42 Maple Contemporary Art Center invited area schools to participate in the unique writing challenge offered with Craig Pursley’s body of work, “Pieces of Dreams”, featured art for the month of January 2015.

Lori Innes, English teacher from Profile School accepted the challenge, and brought her AP Languange and Composition class to the gallery to study Craig’s art, choose a painting, and write a story or poem in 500 words or less. Also in attendance, was Littleton Courier editor Darrin Wipperman. The exercise was featured in a local newspaper. Please check out our Press page to read more about the experience.

Below is one of the many stories generated by Profile high school students as a result of this experience.


Beneath the Bulkhead Door

Silence is the one this I wish I could have. The voices don’t stop. Why won’t the voices stop? I’ve tried silencing them. I’ve tried listening to them. But the things they tell me aren’t what I want to hear. The things they tell me I’ve done cannot be true. I didn’t do them. I couldn’t have done them.

“Keep it down. You aren’t the only one in that mind of yours.”

The voice had come from where it always does. From the girl that looks exactly like I do, but shares no sympathy for me whatsoever.

“This is my mind. You don’t belong here.” I pick up my pillow only to set it on top of my head, in attempt to block out the nuisance.

“You’re like a broken record, sweetie. Spittin’ out those words isn’t gonna make us go away.”

“I can try.” My words muffled by my pillow.

“You know he’s still down there. You put him there. He isn’t gonna move without you moving him.”

“I did not put him there.”

A third voice echoes through the doorway, “You could always see for yourself.”

Her. “No.”

“Oh come on,” the voice shouts in impatience. “You have to do something! They’ll find him sooner or later. Would be a shame if someone left the cellar open for all the neighborhood to see.”

I sit straight up in my bed. “NO!” I shout. I stare at the girl in front of me in confusion. Why did I yell that? I didn’t do anything. “Leave it open. I have nothing to hide.”

“Are you sure? Because this smell is gonna cause some complaints.”

Why does she do this? I shouldn’t have to deal with this but here I am. I stand up and rush through my house in search of her. She who drives me more mad than the others.

I break through the back door to see the darkness of the open field that is my back yard. Out of the corner of my eye I see a light that every bone in my body is urging me to turn towards. But no. I will not give her that satisfaction.

“Nice to see you again dear. Thought I was going to have to do this all by myself.”

I could not stand it any longer. I shift my neck in her direction to see her standing by the edge of the cellar, it’s light illuminating her face, exactly like mine.

“We need to dispose of it. We will never let go if this abuser is left rotting!”

Rotting? He was out for a business trip. What could have–

“What did you do? What did you do to him?”

“It wasn’t me, dear. It was us.”

I run towards the doors and shove her aside. What she says cannot be true. it can’t!

I stumble down the stairs into the cellar only to be greeted by blood streaked floors and blurred vision from my tears.

“I didn’t mean it.”