Note: unless a photographer, artist, or designer is indicated, all images were obtained from a Google images search. We, at Echoes, do not claim these images as our own.
“So she says to him, ‘Hold the gun while I pull the trigger,’ and his grip is already steady.” — Anonymous
We decided to move the neighbors furniture at night while they were sleeping. — Anonymous
The young man, who was a stickler for killing germs and being clean, lay on his death bed from the plague. — Anonymous
I bought my wife flowers and spent the rest of the night planting them next to her grave. — Anonymous
The online dating service I’ve been using matched me with my cousin. — Anonymous
A strange man walked up to the table and grabbed my mother — I stopped him — and then he said, “I am your father.” — Anonymous
When you hear the words “fall in love with me” from the look-alike of your dead boyfriend, what do you say? — Anonymous
It was the perfect revenge, until I came home and the police were already waiting for me. — Anonymous
I was nearly sent to the hospital because the school nurse could not believe my head was naturally this shape. — Shawn
I look into the mirror and see my eyes turn a pure black, my face distorted. — Nick
His eyes glowed like stars, two twinkling orbs mesmerizing by their own divine light. — Anonymous
I took one last breath of the world’s dirty air and began to sink myself into the deep blue. — Anonymous
I rushed home after hearing my mother cry over the phone, but who knew I would be charged with her murder. — Anonymous
I had held his hand when his other one raked through his hair in aggravation, when he betrayed the first hint of helplessness through his tears, when his lazy smile came out from hiding when nobody was around, when the silence was the truth of what was forbidden to us that suffocated him slowly, when we found solace in each other’s arms, when his demons morphed into the faces of those around us who hurt and hurt; now I am holding his hand as a mourner, mourning the loss of my beautiful boy who gave in to his tormentors who hate and hate, defining him and me with that one word that didn’t bring acceptance, that left us without a shield from their harshness, that one word that defined the love of two human beings as a crime. . . the crime of being gay. — Anonymous
The earth shatters with every drop, every shot. — Kristine
I reached my hand out to the stars; I wanted to grab them all and bring light back to the world. — Anonymous
Micro Fiction (approximately 50 words)
Her eyes were closed, blocking all the rest of the world, refusing to be a part of the ignorance and self-centeredness. Like this, she was content; like this, she wanted to stay. And so she did, as her body faded away, six feet under the ground. — Anonymous
A Fiery Heart
Her hand sweat as she placed it on the brown railing, her avenger in a black cape, strolling back and forth. Her lips were blood red, her eyes dark as coal. Guilt ran through her veins. Cold tears ran down her pale cheeks as the judge spoke. Screams rang throughout the court. The woman pulled out a small glass and waved it above her head. Police began to run, but she had fallen, her fiery heart extinguished. — Anonymous
I know you promised to love me forever and call me beautiful at every opportunity, but I didn’t need flowers at my door or extravagant jewelry to get tarnished in an old drawer. I need your goofy squint when you read something you love. I need your callused hands intertwined with mine when I need them most. I need your eyes crinkled and your nose freckled and your overbite of a smile. You promised to love me forever; it’s a shame I said good-bye because I still look for your face in every crowd. — Anonymous
The grass danced along to the howling wind. The water slammed against the rocks below. I stared down at the picture of my boyfriend, Brad, and a smile crept on my face. I wondered if I stared hard enough, could he feel my longing for him from beyond the grave? — Anonymous
The match’s flames licked the end of Jake’s cigar. He inhaled the smoke hoping that he might choke the guilt trapped inside him. How could he live with himself, he thought. How could he tell his mother that he was the one who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Silence drowned him. — Anonymous
Flash Fiction (1-2 pages)
Gradient and Reminiscence
There is an unmistakable sense of joy oozing in the air outside.
The sky was a canvas deeply lathered in a charming, but fading blue. Striped projections daintily glided across the eggshell walls, accompanied by the calming sound of cars passing by. The room held its breath, but I could still feel your steady lungs catching and releasing air as the process inched you closer to me, then back again, like the restless waves on a beach. You were not there. I imagined your warmth radiating on the sheets, and the scent of your cotton t-shirt that made me feel like I was eternally home.
A woman named Warsan once told me that “you can’t make homes out of human beings.” She was right.
You called me Lilian. I was always just Lilian. But the vowels and consonants that escaped your mouth crashed into my spine, unleashing scribbles of effervescence in my stomach. My name felt special in your keeping, like it was the only name you ever knew, like it was the only name for me. They call me Lily now.
With you, I experienced colors. Pink when you first took my hand; it took the feeling of a little girl crossing the street with her mom, except the strength in your hands made me feel significantly attached and together with you. Lilac when the tips of your fingers took a promenade through my hair, awakening my senses, yet lulling me into slumber. Blue and yellow was the night sky as we laid on the placid grass, and the engulfing sea of lights shined with royalty, illuminating the night into a warm blue. Streaks of orange and green when we flew across the beach in the sun that burned. Red when you left me in the middle of the city. Grey when you left.
Sometimes I was charcoal black– I felt all of the memories at once, becoming saturated with color, or I burned and vanished from the lack of hydrogen and oxygen that was abundant when you were there. For a long time, I felt dull gray, where I stole unanswerable questions and was surrounded by static. I thought you were the golden sun, but you were smaller, yet still significant; and I like how the light fades and mingles with darkness as it disperses away from the moon’s illusion of a warmth producing core. Somehow I became the shadow of light filtered through a translucent sheet of fabric softener, and I awoke from the intimate slumber with my sheets. I discovered that pearls and sea shells don’t just reflect one solid color, they shine with intricately woven gleams and shades of pigment. The moment I realized that I can’t dwell on mysteries and that I am not obligated to be faithful with my attachment to you was the moment I experienced a true blue, an epiphany of freedom to focus on anything but the mourning of your loyalty.
I don’t hate you. Often I like to take a stroll through the motions of the past, but you can’t make a home out of human beings, and you can’t make a home out of memories.
Today is a bright and windy day in the city. I no longer get lost in the streets of New York and always remember to apply sunscreen every two hours. I wear dresses to fly in the wind and eyeliner to hone into the scope of my goals. I always thought I needed something to lean on, something to hold onto, but being deprived of what was always there introduced to me not a lonely but a compelling independence. There are days when the rain nudges the clouds that hold my memories, but the sun shines again on this glorious day. I’m moving out.
There’s a vacancy in my heart; I’ve filled it up with myself and leave it open to whoever decides to turn this hotel into a home.
Kristine is a sophomore.
The above stories were contributed by students in the 2013-14 Creative Writing class.