Julianna K

A Day at the Beach


The salt burns my nose and eyes.

It smells as if the beach was sushi and it rained soy sauce.

The grains of sand rub against every part of my skin.

Sharp succulents poke through the dirt like half-buried pineapples.


Families gather upon the shore.

Screaming infants ignore the fact that beaches are supposed to be serene.

The umbrellas look like giant lollipops impaled in the sand.

The picnics are ruined by sand blowing in the ocean breeze.


I look over and I see my family.

Throwing footballs and frisbees too far on purpose;

Splashing each other and laughing as waves swallow them whole.

My family lives through the miserable events with me,

Just as they always do.


A Trip Down Memory Lane


The cobblestone walkway looks as if it had endured a war. The willow trees are packed tightly together and line the narrow walkway. The wind blows against my face and it could be easily confused with liquid nitrogen. My feet start moving on the stretch of stone. I notice that all of the few patches of grass are long dead. I see from my peripheral vision shadows throwing punches and falling down. I sprint.

I finally arrive at the house which would better be described as a castle. The black brick chips and falls from the ancient frame. The few windows are all cracked and beyond a little dusty. The gargoyles and garden statues stare into my soul with demonic eyes. The door is up ahead behind a seemingly never-ending staircase. The door has fading red paint and rusty iron casting encaging it. I struggle to push it open for it hasn’t been opened in centuries.

As soon as I step into the house, I smell the mold and decaying wood. I look around and I am the target of hundreds of feasting eyes. These eyes belong to people I once knew, horrible people from my past. I take out a lighter from my pocket and watch the estate burn.

I wake up and these terrible memories are gone.


The Occurrence at the Metro Station

Allison half-heartedly frothed the milk for a latte a customer had ordered. She hated her job as a barista. But she had to get through college somehow. The minute her shift was over, she threw her apron in the closet and grabbed her paycheck. $200 for the week. She sighed a longing breath and collected her $50 in tips. She got in her car and drove back to her dorm. When she got to her door, she noticed something on the floor in front of the door. It was a stuffed hedgehog. Allison stared at the hedgehog and blanked out. Her phone rang and snapped her out of her trance. The number was unknown. Allison answered it, and the caller had a deep, eerie tone to it. The voice stated, “I have your father at the metro station. Bring $300 to see him alive.” Allison dropped her phone in disbelief. She was appalled. She grabbed her metro card and walked to the station, not in a hurry at all. After about 15 minutes, Allison arrived at the entrance to the subway station. She laughed. She laughed and laughed until the laughter turned into a sob. She broke down and bawled until she hyperventilated. She gripped the stuffed hedgehog in her hands. Her father fell into the tracks and was hit by a train 6 months ago. He was trying to retrieve a little girl’s stuffed hedgehog.



Serenity


I can’t sleep.

There is a calling from outside.

It’s as clear as Windexed glass.

The night is too perfect to spend it with eyes wide shut.


Yet, my bed is too cozy to leave.

The blankets feel like I'm resting in a sauna.

The pillows provide perfect support so that I can just

Be.

The outside is filled with uncertainties.

The struggle truly is too real.


Yet, the calling is really bothering me.


I drowsily slide out of bed and put on my Uggs.

I walk downstairs and outside to

A field of glittering crystals.

I lay down in the cold fluff and dream my thoughts away,

Letting them dissolve like snowflakes against warm skin.