Joy of Checkers (Short Story)

The world has forgotten its history and now resides in a rustic shadow of its former glory. But one little girl determines to share her memories no matter what.

This was my second short story for my Advanced Creative Writing class. As I did with the last one, I had to write a literary short story that focused on characters more than plot, but I decided to again defy the expected and wrote a science fiction literary story.

The main characters live in a post-modern world that’s intended to allude to the current political mindset of “forget our history, forget our mistakes.” The government in the story has erased its history, and anyone caught remembering or recording past events are taken into custody.

Checkers Thumbnail

The stretch of hemp fibers and rawhide creaked as a lone archer drew back his primitive bow from a crook in the maple tree. The fletching caught the golden hue of sunset dribbling through the trees, every fiber glistening in fire. The archer shifted his weight in the maple, carefully balancing his position in order to follow the deer picking its way through the underbrush, unaware that a stone arrowhead carefully tracked its heart from above.

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Not With My Watch (Short Story)

This was a short story I wrote for my Advanced Creative Writing class. The goal was to write a literary story that focused on characters and description more than plot and action, but still manage to balance all aspects well. While our teacher told me that no one has attempted a science fiction short story for this project, she was in full support of me trying to write a literary sci-fi, referencing Ray Bradbury and George Orwell.

While I ended up sticking more to spiritual and “paranormal” (for lack of a better term) than sci-fi, I feel it’s safe to say that the story content hasn’t been done at PCC’s creative writing classes. The story is inspired from a concept my roommate and I are developing about a guardian angel watching over a young troublemaker throughout her entire life. In the original story, Eitan, the angel, is tasked with guarding her from the moment she’s born, keeps her out of childhood dangers, coaxes her to Christ, protects her from wayward rebellious stages, boyfriend problems, eventual marriage problems, and ultimately sits beside her during stages of cancer and taking her home.

This story focuses mainly on one section of this would-be larger story (and animation if we were ever to go through with our plan). Eitan is a character who’s appeared in several of my short stories (originally a response to Frank Peretti’s exquisite novel This Present Darkness), but as of now, this story takes place at the beginning of the canonical timeline.

Eitan and the other angels in the story appear similar to demons because they once were the same creature, which explains the rams horns while the demons have goat horns. Their ears are sheep-like while the demons are more swine-like. Angels have bronze skin and demons have pale skin.

Not With My Watch

The parkway leading to Highway 27 was mostly abandoned at this time of night. The only vehicles that did pass, tires thundering over bridges and echoing through the underpasses, belonged to those who were returning from a brutally tiresome day’s work, a late taxi from the understaffed and woefully inefficient local airport, or from an unexpectedly long evening of gaiety and frivolousness that parents wouldn’t approve of. Every twenty feet or so the parkway attempted and failed to show off its winning personality by displaying its wide collection of travelers’ trash. Gum spots the size of silver dollars cemented themselves to the shoulder’s asphalt, aluminum beer cans in the shape of pancakes twirled with each pass of an eighteen-wheeler, and the local gangs thought it would be a special kind of genius to graffiti the “55 MPH” speed limit signs. The only signage that successfully avoided wayward teenaged boys was that of the “No Littering” notices. Instead, a shrine of cracked beer bottles was laid at its base.

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Writing Contest: Fruits of the Spirit Daycare

I entered in my Advanced Creative Writing class’s contest this year, which was a 600 word story with the prompt “kindness in action.” Trying to find a way to keep a short story from becoming cliché and cheesy, I decided to pull from my memory of Union Station in Washington and write about a homeless man who spends his days under the arches outside the station. I won first place in my class and received a journal as a prize.

Fruits of the Spirit Daycare

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To Fix a Rubix Cube (Children’s Story)

For Advanced Creative Writing, we had to write a children’s story. I decided to go with a subtle allegory with this one, the Rubix cube representing life, and Ada (short for Adam) representing mankind. Mr. Joshua (derived from Yeshua) represents Jesus. Inspiration may or may not have come from Max Lucado’s You Are Special. At the end of the semester, our teacher is going to require us to submit this story to a publisher, so I guess I’ll see what happens!

Update 11/14/17: I received an A on this project.

Rubix Cube

Ada’s favorite teacher was Mr. Joshua. He was her only teacher, but that just made picking favorites even easier. Every day he would let her play with the toys on his desk, which were also favorites. Mr. Joshua let her swing the marbles on his Newton’s Cradle and press her hand in his pin art toy.

But Ada’s favorite favorite toy on Mr. Joshua’s desk was his Rubix cube. It had six colorful sides that could turn however Ada’s fingers wished them to go. She loved watching all the colors spin together into wonderful patterns and jumbles, and when she was finished, Mr. Joshua always knew how to put every color back in place.

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Writing Sample: Novel Excerpt

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been writing a book series for basically my entire teenaged life, but I rarely share any of my writing — for multiple different reasons. Recently, though, I’ve found part of a chapter that I enjoy submitting to writing contests on occasion, and I thought I might share here. The excerpt, although not heavily weighted with the story, I imagine to be a piece that represents the spirit and feel of the book fairly well.

Character names and events are mine and cannot be used without permission.

Division Excerpt

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The Harvey Underground Church (Personal Narrative)


This was a personal narrative for my college creative writing course. I wanted to describe the several nights my cousins, brothers, and I played an intense game of “Underground Church” in my grandma’s yard in Harvey, North Dakota.

Lights in the dark void hovered five feet off the ground, rotating in long, haphazard arcs like small, drunken lighthouses that sliced the night as a sharp blade. One of the lights haunted an old shed, the holder of the flashlight tromping around and pivoting his weight, as if he had nothing better to do than to stand alone in the sea of darkness.

Our soft thuds of sneakered feet were too quiet to alert our hunters. We weaved in and out of trees, our powers of invisibility only compromised when we broke into an occasional pool of house lights. Dark paths, hidden holes, and dangerous strung clotheslines were determined to slow us down, yet we pushed on in a subdued rush.

As my cousins and I tore blindly through the darkness, we knew we were in huge
trouble—bigger than we ever had been before. What awaited if the searchlights caught us in its glaring eye was only up to the imagination: imprisonment, insults, possibly torture.

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Keep Calm and Dinner On (Fiction)

I wrote this piece for my college creative writing course. I took inspiration from an old book character of mine named Bryan Sign and tweaked him for this particular story. I wanted to write a story that reflected my impossible trials of cooking in the kitchen. A fun fact that might be of interest: a good portion of the cooking failures in this story were inspired by my real-life events.

UPDATE 4/13/18: This piece was selected and printed in Pensacola Christian College’s literary publication, Fountains, which can be read about here. Yvonne Zorn did the artwork for the book, which I’ve added below.

Keep Calm Dinner.jpg

The drone of the hairdryer whined through the open bedroom door. Bryan groaned once and tossed in his bed, his shoulder crushing a crummy bag of chips as his elbow knocked an empty Mt. Dew bottle to the floor. The hairdryer continued from outside his room, heralding seven o’ clock, Tuesday morning, as his mother busily tried to tame her stubborn hair before jumping into a suit, grabbing her briefcase, and—usually sighing—rushing out the door.

Without leaving his bed, Bryan reached out with his toes until he could feel his open door, kicked out irritably, and listened as it swung shut. The metal “DO NOT ENTER” sign from the comic store slapped once against the outside of his door, a signal to his mother that her diligence was interrupting his laze.

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