Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Henry This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   Henry Edward Richmond III is a "writer." His work can be found in various libraries, scattered among his contemporaries and heroes. He's fairly well-known among his literary compatriots. In fact, La Caza, a coffee shop on East Chestnut, is so infatuated with his tales that the manager has his second book displayed on the wall. The novel, the story of a blind man who learns to see, has been autographed by Henry. Indeed, coffee shops have become a refuge of sorts for him, separate and insulating. Late each morning, he'll wander into one for a breakfast of coffee and a muffin. He can be found there considering a piece of fiction-in-the-works on which he has already spent many hours. Line after line, he will scrutinize and alter while his coffee cools and his muffin becomes stale. For entire days he'll be rooted to a high stool, hunched over a counter, blocking everything out, only to focus on his art. Many times he'll neglect food, friends, family, appointments, or other useless burdens, opting instead to refine his work under the solid concentration of fiery eyes. Henry Edward Richmond III is a writer. Or, rather writing, describing, editing, distilling, capturing, and packaging life "in its purest form" (as he likes to say) is Henry Edward Richmond III.

Henry stands at a cold, busy street comer, traffic pulsing like blood through the veins and capillaries of the city all around him. His nostrils fill with the smell of pollution, people, and the coffee his fellow pedestrian holds in hand. The wind plays across his sparse hair. His hands, the instruments by which he lives, are sheathed inside gloves that make him itch. This is life, he thinks. I am living life right now. The sound. The smell. The taste. This headache. This is life. The bag swinging at his side reminds him that he has obligations. Green light. He steps forward. The mass of people at his back surge onto the street, around him, past him. But, before his foot hits the ground, a screech, the wild animal call of an auto, reverberates through the air. "Oh, my God!" "He's been hit!" "Someone call an ambulance!" I've been hit! Henry madly speculates. No wait! A quick accounting of his limbs reveals that he is intact. He joins the crowd that now surrounds a limp figure in the middle of the road. Life! He presses forward through the bodies of those living. "Can you do something?" "Are you a doctor?" "Do something"' "He's not moving!" Kneeling at the young man's body, broken by the fury of speed and steel, Henry searches. He cannot find it. My pen! My pen! Life! My pen! "Do something!" they taunt. Life! My pen! His hands vainly grab at his pockets. My God! My pen! Life! This is life! My pen! An ambulance, merely a streak of red, white, and backward lettering, dives to carry the man away. Life! He silently cries after it, in anguish. My pen? He pulls it from behind his ear. He holds it, shaking. Soon, police arrive. Questions are asked. Answers are given, but no explanation can be found. The mass is moving again. He moves with it, away from the fresh stain on the hard pavement.

Henry has become a construction worker. He has exchanged his pen for a hammer. All day he sweats, lifts, and builds. He's abandoned the coffee shops for Home Depot. Oh, he still writes. Occasionally, he scribbles out a story idea, about a friend, experience, or life, on the napkin in his lunch box. His stories are never finished, though, only half-spun and fragmented. He cannot find time to weave together beautiful words to live for, to live by, anymore. Life now constitutes Henry's life. Now, he is an artist. 1


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






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback