Board of Education Patricia Levine, President Dawn Monaco, Vice President Daniel Marro, Sr. Claire McLafferty Dominic J. Novelli Joseph Orlak Martha Walsh
Administration Dr. Patricia Raupers-Superintendent of Schools John Griffin-Business Administrator/Bd.Secretary Victoria Wilson-Director of Special Services Kevin Carroll-Principal, High School Michael Clancy-Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Elizabeth Getlik-Supervisor of Language Arts, World Languages, and Special Services Janet Sobkowicz-Supervisor of Social Studies, Related Arts, and ESL
Mind’s Eye Staff Advisor: Mrs. Danielle Kish Staff: Natalia Basante, Sam Capener, Melissa, Davies, Molly Lumino, Julia Montella, Franchesca Romero, and Nicole Stahl
Artwork provided by Ms. Ruch’s Art Students Photography provided by Mr. Opderbeck’s Photography Club Front Cover Designed by Nicole Stahl Clipart provided by Microsoft Word
Conflicting Emotions By Sam Capener “Hate!” says the heart, fearful and loud. “Help.” states the head, calm and proud “Love!” forces the heart, open and new. “Care.” goes the head. “Don’t hurt the few.”
Rough Reality By Sean Hillringhouse Hopes and dreams can become reality Only to those who carry on with their goals Going through Hell to achieve Heaven is the reality, And everyone must pay a toll Time is the toll That can be siphoned And effort plays a necessary role To ensure time isn’t wasted in anyone’s life
Creed By Paula Deren Feel butterflies inside of me Colors and smells are fine to see People usually smile and stare Just want to feel love everywhere My dreams are really fantasy Want to love someone endlessly Happiness will be a glory Feel like the world is so unfair Family will help me in need Best friends always give me a speed
Creed By Joe Turner Good friends are always there for you They will want the same from you too Parents always know what is best Everyone should always be blessed Don’t judge a book by its cover You may not like what you discover There will always be mean people Ignoring them is not always simple To get better you must practice You do not want to be like a novice Creed Poem By Matt Palmieri In basketball there are a lot of factors The last shot is the only one that matters Football is a contact sport, with different plays But Tim Tebow is the only one that prays Lacrosse is a sport with a mix of a lot With many positions all can take a shot School is a lot but you need it to get through There’s a lot of homework I might throw a shoe All my friends are always there to pick me up And they know my answer will always be “Yup.” Friendship By: Yi Li Without friends I wouldn’t be here today I get help from my friends Friends are important to me I need friends just like I need air to breathe Friends are full of love and truth Without friends I wouldn’t tell anyone my feelings Friends are all around me and take care of me Friendship is everything Friends help me to fight over all the difficulties I have I can’t survive without my friends
Blue Sky By Sam Capener Lost in a sky Soar through an air Fly in my eyes Fear not what is there Tremble at beauty Dangerously loud See us minutely So so proud strong and My blue sky is freedom My blue sky is home Oh, blue sky youâ€™re free from Letting me roam.
Creed Poem By Samantha Schatz I believe that family always comes first, I believe that lemonade quenches my thirst. I believe miracles can happen if you believe, I believe true best friends will never leave. I believe food is always there when Iâ€™m bored, I believe soccer was fun after I scored. I believe that killing is the worst crime, I believe that sisters help you through tough times.
Creed Poem By Jordan Tarabocchia
I believe that karma will always get you, I believe hugging is something nice to do.
I believe an apple a day would keep the doctor away. I believe that music can relax people in a good way. I believe family is more important than money. I believe that clowns are sometimes scary and funny. I believe that yogurt is a good, healthy snack. I believe that the most useful tool in school is a backpack. I believe that the most watched sport in America is football. I believe that the second most watched sport is baseball. I believe that education can lead to success. I believe that you should always try your best.
Artwork by Ariana Chousa Artwork by Holly Corkill
Love By Nicole Estell I believe that love is great When two people meet at fate They gracefully fall in love With blessings from God above I believe love is awesome Like a flower that blossoms Always smiles on their face, Seeing them makes their heart race Two lovers live together They love their spouse forever
My Creed By Andrew Fucarino Whenever I can help someone I’ll go out of my way In hope they pass it on and it brighten up someone’s day I promise to be nice to my family all the time Defend them from any harm, hurting them is like a crime Even when it seems impossible, I will do my work I won’t get distracted at all, and won’t act like a jerk My friends are like my family, I have known them so long I put their interests first, and keep our relationships strong Rubik’s cubes are a pass time that keep my mind its best I’ll teach anyone that asks, friends, family and the rest
Illusions By Fatima Orellana Things are not what they appear. A smile is not always a sign of happiness or joy. Smiles can hide the emotion that is meant to be shared by hiding on purpose. Things are not what they appear A picture can tell more than it shows. Itâ€™s not always how the person looks But the secrets that the person hides behind Things are not what they appear. Someone can admire a family for its unity But behind closed doors the family is broken up into pieces Things are not what they appear. People can collect emotions in their hearts Those emotions are kept away under lock and key Things are not what they appear. Life is an illusion that takes more than eyes to f igure it out.
Photo by Sophia Roldan
Wonderful to Just be Me – By Julia Montella I was unsure Felt so alone Had no confidence To call my own Took me traveling this far To realize I’m a shining star Chorus: Finally I understand It’s okay to just be you Don’t try to be someone else Now I know this to be true Doesn’t matter if you’re not Just as good as him or her If you’re good as you can be That’s what people will prefer You’ve just got to love yourself Whatever yourself may be Took so long, but now I’ve learned It’s wonderful to just be me
Oh so shy I’d just look down Slowly growing up In a small town Never let my soul take flight Suddenly I’ve seen the light Chorus Don’t know why It took this long Now at last I’ve found my song Perfect isn’t what I am So what? I don’t give a damn! Chorus Just be who you are today Be the best that you can be Then hopefully like me you’ll say: “It’s wonderful to just be me”
Willow By Natalia Basante Where doth the solemn willow grow Whose sweet buds grace the earth, When spring spreads its seductive fingers? Has thy limp branches caressed the golden plains And allowed the doleful birds to feed off thy grain? Or hast thou rooted thyself alongside the raging river Whose white waters sustain thy twisted roots? Where doth thy sorrowful leaves call their home?
I Am Death After All By Melissa Depaola You have probably never met me before. You might not for awhile. You might in three minutes Who knows. I do not. Although… I am Death after all. In the End Death. You probably frightened your tiny human brain with that word. How…unfortunate. I am not as scary or evil as you think. As a matter of fact, I am quite likely to be your only friend. In the End. Are you Afraid I do not quite understand how my misunderstood image came to be. Most likely because I let my guard down. And I let humans like yourself see me. I never found my appearance scary. Or threatening. Apparently, that Is all I am. How…unfortunate. I have a question, human. Are you afraid? I hope not. I am not here to scare you away. You can only run away for so long. You cannot escape my inevitable grip. Death will grip your tiny, insignificant, Soul. …ehem. My number one rule is: Disregard my threats. I am not here to scare you. This is my job. I Cannot Save You I have finished my babbling. I will explain my purpose. You are going to die soon. Soon for me. Even sooner for you. As I stated previously, I am not sure on certain times or places. I merely work on feelings,
What you humans would call, your “gut” feeling. So therefore, I have to prep you. Ensure your soul is ready. Strong. If not… You will be taken by the void. And become nothing. At that point. I cannot save you.
Photo by Anna Puglise
Only I So be ready for my coming. And please Do not make that face. The surprised face. I hate that. I have given you a fair warning. No god Or goddness Is coming for you. Only I.
Monster By Cristina Horuzy I am a monster Glass shatters when I talk The very ground I walk on crumbles Hearts I touch rip into pieces I am a monster A mere look will burn through you Souls bow at my feet With a blink of an eye you will be mine I am a monster Lonely and contemned Save me from myself This spiraling world will never end
Photo by Michele Figiliolo
Photo by Lauren Foner
Creed Poem By Serena Grecco Friendship can be a total mess. You can get through it with the best. Family is always there for you. Through whatever you’re going through. Love can sometimes be confusing. It can be very hard choosing. Volleyball is the best to me. My team is like my family. Softball is also a fun sport. You play outside, not on a court. Food I love the absolute most. Especially my favorite, toast. School takes up my entire day. But it’s sometimes fun anyway. Music can explain my whole life. It plays throughout my day and night. Writing helps me get my thoughts out. Matters what we’re writing about. Life can be sometimes hard facing. But it is pretty amazing. Creed By Michelle Orsino True friends will help you get through it all Most importantly together you will have a ball Love is beautiful, love can be sweet Love can be tough and can have you beat Family is there for you whatever you do Whether it’s school or even some help too Bad friends can come and they go in time It’s upsetting and rude but not a crime Loving pets can be an owners best friend Always there to listen ‘til the end.
Photogrpah by Jessica Niblo
My Creed By Jeremy Zaukas I believe that sports are great to play. I believe school helps us every day. I believe sleep revives our bodies. I believe it’s good to find hobbies, I believe family’s key in life. I believe relationships can cause fights. I believe money causes madness. I believe friendship makes happiness. I believe dogs are a man’s best friend. I believe that it’s fun to pretend.
Alvy’s Creed By Michael Alvarez Homework is a waste of time I love to drink lemon lime I believe in one true God I love to sleep and play COD I believe in discipline I work hard and always grin I believe in my friends They will be there til the end. Animal cruelty is wrong, I want to go to Hong Kong. Videogames are fun, I like to play in the sun. I Believe By Connor Walsh I believe everyone should go to school Being smart and learning is very cool I believe everyone should play a sport Even all the children who need child support. I believe everyone should have free speech Free speech also includes the right to preach I believe family should always come first Even though sometimes family is dispersed. I believe in pride and honor for all That is what we stand for and that’s our call. To Me… By Alex Sheriff Your future is affected by your present Your intelligence can lead to great success Do what it takes to be happy and pleasant Life is all about choices, strive for the best It doesn’t matter when it’s done, just get it done Hard work can be rewarded with laziness 10:30 is the latest you should rest from fun Procrastination is fine like craziness I believe that actions speak louder than words Being reasonable and rational are important
Thanks, Swimmy. By Julia Montella Artwork by Natalia Basante
I hurtled through the endless blue, with one single thought racing through my mind: “Got to get away, got to get away,” over and over. I dared to look behind me. Darn it! They were keeping up surprisingly well. I whipped my head back around and swam faster. If they catch me, it’s all over. Why am I swimming for my life, and who is chasing me, you ask? A dolphin named Swimmy, that’s why. Oh, and the FBI. I was on vacation in the Bahamas. At the beach, it’s like paradise. The sand is soft and white. The water is the perfect shade of blue, like turquoise with just the right amount of cerulean added to it. Unlike on the Atlantic Coast, where the waves suck at your feet when they return to the sea, trying to pull you down, the waves at the Bahamas gently lap at your feet; slowly going in and out with the soft, soothing sound of moving water, and on the Atlantic Coast, the waves roar loudly. The cool shade of the palm trees is never far from the water’s edge. The tall, green, leafy palm trees are forever swaying to the cool breeze that plays with your hair, blowing just hard enough to keep you cool. I spent so much time at this tropical Eden, that after a week I looked like one of those bronze-skinned models you see in swimsuit ads. Yes, it was just like heaven. Then Swimmy, the dolphin, had to go and ruin it. It was supposed to be the best part of the trip, swimming with dolphins. The ad described it as, “A fun, unique experience you will never forget!” Oh, yes. I will remember it for the rest of my life. I jumped in the pool with the dolphins, half listened to the stupid instructions no one cares about, and was introduced to my dark gray dolphin Swimmy. He swam up to me, and gently bumped me in the way he was trained to greet tourists. Then, suddenly, he leaped backward into an upright position, and whacked my hand with his flipper. The instructor was surprised. “Wow, he gave you a high five already! I’ve never seen him do that before. He must like you.” Swimmy, in the water again, bobbed his head up and down and made that noise dolphins make. A squeak, a whistle, whatever it is. I laughed, and climbed onto his back like they showed me. Then he took off. At first, it was fun. Swimmy zoomed through the water, leaping up, and diving under every now and then; it was very exhilarating. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Swimmy dove underwater and sped away from the crowd. He found a hole in the side of the lagoon’s stone wall, and shot through, taking me with him. We sped through the darkness, the sound of rushing water loud in my ears. Thankfully, he surfaced again before I ran out of air, in some tiny little cave. The walls were made of some strange, shimmery blue stone that seemed to glow in the little amount of light available in the cave. Swimmy swam to this little opening in the side of the cave, and emitted a combination of clicks and whistles that seemed to be a phrase in dolphin language. Still clinging to him, I stared at the opening, wondering why the heck a trained dolphin had brought me here, when an unearthly blue light shone through, hitting me like a spotlight. It bathed me in a soft, otherworldly glow, and made my skin feel tingly. I didn’t like it, and wanted to go back. Swimmy must have read my mind, because he turned around and plunged
underwater, and swam back the way we came. We resurfaced in the lagoon with all the other dolphins. I was relieved; I thought it was over. How wrong I was. Naturally, when a dolphin and the person riding it suddenly disappeared, people noticed. My parents were worried sick. The whole area was searched, but we had disappeared without a trace. When we reappeared, I was rushed out of the water and attacked by my mom. Her brown eyes huge with concern and fear, she flung a towel around me, and launched into a stream of questions: the usual areyou all-right and where-have-you-been junk. I responded with the usual relax-I’m-fine and it-wasn’tmy-fault junk. Once she was convinced that I wasn’t hurt, she walked me along the dock back to our car while my tall, dark-eyed, seriously irritated dad had a “talk” with the manager. That’s when it happened. One second I was shivering on the dock, the next I was flat on my face. I sat up, glanced down at my legs, and froze in shock, because they were gone. My long, bronze legs had turned into a shiny, three-foot, aquamarine, scale-covered fish tail. Thanks, Swimmy. Thanks a lot. Different people react differently to a mermaid appearing. Middle-aged Catholic women frantically crossed themselves and prayed. Other women, who weren’t very emotionally strong, (like my mom) fainted. Teachers started babbling like idiots at the impossibility of mermaids. All other adults called 911. Last but not least, the kids (God bless them) immediately started trying to get me into the water. When it comes to the impossible, kids are the only ones who have any sense. Thank God they did, or I would have died flapping like a fish on the dock; but they finally succeeded in rolling me off the dock and into the ocean. When the paramedics arrived a minute later, some joined a few of the groups mentioned earlier, while the rest tried to examine me. When they tried to haul me out of the water, they were stopped by a little red-haired girl with freckles who pushed them away, yelling, “Don’t! She can’t breathe on land! Don’t you know anything?” Having their medical knowledge questioned threw them long enough for me to swim away and escape into the sea, where I now belonged. When I fell into the water, the first thing I felt was relief, since I could finally breathe again. After I swam around a bit, though, just to get used to being what I was, I felt….happiness. Or was it joy, or ecstasy? Whatever it was, it felt wonderful. I had always loved to swim, to feel the cool water flowing across my skin. Now, I could go underwater and stay under without needing to go up for air, or even hold my breath. I could swim underwater for as long as I wanted, and much faster now. I moved my tail up and down rapidly, zooming through the water like I’d been doing it my whole life. I thought it would take some getting used to, but it was like I was meant to be a mermaid. I laughed, hearing the lighthearted sound and seeing bubbles stream from my mouth. I was so happy, happier than I’d ever been in my life, until I saw a black helicopter. Great, now the FBI was involved. I heard someone with a bullhorn say, “Attention Maria Anderson. Do not try escaping, you are surrounded. You need medical attention. Return to the dock immediately.” And be poked and prodded, experimented with, and eventually dissected? I thought. No way. I decided to risk it. I dove as deep as I could go without being plunged into darkness and started swimming away from the dock. After a few minutes, I was sure I’d lost them, so I stopped and looked around. Biggest mistake of my life, but how was I to know they had a team of elite underwater trackers? Armed with underwater jet packs, tanks of oxygen, and (gulp) stun guns, they rocketed toward me, intent on bringing me back dead or alive.
Now we’re back to where we started: I’m swimming for my life from the FBI. What do I do? No doubt that when these swimmers tire, or if I lose them, they’ll find me with a helicopter and send out another team. I thought about going deeper, but what if they had lights? I tried zigzagging, going around bends, swimming through tunnels and caves, but nothing worked. I turned a corner, and knew all hope was lost. At least two dozen more of them were there, pointing their stun guns at me. They all fired and 36 darts of tranquilizer pierced my skin at once. Before I sank into unconsciousness, I thought one final thought: Someday, Swimmy the dolphin, I am going to get you for this. I regained consciousness when I heard something bumping against a wall; or side of a fiberglass tank, as I soon found out. I looked around; I was floating in a huge, rectangular tank filled with water; in an area that looked like an outdoor aquarium. More tanks were on my left, and the ocean was on my right. What was making the noise? I turned around and saw a dolphin bumping the side of the tank with its snout; a dolphin I recognized at once. “You!” I screamed. “This is your fault! You brought me to that stupid cave! You knew that weird light would turn me into a mermaid! Why you wanted me, I will never know, but how could you do this to me?!” I glared at him. “I’m sorry.” Swimmy whispered. I looked away, and then did a double take. “Whoa, did you just…talk?” I asked, dumbfounded. Swimmy sighed. “Yes, I can talk to you, now that you’re a mermaid. I really am sorry I put you through all this. I had to. When the right one comes along, I am obligated to take them to the cave so the transformation can take place, and they can assume their true form. It’s been this way for centuries. I only did my duty.” “Huh? Right one? What are you talking about?” “When magical creatures nearly became extinct because humans overhunted them, they all left the Earth and fled to some other dimension, but their spirits stayed behind, and each one landed in a human. A little piece of it is carried on in every other generation of the family of the humans they landed in. There are many places like the cave all over the world that contain the power needed to transform these people into what they truly are: the creature whose soul now resides in them. We animals can sense them, so it’s our duty to bring those people, people like you, to those places.” My head reeled. A tiny piece of a mermaid’s soul (that must have landed in my great-greatgreat-grandmother when magical creatures left the earth) was inside me? Wow, you don’t hear that every day. I felt bad; it wasn’t fair to be mad at him, it wasn’t his idea. “I’m sorry I yelled at you, but now what? I believe you, but no one else will.” “I’ve been working on that.” Swimmy nodded toward a large crack in the tank. “ I was bumping my snout on the tank wall to make that. One smack with your tail and the whole tank will collapse. The water will rush outside to the ocean, taking you with it, and then you’ll be free.” I looked at it doubtfully. “Are you sure? I don’t think that one smack-” I whacked the crack with my tail—”Will—” I didn’t finish my sentence, because the tank suddenly collapsed, and I was carried in a rush of water out into the Atlantic Ocean. I gasped and spluttered, staring at the mess of fiberglass floating in the water around me. I heard a far-off, high-pitched whistle, and I could just barely make out the form of a dolphin swimming away. I smiled, and whispered, “Thanks, Swimmy”.
Artwork by Sofie LaRosa
Photo by Ryan Angele
You’re Still My Grandma By Angela Boddy Ragged trees swaying, clouds forming Raindrops hit the ground, flowers deceased I still hear your gentle voice when I’m alone I look outside to see life passing by To notice you’re still here with me All those secrets, all those wise words These teachings or lessons are yet to stick All night and day I breathe you, As the sun comes out, the smile comes in Your ancient hand covers my hand Trees turning green, flowers blooming Smells of cooked foods fill the air Your hugs so warm, so tender Many teachings are still left untaught and learned You’re still my grandma
Photo by Kim Marsden
Poem By Olivia Kowal I believe that no one should make you feel down Because feeling like this would cause you to frown Treat others the same and life will be just great Act like a bully and the world you will hate Stay focused in school always strive for the best Your future career will take care of the rest Play sports you enjoy and be a good teammate When it’s time for your practice don’t show up late Your parents will offer you guidance and praise You’ll have such good friends forever and always Be honest and brave, remain caring and kind The person you’ve become makes you a good find Don’t change who you are or the values you’ve shown Your family will frown when you’re left alone Artwork by Nicole Stahl
Photo by Allison Cowie The Rescuer By Miranda Fergenson Love is in the air but Iâ€™m not struck Feeling depressed I sit and ponder. Just thinking of who will sweep me off my feet Who on earth will come and take me away. To a magical white castle where we will be Together till the end of time. That will never happen not in the slightest For you see my heart is locked in a dungeon Protected by grimmest goblins My prince will have to fight these devilish goblins With all his might to rescue a fair maidâ€™s Heart from a horrid dungeon Love is in the air I have felt My dear prince has finally come for me at last He has fought off the goblins that Guard my heart and now he is here. With metal silver and clear coating My dear prince has rescued me from heartbreak and despair I have finally found the one I want the most.
EQUESTRIAN BRONY CREED (IN TRADITIONAL CANTERLOT VOICE) BY DANIEL DELGADO THOU MUST LOOKETH PAST THEE TITLE OF CUTE PONIES THOU MAY SAY, “NOTHING GOOD-NAY, ALL OF EACH PONIES!” THUS, NO LESS, BEHIND SUCH A DISGRACEFUL TITLE, IF THY LIKE BUT PUZZLED, THROUGH DESIGN AND MORAL WORRIED YOU BE, DECISIVE IN MONOGAMY CODE IT IS, FOLLOW ELEMENTS OF HARMONY! THOU ART OF KNIGHTHOOD, ALL HONEST ‘TIL DEATH’S WHISPER, COMMIT KINDNESS, *NEIGH* BE TREACHERY NOR WHIMPERS. THOU ENJOY LAUGHTER ‘TIL DUSK N’ DAWN-FOR-E-VUUR TIS GENEROSITY, NO WHINES, FRIENDS AND OTHERS. THOU LOYAL TO THY FRIENDS, ALL SOARIN’ THROUGH THE SKIES, FRIENDSHIP PREVAILS, NO AVAILS; IT SAILS THROUGH ALL EYES! THOU MAY ENGROSS TO THY HORSES, CHIPITY-CHOP, WARNING TO HEED, NOT TO GO FORTH WRONG WAYS TO CLOP. KEEP MANES UP, ELUDE THE DISCORD; WHY THE LONG FACE? LEAVE THEE IMPRESSION A HERD FOLLOWS BY YOUR TRACE. MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC BRONIES DIGNITY SHED AND PRIDE HIGH, HONORING PONIES!
Crash Spinning, flipping Never-ending Daylight streams Through sunken dreams Flashing, burning Never stopping Smoke curling World still whirling Screaming, shouting Never-yielding The world is smashed A car is crashed By Natalia Bastante
9/11 By Nicole Piazza 9/11 One tragic day, the eleventh of September Two noisy planes crashed into the World Trade Center It was not an accident, which we thought at first This terrorist attack is by far the worst Millions of people were shocked and were in fear And millions of people were shedding a tear Everyone is aware of this sad, hateful day We will remember it until our hair is grey After this tragic day we will pray for others Our friends, cousins, neighbors, fathers and mothers.
Love By Ryan Sweeney Love is not just represented in a bond with people Love is a funny thing It could be a bond over a special item It can be found almost anywhere Like a car With humans, animals, or even insects Love is a funny thing. With a glance of your eyes you can fall in love Connecting in a staring contest bounded by feelings and interest Love is a funny thing Everyone in their life will fall in love Even if your 78 years old You can still fall in love There are no boundaries with love Love can be random and crazy Love is a funny thing
By Sam Capener
I wrapped my arms around my body, closing myself with my blanket tightly against the frigid city air. My parka added little comfort to the concrete I sat upon. The only sign that I was alive was my shivering and my bright green eyes peering out at passing strangers. No one looked at me when they walked by, but stared ahead, trained not to make eye contact with me. As the clock tower a few blocks down rang out eleven o’clock, I pulled my blanket over my head in an attempt to create a space of warmth. It didn’t help. My hair is a hazelnut-brown, in a haircut that is too short for the weather. I was seventeen at the time, and had a thin, tall build. For a month I had been wandering the streets and sleeping next to buildings or park benches. I had nowhere to go, and I bought cheap food from venders with change I begged from people. I was starving and desperately needed food. My stomach growled and I gasped softly from the pain. A few feet away I heard the sound of someone in hurry; they ran carelessly, probably to catch a subway. I poked out my head and saw the man run by, followed by his wallet falling onto the walk. Nobody else saw it but me. I could have yelled out to him. Instead I groped for it, quickly tucking it away. There was only twenty dollars inside. It lasted me about a week. … As I threw the napkin from my last meal away, the last three dollars felt heavy in my pocket. Cheap hotdogs wouldn’t be available for much longer, and I needed a new way of getting food. Begging didn’t really seem to work, and what little money I did make was soon stolen when I looked away. I needed a new way of getting food, and there was nothing that could be done legally. I thought of an old antique store nearby; I had once looked around out of boredom and an empty stomach. I recalled a shelf of cheap knives of adequate size. I took the three dollars out of
my pocket and looked at them carefully. My hand clenched, shuddering at the thought. No one would be hurt. … For three dollars, the quality of the knife was impressive. The handle was a perfect fit for my palm, and made of smooth leather; easy to hold. Its dark color contrasted nicely with the shiny blade. The blade was not thick, and practically glistened. I could see that it was remarkably sharp. I sat on the park bench admiring it. It was late and I was alone. The sun was low in the sky, giving a dark orange glow to the buildings around me. It was quite beautiful, but I had something else at hand. I had to test it. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. Hurriedly, I tucked the knife out of site under my jacket, but saw that my only company was a squirrel. It was fixed on a chunk of bread under the bench. It must have been very hungry for it was only two yards away. It peered up at me and then down at the bread. It inched closer, watching for signs of hostility. I didn’t move at first, but when it was convinced I would not harm it, I slowly pulled the knife back into vision. It didn’t notice; its attention was undivided from its meal, and it nibbled in a rushed manner. I leaned forward carefully, doing my best to not move my legs. The wooden bench did not creak, yet when my arm was almost ready, the squirrel froze. Immediately I lunged, aiming for its small head. The head snapped upwards just before the knife made contact, just missing its ears and burying itself into the creature’s back. The squirrel seemed to make a futile attempt at a squeal, but it never reached audibility. It’s amazing how desperate situations can drive animals to do dangerous things. … My stomach tormented me, sending waves of shock and pain through my body. I had put this off for too long. I had had multiple
opportunities, but I never took advantage of them. I needed to get money now. I waited in an alleyway. It led, after a few turns, into another street and was a convenient route for many people. It was past one in the morning, so there was a great lack of people around. I could barely see the opposite wall from behind the box I hid next to, even though my eyes were well adjusted. My knife was gripped tightly in my hand, slick with sweat in defiance of the twenty degree weather. I don’t know precisely how long I waited; my closest guess would be only fifteen minutes, yet my heart pounded in anticipation and impatience the whole time. When someone did finally appear, it was all I could do to not yelp in surprise. It was a short man, not particularly strong looking. He seemed agitated; possibly annoyed that he was late and had to deviate from his normal route. He didn’t carry anything, but his suit suggested moderate wealth. His face was shaven and round, boasting small, scowling eyes. I waited until he had passed me before springing out, my excitement almost knocking him over. I placed my left hand on his shoulder, while my right poised the knife to his neck. He froze instantly, and started to breathe quickly. It took some effort to coerce my voice out from my dry throat, but I managed to rasp, “Where is your wallet?” There was no answer, so I asked again with more conviction. “Where is your wallet?” The man paused for a second before managing in a shaking voice, “Take it easy kid…” I tightened my grip on his shoulder and spoke more aggressively. “Tell me where your wallet is!” Trembling, the man cried out, “I don’t have it on me!” My anger was beginning to build. I rammed him against the wall and looked him in the face while the knife remained at his neck. I could only manage to gasp heavily as I smelled his sweat mixed in with the scent of his suit.
His eyes bugged out of his head as he panicked. He screamed, grabbing at my arm. With a cry of fury, I lashed out. His arms relaxed, and he raised his hand to a bleeding throat, uttering a soft gurgle. He collapsed. He had lied of course. His wallet contained seventy eight dollars. … A small time passed before I walked out into the street. I looked in the reflection of a store window. Back stared the dull expression of muddy brown eyes. I tucked the knife in my jacket and walked away.
The Drive Home By Anna Puglise A Sudden halt of my car, screeching brakes, red headlights, and screaming people; just another day in rush hour. Having a job 30 minutes away, and a commute plastered with bumper to bumper traffic gives a man a lot of time to think. As I saw in my small BMW, hesitantly tapping the gas pedal every minute or so, I thought about my day. Walking into work, receiving glares, sneers, and harsh comments all day long, hoping just one person would actually try to talk to me instead of spitting in my coffee or throwing my papers all over my cubicle. I look up from my gray cloud of self-pity to see that the traffic was picking up. I hit the gas and the car flies. The rev of the engine echoed deep within my chest, the radio melodically drowning out the sounds of the
highway, and the windshield wipers rhythmically sweeping across the glass panel protecting me from anything beyond it. I pick up speed as the cars dispersed along the highway, faster, faster, vibrations of my wheels dancing with the asphalt beneath them. Suddenly, the vibrations cease, I am gliding fast along a film of water stuck to the pavement like glue. Brake! My foot no longer caressing the pedal but instead commanding it to slow the car. The car in front of me halts. I am out of control, hitting the car at 85 mph my body moving just as fast. Silence, I hear no music, no vibrations, no angry car horns, nothing but the sound of my corpse clashing, shattering the windshield. The world has stopped spinning for the moment that I am in the air. A hot sensation of pain embraces my body as scarlet streams of blood form on my face and hands. The twinkle of shards of glass in the moonlight as they hit the pavement. The moment ends, I meet the stone ground, hard, fast. Tossing, turning, scraping flesh on the wet, cold, pavement. My eyes open only for a minute and I can see my car tucked under the rear bumper of an SUV. The driver helplessly drenched over the steering wheel like a wet cloth. A red bead of blood trickes down his cheek and reflects the many cuts on my body. The pain I felt before, like needles in the flesh, slowly fades along with the angry stench of smoke and gasoline. My eyes flutter shut, the needles are
removed and the last image my eyes will hold is the blinding headlights of the oncoming traffic, unable to stop.
Artwork by Nicole Stahl