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STAFFORD HIGH SCHOOL

2011 LITERARY ARTS MAGAZINE


Student Editors Emily Churchill Toni Sorrentino Rebekah Kim

Faculty Advisor Jim Andrews

Kaylee Martir

We go through life watching the world through our own eyes, understanding with our minds, creating our own thoughts. Our perception of the world around us is formed through our experiences with it and our interactions with the people and things that fill it. Through these, we each see the world in our own unique way, in a new and different shade than anyone else. Though the novelty of our view is essential in defining who we are as people, it is when we step out from behind our eyes to re-examine our surroundings from another’s point of view that we may truly understand the complex and multidimensional mystery that is our world.

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Table of Contents Poetry Music Box/ Ashley Sterne… 9

Love and Fear/ Ashleigh Powell… 4-5

Afloat/ Bridget Phillips… 13

It’s Your Choice/ Ty Shaw… 6

Congress Brawl/ Jake Brown… 15 Running Out of Time/ Bridget Phillips… 16 Warm Whispers/ Ashley Sterne… 23

Art

Prose

Victoria Agnellini… 9, 13, 22 Mackenzie Fox… 7, 10, 19, 26, 29, Back Cover Nick Henze . . . 4

Breaking Away/ Muhamad Khalid… 8

Josiah Hunt…8, 15

Dive into Life/ Emily Griffin… 10-11 Reid/ Ty Shaw… 14

Muhamad Khalid…17

What Eben Took With Him/ Aubrey Sullivan… 18-19

Lindsay LaFratta . . . 12

After the Flash/ Ali Buchanan… 20

Kaylee Martir… Front Cover, 2, 18, 20 Gabriale McKinley . . . 11

We Watch Space Pass/ Muhamad Khalid… 22 Infatuation/ Alivia Knutson… 24

Gustavo Ortega…5, 16, 24

Enticement/ Aubrey Sullivan… 26

Toni Sorrentino… 21, 25 Nicole Thorne . . . 23

Sam/ Emily Churchill… 27

Amy Wood… 3 Anonymous . . . 14

Amy Wood 3


Love and Fear Ashleigh Powell He hit me, and hit me hard. My body curled into a tiny fetal position, my head tucked in between my arms, the only shield for my face. This was a good day at first, no problems, just fake smiles. Somehow he always knew my smiles were fake and forced, and that all the times I said "love you" I was not sincere, and that all the hugs were as if I was hugging a statue that was about to crumble. The truth was I did love him. I loved him a lot actually, but I was more scared of him than anything. Fear was the only reason I stayed around him and put up with his drunken stupors. Today wasn't nearly as bad as a week ago when he gave me a black eye and I had to lie to Maggie, my best friend, saying that I ran into a door. Today Jason was tired and would stop after a few good hits. I figured out what to do in days like these, just lie still till he thought he had done enough to knock some sense into me. Under my breath I kept repeating, "It doesn't hurt, pain is nothing, it doesn't hurt, pain is nothing." Of course I would never let him hear this for it would just set him off more, more punches, more meaning less pain. It used to not always be like this either. It used to be pure bliss when I was with Jason. Now I cowered in fear, shielding myself from his rigid knuckles. Jason and I met when I was 18, and we've been dating for four years now. We met at a mutual friend's party and danced and talked the whole night. That was when he didn't drink, he had an abusive, alcoholic father and he swore he wouldn't ever drink, if only I had recorded him saying that when he did. It may have saved me go through this.

the trouble of having to

Nick Henze 4


The next day we went out to lunch and I had one of the best times of my life. We sat at the café so long it was actually dinner time so we ended up going to dinner together too. About two weeks later we were official and I brought him home to my parents, who loved him. I have always been attracted to Jason, even now. I don't know what it was about him, but despite the hitting and drinking something about him was beautiful. I think it was the way he was so lost, so hurt inside and I felt I needed to reach out to him. But like an independent two year old that kicks when you try to help, Jason acted the same way. I never gave up though; I persisted to help him only to feel pain back, no love in return. Not only was there something emotionally that forced me to stay but also a physical appeal. Jason was like a lumberjack, especially when he wore his plaid button ups. His long legs met his slender waist which met his fit stomach where his chiseled arms fell to his side. Around his mouth tiny, dark brown hairs stuck out, his pearl white teeth now hidden behind his permanently tight pressed lips. After a few punches Jason left me sitting on the couch curled up like a helpless child, my knees up to my chest, arms locked around my trembling legs. I woke up the next morning still lying on the couch. Looking over at the clock that read 7:06, I jumped up from the couch and ran into the shower. I was supposed to be at work by 8 o'clock and it took half an hour by taxi just to get there because of New York traffic. I worked for a fashion magazine as a photographer. I loved my job, and work was probably the best part of any day. The only problem with working at a fashion magazine was you always had to go to work looking put together. So instead of walking I took a cab for the sake of time and I would be able to finish getting ready in the cab.

“...lik

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I left with my hair half wet, half dry. It would dry with slight waves intertwining each other. My hair was a chestnut brown, but soon with the help of my hairdresser it would be a nice winter -brown. Leaving the house with no make-up, I ran out the door and hollered for a cab.

inde

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when

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you son a cted same the way. ”

Gustavo Ortega 5

This would be one long day, I could already tell.


It’s Your Choice

I quickly found out that Ernie was quite the genius. “Yep, I was named after the author, Ernest Hemingway. My 'rents thought that it would make me more successful or something," Ernie said. He didn't seem too bothered by the fact that despite his parents' expectations he had become a bum. Then I realized why Ernie was homeless.

Ty Shaw I started to panic when I heard faint footsteps behind me. At first, I chalked it up to just being someone else trying to get to their car in the afternoon, on a random street in DC, but once I realized that they had been following me for five minutes my heartbeat started to accelerate.

It wasn't that he wasn't smart enough; he was just too lazy to apply himself! I found myself staring incredulously at him. I had to work hard to become an executive at the law firm I worked at, and here was someone who could easily do my job if he wanted to.

I ran, my car in sight, when I did the unthinkable: I tripped. The figure broke out into a jog when he noticed that I had fallen. "I-I'll give you all my money, but please don't shank me!" I said.

I quickly decided to offer him an internship at my office. I knew I would have to let him stay at my apartment, and buy him necessities, but it would be for the good of the company. I didn't want to offer him this in front of his friends, so once I decided to leave I asked him to walk back to my car.

"Uh, I'm not gonna shank you, I was gonna see if you were a'ight," the figure said. I slowly opened my eyes to see a homeless man. My gag reflex twinged when I took in his sight and smell.

“He didn’t seem too bothered by

I could only assume he was Caucasian, though he had so much dirt caked on his face and appendages that it was hard to tell. He was probably in his late twenties, but he had a beard that could rival any old geezer's. He was wearing a sweat-stained shirt and frayed cut-off shorts. He had on flimsy flip-flops that looked like they were just duct taped together.

the fact that despite his parents’

expectations he had become a bum.”

"Hey, Ernie, would you like to intern at my law firm?" I asked. He looked at me as if I were crazy. "Seriously?!" he asked.

"Dead serious. You could stay at my apartment and you could borrow some of my clothes and start working on Monday. What do you say?" I asked hopefully. "Um, wow. I would be honored," he said. "Uh, so we'd leave right now?" I nodded.

I could see lice were making their home in his beard and clothes, and he smelled like a dumpster does after a sunny afternoon.

“Um, a'ght, huh, lemme run and go get my things and say bye to the boys."

"I'm alright, thanks for asking. I'm going to go now," I said as quickly and as politely as I could. He had an easy smile on his face (where I could see that he was missing a few teeth), but I couldn't tell if he had a weapon on him.

About twenty minutes later he showed up with a full backpack that I put in the trunk. Months later (and after a shave) Ernest quickly got a paying job within the company. He insisted that he pay rent but I told him to save the money so that way he could get his own apartment.

"Where ya off to? Wanna join me and my fellas for a game a cards under the bridge?" he asked.

He quickly turned from a bum to well-spoken businessman, and I could tell that this was what he really wanted to do.

"Um, no thank you." "I insist." We sat with a few other homeless men who were in the same state as Ernie (my companion). We played a few games of cards and I learned that despite their outward appearances these guys were good company. While we played we talked about everything from the existence of God to the best dumpsters to steal food from.

Many years later the narrator (whose name is Stephen) became the President of the company, and Ernest became the Vice President.

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Mackenzie Fox

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Breaking Away Muhamad Khalid That smell brings you back a long way. It smells like every grandma’s house should: so warm and comfortable and inviting. It smells like it has nothing really to do; it just sits there waiting for you. You can smell the hot home-y food cooking on the stove: the doulma, the kuba; it makes you hungry. It smells like the past, when things were all good. It smells like the past when you were a kid and didn’t have too much to worry about. It smells like the past when everything was innocent and warm. It brings you back to the things you’ve forgotten and tells you that you’re moving too fast. That smell. You try to hold on, but your friends tell you to leave, and you find yourself walking back into the darkness, the cold; lost and alone. The busy streets are desolate, cold, and emotionless. It starts to rain. The crowd scatters looking for somewhere to stay clean. The cool water pours from the skies and washes away the dirty streets. The people hide away and stay clean. The water runs through your hair and into your mouth. You stand and wait. You let the cold wet take over. It flows though your skin and gets inside you. It washes the dirt from your veins. Your muscles tighten and constrict and just as suddenly, relax. You start to run. Your legs pick up. They splotch on the wet streets. Out over in, out over in, splitch splotch, splitch splotch, your legs fall into a comfortable rhythm, into the perfect cycle. You’re running back to the past, back to everything that was clean and nice. You’re running away from the dirt, and everything that’s been misjudged and mislead. All the problems, and the drugs, and the fear, and the talk, and the money, and the things you never thought were funny, back to what you knew, back to what raised you and kept you safe. Back to those good times. Back to that warm nice smell that told you that everything was right in the world.

Josiah Hunt 8


Music Box Ashley Sterne

Two tiny dancers spun round and round on their porcelain nimble feet. Their hands grasped one another; passion was evident in their eyes. The longer the music played, the longer they danced. Her long white dress never moved, nor did his gaze from her face. The lid slowly lowered on the both of them; the music stopped, as did the dancing, until the next time the box was opened.

Victoria Agnellini 9


Dive into Life Emily Griffin A thought often wanders across my mind these days, causing me to spend more time than I should to ponder it. It came to me from my father, who thought he was acting slick by repeating his 'words of wisdom'. Too bad that ten minutes before I had heard it said on television. My dad was watching his favorite movie, Braveheart, and wasn't aware that I had walked into the room. It had just come to the scene when William and Malcolm were talking, and Malcolm said, "Your heart is free! have the courage to follow her!� They're wise words indeed, too wise for me to believe my dad had said them. We were riding in the car, and I was explaining how I wasn't sure whether I should teach piano lessons, work weekends, or run track. Last year I almost cracked under the pressure, but I've matured since then, so I was contemplating what to do. That's when my dad said it. I started laughing, "Dad, did you really think you could pull that off? You're such a dork!" I couldn't stop laughing. "What're you talking about? That's some good stuff right there!" "Oh my gosh, I definitely heard that on the movie last night Dad! You aren't sneaky at all." Teasing done, I laughed and thanked him anyway.

Mackenzie Fox 10


He smiled and looked like he had accomplished something, so I hopped out and let him be. I walked into school, straight to the office. As senior class President, it's my duty to make the morning announcements, every single morning. So many thoughts were running through my head; I had college applications due at the end of this week, and a babysitting job later this afternoon, but that was after I needed to stay after to tutor for Math Analysis. With everything going on, I sort of screwed up the announcements. Whatever, I didn't even care anymore. I trudged on through the day, not really processing what all was being said, but writing down the notes anyway. After school I stayed to tutor, spitting out the directions like a computer. Then I walked to the babysitting gig, where I worked on my DE and AP and IB classwork. This is how my days go, every single day. I'm too swamped with everything to even consider having a life. A couple weeks later though, I had an epiphany. My heart didn't want to do this anymore. I wanted to be a scuba diver, travel the world and find the most beautiful coral reefs and the most bizarre fish species alive. "What was I doing with my life? Who cares about how many atoms are in a molecule of seven grams, I wanna dive!" So that's what I did. I found my courage and followed my heart.

Gabriale McKinley

Years later, I broke the world record for deepest female diver and discovered a new species of air breathing fish. I named it after my father, who brought my future to my attention. 11


Lindsay LaFratta

12


Afloat Bridget Phillips

Victoria Agnellini I was hoping to be delivered to gentler hands than those of a sailor, Perhaps those of a father, old man, or even a lonely jailer! However, I am but a bottle of whiskey, looked down upon and despised, I’m known for causing problems in families, and I cannot be disguised. People misuse and abuse my kind, they give us a bad name, In reality, it’s our contents that should be put to shame. My thoughts are interrupted by a sudden crash! Pain shoots in every direction, I feel a big gash! I’m broken, sliding across the boat deck, running into things andFLING! Into the ocean, sinking, sinking, and I land. It’s dark, cold; I am broken and alone. I begin to roll over rocks, coral, and what feels like fish bone. This goes on for months, maybe years! I have lost track of time, I feel worn down. I feel smaller, forgotten, insignificant, ugly, and brown. I haven’t seen the light of day, I am constantly tossed and turned. I crave rest, but I am only rammed and churned. Just as I feel as if my hell can get no hotter, I see streaks of light streaming through the water. The rough sand I’ve known for so long seems to be getting softer and lighter. I feel the water becoming shallower; it’s getting brighter and brighter! I feel sun, air, and finally the gentle hands I’ve dreamed of for years! I’ll no longer be tossed around with bottles of beer. I am broken and old, but new and treasured. They call me “sea glass.” 13


Reid Ty Shaw After Jack left for work, I busied myself doing chores and running errands. Soon enough, Reid got off the bus and burst into the house.

"Ok, but let's hurry and make that 'sgetti now!" he said. I laughed and got out the ingredients. Once we put the plates on the table, I heard the front door open.

"Hi Mommy!" he yelled. I poked my head from around the kitchen.

"I'm home! And wow, something smells good!" Jack yelled from the foyer. Reid ran and jumped into his arms, recounting what had happened at school today.

"Hi sweetie! How was school? Anything exciting happen today?" I asked. As he threw himself onto the couch, I gently sat down.

"Hi honey," I said as he walked over and pecked me on the lips. We walked to the dining room table and ate dinner, the sounds of conversation floating in the air.

"It was alright I guess. But Mindy Fisher said that dinosaurs weren't cool 'cause they're not around anyAfterwards, we piled into the car and drove to the local more, so I told her that I thought that unicorns weren't ice cream shop. I took Reid's hand as we got in line. cool 'cause they weren't "Oh, wait mom! I forgot my T-Rex!" even around to begin with! “I saw a car coming barreling Reid said, referring to his plastic toy But she shared her goldfish though the parking lot, and dinosaur that he carried with him evewith me during lunch so I rywhere. 'cided to forgive her," Reid my heart dropped in "It's in the car, sweetie. We'll get it said. once we get our ice cream," I said. realization that it was "Well, that was nice of you. "But I want it now, it'll just take me a Did you see anyone else too late.� second," he said as he wormed his who was in your class last hand out of mine. He ran out of the year?" shop before I could stop him. "Yeah, Brian Colley and Shane Ferguson were in my "Reid, wait!" I yelled. He didn't bother looking both class today, so I played wif them at recess," he said. ways before he ran to our car that was parked on the "Plus, I made a new friend named Logan Brown, we other side of the street. I saw a car coming, barreling shared crayons." through the parking lot, and my heart dropped in reali"That's cool, look at you, already making friends," I zation that it was too late. said as I tickled his side. He giggled and scooted out of The sound of my scream almost blocked out the my reach. screech of the brakes, but all too clearly I heard Reid's "Dad's going to be home soon, do you want to help me body hitting the car. All too clearly I could see his body make dinner?" I asked. He nodded enthusiastically. flip in the air. The car didn't even bother to stop, it kept "What's gonna be for dinner?" he asked. on driving. "Spaghetti," I said as I stood up.

I sprinted outside and ran to Reid's body. I pulled him close, my hands all over his face looking for a sign that he was still alive. I jammed my ear to his chest, but in the midst of the jarble of the crowd and my husband chanting no, no, no behind me. I couldn't hear a heartbeat. I clung to Reid as water began to flood out of my eyes. Jack hugged us both, and we sat like that until the ambulances came.

"Aw man, but I don't like 'sgetti!" he said. "If you eat all of your spaghetti we'll go get ice cream for dessert," I bartered. He jumped up in excitement and pulled me into the kitchen.

Anonymous

14


Ground Clouds Jake Brown

the cane is at hand over lines and the land flak-jackets of twill on floor, exerting will clay on glove, stroked cheek don't expect the meek to wear the ground clouds ashamed church bell sounds ground clouds on the field shadows know to yield

Josiah Hunt 15


Running out of Time Bridget Phillips

He would always say, “Now, if you run fast enough, they can’t catch you.” And time after time, the phrase proved itself to be true. Fathers have gone down in history for better advice, but mine wasn’t the same as others, he wasn’t too nice. He ran from his parents, he ran from the cops, He ran from my family when I was age 6, tops. The all say “like father, like son,” so at a young age, I began to run. I ran from my preschool teacher to hide my shame, I ran from the neighborhood dogs who weren’t tame. And if I ran fast enough, they couldn’t catch me. I ran from the ball catcher on the baseball field, I ran from the security guards when they demanded that I yield. And if I ran fast enough, they couldn’t catch me. I ran from family, friends, and all aspects of school, I ran from confrontation, conflict, and those who were cruel. And if I ran fast enough, they couldn’t catch me. If you run long enough, it becomes hard to sit still, To settle down with a family, I simply didn’t have the will. When it came my time to leave this earth, I tried to do what I did best. I ran and I ran for all I was worth, But I learned I couldn’t run from my final rest.

Gustavo Ortega 16


Muhamad Khalid

17


What Eben Took With Him Aubrey Sullivan

Eben had admitted that it was not uncommon for the men of Barrow to choose this place, this otherworldly locale to attempt to stoke fires (or at least start sparks) on a first date. It was full of magic, he knew. Stella was his first, his last and his only. They had taken in the wonder of the halved orange and red spray painted sunset, careful not to sit too close, or clutch the other with either joy or cold and make awkward the circumstance. Eventually, her head appeared on his shoulder, and his hand had crept into hers. The sunset was a boon for them, splashing their now shared horizon with pinks and other warm colors. Now, that same point held only sadness and pain, without the discovery that resounded those many years before. She had leaned her head against his arm again, and the familiarity of the pose and setting only increased the agony of his transformation and departure. Departure. Such a strong word, ringing with finality. These were the last moments the pair could spend together. His muscles tensed at the promise of impending sunlight, soon feathering its golden wings over the snowcaps and white drifts. It was cold; God, it was cold. Freezing, actually. But he was only aware of this because of the tinge of blue spattering Stella's full lips, and the way in which her fingers trembled; he was sure she couldn't be shaking so ferociously just because of their situation. That was a contributor, certainly, and a sick part of him was glad she felt something for him after so long feigning indifference. She was open to him now, and he was grateful. There was nothing to do but wait, and watch. He hated the change in himself, the lengthening and quick decay of his teeth, the solid black eyes, devoid of whites, stretched out til pupils were the entirety. Even his hands were different, shaped into claws and, no matter how he tried to curve them back, forever malformed. 'Not forever,' he corrected himself. Just till sunrise. Stella began to cry, softly, heartrendingly, and Eben sensed the fraction of him that was still human twist in sympathy. She knew he must do this, that there was no cure for the sickness upon him now. But though she understood, she still resented him for being right. Like always. Eben smiled ruefully, or at least formed his lips haphazardly into what could be more than a grimace. He loved her, but he must leave.

Kaylee Martir 18


He wondered if it would hurt. Surely if he was going willingly, God would pity him, remove the discomfort of dying. Yet, wasn't he already dead? And could God really exist in a world where the creatures they had endured for thirty days ran wild and unknown? The absence of God seemed far more probable, and even desired, than a truth where He allowed such evil to walk the earth. He kissed her forehead, cautiously, not wanting his sharp teeth to knick her flesh. The smell of her was intoxicating, but his dwindling humanity enforced nausea. He appreciated the remaining gag reflex; it enabled him be this close to her now, when it mattered most. The land was long, and still, more pearly gray than white now. He knew the end must be nearing. There were no sounds from animals, no caws or tweets of snowbirds come out from the drifts, or barking of huskies bore free from the darkness. They were dead or gone. 'Just like me.' Sun-up was so very, very close. He could taste it, bitter and acrid, on his tongue. Eben comforted Stella, for he felt no fear now. The sun was something he had always loved, and although his new nature prompted hatred of the glowing gold orb, Eben's gratefulness for the rays outweighed the instinct. He had saved them, though the sun could have completed the task just as well. He laughed, or coughed, whichever sounded more accurate giving the roughness of his throat, the dry, parched sensation practically consuming him. And there- sooner than he predicted- a birthing of faraway light. It was ivory at first, like heaven, and then cascaded slowly down the landscape into gold. It was changing, just like he had. Just like he was again. Eben's skin flecked off into ash, piece by piece, as the sunrise bled over onto him. There was no pain, just the safe feeling he'd take with him, wherever he'd go: that of the known and loved Alaskan expansive snow piles, his sequestered and brave town Barrow. And Stella, illuminated eternally by red, and orange, and yellow, lighting up her flushed cheeks. Cheeks that still shone with slick tear tracks. He'd take those with him, too.

Mackenzie Fox 19


After the Flash Ali Buchanan

Kaylee Martir A lot can be told about a person by the way they hold themselves or the look in their eyes, but it can be hard to judge from a picture. Telling how a person acts or how they really are is near impossible from just looking at a photograph. But the look in their eyes can still tell a story, particularly if the picture was taken without warning. If someone doesn't expect a picture to be taken, they can't prepare themselves for the image of themselves that will be left behind. If they expect it to be taken, they might not show the way they're truly feeling.

20


Watching Toni Sorrentino

Toni Sorrentino

21


We Watch Space Pass Muhamad Khalid

I’m sure there’s a place out there where everything is good, a single corner of earth that sits farther away from the rest of the world, hidden away, a part that the rest of the world folds around. The very bottom of the earth where people have yet to discover lying, cheating, and messing up. This place is home to so many. Giant trees stretch their souls into the warm, earthy fibers of this home. Young seeds bury themselves as deep as they can in this haven; it nourishes; it sustains them. It puts them into the world and pumps life into their healthy veins. This place is. This place is home to ripening potatoes. You reach into this thick dwelling and tear out small, young potatoes and bring them to your nose. Sniff. Ahh. It’s young dirty skin, still warm, radiates with all the energy of this place. You can smell it. You can see it. It’s a living testimony to the beauty of this home. But it won’t be long until it’s dead. Until it starts to reek of the odor of the world. This place is the start of fresh oranges and lemons and the end to much more. You rub the plants’ ripening leaves, and you can smell the wet bursting citrus on your soft fingertips. This place is home, a place that takes in, forgives, and forgets. It buries our sorry memories and gives us new life and energy. This place is not gone.

Victoria Agnellini

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Warm Whispers Ashley Sterne

Janitor's closet fantasies are filled everyday between fourth and fifth period. Your boyfriend will drop you off at the door to your class, and I wait patiently across the hall. Watching. His hands find yours, and he holds them to his heart. He tells you how much he loves you and wants to be with you forever. Forever, something I could give you. Waiting. For the opportune moment where I make my move and motion for you to follow me towards everything you could have but choose not to take. Anticipating. The day you decide to leave your boy toy for endless days and nights of what we have during break periods in school days. All I want is the feeling of love.

Nicole Thorne 23


Infatuation Alivia Knutson

Gustavo Ortega She wanted me; I was sure of it. Those signs she hid so well were a sure way to know how deeply she really wanted me. I see her in the hallway: she looks away and turns around, intimidated by my good looks. I see her at the mall: she immediately pretends to have an in-depth conversation with her friend, hoping I'll try to interrupt it and talk to her. I see her at the football game: she sits as far away as possible, wishing I would come sit with her and be alone together. I see her at her job: she refolds a whole shelf of shirts that wasn't even messed up, thinking this was a for-sure way for me to make the first move. The suspense is killing her, I know it. It's killing her inside to know I'm waiting so long to even speak to her. The dirty looks she gives me now are just her way of telling me she's ready for me to stop being so distant. The denials she gives me now are just her way of saying the strength of her feelings for me are too great to handle. I'll try again tomorrow. She wants me; it's killing her inside.

24


Toni Sorrentino 25


Enticement Aubrey Sullivan

She'd first spied him over a tower of champagne glasses, where he stood serving glittering silver platters to the high-society function guests. At first, she couldn't be certain what drew her attention to him – he was, after all, as dictated by his profession and dress, well below her station. Perhaps it was the slant of sunlight across his rough features, or the twist of lips below a nose that had clearly been broken one too many times. It could have been his presence – filling the atmosphere with a strained sort of power, like he was a wildcat from foreign picture books, prepared to pounce in an instant. She loved watching him move, the tiniest action controlled but erratic; immediately, she pegged him as a contradiction, a peculiarity, a jagged puzzle piece defying the set. And Victoria Bristol enjoyed a good puzzle. She cornered him when the party was finished. He was exiting the service basement, running a hand through gloriously unkempt black hair and loosening his cravat. She picked up her scarlet skirts and fluttered long lashes. "Do you know where Lady Trent disappeared to?" she asked, referring to the matronly escort she'd arrived with. "I can't find her anywhere." He blinked once, appraised her with a heavy brow and smirked. "Doesn't seem like you're searching. Are you looking for game instead?" Taken aback, Victoria's first instinct was to shriek in outrage, indignantly storm off. But that wasn't who she was. And she wanted his game.

Mackenzie Fox 26


Sam

I sat in the back of my class, staring at the colorful posters advertising that third grade was the best, that I should apply myself to schoolwork, that cooperation was the best way.

Emily Churchill My dad came running up the stairs and crashed through my door. This infuriated me. I bellowed and began punching his legs, throwing toys at him. His military bearing kicked in as he grabbed me and held my hands together so that I couldn't move. I twisted and flailed, wailing as I tried to get free. He didn't budge.

"Sam?" I looked up. The teacher was talking to me for the first time in a week. "Can you solve this for us, please?" Long division, so easy. I looked down and continued doodling. "Fifteen."

My mother, tears forming in her eyes, told me that I had to be punished for hitting Dad. She took away a pile of my toys and stashed them in her bedroom. I screamed that she couldn't do it. She kept taking them. I began to yell that I hated her, that I wanted to kill her.

"That's right. Very good, Sam." She scrawled it up on the board. "Class, do you see how he got that?" Murmurs followed. I continued drawing. I heard a short noise near me and looked up. Jesse, the boy next to me, was trying to get my attention.

I didn't hate her. I didn't want to kill her. I wanted her to stop and listen to me. I wanted to tell her about Jesse "Hey, you think you're so cool? You're dumb, and no one and how the teacher got angry at me. I likes you. Freak." “The only way I could wanted her to make Dad go away so she He snorted in self-satisfaction and went back show the world how I could hug me and tell me that she underto his math worksheet. I lay my head onto stood and that she loved me. Instead, she my desk, covering my drawing of a man befelt and have them got angry. She began to shout that I ing stabbed. Tears dripped out of my eyes understand was when I could never say anything like that to her. onto the paper. I sniffed silently until my She took more of my things. teacher approached me. was angry.� "Fine!" I cried, with my face brick red, the "Are you alright, Sam?" fury returning. "Fine! Take it all! I don't care! I don't care! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!" I shook my head. I could tell the rest of the class was staring at me and making faces at each other. "Well, you have to look up and pay attention now. Look up, Sam." I sat up but kept my head down and covered so no one could see my red eyes. Freak. Freak. Freak. The word echoed in my head, pulling and ripping at my heart each time. I wanted to hurt Jesse. I wanted to tell him that no one liked him and that he was mean.

I squirmed against my bindings, thrashing to try to get away. I watched all of my friends, all of my toy cows, being taken away. I cried anew when the thought occurred to me that maybe they would follow through with their ultimate threat and actually throw all of them away. "I HATE YOU!" I screamed, "I WANT YOU TO DIE. I HATE YOU SO MUCH!" They were done talking to me. My dad held me firm as my mom removed all of my toys. They then left, leaving me in my room. I screamed and bellowed, slamming into the door and slamming my fist into my mirror so that I wouldn't have to see my ugly stupid face.

Once I got home, I ran straight up to my room and slammed the door. My brain swirled in confusion. It was so hard for me. I wanted to be comforted, held by my mother and soothed until I fell asleep, but I wanted to be angry. I wanted to break things and hurt people who didn't understand me. I began to scream, flinging my stuffed animals and my pillows at the wall. I punched everything near me as the tears poured down my face. I was so angry, so frustrated that I couldn't do anything else. The only way I could show the world how I felt and have them understand it was when I was angry.

I screamed all day and all night. I screamed until my voice was lost, then I screamed silently to myself. My throat grew sore, and my stomach ached from too much crying. My tears dried up. I curled up on my pillow-less, empty bed, weeping quietly. All I wanted was to hold my favorite cow as I went to sleep.

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Colophon is in its fifth year of publication. It is published during the summer. The magazine was produced on IBM�compatible computers using Microsoft Publisher 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 Extra Condensed Bold. The body font for each story is Tahoma and pull quotes are Tempas Sans ITC.

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. 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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Mackenzie Fox

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STAFFORD HIGH SCHOOL

STAFFORD HIGH SCHOOL 30


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