by Þórhildur Vígdögg Kristínardóttir, Age 18, Reykjavik, Iceland
Þórhildur Vígdögg Kristínardóttir, from Reykjavik, Iceland, started writing when she was 10 years old. In 2016, she contributed to a book on poverty, published by Ordskælv, a Copenhagen-based nonprofit youth writing and publishing center. Kristínardóttir, alongside 24 other writers, narrated personal accounts that illustrated the effects of poverty. Primarily a short story writer, Kristínardóttir writes to express her opinions about controversial topics. Below is an example of her writing.
And the melody whispered in leaf and bark,
in leaf and bark.
If the boy listened, it ran away,
then it ran away.
"I feel like the autumn."
She looked at me focused and full of seriousness.
Just for a few seconds.
Then she walked towards the mirror and kept twirling in circles.
The deep blue skirt, white and tight sweater with the collar, the birch-colored scarf and an archaic jacket that belonged to her aunt fit her perfectly. I sat on the bed and gazed at her. Love at first sight could not describe exactly how I felt. I was no Romeo. I was only a puppy. Admiration and fascination. Whether it was her magical uniqueness or daring honesty, I didn't know.
This strange curiosity stirred up desires in me. Desires I didn't know existed.
Her sweet appearance could change in a moment. Her soft curves became stone. Her hair ruined and nails bitten to its core. Then I became scared. Then I had to change it. Flipping her to the opposite side like a pancake, as I used to do on my grandmother's old stove.
Sometimes I felt like she was the piercing cold winter, but sometimes like the delightful summer, so I just called her autumn. Her tears, her beautiful vibrancy, and the rushing toughness. So I thought it was appropriate to name her that.
I hummed quietly, like an obedient bird. Our past truly had a long history. We hadn't known each other for long, but what had been crammed into these past few months could easily stretch onto a few years. The excitement, the complications, the fearlessness, and complications. She had that kind of effect on people.
I laid my head on the pillow and stared. I was well aware that she was magnificent, just as she was well aware that I was a loser. Her confidence radiated off her, and that was what made her so beautiful. Not her high cheekbones or deep blue eyes, but what lived behind this untouchable body cover. But I also knew that with all the good that lived in her, there was also bad.
I saw her walk towards the record player and carefully pick a vinyl record. Soon the classical tones vibrated through the room. They played around the air, with it, like she played with me when she laid down closely next to my body on the bed. There was nothing I could do, I was hypnotized by her charm. I felt good, I couldn't deny it. I also couldn't help but feel a little bit of gratitude. She had chosen me. Me? The unimportant kid who sat most of the time in class half-sleeping. The kid people turned their back against, and betrayed. Maybe that was why she liked me so much. Easy prey. But it couldn't be. She was good, she said lovely things and condemned the bad ones. Still I felt some pain. Pain so strong my thinking changed. Now everything was about her.