“Break” By Grace Williams
Stargazer A Short Story By: Aidan Wright, Freshman
Rays of light from the tightly locked windows shined harshly on the back yard, slicing through the night like a cold and serrated knife. The girl sat out of their reach, doing everything she could to focus on the stars above. “I can’t see a thing.” the girl grumbled. She couldn’t even make out the big dipper out of the few twinkling lights in the sky. A friend had told her that people once believed that the stars were windows into heaven; she would do anything to be able to climb through one. She glanced back down at her house. Its back porch was surrounded by a stockade of thorny roses. Beyond the roses sat the imposing three story tall house; its malevolent eyes glared at the girl. The inside was pristine and prim, courtesy of the maids that worked there. It looked warm and cozy but the girl knew all too well that the inhabitants were anything but. She could see the silhouettes of her mother and father; they were arguing, throwing their hands into the air, making gestures, shouting so loud that the entire neighborhood could hear them. The girl stood up and dusted off her dress. She wasn’t going to stay here.
She crept between her house and its eight foot tall privacy fence; sneaking into the front yard. She opened the iron grille gate and started walking down the dim street. Rows of large and grandiose houses neatly lined the streets, each one constantly competing for the title of “nicest looking yard”, using flowers, lawn gnomes, and plastic flamingos to mask their hostility. Dogs barked as she passed but were quickly silenced by their sleepy owners. Cats stalked on the brick walls and on the street, staring at her with their luminous eyes but never coming close. The girl wandered farther and farther away from her house, away from her quarrelsome parents, and just kept going. She reached the end of the paved road, only a dilapidated gravel path led forward. She kept walking. The girl hiked through the forest, soiling her dress and ruining her shoes. The forest became darker and darker as she trekked forward, until she was consumed by an inky blackness. In the perpetual darkness she stumbled into a tree and stopped for “Smoke” By: Grace Williams a moment, only then did she begin to comprehend the situation she was in. She collapsed against the tree, her legs throbbing. She was completely lost, the night’s iron curtain disallowed her to see anything but the array of stars in the sky, which blazed brightly in the absence of the moon. The girl began to grow afraid. How could I have been so stupid? What if I never find my way back? What if I get eaten by wolves? What if I starve to death? Will anyone look for me? What if no one ever finds me? The girl’s worrying was interrupted by the sound of a twig snapping. The girl sat up and listened; she could hear someone else treading through the pine needles. “Stupid - damned lantern - mushrooms -” a boy grunted in the darkness. “Who’s there?” the girl called out, her voice shaky. “Huh?” the boy stopped. “What’s a lady doing out here at night?” “Well - I… what are you doing out here at night?” “Shroom hunting.” “In the dark?” “I have a lantern… it’s broken though.” “Who are you?” the girl asked. “My name’s Jacob.” Jacob said. “What’s yours?” “Melony.” Melony said. “Well, Melony, why are Photo By: Amani Zaneer
“Sure. Just keep heading north and you’ll end up on walnut street. But my lantern is broken so I can’t see my compass. But why are you even out here? It’s not right for a lady to be out all by herself, much less trancing through these woods.” “What’s broken?” Melony asked, ignoring his other comments. “Well, it’s not really broken, one of the damn batteries fell out. Er, excuse my language miss.” Melony fished around in her pocket and pulled out a small electric doll. “What kind of batteries do you need?” “Double a.” Melony popped open the doll’s back and took out the single battery. “I’ve got one right here.” “What are you carryin’ around a battery for?” “It was in a doll I’m carrying.” “An electric doll? Those things are expensive, how’d you get one?” “My parents got me one.” “Where are you from?” “I live on fourth street.” “Fourth street?” Jacob sounded almost fearful. “What’s wrong with fourth street?” “I-it’s nothin’… gimme dem batteries, we’ll be out of these woods in no tiiIIME OH SH-” “OW! What was that? You fell on me, you oaf!” “My sincerest apologies miss, oww… I lost my footing.” Melony ground her teeth. “I’m holding out the battery in front of me.” She stretched out her arm, her fist curled around the battery. She felt a cold and callused hand squeeze her fist; she dropped the battery into Jacob’s hand. There were a few plastic and metallic clicks. “Alright, almost got it…” There was sudden burst of blinding light. Melony shielded her watering eyes, sunspots danced under her eyelids. Slowly, she peeled open her eyes. Jacob sat in front of her, holding the lantern in his hand and rubbing his eyes with the other one; he opened his hazel eyes and blinked at her, the whites of his eyes contrasted with his dark skin. “You’re a negro?” Melony said. Jacob stared at her pale face and blanched. “I-I didn’t mean any disrespect lady, I wouldn’t have touched if I’d known!” Melony frowned in confusion, then she remembered the moment when she had given him the battery. “It’s okay.” Melony tried to assuage the situation. “I really don’t care.” Jacob’s eyes widened in surprise. “Seriously? Didn’t your parents ever tell you nasty rumors about negros?” Melony shrugged. “They did. I just never listened to them.” “And you’re not gonna report me to the sheriff for touching you?” “Wait, that’s illegal?” Jacob tugged at his collar. “Eh… they’d send me to jail for it, that’s for sure.” Melony stood up and brushed off the pine needles. “That’s dumb. How can you get arrested if you’re not doing anything illegal?”
Jacob stood and shook his head. “You’re lucky, you don’t know what it’s like.” Jacob took a compass out of his pocket and flipped it open. “This way.” He started walking and gestured for her to follow. They walked in silence, the lantern’s harsh light illuminated their path; the tree trunks looked like they were made of stone, and Melony couldn’t see a foot past them. The eerie silence was deafening, the music of the stars had been drowned out by the lantern. They reached the edge of the woods, a street ran in either direction in front of them. “Hey, there’s my house.” Jacob pointed at a house down the street. “Looks like we don’t have to walk far.” The house was about the size of Melony’s garden shed, the paint was peeling, and the sidewalk was cracked. Jacob walked up to the door. Before he could knock on it the door burst open, in it stood a tall woman, her brown hair was flecked with grey and her dark eyes were filled with fury. In her hand was a wooden ladle. “Jacob! Where have you been?” the woman demanded, then she saw Melony, her eyes widened in fear. “I-is that a girl? Jacob! What are you doing wandering around at night with a white girl? Get inside before someone sees you.” “Mom, it’s okay.” Jacob tried to assuage his mother. “She was lost in the woods, I helped her find her way out.” Jacob’s mother sniffed indignantly, she turned on Melony. “What’s a proper lady doing wandering around at night? It’s dangerous out there.” “Yes, I know.” Melony said. “I’ll make sure not to wander out at night.” Jacob’s mother nodded. “Good. How are you going to get back home, young lady?” “I don’t know.” Melony shrugged. “I live on fourth street, but I don’t know how to get back.” Jacob’s mother rubbed her chin. “Fourth street… that’s far too much distance for you to walk on your own.” “I could take her on my bike.” Jacob said. “Absolutely NOT.” Jacob’s mother spat. “It’d be bad enough if you were seen with her in this neighborhood, but if you’re caught in the whiteman’s part of town you’ll be lynched!” “I could vouch for his innocence.” Melony said. Jacob’s mother shook her head. “They wouldn’t believe you darling, I’ve seen it all before.” Jacob’s mother pointed at a house across the street. “Go to Mr. Jenkins’ house. You can use his phone to call her parents.” Jacob’s mother closed the door. Jacob started walking across the street to the house his “Brothers” By: Grace Williams
mother had pointed at; it was slightly larger than his own. “You borrow things from your neighbors?” Melony asked. “Well, yeah. We’ll exchange eggs, bread, do favors for eachother.” Jacob gave her a quizzical look. “Don’t you do that with your neighbors?” Melony shook her head. “I don’t even know the names of my neighbors.” Jacob walked across the front lawn and stepped up to the door. “Hello? Mister Jenkins?” Jacob knocked on the door. There were a few loud crashes mixed with the sound of someone running, then the door was ripped open, a raggedy old man stood in the doorframe. “YOU DARN TEENAGERS! GET OFF MY LAWwait a minute.” Mr. Jenkins took a pair of spectacles off of a nearby end table and put them on. “Oh, Jacob my boy, it’s you. What are you doing with a white girl?” “It’s a long story.” Jacob said. “Listen, we gotta borrow your telephone.” Mr. Jenkins opened the door wide. “Of course, come right in.” he gave Melony an untrusting glare. The inside of Mr. Jenkins’ house looked was a rat’s nest, yet it seemed oddly cozy. Jacob navigated the maze of thrift shop sofas and entered the kitchen, on the table was a dilapidated telephone. Melony picked up the phone. “Hello, operator? Yes, I’d like to make a call.” she punched in the numbers and waited, the telephone shook violently with every buzz. The buzzing was abruptly cut off and a gurgled voice came in through the phone. “Hello, you have reached the Heidler household. How may I help you?” “Robert, it’s me, Melony.” Robert did a double take. “Miss- miss Melony! Oh thank the lord, we’ve been looking all over for you! Where are you?” “I’m on South Walnut street.” “South Walnut? How on Earth did you get there? Are you hurt? Are you safe?” “It’s a long story, my dress is ruined but I’m fine.” “Oh thank the lord. Stephanie, Melony’s okay! She’s on the phone right now!” Melony could hear a small struggle go on for about a second until she heard Stephanie’s voice over the phone. “Miss Melony, are you alright? Where are you?” “I’m fine, I’m on Walnut Street.” “WALNUT STREET?” Stephanie wailed. Melony rolled her eyes. “Just get the car over here.” She hung up the phone and sighed. They waited for about half an hour until a shiny white car rolled into the street, bumping and jumping on the potholes. Mr. Jenkins whistled. “That’s a mighty fine car you got there.” Melony nodded. She walked out the front door and paused on the porch. Photo By: Amani Zaneer
Jacob rubbed the back of his head. “No problem, don’t mention it… seriously don’t. I don’t wanna get in trouble.” Melony smiled and waved bye, then she walked across the yard, got in the shiny white car, and drove off. As the car bumbled down the street Melony stared down the street. The tiny houses seemed so small yet so big, they looked closed but felt open, it was as if each house had its own personality and despite the torn up road and the dirty windows it simply felt less hostile. The car stopped bumping as it moved onto more well kempt roads, and as it did the houses became nicer and nicer, and the subtle hostility returned. Finally, the car pulled into her driveway, through the iron gate, down the twenty five foot long driveway, past the ostentatious garden display, and finally stopping in front of her home’s decadent pillars. Melony stepped out of the car and sighed. She went inside and was pestered with questions from anyone and everyone until finally she was sent to bed at three o’clock in the morning. She sat on her mattress and lingered for a bit, waiting for the lights to go out; when they did, Melony walked to her window, and climbed out onto the roof. With the lights off, Melony could make out a few stars in the sky.
“Come As You Are” and “Eyes” By: Grace Williams
Moon Man Poem By: Arthur Hertz Stuck on a solitary planet again I fling myself from the precipice My line is firm and holds my weight Icy rock beneath my feet Commander’s here to see me again He’s standing there without a helmet Arms held wide; he’s smiling “The weather out here is lovely today” “Yeah, I guess it is” I take my helmet off backlit by stars And the soft lights clap as the moon turns dark “Good performance. You deserve an award” We walk on the lunar turf (like at a soccer game)
“I’m really nothing special I’m really nothing special, sir Just not the right stuff, sir” Then I’m back ten years Sitting for an exam My Scantron sheet is smeared with graphite, indistinct My pencil shakes, clutched tight in hand I’m close to crying, all fed up He wants to be here; he’s getting ahead The timer rings, MIke says he’s bored “Pencils down, boys!” The young teacher called He can’t be ten years older than me; ten years ago I was seven If I get good grades I might go to heaven
Image By: Melody Cobine
Poem By: Arthur Hertz Look, you, and listen For the beaming of your tripping senses Can you make them unfold, as do I, to admire all which stands in their way? Stop standing there, poor scump, foul trash, And filter through that philter, The blessed gift of chance almighty, Dues, recompense, my sacrifice.
Gossamer Poem By: Arthur Hertz Ambitious but lame in cravings for fame the hummingbirdâ€™s wings far too heavy to soar
See, dumb child, the Brilliant light, heavy with perfection Steeped, effulgent, with storied Majesty, I searched long years for this, for her, for the sake of you, I raised you better!
for no matter how daring or exceptional or wonderful these quicksilver filaments seem slated to be worn through undue tribulations an observerâ€™s machinations what a travesty that obsession overtakes these young minds dreams of soaring from the children from the nest they rise naked driven to the precipice a bird born to fly
Drawings By: Melody Cobine
“Hold On Tight” Photo By: Sierra Bowman, senior
Poem By: Arthur Hertz, junior The circular nature of a sinusoidal function twines it with polynomial delighttwo axial values surpassing each other in constant flight, tracing arcs like blooming flowers in blue light on my computer screen. And the cardioids- sweet delights, little hearts mine. Swirling tight, wide curls bloom billowing, slightly crossing- curved lattices of lines through a lone point. Each value kisses he others in different ways, curling and swirling in arcs, arches of passionate sums. The constant beguiles, waiting for a chance to flirt again every time its cycle ends. Nowhere is mathematics so expressive as the flight of a graph, a dancing expression of continuity, minutia- condensed infinity spoken in lines.
“Tiny Dancer ” Photo By: Sierra Bowman, senior
Gender By: Anonymous Gender is not a bender stop making us lose our defenders gender is something I feel inside but now my gender feels like something thats died some pretend to be just like me but really its not hard to see their lying often for the attention or to soothe the apprehension of a lover but when you do pretend we loose the ones who defend my gender makes me sick because you wont let your gender stick
“Companion” By: Grace Williams
Poem By: Melanie Muniz I am Fire Watch me shrink when you put out my flames Watch me destroy when you leave me unwatched Watch me burn your food when you ask me to cook it I’m not good at much, but some disagree They watch me create colorful paintings that shoot up into the sky They watch me bring warth into their homes They watch me heal breaks in families So you see, I am what my creator makes me out to be Problem is, you don’t respect me enough to see that Drawing By: Melody Cobine
Candles Essay by: Aiden Wright, freshman I go to a Unitarian Universalist church. Unitarian Universalism itself is pretty much liberalism incarnate, we believe in equality for all people, public education, science, healthcare, caring for our earth, etc. During our service, people are welcomed to go up to the pulpit to light a candle for a joy or a sorrow. While I was doing this, a thought occurred to me: why just one candle? I have countless joys and sorrows floating around in my mind, but I can only put one into the candle. I thought about this some more, and I contemplated the subject longer than I probably should have. What would happen if I were to light a candle for each of my joys and sorrows? There are maybe a hundred or more candles in the pulpit yet I can think of a reason to light each of them. Well let’s put it this way: say someone lights all the candles, their joys and their sorrows are now out in the world in the form of a candle; those wonderful things they just experienced have been shared, and all their problems are solved, except they’re not. That person now has new problems and new things to share. When you see something cool or exciting you usually don’t keep it to yourself, you want to tell people about it: “Hey! I just rode on the world’s tallest roller coaster!”. So rather than just keeping to himself, the man goes to light more candles, but the pulpit is out of candles; he’s already lit all of them. He goes out to find more candles, finds them, and lights them; all of those wonderful things are shared, and his problems are solved, except they’re not. He’s got new problems, and he’s got that really funny story about his fishing trip. And so the cycle goes on, and on, and on. Say someone else wants to share a joy or a sorrow, so they light a candle, but after they put the candle out there they lose track of it, it becomes lost in the entangled mess of everyone else’s candles. A few people see it, but then they forget about it and become focused on the sea of candles lit by one person, the man from earlier. Everyone can only see the light from this man’s candles, they become so focused on this one man that they lose sight of themselves, they begin to believe that this man’s problems are their problems. Others begin to believe that they have no voice, and so they don’t even try to light their own candles, and the voices of the little people are snuffed out. Then another thought occured to me, you don’t need more than one candle. A single cubic inch of you contains millions of cells, each one its own little factory; and each of those cells are made of countless atoms, which are made of neutrons and protons and electrons, which are made of even smaller parts. You are made of invisible little worlds the same way a house is made of bricks, so why shouldn’t one candle be capable of holding more than just one joy or sorrow? If you put yourself into a bunch of different candles the resulting flames are diminutive and weak, and those flames could burn out anytime between a day, or a minute. But if you pour yourself into just one, “Some Kind Of Wonderful” By: Sierra Bow- one little candle, it will glow brighter than the stars in the man, senior sky, and it has the potential to last forever.
Cause and Effect
“Give Me Shelter” By: Sierrra Bowman, senior
Essay by: Aiden Wright, freshman
“The Waiting” By: Sierra Bowman, senior
The universe is complicated, I could go into detail, but I would be struck doing that for the next sixteen pages, however, there is one particular pattern that stays the same throughout the infinite expansion of space: cause and effect. Everything happens for a reason, and every action has a consequence, there is no such thing as random chance. This may seem to be a simple equation but it’s not; causes can have multiple effects, or effects can have multiple causes; those causes are actually just the effects of another cause or causes, and the effects will go on to become causes of their own, and the cycle will never ever stop, EVER. Some causes may seem to have small effects at first but those effects can build up, this process is called the butterfly effect: a butterfly flaps its wings in Mumbai, resulting in a hurricane in Maine. I heard of a theory a few years ago that had to do with decision making. The theory stated that every time you make a decision you create an alternate reality. Think of it like this: You have just woken up this morning and you
Cause and Effect continued
want breakfast, you have two options: 1. Have a healthy meal of eggs and toast; 2. Eat the last slice of that chocolate fudge cake from last night, or was it last week? Last month? You’re not sure how long its been in there, but its cake so what the heck. You make a decision and BAM, you have created two alternate realities, one in which you feel vigorous and energized throughout the whole day, and another one in which it feels like there are several angry weasels duking it out in your esophagus. I do not believe this to be true, as I said before there is no such thing as random chance, therefore if something happens it happens for an explicit reason. So are we guided by fate and are destined to make a certain decision? Perhaps, and perhaps not. It is a hard question to answer because it involves both a factual and a philosophical basis. As far as I’m concerned when a decision is made that decision stays for the ride, we only have one reality in which to live and whatever decisions you make, you’re stuck with the consequences. You can make up for your mistakes but you can never undo them. So when you are given the chance to think before making any choice, I suggest you use that time wisely. “Ramble On” By:Sierra Bowman, senior
Return Love By: Tracy Lamptey, senior
When the world goes crazy, remember that there is still love. When it feels dark and dreary, there is sunshine waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. When you feel like giving up, tell yourself, one more mountain to climb then I can rest in the valley then climb the next one. When you feel like quitting, keep on keeping on. When you feel hate being directed towards you, return love not hate.
A Collection of Short Poems By: Indigo Wolf, freshman
In the Grasses
Outside in Spring
Soft green grass like summer’s breath, and winter’s nev- Green grass under toe er snow Flowers peeking through soft leaves Olive moss, tender yes, but under gentle toe Birds chirp, sweet and clean. Tread lightly, little mouse, bushing brow and eyes bright alive, Moon Keep watch for silent cat, bringer of demise. She is beauty And she is peace But she must always go Her lusterous sides always shifting In her soft bed of stars She drives men mad and women unhinged She makes melancholy of the thankful She emaciates the glutton And bloats the starving poor But amid all this strange We love her evermore.
After witnessing pain
Painting By: Bronwen Deckard, freshman
Guts wrenching Bones crunching I’ve never felt true pain Fear freezing Hands squeezing I’ve seen it clear and plain
Eyes screaming I feel nauseous when I think of her, lying on the ground, Mouth breathing screaming in pain Not what I expected, I feel nauseous when I think of that cur, making her feel less than plain Blood seeping I feel my guts heave when I remember my father forgot Puddles creeping what I said last night I haven’t slept a wink My lunch is lost when I speak of my mother, spewing words manufactured to fight Mother sees me, My insides churn when I read this crying deeply And realize how whiney I sound There’s nothing we can do. Cause I’ve got nothing to miss Wouldn’t take another chance around.
Painting By: Laurel Bills, freshman
Picture By: Ashley Quick, jumior
“Unnamed Phantom” By: Lydia Campbell, jumior
Ode to My Skin Poem By: Melanie Muniz
My skin is confused It couldn’t decide whether to be cream or coffee, white or dark So it mixed and mixed, but the mixture was left uneven, like oil to water A birthmark,big and white, surrounded by brown My skin is defective Red and white spots scatter my body, like a crazy conspiracy map Random blues and purples are faded burns and scars The skin replies, “I’m not confused, why must I be only one shade? Rainbows own seven, and it is praised! I wish not to conform to the light and reject the dark, and blend it like the night sky. Integration rather than separation! I’m also not defective, but human, and to be human is to be imperfect and messy. I’m simply a masterpiece in progress. One day you will see. Sure we have some work to do, but doesn’t everybody? You are messy and colourful and that’s a good thing.”
“Take the Long Way Home” By:Sierra Bowman, senior
Thank You! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Literary Magazine over the past year. Your art work and writing has inspired and brought a lot of joy to the fused staff and it has been fun working with you. ~Lit Mag Editors
“Here Comes the Sun” And “Never Going Back There Again” By:Sierra Bowman, senior
To celebrate the end of the school year, this online edition of the Fused Literary Magazines full of student artwork and writing compiled ov...
Published on May 15, 2018
To celebrate the end of the school year, this online edition of the Fused Literary Magazines full of student artwork and writing compiled ov...