Photos and Excerpts from Allegan High School's winning Tiger Tales pieces
Out of nearly 400 entries, the 20 pieces chosen to be included in Allegan High School’s 2014 Tiger Tales Anthology were announced at the school’s May 2 awards ceremony.
1st Place: Kylie DeKryger
What is a hero? Most people just think of a made up character that can fly and possesses super strength, but in the real world, a hero is completely different. A hero is a hard worker, a selfless servant, and a wise person with integrity. My grandma, Jean Beyer, is a prime example of this kind of hero.
Every memory I have of my grandma involves her working hard at serving her family and community, selflessly playing games with her grandchildren, and bringing wisdom and a positive outlook to quarrels and other tough situations in life. For example, when my brothers and I get irritated with each other, my grandma brings the peace by teaching us how to compromise.
1st Place: Kate Stanloski
“A Foothold in Divine Terrain”
Notre Dame was filled with searchers that day. They filed in from the
steaming Parisian streets: tourists flashing their cameras and
dampening their bored children’s howls, the devout assembling their
bodies upon prayer benches like genuflecting paper dolls. For my part,
I straddled the two categories inelegantly, crawling along the ancient
walls with the weight of a DSLR hanging from my neck, clumsily unsure
of divine terrain while also far too familiar with it.
For my part, I had come in search of escape. I was sure the
intoxicating fizz of new places would change me, fill my mind like a
helium balloon and lift it somewhere just as fresh and foreign. And,
having been bled dry by my plodding everyday life among the cornfields
of the midwest, I was ravenous for that escape as I stepped within the
cathedral’s living stone walls that day.
“Ahem--oh, pardon me, dear,” the old woman beside me murmured in
French. Her rattling cough doubled her over as she swayed feebly onto
my shoulder, like the chords falling from the massive organ above us.
I helped her right herself back onto those uncertain legs and assured
her it was pas un problème. But, unable to stifle my curiosity, I
dissolved into the crowd behind her and watched as she tottered up to
an immense figure of the crucified Christ hanging from a wall. A euro
coin fell from her hand and plinked gently into the donation box
below, as she chose from among the diminutive prayer candles laid
before that pale Savior’s feet. As she plucked one out and set it
aflame, I wondered why she had come to the ancient cathedral that day.
I wondered what she was searching for. Her unassuming gesture seemed
so complex and full of a mute hope, steeped in tradition while praying
for some kind of change.
1st Place: Marisa Henrickson
She was made
from your flesh and your bones;
of your skin and your blood.
Her neurons were once your neurons;
your minds were the same.
But you made the urge a folly
of the way her body formed--
the fullness in her lips
and the way her hair reached
the small of her back.
And perhaps it was an offense
I thank God
for the indulgence
of the forbidden fruit;
for the sin that stains
in hues across my skin;
for the sweetest touch of death
which blooms life.
So, I cannot say,
as the serpent weaves its
along the ridges of my spine,
that I would not have done the same.
When grandfather left
I watched his wife
who had loved him for the past fifty years
leave the room the state the country,
repeating his name the entire time
And when my brother left
for his college apartment
but only reached the highway
guardrail at 82 miles an hour
I watched my family
as they solemnly swore to a bitter silence,
replacing their words with empty tears
And when father left mother
because he blamed her
I watched our worlds implode in a
slur of sins and profanities.
There were words said that can never be taken back.
But when it was time for you to go
I watched myself hold your skin so tightly,
wishing for a moment that
something between us would ignite
and melt my skin to yours
so that the miles could not
tear me from you.
But there were no words I could say to make you stay.
So I just lay there
listening to the walls echo
a final whisper:
1st Place: Karissa Barnes
My poor, often misunderstood mother was a very lonely lady. So many people have tried to get her out more, to see the world, to hear the new joys and laughter in town, or to smell the freshly baked breads outside of the city limits. But no one could get through to her to explore life. Miss Francine only left the cozy but affordable house to attend her beautiful rose garden in the back yard. I had always loved the shade the rose bushes gave off; I could have slept there for days.
I noticed everything new about my mother. She was my life. Most mornings she would complain about shoulder pains. I tried warning her, to let her know that I could sense something was wrong, but of course she only shooed me away. I dreaded and paced for days trying to figure out a way to get her help. My opportunity came right up under my nose. The little girl across the street could help me! I raced out of the house and tugged her inside. I couldn't have thanked the lucky stars enough! My mother was pleased and asked for assistance. The little girl called some number and set up a house appointment so Miss Francine could get help for her constant, unbearable shoulder pain.
The following week, her appointment showed up right on time. I was told to wait patiently out in the other room because I seemed to always get in the way. Time. Felt. So. Slow. Waiting. Forever. I dozed off on the couch until around dinner time.
Several weeks had gone by since the appointment. Most of her pain was gone, which was extraordinary. The wonderful candy man dressed in white came by every now and again to check up on her. He handed my mother yellow bottles of candy. I always wanted a couple, but she never offered them to me.
One early morning, I was awakened by a gigantic crash. I instantly sprung myself to the scene of the collision. There she was, out cold on the bathroom floor. I cried and barked at her, but there wasn't even a tiny sliver of movement in those old bones. I lay next to her to keep her warm. Hours passed by and I had no idea what to do. I waited next to the window for any walker, but the streets were bare.
The next day, she was still lying on the hard tile! I couldn't believe it! My belly couldn't take this stress. It had been rumbling since my poor mother fell. The candy! I rushed to her nightstand to help myself, but, the darn container wouldn't let any candy come out. I it chewed open in about an hour or so, but there weren’t any left! My mother must have eaten them all without me! Upset, hungry, and mad, I wandered back to my mother. It was probably night time when I choose to do it, the unacceptable deed. Now, I think back and realize what I did was a very awful thing.
As my mother lied there motionless, I started licking her face. The day-old make-up really didn’t taste that bad. I just kept licking. Eventually, the make-up was all gone, but my tummy wasn’t even close to the satisfaction of being full. Slowly, my teeth started to gnaw on my mother’s nose. I never thought she would be so scrumptious. I chewed her nose clean off and gulped it down, exposing the disfigured cartilage underneath. I had only just begun.
For full story, pick up a copy of the May 22 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.