We’re happy to announce the winners for the Another Jekyll Another Hyde story contest sponsored by Teenreads.com. There were 63 entries and they were all wonderful and unique. It’s awesome to see that so many people submitted entries in the middle of spring projects, papers and exams! The winner got a Nook and the runner up received a B&N gift card.
Story #1 below is the winner; Story #2 is the runner up. The winners are being notified this week, so we can’t share names! But we thought we’d share the inspirations for some of the stories you submitted. Here’s a short sampling:
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- Belle from Beauty and the Beast
- The Boy Who Cried Wolf
- Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh
- Green Eggs and Ham
- Hansel and Gretel
- Humpty Dumpty
- Little Red Riding Hood
- Little Women
- Lock-Down by Alexander Gordon Smith
- The Most Dangerous Game byRichard Connell
- Nancy Drew
- Pippi Longstocking
- The Prodigal Son
- The Robber Bridegroom
- Robin Hood
- Romeo and Juliet
- Sleeping Beauty
- Snow White
- Swan Lake
- Theseus and the Minotaur
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- The Ugly Duckling
Amazing! Thanks to everyone who submitted to this amazing contest! And thank you to Teenreads.com!
Below are the two winning stories:
WINNER: “Another Briar Rose” inspired by Sleeping Beauty
I looked at the beautiful woman who was asleep in the Critical Care Unit. I was separated from her by a glass window. I had stared at her every day since she had rolled in from surgery. But I was never allowed to go to her side. I was never allowed to enter her room. I was just a volunteer, they said. I was just a rich boy whose daddy owned the hospital, and got anything I wanted, they said.
So I watched her, when I was filing paperwork at the nurse’s desk. She was in a coma from some sort of accident, and had been that way for over a month. I was never allowed to see her file, but that didn’t keep me from trying. She was a Jane Doe and whatever had hurt her so bad that she was in a coma hadn’t affected her exterior—just inside. But her condition never changed. She never woke up, the machines kept tabs on her, and no one ever came to see her. It was like the world inside her room stopped moving. Doctors rarely went into her room, and it seemed like nothing ever happened.
Thirty six days after she came into the Hospital, she got transferred. She went from Critical Care to long term care. I don’t think the doctors expected her to ever wake up. But because she was out of critical care, I could see her. People who weren’t family were allowed to visit. So one day after I finished my work, I walked downstairs, and found her room. I went to open her door when one of the doctors stopped me.
“Mr. Drummond, what are you doing?” Dr. Hollander asked. He was a younger doctor who thought of me more highly than most of the doctors. I wasn’t just a rich boy. I was a person willing to help.
“I wanted to see her. No one ever does.” I said. My heart was pounding in my ears, and I thought my breathing was too audible. I was confused about what I felt: I was scared about losing this job that kept me near her, but then I wanted to see her so bad, I almost didn’t care. He shook his head and let me pass.
I walked into the sterile room and sat in the chair near her bed. I imagined an older woman who would be her mother sitting in this very chair, holding vigil just as I had from the desk. But I was the only one who came to her side. I reached for her hand, lying on her lap. I figured someone who loved her would do it, and I figured I was sort of their stand in.
I touched her, and I thought I was on fire. Her monitors changed. Her heart beat increased, and her eyelids fluttered. I smiled, but then a doctor I didn’t know walked in and asked me to leave. As soon as I let go of her, she went back to no activity. I headed home and had dinner with my family, all the while thinking of how lonely it must be for the girl at the hospital. Even though the doctors said she couldn’t know what was going on around her, I knew she understood that she was alone. And I was sad for her.
I went back every day for the next three weeks and sat with her. The doctors got used to her fluctuations when I was with her. And I found myself falling in love with her. I never told anyone, never really admitted it to myself either, until fifty-seven days after she came into the hospital. On that day, I did the thing I had secretly desired since I first laid eyes on her. I kissed her.
Her monitors went wild. Her hand moved to my shoulder. I pulled back and saw her eyes. They were white blue, and glassy. I smiled, glad she was awake. Her hand was still on my shoulder, and she was applying light pressure to it. I went to sit back in my seat, but the smile that had found its way onto her face disappeared. “What can I do for you?” I asked, still leaning over her.
“I had a dream about you.” She whispered. Her voice was light and tired. I looked at her eyes and they looked heavy. “You held my hand.” Her eyes drooped closed, and she fell asleep.
A doctor walked in and asked what the commotion was. It was Dr. Hollander. He looked at me and the position I was in, and guessed all he needed to know. “She woke up?” he asked. I nodded and he walked to her. He checked her vitals and left us.
I waited until I absolutely had to leave. She didn’t wake up again. I drove home on adrenalin high. I had kissed her, she woke up and I talked to her. It was what I had wanted. My parents couldn’t understand why I was so wound up. I couldn’t sit still, through or after dinner. I finally ran through the adrenalin when I sprinted six miles to the beach and back.
The next day set me on the same high as I had before, only it was worse because I was anxious with anticipation. I walked to her room even before checking in with the nurses at my station. She was sitting up, eating breakfast. She looked up at me and smiled. “If it isn’t Prince Charming.” She said.
I laughed and sat down in the chair. “At your service, Sleeping Beauty.” She ate her breakfast like she hadn’t eaten anything in ages; which was true, in a way. She finished, and sat back, seemingly content. “I didn’t catch your name.” I said, trying to keep my anxiety inside.
She smiled to herself. She looked back up at me. “My name is Rose.” I almost laughed. She was Briar Rose. “And if you’re wondering, I was also poisoned.” She frowned. “I knew I was being poisoned. Or I knew it was going to happen. My dad’s new girlfriend hated me. She thought I was trying to convince my dad not to love her. So she kept talking about me getting sick, and asking him what would happen. So I decided to go away. But it was too late. I was thirsty, and I drank some water, but after I had already had some, I realized that it tasted funny. And then I can’t remember anything else.”
She started to say something else when a man behind the curtain coughed. “Is that true?” he asked. She sat up and looked for the voice. When the curtain moved, she perked up more.
“Daddy?” she said. He nodded and hugged her. He explained that the hospital had figured out who she was earlier that morning, and contacted him. After a while, he left to get food. She smiled at me. “Thank you, Prince Charming.”
I laughed. “Anything for you, Sleeping Beauty.” So went our running joke for years. And, as it goes in the story books, we lived happily ever after.
And the runner up, inspired by Hansel & Gretel:
The old woman stared out into the ink black night. This night had an ominous feeling to it, and the coming storm wasn’t the source of it. A chill ran down her spine as she spied two cloaked figures appear out of the mist. The old woman relaxed as she saw that the two figures were merely small children.
“Hello,” one of them called out. “Do you have a place where we can stay?” the other asked. Poor things thought the old woman, trapped out in the rain all day. “Of course, come right in,” she said as she gestured toward the abandoned factory she called home. “Thank you,” the children said.
Inside, the two children pulled down their hoods to reveal themselves. They both had cherubic faces with soft brown hair; they looked so similar, the old woman assumed they were siblings. Their small bodies looked plump and surprisingly healthy; the old woman thought they looked good enough to eat.
“What are your names?” the old woman asked. “I’m Trevor,” the boy said, “I’m Kaitlin,” the girl added; as she said this, Kaitlin peered deep under the hood to see the old woman’s face, and what she saw there made her shrink back away in horror. The old woman’s appearance was ghastly, like something from a nightmare.
“What’s the matter child?” the old woman asked. “N-N-Nothing ma’am,” Kaitlin stuttered. “Where are your parents dears? It’s dangerous out on the streets nowadays,” the old woman said. “Gone, they abandoned us a long time ago,” Kaitlin stated coldly. “Good riddance,” Trevor added. “Stories like that are becoming more and more common now, unfortunately,” the old woman sighed. “Yes, it seems the apocalypse has come and gone, leaving us behind,” Trevor said sadly. “Well I would rather be alive than dead!” Kaitlin interjected as she lightly nudged her brother.
“What about you ma’am, why do you live here?” Kaitlin asked curiously. “I’ve lived here since I was a child, more than eighty years… at least that’s about the time that I lost track of the years,” the old woman said. “And you live here all alone?” Kaitlin asked. “Indeed child, my parents died when I was but a child myself,” the old woman explained. “Don’t you ever get lonely?” Trevor wondered aloud. “Occasionally, but I’ve long grown accustomed to solitude… though it’s always nice to have visitors,” the old woman added.
Kaitlin glanced around the factory with a curious look on her face. “What is it child?” the old woman asked. “I was just noticing how clean this place is” Kaitlin replied. The old woman answered “Indeed, as my parents before me, and my grandparents before them, I have taken care of this place… my home. It breaks my heart to know that it will fall to pieces after I pass on.” “How sad,” Trevor sympathized. “Yes indeed,” Kaitlin agreed.
“What’s that in the corner?” Trevor asked as he pointed to what looked like a giant oven. The old woman explained “Oh that, it’s a very old blast furnace. It was used to melt metal when this factory was still active. Mostly, I use it as a fireplace in the winter.” The two children exchanged a quick look that the old woman didn’t understand, it seemed almost happy? “It’s getting dark, why don’t we retire for the night?” the old woman asked. “Sounds good to me,” Trevor said yawning. “Me too,” Kaitlin said, echoing Trevor’s yawn.
Kaitlin fell asleep staring at the old blast furnace. She could tell that, at one time, it had been an imposing monster. The size of an average room, it still seemed to breath on its own. The outer edge of its iron shell had rusted and gave it an eerie glow in the dim light. It was icy cold now, but just looking at it, Kaitlin could almost feel the incinerating heat it had radiated so long ago. A glint of gold caught her eye moments before she fell asleep. It was a number that had been painted on long, long ago. Number thirty-seven, my favorite number Kaitlin thought as she fell asleep. The old woman stared at the slumbering children for a moment, a smile on her face (although it looked more like a grimace) before falling asleep herself.
“Ma’am… ma’am?” Kaitlin said, waking the old woman from her slumber. “What is it dearie?” She asked. “I dropped it in the furnace…” Kaitlin sobbed. “Dropped what?” The old woman asked. “Her precious teddy bear, but I’m too afraid to go in that thing and get it and…” Trevor trailed away. “Don’t worry, munchkins, I’ll go get it,” the old woman said. “Oh, thank you!” The children exclaimed.
So the old woman climbed slowly into the ancient blast furnace. With the amount of broken parts it wouldn’t be dangerous unless everything was turned on, so she wasn’t worried. “It’s too dark in here to see anything, can one of you hand me a candle?” The old woman asked. “Sure, Trevor said sweetly.
Then as the old woman watched in helpless horror, Trevor slammed the door shut. At the same moment Kaitlin was flipping switches and spinning nobs on the furnace like she’d spent hours studying it. As Trevor secured the door, flames began to bloom inside the furnace.
“Wha… stop!” The old woman coughed as smoke began to creep into her lungs. The children didn’t reply and simply continued with their work. “Stop! Please, please, why!” The old woman howled out desperately. The rest of her agonized pleas were drowned out by the roar of the flames, and did not reach the sibling’s ears. A horrifying smile illuminated by the flames spread across Trevor’s face as he said: “Why you ask?” Kaitlin continued, laughing: “Because we’re starving.” As if to exaggerate her point Kaitlin licked her lips in anticipation. “Even though you won’t be much more then a mouthful,” Trevor added. “You’re almost not worth the effort,” Kaitlin finished, still laughing.
Outside the storm had begun; rain was falling from the sky like God himself was crying, and as these tears fell upon the blackest of nights, the old woman’s screams finally ceased.
Before the sun rose the next morning, two cloaked figures disappeared into the dark, gone as suddenly as they had arrived.
Have a great summer!!