Excerpt From A Story This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Daniel ran. He put the soccer ball down and ran. The moon shone down on him as he dribbled along the coast; the moon illuminated the crests of the waves. His soccer ball was a rolling star and his feet were comets that danced elusively. The stars were indifferent, and Daniel dribbled, as steady as erosion, as constant as pain. The night sky was the color of a magician's hat, the soccer ball a white rabbit. Daniel felt the sand as it massaged his feet; he was running on the hardened, moist sand closest to the ocean. His eyes were hot magma just erupted, his hair streamed out behind him, caught in the wind he had created. His feet smacked the ground, and he liked the pain; he ran harder. He barely thought as he maneuvered the ball; he watched his feet cast their soccer spells and incantations. His arms were brittle; his fists were tense and thudded at his sides as he flowed. His eyes were still hot. Furious. Angry. Sad. They stared at nothing except old memories from the crypt in the back of his mind, they were stuck in time. Panting, he glided to a stop like a hang glider coasting to a landing, facing the ocean in a sad, defensive stance. A tear slip, slip, slid down his flushed cheeks and melted into his skin; a sand dollar that had broken. He knelt and picked up a smooth, thin, stone, a wafer, between his long fingers as they felt its shape, its form, its quality, its texture. In a curving motion that ka-swished the air, he threw the stone into the canvas above the ocean; he imagined the stone had wings.

Everything should have wings.

But it didn't, and hit the water skimming once, thrice, twelve, fifteen times. And it sank and disappeared, and another tear ran down his cheek.

"Why?" he whispered, gazing into space, furiously wiping the tears from his cheeks. Daniel hated to cry. He focused. He breathed out deeply, his eyes narrowing as he did so. Flexed hands, wiggled toes, blinked, bit his lip. He stared at the moon, prodded for his soccer ball. The water pulsated, his toes were numb from the cold, ocean-saturated sand that felt like dead, gutted fish as he stood there. He sighed softly, and it was now a gentle sadness he exhaled, and he felt the way people do when certain songs make them sad and they don't quite know why.

Then he fused with the ball; a pool of liquid metal that felt nothing except pain as his feet struck the ground. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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