Constructing a Monster

As a ten-year-old kid, I was an avid collector. My bedroom closet was full of things I had found, which included animal skulls, empty bottles, various insects pinned to a Styrofoam board, and every Star Wars trading card they ever made. I was proud of my collections and added to them whenever I got the chance. I knew my playthings were different from other girls my age who had closets full of dolls and stuffed animals, but having tea parties wasn’t in my realm of interest…being a scientist or pioneer was.

One rainy day when I was trapped inside, I found that my trading cards were great for building massive card houses. I spent hours meticulously stacking each one up to build a paper empire. The thick rough edges made the cards much better building blocks for strong, sturdy structures than the slick Bicycle playing cards I had tried previously. My fortress was as high as I could reach while standing on my toes and it covered the span of the floor in my playroom. I even set up action figures like GI Joe, the Bionic Woman, and the Lone Ranger around the perimeter to guard it from enemies…like my little brother.

Growing Up Behind Bars

prisonerMost of us look back on our high school days with fond memories and generally regard that time of our life with nostalgia. However, I want to tell you about a ninth grade girl whose life took a radical turn in one single moment.  And her memories of “the good old days” are very different from ours.

At age 15, Keisha moved out of her parent’s home and started living with a friend.  Any kid that would prefer to face the world without her mom and dad, must have had a hard life.  One afternoon, while riding in a car with a young man she knew, they got into a heated argument.  It was the final straw for Keisha.  Years of pain bubbled to the surface and a dark rage boiled inside.  She was done with being disrespected.  When the vehicle came to a stop at the next light, Keisha took hold of a gun, put it to the boy’s temple, then pulled the trigger.  That split second decision changed her life forever.  While her friends had fun going to the movies, Prom and graduation, she sat alone in prison for felony murder.