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parseltongue

parseltongue, 2012

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Parsel Tongue THE literary magazine for Sharyland High School 1106 N. Shary Rd., Mission, TX 78572 wwwsharylandisd.org www.shsthefang.com Distributed under Creative Commons Material may be used without express permission, if and only if, the author’s name appears with the selection. Spring 2012 Electronic Journal Š Parsel Tongue

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parseltongue staff Editor-in-Chief

Seongwoo Jeong

Director of Prose

Sangwoo Kim

Director of Poetry

Wongyu Choi

Director of Art

Maddi Gonzalez

Committee Member

Lauren Ferting

history

the work

Parsel Tongue began with an idea that the humanities were worth pursuing, that there is value in art and experience, that in our rush to be better at math and science, we sometimes forget to appreciate a beautiful phrase or idea—maybe, we’ve even forgotten how.

All the writing that appears in this issue is the work of students at Sharyland High School. Our magazine held open submissions. The pieces were then selected by the Parsel Tongue staff, according to our vision and goal.

Committee Member

Andrew Koenig

Editor Emeritus

Elizabeth Choi

If we could have included all the submissions in our magazine, we would have. In publishing, there are many limiting factors: time, cost, space, venue—and the list could go on. We thank you for your submissions. Keep on sending them in!

Sponsor

Andrew Hollinger

Parsel Tongue began in August 2010. The first year we had to learn how to run a magazine. This year, we published.

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from the editors

T

he idea for the Parsel Tongue began after peer-editing a friend’s writing assignment for our AP English class. No, the assignment isn’t the focus here, but a poem that was written on the next page of the notebook. Not being a very active writer myself, I had never imagined that a student could or would write something that was not somehow related to school. Whether a story, a poem, a research paper, my writing had always been in an academic context. So reading that poem was exciting. Without the customary restraint and caution that often dominates a school assignment, the poem shed light on a very different part of my friend’s mind, one that had remained hidden during our everyday conversations. It’s not that the poem revealed intensely private and personal thoughts, but, rather, ideas that just could not be expressed in a regular context with regular words. Through parseltongue, I hoped to discover more of these “irregular” ideas and encourage its authors to further develop and share those ideas with the rest of us. It would have no regulations or limitations: the only requirement would be that the authors and artists employ whatever means necessary to most successfully com-

municate their ideas. And thus, last year, a group of friends and I founded parseltongue. As a fledgling organization, we faced the usual challenges: funding, beginner’s errors, and the difficult task of establishing an effective and orderly system of running the organization. We realized that a literary magazine involved more than just publishing works; it required the joint efforts of writing, marketing, designing, and editing. Initially, the main objective of parseltongue was to foster the innovation and creativity of its artists; however, this emphasis on creativity soon expanded to include all aspects of the magazine as we worked to solve every obstacle we faced. Now, parseltongue is not merely a magazine that publishes writing. It is a forum for students to express and share their creative ideas. Whether a poem or a sketch or a bazooza, our goal is to provide opportunities for students to develop

these ideas as effectively as possible, and subsequently inspire the spirit of innovation within others. This first issue is a conglomeration of all these ideas. Every inch of the magazine, from the layout and design of the magazine, to each piece of writing, to the art direction is the manifestation of someone’s unique vision. I hope that through your peers’ works, you experience the same sense of discovery that I did with my friend’s poem, and that you are inspired to pursue your own creative ideas. Before I finish this letter, I would like to thank Mr. Andrew Hollinger for all the support he has given to this organization, and for the creativity he inspires in us every day.

shs

-Elizabeth Choi Editor Emeritus


Literature is a way to express, contain, and share one’s feelings and thoughts. It is our vision to collect and admire the work of our fellow Rattlers, and to continue to grow in both breadth and depth—to make a magazine worth even the most discriminating reader’s attention.

parseltongue • 2012

It’s the first thing people ask: what does that mean, anyway?

Felida Villarreal Sergine Brune Roel Rodriguez Miranda Garcia Andori Cuellar Lauren Fertig Dustin Leidner

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Parseltongue is the language of snakes, made popular by J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. When the literary magazine club first began, we received an imperative from the administration to maintain something “snakey” about our work. How do you literarily insert snake into an art journal? It was difficult, that’s for sure. And then: parseltongue. It was immediately a hit. This magazine, then, is the language of the Rattlers that walk the halls of Sharyland High School.

Felisa Lugo Camila Anguiano Lydia Orr Ally Garza Jacob Ramon Laura Young Cindy Crowley Shannon Hale

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The theme for this issue is dreams, a topic that we felt was general enough to allow our writers to think in many directions. This opens up a canvas where the writers’ pens flourish across the page exploring their ideas, beliefs.

Alejandra Longoria Victoria Juarez Maddi Gonzalez Paul Soto Nanette Nissen Angela Le

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Maeka De La Torre Kaitlyn Albrecht Matthew Scoggins Robin Carin Jairo Selvera Cassie Guerrero Daniel Mills

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Our work is this, the parseltongue. Rattlers...parseltongue...get it?

Enjoy our first edition, unique writing from unique parselmouths. -Seongwoo Jeong Editor

Something Intangible Lies On the Run The Woods Running Old Man The Tale of Draco Drake and the Dragon Druid Amigas...Para Siempre... Let Me Stay Limerick The American Dream The Dream Diaries The Stare Down Waiting for Help Is This Reality or Is This a Dream One Long, Last Glance Dreams Glide Dreams Traveling in Asia Why We Dream & What Causes Dreams Somnabulism An Unexpected Fate The Dance of Dread Not So Different Dreams of a Young Man Then There Was Nothing Children of the Night


s r d

m

a e

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

-Oscar Wilde


LIES by Sergine Brune

SOMETHING INTANGIBLE by Felida Villarreal Decepetions of an untrue reality—yet true to the degree representative of your actions. Reasons for living and confronting challenges in aim for personal success. Enlightenment into the correct path filled with chances and decisions to be made. A sole product of both the individual imagination and set aspirations for the near future. Memories of inspiration; an incentive for pursuing achievement as an ideal professional. Sounds ringing and waking you, never too late to follow your significant and true purpose.

Its like when you close your eyes you fall into a next world A world where things can go right or wrong; sounds like the one we live in But the thing about a dream is it’s a dream: things go the way you want it Shift your eyes right and your body left and the dream takes a great turn for the worst Lift your right leg up, bend you left arm and the dream goes to take a horrible turn for the best Or is that true? Since you’re asleep, shouldn’t your dream be what’s going on in your head Shouldn’t your dreams be an explanation of your emotions and what you’re feeling Or is that true? Maybe we’re all living things, meaning anything with a heartbeat, we’re all psychics who are predicting the future When we sleep, our eyes move rapidly left and right to create a picture A picture of what’s going to happen next But whose future are we seeing Is it somebody else’s and the people are dressed as people we would recognize But the future changes every second Or is that true? If the definition of a dream is questionable, does that mean the dreams we create for ourselves are, too Or do the dreams we dream while we’re asleep: questionable; but, the dreams we create while awake: real Day dreaming ? Maybe Maybe dreams only happen to those who truly believe in the myth of the dream Or it that true? parseltongue, 2012

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ON THE RUN by Roel Rodriguez Darkness. The abysmal pit of darkness that lies before me blinds my eyes. Then, at the end of a long tunnel, I see a dull, aching light. The hand of God reaches into the thick layers of nothingness that envelop my body. As the hand brings me out of the abyss, I am dumbstruck by white — white clothes, white walls, white, faceless men, and white light. My eyes find no importance in anything except for the light: the beautiful, comforting light. All that separates me from bliss is the billionth of a second it takes the photon to greet my waking eyes. Like a magnetic field I find my eye locked in a trance towards the light. There is nothing physical about this attraction, yet it holds my eye with such grip, that I cannot look away if I tried. Time lapses. My infant body is shed and left behind in order to host a more mature, yet prepubescent existence. Many things have changed, yet my eye remains fixed upon a bright, knowledgeable light, and humanity remains faceless. As my eyes zoom out from the light, I feel a soft current upon my back. I feel myself floating on a sea of innocence and serenity, the water sending chills down my spine. I turn to look at the world around me. Almost as magnetic as light, I feel infatuated by the beauty of nature. I climb upon the bank and dry myself, then proceed into the thick foliage. I hear a crack as timber comes crashing upon the earth. I turn to see faceless lumberjacks destroying the very serenity and beauty I have grown to love. I feel the veins in my neck protrude as I shout, yet no words are heard by then men, for I am but a child. The men continue to destroy my very world, and I feel myself age. I run away from it all. Why live with the very people that can rip out your very soul for profit? I continue to flee, my stride growing longer as I age, I stop to rest at a clearing of the forest. I’m done with this. I have to get out of here. As I sit, pondering my escape, a bullet whizzes by. War has found its way to nature and is making it the battlefield. I try to stand, but find myself helpless. The struggle to leave the world I have grown to love is like tightrope walking with a two ton plate. Every step forward can be a step down, towards humiliation. I hear them getting closer; I know I am not going anywhere. I reflect upon my life, which consisted of loving the world, but it seems like love is a one way street. I hear something land beside me; I turn to see a grenade by my left foot. I give out a sigh of relief; at that instant I see the fire and then nothing. Time is gone, it’s all over. Darkness. The abysmal pit of darkness that lies before me blinds my eyes. Then I see at the end of a long tunnel, light, a dull aching light…

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THE WOODS by Miranda Garcia I woke in the woods. The trees twisted into the sky like gnarled fingers, branches black against the grey dystopian sky. There was no sound; there were no animals. There was nothing but the trees. And me. Suddenly, I was walking. I was no longer at the place I had awoken. I could see a lake, a perfect slate mirror of the trees that now reached into the water’s depths. There was something in my peripheral vision, I wanted to turn around and look but could not, try as I might. It wasn’t a tree, not tall enough... but it also wasn’t a person, people weren’t that tall. I tried to turn to see, but it felt as if my head was being held on either side. I strained against the force and with a loud snap my head turned with a forced I did not expect and I could finally see what it was, standing amongst the trees. A faceless figure that easily stood nine and a half feet. It’s skin, if it was in fact skin, had an unsettling ashen pallor to it. It may have been human. Once. I couldn’t turn away, though I dearly wanted to. There was a sudden ringing in my ears and I began to walk forward, towards the faceless figure. I didn’t want to, but I found that I could not stop myself. The ringing got louder and coughs wracked my body, each getting stronger as I got closer. At length, I fell at the feet of the figure, coughing uncontrollably. I began to ache from the subjection, I looked up at the shadow towering above me. “Why?” I managed to sputter between gasps of air. The figure did not move, did not acknowledge that I had said anything. It only walked away into the foggy haze of the woods. And I followed.

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RUNNING by Andori Cuellar Running. Dashing. Sprinting. She was little short of galloping like an overworked race horse through the forest. She didn’t care about the branches and thorns that scratched her face, because if she ignored the pain, then maybe it wasn’t real, maybe she was at home in bed, having a horrible nightmare, rather than on the run from this thing. She couldn’t stop the pathetic gasps for breath that she emitted, even though she desperately hoped it wouldn’t catch her, whatever it was. Though she snapped almost every twig that littered the forest floor, making enough sound to be caught by the dead; the thing moved like the wind, better

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yet, like a toxic gas; silent and unsuspecting until it was too late. And it was far too late for her, she realized upon reaching the small clearing that ended with a steep cliff and a long fall to the bottom. She was trapped; the thing knew what it was doing the entire time and chased her there on purpose, so that she would know that there was nowhere safe from it, not her dreams, not her head, not even in the real world. She felt the dread in her stomach deepen, falling to the ground and she knew it was watching her, waiting for her to turn and look at it, and she, all the while trembling and horrified, turned to look at it. Just as she had thought, it was there, merely standing and soaking in her fear. The figure too tall to be human, with a black wide-brimmed hat, and the long black cloak, which both served to obscure the thing’s body and the space where a face should be, because this thing didn’t have one. It simply stared at her from a smooth blank space; just as it did in the nightmares she’d had for the past month, it never approached her, it never spoke, it just stared, and it was the most terrifying thing that she had ever encountered in any dream or reality. Then it began to move, silent, without the slightest sound, like the essence of death given a corporeal form. She couldn’t stop her feet as they moved, taking two steps back for every inch that

it came closer, desperate to get away from this monster. She should have remembered that the thing knew exactly what it was doing, and as it came closer and closer, she stepped further and further away, not paying attention to her footing, and it should come as no surprise that the next step was her last. As she fell off the cliff, she saw the thing look down at her before it dissipated in a cloud of black acrid smoke, and it only confirmed what she had already known. This was not a dream. This was not a nightmare. She was dead.

True ease comes fro chance, as move easi learned to

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OLD MAN by Lauren Fertig Business is unforgiving. Each night finds me proofreading reports, And every morning on trains 5 and 7. Always a constant scramble, Never a moment to look up, A never-ending mountain of paperwork. This morning found me on the only free bench Awaiting number 7 In a frantic attempt to finish the last Of the previous day’s reports. Frazzled by the stupidity of my employees, I would have joyfully strangled each one Had they stood before me.

in writing om art, not s those who iest have o dance.

A drawn-out sigh like a mournful wind forced me To look up from my work In exaspera-

-Alexander Pope

tion, And I found myself face to face With what had to be the oldest creature Ever to walk the earth. A fossil with a heartbeat. His visage was grotesque, Tanned, beaten, scuffed and lashed. Life had carved great canyons and gorges Across what was once skin, Now as cracked and shriveled as rotten leather. As my initial shock wore off His full appearance seized me. From his worn overcoat Threadbare at the elbows To the sparse snow-white strands of hair Clinging desperately to his crown and temples, He gave off such an air of weariness and ravagement I felt as if I myself had aged 50 years. My gaze travelled unbidden to the man’s face And found his eyes,

Nearly hidden behind half-closed, weathered lids. While every other aspect of him portrayed depression, The aged man’s eyes held an expression That transcended generations And held me Spellbound. He gazed in rapture upon a world unseen, Unknown to me. His mind, it seemed, was unravaged by time. Whatever world this man dreamt of Far surpassed my comprehension. So transfixed was I that I did not realize The number 7 train had arrived And departed. My company pen lay on the floor Forgotten As I lost myself inside the imaginings Of a man ravaged by time Who yet remained untouched, Providing for himself an escape From a world he had too long suffered through.

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THE TALE OF DRACO DRAKE AND THE DRAGON DRUID By Dustin Leidner This is the story of a wee little child, 8 years of age, who dreamed a dream. A big dream. Yes, a very big dream indeed. His name was Draco Drake, and he dreamed to be a dragon druid. Yes, that is correct; a dragon druid. Can you see why this is a big dream? First of all, dragons do not exist, and second of all, druids are pretty mythological figures themselves, from an ancient time. And what sense does it make to be a dragon druid anyway? Druidism has nothing to do with dragons, after all. Draco Drake never bothered thinking about these things. He had a dream one day. A dream that he described as dreamy. And in that dream, he was a dragon druid. Ever since he had that dream, he stopped showing up to school, and he would leave home for far too

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much time at a time. Naturally, his friends and family drew a conclusion: he was a delinquent, and should not be dealt with, only ignored. His peers would ask him questions about why he does what he does, but it would always be in vain, since they would never get answers that made a lick of sense. “What is a dragon druid?”, some would ask him. “It’s what I want to be.”, he would say. “But what is that?”, they would press on. “A dragon druid,” he would repeat. Any conversation you tried to have with him would go around in circles. It was useless. So everyone eventually stopped asking him questions about it, then questions in general, then just stopped talking to him altogether. Draco Drake loved this, since it meant no one would ever bother him. He was free to pursue his dream! No more wasted time... Every day, he went to the forest nearby (about a 30-minute

walk from his house), and he would do God knows what. And every day he would wake up (before his parents, even), make himself some cereal, and go straight to the forest. Each time he went, he stayed a little longer, until he would stay there till evening, come back home, sleep, and repeat. Draco Drake was dedicated to nothing but realizing his dream to become a dragon druid. He did this everyday for 11 years. At some point during that time, Draco Drake left home for good and started living in the forest. It’s obvious that his parents didn’t really care about him, so it was not a hard decision for Draco Drake at all. He stopped caring about all those things that held him back from becoming a dragon druid: friends, family, his whole social life in general. He stopped caring about the outside world entirely. Nothing else mattered besides becoming a dragon druid. He didn’t even bother , with hygiene, having not


brushed his teeth or shaven since he moved out of the house. Since Draco Drake had completely separated from his previous life, he was oblivious that his parents had divorced. Mrs. Drake discovered that she was a lesbian, so she decided she could not continue the relationship she had with Mr. Drake. Mr. Drake moved to one side of the country, and Mrs. Drake moved to the other. Ms. Drake soon remarried to a fellow divorcée, Ms. Liversplat, who had a son of her own, a few years older than Draco Drake . His name was Alex, and he had just graduated from college. He majored in art history. Alex was at that point in his life when he has his degree, but he hasn’t found anything to do with it yet. So he has been living with his two moms for the past few days. With time, the topic of Draco Drake came up in a conversation between Alex and his new stepmom. Alex was tickled pink that he had a stepbrother, since he too was a single, lonely child his whole life. It was especially interesting that he was an insane antisocial hermit living in the wilderness to become a dragon druid too. So Alex drove on to the forest Draco Drake lived at, compelled to meet his new stepbrother. The drive lasted many hours, but Alex had nothing better to do with his time. Well into noon, he arrived at the forest and started poking around, keeping an eye out for Draco Drake.

After about an hour of searching around the area, he found Draco Drake’s cave. He knew it was Draco Drake’s cave since “DRACO DRAKE’S CAVE” was written above the entrance in beaver blood. And Alex knew it was beaver blood because there was a small pile of beaver corpses – about a dozen – near the gaping hole of darkness that was Draco Drake’s cave. Alex hesitantly ventured forth into the cave, which was pretty deep and soon found a hunched figure by another pile of beaver corpses. The strange thing about this was that the figure had an enormously long beard, longer than any he had ever seen, even on the Internet. It was at least 9 feet long, since it was dragging along the cavegrounds. “Are you Draco Drake?”, asked Alex from a distance away from the scene. He got no answer, as the young man was too busy writing strange runic symbols in beaver blood around the beaver corpse pile. It looked like he was doing some kind of ritual. “My name’s Alex. I’m your stepbrother.” Still he got no reply, since the man was preoccupied with pouring gasoline on the rotting pile in the center. “You have been in here for quite a long time, haven’t you?”, Alex continued. Yet again, he got no response from the strange creature before him, maniacally twisted a stick into another stick. You know, the way they do it to make a fire. “A lot has happened since you’ve been liv--“ Suddenly a huge fire erupted

in his face. It was rapidly spreading through the whole cave, and Alex frightfully but hesitantly ran out of there. He exited the cave, coughing and gagging on smoke. He was both coughing and gagging, so he was in great pain. He decided to sit down in front of the cave, staring at the flames that spilled out here and there. The whole cave was on fire, and there is no way Draco Drake wasn’t burning alive by now. Alex did not dare go back in now though, since that would ensure both of their deaths. Still, he waited for the fire to die down, and, with time, it did. Alex reluctantly started to walk towards the entrance again, but when he got close, WHOOSH! Something huge had sent Alex flipping backwards along the ground and knocked him on his rear. Alex looked around him, but saw nothing. But then he looked upward, and in the sky he saw the most ridiculous thing he had ever seen, bar none. It was the bearded man in the cave, riding on a majestic winged dinosaur or alligator or something – No, that was definitely a dragon. Alex could not believe his eyes. He was stunned in awe, simply watching, watching as Draco Drake flew the dragon round in circles in the sky, beard flowing royally in the wind. Soon, he and his dragon dashed straight in the other direction almost like a bullet, and Alex forced himself to run after it. He could not keep up though, and Draco Drake and his dragon had quickly be-

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come a tiny dot in the horizon. Alex, panting, gazed onwards towards the sunset and witnessed the tiny dot disappear, as it had darted upward above the clouds and disappeared. It was clear: Draco Drake had become a dragon druid. Late at night, Alex returned home to his two moms and told them of what he saw, but they did not believe him. Heck, Alex didn’t even believe it, but he saw what he saw. He witnessed with his very own eyes the arrival of the world’s very first dragon druid. Alex nor anyone else have seen or heard from Draco Drake since that day he disappeared into the vista. He could be in realms no one thought existed, having countless adventures with his dragon companion. No one knows what came of Draco Drake, but we do know that Mrs. Drake eventually divorced Mrs. Liversplat too. But just because Draco Drake

is Alex’s ex-stepbrother and just because Draco Drake never said a word to him or acknowledged him in any way, Alex still thought of him as his brother. As a hero. On that day, Alex learned that anything is possible if you just believe. Now Alex works as a construction worker, and is nearly-fired almost every day for daydreaming on the job, and his mom remarried some other woman. Then a man, after realizing she was heterosexual. So remember, children: You can do anything you set your mind to. Dragons don’t exist, and nobody knows what a druid is, but that didn’t stop Draco Drake from becoming a dragon druid. All it took was 11 years of living alone in the wild and raw willpower and dedication. If he can do it, so can you. Nothing is impossible; that’s impossible. As long as you can dream it, you can do it. So dream on, dear reader. Dream on.

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AMIGAS...PARA SIEMPRE... By:Felisa Lugo Slowly my eyes opened and as I looked cautiously around, scanning my surroundings, I realized one thing—this is not my bed. Where am I? What the hell is this? Uh-oh! My mind kept screaming as I looked around to notice something that snaps in my memory but no matter what I looked at, my brain was in a state of confusion. All of a sudden the door slammed open and there, in the entrance, was a girl. Oh my… please don’t let this be an angry girlfriend or some girl looking for some “un. “Hey get up already! It’s already going to be eleven! Hurry up!” the girl said as she lifted the covers off me, sending sharp cold air my way, hitting me like a ton of bricks. As I got out of this strange bed, I scrambled around looking for something to wear, other than sweatpants. When I looked into the mirror I suddenly figured out that I had a huge problem…Who am I? I rushed out of the room and saw the rest of the house. It was surprisingly welcoming, which is more than I can say about the girl. She was rather short and plump. With a brownish glow and the smell of menudo, she had a certain vibe as if she were an abuelita. She couldn’t be over the age of eighteen, which only made my mind ponder even more about this awkward situation. “If you don’t mind my asking,” I said with a worrisome tone “…but who are you?” She started to laugh, which seemed rather fake to say the least. “You have to be joking? Araceli… I know you hit your head last night but I didn’t think it was that bad,” the girl said looking at me, nervously. Araceli. I guess that’s my name. It sounds pretty. Slowly I reached for my forehead and a sharp pain ran through my entire head, “You didn’t answer question.” I asked her once more, still confused, “Who are you?” “I’m Fernanda. I’ve been your best friend since we were babies,” she said trying not to sound hurt. My mind raced trying to remember a face, a name, a place, or anything to help me remember. As I was about to give up, I took in a whiff of her sent once more. Menudo. “Fernanda I remember now!” I said as I started to smile. “Y-you do?” she said with a nervous grin,” what do you remember exactly?” “Everything up to last night…” I mumbled as I looked out the kitchen window at something that caught my eye— a huge mesquite tree. Wow that’s a beautiful tree. As the day drags on everything seems to be blur together. My day

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consisted of two things: cleaning the house and trying to remember exactly what happened. My mind tells me that something is wrong, not right. “This house is just too perfect, something has to be wrong,” I thought as I stared at the tree. I wonder what’s out there… I made my way to the door and headed towards the beautiful tree. The smell of mesquite and fresh air seemed to dance around my head. The sun had barely set as I made my way through the trees. As I reached the beautiful tree my perceptive of it changed. I started to feel hate and regret. Something about this tree sent chills down my spine. As I circled around the tree I saw a small trail that seemed to lead towards a small shack well hidden within the brush. I made my way towards the shack and my heart started to race. Suddenly my heart, which was pounding so fast, seemed to just stop. There, at the entrance to the shack, laid the body of guy, half covered in blood. He had barbed wire still embedded into his neck. Oh my gosh! His face…He seems so familiar… ALEJANDRO! In that instant, memories flashed through my head. Images of Alejandro and me holding hands, kissing and laughing… Then, as my eyes started to water, I remember standing in the exact place. I see Fernanda crying and Alejandro trying to cheer her up. Then suddenly Fernanda screams out “If you won’t love me then you won’t love anyone at all!” She grabs barbed wire that had been left on the ground beside her feet. As the memories start to drown

my mind, tears ran down my face as I realize that this body below me was of the one person I loved. “So I guess you remember...” A voice behind me that seemed to appear out of thin air, said, “It’s too bad what happened to him. He deserved way better but as always he had to follow his heart or whatever...” Fernanda stood staring at me with a grin of satisfaction on her face. “I thought you were my friend Fernanda!?” I shouted. Suddenly she grabbed left over barbed wire from the floor and said “Amigos Para siempre... but then again being friends for life is so childish.” Suddenly she ran towards me. I felt the sharp pain of the barbed wire on my hands as I tried to defend myself. As I jumped back hitting the wall of the shack, Fernanda wrapped the wire around my neck. Is this what Alejandro felt... all this pain? I won’t let her get away with this! I suddenly gave all my strength to push her off, and as she fell the barbwire went with her. I ran over and grabbed it before she had time to even scream. ”No matter what you do you’ll never see his face again,” Fernanda snickered. Without any pause, I wrapped the wire tightly around her neck and closed my eyes. Alejandro I’m sorry this happened to you. My heart was full of pain and anger, until I felt her life slowly leaving her. As her body went limp my I released my grip on the wire and said one last thing to her lifeless body “Karma…”

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p r o s e LIMERICK by Lydia Orr

teacher at Romulo Martinez ElLET ME STAY There was a young man named Lloyd, ementary in Who spent all his time reading Freud. Mission, Texas. by Camila But why analyze dreams, Now she works at Anguiano Which rip apart at the seams? Ruben Hinojosa ElNow it’s something he tries to avoid. ementary, which happens April 2012. The day the world to be in the same district as ends. Well, for me at least. That’s the elementary that she worked around the time that my visa expires. at before. During the time this was all Not my credit card that is, but that little paper happening, my parents divorced and I now live that the U.S. Consulate staples onto your passport that lets you with my mother while my father lives in Mexico. live in the U.S. for a certain amount of time. You’re probably I’m currently a junior in high school and I’m meant to be thinking: “Well you can just go get another one. It’s not the graduating in June 2013. During my sophomore year, I decided end of the world, calm down!” If it was that easy, wouldn’t you that I wanted to go to college in either London, or anywhere think that I would’ve gone already to the Consulate to get an- outside of Texas, because I felt that I had to go far away from other one? You see, since I moved here in 2005 I’ve always lived home to become independent and fend for myself without havwith a Visa. So far I’ve gone to get a Visa three times and after ing anyone there to do it for me. I’ve always wanted to pursue a a certain amount of time you are forced to apply for residency; career in the medical field, and depending on what you’re going if not you get deported. to specialize in, you could be in school for up to thirteen years. I get to live here because the country gives my mother and The visa that my mom and I are supposed to, hopefully, be getme a special visa due to her becoming an elementary teacher. At ting in April will last for three years. When that V\visa expires, first I lived on a visa for my father’s job, but after his company I will be a semester into my sophomore year in college and if went bankrupt we could only live here until our visa at the time my mother’s school doesn’t give her the opportunity to apply for expired; after that we would have to go back to Mexico. My moth- residency I’ll have to finish college in Mexico. I do not like that. er, though, decided that she didn’t want to move back so, during At all. the time we had left with our Visa, she took special courses to Coming to this country is such a great opportunity for become a teacher. After a couple of months, she finished all of me to have a better education. Studying in an American elethe courses and that summer she got a job as a sixth grade math mentary, junior high and high school give me a great advantage

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THE AMERICAN DREAM by Ally Garza

poetry

in getting into a good college, plus I’m not from this country, which means that I have an even better chance of getting into a good college, because they need diversity in their school. I would do anything to be able to stay here forever. I could probably get a student visa so I could stay here for college but only private colleges give those out to their international and foreign students. I could go to London and study over there but that would mean that I wouldn’t be able to go home as often as I want to and get to see my friends when they’re on break as well because the plane tickets would be very expensive. I pray every night to God to help my mother to get her residency. All I want is for me to finish all of my studies here and for my mom to live somewhere that she loves and is close to wherever I go for college. Things happen for a reason. If my mother doesn’t get to apply for residency and we have to go back to Mexico, there’s a reason why that happened. God has better plans for us, I guess. Whatever happens, happens; but I’ll come back to see all of my friends and everyone that I’ve met since I’ve lived here. This is where I grew up, this is where I’m meant to be and I’ll do anything to get to stay here.

We’re all searching for something in the land of nothing. Our expectations exceed the realm of possibility. “I have a dream.” We all have dreams. Perfection can never be reached. “The American Dream” Trust in us. We’re all you’ve got. We are the future. Our future seems very distant. One day you’re 15 going on 30. Next you’re pregnant with a child. Family. Friends. Money. The unachievable perfection, People kill for this “dream.” Kill others, kill themselves, kill spirits.

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THE DREAM DIARIES by Jacob Ramon Today I swam across a sea of milk Tasted the chocolate sky Flew with the healing breath of dawn. I pranced around in murky waters Plummeted from a skyscraper Told the world my darkest secrets I gave a speech in my underwear Played tag with forgotten monsters Tangled the strings of time into a knot I was invincible And I was powerless Not lost And not in control I was nowhere, and everywhere. Today I snapped my fingers Disintegrated a city Burned a creamy red rose I watched my world shudder Saw butterflies explode Popped my neck, and bathed in venom I twirled a ribbon Splintered a bone Cried so much I laughed I was crazy And I was rational Not clear And not blurry I was nothing, and everything.

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Today I snapped a photo planted a shiny seed kissed a glamorous girl I conducted an orchestra floated across chasms of light whispered a lullaby, roared in victory I held a shell and listened hard Embraced an imaginary friend Watched colors splash on a wall of sound I was free And I was trapped Not real And not false I was nobody, and everybody.


THE STARE DOWN by Laura Young “Are we there yet?” Alison was impatient. She had been sitting in the car for far too long and wanted to get out and stretch her little legs. “Darling, we still have six more hours until we reach our hotel for the night.” A tired sounding female voice answered. Alison crossed her arms and frowned. She hated car rides. There was nothing worse than being trapped in a small amount of space for a large amount of time with nothing to do except look out the window at all the passing images. It was like watching a very boring nature TV show special on fast forward. She pressed the side of her cheek to the window. The electric blue eyes that gazed out flashed suddenly with a childish spark of deviance. She had a brilliant idea. “I need to go to bathroom.” She said quietly while looking down at her feet. A groan could be heard eminating from the front seat. “Can it wait Sweetie? We’re in the middle of nowhere.” “I need to go to the bathroom!” “We can’t stop honey. Just hold it until we get to a gas station.” “I NEED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM.” It was a pining tone edged with indigence and an accusing stab of injustice.

“1 ½ miles to Picnic Area,” read a yellow sign on the side of the road. The silver mini van was soon pulling up into a deserted parking lot. There was a grimy building some ways away with two doors on each opposite end. Around the building were untrimmed hedges, lanky birch trees scattered here and there, and an assortment of picnic tables topped with decorations of bird droppings. Alison got out of the car and scampered over to the once white building but had clearly just gotten a mossy green paint job from none of there than Mother Nature herself. “Alison, honey, maybe you should go squat behind a tree.” The mother was looking hesitantly at the clearly unsanitary state of the structure. The daughter seemed not to have heard. She was observing the peculiar sign upon one of the facility’s doors. It was a typical stick figure at first glance. Not unlike the stick figures usually outside of bathroom doors that let visitors know the proper gender orientation of the four corners within. But upon closer inspection the stick figure, clothed in a dress, seemed to have a etched on face with two x’s for eyes and a slash for a mouth. To top it off, there seemed to be a puddle of red paint splattered near the figure’s feet. Alison called out, “Mommy...” The door opened. The big blue eyes didn’t blink, but her mouth let out a sharp gasp of surprise as

an old man in a elephant grey jumpsuit backed his way out of the bathroom with a moving cart that held a bright yellow bucket, a mop, broom, dustpan, and countless of colorful spray bottles that oddly enough didn’t have any labels. At the noise, the man turned to look at Alison. He seemed to turn his neck abnormally slow, almost as though it was an extremely painful stunt to do so, but when his deep sunken eyes met the little girls they opened wide with astonishment. He didn’t speak a word. His popping eyes gazed at her in silence, and then breaking contact, he twisted his head slightly in the direction of the door he had just vacated as if to say, “Well, go on then.” Alison needed no excuse to get away from this strange man who smelled heavily of Pine-sol. She darted past him and into the lavatory. It was spotless. Blue tiled walls, shiny mirror, and a whitewashed cement floor with a gleaming silver drain in the middle. There were three sinks, with three mirrors above each, and three stalls. Allie walked a little closer to look a her reflection in the immaculate mirror. She found that she couldn’t look away. Closer, and closer she edged to herself. She was leaning over the sink, peering through the looking glass, she was so close now she was almost touching her nose to her nose. “ALLIE!” A booming voice called. continued on 24 parseltongue, 2012

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You. Me, Us. Together. Forever. Wanna? -Robynn Carin

No, I will not draw you. -Maddi Gonzalez

You have five seconds. Start running. -Jacob Ramon

I have no problems until sunrise. -Ale Longoria

Being a nerd: today’s EXTREME sport. -Ezra Chia

My only sunshine today is you. -Angela Le

Didn’t know; didn’t do. Came unglued. -Jenessa Soto

I saw you, and life began. -Felida Villarreal

Sit still. Smile. No thinking required.

-Lauren Fertig

Survival guide: eat, sleep, stay alive.

-Vanessa Alfaro

He’ll be here soon. We’ve got— -Andori Cuellar

A dead king; the wrong heir.

-Miranda Garcia

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This is just as nice, right? -Kassandra Rodriguez

She’s him; he’s her; I’m me! -Aaron Cantú

Does she feel what I’m feeling?

-Karlo Hinojosa

I love you...*does not compute* -Shannon Hale

Inspiration can come from anywhere, everywhere.

-Blanca Niño

I wrestled God and I lost. -Andrew Koenig

Here’s my life. Use it well. -Matthew Scoggins

Wet paint, no sign, oh crap.

Sometimes I fly in my dreams. -Jairo Selvera

-Rachel Martinez

Wipe your hands clean; start again.

-Cindy Crowley

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continued from 21 Where was it coming from? Alison wanted to look around but she found that she was glued to her spot, stuck in a sort of unblinking stare down contest with herself. “ALISON.” Again. At that very moment she realized, however, that it was her mouth that had called out her name. For her lips had moved in perfect synchronization with the sound, and her reflection had mimicked the movement as though she was some kind of cruel twin sister whose sole purpose in life was to copy. “W-what do you want with me?” Her hand at her side trembled. Her twin smirked.

“I want what you want.” “I want you to go away.” She laughed. A horrible, ugly grownup laugh. “If I go away, you’ll go away too. Do you want that?” Alison didn’t understand the question. Her little brow furrowed. “You’re making me look stupid!” Her reflection hissed. “It’s my turn to be on the other side.” A tiny hand lifted up towards the mirror and hit it, hard. Shards of glass were spiraling in slow motion throughout the air. Alison’s dark brown hair was whipped around her face, and her eyes were tight shut, while one of her hands was dotted with specks of dark

red. A piercing scream hung in the air as though suspended in time and space... “Allie, Allie! ” Someone was shaking her. It was her mother. “You’re having a bad dream, wake up Honey! You fell asleep in the car.” Alison stirred blearily. Her mother stood in the gateway of the slide along door, looking at her daughter curiously. “I stopped here at the store for bathroom breaks. Do you still need to go?” There was a pause. “No thank you Mommy.” And with that Alison wrapped her arms around her puzzled mother’s waist.

WAITING FOR HELP by Cindy Crowley I waited till dark, Till I was all alone, Till the birds went to bed, And no light shone, And cried, The frantic tears exploded from my eyes, The pillow muffled my cries, All the pain of that day seemed to fade,

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And with my fake face, I hide all the pain of the previous day, And that night I would wait till dark, Till I was all alone, Till the birds went to bed, And no light shone, and cried, waiting for my help to arrive.


ONE LONG, LAST GLANCE by Alejandra Longoria IS THIS REALITY OR IS THIS A DREAM by Shannon Hale Is this reality or is this a dream? So many things happen each day Too many mistakes happen so fast. How can this all possibly be real? Irate beings So many Amazing things Dreams: Reoccurring, happening fast Everyone is a threat; untrustworthy Any sickness mutates More and more die each day Overpowering Rare moments in time Identities stolen Suicide Truths that end in lies Hours go by in seconds Ideas becoming something more Sacrifices Rebellious individuals Everything Any human capable of anything Life or death decisions Incisions in the brain Tears falling Youth dying

I ran. I sprinted across the train station, with one goal in mind; stop him. At that moment, I felt a water drop, fall from my eye. It slipped down slowly, from my eye, to my cheek, to my lips. The salty taste penetrated my tongue, and made me keep going. I was filled with sorrow and regret. If I could only go back. Undo what was already done. I pictured him boarding the train, looking back at me and waving goodbye. Goodbye forever. I kept running, pushing, overcoming the obstacles in my way. I searched through the faces, looking for the one that made me get to where I am, right here, right now. I remembered that face. I remembered everything. I kept running, and had no intention of stopping until I found what I came here for. I saw through millions of eyes, searching for the gaze that saw right through me. For the gaze that made me feel loved. It was packed, and the chances of ever finding him again, slowly faded away. All I could see was the flowing crowd, waiting to board that train, the train that will take him away, away from me forever. Everything in my life, everything I loved was slipping out of my hands faster and faster. I panicked, and felt the sudden need for air. As I turned, I analyzed the figure looking straight at me. A chill went through my spine. I gasped for air. I ran, ran like I never did before. Our eyes met and for an instant it was magic. I was embraced in his arms, and my arms wrapped around his neck, with my feet above the ground. I didn’t want to let go, I wanted to stay there forever. I felt safe and protected. He lowered me and smiled. Touched my face and kissed. I melted in his arms, holding on to that precious moment for eternity, but before long it stopped. His eye let down a single teardrop, and with that he held my hand. He leaned in, I felt his breath upon my ear, and whispered words that forever in my heart will stay. “Goodbye, my love”. His hand slowly slipped out of my hand, but I didn’t let go. With one last sigh leaving my lips, and one last tear falling against my cheek, I let go. I watch him depart, feeling abandonment inside. He boards, as I take one last, long glance. Who would have thought I would never see him again.

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GLIDE by Maddi Gonzalez

DREAMS by Victoria Juarez A stinging pain on my elbows and the back of my head woke me from a sleep I could not recall. A loud crash startled me to sit upright, become aware of my surroundings. Water drenched me before I could realize that I was lying on some sort of beach. The ground under me resembled some sort of aqua colored pebbles morphed together to create huge cliffs. Feeling the grooves the rocks had left on my elbows I noticed that my parents were settled along the edge of the rocks placing their feet in the platinum blue water. I opened my mouth to call to them when the distant sound of a bell struck my ears. Puzzled, I looked behind me realizing a gargantuan stone bell was bouncing off the cliff towards the water to right. The impact of the bell in the water made huge tidal waves in the distance. The sight of my mother swimming out to the water distracted me from my concerns for the bell. Trailing behind her was a dark figure under the water, I began screaming for her to get out of the water until even my lungs ached. I blinked for only a moment and no longer saw my mother… My legs became weak and all things became splotches of color past the wall of tears filling my eyes. A figure that I made out to be my father walked forward near the water. “I love you, but I have to go with her. She’s my wife…” my father said without taking his eyes off the vast depths of the water. Shouts and screams bursted out of my mouth to try to stop him. Yelling how I needed him to take care of me and be there in my life. But my breath was in vain because as quickly as my mother, he disappeared as well.

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i know i’m known to mumble so excuse me when i stumble on these words for i have practiced them for days i’ve known you and i’ve held your hand none of my movements had been planned close to the universe but much too far away and you glide into my dreams you glide into my dreams How, in all of the great cosmic power and celestial coincidence in the universe, did a being like you come into existence in this terrible world of ours? You’re the colors of the flares of the sun, blinding and beautiful, racing across the fiery surfaces like you feel nothing but warmth at the tips of your fingers...the tips of your fingers fan out into the heavy Texan air and you breathe; you breathe and exist and become the skies that you have set not as your limit, but your starting line. I couldn’t see it before, but I feel it now: it’s an immense power you’re afraid to unleash, afraid to captivate the world, afraid to destroy...create... You are...only human, yes. But not to me. I don’t see you anymore... But now, I feel you. i only ask you stay a spell to hear the rambles i expel of infatuation and your wicked ways


DREAMS by Paul Soto Life never seems to satisfy the realities that we live within. Worlds of expectations, hopes, and fantasies are constantly thought of and experienced simultaneously with our physical experiences. Pensive mornings on pasture grasses are cubicle daydreams. Eternal love is constructed and is allowed to bloom through silent lunches and momentary empty distractions. But we always come back to our du-

Secret of life? Keep your receipts.

ties, our physical circumstances, with a seasoned dismissal of the pleasure that we have just abandoned. One of the main troubles we face in our perpetual strides for happiness and satisfaction is the great marginalization between our internal desires and the external desires which we prioritize and value much more. Though these external desires seem more fulfilling in their tangibility, the intangibility of our inner dreams has much more resonance and value in achieving our true, unadulterated happiness. Through our experiences as social beings, we become accustomed and groomed to contribute not only to our community and society, but to ourselves financially as well. Though this constructed predetermination is beneficial in achieving stability and progress within a civilization, the superficial goals and external expectations become so overbearing in their control of our perception of purpose that we may not even realize the monopoly itself. Sit down and look away for a second. Think of your internal desires, recall the thoughts that transcend physical objectives and are emotional and spiritual in their state. Recollect your childhood dreams that remained with you as you grew older, summon your recurring fantasies and write them down, analyze them. It should not be a surprise for you to find out that your dreams are thoughts and nothing more.

Once one’s desires can be truly analyzed and not just visualized one can see their spiritual purpose with much more clarity. With this refined Rosetta stone of our inner wishes, we may begin to evaluate the relevance of these dreams in our real lives. However, we must not haste in our pursuits. Through time and with the application of logic, we will begin to find ways to bring these dreams into actuality. One’s lifelong dream to pursue paleontology can be transformed into seminar visits and dig site volunteering. Another’s longing for a perfect romance may begin writing a love novel entirely for fun and begin to settle into the eyes of their characters. As each day passes with similar tones and rewards us mostly with momentary rewards, our dreams become reduced to momentary corners of days; glimpses into the mind’s romanticism. Though we may never fully externalize our internal dreams into actuality, it is a spiritual duty for us to evaluate what they are, in order to realize the core of these dreams in some way or another. The more the gap between inner and outer dreams narrow, the happier we will become and we will find the equilibrium that is essential to our condition today; the balance of internal and external fulfillment and the realization of our dreams.

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TRAVELING IN ASIA by Nanette Nissen For many people their life goal is to travel around the world, to see the sights and experience the culture. For me though it isn’t a dream but my life. One of the travels I remember the most vividly is my travels in Asia. Traveling in Asia didn’t exactly start out as a vacation as you would think. Instead it started out as my move from Denmark across the world to Penang, Malaysia. Now it sounds like a simple thing but you see there is something that you don’t think about. Shots. Yup, when you go to Asia they give you shots for every single exotic disease out there and probably some just for good luck. I am pretty sure they enjoy this. To make up for the multiple excruciating stabs to the body, you do receive a sticker. Then you have to go on the very long and possibly never ending plane ride. Arriving in the airport there are some things you realize when you look around at the new things that surround you. First of things are most definitely in a different language and apparently everyone knows how to speak this strange funky language. And they like to speak it fast with hand motions that look like they are trying to signal down a cab and that just really make you wonder what exactly they are talking about. Another thing that hits you is how different they look compare to me and the weird looks they like to give you. Being four chubby and extremely adorable was okay but the thing that they targeted me for since I first arrived was my hair. Apparently blonde hair is not something they saw every day and to make sure it was real they of course had to come over and touch my hair. Trust me after a while you just really want to get a sign that says “$5 to touch the hair and $10 for a picture” and it crossed my mind every single time some stranger saw it fit to come guarantee the quality of my hair. While this does stand out in my mind the thing I really remember is the adventures. Malaysia really is a scenic place, especially with the jungles. I remember a train cart resembling thing that took you to the

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top of a mountain. It moved at a snail like pace allowing you to digest the sights, smells, and sounds that filled the senses all coming from within the jungles. The trees so tall shading out the sharp sun and leaving the mysteries within the jungle cool and shaded though still humid. Or if you would rather be closer to the animals within the jungle you could even walk up the mountain along the paths. Taking the long trek up through the jungle among the snakes and monkeys is sure to take your breath away. Though none of this compares with the sight once you’ve reached the peak of the mountain. There the view allows you to see everything you had so slowly moved through from above. The sight alone is enough to make you just stand and stare. Forever. On the other side of the water is another half of Malaysia they have an orangutan reservation. There you can go in and interact with the orangutans in their natural habitats. Just remember to be careful orangutans are very curious and they may attempt to steal your mothers’ bag in the process. After that happens the only way to get it back is to bribe them with something more interesting. The people there were also very different aside from their looks, the way they did things was different too. I remember women with dots or a sticker in the middle of their foreheads in the streets in various garments, but this was nothing compared to their festivals. In the heart of the cities the Malay took part in festivals where men with hooks punctured through their skin pulled things, it seemed like an extremely painful competition among the people. While some had a few hooks in them others were completely cover in them. The festival also included dances and men inside long paper mache dragons that moved with the beat as lanterns light up the scene. Going further north you can get to Thailand, there I stayed in a beautiful hotel by the ocean so you could hear the lapping of the water. There was even a baby elephant roaming within the pool area of the hotel. In Thailand I went riding in the jungles on the backs of elephants even on their heads. I watched men kiss poisonous snakes in an intricate dance, men tousled with


crocodiles twice as long as they were, taking part in dangerous tango. I played with monkeys and feed them as they ran around, the streets were filled with them and they hung in the tree tops precariously dangling by thin limbs. Traveling even further up north into Hong Kong, China, while it was still owned by Eng-

WHY WE DREAM & WHAT CAUSES DREAMS by Angela Le Dreams. We all dream, whether it’s a good dream or a bad one. We all dream. I believe dreams make up for our happiness. In dreams, we can dream whatever we can. Some individuals dream about their guilt or some people dream about happiness, and others may dream about the future. Guilt. We are constantly guilty about something. Most people try to escape their guilt, but it eventually catches up to them. Some individuals dream about dead people, or past loves. It deals with our feelings, guilt or anger in connection with the person who died; or our own feelings about death. But seeing dead people could also be people from the past. We may dream about our first ex, and re-live through all the emotions we had to put through in the relationship to reteach us the lesson or mistake that is in

land, I saw Pandas as well. Even though I was only there for a year the experiences are still bright in my mind and I cherish them and everything I got to take part in there. My adventures in Asia are something I will remember forever.

our present relationship. Sometimes, our dreams become real. For example, if in the dream, we are crying, and if it seems real enough in our dream, we may wake up crying. Dreams may seem surreal, but I believe that’s what causes nightmares to occur. Happiness. Dreams are a place where people can escape to their blissful place. Some people dream about being rich and famous. Others dream about being with their love ones. It all depends on the person. Being rich and famous is a typical entity people dream about because it’s one of the things that cause people to be happy. Other people may dream about being with their loved ones because that too can make them happy. Expectations in our life also can effect if we have a bad dream or not. If we have positive expectations for ourselves, we will most likely dream happy, but if we have negative expectations like worrying too much or if we don’t have enough sleep, there is a chance we may not dream so well.

The future. People can dream about their future or the future in general. “Déjà vu” which is when you have the feeling in which you have already seen it, or lived it, is something most people felt from their dreams. Premonitions can cause in our dreams. Premonitions are when we see things in the future. They may occur in dreams or in general. Although, we dream about things, it may not come true. Some people dream what they want to dream to be happy. Sometimes, we dream about the future, and have that feeling of “Déjà vu” or have premonitions, but that’s what dreams are sometimes. Dreams are a place we can go to in our sleep. We dream to be happy, and to be in a safe place. And in its case, it may not come true because we have guilt, or have negative thoughts in our mind. But most of the time, we dream happily, and dreams keep us sane from reality. That’s what I believe dreams are; a place where we can escape reality.

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“Night Has Brought To Those Who Sleep, Only Dreams They Cannot Keep.” - Enya SOMNAMBULISM by Maeka De La Torre She dreams of dreams. On the hour of the dead, she walks, bathed in moonlight, past the garden of poppies and thorns to realms unknown and unspoken. Petals whisper and sharp edges streaks bare legs with red warnings and chilling admonitions. Still, she walks on, transfixed on something within her akin to the push and pull of the ocean’s tides. She doesn’t always know why. Drawn by an invisible thread, she approaches as if entranced by each and every pull, calling, singing, serenading for her to inch closer. It’s a natural attraction that lures her by instinct or by a connection much greater than any primal force, binding her very being to this…extravaganza: a manifestation of mankind’s dreams, desires, truths, and faults. She’s often curious. Who are they? She speaks of those whose minds she invades upon. From their dreams and nightmares, she distinguishes between the good men and the bad. She is drawn to the latter. They say a good man’s past makes one curious, but if he is a bad man, then it often makes one want to know even

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more. It was a dark obsession, but that little string that entwines her is more than willing to indulge it. She devours their dark and scavenges for an inkling of secrecy and every covert detail held within the deepest and darkest recesses of the purest mind. She is always hungry for more. She melts into the world of the slumbering. A mass of confusion hails her as she carries her way farther into the domain of doors and locks. A labyrinth of entrances and exits winding down the path of existence and creation stretches farther than she could see, though what is before her is obvious: a challenge. Doors shut and mechanisms click, sealing away secrets from her ravenous eyes. She is startled by her own enthusiasm. Each knob and handle refuses to give way. Although, that does nothing to deter prying hands. Each twist and turn she takes only drives the hunger; sweet, sinister promises coaxing her further on. She adores this game. That mind must be so weary to keep its thoughts guarded, even at this ungodly hour! But she can tell that his guard is slipping; every few knobs turn halfway before holding fast, almost as if he caught his lapse, almost as if there was someone on the other side… She reaches the heart of the maze and steps through the arched gateway, neither barricaded nor encompassed, opposing the norm. Eyes widen and then narrow as an amused smile stretches

across her face. She tries to hold in the cruel laughter, but fails. She knew there was a reason. It was such a delicious secret held within those four walls; her victory was not without spoils. It really was such a shame that she failed to notice the silhouette by the doorway with merciless eyes gazing callously at the intruder. “My, my…quite the curious one, aren’t you?” She didn’t dare turn around “You know what they say about curiosity, correct?” Footfalls resonate; calamity, imminent. She didn’t dare breathe. “Well, since you’ve uncovered this…” he gestured to his secret, the enormous length of the silhouette’s shadow visible from a midnight sun. “You may as well know…I never cared for cats.” His secret gave a malicious grin before her screams echoed within the black walls, etching her terror within the core of his mind. She awoke the next day. She didn’t recall a thing. “The Only Witnesses To Our Sincerest Truths Are The Shadows Of Our Mind.” Penumbra Her arrival did not go unnoticed. She slipped through the woven thoughts and memories, a phantom passing through the mind. Pallid lips frowned, little white worms


curling towards a finely pointed chin. Beside him, eyes shimmering with mirth of roses and poisons glowed to mischief and something much more sinister. “Another game…how droll.” He needn’t say a word. It could protect itself, or not if it chose so. A feral smirk dissipated into the blackness, leaving the apathetic silhouette to observe the spectacle. Down, down, down she went, further into the rabbit hole. She was oblivious to the descent. The slightest slope, the smallest decline on the landscape of insanity, went unnoticed by curious and prying appendages, her erratic behavior indicating her obscure fascination. He felt no sympathy. It teased her, the little monster he held close to his heart, overtaking his mind. It loosened its hold upon all his secrets, but he paid no mind to it; it was a calculating hellion after all. He was not at all surprised to see it lead her to the very core of his subconscious. The sickening fiend, both terrifying and beautiful all at once, was such a vain individual. Of course it would lead the poor girl to its lair; what better way was there for such a proud creature to present itself? Again, he felt no sympathy. She stood before his monster, throwing her head back and crowing like an ignorant fool—then again, she was. Stonefaced, he listened as her shrill laughter

reverberated in its domain; the heat of his gaze dropped to subarctic levels, aggravation prickling at his skin. A predatory leer in his direction went unnoticed by the girl indicated the necessity that was his presence; it was purely for effect. It

loved games just as much as he. He decided to start playing now. When he made his presence known, she froze like the cowardly being he was certain she was. So strange are the curious: eager to make a mess of things and

then run from the scene like a pitiful animal cowering from its master. The ignorant little girl had no clue that what looms behind her is nothing compared to what lurks before her in the prevailing darkness. After all, her rapacious curiosity is nothing compared to its voracious hunger. He let it have its fun. Soon, she was no more, and his little nightmare, whose eyes that stalked his every move and whose hand that drew forth those unfortunate souls from a mere tug that reel them like doomed fishes for its next meal, simply evaporated into the shadows. He sighed, preventing an amused smile from gracing his features. The walls continued to echo. “The Truth is Rarely Pure and Never Simple.”-Oscar Wilde Perspicacity It began with a single piece of thread. It dwindled, sought, and captured curious minds with its tempting call; a siren’s song amidst storm rippled waves. To satiate my appetite or for his obscure delight, it matters not. What matters is the delicate ruin of our many victims; our little toys to do with as we please. He remained impassive. I knew better though. It was faint— the slightest of metamorphosis, but it was there. The little organ imbedded into human flesh, pumping crimson liquid to flow and spill forth (should there be

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cause to) accelerated its tempo ever so slightly. We awaited our prey. This was his game as much as mine. His dreams weren’t simply the web that entangles and snares our captives—he was a predator, masking his excitement with stoicism. His little charade never ceases to amuse me. “Another game…how droll.” A shift in the wind and I was gone from the view of cold eyes underlying with cruel pleasure beneath the fragile, mirrored surface. She was interesting enough, as fools went, anyways. A curious little kitten, wandering to the beast’s lair, unknowing and uncaring of the ominous way doors shut and mechanisms clicked to secure his secrets from unwanted eyes. I teased her along the corridors, tugging

that invisible thread ever-so-slightly, beckoning her towards my domain. She deserved a glimpse for all her trouble, after all. He never locks my door, allowing me to come and go as I please; to plague and wane from his existence as I please. Even if he did shut me away, given the slightest crack, shadows can easily slither from here to there: from illusion to reality. Upon the first sight of me… she cackled like a lunatic. How ignorant. Nonetheless, soon she would be nevermore for he was nearby, just the smallest traces of malevolence in his soul, permeating the air with the heated aroma; he has decided to partake in our game at last. Our gazes locked and I could feel my own exhilaration pulsing throughout this mockery of an existence. He approached her.

I savored her fear; her drumming heart, her blood running cold within her veins, her face bleeding out of all the colors in her mortal palette, and most of all—the trepidation in her eyes, wide like a marble, reflecting with clarity like polished glass. But I refrained from moving until he concluded his mockery— as though a cue to me. I allowed the last syllable to flee his lips. I didn’t hesitate. It was a great pleasure of mine to take. Blood curdling, ear-piercing, vibrant, and melodious; her shrieks painted life into this decaying dominion. He relishes them with silent approval, his earthen mentality quaking the realms of his fragile sanity. I vanish from his sight without a word, the symphony of her terror never ceasing. The darkness around him collapses.

AN UNEXPECTED FATE by Kaitlyn Albrecht

black dress up pants with a white collar shirt and black pumps that added at least a foot to her height with how short she is. She can smell her mom’s pomegranate perfume from where she was standing— breathing it in – loving the scent. Kaitlynn slowly walks up to her mom and smiles back at her, still holding onto the piece of toast bread, chewing bits of it. Her mom kisses Kaitlynn’s forehead and soothes the back of her head. “Have a great day today. I love you Kaitlynn,” her mom hugs her daugh-

ter tightly, planting one last kiss on her cheek. “I will mom.” Kaitlynn embraces her mom when she hugged her, breathing in her scent once more. Her mom release their embrace so Kaitlynn could take off to the bus. “Oh and call your dad. He left early again, so tell him to have a great day as well.” Kaitlynn nods “Will do mom. I love you.” She then takes off rapidly to the bus, waving goodbye to her mom.

“Mom! I’m heading out to school already!” Kaitlynn shouts from her doorway; as she grabs a hold of her backpack she runs down her spiral staircase that leads to her kitchen, snatching a piece of toast bread ready for her. Before she was about to exit her home, she sees her mom waiting by the door with her arms crossed across her chest, smiling and wearing what she always wears to work:

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“Jared wake up! Or you’re going to be late to school again!” Jared’s mom yells at the end of his hall from his room, hoping he heard her. Jared rolls his eyes while he snags his spiral from his desktop and takes off to the front door, not wanting to see his mom before he leaves, because in reality when she is the one that always makes him late to school bye lecturing him to stop getting in trouble and to stop skipping classes. He makes his way to the door when he glances to his side and notices his mom rushing over to him wearing what she always wears: red plaid pajama pants with a loose gray t-shirt and pink slippers. “Mom, I don’t want to hear you now. I have to get to school.” He quickly says, trying to avoid her. His mom stops him at the doorway, staring sadly at him. “I just want a kiss from my son. Is that to hard?” she grabs him by his arm and kisses his cheek forcefully. He groans and wipes the wet kiss off his cheek. “Can I leave now?” Jared questions; losing patience. His mom shakes her head with disbelief. “Yes.” Satisfied, Jared takes off to the bus that was waiting for him outside of his home. Kaitlynn and Jared arrive at school at the same time, eyes glued to their cellphones once they exited the bus, reading a text message from their parents. Going out to dinner tonight with the Ranger’s/Cooper’s. You and Kaitlynn/

Jared go home and order pizza. Won’t be out late. Love you. “Interesting.” They both say at the same time. They hadn’t noticed they were already walking next to each other and heard what they said. Kaitlynn smiles at Jared while looks annoyed. She sees him place his phone back into his blue washed jean pocket and sighs. “I guess it’s just the two of us then isn’t it?” Jared looks at her, smiling fakely. Kaitlynn rolls her eyes as she walks right passed him to enter the school hallway. They continue walking through the crowded hallway; to Kaitlynn it looked like they were at a store on Black Friday with how many people were overpopultaing the school. Her and Jared arrive to their classroom and sat quielty at their desk, which were right next to each others. Jared turns to face Kaitlynn, “I can’t believe they’re going out. What about us? We wanna go out too?” Frustrated with his complaining she turns and faces his as well. “We should be happy for them. They hardly ever go out. Now be quiet. Class is starting.” Kaitlynn and Jared stroll through the sidewalk that was leading to Jared’s house; his mom made Zuchini Casserole for them to eat and have something to do while they were going to be home alone. Kaitlynn and Jared laugh hysterically at what they were watching on Kaitlynn’s phone, but she stopped when she saw a

horrific car crash sight in front of her. They both suddenly stopped at their tracks and stare intensly at the sight. Jared keeps staring at the car and recognizes the color of it; seeing a cross hanging on the rearview mirror, he notices it’s the same one as his parents. His eyes widened in fear as he ran towards the wreckage. Noticing a hand hanging out of the window in the backseat, Kaitlynn sees a gold bracelet that was the same as her mom. Kaitlynn falls down on her knees and cries uncontrolably. The cops surrounding the crash, stop and grab Jared so we wouldn’t get burned from the scourching fire rising from the cars. The other policeman see her and carry her to constable; she was to in shock to be able to walk on her own. Jared follows along, tears forming up in his eyes. Him and Kaitlynn both sit in the back of the police car while the two cops sat in the front and started the car, driving to the police station. Jared looks over at Kaitlynn, seeing her eyes puffed up and red from crying to much. He grabs her hand and caresses it with him thumb. She looks up at him and smiles weakly. Jared leans in towards her and whispers, “What do we do now? I don’t wanna live on my own.” Kaitlynn nods in agreement. “Neither do I. What can we do?” Kaitlynn wipes away another tear from her cheek, “live together?” Jared’s eyes widen. “Yes. Yes we can!”

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THE DANCE OF DREAD by Matthew Scoggins In the bleak distance, a thin veil of fog draped over a field of wilted flowers and rotting trees. Beyond this field stood a crumbling property known as the Weltzer Manor. The Weltzer Manor stood alone; no other houses were nearby. Black stone and moss made up the exterior of this gruesome, two-story house. Brittle, twisted trees surrounded the morbid structure, and several ebony ravens and crows perched on the trees’ numerous branches. The large estate had a large, heavy door with a gothic knocker. Broken window panes were filled with dusty spider webs, and the curtains fluttered with the chilly breeze. At times, passersby can see a menacing entity glaring from a window, and many have said that they could see a noose around a dark, male apparition. Historical documents dealing with the mansion’s previous owners depict many surreal, grotesque events that took place on the Weltzer grounds. Documented stranglings, hangings, decapitations, as well as numerous suicides verify a local fear regarding hauntings at the Weltzer Manor. A team of local paranormal investigators had once set foot inside the black mansion with the hopes of leaving with incontrovertible evidence of life beyond

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the grave, but even to this day, no one has seen them return… About ten years after the forgotten investigators appeared at the mansion’s front door, the Weltzer heiress, Layla, walked stealthily towards the colossal front door. With the intent of renovating the estate and creating a more modern appearance, Layla opened the door to her new inheritance. Upon unlocking the door, she immediately felt the icy hand of death finger her slender body. Skeptical about her “family curse”, she continued into the house, closing the door as softly as she could. Portraits of deceased relatives hung on the dusty, web-covered walls, and a double-stairway led up to the second story. Taking in her surroundings, Layla began to investigate the rest of her house. As she approached the stairways, a soft, blue light appeared at the top of the left staircase. A tall, eerie figure looked down at her, and simply stared for a while. Unsure of what to do, Layla backed away slowly; not looking where she was going, she stepped into another light and immediately felt a freezing, tingling sensation. Passing through this second entity, she let out a frightened gasp. The new apparition was of a woman in a moth-eaten ballroom dress. Her hair was slightly pulled back with a purple rose in her blonde hair. Her face, however, was the most horrifying feature of all; one half of her dolled-up face was missing – exposed muscle and rotting flesh made

up her left side. Frozen with terror, Layla couldn’t take her panic-stricken blue eyes off this ghastly sight. The woman held her hand out to Layla, and disappeared into the darkness. The man at the top of the stairs drifted away, leaving her to ponder about what she’d just experienced. Trying to make sense of the encounter, she looked around and saw a portrait of a man with menacing features: the same broad nose; same facial hair; the same angered expression. Underneath the painting was the name Paul Weltzer. Previous information within the family’s historical archives state that a Paul Weltzer had taken his own life at a dinner party approximately fifty-two years ago that same night. It wasn’t any surprise at all that Paul would be there, but who was the owner of the female entity? Now wasn’t the time to dwell on family history; she had plenty of exploring to do. From the foyer, there were two immediate actions she could take: go behind the musty, red curtains and into the room on the first floor, or take to the stairs and begin above. Since she was already on the first floor, Layla took her cigarette lighter out of her denim-jean pocket and lit an unused candle from a candelabra on the mantle of a fireplace. She walked over to the curtains and discovered a library. Many books and documents filled the many rows of shelves. Rumors of hidden spell books and oc-


cult materials caused Layla to feel slight discomfort as she examined the shelves’ contents. The stench of book mold filled the air as she sifted through a yellowing book. Looking through one book by candlelight, Layla noticed a certain message on one of the pages. The message read, “I am Madness”, and was written across two pages. Taken by surprise, she dropped both the book and her candle. Upon hitting the floor, the book tore, and the flame of the candle extinguished. Layla knelt down to feel for the candle, but to no avail, was unable to find it. She

tried striking a flame from her lighter, but she’d run out of lighter fluid. Layla was left in total darkness, her heart pounding faster now. She strained her eyes to see where she was going, feeling around as she went towards the exit. Unable to light another candle, she would have to explore the rest of the library later. The musty, red velvet curtains parted, and immediately afterwards, the entire house was illuminated with blue lights. Soft, glowing orbs and wisps filled the room, accompanied by the translucent silhouettes of human bodies. Their num-

ber was quite large; many voices could be heard at one time. Many feelings took place within Layla’s body: amazement; fear; curiosity. A cold phenomenon froze her to her core. Uncertain about how she should handle this abrupt confrontation with these paranormal guests, she moved past the many ghosts and traveled up the stairs. As she got closer to the top of the stairs, she heard music being played. But where is it coming from? Being that she didn’t explore the entire library on the first floor, the second floor seemed much larger at first. Realizing that it couldn’t really be, she shrugged it

So where are we?

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off and met up with a hallway in between the two staircases. A rotted guardrail finally fell to the floor below as she approached the opening of the hallway. Several rooms lined both sides of the long, dark corridor. As Layla reached for the rusted doorknob to the first room on the left, the door flew open as though it had been pushed violently. Startled by this paranormal event, she waited to catch her breath before entering. Hesitation settled in, but putting that aside, she entered the room, the door slamming behind her. This room was decorated with broken, contorted toys that had no use any longer, a metal crib with bent bars, and the walls were covered with mold and peeling wallpaper. Deciding that this was once a children’s nursery, there wasn’t any reason to be there anymore. A rocking horse in the back corner of the room began rocking slowly, causing her to burst out of the room. The door across from the nursery was open just a crack. Peering into the room, Layla noticed a broken bed, a shattered mirror on a vanity, and more wallpaper falling off the walls. Suddenly, the vanity began hovering above the floor and flew at the door. Layla closed the door just in time to dodge a potentially fatal accident. This room wasn’t the culprit behind the mysterious music, so she went on to the next room. Each door withheld surprises, but none had any relevance to the task at

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hand. The last door to be opened was at the end of the hallway. She pressed her ear to the door, and the music was blaring now. Layla opened the door and discovered a ballroom, completely occupied by spirits of the deceased Weltzer family. The ballroom, one of the largest rooms in the mansion, had more ominous portraits and paintings, an ebony piano in the back corner, and a dust-covered chandelier that glistened in the light of the spiritual dancers. Greeted by the female spirit from earlier that night, Layla sidled the wall to avoid the whirling couples. Aside from the female entity, no other spirits seemed to notice her, and as the song ended, Layla felt a soft tug on her hand. She glanced at her hand and realized the woman was holding her hand. She took Layla to the center of the room, where the other spirits were preparing for another dance. A second song began; an eerie waltz ensued, and amid the laughter and excitement expressed by the dancing ghosts, Layla could see the human spirits transforming right before her eyes! Silhouettes began to shift into evil beings that now had complete visibility. Horns, wings, tails, and many other ominous body parts began to take shape. Layla suddenly felt the freezing grasp of the woman’s hand turn to a scorching, clawed fist; her own hand still inside the claw. The woman’s face was now complete, and seemed to be like that of a lion; her eyes were completely black, and

her fangs were dripping with a searing saliva. Fear-stricken, Layla wriggled her hand free and charged for the door. However, just before she reached the door, the ghoulish Paul Weltzer floated through the door, a noose around his neck. She stopped dead in her tracks. Demonic laughter filled the room as the wicked apparitions closed in around Layla and Paul. Layla cried out to Paul, pleading for help, as he still appeared in human form, but rather than helping her, he slipped the rope from around his neck over her neck. He secured the rope and commanded the ghosts to pull on the end of the rope while he pulled on her body. The force was so great that Layla’s neck snapped, and her head was severed from her body. Jubilant cries rang out through the house and into the next town. Paul held her lifeless head up high, cheering along with the other spirits, and slowly faded into the pitch black night. Layla awoke with a cold sweat, her heart pounding violently as she tried to distinguish dream from reality. She leapt out of bed once she gathered herself and peered into her vanity to find that she had unexplained bruises around her neck, as well as a streak of white hair tangled within her sweaty, copper locks. At that point, she knew that the Weltzer Manor was more than she bargained for. She cancelled her project and vowed never to set foot on those forsaken grounds, for her life truly depended on it.


NOT SO DIFFERENT by Robin Carin What is a Dream? What is Reality? A piece of imagination that comes to life in the dark of night Anything that can be proven true with facts A moment where anything can happen, for simple objectives to the impossible obstacles But when does the dream actually begin and when does reality start to fade in black? In the dream, you become what you really want to see yourself as, such as being something or someone important, or perhaps blending in with your surroundings When you’re back to reality, you can hardly believe or recall your hallucination When you’re awake you want the unattainable, When you’re asleep you want everything to be real no matter how bizarre it may be Are the worlds of fantasy and reality really all that different? Do they not work hand in hand with one another to obtain an individual’s personal purpose? Dreams can be the doors of numerous opportunities, while Reality is where one puts the effort to make those opportunities possible Dreams are not only the escape of reality, but they are also visions of what that reality can be changed into Like Yin and Yang, they keep the balance within one’s self It’s something diverse yet alike

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DREAMS OF A YOUNG MAN by Jairo Selvera There are so many things in the world, a lot of people in it, a lot of useless things around, there is money, and ambition comes with it, but problems are everywhere. Even for those who do not have any money, and the same goes for the people who can live spending millions, life is always giving us chances, opportunities, but like they say every action has its reaction, along my way I have experimented that particular saying. I learned in history that the founding fathers of America proclaim happiness for the people, along with liberty and other things, even the most famous book in the world, the bible shows that money is not what makes people happy. Even though it can make life a lot easier, that does not guarantee that those who are rich are going to be happy, nor feel full. I am an 18 year old young man that is barely starting to experience how hard situations in my life can be, and I know there is people older than me that might say; “Oh this kid does not know what he is talking about”. But the truth is that my life has given me so many problems and issues that forced me every day to think different, to plan different, it makes me actually feel different and act mature. It started when I was little, and it’s been like this since then, and I have to admit that at the beginning I thought this situation was happening to me because life was trying to teach me a lesson, but apparently the lesson is not done yet, but I will keep trying and trying even when things seem to be the worst, I say that if I fall seventy times, seventy times I will rise, I believe that those things that do not kill me, are going to make me stronger, I learn from every single mistake, and I try not to step in the same hole. Even when life is hard enough, it can get worst, but it depends on me, because my attitude has a lot to do with the way I confront my problems. Here I am, working at my office, I finally got my own business, I have people working for me, I pay them very good,

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no one has anything bad to tell, my mother finally got her beautiful house surrounded by flowers in a huge garden, my dad has the ranch he have always wanted, with horses and cows, with a small lake in which he and I sometimes spend time talking while fishing. My little sister finally got her car, she is planning to go to college out of the state, but that’s good because at one day she is has to start her own life too, even though it is hard to see her growing, that is the same feeling I feel when I see my father, and my mother, becoming older. I cannot believe time has passed so fast, and I cannot believe that I have accomplish this many things for my family. Now I guess it is time to look for myself, maybe getting marry would be a good idea, and the perfect time to do it might be now. It feels great to know that my love one are safe, that I can provide them what they need, and I will really like to have a baby, my little boy, sometimes when I am alone I actually think in how I will like to name him, I know for sure that his name has to start with the letter J, the same as me and my father and all my uncles and cousins, it will continue with the family tradition. It really was hard at the beginning, but it was worth it, so much pain and tears and hope attached to my faith. But now I see the light in the middle of the darkness, things are great, thank the lord and thank all those who told me ones, that I was not going to be able to get to this point in my life, all those who laugh at me when I tripped along my way, the ones who gave turned back on me when they saw me falling off in the mud, I could not see, my eyes were closed, and could not even breath, my face was covered with the dark, painful, and embarrassing mud, but they also contributed to the cause by giving me strength and more reasons to be the way I was, to fight until the end for what I wanted, I will never forget that, and will never forget where I come from. Finally, a Saturday morning I woke up at 9 am, and I was still 18 years old, and everything was just a dream, but what a beautiful dream, the dream of a young man.


THEN THERE WAS NOTHING by Cassie Guerrero The city lights reflected onto the apartment window as the night began to fall. They shined bright to the rest of the world, yet to me they couldn’t be more dull and dim. Everything seemed to be meaningless these days. Nothing mattered; all my feelings were switched off except one: agony. My vision began to blur as memories flashed through my mind in an instant: Lying in the bed of my truck, looking up into the midnight sky, having her wrapped up in my arms, our fingers intertwined. Chasing her into the open field, tackling one another and laughing until it would hurt. Seeing her face light up the second I’d play her all time favorite song, then we’d slow dance; hers arms placed gently around my neck and my arms linked around her waist, our eyes never looking away from one another. I shook my head interrupting the trance and looked around the apartment to find something productive, maybe even distracting, to do as my phone began to ring. I picked it up and answered in an instant. I cleared my throat to get rid of that horrid feeling that appears right when you’re about to breakdown. “Hello?” “Yo, Marc! What’s up, man? How

ya doin’?” It was a good friend of mine, Sean. He and the rest of the guys have been bothering me lately, guess they’re worried and all. Probably also noticed I just haven’t been myself. “I’m good, it’s all good.” It sucks lying through your teeth. “Ha, well me and the rest of the guys were thinkin’ about goin’ down to the local for some pool. We all sort of figured you could use a few drinks yourself since it might help… well, you know…” He trailed off and sort of mumbled the remainder of the sentence. That didn’t stop the point from getting across. Whether it was said or not, it still hurts all the same; you can’t hide from the pain. I looked around the apartment and saw what a mess it had all become, it was a real dump. Something had to change. “Yeah, man. For sure.” “Thatta boy! We’ll be over there in about 10.” “Alright, cool. See ya then.” I clicked the “end’ button and made my way to the bathroom. I wiped my face, sighed and had a stare down with my own reflection. I quickly cleaned up, threw on whatever came into view first, and was out the door. Downstairs was where the boys were waiting in the black ’69 convertible. I hopped in the back and was off into the night with one mission: to forget her. We all got to the pub, took seats at the bar and ordered our drinks.

“Can I get a tall shiner?” “7 and 7 over here!” “Shot of bourbon!” “Black Velvet right here.” “Hmm, Everclear please.” I rubbed the back of my neck and looked down. “Whoa. That’s some strong stuff there, sonny boy.” Ernie, the bartender, looked at me as he served us our drinks. “I know what I ordered, now can I just have my damn drink? I’m nearly twenty-six years old. I’m pretty sure I can handle myself by now.” I looked up sternly. I wasn’t in the mood. Sean shook his head once as the rest of the guys grabbed their drinks and headed to the game area. I stayed back and gulped down the shot with ease- or so I thought. I coughed and attempted to clear my throat as the alcohol sent a burning sensation down my throat. I banged the glass back down on the counter, “hit me again!” The time that had passed by was unknown as well as the number of empty shot glasses that were placed in front of me. I fixed my gaze to look on over on what the guys were doing. They were laughing, drinking, and having a good time. Sean looked like he was getting his ass kicked in pool so I decided to go help him out. I slid off the stool bar and attempted to walk straight, but my vision was somewhat blurred and I couldn’t feel my legs much. Voices among noises were also sort of blending. Then there was that damn ringing, or was it a buzz?

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“Give me another!” I had barely walked a few steps when I spun back around to face the bar with an arm in the air. I nearly lost my balance for a second. “I think I’m gonna have to cut you off here, Marc.” Ernie was drying glasses with a white hand towel as he eyed me. “I’ll give you water, though.” “Awe, c’mon man! The party’s just getting started! You’re really gonna rain on this parade?” My arms were thrown in every direction as my words slurred on out. “It’s getting late, guys. Maybe we should leave.” Tyler stated while looking around for reassurance. The guys were beside him; guess they made their way over when they heard the commotion. “Yeah, good idea. C’mon, Marc.” Sean made his way over and guided me outside. “YOU SUCK, ERNIE!” That’s all I could manage get out as the guys pulled me away from the entrance, forcing me to walk away. I stumbled and had an endless amount of emotions stirring inside. I wasn’t sure which was more intoxicating: the alcohol or the love? How, when and why I arrived at the nearby park was beyond my acknowledgment. All I knew is that I later found myself standing in the middle of the bridge that peered over the lake; this was where our first date had been. I pulled my phone out and knew I had to make that call. “Man, don’t do it. I know you think it’ll fix everything, but c’mon… let’s be realistic. It’s already been weeks, man…” Sean walked towards me and tried to warn me but it was too late, the phone was already on its third ring. The phone rang on and on until the voicemail came on. I gulped because deep down I knew what this meant. “Danielle, please don’t erase this message if you ever want to hear these words from me again: I love you.” I hung up, tossed the phone over to Sean, stepped onto the railing of the bridge and let myself fall back. The impact of the icy, dark water sent a shock throughout my body but soon… soon the pain left, and then there was nothing.

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CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT by Daniel Mills “Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride”1 See “life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death”2 because they fall into line behind men who “love the smell of napalm in the morning.”3 They beat down on the middlemen until we’re all just orphans of the American dream. Now, “what we have here...is a failure to communicate.”4 See each one of us “coulda had class...coulda been a contender... could’ve been somebody”5

Earth,”11 and should we fail in our attempts to make a better future, if we fall flat on our faces—“We’ll always have Paris.”12 At least, that’s what people say, isn’t it? So when you go from here today please See Think Analyze and Act, and “May the force be with you.”13 1-All About Eve, 2-Auntie Mame, 3-Apocalypse Now, 4-Cool Hand Luke, 5-On the Waterfront, 6-Boondock Saints, 7-Sunset Boulevard, 8-Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 9-Dracula, 10-A Street Car Named Desire, 11-Pride of the Yankees, 12-Casablanca, 13-Star Wars

But we let it all pass us by. Why? Because we saw the actions of the masses as acceptable. Now “we should all fear evil men, but there is another evil which we must fear most. And that is the indifference of good men.”6 It’s time that we stop idly standing by; it’s time we realize “we are big! It’s the picture that’s getting small.”7 And when they as who are we to try and make such change, and ask for credentials we’ll reply, “Badges? We ain’t got no badges! We don’t need no badges!”8 We can change this world for the better should we choose to act. They will hear us: “children of the night. What music [we’ll] make”9 Its nigh time that we should all be able to “depend on the kindness of strangers,”10 and the day is here that we should witness ourselves, at the very least, trying to make a change in this world. “I can consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the

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parseltongue available for viewing or download @ www.shsthefang.com


Parseltongue 2012