Author Archives: Matthew Jellison

Revenge of the Ankle Bully

“Have you ever heard of the ankle bully? The old people say he stalks all the basketball courts in Harlem looking for easy prey. I even heard Ms. Jerry from the 4th floor saying he was born with the appetite for ankles, she thinks he eats them. Some say he is a myth, a story told to kids at campfires, but actually his name is ZRC which stands for Zahir’s Ridiculous Crossover and he’s from the Bronx. “

Opal Shore

“You’re going to be late for work!”
I pull up my swim trunks and pat my hair, as if that will keep it down. I’d hardly call my job at the Opal Shore Beach Club a job at all. I’ve been a member since before I can remember. Our family has been members for decades. Generations. My grandfather obtained one of their ultra-exclusive memberships back in the 60’s. He passed it along to my parents in the 90’s. One day, probably within the next ten years, my dad will pass Grandpa’s membership to my siblings and me, and we’ll continue going with our children. So on and so forth.

Creation

I kept walking back and forth over this invisible line from the girls, who at that time were all obsessed with colored powder and sticky stuff you put on your lips for fun, which I never understood; and the boys, who would do very repulsive things like punch each other until one of them bled, and tackle each other over an oddly shaped ball (which I later found out was a football).

The Eve of Eve

It was the morning of Christmas Eve as Eve woke up. A cold breeze tickled her face and her eyes fluttered open. Outside her window, snow as white as her bedsheets covered the ground, causing Eve to smile and jump out of bed. It was 6:00 A.M., so Eve knew no one would be awake. She tiptoed down the stairs to the kitchen and started making breakfast. Eve was amazing at cooking, so she had her own recipes. She decided on making gingerbread pancakes for herself and her family.

Fast Forward

One day, there was a little boy who was playing computer games with his brother. He saw a clock on the computer, and he said, “What’s this?”
His brother said, “I don’t know, you should press it.”
He pressed it and the computer started glowing. When their mom said, “Thing 1 and Thing 2, the food’s ready,” they said,
“Coming, Mom.”

Storytime with Beanie — Halloween Edition!

This story begins on a happy sunny day. A comedy duo was playing at the town hall, they were the best of the best, Gary and Grogush. Gary was a well-known man who had a fun, bubbly sense of humor. Or so people thought. Grogush was an unappreciated doll who people thought was controlled by Gary. Gary used Grogush to earn money and fame. Grogush was a living doll who was plotting his revenge day by day. At Gary and Grogush’s performance, they began to do their famous ventriloquist act. Things were going well until the end.

It Might as Well Have Been Winter

The air was cool and the winds were strong. Below me, I could see hues of scarlet and shades of golden, with a handful of orange. Buildings were scattered around, some lights on and some lights off. The sun had barely risen.
It was so frigid outside, it might as well have been winter.
We stood there in silence for a long time, in thick scarves and puffy jackets.

The Candy Ferry’s Skateboard

My life story, or at least the part of my life story you’d be interested in, begins where a tragic story might end — with the digging of several holes. Before we continue, I will assure you that this story is nothing like that, but if you’re looking for a story with that kind of drama and sadness, please ask your librarian to refer you to the tragedy section. With that out of the way, let’s get back to the story: I ran frantically around our miniature backyard, waving and digging with my plastic shovel like a maniac, my brain bubbling full of hatred and loathing for my older brother. Although this may seem like a funny anecdote from your end, I can promise you that it was a horrendous experience, for me, at least.

The Medic’s Son

Charles Smith was born in 1898 in Bath, England, and usually went by Charlie. Charlie’s father had died of Tuberculosis by the time Charlie was two. Charlie had very little memory of his father, and although it was an inconvenience to his mother, it never was a terrible inconvenience to Charlie other than his mother taking up whatever extra jobs she could find. Even though she had to work a lot, Mrs. Smith always found time to play with her son and was, overall, a very loving mother.

Dubsy

If there were a choice that could decide the fate of your loved ones, and whether or not you were put in jail for the rest of your life, would you take it? Of course you would, without hesitation, or at least I did. My name is Evner Dubs. Fourteen years ago, I was put in prison for the murder of my girlfriend, Lea, and my best friend, Dexter.

Like Living Creatures

Music. It’s what keeps us entertained, it’s what people have in common, it’s what genres we listen to, it’s what cultures we spread, and what languages we speak. Music is all around us. It is what makes my life so special, both now, and when it first inspired me. In every way, shape, and form, it is the instruments that truly make music come alive.

Beowulf, the Real Antagonist

In the book, Beowulf, Grendel and his mother are the main antagonists. From Beowulf’s point of view, Grendel basically marches into his hall, massacring many of his men, until Beowulf can pin down Grendel and rip off his arm; Grendel then runs away and dies. Later on, Grendel’s mother wants revenge on Beowulf, so she sneaks into Beowulf’s hall, retrieves Grendel’s arm, and abducts one of Beowulf’s men. So Beowulf goes to her lair, defeats her, and lives happily ever after until the dragon kills him, but that does not affect this essay.

The Musical Connection

“Music is a force that connects us all and that is an essential part of our communication with other people and with our inner selves. People have made music for thousands of years, every culture making its own special kind. Even after the original foundation of music, it still grows and changes, along with humanity, bringing to life different styles and feelings. In just about every person, you will find that music has made connections and bonds, even if you don’t realize it at first. Music is an extraordinary thing that feeds our minds and memories and is a crucial part of both the personal and public worlds.”

The Terror

“One day, a terror was arising in the city of Flow. The city was being attacked by bandits. The bandits took control of the food and the water supply and tripled the cost so people had to pay more for water and food than usual.”

Uncovered

Jeremy and Matthew are always with me on the bus ride to school and during lunch. So far, they are still my only friends. And I have learned the school better. Apparently, the boys on my basketball team from gym class are known as the bullies in the grade. Of course, they aren’t very bright. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were failing every subject in school. My mind is always wandering during class, thinking about what I’ve been through.

On the Multi Regional Theory of Human Evolution

Nowadays, researching is a walk in the park compared to what it used to be like. Instead of having to go all the way to a library to find books with limited information on a subject, the seemingly endless expanse of information on the internet is at our fingertips. However, researching online still can be difficult, especially if you don’t really know what you are doing.

After PBJ

Hi. So this is what happened AFTER I finished making my PB&J sandwich. Okay, I bet you have NO idea what I’m talking about, so let me tell you EVERYTHING. Okay, so anyway, I love PB&J sandwiches. And last year, I wanted to make one. And it was super hard because someone stole my peanut butter, and I lost my jelly and bread, AND I didn’t have a knife!

Villainous

It was 8:00 pm. The sun had already set, and cool shadows masked what was happening below. They stood there, in the shadows of the bridge, watching something happen below.
A small rowboat, with one young man standing in the center, slowly drifted to the middle of the big waterway. The man’s shoulders were shaking slightly. He was sobbing, fighting back tears. As if he were afraid of something, someone.

The Watchers in the Shadows

Will slammed the locker door. My head felt like hot iron rods were searing into my brain.
“Will,” I groaned. “Do you have to be so loud?”
He grinned and he ran his fingers through his hair. “It’s not my fault that you’re hungover. You know we aren’t supposed to drink when we are on a mission.”
I massaged my temples. “It’s been five months. That’s like five years of intense agony for even a high functioning alcoholic like me.” My stomach lurched as I reached for my hairbrush. I ran toward the trash can and started puking my insides out. My throat was covered in what felt like liquid fire.

Lost at Sea

Hiding from that terrible woman was what we did every day. Hiding in a pocket of darkness, wrapped around each other. I would say something stupid, she would giggle, and I would use her silky, pinkish-tinted blond hair to cover my red face. She didn’t mind, it would only cause us to become more entangled in one another. That was our thing. Our daily routine, you could call it.

Ott: Part One

Lunging, leaping over logs and trees, the pitter-patter of light footfalls was eerily absorbed by the misshapen flora. Something was running. A huge noise sounded behind the runner, a noise reminding the four-legged runner of the danger. A huge golem-like pillar of stone and crystal, quickly folding its form into a shape that’s strange, and yet relatable to a tiger. The runner was interested, and yet terrified. The runner then made a decision.

Some Dumb Stuff I Made Up

Once there was a 21-year-old dude named Jamie and he really wanted to go to the movies with his friends, but his dog AJ ripped up all of his money. This wasn’t something AJ usually did, but it was bad timing because that morning, Jamie and his friends were going to go to the movies.

Ally and the Broken Wing

Ally is a bird. Ally wants to fly, but her wing is broken.
For almost all her life, Ally has tried to fly but fell each time she tried. One day, she felt like she would never be able to fly again. On that day, she decided never to practice flying ever again. A week later, Ally saw a boy whose legs were paralyzed, trying to walk across the Beluga Bridge, which is as long as a real beluga!

Leslie for President

I was made for this moment. Two days ago, I never would have thought that I would have the guts to do this. Just the thought of all my classmates staring at me sent shivers down my spine. The announcer called out, “Leslie Gellerstien, please come up to the podium.” I stood up, clutching my paper, and marched up to the front of the room. I can do this, I thought.

PENGUIN

I woke up to find Otis staring at me. “Are you ready for your ‘check in’ today?” Otis’ simplistically announced reminder rendered me a little startled, for I had forgotten the events of the day. “Perhaps you will be granted your surgery today,” he pointed out. “Then you’ll be better once again.”

The Woman in the Moon

Some dare to love the night. They wax poetic on the velvet warmth of the air wrapping around them, write odes to the nightingale and to the bright stars that twinkle and provide only a smudge of light
—a lit candle in a yawning abyss—
—a campfire that casts as many shadows as light—
—a crystal sewn into a wedding gown’s silk for color—
Light. But swallowed up by darkness.

Flesh

I work as a designer. It’s ironic, as the fashion industry is known for being problematic in terms of body image. I’ve always loved fashion though, dressing up, going shopping. But it was never so much about how I felt in the clothes. It was more like… how I felt when people noticed me in them.

Drifting Apart

The only place where I felt truly safe was at the beach. If it was raining, it didn’t matter. There’s a blizzard, you say? Then we would still go to the beach. I know it’s odd, but my grandma and I, ever since I was a child, had always gone there when we needed to talk, I mean really talk. But today was different, I knew that after I told Grandma what I had done, she wouldn’t love me the same.

Why Do We Dream?

We dream because we all have some sort of imagination. Usually, dreams aren’t exactly what we want to dream about. People say we can control what we dream, but actually, we can’t. Dreams come unexpectedly and randomly. Sometimes we don’t have a dream at all. I have an imagination but that doesn’t necessarily mean I have a dream every single night. Some nights I do, but forget about them, other nights I have but remember them.

Luca’s Timer

It was stuck at 312 hours. 312 hours. In 312 hours, was his birthday. So what was this timer, you may ask? Well, this timer was not for his birthday, that’s for sure. This timer actually had nothing to do with Luca at all. This timer was for his soulmate. Kai White.

Shoes

As I looked out the window, the 6 train was getting close to my stop, 77th street, with the usual EEEEE OOOOO sound. Getting off the train always made my heart race because I thought of it as the “critical moment.” In order to be ready to go to the main world, I looked at myself in the mosaic-built number: 77, and smoothened my hair down. Next, I gently tucked in my shirt, so that the coffee stain was not visible, and again flattened my messy, morning hair. “Decent,” I whispered under my breath, and walked up the subway stairs onto the sidewalk.

Corry’s Dreams

“Wake up.” A lady leans over and kisses a boy’s forehead. Her eyes have no pupil or iris but seem to be able to see. The boy sits up and hits his head on a sheet of glass. Through the glass, he can see a woman and what seems to be her dog walking over the glass. Her dog begins to scratch at the glass and its owner pulls it away. The boy rolls off of his bed and begins to fall.

Windows

He stares at the painting, in a state of awe. I’m confused. What’s so magical about a painting? He’s saying something about how labor intensive it must have been to make a painting like this. How wonderful it would be to live in the painting.
“It’s just a bunch of dots,” I say pointedly. “There’s nothing wonderful about it.” He just smiles, amused.

Best Friends Wait What!!!

“I decided I’m tired of being a lawyer. I go to meet my friends from the 49ers and we talk about the game strategy over sushi. I ordered a spectacular green dragon roll and a plate of Japanese Chirashi which was amazing. Afterwards, I go back on my super fast car and all of a sudden, a dim light bulb crashes into me and I am knocked out.”

Floof

“She saw her fiance’s quartz complexion, baby Mary’s slightly darker skin behind, pointing at her olive self. The dimly lit room, so much detail as to the rain drizzling out the thin glass window. Elizabeth felt a tear slide down her cheek, followed by more. How real this was, she realized. Did she really love him?”

Do I Really Have to Play Soccer?

“It was three weeks ago and my team was on the field, in the middle of our first soccer game. Except for me. And my attention.
I was thinking, honestly, I wish I could be sleeping instead of sitting here in this stuffy uniform with all of these shin guards and stuff—
Wham! Someone from the other team ran straight into me, sending my skinny body soaring through the air and landing on the grassy earth with a thud.”

Flu Shot

“My sobs get quieter as I take in the familiar waiting room: colorful chairs and wallpaper, some toys and coloring sheets in the corner, and the receptionist’s desk across from us. I think to myself, can it really be that bad?”

The House At the Edge of the World

“Then came the day when, much like before, she could not take the quiet any longer. She burst outside, landing hard on her hands and knees on the dusty earth. Ignoring the stinging pain, she glared at the dull landscape surrounding her. She wanted to leave—wanted it more than she ever had, her whole life. Her whole existence.”

Abandoned

“I lay in bed thinking about what life would be like if my dad were here. Would I still be having trouble in school? Would Mom be happier? Back when my dad was still at home, I remembered him and mom making me breakfast every morning and waiting to see my face. He used to tell me stories before I went to bed. One of them I remembered was about a little girl who became a princess. Oh how much I missed my dad, I wish he would be there with me.”

The Cure

“My name is Logan Campbell. I am 16 years old. I live in St. Paul, Minnesota. I grew up worrying about the plague. I remember when I was 6 years old, hearing about it on the news. My younger sister, Olivia, was curled up next to me by the fireplace, crying. A lot of people cried that day.”

32 Degrees

“I wasn’t planning on leaving my house anytime soon. At least, not while it was still cold out. I couldn’t even leave by choice, anyway. Although it was a new year, a fresh start, I couldn’t forget what happened in December. What confined me to my house until the end of Christmas break, what confined me to myself.”

The Beast

“I took a deep breath trying to calm myself, only to choke on the horrible odor. I closed my eyes, squinting hard while pinching myself making sure what I was seeing was real. I opened my eyes and there it was, now standing directly over me.”

The Monster

“There was nothing particularly frightening about its features. It had a long, drawn out nose that resembled something between an elephant’s trunk and an aardvark’s snout. It sniffed at my shirt, giving me a better view of its beady blue eyes, like buttons stitched onto orange fabric.”

The Fair Princess

“Once, there was a fair princess. They say that when her feet touched the sand, vines grew. They say that she loved her kingdom with the love of a parent for their children. They say she would have died for us. She was never lonely. She had us. We had her.”

Art School

“I take a picture of my new peacemaker for reference, and that’s when I begin to create. As the tips of my colored pencils touch the paper, my extremely small happiness grows so big, my brain lights up not in a fire of fear, but in shiny rays declaring to the world, “Frances has found something to feel good about! She’s in her happy territory!”
And it’s true. I am in my happy territory.”

LA Devotee

“Tick, tick, tick, tick. He wondered what time it was. How long had he just been a miserable mess on the floor? He didn’t know if he wanted a break from all of this by fainting, or for the sun to finally reveal itself. It was a dark and stormy night, and he hated that. He wanted more lights than that from the street and the electric sky.”

Across the Galaxy

“This is the moment I have been waiting for for days. Should I believe that it’s happening? Sometimes when you want something for so long or so badly when it actually happens you have no idea how to react. Almost seems too good to be true. Until… it was too good to be true.”

Fatal Feelings

“You are not equivalent to my race
Stop trying to change my broken face
I can kill myself
But I’ll do it slowly
My smile is there but fading shortly
Figure out how you wanna write your story
You will never put that pen down
You look at me with raging glory”

Ancient Eyes

“I woke up in a hot sweat. I had heard it again! It was so clear this time, so profound a sensation, I knew it had to be coming from within the room. I bolted upright, shouting at the top of my lungs, ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH MY BLOODY EYEBROWS, YA GREASY PIG!'”