Page 1

THE SPECTRUM


Acknowlegements Special thanks to: Dr. Kersey

Our hardworking staff members

Mrs. McLemore, for supporting our class

The AHS student body for submitting to our creative outlet


And to our patrons:

Black: Beth and Gary Zermuehlen

Patron of the Arts: Suzette and Aaron Powell


Staff Katie McGivney - Layout Editor Audrey Zermuehlen Editor-In-Chief Opal Sivan - Former Marketing Editor Marie Johnson

Maia Tau - Marketing Editor Jules Mead

Kira Wiklund - Marketing Editor Lucie Visick

Vik Anil - Junior Editor

Kondwani Kamanga - Treasurer


ffers Brenna Alford - Copy Editor Rachel Calvis Editor-In-Chief Josh Ng - Content Editor Sabrina Powell

Olivia Mckenzie Chit Thu

AJ Hasan Mackenzie Carpenter

Kaden Jean-Pierre

Vinit Hedaoo


Disclaimer This publication is a forum for students to openly express themselves. All art, literature, and photography was submitted by the students of Alpharetta High School and selected by a comittee of the creative arts magazine staff before being accepted. The pieces accepted into the magazine represent the diverse views and opinions of the creators themselves. These works do not in any way, shape, or form represent the opinions of the Alpharetta High School, administration, staff, or county.

The pieces in this magazine may have the ability to trigger a condition although none of the pieces accepted into the magazine have the intention of doing so. Content and viewer discretion advised.


Letter from the Editors Passion comes in many forms. Passion can manifest itself into engaging group conversations and controversial discussion (is conversate even a word?). Passion can be passed down each generation, either as tradition or social norm. Passion can exist in the sparks of ideas that catch flame to create a wildfire of emotions spewed across a page. We have seen nothing but potential since interviewing our staff last spring. Creativity pulsed through their veins, like electrons in full drive. The power was in our hands. As co-editors-in-chief, not living up to our past successors has been a terrible fear of ours. How were going to create a publication that will make our successors proud? How are we going to live up to first class publication that Mr. Fortunato and our seniors left to us? For several months we worried about keeping the same atmosphere in our classroom as last year, and this method ultimately failed us. So now what? Young readers may ask. The moral of the story: we are not perfect. As a publication with a fresh face and clean slate, we are not perfect. As co-editors in chief, it is time for us to make our own rules that best fit our team, and abide by them. Throughout our winter issue, we discovered that sometimes change is for the best and that it has brought us closer than ever before. We are so proud of how much growth has taken place in every department and can not wait to continue to create. For our second online publication of the year, we are establishing the juxtaposition between insanity and sanity. Our first concern about this issues theme, was if people would interpret it as a mental state of mind. Insanity is not always about mental illness, for in this case we are defining it as a sense of abnormality. We titled our winter issue The Spectrum, because it is the spectrum between what is considered normal versus abnormal in the eyes of every individual. The theme allowed the students to explore past the limits of their creativity; with the use of a pen, pencil, photograph, or digital design everyone had the opportunity to make the ordinary into extraordinary and vice versa.


Table of Contents Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26

Thunderstruck Life is a Gift Modern Fairy Tale The Light Bulb Tree with every breath Twilight Come Find Me It’s Not My Time Wonderland Sun in Leo No More Mystique How dare they! City of dreams The Final Countdown Shock Competition Unsure and Uneasy Spaced Out Carnival Cher Warm, So Warm Tie It Work Pick Your Poison Her Beloved Red Car


Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56

The Only One Tick Tock Scream Duality Acne The Jester rotting It All Was Just A Dream... A Blank Canvas The Window to the Galaxy Attachment-1 Lights Out Rainbow Reasoning Mirror Image The 185th Day Intrusive Thoughts Self Reflection These Dark Walls Blue Ridged Skies The Lonely Night The Upside Down Ruby Red The Room Writing


I was barely six-years old when I was almost struck by lightning. It hit less than five feet from where Dad and I were both standing on the asphalt. I just stared at the shower of sparks and the crackles of white light in the clouds in silent fascination. Dad took my hand, and together we ran barefoot in the grass to get back home. Upstairs, my mom was asleep. I woke her up to tell her what I had seen with a grin, but instead of returning the favor, she wept, holding onto my shoulder as if she was afraid she would lose me. “Don’t ever scare me like that again. You could’ve died,” she repeated under her breath, her cheeks tearstained. At the time, I didn’t know why that would be something to cry over. I was too awestruck to understand her concern. “We’re glad that you didn’t,” Dad added. “We love you.” I remember that I just frowned in reply. He offered me a plum from the fruit basket that sat idly on the marble kitchen counter. I broke the skin with my teeth, tasting the sickly sour juice that danced on my tongue as I watched my parents talk to one another in disapproving voices. “He’s only a child,” my mother told him, her voice hushed as if I wasn’t standing right next to her. “You have to be more careful around him. Why can’t you be more careful around him?” I don’t remember what Dad said in return; I barely remember what his voice sounded like back then. I was too young to pay much attention to more than one thing at once, so I chose to focus on the raindrops that drummed against the window. It was as if the rain was knocking; it was as if it was inviting me back outside.

Thunderstruck


Sabrina Powell

I left the half-eaten fruit on the counter and drifted away from my family, slipping out of the front door so I could breathe in the warm summer air and feel the rain droplets on my skin. I welcomed the rain with open arms and bright eyes despite Mom’s pleas for me to return to safety. With a crackle of light that illuminated the starless sky, another thunderbolt fell from the crow-colored clouds. It shattered the tree in the center of the cul-de-sac in a symphony of silvery white sparks. The once-smooth bark had become gnarled beyond recognition, reduced to a smoking mass of burnt wood and broken memories. I’m still not sure why the death of the tree bothered me the most. Maybe I had grown too fond of the predictability of the tree: my mother and I had pressed its white flowers that bloomed in the spring, admired the honey-colored leaves in the autumn, and watched it grow mournful in the winter. It followed a pattern. I had always paid attention to it, but the lightning introduced me to a new world full of chaos, and starting from that moment, I craved the unthinkable. I left the comfort and normalcy of my home and sought out adventure. I wove sprigs of lavender into my hair and laced my shoes with threads of hope. I fell in love with the painted sunset and dove headfirst into pools of crystal water with reckless abandon. I was barely six-years old when I was almost struck by lightning. It hit less than five feet from where Dad and I were both standing on the asphalt. Dad tried to save me from the danger, but I fell in love with it.

1


Life is Vik

Life i

Life is meant to b

Life is for making an

Life is full of ups and downs

Life can be difficult

Life is all about making mis

Life is all about seeing th

Life is what makes t


Modern Fairy Tale

s a Gift Anil

is a gift

be spent with family

nd holding onto friends

s and unexpected turnarounds

t, yet life can be easy

stakes and learning from them

he positive parts of things

this world go around

Audrey Zermuehlen 3


The Lightbulb Tree

Audrey


suffering is temporary, but my brain is not. the constant battle i deal with inside is not me suffering. it is me surviving.

with every breath

Maia Tau

y Zermuehlen 5


Twilight

Fawn Nightingale Wr i t t e n a c r o s s s t a r s Tw i n k l i n g b e h i n d t h e l i n e i s T h e C r i m s o n Tw i l i g h t

Painted against night The colors glow and shimmer Painting horizons

From the crimson reds And the frosty violets Tw i l i g h t d o e s g l i m m e r

Hiding behind the Horizon is the great star The painter of skies

Our fantastic sun Bathing the world in color And ending long days

C r e a t i n g Tw i l i g h t

7


Come Find Me

Kondwani Kamanga

If you ever want to truly know me You will have to search every sea You will have to fight off a whole horde With only a blunt dagger and a nimble sword The road is unreliable Victory may be unviable But if you try hard enough you will succeed Because deep down this is everything you need This is your noble crusade This is how real men are made Don’t think about the journey, only the destination For once you reach it you will be overwhelmed with realization I can feel all your excitement, and it looks like you want to cry You have finally reached the place that you could deny This took you forever to complete But now you know the answer and have accomplished a great feat But you could have solved this earlier with this one simple clue That everything you were looking for was, in fact, you


I watch the digital numbers change from one to two to three. I watch the time I have left in this world slowly or quickly pass me by. And I wonder about this morning where I didn’t even have an alarm to tell me my time, and how I woke up with a mixture of fear and hope; fearing that I was late, and hoping that I had another thirty minutes to go. I looked down at that glowing screen of magic that called out to me, beckoning me to come towards it. I turn away from it. Then turn back to it. Then away. Then back. On and on this went, of me thinking I had enough time left, to not enough time—even once thinking that it wasn’t on at all. But the sirens call became to strong, and I just couldn’t resist. I pressed down the button. Relief washed over me first. Then anger washed me away and all I could do glare down at those numbers with unadulterated loathing. I only had two minutes left! Minutes, possibly hours, of agonizing over it only to be left only two measly minutes. With a huff I jumped out of bed before tossing my phone a glare and walk into the bathroom to get ready for my day. I stomp mad into the bathroom before aggressively brushing my teeth with those leftover two minutes. And as soon as I rinse my mouth out it becomes abhorrent. That less than five digit, can’t ever be zero, of a clock had the audacity to ring. To. Ring. So it chimed it’s ringing bells and hooted it’s electronic horns at me until I had to take time out of my day to come tell it to shut up. So you know what I did? I stomped back into that room and slammed that snooze button down so hard that the market for clocks crashed. And I went back to sleep because that’s the type of boss I am. A boss of clocks. I am actually only a boss of clocks because of my own boss fired me earlier for being to work ten hours late. I press snooze a lot.

It’s Not My Time Olivia Mckenzie 9


Chit Thu

Wonderland Close your weary eyes, Let the music drown you, Can you picture all the beautiful lies? You've vanished from the bleak world and can start anew, Icy blue dresses made of the finest silk, Gold rings embedded with every jewel, Soft bed sheets pure and white as milk, Doesn't it feel so empowering to rule? Here, the clouds take form of pink cotton candy, Dusk could never be more beautiful and serene, The court garden is filled with rose and dandy,

Only the heart really a It's been fun prancing However you must op It's time to take your f You have responsibiliti


Sun in Leo

Lucie Visick

appreciates the blissful scene, around in the grassland, pen your eyes and return to the world so gray, feet out of the twinkling sand, ies to carry out regardless of what your heart may say,

Put on your tinted glasses and walk to their tune, Try to bare through their black and white view, Clench onto the hope that you'll be dreaming soon,

11


How Dare They!

No More Mystique Jamie Han

they tell me to run fast they tell me to make straight A’s they tell me to think twice they tell me to stay silent what if i want to stroll what if i want to relax what if i want to be impulsive what if i want to be loud who’s right? well, frankly… i don’t give a damn.

Maia Tau 13


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15


Shock

Kira Wiklund Shock overwhelms my body as my lungs fight for the next breath of air. I need to push. I need to give it my all. I’m exhausted. Tiredness flows from the tip of my toes to the top of my pony tail. My legs move quicker, as my energy begins to slowly fade away. In one ear, I hear nothing but continuous demands. In the other ear, I hear my parents. Their immense encouragement and faith in my strength make me unstoppable. I give it everything that I could possibly give. I tell myself I did it for me, but did I really? Was it for me? Or was it for my coach? For my teammates? I am completely aware of the fact that I care about how I perform on a personal level, but I can’t help but admit that a large part of the reason I work so hard is fear. Fear of disappointment to be more specific, and the fear that I am not good enough. Strong enough. Fast enough. Smart enough. Brave enough. Running changed that for me. I realized I could be something other than average. It made me realize that I am strong. I am fast. I am smart. I am brave. With running came a new profound self confidence. This confidence came at a price. It increased the fear that I felt towards disappointment. I finished and collapsed, the weight of self doubt pressing against my soul. Thoughts began to pound against my head. I gathered my thoughts as I made my way towards coach. My heart was beating even faster than it was during the race.

Competition


Catherine Sun 17 17


Unsure and Uneasy So, I’ll ask you these questions again, and can you please give me a real answer this time? Half the questions you answered with “both” or “none” and the other half you didn’t even answer. This time answer as simply as possible. Your options are ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Ok… Here’s the first question: What do you think your friends think about you? Do you think that they like you? Umm...well… They must like me if we’ve been friends for this long. We hang out with each other, stop to say “hi”, and talk with one another every day. I’m sure we all get along well. They could just keep you around because they feel pity or guilt. How do you know if they really like you? You can’t be sure what others think of you just because they say so. Can we move on to the next question…? Fine, we’ll come back to this question. I’m just trying to help, you know? Anyways, next question: Friends usually leave after a certain amount of time. When your friends leave you, why would you think they did so? I’ll give you a couple of examples. Do you think they will leave you when you tell them something personal, when they learn what you are really like, or if you stay the same? ...Will they leave me…? If they don’t like me, then it’s just a matter of time. I might be just delaying the inevitable. If they do, they might get bored of me after some time. Will they? I don’t really know… You’re making this harder than it has to be, you know? This last question is an easy one: What do you value more, friends or family? I...uhh… Friends are the family you choose, they are the ones you can talk to about when your family is gone. They’re the ones to make you feel better when you’re down and reassure you. You only have one family that you can’t replace. You’ll never have anything like your family once they’re gone. They’re closer than friends—they’re your blood bound friends. You live with them and share experiences with them. They’ll also be there for you when your friends aren’t. I choose… Both… That isn’t even an option.

Vinit Hedaoo


Brooke Witte

Spaced Out 19


Merry-go-round spins Colors flourish, neon lights Loud sounds, booming hearts

Melody went on The night seemed never ending Spirits danced with grace

Evil was consumed Only soulful cheers remaine A colorful world

Chit Thu

Carnival


Cher

ed

Sophia Perlee

21


Warm, So Warm Olivia Mckenzie

Warmth and comfort spreads through me like a disease. With eyes closed and hands empty… I swallow.

Then just like that, the most beautiful of colors emanate from me and I became heavenward.

I’m in heaven.

Glowing and smiling, I twirl around. I bring a hand to my chest. Tears came to my eyes at the feelings of pure joy coming from it. I was in awe.

How could one simple thing bring me such joy… such love?

It feels like a never ending warm hug from someone you love that somehow warms you from the inside out.

It makes me so happy. I feel the heat from my chest rise to my cheeks, creating a rosy blush. I giggle at the tickling feel of blood rushing to my face. I move my frigid fingers to my face. With a jolt, my eyes fly open from the shock of the touch. The warmth I gained dissipates into my surroundings and my body feels again.

My spinning, swivel chair slows to a stop. I am left staring at an empty cup, sitting alone, on my messy paper-covered desk.

I guess I need to make some more tea.


Tie It

Mackenzie Carpenter 23


Work Reese Batley


Pick Your Poison

Joshua Ng

Half conscious, I stared into the cup. The stench of roasted ground beans hit me. I was repulsed and backed up. I soon snapped back to reality. The dark liquid looked grotesque. No way was I supposed to drink this! With a shaky hand, I lifted the cup to my face. At last, I was eye to eye with the poison. I cautiously sipped and braced myself. As I awaited the worst, there was paranoia. I could feel the caffeine crawling up my veins. The feeling sickened my stomach.

25


Her Belove all she can remember is the darkness of her dim-lit, red car, and how cold she felt after the window had shattered along with her dignity and self-assurance. this winter night had come with star trails and chapped skin, but their eyes kept low to the solitude of what was happening on the inside.

she envied His shall she cherished His m inside His firm arm His gentle touch, she felt safe, she felt secure, she felt loved.

she sat in the backseat, and beside her sat one of many wonders, He, that shall now never be named. even in their silence, she knew she was not alone for she always enjoyed her times with what she thought was pure.

He was h sparking of her m creativity that mad a person making she knew


ed Red Car

low sense of humor; monotonous outlook on life. ms,

as if by sheer instinct, she leaned in closer to confine herself in the wrap of His grip, but He refused.

her catalyst, g the fire that grew inside mind, y and endorphins de her feel like she had n. her feel like w herself.

He shut down, He shut her out. have you ever cared for someone who never had the decency to care back?

the connection between them was said to be unbreakable, or, at least, she thought it was unbreakable. inside her red car, her heart was warm but her skin lay cold against the pleather cushion.

His mind and His actions had gotten the best of Him; His heart must have been made of stone. it was then that she realized that there was never a spark.

27


within seconds He was gone, and the way He tore himself away from her made her feel like He took something with Him; like He stole something from her.

and clearly He somewh

her dignity, her self-assurance, her inner thoughts, the tiny spark that fueled her charisma‌ extinguished.

and off H

stone hearted broke through her window as if the mere thought of an unbreakable bond meant nothing to Him. all that was left of her was the broken window of her beloved red car, which now hinted at a hue of dark grey. all she wanted was for Him to hold her close, but He told her that He had chose.

it had been months since

the memories tha are not applicab mem

Lisa C


after those months of mourning the loss of who She thought She would never lose; blaming Herself for all of the minor inconveniences that made up the fault, She had come to terms with the fact that Her life and Her self-assurance had been revived.

e had attention here else.

He went. no longer will She carry the burden of his faults on Her back. She has made Her final plea.

that cold winter night.

no longer will She look back on Her past with agony and heartbreak.

at go along with it ble, like a distant mory.

Cane

for Her spark has once again been ignited, Her fire burns, Her car window has been replaced. now She can and She must drive on in Her beloved red car.

29


The Only One Isabella Filos


Tick Tock

Chit Thu Tick Tock Goes the clock Burning in my ears Tick Tock Goes the clock Revealing all my fears

Tick Tock Goes the clock Whispering in the dark Tick Tock Goes the clock Hear the bell’s violent bark

Tick Tock Goes the clock I’m left all alone Tick Tock Goes the clock Someone pick up the phone

Tick Tock Goes the clock The voices seem to roar Tick Tock Goes the clock I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE

31


Scream A soon to be sixteen-year-old sits in a corner. She has two hours left. A notebook lies open, with half a page waiting to be filled. Avoiding her responsibilities as if she were a small child with a mother willing to do the work for her. There is no mother where she’s going. She has only two hours left to live. And she can only think of one thing: to scream. Writing isn’t enough this time I need to let it out A pillow won’t be enough Not now It’s squeezing my insides Oh God. I think I’m going to throw upNo, I just need to wait. I can wait until tomorrow Right? Right! I won’t make it I won’t make it Oh God! I can’t breath I won’t breath It’ll go away Soon It’ll go away God! One or two will be enough All I need is one But don’t you think two is so much better? Two is always better than one. Two is twice the fun. YES. Bu-but they’ll hear They’ll panic they-they’ll Don’t care! You. Need. This. Do it. Do it now. Scream She lays there on her side, and opens her mouth releasing a single strangled sound. Her time has gone. Pitiful.

Olivia Mckenzie


Duality

Olivia Ambrosetti

33


A


Acne

Matthew Buxbaum

Blisters and boils Dot my skin From brow to back To chest to chin Blackheads and whiteheads But mostly red Oh how I want them Off of my head I pinch I squeeze I twist They pop And bleed And ooze And sting Don’t stop Oh gee I think I’m breaking out I feel as slimy As a trout My razor cuts ‘em When I shave I’d rather look like I’m from a cave

They say, “Eat right, Wash twice a day, Don’t touch your face; Your skin will stay Clean, But the tips and tricks Unblemished, Fail me too Zitless, I still feel like Hurray!” I’m in a zoo

Unclean A freak The mirror calls me Only oily, grease-filled pores that I see

Oh gosh A pimple On my thigh Oh social life The end is nigh Soaps and creams And pills don’t work Oh how am I Supposed to flirt

Oh I wish And wish Upon a star My acne won’t leave Too bad a scar

35


An airhead, Simple Idiot, Harmless moron, The jester who dances for others’ entertainment, Playing the role of the fool, A 2D character living in ignorant bliss,

The Jester But,

Chit Thu When the door closes, When vault shuts tightly, The screams whale out, The agony, The uncontrollable pain finally seeping through, The voices that dig through the throat, Tears that seem to go on,

Then silence, More silence, Calmness, Serenity, Peace,

Then,

The screams start again, Continuing in an everlasting hell, Until the door opens, And the Jester performs once again.


rotting Lexie Bryant To the entity that rots my bones:

how must I describe what it feels like to rot? tar in my bloodstream my veins now shot tongue flares with acid revenge is its plot fire from within seeps out, my skin hot organs seem tangled with sin, they are wrought anger boils over before it is caught stomach is twisted in knot after knot my mind releases all sanity I’ve got tears fall to this page, now a messy inkblot the price I am paying for every wrong thought images consume me, the fantasies are bought how one may rid of them, I’ve failed to be taught curse all these pains and feelings I’ve fought Oh, how must I describe what it’s like to rot?

37


It All Was Just a Dream As I walked around the empty town Hot tears ran down my face I looked around and saw a town Only burned from hate. I walked into my empty home And I broke out in shrill cry I saw a ghost of a host Who was very dear and fine. He called out “save me” as I ran through the house I looked at the cellar door and heard a little mouse The door creaked open and I let out a cry in fear As I saw my friends and family who I held dear. I looked around and saw the devil that held them there And he looked at me and trapped me on the stair I saw a white light as I opened my crusty eyes For ‘twas just a dream, and I had begun to cry.

Brenna Alford


A Blank Canvas

Looking through the whiteness of the day There’s no other reason not to stay A blue sky stretches over the land It overcomes you as it’s so grand The green grass blowing away so freely The perfect place to be… ideally

Why would anyone dare to see? Any place that could compare! That would be me

Something so perfect, it somehow just doesn’t fit Into this world where we all long to admit This isn’t a perfect world, nothing is So, what are you doing here today, Miss?

Vinit Hedaoo

39


Joshua Ng

The Win


ndow to the Galaxy 41


Atta ch

men t-

Oliv

ia M

cken

zie

1


Lights Out White collars Business ties Plastic smiles Jaded eyes Briefcases On the run Slow down Have some fun Lights out Monsters play Sharp teeth Somber day Truth beneath Callous souls Red paint Hearts with holes Lights on.

Chit Thu

43


Rainbow Reasoning Rash judgement is the root of all evil, And my soul remains in constant shock. In the depths of what used to be right Now my problems have been resolved. By the looks of the beckoning sun, Onward we go! We waltz with the lilies and and bask in his ray.

(it feels so good to be alone)

Rachel Calvis


Mirror Image

Brenna Alford 45


There I was just minding my own business. Then all of a sudden, she bursts into the room. She carried a bloody, soft, and disgusting carcass. She lays it on the table carefully as if it were still living. Then she grinned at me and asked me to help cook the thing.

The 185th Day

What? How could she ask me to do such a thing? Why would I do something so archaic and barbaric? At that moment, I didn’t want to seem like a bad guest and agreed to help. She dried her hands and gestured to the sink. I walked over to the sink with a weird looking pipe with water spewing out. I didn’t trust the water because God knows where it came from. But she insisted that I cleanse my hands in this mysterious water. After I cleansed my hands, she told me I must prepare the meat to be devoured I grabbed the dead body, washed it, and then set it on a wooden slab. Then, I cut it into small pieces so it could be consumed more easily.

After the slicing and dicing, I placed it on some metal bars.

Now that it was on the bars, she passed me a few containers filled with dirt. She insisted that the dirt will make the already putrid meat taste better. I hesitantly sprinkled the dirt on to the still fresh meat. The meat soon started to turn brown, was it the dirt? She then took the meat off the bars and sets it on a table to cool.

Kondwani Kamanga


Intrusive Thoughts On a normal day the Sun is shining and the Earth is spinning I enter I sit I take out a pencil and wait I hear something coming, but I don’t know what It is I can see It on the horizon, yet It is still unclear I brace myself, for It seems like It is going to run right through me It slams into me head on, but in a matter of seconds, It’s gone Chills run down and around my spine I never want to experience It again

Vik Anil

47


Self Reflection Brooke Witte


These Dark Walls These dark walls that fill my head They’re filled with pain, they’re filled dread And though the words seem to be fake Can’t help but feel my heart’s in ache

It holds the creatures that I fear The ones that whisper in my ear Those self incriminating words I think Should all just go on down and sink

To the bottom of this endless pail Filled with water from the grail And as they torment me day and night They feed off of me in spite Because with every word, and every phrase The blood will spill out from my veins Veins are filled with words of sorrow Words that make my heart so hollow So here I’ll sit, and here I’ll wait With the windows shut and a tightly closed gate Because no matter what is said I can’t tear down these dark walls in my head

Monse Aguand

49


Blue Ridged Skies

Marie Johnson


51


The Lonely Night

This is the sixth night I have endured this week. After having withstood the toil of accompaniment and conversation six times over, I am left to dwell alone on my lonely night. The corridors lack everything but vacancy, and one could venture to claim that the air emits something more quiet than silence. It is only the wind that guards my abode from the stagnant world outside, yet it finds the whisper of the bitter cold to be an extenuating circumstance. Its tendrils jolt the trees in swift, fervent motions and surround them with a pleading howl, as if attempting to bring the deceased back from an ephemeral death. As the pungence of my loneliness drifts loftily through the air, my lungs assume a similar, precautionary nothingness so as not to distract from any crucial alarm.

It is on my lonely night that I must be cautious—as a precaution against the possibility that I am indeed not alone. Just as that very thought passes, the furnace mumbles a deep toned grievance as it fails to compromise with the heinous chill in the air. Fear coaxes me into a swift retreat down the grey hallway, and I finally resume steadiness atop the grand staircase, where the light of the full moon protrudes from a window and gluttonously feasts upon my wariness. The coo of a mourning dove resonates in the air, despite the passing of dusk’s departure before even that of the last mortal left lingering out on the cobblestones—before the night truly becomes lonely. From the distant unknown there comes a tapping. As a means of ceasing the victimization of my mind, I secure the aid most fit for the occasion and wander to encounter the demon. Every corner rounded is a new effort to brave the imminence of confrontation with the source of the ominous signals that blink from every which cranny of my shelter and flash threats upon the walls that encase me. For every new auditory tone that emerges from the dark, I find myself shrinking away from the colorful adversaries that seem to eyeball me from the wiry shelves.

The war that unfolds within the confines of my mind admits to no preparation for the challenge I have yet to defeat. I wander to encounter the amorphous, blood-red demon with nothing but the anxious tines of my modest javelin to aid in keeping me sane and steady. It circles in motions akin to those of a hawk surveying a rodent, and is periodically startled from its delicate rhythm, as if a predator sleeping among its prey. Advancement around one final corner further familiarizes me with my tormentor. The motion of all things but my meager spear ceases to tint the air. And there, in the shadows of my clamorous opponent, it waits idly for me behind the creaky door. My Hot Pocket is ready.

Amelia Valdez

The Upside Down

Maia Tau


u

53


R


Can you hear it? The Sound of Silence. I can. There I am. Back in the little, old cube. It’s bland; Only a single light bulb decorates the Room. Shush….

The Room

It takes me back to When. I close my eyes. There it is again. The Silence. It echoes. It aches. I open my eyes to a small child. He hunches his body in a corner. With his little shuttering voice, he speaks:

Chit Thu

They’re coming. They’re coming. Who’s coming? I ask. The Monsters, He replies. Over and over he repeats: They’re coming. They’re coming. The Monsters are coming. Each time, his whisper grows louder. Each time, his voice grows firmer. Then, he stops. His eye sockets are shallow. They are deprived of a soul. Yet, They cry blood. His face is sickly pale. His dry lips part. Then he speaks:

They’re here.

Ruby Red

Kira Wiklund

55


The thoughts that torment my every woken night, Follow me through my days Shouting, whispering Clawing at the edges of my mind Each one trying to come first As their grips slip and fall away It is the one to see me ache at the very mention of what I would make them become. Blood drips out of my head onto lined sheets of paper Showing open jagged wounds for everyone to see; To poke at. To prod.

The jabs are never the same twice and the pain becomes worse and worse until my woken nights become every waking hour. Nothing else matters until those wounds are healed, until the sore has closed and the eyes have left me to fall in tearing into hardened skin with torn nails.

Writing

the art that soo

My hands start to shake. My eyes begin to water. I delve back into the oceans of my mind reaching out to grab a remaining hand, searching for the monster which once so willingly came, only to be left lost and empty-handed.


I swim deeper into the sea. I keep going don’t know how long I can go on. My movements become slow, no longer moving in the fast paced motions in which I began. And as soon as I breathe out that last breath and the pressure becomes far too much to bear, I see it.

What a beautiful creature…

othes my soul. Olivia Mckenzie

Then everything disappears.

Bright light glares against my eyes, temporarily blinding me. Disoriented, I feel around blindly with my hands. I’m in bed. I swing my legs over the side of my bed. My body stiffens and I feel a smile slowly creep onto my face.

The wait was over.

57


Index

Aguando, Monse 49

Kamanga, Kondwani 8, 46

Alford, Brenna 38, 45

Mckenzie, Olivia 9, 22, 32, 42, 57

Ambrosetti, Olivia 33

Nightingale, Fawn 7

Anil, Vik 2, 47

Ng, Joshua 25, 40

Batley, Reese 24

Perlee, Sophia 21

Bryant, Lexie 37

Powell, Sabrina 1

Buxbaum, Matthew 35

Sun, Cathy 16

Calvis, Rachel 15, 44

Tau, Maia 5, 13, 53

Cane, Lisa 26

Thu, Chit 10, 19, 31, 36, 43, 55

Carpenter, Mackenzie 23

Valdez, Amelia 52

Filos, Isabella 30

Visick, Lucie 11

Han, Jamie 12

Wiklund, Kira 16, 54

Hedaoo, Vinit 18, 39

Witte, Brooke 19, 48

Johnson, Marie 14, 50

Zermuehlen, Audrey 3, 4


Colophon

All art, literature, and photographs were submitted by the students of Alpharetta High School, with the exception of “rotting� written by Lexie Bryant, who attends Texas Christian University, as a small dedication to our past submitters, and selected by a committee of creative arts magazine staff and editors. Typeface used in this publication Minion Pro Avenir Next Ultra Fine Adobe Garamond Pro Pages and Layout created by Adobe Indesign CC and Adobe Photoshop CC Cover Art by Maia Tau Cover Layout by Layout staff members


Submissions

We are always looking for submissions in journalism, fine art, sculpture, graphic design and illustration, all forms of literature, and any other documentable literary/art forms.

Ways to Submit

Submit your pieces online, in person to one of our staff members, by email, or to room 2216. If you have any questions, email us at manifest.ahs@gmail.com

Art/Photography

Submit art as a physical composition for scanning or as a digital file of at least 300 dpi. Title each file “your name and title.�

Literature

Submit an electronic copy to our main email or a staff members email, or bring a hard copy to a staff member or room 2216.


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Manifest Spring 2018 Volume VII Issue II Alpharetta High School 3595 Webb Bridge Road Alpharetta, GA 30005

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