THE ART OF WRITING
are trying to place a rowboat into the water while others are yelling to the man (Lucien, they call him) words of encouragement. Margaux and I look at each other once before we slip under the surface to watch the action going on down below. Lucien isn’t Lucien; he’s prey. The taste of blood is sharp and metallic under the water. Despite my previous reservations, I can’t help but swim closer to the entwined figures far below me. The moonlight and stars above are enough for me to make out the growing crimson cloud below, but nothing more. Around me, the others gather in wait. After a few minutes, Leader drifts up lazily from the cloudy water. I see a shadow slowly sinking into the dark beneath us before I look back to Leader as she nears. It is a long-held tradition for the leader to get the first catch before the others can begin. It is more of a superstition or a formality really, but Leader always abides by the rules. No one knows where the rules originated from or why they exist, but it is taboo to break them - to break a rule is to be Condemned.
Leader grins at us and I see that there is still flesh caught in her fangs. Go, she mouths, bubbles spilling from her lips, and that is all the signal we need. I feel my fangs emerge and poke into my lower lip, drawing blood. I flick my tail in a strong downward stroke and swim with the others toward the Grim Triton. It is a bloodbath. It is a feeding frenzy. By the time we are satisfied, there is almost nothing left. I watch as the remains of the ship begin their slow descent into the dark below. Its silhouette looks like the broken skeleton of some great sea beast. I turn my back on the eerie image and face the others sirens. It will not be long before the ruins of the Grim Triton will disappear, carried away by strong tides.
Stand Up Written by Caridad Dominguez
I hold no regrets, no resentments. Every mistake has been a lesson. Every memory, a blessing. And often we do stumble; We fall short, trip, and tumble. We measure our lives in minutes, hours, days, and years, Counting down; holding onto our fears. Every experience has a message within, yet we are easily deflated with the tip of a pin. Failures are simply natural, but our idols’ perfection seems actual. Yet what purity have we encountered? We are all human and we have all floundered. But we rise against the tides that shake us. It is our missteps that help make us. So take on each day with valor splattered on your face And know that, at one point, we’ve all lost our grace.
Illustration by Olivia Stein Designed by Caridad Dominguez
Loneliness Written by Olivia Stein
is a quiet murmur that sneaks up inside of me like the tide on a new moon, filling my lungs with grasping tentacles that slither their way through my veins covering my brain with the squishy, slimy algae that disguises the sharp rocks on the shoreline. Voices surround me - whispering, laughing, crying, pleading but they sound soft and distorted like I’m six feet under the waves and they’re on the shoreline.