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SPRING 2018 V o l u m e

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Table of Contents Chatper 1

Meet the Staff

Chatper 2

Letter from the Editors

Chatper 3


Children and Cash by Sam Golwitzer

Untiltled by Maxwell Johnston

A Loss for Words by Matt Carroll

Untitled by Nimh Santos

Oddly Satifying by Kaleigh Swinford

Chatper 4

Flash Fiction Contest

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Chatper 6

Poetry Contest

Chatper 7

Art and Photography


Meet the Staff Emma Blanchette (poetry editor). As a junior at BBCHS, Emma enjoys classic stories and poems, such as those of Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, and Walt Whitman. Besides literature, Emma also greatly appreciates music, and plays viola, violin, bass, and guitar. In combining her love for both, she creates her own unique poetry and short stories, inspired by music and executed through writing. Emma wishes to continue writing and editing pieces into college, and has hopes to one day translate books between English and French. Matthew Carroll (senior editor). Matthew is a senior at BBCHS who appreciates an array of literature. Matthew has a particular affinity for realistic fiction with a love for the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Matthew sees verisimilitude as an extremely important part of a good story and seeks to utilize this literary technique in his own writing. Matthew understands the influence that powerful diction holds and plans to use it in his future endeavors.

Rai Dominguez (senior editor). Rai is a senior at BBCHS who loves reading about political theory. Although, he is cynical towards most politicians and is right leaning in terms of his beliefs. Rai enjoys talking about politics to the point that most of his friends have told him to “shut up” at least once.

Samuel Golwitzer (fiction editor). Samuel is a junior at BBCHS whose favorite writer is JRR Tolkien because of his ability to make a sprawling world with interesting stories and lore. Samuel loves a good character-driven story and that’s why he appreciates works like A Song of Ice and Fire. Samuel also enjoys writing ridiculously farfetched stories that are so odd they become comedic.

Katrina Hosek (senior editor). Katrina is a junior at BBCHS who enjoys drawing comics and creating stories that you wouldn’t quite expect. She enjoys movies that are the same way, like the Heathers, because it makes you think and question what you may have previously thought. She enjoys works of surrealism and realistic fiction because she believes it often times captures the world for what it is when done right.

Isabella Hoskins (staff writer). Bella is a graduating junior whose favorite writer is Steinbeck because she loves how complex his writing is in contrast with the simplicity of his writing style. She likes to write about life going into college and current events because those are the things she’s most experienced in. While she’s majoring in physics, Bella plans to minor in philosophy and enjoys honing her skill writing about ideas.

Jaeci Johnston (senior editor). Jaeci is a junior at BBCHS who has a passion for creation and creativity, as it is essential to innovation. Jaeci enjoys expressing herself through writing, drawing, and painting. She hopes that everyone discovers a pastime that brings them as much happiness as art has brought her.

Zachary Rayman (staff writer). Zach is a junior at BBCHS whose all time favorite writer is Neal Shusterman because of his ability to challenge the reader to think about controversial issues in new and exciting perspectives. Zach appreciates a story that gets him involved with the characters and sticks with him long after the final page. Zach likes to write fiction and poems that get a reaction from the reader and keep them thinking about it for hours on end.


Kaleigh Swinford (staff writer). Kaleigh is a sophomore at BBCHS. Her favorite books of all time are The Perks of Being a Wallflower and We Were Liars, and loves stories where you can really feel the author’s unique writing style. She loves to write because she loves how reading can make her feel something, and wants to be able to do the same for others.

Letter from the Editors

Dear Readers, Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to share this journal with every friend you have. Don’t have any friends? Good! You can join the Literary Journal and make some, we need friends too. We’re the editors of the newly rebooted BBCHS Literary Journal. Inside our first edition you will find our blood sweat and tears. Mostly blood though, from the papercuts… even though this is digital. We have provided you with a vast array of fiction, poetry, art, and everything you could ever want from a high class establishment. We strive to inspire the exploration of thought and creativity through unapologetic artistic expression. Basically, wee rite goodly. Thanc u 4 enjoyeng hour magazeen.


Hammer and Anvil seeks to inspire the exploration of thought and creativity through unapologetic artistic expression. “Art should comfort the disturbed and and disturb the comfortable.� --Banksy

Avery Fountain



Oddly Unsatisfying Kaleigh Swinford He couldn’t find a way to describe the girl sat in the corner as anything other than odd. Amongst mothers rocking fussy toddlers with teething rings clutched in slobbery fists and gummy-smiled elders with denture cases held in leathery palms, he couldn’t help but notice how she stuck out in the waiting room of Dr. Markel’s Dentistry like a terribly sore thumb. With contrasting socks, a seemingly, purposefully destroyed t-shirt, and hair shaped with a million and a half bobby pins, it was difficult not to notice her. Not many girls could be so simultaneously “ugly” yet eye-catchingly attractive. She was messy and he found himself drawn to it, a feeling that came with the mystery and unfamiliarity of her. She stared down at her book, occasionally glancing up through wire-framed glasses that reminded the boy of his late grandfather (which shouldn’t have been a good thing, but, curiously, it was). With the way she looked around every few minutes, the boy wondered if she was reading at all, or if she was merely using Pride and Prejudice as a sort of decoy so she could get away with staring at the woman who sat across from her, the one with bright blue eyelids and the redfaced toddler bouncing on her knee. She didn’t look annoyed at the screaming thing, like most everyone else in the powder blue waiting room, including the boy himself. She just looked curious. She looked curious about everything. The next time she looked around, she caught the boy staring at her. He averted his eyes almost immediately, but wasn’t sure if he should have. Nobody ever looked at him, (he’d come to terms with this fact) and especially never like this. He squirmed and touched his hair. The girl didn’t look away. With his slicked hair, pressed polo, and crisp pants, it was difficult to notice him. She could have looked away easily, as everyone else had when they had seen him. He blended in with every other person in the small waiting room and, if she were to be entirely honest, seemed to mold against the wall itself. That was the confusing part; he was pressed so neat and she found herself drawn to it, a sensation so odd she almost fell out of her chair. The boy looked up again. The girl blinked. He touched his hair, again. He was what one may consider to be oddly unsatisfying, he knew, as he tried to pull off the golden boy style, but instead his appearance deemed him rather bland to the point where it was nearly painful to look at him. She, on the other hand, was often told she was the opposite: unsatisfyingly odd. As if there was something a little crooked about everything she did that drove anyone with the slightest bit of OCD mad. They were two extremes on opposite ends of a spectrum, but they found themselves unable to look away. “Lennox?” A woman in scrubs spoke from the doorway. They both stood, mirroring images of opposite people. How odd indeed, as if Lennox was a common name, especially in the small town their parents had gotten stuck in and the two were therefore raised in. The girl would later decide it was some strange trick made by fate. They looked at each other, and then the nurse, who clarified which Lennox was the correct Lennox. Female Lennox didn’t stop to tie her shoe before following the nurse to

the dentist chair with her name on it, and Male Lennox sunk into the chair once more, trying to shake the strange feeling that came with truly being seen, and that was that. Sometimes, oddly, unsatisfying-ly, there’s no more to a story than just that. Children and Cash Samuel Golwitzer It was a very humid August day. Kids were playing in the street; a sight which was not very common as of late, for the town of Hacson was not as friendly as it once was. Kids used to always play outside; in the rain, in the sun - no matter when, you could always see someone. I suppose that may have been why the first kidnapping was committed. One by one, kids began to vanish. No ransom note, no sign of death, nothing. Parents became frightened and started to be more cautious. And it seemed to have worked, as fewer and fewer children were being ripped away from their homes. Of course, soon enough this would all change. The school year would begin, and then very little could be done to save the kids. Security could be increased, sure, but that only goes so far. Children will always remain ignorant and gullible, which is why they are prime targets. All it takes is a subtle mention of candy, or an offer of a ride home on a tremendously hot day. As someone on the police force, I had taken pride on the safety of Hacson. It was once an incredibly safe town before everything went down. The most excitement we got around these parts was an attempted robbery by some adolescents at a grocery store. But even then it isn’t like we had to pull a gun on them. Anyways, the HPD got wind of these kidnappings and it sent us into a scramble. Papers flying everywhere, no leads on to who this guy may be, it’s a heck of a lot of overtime hours. But hey, that extra pay is how I support my family. The kids were still on the street playing. Their parents probably thought it was safe because it was right outside of the police department. What harm could come of them when an officer can see them at all times? I decide to take a ride up to them and say hi. I pull up and say to the kids, “Hey! Do you want some candy?” as they all got into my squad car. What can I say? They would never think to check their own department, and I needed this overtime pay. So what if a few kids have to die to make sure mine are happy?


Left Alone Nimh Santos Was she even a woman? Biologically, yes. She had all the parts of one. She had the looks. Her name was feminine and on her birth certificate; it had the female symbol. However, did she function properly as one? With that question, Allison pursed her lips as her forehead scrunched up in what was best described as frustration. She bit her lip as she rolled over to her side, letting out a groan at the lack of comfort she felt in her bed. If only he was still here… If she had any tears left to cry, surely they would be pouring out by now. The familiar and painful sting of the oncoming sadness hit her twenty seven year old green eyes once again. Why did she ruin her hour long streak of not thinking about him again? Him. Perhaps if he saw the state she was in right now, he would rethink the choices he made. Surely he was nice enough to at least take pity on her, right? Allison laughed into the pillow without any humor. If he had any empathy in his heart, he wouldn’t have done what he done. It had been 4 days since she had left the bed. It had been 3 weeks since he left. The first few days after his absence, Allison sobbed and called and texted him constantly, begging him to reconsider. None of her attempts were ever respected enough to even get a reply back. After the first week, she finally found out where he was staying. She showed up three times to the location, only to have the police called and to be threatened with a restraining order. In response, Allison spent the next 48 hours drinking anything she thought would help her forget. Her throat burned at the constant assault the alcohol had onto her lightweight tolerance. This worked for a while, but then Allison’s drunken mind turned on her. It seemed to enjoy taunting her with disgusting thoughts of him and the bitter past that seemed to be so long ago, almost like a past life or blurry childhood memory rather than what her life was like just a short year ago. The next week was spent cutting off as much responsibilities as possible. She stopped even sparing a glance to the growing pile of bills. No more groceries found themselves replishened into the kitchen. Her family had called, but she stopped answering. They lived in Michigan while she resided in Seattle, so she didn’t expect any surprise visits anytime soon. Instead, she curled up in bed. And that is where she stayed.


Was she a woman? She scoffed as her self-hatred only grew stronger. She failed as a wife. She failed as a mother. Her own womb betrayed her. It failed to go through with its promise of a new life into their small family. If couldn’t carry children, was she a woman? She couldn’t bring new life into the world, like a true woman is supposed to. She couldn’t even please her man. Allison hugged herself, tight. Did he know what it was like to wake up to a stabbing pain in her abdomen at 4 o’clock in the morning? Did he know what it was like to look down between your legs and see blood and tissue from what was supposed to be her first baby? Did he know the terror and anxiety that rushed through her veins as she was rushed to the hospital? Did he have the slightest idea of what it was like to deliver your dead baby? And after all that, to be forced to look at your doctor in the eyes as he tells you with a solemn face that you will never be able to give birth. A severe abnormality was found in one of the few places that was supposed to differentiate you from a man. At first, he comforted her. He held her day and night and whispered in her ear how it wasn’t her fault. But whenever she looked into his ice blue eyes, she noticed a lack of warmth. He had always wanted a family. He wanted a daughter to be overprotective of and a son to play ball with. He wanted to be called “Dad,” and to fill the empty house with the little pitter-patter of his children. He wanted to be able to look at his kids and spot the resemblance right away. He wanted his parents to become grandparents. In the beginning, he said he didn’t blame her. How could he? However, Allison would catch him secretly crying in the bathroom when he thought she was asleep. She knew how much this pregnancy meant to him. And she felt guilty for ripping away his dream right when it was so close to becoming real. Suddenly, the depression from the miscarriage bled into a wounded marriage between Allison and her beloved. Every conversation eventually ended with a fight. Her lover was livid and hurt. Allison was depressed and drained. One night he just left, claimed he needed space and left his ring behind that proclaimed him as hers. Without it, he was single and alone. Allison still wore hers, although with him gone she was no one’s partner but her own. His empty ring still sat alone on the nightstand, three weeks later. She was alone. No husband, no children, no happiness. She looked at the future as one might look down a dark hole that promised nothing but doom. It was hopeless and pathetic, but it was her life now. Her mind wandered to her child whom was never born. Would they have had her eyes? Maybe his hair? According to astrology, the baby would’ve been a Leo. She wondered if astrology held any truth to what her baby would’ve been like if they were here today. As if God himself wanted to join her little pity party, rain began to fall from that sky and thump against her roof and windows. Allison placed a hand on her lower stomach. It was empty and would never have anything of significance inside

Her mind wandered to her child whom was never born. Would they have had her eyes? Maybe his hair? According to astrology, the baby would’ve been a Leo. She wondered if astrology held any truth to what her baby would’ve been like if they were here today. As if God himself wanted to join her little pity party, rain began to fall from that sky and thump against her roof and windows. Allison placed a hand on her lower stomach. It was empty and would never have anything of significance inside of it, hollow. Allison took a look to the side of the bed where he husband used to sleep in. It was empty and void of any life. Allison smiled softly to herself. She was not a woman, but a trooper who will get through this. Not today or tomorrow, but eventually. For now, she was alone. And with that she hugged her pillow and slept, with nothing but the sound of raindrops to keep her company. A Loss for Words Matthew Carroll I stepped through the door as the sun was setting. As the bright rays faded behind the earth, so did the last straggling feelings of joy left in my body. My left pocket hung heavy with the day’s tips. A good thing, I thought to myself, but this side job wouldn’t help me reach the deadline. An article in an acclaimed magazine. My dream job. Funny how dreams lose their luster once they become reality. I glanced at my laptop sitting on the mussed bedsheets and felt overwhelmingly distressed. Despite the time crunch, I thought it best to take a break. You can only work so long without losing your head. Ironically, this little detour from my work would cause me to lose more than just my head. After being cooped up in a dining room all day, breathing in the recycled air, I decided to take a walk through the neighborhood. I grabbed the keys to the apartment and my phone. I glanced over at my wallet on the countertop. A quick walk would not demand the use of money, I thought to myself. I left it behind. As I descended the flight of stairs, my demeanor only worsened. I would never meet this deadline. I would lose my short article. I would waste the potential I had been gifted with. All of the words in the English language were at my disposal, and I couldn’t even formulate a short editorial. The door felt heavier than normal, as if it wanted to shut me in. As I stepped outside, the frigid air struck my face with the pain of needles, but it didn’t bother me. The cold reminded me of more comfortable days. I am in the living room, the piano producing cheerful melodies as I watch the snow descend through the window. No, I was not. I was walking down a street aimlessly staring at the black and grey slush that has accumulated near the curb. I quickly collected myself. Such daydreams were frivolous. They wouldn’t help me complete the task at hand. But what task? I had come on this walk to get away from my responsibilities even for just a few minutes, and yet I sought something productive for my mind. I fell into trances thinking of other times or a different life, but always pulled myself out. What a sad use of time. But they always relaxed me. Why couldn’t I give in to something lacking importance despite its

positive effects? I was never fond of going out into the night. As a child I would always create monsters from the shadows I saw, and, although I outgrew this, the night still had a cryptic presence that eluded me. On this night in particular, its eerie nature was strong, causing me to become anxious. I kept hearing rustling to my right. Always to my right. But every time I glanced over I saw nothing. As I continued, I began to hear something to my left. A songbird. A rare gem that decided to endure the coldest days of winter. The beautiful sound it produced would enchant even the saddest of people, and yet I could not focus on it. The sound to my right, although faint, overwhelmed me. I couldn’t take it anymore, and I turned around to return home. Standing behind me was a man in black with his hood up and a gun in hand. We were of similar height and complexion. He could have been mistaken as my brother. “I want everything you have,” the man said. He spoke calmly, but his eyes told a different tale. My heart was beating faster than normal, almost as if it were attempting to escape my chest. I emptied my pockets of their possessions. “Your wallet.” “I’m sorry?” “I want your wallet.” His head twitched as he said this. Maybe a nervous habit. “I don’t have it on me.” “What kind of person walks the street without their wallet?” “One that obviously was not prepared to get robbed tonight,” I retorted. He was not amused. “Smart man. Clever response. So what do you believe we should do about this?” His twitching became erratic, spreading to his entire body. His voice lacked the calmness it originally had. My mind was all over the place, but I was able to quickly collect myself and make a decision. I needed to get myself out of this. I sifted through my skill set in a fraction of a second and only found one thing that could help me at that moment. I have words and words have power. I would have to talk my way out of this. “That’s all I have. How about you take what I gave you and we go our separate ways here and I’ll pretend like this little ordeal never happened.” “This isn’t everything that you have.” The man looked down at his left hand with an empty stare, as if he were looking through the belongings he now so violently clutched. “If you’d like to you can search me. You will find it a waste of your time. You’d be better off leaving now.” My eye kept finding itself on the barrel of the gun he pointed at my chest. Occasionally I would look at his face, but always back to the barrel. It was only during this quick silence that I became aware of my surroundings. One thing seemed to catch my eye. Towering behind the man was a tattered American flag flown in front of a small home.


It looked as if the banner was there for the sole purpose of casting freedom down upon the man. “I want everything that you have.” His voice was louder now. More emotionally charged. “I’m telling you, this is all that I have on me. What else could you possibly want? The clothes off my back? My life?” “That’s exactly what I want,” he exclaimed. His body was jittery, matching the look I saw in his eyes from the beginning. He followed with a whisper. “I want your life.” I stood in amazement. There would be no reasoning with a madman. “Give me your life!” At this point his body was violently convulsing. I thought he would accidently pull the trigger. “Men like you bring me down everyday. Your words are condescending. You show me no respect. What I wouldn’t give to live in your shoes.” “Men like me? You don’t know me. We could live the same lives and you would not even realize. I have done nothing to you.” “You have everything you could possibly want. A home. A job. The shoes on your feet.” I glanced down and saw that the man was wearing a dirty pair of tennis shoes that were full of holes and too small for his feet. Most likely taken from someone’s garbage. “You’re homeless? You’re homeless.” “I didn’t come for your pity! I came for your life! I’m pitied everyday. I tried so hard. And this is my reward.” “I’m sure that you can find help somewhere. There’s a shelter just...” my voice began to trail off. “How do you know that I have a job? That I have a home?” I noticed that the man’s shaking hands were bruised and calloused. They had black stains on them. “All of you men are the same. You complain about your great lives. You have it all. You talk-talk-talk like God had shown himself and commanded you to do so. Always telling me things I don’t want to hear.” The man’s psychotic state subsided. Serenity fell upon him. His actions now seemed completely deliberate. The bird no longer sang. He raised the gun to my head. “And I’m done listening.” I didn’t hear the shot. I now exist in darkness. An abstract being of mind, lacking body. No more purpose. No more light. No more feeling. I now eternally replay that day in my head. How would I have done it differently? And I think about the man, trying to figure out why the words no longer worked.

Growing and Accepting Maxwell Johnston Part I: Freshman Year As soon as I walked through the front door, I knew this party was bad news. Ever since 7th grade, Jacob has thrown a big Halloween party. We’re the same age, so I’ve been to all of his parties, but it was usually just eating candy and playing truthor-dare or spin the bottle. This year, the smell of alcohol and the noise was nearly enough to make me turn around and walk right back out the door. For whatever reason, I let my girlfriend drag me into the party. I didn’t want to come, and I didn’t care about hurting her feelings, I just thought that normal guys my age should want to go to parties with their girlfriends. That isn’t too much to ask for, is it? But now, she’s nowhere to be found. The lights are too dim to see faces, the music too loud to call her name, the people too drunk to answer questions. I’m on my own. As I turn into the hallway, it’s a relief to see the familiar blue dress. Then, as I get closer, I see an unfamiliar hand on her head. I notice the familiar face making out with an unfamiliar one. My mind goes blank for a few seconds, trying to put the pieces together on what’s happening. Then, it clicks. I’m being cheated on. I almost laugh, but catch myself. That’s not what normal people do when they find out they’ve been cheated on. Why aren’t I angry? I turn around, and find the nearest exit. No point for me to stay now. Plus, I need a clear mind to think. The door leads me out the side of the house. I discover a small pond. Dazed, I walk towards it and sit on the dry banks. The water ripples and glistens in the moonlight in a way that makes me forget why I came outside in the first place. As my senses begin to clear, the smell of alcohol is replaced with cigarette smoke. I turn my head to find a boy, staring at me. I blink at him, then speak.“Uh, sorry. Didn’t realize anyone else was here…” I mumble out. “It’s fine,” He speaks clearly. He stares into the pond again. Silence fills the air. Then, he says, “You look shaken up.” I blink at him again, attempting to form a sentence. “I was cheated on,” I say bluntly. He snorts. “That makes two of us then.” Silence again. “Shouldn’t I be upset? Because I’m not. I’m relieved. I never had real feelings for her. I just thought I should date her because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to like girls and have girlfriends and feel things for them, right? Why don’t I?” My brain spills out, words overflowing and jumbling together. He pauses, turns to me and says, “It’s okay to be different. If you don’t like her, then that’s not your fault. You can’t control how you really feel. Maybe you’re not meant to be the model boy who likes girls and has girlfriends.” I look out onto the pond. The moon bounces off, shining into my eyes. It almost hurts to look at, but I don’t look away. It’s beautiful. I speak. “I’m Olivier.” The boy puts out his cigarette. “Danny.” Part II: Sophomore Year


I haven’t been to Jacob’s house in a year. This year, it’s the same story. Overwhelming smell, sensory overload central. But, at least I have Danny with me this year. He brought his girlfriend, so I don’t know how much time we’ll spend talking,

or how much time I’ll spend being the third wheel. I don’t like his girlfriend, Carly, very much. I haven’t dated anyone since I was cheated on last year. “You gonna be drinking?” I turn and ask the couple before we get too close to the speakers. It was more directed towards Carly, as I know Danny hates drunk people and would never do that to himself. Whenever a friend starts talking about drinking, he’ll shoot into a rant about what it does to your body and why you shouldn’t do stuff like that. I get a quick no and a hell yeah at the same time. “I’ll be the driver,” Danny says calmly. “You two be careful though, don’t drink too much.” He looks a bit worried. “I don’t plan on it.” I smile towards him. That was an odd thing to say. He knows I don’t drink at all. “Whatever, you guys are lame.” Carly starts towards the crowd to find a drink. I look at Danny, eyes a bit too full of pity. “It’s fine. I can’t stop her. Don’t worry about it too much. Let’s go talk to people.” And that we do. We socialize for a bit, talking to people from school and having a good time. I find myself staring at Danny’s lips a little too much, and almost memorize how they turn up into a little smirk right before he laughs. It’s nice to focus on something with the chaos and noise around me. But, he keeps swivelling his head, probably searching for his girlfriend. I know he’s worried, but he won’t admit it. After about an hour of him looking for her, I decide to step in. “Hey, let’s go look for Carly. She’s been gone for a bit.” He looks a bit relieved, and nods. We begin making our way towards the kitchen. We almost get separated by some drunk teenagers, but he grabs my hand and pulls me along. He doesn’t let go of my wrist as we continue walking. I can’t tell if I’m blushing or if the room is just way too hot. “Hey Danny...” We hear someone slur behind us. We turn on our heels, then I turn to Danny. He whispers, “Not again…” Carly is obviously very drunk and looks like she’s been through hell. Her hair is a mess, her makeup has melted all over her face, she’s drenched in sweat, and has vomit on her shirt. I turn to Danny again, first looking at his lips then tearing my eyes away to look at his facial expression, which seems to be a mix between horror and anger. “Okay, let’s go. Outside. Pond. Somewhere,” I speak quickly. “Agreed. Let’s go,” Danny says while grabbing her shoulders, guiding her towards the side door. “Aw come on Danny; let’s just stay... ” Carly slurs out. It makes my skin crawl. We get her out of the building, and sit her by the pond. She’s giggling, the type of girl-giggle where there’s nothing actually funny but they’re just trying to be cute. Except she is anything but cute, and I can tell how agitated Danny is. “We’ve been dating for one month. One. You’ve dragged me to three separate parties and done this three times. I gave you a chance but…” He trails off and sighs. “No, you know what. You’re drunk. I don’t care. You’re only dating me because I take care of you when you get sloppy drunk and I hate it. I wanted an actual, real relationship. Not this. Go inside. I’ll send you a break up text when you’re not drunk. You don’t deserve an in-person break up.” “Y-you’re breaking up with me? Why?” She sounds more confused than concerned. At this point, I take her wrist, drag her up, and begin to guide her towards the side door. I

should feel bad, but I really don’t. She wants to get drunk, she can get drunk. Then, I make my way back over to Danny who is sitting where he was the first year I met him here. “Well this is familiar, isn’t it?” I sit in the same spot from the year before. “Yeah, except no cheating this time,” He sighs. “I’m sorry, man. You don’t deserve this.” He scoffs. “I’m serious. You’re… a wonderful person. You care so much. She’s done this to you before, yet you put up with it. I know how much you hate drunk people. For you to do this not one, not two, but three times, and in ONE MONTH, that’s just too much. If she’s gonna do this to you, then she can go ruin her body. Don’t feel too bad.” I ramble, then cringe at myself. He remains silent for a moment, until he speaks. “You know, you got the right idea, not dating.” I think, then say, “I don’t know, I’m lonely but I just haven’t really liked anyone really…” “You’re gay.” “What?” I ask, shocked. “Relax. Look, you haven’t dated anyone because you don’t like girls and you haven’t realized you can like guys. Loosen up. Try experimenting or something,” I get lost in thought for a bit. I knew what being gay was, and I knew that I didn’t really feel anything for girls, and I knew I thought boys were kinda cute, but I never realized I could be gay. That felt like something completely out of grasp for me. “And I’m bi, you know.” “What?” “I like girls and guys. There’s just not a lot guys out in highschool, so I usually end up with girls.” “Oh… That makes sense,” I mumble. We don’t say anything for a long time after that. We both stare out onto the pond, watching the water ripple as the moonlight bounces off. Part III: Junior Year I walk through the door holding my first boyfriend’s hand. His name is Johnny. I’ve been dating him on-and-off for four months now. We’ve gotten into some fights, but I really like him. He’s actually really popular and knows a lot of people, which is a sharp contrast from myself. Danny walks in behind us. This year, he’s third wheeling. Danny doesn’t like Johnny. I’ve tried to get them to get along, but failed miserably on every account. They just hate each other. Danny complains that Johnny isn’t going to treat me right, and that he has a history of cheating and lying to people. He’s done a lot of bad things to people, according to Danny. Johnny says that Danny is trying to steal me away from him, and that’s why he says all that stuff. It makes my head and heart hurt to think about it.


As soon as we enter the house, I’m pulled through a crowd to the living room. I can’t tell if Danny’s still with us. Johnny stops to talk to some friends. I don’t pick up on the conversation, but whatever they’re saying, it’s very funny. Johnny keeps shooting me split second looks, as if to check if I’m there. After they’re done talking, he grabs my wrist and pulls me towards a group of teenagers sitting in a circle. I recognize some of his friends, but no one I personally know. “You in for truth-or-dare?” A girl with bloodshot eyes asks. “Hell yeah, we’re in.” Johnny answers for both of us. In all honestly, I would have opted out of the game myself. I don’t know any of these people. The game starts again, neither of us being picked for a few rounds. Every question and dare makes me progressively more uncomfortable. Then, the same girl finally asks, “Johnny, truth or dare?” He thinks for a moment, then speaks, “Truth.” “We all know your history, if you know what I mean,” She pauses to laugh, “So, the question is: do you really like this one?” At first, I’m confused. Then I realize she’s talking about me. She’s asking if he really likes me. I feel as if my heart dropped down into my stomach. He snorts. Then, he goes quiet, as if he’s deciding on what to say. As if he’s deciding whether to break my heart at this stupid party, with a stupid game of truth-or-dare. Then, I stand up. “Where are you going?” He asks suddenly, like he wasn’t about to break up with me in the worst way possible. “Leave me alone.” I say, not having the energy to take my anger and pain out on him. He tries to grab my wrist, but I quickly pull my hand away. “We’re done, for real. Don’t come back this time. Please.” Then, I walk away. Out of the room. To the side door. Out of the house. And to the pond. I sit in my spot. The same spot I always end up at on October 31st. This is the first year I’m crying, though. I bury my head in my hands and let out dry sobs, shaking my core and hurting my throat. This goes on for a while. “Olivier?” A voice behind me whispers. I go rigid, trying to determine who it is, hoping with every fiber of my being it isn’t Johnny. “Are you okay?” I turn to see Danny, only recognizable by the moonlight beaming down on his face. “You were right,” I’m interrupted by another uncontrollable sob. I don’t want Danny to see me like this. He sits down next to me, pulls me towards him, into a tight hug. I don’t move at first, feeling guilty, as if I don’t deserve the hug. He tried warning me, but I didn’t listen. “I’m sorry, you were so right about him.” Then, I hug back tightly. He pulls out of the hug to look at my face. “It isn’t your fault, Olivier. This was your first boyfriend. This was the first person you really liked, not someone you tried to force yourself to like because you think you needed to. Actual feelings.”


“I thought I wouldn’t get this again,” I realize. “I thought there were no other options, and that I had to hold onto him because otherwise I’d end up with a girl.” “There are so many options. He’s a terrible person, and you deserve much better.” I laugh, trying to break the tension. “Where’s the other options then? ‘Cause I don’t see them.” He goes silent. I swear I see his cheeks turn red, but I can’t tell with the lighting, “I mean… I’m an option.” “Are you flirting with me?” I ask, stunned, but smiling. He smirks back. “Perhaps.” I stare at his face. Then it hits me. I begin howling with laughter. He looks really concerned, like he did something wrong. “What? What happened?” “God damn, I’m clueless. I’ve liked you forever, haven’t I? That’s why I noticed every little thing about you; that’s why I liked it when you touched me platonically, and that’s why my heart feels lighter around you.” “Did… Did you just confess your undying love to me?” He asks with a small head tilt and his infamous smirk. Still laughing, I say, “Yeah, yeah, I guess I did.” A split second after my last word leaves my mouth, his lips are on mine. Part IV: Senior Year There’s a knock at the door. I look in the mirror one last time, adjusting my bowtie. Then, I bolt down the hallway to answer it. I swing it open to be greeted by Danny, dressed in pajamas with his bookbag. “Trick or Treat!” He shouts loudly. “Oh, sorry sweetie, I’m out of candy but I could offer you a date night instead,” I say, faking a suburban mom voice. “Oh darn, guess I’ll have to settle. Wait, are you wearing a bow tie to a pajama party?” “Yeah, I dress to impress,” I say as he comes into the house, shutting the door behind himself. It’s been four years since we met. This year, we decided to skip the party. My parents let me have the house to myself this halloween, so I invited my boyfriend over to watch horror movies, eat candy, and spend the night. We get every blanket in the house, turn the lights off, grab our bowl of candy, and get comfortable on the couch. As we’re booting up Netflix, I take off my bow tie and throw it across the room. “Oh well, now I’m out.” He says, faking getting up. We both know he’s too comfortable to leave. “Wait, before you go lemme try something.” He sighs and rolls his eyes, crossing his arms and laying back. I exaggeratedly yawn and stretch my arm around him, like in the movies. He laughs, then asks, “Is that what you wanted to try?” “Yeah, you can leave now, but I know you won’t.” “Just turn on a movie.” He grumbles. “One more thing?” “What?” “I love you, Danny.” He uses his pointer finger to steer my chin to make our lips meet. Then he speaks, “I love you too, Olivier.”

Flash Fiction Challenge

flash fic¡tion noun fiction that is extremely brief, typically only a few hundred words or fewer in its entirety. The following short stories were composed based off the image above. The challenge was to create a complete narrative within the confines of extremely short fiction--flash fiction. Writers were encouraged to incorporate as many details from the image as possible.


My Huckleberry Friend Nimiahn Santos Neverland wasn’t supposed to be like this. Peter Pan was supposed to sweep her away to a lost but magical island to dance and never grow old in. Tinkerbell might have made an appearance, blessing everyone and everything within a five foot radius with her glowing fairy dust. Maybe the infamous lost boys would greet her arrival with a fun ritualistic dance around a roaring fire. But instead of any of the innocent and naive hopes being fulfilled, 4-year-old Lola found herself chained to a broken down trailer that smells heavily of marijuana while an old man sat a few feet away from her, strumming on his guitar without a care in the world. “Moon River, wider than a mile.” More tears began to stream down Lola’s face as a hoarse but high pitched voice broke out in song, yet again. She didn’t know much about him, however, her young and underdeveloped mind was able to grasp that he was a liar and bad. This much she knew at the very least from the memory of being tempted away from her older brother at the playground with the promise of sweets and a trip to Neverland. Lola looked at her surroundings, wondering if it was a normal occurrence for adults to take kids that weren’t theirs to yucky places. “I’m crossing you in style someday.” Lola’s stomach grumbled, reminding her once more of the lack of care or second thought her ‘caretaker’ bestowed upon her. “Oh, dream maker, you heartbreaker.” A terrifying sound of a pounding on metal shook the disgrace of a trailer, rocking poor Lola’s body as well as she found herself leaning on it again. For a brief moment, the old man stopped his belting. He took a quick glance back, smiled (that ominous one of his that Lola couldn’t help but cringe at) and called out, “Come on over Mr. Tatumn!” A thick southern accent escaped those chapped lips of his. Heavy footsteps made their way around the trailer, each pace only making Lola’s heart race faster, her tiny palms breaking out in a cold sweat. As if out of nowhere, a tall and middle-aged man stood in front of Lola. Lola gulped, desperately trying to avoid eye contact. All the adults that Lola encountered were taller than her, but something about this man made his height difference even more intimidating to her. Perhaps it was the way his neat suit and expensive shoes contrasted their environment so much of the stinky old guy and the beat up trailer all in the middle of the humid woods. Much to her displeasure, the old man began to sing again.


“Wherever you’re going, I’m going your way. Two Drifters, off to see the world.” The middle-aged man gave her a once over, his cold blue eyes not showing an ounce of sympathy to her chained upstate. He looked upon her as if she were an object that was simply stuck to the trailer, rather than an innocent kid unable to escape back to a loving childhood. “Hey Jim, how much for this one?” The middle-aged man called out over the strumming of the guitar. “Three grand, she’s still very young.” The old man gave out a whimsical but terrifying laugh before going back to his song. “There’s such a lot of world to see.” The horrified girl watched confused and sick as the man just threw a giant wad of money to the old man. “We’re after that same rainbow’s end, waiting, round the bend.” The young girl screamed as the man released her chains easily and took hold of her. The old man smiled, drowning out the screams with the final note, “My huckleberry friend, moon river, and me.”

TOS Sam Golwitzer The world is in ruins. Children ran through the streets, playing in the trash. What else were they supposed to play with? All the toys were gone, for his belly no longer shook like a bowl full of jelly. It has been seven years since the last Christmas of the world. It all happened so quickly. Kids woke up, ran downstairs, and anxiously searched for their presents. But there were none. The world plunged into chaos. Children banded together and hunted the patriarchal members of the government who were believed to be responsible for Santa’s disappearance. One by one they died, but he was never found. At least, not until now. Mr. Clause had been kidnapped, trapped against his will, by a rogue company by the name of “Apple.” They had wanted a full monopoly of ALL Christmas presents. And it was all legal, too. When he had selected “I have read and agreed to Apple’s terms of service,” he didn’t know what he was truly agreeing to. Apple finally agreed to set him free, mainly because they accidentally sent the world into the new dark ages. To no avail, however, for it was too late. The earth was in a nuclear holocaust due to his absence. Every country thought the other was responsible for the kidnapping, and war followed. All of the fightings greatly increased the heat of the planet, and the north pole melted away into oblivion. And Santa sits to this day, playing his acoustic guitar as kids play in the garbage. If only he had read the terms of service...

Pessimistic or Realistic Katrina Hosek

Untitled Jamison Thompson

“Welcome back.” I nodded to him in acknowledgement, hoping that would be enough to make him go away. “So why?” Sadly, it was not. I sighed, “Why what?” A long stare passed between the both of us. I didn’t want to reply to the question with anything but an avoidant answer but I had the feeling he wasn’t about to let this go. So, in defeat I answered him, “I guess I needed something-- and I figured that something was change. I got in my car, packed most of my belongings, and just drove. I reached this ridiculous conclusion that I needed to go looking for answers and I wanted this strong realization of something.” “You’re saying you wanted an epiphany?” “An epiphany! Yes, that’s a perfect way to describe it. I thought I was going to have this perfect self discovery type Walter Mitty vacations where I would “find myself.” I talked to so many different types of people and I expected an answer from all these strangers. I wanted some type of profound and inspiring knowledge just to fall out of their mouth. I thought they would answer this overarching question that I let haunt me.” “What were these people like?” “Frankly, they were all very mundane and easy to forget. The only person I remember was this old gypsy looking character who everything around him just oozed organized chaos. He was like every wise old man in a movie who would give me the road map to the rest of my life.” “Did he?” He looked at me with big curious eyes, almost like a child. “No, of course not.” “Well, what did you think would happen?” I wrapped my arms around myself and felt my body almost deflate in disappointment. I wanted to believe if I could hold myself long enough I could fade into the wall and forget this happened. I exhaled, “I expected an answer from these people. From him. I wanted this man to tell my worth. I looked at him and I thought this was finally my self discovery moment and everything would fall into place. I just wanted to hear him tell me that everything I had been chasing to this point matter. That all this would make me happy- because that’s the goal, right? To be happy?” “I-I don’t know.” “Neither do I.” It was quiet for a second, I think he was trying to register it all. Finally, he spoke, “Did… did you find answers? It was such a boiled down question. So simple. It was so eerily similar to the way of thinking I had thought before, as if there was just one definitive solution. That somehow people no different than myself would solve this riddle of my own self reflection. So I laughed, and this laughter turned into hysterical howling that caused me to tear up. “What? Was that a dumb question?” He was startled. I wiped my tear away and gave a sad smile. “I didn’t find anything.”

Frederick William Campbell sat just outside of his van, strumming his guitar, just like he always did, every single day of the week. Sometimes, he would mindlessly create tunes that had no rhyme or reason, and other days he would make what sounded like, to him, at least, good songs that could have incorporated lyrics. That is if Frederick didn’t forget them by the end of the day. That was one of many faults with him; he never could quite remember things. Not for the past 5 or so years. Frederick put his guitar on the ground, and slowly got up, heading in the direction of his van, a black 1960 Chevrolet cargo van that he used to drive around before living this life. Frederick, or, as he was known to his old friends, Fred, neared the van and sat down on the dusty yet comfortable couch near the vehicle. He sat and stared for a few seconds at the wilderness surrounding him. The cool Vermont breeze could be felt on his face. Then Fred looked down at the doll. The man’s face contorted into a frown. That doll… it wasn’t a positive object for him, but he kept it, due to some, some sense of preserving the spirit of his daughter. Fred, still lingering on thoughts of his daughter, realized that this was one of his best days ever when it came to memory. Fred picked up the doll, and set it down in the nearby stroller. He slowly got up and began pushing it back and forth, just like when he was with her, and she was with him. Fred seemed to smile for one of the first times in years. “Cass…” he said to himself, quietly, trying to remember her name, “Cassa…” He was trying his hardest now, and was getting so close… “Cassandra…” he said, his face suddenly lighting up with happiness. Fred let go of the stroller and sat down again, letting his wide grin overtake him. Fred laughed, for the first time in years. Then, after the laughter was over, he got back up and sat down on the ground with his guitar. As he began mindlessly strumming again, his recent thoughts began to drift away. They wouldn’t come back, no matter how hard he tried to grasp them for just a few more seconds. “No…,” said Fred, “No.” He could feel a tear begin to roll down his cheek, and suddenly he felt like the younger Frederick Wilson- or was it, William? -Campbell back in the doctor’s office, in December 1962. “I’m so, very, sorry, Mr. Campbell. It’s Alzheimer’s.” That day was the day he chose to leave his family of two, his wife and daughter. He didn’t want them to have to endure the pain of him becoming forgetful. He just couldn’t… Wait. Where was Frederick again? He didn’t remember, and he went back to creating “nothing songs” on his guitar, just like he always did, every single day of the week. Sometimes, he would mindlessly create tunes that had no rhyme or reason, and other days he would make what sounded like, to him, at least, good songs that could have incorporated lyrics. That is if Frederick didn’t forget them by the end of the day. That was one of many faults with him; he never could quite remem13 ber things.

The Savior Zachary Rayman I sat down on the sofa and took in the dark room. Everything felt off, and the area felt unfamiliar to me. It was not the first time I had been here, but now that it was time to accomplish my task, I was uneasy. The room seemed crooked, but yet I was excited, for tonight was a special night. The night I watched my favorite movie. It’s an independent film called “The Savior.” In it, a man goes on a virtuous quest to save humanity from its corrupt ways and deliver them to the promised land. I trembled as I stood up and headed over to the VCR. My hands were sweating, my knees shaking, and my body aching in anticipation for what was about to happen. The cold air sent a chill down my spine as I put in the tape, the whirring sounds of the VCR the only sound in an otherwise silent room as I headed back and sat on the couch. I felt a large sensation of pleasure wash over me as the film began. I stroked my large white beard out of nervous anticipation, it wasn’t often I had time to watch my favorite movie. The images shown on screen were blurry, but I had seen it so many times that I could see every detail perfectly. A man cloaked in shadow waited for his prey. He was the hero, the crimson robe he wore and the large silver dagger in his hands made him instantly recognizable. The Savior waited in silence as the four monsters entered their lair, and I began to salivate as my favorite part began to unfold on screen. Catching them by surprise, the hero gallantly came up behind the largest monster and plunged his blade through its heart. The hairy beast screamed in terror, its ugly face writhing in agony as it fell to the ground, spasming uncontrollably. The other monsters screamed and ran in terror, they tried to find a place to hide, but they would not escape... because no one stops The Savior. As The Savior withdrew his blade from the orc-like beast, the sound of flesh tearing as the blade came free, he began his pursuit of the others. First, he entered the feeding grounds, an ominous place where no doubt many poor souls had met their end. Hearing heavy breathing and crying coming from behind a box, The Savior slowly snuck up behind the source and plunged his dagger straight through the beast’s throat. The female orc struggled to breathe as tears ran down its face. The orc reached out and grabbed The Savior’s cloak, but the savior just stood there, silently, staring into the monster’s eyes as it fell to the ground and was saved from itself. I leapt out of my seat and cheered. This movie never ceased to amaze me. Back on screen, The Savior turned his attention to the breeding room, where he heard the crying of the two littlest orcs. Slowly creeping into the room as if savoring his final kill, he made his way around to the other side of the bed. The two small orcs were holding each other, crying tears of sorrow and pain as they stared into his cold unwavering gaze. The savior knelt down and in a calm, reassuring voice whispered to them, “Do not worry little ones,


I shall send you to the promised land so you may be cleansed.” He showed them the dagger sheathed in his cloak and their grip on one another tightened. The hero smiled, a great big smile as he pulled out his dagger. “Soon your suffering will end,” The hero whispered softly, “goodnight sweet children.” The little orcs screamed at the top of their lungs as the hero plunged his dagger into them repeatedly until he grew tired. Then, the hero walked away from the orcs and headed towards the screen to turn off the camera. I gazed into the face on the screen, and recognized it as my own. The large white beard on his face had been stained red, and seeing this, I grinned from ear to ear. “The hero always wins,” I said to myself as I ejected the tape,” Time to get into position.” I placed my cloak on my head, checked my dagger and hid in a corner near the entrance of the pitiful hovel. Headlights beamed through the window as a minivan pulled into the driveway, “Mom, can we have spaghetti for dinner?” one of the little beasts asked as they walked into the house,”I’m really hungry for it.” I checked my phone to make sure all of the cameras were in place,” Well, it’s time for the hero to save the day.” The door creaked open, the screams began, and within minutes, they were silenced. Untitled Callie Huffman “Where am I? What is this place?” Betty asked, checking out her surroundings. Despite her mother dressing her up that morning, she was wearing a long t-shirt and no pants. Her hair was matted up and looked like it hadn’t been brushed in weeks. She had small scratches on her arms and legs, she was also covered in dirt. Besides standing next to her stroller, everything and everyone was unfamiliar. She was out in what looked like an empty forest, with random junk spaced out on the dead grass. She heard faint sounds of guitar playing in the distance. Betty had no idea how she ended up in this strange and uncomfortable place. Unsure of what to do or where to go, Betty followed the sound of the guitar. Once she got closer she noticed that there was singing going along with the melody. It was a song she’d never heard before, but it was strangely comforting. After a solid thirty minutes of walking, a trip that would’ve been short for someone who wasn’t 3’2”, Betty came up behind an elderly man. He was wearing a long nightgown that didn’t look much different from her own. She could see hair sticking out from the sides of his face, so she assumed that he had a beard. He was eerily skinny, but he managed to play a lovely song on the guitar with his bony fingers and light voice. Betty thought that he was a cookie-deprived Santa Claus. “Hello?” Betty asked, stepping in the man’s view. The man stopped singing, but he continued to play his brown acoustic. “Who are you?” “I’m Betty,” she smiled. “Am I in the North Pole?” The man gave a hearty laugh, but then just looked at her with his sad, blue-gray eyes. “I wish, kid. I wish.” At this point, he stopped playing his guitar. Wherever they were, it was now silent. “Where are we? And who are you?” “I’m Steve,” he looked down. He was obviously trying to word an explanation that would make sense to a three-

year-old. “What year is it, Betty?” “1962” Steve sighed. “Not in this place. Take a look around. What do you see?” Betty did as she was told. “Nothing, really. Just a lot of garbage. Are we in a field?” Steve replied, “Sort of. See, the year is 2031. In the past 30 years, the generations running the Earth ruined the planet. Everywhere you go there’s garbage and remnants of what used to be great. They started off with new technology, electronics, but it got out of control. By 2021, things began collapsing.” “What do you mean collapsing?” “Everything just crumbled, fell apart, or burned. Nothing is the same as it was 15 to 20 years ago, and everything was completely different before that. It was all destroyed by our own two hands.” “Why am I here? I should be home, my mommy doesn’t know where I am.” Betty said, obviously scared of what Steve was telling her. “I can’t tell you specifically, but you’re one of the main reasons why the world around you collapsed. So am I.” Steve picked up his guitar and began playing and singing again. It was almost like Betty wasn’t even there. With that, Betty woke up in a cold sweat. She was back in her bed, away from that scary place. “It’s time for preschool! Get up!” Betty’s mother called. Betty tried her best to get ready and overcome her day, but her nightmare wouldn’t stop replaying in her head. From that day forward, it never did.

“I was visiting my grandparents, and on the way back, my car broke down.” You explain, a bit unsure. Then, you hear quiet footsteps behind him. A young girl looks at you from a few feet away, playing with a baby stroller. She looks rather content. “I have a phone you can use to call for help, but I want you to listen to a song first.” He speaks. It strikes you as strange, but the man doesn’t seem like he realize. “Why? I mean, thank you, just why do I have to listen to a song?” You question. “I can tell you’re tense. You’re stressed. Life in the city leads to that. Not enough people let themselves take a break. Sometimes, you just need to sit and think. And I think you really need this right now.” You think for a second, then sigh. He’s right. You’ve been going nonstop since you left for your grandparents. You really do need a break. Without another word, you sit down on a pillow nearby. One song turns to two, two to three, and three to four. You lose track of time, and soon enough the sun is hanging low in the sky. You take a deep breath and the man stops playing. He nods and calmly motions the girl over. With her, she brings a small flip phone. You call your friend, who agrees to come pick you up and help pay for a tow truck. After bidding your new found friends goodbye, you meet with your friend and head back to the city. Everything seemed a bit different now. From that day on, you were more aware. You let yourself relax every once in awhile. Life can be difficult, but taking the time to truly relax can make it a little easier.

Untitled M. Joshnston “No no no no! Stupid piece of junk!” You yell. Your car just broke down right out of town. You were visiting your grandparents who live way out in the country on their farm. After being begged, you ended up staying the night out there. You weren’t prepared at all. No change of clothes, no toothbrush, no phone charger. All you wanted was to get home, clean yourself, and relax. The car has been on its last legs forever, so this isn’t much of a surprise. You have no knowledge of how to fix cars, you can barely even start the thing. You climb out of the car, slamming the door in anger, then check your phone to find that it’s completely dead. You sigh in frustration. Then, you hear something. Music? The music is slow, soft guitar music. It almost calms you, but just not quite. It just raises more questions. “Hello?” You cup your hands around your mouth and shout. “Is anyone there? I need help with my car…” The music stops for a second. “Back here, friend.” A deep, soothing voice calls back from the woods. You enter the forested area, following the music. Pushing aside a few branches, you finally find the source of the noise. You see a bearded old man sat on a blanket, plucking away at an acoustic guitar. Surrounding him, there seemed to be random junk spread throughout the clearing, including a bike of some sort, some wooden furniture, and scraps of metal. The mess seemed to be organized, though. “What brings you out this way?” He asks, hands still moving across the strings.


Poetry An Ode to My Dreams Emma Blanchette You flood my sleeping mind behind eyes damned shutA sweeping sense of cafe dates With the refilling cups from Harry Potter And no stress to fog my smile Things are serene: The smell of books, The art of literature; I love you, right now Then the coffee stops flowing And the cafe sets itself aflame Burning the smell of books Like a grisly piece of meat left on the grill over night And the art of literature forgotten Like the gas burner on the grill I don’t love you, not anymore Because you give me tastes of what I want Then snatch it away; You’re cruel, But you’re mine Jaeci Johnston And there’s nothing I can change To have a night of peaceful rest

First Breath, Last Breath Zachary Rayman It began with light Shock as I take my first breath Surrounded by faces I have learned to speak Words defeat disgrace and fear With them I am strong Friends here surround me I’m in a place for knowledge Overwhelmed by joy

Settle Salis Fulcher Like chasing shadows in the dark Or loving one without a heart Our greatest dreams are unachievable So settle. Our biggest lies are the most unbelievable So settle. Things that we could never accomplish Stop us when we’ve gotten our farthest And though we always try our hardest We can never Truly Settle.

My body changes My mind feels different now Strange new sensations I care far too much The people I once called friends Judging me always Humiliation Disgrace and fear fill my life When will it all end? I have no friends now I’m in a place of torture Entwined with sorrow Words assault me now They cause me great pain and fear They have broken me


Alone in my room Peace as I take my last breath It ends with darkness

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