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Inkwell The Literary-Art Magazine  of West Hills High School      


Featuring work by 

West Hills High School Student Body at Large      Published in conjunction with the  

West Hills High School Readers & Writers Club   

Student Editor  Clarissa Rossman, Grade 12     

Cover Artwork


Clarissa Rossman, Grade 12

Faculty Advisor Suzanne Sannwald, Teacher Librarian 



POETRY A Painting Mathematical Potentiality I’m (Not) Fine Queenie and the Sheep #1 (ft Candy) Queenie and the Sheep #2 (ft Boss) Queenie and the Sheep #3 Lose or keep dear ophelia Reflectionless Mirror You An Open Letter Ineffable Will They Listen To Me fair well We Are Perfect Because We Exist

Anonymous A Alina Leholm Clarissa J. Rossman Queenie and the Sheep Queenie and the Sheep Queenie and the Sheep Student Anonymous C Cat Ashlyn Buggert E. Fugate Jesse Jewell Clarissa J. Rossman layla salahuddin Jeremy Thomas

Sunburned Passion The Soul Sucking "Project" That I Have Yet To Name Down, Down, Down No More Funny Guy Memory Emotionless Guilty One By One Hope For Better Every Story

E. Fugate Korra May Gallagher

1 2  8  10  10  10  13  13  19  22  24  30  31  31  32 


  ESSAY/CREATIVE NONFICTION  Everyday Tragedy     VISUAL ART/PHOTO  Searching Helios Glade Keeper Rainlily Surreal Reality Wispy Witch loɹʇuoɔ puᴉɯ

3-5 11-12 

1.18 1.18 1.18 1.18 1.18 1.18 Kitsune No Kyuubi Alena Hartpence

14 14  15  15  16  17  20-21  27 

Clarissa J. Rossman


Allie Dopp Jay W. Jay W. Jay W. Jay W. Jay W. Jay W.

2 6  6  6  7  7  7 

VISUAL ART/PHOTO (continued) Rain Drop, Drop Top, Roof Tops Confetti Look up, it's cool The Loudest Silence Self Portrait Anima Astrum Medusa Peonies The Butterfly La Muerte Alolan Champions Corruption Saiyan Neko Haku's Journey Through the Flowers Cartoon Self Portrait Love Benedict Cumberbatch Portrait Undertale Tear in Pencil All the World's a Story Untitled #1 Untitled #2 Untitled #3 Untitled #4 Untitled #5 Untitled #6 Untitled #7 Steampunk London Inside a Watch Light on the Little Things     CONTRIBUTORS    

Alexander Maat Alexander Maat Alexander Maat Anonymous B Parker Troeh Kai Homan Kai Homan Baylee Hix Baylee Hix Monique R. Ramirez Sam Sanchez Sam Sanchez Sam Sanchez Sam Sanchez Cameron Crawford Korra May Gallagher Elisabeth Wood Elisabeth Wood Elisabeth Wood Elisabeth Wood Elisabeth Wood Clarissa J. Rossman Corey Kramer Corey Kramer Corey Kramer Corey Kramer Corey Kramer Corey Kramer Corey Kramer Clarissa J. Rossman Clarissa J. Rossman Mallory Dann



9 9  9  10  12  13  13  16  16  17  18  18  18  18  19  21  23  23  23  23  23  26  27  28  28  28  28  29  29  30  30  32 


A Painting

Anonymous A, Grade 12   He(art)   

You painted my he(art) a different color   What was once a deep, starless indigo sky,  Kissing the summits of brick and mortar mountains   had been streaked with   Sunset orange, canary yellow..  Dusk met Dawn  Midnight met Morning  I met You.  Your hues and tones blended with mine  forming a work of art,   in a style I’d never enjoyed before--  Daylight.    But the sun shined too brightly   When the paint was still wet  It curled up in fear  Of its impending death  And soon we gave up  On our masterpiece  Altogether    At least one of us did.   (You did.)    Wearing denial like a winter coat  I picked up your brush  Desperately trying to restore our painting  Colors haphazardly strewn across the space 


I stepped back  To admire our image once again  but instead  My eyes were met with a  Deep, starless indigo sky  Kissing the summits of brick and mortar  mountains  A scene I knew well  This time, however,  I liked what I saw.    I remembered  I never needed your orange  Or your yellow  To be luminescent   Because my mountains stand tall  And my moon illuminates an entire city    I do not need the sun  I do not need your sun  To shine. 



  Searching  Allie Dopp, Grade 12                       


Mathematical Potentiality

                    Creator Note: I was inspired  to create this piece for a math  project that was assigned,  and I hope to share it with others  as I feel mathematics is fun and  can be used in a creative way. 

Alina Leholm, Grade 11   Mathematics brings curiosity,  alacrity,  and consists of possibility,  probability,  and a sense of creativity.  All the math in the world possesses an originality  and visibility  to the truly most wonderful ability  to see the world’s capability   of holding opportunity  to discover a marvelous reality.   This absolutely amazing reality is truly an actuality:  this actuality is that the world possesses mathematical  individuality.    2 


Sunburned Passion

E. Fugate, Grade 12   September   29th   ­  11:27   pm    “Alright spill it.” Sighing loudly, Will flopped down on the silk white sheets of my bed. I  looked up from the tattered novel in my hands and raised an eyebrow at him. He rolled onto  his side, “Don’t give me that! The crying, the sudden hatred James, and the fights with Aileen!  That’s not you, O…” I closed my eyes softly when he said a name I had been trying to avoid,  my fingers spread out across the fabric of the stolen cardigan I wore.   I debated on smiling, so much for avoiding, I was wearing his sweater. Somehow I had  forgotten about it, I wasn’t sure how, his smell still lingered on the sleeves.  More ashamed than ever, I turned away. Unwilling to make eye contact with Will, I just  couldn’t seem to bring myself to face the past, but he was onto me and it wouldn’t be long  now before I would have to divulge the truth to him. I took a long deep guilty breath and  Will’s eye grew large as I set down my copy of Wuthering Heights; I had a different story to  relive tonight.   Yet, this one would still be of heartbreak.  “Fine, I’ll tell you.” I laid back on the soft bed preparing myself to relive the best times  of my life. Will snuggled down under the sheets beside me waiting for the greatest bed time  story of all time; Mangata jumped up and joined us.  “It was the end of our eighth year and of his ninth.”  “Whose?”  “Shh.” I commanded, “A summer storm had just made its way to the castle, you were  off doing God knows what, Aileen was drowning her sorrows in spiked coffee because she  would have to go home in a week, and I, well, I had been caught in the rain.”   “I went to the Summit hoping to hear beautiful silence and find some clarity on a  pressing issue, only to be shrouded in the darkness of clouds and soaked to the bone in icy  cold rain. I couldn’t see my hands in front of me, the rain coat I wore was sopping wet, the  matching hat helped the water cascade away from my face, and my wellingtons, they filled  fast.” As I spoke the tale of my changed feelings, I began to drift into it.   I could feel the words, I became so lost in this scene of the story that I could no longer  hear my voice as I spoke, but I could see what I was saying.    continued on next page    3 


Sunburned Passion (continued)   May 5th - 11:11 am    “This is just my luck,” I groaned, forcing myself to not look up at the black sky, in an  attempt to keep my mascara as intact as possible.   If it was to fall, it should have been from real tears.  The ends of the wavy sunshine began to curl while the forest became greener in the  summer; I relaxed my posture and let the perfect echo of the rain lull me into a long bracing  moment of artful quiet. The white noise brought a sense of clarity over my shivering frame, I  knew it was wrong, but I could no longer fight it.   I had lost the war over myself.   “My stars.”  I skimmed my lips thinking back to my day dream, as this light touch lifted my teeth,  which sunk themselves into the petal soft place where the memory lingered. Blush flushed  my cheeks and I fought a smile with the force of ten men. I found myself laughing at my own  struggles.   I giggled harder while I shook my head, his name slipped off my lips before I could  catch it, and I gave into the sky, “James.”  If I grinned any larger my face would have frozen like that. I could hear music in the air.  I had found my clarity. I just needed to know how to use it.   Oh, selfish, selfish love, how it comes at all times of day with no care of the  consequences. No care for my future, only for my present. The present it had gifted me.  I hummed to myself as I made my way to the castle. The world was a blur, but my  mind was entirely clear. I knew now what I wanted. Lust consumed my bones making me  stumble on the muddy path. There was a confidence in my step that matched that of my  mother’s when she was on a mission. My chest burned with compassion and terror; I had to  find him. Nothing else would satisfy this need that the dream had stirred within me. I tried to  slow my quickened breath, but the song in my heart was bursting at the seams of my very  being.   My soul had been pulled apart and pushed back together, except now it was missing a  piece that only his voice and smell could fill. The longing in the air that left my lips was too  much to bare and I began to laugh again.   It wasn’t fair. Every fiber of my DNA had been redesigned in this new wonderful  sensation of selfishness and empowerment. How I had just came to the conclusion now? I  had wasted such precious time that could have been spent doodling our names together and  daydreaming about his eyes.     continued on next page    4 


Sunburned Passion (continued)   Those nights, we danced barefoot, and the mornings, we mocked each other's bed  head, and still my brain hadn't compiled the information till now. Seemingly, days would be  longer from now on and blend together, because I would be too distracted to compute the  minutiae, details.   Oh, bless the rain, its ability to deliver perspective was nothing short of utter magic, a  different type of magic than what normally flourished around me.  I refused to look back from this moment. My mind had finally led me right to his side  and aimed to keep me there from now on. I found myself under the cover the castle, and my  pace slowed from a brisk walk to a meander, for I had places to go, a person to see.   My feet made a gay beat on the concrete pavement below them. Ardently, the  humming from the back of my throat became louder. I spun on my toes uncontrollably  waving to strangers and friends alike as I passed them.   I never wanted this feeling of pure exultation to leave me. It was so delightfully new  and earnestly pleasing that I thought I might become addicted to it. Euphoria like this had  never filled my depressing and bitter veins before. Whatever the storm had blown in, I was  riding so high I could scrape the clouds of this whole new world.   Wet strands of hair stuck to my cheeks as I gleefully shook my head to the melody in  the air my feet were creating, their skip so loud it could have echoed through the castle for  weeks after this liberating celebration.   “Bunny?”   It was the sound of ecstasy. My ears rejoiced, my peony pink cheeks dimpled at the  sound, and my heart blazed like a warm flame. Sighing, I rolled my shoulders to face that rich  smoky voice; I knew exactly who it was. A man who had been made in the mold of the  famous before him, a mold that belonged to the first of his line and that of the General. A  tragic line indeed.   “Jay!” My voice exclaimed upon sight of the stunning giant, James laughed at my grin  and reached out to pull me next to him with his biblical, capable, and lyrically perfect hands.  He was speaking to me but I was too busy smirking up at him to listen. He was real,  and standing in front on me so seamlessly that I feared I may have been trapped in a dream.  His speech reached my heated ears and my thoughts finally slowed back to their normal  human capacity. The poetry of my mind was lost on his words: “Bunny, you’re shivering!”  James tucked the book he held in his hand under one arm and removed the onyx  cardigan that adorned his bowed shoulders, then slipped it over mine; his lips pressed into a  flat line.   




Glade Keeper 

Jay W., Grade 10  

Jay W., Grade 10  


Rainlily Jay W., Grade 10 



      Surreal Reality 

Wispy Witch Jay W., Grade 10 

Jay W., Grade 10  

loɹʇuoɔ puᴉɯ Jay W., Grade 10   




I’m (Not) Fine Clarissa J. Rossman, Grade 12         

I’m   fine  When   you   didn’t   say   I  love   you  I   knew   something   was   amiss,  I   had   a  feeling   that   our   meeting  Would   end   up   like   this.    I’m   fine  I   know   you   are   a  busy   man,  Guess   you   don’t   have   time   for   me.  Why   would   I  want   to   date   you  If   I’m   no   priority?    I’m   fine  I   have   a  busy   life   now,  And   friends   to   bring   me   joy.  Why   should   I  cry   my   nights   away  Just   cause   I  have   no   boy?    I’m   fine  You   have   hurt   me   twice   before,  And   this   time   makes   it   three.  Why   should   I  go   pursue   a  love  That   keeps   on   hurting   me?    I’m   fine  I   still   am   young   and   I’ve   got   plans  My   future   is   awaiting.  Which   college   should   I  now   attend?  That’s   what   I’ve   been   debating. 

I’m   not   fine  For   years   you’d   shown   me   passion,  Gave   undying   devotion.  But   then   you   cut   me   out  In   one   swift   brutal   motion.    I’m   not   fine  I   don’t   mind   if   you’re   busy,  Just   tell   me   that   I’m   yours.  Tell   me   you   belong   to   me  Before   my   tear   duct   pours.    I’m   not   fine  You   were   my   one   and   only,  The   true   love   of   my   heart,  I   thought   the   day   would   come  When   we   would   never   part.    I’m   not   fine  The   first   times   you   had   reasons  That   I  could   understand.  But   know   I  don’t   and   what   to   know  Is   this   pain   what   you   planned?    I’m   not   fine  What   of   the   plans   that   we   had   made?  It   makes   me   cry   a  bit.  What   kind   of   future   will   it   be  If   you   are   not   in   it?        



Rain Drop, Drop Top, Roof Tops Alexander Maat, Grade 12   



Alexander Maat, Grade 12

Look up, it's cool Alexander Maat, Grade 12

Creator Note: This picture was taking when 

experimenting with confetti.     Model: Lauren McCormick 

Creator Note: Confetti is legit.



Queenie and the Sheep #1 (ft Candy) Queenie and the Sheep (John Robinson, Emme Fugate, and Clarissa Rossman), Grade 12   

Erraticism   from   the   crowd  At   Harambe’s   death   was   growing   loud;  A   gloomy   view   from   all   mileau  The   scene   sparked   internet   memes   to   grow. 

Creator Note: Sentence Wars Rules:  

Use 10-30 words Be about Harambe  Include "erratic" and "milieux" 

Queenie and the Sheep #2 (ft Boss) Queenie and the Sheep (John Robinson, Emme Fugate, and Clarissa Rossman), Grade 12 

The   Staunch   Boss   brought   much   debate  When   employees’   salaries   did   he   abate;  The   workers’   hearts   all   filled   with   hate,  But   policy   demands   it   left   at   the   gate.   

Creator Note: Sentence Wars Rules:    

Use exactly 27 words Include "abate" and "staunch"  

Queenie and the Sheep #3

Queenie and the Sheep (John Robinson, Emme Fugate, and Clarissa Rossman), Grade 12

Our   speciousness   prevails  While   everyone   else   fails     

Creator Note: Sentence Wars Rules:  

Use 7 words or fewer Include "specious"   

        The Loudest Silence  Anonymous B, Grade 10 



The Soul Sucking   "Project" That I   Have Yet To Name  Korra May Gallagher, Grade 10   

This is the story of how my life was dramatically (and traumatically) changed.   As to whether or not it was in a negative way, I’m still not sure. Although my life was never  the same a  gain, I can certainly tell you that much.  Hi there. My name is Quintessa Elizabeth Royal. Quite the name isn’t it? I normally go by  Quinn and before you ask, no Quintessa is not a made up name. It has to do with the number  five believe it or not, and it ties into this mess of a tale. Anyway, you’re probably wondering  how my life was so dramatically changed. To answer your little query, I would have to start  from the beginning.    I blame the whole mess on my parents. Don’t get me wrong I love my parents, but in my  opinion this whole thing never would have happened if they hadn’t decided to move. I had  been perfectly fine in New York with our cozy apartment and crowded, vaguely dangerous  streets. I had been fine going to a private school full of entitled, snobby, rich kids and only  had two good friends. I had been at the top of my class, but that didn’t matter because I had  gotten in by scholarship. Heaven forbid a scholarship. Just imagine the scandal of it all.    I feel that maybe my lack of friends could have been a minor factor in my parents  decision to move to Aurora, NY. They claim that the main reason for our departure was that  we needed a change of scenery, to get away from city and breathe in the fresh country air.  My whole reaction to the move was probably the worst part of the whole ordeal.   I had just gotten back from school and I was fed up with private school life. I had been  tripped, shoved, and made fun of all within the space of six hours and I was exhausted. I  walked up the stairs to our apartment passing a very old and winded Mrs. Bartelli with her  groceries. I offered to take her groceries and she very happily obliged. We carried her heavy  bags up into her apartment and she rewarded me with her famous and very delicious  homemade cannoli. I said goodbye and made my way down the hall to our cozy little  apartment.    The smell of orange chicken and chow mein greeted me as I walked through the door. I  threw down my backpack and rushed to the kitchen, my stomach grumbling in anticipation.  My parents stood at the counter with their backs to me, gingerly unpacking the greasy boxes  of treasure. I snuck up behind them walking around the creakiest floor boards and pounced  on my dad. He yelped and the Chinese food flew into the air.  “Oh my goodness!” my mother shrieked. My dad look over his shoulder to see me  hooked around his torso. He chuckled and it grew into a infectious guffaw. My mother simply  sighed in relief. Dad skillfully grabbed my arms and flipped me over his shoulder so that I  landed in his arms. He squeezed me so hard I couldn’t breathe.     continued on next page        11 


The Soul Sucking "Project" That I Have Yet To Name (continued)   “How’s my little monkey doing?” I groaned in protest. He grinned at my apparent  dislike. “Monkey” had been my parents’ pet name for me when I was little, because I had  always felt the need to climb anything and everything. I still do. My mom laughed as Dad set  me down and I pulled them both in for a hug.  “I’m great, you guys.” Well, at least I was now that I was with them. That part wasn’t a lie.”  So what’s with the Chinese food? You guys don’t get Chinese food unless there’s something  to celebrate,” I said grabbing a fork out of the drawer and stabbing it into a box of chow mein.  I greedily stuffed a gigantic forkful into my mouth. My parents smiled at eachother, like they  knew something I didn’t.   “We were gonna wait until after dinner, but I suppose we could tell you now,” my mother  said between giggles of excitement. I looked at them uneasily, unsure if the news I was about  to hear would be good or bad. I began thinking of different scenarios. Did dad finally get that  position at Oxford? Were we going to move to England? Was mom pregnant? How long had  they known? All these thoughts ran through my head.   My dad grinned and squared his shoulders, as if doing so would make the news more  dramatic. He cleared his throat. “ Well, we’re moving!” he said, like it was the greatest thing  that I had ever heard in my life. Well, I was  right about moving. And, I wanted to throw  up. So, I did the next best thing. I ran to my  room and locked the door, never to be  seen again.   Of course, my parents didn’t  understand that my one desire at the  moment was to crawl into a hole and live  there for the rest of my life, so they  continuously rapped on my door. I buried  myself under my covers with my stuffed  dragon, Ignatius. Yes, his name is Ignatius.   Excuse me if I thought dragons  were cooler than unicorns when I was five. I  curled closer around the dragon,  pretending that I was somewhere far,   far away.            

Self Portrait


Parker Troeh, Grade 9



Lose or keep


Student, Grade 12 They say if you love a person, let them go  But is it better to be lonely? I Don’t know…  People are there and then they leave  As short lived as a new years eve   But true love is said to never fade  Like a distant childhood memory   Or the first time you got… paid.  in some kind of tale that lasts our whole life  We need an education, a job, kids, a wife  But I hope there is something more   Than to be rich in things, and have a soul that’s poor  

Kai Homan, Grade 10

Creator Note: Art is in the   eye of the beholder   

dear ophelia


Anonymous C, Grade 12

Have you locked me outside of love’s apothecary? Don’t you know the pains of my affection?  Tell me, what do I not have that you wish of me?    Love is not a divider but a binding,  Like a bandage to one’s wound  Yet to the eyes, blinding     Your father wishes to divide  My heart been drowned   I can no longer hide     It’s you I love most true  I know not what to do    Sincerely, Hamlet the fool 

Kai Homan, Grade 10

Creator Note: Is art mimicking  

reality or is reality mimicking art?     13 


Down, Down, Down

1.18, Grade 9   She couldn’t bring herself to do it. Not when they were more important than her. Not when  they depended on her. It had been two and a half weeks since she had eaten anything. She  told herself that they needed it more than her. Food was hard to come by, especially for a  group of six. If they got her portion of it, maybe they could live just a little bit longer. That was  her job. She had to make sure they were as close as you could get to healthy in the wretched  wasteland they were forced to survive in. She didn’t want it, she didn’t need it. She brushed  off their concerned requests that she took some of their meal for the day. No, that isn’t how  this is supposed to go, she thought. This was how it went. Despite not having a scale to  compare, everyone could see the pounds flying down, down, down. She lived solely to see  them survive another day. Caution was already out the window, so what did the small factor  of eating matter? She told herself to eat a little. She didn’t eat anything. They told her,  begged her to eat something, anything. She didn’t eat a thing. Tomorrow. Tomorrow she’d eat.  She told herself that until her time was up, until life had no more tomorrows to offer her.   Madison Kumai  6/28/2002 - 2/6/2018     

No More Funny Guy

1.18, Grade 9   The first time he made a joke, Isaac yelled at him. The second time, it almost got them all  killed. By the third time, he cut himself off before he even finished his sentence. He never  met anyone’s eyes anymore. He lost the only way he was coping with anything that came his  way. And now, with a deadly serious situation on their hands, he didn’t know what to do. It  ate away at him like the zombies had done to his sister. No matter how much he tried to  laugh, he couldn’t bring her back. His mental state faded bit by bit, until it was barely  distinguishable from insanity. The broken boy had no humor to fall back onto when he  needed it to save his life. They found him, alone, bruised, and bloody, due to a cause they  could not name. They did not know he was fighting with the image of everyone he loved  laughing at what a failure he had become, at how he had let them down. His last breath was  taken as he looked up to see the faces of the people he wished to never see him like this. The  very people he had tried so hard to always cheer up were watching him slowly die at his own  hands.   Thomas Eaton   12/24/2001 -2/14/2018    14 



1.18, Grade 9   She felt useless. They didn’t need her. Two of them were gone because she didn’t do the only  job she had: Take care of everyone. She couldn’t fight. She just watched after the medicine,  rationed their food, and healed wounds. Despite what they told her, she couldn’t believe that  they needed her. Zombies pounded on every door, like the memories of the times she had  almost gotten all of them killed. Every too close encounter she had unwillingly forced them  to be a part of demolished her mind. She looked out from the top of their wrecked home, if  you could even call it that. She looked around and she thought of what everything used to  look like. She saw children going to school. She saw couples nervously holding hands. She  saw a normal, boring world. Her will was crushed by the memory of what used to be. She  didn’t blink. She didn’t cry. She didn’t even breathe, as she leaned forward, falling into the  memory forever. Tumbling down for who knows how long into the only place with happiness  anymore: Death.  Taylor McKay  2/21/2002 - 2/18/2018     


1.18, Grade 9   He really had no issues to complain about. He had no reason to be upset. He had accepted  life for what it was. Three friends gone, more surely on the way. He was the leader. He was  the strongest. He had to be. He was the only one of them who could keep a level head. He  pushed them on, told them where to go, what to do.He was the only thing keeping the  remaining three alive. He never was an emotional person, even back when things were okay.  He would laugh, smile, and play along, but never did he really feel anything. That was the root  of his problem. He didn’t feel anything. It wasn’t something he could blame on everyone he  knew dying, because it had always been there. As they kept pushing forward together, he  started pushing them too far. When the other three died they were told to just keep moving.  His hand would simply grip around his weapon, and use it to physically make the other two  move on. Maybe it was his disregard for human life. Maybe it was because, for once in his life,  he was careless. But when he got stuck, and consumed, the two remaining made no effort to  help him. He wasn’t angry. If anything, with his final thought, he understood.  Isaac Baber  8/9/2001 - 2/20/2018    15 




Baylee Hix, Grade 11

1.18, Grade 9   Two were left. She tried to stay positive.  He needed her. He had been through so  much. Four had come and gone. Four of  their closest friends were no longer living.  They fought together. They ran together.  She thought at least they would have the  satisfaction of getting to die together. She  should have known the world is never that  merciful, especially the demonic one they  were living in. She used to keep everyone’s  spirits up. She was the hopeful glimmer of  light. But, as the world had so tauntingly  showed her, she was not enough. She was  never enough. She couldn’t have done  anything to save them. None of their  blood was directly on her hands, until him.  Until the two of them walked away from  their friend. She couldn't help but feel the  guilt of what she hadn’t done weigh her  down. They were running again. They were  always running. She looked at her only  remaining companion. She stopped  running. She knew he wouldn’t notice for a  minute or two. He never noticed anything  as insignificant as this. She knew that they  couldn’t win. She knew that she dragged  him down. So she knew she was doing the  right thing by giving up. She sadly smiled,  cried, and watched her friend flee to  safety. She was torn apart, but with the  knowledge that she had finally done  something right.  Ashlynn Rossman  3/24/2002 - 2/24/2018  


Baylee Hix, Grade 11



One By One

1.18, Grade 9   He had a future ahead of him before this. Yet, just a month and a half ago, he had watched his  parents get slaughtered in front of his eyes. He would never wipe the image from his mind.  He tried to get to his loving girlfriend, but by the time he got to her, all he could do was listen  to her screams for someone, anyone to save her. He ran from place to place as he watched  everyone he had ever loved be ripped to shreds and devoured before him. With each death  that he witnessed, he could feel more and more of his bubbly personality leave him, draining  through his fingers. He did nothing to stop himself from being just a shell of what should  have been a human. There were five others. He was grateful, but he could not show it.  Together, there were six of them, trudging along, trying vainly to hold onto hope. He provided  no help. He simply ran, fought, and stared. They never saw him sleep. He just was a case  without a soul. His drastic personality change took a toll on everyone. The one person they  thought they could count on to keep them upbeat had abandoned them, leaving them with  just a blank faced human that they didn’t know. One by one. Famine stole one, and then  there were five. Insanity took another, and then there were four. Depression took the next,  and then there were three. Betrayal captured one, in an ironic sense, and then there were  two. Guilt encased one, and then there was one. He was left alone. He had no reason to keep  fighting. He had no reason to go on. He stepped outside and just walked. They never seemed  to walk anymore. He walked until he had gathered a crowd of undead, watching, waiting. He  stood in a ring of death that was anticipating his next move. He looked around at the people  he used to know. He thought he saw his parents. He thought he saw his girlfriend. He couldn’t  make it out, but he might have seen some of the five there, too. He looked around and  remembered the life he used to have. He started to shake. For the first time in a month and a  half, he wept for the things he had lost. With his head down, he screamed for his friends, his  family, for everyone. With one last cry, he challenged the mob around him. He knew it was  pointless, but he began to fight. He took down as many as he could before he became  overwhelmed. And then, there were none.  William Harris  4/16/2002 - 2/28/2018       

The Butterfly

Monique R. Ramirez, Grade 12




Alolan Champions

Sam Sanchez, Grade 12   La Muerte 


Creator Note: I was so in love with the character

designs from the film The Book of Life and I wanted to paint La Muerte because her design was just so pretty.    Corruption 



Reflectionless Mirror

Cat, Grade 12   A girl stands before a reflectionless mirror.  She cannot see her crystal blue eyes or her bubblegum colored hair.  It’s almost like she isn’t even there.  “Let me see what I look like.”  A boy appears in the mirror and looks at her with ruby eyes.  “Why would I do that? I can’t show something without a reflection.”    Creator Note: It's inspiration comes from a story I wrote for a video game I'm working on   

Neko  Cameron Crawford, Grade 10 



Hope For Better  

Kitsune No Kyuubi, Grade 10

  The smoke fills the air, from the cancer stick in my mouth. The room smells of nicotine, 

perfume, and medicine, I wait for the other person in the room to come out and tell me what is going on, with her. She is my child that I have brought onto this world, she is my life, I  wouldn’t know what I would do if she died. My husband left me for the slut of a best friend.  She was my best friend, but now, I hope she rots in hell for what she did to me and my  daughter. I hope my ex rots too, I don’t want my daughter to see them, AT ALL. I never want  her to meet them. Thank god I didn’t tell my ex-husband that I was with a child, because now  he can’t have her.  I hear the door open, the one my baby girl is in, the doctor comes out, and says, “Parent of  Amelia. Parent of Amelia. Paren-” Before the doctor said it the third time, I walk over to him,  and through the cancer stick in the ashtray right next to him. “So, how is she?”  “She is fine, just the flu.”  “Is there anything that I can do as her mother?”  “Yes, make her take this, and rest, and water will do for her.” He hands me a bottle of a pink  fluid.  “Thank you, doctor, thank you.”  He hands me her, my baby girl of 3. I smile at her sleeping face. Dead to the world, that  must be nice, to be innocent again, not knowing anything about the world going around you.  To not know the evils of the world and to look at the world in innocence of a child again. But,  once you grow up, you can never go back to being a child. This child, my daughter, is my  saveur, not god, not a group of people, not the government, only her. She saves me with the  innocent look of a child wanting their mother, to never want to be left behind.  As we start to leave the hospital, I see a crying child, that looks to be of the age of 2. I walk  up to the child, ”What’s wrong kiddo?”  The child started to sniffle and ask, ”W-who *hic* a-are y-you *hic*?”  “I am a mother who wants to help a lost child.”  “I-I want *hic* m-my *hic* m-mommy.” The child starts to cry harder. I kneel down and give  the lost child a one-armed hug, waiting for the crying to die down, for the child to be able to  speak again. A few minutes later, the child starts up again, “*hic* I a-am *hic* Rory *hic*  m-my *hic* mo-mommy *hic* was h-here *hic* f-for a *hic* check u-up.”  “Well, Rory, what does your mommy look like?”  “M-mommy was w-wearing a pu-purple, r-really long d-dress and her b-belly was  s-sticking out.”  “Okay, let's go look for what you said.” I need to go, but I can't leave him alone. Well, let's  see the maternity ward. Then, I can give him to one of the nurses at that ward and go. I walk  the way to the ward, I see some nurses at the front desk of the maternity ward, I just continue  to walk towards them, “Hello? I found a lost child and I figured that you guys would want to  find his parents.”     continued on next page    20 


Hope For Better (continued)   One of the nurses started to speak, ”Um, I can take the child and look for his parents for  you.” I let go of Rory’s hand, give it to the nurse, but he lets go and runs over to a male figure  that must be his father, I guess.  They start to walk over to us, the closer he gets the more he looks familiar. Wait a minute,  he looks like my ex. Well, crap, and even worse I have Amelia with me. Well, it looks like he  recognized me, as well. I could leave, but that would be rude, so I stand there thinking I  should have moved away when I had the chance, but it’s too late now. I don’t know what to  say to him, the dirty bastard. “......”  “Well, I never thought I would see you again,” he said with disgust on his face. He then looks  at Amelia, “I see you had a child. Who’s the father?”   I am panicking. I want to scream, but I can’t, I have to be strong for my child, my Amelia, my  baby, “What’s it to you?” I give him a glare, “You chose that whore over me, why should you  care at all,” I say that in a soft voice, trembling with rage.  “Well, it doesn’t matter anyways, thank you for finding my son, and you should not say  things like that in front of a child no less.”  “I pity the child that are yours and your wife’s,” I say in a quiet voice.  He leaves with his son, with not even a goodbye. I don’t need his “thank you” for finding his  son. I walk out of the hospital with my daughter in my arms, I go to my car, and drive home.      Creator Note: This story came to me and I wrote the first chapter, and the second, and maybe  more. I don't know, there may be more, there may not be anymore of this story.                             

Haku's Journey   Through the Flowers 

Korra May Gallagher, Grade 10




You pt.1

Ashlyn Buggert, Grade 9   You pt.2 

Peaceful She lies there   Comforting words settle at the bottom of her brain  All is still. 

I dreamt of you last night Fingerprints still echo in my mind  Bouncing off the walls of my head   

Gentle She sits up  With ease and young bones and soft tones - whispers   All is calm. 

You were laying on the floor Hair in a thousand directions  Eyes of the loveliest shade   Of green  Hints of blue electrify your eyelashes 

Beautiful She smiles toward   Me - breaths catching along the bottom of my lungs   All is lovely. 

Silent words are the best Gentle whispers of   What we can’t say  We barely speak. 

Certain She walks with  Elegance, a grace unknown to me or my soul  All is well.  

You left imprints of yourself   Sprawled across my brain  I can’t seem to get you out of my  head 

Love She lies in   My mind, a benevolent figure setting peace upon my  brain   She walks beside   Me - every step - heart beating faster because it’s h e r  I’m in love.  

You’ve built yourself up in my hands A masterpiece too beautiful for words  A shade of lovely  A touch of grace  Shadows of neatness and   Splashes of shyness   The loveliest concoction    

My hands too short to reach yours Far too beautiful for someone like me  Yet   The smallest hello  A hint of a smile  Quiets my soul   

I dreamt of you last night   Fingerprints still echo in my mind  I can’t seem to get you out of my  head.    22 



Elisabeth Wood, Grade 12 Cartoon Self Portrait               


  Benedict Cumberbatch Portrait 






Tear in Pencil



An Open Letter

E. Fugate, Grade 12   Dear Song Remixes,    You are irrelevant, no one listens to you  or even acknowledges you exist.  You are pushed to the darkest corner of Spotify and Pandora  that only DJ’s dare to lurk in.  On iTunes your popularity bar never reaches the max;  but this is not your fault,  yes, most people don’t know you have even been made.  And yes, when you come up on shuffle  we groan and reach over to skip you,  but we do not bestow this blame on you.    You didn’t ask to have your lyrics ripped away,  you didn’t sit awake at night wishing that some wanna be rapper would dubstep  your intro,  this life has been forced upon you.  Every year or so, you will emerge from the shadows  to claim a spot on the top one hundred,  but that time only comes when an artist of immense fame  slaps his/her name onto and says  “Yeah, I changed a couple of those cords. It’s called a remix.”    I don’t mean to sound condescending, but why?  Why do people feel the need to create you?  To take a perfectly good song and force a new course on you,  to shred away you’re beautiful bass and synthesize the voice of your soothing singer!    Oh remixes, why do they do this to you? 




Everyday Tragedy

Creator Note: This was an essay I wrote for a scholarship on the effects of distracted driving. 

Clarissa J. Rossman, Grade 12   She was only driving home after a long day at work, anxious to return to the comfort  of her couch and her dog's kisses. It had been a long day, but she'd gotten a lot done and was  feeling rather proud of what she'd been able to accomplish. Her new promotion had called  for her to put in more effort, but she felt that she was performing up to the task.  He was on his way to practice with a few of his teammates. They were running a bit  behind so he paid close attention to the road as he graced the top of the speed limit, quickly  surpassing the suggested speed. They had a big game coming up and the championship  lingered so close they could just barely taste its sweetness on the tips of their taste buds.  Her favorite song came on and she sang along not caring how she sounded, just  experiencing the joy of music. In that moment then, everything was right with the world.  Nothing else mattered, no troubles could worry her, nothing could upset her.  One of his friends cracked a joke and another immediately shot back a witty response.  He laughed and hoped he would never lose these guys after graduation. They were so great.  He could picture himself and these guys going places, becoming on top of the world. With  these guys, he could do anything.  Then a commercial came on the radio, but she wasn't ready to quit singing.   The banter between his friends continued as howls of laughter pealed through the car.  She was an experienced driver, she'd been doing this for practically a decade, she  knew how to manage her car.  One of his friends pulled up a funny picture to show, they all just HAD to see it.  She took her eyes off the road for just a second.  He took his eyes off the road for just a second.  She reached over to the radio controls.  He turned his head back to see.  When the police arrived, there wasn't much to see in the wreckage, two cars had  veered just slightly too far into the oncoming lane. Things like this happened every day, and  they secluded the area and felt a moment of pity for those who would be caught in the  oncoming traffic jam. It took them a while to pull the bodies out. There had been one  survivor at least, who was quickly rushed to the hospital. About 424,000 people had died the  last year, all from the same relentless killer who had murdered these people - distracted  driving. Now these bodies were simply statistics to add to the body count.  "How could this happen?" her family thought.  "How could this happen?" his family and friends thought.  She was so responsible.  He was a model student.  She never did drugs.  He never drank alcohol.  She had worked so hard.  He had worked so hard.    continued on next page 



Everyday Tragedy (continued)   Now it was all gone.  It was all gone in an instant.   Her parents wept as they mourned their daughter. They shouldn't have to do this,  they never dreamed they would have to bury her.  His surviving friend didn't know what to do with himself. It was all his fault, and that  thought haunted his every waking and sleeping moment.  Now she was gone.  Now his friends were gone.  So much for that promotion.  Who cared about some stupid championship?  Now all that was left of them lay in pictures, videos, and memories.       

All the World’s a Story Clarissa J. Rossman, Grade 12   




Every Story

Alena Hartpence, Grade 9

Every story has its good guys. And its bad guys. And its cowards, and brains, and brawn. Every story has its suspicions, hopes, and heroic feats. But not so much in this one.   I didn’t want to tell anyone this, I assure you. I thought it much better to lock this away  deep down, the way you would a humiliating secret. I didn’t want to expose anymore  innocent lives to this. I never wanted to hurt anyone who didn’t have to be hurt. Maybe that  last one was a lie, because lots of people got hurt.   But I think that’s why I agreed to this. Everyone was already hurt, already guilty, which  is exactly why we needed to tell this.   So gradually, I concurred. Everyone deserves to hear what happened. Even if it’s a bit  depressing. Even if it does have bad guys who hopelessly outnumber the good guys. And  even if it doesn’t include a whole lot of virile young men doing a bunch of superhuman feats.  By the way, my name is Nynx. I guess I probably should’ve started off with something  like this, but I didn’t. Before we move on, my name isn’t masculine. It’s feminine, just like the  rest of me. It’s pronounced the way doctors say larynx, but without the lar- part. It is an  acronym, in case you were wondering.   But that’s besides the point.   Who are we? Legends, myths, pure energy contained. We are the monsters that  parents warn their children about. We bring chaos, death and destruction, but also peace,  hope, and life. We are both Gifted and Cursed. We are many parts, but one whole. We are  darkness and light, joy and sadness, anger and calm. We are a beacon of light, made from  ruination and growth.   Our leader? We are free, uncontrolled as the wind, both powerful and gentle. We can  wipe out a city, and leave no trace behind. But we can also give new life to ruins, create and  build new things. We are storms of hail and lightning, but also soft showers. We are predator  and prey. Hunters and hunted. We are both endless and limited.   My name is Nynx, and I think we’re all just insane.      

    Untitled  #1   

Corey Kramer, Grade 12 



Untitled #2-5 Corey Kramer, Grade 12   



Untitled #6-7 Corey Kramer, Grade 12   




Steampunk London Clarissa J. Rossman, Grade 12 


Jesse Jewell, Grade 12   The blank document glares back at me,  Patiently expectant   As it eagerly waits    To be filled with the beauty of prose.    The cursor blinks tauntingly,  And my heart sinks in dismay  As I grapple with words   That swell like the sea,  Vast and vagarious,  But loom obscured in the dark abyss.    Struggling to pull them from the deep,  I strive and toil  To haul them to the surface,  Yet despair to find them dull  When they had glittered in the depths.    Jaw set, imbued with determination,   I grit my teeth and plunge,   Wrestling to unravel  The enigmatic mesh   With such vehemence that  I felt I’d expire  From the force of my fervor.    Weary,   I stare back at the emptiness,  Longing to purge the inventions  Of my prolific imagination;   But instead wrote this poem  As a cathartic release  To express my torture  With creative writing.  

Inside a Watch Clarissa J. Rossman, Grade 12 



Will They Listen To Me Clarissa J. Rossman, Grade 12    I picture college and my future seems bright,  But try as a might I find something's not right.  Looks like I'll have to put up a fight   and type this up in hope of money tonight.    I dream of being creative,  A future where I can show off and thrive,  And I hope I'll find college as innovative  as the dreams that are keeping me alive.    I've studied hard for a great GPA  But I'd hate to throw all my hard work away.  I want to continue to learn  continue to grow  continue just gaining more things I can know.    Yet college isn't cheap, it comes at a price,  Which is why I think this scholarship would be nice.  My parents work hard, so to college I go,  But if I could, then I would truly like to lighten their load.    I'm hoping for some money that I don't pay back.  When I get out of college I don't want to be trapped,  Enslaved, and chained down to my debt,  So a scholarship is just what I'm hoping to get.    I participated in and I have also led  Many groups and clubs with just the brain in my head.  Hoping colleges will notice but what good will it do  If I don't have the funds I need to pay my way through?    Now I've typed this all up and pressed the last key,  Now I silently hope, "Will they listen to me?" 

  fair well 

layla salahuddin, Grade 10   If I should die,  I want my family   To know that I love   Them very much,   And how I missed   Their Pie on   Christmas Day;  I want to tell   My sister that   She shall have my   Coat when she is cold,  Please send me some  Beans and bread before   New Year's Day.  Tell my dear sister  That she should  Keep the windows  Closed even if  It’s hot inside.  If things get  Too intense then  Please go stay  With James, he  Loves you all very   Much. I wonder if   Raqa is studying   Because I didn’t   Buy her those  Books for nothing.  I miss you  Everyday.   



We Are Perfect Because We Exist  Jeremy Thomas, Grade 11   

Creator Note: This is to look at the  

positives in life, to shun negativity.   To prove we are all important,   because it is true. 

We are perfect because we exist. We exist which is a blessing and a curse. It is amazing how we exist in this ever expanding universe. We look how we look, we act as we act. We are  individuals different from the other seven billion plus on this planet. Oh, this ruthless yet  wonderful planet. Our main purpose is to exist. That is what we are made for. To exist and  strive to become better than we were the day before. We Are Perfect Because We Exist.   

Light on the Little Things Mallory Dann, Grade 11 




Contributors 1.18 Alena Hartpence Alexander Maat Alina Leholm Allie Dopp Anonymous A Anonymous B Anonymous C Ashlyn Buggert Baylee Hix Cameron Crawford Cat Clarissa J. Rossman Corey Kramer E. Fugate Elisabeth Wood Jay W. Jeremy Thomas Jesse Jewell John Robinson Kai Homan Kitsune No Kyuubi Korra May Gallagher layla salahuddin Mallory Dann Monique R. Ramirez Parker Troeh Sam Sanchez Student

14-17 27  9  2  2  1  10  13  22  16  19  19  8, 10, 25-26, 30-31  27-29  3-5, 10, 24  23  6-7  32  30  10  13  20-21  11-12, 21  31  32  17  12  18  13 


Inkwell is a West Hills High School tradition showcasing the creative works of students.       

Members of the West Hills Readers and Writers Club would like to thank:   All of you, our kind readers of Inkwell  Students from previous Inkwell editions who paved the way  Staff members who encouraged students to submit work to Inkwell  Students who bravely shared work to be included in this edition of Inkwell  Santee County Librarians Desirae Helms & Kelly Chung for fueling our creativity  Grossmont Union High School District Print Shop  Principal Robin Ballarin for guidance & support           


We are One We are the Pack     

Inkwell 2016-17  

West Hills High School Literary-Art Magazine

Inkwell 2016-17  

West Hills High School Literary-Art Magazine