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Another Story by John C. Nichols

At the Deli
By John C. Nichols

I sit by the window at the generic white-topped stand-alone table that seats two. I share a sandwich with the woman I adore. I look outside through the clear dual-paned window across the parking lot filled with cars. The lot is like an ocean, the cars like ships. The glass cuts off all sound from the outside where these small four-wheeled ships lie in their berths, the slips marked by painted white lines upon the hard surface of the blacktop sea.

The shops line the edge of the lot, the ocean’s shore: a shoe store, a discount clothing and wares store, and a Christian bookstore. The little people, who are like sailors, move between the shops, some with bags sauntering lazily, some without rushing madly.

Everything is in constant motion.

The sky is beginning to blacken. It is a warm day in my city, although a brief storm passes through.

A mosquito flits past, distracting me. I lose sight of the people, the sailors, the captains, each guiding their own destiny, e…

Welcome, Rachel Cline!

Eating Crow
by Rachel Cline (Entering 9th grade Sept. 2009)

Matthew hurled his book bag down on the floor by the front door in rage. He ran his hand through his dark brown hair, as he stood in the front hall of his house, fuming. He was too angry to deal with his mom’s lectures, so he planned to head over to Jacob Zimmerman’s house before she got home.

Matthew had been friends with Jacob since the fourth grade. Jacob strongly believed that video games were the answer to all life’s problems. Matthew didn’t always agree with this philosophy, but today was different. Today he was furious. He wanted to blow off steam by beating virtual characters to a pulp. Then, he was sure he could talk some sense into Mrs. Lesser. After all, he did have Coach Morton on his side, as well as his own father, who would surely see things his way.

Matthew ran up the stairs and down the hallway to his room. He tore the room apart searching for his newest video games, and after finding them under a pile of papers,…

Another Random Word List

At Students Publish Here! we have enjoyed using random word lists to create poems. Here are some poems that have been produced using such lists:

http://teachgoodwriting.blogspot.com/2008/05/another-religious-poem.html

http://teachgoodwriting.blogspot.com/2008/12/ed-pachts-christmas-poem.html

http://teachgoodwriting.blogspot.com/2008/04/from-random-to-reason.html

I invite readers to submit original poems using the following list of words:

caring for none
a painful splinter
Presence of the place
broken egg(s)
towering presence
renderings
forecast
jiggler
gentle persuasion
chorus of wind chimes
falling away
forbidden portals
harmony
straggling
stranded
smooth speckled stones
laboring longer
dryer than death
fists
longing

Poems should be between 12 and 30 lines. Words may be used in any order. Poets are not required to use all the words.

The results will be published at Students Publish Here! (Two submissions have already arrived, as of May 28.)

Deadline: June 30

I look forward to reading your work!

Alice C. Lins…

John C. Nichols to Read Poem at Carnegie

John C. Nichols has been selected as a finalist for the Carnegie Center Young People’s Poetry Contest 2009 and will read his poem at the Carnegie Center in Lexington on Friday June 19 at 5:00 pm.

John was also the recipient of the Lexington Womens' Club Creative Writing Award, May 2009.

Congratulations to John!

Glimmer Train Announces New Contest

SHORT STORY AWARD for NEW WRITERS

Deadline: May 31, 2009

Prizes:
1st place wins $1,200, publication in Glimmer Train, and 20 copies.
2nd-place: $500 and possible publication.
3rd-place: $300 and possible publication.

Reading fee: $15 per story.

Results post on July 31, 2009.

Winning story will be published in Issue 76.

Other considerations: Open only to writers whose fiction has not appeared in any print publication with a circulation over 5,000. (Entries, of course, must be unpublished.)

Stories not to exceed 12,000 words.

Journey to Eternity

John C. Nichols

Arual sat regally in the high-backed, carved wooden chair, eating silently. The mahogany chair had flowing vines intertwined with crucifixes. The chair seat was covered with a roan velvet cushion filled with goose feathers. The chair's talon-like feet tightly gripped some small forest-dwelling creature like an eagle clutching a rabbit in its claws.

In her tormented grief, Arual had fallen into the habit of eating alone. She tore her bread into small pieces and squeezed the pieces into small balls between her thumb and forefinger. On the long oak table sat her pewter chalice. She reached for the chalice with her pale fragile hands and brought it gently to her lips. The red wine trickled slowly past her cherry lips and left a scarlet blemish at the corner of her mouth.

She had been reclusive for the longest time. So long, in fact, that she could no longer remember when she had first withdrawn.

She rose from the table and paced toward the tall windows that overlooked the …