Teen Read Week winner

October 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Teens

Aryssa Damron was the winner of our writing contest during Teen Read Week 2013: “Seek the Unknown @ your Library.”

The challenge was to rewrite the ending of your favorite book or movie, using a science fiction or fantasy twist.  Aryssa, a senior at Paul G. Blazer High School, rewrote the ending to “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

She received a book of her choice as her prize. Congratulations!


aryssa damron

The shot rang out and Jay’s blood ran cold. He did not have time to physically react before the water consumed

him wholly. He was acutely aware of the strain spreading across his torso. Mentally, he chided himself. This suit ha

d just arrived last week from Paris. Now he’d have to throw it in the rubbish and Daisy would never get to see it. Daisy. Daisy.

“Daisy?” Jay was snapped out of his interior monologue by a sharp voice, like pins prickling in his ears. Before him

stood a tall man, cloaked in a heavy white suit, leaning against a towering cast-iron gate. This chap, with an impressively groomed beard and shined shoes, was just the sort of person Jay liked to be around. New money masquerading as old, a tale as old as tim

“Say Old Sport, how’d you feel about you and me headin’ into the city? I’ve got a nice…”

Jay was quickly cut off by the man’s domineering voice. The man, his face aged with wrinkles, was not amused by Jay’s friendly offering.

“Do you know where you are, James?” The man asked. His plain white nametag said ‘Peter’ in little gold letters.

Jay glanced past Peter, over his own shoulder, and at the ceiling. He’d definitely never been here before, but it didn’t look too foreign. Oak desk, hanging lamp, navy carpet. A clock hung on the wall, ticking rhythmically. A typewriter was perched on the desk, surrounded by papers.  Peter took Jay’s silence as an answer.

“This is your final judgment James.” Jay flinched at the use of his birth name, which he had shed many years ago. Final judgment? That sounded awfully..final. Final judgments were usually reserved for the dead. Peter crinkled his caterpillar-like eyebrows and gave Jay a condemning look.

“James, do you see anything besides dollar signs?” Peter asked critically, referencing Jay’s extravagant life style.

Silence. Jay closed his eyes. All he could see was Daisy. Daisy’s hair, her eyes, her lips. Daisy.

Then the floor dropped out beneath him.

Jay landed with a thump on the cold floor of God-Knows-Where. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw a plain white business card floating before him. When he read the little words printed beneath Peter’s name, he finally knew where he was.

This was hell. Living hell.

Jay’s skin prickled with heat. He felt watched, like eyes were bearing down upon him from every angle. His hea

d snapped around, and in an instant his body was taken over. His skin was moving, bubbling and stretching against and from his narrow frame. When Jay looked down upon his affliction in horror, he witnessed thousands of tiny flesh colored seperetines slithering through his pores and alighting his skin.

An open mouth, but no sound. His body crashed to the ground, consumed by an internal fire. Daisy danced through his mind, her toes tickling his nerve endings. He spasamed in joyous pain, images of Daisy’s smile, her eyes, her hair, her everything, flashed in a montage set to Cole Porter tunes.


“Excuse me?” Jay’s eyes snapped open, banishing Daisy’s image from the back of his eyelids.

“Excuse me, Mr. Gatsby, Chicago on the line.” Cain handed Jay the phone, as hell became reality. When Jay lay down to sleep that night, and closed his eyes tight, he tried to bring Daisy’s face to the forefront of his mind. He tried to remember the way she kissed and smelled and the way she danced in the moonlight.  But she would not come, vanished like smoke from his cerebrum.

Jay vaguely recalled his afternoon with the infamous brother of Abel. Strapped tightly against himself, every inch of his body on fire as his mind was deflated of those marvelous memories of Daisy and filled with hot air, thoughts

without substance.

A life without Daisy, without even the idea of Daisy to keep him

company. That was true hell.

Leigh Scaggs

About Leigh Scaggs

A long time supporter of digital emancipation and proclaimer of obfuscatory testaments, I have been a proud supporter of bits and bytes for nearly 20 years. With that much chronological highway behind me I'm cognizant enough of the fact that advancing age does kill brain cells and observant enough to notice that it's only killing the weak ones.

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