Table Of Contents: Table of Contents.............................................i
Note from the Editor.......................................ii
A Final Note....................................................62
• Pieces with stars indicate the winners of the Photography, Poetry and Short Story contest. • Cover Photography credit: Kyle Mascilak i
Note from the Editor: For the past 24 years, Windfall has been the Nichols College literary magazine, representing the talents of students and professors from every class and major. With Nichols being a business dominated school, Windfall has been a way for everyone on campus to express their creative side with short stories, poetry and photography. This was the first year Windfall took a new approach and published all submissions not only to this magazine, but on our new blog: http://www.windfallmagazine.wordpress.com We have had great success with the blog and I hope it’s something that carries on throughout years to come. Since I was a sophomore here at Nichols, I have been a part of Windfall and this year as a senior, I was honored to become the editor. I am extremely proud of how well our team worked together this year and the final product we created. I am very appreciative to have been a part of something so great, and has taught me so much. I would like to thank everyone who helped Windfall run smoothly this year and helped create a wonderful team and book. A special thanks to Ryan Finnegan, who did so much to help create the blog and make it look amazing. You were a real life saver when it came to the technical aspects of Windfall, especially when putting the final product together. I would also like to thank Jeff Halprin, Windfall’s advisor as well as my own, for always guiding me in the right direction. I definitely would have been lost without our meetings and your wonderful recommendations. I can proudly say you have helped me all four years of my college experience and I am grateful for that. A big thank you to April Dylewicz and Nikki Anderson for your sarcasm and always being honest, you kept humor alive in Windfall. Also, thank you to Will Brown for doing what you could, and making announcements at SGA meetings. The list wouldn’t be complete without thanking the students and faculty who took a risk at a business school and submitted your work. Thank you for making this issue amazing and I hope you enjoy seeing your work in the final product! -Fae Risio ’13
Better Off Dead than Red: April Dylewicz...................4 Brink of Death: Chelsea Rafferty.................................8 Hunting for Sport: Nikki Anderson............................21 Wild: Hayley Eldridge.................................................23 Old Neighbors: Wayne-Daniel Berard........................26 Red Dresses: Nikki Anderson......................................30
S E CTI O N 1
Better Off Dead Than Red: April Dylewicz My family... isn’t normal. There are a few others like us in this area, but not many. Maybe a dozen, give or take. We have a habit of killing each other off. We cannot help it. It’s in our nature. Due to our nature, we have been exiled, forbidden to live in the village. We live in the woods, confined to tiny, crude shacks, we’ve made for ourselves. We are forced to survive by eating small woodland animals. I’m content here, but no one else is. My sister lives life as though it is a punishment. And don’t get me started n my father. He insists we should fight back, punish those brainless villagers who have hunted us and persecuted us. All because of a monthly affliction we cannot help. We were not asked to be attacked. We were not asked to be bitten. We did not ask to become Werewolves. My father makes it his business to attack anyone foolish enough to wander through our part of the woods while the full moon is up. Sometimes even if it’s not a full moon. Once in awhile, he drags back a body while he’s in his human form and it’s nowhere near full moon. He does it just because he can. Good for him But the problem is, he wants me, his oldest son, to help him. No thank you. I prefer it if my food cannot ask to be spared. Besides, humans taste disgusting. They are often difficult to chew and riddled with diseases. While we are stronger and more powerful than humans, healing quicker and more effectively, we are not immune. Have you heard of that plague that has been going around the village? It sounds ghastly. I sigh and glance at my hands. Hair has started to sprout there and my fingernails seem a bit sharper. I’m beginning to form too many teeth for my mouth. But I’m not an animal just yet. It takes several hours for the transformation to occur. It is not until the moon reaches the highest point in the sky that we fully become the Wolf.
I look across the room to where Lucy, my sister, sits. She is desperately trying to knit something, but she keeps getting everything tangled. She is getting wolfish as well. Her ears are dog-like and higher than they should be, up on the crown of her head. A loud stamping announces that someone is approaching the house. I press my face against the window. See? What did I tell you? Here comes my father now. Though slightly more hairy than your average person, he’s still clearly a man. And yet he’s brought home some old lady for dinner. Old people are especially nauseating. I think I will take care of my own food tonight. Father is not having that, though, it seems. “This woman is expecting her granddaughter, tonight,” he explains. I raise an eyebrow, but do not otherwise respond. “You’re going to get her and bring her here,” he announces, disappointed by my lack of reaction. “What?!” I yelp, finally paying him attention. “No! I won’t do that.” My father glares at me, then lunges, grabbing me by the throat, and I am forced to realize that wolf or not, the human part of my father died a long time ago. My sister sets down her knitting needles and watches helplessly. “I am your father, and you will do what I say, so help me, God!” He releases me with such force I stumble backwards into the wall. He begins to pull something from his cloak and throws it in my face. I catch it and stare at a bright pink flowered bonnet and it holds a pair of large, white gloves. Huh? Something else is pelted at me. An equally pink and floral nightgown. “Get dressed,” my father says when I fail to take any sort of action. “Excuse me?” Is this some kind of new punishment? Utterly humiliating crossdressing? “Disguise yourself as the grandmother and wait in her house until her granddaughter arrives. Once she is in the house... bring her here.” 5
“I don’t have to kill her?” It seems too good to be true. My father smiles. “No... we’re not going to kill her.” His smiling turns menacing. “Our numbers are low.” Oh. He wants to Turn her. Lucy closes her eyes and turns away. Barely an hour later and feeling like a supreme moron, I sit in dead Granny’s bedroom, wearing her clothes. Her house is nice. Much nicer than ours. I find myself caught up in wistful fantasies of living here, were I don’t turn savage at the full moon. Where I am normal, with average friends and family members. These daydreams do not last too long. There’s a knock at the door and a small voice says, “Grandma? Are you home? Mother says you’re not feeling well. I brought you some food.” Just get her to walk outside with you, says my father’s voice in my head. We’ll take care of the rest once she’s in the forest. I gulp and pull the ridiculous bonnet over my face as much as possible. Making my voice as high pitched as I can, I say, “Come in!” After some shuffling in the other rooms, a little face appears in the doorway. She has blue eyes and dark red hair that is nearly the same color as her cloak. Her hood is pulled up. She is so young, probably seven. Red glides into the room and kneels at the bedside. She offers the basket to me. I reluctantly take it. She eyes my gloved hands in the process. “My, what big hands you have, Grandmother.” I try to smile down at her. Oops. I clamp my jaw shut, hoping she did not notice. She did. Her eyes grow wide. “Grandma, what big teeth you have!” But besides the initial shock, there is no terror in her words, no doubt, or suspicion. This leaves me with one question: Is she stupid? 6
She smiles innocently up at me. I decide this poor, brainless child needs a last meal so I break open the basket and tell her to eat. She does so happily. I try in vain to eat a bit at first as well, but it is no use. I feel ill. When my claws begin to shred the gloves I am wearing, I realize I cannot put this off any longer. “Erm,” my voice squeaks with nervousness. “How about you and I go for a walk?” I suggest. “Grandma needs fresh air.” Red brightens. “That sounds lovely.” She stands up and holds her tiny hand out to me. I ignore it and rise as well, noting that I have a difficult time standing straight. I hunch over, knowing I have maybe half an hour until I start walking on all fours. I barely take a step when one of the windows shatters. A streak of gray pushes past me and tackles Red to the ground. She screams, trying to fight off the grey-hooded figure but she is no match. So my father decided to get Red himself, after all. The sight makes me sick. Resisting the urge to vomit, I back away and trip over my own feet. I fall over the bedside table and collide with the wall. I land on my back, all wind knocked out of me and know I’ll be bruised later. When I finally stand, Red lays broken on the floor. Her face scratched beyond recognition, her hair matted with blood, her hood stained with it. Her eyes are still open but they no longer see anything. I stare, appalled. Father did not want to kill her. I turn to Red’s assailant and see it lower its hood. My sister standing there, tears in her eyes and blood on her hands. “Lucy!” I have no idea what else to say to her. As far as I know, she had never killed a human before. Lucy wipes her eyes with the back of her hand. “She’s better off,” she chokes out. “Better off dead than living like this. Like us. Hunted. Starving. A demon. Let her die innocent. Let her meet Angels in Heaven and know nothing of Hell.” She turns and leaves me standing there alone. The wind whipping through the broken window is icy cold. Red’s bloody blue eyes stare up at me, silently asking why I did not save her.
S E CTI O N 2
Brink Of Death: Chelsea Rafferty “Seven months,” thought Jen to herself. “Seven months of hell and no one is close to finding us.” She sighed heavily and stared around room. A combination of sweat and human filth created the putrid smell that was wafting in the air. By this time, however, everyone was acclimated to the stench. No other scent had penetrated their noses for a while. At first, they would hold their noses with the hope that they could be spared from the horrific sense but by this time, that would just utilize vital energy; energy that they needed to survive the day. The dirt floor and ceiling were cold and damp, stifling any light or happiness. The walls were so tightly packed down that it was difficult to differentiate where the floor began and ended. There were no windows to be found anywhere, only one large metal door in the corner. No sunlight penetrated the room from the outside; just pure darkness. The only time that dim light is shed upon the dank room is when the ominous door creaked open. And that was something no one ever wanted. Water dripped from the tightly pack ceiling, creating a soft plopping noise while at the same time the faint, constant sound of rushing water could be heard overhead. It reminded Jen of the world outside of the hellhole. Freedom was so close within their grasp but yet so far. She slightly lifted her head, looking for around for Logan. Her fiery red shoulderlength hair clung to her face, obstructing her sea foam green eyes. Spotting Logan on the other side of the room, she quickly brushed her hair behind her ears and staggered to her feet. Her muscles, however, began to shake uncontrollably and she fell back down to the ground. The only strength she could muster was to stretch out her arms to soften the blow as she fell; she was as immobile as an infant. Her body was barely hanging on by a thread; instinct was her only motivation at this point. Slowly and painfully, she crawled to the other side of the room and plopped herself in between Mr. O’Connor and Logan, who were both in a deep sleep. 8
She shook him lightly while muttering, “Logan, Logan. Come on wake up. You need to eat something.” Logan groggily opened his eyes, yawned, and scratched his dirty blonde head. “How long was out?” he asked, sitting up against the wall. “Three days,” she said blankly. “Three days?! It felt so much shorter than that,” he said astounded. “How do you know the time frame?” “I’ve kept track by the light that comes through the cracks of the door. The day is over when the lamps are extinguished,” replied Jen matter-of-factly, holding out a small piece of mud soaked bread. “When was the last time you slept?” he inquired, taking the bread from her hands and breaking off a piece. “A week ago, I think.” “You can’t do that to yourself! You need your strength,” said Logan, in a concerned tone. Jen slowly shook her head and stared at the ceiling. She didn’t need to tell him how long she had been awake, he could just tell from the large dark circles under her eyes. They made her look much older than seventeen. This was a side of her that he never thought he would see; a side he never wanted to see. Mr. O’Connor began to stir beside them. Jen continued to stare off into the darkness. All she could see were the shapes of thirty people, deep in slumber, dreaming of a place far away from here. She wished her mind would let her drift off to another place. But she could no longer remember what life was like outside of this prison. Everything that had happened seven months before seemed to be the life of another person. She was just an observer from the other side of the glass. Absorbed in thought, Jen didn’t realize Mr. O’Connor had been calling her name. His gentle prod brought her back to reality.
“Jenny, you need to get some sleep. Don’t worry we’ll keep watch over you,” he said softly, pushing her bangs out of her face. “I can’t. I’m always on edge; praying that the door won’t open again. My mind won’t rest till I’m at ease,” replied Jen, as she pulled her knees into her chest. “I cannot deal with another one of us being taken and not coming back,” she continued as she slowly rested her head against the wall. “Someone will find us soon. They’re looking,” said Logan unreassuringly. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that once you passed on the other side of the door, you were dead and nothing could be done. Admitting it, however, made everything seem hopeless and hope is what is keeping everyone together. Without it, there would be no reason to hold on or fight. Jen slowly slid down the wall until everything but her legs were completely on the ground. She slowly extended her legs, accidentally kicking an unknown mass. The person flinched, sat up, and wildly stared around. In response, Jen quickly sat up again and scanned the ground to see what her foot had made contact with. The shadow slowly inched forward, but their face was still unrecognizable. “Ouch!! Who the fuck just kicked me?!?” said the bewildered person. “Dylan??? Is that you??” said Jen, squinting into the darkness. “Yeah….who else would it be??” said Dylan in disgruntled tone, as his freckled covered face came into view. He was not someone who you wanted to get grumpy. When he did, there was no talking to him. Even though his innocent face with bright green eyes and shaggy brown hair may be deceiving, the second he opened his mouth you knew what he was thinking. “Sorry Dylan. It’s hard to see!” said Jen quickly, attempting to avoid an argument. Dylan opened his mouth as to rebuttal but then closed it slightly, saying “It’s okay. I know it was just an accident.”
He dragged himself over to the wall and sat down next to Jen, taking the now vacant spot that Mr. O’Connor had previously filled. Mr. O’Connor was stooping slightly as he scanned the ground looking for someone. Dylan looked at him inquisitively but decided to keep quiet as to preserve his energy. After several long minutes of painful silence, Mr. O’Connor stepped over the many slumbering bodies and found residence next to Mr. Donnelly, whose sunken and gaunt face was thrown into sharp relief as he glanced up at the approaching person. The two adults put their heads together and began to quietly whisper. Normally, Logan, Jen, and Dylan would have attempted to hear what they were discussing but at this point it didn’t matter much anymore. Dylan turned his attention onto Jen who was beginning to gently nod off to sleep. “Put your head on my shoulder, Biddy. Get some sleep.” Jen smiled to herself, remembering when they first came up with those nicknames, Paddy and Biddy, during their freshman year. They had read in history class that those were common names for the Irish when they immigrated to the United States and they had stuck ever since. She laid her head down gently upon his bony shoulder and felt everything around her go fuzzy. Even though she had been afraid of the room’s darkness, she was glad to be enveloped by the darkness of sleep. *
Jen woke with a scream and jolting Dylan in the process. “Are you okay? What wrong?!?” he said in a concerned tone. “The trees. They were….on fire…an enormous fire. I couldn’t get out. I kept looking for the river but the flames were in my way. It was horrifying,” she gasped. Dylan stared into her eyes, in an apologetic manner. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I was only trying to make you relax for a while.” Jen dropped her head in shame. “I know I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have taken it out on you. Now that I got that out of my system, maybe I’ll have a good dream,” she said in a falsely optimistic manner. 11
She placed her head upon his should once more and allowed the blackness of sleep to envelop her once more. It only seemed like a few minutes to Jen; a brief moment of peace.Hours may have gone by but her body certainly was not rejuvenated whatsoever.
The large door in the corner slammed against the wall, practically tearing the hinges off. The bolts, which were holding in the door, became considerably looser. A ray of light was thrown around the room causing its inhabitants to narrow their eyes and bury their faces in the crooks of their elbow. But just as quickly as the light had come, it was replaced by the shadow of several tall figures. Five large men stood in the doorway, four of whose faces were all visible and had stone serious expressions. The fifth stood at the head of the pack and was the leader. He wore his black hoodie and only his spine tingling smile could be seen. He leered around at the damp room and without warning, mass chaos ensued. The pack of men dispersed in every direction, darting to random occupants of the room. There was such mass hysteria that nothing specific could be discerned. Loud screams erupted from the throats of the once sleeping people and they sprung to their feet faster than their current condition should allow them. Logan, Jen, and Dylan immediately linked arms, clutching on for dear life. They squeezed each other so hard that it was a wonder their arms did not begin to turn white from lack of circulation. Jen squeezed her eyes shut, attempting to block out the events that were going around them. One by one, many of the thirty people were dragged out of the room, limbs flailing in every direction trying to throw their captors off balance. A divot in the ground began to form from the repeated resistance and scraping of the ground. Mr. Oâ€™Connor and Mr. Donnelly were fighting off the intruders, punching and elbowing every inch of them they could reach but their efforts were futile. With one swift motion, the hooded figure swung his arm and the two menwere thrown through the air, slammed into the wall and crumpled onto the floor, motionless.
The assumed leader of the group turned his attention upon the three teens chained together with their arms, all of whose eyes were as wide as saucers, with fear. With one swift movement, he stepped toward the three, grabbed Jen around the waist, pried her from the supposedly unbreakable grip of Logan and Dylan, and hurled her over his shoulder like a rag doll. Jen was completely stunned with fear and had no time to react. No scream was uttered from her lips. She didn’t even attempt to struggle; she just stared at her two friends in desperation, praying that what was happening was all a dream. Logan lunged forward and grabbed tightly onto Jen’s hand, hoping to pull her out of the leader’s arms. The hooded figure was too strong. He jabbed his elbow forcefully into Logan’s face; so forcefully that there was a loud crack and a spurt of blood poured from his nose. In one final act of desperation, Jen began to claw the back of Logan’s hands, leaving deep crevices in his pale skin. The last of the men dragged out their victims and slammed the door, submerging the room in darkness once more. Lingering screams continued to echo throughout the hallways for several minutes until there was complete silence. This chilling silence remained unbroken for hours until Mr. O’Connor slowly regained consciousness and pushed up himself up the wall into a standing position. “Is everyone alright?” he said quietly. No one responded. He looked around slowly, taking in everyone’s condition. Tears began to fill his eyes and stream down his face, leaving a streak, from washing away the coat of dirt that had been built up. He quickly put his face in his hands and attempted to hide any trace of crying. He needed to be strong for everyone; he and Mr. Donnelly were the only adults and needed to hold it together. They could not allow their emotions to get the best of them. If they did, any trace of hope that was left would be extinguished. “Is everyone alright?” he said, this time in a clearer tone. “Any major injuries?” Dylan was the first to speak up. “Logan’s pretty banged up. There’s a lot of blood.” “A lot” was an understatement. The whole front of Logan’s shirt was completely drenched in blood. His polo, which had once been light blue, was now crimson red and soaked completely through, sticking to his skin. A stain that had taken residence under 13
his nose had begun to dry and become flaky. The blood flow had stopped but Logan’s face continued to lose color, to the point that he was transparent. “Logan?” said Mr. O’Connor as he examined Logan’s condition. “How ya doing? You feeling nauseous? Dizzy?” “I had her…” muttered Logan to himself. “What?” inquired Dylan. “She was in my grasp. I could have saved her. And now she’s gone. It’s all my fault,” he said blankly. “Logan, it’s not your fault. There was nothing you could have done,” said Dylan reassuringly. “There were too many of them. And they were way too strong. I don’t thinking any of us could have prevented them from taking her.” Logan began to shake his head and muttered something to himself that not even Dylan could hear. Then it happened again. BAM! The door slammed against the wall, causing the floor to slightly tremble. Everyone, who remained in the room, flinched in apprehension of another attack. Many people began to yell and cower in the corner, praying they would not be the next to go. But this time, there was no crowd of faceless men. There was just one man, carrying something his shoulders. He took one step into the room, threw the heavy load onto the ground, stepped over the threshold and closed the door. Every face was turned in the direction of the mysterious indiscernibleobject. No one moved; they merely stared unable to muster the courage to investigate the foreign items. After a few breathless minutes, Mr. Donnelly, who hadn’t moved a muscle since the first attack, staggered to his feet and limped towards the dark masses. Without warning, they moved, causing people to jump back in fear. Mr. Donnelly, however, remained unphased. He crouched into a low position, trying to make out what had been thrown into their midst. 14
“Oh my God. It’s Jen!” he said in a startling tone. “What?!?!?” said Logan, as he snapped his head back and jumped to his feet. Mr. Donnelly scooped Jen into his arms, cradling her like a child and made his way over to the corner where Logan had previously sat. He gently laid her upon the ground and stood back against the wall to give her some breathing room. Mr. O’Connor soon joined him. Logan and Dylan stared at Jen, whose eyes were wide open but weren’t processing any of her surroundings. Her hair was extremely messy, almost like several pieces of twine, that had been so tangled there was no way to determine the location of the ends. Her clothes were completely destroyed, ripped as though they had been placed in a shredder. Large purple bruises had begun to form on every inch of her frail body, giving her an extremely discolored look. There was large blood streams stemming from her midsection and streaming down her inner legs. Her pants were also missing. The long shreds of her t-shirt covered her to mid-thigh. Logan and Dylan exchanged solemn looks. Dylan slipped off his sweatpants and revealed his shorts underneath. He gently slid the sweats on Jen and continued to examine her wounds. Her stomach was dark purple and distended. They were by no means doctors but it was evident that she had extreme internal bleeding. The two had been examining her broken body so closely that they had not realized that Jen had begun to regain consciousness. “Jen!” gasped Logan, “Jen, can you hear me?!?” Jen turned her eyes onto Logan’s face but she bore an extremely dazed and confused look. Even though she was seeing Logan, his identity had not registered in her mind. Her dead, empty eyes stared at him as if he were a stranger. The innocent sparkle of her glassy orbs had vanished, replaced by a vast space of nothingness. The twisted evils of men had crushed her soul. She was so distant from reality that there was no way she was going to utter what had happened to her; nor would she ever. “They’re dead,” gasped Jen unexpectedly. “They’re all dead. Why did they spare me??” “Jen….” said Dylan softly, as he stroked her head. 15
He didn’t know how to respond. Nothing could ever be said to ease her pain. No comfort could ever arise from this truly dismal situation. The walls seemed to have been closing in, creating an even more claustrophobic atmosphere. The severity of the situation had finally sunken in. Death was slowly creeping in around them. It had been the silent intruder in their midst up until this point but now He was swinging his scythe with full force. All they could do was wait for its destructive effects. For the third time that day, the large metal door swung open. This time, however, it was not opened with the same force as the first two times. Instead, the knob was slowly twisted and a gentle push caused the door to creak open. The hooded leader once again was standing in the door way; his mind full of unimaginable evil. Evil that no one could ever understand. He stood there, pointing the barrel of a long black gun; an extension of his arm, loaded with unspeakable horrors. There was no scramble or mass chaos. Everyone felt hopeless; they felt that their fate was no longer in their hands. They would just have to wait it out and pray for the best outcome. The man peered around the room, his eyes slowly scanning the face of each fearful person. He then spotted who he was looking for- Jen. He took a few short steps towards her and made an attempt to snatch her but this time they were ready. Logan, Dylan, Mr. O’Connor, Mr. Donnelly and a few other people had risen to their feet and swarmed around Jen, creating a human shield. They may have messed up the first time but they were not going to allow her to be taken a second time. They became a fortress, sheltering their loved one from the harsh realities of the world; nothing in this world would force them to budge an inch., except for the firing of the gun. The most deafening roar filled the room; the sound of gun shot! The fearful, once noble guards, looked around, searching for the person the bullet had made contact with. Sure enough they found the gun’s first victim, and it was Logan. His eyes were the size of two silver half dollars, showing his utter surprise. Logan slowly and gracefully fell back towards the earth but was caught by Jen. She fell with him, softening the painful blow from the unmoving ground. She clutched Logan’s broken body in his arm, so tightly that it seemed she thought if she held onto to her, he would not leave her. If she grasped a little bit tighter, hi beautiful soul would remain. 16
“Logan…” he said, as tears poured down her disbelieving face. “It’s okay Logan. I’m here. Everything’s going to be okay.” She hated lying to her, especially now; especially when this may be the last time they speak. His shirt was saturated in warm blood, which continued to spurt out of the bullet wound at an alarming rate. Dylan held a violently shaking hand to the wound so as to best prolong the draining of her blood. Logan’s pain was etched on every inch of his face. His brow was furrowed out of frustration as her tried to keep her eyes open and keep a steady breathe. But that, too, was no longer the case. Logan was panting hard, as though he were a Grey hound who had just finished a race. His chest was vigorously expanding as he attempted to catch her breath, but he found no relief. Even though the pool of blood was warming his skin, he was shaking uncontrollably, shivering from the cold sweat. He began to convulse slightly, his body slowly beginning to shut down. “Logan c’mon! Stay with me,” pleaded Jen. Suddenly, Jen felt the cold barrel of the pistol against her temple.
“Get up,” ordered the hooded leader. “We have more alone time in store.” Jen slowly stood up and her eyes filled with tears. She did not want to leave Logan. She wanted to save him. He needed her and she need him. “No,” she said forcefully. “Just kill me. You can’t hurt me anymore. I’m not afraid to die.” “Is that so?” whispered the hooded leader. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a second gun, and pointed it in the direction of Mr. O’Connor, Mr. Donnelly, and Dylan. The first two raised their hands while the ladder continued to keep compression on Logan’s wound. “The four of us are going to go for a walk. Let’s go,” sneered the man. “After you,” he said as he gestured towards the door. Jen took one step and crumpled to the floor. Her injuries were too extensive for her 17
to make this journey. Mr. O’Connor scooped her up in his arms and was the first out of the room. Mr. Donnelly, Dylan, and the hooded leader followed suit and the door slammed behind them, leaving the remaining captive behind in the darkness. The group walked down the hallway, which like the room, was also made of compacted dirt and leaked water from the ceiling at random places. The hallway contained several other rooms with large metals doors and other hallways stemming from it. It was a huge maze. The loud sound of rushing water could be heard more clearly in the hall. “Are we under a river?” whispered Dylan to Mr. Donnelly, who merely shrugged. They continued down the long corridor for a few minutes until they reached a dead end with a ladder. “Are we going up there?” asked Mr. O’Connor to their captor. He nodded swiftly, while continuing to hold his two guns at the group. Mr. Donnelly clumsily clambered up the wooden ladder and opened a trap door in the ceiling. He shielded his eyes from the intense ray of sunlight that shown in until his eyes adjusted. At the top, he turned, grabbed Jen from Mr. O’Connor, and hoisted her through the opening. The rays of the sun were strong and paralyzed the captives for a moment. No sunlight had pierced their corneas for half a year. Its’ beautiful warmth caressed their faces, awarding momentary bliss. The sweet smell of the lazy river wafted through the warm air. The long blades of grass and sky-scraper tall trees swayed in the gentle breeze. The beautiful and green terrain stretched for miles. It was astounding that this amount of suffering could occur in the midst of the peaceful forest. It was hard to believe that Nature took the back seat and simply watch. The feeling awe was shattered by the click of the pistol. The hooded figure held the two guns to his captives. “Get on your knees,” he said mercilessly. They obliged. Mr. O’Connor gently set Jen on her knees and but he remained standing. He breathed in the clean, warm air deeply into his lungs, stared at the hooded figure, and charged. 18
The hooded figure was caught off guard and the pair thudded to the ground while scrambling. There was an ear splitting gun shot and the duo went motionless. Dylan and Mr. Donnelly stared in horror, shocked at how quickly the situation escalated. All of a sudden both bodies shifted and Mr. O'Connor came out unscathed while the hooded figure lay upon the ground dead. “Fucker,” said Mr. Donnelly, as he spat on the hooded figure. Dylan smiled around, embracing the newly acquired freedom. The extensive size of the forest, which may be frightening to some, was a pleasing sight to the weary hostages. Nothing but fate could harm them again. Dylan turned around to celebrate with Jen, but his face fell instantly. Jen stood there shaking, clutching her stomach. She stared horrified at Dylan for a moment and crumpled onto the green floor. Mr. O’Connor, Mr. Donnelly, and Dylan sprinted to her side. She was panting laboriously and wincing. Her shirt rose up slightly to reveal her purple abdomen; the result of extensive internal bleeding. She stares at Dylan’s freckled specked face and weakly smiled. She reached for his hand and intertwined her fingers with his, until her eyes rolled in the back of her head and her hand went limp.
Jen found herself lying on her back on an unfamiliar surface. It was a moist surface and the sound of rushing water filled her ears. She was unaware of her location but she did not want to open her eyes, in fear of what may happen next. Sure enough, however, she cautiously opened her eyes and was blinded by a dazzling white light. She blinked several time so as to adjust to the sudden brightness and peered around apprehensively. She was seated upon an oversized lily pad that was gently flowing down the river. She peered around and recognized the river as near her favorite camping site as a child.
She was back in the enchanted forest that she practically grew up in.She was mildly confused but the comfort of familiarity was overpowering her emotions. Jen continued to look around, failing to notice the pure white gown. Her face was immaculately clean, free from scratches or filth and her long flowing hair was pulled back in a low ponytail and glimmering in the light. All of her bruises were gone from her arms and there was no trace of the blood that filled her abdomen. Even though she was confused as to why she was at her own stomping grounds, she did not feel like investigating. She enjoyed the feeling of pure bliss. It was an emotion that she had been deprived of for too long. The lily pad continued to drift down the river until it veered off near a random dock. With great ease, she got to her feet and began to softly across the dock and into the enchanted trees. Her feet seemed to make no noise upon the ground. She was just floating through the air. Before long, she was facing a foreign stone fence. Beyond it was a light so intense that nothing could be seen beyond the silver entrance. Something invisible was pulling her towards the light, gravitating towards the unknown. A small part of Jen did not want to go. She felt unwary at the sight of the wall. It reminded her of the ominous door from the dark room. It was a great unknown. Suddenly, a figure walked towards her from the other side of the wall. It was Logan. He was beaming at Jen as he approached the wall. He looked immaculate, pain free, and at peace. His bullet was also gone with no trace of blood or the entry point. Jen stared dazed at him and whispered, “Logan, where are we?” He did not respond but simply held out his hand to help her over the wall. “Logan, what’s going on?!” said forcefully. “Where is everyone? What happened to the bullet? Am I hallucinating?” Logan slowly shook his head and kept his hand extended. Jen stared at him inquisitively. Her first instinct was to take his hand and never let go. However, a small voice in the back of her head urged her otherwise.
A loud whipping sound began to reverberate in her ears. First starting off softly then completely filling her ear drums. An unknown source was slicing the air. A voice began to softly call her name. Jen??Jen?? Wake up sweetie. Can you hear me? She was at a complete loss as to who the mysterious voice was. She attempted to listen closely but the strange sound continued to drown it out. Meanwhile, Logan stared at her in a confused manner. “Take my hand, Jennie. It’s time to go. Together. ‘My sorrow, when she's here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.’” he said still smiling lovingly. Jen stared at him for a moment and replied, “‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.’” She smiled weakly at him and turned in the other direction, towards the whipping noise and the mysterious voice.
S E CTI O N 3
Hunting For Sport: Nikki Anderson I have this system for getting exactly what I want out of people. I just get them to drink, and the more they drink the more I get things to start going my way. It’s easy because every one’s an alcoholic, right? Yeah. Something like that. Currently I want Mariah Longa, slut #4. They are all the same, girls are. I decided this long ago. You sit down and smile a little. No direct eye contact and no talking at first. That’ll scare ‘em off, see? You just act like you aren’t interested. Wait until she orders a drink and has her money on the bar, then turn to her and say. “Naw, can’t have that now, girl paying for her own drink. Put that one on me, [insert bartenders name here].” Ignore her when she thanks you, just nod a bit. Give it ‘til she’s almost done with the drink and then turn to her and make some inane comment. She’ll be tipsy by then and ready for another drink. Works like a charm. Mariah Longa, slut #4, is currently about to finish the drink I just bought for her, so I turn to her and say, “Hey you want this paper?” This is the thing I do with the newspaper. It works real well for a lot of reasons. I can carry it around and look like I am doing something. I can read it when I am bored. And I can offer it to whatever vagina I am trying to score tonight. I used to bring my cousin Louisa on bar runs but I have since discovered vaginas to be like negative ions. They repel one another. “Well, thanks!” Her eyes are bright. “I do want to just check up on last night’s game… hey, what’s your name, anyway?” See? Just like that. Easy. I waste a few minutes, then an hour, and finally I can get her up off the barstool and into my car. I hear old wily Charlie in the back talking trash to Nick Stumps about how did I get another girl but I ignore him. My mom’s car is down the block some; I don’t usually park at the bar when I have a car. Usually I take a cab, but not today. This is sweet because myself and Miss Mariah here are going to be making use of the back seat real soon. When I get her there I rip her shirt off, pull her skirt up. She’s whimpering man, she wants it bad. I kiss her, right where she wants it, and use her shirt to tie her wrists together. She moans and I can tell she’s going to like this. I tell her to turn over and 22
when she does I tie her ankles together for support. She looks good like this, ass up in the air and trussed like a turkey. She looks over her shoulder at me and I swear; if she wasn’t such a whore she could almost be sexy. I open the door, and kick that bitch as hard as I can in the ass, right out of my car. I hop in the front and turn the key I left in the ignition. The back door slams shut as I burn it out the parking lot. Looking in the rearview mirror, I laugh. It’s funny.
S E CTI O N 4
Wild: Hayley Eldridge A soft howl sounded out in the woods as a wolf claimed the land as his own. He stretched his large fluffy paws out in front of him, his long claws digging at the dirt, as his flank raised up in the air. His tail wagged slowly as the wind blew, the breeze ruffling his filthy black and white speckled grey coat. He opened his mouth, his yellowish fangs gleaming in the faint light of the forest, his tongue curled as he let out a soft whine of a yawn. His jaws snapped shut, teeth clicking together, as his ears twitched atop his head. Snap! He rose up on all fours, his nose scrunching, sniffing the smell of the being that could had made that noise as it came through the thick of the forest. Snap! He let out a huff of warm air from his nose and bound off his perch, a rocky hillside. Snap! Louder and louder it got as he neared it. Closer and closer he got as he ran. He skid to a stop once he reached as close as he could get - as close as he was willing to get - to the being. His paws kicked up dirt and dust and he breathed it in, letting out a wheeze and a sneeze, the wolf shook his head. He sat down on the grass, where it got just enough sun in the forest to grow, and tilted his head slightly to the side, his ears twitching. Snap! His tail flicked, causing more dust and dreck in the air around him. Snap! 24
And a voice, “‘ey now, where’s mah good ol’ dawg?” The wolf immediately jumped to his feet, his ears pricking forward, head tilting to one side as he listened. “‘ere, boy! C’mon, Is’! Tyme ta git goin’.” The wolf, Is’, bound forward, a spring in his step as he ran to greet his master. He smiled as he sat before the human, with a twinkle of happiness in his deep brown eyes, as only a canine could. He gave a lick to the wrist of his master as the hand came forward and stroked the fur between his ears. “C’mon, boy.” The master smiled and turned on his heel, his pet trotting behind him. As only a happy wolf-mix could.
S E CTI O N 5
Old Neighbors: Professor Wayne-Daniel Berard “A person went down from Jerusalem to Jericho,” Abramovich began. The living room seemed to gasp a little. The Interfaith Bible Study (every other Monday, 7 PM, Chris and Barry’s house) may have been waiting for the impressive (if imperious and impulsive) Abramovich -- tall, broad, salt-and-pepper beard with russet undertones, like mottled cast iron -- to comment on the evening’s reading from Luke’s gospel. But was he actually making fun of the Good Samaritan? “The person was set upon by brigands, stripped, beaten, and left half-dead by the land bridge between Asia and America.” People began eyeing each other nervously. Matilde, in her customary long black skirt and long-held smile, stiffened visibly. Mitch did his customary nose laugh --nhth, nhth, nhth -- into his white and yellowing great moustache, without disturbing a cinder in the permanent pipe between his teeth. Most just shifted in place, enough to show that they anticipated something wicked, but not so much as to show disapproval. Yet. More than one thought of the bumper sticker on the back of Abramovich’s Beetle Rolls Royce, “Discomfort the Co-Op, Co-Opt the Discomforted.” “A Mastodon happened to be going down that road, but when he saw the victim, passed by on the other side.” At this point, Barry did what he always did when tension began exhibiting itself. “More bean dip?” he asked, waving the plate in a wide arc over the coffee table. A few parmesan-and-thyme chips took the opportunity to escape. “Likewise, an Eohippus came upon the place . . .” “That’s like a little horse, right?” Chris whispered loudly. “Or a big chamoole!”the retired principal grimaced. Protuding accent, prodigious middle. Forty years at the same Hebrew school (though chamoole was “jackass” in Yiddish). 26
“. . . and also passed by on the other side. But a Giant Sloth, . . .” here Abramovich turned and scanned the room, so not pausing at the principal’s stare, or any other’s, “it approached and was moved with compassion. It lifted the one beset, brought him to the World Trade Towers, to be cared for by their hospitality enterprise.” Now the room was fuming. “How dare he!”“Make all the jokes you want, but the Towers?”“What the hell is he playing at?!” “The Sloth took out two five-hundred dollar bills, Confederate. Handed them to the authorities, promising to repay anything further upon his return from the Holy Roman Empire.” Abramovich settled himself back down in the leather wing-back (a deep burgundy, same as his Rollswagon). Though no one could particularly remember him raising himself up. “So,” he half-smiled, as if one corner of his mouth had just winked at you, “which passerby was neighbor to the one attacked on the road?” Silence. Or rather, the hub, the core of that room seemed to fall noiselessly into itself, and those ringing it knew the experience of centrifuge. Though here, without moving. As if the world’s turning had come to a sudden and impulsive stop, and the gravity of the great sphere had sucked its heart into a reverse fountain, central and ironclad. But only for the moment. Then, An ikea’d hubbub, all the voices meant to undistinguish any one voice. Safety in mumbles.Tower of prattle. Abramovich simply sat there, waiting for the earth to reset. Finally, someone said, “But they’re all extinct. Mastadons.Pre-horses.Giant Sloths.And Siberian land bridges.Confederate money.Holy empires. They’re all . . . meaningless now. Are you saying . . .”
“Exactly what Luke was saying.” And something of Abramovich beamed like a lighthouse, but from around the jagged edge of the shore line. More yet to traverse before light. “Think,” called Abramovich like a horn in the mist. “Luke writes in the mid-80’s. ‘A man goes down from Jerusalem to Jericho . . . priests, Levites . . .’ ” He stopped. And the globe jerked back into its action. “But there was no Jerusalem in the ‘80’s,” Mitch spoke from behind a cloud of Captain Black. “Except for a pile of rubble. It had been razed by the Romans in 70.” “So,” began Matilde, tentatively; she hardly ever spoke. “No more priesthood. No Levites . . .” Abramovich nodded, aligned meridians. “Touching a dead body would have rendered both men permanently unclean, would have lost them their positions in the Temple. But . . .” “No Jerusalem, no Temple,” sighed the principal (in English). “The Samaritan’s shrine, too.” said Abramovich. “Gone. To the Legions, they all were Jews. To be set upon.” “And Luke reminds everyone about this?” Chris, aghast. “Rubs their noses in it? Their own misery? Their own . . .” “Obsolescence?”Abramovich smiled. Fully. “And what about our own?” he continued, revving like an axis, magnetic. “We obsess over things like borders, boundaries. But do these have any real meaning in our global universe? Click ‘send’, and watch them disappear! “We villainize over who may marry whom -- with a divorce rate in the millions, and living together so commonplace as to mute common law. Ritual impurities? “And all the shouting: ‘Big government, small government, world government, no government’ -- do we honestly think the legions of enterprise distinguish one from the other? All passé.Jurassalem.” 28
“But the Towers?” someone questioned. “ ‘Saynot, ‘The Temple! The Temple! The Temple is the Lord’s! Here we are safe!’ Jeremiah. Just before the Babylonians arrived and torched it. The fact of any Temple’s fall speaks to its currency. Or lack thereof. Sub-prime priests. Lehmanites.” This time, they all remembered the bumper sticker. “So . . . ,” Barry began to clear what was left away, “there was no reason left for any of them. . . .” “. . . Not to help.” (Who knew the principal could whisper?) “If only we didn’t have to be . . . mugged first to see it.” Matilde. For the first time in anyone’s memory, Mitch relit his pipe. “Go, therefore,” swoopedAbramovich down upon the unsettled bean dip, “and be likewise.”
S E CTI O N 6
Red Dresses: Nikki Anderson August of that year was a hot one. The dust in the air wouldn’t settle. Sweat was pouring down Hector’s back and pooling in his armpits but Hector didn’t care. It wasn’t like any one that mattered would smell him. Here Hector is, on the last Thursday of the month, hiding in some over-grown grass at the end of the girl’s driveway. Hector has a bottle of Jack and a full pack of cigarettes, it being payday and all. No one can see him from the road or the windows of the apartment house. Hector has made certain of this, and he also knows that from where he sits there is a perfect view into her bedroom window. Using binoculars, it is the perfect stake-out spot. Hector Valasquez is a short, fat, nose-picking jerk. The general consensus around the mill is just leave Hector alone, which worksfine for both him and his co-workers. Hector hates them all, and the co-workers aren’t too fond of him either. The constant refrain in Hector’s head causes him to hum under his breath, and it’s weird and creepy. There was talk Hector had done something to Mary Wilkins over in finishing, something bad, but Mary left abruptly last spring and no one had the balls to confirm anything with Hector.Either way, Mary hadn’t breathed a word, just picked up her pay one day and left, and disgusting old Hector just kept on with his janitorial duties, humming that crazy tune all the while. Currently, as Hector spies from the grass, Miranda Brisbane is trying on her wedding dress and showing it off to Molly Brisbane. Fucking bitch, Hector thinks, as his cigarette starts burning his fingers. It has been smoked all the way down beyond the filter but his rage is such he does not notice. On Friday of last week, he had seen Molly but she didn’t recognize him. That she didn’t recognize him made Hector so mad he got a migraine. How dare she? So he followed her to a small diner off 54th, and to his surprise she met a girl, obviously her daughter. The daughter had that same bitchy way about her. Hector could tell - he knew it then, sure as he knew the grass was green. The two stupid cows ordered salad and water; split a piece of cheesecake for dessert. Hector’s Mom had packed him 30
genoa on white with extra mayo, so he sat right there on the sidewalk and ate with those bitches. He didn’t have any dessert, and the cows didn’t offer to share. So here he was now, watching Molly and heroffspring, finally gearing up to give her what she deserved. They were both going to get it. He had followed the girl home from the diner and this here was the fourth time this week he had sat among the grass. Hector adjusted the knobs of his binoculars and watched her some more as she twirled in her wedding dress. A red dress, the slut. Just like her mother. The dress had one sleeve and a big black bow on the side. It was all bunched up at the bottom, from the waist down it resembled a flower. The sight of that dress drove Hector into a rage. He left the grass then, running as fast as a fat, sweaty old man can run, and charged up the stairs. He kicked open the apartment door and lunged on Molly, her screams only heightening his rapture as he drove the knife just under her ribcage and twisted it, spitting in her face as he did so. Small fists rained down upon him, it was the girl, but Hector just flung her aside and kicked her for good measure. Her screams rang in sympathy with her mother’s gurgling breaths as Hector drove the knife into Molly again and again until she finally shut up. He killed the girl next, and laid her next to her mother when he was done. Their blood, their bright red blood made Hector smile. It matched the red wedding dress perfectly, and Molly bleeding out gave a good impression of the red Victorian dress she had worn the night she ruined his life. Fucking bitch had invited him to the Victorian Ball back in High School. Hector was thrilled, couldn’t believe his luck. Turned out Molly just did it for kicks – as he climbed her front porch to pick her up, three jockstrappers from the football team had jumped him. Hector could hear sirens now, and he knew this was it. He didn’t care. He was ready, so he sat down and sliced Molly up some more. Damn neighbors must have called the cops, he thought. Sure enough, as he played tic-tac-toe on Molly’s face, officers burst through the doors and tackled him. Hector didn’t fight, there was no need to. He didn’t care, in jail there was no rentto pay and they would feed and clothe him too. Hector just laughed as they dragged him away. 31
C H A PT E R 2
Poetry Ryan Finnegan
For all of us: Katie Malloy
Fragmented Self: Jim Deys
For Years I been Waiting Daniel Snyder
What You Can Learn From a Balloon Popping: Danielle Clark
I Cannot Love Again: Daniel Snyder
The Snow Trickles Gently on Quiet Streets: Naisha Adorno
Conductor of Underground Railroad Edward Jackson
How’s My Diamond?: Matt San Clemente
Wind Edward Jackson
Untitled’s: Rhianna Llewellyn
An Open Mic: Juliana Cecera Skye: Kathy Sandstrom 32
S E CTI O N 1
For All Of Us: Katie Malloy Summer fall winter spring None of us cared about a thing Then things got tough but we kept going Then things blew up but we kept going and going. We burned more bridges than ever before While shoving skeletons behind our closet doors Can’t face our fears so we pretend to ignore None of us know who we are anymore. Used to hide from the monsters under our beds Now we deal with the monsters who have crawled into our beds And left all those lies and those memories inside of our heads For us to suffer from the pain in our hearts torn to shreds. But time goes on and our hearts they mend We find new people who we never thought friends And it turns out to be the best it’s ever been And by the time it’s time to leave you wish it never had to end. Just into May and we go our separate ways Working days and partying till can’t stay awake Enjoying every second of this summer haze Can’t be like this forever but we wish it would stay. 33
More like I wish you would stay But you can’t and I get that and we get back And it’s like everything has changed So many people left but the memories, those stayed And some people were haunted and some were okay So we all indulged in something that would help to keep us sane. We didn’t just learn from books but from our mistakes From all the trouble that we got into and undeniably made And from our broken hearts and the hearts that we break We’re now beginning to see what’s real and what’s fake. In just one year everything has changed Not one thing has stayed the same And everyone says that they miss yesterday But if there’s one thing I’ve learned here It is be happy today.
S E CTI O N 2
For Years I Been Waiting: Daniel Snyder For years I been wanting to do this so bad please grab your pens and a notepad My gasoline been pouring out for years and many don’t like it well tonight imgunna ignite it I know a lot of you don’t do this in class but please be quiet and please be patient because you are about to receive somereal life education… I hope yall didn’t judge me from my reputation… I mean- who are you to judge me? the same people who shake my hand dap me and hug me are the same ones that talk behind my back and it disgust me trust me look around who at who surrounds you what it comes down to is the set of morals and values that i was raised by and I am bound to where im from- you got somethin to say to someone you say it to their face not behind their back when they walk out the place not judge someone based off their race because even if you can fit in their shoes…you might not be able to walk at the same pace and im not just talking about the students even some of the faculty do this i can prove it and unless you open your eyes what im saying is useless I stand up for what I believe in you act like that was never done before HOW YOU GUNNA TELL SOMEONE NOT TO DO SOMETHING YOU HAVE DONE 35
BEFORE I could say thats not hypocrictical and their doing their jobs but icant pretend that I speak my mind at any given time and they condemn that instead of commend that but you cant take my words away from me gimme my pen back you cant walk away from the truth eventually its gonna catch you and when it grabs hold of your ankles walkings gonna grow stressful i know all of you look into the mirror but how many look beyond their appearance? i don’t care if you believe this i see this studying math ed so its about time i start teaching matter fact its about time i start preaching why everybody act so different on the weekend then on a weekday when u see em u don’t even start speaking i say wassp to everyone im cool wit dont care if they say it back cuz we gotta come together cuz kids uniting is the only time they have fun when they get babysat its metaphorical- but im stating facts if you cant handle the truth- whatever im ok with that but if you wanna make this school better then prove it because if we want to progress we need to make movements as a unit or we can keep dividing into smaller fractions keep in mind in time thebiggest results come a collection of the smallest actions so next time you complain about the school try and remember the picture I just painted for the school
S E CTI O N 3
I Cannot Love Again: Daniel Snyder People say that I am too truthful I don’t love any more but I used to sorry if I used you but I cannot love any more I cannot love any more I do not look for guidance from above anymore though I do talk to Jake…I know that he listens we used to sit back and smoke and talk about women similar situations but the people were different I am sure he would want me to love again I just wish I could give my brother a hug again everything changing so rapidly I don’t even remember the face of the chicks smashin me but there is no face when you hit it from the back I only loved once I don’t know if I will ever get that feelin back but I also donno if I want to…cuz every chick I talk to I look beyond you and behind you…and I constantly remind you that I cannot love again… but we can fuck again because emotion causes commotion in my mind and it feel like exploding so it take me a while to get open because it only took my heart a short time to be broken and I try to put together the pieces and when I think about love I feel at my weakest cuz I keep it 100 and these chicks be deceiving so you think I am a demon and judge me when you see me during the weekend think you know what I’m getting at before I start speakin 37
and when I say things that make you smile you don’t believe it cuz you knew a friend that knew a friend and all I did was beat it and leave it you think I have no heart and I am the meanest but I am just honest- I do not want to be misleading I have infinite reasons why I cannot love again… but we can fuck again… for the last year I haven’t been able to give a female anything but orgasms and they think I am cynical because all I can offer is my physical and just show affection with my erection so love doesn’t make me miserable I can give you my body but I cannot give you my heart- and you think that’s banannas but the only women who has never tried to bring me down is my nana before you judge dan try to understand my scripture pinkie promises have almost always turned into middle fingers and we are supposed to put a ring on the next one my mother always asks, ”How do you know it isn’t gunna be the next one” I just respond, “I’m not impressed mom.” how can I be when she remind me of the rest before I get ready to take another test I think about my ex and realize all of my relationships have just resulted in stress when I am in one I treat them like the best and in return for the love I give- the only positive I get is sex which is funny cuz they always think of me when they’re messin with their next pause, rewind, play- it has been the same result in every stage so I just spend time with Mary Jane on Valentine’s day and I smoke and think and relive the pain of all the thoughts of tying knots running through my brain I could love again- yet it would prolly turn out the same or I could continue my journey through the rain- missing clothes on this walk of shame 38
but the boys love when you sleep in a random bed so to them it is a walk of fame I look into these females eyes trying to figure out what they want from me and it’s usually feelings not a fuck buddy but they cannot get anything but a really good fuck from me… it’s crazy… the thought of having a wife and some babies that is something I laugh at lately so if you let me sleep over…and simultaneously we wake up again just let it be known, I cannot love again but we can fuck again…
S E CTI O N 4
Conductor Of Underground Railroad: Edward Jackson She was Mother Moses Her Soul Saintly Homeless From 1821 to 1913 She was Mother Moses to her people Knowing everyone was equal Born of African blood, whips, and bugs, she seeking a new creed for them Slipping away silently obtaining her freedom She took 19 trips with 19 cliques An intense drive to reverse this script 300 slaves saved from one soul One heart broke chains for her own parents sold Brought them back family finally can hold And remember the mission Threatening weaklings wishin To stop on this passage, something so tragic Miles upon cold miles dark souls No smiles only drive Stay alive on this trip and follow the North Star Her actions seeking safer havens so afar
The shaken Quakers left quilts colorful to aid Mother Moses to her day Yes, all this truth She’s a spy, Union too The army couldn’t harm me and my drive She saved her kin in a sad world of sin and shine At the teens moved from masters house to fields, fearing unequal bouts Shouts and shots to the head saving friends from toning Work clothing stacked on relieves blowings Cracked skin, blood friends folding On knees to pray while “nigger prays” Mother Moses to this day Truth doesn’t stop, no not this Slavery tattery lost saints seek strife Dorchester County born like me Strength to infiltrate false fights For my Union Army as Nurse, cook, anything is on me For my people need me Children of slaves born in dirt Ditches taught false truths this is My burden, womb hurt and unaid 1863 with my Union 750 raid 41
Of Freed Slaves Saved, my Children freed to breath and leech Again and another to live Off their Mother Even in my old age expiring Marrying twice, my house hiring Nurses for elderely hopefuls Finally nice And dying in Ice Cold Fought For Freedom In my ocean Filled and Freed From sin Lexicon of my zen Mother Moses My Friends
S E CTI O N 5
Wind: Edward Jackson So fresh and frisky for friendly friends Blowing briskly and boisterous causing end This wind shall be Revitalizing and refreshing For folks outside with hope We ride with our hair being blown Reaching and peaking swiftly in the our zone Oh how this clear and ambiguous force of nature becomes both a giver and taker The second floor window is open and leaves of trees leave the branches While she dances with the sun We search for fun while the air prevails And eliminates our fears with heals The O2 is intense and mystical Birthing natures voice and screaming in our ears Some hear it while others listen Me, I am still wishing Not upon a star, but something closer And calm That can always devastate We create in celebration of this ominous and omnipotent force 43
But we also cower as our cars are tossed north And south and all around This powerful vigor This life elixir This nature shifter Will shift her and create tears As she leers lightly and lowly It is ever present in the morning Creeping in as your yawning Tearing through your awning As you take the child out to be calming Please just bless us with this wonderful wind Please keep us connected to nature And these untestable flavors Let us savor
S E CTI O N 6
An Open Mic: Juliana Cecera Glass breaks, lights flicker, blinds shut. Crying on the floor. Is this my reality? Or just a bad dream that I want to wake up from? Is this my fate? Fuck. I'm. Screwed. Auntie Em, if this may not be true, bring me home where skies are Blue and people smile and war is none. But if this be my reality, dear God, thy will be done. But know this game has not been won. I’ll be back and change this dream into who I really want to be. Once a puddle of tears now a sky of dreams. And soon i can say, "So for blood and sweat and tears shed, yeah mom and dad, I made you proud!" Welcome to my new life which starts today!
S E CTI O N 7
Skye: Kathy Sandstrom
Does this girl see herself as shattered,broken, all alone and battered? Look past the cracks, see what I’m seeing, that this is one cool human being with so many fascinating facets, full of talents and special assets. There’s more to her than most would see as they walk past her, casually. She’s confident enough to not conform, a little different from the norm. She is unique, true to herself, no need to copy anyone else. Solving the puzzle in her own way exploring new things every day Opening up to trust and share finding people who really care Discovering how free it feels to fly unchained, into the boundless Skye
Photo by:Skye Oliv
S E CTI O N 8
Fragmented Self: Jim Deys Fragmented self Stay that way Why try to make whole What should remain astray? Lines cut across my face Dividing parts of me. This shows my multiplicity. This shows all of me. This shows all of you. Â Divided self Beauty skewed See all of me. See all of me.
S E CTI O N 9
What You Can Learn From A Balloon Popping :Danielle Clark Sometimes things breaking can be good and can give us a better hue At times something popping can be beautiful, who knew? So remember this when you are blue…
Life is like a balloon So easily popped… So easily stopped… That’s why it is important to Always enjoy the color and the view Life is like a balloon Filled with so much fun and joy They remind us of how great it was when we were a young girl or boy That’s why it is important to Appreciate the magic it brings and remember we should do what we want to do
Life is like a balloon So easily popped… So easily stopped… That’s why it is important to Always enjoy the color and
You can fill it up, pop it with a needle, and then see a splash But don’t look at this as a crash Sometimes we need things to pop to start anew
Photography by: Leah Truesdell
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The Snow Trickles Gently On Quiet Streets: Naisha Adorno The snow trickles gently on quiet streets, Sounding like glass slowly breaking beneath my feet. I barely miss an ice covered puddle; my what deception! And there I stop to take a look at my reflection. I look deep into her eyes, And to no surprise, I find that there is a cold truth. Relaying forbidden secrets dismissed as the truth. With one swift kick, The icing breaks, clashing like a pile of bricks, Like when corporations trying to control social and economical status; And I thought it was hard enough to live in a society that is so biased. Now, I am not trying to seem like a pessimist, But there's certain people and problems that society likes to dismiss. I know that even attempting to break what you see, You aren't changing anything about who you or others were destined to be. It's unfortunate that at times what society sees, Isn't how we may want to be perceived Yet, if you can't embrace who you are, you see 49
Prepare to live a life in total misery. Remember, it's easy to deceive those who are strangers, Yet it's difficult to face those lies, like our fears and obvious dangers.
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How’s My Diamond?: Matt San Clemente How’s my diamond? Is it still glowing? Is it still near and dear to your heart? Do you still cherish it? Or is it hidden in its box, all alone in the dark, longing to be set free? Is it thinking about you every day? How it used to hang around your neck, next to your heart for the world to see? Does it hope each day, for a tiny miracle; that the box will open and be reminded of your beauty? If it’s sad, only you can set it free. And if it feels forgotten by you, it’s still trapped in its box. It must miss you dearly, be cause he’s always going to be sitting there in his box, thinking about you, knowing you have given up on him, and how someone else’s diamond is the now hanging around your neck
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Untitled’s: Rhianna Llewellyn 1: When this blinding sparkling creation turns to darkened cement sidewalks When the trees turn from gray to green When the bears, groggy eyed, well rested awaken When the car windows open, brooks overflow Fawns, hatchlings, babies: everywhere New life is renewed from a soggy winter Spring has sprung. Have you? 2: Purple teeth queen at her perch, surrounded. Coupons and bills create the ocean that engulfs her. Why? Why are you so peppy, so underappreciated? Wine gets the only rise out of you, soft spoken, strong, are you opinionated? Mother. Thank you’s are reinforced in your home and class. You teach by example, polite angel. No “shut up” only “yes sir” and “yes ma’am”. You keep a strong ship sailing through life, a family, a future. You, who speaks none of your 1980’s clothing, takes us Footlocker, American Eagle, Charlotte Russe. Back to school shopping, appropriateness on your scale will make the grade. Make it to school, “too much makeup young lady”, respectable woman. Only to be challenged by teenage daughters, MILITANT! But, MOTHER! 52
What goes on in your mind when you see me leave? Are you afraid of tragedies, Newtown, Columbine, Virginia Tech? Are you proud? We hear none of what you think, only of what Dad knows. Letting us expand, the four prior and myself. Hawaii, San Diego, New Hampshire, Massachusetts. “I need to let you make your own mistakes.” Brave. Mother? Someday we will hear all of the little things replay. The important things: the funny sayings, the rhymes, quiet wisdom and all of the I love you’s. All of the yes’s when it’s deserved, no’s when it isn’t earned. I will remember the lessons; I will remember them spoken in your voice. I will hear you. Sometimes I don’t hear you. You feel like I don’t hear you. I hear you. Mommy.
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Ryan Finnegan........................55 Rebecca Donaghey..................56 Chelsea Rafferty......................57 Bethany Carter........................57 Skye Oliver..............................58 Crystal Dennison.....................58 Juliana Cecera.........................58 Instagram................................59 Casey Frank.............................60 Kyle Mascilak...........................61 54
Photography by: Ryan Finnegan
Photography by: Rebecca Donaghey
Photography by: Chelsea Rafferty
Photography by: Bethany Carter 57
Photography by:Skye Oliver
Photography by: Crystal Dennison
Photography by: Juliana Cecera
Photography by: Fae Risio & Andrea Wilson 59
Photography by: Casey Frank
Photography by: Kyle Mascilak
A Final Note..... Holy Shit, Creativity at a Business School! I applied for a job once and got laughed at because I had "member of Windfall, Nichols College literary magazine" on my résumé. The guy asked me if I was also a member of the school's unicorn hunting team. He didn’t believe that there are enough creative people here at a business school to make up a whole lit mag. Thankfully we have proved him wrong, even though we did have to practically beat submissions out of a few of you and bribe others with gift cards or call in favors from our friends. It was worth it to see the creativity and talent of Nichols students and provide an opportunity for them to share their work. Thanks to all of you who contributed; we are grateful for your participation. After begging The Powers That Be for enough money, we've proudly compiled your short stories, poems, and photographs into one nifty booklet. So take a few minutes to look at this and marvel at your brilliant friends (and professors!) Or more accurately, stare proudly at your name in print. But come on. Don't be that asshole who only reads his/her own submission. Nobody likes that. -April Dylewicz ’13 62