slidedown

Creative Writing Winners 2015

ADULT:
1st Place ‐ “Moonlight and Electricity” by Samantha Betler
The grass tickles my feet as I sit watching night roll in, dressed to the nines in her black evening gown. For six months, I’ve grown familiar with this spot. I come here to wait. Will civilization die or will it rebuild?
In the distance, a light blinks, dim at first, like a firefly on the horizon. I hold my breath as it stutters, willing it into existence. It’s the first of its kind. I let out an excited whoop as it holds, and soon it is joined by another and then two more. The moon slips out from the curtain of clouds. There is a nothing more beautiful than the yellow glow of civilization waltzing with the moonlight.
I’ve grown so used to the chirrup of the crickets and the harsh cacophony of cicadas that it’s jarring, in a way, to hear the first radio blaring, bass rocking the night. Somewhere, a truck roars to life and someone leans on the horn. Wake up, Casey County, we’re back online!
The moon is laughing overhead; it knows what most do not. I smile, too, because I’ve heard the joke before ‐ it’s bittersweet. In the end, all civilization dies.

2nd Place ‐ “City in the Valley” by Andrew Campbell
I approach the water, and notice in the distance a group of buildings. Making my way toward them, I hope for some shelter and maybe some supplies. The scattered structures on the way were in shambles, some burnt and others appeared to be torn into pieces as if animals were trying to gain entrance.
Making my way into the city, I noticed it was quiet. There were no apparent signs of any remaining occupants. The buildings, some clustered and some not, in apparent ruin. Stepping through the window of what appears to have been a grocery store, I was greeted by barren shelves and a growl from my stomach. I frown at the empty shelves.
In the corner of the store I see movement. A few people are picking throught the rubble, in search of food.
A scream, from outside, echoes through the once fully stocked store. The scavengers hastily make their way to the front of the store. Keeping my distance, weary from recent encounters, curiosity gets the better of me.
Coming around the structure in front of us was a group of …

3rd Place ‐ “The Apocalyptic Liberty” by Kat Martin
CRASH! The loud noise quickly brought her out of her deep reverie. Instinctively she reached for her rifle. Swiveling about in search of the source of the noise, she noticed that her companions had their guns drawn as well. “There, it’s just a dumb cow.” her older cousin said sounding slightly dejected. He always wanted to shoot something. Relieved, she replaced her rifle to its holster and glanced at the surrounding scenery. Government posters, yellowed with age, dotted telephone poles, advertising government aid; however, the help had never showed. After the loss of electricity during the sun flare, we were left to fend for ourselves. Chaos had ensued and everyone took to carrying firearms. As they plodded through an abandoned Liberty, she shook herself awake trying to maintain a level of alertness. Without warning the abandoned Save‐a‐lot building to her left exploded! Her horse reared and she was left laying dazed in the middle of the street. Adrenaline rushing she scrambled to her feet and looked at her oldest cousin as he lowered the binoculars from his eyes. Despite the ringing in her ears she understood with a fearful clarity the next word that came out of his mouth, ISIS. The attacks had started.

YOUTH:
1st Place ‐ “Any Minute” by Emily Shoemaker
“This is Dr. Samuels recording the account of patient number thirty four; Edmund Richards is one of our most mildly affected patients since the incident,” I scribble before turning to the patient and ask the first interview question. “Mr. Richards, please explain what happened on October 8, 2014.”
“I was at home,” he whispers dejectedly, his eyes superglued to the floor. I scratch my pencil across the notebook. “Annie and I were watching TV, but there was a power outage or something,” he hesitates.
“The power didn’t go off; an Electro‐Magnetic Pulse destroyed all electronic connections,” I correct.
“It did go out! The lights will come back on any minute, they will!” Edmund shouts at the ground.
“Mr. Richards, please calm down,” I beg. He jerks his head to the ceiling and screams, “I need assistance, now!” I holler into the hallway.
Nurses come rushing in to restrain Edmund with leather bands. I sigh in despair; I wonder if we are helping any of those who were mentally affected by the EMP.
“Some are just worse than others, we can’t save them all,” a nurse pats my arm then continues down the hall to comfort other patients in distress.

2nd Place ‐ “Heavenly Glow” by Rebecca Sizemore
I crouch silently behind the hedges that surround the house. There’s a light coming from the window, and I can hear two voices coming from the living room. I creep closer to the back window, further away from the voices. It’s dangerous after dark, but it’s the only way I can get my hands on the insulin. I slowly slide the window open. I really shouldn’t be doing this. The old man that lives here will die if deprived of his medication. I carefully ease my way through the window and into the back room. A man’s life depends on this medicine, and I’m stealing it from him. I sneak down the hallway, keeping flat against the wall, and make my way into the bathroom. If I don’t get it for her, then she’ll die. I can’t live without her. I open the cabinet and, hands shaking, collect the needles. Stuffing them in my pockets, I make my way back out of the house. As I close the window I turn to take one last look at the house. I can see the silhouette of the elderly couple in the warm glow of candlelight. God have mercy on my soul.

3rd Place ‐ “The Not‐So‐Bad Bad Life” by Walker Campbell
“I don’t know how much longer we can take this,” I overheard my father say. After the electricity went out I heard my parents talking about something and they seemed very worried. They never told me what happened but I know something is going on, something serious. All I know is that everything is different and I don’t like it.
Today, my parents aid that we should take a walk. We walked alonside the road and it was then that I realized how beautiful the world was., The sky seemed blkuer. the clouds seemed puffier. The grass was greener. The never‐ending rolling hills wers like waves in the ocean. It was as beautiful as I could imagine and I loved it.
We eventually made our way back to home. We were all sitting around a candle‐lit wooden table. My whole family was having a grand old time playing Monopoly. They no longer had melancholic expressions on their faces. We were all laughing; we even forgot the power was out. We were really dependent on our technology and electricity, but I think I like this life. I think we will be okay. No, I know we will.