Issue One of The Crawl Space Journal is finally HERE! In this issue, you’ll find black holes, Goondoolays, trolls and more. We are so thankful for the talented writers and illustrators who submitted to this issue. We hope you have as much fun reading it as we had putting it together. Enjoy!
We can’t believe it’s finally here: the launch party for our first issue!
Please join us for this event, coordinated with the wonderful Millvale Community Library on June 4, 2016, from 3-5 p.m. The launch will be part of a Summer Reading Kick-off Series that the library is running. We’ve planned several activities for attendees–it’s sure to be a fun-packed event!
There will also be an open mic for young readers!
We’re so excited about this issue. It’s full of good writing and illustrations by some very talented people. We hope you can join us on Saturday!
Today, we’re sharing a new twist on an old story, written by Ava. Thanks, Ava for sharing your work with us!
If you are between the ages of 13 and 18 and have a story to submit to The Crawl Space Journal, please send it to email@example.com. In the subject line, write, Young Reader Submission. We look forward to reading your work!
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away a baby was born. She was a sweet little thing and the second she laughed a dandelion, full in bloom, burst and the wind carried it up into the night sky, toward the second star to the right. Now, I know that this may confuse you, but the fairy that was born to this dandelion seed was not Tinkerbell, but a different fairy all together. Her name was Evangaline, a noble, high maintenance fairy, who loved to laugh. Evangaline grew up in Neverland with none other than Peter Pan, and the notorious yet friendly, James Hook. Unfortunately, her friendship with both of them did not last forever. Sadly Hook tried to chop off her wings, and Peter replaced her for that awful Tinkerbell. When Evangaline met Tink, something about her did not seem right at all, and so our story begins.
When Evangaline was 14 in human years and 10 in Never years she received the gift of telepathy. This meant she could read minds, and she used this to her advantage. Every once in a while, Tink would try to pull a prank on Eva, but would always fail because of Eva’s secret weapon. Now, Eva had a book in which all the locations of secret coves, caves, and treasure chests where kept. One fine day she was collecting items on the sea shore, when she came upon a sapphire which told her the future. It said that in the future, both Peter and Hook will go after the book, and so she must destroy it. If she fails her wings will turn to dust. Eva, being frighted, went home. She lived in the lost boys tree and kept the book in a secret nook that could only be opened with a key, but she misplaced it, not lost it, just misplaced it. So she did what any sensible fairy would have done, she started to look for it.
Everybody knows that fairies are supposed to be happy, but in this case Eva was quite unhappy. The last thing she wanted, was to have her wings turn to dust. She started to wonder if her sole purpose was to protect the book. Then, if that wasn’t enough, Tink decided that today, of all days was a good day to get on Eva’s nerves. Now Eva, was not in a good mood, and I’m sure Tink knew this. She choose to ignore it and did what she pleased. As soon as Tink had left, Eva started to pack for her journey. Earlier, when Tink was there she found the key, as she packed, she got the book. She placed both the key and the book at the bottom of her satchel.
Eva decided to dispose of the book at the Lenidy Volcano, on the other side of Neverland. Her packing would have to last her till she arrived at the Indian’s Forest, half way to the volcano. She packed all her necessities, pixie dust, her pillow, the sapphire, her favorite lost thing, her telescope, and her pen, ink, and journal. When she set off, of course, she road her beautiful dove named Pippa. Pippa was a young dove and loved to fly right next to the clouds. Now, say anything were to go wrong, Eva brought her bird sized hot air balloon.
Eva began her journey at day break, approximately 7:52 Never time and 5:28 U.S time. The morning was chilly, so Eva brought her cotton-ball coat. Pippa was up and ready to go at 6:43, and woke Eva up, too. Eva decided that before she went to the volcano she would stop at Pirates Cove to buy a large bag of crumbs for pippa. When she got there she was met with a large gathering and one shipmate yelling “He’s back, Hook’s back.” Another yelling back, “there he is men.” This was the most perfect and most awful time. On one hand, Eva was happy she didn’t have to go looking for Hook, but on the other he is the last person she wanted to see. So to avoid Hook, she quickly bought the crumbs and was on her way.
When she had left Pirates Cove she realized Tink had stolen her telescope, and the only place to get another one was in London. She made her way toward the North Star to London. When she arrived she nearly ran into Big Ben. What made her stop was a very familiar shadow. The shadow was none other than Peter Pan’s. “Peter must have lost it again,” she thought, “classic Peter, that reminds me, I need a new telescope. Where is that, oh there it is.” Eva let Pippa down while she went into the shop. The shop was full of gadgets and gizmos, such as stones, clocks, books, different pixie dusts, telescopes, photos of Landon, etc. When she had found the perfect telescope and had payed for it, she went up to catch Peter’s shadow just as a favor. After she had caught it she went to find Peter. It didn’t take her long, she knew where to find him. Right at the top of Big Ben, in the clock tower. When she went inside, she was surprised at how well he had kept it. When she saw him she could not believe how he loocked. He was all grown up, twenty- three, he told her and also engaged to a girl named Moira Angela Dawling, Wendy’s daughter.
Eva was not able to contain herself. “how could you, Peter? You’re a lost boy not a man. Besides, Tink and all of Neverland is waiting for you! How could you? You, you pig, you filthy pig! You abandoned me, and now Tink and Neverland. How could you?”
She flew off in rage before Peter could even say a word. Then she remembered her quest and that her wings would turn to dust if she failed. So back to Neverland she went. “I cant even imagine what Tink will think,” she said to herself, “that blasted Peter Pan.”
When she got back she was met with “there she is,” “fire,” and “get her,” and a shower of canon balls. She saw Captain Hook and his entire flying fleet going after her and poor Pippa scared to death. At that moment Eva had an idea, it was risky but it was the only way to escape. She then fell off Pippa toward the Neverland Sea. Pippa noticing she had fallen, dove after her. When Hook saw this, he told his captains to meet him at the harbor. He went after her immediately, but found he went after Tink by accident, instead of Eva. Eva had gone back to the ship and cut all the life boats free. She then made it a point to go into Hooks quarters and take a nap.
After getting back to the ship, Hook decided he was too tired to start a fight, so he went to his quarters to sleep. When he saw Eva, his mind changed and the thought this would be the perfect way to get rid of her. Hook drew his sword and charged at Eva, who was still asleep. Luckily Eva was a light sleeper and heard Hook. She dashed up and drew her sword. The fight that went on between them lasted for ten days, with a light lunch break. At the end Eva triumphed over Hook. As the law stated Hook would have to leave Neverland for ever.
After Hook had left, Eva was able to rest and get back to her journey. Eva let Pippa stay at home and rest. The journey to the Indian Forest was long, she encountered many old friends and enemies. When she did make it there she was met with many hugs. She hadn’t been to the forest in many years and was glad to be back. That night there was a great feast. There was venison, pork, fish, fruit, beans, stew, bread, corn, and many more delightful dishes. The night lasted forever. There was music, dancing, and story telling. At around midnight, however, all of this stopped when a shadow came hurdling down in their midst. Eva then yelled, “Peter you weren’t invited.” At that all the Indians ran and left Peter and Eva alone near the fire.
Now I am sure you know what happens next. “Eva do you remember that book you had? Do you still have it? You know the one with all the maps in it.”
“Yeah” said Eva. “Why?”
“Do you think I could…”
“No, you may not have it Peter.”
After at least five minutes of arguing, Peter, outraged, drew his sword and Eva did also. The battle that went on between them, however, was much different than had occurred with Hook. You could almost say it was a game of capture the flag, in the sense that there were two teams and each had there own safe side. This duel also lasted ten days. Eva won and Peter was banned from Neverland again.
When Eva got to the volcano she was glad to be rid of the book. It had caused her so much trouble. The trip home was smooth, she did not have to worry about Peter or Hook. Yellow Feather went with her most of the way, but had to go home for emergency purposes. Now, if you don’t know how fairies die, it is quite simple. If some one where to say, “I don’t believe in fairies,” and mean it, the closest fairy would die. Sadly, in our case, Eva was the closest fairy to that awful Peter Pan when he said it.
Eva died a happy yet unfortunate death. Her life was filled with adventure and fun. Peter was able to go see her, and Tink brought her flowers. The Indians brought her her favorite pie, and her old cornhusk doll for company. Eva died on September 54th, and as tradition her wings were given to the person of her choosing, Tinkerbell.
There once was a city of ruins. With a sun so dark, it reflected no light. Near an ocean so deep that even the ancient fish that once swam there were swallowed by the waves long ago. The city smelled of garlic and pickled eggs, and its cobblestone paths were forever stained in streams of crimson tears, alas, blood cannot be washed out.
Long ago, there was a plague. In its early stages, it ate away at one’s fingertips, then the fingers, and the hands and the arms, until the only thing left of the person, was a pile of splintered bones. However, those with black irises were immune, and from this knowledge scientists concluded that eyes, as gateways to the soul, were the reservoir for the virus, and it was through their removal that the plague would finally be contained.
Many years later, when all the survivors were long gone, the procedure was still practiced on those without black irises in order to prevent a second epidemic. Upon birth, every infant was separated from its mother and taken to an Optilab, were its vision was surgically removed, along with any memory of a world without darkness. The eyes, once removed, were sterilized in a sealed jar and sent home as a reminder of the plaque. No one intervened, no one questioned the intentions of the Optilabs as they prospered without opposition. The all encompassing presence of darkness seemed to be timeless, until the stranger brought light.
The stranger was ancient as the cobblestone path on which he walked. He carried no cane through which to feel that which the others could not see. His appearance, otherwise, lacked distinction. His eyes, however, were blue. He smelled of peppermint and rum and these scents, once carried by the wind, passed through the gates of the town long before their owner arrived. The people were waiting.
The children were first to approach him, feeling for his body with their canes. He took their pale, fragile hands and lead them towards the houses. Then, it began to rain.
In the town, strangers were quite rare. Most would just pass through, but a few did stay. At first, they did not speak to anyone, only seeming fond of the children. He would take their hands and lead them to the ocean, where they would feel their way over pebbles and sand. When they asked him what the world was like, he whispered the earth into their ears, planting seeds of light.
Among the adults, however, there was fear. “ He is changing them,” they said. The Optilab scientists grew wary–the original purpose of the procedure had long been forgotten, replaced by a more immediate concern–social instability. By removing one’s vision, you can create for them a world of your own imagining, thus eliminating all judgments and misperceptions of the established order. Now, the absent eyes were coming alive. Seeing through empty sockets.
One night, the Stranger was taken to the underground cells – a place where even the sharpest of eyes had no purpose. The gates of the city were sealed and, for a time, life went back to normal. Like machines, the people labored aimlessly, resting only to turn their empty sockets to the sea, or the sky, or the walls. One evening, the Stranger returned with a cane… and then he spoke. “The sun is crimson. The sea, a sapphire,” he hummed, “like billions of tear drops”. The Optilab scientists said, “The sun is dead. The sea, perilous and dark.” The people listened. Some fed by the truth and others by lies.
Clara Rabbani is an 8th grader at Pembroke Hill. She enjoys reading, writing (mainly short stories), and practicing sign language. Her favorite book is The Book Thief and when she grows up she wants to be an environmentalist lawyer.
Do you have a place where you stash your stuff? A junk drawer? Your closet? Under your bed? Are there so many odds and ends shoved inside that you can no longer remember what’s been squirreled away? What about the garage? Is it filled with old doohickeys, broken lamps, rolled up rugs, rusting tools and whatnots? Do you hear something scuttle in the dark every time you open the door? Are you afraid of and fascinated by this place? Will you grab your flashlight, push your way through the cobwebs and your fears to discover what’s inside?
That’s what ten-year-old Michael does when his Mum and Dad buy an old fixer upper on the other side of town. The place is a mess and the detached garage is threatening to tumble down. Michael’s parents are preoccupied with his baby sister who is sick and may even die. Michael feels helpless. He wanders outside and peers into the garage. Despite the quivering walls and his parents’ warnings of danger, Michael steps inside, picks his way through old tea chests and bureaus and finds a black-suited creature covered in dust and cobwebs and bugs. “What is he?” Michael wonders. A man? An owl? An angel?
“It was as if he’d been there forever. He was filthy and pale and dried out and I thought he was dead. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’d soon begin to see the truth about him, that there’d never been another creature like him in the world.”
His name is Skellig. He eats flies and spiders and mice and complains about Arthur Itis. He belches and his downright cranky. Michael worries that Skellig will be crushed if the roof of the crumbling garage falls down. But Skellig is too weak to move; too weak to care. With the help of his new friend Mina, Michael tries to save Skellig with Chinese take-out and brown ale, “sweetest of nectars—food of the gods,” cod liver oil and aspirin.
Michael wonders about the strange lumps under Skellig’s filthy over coat. Michael’s Mum says people used to have wings attached to the shoulder blades. Perhaps they will again.
“They say that shoulder blades are where your wings were, when you were an angel,” she said. “They say they’re where your wings will grow again one day.”
Michael asks Skellig if there is anything he can do for his baby sister. Skellig scoffs, “Babies! Spittle, muck, spew and tears.”
Can Michael and Mina rescue Skellig? And will Skellig save Michael’s baby sister in return? Read David Almond’s Prinz Honor Award book, Skellig, to find out.
And don’t forget your flashlight. Just in case.
Book review by Lisa Slage Robinson
We are calling for Submissions from those who write for MG and YA!
The Crawl Space Journal, a small place for big imaginations, is looking for great writing, especially short forms: poems, prose, and flash fiction, within the realms of magical realism, fabulism, and fantasy, for our Spring Issue.We do accept novel excerpts if they stand alone. Our readers are mainly between the ages of 11 and 14.
To submit, please send a Microsoft Word document with your name and address in the left hand corner to thecrawlspacejournalATgmailDOTcom. Include a cover letter and third person bio in the body of the email. There is no fee to submit. We are not yet a paying journal, but have plans to become one in the future.
Closes on Feb 22nd 2016.
We support writers and young readers and are enthusiastic about quality writing. Please visit our website: http://www.thecrawlspace.me for more information. While you’re at it, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Additionally, we are calling for Submissions from Young Readers and Writers! Open submission for content for “Young Reader Flashlight,” The Crawl Space Journal.
Are you 16 or younger and like Fantasy, Magical Realism, and Fabulism? Do you have something to say about any of those genres? Do you have creative writing you’d like to share? A favorite author you’d like to talk about? Here at The Crawl Space Journal, we would be interested in featuring your writing under the “Young Reader Flashlight.”
Here are some things to keep in mind: Please keep the word count under 500 words. The intended audience is between 11-14 years of age of whom we’re trying to engage in a conversation, so for now, all posts will allow for comments. Editors may ask for revisions before publishing.
Still interested? Good!
To submit content for The Crawl Space Journal webpage: please send your writing in a Microsoft Word document with your name, age, and address in the left hand corner to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in the email your introduction (who you are and your interests) and a bit about what you’re submitting. There is no fee to submit. We hope to get back to you within two weeks of your submission.
Further questions? Please email us at email@example.com.
We can’t wait to read your work!