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A new town; a new identity. My life has been full of new beginnings, never lasting long enough for any substance to be acquired, though that is not necessarily by choice. None of them are better then the next. Hope stays alive in me though, it’s all I have. I can feel that there is something for me out there, and just need to find it. I am still kept dreaming.

I am young with few belongings or things to tie me down. All of my possessions are either on my body or fit comfortably within my backpack. I never unpack it completely and am ready to move on at a moments notice. I’ve been moving for five years now, ever since puberty struck. My family cast me out. I don’t blame them; it’s safer for us both this way. I miss them though. I am so lonely.

After years of unfortunate mishaps, I’ve learned that little good comes from letting myself become especially angry. I meditate every morning and pride myself with staying composed under… tension thriving circumstances. For me it’s not a matter of regretting harsh words. Life or death stands in the balance.

I walk at the side of the worn dirt road, ducking when carts pass. The town is nearby; I’ll be there by nightfall. It’s small and I hope to stay there for a few weeks at least. A month would be wonderful. I’ve traveled a long way and could use a good rest. It’s more than I dare to expect.

At the local inn I am greeted with curious glances. I doubt this place sees many new faces. I am obviously a well traveled guest. One glance at my sturdily worn backpack, long gray jacket with a deep hood pulled over my head, thick breeches, and rough leather boots leaves no questions.

I sit at a table in the corner of the room. It’s dim, the sun’s light having left, and it makes the inn appear slightly less dingy. I’ve grown accustomed to such places. They have become my home for brief periods of time. I leave my hood on my head, wishing I could just go up to my lodging, but I need to eat and I'd rather not waste more of my road supplies.

I hesitantly order stew and water from the no-nonsense maid. She brings it in a timely manner. It’s not the best, but I’ve certainly had worse. I eat everything quickly, having learned the hard way not to waste food when my next meal is everything but certain.

Afterwards I retire to my room. It is simple with a small cot and table. There is a wobbly chair to the side. It doesn’t seem sturdy enough to carry any substantial amount of weight. The room didn’t cost much. It’s warm and dry, which is all I ask. I have limited funds left from what my family gave me when they also kicked me out. I’ve earned a little from what I sold of my jewelry and food I find on my travels. It won’t last for many more towns.

I slip my jacket, of worn leather lined with wool, off and sling it around my shoulders as I lay down for the night. I leave on my boots and keep my backpack within reaching distance. I close my eyes and prepare myself to doze lightly, keenly waiting for any sign of trouble.


I wake up to the sound of a horse having been run too hard. There are raised voices from just outside of the inn. I sit up and draw a jagged breath as I hear hurried feet come up the stairs. My door is thrown open violently and light courses in, momentarily blinding me.

When I can see again, I realize that it’s him. I thought I had lost him. He’s been on my trail since the last incident, but I thought he’d finally given up. Why does he torture us both so? I didn’t mean to do what I did, I never meant to. Now he puts us both in danger.

“Thought you’d gotten rid of me, did you, demon? Not so lucky this time. Now you’re finally going to answer for what you’ve done,” He says as he comes closer and I back away until my back touches the wall.

“I didn’t mean to hurt anyone,” I say earnestly, frightened as he corners me. “I don’t want to hurt you. Please don’t make me hurt you!”

He growls and says gruffly, “Don’t lie, you little witch. You planned it all along. She tried to help you. She tried to be your friend and look what you did to her. I’m tired of listening to your serpent tongue.”

He comes closer and I try to run past him, through the shadows and out of the present. His foot connects savagely with my back and I cry out as I hear something crack. Whimpering, I fall to the floor and crawl to the side, backing away from him. I hear others start to stir from the racket. I am afraid; more so of what I might do than what he could do to me.

“You took her from me,” He whispers angrily.

“I didn’t mean to,” I protest, unable to stop myself. “I was scared. I am someone else’s daughter too! Do you want to take me from them like I took her from you?” I plead as my eyes drag around the room, looking for an escape.

“I’ll send you back to your father, the devil!” He shouts, losing his hold on sanity as he lunges at me blindly.

Without thinking I point at him, and before he reaches me a line of electricity flows from me to him. His heart stops instantly with contact. I smell burnt flesh. Others are starting to come now, and without time to grieve, I rush past him, down the stairs, and down the road.

After hours of running on pure adrenaline, I stop deep in the woods. I pull my backpack under my coat as it starts to rain, drops quickly falling to match the tears streaming down my cheeks. Wind whips around me as nature lets it me known how upset I am. Shaking, I watch as lightning splits the sky in two, only reminding me of what I just did.

Its hours before I calm down and the sky clears. I fall into a restless, fitful slumber. It’s night again when I open my swollen blue eyes. I get up, stiff from sleeping on the hard ground but not at all unused to it. Signing I pick up my bag, knowing that I must keep going.

By now there will be search parties. Maybe instead of him following me I’ll be stalked by those that found him. I feel so guilty thinking of how I left him. There was little dignity in the entire situation. Him angry as I plead for both of our lives. It wasn’t his fault that I took away his only reason for living, and that afterwards the satisfaction of seeing me dead replaced it. I shudder and continue placing one foot in front of the other.

I hate to think of what I’ll do next, and who will be the price of my mistakes and loss of control. If only I could find a place to fit in, with others like me. Those who could teach me about what I can do so things like this won’t ever happen again. Where I could be myself, and the things I can do helpful, even appreciated.

I’ve been dreaming about a place like this for so long, with these nameless people. I’ll continue to hope and look, but things can’t go on like this for much longer. I’m so worn out, my body as well as my soul. This salvation has to stop being the reason I dream and become the reason why I wake up. Reality.





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This article has 157 comments. Post your own!

thepreechyteenager said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm:
:) wow, u r definitely one of my favorite writers on this site. ur just soo talented!! Were you born this way or did your writing develop? Any writing classes, if so which ones? man, i sound freakishly desperate. plz respond!!
 
J. Rae replied...
Feb. 21, 2010 at 9:00 pm :
Mine will be Josey Rae or J. rae or something like that. It's my pen name. I'll try to get your attention when I published something.
 
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liblib33 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 5, 2009 at 6:34 am:
I really loved this story. 2 thumbs up!
 
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Michaela S. said...
Oct. 25, 2009 at 3:23 pm:
I liked it, but to be honest, it was kinda depressing. You definitely have talent, but I'm wondering what the story would be like if you wrote it in a more heartening light? I don't know, it just would be an interesting idea.
 
AquaGem This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm :
Thank you for the comment! To tell you the truth, a lot of my writing has a bit of a darker edge that can be depressing. Not always what I mean to do, but in this, I did. This is about a person that is desperate, sad, and confused. I wanted to set that mood for the rest of the book as she evolves into understanding and belonging. Thanks for the comments everyone!
 
aliciajenae replied...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 10:37 pm :
I like the depressing twist! Although "saddening", I can 100% relate to that emotion! I love it!!
 
J. Rae replied...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 9:06 pm :
Did you say "rest of the book"? I hope you publish it!
 
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Bermuda said...
Oct. 4, 2009 at 1:32 pm:
WOOHOO THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!! Sorry... lost my cool for a sec! You are extremely talented! WOWZA!
 
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M&M4ever said...
Aug. 27, 2009 at 9:37 pm:
Love it!!! It was AMAZING!!!!!!
 
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LaylaViolet said...
Aug. 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm:
Whoa to the extreme. Totally amazazing. Keep on keeping on
 
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PeaceLovePiggy said...
Jul. 30, 2009 at 12:53 pm:
Um, can you say AMAZING? I love your writing style! Check out my story!
 
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Amanda said...
Jul. 8, 2009 at 10:00 pm:
Does this remind anyone else of the Incredible Hulk? Hey, inspiration is inspiration. Good work.
 
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annette_prettyinpink said...
Jun. 22, 2009 at 11:19 pm:
this really good you should make it into a book so we know whats going on with her but over all i loved it!
 
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camaroona15 said...
Jun. 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm:
you are such an amazing writer!
 
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Syahirah said...
May 24, 2009 at 3:58 am:
great work! i love your writing expecially opulence 1 and opulence 2. please write more stories. i can't wait.
 
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Mikal said...
Apr. 30, 2009 at 2:43 am:
This story is very ineresting! I can c this story in a book store or a library!
 
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surfacebreaker said...
Apr. 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm:
I read this story once before, when it was at the very top of the teen ink popularity list.
That was a while ago, though this story's spot hasn't moved much, your words moved me the same way the second time around.
 
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Stephenmcrey said...
Apr. 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm:
That was good.
Could you check this out to give me feedback?

TeenInk.com/raw/Fiction/article/96942/Our-Army/
 
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Zea M. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 5, 2009 at 2:00 am:
I like what you write, I like your words.
I like your story, I like the story.
Overall, this is really good.
Keep writing, please <3.
 
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Gossamer said...
Apr. 4, 2009 at 9:25 pm:
The voice is undeniably genuine in itself, but you can totally tell it was written by you. Really, really nice. I'd like a little more description, though - try using more touch and taste, they actually work better than sight.
 
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Zero_Kiryu This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 3, 2009 at 8:46 pm:
This was amazing, I think you should turn this into a novel. You know, the main character (he or she?) finds the place that she dreams about. And the dreams were actually send telepathically to (?) so (?) would find them and then they teach her to use (?) powers. Wow, can't wait to read more!!!!!!!
 
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