About those Pills...

You’re walking down the path. The building is standing tall and proud in front of you. You have this covered. Even the bird is cheering you on. Wait! The bird is cheering you on?!? The final SAT weekend. Your final try before the college admission deadline and that one crucial letter. You have everything else under control. Your grades are beyond good; you have a great essay; community service is considerable; you even have a ton of great extracurricular activities that are bound to get you noticed. The only thing missing: those 200 points of your SAT score. 

You have been through hell and back to get that score. You have done SAT prep classes during the summer and spring break. You have done and re-done the SAT preparatory book. You filled the margins with notes and tricks. You even know sections of it by heart. One night surfing the web, you fell on a blog article that tells how Adderall can help boost your SAT score by 350 points. That would be more than sufficient. It gets you thinking. After research on the subject, you find significant evidence to determine that it is indeed a reliable method. You’ve done everything else. It is your last resort. There’s no other way to go. 

You contact the local pusher. You’re not used to this; you’ve never actually been in the business or contacted this kind of person. It’s really unfamiliar to you as it is usually reserved for the cool kids. He’s a shady guy, but you’ve been told multiple times that he has the good product. You text him and with a series of ungraceful messages manage to ask him for the meds. He doesn’t have any. He is fresh out due to the demand at SAT weekend. 

You hear your life is shattered. Game over. That last resort is unavailable. You had set your mind to using this last measure in order to get the education of your dream. It isn’t going to happen now. All your life projects are in the gutter. The perfect life you had pictured yourself and all the experiences you were going to live at this college, they’re all in the trash. 

You hear your phone ding. Can it be? It is! He has found some. As you follow his instructions to procure the meds, you see all the dead thoughts come back to life. You’ve worked hard to earn a place at this college. This drug is going to be your savior. That is it. The total and utter depression that had come over you moments before evaporates. It is washed away and filled with this fresh idea of victory. You are so close. 

You wake up the next morning revitalized, still on this hype that now life was smiling back. You have gone through all the hell of public high school and this is it, your salvation. Eating your cereal, you feel the pills in your front right pocket. The two keys to happiness are concealed within your jeans. Your fate is sealed.  It is irrevocable. 

You’re in the parking lot. Twenty minutes to test time; it is now or never. You pop the pills. You feel them go down your throat. At this time, you feel invincible. It is time for you to shine. Walking to the building, the bird cheers you on. It’s probably just the nerves, you tell yourself. It’s nothing, you’ve worked hard to earn this. You walk in and are greeted by the hideous admission lady. This woman is a special kind of ugly. She has warts on her nose, wrinkles all over her thin fingers, her bloodshot eyes compliment the light greenish tone of her skin, and her voice has a horrible screech to it. You could swear she is a troll. Concentrate! The lady isn’t a troll and you are about to take the test of a lifetime. You hand her your ticket and go take a seat.

Your neighbor is looking at you, perplexed. Sweat starts to form on the side of your face. You feel that you’re falling and dart up to grab the table. You create a terrible ruckus. Everyone is staring at you. You nod that you are fine and regain your seat. Before the test even starts, you have finished your 1500 ml water bottle and eaten all four of your granola bars. You’re now sweating with vigor. The droplets form on your forehead and you feel them run down your entire face to you chin and soak your test booklet. Soon after, you hear gunshots fire. Most people get up and walk around. You jump to cover under your table telling your neighbor to take cover from the gunshots. He laughs, not believing that you are actually serious. The officer comes and tells you to regain your seat to finish the exam. He assures you that there was no shooter or any gunshots for that matter. 

The next two hours are a huge mix of colors, emotions, sights, fantastic events, screams and creatures. You wake up in your car. The way you got there, the reason you are there and the time are a total mystery to you. A lighted sign reads: “SAT today”. Your head feels like it’s going to explode. You take your cellphone out. You have a message from the pusher. A single phrase that will haunt you all your life: “About those pills…”

Nick Legare '15

The Golden Lands

The tires on the black pavement circled around and around as Bob Dylan’s whiny voice flowed through the car and into my ears.  The pavement was black and hot with the sun’s rays in the midst of summer. I shifted my gaze to the boy in the driver’s seat, his hair long, and the sun’s rays lighting up and making his hair golden. I strummed my fingers on the window to the beat of the music that filled the car’s interior. 

The girl in the back seat shifted in her sleep, creating a crunching sound on the leather seat. Her ear buds effectively blocked out Bob Dylan, so she stayed lost in her own sleep. The boy next to me was sucked into driving, so I turned my head back to the window. 

The evergreen trees flew past in a blur, as we rolled along on the sun soaked pavement. With the window cracked, I could smell that distinctive smell of warming pavement. It smelled like summer right before it begins to rain and the air grows quiet and cool and you feel a chill in your heart and you pause for a moment and for some reason you feel like you’ll never be happy again when you look at the dark blue sky but then suddenly the sky lets loose of all its rage and then rain comes pouring down onto the sun soaked pavement and the smell of the tar consumes the air and you almost can’t breathe with the wet heat. 

“We should stop and get gas.” The boys voice seemed to fill me the same way Bob Dylan’s had. 


A half an hour later, he pulled the car into a gas station and he woke the girl in the back seat by telling her we were stopping to get gas. Her eyes blinked open slowly as she registered the world around her. She was still heavy with sleep. 

“Oh, okay.” 

He pulled up to pump seven, and I watched him get out the car. I could smell his leather jacket faintly, and when he opened the door I could smell the sunshine and the road too. I heard her shuffle around behind me and fumble for something, probably her wallet. 

“I’m going to get a snack,” she said. She opened the door behind and it clicked shut. I knew she’d be out in a minute or so. 

I love them.

Katie Schools '15

World War III

You tumble to the side, barely avoiding a bullet flying towards you. On your arms and knees, you skuttle behind a car, splattered with bullet holes. The inside is no less of a mess, but it is exactly the kind of shelter you need. Lilly crouches beside you, and clutches her pistol tightly to her chest. You’re both breathing hard, relieved to have a moment out of the cross fire. You stare at your feet, examining the collage of stains: blood, dirt, mud, and grass. You briefly wonder if any of it’s your own blood, but a quick look at any skin visible outside of your uniform reveals an absence of injury. You look to Lilly and see that she wasn’t quite so lucky. A line of red trails down her left cheek. You reach over to wipe it off, and she shoots you an appreciative smile. Even the toughest soldiers need someone to look out for them. 

An explosion rocks the ground somewhere to the left and you realize that it’s time to move. The air is so thick with dust that it’s hard to see. You tap Lilly on the shoulder and gesture for her to follow you. She nods. Slowly, you creep forward and peek around the car’s rear bumper. A flash of movement causes you to rear back so fast you almost knock over Lilly. She looks at you, confused and scared. 

“Zombie at two o’clock,” you whisper. 

Lilly’s eyebrows creep together. “Just one?” she whispers back. 

You nod. This is odd. Ever since the apocalypse began, you have never seen a zombie wandering around by itself. They always travel in packs; they’re the most lethal that way. 

“Does it have a weapon?” Lilly asks. 

You slowly glance around the bumper again. The zombie has only approached a few more feet, dragging one leg behind it with agonizing slowness. A glint of metal in it’s right hand reveals that the monster is holding a pistol very similar to Lilly’s. Zombie’s may be slow, but they have pinpoint accuracy with guns. You gesture for Lilly to switch with you and watch as she raises her gun up and takes aim. The sound of the gunshot pierces the air and the zombie topples. You don’t wait to see the creature hit the ground. You grab Lilly by the sleeve of her uniform and break cover, sprinting as fast as you can. You hear more gunfire in the distance, but don’t turn to see if any of it’s at you. Your eyes sting from the lingering dust that filled the air after the last explosion. It dries your tongue out, and makes breathing difficult. 

You leap over rocks and fallen bodies, heading for the distant silhouette of shelter. You imagine feet pounding behind you, but don’t stop to check, knowing that zombies could never catch up with anyone moving faster than a sloth. The shelter grows clearer, and your legs ache from exertion. 

Before you know what’s happening, you find the ground to be approaching your face much faster than it should. Your temple hits a rock and your vision blurs. Pinpoints of light dot the air, and the ground tilts. You hear Lilly yelling to you, but the noise sounds far away. The world seems to go quiet and you feel as though you’re floating. The war seems to be in slow motion. From the ground, you watch zombie after zombie fall at the feet of the human soldiers. They are no match for your army.

You blink and try to sit up. Slowly, the world comes back into focus, sound comes rushing back, and time speeds back to normal. Lilly is crouched in front of you, holding your shoulders. 

Your eyes rest on something behind her, and you freeze. A mob of dozens of zombies are approaching like a trudging, moaning herd of cows. A zombie in the front of the group raises it’s pistol at you. It’s jaw hangs awkwardly from it’s head, and it’s missing an arm. The clothes that remain on it’s rotted corpse are in tatters. Lilly drags you to your feet and screams that you need to run. Your head is pounding from your fall, but you force your legs to move anyways. 

You hear a bang and an explosion of pain erupts in your leg. You vaguely hear someone screaming and your eyes flicker to Lilly before realizing that the sound is coming from you. Your leg feels as though it is on fire, but a glance down shows an absence of flames. A circle of red expands from a spot on the outside of your left thigh. Somehow, you block out the pain and keep going. Every step only makes the pain worse. Your muscle strain against the wound and you feel your leg try to give out with every step. Your breath is coming in harsh gasps, a mix between the exertion of running and the pain your suppressing. Your thoughts are a whirlwind of everything you learned in training coupled with the desperate need to survive. The thought of bleeding to death briefly flashes through your mind, but you push it away and force your legs to move faster.

“There’s something I need to tell you,” Lilly gasps.

“Is now really the best time?” you reply.

“I know. I should’ve told you sooner,” She pauses to catch her breath, “but I want to make sure you know in case we don’t survive this.”

“Lil, we’re winning the war. Why wouldn’t we make it out alive?” You risk a quick glance over your shoulder to see only a handful of zombies still have their guns pointed in your direction. It’s a good thing that zombies’ good aim only applies to non-moving objects.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t have casualties.”

“Fair enough. What do you need to tell me?”

“I lied to you,” she blurts. 

“You lied to me?”

“I’m not as brave as you think.”

“What do you mean?”

“I only volunteered to be a soldier as a joke. I didn’t believe that the war we were really fighting was against zombies. I thought it was some trick to get volunteers for a bigger cause. I argued with my friends that I didn’t think zombies would even be able to hold guns. They don’t have muscles.” A bang sounds from behind you, and a bullet hits the sand just a few feet to your right.

“I think the ‘how’ is a little irrelevant at this point, Lil.”

“Are you mad at me?”

“Why would I be mad?”

“Because I’m not brave like you. I’m not a real soldier. I only volunteered because I wanted to be right.”

“You’re as much of a soldier as the rest of us.”

Lilly says nothing else. The gash in her cheek has started to bleed again. You’re almost to the shelter now. The zombies you have now left in the dust are aimlessly shooting after you, but an explosion puts an end to that. With a final burst of speed, you reach the shelter and frantically punch in the ten-digit code all soldiers had memorized. 

The door slides open and you sprint inside. Instead of the doctors you expect to see, the heads of dozens of zombies turn to look at you with lopsided, toothless grins. Many are crouched over the bodies of the doctors, performing their own type of operations. The room is filled with bone-chilling moans, and the scrape of the zombie’s feet as they shuffle across the floor. A rotted arm drops from a socket and begins to inch it’s way across the floor. Lilly screams and raises her gun. Before you hear the bang, you feel yourself crash to the floor, and lay there as the world fades to black.

Jenna Cole '15


            I said, closing the door
                      The time wasn’t right
           Just one more week
                     A month of nothing
                                  A year of everything
           Two more hours to go
                    Five minutes in the world
                                 An eternity of vacancy

           Ten seconds until tomorrow
                    A lifetime until next week
                                The blink of an eye in a season
          A mere touch away from the world
                   A distant glance from solitude
                               Two hands away from happiness


Field Peterson '15

Young Puppy Crush

Sitting in the back of the bus, my nerves started to kick in.  I was a freshman, one of the only two that were on the boys varsity soccer team.  We were heading down to Marshwood for a pre-season tournament.  The drive was long, which did not play to my advantage considering that I was prone to getting bus sick.  My luck seemed to change, though, when the other freshman on the team turned around and looked at me funny.  

Confused, I said, “Ben, what’s up?”  

He said, “You should text Chelsea.” 

Now I feel is a good time for me to tell you about Chelsea.  Chelsea is Ben’s sister.  She was a senior when I was a freshman and was the equivalent to the queen of the school.  She was a soccer star and gorgeous.  My friends and I had had the biggest crush on her since the fifth grade.  I was in pure shock to hear from her brother that she wanted me to text her.  I, baffled, responded with a dumbfounded expression.  He laughed but continued to exclaim that his goddess of a sister wanted me to text her.  So, after much nervous excitement that I tried the best I could to keep bottled up, I texted her.  The thoughts started running through my mind. He was just playing with me.  Chelsea doesn’t want me to text her.  How could I be so dumb?  I mean, she could get anybody she wants in the school, but she wants to talk to me?  No.  No way. I just made a fool out of myself.  My nervous excitement turned into bitterness.  Surprisingly, I was able to maintain my emotions.  I thought it best to wait to see if Ben had told me the truth or not.  A couple minutes later, Chelsea responded.  I practically jumped out of my seat in glee.  This was a bad decision on my part since the upperclassmen heads started turning in my direction.  I tried my best to lie, and somehow succeeded in averting their attention elsewhere.

“Colin, what’s the matter over there buddy?” Jake, a 3-year senior captain, jokingly said to me.

Stammering, trying to think of something smart to say back, I finally answered, “Oh, nothing, I’m just really really happy to be on the bus with you guys,” a grin poking out the sides of my mouth.

“Yeah, yeah, good comeback” was the only response Jake would give me before returning to listening to his music.

Elated to see the text, I couldn’t have opened it any quicker.  I felt like a little kid at a candy shop with the owner telling you everything was free.  Chelsea and I started with small talk, but soon as the weekend progressed, so did our conversations.  Questions we would ask each other soon became much deeper than the usual, “what’s up?”  At the time, I happened to be in a relationship with a girl in my grade.  My relationship with her was fading, though, and I started talking to her less and less.  Soon, I made the decision that I would be done with this burnt out flame.  It was time to use all my energy on Chelsea.   

Weeks went on, everyday accompanied by day-long conversations with Chels.  I began falling so hard.  This crush became something more to me.  She became the subject of my mind 24/7 with nothing else besides soccer taking her place.  Even then, soccer was only two hours out of my day.  The day came when she asked me to go over to her house to hangout.  This was the tricky part, getting my parents to be okay with me, a 14-year-old, talk to Chelsea, a 17-year-old senior who was soon turning 18.  My mother’s immediate response was a strong no.  She didn’t want me to have anything to do with this girl.  I couldn’t take no as an answer, though.  I had already fallen so hard so quick; I needed to see if she and I could turn into something.  It isn’t everyday that a guy gets the opportunity to make something happen with the girl of his dreams.  I battled my mother for days until she cracked.   

“Colin, I am not letting you go out with a girl who is almost four years older than you!  Forget about it!” my mom would constantly say. 

“Mom, I’m in high-school and I really like her.  C’mon, please mom!” would be my usual response. 

After much thought, she finally came around, “You know what, fine, you can hang out with her. But, if I hear anything I don’t like I am pulling the plug on this immediately.”

I was jubilant at the fact I would finally be able to hangout with Chelsea.  This jubilation quickly turned to nervousness, however, at the thought of being in the same room as her.  Frantic the night of the “first date,” I had to pull myself together. 

 I arrived at her house, sweating as I make my way up to the door.  Ben opened the door, a relief coming over me as it prolongs the time before I have to actually talk to Chelsea.  We make our way into the living room where Chelsea is sitting on the couch smiling at me.  I almost melted right then and there.  I smiled back like a goofball.  Conversations turned into fits of laughter.  We talked about everything from sports to specific incidences in our classes.  I still can’t remember the movie that was on while I was there.  During the drive home, my dad asked me how it went.  I modestly told him it went well, while inside the butterflies were still warming my stomach.  That night will always be reserved as a cherished memory. 

 Chelsea and I ended up building upon our relationship and turning it into a status of boyfriend and girlfriend.  Though Chelsea wasn’t my first crush, she was the first crush to make me feel the way I did.  When I was with her, nothing else mattered. Her smile allowed me to trust her.  She could tell me anything, and I would’ve believed her.  Every time she told me how she felt about me there was no quaver in her voice.  I knew she meant every word of it.  When I looked at her, instant butterflies made me nervous but exuberant at the same time.  She was my everything in the short period of time that I was with her.  Nothing else meant what she meant to me.  When her and I ended our relationship, it took an enormous toll on me because I lost someone important to me.  Not only was she the beautiful popular girl of the high school, but she was my dream girl.  Chelsea was my biggest crush.

Colin McKay '15

The Incisor Incident

When you have older siblings, it becomes difficult to keep the magic of childhood. Most younger siblings want to poke and prod in their siblings’ things. We want to know everything that’s going on, and the Do Not Disturb signs are suggestions, not orders. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, whether you have been the one doing the investigating or the one whose privacy has been violated. With all the espionage occurring, it’s hard for secrets to be kept. I found out from a rather young age that Santa Claus didn’t exist. Luckily, it wasn’t Earth shattering, because I didn’t care if my presents were delivered from a man in a red suit, as long as I still got my new scooter. The one character that I wholeheartedly believed in, however, was the Tooth Fairy. I thought that it was magical that I could put my lost tooth under my pillow and in the morning it would be gone, and a shiny quarter would be in its’ place. I soon discovered, however, the truth about that facade.

I had just discovered it: the new loose tooth. It was on the bottom row, to the right of my mouth, and boy was I excited. After having already lost three teeth, not only was I a pro, I was prepared. I knew that I had to keep this a secret because I did not want my mom to find out. I wanted to avoid the pain of having it pulled for as long as I could. So I kept my mouth shut, literally and figuratively. I ate soft foods and closed the bathroom door when I wanted to examine the tooth’s progress. But, one day my mom caught me playing with the tooth. “Alex, what are you doing?” she asked.

“Nothing,” I said, quickly closing my mouth. 

“Do you have a loose tooth?” 

“No!” I exclaimed. But because I have two older siblings, my mom can spot a guilty face from a mile away, and my lie quickly faded under her know it all gaze. 

“Okay fine, but you don’t need to pull it, it’s really loose.”

“Let me take a look,” she said. I opened my mouth with a wide Ahh and 

crossed my fingers, hoping she wouldn’t say she needed to extract it. “It looks okay,but when it gets looser, you need to pull it. Or else it could get infected.” 

“Mom, it won’t get infected. See, it’s fine,” I said and to prove my point pushed it with my tongue. We paused and simultaneously looked at my tooth, which was now in the bathroom sink. “See,” I said, “Totally fine.” 

“Well, I guess someone’s getting a visit from the tooth fairy tonight. Make sure you rinse your mouth out, and don’t lose that tooth,” my mom said, leaving me to my happiness. Not only had I avoided an excruciating removal, but tonight I was going to be visited by the Tooth Fairy. 

When my dad came home that night, I proudly showed off the gap in my teeth. “Did you cry when your mom pulled it out?” my dad asked. 

“She didn’t have to pull it out! It was so loose that I pushed it out with my tongue,” I exclaimed, still in disbelief that I had managed to avoid an painful extraction. 

“Wow, maybe the Tooth Fairy will give you something extra for that,” my dad said. As I sat in my chair, feet dangling, I wondered if that would be true. Would the Tooth Fairy reward me? My eagerness for night to fall increased and for the first time, I wanted it to be bedtime. 

That night I was folding the edge of the tissue, when my mom came in my room. “Is your tooth in there?” 

“Of course, Mom. Where else would it be?” I shook my head and continued my methodical placement of the tissue wrapped parcel. When I was satisfied with its placement, I covered it with my pillow and proceeded to burrow in my covers. My mom turned off the light when she left the room and I closed my eyes. Except, I couldn’t fall asleep; I was too excited. As I tossed and turned, thoughts dashed across my mind. Would the Tooth Fairy wait until I was asleep? Or was she so skilled at her work that I wouldn’t even realize she was in my room? Or maybe she would let me catch a glimpse of her? Sure I had my drawings, but it would be nice to have confirmation that her wings were indeed purple. These questions consumed my mind, but eventually I fell asleep, because the next thing I knew I was waking up to light streaming in from the hallway and my dad standing next to my bed. 

“Dad, what are you doing?” I blinked my eyes open, and then widened them in surprise as I recognized the objects in his hand. 

“Nothing. I just wanted to check in on you,” he stammered. 

“Well, why do you have my tooth in your hand?” I could tell he was trying to conceal the object in his hand, but I could spot the telltale mark of the heart I had drawn on the corner. “And why do you have a dollar in your other hand?” And then I wasn’t struggling to stay awake anymore because I understood: the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real. She wasn’t some small, magical creature that could fly in through my closed window and swap my tooth for a quarter. She would never leave a trail of dust that would prove she had visited in the night. No, instead she was my parents. My stupid, life ruining parents, who weren’t magical in any sense. 

I set a new record that week, not talking to my parents for two days. They kept trying to say they were sorry, but every time I opened my mouth to reply, I was reminded of that gap in my teeth, and that they were lying, no good Tooth Fairy impersonators. Eventually I had to start talking to them though, because no seven year old is self-sustainable. 

But when the next loose tooth came around, everything was different. I no longer tried to hide my loose tooth from my mom, and when it did fall out, it was cleaned and handed to my mom to dispose of. And as I got older, and had more of my adult teeth, I realized that the Tooth Fairy was part of my childhood. Sure, the façade had ended a little earlier than I would have liked, but that’s the thing about growing up; it just happens. You can’t predict when it will happen or how quickly it will occur. Yes, I can pinpoint the loss of the Tooth Fairy as a catalyst in growing up, but the fantasies of childhood were bound to shatter. I know though, that if I ever have children, I will help them believe in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the Tooth Fairy for as long as possible. Because don’t you wish you still believed in magic sometimes? Cause I do.

Alexandra Loh '15


I said, “Hello, Ye.”

“Hi,” she replied, looking at me through her glasses. 

“It is nice to see you in the airport, so we can go to Hebron together.” I got pushed by the people behind me. 

“See you after the security check.” Ye walked through the gate. 

“Ok, see you there.” I started to take the computer out of my backpack. I said, “It takes you a long time to pass the check.”

“Because I forget to take a bottle of water out of my bag.” Ye put the passport back into her bag. 

“That sounds stupid.” I laughed at her. 

Ye said with sadness on her face, “I just bought that drink without opening it!"

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I got something more disappointing. Guess what, I haven’t started the essay for literature yet. ”

“Well, I don’t think you need to care about your GPA anymore. It’s the last term for the year,” Ye replied, twirling her hair. 

“That’s true, but I still care for literature. I love that class! And Ms. Mangham is such a good teacher! ” I said with honesty on my face. 

“Same for me, dude.” Ye answered. 

Ye opened her computer at the departure gate. “I need the internet because I need to buy the book for literature class.”

“Good for you, maybe you can get the book on time.” I also opened mine to write the essay. 

“What’s the name of that book that we needed?” Ye asked. 

“I think it’s The Old Man and the Sea by Mark Twain.” I answered with confidence.  “It can’t be wrong. I have read that book several times. It can’t be wrong.” 

Ye looked at me and said, “Have any people told you that you are really talented in literature before?”

“Everyone, everyone does,” I answered with a smile on my face.

Zhidong Liu '15

Hardest Part

        I left someone who loves me for someone who doesn't take love seriously. We were walking the beach trails last Sunday and talked about the weather and how our day had gone and then he asked me more questions that weren't engaging. As we walked the sun was hot beating down on my face. The sharp sea grass that lined the trail swayed back and forth as we walked past. His hand kept reaching down for mine but my hand wouldn't allow it. 

      “Why don’t you love me anymore?” 

      “What are you talking about?” 

       “Don’t be dumb. I can tell. How couldn’t I? You’ve been so distant lately I’d have to be a fool to think that you still love me.” 

        I wasn’t sure what to say. He was looking at me. If I lied then this would only drag the situation out longer. 

       “Sometimes you realize stuff when you’re alone that you can’t realize when you're with someone else.” 

       “And by that you mean with me.” 


I looked down at my feet as we had stopped walking. He was trying to get me to look at him, but I wouldn’t because it would make it harder. The mix of the sweat on my face from the heat and the sand kicked up from walking made me feel dirty. There was silence between us, and the only thing I could hear was the sound of the sea birds and the crashing of the waves. It was a nice sound. He turned away from me and it looked like he was crying. He sat on a piece of driftwood and looked very small compared to the vast sea peaking over the sand dunes behind him. I decided to comfort him. He seemed very helpless, like he didn't know what to feel or say or how to say it. Sort of like being lost in a crowded city of people who don't speak the same language as you, lost and left to find your own way out without any help. And I was just one of those people who didn't speak the same language as he spoke. 

        His head was bent over in his hands and his elbows rested on his knees. I sat down next to him on the driftwood and put my arm around him. He didn't move. He felt very warm and I wished that there were a breeze to cool us because it was brutally hot. His back lurched with every sharp intake and heaved breath as he cried silently. I rested my head on his hunched shoulder. We stayed like this for a long time, and when he finally stopped and said something it was beginning to get dark out.

       “I hope you know that you're the only one I want, ever.” 

       “I know.” That’s not fair, I thought. He just looked at me with his sad eyes. 

       “What happened to us?” 

       “We grew up, I grew up.” 

       “Do you remember that time when we snuck out at four in the morning to watch the meteor shower?” 

      “I do.” 

      “I wish we could go back to that time.” 

      “Me too. It was so cold though.” Once again he looked small and helpless and as though he was in physical pain. “I think we should go home now, it’s getting late.” 

      “I’ll walk you.” 

      “Are you sure? It’s kinda far.” 

      “I’m sure.” 

      So, I let him walk next to me as I walked home and felt empty inside. It was chilly after the sun went down all the way and the smell of the salt water and the night was a good smell. I thought about what I would do tonight and then I thought about what he would do tonight after he brought me home. He would get home, say hi to his dad, pack his lunch for the next day, brush his teeth, crawl into bed and think about how much he loved me, while I think about someone else who doesn’t take love seriously. 

Explanation of Style 

In my short story I chose to incorporate three of Hemingway’s writing characteristics: repetition, tip of the iceburg, and detail about nature and the setting of the story. For repetition, I repeated the first line the story at the beginning and the end of the story to provide a parallel for the reader, and also frequently use the word “and”, and refrained from over-use of punctuation such as commas. The ‘tip of the ice burg’ concept I used by choosing an emotional topic and situation for my story, and dissociating myself with my own emotion in my writing. I did not include how he made me feel, how I made myself feel, or any sentiment of my own at all, only for the other character. The ‘only showing 10%’ concept was portrayed through not fully explaining the situation, such as who I was leaving him for, details about the situation, and dialogue tags which can make it confusing for the reader to decipher who is speaking. I included frequent description of my surrounding instead of telling the reader what I was feeling. I focused on the four of the five senses: smell, sound, touch, and vision of my surrounding.


Monique Bertin '15

A Psycho in a Cakewalk

A wedding cake appeared in the middle of the road. I picked it up and put it in the back of my van. 

“Whatcha do that for? You don’t know who that belongs to,” Teddy said accusingly. 

“If they want it back they can buy it back, and if not I have a delicious wedding cake all for myself.” I tried to explain to him but he wouldn’t shut up about it.

“That’s just wrong. That’s someone’s wedding cake, you can’t just steal someone’s wedding cake. We should try and return it.” Teddy ragged on as I started driving again. 

“I’ve got more important things to do than be someone's cake saviour. It is quite hard to lose a wedding cake. They probably don’t even want it,” I explained to him, but he persisted on with the stupid matter. 

“What more important things do you have to do?” 

“Well, I don’t have anything planned, but it’s surely more important than this cake.” Teddy finally gave up. He must have realized that I am always right. I dropped him off at his house and then started driving to mine. The reflection of the cake caught my eye in the rearview mirror. The cake’s vanilla frosting swirled all the way to the peak where two lovely figures were perched. The groom looked awfully big. 

Just then, the van went off the road and slammed into a telephone pole. The airbag hit the side of my head while I watched the cake tumble over and the groom fly through the windscreen. Then, I saw that a car had pulled up behind me. A skinny man got out of the car and started walking over. He looked a little dumb in his tuxedo. 

“Are you ok?” he asked. 

“Yeah, yeah I’m, I’m fine.” 

“Are you sure? And where’d you get that cake? I was actually looking for one just like it.” I knew he could easily be outwitted. 

“That’s funny. It definitely can’t be yours. My friend Teddy gave it to me and he told me he got straight from the shop.”  The man walked around the front of the car and started to assess the damage. 

As he was doing that, he asked, “Why would your friend buy you a wedding cake?” 

“Who knows? Ted is a little bit odd.”  He kept looking around the front of the car till he picked up the little figure that had flown off the cake. 

He observed it for a few seconds and then looked at me and said, “Where is your friend Teddy?”

“At his house about half a mile back, house number 27,” I answered. He got back in his car turned around and speed off in the other direction. I took one last look at the cake and slowly walked back to my house. The sun was out, the air was warm, the trees were green and it was a lovely day for a walk. I took it all in, and when I finally did get home, all I could think was I wish I had that cake.

I poured myself a glass of water, turned the TV on and sprawled out on the couch. I didn’t really take in anything from the TV, just sat there and watched the pixels flicker and listened to the comforting tones of daytime television. I was content. Just as I was truly embracing this state the phone started to ring. I was frustrated at first, but then decided to let it ring and not allow myself to be disturbed. It rang a few more times and then stopped. I felt quite smug with myself and took another swig of water. It rang again, so I ignored it again. It rang a third time, and I lost my patience. 

“Hello,” I said into the receiver in a rightfully angry tone. 

“Hey Bear, it’s Teddy.” Teddy said it in such a nonchalant manner that it made me even more mad. 

“Teddy!” I screamed into phone, “Why are you calling me on such a peaceful afternoon?”

“Well, I thought I’d let you know there’s a couple of guys heading to your house. I think they want the wedding cake. I told them they could buy it back from you though. That made them real mad and then they asked where you lived and left."

“That’s hilarious, whose address did you give them? Was it Barry’s, or maybe Jordan’s, you must have given them Kevin’s.” I couldn’t hold my laughter back. “Can you imagine Kevin’s round little face go pale with fear when a couple of brutes knock on his door looking for their wedding cake. I might go over there access the damage in a bit. Do you want to join me Teddy?” The house started shaking and I realized the epicenter of these seismic waves was at the front door. “Teddy! Have you no loyalty? Throwing one of your fellow workers under the bus. Wait till the union hears about this.” I threw down the phone in disgust and went to attend to the front door. 

I opened the door and looked up. The three figures eclipsed me. “It’s quite dark for this time of day,” I said trying to peer around them. Rather rudely, they seemed unamused by my comment, not even an attempt of a smile. 

“Can we come in?” the tallest one grunted.

“Depends, do you have a warrant?” I charmingly asked, but they proceeded to push me out of the way and walk into my house.  “Coffee?” 

“No thank you. I want a real drink, do you have whiskey?” the big one asked.

“It’s 10:30.”

“And I said do you have whiskey?”


“Right then, we’ll have three whiskeys.” I brought them their whiskey and sat down on the sofa. The big one shut off the TV and sat opposite me in an armchair, while the other two sat either side of me on the sofa. “Look, today is my wedding.”


“No, shut up, I’m talking right now. So, today is my wedding. Terry here, my best man, who I believe you meet earlier left the cake in the road.” He pointed at the man next to me, who had been very interested in my van when it went off the road. 

“Terry screwed up, and we have gotten over that now and I’m sure he’s never gonna do that again. Isn’t that right Terry?”

“Sure is.” 

Terry definitely is very stupid, how did he forget a cake on the road? “To be fair to Terry, he also found the cake. He knows, I know, and you know that the cake is ruined. It is a fact and we accept that. I’m trying to stay calm and reasonable on my wedding day because I should not be upset at my own wedding, lucky you. The man on your left do you know who that is?” he asked me.


“Well, that’s the bride’s charming brother. Had we gone with his plan, you’d’ve been beaten into a bit of cake batter and”--looks at his watch--“would be going into the oven right about… now. I told him that we would show a bit of pity and compassion. He didn’t like my plan, but he’s agreed to it. I told him if there’s no wedding cake when we arrive at the reception at about 3 this afternoon then your all his. So do we have a deal? I suppose I don’t have to ask you, because you don’t have much choice. Essentially, if you enjoy breathing then it might be in your best interest that there is a wedding cake at my reception at the local country club at 3 o’clock.” 

The triumvirate got up and I guided them out the door, made sure that Terry didn’t get lost. Once they had gone I picked up the phone and gave Teddy a call.

“Hey Teddy, it’s Bear. How’s it going?”

“Uh fine, how are you?”

“Good, good. I met your friends.  They seemed quite nice.”

“Did they?”

“Yeah, they did. There was a bit of misunderstanding, but I think we sorted it all out.”

“Well that’s good.”

“Yeah, I suppose.  For me it is, at least. They were quite upset about the cake. 

They were also quite upset with you as well.”

“What did I do?”

“Well, I tried to tell them that you weren't involved with the cake napping, but they wouldn’t listen to me. I’m really sorry, buddy, but they want a new wedding cake at the country club by 3 o’clock.”

“Or what?”

“Well, there was something about your a head being on display at the picket fence shop or something. It all sounded quite nasty--you probably don’t want to know what would happen to the rest of your body. I think it’s in your best interest to go and get that cake, you know, if you enjoy breathing.” 

I heard him drop the phone on the floor, and I knew I could trust him. I gently laid the phone on the table, walked back into the living room, flicked on the TV, flopped onto the sofa, and picked up the half full glass of whiskey.  I was content once again.

Jack Bayley '15


         Gentle is quiet in nature but loud in presence. She is compassionate and mellow, pleasant and tame.  Sometimes her weakness concerns you because her eyes look to the floor whenever you raise your voice and she can’t seem to reinforce the fact that her opinion matters. You try doing this more often to scare away her vulnerable presence. It is a harsh contrast to the soft whispers she utters under her breath. “Be nice to the new student that everyone is making fun of,” she says. The problem is that you can’t prove yourself to “everyone” if they are the ones determining what is wrong and what is right. The nagging grasp that gentle has on you makes for a struggle. She drags you back into her world with the best intentions, light touches guiding you back. To you these feel like weights and chains.

Shannon Bailey '15

Grandma Got Run Over By My Father

“Come on, come on! Get in the car... What are you wearing? You can’t wear that...  What is she doing?” 

“She’s doing her hair”, I say to my father.  

“She needs to hurry up, we’re going to be late!” 

“That’s what you said last year, but that won’t make her any faster” 

“Get in the car already!”

Seeing the veins in my father’s neck pop, I decide it would be wise to do as he says. I join my siblings, who are just as anxious as my father, in the car. Momentarily, my mother comes scurrying out the front door with my father right behind her. My siblings’ faces light up at the prospect of finally pulling out of the driveway. My father backs out of the driveway rather dangerously, and I quickly find myself grateful that I’m wearing a seatbelt. After ten minutes on the road, I find it no longer necessary to clutch the back of my mother’s seat. Turning around to see how my siblings have fared, I chuckle to find the colour returning to their faces.  

    “You’re one to laugh”, my brother says “I can still see the marks your nails left in the back of Mom’s seat”. I consider saying something to defend my honor, but the thought of my father getting agitated behind the wheel is enough to keep my lips sewn together.  

    I grind my teeth and keep my fingers crossed that my father doesn’t go over eighty five on the freeway the entire drive. Eventually, we arrive at my grandmother’s house. I step outside the car and stretch my legs slowly. I stroll up to the door, taking in the warm air, the golden sky, and the sun peeking over the horizon. As I take a step inside my grandmother’s house, I’m warmly greeted by a Christmas fragrance. The scents of apple pie, Douglas-fir, and a roast turkey dance about the house to the Christmas songs playing on the stereo. My siblings and I quickly gorge ourselves on the buffet before us. Once I’m in a sleepy, yet happy, haze and comfortably full, my father tells my siblings and I that it is time to open presents. My sister’s eyes get as big as bowling balls, and she shrieks with delight. Everyone at my grandmother’s Christmas eve party gathers in her living room. Once everyone has received their gifts, we all begin to tear off the wrapping paper. I see my sister tearing her presents open so viciously that the air around her is littered with confetti. Even though I got exactly what I asked for, every present I open is a thrill. Soon enough though, the thrills are over, and we’re all cleaning up the aftermath. 

    One by one, all of my relatives depart saying their thanks and wishing us all a merry Christmas. My siblings, once content with all the food and gifts they received, are now growing exponentially impatient. I find myself checking the clock every two minutes. My father just continues to talk and talk and talk. He’s not even having a riveting conversation, it’s just pointless small talk that he is needlessly dragging out. From the glossy look in my mother’s eyes it is apparent that even she thinks it’s time to go.Yet my father goes on and on about this subject or the next, the endless conversation is killing us all. My younger brother, anxious that we might not get home before Santa comes, chews his nail down to his cuticle.  

    “Daddy, when are we leaving?”, my little sister asks.  

    “Soon”, he replies mechanically. Great, so he yells at all of us before we leave, nearly kills us getting here, and now he refuses to leave even though everyone all our other relatives left over an hour ago. My mother notices my frustration and beckons me over. She hugs me and says,”Look at your father”. I turn around to look at him. Although he is engaged in pointless small talk, he is utterly absorbed in the conversation. His beaming smile stretching from ear to ear seems to brighten the room. When I look at my grandparents, I see that they too are equally absorbed. They’re simply glad to be in each other’s company. I have been selfish. I only wanted to come to my grandmother’s Christmas eve party to eat her food and get my presents and then leave. I missed the whole purpose she has the party every year.  

    At 10:30 we pile ourselves and our gifts into the car in a rush. My father plans on making the ninety minute drive home only an hour to beat Santa.     Just before we leave, I ask him, ” Why do you always stay so late?” 

     “Every year I want the same thing, and every year I get it. You know, someday you’ll drive more than an hour and a half to see your mom and me. Hopefully, you’ll also want to stay for so long”, he says before his lead foot pins the gas pedal to the floor.

Nicolas "Nico" George '16

A Fate Shaped by Time

        What time period an event takes place in has a great deal of influence on how that event transpires. From slavery, to segregation, to apartheid, to an equal society, the world's view on certain subjects is bound to be subject to change over time. The events that took place in the novels we read this year were certainly shaped by the era in which they took place. with John Proctor from The Crucible by Arthur Miller, fear of religion and the devil overcame common sense and logic. With Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a society where women were insignificant and adultery was an unspeakable crime denied her of the life she deserved. and of course with Sethe from Beloved by Toni Morrison, a life of slavery that took away a person's chance at a free mind and a true personal identity. In all of these novels, the characters are defined by the time period in which they lived, and it made their trials and tribulations all the more terrible. 
         In Beloved by Toni Morrison, we are told the tale of an escaped slave name Sethe, who sought to create a new, better life for herself in Ohio after running away from her planation. The way that time defined Sethe was in the form of slavery. Slavery denied the slaves a sense of self, and for an escaped slave, one was never truly free. Even though Sethe was physically free she was living in constant fear of her past, blocking out all the horrible memories of Sweet Home. This kind of emotional and mental torture is not typical of a free woman. Because of the affect that slavery had had on Sethe, she could never allow her thoughts and conscious to be free gain. Morrison gives us an idea of just how humiliating and morally reducing slavery can be for someone when Paul D, on of Sethe's fellow slaves at Sweet Home, talks about feeling like he was less important, less free than a rooster. Paul D was being punished, and had a bit in his mouth as he watched the bird strut around proudly. "Mister, he looked so... free. Better than me. Stronger, tougher" (Morrison 89). The fact that a grown human man could feel reduced to less than a mere rooster is a telling example of how slavery can destroy someone's psyche. If Sethe had lived in a time period other than her own, she would have been a completely different woman; with a mind that was free to work at its full capacity. The same is true of all the characters in the over novels we read, namely Hester Prynne. 
         In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, we are first introduced to Hester Prynne as she is being brought into the open after being kept in jail for some time. We learn that she has committed adultery, and is condemned to a life of wearing the letter "A" on her breast. The way that time period plays into Hester's punishment is in the fact that during this time period, women were held in much less esteem than men. It could be assumed that a woman would receive a much worse punishment for the same crime as a man. The other way that time period factors in is that in present day society, adultery is not as awful a crime. When someone cheats on their spouse in this day and age, sometimes the couple does not even separate. But at this time, adultery was one of the worst things that one could do to their significant other. One way that Hester separates herself from the other characters of these novels is that she does not let the stigmas and stereotypes of her time stop her from becoming a prominent member of her society. This is not to say that John Proctor was not a prominent member in his society, but Hester had to overcome a lot more to achieve her status. One example of how Hester is able to hold her own and be her own woman comes from the first scene in the book where we meet Hester. She is being brought out of the jail to face public humiliation, and as the guard put his hand on her shoulder, she "repelled him, by an action marked with the natural dignity and force of character, and stepped into the open air, as if by her own free will" (Hawthorne 47). Hester's defiance shows that she is willing to fight for what she thinks she deserves: Respect. But not all of the characters had as happy an ending as Hester. Even tough he fights to overcome what is opposing him, John Proctor does not have the same uplifting ending as Hester Prynne. 
        John Proctor faces a challenge that is different from both those of Hester and Sethe. John is a respected member of his community, and an important man. But just because his life starts off with less challenges than his literary counterparts, does not mean that he will not have to fight for what he believers in. The time period in which John Proctor lived was one dominated by religion and faith. Religion was so important to early societies like Salem that it often overshadowed basic logic and reason. When some local girls get themselves into great trouble by dancing in the woods, their "leader" takes it upon herself to shift the blame to the townspeople around them that had nothing to do with the proceedings by crying witch. Of course, in our present day society, this would be a preposterous claim, and no community would widely accept that the devil had come to their town to wreak havoc vicariously through the spirits of the townsfolk. But alas, in this period of time, that is exactly what happened. John stayed true to logic, and denied the existence of witches, which made him an outcast, and eventually led to his downfall. John expresses his frustration with all the talk of witchcraft early on in the book when he is speaking to Rev. Parris and Mr. Putnam. The men speak of witchcraft and the devil and hell, to which John replies "Can you speak for one minute without we land in Hell again? I am sick of Hell!" (Miller 30). John is the only one in his society that remains true to common sense, and it is that which leads to his eventual death at the end of the book. 
        All of these characters were in some drastic way affected by the time period they lived in. If any of these characters lived in our current society, they would not have faced the same opposition that they did in these books.  But in a way, it is because they suffered these oppressions that our society is as advanced as it is today. And we discuss these travesties of the past, the history of the future is busy writing itself now. Who knows what problems we face today will seem obsolete in the future. After all, tomorrow's history is today's present. All three of these characters faced time period based oppression in their own unique, yet almost similar way. But thanks to these characters who endured the pain of ignorance, these martyrs who gave way to a brighter future, we can now say that these problems that they faced, are no longer a thread to the structure of society. 

Ben Upton ' 16

The Struggle

         He has never been good completing his assignments on time. The last few weeks; however, he started to get better at timing his homework and bringing in his assignments. He took his time, sat down, put on his headphones and turned on his "learning music". The so called "learning music", how he called it, was Mozart. Mozart helped him to concentrate and come up with genius ideas.
        Starting a new week full of assignments and work said to himself: "I'm going to complete all my work on time". the most challenging assignment this week was to create an essay with misleading hits so the reader didn't expect the ending. This was for sure not an easy task, but it sounded like al ot of fun. He didn't always like to write essays. It started in elementary school, we had one single computer in each classroom and he didn't like writing. to be honest he hated writing. His teacher however was insisting that he kept writing and writing because she thought he was a good writer despited his not existing motivation. Slowly, but surely, he started to love writing fictional and funny essays including a lot of plot twists and unexpected endings. Nothing was able to stop him when he started writing except for technical issues like computer crashes.
       Trying to complete every task before deadline, he sad down at study hall and started his paper. It started off well, his fingers flew over the keyboard and he though faster than he was able to write. Something, however, didn't work in his favor. The computer started to flicker now and then like it was about to die. Being high on thoughts and ideas of this paper, however, he completely ignored the flickering. Going on and on, not stopping, furiously writing his paper full of ideas and thought he had to take a break to take a sip of gatorade and eat half an apple. Looking up from his screen he looked out the window in the complete black of the night and stretched. Stretching his legs, he unplugged the power from his computer. His brain; however, was so occupied with great ideas and thoughts for the paper, he didn't notice.
        Continuing his writing riot his ideas suddenly came to an abrupt stop. His brain was empty and he didn't know what to write anymore. His hands stood still and his brain adopted the speed of a snail. He couldn't believe it, this never happened to him. Not when he was writing, he knew this could happen when he tried to do math, but while writing, no. He was speechless. But then he had an idea, he closed his eyes for thirty seconds an listened to his music. It wasn't called "learning music" without reason.
       Diving into his imagination he completely let go of any thoughts he had and enjoyed the peace of imagination. His mind went off to all sorts of places. He thought about home, about his grandfather and how they hunted together. He thought about how beautiful music is and that he still had some apple between his teeth what annoyed him to death. He returned to reality, got rid of the pieces of apple between his teeth and started writing again, not realizing how dangerously low his battery already was.
         Continuing where he left off, his fresh mind came up with so many more ideas on how to make this beautiful piece of paper art. Finally reaching the two page mark, he could possibly come to an end like he always did. Just enough so that the teacher won't say anything about it but never more than requested. This time, however, he was on a roll and just kept writing, the battery being close to death. Taking a look at what he has done so far he smiled. He liked how he hid the little hints about the devastating end this all could come to. This was the longest paper he'd written so far and it wouldn't' change too soon with him being the laziest person on earth. His computer, however, was about to die! 
        The smile on his face slowly disappeared, it turned to an angry stare as it happened. He would never have guessed that this would happen, it was his worst nightmare. His heart stopped for a few seconds and his face froze, he couldn't believe this was happening. Not to him, not now, it was the worst point in time this could happen. It meant so much to him, more than he cared to admit. His favorite soccer team was losing! 
        Waking up from his numbness he quickly finished his paper and plugged in his power device so he could watch the game. He couldn't sit there any longer seeing his team losing, he closed his laptop and went to sleep. Only one thing went in his favor today, he finished all his assignments.

Jonas Roquette '16

Yew Nork

The click of heels and the shuffle of feet
Mark the bustle of an impatient day
Through the soft strum of a prominent beat.

Sour trash and fruit rot in merciless heat
While scents of honeyed tulips waft astray;
Mingled in smoke from stained lips in back seats.

Clammy hands make use of sweaty retreats
To the safety of pockets kept at bay
From buoyant passersby anxious to meet.

Mouths hide the hushed murmurs of the discrete
That speak of the games secret lovers play
In the perplexing world of the elite.

Bitter tastes crave the release of a treat
Of sensuous smells so merrily gay
That they beg turned buds for a bite to eat.

Behind grand towers the city does cheat,
In masking hidden ruins of the fray.
Yet your melancholic lull does secrete
That tunes of a unified world are sweet.

Rachel Jurek '15

Then & Now

Beautiful, soft yellow
Lacy white trim
Mahogany front door
brass knocker on the rim
Friendly new neighbors bringing pie
up the steps, they whistle “hi, hi!”
Lemonade and satin gloves
The air is thick with the haze of love
Newly wed couple, cans banging down the street
to their new mansion, from her father it’s a treat.
That night they fall asleep, in their large, soft bed
Luxurious Egyptian cotton and downy cashmere red.
Light curtains blow in the breeze of the large open sash
Suddenly, downstairs, they hear a large crash.
The chandelier cord is sliced, glittering beads lay on the floor.
The couple is startled awake and they hear even more!
Smashing glass and splintering wood, 
oh could it get any worse? It could.
A dark shadow hovers above the canopy of gauze
And upon the light skin of the newlyweds, the phantom’s knife, it draws.
Vandalism, no preservation
The house’s previous renovation
seeks rejuvenation.
The house is in shambles, a thousand years later.
Kids running down the street avoid, none of them the braver
For at night the glow of white lingers in the windows of the 
expelling the sweet scent of the summer’s floral perfume.

Ella Fields '18

Summer Dancing in the Snow

    On the worst days, the ones where snow dances into my eyes and the wind chews my ears, I cannot help but think back to one summer when my mother taught me how to dance. The snowflakes change shape and become people. They are my family, with my family’s friends, and they are all smiling.

    I am too little to know how to dance with them, and I sit on the floor to the side. My mother comes over, smiling and holding out her hand. I take it, thinking that she decided to put me to bed early that night because of all the commotion. As she pulls me up, I am dragged back into the snow.

    “Christ,” my friend whispers, frustrated with me. His hand is pressed to back, and his hand is gripping my wrist to keep me from falling. “Watch where you step.”

    I laugh and thank him, still startled from my slide. I take a deep breath, the cold stinging my lungs. I fall back to that night, the acrid smell of cigar smoke heavy in my kitchen. My mother’s hand is on my back, and her other hand engulfs mine. She is instructing me where to put my feet, small and bare on the linoleum floor.

    I can hear her laugh. I feel only the two of us, and everyone around has become irrelevant. We dance slowly together, despite the speed of the song. She calmly meets my gaze, wide and thoughtful. Her smile makes my ears sting with embarrassment for my lack of skill. I miss a step, stomping on her foot, and my face heats up with humiliation.

    “Oh, ouch,” I groan against the wind, so cold that it burns my face. I gently touch my cheeks, hoping my hands could provide some protection from the harsh gust. My mother’s hand is there, too, comforting me from my embarrassment.

    Insisting I keep dancing, she speeds us up. She gives my little feet more room for mistake, and I shriek with laughter. She twirls me, and brings me into her body. As I spin away, I feel the floor under my toes, slick with sweat and spilled beverages. My foot slides from beneath me, and I tumble to the ground.

    My shoulder throbs, and makes a sickening noise as I twist it. I had stepped on black ice, and I glare up at the sky, hoping for the pain to subside. When my thigh starts to go numb from the coldness of the snow, I clumsily rise, and continue down the path. I think about where I place each step, conscious and aware.

    With my newly found focus, I dance neatly with my mother. We spin, dip, and laugh. To my dismay, the song is coming to a close. I spin one more time, and grin cheerily at her again. She laughs, tells me she loves me, and wraps her arms around me. She takes me to her body once more, warm and affectionate, and I feel protected.

    The heat hits me, immediately warming my body. I sigh with relief, and check the time. Though I am late, I have conquered another walk to class. I ascend up the stairs, leaving the memory of my mother outside in the snow.

Jay Alex '15

The Abyss

Floating weightless in a confused abyss
Surrounded by the changing winds of time.
I inquire for answers that persist;
What are these strange befuddled thoughts of mine?

Vision clears only to darken once more
As I become blinded by suspicion.
Struggling through mirrored haze I do abhor;
Why do these eyes lack faith in commission?

Limbs have grown numb from lack of gravity.
I beg you for a sturdy handhold in
The infinite of this duality;
When will my feet find rugged ground again?

Adrift in this beautiful chaos I
kiss my fatuous sanity goodbye.

Rachel Jurek '15 

Sunday Morning

         Katina woke early that morning. She savored the warmth of the quilt for she knew the wood floors would be very cold. The white lace curtains danced in the gentle breeze, letting the sun play a little game of peek-a-boo. Even though the days were becoming more frigid with every setting sun, Katina could not stand a room without fresh, crisp air. She lifted her arms out above the covers and stretched them high over her head. Swinging her legs gracefully over the side of the bed, she draped a bathrobe over her shoulders. Slipping on her fuzzy pink slippers out from under the bed Katina stood up and walked towards her small closet next to her bed. She decided on a soft tee shirt and a warm sweater along with her thick leggings. She allowed the bathrobe to slide off of her shoulders and tumble towards the cold hard wooden floors. As she walked out into the hall, still pulling on her sweater, she stopped to rub the lingering sleep out of her eyes and felt the warmth of the sun through a crack between the still dancing curtains. She stopped to enjoy the warmth on her freckled cheeks, let her hazel eyes close in delight. Almost every morning, she got up at this time, and almost every morning, she stopped to enjoy this feeling of warmth on her face.
        Katina shuffled into the kitchen and pored herself a cup of coffee. She opened the old microwave and slid the red mug onto the tray stained with numerous coffee spills from years passed. From many tired mornings of coffee drinking, an attempt to restore some of those lost hours of sleep at night. She pulled out an old beat up chair from under the table, and it made a scratching sound as it dragged across the evenly beat up and old floors. She sat down at her circular table meant for two but currently seating one. Katina mindlessly rubbed her hands together as she stared out the window into the fields of golden wheat stretching far out onto the landscape and meeting their end at the mouth of a looming forest in the distance. The wheat danced along with the curtains, danced to the steady beat of the unforgiving mouthful of wind. Shining a brilliant golden hue, the wheat was a plate of gold, dropped from above and broken into one million pieces of gold, shattered across a vast landscape. Through the dark clouds in the sky, the sun peeked out, desperate for a little attention. Those skies were a promising sign of snow, or even rain. From the direction of the microwave came a sharp ping sound. This was Katina’s warning that if she didn’t get up soon, she would start her day off the way no one wants to start their day, with a cup of cold coffee. Running her chair across the scraped up floors, she walked over to the microwave and popped open the yellow door by pressing one of the many buttons. She took the cup of steaming coffee in her hands and lifted it to her nose. Taking a deep breath in, the bitter, nutty, almost chocolate like smell filled her senses. 
        Katina walked over to her old piano inherited from many generation’s pasts while tapping her fingers on the warm mug. As she tapped and strummed out piano notes on her mug, her ring made a soft sound against the clay mug she had crafted herself, like wind chimes on a breezy day such as this. She sat down at the piano bench, sliding slightly back and forth on the slippery finished surface. Placing her hands above the cold keys, she wiggled her long, ringed fingers to prepare them for the fast movements of piano playing. She thought of placing her still steaming cup of coffee on top of the piano, but realizing it was covered in dust, she decided against it. She noticed her old piano book from when she was young, took it down from the top of the piano and blew off the accumulated dust. The corner of her mouth lifted in a slight smile. She smiled in remembrance of all those frustrating mornings spent with her mother in this exact seat, at this exact piano, and in this house. Her mother now lived in care, she was old, and Katina was young. Every month, she would go and pay her dear mother a visit. In that time, many kisses and hugs and warm smiles were exchanged, and then it would be time for Katina to leave. She decided to play one of her mother’s favorite songs on the piano. She set her steaming mug of coffee beside her on the stool and again placed her hands on the cold black and white keys. Like a photograph without color, the piano waited to be played, waited to have its keys pressed and warmed. Katina began slowly chiming out the notes of the song. Slowly the song sped up, until her hands were gliding over the keys, then flying over them. The room was filled with the smell of fresh coffee and the sweet sound of piano keys being struck. Ending her mother’s song in a long, deep, dramatic note, she looked up at the mirror above the piano and saw in it a young version of her mother. She smiled, a wide joyful smile, than looked back down and continued to play.

Alaina Bonis '21

The Plea

Entities await your rapacious feet
That evade the rich and ransack the poor.
Your shadows burgundy on limpid sheets
As you relentlessly slam gated doors.  

Your hands suffocate with eager fingers,
Bruising the tainted light of hopeful dreams.
We run reckless in fear of what lingers
As the hearts of the aghast scream.

We are puppets played by twisted heartstrings
of your revolting breathes requisition.
At your hand the song of the faithful swings
To falter quietly from rendition.

I beg mercy of your sadistic gaze
Yet plead pity when failing heart obeys.

Rachel Jurek '15