Dear Readers,

This is the second installment of work written by my middle school students. Christian Wheeler was inspired by both music and the cover art of Lost Dreams, an album by a band named Crinkles (check out “The Blue Forest” in particular). What follows is an excerpt of short fiction Christian wrote in response to the music and the art.

Christian’s stories often have a dreamy, lyrical quality, and this particularly fantastical story showcases Christian’s poetic aesthetic.


Next to me there was a bright orange tree made of light with bright orange and blue lanterns with what seemed to be balls of pure light encapsulated in them. They would flicker and dance inside these lanterns. Alongside the tree ran a stream of majestic blue light, soft and still it sat. Across the stream was little slope and on-top sat a fire swaying in the wind. “Ramona dip your injured leg into the water it will heal you.” The voice said.

I approached the still stream of light took a deep breath and gently dipped my leg in the water. Instantly I felt the light surge through my veins. I lifted my leg out of the water moved my leg. To my astonishment it moved without a twinge of pain. “Let us go to the fire, child, sweet child, you must be freezing.” The voice said. I walked to the fire. The heat of the fire hit me as I approached it. I sat down next to the fire.

A moment later a figure came out of the shadows. I saw bright blue eyes of light stare back at me with hood of orange light. I looked into the fire as my tear rolled down my cheek and hit the forest floor. “Something troubles you sweet child?” The figure said. “My mother died.” I replied as two more tears hit the floor. “Death is like thieves in the night it comes without warning, I’m sorry sweet child.” The figure said. “You know you remind me of her,” I said. As soon as I did a glimmer of hope happened inside me. “Oh sweet child I’m not your mother, my name is Nissa and I’m the keeper of lost dreams. The glimmer I had was crushed and I lost my hope and dream of ever seeing my mother again. Lost to the forest and Nissa. I grabbed a torch of fire and plunged it through my heart. I again felt the light consume me and the scalding hot light course through my veins.

She turned into a ball of light and flew into one of my lanterns. That particular lantern still burns the brightest today. Oh, my sweet Ramona.

Christian Wheeler

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