Editor's Note To welcome a new season, the student publication family has chosen the theme “rebirth.” The word rebirth probably means different things to different people. To the school, rebirth might center around the new gym floor or new school rules. To the students, rebirth probably signifies new grades for the quarter. But to people in general, rebirth means new beginnings, whether it is the new lives that come with Spring, or the relationships brought upon by reconnecting with lost friends. To embrace our theme of rebirth, the student publication family has decided to focuse on simplicity in this quarter’s Sharks Digest. Without further adieu, I hope you enjoy this quarter’s Sharks Digest. Thank you all for submitting, and please continue to do so for our last issue of the school year!
contents Poems page
1 page MOURN OF THE MORTALS ---------- 2 Death ---------------- page The Big Ice Cube ----- The Last Breath ----- 7 ------page I'm Just a kid --------Mom tells me to ---- 8 page 10 white -------------- page ----------- Birth Rewrites ----- 11 page Forgetful 13 & Forgetting --------page A passerby --------19 Rebirth --- ---------
how to live --------- Alicia Ho love rebirth -------- Sherri Lin Miki Yamada Kepin Du
The yelling and the shouting
Magazine Advisor Editor in Chief Managing Editor Public Relations Director of Design Editors of Design
Mrs. Anna Allen Sherri Lin Yunru Phua Susan Liu Sharon Yu Miki Yamada Clifford Gan Art & Entertainment Megan Tsou Serena Dong Annie Tan Fiction Editors Linda Sun Nonfiction editors Kepin Du Anderson Ou
2 Fragile ----------- page the flashback -- i Met You ---- 5 Since The monster ------
You, my old friend --------- Linda Sun Megan Tsou Sharon Yu Sherri Lin Clifford Gan
page mr. strawberry --- Susan Liu
Megan Tsou Sherri Lin
- Sherri Lin
Linda Sun Anderson Ou Annie Tan
The fox & the Grapes
Winston Wang Sharon Yu
Caleb Canfield Serena Dong
Counterattack -- vanish ------------ Annie Tan can't resist ------- Yunru Phua
6 page Perpetual 12 Loneliness ------- page Deus Temporis ---- 15 page 16 In this together -- page 20 Clockwork-------
Arts & Photography page local taste ------ Wenting Li
3page purity ------------ through 4page the crowds ------- LION -------------- birds ------------- 17 page Giraffe ----------- ------------ 18 rabbit wolf --------------
Kevin Yu Linda Lin Gail Lee Yuhui Lee Emily Hu Ken Lin
Cover photo by Kellen Lin Edited by Sharon Yu
How to Live by Alicia Ho
‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’ -- Winston Churchill Eat well, sleep well, be healthy, stay strong. Have fun, play games, gossip around. Go to school, make friends, and work hard. Play pranks, laugh hard, then run for your life.
Love Rebirth by Sherri Lin
They say there’s an end to everything even relationships, which at first seem sweet and everlasting. “Will you love me forever?” “Yes, forever my dear.” “What if something goes wrong?” “Wrong? You’re never wrong.” So the relationship goes on, until eventually, something gets in the way and taints the relationship day by day.
Live a good life, go shopping, sing and party. Go insane, or else life will drive you crazy. Make mistakes and don’t say you’re sorry, ‘cuz you know you’re not. Try a new life style sometimes; it won’t hurt.
“What happened to forever?” “I don’t know. I guess it doesn’t exist.” “What about those promises?” “You tell me. Yours disappeared in the mist.”
Never gamble or get drunk. Remember, we’re still kids. Keep track of dates, ‘cuz everyone does. Dress dolls up, but don’t tell anyone you do.
No longer are they always together. Separated, but thinking of one another. Perhaps relationships always come to a trough where things go wrong and both are scarred.
“Let’s take a break and sort things out.” Jump on trampolines, go biking, and swim in the sea. “I’ll think it through, goodbye for now.” Go on a family trip, and whisper inside your blanket “If we’re meant to be together, we will be.” about how great it was. “But as of today, there’s no longer you and me.” I dare you to climb to the highest point of life. Only if you’re not afraid to fall. The girl’s heart shatters, and she cries all day. The guy regrets this choice, but saves his face. Don’t be afraid of failure, So neither of them speaks a word, ‘cuz there will always be someone smiling there, but waits for that special moment, waiting to give you a hug. when one of them picks up the phone and says Cherish the ones you love, you don’t want to regret it when they leave you. “Can we get back together, and try this again?” Never forget your dreams; “Yes. Let’s prove that forever does exist.” just keep on going. Feel what it’s like to have someone mean the world to you; never forget the pain when you lose them. The world is smaller than you think it is; you can run into walls just by taking a tiny step. Never give your enemy a sincere smile, ‘cuz they’ll never give you one. Shout out what you want fearlessly, and don’t back down when you’re chasing after it. You’ll trip one day if you keep living in the past. Get wild with friends, and be honest to those you love. Smile when you’re happy; cry when you’re sad. Because this is just how life is, hell until the very end.
Mourn of the Mortals by Miki Yamada
Midnight As I walk toward the house He opens the door As if he had known I would come Silently we settle In two comfy chairs Around a table With spools of thread Placed all around He unwinds The black Twirl of thread And asks, “Who next?” I smile And whisper in his ear As he slowly Reaches in his pocket to take out A pair of scissors He raises the scissors In the moonlight The light reflects His tiny grin And he snaps The thread In half For a moment The wind batters strongly On the window frame We sit And sip our tea And eat some cookies And wait for the moment To end Sometimes we hear Screams of terror But we tell each other They are only Hallucinations.
Death by Kepin Du
Beep. Beep. Beep. I stare solemnly at the Beep. Beep. Beep. Rise and fall of the Beep. Beep. Beep. Line that marks the Beep. Beep. Beep. Beating of my father’s heart Thump. My own heart beats in Anticipation Fear Nervousness Maybe, Just fear… Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep………… …Thump…Thump…Thump… Now beats my heart Lonely, In solo.
You, my old friend by Linda Sun
Thirty years ago, we were best friends, you and I. We were the inseparable pair: soccer, baseball, homework, detentions. My family moved; we lost contact. When next I saw you, a gun stood between us.
&Poems 2 Stories
‘Local Taste’ by Wenting Li
‘Purity’ by Alexis Chow
‘Through the Crowds’ by Kevin Yu
by Megan Tsou
It all began with a beautiful infant with sparkling blue eyes. Under love and care, the baby soon grew, turning into a fragile flower. Osteogenesis Imperfecta; a curse to the family.
Mr. Strawberry by Miki Yamada
Mr. Strawberry is walking down the street. Nobody sees him because he is too small. He spots a beautiful strawberry lying in a box, sunbathing in the light. A man walks over. “This box of strawberries please,” and points to the box. “No! She’s my girl!” Mr. Strawberry screams. The man unintentionally raises his foot. Sploosh.
A stone, she trips; it all turns black.
The Flashback by Sharon Yu
Once again, in this room—the crooked clock, the beer bottles, the couch. Yet this time, no one is here. Not a sound escapes the walls of this room. No echoes, no yells, no murmurs, no whispers, nothing. Yet it seems familiar. A woman appears. She cries, smashes bottles, claws at the couch.
Counterattack by Susan Liu
Her image fades and the one before me appears.
Since I Met You
“Why are we having a road trip, Mom? I don’t have the time.” “You don’t have enough time?” “Yes, mother. Homework is enough of a burden on me. I don’t want a road trip stacking on top of that.” “Here, hang this towel over there to dry. I squeezed out the water already.” “What are you talking about, Mom? I can still squeeze a gallon of water from this. I thought you said there was no more water.” “And I thought you said there wasn’t enough time.”
by Sherri Lin
I met you seven years ago at the equipment store. From afar, I saw your skin, smooth like leather. I walked over to you and immediately we became friends. Ever since then, we have had the best times of our lives. We’ve celebrated over victories and cried over failures. No matter how much I pounded you, you always forgave me and came right back into my arms. Even when I purposely left you, passed you to someone else, you didn’t mind; nothing from me was a crime. Thank you for your forgiveness, tenderness, and dedication in our relationship. Basketball, you are a true friend.
by Annie Tan “When someone vanishes, they fade away, leave our world, and never come back. They go somewhere far away from us, perhaps to a distant cloud or another universe. People say dead people go to heaven, a blissful paradise where they can watch over their family. That’s where I’m going,” Grandma said, patting my head gently.
by Clifford Gan
“I witnessed this, there was a girl who was chasing a bird; I saw them. The sun went down; the girl continued chasing the bird. I saw them. I couldn’t take my eyes off them, couldn’t stop watching the pair. The bird flew into the darkest part of the forest. Then a roar sounded throughout the forest, and the bird was no more. The girl,” He smiles, “I ate her too.”
Can't Resist by Yunru Phua
I hear it—too loudly, too clearly. I cannot! It’s calling me. Calling me to come… It’s so enticing, so tantalizing. I press my ears to resist. Resist! I must! But I cannot! Ugh! I give up. I give up, okay? I lose. I open the app. Homework can wait. Time to slice fruit!
The Big Ice Cube by Megan Tsou
There’s a dragon cold outside, should we let him come inside? “We should ask Mom if it’s ok,” said the boy who just turned eight. “He might freeze to death, you know,” said the girl with a big red bow. “What is it you’re fighting for?” said the woman by the door. Mom opens the door but sees naught, just a big ice cube still in the night.
The Yelling and The Shouting
by Anderson Ou
When I was just a little kid, my mom was mad for what I did. I tried to tell her it wasn’t me, but she just totally ignored me. I said a bird fly in the house, and knocked my mother’s grand clock down. She put her anger on her son, and grounded me for one whole month.
by Linda Sun
The yelling and the shouting, that endless awful din. They hit and slap and hurt me, they tell me I should die. I cringe I hide I cower, I wish they’d go away. I try to do my homework, I don’t get any sleep. My classmates say I smell, my teachers say I’m hopeless. The neighbors call me “freak,” their kids stay ‘way from me. The world is full of kindness, but has none to spare for me.
The Last Breath by Sherri Lin
In the hospital, on the deathbed, I stare blankly at the sky. Is this the end of my time? What if I’m not ready to die? Memories of the past quickly storm into my mind, from childhood incidents to adulthood crimes. Like a movie, I replay those scenes in front of my dark brown eyes. like a time machine, I feel myself slowly drifting back in time. But now I’m weak and incapable of overcoming this disease. All I can do is to openly accept defeat. Death, I’m ready for your invite, not to an end but to an afterlife.
tells me to by Annie Tan
Mom tells me to start reading more nonfiction and less fantasy, But I like fantasy more. Mom tells me to stop spending so much time on basketball and more on violin, But I don’t enjoy playing the violin at all. Mom tells me to start studying more and stop playing so much, But I’m still just a kid. Mom tells me to stop spending so much money on phone fees and clothes, But that’s what teenagers do. Mom tells me to start thinking about my future, But I still have four years before college. Mom tells me to stop dreaming about things that will not happen, But that’s my business, not hers. Mom tells me to talk to her more about my school life and my troubles; I doubt she’d understand. Mom tells me to take care of my siblings when she’s not around; I get irritated by their screams and their childishness. Mom tells me that in the future I’ll regret quitting piano and violin; I suppose she’s right, but I don’t care. Mom tells me to find a subject that I want to focus on for my future; I say I’m not that old yet. Mom tells me to do this and that and she scolds me when I do something wrong; I think she’s annoying. In the end, Mom tells me she loves me, I think all this is worth it.
by Phillip Lin
White by Linda Sun
White, white walls Silent, oppressive My mother weeps silently, my world shakes. It is the first time I see my mother cry. My great-grandmother was gone, gone to rest in a place where no one could hurt her, a place where no one would scorn her, gone to join her mother, sister, and brother. For the last three years of her life my great-grandmother lived in a nursing home. She was beaten by the workers there. She, who had been the pillar of our family, who had raised all three of her grandchildren, thrown out to die in her old age. My grandmother wouldn’t take her back, “Your great-grandma’s a real pain,” she said. My mother couldn’t take her in, she had a baby to care for. My mother wouldn’t go visit her either, until the last few days. She said it hurt to see the one who raised her lay helplessly, like a broken doll, mumbling nonsense to a wall, slowly wasting away. The undertakers came and went, taking her away. My grandma trailed brokenly after the van wailing, crying for the mother she never loved.
The fox and
The Grapes by Winston Wang
There was a fox that was full of pride. He walked up a path with a boastful stride. But the sun was hot, the air was dry, and the fox exclaimed in a desperate cry: “Oh, heavenly heavens, reply to my call, Give me some water to the greatest of all!” Then it happened, it happened so fast. His eyes widened up, and he saw it at last.
Loneliness.What an ugly, despicable
feeling. It pervades his entire soul, seeping through his joints and soaking his bones. It’s a dreadful feeling, the type that leaves him free falling in an abyss of despair. He wriggles his toes into the grainy sand. He closes his eyes and attempts to feel. His memory has failed him and is drawing up blanks whenever he tries to recall the past. Now, all he can do is grasp onto reality. He opens his eyes. Loneliness. Not a soul in sight.
A bunch of grapes, bursting with juice, attached to a branch yet dangling so loose. He leaped off the ground in earnest beseech, but the merciless grapes were just out of reach.
He walks down the shoreline, seeking companionship. He wants someone to unload his emotional burden. He’s panicking inside, but his mind tells him to cling onto hope, the only way to ensure that his rationality stays intact.
He ran a short distance and soared through the air, only to miss it to his utmost despair. He tried and he tried, again and again, yet the grapes proved to be compassionless men.
Loneliness. It pervades the mind and soul, chills the heart, and quenches his usually insatiable vitality.
So the fox lifted his head in a scornful glance, and folded his arms in a farcical stance. “Oh grapes, oh grapes, what a donkey I am! You’re sour, you’re tart, you’re only a sham!” He turned away, his face in utter revulsion, and stomped off the road in an act of derision. So remember my friends, my friends so humble, Do not belittle the unattainable!
Birth Rewrites by Sharon Yu
The looming lights of Easter night, befall the stars in utter fright. His birth had made a fire ignite, the stars watch him as he sits upright, the He who lived before tonight, but not as Him the He that lies above the ground beneath the skies in front of all that sees his might. The birth of men rewrites tonight.
Perpetual Loneliness by Terry Lou
Continue, his feet tell him. Stretch, his knees coax. Bend, his elbows mention. Listen, his ears command. Observe, feel, yell, fight, flex, scratchsingbeatgrip buckletwistturnlielive— “No!” he exclaims aloud, blocking out the mental chatter plaguing his mind. Silence. The air is deafening. Real noise breaks through the atmosphere of quietness. It starts as a gentle mew, then grows into guttural growl and then a ferocious roar. Roaring waves crash onto the shoreline, and he turns to face the incoming disaster. A tsunami advances precipitously, swallowing every small current along the way. As it approaches, flashbacks assault his mind: hands gripped on a steering wheel, changing the radio station, a honk, a growl, a blinding light and tires screeching and frantic cries and a loud sound and then crash— crash—crash—
And then, his immaculate composure cracks.
The walk slowly turns into a jog, then a sprint. He doesn’t know where he’s going or why he’s chosen this direction. He just knows he needs someone to rely on. He’s always had guardians around him, and now exposed to reality outside their sanctuary of protection, he fears for his life.
His feet gradually draw to a stop. While steadying his breathing, he surveys his surroundings. Looming palm trees, gentle rolling waves, thick vegetation sweeping inland… And then, his immaculate composure cracks. Fear runs through his eyes. Tingles run up his spine. His breathing quickens. An invisible hand clenches onto and threatens to crush his heart. “Help. Help. Help!” Gradually, the volume of his voice increases, until his throat sears with pain. His feet break out into a run again, and he watches the same passing scenery: nature and nothing. “Save me!” his voice wails, not minding that it sounds desperate and needy and childish. He’s losing his grasp on the situation. To where is he running? Why is he running? How is it that he can run? Grabbing ahold of himself, he forces his feet to stop, but his control doesn’t last long.
Everything then comes crashing down. ...
“It’s been a month. I suggest ending it.” “No! He’s still alive, I’m sure!” “Yes, his physical body is surviving on pure human instinct, but his mind is already lost.” “Doctor, there must be something I can do!” “There isn’t. There’s no sign of him waking up. He’s just stuck in a repeated cycle of pain. A repeating cycle of pain...” ... He wakes up, his eyelids fluttering open. He doesn’t know where he is, but he feels like he’s been here before. As he stands up and surveys the surroundings, his mind draws a blank, but his heart pounds soundedly with one strangely familiar emotion. Loneliness. What an ugly, despicable feeling. It pervades his entire soul, seeping through his joints.
by Phillip Lin
Forgetful & Forgetting by Yunru Phua
Twenty nine, forgetful and forgetting. New start, new mind, no past, not mine— Twenty nine, hit by a car— Crashed on his head. Knocked his memories out— Amnesia, the doctor said. His past bleached, of all misery and memories out of reach. He forgot everything, including me, and me? I try to leave him to be. Destiny, I must blame— even if it means we won’t ever be the same, I’d rather be gone than him, drunk, nuts, violent, and mean.
stands at the edge of a precipice, the soft, rich fabric of his robes billowing in the wind. Below him lies a city. It is teeming with life, its inhabitants bustling about, knowing nothing but their ephemeral worries and insignificant woes. He watches as a hunting bird circles overhead. Its eyes, sharp and hard with the cruel determination of a predator, are locked onto a plump, unsuspecting field mouse. He turns away as the hawk dives, and tries not to listen as the mouse lets out a single, desperate squeak. Then the hawk flies away, its prize clutched firmly in its talons, and he finds himself facing the city once more.
snatch of birdsong. The city grows, and trees that have stayed rooted for many a century soon fall prey to their merciless axes and brutal machines. He watches all this with the sorrowful gaze of an elderly father, becoming lingering and regretful as the cities begin to burn once more. He wants to step in, to stop them from making the mistakes they always make. He wants to scream, to shout, to cry out a warning. He wants to save them, but he never does.
He wants He never can. the gleaming buildings topple, to save As chrome and glass and steel twist and But the city is no longer living. them, but groan in undisguised agony, he The once-tall skyscrapers litter closes his eyes, not wanting to witness the ground in fragments of glass he never the horrible slaughter, the mindless, and molten steel. The stench of loss of life. But observe it does. meaningless rotting meat permeates the air, he must, for who else is there to watch?
and the city flickers with the dying embers of an evil red firelight. It is his duty to bear this burden, to watch over the rise and fall of countless empires – He has seen this happen before, of course. It to ensure that no matter how many lives are is a cycle that is repeated through the eons sacrificed for his cause, the cycle of time lives – the stunning genesis of a new civilization, on. the tragic decline of a once-beautiful society, and then the awful, awful destruction. He knows this. He knows exactly what will happen every time. He knows, and to him, it is agony. But, just as he knows of the inevitable devastation, he understands that the wonderful cities and gorgeous towns will once again be restored. It is, after all, a cycle. There can be no death without life and no life without death. As he watches, the erstwhile invaders trickle into the city. The ruins of the former civilization are carted away, and new homes, new houses, new buildings are constructed in their place. The city begins to thrive, and he watches all of this in quiet awe. No matter how many times he witnesses it, the birth of a new civilization never fails to leave him rapt with childlike wonder.
In This Together
By Isabelle Liu
by Susan Liu
towards her house, the little green one at the end of the street. It’s spring. We smell the sweet scent of her garden, full of red roses. Four years ago, we left for Germany, smelling this same scent. We made her promise, promise to wait for us until we finished college; then we could walk down the aisle together, hand in hand, with her. Now, we walk up her steps. We can hear our heartbeats thumping faster and faster.
I have to talk to her. We open the door and enter. We walk upstairs, directly to her bedroom. We can hear the floorboards creaking. We see her shadow. We see a Swiss knife. We grab it. We walk up to her bedroom. She sees us. She screams. We silence her. We stab her. Oh my, what did you just do? I… What were you thinking? I… don’t know. Put it down. Put down the knife. I can’t. Then wash it. The blood’s dripping. I can’t move. You have to, I can hear the police. I can’t… Run now! I can’t leave her. Run now, you idiot!
Put it down. Put down the knife.
Do you think she kept her promise? Of course. I don’t think so. I don’t care. I love her. What if she doesn’t love you? I trust her.
We ring the doorbell. There is no answer. We ring it again. Still no answer. We see a Honda turning onto the street. Quickly, we hide behind the palm tree. The car parks in front of her house. We see her get The police open the door. They walk out of the car. She hasn’t changed up the stairs. They see the scene. A much in the past four years. She is police officer reports to the station: still as beautiful as before. “Homicide on 54th street. One I am going to say hi. victim found dead. One murderer Just wait. captured.” I can’t wait! She’s with a man. I told you. How long do they have to kiss goodbye? Finally. She has gone into her house. We can leave now. I need to talk to her. No. We should leave.
The years pass, swift and fleeting as the ethereal touch of a butterfly’s wing. The seasons rush past in a whirl of snow and a
by Gail Lee
e Le ott Sc
ee Hui L
by Emily Hu
by Ken Lin
A Passerby by Caleb Canfield
The bell rings, school is out! Finally I see HER, walking down the hall, gabbling with her friends. But still she SEES me. We share a knowing smile, and pass each other by. It’s these glances on the sly, that remind me why I continue to try and try. Because I remember life doesn’t last. It goes by so fast, like a cannon’s blast. And that is why, you see, I can’t just let her be A PASSER BY.
by Serena Dong
by Shirley Li
Seventeen, sixteen, fifteen… The phone was about to ring. 10:42:37 AM every morning. Alexa knew the schedule. Three, two, one… Ring! Ring! Click. “Hello? How can I help you?” A strictly routine answer. Protocol, and nothing more. “You can’t,” a female voice responded succinctly. Through the previous month-and-a-half of daily phone calls, Alexa had already drawn in her mind a face that matched this voice. A pale face of a young woman, lined by wavy dark hair, with large brown eyes that darted with fear and resignation. And it must be quite a pretty young woman too. “Would it help to tell me how’s your day been going?” Alexa calmly asked. Perfect tone, perfect manner, perfect service. “No, I can’t say, I’ve caused so many problems…” Again, the same old panic in the voice. The fear. The terror. The regret. It would be almost blood-chilling if it wasn’t so routine. Twelve seconds left. “We’re here to solve all your problems for you, miss. Why don’t you start by telling me something? What’s going on?” Alexa pressed on, though expecting no answers at the end of yet another one of her routine quests.
Give me a hand, I’m coming out I want room to land, so I can wail out loud.
“I’ve messed up… so badly.” This was not news to Alexa. Over the past forty-or-so days, the “messing-up” had become a familiar topic already. At first, she silently screamed, “How?! Just tell me how!!” Alexa had realized she would probably never know the afflictions of this troubled caller. Hopeful thinking insisted otherwise, but Alexa had a gut feeling. And she was usually right. Three seconds left.
Why am I sprawled on white sheets, seeing white light? This is not what I remembered my heart starts to pound. I see blood, metal, human smiles. Are they smiling at me? Me? A shocking reaction from this crowd.
“There’s always – ” Click. Beep. beep. beep. beep. The caller hung up. 10:43:02 AM. The call lasted twenty-four seconds. As usual. Another stranger aspect of the mysterious caller; she seemed to be very punctual. Dead-on. Twenty-four seconds every day - it doesn’t matter if one of them was in the middle of the sentence. And Alexa learned to anticipate it. She began to expect when the caller would hang up.
As I am plopped into bathwater. Flashbacks explode: pesticide, cheese traps, human eyes lit with fury and intentions to slaughter. Why do I feel so naked and bare? Where is my soft fur, my gray hair? I belong to another life now. The memories of the cheese traps start to fade A future living among the humans, has yet to be laid I have moved on.
When peculiarity and eccentricity become a daily, formulaic, and mechanical pattern, they are now normality. Alexa wanted to know; she wanted to help, to matter. That’s why she took this job in the first place. But these two years disillusioned her. She knew that she could not know; she knew that she could never truly help, nor to ever truly matter. She was a revolving ballerina figure on a twinkling music box. She trilled in response to someone, closed in response to someone, forever rotating on an axis, driven by nothing but the hidden mechanical gears that propel everything on Earth, even the workings of the Earth itself. And Alexa was fine with that. Perfectly, sickly content. -Ring! Ring! Click. “Hello? How may I help you?” Protocol, and nothing more. -And the gear rotates, the wheels grind, the ballerina spins and spins and spins, the clockwork revolving in perpetual motion.
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