The 2017 Mercy Academy Iron Writer Challenge – Round 2

The 2017 Mercy Academy

Iron Writer Challenge

Round 2

The Writers:

Logan B., Kalei M., Mallory K., Meghan W., Kelsie M.

The Elements:

The main character apologies without using the words ‘apologize’, ‘regret’ or ‘sorry’.

Two truths about you that few may or may not know.

One lie about you.

Smarter Than A Fifth Grader

Logan B.

There’s only two people in this world that are as smart as me, Batman and the Joker. How can you even argue a statement like that? They are both extremely intellectual characters that will never stop fighting because they are both just as smart as the other. They definitely are the only people on the same level of intelligence as me, and today I’ll prove it. Today I am skipping my 50 States test and watching Batman vs. Joker: Unmasked. This is a huge deal to anyone that knows anything, which is me. You might ask yourself, how does this brave, Robin-like 5th grader just so easily skip school? My brains of course.

I have it all planned out. This morning I woke up super early; even before mom. I snuck into her bathroom and used her blow dryer to give myself a hot forehead, then I took last night’s left overs and threw them in the toilet, because, well you must be smart enough to figure that one out. I’m going to sit on the couch and watch the Batman countdown until she comes down stairs and says, “What’s wrong? You must be so sick. You’ll have to stay home today.” Yep, it’s all planned out.

As I sit through my third episode of Batman, mom finally comes down stairs. 

“What have you done?” She asks concerned. That wasn’t what I was expecting.

“Mother, I am sick.”

“Cody, I’m not stupid. I saw my hair dryer in your bathroom and the empty left over box on top of the toilet. You’re not sick, you just made a mess. One that you’re going to clean up.” She says sternly as she turns the TV off.

All of the sudden, I can’t breathe. My plans have failed. My mother has out smarted me. She’s smarter than me, Joker, and even Batman himself.

“Don’t you have anything to say for yourself, young man?”

 I try to apologize for my actions but I am unable to say anything. Nothing will come out. 

“Oh what? Are you sick now?” She asks jokingly.

I can’t speak, there is one person in the world smarter than me, Batman, and the Joker. To make it worse, she’s been living with me this whole time, secretly competing against me to be the be smarter than me.  

“M-mmo-other,” I manage to squeak out. 

“I don’t want to hear it, Cody. Just go upstairs, clean up the bathroom, and get dressed.”

I struggle to get up, limping away with every step. I feel like I have just fought in a battle with Batman and the Joker. I am no where near as strong and coordinated as them. I reach the TV remote and record “Unmasked” to watch after school. It was worth a shot. Now I’ll go to school and get the best score on my 50 States test and still be the smartest kid in school. 

To Tell a Lie

Mallory K.  

I wish I could stop, but it’s too late now. It’s been like this since I was a little girl. I can’t change myself now. I sit down on the sofa across from the therapist. My stupid foster family decided that this was “a good idea”. Mhmm, yeah right. These visits always end the same so let’s see how this one turns out. “So your name is Kelsey, is that right?” the elderly therapist asked. Hard to lie about that one so I fake a smile and say “Yes ma’am.” She gave a smile back and folded her hands together and calmly said “Tell me a little bit about yourself Kelsey.” I took a deep breath, what would I say this time? “Well, I was born here in Kentucky and I was raised in Indiana for the first four years of my life. I had cancer at 1 ½ years old and I beat it. That’s about it. Nothing really interesting.” I sighed, shrugging my tired shoulders. “So you’re a cancer survivor?” She said, grabbing for a huge jug of juice. “Yes ma’am. What, you don’t believe me? Did the Campbell’s tell you I tell nothing but lies?! They’re lying!” I angrily snapped, starting to rise from my seat. The elderly therapist put her arms up to grab my shoulders and force me back onto the sofa. “No, no dear! They said nothing like that!” She continued to grab for the juice and poured me a cup of apple juice and handed it to me. I took a sip and tried to hide my pursed lips and scrunched up nose. I hated apple juice, it was too sweet. The therapist tried to pour me some more but I shook my head no. “Your caretakers say you love apple juice. Was that a lie, Kelsey?” she said in her same calm voice. It almost seemed to mock me. I hated the way my name came out of her mouth, so softly and calmly. Like she was talking to a 7 year old instead of a 19 year old. I wanted so badly to leave and my heart sank when I saw the clock only say 2:00. It didn’t end until 5:00. My mind started to wander and everything that came out my mouth was more and more far from the truth. “Where did your parents go, Kelsey?” she asked. “They moved to Hawaii” I lied. 

They’re in jail. Where I should be. Because I walked out of that office 4 hours early. As I shut the door behind me, I whispered “My condolences” to the lifeless figure on the floor. I walked out of the office into the sunlight.  Someone will find her, I thought. Lying is how I have got out of everything. It’s how I’ll get out of this. It’s the only thing I know how to do. And nothing can change that now. 

A Prisoner In My Priesthood

Kelsie M. 

I could see the guilt in her eyes before she even reached the alter. She had not been faithful and yet here she was, about to devote herself to one person for the rest of her life. I was like her once, incapable of being loyal, undeserving of being loved. Entering the priesthood was my last choice. If I wanted to make things right this was the only way to do so, no matter how much I hated the smell of incense. Turning to face the groom, the bride had the same pale look of horror as I did when I shot the love of my life. 

I had told myself that this relationship was going to be different because Macy was different. The way she saw the world, the way she told stories, and even her intense hatred of pickles made me love her all the more. But I guess it just wasn’t enough because along the way I slipped up. I must have slipped up or else she wouldn’t have cheated on me. I looked at everything. I took in all the details, but nothing was adding up. I was the one who usually did that sort of thing. I was the one who struggled to remain loyal in all of my relationships. All of them besides this one at least. The thought of anyone else being with Macy tore me up. I was not going to let them have her. They were going to pay for their actions. Macy was meant to be with me. 

The hatred inside of me blinded me from thinking logically. For hours I waited in Macy’s apartment for her to show up with the person who was separating us. Finally, I heard Macy giggling as she approached the door. She was talking to him. Hearing his voice was the breaking point. Without even thinking I fired the gun at the first person who walked through the door. A loud thud sounded as the body fell to the floor. Shock washed over me as the realization of my mistake finally sunk in. Surrounded by the cold silence, I was overcome with guilt and terror when a voice shattered the quiet, “Macy, are you there? Is everything okay?” Laying on the floor next to Macy was her phone. The name “Isaac,” lit up the screen. I knew then and there I had to make it up to her. Which is exactly what I did after spending ten years in prison. They let me off early with good behavior. I really never meant for any of this to happen. 

Looking up from the Bible I was holding, I was brought back to reality by the quiet laughter of the crowd as the groom stuttered to say his vows. The groom. He was the other reason I was here. On my cue I turned to him saying, “Isaac, do you take Maria to be your lawfully wedded wife?” 

Double Edged Needle

Kalei M.

The table was cold, the steel felt like concrete against my back. I had pictured this room countless times; the nurse, the grey walls, and the window. The air was stiff, the same as that night, the reminder poisoned my mind, taking me back to the beginning. It’s been 132 days since my death. They told me I only had 246 days left. Today was day 246. 

You know the feeling that you get when the wind is knocked out of you? The almost instantaneous pain that throbs in your chest? That’s what the first shot felt like. 

My body went numb. My eyes, dark. Is this what it felt like for her? It happened like this; The crimson puddled like raindrops, streaming steadily from the source. The white sheet spread across like snow. My hands had been dipped in the same rosy color that covered the ground. I felt the pain rack my entire body, like an explosion in my chest. The second shot. My ears deaf to the screams. My mind was still. The silence pierced like the knife in her side. When she died, I did too.

They all believed I could do it. I stuck a knife to her side. She was my twin, she didn’t deserve to die. Twelve people saw a monster, in my reflection I only saw her eyes. When they read the verdict my heart stopped, just like now, the third shot.

Milton’s Mistake

Meghan W.

Dear Tyler,

Guilt fills my body as I think of my actions from yesterday and what I have done to you. I wish I could take it all back, but sadly, I can’t. However, I can explain myself and hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. It all happened yesterday during lunch, when I was looking in the employee fridge and saw my favorite kind of sandwich, a sub. There wasn’t a name on it, so stupidly I thought maybe it was extra and up for grabs. As I bit into the bread, mayonnaise filled my mouth and I spit the bite out in disgust then proceeded to throw it away. Only to see you walk in moments later and open the fridge in search for what I had just thrown in the trash. I could see the sorrow on your face and in your voice as you explained that your lunch was missing. You shrugged it off, but I know that deep down you were yearning for the sandwich I had just selfishly tossed away, as if it were nothing. As you bravely put on a smile and walked towards the vending machines, I immediately ran to the garbage can and took out the sandwich. After going back to my desk, I put the dirty sub into a plastic bag and put it in my satchel. Usually, I am not a night owl, but I was up all night reconstructing the sandwich exactly as you had it. Even fought through my repulsive disgust for mayonnaise and smeared it on the bread in the same places you had. The sandwich this note is attached to is not the same as the one you had, but it’s the best I could do. I know nothing I do can take away the sadness and hunger you felt yesterday, and for that I am truly filled with remorse, but I hope this can cure your empty stomach today.


– Milton

Hey Milton,

Thanks for the sub, man, but it was just a sandwich. Chill out.

– Tyler

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