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
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
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
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
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
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.
Jay W., Grade 10
Jay W., Grade 10
Rainlily Jay W., Grade 10
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.
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
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
Monique R. Ramirez, Grade 12
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
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
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?
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
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.
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?"
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
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West Hills High School Literary-Art Magazine