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Copyright Š 2018 Everglades High School Miramar, Florida. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Copyright - All rights reserved and all written material contained herein is the sole property of the writer who created it and is protected by US Copyright laws.

ver the course of five years, a lot can happen. Many of the people involved in the production of this year’s magazine were still in middle school when the idea to collect the literary work of students at Everglades High School was born. In that time, each of my predecessors have worked diligently to build this magazine up to new levels. The students who create the magazine have also evolved looking for more ways to allows students at EHS to express themselves and tell their stories. The 2017-2018 school year has been one of the most difficult school years that I can remember in my time as a teacher. To start the year, Hurricane Irma ripped through Florida. After almost two weeks away, many students came back to school in an effort to find a sense of normalcy among the damage that their homes and neighborhoods sustained. In February, the unthinkable happened as all of our Broward County school

family fought through the fear caused by the senseless violence at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. Through it all, the students and teachers connected to this magazine pulled through to produce our fifth anniversary edition and what I feel confident in saying is our best product to date. Thank you to all who worked to make this possible please enjoy the best of our Everglades students. Sincerely,

Matthew M. Cordova Literary Magazine Advisor

Cover Photo: Ciomar Stokes (Sophomore)

W h e n a L o v e d O n e is G o n e Isabell Hasting The Road Ahead I M is s Y o u A N e w L if e S tr u g g l e Love C u r io u s B e n S p e a k in g M y M in d L o tu s W in te r S tr o l l W in g s A P e rf e c t S to r m Home

Nicole Fung 10 Isabell Hasting Valentina Lara Vickey Long Isabella Ramirez Natalia Ortiz Nathalie Pena Jaynel Rodriguez Nathalie Mion Linh Nguyen* Linh Nguyen Nathalie Pena Nathalie Pena Chantelle Ortega*

A Guide to Surviving Planet Earth T i me W i l l T e l l The Las t S tand of The Good T h e F o u r D is a g r e e me n t s The Scariest Thing T h e W o o d e n S wi n g Clocks How the World Got The Rose

Brianna Feinman Grecia Carachure-Carmora Sofia Rodriguez Karina Bouzas Natalia Ortiz Nathalie Pena Alisa Henry Isabella Ramirez Kaylene Rodriguez Karidah Hossain Vickey Long

Yvette Pratesaba* Alfonso Encalada Syanne Lyew-Ayee P a me l a H o - F u n g * Rebecca Sossi Daniella Mancilla Kayla Cunningham Nadia Seidu*!

18, 60 20 26 30 38 43, 57 44 56 58 59 61

* Denotes Everglades High School Literary Fair Winner ! Denotes Broward County Schools Literary Fair Winner

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 20 21 21 22

24 29 32 36 37 41 46 52

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things. —

Nicole Fung

On a normal summer’s night, The winds hissed and roared like dragons Never seeming to end, The storm passed like the speed of a wagon

Never thinking this day would come, Physically and mentally unprepared The news of a loved one’s death The news of a death I wish was never shared We take our loved ones for granted, Never realizing everything what we had Little had I known, The insufferable pain only made me mad

She was my best friend She was my hope Never have I been so miserable, Oh how will I ever cope! Her sudden death was scary Never will I forget how we were so close However there is one thing that I learned— Our fears reveal what we care about the most

Isabell Hasting He was her life, her Nile river His smile warmed her empty heart In the dark they shared secrets and kisses They were in love but someone kept them apart Adonis fell for the demon’s trap of toxic lust Above the clouds, the winged watched over He prayed to her because he knew he was blinded She knew he loved her, she tried to become sober From time to time, Adonis and Angel were quiet Her Adonis killed her every time yet she still loved him The demon was friends with Angel but now knew their secret Storm clouds were brewing, her eyes had tears to the brim The angel was always there watching and the demon knew “We’re in love and to him you’re dead” The angel wept in the dark, torn apart Her cries were heard by all as she bled In the end, she knew only time and space would heal Angel stopped crying and learned to stop dying

She knew it was on her part that she fell Spreading her wings she looks upon him while flying ... Like always they would be brought back together ... She kept fighting on through the weather

Valentina Lara It sat there mocking me Daring me to work But I sat intimidated Didn’t want to face the murk As I sat there frozen, unable to speak My mind went haywire I didn’t know where to begin My pen was a liar How dare it deceive me? I need a new passion No one likes a second-rate piece I needed to take action I sat down for a moment And took a deep breath It was a moment I would never forget I was underneath I rose three days later A new idea in my head I was finally complete Excited for the road ahead

Vickey Long I miss your curvy landmarks. For the mountains call for me, They howl a song through the trees, While the branches wave a big hello. You make the animals work in harmony, For they synchronized in tune. How you make the rain fall beautifully. How you make the snow float gracefully. You make the view worth a million. Attaching me with your strings of life, I wish I could stay with you forever. You connect me to your peaceful silence. Your anger was never as violent, For you would never hurt me. My laughter and secrets spread within you, Never telling a peep to anyone. Making me feel so close to you, You never want me to leave. You have your way of convincing me, But dreams will always take me away.

Isabella Ramirez

I watch as the dawn quietly appears, The chirps of birds awaking is something I used to hear, As well as the cry of little bugs. But now I hear cars that quickly disappear. This time no longer feels as it used to. Now is grey instead of colorful. With people coming and going, nonstop. Everything is so dull. Taking sometime of the morning, I continued to watch Those people who didn’t care about life, Who hurriedly wanted to end their klatch. As the afternoon starts, They start their work. Hidden in rooms were the sun can’t pass. Creating some kind of bulwark. The sun starts to set, But I am the only watching. The rest are so busy they can’t stop and see.

Natalia Ortiz There once was a girl who had no legs, Sitting under a scorching light She tried to escape but could not move, Still, she struggled with all her might The light was beaming, glaring on her, It truly wasn’t that great And though she screamed out and cried It seemed this was her fate Yet, people that saw her furrowed at the sight, “How can you complain?” “You should be thankful this light is here; It’s here to entertain.” And so, the girl called out to them, “You all are blind,” Engulfed in the light, she screamed, “This light keeps me confined!” But no one listened to her pleads, “She is just a fool!” Yet, one day the girl broke free, Using her hope as a tool Sometimes you have to face a difficult problem, Or sit under a light, But some problems some people just can’t see, So struggle with all your might

Nathalie Pena What is it people pass to and fro? Love? It seems to create delight and heartbreaks. O love has many shapes and forms my dear! I wait until the day my heart awakes. I never loved before or know of it. A humble craze or faded phase perhaps. O youthful love, o youthful love arise! I yearn for something which forever lasts. Adventures, laughing under stars and day. O banter, endless talks, and chitchat too! O youthful love, o youthful love arise! That is what people say, “It’s not taboo.” Confusion flourishes over again. It is a fog within the mind, a doom. “Prediction still was cast erstwhile,” they say, “The Fates or Cupid wanted love to bloom.”

The ice will thaw indeed as time goes by. Soon love will come, within a day or years. It has been written in the stars above. O youthful love, o youthful love my dear!

Jaynel Rodriguez Benjamin Button was a curious case, It was obviously seen on his little, poor face, His skin was wrinkled and old, But he was only just four months old. Ben was not a normal boy, He was forced and forced to play with toys, His parents were in denial, And he was sure he was on trial, When they made him act like a child. At the age of twenty-two, He met young Hildegard, She fell in love with the “older man,� And surely she caught him off guard. Soon after they wed, Ben could not stay in her bed, And went off to the army. When he came back, His bags had been stacked, Hildegard nowhere to be found. As time passed, His age reversed, According to his parents, It was surely a curse. Soon enough, he was finally a child, Then eventually a baby, And then one quiet day, Baby Ben closed his eyes, And left the world in the most peaceful way.

Nathalie Minon How do you cry out when you don’t have the courage to call? How can you stand up when you can’t event stand tall? How do you keep your feet when all you know how to do is fall? How do you smile when the whole world is frowning at you? How can you live your life with everyone judging you?

How can you laugh if it’s suppressed by sadness? How do you keep sane in all this madness? How can you look up when your head is hanging down? How can you feel up when your whole world is upside down? How do you love when it ruined your heart? How do you love when it tore you apart? How do you speak when all you are is speechless? How do you stay alive when all you want is reachless?

How can you dream when there’s nothing to follow? How can you love if your heart is hollow? How can you dream when they fall apart? How can you heal a broken heart? How can you keep your chin off the ground, When there are things you can’t wrap your head around? These are the things inside my head, That I think of and cry, Alone, In my bed. These are the things that I can’t ignore, ‘Cause there is nobody out there for me to live for. Nobody there to say they care, Nobody to hold like a teddy bear. Nobody to laugh with, No laugh will come out It’s suppressed by sadness Inside my mouth.

I’m always here just to say that I care To get pushed away by the emptiness of air. Some say when you’re alone you can think the best So I guess that means I think better than the rest. I think of these things rushing like water and burning like fire Only to meet my empty heart’s desire. Just give me your ear, Just listen, just hear. And maybe one day I’ll be alright, Be able to put up my own fight. So how do you cry if you can’t call? Guess What? Speak your mind. Don’t wait ‘till you fall. Just before the edge, think it through just once more, And maybe, Just maybe, Just close the door. On everything you feel, The way that you live. How can you jump? Don’t you jump off that bridge! Don’t do drugs, Don’t drink bleach, Don’t feel sorrow, The best is yet to come, Just wait ‘till tomorrow. Don’t cut, Don’t drink, Don’t even be a bully, Even though what’s inside hasn’t healed fully. I’m speaking my mind, Now go speak yours. You might save a life, It might even be yours.

Linh Nguyen Trapped in Muddy Depths Eager to Rise towards the LightBlooming Lotus Grows

Linh Nguyen The Droplets of Flakes In Swampy Fields of White Sand… Footprints Trailed Behind

Nathalie Pena Broken little squab Flew with gray featherless wings‌ Now a mourning dove

N a th a l i e P e n a Oh, how woebegone Look the livid halls above‌ Rain and thunder fall

Chantelle O r te g a

I am a snail I am a slug A shelled gastropod Taking my roots with me

Wherever I go A shell-less gastropod On the run Uprooted and alienated A simple mollusk I am Squelching through the undergrowth

A simple mollusk I am Squelching through the undergrowth

With nothing but the shell on my back Home


Is a place that I have never known Is where my person resides, my belonging My community, ancestry, and my pride Has shaped my entire existence ence I leave slime trails Munch on plant matter Just like those who came before me me

Has shaped my entire existI leave slime trails Munch on plant matter Just like those who came before

But‌ With abandoning my shell Have I abandoned My community, ancestry, and my pride? No, of course not

No, of course not

There has always been a space for you The individual nuances of your identity Don’t exist in constant dissonance We have been taught to mute ourselves

To mask certain aspects in certain environments

We are complex because we choose not to hide And our individualism comes out all at once You are home

You are home

Every now and then I read a poem that does touch something in me, but I never turn to poetry for solace or pleasure in the way that I throw myself into prose. —

Yvette Pratesaba Welcome to our planet… planet Earth! Be prepared to be greeted with hospitality; everyone seems to care for you. Here, everyone is selfless, and nice, and wonderful, and– Ha! Hahahaha! I’ve got you there. I better stop giving you false hope. Let’s start again, shall we? Welcome to my planet (just thought I’ll put emphasis on the fact that it’s my planet and not yours because here, we live in an individualist world– just so you know…). It’s my job, as a part of the Council of Recent Arrivals to the Planet (CRAP) to inform you of the world today so that you’ll become more familiarized with the Planet. I’ll be discussing human interactions. First thing you should know –don’t expect to be greeted. About ninety-nine percent of the human population won’t even notice your existence–so don’t worry if you feel like the odd one out– reality: no one cares. Harsh, but that’s how most things work here on Earth. At least the good side to this is– no one will judge you. You can be whatever– and I really mean anything– and every globalized society will accept it. As long as you say it makes you happy and it’s your way of expressing yourself, you’ll be alright. In this world, we’ve reached a point where there is no right or wrong. There are no rules that tell you what you can and can’t do regarding what you believe, the way you act, and how you portray yourself. Sounds great, right?

Except for the fact that all morals and values that the human race had at one point in time, have become extinguished. But that’s amazing… right? Well, that’s actually up to you. Like I said, whatever is right or wrong solely relies on your opinion. There’s no norm. No doctrine. Nothing. Just you. This is an individualist world. Anyway, when you arrive at Earth, you’ll probably arrive in a pop culture area. Most likely you’ll find yourself in the United States of America, one of the most powerful countries of the world. So; given the possible circumstances, I’ll be focusing more on the way things work in this country, which is actually how things work in a good portion of the world. Something important that you should take a note of, is that here on Earth, there is one important thing that everyone seems to be in need of– especially if you’re hanging out in globalized areas. It’s what people here call a phone. These devices are demons with the appearance of inoffensive gadgets. Who would think a rectangular, electronic, cool-looking object would contain such a destructive plague? Ha! Well, you’re about to find out. Back in the old days (I’m

talking about half a century ago), a “phone” used to be an object that facilitated oral communications between individuals who were unable to talk face-to-face. Today, these demonic gadgets serve as an escape from physical face-to-face “real life” contact. Ironic, isn’t it? Today, people are submerged and give all of their attention to a glass screen, even though there’s a whole world around them, with real people. Real people. Wow. Not very hard to find. Except, for the fact that almost everyone is paying attention to their devices, which means that there’s barely anyone left to actually socialize with. Sad. Sad. Sad. And… sad. But, that’s a normal sighting in today’s world. And it isn’t even the worst part. Along with the phones, also comes what is possibly the worst of the worst inventions for the human species. And from the sugar-coated outside, it all seems like it’s actually the best of the best. You’ll probably be expecting a grandiose name for it, something like, “Salvation of the Human Species X0SM0X.” But in reality, it’s actually two words. Oh and I forgot to mention, it’s not even something you can touch or even see. It’s a concept. A

pathetic excuse for a way of communication. “Social media.” Literally a virtual world. Reality but through a phone screen. So technically it isn’t real. It’s hard to explain it. It’s like, people are socializing through typed text and pictures of themselves. More arguments, drama, and even global conflicts have risen through these means of communication than through anything else. Yup. Social media. The cause for the downfall of human interactions. Social media is a set of applications for your phone that allow you to share pictures, random thoughts, and communicate with the rest of the world, or if you don’t feel comfortable with making your personal information available to the entire planet, you may be able to share it with just a selected group of people; usually those that you see around your life– not just friends; the guy that works at the ice cream shop applies too. All of this seems extremely intriguing. Everyone keeps everyone updated on their daily life. It’s as if everyone was friends with each other! How nice! This will totally enrich your social life. Ha! All that social media really is for, is for you to showcase yourself. For you to feel better about yourself. For you to tell the world who you are, how you are, what you like, what you’re doing… even though nobody cares. Funny, because you’re sharing; which is the opposite of being selfish, but at the same time you’re only sharing about yourself; these two cancel each other out. You do the math.

Honestly, think about it. What’s the point of telling people you don’t even talk to in real life what you’re up to? Most likely only one or two people truly appreciate what you post; your friends and family members. Which, are people you actually interact with, so why not just show them the pictures when you see them? It gives you something to talk about. Social media is honestly just a business. Oh, and I forgot to mention; according to the terms and agreements that everyone agrees to but no one actually reads, those who own the social media application can control your information and used it against you or even for their own commercial purposes. So when you get here to Earth, do yourself a favor and stay away from social media. You won’t be missing anything important. Unless you really want to see “selfies” pictures that people take by themselves of themselves (95% of social media), or

random phrases or thoughts that a person just had. Sometimes there’s a few funny jokes around, but isn’t cracking a joke with your friends (in real life) better than writing “LOL” (Laughing out loud even though you’re not)? Isn’t seeing a person smile, cry, frown, grin, be surprised, paranoid, or angry better than seeing a random emoticon on a screen? You feel my pain now? L Individualist world…! So that was definitely something that you had to know about Earth. Just make sure you take this into account when someone offers you to make a social media account, which may sound extremely exciting at first. Anyway, there really isn’t any special formula to survive Earth. In this guide, you learned how interactions work in the world today. If you want to fit in with society do this:

1.Don’t make contact with anyone unless you know them or are interested in knowing them. But other than that, don’t say “Hi” to people you haven’t talked to in a while. Don’t give random smiles. Just go your own way. 2.Do whatever you want with yourself. 3.Get a phone so that you can avoid interacting with others! 4.Get social media so you can tell the world all about yourself. Do this, and you’ll become a part of the planet easily. You’ll become like the herd of

subconsciously individualist human sheep that are glued to their phones, probably checking their social media for updates. If you really want my honest advice on how to survive Earth without it changing who you are and preserving your kind non-human species, I recommend you to follow this alternate list: 1.Smile and be nice to others. At least try to pretend like you care about them. Make them feel special; it’s nice to feel like that once in a while. 2.Know what you stand for. Your morals, your

values. Don’t let the this planed blind you from them. 3.You can get a phone; it is helpful when it comes to communication, but don’t let it take over your life. 4.Don’t get social media. You really don’t need it. That’s it. That’s how to survive Earth. Oh, I almost forgot! Watch out for people secretly taking pictures of you. Paparazzi are everywhere! And an indecent picture of you might end up somewhere in social media. I hope you enjoy your visit to the individualist world!

I wish you the best of luck,

Yvette P. Yvette Pratesaba Council of Recent Arrivals to the Planet Human Interactions Department Manager

Alfonso Encalada In the year 2800, humans were becoming more advanced than anything on the planet. Every person was physically advanced and immune to diseases and plagues that had killed millions in the past. Cancer and AIDS were completely eradicated, and the average human’s lifespan was 110 years. Instead of common jobs, like working at a supermarket, everyone strived to make human advancements in professions such as biology and astronomy. In England, Eli Marone was studying at the University College of London (UCL) to be an evolutionary scientist who examined the start of homo sapiens in the Paleolithic era. The 26-year-old was a very intelligent, patient, and stout young man. A part of the great human advancement came with artificial eyes that were available to most everybody. The eyes gave people sharper eyesight, similar to that of an eagle, and also allowed for

As he woke up on the morning of his jump through time, Eli felt anxious. Trips across time come with their issues. “Today is the day,” he said to himself. This was going to be the first time a student at UCL traveled to the Paleolithic era. When he got to the room with the time machine, Eli’s nervousness greatened. He over thought about what would happen if he were to mess up, or if he didn’t make it through the machine. When he was ready, Eli did exactly what he was supposed to do. He walked through the portal and found himself standing in a limestone cave of Lascaux, France. These caves were famously known for having rock art dating back from 12,000 to 30,000 years

perfect vision in the dark. Eli utilized these eyes to help him with his research. He attended the only college in the country that recently gained access to time travel. And as his final project before graduating, Eli had to time travel to the year 10,000 B.C.E and research hominid evolution.

ago. Eli noticed the various painted animals and men with spears, which looked like it had been drawn recently. It was 7 AM according to his clock. He examined the exit to the cave so that he wouldn’t have the worry of running into any ancient natives. Eli warily

crept to the end of the cave and began his expedition. While exploring, Eli stumbled upon a village with some 20 to 30 people. He set up his observation post in some bushes that were about one hundred feet away. Just as modern history textbooks stated, their tools were made of stone, and their houses were small and temporary. After 30 minutes of distant and insignificant observation, Eli decided to roam some more until he caught a view of a lake that seemed promising. Across the lake, Eli spotted a single man fishing under a tree with a few ravens in it. After 10 minutes of watching the man, Eli realized that the man was reeling something in. Thinking that he was safe, the man edged himself into the water as to try to grab the fish from the water. However, as he inched towards the shoreline, the man noticed that he was in close range with an ancestor species of a modern-day piranha. Trying to avoid the fish, the man threw his rod and turned his body around to run. But, just as he was about to step out of the waters, the sharptoothed fish clamped onto his thigh and took a decent sized chunk out of it. The injury was so tough on the man’s leg, that he could do nothing except for accepting his fate. Eli watched

as the man screamed for the last time as he was torn apart. After washing away the gory images in his head, Eli brought his attention to the ravens in the tree. They were completely silent and hadn’t moved at all, which is strange behavior for birds. Eli was astounded when the birds opened their beaks to let out what seemed like a mini -camera. The camera seemed to be recording or taking pictures of the native’s halfeaten body. When it was finished, the three birds flew away, too fast for Eli to follow them directly. As the sun began to set, Eli gave up the chase. “Who could possibly have that kind of technology at this time?” He thought to himself. The government had only accessed the time machine once at UCL, and that was to only go back

one year in the past. So, Eli had no clue who could have traveled back to 10,000 years ago and brought such developed technology with them. Since the sun was out of the sky, Eli eagerly searched for a cave to sleep in. Soon enough, he came across a cave of the perfect size. Just to be safe, Eli used a kind of fumigation gadget that was given to him by the college before he left. The tool cleansed all bacteria and germs from a certain area by discharging a disinfectant that protected Eli from the disease. Being so heavy built, Eli searched for a boulder and placed it in the entrance to block intruders. When he awoke, instead of looking for food, Eli consumed two capsules that contained the necessary nutrients to keep

him going for the day. According to his clock, it was 6 AM, and the natives were just waking as well. After he packed his things, Eli shoved the boulder out of the entrance and continued his journey. As Eli attentively crept through a flourishing forest, he caught sight of hidden traps, which meant that he was near a village. Enough tiptoeing brought Eli to the sound of talking. Although he could not understand it, Eli assumed it pertained to some sort of ritual because of the constant chanting and shouting. To get a better view, Eli climbed a tree that was about 100 feet away and set up his post there. After some 15 minutes of nonstop singing and dancing, Eli dozed off and focused more on the environment. This led him to

realize that the same three ravens were situated in a tree on the opposite side of the village. As he observed them for a short period of time, he noticed that instead of cameras protruding from their beaks, it was some type of mini firearm. In order to protect the oblivious natives, Eli sprinted to their camp as the birds began to open their bills. As soon as the birds began unleashing their bullets, Eli planted a deployable plasma shield that deflected all of the shots. Quickly, the birds ceased fire and flew away faster than they had before. Before the people could even speak, Eli had already bolted out of their sight. By the time Eli had fled the area, it was still early in the afternoon. Yet again, Eli spent hours pinpointing the location of the birds. Before he knew it, the sun had already begun to set. Eli scampered to find another place for shelter, and he did so within about 20 minutes. Eli examined the outside of the cave for any sign of the birds or even traps. On the left side of the cave, beneath some moss, Eli noticed a dark smudge of something. He analyzed it and came to the realization that it was ink. Eli then ripped the moss apart and came to find himself looking at the logo of the present-day government. In a state of panic, Eli took out the tracking system for his portal back to the year 2800. He snuck through about five miles of forest and found the original cave. When he entered the cave, Eli heard shouting from outside the entrance, but it was from what sounded like a white man. “Get on the ground and drop your weapons

now!” The man roared. Eli dashed towards the end of the cave, where the portal was. Before the man could tase him, Eli’s body was already gone and back to modern time. Nobody was in the room because they had scheduled for Eli to be back tomorrow morning. It was 3 AM. He knew if he stayed here, he could be thrown in jail, or even killed for uncovering something that had been unrevealed to the public. The government had been in control ever since the start. Eli made the decision to pack his necessities and go into hiding. He filled a book bag with many of the gadgets that had been given to him temporarily by UCL. Looking back on his expedition, Eli reflected on what decisions he had made. He watched a man get eaten alive by some type of megapiranha and saved the village people from certain death by the government’s spy ravens. Then, Eli got the idea to sneak into the Lascaux caves to look at the Paleolithic rock art one more time. He wanted to see if he made a change in any of the drawings because he saved some of the homo sapiens of Lascaux, France. When he entered the cave, Eli looked around in hopes to see a somewhat tall man painted like a god, resembling what he looked like. As he looked around, Eli saw many paintings of various deer and lightly detailed bodies with hunting weapons. After examining all the walls for a considerably long amount of time, Eli got to the farthest and final wall. He looked up and saw the exact change that he thought he made. The tall male

figure took up the entirety of the wall. Around his drawn body were smaller people that seemed to be praising Eli, with their hands all in the air. When he walked outside of the cave, Eli tried to find a sewer system where he could hide from everyone. After looking around the small town, he looked up and saw a billboard for some chain of churches. It showed a picture of a man who looked similar to him, with a phrase at the top that read, “He will come back!” As he looked closer, Eli realized that the ‘god’ of this religion was himself! Eli began to make connections to the changes he made to the natives of prehistoric earth. Shockingly, the paintings of Eli in caves manifested into some sort of religion that sustained and diffused throughout the entire world for over 12,000 years. The fact that Eli was the definition of god in his reality made him become lightheaded. He sat down and spotted a homeless man who looked like he was on multiple drugs. The man slouched his way towards Eli and let out a big burp. The man then shouted, “These drugs have to be working, because I feel like I’m talking to god right now!” Right after ending his sentence, the man passed out and fell forward on his face. It was 5 AM. The sun was beginning to rise, and people were starting to wake up. Eli finally found the sewer system and prepared his nose for the horrible stenches. He hopped down and began walking. When he found a spot away from the entrance, Eli sighed and said, “Home sweet home.”

Syanne Lyew-Ayee

God created good and evil to bring balance to his universe. And Yet, as of the year 2050, the evil has taken brought an end to even the great creator’s plan. It started 20 years ago in 2030, a great phenomenon helped people realize that the world is filled with evil malicious people and there was nothing they could do any more to stop it. It was like they just gave up and helped, that's why the world is tearing up piece by piece minute by minute. You know what they say “if you can’t beat them join them”, right? Although there is a resistance, it's not like it could make a difference. The job is dealt by the angels, but from what I’ve seen, they’re not doing that good. The angels fight the demons, but the demons overpopulate and overpower the angels every time. It's sad what the world has become, but not everyone can see it only certain people can see them and its destruction. Unlike most people, I can see them, it's like living in two worlds, it's draining, can you just imagine ducking from something and in the normal world it wasn’t there and people were looking at you weird. By the age of 17, you are sent to the other world to fight against the demons. That's where I'm going in about ten minutes. You’re drafted on the exact date and time you were born. Today is June 28, 2050, and it's precisely 12:48 a.m. It's also the last time I’ll see my parents since they weren’t

chosen to see the things I do. As my parents and I are hugging, I disappear into the other world or battlefield, as I prefer to call it. ‘’Look a newbie to help us battle,” the troop leader says. “Yeah, that’s me.” I glumly say. Although I’m totally against all wars, I’m going to help, not for the world but for my family because if they break the barrier that protects the normal world from the world it’s over with. “Well don’t just stand there, help us! We can’t do this

alone.” “I’m coming.” I ran towards them. When does it all stop? Why did it have to come to this? Was it really worth it? “ So what’s your name newbie,” a boy who looked a little older than me said. “Athena, Athena Lopez,” he broke my train of thought so I hesitated at first. “I'm Xavier. I don’t remember my last name, but I came not that long ago and surprisingly not as bad as you

think.” That gave me a little reassurance on what I'm getting myself into. “Well get ready, it’s time for battle.” and with that, he was gone. We get out of the bunker and its complete chaos, actually worse than the little bits I used to see. This-- this is permanent. People are running, creatures are flying, and honestly, I’m so terrified I can't even move.

“Move soldiers! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!” the troop

leader commanded. Even though I was trained for this when I was younger, I was hoping by the time I reached the drafting age, the war would be over and I wouldn’t have to do this. This was never on my bucket list. I felt pain in my back, which signaled that I was being attacked from behind. I turned as quickly as I could and shot whatever attacked me over a million times which turned out to be a demon. “Nice one newbie,” a co-

soldier says. Welp, guess that name is sticking with me until another person comes. Gunshot after gunshot, I’m gonna be deaf before the day is even over. Out of nowhere a great, blue fire rose out of one of the creatures began grabbing people and I just start running away. It’s only my first day and I don’t plan on it being my last. I get pulled into a truck that looked like it belonged in Mad Max and I turn to see Xavier. “So how was your first day?” he says with a smile. “Oh you know, I almost died! No biggie.” with both sarcasm and panic evident in my voice. “You’ll get used to it don’t worry.” “That’s scary, I don’t want to get used to this it’s gonna be an ongoing nightmare, waking up knowing I could possibly die. I mean, who wouldn’t worry?” When we got to the bunker you could still hear screams, gunshots and shrieking from humans and demons. I don’t know how I'm supposed to sleep tonight or if I want to risk sleeping anyhow. Today was so eventful I didn’t even notice we’d been fighting for hours, but now, the smell of food quickly consumed my thoughts. Who would’ve known I could go without eating this long? After I ate, I went to my extremely uncomfortable bed, staring at the ceiling, letting the wave sleep overcome me. I was rudely awakened by a blow horn that the leader was blowing. She was so strict. It’s only 7:00 am, cut me some slack. As I’m walking to the

dining room the leader makes an announcement. “Listen up ladies, my name is Winter. I am the leader of the resistance, I see we got some newcomers which is good cause the others are dead. Today is a new day and we will try our hardest to defeat the enemies-” “Hmph” I scoff. “Is there a problem” she questioned.

“Yeah there is a problem. Yesterday all you guys did was run into a battlefield unprepared. How are you ever going to win without a strategy?” I said carelessly with some attitude. I’m not really a morning person as you can tell. “Okay since you’re so smart, why don’t you come up with a strategy missy.” she challenged.

“Alright, I will have me a big piece of paper and some markers.” Everyone gathered around me as the supplies I suggested were handed to me. “Alright first off, what are the demons’ weaknesses?” “Their wings!” someone yells. “Their eyes, and Holy Water” others began to chime in.

Obviously, it doesn’t take a lot of work to kill a person so I don’t really worry about them. I write down all types of ideas are being thrown at me. All the information I have is gathered is intertwined to develop a very sneaky strategy that they’ll never see coming. Even though there are humans on the other side, we don’t need to worry about that because it’s easy to kill them. As for now, it’s

training time and there’s no time to waste. We’ve been training for two months nonstop. We still go out so that we don’t raise suspicion, but as of now, I think they’re ready. Everyone has been training really hard to the point where they actually faint. Tomorrow is hopefully going to be successful and we can at least make a dent in their army.Until then, we need to get as much sleep as possible. “Hey Athena?” someone whispered. Chris, maybe? “Yeah,” I turned to face him who turned out to be Chris. “Do you think this is gonna work?” I sighed. To be completely honest, I wasn’t even sure. There was so much doubt I had for this plan. I mean, I did make it half asleep. “Yeah. I have some hope that this plan will be executed as planned, but some people might not make it. It’s a very dangerous plan.” We both look up and sigh soon enough we fell asleep. It’s 6:30 in the morning and I’ve barely slept because I was so anxious last night. I woke up 3 times dripping with sweat. But I have to be the first one up to make sure that everything goes as planned. I made sure there was food in front of every seat and a copy of the plan I sketched along with it. The dining area was soon flooded with anxious, hopeful people who definitely needed reassurance that this might work. “Hey, I know today is the big day and this is quite scary

but we all need to cooperate for this to work. We can do this together, just remember the plan and as soon as you’re done eating, get dressed and we are gonna head out. Good luck guys!” I announced after everyone got seated. I’m so nervous in reality. I’ve only been here for about two months and I’ve changed everything these people have known. It’s surprising they trust me. They probably just want this whole thing to be over as much as I do. If this we are able to end this war today, everything would go back to normal. No glimpses, no sight of this, maybe some flashbacks, but that’s not that bad. Everyone is either outside or in the trucks loading up. The first step is to distract the creatures with the angels and have some of the girls find the source of the madness and that’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. As the angels were distracting the creatures, one of the humans saw the girls and killed them, so immediately we ran back to the bunker and had to reevaluate the plan. “Oh, my goodness! What just happened?” someone screamed “Guys calm down! Athena has this completely under control,” Xavier yelled. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I guess I’m winging this now. “ Um, yeah totally. We need to regroup this and have disguises. Yeah, that’s it. You need to dress up like the other side so they don’t attack you, but you have to work fast just in case the figure it out.”

We wait a while to go out again and to my surprise, it works. It actually works. Turns out, I’m good at working under pressure. Step Two, after locating the source, the girls stay hidden and the angels' distraction plan for the demons is going great. We try and push past the humans and get to the area of the source, not yet attacking because we don’t want to cause commotion. All of a sudden, a scream from a very familiar voice is ringing in my ears, it’s Xavier he’s in trouble. Myself and a few others go and rush towards him it’s a huge cut on his leg that’s gushing with blood. I’m panicking, I quickly rip the bottom of my shirt, splash some water on the cut and tightly wrap the wound with the piece of my clothing. They carefully carry him to the back of the truck and he groans in pain. “How much pain are you in?” I couldn’t hide the trepidation in my voice. “Not enough to stop me from helping end this war,” he says confidently but with a hint of pain in his voice. “Well okay then, let’s do this thing,” I say with relief.

We’re driving the trucks as fast as possible in this wasteland of another world, hitting people and creatures on the way. The girls found a place for us to park without being noticed and it was pretty good. So far this plan is going well, some minor setbacks, but that’s always expected. I’m extremely proud, not only proud of myself, but of my team for falling through with the plan and trusting me.

Step three, get inside and find the leader. Now, this is the hard part. The girls said there are guards all over this place and the people and creatures from the other sidewalk freely around and could attack at any time. In the meantime, some of the guys are going to create a diversion so we can sneak through the cracks of this place. “Watch where you’re going.” I hear one of the guys say and soon enough a fight breaks out. I smirk, step three is moving smoothly. The group is going in the direction the girls told us and we split at each corner so it’s not suspicious. I spot the girls and they join the group and so does everyone else and they kept the others distracted for a while. Our friend from the bunker tells us the code to a room with gigantic black doors. We all nod at each other and some of angels begin joining us. When we get in, we see a tall man with horns and a sharp arrowshaped tail in a suit getting pampered with women and food. He quickly turns to us and smiles. “Well, I wasn’t expecting guest. I would’ve cleaned up,” he says slyly.

“Cut the crap Satan! Stop this war, it’s not worth it. We’ve killed many of your men and we are prepared to kill you too.” I say sternly. He laughs mischievously. “You can't kill me cause the world will be an unequal balance.” he definitely has a point I never really thought of that. “Well then call off your

men, there's no need for war.”

“Oh, on the contrary, there is because I’m supposed to be the superior. I’m supposed to rule the world. I’m supposed to win!” his voice got louder each time and it startled all of us. I’m growing angrier by the second. “You hypocrite! You said you couldn't die because it wouldn't be balanced and you're the one talking about winning. Guess what? It wouldn’t create a balance!” “Look, tiny human, I don’t care about the world being unbalanced, not my problem. That's what you want, not me. I want evil spread throughout the world. I want the world to consume every ounce of evil. I want this world to imbue so much evil that it oozes out of the corners and drips into other universes and galaxies! That is what I want so that it can do me good in the end,” he said smiling. I couldn't handle it anymore, so I shot him with a poisonous laced arrow. He

caught it and laughed. It is the most annoying laugh I’ve ever heard. He stabbed me with his tail and brought me over to him. “Well, well, well, why don't you just come to my side? You’d fit right in. You’d make a great leader for the cold-blooded killer group little lady.” he smirked “Shut up,” I say with my voice laced with venom. He slowly falls to the floor.

“What did you do to me.” he says struggling to get up, and everyone helps get his tail out of me. “The arrow was laced to make you paralyzed. You said it yourself, we can’t kill you. You’re right, but we can control you.” “What are you talking about?” he yells. An angel speaks, “We are taking you to your creator so he can control you. You’re in a lot of trouble young man.” “No, no, no! No, no, no, no, this isn’t how this is supposed to happen! You guys will rue

this day I promise!” and with that, he disappears with the angels. I immediately fainted from blood loss. When I woke up I realized I was in a hospital bed and everyone was surrounded me even my parents. “Wha. What’s going on?” I was so confused. “Well if you didn’t notice, we won all because of you. Thank you! You freed all of us from the other world!” Xavier yelled and everyone cheered. I winced at the all the yelling, but I couldn’t help to smile. “Since the angels couldn’t be here, they left a gift for you.” They handed me a glass rose it was beautiful I wish I could thank them.

“We’re so proud of you honey.” my parents say smiling. I missed that.

Pamela Ho-Fung

The four disagreements will make your habits succeed in the easiest and most natural way possible. Even if you have no sense of trying, your life will be like a dream. A dram full of drama, rich and powerful dilemmas, and no need to change the way you are for those who don’t deserve it. Keep up your spirit! Show what you’re capable to those who disagree.” - The Loser in Life The Four Disagreements. It’s so true! • The First Disagreement: Be as ignorant of your words as possible • The Second Disagreement: Don’t always take things personally, if you can resist to your thoughts • The Third Disagreement: Always make assumptions, create your own drama • The Fourth Disagreement: Always do your best; that’s what the slacker says

2nd: Don’t take things personally if you can resist your thoughts. “You look dumb,” the guy you just met in the street said that to you. Your first reaction is to say back “you’re ugly, no, more like disgusting”. Then the rest of the day you take that comment personally because maybe it’s true. But you can’t take things personally, take them extremely personally. And if next time someone tells you something, recap that it’s their word and not what they really think and after you remember that, indulge yourself by a series of ex**** plosive comments and crazy at to the person. By doing that, your 1st: Be as ignorant of your body releases stress, leading to a words as possible. healthier life. Sounds promising Don’t be too picky and calculate right? You’ll have to really try for with your words. Words are fun yourself to experience the real feeland expressive. You use it to let ing, its satisfying for sure. everyone know what you’re inter3rd: Always make assumptions, preting, so talk freely, in the most create your own drama. absurd and crazy way. Forgetting The best part is here. I’m calling the norms and rules. If someone all the producers, scriptwriters, finds you offensive, it’s not you, and directors to meet at this point. but the words you chose. So, talk Everything we perceive should be all you want and blame on the words. It’s not your fault the words applied to be nominated for an Oscar. Creating drama, making your are taken in a certain way or anstoryline, and setting the themes, other. Be who you want, say what makes real life more entertaining. you want. Remember, it’s not you It’s like watching the movie you but the words that are taken. Go created in a split second. When we ahead and gossip! This habit will assume and add or imagine the make you guilt free! unnecessary, we’re using some-

thing important, creativity. Knowing or not knowing the facts, we believe what we want, making the ratings of the drama much higher right? I bet you’ll be happy and interested in how your movie will end each day. Give this a try! If it’s not already in you. 4th: Always do your best, that’s what the slacker says. Why would you need to give your best? To feel great, like a great loser after you give your best and still lack. Why do that to yourself if you can be realistic and take things slowly at your pace, the pace of taking long naps and work later. Life is burden free and rainbowlike. We stay true to ourselves, to care less about the result and focus on the steps of growth: sleeping. It soothes the brain and calms our hormones, fundamental for inner growth and balance in life. Do your best and I’ll do mine, which is sleeping 24/7, it sounds difficult and unrealistic but it’s my talent. Don’t try to copy my talent and go find your yours. People may disagree with my four points and that’s because they didn’t try it. But I’ll follow my rule and let them say ignorant words, it’s not them it’s the word they chose. Stop disagreeing and prove me wrong!

Rebecca Sossi

The knock at the door that alerted Spike to Tooth’s arrival only infuriated him more. Seven minutes late, Tooth walked in, his large purple teeth chattering in fear as he sat down in front of Spike. Spike had been the boss at Monster Fear Agency for so many years that he had lost count. Everybody knew his infamous story, the monster who invented Fear Level 6; the monster who was so frightening to kids that he had to be taken out of the field and promoted; the monster so scary there was a rumor he had scared a kid to death. Spike neither confirmed nor denied rumors, but everyone knew his hate for children was so great that it wouldn’t be surprising.

what else would be good? Finding a replacement for your job.”

“Good morning, sir.” Tooth said with a gulp. Through his anger, Spike had to compress a smile. While scaring children was the goal, the fact that he could induce fear in a monster itself was a happy fact.

Tooth swallowed uneasily. “Uh, you won’t need to fire Bubbles sir. He quit in tears the night he was sent out.”

“Good morning? Is that what you would call today?” Spike shouted, his fists clenched. “Today is the first day in monster history that a child has gone over two nights in a row without being scared. Is that what you would call this record, Tooth? Good? You know

“I am so sorry sir.” Tooth replied so quickly that Spike could barely understand a word. “I sent two of my best monste—” “Who?” Spike interrupted. “I need names so I know exactly who to fire.” Spike opened up the drawer to his desk searching for his list of agents. He could hear Tooth’s loud and uneasy breaths like a clock. In and out. In and out.

Spike’s blue head was turning purple in rage as he looked as Tooth.

“And Dreamy,” Tooth added nervously, “was admitted into a psychiatric ward the next day.” Steam was coming out of Spike’s ear. “And why,” he growled, “is that?” “I have no idea, sir. Bubbles was a solid level three monster and Dreamy was one of the best level

four’s I’ve seen. I had no way to know that Clara Waters was not of average fear levels.” Spike’s voice was scary calm now. “Clara Waters?” “Yes, sir,” he said before realizing his mistake. The color drained out of his face. “I mean no, it’s—” “Child #27601 is who you are referring to. She is a child. A despicable, nauseating child, and if you even had a job still that mistake would’ve cost you it once again!” he yelled. Tooth shivered. “Yes, sir. I apologize. I’ll take my things and go.” “You will not. You expect some other poor monster to clean up after your mistakes? No, you will go frighten child #27601.” “But, sir,” he said astounded. “I haven’t been in the field in years. I just assign agents.” “Which is why I’ll be accompanying you to make sure you don’t screw it up again. You clearly cannot be trusted to do your job.” Spike grabbed Tooth by

his shirt and dragged him out of the office through the agency building. A few monsters stopped what they were doing to watch, while the rest continued their training, smartly averting their eyes from their fearinvoking boss. Spike took Tooth over to the transportation tubes and punched in the child’s information. The child’s small face appeared through the screen and if these m a ch i ne s we ren ’ t so expensive Spike would have spit on her face. Him and

Tooth walked into the clear glass tubes and stood inside waiting for the monster at the front to send them through. Spike closed his eyes, relishing the place he was in. He hadn’t been in the field in so long he forgot what it was like, the adrenaline and the excitement. The only thing that put a damper on his mood was the fact that he was only experiencing this again because of a stupid mistake, one that might cost the agency greatly. The




disappeared. Suddenly, they were shooting down. Spike calm and Tooth muffling screams beside him. When they arrived, they emerged under a small wooden bed. Spike couldn’t believe that he was back in a child’s room. The smell of mechanical toys and dirty socks filled his nose making him want to vomit. Moreover, the small bed they were under caused the two monsters to be too close together, more than Spike would ever want to be. Sniffing,



smell the child on top of the bed and gestured to Tooth to jump out at the count of three when, suddenly, a small head popped down, blonde hair dangling as a tiny face appeared upside down. The child was staring the two monsters in the face, not a hint of fear in her eyes, but instead a strange anxiety. “Scoot over,” she whispered, dropping down from the bed and beginning to crawl under the bed. She fixed herself between Spike and Tooth, and as Spike felt the warm, fleshy skin of the child touch him, he wanted greatly to rip her arm off. Spike moved as far away as he could from the disgusting child. She was probably covered head to toe in germs. “What are you doing?” Tooth asked the girl in shock. His completely green eyes normally would’ve made children feel uneasy, but the girl just put a finger to his mouth sternly. “Shhh!” she said. “He’ll hear us!” Her wide, doe-like eyes were staring nervously at the door, and just as Spike was about to demand to know what she was doing the door opened. Spike could smell the stench of alcohol before the man even walked in: his dirty black boots dragging in dirt. The smell of human intoxicants filled up the

room, the child at Spike’s side tensing up as the footsteps got closer to the bed. “Clara,” drawled the man, stumbling his way around the room. “You know I’ll find you Clara. I always do.” Spike understood now why they hadn’t been able to scare the child. She had her own demons. The child tried to back up more, her body shaking with fear. Suddenly the man dropped the beer bottle in his hand. The glass broke, flying in a million different directions. One shard scraped the girl’s knee and she let out a gasp. The man laughed, “Found you.”

He stuck out a hand under the bed, reaching for the girl. She leaned away, holding her leg in pain; a thin line of blood dripped down. His hand grabbed

the floor. Spike let out a low growl before jumping out from under the bed. In that moment, Tooth couldn’t see what was happening, but the sounds he heard made his teeth chatter. He put his hands over his ears, hoping he wouldn’t wet himself. Tooth saw the pair of human feet run out of the room and a few moments later heard Spike say, “It’s okay now, you can come out.” Hesitantly, Tooth crawled out from under the bed feeling more like a child than the girl. The girl was sitting on the floor her clothes wet with alcohol and sticking to her. There were shards of glass in her head, but she was not crying. Tooth kneeled down next to her and began picking out the pieces gently while Spike paced around anxiously. “What are we going to do?” he asked, more to

’ ’

around searching for the girl and pulling her out from under. “You’re not supposed to hide, Clara. That’s not being a good girl.” The man said, his low voice full of anger. The girl whimpered. Suddenly, Spike and Tooth heard a loud cracking noise and saw more glass fall to

himself than to Tooth. “Her father is supposed to protect her from the monsters under her bed, not be the monster.” “So, what do we do?” Tooth asked. The girl was staring at them both, her eyelids drooping sleepily. “Do you want to go to sleep?” Tooth questioned.

She nodded, getting up from the floor and climbing into her bed. Tooth saw a bruise on the girl’s stomach that made him murderous. “We can’t do anything. She’s a child. This isn’t what we’re supposed to do, we don’t take care of them.” Spike said. “We can’t just leave her here with that man, boss. He’s hurting her!” Tooth shouted. Spike hit him in the head. “Shh! She’s sleeping, you idiot.” Tooth grimaced apologetically while Spike paced around the room. “We have to leave her. There’s nothing more we can do.” “We could take her in.” Tooth suggested.

“Are you crazy? The whole agency would be

c o m p r o m i s e d. Th e r e ’ s simply no solution. She must stay here.” Spike looked at the girl and felt pity. Not hate or disgust, just sympathy for the child who must be experiencing as much pain in her childhood as some people have in a lifetime. “I could take her. I’m fired anyways, aren’t I?” Tooth asked.

“It’s illegal, Tooth. Don’t be stupid. They’d throw you in jail as soon as they heard. And a secret this wouldn’t take long for them to find out.” Spike told him, scratching his head. “Then we’ll leave it to the humans to help her. Call the police, or child services, or someone to get her out of this house.” They did just that, and a

few days later, Clara was placed into a foster home. It wasn’t the best solution, but it was all they could do. Every once in a while, Spike would send a monster to the foster home to scare a random child and secretly check up on the girl. One day, the monster returned to say that he couldn’t find the girl in the foster home. “What do you mean she wasn’t there?” He asked angrily. “Go back! Find her!” “No, boss,” said the m o n s t e r . “ Y o u misunderstood. She wasn’t there because she was adopted. A young couple took her in. They looked nice. She seemed happy.” “She’s asked.


“She’s okay.”


Daniella Mancilla The periwinkle sky illuminates the grass on this morning. The grass is freshly cut and has ever so tiny droplets of dew upon every strand. There are miles upon miles of wheat and flowers across the landscape. There is a small farm town in the land, right smack in the center. By a crimson barn, there is wooden swing under a willow tree. The slight, gentle breeze lets it swing all by its lonesome. Suddenly, feet come toward the white swing and stop its misery. The pale-faced girl looks up at the willow tree. Her blonde locks fall atop her pretty, purple dress. A satin ribbon is tied in her hair. She stays there, pondering and admiring the sway of the willow leaves. "I will be gone soon, dear Willow. That's what everyone has said anyway, that the men are coming here now. Take care of yourself, dear friend," cried the girl. True tears began to form in the edges of her eyes. "Mirele! Come, dear! We must leave to your Aunt Agnes's house tomorrow. Come along then girl, you have to pack your bags!" shouted a deep, raspy voice from a brick house. The girl rose from her slouched posture and skipped to her house, but soon fell to her knees. Her mother caught her at the front door, nearly

out of breath. "Mir, are you coming down with something? Is everything alright?" her mother asked in an angelic, consoling tone, embracing her daughter. "Well, why must we depart from our home?" questioned Mirele. Her father walked closer and felt instant lament, for the girl was only nine. She didn't know what was going on. "There are bad men, called Nazis. They'll harm us if we don't leave, and they know that they need to because of that right there." His daughter sighs, still crying, "Th- this pretty star." She points to the patch on her coat. Both her mom and dad nod, looking at each other. They comfort Mirele and hug her tightly. About five minutes later, they get up from the white planks of the porch and go pack their belongings. All that they can take is stuffed into bags and most, stays. The remainder of the day passes rapidly to the next. Last night, bombs blasted in other communities just kilometers away. Mirele could barely close her eyes. Her parents were crying and

praying ever so long. She just looked out her window, past the farm and at the willow tree. At daybreak, they went forth to Berlin. There they would stay with Aunt Agnes, who was recently widowed when her American husband perished in the war as an undercover spy. They reached her house in a month’s time. The house was truly the opposite of a humble abode. It was big, ivory, and bustling with business. When the Rapp-Adler’s arrived, a butler was the first to greet them. Mirele’s mother whispered to her husband, “Isn’t it random that a butler would work in the city of Berlin during this epoch?” “No, it is absurd that the Jewish have come to live as Germans here, like ourselves!” He exclaimed. They walked silently from the driveway to the porch. There, a fine lady in a colorful, floral dress with a black belt and black character shoes was waving madly by broad, oak doors. “Welcome! Oh, oh, it can’t be!” started the

woman. “Ha, ha! Come here, Mir! Oh my… look at you!” Mirele stood frozen behind her father, puzzled by the raucous din her aunt was making. “Mir, say hello to your Aunt Agnes.” demanded her father. “H-h-hi, Aunt Agnes,” said the girl awkwardly. The girl resembled her Aunt quite a bit. Blonde hair, glistening blue eyes, a square face, and a button nose. The only difference was Mirele was just a pipsqueak. “Oh, how you remind me of myself when I was your age!” declared Aunt Agnes. “You can call me Aggie, dear. I am only 20.” She began gait into her home. The floor was marble, the walls were cobblestone, and the spiral stairs were dark oak wood. There was elegant tapestry in each room. There was a picture frame on the chimney that was faced down. Still, there was vast color. Velvet, cyan, magenta, yellow, and orange were spread around the house. Mirele’s aunt was quite flamboyant. The night fell rapidly. Mirele was fast asleep with her mother. Her father and aunt had been in an everlasting quarrel. At first, they were talking about their lives and soon enough it was a dispute. “Aggie, I am sorry for your loss.” said her brother. “He’s still out there, Herschel. I just know it.”

she said, rubbing her fingers on a dog tag. “They never found his body.” Herschel looks at her in doubt, “Hmm… hopeful, are we? Tell me something, Aggie, did you know he was American and a spy?” “I was well aware! When they came to tell me, I certainly had to lie.” she cried. “We were going to go to America and take you with us and meet with his family, but they called him on that mission.” “That was very foolish of you, kid. You risked yourself.” Herschel said. “Good God, Herschel! You’ve put yourself in danger following father’s footsteps. What if your daughter didn’t want to be a Jew!?” yelled Aggie. Herschel paced around anxiously: “She wouldn’t have been born! She’s but a lassie, she can make her own decisions as she grows. And you have seemed to forget our heritage!” She shot him another one of her death stares and sighed, also frowning about Mirele. “Nonsense! You have ignored our American side ever since mom bought the farm!” “Yes, she passed away, but father was Ashkenazi, and they fell in love long before the war, so I have the right to have chosen to follow his footsteps, Agnes!” cried Herschel. She gets furious, “You fool, lower your voice.” The butler was

standing there, listening the whole time. He was loyal to Agnes, but was not sure of Herschel. Herschel storms off and Agnes just shakes her head at him. She throws her hand in the air with disappointment. Around a week later, a tragedy happens in the household. The darn German butler told the officers in the area that he heard the words “Ashkenazi” and “American.” The officers come to Aggie’s house promptly. “We’ve gotten some intel,” says an officer, “We need your papers.” Agnes goes to a cupboard and gets some files. “Here you go, officer.” The officer scans the falsified documents. He clears his throat. “It says here, a Miriam lives with you.” “Oh yes! My daughter.” she lies, sauntering to the staircase. “Mir!” “Oh, I see the resemblance!” the officer says, “Sorry for the inconvenience.” Luckily, the butler was off today. As soon as the officer leaves, Agnes hugs Mirele. Mirele is confused, but she knows that she was supposed to stay quiet. However, she also knew the symbol of the bad men, which was sewed into their uniforms. “Why did you lie to them, Aggie?” asks Mirele curiously.

Aggie plays with Mirele’s hair. “To keep you safe, Mir.” For the next four years, that’s all it was. A communion here and there, but mostly there was sibling quarrel. There was din, chaos, and massive explosions. In the winter, Agnes had to house a troop of soldiers. This day was like no other. “Shayna! Shayna!” Agnes started, “He’s been captured and taken to Auschwitz camp!” She takes Mirele’s mother’s hand and runs to the backyard, where they would be alone. “What do you mean!? He was just out for a stroll yesterday.” cried Shayna. Agnes reassures, “Yes, yes! He was out and about, but they did take him,

Shay.” He didn’t take his falsified papers. They both become teary. Mirele walks downstairs to find her mother and then goes outside, but at first glance, she knows. She knows what’s happened. Mirele is thirteen now, but she’s just been rid of her innocence. One year later, the soldiers leave, but a boy comes to stay with the lot. He was well around Mirele’s age. The danger of having him board was that he was an American. “He is not just any American boy, this one.” Agnes explained, “This is my husband’s cousin, William.” “You can call me Will, Agnes.” the boy says nervously. Mirele chuckles for the first time in months.

Agnes sighs, “ As long as you call me Aggie. He’ll be a farmhand for us, so that he doesn’t have to fight in the war.” “Agnes- I mean Aggie, can I speak to you in private?” Will questions. Aggie agrees and they go inside by the firepit. She starts igniting a fire, slowly. Will sits and stands, paces and ponders. He seems very anxious. “What the matter? I am just starting the fire. You can start talking.” Aggie states. He stops and stares at her. “Robert’s alive, Agnes.” She is puzzled and numb. Agnes goes to William and shakes the boy. Tears come down her face. William just stands there, watching the fire. He noticed

an ember fall onto one Agnes’ vividly colored carpets. On the marble floor by the arch into the room, there was leftover gunpowder from the soldiers. The fire was going to wiggle its way there. Either way, the house was going to burn down in flames. William opens his eyes, wide and grabs Agnes’s hand, running out of the room. “Fire! Fire!” he yells. Everyone comes out running to the driveway. The butler and William try to stop the fires fury. Agnes runs into the

house again. “It’s no use, stop! Just do me a favor and grab that frame and the dog tag tied onto it!” “Are you out of your mind!? This is Robert’s house!” William says. Planks start to fall, and the fire spreads. The butler starts screaming in German. “Get out at this instant, William! Robbie would kill me if anything happened to you!” Agnes rages on. William begins coughing. He then faints. The butler grabs the picture and dog tag, and runs out with Agnes. “He’s still in there!”

Agnes alerts, holding Shayna and Mirele’s hands, scared to death. The butler is panting, so he is not going into the infernal fire again. Mirele lets go of her mother’s hand and sprints into the burning house. Shayna and Agnes scream their lungs out. Inside, Mirele looks for William. She grabs his feet and drags him to one of the large windows. She slaps William so hard, that he wakes up. She punches the window and they both jump out. Behind them, an explosion happens because the fire reached the

gunpowder. “Are you alright?” Mirele asks. William shakes his head as if he had seen a madwoman. “Are you insane?” “When someone is helpless, they can’t pick up their feet and walk, so you have to pick up your own to push them forward.” Mirele explains. “Mirele Rapp- Adler, are you out of your mind!?” question Shayna and Agnes. William chuckles at Mirele, “No, I don’t think she is.” A lot happens in the next three years. Agnes goes to a hospital in Amsterdam to meet with Robert. He has been in a coma all these years. Shayna, Mirele, and William stay in in the burnt home. It looks abandoned and doesn’t call to much attention anymore. It’s been a year since the war ended

and Mirele got married to William. Shayna goes into depression and yearns to see Herschel again. “Momma, Aggie is coming home soon. Robert’s out of the coma.” Mirele says kissing Shayna on the forehead. “I will be going home with Will soon. Are you sure you don’t want to come? The war is over now.” Her mother just looks lifeless. She sits on a charcoal looking rocking chair stiff as a statue. She doesn’t respond she just rocks. Mirele has felt the misery of losing her father every day. The truth is, they don’t even know if he’s alive. Mirele is 16 during 1946 and its finally time for her to go home. When she arrives with William, a month later, she immediately goes to the willow tree. She’s about a meter away from it, looking around at her dilapidated

home and barn. William cups her hand and they walk to the tree. It takes her a moment, but she fixates her vision on the white bench beneath it. It is broken. Her dad had handmade that wooden swing for her. She feels bad for never paying attention to the swing and always looking at the willow tree. Tears rush down her face as she falls to her knees. William is confused, but he falls with her and comforts her. He looks up at the prairies and points, “Who is that?” “That’s the man who made my wooden swing. “she says shocked. Herschel runs to the swing and smiles, “Mir, it’s still white! We accomplished peace.” “Oh poppa! Thank you for the wooden swing!” she says and she now understood

Kayla Cunningham Above all our heads hangs an invisible clock, counting down to the end. We go most of our lives not giving a thought to the clock. As the countdown nears the end, we can feel ourselves deteriorate with every second that passes, feeling weaker and weaker.

Soon we are unable to care for ourselves, losing our legs, our minds, our voice. The clock counts down, five, four, three, two, one, and reaches zero. The strangest thing is, no one knows how long the timer is set for. For some, it could be ninety years, others do not even get past ten. In my case, my clock has been running for eighty-five years, and I can feel it slowly gearing down to the end. I lay in my hospital bed, conscious but dumb, taking every ounce of life left in me to even usher a measly breath. I knew the end was near. I could feel my grasp on life slipping away, and the doctors knew too, but they continued to keep me in this state. Alive, yes, but an empty shell of a human. Old and gray, wrinkles cascading my pale, mangled skin. My expression sallow and desolate, getting worse with each passing day. I do not know how long I have been confined to the bed. Days, weeks perhaps? All I know is that this is the bed that I will die in, sick and weak, a pitiful way to

pass. I reminisce on my life, thinking about how I would lay awake at night, terrified by the mere thought of death. As a child, I had always thought that if I were to die, I would die on a battlefield, and be remembered for centuries for my heroic sacrifice. Now here I am, approaching the end, defeated by sickness, ready to die in a hospital with no loved ones to remember me.

The more I think about my life, the more I am crushed by suffocating regret. I’ve lived a long and healthy life, eighty-five years, much longer than most. In all those years, I never did anything important. I never found the love of my life, got married, or had kids. I never learned to play music, or paint, or play any sports. I never learned another language, never traveled, never saw the world. For all the time I’ve spent on earth, I’ve never truly lived. This feeling, this pain of wanting to do so many great things but running out of time to do so. This emotion swept over me like a colossal wave, drowning me, the roaring ocean of

anguish unforgiving on me. For the first time in years, I began to weep. This was the end of me, and I had never even begun my life. I felt closer than ever before, air was barely escaping my lips, my heart scarcely beating. I could feel my vision fading away, the world becoming nothing but black and white dots, like static on a television. I could feel a presence next to me, calling out to me. “Wallace…” it whispered, “Wallace...” I presumed it to be a doctor or a nurse, watching over me, but consciousness came back to me, and I could tell that this being speaking to me was not human. It was strange, it was more of a feeling then a being, intangible, but present.

“Is this the end?” I thought to myself, “is this the other side....” I’ve never been a man of doctrine or spirituality. I’ve always thought that when you die, you are faced with an eternity of nothingness, like a dreamless sleep without end.

“Wallace!” I heard it again, louder, more affirmative.

“I’m one of the realest things ever.” It started mysteriously.

“I must be delirious…” I said aloud, shaking my head in denial. Mustering all the strength I had, I spoke, “Who’s there?” I uttered, my words barely audible. I felt the presence draw nearer, it seemed to be an allusive spirit. “Nonsense…” I murmured, a whisper just under my breath. I haven’t believed in ghosts since I was a child. They were never real, and never will be.

“What does that even mean?” I questioned, turning around, trying to pinpoint the direction the voice came from. It moved again, appearing behind me without the slightest sound. “You know what I am..” it muttered, “Everyone knows me...”

“Oh, but I’m real…” I heard the voice whisper, seemingly right into my ear, I quickly jumped away, somehow free of my earthly pains. “This...this must be a dream…” I rationalized, placing my hand over my head as I tried to make sense of all this. “There's no way…”. I feared I was losing my sanity, my old age eating away at all perception of real and fake. I heard the voice again, further away this time. It seemed to be coming from different directions, bouncing from one place to another in seconds.

“Who are you then, a ghost? God? Satan?!” I exclaimed, I could feel sweat forming on my face, my heart racing. I was paralyzed by fear. “We both know you’re a man of logic, Wallace. You don’t believe in any of that nonsense.” The being said, it’s voice was smooth and eloquent. “Who are you then?!” I shouted, clenching my fist and swinging my arms aimlessly. I could feel panic overwhelming my senses. Suddenly the entity appeared before me, bathed in a piercing white light, penetrating the dark abyss I was surrounded by.

“I’m Death.” I stood there shocked, unsure of what I had just

heard. I wasn’t sure what to do, what to think. A part of me wanted to think this was all some sick dream, that I would wake up and be back in my hospital bed. But I couldn't deny what I was hearing, I couldn't deny what I was seeing right before my eyes. A peculiar feeling deep inside of me somehow knew all that I was experiencing was somehow real, as much as I wanted it not to be. “Wallace, Wallace, Wallace…” The spirit sighed, pacing around me as he spoke, a faint trail of light following his movements. “You are like so many others, so many unhappy souls…” he continued vaguely, speaking in a somewhat exasperated tone. “What do you mean?” I questioned, puzzled by his ambiguous statement. “Tell me, what were you thinking about before you came here?” He repeated although it seemed he already knew the answer. “U-um, well….” I hesitated, the sudden memories flooding my senses. “How could I describe such anguish to someone I’ve just met? I can’t even quite

grasp the idea myself.” I thought, but Death continued to stare at me, looking directly and unwaveringly into my eyes. I could do nothing but stare back blankly, so he stated, “Oh, well to get this whole thing over with a bit faster, I guess I should just spit it out. You see, many of you humans feel a sense of ‘regret’ as you would call it right before death.” He said quite frankly, again pacing as he began his tangent. “They feel as if their lives are unfinished and haven’t begun, resulting in their souls wandering aimlessly until they do find some meaning in their miserable little lives.” He stated quite bluntly. The statement was so forthright, in fact, that I

couldn't help but step back in shock, feeling quite offended. But I knew that was not the concern right now.

“Is that why I’m here then? To find ‘meaning in my life’?” I said sarcastically, “Why can’t you just leave me here? To rot away in e t e r n al da r k nes s ? ” I thought, feeling anger boiling up inside me. I immediately decided not to speak my mind, it would be safer to not lash out in such a strange situation.

“Oh...why so hesitant?” Death said, grinning smugly, “Are you scared? What is there to fear?” Death taunted, floating closer to me with a smug expression. “I’m not scared,” I said firmly, but I knew from Death’s face alone he could tell. “See, this is your problem, Wallace, you hesitate. Most of you humans are so hung up on ‘what if’s,’ that they never bother to take any risks. Even now, you hesitate, when there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of!” Death exclaimed, placing his head in his hands out of exasperation. I was stunned by this statement, and I realized how much it rang true. From the time I even had enough sense to think, I would always hold

my tongue, because if I spoke my mind I might be hit by my mother. If I took a risk and spoke my mind, I might lose my job. I looked back up at Death, who was smiling at me warmly, seemingly understanding my epiphany. “See what I mean?” He said, rather smugly. “Well, that doesn’t change anything, I can’t get that time back now!” I said, realizing I might as well cut out all logic in my words, such a bizarre scenario wouldn't need a thing like

reasoning. “Who said anything about that?” Death said, tilting his head and smiling somewhat maniacally. He continued, circling around me as he began. “No, I can’t give you your time back, but-” Death paused, perhaps in a moment of contemplation, he remained motionless. I stared back, bewildered, not having the slightest idea of what was going to happen. “-I can take away all your sorrows.” He stated, looking back at me for an answer. “And how exactly are you going to do that?” I asked in a demanding tone, glaring back at Death in disbelief. “Instead of telling you…” Death began, “I’ll show you...” Suddenly, out of complete nothingness, a door was opened. I was uncertain what was on the other side, as it was blurred out, but a great white light radiated from in, penetrating the abyss I was surrounded in. Death moved towards it slowly and stopped at this entrance, gesturing for me to enter first. I gulped, shaking with doubt as to what this could be. I step forward slowly, feeling the light bathe my skin with something warm and welcoming. Death observed me with an expressionless face, waiting patiently as I hesitantly approached the door. I was closer now, and it appeared to be a grassy open meadow. As I approached, I could feel myself being taken away

from the abyss and lifted into someplace familiar. After the blinding light faded, I could see Death standing beside me in an open field. In the distance, a tiny farmhouse could be seen, and the voices of children running and playing echoed throughout the empty area. “You remember this?” Death said, still looked wistfully at the fields. “I-it’s the house I grew up in…” I gasped, amazed at what I was seeing. I could see myself! Chasing my brothers and sisters, jubilant and carefree, without a problem in the world. I smiled, remembering the simple times of my youth when I was wide-eyed and optimistic. “If only life could be as simple as it was back then…” I sighed, looking down in sadness. “Well, we all have to face reality at some point…” Death said, sitting down in the grassy terrain as we watched the sun disappear on this horizon. This instant the sun had set, a strong breeze suddenly moved by and we shifted into another time, but the same place. It was the time I had moved out of my parent’s house. I was overwhelmed by all the emotion that I had felt on that fateful day, remembering how scared, how devastated I felt. “Oh...I remember this…” I thought aloud, gazing at the scene in remorse. “I’-I’d never seen my mother cry before that…” I muttered,

feeling my voice begin to choke up. “Your mother only had one son left. Imagine what it must feel like to have them be shipped off to war.” Death said firmly, his hands behind his back, but his harsh words seemed to ring with empathy and understanding. I stared back at my mother in awe, her face crinkled with pain, flooded with tears and flushed as she watched her son drift into the distance. How I wish I’d never gone to that dreadful war, it was the worst thing I’d ever experienced. As tears began filling my eyes, another strong breeze whipped us into another timeline, a new place. I remembered that moment as clear as crystal. It was when I had moved back after the war, back into my hometown, Monowi, Nebraska, to live the rest of my days as a teacher. The rest of what came after that seemed to be a haze. All I would do is work at a job that could barely sustain me, eat, and sleep. After the war had ended, I lived a “normal life,” working for nine hours a day at a job that I had never cared for, going home to my small apartment, into my empty bed. It seemed that that was the point when I had stopped living. I stared wistfully as time lapsed before me, watching myself carry out the same routine, every day, for decades. I turned over to Death, who had been watching me intently the

whole time, waiting for my response. “Well...” I started, unsure of what to do, looked over at Death for an answer. “-how does this solve anything?... I know what I’ve done wrong, but my life is still the same….” I trailed off helplessly, looked at Death, desperate for an answer. He finally responded, “It’s true, there is no changing your life, but…” Death paused, “I can show you something else…” He began looking over at me in anticipation. He turned over to me and extended his hand. I reached out, but paused, flinching my hand back out of instinctual fear. Death stared at me expectantly, and I took a deep breath, letting go of my anxieties, and I eventually grabbed onto his hand. All of the sudden, the world seemed to spin, whirling around me and Death in an immeasurable pace, until it came to a sudden halt. We were in the sky, amongst clouds and a deep blue horizon, looking down upon a town, my town. It seemed so small, yet full of life. Cars constantly moving on the streets, people wandering through the city along with dogs and birds. Even from so far away, you could see it was bustling with life. “You see all those people? Going about their lives, they seem so small from here, right?” Death spoke, smiling with pride as he

glanced at the busy people. “Yeah…” I replied, still in awe of the situation, I could feel my hands trembling. “They seem insignificant, don’t they? All the way up here.” Death continued, looking over at me now. “Yeah…” I replied again, more concerned with looking at this incredible view. “But,“ He said firmly, “they’re not. Their all contributing in some way, like that man, fixing the traffic lights, or that lady, giving money to a homeless man.

They may seem small from up here, but every individual is playing a significant role in the grand scheme of things.” He said. I looked over at Death in amazement as he continued his speech. “You may think you did nothing with your life, but you did. You fought in a war and saved possibly hundreds, no, thousands of people. You worked as a teacher, which may seem frivolous, but you provided knowledge for the future generations.” I looked down

again, feeling moved by his words. “Do you realize what I’m saying here?” He began, glancing down once again at the small town, “All of our lives matter, one way or another.” He ended, staring at me, searching in my eyes for some sense that I understood. I simply nodded back at him, smiling with joy as I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I felt something I hadn’t felt for some years, peace.

Nadia Seidu

Long ago, there lived two women whose beauty was unparalleled. Men and women alike adored them, and would gladly give up their lives to have a taste of their sweet beauty. For they were the sisters Rose and Violet, and they were the most beautiful women in the world. For a long while, their beauty remained untamed, and they had lived an identical life of promiscuity. To the sisters, settling down was not an option. Their beauty was not worthy of any man or woman, and they would let the whole world know. “Come stand in awe of our beauty. Our hair as dark as night, and our lips as red as blood. You will never wed women as beautiful as us.” All those in the village had dreamed of wedding the sisters, but all knew the sisters had only lived a life of pleasure. The sisters Rose and Violet lived in harmony together and were often seen accompanying each other. They were inseparable and promised each other the world. “Nothing will ever come between us, no man no woman,” they would say to each other; they both believed it. Although, as the years went by Rose felt the effects of her promiscuous life weigh upon her, and she was hit with a sudden realization of loneliness and despair. She quickly sought to relieve those negative emotions by frequently being with her sister, but she soon found that even Violet could not fill the

ever growing void in her heart. Soon Rose yearned for the touch of a man. It was impure for her to think such thoughts. That a mere mortal could couple with a woman bathed in the beauty of the gods. Although, Rose did not care any longer, and sought out a man whose face was kissed by the gods as she was. She quickly found that man, and Ishmael was his name. Struck with a strong love between them, they quickly wed, and Rose had ended her reign of promiscuity. This had not pleased Violet. She had seen Rose as a beautiful flower, one that was too good to be picked. Alas, she was. The new man Ishmael had praised Rose as a goddess. “My godly lover,” he’d call her. He would thank the gods each day for sending him a wife as beautiful as Rose. In turn, Rose dubbed him, “a God among men,” Their new love had been unbreakable, and only blood could come between them. Violet despised this. She clasped onto the memories of her and Rose, never forgetting the moments they created together, as just sisters. Now their sweet companionship was under attack by the plague they called Ishmael. Violet could feel Rose pulling

away from her, as if the void Rose said she once felt had been transferred into her. Rose would no longer speak to Violet as she once did, laugh with her as she once did, and look at her with pure love as she once did. As the infectious love between Ishmael and Rose grew stronger, the void in Violet’s soul only deepened. Days would pass like blades upon Violet’s skin, as she watched Rose and her disease of a husband around the village. She would stare as he would hold her tight as if to keep her from the world, and listen to the romanticized sins he’d whisper into her ear. Violet had begged the gods to return the love that Ishmael received back to her once more, but the gods had bitter patience for their beautiful creation’s selfishness, and had ignored her pleas. Nonetheless, the patience Violet had was quickly fleeting, and she soon learned to despise her brother-in-law. Rose for a while fell oblivious to this, and would strongly return her husband’s affection. Violet would feel the empty space Rose would leave in her heart to be with that wretched man Ishmael. The absence of her once beloved sister, hurt worse than any wound, and the wound would only burn

worse with each day that passed. Violet tried to heal the everlasting wound with many strange men and women who would come and go in her life, but never once did they amount to the burning love her and her sister once had for each other. Violet knew that there was still time to take Ishmael out of the picture, and it would only be for the best. She believed she and Rose could only thrive together. Violet finally knew what she had to do. Violet was not aware of it, but Rose was not oblivious to the hate Violet had for her husband. Even though she neglected her sister for her beloved Ishmael, she had seen those once bright eyes she had recognized Violet by turn black with disgust. Rose knew what she had to do. She had to mend the breaking relationship between the three of them. She invited Violet to spend time with them, and Violet had excitedly accepted. She knew that this was time to spend with her beloved sister, but she also knew that this was the time to take Ishmael out the picture. With that goal in mind, Violet quickly ventured to be with Rose. Taking her in a warm embrace once again, feeling familiar skin touch her own, and kissing her cheeks with a sisterly passion. Days like that used to be abundant,

but with Ishmael they were now scarce, which made what Violet was going to do much easier. In the dark of the night, dagger in hand, Violet crept into the couple’s room. It was pitch black and completely silent, and then she saw it, the silhouette of Ishmael in a deep sleep. With a clear conscious, she placed the dagger over Ishmael’s chest and quickly lurched it downward. What she should of have felt was a sense of freedom, but when Violet heard that piercing cry fill the room, it was not Ishmael’s. Violet had made a fatal mistake. She killed her own sister. With the strong wave of guilt that pierced her body like the dagger that pierced her sister, Violet turned the dagger towards herself, and lurched it into her chest. As she lay dying, Ishmael awoke from his slumber, and fell startled at what he saw. A pool of his beloved and his sister-in-law’s blood surrounded his feet. He wailed to the gods to bring Rose back, and even the sister Violet, oblivious as he was to the hate she had for him. The gods heard his pleas and felt pity for the man, and had decided to transform the sisters physical bodies into something new. Before Ishmael’s eyes, his wife and Violet’s body disappeared leaving only the pool of blood that had formed around them. He then heard the booming voice of the gods: “The physical

bodies of your wife and her sister shall be forever intertwined in a flower as red as the blood that poured out of them, with a stem protecting them that is as green as Violet’s envy, and thorns that represent the sharp hate that killed the both of them.” Ishmael watched in awe as his wife and Violet were weaved into a beautiful flower. He heard the menacing voice of the gods once again. “You will grow this flower everywhere in the village to remind the people that despite its everlasting beauty, it’s thorns will cut the skin deep like a dagger dipped into a pool of hatred. You will call this flower the Rose.” Ishmael followed the gods’ instructions and planted the Rose across the village, and informed the villagers of the hate, death, and beauty it represented. Nonetheless, the villagers disregarded this, and fell for the Rose’s beauty as they once did the sisters’ in their lives. Overtime, because of the villagers strong love for the Rose, it quickly became the symbol of romance and beauty. Hundreds of years passed, and the Rose’s story was now forgotten. It is now seen as romantic, but the thorns on the stem still remain to represent the dark hate it had been birthed from.

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls —

By Isabella Ramriez Mora

About Us


he Everglades Literary Magazine is a student publication completely produced by the students of Everglades High School’s Creative Writing Class. This school year, the class met every other day. The literary work was taken from students in-class assignments as well as the winners from the EHS Literary and Arts Fair. Students in Creative Writing 3 and 4 were responsible for evaluating the hundreds of pieces submitted by students to put together the magazine.

he style and design of this magazine were inspired by the cover art. The water color style of the piece influenced the use of the water color splatters throughout the book, especially noted in the dividers and poetry title splashes. The main font, Billionaire Medium Grunge, was selected because of its similarity to the art deco style. The secondary font, Bookman Old Style, was selected for its clean look and the way it complements the primary font.

Selection process electing literary and art work is a painstaking process. Over 200 poems were submitted as well as 60 short stories and hundreds of student art samples. Each piece must go through several rounds of selection. Students in the advanced classes read through the poems, stories and art work that jumps out to them, narrowing down the possible selections. After the first round, the pieces are further scrutinized for their content. Once the pieces have been vetted for issues that might arise, the final pieces are reviewed by the Advisor. The advisor approves the pieces and the editors go on to build the magazine within its page limitation.

Junior Editors Usman Chaudhry, Sophomore Jonathan Le, Sophomore Sebastian Solรณrzano, Sophomore Jacob Franks, Junior Emelye Perez, Junior Senior Editors Adrian Decan, Senior Megan Newhart, Senior Shyenne Medlin, Senior Class Supervisors Moriah Rolle, Senior (5th Period) Keely Fetter, Juinor (8th Period) Magazine Advisor Matthew M. Cordova

2018 Everglades Literary Magazine (ELM)  

Everglades High School's literary magazine, created by the students.

2018 Everglades Literary Magazine (ELM)  

Everglades High School's literary magazine, created by the students.