Cliffhanger Contest: 1ST PLACE WINNER – Camille Blundell!

Camille Blundell


By Camille Blundell


I walk into the woods, the trees looming over me, moonlight spilling in through the trees, my footsteps narrated by the soft curve of the path in the woods. Your words spiral in my head, 

“Meet me in the middle”

I wish I could know what you meant. You told me you would be here, I hope you are here. The owl denounced my thoughts by his loud, “WHOO! WHOO!” God, how powerful I would be if I could have as much confidence in my words as he did in his subtle whoo whoo. Sometimes I wonder what animals talk about, other owls? predators? something they saw? I wonder if I have grown at all since I was five. My mother says my imagination is important, while my sister is more open, I am more quiet with my thoughts. They live in my head, in a filing cabinet that no one will ever open. My mother says we remind her of a dog and a cat. I’m pretty sure you can guess who is the cat and who is the dog. Sometimes, I wish I could be the dog. I wish, I wish, I wish. My best friend, Sadie tells me about how she wishes she could get out of Manorville, she says it’s too fancy and snobby. She tells me stories about her fake life, where she is a famous actor and has a hot boyfriend, and a little white dog that follows her everywhere. She makes up fabulous parties. Though, her dreams are far to reach from where we are now, stuck here. You could even say trapped. Somehow I don’t mind being trapped, you told me that I belong here, in a small town in the middle of nowhere.  Now we are older, and her dreams are still as big as back then, and my dreams are still as small. I keep walking, 

“The big oak tree” you told me.  

I want to know where you’ve been, before you disappeared you stopped talking to everyone and didn’t go to school anymore. The last time I saw you was 2 months ago, where you told me to meet you here on March 8th, at exactly 8pm. So here I am, walking. I’m gonna be exactly where you told me to be, at exactly 8pm. Sadie tells me I am a follower. But I’m happy with that, it’s too late for me to change. Manorville is a mystery to me, it’s all of the things that Sadie said it is, but more. In a way it’s unwell, unstable, creepy. Its a place you could film a pretty good murder movie. I walk along more, tripping on a rock, falling into the soft but somehow firm ground. The dirt is rocky and grainy, on my hands. I sit there for a second, the dirt pushing itself into my fingernails. It’s like the earth programmed my hands and feet to not move. I don’t believe in signs, but I’m getting worried. Maybe I should turn back and leave. My brain says I should move and get up but my body stays put. Maybe you will find me here. Back in 7th grade, I gave you a collection of poems I wrote. You told me you hated them and crumpled them up and threw them away, telling me that anyone who thinks that your poems are good, should read them one more time, just to notice how much they actually sucked. I didn’t take it personally, I admire you. Somehow when you admire someone, all your self respect and integrity is taken, maybe by them, maybe by someone else. Who knows? When I went home I locked myself in my room, read all of them again, to find the narrative, to find the meaning, were they really that bad? I stopped writing after that day, maybe it was for the best? But in an act of stupidity, I kept them. They are in my room somewhere, waiting to be picked up, read and then put down, and lost again. The deliverance of another owl’s WHOO! WHOO! Saves me from my own thoughts, to now be aware of where I am. I look up, and see a big red oak tree, 


I hear, I turn around and scream. 

The owls all fly away.