Etchings 32.1

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Etchings 32.1 Literary and Fine Arts Magazine of the University of Indianapolis Fall 2019

1400 E. Hanna Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46227 Copyright Š 2019 By the University of Indianapolis and Individual Contributors Cover Design by Hope Coleman Cover Art by Riley Childers Printed by IngramSpark

Etchings Editorial Staff Jessica Marvel

Managing Editor Shauna Sartoris

Fall 2019


Design Editor

Naomi Coleman

Business and Promotion Director BreAnnah Nunn

Interview Editors Grant Boyer Tayah Eakle

Staff Editors

Alexis Paulson Chelsea Keen Hope Coleman Larson Hicks Maiya Johnson Maxine Miles Taylor Watkins Tylyn K. Johnson

Faculty Advisor Liz Whiteacre

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Table of Contents

Letter from the Editor 2019 Art Awards Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award Etchings Press (Marc J. Sheehan) Etchings Press (Robin Lee Lovelace) Etchings Press (Marne Wilson)

1 3 4 8 10 12

Visual Art We Are All Made of Stardust: Spirit | Samantha Froh Sickly | Sam Leagre Black Man in Cuffs | Lauren Franke Black Man (Mother and Son) | Elizabeth White Ghosting | Jessica Marvel The Ocean | Jessica Marvel Grampa Pyro Jack | Cameron Whited Neon Dragon | Jessica Marvel Phobia Series (I-III) | Alexis Darland Ferret Bard | Elizabeth White Doubtful | Alexis Darland 50 Shades Freed | Riley Childers Chained by Smoke | Alexis Darland

14 29 30 36 38 40 45 47 51 65 69 71 73

Prose Dripping Imagination | Chelsea Keen Squeal | Dominic Pagano

15 54

Poetry Black Man | Brooklyn Raines Existentialism | Sara Perkins You Should Be Here | BreAnnah Nunn

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31 37 39

The Bridge Overlooking the Highway Somewhere in Fountain Square | Nikki Thomas Hibakujumoku (Survivor Tree) | Sara Perkins Vessel | McKenna Tetrick Weary | McKenna Tetrick Textile Dreams | Mackenzie Hyatt Blank | McKenna Tetrick Whiskey | Catherine Jameson Dark Matter | McKenna Tetrick

42 44 46 49 66 68 70 72

Audio Compositions Fish Music: Splendens Requiem (for Maurice) | Luke Garrigus No Quiero Ser un Heroe | Freddie Rodriguez Sunflower Girl | Freddie Rodriguez

41 48 67

Contributors’ Statements Contributors’ Biographies Colophon Call for Submissions

75 80 87 88

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Letter from the Editor

Jessica Marvel

I would like to thank you for picking up this copy of Etchings Literary and Fine Arts Magazine. This issue has been a full rollercoaster to ride on, and this time, the ride was packed with new faces. This year saw us with the biggest staff yet of 14 editors ready to take on a challenge. I would like them all to know that I am grateful for every one of them in their contributions to the magazine. This issue would not exist without the dedication the team had to making sure the layout and content was at its best form. Even though many of them were new to the production of a magazine, and there was the butting of heads over choices, I believe that we managed to pull together to make something amazing. It’s called teamwork, and it does make the dream work! Super special thanks to Naomi Coleman and Shauna Sartoris, our Design and Managing Editors, for being cool when locked in the Sky-High office for hours on end with me, and for helping to organize and construct the magazine. Also a thank you to Liz Whiteacre, our faculty advisor, who helped us to keep on track and think about new possibilities. Thank you to our Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award judge Chad V. Broughman for taking a careful eye when choosing the winner and runner-up. Thank you as well to our publisher, IngramSpark, for birthing the magazine in a physical form, so we can show off the many artistic visions that make up the University of Indianapolis. Lastly, I would like to thank our submitters. Whether or not you made it into this magazine or the next, it’s important to know that you still have a powerful voice. Don’t let one rejection break you. Work hard on what you love, and make someone (even yourself) proud of what you can do. Signing off and cool beans, Jessica Marvel, Editor-in-Chief

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2019 Art Awards

The recipients of the UIndy Mary E. Gott Award for Excellence in Art were Ashley Andry and Leah Diekhoff. This award, usually honoring outstanding junior art and design majors, was endowed in 1984 by Professor Emeritus Robert Brooker and his wife, Ruth, as a tribute to Mrs. Brooker’s aunt, Mary E. Gott. Mary, like her sister Anna, held a government post in Washington D.C. and loved art. This contest was judged by the Art and Design Faculty.

Student Award Winners

The recipients of the UIndy Anna Elizabeth Gott Memorial Art Awards were Jordan Gibson and Maya Johnson. This award, honoring two outstanding senior art and design majors, was endowed as a memorial in 1978 by Anna’s sister, Mary Gott. Anna Elizabeth Gott had traveled widely in her career with the federal government and, in doing so, developed a deep interest in the great masterpieces of world art. This contest was judged by the Art and Design Faculty.

The UIndy Art & Design Annual Student Exhibition is a professional exhibition held in the Christel DeHaan Gallery. This is an important opportunity for students to gain practical experience with the process of juried exhibitions and present their creative works. The recipient for Studio Art was Samantha Froh. The recipient for Visual Communication Design was OJ Moor.The jurying process in art is the accepted method for determining what works are included in an exhibition. The artwork is juried by local professional artists. This year’s winning Studio Art selection by Samantha Froh is featured on page 14.

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Student Award Winners

Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award Winner: “Hibakujumoku (Survivor Tree)” by Sara Perkins page 44 “Fear of a world with end comes to pass in “Hibakujumoku (Survivor Tree).” The poet manages to capture such a catastrophic measure with the sagacity of a prophet and the grace of a ballerina. A perfect blend of artistry, from the juxtaposition of hard, soft words, to a clever balance of white space, tropes and imagery. An important and resonant work, to say the least.” -Chad V. Broughman, award judge Runner-up: “Weary” by McKenna Tetrick page 49 “So many layers in “Weary,” calling for a third, fourth read, each one reaping a more fruitful reward. Such a purposeful, exquisite split in word choice per stanza–– sang and numb, praise and slammed, forgiveness and hell––unraveling the speaker’s turmoil, making it splendid. Though many amongst us can pen a tepid verse or two, it is not often that a true poet emerges, not like the chrysalis embedded in these lines.” -Chad V. Broughman, award judge

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Award Judge

Chad V. Broughman

Chad V. Broughman was the recipient of the Rusty Scythe Prize Book award in 2016 and was awarded the Adobe Cottage Writers Retreat honor in New Mexico in 2017. Chad was also awarded a chapbook contract for his collection of short stories, the forsaken, which was published by Etchings Press, and was one of three winners in the “First Chapter” contest, hosted by Arch Street Press. As well, his fiction can be found in several reviews and journals nationwide––such as Carrier Pigeon, East Coast Literary Review, River Poets Journal, Burningword, Faith, Hope & Fiction, Sky Island Journal, Darling Axe and From Whispers to Roars. Most recently, Chad was the “Readers’ Choice Winner” for the Write Michigan Short Story Anthology and was featured in the newly released anthology, On Loss, an Anthology. He is forthcoming in Pulp Literature and has been nominated for Best of the Net, 2019. He holds an MFA from Spalding University, served as co-editor for the fiction/poetry blog, Café Aphra, based out of the United Kingdom, and teaches English and Creative Writing at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Chad lives in northern Michigan with his wife and two young sons.

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with Chad V. Broughman

Judge Interview The exerpts below are from an interview that was conducted by Etchings Press editors, Grant Boyer and Tayah Eakle, over email in October 2019. Grant Boyer & Tayah Eakle: When you decided to become a writer, was there simply an epiphany or was it the result of a longer period of deliberation? Chad Broughman: Becoming a writer was a lightning bolt to my brain. I can still conjure the entire scene, on cue. It was just after sundown, late autumn. I was sitting in the dank sand of Good Hart beach. In front of me, Lake Michigan was waving and rolling and licking the shore the way it does; behind me, sat a menacing cemetery––white, wooden crosses, row upon row––and a stately chapel, boarded up for the coming winter. My mind wandered, speculating as to how many people the big, blue waters had swallowed over the centuries…then my head went to dark places I didn’t expect…I saw a young boy floating belly up, the victim of cruelty, hate, rage. And the more I tried to stop imagining him and his horrific fate, the clearer he/it became. As strange as it sounds, I was instantly attached to this fictitious kid, believed the tragedy unfolding in my mind’s eye. So much so, my heart ached, thrashed with vengeance for his attackers. When I finally snapped to, though both wrecked and riveted, I thought, hot damn, I’m going to tell this kid’s story. Vindicate his honor. Make people grieve the way I just did. So, I worked on the story for two years, here and there, then self-published it. If I’m honest, the piece was poorly crafted, but it didn’t matter. I was hooked, absolutely determined to create complicated characters and tell their tales, no matter what the trials, obstacles. I discovered an unquenchable desire to stir, soothe, haunt and heal through words, to offer an escape to anyone feeling cramped by reality.

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GB & TE: What does your writing process look like? Do you have a writing routine? CB: Oftentimes, I simply let my thoughts spew like molten rocks from a volcano crater. And then, I strain and toil and wince as I chip away at sentences, reinsert every word I just deleted, then take them back out again. Case in point, my current novel manuscript tops out at 160k words and now I’m stabbing myself in the retina trying to tame the beast. That said, of course I try to outline and adhere to an undeterred schedule, even if I can only eke out an hour each morning before a neighbor’s dog begins to bark and howl or another one lights her first cigarette, starts hacking up a lung. But more importantly, I will never curb my writing to match a predetermined sketch…if a wave surges, I’m riding it, all the way to the shoreline. I’ll suffer the filter gauntlet later. Bottom line, I don’t get to act when the muse strikes. I am a full time teacher and an even fuller time father. So, my writing life is about Post-it Notes and a dollar store journal in my back pocket. This is not a woe is me but a call to action for all potential writers to take whatever time is given…the art will come to pass if your heart swells large in it. Writing as a vocation is not ordained for me, not yet anyway. And that’s okay. I will write when I can, find my own process per project––let it unravel, let it free-flow, let it unfold in it’s own time. I owe that to myself, my family and any future readers I’m blessed to reach.

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Etchings Press 2019

Winning Short Story Collection

Dissenting Opinion from the Committee for the Beatitudes by Marc J. Sheehan Designed by student editors Tayah Eakle, Larson Hicks, and Bryson Hile Describing the desire for superpowers, how forgiveness can be given for a price, and much more, Sheehan touches on many different subjects with each story keeping any reader’s interest and making them want just one more piece.

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Author Bio: Marc J. Sheehan is the author of two full-length poetry collections. His third collection of poems won Split Rock Review’s inaugural chapbook award. He has published stories, poems, essays, and reviews in numerous literary magazines including Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, and Michigan Quarterly Review. His fiction has been featured on National Public Radio’s Three-Minute Fiction series as well as performed onstage at Symphony Space in New York as part of the program, Selected Shorts. He lives in Grand Haven, Michigan.

Marc J. Sheehan

Dissenting Opinion from the Committee for the Beatitudes

Interview Exerpts: Where do your ideas for stories come from? I wish I knew. If I did, I would be a lot more productive!... Sometimes I have a little detail I want to fit into a piece. For example, in the story “Sins of Contrition,” the character’s mother is named Elvis, like the singer. My mother’s name really was Elvis. It took me years to finally work that into a piece of writing...Still other times I’ll look at a story and simply wonder where it came from. The title story of the collection is like that. How do each of these stories relate to be considered for the same collection? There’s an arc to the collection. For example, the characters tend to age from one story to the next and in some of the later stories, including “Elegy for the Corded Phone,” the characters reflect upon the aging process and the failures they have experienced. Then the last couple of stories take place in a kind of dreamscape—almost having the sense of an afterlife. I consciously structured the book in such a way that, I hope, one story has the feeling of leading to the next.

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Etchings Press 2019

Winning Novella

Savonne, Not Vonny by Robin Lee Lovelace Designed by student editors Riley Childers, Shannon Harris, and Shauna Sartoris Indiana author Robin Lee Lovelace explores complex ideas about the interplay between love and loss as seen through the eyes of a young black girl named Savonne. From her home in Indianapolis, upstairs from the whorehouse where her mother works, Savonne is taken deep into the bayous of New Orleans. Here she learns about Voodoo magic from her aged great-grandfather, Pompey, who is sure the young girl has the naturalmagic in her. Savonne soon learns of the dangerous Diamond John, who is out to steal her family’s powerful conjuring book. Savonne is ready to go home, but will she get there with a stolen conjuring book in her bag and Diamond John on her trail? With its mix of rural magic and urban realism, Savonne, Not Vonny invites readers to reimagine the cultural traditions of New Orleans, pushing the boundaries of reality and redefining home. 10 | Etchings

Savonne, Not Vonny Robin Lee Lovelace is the author of numerous short stories that appeared in literary magazines such as North Atlantic Review, the Crucible, Buffalo Spree and Punchnel’s. In 2017, Robin won the grand prize in a one-act play contest, presented by the 30XNinety theatre in Mandeville, a suburb of New Orleans. Robin lives in her home state of Indiana, with her husband and her dog, Amy. She visits her second favorite city, New Orleans, quite often. Interview Excerpts:

Robin Lee Lovelace

Author Bio:

Your story begins and ends in Indianapolis, but Savonne spends most of her time in New Orleans or traveling between the two locations. Can you speak to the significance of both of these locations? To me New Orleans, Louisiana is the older southern African American culture. More magical and mysterious. When the black migration to the north happened, a lot of that old-time magic was left behind. The African Americans in the north were more prosperous, treated better (not much) and developed a different way of living. Some of the old ways did not travel well and were left behind. I wanted Savonne to bring that lost magic back with her to the north. Why did you decide to include this magic in your novella? Because I love American magic and to me there is no other magic more purely American than New Orleans voodoo root work. What’s one piece of advice you would give a prospective writer? Take long walks and talk to your characters or talk AS your characters. Be careful though, someone might hear you and think you’re peculiar.

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Etchings Press 2019

Poetry Winner

As Lovers Always Do by Marne Wilson Designed by student editors Kylie Seitz, MacKenzie Estrada, and Maiya Johnson Marne Wilson writes a collection of poems about the life of a woman going through her loveless marriage and divorcing. Wilson’s writings continue to describe her character’s life after the divorce. Wilson’s collection of every man she loved correlates beautifully into a hard-toput-down easy-read.

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As Lovers Always Do Marne Wilson’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Flint Hills Review, Cold Mountain Review, and Hobart. Her previous chapbook, The Bovine Daycare Center, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2015. Originally from rural North Dakota, she previously worked as a reference librarian at Ohio University in Athens and now lives in Parkersburg, West Virginia with her husband Shane.

Marne Wilson

Author Bio:

Interview Excerpts: Who or what inspires or motivates you to write? When I find myself lacking motivation to write, it’s usually because there’s something specific I’m afraid of writing about. Sometimes a poem that’s starting to grow inside of me seems too close to the bone, and I fear it will expose too much of me to the world...I’ve heard it said that poetry is a way of talking about truths that can’t otherwise be spoken. I think that feeling of helping people to examine their own lives in a different way is a large part of what keeps me writing. How did you decide the order of the poems for your chapbook? My first attempt at organizing the chapbook was with a chronological pattern of organization. This made sense to me, but since these poems are about isolated moments scattered throughout a long life, there wasn’t enough connective tissue for the reader to make meaning out of them. After reading a lot of other chapbooks, I had a breakthrough. I realized that the reader needs a collection of poems to tell a story, but since poetry is not memoir, it doesn’t have to be a true story. I rearranged the poems into an order that approximates the arc of a coming-of-age novel.

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UIndy Art & Design Annual Student Juried Exhibitions’ Best in Show: Studio Art

We Are All Made of Stardust: Spirit

Samantha Froh


Dripping Imagination

“X642, awake,” comes a muffled command from a loud speaker above. They’re hiding behind a glass wall again. Staring. Observing. Taking notes. Waiting. It opens its eyes to blinding light and quickly shuts them again. The room is always bright, always all white. It sits up sluggishly on the examination table, letting the thin sheet pool around its waist. Waiting patiently as someone takes out the various needles in its arms and the oxygen mask on its face, it stands when directed to and slips back on the pair of scrubs every patient is given. As the man in a lab coat scribbles something down on his clipboard, it looks up at the pastel-colored bubbles that fill the room. The colors resemble different flavors of cotton candy, and they tasted just as sweet as when it tried to catch the bubbles on their tongue in their dream. Sedated, it unconsciously sticks out its tongue to see if a bubble would land on the wet muscle. A hand roughly grabs its jaw. It stifles a whimper, having bit its tongue. “Close your mouth,” the man snaps and all of the bubbles simultaneously burst. It lowers its head and doesn’t open its mouth again.

Chelsea Keen

Winner of the 2019 English Award for Prose

Eventually the man leads it back to its room: a cell with solid walls and door, making it impossible to see out into the hallway, and a single mattress on the floor against the wall. It walks inside and holds out its hand. The man runs his own gloved hand through his receding white hair and pulls out a small pill bottle. He struggles with the lid for a moment, but it waits patiently for the tiny, ovular pill to be placed into its hand. The man watches it place it into its mouth, swallow, and open its mouth to the man so he may check to see if the pill was truly swallowed. The man, Fisher, huffs and shoves the medicine bottle back into his pocket before leaving. The cell door shuts

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with a loud clank, and the electronic lock seals it in with a deafening beep. It turns to its neighbor in the cell next to it, the two only divided by a row of thick bars so the inhabitants may still experience some human interaction on days where there is none from the men in lab coats. It is on the floor, sitting criss-crossed and staring up at it. Upon seeing that the other patient had been waiting for it, an unexplained warmth smolders insides its chest. It goes to take a step closer to the one on the floor, but is stopped suddenly when a wave of pain runs through its head. Its head begins to hurt. No, its head begins to throb. As if there is a drill burrowing into its skull, forcing its way in. Get it out, comes a demanding voice inside its mind that isn’t its own, more deep, more emotional and strong. It sounds like it’s everywhere, in all the corners of the room, loud and clear. Get it out. Throw the pill back up. On instinct it listens, feeling compelled more by the deep voice than any of the men in lab coats. Gripping its neck, it drops to its knees, hunched over, and works the medication back out of its throat. It feels the pill wiggle back up, squeezing through its esophagus. It chokes as the drug slides past its tonsils and slips between its lips onto the cold floor. The voice in its head coaxes it through the entire experience. When the pill is out the voice loses its edge, growing softer. It’s okay, you did it. I’m so proud of you. The voice coos and the warmth that was in its chest spreads to its fingertips and toes. You’ll feel like yourself again soon. It watches the other patient, X536, climb to its knees and reach out through the bars. X642 can only find the strength to crawl to the outstretched hand, collapsing its face into the palm. It nuzzles the calloused hand, its heart sputters at the offered affection it still hardly understands. Then darkness consumes its vision. They wake up hours later with a headache. Their muscles are stiff from laying on the ground for so long, but

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the fingers running through their hair are soothing so they don’t bother to sit up. They feel more awake, more alive, more human. “You’re awake,” X536 observes. “How are you feeling?” “Okay,” X642 responds, fluttering their eyes open to stare up at the man in the cell next to them. “More like myself. I think the pills aren’t as strong as they used to be, they’re not lasting as long as they’re supposed to.” “You might be becoming tolerant. Do you think that could happen? You’ve been taking that stuff for years now.” They shrug, feeling a lingering sense of numbness. The drug must still be a bit in their system. They smile at their companion, “How are you?” “Okay,” he says plainly. He always says that. Like most things in this quarantined prison, his response never changes. Instead he focuses on getting the tangles out of their hair. “Are you still up for tonight?” They nod, closing their eyes with a sigh. He tugs their hair gently, “I’m serious. If you’re not up for it—” “I’m up for it,” they cut him off. “If we’re doing this tonight, we have to go give it everything we’ve got. All or nothing.” They’ve spent a whole year preparing for tonight. X5 has probably read every mind in the building by now. Combing through the minds of the Lab Coats and guards, he was able to map out the facility; from there, together they formed a plan, a plan B, and a plan C in case it all blew up in their faces. They only have one shot; if they fail, they’ll either be killed or separated permanently. The thought of the latter is more terrifying. Death is quicker, more forgiving. Loneliness and loss eats a person from the inside out until there’s nothing left. X536 is quiet for a moment before he blurts out, “I didn’t hurt you this time, did I? When I was in your head?” “Only a minor headache. I’m okay.” “Sorry.” Without looking, X642 can see the troubled expression

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on the man’s face. His brows are furrowed, his brown eyes downcast in frustration and his lips are drawn into a thin line. They reach up blindly, grasping X5’s hand and intertwining their fingers. They open their eyes, feeling a rush of affection at the same troubled expression they had imagined. “Don’t be, you always bring me back. They take me away, but you bring me back.” “I won’t let them ever have you for long,” he affirms. It’s supposed to be a joke, X6 knows, but the seriousness clouding his face ruins the attempt. It feels more like a promise. “I hope so,” X6 murmurs, closing their eyes again for a quick rest. They’re going to need their strength. Two guards begin their night patrol of marching down their hallway, and the next two after around eight o’clock, and switch with another pair of guards every two hours. X6 and X5 wait patiently and listen to the footsteps that echo by, wasting time by coming up with different handshakes through the bars. When the guards switch shifts for the second time tonight, the two patients get to their feet. X6 catches X5’s eyes for a brief moment. He nods. X6 watches as he begins to kick his cell door; the loud thuds bounce off the thick walls and through the hall. The noise gets the attention of a nearby guard immediately. “Hey!” The man shouts from the other side of the door, banging his fist against the metal. “Knock it off!” X5 only kicks harder, more frantic. X6 can hear the guard curse X5 under his breath. “What’s going on?” Another voice, guard number two, asks from further away. X6 thinks they’re at the end of the corridor, give or take. “The freak’s spazzing out in there,” the man huffs, grumbling. “Wish they’d drug these crazies enough so they’d just lay in bed all the time or something.” X6 listens as the man swipes his keycard through the lock pad to X5’s door; it gives a soft beep of confirmation

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before the door is slammed open by the guard. The man goes to grab at X5 angrily, no doubt to slam him around and leave him bruised. The Lab Coats tended to overlook light beatings if the patients could still perform during their examinations. Before his hand reaches X5, though, the man pauses completely, going quiet with his arm stuck in midair. X5 only stares. The scene reminds X6 of a video put on pause, a still frame on some glass screen. The guard begins to choke, drawing his gun with a slow, shaky hand like a man fighting a war inside himself. Alarms rise in X6’s head, but the man doesn’t point it at X5. Instead he presses the muzzle of the gun against the side of his own skull. “What are you doing? How?” The man chokes with a dying voice, no longer in control of his own body. He trembles like someone on death row. X6 swallows thickly at the sight. Everyone knew that X536 could read minds; it’s why he’s in the Ward for the “Unnaturally Gifted,” this prison they’ve rotted in for years. Like X6, he was taken away and stripped of his name when he was only in his mid-teens. He’s only been in here a few years longer than them. With the ability to read minds, he’s always known he was different, and he wasn’t confused when they locked him up here. X5 told them one night, when the two of them were pressed up against each other with only the bars in between them and wrapped in their bedsheets because the winter nights were cold on the basement floor, how he figured out what else he could do, something he’d kept hidden from everyone else. He had found out when he was about fourteen. He said his mom had been beating him since he was eight. X5 doesn’t talk about her much, but from what X6 had been told, they gather she had always been a really sad and angry woman. Sad because she was alone and angry because she was powerless to the world around her. She took those emotions out on X5, gave everything she felt in lashes that left broken reminders she failed as a

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mother in the form of bruises on her son’s skin. One day, after a particularly painful drunken beating, X5 said he wished her dead—that he was consumed with the spiteful thought that she should bash her own head in until she killed herself. Later the following morning, he found her curled up on their small, cramped bathroom floor in a cool puddle of her own blood that leaked down from the bathroom counter, the front of her skull fractured and bruised. He ran away from home the same day, only to be picked up by Lab Coats shortly after. X5 had grown quiet after he told his story. X6 could only think to hold his hand tighter through the bars and press their forehead against his. Now, X6 sees that X5 is tired of hiding his real potential. He’s ready to see just how far he can go with it. “Don’t…Don’t do this,” the guard pleads as he clicks the gun’s safety off. His eyes are wide and full of tears that spill over down his cheeks. With the man up close and still, X6 notices how young the guard is. His face is fresh shaven and looks like it just lost all of its baby fat. He couldn’t be older than in his mid-twenties, give or take, not much older than them. “Please,” the man continues to beg. “Please, I’ll do whatever you want.” X5 narrows his eyes, unaffected. He opens his mouth, speaking in a low voice full of contempt. “Then pull the trigger.” The guard does. X6 flinches at the roaring shot that sounds like lightning striking a tree. The man drops, crumbling in on himself onto the floor. The gunshot alerts the other guard, who rushes in, gun in front of him and ready to shoot. Before he makes it to the door, X5 scrambles for the dead guard’s firearm and cocks it. As the second guard makes it to the doorframe, X5 aims the handgun and shoots. He nails the guard between the man’s eyes and like his companion, he collapses. X5 collects the guards’ keycards and the second man’s

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gun before leaving his room. X6 stands frozen where they had been, listening to X5’s quiet but brisk footfalls moving to their door. He opens their door with one of the keycards. X6 looks to him. “You killed them.” X5 shoves the spare gun and card into their hands. “We don’t have a choice,” he grits his teeth, turning to leave their room. Heart pumping in their throat, they follow closely behind. The two make their way through the winding hallways, doing their best to avoid any more guards. The gun in X6’s hand feels heavy and clunky while X5 holds his effortlessly with a dangerous grace. They take the stairs, deciding the elevator isn’t the smartest choice. When they start heading up the flight of stairs, the two hear the door to the above level burst open and sets of feet start to stomp down the stairs towards them. X6 grabs X5 and pulls them through the door next to them that bleeds into the second floor. They drag him down the hallway and through a new, thick set of doors, ignoring the warning painted in red on the front of them. As the doors close behind them, they stop, waiting for the herd of feet to run past them. They both exhale a sigh of relief. X5 reaches out for one of the doors to leave, but X6 grabs his wrist to stop him. He turns to them, brows furrowed in confusion, but X6’s attention is straight ahead. Letting his arm fall to the side, he lets his hand hang in theirs and follows their gaze to the row of cells in front of them. They were designed opposite to their own; the walls connecting each room were solid, while thick bars stand in front of the cell. Like cages, X6 thinks, for animals. They step closer, X5 right behind them, peering inside the first one on their left. What greets them is not human. The creature remains crouched with its long limbs, its claws as big as X6’s own index finger. It’s more lizard-like than man; a gray reptilian tail swishes back and forth behind it. The creature has no

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eyes or ears, only two small holes on the front of its face in place of a nose and a long mouth that draws into a wide grin, showing off teeth similar to a shark’s. It growls lowly, looking to the lock pad next to its door. Looking around, X6 notices that all of the cells have creatures inside them. Once the monsters notice the two of them in the room, they start calling out and banging against the walls. Those that have arms reach through the bars, hoping to grab them. Squaring their shoulders, X6 grips the keycard tighter with a rush of responsibility. “Open one of the big doors,” they order him. “What?” X5 jerks away from them, horrified. “Why?” They head towards the end of the long hall of cages while X5 stands rooted to the floor. “I’m going to set them free.” “Why?” “Do you trust me?” X6 looks over their shoulder at X5. “Yes,” he replies without hesitation. “Then open the door,” they tell him again. “I promise it’ll be okay.” X5 nods, clearly still conflicted but trusting. He pushes the door open, standing behind it, outside of the room. Pacing themselves, they start unlocking each cell, racing to one after the next. As the creatures swing the cell doors open, X6 bolts out of the room. They stand next to X5, pressing their entire body against the wall as the creatures run out. A few hiss or snap at them as they dart past, but none of them completely stop. In the distance, they hear the guards that had been chasing them shriek, followed by screams, growls, and gunshots. Seconds later, it goes quiet again. “How did you know?” X5 asks as they both try to catch their breaths. “How did you know they wouldn’t hurt us?” “I created them—the creatures, they were created from my nightmares during my examinations. Most of them never went away.” “Maybe because your fears never did?” X6 shrugs. “I think I just faced them, actually.”

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X5 snorts, retaking their hand. “Let’s keep moving.” The two make their way down to the end of the hall where it peels off into another corridor on their left. They pause in the corner. “Don’t look down the hall,” X5 warns them, standing at their side to block their view of the hallway. By the smell of blood X6 knows why. The guards hadn’t made it far. Instead of imagining what the horrid scene of bodies must look like, they close their eyes and press their palms hard against the wall in front of them, trying to focus. They picture it; turning a chunk of the wall to mush. Melting it, tearing it, anything. The metal will be out of the way, enabling them to jump down into the grass below. From there they can run. But nothing happens. “I,” they open their eyes to the undamaged wall. “I can’t do it!” “What do you mean?” X5 panics. “Didn’t you affect real objects before? When you were awake?” They had, once. The single incident was enough for them to land a spot here. They had had a deadbeat uncle who’d been a heavy everything: smoker, drinker, druggie, etc. But his favorite thing was his lucky lighter he’d use to light all of his cigarettes and joints with. He’d flicker the plain silver lighter open and closed, watching the flame dance then die, only to come back alive. His eyes always far away. One night he’d been too drunk and bored. He came into X6’s room, grabbing them. His words were slurred, but they remember the insults, even now, that he had spat at them. He had jerked them around before pinning them to the bed. He pulled his lucky lighter out of his back pocket, popping the lid open and sparking the bright flame. He held it close to their face, laughing like this was all a game, a big joke, while X6 panicked and begged him to stop. They remember the warmth of the small fire against their cheek and the booming laughter in their ears. With their heart feeling like it was going to burst inside their chest, they summoned all of

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their strength and shoved the man away. X6 sobbed when the weight was off of them, the flame and how it had been so close being the only thing running through their mind. A second later their uncle screamed and their dark room was illuminated with light. They looked up to their uncle in terror as the man flailed his arms, crying out in complete agony at the flames engulfed his entire body. X6 sat on their bed, frozen in horror, as the man dropped a minute later. He stopped moving and the flames died down, leaving his charcoaled body behind. The smell of rotten flesh and hair was burned into X6’s memory. They come back to reality, brushing away the past and focusing on the now. X6 struggles to take a deep breath as they pull their hands away. “I can’t do it.” “What do you mean you can’t do it!?” X5 exclaims, quickly looking down each hallway, scared to see any guards racing down them. “I can, it’s just not working,” they stress, turning back to look at him. X5 nods and doesn’t press any further, but does grind his teeth. “Plan B then.” They head back to the stairs, almost tripping over a few on the way down. X5 slams his body against the door to the main level in a fit of panic and adrenaline, and the two of them sprint to the back exit. From there they can escape through the backwoods and into the nearest town. Almost there, X6 grins. Almost there. A gunshot makes them come to an abrupt stop. X6 looks at the bullet sized hole in the wall to their right. It’d been inches away from hitting one of their heads. A warning shot. “That’s far enough.” X5 and X6 turn around to the unwavering voice behind them. Fisher greets them with a handgun pointed their way. His beady old eyes glare at the two of them and his cracked lips are curled into the ugliest scowl X6 has ever seen the

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man own. “Off your meds, I see,” he notes, cocking the gun. For a moment X6 forgets how to breathe. “The two of you have made quite a mess as well. That’s very, very bad.” He takes an intimidating step forward, and X6 fights themselves not to move back. “Can you tell me why that is?” “We’re done being your guinea pigs,” X5 spits, standing tall. “Find some new entertainment.” “Is that why you think we keep you creatures here? For amusement?” Fisher almost looks bored. He quirks a brow at X6. They try not to shrink under his gaze. “I…” X6 loses their voice, their eyes staring into Fisher’s. They feel his gaze pierce them. X5 takes Fisher’s momentary distraction as an opportunity, driving himself forward into the older man and causing them both to tumble to the floor. They wrestle, taking turns delivering blows as X6 stands helplessly a few feet away. X5 rams his fist to the side of Fisher’s cheek for the third time before pulling away. He kicks the man’s gun to the side, pointing his own at Fisher. “We’re done,” he announces through heavy breaths. “You lost.” Fisher slowly gets to his feet, albeit wobbly at first. “Are you going to kill me too?” he asks X5, but he stares vacantly at X6. He’s fighting to catch his breath from the previous struggle. “Like you’ve killed those guards and God knows whoever else?” X5 doesn’t flinch at the man’s words even if X6 does. “It’s your call,” X5 tells them without taking his eyes off Fisher. The barrel of the gun is pointing straight to the old man’s chest. “He was your tormentor, not mine. You decide what to do with him.” X6 swallows with a dry throat, their stomach growing tight. “Are you going to become a murderer, X642?” Fisher asks. “Prove yourself a monster by letting X536 shoot me?”

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X6 blanches, taking a step back. “You were going to kill us!” X5 shouts, jabbing the gun into Fisher’s face. “Your call,” he repeats. “X642, this is madness,” Fisher starts to panic. “Please, can’t you see this? Are you truly going to kill a helpless old man?” X6 hesitates. “Please…” They stare at him, seeing the fear in his eyes, and remembering how afraid he used to make them. This is the man who’s poked and prodded at them for years, ignoring their pleads and cries as he strapped them to a table when they’d struggle. Who almost killed them twice with an overdose on their meds because he hadn’t thought they were sedated enough. What did he always say to them? X6 keeps their mouth shut. They look away. X5 understands their answer instantly and takes aim. Before either patient can blink, however, Fisher moves. He grabs the gun, jerking the firearm away from him and elbowing him square into the jaw. X5 stumbles, regaining his balance a second too late. Fisher shoots him in the side. X5 cries out and gives a full body flinch, clutching his side. He falls to his knees, his blue scrubs coated in red around his stomach. He coughs, choking on the blood in his mouth. “No!” X6 screams, scrambling to X5, but Fisher stands, pointing the gun to them next. They freeze, eyes flickering to X5 before turning back to Fisher. The message is clear: he won’t let them get close. “Drop your weapon,” he orders them. They slowly do, reluctantly kicking their gun away from them. “Do you know how you’re able to create monsters? Countless abominations out of thin air?” he then asks them. He steps closer and grabs their jaw, forcing them to look at him. His fingernails dig into their skin, causing X6 to bite back a whimper.

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“No? Hm, disappointing.” He leans in close. “It is because you have these extreme emotions and a powerful imagination, so much so that they—your imagination, your emotions, leak into reality. Unfathomable potential, truly, but not one you can control. That is why we give you your medicine. That is why we keep you here. That is why you’ll never escape. You are a danger to everyone around you.” “No,” X6 denies, trying to pull away, but Fisher’s hold is too strong. “Oh, no?” He turns their head to the side, to X5. He presses the muzzle of his gun into their stomach. “No,” their voice shakes. They grab his arm and try to jerk out of his grasp but are unable to. “No I’m not! I never wanted to hurt anyone. I just want to be free.” “It doesn’t matter what you want. You are unstable. Just like him.” The man points his gun to X5 again, this time aiming for his skull. As he cocks the handgun, Fisher stares into their eyes. They find no compassion in his dull blues, only malice and a dark, twisted righteousness. “Don’t do this,” they beg all the same. “He is a danger too, one we cannot afford to keep around any longer.” Fisher shoves them away with enough force to knock them into the ground, winding them. He turns to X5, who stares up at him defiantly, refusing to give him any satisfaction with crying. “I don’t know how you managed to escape,” Fisher says with a pleased grin, “but it doesn’t matter. Some creatures just can’t be contained, and any threats are to be eliminated.” “No!” X6 pleads with him. “Please, please don’t kill him! We won’t do it again, please. You don’t have to kill him!” Fisher cocks the gun. “I do.” Time slows. X6 feels their entire body grow cold and hot all at once. They cry out with the gunshot, but the roar of the barrel being emptied drowns out their voice. The bullet hits, burying deep into the skull. Everything pauses. Sound seems to stop around them until Fisher’s body drops to the floor, limp. X5 releases a

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gulp of breath he didn’t know he was holding in. He trembles, staring at the small hole in the middle of Fisher’s forehead. “You shot him?” He looks up to X6 as they fall to their knees, throwing their arms around him. They break down into his shoulder. “No,” they shake their head, sobbing. “No, I did it.” Ignoring the sounds of chaos around them and the burning in his side, he sluggishly wraps an arm around their waist, burying his face into their neck. “Did what?” “Affected real things in reality,” they swallow, “while awake. It’s like you said, we’re done. We aren’t his guinea pigs anymore. My power, the monsters, my fears: they’re mine and I won’t let them or anyone else rule me. I control my life now.” They release a trembling exhale. “I did it.” “Yeah, yeah I guess you did.” X5 huffs a laugh, only to wince in pain. “Careful!” they scold, pulling away to examine the damage. “You’re hurt.” “I’ll manage,” X5 brushes off his wound. “I almost lost you,” X6 quivers, unable to look away from his bleeding side. “You almost died.” “I didn’t, though.” He hooks two fingers under their chin and tilts it upwards so their eyes meet. “Because you saved me.” X6 sniffles, craning their head up to rest their forehead against his. “I couldn’t lose you.” “You won’t,” X5 promises. “Ever.” A distant scream brings them back to reality. They aren’t out of the water just yet. X6 wipes their face, helping X5 to his feet and slinging his arm over their shoulder to help him with each step. They stumble a bit as they rush to the exit, X6 having to carry some of his weight. When they push open the door, they’re blinded by the light of freedom. The sun shines on their skin for the first time in years as they cry out in exhilaration. Clinging to each other, they never look back.

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Solicited Illustration for “Dripping Imagination”


Sam Leagre

Solicited Illustration for “Black Man”

Black Man in Cuffs Lauren Franke

Black Man

I The first black man I fell in love with was you, Dad. Before preschool every morning we watched Little House on the Prairie, you with the white comforter you used as a blanket draped from your slender body and me close by in my Barbie nightgown with two frazzled, braided, piggy tails framing a face that looked just like yours.

Brooklyn Raines

Winner of the 2019 Lucy Monro Brooker Award

Later you would teach me how to dribble a basketball, rap along to Cam’ron, and make s’mores. How could the brightest star in my life fall victim to mistreatment by the police? Dad, why on that day did that officer

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pull you from the car and humiliate you in front of an entire subdivision? Why didn’t he listen to my cousin when she told him that was her cigarette bud flicked from the window? Didn’t he know a little girl was awaiting your arrival back home? Officer, didn’t you know my dad used to chase my sister and me around the house with our stuffed Barney? Did he not know a black man is capable of such love and affection? You returned to us that evening as a hologram of yourself. I didn’t know it then, but how blessed am I to have you back alive. You were embarrassed, the heaviness in your brown eyes gave it away, but, Dad, how brave of you to walk

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around in your black body knowing you are viewed as a threat every time you leave the house. Safety is a foreign concept to you. II I admire you, black men with your imperfections hanging gracefully from the cupid’s bow of your lips. There was you Ceddy: I watched you krump in my sister’s garage. Your arms robotic, your torso full of passion, your legs twitched like an insect caught in a spiderweb. You bought Taco Bell for my friends and me the same night you introduced me to Attack on Titan at that shitty house party that was too much fun. You were so sweet. How could America ever perceive you as a threat?

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Come confide in me, spend time with me, unwind with me. There was you Ronnie: We caught up at Applebee’s. You talked about your sisters, how they were growing up. I’m guilty of not listening to a single word. Every time you smiled and your golds shined, I wanted your mouth in the crook of my neck. Hold me tight in your arms: I feel safest when my ear is to your chest and your heart asks if we can listen to that one Kanye song, then Bun B, and oh, can we make love to André 3000? III My greatest love is you, son. At only two, your height and strength confuses most people. “Oh my, I thought he was five.”

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I smile politely, but people already assume. I want you to enjoy your childhood. My little angel, play without fear. One day in your car seat, I put your dinosaur hood with the spikes around it over your head. I burst out in tears, we talked about Trayvon Martin in class that day. George Zimmerman, Trayvon was a child in a hood, just a child with an Arizona and Skittles in hand, but black kids are stripped from their innocence and childhoods every second of every waking minute. Landon, you smiled and your dimples turned the gray sky to fireworks and butterflies. I know I couldn’t protect you from the George Zimmermans of the world forever: One day your physique and passion for life will intimidate someone. I pray I’m there when it happens.

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Solicited Illustration for “Black Man�

Black Man (Mother and Son) Elizabeth White


Sara Perkins

I wonder what deer think about when they stand on the roadside. Do they see their faults in our headlights? Do they love their offspring, their mothers? Do they understand the ramifications of seeing God in the quickly-approaching light? The snowdrifts behind the semi look like an Aurora Borealis. Ethereal ribbons of red and yellow wave goodbye to a home left behind and beckon deer closer, like a siren song to a fisherman. After they’ve been struck and have found a calm spot in the field, does the weight of their mortality fall on them like a dusting of snow? Do they wish they were better fathers, better lovers? Wish they’d gotten closer to the Lord sooner? Do they feel as if they’ve wasted their life?

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Jessica Marvel

You Should Be Here ghostly how your lips touch mine and how your hugs don’t match your warmth.

im cold.

BreAnnah Nunn

you kiss me but it’s

you don’t look me in the eye when you say I love you anymore. your heart beats,

it beats

slower when we’re together and I can’t help but wonder why laying with you reminds me of


in the sea.

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The Ocean

Jessica Marvel

Luke Garrigus

Fish Music: Splendens Requiem (For Maurice)

Scan the QR code below to listen to the full song and see the sheet music:

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Nikki Thomas

The Bridge Overlooking the High- If I’m so afraid

Unfamiliar air I look over I watch them.

They breeze by Their speed

of heights made wet and see

splashing droplets approaching 70

What if I jumped? Would I, pound drop windshield after a long, long

fall directly on the concrete? of rain, of some innocent passerby day at the office.

How would he explain my death to them? How would I explain my death to anyone? The guardrail is so low here.

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way Somewhere in Fountain Square then why

do I always see myself jumping?

with the sudden I’m standing high,

sprinkle of rain. high above the cars below.

on both sides with their windshield wipers on. and then I think-

Or get tossed around my blood splattered trying to tell his children

like the 106 across the goodnight

And consequently, so am I.

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Sara Perkins

Hibakujumoku (Survivor Tree) Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award Winner Far in the future, the humble ginkgo tree will tell the next sentient species about the fall of humanity.

No bias, no lies.

It will tell of the blinding white light and a heat hotter than the sun. It will tell of flesh hanging off fingertips like torn gauze, of the dead crawling to the river in one last act of prayer. Of how the river blistered the throat, of how humans wept for the black rain to soothe their burns. It will tell of a time where the dead were the lucky ones. This ancient tree, encased in its own mutated bark like a prisoner of war, scorch marks and scars over its knobs like my war veteran grandfather, will not weep for humanity. The ginkgo tree will not see its luck in surviving.

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Grampa Pyro Jack Cameron Whited

McKenna Tetrick


After Exodus 12:12-13

i’ve heard stories of old the way the spirit flows red like watered-down wine a communion of maker and man bread for greatness my body is a vessel for a god that damns my existence firstborn and faggot destined for death i pray that the blood on my hands will paint the posts on my door

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Neon Dragon Jessica Marvel

Freddie Rodriguez

No Quiero Ser Un Heroe Lyrics: Yo no quiero ser un héroe Solo quiero ser lo que creó es bien Vamonos de aqui porque yo ya vi Que no hay nada aqui para mi Yo estoy harto de sentir Como una fantasma Yo no quiero ser un héroe

Scan the QR code below to listen to the full song:

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I miss God who was my friend - Jeanette Winterson

I momma, i’m coming home a terror-ridden insomniac a clean slate with bloodshot eyes hoping to find rest on the seventh day i’ve recreated myself too many times i let there be light in her eyes and saw that it was good

McKenna Tetrick

Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award Runner-Up

II i tell You i cannot give up not the purest love i know You tell me grace and mercy will guard my heart but who is going to protect me when You say “depart from me, i never knew you” and i, tears streaming, respond “yes, You did i sang until my throat was numb i played until my fingers bled and still You wished that i die alone” III i can’t enter the gates with thanksgiving and the sanctuary with praise because the gate was slammed in my face and the sanctuary demands she be the sacrifice i have traversed the mountains there is no ram in the thicket Vol. 32.1 | 49

only her head caught between the pillow and the caress of my hand IV today, i prayed for forgiveness i listened for Your answer and heard only silence tonight, i will abandon all thoughts of hell and i will rest in her arms

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Chromophobia (Phobia Series I) Alexis Darland

Clourophobia (Phobia Series II) Alexis Darland


Thanaphobia (Phobia Series III) Alexis Darland

Dominic Pagano

Squeal The solo begins. Crescendo. Crescendo. I own the stage; I am the stage. Unity. Harmony. Euphoria. Sweat cascades in buckets. I compare to an angel. I am an angel. Remember this moment, my sweet Feo. I hear you, mother. I land my Pas Gargouillade. The crowd applauses. I have reached the heavens. Sicily was full of sunlight, the warmth of breast milk. Anywhere the light touched gave the sensation that God was watching you, and he always applauded. When exiting the freight, it’s as if Satan himself greeted me with sincere arms to Russia. The theater was bricked and the lights had been turned off on the exterior. It’s as if I’ve arrived on the darkest side of the moon. “Welcome to the Guiri Theater, Miss Bello.” The jockey with his withered hands opens my door and helps me to my feet. He bows, as if I was the queen, and runs off to pick up my luggage. If mama was with me, she never would have left the carriage. Mama isn’t here, nor will she ever be. The driver gives a final nod and drives away into the fog. Without another life form out in the public, an ambiance makes it out to be a dream. I pick up what I can carry and trudge up the stairs to the front door which is embellished in faux gold. As I come to knock, the wind picks up and blows my sun hat right off my head and back towards the road. When I reach behind to grab my hat, a

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lengthy figure stands at the bottom of the stairs with my hat in their fists. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The figure is wearing a long, elegant feather robe made of crimson. Their hair is tied up tight in a bun that interweaves a white strip from their forehead. I can sense their piercing eyes undressing me to my bones, making my body bare. “Well, Miss Bello?” I’m mumbling, not even forming words. The woman rolls her eyes and holds out her hand, and I clutch my luggage and head back down the steps. “You’re late by twelve minutes. That is unacceptable for my theater. I did not spend 1,000 rubles for tardiness.” I force on my hat, and the woman walks around the stairs to the alley by the building. I walk with her like a lost lamb. “My name is Tonya Isabella Viktorov IV. You will only discuss me as Madame. I have run this theater for 40 years and accept nothing out of place while you’re in my presence. Do I make myself obvious, Miss Bello?” “Yes, Madame.” She reaches into her robe’s pocket and pulls out a large ring of keys. As she flips through the keys, I read the sign on the door: Proklyatyy. The Damned. “This building used to be a warehouse for pigs and had its own butchery. I favor the old signs.” She shoves me in the doorway, and I stumble on my feet. “This is the only door you’re allowed to go in and out of. You will get your own set of keys once I approve.” “Approve of what? The keys?” “No, Miss Bello. You.” As we walk down numerous hallways, I see eyes upon eyes on my backside: the other performers. Most of them are small girls, but here and there I see a boy or two. I have yet to see a performer my age; they might not be interested

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in me. Even towards the oncoming night, there are dancers in studios practicing their hearts out. As we pass one room, Studio 4, a girl is slapped across the face and is kicked out of the room. I see no tears, yet I know it must have hurt. Viktorov finally stops in front of a wooden door, old as time itself. “This is your room. Place your belongings inside and meet me in Studio 12 tomorrow at 8 p.m. The rest of the girls work best during the night, and so will you in due time.” “Yes, ma’am.” “Madame, girl.” She walks away in her robe as if the world was cowering behind her. I’ve met God herself. When I enter the room, my nose is hit with the smell of copper and raw meat. The floorboards are dark as ash, and cobwebs are visible all around; I guess I’ll have cleaning to do in my alone time. As I look around the room, a figure is making my bed—well, what I assume is a bed. A young girl, probably of 15 or 16 years, is folding sheets at the end of the cot. Her orange hair is tied neatly in twin buns without a single strand out of place. Freckles cover her entire body from her exposed feet to her rosy cheeks. The girl finally notices me in the room, drops everything on the bed, and runs over to grab my luggage. “Sorry, Miss Bello, I should have helped you outside. I was just so caught up in making your bed perfect that I lost the time.” When our eyes meet, I can see the stress in her emerald eyes. “Don’t worry, it’s fine, really.” “Nonono, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have gotten lost.” The girl bows, and I quickly lift her head up. “You don’t have to do that for me. I’m just a ballerina like you.” The girl looks puzzled, but then a big smile grows on her face. We quickly get the luggage onto a nearby dusty couch, and I start unpacking my practice clothes.

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“How do you already know my name, dear...?” The girl sounds shocked. “My name is Lily. Madame Viktorov made me your assistant; she wanted me to make you feel at home, since you came all the way from Raccuja.” “Well, I really don’t need an assistant, but I appreciate the help, Lily.” Lily smiles again and heads for the door. “Please don’t be late on your first day. You wouldn’t want to get punished when you’ve only just arrived.” Lily’s warmth fades when the door closes behind her. How I yearn for that warmth to never leave. When I think of warmness, I think of my father. His rough hands from working on the family farm and the textiles he makes as a side job. The smile that makes me feel at home. Sicily was where I was born and raised, and I never thought I would leave; it was my home. My final solo in Raccuja would be the death of that dream—an illusion that hit me hard in the face. “You did wonderful, my sweet figlia.” My dad hands me a bouquet of callas: my favorite flower. The petals remind me of bonnets that I would dress my dolls in when I was a girl. When I smell the flowers, the aromas send sweet chills down my spine. “Thank you, Papa. I’m glad you came this time. No work tonight?” “No, my dear...” My father reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a yellow folder with my name on it: “Feodora Bello.” “What is that, Father?” As I speak, two men appear behind Papa; they look like they could break me like a twig. One of them grabs my bouquet, while the other grabs for one of my arms. “Who are you? Let go of me!” I try to kick the man who took my bouquet, but it does not faze him. “I’m sorry, figlia, but this was the only way.”

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“The only way for what? Tell these men to let go!” The men begin walking, and I am dragged along with them. “I had to keep the farm somehow, please forgive me... Your mother would.” I start to scream for help. The other performers do nothing; my throat goes hoarse. The callas are dropped on the floor, along with my heart and tears. I enter Studio 12 the next day like it was a normal day back in Raccuja. I want to feel like I didn’t travel across Europe to the middle of a place I’ve barely heard of. The other performers are chatting, but once they see that I have entered, they stop. I’m looked up and down like a new toy to play with. Across the studio, another door opens; Viktorov and two very young dancers walk in. The girls’ heads bow and everyone forms a line. Viktorov nudges me into the end of the line, where I stand next to an emotionless Lily. The warmth from before has been turned off; there is no warmth in here while Viktorov is afoot. The two girls that followed Viktorov begin to play music, and we begin practicing. Hours go by; sweat is pouring down my face onto my chest. I’ve dived into the darkest waters where Viktorov is my only guide. Nothing can be out of place with this woman. The two girls that came in with her are not even practicing; they’re like dolls in the corner. When I look up at the wall clock, the time says 2 a.m.; it feels much longer than that could ever say. Viktorov commands us to the support bar and to stretch our legs as far as we can. I can tell that the rest of the girls are tired and in need of a break, but Viktorov hasn’t even broken a sweat. Once I get in position, I look in front of me towards Lily; she’s about to give out. Lily finally falls over, landing on top of a tall blonde in front of her. Everyone stares at Lily and her fault. No one looks surprised; they look mortified. “This is the third time this week you have been unable to stretch to your full potential, Miss Gola.” “I...I just need some water—”

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Viktorov kicks Lily in her sternum, and Lily curls into a ball, grunting. I can’t move; I can’t even gasp from the action. I look around to the other dancers, and they terrify me even more; they are now emotionless as if what happened to Lily is the norm. “You know what your punishment is for failing.” Viktorov whistles, and the two girls that came in with her run through the door. “Please, no...I’ll work 10 times harder than the rest! Please!” “Silence, you insolent girl!” Lily’s perfect buns have started to come undone. Her perfection is slowly being chipped away by Viktorov’s words. Lily tries to get up, but Viktorov grabs her hair and pushes her back onto the ground. She points to two other girls—the tall blonde and the girl who was slapped yesterday—and they straighten their backs. “Hold Gola down on her knees.” The two dancers nod, and they hold Lily in place. “Nonono, please no.” Finally, the two girls come back into the room, carrying something in both of their hands. I gag at the smell. It’s a large head. A large pig head. The mouth is sewn shut, and the eyes are gouged out. I vomit in my mouth but hold it in with the rest of my energy. “What the hell is that...?” I whisper. Viktorov hears me and stares me down. “Gola will learn her place here, and you will be smart to do the same, Miss Bello.” Lily is struggling harder than before, but the two dancers holding her down are stronger. Lily keeps screaming, begging for help. Everyone stares at the floor, except me and Viktorov. The small girls shove the head onto Lily.

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The screams have become squeals of a pig. The head is tightened on. Viktorov has created a pig in human’s clothing. The dancers holding Lily down release her, and Lily is desperately trying to get the head off, but it’s no use. Lily begins to stumble and goes to us for help, but everyone looks up to the ceiling. “Back to your positions, ladies.” The dancers begin to look up, without contacting Lily, and stretch their arms and legs as we were doing before. “You too, Miss Bello.” I nod and get into position. I feel Lily tug at my skirt, but I fear that I’ll end up just like her. Tears begin to run down my cheek. This was never the darkest side of the moon; this is hell. When I was 12 years old, my mother was diagnosed with scarlet fever. My siblings and I were not allowed near her, for my father feared we would catch it as well. Being the oldest, I had to shepherd my younger siblings and say that it was to keep everyone safe, but at the same time, I didn’t care what would happen to me as long as I got to see my mother again. One night, while my father was drinking away his sadness in our cellar, I snuck into my mother’s room. My mother was standing at the window, looking like a ghost from a fable. Her nightgown was flowing with the wind from the window, and she was just staring into the shallows. “Is that you, Frank?” My mother had gone blind from the fever and didn’t know who was who anymore. I wanted to just leave because I couldn’t stand seeing my mother in so much pain. Something in me kept me planted in the room. “No, Mama...It’s me, Feo.” My mother turned towards the door, and I could see her eyes; red bumps had consumed her face, and her eyes were blank slates.

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“My figlia, what are you doing here?” I didn’t answer. I walked over to the window and closed it. I took my mother by her hand and led her back to the bed. “You need to rest, Mama. How else are you going to feel better and see everyone else?” My mother only nodded, and slowly got into bed. When mama was finally in bed, I started to walk away. Suddenly, I felt my mother’s hand grab for me, but obviously miss. “Feo, please don’t leave me. I haven’t heard your sweet voice in such a long time.” I pulled away, and my mom layed back down on the bed. She was never the one for stories, but something felt like she would be telling me one. After almost five minutes in complete silence, she finally spoke. “Watch after your siblings, figlia; you’ll become the woman of the house soon enough.” “Maybe I don’t want to be.” “That isn’t an option here, Feo. Don’t become Lucifer when you are destined to be Gabriel.” My mother began to cough, and I handed her some water from her side table. She drank as much as she could, but water started to slip out of her mouth. “Goodnight, Mama.” I saw tears falling down my mother’s face, but I continued to leave. “I love you, Feodora. I love you more than the world and stars above. Please, never forget me.” “I could never.” Days go by and Lily is nowhere to be seen. We continued to train throughout that cursed night, but all I could think about was her, the girl with all the warmth of the sun. When I try to talk to the other performers, they shush me away. I sometimes would see the two girls that brought the pig head to Viktorov, but they don’t respond to me. If I cannot get answers, I must find her myself. When Studio 12 is not in use, I sneak in with the lights turned off. I try my best to be as silent as possible, but

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squeaks can still be heard within the room. On the other side of the room is the door the girls came from with the pig head: there might be more in there or something of use to me. When the door opens, the only figure I can make out is a flight of stairs that go down to an abyss; I gulp and step downward. At the bottom of the stairs, I almost trip on something cold and hard between my toes: chains. I try to make out something visible, but nothing can be seen. The smell makes me want to vomit, but I hold back that idea once I see the flicks of a candle. As I get closer and closer to the only light, I continue to stumble over chains, and eventually see hooks. They were most likely used for the pigs that were here before the studio, but knowing Viktorov, they could be used for anything. The light finally engulfs me, and I hold my mouth shut. Lily is seen with hooks through her hands, and the pig head is still on her. No sound is coming from her, only the deep breaths she is taking to live with the head on. Lily’s legs are tied together in front of her, bloody and gashed from the chains. When I get closer to her, Lily shakes and squeals and tries to move back, but cannot move and most likely is hurting herself. “Lily, it’s me, Feodora. I’ll get you out of this, don’t worry.” Lily finally stops but then shakes crazier than before. “You need to calm down or else I cannot help you.” Lily continues to squirm, but I have no choice but to try my best at freeing her. I slowly unwrap her legs from the chains, but Lily begins to kick like mad. I don’t want her to be in this pain anymore. It’s as if she was one of my siblings fighting with me, but I know not to get in the legs’ way. When trying to lift the head, it seems to be on tighter than I originally thought. “Shake your head for me Lily; shake your head and I’ll try to pull it off. Maybe the force will get the head off.” I begin to pull my best, but Lily begins to squeal loud— loud and in pain. I stop pulling and look closely at the head’s

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rim. With closer inspection, the worst outcome comes to reality; the head has been glued shut on her, and the constant pulling is tearing her skin from her body. “The longer you pull, the harder the solution holds.” I turn with a jerk, and I see Viktorov towering over us. “I will give you to the count of five to leave this animal—” I stand to my feet, and I look Viktorov dead in the eyes. “This abuse can no longer continue, Viktorov. Someone will find out about all of this sooner or later.” Viktorov looks disgusted at me, and I’m glad about it. “How dare you raise your voice at me, you little bitch! I did not spend years with these performers just so you can waltz on in here and think you can destroy it all!” With that, Viktorov blows at the candle in the room, and she disappears into the dusk. I try to go for where she is, but I’m suddenly slammed onto the floor. I feel sharp nails digging into my neck, and I try to knock my head back into Viktorov. I hear a crack and grab a chain near me. With my best guess, I reach the chain over Viktorov’s neck. I miss in the midst of this darkness. She slides away. I need to get out of here. I fall down to the floor again and my nose smacks onto the concrete. I need to keep moving. I’m gasping for air. My knees are bloodied. The cold chain strangles my neck like a snake. I struggle for my life. Viktorov has me at her disposal. I’ve become one of these pigs. Nothing seems to work. I see my siblings, Papa, Mama. This is it, the real final act. I guess I’m grateful for this. Feodora’s body laid on the floor, covered in her own blood and shame. Viktorov struggles to get up, but the pain from her nose and legs makes it hard to stand. She begins

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to climb up the stairs; there is hope for her after all. Viktorov’s foot gets tangled. She is pulled down the stairs. Lily’s chains pull her down. Viktorov travels down the stairs one by one and lands at the bottom with a thud. Viktorov and Feo’s blood mix together, and their bodies have toppled onto one another. Lily covers their eyes, and steps over their bodies and up the stairs. Lily hasn’t seen the sunlight in ages; it was a distant memory to her. She hears gasps and screams coming from the other performers as they run in terror at the sight of a bloody Lily. “We are free now, sisters and brothers.” Squeal. “We can go home and be with our families.” Squeal. “We are no longer captives to Viktorov and her games to keep us in here; the evil has been defeated.” The sunlight beats down onto Lily. “We are no longer pigs in human clothing.”

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Ferret Bard

Elizabeth White

Mackenzie Hyatt

Textile Dreams Once upon a time, I had dreamt of someone. This ‘someone’ was nothing like you. They were perfectly patterned, A textile person. Easy to trim and hem and sew together. I could embroider the world In their fabric skin, Change the color of their button eyes. In hindsight, I should have realized that dreams Lived up to their name. That risking stabbing myself With a pin or a rogue needle Was not worth the guarantee of perfection. You’re so much better than any textile dream of mine.

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Sunflower Girl

Freddie Rodriguez

Lyrics: In a field of sunflowers, A girl dances in privacy She would love to show someone But she feels too ashamed Ashamed cuz everyone around her Makes her feel inadequate That’s because she is not like them Ain’t allowed to be around Doesn’t share the same damn interests Harbored by everyone Doesn’t care much to fit in But feels so alone Her eyes as bright as the blue sky So vast and full of potential Potential that can be tapped If she ever stopped doubting herself Placing her merit below The ground beneath her soles But sprouting out from the ground And someday soon inside her heart A glorious radiance Like that of a sunflower Don’t hide your eyes Behind their lies I’ll have you know You’re beautiful Scan the QR code above to listen to the full song.

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McKenna Tetrick


After “Anhelo Africano/African Yearning” by Johanny Vázquez Paz

momma, why did you make me so blank? i can’t roll my r’s or speak more than one tongue my blood is from colonizers and sympathizers but it boils to know its past no one has washed it from their hands because momma, i don’t know how to lose maybe i was born pink to honor the wounds of those my fathers have killed maybe i am a mixture of white and wrath i wish i could be black and blue momma, what you don’t understand is that there is nothing to take from me i could be proud of my ancestral epic instead i am bound to a culture that is only an amalgamation of the things and people we pretend to care about

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Alexis Darland

Catherine Jameson

Whiskey Dizzy Dizzy Down The shots fall down the back of my throat, it burns like a band aid ripped off of the skin. One Two Three Down No ceiling No floor No house No home No love The wind hits my skin and goosebumps raise like daisies in the spring. My hand curved around the sleek glass bottle. There is no focus to my sight, there is no future to dwell on, there is no family to love. With no ceiling, no floor, no house, no home, no love. I lay on the cement and drink whiskey like water until the liquid makes me dizzy and takes me Down

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50 Shades Freed Riley Childers

McKenna Tetrick

Dark Matter

for Sally Ride and partner Tam O’Shaughnessy

matron of the outer orbit eyes packed with dust from explosions challenging the faith of man but you know persistence breaker of boundaries she-devil of the space-bound ship shuttling earthly gods hellbent on finding another world to burn let your peers tremble at your cosmo-kissed feet let them engineer mythologies of your magnitude and worship the craft of your quiet hands you who searched the stars for enlightenment yet laid with woman and found the heavens at your fingertips hiding away in nebulous dark matter please, tell me how something i cannot see has such pull on me

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Chained by Smoke

Alexis Darland

Contributors’ Statements (38) “Ghosting” by Jessica Marvel: This digital piece is a representation of my feelings on one of my last mental breakdowns. A lot of times, your brain tells you lies about the people who care about you, and a lot of times, you feel like you aren’t even there when you are. Your imagination is playing tricks on you. (39) “You Should Be Here” by BreAnnah Nunn: “You Should Be Here” was a responding poem to Kaveh Akbar’s poem structure of “Portrait of the Alcoholic.” (40) “The Ocean” by Jessica Marvel: This is a watercolor piece created to go with a poem I wrote titled “The Ocean.” The poem has been published in Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets 2019 and talks about my first journey to an “ocean” and some of my own depression. (42) “The Bridge Overlooking the Highway Somewhere in Fountain Square” by Nikki Thomas: Along with PCOS and endometriosis, I struggle with depression as well. Depression is a strong component of the two, and I think about these types of situations often. Through this poem, I explore my thoughts and emotions about what life might be like without me around. It is a strong poem that means a lot to me. (44) “Hibakujumoku (Survivor Tree)” by Sara Perkins: On August 6, 1945, an Allied plane dropped the world’s first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing an estimated 135,000 people. Many who did not immediately die fled to the river to soothe their burns. The water worsened their wounds, killing many of them. Among the devastation were countless scorched trees, including the notoriously resilient ginkgo trees. Amazingly, the trees sprouted leaves the following spring and still live to this day. This Vol. 32.1 | 75

poem is in response to the Doomsday Clock remaining at two minutes to midnight from the threat of climate change and nuclear warfare. (47) “Neon Dragon” by Jessica Marvel: This is a piece on a 24” x 36” piece of black paper that uses colored pencils (including metalic gold and silver) and Posca pens to form a dragon breathing fire at its target. (48) “No Quiero Ser un Heroe” by Freddie Rodriguez: This is a song formed from a poem I wrote in Spanish played on a guitar with two missing strings. (51) “Phobia Series (I-III)” by Alexis Darland: My graphite, charcoal, and acrylic painting pieces were made with the intent to make people who have these phobias be intrigued and disgusted at the same time. I wanted to learn about both common and bizarre phobias people have and interpret them in my own way. “Chromophobia” is a 9” x 12” acrylic canvas painting. “Coulrophobia” is a 13” x 14 1/2” graphite drawing. “Thanaphobia” is a 9” x 12” charcoal drawing. (54) “Squeal” by Dominic Pagano: Certain phrases and word choices were a lot of fun in this piece, such as “pigs in human clothing.” I had heard it from someone else and I thought “now that sounds like a cool phrase you don’t normally hear.” I see a lot of myself in the main character, even though she has an ending I wouldn’t wish on myself. (65) “Ferret Bard” by Elizabeth White: This work is a digital illustration combining two of my favorite subjects: fantasy archetypes and adorable animals. (66) “Textile Dreams” by Mackenzie Hyatt: “Textile Dreams” is a franken-poem (that is, several failed poems 76 | Etchings

stitched together) about the imperfection of people and love. (67) “Sunflower Girl” by Freddie Rodriguez: This is a song with the music written first and a made-up muse to serve as the subject of the lyrics. (69) “Doubtful” by Alexis Darland: This graphite drawing is about trust. For example, when people love someone, they are “giving their whole heart” to the other person. But some are doubtful of the future. They get terrified of the doubts swarming their minds so they don’t trust the other being fully, therefore, not giving the other individual their whole heart and trust. (70) “Whiskey” by Catherine Jameson: This piece was written about the turmoil that alcoholism can cause, downward spiraling into a deep nothing. It was written, not only for awareness, but for the truth of what the overuse of alcohol can do. (71) “50 Shades Freed” by Riley Childers: This photo is from a series of photos that I have taken over the period of a year. The photo series has allowed to me to create different photos of a good friend of mine and capture the different sides of her and her personality. (73) “Chained by Smoke” by Alexis Darland: This piece shows the pain and struggle a person goes through when they try to quit smoking. My grandma tried to quit smoking multiple times and she never could. When I asked her why she replied, “I’m chained to the act of smoking.”

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Art and Design Juried Student Exhibition Best in Show

Contributors’ Statements (14) “We Are All Made of Stardust: Spirit” by Samantha Froh: This is the centerpiece of a triptych inspired by the idea that everything in the universe is made of the same particles. Astronomer Carl Sagan once stated that “We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff.” Exploding stars created many of the elements of the periodic table, including those that make up the human body. “We Are All Made of Stardust” depicts the connection between humanity and the universe. The series utilizes cloudlike forms and swirling movement juxtaposed with more realistic imagery. The saturated color palettes are inspired by the paintings of the Impressionist Movement, and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” was the original influence for the incorporation of star filled backdrops. These elements come together to encourage the viewer to delve into their own imagination as well as the world around them.

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Contributors’ Statements (29) “Sickly” by Sam Leagre: When I read “Dripping Imagination,” I was inspired to create a piece that represented what I felt was a very impactful part of the story. The effect of the medication on the protagonist works as a way to show a realistic side of such a creative and dark story. The duality of the pill in the hand versus the character curled up gives a sense of connection between the two that the story breaks as it continues. This is an illustration of that breaking point.

Solicited Illustrations

Illustration of “Dripping Imagination” by Chelsea Keen

Illustrations of “Black Man” by Brooklyn Raines (30) “Black Man in Cuffs” by Lauren Franke: This piece was created digitally within Procreate, an app available on the iPad Pro, to accompany the poem. I wanted to help convey the story by illustrating the closed cuff with a restricted, cut-off feeling with police brutality. Meanwhile, the open cuff symbolizes the happiness of the father and daughter, and the freedom that comes with it. I decided for the cuff to be open and have the idea of a heart shape. The colors used were to illustrate the police lights. Overall, the piece took four hours to complete. (36) “Black Man (Mother and Son)” by Elizabeth White: This is an illustration piece of the poem “Black Man” by Brooklyn Raines. I felt inspired by the vivid descriptions of her emotions due to the hardships she went through, and I wanted to visually express her need to protect her child from these situations.

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Fall 2019

Contributors’ Biographies Alexis Darland is a freshman at the University of Indianapolis studying pre-art therapy with studio art. She likes to explore new techniques and mediums, and she doesn’t have a distinct style. Art was, and still is, her therapy. She doesn’t remember a time where she wasn’t doing something creative. Her goal is to show others that art is a creative and healthy way to express one’s feelings while helping people. Alexis Paulson is a junior at the University of Indianapolis currently working towards earning her degree in professional writing in English with a minor in business administration and management. She plans to go into publishing or own her own business one day. She likes to watch cartoons and play video games in her free time. BreAnnah Nunn is a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in English and creative writing. She plays video games like it’s a sport, she reads like it’s a competition, and she writes from her heart because one day she believes she will write best-sellers. Brooklyn Raines is a 2019 graduate of the University of Indianapolis. You can read her poems, works of fiction, and creative essays published in Etchings Literary and Fine Arts Magazine and Tributaries. She lives in Indianapolis with her family and handsome son Landon. She is excited and blessed to continue her education at IUPUI in their M.A. program for English. Brooklyn’s poetry explores themes of sexuality, race, family, body image, death, mental health, motherhood, and the intersectionality of being black and a woman. Cameron Whited is a sophomore at the University of Indianapolis majoring in visual communication design. He 80 | Etchings

enjoys drawing, photography, and Monty Python movies. Catherine Jameson is a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in biology with a pre-veterinary concentration. Catherine hopes to inspire others to write— to pick up the pencil and let what comes, come. She does not have a specific style of writing, but uses writing as an outlet for self-discovery. She hopes that her words on a page can be more than merely words—that they can be the spark to a larger fire that ignites within her readers’ souls. Chelsea Keen is a professional mess who is obsessed with reading, but more importantly she is dual majoring in professional writing and creative writing at the University of Indianapolis. Dominic Pagano is currently an undergrad at the University of Indianapolis, pursuing a BFA in animation/illustration with a minor in creative writing. His work is artistically stylized to who he is and is distinguished from others’ work. He also has a strong eye for color schemes and compositions. Elizabeth White is a senior studio art major with concentrations in animation and illustration. Freddie Rodriguez is a 25 year old musician/writer/naïve observer of the universe. He dislikes Creed, despite them being his first ever concert, and he enjoys cooking, stargazing, and wagering his soul over a children’s card game. Grant Boyer is a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in creative writing and minoring in music. He hopes to compose music, write novels as well as other works, and be creative for a living. Hope Coleman is a sophomore creative writing major Vol. 32.1 | 81

with a minor in studio art. She hopes to continue growing her creative and technical skills during her time at the University of Indianapolis and pursue a career in editing and publishing after graduation. Jessica Marvel is a senior writer and illustator. She tends to dabble in subjects based on mental illness and relationships and has had her work published in the University of Indianapolis’ Etchings Literary and Fine Arts Magazine and Z Publishing House’s Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets 2019. She is currently working on a webcomic series dealing with mental illness and the monstrous forms they take, as well as trying to dodge the claws of her cat. Larson Hicks is majoring in literary studies and professional writing. He enjoys all things Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. His hobbies include playing video games, collecting playing card decks, and being alive. Lauren Franke is a sophomore at the University of Indianapolis, majoring in studio art with a concentration in illustration. Her future goals are to learn new techniques, improve within different mediums, build more on her illustration style, and become more passionate about art. Luke Garrigus is a composer from Greenwood, Indiana. He studied at the University of Indianapolis as a piano primary with a concentration in composition. He cares for three dwarf puffer fish, one rainbow shark, seven long-fin zebra danios, one horned nerite snail, and many aquatic plants. Mackenzie Hyatt is a sophomore at the University of Indianapolis and is double majoring in creative writing and anthropology with a minor in theater. Her favorite book is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and she 82 | Etchings

is (still) trying to carve her way through War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Her passions include never making too much sense, never knowing whether it’s “theatre” or “theater,” and never spelling “piece” correctly. Maiya Johnson is a junior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in professional writing. She is 21 years old and lives in a Walmart bakery, constantly working while studying. She enjoys workshopping her peers’ work, writing, mental breakdowns, conspiracy theories, and her morning coffee. Her biggest goal is to “just graduate already.” Maxine Miles is a self-proclaimed “garbage person” and “gremlin child.” She does freelance art and animations. Her special talents include eating a block of cream cheese in one sitting. McKenna Tetrick is a Spanish and psychology major, but English is her first love. She enjoys reading, writing, and learning something new every day. Naomi Coleman is a senior professional writing major with a minor in communications. She loves to try different cultural foods in order to discover new favorites. She also enjoys reading and writing stories, and expanding her knowledge about life. Nikki Thomas writes about her personal issues with not only her diagnosis of PCOS & endometriosis, but also her struggle with depression and how it affects her life with others. Over the past two years, she has struggled with maintaining the power over her own life, but finally, after a long healing process, she feels like she is overcoming her adversities and taking her power back. Riley Childers is a senior professional writing major with a Vol. 32.1 | 83

minor in digital photography. She loves to explore Indiana for possible photo opportunities and hopes to expand her adventures outside of her home state. Samantha Froh has been influenced from a young age by science fiction and fantasy, fascinated by the idea of the “unknown.” Her body of work has grown from a desire to encourage imagination and dreaming. She wishes to capture a sense of awe, to revel in the impossible, finding joy in the world around her. Each piece is meant to function as a catalyst to exploration and discovery. Samantha received a B.S. in Art Therapy in 2019, graduating summa cum laude with distinction. She has a passion for increasing art access in underserved populations and will attend George Washington University to complete her Masters in the fall. Sam Leagre is a sophomore actuarial science major, with minors in creative writing and art. He began at the University of Indianapolis as a studio art major, but changed to a minor after his freshman year. He loves to create art and hopes to be able to write and illustrate his own comics some day. Sara Perkins studies English at the University of Indianapolis. She has more plants than she can count on both hands and she likes to do yoga with barnyard animals. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have been published in Indiana Review Online, Tributaries, Young Adult Review Network, and elsewhere. Find more of her work at www. Shauna Sartoris loves to engage in all things English, as is made evident by her double major in professional and creative writing and her minor in literary studies. When she’s not writing, Shauna enjoys (for the most part) spending long hours on InDesign with a large cup of iced coffee in hand. Her favorite book, Nabakov’s Favorite Word 84 | Etchings

is Mauve by Ben Blatt, tracks the statistics of word usage in famous literature. Tayah Eakle is a senior creative writing major with a minor in literary studies. She is a student assistant for Etchings Literary Magazine, Etchings Press, and the Kellogg Writers Series. She loves to read, write, and sing in her car. Taylor Watkins is a senior literary studies major who loves to read and write. She is from Greenwood, Indiana, where she lives with her spunky French bulldog and boxer. When her nose isn’t in a book, she is helping brides find their dream wedding dresses, is listening to boybands, and is completing her mission of finding the best iced coffee to exist. She also loves daydreaming about being in Disney World, baking (mostly cupcakes), watching Netflix (most likely a Rom-Com), and shopping (mostly at Target). Tylyn K. Johnson is a sophomore social work student at the University of Indianapolis. A community-minded writer from Indianapolis, he also nurtures his passion for writing through the occasional spoken word. Tylyn’s work has appeared in the Parody Poetry Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, and Rigorous, among other spaces. When he is not writing or spending time with his little brother, he is finding ways to better his community and affect positive change through dialogue about intersectionality. He can be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Medium @TyKyWrites.

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Colophon Cover text: The main title is set in Agency FB (95,105 pt). The “contributors� title is set in Agency FB (36 pt). The contributor names are set in Agency FB (18 pt). The spine text is set in Agency FB (8 pt).

Volume 32.1

Cover: The binding type is perfect bound. The laminent type is matte.

Interior: The trim size is 5.5 x 8.5 inches. The interior paper is standard color, 70lb opaque white. Interior text: The title text is set in Agency FB bold (28 pt). The author text is set in Agency FB light (30 pt). The body text is set in Ariel Narrow Regular (12 pt). Kerning is adjusted to 120%. The footer text is set in Ariel Narrow Regular (12 pt). Kerning is adjusted to 120%.

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Call for Submissions Etchings Volume 32 Issue 2, Spring 2020 Submissions due at midnight on Feburary 3, 2020 Guidelines for Submission: • All UIndy students, faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to submit. • All accepted undergraduate prose and poetry submissions will be considered for the Dorlis Gott Armentrout Award. • Up to three short stories or creative nonfiction essays, five poems, five visual materials, and five audio files may be submitted. • Artwork must be in .tiff format. Please save at a high resolution (at least 300 ppi). • Poetry and prose should be in Microsoft Word format (.doc, .docx, or .rtf). • Poetry should be single spaced, and prose should be double spaced in a 12-point font. • Audio should be in .mp3 format and scores should be in .pdf, .jpeg, or .png format. • Etchings has a blind submission process. Please do not include any personal identifiers in your submission documents. (This information will be provided to us from Submittable.) Submit work at We do not accept email submissions. Please create a free account at or sign in using Facebook. For questions, email us at Follow us @uindyetchings on the platforms below: