Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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

She taught him how to make them, one careful fold at a time. Even when he messed up and the wrinkled paper became useless, she patiently handed him another and walked him through the steps again.

One thousand cranes.

One thousand cranes and a wish for each, the same wish, and when the thousand cranes were done, the wish might come true.

She taught him, one crane after another, until one day she couldn't fold them any more; her hands were too shaky to make the careful creases. He took over then, carefully, lovingly folding one crane after another, lifting each finished one to his lips to breathe the wish over it.

He worked at it all through her diagnosis – cancer – through the chemotherapy – no sign of remission – and through the proclamation of her death day – only weeks to live.

He didn't finish in time. She died the moment he completed the nine hundred and ninety-ninth crane.

The thousandth was laid on her grave, a bright spot of red against the gray stone and dying grass. Red like blood and a wish, unfulfilled.

“Let my mother get better.”

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




Join the Discussion

This article has 22 comments. Post your own now!

Ichabod said...
May 19, 2010 at 3:56 am

Beautifully written! And very little mistakes! :-)

I'd easily give this 4 star material. You have area for a full story, but you do a good job at keeping it to this. I applaud you, madame.

 
alexpeanut This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 19, 2010 at 7:34 am

Thank you!

But if I might ask, what do you view as mistakes?

 
Site Feedback