Julia Ward-Mulligan Fenrir



    I tested the weight of the steel blade against my hand. It felt colder, more brutal than other swords I’d held. I just hoped that it would do the trick against the monster I had been sent to finish.


    The trek up the mountain face toward where Fenrir lay was proving exhausting. I could barely keep my eyes open as I neared the top. From there, I was able to witness the sheer volume and strength of the monstrous wolf.


    Fenrir lay chained to a boulder, not a hundred yards away. He looked as though he could obliterate an entire village with a single breath, had he not been worn out from tugging on the dwarven chains encircling his body. He looked hopeless. I felt horrible for a split second, until I remembered what I came here to do.


    I creeped toward Fenrir, skulking around his enormous, bushy tail once I reached him. i couldn’t be sure that he was truly asleep, so I walked as fast as I could silently. Just as I unsheathed the sword, he stirred. His keen ears twitched toward where I stood. Quick as the blink of an eye, I plunged the sword into his side. I felt victorious for a moment, until I realized that I hadn’t struck his flesh; it had struck the chains holding him captive! I moved to make another blow, but before I could, Fenrir roared in triumph, shaking the entire mountain range. Suddenly, the earth opened up underneath us, and we fell into the ground.


    I came to. Where was I? I surveyed my surroundings. I was in a fiery cave, with a pit located at the center filled with yet more flames. Then, I heard a growl.


    I whipped around. There, behind me, was Fenrir.

Stairway to Heaven

The sound of feet

 pattering against

the pavement below


The angry buzz of loud conversation

  slipping in


                 the window


Lifting the fragment of

   sandy shore


         the tone changes


The pink-and-white swirl

      weaving the noise




Serenity from commotion

  whisked away from

    the agonizing hum of

      everyday life

    each sound a thread

    tied just right to create a


                    of sound


A channel to a beautiful world



Waves crash and rumble

   locked in a never-ending battle with

         the coast


You can almost feel the sky smile down at you and

          kiss you with its salty




And as the war of the shore and the sea



      you wish you’ll never have to leave

            your very own stairway to heaven


Author’s Note:

This poem is about when you listen through the inside of a seashell. When I was younger, I thought that you were supposed to go to the beach every summer. When my parents told me that we weren’t going that summer, or any other summers soon, I got really mad. Then, one of my friends showed me how to listen to a seashell, and I loved it. Eventually, I began to think that seashells were passageways to the ocean, and I would always try to fit through one every summer.