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The Bryn Mawr Middle School Literary Magazine 2018 Front Cover: Stasia Kelly and Anna Zivkovich Back Cover: Katie Butler and Stasia Kelly Editorial Staff: Victoria Alnwisr, Eleni Antoniades, Katie Butler, Elizabeth Coulson, Meléy Cullors, Shelby Jackson, Alina Jalisi, Stasia Kelly, Grace Martin, Kiesse Nanor, Adiyah Parham, Elizabeth Rosenbaum, Zawadi Sankofa, Madeleine Ward, Sloane Wehman, Emma Weiser, and Anna Zivkovich Contributors: Victoria Alnwisr, Eleni Antoniades, Maggie Antoniades, Makenna Bachman, Ryann Beckham, Sydney Booker, Mia Boydston, Katie Butler, Meléy Cullors, Rachel Dye, Hannah Franklin, Shreya Gandhi, Katherine Giroux, Bailey Jackson, Alina Jalisi, Kazze Kaiser, Merriwether King, Caroline Knight, Sohpia Koman, Ava Kowalski, Krisna Kumar, Kaitlyn Leitherer, Kellsie Lewis, Grace Martin, Lana Milman, Chloe Miranda, Aneesa Muhammad, Adiyah Parham, Caroline Plant, Chandler Prettiman-Watkins, Elise Purcell, Maddie Richard, Sofia Richman, Elizabeth Rosenbaum, Sophi Schweigman, Lydia Sellers, Rachel Shin, Hallie Triplett, Abby Watson, Sophie Weiser, Sloane Wehman, Arreyelle Wilson, Ariana Yeganeh, Anna Zivkovich

Note: This year’s Magpie staff chose to organize the publication according to theme. As you move through the book, look for reflections about home, school, identity, and social justice, and stories full of creativity and imagination. We hope you enjoy it!

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Laughter

by Maggie Antoniades The triumphant trill of laughter Dancing through the air Laughing dancing prancing For all the world to hear.

by Kaitlyn Leitherer

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Forgive but Never Forget by Mia Boydston Can’t you see The way your voice moves through the air And the way you stare Isn’t my style The way you brush your hair And the way you don’t really care The way you smile I don’t scream I don’t shout I don’t obliterate And I don’t not give mercy I do care I do love I do sing even when The world says be quiet I dance when The music has stopped I speak even when No one cares to listen I give the love in my heart And I forgive I forgive you For the screaming For the yelling For the titles You have put upon my head And the game you have made I forgive I forgive I forgive But I never forget 4 | Magpie 2018

Flowers by Katie Butler


Whispers by Makenna Bachman Sometimes I sit inside on a cold winter day Bundled up in my warm blankets And listen to the trees whisper They start out softly But as the wind picks up Faster and faster They start to howl and roar As the wind gnaws at their trunks The world spins around And then A sharp gust And they are silenced But not for long There is always more Sometimes I feel guilty staying inside where it’s safe Bundled up in my warm blankets As I listen to the whispers and cries of the trees Unheard in the cruelty of the world outside by Hallie Triplett Listen, You Might Just Discover by Caroline Knight I saw it fall, but it didn’t just fall. It was the way that it fell. Did it drop like tears that run down one’s skin? Or perhaps did it sink like that ship, the Titanic? It was honestly...a multitude of emotions, colors; it was a mix of everything. You might ask, well what is this thing that fell? What is its importance and significance? Well, stop asking questions and listen, you might just discover what it truly is, for I, myself, do not know. But, maybe you do. This thing; I remember that it was bright, like the glimmering sun that takes the daily watch over this planet, Earth. It glistened like icebergs when that big yellow star hits the tips of it’s skin, and bam! Shimmer! But, at the same time it was not shimmer. It was also; dark and concealed. No, sorry, it was not dark. I believe I meant to say that it was darkened. Right now, those two letters mean nothing to you, I suppose, but as I said, listen. I mean, I guess it could be shimmering and shady at the same time. Well, that would depend on your standards. Oh, the theme of suspense, how I adore it. Allowing others to despair and have a sense of uncertainty, only until they feel they are right. Oh my, I might be enjoying this feeling too much, so allow me to cherish this moment as best I can. Thank you.

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I understand that you might be getting a little uneasy, or perhaps uninterested, or maybe...you might just discover more words yourself. I know you don’t need my help to do that. Now I presume I should abandon my whirlpool of unoted and unidentified...what is the word. Well, that isn’t my job to figure that out, it’s yours! This thing I know is very unique, it includes its own structure, features; it has a unique taste, but cannot be tasted. Ah, I caught you there. You may think Taste but cannot be tasted? This girl is either a genius or plain out stupid. Yes, you may think what you want, but listen, you might just discover that I am none of these things, or am I. Oh this everlasting game of twists and turns, so amusing! But not quite, everlasting, I apologize. How is the question though? Maybe not just how, but what, pardon, excuse-moi? One important factor that I forgot to add was, I don’t completely feel certain that it felt, well, I do but that is my belief. But, listen, you might discover that it could’ve risen. Even I am getting annoyed with this ramble of questions and sentences, words, letters. The sound of the keys on my computer repeatedly being tapped. TAP! TAP! TAP! What an atrocious sound! What an annoyance. Please Let me catch my breath I see I have this all wrong. I don’t think I even understand the importance of this entire story. And yes, I guess you could say, it is a story. Think what you want. ’Tis not my decision, ‘tis yours. Don’t I just love to go off track? Goodness, I do. Don’t I? Then, I guess If you don’t want to listen Then you might not discover What this thing is? But It’s your decision Oh! You managed to stick around! How lovely! I do appreciate your kindness! Alright, I promise to stay on track! Hint Hint I believe that this thing Was Created or crafted Or Sure choose one of those words With a large Bang Clash! Shatter! Well, shatter’s excessive But some other words similar to the previous two 6 | Magpie 2018


Back to the topic at hand. I made a promise and I plan to keep it. Now that I think about it, I believe that I should stop here. I think you can imagine the rest of this...scenario yourselves. Just know this thing is unavoidable. Even though, it is watching you. It is listening, so it discovered the true meanings behind all of you. I must bid all of you a farewell. There are some tasks I must attend to. Au revoir and thank you for listening, for I hope you discovered that this thing was ________!

Sisters Read Love by Krisna Kumar As we walk, she starts to talk about how we’ve read practically all the books in the great, big libraryI know that she will always be by the door, waiting. I take my time because she is waiting; I pick and choose based on what she knows, likes, and has read, and as we walk away from the library, I begin to talk about the wonderful books. Whenever I have read some books, I always sit waiting for the time when she, comes home so we can talk about what we have read and what we will get next time from the library Every time I step into a library, I remember how she would tell me what to read and I would get those books, so while I read her recommendations, she is waiting for me to finish so we can talk. She is always there when I need to talk, about anything- not just the books that we have loved and read, and I know that she knows to always be waiting for me to come home from the library.

by Sophi Schweigman

My second home is the library, but only when she is standing patiently and waiting so we can talk about how all books like people, should be loved and read. Whenever she and I read, we talk through the pages and pages of books as we are waiting for the car in front of the library. 7


Iguanas Are Amazing by Shreya Gandhi Awkward by Sofia Richman My legs -- unyielding slabs of Stone, my words are sharp and Hurt my mouth. I drag leaden Arms, and, of course, my strange awkwardness. It is that sword That so many fall upon, that Icicle that freezes and slives. Someone is coming up to me! They Are saying something. Wishing us Luck. I try to thank her, and Introduce myself, but that cruel sword of awkwardness Strikes me. I say: I don’t Even know you. I have doomed Myself. I want to hide, to Melt that icicle down into water, Boil that water to steam, and Have it form a cloud to rain Down on someone else. 8 | Magpie 2018

But I’m stuck with it. I Will someday maybe be able to melt that icicle, but for now, Just...excuse the awkwardness. And, maybe try to send a blow torch. ‘Cause blow torches are awesome. Oh. and It’ll melt the awkwardness.


I Can Hold the Moon in My Hand by Anna Zivkovich

The System by Adiyah Parham 2003, Father’s house Prologue A teenager bolted into the church, a small bundle in her arms, a thick blanket of rain covering the two, making the infant cry from the water that was now saturated inside of her blanket. The teenager was tired, dark bags hung underneath her eyes as her sweat mixed in with the rain, running down the sides of her chin, and falling to the infant’s face. The baby was no bigger than a loaf of bread, rosy cheeks flushing out the usual color of her skin, brown eyes staring out into her surroundings. “I’m glad you could make it, Annie,” a woman said, emerging from the shadows of the church, approaching the baby and the girl with a boldness that seemed to make the air go still. The girl nodded to the woman, then looked back down at her baby. She gazed deep down into the infant’s eyes, wondering who she would become-what she would become, wondering, will I be alive to see her grow up? To see her grow old? These thoughts swirled and crowded through her mind as she caressed the baby’s face with her free hand and sighed longingly. Her father and others had once told her that the ones closest to you are the ones harder to let go, and she now was feeling the realization and coldness of what he had meant. “Promise me, PROMISE ME,” Annie said fiercely, looking plainly up into the woman’s eyes and knowing that a thread of understanding had passed between them. Lightning struck the roof of the church, illuminating the monstrous figures of trees and shadows as they swayed back and forth in the forceful elements 9


of wind. Annie’s eyes became small to the unmistakable sound of fear, her heart pounding faster in her chest, blood coursing rapidly through her veins. Annie hurriedly eased the baby into its adopter’s arms, embracing the sound of the baby’s wail a she looked apologetically at the little bundle. “Allura will be different from the rest,”she said in a cautioning tone, as she slid a backpack off of her back and set it at the woman’s feet. “She’s going to be powerful,” Annie said, rising up from her former kneeling position to meet the woman’s eye level. “I know,” the woman replied with a look of gloominess that shaded over her features as she spoke, her expression holding back much more than her emotions let on. “And please,” Annie said after a moment, turning away from her daughter and friend one last time, “Take care of her like she’s your own.” She started walking down the red carpeted isle of the church, and towards the exit, pausing when she got to the door. I know my fate, Annie thought, and with one last strand of courage, she willed herself to step into the storm.

by Katherine Giroux

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by Hallie Triplett

Ode to Home by Hallie Triplett I walk into my home. Humble as it is, It is mine. Comfortable and recognized, I have come to realize That there is no greater comfort Than remembering home,

The sweet, soft memories of playing in the snow, Or maybe frantically searching Before the big game. Whatever it may be, Wherever you may go, There is no greater pleasure Than going home.

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by Hallie Triplett A Name with Infinite Stories by Maggie Antoniades I couldn’t spell my name as a kid. It was long and daunting, so I went by “Maggie A.” Maggie A. was easy to go by, and the words melted together like a distant dream. Also, before I knew the history of my full name, it sounded long and empty, like a cave that echoes back at you. Later, though, I realized that Maggie A. no longer defined me. It represented my earlier years and the ignorance of not knowing my name and where it came from. Now I know some of the history that lives in my name. As I write the letters that connect, they paint a picture of a thirteen year-old-girl, whose name holds enough history to fill a library. Your name paints a picture that only the closest ones who know you can understand, but all the world can see. Maggie A. just doesn’t cut it. My name, Marguerite Eleni Antoniades, thrives with the history of my ancestors, and my name holds many stories that shape me. My first name honors my mother’s mother, Marguerite Breda, who grew up in New York. Her grandmother came from Germany after a terrible tragedy. When she was just sixteen years old, she was reading a book in a tree while her younger siblings played in a stream. She never heard their silent screams as they drowned, thrashing in the cold waters. To escape her parents’ wrath, she emigrated to New York, where she started a new life. To honor my grandmother’s German ancestry I call her “Oma,” the German name for grandmother. My Oma married my PopPop, and together they had my mother. Her name is Christina, a name chock full of love and warmth that spills out to anyone she meets. My mother had Vasili, my older brother, who is 12 | Magpie 2018


named after my Pappou, my Greek grandfather. My Pappou is named after his grandfather, Vasili, and my Pappou’s grandfather is named after his grandfather and so on. When my mother had me two years later, she named me Marguerite, after her mother. When my Greek grandmother, Yia Yia, heard of this, she became as furious as a twisting hurricane. She wanted my name to be Eleni after herself, but it was my mother’s time to name me. There was a long argument, so eventually my middle name became Eleni. My Yia Yia has a short name but it is also filled with history. Her name is Eleni Maroulis, and she is a youngest child amongst many. She lived in a small village, Vathi, in Ithaki, Greece. She lived on a farm that was barely one acre. Her house was almost a shack, and with nine siblings, it got crowded. My Yia Yia lived happily in her childhood until her father died when she was just nine years old. My Yia Yia claims that God helped her through this time. When my Pappou came to the town with his brother to help tutor her and other children, he fell in love with my Yia Yia, and they moved to America and had my father. Already, you can see that my name Antoniades is the last part of my name and the most important because it connects me to uncles, aunts, cousins, and everyone else who has ever heard my last name. My last name comes from my Pappou who grew up in Athens, Greece. He was not wealthy, so he had to help provide for his family and work many jobs because of his father’s inability to keep a steady job. He was the youngest of three but amounted to much more. His name is Vasili Antoniades, who lived through Nazi occupation of Athens, served in the Greek military, came to America, provided for three children, and became the best librarian who ever lived. My Pappou has a humor and a sweet tooth, and his name brings a smile to anyone’s lips. He has lived through cancer, and he is living through Parkinson’s. Needless to say, he’s a tough guy. He inspires me every weekend we come to see him and my Yia Yia. His infinite knowledge and humor bring love to the whole family. He teaches me Greek, and even though I am a bit slow, he never gets impatient. Because I know the person he is, my name, Antoniades, means much more to me than just a last name. This is the history behind my name. Every time I fill out a paper, a form, or say it just for fun, I know the power, the hope, and the stories that live behind the name I use everyday. Every part of my name has meaning and the stories behind my name influence all my decisions. Without a story of my own, I use my ancestors’ to shape me and the world around me. My name also holds potential, a name that thrives with stories but is waiting for one more. My story lives in my name, I just don’t know it yet.

by Kaitlyn Leitherer 13


Air Raid Conversations by Madeline Richards The sirens had only blared 3 minutes ago, but the darkness had already come to that point. The point where everything feels hopeless, the point where every second felt like a decade. Of course, Charlie couldn’t truly comprehend the length of 300 years, being only eight, but Jane could. Even after only thirty-six years, she was certain that she could understand the agony of a life that long. She’d understood forever… She sighed and pulled her son to what she thought was the dining table. It was hard to tell in the lightless apartment, but she soon realized that a glass of milk and a plate of cookies had been left out. Jane almost wanted to laugh. It was hilarious, after all, this twisted coincidence pushing her into the role of a perfect mother. She would never be one, could never be one, but in her blacked-out home, no one could tell that the cookies were store bought or that the milk was nearly spoiled. “Will and Margaret went home with their friends. I,” Charlie paused to soak in the awkwardness of this moment, “hope that they’re okay. I’m sure they are.” Jane sighed. It was unintentional, she thought, but it only confirmed what she already knew. She was a terrible mother, and her acknowledgment of it only made her worse. It wasn’t a recent development, either. She’d first pushed Will away from saying Mother, Mom, and – the thought alone made her cringe – Mommy and Mama when he was seven months old, and her maternal failures had only continued to pile up over the past thirteen years. Charlie knew that he shouldn’t feel the same way as Jane about her parenting skills, but he did. He knew that he should feel glad to be going through this with someone, anyone. It would be terribly lonely to be sitting at your table, waiting for a reassuring hum to announce the end of the drill or for a terrifying boom to shove you into death, but this wasn’t much better. He wanted Father, the least available person in the family, to be here most of all. Either of his siblings, even Will, would be fine. But no. Only Jane and the depressed chanteuses making up her mind sat across from him, and come to think of it, the chorus probably was enjoying this moment. They had one more thing to moan about, one more thing to steal his mother from him. Actually, they’d been having a ball since the war was declared, while Jane was further away than ever. “So,” she offered, trying to tug her anxious tone into that of a caring, calm mother, “There’s school. How’s that?” “I’ve been there for three and a half years, Jane.” His tone was too bitter for such a young child, causing agony to ripple through her. He had been there for three and a half years… he was in third grade… had she even asked that question? Had she? She was suddenly grateful for the dark. Her silent tears stayed hidden. “I know, Honey. It’s just been so busy, with your father off fighting, and your siblings’ lives getting more demanding by the day, and my… job search.” His smirk was tangible. “Fine. Fine. What interviews have you gone to?” “Well, I went to one where I could…” She should never have added the looking for work component. She was an idiot, she was worthless, the kids would be better without her, the city would be better without her, the country certainly didn’t need her, and neither did the world, or the galaxy, or the entire universe. Why was she like this? Why couldn’t she do anything but stay trapped in her own thoughts? “Goodness, Charlie. You know I love you. I do. I do. I do, I promise you…” Jane trailed off again, leaving her son hollow and expectant. What if she was like this at eight? Maybe she was funny, and smart, and sweet, and a bringer of joy. Maybe their childhoods had been carbon copies, and maybe Charlie would wake up in twenty-eight years with the same shattered heart and the same equally-broken brain. The thought made her ache for the Nazis to just bomb New York already.

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“Charlie?” “What is it?” “Air raid drills. I think they’re a good thing, and I have reasoning behind it.” “Which would be?” “They help people realize a fear.” “I know. I don’t like the dark either.” “No, Love. People are afraid of their own mortality. They don’t want to recognize that one day, they too will die.” Charlie sighed. Jane was going off again, but he knew he had to attempt to stay present. “Then do I have to worry about that? I’m only eight.” “You’ll be nine pretty soon…” She was about to finish her sentence when a harsh noise alerted them that the drill was over. “But not yet, Charlie, not yet.”

by Hallie Triplett

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Poem by Hallie Triplett

Ode to Snickers by Sofia Richman

I walk out of my house The cold gently biting my face Inviting me to play

Hidden in the inky darkness, underneath The tree, looking, looking for you in The shining sea of candies.

I must push on Past the whispering of the wind To the place I know The place I love

I see you, my dearest, I see you! I hear you, my dearest, I hear you! I open up your golden wrapper, revealing The chocolatey bite of heaven.

One word, simple yet powerful-Home. The world swirls around My head Faster than thought can follow

I raise you to my lips, think of you And my stomach blending To a perfect harmony. I can smell you now, my dearest! I can taste you...wait...NOOO!

The smell of fresh cookies The warmth inviting me in

The evilest being of all has Arrived, coming to take you from me. But I am a dragon, and she a snake. My wings beat the air, fleeing With you. But I am stricken with A horrid candy cramp, and I fall, bitten By the snake.

And I know I belong. Ode to Apple Pie by Sofia Richman I creep downstairs, in the slowly fading light. Yet, I see the open door. My stomach growls, mouth waters, waiting… For you, my love, my pie. The door creaks open, and there you are-Your tinfoil pie plate shining in the Glare of the fridge’s light.

You are gone from me! Come Back! I will never recover from this Tragedy! Why? Oh, my love, I Will never, ever be the--ooh! A Kit-Kat!

I cannot help it, I need to see… and Yes, you’ve been opened, you’re calling to me. I scoop you by the forkful, and Stuff you down my throat, the sweet Apple and the light, airy crust. But, alas, our joy is not to be. My Father comes down, he pries me off Of you, my love, my pie. And now I’m In my room, dreaming of you, my love, My pie. Maybe one more slice... 17


by Lydia Sellers

Sticky Notes by Kellsie Lewis Sticky notes are sticky Sometimes even icky Notes that I love, notes that are useful To make great comments for stories, I think they’re Very crucial.

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by Caroline Knight Butternut Squash Soup by Sophia Koman Butternut squash blended, soupy, and yummy Creamy with orange color Prettier than the sun. As it sits in front of me, In the small bowl with painted pumpkins, I long to Take a bite without slurping. Then after A long awaited time, I take a bite, A smooth, full bite of yummy Butternut squash soup. Yummy! 19


Santa Claus by Caroline Plant Santa Claus can’t feel anything but jolly. Isn’t that confining? To have a single emotion, that dictates your entire existence? I don’t like Santa Claus. He gives me gifts. He was there since childhood. He granted my wishes. But I don’t like Santa Claus. He is always so happy. And that must be horrible But I can’t help but feel Jealous. What would it feel like to be happy? What would happen if human emotions were simplified? Life would be easier. But I hate Santa Claus. Santa Claus can’t feel anything but jolly. I’d like to put him feet first into a wood chipper And watch as his expression I don’t like Santa Claus Santa Claus would be jolly while he was watching his family get murdered. But he isn’t real, is he? What is the point of disliking someone who doesn’t exist? But I hate Santa Claus.

A Mid-Winter’s Sunset by Chloe Miranda

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Mushroom Drawing by Anna Zivkovich

A Tennis Game by Sophia Koman A tennis game: A game that has Some sets and points A winner and a loser And an awesome workout. When you hit the ball It dances on the court A beautiful symphony Of songs. Then the ball bows As its final dance Is over Its final point is over And there is a winner And a loser.

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School by Sophia Koman I go to school every day To learn new things To learn what to say. My teacher unlocks my brain Pours in knowledge So I don’t go insane.

When it is lunch, the day is Half through. The food pushed back the kowledge And makes room for a Burger or two That’s school. That’s it!

by Rachel Dye

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by Caroline Knight A Bryn Mawr Girl by Ava Kowalski She runs through the quad Her tennis shoes slapping on the hard brick beneath her The frigid wind blowing on her face She doesn’t care She keeps running, her tote bag swinging by her side She reaches the stairs and doesn’t hesitate to run down them She bolts down the stretch, her goal in sight She reaches the door and pulls it open, the warmth of the room enveloping her She sits down in her favorite spot And pulls her book out of her bag An adventure in the little paper world awaits her

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Ode to Truth by Maggie Antoniades Pushed back to the edge of the mind Praying, begging no one will find Because if one does, Oh, if one does, The world crumbles Thoughts are muddled Truth rings clearly. *ding* Can you hear it? Flying from your tongue Fast and soft Fragile Lovely Why can’t anyone see How inspiring truth can be?

Lies by Marguerite Antoniades People say truth is gold But what happens When the truth Fails to perform It flails around the room Bouncing off walls Dragging on and on Looks at the audience and stumbles on The bright lights blinding So when truth is done And collapses a sprawling heap Lies takes the stage Clothed in jewels And Mink Crowns A suit of silk A gown clad in ribbons A necklace of pearls Flourishing and gliding Oh! 24 | Magpie 2018

It glides across the room It sings a sonnet blindingly beautiful Tears swell A thunder of Applause And the lie bows and leaves the stage Leaving the audience breathless But let me tell you Although Lies look clad in gold They are built of false hopes and dreams Leaving you Gasping for more When there is no more to give So when you hear the sweet anthem of lies Beware For not everything is what it seems to be And not everything is what it says it is Because deep down Deep deep down You can find the core of a story The heart of a person Is better than fool’s gold


Sinclair Antonia by Chandler Prettiman-Watkins Hair by Aneesa Muhammad Did you see her hair? It was like Ramen Noodles everywhere Omg look at hers I love the way it twists and curves No matter how it looks now it looks pretty in the autumn air.

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Space Buns by Anna Zivkovich

Hair by Maggie Antoniades As a brush passes through my hair The tangles out already I watch as my hair waves And trembles A thousand midnight horses weaving Through a black deep sky A starless, crisp winter night A raven’s crow A black Cat Wandering through the alley Daring anyone who looks With cold, hard green eyes They sparkle in the moonlight Like two glowing stars The darkness of a theatre The audience holding their breath For a dazzling light But for now they wait in the darkness Held together by desire With a call of my name And I snap back From the dreams that consume me. 26 | Magpie 2018


Sometimes I wonder: am I really here? by Katie Butler Sometimes I wonder: am I really here? Not in any way that is actually questioning the significance of humanity. No, in the way that wonders if I am here in a way that will ever make a difference. The way that wonders, if I were to disappear, will the world actually change? I always hear people saying, “You have to make a difference in the world,” expecting me to do something. That is terrifying. It makes me fear for my future, for my health, for me. I worry I won’t change the world and once I am gone, nobody will remember me. And I know not everyone gets remembered, but if I never do anything, I am just gone. If I never make a sound, I am just gone. People always expect so much of me. Everyone thinks I am so smart, so brave, so infallible, but I am none of this. I am shattered by my fear, my anxieties, and my aloneness. It breaks me apart, piece by piece and soon enough, there won’t be much of me left. Deep down, I think I know that, yes, I am here, and, yes, I will make some sort of difference; that doesn’t stop the rest of me from thinking otherwise. Deep down, I know that I am here.

by Lydia Sellers 27


Destiny by Caroline Knight Take me away To the sky above Where the wonder awaits Where destiny awaits

After a while I get the feeling I must turn back I need to leave Something is unusual

Yes My future fate My finality How it will end

I turn swiftly And begin to take a step But something stops me Some force

How I do wonder In that sky above When I will be stolen away I guess that’s a harsh word

Strong and sturdy as glass I can’t slip through again I’m stuck Can’t go back

When I will slip away Travel far above the clouds With my wings of fury Like an eagle

I close my eyes again Open, nothing has changed Close, Open, Close, Open Repetitive actions, but nothing changes

As I close my eyes I see it So close yet so far Or maybe not as far as I imagined

Please don’t take me away To the sky above Where the war awaits Where danger awaits

I discover my true form Newly created I look around To see...what is it I see?

I don’t want any of it now Please allow me to return I plead and plead

Where am I now? This foreign place of wonders I look below to see...the entire ground How am I this high up? Someone Or maybe something It’s hand appears in front of me Motions me to follow them I hope they can help me Find my way back home Down there The ground

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Is this destiny? If it is please don’t let me see it I just simply wanted a glimpse Just a sight I understand This is my future fate My finality How it will end Destiny.


by Sofia Richman

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The Movies by Grace Martin I wanna be in the movies Where the fakers fake and the fakees watch I wanna be in the movies were the cardboard trees throw shadows into the velvet curtains I wanna be in the movies Where the camera winds back and forth Twisting and screaming at the top of its lungs Creating a tornado of yodas and James bonds’ I wanna be in the movies where the stage light shines so bright that you can see the dust The little fairies dance and twirl around teasing the foolish children that grab at them I wanna be in the movies Where the memories hang So real but so fake The butter smell grabs my throat and chokes me The way that people watch behind a blanket of black draped over them I wanna be in the movies To make the life that you cannot Create envy for the weak And imagination for the strong I wanna be in the movies I wanna be in the movies I want to be in the movies

by Chloe Miranda

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Theatre by Marguerite Antoniades The photos! Arrived Weeks of memorizing Weeks of practicing So many notes… So many hours And hours and hours of work And then it happened

And glory All summed up with going on with your regular life And then Those hours finally pay off.

And then it’s over You miss a line Or two But you dust yourself off and keep going And then you bow And realize slowly You will never take another note Another scene Never hear another laugh Another flub About that play And you take off your costume And you think So when the photos come in You look at them once You look twice You study them Instead of studying for tests And after hours of intense observation And finally conclude “That is not what I look like.” And that is what acting is for Not for the hours of team building Lines And Actually acting But when you can proudly pronounce After you can do nothing about it “That is not correct, I look different” And laugh And watch your life go on Filled with jokes and smiles About your time About the minute of lights Make up

by Caroline Knight

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To the Forgotten Books of the World by Krisna Kumar You sit in the corner, Dark and quiet, like a mourner. You are all alone, Remembering your life, and the places you’ve flown. You were once loved, Because you were full of stories, about pigs and women who were gloved. You still stay strong, Hoping that it will not be long, Before you are read again, By a teacher, a farmer, or even a hen. You know it is not fair, That not many people care About books or reading Since most think screens are much more appealing. Just keep waiting, your time will come, For some know that you are much more exciting than swiping a thumb.

Parties by Kellsie Lewis A way of celebration, A day just for fun, I wish parties could last forever, I hate when they’re done. An opportunity to let loose, be free, and not cry You only live once until you die.

Coin by Katie Butler

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by Abby Watson Headbands by Kellsie Lewis Bright and sparkly Can chance the mood of a day Wearing it is flashy It’ll make your worries go away!

From cat ears, or bows, Headbands that reach your toes, Headbands are the best And everyone knows.

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The Bumbling of Words by Marguerite Antoniades This poem will start With the bubbling of words Somersaulting across the page Words When spoken they boom and crash and topple They misunderstand each other They lie They weave false stories generated on self pity They are always falling over each other But In the curly confines of cursive They flourish

The signing of a name The promise of eternity The vow that this poem Is finished But in reality It never will be.

My words bounce Across the page Gliding gracefully Stubbornly sliding A graceful ballet Until a point is made Ideas condense And under the title With great great care A cursive name Marguerite Antoniades Written in a way That I can only read So when I come back And smile I can trace my fingers across my name See what has changed See what hasn’t And glide blissfully in the past But for now my words bumble across the page Praying for a final resting place Until disturbed by someone Wanted to understand What was only bumbling across the page And now the poem ends from where it started Only the bumbling The gliding The dancing Of words Setting on a page 34 | Magpie 2018

Ballet Dancer by Katie Butler


I live in a world of Shadows by Marguerite Antoniades I live in a world of shadows They lift me up To unreal heights They drag me down To extreme lows But how do I trust emotions in a shadow world? Where no one is whole Only shadows of themselves Clawing Gasping Screaming Whistling through my hair And now that I see them I can never look away

by Chloe Miranda

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You Will be Found by Katie Butler

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One by Caroline Knight

“One” Singular

Alone

Darkness Unknown

Broken

SOCIETY

Damage

Ignored

Disadvantaged

Fearful

Forgotten Rotten ___________________________________________________________

Old

Society

Together Undefeated Stronger Completed Different Unique Special Antique One Powerful Ones Unstoppable 37


by Shreya Gandhi

I Think Too Much by MelÊy Cullors My mind is unruly. Jumbled and confused, nothing but dreams left behind. Hopes lost. I stop for a moment and my mind goes far,....far away. Never to be seen again. Lost in the endless array of clouds. I lay in bed. Nothing but me and the darkness. Then I see colors, beautiful colors trying to swallow me in all their glory. My mind jumps from platform to platform leaving nothing behind. Puzzles take over my mind making me distressed. Tears, pain, more and more pain. I can’t see anymore my tears dance like raindrops pounding upon a roof. I try pushing the long forgotten memories away, leaving nothing but anger. I pull my hair and silently scream through my teeth. This mind of mine this stupid, stupid mind. Never able to stop, never able to shut up. After all this I can sleep, after all these emotions I can rest, I can breathe. I think too much, I dream too much, yet, I never want to stop.

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by Hallie Triplett

They by Marguerite Antoniades I will never understand you She says tauntingly They will never notice you She says with the bending wind We will never understand you...

A Broken Heart by Sophia Koman Tears, sadness, comfort. She looked of ice cream that had melted from a little girl’s hand from the sun that cast its heat spell. She sat and waited with skin that was icy in the cold weather much like her heart.

They scream again and again A meaningless chant Again and again Until I realize Who’s they?

The Wall by Meléy Cullors A Wall takes a new form not stone or brick. Flesh and blood. The Wall came without warning, separating me and the one I never thought of leaving. We used to walk to the large vehicles together after the clock ticked 3:30. Our arms linked together as we sang an anthem of cheerfulness. We used to walk to The Market together, just us alone walking along the brick path to the crowded, loud Market. Standing in line laughing until our lungs begged for air and our faces turning red like blood. Then…...the Wall came, putting itself in between us, leaving me on one side and you on the other. The Wall chose you to stay with. Letting me find someone new, someone different. I longed to see you again, missing your smile, your terrible jokes, you. The Wall laughed at me, threw me to the ground, destroyed my joy and left me with anger. I hated the Wall, hated it, wanted it torn down. I prayed for you back, hoping you wanted me too. Then I saw you always with the Wall, never able, and never wanting to climb over to see me. After the Wall took you away, we never walked together, we never laughed like the past, you were gone, trapped even. No ladders, no ropes to get over the Wall, stuck forever, gone forever. 39


by Hallie Triplett 40 | Magpie 2018


Minutes, Hours, days, then years by Marguerite Antoniades I remember the most important parts of my life I remember his note he wrote on my rubric on my book Like days of school in kindergarten share Where I intensely watch a kid pick his nose For Animal Farm by George Orwell And wonder how much finger can he possibly stuff up I didn’t understand the book there Undercovered secrets awaited when I reread it 3 years later And if he’ll eventually pick out his brain But I understood his note on the rubric Sloppily written in cursive I remember my first funeral It danced across the page Playing with my sticker book And told me everything I wanted to ever hear And wondering What was with all the black? On the last day of school he pulled me aside in the hallway And what was all this crying? I awaited him It was about this man So scared Who was a man one day Because that’s where the trouble makers went Then wasn’t He gave me a book And now is in a box About grammar Looking so cold And told me to keep writing Why would people go here So that’s what happened When they could play with stickers? In 5th grade there was a Social Studies teacher who wore I remember moving to my room crazy earrings Upstairs She was against Facebook Where only my dog slept And was so full of love Not just upstairs For everything But the very upstairs Where we stored junk In sixth grade I learned the power of words and where moth balls reigned supreme The power of persuasion And yet I dragged all those blankets up there And how it blended together And yet I determinedly hung up every piece of paper That I came across In 7th grade And stuck it on my wall I learned that friendships could be torn apart So I could be surrounded by the things I love And rebuilt Writing And that people are more than they appear And that friendships hold you up I remember my 4th grade English teacher But silence is important Who did not teach us English Now my earliest memories blend together His orange eyebrows dancing around his face widely Minutes, hours, days, years His bald head bobbed to the music on 80s music They all blend together Thursdays To what makes me (formally known as dance party Thursdays) Who I am And we kept journals and what continues to And we read Because now I know that the past controls us who we are And there were book reports I know now to live in the present And everything was perfect Because one day the present becomes the past 41


And the future becomes the present And everything entities And you are only sure Of the cursive writing That is so sloppily written on the paper

Chores by Ava Kowalski A-tisket, a-tisket, a-tasket My mother just blew a gasket I forgot to clean my room And now I am doomed A-tisket, a-tisket, a-tasket A-tisket, a-tisket, a-tasket I didn’t take out the laundry basket My mother is fuming I see death looming A-tisket, a-tisket, a-tasket

by Rachel Shin

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The Destruction of Distraction by Meléy Cullors Back to a time when all was more effortless, more undemanding, simple but not so much straightforward. Lower School. Waiting for the clock to tick to the time when we would run into the endless outdoors. Into the cool, sharp air, the sound of screams of exultation from small infants and classmates. I too ran free at this time. But today was not like any other day. The day before a new game was fabricated from our petit minds. The excitement and adrenaline fan through our veins and we all were busy coming up with more doomsday scenarios of this distraction of a game. The game had a name. A name that if the teachers were aware of it they would ban us from playing. Its name was Chucky. The teachers were not fond of eight year olds playing a game about a killer doll. They would see us running and impersonating someone begging for help, pretending to scream in pain and agony. Behind the scenes we would laugh and the human being behind this psycho doll was a small child like figure playing alone by the rules and script of this frowned upon distraction. We all huddled together, our feet pointed inward making a circle. Someone touched the tips of our toes with her pointer while singing a nursery rhyme that I would later have trouble getting out of my head. Chucky had been chosen. The person complained at first but then saw delight in chasing people pretending to want to murder them. Scaring them straight. We separated around the wooden ground as Chucky counted down. 10...9...8…our minds went blank 7...6...5...our feet scraped the ground ready to leap 4...3..2...then it began…1. A louder than life scream stretched across the air deafening us for a moment in time. True terror filled my eyes as this raveniste beast lunged itself in my direction. It all became a blur. The noises mashed together, the picture framed in front of my eyes smeared and destroyed. All noises sounded like screams for help, and screams of run, run for your life, SOS, SOS. I ran past a structure and right when the claws of Chucky were about to be filled with the collar of my shirt someone pulls me under the structure and Chucky lost interest, running towards another innocent bystander in this battle. I thank them and we begin planning how to kill Chucky and win this violent game. I look over at the circular time teller hanging on the wall. I nod my head toward it and we both agree this has to come to a conclusion. We climb to the top of the short tower, feeling the air against our sweat-stained skin. Then I let out a call for the devil of this also intense game. Chucky turns its head ever so slowly. I shiver, not from the cold, but from the sight of this, this, this….animal. I scream words that soar out of my mouth and jump off of the walls around me. I say “Come, come and try to kill me I dare you.” Without my knowledge a teacher heard these harsh words and came galloping towards the war scene, the bloody, bloody war scene. She released a row of words as if she had them pre-prepared. We were banned. Banned from ever playing this distraction ever again. We all climb down the structures and walk towards the colossal glass doors back into the furnace of a room. Our noses were rose red and our feet frozen to the ground as we trudge away from the war set. The exasperating woman tells us how scarring it is for the younger kids who watch us scream in terror and fright. We all rolled our eyes for the fifth time as she spoke. We continued to walk away from this fun distraction as she stopped outside the door, holding her hand to block us from entering. Giving us a look of disapproval and disappointment she nodded her head toward the playing ground. We watched as she lets us continue play on the condition of keeping the fright of the game shoved in our pockets. We ran out again but stopped at the structures. None of the flesh colored blood bags circled around each other knew what was next in the five minutes that remained in this small resting time. All we knew was that there was more to assemble to the simple game named tag. All we could conjure was more ways to make the dead filled game more interesting. And how the infuriating woman ended the excitement that had now drained from our luminous eyes and souls. We ground our teeth and spat at the ground wishing for the same intensity of the game to reappear, but we all knew that for the time being, this distraction had come to an end. 43


This significant experience has truly taken a toll on myself and has influenced personal growth. This occurrence has shown me the beauty of distractions. By the word distraction I am referring to amusement and or entertainment. It also taught myself how distractions can be considered destruction. Distractions are found to be controlling to the mind, and many people find it difficult to keep themselves from being taken by this unseeable object. The beauty in distraction is how it can take you away when you need it most and can carry your mind across to a place where stress no longer exists and is wanted. Distraction makes, almost forces you to relax and savor the beauty that surrounds you. The destruction of distraction is fairly easy to comprehend. Distraction pulls you away from crucial moments in time. Whether you refuse or agree to be taken by this force you can’t help but dislike the power distraction has against you. In this case distraction is considered almost an enemy against me and the people I encountered whilst playing this sinful activity. In this time in my life a significant portion of my classmates would play games that were considered too violent and or too aggressive to be played on school grounds. The playing grounds were largely made of wood and metal material, leaving us to use our imaginations to invent games filled with thrills and terrors to keep ourselves pleased. Teachers found a small portion of ourselves insane to enjoy games that so highly involved death and murder. The games have influenced me to dig deeper than I thought imaginable. Not to skim the surface of creativity and to sometimes let distraction take you over.

Happy Birthday by Makenna Bachman When people ask me when my birthday is and I tell them 9/11 they go Oh no! Really? I’m sorry... that’s unfortunate. like it’s something horrible It’s not like people are forbidden from being born on sad days you have the same chance of being born on any other day after all there are 365 But that’s what everyone thinks If I was born on a day like May 27 The response would be oh cool. But not 9/11 you could probably find some tragic event for each day of the year, but not one considered the worst terrorist attack in US history I wasn’t even born on the actual 9/11 it was 3 years after 3 squared =9 square the bad and good

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3 years and 9 hours exactly after the plane hit the south tower 3 hours and 30 minutes away 213 miles away This poem has 213 words More 3’s 3 buildings hit Almost 3,000 people died Such an odd coincidence Is it only that? But to me, my birthday is my birthday I like it Not what happened but again, it is my special day a day of sadness and happiness one more thing Being born on 9/11 people remember to say happy birthday Note: when I originally wrote this poem before editing it, it had 213 words, the distance between the World Trade Center and where I was born, just by coincidence. I took out a line that I didn’t really like to add the fact into the poem. Also 13-2=11, 9/11. And 2,996 people died 3,000-2,996=4, 2004, and 13-4=9. 9/11/04

The Lion by Mia Boydston Why? All of the sudden I feel like I’m drowning Like I’ve been pushed off the edge Like I’ve got a piece a tape over my mouth So that it will stick to all of my lies You think I yell You think I scream And shout And cry Because I want to? No I do it because That is what I have to do to be heard I don’t get handed the microphone I have to have leather lungs just to be heard I have to command a room when I speak I don’t have conversations with you I have a debate I don’t talk things out with you

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I fight with you You say we’re over-dramatic You say we’re weak You say that you automatically win Because you’re you and I’m me But do you say these things because you’re scared? Because if you weren’t then Then you should be now Because you have Killed A Mockingbird And Caged a Lion But that Lion is done watching you walk away This Lion is done This Lion is ready to fight

by Elizabeth Rosenbaum

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Just You Wait by Sophie Weiser We are Woman We are Different We are Proud They tell us stay back They tell us what we can not do How we can fail So we say so can you They say you are much different from me We say we agree We are not the same we say, not better, not worse Why can you not let us be what we be Think what we think Talk what we talk We are different, but we are not less We are equal We are not the same, this is true But we are not so different from you We look like us and you look like you, but we are one One person One body One mind One heart We are Woman We are Different We are Proud We are Equal Soon to be Free And when that day comes when you can be you and we can be we We will no longer be divided apart, for together is stronger with much more heart Just you Wait

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I Need a Solution to a Problem by Elise Purcell I need a solution to a problem A race Are we one or many Human Or black and white Poor and rich We wait for tomorrow but it never comes When will it come Will it come when the world stops Or when we march enough to be heard The world is a cruel place. People live in luxury while others are begging for a crumb a day They sit and watch the world fall apart under their rule We wait for tomorrow but it never comes When will it come Will it come when the world stops Or will we make it stop. by Hallie Triplett

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Untypical by Arreyelle Wilson People always say the thinner you are the better That every time you write a letter You should be as thin as the paper you write on That your complexion should be a certain shade And that you should act a certain way Quick News Flash You should celebrate your body and personality with a big bash Don't be ashamed of the body your parents gave you In a way you are like a tree There is no shape to define you All trees are shaped differently whether it be short or tall Big or small It serves its purpose It is not meant to be paraded around like a circus Because every last one of us are fearfully and wonderfully made Just like a tree houses animals our bodies house virtues and a heart too important to trade People say you are at an unhealthy weight or your health could become not all that great Or your skin is not shaded as they say correctly Their words can be like freight crates being dropped on you But never forget that no one has the right to judge you SO yeah you may not be the healthiest weight And you are okay with your state Your complexion may be what society calls the “wrong” shade But don’t let anyone judge you because you are not typical Your shape doesn’t have to be stereotypically biblical But You were made this way for a reason And you are beautiful inside and out For those of you who are hypocrites And whip out your scales and your mirrors Turn the mirror towards you and see what you can improve Do you know that people become consumed with looking perfect because of the way you think they should be dressed or the way their hair should be pressed Or because you think they don’t have the right shape or complexion to match these things of which paint our face

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They try to fit in but you push them away with your judgemental attitudes With no gratitude for what you have So reflect on yourself Remember You are beautiful and to make sure not to judge others around you

by Hallie Triplett

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parkland, florida, 2018 by ryann beckham innocent children another day of school innocent children another day of routine- boring, but they know it well another normal day for the innocent children except it wasn’t fire drill but not a drill, but not a fire gunshots screams from these innocent children hiding fear in these innocent children tears from these innocent children bloodshed and heartbreak

loss and emptiness these innocent children won’t return home today innocent children no more days of school innocent children never another boring day will they ever feel safe again? they don’t know no more normal days for these innocent children thoughts and prayers for these innocent children but no action no action yet god help these innocent children

The Perfect Place by Arreyelle Wilson Everyone says that America is some perfect place That it doesn’t matter your race That your religion is something that you shouldn’t face The hate for That your shade doesn’t have to be perfect That your shape doesn’t matter But as you walk through these streets You will see what it truly means for your face to be beat What kind of freedom is this For my voice to be confined That my skin has to be just right That I have to be afraid of those who are supposed to protect me My face has to be made in order to throw on a pair of shades and be cool People are judged based on religion Whether they wear a headscarf or a cross Whether they worship in a sanctuary or a mosque People are ashamed to admit their religion In fear of being damned by the same tongues that say I love you and will always protect you Americans walk around broken Trying to keep up the image of their country Everyone trying to be famous like Oprah Winfrey To have it all together And have the perfect swag Where they don’t have to drag Or feel like a wet and soggy rag 51


People are more concerned with looking perfect than maintaining their own health Or checking the dates of their relationship meds People modify themselves to be popular but they end up more heart-broken They tuck their stomachs but that is what sucks up their beauty from the inside out In America you have to be afraid if you are going to be discriminated against For the very things that should unite us We are judged based on the languages we speak and make ourselves think that We are bilingual because we know a few words in another language This is a country where men and women are supposed to be equal But women get paid less Women have to rave less because they are supposed to be beautiful with their hair pressed And not protest They say that women should play feminine roles That they should take care of children Be nurses and not doctors Be in the kitchen and not in the living room watching sports But roles shouldn’t be by gender People are judged by their gender orientation but are seen as other things rather than human We are supposed to be the United States of America Not the Divided States of who knows what Because America is supposed to be freedom not confinement The American system was made to go against people and not with them That is why so many are in jail Or losing homes Or going hungry And Americans are trained to stand by and watch to not say anything Because the moment we say something we are silenced Because the system can’t have us thinking for ourselves We fight these wars against drugs and violence But we only lose the war more and more by making them more legal They are introduced to American children at a young age Like they have center stage because that is all we see on the news Americans are self-taught to not cheer on people that are messing up Because we see our own characteristics in them and are afraid to reach out We watch them praying they don’t make our mistakes instead of taking them in And helping them through this because you know how this story ends unless fixed In America you are not allowed to be proud of yourself Because others constantly remind you of your mistakes No matter how hard you try to forget

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But people continue to hound you instead of help you To make them feel good about themselves We fight against mental illnesses That we don’t know how to combat correctly So much that our names become those illnesses until we forget our names ourselves We often try to drown out our pain and insecurities in the newest technologies or fashion Instead of coming to terms America has become so technology savvy That we forgot how to be people savvy Now we are destroying relationships with our greatest allies instead of making them grow We need to stay united through our differences We should occasionally say assalamualaikum Actually mean what we say when we say esten unidos And maybe we still wouldn’t be suffering as much as we are now So the question is What is America doing Because if we don’t get it together soon we are going to have to change Our slogan from the land of the free to the land of the confined And the land of the brave to the land of the cowards that hide behind their flag and reputation While we die from the inside out

Haiku by Aneesa Muhammad The N word The use of the word How very absurd it is The dreaded N word

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The Last True Words of a German Jew by Grace Martin We are not slaves We have no star to lead us out The only guiding star we have is the one stabbed on our backs My pain comes slow With the steps of Death The clunk of his boots time the peak of the shovel Into the dirt and out We dig the grave for our parents And our children We are worthless of our graves We are buried in the mud of our hate And crushed by the weight of our burdens The end of the soup comes fast But the end to this nightmare never does The nicest thing they did for us was dig holes And we kindly took the time to fill them. And so I say looking deep down the barracks of the underworld this hell I call home And before I have time to jump you raise your gun When I think Tears drip down my face My chipped lips burn and my boneless arms relax I think of my grandchildren How they will light a candle for me and shed a tear I think of yours and my smile widens Your grandchildren will blow out your candle and spit on your tomb They will cry for me They will cry because of you I may die today But I would rather be killed today than Kill tomorrow You are a Nazi. You will pay the price. So what are the last true words of a German Jew Go ahead and shoot my hairless head down a jew-filled hole I die now You are the one who has to walk back home.

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by Kaitlyn Leitherer


Things in September by Isabelle Kaiser Sirens. They pound over and over like a dull ache. I think I hear the word ‘vigilante’ repeated, like day and night. White light is floating around, changing into shapes; memories. Mother. Her face tan, wide brown eyes. Her cheekbones hollow. The jet black hair, floating behind her. I feel my face getting wet. I hear a screaming. The sound feels close. Then, I realize it’s my own. ********* The damp smell of the car awaits me when I wake. I tilt my head to see that we have already left the parking lot. I was always told that when life throws you a curveball, you’ll be ready. This was the only thing Mother was wrong about. Well, the second. The seats in the car were new and looked as if the car belonged to the president. Then, again, I have never ridden in a car before. In New York, you could walk practically everywhere. I reach for my bag, stretched out across the seat. My hand rummaged through the junk and trash I had collected. Wrapping my hand around the case, I pulled out my phone. Trembling, I turned it on. Mother’s face, there, next to mine. If I had been any bit older, the public would have thought we were sisters. Our eyes looked brown, like the trunk of a pine. Mother’s and my hair looked as if the night sky reflected off of them creating an illusion of stars. We had both been born with hollow cheekbones. Our skin was tan, unusual for an Asian girl. My eyes notice the smiles on our faces, the smile I had lost years ago. This picture was displayed on a gift from people who pity people like me. I shoved my phone back into the trench and glanced out the side window. Now, big glass buildings had transformed into pines, surrounded by big brick houses. I already found myself hating it. The brakes screeched, causing marks, in front of a brightly lit house. The driver, Mrs. Melon, gently twisted the wheel and sent us flying down the driveway. “You excited!” Mrs. Melon stated, leaving no time for me to respond. I don’t care. I would have stayed in my silence anyway. I kicked open the car door, my bag swinging around. A sign was nailed in the perfect lawn, ‘Go Hillary.’ Crazy people. I never cared for politics. My eyes spotted the path, leading to the front door. Mrs. Melon stood, waiting, like a lion ready to pounce. These people are not my life, they are just a nightmare. Without knowing it, I am already at the door. Mrs. Melon outstretched her finger and pressed the bell. Silence. Footsteps. The lock turning. The sparrow flies, carrying my heart, my mind, and my conscience away with it. Light pours on my eyes, lighting them aflame. A lady, tall and slender, stands in the doorway. “Oh hi, Mrs. Melon. I didn’t expect you to arrive this early?” the lady exclaims. “This must be our package.” Her eyes land on me, waiting for me to take her outstretched hand. Of course I didn’t take it. I already hated this woman. “I am Mrs. Hanssen. Your new mother. You can call me ‘mom’.” Her hand still outstretched. “I’d rather not.” I responded, snapping my head in the process. The woman scrunched up her face. Good. This is exactly what I wanted, her to hate me. “Where’s her stuff?” Mrs. Hanssen turning, directing her attention towards my current guardian, wanting no more to do with me. “She doesn’t have any.” Mrs. Melon reported. Well, thanks for stating the obvious. Mrs. Hassen gestured me inside, leaving her and Mrs. Melon alone to talk. The inside of the house was spacious. It seemed as if there was no mudroom, but merely a grand lobby, stair cases stretching from each side. I keep my shoes on, not willing myself to feel welcome, and treaded up the stairs. Velvet carpet lined the floor boards, creating a look of a musty, old castle. Paintings, stacked, up and down the walls with what seemed to be descended family members, each one staring, burning a hole in my 55


head. Feeling my heart race, I started to sprint up the stairs, leading myself to a gorgeous yellow hall. Every single (oak wood, I think.) door was open, emitting light onto the dusty floor. All except for the last door. A rope tugged at my chest toward the room, or whatever laid behind it. My legs began to move on their own, step by step, until my feet grounded themselves. Sweat trickled down my neck, causing my hair to stick. My fingers reached out and took hold of the knob. Tight and stiff, my body was. The brass seemed to glow as my hand turned; a creaking sound followed. Surprisingly, the door eased open, revealing nothing special. Before me was a room, everything drowned in a disgusting color of pink. No blue, green, or even brown. Carpets full of the nasty color, covered every inch of the ground. The legs on the bed looked as if the carpet grew arms. Barf (That is what I will be calling this room from now on.) had to have belonged to a young child. Everything felt shrunken. “This was mine once.” The voice reached my ears before I could turn around. A girl, no older than me, stood before my eyes, snapping her gum. She must be one of those girls you call ‘popular’. Blinding white, her hair was. Her face was puffy and pale. This girl was the complete opposite of me. Her blue eyes locked mine. “Get out of my house,” she scolded, “I will call the cops.” I was going to reject her command. This is my new house and all. The idea was at the tip of tongue until I realized; she has, finally, given me an excuse to run. Let my feet pound on the pavement; having me transported home. I could see my mom. I could say hi. I snapped back to reality, and sprinted through the hallway, shoving the girl in my wake. I am running again. I always run. Mother used to call me ‘the running man’ because I ran too much. I still do. My destiny is to be faster; I wasn’t fast enough before. Time. It hates me; wants to beat me. Time always wins. If only I was time itself I could… My body jerks to a stop. “Darn, that stupid man. It’s all his fault.” I mutter. He is the one who caused my pain. In the distance, I hear the girl coming after me. I reach out to grab the door, when Mrs. Hassen swings it open. My face smacks against the door, sending me to the ground. My eyes start to cry a swimming pool of salted crimes. I roll over onto my front, a familiar blinding white pain filling my head, my eyes, my soul. Bodies hover over me; hot breaths trickling down my neck. I try to focus on their words but it sounds as if they just swirl down, down, into a spiraling drain. The girl approaches, her blurry figure eyeing me. She halts right before my face, her leg raised. My whole world goes black as she brings it upon my face. “Mama!” “What is it sweetie?” “Where’s Daddy?” “Um...He’s not here.” “Is he at work? He promised that he’d play checkers with me.” “No...He is uh...busy.” “Ok. When will he be home?” “Not for a while sweetie. Not for a long while.” I awake to find myself in the hospital, again. A pile of clothes lies in the chair closest to me, occupying it. “Oh. Good. You’re up. Your parents are on their way here to pick you up.” the doctor says, lingering at the door, wielding his clipboard as if it was a shield. The doctor was Dr. Bloomberg. He hates me, along with all the other nurses. My first visit wasn’t the best. I kinda...yelled and clawed at those who tried to get near me. I glanced down at my lap and noticed that I was fully clothed. Creepy. My torso twisted and I turned, shut my eyes and drifted off again. I was awakened by the rough hands of Mr. Hanssen. My brain realized, Mr. Hanssen looks just like Mrs. 56 | Magpie 2018


Hanssen. That is scary. I would have suggested that they were related, twins even. When my vision came into full focus, I saw her. The girl who struck me in the face. “Atlantica, say sorry to your sister.” Mrs. Hanssen scolded her daughter. “She is not my sister.” Atlantica responded with such a tone that it almost seemed like she could cut out my heart and not give a care. Agreed. I am not this rotten brats’ sister. We all stood there(Well I sat there.)in utter silence. “Come on, let us go home,” Mr. Hanssen charmed, ”We all know you’ve got school tomorrow.” Dinner that night was silent. Not even a word. Above us the chandelier glittered, illuminating stars all about the room. The table stretched far, creating enough room that if I stuck my elbows up, I would not even come in close contact with the next person. Before me, my steak and broccoli swirled round and round. They, Mrs. Hanssen and her cook Sally, probably poisoned it, having the food create a feeling of joy. I won’t be happy. I can’t be happy. Me, I need to go home to my real home, New York. I want to go back to the dirty allies and the absent venders. I miss my little house, containing my collection of glass bottles. I miss the alley cat Tom; he brought me dead rats. But most of all I miss my mother. “Why aren’t you eating?” Mr. and Mrs. Hanssen shot out the question, their mouths perfectly in sync. I stood up, pushing my chair back against the wall. “I’m not hungry,” my hands running up and down the side of my perfectly pressed jeans, “I just wanna go to bed.” I laid there in bed wishing I had eaten the food, even if it was poisoned. My stomach squeezed, twisted, and churned, making my throat burn. I vomited.

“How was your day, cat girl?” “It was okay.” “You sure? Doesn’t sound like it.” “Nobody likes me, Mom. Nobody.” “Oh, I love you Blake.” “No. Nobody likes to talk to me.” “Sweetie, they’re just jelly.”

My mom stood before me, her work uniform still on. The image faded. Now, here she is, sick as a dove in the rain. “Mom! Are you okay?” “Yes...I’m…” “Mom! I’m going to get a doctor!” “No, just stay here with me. Get medicine.”

I was stupid. I ran to the hospital.

“Please, she needs help!” “Sorry other patients need me.” “She’s gonna die!” “No. Sorry. I’ll send Dr. Jason instead.” “Okay! Hurry!”

I took too long. She left. She is gone now, never to be seen by my eyes ever. 57


I awake. Tears flow down my face. I throw my blanket over and step out of bed. My hair stuck up, making me a perfect replica of Medusa. Lifting my hand; I checked my watch. School starts today. I sprinted over to the closet, swing open the door, and snatch the outfit laid out for myself. A blue shirt with dull words spelling out ‘New York Queen’ paired with a pair of dark blue ripped jeans. Quickly, I shimmed out of my night-wear. Snatching my brush, I started to part my hair, throwing my clothes on in the process. As soon as I am done; my feet stomp down the staircase. A bowl of cereal has been left on the counter for me. I taste a spoonful, my palate exploding. It was so bad. Milk comes flying out of my mouth. My throat is stained with the taste of lead; heavy and metallic. I leave my bowl there, not willing to pick it up. My lunch bag rests on the counter. It’s covered with unicorns, so many it seems as if they starting an invasion. My eyes linger on the bag a little bit longer until I decide to toss it in my backpack. I then sprint over to the shoe bin and grab my high-tops. They easily slip on my feet. “Have a great first day of school!” Mrs. Hanssen shouts at me as I leave. I don’t respond, but instead hurry and slam the door behind me. Atlantica is already on the porch, snapping her gum and texting her friends like always. “Hello Dork.” she says clearly acknowledging me. “Hey, Sea Witch.” my new nickname for her. She cringes; suddenly straightening her back. A few minutes pass by with tense silence. This silence was shattered, though, by the low grumbling coming down the street. Metal chain clanked, along with the screeches of the brakes. A yellow school bus, with the black letters spelling out ‘Bus #13’ on the side, pulled up in front of the house (And yes, I do know how to read.). Swinging my bag over my arm, I approached the vehicle. I broke my stride three feet from the door. A lady, tall and dark with a pair of green spectacles, questions me, “What’s your name, hon?” I could tell her a fake name, but before I could think of one “Blake.” rolls off my tongue. The doors swing open. I reach out, grab the railing, and hoist myself up. Atlantica is right behind me, not even lifting a glance from her phone. Plastering a fake smile on my face, I turn and face the fellow children. Not many seats were empty. My body shuffles down the aisle and plops into the first empty seat I find. Tilting my head, I watch Atlantica retreat to the back to sit with the senior guys and her friends. A guy, tall, with jet-black hair, leans over. His eyes, staring at me. The boy puts a hand up and whispers to Atlantica. She nods; a smile growing on her face. I snap my head back. Unprepared, as I am, a paper ball hits my head. People really need to watch where they are throwing. I grab my bag, take out my phone and earbuds; Broadway time. I click my Hamilton playlist and start jamming. About halfway through the first song, more paper balls hit my head. I know they trying to annoy me so I act unphased. I keep my act up for ten whole minutes until we finally reached our destination. A tall brown building stands before me. In the top right corner are the words Beacon High School.Those words stab into me, carving enough space for them to linger. My body goes stiff as my feet hit the asphalt. People are running everywhere. I feel them, the rush of the school. Some kids are standing outside in groups, forming...a zoo? One group was full of beautiful girls, another with athletic guys. Everyone seemed to belong to a group. My mind wanders, trying to find its rightful place. A particular group grasps my attention. There were six kids, all clothed in black, standing near the back of the school. Not one of them was makeup free or colorful. My head drops and scans my body. Would I fit in? I start to scuttle over, when a hand grabs my shirt collar. “You may not want to talk to them.” a gentle voice flowed into my ears. A boy with dark brown hair, eyes like an almond, was smiling at me. He was tall, with broad shoulders and tan skin. I maybe stood there for hours, but the ringing of the bell snapped me out of my trance. “Oh gosh I gotta go!” I told the kid. “Do you even know where you’re going?” he questions me. True. I didn’t know where in the heck I even was. Maybe in the courtyard. My eyes surveyed the grassy area. I turned and faced the boy. 58 | Magpie 2018


“No. I may need some help. First, what’s your name?” I asked for help. I never do that. “My name is Jorge DeWinter. I am in 9th grade, you?” Jorge DeWinter, huh? He sounds like a nice guy. “Really? I am in 9th grade, too! The name’s Blake Schnee.” His face changed to the strangest expression, happiness and surprise. It’s kinda cute. “What homeroom?” “Mrs. Hobbs.” “Same!” Maybe I made a new friend. A truly good friend. Maybe. School wasn’t so bad after all. Well, so far. After 5th period, it was lunch. Lunch is, literally, where the stronger pick out the weak. It’s where you choose who you are for the rest of your life here. The choice is like life and death. Near the front of the cafeteria is the nerd’s table. Never sitting there. Next was the dorks. All of them decked out in square glasses and braces. I spot Jorge near the back. By instinct, I wave. He doesn’t see me. Clutching my sketchbook to my chest, I briskly walk down the aisle. I enter the lunch line, only purchasing a salad. Plopping down at the nearest empty table, I begin to draw. I am interrupted by the rude voice of Atlantica Hanssen. She and her stupid friends surround me. A boy, very tall with brown hair and light skin, stands with them. My heart starts pounding. “Hey loser! This our table.” my sorta sister spits. The girls start bumping my chair. The chalk clasped in my hand slips, leaving a dark streak on the paper. I feel my heart stop. My paper is...ruined. I open my mouth to say something, but am silenced by another voice. “Leave her alone.” the boy standing with Sea Witch and her friend pipes up. “What are you doing, Juan?” Atlantica snaps, the muscles in her arms tensing. She flips her hair and motions to her girls. They walk away leaving me alone with Juan or whatever the kids name is. He approaches me and sits down right next to me. I feel my cheeks flush. He is definitely going on my crush list. “You’re really good at drawing! Can you show me some of your others?” Juan asks me, putting on a silly face. I open my sketchbook to the animated characters section. The first drawing was of a Japanese warrior. Then there was a comic of my favorite anime, Attack on Titan. Juan flipped the page; his eyes grew huge. A picture was taped on the page, a picture of me. I was in my favorite outfit, the one my mom bought me. In the photograph I was kneeling on a New York City sidewalk, my back pressed against a brick wall of an alley. “You’re so...pretty.” Juan’s eyes laid upon me. I kept my face straight; sorta shocked. Nobody, besides my mom, has ever said that to me. Sweat trickles down my neck and my face turns pink. The pink faded into red, until I realized he probably noticed. Snapping my head back to its original position, I reminded myself that boyfriends are not on the agenda list. My eyes glance up at the clock. 5 minutes ‘til study hall or 6th period. “Are you okay?” Juan noticed I was acting up. “Thank you. For what you said earlier.” I responded. “You’re welcome.” You wanna sit with me tomorrow?” “Sure.” I pushed my chair back and stood up, waving goodbye to Juan. My brain replayed the past 15 minutes over and over again. What am I thinking? I can’t like this kid. He is friends with Atlantica. What if she is not that bad? I turn around to pick up my drawing materials. My thoughts drift and twist around and round. I am about to convince myself that Atlantica is great when Jorge scares me. A worried look crosses his face. “I saw you sitting with Juan during lunch. He is a bad kid. I wouldn’t trust him. He has a horrible reputation of breaking girls hearts.” Jorge informs me his eyes full of worry. My mind started to swirl. “But he stood up for me.” I voiced my thoughts aloud. 59


“How about you sit with me at lunch tomorrow? I’ll tell you more about him and his jockeys tomorrow,” Jorge smirks at me, “I will walk you to your locker.” The bell charmed as we left the cafeteria, heading towards my locker. My locker was located near the science room. Before lunch, everyone from class leaves when I get my stuff from my locker.

Nobody ever saw inside it though.

I had a picture of my mom and dad. Many pieces of my art decorated the rest of the blank space. One fateful afternoon, I found out that why my dad ran away. I tore the picture in half.

And burned his face.

Jorge was silent, walking next to me, or maybe it was me who was the silent one. The halls were brick, white and blue tile floor. Very few students still lingered in the hall. As we approached my locker, a thought crossed my mind. Why is Jorge walking me to my locker? I could have come up with different phenomena, but I gave myself one answer, ‘Because he is my friend.’ “Aren’t you gonna open it?” Jorge reminded me. My body jerked and I entered my code. Then, I pulled it open, cautiously. Pain landed a direct punch to my gut. Jorge kept at a straight face, but I could see in his eyes that this was something he didn’t want to see.

by Hallie Triplett 60 | Magpie 2018


by Kaitlyn Leitherer 61


Genus by Eleni Antoniades Kate looked out at the scenery of Mars, miles away from camp, exploring. Kate always liked to do that, even as a little kid. She is a horrible diver, because she likes to go off path. Kate has always been a daredevil. When it came for the first crew in Mars her hand went up imminently. Being the first is never a second for her. She knew that her crewmates would be looking for her, and only one person would know where to find her. Janet and Kate were peas in a pod, they would go everywhere together but were opposites. Janet always liked a quiet place to read a book or watch a movie alone in the country. While Kate would walk all around the city, to places she would never go to. Even Janet wouldn’t find her though. In the three weeks she has been there, she went to this hike, twice, but nevertheless had gone off trail in a different planet. She was the first. She liked that as always. Kate sat on a red rock that overlooked a giant crater that was endless. Anything could happen there. That’s why it was so tempting. Kate so badly wanted to hike to the bottom, but what? She had never faced doubt in her life. She was 23 and fearless. Nothing could stop her. She started down, walking down an odd narrow path. There were footprints other than hers. She wondered of anyone else was there. Did it lead back to camp? Is it other beings? What are these? She looked at them closely and noticed they did not even look like human footprints. “THERE ARE ALIENS!” she thought as her inner four-year-old took over her mind. Kate looked up. There was an oddly shaped blue hand in front of her. It had three oblong fingers that were glowing. She looked above her at which was a giant monster. The creature started to shrink, into a size smaller than a ten year old, but it looked like the same age. “Ka, mon a gla.” the creature said. Kate looked strangely at it. “I speak English and French, not gibberish,” she said staring at the creature. “My name is Genus. Based on the word kind in Latin. Our kind speak all languages. Why are you here?” Genus said in a thick, foreign accent. “I am Katherine. I am here to study your planet and find people like you,” she said trusting the creature. “Leave, and never tell a soul about this. Or I will take you to the village. You do not want to go to village.” Genus said. Kate looked down the stairwell at a town that was some architectural structure that Earth had never seen. There were many stone structures that had tall spiralizing columns that reached the middle of the trench. It was almost impossible to even think of living in the village. “Food? Do you have food? There is no water on Mars. No animals,” Kate said to the creature. The creature stared at Kate, into her big, green eyes. “No, not much.But we do not starve, we can eat small meals each week, which is large. We can go almost a year with only five meals.It has been tested. We need more food,” Genus said. Kate thought, stumped, then suddenly had an epiphany, “Genus! I can teach you how to indoor farm! Do you have a free, large building?” Kate asked. “No, but we can make one in a few hours.” Genus said. “Great! Talk to your leader about this, and I will meet you here tomorrow at this same time. If I teach you how to farm, and never tell a single soul, will you let me be free?” she asked. The creature nodded. “Then it is settled, tomorrow at noon.” Kate said and quickly raced home to the camp before dusk. Genus walked back to town, thinking of the madness of another being was. “If our settlement has lived here for millions of sceneries and has adapted, how can one race come here so easily?” he thought. “Will there be more?” he thought. He walked to the town, walking to the council to talk to his fellow representatives. Five men and six women stood in front of the building, an old wise man stomped on the dusty, red ground. “Genus!” the old man screamed. “Where have you been? We canceled our meeting about food and starvation.” “I am so sorry Prudens, but I have found a solution! A woman said she could teach us how to farm in62 | Magpie 2018


doors. She is not from here. Her skin does not glow and it is a peachy colour. She may be harmful but trusts me, and I trust her. We need to build a building that is large for farming.”Genus said. Prudens mentioned to come inside. Each person took a seat at a round table made out of Martian stone. “Genus, we cannot afford this woman, she may treat us as if we are, well… aliens and do loads of things. We cannot trust foreigners we do not know anything of, and if she tells us, it may not be the truth,” Prudens said. “I agree with Genus.” a purple woman said, who was across from Genus, “If this person teaches us about farming and food making, we could eat more than imagined. It would not just help with economy, but with trading and other planets. These people’s ways of life may help us, because our people in a few thousand years would die out.” Genus nodded, “Yes, Gratus!” Genus pointed to the purple woman yelling across the room. “But Gratus and Genus, don’t you see the worries and dangers in this?” a yellow man asked, his name was Cogitantium. “Cogitantium, what are the dangers and worries?” Genus asked. “Like Prudens said, we do not know this person and it could be dangerous. Our whole colony could be injured by this one choice. It is not safe,” Cogitantium said. “Let’s take a vote, Prudens, will you count?” The man nodded. “It may certainly be a good risk.” Genus claimed. The vote was six to five. “Well, I am convinced,” Prudens said, “Start the building, we will welcome our foreign visitor tomorrow.” The council people walked out of the buildings as it became dusk. Kate walked to the same spot at noon, near the canyon. Genus met her there at the same time as she asked. Kate was stunned as she walked down to the new farming house. She taught them to farm until dusk. Kate taught them every day for two weeks. They knew every way to farm any vegetable that was made. She kept her promise, not telling a single soul where she went every day at noon. Kate was friends with the people of Mars, until the space shuttle was here for going back to Earth. “Genus, I have to leave you and your people. My expedition is over. In many years people will colonize here and make cities. But, I have to go and I thank you for your help of tips to live on Mars. You will live for centuries and help other people. I do not ask for anything and only ask for a warm welcome when we come back.” Kate said. “Thank you for saving our future people, and we as Martians only give you this. It is a Martian rock, that when you need it, advice will be given in way of our philosophy.” Genus said. The red rock glowed in blue writings. The tale of the Martians was never told to any soul, and Kate kept them in her heart.

63


by Ryann Beckham 64 | Magpie 2018


Hell on Earth by MelÊy Cullors The sky, a yellow sheet peeling until it touches the earth’s floor. The soft soil, red with blood and despair as if the core was on Earth, as if hell was on Earth. Devils leading our country holding red flags and burning the blue. People shunning their eyes from the terror in front not leaving crumbs so we can find our way back, back to the past. Before any of this happened. Before we turned the earth to litter, leaving it to suffer and slowly die.

by Hallie Triplett

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The Escape by Ariana Yeganeh Now Thunder was all that could be heard, its loud booming sound noisily drowning out everything else. The sound jerked 13 year old Fawna out of her head, as she looked around in terror. She had done it again, but this time it was worse. Why was it getting worse? Shaking the thought out of her mind the girl looked around at her surroundings, trying to remember where she was. She was under a tree shivering from the cold that the rain brought, her ripped and torn clothes couldn’t give her even a breath of warmth. There was a puddle beneath her, a bit murky, but not dark enough so that she couldn’t see her own reflection. Straight soaking wet black hair, freckles sprinkled across her face, tattered clothes, muddy boots, round hazy green eyes. Yes it was definitely her and this was definitely real. Fawna let out a sad sigh, realizing that the boat she had seen wasn’t real, it was just another stupid dream, nothing more. You saw the boat. The gate is weak, you’ve got to go now! Where was that voice coming from? Fawna looked around, searching for another person. Yet no one was there. She must have heard nothing, it was all just her silly imagination. I’m real you dummy! You’re wasting time, the gate is weak, go now! “Who said that!” Fawna yelled over the roar of the thunder, yet she heard no response. “Stop it!” She yelled again, this time more out of frustration. Listen do you want to escape or not? Fawna knew that regardless of what she told the strange voice, they would both know the truth. She wanted to escape this place desperately. So desperately that she would do anything. Even if that anything meant listening to a strange voice. Fawna let out a sigh. She was going to actually do this. Poking her head around, the girl roused herself from the ground, and checked warily for any members of the O-Clan. It was a rainy day, so they were likely in their den, letting the glistening heat from their fire shine waves of light on them. It was there they would draw straws to see who had the chore of going and patrolling the area. At sundown, the group of about four or five would set out. They would check the area, and if everything was in order they would begin hunting. They would hunt until dark and then stop, unless they found her… That thought made Fawna shiver. It was that very reason that she had memorized their schedule, watched them, figured out a way so that they would never see her, since she didn’t need to be seen. She had to get out before they found her. Fawna dashed as fast as she could, leaving the safety and comfort of the tree in fear of losing her chance to escape. As she ran through the rain, her pale unprotected feet made squishing noises in the mud beneath her. After what seemed like an eternity of running in the mud, Fawna came across a large river. That night the only light was the silver glow that came from the moon. Yet even with that small amount of light, Fawna could tell that the murky river was overflowed. And dangerous. Especially dangerous, considering the fact that if she fell into that river that it would not end well for her. Seeing no other option Fawna decided to jump, which made her apprehensive since she knew that her legs were remarkably short and weak. Just like the rest of her. Weak. It eventually dawned on her that perhaps she could ask the voice for help since she wasn’t strong enough to do it on her own, so Fawna shouted. “A little help would be nice!” No response. “Hello!” Nothing, so that was definitely not an option. Giving an angry huff, Fawna prepared to jump. She started running, and leaped into the air. Keeping her eyes on the other side, Fawna braced herself to land, and then realized that she wasn’t going to make it. There was a large splashing sound when she hit the water, which tried 66 | Magpie 2018


to tug her downwards. As Fawna plunged into the dark swirling water, any hopes she had of seeing where she was going were stripped away from her. The river began to sweep her away, so powerful that her kicking could do nothing to stop it, and finally Fawna felt failure again. The way she had over and over again. It seemed as if every time she tried, the same would happen. She would never make it through the gate, it was just a silly That was when she saw it. The image was murky, as if it were a smudge painting with too bright of greens and too dark of browns. As hope rose in her heart, the colors smushed together to create the image of a branch. She could see that it was low, abruptly close to the water and she could suddenly see herself, black hair and all, desperately trying to stay above water. Wait how could she see herself? How was this possible? Fawna shook her head, well technically the real Fawna, that was currently under water right now, wasn’t shaking her head. But she was, sorta. Anywho, she needed to clear her thoughts, because right now it didn’t matter that she was somehow outside of her own body. Right now all that mattered was the fact that she needed to reach that branch. With this in her mind, Fawna waited for herself to reach the branch. 3…..2…..1!! Fawna was catapulted into her body when she thrust her arm into the air and grabbed onto the branch like a child clinging to their mother. The girl slowly rose her second hand and grabbed with both hands, then desperately tried to bring herself up and out of the water. She pulled and pulled, not quite sure if she was strong enough to do it, when she finally felt her body lift out of the freezing cold water. She climbed onto the branch and once her boots hit the ground, let go, and fell to the ground. Fawna wheezed and coughed, resulting in her spitting a great deal of salt water onto the soft grass beneath her. She tried to blink, and ignore the spinning sensation she felt. Hurry! You don’t have a lot of time! “So now you come to help me!” Fawna yelled into the air, still half coughing, but realized with a smile that she had indeed made it to the other side of the river. Once she was done spluttering Fawna got up and checked her surroundings. As her feet swept upon the soft grass, the girl moved forward until she was greeted with the edge of the forest. The forest was where the O-Clan always hunted and, knowing her luck, they would be out hunting tonight. The ones whose straws were picked would be in the forest angrily grumbling about the rain, and if she wasn’t careful they would find her hiding. That would not be a good ending for her. Unfortunately for her the only way to reach the gate was to go through the heart of the forest. This wasn’t going to be fun. Or easy for that matter. The girl muttered to herself while walking through the woods. You. Don’t. Have. Time. For. A NICE STROLL IN A FOREST! Fawna bit back a witty reply, knowing better than to yell in the middle of the woods, and continued walking. There was an eerie silence to the obsidian colored forest that always unnerved her. It was as if something was waiting to jump out of the woods and attack her if she made just one wrong move. The trees themselves were as dark as the night sky, especially at this time of night, and it was hard to see almost anything. Fawna nearly jumped out of her skin when her leg was greeted by the leaves of a bush and almost screamed when a squirrel clambered up a tree. The whole place was definitely terrifying. Fawna continued walking, considering whether or not it was worth running, but her worries of making a noise and causing the O-Clan to catch her stopped her from doing it. As she continued walking, her bare feet brushing against the jutting ground, Fawna stepped on something. It slashed her bare and unprotected foot, and it took everything Fawna had in her not to scream in pain. Cautiously, not wanting to hurt it anymore, she picked up her foot and realized that she must have stepped on a rock of some sort. Gosh why did stepping on rocks hurt so much! As she tended to her foot, Fawna noticed something different about her surroundings. Light was dancing across the once dark trees. Curious as to what was going on, she briefly looked up and found herself in a camp site. How did she get there!? Around her were men and women with grubby hands and slobbering mouths. Fawna looked down at the fire they tended to and realized just who these people were. O-Clan Members. Terrified, Fawna’s heart began pounding in her chest as she whirled around, waiting for them to attack. When she bumped into one of the others, she thrust her head around and saw that he was as large as a mountain easily towering over her by a good two feet. His skin was as black as tar, and he was scratching his head, a look of mild annoyment on his face. 67


Fawna waited apprehensively for the man to say something, yet strangely enough he didn’t respond. Instead Fawna heard another woman talk, she had blonde hair that reminded Fawna of strings of mud. The woman certainly smelled, and Fawna had to pinch her nose to get rid of the stank, something that certainly didn’t help her case. The woman simply kept talking to the man as if nothing had happened. This was very. Strange. The O-Clan members Fawna knew would never act this way, they would never ignore her wandering into a group of them. “Nuthin, been huntin’ all night and nuthin! Everyone at the den’s hungry. How are we gonna feed ‘em!” The woman exclaimed nervously to the other people around her. “I say we give up an’ go steal from the girl near the apple tree. The lil’ brat always seems to have her mouth filled with food” The man replied angrily. That was definitely weird, it was almost as if they couldn’t see her. Alright, who was she kidding? This was amazing! It was her opportunity to escape! Fawna quickly checked her foot to see if it would be able to hold up for running. Except there was one problem. She had no feet. WHAT!? It was almost as if she wasn’t really there… Almost abruptly Fawna was suddenly no longer in the O-Clan’s camp but instead looking around warily. She was back where she had originally been, before she had seen lights flicker nervously across the trees. Another stupid dream. It couldn’t have been real, could it? Those members weren’t really up this late at night? They weren’t really waiting to find her? Butterflies began to dance within her stomach. Fawna passed another tree and another and another. She began running, her heart pounding, screeching sounds crying out throughout the sky. She ignored the angry throbbing that spread throughout her foot, and kept running. Running and running and running. Passing stones, and greenery that clung to the trees. So now you decide it’s appropriate to start running! “Shut up!” Fawna yelled, no longer caring whether the O-Clan heard her. At this rate, in her mind it was get to the gate and escape or it was over. She was prepared to do anything to reach it. After what seemed like an eternity, the forest began to clear. Fawna ran into a clearing and saw the gate, standing proudly as per usual. It’s marble pillars were lined with gold, and stern black bars looked quite menacing in the dark of the storm. Something was strange about the gate, Fawna had tried digging under it, even climbing above it, but she couldn’t seem to get over it. Whenever she thought she had reached the other side, she would blink and find herself back inside the island. The gate seemed to hate her, to want her to never escape, no matter what she did. Its black bars would always glint at her as if they were laughing at her mistakes. “Okay Ms. Know it all, tell me how to get out through the gate!” Step through it “What! That makes no sense!” Fawna yelled, adrenaline pumping through her brains. She needed to escape. She was so close, she didn’t have time for this. Shaking Fawna attempted to step through the gate. She walked up to it, and, expecting it to whack her in the face, she promptly fastened her eyes shut. But nothing happened, she felt the crisp night air on her face and abruptly opened her eyes. She was in the middle of the gate. The bars had somehow moved around so that they were no longer in straight lines but instead formed a box around her, allowing for none of the metal to touch her skin. Astonished, Fawna walked through the gate and outside of the island. Fawna had never actually escaped. She had tried for as long as she had known that they were trapped, but never in a million years had she guessed she would actually make it out. Fawna turned her head towards the sky, letting the rain patter on her skin and screamed at the top of her lungs “I’M FREE! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Alright, enough partying find the boat! Surprisingly Fawna found the small and old appearing boat relatively easily. Except there was one problem, Fawna had no idea how to sail it. The boat was small and had some sort of machinery that Fawna had never seen before attached to the bottom. The machine is used to help the boat fly, I think? 68 | Magpie 2018


“Fly?” Fawna asked the strange voice. Lucky for Fawna the island happened to be relatively far away from the ground, giving her enough of an edge to allow for her to help the boat off the island. Fawna stepped inside of the boat and found an array of different switches inside the boat, she wasn’t quite sure what any of them did, so she tried pulling the blue one. Immediately a loud purring sound began to arise and Fawna looked around in astonishment. She pulled another lever and the next thing she knew she was in the sky! A few hours passed by and Fawna realized how impossible it was for her to actually sail the boat. The clouds were thick and grey and seemed to cackle at Fawna as she desperately tried to fly the ship. But it was hard to see through all of the rain, and she really had no idea what she was doing. In fact, without the help of the voice she likely would have never escaped from the island. Why would it choose her, of all people? What was special about her? As far she knew there was nothing that made her different from any of the other people she knew. Gasping from the rain, that was coming down so hard, it was difficult to take a breath without inhaling some water. Fawna listened intently, hoping that the voice would be able to guide her, but found nothing. The voice had decided to completely leave her! Immediately she began doubting herself. There was no way she was going to get out of the storm alive. She heard a strange sound and looked down at the machinery attached to the boat. Apparently it wasn’t built to last since it was on fire! Panicking, Fawna began fumbling around in the boat, waiting for the rain to extinguish the flame, but the fire must have been too strong, since the rain was doing nothing! The girl desperately looked for someplace to land, but it was so hard to see from her height. She tried lowering the boat, her stomach sickening at the thought of having to make a crash landing. Luckily she realized that she was flying above a spot of land, so she would have someplace to go. Fawna turned back and saw the machine, almost ready to explode, she backed away in fear as far she could, and tried to land. Feeling the bump of the boat spread through her chest and to her chattering teeth, the girl continued on, hoping that the boat wouldn’t catch on more fire. The rain must have prevented it since it seemed that the only part of the boat still on fire was the machine. Screaming as she swirled down to the earth, Fawna clung to the boat, feeling her heart lurch in her chest. She bit her lip, to prevent herself from vomiting and closed her eyes. Fawna was thrust forward, felt her head bump into something, and slipped unconscious.

by Bailey Jackson

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Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by Shreya Gandhi

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An Alien and An Astronaut by Krisna Kumar Hello, my name is Beepy, and I have a story to tell. I used to live on the moon. One day something horrible happened and I could not live there anymore. Here is my story: I was going about my business, playing a game of kick the moon rock, when there was a loud crash. I saw a great big, white, shiny thingy land on our planet. Out of it stepped an alien that had a black face and a very big white body with specks of other colors. Then the alien put something down on our planet’s ground. It was a pole with a waving thingy hanging off of it. “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” the alien said. What on Moon was he saying? It made no sense. I had to go warn the others! “Everyone! There are aliens on our planet! Get out quickly!” I hollered. Everyone began to rush toward our spaceships. They all clambered in and drove away. Our planet had a very good escape plan. Soon, I was the only one left. I was a curious little fellow, as my mother told me, and so I snuck into the big white hard thingy. I looked around. Everything was white. I was green and I had to hide somewhere in order to not be spotted. I ducked underneath a white sheet when I heard footsteps. “Hey Neil! Where did you put the ice-cream? I’m hungry,” a voice said. “Sorry, we are about to take off. Eat the ice-cream later!” a different voice said. Suddenly, we began to move! I hit something hard and began to roll. My ears were humming and I was shaking. When I finally got up and looked out a piece of clear stuff, I saw space and stars. We just kept floating. Then suddenly I felt a wave of cool air. I looked around and saw a bunch of great winds. “Solar Storm ahead!” the first voice called. “Of course! We are in the exosphere, Michael,” the second voice called. I figured that the first voice was Michael and the other voice was Neil. “Op!! Here comes the thermosphere. Got all your gear, Buzz?” Michael asked. “Yep! It is really hot in here!” Buzz replied. The air started to get thick and muggy outside. I saw a lot orange things. “We are about to see the Northern Lights. There they are!” Neil shouted. I stared at all the colors outside the window. It was so beautiful. Then all too soon the air turned cold. A bunch of rocks began to fall. I ducked but they did not seem to hurt us. I recognized these rocks. They fell all the time on the Moon. “Metroids scare me Buzz,” Michael said. “Well, we are in the stratosphere now!” Buzz said. The rest of the trip was smooth, until I saw this planet that was blue and green. The thingy that we were in just kept going faster and faster and faster. I closed my eyes tightly. Suddenly, we hit something hard. I opened my eyes. The aliens were climbing out. I scrambled after them. We all walked down this red long thing. I tried to stay hidden. They climbed into this big humongous thingy that had a door on it. I walked in too. Suddenly Neil turned around. “Well, what are you little fellow?” He had seen me! I tried to run away, but he reached out his hand. “The name is Neil! What about yours?” “My name is Beepy,” I said. “Well Beepy, where did you come from?” Neil asked. “I am from the Moon! You took over my planet. Now everyone from the Moon is on Mars!” I replied. “Well, would you like to go to Mars?” Neil asked me.

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I nodded. “You are going to have to wait for a while before we can get you there. But don’t worry! You will see your family soon. As for now, you can go live in The Bryn Mawr School’s campus. They have some Mawrtians there, too. I will take you there,” Neil began to walk and I ran after him.

And that was the story of how I became a Mawrtian.

by Sydney Booker

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Island Dreams by Sloane K. Wehman I woke up in my little wooden cabin which hung on the riverbank, deep in the forest. It was dark outside, but from what I’ve come to know in my fourteen years in the woods, on this island, I could see in the dark. I combed my long, brown hair with my wooden comb and put on the now shrunken clothes that fit tightly across my waist. I did not put on any shoes. I wanted to feel my island beneath my feet, and shoes were long forgotten. I walked into the lush, verdant, forest, the dried, dead leaves on the ground crunching under my bare feet. I hopped from from rock to rock over the pale blue river. It looked calm but it had a strong current, rushing toward the sea. I got to the other side of the river and ran to my beloved tall English oak tree and began to shimmy up its strong trunk. I began to climb from branch to branch until I reached the top. I sat up at the thin branch closest to the top and watched the sun rise. When the sunrise was over, I jumped down off of my resting place and hit the ground with barely a noise at all. There is almost always silence in the forest. For a long while, I sat on an old, gray rock under an opening in the leaves. I tilted my head back to feel the gentle tingling of the sun’s rays. I didn’t mind the heat. I wanted to embrace the warmth of the sun on my island. I ran to the edge of the forest and stopped when I reached gentle green grass blowing in the wind. I stepped into the field and ran free. I kept running until the grass faded into sand. I raced on to the edge of the ocean. Few waves and few shells lay on the surface of the damp sand. I dove into the warm translucent water. I swam and swam. I opened my eyes under water, not caring about the salt stinging my emerald green eyes. I was used to the stinging. I wanted to feel the coolness of the water, running over my skin. I swam the twenty feet to the bottom of the ocean. The packed sand felt smooth on the rough, calloused soles of my tired feet. I rested on the ocean floor, watching vividly colored fish swim about until I ran out of air. I pushed myself up to the surface of the ocean and treaded, watching the gray, bottlenose dolphins jump out of the crystal clear water. I swam to them. The dolphins are my friends on this deserted, beautiful, tropical, island. I grabbed ahold of their smooth fins, and they brought me to deeper water where we played until I was hungry. I swam back to the beach and drank sweet coconut water from the abounding coconuts on the palm trees. I ate fresh mangoes and other tropical fruits I found on the island. I wanted to taste the beauty of the fruit on my island. There are no other humans on the island. I am sometimes lonely, but I still am happy. The island is still my own paradise. The animals are still my friends, still my family. I ran back across the beach, across the meadow, into the forest. I ran back to my shelter, my home. The little wooden cabin with leaves for curtains and for a bed. The little wooden cabin with a little coconut full of water on a wooden table. The little wooden cabin with a small woven basket with one set of too small clothes in it. My little wooden cabin I call home. I wanted to live in that little cabin forever, on my island. At night, I went back to my oak tree and easily climbed up to the top. I waited until the sun set. I sat up in that tree to watch the beautiful stars begin to appear in the pitch black sky. The stars shimmered and sparkled while I watched, gasping at any purple or blue ones. I saw a shooting star, flying across the sky. I wished on it every night. I wished that tomorrow would be just as amazing as today. It twinkled as though it understood and then disappeared into the dark, about to make my wish come true. I wanted to have this day, over and over again, on my island. When I got tired, I climbed back down the tree, hit the ground, and this time, walked back to my little wooden cabin. I opened the door and climbed into my bed. I then shut my eyes, knowing tomorrow would be just as amazing, relaxed, exciting, beautiful as today. The last thing I said before going to bed was, “This loving island is forever my home.”

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by Merriwether King 74 | Magpie 2018


The Girl in the Shadows by Chandler Prettiman-Watkins “Can you hear me? Can you hear me tap, tap, tapping on the wall? I was once like you, innocent, creative, nice, but things can change very easy and fast, in fact for me it happened too fast. You see the shadows, I know, because I am the shadows. Everywhere you go I’ll be there. I need your help. You are the only one who can fight off the dark one. She is someone who is very close to you. Find her, expose her and use her weakness against her. She is coming, and she will get what she wants, and this time there is no stopping her no matter what.” by Ryann Beckham

Words of a Dying Soul by Meléy Cullors The day came sooner than expected. My heart frozen in the moment, tears streaming down my cheeks, fear in my eyes. Its over, all is over. I knew it would come but not today, not ever. God oh God, save my soul. Help me please, please help me. I don’t want to die, so much I needed to see, needed to do. My children will miss me, my partner can’t raise them alone. I need to stay alive. Save me God, please save me. My last breath came before I got to say this. Sucking the words and air out of my mouth, out of my lungs. I felt it come before it truly did. I held my hand up to my core, squeezing it until my skin grew white. My knees buckled, my head spun as my body swayed slowly. I fell and fell until my body smashed against the ground, sending a sound that made my ears bleed. I want to scream, I want to cry, but what good does it do. My time has come. My time to leave this world that I so badly loved, but now realization overcomes me that it was rubbish, this world, rubbish. My times has come. My time is now. 75


by Kaitlyn Leitherer

Millie’s Miracle by Sydney Booker Once in the city of Melbourne there was a little girl named Millie. Millie always had a special connection with the ocean. The animals stared into Millie’s turquoise eyes every time she visited them. The water was not only her friend, but also Millie’s family. Her mother, a long time ago, had also fallen in love with the water too. Her mom Chrysanthemum decided to be a marine biologist and a subdiver. But 2 years after, Chrysanthemum had passed away from getting trapped in a shipwreck, as she was looking for old maps of the ocean. Millie still thought of her mom every second of her life. Millie was inspired by her mom to discover and explore the entire oceans around her. So she began with the continent she was on, Australia. She explored the Indian and Pacific Oceans. She saw Giant Spider Crabs, Fangtooth Fish, and even encountered a Frilled Shark. The ocean was one thing Millie could never get tired of. The coral was a rainbow of colors. The ocean was crystal clear, with a deep blue color that was a mystery, but intrigued her. She took home something new every day. Maybe a starfish, baby octopus, or just a piece of mind thinking about how grateful she was to see the ocean and the animals in their world. Millie traveled the world, exploring each land and sea. Every night she would watch the sunset, over the ocean. The waves would call her at the crack of dawn. Her dad Manny would also surf with Millie, seeing the school of 76 | Magpie 2018


fish traveling behind them. Then one day Millie decided to go freediving with the fish. As she was coming up for air, she got knocked down by a wave. She started to descend down into the Mariana Trench. Millie started to imagine the fish, octopus, and whales talking to her. They were helping her swim in the ocean. Just then she was a 2 year old learning how to swim. Millie’s mom Chrysanthemum was cheering her on. She woke up feeling shocked and panicked in the water. Then the sea creatures that she had met in Asia, Brazil, and more carried her back to the shore. Millie suddenly felt the safest and the most loved, as she saw the fish and animals smiling at her. When she got to the shore, she burst into tears, wishing her mom was here to explore the ocean, world, and just her to be her friend in that moment. Instead at that moment she had found her true purpose in life. She decided to teach as many people around the world about the ocean. Millie wanted the people to know that the animals in the sea, and everywhere were our friends not our fears. The ocean is like the world we live on. Both have inspiring and amazing things in their world. After the many years of teaching, Millie passed away at 102 years old. She wanted to leave the world and ocean with this: A world that we don’t see is yet to come, but if we work together than we can see this world of fun.

Warm Water by Mia Boydston Warm Water Runs through my fingers Like a tsunami over a town Taking little pieces of dirt with it That I had gotten from building a garden Rubbing charcoal into my drawing From Climbing the highest trees To digging into the center of the earth Like my hair The water flows Through the wind And through the sea Warm Water is a forever changing map that no one has yet to discover Like the lights and darks in an Appaloosa horse The darks of the eyes The light of the crashing into the ground Warm water doesn’t seem to make a sound Warm water Brings Memories back into view Hidden under a sheet of ice They were sad and alone

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Warm Water Is also Harsh And abrasive It makes my skin turn into A sponge With little holes from the fever That it brings It soaks up the heat and water Until my hands are Entirely painted But It was inevitable I watch as my hands slowly melt Into calm and soothing Pieces of Art They turn And pose They run away With my last wishes for Warm Water

Rain by Katie Butler we live in the darkest, rainiest city. if we are lucky, then we will get one or two sunny days a year. if you were to see the city then you would run far away. far away from our wild rushing rivers and muddy puddles. away from the yards with grass and weeds feet tall and the slippery sidewalks. away from the general gloomy feel to the place, but that is only if you are looking forward. if you look up at the sky, exactly where nobody does, you will see us. the people with the brightest light to them. the brightest eyes, smile, and clothes. and the umbrellas. you see the bright lights and garlands hanging from lampposts and storefronts. you don’t see the parades of small children stomping through the puddles and singing songs. you don’t see the bright lights streaming through windows as parties rage on. because you don’t want to see. you just want to keep on moving through our rainy little city and never think much of it. and we think absolutely nothing of you quickly passing through, but we think the world of our city. our umbrellas and lights make our city. if you really see us, we are no longer a city of rain and gloom. we are a city of people who see through the rain and clouds. people who light up our city by filling it with colorful decorations and even more colorful people. lighting up our city by driving out the darkness. we are the people who find the light within the darkness that fills the world.

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Reflections, by Anna Zivkovich 79


The Gymnast on the Beach by Victoria-Joycelyn Alnwisr As I leap by the shoreside near the deep blue sea, I can feel the ocean’s spirit Deep inside of me. Sand in between my toes and salt water in my hair, Cameras are taking pictures of people Everywhere. By the ocean, My soul and my body are free I can feel the happiness Deep inside of me. I flip on the beach And sit on the shore At the end of the day, I only want more! More of the sun, And more of the sea. I am a gymnast, And the ocean is a part of me.

Mermaid by Victoria-Joycelyn Alnwisr The mermaid swims through the water Not close to the shore The fishermen search and search But can’t find this mermaid No more. This mermaid is mythical Magical Beautiful Or is she? We might never know. Our knowledge on this mermaid Might never ever grow.

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1:00 by MelÊy Cullors and Grace Martin 1:00, I’m lying in bed, eyes open, looking into complete and utter darkness. I had gone to bed no later than 10:00, though I could not pass up resting in bed, letting my mind say and do whatever it pleased. Letting myself fall into a world filled with captivating and unearthly things only to be seen by me. I look at the clock, its arms ticking closely towards the number 1. I take in the silence---the rare silence---the ticks coming from the circular time-teller being the only noise. Their echos bouncing from the walls into my well-aware ears. I stare out my window the blinds pulled towards the ceiling letting the yellow light from the night sky seep through the panels. My eyes stay staring straight, the light compels my eyes to stare into the especially slivered. It cuts the dark in half and burns it until it scrapes down to the sappy grass. My eyes open wider. The satin curtains do a waltz free to flow until the dark grey wood snaps them back to order. The kiss of the wind makes me shiver. My sheets creep up to my neck. The nail in the wood lets out a moan as it is bullied farther into the cold harsh bedroom floor. I close my eyes and imagine my cheek fastening into the ground. The sweet imprint dents my soft skin. My shoulder weighs farther into the ground. An icy glaze sweeps over my silver eyes and captivates my every twitch. I wish my eyes would simply close. Let me sleep, let me breathe with ease, let my body rest and stay under control for hours on end. Finger tapping lightly on the bed making indents as I think about the morning. The days to come, cold wind blowing, freezing every part of me until my eyes grow weary and my mind begs for sleep. The muffled sounds begin to appear and disappear, unaware of their location but admiring their interest in my softly spoken words.

by Ryann Beckham 81


Fall by Sofia Richman I stand in the mist, watching Jewels freed from their wooden Setting falling to the ground. I walk up, and pick up a Leaf, the bright orange and Reds warm fire in the damp Cold. I look up, and I see it. A Final blade of grass amid falling Flames. I must get it. I take Out a camera, move closer, and Slip, drowning in oceans of Leaves. I spit them out, and brush Them off. I get to the perfect Angle...but the slap of a leaf ’s Hand against my face deters me.

You Can Find Joy Anywhere If You Look Closely Enough, by Alina Jalisi

I see the leaf, and as I slip, I snap a perfect photo. My head hits soggy ground. I trudge Through seas of cold fire, and unmelting Icicle. I guess you know what this Poem is called -“Fall.”

Red Diamond by Grace Martin When the gold light slapped the dull wall and wavered with the sloppy paint glops You sat in the elephant of a chair It swallowed you up You are a man But that brown leather chair that grabbed onto your legs made you seem small The cards were weathered and torn The white blinded you

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The red diamond flickered in your eye I saw it It flickered like the fourth of July In your brown eye The same eye that saw war and death The eye that lost the war He still got a plaque And that very same eye Read the tan page that holds the words Vietnam and brave Is holding something as innocent as the red diamond


Untitled by Elise Purcell As I walk to my new job The sun gives me a warm and tender Hug exclaiming, “Get out there and give It your all.” As I stand on the hot beach, Warmth between my toes and The waters rise and the water Beckons for me to step in, Take a dip. The water crashes over my head, pushing me continuously down, It bullies me into submission as My head sinks underwater.

The snowflakes drop from the Air, frolicking and yelling, “winter Is here, winter is finally here!” As They give each other cold Hugs on the ground. After coming inside from The yelling blizzard, I sit In front of the whispering Fire as it says, “come child. I Will share my warmth with you.”

by Lana Milman 83


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Magpie 2018  

The literary magazine of the The Bryn Mawr Middle School.

Magpie 2018  

The literary magazine of the The Bryn Mawr Middle School.