Tapestry Winter 2013
Table of Contents Fall Writing Contest Winners: 1st: The Looking Glass by Elise S. 2nd: Sparkles for Hope by Haley N. 3rd: How to Gain 50 Pounds by Janessa L.
Writing: A Collage of Nature by Hanna B. Bodie Griffin by Nicholas M. Color by Matt C. Contacted by Tori S. Development of the Individual by Asa P. Fighting Alone by Hannah B. No Rest for the Weary-Eyed by Ryan D. The Silver Key by Hannah B. Empty Room by Kelly J. The Wind by Cole S.H. Tom Thompson and the Turkey by Brett N. Translocation by Maria D. Wistful by Moira E.
Artwork by Caitlin M. and Nicole C.
Fall Contest: First Place The Looking Glass by Elise S.
Like Alice through the looking glass we gaze, Wishing to escape this life of charades. Blighted and berated we yearn to raze This malevolent milieu that degrades. The mirror calls us, a true temptation To oust all trepidation and reveal An Eden within it, our salvation: A place of peace, hope, and boisterous zeal. But what does it look like, this paradise? With no people and no places to match Does the glass tell the secrets that entice? Or vanish so that a glimpse none can catch? In truth, the chimerical place we seek Is that reflected back: grand, yet so meek.
by Caitlin M.
Fall Contest: Second Place Sparkles for Hope by Haley N.
The days blur in and out. The trips to Marshfield were taken conventionally. The situation was seemingly hopeless, which is basically what it was due to the fact ‘Hope’ was almost in a comatose state. Every day we looked at her, laying there, like a little bear in hibernation. Our fires were burning out. It’s almost as if the hour in the car is routine. Seeing the same trees making the transition to fall makes you lose your appreciation of the beauty and wonder. The path along the old, rusty train tracks seems rather dull as the silence rings in our ears. We make it to our destination, bracing ourselves for another day of no progress. Almost as if we are zombies, we drag ourselves through the cold metal doors. St. Joseph’s Hospital sure knows how to keep busy. The aroma of coffee and roses is present in the café at the entrance. Occasionally Mom and I stop for a warm, cinnamon infused chai, but not today. We scuttle to the elevator, where the third floor button is lit up, with little recollection of which of us pressed it. Our next destination is the Pediatric Unit. As we step out, phones are ringing and people are scurrying to destinations, ours is dead ahead. The overwhelming scent of hand sanitizer and latex floods our nostrils. I sit down on the scratchy, uncomfortable hospital chair. Balloons, flowers and stuffed animals cover the open space in the room. In the back of our minds there is still a faint, steady beep of Hope’s EEG, not necessary to catch her brain activity anymore. At least we no longer have to see the lines move up and down, which resembled those of an Etch-A-Sketch. As the hours melt by, and afternoon turns to evening, I step out to go get some dinner while Hope goes to physical therapy and leave mom to talk to Papa. The IVs are running in and out of her body. The similar taste of Subway’s ham, cheese and pickles makes its way down my throat. After some time, it is time to head back up. As I enter the room, I hand my mother her dinner. She thanks me and I sit back on the chair. Together in the room, we sit and talk. It’s almost as if Hope is an elephant in the room. I toy with my bracelets, because they are too tight and agonizing on my skin, almost cutting off circulation. It’s hard to say what will become of her, and how this is affecting us. Hope is wheeled in on her kid-sized wheelchair by one of the many nameless nurses. The nurse tells us how great Hope was. If only we could see the change.
“Yay Hope!” I say to her, wondering if she can comprehend what I’m saying. “Way to go Hope! I love you. Can you say I love you?” says Mom. “I love you mother!” says an almost forgotten voice. I look around, astonished. Was that really Hope? Did anyone else hear that? Am I dreaming? I look at Mom. We are both grinning like idiots. Why couldn’t Dad be here to experience this with us? Although, we were happy Papa was there. This is her first step toward recovery! Our last ray of hope is not gone…we were given something to keep us going. The virtue of patience was gained in knowing that good things come to those who wait. This was her turning point. She only got better from there, and now two years later she’s healthy as ever. I am now able to appreciate the health and wellness of my family on a greater level. I thank God for them every day.
by Caitlin M.
Fall Contest: Third Place How to Gain 50 Pounds by Janessa L.
Many people have a New Year’s resolution to lose that extra 50 pounds, but you may be the type of person who is looking to gain that extra 50 this year, or you have simply given up on yourself and you could care less what you do to your body. If you follow these simple rules to gain the extra 50 pounds you will be on your way in no time! First, what you want to do is completely eradicate all the leafy vegetables in your house, particularly the green ones. Follow by Caitlin M. this simple rule: if it’s green, it’s gross. Since you cleaned out most of your food supply, you have to go to the grocery store to get some more food. The moment you enter the store, you should jump on a battery powered cart and ride around in it because you don’t want to burn any more calories than you need to, to get to that extra 50! Take your little cart and go right past the fresh foods and deli area and straight to the chips and soda aisle. If you can’t pronounce it-EAT IT! So go nuts trying all the weird food. You’re going to need a large supply of soda and chips, so stock up. It may be cheaper to just buy a pallet of soda along with a pallet of chips. If you can afford it, there’s nothing like ice cream for breakfast, brunch, lunch, lupper, and dinner! Yum! You could sample every flavor there is of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. When you check out, be sure to grab a few extra candy bars at the cash register for your ride home. Avoid stopping at any healthy restaurant like Subway and go straight to McDonalds. It’s cheap and fattening, so order half the menu and supersize it all. When ordering your burgers, have them take the lettuce and pickles off them, because that’s healthy food. In the long run it will cost you less eating at McDonalds instead of Subway. Eating healthy will ruin your fat diet, so stick with the bad foods. Next, since you got the “scoop” on food, knowing a little bit about what you should drink might help you out. Fanta is the most popular soda among people who want to gain weight. In one bottle, Fanta contains 21.5 grams of sugar. Drink at
least one soda, every hour. It will not only provide you with an energized feeling but it will also give you your daily dose of orange. A thing to remember when you are on this fat filled diet is that water is bad for you, it is full of bacteria and it’s best to avoid it at all costs. A great substitute for water is drinking ten glasses of full-cream, wholesome nutritious milk. Lastly, is exercise. This is the last thing you need to worry about when it comes to your diet. A minimal amount of daily activity is needed to successfully complete your diet and make it worth it. The only exercise you should be doing is moving your hand from the chip bag and into your mouth. The TV should be on, and your butt planted to the couch. The most strenuous exercise should only be you getting off the couch to get more food. This part is very vital in your diet, you need to watch a minimum of ten hours of TV per day, and only walk when it is absolutely necessary, preferably when it’s a matter of life and death. Forgetting about personal hygiene is another great idea. It will make you develop a low self esteem, which will most likely cause you to eat more. But it is also a money saver, because you won’t really have to worry about utility bills and personal care items. If you are on this 50 pound diet, you will probably get fired from the job you currently have because of your expanding size and bad hygiene habits, so simply go out and get a desk job. You sit there all day, not exercising, and eating all you want. And with the little bit of extra spending money you will have from your desk job, you will most likely need to buy clothes that are three times bigger than the ones you are wearing now, but that’s no big deal; the more the merrier! Remembering and repeating these steps each day will get you on your way to being 50 pounds heavier in 30 days or less. Believe in yourself that you can do it, if you put your mouth to it. A cookie a day will keep the doctor away, and rot your arteries away!
A Collage of Nature by Hanna B.
I stared up the lumpy mountain, my eyes taking in the eternal horizon line of the peak, set against thick, swirled clouds quickly painted through the pale shimmering sky by the stroke of God’s hand. The sparkling sun rays soaked through my skin, streaks bouncing off the skyscraper like a game of ping pong. My bare feet dug into the sand, grains slipping through my toes and tickling my skin. I felt rooted in place, the sand slowly inhaling me, begging me to lie down and mold into its surface of crumpled rock. Shouts of both triumph and defeat swooshed around me, but I was oblivious to their feelings, my head focused on my one goal, my ambition. I took a deep breath, taking in the scent of scorched sand and dry, dusty air. Whizzes of picnic lunches and dripping ice cream cones, droplets drying and streaking on pudgy children’s hands, caused my taste buds to tingle. I took a deep breath and started the climb. Up the sand dune I journeyed, sweat beginning to drip down my warm, sun kissed skin. For every step I took, I lost three, the sand giving out beneath my feet. My toes, creatively decorated with dainty purple flowers, gathered sand at the edges, creating a rough surface across my feet. The climb was like walking up a staircase yet not moving anywhere, stuck in time, in the gentle breeze whipping strands of blonde ringlets around my head. The sand was a smiling hostess, welcoming everyone to her home. Footsteps stomped all over her every day, yet she stood still, waiting for a new path to be trampled up her spine. Each mound of rock had a story, a history of its own. So many memories held in secret, in peace, in her uneven landscape. You could feel the laughter visitors had left in her heart, accumulated over the years with marked footsteps as witnesses. I was about half way up, slowing down with every step I gathered. The sun, beating to the sound of its own drum, had taken its toll on me. My muscles contracted and told me they had reached their limit. My lungs gasped for the dry air that itched my throat. My legs gave out and I sank down, closing my eyes. Panting and coughing, I stretched my arms out. I buried my hair in the sand and lay still, listening to the whistling wind improvised tunes, and feeling the silent sun baking earth to a crisp. Time passed, and I opened my eyes to see darkness had covered the previous fiery sunshine bursting through the sky. Visitors whom I had seen near the top of the dune were now down by their vehicles, packing up. They looked like small ants, barely moving, just black specs in my line of sight down the steep, curved rock. Adrenaline rushed to my brain. I couldn’t give up. I couldn’t have come all this way for nothing. I had to finish strongly; I had to complete my task. Otherwise, what would it all have been for? A good story? Good stories aren’t enough. You must dig deeper, must search the depths of your soul for a reason. A reason to keep going, to smile, to bless people with kindness in return for
the gifts nature has given you. Stores make for short-lived enjoyment. Accomplishments make for your life, written on your heart and in your memories. The wind had grown stronger, and had raked the turbulent sand into neat rows, perfectly stretching down the mountain, like strokes of a paintbrush. I stood up and started running to the top. I had to reach it, had to stand there and know that I could do it. I closed my eyes but my feet kept on, faster and faster, putting dents in the windâ€™s strokes of sand. Suddenly I felt the incline change. I had reached the top, but I kept going. I ran across the landscape, with outstretched arms, feeling the wind seep through my bones and bring goose bumps across my skin. I came to a stop, spinning around, the night sky whipping around me, my eyes blurring everything in sight, my arms flailing through the air like propellers. The final blinks of the sunsetâ€™s blazing pallet shown on me. I smiled.
Autumn Color by Nicole C.
Bodie Griffin by Nicholas M.
Bodie could feel the chill of the frozen Canadian air begin to creep down his neck as the sun began to fall behind the tree-covered horizon, and, for the first time that day, he heard the howl of a Timber Wolf off in the distance. “There you are,” Bodie whispered to himself as he quickly got up, grabbing his backpack which he had been sitting on. It had been two months since his accident. He had been hunting the same pack of wolves, or more exactly, the same wolf, the one with the eyes like green fire. That wolf could have been his seventh wolf he had ever shot, and he would have done anything to get that lucky number seven. That driving ambition ultimately cost him the movement in his left leg after falling from a ledge while tracking the pack. Before losing consciousness at the base of the cliff, he could see the wolf with the eyes of green fire looking down on him. When he awoke, he became obsessed with the pack which his dream wolf was a part of. So after recovering from his fall, he began the long journey of tracking this elusive family. He knew it would take him many miles away from any human civilization; it would take him deep into the heart of the forest that no human had ever seen before. The fall had sprained his ankle, so it had taken him those two months to finally catch up to the pack, and that is where his story begins, on a hill at the edge of the world. This was the ultimate battle between man vs. animal. It was a fight Bodie didn’t plan on losing. “Faster, quieter, faster, quieter,” Bodie silently repeated to himself as he wound his way through the dense pines, alert for any sound that would tip him off to where the wolves were. “Aargh,” Bodie thought, cautious not to make any noise, “where could they have gotten to?” All of a sudden, from just off to his left behind a thick wall of trees, he heard the chilling sound of panting. Immediately, Bodie stood completely still, a statue in a forest of pines. Then, so slowly that his muscles began to ache, Bodie began to move towards the panting. As he got to the wall of trees, he got down on his stomach, his twelvegauge shotgun in his hands. And as he slowly brushed aside some branches, he saw a sight which he would never forget. The trees had been so thick that they had hidden a grassy valley, and in this valley, there was the pack. “Something’s not right,” Bodie thought to himself as he scanned the pack. “Where is he!” Bodie screamed at himself in his head, scanning and rescanning the pack, hoping to see just a trace of green in one of the wolf’s eyes, but it was not to be. None of the
wolves had even a speck of the green fire the wolf Bodie had been hunting for the past two months. “I might as well get one of them while I’m at it,” The disappointed and angered Bodie thought to himself as he lined up the sight on the biggest wolf of the pack. Then he heard it, a deep rumbling growl that seemed to shake the very ground he was lying on. Bodie rolled over onto his back just in time to see the largest wolf he had ever seen coming hurling out of the trees at him. He tried to bring his gun up to defend himself, but the wolf was too fast. It caught the barrel of the gun in its teeth, and with a supernatural strength, ripped it out of Bodie’s hands and flung it off into the bushes. Bodie immediately dropped his hands to his knife on his belt, but before he could even begin to draw it. The wolf had him pinned, one paw on his arm with the knife, and one paw on his chest. And as it dropped its head, Bodie noticed its eyes. They were like deep pools of emerald fire trapping him in its gaze. Bodie was unsure of how long he had lain there with the wolf pinning him to the hard ground, and the wolf’s breath hot against his face, and those eyes, those deep green eyes staring into his soul. Whether it was a minute or an hour, Bodie just stared into those eyes, eyes that had seen the very deepest parts of the wilderness and knew every secret that they held. And in those eyes, Bodie saw himself reflected a million times over. But then, just as quickly as the wolf had come, it left, leaving nothing but a thick musky scent that hung over the air like a fog. And as Bodie began slipping out of consciousness, he saw the wolf disappearing into the trees, with its pack following close behind. Later, as Bodie finally came around, he picked himself up, retrieved his gun from the bushes, and began the long journey home, knowing full well that he was never going to see those wolves ever again. When Bodie had entered those woods, he had gone in hoping to make the kill of a lifetime. Now, he walked out as a changed man. He was now a man that knew the limit on what was right and what was wrong. Finally, Bodie reached the edge of the forest two weeks later, he looked back on the vast expanse of wilderness behind him. And just as he began his descent into civilization, he thought he heard the faintest howling of wolves deep in the shadowy places of the forest.
Color by Matt C.
Living in the colorful country Driving that old beat up truck Getting all the corn to shuck Seems like I have been here for a century Getting up cutting old wood Using the family tractors Going in getting food Getting ready for winterâ€™s factors Growing old on that farm Getting up early to get the crops Covering the silos with their tops Living in the colorful country
by Caitlin M.
Contacted Part 1 by Tori S.
Hunting season. Hunting season is the best time of year. Every year, on the last day, the city waits and watches, recording who has and hasn’t survived the last three weeks. It’s twisted and I love it; I love watching the names light up on the screen and the corner ticker count down. I really love to see the number at the end of the day, hundreds of people, missing, presumed dead. I’ve seen the madness. I’ve been in The Forest. The creatures, night rovers and sky walkers, tear bits and pieces away from the hunters and build them into sick nests. The smell is awful. But, that’s not the reason I don’t hunt. They, the government, the queen especially, wouldn’t risk anyone so special. In fact, if I were caught in the forest I would be locked away, almost like Rapunzel, because I can’t be trusted. If they knew how many lives I’ve saved… No, I don’t think that would matter to the queen at all. The moon tried feverishly to smooth the sky, but the stars insisted upon shattering it. I turned my back to a tree and pressed my tunic firmly into the lichen coating the trunk. The earth vibrated beneath my feet and I jumped, startled by the sudden presence of a full-grown dilark, the biggest of all the sky walkers. The weirder part was that it was on the ground. Sky walkers aren’t called sky walkers for nothing; they all either fly or spend their time in the trees. Dilarks especially avoid the ground, except when they find an easy kill. The deep brown, massive wings are feathered only on the top side, and the muscular structure of the underside is exposed simply for intimidation. The weirdest part of the whole situation was the man it was holding in its beak. The man dangled by his arm from the beast’s curved beak, screaming and moaning, but the dilark made no attempt to devour him. The beast-bird carried him, almost as if it had some special treatment to apply to him later. I stayed grounded against the tree and calmed myself, creating as much energy as I could from nature, almost like photosynthesis. Deep within my core, I exploded. A force shot from my very soul, pounding against the vile creature, blowing straight through it. A fatal wound, Contact. “Tag it and run. Get away, you did not see me.” It is imperative that the man understands that point and that the collection crew does not question the origination of the wound. “Do not get into that situation again.” The man stuck an electric flare into the meat of the creature then sprinted into the darkness, not questioning or thanking me.
I heard hoots like small monkeys taunting the night rovers from above; the full moon makes them feisty. I wandered toward the border of The Forest, making sure the guards were distracted by something much more important than me, then I edged out and sprinted to my house. I led a life of luxury, solely because the queen wanted to protect my Contact from harm’s way, even if that meant forcing me into a miserable life guarded by men larger than some of the beasts. They were slow, though, mentally and physically. Consequently, I could sneak out every night without fail, either to The Forest or to see the boys by the fence. The boys over there were a wild lot, while the women were the most conservative in the region. Those women would never sneak out at night; they never even return late from church. Why the things in The Forest never ventured out, I have no idea. I would have killed them. Lord knows I’m better equipped to kill them than the hunters out there, but that doesn’t stop the months of enthusiastic training. It sounds like a punishment, hunting, but they all run eagerly to greet their imminent deaths. Tomorrow is the end of hunting season and we will all gather at the gate of The Forest to greet the survivors. This year I’ll be awaiting the return of the boys by the fence, but I’m sure they’ll all make it. Eleven of them total will march proudly back into the village and their kill counts will display on the screen. The cheers will echo through the townspeople as they do for everyone, no matter how disappointing the kill return. Wives, children, and family greet each hunter upon his or her return, but those boys have none of those things. I will be their only welcome. The women from their huts are always busy slaving over the return feast, but there’s enough hug in me for each and every one of them. Lukas, the eldest fence-dweller, was the first hunter to return and boasted a kill count of thirty-seven, nearing the record and impressing the villagers into stunned silence, an extremely rare feat. More than an hour later, the twin fencepeople, Darien and Darius, returned arm-in-arm. Their identically tanned flesh was stained with blood, though it didn’t appear to be their own. I greeted them with obvious favoritism over Lukas, almost knocking them onto their rears. For hours longer, there were no other returns from The Forest and the ticker stayed locked at four-thousand and the total kill hovered at fifty-nine. The day ticked away and minimal clods of hunters meandered back into town. By nine in the evening, the count had been reduced only minutely and the screen still blared over three-thousand remaining in The Forest. In all my life, there had never been more than a thousand missing at this time of night and a panic set into me. If they did not return soon, we would lose over half of our village’s population, almost all of our workers and teachers.
Two-hundred seventy-two kills, only Two-hundred seventy-two beasts guaranteed dead. With so few killed, what would stop them from entering our village? What would stop them from killing our women? Our children? Exactly the same thing that stops them from killing our hunters: nothing. Our only defense would be me. My energy only lasts so long, and then I would have to sit by and watch our city burn. A vision entered my mind. The image showed the rarest of all the night rovers, the reaper. As far as I’ve seen, it is the only night rover with fur and the only that does not strictly roam at night. I have only encountered reapers twice, and each of them had a victim within inches of their grasp. A young reaper stood ten feet tall, and adults could get over twenty; reapers are not to be trifled with. What if a colony of reapers had come across our hunters as they entered The Forest? Surely that would explain the low return. But, there was a problem. Reapers aren’t pack beasts. Reapers are even known to turn on each other and have strong cannibalistic tendencies, probably why they’re so rare. But, rare or not, they’re tough. The screen counted down until midnight, 3… 2… 1… The final statistics of this season flashed, occupying the entire display: MISSING: 3,107 KILL COUNT: 1,045 SEASON KILL RECORD: 37 ALL-TIME KILL RECORD: 39 Over three quarters of our hunters failed to return. Even I’m not twisted enough to enjoy that. Something had to be done. “PRINCESS, NO!” But I was already gone.
Development of the Individual by Asa P.
Individuals are comprised of many genes, memories, ideas, and experiences. How a person has lived and what friends and family the person has followed (or rebelled against) will influence the individual for their life. My life’s story starts with my first memory. I was about two years old. My family and I were in the backyard with our dogs. My dad has kept German Shepherds for years, and at the time had a big black male named Lobo and a longhaired sable female named Schatze. Setting my twin brother and me up next to a tree, my dad told his dogs to sit and took a picture. The picture hung on our wall for years. As I grew up, my mom always had books for me to read. I read books like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Call of the Wild much earlier than age-appropriate. Jack London and Gary Paulsen were a couple of my favorite by Caitlin M. authors. I loved the stories of survival and adventure. They made me want to run away and live in a tree somewhere, even though I had nothing to run away from. Training dogs is another hobby of my dad’s. Once a week, I’d go to a dog training building in Amherst and find things to do while my dad worked on agility and obedience. The training building was owned by a family friend, and they also owned sheep and horses. I would go out with green grass from outside of the pasture and feed the bravest of the sheep, sometimes sneaking a pat on their wooly coats. I had a few influential friends as I went through grade school. One of them, who I met in 4th grade, helped me embrace the unusual. Her mom was from Louisiana and followed the religion of an Indian mystic. She was the kind of preteen who made shoddy dream catchers and wanted to write poetry in the sunset. Being close friends with this friend led me to be a person more into Rasta than Aeropostale. My first real job was working at a dog grooming place this summer. A family member owns the business and gave me a job. I washed and dried mutts and
vacuumed up hair. Far from the most glamorous employment, it fit me. I put the money I earned into a college account. Mom loved shopping for antiques and reading. She also loved adding witty comments on Facebook statuses. However, she didn’t realize she had to click the “post” button, so lots of her sparks of genius were left to burn out. My mom died two years ago from lung cancer. Losing my closest friend was an experience that brought me strength and the reminder that I can live through any hard time. The experiences I’ve had are unique, as are those of any person. I’ve lived through good and bad. My family and friends have shaped the person I am today. I know that life is full of experiences and people, and I’ll keep changing as I continue to experience and discover.
Fighting Alone by Hanna B.
The day the diagnosis arrived, mother cried. A lumpy yellow package stuffed in the mailbox, with Elizabeth Johannsen scribbled impersonally in maroon ink. Wrinkles were engraved into the paper, as if it had circumnavigated the mail room in careless hands. Mother asked why they didn’t call instead. Father cursed at the moon. I asked Why me? The cancer diagnosis. I had two months to live. I hadn’t done anything notable in my fourteen years. Now I only had two months. Mother searched for comfort in sympathy from others, as if their hardened looks and shallow words would change me. They couldn’t understand. Soon it spread throughout the school. Pointed fingers shot at me and consoling smiles pardoned my way. I left a trail of air behind me, crowds parting and whispers seeking. It was the quietest it had ever been. It didn’t take the teachers long to notice. From that time forward, they smiled at me, learned my name, and never called on me for an answer. After all, I wasn’t going to use Geometric Proofs in the last two months of my existence. My world came to a stop. I stopped caring, my mother kept crying, my father tightened his jaw and looked over my shoulder. I walked home everyday to a somber house filled with a dead atmosphere. Soon I woke up with locks of curls resting on my pillow. One by one they left me alone, bare and perishing. The stubborn ones stayed behind and turned a revolting yellow, bristling up to the roots. The next month my legs gave out frequently. I was short of breath and tired. The bags under my eyes sunk farther back into my hollow, bony face while my lips thinned and paled. The looks would have stopped at school, but now my physique was the display. I was the poor, freak girl who was dying. No one offered me anything except remarks at my back. I had never had close friends, but now I was an embarrassment, a problem soon to be finished off. My stomach caved in, my legs narrowed, my eyes widened as the whites turned a sickly mucus shade. My arms hung lankily at my side while my bony rib cage broadcasted through my shirts. I was shrinking, little by little, to the jaws of death. I stopped eating. Mother let me do as I pleased while attempting to not face her daughter’s last days. I lost weight by the hour and felt weaker by the minute. I dreaded walking, as if I fell, I couldn’t stand up. I dreaded sitting, because I
couldn’t stand up. I was living in a hole I couldn’t escape from. I was alone, and no one reached out. One day I was in the bathroom, staring at my reflection. I fell. I could not get up. I lay on the cold tile, closed my eyes, and prayed my first prayer. I waited hours until Mother got home and found me, a collapsed heap. She looked away as she helped me up and laid me in the backseat. Now that I was immobile, my last senses picked up the roughness of the pavement, the roar of the neighboring engines, the smooth felt of the seat beneath me. We arrived and mother pulled in and got out. I lay, abandoned, listening to the simultaneous chirping of the soaring birds. Free, joyful and carefree. I wished I could transform into one of them, and just fly away from everything. Paramedics opened the doors and hoisted me onto a stretcher. Patients stared as myself, the small, sickly girl, was pushed towards intensive care. One little girl, about seven, smiled at me. I smiled on the inside, no longer able to show my emotions outwardly. I saw her tug on her mother’s skirt and point to me before I rounded the corner and left her innocent eyes behind. My room was small and tidy, exactly how I by Caitlin M. hated it. No color, no cards, no flowers, no anything. I slept and watched television as IVs were inserted into my wrists, shots shoved into my arms, monitors hooked to my chest, tubes thrown down my throat. It was useless, as none of them could stop the approaching day when it would end. The day I would end. Mother came, Father too. They stared, their eyes scared and helpless. I asked them to hold my hand and they did, gently, like I was a tower of cards that would topple over any second. My skin turned papery white. I was a young mind in an aged body. I was stuck. I couldn’t get up, couldn’t drink water without assistance. I was embarrassed and angry. One night a nurse came in to check my pulse and I exploded. I kicked, screamed, swore. I released the built up furry from this horrific thing inside me. I had nothing. I wanted to die. Right then and there. Help rushed in to calm me and I hurt every helping finger in distance. I said things I regretted, did things that hurt me,
too. My mind entangled itself with thoughts that would deprive any living being of will. They finally got something through my IV that put me to sleep for the night. I woke up the next morning with bands on my ankles and my arms strapped down. Now I had lost everything, even their trust. I heard gossip outside my door that afternoon. My parents had been called during my moment, and they hadn’t even come. They didn’t care about me now, how I felt. They were trying to get on with their lonely lives while I was still there. In their minds, though, I was gone. That night I had a dream. I was an eagle, soaring above the treetops, aloof in my own world. The limits were the sky. I could fly anywhere. I could escape. But there were nets, closing in little by little. I couldn’t find a hole, a loop. I couldn’t leave. They closed in, tightening their grips on my mind, my body, my soul. I couldn’t think, hear, see. All I knew was that it was over. They had won. The cancer had won. Little a battle I had fought, but it still overtook me, accelerating by the moment until I was strangled and blacked out. I awoke with drops of sweat gliding into my eyes, my arms and legs shaking uncontrollably. A monitor started beeping, faster and faster until I couldn’t think quietly to myself. My mind felt like a spectator to the alien feelings my body was experiencing. I had lost control of everything. Even my thoughts seemed as if they were surrendering to the trap my body was setting. The cancer was a monster, eating me alive from the inside out. It roared and gnashed, stole my strength, depleted my soul. The worst part was that there was nothing to stop it. No amount of guns, bombs, knives, medicines, shots, vaccines, doctors, no amount of love or prayers, nothing could stop it. When it had first started, it had already won. It was only a matter of time before it finished me off and could freely move to the next victim. I decided no. It wouldn’t stop me, it wouldn’t win this battle. I might die, but it would be because I had no army, just myself. But I would beat it. This time, I wasn’t going to be a statistic, an innocent victim, a young girl who experienced something she couldn’t help. No. This time, I would win.
No Rest for the Weary Eyed by Ryan D.
There isnâ€™t much, In this one life, That I might ask for, A house and wife, Or simply even the sun to rise, Sometimes tomorrow, Comes at surprise, Within the night, Sometimes I feel, That being itself could be surreal, Sometimes wrong, Or so I yield, In which case I carry on.
Veins of Fall by Nicole C.
The Silver Key by Hanna B.
My mind is a treasure chest Holding many secrets But they are all locked Locked away in my mind Locked away from the world The hidden weapon Is the silver key The silver key holds the way To unlock my mind To make me seek support To drain the heaviness Of my stressed mind The silver key is the answer The answer that holds my life My feeling, my thoughts Many try to find the key To open me up But no one has found it Because the silver key Is locked away With me The key is locked away in my mind For I donâ€™t want anyone To open me up To find the real me To unlock my soul From the prison That keeps me chained That blocks me from the world To unlock the prison Youâ€™d have to unlock my mind But that is impossible Without the silver key
by Caitlin M.
Empty Room by Kelly J.
A massive tan-colored building stood before me. As I observed my surroundings on the endless walk to the door, I thought about what I was leaving behind. There was no life in the yard. Instead, there were heaps of sand located where there should be grass; it was like a massive sandbox. At least there was one thing that wouldnâ€™t be so bad. Although the birds were chirping and there was a slight breeze, I could hear nothing but the sound of my familyâ€™s footsteps. A bright red leaf casually descended to the ground out of the corner of my eye and I looked up to be startled by the clashing colors surrounding me. Until now, I had failed to realize the changing of the leaves. It was fall. Summer was coming to an end and my life in an unknown place was beginning. The front door suddenly appeared in front of me. I looked to my father, and then to the nice gentlemen who was accompanying us while we viewed the house. His name was Roger and he was tall with light blue eyes and dark brown hair. He fumbled around in his pocket for a moment, and when he reached his hand out, he was holding a gold key that glistened in the sun. With a quick turn of his wrist, the door slowly opened. I stepped inside where it was much cooler. As I picked my foot up to take another step, my foot crinkled on something. My eyes shot down and I noticed I was standing on plastic; a whole bunch of plastic. I looked around and realized there was plastic covering the entire floor, even the stairs. I found this very peculiar and wondered who would be so odd as to put plastic on the floor of their house. Roger showed us around the house pointing things out in each room. I barely took notice to what he was saying. My mind was racing with ideas of how the house would look when we moved in. It was so barren; walls filled with empty space, rooms without furniture, and carpets without stains.
Lastly, we went upstairs, which consisted of a hallway, four rooms and a bathroom. My sisters were excited about this part. We were going to find out where we would spend countless hours of our lives during the oncoming years. I, on the other hand, was not so happy. Being the youngest, I always got the worst side of things. In this case, it was being gifted with the unwanted room. I stood silently in one room and listened as my sisters discussed which room they thought to be the best and why. I decided to myself that the room I stood in was the best. It had two windows, which out looked the front of the house. I stared at the sandy yard and thought about what it would become. Finally, one of my sisters poked her head into the room. “This is yours,” she said. I was so excited. For once the youngest curse turned out to work in my favor. I proceeded to sit in the doorway of my room. What I saw in front of me was an empty room that would soon define who I was. Then a thought struck me. “Who was I,” I wondered, “Who was I going to become?” I had realized now, after it all came down to it, I had the chance to be whoever I wanted. This house was the start of my life.
The Wind by Cole S-H.
I was swallowed by a whale. Its stomach is huge; there are nine monstrous ribs on each side bending and stretching all the way up to its massive spine. The spaces between the ribs are each about the size of a large bedroom. The spine, held in place by the ribs, floats tremendously high above everything. It is massive. It looks like a whale, but the masses of stiff, scratchy, itchy hay tell a different story. In all actuality, the whale is simply the inside of a hayloft of an old barn. The eighteen giant ribs are huge pieces of crudely cut lumber that jut out of the walls and bend rigorously to form the typical shape of a barn roof. Up close, the ribs look like whole trees with their bark ripped off; they are cracked and rubbed smooth with age. The spine is the topmost piece of lumber at the crest of the roof. It does float at a dizzying height, but unlike a true spine, it is as straight as can be, without a single sag. The amount of lumber is striking. In every direction, there is wood. The floors, walls, roof, and beams are all made of wood. If not for the couple of windows, which are just framed holes in the walls, there would only be an unbroken sea of wood—but it makes sense. The average barn must strenuously bear 120 pounds of hay per square inch! Persistently holding that much weight has made the muscles of this hayloft colossal. Not only are the ribs and spine oversized, but every inch of the walls, ceiling, and floor must be just as strong, and they look just as tough with their many bulging knots. The hay. The only purpose for the construction of this barn was to house hay, and that is exactly what it does—all 100 tons of it. The dry, brittle, itchy hay covers every single inch of the floor, and most of the walls are buried under it as well. It is so overpowering that its parched scent is the only detectable smell. Every foreign odor, from freshly mowed grass to freshly spread manure, fails to enter the space. The hay literally suffocates the barn. When just the slightest ray of sunlight slips into the space, it must plow through so much dust that I can actually touch the light. In the center, there are two tall plateaus of stacked hay bales on opposite walls. They look like a child’s building blocks, stacked to be stacked—without much care of structural integrity. Some of the bales are crisp and straight and stacked perfectly, but most on the edges have become ill with age. There once perfect form now looks limp, like worn out paper drooping off the edge of a desk.
On the ends, there are two cliffs of loose hay. They are so large and defining that the rest of the space appears almost empty. Yet, the empty space in between the plateaus and cliffs remains completely buried under mounds of loose hay and hay bales. In some spots the hay might be fifteen feet deep and in others just a few inches, either way it completely smothers the floor. This structure has to be massive to carry that much hay. So massive, that even on a windless day, it moans. Every beam, every plank, every joint randomly lets out a howl without warning. It sounds like a tired worker just wanting a break, but stuck crushed under the weight of the hay. However, on a truly windy day, it sings. It is almost as if the wind can ease its pain. It whistles through every crevice, slides in between every plank, and loosens all the joints of the old barn; not only does this massage the barn, but it also creates the most peaceful song. The song it sings might be far from a joyous song, but it is even farther from a sad song. Even though the sole purpose of this structure is work, it has taken on a lighter side. Off of each cliff, there are two swings. Their ropes dangle from the ribs like indolently hung laundry. They both have wooden seats and clearly allow the rider to effortlessly jump into the mounds of hay. Their wooden seats, much like the barn itself, have become old with age and have specks of bird droppings on them. Even the ropes are old, as they creak as the swing rocks back and forth. However, they definitely do not act their age. There are also the windows. They let little puddles of sunlight speckle everywhere, but more importantly, they let in the wind. Even on a cold day, the hay loft feels stiflingly hot in its thick coat of hay dust. At a window, the breeze feels like the most refreshing wave of water: offering a break from the airless, dusty contents the barn is forced to hold. The residents of this space might be the most playful in the world. The birds love to stroll high up on the ribs, spine, and window sills. They make the grandest entrances when they enter. First they need to flap their wings hard enough to slow their landing, which creates a noise so loud it echoes off of every plank of wood. Then, they need to scratch their claws into the wooden sill of a window, which sounds like a dull saw trying to cut wood but merely scratching the surface. Finally, they always need to let out a pompous squawk right before they ruffle their feathers and settle in. Then, there are the cats. Compared to the birds, the cats might as well be invisible. They emerge out of the crevices of stacked hay bales and prance over the mounds, merely creating a soft crunching noise. They pause and look around
after every couple of steps, as if they are being followed, before they once again disappear. The only intended function of this old hayloft is to hold hay. Many barns have become too tired to hold their hay, but this one has not. This old barn might have given up on its boring, exhausting job long ago if not for its lighter side. It lives not for the ungrateful, itchy hay, but for the birds, the cats, the speckles of sunlight, the swings, andâ€”most importantlyâ€”the wind.
by Caitlin M.
Tom Thompson and the Turkey by Brett N.
Tom Thompson was a 30 year old man living in Stevens Point. Though he dressed nicely and was very optimistic and happy, he was extremely poor. He lived in the slums of the city and barely ever had any money. Like everybody else, he had very big dreams for his future. He planned to become a super hero, and a super hero is what he became. It was a cold, dark night as Tom Thompson walked down the alleys of Stevens Point. It was so dark that he could barely see where he was going. “Ouch!” he exclaimed, as he tripped over a garbage can and fell to the ground. “I’ve had …” but his words were quickly silenced as he realized that he was not the only one there. “Who are you?” he called out into the darkness, but nothing happened. Tom was very afraid of the dark, so afraid actually, that one time in high school he had to be treated for mental illness. Suddenly he heard a voice from somewhere. “Hush child, I bring no harm, I am here to help you.” The stranger replied. “But I don’t need help; I’m actually doing very fine--thanks for the offer, though. Wow, look at the time I must be going now.” “Stop!” the man said. “Isn’t it your dream to become a super hero?” “Umm, maybe… Who are you?” Tom questioned. “I am one with the wind and wind with the one.” “What?” “I’m just kidding; they call me… the Large One.” As the man stepped out of the darkness Tom realized that this wasn’t any ordinary fellow. This was the Red Mystic Ranger from Power Rangers Mystic Force! It was quite obvious that the Ranger had not been working out for a while because he must have weighed at least 300 pounds. “Holy Shnikes! You’re…” “Shhhhh, yes, yes I know who I am. Listen this is
by Caitlin M.
urgent; because of my weight I have not been able to fight crime and I desperately need someone to replace me. Because of your skills and unrealistic crime fighting techniques, I believe you’re the man for it.” “M-m-me?” “No, the turkey behind you.” “Gobble Gobble?!” The turkey exclaimed. “Oh, I’m sorry, Turkey; I was just making a joke… I didn’t actually realize you were there. Umm I’m sorry, this is awkward…” The Ranger replied “Gobble.” The Turkey said as it spit at the Ranger and walked away. “Well that was weird… But you want me to be a Ranger?” Tommy exclaimed. “Yes Tom, it’s fairly obvious I want you to be a stinking Ranger.” Red Ranger said sarcastically, “Here’s the ring and the uniform--be good and use it for justice.” “Wait how do I use it?” But the Ranger was gone. “Stink.” Tom said. As he went to bed that night all Tom could think about was the ring. Finally, he decided to go check and make sure the ring was still where he left it. As he went to his underwear drawer Tom suddenly felt a pain in the back of his head and he blacked out. When he came to he realized that his ring was gone and the window was smashed. “Noooooooo!” He exclaimed. “I’ve doggone lost it!” When he went back to the window he noticed something that he hadn’t before. “What is this?” he wondered. As he picked it up it became very clear who had stole his ring. “The Turkey…” he whispered. “I will get revenge.”
Translocation by Maria D.
My job was done. The surrounding air was still and the walls looked like new again. The walls repeated every word spoken and every disturbance made around the house was confirmed by subtle movement of the nearest window. The kitchen walls, now empty, longed for the photographs, paintings and the old crayon stains that had inhabited the surface for so long. The walls longed for a disguise, a costume that hid their blank appearance, but my job was to pack the masks away. Fluttering all around me, my parents were carefully displacing, often By Caitlin M. disposing, of things like furniture, decorations, and miscellaneous objects. All of which once made up the mundane existance of our home. The kitchen hall was invaded with clattering sounds. The rattling clinks of silverware, clashed with the dry clanks of pots and saucepans. Black garbage bags that contained the unwanted things were constantly falling down and constantly readjusted. The kitchen itself transformed into a whirlwind of activity. Gradually, it settled into a family assembly line on the kitchen counter. One to sort and racket, one to arrange everything inside the boxes, one to label the boxes, and one to seal all the boxes. The plain brown boxes hissed as they were slid from one side of the room to the other. All the noise was abrutply silenced as the last box was sealed and hurriedly carried to the moving truck. It had taken us nearly three days to turn the house upside down and upright again. Little by little it all went away and I realized that there
was almost nothing left to move, clean, or throw away. The cat had hid in one of the cabinets and seemed disoriented when she finally came out. As I stepped out on the spongy grass to hand off some more packed boxes , a citrus-like scent wafted from the clean kitchen. The grass blades felt like tiny icy swords compared to the rays of sun that warmed my bones. Yet it all felt new, different from yesterday and the day before. The kitchen was changed and so was I. I looked up and recognizing the ever-present blue I realized that this was a big change in my life. It had finally dawned on me that things change. That life feels different because it grows and moves.
Wistful by Moira E.
It’s right between my heart and throat that wistful feelings grow, Reminding me of summers gone and things I used to know, The feeling cannot be described so all can understand, For everyone is different in their wishes and their plans, My wistfulness is full of dreams so magical and bright, Of countryside and world unknown and traveling and flight, Most often it’s for travel that my hungry senses yearn, To see the places, meet the people, touch, explore, and learn, Farmland is the next, for which I hope and dream and long, To live away from busyness, enjoying nature’s song, I’m wistful for the gift of flight and envy all the birds, The extent of my longing for this gift cannot be put in words, To paint the sunsets and the sea is another, for which I long, And to express so many things in writing or in song, To ride a horse through mountains high without a single care, To sail the seas, explore the woods, and taste the winds so fair, I long for worlds that don’t exist, that only I can truly know, I long for Kaolot’s summer sun, Caposia’s winter snow, I love so many men, who only dwell on pages worn, I have so many friends, who weren’t and never will be born, My wistfulness shall only grow as time continues on, And some dreams may come true and some will be forever gone, It’s right between my heart and throat that wistful feelings grow, Reminding me of summers long and things I’ve yet to know.