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Fall / Winter 2017


805 Cedar Street Hartford, WI 53027

Fall / Winter 2017: Issue 1 Créatif is a student-led publication of all things compelling and creative. All featured works are original pieces by current Hartford Union High School students. Submissions, suggestions, and criticisms are always welcome. Please contact one of the following members of the Créatif staff, listed below, if you’d like to submit to Créatif or have any other feedback.

Créatif Staff


Jacob Loosen,

Kylie Grinwald, Poet Laureate, Student Editor

Alaya Wetzel, Artist-In-Residence


Amalia Goetzke, Artist-In-Residence

Ms. Herrmann, Faculty Advisor







Gallery 1 : Metacognition

Gallery 3: Wisdom

“Homo Sapiens - Mammal”

Ethan Winter



Jacob Loosen



Chad Robanske



Celia Horvate


“This I Believe”

Matt Becker


“Saturday Afternoon”

Amalia Goetzke


“Drool Face”

Danielle Kilthau


“Quest for Greatness”

Joshua Bartelt


“Attack Moth”

Celia Horvate


“The Path to Courage”

Sophia Christianson


“Reasons to Save Us”

Rose Grey



Danielle Kilthau



Alaya Wetzel


“Never Noticed, Always Remembered”

Kylie Grinwald


“The Last Text”

Olivia Burkholz


“Upside Down”

Mariah Livermore





“50’s Portrait”

Hannah Schmitt




Nicole Schramm


“Unveiling the Unknown”

Andrea O’Bryon



Jaymi Salvo


“The Grey Oak”

Graham Stelow



Nicole Schramm


Alexander Kister


“Secure, Contain, Protect”

Front Cover : “The ‘Earth’ without ‘Art’ Is

Gallery 2: Shortcomings 19


Flash Fiction Contest Winner:


Satire: “Wage Gap Spotting Emily Lepien Leaves a Community Divided”

“The Accident”

Callie Ellis

Back Cover “Pattern Portrait”


Hannah Schmitt


Gallery 1: Metacognition

make contact with the Lunar Base there. As they were landing, the moon had gone between them and Earth, so all radio communication was lost, or at least delayed majorly. They were, however, able to get in contact with the Lunar Base. “Orion 1. This is Lunar 1. Do you copy?” “This is Orion 1. We hear you loud and clear.” “We have your coordinates, and we are headed to your location now. Just stay in the shuttle.” “It looks like you guys are here already though. Are you sure we shouldn’t come out and meet you halfway?” “No. Just stay put. You’re probably just seeing a mirage or something.” “Do you guys see that?” Tom asked his crew. “Yeah we all see it. There’s gotta be something they’re not telling us,” Terry, the lead engineer, said. “Hey guys, you see that? I think they’re coming towards us!” “Lunar 1, this is Orion 1. We are not seeing a mirage! Whatever it is, it’s getting closer.” “Don’t worry about them. They’ll run when they see us coming. That’s what usually happens. They’re not a threat.” “What do you mean ‘usually happens’? You mean that you know about these things?” “Yes, we know about them. But they’re not a threat. Just stay put! We’ll be there soon.” The crew of Orion 1 looked at the oncoming horde of things. They had no idea what these beings were or if they were peaceful or not. These beings looked humanoid in the fact that they had two legs, two arms, and head, but other than that, they were very different. This species had come from Neptune’s Moon, Triton, and they formed a colony on the dark side of the moon to study Earth. They are superior to humans in intelligence and technology. “Lunar 1? I thought you said they weren’t a threat! They trying to enter the shuttle right now! Wait no. They’ve just entered. They’re…………..” “Orion 1? Orion 1, do you copy? Shoot, they’re gone! Houston, this is Lunar 1. Orion 1 is gone.” “Are you serious? That’s the fourth one in a year. Just head back to base and shore up the defenses. We can’t afford to lose our

In the field of psychology, the term metacognition refers to thinking about thinking oneself or taking time to consider the process of how humans think and process information. In this Gallery, work is featured from artists and authors who have written about how humanity thinks and acts. Some have focused on the unsettling thought process of an individual, as in “Quest for Greatness.” Others have applied the concept of metacognition, relating to it behaviors or actions, like in the short story ,“Homo Sapiens - Mammal.” As you read, engage in some metacognition yourself, and enjoy perusing and viewing high-quality pieces that relate to thinking itself. __________________________________________________

“Homo Sapiens - Mammal” By Ethan Winter The sun was just disappearing behind the Earth when the slingshot was going to happen. The crew had been training for this trip for three years. Everybody knew exactly what they needed to do in order to successfully launch themselves around the moon. “Houston, we’re approaching the gravity assist area,” said Tom, the lead pilot and commander. “We’re ready on your cue.” “Copy Orion 1. Start priming the tanks and wait for me before you initiate the rockets.” “Understood, Houston. Tanks are primed, and we’re ready to start the rockets.” “Alright, start them now.” Just as the rockets initiated, one of the oxygen tanks combusted. Not only did they lose vital oxygen for the rockets and themselves, but the explosion had knocked them way off course and turned them around. Without enough fuel to continue to Mars or return to Earth, Orion 1 was forced to try to land on the moon and



last foothold on the moon.” “No, we have to counterattack this time! We can’t just leave these people to die!” “Stand down Lunar 1! That’s an order!”

previous subjects were inconclusive, but this final test really showed what your species is. How can you be expected to peacefully coexist with us if you kill your own kind? Your own crewmember was put into one of our suits and you just shot her without a second thought. You will be pleased to know that we are leaving now, but we will be back. You can leave now and tell whatever superiors you savages have that we will be coming for your planet. A little resistance on your end may actually make this fun for us. Goodbye.” The astronauts were left in complete befuddlement of what had just occurred and were trying to head back to their shuttle to establish communication with Lunar 1. They got back to see that their ship had been mainly untouched by the aliens. “Lunar 1, this is Orion. Do you copy?” said Tom. “Damn! Nothing but static. We need to head over there and try to find them. Their location should be somewhere in our computers.” “Alright,” Terry said. “Let me check quick….Got it! It's just about a mile away from here. We gotta hurry. Who knows when those guys are coming back.”

* * * “Tom, what do you think these things are gonna do to us?” said Terry. “I don’t know, man. I think it might be the end of the line though. To think, after all I’ve been through - the war, capture, and training for this mission - I’m just gonna get dissected by some aliens on the moon. Never would’ve guessed it in a million years.” “Nah, come on man, don’t talk like that. We’re gonna get through this.” Just then, one of the aliens entered the room without a protective space suit on. The alien looked very strange to them. It had an oval-shaped head with no sign of hair, long sleek limbs, and light blue skin. To the surprise of the astronauts, it spoke perfect English and told the astronauts about its mission. “Hello. Do not be afraid of us. We are simply a research team that was sent here from our homeworld to study your planet’s various forms of life. We will need to find out which species are considered a threat to us and eradicate them.” “Are humans a threat to you?” asked Tom. “Do not worry yourself about that now. We will soon find out.” After that, the alien left the two astronauts to ponder what was going to happen to them. “We need to get out of here before they ‘eradicate’ us. We have to try to destroy this base in the process, too,” said Tom. Just after they had said that, the door opened on command. The two astronauts quickly rushed out and looked for an exit. As they were running, they found two guns lying on the floor. They each grabbed one and kept going for the exit. There was a being blocking the exit wearing one of the aliens’ suits. They immediately shot because they thought it would try to hinder their escape. Their suits were also on racks just before the exits. They put them on and the doors opened for them. When they were inside the airlock, a voice came on over the PA. “Thank you for answering our question. The results from the

“How can

you be expected to peacefully coexist with us if you kill your own kind?

* * * They made haste to the location of the base, but what they found was not at all what they were hoping for. The base had been completely destroyed. There was hardly any signs of life there except for the small bits of infrastructure that remained. They knew that they had to try to get in contact with someone on Earth to warn them of the destructive capabilities that these aliens possessed. “Houston, this is Orion 1. Can you hear us?” asked Tom. “Orion? How are you guys…..never mind. Are you injured at all?” “No but we have something very important to say. The aliens that inhabited the dark side of the moon are coming to destroy us. They just left not too long ago, but they said that they would be back. To kill us.” “Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. We’ve known about them for some time, and they never seemed very fond of us. I’ll get in



off and saw that this park was a zoo. The alien led the tour talking about the animals as if he was expert on all of them. They were led through the African section and then though the reptiles. After this, they went into the nocturnal animals exhibit, followed up By Jacob Loosen, by the sea animals. Photographer-in-Residence “Okay, now it's time to show you your new home!” The alien led them through the zoo some more before stopping at the mammal exhibit. The alien did the same thing as was done in the other exhibits: he talked about each of the animals as if he was the expert on them. Finally, they reached the end of the exhibit. There was an empty cage with two tents in it. The alien paused for a while before saying anything. “Are you going to go in? I thought you’d be happy to have your new home.” “You’re not serious are you?” asked Tom. “Well yes, I am. You’re an endangered species now. It falls to us to protect the native species of this planet.” They reluctantly entered their new home. To the left, they had the gorillas, and to the right the baboons. “This is your life now. You must accept it. We will feed you and take care of you. We are not going to let you out this time. I don’t understand why you seem so sad. You did this to all sorts of animals before we came. This should be perfectly normal for you.” They realized that there was nothing they could do about this situation. As they looked around their “home,” they were barely able to read the plaque describing them outside of their habitat. It read:

contact with the president. Thank you for letting us know.” “Are you gonna send someone to come and rescue us?” asked Terry. “No. We need to focus on this problem right now and throw whatever we can at it. Sorry. We’ll make sure your crew is remembered if we survive this.” They were completely dejected after hearing this. They knew that they would probably die from CO2 poisoning once their oxygen ran out. The thing that frustrated them more was that they knew that there was absolutely nothing they could do to stop this. They were going to be forced to watch their world die. Just as they were thinking about this, one of the alien spacecraft zoomed in and landed next to them. The same alien who had talked to them previously emerged along with four of the alien warriors. “Hello again,” it said, “I need you to come with me right now. I would prefer to do this peacefully.” Seeing no other options, they went with the alien. “Thank you for coming. The show is just about to begin. I hope you will appreciate the front row view that I have given you. Don’t worry. You will not be harmed. We have special plans for you two. But in the meantime, watch the species that is most detrimental to its environment get destroyed!” Just then, three giant space carriers emerged and thousands of spacecraft came flying out of them towards the Earth. Even though they couldn’t see exactly what was happening, the men were still horrified as they watched their planet get invaded. The invasion took only about two hours, which seemed to disappoint the alien. “Really? With all of your destructive nature, I thought this would be more of a challenge. I guess I was wrong. Now it is time for those special plans that I mentioned earlier. You will be going home for these. That doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?” The alien vessel rose up and shot towards the Earth. The former astronauts looked around them. What they saw was astonishing. There was no signs of a war ever occurring. In fact, it looked far more prosperous than when they had left. The only thing could see accurately were the buildings, but even they looked foreign to them. As they approached the ground, they saw a large park. “We’re here!” the alien exclaimed. “Let's have a look at what's here. After this, I will show you where you can stay.” They got




“Homo Sapiens - Mammal Humans originated from Africa, but spread all across the world. They were one of the most aggressive species that destroyed whatever was in its path if it would benefit themselves. They put other animals on display in places like this. These two are the only known remaining members of their species.



This I Believe

By Chad Robanske

By Matt Becker Some people hate children. True, they can be annoying little brats sometimes and they often don’t give a crap about authority. They can be extremely deafening with their squeaky voices, and they require (and typically expect) a massive amount of attention. Their innocence and ignorance can make them a complete pain to deal with. I get it. For the past few years, I have been requested to babysit my three younger cousins on nights when their parents go to dinner. Oftentimes, the kids and the job can be a pain. From energy overloads to poopy diapers that make me gag to the “I miss mommy!” accompanied with a torrential downpour of tears, I’ve dealt with it all. These kids are not angels; no kid is. Yet despite all of these complications, I continue to take the job when asked. I enjoy babysitting my cousins, not because of the money, but because I feel that I learn a lot from doing the job. By their childish antics, my three cousins, Danny (6), Tommy (4), and Kay (1), teach me vital life lessons that couldn’t possibly be taught by any adult. 1. These kids teach me kindness towards others. Most nights, as per request, I walk my cousins to the park. Danny takes his scooter, Tommy rides his bike, and Kay rides in the stroller. On the way, we often cross paths with plenty of other people. Whenever someone passes us, Danny and Tommy both shout, “Hi!” to them, as if on cue. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big man taking a jog, two siblings By Amalia Goetzke, walking a dog, or a

Emotions. Words endowed with quantifying ideals, Ideals shaped from qualities you don't yet understand. Feelings. They Break, they Burn, they Die They cause Fortification of both body and mind, A domain to which light cannot Reach, A domain to which light cannot Exist, A place of equal power to that of a Singularity where emotions Dwell and feelings come to Rest. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Saturday Afternoon

By Celia Horvate

Artist-in-Residence 11


Quest for Greatness

construction worker fixing up the road. The boys do it every time, and the action shows significantly. They are making a simple motion that is meant to put a smile on someone’s face, and it works. Their kindness makes me happy. I believe in spreading happiness. 2. These kids teach me to be strong. Tommy, the By Danielle Kilthau four-year-old, has a ridiculous amount of physical strength for his age. Once, on his ride to the park, he fell off of his bike. He was left with a scrape and a little bit of blood on his leg. I got nervous, thinking that he would panic at the sight of his own blood. “Oh, I’m bleeding,” he said nonchalantly, before getting back on the bike and continuing on as if nothing had happened. I was shocked to see such a young kid have so much strength after being hurt. At four years of age, I would have wailed for mommy. Tommy’s strength sets an example for me, even as a teenager. I believe in fighting through the pain. 3. These kids teach me how to be a kid again. I am 17 years old. With getting older comes the increased pressure by people around me to grow up and get serious about my life, and I have somewhat begun to crack under this pressure. Yet every time that I babysit my cousins, they remind me that a childish spirit still remains within my teenage body. I embrace my cousins’ shenanigans: they air-zap me with pointed fingers, and I act as if I’m electrocuted; they shout “Boo!” and I jump to the ceiling; they tackle me, and I bring them down with me. We have fun as equals: kid to kids. Just by being themselves, Danny, Tommy, and Kay show me that there is nothing wrong with acting like a child. I believe in never growing up. Because of my cousins, I believe that there are lessons to be learned from children.

By Joshua Bartelt Do you know what I find epic? The human race. Because what exactly are we? Sentient? Animal? Or both? We’re just another product of evolution, a process in which the strong win out over the weak, dogs eat dogs and everyone's got it out for everything, even though most of nature doesn’t even know what it’s playing into. Because most of nature can’t comprehend the big picture, the way everything moves and shifts perfectly, and of everything's eventuality that just keeps continuing. But you know who can? Man. We can go about our daily lives and routine duties, like working for money, to buying food, to getting energy, to working again and making more money to use for more necessities to keep alive. Yes, man's progress works in the same fashion as anything else in nature. But the difference is that it doesn’t stop there, as he can think about his actions and the actions of others, all the consequences associated with the particular action, and all their comings and goings, both in and out of the mind. And because of this amazing ability of self-realization, we’re able to dance around and manipulate nature for our own reasons “The problem that most people much more effectively, filling in the long gaps between working and face when trying necessities like sleeping and eating, and to live in the using this power to amuse ourselves for simple ebb and recreation, be it relaxing to soothing music, fine dining, sleeping in, or some flow of the other form of experimentation. human This higher level of thinking is, experience is the however, not without it’s share of downfalls. On paper, living the life of a problematic human might sound like the perfect overuse of the example of how to exist in a world mind.” where the purpose of life is just an endless cycle of wash rinse and repeat. But as everyone who is human knows, it’s not all black and white. It’s a complicated, thought-provoking romp through an existence that has its own equal share of balanced complexity. For that is the nature of

Drool Face




pearly gate, while simultaneously juggling knowledge of his past, “But, somehow, recognition of the current situation, and a man can plan to manipulate it. So, what am I really driving at rebound. He can with my talk of such complex and traverse the fascinating philosophical themes such as depths of hell balance, nature, time, the universe and basically everything wrapping around while walking the central topic of mankind and his the fine line plight? Well, exactly that. That infinite between infinity struggle to reach the summit of a mountain of constant pain and pressure, and the void.” fury and fear, misery and doubt of a kind that can bring a person to the darkest parts of his mind, just for another glimpse at the feeling of all enlightening embrace of the things that are and will be, a clarity so sharp and powerful that it pierces the cloudiest places of our own psyche to forever induce a sense of knowing, the unnamable, subtle feeling of just being, an overwhelming masterful sensation that can turn the tides another direction, make sense of the insanity and turn the plight into a quest for greatness.

Attack Moth By Celia Horvate ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

this universe: organized chaos. Everything is as it should and shouldn't be, but in the end, it is it. It’s not complicated, but at the same time it is. And man takes this complexity coupled with primal instinct and turns it into even stranger thoughts and ideas, just as animals do, but with a beautiful twist to it: a wonderfully complex symphony of organization that pairs well with the cold, subtle logic that is nature and it’s madness. But the problem that most people face when trying to live in the simple ebb and flow of the human experience is the problematic overuse of the mind. The continuous and eternal dialogue that can go from a calmingly serene euphoria, the epitome of a complete and utter beingness of oneself and one’s environment that flows just as naturally as breathing, to a dark, infinite hell, a mad emptiness inside man where nothing makes sense, no cow is sacred, and everything's just pointless. But, somehow, man can rebound. He can traverse the depths of hell, while walking the fine line between infinity and the void, just to look up at the sky to see the majestic opportunity waiting just on the other side of the

The Path to Courage By Sophia Christianson 15


Reasons to Save Us

Selfish and terrible.

By Rose Grey

But we are worth saving. We stumble And bumble and fall, but we get back up.

Yes, it’s true. We are weak, sniveling and cruel.

But we are worth saving. Our Compassion is unparalleled.

But there’s good in us too. This poem explain what’s with all of the hullaballoo About humans. Humans create. We appreciate Art and music and magic. Humans despair. Our loss and sorrow show everyone that We care. Humans build. We construct towers and creations. Seven leave us wonder-filled. Humans hurt. The pain and suffering tied with our Happiness and glee Is a truth I must assert.

But we are worth saving. Our Resilience and persistence are Ineffable.

“Humans are awful. We are the worst the earth has to offer. We are selfish and terrible. But we are worth saving.”

“Our compassion is unparalleled … Our resilience and persistence are ineffable … Our impact is insurmountable.”

But we are worth saving. Our impact is Insurmountable. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————--______________________________________________________

Humans cultivate. Compassion, kindness, and more came from us; It’s not up for debate. Humans blunder. Stumbling through life, trying to do the right thing, But some things go asunder. Humans love. We love each other and family and others undeserving of it.


Humans are awful. We are the worst the earth has to offer. We are

By Danielle Kilthau 17


Gallery 2: Shortcomings

me to stop talking about this, that I was some sort of nut for just sharing my opinion. I was completely and totally appalled. Did they not see the picture? Was my evidence not enough? I just did not understand,” she said. Other people have begun to comment and involve themselves in this issue. The Wage Gap has rocked the shaky foundation of beliefs in the community. Simply, the issue of whether the Wage Gap exists has led to community action. “These foolish idiots claim that the Wage Gap exists, but where is their proof? One forged picture does not trick this old mind,” Martin Mertens, a community member and founder of an organization that attempts to prove the inaccuracy of the Wage Gap, said. His organization, Citizens Rallying Against Peculiar Ideas (CRAPI), fights to ensure that no person in his community believes in the self-proclaimed “utter foolishness” of the Wage Gap. “It just does not exist,” he profusely proclaims. When asked why he does not believe in the Wage Gap, Mertens strongly supported his claim with undeniably-clear evidence. “I have never seen the Wage Gap, so why does that make it exist? It is clearly some sort of government hoax to get the support of the ever-so obnoxious radicals. It’s all just some corrupt government scheme,” he said, “and what I don’t understand is why all these people think this fairy tale goon exists…” He happily continued to rant about the Wage Gap for at least 10 more minutes, exhausting all of his points. Well, actually just one point. Mertens is not the only one taking action with this issue. The local government has also taken a stance. Local government representative, Henry Johannes, has explained the plan that will be instated. “To end the confusion, we will be giving out a reward for whomever can find and catch the Wage Gap. We are completely for finding the Wage Gap and ending the awkward ideals it promotes. That is why any man who turns in the Wage Gap will receive $100, and any woman will receive $78.30.”

Society is faced with a myriad of concerns, or Shortcomings. Some struggles, like the one in “The Last Text,” seem to affect some individuals and communities more strongly than others. Other issues, like the one discussed in “Wage Gap Spotting Leaves a Community Divided” are arguably felt by every member of a society. The confidence to write can be scarce when these social concerns are at their most prevalent, but it grows with the understanding that meaningful, honest words are a necessity in the face of difficulty. Words can act as publicity. They can unify two opposing groups, otherwise polarized in their views of a situation. They can increase understanding of an otherwise complicated topic. They can give human voice to an otherwise distant scenario. __________________________________________________

Satire: Wage Gap Spotting Leaves a Community Divided By

Emily Lepien

Menton, WI — Not Big Foot. Or the Loch Ness Monster. Or any other figment of the urban imagination. This is something even rarer… the Wage Gap. Elisa Armen was strolling down the street when she saw this miraculous rarity before her very own eyes. She took out her phone and snapped a picture of the Wage Gap, a human-like figure made up of three quarters and three pennies — not quite a full and complete dollar, standing near a building with a large glass ceiling. “I was extremely amazed,” she said, “people, especially my guy friends, kept telling me that it doesn’t exist, but now I have proof!” Armen shared the photo on her social media and got results that she definitely was not expecting. “The amount of backlash I received from some of my followers was crazy. People kept telling

“The Wage Gap has rocked the shaky foundation of beliefs in the community.”



The question of the day is: why are the women being paid less for the reward? Johannes said, “I see no difference — none at all. But this government will not rest until the Wage Gap is found and dealt with.”

Never Noticed, Always Remembered By Kylie Grinwald, Poet Laureate A gunman, shooting from a thirty-second-story hotel window1, wounded or killed 546 people2 in attendance of a Jason Aldean concert at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas, on October 1, 2017. Before orchestrating the mass shooting, the gunman — Stephen Paddock--disturbingly made meticulous calculations of shooting angle and trajectory2, which were found in his hotel room. Further, in the months before the Las Vegas shooting, Paddock purchased stays in hotels near other high-profile events, like Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL) and the “Life is Beautiful” Event (Las Vegas, NV)3, but he never checked in. Pounding of hearts after gunfire starts, shooting chaos through moments of peace. From a perch up above, shadows cover the love of a crowd running frantic beneath. With a motive unknown, the damage is done — calculations left for all to see in the mind of a man who foreshadowed his plan months before, though unnoticed and free. 1

Las Vegas Shooting: Chaos at a Concert and a Frantic Search at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas Police Again Change Timeline of Mass Shooting 3 Las Vegas Shooting: Paddock May Have Scouted Other Targets



By Alaya Wetzel, Artist-in-Residence 21


The Last Text


By Olivia Burkholz

By Mercury

I asked if he was okay. “Yeah, I’m just a little sleepy,” he said It was 3:30 in the afternoon. How could he already by tired?

We are not special. I am not special. We have flesh that covers our bones and our precious, fragile hearts. We have eyes that allow us to see this dark, tragic world. I can look at you and me in my cracked mirror, and I will not think we are special. I will notice the bags under my eyes from years of never being able to put my mind to sleep. I will notice the way your shoulders sag, like the weight of living is too much to bear. I will look at your wet, streaky face and wonder why you can cry so easily when I can’t even manage one tear. I will stare too long at the distorted people that stand before us until I realize that the girl on the right, all cracked and barely recognizable, is me. We are not special, we are just the depressed kids sitting in the back corner of a room. We are just humans, microscopic beings in this vast universe. We don’t matter; we are not special. I am not special. Although, maybe you are, maybe my mirror is so broken that I actually thought I wasn’t alone. But I am, or at least I hope I am, because I would never wish you to be here. I’m sure you are extraordinary. But I am not. You should go, live your extraordinary life away from my toxic less-thanordinary one. I will just stay here, sitting on my floor, staring at the reflections in front of me, trying to figure out if it is ever possible to fix my shattered By Hannah Schmitt mirror, if it’s even worth trying.

I asked him if he was on anything. “I’m clean,” he said I had my doubts, but I wanted to believe him. I asked him if I could help. “No, I’m diong fnie, just sleppy, lik I said,” he said Now I knew something was up; he always texted like he wrote zero errors. I asked him what was with all the spelling errors. Five minutes, twenty minutes, three hours, That was the last text.

Upside Down

50’s Portrait

By Mariah Livermore



Gallery 3: Wisdom

the horrible squid. He was flying home, now back in the sky, when he tripped over his own two feet and face planted right into the ground. He glanced up, the airplane now free from his hand as it soared through the sky. Oliver was so entranced by the fact that his plane had flown by itself that he paid no mind to his bruised hands or the world around him; it was just him, the plane, and his imagination. Once the plane had landed, he dashed toward it. As he scooped it up, he turned and called for his mother. She glanced behind herself and called back to him. Her eyes darted to the side and a terrified expression filled her small face. She bounded upright, her arms outstretched, and started to bolt toward her son. Oliver peered to the side where his mother had just looked, only to see the front of a car. He had enough time to see his petrified mother and her eerie scream before everything went obsidian. His body struck the pavement, motionless, a leg twisted in a way that made it look like rubber as the blood accumulated under his head, forming a growing puddle. By now his mother was at his side, desperately trying to wake her son. The man from the car stood by in

As we journey through our lives, the trials and hurdles that arrest us also offer the opportunity to gain wisdom, a valued asset that forms through a combination of knowledge and experience. Wisdom, therefore, is a tool that allows us to approach new situations with insight, as described by the tree in “The Grey Oak.” With wisdom, we understand how to deal with tragedies, such as in “The Accident,” while also benefitting from new discoveries, as explained in “Unveiling the Unknown.” _______________________________________________________

The Accident By Ophelia Oliver had a fascination for planes. It wasn’t the planes themselves that fascinated him, but rather the flying that enthralled him. His imagination was one of the best qualities about him. So when Oliver picked up a plane to make it fly, it flew all the way around the world. He would grip the little plane with all his might and pretend he was soaring through the sky or landing on the moon. Mrs. Hayashi loved this quality about her son. –It made both of their lives interesting; it created an escape when her husband was out of the country. However, since the birth of her youngest, she found less time for Oliver. This resulted in Oliver being left alone to play most of the time. It was a radiant day when it happened, not a cloud to be seen for miles. Oliver was outside playing in his parent's large yard, an airplane in hand. He flew from his home to London, then to Japan. Eventually, he found himself landing in the Bermuda Triangle. While he fought off monstrous squids and pirates, Mrs. Hayashi kneeled in the dirt of her garden, plucking weeds and enjoying the wonderful summer breeze. Every once in awhile Mrs. Hayashi would glance behind herself to make sure Oliver was alright, as well as to check on his younger brother who was sleeping in his playpen under the shade of a large oak tree. Oliver had finally broken free from the pirates and defeated


Windmills By Nicole Schramm 25


horror at the scene displayed in front of him, his phone falling from his ear. Sobbing filled the street, covering it thick, sirens sounding in the distance. * * * Olli grew to despise the color white. Everything seemed white, from the sheets of his bed to the walls of his room. The hallways were white, the floors were white, even his clothes seemed to be white, though in fact they were a pale blue. Olli lay on his bed staring at nothing in particular. He began fidgeting with the switch by his bed, raising and lowering the mattress in the process. Shortly after, the door to his room opened. "For Christ's sake, Oliver! What have I told you about messing around with those settings? Hand me the remote." Mrs. Hayashi made her way around the bed with ease and took the small remote from his hand, placing it on the windowsill and out of Olli's reach. "Now listen, Olli. The nurse is going to help you get ready to see the doctor today, so be on your best behavior and listen to what she tells you. Understand?" Standing beside the bed with a new set of clothes and an IV bag was a small statured nurse. When it came to features, there was nothing really remarkable about the woman. She had a small face like Oliver’s mother, but that's where the resemblance ended. She had a small nose and her long black hair was always tucked into a braid behind her head. She was one of the nurses mainly in charge of monitoring Oliver. At first, Olli hated the idea, but he eventually grew to like the nurse. She would listen and talk with Oliver more, compared to some of the other nurses. Oliver turned from the nurse and nodded

at his mother. "Good! I'll be back in a little bit. I'm just going to grab something to eat from the cafeteria and then we will go meet with the doctor. Kay?" Oliver nodded once more, and his mother left, closing the door behind her. "I tried to find some different colored clothes for you today Olli." The nurse made her way to the end of the bed and placed a set of light blue clothes with darker dots all over them. "They're not completely dark, you know, given regulations and all, but I think they work better than nothing." Olli grabbed the clothes, a smile spread thin across his petite face. "Thanks, Miss Millie, they work just fine." "Glad to hear it. Now do you think you can change by yourself this time, or do you want help again?" Millie had taken the IV out of Olli's arm and had moved a wheelchair to the side of his bed. Olli glanced down into his lap and rigidly gripped the set of clothes. He felt he was ready, but the nerves were getting to him. He thought about what his mom told him to do when he got nervous, “Close your eyes, then take a really deep breath, and let all his nerves go away with an exhale.” He did this and the nerves were gone; he finally felt ready. "I can do this." He turned to Nurse Millie, who gave him two, huge thumb ups for being brave. Olli had moved the blanket from off of him and dangled his legs over the side of the bed. He sat there for a moment, scrunching the toes on his right foot. He thought about moving his toes on both feet, but he only had one. Olli's left leg ended at the knee, almost perfectly round, pants folded neatly around it. Nurse Millie helped him into his chair and brought him over to the bathroom. "If you need anything, just let me know, okay? I'll be in the room." "Don't worry, I got it this." He grabbed the wheels of the chair and rolled himself into the bathroom, the door shutting behind him. Olli placed the new set of clothes on the edge of the sink and began to undress, throwing the old clothes on the toilet seat. Putting on his shirt on was easy, and next came the pants; however, as he went to reach for them, the pair they slid off the sink and glided away from him. Olli reached down to grab them, but they were too far. He

“Olli grew to despise the color white. Everything seemed white, from the sheets of his bed to the walls of his room. The hallways were white, the floors were white, even his clothes seemed to be white, though in fact they were a pale blue.”



“The nurse stood and looked down at Olli. For a moment she looked as if to be a troll, cold and cruel. She narrowed her eyebrows and crossed her arms, slightly leaning to one side.�

stretched his fingers, leaning as forward as he could. Gravity, however, was not on his side and he fell out of the chair and onto the floor. The first body part to make an impact with the floor was his leg. A pain raced throughout his body, all air leaving him. He lay on the cold floor, cradling the end of his leg, tears streaming down his face. Trying to catch his breath was hard, and a sob built up in the back of his throat. He quickly covered his mouth, as to muffle the sound of his crying. He refused to let Millie hear him, for he knew that she would dash into the small room and help him, and then insist on helping there afterward. Olli didn't want her help, this was something that he should be able to do himself. Getting dressed should be an easy task and if he couldn’t even overcome this one small hurdle, how could he overcome others in the future? Olli knew deep down that this was only one of the man things wrong with him. He would sit in the hallway and look through the large window into the doctor's office while his mother and the man would talk. He knew something was wrong, the way his mother became aggressive, to the way she put her head in her hands while talking to him. He pledged then, that no matter how bad things got, he would be tough and that he wouldn't cry; but there he was, tears in his eyes and muffling his own cries. He scooted himself over to the wheelchair and used all of his strength to pull himself up into it. He rolled himself up to the sink, turning the faucet. Then he cupped his hands, letting them fill with the cool water, and he splashed it on his face. Composure returned to him and he sighed. He grabbed the pants and slid them on. He didn't bother to fold the pant leg neatly under and pin it, but rather, let it hang over the side of the chair. He gripped the wheels, opened the door, and left the bathroom. Millie was over by Olli's bed putting the

intravenous bag together. She glanced behind her when she had heard the door open. "So how did it go? You didn't fall or hurt yourself, or anything, right?" "Nope, everything went really well." Olli wheeled over to the nurse, and she began searching his arm for a place to insert the needle. One small prick and some tape later, the IV was completely set up. The nurse stood and looked down at Olli. For a moment she looked as if to be a troll, cold and cruel. She narrowed her eyebrows and crossed her arms, slightly leaning to one side. "Don't you dare lie to me, Oliver. I heard the thud from in the bathroom. I know something happened in there. Now spill." Olli stared down at his hands, rubbing his thumbs around one another. "Well... when I was in the bathroom the pants fell off the sink and onto the floor. I tried to grab them, but I fell out of my chair and landed on my bad leg. It hurt really bad." Millie kneeled down to his level and placed her hands on his. "It must have hurt. But Oliver, it's okay if you need help. What would have happened if you had gotten hurt really bad and I didn't know? I would have no way to help you. Next time let me know so I can help. That's what I'm here for." "I'm sorry..." Nurse Millie jumped up and put her hands on her hips. A small grin crawled across her face and Olli just stared at her, his face twisting in confusion. "Hey Olli, want to do something fun before you mom gets back?" Olli nodded, "Good. Now, how about this, do you want me to take you to the kid's lounge?" Oliver almost jumped out of his chair. He hadn't been around anyone his age for weeks, and he really wanted some friends to play with. Now, this was his chance to meet and make some. "I'll take by that awed expression of yours, that your answer is a yes." Olli giggled and Millie couldn't help but laugh along, "Well then let's get a move on, shall we?" Millie stood behind the chair and gripped the handles. She opened the door to his room and led Olli down the hall.



Unveiling the Unknown

The Grey Oak

By Andrea O’Bryon

By Graham Stelow

He had seen a lot He witnessed terrible crimes His leaves were blood stained People came and went

Place what you know Next to how you know, And mix in a bit of who you know. Let sit for a couple minutes to ponder.

He witnessed terrible crimes He witnessed great love His leaves were blood stained Each year they grew more

Now that all ingredients are properly cooked in your thoughts, Assemble the facts. Draw your conclusions. Finally, mix all ingredients Together, To unveil the unknown.


He was very wise He had seen a lot His bark was dark grey His leaves were blood stained

A pinch of curiosity (preferably at the highest degree) Is all you need. Add a dash of the unknown. Gather the evidence, And arrange it like so:

He witnessed great love Each day people would come Each year they grew more He hoped to see the kind ones Each day people would come Sometimes they were nice He hoped for the kind ones Sometimes they were bad Sometimes they were nice He had seen a lot Sometimes they were bad His bark was dark grey




By Jaymi Salvo

By Nicole Schramm 31


Flash Fiction Contest Winner:

One of the subjects said: "I'm going to blink. You two keep eye contact with that thing." We both responded with an okay. We repeated this process until the second Class D member yelled, "Okay! We get it! Can we come out now?!" Nothing responded. I was scared out of my mind, and visions and hallucinations of good memories from when I was a kid started to pop up. A few seconds later he flopped on the ground, dead, as if the statue had snapped his neck. I heard the other Class C member say, "Okay, sorry man, but I can't do this anymore." I screamed at him. "Hey! What do you mean?" He didn't respond, but he slowly turned around, facing the wall. "Hey! Come on man, retain eye contact!" He didn't do anything. We were the only two left. If I blinked, one of us would die. My eyes were really starting to burn. As they began to tear up, I could almost see the veins popping out of my eyes. The pain was unbearable, so I made a dumb move. I blinked. I kept my eyes closed for a second, expecting the statue to get closer. Unexpectedly, it got the other guy, sending him to the ground. Now there were two people on the ground, dead. And I was the only one left. I let out a loud scream, demanding help. Nothing happened for about a second, until I heard the speaker say something, that sounded like distress. The large door opened, just enough to let me out and escape that area. As I fled down a mysterious hall, I ran into a door with a sign on the front. It had an a dilapidated, creepy picture of a humanoid creature on it. Next to it read, "SCP 096." Hm. Below it read: "Military grade weapons recommended in use

In October, students were presented with a flash fiction writing contest. The rules: write a scary story in fewer than 1,000 words which centers around the theme of fear. Of the many student entries, Alexander's Kister's was selected as the winner.

“The large, thick door closed behind us. Over the loudspeaker in the room, a man said to keep continuous eye contact with 173. A moment of silence fell over the three of us.�

Secure, Contain, Protect By Alexander Kister So today isn't going too well. And by "not going to well" I mean, I almost died not well. Once again, I was woken up by pounding on my steel door. I was practically delirious at the moment, and I got pulled out of my cell. It was like Deja vu. This time I was surrounded by highly armed security, and there were a lot. "Move along!" I heard behind me. It was a guard. "Oh, and by the way, we have the right to kill any disobedient test subjects, so don't try anything stupid." I got butterflies in my stomach when he said that. After a long walk throughout the building, I started to recognize the area that I had been in once before. Suddenly one of the armed men caught me standing still in my orange jumpsuit instead of walking with them. "Hey! Move along buddy! And if you are wondering why you're in the same test as yesterday, there is a reason." I started to catch up to the men. "May I know why?" I asked, with a little tremble in my voice. He turned around and looked at me. "Ugh. Okay, so one of the Class C members was supposed to test with 173 today, which is the thing you tested with yesterday..." My heart rate grew quickly. "...and the test subject committed suicide earlier today; he drowned himself in the toilet inside of his cell. Maybe he just couldn't take it anymore." He finished his statement as I was getting led to the same room as 173. The two other test subjects had "Class C" on their backs, while I still had Class D. The large, thick door closed behind us. Over the loudspeaker in the room, a man said to keep continuous eye contact with 173. A moment of silence fell over the three of us.



of visitation of room." I knew I shouldn't be in there — it was probably really dangerous. But it was my only way out, as no other exit surrounded me. I slowly turned the squeaky vault wheel on the door, and it locked with a big, cannon-like booming sound. I slowly peeked around the dark room as I opened the door, cobwebs covering my face as dust coated the inside of my lungs. When's the last time someone has been in here? I wondered. Finally, I spotted the creature in the far corner: it was unusually skinny and tall and made a rather disturbing whining noise, like either laughing or crying, but I couldn't tell. I then tried to sneak across the room, until a long, heavy string hit me in the face, startling me. I realized it was a light switch, so I pulled it, feeling the dust cover my fingertips. It made a loud click, echoing throughout the room. I then heard the creature say, in a demented tone of voice, “Who's there? Please leave me alone…” I did, of course. The light finally decided to flicker on, emitting only a small, glowing orb. It looked back from the corner and just glared at me... Right dead in the eyes. It deeply disturbed me, and I started to feel very distressed. After 10 seconds of staring, it jolted its entire body into a standing position and started to sprint at me, screaming. I ran as fast as I had ever run, heading toward the other door. Every step I took seemed so far away. It was still screaming, but it seemed like I was outrunning it. My chest started to hurt, and the dust particles entered my eyes, making them water. After what seemed like forever, I reached the exit. Hurriedly, I turned the heavy, thick, steel door open, ran through a little crack in the doorway, and shut it with all of my strength. I spun the wheel around, making sure it would stay closed. Just then I heard the loud thud of the creature hitting the door after that long, stressful run. It let out an ear-piercing screech, which was muffled through the door. I turned behind me down the hall, and saw another halfway opened door. Is someone here with me? I wondered, as I began accept my new life, my inescapable defeat.

“The light finally decided to flicker on, emitting only a small, glowing orb.”

A publication of: 35


Creatif Fall/Winter 2017 - Issue 1  
Creatif Fall/Winter 2017 - Issue 1  

Créatif is a student-led publication of all things compelling and creative. All featured works are original pieces by current Hartford Union...