A Study in Contrasts from Young Writers

Photo by Evan Friedman, Essex High School, Essex Junction, Vt.

Photo by Evan Friedman, Essex High School, Essex Junction, Vt.

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This week, we publish writing in response to the prompt Contrast: Develop the theme of contrast, using hope versus despair. And Elements: What is the strongest and/or most beautiful force of nature?

Next prompts

Epic. Describe an epic journey — real or imagined. Alternates: Share. Write about something that only you and a sibling or friend share — a goofy sense of humor, an unforgettable experience, a secret, or general writing in any genre. Due March 28. Pressure. Write about any kind of pressure — social, school, making the team, or simply the physical sensation of pressure (like diving underwater). Alternates: Six words. Write a complete story in six words; or Photo 8. Due April 4.

Prompt: Contrast

I watched you fly away.

A helium balloon losing air,

touching then the water molecules

that made the sky blue.


The same blue as the painted

horse at the carnival,

laced with a gold and silver bridle.

We held that balloon,

before it won the battle and grew smaller

and smaller,

disappearing behind clouds.


like cotton candy.

Your eyes grew wider as you watched it sail away.

But now you are that balloon,

unlacing the gold and silver bridle,

to look for a carnival of

your own.

With cotton candy clouds, and

blue water molecules

coloring a merry-go-round horse.


I’ll paint my own blue sky.

The desert wishes for the taste of rain

but knows deep down he won’t taste it again.

The lonely girl longs for him every day

but knows his heart has been given away.


The tide creeps up on the sand

hoping he will be able to get to the land,

but he knows he will be taken away

only to try once again.


Everyone wishes for something much more

waiting for it to just walk through the door,

but rarely we find that it will follow through

and deep, deep down, we all know it too.

It is the silence

that draws me near,

the grim silence

you can always hear.


It brings me through

the shadowed night

to a house darkened

by the morning light.


There are spirits here,

and all of them shriek,

clawing and calling

for a moment of peace.


To you it’s just silence;

you’ve heard it before,

but this kind of silence

means so much more.

Prompt: Elements

Some of the strongest forces in nature are lava, heat, water, wind, earth and cold. In my opinion, the strongest force in nature is wind. Wind will cool lava, another powerful force, decimate areas with tornadoes, control weather, and when mixed with precipitation, it is deadly. Hurricanes will blow houses down, rip buildings apart, and flood areas with the water they push with their force.

Sure, scientifically proven, running water is the strongest force, but running water isn’t going to do anything once wind pushes against it in all directions. It’s getting trapped and isn’t going anywhere. Wind and water combined is one of the deadliest combinations of all time. Wind with rocks can create echoes. The echoes create beautiful music. Wind is the most important force in nature.