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The Crowder



The Crowder The literary-art magazine and contest of Crowder College All rights reserved, Copyright 2017 Crowder College

VOL. 37 | SPRING 2017

MISSION STATEMENT The Crowder Quill is a literary-art magazine published by the Magazine Production class at Crowder College in order to encourage and showcase the creative abilities of local writers, artists, and photographers, as well as to provide a cultural link between Crowder College and our surrounding communities. The publication is funded through Crowder College as an educational tool and service to the community. Both the contest and publication are free. The Crowder Quill is published each spring semester in May. The contest deadline is around Feb. 1 each year. The Crowder Quill, 601 Laclede Ave., Neosho, Mo., 64850, 417-455-5410, fax 417-451-4280 www.CrowderQuill.com; Facebook: Crowder Quill


Kaitlyn Welch | Seneca | Staff | Photography

I was walking downtown Joplin with one of my friends and I’ve always really liked City Hall for some reason. It looked particularly good this sunny day last fall, so I snapped a quick shot. Nikon D3200 Welch is a journalism major at Crowder College. She plans on transferring to MSSU next spring and continuing in this field of study. She has a deep passion for photography, nature, and literature.

Cover: The Alleyway | Jeb Hardy | Diamond High School | Bronze | 2D Media | Markers, Ink This piece began as a personal study, but I liked the way it was coming along and decided to render it out as a full piece. Hardy has always had a passion for creating. He plans to continue his creative career in entertainment design.


I N F O R M AT I O N 1 4 5 90

Title Page History of the Quill Current Staff About the Contest

91 94 95 99

Contest Categories 2017 Contributors Entry Form Dedication to Quill founder Dan Richard

L I T E R AT U R E FICTION 42 22 73 57 6 24 87 48 7 52 75 35 62 44

“Ballgame” by Jacqueline Cole “Breaking Bridges” by Julia Gillean “Bride to Be” by Breana Miller “Coming Out” by Megan Murphy “Free” by Sarah Riggs “One Foggy Night” by Margarite Stever “Scavenger’s Destiny” by Jacob Walker “Sweet Caroline” by Autumn Shelton “The Blind Swordsman” by Titus Baumgartner “The Flames of Fall” by Billie Holladay Skelley “Welcome Home” by Victoria Davidson “Whirlwind” by Ximena Figueroa “Would She Hurt Us?” by M. Nichols “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” by Henri Whitehead

NONFICTION 86 28 16 17 80 38 32 68 84 79 76 69 40 19

“#STOP_THE_ADS” by Carter Hickman “A Symphony in the Works” by Octavianna Hackett “Beastly Machines” by Caytlin Conrad “Dear You” by Lyda Yang “First Love: A Survival Story” by Leandra Toomoth “Granny & Papa’s House” by Sierra Jensen “Home Is Where the Heart Is” by Kylie Martinez “Interlocked” by Jacqueline Cole “Kneeling During National Anthem Is Abuse of U.S. Flag” by Derek Shore “My Enduring Passion” by Tessela Jeffers “Paying Tribute to a Soldier” by Kim McCully-Mobley “Stay Anchored” by Bayleigh Schad “The Best Elderberry Jelly Ever” by Margarite Stever “The Roots of Our Knowledge” by Triniti Torrez

GRAPHIC ARTS 2D MEDIA 27 13 49 51 28 86 34 56 61 62 38 1 7 42

POETRY 43 12 13 46 83 85 18 29 14 20 65 27 9 39 34 31

“Fickle Flames” by Kaitlyn Welch “Carpe Diem!” by Samantha Gundel “Changing” by Alex Bahl “Destructive Contrast” by Jera White “Exhaling Thunder” by Sierra Chappie “Final Spring” by Billie Holladay Skelley “Hand Prints” by Isaac Gardner “Ink Poisoning” by Camrie H. Houck “Look up” by Sophia Miller “Looking Out, Looking In” by Leandra Toomoth “Monsters” by Emilee Kuschel “Outcry Silenced” by Jacqueline Cole “Spectrum” by Emily Waldrop “The Marimbist” by Mary Smith “The One I Am” by Itzel Cervantes “Window Glass” by Amy Moua

“A Day Under the Arch” by Charlene Bergen “Catch of the Day” by Cailey Funkhouser “Food Art” by Joanne Kim “Morgan Freeman” by Dawn Williamson “My Self-portrait” by Adrian Bittner “Notan” by Akromhon Sobirkhonov “Paths Through the Mind” by Rylin Cogan “Peafowl Prestige” by Hannah Pitts “Rhythm and Blues” by Maggie Baker “Roxanne” by Jessica Sellers “Self-portrait” by Paul Cameron “The Alleyway” by Jed Hardy “The Louder You Talk, the Less They Listen” by Victoria Bussiere “Tyler” by Tyler Eads

3D ART 60 55 53 33 59 57 58 54 45 30 89 41 64

“Bellissimo Pavone” by Stormi Norton “Bird Pitcher” by Rebekah Clay “Ceramic Casserole Set” by Tyler Dallis “Compass Around the World” by Avery Taylor “Fracture” by Jessica Sellers “Just Hangin’ Around” by Marley Fort “Kish-y Face” by Julia Aden “Off the Wheel” by Natalie Staib “Ottis Peppercorn” by Cailey Funkhouser “Shine of Happiness” by Morgan Spencer “The Tree” by Nathaniel Thomas “When Work Is Play” by Gabi Abbot “You Are my Sunshine” by Samantha Griffith

B&W PHOTOGRAPHY 93 26 68 72 74 66 85 47 10 82 6 29 63

B&W Photography “B&W Union Station” by Nathan Gamble “Blooming Dogwood” by John Baty, Jr. “Country Walk” by Hannah Schmit “Dogwood” by Rebekah Clay “Garden Protector” by Sarah Bodine “Infinity” by Megan Kehoe “Light the Way” by Hope Wolfe “MC Mustang” by Jilberto Alejo “MonoChrome” Leslie Wright “Trees” by Amanda Burt “Wasted” by Sarah Hill “Yawn” by Crystal Witherspoon

COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY 15 16 78 11 80 11 50 10 39 9 1 23 12 8 71

“Balloon Touchdown on Lake” by Marcy Abercrombie “Skyview Atlanta” by Latonia Bailey “Clouds” by Drew Aggus “Coast” by Jacqueline Cole “Gone with the Wind” by Grace Wormington “Grand Falls” by Andrew Benton “Long Road Ahead” by Jilberto Alejo “Pebble Beach” by Amy Sampson “Raining Men” by Becca Brown “Reflections” by Barry Charter “Reflective” by Kaitlyn Welch “The Glowing Golden Gate” by Rylee Miller “The Ozarks” by Sarah Hill “Tiger’s Rest” by Breanna Marcoux “Winter Woods” by Matthew Brewer

DIGITAL ART 31 67 84 77 83 65 79 18 17 25 20 37 21

“Architectural Structure” by Sara Schaffer “Death Parrot” by Jed Hardy “E/ART/H” by Gage Williams “Ferris Sketch” by Latonia Bailey “GO” by Rylee Miller “Harambe” by Christian Trusty “Mandala of Light” by Mason Moots “Ocean Eclipse” by Jacqueline Cole “Self- portrait” by Amy Sampson “Taillights, Interpreted” by Leslie Wright “The Flood” by Travis Scheerer “Three Photos: One Body” by Amy Leyva “Vantage Points” by Victoria Bussiere


The Crowder Quill magazine and contest was proposed and founded by Crowder College English faculty Dan Richard in 1980. With 37 years of publication, the Quill is consistently moving forward in producing quality content, which this year’s cover symbolizes. Initially, the Crowder Quill contest was open to students of Crowder College as well as high school students and community members. Nearly all entries were published, but winners received a “Gold Quill” certificate award and designation in the publication. The contest was expanded to include a “Junior Division,” grades 1-8, starting in 1985. The magazine was published bi-annually until 2006 when it was changed to a yearly contest cycle. At that time, the Junior Division was also removed. In its place was an annual K-8 fine arts day, held in the fall of each year until 2011. The feather logo was created by Mark Hollandsworth and solely graced the cover of each publication from 1981-1989. The logo is still used as a symbol of the contest and publication today, present on all publicity materials and in the magazine itself.

CURRENT STAFF JUDGES AND CONTRIBUTORS The primary task of the Crowder Quill staff is to produce the magazine from contributed contest entries, not produce the contents themselves. However, staff members are required to submit entries as a class assignment to demonstrate expertise in their field of judging. Winning entries are honorarily published but do not receive awards. The staff entries published in this issue were judged by the following honorary judges: • • • •

Fiction and nonfiction entries: Quill faculty adviser Latonia Bailey Poetry entries: Literature instructor Janet Reed and adviser Latonia Bailey Art entries: Art instructors Casey Smith, Josh Smith, and Josh Knott Photography entries: Photography instructor Stephanie Potter and students

Staff members publicize the contest, select winning entries, and design the magazine. A variety of majors are represented on the staff. See each entry for additional author/artist statements as well as biographical information from each contributor to the magazine.

Color was increasingly added to the cover and contents, prompting the addition of separate color categories for art and photography in spring 2003. Digital art was added in 2010 to reflect the new art of extensively altered photographs, particularly using photo-manipulation software such as PhotoShop, as well as computergenerated art. In 2013, the art categories were modified to reflect the academic departments at Crowder: 2D traditional media and 3D art. Also, $500 scholarships were added to the prize for each high school gold winner. Each year, the contest receives around 1000 entries. Dan Richard served as adviser until his retirement in spring 1988. David Sherlock took over the magazine in fall 1988 to spring 1990 in addition to his duties as adviser for the Crowder Sentry and director of the theatre department. Nina Gibson’s turn was from fall 1990 to spring 1992, and Suzanne Woolever from fall 1992 to spring 1994. Latonia Bailey has served as adviser since fall 1994. Bailey won a Quill gold award in 1987 as a high school student and then served as poetry editor as student editorial staff in spring 1989. As adviser, her works in nearly every category have been chosen for honorary publication through the years by faculty and students.

6 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

Since 2013, The Crowder Quill was given the highest possible honor by the American Scholastic Press Association, College Point, New York. 2013-2016 Best Community College Literary-Art Magazine 2010-2015 First Place with Special Merit 2009 First Place 1993-2008 Did not compete 1992 First Place 1988-1991 First Place with Special Merit 1988 Outstanding Service for the Community

Members of the 2017 staff (left to right): Back row - Derek Shore, Cassville; Carter Hickman, Neosho; Casey Murray, Neosho; Victoria Davidson, Neosho; and adviser Latonia Bailey, Goodman. Front row - Drew Aggus, Joplin; Nathan Gamble, Neosho; Kaitlyn Welch, Seneca; Amy Leyva, Seneca; Amy Moua, Granby; Megan Murphy, Neosho; Maggie Baker, Joplin; and Amanda Burt, Miami, Okla.

1987 Second Place Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 7

Sarah Riggs Lamar Crowder Silver Fiction Short Story This is a journey from hopelessness to joy. I was once lost inside myself thinking there was no better. It was not until I found hope that I found freedom. Riggs is a first-time student and a mother of four. She is going to school to become a special education teacher.


he darkness was so thick it felt like it was pressing down on her. The black acted as a blindfold. Captivation’s stench assaulted every breath she took. She slid her foot out as far as the shackles would let her before dragging and clattering the other foot to its side. She grasped desperately into the endless void, only to be rewarded with the cold metal clank of her impenetrable restraint. Her heart cried for a way out, but was losing faith that one could be found. Just before collapsing in defeat, she saw a faint glow, a glimmer of hope. Edging closer, the light grew from a single ember to the flickering of a campfire’s coals. A door emerged out of the abyss. Golden etches climbed like wildfire until the door itself was ablaze with splendor. Before she thought, she reached out for the handle, her hand instinctively pulled back as it connected with the glowing knob. Realizing it was safe, she reached again. Could it be? Was this the place she had always known existed, but dared not dream of finding? She closed her eyes, held her breath, and moved the only barrier that stood between everything she had ever wanted and everything she ever known. Light flooded every part of her being. In her life of perpetual nightfall, she had expected any light to be blistering and fierce. To her surprise, what she was greeted with was tender and reassuring. Opening her eyes, she stepped through the doorway. Immediately, the chains exploded into fine silver dust. The weight and darkness holding her back wailed as it retreated in utter vanquishment. If her porcelain foot had not felt the vibrant velvet grass beneath


Trees Amanda Burt Miami, Okla. Staff B&W Photography I took this photo while on a nature walk with my daughter. Nikon. Burt enjoys photography as a hobby.

8 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

The Louder You Talk, the Less They Listen

it, she would have thought she was floating. A breeze carried a splendid perfume throughout the land. It wrapped itself around her and saturated her pores, cleansing years of toil from her now delicate, shimmering skin. She gazed out in wonder. Seas of wildflowers appeared before her eyes. The meadow went on forever, as endless as the ocean’s horizon. Every color she had ever pictured and more flowed like rhythmic waves. Soft music that simultaneously came from nowhere and everywhere inspired her to join in the dance. A sense of euphoria came over her as she pirouetted out into the land. The rags she wore morphed into an elegant gleaming gown. Anticipating each stride, the flowers rippled from her path as to not disturb her dream-like choreography. Like a flash, a feeling of dread brought her to an immediate halt. How long would this last? Surely she would have to go back. With her head hung low, the girl glanced toward the direction she had come. Confused by the absence of the doorway, she fervently scanned every horizon. As quickly as it came, dismay fled and was replaced with excitement. Her heart felt like it could burst with glee. The gateway to her prison was gone! A new song rang forth from the heavens. She bounded with laughter, never reaching a restraint. She twirled exuberantly until the dizziness overpowered her and she fell to the ground, cradled by the wildflowers and blanketed with light. Her kind, radiant face beamed as she breathlessly whispered, “I’m finally free”. 

Victoria Bussiere Bentonville High School Honorable Mention 2D Media Pastel I made this to allegorize the feeling of vulnerability. Bussiere is a senior and has been accepted into Moore College of Art and Design, where she intends to earn a BFA in illustration.

THE BLIND SWORDSMAN he night, or at least Martuun thought it was night – his wife was still asleep – was cold. Fitting, he thought, that it should be. The month was late and the year was drawing to a close; frosty leaves crinkled under his feet as he walked. Even his soft-bottomed moccasins couldn’t stop the noise. Quietly, he sniffed the air, soaking up its pleasant chill, the calming scent of autumn filling his lungs until they felt fit to burst. Yes, this was indeed his favorite time of year. The frogs and crickets had retreated for the winter, their mating calls no longer bothering his sensitive ear. The birds were sleeping still, yet another reminder that the moon currently held sway, and the wind was very light. Peaceful. That was how he would describe it. Even after a few years, the peace still felt foreign; some part of him still desired the thrill he’d once experienced, once lived for. He shook his head lightly, his shaggy mane tingling his neck. No, he assured himself, peace, and its subtle boredom, was better than strife. War was exciting and full of adrenaline, but it also held woes he longed to forget. How could he? The


taste of blood, not his, the smell of powder, the painful screams, the foul taunts. Again he shook his head, more vigorously this time, attempting to clear his muddled mind. Why was he still dwelling on this? “Because you enjoy it, old man, the fighting.” Martuun faced the speaker hastily, “How do you know my thoughts, stranger?” “I don’t know. A little bird told me.” The voice was young. The speaker seemed to be a bit taller than him, wearing some sort of metal, by the sound of things. A weapon? Armor? Time would tell him, it always had. “Either way, blind man, tonight you die.” What a fool. Why would they send such a foolish man to kill him? Anyone could tell that fighting a blind man at night was clearly to his advantage. Movement caught Martuun’s ear, his opponent’s clothing scraping minutely against itself, and the autumn leaves clearly betraying his position. Slowly, he drew his blade, the younger man [Continued to 8] opposite mirroring his movement.

Titus Baumgartner Sheldon Crowder Gold Fiction Short Story I felt that I needed to branch out a little from my previous works, aiming for a more mysterious tone. I also used third person, which is not what I have used the most. Baumgartner, a student at the Nevada campus, wants to continue writing while pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 9

[Continued from 7]

Tiger’s Rest

The soft tones the scabbards emitted belied the lethality of such tools. Martuun swung his blade experimentally, noting with satisfaction that it was still sharp. The clear sound as it sliced through the air told him everything. Again, the younger man mirrored his move, his own blade equally ready to bite into flesh and marrow. Calming his inner palpitations, Martuun focused on the sound of his enemy, waiting for him to make the first move. With only brief delay, the younger man obliged, coming in with an obvious swing, aimed at his jugular. Martuun’s brain kept up amply. His mind noting everything from his opponent’s quickened heartbeat to his long feet. Gritting himself for the noise of the clash, equivalent to a sighted man experiencing a flash grenade, Martuun parried easily. “Not bad for a blind man.” Martuun noted the sound of his opponent’s retreat, scent and sound informing him that the man wore a studded jerkin, leather, or the man worked at a tannery. A sudden breeze provided an opportunity for the younger man. The wind was strong enough to tousle the leaves noisily, so again he attacked. This time aiming seemingly nowhere. So, Martuun deduced, he meant only to meet swords. It would be his end. The younger man came in wildly, imagining that his ferocity could break the older man’s defense, and hoping that the noise of the leaves

Breanna Marcoux Neosho Crowder Gold Color Photography Once I captured this marvelous creature, I knew that I loved photographing animals. Canon Rebel, at 55mm300mm zoom lens Marcoux is a hobby photographer.

10 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

had disoriented Martuun. Instead of parrying, Martuun brought up his left arm as the sword approached, angling it. With a shrieking worse than a banshee’s, the sword slid off the steel arm guard he wore. Without compunction, Martuun slid his blade into the young man’s stomach. He stepped back before his opponent could turn and return the favor of a sword in the belly. The ground trembled beneath Martuun’s stilled feet. The man’s whole body was shaking as he entered a state of shock. With a groan, but not suffering himself to say another word, the man removed Martuun’s sword, whimpering as he realized he didn’t have the strength to throw it. Instead, it fell by his side, a silent companion as his life-blood flowed forth, until, finally, he died. Martuun frowned softly as he noticed all the breathing stop. After a moment to confirm, he allowed his own to start again. Now remorseful, he took up his blade, stabbing it into the dirt to clean the blood off. As he finishing sliding it back into his sheath, the world returned to its peaceful state. His wife still slept, and the wind blew a little harder now as if to expunge the heavy scent of blood. Martuun returned to his pacing with a heavy heart. Why had he killed the boy? Why could he not stay his hand? Spitefully, the words his most recent kill had spouted first entered his mind, “Because you enjoy it, old man, the fighting.”

Reflections Barry Charter Neosho Community Gold Color Photography This photograph was shot at Current River State Park in Missouri near Eminence. I loved the abundance of color in spite of the overcast. Canon 6D 1/30 sec, f/10, ISO 500, Tamron 150-600mm, @150 mm

Charter an outdoor photographer and especially enjoys scenery with water reflections and wildlife.

Emily Waldrop Neosho Community Silver Poetry Haiku

SPECTRUM Paint me a picture Write a book with no words Sing a song with your laughter, Of notes only you’ve heard Pirouettes in a classroom With a pen as your toe Bow your head to applause The curtain call to your show. Bring the hues from your own eyes To this earth’s dreary shades Color outside the lines Horizons now merely gray Show me what I don’t now see And what my ears cannot hear Until at last I see your world As foggy skies turned to clear.

I work with children who have autism, and this poem is just a small snapshot of what they’ve taught me over the past few months. It’s my job to learn their language.

Waldrop is a sophomore at Ozark Christian College, studying psychology and counseling.

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Mustang Jilberto Alejo Anderson Crowder Honorable Mention B&W Photography I’ll never forget my time spent in high school, and looking at this just brings back memories. My phone camera. Alejo is in the process of completing his general education. He hopes to accomplish great things in the near future.


Jacqueline Cole | Granby | Crowder | Silver | Color Photography | Creativity is the best. It lets me express myself infinitely and in ways I couldn’t otherwise, and the process is addictive. iPhone 6s. Cole will always be a life-long student of creativity.

Pebble Beach Amy Sampson Monett Community Bronze Color Photography I spend most of my days off traveling and photographing sites around the United States. F2.2, Exposure 1/1014. Edits in IG photo editor. Sampson captured this panoramic photo at sunset on Pebble Beach, CA.

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Grand Falls Andrew Benton Aurora Crowder Bronze Color Photography One of my proudest photos. Nikon D5300, manual shutter speed 1/3, f/29, ISO 250 at 28mm Benton loves nature and landscape photography. He goes to surrounding areas looking for beautiful landscapes.

Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 13

Catch of the Day

The Ozarks Sarah Hill Seneca High School Bronze Color Photography

Cailey Funkhouser Life Way Christian School Silver 2D Media Water Color

When asked to take pictures of my grandparent’s subdivision, I couldn’t wait to depict such a beautiful representation of the Ozarks. Nikon D3200, Shutter 1/250 sec., f/8, ISO 200

I personally love the outdoors and desired to create a drawing of a wild animal in its natural habitat. The viewer can experience a sense of gratification when one examines the portrait. Colored pencil drawing Lightly sketched the bear, fish, and ripples in water. Composed of black, grey, green, dark yellow, light ochre, brown, natural sepia, and burnt sienna.

Hill, a senior, can catch her capturing the moment with a camera or through pen on paper.

CARPE DIEM! Samantha Gundel McDonald County

High School Gold Poetry Free Verse In my AP Language class we were studying Walt Whitman’s work “Song of Myself,” and we were asked to create our own. Much like Whitman, I used nature and our relationship with it as my inspiration for this poem.

Seize the day! Damn the disasters! And like the massive live oak tree in the Missouri wetlands, Live for the lives of others. Give forth your fruit to the less fruitful. Feed them with inspiration. With kindness. With knowledge. And do so only with the love found in thine own heart. Live for others, but live also for yourself. Volunteer, but keep your own home clean. Work to give, but work to keep. Encourage an adventurous soul in others, but also climb those unclimbable mountains, and explore those unexplored forests for yourself.

Gundel, a junior, would like to go to college for conservation of natural resources or environmental science. 14 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

The live oak tree feeds the red squirrels and deer, but also must reach for the yellow yonder to grow, to strive, to live. Reach into Earth’s soft, green hillsides. Dig deep into her rich, dark soil. Lick from it the infinite wisdom and wander held within. Let it course through your veins your roots. FEEL it as it heals your flustered soul, for it holds the love of OUR great God. Seize the day! Seize the day. Damn the disasters! Damn them. The past has passed and mustn’t be looked back upon. For God’s command to Lot’s wife is God’s command to us. If a limb has died and is fallen from the tree, she does not let the other limbs fall off. Rather she lets that limb fertilize and strengthen her.

Funkhouser, a seventeen year old, is a senior.

CHANGING The geese flew over For the seasons were changing As my love for you.

Alex Bahl | Monett Crowder | Bronze Poetry | Haiku

This poem was written one chilly day in November as I watched the geese fly over my home. Bahl is currently a freshman. Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 15

LOOK UP Sophia Miller Joplin Community Honorable Mention Poetry Free Verse

I wrote this as a call to continue creating art ; especially in the wake of tragedy and in the face of adversity. Miller is an independent writer and poetry blogger.

Now is the time for symphonies, For sounds so complete in beauty and light That tears and prayers can be heard in one note. Sing until your voice breaks, and keep singing, Even when it hurts and no one likes your words.

To paint our dreams on the sidewalks and our arms. Because now is the time for painting.

Use the brightest shades and as many colors as you can create, Soft and wild brush strokes, wide sweeps of your hands Across surfaces that once were blank, were empty.

Because you’re important, and so am I,

Paint flowers on your face and smile until the sun comes back.

And our voices are like violins,

And look up. Remember that the stars are with us.

Like novels, drums, and birds, Let us fill the air with stereophonic love.

Look forward. Even in the night there is the moon. And start building. Use what you have.

Let us make the world safer than it is now,

Use love, use peace.

And let us do so with peace.

Sketch the future on scrap paper,

Because we’re the makers and the stars are our audience,

Outline the architecture of the next generation

Blinking down on us and sending love notes in the night,

Where there will be no hatred,

And the moon, like a mother,

No borders,

Sends out light in the dark so we can continue to write, 16 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

Balloon Touchdown on Lake Marcy Abercrombie Neosho Community Gold Color Photography I love this balloon festival because there is a lake near the mass ascension takeoff site. If the wind direction is, “just right,” some of the balloonists are able to take off and then come back down to try to touch down in the lake before taking off again. Canon EOS 7D in Program AE Mode Shutter speed and aperture auto, ISO 400. Abercrombie is in the IT industry and enjoys taking pictures of nature and NASCAR races.

No ceiling.

Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 17


BEASTLY MACHINES Cayitlin Conrad Monett Crowder Bronze Nonfiction Short Story Roller coasters are very fascinating to me, and I really enjoy riding them. I’m a dare devil, roller coasters definitely excite me, and that is why I chose to describe how it feels to ride one of these beastly machines. Conrad, a freshman, plans to pursue a degree in teaching.

y fascination with roller coaster rides began at a very young age. Zooming eighty miles per hour through 3,000 feet of twisting, turning, curves, and steep inclines that produce rapid plunges for thrill-seeking passengers has always been appealing to me. My first experience on one of these beastly machine gave me a major rush of adrenaline which immediately hooked me. As I stood in the lengthy maze-like line that led up to the rip-roaring steel coaster, the wait felt like hours before my turn would appear. With the temperatures reaching near ninety degrees Fahrenheit, the excess of perspiration from the other riders seemed to linger in the air. However, that reeking smell was soon forgotten as I approached the loading platform to take my front row seat. As the attendant announced, “Please keep all hands, arms, and feet inside the ride at all times.” I began to have second thoughts. I was shaking like a volcano erupting. The shoulder harness tightly pressed against my body did not relieve the anxious, anticipation of what was to come. After everyone was tightly secured in their seats, the coaster began to maneuver along the track. Many thoughts swirled through my head at this very second. How long would this last? Would I survive? Would I get sick? Seconds later we proceeded to climb the steep elevated hill. The cars began to make a click-clack sound and our bodies were soon shifted to an inclined position. The lump in my throat began to form and butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Once we reached the peak of the hill, there was a brief


Sky View Atlanta Latonia Bailey Goodman Staff Adviser Color Photography The Atlanta skyline boasts a 20-story Ferris wheel. Bailey, adviser since 1994, submits various works for honorary publication. 18 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

second where we could see a beautiful panorama view of the amusement park. The people beneath looked like teeny, tiny specks. At this very instant everything changed. All of a sudden we plunged over the top of the first hill, and we could hear the wheels clinging and grinding against the metal track as we were diving back down to earth. I felt like my body was coming out of my seat from the gravitational force. The rush suddenly began and the adrenaline kicked in. I felt invisible. I raised my hands over my head reaching high for the sky while others held onto their harness for dear life. After the hill was a sharp turn that jerked me side to side which led to a massive loop and had me hanging upside down. My blood rushed towards my head and my shoulders were pressed against the harness. As I dashed through the twisting loops, all I could see was a blur of my surroundings while my hair was whisked across my face. I flew like a bird high in the sky. My ears rang with laughter and screaming from all the fellow passengers. Each twist and hill was outrageously thrilling and left me eager to approach the next one. As the ride ended, the station break engages and my head slammed back against the headrest, which felt like whiplash. Once the ride came to a complete halt everyone seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. While my face was filled with joy, others seemed to have such a pitiful and petrified face as if they just experienced the worst time of their lives. The harness was raised from my body and I stood up with my legs feeling like Jello. I soon realized I had survived 3,000 feet of twisting, turning, curves in a short period of two minutes and forty-five seconds. I immediately ran back towards the line that led to the beastly machine to experience this thrill-seeking adventure again. 

Amy Sampson Monett Community Silver Digital Art I used a homemade light-box and strobe behind me. To make sweat, I mixed glycerin and water and sprayed it on myself. Afterward, I edited the photo to bring out the details. Sampson is a teacher at Crowder-Monett and Monett High School.

DEAR YOU ear You, You may not remember me. That quiet little girl that always kept to herself. The one that sat at the front of the class. The one that nearly cried whenever she received a C or lower on a test. The one that was a band geek. I was the one that didn’t really know how to express herself. I wasn’t exactly an outcast though, rather . . . I was a girl with just a few close friends. I loved to write. It was a passion. I indulged myself into it and sometimes got confused with reality and dreams, but then school came. Responsibilities, adulthood, and I lost myself. I lived for others. Not myself. I strived to be someone that I never dreamed of being. My dreams of being that awesome author or fantastic musician had been thrown out the window. When I realized my mistake of living for others instead of myself, it became too late. I was too far into this lie that I built up over the years. Remember me yet? Yet still, there is still a spark.


A spark waiting to be turned into beautiful flames that could warm up an entire world. That spark is what is left of my desire to write stories and play music. I hope that when you read this in the far future, you will have already come to terms with the future you choose. Are you happy? Are you angry? Do not be the latter. Enjoy life. Do you remember me yet? I am you—the girl you used to be. If you do, do not let me be the beginning of our end. Do not let your regrets fuel your disappointment. However, if you have chosen the life you’ve always wanted, I congratulate you. Stay happy. Stay healthy. Live with no regrets. Love, Me 

Lyda Yang Wheaton Community Bronze Nonfiction Journal Entry This is a letter written to my future self. I do not want this letter to only pertain to me, but also everyone in the same situation I am in. Yang is a student at Missouri Southern State University. She has self-published a book and she is currently majoring in Business Management.

Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 19

Ocean Eclipse


Jacqueline Cole Granby Crowder Bronze Digital Art


I loved the idea of an eclipse occurring over the ocean, and with a little manipulation the thought became reality, though not in the traditional sense. Created in the Enlight App. Coles states, “Creativity is the best. It lets me express myself infinitely and in ways I couldn’t otherwise.”

HAND PRINTS Isaac Gardner McDonald County High School Honorable Mention Poetry Free Verse Gardner is in Boy Scouts and is very active in his church.

lassics are those that everyone is before. In a classic we sometimes discover familiar with before and after we something we have always known (or thought have read them. They are the love we knew), but without knowing that this author and desire in your heart, the wisdom said it first, or at least is associated with it in and knowledge in your mind, and they are a special way.” The lessons that are learned in the passion in your soul. Mark Twain strums “classics” are usually of those that we already the strings of our hearts as he exerts these have a sense of.. As Jim and Huck explore the influences. He is one of many that we have shipwreck, we see that Huck uses Tom Sawyer to thank for refreshing our minds of lessons for courage. This connects to Calvino’s topic: that will forever be embedded in our beings. that we know we rely on other sources to Now, let us give rein as to why The Adventures provide knowledge. of Huckleberry Finn is a classic. This story is Classics, stories that are well-known from a classic because we all know what Huck is birth, are already implanted into our roots. learning on his journey. Though, it takes reading them and analyzing “The classics each sentence, every are books that all punctuation, “Even when we think we have long word, exert a peculiar to fully understand influence, both forgotten a ‘classic,’ we continue to the lessons that have when they refuse been told since our first draw lessons from the story to apply breath. “Every reading to be eradicated from the mind and a classic is in fact to our own lives... The lessons that of when they conceal a rereading.” One of themselves in the are learned in 'classics' are usually of the lessons that is one folds of memory, we know of at birth is: those that we already camouflaging family comes first. In The themselves as Adventures of Huckleberry have a sense of.” the collective Finn, Huck learns this. or individual However, he learns that unconscious.” Calvino expresses that. Even when family is chosen. For instance, he chose Jim as a we think we have long forgotten a “classic,” we member of his family. Huck’s father is not part continue to draw lessons from the story to apply of his family because he had never cared for to our own lives. One of those lessons is: always Huck. Jim went out of his way to help Huck. In do what is true to you. Mark Twain stresses that chapter 18, Jim waits for Huck in a swamp after a few times along the story line. Such as when their raft had gotten run over by a steam boat. Huck struggles with himself as he realizes he He had waited to travel until he had found Huck, has stolen Ms. Watson’s slave. He even writes because family doesn’t leave family behind. a letter to turn him in. However, he recognizes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a Jim as a person and mentions that Jim admitted classic because Mark Twain expresses the that Huck was his best friend. It is then he knowledge that we all have in a colorful way. decides to do what is right in his own eyes; “All He also allows us to further understand what right, then, I’ll go to Hell”-and tore [the letter] we have learned throughout our lifetime, and up.” Against all that, he had grown knowing he the lessons we have been born with. With this, turned a blind eye to save his new-found friend. I encourage you to continue to allow Twain Most of what we read is of what we know, to strum the strings of your heart; allow him or what we wish to know. Calvino knows this to enlighten your soul with deeper meanings as well as Twain does. “A classic does not to what you know. And remember, find your necessarily teach us anything we did not know Mississippi River and raft. 

I relish myself, and relinquish myself. For my presumptions I shall assume, and yours you shall, also. And what you and I shall lose, our posterity will resume.

And yet, if you were to peer inside and cut away at them, as for all trees, you would reveal the rings that hold time. These are their prints, and trapped in them are their mysteries.

I ponder of the pigments and pulp that form my palm and its prints. These ridges that reside erect the walls of a maze. This maze that maps our lives, trails through and marks those who came before us, only if we gaze.

The sands of time may have slipped through our fingers, both slowly and swiftly, but we can dust our palms off and disregard the boundaries set by time. For our hands are not just objects, but agents that we have dominion over, and we can act for ourselves. Then we can feast on the sight of all of our forefathers that have come before us, and consider those who we will father.

Our hands are trees, their palms branching out, their leaves working to produce for the whole, character developed by the deep scars inflicted into the bark with holes made by creatures to become homes in these trees. 20 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

Triniti Torrez McDonald County High School Silver Nonfiction Essay I wrote this essay to explain how Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is a classic. Torrez enjoys hard work and has intentions of becoming a psychologist.

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The Flood

Their adventures turn me into mermaid, wizard, robot, mule And keep up under tables, tops of couches, in yard or pool

Travis Scheerer Webb City Crowder Gold Digital Art

My adult world – more heavy and cloudy and grey – Envies their bright smiles and never-ending play When was it when I put my sword and crown at rest? Ignored imaginary friends who knew me best?

I was inspired to paint this after coming home to my flooded townhouse. Creativity can be inspired from something benign to something fantastical, appreciating both. Bryce 7 software and Bamboo Pen Tablet

If they can see me in starry-eyed visions, why can’t I? Can’t I too be an aviator, swashbuckler, or spy? If only – for a brief moment – dance with dogs on Mars? Or pretend that old cardboard box could be parts for cars? So I’ll join them – under that old shade tree – Not in search of army men, or lady bugs, or spotted seeds But for the lost and broken, unsought and unspoken, absolute perfect parts of me.

Scheerer is graduating in May and is looking forward to obtaining a master’s degree in psychology. He is a single parent to two awesome boys, who are his greatest sources of inspiration.

Vantage Points

LOOKING OUT, LOOKING IN (I stare out at these little explorers And am amazed at how big their world is)

Leandra Toomoth Anderson Community Gold Poetry Rhymed Verse I wrote this poem in response to observing my stepchildren at play. It amazed me to see how immersed they were in their imaginative worlds, which led me to reflect on why I was not. Toomoth is an English teacher at McDonald County High School, and has aspirations to finish her debut novel this summer.

Daytime adventurers and nighttime players Daring deep sea divers and dragon slayers Hearts measured in rainbows and blue skies and sun Lives measured in playtime and snack time and fun What thing amazes me most, fazes them least: These fantastical inventions never cease In their closet lives a dinosaur who works at night And it’s actually moonbeams that provide bedroom light Santa’s elves can be reached throughout the year – just to know what’s up What? Those are doll houses, tap shoes, and cellphones – not paper cups?

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In me they see not a woman filled with fear But a mother lion protecting what’s dear

Victoria Bussiere Life Way Christian School Silver Digital Art Trying to see life’s big picture is like trying to see the entire ocean as one stands on a beach. Trying to account for all life’s nuances is like trying to see individual ocean waves from space. This comic illustrates that. Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and a Wacom Intuos tablet Bussiere, a senior, loves creating art that illustrates how she interprets day-today life. She has been accepted to Moore College of Art and Design.

Not - overwhelmed, overworked pawn plagued by stress But - queen ruling the world in a floor-length dress Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 23

The Glowing Golden Gate

BREAKING BRIDGES Julia Gillean McDonald County High School Bronze Fiction Short Story I’ve hardly shared my writing with anyone before, so I decided to take a risk and submit this to the Quill. I guess you could say that writing this story gave me the boost that I needed to start getting my writing out into the world. Gillean, a sophomore, enjoys playing soccer and spending time with her friends and family. She hopes to become a pediatrics surgeon doing missionary work in Africa or become a kindergarten teacher.

he sirens were ringing, but there was someday, and if not today, I will take you here no time left. She was already gone. All every morning until you get to.” I could think was, “Why her and not “I love you, Jason,” she said in a happier tone me?” So I closed her eyes, kissed her than before. goodbye, and walked away slowly, thinking of “I love you too, Lux,” I responded back to the past and how it used to be while wondering her. what I would tell her family. I did everything For a few moments, all was quiet, and then that I could, but in the end it wasn’t enough to we hit a bump it the road. It seemed to be that save her… nothing was. I lie awake at night and we had gotten a flat tire. I pulled over to the think of what we could have been. If there was side of the road and got out to take a look at it. anything that I could have done to save her. I As I got out of the car, I told her to stay in and should have had her not come out because get out of the car with it’s a little chilly. I “Without even thinking, I dove me. If it weren’t for thought that I was into the water. It was freezing cold, being a gentleman for the tire, or the bridge, or even the other not wanting her to and I couldn’t see anything. Then, get too cold, but now person being on the road at that time, she I look back on those there it was - I saw her, and my might still be here. It’s words as my biggest heart plummeted to my stomach. regret. And that’s been seven years since the accident, and I still when it happened - my I needed to go up for air, but I cry myself to sleep whole world crumbled every night. The love refused to. She was the love of my right before my eyes. of my life was gone, The car came out of life and I wasn’t going to give up nowhere, crashing into and now all I have left are the memories that mine, and knocking on her like that. I wasn’t going to it off of the bridge… we had once shared together. go up for air until she was up there along with Lux in it. It was a cold, It all happened so breathing with me.” foggy October fast; no one knew how morning. We were on to react. Without even the way to meet her thinking, I dove into parents for lunch to the water after her. It tell them about our engagement. She seemed was freezing cold, and I couldn’t see anything. fine to me, but I was extremely nervous. What Then, there it was - I saw her and my heart if I say the wrong thing and everything goes plummeted to my stomach. I needed to go up downhill from there and we can’t get married? for air, but I refused to. She was the love of my It was a two-hour drive, so there was plenty life, and I wasn’t going to give up on her like of time to talk and figure out what we would that. I wasn’t going to go up for air until she say to her parents. Lux and I had been together was up there breathing with me. I swam to her since 9th grade. We basically started our lives as fast as I could in hopes of making it to her together, and I couldn’t wait to see her beautiful in time. Struggling to open the door, I told her face walking down the aisle on our wedding to move back, but because of the water, there day. It was a pretty silent drive for the first half was a loss in communication. Watching her run of the trip, but as we approached the bridges, out of air finally gave me the strength to break conversation struck. through the car door window and pull her out “I can’t wait for the sun to come out,” Lux to the shore. By the time I got her out of the car said. “It’s so foggy outside.” and pulled to the surface of the water, she was “I’m sure that it will clear up soon, and the already unconscious from the lack of oxygen. I fog will be gone,” I replied. kept shouting things like, “Don’t die on me, not “I know, I just wanted to see the sun reflect like this,” and “I love you too much to let you off of the lake,” she responded with a sad tone. go,” but I knew that she couldn’t hear me. I responded, “I’m sure that you will I was struggling and running out of


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Rylee Miller Neosho High School Honorable Mention Color Photography I took this photo while on vacation in California this summer. I spent a very long time setting up the picture, taking it, deleting it, and retaking it. I wanted to capture the headlights of the cars in a continuous streak. Canon EOS Digital, Rebel XTi, ISO 1600, f 4.0, shutter speed 1/5

Miller is a senior and spends the majority of her time onstage as a theatre performer, or backstage as a stage manager and scenic designer. Her favorite hobbies are graphic design and exploring nature.

strength to swim to the shore with her in my arms. I couldn’t stop, not until we were there. When I got to the shore, I instantly started CPR and heard a man call 911. I tried everything I could, but nothing was working. She wasn’t waking up, but I could hear her struggling to breathe a little. I started CPR again in hopes it would help, but in my mind I knew that there was nothing that I could really do to save her. Then out of nowhere, she opened her eyes and whispered in my ear, “Don’t forget to change the flat tire.” Her voice was sad and depressing, but I knew she was struggling to speak. That was the Lux that I knew, though - always being able to find some way to make me laugh a little no matter what the situation was. It was just her thing, and it was one of my favorite things about her that I loved. All of this, though, with the impact of the car hitting the water, the drowning, and the freezing cold water, was just too much for her. I think that we both knew it,

too. She was going to die today, and there was nothing that anyone could do. We heard the sirens getting closer and closer, but we both knew that they would be too late. All we could do was share a little laughter and a lot of tears together. I loved her so much and couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. Holding her in my arms while she was dying and trying to stay strong for her was a really hard thing for me to do. I thought of how we first met in 7th grade in English class, and I instantly fell for her, but I didn’t finally have her until the 9th grade. We’ve been through everything together, and for that I’m glad; I just wish there was more to come for the two of us. She was dying, and there was nothing I could do but stay with her until the very end. I watched her take her last breath and that was that. I held her in my arms for one last time, closed her eyes, and kissed her goodbye… 

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ONE FOGGY NIGHT Margarite R. Stever Webb City Community Silver Fiction Short Story I was inspired to write this story by the ruins of a little cabin that once stood in a valley visible from the road I take to work. I have driven by the ruins many times, and always wondered about the people who once lived there. Stever’s work has recently appeared in The Crowder Quill 2016, Fall 2015 The Maine Review, Mamalode Magazine’s 2015 Better Together, and Writer’s Digest 2014 Show Us Your Shorts Collection. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and works for a community action agency.

og clung to the country road in thick clouds as Nikki drove wearily home from her mother’s house where they had spent the entire day scrapbooking. It was drizzling just enough to require the use of her wipers. If I don’t get home soon, the roads are going to get bad, she thought. Nikki contemplated the project she and her mother had embarked upon as she navigated the winding road ahead. There were hundreds of pictures that needed sorted and labeled. The pictures were supposed to be ready for family viewing by Christmas. Nikki was lost in her thoughts and didn’t see the large buck running across the road in front of her in time to stop. She slammed on her brakes and turned the wheel sharply to the right. She missed the deer, but there was no shoulder on the steep hill. Nikki felt herself snap into place as her seat belt tightened. Her air bag deployed as the car rolled down the hill like a child’s toy to the valley below. She could see only dust from the air bag and hear only the sickening creaking and crunching of her car’s body being destroyed as she continued to roll down the hill. Silence filled the air when the car finally came to a stop, and for a moment Nikki thought she must have perished. After the dust settled a bit, she performed a mental survey of her body noting several cuts and scrapes and some pain where the seatbelt had tightened across her chest, but nothing life threatening. Thank goodness I’m still in one piece, she thought as she slowly released her seat belt, turned off the key, and forced her car door open. Perusing her surroundings, she could see only darkness. She attempted to use her cell phone to call for help, but had no service in the valley. I must be miles from the nearest phone, and my car will be invisible in this thick fog. If I don’t do something, I will freeze to death. The hill is too steep to climb, so maybe I can use my cell phone’s flash light app. Yes! That at least gives me a little light, anyway, she thought as she began walking along the valley in search of a likely place for a phone.


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She shivered from the cold as the drizzle soaked through her clothes. She did not want her husband, Tom, to find her frozen dead body in the morning. She forced herself to keep going with a determination to survive. Just as Nikki was about to give in to her overwhelming urge to cry, she spotted a faint light in the distance. Oh, thank goodness, she thought as she hastened toward the source of the light. She was overcome with relief when she saw that the light originated from a small cabin. A thin plume of smoke curled from the chimney as the flame from a hurricane lamp danced merrily in the window. She said a quick prayer that the cabin was not inhabited by an ax murderer and knocked softly. The door opened slowly to reveal a pleasant looking middle-aged woman dressed in a red vintage house dress and shockingly bright red lipstick. She looked like an older version of Nikki with her dark hair braided in one thick rope that reached her waist and dark brown eyes shining in her pleasant round face. She smiled sweetly as she asked, “Are you lost, dear?” “Actually,” Nikki began in a wobbly voice, “I just had a car accident and was hoping to use your phone to call for help.” The lady stepped aside and beckoned Nikki inside as she said, “It must be 30 degrees out there, and you are soaked to the skin! Come inside and warm yourself for a bit. We will see if we can find a phone after you stop shivering. I’m afraid I don’t have one, and the nearest neighbor is a good five miles away.” Hesitating for only a moment, Nikki said, “Thank you very much,” and entered the cozy cabin. She pressed close to the antique pot belly stove in the living room soaking up the blissful warmth. “My name is Nikki, and I sure do appreciate your kindness.” “Not at all, dear!” The woman cried. “You can call me Lizzie. My goodness, you look like you got a little banged up. Have a seat by the fire, and I will fetch some iodine.” Too exhausted to argue at that point, Nikki sank down into an antique rocking chair near

“Silence filled the air when the car finally came to a stop, and for a moment Nikki thought she must have perished.”

the stove. There really is nothing like wood heat to take the chill out of you quickly, she thought. Lizzie quickly returned with iodine, a wash cloth, a cup of water, and a tea bag. They chatted as Lizzie cleaned the worst of Nikki’s cuts and scratches while the tea steeped on the stove until Lizzie deemed it ready. “No home remedy is complete without a cup of hot tea,” Lizzie insisted. “It will warm your bones and calm your spirit.” Sipping the hot tea, Nikki listened to Lizzie’s stories about how her children were always suffering from some injury or another when they were small, and how much she missed them since they grew up and moved away. Succumbing to exhaustion, Nikki fell asleep in the rocking chair with the empty tea cup still in her hand. She thought she felt someone remove the cup, cover her with a blanket, and kiss her on the forehead just before she drifted off completely, but she wasn’t certain. The next morning, Nikki awoke in her car where it had come to rest in the valley. She looked around in confusion as she wondered if she had dreamed everything about Lizzie and the little cabin. She also noticed that she

felt inexplicably warm considering the car was covered in a thin layer of ice. She sat stunned for a moment as she realized that she was snuggled under a red and white hand-made quilt that she had never seen before. The airbag was deflated enough to allow for easy movement. A glance in the rear view mirror revealed lip prints on her forehead where someone wearing bright red lipstick had kissed her. She looked all around, but could find no logical explanation for the quilt or the lipstick if the whole thing had been a dream. If it wasn’t a dream, how in the world did I get back to the car? Lost in her thoughts, Nikki was startled by someone knocking on her car window. She turned toward the sound and found her worried husband attempting to open the car door. She practically ripped the door off its hinges getting out of the car and jumped into his arms. “I was so worried about you!” Tom whispered as he held her tightly. “How in the world did you find me?” Nikki asked as she took in his pale face lined with worry and dark circles beneath his blue eyes. “I drove up and down all of the roads between our [Continued to 26]

Taillights, Interpreted Leslie Wright Neosho Crowder Gold Digital Art Taillights are one of my favorite things to photograph, digital distortion can only make them better. Canon Eos Rebel T3i. Photoshop Elements, cutout effects Wright is currently a third-year college student who has greatly enjoyed taking and entering photos in the Crowder Quill for many years. Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 27

A Day Under the Arch

[Continued from 25]

house and your mom’s for most of the night. I was just about to call all of our family and friends when I saw that I had somehow missed a call on my cell phone. A woman left a voice mail telling me exactly where to find you. She didn’t leave a name, and I didn’t recognize her voice. I’m just happy that she called.” After being rescued and catching a few hours of sleep following a hot shower, Nikki felt good enough to help her mother scrapbook some more. This time, however, they worked at Nikki’s house. As she lifted one particular photo in an effort to discern where in the album it should be placed, she caught her breath. “Mom, who is this person? Where is that cabin?” Nikki asked anxiously. Nikki’s mom looked at the photo and replied, “That is my grandma. Her name was Elizabeth, but everyone called her Lizzie. That’s the cabin where she lived most of her life. She died when I was a baby, so I don’t remember her. I do know that her favorite color was red, and she loved her red lipstick. My mother always said Grandma felt like a movie star in her red lipstick. The older folks still talked about it when I was a little girl because they thought such a color was scandalous. I bet she’s even wearing it in that picture, but you can’t tell because it’s in black and white. You look quite a

B&W Union Station Nathan Gamble Neosho Staff B&W Photography I took this photo in downtown Joplin. Canon EOS Rebel SL1, shutter speed 1/80, f/5.6, ISO 2000 Edited in Instagram’s photo editor Gamble is a Crowder College Public Relations major.

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bit like her.” Nikki felt faint as she whispered, “That’s the woman who saved me, and she is standing in front of the cabin where I spent the night.” Nikki’s mom patted her hand and said, “No one has lived in that cabin in many years, and you spent the night in your car, honey. Maybe you aren’t up for this project today after all. I will just get out here so you can get some rest.” Later that afternoon, Nikki drove Tom’s truck to the crash site and carefully searched the area. She was sore from her accident, but determined to find that cabin. After searching for about an hour, she located the remains of a cabin. A small piece of one wall was still standing, but the remainder had been reduced to a pile of rubble. She dug through the rubble searching for something. What? She didn’t know. She moved some boards and beneath them found the old pot belly stove. It was covered in the dirt and debris of many years, but Nikki was absolutely certain she had found the right place. Nikki stood looking at the stove and the remains of the cabin for a long time before she whispered, “Thank you, Grandma Lizzie.” The wind suddenly picked up and Nikki swore she heard the whispered reply, “You are welcome, Baby Girl.”

Charlene Bergen Anderson Community Bronze 2D Media Watercolor I created this piece during a visit to St. Louis. The combination of ink and watercolor give a free flowing look, while giving attention to texture.

Bergen enjoys painting and drawing on location. She is a graduate of Crowder College, as well as MSSU.

OUTCRY SILENCED Beginning thus I speak to tell, and so The fable of the pattern yet described, I raise my voice and then speak soft and low, To measure out the standard they prescribed. My fist raised high and outcry on my lips, I stutter through the scorn I have preparedYet Silence meets me with her deadly kiss, Struck mute, I choke on what I have declared. Alas, my futile cry is loosed too late, My thoughts confined to wander in my mind, And lacking exit, gnaw my soul to sate My burning mouth to silence thus consigned. For passion, once denied, grows stiff and cold, And thoughts were never meant to be controlled.

Jacqueline Cole Granby Crowder Gold Poetry Sonnet Words left burning on our minds can leave a lasting impression, and the goal of the poem was to attempt to capture that sensation.

Cole is an aspiring wordsmith and lifelong student to creativity.

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A SYMPHONY IN THE WORKS Octavianna Hackett McDonald County High School Honorable Mention Nonfiction Memoir Music has always been a huge part of my life. Relating different parts to myself made me able to see it in every part of my life. I see my life as writing my own piece of music, and in the end, I want it to be beautiful and unforgettable. Hackett is a hardworking student who aspires to continue her education after high school and to one day write her own novel.

My Selfportrait

y life is a symphony in the works. I’ve played many major and minor chords throughout my life; some have blended together beautifully, others have made ears ring from their clashing. The harmonies have not always gone along with the melodies. Finding the right notes has been a struggle and finding the right key even harder. Whether in tune or out of key, acapella or full choir standing behind me, I’ve continued to sing. My range has expanded over the last four years of my life: my knowledge, personality, and my view on the world. The overbearing feeling of irrelevance has worn and torn at the edges of my sheet music. The talent I was blessed with has kept me from withdrawal; it has brought me out into the open and helped me experience life itself. It is also my safe haven, my place of safety from the constant fortissimo the world seems to always be at. The stage has become my home. I thrive while performing my show that I’ve put hours into. The hours are well paid for by the


Adrian Bittner Carl Junction High School Honorable Mention 2D Media Sketch I think that, as of now, this is one of my best pieces. Pencil and eraser. I went back forth between looking at a photo and copying what I saw on the paper Bittner is an art student. 30 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

thrill I feel while I am welcomed home by the cheering crowd. The adrenaline before, during, and after a performance is my drive to keep going. Each new experience is a new note added to my continuous sheet music. Music has helped me find my own voice. In my early years of performance, I was told I have mediocre talent. They told me that I had enough talent to make all of the many choirs I have been part of, but that I’d never have enough talent to make a solo; I’d never have enough to be on the front row. My confidence was an abandoned torn paper smudged to illegibility. I decided to risk my own humiliation and put myself out there. I proved them wrong. I earned a solo, my spot in show choir is now on the front row, and I’ve regained all my lost confidence and more. Throughout it all my individuality is what I’ve clung to. I have marched to the beat of my own drum. I’ve dyed my hair green, shaved the side of my head, I have joined various clubs, I have taken part in glorious things, and I’ve made friends with the outcasts. The hands of others came crashing down on me forcefully playing random keys to make my ears bleed; trying to force me to play the same tune as everyone else, trying to make me play their tune their way, but I’ve always made my own music. The tempo has been slow as the adagio in my favorite song; it has crescendoed and the tempo has been fast as the allegro in an intense movie scene. I have never given up during the decrescendo; even though the world has thrown runs at me that I thought I would never be able to conquer while singing. Whether I was singing or climbing my way from a soft mezzo piano to a loud forte, I’ve always loved and cared for those close to me. My family and friends have always supported the passion I put into my music. Despite the challenges I’ve faced, I’m always sure of what I want. I aspire to do great things. I want to make my own choir. One day, I hope to move others with the sound of my own symphony. 

Sarah Hill Seneca High School Gold B&W Photography

Can I really do that to a photo, drain it of its color, its life? “Yes,” I whisper as I paint the image black and white knowing that it will never be quite like the original. Time does the very same thing. Nikon D3200, Shutter speed: 1/320 sec., f/7.1, ISO 200

“My confidence was an abandoned torn paper smudged to illegibility. I decided to risk my own humiliation and put myself out there.”

Hill is a senior.

INK POISONING It’s called ink poisoning. We writers have it kinda bad. Ink runs in our blood. We pour our heart, thoughts, and endless hours into capturing whispers of imagination. Writing makes us, us. It’s our calling. It’s something we must do. To resist the urge is fatal, deadly. Deadly to our inner souls. We are artists in our own right. We paint pictures with words. Our hearts don’t pump blood, but words. It’s called ink poisoning.

Camrie H. Houck Home School Honorable Mention Poetry Free Verse I like to think of writers, myself especially, having ink poisoning. When I started writing I was poisoned and “ruined” for life or any other career. Houck is a 12th grade home-school student who hopes to be a published author.

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Shine of Happiness Morgan Spencer Carl Junction High School Silver 3D Art Mosaic I was inspired by making this mosiac by wanting people to be happy. I love the many different looks that the Buddha can have. Buddha reminds me of free spirits and being happy. I first drew my design on a piece of paper then traced my design onto a clear sheet of paper. Then used that clear sheet of paper on the projector and drew it on my board. Then cut glass that I was going to use in my design. I glued the glass pieces in the section that I wanted it with the appropriate color.

WINDOW GLASS Evening hours come to pass, But dare I look through the glass? The once bright light fades away, The purple sea turns to grey. The clouds afloat sigh good night, But it oddly seems alright. Birds aflight flitter by, Trees nearby wave goodbye. Faint smell of lilies drift about, The bell dongs in a soft shout. But before the resonations Are the familiar sounds of my creations. To and fro I wander back, Just once more, let me sidetrack. Voices beat beneath the boards, They, my mind, it records. Cracked ceiling—now a photograph, Rip it, I do—but shall leave half. Scores before, from over the years, Left to dust and half-shed tears. So dare I look through the glass, Or should I just take a pass? But oh too late for I had seen Life before me through that screen. Long forgotten, forever remembered, Those hated, those treasured. Be it is or be it not, alas I will surely miss this window glass.

Amy Moua Granby Staff Poetry Rhymed Verse This poem is about a person who's lived the full extent of their life and it is up to the reader to interpret the meanings behind the words. Moua is a current student of Crowder College and aspires to be a translator.

Architectural Structure Sara Schaffer McDonald County High School Honorable Mention Digital Art The purpose was to recreate an architectural structure using Photoshop. Marie has gained a new perspective and appreciation for the digital arts.

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HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS Kylie Martinez Aurora Crowder Silver Nonfiction Descriptive Essay I love my home and there’s no place like it. Martinez is currently a student at Crowder College and plans to transfer to Cox College to become an ultrasound technician.

fter traveling to many places around I stroll through the kitchen on the smooth the world, only one place has my heart. gold flaked tile. White storm windows are That place is none other than my very enclosed all around me. Opening the windows to own home. Escaping from the world feel the cool fall weather is a breeze with screens like a long secluded vacation, I am able to be me attached to them. Having a well stocked kitchen, and free as I want to be with no rules but my I always have a reason to cook on my black and own. stainless steel gas stove. Just above my stove is The fresh smell of daisies on my night a Samsung microwave that is also stainless steel stand greets me as I wake up every morning. and black to match the other appliances. Soft warm carpet brushes against my feet as Going down the steps to the laundry room, I walk across the room. Bold orange textured the scent of fresh linen as I have my clothes to walls surround me wash. Adjacent to with exhilarating the washer, I have a “Fresh smell of daisies on my picture designs of double sided white wild tigers. As I nightstand greet me as I wake up every porcelain sink to do open the door to hand washes if I morning. Soft warm carpet brushes approach another like. On the opposite room, the taste of side of the room I against my feet as I walk across the vanilla enters my have what is called a mouth as I smell home gym. Having room. Bold orange textured walls the air fresheners I an elliptical, weight surround me with exhilarating picture rack, and squat own. Cool tawny machine makes the designs of wild tigers.” wooden floors room feel smaller are dispersed but not compact. throughout the room my son resides in. Its high My favorite room of all is the sun room glossed gray walls make cleaning easier if he towards the very back of the house. This room decides to write on them. A petite half bathroom is quite certainly my sanctuary, my escape from just five feet to the right of his bed accents the everyday annoyances. Seven windows built into size of the room. A forty-eight-inch jet black it give me enough of the sun’s rays to give me curtain covers the doorway of the bathroom a golden caramel tan without going directly making it easier access for night time trips. into the heat. Quiet like a library, the ambience As I make my way down the hallway, bright makes focusing better while reading some of my flourescent lights glimmer in the distance of favorite books. Highly insulated corners keep it the living room. My couch being spongy like cool in the summer and warm in the winter. a pound cake makes it comfortable to relax It might not be everyone’s idea of a dream on. Vivid pictures and colors stream from my home, but it is to me. I’m ecstatic that no one ginormous sixty-two-inch television as I lounge else felt that way when I found it so I could in the distance. Shining sunlight fills the room indulge in its bliss myself. I’ve always heard from my front bay window; I have no need to “there’s no place like home,” but I never truly use any lights. Small but subtle peep holes on understood what that meant to people before the front door make them useful to see who may until I had my own. Knowing what that means approach my house at any time. now I will never take my home for granted for The security of knowing who might be at my heart is now with home.  my home before letting them in makes me more comfortable.


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Compass Around the World Avery Taylor | Carl Junction High School | Honorable Mention | 3D Art | Mosaic Just something I sketched. Made from broken pieces of glass glued down and grout put in between.

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THE ONE I AM Itzel Cervantes Monett Crowder Honorable Mention Poetry Free Verse Itzel is pursuing a degree in psychology.

A realistic dreamer, Young, with an old soul, Intelligent, yet quite naive, Limitless with set boundaries,

An optimistic pessimist, Only seeing black or white, Overlooking the color gray, A human paradox, a walking contradiction.

A passionate lover that has yet to love, Big heart that’s hollow inside, Sensitive sweetheart, with a short fuse, Content with dissatisfaction

Paths Through the Mind Rylin Cogan Life Way Christian School Honorable Mention 2D Media Watercolor This piece was inspired by a picture I saw on the internet and how I portray the mental thought process of creativity. Cogan used watercolor concentrate to portray the creative processes our minds go through.

This entry is a self-reflection poem that may perhaps relate to others too

WHIRLWIND ugging her coat a bit closer to her, she was starting to feel the effects of the soon-coming winter. Only twenty years old, she knew the world was hers to do what she wanted with it, she was not naive; but knowing the horrid things of the world didn’t keep her from doing what she wanted. She’d lived through horrible events, but a little cleaning up was all that was ever needed. Leaving her parent’s house as soon as fate would allow her to, she left for the one place she’d dreamed of living her entire life: New York. Where dreamers go and make their fantasies a reality. She’d worked tremendously to get into NYU, knowing that college was the only way she’d be able to get away from her home town. New York was astonishing, it was a clean slate, a new start, where no one knew her, this made it feel a bit overwhelming, but this was exactly what she needed. The masses of people who always seemed in a rush, the combination of aromas hitting from every angle, hot dogs, perfume, coffee, and her favorite- curry, seemed to be everywhere, but the raw beauty of New York was what always kept her in awe. She’d never seen something remarkably chaotic yet so beautiful. New York was a great distraction for Stella, and she knew she needed to keep herself busy. The only child of an overworked, overly religious mother, who was a waitress night and day, and a father (who, let’s be honest, doesn’t deserve that title,) who hasn’t thought of “God” in who knows how long- whose greatest joy is drinking his sorrows away. Stella was… existent. Her parents were existent and that was all. Stella was a beauty, she’d been told countless times, but those compliments never seemed to make her feel any more so. She saw herself as plain, but she was alright with it. She’d learned to just accept things for what they were a long time ago, before she knew what her life would turn into, before her world was turned upside down. She had always been quiet, but not because she had nothing to say, seemingly, the entire opposite. She didn’t know how much she’d wanted to be heard, until he stumbled into her life. Just when she thought she had finally gotten a hold on her messy life, he brought enough troubles to last her a lifetime.


. *** “You’re coming, right?” Luka asked Stella, after finding out she had nothing to do on a Friday night. “Yeah, I guess so, yeah.” Stella answered, secretly excited. Tonight was supposed to be fun and she knew it would be. Excited and nervous, she was looking forward to whatever Luka had planned - and the fun hadn’t even started. She couldn’t wait to see what the night would bring. *** Stella found herself spending more and more time with Luka, not that she minded. His company was ever welcomed and their friendship seemed to grow with each time spent together. Luka was the perfect opposite of Stella, but their differences brought them closer. *** I saw the change in Luka from the beginning to now. He was more playful, more easygoing. But this wasn’t an overnight or permanent change. Before, Luka was so closed off. He would get my hopes up only to disappoint me, but that was partly my fault. I first saw him at the town library, not exactly in it, more like on the opposite side of the road. From my seat in the library, it had been a fast, ‘Who is that?” Kind of moment. Smoking a cigarette on a bench, he was looking for something- or someone. Who is that? Why was he alone? And why was he smoking a cigarette? I mean he’s new, he should at least try to fit in; no one in Belle Mead smokes. (At least not cigarettes.) But I guess I couldn’t exactly judge him on that, when I myself wasn’t even accepted into any specific social group- and I’d been here my entire life. I know it isn’t polite to stare, but I couldn’t get my eyes off of him. Every so often, he’d look around, bored, but he didn’t seem to have anything else to do. Finally, he felt someone staring at him and we made eye contact. It was sudden and I was so embarrassed. He knew I was looking at him, it was so noticeable. I was blushing, biting my bottom lip, (a nervous habit I’ve seemed to develop,) and I looked so guilty. I mean, I could’ve at least played it off like I wasn’t, but, of course, I ended up making a fool of myself. Then, with a smug look on his face, he walked towards the library, not to me of course, at least not yet. And that’s when it started.

Ximena Figueroa Carl Junction High School Silver Fiction Short Story I wrote this short story to challenge myself as a writer. Figueroa, 16, aspires to have a career in writing, and enjoys the arts in all its forms.

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“Come on!! Stella, we’re going to be late!” Luka swore, groaning, and annoyed at how long Stella was taking. “If you would just wait a minute!” Stella, yelled to Luka downstairs. “I’ve been waiting for an hour!” Luka whined. “Okay, okay!,” Stella laughed, finally finished packing her carry on. They were already running late and could not miss their flight. Luka had invited Stella to a lodge his parents owned, where they’d be staying for a week. The flight to Czech Republic was set to arrive at noon the next day and Stella was overly anxious. Something was telling her not to go, but knowing she was set to go off to college soon, she wanted to make as many great memories as she could before moving. Her and Luka had been together for a few months now, and this was a huge step. She loved Luka, but no matter how much she put the thought away, she couldn’t help but feel a gut-wrenching anxiety overcoming her. He had told her that he had something to tell her. That it was big news, but he couldn’t until they arrived, which seemed odd to Stella. But she put the thought aside, and focused on the now and enjoying the moments while they lasted. Arriving at the airport, somehow on time, Luka was nervous, looking around, keeping his head down. She wanted to ask what was up, but she knew he was probably just as nervous as she was. “Hey, why don’t you go to the restroom before we board? You know how awful airplane restrooms are.” “Okay then, I’ll be out in a minute, keep an eye on our things.” Luka nodded, dismissing Stella. She returned and Luka asked her to take their things down to the waiting area down the hall, while he used the restroom. He was short, curt, giving her a quick kiss and telling her he’d be out quickly. But right as Stella turned the corner to the waiting area, she felt someone behind her, holding a rag to her nose. *** She woke up groggily. Dazed and confused, she had no idea where she was, (other than that she was in a musty motel room,) much less why it happened. She was in what she thought was lingerie, but she couldn’t really make it out, her eyes were blurry, everything was blurry. Her memory, eyesight, she felt like at any moment, she’d black out again. After checking any and every possible 38 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

way out, she was exhausted, and exasperated. She’d heard footsteps outside the locked door, seen people going about their day outside the virtually indestructible window and even tried the air vents. She was lost- no, she was kidnapped, and couldn’t do anything about it. I was under the bed covers when they came in, wearing all black, with bored and tired expressions, the two men spoke in their native language, conversing, not minding me. I was terrified, but I seemed to be handling it well. I closed my eyes and ignored their presence, praying to whatever god there was to get me out of this mess. What had I done that made me deserve this? How was I going to escape? Would I even live? These and more thoughts raced through Stella’s mind, as the men approached her, and aggressively took her away. With a thick accentGerman maybe? I was told to stay quiet, and not struggle, or it’d be worse. The brave side of me wanted to scream and fight against these strangers, but the rational side of me knew they’d keep their word and toss me like a rag doll. I was given a long coat, and was shown to an overly expensive car *** The men ignored me once again, seeing me as more of a distraction than hostage. The doors were locked, of course, and it’s not like I would’ve made it alive if I had gotten out of the car. I had no idea where I was, somewhere in Central Europe? I had nothing to defend myself with, and I had no one to help me. Luka. All this time had gone by, and I hadn’t even thought about him?! What happened to him? Did he go to the waiting area at the airport, only to see our luggage, and nothing else? God, he must be so lost. The thought of Luka still in America waiting at the airport devastated Stella. And the more she thought about it, the more confused she got. She did remember Luka acting strange the day they’d be leaving, but Luka couldn’t have known what would happen...right? There was no way Luka was involved; he couldn’t be. Luka was in love with me; why would he do such a thing? How would he even know these people? I was taken to another motel, but this time, crowded, with men and young women everywhere, women walking around naked, most in robes, or lingerie. Stella knew where she was now, and she was horrified. She’d lose everything if she didn’t escape, her dignity, most importantly. Shown to her room, Stella was told to get ready, that she’d be starting soon. She couldn’t think, couldn’t move, Stella was frozen, lying on the bed, lost in her thoughts.

When she awoke, it was nightfall and she wasn’t alone. There was a man in the room, on the edge of the bed. With his head in his hands, she couldn’t exactly make out his features, but he looked oddly familiar. “How long have you been in here?” Stella asked, with a hoarse voice. He didn’t answer. Didn’t even look up. Feeling courageous, she got closer to him, seeing if she could get him to sympathize with her. “I’m not like those other girls.” Stella said, “I don’t do this, I can’t. I can’t. I have a boyfriend that loves me, and a great college I’m supposed to be going to soon, I can’t.” Stella’s eyes were watering, and she could feel her heart ache with each word spoken. He looked up after a long sigh, and it broke Stella. It was Luka, and he looked terrible. “I never wanted to hurt you, I didn’t think it’d be this hard.” Luka looked at her with tears threatening to spill. Not knowing what else to say. “You knew about this?” Stella asked, heart shattered with her broken pieces out for the world to see. But Stella didn’t really want to know. She didn’t want to know why the love of her life betrayed her, and left her out for the dogs. And Luka knew this, but he also knew he had to hurry and tell her the truth. “I know this is the worst thing I could’ve done, but you’ve got to believe me. Your father, he owed us money.” “Owed who?!” Stella yelled, she knew where she was, but what was Luka involved with? A sex trafficking business? A mafia? And how did her father even get involved with these kind of people? The only times she even saw her father get up was to get another bottle. Luka ignored her, and continued, “He put you on the line. Stella, your father gave you up so we wouldn’t kill him. I was told to kidnap you, to bring you into the business.” And Stella realized their love was a lie. He knew how she was feeling, and he hated it, but what could he do now? He honestly did love her, and he knew what he needed to do, or at least try to. He knew she hated him right now, but he knew he had to get her trust back, at least just to help her. He was going to help her escape, and put his life on the line, but it wasn’t like that really mattered. Stella was silent, she couldn’t think, her thoughts were all over the place. She felt an oncoming panic attack, and fought tremendously to keep it at bay. She closed her eyes, breathed in, and breathed out. When she opened her eyes, Luka was standing, looking through the peep-hole in the door. Although they were

certainly not on the same page regarding their relationship, they did know what the other was thinking. Each of them were formulating a plan, one that hopefully wouldn’t kill them. After what seemed like an eternity, but was only a few minutes, Luka and Stella had talked through it, and knew what they were to do. After giving her a weapon, he wished her good luck, and left the room with nothing but determination on his mind. Shortly after, Stella found her way down to the lobby, and into a staff lounge, where she’d be staying until the time came. *** She heard him before she saw him, still crouched down by some furniture, Luka was glad to see that she’d listened to him. He’d convinced the overseer of the night to let him leave with Stella, not exactly, more so bribed him to have a “little fun” with one of the girls. She had no idea how easy it’d be for them to get out of there. Luka and Stella needed to leave, and quickly. *** Driving off to wherever the road would take them, feeling the adrenaline still rushing through their veins, they kept running, running, running from it all. They didn’t look back, and disappeared into the night. New York had never sounded better. 

Three Photos: One Body Amy Leyva Seneca Staff Digital Art The three photos of different women from distinct backgrounds represent and connects us, despite our differences. Photoshop “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” - Nelson Mandela. Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 39

Raining Men

GRANNY & PAPA S HOUSE Sierra Jensen Monett Crowder Honorable Mention Nonfiction Short Story This essay was inspired by my childhood. It was written with some of the best memories that I had in my mind about the best moments in my life. Jensen is currently a third-semester student.

he smell of cigarette smoke, pine trees and wet dog remind me of my favorite place in the entire world. That’s not something you hear everyday or something that puts a pretty picture in your head. To me, though, it makes me think of my home away from home. It reminds me of the best days of my childhood and the place where everyone in my family comes together. It was a super hot summer day, perfect for a day at grandma’s house. The sky was bright blue with only a few clouds in sight. The wind was blowing ever so slightly. The birds were chirping and the music in my car was blaring out the windows that are all the way down. The drive to her house is so peaceful with curvy fun roads and bright green trees lining the sides of the road. As I pull up to her house the dogs come running and barking. I get out and greet them all, “Hi Barney. Hi Kodi. Hi Izzy. Hi Mitzy,” and try to make my way to the garage as the dogs continue to jump and scratch my legs. I get to the garage and the smell of smoke hits me like a brick wall. I have now entered Papa’s hang out place. This is where he stays all day long watching The Andy Griffith, M.A.S.H and racing, drinking beer, smoking, and, of course, playing lottery tickets. You’d think he was ambidextrous because he’s got a beer and cigarette in one hand, and the remote and his scratcher in his other hand.


Selfportrait Paul Cameron Carthage Community Silver 2D Watercolor Inspiration for this work came from a French and Indian living history event in Sainte Genevieve, Mo. Cameron is a retired art teacher, counselor, and coach from Missouri public schools.

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“Hi Papa” I say with a smile as I’m trying not to choke to death from the cloud of smoke swarming around my face. We talk about how my schooling is going, how work is going, if I’m doing okay mentally and financially, because he’s Papa and wants to know everything. The house is located off a small private neighborhood road with a circle gravel drive in Shell Knob, Mo. Pulling up you know you’ve made it because you feel the car drop off the pavement on the the gravel. You hear the dogs barking at the car wheels as they turn in the drive, and you’ll smell the fishy lake water. Once you walk up to the faux log house and open the door you are hit by the ice cold air and smell of the pine tree air freshener. As you step over the pups that are still attached to your ankles and go into the living room you are greeted by The Andy Griffith Show blaring on the TV. As we make our way deeper into the house you move up two stairs to the dining room that also is my grandma’s office. Passing by the dining room table and the wall of all of Granny and Papa’s fishing pictures and moving to the kitchen where you see Granny cooking away at dinner which contains hand-mashed potatoes, a homemade salad, and a perfectly seasoned and marinated, cooked to the perfect medium rare, steak. Grandma’s house is my favorite place in the world; it is so peaceful and relaxing. Well that is when the entire family isn’t there. Granny’s house is where everyone stays when they are in town. My uncle and aunt live in Kansas City, Kan. with their 9 month old little girl and my cousin lives in Junction City, Kansas with her 3 year old little boy. Everyone else lives in Monett with the exception of my brother living in Springfield, but when they come to town for holidays or just visits we all pile into granny’s house. By all I mean Unc, Liz, baby Maddie, Tia, Jason, Kayden, Nathan, Mom, Dad, Zack, Uncle Steve, Derek, Jacob, and I. That’s a lot of people in a small house, with crazy little kids all running around talking to their inanimate stuffed animals. In all reality though, going to Granny’s house is always beneficial to me because it gives me a break of everything that is going on in life that may be stressing me out. Whenever I get stressed out with all my school work and my work shifts I just take a day off and go with mom to granny’s house and spend the day at the lake enjoying the sunshine and warm water. That is why I love going to their house because it is the best place in the world to me. 

Becca Brown Joplin High School Gold Color Photography I have always enjoyed photography. I feel that it is an art form in itself, where one can capture depth, contrast, and emotion of the subjects in any situation. Canon T3i, auto.

When Brown saw the silhouettes made from the lighting behind the performers in the dark auditorium. Brown knew that she could capture a picture that made a statement.

THE MARIMBIST Rosewood echoes. She blooms with four yarns and sprouts with two. I yearn to speak to her; my voice in silence, a mess of phrases. She warned me of falseness She advised in desperation, Blocks of endless universes and they melt as she amplifies. I confide in her when she prefers to feel woe Her empathy resonates through darkened pathways. They write so that we may concur My stubborn knuckles coinciding in crusades As she lashes out with the second movement of reprisal. She detested greens tied in bows with scorn. We were allies as the sapphire fused into my palms We were allies through rhythmic precipitation and sharp crystal melodies. A nook, a new dwelling, the heartbeat limping. I will accost, Rosewood will echo.

Mary Smith McDonald County High School Honorable Mention Poetry Free Verse The Marimbist is a personification of a marimba, the instrument that I have played throughout high school. I wrote this poem as a tribute to the marimba that I play and how it has influenced my life.

Smith is a senior, and she is a drum major in the marching band and enjoys all things involving music, poetry, and people.

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THE BEST ELDERBERRY JELLY EVER Margarite Stever Webb City Community Honorable Mention Nonfiction Short Story I have always drawn inspiration from my grandparents’ farm. Those were the golden days of my childhood. Stever‘s work has recently appeared in The Crowder Quill 2016, The Maine Review Fall 2015, Mamalode Magazine’s 2015 Better Together, and Writer’s Digest 2014 Show Us Your Shorts Collection. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English.

hen do we leave?” I asked over and over as adrenaline shot through my little body like a bolt of lightning. The response was always somewhere between, “Soon,” and, “In a little while.” I could hardly contain my excitement knowing I was going to see Grandma and Grandpa. I would not be able to sleep the night before and would basically bounce around like a monkey until we left. My grandparents lived on a large old farm in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. They used an outhouse and made their living by milking cows. They ate eggs they gathered from their own chickens, rendered their own lard, hung their laundry outside on the clothes line, canned vegetables from their garden, heated with wood they cut themselves, and did things the old-fashioned way. Nothing was ever wasted or easy. The chickens, pigs, dogs, cows, or some other animal got the scraps, peels, cobs, and shells from our meals. Old machinery was kept for spare parts, and rain water was collected to water the garden. My grandparents were always encouraging us to go out on the farm and forage for food, become one with nature, take the bounty that the land provided, and make ourselves useful. My mom took that to heart, and gathered buckets and buckets of elderberries every August. Grandpa told her that she was to keep what she picked, so she took them home and made jar after jar of elderberry jelly. Thanks to the elderberries, my family never ate store-bought jelly. I remember one trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s in particular when I was four years old. It was fall and time for the family Thanksgiving celebration. We piled into Mom’s bright red 1976 Ford LTD, and drove three hours to my grandparents’ farm. The trees had changed colors, and I passed many miles just staring at the reds, yellows, and oranges that flashed before my eager eyes. The colors surrounded us like a living painting once we turned on the dirt road that led to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The road was lined with trees so thick that they


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blended together to form one giant canvas of color. The dirt road was several miles long and lined with old growth trees. It was rocky, hilly, and extremely curvy. The most exciting part of the trip was crossing the creek that separated the farm house from the hay fields. There was no bridge. We actually drove our car into the creek and crossed it the way the pioneers crossed such creeks in their horsedrawn wagons. Once we had hugged everyone, it was a tradition at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for me to sit in one of the orange vinyl chairs at the yellow Formica kitchen table and drink a glass of milk fresh from the cow as soon as we arrived. Grandpa thought I needed more calcium because I was small for my age. Sometimes the milk was even still warm. On this particular visit, I was sitting at the table drinking my milk while Mom unloaded a paper bag of food that she had brought for the celebration. Grandma had just taken a batch of biscuits out of the oven. They filled the little farm house with a heavenly biscuit aroma that makes a girl close her eyes and just inhale for a minute. Grandma spread some rich and creamy home-made butter on one of the biscuits, which immediately melted into the cloud-like fluffiness. I didn’t think it could get any better until she opened a jar of elderberry jelly and spread on a thick layer of dark purple berry goodness for me. It was so delicious! My taste buds came alive with my first sweet taste, and I said the first thing that came to my mind. “Grandma, you make the best elderberry jelly ever!” Grandma laughed loudly, the sound bouncing off the walls and traveling throughout the little farm house. She ran her hands down the red apron covering her ample middle, and replied, “Oh sweetie, I put a secret ingredient in all of my jelly. The secret ingredient is love.” Grandma was in a wonderful mood for the entire day. She walked around the kitchen singing and laughing as she prepared our dinner, which made her gray curls bounce merrily around her round, weathered face.

She glowed with happiness, her smile was brilliant, and she had a limitless supply of hugs for all of us grandchildren. We were engulfed in Grandma’s unique scent of wood smoke and Timeless perfume with each hug. It was the best Thanksgiving that I can remember from my childhood. My mother, on the other hand, was a bit sullen during the festivities. Once we were in the car on our way home she turned around in her seat and explained that she had made the jelly, and I had watched her. She had put the jelly in the paper bag, and I had watched her. She had unpacked the paper bag including the jelly, and I had watched her. However, I gave my grandma credit for making the jelly. She didn’t understand

how I could think that Grandma had anything to do with the jelly besides putting it on my biscuit. I smiled to myself. I knew Mom had made the jelly. I just wanted to make my grandma feel special because even at such a young age that’s what I believed the holidays meant – making each other happy. Grandma always looked tired, and was often cranky. I loved her with all of my heart, and I wanted to make her smile. When Grandma smiled, the world seemed to be a happier place. My mom still makes the best jelly I’ve ever tasted to this day, but I will never regret bringing that much happiness to my country grandma who didn’t smile nearly enough. 

When Work Is Play Gabi Abott Bentonville Community Gold 3D Art Handmade I created “When Work Is Play” during my senior year of high school. I have always loved anything and everything to do with horses. Abbott is currently a student at the University of Arkansas’ Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences majoring in Equine Science with plans of continuing on to vet school.

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Jacqueline Cole Granby Crowder Bronze Fiction Short Story Subverting expectations is a powerful tool in storytelling. I enjoyed writing the twists in the narrative as the story unfolds against the reader’s preconceptions. Cole is an aspiring wordsmith and lifelong student of creativity.


e wasn’t going to back down. The boy, 15, dark hair tousled and still in his blue pajamas, paces back and forth in front of the heavy mahogany desk where the man sits. The man is proudly in his early 50s, jacket pressed, and reading glasses laying open on the desk beside his laptop. The boy continues to pace, and the man watches him, considering, before finally gesturing to one of the upholstered chairs in front of him. “Michael, why don’t you sit, and we can talk about it?” Michael eyes the chairs in disgust, remaining fixed a few tense paces away. “I hate those. You always make your clients sit in them.” The words are sharp, menacing coming out of his clenched teeth. But the man is unfazed. “That’s because they’re very comfortable. Now,” he says, leaning forward to shuffle through a stack of paperwork before looking up at the boy again, “At least come a little closer, and then we can talk.” Michael glares at him, but after a few tight seconds that do nothing to disturb the calm the man wears like a second layer around his dark business clothes and neat coat, he takes a small, rebelliously compliant step forward to lay a hand on the back of one of the chairs. The man waits. Michael’s expression doesn’t change as he speaks again. “Take me to the ballgame.” The man sighs, genuinely regretful and sympathetic. ‘I can’t, Michael, I’ve already told


Tyler Tyler Eads Neosho High School Bronze 2D Media Acrylic I wanted to express myself in a new creative way. Eads stated: “As a follower of the Lord, Jesus, I hope to share the artistic gift he has given me and inspire a passion for the arts.” 44 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

you this.” But it was like he hadn’t even heard. “Take me to the ballgame!” The man eyes him for a moment, and then, “Sit down please.” He takes out a pen and looks down at the paper in front of him. “Tell me about the ballgame. Why do you want to go so badly?’ Michael is calmer now, sitting in the chair with his knees drawn up to his chest. “Please Dad.” The man’s voice is stern, but understanding as he answers. “I am not your father, Michael.” And just like that, hissing, spitting, venomous Michael is back, uncurling from the chair and rising to his feet like a serpent about to strike. “How can you say that to me? You promised to take me to the ballgame on Saturday and now you say you’re not my father?” The man stays seated, and though he remains collected, his fingers find a small button on the underside of his desk and depress it. A few seconds later there is an almost inaudible stirring on the other side of the door, and he folds his hands in his lap as he continues to hold Michael’s poisonous gaze. “Michael, would you like to sit back down? We need to talk about this.” “Yeah, ‘talking’. More like lying to try and get out of it.” The man considers him. “How does that make you feel?” Michael stays silent, his gaze malevolent and dark as tension builds behind the muscles in his neck and spills over into his quivering fists. The man holds his eyes, waiting, and trying to gauge the potential for combustion in the room. And then Michael stirs. “If you don’t take me, I’ll kill myself.” The man looks at him, assessing his bristling form and the way his eyes keep rolling from one side of the room to the other, unfocused, but hard and serious when they snap forward again. “We already talked about this. If you’re still feeling these impulses, we might need to look at increasing your medications.” A pause, stretching longer and longer, deadens the room. And then chaos. Michael shoots forward, flinging himself at the desk in a rage. He sweeps books and a name plaque off the front, grabbing the first things his hands find and flinging them at the wall. He is shouting, voice cracking and words

incoherent, but before he can act, the man presses the buzzer again and three orderlies burst into the room. They size up the snarling boy, now scrambling forward across the desk to try to reach the man who is calmly standing a few steps back, and they’re on him in a second. He fights them, violent and raging as they wrestle him into restraints. But then a needle slips under his skin, and

the fight leaves as the needle empties. As soon as his limp form begins to sag downwards they gently scoop him up and carry him out, back to the room with the thick door and curtains that tear away in case he tries to hurt himself again. The man in the white coat watches as they leave, troubled, and then sits back down at his newly destroyed desk. He sighs. They’d made no progress since yesterday. 

Fickle Flames Kaitlyn Welch Neosho Staff Poetry Free Verse This was my first time doing a “BlackOut poem”, and I used a page I found in an old literature book. The original story was about a man meeting death. I took it and turned it into a poem about lost love. Welch is a journalism major and she plans on transferring to MSSU next spring. She has a deep passion for photography, nature, and literature.

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YOU AIN T GOIN NOWHERE Henri Whitehead Anderson Community Honorable Mention Fiction Short Story I want to show a world where people feel completely trapped by the commercialization of their surroundings. By day, Whitehead is a coach and teacher at McDonald County High School. By night, he is an aspiring writer, hoping to leave a lasting legacy in literature.

en o’clock. James felt his usual confusing there because the next life just might be shittier mix of emotions as his shift neared its than this one.” end. On one hand, he was impatient James didn’t respond right away. He put his to go home and escape to the world energy back into building the imitation elbows of dreams, but on the other hand, there was and cheese pyramid even though this particular nothing waiting for him away from work, except effort would ultimately prove to be just as his closet-size apartment, a bed, a TV, and a few unsatisfying as any of his other contributions to cheap beers in his fridge. the world. “You know he’s right,” Herman said, “What you said is bullshit,” James said breaking the silence as James put the finishing as the final box was placed at the top of the touches on his small pyramid of imitation pyramid. Herman was still sitting across the elbow noodle and cheese boxes. Every evening, aisle, spinning his broom lazily in his hand. “No Herman would grab a broom and then slowly one could bear a life this meaningless forever drift away from his post as store greeter, acting without a dream of change. Didn’t you ever have as if he were helping sweep up the small pieces something you looked forward to at any point in of trash that littered the floor when in reality your life? Surely this was not always the fate that he was just holding a broom and shooting the you thought you were signing up for.” breeze with James “Ok, I guess in my “I’m just like everybody else; I’m earlier years I thought as the few remaining empty shelves were live the same too scared to die. I’m too scared to Ilifewould stocked up before the that my parents store finally shut down see what else is out there because and grandparents did.” for the night. As Herman spoke, he the next life just might be shittier didn’t bother to look “Who’s right?” James asked his friend up from the stained than this one.” incredulously. Surely, linoleum floor. “I he had misheard him. thought I would teach “Mr. Jordan,” Herman said, putting his Social Studies for 40 years and then retire to a broom to the side and sitting down on a stack of life of gardens and raising chickens.” bottled water. “That still doesn’t sound like much of a “Seriously, what the hell is that prick ever dream.” been right about?” James asked, offended at the “Ok, then what exactly is a dream?” mere thought that Mr. Jordan could be right “I’ve always wanted to be an artist. Since about anything except what’s on the menu for the time I was a toddler, I had this feeling that I every fast-food joint within 60 miles. needed to carve something into this world that “James, you really do need to learn your would sustain the weathering blows of time. I place. I’ve kept this job as long as I’ve had needed a path to immortality.” because I know when to keep my mouth shut.” “See, you’re just as afraid to die as the rest James couldn’t argue with Herman about that. of us, and that fear will drive you down the very Herman had worked at Space-Mart for what same path we all traveled.” James could only guess was over 20 years “That might be true, but at least I never without so much as ever receiving a warning wanted this path. I would rather be forced down from one of his superiors. it than go voluntarily.” “We all get treated like shit every day,” “You know it wasn’t always voluntary for Herman continued. “And we all know this is how me either.” it’s going to be till we die. You’re not proving “Then you did have a dream.” anything to anyone. You just can’t accept the “Yeah . . . I guess I did.” Herman put extra fate that we all signed up for.” emphasis on the fact that this part of him was “The fate we all signed up for? Come on, now far behind him. Herm. You surely still have a dream. Why else “What was it?” would you keep living?” “I wanted to travel.” “I’m just like everybody else; I’m too scared “Travel?” James found this answer almost to die. I’m too scared to see what else is out equally as disappointing as everything else


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Herman had said. “There’s nothing on this planet to see anymore. It’s the same fucking thing everywhere you go — Star-Marts, Starbucks, Taco Bells, and the same old cookiecutter apartments.” “That’s not the traveling I meant.” “Where else is there to go?” “It’s a pretty big universe out there. Haven’t you ever just looked up and counted the stars?” “Yeah, I guess, but it’s not like we could ever just get up and go wherever we want. I just need a brush and some paint.” “Your dream is no more a reality than mine. They are both just a kids’ fantasy meant to tease us and ultimately tear out our very souls. That’s why you need to stop resisting the hand you have been dealt and accept that we are no longer playing with house money.” “What are you two boys talking about?” A voice called from the other end of the aisle. The sudden surprise of Sara Lee walking towards them almost made James knock over his pyramid, but Herman didn’t seem surprised at all. He just bid his friend farewell with a wink and headed back to his post, leaving James awkwardly standing next to the newly formed pyramid. “Hello Sara,” James greeted her as she approached. “I thought Health and Beauty would have been long gone by now. Usually, you guys are out by 10:30.” “Usually, except somebody decided to spray an entire can of shaving cream all over the fucking place.” Sara walked up to the pasta pyramid to examine it closely. She was sweaty and her dirty blonde hair had partly come out of the bun she wore on the top of her head. Nevertheless, she still looked more than exquisite under the store’s lessthan-flattering fluorescent lights. “That’s too bad.” James said, awkwardly waking up from his stupor to offer his condolences. “After nights like this, I really hate humanity.” Sara’s hand reached out as if she were about to adjust one of the boxes, but just before her finger grazed the cheap chipboard, James, without conscience thought, grabbed Sara’s hand, putting a quick stop to the impending avalanche of imitation elbows and cheese. For the split second James felt her soft, silky skin, a pulse of energy surged through

his fingertips that was so intense that he pulled his hand violently away from her. To a distant observer, it looked like James had just accidently tried to take a hot pan from an oven without a mitt. Meanwhile, Sara stood there, her eyes wide and her mouth agape as if James had slapped her in the face. “I’m sorry…I was just—” But before James could finish the awkward apology, Sara interrupted. “No, I’m sorry,” Sara said. She smiled as she said the words, obviously trying to shoo away the uncomfortable cloud that now loomed over both of them. “Don’t worry…I-uh-…If you are really down on humanity tonight, you came to the right place because Herman was just here telling me that I should just accept that humanity is just a trash dump that we all need to get used to living in.” “That sounds like Herman,” Sara laughed. “But please tell me he hasn’t converted you yet.” “Not yet.” James laughed as well. “But I’ve definitively considered converting to the gospel of Herman, and from the sound of your night, you’ve surely considered too.” “No, no, I’ve had my share of shitty and even shittier nights, but if I’m debating whether [Continued to 46]

Ottis Peppercorn Cailey Funkhouser Life Way Christian Gold 3D Art Clay I wanted to create a whimsical piece of pottery. Silly features make Ottis Peppercorn a likeable character. Beating, trimming, and sculpting terracotta clay using negative and additive techniques. Funkhouser is your typical 17 year old, sweet tea loving southern girl from Arkansas. Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 47

[Continued from 45]

life is worth trudging through another day of this awful shit and awful place, I just look at the stars.” “The stars? Really? That’s…that’s funny.” “Why is that so funny?” Sara Lee looked puzzled, almost offended by what was said. “No, I didn’t mean funny ha ha.” “What did you mean then because it sounded like you were pissing on my dreams.” “No, no, I wasn’t pissing on anyone’s dreams. I just said it was funny because Herman had just been talking about the stars and his dream of traveling. I just thought it was a humorous coincidence. I didn’t know you and Herman shared the same impractical dream.” “Impractical? Isn’t the nature of a dream supposed to be impractical? Otherwise, it’s not much of a dream, is it? I mean I don’t dream of eating off the Taco Bell’s dollar menu.” “Ok, I just …I mean…well, you see I was discussing my unfulfilled dream of being a painter with Herman, and he was trying to convince me that I should give up on it and accept working here just like he gave up on his dream.” “That’s pretty shitty advice if you ask me.” “So I’m guessing you still believe that you can someday travel to the stars.” “No, that’s not necessarily my dream. I look at the stars because they inspire me, not just because I want to see them up close. “Inspire you how?” “They’re innocent, pure, uncorrupted.” “So you’re saying that humankind is the corruption, and I thought you were the optimist.”

“Well, yeah humankind is sort of evil, isn’t it? I mean every generation is afraid of some plague spreading through the world and wiping everyone from existence, but what if mankind is the actual plague. Maybe we’re the virus that the universe is afraid of. Look around you, we spread the disease of commercialization as efficiently as some rat could spread Ebola.” “I gotta say that I might actually feel worse about my place here than after my conversation with Herman. I definitely agree, but that’s depressing as hell.” “Well, we’re not all viruses. Some of us still exist that can see beyond our next meal, our next dollar, our next fuck. Some of us can see what the world was supposed to be, and someday maybe, one of those planets will give us a chance to start over. Those stars represent my dream of redemption. As long as they are out there, there’s a chance to start over and find the actual purpose of human existence because I’m damn sure it’s not stocking aisles of toothbrushes and foot creams.” James opened up his mouth to say something sarcastic or witty, but Sara’s words had taken over him as if he were hearing all of his favorite songs for the first time all at once. Every spoken syllable by Sara’s elegant voice connected to every part of his soul. “Anyways,” Sara continued, “my shift is over, and I got to get back to Kenny. He can’t stand not knowing where I am at every single second of every single day.” And just like that, James was brought back to reality, back to stocking shelves, back to his sorry-ass life. 

DESTRUCTIVE CONTRAST Jera White Carl Junction High School Silver Poetry Free Verse

In my world, there is dark and there is light. The sun rises like a practiced performer and places a mask of perfection over the skyline. From that point on, light can be found everywhere. It is found in the smiles of wholesome youth and the soft eyes of every father. It is found in the simplest of kindnesses and the utmost of gratitude. It shines behind the eyes of joyful spirits and rests in soles of springing steps. The light swells like the climax of an orchestra in the hearts of every living thing. The light brings with it a charade, a facade of utopia and for a moment, everything is as good as one could ever dream.

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Light the Way Hope Wolfe McDonald County High School Honorable Mention B&W Photography I was experimenting with lighting and had my model hold a lamp over his head. Nikon d3000 auto Wolfe, a senior, is new to photography but has found that she loves it.

Boats sail on forever calm waters and the people mirror the water’s tranquility. Bright, white light encompasses everything; it fuels the minds of dreamers and provides wings to those who yearn for flight. And just as it all came, so it all goes, with the rising of the night. In my world there is dark and there is light. The shadows appear and scare the sun back behind the horizons from which it came. Those places too deep inside for light to reach expand beyond their holdings and infect the environment. From that point on, darkness can be found everywhere. It is found in the mindless violence and irrational rage of the human form. It is found in the raised fist of a man and the sharp, piercing silence of a boy. The darkness is more illuminating than the light could ever be. It draws out the evil that resides in the souls of all things and in the night they flourish and grow, unchecked. The darkness brings with it a truth, a reflection of the contents hidden beneath skin and behind smiles. Unequivocal, black darkness is the reality of the night; it feeds the monsters the light keeps at bay. And just as it all came, so it all goes, with the returning of the day. In my world there is dark and there is light. Somewhere in the middle, torn children walk a tightrope where light gives way to dark and dark gives way to light. A world so harshly divided, a world of black and white, Is no place for soft-hearted children to learn right from wrong. And so, with every passing day and every passing night, Light and dark are pulsing, oblivious to the children of the gray.

I was assigned to create a world of my own, and instead I just described the world around me. I’ve always been somewhat of a realist, if not a cynic, and the result of the two was this poem. White has never felt especially talented at writing, but it does bring him relief. “There is nothing I find more calming than laying everything on the paper and then walking away.”

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SWEET CAROLINE Autumn Shelton Lamar High School Honorable Mention Fiction Short Story I got the inspiration for “Sweet Caroline” from the Neil Diamond song of the same name. I wondered what type of girl would have had that song written about her, and I wrote the story I thought she deserved. Shelton adores books, 70’s music, and writing. She is currently a freshman and a member of her school’s Writer’s Guild, where she learns how to improve her technique.

“Wait a minute. Daddy, we can’t let Claire eptember 1st, 2007, excerpt from Caroline play! She can’t tell the difference between a ball Xavier’s journal and a bat.” Bobbie Sue, Emerson’s daughter, Like most terrible stories, this one screeches with her obvious disdain. begins at a softball game. Arid wind was “Hmmm. What do you think? Hey! I got whistling, children were running by the field an idea. Lorelai! Come here and try this glove high on sugar and the beginning of summer. on.” Coach yells to his nine year old daughter. I was sitting in the dugout. My coaches were She gaily waddles over to him with her tree leaning against the wall, chewing seeds, and trunk legs. Her body is like a manatee, soft and screaming arrogance. I was used to being a gargantuan, yet she sadly is not an endangered benchwarmer. Coach Emerson, a hirsute ape of species. Lorelai arrives to the dugout, clearly a redneck, came up to me at the beginning of more focused on her gum than her father. Coach the first game and told me: Emerson yells, “Lori, come on, the game ain’t “Claire-” gonna stop for you.” He pulls her arm and “Carrie.” shoves her hand in a glove. “Now go to left field “Whatever. You gonna sit out. I no got any and tell Caitlin to get back on the bench.” more room for ya, and my daughtas and nieces “Where is left field?” she replies, smacking need to play. Y’all sit out the first half, and then her gum. you mabee play the last coupla minutes. Do you When she comes up to me, I want to pull know where I put my sunflowa seeds?” He hacks the candy right out of her mouth and choke her up his lung, belches and sits down. with it. I should have Have you ever seen a video of “I would stand in the back, a piece known. This isn’t the first time something the Hindenburg of scenery. Today I was going to like this has happened disaster? Where the blimp crashes in slow win. Always I stayed quiet, talked to me. motion? The game October 15th, 2007, was like that, score with the other girls, but today I Entry in Caroline’s was 37-4. Our pitcher wanted more.” journal believed a girl was Years ago, after either three feet tall or a long day of tests, my class went to play on in Antarctica. The first basemen was texting, the track. The guys played basketball; the girls second was twiddling her thumbs, and third? Well, she was somewhere in the field. I’m sitting, gossiped. I was running. As an adult, you seem to forget the euphoria that comes with being reading a book, trying not to scream in anger at young and free. At age ten, I loved the feeling of myself, my parents, and my coaches. Suddenly, the fresh air shrouding my face. I also loved that one of the outfielder’s moms runs up. “Emerson, I gotta go to work. Tell Missy to I was winning the race against a guy. His name I do not remember, but his speed is unforgettable. get her-” She croaks. He was the star at track and field days. “What? You gotta take the one in left field I would stand in the back, a piece of home?” Coach Emerson interrupts, not looking scenery. Today I was going to win. Always I back, “Fine, not like we gonna go win nothing stayed quiet, talked with the other girls, but anyway.” today I wanted more. When he started to run, I “Missy! Come here! We going!” Her mother followed. When he quickened his speed, so did yells, and a girl picking grass in the outfield I. We were on the homestretch, I in the lead, skips to her mother. when a rock hit my head. As if a car had hit Now my coach looks at me, “What are you doing? Get ya’ glove and get out there!” I freeze. me, I stopped. Blood sprinkled my forehead; my pride suffered more than anything. I barely lifted I’ve never actually been in the field before, never my chin up when I saw who did it: two athletic even touched the ball. As I walk to left field, I feel as if I have been exiled to the Sahara desert. guys, whose names are branded in my memory: Jerome Martin and Elliot Abernathy. They could What if someone hits the ball right at me? not let a girl win a simple race. They found it What if I can’t prove I’m worthy to play? What funny to throw rocks, and dirt, and shame. The if I do?


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tears in my eyes were bullet wounds, the blood was an abscess to the body and heart. Teachers turned a blind eye; they could not mess with those boys who have trust funds and doctors as fathers. Limping, I ran away, from the track, from school, from the world. The next day, when I received a detention for skipping, I realized in this world, no one cares about anyone else. I learned that to survive I better learn how to fight or to hide. I chose the latter, until now. Mr. Evans, I ask you to remember that this journal means nothing if you do not show the world what it can do. My life does not matter half as much as this. This journal will be on the news, it will show the world what I went through. The nights that my father never came home; the ones my mother drank away. My siblings deserve to know that I love them, that this is not the end. Mr. Evans, I want you to tell the world what I went though. The two stories I told you are only fragments of my life. Ones that seem small and petty to adults, but to a child mean so much more. Tell everyone my story so that it does not die with me. Sincerely, Caroline Xavier October 29th, 2007 “I never knew how much she wrote,” sobs Ms. Xavier. Her double chin wobbles up and down as she cries. A blob fish has more things in common with her than her daughter. Mr. Evans is bursting with anger, barely able to stand still as the mother reads Caroline’s diary. “When she sent me the book, I just thought it was her school notebook containing all of her stories. What I found is astonishing. Ms. Xavier, how did you not know? How did you let this happen? The world has lost an artist!” He is bursting with anger. “This is a hundred pages of Hell! Did you know that she got beat up at thirteen just because she won a contest a popular girl should have won? Did you know that she had perfects in every single one of her tenth grade classes? Did you even know that she was thinking about committing suicide?” He sits down, relaxing his shoulders. “Never, she always seemed like a happy child. She received good grades, excelled at

Morgan Freeman Dawn Williamson McDonald County High School Honorable Mention 2D Media Graphite I made this drawing for my boyfriend for Christmas. Williamson is a sophomore in Art 1. She intends to pursue her artistic studies throughout high school and possibly beyond.

sports, she even took care of her siblings when I was…indisposed.” Ms. Xavier responds. Mr. Evans pulls up his glasses, his sweater vest tight around his bulging middle. “I am going to do what she asks. Her journal is going to get published. Maybe it actually will make a difference.” January 12th, 2007, Journal Entry of Caroline To me, New Year’s resolutions are lies we tell ourselves. We say, “I am going to eat healthy” or, “I am going to read a hundred books,” but we never actually do it. Dad said he will get a job. Mom will quit drinking. We all know they are lying. They couldn’t even do it for a week. What is my resolution? Actually write something that matters, like every other pretentious teenager. But what is the point of writing if not for it to change a person’s view of the world? July 12th, 2009, Email to Christian Evans from HarperCollins To: ChEvans22@yahoo.com From: Harpercollinsco@hotmaill.com Subject: Book and editor Mr. Evans, HarperCollins is happy to [Continued to 50]

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Food Art

Long Road Ahead

Joanne Kim | Lamar High School | Gold | 2D Media | Graphite

Jilberto Alejo Anderson Crowder Honorable Mention Color Photography On returning from my morning jog, I came upon an overwhelming view of what I had just ran through. It was unbelievable to see something so beautiful had passed right over my head. Android camera on auto Alejo is a student and wants to be a construction manager.

[Continued from 49]

announce the acceptance of your untitled manuscript. You should expect an email or call from one of our highly qualified editors in four to six weeks. We wish you the best- the HarperCollins team April 27th, 2007, Journal Entry When I was five, I asked my mother why she named me Caroline. “After the Neil Diamond song, Sweet Caroline. I loved it when I was younger.” She gently hums it. As I join her, we started to dance, and soon sing. That night she tells me about the song, why it was written. “Neil wrote it after the Kennedy girl. You know her, right? JFK’s little girl.” She yawns, tucking me in. She never read to me, but told me facts that she thought were essential to life. “Yes, mama, you told me about JFK and how he was married to Jackie O. but actually was in love with Marilyn Monroe.” “Smart girl, anyway, Neil had a huge crush on her, and that led to the song Sweet Caroline.” She starts humming again, and I fall asleep to: “Touching me, touching you...’Sweet Caroline’!” August 1st, 2010- Web page of Lauren Wu, book blogger Do you love witty writing? Is one of your favorite books “Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl”? Then “Sweet Caroline: A Memoir” is a debut made just for you! When I received this book from the publisher, I was dubious because I have never liked nonfiction. This book is a life changer. Written by Caroline Xavier, a sixteen year old girl, this novel takes the cake. Although

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she died almost three years ago, this book (in diary format) brings her ugliest tendencies and deepest emotions to paper. I have never cried, laughed, smirked, and happy danced as much as I did with this book. Go get it now! Love, Lauren August 8th, 2007, Journal Entry I think that the biggest honor a middle age woman author could get is her book chosen to be in Oprah’s book club. Personally, I would abhor such a thing to happen to my novel, a bunch of bored housewives forcing themselves to read. My wallet would be saying something else. I just wish that I could be there if it happened. That I had the willpower to keep going. I wish that I could make it when Oprah says to me, “You get a book, and you get a book, and you get a book!” May 22nd, 2011, Dialogue from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” Oprah: Christian, what pushed you to publish Caroline’s work? Christian Evans: Actually, Caroline told me in her journal. Oprah: Nowhere in the book does Caroline address you. How in the world does she plain out tell you? Christian: Before I submitted her diary for publishing, I took out the last pages. Oprah: What? Christian: It felt so personal, so raw, that I wanted to keep it to myself. (Pause) I have it with me if you’d like me to read it. Oprah: You can start at any time. Christian: September 1st, 2007. Like most terrible stories…

I created this piece to remind others to have fun with art and look at things from a different perspective. I wanted to focus on the cookie so I didn’t include the subject’s face. Kim enjoys drawing or writing when she has spare time and hopes that her artwork will inspire others.

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Ceramic Casserole Set

THE FLAMES OF FALL Billie Holladay Skelley Joplin Community Gold Fiction Short Story I wrote this story in an attempt to connect elements of autumn with feelings of loss. It was meant to show that we sometimes get to similar places in different ways, and often in very similar ways. Holladay Skelley received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Her poems, articles and essays have appeared in many publications.

on and Tom Dorsey were always close as children. As identical twin brothers, it seemed only natural for them to do things together. If one did something first, the other brother would soon be doing it, also. Mr. Dorsey, their father, passed away when the boys were only two and having only one living parent seemed to draw the twins even closer. Mrs. Dorsey, their mother, always said, “Jon and Tom—two peas in a pod,” and the truth be known, they were so similar as to be almost indistinguishable—at least as children. Their favorite time of the year was the fall—when leaves crunched under their feet, the air smelled so crisp, and the world was cloaked in brilliant oranges, blazing yellows, and fiery reds. When their neighbors raked their leaves into huge piles for burning, Jon and Tom loved to roast hot dogs and toast marshmallows in the fire. They could spend hours watching the flames licking the leaves and spitting sparks into the night sky. Devouring every single thing they touched, the flames hypnotized the two brothers with their beauty and power. Of course, both boys felt October was the absolute best time with its Halloween costumes, candy, and jack-o’-lanterns. They loved to go trick-or-treating, and both were skilled at carving scary pumpkins. When they turned fourteen, however, something strange happened. For the first time, their interests and paths began to diverge—mainly, because it was then that Jon started the “candle” thing. During Halloween, that year, Jon insisted the family use real candles in the jack-o’lanterns. Mrs. Dorsey had always preferred the little battery-operated tea lights. She felt they were safer, but Jon said the lights had to be real. The actual flame of a candle, he said, gave each jack-o’-lantern a true light—a real life. He was so insistent, Mrs. Dorsey and Tom went along, but that was just the beginning. In time, things only got worse. Jon took a Gothic turn and got into the supernatural. He started talking about how candles have been in use for over 3,000 years and how their light provides a link to the spirit world. Each candle’s flame, he contended, has a special meaning. According to Jon, a strong, steady flame indicated your intent was clear, your plans would work, and the spirits were with you. A slow, weak flame meant trouble, success was unlikely, and the spirits would


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fight you. A sputtering, flickering flame meant your willpower was weak and the spirits would thwart your intentions. Crackling or sizzling flames meant the spirits were trying to communicate with you, while puffs of white smoke were a blessing for your plans and black smoke meant a blockage of your efforts. Mrs. Dorsey did not challenge Jon on these ideas, but Tom thought the whole thing was crazy and nothing but a load of crap. “Jon,” Tom said one day, “this flame stuff is a bunch of hogwash. It’s stupid.” Jon, however, was adamant. He was perfectly serious and absolutely unyielding. “Alright,” Jon said, “you don’t have to believe it, Tom, but promise me one thing. Just one thing. If one of us dies before the other, the remaining living brother will light a candle within twenty-four hours of his brother’s death and let it burn for at least five minutes. If there are spirits, then the dead brother’s spirit will find a way to blow out the candle. That way, the living brother will know spirits do walk the earth and there is life after death.” Tom thought his brother had gone completely bonkers, but Jon was so intense and insistent, he promised. After that year, the two brothers’ paths didn’t intersect often. Jon got in with a new group of friends, started drinking, and smoking hashish. Tom asked him once what was up with him and this new crowd, and Jon just laughed at him. “Everybody goes down the same road in life, Tommy, my boy,” Jon said. “It just depends where you decide to stop along the way and when you decide to get off permanently.” More hogwash, Tom thought, but he watched as Jon’s road continued to spiral downward. On Halloween night, when Jon was sixteen, he was driving his car to a party dressed as Darth Vader. He tried to light a cigarette while driving, but he dropped the match and caught his cape on fire. The polyester fabric ignited quickly, melted, and fused to his skin—severely burning his right hand and arm. He suffered intense pain from the burns. The doctors put Jon on oxycodone for the pain, and they might as well have injected ambrosia or some other magic elixir into his veins. After just one pill, Jon seemed hooked. He absolutely loved the stuff. Before long he was

Tyler Dallis Exeter Community Silver 3D Art Ceramics I challenged myself to create something that I’ve never tried before on the potter’s wheel. Dallis is a Crowder alum and started making art while attending there. He considers himself a ceramicist. swallowing those pills like they were Halloween candy. Once he was addicted to oxycodone, it didn’t take long until he was trying harder drugs. Tom grew tired of watching his brother’s decline. He left town to attend college, and in the ensuing six years, he only saw Jon twice— both were negative occasions. Once Jon wanted money for drugs, and the other time, two years ago, he showed up for Thanksgiving dinner all strung out. Tom was furious on that occasion because Jon’s behavior was breaking their mother’s heart. Mrs. Dorsey died while Tom was in graduate school, and Jon didn’t even show up for the funeral. While he was away at school, Tom didn’t give Jon much thought—except to regard his behavior as inexcusable. He thought Jon’s life choices were terrible. Tom was determined to keep his distance. He did not want his life linked to his brother’s because Jon obviously was going down a path of ruination. His self-destruction seemed inevitable. That’s why, when the sheriff knocked on Tom’s door this morning, he was not really surprised. The sheriff said Jon was dead. Turns out Jon had been freebasing cocaine and had dropped the match he was using to heat the spoon. Somehow, between the crisp October breeze and his stuporous state, he’d managed to burn seventy-five percent of his body. Jon was gone. For a second, as the sheriff talked, Tom

thought about what an excruciatingly painful death Jon must have experienced. He must have suffered terribly. Quickly, though, Tom reminded himself that he’d been expecting something along these lines for years. The sheriff gave Tom all that was left of Jon’s personal effects: his keys, an old photograph of their mother, and a prescription bottle of oxycodone. The label had Tom’s name on it—so the sheriff was returning it to him. Tom started to ask why his name was on the label, but at that moment, it really didn’t seem to matter. The sheriff said he was sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Tom told him, “It was inevitable. As Jon had said so many years ago: It was just his time to get off the road of life.” At first, Tom took the news of his brother’s death rather matter-of-factly. Since the sheriff ’s departure, however, he’d become unable to focus. He couldn’t concentrate or get anything done. The only thing he could think about was that stupid promise. He kept a candle in the kitchen drawer for use during power outages, and all afternoon he could feel it calling to him. Tom didn’t want to light it, but somehow in the back of his mind, he knew he eventually would. About eight o’clock, he gave in. After all, Jon was his brother, and he had promised. Tom took the candle and a box of matches out of the drawer. He formally announced to no one in particular, “Okay, here goes nothing. I’m [Continued to 54]

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going to do it.” Striking the match, he realized his hand was shaking. It was shaking so bad his first attempt failed. “The damn thing won’t light,” he whispered. “I wonder what Jon would say that means.” He tried again. This time the candle sputtered and gave off a little puff of black smoke, but it lit. The flame grew. Tom stared at it intently. It flickered a bit, but it did burn. Tom was mesmerized and entranced by the flame, but a part of him still questioned, “Why did I promise to do this? Five minutes is a hell of a long time. Who is more stupid, Jon for believing in this nonsense, or me for going along with it?” Suddenly, Tom realized his hand was burning. He had been so focused on the candle flame that he had forgotten to put out the match. His flannel sleeve was on fire. The fabric burned quickly, sending flames racing toward his shoulder. Screaming and waving his arm wildly, Tom tried to put out the fire that was devouring him, but in doing so, he knocked over the candle. After a few tortuous moments, Tom got the fire out, but his hand and arm were severely burned. In agony, he glanced at the knocked-over candle and saw its flame was extinguished. “What the hell does that mean?” he shrieked.

Yes, the flame was out, but it was his doing—wasn’t it? He had knocked it over. Or had Jon managed to distract him somehow? Did Jon’s spirit provide resistance to his efforts? Did Jon know he would be so focused on the flame that he’d forget about the burning match? All Tom knew was his burnt arm was killing him. It felt like it was still on fire. The pain was making him crazy. His mind was racing. He wondered if he should have tried to stop his brother’s decline? By not intervening, did he contribute to Jon’s fall? Should he have done more? “Yes, I should have tried to help him,” he whispered. “He was my brother.” The fire in his fingers was burning into his brain, but he asked himself, “Has Jon’s fall been my fall, too?” Tom had no answers. He couldn’t think. The smell of burnt skin and scorched flannel was making him nauseated. He felt sick. He tried to remove his burnt shirt, but it was fused to his skin. The pain was excruciating. He desperately needed something to ease his suffering. “Jon was right,” Tom declared. “The spirits are against me.” Suddenly, he remembered the oxycodone bottle from Jon. Tearing at the lid with his good hand, he cried out, “Surely, a handful will help.” 

Bird Pitcher Rebekah Clay Pineville Crowder Silver 3D Art Coil Pottery I was inspired to create this piece for my grandma and grandpa. This piece was hand built with coils. It was glazed with commercial glazes. This piece is a result of Crowder’s Ceramics I class. Clay is currently seeking an Art and Design degree.

Off the Wheel Natalie Staib McDonald County High School Honorable Mention 3D Art Ceramics This is the first of the pots that I was proud of this year. The most successful part is the complementary contrast in glaze colors between the outside and inside. Staib intends to pursue art at the college level.

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Peafowl Prestige

Just Hangin’ Around

Hannah Pitts Monett Crowder Gold 2D Media Acrylic

Marley Fort Carl Junction High School Silver 3D Art Mosaic

For this, I drew inspiration from images of peacocks flaunting their glamour for the world to see. I desire to make the statement, “No matter what color you might be, or how different you are from others, you are still magnificent in your own way.” Whether Pitts is creating a smallscale drawing or perfecting a largescale painting, she continues developing her techniques and bringing out the deep passion she possesses for capturing beauty with each stroke of her pencil or brush.

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I chose sloths as the subject for my stained glass mosaic because they’re interesting creatures. Fort is a senior who loves art and working with glass.

COMING OUT y hands shook as I dialed the phone. My throat tightened as it rang one, two, three times. I almost hung up right then, but before I could chicken out my mother picked up the phone. “Hey, sweetheart! How’s school?” I swallowed, forcing the panic down in my chest and trying to sound normal. “Oh, it’s pretty good. I’ve been busy.” She was washing dishes. “Mmhm. That’s nice. Hang on a second, honey. I’m almost done with this.” I waited with growing trepidation as she finished with the clinking glasses. The sound grated on my nerves. She walked over to a chair and sat down. “What’s going on, Kevin? You never call during the week.” “Well, actually,” I replied. “I’m free this weekend, so I was thinking maybe I could come home for a change.” Mom, of course, was immediately suspicious. “Now, what’s this about? You never want to come home over the weekend.” “Do you not want me to?” “Of course I do, sweetheart. It’s just… out of character.” “Cool, then. I’ll be home Saturday


afternoon. I gotta go, Mom. Bye. Love you.” “Love you, too.” I hung up quickly. Taking a deep breath, I threw myself backwards onto the bed, covering my face with my arms. I am doing the right thing, I told myself. I can’t keep living like this; the stress is going to kill me. The rest of the week passed in an uneventful blur. I arrived at home Saturday around 12:30, and my parents were finishing lunch. Mom jumped up to hug me and Dad nodded at me in his usual silent way. “We weren’t expecting you until later!” Mom said, sitting back down. “Do you want something to eat?” “No, I’m alright.” If I tried to eat right now, I’d probably choke on my food. My entire body was as tense as a wire. I sat down at the table, glancing at the pile of newspapers that had been stacked at my place. On the first one, there was a story about a new anti-bullying program the high school was implementing. “Y’all been keeping busy without me?” “Yeah.” As was usual, Dad had little to say.

Megan Murphy Neosho Staff Fiction Short Story Coming out to your family as LGBT is a nervewracking experience. Regardless of what happens when you come out, there will always be someone out there who cares about you. Murphy is a journalism major at Crowder.

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“It’s been about the same,” Mom said. “Now, I want to hear about what you’ve been up to, Kevin? Have you made any friends? Found a girlfriend? Is she cute?” “Ah,” I said, wincing. I hadn’t been in the house more than fifteen minutes and we were already getting into dangerous territory. Weighing my options, I decided to just go for it. “Uh, well, that’s kind of what I came home to talk to you about.” Mom gasped. “You do have a girlfriend?! Oh, that’s wonderful--” “Not exactly,” I said. Deep breath. Here goes nothing. “I have a boyfriend.” Silence fell. Dad sat up straight in his chair, his frown deepening. His jaw clenched and he balled his hands into fists. His mouth opened and closed a couple of times, like he was trying to find the words that would accurately depict his emotional state. “What did you say?” he asked quietly. Mom

Kish-y Face Julia Aden Life Way Christian School Bronze 3D Art Clay In my 3D art class, we were assigned the task of molding a clay slab mug into a face or an animal. I decided to sculpt a mug with the face of a fish complete with puffy cheeks, chubby fish lips, colorful scales and delicate fins. Aden is a senior and loves to be creative and express the unique personality that the Lord has given her through art and dancing.

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sat still, looking shocked. She placed her cup down slowly, wide-eyed. She bit her lip and looked at her hands, trembling as she folded them on the table. I swallowed. “Um. I’m gay. I wanted to tell you--” Dad cut me off. “You’re not.” “Huh?” “You. Are. Not. Gay.” Dad’s voice was flat, yet edged with anger. Okay. This was not going as planned. “I am.” “No,” he said again. “You are not, because I will be damned if my son is going to parade around acting like a queer! .” His voice had gotten progressively louder, and I instinctively shrunk back into the chair. Dad never raised his voice like that. “Jim,” my mother said. “He’s just confused.” She shot me a pleading look, silently begging me to take it back, to stop talking about it. I couldn’t. I’d been keeping secret for as long as I could. The moment I started talking about it, I

couldn’t stop. “I’m not acting like anything,” I said, cheeks flushed. “I didn’t choose to be gay. And I’m not confused. That isn’t how it works.” Dad stood up. “Your mind’s been poisoned. This boy you’ve been ‘seeing’, he isn’t right in the head and he’s convinced you this sort of behavior is normal. Listen to me: it’s not. It’s an abomination.” I found myself getting angry against my will. “His name is Isaac. And there’s nothing wrong with him.” My mother intervened, trying to defuse the situation. “Now, Kevin, you know that this relationship is against God.” “There’s nothing wrong with being gay. Or me. Or Isaac,” I whispered. “You’re wrong.” Mom and Dad looked at each other, sharing their ‘concern’ for my well-being. Mom spoke again. “There are places you can send kids. Places where they cure them of… homosexuality.” “I’ll ask Frank,” Dad said decisively. They had made the decision that I was unable to think for myself. “His daughter Natalie went to one a few years ago, and she’s married now.” I knew Natalie. Once a happy and brilliant girl, she had changed after coming back from “straight camp”. I asked her once what they did to her there. She wouldn’t tell me. In all honesty, I didn’t really want to know. “I won’t go there,” I said. “You can’t make me; I’m an adult.” “As long as you live under my roof as a part of this family, you’ll do what I tell you to!”

“Then I’ll leave,” I said, a deep, icy calm settling over me. “I’ll go, and I won’t ever come back.” I felt like I was dreaming. This hadn’t gone like I’d expected at all. Did I think that they would be upset, possibly angry? Maybe. But threatening to send me to conversion therapy? Telling me that I was going against God, I was an abomination, that Isaac was poisoning me? This was my worst nightmare realized. I stood from my chair. I did not look at either of my parents. I walked out of the home I had been raised in and drove away. I did not look back. My hands were shaking on the steering wheel the whole drive back. I knew my parents were religious; I knew that they would probably be less than thrilled that I was gay. Never in my worst nightmares had I imagined they would react this badly. I was in shock. Road signs flew [Continued to 60]

Fracture Jessica Sellers Carl Junction Community Bronze 3D Art Ceramics Nature inspires me. I often incorporate textures, patterns and designs found in geological land formations. “Fracture” demonstrates that beauty can come from that which has been broken. Sellers has had artwork published previously in the Crowder Quill and exhibits work in local and national venues.

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past me in a blur as I tore up the interstate and before I knew it, I was in Springfield. When I got back to campus, I finally checked my phone. I had three missed calls from Isaac. I dialed his number and he picked up almost immediately. “Sweetheart, I’ve been so worried! How did it go with your parents?” Hearing his voice after my ordeal in the afternoon was too much. I burst into tears. “They hate me now. I should never have told them,” I responded, sobbing. Isaac sighed. “I’m coming over,” he said. “I’ll be there in a few minutes.” When he got there, I had washed my face and cleaned up. As soon as I opened the door, Isaac hugged me. “What happened? Did they kick you out?” I sniffed. “No, but I left. Dad was really mad. They were talking about ‘curing me’.” “You don’t need to be cured,” Isaac said angrily. “If they can’t accept you, they don’t deserve you. You trusted them to accept you,

and they spit in your face.” “They’re my parents. They care about me, in their own way.” “Parents shouldn’t threaten their kids for being different,” Isaac said, sitting down on my bed. “You told them, now they have to decide if they want to accept it or not. If they really care about you, they’ll come around eventually. My parents did. Give it time.” I couldn’t lie to myself just to please my parents. At the same time, though, I loved them. I wanted my parents to be in my life, but I wasn’t going to magically change overnight.. I hoped Isaac was right about them, that they would become more understanding given time to think. If not, though-“What if they don’t?” I asked him. “What if they hate me forever?” “Screw ‘em, then. I’ll always be here for you. You’ll be okay, Kevin. No matter what happens with your parents.” I could always trust Isaac to say just the right thing. “I know,” I said, leaning against him. “I’ll be okay.” 

Rhythm and Blues Maggie Baker Joplin Staff 2D Media Acrylic This piece was inspired by one of my favorite music genres, Rhythm and Blues. The mood of the music is how I’ve interpreted it onto canvas. Baker uses painting to express different genres of music or songs.

Bellissimo Pavone Stormi Norton Carl Junction High School Honorable Mention 3D Art Mosaic This was one of the most challenging pieces of art that I have ever done. The peacock has always been one of my favorite animals. In Norton’s eyes, art and nature go hand in hand. She thinks that natural beauty is the best kind, and nature has plenty of beauty.

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WOULD SHE HURT US? M. Nichols Joplin Community Bronze Fiction Short Story Mental illness is one of the most serious problems facing society today. It should be a high priority to provide more assistance to those on the frontlines of this issue. Nichols believes that words can change the world.

Crystal Witherspoon Carthage Crowder Bronze B&W Photography

sweet, blond, curious creatures. Emily silent ould she hurt us? The question but cooperative, following her sister as they reoccurred again and again. I explored. Having been in other foster homes pushed it away, down under the already in their young lives they were resilient, surface of my consciousness as I flexible. They came with their possessions futilely tried to find the relief that would come loosely packed in a broken suitcase, a few handfrom a peaceful night’s sleep. Just almost there, drifting, an image would burst forth - Emily, red me-down clothes, a few snap shots, matching purple stuffed dinosaurs faced, screaming, “I hate you! “A melting, a tumble, a flattened by hours of play and You’re not my mother!” The drawers crashed when she falling in love with the need abuse. Only minutes into the visit pulled them out of the chest and dumped the contents in them, their innocence, a question from Nora, “Can we call you Mommy?”. A melting, on the floor. Frantically the their trust. And I was a tumble, a falling in love next and the next and the with the need in them, their next until there were no hopelessly gone.” innocence, their trust. And I more drawers to be turned, was hopelessly gone. It was then the closet and the impossible not to invite them in - to my home, to clothing so carefully washed and hung were my family, to my heart. The first steps on a path flung off the hangers and on to the growing that would lead where? pile in the middle of the room. Rapid breathing, In the first months I was frequently startled staring, eyes full of hate, daring me to stop her awake in the night sensing a presence. When so that she would have an excuse to strike out and inflict pain, achieve revenge. I opened my eyes I saw Emily - sweet, solemn Push it away. She’s asleep. She’s got to sleep - almost an apparition, standing over my bed, wide eyes looking in to mine. too. Tomorrow will be better. My question, “Emily, what do you want?”, A more pleasant image surfaces. Emily and would be met with silence. I would get up Nora, two and three, the first time in our home,


Lucy, the bulldog, loves a good yawn. Nikon D7200, 1/250 sec., ISO 200, F5.6, 50 mm. Witherspoon stated, “I love the expressiveness of our bulldog, Lucy. She’s all heart and just loves her family. Her facial expressions keep us laughing. We just adore her!”

Roxanne Jessica Sellers Carl Junction Community Gold 2D Media Pastel This is a drawing dedicated to a wonderful dog I found while hunting for rocks. Sellers is an art teacher and an artist. Published previously in the Crowder Quill., she exhibits and sells her art in local and national venues.

and carry her back to her bed. She would go uncomplaining but then insist that I stretch out beside her and watch until her easy, gentle breathing told me that she was back asleep. Even then she was making demands. I roll over and readjust my head on the pillow. She will be up early. I have to be awake with her to protect the other children. Two days ago when I bent to pick up the favorite doll of our youngest child, seven years younger than Emily, the button eyes rolled off of the doll’s face. Cunningly, the eyes had been cut off then

laid back in position so that they would fall off when the doll was picked up. Repulsed but not surprised by the wickedness, the planning, the intent, the damage was quickly repaired. The youngest was spared - for now, until next time. There was a time when Emily would curl in to my arms, hug so tight, wanting boundless love and affection, demanding to be rocked, petted, sang to, held constantly and indefatigably, long after the other children had gone off to play, until I was nearly emptied of energy and emotion and still I would reach [Continued to 64]

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inside and find more to give her insatiable little less frequent as she seemed to be recklessly heart. I thought it would be enough. and relentlessly spiraling out of control. The Again unbidden the memory of Emily family tiptoed on eggshells, in a minefield, angry - at what? homework? a tiff with her aware that the next eruption was inevitable siblings? - running full speed in the middle of and the degree of destruction unpredictable. winter in thin pajamas, feet bare, out the front Emily was older now, stronger, volatile, nearly door, into the snow, across the yard and into the adult in her physical proportions but so very street. Running silently down the middle of the far from adulthood emotionally. Her presence street on long legs. was a thundercloud, Joe and I grabbing “Has she harmed anyone?” A few a warning in every the keys. Joe pulling breath. bruises, scratches, a bite or two, in front to block her We were asked, “Is progress while I she a threat to anyone broken furniture, but no trips physically pick her up in the household?”. and toss her, kicking “Yes”, we could to the hospital. and screaming, answer truthfully, at into the car. The times the depth of neighbors - what would they think? She was her rage and hatred seemed limitless. We asked maybe 10 then and still seemed so vulnerable, so ourselves, was it meaningful that she wrote in fragile. We had to lock the doors quickly so she her private diary, “I want Dad dead”? wouldn’t jump out of the moving vehicle. Emily “Has she harmed anyone?” A few bruises, sobbing but still angry. What had we done? scratches, a bite or two, broken furniture, but no Rounds of counselors were not helping, trips to the hospital. endless therapy sessions, medications that “Ahh then”, was the response, “we can’t help offered hope but that she refused to take despite you. See you next Thursday.” any amount of pleading and bribing. Drifting now, sleep finally approaching as Interspersed there were glimpses of my thoughts tire of running through the same normalcy. There was an affectionate Emily, a frustrations, the same wariness. Would she hurt remorseful Emily, brief periods of awareness us? A final image - sweet, solemn, grown up and gratitude when I could almost see past the Emily beside my bed, the baseball bat stretched maelstrom but those episodes were becoming over her head, a whoosh of air, then sleep.

Christian Trusty Richland, Mo Crowder Silver Digital Art I honestly love gorillas. As a joke, my girlfriend said to do a portrait of Harambe the gorilla. So I went ahead and did it, and as I was doing it I saw the opportunity to try and put my work out there for everyone to enjoy. Adobe Photoshop brush tools on Wacom tablet and pen. Trusty is majoring in graphic design.

You Are My Sunshine Samantha Griffith Carl Junction High School Honorable Mention 3D Art Mosaic When I was little, my mom used to sing, “You are my sunshine” to me, and she calls me her little sunshine still to this day. I glued pieces of glass to a 12 by 18 board, then grouted it and added sealer. Griffith is a senior. 66 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

Emilee Kuschel Monett Crowder Silver Poetry Rhymed Verse

MONSTERS In tales of monsters, Often we hear Villagers screaming Out of pure fear.

But the truth is told In only a dream. If the villagers Would listen, not scream.

Kuschel is a third semester student at Crowder.

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They might just hear, What they couldn’t before. A warning from monsters Of what is in store. “It’s Humans!” they say, With their thunderous voice “We’re not cruel and evil! We don’t have a choice! The Humans, you see, Are the real monsters here. They kill and they hurt And it brings them great cheer. They don’t lift a finger, They don’t bat an eye. When someone is hurting, They walk right on by. They see all the wrong That is done in the world But do nothing to change it, ‘It’s not comfortable!’ They sit in their homes And watch houses burn As on television, Thousands are hurt. A comfortable life, Is all they could dream While all around the world Some have nothing to eat.

Garden Protector

The humans think they’re good Charitable and kind.

But we know the truth Though it is hard to find. The humans call us monsters, Cruel, uncivilized. But we don’t leave our children Out in the cold to die. Humans think us bothersome, Barbaric and mean. But we don’t kill our neighbors If we don’t agree. Humans fight wars Over land and over bread Humans fight battles Over money of the dead When was it written, That monsters are the ones, The savage beasts who turn A town of ten into none?

Death Parrot Jed Hardy Diamond High School Gold Digital Art I wanted to design an unearthly creature, but ground it in realism. A digitally rendered creature concept painted in Adobe Photoshop. Hardy is a senior who has always been interested in creative endeavors. He plans to continue his education in entertainment design.

Then History is wrong, That’s not the way it is! The cities were burned down Guns shot and bullets whizzed. Humans killed their young, Their weak, and their old All to save money, To keep all the gold. If we are the monsters, What does that make you? If humans think us monsters, Then they are monsters too.”

Sarah Bodine McDonald County High School Silver B&W Photography It took a lot of guts for me to get close to this spider to capture its photo. Just because something looks scary, doesn’t mean it’s going to hurt you. Fujifilm, F 11.0, ISO 320. Bodine is a senior. 68 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

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INTERLOCKED Jacqueline Cole Granby Crowder Gold Nonfiction Memoir It’s funny how things can come to mean so much to us because of the memories they represent, regardless of whether or not we got them for the purpose. Cole is an aspiring wordsmith and lifelong student of creativity.

as I basked in the exhilaration and newness, bought it in the Portland PDX airport, at watching him spin the three parts of the ring the end of the terminal as I was waiting around and around on his finger. He’d stolen for my 4 a.m. flight back home in the it from me, but I’d been so happy to watch his still, sleepy gate. It had been quiet as I’d hands I didn’t ask for it back, just sat there browsed between racks of overpriced chocolate, watching him running it up and down, and and commemorative hoodies, and various admiring how nice the silver looked on his skin. purchasable ways to kill time, but I’d finally I look at the ring now, where it rests on given up and walked to the counter where a my finger instead of his, and it makes me bored-looking clerk stood waiting to collect my happy. He’s 1600 miles away and I can’t get to $2.97 for a bottle of water. But I had stopped him, and I can’t see him for another five weeks when I saw it, on the small turntable with the because my plane tickets were hard to schedule other jewelry, unique and silver and bright, and in the first place, but it the $2.97 turned still makes me happy. into $10.97. Back every time in my seat, I cut it “One word was engraved on each of Because I see it, every time I loose and slid it onto my finger, where it the three interlocked rings, hinting slip it onto my hand or absently work it sat, the words “true at a future. . .” in endless circles, I’m love waits” pressing reminded of when into my yielding he saw it, when he skin. One word was slipped it onto his finger and played with it for engraved on each of the three interlocked rings, hinting at a future so ironically real I could what seemed like forever. And even though it’s bittersweet and I miss him like someone almost feel it pulsing in the words, though I starving misses bread, it reminds me of one knew nothing of it at the time. perfect night on a couch, and I am satisfied, Two months later and I was sitting on because true love waits.  the couch with him, arm to arm and hip to hip


Blooming Dogwood John Baty, Jr. Monett Community Gold B&W Photography It was the shape of this dogwood blossom that attracted me to it. I also thought it would make for an interesting b&w photo. Vivitar V2000, 100 mm, macro lens ISO 400, b&w film Baty’s favorite photos to take are landscapes and nature close-ups.

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STAY ANCHORED athleen, wake up,” her mother grumbled, half awake herself. As soon as she opened her eyes, she felt it. The dread of the day to come. Her body ached from lack of sleep, tired. Physically tired. Mentally tired. Emotionally tired. Tired wasn’t just an adjective used to describe her fatigue, tired felt more like part of her personality now. “Mom, can I not go today?” She mumbled into her pillow. When her mother remained unresponsive, she moved her face from the pillow and asked again. “Why?” Her mother questioned, slightly annoyed. “Do you not feel good? Are you sick?” The heavy boom of footsteps approached the bed. With her eyes still closed, Kathleen noticed a shadow reach for her face. Her mother’s chilled hand rested against her forehead, the temperature change sent a chill down her spine. Her mother’s hand flipped, in order to rest her palm against Kathleen’s forehead. Then she flipped her hand again. As she continuously flipped her hand, Kathleen hoped to actually be sick. She wished to stay home, for just one day and get a hold of herself. “You feel fine. Tough it out.” “Mom, I don’t feel good,” Kathleen raised her voice, trying to get her point across. “Kat, you’re fine. Now, get up and get ready.” Kathleen knew she was pushing her limits as aggravation drifted into her voice. As silence rested over the room, her mother left her to get ready. Kathleen remained in bed, pushing back tears and the painful lump in her throat. “You’re okay,” she mumbled to herself, fighting against her thoughts which argued the opposite. On first instinct, Kathleen reached for her phone, half checking the time, half checking her notifications. “7:06. If I wear sweats today, I can lay here for another thirty minutes.” Her mind worked in an effort to remain in bed just a few minutes longer. The only notification came from Josh. A cute paragraph meant to break a smile, but no, the warmth that should have came with that text didn’t seem to exist. She only knew two feelings, cold and numb. Occasionally, periods of times would pass when she did not rest in this state, when she actually smiled and considered herself happy. “You can’t connect yourself to someone like that. He doesn’t really like you. He doesn’t


deserve to be with someone like you. You’re a bother. Besides, everything he said is lies. You’re not pretty. Look at yourself. He doesn’t love you. You’re incapable of being loved. You’re incapable of loving. You weren’t made to be loved. You were made to disappear. To just die.” Her mind often brought similar thoughts forward, tearing her down. In response to his paragraph, she gave him an, “Okay.” Then her mind began to tear her down, once again, “Why would you do that? He’s going to think you’re a brat. You probably ruined his day now. He’d be better off without you. Everyone would, actually.” In an attempt to distract herself from her thoughts, she grabbed her clothes for the day then headed to the bathroom to get dressed, drowsily drifting through the house. The moment her world stopped appearing in color, but rather gray, everything changed to numbness and coldness. Sometimes the coldness and numbness alternated. She often times preferred the cold, as she’d rather have emotions than no emotions. The numbness led to days of minimal eating, minimal human interaction, and minimal movement. On the days spent cold, they wasted away with downgrading thoughts and hints of smiles, mostly fake. Periods of numbness consisted of doubting her life, even pushing as far as making plans for suicide. A few years ago, she started a writing journal, mostly to write about feelings, hoping the activity would help relieve her feelings, but the journal turned into a way to come up with ways to kill herself. After endless nights of crying herself to sleep or staying up all night, miserable, or listening to jokes and being the only one not to laugh, she came to realize she was about ready to give up. As her thoughts drifted to the notebook and the contents of the notebook, she felt herself drifting into the open arms of suicide. She needed help, she knew this. She always pushed the thought away as she knew she would be called out for asking for attention. She needed help before she lost herself in her own thoughts. While dressing herself, she felt her thoughts wrapping around her. She felt the gray clouds encasing her, and she felt herself getting lost in the grey cloud that seemed to control her life now. After dressing into cozy sweats and a

Bayleigh Schad Purdy High School Bronze Nonfiction Short Story I always noticed a struggle with teenagers within society, a struggle being accepted by those who do not grant acceptance to others. Then I began to notice the deeper issues of society, from rape to eating disorders, which all seemed to revolve around one concept: mental illnesses. Schad currently is a sophomore and hopes to achieve a career as a criminologist with a writing job on the side.

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Winter Woods

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mentally. Along with that, her parents began to T-shirt, Kathleen went to talk to her mom before worry and even attempted to force feed her at some points. she left for work. “Mr. Romanov?” The voice above spoke into “Mom, I’m not okay,” she said, straight up, the intercom. but the sympathy she expected transpired into “Yes,” he replied, annoyed at the interruption an eye roll. of his class. “What’s wrong?” Her mother said, “Can you send Madeline down to the office. aggravated. She’s leaving.” Kathleen struggled over her words, then “Yes,” he replied. He gave Madeline a look, decided it would only get easier if she were to signaling for her to go. After packing her binder say them out right. “I think I might kill myself.” into her backpack, she started down to the office. Silence rested over them for a few seconds, When in the office, she arrived to her mom then she cut the silence with a long sigh. “I’m conversing with the secretary. When she walked sick of you melodramatic teenagers. You do in, they stopped talking as the secretary stared anything for attention. You should be ashamed of yourself. There are actual people who struggle at Madeline. “I was going to get a haircut so I figured everyday with a mental illness. Now, I gotta go to we could go eat before,” her mother said, giving work. Don’t miss the bus.” Madeline a soft, sympathetic smile. She did miss the bus that day. “Mom, this is school. I have school.” And everyday after that. “Yes, well, I thought we could enjoy a nice As Madeline observed herself in the mirror, lunch.” she remembered the time when she was not like She lowered her head to look at the ground this. She craved to go back to those days. To be and spoke in a softer tone. The sound of the unaware of her weight. Comfortable in her own keyboard indicated the secretary lost interest or body. wanted to pretend she was not listening. “I know When she was ten years old, she was what you thought. diagnosed with Thank you.” “She understood the physical anorexia nervosa. In Her mother stood the beginning, the from the chair and they changes that were attached to not weight loss was fast began their exit through and drastic. However, eating, but she never anticipated the door. She followed by the beginning of the her mother’s lead as the changes otherwise. “ next school year, she she said goodbye to the seemed to be making a secretary. They walked turn for the better. She to the truck outside the door, where once inside, even gained weight back and returned back to she drilled Madeline on where to eat. her old self. After many, “I don’t knows” and “I don’t At age thirteen, before high school, she cares,” Madeline finally settled on Subway. She relapsed. This time the weight loss was slow and ended up with a steak and cheese sandwich with gradual. At first, she set goals of two to three spinach and cucumber. She didn’t eat until they pounds to which she would restrict her calorie arrived for her haircut appointment. intake. “Eat,” her mother commanded from the She never expected the weight loss to affect barber’s seat. Madeline sat in the seat meant to dry herself mentally. She understood the physical hair which was out of her mother’s eyesight while changes that were attached to not eating, but they cut her hair. she never anticipated the changes otherwise. Madeline removed the sandwich from Beforehand, she was considered social, and the bag, wrapped in warm, moist paper. As actually somewhat popular, but then she changed Madeline’s mother watched her, Madeline took into an antisocial outcast. The only time people a bite from the sandwich, the cheese oozing out said her name now was to talk about her when of the sandwich. Her mother smiled in triumph. she passed in the hall. They would talk about The lady turned her mother around and began how skinny she was, which was the most obvious cutting her hair. Madeline took one more bite thing to talk about. Then they talked about how out of the sandwich when she realized the ugly and disgusting it was, that no one would loophole. She tore off a piece of the sandwich want a girl that skinny. Or they would talk then stuffed it into her sweatshirt pocket. about how she needed to eat and she only sought Once “done” with the sandwich, she went to attention, nothing happened to be wrong the bathroom where she threw it all away.

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Matthew Brewer Noel Community Honorable Mention Color Photography This photo was taken on “Brewer Mountain” in Jane, Mo. My grandparents settled these woods and they are home to my soul. Motorola phone, Lark setting on Instagram Brewer is an avid outdoorsman and bow hunter. The woods are his muse.

In reality, a majority of people within society view mental illnesses to be unequal to physical illnesses. They remain unaware of the damage caused by mental illnesses, and continuously view mental illnesses as an effort to draw attention to one’s self. Along with that, parents and adults remain naive to the concept of teenage mental illnesses, often times pushing

the teen’s call for help away. Even teenagers don’t understand the seriousness of mental illness. Mental illnesses should be treated as any physical illness. Recognition and understanding of mental illness should be expressed in a society with a growing amount of mentally ill people. 

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Country Walk Hanna Schmit McDonlad County High School Bronze B&W Photography I love living in the country and I love the sound of a train just passing through in the distance. I could not think of a better way to capture the country idea than a walk on the railroad tracks in the middle of nowhere. Canon Rebel T3i, auto Schmit, a senior, began taking pictures in the sixth grade. Capturing moments has become a passion. According to Schmit, “A day with my camera is how I classify a perfect day.”

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BRIDE TO BE ow be sure to stand tall, and don’t slouch. And for heaven’s sake, do not mumble. Do I make myself clear?” “Yes, Mother, I understand.” Emma said, slowly meeting her mother’s eyes in the mirror before her. Sighing softly, she folded her hands in her lap, idly tracing a fold in her ridiculously expensive dress. “Good,” Amanda Lewis replied in a flat tone, expressing her opinions on the matter quite well in her humble opinion. “Now don’t forget, after your honeymoon you will immediately resign from that horrible job and begin working on providing a good home for your husband. My future grandchildren will not be raised in that shack you call a house,” she stated firmly. It was almost admirable, how she could sound so demanding and self-satisfied with little effort. “Of course, Mother,” Emma said lowly. Having lowered her eyes to rest upon an errant flower girl idling in the background, she jerked her head upwards once again, managing to meet her mother’s disapproving look with a timid one of her own. Going on to express her opinions about the horrid dress Mrs. Stephens was wearing this evening, and how she was going to be an eyesore the whole wedding, Mrs. Lewis continued to complain and berate all in one breath. Disregarding her mother’s speech, Emma took the time to examine herself in the mirror. Her hair was twisted elegantly into a topknot, with strands falling to curl lovingly around her heart shaped face. This was combined with her snow-white dress, and impeccably applied makeup, making her the picture of a perfect bride. Tuning back into her mother’s ongoing admonishing of the guest list, she caught onto the tail end of the rant. “-And of course that’s not going to happen, as if I could trust you to do it alone.” “I’m sorry?” Emma asked hesitantly. “Have you not been listening to a word I’ve been saying? Mary Corbin, that dreadful woman as you know, was talking utter nonsense the other day about how we should let our children choose who to marry. I know for a fact that your decision would be less than satisfactory for our family. You’re very lucky that James agreed to marry you, who knows what street-rat you could have ended up with. . . It’s almost like saying that Richard’s racing dogs should choose which mutt to breed with next. Absolutely absurd.”


Mrs. Lewis muttered the last bit under her breath. The thought of following such a foolish idea twisting her otherwise smooth face into a reproachful scowl. Just as her mother was opening her mouth to continue, an attendant stalled by the two women. Clearing her throat nervously under Mrs. Lewis’s sharp gaze, she stayed just long enough to murmur that the ceremony would begin in five minutes time. Stomach twisting with sudden anxiety, Emma slowly turned to face her mother, a small shot of satisfaction being obtained upon realizing she was taller than the spiteful woman. With final calls being made, she gained the courage to speak to her mother directly, an occurrence that had been happening less and less as she got older. “I-I-,” she paused, throat tightening almost painfully. Swallowing thickly, she continued. “I love you, but after today... I hope to never see you again.” Abruptly striding away as fast as her heels would let her, she glanced over her shoulder as she left the dressing room. Mouth held open as if to speak, her mother was as still as a statue, eyes slightly widened. The last sight she saw was her mother’s shaking fingers grasping onto a pendant around her throat. Her father was waiting for her in front of the double mahogany doors. Beautifully crafted and with stained glass panes, they were transparent just enough to see a slowly moving shadow where the audience would be. Swallowing lightly, she took hold of his arm, tucking her hand into the crease of his elbow. “Hello, Father,” she murmured, glancing at him from the corner of her eye. He was staring straight ahead, face set in a stony composition. “Hello, Emily,” her father replied, deep voice seemingly uninterested. As the only child of the Lewis family, and a daughter to boot, her expectations were to be married well off and produce children to take over her portion of the Lewis company. Expectations that did not include having a good relationship with her mother and father. Slowly tightening her grip onto his arm as the melodies from behind the doors progressively turned to the traditional wedding

Breana Miller Carl Junction High School Gold Fiction Short Story This story was created based on an idea for a painting I had. Writing this story has helped me become more interested in the literature world. Miller is currently a sophomore.

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Dogwood Rebekah Clay Pineville Crowder Silver B&W Photography I was inspired to take this photo while taking a walk. Nikon D3300, 1/500 sec., f/5.3, ISO 200 Clay is a student, seeking an Art and Design degree.

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march, she slowly closed her eyes. Breathing evenly to try and calm the nerves twisting within her stomach, she straightened her shoulders, and they began their way through the opening doors. Every step seemed as loud as two cymbals clashing together. Eyes watering, she gritted her teeth furiously, trying not to cry. Her face felt hot, and her knees felt as weak as a newborn colt’s. She almost didn’t let go when her father released her at the altar. Gasping almost silently, she caught herself and tried not to hunch under the overwhelming gazes of the witnesses, her parents, and her future husband. Gazing helplessly at her was James, her fiancé. He was a good man, and understood how obligated she was to do this. He was just as forced by his parents as she was. As the preacher began his speech, she continued to gaze at him, the tears she had been holding back falling to the carpeted floor. This would not be a bad marriage. He would care for her, provide what she needed to live comfortably, and in the future, give her children. She would have a nice, easy life with James. Perhaps she would even come to love him. But would she have real happiness? Would she have the satisfaction of knowing this was her decision, that she wanted this? When had she ever done something for herself, and not her parent? Wrenching back to her surroundings with a sudden clarity, she realized that everyone was waiting, faces bored, for her agreement to be married.

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In the front row sat her mother and father, beside each other. They stared at her with impatient, confused stares. She swept her gaze across the other pews, noticing the little flower girl from earlier, smiling merrily at her from between her own parents. And the frazzled assistant from earlier, still looking tired but a little less worn down, leaning against a man in patchy clothing, face content. In the following silence, her mother’s face began to pale more and more, turning ashen. Giving her a small grimace and a tight smile, she turned to James, her mouth dry. She smiled shyly, genuinely, and uttered a simple word. In the following pause of stunned silence, Emma launched herself down the aisle, tossing off her horrible heels towards the gobsmacked preacher as she went. She huffed as she lifted the surprisingly heavy dress’s hem above her knees, allowing her to vault out of the church doors and down the street. People shouted as she barreled her way through them, crowding together and pointing at her from across the street. Faces began to whiz by, each one seeming less important than the last. She ended up on a wooden park bench, about a mile and a half away from where she began her crazed sprint. Panting for breath, she tore stray bobby pins out of her hair, uncaring of the way they ripped strands from her scalp and tangled the already loose knot upon her head. As her breathing began to calm, realization of what she had just done began to dawn. Defying her parents, leaving her husband-to-be at the altar, and now she was lost in the middle of a park in an unfamiliar part of town. Hiccuping a bit as her breath caught, she began to giggle tentatively. Giggles turning into hysterical laughter, her face burned as she began to dry heave with sobs. What was she going to do now? 

WELCOME HOME oday is the day. The day I say goodbye at the security gate, I look at both of my parents, to all of my loved ones. The day I leave realizing this will be the last time I see them for everything and everyone I have ever a few months, maybe even years. Choking back known behind me. Today is the day I tears, they each come up and hug me, saying start my future. how much they love me and how proud of me Waking up this morning, my anxiety felt they are. As I step back, tears threatening to roll almost overwhelming, but slowly started to fade down my face, I know just how lucky I am to as the smells of fresh coffee and pancakes wafted have been raised by my amazing parents. into my room. Mom and Dad burst through my Hearing the speaker announce my flight bedroom door with sad smiles on their faces and is boarding, I know I better hurry or I will my breakfast in their hands. I can see they are miss my flight. Saying our final good byes, I still holding onto a thread of hope that I will rush into the airport to find my boarding area, change my mind and stay, but they know there is arriving with perfect timing. I join my group nothing left to say to try and convince me. And of passengers as we walk aboard our flight, all even though they say willing to fight to the “My excitement and aspirations death for the perfect they will miss me, I think they are secretly window seat. I find the flow through our conversation, happy to have their closest window seat I baby girl leave the nest. until I realize we have arrived at can, and snuggle in for As I sat and ate a long flight ahead. As the airport.” my chocolate chip we take off and reach pancakes, Mom and our flying level, I look Dad started packing out over the hills of my bags into the car. The realization that I white clouds, and I can’t help but pray in utter will walking the runway in less than 24 hours thankfulness, for God’s guidance and grace is still amazing to me. A year ago, I would’ve throughout my journey. In curiosity, I look never thought I would be able to say I am a around the plane to see everyone either sleeping professional model. Everything I have dreamt of or desperately hoping the person next to them is coming true. doesn’t spark up a 5-hour long conversation. I We load up my life in two small bags, and did not get the luxury of sleep, as I am sitting started the trip to the airport. It is sad looking by an older gentleman who has taken the liberty back over my life to think that everything I am of introducing himself and sharing with me fits into two small, carry-on bags; all of my the stories of his five grandchildren’s birthday hopes, dreams, and pairs of shoes, crammed parties. tight and packed away. At first, the trip was After a long conversation full of love quiet, my parents not knowing what to say stories, grandchildren, and the most dating about my choices. I know they haven’t ever advice one could ask for, the plane makes its final fully supported my dreams of becoming a descent towards Los Angeles. My new friend professional model, because they believe it isn’t and I parted ways as we exited the plane and a true career to be had, but for me, it is the only entered the Los Angeles airport. Excitement thing I have wanted for myself since I was a and adrenaline pumped through my heart at little girl. rapid speeds, making the walk to the front of The silence is broken when Mom asks how the airport feel like a million miles. Grabbing exactly this will turn into a profession. I explain my two bags, the pit in my stomach grew larger, to her how the photo shoots, runway shows, and knowing whatever was outside those doors, held company signing will go into effect throughout my entire future. With every step I took, I felt a the next few weeks, and also how that will kick weight being lifted off my shoulders, until my start my modeling career. My excitement and worries were all gone. aspirations flow through our conversation, until Stepping out onto the busy streets of Los I realize we have arrived at the airport. Standing Angeles, the realization hit me. I am home. 


Victoria Davidson Neosho Staff Fiction Short Story I wrote this story based on my future plans and partial past experiences throughout my career as a model. Davidson, a sophomore studying Journalism, has been writing for different publications for over a year, and her work has been published in multiple newspapers throughout Missouri.

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Ferris Sketch

PAYING TRIBUTE TO A SOLDIER Kim McCullyMobley Aurora Community Silver Nonfiction Historical Narrative It has been 13 years since Doug Mowris gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. His legacy remains alive with his family and friends. Freedom is never really free. McCully-Mobley is a local storyteller, historian, educator and journalist. She makes her home on the back roads of Barry County.

Latonia Bailey Goodman Staff Adviser Digital Art

“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” —Leo Buscaglia

life is busy and full. She is active in a variety of civic endeavors and serves on the charter board of directors of Zeros4Heroes, a local group that raises money for veterans each spring. She enjoys spending time with her parents, Jerry and Deanne Evans, and her family and friends. The future would find the spunky duo getting engaged, getting married in Eureka Springs, Ar., and having two children. The aking my regular walk in Aurora’s Maple future would also find Michele becoming a Park Cemetery on a recent morning, widow in her 30s. She would finish raising her I found myself in Block 80, a couple two children alone. of sections west of where my parents’ Aside from his service to his country, graves are located. There was a cold chill in Doug gave back to his community through the air and I could see my breath as I walked service, coaching and mentoring young people my brisk lap and planned to head towards my in southwest Missouri. He believed in giving warm car. There was an even warmer cup of everything his best shot. He always had a kind coffee somewhere in my future, I just knew it. word for strangers and a smile for his friends A couple of sparrows were perched on a nearby and family. He loved his family, his friends and tombstone. The buzz of traffic from nearby his country. Elliott Avenue provided some background noise His friends called him loyal and dedicated. for my breathing. They knew he loved being a soldier. They knew Instinctively, I stopped and looked down their friendship with this man was sacred. toward my moccasinThey knew he was covered feet at the They knew, “Thank you for your service and special. stone—belonging to a above all else, freedom man who was married sacrifice, Doug Mowris. ‘Greater was something he to a friend of mine was willing to die love hath no man than this; that for---and his humility and coached my son at soccer in his younger that made him he lay down his life for friends.’” about years. I closed my eyes a hero to them—long and remembered the before everyone else cold winter’s chill some proclaimed it. 13 years ago. Has it really been that long since His spirit remains behind with his family we received the news? and friends—both in his hometown of It was 29 years ago that a relationship Adamsville, Pennsylvania, and Aurora, Missouri. started with a man by the name of Doug There is a movement underfoot to get a stretch Mowris. Michele Evans was in the United States of highway named after him back east. His son, Navy stationed at Naval Military Personnel Craig, 27, has his sense of humor and is devoted Command in Washington, D.C. living at Fort to being a good dad. His daughter, Kenzie, 23, Myer, Virginia. Doug was an Army Military has his nurturing spirit. His grandson, Henry Policeman stationed at Fort Myer, as well. James, is named after his grandfather and has his He walked into the NCO (Nonstrong hands and a beautiful smile. Commissioned Officer’s) Club “like he owned A new daughter-in-law, Brittany, rounds out the place,” she said, with a grin—recalling that the Mowris clan and manages to keep them all in moment, his laugh, his confidence and his hint check when she can. of a swagger. Doug’s visitation was held at the old armory “He was a little cocky, but not arrogant. I in Aurora—where hundreds of people came to was immediately attracted to him. We started pay tribute. The town had a parade of honor and talking and never stopped. I would say it was blocked off several streets in the wake of his love at first sight,” Michele, a native of Aurora, funeral as hundreds more paid tribute to their Mo., explained. soldier and his family on the way to the grave Michele works at PlayPower in Monett. Her side service in Maple Park Cemetery.

The Atlanta skyline features a 20-story Ferris wheel. Photoshop sketch filter gives it a nostalgic feel.


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Bailey, adviser since 1994, submits various works for honorary publication. Douglas James Mowris was born May 11, 1966 in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He went to school in Conneaut Lake Park, where he graduated in 1984 and joined the military right after graduation. The distinguished military career of Army Staff Sergeant James Douglas Mowris, age 37, ended in the line of duty on January 29, 2004. Staff Sergeant Mowris was one of seven soldiers killed that Thursday in an explosion during the clearing of an enemy weapons and ammunition cache in Ghazni, Afghanistan. Born in Pennsylvania, Staff Sergeant Mowris took his first step into active duty, in the United States Army, on September 7, 1984, at the age of 18. After completing his first threeyear Active Duty enlistment term, he married Mary Michele Evans, of Aurora, Missouri. In 1989 their lives were blessed with a son, Craig Andrew, and five years later in 1994, blessed with a daughter Mackenzie Elizabeth. Over a period marking nearly 20 years, Staff Sergeant Mowris served his country in varying capacities, in uniform: 3 years and 4 months initial Active Duty enlistment from 1984 to 1988 during which time he attended Basic Training and Military Police training at Ft. McClellan, Alabama; another 3 years Active Duty from 1992 to 1995 (984th Military Police Company) attending Nuclear Biological Chemical Warfare Training (1993) and Primary Leadership Development Course (1994); and just shy of 6 years from 1998 to 2004 with the Army Reserve (414th Military Police Company, 530th Military Police Battalion, 805th Military Police Company), attending Total Army Instructor

Training Course (2000). His last term of service was to expire in May 2004. He did not make it that long. During these periods of enlistments, overseas and state-side deployments and temporary duty locations included: Turkey (1986-87); Saudi Arabia, “Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm” (1991); Somalia, “Operation Provide Hope” (1993); Honduras, “Task Force Bravo” (1994-95); El Salvador, “Operation New Horizons, Joint Task Force New Hope” (1999); Kosovo, “Operation Joint Guardian” (2000-01); Cuba, “Operation Enduring Freedom” (2002); Ft. Benning, GA “Operation Noble Eagle” (2002); and Afghanistan, “Operation Enduring Freedom” (2003-04). Awards earned during his time of service, include: Bronze Star (Posthumous), Meritorious Service Medal (Posthumous), Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Joint Service ACH Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Army Good Conduct, Army Reserve ACH Medal (2nd Award), National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, Humanitarian Service Medal (Hurricane “Mitch” Operation), Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M” (2nd Award), Non-commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, United Nations Medal, NATO Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait [Continued to 78]

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Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Kosovo Campaign Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award – Task Force Eagle, Driver & Mechanic Badge with Driver-W Bar, Army Lapel Button. In the civilian sector, Staff Sergeant Mowris was a correctional officer at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. He had just had the position a few months when he was deployed again. While at home he enjoyed coaching soccer, football and baseball, and had been a member of his church league softball team. Those who had the honor of knowing and serving with Staff Sergeant Mowris will continue to mourn his passing in the coming years. Most continue to find ways to pay it forward with respect and service to a life welllived and cut short. The family and friends have hosted a variety of events and competitions. A small memorial was dedicated in Aurora’s White Park, too.

Clouds Drew Aggus Joplin Staff Color Photography Clouds are inspiring, in seeing these unique formations, I had to capture their beauty. Samsung Galaxy S7 Aggus, sophomore at Crowder, is set to transfer in the fall to Missouri Western to major in public relations.

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On that January day in 2004 in Afghanistan, our country lost an honorable man, a loving husband, a devoted father, and an exemplary American soldier. All of those fortunate to have known him are forever changed. Michele Mowris will continue to carry the torch for veterans, their care, honoring their service and making sure Doug’s legacy of determination, love, humor and spunk is shared with her family and friends on a regular basis. Doug’s life may have ended way too soon; but, the Mowris love story is not over—by a long shot. It seems fitting we should talk about him again—especially this time of year, when the promise of spring, warmer weather and new beginnings are just around the corner. I shoved my hands in my pockets, took a deep breath and headed back to my car and that hot cup of coffee. Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Doug Mowris. “Greater love hath no man than this; that he lay down his life for friends.” 

MY ENDURING PASSION feeling of love and passion is what keeps our hearts pumping, knowing that there is a place to belong is what keeps our smiles plastered to our faces. Having both at the same time, well that is a goal for which everyone strives. I am one of the lucky ones. Einstein found his love for the universe at age twelve. Picasso found his love for painting at age nine. I found my love for music at age ten. There is nothing I cannot do with my music and faith. I still remember the ambiance of the miraculous day. I remember looking in the mirror. I have never felt more ready. My hair was pinned half up, while the other half fell around my shoulders. I fixed the creases in my teal dress. I felt the passion flow through my veins like a river, giving me a golden glow. I held my love in my hands. I walked to my stage, the rest of my life ahead of me. I leaned against the wall and closed my eyes and took a deep breath. That moment was by far one of the highlights of my life. I buffed the fingerprints off my beloved instrument. I said a quick prayer. The door opened; I smiled and opened my eyes. I strolled into one of the best moments of my life. However, there were still plenty of amazing moments ahead of me. The crowd was silent. My heart was beating like a hummingbird. The feeling was scary yet extraordinary. My feet had never felt heavier. My thoughts were clear, yet so filled with the next moment. I stepped to a perfect beat as we reached the field. My eyes wandered; I saw so many colorful faces. I saw excitement, and I


saw fright. I knew my face had lost written all over it, but that was a joy in its own sense. Like robots, we all stopped at once, waiting for further instructions. I felt as small as a mouse. The world in front of me was larger than I imagined. My hands started to sweat. I felt my knees start to shake. My senses were getting foggy until I heard the whistle blow, and with a jolt, I knew what to do. I started doing what I was made for. Despite wonderful moments like these, there were times when I forgot about what I loved. There was a point when the passion, the excitement, were all ripped from my hands. My love was buried beneath commotion and confusion. I was just a follower. Frustration welled up inside me. My talent was destroyed by all trifling situations. Disappointment was a familiar face. Prayers, night after night, were unanswered. I came to my breaking point, when after a slight moment, I became a leader. I rose from the bottom of the pit. I started feeling the passion again. I learned how to play for me and only me. I became stronger. I never would have become the player I am now if the fear of losing my passion for good did not hit when it did. “Musician” is how most people label me. Being a musician has shown so much of my personality. I am strong-willed, independent, and smart. I am no longer getting through the day with one sole purpose. I have grown and expanded my mind and my faith in God. This is a story that only I will ever understand and keep close to me. All that is left for me to do in this world is keep playing. 

Tessela Jeffers Seneca High School Gold Nonfiction Essay This entry is an attempt to put what I feel when I play music onto paper. I have a passion for my music and I would like the world to know how important it is to me. Jeffers is a senior and has plans to graduate with honors and move on to MSSU where she will major in musical education.

Mandala of Light Mason Moots McDonald County High School Honorable Mention Digital Art This is a project that we did in my computer graphics class. Photoshop techniques such as the Pen Tool, Paint Bucket, and Shape Tool Moots was hoping to try and do something a little different, and she thinks she managed that.

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Gone with the Wind Grace Wormington Monett High School Bronze Color Photography I titled this picture “Gone with the Wind” because it was such a windy day. Canon EOS Rebel T5, 8.0 mm lens, 1/160 shutter Wormington is a sophomore and photography has been a hobby of hers for the last three years.

FIRST LOVE: A SURVIVAL STORY Leandra Toomoth Anderson Community Gold Nonfiction Personal Narrative This personal essay is about the treacherous journey that is falling in and out of love, but specifically, in response to the abuses made from another. I hope to inspire others to wrangle free from the hands of their own abusers and see in themselves that they are worthy of a love that is genuine and true. Toomoth is an English teacher at McDonald County High School.

s a natural born romantic, I have spent my whole life brining and basting my tender heart with romantic melodies, movies, and musicals. My life has been coated with a luminescent veneer whose sticky residue, even now, somehow lingers. As a child, I’d spend countless hours under sun-soaked skies daydreaming about my future spouse. He would be tall, handsome, impeccably kind. He would appreciate my affinity for chocolate-chip pancakes. He would forgive my obsession for all things Titanic. And, sadly, like other natural-born romantics, there is that dark, heavy marking - leaden and grey - in my own timeline indicating the moment when all romantic notions were destroyed. For me, that was my first boyfriend. My first boyfriend - my high school “sweetheart” - was what I only assumed to be a gentleman. We first met in Geometry class. By happen chance, we sat next to each other, him in front of me. My first impressions were of the back of his head. He was tall, taller than me, and his hair, thick and blonde, flopped on the top of his head like leafy tendrils. But when he turned around at me, there was this instinctual reaction. A tiny voice inside my head that softly uttered: “Leandra, get this guy to notice you. He will change


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your life forever.” I had never heard this voice before. Was it God? A guardian angel? My own instincts? I couldn’t be sure, but I knew that in this moment fate must be real and these were beginning signs of a true love. So for the next few months I strived to fulfill what I believed was my fate - getting him to notice me. And over time, our conversations extended outside our cramped classroom. Then lunch ‘dates’ were formed; walking arrangements made. Eventually we both casually found ourselves near the same water fountain and coincidentally in the parking lot at the exact same time. And then by spring, we were ‘official’. Even now, at 29, I can remember the date he asked me out. That is how important a first love is to a silly girl at 15. Admittedly, he was ordinary in almost every way. But, still, he was nice to me and he’d buy me my favorite drink from Sonic and he asked me to prom and he put his arm on my shoulder in such a tender way that it sent foreign chills down my spine. In high school, these things matter. And, even now, through the memory montage that fills my mind, I’m reminded of trips taken; proms patronized; celebrations

cherished; and memories multiplied. There was those early morning hours sitting in the shower, no denying it - between us, there was love. crying, even as the water turned icy cold, trying But as I type this story, I find it painful to to squeeze every stray splash of dark thread still reflect back on this relationship because I can see woven in my hair, wishing and praying that as now that there were shadows that were festering the black swirled down the drain, so would my inside of him. A kind of dark cancer that memories of the evening. They didn’t. metastasized between the glowing moments Nor did the memories of the time when he of love and laughter. And had I known at 15 threw a beer bottle at my face. Or the time he what terrible days and nights lay ahead of me, I punched the tail light of my car. Or the time he would have went running in the other direction. smashed a car door on my leg. Or the time he But that is not this story. slammed me into the wall.. Instead, years passed on with me by his side. I wish these were all the stories to tell. And as the years wore on, so did the tenderness. They’re not. I wish I could say that it was one of Soft hands once bespoke with love turned into those awful, traumatic, deeply disturbing events fists of rage. His trademark chuckle evolved that eventually spurred me to leave. It wasn’t. into violent spittle. No longer was my shoulder Eventually, we decided to take a ‘break’. We cupped by softness, but instead gripped fiercely. both separated for a short while, but somehow Unforgivably. But I stayed. Because my romantic always found ourselves back together. Despite all heart could not stand the idea of the universe the pleading of my friends. Despite all the logic having gotten it wrong. Or the idea that the and reason that spun its web in front of me. prophetic voice that once spoke in my mind I went back to him. Every single time. I could have been imagined. know. It was - I was - pathetic. The things he did Until you are left “But I stayed. Because my - even now - are hard cleaning the bile off his for me to write about. romantic heart could not stand chin as he painfully cries What are the perfect into your lap begging words for when a fist the idea of the universe having for help and pleading flies at your face? Or with you to stay...you gotten it wrong.” the way a person’s cannot imagine the face can contort into hopeless struggle that these menacing shapes and angles, when only is staying with an addict. An abuser. But there moments before he smiled at you with love? was this moment, about six months after our How do you describe, in perfect detail, initial ‘parting’, when he told me he was ready to what it feels like to come home to discover he change. If I could promise him six months, just is sitting calmly in a chair with a gun sitting six more months, he could promise me he’d clean in front of him making those kind of eerie and up. bizarre claims that you are his one and only? And I realized, in this moment, this would I can remember what colors the wall were. Or be my life forever. It would be a series of these the strange buzzing sound somewhere in the six month intervals that would eventually - and background. I think he was wearing a blue shirt. inevitably - leave me disappointed. It was definitely a black gun. But, the feeling? Constantly hoping for him to get better. Sheer terror. One that my overly romanticized Constantly waiting for him to get worse. heart never dreamed possible. I really should I don’t know if it was power supplied by have seen it coming. that same voice that once sputtered out advice One of the first times I witnessed such so many years before, but it was in that moment violence occurred nearly three years into our that I finally found my nerve. The self-respect relationship, at our Halloween party, when I that I once possessed had returned itself. And (dressed as a witch adorned with face makeup when I left his house that December evening, I and a head full of temporary black hair dye) knew I could finally leave him. For good. And I kindly gave him a glass of water, only to have did. him throw it in my face. My friends stood back What I am most sorry about now is that I in silence. I can’t really blame them. I mean, wasted those beautiful, precious, irretrievable what do you do in that situation? years that you only get between adolescence and Their shocked faces were the backdrop to young adulthood that should be marked with my own as I wiped the water from my tearexcitement, energy, and enthusiasm. stained eyes that splashed black paint onto my Mine, instead, were marked by rage, wrath, [Continued to 82] cheeks and hands. I spent the remainder of Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 83

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resentment. Uncertainty. Insecurity. Fragility. Nights that should have been filled with random road trips and impromptu escapades were spent nursing his drunken soul and calming his bitter fists. And those years that should have been passed with such ease instead showed each passing week, month, and year a bombardment of a kind of mental, emotional, physical, and psychological torture that no human being should ever go through. But here I am typing this in front of my husband, whom I love wholly. When I read this to him out loud - to which he is all too familiar with these same sad, sordid tales from my twisted past - he shook his head and said, “It’s hard for me to imagine you tolerating this.” And the truth is, I can’t either. The person I am today possesses far more self-respect than I did even at 21 when I eventually left him. I am stronger and wiser. But, sadly, too, I am also colder and harder. I wish I could say that beautiful little girl who believed in shooting stars and soul mates and only assumed a love would find her one day in a math class or otherwise - is still present. She

Monochrome Leslie Wright Neosho Community Silver B&W Photography The name is a play on words, but this vintage automobile isn’t joking around. Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Photoshop Elements Wright is currently a third-year college student who has greatly enjoyed taking and entering photos in the Crowder Quill for the last seven years. 84 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

is, I suppose, but only in fragmented pieces. She struggles to trust people. The bruises that once laced her skin now reside somewhere deep inside; a sore that forever festers, serving as a reminder of the darkness within. It’s horrible and sad. And beautiful and real. Admittedly, I wish my tragic past never occurred. But I cannot take that away. Instead, I can only learn from it and recognize in myself my own tragic flaws and accept them for what they are. Help others know the same. Remind my daughters that they are wonderful and beautiful and deserving of a love that can only remind them of such truths. With that in mind, truth be told, I don’t think that voice that - even now - I can hear ringing so clearly in my head was exactly wrong. If I hadn’t dated that first boyfriend. If I hadn’t fallen in love... I would have moved. I would have gone to school far away. And I most certainly would not have returned. But with that relationship, I stayed. And I found a job here. And a house. And, eventually, my husband. A husband that loves me despite the shadows that linger in my memory. Who is patient and kind when the crumpled version of myself, still laying on that shower floor, somehow clouds my vision and barricades my heart. It is a love that would never raise a fist or spit out abuses. It is a love that does not deny or degrade or denigrate. In getting that boy to notice me, it has led me down a trail - though at times tenuous and terrible that eventually led me to my first, real love. The kind my adolescent self once prayed for and dreamed of and imagined into being. And yes He is tall and handsome and impeccably kind. He encourages my affinity for chocolate-chip pancakes with breakfast in bed. And he - though playfully - teases my obsession for all things Titanic. 

GO Rylee Miller Neosho High School Bronze Digital Art The green of the “G” and “O” symbolize nature and new growth. The contrast of the moon and sun are saying to explore 24/7. This design started as a notebookpaper sketch, but re-created in Adobe Photoshop.

EXHALING THUNDER The hallway is filled with absolute darkness, a single streetlight stuttering in quick motions outside. Within the silence, he was the incarnation of Venus, burning and hellish, even as the white disguise played to be pure. His fist drove into the plastered wall like a car speeding down a black highway covered in icy rain. His hand pulled back from the now shattered wall quickly bruised and broken, yet no pain was felt from the rush of manic adrenaline. The blood was running down like fresh poison spat from the mouths of his enemies and the ones who did him wrong. Maybe is was the anger of the life that we all are forced to breathe. Maybe it was the anger from the emotions that were meant to be felt, because feeling anger is “wrong.” Pain pierced his heart with a padlock of pulsing passion. Looking down at the blood, it was now every color absorbed into a dark shade of red. The anger dissipated into the black abyss known as a hole in the wall. Out of all feelings felt, anger could be the most profound. Anger opens our eyes to show that the world is not what we once imagined it to be, unlike the fantasized bedtime stories our mothers once told at the edge of our beds. Even filled with the pain known as calm rage, we fall into acceptance with the rain outside pouring more heavily than before, creating reflective puddles of when the anger was just a child running around and falling off of rusty swing sets. But now, with the dried blood bound to his knuckles, he stood in the peaceful silence of ringing ears, while breathing lightning, and exhaling thunder.

Miller spends the majority of her time on stage as a theatre performer.

Sierra Chappie McDonald County High School Bronze Poetry Free Verse When I wrote this poem, I was sitting in the hallway of a place called School of Rock, where I go twice a week to rehearse songs with kids my age. As I was sitting there, I got inspiration to write this poem from a song titled “Breathing Lightning.” Chappie’s favorite class is AP English III. She would like to pursue a career in music or music theory.

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KNEELING DURING NATIONAL ANTHEM Derek Shore Cassville Staff Nonfiction Essay This piece of nonfiction writing entails one of the latest controversies in the NFL: kneeling during the national anthem. Shore is a Journalism and Public Relations major. He’s also an aspiring sports writer.

eeing someone kneeling during our national anthem is absolutely distasteful and disrespectful to not only this country’s flag, but for those paying the ultimate sacrifice overseas fighting for our rights. The protest in sporting events was ignited by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the NFL. The protest argues against police violence and racial inequality of the African-American race. It has rapidly become one of the most high-profile cases in the National Football League (NFL). Things should be put to a stop before things become catastrophic. Although I support Kaepernick’s first amendment rights to express his beliefs, he has picked the wrong forum. Our national anthem is about how this country was formed and the battles we had to fight to achieve freedom. Meanwhile, Kaepernick, a player paid to entertain, should be focused on exactly that. Instead, he’s provoking audiences on a national level, commencing a controversial and an embarrassing movement against our nation’s hallmark. Further, I understand Kaepernick and the


E/ART/H Gage Williams Joplin Crowder Honorable Mention Digital Art Earth without “art” is just “eh.” I wanted the piece to look like a painting of the Earth but also not resemble the planet itself, rather this be an interpretation of the only planet with life in the solar system. I wanted it to look mysterious but also appear beautiful.

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players have the right of freedom of speech. However, here’s my compromise: athletes should realize protesting on a national stage has only led to ridicule since the start. They should turn their protest to communities and focus away from sports. Sports are for the entertainment of all fans regardless of race. Granted, he has the right to protest, but an exception should’ve been made for an athlete, especially one playing at the professional level. Professional athletes are looked upon as having big presences in the community while being positive role models to the younger generation, not sparking up controversy in a negative light to kneeling and degrading the national anthem. If this doesn’t change, Kaepernick and those who have kneeled with him can’t be penalized by the NFL. However, the former and his followers have completely lost credibility. Thus, their reputation has already diminished drastically. In addition, they’re no longer respected and appreciated by fans who are supposed to stick with them through the good, bad, and ugly. If you’re choosing to do what’s right, don’t kneel ever. 

Megan Kehoe Neosho Crowder Gold B&W Photography I was having a small shoot with my grandparents and I asked them to put their hands together showing their wedding rings. Canon T3i 50mm lens Kehoe is a sophomore who loves to take photos of anything and everything.

FINAL SPRING Death left his card at my door today, His acquaintance for years I’ve tried to delay, But now, there is little I can do or sayFor the card said he’d return when the snow melts away. The biopsy results confirmed cancer will prevail. My doctor’s words hammering in nail after nail, Sealing my coffin and eventual fate, But it’s so surreal to be given an approximate date. I never thought it would be in spring, When life so clearly is on the upswing, With melodic songs of birds filling the air, And buds declaring life’s return everywhere. Yet, death left his card at my door today, And his countenance I can no longer keep at bay, Even when I bend my head to solemnly pray, I keep thinking the snow will soon melt away.

Billie Holladay Skelley Joplin Community Bronze Poetry Rhymed Verse This was written after talking with a cancer patient who tried and failed several therapeutic treatments. She talked about how she wanted to know how much time she had left, but also did not want to know. Her voice lingers with me and was the inspiration for this poem. Skelley’s poems, articles and essays have appeared in various journals, magazines and anthologies in print and online. She has also written books for children.

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Akromkhon Sobirkhonov Neosho Crowder Silver 2D Media Colored paper


I took an art course in the spring of 2016 at the College of Southern Maryland and created this using two different papers: black and white. For the black one, I cut and created a mirror by putting the half of black papers on white paper. Sobirkhonov is an international student from Uzbekistan.

#STOP_THE_ADS Carter Hickman Neosho Staff Nonfiction Essay Hickman is a general studies major, graduating in May. He is planning on continuing his education in communication.

ack made his weary way in the general direction of The Settlement, one of the largest groupings of the surviving civilizations around. It was surrounded by a makeshift fence created from tearing down damaged houses, inside the fence was the marketplace, which had a range of merchants from necessities, tailors, gunsmiths, all the way up to the extravagant and weird and luxurious. Past this was another fence, made out of scavenged metal, and erected around the inner section, in here were all the houses, sanitation facilities, inn, council building, and Jack’s personal favorite, the tavern. The town had never gotten a name, people use to talk about moving to the settlement when they were traveling, and the name just stuck. Many years in the past, long before anyone alive had any reckoning, something happened that had drastically changed life on the planet. Nobody is exactly sure what caused this, either bombs being launched from war, some impossibly large asteroid colliding with earth, some experimental virus leaking from a lab and killing or alternating all life forms, or even stranger kookier theories. All anyone really knew was that the majority of the world was barren, decaying, and fighting to stay together. Civilization had survived though, as it usually did; people had banded together to find safe locations with the necessities of life, and had worked to defend them. The stories passed down through generations all say that the beginning was hell, looting, burning, dying, and animals going crazy. The years had seen some semblance of balance however, and the earth was slowly taking back locations it had lost. Roads were cracking, buildings were caving in, trees were sprouting, and rivers would run through whole towns. Technology and knowledge in general had been lost, the surviving members of humanity relied select professionals to go out and scavenge ruins for goods. Jack was one of these professionals, if not THE professional. Standing at 6’1”, lean of build, but with defined muscles due to all the exploring and fighting. His skin was tan from constant exposure to the never ending sun. Pattern baldness had set in, leaving him with what old books called crown pattern baldness of dark brown hair. His eyesight was never great, but glasses scavenged kept him from being blind, and thankfully it never interfered with his job.

eople should not have to pay for music. Spotify, Pandora, and all of the other music streaming apps are of the devil himself. They tease you with free trials or super cheap discounted prices, but then, once you get used to the music without ads, they snatch it away from you. They raise prices to ridiculous amounts just because they know you are hooked. Never again will you be able to happily listen to music with ads because you know the luxury of ad-free music. Every single time an ad pops up while listening to music you will become irritated, or agitated because 30 seconds of your life is being wasted on an ad about an app that is sponsored by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Today’s generation wants immediate satisfaction. There is a time and place for ads, but that place is not in our music.


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I realize that it is the only way to make sure artists get paid for their work without paying for a subscription. I just hate it. I do not think people should have to pay for music. It should be shared with everyone. Artists can go on tour or do live performances and charge admission for those performances. They will make oodles of money and they will have a fan-base that will support them. Paying for recorded music with money, or by listening to ads is just the big record companies being greedy. In essence, it is not the ads that frustrate me. It is the idea of paying to listen to music without interruption. Sadly, things will probably never change, but, in a perfect world, music would be able to be streamed without interruption for free. 

He was the lead scavenger of The Settlement, always known to get the very best items, and find the very best locations for outposts, or other mini settlements. Exploring across the river had sounded like a quick easy trip, but the closest ruins were farther than Jack had thought. Using the binoculars he’d found on his last trip, he had spied a building not far from the river banks. He thought it was an outlying building of a larger town; sadly he was mistaken. It had been a two day trip to the river, then the crossing, followed by another three days before he’d even found more than the tiny shed he’d spotted. What a find it was though, it must have been a fair sized community with at least six different families all living together in the old days. Most of the houses were in disrepair, starting to fall in on themselves, burying their contents. After a few days of rummaging around, Jack’s handcart was almost overflowing with all the items he had picked up. Jack couldn’t wait to get back to The Settlement, he wanted to stop by the tavern, his throat was parched, and he was aching for the companionship the tavern’s back room supplied. It wasn’t just the town that Jack had found though; he’d also stumbled upon a group of the land’s shadowy protectors, The Valedors. These people all wore long dark brown or black trailblazing dusters; majority wore a cattleman cowboy hat although the few odd balls preferred to sport a derby or pale rider. Each member was equipped with a long range weapon of their choice, usually a hunting rifle sometimes assault, side arm, as well as at least one melee weapon for when things got close and dirty. These law bringers usually traveled alone, or in small groups, dispensing justice that the towns couldn’t handle. It was an elite group, one that didn’t normally accept outsiders unless under extreme circumstances, although some in the group wanted to get away from that, feeling that they were bringing about their own downfall, the world was after all a big place to protect. This particular group Jack stumbled upon were being waylaid by twice their number, and had formed up into the age old formation of a last stand circle. Jack had topped a hill, and the scene had unfolded in front of him. Five Valedor’s crouched behind quickly crafted barricades of logs or bushes, while twenty raiders surrounded them perched upon the hills, and behind trees [Continued to 88] with a much greater

Jacob Walker Neosho Crowder Honorable Mention Fiction Short Story I had a dream that ended up inspiring this story, along with select video games. I enjoy the basis of this story, of the world being reduced to almost nothing, but being able to build itself back up. I also enjoy that it shows that no matter what, evil exists, people will fight it. Walker is a nontraditional college student. He is a published poet already, but feels more at home writing fiction. His aspirations are to become a history professor as well as a fiction writer.

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vantage point. Three Valedors lay still, and it that everyone was in place, today they were looked like two more didn’t have much longer ending this standoff. Raiders by nature weren’t in this world. The local raider bands almost very bright; they were the prisoners, rapists, never grouped together, if they did they’d easily murderers, thieves, degenerates of settlements overrun the few settlements, and homesteads that couldn’t put up with them anymore. They that dotted the wastes, thankfully they were too also thrived on raiding former hospitals or greedy of spoils to do that. This was a special health centers for the old world’s medication, of case, exacting revenge against the Valedors for which they would then take until slumping into wiping out the local raider warlord, and his a drug fueled haze. A few in the group seemed personal raider cell. Jack knew what he had to to be smarter than the others however, and do, the fighting had lulled to a standstill and quickly realized that some of their group wasn’t darkness was enveloping the land. As soon as replying to the whistles. One raider decided to the sun started rising again, or the moon’s pale go check it out, he started out along the east face shown through enough to bathe the land in part of the rim, a few yards away from a very a blue glow, the fighting would start up again. large tree. The man was walking with a half Luckily he’d found an assortment of weapons in crouch, keeping one eye down in the gully, the his recent scavenging trip, ranging from kitchen distraction cost him dearly once he reached the knives to one long sword that he found lodged in large tree. Another raider made his way towards a bathroom wall. the tree from the same direction after not seeing Using the cover of darkness, Jack made sure the first one appear, this one also didn’t make it he stayed low to the ground, replacing his boots into view from the other side. Finally a more with a pair of shoes intelligent raider “As soon as the sun started rising decided to check it lessened the noise his footsteps would out from the opposite again, or the moon’s pale face make. He noticed He got to the shown through enough to bathe direction. that the raiders were first location someone the land in a blue glow, the fighting should have been at, spread out, just in calling distance of and found one of his would start up again.” each other. The first fellow raiders dead. one Jack came upon This alerted the raider had his back to him, so he quickly and quietly to the plight they were in. He started making covered the man’s mouth with one hand, and his way more cautiously, yelling out a shrill jabbed a knife into the side of his neck with the trilling whistle each time he found a dead body. other. Jack eased the gurgling shuddering body Finally he came to the large tree that two had to the ground, so he didn’t alert anyone to his disappeared behind, he found three dead bodies, location. Jack dispatched two more in short stacked up like firewood, but with nobody else in succession, using a combination of knifing. sight. The fourth raider Jack decided to change it Jack watched the intelligent raider study up a little, he got behind the man, and made a the base of the tree, looking around to see what quick twisting motion to snap his neck before had caused the three men to die and be piled so catching the falling body. Jack quickly realized neatly. Jack stood with one leg on one limb, the this method was too slow to effectively deal with other on the opposite limb, straddling a fork them before dawn. The horizon was lightening, and watching the raider between his legs. The and he knew he needed to take out at least a raider got closer, looking around completely couple more to give the men below a chance. bewildered, just as he was about to call out for The seventh raider fell at Jack’s feet just as the help, he looked up, Jack jumped feet first from sun popped up over the line of hills to the east, the tree. Jack drove his feet into the man’s face he was tired having not rested since the night and rolled to the side, stunning his adversary. before, and coated in blood. Thirteen raiders The raider slowly stood up coughing, spitting still remained standing, along with the five out blood and dirt, he then whipped around Valedors and the hidden Jack. trying to bring his rifle to bear on Jack hoping The north half of the ring had been cleared to end this quickly. Jack ducked down, coming out by one man, and nobody had yet to realize up into the man’s guard, and drove his right it. The raiders started rousing themselves out fist deep into the man’s stomach, causing him of their hiding spots. They started calling to double over. This action gave Jack enough out weird whistles and whoops, checking time to stand up, and break the hold on the rifle 90 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

making it clatter to the ground. He then placed both hands interlocking on the back of the raiders head, and brought his knees up into the man’s already busted face, alternating right knee then left knee then right, over and over crunching into the man’s cheek, mouth, nose, and eyes until the raider slumped against Jack unconscious. Jack let him slide limp to the ground, and looked around. The sun

was up over the hill, and sounds of battle filled the air as raiders and Valedor’s engaged each other. Jack ran in a low crouch, moving towards where the other raiders were to give the Valedor’s a chance. Jack knew that the fighting was long from over, but the odds had been lessened, and he wasn’t about to let all his hard work go for nothing. 

The Tree Nathaniel Thomas Neosho Crowder Gold 3D Art Wire Sculpture The tree is a symbolic image of the old and experienced carrying the young and naive. The tree is planted firmly in a foundation of stone, but the irony of the piece is this: The large strong tree and its heavy stone uphold the small tree, but all it takes is the removal of a small sliver of stone underneath, and the strong tree can no longer stand. No matter how strong you become, you must have the wisdom to acknowledge you are not doing it alone. Thomas is just a man who is excited to be an artist - to wake and know he is here to make and create. He couldn’t see himself living any other life.

Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 91

ABOUT THE CONTEST Art and literary submissions are accepted at CrowderQuill.com from May 1 to Feb. 1 each year. Mostly an online contest, 2D and 3D art may also be hand-delivered; contact Quill@ Crowder.edu to make arrangements. The maximum number of entries per category per person is four. Only one award per category will be allotted per person. Entries are judged by staff members. Divisions are high school, Crowder College students, and community members. The Crowder Quill is a literary-art magazine published annually by the Magazine Production class at Crowder College. The mission statement is “to encourage and showcase the creative abilities of local writers, artists, and photographers as well as provide a cultural and link between Crowder College and our surrounding communities.

For more details about the contest guidelines and an entry form, go to www.CrowderQuill.com.


This publication is designed annually by Crowder College students enrolled in Comm 111, Magazine Production. Text was set in Bell MT 10 point regular. Story titles were set in Kozuka Gothic Extra Light. Other fonts used include Arial, and Myriad Pro. The Crowder Quill was produced using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CS5. The magazine was printed in the Crowder College print shop on the Neosho, Mo., campus. The cover stock is Sappi Flo Gloss Digital Cover 11 x 17 80 lb. 7TP coated, and inside pages are on 11x17 60 lb. white Husky Opaque Offset Domtar. Funding of the publication comes from the college as a means to provide a cultural link with the community and for an outlet for creativity and expression. For the 2017 contest, nearly 800 entries were received, and 112 awards were presented in a public ceremony and poetry reading May 11, 2017 on the Neosho campus of Crowder College. Award winners were published and received certificates to be recognized as part of the 37th annual publication.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special thanks to the following individuals and departments for making this publication and contest possible.

CONTEST CATEGORIES The magazine is a compilation of winning entries in the following literary and art categories. Various forms of each genre are welcome as Fiction publication submissions. The following are Clear plot development and well-defined common terms and explanations within each characters are expected; also limit of 1,800 category. For more detailed contest guidelines, words. see CrowderQuill.com. Short stories – a brief story that, while it does

Nonfiction Essays, character sketches and other trueto-life writings should be limited to 1,800 words. Essays – a short piece of writing that is based on one certain subject in which the author normally states and details their opinion on. There are four types of essays in literature: expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive. Biography – a piece of literature that has been written about someone’s life. Autobiography – when the biography is written by the subject of the story. Character sketch – a short piece of writing that details a certain character. Memoir – a written work similar to a biography but focuses on a specific time in a person’s life. Historical narrative – a narrative that was written for the general purpose of recreating historical events and characters. Satire – a piece of writing that ridicules mankind’s downfalls and corruptions. Political satire – a piece of literature written for the purpose of mocking the government and its members. Commentary – writing that is generally used for records. The author, having been a part of a certain experience, details what occurred. Journal/Diary entries – a written record of a person’s thoughts, opinions, and activities.

Cindy Brown, Public Information Office Gary Dudash and Marsha Welch, Print Shop Travis Christensen, Lights and Sound Aggie Club Catering Mark Kalmbach, Melinda Rantz, and crew, Maintenance Jackson Lewis and Drew Aggus, Information Desk Eric Deatherage and Jennifer Johnson, Lee Library Susie Murphy and Alivia Azzun, Communication Department Archive 2015 winning entry Archive 2016 winning entry 92 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

come to completion, lacks complexity and indepth character development. Plays – a written piece presenting a story that was created with the intention for the piece to be acted out on a stage. Fables – A short narrative that is used to teach morals and commonly uses animals as characters. Folklore – a piece of literature that preserves the traditional customs and tales among a certain group of people. Parody – a piece of literature that closely imitates an author or another piece of literature, most often for comedic purposes. Fantasy – a literary genre that is comprised of things that cannot occur in the real world, such as magic and mythical creatures. Science fiction – a literary genre that has a story line that is based off different views on what science and technology will be like in the future.

Sources: Information is paraphrased from a variety of sources. For a complete bibliography, see www. CrowderQuill. com in the post titled “Contest Categories.”

Poetry Whether free verse, blank verse, rhymed or metered verse, poetry should make a point, state emotion, or relate an experience. Musical lyrics – poetry that is paired with instrumental sound to create a song. Free verse – a verse that does not have a steady rhythm. Blank verse – a verse that does not rhyme and is most commonly written in iambic pentameter. Rhymed verse – a verse in which the words at the end of each line rhyme. Metered verse – a syllabic rhythm recurring throughout a verse. Ballad – a type of poetry that is used in dance songs, they often tell a story with the themes ranging from comedy to romance. Sonnet – a poem in the fixed verse form pattern of fourteen lines that are generally iambic pentameter rhyming agreeing to a specific design. Haiku – a type of verse, originating from Japan, that contains three lines with five syllables in the first and last lines, and seven syllables in the second line. Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 93

2D Media Credits this page Archive 2015 winning entries

Original two-dimensional art may be black and white or color. Entries may be scanned and uploaded online, hand-delivered, or mailed. Art should be created based on real life (still life, landscape, or live model), memory, or imagination rather than copied from published materials. If a source is referenced, credit must be given. Model consent required. See entry form on pages 87-88 for more detailed information. Hand-made prints – artwork created by hand. Monoprint – a single print created by applying ink or paint to a smooth surface and then transferring it to paper; may have a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd monoprint, each with a specific process. Etching – a print produced by etching with acid into a piece of metal, then applying ink and pressing paper to the inked metal. Screen print – silkscreen printing; a Graphite process that uses stencils on screens to layer different colors of ink onto a print. Charcoal drawing – a drawing using sticks of charred wood. Oil painting – made with oils; takes longer to dry and is used in layers. Colored pencil – similar in shape to a graphite pencil, each colored pencil has a different shade or color, and the lead contains wax. Pastels – similar to a crayon; made out of powdered pigment made into a binder. Graphite pencil – a pencil whose lead is a mixture of powdered graphite and clay; easily erasable. Marble texturing/brush – applying a pattern to an object by transferring oil paints floating on water. Pen & Ink- A drawing or sketch done in pen & ink. Often incorporates the methods of stippling and cross-hatching (as a variety of media do.) • Stippling – created by drawing or engraving a detail or an image in either small strokes or dots.

94 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

B&W Photography

Cross-hatch – creating an image with a series of lines that cross over each other.

Black and white entries may be reproduced from film or digital files with only minor corrections and adjustments.

3D Art Qualifying art must include a relief that protrudes at least 1/8 inch off the surface. Photographs of the art (front and side view required) may be uploaded online instead of bringing the art for judging. Pottery – objects that are wheelthrown with clay and fired to cone 02-10. They can be altered, added on to, or detailed. Ceramics – all things made in clay and fired; it is also possible to make from a mold; not thrown on the wheel. Sculpture - 3D objects that can be created from a variety of materials, through various processes, such as carving or welding. Assemblage – a piece of art that is created with different sections or pieces that are assembled to create a whole piece. Recycled Material Art – artwork that is made of recycled materials or trash. Relief art – a sculpture that has been made to give the impression that the carved image is above the background plane. Fused-glass jewelry – created by selecting pieces of glass and arranging them to be fired in a kiln in order to fuse the pieces together. Stained-glass mosaic – decorative glass pane that is created by cutting and arranging pieces of colored glass connected by strips of lead; color enhancements may be added with stains and paints.

Color Photography

Digital Art This graphic art category includes computergenerated art or extensively manipulated photographs in order to create special effects. Photography with only minor adjustments should be entered in one of the photography categories. Digital art, photography, and literature entries should be uploaded online. See CrowderQuill.com for more information. Common Photoshop techniques – a few of the most commonly used Photoshop techniques are the ability to manipulate photos, create textures, alter hand-drawn images that are scanned in, add layers to create more dimension, and alter the lighting on an image to make it brighter or darker. Photoshop layers – different sections of the same image that can be altered and moved separately to give the image more dimension. Photoshop filters – an effect that can be used to imitate photographic filters, correct a photo, or apply special art effects that give the image a unique appearance or appear to have been created using a different medium. Sumo Paint software program – a website with a downloadable program for image design, photo editing, and making digital art. InspirARTion software application – an application that allows users to utilize various brushes of different styles, sizes, and colors as well as different symmetry modes to draw or create digital art.

We seek film or digital files that emphasize vibrant color. Files should be uploaded online. All photography is judged on originality, contrast, composition, and artistic merit. Aperture setting (f-stop) – f-stops are the size of the aperture and corresponds to how much light is allowed in the lens. Larger f-stop numbers result in a darker image. Smaller f-stop numbers result in a brighter image. ISO (film speed) – measures how sensitive to light the camera sensor is; the lower the number, the less light sensitive and less grain on the photo, and the higher the number, the more light sensitive and more grain on the photo. Shutter speed – how long the aperture exposes the sensor to the light, the faster the speed of the shutter, the crisper the picture. Automatic setting (Auto) – the automatic setting controls aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for the user. iPhone lens attachment – smartphone attachments that helps the phone and user to produce a higher quality photo. Film processing – a series of chemical baths that develop a photograph, requiring control over the environment, especially light. With digital printing, images from digital cameras can be printed directly from the computer.

Archive 2015 entries: B&W photography and Color Photography Sculpture

Spring 2017 ¦ The Crowder Quill 95

• • •

96 The Crowder Quill ¦ Spring 2017

Life Way Christian School McDonald County High School Purdy High School Neosho High School Seneca High School


This special award is presented to the most-winning high school for its entries in this issue. The award is calculated on points: gold winners count as four points, silver as three, bronze as two, and honorable mention as one.

1st Place: Carl Junction High School 2nd Place: McDonald County High School 3rd Place: Life Way Christian School

Ƒ Community

Address City/State/ZIP Email

Date Name


Attach additional paper.

Biography: Write 1-3 sentences about yourself.

Artist’s statement: Write 1-3 sentences explaining THIS art’s purpose, process, inspiration, or effect.

Artwork, photography, and digital art • Digital art is extensively altered digital photographic images and computer-generated art. • 2D traditional media includes both black & white and color two-dimentional entries. 3D art has been added for three-dimensional entries. Photographs of 3D art may be submitted online. • A model consent form must be submitted for photographic or art entries of live models. • Art should be created based on real life (still life, landscape, or live model), memory, or imagination rather than copied from published materials. On the rare occasion that an artist alters a previous work of art, credit should be given. For example, an alteration of the Mona Lisa could be titled Mona Lisa’s Smile with source credit given to the original artist: The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci. “Copy art” used as learning exercises will NOT be accepted as contest entries. • 2D media should be mounted, matted or placed in clear plastic sleeves for their protection. Please do not send entries in frames or with glass. Attach entry form to the front lefthand corner with single-sided tape. • 2D media may also be scanned with a highquality scanner and sent digitally. • All photography and digital art should be submitted online; see general guidelines.

Literary & Graphic Arts Competition

The Crowder

Entry guidelines for contest

Entry Deadline: around Feb. 1 each year

Newton Hall-2nd Floor Neosho, Mo 64850 Quill@crowder.edu CrowderQuill.com

Crowder Quill

Winners published in the Crowder Quill Magazine


Medium: (pencil, pastel, woodcut, sculpture)

If you used a live model, check the box to indicate obtaining permission of the model or parents/guardians if the model is a minor. Ƒ

Real life includes still life set ups, live models, landscapes, and building interiors or exteriors.

Source of inspiration for creation of art: Ƒ Memory Ƒ Imagination Ƒ Real life

Anderson | Aurora | Bentonville, Ark. | Carl Junction | Carthage | Cassville Decatur | Exeter | Goodman | Granby | Joplin | Lanagan | Lamar | Liberal Miami | Neosho | Noel | Pineville | Purdy | Richland | Seligman l Seneca Sheldon | Webb City | Wentworth | Wheaton

Visual Arts



All other categories should be submitted online, except with permission from the Quill office.

Category: Ƒ 2D Traditional Media Ƒ 3D Art

Ƒ Crowder student

Carl Junction High School Diamond High School Joplin High School Houch Homeschool Lamar High School


The magazine is a compilation of winning entries in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, photography, and art from aspiring authors, artists, and photographers. Entrants generally reside in the communities within a 100-mile radius of the ten Crowder College campuses in southwest Missouri, including Cassville, Neosho, Nevada, McDonald County, and Webb City. They may be high school students, Crowder College students, or community members. The employees of Crowder College are classified as “community” in order to avoid competition with Crowder students. Each entry includes an artist/author statement, which is a short reflection from contributors about their goals or reasons for writing a particular piece as well as insight into the creative process, inspiration, or subject matter of their entries, as well as a biographical statement. For graphic entries, the technical process is included, if provided.There were 90 individuals published, including staff entries. The contributors hail from the following cities and high schools:

School Teacher


Entry form for hand-delivered art

Archive 2015 winning entry

Division: Ƒ High school, grades 9-12 only


What is the Crowder Quill?

The Crowder Quill is a literary-art magazine published annually by the Magazine Production class at Crowder College. It is our goal to encourage and showcase the creative abilities of local writers, artists, and photographers as well as provide a cultural link between Crowder College and our surrounding communities.

All entries should be uploaded online as digital files at


Exception: 2D traditional media and 3D art may be entered by hand, mail, or online as scanned files or photographs.


General Entry Guidelines

• All entries except traditional 2D media and 3D art should be sent online at CrowderQuill. com. • Postmark deadline for art: Feb. 1 • Deadline to be announced for online submissions and hand-delivered art entries, usually a few days after Feb. 1. • Email Quill@crowder.edu or call 417-4555410 to make arrangements for hand delivered entries, if you have difficulties with the online submission process, or do not have internet access. • Individuals may submit up to four entries per category in every category. • Failure to meet all guidelines may result in disqualification. • Entrants give their express permission that winning entries will be published in the magazine and may also be used for promotional and educational purposes.

Each year, members of the Crowder Quill staff choose a recipient for dedication of the annual publication. The honor is given to someone who has made a significant contribution to the publication in some way. The posthumous dedication of the Crowder Quill for Dan Richard, founder of the magazine, is long overdue. Retirements of key individuals and timely events unfortunately took precedence over honoring the one man who is responsible for the birth of this publication and contest. “When Dan Richard stood in front of a handful of students, he had a vision, a formless entity he wanted to bring to life,” said Sandy Jordan, original staff of the Quill. Another founding Quill staff member, J.P. Dickey, recalled that the first magazine was a special project as part of the creative writing class that Dan Richard taught that spring 1980 semester. Thereafter, it became a publications class, which still carries on today as the Magazine Production Class. See page 4 for more details about the history of the magazine. Dickey’s recollections of his instructor were of “a great teacher, open to ideas, patient, fair” and a model for how to respectfully offer criticism to students.

Richard taught English courses from August 1967 to May 1988. In a letter written to the Quill staff upon the 20th anniversary of the magazine, Dan Richard said: “I am delighted to hear that the Quill is still providing a marvelous service for the people of Crowder and the surrounding community. I feel that working with Dan Richard, founder the staff and contributors Adviser, 1980-1988 was the high point of the my tenure at Crowder College.” With great fondness, Richard’s daughter Lesli Neunschwander recalled serving as editor on the Quill staff in 1982. Much later, her children entered and won Quill awards. She remembers her father as inspiring and smart. “He wanted to get people thinking, to be clever and spontaneous. This is why I think he started the Quill; to get all those creative juices flowing, and to give them an outlet.” It is Richard’s legacy that now lives 37 years later, carrying on the tradition of encouraging and showcasing the literary and artistic talents of area authors, artists, and photographers.


Accepted by mail OR hand delivery with an aĴached entry form OR online:

2D Traditional Media: original paintings, drawings and hand-made prints including pen, pencil, woodcut, etching, screen print, charcoal, oil, colored pencil, pastels, and acrylic creations, both black & white and color. Entries may also be scanned and uploaded.

3D Art includes poĴery, ceramic, sculpture, assemblages, recycled materials and reliefs that protrude at least 1/8 inch oě the surface. Photographs of the art (front and side view required) may be uploaded online instead of bringing the art for judging.

Categories to be uploaded online:

• Nonęction: Essays, character sketches and other true-to-life writings should be limited to 1800 words. • Fiction: Clear plot development and well-deęned characters are expected; also limit of 1800 words. • Poetry: Whether free verse, blank verse, rhymed or metered verse, poetry should make a point, state emotion, or relate an experience. • Digital Art: This graphic art category includes computer-generated art or extensively manipulated photographs in order to create special eěects. Photography with only minor adjustments should be entered in one of the photography categories. • Black and White Photography: Entries may be reproduced from ęlm or digital ęles with only minor corrections and adjustments. • Color Photography: Film or digital ęles that emphasize vibrant color reproduction are sought.

Carefully read the descriptions of each category to avoid disqualiÀcation.

See more details online at CrowderQuill.com.

The first dedication was for the “Father of Crowder College,” James B. Tatum, who helped set the groundwork for the founding of the college in 1963 and then James B. Tatum served on 2014 recipient the Board of Trustees for more than 50 years, distinguishing himself as the longest-serving board president of a community college Jon Finley anywhere. 2015 recipient

In 2015, retiring print shop director Jon Finley received the recognition. He printed around 50 editions of the publication from the time he was hired in fall 1987, some years twice a year. Last year, Dr. Kent Farnsworth, former president of Crowder College, was recognized. As president, he was a great support of the Quill. Now a successful published author, Farnsworth serves as a model for aspiring authors, artists, and photographers. Dr. Kent Farnsworth 2016 recipient

The Crowder

Copyright 2017

Profile for Crowder College

Crowder Quill 2017  

2017 edition of the Crowder Quill literary art magazine of Crowder College, Neosho, Mo.

Crowder Quill 2017  

2017 edition of the Crowder Quill literary art magazine of Crowder College, Neosho, Mo.