__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


PROLOGUE homegrown The boards creak and whisper under her green leather heels, welcoming her home, ready to cradle her the way they did when she was young as she drew her bubblegum chalk lilies over the porch. An old swing set sways limp in the breeze, lamenting the long gone time when children shrieked along with rusty swings, flying higher and higher into the singsong wind. She hears her mother’s voice calling her in for a glass of milk warmed by her silk hands. Her father draws her onto his lap, and plays her a song on his banged up trumpet, while her mother’s voice quivers along like a hummingbird. Would her mother even want her anymore? She looks back at the rusty lime green pickup truck that brought her here, and there, and back again. She builds wooden foundations of her home, a condominium of brick and mortar, and even if it won’t sing along with her, her mother always will. She rests her hand on the brass doorknob and steps inside. - Celie Waddington ’20

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

120


po

letter from

Roars a lite Senior H artwork a student bo judged an the staff. T and poetry

THE EDITORS

co

Dear Reader, Welcome to the twenty-fourth edition of the Roars and Whispers. This year our theme is roots: foundations needed for prosperity. The selected texts show our abilities to remain anchored as we grow through adversity. Though our paths may differ, we remain rooted by our origins. The sneakers on the cover illustrate movement but also the durability needed for the journey. As we travel, we return to our sources of strength. The prologue and epilogue remind us that the comfort of family and familiarity can tether us to our core.

In an effort to prosper through our collective voices, our school established Sources of Strength, a program that links our students in support and encouragement. As you read the magazine, you will find our interconnected struggles and the tenacity to forge past them. Thank you for joining us as we use our creativity and passions to foster this unity.

Roars a by #100 pap Body t are Arial Italic 8. T titles is Av Medium, Next LT

May your roots always give you the strength to grow

sta

#OneProv

Charlotte Cayleigh B Gayatri Ch Maggie Ch Elli

2 | Roars & Whispers

Page No.

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

2


policy Roars and Whispers is published by the literary-arts magazine class at Providence Senior High School. Poetry, prose and artwork are submitted by members of the student body. Each written submission is judged anonymously by every member of the staff. The magazine publishes the prose and poetry selections that receive the highest

scores and the artwork that best enhances the written content. It is an open forum for all students; the ideas presented in this magazine do not reflect those of the Providence Senior High School faculty. However, as a school publication, Roars and Whispers reserves the right to deny publication to those submissions that are deemed inappropriate

for a high school audience. All members of the staff share the responsibility for design, so we do not specifically attribute any spread to any individual staff member. Roars and Whispers is the poetic voice of Providence Senior High School. Whether through the strength of our roars or the softness of our whispers, we will be heard

colophon Roars and Whispers 2019 was printed by Jostens of Clarksville, Tennessee, on #100 paper with a circulation of 800. Body text is Bergamo 10. Credit fonts are Arial 8, Arial Bold Italic 8 and Arial Italic 8. The standard sans serif font for titles is Avenir LT in the weights of Roman, Medium, Book and Light, and Avenir Next LT in the weights of Condensed,

Condensed Heavy and Condensed Demi. The standard serif font for titles is Bergamo in the weights of Regular, Italic, Semibold and Semibold Italic. Hurme Geometric Sans 3 in the weights of Bold, Thin and Hairline are used for the magazine title. The magazine was created on Adobe InDesign through Jostens Monarch. All graphic editing was done using Adobe

InDesign and Photoshop through Jostens Monarch on Hewlett-Packard and personal staff computers. In compliance with federal law, CharlotteMecklenburg Schools administers all educational programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability

Zoë Kaperonis ’20, staff Aiden Kaplan ’21, staff Cristina Lopez ’21, staff Caroline Macurda ’19, Business Editor Caroline Palermo ’20, staff

Ella Rasmussen ’21, staff Natalie Thulien ’19, Publicity Editor Bhavana Veeravalli ’20, Art Editor Celie Waddington ’20, staff Abigail Welch ’20, Managing Editor Marva Hutchinson, adviser

staff Charlotte Beck ’20, Nonfiction Editor Cayleigh Brown ’19, Design Editor Gayatri Chopra ’19, Copy Editor Maggie Christopher ’21, staff Ellie Cotton ’20, Online Curator

Letter from the Editors

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

|3

3

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


TABLE OF CONTENTS 59

writing 09 10 13 15 17 18 21 23 24 27 29 31 33 35 36 38

Light Year Cayleigh Brown ’19, poetry Terror Ella Mainwaring Foster ’20, poetry Twenty-Six Ethan Haight ’19, personal narrative Affliction Gayatri Chopra ’19, poetry Colored Circle Zoë Kaperonis ’20, fiction Colored Circle cont. Zoë Kaperonis ’20, fiction Mind of Pateres Vasiliki Gkoulgkountina ’20, poetry Eight & Grown Leigh Millinder ’19, personal narrative

22

Lake-effect Charlotte Beck ’20, poetry They Can’t Take the Sky Away From Me Michaela Francis ’20, fiction El Árbol Laura Reeve ’19, poetry Mother Bhavana Veeravalli ’20, personal narrative Gallery of Hearts Ella Rasmussen ’21, feature 2004 Chevy Suburban Abigail Welch ’20, poetry Winter’s Night Emma Kurtz ’20, fiction The Scent of Blueberry Cigars Natalie Thulien ’19, poetry

12

4 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

4


57

artwork 08 11 12 14 16 19 20 22 25 26 28 30 32 34 36 39

26

08

Summer Drives Allie Fleury ’19, marker and colored pencil Red Light Blue Light Caroline Thomas ’19, oil Blue Boy Betsy Molina ’20, photography Fading Isabella Lee ’19, chalk pastel Mellow Man Bhavana Veeravalli ’20, digital Lemon Sunshine Bhavana Veeravalli ’20, digital Flower Hues Taylor Calkins ’20, acrylic Nature v. Nurture Melanie Calabrese ’20, collage Overnight Sensations Allie Fleury ’19, marker and colored pencil Give a Hand Karla Delgado ’19, collage Behind the Rim Ava Pomilla ’19, watercolor Life at Dusk Ragen Munavalli ’20, acrylic Release Allie Fleury ’19, acrylic and gold leaf Introversion Lisa Zhang ’22, photography Nesting Samantha Pressly ’22, photography Taste of Me Daniella Ivanova ’19, oil

Table of Contents | 5

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

5

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


TABLE OF CONTENTS writing 41 45 46 48 51 52 55 56 58 60 62 64 67 69 71

11

Boy in the Stars Emma Washburn ’22, fiction Litchenburg Figures Ella Mainwaring Foster ’20, poetry Au Revoir Michaela Francis ’20, poetry The Ripple Effect Gayatri Chopra ’19, feature Clocking In Sreshta Ravi ’20, poetry Phosphorescent Ella Rasmussen ’21, poetry Skipping a Beat Emily Sistare ’19, personal narrative Venus Gayatri Chopra ’19, poetry

30

Killer Queen Charlotte Beck ’20, review Aleppo Bhavana Veeravalli ’20, poetry Car Radio Friends Caroline Macurda ’19, fiction Equillibrium Michaela Francis ’20, poetry Diaster at First Sight Natalie Thulien ’19, humor The Purest Form of Art Emma Kurtz ’20, poetry Seventeen Cayleigh Brown ’19, poetry

54 6 | Roars & Whispers

Page No.

6


40

artwork 40 44 47 48 50 53 54 57 59 61 63 65 66 68 70

66

A Natural City Eunice Chong ’19, collage Viridescence Lisa Zhang ’22, photography Bottled Life Ava Johnson ’21, acrylic Maui’s Fury Alex Westover ’20, photography Swimming Lillian Sanocki ’19, colored pencil In Between Daniella Ivanova ’19, colored pencil Big Petul Fellher Ben Czochara ’19, collage Eunice Chong Polina Sladkova ’20, colored pencil Mom’s Wedding Night Rachel Spransy ’20, colored pencil Syp Dream Rosa Linda Huezo-Diaz ’20, acrylic Monarchs Within Asters Ragen Munavalli ’20, silk Thinking in Color Carrigan Grow ’20, ink and tissue Wake Up Allie Fleury ’19, watercolor and colored pencil Bliss Melanie Calabrese ’20, acrylic Glass Claire Shenton ’21, watercolor

53 Table of Contents | 7

Page No.

7

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Summer Drives, Allie Fleury ’19 marker and colored pencil

8 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

8


YEAR The sweet tang of summer bites my skin like mosquitoes. I become hyper-aware of the scalding steering wheel and leather seats and the nod of his head. The cusp of summer is bittersweet. His cologne smells like daisies and cedarwood, making it harder to breathe. His movements are slow and lazy, and I drink them up on an empty stomach. Flickering passion blurs into flashes of light and voice. I am only familiar with inconsistency and the crackling hum from the broken radio in his car. Days stretch into each other, yellow road lines burn into my palms. I come home to the hum of my dad vacuuming, and my mom waiting behind a door to hear all about it. 2 a.m. asked me to sneak out, but I declined. The sunrise was proud I didn’t run. The sunrise he wanted to steal me into, the sunset of the night he didn’t kiss me. I want to spill the night all over him, into his lap, into his drinks, onto his body. I remember the shadowed silhouette of a bird spinning pinwheels overhead, red Jolly Ranchers staining my tongue. The shadow on his lips when I watched him whisper “hawk,” his neck tilting back. The shadow spilling down over his spine. The shadow of bruises on his knees and a single cut, blood staining his best T-shirt. Warmth washes over him, unbreakable, benumbed, sparkling in the sun. - Cayleigh Brown ’19

ry ’19

Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 9

9

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


terror 1. Mama said the horrid sensation travelling up your leg is not real. Focus on the dust bunnies scampering across cobweb floors to distract from the cold as jagged fingernails drag against flesh. No wounds are seen, only physical contact is proof. 2. An empty abode. The gentle whir of the ventilation system blows silent whispers against your ear. Waltzing moonbeams cavort, variegating across your face. Floorboards creak as the house sighs, restless in the bewitching hour. You are not alone. 3. A gentle laughter tickles the rays in the early morning, echoing through maple trees. Sweet as a sinker, sugary kisses sprinkle your hand and litter your lips, a proper introduction for unknown friends. Here in your eyes, the truth is blinding. Surrender and accept at last. - Ella Mainwaring Foster ’20

10 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

10


Red Light Blue Light, Caroline Thomas ’19 oil

Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 11

11

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


L Blue Boy, Betsy Molina ’20

12 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

12

etters are s attention o classrooms six knows how words, wh sentences, pages. Co small, I hav a central p nearly two alw series of al While of 2011 cartoons, summ old—I had would be the full tr At the through t mail with interested and Atbas cetera. I w wzw, gfimrmt blf my months. I and chang I haven’t s a year. Th of more in thin know that Conver edu bee


twenty- SIX Ethan Haight ’19

“Sometimes, I wish things could go back to how they were, but I know that wouldn’t be good for anyone.”

L Blue Boy, Betsy Molina ’20

etters are simple things. They don’t get much attention outside of, perhaps, kindergarten classrooms. They’re just symbols, twentysix for us, seventy-four for others, and who knows how many in-between. Letters make words, which make clauses and phrases and sentences, which make stanzas, paragraphs, pages. College essays. Though letters seem small, I have found that the alphabet has been a central part of my life. Throughout my nearly two decades on this earth, letters have always been there, my journey unfolding in a series of alphabetic characters. While I spent my summer vacation of 2011 going to the beach and drawing cartoons, my father was spending his summer in prison. I was only ten years old—I had no clue what was going on. It would be more than six years before I knew the full truth of his crimes and sentence. At the time, Dad and I kept in contact through the post, and we coded all our mail with an Atbash Cipher. I was heavily interested in letter exchanges at the time, and Atbash exchanges A for Z, B for Y, et cetera. I would say, “R’oo mvevi ulitrev bfl, wzw,” and he might respond, “Blfi nln rh gfimrmt blf ztzrmhg nv.” These messages were my only contact with my father for four months. I lived for them. But, as I’ve grown and changed as a person, so have the letters. I haven’t spoken to my father in more than a year. Those old messages remain a relic of more innocent days. Sometimes, I wish things could go back to how they were, but I know that wouldn’t be good for anyone. Conversely, throughout my years of education, my favorite letter has always been A. I heard the same thing from my

parents and dozens of teachers over the years: “Ethan is intelligent, but he doesn’t apply himself. He could do better if he tried harder.” This was the household mantra for nearly a decade. In elementary and middle school, it was easy. I saw only As and rarely a B (though these were frowned upon). I felt like the smartest boy alive. Then sophomore and junior year of high school came crashing in, dual hurricanes on the parade of an overconfident wiseacre who had spent year after year being told how smart he was. My delusions of grandeur were shattered, and I watched in horror as As became Bs, Bs became Cs, even Ds. I was greatly distressed, and this was only worsened by exhaustion, as others continued to reprimand me for any lack of effort. I had entered a terrible emotional and mental spiral. On March 22, 2018, I left for school early, put a hose in the tailpipe of my car, and tried my very best to die. I barely remember this— the events of the day are a blur in my head. The next thing I can solidly recall is the waiting room of the Brynn Marr Psychiatric Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina. There, up on a whiteboard on the wall, I saw myself defined by a single letter: S. For two weeks, I was an S. I made friends there; James was an H, Sam was an A, Tyler was a VSA. We were all letters, indicated next to our names on the board. It was almost like a game, trying to guess what each others’ letters meant, why we had that letter. When new patients arrived, they were known as C or A or E until we learned their names, and even then those remained secondary. When someone left, they were D. Discharged.

Everybody wanted to become D. Nobody needed to become D. But eventually, we all did. Eventually, I went home. My education slowly crept back into my life. Unbeknownst to me, the hospital had recommended me for some medication, and I went to see a doctor for a series of tests that gave me four new letters to define my life: ADHD. Suddenly, the As and Bs and the Ds and Fs were all behind me. I was a new person with an enhanced understanding of my own mind. Every teacher who had told me I needed to work harder hadn’t really known; their accusations of laziness were misdirected. I’d always done my best, but my brain itself had been working against me. All the unfinished essays and forgotten deadlines weren’t because I was sluggish or disorganized. I have learning and processing disabilities. With medication and assistance, I improved slowly at first, growing ever more confident. I managed to finish the year with most of my grades back up from their collapse. The end of eleventh grade was like a continuous revelation for me. A resurrection. For the last seventeen years, I have always seen my life, whether struggles or successes, as being described by a series of letters. Through them, I have come to identify, understand and overcome my weaknesses. I have become stronger, and I am becoming more than just the alphabet. The letters and the words have helped me figure out who I am, but now I feel that I am growing beyond them. Through college and beyond, I will craft my own letters and words. Nobody else, nothing else, can tell me who I am, what I can do, where I will go. I am the author of my own story Personal Narrative

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 13

13

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Fading, Isabella Lee ’19 chalk pastel

14 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

14


affliction I am a symphony with crafted wounds grazing my skin. I break surface tension. My skin dips into divots, imperfections disguised by my lilted lips. You are smooth velvet covering my scars. I bleed desperation as every note seeps into a ballad. My cracks become a river, and you etch your way deep into my skin, stealing away fragments. I abandon the pieces lost to you, finding solace in the soft creak of your bones. I waltz to the tune of war where you and I poise weapons. We collide. You lay your weaknesses on display. I hide mine, but they churn underneath, sand in a current. You try to become whole, and I let myself stay broken. - Gayatri Chopra ’19

a Lee ’19

Poetry | 15

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

15

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Mellow Man, Bhavana Veeravalli ’20 digital

16 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

16


Zoë Kaperonis '20

“S

o, Will, can you tell me what this means?” Tommy pointed to the sketch in the dirt, a circle with two arrows extending left. “Get out?” The boy looked up. “Close. Get out fast.” He rubbed the drawing with his right palm. “How about…” He put his index finger in the dirt and began to sketch. Now a diamond with the bottom left line extending down. “This one?” “Hold your tongue!” Will said. Tommy laughed. “Good one! One more for today, alright?” The boy nodded, sleepy eyes beginning to droop. Tommy drew one more sketch, two intersecting circles. “Do you know it?” Will pondered for a minute, but his weary eyes won out. “No.” “Hobos arrested on site. Super important. You gotta watch for this.” He sighed. Rubbed the dirt again. “Alright, kiddo. Time to go to bed.” Tommy lifted up the small child and placed him next to his brother on the soiled cloth in the measly tent. The runaway sixteen year old bent down and sat on the old milk crate, rubbing his eyes. He stared at the makeshift village in front of him. The jungle, as they called it. The cardboard walls of the shacks seemed to shiver in the bitter cold. Dirty clothes

hung from a line that surrounded the jungle like a shield from the industrialized world—the stock world. Tommy put out the fire and looked for nighthawks. He picked up a damp newspaper. “Five Million Americans Unemployed. Hoover Promises Quick End to Economic Depression.” Tommy scoffed. Eventually he fell asleep. A car horn woke them up, the citizens rising from their early graves. Will ran out and jumped on Tommy’s back. “Come on, Tommy! Come on!” He dragged out the last vowel until the teen peeled the boy off. “Hey kiddo. Oof, you’re getting big.” Tommy smiled as the boy puffed out his chest. “David said I could ride the rails today!” The boy shouted. Tommy was unsure. Just weeks ago the three boys left behind a mother, father, two toddlers and a baby. They were a burden, too many mouths to feed and bodies to clean. While Tommy and David rode the rails in search of work and food, Will stayed and played games with the other frail children in the camp. Tommy worried that this life of grime and wear would cloud memories of the permanent home they could return to. "Did he now?” David emerged from the tent.

ravalli ’20

Fiction | 17

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

17

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


he boy’s ten. It’s about time he leave the “T camp and see what the world is really like.” Tommy looked down at his kid brother. His eyes were wide and full of hope. The starvation still hadn’t dragged the life out. Tommy looked up to David, a younger but taller-by-a-head spitting image of Will. “There’s a reason you don’t make promises to kids, Dave.” Tommy got up. “Well, let’s get a move on. Those jobs don’t hire themselves.” The trio left the camp. Tommy looked back. The light made the jungle look more mangled, more run-down, dirtier. He didn’t think that was possible. A white T-shirt fell from the clothesline, a surrender. Tommy hoped it was goodbye. The tracks were hidden under the blur of red boxcars. Tommy looked around. There were a few other men, mostly middle-aged who had already begun to hop on. David began to shuffle his feet in the dirt. “You okay, kid? You ain’t nervous, are ya?” David’s feet stopped shuffling and his eyes grew wide, locked on Tommy. “Yeah, no, I uh…I’m fine. We best get a move on.” David stuck out his chest, walked toward the base of the train, and jumped. A piece of wood ran through the middle of the handle to keep the freight hoppers off. David pushed it out and slid the door open, crawling inside the boxcar littered with old crates to be taken to the

Colored Circle continued

dumpster. Tommy and Will stalled. “Hurry!” he shouted. “The train’s rollin’ away; you ain’t doin’ any good just standin’ there!” Tommy sighed. He knew Will wasn’t ready. If only David could just keep his big mouth— “Are we goin’? Come on, it’s rollin’ away.” He sounded just like David with his southern pronunciations and whiny tone. Tommy picked the kid up and slung him on his back. He began to run when out of nowhere, a weight was lifted off his back, replaced by a thick, meaty hand. “What the hell do you think you’re doing, hobo?” Tommy turned around to see a large man with a curly mustache in a navy blue uniform, the railway police. Will writhed in his arms, his hand turning purple as the man’s hand grasped his wrist. He began to scream. “Tommy! David!” Tommy clenched his fist. “Let him go, you oversized bull!” Tommy leaped onto the man, who kept his grip on the frightened boy. The back of the cop’s hand sliced Tommy’s cheek as he tried to punch the man’s protruding gut. Brass knuckles crashed against Tommy’s eye, breaking his skin. “David! David, I need ya, buddy!” But Tommy knew he couldn’t come. David heard the screams. He did not move. If he hopped off the train and went to save his brother, all three would be chained by the bull. Instead, he cried, a terrified fourteen

18 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

18

year their lives Tommy cam causing th the fist. I over. Cou Next cam He could walked aw his cryin When David ho Tommy, s bruised an “Tomm to me. Co hands sw Tommy’s “Will?” “They we can get Tommy don’t know David h and they stopped. T on the ou out a pie slanted ha cross with are hostile. Hobos arres


in’s rollin’ st standin’

Will wasn’t eep his big

it’s rollin’ David with nd whiny and slung run when fted off his

nk you’re around to stache in a

nd turning his wrist. avid!” et him go, d onto the frightened and sliced punch the les crashed skin. ddy!” But

not move. ent to save ned by the d fourteen

year old with two brothers both fighting for their lives while he tried to save his own. Tommy continued to fight the bull. First came the boot. It clashed against his shin, causing the teen to stumble. Then came the fist. It slammed into his gut. He fell over. Coughed. Choked on his own blood. Next came the elbow. It jabbed his ribcage. He could hear it splinter. As the bull walked away with the ten-year-old boy in his hands, the screaming, writhing and crying began to soften to a whimper. When he was sure the cop was gone, David hopped down and ran toward Tommy, still doubled over in pain, bloodied, bruised and emotionally drained. “Tommy. Tommy, boy, come on. Speak to me. Come on.” His breath quickened, hands swimming in his brother’s blood. Tommy’s blackened eye began to flutter. “Will?” “They got him. The bulls. But we… we can get him back, right?” Tommy sighed. “I don’t know, kid. I don’t know.” David helped Tommy back onto his feet, and they limped toward the camp. They stopped. Tommy walked towards the fence on the outskirts of the railway. He pulled out a piece of charcoal. He drew. First slanted hash marks. Unsafe place. Then a cross with eyes in the top two squares. Police are hostile. Finally two intersecting circles. Hobos arrested on site. They walked home Lemon Sunshine, Bhavana Veeravalli ’20 digital

Fiction

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 19

19

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


20 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

20


mind of

PATERES His mind runs with wires, holding a perfect understanding of the subtle hum in a guitar, the hollow bang of a drum, the plucked chime of a harp, as if they were chains of passionate words. He listens, entranced by the wailing wallows, the screeching proclamation— those words, his to determine. He sits in his worn-out wicker chair and studies the notes, the familiar brushstrokes on the papyrus, scanning the thick papers for the secret. Closing with an untroubled sigh, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and the rest of his deceased lovers whisper melodic tunes, murmur sweet nothings, tug with an enamored grace at his heart strings. He sits in his wicker chair, in the room at the corner of Marseille, stacked note sheets tickling the ceiling and abandoned plates piled on the linoleum floor, yet he remains tranquil in the chaos as the tunes slither past the drums of his ears and into the cushioned heart they call home. His mouth opens slightly, conversing, speaking back to the music, complimenting and caressing its porcelain cheek. The heightened volume shakes the chipping walls and pierces his arms, his chapped lips smiling just as the music strikes its peak. A man enamored with the utter note of an instrument, preferable over the voice and humanity of a woman. - Vasiliki Gkoulgkountina ’20

Flower Hues, Taylor Calkins ’20 acrylic

Poetry |

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

21

21

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Nature v. Nurture, Melanie Calabrese ’20 collage

22 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

22


&

eight g ro w n

Leigh Millinder ’19

I’m eight and I’m grown. I do everything I shouldn’t know how to do. I didn’t just learn how to use the childproof handles in my house, I learned how to take them apart, sneak into my mother’s basement office, and then pop them back on before anyone knew where I had been. I slipped into the room nightly, making sneaky appearances to normalize my presence. The folders became my game boards, and the paper clips became my pawns. I’m nine and I’m grown. My mother isn’t awake much anymore, so I have to do everything she no longer is able to do. While she is asleep in the bathroom— yes, the bathroom—I wash the dishes, clean the floor and read the Nora Roberts novels that have taken her place at the dinner table. The mattress that was once two stories up was dragged upstairs by no one else but me. I didn’t have my mom to tell me not to, so I ignored the strain in my spine and threw all of my favorite toys and blankets to the stuffy basement office, because I was nine, and I was grown, and that’s where I decided to make my own house. The folders had become my pillows, and the paper clips became my drapes. I’m ten and I’m grown. My dad isn’t awake

much anymore. He sleeps on the gritty, canvas couch in front of the TV, so, of course, I do the things he is no longer able to do. I change the cat litter, look through his old engineering textbooks, watch his favorite movies, and then I get myself ready for school. I don’t brush my hair, I don’t brush my teeth, but I walk myself down to the bus stop. The folders now hold my homework, and the paper clips are just paper clips. I’m eleven and I’m alone. My parents stopped waking up altogether. So, as usual, I did everything they couldn’t do. I called my sister, my grandparents and the ambulance. I folded and packed my clothes, opened the windows and sat awaiting the pity of my neighbors, family and schoolmates. Soon enough, they flooded my house, ransacked my home and pulled me away. I left the folders behind. I left everything behind. I’m seventeen, and I’m just that, seventeen. I no longer have to worry about taking care of myself. My aunt and uncle just got back from the store. I’m sitting at my desk, new school supplies resting by my door: folders and paper clips, pencils and pens, highlighters and markers. The folders hold my memories, the paper clips keep them together, and the rest craft the my colorful future

Personal Narrative

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 23

23

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


LAKE effect Look him in the eye when you see him again, and hug a tower of bones strung together by his remaining muscles and passive energy from the booze. Later he will call you, words stumbled and slurred. He will choke back tears. You will too. His body hides beneath a baggy shirt, a shield against the atmosphere. Clothing, once filled out from barbeque, now flutters with the Chicago wind. He will insist on small talk about rehab friends and meaningless card games: his struggle to distract you. He is eight hundred miles away. Blame the weeping on the rumbling gusts. (Wear a sweatshirt to wipe it away— nevermind the heat of July.) Shallow breaths blend with the sky’s bellows. He will wish you a happy sixteenth birthday through the phone receiver. The muffled phrase is a puzzle, and the pieces are stolen by beer. When the rhythm of his voice becomes too much, look to your mother’s eyes: careful glances to put you at ease. You will be fine. He will ensure empty promises of birthday presents. You will thank him and remember that he has no money to give. (He doesn’t know you well enough for presents anyway.) His eyes crinkle as he says, “I love you.” The words are clearer than what you’re used to. “I love you too.” Another goodbye hug. His ribs nearly crack in your grip. - Charlotte Beck ’20

Overnight Sensations, Allie Fleury ’19 marker and colored pencil

24 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

24


ie Fleury ’19

| 25 25

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

25

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Give a Hand, Karla Delgado ’19 collage

26 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

26

heads and toppled in To me, th fast I was from the landing w Blis stuck out of a rusty the sky. T my desperately importanc his silence. Ba were repla pee silence wi the hand-s When w the punge house, Ma whil roof. I kn and faded The roof o not far up, den below


THEY CAN’T TAKE THE

sky away from me michaela francis ’20

s a kid, my red and yellow biplane floated around the drowsy Sunday afternoon air as Ma and Pa rested after a long morning of bowed heads and fake smiles. My church shoes lay toppled in a pile with my muddy sneakers. To me, there was no difference, just how fast I was able to run in them. I jumped from the arm of our burgundy couch, landing with a thud on our tattered carpet. Blissfully unaware of Pa stirring in bed, I stuck out my tongue and made the sound of a rusty propeller carrying a plane through the sky. The shadow of storm clouds forced my plane to land as I stared up at him. I desperately begged him to understand the importance of the mission as he took off his belt. From that day on, my plane flew in silence. Bare feet slapping down the hallways were replaced with the timid tiptoes that peek around every corner. I carried my silence with me as I was questioned about the hand-shaped bruises on my arm. When whiskey bottles lined our walls and the pungent smell of neglect flooded our house, Ma sought refuge in her bridge group while I crept out my window and onto our roof. I knew which squeaky ladder rungs and faded rooftop shingles would betray me. The roof of a shallow, one-story house was not far up, but it was freedom from the lion’s den below. I was content with the way the

treetops would frame my escape. The way the lights on jet planes would blend in with stars as they made their way to far off lands. The way, on warm summer nights, rain would fall like little kisses onto my cheeks. Transfixed by the comfort I found in the sky, and yet the distance it seemed to keep from me. Ma fell silent as I waved to her from the back seat of a radio car. I was one of the last boys my age in town to leave. Every other boy had been honored to serve his country, but I could already see Pa dragging her back into the house with the fierce iron grip I knew all too well. I didn’t know if I would ever see her again, or if she would ever be the same. I lay back, awaiting the long journey to the base where I would fall into line with the thousands of other young men. As the car bumbled along the road, I watched the rise and fall of my chest sync with the ellipse of the sun. I’m too busy directing my fleet to soak in the jagged cliffs of the French Alps. After years of training, here I am again, flying, avoiding the ears of the enemy. I have long forgotten my past, allowing the war to drain me. The crackle of my satellite radio interrupts the pristine silence before the sound of gunshots can reach my ears. I watch as a bright flash of red consumes my men. My fleet of seven quickly becomes five, becomes one. Surrounded, I look

up into the open sky as I open the hatch and fall directly into enemy territory. The soldiers lead me up the steps to the roof of the prison. The sun burns my eyes, and the scent of fresh air collides with months of isolation as we approach the shiny helicopter waiting for me and two other high ranking prisoners of war. A stranger stares back at me in the metallic reflection. The same fateful iron grip of my father clenches tight to my arm as we approach the guards with red swastika armbands. “Claus Hepp, Transfer Agent” is neatly printed on the ironed uniform of the boy who is in charge of me. Even if they are making a trade with America, I have nothing waiting for me back home. We are so high up that even on this sweltering day, a cool breeze whips through my unkempt hair. Before they slip the bag over my head, I catch a glimpse of the horizon. The same lazy Sunday sun beats down from above, the same blue sky that embraced me so long ago, the same roof edge. As they pass me from the prison guard to Claus, I break away in the direction of a promise, an escape. I allow my sore bare feet to slap on the hard ground, just as I never could before. Ignoring the shouts behind me as the guards fumble for their weapons, I find the ledge with my toes and jump. I fly in silence once again Fiction |

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

27

27

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Behind The Rim, Ava Pomilla ’19 watercolor

28 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

28


el

árbol

Si alguien planta un pimpollo un día, Quizás germine. Y quizás personas lo rieguen y lo ayuden para florecer y crecer, Crecer, Y crecer. Más allá de los arbustos. Más allá de los postes telefónicos. Más allá de todas las cosas. Quizás el árbol al pájaro le parezca bien. -Ese árbol es para mí- dirá. El pájaro pondrá un nido en una rama donde sus chicos vivirán. Quizás una ardilla encuentre un pequeño rincón donde esconderá unas bellotas antes del invierno. Quizás un lagarto encuentre una hoja que será su color. La hoja lo esconderá de los depredadores quiénes querrán una comida. Quizás un hombre mire al árbol. Quizás no le guste la ardilla o quizás, el árbol sea demasiado alto. Bum Bum El árbol se caerá. Para que otros personas hagan casas más grandes u otras cosas importantes. Pero, quizás el árbol no sea cortado. Y, quizás, quizás, un niño, en la cima de una rama, encuentre un pequeño trozo de tierra, plante un pimpollo que quizás sea un árbol en el que quizás viva feliz con todos los animales, contigo, y conmigo.

a Pomilla ’19

- Laura Reeve ’19 Read it in English here: http://bit.ly/arbol-english

Poetry | 29

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

29

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Life At Dusk, Ragen Munavalli ’20 acrylic

30 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

30


mother y Bhavana Veeravalli ’20

ou ripened me for nine months, feeding me tangerine beams of light into dormant seeds starved of golden rays. You endured tumultuous morning riptides that rendered you lost in the crumpled creases of cotton sheets. You survived my occupation. Your love reverberates in the murky rivers of my life. When I drown in a whirlpool created by the monolithic sea, you stand constant in the midst, trying to bring me home. When I tremble from the corruption of my own body, you blanket me with cinnamon hugs to squeeze the darkness out of me. You feed me tenderness. You let yourself wilt into the hollows of cavernous bones and paint your hair silver in exchange for my youth. But the gray shades of relentless anxiety hijack me again and again. I stray from the hazelnut warmth of your embrace, leaving behind shards of words coated with hazardous hatred from a voice like my own, but controlled by a stranger. And one day, when the sun depressed below the neon moon, I didn’t come home. I left you as a broken shell, almost drained of all life. You still sit on the groaning porch chair with arms stretched wide to the corners of the universe, singing lullabies in your sandalwood voice. You accept that your pain is necessary for me to hunt my corruptors. You disintegrate into crystal ash as you hum a final song, an ode of forgiveness across the world. Thousands of miles away in the abyssal sea, I float in a haze surrounded by the carnage of another pirate, another monster, and hear your love forever echo in the ripples of the water

Personal Narrative | 31

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

31

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


life into th the relativ industrial sides flaun adorning speaks of Charlotte Founde League p programs and walks give them the tools t and to gro Cin of the Lea and Scienc nurtures workshops events and The organ features an Without t would be o One fo beco commitme artist dedi passion, w and grow space in t Those ex to make actu says. He League,” p marketing He’s since Release, Allie Fleury ’19 acrylic and gold leaf

32 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

32


gallery of

Ella Rasmussen ’21

he smell of canvas, the clusters of murals and the white walls waiting patiently for new pieces—all breathe life into the Charlotte Art League gallery. In the relative grayscale of North Charlotte’s industrial district, the gutted factory’s sides flaunt the myriad of faces and figures adorning its exterior with a flourish that speaks of the League’s mission: enriching Charlotte with art from all demographics. Founded in 1965, the Charlotte Art League proudly fosters art enrichment programs for artists of all ages, skill levels and walks of life. “We support them and give them the way to better themselves, the tools to be better, to network, to learn and to grow,” explains Executive Director Cindy Connelly, a twelve-year member of the League. With a grant from the Arts and Science Council, the League primarily nurtures artists by hosting galleries and workshops, renting out the main floor for events and partnering with other nonprofits. The organization gives artists of all figures, features and talents a voice in the community. Without the League, Charlotte’s art scene would be oversaturated and lifeless. One former member of the League has become a touchstone for the organization’s commitment. Wil Bosbyshell, now a veteran artist dedicated to helping others find their passion, watched professional artists work and grow around him as he rented studio space in the warehouse two decades ago. Those experiences motivated Bosbyshell to make art more than just a hobby. “I actually had a whole career change,” he says. He is now an “ambassador to the League,” providing classes for local artists on marketing their art and refining their skills. He’s since taught visual arts locally at Myers

Park High School and the Northwest School of the Arts. The League not only inspired Bosbyshell to embrace his inner artist, but to become a mentor to the community. Employees coordinate with an array of people to bring Charlotteans of all backgrounds onto the art scene. They host galleries for disabled adults in cooperation with UMAR, a branch of Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Where these artists would be left behind in the industry solely

Involvement goes beyond the canvas; it’s about partnership with all citizens to bring life to Charlotte

due to lack of resources or a disability, the League extends a hand by acting as a catalyst for showcasing their art. “When you work with people that are disadvantaged, they are so excited to be working in a gallery and to have their art for sale,” Connelly says. The organization additionally provides art camps and scholarships for lowerincome children. They even reach out to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and contact talented students who cannot afford pursuing their passion; they plan to start working with them in upcoming summer camps. The League’s most recent volunteer gallery, the Art100 event, “brought highquality art to 100% of the population.” The door fee of just five dollars welcomed all of Charlotte to enjoy the talents of its diverse, underappreciated members. For the League, involvement goes beyond the canvas; it’s about partnership with all citizens to bring life to Charlotte.

The nonprofit goes further than loft y talk of diversity in the art community; its members jump into the action with open minds and unrivaled passion. In the wake of damages caused by the racially motivated riots in Charlotte in 2016, the manager of the Hyatt House, Matt Allen, sent out a request to local artists to paint the boards that concealed the broken windows of his hotel. The Charlotte Art League rocketed into action, sending teams of painters to the hotel and working with all manner of people: National Guard, police officers and protesters. Artists of all skill levels were invited to paint anything of their choosing on the boards, and most were messages of healing for the violence that ravaged those streets. The panels stand now as testaments to the power of art in a community; both the Levine Museum in New South and the Bank of America building cherish and display them. Connelly recalls that the experience “really started the conversation of diversity and getting out of your comfort zone.” Through the event, the nonprofit realized the beating heart of art and culture that connects the city. On those boards, the League illustrated its most vital principle: diversity through art unites and enriches a community like nothing else. And so, the Charlotte Art League hosts its next gallery in March of 2019, calling for artists of all creeds and ages to plaster the walls with pieces of their souls. Following in the footsteps of the fift y-three years since its founding, the League will continue to support Charlotte’s legacy in art and culture—their legacy. The tangible bond between every piece, every curator, goes deeper than the smell of paint and the soft music echoing from the rafters. Charlotte itself hangs on those walls

Fleury ’19 leaf

Feature | 33

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

33

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Introversion, Lisa Zhang '22

34 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

34


2004 CHEVY SUBURBAN

Propped against the sunken plastic of your dashboard, you breathe verses from the ink-scrawled pages of your Bible easing my hollow thoughts muddled with grief. Leather flakes chip between your fingertips as you remind me life has time to mourn and time to dance. I mimic the rhythm of your breaths: Inhale. Exhale. Swallow. Inhale. My bridled lungs need the echoes of your ribcage trampling the shame of normalcy. Your raspy chuckle permeates the desperation circling through the car’s internal filter, and you tap the synthetic wood of the radio assuring me that the lowest downbeats and highest upbeats form a rhythm of endurance. That chalky white suburban becomes our vintage stereo; strums of an acoustic guitar reverberate off the windshield. Carrying the laughters of before to sun-dusted remnants of countryside, we dance into after. Introversion, Lisa Zhang '22

But when the sun no longer penetrates grief, and stagnant shame persists, you whisper, “It’s okay to not be okay,” and I follow your rhythms instead of my silence. - Abigail Welch '20

Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 35

35

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Winter’s Night Emma Kurtz ’20

A

would stand on your chair and scream in the middle of the bookstore café. You would scream at the books you have read. You would scream at the books you haven’t and at the books you never will. You would scream at the people in the parking lot who consider walking into the bookstore, but are never quite enticed enough. You would scream at the barista, who you are maybe a little in love with, if only to tell him that. But of course, it is not socially acceptable, so you sip your latte (soy) and cross your legs (skinny) and read your book (infinite). A memory: The nights are longer here; the sky is deeper. It stretches across the beach, dragging sand into the fiery balls we call stars. A hand moves to snatch some sand from the air. It must be mine, but I can no longer feel the breeze. The barista gets off at six. You always leave before that, perhaps from fear, but more likely it is because of the gripping feeling that blooms in your chest when you see him. But today you find yourself still there in the bookstore café. (Later you will lie to yourself and say that you got so lost between pages that you lost track of time, but you haven’t moved past page seventy-nine in three days.) The barista makes his way over to you, says your name, all consonants, no vowels. Too much “K.” It sticks in his throat and you wonder why. Snowflakes suspend themselves between his lips; they blow in your face when he laughs. When you were young, you always wanted freckles. A love song: Irina is whistling again. She spreads her hands wide and grabs heaven in her fists. Her

breath glows in the cold sky like some new Southern Borealis, or one that traverses the Alps. You’re not quite sure. The bookstore is yours. You chase each other through shelves crammed with magic; you do not know where one story ends and another begins. Maybe you think you are living in every story, in every book, finding each other without fail each time. Eventually, the two of you land tangled in the fiction aisle, your head lying next to Haruki Murakami and your dark hair splaying out across the floor’s universe. A realization: Irina is still here, and she captures your gaze with every word. Her voice is still strong, and her arms are still warm, and you can’t bear to let her go, so you blow a kiss to your bookmark lodged in chapter four. She does not fear, and now neither do you. Your book tells you that literature, much like love, is fleeting, but as the barista grabs your hand, tracing the cracks with his sunbaked fingertips, you have to disagree. (They feel like the world. They feel like forever.) Maybe nothing is set in stone, but you’ll be damned if you’re not willing to give it a try, so you clutch the barista’s shoulders and kiss his cheeks and close your eyes right there on the floor of the bookstore. He blushes in his laughter and now you know how Miss Zwida felt on the beachfront, white dress billowing around her ankles, straw hat ribbon speaking cursive into the clouds. Each day is new, each page begins your story again. Outside the bookstore café, winter settles

Roars& &Whispers Whispers 3636 | |Roars

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

36

Nesting, Samantha Pressly ’22

quote: “We cannot love or think except in fragments of time each of which goes along its own trajectory and immediately disappears.” - Italo Calvino The air outside is cold and wet, hanging winter in front of your cheeks, but keeping it aloft, never quite letting it touch the earth. Your face feels wind whipped, and you know that it is bright red. Luckily, you wore a hat today; your ears are spared. You sit in the bookstore café waiting. You’re not quite sure what you’re waiting for, but you know that it’s coming. A scene: The smell of the empty train station seeps through the new pages. If you could touch it, it would feel like the silks your mother used to wear to dinner parties; they were pink and yellow and blue, and they felt nice on your cheeks. The bartender in the empty train station looks at you like you are new, because you are. The bustle of the café does not disturb you (pale) or your latte (soy). The noises are welcome distractions; you get lost easily, and the barista working today knows this. He greets you with his puppydog smile when you walk in every day. He keeps the book, your book, under the counter “so management won’t find it.” Maybe you are a little in love with him. (Maybe you are a little in love with everybody.) A vision: You run a mile in their shoes at noontime, hearts heavy in your hands. You squeeze them and feel their struggle and realize that we are all fighting the same fight and dreaming the same dream. If it were socially acceptable, you


w Southern . You’re not

chase each ith magic; story ends think you ery book, h time. nd tangled ying next dark hair

she captures still strong, n’t bear to let mark lodged now neither

ure, much rista grabs with his o disagree. y feel like

Nesting, Samantha Pressly ’22

but you’ll o give it a ulders and right there blushes in how Miss white dress straw hat louds. egins your store café,

Fiction

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| |3737

37

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


THE SCENT OF

Blueberry Cigars Blueberries are my personal aphrodisiac. The burnt fragrance from a single cigarillo sets off an endless pendulum of memories to unearth. You and I rest on the scorched bench and watch the ashes from your cigar drift onto the cracked concrete of the tennis court. My grimy hands don’t notice your soot-ridden ones. We talk about my losses, my serve, me. Naïveté doesn’t realize the difference between an older brother and father figure. Older brothers don’t smoke. But smoking would never give you cancer, just a tactic to calm yourself from the stress. You suggest I find something similar to ease my tense shoulders. Car rides in your maroon Honda Civic were the solution, and the odor found shelter in my clothes like the rings of an oak tree, stronger and more enduring each time. Until it was permanently etched. I never understood how gentle you held the rolled up paper and cradled the cigar in between your ring and middle fingers, especially after one clasp left your fingers branded below my collar bone. I did understand there was a scar seeping down to your wrist not due to a gust of wind, but my sweaty shirt discarded in the corner, and the bare form in front of the hidden camera. I do understand that the perfume of a blueberry cigar is actually a stench. All profound scents give you a headache when you bask in them for too long. - Natalie Thulien ’19

Taste of Me, Danielle Ivanova ’19 oil

38 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

38


Ivanova ’19

| 39 Page No.

Job No.: 019319

39

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


t

he stars d Oliver alw go did my be for an hou sinkin to his mo looking b stayed aw and Oliver I’d tear them bac Oliver bac Oliver’s August n in the air in my the night his be ear, sayin practice b Canis M I knew heard my I could al beca open to let clear her h pie-sweet at what s that when kitc The se off was th

A Natural City, Eunice Chong ’19 collage

40 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

40


BOY IN THE

stars emma washburn ’22

t

he stars didn’t look quite right that night. Oliver always adored the stars. He would go on and on about the constellations, and I did my best to listen, even if he was talking for an hour straight, and my eyelids were sinking like the globs of honey he added to his morning Earl Grey tea. But now, looking back, I wish I’d listened closer, stayed awake longer, watched the sunrise and Oliver’s beloved stars fade with him. I’d tear every star from the sky and piece them back together if it meant getting Oliver back. Oliver’s dad phoned my mom late that August night when the humidity hung in the air like fog and the grass murmured in my ear. I lay in the backyard, staring at the night sky, waiting for Oliver to drop his bike and collapse next to me. He’d be coated in sweat, grinning from ear to ear, saying something about basketball practice before gasping and pointing at Canis Major or a different constellation. I knew something was wrong when I heard my mom actually answer her phone. I could always hear her from the kitchen because she kept the window by the sink open to let in the night air, claiming it helped clear her head. So when I heard her cherrypie-sweet voice say, “Yes?” I sat up to look at what she was doing. Everyone knows that when Louisa Mae Sullivan is in the kitchen, phone calls are not answered. The second sign of something being off was the sound of all the pots and pans

clattering to the floor. I sprinted to the side door and slammed it open. My mom was collapsed on the ground, crying with the phone speaker in her ear. The pie was in the sink, the cherry filling splattered across the wall like blood. I couldn’t resist swiping some onto my finger and sticking it in my mouth, rolling the sweet and tart flavor over my tongue. Oliver always said my mom made the best pies in the world, even if her pies were the only ones he’d ever had. “What is it, Mom?” I asked. My mother got to her feet, wiping away tears and brushing flour off her apron. She was in a constant mindset of needing to look presentable all the time. “That was Oliver’s dad,” my mom answered. “He’s at the hospital.” “Why is he at the hospital?” I demanded, fear and worry contorting knots into my stomach like the shoelaces of a five year old’s sneakers. Before she could answer, the sound of footsteps echoed behind me. Charlie had emerged from his cave. Charlie was my older brother, a high school senior. Charlie had experienced his fair share of trouble, from drugs to theft to trespassing. Mom groaned that he was giving her gray hair. He probably heard the crash and came downstairs to see if something interesting was going on. “What’s going on?” he said, looking at the mess in the kitchen. He also swiped some cherry pie filling off the wall. My mom choked back tears. “The

driver says he biked across the road so quickly, he didn’t spot him until—” “Is he dead?” I yelled, grabbing her shoulders. “No, he’s at Liberty Hospital, but—” That was all I needed. I ran out the front door, sprinting down the street. My sneakers pounded the pavement, feet flying behind me as I darted toward the hospital. I mentally ran through the route I had to take. “You’re a real GPS, you know that, Mads?” Oliver would always joke as I ran next to him on our way to school, listing off the exact street names and turns we’d have to take. Oliver’s dad lived a few houses down from ours, so I always went to school with him. He would ride his dad’s old bike while I jogged beside him. I think that’s why I’m so talented with cross country and track, running a mile twice every day. Folks talk about me getting scholarships to big colleges. But big colleges meant leaving Oliver behind. I couldn’t do that to him. I could never do that to him. Now, I prayed that he wouldn’t be the one leaving me behind. I checked the street sign I was passing. Folkswood. One more mile to go. Come on, Mads, I thought to myself. You have to see him. You have to be there for him. You can’t leave him alone. The last time Oliver was seriously hurt, he broke his wrist while riding his bike. Oliver and I had been racing on the hiking trails, and Oliver’s bike had hit a rock, flinging him off and bending his wrist at an unnatural angle.

’19

Fiction | 41

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

41

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Boy In The Stars continued

I ran two miles in a random direction before I found a house and called an ambulance. When I found my way back to Oliver, it was dark outside. He was still crying, curled into a ball. I sat down next to him. “Where were you?” he sobbed, jerking away when I tried to touch his shoulder. “I was so scared.” “Sorry,” I murmured. “The ambulance will be here soon.” “Please don’t ever leave me again,” Oliver pleaded, turning to look at me. He stopped crying. “I promise.” I started absentmindedly digging at the ground with my shoe. We were silent for a minute, before Oliver sniffled. “It hurts,” he said, shuffling to lay his head in my lap. “Look at the stars. Think about them instead.” When the EMTs found us, we were asleep. The medical bill for the ambulance and fixing Oliver’s wrist had been over three thousand dollars. Oliver’s dad worked fourteen hours a day for three months to pay it off. I bolted past the Purewood River, shaking my head to clear the memory from my mind. I glanced at the Old Woodsman’s Bridge, a hangout spot Oliver and I frequented. It was mid-July, when the humid summer air held everyone in a chokehold. My watch read 10:07 p.m. in bright, flashing letters, meaning we had the nighttime reprieve from the usual overbearing humidity. I had been at the bridge for ten minutes, legs swinging off the side. Track practice ended early because of the heat lightning. I rolled my eyes when Coach told us, knowing I’d have thirty minutes to kill before Oliver would meet me and knowing that heat lightning

is just normal lightning from way far away. I stopped at the candy store and picked up some lollipops. When Oliver finally showed up, leaning his bike against the bridge and tossing his gym bag onto the old wood planks, I waved my cherry lollipop in greeting. “Rough practice?” I asked. He plopped down next to me, eyebrows furrowing in amusement as he saw my sugary treat. I started digging through the candy bag. “You have no idea.” Oliver chuckled, not skipping a beat to take the sucker I held out toward him. He smiled, noticing it was blue raspberry flavored. That was his favorite. Oliver handed me the wrapper to shove back in the bag. Littering was for suckers. “Track was okay?” Oliver asked. I nodded. “Coach stopped practice halfway through ‘cause of the heat lightning.” Oliver laughed softly. “He’s always looking for an excuse to end practice early.” We were both silent for a second, the crickets and cicadas performing their nighttime song for us. “Hey, Mads?” “Yeah?” “We’ll always be together, right?” I paused before answering. “As long as the stars cover the sky, Ollie.” “And what if they stopped? What if the whole world got filled with so much smog it blocked them all from view?” I twisted my lollipop in my mouth for a second or two as I thought of an answer. “You’re made of stars, Ollie. Nothing could ever block you from me.” Oliver looked at me weirdly for a second, and I panicked, thinking I’d said the wrong thing.

42 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

42

The flas struck as h Oliver his f “You t breathless. “You ta before kiss But th reality sat the hospita I ran i where Oli and I cou about to tu wasn’t fam “Mads raspy voic I co “Mr. H out, givin hug. Whe me to Oliv of tears an “It’s—i grabbed m hall to roo number. I walke milli something that the m “M—M side. “Oliver overtook m “It’s ok failing to out of h before you


y far away. picked up ly showed bridge and ood planks, ting. e plopped rowing in ry treat. I

uckled, not I held out it was blue s favorite. shove back

ce halfway

e’s always d practice

a second, erforming

As long as What if so much

mouth for an answer. . Nothing

r a second, the wrong

The flash of lightning in the stomach that struck as he kissed me said otherwise. Oliver pulled away, nervousness coating his features like melted sugar. “You taste like blue raspberry,” I said, breathless. “You taste like cherry.” He grinned back before kissing me again. But then the memory was gone, and reality sat in front of me. Reality was the hospital. I arrived. I ran in, asking the nurse at the desk where Oliver was. Her face grew solemn, and I could tell she was about to turn me away. I wasn’t family. “Mads is with me,” a raspy voice stated before I could be rejected. “Mr. Heylin!” I cried out, giving him a tight hug. When I pulled away so he could lead me to Oliver’s room, I could see the outline of tears and the red rim around his eyes. “It’s—it’s very bad. Come quickly.” He grabbed my hand and led me down the hall to room 107. Seven was Oliver’s lucky number. I walked in to see Oliver hooked up to a million different machines. It felt surreal, like something out of a sci-fi movie, even if I knew that the machines were only there to help. “M—Mads?” Oliver croaked. I ran to his side. “Oliver, oh my god, I’m—” The tears overtook me. “It’s okay,” Oliver grunted, trying and failing to sit up. “It—It’ll be fine. We’ll be out of here looking at Orion’s Belt before you know it.”

Oliver always tried to stay strong when I was emotional, a rock that I could lean on. He still wouldn’t hesitate to show his emotions. This time though, he was faking. Something was up. I quickly turned to his dad, searching for answers. “I—I can’t afford the medical bills,” Mr. Heylin choked out, tears running down his face. “We can’t get the surgery to save him.” “Dad, Dad!” Oliver said, “It’s okay. As long as you have my last will and testament, right?” Oliver tried to chuckle, but the movement made him wince in pain. I grabbed

“The same goes for you,” I answered. I kissed him for the last time. He smiled, eyes closing for the last time. The heart rate monitor went to a straight line, releasing a swarm of nurses into the room, pushing me and his dad out. I knew there was no resuscitating him. He was gone. It’s been four years, and I still haven’t forgotten him. Oliver was the first boy I loved, and the first love that I lost. I got a scholarship to a far-away college, and having nothing to hold me back in that small town, I accepted. Rumor has it I’m destined for the Olympics, rumors I’m determined to make a reality. I’m sitting in my dorm room at Stanford when I decide to procrastinate on my essay by going and checking my mail. In my mailbox, I have a letter from Mr. Heylin. Dear Michael, When Oliver died, a part of me died too. He hadn’t told me about your relationship. I learned when you kissed him in that hospital room. It took me a while to come to terms with everything, and to let go of everything he had. A selfish part of me kept this for so long, not wanting to accept the fact that my son gave his heart to another boy. But I’ve grown as a person, as I hope everyone does. So enclosed is a note Oliver wrote for you. I wish you the best life. Sincerely, Mr. Heylin My hands shake as I hold the note Oliver left me, probably quickly written on a sticky note in the hospital. I unfold the note. May all the stars be yours. Oliver

I’d tear every star from the sky and piece them back together if it meant getting Oliver back. his hand, leaning closer to him, trying to think of any way we could overcome this. “Mads, you go on and—and you do great things, okay?” I choked down more tears. “Okay.” Oliver took a deep breath, smiling. He leaned far back in the cot, closing his eyes, head tilted to the ceiling. “How did the stars look tonight? I didn’t get to really see them.” “Different,” I answered. “Like something was covering them up. Or like something was blocking them from my view.” Oliver swallowed, his hand squeezing mine more tightly. “Michael Madison Sullivan, you beautiful, strong, kind, amazing boy; you have all the stars in you,” he declared. “So even if the sky is blocked out, you can know that they’ll always be with you.”

Fiction

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 43

43

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


44 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

44


litchenburg FIGURES

Shadowing the sun, gray clouds stain the sky. Hairs raise with vibrations in the air. Without warning, jagged gold streaks in a brilliant display, ripping holes in the fresh paper sky. Kissed by the bolt, a sharp flavor explodes in my mouth. Smoky exhaust clouds my airway. A bitter, charred taste replaces the sour moment. Lingering metallic memories on my lips.

Viridescence, Lisa Zhang ’22

Lightning flowers bloom along my arm in intricate patterns. Stems weave their way across my chest, consuming any empty space, the leaves a physical reminder of its smoldering creator. Skin tattooed with burst blood vessels of electricity’s own design. The feathering marks fade with time, but my attraction does not, the tender touch of my affair with the sky. - Ella Mainwaring Foster ’20

Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 45

45

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


au revoir

Starstruck, I stare into the icy sea that took you away. Churning waters hide your sun-kissed face from me. As waves crash, salt stings my eyes with the remembrance of you. I stare into the cloudy water and imagine vanishing beneath the swirling facade, finally allowing myself to sink into the idle peace, sit in the depths below, listen to the soft murmurs of crashing waves left behind. Blade in hand, thin horizontal fires burn across my skin as I mix blood with water. My joints are frozen in fear of the unknown that lies below. So I float, paralyzed in the frigid waters. I wonder if you can see me through the smudged glass, whether you think less of me for my weakness, or if you are even there at all. Racking my mind for memories of you, I am met with the same murky waters that surround me. The sound of waves lapping on the shore lulls me to sleep where the fear of losing another waits for me. So till I wake and call out your name, au revoir, mon ami, au revoir. - Michaela Francis ’20

46 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

46


Bottled Life, Ava Johnson ’21 acrylic

Poetry |

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

47

47

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


C

areers have a way of calling people; some hear the soft beckon of crunching numbers under pale light bulbs, and others feel the pull of bright stages and rows of red velvet seats. Pediatrics called to Harshada Rajani from a young age, but when a debilitating accident left her confined to a wheelchair, she had no choice but to hang up the phone, hoping it would ring again. As a second-year student at Duke University’s medical school, Rajani, in her early twenties, juggled her busy social life with medical studies. She says she “loved that feeling of being productive, having that power.” Rajani thrived despite getting merely four hours of sleep a night; people adored her. Towards the end of the year, however, a spontaneous brainstem stroke rendered her whole body paralyzed and suffering from Locked-in Syndrome, a condition leaving her unable to communicate with the world around her. Rajani was a spectator, unable to move or even speak with her family members. Eventually she could talk to family members with the aid of speech therapy, but she remained isolated from the people she used to talk with on a regular basis. Rajani’s family became buffers between her and the rest of the community. Looking

the effect Gayatri Chopra ’19

48 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

48

bac my rehabilitati reconnecte online, reb After te a full reco improved, still has p can with therapy, he “everythin as it can b made “ma Rajani’ physical. see She attrib the wheel peo damage d only limit pity gets an tone. But brush it off it in what to say Rajani a pediatric stroke. Sh


ng people; beckon of nder pale eel the pull elvet seats. ani from a g accident she had no hoping it

at Duke ani, in her social life he “loved having that ing merely ple adored , however, ndered her ring from on leaving the world or, unable her family

to family h therapy, the people ular basis. tween her . Looking

back, she says, “I just felt comfortable with my close family,” who were essential to her rehabilitation. After months of solitude, she reconnected with the rest of the community online, rebuilding her social life. After ten years, Rajani has yet to achieve a full recovery. Her physical abilities have improved, but she acknowledges that she still has plenty to relearn. While Rajani can walk up and down stairs and reconnect with distant friends, she still depends on therapy, her family and close friends. To her, “everything is back to normal, or as normal as it can be,” and seeing the progress she’s made “makes it easy to be positive.” Rajani’s challenges also extend beyond physical. Following her stroke, people seemed unsure of how to act around her. She attributes the sensitive behavior to the wheelchair and her voice, which lead people to the conclusion that she has brain damage despite her affirmations that her only limitations are physical. She says “the pity gets annoying,” just like the patronizing tone. But after ten years, she’s learned to brush it off, knowing that people don’t mean it in a malicious way. “They just don’t know what to say sometimes,” she says. Rajani feels like the loss of her career as a pediatrician was the biggest impact of her stroke. She says “it’s hard to feel passion”

for other fields after pursuing one for so long; finding a new calling is something she’s been forced into, and for years she’s struggled to find full-time work. She has, however, discovered hobbies that helped put her at ease after the end of her medical career. Just two months after she left the hospital, Rajani began writing. She wanted to share her experiences, including the continuous inner monologue she had while locked-in. Her blog, My Stroke of…Luck? flourished. She detailed a wide range of reactions she had to her stroke, writing that young people in similar situations “haven’t had a chance to live” and were “cheated out of their future.”

“ I had so much built up that I wanted to say

Soon after the blog, Rajani began detailing her experiences in articles for big-name companies like The Huffington Post and SheKnows. “I had so much built-up that I wanted to say,” says Rajani. She hopes to continue in the future, using her writing to impact people in similar situations and raise awareness for people in the dark.

When she’s not writing, Rajani spreads awareness for We Win, the foundation her family began in 2013 to raise money for people who cannot afford therapy vital to their recovery. She learned most insurance providers, including Medicaid, cover only a handful of physical therapy sessions, leaving families to pay hundreds. “I became really passionate about therapy and the magic it can have on people’s lives,” Rajani says. Therapy helped her relearn motor functions and reconnect with friends she didn’t see after her stroke, and she wants to give everyone the same opportunities. “I am passionate about We Win, and I am here for them,” says Rajani. We Win now helps people all over the East Coast, and Rajani hopes to expand even more and help people around the world. “I feel like I have a purpose in that,” says Rajani. “I just saw a need.” Harshada Rajani still waits for a new calling, but she keeps busy with relationships in the Charlotte community and working to help others achieve similar goals. Despite her confinement to a wheelchair, Rajani has contributed to the quality of others’ lives. “It all gets better from here, and I think just believing that can give you a lot of power and strength,” says Rajani. “The worst is over, and it’s up from here” Art Credit: Maui’s Fury, Alex Westover ’20

Feature

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 49

49

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


50 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

50


Clocking In The porcelain tiles of the pool deck bite at my feet like a gardener’s shears at a plant exhaling its last breath. My calves tighten, twisting downward, rooting themselves deep into the tile. Tendrils of heaviness creeping up my legs, I try to wrench my feet up and out from the ground. Severed roots bleeding out life, thrown carelessly onto the top of the starting block one after the other. I stand tall, branching out into the air, the noxious fumes of chlorine grabbing at my throat, snaking down my trunk. I feel weak as my tendons liquesce into doubt, the voices of the spectators morphing into a mockery that crescendos like the menacing rattle of a chainsaw making its way to the tired willow. A weight begins to compress my spine, vertebrae splintering into hundreds of needles that sink into the tender flesh of my back, the pain pinching into a pulsating soreness like one in the heart of a dying tree. The whistle blows. I breathe in daggers, every stem of life snapped and discarded. “Take your mark.” I feel the last shriveled leaf fall, leaving my bruised trunk at the mercy of the ax of fear, which slices through my core in one cold swoop. Beep! I can only feel defeat. - Sreshta Ravi ’20 Swimming, Lillian Sanocki ’19 colored pencil

Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 51

51

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


phosphorescent Something ripples under those sheets, but it’s not her.

for practical purposes.

She’s like one of those abyssal fish with carefully drifting cilia and ghosting skin. All those inner workings conquered just under the slithering film.

It’s more like the stretched gape of all those people grasping for dollars under signs, on the medians, colonizing the corners. All the neon of rush hour rippling off cheeks slick with melancholy. Blink, blink, blink. Traffic light tears slip past the cornea.

At least some of them have a little glow gingerly sewn into that skin. A bioluminescence

Her light is different.

- Ella Rasmussen ’21

52 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

52


In Between, Daniella Ivanova ’19 colored pencil

Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 53

53

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Big Petul Fellher, Ben Czochara ’19 collage

54 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

54


Skipping a beat

Emily Sistare ’19

O

ne could say burying your mother at seventeen results in the individual being unstable, depressed and distant. From firsthand experience, I can attest that this is true, especially if you constantly live your life feeling sorry for yourself. But my mom taught me better than that. Because of how she raised me, I would not let my life waste away by enacting my former disposition. My grandparents were both born in Greece and migrated to America to pursue safer and more sustainable lifestyles. When my mom was a child, she traveled many summers to Greece to visit family. I had the same privilege, as I spent six of my summers in Greece. This past summer, my nineteen-yearold brother and I thought we owed it to our mother to continue our tradition of vacationing to Greece. It took much convincing for our father to support our decision to travel to a foreign country alone. The first time I heard my mother’s voice since her passing was in my head during the difficult task of packing our suitcases. I could hear her voice yelling, “All you need to pack is three shirts, three shorts, and three swimsuits!” My mother was controlling; therefore, this pestering seemed normal. I listened to this torment with fear that she might punish me in some indescribable way from above. After approximately a ten-hour flight, my brother and I safely arrived in Greece. As I stepped off the plane onto the terminal, a feeling of ease came upon me. I felt comfortable. I have my mother to thank for allowing me to experience this culture and its people so many times. Vacationing in Greece has caused me to fully appreciate my heritage. The sensation of comfort soon disappeared as the days went on. I was longing for my

mother. I soon comprehended that my mother made Greece home for me. A piece of my life was missing. She was my mom: my best friend, my translator, my built-in tour guide. This realization sparked my goal for the trip: I was going to find her. Opening my eyes and searching for my mother’s presence was easily the best decision of my life. I felt her at the depths of the sea and the top of the ferry boats, with the wind blowing through my hair because she had always striven to travel in the most Greek way possible. I felt her on the coast at her uncle’s house where she would walk up and down the rocky beach picking up trash for hours. I felt her presence most significantly at her father’s kitchen table, as he had a plate set for her at every single meal that we ate. Finding my mother in these various places enabled me to mourn her in a positive way. My outlook on her death shifted; I now recall her healthy moments, not the three dreadful months of suffering she endured. My mother’s death was abrupt and confusing, to say the least. At the same time, genetics played a vital role in passing down the vicious and terminal disease of pancreatic cancer from my late grandmother to my mother. This situation now has me worried and fearful that this terrible disease may possess me, and I will end up leaving my kids to figure out the complexities of life without my guidance. I do not want to be defined as the girl who lost her mother at a young age; I want to be simply recognized as someone who was able to carry on with her life without skipping a beat. I am putting all my trust in the Lord, doctors and the future of medicine to cure this disease before it takes the lives of others’ loved ones as it did to me

Personal Narrative

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 55

55

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Venus Night drenches soft earth beneath my feet, and I count the colors I see on one hand, drumming to the torrent with the other. I remember the time your silken fingers waltzed across my palm in a shape I didn’t completely know, but didn’t want to either. The midnight sun cracks through thin sheets of gray, spilling mercury through trees, leaving fractures of broken light on the ground. The street ripples with puddles of moonlight flowing into a river. Last summer, I watched the drops of rain trace the slope of your nose and curve of your lips, and I wondered how you let each one run a stream over your skin. Now, I feel warm, damp air seep into my skin, resting in my bones, in my organs, and I’ve lost all my curiosity. Pastels streak the sky in bright slivers near the unreachable horizon. Lavender, peach and azure crown a blazing champagne sun, and I lose count of the colors on my fingers, waiting for you to count them too. - Gayatri Chopra ’19

56 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

56


Eunice Chong, Polina Sladkova ’20 colored pencil

Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 57

57

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


KILLER

ueen Charlotte Beck ’20

S

ince its release in 1975, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has decorated the memories of music lovers everywhere, from backseat duets to Wayne’s World streamings. The song pushed the boundaries of traditional rock ‘n’ roll with operatic vocals and abstract lyrics. Director Bryan Singer beautifully illustrates the man that created the pop culture phenomenon in the film Bohemian Rhapsody. The film tells the story of legendary British rock band Queen, but narrows in on the life of front man Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). Mercury replaces the original lead singer in the band with guitarist Brian May (Gwilym Lee), drummer Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) and bassist John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello). Singer captures the band’s struggles as they tour and record, exploring Mercury’s relationship with his best friend Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) and his growth as a musician. Malek’s performance captures the juxtaposition of Mercury’s poor social skills and his stage presence. When Mercury meets Mary for the first time, he compliments her coat, and she responds politely, but instead of moving on, he gapes at her for a few seconds too long. A few minutes later when he meets his future bandmates, they poke fun at his large overbite, and his awkward conversation almost dissuades them from allowing him to join. At a traditional family dinner, he abruptly stands at the piano and sings “Happy Birthday” to himself from across the room, demonstrating his need to separate himself from conventional social interactions and turn himself into a performer. Malek represents this further in Mercury’s first performance when he breaks the microphone stand while

trying to adjust it; the broken stand turns into a performance staple he uses at every concert. Although Malek makes some scenes uncomfortable, Mercury’s metamorphosis into an all-star performer is beautiful. Singer layers sound and camera angles to create a unique, powerful depiction of Mercury. The idea for Queen’s album A Night at the Opera comes to Mercury in a meeting with EMI Records as he dances around the

“EVEN AFTER PARTIES AND DRUG ABUSE TAKE OVER HIS LIFE, HE CONTINUES TO WAIT BY HIS WINDOW AND FLICKER HIS LIGHTS TO SEE IF MARY WILL DO THE SAME”

room listening to an opera record. As he rattles off ideas for the new album, the camera flashes from Mercury’s inspirational words to encouraging bandmates to a confused label executive. The quick angle changes demonstrate Mercury’s quick thinking and the genius that comes up with a revolutionary album concept on the spot. During the writing and recording of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” when Mercury repeatedly asks Roger to go higher with his “Galileos,” each “Galileo” is layered on top of one another as the camera flashes between Mercury’s face,

Roger at the microphone and the recording equipment. This scene perfectly represents the collaborative effort in the studio but also illustrates Mercury’s mind working in a quest to form a perfect song. It emphasizes the true genius of the man who needed everyone to replicate the sounds playing in his head. The film does not shy away from the depiction of Mercury’s bisexuality. Singer establishes Mercury’s intense love for his fiancée Mary early on in the film, but later introduces his interest in men with seductive glances at a man as he walks into a bathroom. The distorted edges of the frame convey Mercury’s inner conflict and confusion. His hesitations are clear when he’s on the phone with Mary and she says, “I love you,” but he only responds with, “Good night.” After coming home from tour, Mercury is honest with her, saying he believes he may be bisexual. Mary says, “Freddie, you’re gay.” Mercury is attracted to men, so in Mary’s eyes, he can only love men. While perhaps a less nuanced recognition of sexuality, Mary is accepting of him. She recognizes that his sexuality is not his choice, and they remain close friends. Even after parties and drug abuse take over his life, he continues to wait by his window and flicker his lights to see if Mary will do the same, illustrating his still ever-present love for her. Not until Mercury is able to settle down with a calm, stable man does he feel content in his sexuality. Singer’s illustrations of Mercury’s relationships describe his sorrow and heartbreak, but also his eventual stability. Bohemian Rhapsody is a masterpiece, just like the song. Singer takes an in-depth approach to Freddie Mercury and Queen and brings the front man to center stage

58 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

58


recording represents io but also g in a quest es the true veryone to head. from the ty. Singer ve for his m, but later h seductive bathroom. me convey confusion. e’s on the love you,” od night.” Mercury is he may be ou’re gay.” in Mary’s le perhaps sexuality, recognizes , and they parties and continues r his lights illustrating her. Not wn with a tent in his Mercury’s row and ability. asterpiece, n in-depth nd Queen r stage Mom’s Wedding Night, Rachel Spransy ’20 colored pencil

Review |

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

59

59

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


aleppo The streets of Aleppo glowed in a hazel haze under the soft sun. Tangerine lights danced across the walls of my room and tickled my little sister’s smile. Jasmine incense scented the hallways and blanketed my parents in intoxicating sandalwood. My father’s thunderous prayers invigorated the monolithic pillars of my secure palace, uplifting me with the resilience of his faith. My mother’s hands sewed sapience, teaching me enchanting idioms on the mysteries of life. My little sister commanded imaginary dreams of exploits, I, her second mate. Someone always wanted me. One day, I lost my home. The sky first grew dark with electronic birds of death. Then, the explosives obliterated our street. My whole life burned to ash the moment I saw the pathetic rubble on top of my neighbors, friends, family. My room became one cramped dinghy adrift on the Mediterranean Sea. I desperately searched for solace in my father’s familiar prayers and the wisdom Mother had carefully knitted into my heart, but the desperate stench of hope weighed down our sinking raft and submerged my ability to recollect any remnant of comfort. The sea raged with a storm of bullets against our frantic attempts to cross its expansive empire. Its waves feasted on my father’s prayers, devouring my mother’s voice, drowning my sister’s smile forever, suffocating my will to live. With my howls for mercy left unanswered by the indifferent star-lit sky, I was surrounded under an eternal kingdom of night. Yet dawn rose, illuminating our pitiful raft in a layer of yellow. The previous fury of the sea seemed surreal. In the serenity of vanilla water, we hoped for refuge. But I arrived on the shoreline of Lesbos only to find that my new home did not want me. My hopes for compassion were met with glares and contempt. People could not fathom my loss, and did not understand I broke the sea in two to find salvation. - Bhavana Veeravalli ’20

Syp Dream, Rosa Linda Huezo-Diaz ’20 acrylic

60 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

60


| 61

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

61

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


car radio

friends caroline macurda ’19

hen I was young, you taught me how to climb into my daddy’s beat-up green Chevrolet and sit in the driver’s seat. You turned the rusty old keys for me, twisting up the volume of the car radio. I gave every station my attention, giggling and singing until Daddy left for his night shift, or Mommy frantically ran to the grocery store for sour cream or bowtie pasta or square French toast sticks. And nodding my bouncy curls to passing rhymes and leftover pitches, I chased the sun until it fell through the horizon. Every day, you and I rolled up our torn jeans and wandered through your backyard forest, wiggling our bare toes in the muddy creek as we skipped round stones to the beat of an old country song. We swung our feet down through the cracks in the old log bridge, whistling sweet folk songs with clouds stuck between our teeth. I sang in harmony with oblivious cicadas as we crisscrossed through the pines. Even the old swing on your porch creaked to the drumbeat of my racing heart. Then I was spoonfed the “change is good” tutorial twenty miles south of you. Then somebody stole the car radio out of my sixteen-year-old Chevy, leaving that empty slot of forgotten melodies and no-good stations. And apparently, we can’t be friends anymore because your eyes smell like the ocean, and mine are made of chocolate.

Because you can’t be seen with a girl anymore, and I’m too old to chase a boy like you through the woods. So now, I click my stiletto skyscrapers on an asphalt city to fill the silence that worms into my ears. Now I go to parties where the music is deafeningly absent, and strange people dance in slow motion. And I stare at the hole in my heart where my car radio should be, waiting impatiently for some apologetic delinquent to return what belongs to me. But the silence bursts my eardrums as I check my empty mailbox, and I’m tired of sitting and waiting for something that is no longer mine. So I buy another car radio. And another. And another. I listen to them all at the same time even though they’re too big, too cheap, too loud to fit on my dashboard. I jam all my memories of you in the bottom of my brain, piling up old rock-and-roll CDs, high school pictures of people I don’t really know and expired tickets for a sport I hate. One day, I’ll pass you in a grocery store or sit two seats down from you in the back of a movie theater. You won’t recognize me, and I won’t recognize you. We’ll be forgotten partners in crime masquerading as people we’re not. We will remember just enough to forget everything but the remnants of an out-of-tune memory. And I’ll harmonize with my cacophony of car radios, never hearing the silence underneath

62 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

62


Monarchs Within Asters, Ragen Munavalli ’20 silk

Fiction | 63

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

63

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


equilibrium Oh my kindred spirit, how the times treat us. During the day, we relish in a newfound freedom from our rotting family trees. I leap through the marigold spotted landscape as your golden hue highlights my face. I awake from my cobalt slumber to race after you as you courageously rise into the sky. We keep a consistent pace as you push me through the jagged cliffs and treacherous valleys of my day-to-day. A ginger spice fire burns within you as, hour after hour, you elude the gravity of my reality. I never falter on our perilous path because I am distracted by your honey drizzled eyes. But as your effortless radiance fades over the horizon and exhaustion sets in, I carry you to my home, to twilight streams where you learn to sit peacefully on rolling hills, surrounded by orchids soaking in the moonlight. Allow yourself to drift beneath the juniper trees and empathize with the soft coo of the mourning dove. Take a moment to notice the emerald drops forming on every spindle of lilac spiderwebs that lay in undisturbed patches of grass. Breathe, and let your eyes rest on the indigo sky and float within the finality of midnight.

But oh my kindred spirit, how the times test us. I languish into sapphire sleep fueled by a dark self-loathing. I surrender myself to the cerulean sky, dreaming of times we used to dance through seas of wildflowers. But I am rendered useless without the warmth of your sunbeams. I am cradled by the cynical comfort of plum paralysis while your fiery red passion pushes you past breaking point. Unable to slow down and lie upon the grass, you blaze into the sky, scorching the ground below until a haze of ash covers your eyes. I, the narcoleptic insomniac, and you, the impatient perfectionist, self-destruct as we are polarized by our own tendencies. So wait for me, and we can wade in the middle of shallow violet waves while the sun kisses our cheeks. Dance with me in between your world and mine. Allow deep wine and tangerines to stain the sky as the day meets the night. - Michaela Francis ’20

64 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

64


Thinking in Color, Carrigan Grow ’20 ink and tissue Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 65

65

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


my me. My pa exorcised beca I was d fifth grade playground into a pole my but the r nickname the rest o I praye school, the past. But t school. I square, bro onto the ankl coughing. moments teac by shouting My solidified m When that my u the schoo breaking a

66 | Roars & Whispers

Wake Up, Allie Fleury ’19 watercolor and colored pencil

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

66


d saster AT FIRST SIGHT

i

Natalie Thulien ’19

’m what you could consider the epitome of misfortunate. If Murphy’s Law could attach itself to one person, it would be yours truly. I don’t know what I did in my past life, but the universe has it out for me. My parents even told me that I should get exorcised to make sure I’m not cursed, because it sure seems like it. I was destined for failure the first day of fifth grade. Within the first five minutes of playground tag, I managed to face plant square into a pole, breaking my nose. I didn’t notice my shirt was stained with maroon, but the rest of the kids sure did. The nickname Bloody Mary haunted me for the rest of my elementary school career. I prayed that when I reached middle school, the incident would be a thing of the past. But to my horror, I was the talk of the school. I fractured my wrist playing four square, broke my clavicle clean in half falling onto the corner of a desk, shattered my ankle running in gym, and bruised two ribs coughing. Even worse were the embarrassing moments that ranged from telling my teacher I loved him, getting rejected by every single crush, and consistently shouting out the wrong answer in class. My new nickname of Misfortune Mary solidified me as a middle school nightmare. When I entered high school, I realized that my unlucky illness spread throughout the school. I flooded the English hall by breaking a toilet, accidentally deleted all of my

teacher’s documents and PowerPoints for the whole year, and set off the fire alarm multiple times in different classes, including math. The worst class was Chemistry. In two weeks, I broke three beakers, gave several classmates eye burns from cleaning fluid, and called a fire truck to school after setting the teacher’s desk on fire. In my defense, I didn’t even know flint could be that dangerous. So, for the safety of my fellow students, my teacher established a system that was essentially me-proof. I maintained a fivefoot radius of all flames and sharp objects, peered at experiments, and wore oven mitts if I had to be closer. As much as I appreciated my teacher’s efforts, I still managed to set off the sprinkler system four times, shatter a few petri dishes, and earned the nickname Mittens. The real catastrophe, however, happened with the transfer student. He was like a naïve lamb about to enter my personal quarantine (a.k.a. one of four open seats around my isolated corner). His appearance was totally opposite to mine: no imperfections on his face, will to live in his eyes, clothes without stains and sparkling clean shoes. The student’s godlike appearance sent my heart into what felt like cardiac arrest. My cheeks heated up and made me feel like an embarrassed cherry tomato, but, man, did he have a cute smile. Creating iron oxide required a Bunsen burner, the menacing device responsible for three fire alarms. The teacher distributed

the class into groups of four, and the heavens put the new student and me together. I was so preoccupied with his face I didn’t notice my sweater sleeve creeping toward the open flame. After about ten seconds, the scent of burning cotton elicited sighs from groupmates who called the teacher over. He then decided to grace me with the information that I was, in fact, on fire—literally. The next thing I did was the most logical action when on fire: I stopped, dropped and rolled in front of my current crush. To top everything off, the sprinklers activated, soaking everyone’s clothes. The small fire finally subsided. The class, minus the now drenched transfer student, went to the closet where they found dry clothes. (The teacher suggested keeping an extra supply closet after the second accident.) I was too embarrassed to even look up at the dripping boy, until the teacher suggested I take him to the office so he could search lost and found for a change of clothes while I had my burn examined. I avoided eye contact with him as we walked down the hall, leaving behind a trail of water. We walked in silence until he laughed and said, “Talk about first impressions, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for tomorrow.” For once, I thanked my misfortune for giving me the opportunity to talk to the cute new student. Until I slipped and sent us both tumbling to the ground

Humor

ry ’19 ed pencil

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 67

67

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Bliss, Melan acrylic

Roars Whispers 68 | R Roa oars oa rs & W Whi hisp hi sper sp erss er

Job No No.:.: 019319 019319 School School Na Name: me: Pr Provi Providence oviden ovi dence den ce Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Pagee No. Pag No.

68


THE PUREST FORM OF

She writes poems in public bathrooms, and she is made of beginnings, and ends, and lots of in-betweens and many, many rotations of the earth. She is a whine into a chest, a breast, a breach into euphoria; her walls are tainted with black Sharpie marker and the lilting smell of lilac, which to her means forgiveness. She forgave me once, but she never forgets, and no matter how hard she tries, she will always be painted on the sky. She tries to jump, to leap, to fall, to land right where she was meant to because that is the only place she ever needs to be, she says. I hope she crashes, fuming, into my backyard, leaving a romance-sized pothole in the grass, and I do not care if any flowers are destroyed in her wake because I will always grow her more if she asks; I will always grow her more flowers even if it means they have to take root within my ribcage. - Emma Kurtz ’20

Bliss, Melanie Calabrese ’20 acrylic

Poetry | 69

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

69

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Glass, Claire Shenton ’21 watercolor

70 | Roars & Whispers

Job No.: 019319 School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP

Page No.

70


seventeen A cataclysm booms around him, crescendos inaudible. Insomnia has inebriated him. He is drunk off his blue lava lamp, its shapes shifting and floating ephemerally. He awakens like the sun, fleeting, but warm. Between seeing and dreaming lies a boundary of reality. Days move faster than his feet, and longing swims inside his eyes. Orange blossoms blow all over town. Bursting pomegranates sparkle like the sun, dance on water. Skin turns copper from the setting sun, and feet ache from dancing too much. He walks on cool cobblestone streets at dawn. He looks deep down the kaleidoscopes of his eyes, reflects the world inside and finds himself within the labyrinth of his mind. He chants again. - Cayleigh Brown ’19 Poetry

Page No.

Job No.: 019319

| 71

71

School Name: Providence Lit Mag

ID CC 2018 Windows TCID:PP


Profile for Roars and Whispers Literary Magazine

Roars and Whispers Volume XXIV 2019  

The 2019 Edition of Roars and Whispers Literary Arts Magazine.

Roars and Whispers Volume XXIV 2019  

The 2019 Edition of Roars and Whispers Literary Arts Magazine.

Advertisement