5th Grade, 1st Place
by Nova Macknik-Conde,
I stared at the forest of dark pine trees looming over me, laughing at me, each becoming a vision of the one I used to welcome into my house, my arms, my heart, until he stood over my parents with a bloody knife in his hand and the look of a crazed, cornered, monstrous animal in his eye, his beautiful kaleidoscopic eye, the eye I could sink into and be lost inside. Those pools of colors and sadness and intelligence and sometimes tinges of humor, but now, only hate and pleading for help. And his gentle hands, now flecked with red drops that fell to the floor as though the blood was crying, pooled on the wooden floor, and creating dark swirling masses of danger, as if warning me to run away, far away from this person named Angel I thought I knew.
I was able to think all this as Angel’s servants and guards of Fallen Angels growled at me to get going and pushed me toward the forest where my death was waiting as a sacrifice to not Angel, for Angel had changed. Angel had morphed into the God of Death, a Demon, or as I now thought of him, the Angelic Demon. Tears slowly slid down my pale cheeks, tears for who Angel used to be, tears for the trapped look in his eyes, like he was aware he was going mad but did not know how to become sane again, tears for my lost parents and my old life, tears for the lives that death had stolen all around.
All at once, I snapped out of my reverie and saw I had been pushed into a clearing. I looked around, dreading what I may find. As my eyes adjusted to the suffocating darkness caused by the tight interweaving of tree branches, I saw Angel. Slowly, he walked over to me and kneeled down. Then he laughed. It was a terrible laugh, but not nearly as cruel as the smile that followed.
I held my breath and begged him with my eyes. Slowly Angel stood and withdrew, like a viper recoiling to strike. And strike he did. In less than a second, his knife was in my chest. Almost immediately, his dreadful glower and the murder in his gaze evaporated. Rather, his eyes broadened in dismay. Then he wailed in anguish and rocked me back and forth in his arms, begging me not to leave him. My last thought went like this: ‘Goodbye, Angel. At least I’ll be seeing my parents soon.’