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From a little spark may burst a flame. Dante Alighieri

CH S

SPARKS

2012 | Student Showcase


Sparks is produced by The Write Club of Calera High School

Sponsor: Mary Rees Members: Josh Bryant Jaylin Davis Brianna Scott Alex Holder James Denney

Christian Tidwell

Chassyte Fletcher

Samantha Smith

Chase Brown

Madi Haynes

Alanna Angrisano

Katie Miller Josias Dimas

1

Ray Randle Dillon Ellis


Special thanks to

Creative Writing students of 2011-12 Marquesha Bell

Eric Embry

Josh Bryant

Chassyte Fletcher

Vincent Ciccio

Robin Flomer

Bendilyn Concord

Caitlin Gassner

EJ Copes

Heather Griffith

Alexis Davis

Ashari Jackson

Jaylin Davis

Katherine Miller

Dillon Ellis Melissa Rainey

Leah Sherman

Jessy Sanders

Christan Smith

Briana Scot


Table of Contents Forget it by Ashari Jackson............................................5 Drops of Rain by Eric Embry.........................................6 Threw Your Bag

by Cecilia Lubala................................21

Ruralization by Abby Baker......................................22 Of Rising and Falling by Eric Embry...........................23 Lizard by Forestt Gay...............................24 Stories by Kadijah Edward...........................................24 Puke by Robin Flomer....................................................25 Sun-Kissed....................................................................26 Toddler’s Sight Marqueesha Bell................................35 Mother’s Child..................................................................35 FIRE by Samantha Smith..................................36 Nothing can tear us apart by Christan Smith..................................38 Wedding Fouls by Leah Sherman..............................................39 First Love by Chassyte Fletcher..................................40 I Opened My Eyes by Ray Randle...............43 The Rose that Withered by Monique Martin................44 I Wish I had Said . . . by Madi Haynes........................45 The Winged Beast by Brianna Scott.............................46


In to the Dragon's Lair by Alex Holder...................48 Football by Michael Mayes.....................................57 College by: allie gassner................................58 Blue Skies.....................................................................60 Behind the Darkness.................................................61 If Only by Chase Brown.................................................62 To Say Goodbye by Brendilyn Concord.........................64 Prologue by Josias Dimas..........................................66 Is Love My Blessing? By anonymous.........................73 I Have no Love for this Game by Katie Miller................74 Dear Friend by Amber Dunlap....................................76


Forget it by Ashari Jackson

Forget it You must be kidding I don’t have a pen My dog ate my inspiration That bird is caught in the air I must save it I ran out of socks My fingers hurt John is calling I have to answer The Maury show is on I don’t know what a poem is Time's up? Uh oh! All I have is a dumb list of excuses. You like it? Really? No kidding. Thanks a lot. Would you like to see another one?

Drops of Rain by Eric Embry The sky was dark, but lighter shade of grey. The rain pealed down in massive, slow-falling sheets, covering everything in its way, running down the roofs of houses, and coating grass in a layer of water that would resemble dew


by the next morning. There was no thunder, no lightning. The only thing heard was the pater of the raindrops on the various things outside. A limo pulled up to t he school building. The gym doors were open, and music could be heard bursting from them, the thumping of the speakers almost intoxicating. Multi-colored lights flashed from the darkness inside: green, blue, yellow, red, purple, white, and then it repeated. Silhouetes of dancing people could be seen against the stage light that was pointed at the DJ, who was drowning out everything else, it seemed, except the sound of the song he was playing at the moment. The limo door opened, and four kids stepped out, two guys, two girls. One guy had a tan, short blond hair, brown eyes, and a six pack of abs. He was wearing a tuxedo with the top half of the butons undone on his shirt. The other guy was a medium build, not noticeably muscled, his


eyes were light brown, and he had a wide grin on his face with the personality to mat ch it. He was wearing a slim tux with a tapered suit coat that had gold butons on the sleeves. The first girl had long, brown hair, which was done up in a bun, which matched her hazel eyes somewhat. She was wearing a shiny black dress, which was a medium length, and had minimal cleavage on the front. The last girl had long, red hair, which was let down and brushed, and reached down her back some, which starkly contrasted her emerald green eyes. She had on a long silver dress that split along the side starting at just above the knee, and had no cleavage, just a small V on the back of the dress that showed a litle of her back. “Come on guys! Let’s go party!” The grinning guy says, sprinting inside. The tan guy shakes his head and grins. “Hope Dan does not set something on fire…again,” he says, motioning to the limo driver, who nods and goes off to park the limo. “Well, he did set the secret lair on fire…twice,” the brown haired girl giggles, and then turns to the girl next to her, “Leanne, what do you think?” Leanne is staring out into the rain, a frown on her face. “Jeff, tell her we’ll be waiting inside,” the brown haired girl says to the tan boy, and then walks inside. “Will do, Arie,” Jeff says, stepping aside and letting the girl by. “Hey did we remember to shut the entrance to the lair?” he quickly yells over to Arie, who is almost out of earshot. Arie shrugs as she walks off. “Eh, I am going to take that as a yes,” Jeff says sheepishly, rubbing the back of his head. He turns to Leanne. His grin drops and he sighs just loud enough for Leanne to hear.


“It wasn’t right, you know,” Leanne says, turning to Jeff. Her eyes are a litle red and puffy. “Just get over it,” Jeff says, walking over and putting his hands on her shoulders. Leanne shakes them off. Jeff grabs on to her shoulders a bit tighter this time and spins her around to face him. “Jeff, let go,” Leanne says. Jeff keeps a firm grip, careful to not use too much of his super strength. “Leanne, I am here, and that is all that maters,” he says, leaning in and trying to kiss her.

“For a second, he had forgotten Leanne had psychic powers.”

Suddenly, Jeff is thrown up against the wall. For a second he had forgoten Leanne had psychic powers. Jeff hears a small pop.

“Leanne!” he says, standing up, but Leanne has already teleported away.

Deren hobbles over to the top step off of his front porch, just under the roof’s protective covering. The front porch is wooden, as is the steps, so they are a litle wet from the moisture and stray raindrops. His short, red hair is a dark shade of red, which if you looked at it quickly when walking by him, it would make a purple glint with his deep blue eyes. He is dressed in casual clothes, loose, comfy blue jeans, and a comfy, green T-shirt. His skin color is pale white, and he has a brace on his left leg. Deren absentmindedly reaches out his left hand and begins to focus hard at a spot on the ground. Various objects begin to appear and disappear in


front of him: A pot, a spatula, a small car, a flower pot, a sword, a computer, a model plane, among other things. Appearing and disappearing by whim. Created and destroyed in moments. “Deren?” A familiar female voice says. Deren jumps, and in his moment of shock, a pile of random junk appears on the front lawn. “L-Leanne?” Deren says, stutering. Leanne slowly walks over to him and sits next to him. “How long have you been able to do,” Leanne motions to the pile of junk, “This?” Deren turns his head away and looks down at the ground. “Since I was born, I guess…still have a lot of training to do before I can really control this,” he says, looking at his hand for a second, and then turns back to Leanne, “…how long were you watching?” “About ten minutes,” Leanne says with a grin. Deren grins for a second, and then his face droops again. “I thought you were going to the prom with Jeff and them,” he says. “Well, I was…..but I realized there was somewhere I needed to be more,” Leanne says, putting her left hand on Deren’s right, “with you.” “But I’m just the guy who made gadgets for you guys,” Deren says, “I’m no super hero.” “Well, what was that you were just doing?” Leanne asks, grinning. Deren can’t help but sheepishly grin too. “That was practice,” he says, “to be honest, it is harder to make anything bigger than a small car without hurting myself.” “What you were just doing was prety super in among itself,” Leanne says, holding his hand in her lap with both of her hands, “Everything you do is


super. You build gadgets from scratch. You always found some way to clean up the ‘super messes’ around the lair. You know how to brighten someone’s day. You can fix a car engine in two hours. You can make freakishly large pancakes.” “With chocolate chips, I might add,” Deren says, almost smelling the massive pancakes’ aroma in the air. “Yes, and they are about as big as a mini van,” Leanne says and they both laugh a litle. “Hey, it was Dan who came up with the giant skillet idea. I just made the thing,” Deren says. “I seem to recall you and him eating most of it yourselves,” Leanne says, “and then Jeff-.” Leanne stops mid-sentence. Deren sighs loudly, as if the weight of the world is back on his shoulders. “I’m sorry Jeff fired you,” Leanne says after a minute, twiddling her thumbs.

You can fix a car engine in two hours. You can make freakishly large pancakes.

“It’s not your fault,” Deren says, running a hand though his hair. “Well, he didn’t have to hurt your leg,” she says, motioning to the brace. Deren runs a hand slowly over his injured leg. “I leave the lair once and try to help you all fight, and I get fired and my leg stomped on because Jeff throws a fit about it…,” Deren says, shaking his head, “He was right about one thing. How could I save anyone?” Leanne stands up and walks out into the rain and turns to Deren. “Well, come save me from getting weter,” she says, smiling wryly. Deren thinks for a few seconds.


“I am a litle tempted to leave you out there, you know,” Deren finally says with a laugh. Leanne pouts. “You are going to leave a girl out here in this rain?” she says, crossing her arms. “Any regular girl, yes,” Deren says. He swishes his hand with a flourish and an umbrella appears in it. Deren walks out to Leanne, the umbrella in hand, shielding them from the rain, “You…not so much.” “My Hero,” Leanne giggles and wraps her arms around his neck. “I can only try,” he says, and kisses her on her rain flavored lips. Leanne blushes. Leanne responds by kissing him back just as hard. “I thought I would have to be the one to make the first move,” Leanne says. “I am not that slow,” Deren says, then glances at her arms and sees fresh bruises, “…..Jeff?” Leanne pauses for a few moments. “Yes…,” she finally says, her eyes turning away. Suddenly, a car pulls up into the yard. It is a sleek, black limo. Leanne gasps. “Back off of her now!” Jeff says, ripping the door off the car while trying to open it. He starts to walk over, car door still in his clenched hand. His knuckles have turned white. “Jeff, stop,” Leanne says, creating a semitransparent barrier between them. Jeff stops for a second. Small flecks of white light bounce off the barrier as the rain drops fly against it. The barrier itself is a soft silver color, and it is beautiful to look at.


“Leanne, we all have been extra busy this week fighting bad guys. I know you are not strong enough to hold me back,” Jeff says. Jeff pulls back a fist and smashes into the barrier full strength. It shaters like a stained glass

window.

Leanne falls to her knees and clutches her head. Jeff was right; she was already worn out from an extra busy week of using her powers. Pushing Jeff away and teleporting to Deren’s house took a lot more out of her than it would have a few days ago. “Jeff, stay away from her,” Deren says. Jeff chucks the car door at Deren, which smashes full on into him and throws him back several feet. Deren doesn’t move. “Deren!” Leanne cries. Jeff walks over to her. “No one but you seems to care about that loser,” Jeff says, picking her up by her arm. He leans in toward her face, “Just forget about him and be with me. I have power, he has nothing. I can do so much for you. What can that pathetic excuse do for you, huh? Build you a blender? I am the leader of a super hero team. We save the day all the time. He just sits here and builds litle gadgets, most of which get destroyed in seconds or explode in his face. He’s useless, and can’t even follow orders. We fired him.” “You fired him,” Leanne says angrily. “Who cares? Nobody. I am the leader, and I make the rules,” Jeff says, tossing Leanne to the ground nearby. Leanne yelps in pain.


Jeff hears the slow creak of the limo door being pushed away. Deren, dazed looking, but shockingly unscathed, slowly stands up. “What?” Jeff says, bewildered, “How-?” Deren reaches out his hand and a steel baseball bat appears in it. He charges at Jeff and swings it down on his head. It knocks Jeff back a bit, but only leaves a small scratch on his head. Jeff grabs Deren’s arm and throws him into the nearest tree. Deren falls to the ground. “I’m full of surprises,” Deren says, standing back up, trying to keep pressure off of his hurt leg. Jeff slyly grins. “This makes things more interesting,” he says. Jeff picks up the limo and throws it at Deren, who dodges just barely in time. The car breaks through the tree easily and lands near the road, creating a small crater. Deren makes a hunting knife in his hand and throws it at Jeff, who dodges it as the projectile buries itself in the nearby mailbox. Jeff pulls the knife out of the mailbox and throws it back at Deren, sending the blade into Deren’s already injured leg. Pure pain goes through Deren’s injured leg, causing him to fall back down to the ground against what is left of the tree. “Well, I knew it was going to end something like-,” Jeff begins to say triumphantly, walking up to Deren and sitting him up against the tree. “Jeff!” Arie yells. Jeff turns to see Arie and Dan helping Leanne up. Leanne has a small trickle of blood coming from her nose. “I was wondering where you were after we found the limo driver unconscious behind the school,” Arie says, gritting her teeth.


“Dude, we’re heroes, we don’t hurt good people,” Dan says, “Deren may not be part of our team, but he is still our friend!” Jeff smirks. “This guy is no good person,” Jeff says, turning back to Deren and pulling back his fist, “He is just a litle rat!” Jeff punches Deren’s head. His fist makes a sickening crack as it makes contact with Deren’s skull, and surprisingly does not shatering it, but leaving a massive bruise on it. Deren’s eyes go milky, and his head rolls to the side. His body goes slack, and his jaw flops open. Arie and Dan stand there in shock. You are not this, this…,” Arie says, and then looks back up at Jeff angrily, “Monster!”

“Jeff,” Arie says, “How could you…”

“Deren!!!!!” Leanne screams, and tries to run over to him, but falls on the ground. Tears flow down her face. The rain begins to fall harder, now sounding a litle like a machine gun ratling off as it hits the ruins of the former limo. Arie runs over and helps Leanne stand back up again. “Jeff, you are not like this. You are not this, this…,” Arie says, and then looks back up at Jeff angrily, “Monster!” The sound of sizzling steam causes Arie to look around behind her. Dan is half on fire. Small flames flicker across most of his body, and long trails of hot steam radiate from him. Dan’s face is contorted in pure rage. “Jeff!” he yells, and fires a burst of fire at him. Jeff blocks it. Dan charges at Jeff, throwing fireball after fireball. Jeff smashes each one with his fists, not even trying to move out of the way. Jeff grabs Dan by the collar and throws him into the nearby ruins of the limo. “Dan!” Arie yells. Jeff laughs. A few burns are visible on Jeff’s knuckles and on the back of his hand. “You are in some hot water, aren’t you Dan,” Jeff says. Dan moans. Jeff looks over at Arie.


Suddenly, about twenty Arie clones appear around Jeff. A few of the clones wield bats. Jeff runs a hand down his face and shakes his head at Arie. “What makes you think you can beat me now too?” he says, amused. “This,” all of the Arie clones say together, charging Jeff simultaneously. Jeff grabs the first clone and uses her to bat away three others, causing all four of them to vanish. He smashes the next two clones’ heads together. He takes a bat from one of the clones in one hand and smashes it over the clone’s heads in one hit. The next four clones jump on to him and grab him, trying to pull him down. Jeff grabs one off his back and smashes her into the clone on his right arm, then proceeds to grab the other two by their heads and throw them into two other charging clones. Suddenly, from behind him, a clone swings a bat down over his head. The bat literally bends over his head, but does not do any damage to him but a few small cuts. The remaining six clones back up and surround him. “Arie, Arie, Arie. You and your predictable tricks,” Jeff says, “A beter try than Dan’s, given, but watch this.” The clones charge Jeff. Jeff picks up Deren’s bat and swings it around in a perfect arc, plowing through four of the clones in one swing. The last one jumps back. Jeff looks over to see the real Arie and Leanne helping Dan out of the wreckage of the limo. The last clone charges at Jeff. Jeff turns back to it and knocks it into the wall of Deren’s house. “Arie, take Leanne and run,” Dan says to Arie as the last clone disappears. “Why run so soon?” Jeff says, walking over to the three. Dan, still half dazed by the impact, runs toward Jeff, who just lightly pushes him off to the side. Leanne tries to push Jeff back with her powers again, but she can only hold him off for a minute before he powers straight through her atack. Arie sends four more clones at Jeff, who manage to hold him down for a second before being thrown off. Jeff stands right in front of Arie.


“Jeff, why?” Arie says, looking Jeff directly in the eyes. Rain runs down her face, almost looking like tears. “…why?” Jeff says mockingly, “Why? I’ll tell you why!!!” Jeff pushes Leanne away. Leanne falls to the ground and tries to get up, her teeth clenching, but ends up falling back down again in the soaking grass. “Eight years ago, we found out we had powers after a class trip to a Biology lab when we were all nine. We were exposed to an experimental virus, and it changed us. Everyone thought we were going to die, but no…we didn’t die. In fact, we became much stronger. We got powers, and not just got powers, but superpowers. We could create fire at whim, move objects with our minds, create clones of ourselves, lift things one thousand times our own weight…..apparently create anything out of thin air,” Jeff motions to Deren’s body. Arie gasps. “Since even before we got these abilities, out of all the desperate,

pathetic admirers I had in our school, there was only one apple to my eye,” Jeff motions to Leanne, who has managed to sit up, “Her.” “She was the only girl that never tried to get me to ask her out…,” Jeff says, pushing Arie back on to the ground, talking louder and walking back towards the tree that Deren’s body is leaning on. He pauses a moment and turns his head over his shoulder, looking at Arie with his right eye, “and she was the only girl to blow me of.” Jeff raises his hands in the air and looks up at the sky. “I never hurt anyone. I stopped bullies. I was the captain of most of our school sports team ever year. Everyone loved me. I was kind, courteous, benevolent,” Jeff says, putting his arms back down. He walks up to the tree, and then turning his head back, “and forgiving.” Jeff turns fully back around and stares at Arie, an evil grin on his face, his hands behind his back.


“Even after I saved her on missions, she refused to acknowledge me. She fell for this,” Jeff again motions to Deren’s body, “Idiot.” “It’s because you tried,” Leanne says, catching her breath, “Deren respected me for who I am. Even after the powers, he only tried to be my friend. He did not try to pressure me into liking him. That is why I fell in love with him.” “Really,” Jeff scoffs, waving a hand out in the air. “He treated me like a person, not like that one, small detail that needed to be taken care of that did not make his life perfect!” Leanne yells, and then coughs vehemently. “Honestly, you make this sound like a cheesy romance series,” Jeff laughs, and raises his arms up in the air again, “This is real life. Power like this would never be hidden. It can and would be used to its fullest extent!” “I control this team, and I control you!” Jeff shouts. He begins to laugh manically, until he sounds insane. He reaches up at the clouds and makes a fist, as if he is holding them in his hand. Lightning flashes and a boom of thunder rolls across the grey expanse. “You don’t control any of us,” Arie says, crawling over to Leanne and helping both stand up. Jeff looks over at Arie, his eyes wild and crazy. Lightning arcs across the clouds just above them and the crash after is almost deafening. Jeff feels a cold gun barrel rest against the back of his head. His expression immediately changes to a look of shock. “H-how,” Jeff stuters as he glances back at Deren. Deren’s head looks normal, like Jeff had not even punched it in the first place. In Deren’s hand is a long barreled pistol. “You did not appreciate what you had, Jeff. You wanted perfection,” Deren says, grimly. Lightning flashes behind them, “When you did not get one thing you wanted, the one thing you lusted for, that you could not get……you


decided to drown out everything else beautiful in your life, and drop down to the level of the men you vowed to defeat. You are nothing but scum.” “B-but-,” Jeff begins to stuter. Arie and Leanne turn their heads as a loud thump rings in the air. As they open their eyes, they see Jeff, lying unconscious on the ground. Not a drop of blood is coming out of him, but there is a dart stuck in the back of his head. Deren grins and tosses the pistol to the ground. “Another one bites the dust,” he says, hobbling over, “I used a tranquilizer dart, about ten times stronger than one you would use for an elephant.” “How? Wha-?” Arie asks, bewildered, looking back and forth from the tree to Deren’s face. Leanne just sits and stares in disbelief. “I really don’t know,” Deren says, rubbing the part of his head where Jeff had punched it, “one minute I feel like I am dead, and the next I am awake and back to normal. Regenerative powers I guess?” Arie looks down at Deren’s leg. The brace is gone, and the knife wound is gone. “You idiot!” Leanne suddenly yells, slapping Deren in the face so hard you could not hear the next crack of thunder. New, hot tears are now streaming down Leanne’s face like a small river. “You-You-You-,” Leanne starts to say, then breaks down into crying. Deren kneels in front of her and puts his hands on her shoulders. “Leanne, I-,” he starts to say, but is interrupted as Leanne slams her lips on his. After a few minutes of kissing, they finally pull apart and gasp for air. “Um……am I forgiven?” Deren sheepishly asks. Leanne smiles at him.


“I’m just glad you’re alive,” she says, holding him close, then looks around, “Where’s Arie and Dan?” Suddenly, a prety slow song begins to play from the house. Not too slow, not too fast. Arie is at the front door, smiling. Dan is next to her, his arm around her. “Well, you two going to dance or not?” they shout to the couple simultaneously. “How long were we kissing?” Deren asks Leanne, rubbing the back of his head. “Fifteen minutes!” Dan shouts from the porch. “Now just dance already!” Arie yells. The couple grins. Deren puts his hands on Leanne’s hips, and she wraps her arms around his neck. “Shall we?” Deren says, smiling. “Yes…I would like that,” Leanne says softly as they begin to sway, her forehead on his. They don’t notice that the rain has stopped. “Deren! You so owe us a limo for next year!” Arie yells after a minute, but her words fall on deaf ears, “Deren? You whooooo? Deren? Deren!!!” And slowly, almost unnoticeably, the full moon reveals itself from behind the clouds.

Threw Your Bag

by Cecilia Lubala


I threw your bag On the floor I’m sorry But I couldn’t stop Your phone From breaking The smashing sound Made my head hurt Don’t be mad It was all your fault


Ruralization by Abby Baker

In the grassy field. A rooster crows just before sunrise Then the sun lights up the country side Tractors turn and plow the land Hard work is done by hard working hands Horses run around the field While farmers work to bring us meals He’ll work and work till he wants to shout But he won’t stop Until his heart gives Out.


Of Rising and Falling by Eric Embry The golden sun, Made his rise, Above the grassy field. He illuminated a picture, With more colors than a color wheel, Which nature herself took great care to paint And to error, she did not yield. And as the day grew longer, So did the vigilant songbird’s song, A beautiful work of art, And a weapon for it To wield. For as the sun did set, The warning of the songbird suffered silence, As things from shadows came creeping out, The growing darkness their shield. And then the sun was gone, And monsters came out to play.


Lizard by Forestt Gay

On a calm day In winter The lizard lay Still Not wishing death upon himself

His green fights Against the white The warm sun burning Keeping the lizard in Warmth Glazed in snow he Pushes on

Stories by Kadijah Edward Books tell a story

And depression

A story about life

But sometimes people

And death

Forget

A story about happiness

It’s not a book

It’s not words or

The story;

Pages that tell

It’s the people.


Puke by Robin Flomer

Of a feeling not meant for words Of something that corrupts And is corrupt That builds people up And tears people down

Puke Puke

Talking nonsense

Vile corruption

To fill a page When everyone knows

That no one knows

And feel loved

what it’s like to be free

Though

Everyone has loved

As they hold my hand

Puke Words that spit in my face

26


SunKissed

anonymous 1

My name is Rayne. I was born in 1847 by mother, Elise. In the year of 1862 I was born again, but to the sun. I had always been a special child and believed in things that others could barely wrap their brains around. It of course, was fashionable to believe in God at that time, but I truly believed in Him and in so much more. I believed in things like fairies, elves, mermaids, flying horses as well as other worlds and dimensions. It is not just a child’s fantasy that brought this up but an experience I once had when I was just eight years old. I remember standing by the lake picking flowers to bring home to my mother and sisters. The sun was about to start setting and the sky was a beautiful blue. The reflection of the sun hit the water and it looked so solid and golden that if I tried I could pick it up and it wouldn’t run through my fingers. So, I tried to touch it, but then a litle voice whispered in my ear saying “Don’t touch the water.” I was tempted to touch the golden water, but somehow I stopped myself and I haven’t gone back, until seven years later. 27


When I had decided to go back the lake I saw the sun hit the water like before to where it looked so solid and golden that if I tried I could pick it up and it wouldn’t run through my fingers. As I began to advance toward the water I heard a litle voice say into my ear “Don’t touch the water.” As I began to reach for the water the crack of a twig sounded from behind me which, momentarily diverted my atention. I whipped my head around but saw nothing. I turned back to the water and reached for the spot of gold. When my hand touched the water I felt a warm shock surge throughout my entire body and then nothing.

I woke up on the grass with the sun beating down on me. By the position of the sun it looked like it was around eight o’clock. My first thought was how worried my family must be so, I ran home as fast as my feet could carry me and as fast as I could run in my dress. I arrived at my white plantation house and ran into the sitting room. My mother was sitting in a chair dabbing her eyes with her handkerchief. My two sisters surrounded her with tears rimming their eyes. My father stood by the mantle of the fireplace not crying but he had a definite sadness in his eyes. 28


“She’s been missing for a week Jonathan,” my mother said to my father. I was astonished I couldn’t have been asleep for a week it only felt like a day. “I know but we have to keep on looking for her,” said my father with determination. My mother began to sob and was comforted by my oldest sister, Louise, who pated my mother’s hand. I decided then to make my grand entrance. I ran into the sitting room and said “I’m back everybody.” No one turned to acknowledge me. I ran up in front of my mother’s chair and waved my hands in front of her face and said “Mother I’m home.” She didn’t even see me. I began to frantically wave my hands, but she showed no recognition. I touched the hand Louise did not have and I began to “Mother I’m here! Please answer I’m here,” I then collapsed on the ground in front of her and rested head on her knee and began to terribly.

“Mother I’m here! Please answer me. I’m here!”

cry. me. my weep

“I can feel her,” said my mother. I looked up at her with tears now in my eyes. “So she knows I’m here,” I say to myself. I then turned my head around to look at my father who bowed his head. I could see his hands shake and hear a tremor in his breath. He was so sad. Louise and my other sister who was also older than me, Marie, began to cry. They all thought I was dead, but I know I’m not. If I felt dead I would not feel my heart beating and blood coursing through my veins.

I decided I had to find out what had happened to me. I rose from my place at my mother’s lap, kissed her on the cheek, and left my home. 29


I traveled back to the lake ready to search for answers. I checked the water and places on the land to see if I could find my body just to make sure I wasn’t dead. To my relief I didn’t find any evidence that I was dead. Just then I heard the same litle voice say “You touched the water didn’t you? I told you not to touch the water.” I turned around and saw a litle girl about six years old standing in front of me. She had on a litle white dress that reached to her knees and stockings that were a brilliant white. Her shoes were clean even though she was standing in a spot with mud. Her red hair was styled in two braids that were on both side of her face. She had sweet freckles and was wonderfully tan even though she was a red head. “You’re now sun-kissed. At least that’s what I call us,” said the litle red. “Us?” I asked her. “Yes there are more like me and you. Most of them are litle like me. The oldest was twelve before she blinked out to become part of the sun and now the oldest is nine. But, you’re even older than that aren’t you,” she asked. “If the eldest is nine then yes,” I said to her. She then randomly exclaimed “Oh how rude of me. My mother always used to say ‘A sign of respect is introducing oneself before any words are spoken.’ My name is Sarah.” She walked toward me and shook my hand.

30


Sarah led me back to a place in the woods where she every sun-kissed child in America stayed. “So, this is like the designated home for the sun-kissed children?” I asked Sarah as we walked to her home. “Yes it is. Our previous mother, Loraine, tried to find an even larger home for all the sun-kissed children in the world, but she blinked out before it was ever accomplished,” said Sarah skipping through the brush.

anonymous 2

Sarah stopped at very small clearing and said “We’re here.” “Where?” I asked. Just then litle voices and faces were peeking out of the trees above and around me. A funny cluster of what looked like shimmering flakes of gold appeared in front of me. The shimmering gold began to solidify into a litle boy about three with scruffy clothes and out of control curly brown hair. I stepped back in shock only to be greeted by another glimmering child. I looked at Sarah with a questioning look on my face. Sarah let out a litle giggle and said “We can travel oddly.” “Really,” I asked as sarcastically as I swiped through one of the children’s recent glimmers. Sarah gave a mischievous smile and started to shimmer. Then she quickly disappeared leaving nothing but a glitering cloud behind. “Sarah?” I asked looking around for any sign of my litle friend. “Up here,” piped a small voice. I looked up into a tall tree and there she was sitting on a branch. She then shimmered again and appeared back on the ground in front of me. “You have to teach me to do that,” I said with excitement. “Imagine the place you 31


want to go and think ‘shimmer,’” said Sarah. I imagined the place behind Sarah and thought ‘shimmer.’ Nothing happened but a small glimmer on my palms. “It will take a while to learn,” said Sarah skipping off to show me around my new home. Over the course of time litle Sarah and I had become good friends. Sarah helped me with the many things the sun-kissed people are and do, and in return I was a mother to Sarah. A while after my transformation I became respected and was thought of as the mother. One day I asked “Has anyone ever been able to talk to the dulled?” The ‘dulled’ was the name for all of the people who were not sun-kissed. “Loraine got really close but then she blinked out before she really ever mastered it,” said Sarah playing with a leaf that she had plucked off of a branch she and I were sitting on. I started to swing my legs when I asked “How does one ‘blink out’?” “Well, eventually we have to give the energy back from the sun that we borrowed. All I know is that we just give it up kind of like a decision. No one knows what it’s like. It’s similar to heaven and when the dulled die,” said Sarah. I then out of sheer curiosity, sought out to discover as much about the sun-kissed children and their purpose as I could possibly gather. I discovered that they are obviously people of the sun, that they are supposed to help things grown and ‘shine the light,’ they never age from the time they become sun-kissed, and not everyone can become sun-kissed. Only children become sun-kissed, with the exception of me, and these children have to fully believe in things beyond a normal human’s reasoning. If a child is does believe in things beyond a normal human’s reasoning and touches a reflection of ‘pure sun’ then, they become sun-kissed.

32


Then Sarah stopped glowing all together and her skin became pale. Her breathing stopped and she didn’t move an inch.

Time with Sarah passed quickly. I did go see my family, but I watched with a sad heart as they grew old and died. Four years after my family died and on the seventieth anniversary of my sun-kissed transformation, I finally discovered how to join the dulled. But, even though I did figure it out the moment had come too late. I tried to teach the other children how to join the dulled people but no one could do it, not even litle Sarah. After my hundred years of being sun-kissed, Sarah started to become strange. She didn’t have as much happy energy as she used to and the natural glow each sun-kissed child had had begun to slowly dim. One day Sarah had gone to the lake where my changing had occurred, and sat near the edge of the water. Sarah’s wild red hair blew in the wind as she rested her chin on her knees that were pulled tight to her chest. Once I found Sarah I joined her by the edge of the water. A furious wind suddenly came up and blew my light brown hair into my mouth. I spat the hair out of my mouth and looked over at Sarah who barely cracked a smile. “Sarah please tell me what’s the mater,” I pleaded. “Rayne I think I’m about to leave,” said Sarah. “Where Sarah,” I asked hoping the answer to my question was not what I thought. Sarah gave me a ‘you-know-what-I-mean’ look. I took a deep breath, looked out on the water, and said “Sarah you can’t leave. I need you here.” “I’ve been here a long, long time Rayne, longer than any child here. I’ve done what I need to. I’m tired. I just know it’s my time now,” said Sarah closing her eyes and clutching her legs closer to her body. 33


She looked over at me, crawled over to where I sat, and sat in my lap with her head buried in my neck. I rested my chin on Sarah’s neck and began to stroke her hair. Sarah’s skin began to glow brighter than I had ever seen. Her red hair glowed too and looked like flames on a fire. Sarah’s breathing became steady like she was sleeping. Then Sarah stopped glowing all together and her skin became pale. Her breathing stopped and she didn’t move an inch. I knew Sarah was gone and that her energy and light had gone to the sun. I clutched poor litle Sarah in my arms. I then cried over my litle friend until I had to struggle and stagger for air. I then took Sarah’s lightless body on shaky knees to a clearing beside the home of the sun-kissed children. I set Sarah down in the woods gently arranging her red hair around her head like a halo. I then ran around the woods searching and picking flowers to set around Sarah’s body. After I finished I kissed her cold forehead and placed a purple pansy in her hair. I walked away and never came back to that clearing. Many years had passed after Sarah’s blinking out. I had seen the advancement in technology and the all mighty millennium. Now I have moved passed Sarah’s blinking to figure out the next move in my journey and what to do with the energy given to me because, I know I’m not even close to the time to return.

34


anonymous 3

35


36


Toddler’s Sight M. Bell Through my eyes I see everyone as a monster And hardly anyone less scarier than the next But this one Isn’t scary at all. She cleans me, feeds me Giving me everything I need.

Mother’s Child I see her staring Right at him As tears drop from her eyes Asking him why? She wouldn’t let him leave And I couldn’t see why Until he turned around, Holding their child

37


And said Goodbye.

FIRE by Samantha Smith It only takes a second to make a decision. Did I make the wrong one? The sounds of flames roar in my ears as sweat pours off of my body only to "Where are you?" I be whisked away into vapor as it falls. shout, praying I get a Sparks fly and beams crack around me reply, that I'm not too as I hear a small voice cry out in fear. late. I have to find the child and get out before the gas lines burst. Another cry echoes through the burning halls searing my ears more that any flame ever could. The weight of my gear is nothing compared to the young life that is resting on my shoulders. My legs swiftly carry me to the back of the house though it was only a few feet from where I had stood it seems to take forever. "Where are you?" I shout praying, I get a reply that I'm not to late. Sure enough I hear a muffled scream coming from the last door in the tunnel-like hall. The smoke is thickening; the fire spreading; I'm running out of time. I rush towards the door whipping off my right glove pressing it to the doorknob. Its comparative coolness is a shock to my system; but a good 38


sign the fire hasn't touched this room yet the kid is likely all right. I slip my hand back in to my Kevlar glove before slowly turning the doorknob. No thick smoke, I note walking in and closing the door, and a large window I won't have to carry the child through the blaze that was once a home. I looked around the room; I couldn't see the child. As I walked by the closet I heard a muffled whimper. I need to get the kid out of here fast but I can't risk scaring the kid away. I go to my knees in front of the closet "anyone there?" I call softly. Slowly the mirrored closet door slides open; a pair of big green eyes pear at me from a sooty little face framed my small golden ringlets. The girl must not be any older than two or three. Her long lashes are coated in water droplets from her tears. I gently wipe a tear from her cheek, "I'm going to break the window and get you out in the sunshine so you can play with your puppy. Okay, little beauty?" She gave a meek nod, whimpering slightly her right arm had a minor burn, but she reached up wanting me to pick her up. "Not yet beauty" I reassure her. I walk over to the window lifting up the pane only to find a screen in my way. I give it a forceful shove and it falls away from its frame. I turn back to the girl, to find that she has grabbed a well-worn blanket and an old teddy bear. My first instinct is to tell her to leave them but she holds on to them as if they are her life line. I don't have the heart to tell her no. I pick her up and place her on the snow covered ground just as flames enter the room. I exit soon after. Once my feet touch the ground the girl makes another motion for me to pick her up standing on her tiptoes reaching for me with her free, injured arm. Without hesitation I scoop her up into my arms being careful of her arm . She lets out a small musical giggle and I carry her to the front of the house. 39


In that moment I know I've made the right choice.

Nothing can tear us apart by Christan Smith

We get so jealous when we talk to other people. We have so much in common. We say we love each other with all of our heart. We say we never want to break up. We have so much in common. If we truly are to be Then why would we ever leave? Nothing can tear us apart. We both know that our love is So strong for each other. We have so much in common. We fight like crazy, every couple does. Who cares, we are here to love. Nothing can tear us apart

40


Wedding Fouls by Leah Sherman With this ring;

In sickness and in health;

We didn’t have one.

What, No wealth!

Will you take this man;

Until death do you part;

If you say so, I can.

Be still cheating heart.

To honor and obey;

I pronounce you man and wife;

Well, okay.

I’m stuck for life! Wish you both the best;

To have and to hold;

I could’ve had less -- NO MAN!

Gee! You’re bold!

41


First Love by Chassyte Fletcher The very first time I laid my eyes on you I knew you were the one The first time I heard your voice, my ears, They just jumped with joy The very first touch from you When you grabbed my hand to ask a question, It made my skin melt And my heart lit up Now that we’re together Things are ten times better you smile at me tummy flutters When our fingers are intertwined, It’s like no one can break us apart When your lips touch mine They taste so sweet Feel so soft So warm

43


The way your hazel eyes sparkle in the light The way your smile lights up the room The way you flip your chocolate brown hair to the side

The way your body is perfectly sculptured With muscles And glowing skin Your height Your everything It all makes me happy, Makes me smile You, my very first love And last.

44


Forever and Always by Dillon Ellis It feels like my heart breaks

So even though we are apart My love for you is always growing

Whenever we’re apart

You will always be in my heart

I know that my heart will take

And to you I make this vow

No excuses when we’re apart

I will always love you

But now I know what I must do

As I love you now

To tell you that I love you too

The night is soon to come

And also to tell you how

And we will be together once more

I will love you forever

And I will see you by the sun Your death is not what I asked for For you have been taken from me

Forever starts now

And without you I see who I’m be The one that told you how

The dawn is coming

loved you always as I Iove you now.

And I fear I must be going

---Dillon Ellis

And the birds for us are always humming

45


I Opened My Eyes by Ray Randle I closed my eyes and what did I see? My lover was there; looking at me. But then I opened my eyes and she was no longer there. I asked her if she wouldn’t stay, how could she care? I went to a closed place and closed my eyes My lover was there – I tell you no lies I asked her was she okay – was she doing well Her smile spoke of Heaven – her eyes, of Hell I asked to embrace her – for old times sake She came to me slowly as if it were a mistake She let go of me quickly – I asked her what was wrong She confessed she knows not if she can wait so long. My eyes started to blur – my voice cracked I told my lover, I think she should go back I opened my eyes and what did I see? Cold, empty, sweet silence surrounding me .

46


The Rose that Withered by Monique Martin I picked flowers out of a garden I couldn’t help myself they were beautiful And caught my atention as they danced in the smooth breeze As I picked them one Rose caught my atention Its deep redness and loving Meaning shined my eyes As I put the rose with the other flowers it outspoke all the other colorful ones As Day By day By day Goes by the rose begins to Wither And was no good The flowers all were dead So therefore they all withered in unity .

47


I Wish I had Said . . . by Madi Haynes When we were two, We played with our foam blocks. When we were five, We were the best of friends. When we were eight, We stayed away from each other because of cooties. But I knew that I liked you. When we were sixteen, You went to prom with the captain of the football team, But I wish I had said that I love you. I wish I had asked you first. We were twenty-two and it was your wedding day. We had fun, You said this is the happiest day of your life, But I wish I had said I love you. We're both ninety, And you're dead. Before they closed the casket, I say I wish I had said I love you before, But I guess it's too late now. When I sat down, And the pastor closed you off from us forever, He read from your diary. It said, "1wish I had said 'I love you' to him.

If I had said it, Everything would be different. If only I had said, 'I love you' to him. " It was the first and last time I cried. I saw your face smiling at me when I entered Heaven. "I love you," I had finally said. "And Ilove you," She had finally said on that wonderful day ....

48


The Winged Beast by Brianna Scott It flitters all around Dropping to the ground Buzzing in the air Causing quite a scare Yellow and Black No friend of mine jack Trapped on a bus Causing quite a Fuss “Mr. Whitehead, Mr. Whitehead!� We cry out up ahead He laughs in our face As our hearts continue to race But wait, a hero arise With fire in his eyes


He takes up a book And gives that winged beast a left hook “Hurray! Hurray!” He saved the day The Winged Beast is dead So lift up your head And rejoice to the sky Now on to Calera

In to the Dragon's Lair by Alex Holder


The young boy's breath came in rhythmic pumps as he crouched behind the fallen log. He watched as the warm air formed steam and drifted skywards, disappearing a short distance into the air. Eventually his lungs recovered from the run and Sterling managed to quiet his breathing, trying to make his location less obvious. The lightly falling snow covered his tracks, making his trail more difficult to follow; all he needed to do was not give away his current location. Nearby in the forest a tree cracked and fell to earth. Sterling cringed, thinking his position was compromised. He waited several moments, expecting to be discovered, but gave a quiet sigh of relief when the arctic landscape around him remained still. Thus he leaned back against the tree, thinking himself safe. It was then that the log he crouched behind was lifted into the air and tossed aside. A powerful force slammed into his back, driving him face

Art by Samantha Smith 1

first into the snow. He lay there, unable to move, as his attacker lowered her head next to his own, her hot breath blowing into his face.


A warm, wet tongue snaked out of her mouth and ran itself along the boy's cheek, sending a shiver down Sterling's spine. "You're mine now, little human." A powerful but obviously feminine voice said in his ear. The two were still for a long moment, the predator rejoicing in her catch as Sterling mourned over his capture. But then it was too much to contain and both burst into laughter. You're not half bad for someone who has never been hunted by a dragon before." Embyr said, taking her clawed hand off of her friend's back and letting him turn over. Sterling turned to stare up into two bright red, cat-like eyes surrounded by a mask of black scales. Though she hunched over him, the dragon was still over two stories tall; at full height, Embyr stood at over fifty feet from head to toes. "There's something I'm missing." The human said, leaning back casually and looking up at his friend. She smiled back. "Perhaps... or perhaps I just have more practice. It's not like you're hunted every day, but I don't rely on my mother to bring home meals." "True... and maybe it's that you take this game more seriously than I do." Sterling reasoned wiping the trail of drool Embyr had left on his face. She smirked at him, a twinkle in her eye. "You should. I mean, I didn't have to stop there." "True enough," "I'm just kidding! Take a joke!" Embyr said, lightly nudging her friend on the arm with a claw. "Ok, ok, I can take a joke... but I still want a rematch!" Sterling said, jumping to his feet. "You already lost best two-out-of-three." The dragon said, rising to her feet and cracking her knuckles in anticipation of the hunt. "Best three-out-of-five then. I'm like a shadow in the trees, you just got lucky!" The last word came out as a sneeze, and Sterling pulled his thin jacket closer around him before wiping his nose. Embyr looked to him with a concerned expression, noticing his nose had taken on a reddish shade and his cheeks were


somewhat flushed. "You're catching a Sterling shook his hand, dismissing his

cold, human." She said. head and waved his friend's concern.

"You're just scared

you'll lose."

"The game isn't worth you getting sick. Go on home, from the looks of things the snow will only get worse; you've come out to see me for two weeks in a row, you can have a couple of days off with the weather this bad." "Come on, Embyr, one more - ACHOO! - game. Let me prove a weak litle human can evade a big, mean, hungry dragon." Embyr smiled and gave in. "Alright... but I won't say 'hungry.' Your mean dragon just ate two humans that didn't know how to hide." "But this human is smarter!" "We'll see..." She moved off towards the glade where the pair had first met, a location several hundred yards to the south of the sight of their last game. Sterling waited until she was out of sight before moving off at a quick pace west, "Shhhh," Embyr softly insisted, placing a claw on her friend's chest and easing him back so his back rested against her. She was warm to the touch, her draconic "inner fire" bringing warmth slowly back into Sterling's frozen body. "Where are we?" He finally managed after several minutes, looking up to the caring dragon. "My home... not how I wanted to show you where I live, but it was necessary. You were dying." She said, wrapping her tail around him to try and bestow as much warmth as possible to the human's body. trying to stifle his noisy nose. He could hide and cover his tracks, and after going through all that trouble, the last thing he wanted was for his cold to give him away.


Sterling closed his

As usual in the "hunting game," eyes and Sterling had fifteen minutes to succumbed to the hide before Embyr, the "hungry cold, letting the icy dragon," came looking for him. grip of nature swell in his being. They had started the game about a week before, when Embyr declared they knew each other well enough for both to realize that it was just a game. They had now started "hunting" several times each day; and, though both thoroughly enjoyed their newfound pastime, Sterling was yet to deny his friend a "meal." The snow began falling harder just as the human reasoned his hiding time was up and he quickly ducked down under a tangle of fallen logs, trying to make himself as small and unnoticeable as possible. His jacket, brown in color, blended in nicely with the dead debris in which he hid, and he quickly atempted to cover all exposed skin with it in order both to conceal himself and ward off the cold. Within minutes the snow more than a few yards; and was able to stifle his unavoidable that the dropping.

cut off visibility for though the human sneezing, it was temperature was

Finally it became too much to bear and Sterling decided to call off the game. "E-Em..." he said, meaning to shout. Panic struck the boy then when he realized his body was freezing up; he could barely move and, more importantly, couldn't even call for help. "Embyr..." he tried again, but the name came out more of a raspy whisper than any true call for help.


He was powerless against the cold. He sat there for nearly ten minutes, shivering and knowing that his hopes for survival were fast diminishing. He gave up as snow began to cover him; his only hope was that Embyr wouldn't be found and blamed for his death when, in the spring thaw, his body turned up. Sterling closed his eyes and succumbed to the cold, letting the icy grip of nature swell in his being. It was then the debris around him moved, being thrown back to reveal the fading human. "Oh god..." Embyr moaned, scooping her friend into the palm of her hand and holding him closer to her face, her keen ears listening for the telltale signs of breath.

Her mouth cracked open slightly at first, then widened so that her maw was clearly visible. Quickly it became

evident what she was planning.

"You... found... me..." Sterling managed. His friend smiled, appearing as though she might cry. "Yeah," she said "you're great at covering your tracks and hiding... but you can never get rid of that adorable smell of yours. It's what brought me to you in the first place..." she continued speaking but her words began to jumble together, making them incoherent. Moments later, the human faded from consciousness. Sterling was unconscious for some time, awakening briefly once to see that he was flying, clutched in Embyr's gentle hands several hundred feet above the forest canopy. Beneath him a herd of deer scatered in every direction at the sight of the dragon that bore him, and moments later they passed over what appeared to be a large muddy spot of


ground. Embyr said something about an underground hot spring that fueled the mud flats but Sterling only caught the idea of what she said, since he was already fast fading from the world again... When the human fully awoke he found himself delirious and cold. He lay with his eyes open for a long time, feeling rough stone against his back and trying desperately to remember where he was. Then the bits and pieces of his flight above the forest flooded back to him and he shot up into a sitting position, looking around him in a panic. The stony walls of a deep cave surrounded him. He couldn't have put the cave's position on any map since, looking out of the entrance, he could see no landscape. Only the white of the blizzard around him presented itself. "You saved me..." he said in expected this creature to saved his life.

awe. Two weeks before he kill him... and now she had

"Well," she said, looking out of the cave entrance into the swirling blizzard beyond "maybe not. I haven't seen a storm like this in decades; it will be a rough one. The temperatures will drop lower when night falls... too low for your body to survive, even with me here for warmth." "Oh..." "But, then again, there might be a way to save you." "You seem hesitant." Sterling said, noting that the usual twinkle in his friend's eyes was gone. She looked down at him and gave a weak smile. "Do you trust me?" "I trust you with my life - I owe you that much." "Thank you... I will need all the trust I can get for this." "For what? What are you doing Embyr?" The tail that had curled itself around Sterling tightened, immobilizing him. The dragon moved her friend closer to her face so that her hot breath pushed back his sandy hair each time she exhaled, bringing with


it the faint scent of deer. Her mouth cracked open slightly at first, then widened so that her maw was clearly visible. Quickly it became evident what she was planning. "Embyr! EMBYR!" Sterling yelled, struggling against her muscular tail. The dragon's tongue snaked out of her mouth, slowly replacing the tail that entangled the young boy. "Sowwy," she said before drawing the boy into her mouth and closing her jaws behind him, cutting off any escape. "Embyr!" Sterling screamed, kicking and punching at her teeth. After several minutes he realized his struggling was pointless, that the dragon had full control over the situation. "Rewax," came a command from the back of her throat. "What?" "Rewax, you'we gonna be oway." It took Sterling a moment to realize she was telling him to relax. "It's easy to relax when you're best friend is EATING YOU!" "Nowt eating siwwy. Just kweeping you warm." "Oh..." Sterling said, a bit embarrassed, and as he realized she had made no move to harm him and that it was, in fact, several degrees warmer inside the dragon's mouth. "Sowwy I swared you." "Sorry I didn't trust you..." "It's oway. Now go to sweep, you'we gonna be fine." "Thanks Embyr..." The dragon felt the human squirm on her tongue as he adjusted himself in his unexpected quarters. He squirming continued for a long time before finally, after about an hour, Sterling lay still.


Guilt began to spread through Embyr as she watched the snow swirl outside. She had kept firewood in her lair for just such an occasion, enough to warm a village of humans; but she couldn't resist such an opportunity. She had to face the facts: she liked the way her friend tasted. Several hours passed, during which time the storm reached its peak and began to die down. The dragon diligently lay awake, ensuring her friend would last through the night. Finally, less than two hours before dawn, Embyr gently removed the sleeping Sterling from her maw. Placing him by her side to keep him warm she used her tail to move several articles of firewood from her stockpile, building a large mound before lighting it with a blast of flame from the same life-giving maw that had housed Sterling for the last several hours. Hoping the encounter wouldn't scar their friendship; the dragon once again curled her tail around her friend and lay beside the roaring fire, waiting anxiously for his reaction at dawn.

Football by

Running down the

Michael Mayes

Grass

Hut hut

Tackling and dodging the

Hike!

Enemy

I throw the football

Catching the enemy’s ball

Spiral like

Jumping


Leaping Diving through mid Air

Fast

Interception is at its

On to the End Touchdown is bound to

Best Run down the line

Win.


College

by: allie gassner

Do not cry any tears for me It’s only for a litle while Because I’ll be home soon, you see.

You’ve done me well and taught me right, Told me about goals and how to not lose sight. Do not cry any tears for me.

It is time now to spread my wings And show you the joy a child is meant to bring Because I’ll be home soon, you see.

This is only for a short while At most 4 or 5 years Do not cry any tears for me


So relax your mind And forget all your fears Because I’ll be home soon, you see.

I’ll miss you more than you can even imagine, Thank you mom and dad for everything that has been. Do not cry any tears for me, Because I’ll be home soon, you see.

Blue Skies


He’s fallen, and there’s nothing I can do about it. It was cancer, something that could never happen The man I loved the most. He was so tall, a full head taller than me. His laugh was clear, his smile, forced Alone with me, it was deep and true. How rare it was, almost never. He made me laugh, When I was angry. Take me in his arms and held me when I cried. Always, like he promised. He wanted to be a pilot. Fighting for his country. But loved music, Begging me to sing, the same old song, over and over. He never grew tired, even as he fell weak.

It was far too late. No money. No treatment. He held my hand. Many nights passed Holding my breath, for the day I feared most. It was a Saturday morning, the woman called me, there wasn’t much time. I shivered the whole way. He lay on the bed, looking so small. Eyes shut. So thin and pale. Saying my name. I tried to be strong for him, couldn’t take it, cried and cried, as we held our faces. He forbade me to apologize, it was his own fault his own choice.

We danced one night. In the pouring rain. I didn’t feel it, the water dispersing from our skin. That’s when he told me.

It was a Thursday night, my eyes snapped open, his had letting go. Finally.

Who I was. His one and only, all he wanted to share his life with. However short it was.

Many took me away. Lifted head, seeing nothing but blur. Screaming his name, come back to me.

Behind the Darkness Behind the Darkness was Light


Skyward eyes beaming The children, dancing, screaming The men, clapping, singing Far off fireflies flying toward the clouds In straight lines, columns. The women saw and knew Completely frozen The small white blossom , Falling to earth.


If Only by Chase Brown If only. Simple words that can be spoken over and over to comfort the inmates in the tiny cells of the rooms of Walla Walla. If only. It were the only words that he could hear coming from the dark hall beyond his cell. It was strange of him to hear words, not many of the prisoners talked to anyone but themselves and they rarely did that mostly they just sat in the dark waiting to die.s If only if only. Will you ever shut it Mak. I swear if I hear you speak one more time I am gonna kill you dead. Oh if only. I swear it Mak don’t make me do this you know I aint gonna pull no punches with ya just because we buds. I wish I were dead sometimes man this place this dark, dark place it just makes me wanna die. The man in the cell regarded the two strangely in the dark hallway between the two cages. The two men had been convicted for the same crime and had been forced to share the already cramp cell with one another. He then looked around his own cell thinking of how while it would be awful to share the tiny arrangement with another soul that it would at least be nice to have someone to talk two, evn if it was only the arguing that the two men opposite were sharing because at least they had each other to argue with. If only Ron if only they hadn’t found us. We would be out of here living out there I know that it wasn’t much of a life when we had it that’s why we did what we did but at least we had the sun and the sounds but in here I can only here you can’t even see ya all the time herb. Sometimes I wonder if I just made ya up to occupy my time.

64


Well ya can stop pretenden then Mak cause we was caught and I am in here stuck with you and all your dang jabber I swear you never shut your mouth carryin on about this and that you won’t never let me enjoy my time just sleepin away. If only Ron if only I had known that they would do this I would have never done it never had let you talk me into it. I should have never let you talk me into doin it. I mean was it so bad before we never had any freedom or nothing, couldn’t chose what we did for a living or read or talk in public but at least I wasn’t in here. Why why did I read that book they told me not to they said it would happen but I had to know if only Ron if only. Shut it Mak. No need to bring it up again I know why we in here let it be, let me sleep. If only. The man turned away. he too was incarcerated for the crime of reading a book he had picked up a copy of a war of the worlds when he was five at the time he had had no way of knowing what it said but he had been taken to this place to grow old and die. If only he thought and laid down to sleep.

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To Say Goodbye by Brendilyn Concord

To say goodbye I would have to lie I’m sorry if were too far away I’m sorry if it brings you fright

I’d like to say it would be just fine It would be beter if you pray To say goodbye I would have to lie

Always know you will always be mine Through each and every day I’m sorry if it brings you fright 66


Just look up to the star that will shine Remember I’ll be back by May To say goodbye I would have to lie

You could sip on wine By the bay I’m sorry if it brings you fright

Please don’t mind If I go away To say goodbye I would have to lie

67


I’m sorry if it brings you fright.

68


Lefty

People get confused

by Dillon Ellis

And I tell them I am misused

It is not easy being me

And I tell them I won’t be accused

A lefty at everything Weird and yes it is hard to be

Of this allegation they have fused

A Lefty in this society

I am a lefty and that’s all there is to it.

Whenever I play football, lefty Whenever I am on a computer, lefty But whenever I write; it’s righty

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Prologue by Josias Dimas The lighting crackled between the two combatants, drowning out Pyros’s screams. Roaring in agony the warrior found himself losing consciousness. “No! Keep fighting, don’t give in.” He commanded himself in vain. As if to mock his words he felt a blow to the stomach and, with a grunt, doubled over. He looked up just as his vision began to fade to blackness, letting out one last word: “Traitor…” “Hardly,” the obsidian skin man said. “You’ll thank me later. You know me: I’m always right.” But the somewhat encouraging words were lost to Pyros, who was far from the realm of consciousness. Realizing 70


that his friend was no longer listening the elf smiled, stepping back from the body. “Return to Zyrux to finish off the dark one. For now, Guardian of the Flame, farewell.” Then the “traitor” turned The lighting away, walking back the way he had crackled come. On the ground, despite having not heard the elf’s last words, a between the two command reverberated through the combatants fallen guardian’s dreams: return to Zyrux, kill the Dark One. Very soon, it would be all he could think about; all he could remember… ***** He awoke with a gasp, red eyes flying open. His memory was a blur, like a white board full of information that had suddenly been wiped blank. His dreams had been troubled, a mix of fading memories and a single, irresistible call. Pyros tried to make sense of it all, to find stability in the life that had escaped him; but he could not. Only a single command, spoken on lips wet with evil, came to his mind. “Return to Zyrux to finish off the Dark One…” he muttered ever so quietly, the command strong enough that it seemed to materialize around him. 71


It was then he realized he had no idea where Zyrux was. In truth, he had no idea where he was. He found himself in a small room, just large enough to hold a bed and a number of pictures, hanging along the walls. He rose from where he lay on the mattress and approached one of the frames, studying it with growing interest. The painting was incredibly detailed, almost as though it had been taken directly from the world. His fingers moved forward to brush against its surface, finding that it all seemed to flow together beneath his hand as though it were made with a single, glossy brush stroke. The painting depicted a young girl, some five years in age, with long blonde hair. He expected the scene to bring back a memory but frowned when, after several moments, it did not. Nothing seemed familiar. It was as though all that remained of whatever life he had before were shadows, fleeting memories and a sense of being alienated. “You’re awake!” Pyros jumped and spun, looking to see the girl from the picture emerge in the doorway. She smiled up at him, not intimidated in the least. “Yes…” “I’m Hikaru!” she said happily. “Hikaru…” Pyros muttered. The name should have brought back something but, just like with the photograph, his mind seemed blank. The girl looked expectantly at her guest but, 72


after several moments of silence, she seemed to grow bored and instead took to jumping on the bed, letting her legs dangle over the edge with an expression of youthful bliss. “That’s a very nice painting.” Pyros said instead, motioning back to the hanging frame. Hikaru giggled and shook her head. “That isn’t a painting, silly.” “It… isn’t?” he asked, his brow furrowing. Perhaps his memory was worse than he expected. “It’s a photo!” she said instead, still snickering. “What’s a photo?” “You know: you press that button on the camera and the picture comes out!” “How?” Pyros asked, perplexed by how something that took artists ages to accomplish could be managed in seconds. “Well… I don’t know. I think a little man inside paints it really, really fast; but my mom says it’s just technology.” “Well, is your mother home?” he inquired. The little girl was of little help; she was too young to understand his predicament, after all. An adult might be a bit more empathetic. “I’m here.” A voice called from the doorway. Pyros turned towards the sound, something seeming to click within him. It wasn’t a memory so much as it was an emotional spark. The voice was warm, as though the sun itself had spoken; that ray of light seemed to carry something more behind it as well, although he couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was. 73


“My name is Kasai.” The woman said, stepping into the room. Long, brown hair fell around a pair of slender shoulders, seeming to brush against her dress like the groping hands of a child when she walked. A pair of intelligent eyes seemed to peer deep into Pyros, their color an unnatural yellow. Overall she appeared gentle and kind; Kasai appeared to be an island of hope in the sea of Pyros’s uncertainty. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Kasai.” He managed. “Could you tell me where I am, exactly?” “Mommy, mommy, this weird man doesn’t know what a photo is!” “Don’t interrupt, Hikaru.” Kasai gently scolded. “You’re in the Tsubasa estate just outside of Mori, Japan.” The girl’s mother explained. “We found you outside. You were injured, like you had fallen; we had no choice but to take you inside. It looks like you’ve healed very quickly.” “Maybe I hit my head; I can’t seem to remember anything.” Pyros admitted. “Amnesia,” Kasai nodded solemnly. “But, hopefully, your memories will come back. Until then you’re welcomed to stay here.” “Thank you,” he nodded gratefully, taking Hikaru’s spot on the bed as she got up to tug at the hem of her mother’s dress. “Where’s Takeshi?” she asked. “I want to do something fun! The weird man is boring…” 74


“Be nice.” Kasai scolded again. Her daughter nodded enthusiastically but once again pulled at the dress persistently. “He’s outside. Go look for him.” “Yeah!” Hikaru giggled, running out of the door. Her footfalls sounded down the hall, clicking against the wood like some sort of drumbeat. “Her brother,” the woman explained. “She loves him very much and he puts up with her, despite her age. I apologize for her indecency; she can be a bit taking at times, she isn’t even six years old yet.” “It’s fine.” Pyros replied. “I hate to push the issue, but was there any clue as to what injured me? It’s difficult, losing my memories; I feel like there’s something I should be doing, something I need to accomplish. Time may be running out, but I don’t know for what, exactly.” “It must be difficult for you, Pyros. It must be tragic to lose all those memories…” The man flinched, his eyes widening in shock. He hadn’t told Hikaru’s mother his name; perhaps she knew who he was! “You know me!” “Not directly, no. I know of you.” “Am I… famous?” “In a way,” she said mysteriously.

His expression dropped into a frown as his brow furrowed, not liking the riddles.

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“Don’t worry about it right now.” Kasai said, dismissively waving her hand. “Finish healing first, then we’ll talk. Do you want something to eat?” “Sure,” he muttered, his voice coming out as though it was from a great distance away. His mind could not let the issue rest; he knew nothing about who he was. All he had of his former life was a single command. The woman nodded and left the room, lightly closing the door behind her. Her life had changed almost as drastically as that of her guest. She knew who Pyros was; she could never be confused by the vivid descriptions of her family’s legends. But she knew not what the dangerous, inspiring figure’s plans were; for that she would have to watch and wait.

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Is Love My Blessing? anonymous

When I’m alone my enemies disperse

My friends are supposed to shield me from attacks

Is love my many blessings, or my only curse?

Yet I go to sleep with many knives in my back

They say to do right I should love my brothers

I’m doing wrong when I’m by myselfI’ve never seen any person run and come to help

But they could hurt me worse and like no others

They say love will make it better: it only it worse Is love my many blessings, or is it my only curse?

They say things should be forgiven to forget But to love one another-the needs haven’t been met

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I Have no Love for this Game by Katie Miller I have no love for this game, Of beauty destroyed by fire and flame. And hateful is the arrow that flies, Reflected in your dark eyes. Yet still this web of fate we weave, Indifferent while others grieve. And all of life is such a game, Of outward beauty covering inward shame.

As we watch the silvery moon, And hearken to the wolf’s tune, We run into the new-born night, Unpersuaded by the dying light. Shadows dance along the trees, 78


The wind whispers and it deceives, So we keep our eyes only on the sky, And ignore the forest’s enchanted lullaby.

What we lost was paradise, Because it went unrecognized. In the best of worlds, each his own master, Yet ultimately it fell to disaster. Where passion ruled the atmosphere, Now disgraced by lies and fear. The beautiful and sustaining sunlight, Chased away by a never ending night. Our perfect world was made of glass, And the beauty has long come and passed.

An angel in devil’s shoes, Who talks about salvation and the blues. Afraid to win and more scared to lose, She begins to seek her Muse. Defying all taboos, 79


There’s a time you have to choose.

Dear Friend by Amber Dunlap To know you’re gone There is a pain in my chest It’s good to know though that you’ve been put to rest. Your mind was beautiful and heart so kind I just wish that time could rewind So I could tell you how much you mean to me Why could you not just see? The loveliness your heart had shown And your talents all your own Why did you have to leave? My tears are soaked into my sleeve Did you not know the impact this would hold? Now we’ll never see you grow old. 80


I miss you dearly my good friend I will love you forever and it’ll never end.

In Loving Memory Of: PARKER LOREN MORRIS.

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