never tells, let alone show.

  49. Heart2Heart

    (Wrote this as a 12 year old…..not sure why, it just came out that way.)

    Cell phones weren’t invented and Coca-Cola was sold in glass bottles with caps that needed to be opened by a thing called a bottle opener and pictures were taken by a Polaroid Camera where you waited a minute or so for the picture to come out of the thing, developing as you watched. That’s if you were lucky enough to own one. Times were different and in many ways better. Life was simpler – well sometimes.
    We had off from school. Tom had called Tadpole on the old black dial phone, Tadpole called Bucky, and Bucky called Shortstop and Shortstop called me. I’m Kevin, alias Goober. It was summer, hot and humid, and we found ourselves on a lonely Texas roadway to nowhere special, a mile or so down the road from the old Sunoco station, where we picked up sodas and Yoo-Hoos from the old metal soda case after each putting in our dime and popping the caps on the built-in metal bottle opener. Bucky had some Double-Bubble Gum and we had a competition as to who could blow the biggest bubbles before they popped on our way to the dilapidated schoolhouse that had long since been abandoned. We laughed ourselves silly as Tadpole ended up with a pink mess of gum stuck to his face that he had to peel off with his fingernails. You had to climb over the six foot cyclone fence to get in to the school property, so we managed to make it over except for Bucky, who got caught on one of the pieces of metal that grabbed his pants and put a hole the size of a fifty-cent piece before we rescued him. He feared his mom’s wrath at the torn pants more than being stuck on the fence.
    We found a hole covered over with four beams of wood a foot wide each. We gathered trying to see what was down there. We made up stories of cowboys and Indians and bad men and robbers and the treasure that could be found – or maybe there were dead bodies down there. Bucky decided to prove he was worthy and crawled out on one piece of wood and he was gone in an instant, swallowed up, screaming on his way down like a sissy girl. We couldn’t reach him and it was black as ink down in that old well. Bucky was crying sitting on a bucket down there. Tom stayed -we ran to the gas station, huffing and puffing. When we arrived at the gas station, the phone had been ripped out of the booth. Tadpole, in a panic by now, found a coke bottle and threw it at the window nearest the door and shattered it to smithereens. We wanted to use the phone inside. The sheriff happened by and the next thing we knew we were being held on bail, Tadpole really crying by now. Our parents arrived and we had to explain the candy bars stuffed in our pockets.

    1. slayerdan

      I liked the majority of this. Good recall on the way some things def used to be. Something about the ending didnt grab me compared to the rest of it, but I like the fact you went a tad different than what the prompt would normally lead ppl too. Thanks.

  50. trentonbarber

    “Mom, dad, you don’t understand,” I said in a huff as the officers walked away, leaving me to my fate. My father peered down at me, the look on his face showing exactly how he felt. He was disappointed and mother, well, she looked nervous. She played with her hair and looked at me curiously. They didn’t understand what had happened, why I was in this position. I had only been trying to help.

    There was nowhere to go and nothing to do, the police officers were coming back with my bag of belongings. My wallet and keys were enclosed in a plastic bag that Officer Rudders held at his hip. A few other items bounced around in the bag as the taller dark haired gentleman thrust it out at me. I was most excited to see my shoelaces. My sneakers were slipping off my feet at every turn and I still couldn’t believe that they had taken them as some sort of suggestion that I might try to take my dirty laces and hang myself from the lights in the cell I’d spent the night in.

    My father took my shoulder, gently, guiding me toward the front office of the jail and then out into the daylight. I’d been locked up for an entire night. I held the plastic bag in front of me, almost as if it were a shield. Father looked down at me as he walked outside, finally speaking, “What the fuck were you thinking, boy?”

    I knew I was in trouble, no matter if I’d done something wrong or not. I wondered whether it was even worth explaining or if I should just take my punishment and go on, the reality of the situation locked away in my head forever.

    “You know,” I started, unable to keep from defending myself, “I was trying to help. In fact I did help and all I got for it was locked up for the night.” Father was barely listening but mother looked down at me and nodded, almost as if she wanted to now I hadn’t been being some delinquent child.

    I was barely speaking in a whisper when I told them but at least the truth was out. “I saw a fire in the back, well I saw the smoke. It was where they make the burgers they sell from the front. I didn’t have my phone and I knew if I didn’t do something the whole place would go down.” I shrugged, not sure whether to even go on, since it seemed I had been judged without even speaking.

    “I busted in the back door and put it out,” I finished, walking along at a quick pace to the silence of my parents. Soon I was in the backseat of the car and the silence carried me home. If I was a hero for helping out I wondered why I felt so much like the opposite.

  51. The Wired Journal

    I vaguely recall my parents standing at the counter before everything went black. I hit the ground like a ton of bricks. When I woke up I was in a hospital bed with two nurses fussing about the room. “Where am I?” I said to one of them.
    “You’re at the Madison County Emergency Room” one of the nurses responded.
    “Where are my parents?”
    “Right now you’re father is in the operating room having surgery, and you’re mother is in the waiting room down the hall” a familiar voice said. My head pounded and ached as I turned to look in the direction of where the voice had come from. I recognized him immediately as one of the detectives at the police station during my arrest.
    “Why is my father in surgery?” I asked
    “You don’t remember?”
    “Not really. Not at all in fact; the last thing I remember, is one of the officer’s letting me out of my cell and telling me that my bail had been posted and that my parents were at the front desk waiting for me to be released. Then being led out to the front. Last thing I remember is walking up to my parents.”
    “That’s when your father hauled off and nailed you. You went down fast. And hit the floor hard. He knocked you out cold. Took us all by surprise, took five officers to restrain him and put the cuffs on him. Two of them needed medical treatment themselves. Your father is in the operating room down stairs with a serious gunshot wound to the head. Doctors are not sure if he will survive. He started fighting the officers again when they took the cuffs off to put him in a cell. He grabbed one of the officer’s gun. They had to shoot him. He was out of control. He was plum local, screaming and hollering and carrying on.”
    “It appears you father is not who he claims to be. When we finger printed him and put them in the data base they came up red flagged and were a match to a known terrorist and explosives expert wanted by the British for a London bombing that claimed the life of twenty three innocent people in London back in nineteen seventy three. He’s been linked to a number of other bombings throughout Europe also. It appears he was a member of the IRA, disappeared twenty five years ago The Brits thought he was dead.” We’re going to be taking your mother back to the station for some questioning. She wanted to see you first. I will tell her you are awake now.”
    “What’s going to happen to my mother?” Probably nothing she’s been very cooperative and claims to have no knowledge of your fathers past and that they only met seventeen years ago. We’re going to need to ask you some more questions also.”
    “Is this some sort of joke? If it is it’s not very funny”
    “No Joke buddy I’m dead serious. You dad, if he survives is in a lot of trouble.”
    Jillian Chilligan closed his tear filled eyes and silently cursed his father. He then began telling the detective the story of how he had stumbled across a letter to his father from the owner of the service station demanding money or he would expose the truth about him.
    “I only wanted to steal my dad’s money back from the service station. I had no Idea my dad was an IRA terrorist.” Jillian Chilligan said. “I want to see and talk to my mom now.”

    1. jacord8

      My only comment would be on the last line. How did the son know for sure his father gave the black mailer the money? It may make more sense to have the son going to dig for the truth or maybe the letter stated the black mailer had documents or proof of the secrets so the son went in search of that……just a thought, but overall a good story.

      1. The Wired Journal

        Thanks jacord8,
        Ya, it could definitely use a revision and needs to be cut down to the 500 word limit. This was a first draft and the only editing it got was a rewording of a couple sentences. I wasn’t sure where this was going and just kind of went with the flow. This was the result…

    2. TomV

      “…was plum local…” Maybe plumb loco?

      A couple of viewpoint changes, and some punctuation stuff.

      I have a bit of a snag at the end, that Jillian will believe his father is IRA just because someone says so, even a cop.

      Thanks for letting me read your story.

    3. handyman43127

      Perfect placement of noun’s. The verb’s are almost life-like. I can almost find myself looking over the game of craps you are describe. I can smell the sweat () and taste the fear that is present with every roll of the dice, the rent money on the line. Good Job!!! (Mwahhh)

  52. Melissa

    Know one would have ever known if I hadn’t stumbled across him that night on my way home from the school basketball game. Being scared of the dark wasn’t any fun and to hear those wails coming from the old shack on the back of our property had intensified the fear. Chills had gone up down my arms and it took all my strength to keep from darting home as fast as I could but curiosity had held me back. I decided to have a quick peek into the shack and then go home.
    I stayed as much in the shadows as I could, hoping that no one could hear my heart trying to beat its way out of my chest. I could hear my breath raggedly coming in and out. I sounded like someone fighting for their last breath. I tiptoed closer and closer until I was almost to the edge of the porch. There was window on the side of the small building but it had been covered with something. I saw a small bit of light trickling to the bare ground on the side of the shack and decide that I would try to see through the hole that created it. Slowly, I snuck over to the building until I was tightly tucked against it. I cautiously looked around, making sure that no one had seen me. The sounds in the cabin had continued but had now turned into a wild laughter.
    I slowly bent down, trying not to make a sound and slowly peaked through the hole. What I saw stunned me beyond words. Earl, our gas station attendant, was in his underwear and boots and was dancing around the shack. He would thrust his head backwards and then forwards and chant the same phrase over and over and then would follow it with either the laughter or the wailing. At first I couldn’t catch the phrase but then it drifted out to me.
    “He will know your pain, when you die.” It sent chills down my spine. That’s when I noticed Earl kept looking at something in the corner. There was woman in the cabin. She was staring at him with wild eyes and it scared me to the core. I knew I had to do something. I had to rescue the woman. That was when I decided to break into the station. I had to get the key to the shack and that was the only place we kept one.
    On the way, I had run into two of my friends and they had agreed to help. We had tried the doors of the station but they were locked and when the alarm had gone off, we didn’t realize it. The cops wouldn’t listen to us when we tried to explain about the woman in the cabin and the more I yelled, the less they listened. It was all I could do to keep from running to her when my parents bailed me out.

    1. slayerdan

      Lots of errors here. Good imagination. I actually wrote a paragraph and a half for you and this damned “posting too quickly” crap keeps popping up so I will sum it up—-practice, practice, practice. And find someone to help you critique your stuff and get better. Good luck. :)

  53. slayerdan

    (NOTE: As you read these this week-mine and others-try to keep in mind we are talking about 16 year olds and keep that mindset, especially when written in 1st person. The smartest 16yo is still dumb overall to the ways of the world and very few have keen insight or judgement. What makes amazing sense to a 16 yo is not always the smartest thing, big picture wise. Now read on.)

    It was a long ride home. Dad bailed me out. Kevin by his grandmother and Steve by his mom. That just left Tracy in lock up. Her mom was out of town for five more days and her brother would not be able to pick her up.
    Perfectly planned.

    The backseat ride when you are in trouble sucks. Staring out the window, lights blur and sights morph into a trail of forgotten memories. I wait for my dad to start his verbal assault. I see his jaw moving as he mouths what he wants to say to me. What he eventually will say to me. In jail his eyes said it all, shell shocked. His 3.98 G.P.A. student athlete had broken into a Get N Go and got caught.

    We got caught alright. The cops rolled up on us like we had tunneled into the White House. Guns pulled. Screaming. And there we sat, on the floor in a circle talking. Tracy was crying. Kevin eating Snickers he paid for. In truth, we thought they never would show up. We had been there almost twenty minutes before the SWAT team washouts yelled ‘get down on the ground’.

    We were on the ground already, how much closer could we get? Grinning, I recall how scared I was as it was happening. We didn’t resist. We didn’t fight. Once we were all handcuffed they walked around like lions that downed an elephant. They were proud.They would make the paper with their arrest.

    If all went as planned, so would we.

    “Were you trying to get arrested?” the fat cop kept asking. Over and over he just kept saying, waiting for some answer that would not come before stuffing us into different cars. We practiced this part. We figured they would split us up so we couldn’t get out stories straight. We had our stories straight before we ever got there. We would talk, when the time was right. Talking with Captain Donut would be a waste of our time.

    Dad got out and went inside. He’s pissed.

    My hands are shaking. This isn’t sneaking out to hang at the lake. I was arrested.

    As planned.

    Mom was up and they were waiting for me. A long silence led to a simple, “spill it”.

    I took the deepest breath ever and told them how we broke in to get arrested. “What?!” my dad bellowed, slamming his fist on the table. He stood and I fully expected him to punch me. “Not to mention do you realize Tracy is still down there and will be for days?”

    Shaking, tears streaming down my cheeks,” YES,” I yelled back, my voice quivering,” that’s why we did it. It’s why we all did it”.

    “Her brother touches her. She’s told people but no one believes her,” I said, a weight off my shoulders. “So we broke in, so they would arrest us, arrest her, so she could be safe while her mom was gone.”

    (Note: this was 645 words. It took me longer to shave 146 words off then to write it. However I am quite pleased with the cutting, except for the bit of a hanger on the ending—I hate leaving it like there was a twist—there was no twist, this was the plan all along).

    1. Vanleraywi

      Despite if you’re writing in short sentences, to convey a sixteen year old’s mindset, you still need to write it properly. You changed your point of view, several times. There are also quite a few punctuation error.

      1. Birdee0809

        Vanleraywi, would you please elaborate on when the change of POV happened? I’m trying to learn and I’m not really seeing where it changed.

        Thank you!