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A Taste of Creative Writing

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Phong Pham, senior, shares his short story with the Pirate Log for your enjoyment!

Phong Pham, senior, shares his short story with the Pirate Log for your enjoyment!

Phong Pham, senior, shares his short story with the Pirate Log for your enjoyment!

Chelsea Spearman with Phong Pham

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In order to accommodate growing numbers of students at PHS, the school is now offering a number of new classes including online courses and actual in person classes.  Creative Writing is one of the additions added to the daily schedule.

 

The Creative Writing  class meets in Mrs. Snipes room during first hour. In this class students go beyond the average English lesson and learn how to write with a creative aspect.

 

This short story written by senior Phong Pham displays the exceptional talent in this class.

 

Dream Within a Dream

“Hey, tell me about everything you love.” Cassiopeia says, her head atop an unidentified boy’s lap. A bed of soft, pink, and fluffy flowers beneath them both. The stars aligned in a shape of a heart in the vast pastel sky. Fluttering bubbles in all kind of shapes circulated around the two lovebirds. Star shaped bubbles, heart shaped bubbles, small bubbles, and giant bubbles danced around them as the two exchange sweet nonsense. It felt like they were the only ones on Earth, as if everything else stopped just for a moment to allow Cass and this mysterious boy to share this intimate moment.

The boy let out a gentle chuckle; baffled by the peculiar question, he answers softly after a quick pause, “Everything I love? Where do I even start? Well, first of all there’s-”

Her eyelashes fluttered as the deafening bell signalled the end of first period. The sudden awakening gave her a slight headache. Giggles and murmurs blended in with the loud ding dongs. Someone is speaking to Cassiopeia, but her mind is not processing any of it. Even when she is back to reality, the only thing on her mind is that absurd daydream. Her friends all dispersed as soon as class ended, leaving her with no one but her loneliness. No one ever made an effort to develop anything further than a ‘casual greeting whenever their eyes meet in the hallways’ kind of relationship. These thoughts kept coming back to haunt her, and whenever they did, she just wishes she could go home and scream into her soft stuffed animals.

Cass usually never has to even lift a finger upon entering a new class, for everyone flocks to her like flies, but there is just one boy who was never once phased by her very existence. His fluffy brown hair waving to the rhythm of his movements as he entered the room.   He held eyes so precious, she swore she could see a galaxy in them. His grand height intimidates her sometimes, but everything about him radiates pure innocence. A small birthmark resides near his lips, and for whatever reason, Cass can’t stop staring at it. He rarely ever spoke despite having an angelic voice. He spoke at such a volume loud enough for one on one conversations, yet so low that no one else but the person he is speaking to could comprehend any of it . Now that she puts her mind to it, why is Cass so captivated by this random boy she has no connections with? Someone she has never spoken to, someone whose name is still a mystery to her is always on her mind. She has never been this interested in anything before, let alone a boy. A light tap of a rough backpack made contact with Cass’ skin, forcefully waking her from her second daydream. Determined to unfold this mystery, Cass gathers up every bits of courage to approach the boy who peaked her interest.

“Hey, sorry for bothering you, but I was kind of…” she muttered. Before she could even finish her sentence, the boy let out a benign smile

“Half-asleep?” he whispers.

This response dazzled Cassiopeia, for she never expected a sarcastic remark from such a serious and quiet person. Perhaps, he is just like everyone else after all.

“Well, did I miss anything important?”

“Only if you’re interested in Ms. Trainer’s upcoming wonder of a wedding.”

Cass lets out a fake gasp:“Oh no! Whatever shall I do now? My grades are going to plummet!” she whines in a high pitched voice.

The boy let out a small chuckle, awakening the butterflies in Cass’ stomach for a short moment.

“Well, I’m-” She attempts to speak only to be interrupted.

“Yes I’m aware; everyone knows your name unless they live under a rock, Cass. I’m Jasper. I’ve been in at least one of your classes for the past two years.”

“Oh, sorry I don’t even pay attention to the teacher in class, let alone fellow students y’know?” Cass tries to justify herself.

“It’s okay, I’m not exactly distinguishable anyway.” Jasper says as they part ways to their third period.

Strangely enough, this simple introduction marked the beginning of an unbreakable bond, and an everlasting unrequited love. Well, what Cass deemed to be an impossible love.

On one weekend night of December, when Cass’ heart bled the most, she wished she had someone to express her sorrows with. In her dimly lit room, Cass is accompanied by nothing but her stuffed animals, the soft melody of a ballad in the background, and an excruciatingly painful sense of loneliness. As she engage in a dreadful staring contest with the wall, a blinding light lit up the room. She turns towards the source to see her phone illuminating the room; peculiarly enough, it was not one of her distant relatives wondering if she wanted to join them for another family function. She squints her eyes in an attempt to combat the blinding brightness emitting from the phone. The text reads:

“Hey Cass, so I’ve been thinking..”

Another text bubble presents itself, only to vanish seconds later. With all of the remaining strength left in her body after an agonizing self-loathing session, she replies with a question regarding Jasper’s well-being. It is currently three in the morning after all. Both of them stated that they were alright, but that definitely was not the truth, at least for Cass. She groans as Jasper presses the question further on. She always hated that. His caring nature never fails to give her false hope that maybe he feels the same way. He always made sure that she left the conversation without any worries left in mind. Most of the time, it was effective, for even a simple greeting, as long as it is from Jasper, could ease her mind. Regardless, Cass refused to elaborate on any of her problems, for worrying Jasper especially at three in the morning is not something she is fond of. Her phone shook violently after Jasper’s messages stopped coming for two minutes.

“I’m picking you up!” Jasper shouts without a hint of hesitation in his voice.

“It’s a fifteen minutes drive, at three in the morning. Are you out of your mind?” Cass responds, half annoyed, half euphoric.

“Do you hear that?” Jasper says followed by the roaring sound of his car engine. “That’s the sound of me coming to provide love and support.”

Love, any other word but that, for his love and her love are two completely separate entities. Cass doesn’t know what love is supposed to feel like or how its supposed to make you act, but right now she can’t differentiate from right and wrong. To hell with it, she’s going to take a chance. She sets her phone down on her bedside table, grabbed her favorite clothes from the closet, and headed to the restroom. “Does he even care? Why am I doing this? Why did I go along with his dumb ideas? Why can’t I just say I love him?” A never ending stream of questions circulated her mind as she hastily fixes her hair despite knowing that he might not even take a second glance at it. All of this thinking made the fifteen minute wait feel like two seconds. Cass never had to sneak out before, for her parents never cared enough, and she never had a reason to even get out of bed so late at night. She felt a tall, dorky, four eyed boy indulging her in a warm hug in the freezing winter weather as she closes the door behind her.

“How does a walk in the park sound? Would that ease your mind just a little bit?” He says, ignorant of the fact that they are probably bothering the neighborhood with his glowing car lights. Normally, Cass has never been the type to just trust anyone, but in this case she feels a strong connection that she can trust with her life. She gives in.

The streets at night through a car window are just as lonely as they are beautiful. Rows and rows of dead trees cast a gray blanket through the streets. The stars dance the night away to the rhythm of the passing clouds. Streets and storefronts are filled with glimmering fairy lights in anticipation of the upcoming holiday. The empty parking lots they passed are all basking in the moon’s brilliance. Fast food chains are still bursting with laughter despite the late hours. Traffics lights now only flicker their yellow tinted light, eliminating the possibility of small talk at the awkward red lights. Jasper is not one to talk unnecessarily anyway, and Cass loves that part about him. Today, however, was different. Jasper playfully tapped Cass’ shoulder with his fist and muttered, “Hey, what’s on your mind?” Maybe he picked up on her uneasiness, for she has been staring out the window in perfect silence for the past ten minutes.

“I’m probably just tired because somebody thought it was a good idea to hang out at three in the morning.” she whines.

“Oh, my bad for wanting to cheer up a close friend of mine.”

“Well you don’t just go for a walk in the park at three in the morning with a close friend of yours. That’s for like, cheesy couples and stuff.”

Jasper lets out a faint snicker, but he gave no response. Once again, silence befell the two of them. Cass began to get lost in her thoughts and insecurities. She thought that three in the morning is possibly the worst time to be around the one you have hidden romantic interests for. Your mind starts to get impatient. The words are just at the tip of your tongue, but they can’t seem to let go. You start to wonder what it would be like if they reciprocate your feelings too. Would the two of you share an invincible bond, or would you face inevitable demise as the makeshift relationships TV shows love to exploit. Jasper clears his throat, sensing her distance, and Cass snaps out of her revelry.

Cass turns to face her best-friend, his face shining every time they pass a street light. As if he was the sun, Jasper brightens her world, filling the void in her heart, yet it hurts when she looks at him. She knows better than this; she knows falling in love would only end in nothing but misery. She doesn’t even know how to manage a platonic relationship, let alone manage a loving relationship with another person, but he makes it impossible not to fall for him.

They finally arrive at the silent park after an extremely uneventful car ride. A flurry of leaves greets the two as they got out of the car. The two of them exchanged random jokes about their common interests; for instance, Jasper mocked Cass for being such a nerd with her nose in between a book every time he sees her. “But who’s the four-eyed one constantly bugging me for recommendations here?” she raises her voice in a jokingly manner. They both chuckle, and just for a brief moment, Cass could feel her problems dissolving along with the ice on her heart.

The cold winter night did not hold back, especially not so early in the morning. As Cass rubs her hands together in an attempt to combat this bitter weather, Jasper pulls her in and put his arm on her shoulder. Unaware of his intentions, she pulls away, for her heart might just burst.

“What was that for?” Cass exclaims.

“Well, you’re cold, I’m cold, we’re both cold. The only logical explanation is to stay close together so we don’t both freeze, right?” Jasper says followed by finger guns and a dorky smile.

“Once again, stop being so cheesy.”

“What if I wanted to?”

Such a simple question bedazzled Cass. Her mind is currently incapable of processing anything at all. She lets out the most questionable noise ever in response to which Jasper quickly interrupted.

“I’m being serious.”

He turns his body slowly to face Cass. He stood up straight, and with a firm voice, he lets his true feelings out.

“Truth be told, I initially planned to just confess over text and hide myself from you for like, ever.”

Cass wanted to scream. Never in her life would she have thought that the serious, quiet, and studious Jasper would even hold feelings in the first place, let alone confessing them. All of this was too confusing for her, and it shows on her face. With one eyebrow raised, she examines his face to see whether this was all one big joke or not. It was not. He spoke in a soft yet stern voice. His eyes look as if they were awaiting an inevitable rejection. His whole body so stiff, Cass could swear she was looking at a mannequin. Cass slowly grabs his face with both hands, and pinches his cheeks.

Still somewhat in disbelief, Cass stood there, incapable of deciding whether she should let her emotions or her intellect take over. If she was to say yes, her life would be filled with nothing but bliss; however, if things were to go wrong, her perfect friendship would also go down with it. On the other hand she is only seventeen years of age, one bad relationship won’t be the end of everything; and who says platonic friendships can’t end the same way anyway. She decides finally, for the first time in her life, to go with her own instincts as she wraps her arm around his waist and rest her head on his chest.

“Does this count as an answer?” She could feel his head listlessly resting on hers along with the giant smile that developed on his face.
“Yeah.” Jasper says softly, muffled by Cass’ fluffy hair. The familiar hibiscus scented conditioner filling his mind with nothing but happiness..
“Wanna hear something funny?” Cass says, pulling away herself away while keeping a firm grasp on Jasper’s waist.

“Is it funny enough to ruin this cheesy couple moment?” Jasper says continuing his relentless sarcastic streak.

A sense of overpowering sweetness floods Cassiopeia’s mind as she recalls the dream she had when they first met. Perhaps, this relationship will go as smoothly as it did in her dream; maybe the two of them will share an everlasting sense of euphoria.

“I had a dream that we were together, just like this before I even met you” Cass whispers only to be met with an ear-piercing shout.

“I had the exact same dream, too!”

 

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