Water in an Swirling Vortex, Emma Davey / 1 Burning, Anna Malawista / 3 La Mesa, Chris Quintero / 5-6 La Tierra, Christina Farley / 6 A Place Where, Rebekah Daniels / 7 Las Olas, David Anders / 8 My Favorite Place, Tiﬀanie Snyder / 8 Los Ojos Del Universo, Alex Hastings / 9 Las Estrellas, Isabelle Delcea and Christina Paragamian / 10 Peaky and First Contact, ChristopherBrown / 13 The Facility, Andres Grimm / 14-15 Motherboard, Anna Malawista / 15 Solomonov, Emily Broeckaert / 16 1984: A New Ending, Grace Choi / 18-19 A Retired Superhero, Richard Koch / 19 Global Disaster, Louay Youssef / 20 Satan’s Pet, Aaron Sibarium / 23 Prison, Janice Freeman / 24-26 Please Don’t Leave, Christian Mason / 28 Double-Sided, Richard Koch / 28 Never Will I Let You Know, Blair Ezra / 28 Kaleidoscope Eyes, Anna Zimbler / 29 The Change in My Life, Quinn Albo / 30 In Memory of Sean Taylor, #21, DeJanett Talley / 32 Keith Snowden, Cheyenne Polk / 32 Stickers, Sarah Strum / 33 My Own Puppy, Catherine Wagner / 35 Forbidden Love, Tiﬀanie Snyder / 37 Forbidden Tree, Boni Agbaniyaka / 37 Singing Songs of Great Lament, Aaron Sibarium /38-39 Christopher McCandless’ Message to the World, Scott Womer / 40
Poetry & Prose
Water Swirling in a Vortex Water swirling in a vortex Trapping life below its surface, Snowﬂakes calmly plummet Onto the choppy, frigid waves. Wind howls and screams, Terror and pain ﬂy on its wings. Light shines from below, Through the murky bubbles, Glowing softly, swiftly, Changing into rage, Anger, and ferocity. Fire consumes all. A call splits the air, Mourning and rejoicing. Memories dance and sway, Flashing into oblivion. Rain cascades down The curtains of the sky. Loudest of all, a whisper, Searching blindly Through the night, Feeling, timidly, Until it ﬁnds its plateau, And stands tall for all to see. The earth bows down And oﬀers up songs Of life and happiness. Colors hurtling together, Exploding with a crack. Quiet returns and takes its hold. By Emma Davey, ‘13
Creaturae | Vol. 25
Burning Burning. It is my fault. What a waste. What a beautiful pie it was. I breath in deeply to distract from the burning. I can still smell it, the pie. It smells like beauty. It is a pie for beautiful people and now it covered me, stung my ugly black skin. Burning. I couldn’t ignore it, the burning. I shifted, no writhed, in pain. The hard wood ﬂoors squeaked a little against the backs of my legs. It was cold and clean, squeaky clean, it felt good against my bare legs. The pie on my skin is probably dirtier then the pie on the ﬂoor. This ﬂoor is probably cleaner then the plates in my home. The pie on the ﬂoor would be perfect, but not the pie that was causing this burning in my legs. That pie was dirty, dirtied by my skin. Yes, the pie on the ﬂoor would be good, good for me but not for the girl in pink sunback dress. The girl with hair like the sun and eyes like the sky would never eat pie oﬀ the ﬂoor. You need a perfect blueberry cobbler for a girl with perfect blueberry blue eyes. It felt like hours had passed since I hit the ﬂoor, since the burning began, but it must have been seconds. I feel that familiar course, dry, black hand grab my arm, and a yank that I can feel in the joint between my arm and my shoulder. I want to cry out but I dare not. Suddenly I ﬁnd myself on my feet. Burning. I open my eyes to see my mother’s cold black unfeeling hand ﬂying towards me. I close my eyes again, tighter this time willing my body to disappear. If I had no body I could feel no pain, but the pain came. It joined the burning. A harsh burst of noise rang out as her hand collided with my face. Then came the stinging which lingered on my cheek and the soreness in my bottom as I hit the ground for the second time. I embraced the comfort of the cold ﬂoor beneath me. Creaturae | Vol. 25
Mrs. Breedlove began to scream, “Crazy fool…my ﬂoor is a mess…look what you…work…get on out…now that… crazy…my ﬂoor, my ﬂoor… my ﬂoor…”. Your ﬂoor? The ﬂoor you clean. The beautiful people’s ﬂoor. And what if I am crazy? Does it change anything. Suddenly I heard the little girl in the sunback dress begin to cry. I opened my eyes and stared. I stared at the pretty little girl with the sunback dress as tears fell from her eyes. What a shame. Tears coming from eyes so beautiful, so blue. She carefully wiped them away with her ﬁngertips like drops of holy water that she could not dare allow drop on to the now soiled ﬂoor. Burning, stinging, throbbing pain, but no tears fell from my eyes like the little blue eyes that cried over the loss of a brand new pie. “Hush, baby, hush. Come here. Oh, Lord, look at your dress. Don’t cry no more. Polly will change it”, Mrs. Breedlove comforted the little girl. She wet a towel and went over to join the girl in saving the little droplets of holy water. She wiped the pie from her dress in a manner so kind, so gentle she seemed a stranger to me. For a moment I smiled, but then she turned towards us face contorted; the ugliness had returned to her. “Pick up that wash and get on out of here, so I can get this mess cleaned up”, she was not yelling, probably for the little girls sake, but the words were so sharp that they made my face sting stronger as though the slap was fresh. I turned away so she could not see the pain in my face. I lifted the laundry bag as ordered, and we walked silently from the big white house. The pain faded to a faint numbness, but the memory would remain, the memory of all my mother could be but wasn’t…. well at least wasn’t to me. Anna Malawista, ‘11
La Mesa Twenty smiling children sprinted towards the gate of the school eager to learn English from me. During my summer break, my mother, sister, and I left Dulles Airport en route to Bogota, Colombia. I brought my passport, money, computer, and tennis equipment. We chose to go to Colombia because we had not visited for four years and wanted to see our relatives. As part of our trip we contacted a priest, who ran a school in the little town of La Mesa to teach English to less fortunate children. La Mesa was a small town of about 1000 people. There were few places to access internet, and the computers were old “dinosaurs,” and I felt in the middle of nowhere. We had just traveled over two hours away from Bogota where there were tall buildings, taxis, crowded streets with people on their handheld devices, and a connection to home. We pulled in the car and I saw a small poorly taken care of school with shattered windows, dirt where there should have been grass, and an empty space where there should have been a door welcoming visitors. However, there were several mango trees ripe with fruit in the front of the school. I was surprised to ﬁnd a school keeper, who was living on the school campus, opening the gate to the school and welcoming me to the school. On our ﬁrst day of teaching, we introduced ourselves to the students and learned their names. Once lunch time came up I told the students, “Everyone! It’s time for lunch, take your food out.” Then I saw two brothers, Johan and Edwar, sitting alone and not eating anything. I asked them why not. They said, “Because our mother doesn’t have enough money to give us lunch.” I asked my mother for 10,000 pesos, worth about $5 US dollars. I responded to the brothers, “Let’s go to the store across the street and I will buy you guys something to eat and drink.” I brought them to the nearby store and they Creaturae | Vol. 25
picked out a bag of chips, cookies, and yogurt as a drink. In the afternoon, we introduced the story of the Little Red Hen to the students. Once I had started to work with the students trying to read and understand the story, one student, Juan Pablo repeatedly got out of his desk and wandered around the room. The other students would shout, “Teacher, teacher, look, Juan Pablo is out of his seat!” I wasn’t sure what to do because I had never been in this situation, and my heartbeat rapidly increased as I became nervous. I repeatedly told him to sit down and stay in his seat, but he refused to. He walked up to the front of the room and pretended to act as if he were the teacher, which distracted many of the students. He wasn’t really paying attention and didn’t take me seriously as a teacher. I told him to sit in his seat; and if he did not, he wouldn’t get candy at the end of the class. I realized just how diﬃcult teaching actually was. After lunch we had a recess period where the kids could play around and have fun. My cousin and I organized soccer games on a concrete court because there was no other place. We used a new soccer ball I had brought from home, and the kids were amazed because the balls they had were old and ﬂat. Back at St. Andrew’s I would play soccer competitively, and in La Mesa I would play for fun so that the children could have a good time. One day we organized a full soccer game for the kids who wanted to play. I was on a team with Juan Pablo, Juan David, Diego, and Fabian. I had just gotten the ball and passed it back to Juan Pablo, who kicked it, as hard as Andy Roddick hits his serves in tennis. The ball sailed over everyone’s head and into the goal. Everyone erupted in joy; I said to Juan Pablo, “Good job! We are going to be champions!” He responded, “Gracias, Chris!” and gave me a hug. Continued on page 6 5
On my last day of teaching, because of all the great times I had with the children, as a result the school didn’t look as bad as it did the ﬁrst day. The atmosphere of the campus seemed much livelier and happening. In my mind all their grinning faces lit up the school. There was nothing better at the time than to see those children smile. After my experience with the children, I felt as if I had given them hope to learn English, the dominant language today. Because of my experience I hope to have given hope for the children to study and work hard in school. I had done something very new to me. After leaving my comfort level by being a teacher I felt as if I could handle diﬃcult situations. I thought to myself, “This experience could interfere with my possibility of having a ‘normal childhood,’” because I don’t think many people my age do these kinds of acts.
After we had returned to the US I felt like a changed person with new motivations. As soon as I got home I knew I wanted to do more for the children the next time I see them. I went from being a shy person and someone who is a follower of other people to someone not afraid to take risks and become more like a leader. This experience was important to me because I grew as a person and learned to become a leader, which is an asset necessary in life to be successful. Second, giving these children the opportunity to learn English was really important to me because I don’t think these children would have thought that someone would ﬂy from another country to come see and teach them English. After this experience I would never forget the faces of the children.
By Chris Quintero, ‘14
Por generaciónes la gente ha adorado la tierra. Las playas de arena pura a las cordilleras grandiosas Nos hacen reﬂexionar sobre el belleza de la naturaleza. La lluvia cubre los bosques tropicales mientras El sol deja seco a los desiertos. Somos de la tierra y regresaremos a ella. Nos da regalos pequeños que no realizamos Como los mares azules o los árboles grandes que Nos protegen del sol. La tierra nunca duerme: SIempre está trabajando para nosotros.
For generations, people have worshipped the Earth. The beaches with pure sand to the magniﬁcent mountains Make us reﬂect about the beauty of nature. The rain covers the tropical forests while The sun dries the deserts. We are from the Earth and will return to it. She leaves us small gifts that we don’t even realize Like the blue seas or the huge trees that Protect us from the sun. The Earth never sleeps: She is always working for us. Christina Farley, ‘12
A Place Where I dream of a perfect world, another world, Where children don’t go hungry, Where all people have a say in the government, Where simple medicines are provided to the ill, And where innocent people don’t die Because of men in buildings Deciding to attack for unknown reasons.
I dream of a perfect world, another world, Where the simple things in life are all appreciated all the time, Where all the small things are not over looked, And where peace, love, and happiness grow on trees abundantly, Always available to be shared.
I dream of a perfect world another world, Where I can be me all the time, Without anyone telling me to change, Where I can be all that I am, all that I was, All that I will be, And where I will never forget any of my precious memories.
A place where the unknown becomes known, Where unseen forces present themselves, Where people are able to believe that everything, They don’t know won’t always be for show.
I dream of a perfect world, another world, Where there are no rich and no poor, But all people are provided for, Where no one is hated or forgotten, Where there is humanity, justice, and faith, Where everyone is healthy And proud to be themselves.
But this is my world, you see, Only available to me, Day and night, for the rest of my life. Now it’s time for you to ﬁnd Your own world, in this mine, Of people and places that don’t bring you graces. Rebekah Daniels, ‘13
I dream of a perfect world, another world, Where all creatures, earth, sea, and sky Can live side by side in peace and harmony, Where people become one with nature, And take care of the planet for future generations, But mostly they appreciate their surroundings. I dream of a perfect world, another world, Where little ones in families don’t have to fear What they hear their loved ones saying, And people work past the small things To take care of the big things.
Creaturae | Vol. 25
My Favorite Place
Me siento en la playa y respiro el aire La arena está bailando debajo de mis pies Cierro los ojos ¡Escucha! ¡Escucha! ¿Qué escuchas? El sonido de las olas son como
The hot sun shines down Water whispers breathing sounds The ocean is calm
Las manos de Dios Golpeando en la orilla del mar Tan tranquilo Todas mis preocupaciones se han ido La semilla del mar El antídoto a todos mis problemas Las olas The Waves I sit on the beach and breath the air The sand is dancing under my feet I close my eyes Listen! Listen! What do you hear? The sound of the waves are like The hands of God Pounding on the seashore So peaceful All my worries are gone The seed of the sea The antidote to all my problems The waves David Anders, ‘12
Warm weather greets me Treasure comes in with the tide People walk along Everything’s relaxed The air smells like salt water And I am content Tiﬀanie Snyder, ‘14
Los Ojos Del Universo Antes del planeta Hay las estrellas. Los ojos del universo que veían La creación de los árboles y desiertos y miraban las ballenas y peces tomar el mar.
Before the planet There were the stars. The eyes of the universe that saw The creation of the trees and deserts And watched the whales and ﬁsh take to the seas.
Estos ojos brillantes lloran sobre los incendios y huracanes sonríen con la felicidad de los niños que persiguen luciérnagas y fruncen el ceño a sus padres que desatienden las cosas pequeñas de la vida.
These bright eyes Cried over forest ﬁres And hurricanes Smile at the happiness of the children That chase the ﬁreﬂies And frown at their parents that neglect The little things in life.
El amanecer llega y con rayos tiernos, calienta la Tierra. Gotas de rocío pintan la hierba, el universo cierra sus ojos, se apagan las estrellas.
The dawn arrives And with gentle rays Warms the soil. Drops of dew Paint the grass, The universe closes its eyes The stars disappear. Alex Hastings, ‘12
Creaturae | Vol. 25
Las Estrellas Las estrellas son como un breo en los ojos de Dios. Fueron arrastradas a la costa del universo, Como granos de arena. Ellas son como el porvenir, no puedes tocarlo, Y no puedes verlo. Son como una manta, te protegen de los peligros de la noche. Es la única luz natural en la noche; Simbolizan la pureza de la inocencia. Las estrellas dan esperanza a los niños, Y que sus deseos se hagan realidad. Deciden los sueños que corren por la cabeza cuando dormimos; Las estrellas son las semillas plantadas en el cielo del mundo.
The Stars The stars are like the sparkle in the eyes of God. They were pulled on the shore of the universe, Like grains of sand. They are like the future; you cannot touch it, And you cannot see it. They are like a blanket, protecting you from the dangers of the night. It’s the only natural light in the night; Symbolizing the purity of innocence. The stars give hope to the children, And make their wishes come true. They decide the dreams that wander our head when we sleep; The stars are the seeds planted in the sky of the world. Isabelle Delcea , ‘13 & Christina Paragamian, ‘12
Creaturae | Vol. 25
Peaky and First Contact Somewhere, a satellite dish picked up a signal. Travelling faster than the eye could blink, the signals travelled from network to network, antiquated telephone cord to cord, dish to dish, until it triggered a loud beeping noise on the control panel of a scientist in the Pentagon. Moments later, this beeping triggered the scientists to make several telephone calls, and soon after that General Irontug came hurrying into the enormous room, ﬂanked by several lower-position military men. “Doctor Killanger! What is it?” Irontug demanded of Killanger and the other technicians who had gathered around, despite knowing full well what the signiﬁcance of the signal was. “There’s only one way to be certain,” Killanger replied, containing both her fear and her excitement. She turned back to the console and typed a few commands into her keypad. A few moments passed in tense silence as everyone in the room, in every desk, no matter how far away from the screens or how large their workload was, looked at the computer displays that bathed Killanger, irontug, and their respective cronies in an unnatural green light. Finally, the sound came through as the computers translated the signals onto a wavelength the human ear could detect. An unearthly, electronic wailing ﬁlled the room, sounding like a dolphin using a vocoder. But it wasn’t the strangeness of the sound that everyone assembled was interested in – it was how long they lasted. Each burst of sound varied by length in nanoseconds, with occasional repeats. Connected to networks all over the world, Killanger and a separate team at NASA Command worked simultaneously to translate the data Creaturae | Vol. 25
contained in the transmission…and track its source. “Well?” Irontug asked once a piece of information had come through. “We’re still working to decipher whatever information’s in that transmission, but we know where it came from,” Killanger told him, her eyes ﬁxed on the screen like an eagle on a mouse in a ﬁeld. “…and?” Irontug prompted after a minute. Killanger hesitated a long time before replying, as though the weight of the world were on her shoulders. “…Between the orbital ranges of Neptune and Uranus. And that’s not all – when we last checked, estimates put it just outside the Kupiter Belt. Also…according to doctor Floydman, the signal’s resolution is growing clearer by the second.” Everyone let this sink in for a minute. “My god,” Irontug muttered. “it’s getting closer. Which can only mean…” Swiftly, he turned to another oﬃcial in the room. “Major, I want visual images from our satellites and the Triton probes now! Call the president, and get in touch with area 52 immediately! Killanger, translate that signal! [I know you are, but still, I’m the general, I’ve got to give commands to everyone!] and corporal….” “Uh, sir,” Bob Frank the aide said, approaching his superior with a , “we’ve got a situation here.” “You don’t say,” the General said, glaring at him. “What is it, Frank?! We’re dealing with the possible discovery of intelligent extraterrestrial life forms here –“ “That’s just it, sir. Apparently there’s an alien creature named Peaky outside who wants to talk to you; it says it’s come to help about ﬁrst contact.” Irontug stared at him for a moment. “Just repeating what I heard, sir,” Bob said with a disbelieving smile and a shrug. Christopher Brown, ‘14 13
The Facility She rang the door bell. The door was almost immediately swung open by a slender, pale woman who appeared to be at least 60 years old. “Uh, hello, I’m Mr. Allen from the bureau. I’m here to inspect the facility.” “Welcome Mr. Allen. You are late.” “I am very sorry ma’am, I thought you said 8:00.” “I did. It is 8:03. You would not fare well here.” The lady turned around and walked down the hall. Mr. Allen was to afraid to step into the house. With her back still turned to him the lady mumbles just loudly enough to hear, “You are free to enter.” He entered. “So ma’am--” “Mrs. Marks.” “Excuse me?” “That is my name, you should learn to call people by their names. It is respectful.” “Well…uh…. Mrs. Marks, I have heard that you have a multitude of children that you give shelter to.” “That is true. There are 257 children that live here.” “That’s funny, these documents say that there are 259 children.” “That document must have been developed a couple weeks ago when we still had 259.” Mr. Allen was confused. “What happened to those children? Did they leave?” “No they are still here. In the basement. Would you like to see them?” “Not really, I have to--” “Nonsense! We must visit them at once.” The two briskly walked to the a large wooden door marked “BASEMENT.” Mrs. Marks open the door and revealed a nearly endless set of stairs. After a few minutes of awkward small talk, Mr. Allen stopped, 14
frozen in his tracks. There were two beds surrounded with IV’s and powerful lights. On the beds lay two boys, faces as pale as a full moon, dead. Mrs. Marks broke the silence. “There are 257 children living here. There are also 352 who are dead.” “They look ill. Did they have the ﬂu?” “No. they were healthy boys. They were just not up to par.” “What do mean by ‘up to par’?” “They both failed the monthly aptitude tests. There are some more things I think I should tell about the facility.
We do more than teach naughty children. We make sure that only the best make it out.” Mr. Allen was shocked. He wanted to run. But his feet were help ﬁrmly to the ground by fear. “As you may see Mr. Allen, we are taking their DNA to ensure that all others with similar genetics do get reintroduced to society.” “This is an atrocity! You can not do this! This is terrible!” “Terrible? Atrocity? How so?” “You cannot do this to children! It’s Immoral!” He began to cry and hyperventilate. “Who can determine what is right and wrong, fair and unfair? These are all nothing more than opinions. She paused and took a deep breathe. “Do you have a passion in life?” “Yes, I love cooking.” “I believe cooking is also an atrocity. You must now stop it at once.” “How so?” “I’m not sure, but it is my opinion, and I have forced it onto you.” “IT’S NOT THE SAME!” His face turned red. “There are billions of people in this world, and I feel safe saying that most of those people do nothing more than pollute, murder, and steal. I am here to make sure that none of these boys do such things. By removing these two boys, I have ensured to the world that there will less crime, pollution, fear. And, Mr. Allen, by critiquing me, I feel that you are impeding on my work. This is ground for expulsion here.” “THIS IS MURDER!” “No. this is not murder. This is passion. I say who is right and who is wrong. You can also say who is right and wrong.”
Motherboard A city of green But no grass, nor trees Made of cold dark metal Twists and turns Leading down streets unseen Empty buildings Fused by metal rods to the ﬂoor Silent, still, empty, waiting… Until a little button with a circle and a line Is pressed Sending a signal Speeding through every wire Every chip And the tiny world comes to life Bringing the all too familiar “Bohhhhnnnn” The bitten apple appears on the screen Sparks are now rapidly ﬂying To every corner of the tiny city Automatically activating the little bouncing “A” Soon after the speakers excitedly to remind that: “You’ve got mail!” Anna Malawista, ‘11
Andrés Grimm, ‘12 An entry in the 25-minute Fast Fiction contest. Creaturae | Vol. 25
Solomonov “Solmonov is right, Solmonov’s future is right, for he is our god,” chanted 50 mindless teenagers. We sat down quietly with our hands held neatly together. Our teacher, Mr. Satsinburg, had a look of disgust on his face as he looked at all of our subliminally brainwashed minds. He started to rant about how we are becoming nothing but pawns in Solmonov’s army. He would always do that before 13:00 hours when the troops came into to check on our learning. He had a gun under his desk for outburst purposes (by the orders of Solmonov because outbursts happened in the early years of colonization). Who is he to complain against Solmonov? What could a 60-year-old teacher know? I thought silently to myself. Our country, the orderly Nevingston, was one small piece in the Solmainian capital. We made all hardware and weaponry for our fearless leader, Crystallipher Solmonov, the man who saved us from democracy. Once the United States fell, other countries crumbled with it. That’s when Solmonov took over. He overthrew the corrupt governments and obliterated any former sign of the former land. Within the year 3020 Crystallipher Solmonov had created and orderly and successful Utopia. However, some people like Mr. Satsinburg believed that what he had done was far worse than any other infamous leader had ever done. He said that the former President, Marcus Clooney, was going to ﬁx everything, but our great leader had ruined the chance with the bombing on the former Washington, DC. As he started to get into the topic of the war with New China and how by the end we would fail to their superior government, my heart rate started to go up with rage. Besides the fact that I despised his secret teachings of the former wars where nationalists won, he was openly insulting my parents devision. My mother and father were the ones in control of the new weaponry board, a position to be 16
proud of. My father gave me a heart choker that would count the beating of my heart, and if it was over 200 megabeats, the army would come in and extinguished the problem. 185 megabeats, almost there. Don’t worry, Lord Solmonov I’ll save your future pupils, I thought to myself. I had been planning this all by myself in the name of Solmonov. He deserved a perfect country. He deserved to make sure that those who defy him are punished. I looked around the blank white ﬂoors and walls. The only color in the room was a harsh navy green with a picture of Solmonov and his famous chant, the one we recite every morning and night to show our allegiance. (195 megabeats, just a little more time. ) Mr. Satsinburg then started telling us of the War of Independence and how a civil war is what we need a rebellion. That about did it. My choker started beeping insanely, and guards swarmed all around and took the traitor away. I sat there with a smile of pride on may face and then recited silently to myself the chant of heroics, “Solmonov is right, Solmonov’s future is right, for he is our god, and now I have helped our overlord.” Emily Broeckaert, ‘14 An entry for the Creaturae 25-minute Fast Fiction Contest
Creaturae | Vol. 25
1984: A New Ending “He grazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-wiled exile from the loving breasts! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was ﬁnished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” He loved Julia. And he loved life. He began to reminisce of the times in which hatred controlled his life. Winston ﬁnally understood that his drives from the past were all useless. What was he thinking? This is what life is about. How could he have ever loathed Big Brother? He considered himself saved from a path towards destruction, and Big Brother was the one to thank. Watching Julia’s chapped, rosy lips attempting to tell a story, Winston wasn’t really listening to the words, but more to the rhythmic pattern of her speech. He began to stare at a fairly young lady from a distance, assuming she was in her 20’s; he gazed at her beautiful and youthful face, her hair, her gorgeous body structure. Many years had passed since he had met Julia, and she had evidently aged signiﬁcantly since. She now had ﬁne wrinkles around her eyes, forehead, and neck. Fat had begun to build throughout the whole body. Winston would have not been surprised if she weighed more than he; and at that moment he was suddenly hit by a rage of disgust and hate. The hate towards the idea of once possessing the thought of betraying his beloved country. But he wasn’t much angry at himself; and at the moment he realized, he hated Julia. He hated Julia for seducing him in a time of vulnerability. He hated Julia for ever introducing him to the idea of rebellion. He hated Julia for putting him through hell. How could he have ever been so naive 18
and stupid to believe her? Although she says she loves Big Brother now, how will he ever know the truth? He looked at the present, sitting alongside a fat, old hag whom he couldn’t even trust. The thought of once loving her no longer existed. Winston then jumped to the outrageous conclusion: what if she had the motive to kill him? Wouldn’t it be better oﬀ to kill oneself? If everyone ultimately dies, wouldn’t one rather want to die with at least a little sense of dignity and pride? He thought suicide would be a good way of leaving his dear Oceania. Having the news of a man being murdered by a younger woman would be humiliating, but hearing the story of a man having the thrilling experience of plummeting oﬀ a 50-story building would be fascinating. His last moments
would be riveting and pleasurable, seeing his beautiful country for the last time, from such an extraordinary view, while experiencing the sensation of the strong, powerful force of the air hitting his face, he was fond of the idea. Early the next morning, Julia discovered her beloved’s body on the streets in front of the Ministry of Love. She was devastated. The only man she had ever truly loved was lying in front of her eyes, covered in blood, and no longer alive. As she sat alongside her true love, she wept for hours on end. No one really cared to stop and oﬀer help; they just disregarded the dead man on the street. She knew Winston was weak mentally, but because she was there beside him, she thought that she could keep him from breaking. It had been obvious that Winston had been leaning towards sociopathic behaviors, but never had she once thought that his life would have to end like all the rest; Julia thought she could save him.
A Retired Superhero My cape is tattered My armor is worn My oath is shattered The oath that I sworn I shall hang up my cape For I am no longer needed I am bent out of shape The Dark Night is conceited For my powerful presence The city was blessed Yet I take no repentance Because Batman now rests Richard Koch, ‘13
She thought he was diﬀerent. The government had played too many games with Winston’s head, and much like the others, it began to drive himself mad. Incidents resembling Winston’s occurred every day in the streets of Oceania. Suicidal attempts were the most common, but there were events in which people would just go psychotic. One man named Albert, once respected, had gone on a killing streak, ending the lives of 14 innocent citizens.... Grace Choi, ‘13
Creaturae | Vol. 25
Global Disaster Sometimes, great things can have disastrous consequences for the entire world. One of these things was hairspray and other aerosol products. They were good for us at a time but later, it was discovered that it had polluted and created global warming. I had originally embarked on my project to undo that damage and protect the Arctic region from more melting. A month ago I had completed it and was now being applauded by my fellow peoples and our Government, which had sponsored me in my ambitions. I had built a force ﬁeld that protected the remaining ice on the North Pole from further melting. Three weeks ago I sat in a car surrounded by my fellow citizens of the People’s Republic of Rhode Island. The President was by my side, and we were going to the launch site to deploy the force ﬁeld. It was this moment that I had longed for, for such a long time. I had blocked out my family and friends, but if the launch was successful, I would be a hero in so many people’s Minds. The Launch turned out to be a success. The force ﬁeld projector launched out to the upper atmosphere to cover the North Pole. I was so happy that this was true and I must admit that I cried a bit in front of our leader. Two days later, however, my invention became a disaster. A Navy jet, which had taken oﬀ from our country’s only aircraft carrier, spiraled out of control and ended up hitting my projector. However, my projector was not completely destroyed unlike the aircraft, which crashed killed its two pilots instantly. We were all disappointed to hear this but we did not start to feel the eﬀects of it until three days later when a scientist made a very interesting discovery. The formerly round nuclei of a cell had become an oval. This was a very interesting ﬁnd for scientists but did not make very big news because that is not the sort of thing the average citizen of our great country would care about. 20
However, a few days after that, More strange circumstances emerged. Round fruit and toy cars started to become ovals and have oval wheels. It was not much time after that, when people across the world reported that it was impossible for them to drive. Their car wheels were becoming more and more oval. Today, the world is in peril because about a week ago, the world ﬁnished becoming an oval. The temperature is over 200 degrees and there is mass ﬂooding all around. Because the world is oval, the weather is messed up and we are hot. The oceans have also ﬂooded everywhere on earth. To make matters worse, The United States of America decided to declare war on our little republic before the peril started in order to apprehend me and to force me to work on ﬁxing the shape problem. There was a nuclear war between our countries and I think I may be the last survivor in the world because I am in in my nuclear bombproof layer with many fans to keep the heat down. `This Message was sent through Space. Please rescue me on the Planet Earth! Louay Youssef, ‘14
Creaturae | Vol. 25
Satan’s Pet Dead faces engraved by children, intoxicated by this night’s festive spirit, stare listlessly at the desolate street. Long ago, my joviality at this time of dark masquerading would have been uncontained, a fruitful spring of merriment. But now, I ﬁnd myself stripped of true nostalgia, left only to revel in a life of perpetual sorrows and continuing insigniﬁcance. The cold of silence pervades the night, and the only other sound is the drum of my own heart. As I trudged through my stupor, a near imperceptible sound caresses my conciseness: meow. Looking down, my eyes fall upon a cat, black as the sickly night about it, the perfect countenance of mystery. Some rope, intangible but palpable, seemed to root me to the spot as if a noose had fashioned itself about my neck. Our eyes lock, and in that instant, feeling younger than I had in decades, I scoop the feline into my arms and hasten to my dark townhouse with a low, joyous cry. Once we arrive, I sit, and the cat sits too, purring. Looking down into his eyes, I feel a tremor of fear. For one moment, I would have sworn on my own grave that a speck of red reﬂected back at me from within the yellow pools. But soon, I have put it out of my mind. Over the next weeks, an excitement creeps into me the likes of which I have not felt for years. Cleaning the streets has never been as light a burden, and I run home every day as if weightless. And each time I pass through my door, the rascal is waiting for me, and we will sit, staring into each other’s eyes. During these sessions, it is as if the yellow circles consume any sophisticated thought or emotion, and I am eclipsed by thoughtless contentment, as though I have drunk one too many ales. This sensation is so profound that I become more guarded, more secretive, more irrational, and afraid to leave the beast alone for but a moment. Creaturae | Vol. 25
One day, I muster the strength to leave the apartment to clean the streets, something I have avoided doing for the last two days, but I know that I must obtain some stipend. As I return home, a growing itch manifests itself in my heart. The street swims, and its lamps stare ﬁxedly at me like bright yellow eyes. Soon, I accelerate to a full on sprint. Rounding the corner of my decrepit street, I utter a horriﬁed gasp. A cloaked ﬁgure, who I have never before laid eyes on, lifts an axe, and brings it down to bury itself in the neck of my beautiful black cat. Though the beast is silent, my scream echoes for what seems an eternity. Horror then turns to rage, and I charge the cat’s murderer. He appears to be changing before my eyes into something uncloaked, unhidden, innocent, bewildered, yet I grab his axe, undeterred, overcome pitiful resistance, and eviscerate him, relishing in demonic pleasure as his blood and innards are strewn across the street. I make no eﬀort to hide the body; the police can lock me up or execute me, and I will not deny them their sport. I only sit down on my couch, and weep an unadulterated stream of sorrows. Meow. The sound arouses me at once, prompting me to leap to my tired feet. He is so near, but he cannot come. How I know this, I am not sure. But suddenly, the axe lies before my frenzied countenance. Yellow eyes gleam from its blade. Uttering my last sigh, I snatch up the weapon, and its steel tongue licks all ﬂesh and blood from my heart. The cat is watching and I am coming. His dark face embedded into my dying thoughts, I am powerless to deny him. I am coming…coming to sleep with him in everlasting darkness, alongside the innocent soul who I, in evil paranoia, have reaped. Aaron Sibarium, ‘14 23
Prison I used to take my father on drives in my truck because it soothed him. We’d drive and we’d talk, my father charming me with the magical stories that danced through his head and spilled sweetly through his lips. I pretended as though nothing was wrong. Soon he would fall asleep, his rough body curled up like a child’s, and I’d cautiously drive home through the snow of the South Dakota winter. I would pull into the driveway, my father still in his own world, eyelids ﬂuttering dreamily. I gently shook him and his eyes slowly opened, a look of confusion and then slow recognition would move across his face. We’d go inside hand-in-hand and I would leave him in his garage, wincing when he called me “baby” as I walked away. I stepped inside the worn kitchen and switched on the baby monitor that had its twin hidden in the garage. The low music of Jim’s mumbling tumbled into the room, his sounds ﬁlling emptiness that characterized the house. I danced around the kitchen, preparing for my father’s return. Finally, the front door creaked, and Jim majestically swept into the room, announcing the activities of his day.
as he sat at the kitchen table. I tiptoed upstairs and slumped onto the bed, a sigh escaping my body. I tensed up as a shrill ring ﬁlled our room. As always, my hand trembled when I tried to answer the phone, anticipating the call that wouldn’t come yet. “I know, doctor, but I told you, he’s ﬁne! Just trust me on this one.” I faked a metallic laugh and hung up the phone. I looked at the clock and a shudder ran down my spine. Nevertheless, I headed downstairs to waste time with a man who didn’t even know who I was. “Remember that concert in 1957?” he asked exuberantly, his eyes wild from the nap he didn’t know he took. “Of course,” I repeated thoughtlessly, no longer surprised by my own lifeless voice. The evening continued as it always did, with a constant assault of questions from my father. Finally, it ended. I tucked my father into bed, told him I’d be right back, and stumbled downstairs to await the phone call that came each night.
“It was a good day, Linda my darling! You wouldn’t “Once again, Mother, you may not come. I told you, he’s believe how busy the store was,” he would project loudly, barely holding on as it is. Having you here would just dramatically dropping the lunch pail (I knew had nothing send him over the edge.” in it) onto the counter. “Wendy, please. I’m sure he misses me and wants me “Oh, was it?” I recited. there. I can help him.” “Of course it was my dear!” “The ﬁnal answer is no. You’ve done enough damage to Then, as was the afternoon routine, he would attempt both of us already.” to swoop in and kiss me. I would duck away, say I didn’t want to pass my cold onto him, and walk away, my I stood shaking as I always did after speaking to her, eyelids keeping his world from penetrating mine. I leaned whether from sadness or anger I still don’t know. I slept against the wall in the hallway, sliding down the ﬂoor as on the couch that night. Late that night, the phone rang once again and my agitation almost took over as I picked I choked the sobs that heaved in my throat. I controlled up the receiver. myself and walked back in the room. Much to my relief, “Yes?” he was sleeping again, his chin tilted towards his chest 24
With that, I hung up and felt tingles as I thought about the upcoming freedom. The next two days felt like years. Finally, the woman arrived. She came when father was sleeping. I frantically explained the situation but she simply said, “Don’t worry. I’ve seen this all before.” I was shocked. I had never felt as alone as when I was caring for my father. I slipped out of the house, quietly whispered “I love you”,” and met Sharon at her car outside the house. My muscles relaxed.
“Jeez, Wendy, didn’t know you hated me that much.” I recognized the voice immediately. “Sharon? Is that you?” “The one and only, sugar. Just wanted to tell you that I’ll be in town in two days if you want to get together.” My heart dropped. The rope had been thrown to me and once again, I couldn’t grab it and escape. “Sharon, you out of all people know I can’t do that. There’s no one to take care of Dad.” “Already got it covered, baby-girl. I have a friend from this assisted living place. I explained your unique situation and they’re willing to cover for you. Don’t let this opportunity pass. You need to get out of the house.” I sighed in defeat. It had been one year, seven months, three weeks, and four days since I had spent a day without my father. “Fine,” I said. “But I have to know he’ll be protected. Mom’s been calling again.” “I know, sweetie. I got it covered. I’ll pick you up tomorrow at four, okay?” Creaturae | Vol. 25
We drove out of town, leaving home behind. We made it to the bar and sat down at the barstool before Sharon said a word. “I’m guessing you could use a drink.” I nodded weakly and let Sharon order. She gave me a few seconds alone in my thoughts before she asked the question I knew she was going to ask. “What are you doing, Wendy?” The question seemed vague, but I knew exactly what she was referring to. What was I going to do with my father, my life, everything? I felt uncomfortable. “What do you want me to do, Sharon? No, let me rephrase. What can I do?” “You can walk away. This isn’t your job. I know it sounds bad but you need to let him go. He’s not your dad anymore.” “How can you say that, Sharon? You’ve known him your whole life; you’ve known my mom for years. You know that she did this to him. He wouldn’t think I was his—“ I couldn’t say it. Couldn’t actually admit what had happened over the past year and a half. She was right. He had changed. He didn’t even know who I was anymore for god’s sake! “Wendy. You can’t live this way and you know it. It’s not healthy! For you or for him.” “Just take me home, Sharon. I thought this was supposed 25
to be a break from my life, not an interrogation.” She sighed but knew I had my mind set. Within seconds, I was home again. With only him. “Hey honey, I’m going to bed. See you up there?” I gritted my teeth but somehow managed to utter a satisfactory response, for he tottered upstairs as I stood with my back against the door. I let out a labored breath. I absentmindedly scratched at my arm as I had taken to doing and thought about what Sharon had said. You can walk away. I swiftly removed the thought from my mind and made my usual bed on the couch. Another night passed. The next day felt no diﬀerent than the other ﬁve hundred or so days I’d been living this life. Then the knock on the door came. I sleepily rose and stumbled to the door, adjusting my eyes as the sunlight streamed in from the outside. “Hello?” “Hello, Wendy.” “Mom? What are you doing here?” “I was just in town and thought I’d drop by,” she replied smugly. “I told you that you couldn’t come.” “Well, lucky for me, you can’t control what I do.” Then I heard the footsteps behind me. Soon after, I saw his face. Disoriented, crumpled, confused. Every shift in his face dug the knife deeper into my chest. “Wh-. What’s happening? Jules? Wendy, when did you get home?” I faltered and scrambled to ﬁnd an answer to give him. He still didn’t understand. Couldn’t accept what his own wife had done to him. “Dad, you don’t understand. Let me explain.” “Oh, I understand, alright. You left your mother and me without an explanation or even a note. You broke our hearts, Wendy.” I was speechless. His world wasn’t falling apart, it was turning on me. 26
“Dad, no. That’s not what happened. I’ve been here, with you, the whole time!” I could hear the desperation in my voice. I was begging, pleading for him to understand. “No, Wendy. I understand perfectly. You left your own mother and father without a second thought, leaving your poor mother and me to take care of each other. Just get out.” I could feel the tears coming. I looked at his face, nearly unrecognizable, twisted with anger. I looked from him, the man I had spent almost two years caring for, to this woman, a stranger, whom my father now chose over me. With a pompous look adorning her face, she slid past me, to my father, slipping her arm around his shoulders. Before the sobs could escape my throat, I left. Closed the door without one more look back at the time I wasted. I felt my heavy steps on the sidewalk, heard my ragged breathing, and could barely see through my blurry tears. I fumbled for my car keys when something fell out of my pocket. It was a photo. It was from around four years ago. I was eighteen. The photo was of my mom, dad, and me at my graduation. We were laughing together. I tore it up. I slipped the keys in the ignition and wiped my eyes. I pulled out of the drive, looked back at the house, and saw my mom and dad hugging by the window. The perfect family. I drove away, lifeless, walking away feeling nothing like I thought it would. Janice Freeman ‘12
Creaturae | Vol. 25
Please Don’t Leave
Please don’t leave. Christopher, I’d never thought It would be you to do this. I write this for my health; It was just a dream to me, but maybe not for you. You used to believe in magic some time ago, Or at least I thought so. I begged for a ring, But an aimless reply gave me a sting. With me on the line and you away On the other side. The telephone and I had an aﬀair. Dialing the numbers of your cell while at the top of My climax of anger, I say, “Time is of the essence” so I Decide to reside in…this letter.”
A truly genuine person Always acting nicely Whenever the situation worsen This friend responds rightly Yet as I reﬂect back and ponder His deeds look not so heroic Many a time he squander This scholar seems barely stoic Yet nevertheless like a fox he is cunning But unaware, of what he is becoming Richard Koch, ‘13
Christian Mason, ‘13 This poem was written as a creative response to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, a novel studied in English 10. A spine poem is created by taking a sentence from the novel and then deconstructing the sentence and using the words and phrases in successive lines of one’s own poem. The sentence Christian Mason took from the novel is: “Please, Christopher, write to me sometime or ring me on the telephone. The number’s at the top of this letter.”
Never Will I Let You Know Day come, days go, Never will I let you know. The secret that lies between me And the person you wish you could be. Stories will be told, But no one will hold, The feeling so great just to know, Never will I let you know. Trying hard but can’t succeed, The secret will be left with me. Waiting days, days to know, Never will I let you know. Blair Ezra, ‘14
Kaleidoscope Eyes Light a candle in my head Force the words to leave my lips Fill the space beneath my bed You cannot release its iron grip Fix my body, make my fortune grow You will never mend my broken soul Take my triggers far away Twisted visions will remain I see the world through tumbling lens Shattering, changing each moment Each minute I spend could be where my story ends Through my kaleidoscope eyes Iâ€™m any number of damnable things The face in the mirror distorted Ever I fear what the future may bring In my kaleidoscope eyes Anna Zimbler, â€˜14
Creaturae | Vol. 25
The Change in My Life I had always been the best at what I did. There was no one better than me because it was my life; there was nothing else for me in the world. Every single day I practiced to try to make myself even better. Then the accident happened. They say when you are going to die, your whole life ﬂashes before your eyes. That is only for those who die on the outside, but for me all I saw was the Olympics, what had not even happened yet, ﬂash before my eyes. My dreams, everything I had ever wanted in my life, just ﬂew away, because although I was alive on the outside, I died inside. I had never been good at much as a kid, not an outstanding singer, not a bookworm, did not get all A’s, but when Mom put me in that gymnastics class when I was 5, even then I knew I was supposed to be there. The lessons went on and on. When other highschoolers went out to parties on Friday night, I went to train. I made everything perfect, from my head to my toes. It was in reality my life because that is what I wanted. No one could beat me, and when I had won the Olympics and had reached my one and only life goal, and then I could learn how to have fun. I would be famous, live the life everyone wants, be congratulated in the best possible way for my talent. There was nothing else I could do besides gymnastics, so I had to be the best. When we were driving, I remember thinking about how much I did not want to be there. I was angry because my parents stole me away from my coach to go to the beach for the weekend. They always thought that I should go out more. It’s not that they were not supportive; it’s just that they thought I loved it too much, and it is never a good thing to love something so much your whole world revolves around it. When the car hit my side, the noise shook my insides and caused me to forget where I was I knew my life would be over after I got out of the car. 30
I awoke in an ugly, thin hospital gown, with the smell of cleaning supplies and the ﬂuorescent lights casting odd shadows on the walls. I hated the color yellow on walls. It made me think of long, dank hallways with no end. The doctor came in and told me that I would never go to the Olympics. I knew the news was going to come, so I should have been better prepared for it, but when the doctor left, after a forced pitying smile at me, I knew there was no point in anything. You may think I was overreacting, that it was just a sport and that there were other things in life to make me happy, but it had become more than that to me. You may say the phrase, “It means the world to me,” and you are exaggerating, but when I said it, I was telling the truth. My eyes burned as I looked at the terrible yellow walls and tears ﬂowed down onto my pillow. My head throbbed and my chest ached, there was a burning inside me that kept getting stronger the more I thought about it and I didn’t think it would ever go away. I let out a small whimper and crumpled back into bed, where I decided would be the best place to stay for the rest of my life. My mother suggested this. That I write my story. Now it is published and I write every day. I still have not become who I used to be, someone with a burning persistence to make her dreams come true. But now I can say that I love living again. I want to be a writer, and although I do not have the passion I once did, I know now that there is more to life than the Olympics and there are opportunities out there just waiting for me to come ﬁnd them. Quinn Albo, ‘13
Creaturae | Vol. 25
In Memory of Sean Taylor, # 21 Cold-blooded killer took his life Now my hero will be in paradise 24, way too young A battle cry, forever sung As he is laid down to rest We know he always gave his best All who love him forever remember This solemn day on the 26th of November Dead now his life is proﬁled So grave a loss to his beloved child From his Miami days to his Pro Bowl glory His life and legacy is an epic story But now your teammates must carry on Through the blood and the tears, they love you, Sean The king of the safeties at the top of his game He never sold out, always true to his name Now in honor we pay our ﬁnal respects And on every fan this hero’s soul reﬂects So rest, my brother, rest in peace The burning of your ﬂame shall never cease. DeJanett Talley, ‘12
Keith Snowden Sinking and slouching into my sagging seat, My eyelids droop with the weight of the lagging day. Hearing mother’s cautious footsteps toward me keep a steady beat, I begin to wonder what she would need to say. Words ﬂow out of her mouth slowly like a dripping faucet, Enunciating each one to gauge my reaction. My brain prepares my response, But my mouth has lost it, My opposing thoughts creating a distraction. Dead, deceased, daily, denial, disbelief. A familiar stranger, thought to be a slacker, Hanging around and picking the wrong options has handed us grief. Why care for him now, I ask, never being Keith’s Backer. Childhood ﬂashes and memories show, My heart tells me I’m a double crosser as sympathy ﬂows, Why did Keith, so young, deserve to go? Cheyenne Polk, ‘13
Stickers Running, non-stop, I couldn’t believe how fast I was going. I honestly thought I might start ﬂying. My coach was screaming from the sidelines “Run!” He shouted “only one lap to go!” My breath got heavier and heavier as I got into my ﬁnal turn around the track. I could feel Gloverland High’s best runner nipping at my heels. Gosh I hated him: every year I would come in second by a fraction of a second to Josh Meadows. This was my year; I was running as fast as I could, the ﬁnish line was only a few yards away from me when I began to see that green and white uniform push forward. Not this year! With every ﬁber of my being I strove to move forward, digging my spikes into the track, pushing one foot in front of the other, and feeling a tiny sense of victory as I gain distance over that scumbag. My coach’s voice drains out, the school is on its feet, the oﬃcial is ready to wave its ﬂag, and I, Edwin McDaniels, am about to win the Nebraska Cross Country Championship for my school. The gun ﬁres, the ﬂag has been waved. It’s over. Could it really be? Did I lose? After all of that did Gloverland come out on top again? Did Josh Meadows once again outrun me? A million other thoughts were rushing through my head, but all I could do was collapse on the ground and chug down bottle after bottle of water. “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank you for coming out to the Nebraska Cross Country Championship. The judges are still determining the winning team, which will be announced shortly. This has been the closest race in the history of the competition, with two of the best runners this state has ever seen. Congratulations to all who ran, and remember we’re all winners,” said some man over the PA system. They’re just paid to say that kind of thing, not everyone can be a winner. If everyone was a winner than why do we have ﬁrst, second, and third place? If everyone is Creaturae | Vol. 25
a winner than why are we at a championship race to determine who is the best? It’s this kind of stuﬀ that Mamma calls stickers. ‘Stickers’ are what people use to make you feel better when you lost or you don’t feel all that great, and they don’t mean it but it’s just the right thing to say. “Ladies and gentlemen may I have your attention please, after careful deliberation and many replays of the video we have determined the winner of this years Nebraska Cross Country Championship.” The second I heard that over the PA system my heart began to pound. “Please,” I thought, “let me be the winner for once.” I said while crossing myself. “This year’s Nebraska Cross Country Championship is Gloverland High School for the third year in a row! Congratulations, Gloverland. You’ve done it again! We would also like to acknowledge how extremely close the race was with Silverton High School, Gloverland beat Silverton by only .02 seconds, which is a record for this competition. Again, congratulations to all who competed and we hope to see you all next year.” Said the announcer. After hearing that announcement the only thing I could do was hang my head in shame, I had lost, to Josh Meadows of Gloverland High for the third year in a row. As I began to gather up my things and prepare to head home I saw Josh heading towards me. “Nice running!” he said “Thanks Josh,” I said sarcastically “No, seriously, dude. You were some serious competition. I thought I was going to lose,” he said back in a snarky tone. And that was the biggest “sticker” of all. Sarah Strum, 13 An entry for the Creaturae 25-minute Fast Fiction Contest 33
My Own Puppy The night air was cold as I walked out of the Hershey Hotel, heading for the car with my neighbors. I looked back at the front door, knowing I wouldn’t be back for another year. As my neighbors Quintin, Chessie, Izzie, Mr. and Mrs. Ross, and I walked to the car, I thought about the long two hours in the car to come. As I was walking, little ﬁve-year-old Quintin grabbed my hand and said, “Catherine, what do you want Santa and your parents to bring you for Christmas?” I smiled, remembering the past years when I couldn’t wait to run down the stairs to the Christmas tree, looking at all the presents from Santa. “You know what I want?” I replied. “I want a puppy.” Quintin looked at me with a frustrated expression and said, “That’s what I want! You’re not allowed to take my idea!” I felt a tug on my other hand as nine-year-old Chessie said, “Q will get really mad if you don’t take back what you said. If someone takes his idea, he will get upset.” I smiled and took back what I said. As the hours passed in the car, my tired eyes followed the silhouettes of bare tress. I was hungry, and I couldn’t wait to get home. I watched the roads, waiting until we turned into our driveway. Izzie, who was sitting next to me, leaned over and whispered in my ear, “What did you get Chessie and Q for Christmas?” I leaned to her side and told her about the Star Wars clock for Q and the dress for Chessie. I looked out of the window, and I watched the car turn into our driveway. We took the bags to the Rosses’ house, and walked to my house to enjoy a dinner with our families.
Bredhoﬀ. I was swarmed with hugs, and as I walked to the counter to eat my food, I yelled, “OH MY GOSH! THERE ARE MOZZARELLA STICKS! YAY!” Everyone looked at me as if I were a lunatic. My brother Daniel said, “Sis, look in the corner.” I looked over, and didn’t see anything special. “It’s just a pile of blankets.” Daniel stared at me with an eager look on his face and said, “Look harder.” I took a step closer, saw what he meant, and stuttered,” Is…is that a dog?” Mom walked up to me and said, “Merry Christmas, Catherine!” My own puppy! I was too surprised and too tired to say anything, so I walked over to my new friend, and picked the little puppy up. I sat down with her, and cradled her in my arms. I was drilled with the question, “What are you going to name her?” I looked at everyone and said “Um, I don’t know.” “Well,” said Quintin. “You name her Hershey Park.” I pondered on this name, and decided to name her Little Hershey Kiss, Hershey for short. She has grown since I got her, and she is so much fun to have around the house. Catherine Wagner ‘16
As I walked into my warm house, I smelled my favorite aroma. I inhaled, and I could almost taste the Ledo’s pizza and pasta. I kicked oﬀ my Uggs and ripped oﬀ my jacket, and eagerly rushed into the kitchen, trying not to look excited. I scanned the room, watching who was coming to greet me. I saw my mom, my brother Daniel, the Kosasky family, and Jake and his mom, Mrs. Creaturae | Vol. 25
You ran for me, even though our love is forbidden. You kissed me, even though you were supposed to keep hidden. We fell asleep on the grass looking up at the sky. I could not believe that you were all mine.
In a diﬀerent country In a diﬀerent state Where the waters shine Like the moon divine Where the wind gives great bliss And the trees great solace There sits a garden tall and wide Giving life to all in which reside And a tree which causes great sorrow Surrounded by humans which now wish for a better tomorrow
Then, I dreamed that it was me you hurt. As I woke up crying in the dirt, You comforted me, and held me in your strong arms, Where you kept me safe from any kind of harm. We kissed each other on the lawn Under the amazing rays of dawn, And then they found us, and so we ran Away from them, to water and sand.
Boni Agbaniyaka, ‘12
We ran together to get away From so many people that we had to obey’ And now our love will never be hidden-Because it is no longer forbidden. Tiﬀanie Snyder, ‘14
Creaturae | Vol. 25
Singing Songs of Great Lament
Singing songs of great lament Did that great man, tamer of Circe, bane of Troy Arrive upon these Achaean shores, his glory Once lauded throughout the land, Now dormant in Ithaca’s hearts. Hope of return abandoned a weary son Unhopeful for jaded reunion Sailing to Sandy Pylos To learn of father’s Presumed passing. And dear Penelope, Enthralling the lusting eyes of nobles Spinning her futile web of deceit, That woman once sheltered by matrimony Now drained by men’s desires, These suitors 38
Ravishing hospitality Fit for a God So this woman sat waiting Choking on quixotic fantasies About the heroic man she wed. Those two, their lives destroyed by fate’s cruel ﬁst, Remembered a name that others banished From all thought and cares. Odysseus, The man of Twists and Turns Fraught with such obstacles The secure armor of a prior life Lacerated by hubris And chained By others’ blindness. Wanting only to return after the Horse.
Yes, that horse, Atrophy of guile, Epitome of cunning, To whom the Trojans fell Ransacked, ﬂeeing Priam, dead and bloated by sword His sons slaughtered before his eyes, While Aeneas escaped, to found a line of greatness, But his home, once beautiful and glorious Burned Ravaged As was unfortunate Creusa, Faithful wife to the Trojan soldier. All this For Helen, that whore Unremorseful, All this While Penelope waited Privy to such destruction Heart swayed only by word of Odysseus. But Gods conspired against the general; He was not blessed with a quick return. Many long years he toiled at sea. Seduced by Circe, the nymph with lovely braids Attacked by natures worst abominations: The Cyclops, The giants, Divine Powers. Poseidon, He orchestrated so many trials at his will A frivolous immortal, yet so concerned with men. Through the witch, the inhuman ﬁends, even Hades, One stood beside Odysseus Invisible, always watchful But not even this Athena could spare his comrades On Thrinacia, Helios’ domain, where godly cattle Bask, untouched by mortal hands until Erring judgment faltered, men docked, Then, unoccupied with master’s stern warnings, They broke Odysseus By their own pride, own beliefs. Now, sleep befell the commander often Inopportune but unavoidable, and Creaturae | Vol. 25
As they had with Aeolus, King of the winds Men gutted the cattle of the sun So their fate, irrevocable Was sealed. But Phaeacians, The men who love their oars, They ferried back The wary king. And so it was Odysseus After your ignominious failures Even amid triumphs Now you came home a stranger To generations anew Faced with tasks Of gathering loyalties, allegiances To devastate those suitors, Parasites, longing to leech your wife’s limitless faith, Grind them into the ground. Let the eagle’s symbol come to pass Spoken of by great Halitheres, Fulﬁll destiny, proud warrior, Consummate Apollo’s word. Aaron Sibarium, ‘14
Christopher McCandless’s Message to the World In the chilly hours and minutes of uncertainty, I want to be clear, and more than just clear--I want to be heard and remembered as what I have done, who I am, what I stand for and what you do not. In the attempt and adventure of my short and happy life, note the fruitless titles and credentials I have obtained through your institutions to make my statements more valid. If I had not scored better than you, had a higher GPA, or been friends with him or had that thing then I assure you would consider this entire notion as the work of a man simply ignorant, lost; from my essence and my life I assure you of your assured remark withholds no more that the validity than the proposal that I know everything there ever is, was or will be to know about you. I suppose humanity has been about solving problems and verifying the doubt, for no man is passionate about something certain. I see no one shouting to the world how remarkable it is that the sun has come into view again after another cold night. The lack of amazement in the common and the progress of man are a problem but a remarkable feat. In our progress lies a product of surpassed and in this problem we will always be solving we must look at the given. In our progression have we changed what was there? Or simply taken the derivative of the given and hold the present product as greater than what were? We do not know. But the fact is it exists and the function of the universe is remarkable because it is gigantic and encompasses our entire reality. This reality, this function, is our universe, and we have tasted but a crumb of bread and say we know all things edible. I started from the majesty of the most basic and elemental truth that is held in the simplicity of what is even in that crumb that humanity tastes. Nature, this fundamental function that we live in. We look at is primitive majesty and shuddered away from the fear of reverting to where we began. I too do not want people to 40
act keen to animals, but in this humanization utilize this and adhere to the track that this function has laid out for us. However we think our selves great in comparison to the very root of our existence and now the majesty of the mountains has less beauty now that a superconductor. I went back to the mountains back to the wild. The morals we have set and created out of our instinctive guilt we shelve higher than the violence and terror of the wild. However nature is beautiful without any attempt and this beauty cannot stand alone. The perfection of nature thrives only by means of imperfection in the substance of life. I went to the wild to escape the craziness of the world, the trivial concerns of the alpha males and their mates and the latest update on their aﬀairs. I came out here to embrace the wild, be alone with nature and feel its simple power, to behold the desert while living on a grain of sand; but now truly embracing that sand as if it were the desert. Not to discount our progress of man but to know the ultimate goal of what is to come with foggy eyes. I have brought with me the basic necessities that I can live on, and try to connect to nature as an equal and not as its master. I have found true beauty, and I will die for it in my ﬁnal submission to its unconscious omniscience of the deﬁning function. My last breath goes to you, set from birth. I do not avoid you I submit consciously with respect. I am human enough to do that. Scott Womer, ‘11
Photography & Visual Art
Catie Cahn-Lee / cover Rehan Butt / 1 Ellie Bode / 2 Rumtin Afsharjavan / 4 Miranda Kontner / 10 Tony Perdomo / 11 Kevin StaďŹ€ord / 12 Margaret Kenworthy / 14 Randi Kontner / 17 Emm Ishol / 18 Sami Mardam-Bey / 21 Tasha Belikove / 22 Niki Amjadi / 25 Boni Agbaniyaka / 27 Bridget Greaney / 29 Taylor Goodrich / 31 C. K. Cheong / 34 Jacqueline Sisson / 36 Reema Kattan / 38
Creaturae Editorial StaďŹ€
Anna Malawista Marta Knudson Emily Broeckaert Catherine Ahmad Brian Bies Aaron Sibarium
Faculty Sponsor Mr. Chuck Jones With deep gratitude to Ms. Delice Williams for her help and guidance in the dark hours.
Creaturae is published each spring by students in the upper school at St. Andrewâ€™s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland. Submissions of creative writing and visual art are welcome from all students in the upper school.