Literary Magazine 2021

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2021 Marcus High School Literary Magazine


Writing (Poems, Prose, Stories...)

Poems & Prose

Photo 575 by Dean Kim - pg. 1 Look Within by Dean Kim - pg. 1 Her by Claire Capek - pg. 2 Beware! Poison! by Fiona Chun - pg. 4 The Drone by Dina Bratanovic - pg. 5 Boxes by Dina Bratanovic - pg. 7 & 8 Duality by Jordan Sparks - pg. 14 His Perspective by Claire Capek - pg. 24 Steady Hands by Rhea Karumuru - pg. 27 Nature Never Sleeps by Ty Cowly - pg. 30 The Pit by Henry Fell - pg. 33 Quid est Amor? by Dina Bratavonic - pg. 36 Morning Glories by Isabella White - pg. 42 Flowers by Maliah Arbelaez - pg. 43 Boba Tea by Lacey Hayes - pg. 47 The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Henry Fell - pg. 52 Unknown Title by Anonymous - pg. 53 Somewhere’s Reality by Ty Cowly - pg. 56

Short Stories Burnt Toast by Fiona Chun - pg. 10 & 11 Sora’s Academy for the Strange and Even Stranger by Andrew Woods - pg. 17, 18, & 19 Yellow Twinkling Eyes by Julia Ruckdeschel - pg. 25 & 26 The Tale of the Water Garden Twins by Sophia Scorrano - pg. 37 Dream by Katherine Johanan - pg. 39 Maybe Someday by Julia Cate Reader - pg. 45 & 46 Dream Chasing by Megan Dietrich - pg. 59


Photography

Visual (Photography, Art, etc...)

Angel Reflection by Liv Hendrick - pg. 1 & 2 Dreamland Roots by Liv Hendrick - pg. 3 The West 7th street Bridge Over the Clear Trinity River by Owen Oppenheimer -pg. 6 It’s Too Soon by Liv Hendrick - pg. 9 Food by Isabella Cardner - pg. 12 The Dreamers by Liv Hendrick - pg. 13 Trapped by Chloe McNiel - pg. 15 No Way Out by Anne Smrstik - pg. 16 Now They’re Rusting by Liv Hendrick - pg. 20 US-287 Bussiness Bridge on a Cool Fall Day by Owen Oppenheimer - pg. 21 & 22 Beautiful by Reagan Duke - pg. 24 Before the Storm by Liv Henderick - pg. 25 & 26 Iillustrated reality by Bella Stevens - pg. 29 Make A Wish by Jennifer Schoenrade - pg. 31 You Are My Sunshine by Emma Winters - pg. 32 The Smalled Details Make A World Of Difference by Jennifer Schoenrade - pg. 34 Big Blue by Andrew Camargo - pg. 35 Dark reflection by Bella Stevens - pg. 41 & 42 Flowers in the sun by Kate Stroup - pg. 44 Streets by Isabella Cardner - pg. 45 & 46 Ralph by Henry Fell - pg. 48 Life of Pink by Molly Patrick - pg. 49 Summertime Butterflies by Molly Patrick - pg. 50 Art (2D & 3D) On Top Of The World by Anne Smrstik - pg. 51 A Thousand Miles by Emma Dulworth - pg. 54 Small Rock Sculpture by Quinton Hannemann - pg. 7 & 8 Hidden Treasures by Jennifer Schoenrade - pg. 57 & 58 Explosion of Thought by Zoe Thompson - pg.23 Lake by Gabriel Coleman - pg. 60 Necklaces by Zoe Thompson - pg. 27 & 28 Friends by Colby Murray - pg. 61 Flowers of the Meadow by Maryn Jones - pg. 38 Birth of A Chick by Dayeon Ju - pg. 62 The Suprise Behind Color by Nicole Baker - pg. 40 Feeling Like Trash by Zoe Thompson - pg. 55


Photo 575 - Dean Kim

A fleeting moment A few precious memories Take a photograph

Look Within

- Dean Kim Peer in the mirror To see the reflection of A beautiful soul


Her

- Claire Capek

Her eyes are angelic Her lips are as soft as silk Her finger tips are feathers to the skin Her hair as smooth as the red sunset Her voice is so calm just like you mother when singing a lullaby Her skin is so pale she’s transparent But her kiss her sweet whispers her hands cradling your face her legs that are wrapped around you her hands now in your hair Will leave you comparing every other to her. She has successfully embedded herself in your mind But who says you don’t want her there.

Photography by : Liv Hendrick


Photography by: Liv Hendrick


Beware! Poison! - Fiona Chun

Flowers galore in different arrays Being beautiful in every way All with different personalities and secrets to Be revealed Featuring only the... Roses as red as can be Chrysanthemums as golden as the sun Hydrangeas vain as the one who looks Solely at his mirror, Narcissus Calla lilies pure and true Daffodils cheerful and lovely The Star of Bethlehm with heads help up High with might Nightshade terribly beautiful Each individual hold’s exquisite magnificence, But be aware It’s cover is not to be judged.

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The Drone

- Dina Bratanovic

This is an alternate reality Time doesn’t ebb and flow here Like it should Time is stale, and stagnant, And suffocatingly still Life is flatlining It’s a dull, endless, empty tone The sound you hear when a heart stops beating The sound you hear when there is nobody on the other side of the phone That is life these days What is life with no motion? What can life be with no sound?

We are moving forward with the TV on mute, Watching a screen of static Waiting for it to show the rainbows, lush fields, and sunlight we once bathed in And took for granted We are in Death Valley, Looking up at the bare sky Hoping for a cloud to pass by And let us dance in the rain of normalcy If someone can find that drop of water In this desert Please let the rest of us know Because we are searching permanently And all we see are mirages of an oasis That this all used to be

-quarantine

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Photography by: Owen Oppenheimer


Boxes

- Dina Bratanovic

Humans like boxes Creatures of comfort, We enjoy sticking to what we know The same order at a fast food place, The same routine, The same life, more or less Whether we put ourselves in them, Or expect others to, Staying contained to boxes is how people find comfort But we find ourselves uncomfortable, And acting as the creatures of comfort we are, We attack the unknown We attack what gives us discomfort And so society goes, And if someone does not fix into the “comfortable” structure set forth Of race, of the gender binary, of gender expression, of sexuality, of anything Then the creature of comfort becomes a beast At a certain point, comfort becomes a weapon At a certain point, comfort becomes complacency Some boxes, created by the people in power at the time, Were always limiting But now they are suffocatingly small For the people within them

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Art by : Quinton Hannemann

However, nobody will bat an eye They will pass by the box every day, Look at it, maybe chatter over it, And walk away Nobody will bat an eye, until there is attempt for change Until they say the box is suffocating them Until they attempt to get out of the box And suddenly, everyone cares And wants to shove them back in Who are any of us To duct tape someone else’s box shut? We need to realize and recognize That we are all in boxes And whether or not we realize it, The ones we are trapped inside of are not allowing us to grow They are not allowing us to breathe As time goes on, We as people and as a society Owe it to each other To be better To allow ourselves to bloom In boxes bigger, in boxes without lids to be slammed shut At a certain point, Silence is violent Comfort and consistency are complacency And we can always do better - learn to grow with the unknown

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Photography by: Liv Hendrick


Burnt Toast - Fiona Chun

The sound of classical music starts to grow louder and louder as 6:00am arrives. The violins screech and the bassoons lead the march. At this moment, I think, “I didn’t know I could hate classical music so much!” Then, I turn off my alarm and reluctantly get out of the cozy covers to begin my day. When I open the bedroom door, I can smell it: the tangy and ashen burnt smell wafting from the kitchen. I already know the culprit. “Mom! Did you burn the food again?” The small figure near the oven turns slowly and looks up at me with sheepish eyes.

popped up, and a poorly recorded audio began to play. “What ails you human? There’s a solution to every problem! Have an extra toe? Get the digitus exterminus spell! Have an itch you can’t scratch? The extranus armus can lend you a hand! I, the witchous miraculous am at your service!” 5 seconds later, a text box appeared, and the message, “ENTER AILMENT,” followed. I hesitated for a long moment as I knew this was all ba… loney, but I couldn’t help myself! I had to take a chance, no matter the impossibility.

“Sorry! I did it again. . .” she answered. “I was I typed, “I wish to eat food that has not been burnt.” making your favorite hot chocolate while waiting for the sausages to cook, and by the time I turned back, they Immediately, I got a reply that said, “We have just the became as dark as midnight.” thing for you! It’s the Reversa the Foodosa! We will give you a 30 day free trial!” I shook my head and let out a laugh. Mom always burned the food. I even started to have an acquired taste I looked suspiciously at my phone, but it hadn’t asked of the burnt flavor. At one point, I said, “You should open for my social security number or my credit card in… up a restaurant called Ashes, and serve your customers formation, so I continued to humor whoever was on the different flavors of ashes from different burned foods. other side of the screen. For example: strawberry flavored ashes (Comes in red! Limited time edition!)” “Deal!” I answered. Though I instantly forgave my mother for the burnt food, I wanted to eat eggs that weren’t brown and dry; “You will be very satisfied! To perform the spell, only I wanted to eat toast without it crumbling apart in my one phrase must be spoken: Reversa the burnt enter the mouth from the lack of moisture. species of food (add the letter 'a’ to every food item).” One fateful Saturday morning, while reading “The Onion,” I saw a suspicious add pop up on my phone that read “Life Changing Spells! $3.99! BUY ONE GET ONE 50% OFF!” I knew better than to fall for clickbait, but the current food atrocities made me desperate, so I played along. Upon the click, a digital witch with a funky, purple hat

A Google form popped up a minute later. Name: Fiona Star sign: Pisces Do you agree to form a contract with the witchous miraculous? Agree

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I had obtained the spell, but I did not believe its legitimacy for a second. However, the very next day, I woke up to the smell of burnt food once more, and I had the perfect opportunity to test out my newly acquired magic. I eagerly ran to the kitchen, unable to hide my hopes of the existence of magic, and there it was, the black toast. I halted right in front of the plate of black bread, took a deep breath, and exclaimed, “Reversa the burnt toata!” Suddenly, right before my very eyes, the toast began to shake and then lighten a couple shades until it was the perfect balance of crisp and lightness. I beamed at the result, and my mother looked in awe. I used this peculiarity every day, but I realized that my 30 day free trial was almost at the end, and a couple days later, I received an anonymous email that read, “Continue subscription for just $3.99? Yes or No?” Most would probably think that I pressed Yes. However, I replied No. The burnt food was something that was more important to me than a cheap magic spell as every time my mom burned the food, it was because she was doing something to make me happy. Scrolling through cute dog videos to share with me, telling me a funny story, researching things for us to do during the weekends. Rather than representing the ab… sence of thought, her burnt food showed more care than anything in the world. In fact, the formation of black, often inedible substances, was a piece of magic to me.

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Photography by: Isabella Cardner


Photography by: Liv Hendrick


Duality

- Jordan Sparks

Muted. Light and dark. A different person the moment I walk into those doors. Thoughts muddied down, like puddles after a storm. Half my body chained down, the other made to sit and listen without any room for mistakes. Both sides unable to be free at one time. One side my loud, carefree, joking self and the other my quiet, shy, nervous self. Two sides of the same coin. Forever muted.

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Photography by: Chloe McNiel


Photography by: Anne Smrstik


Sora’s Academy for the Strange and Even Stranger

found himself walking to school with a smile on his face. He wasn’t smiling because he was going to school - that Luke Langdon was twelve, but wanted to be an adult. He was nothing to smile about; he wasn’t smiling because his walked to school every day by himself, like an adult, yet school started a week earlier than the other schools in he had to put up with his fellow twelve-year-olds at school, the area; and he definitely wasn’t smiling because he had something an adult would surely never have to endure. to go to spanish class. No, he was smiling because he was The adults that he passed on his walk always cast him watching a bird circle overhead. New Jersey was filled strange looks since an unaccompanied twelve-year-old with pigeons and other ugly birds, but this particular bird was a strange sight to see around six in the morning in was a bright blue and its wings glittered in the morning Jersey City. Luke’s mother, Mary, especially didn’t enjoy light like a stained-glass-window. It wasn’t much, but it the situation, but it was the best they could do since she brightened up the city just enough. had to work early in the morning as a nurse at the local As he watched the brilliant bird, he realized some… hospital. Luke’s father couldn’t take him since no one had thing else about it: the bird was larger than he originally seen him since Luke’s second birthday, when he’d mysteri… thought. It flew lower and maybe it was just a trick of the ously disappeared. Mary’s friends gossiped that he’d been light, but the bird looked almost ten feet tall. Luke shook afraid of responsibility and bolted while others thought the thought out of his head. It was just the shadows and he’d died. Mary disagreed with all of them, knowing that sun playing tricks on him. Birds weren’t ten feet tall. Alan hadn’t run away, nor had he died. She of course had He blinked and looked back up at the sky, but the bird no proof, so most people regarded her as crazy with grief. was gone. Maybe it had just been his imagination. Proba… Mary had raised Luke telling him that his father had not bly. There were no monstrous birds in Jersey City, unless run away, nor had he died. She told him that what others you counted the pigeons or the old lady who occasionally thought didn’t matter because the two of them knew the threw stale bagels at Luke as he passed by. truth and that was all that mattered. After a few more minutes of walking, Luke arrived at “Your father had a gift that always kept him safe,” Mary school. Around him, everyone ran around to meet up with assured him. their friends and walk to class together. Luke had no Luke had asked what the gift was, but his mother never such friends and quietly wandered to his seat in his first told him. Maybe it was made up, maybe it wasn’t. Either period class: English. way, his father wasn’t there and his mother was working, The bell rang and the teacher stood up next to her so Luke walked to school. podium. “Good morning, everyone. Let’s get our summer On the Friday of his first week of the sixth grade, he reading books out and continue where we left off yesterday.” - Anderson Wood


All the students did as they were told as the class erupted in a symphony of zippers opening and pages turning. Luke tried his best to focus, but found that the book they were reading wasn’t interesting to him. It seemed too far-fetched, depicting a man who travels through the mul… tiverse in search of his missing father. The missing fa… ther part made sense to Luke, but the idea of other worlds didn’t make sense to him. He could barely make sense of one world and he lived in it. His mind just couldn’t wrap around the idea of jumping through other dimensions. “Now, why did the author include the final world at the end of the book?” the teacher asked. “How does dimesion… traveling enhance the story?” Everyone’s eyes glazed over. “Mr. Langdon, what do you think?” Luke’s train of thought was slapped back into reality and it wasn’t a pleasant return journey. “Oh… uh… It doesn’t?” “Mr. Langdon, in this class, we try to focus on every… one’s different interpretations of the text. Generally, this means there are no wrong answers. What you just gave me is a wrong answer.” “Oh. Cool,” Luke mumbled. “No, Mr. Langdon. Not cool. Can anyone else tell me how the dimensional travel aids the storytelling?” A kid in the front - wearing a polo - shot his hand up into the air. “Because it amplifies the feeling of being lost. Different dimensions throw the characters into situations they are not used to and therefore it fulfills the feeling of loneliness and an absence of belonging.” “Correct,” the teacher said before moving on. Luke rolled his eyes as he saw the kid in the polo, pocket a printed-out book report over the book he’d found online.

The rest of the day was about the same, though it moved relatively quickly. That was until Spanish class, when time froze. Luke’s leg bounced under his desk as he watched the clock in the corner of the room slowly tick on. No matter what he did, Spanish class always felt like several years rather than an hour like the rest of his classes. Eventually, he looked out the window. His seat had the best view, overlooking the bright green football field. Out… side, the track team was practicing baton handoffs in the perfect weather. The sun was high, but it wasn’t too hot. The sky was clear and blue with no clouds in sight - a perfect day. It would have been a crime for Luke not to daydream in such a situation. He saw himself swinging through the city like Spiderman, feeling the wind in his hair and the adrenaline coursing through his veins. His mother had always taught him to pay attention in school and valued learning above all else, the exception was his spanish class. His teacher, Señor Hopkins, had been an english teacher the year before, taking over span… ish after the last teacher quit. He knew no spanish and struggled even more than most of the students; there was no learning taking place in such a classroom. “So, uh…” Hopkins stuttered at his podium. “Today’s les… son is on conjugal- I mean conjugations, which are… uh… different ways to say the same word. That doesn’t make sense... Hold on.” Luke sighed and looked back out at the field, which seemed to be saying, “Look at this nice day. Too bad you can’t have it. All at once, the sky turned black and the lights of the classroom shut off. The nice day outside was gone, replaced by an inky black abyss.

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Luke looked around and saw that all the other students had vanished. He was alone in the room, except for a red light at Hopkins’ podium. The red light solidified, turning into a humanoid shape. A pool of dread opened up in the base of Luke’s stom… ach, slingshotting him back into the moment. His day, which had been going by so quickly, came to a screech… ing halt. He was no longer flowing through the day like a bird caught in a breeze. His eyes shot around the room, looking for the other students. They were all gone. The empty desks stared at Luke like wolves waiting to strike. Luke wasn’t one who asked for company, but he was thinking about changing that in this new, scarier classroom. Being in complete isolation was a terrible way to die. Now, the only other person in the room was the dark figure at the head of the class. Luke couldn’t tell exactly who it was, but he knew it definitely wasn’t Señor Hopkins. “So, the son of Langdon is awake,” the figure growled. “At last the stalemate can come to an end.” Luke tried to back away, but found that he couldn’t move. He was frozen in place. He couldn’t even breathe. This wasn’t like any fear he’d ever felt before. This was fear for his very life. He was so young. He still had so much to do. This couldn’t be it. He hadn’t even had time to say goodbye to his mother. “He will be very glad to hear of your awakening. Perhaps he’ll even come out of retirement,” the figure sneered as if it were thinking aloud. Whatever it was, it didn’t seem so interested in Luke as something else. As if a bungee cord was attached to his back, Luke snapped out of his paralysis. The school bell rang,

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shattering the darkness. Then, just as quickly as it happened, the figure vanished and the whole class reappeared. The students perked up at the sound of the bell and packed up their bags. Sunlight poured through the window and the whistle of the track coach outside echoed over the field. “Today’s homework is to work through page two of the workbook,” Señor Hopkins called after his fleeing class. Luke gasped for breath and looked around at the others. Everyone seemed just fine. He’d probably just fallen asleep and had a nightmare. What else could it have been? He fought to push the experience out of his mind, yet it kept creeping in like a tick that had burrowed its way into his skin. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something big had just started.


Photography by: Liv Hendrick


Photography by: Owen Oppenheimer

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Art by: Zoe Thompson


His Perspective - Claire Capek

it would be an honor to drown in the pools of honey that fill your eyes how they look into my soul how they make me forget my own name how harsh the pain is to watch the light in them fade how all the golden honey that once filled them leaks out, one sticky drop at a time how I drown in the puddle below me how I caused it.

Photography by: Reagan Duke


- Julia Ruckdeschel

It is a cold night tonight. I tuck my grandson, Benjamin, into bed, noticing how the vents’ heat battles the chill of a white winter. “Tell me a scary story!” Benjamin asks. I decline, but he persists. Eventually, I deliver. I turn out the lights, silhouetting myself against the open door of the room, and begin my “story.” “I could barely stand still. It was Halloween, and though my friends and I weren’t going to go trick-or-treating, we would be dressing up. After what felt like forever, the waiting was over. I hopped in the car with my mom, noticing how the summer air lingered, ever stubborn to succumb to the sharp chill of winter. First, we picked up Briana, my best friend since sixth grade.Then, we drove over the lake to my long-time friend Ace’s house.When we arrived, we started styling our costumes, each of us a different colored astronaut. I was pink, Briana was lime, and Ace was blue. Of course, we were no ordinary astronauts. Each of us was a different parasite, based on a popular game at the time.We spent hours decorating our suits, tediously adding rips, tears, and blood in other spots. I went a little overboard, cracking my helmet’s visor and adding spikes along the fine lines of the web-like pattern. By the time we were finished with all our gory details, it was dark out.We went into the forest behind Ace’s house to play a game we liked to call Monster.The goal was for 2 or more people to hide from 1 monster.The Hiders have to stealthily move and try to reach the ‘safe point.’ If all the Hiders make it there, they win. If a Hider gets caught, they have to go to the ‘dungeon.’You can be freed from the dungeon by other Hiders. Once we established where each point was, we let a random number generator decide who would be the monster.To my delight, it was me! I gave them five minutes to hide, create a plan, and prepare in any other way they needed to.When the count was over, I began the hunt. Methodically, I set traps and crept about the forest. I wanted to play with my prey a little bit. Luckily for me, Briana’s suit stood out in the darkness. I spotted the lime, seemingly glowing in the suffocating murkiness of the night. Instead of capturing her, I walked right by her and gave her hope for escape. She moved towards the safe point, but we both stopped before she could even walk five feet.

Photography by: Liv Hendrick


A low snap echoed through the forest, bouncing off of the trees, followed by an inhuman scream. I looked at Briana, and without a word, we both ran towards the noise.We knew we’d arrived when we saw a tree that had been snapped at the trunk.“This is where Ace was hiding!” Briana says, panicking.Trying not to panic myself, I respond,“He’s fine, let’s look around and see if we can find him. First we should check inside.” Nodding, Briana followed me to Ace’s house, where we told his parents.They hadn’t seen him. Beginning to get worried, I suggested that they should help us find him. Once they agreed, we split up once again. I went with Briana and looked down at the lakeshore while the parents searched further in the forest.We walked along the shoreline for ages before we spotted Ace hunched over in the mud.“Ace!” I called out, but my excitement quickly faded when his head whipped my direction.Two yellow eyes twinkled in the night, and my body flushed over with dread.The creature’s arms split into four, then eight, then sixteen. It grew steadily in size, spikes protruding from the grooves in its spine. Briana grabbed me by the arms and started sprinting away, but with a sickening snap, its arm broke and stretched towards us.Thinking quickly, I tackled her to the ground. Her helmet rolled off, and she threw it at the creature. It’s entire body rippled when it got hit, vibrating and making a buzzing noise.Then it went still... still...and LUNGED!” I jump out at Benjamin, and he squeals in delight. “Its ribs moved like a snake, shifting, dragging it across the ground and towards us at a terrifying speed. It reached us, it’s drooling mouth now open so wide it could swallow both of us whole. But it didn’t. It froze. And then, without a trace, it disappeared.The only sign it was there is the long, winding track it left in the dirt.We both jumped at the sound of a “Hey,” It’s Ace. “Oh my god, don’t scare me!” I said, giving him a firm punch to the shoulder. He huffed, turned around, and started walking away.“They want you back at the house!” he said, his tone almost as scary as the monster we just saw. I looked over at Briana, who was hyperventilating, tears streaming down her face. It took a while to comfort her, but we headed back to the house, jumping at every noise. Eventually, we started running.Then sprinting.We finally made it inside, and without turning around, we slammed the door behind us.” “Woah! Grandma, were you scared?” asks Benjamin when I finish telling him my story. I look away and think for a moment. “I still am.” I reply, looking back at his yellow, twinkling eyes.


Steady Hands - Rhea Karumuru

sand

the reflection of the sky

water touched by none air calm without a cry shoes not here, on the run

matching swimsuits me and my love green towels faith, luscious belief early morning not a soul thereof i watch her walk to the reef our fate in her mind my heart in her hands Please don’t drop it this time

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Art by: Zoe Thompson


Photography by: Bella Stevens


Nature Never Sleeps - Ty Cowley

On lively summer land Swing seated of bright children Oak tree rooted tall Field bathes with shy moon Coyote speaks to the sky Moon returns howl Creek runs from itself Frogs croak echoes side to side Leaf sways unafraid

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Photography by: Jennifer Schoenrade


Photography by: Emma Winters


The Pit

- Henry Fell

I find myself in a dream, surrounded by sand and stone. The sky above is as dark as the world around, And bright as the one I came from. I turn around and approach the monolith Sticking out of the sand like splinter Blood and pus emerging from below it As I grow nearer I feel myself fall Farther and farther Into a stone room I fall With wooden torches on the wall Those walls closing in Suffocating. As the darkness and flames of the wall consume me They open back into a hallway. A figure stands at the end It’s face blank. He raises his hands and they stare at me.

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He whispers something I cannot hear, Through a mouth I cannot see. I begin to walk closer and closer to him, Is it my free will controlling me? I think so. I need to get a closer look I don’t want to, yet I feel the need to. Blood comes out of the pores in his hands And he seems nearly rootedto the spot I step forward to him He places his hands to his face Where his eyes would be. He turns them. palms facing me The eyes staring back, non blinking The eyes get closer and closer. As they come to mine, And consume me.


Photography by: Jennifer Schoenrade


Photography by: Andrew Camargo


Quid est Amor?

- Dina Bratanovic

“I froze pieces of our love In eternal chunks of time Photographs in my mind…” What is love? Is it the fluttering feeling of buterfIies it the warmth you feel in your chest? Is it the way they or it can make you laugh and smile, even on the gloomiest day? Is it connection, is it touch? Is it feeling, is it words, is it sound? “You are the reason I understand the term Lovestruck…”

“Breathing in the vapor of love, Pale pink dew On my lungs That coats my mind and tongue…” What it may be to me, It very well may be completely different To you “And suddenly, Even the view Of the most vibrant sunsets paled To the view of you…” So who are any of us To decide, or judge, If someone is Too young Too naive Too old Or “too” anything

What is it?

“You are the best thing Stardust Has ever made...” When love is within their own definition?

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The Tale of the Water Garden Twins - Sophia Scorrano

There lived two beautiful daughters, Born on the same day as each other and slept right next to each other They were inseparable, laughing together, walking together, working together... Never finding one in a room all alone. But the world is unpredictable, as someone’s fortune could lead to another’s misfortune.

'Meet me in the town water garden please... I need you’ The twin had prayed that her sister would understand her grips and would share those years of neverending spotlight.. But our world is a cruel mistress, as terrible influences can never truly be far from our reach. slap. . . . . . . . .

One sister being highly praised and awarded for her dependence in all she had done.

The sounds echoed throughout the garden along with the quiet chirps of the passing birds.

Like a bird finally being able to leave its mothers nest...

Before exchanges could continue, the twin bolted from the scene. In utter shock of what her sister had become… Not knowing that would be the last exchange they ever had…

One sister being left to the side, being ignored for her sister’s sake. Like a lone old building being forgotten slowly being torn away by the world. They were A L M O S T inseparable, laughing together, walking together, playing together, working together... Would A L M O S T never find one in a room all alone. After years and years of being shafted, one of the twins finally had enough,

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They U S E D T O be inseparable... They had laughed together, walked together, worked together… …. . . Forever being in their own rooms all alone.


Art by: Maryn Jones


Dream

- Katherine Johanan

I lost myself in a dream Where I was running. Not for fun. Not for exercise. But to get away from a man. I didn’t know who this man was and what he was doing. All I can recall from the dream that I wish I could awake from was he was a black silhouette. He didn’t say a word but could move at incredible speeds. Running so fast but so slow afraid to look back knowing it would slow me down. Seeing my house in the distance knowing I could get there safe if I didn’t look back or stop to catch my breath. Seeing a glimmer of light shining from the dust and moth filled light bulb in the garage. Running to the light trying to leave the darkness in the dust. My focus was on the light. Then I watch as the steel garage door starts to close slowly. Wishing I was closer to the light. Yelling at whoever was in the garage to open the door. Screaming help as loud as I can. At that point I knew it was pointless because screaming was only making me more tired and only making me want to stop more. Not far from what was once the light now just a house on the corner. That’s when I see it. A dark stray cat grooming itself near the garage door sensor but close enough to keep the door from closing all the way. Knowing the only way I would get in safely was by crawling under the cracked garage door. So that’s exactly what I did. The black silhouette got ahold of my shoes making it harder to grip the concrete driveway with just socks. Nearly halfway in the garage when I see a nail sticking out from the lip of the garage floor. Looking down and seeing my pink cotton shirt caught on the nail with tears running down my face in fear. I continue to pull myself into the garage and rip my shirt. I gasp. Trying to catch my breath. Not because I was tired but because I finally awoke from a horrific dream.

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Art by: Nicole Baker


Photography by: Bella Stevens


Morning Glories - Isabelle White

There is nothing like a glorious morning in september Leaves begin making their way down the sidewalk As squirrels skitter up trees to gather their snacks The chilling breeze swishes and wooshes as it trails the passersby hairs This morning in the frost, as dew makes its freeze Where the lovely flowers that take its name shift in the wind These flowers of blues and pinks and purples Shaped like perfect little bells They crawl along vines Their pollen sweeping past the fences Into unsuspecting sweaters on a stroll The glory of a morning so perfect and serene Where the wonderfull, willowing lady sits With her favorite cup of coffee As she stares at the scene of an autumn day And right where she sits, Near her hummingbird perch In every color and hue of their own Her Morning Glories glisten

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flowers

- Maliah Arbelaez

some mornings getting out of bed feels as impossible as climbing mount everest in shorts and a t-shirt

and that’s your mentality for everything. why do my homework, i’ll just get more? why clean my room, it’ll just be messy again?

some mornings you skip breakfast because it just doesn’t seem worth it to eat

why get help, you’ll just end up hurting again eventually?

some mornings you just feel too broken to be fixed so you put down the tape and glue and stop trying you’re broken because you deserve it, right? some mornings you throw in the towel before you even yawn because just the thought of trying to battle through the day makes you more tired than you already are some mornings your homework is just there and you can’t find the strength to care, or finish it because you’re just. too. tired. some mornings you realize just how alone you feel. you realize just how good you are at a fake smile. you realize how much it hurts that nobody can see through it. and you can’t help but think, if they loved me they’d come but they won’t. the mornings are the worst, but then come the things that make your life so miserable in the first place. like coming to school and getting more homework on top of the mountain you already have, or sitting alone in lunch and realizing that you’re so hungry, but eating isn’t worth it because you’ll just end up hungry again later.

right? your entire life has been consumed by everything disguised as nothing and you hate it, but at the same time, just don’t try and fix it because it doesn’t feel worth it . it’s the rain, before the flowers, because how will you know complete joy if you don’t know complete numbness? how will you know light if you don’t know the dark? how will you know a full belly if you don’t know hunger? all of the prettiest flowers need rain, and just because a few of your leaves are wilted, doesn’t mean you aren’t a flower. even wilting flowers hold beauty and grace.


Photography by: Kate Stroup


Maybe Someday - Julia Cate Reader

Maybe someday If i can get a sharp enough knife Then i won’t be told to smile more often Maybe someday If i listen to enough 40 year olds on social media Then i can be pretty without makeup Which is ridiculous, because I’m killing the game either way When i was 11 I stood before the creature that thought it was acceptable to grab me from behind And I smacked him in the face but for now My voice is my weapon And if i scream enough Maybe someone will hear the pain of the concern in my friend’s voice As she tells me to text her when I get home safe Because we both know how much can go wrong for a young girl On a tiny bike ride if it is dark outside If i can make my words sharp enough I can make people understand the primal fear that rears its enormous face When I’m home alone And the house settles on its frame And it sounds just like a tap at the window

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Maybe if people understood that fear I wouldn’t feel ridiculous clutching a knife, a rolling pin, a stapler Anything I can protect myself with in my house as I hide in my bedroom Because I am small and if a man got in, my life would be over The problem is people don’t understand how deeply fear is bred into girls and women From 6,500 years of rape, assault, murder Miscarriages that led to those other things 2,000 years of sitting like a lady, smiling more, of catching more flies with honey than with vinegar “A lady shouldn’t swear” Denied divorces And splits that ended with a childless mother 1,000 years of pearly flesh destroyed from by make… up Of misshapen ribs from cinching the waist Years of eating too much, or eating nothing at all In the hope that it snags you a husband Witch trials, human trafficking 500 years Of men becoming angry when their playthings begin to fight back Of lynchings, of “calm down”s, and delicate fainting maidens with less psychoemotional heft than the spines of the books they occupy


100 years of I’m not your princess I’m not a piece of straw that you hold hostage in your teeth Just to make yourself look like a man 50 years Of being talked over, of MRS degrees, of being a good wife and a shrinking woman 16 years of giggles and stares when I say something smart of devil’s advocates and well actuallies And doing whatever it takes to get that creep at the bookstore to leave me alone Because contrary to the length of my skirt I am not looking for a boyfriend I am looking for safety I am looking for a future I am looking for an AP test prep book I am looking for anyone to understand this without experiencing my struggle firsthand

Photography by: Isabella Cardner

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Boba Tea

- Lacey Hayes

Cold, fruity, sweetness Take it as a tea, smoothie, or slush. Drink this andoh, here comes the sugar rush. Strawberry-Taro-Banana-Mango-Passion-fruit-Grapefruit-and-Orange So many flavors to choose from. Lilac-Yellow-Pink-Orange-and-Green So many colors that go with them After music performances After drama performances After my elementary school graduation After eating lunch with the cousins or After eating Christmas dinner in the H-Mart food court After track practice when you really needed a sugary boost It’s the perfect drink for many occasions Made from rich tapioca starch Boiled and kneaded to perfection I promise to never disgrace you with the name “bubble tea”. “But they LOOK like bubbles,”- uh objection. They look like pearls

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Photography by: Henry Fell


Photography by: Molly Patrick


Photography by: Molly Patrick


Photography by: Anne Smrstik


The most wonderful time of the year

Winter breeze Piercingly cool as the inside of an undercooked hot pocket Wrapped in humidity Sun beaming down through the blue sky Cutting through the cold. Never enough to overpower Yet restricts the urge to snow.

- Henry Fell

Layer upon layer Mothers dress their children for the weather Beanies, Scarfs, Gloves, Jackets. Children go out to play. Nothing but iced over concrete and dirt Far as can see The fireplace a safe haven Let the ice melt Hot cocoa a journey to an unknown world Heat filling the body as it passes through Smiles upon faces Frowns upon others Winter. What a wonderful time of year.

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unknown title - Anonymous

Three thousand years And a fingerprint later Sat in the darkness For three millennia A slow drip from the ceiling, finally Grows tired And the Trees try up, and the Grass does too. The river shrinks but never fades away And the drip stops dripping And a silence begins sitting And a finger print later Found in the dark But laid in the light; sealed up tight for Three thousand years

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Photography by: Emma Dulworth


Photography by: Zoe Thompson


Somewhere’s Reality - Ty Cowly

In somewhere’s reality Transparent birds line the kitchen counter Singing songs of fleshy worms under the sea The pungent smell of construction breathes in the foamy air And out of a sandy window There are killer whales Pounding into jello with jackhammers of teeth Slithering out of bed Toes touch the floor They smile and say good morning Eggs try to stir themselves in a pool But get distracted by a concrete tree Businessmen sweep along its branches with haste The stock market is doing well

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Photography by: Jennifer Schoenrade


Dream Chasing

- Megan Dietrich

What is a dream? If you ask, you’ll see that many have the same perception of dreams. Perceivable, defined, reachable hopes. Is that not a paradox, a contradiction? Are dreams so easily explained? Perhaps the better answer would be from those who did not quite achieve their dreams. The hopes that were elusive, obscure, and unattainable. And yet, still you can hear the belief that these dreams might be fruitful, that the wishing wasn’t for nothing. They speak of grand ideas and of places to see, but stand still, watching instead. Those who believe in their dreams, do something. They find a way for their dreams to become reality. Recently, in my English class, I read an essay on the topic of safety vs. freedom. It made me think about this very topic. Not reaching for your dreams is safe. It is safe, but stagnant and there’s nothing wrong with that. No movement doesn’t mean you are falling backwards, right? Just suspended in a pool of possibilities forever. Free… dom is terrifying, it is vulnerable, but it makes you grow. Wouldn’t you rather know what you are capable of than never knowing at all? It won’t be easy when you choose to chase your dreams. When is anything good ever easy? You will have to defend yourself and your dreams. You will have to fight to prove that you have something meaningful to say. You will wonder if it’s really going to be worth it, if all your study… ing, learning and hope will turn into something breath… taking. It will. Your continued perseverance will turn your dreams into a reality, into something so great Some of you wonder if there are really examples of this. A friend of mine recently accomplished one of his dreams. He wrote his own album, titling it “Inspired by You”. He had to learn the guitar in order to do so, and

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it wasn’t easy. He said that fulfilling his dream was nerve-wracking, but as he continued to work towards his dream and put in the effort, he got an album to call his own. He is proof that someone our age can do amazing things with persistence. You may say that it feels impossible because the world is loud, and you are small. You may say that no matter what you try, there will be others who will do better than you, so why try. You may come up with any excuse you wish but let me tell you: the dreamers are never the loud ones, and they don’t have to be the best. You can be persistent, determined, and brave and have a bigger effect than you will ever know. Hope comes in the still things, in the quiet places. It does not yell, or demand that you acknowledge it and though it may feel faint, it is still there. Belief in yourself, belief in your dreams, hope that some… thing you do today will have a greater effect on someone tomorrow. Now, you may wonder who I am to say these things. You may ask why you should dare listen, because aren’t I just one more voice to ignore? You cannot write about dreams without being a dreamer yourself. I know what it’s like to get told that my dreams are foolish. I know what it’s like to persevere and have people think that you’re crazy for having an elusive goal. I know what it’s like to hope so much it hurts that one day you will have an affect on this world. I’m telling you this because I’m your age and many of you will discard this and never think of my words again, because “so what, she had a dream?” And maybe you’re right. Maybe it will never come to anything, but at least I know that I tried to reach for something so fleetingly tangible, it could only be called a dream.


Photography by: Gabriel Coleman


Photography by: Colby Murray


Photography by: Dayeon Ju