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Dream Quest One Second Writing Prize

Winter 2009-2010


Amanda Cook

of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, USA




{And she stands tall through all that life throws at her, because she knows, regardless your gender, you can still be a knight in shining armor.}


  Marcy knew she shouldn’t do this;

                But she did it anyways.

                She knew she was hurting herself;

                But she didn’t care.

                Her friend needed her; Again.

                It was Midnight, Sunday night, and they, well actually only Marcy had school tomorrow; Julie wasn’t going.

                ‘But,’ Marcy thought to herself, ‘I never get much sleep anyways; what would an hour or three less do?’

                “Julie, calm down, breathe. It’s going to be fine,” Marcy soothed.

                “How can it be ok?” Julie half screamed, half sobbed into the receiver, “He broke up with me! Six months today!” It sounded as if she was having hysterics.

                “Julie, Chuck was an asshole, and most likely gay. He had to be in order to dump you. Calm Down. Things will get better, they always do.” Marcy finished.

                Julie sniffed on the other end of the line, and took a deep breath, silence took over their conversation for  what seemed like an eternity.

                 “There, don’t you feel better?” Marcy said after it seemed as if Julie had finally calmed down enough to be rational.

                “A little,” Julie sniffled again, taking deep, even breaths.

                “See. Your stronger then you think. Do you want me to come over to your house tomorrow? We can watch crappy soaps, and eat ice cream, if you want.”

                “Sure,” Julie giggled, “But I should go. I need sleep. See you later.” Julie said eyeing her clock.

                “Okay; goodnight.” Marcy shut her phone, and was consumed by a humongous yawn. She glanced warily at her digital alarm clock, ‘1:00’ was flashing at her in green. Julie had yet again cut her usual five hours of sleep down to three. But she could never tell her to stop talking, and say that she needed to go to sleep. Julie needed her, and she would help; no matter what time.

                Marcy rolled on her back, her curly golden locks surrounding her frail face. She glanced down at her shoulder again; ten deep cuts were still making an appearance on her skin. She reached her boney fingers to touch them; but drooped her hand halfway, her tiny wrist landing on her stomach.

                Marcy sighed, flicking her bedside table light off, and closing her eyes, she quickly drifted off to sleep.

                But, all too soon her alarm clock started that annoying beeping noise. She reached over, and lazily turned it off. Glancing at it she saw ‘4:00’ blinked back at her, she swiftly grabbed her clothes, and sprinted/tip-toed to her bathroom, shutting and locking it behind her.

                Sighing, she twisted the nozzle, making the water the perfect temperature. She set her towel on the counter, and undressed, then hurriedly stepped in. Washing her hair and body, as though in a race; she turned the water off, drying off in record time.

                She slipped clothes on her too small body. Then got her hair, and face presentable.

                Rushing out of the bathroom, she put her dirty P.J.’s in the hamper, and getting her backpack ready.

                Checking her clock its bright green numbers told her it was 4:45. It was Monday, which meant breakfast had to be ready at 6:00 for her family. 

                She rushed into the kitchen, putting her apron on; getting the pans and things necessary for bacon, eggs, and hash browns. She got the eggs, and hash browns in the pan. Then, went off to get the bread ready, and clean the table off.

                After the long processes of getting everything ready, breakfast was finally done, Marcy checked her clock; 5:55. She smiled, just enough time to get the coffee out and the table set, then disappear to make some tiny breakfast from the scraps for herself, and finish eating before the bus came to pick her up.

                She hastily ran up the stairs, and grabbed her back pack; then ran down stairs, and walked into the kitchen, her ear pressed to the door to see what they thought.

                From the silence, she could tell they liked it, so she quickly ate the two pieces of bacon, and a barely acknowledgeable amount of scrambled eggs before walking out the door, painting a smile on her face and getting on the bus.

                She sat  in her usual seat, as far back as possible. Completely alone on the bus, she turns on her out dated mp3. Her favorite playlist starts, Lacrymosa by Evanescence starts playing. She closes her eyes, and meditates on the song, but before long there is a tap on her shoulder.  

                “Hey Cynthia,” Marcy say’s opening her eyes, turning the sound down, and pulls an ear bud out, handing it to Cynthia, “How are you?”

                “I’m good. Just got back from a shopping trip this weekend. Got some new things….Like my belt?” Cynthia says, showing Marcy her new belt, it was black and exceedingly sparkly.

                “That’s awesome!” Marcy says, brightening her plastered on smile.

                “Yeah, we should go shopping some time!” Cynthia says, unknowingly hitting a chink in Marcy’s armor.

                “Um, I really don’t have much time, you know, lots of cleaning to do, and my mom kinda grounded me…Sorry….Rain Check?” Marcy says; her smile never fading; voice never breaking.

                “Oh, what’d you do this time?” Cynthia says, and she almost looks sympathetic; Almost.

                “I came in from my curfew too late,” Marcy comes up with an inconsequential thing which most teens get grounded for, but in truth, she was just stuck at home. Her parents wouldn’t let her go anywhere; she had to stay home to take care of the house, them and her brother. She barely had enough time to do her chores, let alone finish her homework. There was definitely no time for her to go shopping.   

                “Bet you’ll never do that again.” Cynthia said sarcastically pulling Marcy out of her thoughts.  

                “Oh yeah, from now on I’m going to be a good little girl.” Marcy replied sarcastically shaking her head and giving an angelic smile.

                Both of them collapsed into giggles, after a few moments,  Marcy said,  “Wow, I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard,”  all the while trying to stuff  the giggles down her throat.

                “Me either” Cynthia said breathlessly.

                A small silence fell over them, that is, until Amy got on several songs later.

                “Hola my peeps!” Amy said in her ‘everything’s great’ voice. Marcy despised this voice, but was best friends with the owner of it.

                “Hey,” Cynthia and Marcy said in unison.

                “What did you guys do with your weekends?”

                “Well,” Cynthia began, “I went shopping, and got tons of new stuff, and I’m actually wearing something that I got, this belt. Isn’t it great…” After that, Marcy tuned both of them out, listening, but in her own world. After listening to almost half an hour’s worth of songs, someone asked, “What about you Marcy?”

                “Me?” she let out a short, nervous laugh, “Oh, um, I’m grounded.” She paused, “Again.” Marcy said, smiling timidly, she hated lying to her best friend, although it was technically still the truth.

                “I thought it was only today! Not the weekend too! Ugh, well that ruins the plans for this weekend. I guess we’ll have to find someone else.” Cynthia huffed.

                “It’s not the end of the world.” Amy said smiling, “Just the end of this weekend plans.” But she didn’t say it in a way that made Marcy feel bad, or upset, she just stated a fact.

                ‘And that,’ Marcy thought to herself, ‘is why she’s my best friend.’

Marcy smiled and said, “Sorry, It’s not my fault; Ok, so maybe it is. But it’s definitely not my fault my mother and father over reacted, and my brother is a freaking tattle tale!” Marcy said, forcing herself to laugh, to make everything better.  

                “Well, your parents always over react, I think you’re grounded more than the whole freshmen class put together.” Cynthia said, whilst laughing her fake laugh, trying to be the center of attention, like always.

                “Well, you know my parents, they’re great, at least they care.” Marcy said, not even flinching, and keeping her smile up as if her life depended on it.

                 “Yeah, true, Can I trade you parents?” Amy said, not knowing what she was really asking.

                “Um, let’s see…how about not.” Marcy said, pretending to think about it, she wouldn’t wish her family on her worst enemy, let alone her best friend. Marcy shuddered, undetected by her friends at the sheer thought of either of them having her parents, it was a horrible thought. Yet, it sounded appealing, but only for a second.  Except we all see unusual things in the split seconds our imaginations take over.

                When the bus stopped the girls quickly got out, separating to their lockers and classes for the day.

The day mostly passed by uneventful, until fifth hour.

                Marcy was standing in front of Kelly’s desk; it was exactly on ‘accident’ though her crush, James Malo, sat right in front of Kelly. This was defiantly not Marcy’s favorite class, but it had some of her favorite people; even though she didn’t particularly like Kelly, she put up with her solely for the reason that James sat by her.

                “So, what did you do over the weekend Marcy?” Kelly asked out of the blue.

                “Me? I’m grounded, again.” Marcy said, and she grimaced again inside, because even though the lie flew effortlessly from her mouth, it never got easier to lie; and even though she was technically grounded, it wasn’t in the sense that any normal ninth grader could understand.

                “Jeeze, you’re grounded again? What did you do this time?” James said, coming up behind her and putting his hands on her shoulders, unknowingly scraping the fabric of her sweater against the still sensitive scars.

                “Oh, you don’t want to know; It was something horrible, terrible, and possibly against the law.” Marcy said, in an ominous but still sarcastic voice, All the while still clenching her teeth.

                “Then trust me, I want to know, so you and  I can do it again, that way it can be twice as horrible, three times as terrible, and even more against the law.”

                “Ha, you wish. But no; I actually just came in late from my curfew,” Marcy says blushing. Then mentally hitting herself, because she always blushes; always. She just can’t help it when she’s around James. ‘It’s like a freaking think in my brain. It just happens, No controlling it, no stopping it. Ugh, he probably thinks I’m a freak.’

                “Oh, curfew, you’re a felon, I’m impressed,” James says smiling down at her.

                “Well, you know me,” Marcy says, blushing yet again.

                “Ah, and what a beautiful color you turn when someone talks  directly to you,” James says smiling, and spinning her around to face him.

                 “Yeah, well, it’s natural.” Marcy says smiling, and looking down. ‘He thinks my blush is beautiful.’ Is all she can think about.

                “Well, natural is the best.”

                Marcy was going to say something, but she was cut off by the bell that started class. So she spins around and slips elegantly into her seat. 

            The class passed by in a blur, while she stared at the adorable tuff of hair that stuck out of the side of his head, it almost made him look like he had a crown on his head.


                All too soon the bell rings dismissing them for lunch, and Marcy spent yet another class staring at the back of James head, and day dreaming. She sighs before realizing that James is standing right next to her.

                “Oh, Hi James,” She says calmly, although she is anything but calm. “I thought you’d already left for lunch?”

                “Well, I was going to, but then I realized you weren’t coming so I figured I’d come and make sure you made it down in time.” James finishes with his award winning smile, the one that would make a nun swoon.

                “How sweet of you,” Marcy says, but then sighed when she realized her parents forgot to leave money on the counter for her to have lunch, “But I don’t have any money today. I left it right on the counter.” Marcy lied effortlessly.

                “Oh, don’t worry, I have money, I can pay for lunch, I mean, it’s only 3 dollars.” James smiled like someone would who just won the Nobel Prize.

                “Well, Ok, but only if you let me pay you back,” She paused for a moment, “Double.” Marcy finishes feeling awful for taking James’ money.

                “No, I’m not going to let you pay me back, I mean come on what guy wouldn’t kill to be able to buy you lunch. You’re gorgeous.” James said smiling again, then tugging her from her chair, and walking with her to put her books away.




Beep. Beep. Beep.

               Marcy groans; looking at her clock.

It’s Friday, the worst day of the week.

‘Well, at least tomorrow’s the weekend. My parents and Brother will be off doing something I never get to, and I’ll have the whole two days to myself.’ Marcy smiles, but stops mid sit up. Something is different. She glances around her room, nothing out of the ordinary.

                Then it hits her. Her bedroom light is on, at six o’ clock in the morning. She whips her head to the door of her room.

                “Hello, little sister.” Her brother says, smiling evilly. Marcy heart rate squeezes with fear. Pure unadulterated fear.

                Marcy nods, knowing better than to speak. She’s made that mistake one too many times. 

                Her brother steps forward. Marcy’s muscles lock up.

                He grabs her shoulder.

 Still sensitive.

Extremely sensitive.

But she doesn’t flinch; Doesn’t even think of crying, it would only make him more angry. It would let him win.

                He grabs her other shoulder, and picks her too light body up, and tosses her into the nearest wall. Marcy clenches her teeth, but says nothing, only looking at the floor, nothing else.

                “Getting better at not speaking aren’t we.” Her brother says.

                Marcy nods again. Not falling for his trap. She continues to look at the floor.

                He kicks her side once. She feels a painful stab in her ribs, but doesn’t flinch. He picks her up again. Shoves her into a standing position, and pushes her out of the room, she takes the three steps from her room to the stairs, and a single tear falls down, anticipating what is going to happen.

                Her own brother stops her at the top of the steps, and shoves her down them. Harder than he ever has. She falls down, down, down. Finally, She stops.

                Her brother lets out a sick laugh. Runs down the stairs, and steps over her, as if she is nothing more than trash. He walks out the door for the weekend. She is left alone. She curls in a ball. Sobbing her eyes out. The bus honks, but she doesn’t make a move to get up. Soon she hears the accelerating of the bus engine, and she is alone once again.

                 After hours of sitting there in the spot she landed on, she stiffly gets up. Blinks the tears away, and heads to her room, taking one step at a time.  

                She opens her dresser drawer. Pulls out her razor blade, but unlike in the movies, she smiles, no tears fall. No remorse even crosses her mind. She quickly writes a note then writes a will, signs both, puts all necessary things on it, and runs out to the mail box, pulling the orange flag up. 

                Before she knows it she’s back in her room with just her blade. She turns up her mp3 player, playing the only song on her playlist The Only One by Evanescence. Picking up her blade and running it across her skin for the last time.

                “It’s over. It’s finally over.” Marcy says, before losing consciousness.



3 years later



 Amy smiled nervously, “I can do this.” She said to herself.

                After Marcy died, she pushed herself harder than ever before, living for the both of them, And now, she was preparing herself for the Valedictorian speech at their….her….graduation.

                As she walked up to the podium, she saw all of her classmates. ‘Well,’ she thought to herself, ‘Not all. But, all that are still with us.’ But she felt all of her former classmate’s presence; Even Marcy’s, especially Marcy’s.

                She stepped up to the podium, closed her eyes, and smiled.

                “Friends, Classmates, Parents, and Teachers, thank you for coming. And welcome to the Graduation of 2012!  Seated before you are the survivors, the dreamers, the wishers, The future of America; Scary thought, I know. But as some of you know, not all of us made it. And I think it would only be right, to have a moment of silence for all who were lost.”

                Amy smiled again. Tears rolling down her face, and probably ruining her make-up; but she didn’t care.              After a moment, Amy began again. “As valedictorian of this school, I want to thank the teachers for all their hard work, I mean, they do this year after year, and they deserve a round of applause.”

                When the applause finally died down, she began again, “But I know that for me, I didn’t make it here, on my own. I didn’t make it here solely based on my teachers. I made it to this moment, this speech, because my best friend, Marcy, told me, that even though it was her time to die, it was still my time to live. As most, if not all, of you know, my friend Marcy Tavor died freshman year. And, her greatest wish was to help everyone, no matter what the cost. Before she died, she thought to mail me a note, to read at our…” Amy paused, “I mean my graduation ceremony. Here is what this note said.”


 “Dear Amy,

                When you get this, I will already be gone. I’m sorry, to all the people that I hurt. As everyone knows, there comes a moment in life, where you just know it’s your time to die. There comes a moment, where you just know, you aren’t supposed to live another day. That no matter how much you think you need to finish, or get done, it’s just time. This is what I am feeling. Everything that God planned for me to do is done.

                                As a freshman, many would argue that I haven’t lived enough, that I am too young to die. But as I said earlier in this note, when you know; you know. And I may never go to college, or get married, or have a child. But I’ve lived my life to the best of my ability, and I know with the in most  of my being that it’s my time.


Cont’d – MARCY by Amanda Cook


                                Well, as seniors, I would hope that all of you grew up; Even just a little. But The reason for writing this, My sole wish for each of you, is that you get to go to college, that maybe one day, you get to walk down that isle, and maybe one day, have a kid, if you haven’t already. And, if possible you’ll all remember me, at one point. For right now, I remember you all.

                                I hope that this letter was not just psycho babble, and you actually got something out of it. Good Luck, for now, and Eternity.                               


                                                                                    Marcy Tavor


  “As much as I’d like to say that everything is going to work itself out, and none of us will have problems after we graduate, I can’t. For one because none of you are stupid enough to believe me. And two, because it’s not possible; we will all have our problems, we will all have our triumphs. Now, let’s get out there and get moving! Give it up for the class of 2012!” With that, she walked off the stage, smiling through her tears.

                And for a moment, Amy thought she saw Marcy sitting in the empty seat next to her, smiling up at her; but we all see unusual things in the split seconds our imaginations take over.

 # # #

 By Amanda Cook