The poetry contest winner is entry #3 - "Success in Life" by Wyatt Woodard.
The winner of the short story contest was tricky. It ran as a three-way tie between entries 1, 2, and 4, so I had to call in late tie-breaker. The final result was entry #2 - "Magic Mayhem" by Caitlin Belle Martin.
Congratulations to both winners, who will both win a free Beholders t-shirt and this post on my website to their story & poem. A permanent link to this post will remain here.
Now, without any further ado, here are our two contest winners!
"Success In Life"
by Wyatt Alan Woodard, age 16
Life... What is it about life that causes some to strive to be noticed and succeed and others to just blend in with the furniture? Well, if the ones that are in the couch are waiting for a perfect world where nothing bad, wrong, hard, or unhappy happens... Then they are waiting for death. Life is hard, tuff, difficult, sad and full of bad things so that in Hopes of us pushing through all of it and surviving it so that when we leave this world behind, we are stronger and better for surviving life's twists. Those who strive for success and to be recognized realized that if your going to make it in life you need others to help you along the way and also that in every attempt at something, there is the choice of either falling down and getting back up and there is success and also the benefits that come with it. Many people now a days wish to blend in so they can watch greatness and success fall into hands of others and hope that it shall happen to them too. But greatness and success is all around us just waiting to be earned. So my question to you is this. Which path are you on?
by Caitlin Belle Martin, age 16
I ran as fast as I could while keeping quiet. I was late for class and I didn’t want to get caught. I puffed, knowing I was out of shape. Flicking my long blond hair out of the way, I silently wished I had payed closer attention in magic class to the invisibility spell. As soon as I thought that I dismissed it. I would need a crystal to cast that, and being a poor student I obviously didn’t have one.
I screeched to a halt. People were coming down the next hall, which my class just happened to be in. My only hope was the transforming spell that I had memorized.
“wen ydob fo tac,” I mumbled.
My backpack disappeared and I became a small cat in the middle of the hall. I padded to the edge and squeezed against the cold brick, hoping I wouldn’t be seen.
The people walked casually along. It was the headmaster and a teacher. My ears perked at their conversation.
“Everything is going as planned. The brainwashing spell will be ready by tonight, and then the children will be in our power,” the teacher said.
Ah yes, then we can use them to attack the nearby villages without complaint,” the headmaster added.
They continued down the hall. I padded down to my class. Thoughts jumbled around in my head. The main question that surfaced was: had this been their plan all along? I also knew I had to do something. The door was cracked open and I slipped through. I leapt on my chair.
Dlo ydob fo lirg I thought, (because it’s impossible to say it aloud with a cat mouth). I appeared with my bag next to me. I picked up my quill and began taking notes.
Mrs. Tilet turned from the chalk board, “… And so, oh, Sailee, when did you get here?”
“I’ve been here the whole time,” I replied sincerely.
“I’m always missing you in the roll, aren’t I?” she moved to her desk to change the roll.
“Yes ma’am.” I twirled one of my matching braids around my finger. If I did this cat thing too often she would catch me eventually.
At lunch I told Brent what I heard.
“You’re kidding!” he said while dropping his chicken drumstick, which was amazing because he loved food.
“Would I kid about this?”
“No…” He picked up his drumstick and began devouring it.
“I already searched the spell archives for a counter spell, and here’s what I found.” I pulled a piece of paper from my pocket and laid it in front of him.
“Sai, how did you even get to the archives? They’re password protected.” He didn’t even glance at the paper.
I rolled my eyes. “The password is ‘password’ in spell language. In my opinion it is the dumbest password ever.”
“I could never figure out spell language.” Brent gnawed on the bone of his drumstick, which no longer had any meat on it.
“Now you’re kidding. Spell language is each word spelt backwards.”
Brent moved his plate over and started banging his head on the table. “I’m so stupid. No wonder everyone kept telling me it was so easy and I should figure it out myself.” He stopped hitting his head and rested his chin on the table, and looked at the paper still resting there. “Dude, that’s long.”
“No it’s not. I already memorized it. Anyway, the spell has to be chanted, then the user is safe from any brainwash spell.” I took a bite of my chicken wing.
“Okay, so the plan is to follow the brain washed people, then run?” Brent asked.
“Basically,” I smiled.
When it was time for bed, I went to the dorm and when the others weren’t watching I quietly chanted:
“Peek em efas thginot morf esoht ohw hsiw ot esu em rof rieht gniddib.”
It didn’t take long for the girls to get out of bed. They seemed to be in a trance.
I had a mission. I hadn’t told Brent because I knew he would stop me. I was sure that this spell had some sort of potion or doohickey that made it work. After all, they had said it was finally ready, so it needed something made in advance. If that was eliminated, then the spell would be rendered useless.
I separated from the group and found a secluded window. I watched as students poured out of the school. I spotted Brent in a throng of boys. He kept looking back at the school. He carried my cat carrier. I had made some excuse for him to have her with him instead of me. I had left a note in the carrier for him in case my mission went sour.
When everyone was out I rushed to the center of the school.
“onrefne!” I shouted the spell at the top of my lungs. Fire spewed from me. It raced down the halls and into every nook and cranny. I ran, coughing, down the hall toward the outer door.
A teacher found me.
Paz fo htead,” she said and pointed her finger at me.
A lightning bolt shot from her finger and hit me square in the chest and I rammed into the wall. My nightgown caught on fire. I rolled from the wall, putting the fire out on my nightgown.
The teacher ran to the door, shouting back, “You’ve ruined everything!”
I smiled. I had no energy left. I had saved the students, but all I could think about was Brent. As my vision darkened, I realized that not every story has a happy ending.