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The Daedalian

The Daedalian

Letter from THE EDITOR

Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief | Stanton Brasher Managing Editor | Brianna Casey Copy Editor | Erin Marissa Russell Copy Editor | Alex Ancira Designer| Aaron Claycomb Advisor | Sam Carter

The Fine Print The Daedalian is a yearly student publication of Texas Woman’s University and presented by The Lasso, the student-run newspaper of Texas Woman’s University. The Daedalian is produceed by The Lasso student staff and content is submitted by the TWU community. Editors develop their own policies regarding selection of content. Content presented in The Daedalian does not necessarily reflect the views of The Daedalian, The Lasso or Texas Woman’s University. All TWU students are eligible to submit art/literature for consideration. Daedalian staff members ensure that all submissions are original work and have the final decision when choosing submissions for publication. A panel of judges reviews each submission and makes recommendations to the Daedalian staff for printed selections. Selections are based on quality of work, artistic vision, and as space allows. Contact & Inquiries 940-898-2185 Texas Woman’s University The Lasso 555 Stoddard Hall Room 311 Denton, TX, 76203



“Don’t Stop Believing” by Heather M. White 6 “When TWU Played Football” by James McFaddin 10

reetings from the Daedalian and happy new year.

2012 was a year full of beauty and tragedy, healing and scarring, happiness and sadness.

“That’s What It’s All About” by Erin Marissa Russell 28

Stanton Brasher Editor-in-Chief

“Herman vs. Mothra” by Kimberly Riggens 19 “The Last Words” by Brianna Casey 24 “Always Darkest Before Dawn” by Brianna Casey 26


“Entropy” by Erin Marissa Russell 8 “Chris” by Bessie Banks 9 “Tell Me” by Brianna Casey 15 “Silence of Nature” by Mindy Arellano 15 “The Light Post” by Mindy Arellano 21 “Natural Selection” by Erin Marissa Russell 22 “The Old White House” by Vemessa Lynch 22 “Tomorrow” by Shannon Quick 30

29 8

“The Valentine” by Jamie Compton 30


“Winterscape” by Lori Maclean 6 “Linear Nation” by Lindsey Dunnagan 8

Reanna Diaz//////////

“Chocolate and Cream” by Carolyn M. Nelson 12 “You Need All Three” by Carolyn M. Nelson 12 “Dane 3” by Carolyn M. Nelson 14 “Riley” by Carolyn M. Nelson 14 “Under My Thumb” by Carolyn M. Nelson 15 “Don’t Bite the Radish” by Carolyn M. Nelson 21 “Iron Mountain” by Lindsey Dunnagan 23 “Williamses” by Carolyn M. Nelson 25 “Censored” by Carolyn M. Nelson 26 “Dane 3” by Carolyn M. Nelson 30


//////////Jeni Berry

“Laughing Bird” by Aaron Claycomb 9

“Photosynthetic” by Lindsey Dunnagan 22

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45 31 927

“A Few Bucks For Cigarettes” by Erin Marissa Russell 1

“Somewhere Between Triumph and Tragedy” by Stanton Brasher 16

This was the year that saw the legendary status of a Penn State coach disappear for the most despicable crime a human can commit. This was also the year that saw a man skydive from space and break the sound barrier with his body. This was the same year that a deranged gunman walked into a movie theater and took the lives of 12 innocent Batman fans and yet, the same year The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson. Despite some of the horrible things that have happened, we are still here, advancing. We lost two astronauts last year. Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. He passed away in August at 82. Sally K. Ride, the first American woman in space, passed away in July at 61. Armstrong and Ride inspired both boys and girls of my generation, who are now the men and women receiving the societal torch and running the race. Ride was also the youngest person in space at the time, and while it seemed like a small step for feminism, it was a huge leap for mankind. Humanity has always been filled with opposition or turmoil, but humans are capable of rising above it all. We could blast off past the stars and excel beyond what anyone thought was possible if we only worked together. After all, isn’t Earth just a giant, spherical spaceship? One of the uniting forces that all humans share is art. We all consume some form of it. Art offers us insights into thoughts, ideas, and lifestyles that we might not have experienced otherwise. It figuratively puts us in the artist’s shoes and literally gives us the ability to see their vision. What tool is more powerful than that? In this year’s journal, you will get to live experiences through the minds of many talented writers, poets, painters, and photographers. Enjoy their shoes, and when you are done, feel free to let someone else try them on.

Photos //Pages

10 13


//////////Ellie Alonzo

The Daedalian

Short Story

A Few Bucks For Cigarettes By Erin Marissa Russell


waitress dropped a red plastic basket with a Reuben sandwich and fries, grease soaking through the checkered paper, in front of the man. “Get you anything else?” she asked. One hand on her hip, she looked toward the booth she had been sitting in, her cigarette still burning in the ashtray. “Just the check, when you have time,” he said. When she had gone, he looked outside. The kids were still at the bus stop. A boy and a girl, maybe in high school. She’d stowed her suitcase and purse under the bench, and was fretting over a bus schedule. The boy pulled a cell phone out of his hip pocket and squinted at it, touching a key. He shook his head and put it back. “Hey, um—” he turned and peered at the waitress’ nametag. “Debbie. Can I have a to-go box, please?” She took a drag from her cigarette, regarding him. He didn’t blink. She stubbed it out and hefted herself up. He folded a few salty fries into his mouth and pulled a bill out of his wallet. The waitress came back with a white paper bag, which he exchanged for the bill. “Keep the change.” “Hey, thanks,” she said, after she 4 Daedalian


looked at it. He acknowledged her with a nod, wrapped the sandwich and fries in the napkin, and packed them into the bag. On his way to the door, he dropped the plastic basket on a counter with some others. The man put his hands into his coat pockets and leaned forward, pushing open the door. The wind numbed his nose and ears as it whistled into the restaurant. The door slammed shut. *



Gina heard the door close and looked up. “Here he comes,” she said. Saul nodded his head, black curls falling into his face. “I told you he was looking at us.” They watched as he crossed the street. Gina retrieved her purse and clutched it in her lap as he stepped onto the curb. “Hello,” he said.

Photography by Jeni Berry

Saul shaded his eyes with his hand and looked up at him. “Hello.” “Jesus, where are your shoes?” the man asked her. “I’m wearing shoes,” she said, looking down at her sandals. Her bare toes were red. “You must be freezing,” he replied. She shrugged, like she didn’t see the snow on the sidewalk, and looked back to the schedule. “Listen, are you guys all right?” \man asked. “Are we all right?” Saul repeated. “I mean, I’m a social worker. And you’re out here with these suitcases, wearing sandals. How old are you anyway?” Saul looked to her instead of answering. “Eighteen,” she said. He started nodding like an idiot. She glared at him. “Both of you?” the man asked. “Yes,” she sighed. “Is something wrong,

Mister—” She looked the man in the eyes for the first time. “Richter,” he said. “I‘m Art Richter. And I hope nothing’s wrong, that’s just what I came to ask you.” He handed Gina a cheap, white card with his name and some phone numbers on it. “Saul.” He extended his hand. “And Gina.” She was still examining his card. “What’s LCSW?” she questioned. “Licensed Clinical Social Worker,” Art answered. She nodded her head. She didn’t know what that meant. “Well, do you have a place to stay?” he asked. “We did,” Saul said. “We do,” Gina interjected. “We did, and our ride didn’t show up. But we still have a place to stay. A different place.” Art kind of chewed the inside of his cheek, squinting at her. He didn’t believe her. “Right,” Saul said. “Just call if something happens,” Art said. “You don’t want to stay on the streets around here. Where are you guys from, anyway?” “Oklahoma,” Gina said. A bus rasped up in front of them and sighed to a stop. “Is that your ...” she said, motioning to the bus. “Oh, no,” Art said, waving his hand dismissively. “You guys are a long way from home. Your parents know where you are?” “Yeah, they do,” Gina said, exasperated. She pulled her ponytail through her fist. It was true. She’d told her parents the day before they left. Soon he’d be asking if she wanted to call them, like the people at the church who gave them cheese and bread. No thanks, she thought. I don’t want to call home and get yelled at right now. “Listen, thanks for the card, we’ll call you if we need anything.” she said. “Okay,” Art said. He rocked back on his heels, then froze. “You guys want this sandwich?” He held the bag out to them. “No thanks, we’re fed,” Saul said. “If you’re sure,” he said. The kids stared at him for a minute. Saul stuck his hand out to shake. Reluctantly, Art shook his hand and left. The kids watched as Art walked down the street and turned the corner.

“That sucked,” Saul said. “I know, he was so pathetic,” she said. “And can you please try to remember that you’re eighteen? At least in front of social workers?” She swatted Saul on the arm. “Sorry,” he said. “How much money do we have?” she asked. Saul let out a low whistle. He pulled an army-green wallet from his pocket and opened it. “A few bucks,” he said. “Enough for cigarettes?” He nodded and handed the money to

her. “You buy ‘em,” he reminded her. “Let’s go find a store,” she said. “And another bus stop. I don’t want to be here if that creepy guy comes back to check on us.” Saul packed up a CD player and headphones. He stood, shouldering his backpack. “Then where are we going?” he asked her. Gina tossed the bus schedule to him, looked left, then right. “Pick one,” she said, and started crossing the street.

Photography by Jeni Berry 2013

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The Daedalian

Short Story

Winterscape Lori Maclean

Don’t Stop Believing By Heather M. White


on’t stop believing, hold on to that feelinggggg,” Jane sings while dancing around her apartment. The only upside that Jane has found to cleaning is turning up her “Glee” Soundtrack while dancing and singing around the rooms. Jane is very new to the independence thing. She moved out of her mom’s house about two months ago and is still adjusting to her newfound freedom. This is only the second time she has cleaned in two months. If her mother knew, she 6 Daedalian


would spontaneously combust. Jane grew up in a typical three bedroom house with all of the amenities. Her mother, Martha, worked very hard to provide everything they needed. Martha is a slim blonde with a look that can kill. She has worked her way to the top of her company by being ruthless. She always taught Jane you have to go out and get what you want. So Jane got a part-time job when she turned 16 to earn her own money and her mother’s approval.

Now Jane is circling her 500-square-foot apartment in pajama shorts and tank top with a dust rag in her hand trying to prepare for her mother’s visit. Jane is nothing like her mother. Jane is short, a little overweight, blond hair, and tries more than anything to make the world a better place. This is why she made the 200mile move to attend college and become a social worker. Her mother is against all of her current life plans. She wants her to stay closer to home and do something that requires a

little cut-throat business tactics. However, Jane has a tough time being stern and putting people in their place. Her mother is set to arrive in approximately three hours, which means she’ll be here in two. Jane has fallen in love with the city and plans to tell her mom of her future plans of staying put after graduation. She knows her mom will be crushed; however, it is where she wants to be. After making her last pass through her place to make sure everything is tidy, the doorbell chimes. Complete and total panic sets in. She is not ready to face her mother and neither is her apartment. After tossing the cleaning supplies in the washing machine and hitting pause on her iPod, she runs to the door with an excited glow upon her cheeks. Even though she and her mother don’t see eye to eye on everything, it is the first familiar face she will have seen in two months. Jane swiftly opens the door to a strange face. It is the man who lives on the floor below her. She has secretly watched him from her window, in a completely non-creepy way. He is five or so years older than Jane, rather tall, with a head full of flowing brown hair. Jane always refers to him as the Ken Barbie that lives downstairs to her friends. Dazed, Jane smiles and says, “Hello?” “Hey, I, um, live downstairs, and I was wondering if you, umm?” he mumbles. “Yes,” Jane says, batting her eyelashes and smiling, wishing she would have been better dressed. “Well, you see, I can hear everything you do up here and I am trying to study and I can hear you, umm, singing,” he responds sheepishly. “Oh, I’m really sorry, it won’t happen again,” Jane replies, trying to hide her cherry red face.

“Really, it’s fine, last time my roommates thought it was hilarious. I just have to finish these last few chapters,” He explains. “Last time? Oh, that’s great! Well, you know, good luck.” She barely whispers. “Yeah, don’t stop believing,” he says as he backs off her landing with a smile forming at the corners of his mouth. As Jane shuts the door she slides down the wall and closes her eyes. Well, maybe I will move back home after all. She couldn’t believe that they had heard her singing, and to think, she was convinced that he was going to ask her out. As she laughed out loud, her phone buzzed and danced across the kitchen table. She ran across the room to catch the call. “Hello.” “Hey, honey. So, I have some news.” “Hey Mom, what’s up?” “Well, Mommy has to cancel our plans. She has a date!” “OMG. Really?” “Honey, don’t use God’s name in vain.” “I didn’t.” “Ok, well listen, Mommy has to run and get ready. Kiss kiss.” Click. “Hello?” Great. I have a clean house, I can’t leave, and my mom has a date. What is this world coming to? Jane decides that she has to unleash some of her embarrassment onto her friend. Without hesitation she dials Mary, her best friend of her whole life. Mary picks up on the third ring as she always does; she considers it the perfect ring to answer on. As soon as Mary finishes her greeting, Jane gives her a blow by blow of what happened with Ken Barbie downstairs and her mom. The other side of the conversation is full of gasps, “ooh”s and “aah”s. After Jane stops talking, it is

Mary’s turn to counterargue what happened and how Jane is to proceed from here.Then Jane starts the head nodding and the “yeah”s. After a few minutes of conversation, Jane hears the doorbell again and tells Mary that she has to go and will call her later to finish strategizing. As Jane approaches the door, she ponders how much worse her day can get. As she opens the door, her stomach hits the floor. She knows that today will go down in the record books. “Hey again, me from downstairs,” he says. “I wasn’t singing,” she says defensively. “I know. I just wanted to let you know that my name is Joe, not Ken Barbie!” Joe said playfully. “!?!?!?!?!?!?!” the wordless expression was written all over Jane’s face. “Remember, really thin walls?” Joe reminds her. “I was just, um, telling my friend that— umm.” “It’s ok; I just wanted to apologize for embarrassing you.” “No, don’t be silly. I’m fine. I totally thought it was funny.” “Really? Because you sounded really upset on the phone.” “Yeah, I was just playing a joke on you,” Jane says, trying to hide her humiliation. “Oh, well, good one! See ya around,” Joe replies and strolls away from Jane’s door. Jane cannot believe her living nightmare. She cannot do a thing without Joe hearing. She can’t even call Mary and tell her about the new horrific occurrence. She will be reduced to emailing her the news and waiting on a response. She wonders how long Mary considers to be an appropriate amount of time to reply to an e-mail as she pulls out her laptop. 2013

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The Daedalian



By Erin Marissa Russell “(Hark close, and still, what I now whisper to you, I love you---- O you entirely possess me, O I wish that you and I escape from the rest, and go utterly off---- O free and lawless, Two hawks in the air---- two fishes swimming in the sea not more lawless than we,)” -WaltWhitman

Photography by Ellie Alonzo O that rivers and fishes tire of the endeavor And swing asleep on soundless currents, Burrowed amnesiac in blankets of sediment. When the South wind has no stories to tell, Tell the trees to quit their vast stoic watch. Assume the height from which the world Scarcely seems to spin, dizzying breath of years Drawing deep from stagnant waters of memory. Such searing drought between exhalations Our lonesome bones cannot remember Which seeds we were, how our roots Spread aching fingers through the heat-cracked soil, Or the direction we mindlessly stretched to see the sun.

Linear Nation Lindsey Dunnagan 8 Daedalian


Photography by Raeanna Diaz

Chris By Bessie Banks

Laughing Bird By Aaron Claycomb

You make me hate the thought of liking someone that has the potential to be all that I need them to. You make me dislike the wrong from the right and get into a pillow fight with my dreams of that perfect guy. Your cuteness makes me blink, you have eyes that make a blind man see, and ears to let me hear all of your thoughts. Your body is perfection—your torso could win an election, broad shoulders, and caramel complexion. I am borderline in an obsession. But your attitude does not fit all these features, makes me want to hide underneath the bleachers. I cannot withstand your rudeness, and failure to communicate with me.

Are you playing head games with my heart or do you simply hate me? I could be an imitator, music conservator, the death of my likeness will be documented by my arbitrator. So if I could just make you see how you make me feel. Your name makes me jump. When I call your phone my throat creates a lump. My passion to taste your lips results in humph. So this is where I have to decide if pleasure is worth more than pain. If you will be my beauty and help this gain. this creativity spreads from my heart to the picture frame. I need a sign I got to know. Whether I should continue on with this torture or let it go.

My skin breathes in the night All around me It’s now inside me I close up to fight  and you’re crazy Sometimes  sometimes sometimes It’s feeling that I’m skin Calloused and burned  and shaking  You’re my laughing bird Holy and Crazy  2013

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The Daedalian

Short Story

“When TWU Played Football”


By James McFaddin

t was 2015. Texas A&M had been a member of the Southeastern Conference in all sports since Aug. 2012 and gradually was moving toward the middle of the pack with the Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Kentucky, and even lowly Vanderbilt football programs of the world. Yes, the money was fabulous (estimated payout per school approaching $25 million annually), but Aggie faithfuls were starting to become unnerved about gridiron losses to Vanderbilt (20-17 during the 2014 season) and Arkansas (five years in a row to the old Southwest Conference rivals and a 50-14 pounding in 2014). The time was ripe for a new challenge and something to take loyal Aggies minds off some faltering football days and a basketball program plagued by long road trips and numerous missed classes. And enter Mr. Jerry Jones. The Cowboys owner and noted sports entrepreneur met with Texas A&M officials and concocted a plan to bring more people to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington (parking rates had been raised to $55 prior to the ’14 season) and to add a few more visitors to the hundreds who were taking tours of Cowboys Stadium (now $25 for guided and $22.50 for-self guided with headsets). Noted TWU director of athletics Chalese Connors also had been seeking some new revenue streams and hit on an idea that would be beneficial and (hopefully) fun for all. How about a coed flag football game between the Pioneers and their ‘brother’ school down in College Station with special seven-person rules and an optimum site – Cowboys Stadium? 10 Daedalian


The two schools agreed: the flag football challenge would be played on the night before the 79th annual AT&T Cotton Bowl, which had moved to “Jerry World” in 2010 with the Ole MissOklahoma State extravaganza. Ground rules were set: special 60yard field, 10-minute quarters with natural clock stoppages (incomplete passes, scores, etc.), no “ringers” allowed (midseason transfers, former All-Big Ten standouts who were in TWU’s sports administration program, A&M football alumni taking online classes), women were to play quarterback for both teams the entire game, four women/three men to a side, extra points kicked counted as two points, one PAT point for a run or pass, no kickoffs or punts (the ball would be placed at the opponent’s 20-yard line on all changes of possessions except for fumbles and interceptions), no flag “blitzing” allowed by ends or outside linebackers, all fans would be issued commemorative T-shirts (white for TWU and maroon for Aggie fans).

Photography by Ellie Alonzo

Preseason hype for the game took on dimensions unheard of in TWU athletics annals. Of course, the two schools had joint dances on Friday nights in Denton or locations near Fort Worth or Dallas when the Aggies came to town to play old SWC rivals TCU and SMU, respectively, TWU coeds often went to the A&M campus for a number of special occasions. The World War II propaganda film “We’ve Never Been Licked” about Texas A&M even carried an immortal line by famed Western actor Noah Beery: “Oh, boy, here come the buses with the ladies from TSCW (as TWU was known in the 1940s).” But the cast of seven starters and three subs per team probably never has or never will be equaled in the longstanding flag football histories of both schools. These select teams of actual students and grad students at both universities were trained and skilled at a number of positions. At quarterback (or tailback, depending on one’s perspective in the shotgun), TWU featured Katie (Kat) Brown, who had starred in six sports at Euless Trinity HS in the DFW Metroplex. A&M countered with tall and lanky Brunhilde von Laufenberg, a transfer from Idaho who led her TWU intramural teams in football and basketball to campus titles in both autumn 2013 and ’14. Running back starters for TWU were the speedy Stephens sisters – Anika and Cassandra – who starred at Fordyce (Ark.) HS. Anika, in fact, played tackle football through the ninth grade with the boys until she decided to concentrate on volleyball and basketball. The Aggies countered with Diana Darrow and Charlene Fisk, also Arkansas natives who played

sandlot football for six years and developed physical toughness by competing barefoot. Athletics shoes were required for this TWU-A&M contest – now formally known and sponsored as the Freebirds Texas A&MTWU Flag Football Showdown. Linepersons/receivers for the two teams represented the bulk of the male participants. TWU had a pair of graduate students and two undergrads along the front wall – males Jim McSpadden, Maury Miller, Arnie Claymore, and female center Marie Griffith. A&M sported Ajax Concannon, Brad Mercurio, Matthew Peters, and female Constance Kilpatrick, who was versatile move from center to interior to wideout similar to all the down linepersons. Famed coaches for the two teams were Jason Howerton (Texas quarterback star of the 2013-14 seasons after transferring from Vanderbilt) for the Pioneers and the acclaimed Jackie Sherrill, who last coached an A&M team in 1988 against his alma mater Alabama in College Station and took on Showdown responsibilities but lobbied for a kicking game. The officiating crew was none other than aging but illustrious former Southwest Conference veterans referee Weldon Winkle and back/side/line judge Pop Turner. Things became testy right from the start. Captains Brown and von Laufenberg glared at one another as the coin was tossed. A&M called heads, it was tails, and the Pioneers’ flag club inherited the ball on the 20-yard line. In spite of the great speed by the Stephens sisters and an inexperienced secondary, the game remained scoreless until just before intermission. A latearriving (the usual for Cowboys 2013

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Chocolate and Cream

Need Three YourYou Need All All Three

Carolyn M. Nelson

Stadium) crowd of almost 20,000 settled in for fast-paced action and had a plethora of four-yard runs and deflected passes. A&M was whistled for one unnecessary roughness and two blocking in the back calls. TWU was almost perfect, with one offsides infraction. With 2:35 remaining in the second quarter, the Pioneers finally got their big break. Brown avoided a hard rush by the Aggies’ Mercurio and ducked under a quick swipe at the last second. Cassandra Stephens noticed the A&M defender let up just a step and broke for the right corner of the field. 12 Daedalian

Photography by Ellie Alonzo

Carolyn M. Nelson Carolyn M. Nelson


Brown led her perfectly for a 22-yard TD strike and the game’s first score. Not trusting alleged kickers McSpadden or Miller, coach Howerton ran a power sweep for the extra point with Anika Stephens getting one step into the end zone before having her flag pulled. TWU was nursing a delicate 7-0 lead. The Aggies made one final attempt at hitting paydirt before a sterling defensive play by TWU’s Claymore, who flagged down Fisk at the three-yard line on the final play of the half.

Coaches delivered fiery pep talks at halftime to their minions. “We’ve got to keep the danged ball away from the Stephens sisters and put some more pressure on Brown,” noted coach Sherrill. “I’ve never had a defense break down like that before in 50 years of coaching!” “C’mon, people,” Coach Howerton urged in the TWU locker room. “We need to put some points on the board.The defense has been pretty good, but we’re struggling on offense.” The chalktalks seemed to work. Each

team scored on its first possession of the second half. A&M had a spectacular, 55-yard TD hookup from von Laufenberg to Darrow, but TWU countered with an amazing, 32yard quarterback sneak by QB Brown after the receivers took all the Aggie defenders deep down the field. Both PAT passes were successful, and TWU regained the lead at 14-7 with 3:03 remaining in the third frame. The fourth quarter produced one of the most memorable and controversial flag football occasions in the history of the sport. An angry McSpadden of the Pioneers leveled

his frustration about what he perceived as some cheap shots along the line and flat-out tackled Darrow. She suffered a concussion and was replaced by “Eighth Man” Sherry Beidenbach, who was a NCAA champion track sprinter but had a bad fumbling habit in flag football. TWU graduate student Troy Gillespie, who was working on his third Master’s degree at the age of 43 and played linebacker at Texas State, spelled McFadden, who was ejected by game officials after the disorderly hit. Inspired by the cheap shot and taking

advantage of the 15-yard roughness penalty, the Aggie flaggers marched the final 36 yards to paydirt in two plays. Von Laufenberg rolled right behind a wall of blockers for 28 yards and then lofted an eight-year pass to a wide-open Concannon after Sherrill’s strategy had spread the field. Von Laufenberg used the “roll right” play again to dive into the end zone on the PAT try just before TWU’s Miller grabbed the loose flag, and the score was knotted at 14-14 with just 35 seconds left to play. Then the unusual happened. 2013

Daedalian 13

The Pioneers’ Brown lofted a perfect spiral toward Claymore, who crashed into a converging Peters, and the ball popped some 20 feet up in the air. An alert Maurice Miller waited until the ball came down and made a fair catch right at the midfield 30yard stripe. With less than 15 seconds remaining, Miller recalled the ancient ruling that a ball could be “free kicked” from any place on the field after a fair catch was made. Neither team had timeouts remaining, so the TWU standout quickly took a step backward, angled the ball toward his right foot, watched the short hop, and dropkicked a field goal as the clocked ticked down to six seconds.The scoreboard changed to TWU 17, Texas A&M 14. Sherrill and the Aggies protested loudly, but Winkle and Turner quickly produced rulebooks and then air filler pens to try and check for possible helium insertions in the game ball. Fans were fainting in the stands at both the use of the dropkick in a college situation for the first time since the mid1950s and the fact that Miller actually made the kick. Von Laufenberg threw the peremptory “Hail Mary” pass attempt some 50 yards toward Fisk in a jumpball situation on the final play of the contest, but Brown tipped the ball away from the leaping potential receiver. TWU fans mobbed the field while the Aggies headed for the locker rooms and a dismal ride back to College Station. Connors quietly emerged from the far corner of Cowboys Stadium with two marketing assistants and four boxes of T-shirts reading: “TWU 1-0 in Intercollegiate Flag Football Since 1901.”

14 Daedalian


The Daedalian


Tell Me By Brianna Casey Tell me how to think under the weight of the world Tell, when to act in the play of our planet, What to say to the rumors of the pearled, And who to be, of the multitude.

Dane 3

Carolyn M. Nelson

Show me what is right, in a world of evil wrong. Show, what’s real in our world of fallacies. Show them all what was true all along, Nothing’s real except memories. So listen to the noise of the never. Hear us, forever of the future. Heed and follow our endeavor Listen to young and too pure. Inexperienced though we may seem, At least we are not as corrupt. Try still to follow our dream, Yet grow much too abrupt. Do not grow old of heart and soul Do not let the child within, Wither away, short of goal, And resort to sin. Just forget the norms that hide Your true identity. Leave the truth that lied, Set your mind free. Survive the prejudice. Defeat pride and hate. Fight for justice. Not too late. Leave our minds alone. With your hands, feel Take us home Be real.

Riley Carolyn M. Nelson

Go to the brink, Start to fly, Learn, think, Try.

Under My Thumb Carolyn M. Nelson

Silence of Nature By Mindy Arellano

As we all get so caught up with the thought of what others may think, we need to sit back and think of what we can relate to and how that is controlled and what happens when it is not controlled. Water can be amazingly calming, peaceful, and renewing, but catch it when it is not controlled and watched; it explodes and transforms into something that no one ever wants to be a witness to. Watch it transform into a beast which I confronted, and cannot be settled. Many of us can let our emotion become like water to the land that when something major comes up we do not rely on our inner circle to help but we rely on those things and/or people to hype us up even more. Knowing the outcome can never be great. 2013

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The Daedalian

Short Story

Somewhere Between Triumph and Tragedy By Stanton Brasher


zzz, bzzz.” It was 9 a.m. and the pager my parents bought to keep tabs on me wouldn’t stop vibrating. The buzzes arrived in sets of two and came from the pair of Doc Martens sitting next to my head. Being within the caves of my shoes gave it a deep tone, much like the timbre of a bow being pulled across the lowest string on a bass. At this early in the morning on a Saturday, my pager might as well have been screaming. “Ross?” I thought as I rubbed my eyes and picked myself up from the palette of blankets on Mikey’s bedroom floor. “Why would he page me this early in the morning?” The previous night was Mikey’s birthday shindig. He turned 16, but he did not have a car. So we spent the evening at the movie theater watching the premiere of “Scream 2,” the sequel to a Wes Craven movie about high school kids who commit murder. Afterward, we went back to Mikey’s house and spent hours listening to the Dead Kennedys and playing Tomb Raider on the Playstation, surrounded by layers of cigarette smoke in Mikey’s basement. I groggily made my way into the living room. The morning sun was deadened by the dark blue curtains. The light wrestled its way through, just enough to reveal a pathway to the antique nightstand with the cordless phone. I picked up the phone and stared at it for a few seconds while my double vision melted into one picture. “Someone better be dead,” I said to myself as I dialed Ross’s number. “Hello?” Ross said on the other end of the line. “What’s up, dude?” “Have you watched the news this morning?” Ross said frantically. “Brian Deneke

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is dead.” “Are you shitting me?” I asked, stunned. “There was a fight last night in the parking lot of Western Plaza mall between some punks and some whitehats. One of the whitehats ran over Brian in his Cadillac. He’s fucking dead.” It felt like the chaotic climax scene from a Wes Craven film when the protagonist discovers the plot twist. The audience sees him standing in the middle of a living room wearing a T-shirt and a pair of boxers. His face is expressionless. A camera is swirling around his head while an aggressive punk rock song plays muffled, in surround sound. Gradually, the camera starts to spin faster as the music grows louder and clearer, culminating into a massive symphony of visible and audible anarchy. The words “Brian Deneke is dead”

come out slowly, as if they are being played through a dying cassette player. On the last syllable of the last word, the chaos stops. The camera rests on a closeup of the protagonist while the words echo and fade into the background. I could not believe what he was telling me. I had seen altercations between punks and whitehats before, but they were rarely more than a few derogatory slurs spit back and forth before someone’s friend stepped in to remind them that it wasn’t worth it. Whitehats are exclusive to Amarillo, Texas. We had other names for them, some more nationally recognized, like: preps, jocks, elitists, rich kids, and assholes. We called them “whitehats” because they commonly wore solid white baseball caps with college logos displayed on them. In my closed-minded, mid-size hometown, these kids were often instigators between

Brian Deneke Photography courtesy of Mike and Betty Deneke

the two groups. The whitehats had names for us, too: freaks, punks, goths, skaters, thugs, and armed goons. We were the white kids who went to the rich white schools, only we didn’t have money.The ones who were lucky enough to get a car at 16 usually got a junker that required constant maintenance. Our family’s finances, at times, left us the subjects of ridicule for these more privileged kids. Some of us had problems with home life, like neglectful parents, divorce and abuse. Others came from loving families that didn’t understand our desire to rebel, inadvertently fueling said desire. I fit into the second category. In an instant, my mind went from half asleep to fully alert. I remembered the prior weekend, when I went to a punk show with my favorite local band, Cabinet Crisis, and I saw Brian giving Cliff Riley a hard time about smoking. He was supposed to have quit when he snuck outside to light one up. Brian approached Cliff from behind with wide eyes and a grin on his face. Brian was tall, and his spiked, green mohawk made him even taller. He towered over Cliff as he tapped him on the shoulder. Cliff turned around. In a fashion similar to that of a Looney Tune, Brian awkwardly bent down in front of Cliff where he was concealing the cancer stick and made a loud, inhaling sound. He then brought his face up next to Cliff’s and said, “What do we have here?” Cliff knew he was busted and shrugged

Brian Deneke

his shoulders as if to say, “So, you caught me.” Brian put him in a headlock followed by a playful noogie. That was the last time I saw him alive. Smiling. Happy. I also remembered how excited I was to be there that night. The show promoter, Scott Buchanan, had approached me about playing my first real punk show. My band, Dismembered, spent the prior six months logging countless hours in Ross’s garage, perfecting our sloppy, gutterpunk set. At this time, we had a few friends in the scene, but we were young and new to the lifestyle. We didn’t know everyone’s names, and most of them had no idea we existed, but we did know who the popular kids were. The more popular kids usually played in bands and were older. One thing I always loved about the Amarillo music scene: it promoted diversity. I was a punk rocker first, but I got to experience things beyond the realm of punk music. I learned about hardcore, indie rock, ska, emo, swing, hip-hop, electronica, and even some jazz. We wanted to be a part of the underground music machine of Bomb City (a term of endearment used by the punk rockers for the Pantex plant located just outside of town) and we were ready to play this show. I always thought that it was bittersweet - my last memory of Brian was also my first memory of social acceptance. “Mikey, wake up!” Mikey quickly rolled over and grabbed his glasses. “Brian Deneke died last night.” I spent the rest of the day watching TV, waiting for any news updates. I called friends to inform them or pump them for information. I pieced together what I could of the story. Some whitehat called Chris Oles a faggot at IHOP because of his red and yellow leather jacket and black eyeliner. Chris Oles responded by flicking a cigarette at the whitehat. The argument escalated and the manager asked everyone to leave. The fight moved to the parking lot. The whitehats outnumbered the punks three to one. Some weapons were used, including wallet chains and a Cadillac. One of the whitehats, 17-year-old Dustin Camp, got

in his car and plowed over Brian, dragging his mangled body across the parking lot before smashing over a median, causing Brian’s body to release. It was too late. He was dead before the ambulance got there. I also found out that Dustin Camp was not only a Tascosa High School student; he was also the class president. It was surreal. I wanted to hide in my bedroom, to never come out. I kept thinking of Jason, Brian’s older brother. Was he all right? How was his family doing? Why did they have to go get in a fight that night? Who else was there? I was obsessed with the events that took place the night before. Had it not been Mikey’s birthday, I could have been at the brawl. I could have seen Brian die or, worse yet, been the one to experience death at the wheel of Dustin Camp’s Cadillac. “Bzzz, bzzz.” It was Sunday morning, December 14th, 1997. I was in church and I could feel the buzz of my pager going off again.This time it was Scott Buchanan. My mind started racing. “What’s going to happen with our show?” I wondered. “Surely with Brian’s death it will be postponed. I don’t know who feels like celebrating right now.” As soon as the service was over, I jumped out of my seat and ran to the free phone in the lobby. “Hey,” Scott said. “I am sure you heard the news by now.” “Yeah,” I said, trying to hold back some tears that seemed less than reluctant to fall. “We are still doing the show on the 19th. It’s going to be a memorial for Brian,” Scott said. “The proceeds are going to go to his family.You guys still want to play?” I told him that Dismembered would be honored to play. As soon as I got home, I called Hopper and Ross, aka “the rest of the band.” Both of them enthusiastically accepted the offer to play the show and we spent the next four days preparing for our debut. We practiced so much, the bass strings made new calluses on my fingers. Thursday the 18th was my 16th birthday. I got my license and my parents set me loose in a 1986 Dodge Caravan. My 90 lbs Wuss, Rancid, and 2013

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Dismembered bumper stickers eventually earned the van the nickname: “punkrockmobile.” That day, it was my vessel, my personal journey machine. Having a car at that time, for me, was like having royal pedigree. I was going places. I spent the evening driving to my friends’ houses, packing the van full of friends, and stopping by local hangout spots like Denny’s and Roasters Coffee. Driving was therapeutic for me. Every time I pushed on the gas pedal, I was reminded that I was still alive. Now able to move forward at rapid speeds, I wanted to go everywhere. For the first time that week, I realized life goes on and mine was just beginning. Amarillo was covered under a canopy of snow on the morning of the concert and the sky was showing no signs of relenting. I remember driving through my neighborhood, worried about getting stuck or sliding into an unoccupied car on the side of the road. The sight of such an enveloping snow was beautiful. The light struck the ice and bounced back like a rubber ball hitting pavement. Even the coldest places could not hide from the light. With less than a week until Christmas, something about this day felt pure, renewed. Our enthusiasm quickly turned to stage fright once we walked into Independence Hall. The other groups casually loaded in their guitars and drums, pausing to hug or slap the occasional high-five with friends. They were joyful because they were honoring a fallen brother, but their emotions conflicted with the intense grief that accompanied the death of a friend. Some people had already started drinking; others had been drunk all week. Brian’s formal funeral was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, but this was our funeral for him, and we imagined this would have been what he wanted. We waited anxiously backstage while the first two bands played. Our palms were sweaty and our stomachs couldn’t ignore the misconception that someone had just opened a trap door below us. It was 10:30 p.m. and we were about to take the stage. “Remember, we start with ‘Gen X’ and go right into ‘Terminal Bliss’ before we talk 18 Daedalian


to the crowd,” I whispered to Hopper as he was tuning his guitar. This was it. I could see my curious friends and psuedo-big-brother figures congregating around the stage. The sound guy asked us for a sound check. “Aaaahhhhh,” I said into the microphone over chaotic drum slams and distorted guitar strums. “It’s ok to scream into that motherfucker,” yelled Scott from the front of the stage. I appreciated his advice, but the awe I felt while looking into the crowd personified into a fetishist with a lust for breath control, who clutched my vocal cords like she was trying to squeeze orange juice out of them. “You can do this, Stanton. This is your moment,” I said to myself. “You are going to earn their respect tonight.” The introduction for the first song could not have come any sooner. One more minute on the stage without my music to hide behind would have been too much. I remember seeing their faces looking at me as if to say, “Well? This better be good.” Hopper struck the first power chord on his guitar and Ross and I followed right behind him. The song had started and the crowd was still just staring at us. I don’t know if I will ever know what Hopper was thinking. Maybe he got nervous or maybe he was perceptive enough to know that the song was too slow for this rowdy crowd of mohawks and lip piercings. Either way, he did something that we had not practiced: he played in doubletime. For a second, I just let him go with it because I didn’t know what to do. I looked at Ross and he nodded at me, telling me to “go with it” as he pounded down on the drums and fell in line with Hopper’s impromptu rhythm. I turned back to the mic and started screaming the lyrics, as per Scott’s suggestion. “We’re Generation X and you’ll have to deal with that. Hey!” The world stopped and started for me in one motion. The glaring skeptics of split seconds before were now maniacal moshers. A tornado of people appeared on the dance floor. Bodies swirled in and out of massive

circulation. I may have been new to this scene, but I knew enough about punk music to know that if they were dancing to the music, they were enjoying it. I was accepted. I was one of them. The rest of the evening was filled with various styles of local music. Cabinet Crisis, Technologikill, Burned Blue, and Psychotic Friends Network all played emotional sets, only breaking from the music to talk about Brian and the impact he had on their lives. This was the last show we played before the media frenzy hit Amarillo. CNN, 20/20, 60 Minutes, and MTV all made their way to

our backyards for an up-close glimpse into our lives. The stream of reporters remained steady for a couple of months and revived two years later, when Dustin Camp’s trial started. The conservative town of Amarillo was not ready to convict a “good kid” of murder, even though the coroner testified that Brian was running away from the car when he was struck.

They were not ready to believe testimony from kids who wore metal in their faces and dyed their hair. Even though they were not the only one’s fighting. Elise Thompson, a passenger in Camp’s car, testified that Camp said, “I’m a ninja in my caddy,” after killing Brian. Her testimony was the only reliable one, in the jury’s eyes. Some, including me, do not believe that Dustin Camp was a ninja at all. Instead, his attorney was the ninja.

Dustin Camp received 10 years of probation for manslaughter. Brian was gone. The kids in the scene were crossing over into adulthood. The media dubbed Amarillo, “the town without pity,” but the coverage gained worldwide recognition. People were talking about tolerance. They were talking about diversity. They were talking about unity. Brian would have liked that.

The Daedalian

Short Story

Herman vs. Mothra By Kimberly Riggens

Brian Deneke

Mike and Betty Deneke Photography courtesy of Mike and Betty Deneke


t the beginning of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens advises, no, he implores, “You must distinctly understand that Marley is dead or nothing wonderful can come of this story.” It is here that I must do the same. What I am about to tell you, it is real and true. If you do not understand that, well, you know. It was a sparkling, early May morning. Shirley Riggins, a woman of sturdy mind and countenance by all previous reports, was assuredly prepared for travel. “Did I fill the tank last night? Yes. Air conditioner off? Uh-huh. Overnight bag? Check. Pepsi, Cheez Curls? Check. Check. Beige flop hat? Check. Where’s … there you are. Come here, you. One overly pampered cat that leads a charmed life? Check.” Shirley rubbed the cool nose of the winsome kitty. When she opened her front door to head for the car, arms full of cat and luggage and sustenance, she couldn’t prevent the wind from blowing through the floppy brim, causing it to ripple and flap like wings. All systems go for a four and a half hour drive from Washington, D.C. to

Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania. It was an unremarkable journey; one stop for gas and a Slim Jim, the usual change of weather pattern in Somerset County — it’s like driving through the Bermuda Triangle — and the wind inspired death twitter through the mélange of springtime wings speckling the windshield. There were both beautiful butterflies and mundane moths, the latter regrettably tardy for their daytime nap — both evidently recognizable by their intact wings. The other splats of matter were not so easily recognizable. “Dangerous to cross our path, right?” Shirley mused out loud. She looked in the rearview mirror for her companion, but an overly pampered cat rests much and acknowledges little, and the ledge between the back seat and the bottom of the rear windshield is a good place for a cat’s nap. “Oh I’m so glad you could make it!” clapped Levora as she opened the screen door. She scurried to the carport to greet her older daughter. “Your sister could stay home by herself but I prefer she didn’t. Now we can shake our groove thang all

night long,” and with a devilish wink and a loving hug, Levora Riggins welcomed Shirley home. As they walked towards the front door, Levora glanced back at the Volkswagen Bug. “I’ll get your Dad to clean the crap off your car before you leave. What’d you do, take a short cut through a moth habitat?” Levora and Bill Riggins, the bestowers of sturdy minds and countenances, had plans to celebrate that evening. It was Bill’s retirement dinner and they had some 35 years worth of dancing to do. Shirley would stay home with her youngest sister, Kimberly. That evening, a beautifully dressed Levora and a proud and dapper Bill departed to the backdrop of a brilliant springtime sunset. Moths had already started to dance and twitter around the gas lamplight in the front yard. “Hmm,” mused Shirley while closing the front door, tight. Hmm indeed. Driving home had its perks. There was a pot roast with root vegetables on the stove and a big bowl of fresh green salad in the refrigerator. Levora was a sumptuous cook and she always made 2013

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enough to ensure there were a couple of nights of leftovers for Shirley back in D.C. The pot roast was for early evening. Late night had a sweeter plan: two pans of Jiffy Pop popcorn with lots of brown sugar butter, the Pepsi spigot would be opened, and Chilly Billy Cardilly — a Saturday night staple in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — would be on the television dial. Bill Cardill was a featured character in the original Night of the Living Dead and gave birth to the genre of C-grade hosts of B-grade horror movies. Of course it was complete with a castle background, corny skits, humorless jokes, and a cadre of characters in 1965 horror technology costumes, including the obligatory midget. Chilly Billy was Elvira’s Dracula-impersonating predecessor. Dinner was followed by a competitive game of Go Fish, a few minutes of algebra instruction from Shirley the math major, a one hour docu/investo/”Mary Jo led a doublelife/did-the-husband-do-it/”mosthorrific-crime-scene-in-my-career,” “real” court case narrated by some actor-journalist with maltimed concern and overzealous indignation, and of course catching up with each others’ lives. The sisters were close regardless of the miles. Preparation of snacks during the eleven o’clock news, pajamas, lights off; Chilly Billy would bring the evening to its fitful end. Tonight it was two horror classics, Attack of the 40 Foot Woman and Godzilla vs. Mothra. Room by room the house was darkened, leaving just the light of theT.V. in the parents’ bedroom. A caped Chilly Billy promised a night of amazement and fear. The cat, however, found his own amusement darting back and forth in front of the T.V. “What’s he doing?” asked Kimberly. “I don’t know. Imaginary friend?” They laughed, but 10 minutes later, even before the woman grew to be 40 feet, the darting became leaping and there was hissing. Shirley got up to turn on the light. “What is it?” There it was, in the furthest corner of the room: a moth, unremarkable by moth standards, just a little big. Understand, Kimberly and Shirley were card-carrying members of the national Fear the Insect Society, and as soon as Shirley said, “Bug,” they both knew it was Fear the Insect trade secret code for LEAVE THE AREA. Neither showed outward 20 Daedalian


panic. In their heads, they were taking assured measures to at least exit the room so they could view the circumstance from a safe distance. The cat had leaped onto the back of the recliner in the far corner. His multicolor fur was prickly and his tail wagged back and forth, leaving question marks in the air. His gray eyes were darting from curtains to dresser to closet with steely intent. And there was the moth, beige all over, common by moth standards, but darn if he wasn’t big — bigger even than when Shirley first looked at him — and obviously tired of being harassed by a cat, so he, too, headed for the doorway. Now there was panic. Shirley and Kimberly ran down the hall toward the steps, bumping and shouldering each other trying to gain the front position. They had been cautioned many times not to run in the house, but that was a lesson lost on both of them at this moment. The sisters turned to look back before scaling the stairs and indeed, Mothra was coming through the bedroom doorway. His breadth had grown so wide that each wing brushed the door frame as he entered the hall. There was much scuffling and grabbing, but Shirley, the older, larger, and more sturdy of the two, pushed her younger sister aside so she could bound down the steps first -

Don’t Bit the Radish Carolyn M. Nelson

two, three at a time. Kimberly teetered on the edge of the top step circling her arms to gain balance. Teetering became tumbling and tumbling accompanied flailing and a fortunate grabbing of a banister rail, which halted the freefall. Splayed on her back, nightgown haphazard, Kimberly rolled her head back, lifting her chin to identify the warm, moist air and muted sounds of misery. There was no more light from the top of the stairs. There were only huge, angry, vein-streaked eyes bulging with contempt and the “Whooompf ” of sweeping wings, Kimberly’s hair drawing back on the upswing and blowing forward on the down. And the wind, I can still hear the wind! Fearing she would be eaten naked right where she lay, Kimberly did what any liveto-shop-another-day adolescent girl would do. She let go of that rail and went bumping down the steps on her back. Upon reaching the bottom she shot into the living room, joining Shirley at the far corner of the couch. There they huddled like the last two peanuts in an airline snack-bag, while from upstairs they heard crashing and scraping, furniture being overturned and thuds against the wall. “WHOOOMPF” from the wings of a Mothra, roaring and hissing from a determined Catzilla. This went on for two and a half hours until finally they heard the key in the lock.

Finally, safety. “MA! MA!” Shirley, sturdy in mind and countenance by all previous reports, there to watch and protect her youngest sister, ran to their mother first. “MA! There’s a huge moth upstairs Ma, bigger than a watermelon, BIGGER THAN MY CAR, MA!” She began tugging and pulling on her mother’s dress. Kimberly had joined them now and only stood close, staring at her mother with all fear and amazement in her eyes. “Please. Please stop pulling on my dress.” Levora Riggins was not a card carrying member of the national Fear the Insect Society, so without hesitation, and weary from dancing half the night, she started up the steps with her two children crowding and tugging behind

Photosynthetic Lindsey Dunnagan

her. “Where’s Herman?” she asked. “Could ... could you please stop pulling on my clothes?” Levora systematically checked the upstairs, turning on one light and then the next until she reached the last bedroom. There, on his side with his back to the doorway, laid Herman, doing what satisfied cats often do, licking his paw then rubbing it across his brow. Nothing was left for evidence and the room, well; it looked like an unremarkable evening. Herman rolled his charmed head back and gave them a wink from a charmed eye while the haunting echo of an Asian song beckoned. But Mothra could not come back. One overly pampered cat that leads a charmed life? Check.

The Daedalian


The Light Post By Mindy Arellano Many, many thoughts Few, few remarks Something, something that stands out Nothing, nothing is said There can be a thousand words yet no one will be brave to say, not one. This must change, there is a reason, though it may be battered and stripped, beaten and run into, taped up or chained whether its surroundings are fit or not it remains tall and sturdy! Whatever its conditions, still it stands and lights the way of life, lights the way of what at times seems to be death but yet is mistaken for a miracle, a pure gift not seen by man! Yet this light never fades, never dims, never takes time to check if it needs to be given care or love. Finally that day will come when it needs to be loved, needs to be cared for, and that’s when those that the light was shed on will come to return the favor and lend a part or two of which needs to be given in order for life as we know it to keep on shining!

Denton, Texas: Behind Fine Arts

Raeanna Diaz


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The Old White House The Daedalian

By Vemessa Lynch


One old white house sits atop the hill Where the color green abounds Windows cracked, wood floors decayed Its spirit silent now.

Natural Selection

The front porch swing is long since gone Decayed from lack of care But the memories yes my memories I have carried home from there.

By Erin Marissa Russell shivering disgustingly early biology (for non-science majors) hair wadded and unwashed, pallor chill of plastic chairs.

Her flowerbeds have turned to weeds White picket fence is down The house stands silent, dead to sound Where laughing children had once been loud.

evolution explained in nasal descant: mutation, selection, coloration. consider the peppered moth, whose speckled wings fell black.

The smell of cookies floating by Across a clear blue Texas sky Drew our hearts filled with desire Inside, where she would abide.

The Industrial Revolution spat soot over pale birch bark in London forests; kestrel and wren rejoiced, their beaks overflowed with thoraces.

The one whose hands had lovingly Formed and baked each one Lived inside this old white house When I was very young.

rearrange neckline, re-fluff hair. avoid predatory advances, glances, perhaps move to another forest entirely.

She filled each room with laughter It was her gift you see Sharing the love she had been shown By Christ on Calvary. I cherish time spent with her in this house It was a legacy left for me Filled with my Grandma’s love For the one who had set her free!

Photography by Ellie Alonzo

Iron Mountain Lindsey Dunnagan

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The Daedalian 2013

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The Daedalian

Short Story

The Last Words By Brianna Casey


13 November 11 *** With eyes alike the stars, She sank into his arms. ***

hose lines, those last two lines— the couplet, I’m told it’s called— they always stuck with me. I think they were my favorite, and yet I couldn’t even tell you why. They were the perfect ending—their sounds, their words, their imagery, just always evoked that picture in my mind, of her. She was the girl I thought I would marry, the girl I knew I would love. Dark hair, bright green eyes, you know. I left class feeling like I hadn’t heard a single thing that was said, and I probably didn’t. My mind wandered as I passed through the crowded halls. I went to my place, my spot in the corner of the long hall, where there was less foot traffic, less noise, only a few classrooms in use. I had about a good hour every day of peace before the day had to continue. I had spent my hour of solace reflecting on the day, since apparently, my mind was in no mood to focus on much else. We’d been reading this book in class, full of poetry for English. Apparently, Dr. Mariner thought we’d be more motivated to do the reading if she used a book that was published during our lifetimes instead of selections from rich, white, dead men. She encouraged us all to write out our own poetry and submit what we thought was our best work at the end of the semester. She even said she’d pay to publish a set of books that’d contain the best of the poems submitted by the class. Before I knew it, my daydreaming had allowed the clock to pass the hour, and I was forced to walk into class late, again, and sit 24 Daedalian


beside the class know-it-all: Alex. The one person who’d answer the teacher’s questions before everyone else, and bragged on the first day about having taken all the onethousand-level courses while still in high school, and was only taking environmental biology over again because a “B,” apparently, wasn’t good enough. We had to sit right in the front of the class—front-row seats to the worst show in town. While Alex wrote down every word spoken, I thought I could just lay my head down for a few minutes; but Dr. Willows had other plans. After a rude awakening, provided by a falling textbook onto the table near my head, I maintained consciousness long enough to hear about the extra credit opportunity I desperately needed, but positively dreaded. A trip to something called the Bradley Foundation, in the middle of a hot, summer night, with no doubt a field of mosquitoes, was certainly not my idea of a well-spent Saturday night—but a borderline “C” probably wasn’t going to cut it much longer either. After waiting for the feeling in my arm and legs to return, I staggered out of class writing the address of the over-rated flower garden on my arm. Friday and Saturday passed without much progress on the homework front, but after dinner, luckily, I was reminded by how “immature” it was to write on myself, and found the place just in time. Well, actually, I was late, again, and again was sentenced to the same annoying punishment. Since Alex and I were the only two left without partners, you can imagine the agony with which we split off to “study” our group’s particular plants. It was just as miserable as I imagined—boring, hot, humid—although fortunately all I had to do was follow Alex around and watch the work be done, instead

of carrying the clipboard around myself. “You don’t remember me, do you?” asked Alex. “What? You mean from another class? Uh, no, I think I’d remember you.” I responded, in a tone I didn’t quite intend. “Actually, you probably wouldn’t; I sat behind you, and from what I could see, you didn’t pay too close attention to much of anything with your eyes closed half the time,” she sarcastically replied, which surprised me, but I suppose I deserved it in response to mine. “Oh yeah? Uh, which class was this now?” I demanded, in a half-defensive, halfconfused voice. “History 1301. Monday Wednesday at 9.” “Well then it wasn’t me! I had it at 10!” I replied confidently. “No. I know it was 9, because I had English 1302 with Dr. Williams at 10 that semester.” “Oh. Hmm.” At this point, I gave up trying to remember myself, but then it dawned on me. “You had Dr. Williams’ class? Do you know what her final is going to be like? She won’t tell us yet.” “Sure, if you admit you just changed the subject because you realized you were wrong.” Yeah, I was wrong, but that wasn’t why I changed the subject. I just figured I could get this much-needed information, and if I had to admit to that, then that was fine with me. “Yeah, yeah, you’re right; I hardly remember that class. So what about the final?” She sighed, as if this weren’t the first time someone had pried confidential information out of her. Or maybe, she really was just looking for some better begging before she gave it up.

“We just had to submit a unique poem to her anonymous student book collection.” “Oh, she had you do that too?” “Yeah. She actually ended up choosing mine for her collection last semester,” she stated, but not with the sort of prideful tone she had used in class about why she was taking an upper-level class already. Now, she had said it almost as if she were embarrassed about being chosen—but if she were, then why did she tell me? Yet, I had already chuckled, though I did try not to, but I was relieved by her answer. “Oh, yeah, I’m sure she did.” I spoke out, before I thought better of it. She shot me a look so annoyed, and maybe even a bit disappointed, that I instantly regretted my last remark. After that it was silence for a while, while she finished what I knew was our assignment. I decided to go ahead and hang the white flag. “So what was yours about?” I asked, hoping to call a truce, at least for the remainder of the night. She looked back before she answered for what seemed like a few minutes, as if she were trying to decide whether or not I was trying to be serious, or if I was worthy of hearing her answer. I couldn’t really tell for sure if she were still upset or even looking at me directly, because the sun had set and all I could make out was the glare of her eyes. She apparently decided in my favor, because she let out a little sigh


Carolyn M. Nelson

before answering. “It was about a guy … in one of my classes.” Again, she said it like she was answering for the hell of it, but I guess I could see why she might think this answer was embarrassing; she could have told me any other answer she wanted to, though, I wouldn’t have known the difference. I couldn’t see now, but I think she was watching for a response, so I tried to give her one, though in hindsight I don’t think it was probably the best I could’ve come up with. “Oh yeah,” I tried to say positively, “I, uh, didn’t think a girl like you had a boyfriend … uh, yet.” “I don’t.” She answered quickly and sternly, cutting me off. “Oh.” Another minute or so, of silence. Well actually, now we could hear the crickets out, and that was even worse than the silence. “I think we’d better get going back now,” she stated. “Yeah, I guess.” I thought I’d make one last effort of smoothing things over, just in case I got to class late again tomorrow. “So, uh, what was the name of yours?” “My what?” “Your poem.” “Oh, uh. Well it didn’t have a name.” “Well how did it go?” “I don’t really remember it all.” I assumed

she was just avoiding me now, a girl like Alex would probably have it memorized by heart, but, because of the avoidance tactic, now I was kind of curious. “Well, what you do, then.” She waited a while longer, but then I guess she assumed I didn’t really care anyway, because she began at the “forgotten” beginning and repeated the entire poem. As she recited it, it didn’t hit me at first, but then the more she spoke, the more familiar it became. “… into his arms.” There was another silence, another long silence. She must’ve assumed I had nothing worth saying, but in truth I could think of nothing to say, even though I knew I needed to say something. “You wrote that?” I asked in disbelief. “Yeah?” she said in a drawn out, almost questioning tone. After thinking on what to say, I finally replied, “I remember that one, especially the ending.” “You do?” “Yeah, I think it was my favorite.” At the time, he didn’t tell her this secret with the intention of winning her favor. In fact, he said it more likely because he was stunned, and not having deliberate command of his words, simply stated the cause of his shock. She, now desperately wanting to see if there were truly sincerity showing on his face, retrieved the flashlight she brought “just in case,” and which he assumed she didn’t have, for its late appearance. She activated it, not thinking how her behavior may betray her, and shined it directly into his eyes. He flinched, in surprise, but then guessing its motive, perhaps intuitively, held a steady gaze into the location where he guessed hers might be. Though temporarily blinding him, she did see enough of what she was looking for, before his initial reaction to the light. After what he perceived to be a satisfactory amount of time in which his seriousness could be verified, he recognized her dark figure in a new light, and asked, “Was it real? The poem? Was the girl you?” Now, he probably did ask with the admiration and fascination of knowing the truth behind those words. “Sort of,” she replied; but now this was not enough. Dissatisfied, he questioned her again, because now, for some reason, even 2013

Daedalian 25

unbeknownst to him, he had to know the whole story. “What do you mean, ‘sort of’?” She thought for a few moments again, I suppose collecting her thoughts, and replied, “Well, the girl was based on me, but the events didn’t actually happen that way.” Now he had his answer, but was, however, more disappointed than dissatisfied. “So the guy she was with—in the

poem—he’s real too, then?” She now, with the light on the ground between them as they walked in the direction he assumed was toward the designated regrouping location, answered instantly, “Oh yes, he’s real.” She couldn’t see it now, as he preferred, but he let his head hang down solemnly. He couldn’t believe he’d gone from annoyance, to despising and ignoring this girl, to suddenly

The Daedalian

Short Story

Always Darkest Before Dawn By Brianna Casey


was but weeping, drenched and shivering, for ‘twas raining. A beautiful and terrific storm it was—one to parallel and equal that of my own torrents. Then of the night, a man’s shadow passed before me. The rain and the wind distorted his figure, and as it approached, my breath was shortened. His image faded and shrank to its true stature. The shadow walking nearer was that of a man. If he were real, I would imagine his pace would be somewhat quickened, yet his surreal body floated slowly. The rain subsided for a moment, and its shape focused. It limped, he limped, his footsteps could now be heard through the rain’s drops upon the concrete, and the metal pangs upon the playground. It seemed almost upon me, behind me, yet shadowed out beyond my own dimmed mass. I sat, legs crossed, head in hands, and ragged loosed hair dripping at every end. I felt my head and cheeks still pulsing. My 26 Daedalian



Carolyn M. Nelson

intrigued, and finally rejected all so quickly. However, knowing that it was pointless, and probably harmless anyway, he decided to go ahead and ask, “So who is he, if you don’t mind me asking? The guy she was with, in the poem.” “Oh, just some guy who used to sit in front of me in class last year—? And as she answered, I think, they may have both detected the other’s smile in response.

face now wet twice over, and my eyes still sore. All my heart was beating, keeping me from breathing. If he were real, what even would be his reason, for such an impractical midnight march through the storm? It was dark, and the wind further impeded vision. How was it that he could see me at the distance at which I first saw him? His untroubled and unhastened demeanor was not one of whom could be morally induced to meet me, but instead he seemed guided. Drawn, as if his thoughts were my own, and my drops were his as well. My voice and hands still shaky, as the rest of my body was shivering in the singing winds. He was here now, but I could hardly find the courage to fear his ghostly existence, and unexpected appearance. His steps halted sharply, and his shadow immediately fell to its knees. And as he did so, the storm did so rapidly erupt, that if he had still been standing, he would have surely been knocked to the ground. His shadow was now gone, submerged and engulfed into my own. Now my only recognition of him was in his motions. All at once, he turned to put his back to the wind, and faced me. Too ashamed to look at him, I did not raise my head, but merely let it fall, hair and all, so that my face was completely hidden from him. Even so, he nearly forcefully grabbed me up. So strong was he, that I fell forward onto my knees, now even with his. I felt limp, yet instinctively took hold of him. My hands made tight fists which clutched at his dark shirt, and my head hit his shoulder. He held me so tight, I thought I might suffocate, yet I couldn’t help but to reciprocate. I broke. I thought I had had control of myself, pacing my breaths to listen to his approach, but I could no longer. I was in such a fit, that I had to struggle to take in breath. I took his shirt in my teeth, and dug my nails into his back. I felt it all flood through me, but as strong as I held him, he held me tighter, and as I cried out, my pain became his, as I, without reason, continued to bite and delve, and the more I did, the more disgusted with myself I became, of my humiliation, my shame, my anguish. The more the thoughts invaded my mind, I began to pull at his shirt, tugging, pulling his shoulders back, now trying to

Photography by Raeanna Diaz

get away. I could not, with all the rage inside me. I fought him, I screamed, and punched, and bit him. But he, he could not be overpowered. He did naught but endure my torture, and keep me restrained. At last, I gave it one final try. I finished my last wave of attack, with one hideous scream, and surrendered. I now had not even the energy to cry anymore, so I merely again laid my head now gently upon his shoulder, and took in breaths. As it all subsided, I felt the warmth of the air as the wind died down. The rain became audible, as each individual droplet could be heard. My eyes looking off into the distant trees ahead could hardly stay open. My limbs fell lifeless to his sides, and my erratic breaths became steady. As they did, I realized I hadn’t heard a single vital response from my assailant. Not a breath, not a pulse, not a shiver, not even the warmth of his body in this storm. At long last, what seemed like hours had passed, and between his chest and mine, a chasm formed. My numb arms couldn’t even struggle, yet nor would they have, had I had the strength. They fell between us, and his body turned, my shoulders fell in on themselves, and my head dragged upon his chest. His arms still held me, now around to my back, reaching across my chest, cradling my arms. A rush of blood trickled back into my body, and my head pulsated.

My eyes, now nearly swollen, rolled back, and shut. As I drifted off, I felt, just once, perhaps, his chest expand and deflate, just once I thought I heard his throat take in, and release a breath, and maybe I heard his heart beat, two quick pounds. And the wind whistled me a lullaby, just before I fell to slumber. When I awoke, I smelled the beautiful smell of rain, I felt the brisk morning air sweep past me, and I saw the sparkling drops of dew set one each upon each and every leaf. The clouds had gathered just for me, so to the sun I was still hidden. My wet hair had curled so tightly, and as I noticed, I let out a slight giggle, as I recalled pictures of myself when it was short and golden still. All at once, I realized the taste of blood upon my tongue, and the dried sand in my eyes. Then, flashing before me, were the memories of the night. I immediately felt remorseful at the pain I had most certainly caused him, yet the pain he was willing to endure. I wondered for a moment, in still quite a daze. Where did he go? Why did he leave me? How did he find me? How did he know, at that moment, of how much I needed someone? Who was he? Was he? Me? I took one, slow, deep, breath; I felt, once, my heart beat, and the warmth of the sun, as it finally found me.


Daedalian 27

The Daedalian

Short Story

That’s What It’s All About By Erin Marissa Russell



e will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.’ Amen.” Brother Lawrence snaps his Bible shut and steps away from the podium. He takes a deep breath.

He’s saying this isn’t fair. God, Alexander Wolff, and the rest of us just have to ride it out until the apocalypse. Kate drove me to the funeral, and now she won’t sit still. She’s texting, digging for lotion in her purse and putting it on. The whole place starts to smell like cucumber-melon. “Stop it,” I say, in my mom’s hiss-whisper. She rolls her eyes, writes on a slip of paper: You didn’t like

him anyway.

I glare at her and snatch the pencil. It doesn’t matter.


She puts the paper away and scratches at her black pantyhose. It’s August in Texas, but we’re all wearing pantyhose for Alexander Wolff. I really didn’t like him anyway. When we were little, he poured a glove full of Windex over my head. It rolled into my eyes, and I thought I would go blind. An enormous woman leaned me over the sink and held my eyelids open as clear water rinsed the burning away. He got me again in ninth grade. The youth group went camping, although no one had a tent. I woke up smelling toothpaste. It was all over me, crusting in my clothes and 28 Daedalian


burning my skin. I don’t think Alex realized the ants would come, but they had bitten me all over. Even inside my throat. The point is, this kid was no saint. He was just a sixteenyear-old terror who died of leukemia. But you wouldn’t know it from his funeral. All 62 church members turned out. Alex’s mom is up front, and just her boyfriend sits beside her. Someone bought her a new dress, a black one with a scalloped neckline. I’ve never seen her in clothes that fit before. Her hands are in her lap. She’s staring at the casket. Her hair’s a brown tangle, like always, and she isn‘t wearing makeup. At potlucks, my mom told me what to avoid. “Don’t eat the banana pudding, Theresa Wolff brought it, and you know she lives in those nasty little apartments. Steer clear of the ham, who knows how many cats that Manning woman keeps in the kitchen. Only eat the brisket with our name on the dish.” Mom, Dad, and everyone else is listening, nodding like they know just what Brother Lawrence means. The youth group sits on one row together. The girls started sniffling and sobbing before we

sat down. Now they’re wailing. Kate leans over, pointing with her chin. “They should be professional mourners. If I die, I’m hiring those girls to cry at my funeral.” I widen my eyes and shush her. I sneeze. It’s so loud. Everyone stops for a second, even the wailers. Someone hands me a tissue. I dig the paper out of Kate’s purse and write: Do you have an allergy pill? She nods. We’re both allergic to everything. Do you have water? She stops and thinks. Cocking an eyebrow, she lifts a flask about an inch out of her purse. I swat her hand and put the flask back. She just shrugs. My eyes are watering and I’m sniffling from the flowers everywhere. It helps. Someone might think I’m crying. People stand up, filing into lines to look into the slick black casket. “Hey,” I whisper. “Hey, do you want to leave?” “You don’t want to look at him?” Kate asks. I shake my head. “Me neither.” She’s driving to the cemetery when I say, “Do you think he’s gone? Poof — like that?” “Yeah,” she says, looking at

Photography by Raeanna Diaz me funny. “Yeah, when people die they are gone.” “No, I know.” After a while I try again. “It’s just, it takes nine months to be born. How can it take a second to die?” “It didn’t take him a second to die, he had leukemia,” Kate says. At the gravesite, the youth minister talks about how when we visited Alex at the hospital last time, everyone cried

because he looked so awful. But Alex said he felt fine. He stood up and did the Hokey Pokey to prove it, with machines and cords coming out of him. He says Alex had a wonderful spirit. The ceremony ends, and Alex’s mom is standing to the side, still just staring, holding a carnation from the casket. She’s been crying this whole time, but you can’t see each tear run down her cheek. They’re just

big rivers, like the side of the street when it rains. One of the girls starts singing, “You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out.” The whole youth group joins in, and we’re doing this ridiculous dance over a person-sized hole in the ground. They lower him down, and we shake it all about. The adults eye each other. They don’t know whether to stop us. Alex’s mom smiles a

little. I think this is the first Baptist dancing funeral. When we get to Kate’s car, there’s a red carnation on my seat. “Did you do this?” I ask, inspecting the flower. “I was with you the whole time.” “Was the door locked?” I say. “You just saw me unlock it,” she answers. I get in the car and hold the

flower up to my face. It doesn’t smell like anything. Riding home, I run my thumb over the crumpled tissue-paper petals again and again. They’re cool and wet. Maybe it’s because flowers have water inside them. I don’t know if I believe Kate, but I keep the carnation, drying it upside-down in my room. Sometimes I brush past it and petals crumble off. It takes twelve days to die. 2013

Daedalian 29

The Daedalian


Tomorrow By Shannon Quick Tomorrow came and went; she blew through our lives like a fierce autumn storm. Tomorrow’s coming home again, to breathe new life, grace and mercy. Tomorrow brought us peace today; she helped us see through the foggy haze. Tomorrow lingers here and there, her sweet scent, fragrant, fills the air. Tomorrow’s breathing steady now, shouts of joy as hearts cry out. Tomorrow’s just a memory, of peace, love and tranquility.

Dane 3

Carolyn M. Nelson

30 Daedalian


By Jamie Compton It came, it came through snailing mail. How often I told him to send through e-mail. But so fickle are men—and he is one— I could not waste time arguing what cannot be redone. At least, it came—So delighted I was— I neglected to notice the white-out smudge, Which later I discovered—by faithful friend— His ex-wife’s name written by him! How can a man be as thoughtless as this to regift an old valentine to his newly wedded miss? Callous Swine! Wretched Thing! And to think I engraved his wedding ring! This is why he lies alone, Wondering why I have gone. But when the morning comes—he’ll know. My new-discovered boyfriend will tell him so.

The Daedalian

The Valentine

Photography by Jeni Berry

Photography by Jeni Berry 2013



The Daedalian  

TWU's 2013 spring literary journal

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