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It’s Lit  

A literary  magazine  by  8th   graders  

Issue #1 Riddle: I don’t have eyes, but once I did see. Once I had thoughts, but now I’m white and empty? What am I? Read our next issue for the answer!

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1      







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It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


Short Fiction     Slightly  Scary  Tales  and  more!    

Eve  Starlight-­‐  Apocalypse  Project  2#:  A  Slightly  Scary  Tale     The  darkness  feels  almost  oppressive,   crushing  my  life  and  the  very  will  to  live  from   my  body.  Or  whatever  remains  of  me,  Eve   Starling.  I  can’t  seem  to  escape,  wherever  I  am.  I   can  only  assume  it's  a  forest,  or  whatever  is  left   of  one.  I  can  see  rubble  on  the  ground,  petrified   trees,  stumps,  small  skeletons,  and  even   sometimes  the  occasional  human  remains.  All   of  which  are  rotting,  and  force  me  to  turn  away.   A  constant  reminder  that  there  is  no  hope.  No   escape  around  me.  Yet  the  sky  still  turns  blue   and  cloudless,  and  at  night  it’s  starkly  silent,   but  at  night  I  have  to  run  under  the  mocking   stars  to  escape  the  creatures  that  killed  the  rest   of  my  group.  This  forest  had  a  purpose  once.  

It’s been  abandoned  from  a  time  before  me,   before  anyone  I  knew  or  anyone  I  used  to   know,  considering  it’s  been  about  two  months   now  and  the  rest  of  my  groups  been  eradicated.   I  shiver  at  a  breeze  and  manage  to  take   another  step  forward.    Just  one  more  step,  then   another,  then  more  after  that…  this  routine   seems  to  be  the  only  thing  that  keeps  the   madness  at  bay.  It’s  slowly  approaching   sundown,  and  another  day  is  ending.  I  don’t   know  if  I’ll  be  able  to  keep  running  tonight.   Terror  and  fear  are  so  much  easier  to  give  into   than  hope.  Hope  causes  too  many  falsities.  I   don’t  have  time  for  falsities.  I  only  have  time  to  

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


“A constant   reminder  that   there  is  no   hope.”  

survive. I  hear  a  loud  click  echo  through  the   forest.  I  don’t  even  have  the  strength  to  jump,   or  even  feel  as  much  fear  as  I  used  to.  I  start  at  a   slow  pace,  but  I  can’t  go  much  faster.  I  look   around  for  the  light  and  see  it  through  the   trees.  If  I  can  get  there,  I’ll  be  safe.  The   creatures  can’t  get  to  me.  Then  I’ll  get  food  and   clean  water.   My  knee  gives  out  and  I  collapse  to  the   ground  and  roll.  I  have  to  bite  my  lip  to  avoid   yelling.  My  already  shredded  jeans  have  a  new   blood  stain  on  them.  I  can  see  the  hundreds  of   thin  white  scars  stretching  across  my  leg,  and  a   new  one  letting  droplets  of  blood  stain  my   ragged  pants.  I  stand  up  as  quickly  as  I  can,  but   I  can  hear  the  metallic  screeching.  I  won’t  make   it  in  time.  I  have  to  accept  this.  I  won’t  go  down   without  trying.  My  knees  threaten  to  give  out   again  but  I  break  out  into  a  run,  going  as  fast  as   I  can  to  the  light.  I  hear  another  screech  as  a   creature  steps  out  in  front  of  me.   It  takes  all  I  have  to  stop  myself  from   crashing  into  it.  The  creature  robotically  clicks   its  head  to  the  side.  This  one  has  two  long   slashes  where  eyes  should  be,  a  grinning  mouth   with  rusty,  jagged,  and  blood  stained  fangs.   Instead  of  a  nose,  there  is  another  gash,  except   it’s  possible  to  see  a  disgusting  grey-­‐green   liquid  moving  slowly  through  tubes  that  run   through  the  entire  creature.  The  creature  is  on   all  fours,  although  one  of  its  hands  looks  almost   human,  and  that  hand  is  twitching  like  it’s  alive.   It  looks  like  it  had  two  ears,  but  one  was  

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It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


Subject: Eve Starling Subject Title: Test Subject Number One (Has won 15 Tests as of Test 18) Recent DataSurvived Test Eighteen: Three Months, Two Weeks, Three Days, Seventeen Hours, Four Minutes, Forty-Eight Seconds Success:. Body is to be Reused for Test Nineteen, Reuse Survival/Factual Memories Thoughts: Maybe Humanity will have a chance now with her… Sixty-Two Tests Left Signing out: Scientist Harcen Thorn, Apocalypse Project 2#

running down  its  blood  splattered  neck.  It’s   completely  covered  in  a  grey-­‐green  matted  fur   like  substance.  From  deep  within  the  eye   slashes,  a  red  light  pulses. I  automatically  cringe  away.  This  looks  like  the   one  that  killed  off  Jacobi  and  Sierra.  Most  likely   it  is  the  same  one.  I  try  to  back  off  but  it  springs   forward  and  jabs  one  of  its  animal-­‐like  paws   into  my  thin  leg.  It’s  claws  burrow  deep  and  I   screech.  My  vision  becomes  tinted  black  and   red,  and  dots  of  light  dart  across  what  I  can  see.   I  use  my  arms  to  push  it  away  with  as  much   strength  as  I  can  muster.  It  drags  its  claws  out   slowly,  leaving  gashes  down  my  leg.  I  start   limping  towards  the  light  again,  but  I  hear  a   metallic  screech  and  the  creature  is  next  to  me   again.  It  has  a  tail,  and  this  tail  is  clicking  back   and  forth.  Part  of  the  tail  is  missing  too.  It  turns   its  head  and  digs  its  teeth  into  my  other  leg.  I   can’t  help  it  when  I  fall,  screaming.  My  blood  is   turning  black  and  I  realize  there  is  no  coming   back.   They  planned  for  this.  Whoever  placed   me  here  planned  this  out,  meant  for  me  to  die.   The  black  blood  meant  that  poison  had  been   added  to  the  claws  of  the  creature.  I  turned   away  from  it  as  the  creature  ran  its  claws   across  my  back.  I  screamed  at  the  top  of  my   lungs,  although  I  knew  no  help  would  be   coming  for  me  anytime  soon. I  hear  a  sound  and  weakly  look  up.  A   ghostly  pale  figure  is  weaving  through  the   trees,  and  as  they  approach  me  I  still  cannot   make  out  a  form,  but  I  hear  voices.  Everyone   that  died  here,  it  sounded.  I  don’t  feel  as  the  

creature closes  its  jaws  around  my  neck.  The   figure  takes  my  hand  and  I’m  gone  as  I  hear   bones  snap,  and  a  body  go  limp  beneath  the   spirit  and  I.  I  look  down  in  time  to  see  the   creature  collapse  next  to  my  body  and  fade  to  a   pile  of  ash.  The  spirit  looks  at  me. “You’ve  succeeded  again,  Eve.  Congrats.   You  shall  be  used  for  nineteen  in  approximately   two  days,”  it  says  to  me  and  I  nod,  all  the  test   memories  coming  back.  My  “spirit”  fades  into   darkness,  before  it  rejoins  the  room  of  other   ‘spirits’,  who  pat  me  resignedly  on  the  back.  We   are  all  just  humans,  who  are  slowly  losing  our   humanity  to  these  tests.  They  use  our  “‘spirits”’   to  run  the  tests.  Every  time  we  lose  someone.   Seems  since  Jacobi  lost  so  early,  he’s  gone.  I  have   won  again.  I  always  win.  I  always  keep  my   humanity.  My  name  is  Eve  Starling,  and  I  am  a   test  subject  for  Apocalypse  Project  2#.

  By:  Claudia  Field     Claudia’s  an  8th  grade  student  in   Pennsylvania.  She  enjoys  reading,   writing,  and  heavy  sarcasm.  

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


The  Christmas  Party:  A  Slightly  Scary  Tale   It was 9 o'clock on a Saturday, the 24th of December, otherwise known as Christmas Eve. Every year my family has a huge splendid Christmas party with my entire family. Of course there are a lot of young kids in my family and they want to go to bed for the “next day”. That means by 9 there are only about 10 people left, most of which are my really close family. By 10 o’clock The party still was made up of eight people. We were sharing stories about how our lives were going like most family events in my family. This one was different though, I just did not feel relaxed and calm like past Christmas Eves, I felt as if someone was watching me. This was a feeling most people feel when they are uncomfortable. On top of this, I kept hearing dull thumps all around my house that continued to unease me. By 11 o’clock, my feelings of unease had started to spread to the whole group left at the party. We started whispering(by the way whispering always freaks me out), whenever we would hear the thumping we would stop talking and listen to it, then we would reflect upon what we were experiencing as conversation. Of course at one of the thumps I saw something at the corner of my eye. When I looked at it I saw a large dark figure for no more than a second before it disappeared in front of my eyes. By 12 o’clock, these little things kept continuing. I would see something outside or I would see something at the corner of my eye. Then I heard the grandfather clock go off, followed by the first ding. Only I could have sworn I heard a creak from the bottom of the steps. With the second ding I heard another creak from the bottom of the steps, only slightly louder. This then made me remember something, when my family built this house I had to buy the materials for the steps. I remember the number like my age; it was 12, there were twelve steps. My heart started pounding as I realized that I was not imagining anything. I counted each ding as if they were a year apart, and sure enough with each one the

exactly the twelfth ding, the electricity went out and I could no longer see if there was someone in my house….or something. The steps in my house allow you to only see the top step from where my family was sitting. For all we knew, there was something else than us in that deep dark room. Sinister thoughts began to come into my head as I sat here in the dead silence. Then I started to smell what smelled like shaving cream and rotting corpses. My aunt decided that she would be the first to light up the room. She then pulled out her phone and turns on the screen to illuminate the room. What happened next was the most terrible moment I have ever lived through, standing in the middle of the room were three rough looking men in ragged Santa Claus Costumes. I had no time to act as they simultaneously grabbed us and shoved us downstairs. They had grabbed me, my uncle, and my dad. My uncle and my dad, both being grown and muscular, fought off the intruders. Yet I was young and weak and they were able to push me into the miles of open woods surrounding my house. Once in the woods, I was stuck with a sharp pain as my confusions slowly died and I drifted into sleep. When I woke up, I was in a abandoned house where there were three things standing in front of me. In the middle of the three things stood a thing, this thing appeared to be 8 feet tall and had a very detailed face. Those details were not good, they were terrifying to the point of insanity. I screamed as I looked into the eyes of pure evil. I felt as if it’s face was worse than any torture that could have been used on me. The thing then said in a fitting dark voice, “You will become a slave of humanity forever”. “What do you mean?” I said, trembling. “You will hunt people who are rejoicing on day of such disgust like today, and you will torture and kill those people you find,” he said.

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


I then realized why those people tried to kidnap my family; they were doing the orders assigned by something I can only describe as the Devil himself. I knew I could not participate in evil activity such as this so I made a mad dash out the slight crack in the window of the house. After running for five minutes straight I realized that he was not chasing me, surprisingly. Then I was able to locate myself and it took another ten minutes to get back home. When there I was greeted by my scruffed up family and what looked like the entire police department. Of course they asked me to tell the story and show them where the house was, but I told them, “Wait till tomorrow”. It’s been a month since the incident and all the investigations have been settled, they did not find anyone, but they did find the abandoned house. I decided to pay the house a visit to see if there was anything left and all I found was a note. “You can run but you can't hide”

By Parker  Sarge     th

Parker is an 8 grade student who plays basketball, plans to be the president of the United States, and is incapable of whispering.

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


The Foretold  Kidnapping:  Miscellaneous  Short  Fiction  

It was dead silence for two hours. My conscious felt trapped inside a dark room. I was numb from top to bottom. I slowly make a crevice under my eyelids. I look around the room rather nonchalantly. The room was pitch black as expected. Getting kidnapped wasn’t unprecedented for me. In fact, this has probably been the fifth time it happened. It feels like a routine now. The events are all the same. Ambushed in the trees ready to attack me. The world goes blank and I drop to the floor. Then wake up finding myself tied up the same way in stereotypical crime movies. You may be wondering why I witnessed so many kidnaps. The identity I was born with may be the reason. But that’s a whole ‘nother story for another day. I was familiar enough with the situation, I know they will come to my rescue. And at the same moment “BANG!” The door flies open nearly breaking it. I look up and smirk. They’re here. My bros. The Ninja Turtles.

By Amy  Chen     th

Amy is an 8 grade student who is in NJHS and is currently discovering the wonders of Harry Potter.

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


Love Doc  Wes  Martin       If  you  have  a  romantic  questionnaire  for  Love  Doc  Wes  Martin,  write  it   down  on  a  piece  of  9”  by  12”  cardstock  paper  and  leave  it  in  the   abandoned  lot  behind  the  Mexico  City  Holy  Church  of  Christ  on  the   second  Tuesday  of  December  in  the  year  2012.  

“You don’t  want   her  to  get  bored   of  you,  that’s   what  marriage   is  for.”   -­‐  Love  Doc  Wes  Martin  

Dear Love Doc, I have been in a relationship with a lovely girl for a while now, and I really like her, but I am afraid she is starting to lose interest in me. We have been going on less dates and she always seems cold and distant when we do get to spend time together. What is a poor man like me to do? Sincerely, Matthew Knowles

Dear Matt, It seems like you need to hook her back into your relationship. Love Doc’s secret to a long and healthy relationship is simple: keep it exciting. You need to mix things up and keep it fresh. You don’t want her to get bored of you, that’s what marriage is for. One thing you must do is spice up your date nights. Instead of taking her on a boring dinner date, arrange a circle of spoons on your kitchen floor and sprinkle pickle skins over them while chanting praises to our great lord Jormyll. Or instead of taking her to the movies, take her to your local bakery and tell the man working at the counter that you love the summer weather in Tunisia. He will take you to the back room and let you bathe in the cookie batter. As you descend into the cookie batter, take her hand in yours. Lean in close, and whisper in her ear “Frosted Flakes- They’re Grrreat!” as you sink beneath the light brown waves of cookie batter never to be seen again. Best Wishes, Love Doc Wes Martin

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


Matthew Bailey…  Exposed!     Matt  Bailey  is  a  community  educator  for  Safe  Berks,  a   safe  place  for  men  and  women  affected  by  abuse.     He  made  a  great  impact  on  us.  

• How did you become interested in working for Safe Berks? I became interested in working for Safe Berks because the person, who is now my supervisor, made an announcement at my church that they were looking for a new educator. I’ve always been interested in education, and the more I read about the values that Safe Berks has, the more interested I became because those values line up with my own. • How long have you been working at Safe Berks I will have been with Safe Berks for three years come February. • Do you have any friends or family members working with you? I didn’t really have any friends or family here before I started, but as you work with co-workers every day, often times they do become your friends. Sometimes the best and longest lasting friendships are forged in a work environment. • Is it hard to work there sometimes? It is definitely difficult to work here sometimes. When you hear the things that other people have gone through, it changes your perception of the world a bit. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that there

are good people out there when you see so much bad. That’s called vicarious trauma. Sometimes you just have to get away from the job to remind yourself that not everyone is in an unhealthy

unhealthy relationship, and that most people are not abusive. Also, another difficult thing is trying to convince certain places that we are needed. I’m not going to call out any names… but there are certain places in Berks County that believe that our educational services aren’t needed because they don’t have any issues like the things we talk about… when of course that’s not true. Every school has these issues. • Approximately how many people do you help every day? Well, my job isn’t geared towards helping people who are trying to get out of an abusive situation, although there certainly is a good amount of that which happens anyways. My job is to educate people to think about the mindset that leads to abuse so they don’t become abusive someday, and to educate people so they feel empowered enough to stand up for themselves. On a good day, I could probably talk to about 150 or so people… the way that I did with your classes. As far as the people here who help, we’ve got counselors, legal advocates, and folks up in the safe house who make sure that the people who need help can find it here. As far as how many people the agency helps every day… That number can easily be in the hundreds. All of our services are free, and everything that is said here, stays here.

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


• How long do people stay there? Is there a time limit for how long they can live there? People can live in our shelter for 30 days. Usually people stay as long as they can. Sometimes they will get in contact with someone who can pick them up and take them somewhere safe… sometimes they don’t. The whole time that people are here, we are working to get them to the next place that they will go. Imagine unexpectedly moving to a shelter one night in January, and then living in a different state by February. Thirty days isn’t really that much time for someone to completely change their life.

people are just scared… for good reason. Sometimes people are just confused. It can be anything really.

• What’s the most serious problem you ever had to deal with? What did it result in, if anything? I don’t know if I really have an answer for that one. I can think of one of the saddest things I’ve seen…(one of them, because there are a lot of sad things). I was called to go to the hospital to offer our services to a woman who had just been beaten up by her partner. You know how when someone punches you in the eye, and the skin darkens around it… the entire top half of her face looked like that. One thing you have to master here is checking your emotions and checking your face. As shocked as I was, I couldn’t let her know. When we asked her how it happened, she told us repeatedly that she fell on the television… when it was obvious that… that wasn’t what happened. The best we could do then was to let her know that she was safe with us, and that she could talk to us, and no one else would know what was said unless she

• How many people does your shelter hold? Our shelter holds 50 people

wanted that. We left her our information hoping she would call. I don’t know if she ever did. In a situation like that… the important question to ask is not… “Why is she with that guy?” The more important question to ask is… “What makes anyone think that it’s ok to do this to another person?” My goal is to help people understand that things like this are not ok, and no one deserves to be treated like that.

• What is the most common problem someone has when they come? Probably the most common problem we see is that people have just gotten fed up with emotional and/or physical abuse, or sometimes

• Are there any improvements you want to do to help your agency? Of course. I would like to have our education department in more schools. The more people that we can teach to respect boundaries, recognize signs of abusive relationships, and create healthy ones, the less people we will see come through our doors who have been hurt and have nowhere to go. Our goal is to end abuse, and I would like to do that through expanding our education.

• How long do you work every day and how many days a week? I usually work 8-5, but sometimes we have presentations that are before 8, after 5, and even on a Saturday sometimes. When that happens I have to take a little time out of a regular day so my total work time for the week adds up to 40 hours. For instance, let’s say I have a presentation from 6-8 pm on a Thursday. I can take those 2 hours and either come in late or leave early on another day. I usually work 5 days a week. • Do you have a part time job? If so what is it? I play my guitar and sing in bars, cafes, restaurants… “barstaurants,” parties, etc. I also host open mics, and do a little bit of dj-ing/mc-ing at weddings… things like that. • Are some situations more difficult to deal with?

Of course some situations are more difficult to deal with than others. Everything is relative. Here’s one thing I always like to remind myself of though. Just because something is difficult, it doesn’t meant that you shouldn’t do it. You should always do the hard thing if ultimately, it’s the right thing to do. • Is this the only job you have ever worked for or did you ever work somewhere else before Safe Berks? My career path has been a bit… unorthodox. I’ve worked about 15 jobs (or more) throughout my life doing everything from retail, to food service, to graphic design, to security, street performance, manual labor in

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


in factories, door to door sales, and of course music and education. Safe Berks has definitely been a turning point for me, as I really feel fulfilled doing this work, especially when I get to reach students like you all. One thing that you can learn from me is that you should never settle. If plan A fails, there’s always plan B. If we were to continue to go through the alphabet while discussing my life, I’m probably on plan W right now… and it feels good to know that I kept going, and I can keep going.

If you  or  a  loved  one  is  experiencing  abuse,  we  urge  you   to  contact    Safe  Berks.           Interview  arranged  by  Camille  Bertin  and  Kit  Jackson.  

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


The Poetry  Dungeon     The  deep,  dark  abyss  for  all  your  poetry  needs.  

“Bad And  Boujee  –  The  Clean  Version”   Rain Drop Drop Top Paul Blart is a mall cop The mall has a gamestop Where I bought a new robot That showed me the news drop Man shot by a white cop His body went drop drop I then used a photo crop To create a new instagram flattop Went to an IHOP To watch a movie that flopped Some guy started to eavesdrop About my new rooftop I then went to cook some soursop Which is cooked in a crockpot Which is made in a sweatshop For what happened to the toyshop It was brutally stopped By a rude shortstop Who is watching the snowdrop As the world changes from raindrops For at the top of the mountaintop There lay a young Bishop I am the Bishop By Parker Sarge

It’s   Lit  –  Issue  #1    


Story Of  My  Life     Creative  nonfiction  that’ll  make  you  laugh,  or  cry,  or   maybe  both.  

“Living With  the  Liskeys:  Emma”   My sister Emma is a trouble maker. When she found out my dad bought a big pack of cookies in his study, she decided to take action. Here's the thing, my sister really liked those cookies, so naturally, she decided to steal some. One night while my parents were away, she kept disappearing. I couldn't figure out where she was going. Turns out, she would sneak into my dad's study and grab a couple cookies. Well, my dad found out. When he questioned her, she said the dog did it, but she knew that I knew that she gobbled those up. A week or two later I wanted my sister to do something so I said, “ I might just tell dad that you ate his cookies and blamed it on the dog.” Then out of nowhere my dad walks out and says, “Wait, what just happened.” Although he was a little angry, he had a grin on his face. My sister became enraged. She burst into tears and threw everything that she could reach at me. I was just sitting on the couch dying of laughter. I could barely breathe.  

By Ethan  Liskey    

Ethan is  an  8th  grade  student  whose  strengths  include   lip-­‐syncing,  laughing  hysterically,  and  trying  to  get  his   ELA  teacher  married.      

Lorem   Ipsum  

Lorem Ipsum  Dolor     This  is  us.   Photo  cred:  Kit  Jackson  

It's Lit - January 2017  

A literary magazine composed solely from 8th grade students. We'll rock your world.

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