Cliffhangers

Noelle Taylor

Hey everyone! This is Noelle Taylor, and in this article, I'll be featuring a writer with whom I'll do a quick writer's interview. Then you'll get to read a cliffhanger we wrote together! Dun dun dun... Oooo, suspense. *thunder and lightning strikes* @_@ Muahahahaha. Nah, don't worry, relax. u_u

Just prepare to be hung off a cliff....

Writer of the Month: Elliesse Psalm Karan!

Don't forget to check out Elliesse's Creative Writing folder!

Noelle Taylor: How long have you been doing creative writing, and what do you like most about it?

Elliesse Psalm Karan: I've been writing since... uh... idk. I think the first story I wrote was when I was 12? But I've been making up stories since I was really little. I'd do drawings and tell people what was happening in them, lol. What I like most about it... hmmm. I guess the ability to present information, themes, or messages, in a new way that can help and encourage or entertain others. :)

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Noelle Taylor: Do you write stories, poetry, or both?

Elliesse Psalm Karan: I like and write both stories and poetry. :D

Noelle Taylor: Have you ever collaborated with someone in writing before? (I know there's been a lot of times... example -- me. ;D)

(Check out Elliesse's and I's collab poem in our Creative Writing folders, titled "Golden Bliss"!)

Elliesse Psalm Karan: Lol yeah, many times. I've written with at least 6 other people, not including you!

Noelle Taylor: Mhmmm. xD

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Noelle Taylor: Have you done any writing contests, workshops, classes, or training of any kind? Do you have any writing tips (anything) to give out to writers that you've learned with your experience of writing?

Elliesse Psalm Karan: I entered a poetry contest at my library two years in a row and won the second year. I've entered the NSA Writing Contest and I took writing classes in 8th grade, 9th grade, and will be taking Advanced Creative Writing in my 2nd semester this year at NSA! :)

Hmmm, writing tips... well, I've found that it really helps to observe everything with a critical eye. When you watch movies, listen to how people speak and act. When you go outside, pay attention to all the sounds you hear and things you see, and think of how you would describe them in writing. Try to think of new things, a different way to look at them. And also, touch stuff. Find out how the leather seats in your car burn your palm from baking in the summer and sticking to your hand, bunching up, when you press your hand into it. Pay attention. Notice stuff. And write it down. U_U You know those crazy people who say always carry a notebook just in case you have a stroke of inspiration on your way to the grocery store? Well, they aren't crazy. Carry that notebook lol. U_U

Noelle Taylor: AHAHAHA, I love that. xD

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Noelle Taylor: Finally and lastly... u_u

Anything to say for you and Analia Ray's article, Caught In The Glow? ;)

Elliesse Psalm Karan: Err... idk. XD Well, obviously it's awesome! U_U We love writing it, and if you like reading or writing you should check it out! Even though it doesn't involve creative writing... if you don't then... idk how you are reading this, but you should still go read it cause if you don't, you'll be missing out on learning about some awesome people's adventures. ;D

Noelle Taylor: Yes yes, truth there. ;D

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Noelle Taylor: All right! Thanks for the interview! Shall we get onto the cliffhanger? >8D

Elliesse Psalm Karan: No problem! Thanks for choosing me! ;D Yesss let's!! It's gonna be great! >:D

Behind Me...

By Noelle Taylor and Elliesse Psalm Karan

Fall.

It's finally arrived.

I take in a breath, gazing around me at the crimson and golden leaves. Rays of pinkish-gold sunlight flitter through the branches from the early morning light, leaving blotchy patterns on the ground. Some are still clinging to the branches, while others have given up their hold and succumbed to the wind, strewn across the park.

I tug at my scarf, rubbing my hands in its soft fabric to warm them a bit. I pull my coat tighter around me. The air is mostly still, just a few sharp, cold winds that come by every now and then, attempting to pull away my scarf or seep through my coat. I shake my head and stuff my hands in my pockets; how do those people walk out with only a collared shirt and jeans? It's impossible.

Plus, it was back to school.

The pain.

The anguish.

I let out a sigh. Why was life so hard? Piles of essays to write and tests to do...

Nah, I'm just going to enjoy this lovely stroll right now. I take a deep breath again, taking in the musty smell of wet leaves and freshness of the autumn breeze. I pull my hands out of my pockets for a moment and spread my arms.

Ahh. So peaceful.

"Hey, Tanya!"

I spin on my heels to face the voice, quickly hiding my hands in my pockets again, smiling sheepishly.

There, a few feet away, stands Amy, her strawberry-blonde hair combed and pulled neatly into a loose braid, with a few strands left out, curled and falling to her shoulders, pretty as always. She's wearing a pink designer jacket with ruffles near the end. It doesn't even appear to have even a speck of lint stuck to it! How does she always look so neat and fashionable?

I notice the pink leash in her grip and follow its long cord to Amy's Labrador, Peachy, who is jumping in a pile of leaves next to a tree.

Yes, the dog's looking peachy as well.

"Oh, hey, Amy!" I walk over to her, casually dusting my coat off, and grinning. "Going for a stroll?"

"Yeah, kind of, just taking my dog out. She's been restless the whole day," Amy replies. Peachy is now sniffing at the roots of a large tree.

"I should be running soon though, got some errands to do," she says. "Be seeing you soon!"

"All right, see ya," I say, waving.

Amy smiles and tugs at the leash; Peachy comes running to her, scattering leaves into the air behind her as they are scooped from under her paws.

I continue with my promenade, attempting to relax and forget the hardships of college. Just enjoy the fresh air. I drag my feet through the grass, allowing the leaves to slide like waves around my boots. I smile, being in the presence of silent solitude, the crisp, cool air with its occasional nip...


Crunch.


I whirl around. My loose hair whips into my face and gets into my eyes.

No one is there.

Hm, that's strange.

No one's walking behind me...

In fact, there's no one around at all.

I shrug and begin walking back, it's time I head home, anyway.

The hair on the back of my neck bristles as I hear the crunch again.

I stiffen, gripping my coat, rubbing my hands back and forth, trying not to freak out.

I take a few slow steps forward, cautiously watching the leaves crawl away from my foot.

More crunches from behind.

Okay, now I'm starting to get creeped out.

I walk a little faster, but I only hear more crunches. I turn my head -- there's no one there. Is someone playing a prank on me?

I doubt it - the sounds are coming from right behind me.

I'm walking faster now, about to break into a run. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Panic rises in my chest and I bolt towards the bus stop. I clutch my scarf with one hand as I reach the sidewalk, covered in leaves.

I don't hear anymore crunches.

Should I slow down?

The bus stop is just ahead.

But there isn't anyone around as well.

I come to a stop, dread boiling in my stomach. Both my hands are now clamped together with my scarf pressed tightly between them.

Crunch.

I feel nauseated, closing my eyes, trying to gain control of myself.


Slowly, I turn around...

Voting Arena

It's time to vote! Woohoo! Last time we voted, When Power Fades won the polls between the earlier stories from Cliffhangers! This month, you'll be voting which one you liked more: the September edition's story, When Power Fades, with Ruby Sky, or this month's story, Behind Me..., with Elliesse Psalm Karan. To do that, head to the Navigator Jabber, find the "Cliffhangers" thread, and just put an X down the story you like the most!

Vote between:

When Power Fades (with Ruby Sky)

Behind Me... (with Elliesse Psalm Karan)

Writing Challenge!

This is where I'll be giving a cliff-hanging writing prompt challenge to the creative writers out there! Excited?! You ready for this challenge? ;) Here's your prompt this month:

A woman is greeted by two of her children from the future, each from a different timeline. She must choose which timeline to follow and which child to give up.

Have fun doing this challenge!

That's it for this month's issue!

What did you think of the story? Was it excitingly cliff-hanging? >:D Stay tuned, and see you next month!

Signing off,

Noelle Taylor


Special thanks to Elliesse Psalm Karan for collaborating with me this month, and to Delayee Kamenski for making this article possible! Background credit goes to Google Images.