Through My Eyes: Writing Portfolio
Due: Wednesday, June 1st
Course: Creative Writing
Table Of Contents:
- Journal Entries (5)
- Writer's Observations (5)
- StorySLAM (1)
- Poetry (5)
- Flash Fiction (2)
- Short Story (1)
- Screenplay (1)
- Extra Piece (1)
- Revision of _____
- Course Reflection
Note: Some of these are from my account on a writing website called Figment.com. My account name is "Karla Gabriela". If there are any questions about it or if I need to prove this by signing in please let me know. I was given permission to add these.
Grounder 1- Long Sleeves
By: Karla Ceja
Long sleeves bring me comfort. They've helped me get through my teenage years, anxiety and shyness. Even on warm days I let them drape over my shoulders and arms. I let them hide my bare knuckles and all my little tiny scars. I let them brush against my cheeks when I rest my tired head. I let them soak up my tears and the tears of others. My sleeves are always there for me, I love my long sleeves.
A few years later I start to notice, how my long sleeves have shrunk. How I don't wear them as often and how I don't really need them. I use them when I shiver and when goosebumps cover my arms, but I don't need them when the sweat coats my skin.
My lips like making sound and they often curl up at the corners. My arms like to hug and hold and my fingers like to feel and caress. My now bare shoulders like to be something to lean on and they like to soak up the summer sun. My body is happy now, I no longer need my long sleeves.
I turn to my closet full of sweaters and jackets and wistfully say, "I'm sorry my friends. I don't need you anymore" and so I take them in my arms. I hand them over to other needy scar-filled arms and anxiety-filled faces. Hopefully they will do them some good.
I love my long sleeves,
and they will always be my friends.
Grounder 2- A Whale Of A Dream
A Whale of a Dream
By: Karla Ceja
Dreams are flying humpback whales,
they sour through the sky,
and weave in and out of reality.
Their calls echo,
and make the clouds tremble.
Their dark blubbery skin,
dotted with stars,
and crusty barnacles.
Few get to see them,
and even fewer get to ride them.
They lead you to you your goals,
and grant your wishes.
Follow your humpback whales.
Sometimes they don't make it.
Sometimes they're forgotten.
Sometimes they die.
They fly into the sun,
or crash into the ground.
Fading into dusty ashes,
and rotting flesh.
Take their soft fins in your palms,
they may be slippery but don't you let go.
If you believe in them,
they'll save you.
Let your whales lead you.
Grounder 3- I Smell Of Paper
By: Karla Ceja
I smell of paper, ink and age. Of the fingers that have brushed over me countless of times. My skin is worn and peeled. I am contained in a small sliver of space.
Relief, sweet relief! Is what I feel when I am opened up by calloused hands, and when the steady eyes of strangers scan my body.
Despair is what I feel when they shove me back into the crowded shelf that's filled to the brim with my brothers and sisters.
Why do they only use me for my contents and then toss me away?
I contain thousands of little images and black and white words that have been tattoed on me. Is that really all they need me for?
Hope is all I can do as I wait for those calloused fingers and steady eyes to need me again.
Grounder 4- The Rose
By: Karla Ceja
The girl held it close to her face and sniffed,
it smelled of blood and it was sugary sweet.
The Roses were quite red and it's quite threatening,
They threatened to prick her little fingers.
She plucked their petals and ripped of their leaves,
"No blood for you",
she whispered with glee.
Grounder 5- The Girl Who Ran
By: Karla Ceja
There once was a girl who loved to run. She often ran during her freetime whether to just clear her head or for the feeling of it. She loved the way the breeze tickled her skin and cooled her sweat. She loved the adrenaline.
One day she realized,
that she was slowing down.
Her lungs often ached and pain coarsed through her long legs.
It got to the point where it hurt to breath,
where it hurt to walk.
She was sent to the hospital.
There she learned she had a disease called muscular dystrophy.
The weakening of muscles over time.
She would lose her legs and would no longer walk or run.
She would lose her lungs and would no longer breathe.
She would lose her life and no longer live.
It was almost broke her heart when she learned the news.
She would no longer be able to do what she loved.
That night she snuck out of the white washed emergency room and walk down the streets despite the mind-numbing pain.
Her walk turned into a jog,
that jog into a run,
and that run into a sprint.
Despite her untimely death she ran.
She ran through the pavement and the asphalt as a blur.
The colors, the lights and the people filling her vision.
She ran in her green hospital gown,
and without the tubes stuffed up her nose.
She kept going until her legs gave out,
and her lungs gave out.
Until all was dark,
Writers Observations- Entry #1
Tuesday: My Room: Afterschool
I'm playing a videogame, I forget the name, but it's one that my cousin let me borrow. I'm shooting aliens and walking around when suddenly this really funky music comes on and there are lights pulsing in and out of my sight. I jokingly start dancing my character around, having my own little rave, but when I turn around one of the flying aliens comes straight at me. I scream and drop the controller before hiding my face in a pillow. I then hesitantly proceed to laugh, save my progress and turn it off. Alien apocalypse games are not for having raves.
Writers Observations- Entry #2
Thursday: School: Lunch
One of my friends brought a small batch of blueberries and we all shared them. We talked about maybe going to pick some but apparently we have to wait until around September. We also need to not pick the purple ones according to Brenda because if they're purple they aren't ripe.
Writers Observations- Entry #3
Monday: Home: Morning
Before school my mom told me that we're heading to the beach this weekend. Not just randomly but for a Quinceanera that someone is going to have. Hopefully it won't be too hot and the water won't be too cold.
Writers Observations- Entry #4
Monday: During The Entire School Day
I noticed that today everyone seems to be talking about the same things. They talk about how their springs breaks were and how they wish they weren't over. How they went to Tennessee or Nevada, and how they spent time at the beach and got a little tan.
Writers Observations- Entry #5
Thursday: School: 7:15
My song was going great but I messed it up near the beginning due to my stage fright that I often seem to get. Even so I am glad that I decided to do it. Singing even if I mess up helps me relieve a lot of my stress. It helps remind me that there are worse things than just presenting in front of a classroom. Next year I won't be at Orange but it Middle College High School and I have no idea what it's like so there may be no clubs or talent shows there. I'll miss this school.
StorySlam- Neon Dancing
It’s 2014 on a monday, and the first day of the NC state fair. I decided to bring one of my friends with me. Sadly we’re not really friends anymore so I’ll call her ‘Anonymous’. Anon and I were only 14 and we knew no one that was willing to drive us expect for my mom and dad. So we went with my whole family which at the time was only me and my two sisters and my baby brother. Now it’s two boys, not one, but luckily they drive a Honda Odyssey so we still had plenty of space.
It’s a cold day, not quite winter breeze but autumn breeze. We got there around 5:00 pm so the sun was already starting to set. We stood in line for several minutes that felt like hours and we finally got our entry tickets and our bracelets which let us get on as many rides as we wanted.
There was the smell of sweet pastries like fried oreo and funnel cake in the air, along with the salty scent of the turkey legs. My mouth was watering and I immediately wanted to buy one, but the food would have to wait. The frigid air stung my nose, ears, and fingers and I shivered and shook in my thin jacket. I knew I should have brought something warmer. The only warmth around was from the food stands.
We walk around for a while until we start splitting up. My parent’s take the younger kids to the smaller rides while my then 9-year-old sister Angela is begging to go with us. Of course I object but my mom and dad insist. Soon Anon, Angela and I are wandering around trying to see what we’re going to ride.
We get on several rides. They were small at first. Little carts that spun around like teacups and cars that spun in circles while swinging you around. They had pretty cool names I guess, like “The Hurricane” and “The Vortex”. Most of them seemed like they had to do with spinning around in circles. Then we got to the more hardcore one’s. The tower that takes you to the very top and then drops you when you aren’t really prepared. My personal favorite as well, “The Ring of Fire” which is basically a ring where you can go upside down over and over.
Then we get to this ride and something happened that for some reason is really memorable for me. I think it was because I felt so joyous and free in that one special moment. It was a ride called “Freak Out.” It was already dark and the neon lights were on and illuminating the fair. We were waiting in line while watching people get spun around by a hand-like crane. Their screams filled the air and made the stomachs of those waiting in line tingle with anticipation.
I don’t remember which song started to play but it was a really funky pop song, that’s all that I remember. The lights were constantly shifting from blues to greens and yellows as if they were synchronizing with it. Suddenly a guy steps out. He’s this really nicely dressed dude with a fedora that starts rocking out. He’s doing all these crazy moves and the people in line cheer while some were laughing a little at the random street dancer. I felt this strange feeling inside. I don’t know if it was longing or envy but I just felt like going up with him, but I was too nervous and shy.
“I dunno what it is but watching him dance makes me want to dance along with him.” I told Anon.
She laughed and nudged me forward,
“Why not? Go and dance!”
“Noooo..I’m not good and i’m too nervous.”
“It’s okay. Here I’ll record you. Just go!”
And so I went up there and I went next to him and I started doing my thing. I was shaking my hips and waving my arms around, and I’m sure that I looked like a seal of some sort, but it was fun.
People cheered even louder and started encouraging me and I danced right alongside him until the song was over.
I thanked him and he nodded and continued dancing. Breathless and feeling amazing I went back to stand in line with Anonymous and Angela feeling very exhilarated.
Poem 1- Unrequited Love
The girl peeked through her bangs,
watched from afar,
twiddled her fingers,
and admired her star.
She was afraid,
to speak even a word.
What if he said,
what if he frowned
what if his beautiful smile
turned upside down.
Little did she know,
he saw her too,
he watched from the corner of his eye,
and she never knew.
Love can be wronged,
or and can mess with your head.
Even so it should be good,
So one one day she whispered,
And she hollered.
She poured out her heart,
in three simple words.
I love you.
Poem 2- Next Summer
By: Karla Ceja
The waves seemed to roll straight through her,
the salty scented smell of ocean filled her lungs.
Her dark hair floated around her like seaweed.
The iridescent foam sparkled under sun,
the sand tickled her ankles and kept her grounded to the earth.
The ocean seemed so dream-like,
It was a different world,
full of glowing scaly creatures,
and alien fishy beings.
Humans know nothing of it’s deepest crevices,
of its depths and corners.
The girl was infatuated,
not with anyone else,
but the ocean.
It seemed to kiss her skin,
caress and hold her trembling body,
its sultry voice sang in her ears.
The ocean was her friend
the one who always listened,
the one who understood.
It would never betray her,
or swallow her up.
It wouldn't crash against her,
slap her face,
or go up her nose like it does with the others.
Sadly they would soon part.
When the sky turns gray,
and the living things die,
and sea turns cold and freezes up,
and they wouldn't be together.
She didn't want this,
she clung to sun and the heat,
she clung to the feeling of it surrounding her,
she did not want to leave it.
The ocean comforted her,
it cooed and said,
“Don’t worry my dear, there’s always next summer”.
Poem 3- Reverantis
Reverantis is a place that everyone visits,
but always forgets.
Let us visit the land of Reverantis.
Oh yes, lets!
but first we have to climb,
straight into our beds.
While remnants of it are in our pillows,
and bouncing around in our heads.
Reverantis the land of dreams,
Reverantis isn’t exactly what it seems.
There are no rules but one,
those who don’t like fun cannot come.
Reverantis is full of things,
and kites and strings.
Reverantis shows your inner desires,
even those that land you in eternal fires.
Good or bad Reverantis doesn’t care,
sinful salty smells fill the air.
What Reverantis shows is up to you,
and what you like,
and what you do.
So if you're good you’ll get just that,
and lovely chitchat.
And if you're bad you’ll get something too,
rusty colors and all things taboo.
So know what you want,
and be careful what you wish for,
before you visit Reverantis,the place we adore.
Poem 4- Glowing Screens
By: Karla Ceja
I walk down the busy streets of our beautiful city,
I see no voices,
I hear no faces.
I feel no aura.
They have been absorbed by the glass glowing screens,
and the applications.
They aren't looking,
but they can still walk past,
the vast world around them.
They don't see the blue sky we have today,
or see the fluffy little pigeons i'm feeding,
or hear the music playing nearby,
their ears are blocked by plastics.
They don't feel the life around them.
How can one speak if they aren't moving their mouths?
How can one laugh without smiling?
How can one cry,
shake their head without actually doing it?
I stand up and wave my hand in front of a man's face.
He scowls at me and walks away.
At least they still look up when they have to.
But why are they so blind?
"Stupid old Grandma..." He mumbles.
I sit back down on my park bench and still see the world around me,
ignoring the bent down necks,
and the tapping fingers,
and the dings from the notifications.
I look to my left and see a store with a fruit on the window.
Another glowing screen sits there in display,
it's calling for me,
with it's sleek silver body and black glossy screen.
I shuffle down the street with my cane,
my wizened hand grips it tightly.
I buy one.
I am blind now too.
Poem 5- This Is Not The America I Know
This Is Not The America I Know
By: Karla Ceja
"Racism is wrong" the teacher's say in their white board covered rooms,
but the desks are filled with poisoned minds,
from decades of hate,
and decades of wrong.
They tell them one thing,
but the world say's another.
They try to open their eyes,
but they've been sown shut.
People feed them toxic lies.
"People should marry their own race."
"Stay away from that man, he's different."
"They're all murderers."
"They're all rapists"
I stand and watch the world around me.
I watch this imaginary terror unfold.
It's all in their head,
but they don't know that.
I watch it through the glowing screens,
I silently scream and scratch out my eyes.
I see the violence,
The separation of families,
the ostracizing of people in need,
and the refusal of parents for orphans,
just because of their sexual orientation.
I see the same mistakes made over and over.
This is not the America I know.
They like to forget that we're all human,
that we're all people.
They like to forget the basic morals.
It's treating other equally.
It's being free to live your life.
If you see people like them,
the blind and the uninformed,
the one's who live in bubbles,
who know nothing of the world,
Please Do Something.
This may not be the America I know,
but it can be fixed,
it can be made better.
It just needs a little push,
a little shove.
It just needs you.
Flash Fiction 1- Golden Scissors
By: Karla Ceja
There was a puppet made of flesh and bone.
She had many strings.
They were invisible,
As thin as spiderwebs,
but just as strong.
She always tried to cut them off with scissors,
but they always broke.
There were also many other puppets but they were different.
They never tried to cut their strings.
They were quiet and just did as they were told.
There were some puppets with no strings.
They were bright and cheerful and could do what they wanted.
They were free.
Their puppetmaster wouldn’t let her near these people.
It gave her strict rules.
It made her be someone she wasn’t.
One day while the puppetmaster slept,
she was approached by a stringless boy.
He had his hands behind his back.
“What are you doing?!”
“Aren’t you curious about what i’m holding?”
“No! You must leave!”
“Don’t worry, as long as he doesn’t wake you’ll be fine. I want you to have these.”
He pulled a long pair of golden scissors from behind his back.
He put them in her hands and closed her palms.
“Come join us. Cut your strings. You don’t have to be like this any longer.”
She hesitated at first but she lifted the scissors and sliced at one of her strings.
It slowly drifted onto the floor.
A strange feeling bubbled up inside her. Was it joy? Relief?
She frantically snapped at all the strings until one was left.
As she was closing the scissors the puppetmaster stirred and saw them.
It tried to pull the puppet away and dragged her towards it.
The golden scissors slipped out of her grasp.
“No!” She cried out.
The boy grabbed the golden scissors and snapped the last string.
They ran off.
Into the unknown,
Into her new life.She was free.
Flash Fiction 2- Milk Chocolate
and people don't like that.
Why would they hate it when it's so delicious?
Why would they want to keep them separate?
Short Story- The American Dream
The American Dream
By: Karla Ceja
She felt as if though she didn’t belong anywhere. All her life she was told it was here or there. Mexico and The United States of America. She was born in one but she grew up in another. Which one did she belong to? One was full of poverty and violence, gangs and drugs. The other also had it’s bad sides to it, but it was full of hopes and dreams, She was not wanted there.
No one could really answer her questions. Some said she’s part of the other side of the fence, the one she was born in. The one where her blood-streams flow strongly and where her family is. Others said it’s the place where she grew up and learned her way of life thanks to ESL classes. Where she could live comfortably without worries. Which one should she choose?
Her name was Marisol Martinez. She had a small figure with big brown eyes and honey colored skin. Her hair was wild and curly and framed her small almond-shaped face. She was taller than the average hispanic, which was admittedly not very tall. She loved the same shows as a lot of people, the same food, the same music. The only thing that really made her different from other people was her skin and her culture. She was a minority. The grease spot on the white napkin. It never really bothered her but she was fully aware of it.
Others were like her. They grew up like her, were restricted like her. Put into a land of opportunity, yet never allowed to fully enjoy it. Never allowed to taste the freedom that they did. People behind podiums and backed by money made her a criminal, a violator, an alien, a thief. This was her life, until she finally moved to California due to her father’s job, a place where she could live a new life.
It was a sunny day in Santa Ana, California. Marisol’s new high school, Valley High School, was having their mid-day lunch period. It was too hot outside, so Marisol and her friends sat in the cafeteria. They talked and bit into their sandwiches and tortas. Their chatter blended into the rest of the room.
Little words stood out here and there. Words from both languages slurred into a spanglish mess. Words like güey, tarea, gpa, teacher, class. Anyone who tried to focus into the mass of noise would hear only gibberish.
She moved from their small home in Alabama to California a few months ago. It was different from where she used to live. Here she she was in the majority. She wasn’t treated as foreign. Here most people understood her culture, her food, and spanish. Here taco bell and their yellow crunchy monstrosities wasn’t what comes immediately to people’s minds. Instead it’s soft white tortillas with real meat and cilantro.
She was telling her friend Martha about the new boy in her class when the room grew quiet, and multiple footsteps could be heard from the halls. They were heavy and could be heard along with the jingle of keys. Marisol turned to her friends sitting in their table. Everyone else seemed to have the same terrified expression. When the static noise a muffled voice of a walkie-talkie was heard a scream rang out. Everyone in the cafeteria stood up and began going out the emergency doors.
“Martha! What’s going on?!” She asked as her friend grabbed her backpack.
“It’s a long story Mari. Just grab your things and run!”
Marisol, scared and confused, couldn’t seem to move. The entrance doors were slammed open and officers came flooding in. “BORDER PROTECTION” was written in large letters on their blue and black uniforms. They seemed to be running straight at her like vicious hounds, frothing at the mouth and closing in on their prey.
She unfroze and sprinted for the open exit doors. She winced at the sudden sunlight and the wave of heat that washed over her, but kept running. There was a popping sound and something ricocheted against the wall beside her. Bullets. They were shooting at her?!
Questions continued to bounce around her mind as she ran out of the school’s premises. There she saw her friend Martha waiting for her in her white pickup truck, her pale green eyes were full of fear. Marisol jumped inside and her friend didn’t even wait for her to close the door to step on the gas. A bullet hit back bumper but they managed to get away.
“What just happened?!” Marisol practically screamed trying to calm herself down. Her hands were still shaking.
“Well i’m not really sure but i’ve heard of this happening in the schools around here. Most of our school is full of immigrants and undocumented students so that's probably why they came. People have been turning a blind eye since they have warrants and permission to look into our backgrounds. They don’t want us here.”
“Who doesn’t want us here?”
“The county, the state, the country, everyone! Ever since that man became president they’ve been trying to ‘cleanse’ this place. They’re breaking into schools, homes, jobs, restaurants. They’ve been hauling every person away possible. Even those who were born here.”
“But how come i’ve never heard of this?”
“Well you never really watch the news do you? Or pay attention to social media.”
“I guess not...”
“Look all you need to know is that you need to keep on living your life the way you always have. Whether or not you go to school they’ll send you back to Mexico. It’s inevitable, so you might as well enjoy it here as much as you can.”
“Why don’t we just leave then?”
She took a turn and headed down to the streets of our neighborhood. It was a small one full of joint homes and apartments and a public pool and park at the center. They were still new in the neighborhood so she didn’t know a lot of her neighbors, just Martha and their family.
“Well it’s not just California that’s doing this. It’s starting to spread and happen in other states. So it wouldn’t matter if we left or not.”
Martha parked in front of her home and shut off the car. They parted ways and the rest of the day seemed to become a blur.
Suddenly she found herself in that same cafeteria. It was quiet this time and very few students showed up to school. They were all off cowering in their homes with their blinds closed and doors locked. Martha, Marisol and a few of their other friends were still there along with a few other students and teachers. It didn’t feel like a school anymore. It felt abandoned and empty. A shell.
They all slowly chewed their food but were constantly glancing at the cafeteria doors, anxiously waiting. As soon as they heard their footsteps again they ran.. The neverending game of cat and mouse seemed to go for weeks, and Marisol was getting tired. Tired of running, and tired of feeling like a criminal.
One day she didn’t run. Martha and the others screamed for her to follow but she didn’t.. She let them forcefully pull her out of her seat. They cuffed her wrists behind her back. She was drained and her whole body screamed “I can’t do this anymore.”
She let them push her out of the school, into the back of the car, and onto the other side of the fence. She was pushed so hard that she fell into the hot sand. It stung her face and hands. She lay there for a while, not moving, and filled the desert ground with her salty tears. The screeching of an eagle filled their ears as it circled in the orange sky around them.
Then she woke up.
It was her room and the blinds were closed, making it look dark and silent. Even so little rays of the California sun seeped in from in between the wooden blinds. Her alarm clock read 6:45 AM and was screeching like the bird of prey in her dream. She slammed her hand on the off button and sat up in her bed before running her hand over her tired and somber face.
She took in her room as she tried to remember the bits and pieces of her dream before she forgot them. Her small potted cactus sat on her shelf along with a few of her books. She still had them since the 6th grade, so they were titles like Twilight, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Inkheart. Her eyes traveled over her peeling blue wallpaper with a sigh, it looked quite depressing.
The small blocky television in her room was on. It was the morning news and showing a clip of Donald Trump. She had fallen asleep watching yesterday’s evening news. “DONALD TRUMP WINS REPUBLICAN VOTE” it read in large letters.
She lay there trying to make sense of her chaotic dream. Could something like that actually happen?
Realization dawned over her as she watched that hated man smile and wave at his adoring fans. He was the reason that this irrational fear was growing, the fear from both sides, from both points of view. The fear of being taken away, the fear of cops, the fear of leaving your young ones. Then there’s the fear of the economy crashing and of their country being in danger, of losing their jobs and not feeding their families. All due to the same fake-tanned, wrinkled and cursed 69 year-old man.
She stood up and shut off her television. She went through her normal morning routine of a colorful outfit and frosted flakes cereal in deep thought. Her mother asked “Why are you staring at Tony the Tiger?”and then she left for school. As the bus passed the town courthouse, there was a glint of determination in her eyes. She knew what to do now.
Now after years of studying, her room begins to change. First her high school graduation gown hangs on the wall with her cap and scroll. Then her heavy college books full of state law and the federal court, immigration and constitutional law.
Now there are dusty brown cardboard boxes, full of belongings and marked with smeared sharpie. They’re taken away and loaded onto a moving truck into another home. She did it. She changed the lives of hundreds of others, and the mindsets and mentalities of the uninformed. Those who lived in little smalltown bubbles and were filled with lies, were corrected. The world was slowly changing..
Marisol’s life did change, but not the way her dream predicted. Just the way that she made it to be.
Screenplay 1- A.L.S.
(An animated movie. 2D Not 3D and not any CGI)
May 17th, 2016
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM/UNC HOSPITAL(NORTH CAROLINA)-DAY
It’s a hospital room in the emergency care center. Green curtains block the sunlight streaming in and the fluorescent lights are on. A television quietly buzzes in the background about today’s future rainstorm. Allie sits on the hospital bed wearing the clothes she had worn that day for school. A large hoodie, dark skinny jeans and white converse, her hair is in a messy ponytail. Her parents are sitting on the couch that is off the side of the bed looking very worried. The girl is constantly rubbing her left leg and looking very worried about it. The leg is propped up on a pillow and the other is hanging down the right side of the bed.
She continues to rub her leg silently.
The sound of a door creaking open. She looks up.
Cut to. MOTHER and FATHER
Mother and Father look up as well. Mother from her book and father from his hands. Mother puts her book down.
They both stand up and walk towards her bed. The father puts his arm around her shoulders.
We see him walk into the room looking very grim.
Cut to. DOCTOR
Doctor sits down on a chair with a tired look on his face and turns to them.
What is it doctor? Do you know what’s wrong with her leg?
I do Mam but i’m afraid I have some very bad news.
The Mother reaches over and squeezes her daughter’s hand.
Father looks worried.
(Hesitation in voice)
Well at first we couldn’t find anything wrong with it. It isn’t broken and she didn’t tear a ligament so ran a few tests. Your daughter has ALS.
The mother gasps and a horrified expression dawns on her face. The father and daughter both look confused.
Wait, what do I have?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS is a disease where the muscles in your body slowly shut down and become unresponsive. It affects the nerve cells in your brain and your spinal cord and it stops the nourishment that your muscles need.
She looks expressionless and her eyes are cold and empty. She stares down at her lap as the doctor’s voice continues going off in the background.
Right now your left leg was the first to stop responding to your brain’s signals. The next could be anything. It could be your arm or your neck, maybe even your lungs or heart. This is a very serious disease Mr. and Mrs. Willson.
But is there a cure?
I’m afraid not. This disease is incurable, but there is a drug that can help slow down its effects.
(Fear in eyes. Whispers)
So I’m going to do die?
CUT TO. DOCTOR
He looks up at her without saying a word. There’s a deep look pity in his eyes.
The mother throws her arms around her daughter's small frame and starts to cry. The father still has a look of disbelief.
How long does she have?
We can estimate it but you never know for sure. For now we need your daughter to stay here so we can monitor her.
No...no this can’t be..she’s only fifteen..
The father puts his face in his hands and his shoulders shake as he begins to sob.
We see the sad and expressionless look on Allies face as she continues to not say anything and stare blankly into the white wall in front of her.
May 18th, 2016
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM/UNC HOSPITAL(NORTH CAROLINA)-DAY
It’s the same hospital as before but the curtains are white and it is in a different center. The window is open and a gentle wind blows in. The UNC neurosciences hospital which deals with the brain and neurons. The bed and couch are in opposite sides of the room and now her bed is closer to the windows. Allie has a blanket wrapped around her legs and she’s reading a book quietly. She’s wearing a hospital gown and machines are attached to her arms and tracking her vitals. There is a wheelchair next to her bed.
MS. From the wheelchair up to Allie and where she is sitting.
Allie rubs both of her legs and sighs putting the book down and staring up at the ceiling.
CU. Allie from POV of ceiling.
ZI. Slowly Allie’s light brown eyes.
Her eyes fill tears. The tears fall down her face as she silently weeps.
WS. Hospital room.
She sits up in her bed and wipes them.
Door opens and a tall slender woman walks in.
She is wearing a white dress and blazer with silver heels, a small elegant and silver cross sits on her collarbone, and she is holding a binder and clipboard. Her nails are neatly trimmed and glossy.
She walks in and closes the door behind her.
Hello Allie, it’s nice to finally meet you!
Allie looks confused.
Uh hi, are you a doctor?
The woman sits down across from her bed. She shakes her head and chuckles.
No i’m not, but i’m here to help as best as I can. I was sent by the big guy upstairs.
She smiles and winks while signaling the ceiling with her index finger.
So Doctor Mark?
The woman laughs again.
Oh Allie! You’re such a cute kid. But it’s fine if you don’t really understand. I am here to grant your wishes, and no i’m not from the Make A Wish Foundation.
Then who are you?
She glances at the call buttons beside her bed.
Buttons reads Nurse and Emergency only.
She tries to reach for one of them but the woman quickly reaches over and grabs her hand.
Now now, I know what you’re thinking but I don’t mean you any harm. Just let me explain.
Allie still doesn’t trust her but she backs off and lets her back touch the pillows that were piled behind it.
Okay well let me just tell you that the man upstairs made a little mistake. You’re not supposed to have this disease.
Wait, is this man you keep talking about, God?..
The woman looks relieved.
Oh good! So you do understand, that’s perfect!
Allie nods her head slowly as her hand inches towards the call button.
Oh yeah, I understand perfectly.
She reaches quickly for the buttons but instead ends up slipping out of the bed. Some of the tubes from the vital trackers disconnect. The woman sighs and stands up walking towards her.
C’mon sweetheart. Just let me finish talking, you’ll understand soon.
No, you’re crazy!
She looks up at her angrily and tries to lift herself into the bed by her arms to no prevail. She lost control of both of her legs and she doesn’t have a lot of upper arm strength yet.
If I show you some proof will you let me help you?
Allie nods hesitantly.
Cut to. Woman
The woman sighs and shrugs off her white blazer and tosses it off to the side along with her binder and clipboard.
Cut to. Womans Back
Large white wings full of downy feathers spread open. Their wingspan is longer than the length of her arms put together and the seem to glow in the sunlight that was streaming in.
A strong breeze comes blowing in the window and the curtains and billow in the wind, hiding her a bit before coming back down. The wind dies down.
Small loose feathers drift around in the air. Her wings make a sound similar to a bird’s as they snap open.
Cut to. ALLIE
Allie looks amazed with wide eyes and a gaping mouth.
WS. Window side of the room near Allies bed.
Mysterious woman flaps them a causing papers to fly everywhere and air to buffet Allies face. Her hair becomes a bit disheveled.
Woman smiles at her reaction and puts her blazer back on.
What little faith you have Allie, now do you believe me?
Allie shuts her wide mouth.
The woman leans down and easily lifts her up as if though she was light as a paperweight and sets her down on the bed.
Cut to. Woman
Now let's get back to business. My name is Cecelia and I am an Angel sent here on God’s behalf. You were not meant to have ALS, he made a mistake and gave it to the wrong person, so I’m here to help.
Cut to. Allie
So you can heal me?
Cut to. Cecelia
The Angel winces and looks very apologetic.
Allies face falls.
Allie,God works in mysterious ways, and he often prefers to let humans figure things out on their own. If he suddenly healed you then Doctors would be trying to experiment on you to try and find the cure for this disease. We can’t let that happen, human beings need to grow. I know it’s unfair but it’s his will.
She looks down at her hands which she clasps in her hands.
ZI. Allie’s hands
She squeezes them tightly together and causes some of her skin to get lighter.
Yeah it’s okay I guess. I mean I’ve kind of already accepted my fate.
The woman comforts her by stroking her hair and sitting down next to her.
So then why are you here? What can you do if you can’t heal me?
I am here to grant you five wishes but each comes at a large price. There must always be a balance in the world, so every action needs a reaction.
A year off your life.
Allie’s mouth drops open again.
(A little angry)
Are you kidding me?! There is no way i’m doing that. I don’t even know if I have month left, much less a year!
I know it sounds unfair but It’s really up to you Allie! He’ll grant you anything as long as it’s not healing you or anything too big. Like let’s say world peace for example. I know you mean good but like I already said, we need balance.
(Confused and unsure)
I...I just don’t know..
It’s alright. You don’t have to do this now. Just tell me when you think you’re ready. All you have to do is say my name.
Allie raises an eyebrow.
Yeah. Don’t worry,no matter how loud you are, I’ll hear you.
She gets up to leave, picking up her binder and clipboard.
Wait before you go. I have one more question.
Are you my guardian Angel?
Cecilia makes a shushing motion and winks one last time. She is suddenly gone and the door is left open. Only her soft white feathers were left behind.
May 18th, 2016
We’re in the walkways of the hospital. A park-like area in the center where there’s grass, trees, bushes and flowers all neatly placed and trimmed. There are several nurses walking around. Children and other older patients are playing, walking or sitting around, all wearing hospital gowns. Allie is being pushed in her wheelchair by a female nurse who has neat brown hair in a bun. They’re walking around while Allie enjoys the scenery quietly. She looks peaceful but she isn’t smiling. She looks deep in thought. Her blonde hair is loose and is often blown by a breeze that keeps coming in.
Could you set me down right there?
She points towards a large oak tree that towers over all the others in the area. It’s leaves are green and large and offer a cool shade from the summer heat.
Of course. Would you like me to stay with you?
Allie shakes her head.
Okay. I’ll be on that park bench over there. Call for me if you need anything okay?
She looks a little worried about Allie.
Alright, thank you mam.
Nurse moves to the park bench in the background.
There is a chirping noise.
POV. Tree branches.
Camera looks down at ALlie who looks up and smiles.
CUT TO. Bird who is sitting on a branch.
It spreads it’s wings and flies off.
MS. Of bird until it disappears out of sight.
CUT TO. Allie
She sits there and closes her eyes as the wind comes back and blows gently through her hair.
ZI. Allies lips as she murmurs.
Cecelia? I know what I want now.
POV. Tree branches
It’s quiet for a few seconds. Then suddenly there’s the loud sound of a pair of wings. Allie looks up to see a pair of sandaled feet.
Camera pans up to show Cecelia. She’s wearing a typical angel outfit. A pure white toga that reaches her knees and her white wings are tucked neatly behind her and her legs are crossed one thigh over the other. She lifts her hand and wriggles her fingers and smiles.
She jumps down and the camera pans down with her.
CUT TO. Allie
Looks up at her firmly.
I have my wishes ready.
WS. Oak Tree Area
Remember, once you make a wish there’s no going back.
There’s a poof and her clipboard and binder appear out of thin air in her hands. She takes out a pen and her pen is poised over her paper. Allie is breathing in and out, trying to keep herself calm.
It’s going to be alright sweetie.
So, what is it that you want?
I want my families happiness. I wish for my parents to have children without any issues. To be happy with other kids to take care of.
Are you sure about this?
I am. I think i’m sure about all of my wishes. I thought about them a lot before now.
Cecelia nods and has a very somber and serious expression on her face. She scribbles her wish down and there is a sudden pain Allies chest.
Allie gasps and hunches over, breathing hard.
Cecelia eyes widen and she moves to her side, putting her hand on her shoulder. She tries to look into her eyes.
Allie! Allie are you okay?
Allie coughs hard but sits up, shaking her head.
I’m, I’ll be alright.
You really don’t have to do this. You could just live the rest of your life in peace.
But I do. I have to do this for them.
No, you don’t.
I do! You’re the one’s who made this mistake and gave me these wishes, why are you trying to take them away from me? It’s the only hope that I have.
Cut To. Cecelia
Cecelia doesn’t respond and she looks at the grassy lawn.
Cecelia. I wish I to go to heaven, after I die.
She nods slowly and scribbled it down.
I’m sure you were already on your way up there anyway.
Allie spasmed a bit and clutched her chest.
Cecelia, I wish to be like you.
ZI. Clipboard and Cecelia’s hand
There was the loud scribble of pen against paper.
Cut to. Cecelia
The look of sadness on Cecelia’s face and in her eyes.
Allie’s hands go limp and hang out the sides of her wheelchair.
We hear the nurse scream and she runs over the the oak tree and leans over Allie.
We see the camera high in the sky, showing the clouds passing by and hear the wind whistle. We hear the rustle of flapping feathers and Allie comes into view. There’s a look of pure joy on her face and her arms are spread out. She’s soaring and looping and her hair is being rustled by the wind.
(Woops of joy)
Extra Piece: Children's Story- The Flying Fish
The Flying Fish
By: Karla CejaOnce there was a flying fish. He was swimming among his school of fish. They leaped and soared. They wove in and out of the water. Each little flight filled his little lungs with clean, fresh air.
One day he flew a little too high and began to rise. He flew a little longer than usual and then flopped back into the water with a splash!
"Wow!" he said, "I really flew!"
He began to try again,
over and over,
higher and higher.
He went so high he almost touched the sun.
Suddenly a seagull came in and snatched him up,
making him it's dinner.
He flew too close and too high.
Don't be the flying fish.
Revision of Golden Scissors
Revision Of: Golden Scissors
By: Karla Ceja
If I had to change anything for any of my pieces it would have been this one, my flash fiction free genre piece “Golden Scissors”. I had several issues with this one that left me completely unhappy with it. I feel like if I had a choice I would have made it much longer because I am a person who loves to use elaborate details in my writing and when I’m limited I feel like I can’t really do my very best. I am not suited for Flash Fiction as a writer.
I think that it was mostly the details that bothered me. The ending and the beginning were something that I would have really liked to spice up more. I would have made the ending more suspenseful and I really would have created the setting in the beginning with several sensory details, but like I said it wouldn’t have been possible. I think that I would have also liked to change the title of the story. I think I would have changed it to “Puppet Girl”. This is because the title really shows the reader what to shift their attention to during the story and this story isn’t about the scissors but the main character, the puppet girl. I would have also made it less poem-like. I feel like this story was more of a narrative poem than an actual story and more details and such could have easily fixed that.
Overall it’s for the same main reason on why I wasn’t happy. Because it was flash fiction and my words were limited. Putting a ball and chain on the end of my pen. If I were given a little more freedom i’m sure I could have done better, but alas that wasn’t going to happen.
I think what I found most useful was learning how to correctly revise and edit your piece. Before I use to just write whatever came to my mind, make sure the grammar was correct and then leave it at that. Now I know that there are several factors that I have to check first before I can say that it's really done.
2) If you could add one more thing to this course, what would it be?
I would add novel writing. Students could write instead of an entire novel at least the concepts of it and it's first few chapters.
3) What did you learn about yourself as a writer this semester?
I've learned that I really like to just write whatever comes to mind and I learned that I really need to fix that about myself. I need to really learn how to map and plan everything out.
4) What was your favorite reading of the semester? Why?
I think that my favorite reading was probably It's A Good Life because I really loved the style it was written in and the creepy feeling it gave throughout the entire thing. It felt like I was watching a horror film which I enjoy watching. It was the one I enjoyed reading the most.
5) What plans do you have for your writing career?
I'm not really sure about this question. I don't think I would make it my main career but I think I would like to write on the side. On my freetime and write short stories because I really enjoy those.
6) Where do you find your inspiration to write?
I think I find it in my own experiences and emotions before anything else. If not there than it would be from just my random imagination.
7) What prompts/ideas do you have that you’d still like to write? Project ideas?
I still would like to write a few short stories myself and then alter on compile them together. I would also like to write a fantasy fiction novel and maybe somehow base it off of the Salem witch trials which I find a little fascinating. There's so many little ideas that I've had that I keep getting and forgetting as well that I can't write them all.