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STAFFORD HIGH SCHOOL

2010 LITERARY MAGAZINE


S

ome search for beauty with the idea that it must fit a

certain criterion, a certain description. However, this idea causes us to overlook our own fascinating surroundings. This failure to see beauty in the countless things we run into in a day can draw us further from understanding ourselves. Here, we take a step toward understanding what we see as worthy of a few strung together lines, and consequently, learn a little about ourselves.

LINDSAY CLEMENTS

STUDENT EDITORS Nina Gonzalez Dawnthea Price

‘09-’10 2

FACULTY ADVISOR Jim Andrews, PULBLISHER Linda Keefer, ART Sue Gill, TECHNICAL


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TABLE OF CONTENTS POETRY OUT OF MIND/COURTNEY MISKELL…………………..………………….…...6 IN THE LIGHT/JESSICA LANE…………………………….…...…………….7 LOVE, LOVE, LOVE/AMBER HOWELL…………………………………………8 HAULT/JOHN KOVALCHIK…………………….……….….………….….….9 ONE, TWO, THREE/K.RICKARD….…………………….….…….……..…….15 BODY FROM SOUL/S. HAGGINS. . . . . . . . . . .…. . . . . ….. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …22

PROSE LIKE A DIAMOND/ASHLEY STERNE.………………….…….…………….….10 MEMOIRS OF A POSTER/L. MESSI…..….…….....…..…….….….…….….…...12 FROM A CHAIR/ASHLEY STERNE……………………………...…………......14 ABSENTSQUARES/J B BROWN.....……………………………………….….16 ADAN & EEVEE/ALANNAH PAULE….……….…..……..…..…….……..….…19 THE BADGE/EMILY CHURCHILL……………….…………….….……….….20 TAKING IT IN/A.COPELAND…………………….…..….….…..…...….……24 A WRITE REASON/EMILY GRIFFIN….………...….…...…..……..……....….….25 A REEL WORLD/ALEX VAN HORN…………….…...…...……..….….…….….26

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ART & PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS CARR….……….…..…..…....….......…..…..….…….......…......….….5 LINDSAY CLEMENTS.…………….….………….….............COVER, 2, 7, 11, 13, 16 MELINDA GILL………………….…...…..…...….....…….....….....…21, 26, 27 NINA GONZALEZ….………...…..….....…..……………...…....…..…......23, 24 HUNTER…………….….….…..…..........…....…..…...……...…..…......….22 JESSICA ICEHOWER…………….…....…..….........…....…..….…...…..….….25 NATASHA JOHNSON………….….…….....…......……....…..…..…….….…...6 RHIANNON MUSSLEMAN……………….…….….…...…..…..…..…...….….15 SAM O’NEIL…………..….…….…............……...…....….…...…….….….29 MICHELLE SLOAN…………..…..….....……....….…...….….....……………9 CHRIS SULLIVAN……….……………….…........….........……..…......….17, 30 LAURA SVITES………………………….…..…...…..….…..…....….......8, 18 MARIE TURNER….……….…..…..…....….....……..….……....…......….….14

CHRIS CARR 5


NATASHA JOHNSON

OUT OF MIND By Courtney Miskell

As I sit in this empty chair, I noticed that you don’t care. Whatever happens, Is what it will be. Notice how I just prance around, When all you do is frown, I see you will never be, What you were ashamed of me. When I see you, I know it’s not true, You will never be, All that I made you.

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LINDSAY CELMENTS

IN THE LIGHT

By Jessica Lane

Step into the light, my fair young girl, And watch as the sequins on your gown shine. Feel the rush, and your head whirl. Your heart skips when you breath a line. You are now a victim of the joy, Doing anything to have it in your hands. You have become its puppet, a mere toy, Sucked into the age-old dance. Put on your show young dear, Perform for all to see, For it has become quite clear Who you choose to be.

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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE By Amber Howell

Love is like two veins pumping in One heart a bump for every Second of life in that heart a Thump for every moment Cherished between the two veins Bump for love Bump for life spent together And another bump for the all of their Love.

LAURA SVITES

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HAULT By John Kovalchik

Plastic squares Dark circles cloud judgment poor structure sentence To see through the gruff Through the dark plastic that smells of the oil it was made a poet As the world stridently marches forward into the twenty-first century never yielding with its technological gait the world is shrinking Borders blur in the face of the faceless technological "advancements" that change the color coded political maps filled with the pinks and reds and greens and blue hues of our innards

MICHELLE SLOAN

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LIKE A DIAMOND By Ashley Sterne

The glistening water shines like diamonds. The murky brown of the subtle waves Sloshes like coffee in a dark lake cup. He stands there with his hands on his hips Staring into the water as he contemplates his thoughts. A girl walks the edge, about to jump in Her dress is held tightly in her hands So it won’t hit the water. Her chestnut hair is pulled into a tight ponytail On top of her head Gentle as she may seem, her eyes harbor The hardness of a diamond. Her heart is stone cold, as is the wall that she hides behind. He glances away for a second and the image of her is fading. She stands on the edge of the water holding her heart In her hands. She glances up at him and smiles that same old smile That he fell in love with. Her eyes hold his for a second as she fades into a ghost. The lake stands silent awaiting her re-arrival. The brown water sloshes quietly. He stands waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Waiting, Nothing. He collects his art easel from the shore. Walking beside the water, he notices something. He leans down to pick it up. A small diamond ring sits stuck in the mud. He sets the ring slowly into the water and pulls it out. The mud washed away and the gleam of a diamond Shines in his eyes, the heart in the middle shone Brighter than the rest. He smiles slowly as he puts it in his pocket and walks away. Behind him there sits a girl. Her smile is evident As she watches him walk slowly away from the lake That was once their place. He looks back at the girl and blows her a silent kiss. She vanishes slowly into the great unknown of the lake Away she goes forever. The heart of diamond faded away as she left the world, Both going their separate ways, Her to heaven, him to the reality of life.

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LINDSAY CLEMENTS

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MEMOIRS OF A POSTER By L. MESSI

H

e keeps staring at me… I wish he’d stop. eyes, but of course I can’t. I’m just a picture. He starts It’s becoming a bit annoying. He does humming a catchy song out of tune. He actually hurts this every day, gets up from bed in his my ears. At this very moment every day, I wish for a Power Ranger footy pajamas, strolls paper shredder. over here, and lays a big smelly kiss on me. It’s disHe finally begins getting dressed, wearing his gusting, I’d vomit if I were… well alive. He then fum- standard brown Khaki pants and a pull-over vest. He bles towards his door whispers and ‘I love you…’ has no sense of style at all. He wears his dorky dark then leaves to brush his teeth and takes a shower. The red glasses and strolls over to me after placing his rewhole thing is disgusting. Why doesn’t he kiss me tainer in his disgusting mouth. after he’s brushed his teeth, and why does he wear “Hey baby, I gotta go to school, but I’ll see ya real footy pajamas? It’s all just too ridiculous. soon.” He pushes a hand through his soon-to-be He seems to be in his late teens. I know he comes greasy hair. I would be turning green or having a fit of off as grotesque, and I don’t even get around all that nausea If I could actually move. He leans in close to much. He has dark red bumps; I think they’re called me, and I know what he’s going to do. I’m hoping he acne. He’s absurdly skinny, and collects dolls. I don’t makes it quick. He puckers his thin lips stands on his want to be stuck on his off- white walls anymore. I tippy toes and leans forward ready to kiss me. don’t mind just hanging around; that’s what I’m made “Darrel…” A woman shouts from the doorway. He for, but is it too much to ask to actually be turns to see a plump older version of himself. I’m put in a nice girl’s overwhelmed with joy. Yes! room. Maybe a living his mom actually does You should go out... room so I can watch something positive with find a real girl... people go back and her meager life. forth. I’d rather be rolled up in “What are you doing the trash than stay any longer in this juvenile’s dirty, to that poster?” She asks, and he bites down on his stinky room. chapped lips. His mom comes in once in a while and picks up She marches over to us, letting me get a good look dirty socks and poorly placed articles of clothing. I at her double chin and unfeminine facial hair. “What don’t very much like the sight of her either, but maybe you’re doing is unnatural, you should go out… find a I’m just a little stuck up. I came with a 42-dollar pack- real girl,” she continues, and I agree. That was my aged CD, and I’ve won a Grammy…. Well I haven’t sentiment exactly. per se, but I portray the woman who did. His mom I wait a moment. Darrel has his head down in emlooks a lot like the boy, but withered and old. She ig- barrassment. I was waiting for one of them to speak, nores me, thank God, but her husband, her husband and all of a sudden, without warning, the older woman sneaks in here in the middle of the night, and just begins taking hold of my sides. stares. JUST STARES! “I’m sick of you and your dad worshipping this They’re all creeps! I really want out. Just a few damn thing…” she says, anger evident in her growl. years, and maybe I’ll get old and worn and they’ll She took hold of my other side, and began pulling me throw me in the trash. I’m actually looking forward to off the wall. that. Across from me is an old desktop computer. He I stare shocked. This is the best day of my unnatuhas stacks of books and plates and bowls. ral life. Darrell begins fighting with the plump woman I kind of just wait till he comes back in. I’m pretty to leave me be, but she’s terribly stubborn. She reexcited seeing as he’ll be gone for about 7 hours. I moves me from the wall and begins rolling me up, think its something called school, and I couldn’t be rolling and rolling ‘til the only things I can see are happier. The door opens and he has a towel on, figwayward shapes all around me. ures. He would take only a five-minute shower; he’s I can make out Darrel’s distorted body trying to get such a pig. He drops the Scooby Doo towel revealing at me. I hope she puts me somewhere very far away… a boney chest. I want to vomit, or at least close my

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LINDSAY CLEMENTS 1


FROM A CHAIR By Ashley Sterne

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s I sit here in Mr. Andrews’ room I notice the clutter like it is a normal thing. No one’s room should ever be this cluttered. Stuff is strewn all over the place like a leprechaun came through and ransacked the place looking for a shiny pot of gold. I sit at my desk at the back of the room looking from a panoramic view, around the room. The first thing I always notice about the room is that the door is always open, always inviting people to come in and have a chat about something relating to English. The computer on wheels cart sits about two feet away from the door, bleeding battery life from the laptops that are never shut down properly. Pictures of past students line the walls of the room, making me wonder what those students were like to gain a place on Mr. Andrews’s wall of fame. A small diagram of a Trojan horse catches my eye. The purpose of the diagram is unknown, but it helps spice up the room. The corpses of computers past line the sides of the room, shells of the once great computers they used to be. Above the white board at the front of the room is a poster with the heading “Metabolic Pathways.” I have no clue what it means, but the scribbles and lines confuse me every time I try to decipher its secret code. Wait a second; we have had a murder in the classroom. I look up toward the ceiling where I see Winnie the Pooh hanging from a paperclip. Winnie lived a good life, but all that honey he was stealing from the bees bit him in the butt. 1

MARIE TURNER

Turning around in my swivel chair I see bookshelves housing anything but books. Boxes, tape dispensers, plants, anything and everything are in those bookcases; it’s like a random junk pile. Well, apparently Mr. Andrews is a member of the Mickey Mouse Club, or so says the laminated poster that sits behind his desk. A popcorn popper sits under the projector screen and I wonder if we are ever going to use it, as I could use some popcorn as I am writing this essay. File cabinets sit to my right and behind me. I want to go over and open one, but I am afraid of what might pop out. Who knows, Mr. Andrews could have dead bodies hidden in there and none of us would ever know. An unused white board sits in one of the corners of the room like a depressed child whose lollipop got taken away. It sits there unused and abused. As the bell rings and I stand up to go out of the room something weird catches my eye. All of the vain girls and boys stop at a mirror next to the door to catch their reflection. I briefly look in the mirror knowing that I am the slightest bit vain and do care about the way I look. I exit the always open door and walk away from the cluttered classroom for the last time that day. I sigh a great sigh of relief as I get back to my normal OCD day. The clutter is killing me, as I want to clean it all up, but I know that it’s Mr. Andrews’s mess to clean up. I’ll be back the day after tomorrow with excitement riding through my body like a freight train. I am always excited to see what new treasures we can find in Mr. Andrews’ room.


ONE, TWO, THREE

RHIANON MUSSLEMAN

By K. Rickard

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held my hand on her waist, Sliver of ice, sliver of ice. Hers rested on my shoulder. I realized I was holding her. Finally, finally, a dream come true. And we waltzed, if you can believe it, Sliver of ice, sliver of ice. And she counted out loud for me: One, two, three. One, two, three. Finally, finally, a dream come true, I spun her around, as courtesy dictates, Sliver of ice, sliver of ice. And then she held my hand once more, As her laptop played the resounding score. Finally, finally, a dream come true, We stopped our spinning, and paused, Sliver of ice, sliver of ice. Ya'll look so cute together, standing there. At this, she bows out, breaking our stare. Oh no! Oh no! A living nightmare. 1


absentsquares By j b brown

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absent squares loll in distant grievances and spatters of inked credibility on walls, paint chipp ing as they were at easing porches and dewed panes of autumnal, d e c a y ing bursts of summer mornings roosting there, in their defiant circle, bound on parabolic ties and mine following eyes give up the weak that holds them up to join.

LINDSAY CLEMENTS


CHRIS SULLIVAN

I’LL STICK TO MY JOE By Amber Howell

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alk into school with my hot cup o’ joe and am questioned by friends who surely must know, asking “Did you eat breakfast this morning my dear?” so I look at them cleverly, not filled with fear. I tell them once more that I did not in fact, that I never have eaten it - to be more exact. “Eat breakfast!” they scold, as I’ve often been told. But I do not like to eat food when I wake, for my tummy’s not hungry and surely would ache. I do not have time for hot cakes or eggs fried or cold milk and cereal or toast, for I’ve tried! It doesn’t work well and I surely would know, so despite your statistics, I’ll stick to my joe.

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LAURA SVITES

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ADAN & EEVEE By Alannah Paule

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nce upon a time, there was a man and a woman. They came from the most wonderful place in the entire universe, and every characteristic about the two of them was perfect. The man had curly, dark, and luscious hair; the woman had bright blue eyes that were as clear as crystal. They were beautiful inside and out. They went on vacation one day to what they thought was a nudist beach, but they ended up in a magical forest. They roamed around and gazed at the lovely flowers, fruits, and animals that lay in the shade. The woman thought to herself that this was even better than the nudist beach, although they were still nude. They felt slightly embarrassed by being so nude in front of such innocent animals, so they picked big, green leaves from a nearby tree and covered themselves. After wandering around and petting the deer, the squirrels, and the rabbits that happened to cross their paths, Adan and Eevee felt a little famished. Eevee said to Adan that she was sure that they could find a lovely, ripe piece of fruit in the godly orchard, so they set out to look. They saw grapes and melons, oranges and bananas, raspberries and strawberries, but nothing sounded like it would hit the spot. Then all of a sudden, as if it had sprung right out of the ground that very instant, the pair spotted the most glorious apple tree five feet away from them. They looked at each other with delight and ran toward it. Adan reached up and plucked the biggest, sweetest, juiciest apple on the tree and they sank their teeth into it. After a moment of eyes-closed taste-bud pleasure, something felt a little funny in their minds. Adan suddenly snatched the apple away from Eevee and sank his teeth into it once more. “What do you think you’re doing?” said Eevee. “What’s it looking like I’m doing? I’m eating,” said Adan, matter-of-factly. “Well yes, Adan, I can see that. I meant what are you doing stealing it out of my mouth? I’m hungry too, ya know! I don’t see why you get to do anything you want to, but if I did it you’d freak out and get all belligerent!” Eevee went on for her 10-minute rant. During this time, Adan dozed off. “You aren’t even listening to me!” she exclaimed. “How can I possibly listen to you when you nag ALL THE TIME?” “Well I wouldn’t have to NAG ALL THE TIME if you’d listen to a word I say otherwise! All I ever try to get you to do is listen to me, or help me out, or appreciate the little things I do for you!” Eevee said, as she stormed

away into the forest. When Eevee left, Adan sat against the apple tree and pondered about what was so annoying to him. It’s her stupid attitude, he thought, the way she nags and whines. “Why should I praise her every move when she doesn’t care about all that I do? I try to provide for us; I try to do the things I think she’d like. Whatever. Who needs her?” Adan arose from the sitting position he was currently in and suddenly took the leaf covering him and made it as small as possible without showing anything, but if a little something showed, that was all the better for him. He set out for the nearest town and strutted around flexing his muscles and flashing his brilliant white smile at everyone he passed. Back in the forest he made sure to use a special tree sap to style his hair so that it could beautifully flow in the wind without having a cowlick out of place. Meanwhile, Eevee remained in the forest, looking around for substances to make her more beautiful. “I’ll show that stupid man how good I can be. He’ll be sorry he doesn’t appreciate me!” She thought. She stomped around in a PMS-like fury and found big sticks to attach to flat ones and made herself some sky high heels. She also cut down the size of her leaves and showed as much as possible without being completely exposed. She put a bird in her hair, and as it squawked it ruffled her hair to be big and bushy, just the way she wanted it. She found berries of different colors and applied a great amount to her lips, cheeks, and eyelids. “This’ll show him,” she thought. She paraded around and found her way to the town she figured Adan had gone to. As she strutted in her heels, people stared and she loved it. She walked with a very “uh -duh” look on her face, and the people still loved it! She finally found Adan and strutted up to him and said, “Ha! Look at me now, Adan! Everyone like, totally loves me!” “You look ridiculous. That’s why they’re staring. Why’d you put all that stuff on your face?” he said. “It’s not just stuff. It makes me look beautiful. SOMETHING has to, since you don’t think I’m good enough!” “You looked better without it…” he responded. “What?” she asked. “I said you looked better without it.” “Y-you’ve never told me that before” she remarked, with a shy grin on her face. “I never had reason to before…” Adan and Eevee had hated each other since they had that apple, but it took Eevee’s ridiculous amount of makeup and Adan’s huge ego to realize what they had become. So they stopped their immaturity and went back to their normal too-good-to-be-human ways.

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THE BADGE By Emily Churchill

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e woke up early to get to the airport on time. She packed her attendant’s bag with the usual fare and buttoned her uniform, pinning me on the left breast pocket. We boarded the plane and she walked up and down the aisles, smiling widely and closing overhead bins. The voice boomed overhead, announcing our departure. She buckled us in and her heart picked up, the way it did every time we were about to fly. Rubbing me for luck like always, she closed her eyes as the plane took off. As the trip went on and on, I dozed. The heat radiating from the bored inhabitants made me very warm. Without warning, she sat up. She hissed at the steward and pointed. Several tall, dark men were standing up slowly, looking around. One put his hand in his coat pocket, gripping something long and flat. The steward stood up as well, and his face was a contorted, confused grimace of one who is frightened but trying to look pleasant. He straightened his coat and walked up the aisle. She stood too, and quickly made her way through the kitchen where a few attendants were lounging. I couldn’t pick up what she was saying, hearing only a tense, tight sound. Then the screaming started. It came from the middle cabin, a high pitched noise that echoed and reverberated, growing in intensity as it moved. She ran back and pushed through the curtain, and we saw what had happened. One of the men had the steward in a headlock, with a knife pressed against his throat. Another was making his way to the front of the plane, waving his knife at the passengers. He shouted barely intelligible words, screaming at anyone who tried to rise against him. The front of her shirt started pounding furiously: her heart was beating faster than I’d ever felt it before. “Oh, God. Oh, God.” she whispered to herself. She started sweating, the small droplets falling onto me, making the world blurry. The plane started rocking and weaving, making abrupt turns. It felt like the worst turbulence in the world, times ten. She started creeping up through the cabin. The first man had disappeared, along with the steward. Children were crying softly, and mothers tugged on her skirt as she walked by. “What’s going to happen to us?” a middle aged woman whimpered. “What’s happening?” She shook the woman off and kept moving through the first class section, where the businessmen and CEO’s had awakened from their naps and were glancing around, bemused.

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She started whispering to a heavyset executive when one of the tall men burst out of the cockpit and spotted us. “You.” He pointed and muttered in broken English, “You come. Fast!” She breathed in quick, shallow breaths. “Me?” she squeaked. “Yes. Now.” She slowly followed the man to the front of the plane and let out a small cry on seeing what had happened. Our captain, Victor, was lying on the floor with his throat cut, blood sickly dripping onto the commercial tile floor. His eyes and mouth were open, silently screaming at the ceiling. The co-pilot was bound and gagged to his seat, a large bruise on his face from the blow that had apparently knocked him unconscious. The first man from earlier was controlling the plane’s direction, though he seemed slightly confused. Our conductor presented us to him in garbled words. A man was watching in the corner: he looked green, probably from the plane’s bumping. “You!” shouted the new pilot. “Where is gas?” “The…gauge?” she whispered. She was shaking so badly that I couldn’t get a good look of the strange men. I was soaked in her sweat. “It’s on your left. Next to the altimeter.” He nodded and grunted. “Good. On schedule. Good.” “Where…where are you going?” The man laughed, punching his friend in the arm. “You hear, Ahmed? She doesn’t know.” Ahmed laughed weakly, staring into the window. “Please.” She whispered. “Please, why are you doing this? Please stop.” The pilot sighed deeply. “Take care of her, boy. Shut her up.” Ahmed blinked and whispered to him in barelydiscernible words. A swift slap made them cease. “Do as I say, boy! Do it now!” The man carefully took something out of his pocket and turned towards us. The look in his eyes was the same as the children crying in their seats. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but seemed to think better of it. He took a step forward, and she took a step back. Another step, another retreat. The dance continued until we were pressed against the cockpit door and her heart was racing so fast it could have been heard on the other side. “No…please….” she whispered. A flash was all I saw, and suddenly I was facing the ceiling, slowly being covered in a thick fluid that blocked all of my senses. I lay, slowly drowning, until a flash of fire destroyed everything.


MELINDA GILL

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BODY FROM SOUL By S. Haggins

Looking at my body from my soul, Wow! I never noticed how pretty I really was. I never really looked at my face to see what was right, Only to see what was wrong. Now when I look down At myself lying there, I see the cracks from where I used to smile; I see the love that I once gave. I see the real me. Looking at my body From my soul How lifeless I was, But how happy I became, How peaceful I became. Only looking back at my past One time, So I wouldn’t forget How far I came. Lookin’ at my body I see the bruises From the war; I see the dried-up tears that I cried a long time ago, And I just keep staring... I think I’m moving... My face turns to a smile! I wake up! I love my life!

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HUNTER


ALL IS STILL

NINA GONZALEZ

By Amber Howell

A ll is still B y night for some time C rickets ne’er chirping D awn rests on no rhyme E ars are not perked F or there is no sound G lancing towards beauty H orizons are bound I see in the sky J ust a faint peak of light K eeping my eye L ooking to new sight M y mind is unfathomed N ot knowing at all O r is it the beauty P erchance it is small Q uaint little glimpse R eassuring me life S till in the quiet T ill time be in strife U nder the blanket V iolets do fade W atching as morning X anthic in shade Y awns in new light Z ero night

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NINA GONZALEZ

TAKING IT IN By A. Copeland

T

he day had gone by very slowly as I Then he walked out to the kitchen went into sat there on the couch watching the sun the room and came back out and sat on the couch go down very slowly. Hours had gone and motioned for me to come and sit on the by slowly as if the day would never couch next to him and I did. And as I sat there he end. rubbed my head and we watched TV. Thirty I heard the car door slam and jumped up beminutes later his wife called and said it was dincause I knew it was my owner. I sat at the door ner time so we both got up and went into the waiting for him to come inside. As he came in, I kitchen. barked and he patted me on the head and started He walked to the sink and I walked right to playing with me. my bowl which was on the floor by the table next Soon after his wife walked into the living to where he was sitting. We said...well they said room and said “Honey, is that you?” and she their prayers I just listened and I ate quietly as hugged him and gave him a kiss and then they they sat and talked. went into the kitchen where she was making dinWhen we got finished eating he gave me a ner. bath and did what he usually did when he washed He asked her what she was making and she my hair, which was dry shampooed. He sometold him she was making stew beef, which was times used mild shampoo, but only when it was my favorite, and he told her it smelled good and necessary. After he dried me off, he brushed my he couldn’t wait to eat. hair and then I went and got into my bed and

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A WRITE REASON

JESSICA ICENHOWER

By Emily Griffin

E

very person has their own way of expressing but an ancient achievement that no longer exists to man, themselves, their thoughts and feelings, their something that no person will ever enjoy as much as I do pain and sorrow. Whether that expression is in again. And the thought of that depresses me greatly. the form of art, speech, fashion, sports, or whatI write like it’s my job, because I someday wish for ever you have a passion for, there is always a good reason just that to happen. I write because I want to be famous behind why it is done. I write for many reasons, of course and make those millions that my teacher Mr. Andrews is because writing is a form of expression and expression is always talking about. who you are, and because I, as well as everyone else, am I write so that I can one day make a difference in many different things. someone’s life. At least, that is what I aspire to do. I write I write because I believe it’s louder than words and because I believe it makes people respect me more, and because my words are usually ignored. I write for the sake because it makes me seem more intelligent. of writing, because I have found that it’s a beautiful art I write because it impresses my friends, and because I that was invented by man to be loved and cherenjoy looking back, even if it’s only to last week, and ished by those who truly enjoy reading something that I created with and appreciate it. my own hands. I write beI would rather have a sore I write because I have bad cause I think it’s actually one hand than a red, puffy days, and because I would rather have of the very few things that a sore hand than a red, puffy face. I I’m really good at. I write to give write so that when I’m old and crazy, I can take myself myself confidence, even if it sometimes has the opposite back to the wonderful days of my imaginative youth. effect. I write to serve a purpose, to entertain others as well as I write to learn, because I have found that with writing myself, to have something that I can really be proud of, to and reading and learning I enjoy life much more than I show the people who have ever doubted me that I can would without them. accomplish something more inspiring than they’ll even I write because I want people to know me for more attempt to finish. than just a name, or even for more than just a girl who I write so my family will be proud. I write to make talks way too much. friends—for the farther I go in journalism, the farther I I write because somebody has to. Where would we be will get in life, socially and career wise. I write to practice in this world without literature? We would all be blabberfor the future. ing idiots, and all learning and social advancement would I write because it gives me something better to do than come to a halt, because no one could learn without the act watch reality television. I write because I like the feeling of writing. So, one could say I’m writing to keep humaniof knowing all these emotions and powers and other ty going. I write to be someone’s hero or idol, even if it’s things that I have just explained. I write because I believe just my little cousin who can barely read herself. it’s going out of style, fading until soon it will be nothing 2


A REEL WORLD By Alex Van Horn

I

am swimming. Sea water flows through my lungs, in and out. I pass by all the other fish. I spot coral. It’s a different color this season. I am not surprised but I am definitely taken aback. It is new to my environment. I liked it the way it used to be, but I’ll get used to it. Eventually, I’ll like it more. I don’t stop swimming. I spot Bob. “Hey Bob,” I say. “Hey Harry, what’s up?” He says back. I talk with him; we separate. I spot Jim. “Hey Jim, what’s going on buddy?” He answers: “Nothing much friend. I was just wondering…” and so another conversation begins. We discuss the weather, the recent tidal movements, the new fish in town, etc. I see David. We talk about something that I won’t be thinking about in ten minutes. I am content. In the next few minutes I will be a different fish. In the next few minutes, I will have a “new perspective.” In the next few minutes…in the next few minutes… I stumble upon Gregory. “Hey‐a Greg,” I say. He doesn’t respond. “Hey‐a Greg! I’m talking to you!” I yell. He doesn’t respond. What is this fish’s problem. I swim over to him. “Greg!!” He turns around. I should have known, he has always been the spacey fish. “What is it Harry? What are you yelling about?” He responds. I look at him, steamed as ever. “Are you kidding me, man? Are you kidding me right now? I just spent…ugh…I mean…why didn’t you talk to me I…ugh…never mind man.” By that time he was already gone. What was up with that? Is it me? Did he not want to talk to me? I floated for a few seconds, pondering this sudden occurrence. I saw fish passing but I wouldn’t talk to them, thinking too much. I didn’t want to think anymore. I did it everyday, the same cycle. I was an enlightened fish. I swam in an circle, just to do it. Why not? What the hell? Other fish watched me, wondered about me, and swam off. They were going back to the same place, the same place, I was. I was them, but now, I was myself. An individual fish. Oh, did it feel good. My eyes, separated from each other, looked every which way. I looked at a trench not too far from here, an anchored boat nearby, and sensed the largeness of the ocean. I took it in, seawater and all. I suddenly felt the urge to swim and keep on swimming until the small world I knew was different. I did this again and again ‘til I became dizzy. But I understood, and it felt 26

good to understand. Then, I did something I had never done before. I saw something. I looked up and saw a thing. I saw a light coming through the water, and there, I saw another world. Just as I had felt the urge to swim as fast as possible, I suddenly felt the urge to climb up there. Had anybody seen it? I looked down at all the swimming fish. They would never sleep…they would never dream. I swam. I swam harder. I swam ‘til it hurt. I fluttered my fins as fast as possible. Things became brighter and started to hurt my eyes. I opened my mouth. I felt all the things in the water, all the little things, all the little particles. It felt good. The surface had now become visible. Great violins played at my arrival. I closed my eyes as everything went white and suddenly I burst out of the water… It was different, definitely different. That’s all I can say. Everything went into slow motion as I saw a picture of myself. I was a blue fish, fins outstretched. There was a vast ocean under me. I was flying in an aura of golden sky. My mouth, humorously, was wide open. Was it in shock? Was it in awe? Perhaps. I looked at myself again as I gently, in slow motion, folded myself back into the water. And with a light PLOP! I returned to the sea. I swam slowly for a minute. I got my bearings. What had just happened was a miracle. A great concert had been played in the heavens for me. I looked down. The light reflected down in great wavey lines. It reflected off the other fish, the other blue fish that were still talking amongst themselves. Bob said to Jim, “Hello.” And Jim to Harold, “What’s up?” And Steve to John, “What’s that?” John looked up with his left eye and examined me. “I dunno. Is that Harry? What the heck is Harry doing up there? I don’t understand.” Steve and Jim approached me. I smiled at them and they did not understand. They scolded me for not being in line. I was missing out of the cycle. I smiled at them, and continued to smile at them. I went back down to the sea and began to swim again. Sometimes, when I am not talking to Bob, David, Steve, or Jim, I look up. And the sun glimmers upon my fin.


MELINDA GILL

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colophon

is in its fourth year of publication. It is published during the summer. The magazine was produced on IBM-compatible computers using Microsoft Publisher and Adobe Photoshop CS4 and was published in Stafford High School using 20 pound paper on a Ricoh 410 printer. The fonts used for titles of each piece are Gill Sans MT and family fonts. The body font for each story is Times New Roman.

purpose

is the literary arts magazine for Stafford Senior High School in Falmouth, Virginia. The purpose of the magazine is to showcase students' thoughts and expressions through both writing and art. As with any publication, the views expressed are not necessarily the views of Stafford High School, the editorial staff, advisor, or Stafford County Public Schools. All students at Stafford High School who not enrolled in a Creative Writing class are invited to submit their work for consideration in the magazine.

submissions

Submissions should be sent to either to shsmagazine@gmail.com or dropped by room W205. All work completed in Stafford High School's creative writing classes is considered for the magazine. embraces every opportunity to post the work of any student's submission, regardless of format or length.

rights All writing and art submission are considered by an editorial staff which chose submissions based on quality, appropriateness, relevance and overall impact. The editorial staff reserves the right to edit material for both clarity and correctness. Original artists retain copyright of their submitted work.

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SAM O’NEIL

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Mirage 2009-2010  

Stafford Senior High School