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The Irish Review Knoxville Catholic High School 2018-2019

The Irish Review Edited by Kelsey Craighead and Sara Allen

The Irish Review Press An imprint of Knoxville Catholic High School 9245 Fox Lonas Road Knoxville, Tennessee 37923 All original works within this book were created by the students, faculty, and staff of Knoxville Catholic High School. Copyright © 2019 by Knoxville Catholic High School. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including, photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the author. Any fictious short stories or poetry are a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental. First published in the United States of America in April 2019 by Knoxville Catholic High School. Book design and cover by Kelsey Craighead. “Shamrock: Volume 2.” Edited by Kathy Decker, Nancy Frank, and John Leach. © 1960. “Shamrock: Volume 4.” Edited by Kathy Croes, Helen Nelson, and Diana Smith. © 1962. “Shamrock: Volume 9.” Edited by Randy Canada and Beth Moorman. © 1967. “Shamrock: Volume 10.” Edited by Terri Moorman and Dana Roach. © 1968.

Table of Contents Dedication .................................................................................................................................... VII Foreword .....................................................................................................................................VIII Fictional Writing ..............................................................................................................................1 Art ..................................................................................................................................................28 Non-Fiction Writing.......................................................................................................................39 Photography ...................................................................................................................................47 Poetry .............................................................................................................................................59 Faculty And Staff ...........................................................................................................................78 Meet The Editorial Staff ................................................................................................................95 Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................96

Dedication For Mrs. Deb Murray for her patience, kindness, and dry sense of humor. She was always willing to help whenever she could; whether it was giving the editors helpful tips on revising pieces of writing or answering many questions, she was always ready to assist. Without Mrs. Murray, this publication would not be achievable. She’s a true queen.


Foreword The last printed edition of the literary magazine, Hibernia, under the direction of Mr. Ben Wilkinson, was released in 2016. Mr. Wilkinson, an English teacher, moved to North Carolina following the 2015-2016 Knoxville Catholic High School year. A year later, the 2017 edition took on a digital platform with English and History teacher Ms. Joan Williams at the helm. The magazine, now titled The Irish Review, is a compilation of short stories, poetry, nonfiction writing, photography, and artwork from Knoxville Catholic students, staff, and faculty. This year’s edition has taken on a multi-media platform: printed editions for the contributors and a digital platform for the general public. This issue took many hours of Microsoft Word formatting tutorials, asking Mrs. Deb Murray constant questions, nagging people to submit, and hard work. In the end, it has been worth every second. From the editors here at The Irish Review, we hope you enjoy this issue.


Fictional Writing

“A story must be told or there’ll be no story, yet it is the untold stories that are most moving.� -J.R.R. Tolkien


The Decision Beth Burnett Your laugh shocks the air when it tumbles out of your mouth. You and your family haven’t heard it in what feels like years. Even with one hand over your eyes, you can feel their wide-eyed stares boring into you. Normally, you’d wilt under such intense gazes, but right now, you’re free of the fear of their judgements. With your free arm, you clutch your torso for dear life, throw your head back, and howl. Your snickering rings through the house like a bell. Your fingers dig into your shirt as your stomach begins to ache. In a way, you feel like you might have to puke, which is not abnormal for you, but this is different from all those other times. This feels good. You never want it to fade. Tears well in the corners of your squinted eyes. They smear against your skin as you press your hand harder against them, the sound of your laughter tapering off as your lungs scream for air. Still, the giggles are there, trapped in your throat. Your shoulders shake. You kick your legs under the table, and finally, you’re forced to take in a deep, gasping breath of air. It calms the fire in your lungs and cools your warming skin. You wipe away the wetness around your eyes and drop your hand, relaxing in your seat. The occasional snicker sneaks past your lips, but they have the intensity of a drop of a pin compared to your fit. You inhale another refreshing breath and relax as your lungs expand farther than they have in months. The stress usually weighing them down has been lifted for the moment. You know it will return soon, probably by the end of the night, but you’re happy now. It’s all okay now, and that’s good enough. Leaning against the back of your chair, you beam across the table at your parents: “Good one, Mom. It feels like forever since I last laughed like that!” Both parents are silent. Your mom looks at you like a deer in the headlights, her eyes glassy. Your dad can’t bring himself to look at you. Instead, he studies the empty table in front of him. His shoulders are tense; your mom’s droop, pulled down by an invisible weight. They share the same stricken look. “Baby,” your mom whispers. Her mouth hangs open like she’s going to continue, but no sound comes out. What would there even be for her to say? You can read her expression like an open book, and you realize that, for all your bravado these last few trying months, you were no Scarlett Johansson or Johnny Depp like you’d thought. They saw through your facades. They knew how you struggled endlessly with yourself, your oldest, hardest enemy, despite how much you’d tried to hide it. To fix it, they were going to send you away. A flood of emotions washes over you, despair hitting first. It crashes into your chest like a tsunami and pours new tears into your eyes. Dread comes nipping at its heels and claims its old 2

territory around your lungs, curling around them and tightening slowly. Anger comes last, as it always does, overwhelming you with its intensity. Liquid fire scorches your veins, heat flares under your collar, and without even realizing, you hiss, “How could you?” Your dad might as well be a statue. If he hears your question, he doesn’t even blink. Your mom, ever the soother, reaches out to hold your hand. You draw your limbs to yourself, wrapping them around your torso with a glare. Hurt flashes across your mom’s face, but she draws her shaking hand back, nonetheless. With a quiver in her voice, she pleads, “Baby, please, try to understand—this was not a decision your father and I made lightly. We just couldn’t stand to see you struggling like you have been. Something needed to be done. You need help–” “I do not!” you scream. A fat, angry tear escapes your eye and rolls down your cheek, traveling the length of your jawbone and dropping off your chin. Unable to stop yourself, you slam your fist into the table with a sharp BANG. Both parents jump. Your dad finally looks up, his owlish eyes locking on your shaking frame. Your mom’s hand flies to her chest, right above where her heart is, and balls into a fist around her blouse. “It’s not fair. You can’t make me.” You sound childish, even to your own ears, but you can’t think of any argument to throw back at them. Your mom is right, whether you acknowledge it or not, but you don’t have to tell them that. They can’t do this to you. They can’t strip you from your home—the only safe place in the universe—and expect you to be hunky-dory with it. They can’t just take your choice like that. Your mom takes a deep breath, steadying herself, even as a wave of tears wash over your face. She repeats, “You need help.” Another surge of anger. In one fluid motion, you launch out of your seat, prompting your parents to jerk back from you. You’re not even all the way standing before your hand snatches your mom’s wine glass off its folded white napkin, and as you throw it across the room, you yell, “Oh, shut up, Mom!” CRASH! Your mom shrieks and jolts from her seat as the wine glass shatters against the wall. Sparkling shards fly everywhere, raining down on the hardwood floor with a chorus of tinkling. Thin, red lines streak down the beige walls and white baseboards, collecting in a puddle on the ground. Fragments lay everywhere around it, their clear surfaces splotched with scarlet. Your mom cries with you now. Without looking at you, she goes to the mess—your mess—to start picking the glass up, just as your father rises from his chair. You look away from your mom, letting your anger fight your rising guilt into submission, and glare at your father. You know he had a hand in this decision. He deserves his share of your wrath.


Your resolve lasts a whole two seconds. The look that overcomes your father’s face has never been this harsh, not even when he caught you playing in the middle of the road when you were six. His shoulders tense under his Grunt Style t-shirt. His hands ball into fists, and though you know he’d never use them on you, you find yourself taking a step back towards the dining room doorway. Just in case, you tell yourself, your guilt on the verge of overpowering your anger. “I’m only going to ask nicely this once,” your father says, and you almost scoff. His voice is low and steady, and while you can’t hear it, you sense the anger underlining it. It doesn’t scare you like his look does. “Apologize to your mother right now.” Screw you, you want to retort but wisely don’t. Your silence is rebellious enough without throwing in blatant disrespect. Your dad snaps your name. “Apologize.” You look at your mom and, again, feel your anger falter. She’s on her knees, picking up the fragments of her glass—her favorite glass, the one with the palm trees painted on it, you realize. She always used it when she had her occasional drink, but now it lay in a million pieces as big as your palm and as small as a pinprick. Tears drip down her cheeks, and for the first time, you notice the dark crescent moons under her eyes. How much had she been sleeping? You’re scared to know. Your guilt grows stronger, eating at the edges of your heart. You want to reach out to your mom, push her away from the mess, and somehow make it all better. You do want to apologize for being such a nightmare of a human being, but your anger still burns in your chest. You don’t regret what you did, what you have done, because with her decision, she deserves it. She deserves it all. So, when picking up another shard she slits her hand with a yelp, you can’t stop from retorting, “You deserve worse.” Your mom freezes, her mouth dropping open. The shaking in her hands worsens, and the shards clink together as they drop out of her hand and gather in a pile by her knees. A sob escapes her lips as she turns her head towards you. You’ve never seen her look so hurt before. You want to take your words back instantly. Your father suddenly grabs your arm, hard enough to ache but not enough to leave a mark. You yell as his hand clamps down and jump back, but he holds tight, pulling you back. Adrenaline pouring into your veins, you claw at his hand without thinking about how it may hurt him and scream, “Let go! Let go!” He calls your name, demanding, “Listen to me, listen to me. You take that back—tell your mother you’re sorry. Tell her. You don’t know what she’s done for you,” but it goes in one ear and out the other. All you can hear is your thoughts screaming, get away, get away, get away.


And you need to get away. There’s no other way around it. Your heart hammers against your ribcage, ready to explode, and your lungs threaten to collapse, unable to keep up with how fast you’re breathing. Sweat breaks out on your prickling skin. You’re hyperaware of the aching under your father’s hand and the hot tears staining your cheeks. You need time to regroup. You can’t keep confronting your parents like this. It’ll only convince them that they’d made the right choice. You need to go—now. With a strength you didn’t realize you had, you rip your arm from your father’s grasp. He snaps your name as you stumble back into the doorframe behind you, ramming your ribs into sharp corner. You wince, but as the impact reorients you, you find the open hallway before you. At the end of it, your open bedroom door beckons invitingly. Without wasting a second, you bolt, just barely escaping your dad’s hand as he tries to keep you with him and your mom. As you duck into the fortress of your room, you slam the door behind you and lock the door. Panic clouds your mind, fills it with static. You don’t think a lock will stop your parents, so you push your nearby desk in front of the door, barricading it shut. Your heart starts to slow, looking at it, but a ribbon of unease remains twisting in your gut. You cross your arms over your torso to calm it, even though it’s never worked before. To be safe, you sit in your chair and wait—for footsteps coming down the hall, a bang on the door, your parents’ voices—but it never comes. Instead, you hear them silently finish cleaning the mess you made in the dining room and go to bed. Betrayal stabs at your heart, and a fresh round of tears overflows. Your parents have never left you alone after an episode before, no matter what happened during them. Your mother always came to wrap you in her arms and soothe you. Your father always sat or stood behind you, a silent but strengthening presence. They never, ever left you to weather the storm alone. You want to be angry. You want to scream and curse and swear to never forgive them because this was their decision. They created the mess that is you, and they won’t even bother to pick it up. But as you bury yourself in your sheets, all you can do is sob and hope they’ll forgive you one day for the pain you’ve caused them. You drift slowly off to sleep, the name Benjamin Institute of Mental Health ringing in your ears.


The Voyage Kelsey Craighead A young man held his hand up, shielding his eyes from the bright sun as he looked at the open water. His dark hair was tousled from the wind while his tanned face was as clean as he could get it from being out at sea for a little more than a month. The seventeen-year-old, James, would finally be able to settle in Charles Town. His parents had died in England, and there was nothing left for him there. His aunt told him of how lovely life was in Charles Town and invited him to live with her until he was old enough to be on his own. James had heard gossip of the flourishing colony in the Province of South Carolina. Knowing that the colony was one of the richest in the New World, he immediately accepted his aunt’s offer, boarding the next ship, The Cawdor, going to Charles Town. James had left England on the first of April 1718, and now it was the sixth of May. He, along with the rest of the passengers, were told they were lucky the trip across the ocean was this short. The Captain told James trips could take up to three months. Although the trip across the Atlantic was short and smooth, many people on The Cawdor became sea sick. James was itching to leave the ship, for the smell that had accumulated over the weeks was putrid. Although the smell was bad, the journey was quite beautiful. James enjoyed being out in the ocean. He was basically in pirate country; there were not many rules which meant having freedom. At times during the journey, James wondered if this is what his father felt like when he was in the Navy. Perhaps it was, perhaps it was not. James would never know what his father’s feelings were about being at sea, though, because the plague had taken him. Even when James’ father was alive, the retired Naval Officer never went into much detail about his career. James’ mother, on the other hand, grew up in a coastal town before moving to London. She too enjoyed the smell of the salt water—and loathed the smell of the city. A ghost of a smile crossed James’ face as he thought about the story of how his mother and father met. It was never a mystery how Annabel and William Lewis met. The two found each other in a rather crowded part of a marketplace in Annabel’s home town. The fact that a lady like Annabel was carrying unfinished swords to a blacksmith had intrigued William. Annabel’s father was a blacksmith in the coastal town—the one blacksmith William was set on finding. The pair began seeing each other after their first meeting, slowly falling in love before marrying and having James. James was the spitting image of his late father—messy brown hair with dark eyes. His mother, however, had blonde hair and light blue eyes. The only thing James inherited from his mother was her dimples. From both his parents, he inherited his love for swordsmanship. A few shouts from across deck brought James out of his thoughts. The teenager furrowed his eyebrows while his brown eyes looked over the water. There were four ships guarding the entrance to the Charles Town Harbor. One ship was considerably larger than the other three with 6

its dark colored sails and even darker colored wood. The blockade ships, however, were flying the English flag, telling the passengers the blockade were friends, not foes. James felt the ship slow beneath his boot clad feet as the ship slowly crept towards the blockade. His fingers rested gently on his sword, preparing himself for anything. His father always told him to expect the unexpected in an attack—especially if the situation didn’t come off as an attack. A sinking feeling made its way into the pit of James’ stomach. He watched as the English flag was slowly lowered on all of the ships. James rested his hand on his sword at this point. Something was off… He didn’t quite know what was wrong, but something was definitely wrong. “Get the women and children below deck! Anyone who can wield a sword I want on deck!” The Captain ordered. People on deck scrambled, hurrying women and children below decks while a few men shouted things across the deck. James swallowed thickly as the fleet of ships became closer and closer to The Cawdor. The larger ship out of the fleet was menacing as it loomed over the water. Slowly, almost painfully, a black flag rose with a full standing skeleton. The skeleton had an hour glass in its right hand and a spear with three drops of blood in its left. “Blackbeard,” James whispered in awe as he looked at Blackbeard’s ship. The large ship was once a slave ship; now, it was known as Queen Anne’s Revenge. James’ mother had told him stories of Blackbeard when he was a small child. He thought they were only folklore though. Never in his seventeen years of life did he ever expect to see one of the most notorious pirates that sailed the seas. “What’d you say, boy?” the first mate asked. James directed his attention to the first mate and repeated the name. “Blackbeard? Should’ve known I’d run into him.” the first mate muttered as he shook his head. James gave the first mate an incredulous look. The first mate shrugged in response and walked to the edge of the ship, muttering curses under his breath as he stood next to the Captain. “Be careful what you say around this… pirate,” the Captain said. He looked over the crowd of men. The men nodded in response—they just wanted to get on land. “Captain Teach, known as Blackbeard on the water, is known for his cruel temper. I suggest you all stay quiet unless spoken to. Understood?” The men all grumbled a response, most of them fidgeting with their swords. The Cawdor was soon boarded by some of Blackbeard’s crew. They began barking orders and plundering the ship. James doubted they would find anything of interest, though, because the ship was mostly lower-class citizens wanting a fresh start. An eerie hush fell over the men and crew as a tall large man stepped on deck. James could see smoke rising from the man’s beard while his unruly black hair blew in the wind underneath a large hat. The teenager watched


as the Captain and Blackbeard negotiated terms. The Captain wanted Blackbeard to leave his passengers alone while Blackbeard wanted weapons and medicine from Charles Town. “I’ll pick someone to fetch me weapons and medicine then,” Blackbeard said. His eyes raked over the male passengers of The Cawdor before they stopped at James. Blackbeard raised an eyebrow at the teenager before slowly walking to him. “And who might you be?” “James Lewis,” James introduced as he met Blackbeard’s gaze. A few whispers broke out from Blackbeard’s crew, however, one glare from their captain made them stop talking. “Lewis?” Blackbeard asked, scrutinizing James with his dark eyes. “Son of William Lewis?” “Aye,” James replied, holding Blackbeard’s stare. He would not back down—he couldn’t. He was taught never to show an opponent fear. If he showed fear, he would already be in a losing fight. “Interesting…” Blackbeard trailed off as he looked over James once more. He looked at one of his crew mates and gave an order: “Take him.” James’ eyes widened as two crewmates flanked his sides, grabbing his arms. James struggled against their hold, but it was no use. The crewmates were stronger than he was. Blackbeard looked at James struggling with a smirk on his face. Blackbeard ignored the Captain of The Cawdor as he walked forward, hitting the handle of his cutlass against James’ head. James stopped fighting as he tried to stop the world from spinning. Blackbeard muttered something under his breath before hitting James’ head once again. James’ vision blacked out as he slumped in the crewmates’ arms. *** James groaned as he blinked open his eyes. The teenager pushed himself into a sitting position while confusion laced itself onto his expression. He found that he was not on a pirate ship, but rather soft sand on a beach most likely in Charles Town. James slowly stood up, trying to find a way to the colony. What confused James the most, though, was the fact that he was not dizzy, nor did he have a bump on his head from getting hit twice. He assumed Blackbeard threw him overboard, which was perfectly fine with him, because he did not wish to deal with such a foul man. “It’s about time you woke up,” a voice said. James slowly turned around, his hand resting on his sword – which thankfully was still on his person. Standing before James was a girl no older than him with fiery red hair and hazel eyes. A smirk graced her pale complexion while she had her hand on her hip as if she were scolding him. “You have been unconscious for about an hour. Were you lost at sea or did you decide to take a nap while you were swimming?” “I ran into pirates,” James replied while a small smile graced his lips at the girl’s wit. “I was on a voyage here to live with my aunt, Anne Colvert. Hopefully you know her?” “Aye, everyone knows Anne.” The girl replied. “I can take you to her if you wish.”


“I would appreciate that,” James said with a nod as the pair began walking to Charles Town. The air smelt of the sea but also of the marshland. James didn’t think he’s smelt something so fresh and earthly before. London smelled terrible compared to this, and the smells on The Cawdor were even worse than London. “I’m—” “James Lewis.” The girl replied as she eyed James. James suddenly felt self-conscious as if the girl knew more than she was letting on. He ran a nervous hand through his damp hair and kept his eyes on the path. His sword bouncing on his leg was the only familiar thing that comforted him currently. “I know. Anne talks about you. I’m Eleanor, her… apprentice of sorts.” James nodded in response. He knew his aunt was an amazing seamstress. The pair continued to talk as they made their way to the main square of Charles Town. Eleanor was telling James of life in the colony while James told her of his life in England. She explained to him how his aunt had taken her in, taught her how to be a seamstress, and cared for her unlike her birth mother. “Anne is a kind, understanding woman.” Eleanor said. She glared at anyone who looked at her way as she led James through the crowded square towards Anne’s shop. “I believe you will be more than at home here.” “From what I remembered, Aunt Anne was usually a happy person,” James said as the pair walked. He glanced around at the colonists, some giving strange looks their way. Perhaps they weren’t used to newcomers, James thought as he furrowed his eyebrows. “She enjoyed jesting with my mother all the time before she moved to the colony.” “Anne hasn’t changed that much then,” Anne said, glaring at people. James glanced around at the colonists as an uneasy feeling settled in his stomach. “Why are people looking at you strangely?” James asked Eleanor as he looked down on her. The constant weird looks thrown towards James and Eleanor’s direction finally caught his attention. People were looking at Eleanor as if she were mad. “Don’t you know?” Eleanor asked, furrowing her eyebrows, ignoring James’ question. James looked at Eleanor with a questioning look on his face. Didn’t know what? A cruel smile made its way onto Eleanor’s face as her eyes flashed with an unreadable emotion. “You’re dead.”


An Excerpt from

The Hunted Charlotte Daigle Chapter One “Hurry!” Crashing between the trees on a wide dirt trail, I press the gas to the limit at Sinclair’s fearful cry. The large, battered black Jeep surges on loyally, taking us farther from them. If I had the time, I would allow my eyes to rove over the scenery. It really is quite beautiful here, but our situation filters my views. Now, all I can see are potential hiding places for our enemies, ever waiting to catch us off guard. Each time this happens…Well, I’d rather think about it now. Presently, I am guiding the jeep around a tangle of gnarled witch-vines. They actually look like fingers, groping the Jeep as they reach for the fleeing souls inside. Yes, we are running; we have been for the past year. At least, I think it has been a year. I can’t even remember what today is, so it could be shorter or longer than a year. Anyways, ever since our families were murdered by them, I’ve led the orphaned children away from the beasts. I’m exhausted, and I am hungry. Once before, I was the girl every boy wanted; I had the feminine curves, I had the soft hands and lips. My hair was a gentle brown ocean of waves. My cheeks had color; my hazel eyes gleamed. I was happy, I was pleasing, I was perfectly feminine. I was loved, I had everything I wanted and needed. I was in line for succession, but it was all taken from me. Now, I am unhealthily thin yet lean from all the muscle I have obtained; my hair is still its soft brown but now it is messily cut just above my shoulder. My eyes no longer have their gleam, but a cold hardness from the pain I have endured. I am not as I once was. Even the children know that. It doesn’t affect them too much, though, because my sole purpose in life is to keep them alive and get them to safety. After that, I am returning home and taking it back. For these children I have not slept properly this whole time; for them, I barely eat. Most of my food goes to the youngest and weakest. The night watches steal my sleep while the others sleep. I will do anything and everything I can to get them to safety, including sacrificing my life. A thin hand shakes me out of my thoughts. I look through the rear-view mirror to see weak, little Noah’s blue eyes full of fear. “Jaris, I can hear them,” he whimpers into my ear. My eyes soften briefly before returning to their normal state as I reply, “I know. I’ll get us out of here. No one else is going to die…not if I can help it.” Reassured, Noah settles back on Sinclair’s lap. The rest are silent. The gaunt, weatherworn, tear-stained faces gaze longingly out at the beautiful trees even as their dirty, calloused hands grip their sturdy but long-used weapons. The youngest is seven and the oldest is seventeen—that’s me. 10

There are ten of us now. I choke back a sob. Only ten left because you let the others down. Since we started running, ten have died from the monsters, exhaustion, illness, starvation, and sacrifices; all consequences of one treasonous deed. Who knew one action could have so many consequences? My three siblings were among the first to die. After witnessing our parents’ deaths, they were never the same; mentally and physically weak, they faded quickly. Most recently, the Gold twins sacrificed themselves so that I could escape with the others. I watched them being torn apart, alive. I can still hear their screams, pleading not for mercy, but for me to flee. After that, I’ve never stayed in one place for any longer than a week. I won’t allow anyone else to die because of my rash decisions. Besides, the beasts grow stronger with each kill. Our blood dyes their teeth; our bodies nourish their hunger; our screams entertain them; our lives are sport for them. Annoying as always, Will now shakes me out of my stupor, screaming from the back of the Jeep while his shoulder-length black hair whips from side to side, “Jaris, it’s hopeless! Don’t lie to them! You know we have no chance!” “For once in your life, Will, shut up!” I shout right back. “I know where we are; there is a river up ahead and the trees grow too close for us to pass through with the Jeep. Running from them is not an option, Jaris. They are too fast!” Sitting here, foot on the gas, I ignore his remarks and wish once more how much I would have preferred if he was one of the dead. Regardless, I will not see him die now. I made a promise, and he was included in it. But, once I hear the word “river,” I block out everything else. I assess the condition of the Jeep and am satisfied that my plan will work. Perfect. Ignoring the protests from the back, I floor the gas, forcing the Jeep to its limit while continuing my course. Soon, the untamed river thunders ahead and, with a loud splash and a lot of screaming and cursing, the Jeep jumps into the river that forcefully pushes us through the current. I chuckle to myself as Crystal, sitting in shotgun, curses and slaps my arm. The others see that they are safe in the river and begin to relax. I try to follow their example, but a moment too soon. From both sides the beasts emerge from the cluster of trees, running alongside the river, still desperately trying to catch us. Their red eyes gleam with anticipation and their silver fur glimmers in the fading light. Anger fills me as I see how well fed they look knowing their sustenance mainly comes from the bodies of my companions. They outnumber us and we are weak and tired. The wolves’ lean bodies stretch almost majestically as they run alongside the river, but the fact that they are trying to kill us makes them seem eviler; their fur more stringed than full, their bodies more sinuous.


Muttering a stream of curses, I glance at Crystal and roll my eyes: “They never seem to give us a break, do they?” “Maybe they think we are special humans or something. I mean, you’re part of the line, yes, but still. It’s almost like they will not rest until their egos are satisfied. What did we ever do to insult them?” Crystal jokes back, knowing well enough that we will never get a break. I stiffen and look away. She doesn’t know; none of them do. Studying her white skin and blue eyes—funny, I keep forgetting that blue eyes are very common among my people—I make sure she didn’t notice my discomfort. She didn’t. Rather, she is flipping her bleach-dyed hair out of her eyes while gazing at our enemies. Sighing, I grab my weapons from her feet, climb out of the window to the Jeep’s roof, and position myself for defense. The others follow in suit. And so, the howling intensifies as the demonic silver wolves put on a new burst of energy as we, their prey, come into sight. By the way, I hate you, Connor. Had Connor not betrayed us, our families would still be alive, I would not be the only person in the line alive, and we wouldn’t be in this mess. We’d be in our beds surrounded by love. No, had you given him what he wanted, none of this would’ve happened. He asked for a lot, something he had no right to, but it’s your fault that the Dead are dead, and the survivors are hunted and… Okay, will you shut up? I tell myself. Shaking my head clear, I look down in guilt. It’s true, he asked for a lot, more than I was willing to give, but still…Holding back my tears, I draw an arrow, notch it, and begin to assault our hunters. Guns would’ve been more convenient had the wolves not been unaffected by the bullets we have. Curse their silver hides! Of all things, the most used weapon of the human race—even though we aren’t fully human—turns out to be useless when dealing with these red-eyed beasts. All the more reason to hate Connor’s guts. “Sinclair! Update, now!” I yell over the roar of the clear river. Sinclair struggles around fighting bodies to reach me and places her black-dyed lips close to my ear, avoiding the many piercings, to give me the report. “We are running low on arrows; we need to make more, soon. We’ve only felled about ten wolves and about a score is still on the hunt. The kids are exhausted, Jaris, they can’t keep up much longer. Oh, also, Will said to mention that there is a dam up ahead and if we don’t stop, we’ll be crushed.”


“What?!” I scream and yell to Will. “Will, if we survive this, I am going to giving you the beating of your life!” This cannot be happening. I will not lose them. “Alright, everyone listen up!” I yell over the rushing water and howling wolves. “Whoever can’t swim properly, find a buddy who can. Noah and Willow, you’re with me. Here’s the plan: Will says there a dam up ahead. When I yell ‘Now,’ you all need to jump onto the structure, run to the other side, and dive back into the river. Do not, I repeat, do not leave your partner! Noah, Willow, Crystal, and I will stay on the dam until everyone else has gone over. No arguments, you hear?” They nod their heads quickly, gather their weapons, and find a buddy. Watching them closely, I switch partners as I see fit and pull aside Charles from the side of his dead girlfriend’s sister. “If I don’t make it, Crystal is in charge, but I need you to be her second-in-command. She will need help. I trust you’ll do what is right?” Placing his right palm on his heart—our salute—he returns to Isabel, holding her close as she cries. I return to the front of the Jeep and see the dam looming ahead. “Get ready!” I command. “Wait…! Wait...! NOW!” And we all jump onto the gray concrete with no issues. Finally, something goes right. Slipping on the wet surface, I watch everyone run to the opposite side and dive over the side. Just as everything is going perfectly, the wolves come running towards us from both sides. Shoving Willow into Crystal’s arms, I toss them both protesting into the water. I see Charles in the water below with a free arm and toss Noah over to him. Knowing I will come soon, Charles swims away with Isabel and Noah. Turning my attention to the wolves, I remove my two new toys from under my shirt. I grip the pure-silver blades in anticipation as the wolves get closer. This is for everyone you’ve killed, Connor. The first beast, a gigantic male wolf, launches himself towards me only to grasp air as I duck. The wolf crashes into the one coming up behind me. Sadly, the second wolf is not as stupid. It hesitated enough to allow me to glance behind at the other wolves, but while my attention was elsewhere, the wolf leaped forward and slashed its sharp claws against my inner thigh, ripping my jeans and flesh alike. Screaming in pain, I stab the demon and turn to attack the others. Stumbling from my injury, I kill wolves left and right as they continue to surge on. When I see their weakened ranks crowding together for a final attack, I sheath my knives, and, regardless of all my injuries, throw myself carelessly back into the river. Limbs heavy, I let the river push me towards my charges, only moving when I begin to sink. Weakly, I gaze at the shore where they are regrouping while the wolves begin to run towards them on either side. Unable to call to them, I helplessly watch the beasts bear down on 13

my unnoticing family. Just as Charles and Crystal are about to be torn down, two arrows bury themselves into the front runners’ chests, instantly slaying them. Charles and Crystal quickly herd the children to safety and watch as two men emerge from the trees, causing the wolves to snarl in angry recognition. Just barely floating, I watch as the older of the two takes the left and the younger takes the right, cutting down any wolf too dumb or too proud to flee. In other words, all of them. With wolves, the pack is a whole, but each individual must be strong. Once on the hunt, if any of the wolves show fear or begin to back down, the pack will turn on them. The whole cannot have any weak links. If humans were like this, you’d be dead, Connor. Seeing that my friends are safe in the hands of these two strangers, my will begins to weaken, and I start sinking. Death attempts to take me, but the younger of the two men is studying me just as I study him. This boy with dirty blonde hair is taller than his companion while also having a stronger build than him. Armed with a crossbow that he seems to have considerable experience with, he reminds me of a person I once saw in my dreams. Seeing that I was not going to make it to the shore, he removes his jacket, shoes, and shirt. I get a glimpse of his upper body diving into the water before I go under. Next thing I know, he is in front of me, both of us underwater, pulling me close to his body. Quite by accident, my hands rest on his chest and we look at each other. I see that he, too, has blue eyes, but different than my companions’. His eyes are piercing blue, like the sky on a sunny day. The boy looks up and begins to swim towards the surface. My hands against his chest, I feel his heart beating and the shape of his muscles. When we emerge, I gasp, “Don’t. Just let me go. Get them to safety, but please, let me go.” He remains silent and turns me so that my back is against his chest. His muscular bicep is around my waist, while the other arm propels us towards shore. There, willing hands lift me from the water while the boy climbs out alone. He puts his shoes back on, but he puts his shirt and jacket on me. I can smell the faint cologne, and shockingly recognize the smell as one that Charles used to wear. His clothes go down to my thighs, but I barely notice as I continue to slip towards Death. The boy picks me up and I rest against his wet chest. I feel the water droplets from his hair hit my face. Each droplet weighs a thousand pounds as I continue to feel lighter and lighter. He tightens his grip on me, knowing that I am slipping and says to my companions, “We need to leave now before more follow the scent of her blood. Those who are strong, support the young and weak. My father and I will take you to our home. We will care for your wounds there. Quickly now, follow me.” Great, I think as I begin to lose consciousness. The last thing I see


is Crystal and Charles shooting me worried glances and the boy looking down at me with a look I have never seen before.


An Excerpt from

Genesis Will Dison Prologue Genesis: a realm of growth, life, magic, technology, and a world full of secrets and lies. Legend says that Genesis was not created by a single entity as most religions would have you believe. An alternative is that the world was created by the six Genesis gods: Ro’han the god of the wind, Kykira the goddess of the sea, Azrah the god of fire, Sujyn the god of earth, Bi-Han the god of chaos, and his counterpart, Dova, the goddess of creation. Together they forged a vast promising world that they named Genesis. Each of the gods went throughout the world and used their powers to create a prosperous world. KyKira used her power to cover the planet in water. Sujyn used his power to create the landmasses and various islands across the world. Sujyn created a moon that he called Erso. Dova went throughout the world spreading her power creating the biomes, along with animals of many kinds, and planting the seeds of free growth. And Bi-Han created many kinds of monsters to hunt and eat. Ro’han used his power to breathe life into the planet. The gods gathered once more to create their biggest success yet, man and woman. Sujyn created the body, Kykira fueled them with blood, Dova and Bi-han gave them the two gifts of free will and magic. Azrah gave them ambition and Ro’han used the Breath of Life to give them life. Then the gods each settled down in isolation in their own domains in Genesis. For eons the gods and humans lived together, and the humans chose and worshiped their own gods. People who believed in strength worshiped Bi-Han, and his most loyal servants where the Kreans. The god of creation was worshiped by brave, loyal, intelligent warriors and mages who sought to protect and restore the god’s creation. The people who sought to live life in harmony and peace worshipped Ro’han. People who saw fighting as an artform rather than a means for survival and the fine details in everything worshiped KyKira. Ambition, strength, honor, and cunning were characteristics of the worshippers of both Sujyn and Azrah. For many eons, life continued to grow and prosper, until the Convergence. On the day of the Convergence, the Forces of Bi-han and Dova clashed in a battle for Genesis. On that day, the Krean’s stomped through and destroyed Dova’s domain. Fleeing her own domain with the help of her very last supporter, she gathered the other gods and made one last push. Gathering the rest of the gods, they judged and cast Bi-Han through a portal. However, Bi-Han set off a failsafe. He destroyed all life on Genesis leaving only the gods to ponder their failed creation. However, Dova, the goddess of creation, had put in a failsafe of her own; the seeds of life would sprout again one day. And so, they did. “Do you believe this, Grandma?” William asked, looking up from the book in his grandmother’s lap. 16

“I believe legends always hold some truth,” Essie said. “What part of the story do you think is true?” “Sweetheart, that’s a story I will share with you some day, but not today.”


Hall of Yog-Sothoth Evan Ray I speak to you now, dear reader, to chronicle my misdeeds, the malefaction which has brought such an abhorrent creature upon this world. I feel the monstrosity’s presence even now, as I stand alone among this city of corpses. And if you choose not to heed my warning, you will most definitely feel the monster’s grim touch upon you, too. You may think me a lunatic, but I would not inscribe this tale if I did not find it of the upmost importance. I had never been a superstitious man; however, tales of yore were always of great interest to me. I shared this sentiment with a certain fellow at the college. Jean and I were not what I would describe as friends. In fact, had we not shared such an interest in the strange and fantastical, I would have avoided him at all costs. He was a tall, gaunt man who looked more corpse than man with skin the hew of new fallen ash and a small, callous voice like the chittering of a rat. It was common to see him huddled over dozens of tomes, whispering to himself and scrawling notes in a black covered journal. What I would have given to see what it was he obsessed over so much. Alas, whenever I looked over his shoulder, I could only glimpse a phrase or two: “Cthulhu,” “Yoggoth,” “Hastur,” and “Azathoth” were of the few that I was able to spy from that journal. However, as if by pure instinct alone, he would detect my prying eyes and clutch his ebony book to his chest as if it were a child at the breast. In retrospect, I see now that what I originally perceived as selfishness was truly his attempts at protecting me from knowledge not meant for human minds. Perhaps he cherished our friendship more than I had. It was the night of November 11, 1939, that I heard that fateful rapping on the door of my lodging. Oh, how I wish I had just pretended that no one was home! Spared myself the horrors that would ensue. It was Jean, drenched from the rain and clutching to his chest what seemed to be a whole library’s worth of books, his journal included. His carriage had broken down nearby and, wishing to get out of the horrid rain, he made his way to my apartment with haste. He inquired if I could house him for the night; that he would be out of my hair by morning. Any other day I would have concocted some excuse as to why that was impossible, but I did not want the guilt of throwing the poor man out in the rain on my conscience. So, I directed him to a small couch in my living room that would serve as a bed and provided a cup of coffee to warm him. As we bade each other goodnight, I glanced at his journal on top of the pile of books he had placed on my dining table. The image of that book stayed burned in my mind for hours. Every moment I had nearly given in to slumber, I would think of how easy it would be to just take it. He would not know if I just looked, would he? What harm could it possibly do? I slithered to the dining table, taking each step like it were a gentle kiss. Alas, when my eyes fell upon the contents of that journal—that disgusting, detestable journal! 18

I can barely describe what I saw as language. A series of shapes, squiggles, and angles forming what must have been the language of some higher beings. The characters themselves seemed to move, and the ink appeared to change from black to shades of red and dark blue. As I looked upon those words, my head began to throb, my eyes lost focus and I began to hear a voice speaking to me. Nothing more than a whisper in some unknown, unpronounceable language. I averted my gaze and closed the journal, slamming it back upon the pile of books. What exactly that black book contained, I still cannot tell. And I dared not make an attempt to find out for fear of the eldritch knowledge I might attain. I made for my room as fast as I could and shut the door behind me. I strained to forget everything I saw, wishing that I could just take it all back. Wishing that I had never affiliated with that twisted troglodyte name Jean, never dabbled in the arcane, never set my eyes upon the nauseating pages of the accursed journal. By the time dawn had broken, I had not slept so much as a minute but found myself staring unendingly at the ceiling. I eventually found the strength to rise from bed and found that Jean had left of his own accord. The relief I felt upon learning of his departure was indescribable. Finally, I could be rid of him. I vowed to myself that I would never again so much as speak to him. I made it a goal, in the coming days, to avoid him at all costs. I even began sitting at the other end of the lecture hall during classes I shared with him. I was able to maintain this for only so long before he confronted me. However, it was not about how I was avoiding him or how I had looked upon his journal. He stopped me on my way back home, asking if he could come over for tea and further discuss the arcane. I wanted to decline but feared the result of refusing him. Perhaps he knew of what I had done and wished to serve me some form of ultimatum? Or maybe he wished to offer some sort of explanation for his curious writings? We made our way to my apartment in total silence. With each step, my anxiety continued to grow. When we arrived, I wanted nothing more than to slam the door in his face and shelter myself in my apartment. But I let him in all the same, brewed our tea, and sat down across the table from him. I braced myself for whatever he had planned but was surprised to hear a certain excitement in his voice that I had never heard before. He described to me how he believed he had deduced the location of some sort of artifact from the numerous tomes he had been reading. Additionally, the item of which he spoke was not all that far away. Maybe a day’s worth of travel by carriage to a small village on the outskirts of Dunwich, Massachusetts. However, he did not wish to go and retrieve it alone and stated that he would greatly enjoy my company in the endeavor. To tell it true, I was intrigued by his proposition. I still feared what exactly his intentions were for inviting me, but he betrayed no sign that he knew what had happened between me and his journal. This small relief combined with the intrigue of discovering some new, previously 19

unknown artifact created an electric feeling of excitement that stemmed from the back of my throat to the base of my spine. We set out the following week. I had never experienced a feeling of awkwardness quite so intense as that which I felt during that carriage ride. I had tucked a small revolver in my jacket in the scenario that I might have to defend myself. However, Jean continued to show no signs of suspicion or give off any feeling of adversity towards me. We arrived just as the sun was setting. Jean stated that he planned this since our escapades were not actually funded, and we had no permits for what we were about to do. I was greatly disturbed by this, but Jean explained it away by saying that no one would possibly fund such an expedition since no one could possibly comprehend what exactly we were looking for. The excitement I had previously felt dissipated as it dawned on me that this outing undoubtedly involved that which the horrid diary contained. We came upon the cemetery of the village and Jean swiftly broke the lock with an amount of force completely unexpected from a man of his physique. This show of unusual strength made all ideas I had of escape fade away. Walking through the cemetery, I noted that many of the headstones read the name “Whateley.” We stopped in front of a certain stone that had the name “Wilbur Whateley” inscribed in simple lettering. I was prepared to ask what the importance of this headstone was when Jean took a large shovel he had brought and, tossing another to me, sank it into the earth. Not wanting to incur his disdain, I also did so with fervor. After some time, our shovels finally met with solid material. But it was not the wood one would expect from a coffin, but stone like those used in ancient tombs. At least, this is what I had thought at first. As we cleared more of the dirt, it was revealed to be a much larger expanse than it had previously appeared. Jean suddenly threw his shovel in my arms and instructed me to return them to the carriage. But when I was beginning to make my way back to the carriage, I started to hear a curious sound. A whisper which did not seem to form any actual words. I returned to the desecrated grave to find Jean speaking in a fashion which would be considered impossible. In fact, he appeared to be reading the strange wordage in his journal. My head began to throb once again, and I blacked out. I awoke with Jean standing over me. He told me that I had tripped and hit my head, though I knew this to be false. I looked into the open grave to see a large cavity where the stone object used to lie. The cavity gave off an iridescent blue light. Jean then began to usher me inside. The grave opened into a spacious passageway covered in what looked like slime. As we travelled through, I spotted walls lined with strange fetishes depicting various horrid creatures. Squat, toad-like creatures and various masses of tentacles with pedestals for each one. It looked as if we had stumbled upon some ancient pantheon of old, primitive gods. I began to notice my head throbbing harder and harder the farther we travelled down the disgusting hallway. The blue 20

light also appeared to increase in intensity with each step we took. Eventually, we came on an opening into a new cavity. The throbbing in my head was enough to knock me unconscious and the voice was so loud it seemed as if it were directly in my head. What exactly we came across in that room remains an enigma to me. A large, blue structure which corresponded with no form of architecture I had ever seen. It appeared to be some sort of spire made from a blue, metallic material that was constantly changing in shade and hue. But what emerged from the spire was the true curiosity. A mass of flesh and tentacles that slowly dragged itself forth and coiled around the tower. A single, glowing yellow eye the size of a small car stared back from the immense flesh pile. And then, the voice which had been reverberating through my skull spoke in English. “Why have you come before me, bringing another of your weak-minded kind to this sanctum of mine?” it asked, though it did not appear to use any appendage or orifice to speak. “O great avatar of Yog-Sothoth, Keeper of The Gate and collector of knowledge. My friend has exposed himself to the Forbidden Knowledge, and his mind knows not what to do with it. Please, expand his mind as you have mine so that he may serve you as I do,” Jean said to the strange thing. It was at this time that the huge eye trained itself on me. And for some time, that was all it did. But eventually, it spoke. “I believe him not only worthy of the gift. I think I will assimilate him as well,” it said with some mild interest. “However, with him I will have no more need for you.” As Jean began conversing with the thing, I began to notice changes in my body. Suddenly, the headaches began to fade away and the secrets I had apparently learned from that journal began to make sense, though there is no possible way to relay them in any human language. My skin took on a strange blue and purple hue and my pores started to dilate to the size of quarters. Strangely enough, I did not scream or even react in an unseemly manner. I calmly walked over to Jean, and grabbing him by the head, swiftly removed it in accordance with my new master’s wishes. It was at this time that I gained a measure of control over my body. Realizing what I had done, I fled the room with the creature’s protests continuing to echo throughout my head. I ran through the hall of alien fetishes and clawed my way out of the grave and into the pouring rain. At this time, I am using the last bit of humanity I have left to issue this warning to you. Do not, for any reason, investigate the grave of Wilbur Whateley. As I lie here, preparing to initiate my self-destruction with the very gun I brought to protect myself, I can invoke only one piece of knowledge upon you. Only death and Eldritch Truths await those who enter the Hall of YogSothoth.


The Mouse Sophie Susano I often ventured to the untouched shelves of my library when I grew tired of the halls I had once adored in my youth. Ironically, I never read any of the endless volumes that lined the walls, for most of them were antiques and nearly impossible for me to get through. Nevertheless, I had more than once found myself in a futile attempt to read one of the novels I spent my days amongst, but I was never able to fully complete one. I always found myself unable to grasp at the pages when I tried. Perhaps there was something wrong with me, but I simply couldn’t force myself to read any of the words, nor did I want to, if I’m being honest. I had never told anyone this for fear that I would be seen as eccentric, or perhaps a naïve, ungrateful woman, but the legendary novels that had captivated thousands before me simply had no appeal in my mind. I was more interested in the world before me—the world I could manipulate to my will. Instead of reading, I spent my hours lounging in the plush armchairs by the window, simply observing and waiting as the time passed. Some would say that there is nothing to watch in a library, but I strongly disagree. Occasionally, I like to open the windows and watch as the wind ruffles pages of books that have lain untouched on tables for years, disturbing the stories that lie within their decrepit pages. Once, I caught sight of a mouse scurry across the tile floor, so I put out some crumbs and treats to lure him away from his home. After a few days, he fell for my trick, and he soon found himself in a cozy cage that permanently sat upon a table in the center of the room. I kept him as a pet—something I could watch—and he spent his limited hours traipsing about his cage and squealing when I grew near. It was almost as if the little thing feared me. Sometimes I longed for something a little more—something I could speak to and interact with, perhaps—but alas, I was forever cursed with the company of this insufficient creature. He was quite uninteresting; he merely wandered around and slept all day. After a while, this grew rather boring to watch, so one day, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I took him out of his cage and lit matches near him to see what he would do, if he had any reaction at all. To my immense pleasure, he squealed and wriggled and gnashed his little teeth, trying to escape the flame, but he never could, for I held his life in my hands. I could feel his fear oozing out of every hair on his body, and nothing delighted me more. I would never truly hurt him, as he was my only friend in this empty home, but to know that I held that power over another living being gave me such exhilaration that I could never find it within myself to stop. To me, the intense emotions of this miniscule creature were far more interesting that reading a story that had never truly occurred. Books told lies, but reality never tried to fool me in such a way. Despite all of this, however, deep down I still wished for a friend that I could speak to— someone I could truly love. After a while, my fingers began to hurt from clenching the arms of my chair so tightly, and my back ached from staying seated for so long. I glanced at the clock on the mantle, only to 22

remember that it was broken. My father had knocked it from its place during a fight we had, and it hadn’t work since. 9:45 was the time it always read, and it always remained that way. Instead, I glanced outside to discover that the sun was just beginning to rise, and I decided that it was time for me to get some fresh air. I stood up, my head spinning slightly, and soon found myself wandering the worn path leading into the woods. The leaves held a mesmerizing smell in the spring—one that I simply couldn’t get enough of. I saw some of my pet’s friends scurrying through the tall blades of grass. Sometimes I wondered if they missed him, but I knew that he was happier with me, where he was loved and cared for. I could feel the edge of my white dressing gown trailing along the forest floor, but I didn’t mind. I never had company anymore, and my father was never awake long enough to tell me I needed to change. He would collapse if he saw me out of the house in nothing but my dressing gown, but I no longer cared. I had long ago left behind the decorum of society I had once sworn by. Now, I knew that all of those things were superficial, and none of it truly mattered to me. All I wanted was to love and be loved by all of those in my care, which I had already achieved. Both Father and my pet deeply adored me—of that I was certain I heard a shrill screeching from across the path, and I couldn’t help but jump a little. Birds never cried in that manner here, for it was much too peaceful. My heart began to race. I prayed that none of my creatures had been hurt. My legs sped into a trot without my permission, and I soon found myself running toward the direction the noise came from. I had no jurisdiction over the kingdom of this forest, but I cared for each of its citizens in a way I could not describe. My eyes raced around the scene, taking in every bit of information that I could, and I immediately knew why the bird had screeched in such a way. There was a small child huddled under an oak tree, his clothes torn and his feet bare. He appeared to be in a deep slumber, and I had no intention to wake him. I carefully made my way closer to his paralyzed body, placing a hand on his tiny arm. He did not stir. There was a mark on his pale forehead oozing blood, and my heart trembled for him. Perhaps he was unconscious; after all, he lay immobile on the ground, and his breaths were shallow as a stream. I couldn’t leave him here, as he was obviously hurt and in need of my help, so I took his little body in my arms and stood. He made no motion to escape, so I determined that he trusted me. A smile made its way onto my face. Perhaps he could be my newest friend. I carried the small child—whose name I determined would be Zachary—all the way back to the estate, my weak arms somehow lifted by the strength of my heart. I decided to keep him with my father so he wouldn’t be lonely; I carried him to the library. For many years now, it had been my secret that behind one of the bookcases; there was a staircase that led to a sitting room where my father lived, and now Zachary too. I opened the door and slid through, careful not to drop the child in my arms. He was beginning to stir, to my immense pleasure, so I set him down upon the sofa where he would be comfortable. 23

“Father, this is Zachary. I’ve decided that he is to be my new friend,” I addressed my father, who was idly sitting in a chair across the room. He never responded to me; nowadays, all he did was sit in his chair and keep his eyes closed. I brushed a stray hair from Zachary’s bloody forehead, suddenly remembering that I needed to clean it. I ran to fetch a rag from the sink that I kept well stocked for my father’s ailments, hoping he wouldn’t mind. I dabbed at the poor child’s wound, and he began to stir some more, his mouth forming incomprehensible words and his brows furrowing in pain. “Hush, Zachary, you will be alright,” I comforted him. His murmurs became words: “No,” he whispered, “No.” I hushed him once again, softly stroking his hair to calm him, when suddenly, his eyes shot open. They were a lovely blue, and my heart melted for him. He could be no older than seven years, but his eyes held a truth beyond his age. He blinked, “Who are you?” “My name is Emilia. I brought you to my home so that you would be safe.” “Oh,” he smiled, “My name is Clark.” I frowned, “No, your name is Zachary.” “My momma says it’s Clark.” “Well, your mother is wrong,” I snapped at him. His name was Zachary, and he was mine. He seemed as if he were about to speak again, but his beautiful blue eyes locked on my father. I could see what I thought was curiosity and perhaps fear manifesting within him. “Is he okay?” Zachary asked me. “Oh yes, of course. He’s just very tired, that’s all,” I explained, reaching out to soothe him again. He flinched away. I was growing impatient with my new friend. How could we possibly bond if he refused the name that I had gifted him and wouldn’t let me comfort him? “Momma says that if a man is bleeding like that, I need to call the hospital,” his little voice trembled, and he stood on shaky legs, looking around the room. “I wanna call my momma.” “No, Zachary, you can’t call your momma. You live here with me now,” I smiled, knowing that he would be overjoyed at the news. But instead of returning the sentiment, he shook his head in denial, “No, I wanna go home and see my momma. I don’t know who you are.” His once glorious blue eyes became tainted with tears as he gazed at me. “Please let me go.” “I can’t do that, Zachary,” I tried to take his hand, but he backed away. “Why do you not want to stay?” I could hear the anger rising in my throat. Why didn’t he want to stay? His tremors strengthened and he began to sob, completely forgoing a response to my question. I was tired of him already. Perhaps I just needed to leave him alone for a while. I stood and calmly made my way up the staircase, letting his desperate cries fade into oblivion as I shut 24

the bookcase door. A frenzied scream made its way up my throat and out of my mouth. He was an ungrateful child unworthy of my care, and I hated him for denying me the one thing I so craved, but I had already taken him under my wing. I couldn’t go back now. It was too late. I pulled at the roots of my hair in my rage. I hadn’t been this angry since my father had told me I was to leave home and live in a facility. That was the day I shoved him down the stairs and locked him in my sitting room to give him time to think. After that, he seemed to sincerely regret his words, for all he did was sleep. Wrath flowed through my veins, and my eyes flew to the pet mouse I kept, who was squealing and crying in an unbearable manner in response to all the fuss. “Stop!” I screamed, but he did not cease. I opened his little cage, taking his frail, writhing body into my hands, and I squeezed. I repeated my order, and, this time, he obeyed.


The Audition Eleanor Weedman I hate this part. Sitting here, waiting for my name. When is she going to call me? Are they going in alphabetical order? Or by age? I wish I knew. His pacing is making me even more nervous, I wish he would stop. Maybe I should go get a drink of water to calm my nerves. Do I wanna practice with you? Sure, why not. It would be good to warm up before I go on. Oh no, she’s really good. I’m gonna screw up. This was a dumb idea. What am I doing? When will Anna be back? Maybe I could just leave now and save myself the embarrassment. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I can wait for her to come pick me up in the library and we can forget I ever wanted to do— That’s my name. She just called my name. That was my name. Okay, deep breaths, can’t back out now. Okay, I can do this. Remember to hold that last note. Remember to annunciate. Remember to slow down the beginning. Remember… Remember… Remember… Reme— Was that spotlight always this bright? What was I supposed to be doing again? What did she just ask me? My name, right. And my song. Okay, easy, just speak. Why do my palms always get so sweaty? My knees are trembling. Can they see? What if I fall? Oh God, don’t let me fall. Please don’t let me fall. They’re all looking at me. Okay, you’ve done this before. Don’t look at the people, don’t look or you’ll panic. Just stare at the wall. Stare at the wall, don’t look at the others. What did Mama say? Play into your nerves? Right, use your nerves for emotion. Okay. Breathe. Now, sing. *** It’s over? Thank God. So many lights, I’m blind in the dark. The exit is left, just go left. Don’t forget that last step down. Why does my head feel fuzzy? Probably just nerves. Okay, I did it. It’s over. 26

Now I just need to wait. I hope I get cast. That would crush me if I didn’t, though I would never admit it. Heh, I rhymed. Okay, I need to take a nap. Or watch Fantastic Beasts. Definitely going to watch Fantastic Beasts. I wonder if Eddie Redmayne’s knees ever shake? Where is Anna? I should call her. She never answers her phone. Ugh, answer your phone Anna! There she is. Alright, let’s go home and forget all about auditions until tomorrow. Always tomorrow. So many tomorrows. Actors and tomorrows are the same. Waiting, waiting, waiting in the echoes. “Hey, how’d it go?”



“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.� -Pablo Picasso



Sebastian Stan Bailey Dew

Gaten (a.k.a. the best person alive) Ashlyn Klim 29

Llewyn Davis Bailey Dew

Vroom Vroom Nathan Miceli

Hands Bailey Dew


In My Blood Bailey Dew

Roses Rebecca Burnett

Side Profile Bailey Dew


Circular City Alden Haun

wtf Ashlyn Klim 32


Comic Collage Kierstan Man

Under the Weather Alyssa Lucci

Double Exposure Bella Fishman 33

A Call for Conversation Kierstan Man

Taehyung Cloudy Eyes Rebecca Burnett 34

Fireflies Rebecca Burnett

These Troubling Times Kierstan Man 35

Kuro Rebecca Burnett

An Iceberg Bella Fishman


Madonna Bella Fishman

A Bath in Limbo Danielle MacWilliams

St. John Ashlyn Klim 37

Solo Bailey Dew


Non-Fiction Writing

“I like to learn. That’s an art and a science.” -Katherine Johnson 39

That Wall Jenny Chaparro They build that wall brick by brick. That wall of hatred and suppression. They build that wall to hold us back. From up on that wall they yell things—horrible, degrading things. They believe that they are safe on that wall. When we try to climb that wall, we get pushed down or shot down. One day we will climb that wall and, when we do, we will try to talk and be kind, not degrading. We will treat the people who treated us so poorly with kindness and respect. We will take that wall down brick by brick. We will show them kindness; we will help them understand us; we will help change their racist ways. But if kindness does not work, then we will have to break down that wall. We will have to show them how it is down on the other side of the wall. We will show them the pain and suffering and show them how they can change.


Incorrect Interpretations of Intelligence Sarah Seiber “Standardized testing has swelled and mutated, like a creature in one of those old horror movies, to the point that it now threatens to swallow our schools whole” (Kohn). Standardized testing has sparked a nation-wide debate in the last several years, causing many parents to feel understandably concerned about their child’s intelligence being judged on the basis of a single test. Standardized testing, such as the ACT, typically judges four categories: English, Math, Reading, and Science reasoning. These tests, however, cannot judge reasoning ability because they rely on correct answers rather than the method used to achieve them. Therefore, judging only these four categories on a multiple-choice basis fails to show anything except how big the income level is for the student’s family. The students that can afford better tutors tend to learn all the tricks and score higher, whether they are truly smart or not. Standardized testing is an inaccurate depiction of intelligence and potential for future success. Standardized testing’s purpose is to evaluate the student’s ability to reason through the given four subject areas. However, it does not achieve this purpose: “The fact is that they usually don't assess the skills and dispositions that matter most. They tend to be contrived exercises that measure how much students have managed to cram into short-term memory. Even the exceptions—questions that test the ability to reason—generally fail to offer students the opportunity ‘to carry out extended analyses, to solve open-ended problems, or to display command of complex relationships, although these abilities are at the heart of higher order competence’” (Kohn). Before a standardized test, most students spend time learning strategies, taking practice tests, and completing last minute cramming. They do not spend their time working on reasoning skills. They spend their time memorizing rules and patterns for the test in order to succeed. These tests cannot possibly measure logical critical thinking skills and therefore cannot predict the academic intelligence or ability to succeed on a collegiate level. These tests only asses the ability to get correct answers which is shown through “ignoring the process by which students arrive at an answer, so a miss is as good as a mile and a minor calculation error is interchangeable, with a major failure of reasoning” (Kohn). Standardized tests are graded simply off correct answers; in order to asses reasoning skills they would need to assess the student’s method to achieving the answer, not just the validity of it. For the math portion of these tests “an analysis of the most widely used standardized math tests found that only three percent of the questions required ‘high level conceptual knowledge’ and only five percent tested ‘high level thinking skills such as problem solving and reasoning.’ Typically, the tests aim to make sure that students have memorized a series of procedures, not that they understand what they are doing” (Kohn). The math sections of these tests involve the ability to memorize formulas and execute them quickly. Since they do not involve critical thinking skills 41

or reasoning, no true understanding of math is required. If no true understanding of the subject material is required, then how can this test accurately depict intelligence or potential for success? While taking a standardized test, one of the most important skills is having formulas and strategies memorized and being able to execute them quickly. These tests are timed in a very unfair way. Strategies must be made up in order to effectively complete a section. When time limits are set, the student is given an impossible amount of time on purpose. Special ACT prep programs and tutors teach different strategies on approaching the test’s tight time limit. Some are even too focused on these strategies rather than actually learning the concepts tested. The purpose of standardized testing is supposed to be to set a bar where student’s level of understanding is. In addition, these tutors and ACT prep modules and classes can get pricey. This would mean that students from lower income families might not have access to the strategies taught in these prep classes. It is unfair to judge a student’s intelligence by amplifying the importance of finishing on time rather than actually applying the concepts taught properly. These impossible time constraints help keep the test from being able to judge intelligence. Testing agencies may argue that in many cases standardized testing is a very accurate depiction of intelligence because usually students with higher grades or academic achievements score better on a standardized test. In reality, the students who score better on these tests went through some type of a preparation program to help them go through the test’s seemingly impossible parameters. In addition, the idea of retaking tests to increase scores would make the supposable aptitude test counterintuitive. Chris Streetman of McKendree University finds in his study that “students retaking the tests would skew the data unless every student in that district retakes the test. But some students can barely afford the test the first time and do not have the option of retaking the test. Furthermore, if students know what is on the test, it becomes less of a measure of aptitude and more of a measure of how well the students studied for the test” (Streetman). Since the data for these tests become skewed and the students already know what to expect on test day, it is impossible for the tests to depict intelligence. One of the main things an ACT score report can identify is the income level of the student’s family. The richer a student’s family is, the more that child can attend an upper level tutor and utilize more resources to score well on these tests. So, a standardized score report has to account for something right? “The main thing they tell us is how big the students' houses are. Research has repeatedly found that the amount of poverty in the communities where schools are located, along with other variables having nothing to do with what happens in classrooms, accounts for the great majority of the difference in test scores from one area to the next. To that extent, tests are simply not a valid measure of school effectiveness” (Kohn). Since tests like the ACT do not account for school effectiveness, then how can they possibly account for a student’s ability to have a successful future? What is the point of taking the standardized tests if they cannot account for a student’s intelligence, ability to succeed, or school effectiveness? “Indeed, 42

one educator suggested that we could save everyone a lot of time and money by eliminating standardized tests and just asking a single question: How much money does your mom make? ...OK, you're on the bottom. Only someone ignorant or dishonest would present a ranking of schools' test results as though it told us about the quality of teaching that went on in those schools when, in fact, it primarily tells us about socioeconomic status and available resources. Of course, knowing what really determines the scores makes it impossible to defend the practice of using them as the basis for high-stake decisions� (Kohn). Standardized tests account for so little, they only really show the income level of the student and what resources were available to them. The most horrific part is that these scores are used for extremely crucial decisions, such as scholarship eligibility in college. Since standardized tests do not properly depict intelligence, they should not be used to gage how much financial aid a student may receive from a college. Standardized testing cannot account for intelligence or potential to succeed on the collegiate level. These tests cannot properly evaluate a student’s ability to reason through the given subject areas because it fails to assess the method of problem solving that was used to develop an answer. In addition to this, the test also has impossible parameters such as unfair time constraints. The tests also tend to show the economic status of the student’s family and the resources that were available to them rather than the true aptitude and intelligence of the student. The ACT might test whether or not a student can quickly execute a crazy trigonometric function, but that will have little significance in predicating future success in college, a career, and life.


Works Cited Kohn, Alfie. "The case against standardized testing: raising the scores, ruining the schools." Testing (2000): 1. Streetman, Chris. "Abolishing the ACT and SAT." McKendree Scholar Issue (2013): 1.


A Reflection on the March for Life and its Mission Michael Stapleton Our Lord tells us: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jn 14:16). Furthermore, Saint Thomas Aquinas says of God: “He is truth itself, and the sovereign and first truth” (ST Q16.5). Our society is embroiled in a dire crisis of truth. One of the chief articles of deceit which a great part of the United States rallies behind is the notion that killing an unborn baby is morally neutral, if not a positive good. How is it that so blatant a falsehood is allowed to manifest itself in sixty million deaths? At the moment of conception, a child’s genetic makeup is complete. By the end of the fourth week of pregnancy, the baby has a heartbeat and its first nerve cells have formed. During the second month, the central nervous system is well formed. By the end of the fourth month, a baby can make faces, suck his thumb, and yawn. As we have heard on this trip, each baby is unique from day one. This is true by virtue of genetics and the baby’s soul. The killing of a baby immediately after birth is what we call “infanticide,” and rightly regard it an egregious crime. But we know that being born does not confer personhood. While I have by no means exhausted the subject of human development, I think that even a rudimentary understanding of a baby’s development makes it obvious that the killing of the unborn is murder. How is it that such an obvious truth is denied? The answer is that it is not denied. In 2013, Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote “My belief that life begins at conception is mine to cling to.” Williams is not a pro-life author. The quote comes from an article entitled “So What if Abortion Ends a Life?” Let us consider, in light of this acknowledgement, the following: the president of Planned Parenthood, Leana Wen, admitted this year that “Our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion.” Thus, we arrive at the only possible conclusion: the providers of abortion in this country know what they are doing, and they do not care. They are apathetic both towards the unborn victim as well as the mother. Thus, our mission is not to go on a crusade to force anyone to acknowledge that abortion ends a life. Nor is it to convince those in public office to pass laws against abortion, for such men and women are bound, as we all are, to their own imperfections and the imperfection of the system they are in. Political demonstrations do, however, have value. The assembly of the just upon earth does in fact have the power to improve upon imperfections of earthly institutions. Yet, we know that no government has any authority save what it derives from Christ the King of the Universe. Thus, our principle and final hope is not in the United States government. What are to do, then, against such hate? Our mission must be always to remain devoted to Christ in the mass. Abortion is an attack on the Truth and the Life, but by His Passion He has destroyed death and redeemed us. We were told at the March that we looked like the biggest crowd that had ever attended. Consider that yesterday half a million people woke up early, likely went to Mass, and thus bore Christ in their breast as they stood in the cold and mud, marching through both. We may hope to 45

accomplish the will of God by offering such suffering up to Him. In the sixth chapter of Romans, Saint Paul writes: “How can we who died to sin yet live in it? Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.” To gain eternal life, we must die. We must die to our sinful selves through acts of penance, which we offer for ourselves and others. It is a great act of mercy to do penance for another. So, let us do penance for those who believe in abortion, and especially those who provide it. In dying we may hope that some lives may be saved, that a human being who may have been killed in the womb will have a chance to live, to cultivate a love for God, and to bear Christ within them. Our hope is in the Lord alone. Only He can deliver us from this present darkness. Appealing to God’s mercy, for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.



“We are only beginning to learn what to say in a photograph. The world we live in is a succession of fleeting moments, any one of which might say something significant.� -Alfred Eisenstaedt


Candy Sky Anastasia Kelly

Guatemalan Child Davis Clem


Sunset on AL-180 Kelsey Craighead

Guatemalan Mountains Davis Clem 49

Factory Drew Bridges

Low Tides Natalie Perry

Poser Bella Fishman 50

Sunsphere Drew Bridges

Mount Washington Davis Clem


High in the Sky Sara Allen

We invite you, if you dare… Kelsey Craighead 52

How Could You Say No To That Face? Sarah Burnett

Jump Drew Bridges 53

The Final Battle Kelsey Craighead

Aesthetics Sara Allen 54

Spanish Bird Lady Davis Clem

Mew Sara Allen 55

Rainy Fall Break Andy De Leon Davila

Lights Mary Iverson

The Air Force Memorial Riley Schrick


Best Part of the Meal Sara Allen

Na’vi Shaman Kelsey Craighead 57

中国北京 Beijing, China Sara Allen

U.S. Marine Corps Memorial Riley Strick



“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought found words.” -Robert Frost


We Will Remember Suzannah Brown Once there were twin towers that stood as still as statues until September 11, 2001. An airplane ran into the World Trade Center, and soon afterward the South World Trade World Center. The twin towers came crashing down to the ground of New York City. When the twin towers were on the ground, police, firefighters, and dogs surrounded the building to find survivors; some were still alive, but sadly, most were dead. Still, after 17 years we still remember those who died and those who sacrificed their lives In 2001.


New York Emma Browning Skyline masked by buildings, Blocking the sunlight, keeping it cold Faceless inhabitants lurking in the streets— toward their unknown destination. Yellow monsters prowling the streets, will they crush or welcome you? I am rooted to the pavement searching these faces— Watching these monsters “Where is the sunlight?” I may ask “Why is it hiding?” But I’ll find it in clear open space— Near the halls containing our history. There I find the sun. Unmarked by buildings— and the people smiling—people laughing. They know exactly where they’re going— And the cabs are silent, always waiting—never prowling.


Christmas Day Laure Ann Duhamel Presents under the tree But they aren’t for me Then it hits me like A punch in the face Anguished, I cry As I remember Everything The car The lights So bright The bruises The pain So intense Life changed Life gone In a minute Mom has gone Dad has gone I should be gone I sink to the ground And I understand I am alone In this house That I do not call home With these people Who do not know me This happy day Turned dark And I know It’s all my fault.


Familiar Kristina Elizabeth How dare you say you love me when you didn’t even try You felt you had to escape from me, you felt you had to die. You took away my life You took away my joy You used me and threw it all away, like I was just a toy. And I loved you Or I love but what’s the difference Because love is a word so old and so worn It no longer seems to make sense. You loved me You loved the drink But not once did you stop and think This is hurting her. Or did you even care? When did our reality become too much to bear? You tore me up to bits and pieces Yet I love you still I love the man that you once were before you lost your will. And before this, I must confess, I always had feared death But now death seems like a childhood friend That I look forward to, Because I know when he finally comes I will get to see you.


Leah and Drew Katie Holt In the morning we used to race to the sinks to see who could brush their teeth and wash their face the fastest. Then, it was a race to the black Durango A car ride full of our dad's favorite songs. Then, we would arrive at school and see who could say "bumaunkle" the fastest, our own inside joke where being the winner of this contest was the most important thing. Then, at pick up, our brother would let us sit with him and his friends being the youngest, they should've excluded me because I was just some little kid instead, they made sure I was front and center and knew what was going on. Then, on the car ride home we'd tell our mom every detail of our day while she listened patiently and asked if we did one nice thing for someone else. Then, we would get home and do our homework together and watch TV after filling the rest of the afternoon with smiles and giggles. Then before bed, we'd yell "Love you!" from our beds and wait to do it all again the next morning. Now, I wake myself up slowly, with no one to race, but the clock. Now, I make my way to my car alone where I listen to my favorite songs by myself with no inside jokes to make me smile. Then, after school, I go home where my mom and dad wait for me. I still tell them about my day and we still smile, but it's quieter than it used to be. Now, I do my homework at the dining room table alone. Sometimes I wonder what stranger they're talking to that I'll never meet 64

what funny story they're telling about our family and what story they're living through that I'll never know. But, then a phone rings and it's always my sister first. When I come into frame, she smiles and says my name excitedly and asks about play rehearsal. It still feels like she's home and no time has passed. Then, a while later, my brother calls next. He smiles when he sees me and asks about my classes before launching into his story and passion of the week. We say goodnight, not by yelling from our beds, but by texting from our own little corners of the world where we're physically separate, but our family always feels together. Now, I wait for the breaks from school, not because there is no class and I am free from homework but because those breaks give us an opportunity to smile and giggle like we used to.


For You Madison Justice You left me broken and battered— Almost dead inside. But the fire within Kept me alive. Now I am stronger than I was before. Hopeful, to say the least. Courage surrounds me Like the lion I am. You tried to capture me And you tried to keep me down. But now, I’m the one You’re running from. You came along When I was a child. I began to heal that day. Then, you used me For your own good Left me broken, Left me alone. I still am learning to Forgive those mistakes. But it takes time, And that’s what you don’t have. It’s back to the drawing board, Back to square one. Time for you to understand That being alone Doesn’t always equal Being lonely. Life is really worth living, Yet you don’t know that. 66

You think it’s all only done once. Really, it’s always done twice. History re-lives itself, And boy do you deserve What’s coming for you After you left me to die In someone else’s life.


Sonnet to the Stars Katie Orillion Through the vast darkness, your bright eyes call me In bursts of azure, magenta and gold. I sit, I watch you, and I’m filled with glee, A habit I’ll favor ‘til I grow old. Sitting alone in the darkness so dense, I am insignificant in compare, But even though you are so bold and immense, You make me believe I can live without care. And yet, as I reach out to hold you My failures jumble the path with dismay. But I want to reach you, and I try to push through, But alas, you will remain far away. So maybe I’ll settle, admiring from afar But nothing will change the inspiration you are.


I Live Only Day to Day Maggie Padgett I lived only Day to Day Only Moments did I complete The Heavens in my Eyes I saw The Ground beneath my Feet I never stressed what’s next Nor wondered my ending— The act lengthened my Stride Happy and Unending Though Life is short And one Day we return to Ash We have—infinite—Power To live in the Dash


Fire Tenny The fire of the wild. The fire of the brave. The fire of the tame. The fire of the cowardly. The fire of late night. The fire of midday. The fire of woodsmoke. The fire of ashes. The fire of laughter. The fire of tears. The fire of embarrassment. The fire of love. The fire of hatred. The fire deep within the earth. The fire of anger. The fire of happiness. The fire that fuels dreams. The fire that fuels passion. The fire that consumes time. The fire that consumes sanity. The fire, sparking and fading. The fire never to take place. The fire already lost. The fire that melts my heart. The fire in my eyes. The fire in my nightmares. The fire of my soul.


Which do I Choose? Abigail Underwood When you’re torn between the two parts of you When you’re slowly elapsing into despair When you’re slowly failing from the stress Which do you choose? When you can’t cry but you want to When you need to pray but can’t speak When you need to sleep and yet you’re afraid to close your eyes What do you do? I sit in silence My brain thinks nothing My heart feels nothing I see a void of the darkness A pit over the moon I must’ve missed In my hopes of seeing maybe God? Who is it that I am to turn to when I feel abandoned? What is it that I say when I’ve been betrayed? When is it that I cry and cry and feel something? Why is it that I can’t hear anything? What is it you want me to do? Which is it you want me to choose? How can I hope? How could I heal? I’m bruised and left behind. I know no way to escape this pain. It’s all I see, All I hear. Hidden in the dark, 71

And all I fear. I see shapes maybe a light At the end of this hall a bar will be blocking the way Just like how I knew it would fall. How can I choose what to do? Where do I choose to go? Which way should I choose to feel? Why should I choose to leave?


Money Cash Wagers Money— Does it buy you happiness? No? But can’t it buy items that make you happy? If you looked upon a pile of money, Wouldn’t it bring happiness to you? Or are you poor Trying to make excuses Saying how you are happier than your wealthy friends Lying About how you don’t need money. Have you seen a poor person when you give them money? They get happy, do they not?


Coping Josalyn Whitehouse Little things remind you. Of how it used to be. Every picture every item. But If they were here How would things end up to be. Everything feels different. Wherever you are its dark. Don’t forget them. They will always be in your heart. Hoping things will get better Knowing that they will. Don’t forget them still. It is something you'll get used to It only takes a while. And then you can start to smile.


Riddles Anglo-Saxon Riddle Anonymous at times I fill your mind with bliss other times with rage your eyes get dry as you look at me but you know you have no other choice you see me in almost everywhere you go school, home when you are done with me you place me on my ledge letting me lay there surrounded by my companions forever sitting there in silence

Answer: a book


A Riddle Suzannah Brown I am a large sack Which makes your back, and shoulders cry I am always by your side For 10 months. To hold all your precious belongings Sometimes your stuff gets lost But believe me it’s not my fault. I just have too many pockets to carry all your gear. Including technology that has Pounds galore from 7am to 5pm What am I?

Answer: a backpack


Anglo-Saxon Riddle Emily Browning I am one of a kind Only you can create me I can be faked, but it’s never perfect As you become older, I become more important I am your very identity

Answer: a signature


Faculty and Staff

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” –William Arthur Ward



I, Scream Mr. Guy Shelton

Cool Cat Dr. Kelly Kearse 79

Chick In Dr. Kelly Kearse

Flag Mrs. Kat Coy


Hello Kitty Dr. Kelly Kearse

Be Still Mrs. Kat Coy

Go Ape Dr. Kelly Kearse


Dog Days Dr. Kelly Kearse

French Press Pour Mr. Guy Shelton

Ponders of Life Ms. Danielle Sanok 82

Montana Storms Mr. Guy Shelton

Soul of an Alaskan Sailor Ms. Danielle Sanok 83

Be Doers Mrs. Kat Coy

Colourful Water Wine Mr. Guy Shelton

Spots Dr. Kelly Kearse


Looking Over Us Mrs. Kat Coy

Winding Glacier Ridge Ms. Danielle Sanok

Died for Us Mrs. Kat Coy 85

Writing The Biblical Importance of Beards Father Michael Hendershott Psalm 133 teaches us the virtue of Christian charity: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, upon the beard of Aaron.” Beards! These are essential for Christian charity, for if Aaron did not have a beard, then the oil, representing charity, would have nothing to run down upon. This is simple logic! Beards are just about as rare as victories in Philadelphia sports. But why are they so rare? It must be because there is little Christian charity in our world. Therefore, the Church should mandate that all priests and seminarians must grow beards. There are many reasons for this position, all of which are specifically Catholic reasons, from both Scripture and Tradition. First, Our Lord was bearded; therefore, the first step in becoming Christ-like is to look like Him. Point made. Second, we are told by the world that clean-shaven men are eighty-nine percent more trustworthy than a bearded man. However, did not Christ come to conquer the world, and thus reject the subjection to its standards? Therefore, in order to be really Christ-like, we all should grow beards so to convert the culture. This progressive overhaul of culture would change the culture from an atheistic, secular culture of death to a Christian, bearded culture of charity. Third, not growing a beard is an insult to God. In fact, every time a man shaves, it is an act of ingratitude as if God made a mistake when He created us. It is like saying to Him, “O God, I know that You made hair grow on my face, but I really don’t want it here right now, or tomorrow, or ever! In fact, I think that it was a terrible idea to make hair grow on my face.” And why is it a terrible idea? Because it gets in the way, it is scratchy, food gets caught in it, but wait… Can this be a good part of having a beard? Fourth, growing a beard would make us more Catholic. We should not let this be the trait of Franciscans and Benedictines alone, but—as Vatican II advised—we should go back to our roots. Now going back to our roots would make us rekindle the need for beards, which were such an integral part of the priestly ministry in both the Old Testament and in the early Church. Fifth, growing a beard would really make us more ecumenical. It would make us more conscious of our Fathers in Faith, the pre-Christian Jews, who had beards. It would give us a special connection to their priests, for Aaron was a bearded Jewish priest. Also, if the Old Testament priesthood, namely a bearded priesthood, is continued and fulfilled in Christ, the bearded High Priest, the New Testament priests should continue the Tradition, for Tradition is one of the pillars of our Faith. 86

Sixth, the priestly ministry in the early Church clearly involved beards, for all of the Apostles had beards. However, St. John is often pictured without one, but it can be assumed that as he grew from youth to mature manhood, he eventually grew a beard to equal his growth in Christian charity. All of the popes until Pope Donus are pictured with beards, and this pope died almost 700 years after Christ! This means that having a beard was a tradition for over 600 years. Seventh, the majority of male saints, being devoted followers of Christ, were also bearded. Some try to “explain this away” by bringing up the fact that the electric razor was only invented in the nineteen-seventies, but how many saints could really come out of the seventies?! I’ve heard it said that St. Augustine wished that all men had beards and believed that in heaven all men would be bearded. Eighth, historically, it makes us the “good guys” or at least on the side of the Chosen People, the People of God. On the ancient monuments, the Jews were always depicted as bearded and the Egyptians and Assyrians, the “bad guys,” were always shown as clean-shaven. Ninth, the beard holds much good symbolism that should be recaptured. The Jews especially cherished the beard as a symbol of virility. The Second Book of Samuel says that to cut off another man's beard was an outrage. The Book of Jeremiah says that to shave or to pluck one's own beard was a sign of mourning. The First Book of Samuel says that to allow the beard to be defiled constituted a presumption of madness. Tenth, it would make sure that no women would be ordained, because women cannot grow beards. Some protest, as did Ratramnus of Corbie, that all this talk is foolishness to make an outcry about a matter which concerns salvation so little as beards, but I object. For beards are so necessary for Christian charity, for without them, the oil of charity will have nothing to run down upon, and hence, charity is not able to exist. Now you may ask why I am clean-shaven. Good question. I, just like every one of us here in seminary, play the game, we walk the walk, and do they do, just to get through. You know that each and every one of you are thinking the same thing as I am. For every moment that the faculty is not looking, each one of here is secretly, silently growing their beard. Psalm 133, RSV: Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down upon the beard, upon the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forever more. DRV: “Like the precious ointment on the head, that ran down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron”


Among the Jews, as among most Oriental peoples, the beard was especially cherished as a symbol of virility; to cut off another man's beard was an outrage (2 Samuel 10:4); to shave or to pluck one's own beard was a sign of mourning (Jeremiah 41:5; 48:37); to allow the beard to be defiled constituted a presumption of madness (1 Samuel 21:13). Certain ceremonial cuttings of the beard which probably imitated pagan superstition were strictly forbidden (Leviticus 14:9). These usages which we learn from the Bible are confirmed by the testimony of monuments, both Egyptian and Assyrian, in which the Jews are invariably depicted as bearded. The Egyptians themselves commonly shaved, and we are told that Joseph, on being taken from his prison, was made to shave before appearing in the presence of the king (Genesis 41:14). Similarly, in Greece and in Rome shortly before the time of Christ, it was the fashion to shave, but from the accession of Hadrian onwards, as we may see from the existing statues of the Roman emperors, beards once more became the order of the day. With regard to the Christian clergy, no clear evidence is available for the early centuries. The Apostles, in our most ancient monuments, are for the most part represented as bearded, but not uniformly so. (See WeissLiebersdorff, Christus- und Apostelbilder, Freiburg, 1902.) St. Jerome seems to censure the practice of wearing long beards, but no very definite conclusion can be drawn from his allusions or from those of his contemporary, St. Augustine. The positive legislation on the subject for clerics appears to be Canon 44 of the so-called Fourth of Carthage, which in reality represents the synodal decrees of some council in Southern Gaul in the time of St. CĂŚsarius of Arles (c. 503). There it enjoined that a cleric is to allow neither hair nor beard to grow freely (Clericus nec comam nutriat nec barbam) though this prohibition is very probably directed only against beards of excessive length. Still this canon, which was widely quoted and is included in the "Corpus juris" had great influence in creating a precedent. (See for example the "Penitential" of Halitgar and the so-called "Excerptions" attributed to Egbert of York.) So far as concerns England in particular it was certainly regarded throughout the Middle Ages as uncanonical to allow the beard to grow. A cleric was known as a shorn man (bescoren man, Laws of Wihtred, A.D. 96), and if it should seem that this might refer to the tonsure, we have a law of King Alfred: "If a man shave off another's beard let him make amends with twenty shillings. If he binds him first and then shave him like a priest (hine to preoste bescire) let him make amends with sixty shillings." And under Edgar we find the canon: "Let no man in holy orders conceal his tonsure, nor let himself be mis-shaven nor keep his beard for any time, if he will have God's blessing and St. Peter's and ours." A similar practice obtained generally throughout the West and it was one of the great subjects of reproach on the part of the Greek Church, from the time of Photius onwards, that the Roman clergy systematically cut off their beards. But as Ratramnus of Corbie protested, it was foolish to make an outcry about a matter which concerned salvation so little as this barbĂŚ detonsio aut conservatio. The legislation requiring the beard to be shaved seems to have remained in force throughout the Middle Ages. Thus, an ordinance of the Council of Toulouse in 88

1119, threatened with excommunication the clerics who "like a layman allowed hair and beard to grow," and Pope Alexander III ordained that clerics who nourished their hair and beard were to be shorn by their archdeacon, by force if necessary. This last decree was incorporated in the text of the canon law (Decretals of Gregory IX, III, tit. i, cap. vii). Durandus, finding mystical reasons for everything, according to his wont, tells us that "length of hair is symbolical of the multitude of sins. Hence clerics are directed to shave their beards; for the cutting of the hair of the beard, which is said to be nourished by the superfluous humors of the stomach, denotes that we ought to cut away the vices and sins which are a superfluous growth in us. Hence we shave our beards that we may seem purified by innocence and humility and that we may be like the angels who remain always in the bloom of youth." (Rationale, II, lib. XXXII.) In spite of this, the phrase barbam nutrire which was classical in the matter and was still used by the Fifth Council of Lateran (1512), always remained somewhat ambiguous. Consequently, usage in the sixteenth century began to interpret the prohibition as not inconsistent with a short beard. There are still many ordinances of episcopal synods which deal with the subject, but the point upon which stress is laid is that the clergy "should not seem to be aping the fashions of military folk" or wearing flowing beards like goats (hircorum et caprarum more), or allowing the hair on their upper lip to impede their drinking of the chalice. This last has always been accounted a solid reason in favor of the practice of shaving. To judge by the portraits of the popes, it was with Clement VII (1523) that a distinct beard began to be worn, and many among his successors, for example Paul III, allowed the beard to grow to considerable length. St. Charles Borromeo attempted to check the spread of the new fashion, and in 1576 he addressed to his clergy a pastoral "De barbâ radendâ" exhorting them to observe the canons. Still, though the length of clerical beards decreased during the seventeenth century, it was not until its close that the example of the French court and the influence of Cardinal Orsini, Archbishop of Beneventum, contributed to bring about a return to the earlier usage. For the last 200 years there has been no change, and an attempt made by some of the clergy of Bavaria in 1865 to introduce the wearing of beards was rebuked by the Holy See. As already noted, in Eastern lands a smooth face carries with it the suggestion of effeminacy. For this reason, the clergy, whether Catholic or Schismatic, of the Oriental churches have always worn their beards. The same consideration, together with a regard for practical difficulties, has influenced the Roman authorities in according a similar privilege to missionaries, not only in the East but in other barbarous countries where the conveniences of civilization cannot be found. In the case of religious orders like the Capuchins and the Camaldolese Hermits the wearing of a beard is prescribed in their constitutions as a mark of austerity and penance. Individual priests who for medical or other reasons desire to exempt themselves from the law require the permission of their bishop.


The Shepherd’s Plan Sister John Catherine Kennedy Inspired by a homily by Father Edward Hopkins Jesus says, “How can we feed them all?” Even though He has a plan. I say, “Lord, There’s no way at all. There’s only enough for one man.” Five loaves and two fish And there are thousands here. Two hundred days wages would not be enough, Lord, we can’t even come near. “Will you give me five loaves and two fish? Will you give me all that you have? Will you let me use you, small though you are To feed these five thousand men?” They’re taking the bread from me, man after man, They reach up and take what’s not mine. I’ve given away more than I had to give And still the bread falls from my hand. I go back to Jesus, empty and spent And He welcomes me with a smile. “Pick up the fragments so nothing is lost And then come rest with me for a while.” “Will you give me five loaves and two fish? Will you give me all that you have? Will you let me use you, small though you are To feed these five thousand men?”


Come as a Child Mrs. Deb Murray As infants, we place complete trust in our parents and those with whom we interact unless we are rejected or hurt. As children, we express and understand love and contentment based on our trust in the adults around us and our experiences with them. As we mature, our understanding of happiness and love continues to develop according to our understanding and experiences. However, even though our understanding, or “head knowledge” grows, personal experience is the key to “heart knowledge.” The Incarnation, earthly ministry, Death and Resurrection of Christ give us the gift of both sets of knowledge. In child-like trust and faith, we accept the gift of Christ in the Eucharist; as we grow in our understanding more fully, we begin to understand the depth and cost of this gift; when we understand and acknowledge that Christ fulfills the Scriptures for each of us specifically, we truly worship and adore. Christ asks us “to come as a child” because children readily accept the seemingly impossible and wondrous as adults may not. How can we not accept if we open our hearts and our minds to all that we are given? We understand the “big picture.” Christ is the Savior; we all have the opportunity to believe, and this is immutable. When we realize that Christ would do the same if only one human existed, then we begin to faintly understand the magnitude of God’s love for us and cannot help but evangelize through our actions and adoration.


A Riddle Mrs. Deb Murray I am often invisible, walking on two feet; however, sometimes I travel on three or even four feet. I am no respecter of age, gender, race, or ethnicity. My cousins number over one hundred and live around the world; Some are well-known while others are like me, known to far fewer. My group of friends, while not as large as those of some of my cousins, includes Neil Cavuto, Anne Romney, Jack Osbourne, and Montel Williams. Nationally acknowledged each March, I am often associated with walks and bicycle rides. I am your family, your friend, your neighbor, your classmate, your teacher. Who am I?

Answer: MS


Las Vicisitudes de Viajar Señora Luzzette Slough El último fin de semana de las vacaciones de Navidad era muy divertido. Fui a Nueva York con mi esposo. Él quería que yo lo acompañara en su viaje de negocios. Tenía un cliente en Nueva York. Así salimos para el aeropuerto a las cinco de la mañana — ¡bien temprano! Debido al cierre del gobierno, la cola de seguridad era larguísima. Mi esposo viaja tanto que tenía seguridad aprobada. Esa línea era mucho más corta. Pero yo tenía que hacer cola en la más larga. Al llegar al aeropuerto me di cuenta de que no tenía mi celular. Me enojé bastante conmigo. Entonces, tuve que imprimir mi boleto en el quiosco. Lo fui a imprimir mientras mi esposo guardaba mi lugar en la cola. Desafortunadamente cuando escaneé mi carnet de conducir en la máquina, no pudo encontrar mi reservación de vuelo. A causa de que no tenía mi celular, no podía comunicarme con mi esposo para que saliera de la cola a ayudarme. Así que tuve que volver a la cola a buscarlo. Entonces él me acompañó al quiosco y me imprimió mi boleto de vuelo. Regresamos a las colas de seguridad: él a la cola más corta, y yo a la más larga. Varios viajeros se quejaban de lo largo de la cola porque tenían miedo de perder sus vuelos. Pero no había nada que hacer salvo esperar en la cola. Cuando por fin llegué al escáner, me quité los zapatos, mi cinturón, y mi abrigo y puse todo en el recipiente. Pasé por el escáner y subí al avión sin problema. El vuelo pasó sin incidente ninguno y llegamos a Nueva York. Pedimos un taxi y fuimos camino al hotel. Al entrar en la habitación ¡descubrí que mi celular había estado en mi cartera todo el tiempo! — lo cual me puso súper feliz.


Translación de Las Vicisitudes de Viajar Kelsey Craighead The Difficulty of Traveling The last weekend of Christmas vacation was very fun. I went to New York with my husband. He wanted me to accompany him on his business trip. He had a client in New York. We left for the airport at five in the morning—very early. Due to government being closed, the security line was very long. My husband travels so often that he has a security pass. That line was much shorter. But I had to go through a much longer line. When I arrived at the airport, I realized that I didn’t have my cell phone. I was mad at myself for a while. Then, I had to print off my ticket in the kiosk. While I was printing my ticket, my husband was saving my spot in line. Unfortunately, when the machine scanned my driver’s license, it could not find my flight reservation. Because I didn’t have my phone, I couldn’t communicate to my husband to leave the line and help me. So, I had to return to the security line and look for him. Then he accompanied me to the kiosk and printed my flight ticket. When we returned to the security lines, his line was very short and mine was very long. Various travelers complained about the long line because they were afraid to miss their flights. But there was nothing to do except wait in line. When I finally arrived at the scanner, I took my shoes, belt, and coat and put them all in the container. I passed through the scanner and boarded the plane without any problems. The flight went by without any incidents and we arrived in New York. We asked for a taxi and went to the hotel. Right when I entered the hotel, I realized my phone had been in my purse the entire time—which made me very happy!


Meet the Editorial Staff

Kelsey Craighead Executive Editor

Sara Allen Associate Editor

Deb Murray Faculty Moderator

Kelsey Craighead is a part of the Class of 2019 at Knoxville Catholic High School and will graduate this spring. During her time at KCHS, Craighead swam all four years, serving as a captain her junior and senior year. In the fall, Craighead will attend Randolph-Macon College and compete for their swim team. In her spare time, Craighead enjoys watching movies, reading, and traveling. Her favorite author is Cassandra Clare.

Sara Allen is a part of the Class of 2019 at Knoxville Catholic High School and will graduate this spring. During her time at KCHS, she played tennis all four years and served as the president of the Belize Club. In the fall, Allen will attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In her free time, Allen enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and trying new foods. Her favorite book trilogy is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.

Deb Murray is originally from Meridian, Mississippi. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education with a minor in English and a Master of Science degree in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. She moved to Knoxville in 1992 and began teaching at Knoxville Catholic High School in January 1993. In her free time, Murray enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her grandchildren. Her favorite author is William Faulkner.


Acknowledgements To Mrs. Deb Murray for helping us get this done. From the many emails to the constant questions and the many lunches spent in your room, thank you for helping us complete this year’s issue of the magazine. We both enjoyed getting to know you this year as well as hearing your subtle, witty comments. To Mrs. Jane Walker for helping us find up money to fund this project. Without you, there would be no literal magazine this year. To Mrs. Pam Rhoades for helping us research publishing companies, cover designing, and making the magazine available to the Knoxville Catholic community. To Mr. Ben Wilkinson for giving us the background knowledge to help kickstart this entire project. Without your insight on the literary magazine, we would have been scrambling for answers at the beginning of the year. To Ms. Joan Williams for giving advice throughout this process as well as helping with the dedication. To Mrs. Dawn Harbin for lending us the old yearbooks from the library archives and answering any formatting questions we had. To Mrs. Liberty Phillips for answering any questions we had and offering to use part of her budget to help pay for the physical copies if we needed it. To Mrs. Kathy Ferowich for letting us borrow the student class schedule binders and giving us the resources to deliver the physical copies. To Mrs. Nicole Underwood for teaching a writing workshop to the creative writing class and bringing in college level literary magazines to use as resources. To the English and Art Department teachers for promoting this magazine and supporting your students’ creativity. Thank you, Alissa Amundson, Deb Murray, Niki Mynatt, Liberty Phillips, Saxon Prater, Jake Rodgers, Jennifer Williams, and Joan Williams for teaching the Knoxville Catholic students how to write and read between the lines. Thank you, Alex Kaparos and Susan Passarello for teaching students how to use their imagination to create artwork. And finally, to everyone who contributed. Thank you for sharing pieces of your writing or artwork with the world. Without you, The Irish Review would not be possible.


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The Irish Review 2018-19  

The Irish Review is a collection of writing, poetry, artwork and photography from Knoxville Catholic High School students, faculty and staff...

The Irish Review 2018-19  

The Irish Review is a collection of writing, poetry, artwork and photography from Knoxville Catholic High School students, faculty and staff...