Oct 21
Kittykatruff's picture

By The Fire

(Editor's Note: This is one of the winning submissions for Winter Tales and will be performed by Vermont Stage on Dec. 12. Find out more here!)

Winter is my favorite season.
I stay warm by the fire
With a cup of cocoa, and watch
The snowflakes fall gracefully, dancing
With the flames. 

Sometimes Nature holds her breath
And all is still; when I step outside, the silence
Is only broken by the crunch of snow 
Under my feet.

Other times, the winds howls as a lonely wolf
Lamenting the forlorn expression of the moon,
Tearing at braches, scouring houses with sharp 
Icy crystals, whipping across my face, 
Stinging my eyes, slashing ears and fingertips, 
As I hurry home to safety from the storm.

The best time of all is when 
The world pauses for a moment, though not
In anticipation, simply to ponder 
Its own existence.

Oct 19

Snow Dawn

Waking up
To the silent sound 
Of snowflakes twirling 
To the ground.
It's barely dawn
With the sun rising 
from its chambers 
beneath the mountains,
The stars unwilling to dim 
their short-lived light.
Yet the snowflakes mirror them,
Drifting to fill the valleys
In a cold, crisp carpet.
Walking out
To the half-darkness of winter,
The beauty within the ice,
The sword within the stone.
Sensing the danger in the snow,
Yet unable to pull away
From trees that seem to glow.
No one has ever been able to resist Winter.
It's the right time for wonder.
If you're going to take a plunge into mystery,
Then waking up to snowflakes
Falling outside your window
Is, perhaps, the best way to do it. 
Oct 18
joseph.deffner's picture

A Quiet Winter Day

The snow crunches softly beneath my boots as I trudge up the hill. Small delicate snowflakes land on my fuzzy hat. I tilt my head back to catch them in my mouth. Out of the corner of my eye, a male cardinal dashes from tree to tree, his red feathers bright against the white snow. When I get to the top of the hill, I pause to look around at the snow covered trees, and listen to how peaceful it is. Dropping my sled on the wet snow, I climb on and slide down the hill, going down easily on top of the smooth and icy snow. The cool wind blowing in my face, smiling to myself. Winter makes me feel serene and content.
Mar 14

Clear Nights

Late at night
When the moon is out
And the stars are bright
I sit here
Enjoying the cool air
And the sounds of darkness
My eyes always transfixed on the sky
Marveling at its beauty
At times like this
I'm grateful for solitude
The void in me is filled
And I'm alone but not lonely
Nature has a way of calming me
And teaching me to relax
And forget about humanity
If only for a little while

Mar 08
fiction 0 comments challenge: Woods
Jen L.'s picture

The Talking Woods

Have you heard of the place called The Talking Woods? It’s a very mystical place. People say the trees in those woods talk. Some are mean, some are nice; it all depends on what type of tree it is. The first person who ever went there and noticed it was a child. Here is his story.

    One day James was playing by the woods when he heard someone shout,

“Watch it or you’ll snap one of my branches off! And that doesn’t feel too pleasant.” James jumped back. He had no clue who said that and he couldn’t see anybody for miles. The voice was kind of hollow, like it was vibrating through a pipe. It sounded in the middle of squeaky and deep.

“I’m over here,” shouts the voice again. It came from behind James, so he turned around but only saw the woods. Then he noticed a face in one of the pine trees, or at least it looked like a face. It was staring at him and he was staring back.
Mar 08
Gyury the Destroyer's picture

The basement below the storm

The basement is damp and dimly lit by a single lamp, within it’s light a family huddles together out of fear. The sound of wind can be heard ripping through the air outside as rain pelts the bunker’s roof. Family stays silent, and though it’s only been minutes, it feels like hours, finally one of them speaks: a young boy, about the age of 9 lifts his head and says “Mom, are we gonna be ok?” his mom looks into his eyes and says “of course we’ll be alright sweetie, we’re going to be just fine.” The dad doesn't speak, but he wraps his arms around the mom and child and holds them tight, then he speaks, he whispers “I love you” to them and almost in unison, tears building up in their eyes, they whisper back “I love you to”

Mar 05
m.fredella's picture


Our basement is wet and cold. I huddle against my sister and brother, their warmth seeps into me and spreads through my body. My parents hold us closer, their arms encircling us in an embrace of love and protection. We can hear the aggressive wind ripping our house apart above our heads. I wonder if our neighbors are safe, our relatives, my friends. What if we are the only survivors? My hands shake uncontrollably with fear. I clench them tightly, until my bony knuckles turn white. We had very little time to prepare. The weathermen said the hurricane was supposed to miss us, but they were wrong. We had a day to prepare. The supermarkets were packed, teeming with frantic people searching for food to last them through the storm. People were fighting over cans of beans and soup. I guess that’s where the old saying “desperate times call for desperate measures” comes from. We spent the night getting the basement ready.
Mar 01
poem 1 comment challenge: Alone
lana.W's picture

You Won't Believe This!

When I came home from school,

I found myself in shock.

The beds all gathered by the pool,

The couches stand round the grandfather clock.

There’s confetti everywhere,

and food all strewn about.

There’s armoires running here and there

until they all pass out.

The toaster’s jumping in the tub

as appliances holler “Stop!”

There’s forks and knives in every shrub

While napkins danced on top.

Though difficult not to double take

I felt a shiver up my bones

I then found myself lying awake.

In my bedroom, all alone.
Mar 01
tobin's picture



A house (also known as a home) is,in a way, like a dog. It cares about you but, if you do not care for it, it can easily turn on you. Each home has a personality; there are angry homes, sad homes and happy homes. Homes also come in all shapes and sizes; some homes are tall and skinny, some are fat and short. There are homes that are built high in the air and homes built far underground. The one thing that all homes have in common is that they care about the people that live in them.  
Let me tell you about my home. My house is very, very old. In fact,  it is 166 years old. Being such an old home it has a long history. When it was first built in 1853 it was a church. As a church it was very happy, it was the center of the community and made many people’s lives better.
Feb 25
humor 1 comment challenge: Alone
Kyle A Emerson's picture

I Think We're Alone Now

The door closes

The teenager is gone

The truck disappears into a cloud of dust

“Hooray!” Screams the chairs

“Party!” Exclaims the teddy bear

“I’ll play the tunes!” Says the record player

Tiffany’s voice echoes through the house

“I think we’re alone now! There doesn’t seem to be anyone around”

The lamps flicker in excitement

The pictures come to life

The toys throw the living hats around the house

The living hats cheered in glee

Blankets and chairs make forts

Mr. Fridge falls over, again

Everyone is having fun

Then there’s a teenager at the door, shocked

Everyone stops and stares

The record scratches

Teddy bear approaches

There’s silence

“Wanna party with us?”

Feb 25
fiction 0 comments challenge: Alone
Eloise Silver Van Meter's picture


We wait like teenagers for our owners’ car to leave the driveway. All day has been spent reading the notes back in my head, turning the humans’ nonsense words into lyrics of my song, catching their absent-minded humming in my cracks. Sometimes I find Esperanza looking at me with pity, thinking,That wall must be lonely, all of its art being stripped from it.

The humans wonder if inanimate objects get lonely. We wear emotionless expressions. They think we are simple “its” painted only to please their own eye. However, we are complicated beings: punctured by tacks, coated over with a soft ivory and then suddenly changed to a harsh blue. We are told by our owners what we should look like. We have little choice in our appearance.

So as our owners’ car leaves the driveway, we sigh in relief of the expectations imposed upon us and sing the song of their sorrows.

Feb 24
mind_reader's picture

A Lesson

This is a short story from after my trip to New York City:
Feb 19

Why Do I Dance?

Why do I dance?

I dance because it is the only thing
That makes me feel the stars in my feet.
Nothing matches the feeling
Of spinning, spinning to forget the outside world.

I dance to forget unkind emotions
And create new ones.
To let myself feel the passion
That I so often must push down.

I dance for the opportunity
To jump into the sky
And never come back,
Never return to reality.

I dance to become something else,
To embody another creature,
To imitate another world,
To create another universe.

I dance to interpret
The experience
Of another people,
And to understand my own.

I dance when there is nothing else to do.
When I’m waiting or nervous,
What else can I do but move?
What else can I do but dance?

Why do I dance?

I dance to be happy.
I dance to feel stars.
I dance to escape reality.
Feb 16

Everything She Was

she was ahead of our time
she dreamed of worlds circling around our own
or rivers flowing out of the tears of our own eyes
of flying a wagon to the moon
she was a pioneer of the unknown
she was an exploror
of the pitch black (sprinkled with stardust)
of the tangly ruins that haunted the backyard
she was so much
like a big bang that happened right here
and I was just lucky to witness it
her long, long hair was a waterfall
that swept people off their feet
and her freckles were constellations
people studied with telescopes
so they could find out her secrets
if people were dice
she would have been a double six (rolled six times in a row)
she was a mess
a mess that managed to fix everything at once
when she left someone, their heads were in the heavens
spinning upon clouds and filled with helium
she was a contagious laugh
that infected the body and made it hard to breath
Feb 08
lana.W's picture

Which Pet?

Which pet will best suit my needs?
I see puppers and doggos galore,
but what I want is so, so much more.
Dogs are great, and not much exceeds.
The pet store closes in five.

I need a pet who’ll fascinate,
who’ll make my guests say, “WOW!”
I need to make my decision now.
There’s no time left to waste.
The pet store closes in four.

I looked at every bunny,
I also looked at birds.
Across the street, I see llama herds,
When mom says, “It’s time to go, honey.”
The pet store closes in three.

Maybe an iguana? Nah,
Iguana’s don’t seem right.
Oh woah, is that lizard white?
How ‘bout a fluffy cat, to feel bourgeois?
The pet store closes in two.

My time is running out,
I need an animal quick!
I don't know which one I'm going to pick,
Should I choose beak or snout?
The pet store closes in one.
Feb 07
poem 0 comments challenge: Decide
joseph.deffner's picture

All the Pets

My dad let me go to the pet store today.

He said to pick a pet that I wanted.   

I wanted a little hamster that I would name Jerry.

But when I got there, I couldn’t decide.

Did I really want Jerry, or did I a want a spider named Milly?

Or a bunny named Hun?

What about Jake the snake?

I wanted all of them.

I wanted Pink the goldfish,

Lilly the frog,

Bob the pig.

I needed Leo the green parakeet,

Grace the water Dragon,

Cody the Veiled Chameleon,

And Luna, Leah, and Lucy, the Fancy Hermit Crab sisters.

My dad asked me if I really wanted all those pets.

“Are there any pets you don’t like?” he asked me, teasingly.

“Some,” I said, “but those weird ones still need homes, too.”

Aidan the rat needed a home,

So did Claire and Theo, the Veiltail Betta couple,
Feb 05
fiction 1 comment challenge: Decide

10 O'Clock





The seconds fall away from the clock, dripping off the hands like the sweat slowly dripping down my forehead, down my nose, off my face.





As the end draws near my heart speeds up, racing, racing, racing like a horse stung by the hot bite of a whip.





“Sir? Sir, we need you to make up your mind now.”





The weight of this decision weighs down upon my chest, suffocating and crushing. The single defining choice to end a lifetime of loneliness. Or begin one.

Feb 04
poem 0 comments challenge: Elves

Forest Fantasy

Fair creatures and fair desires,

Yet no believers and no admirers.

Those who enchant the oblivious eye,

Through wandering skies and regretful smiles.

Through itching feet and endless isles.  

Encircled by those that die,

Who meddle and peek, evasive and shy.  

Under mortal moon and breathing bowers.

Who push their backs against the grain,

And fool them all again and again.

Under Aberdeen evergreen,

They will never be seen.  

Those who dwell in secret towers,

Under a spell of unknown powers.

The hymn of bygone breaths,

The dawn of dim lit deaths.

Like sunlight wings that carry light,

Into eternity all through the night.  

All without a single sight.  

Like pale phantoms, never to pass.
Feb 01
Emilia Perry's picture


I walk into the empty house, sunlight filtering through the open door behind me. I've never been here before, and I am shocked with a sense of such strong familiarity, I can almost taste it. But it's not a bitter, unwanted taste. It's sweet and thick like honey, and propells me forward. I continue on, my feet knowing exactly where to go, as if following a predestined path. Despite the peeling paint and splintering wood, there is such a strong energy in this foreign place. The dust particles seem to vibrate, sending out shockwaves that lift the hairs on the back of my neck. It is in this moment I am struck with the realization of why I was drawn here, of all places. It was not my home, but it was someones. I can sense the generations that have lived and loved inside this space, the years of sunsets, and sunrises, that cast a golden glow, much as it is doing now.
Feb 01
poem 1 comment challenge: Elves
layla.h's picture


don’t say we didn’t warn you

is your farewell

as the forest

swallows you up.

it’s not as if you didn’t know about the elves

about their tricks

their lures

but the forest has always called to you

louder than your family’s cautionings.

they’ll take you

and they won’t let you go

is what they said

to try to tame your curiosity.

but instead you thought

i wouldn’t mind a bit.

you walk deeper into the shadows

and you don’t look back.