Writers & Books’ teen literary journal


All articles originally published in CANVAS Teen Literary Journal.

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Copyright © 2013 by CANVAS Teen Literary Journal

Cover art and design by Taylor Stevens


................... 38 "TOO DA LOO" BY TELLĒ GABRIELE SEABORN ............................................................................................................................... 42 "DEAR FRIEND" BY JAYMEE PRIDE .................................................................................................... 30 "FIRST LOVE" BY ABBY RICE..... 9 "NOT SINCE '78 HAVE WE SEEN YOUR KIND" BY EMILY ATTERBURY BURNS ...................... 39 "TRAVEL DIARY" BY EMILY ATTERBURY BURNS .................................................................................................................................................................. PIERCE ....... 11 "MICHAEL AND RUTH" BY MADDY FELDMAN ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 "WALKING THROUGH THE 7-ELEVEN" BY MIRANDA KONAR ............................................................................ 44 "NOSEBLEED" BY ABBY RICE . 32 "FIRST HEARTBREAK" BY ABBY RICE............................. 19 "IF YOU KEEP SOMETHING.................."I AM FROM" BY ALEAH ADAMS .............................................. PLEASE"BY JULIE OTCHYCH ...................... 35 "NANTUCKET" BY MADDY FELDMAN ........................................................................................................................................... 17 "ANOTHER BEER.................... 48 ...................... 33 "THE LETTER" BY KAYLI ZELUFF ..................... 40 "DEATH IN AN ITALIAN RESTAURANT" BY EMILY ATTERBURY BURNS ........................................................ 27 "THE PERFECT MOMENT" BY CHEYENNE ZAREMBA ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... YOU LOSE IT" BY DOMINIQUE K....................................................... 15 "PIECES OF ALEXANDRA: EMPRESS OF ALL THE RUSSIAS 1872-1918" BY BEN ZUEGEL ...................................................................... 37 "ASTRAY" BY MARIE HERMAN .......

................................................................................................................................................ 55 "HEAT WAVE EMINENT" BY BEN ZUEGEL ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 71 "I AM ONLY HALF" BY BROOKE ASHTON PARRY .................................................................................................................. 50 "HUGINN AND MUNINN" BY ELEANOR VAUGHAN ..................................................................................................................... PIERCE ............................. 76 ................................................................ 64 "COMING HOME" BY NELLY GREEN ............................................... 62 "MIDNIGHT WIND" BY ERIKA BARTLETT ....................................................."ON NAMING WINTER STORMS" BY EMILY ATTERBURY BURNS .................................................................................................................... 52 "HOPE OF THE STARS" BY PETER WOOD .................................... 65 "THE WAR GAME" BY DOMINIQUE K........ 73 "UNTITLED" BY MCKENNA UZELAC ........................................ 75 ABOUT OUR SPONSORS ...

Editor Writers & Books Staff Kristen Zory King Sally Bittner Bonn Caitlin Vanderwater Managing Editor Nina Alvarez . Visit us online at: http://canvasliteraryjournal. Editor Amelia Willard.About Canvas Canvas is run by and for teens. Editor Abigail Johnson. Editor and Social Media Peter Wood. Webmaster Taylor Stevens. NY and beyond. eBook and Social Media Ali Wrona. Editor Tori Wilson. We publish quarterly and are open to writers 13-18 years old in Rochester. Editor and Art Director Julia Taylor. Editor and Social Media Delaney Teen Editorial Board Ana Anaya.

Canvas Literary Journal is a voice for the teen authors of Rochester. Now Canvas has created a place for teen writers to get published and share their work with Rochester. Canvas Literary Journal. In our wonderfully designed website. In the eBook. Happy Reading. fiction. I didn’t have a place where I could talk about and show my writing to people who actually cared. our pieces are organized in different categories then put in alphabetical order. It’s a place where their talent can be shown. Going into it. We hope that you will enjoy the eBook and experience the amazing work of these teen authors. mixing the flash fiction. and poetry together so there are relationships among the pieces. I would be meeting with Nina and Taylor to work on an eBook for our online magazine. Before Writers and Books. I had no idea what to expect or how to create an eBook. Member of the Teen Editorial Board . We all agreed that this eBook would offer something different than our online magazine. We “curated” the work. Taylor and I worked to give our readers an experience. Tori Wilson.Foreword The sunny day was slowly turning back to the regular Rochester weather with a grey sky and a bit of wind. We were amazed how the pieces all seemed to find their perfect places.

I Am From Aleah Adams I am from Sicily From Sanford And from Newark I am from the same house On the same street In the same city I am from the fish tank of Lilac Festival memories From blooming hydrangeas And from the greenest grass on the street I am from the pastel curtains Vivid artwork And from swiffered floors I’m from chocolate chip cookies and spaghetti From argumentative discussions From filled bunk-beds I’m from the don’t-tell-me-to-chills and the it’s-bed-times And the I’m-the-adults 9 .

I’m from the baths in holy water From the ash on Wednesday And from the Sunday morning struggles I am from accordions Old-fashioned organs From 88 black and white keys And from 6 strings I am from soulful vocal chords And gig players From the splintering wood of Jersey boardwalks To the rolling dice on the strip From the scraping blades on Manhattan square And the makeshift splash park in my backyard I am from these black and white photos That bring such color in my life And mimic the moments I cherish the most 10 .

Cried into your hair Kept long for the season. Your false start. And by the time you dragged 11 . It was. So it would need you. Cradled you in its drifts. it disappeared As turgid smoke slips off receding waves. to you.Not Since '78 Have We Seen Your Kind Emily Atterbury Burns These are the things I know about the snow: That it conquered you once. The kisses of its fall still stinging your forehead. your rebel. And still When the months melted. Your lake-effect drifts dried up To make way for the temporary crocuses Of purple bruises and yellow sickness. your December madness.

12 . Lost.The Christmas tree out for the birds. tossed Carelessly before the fire. Another love for freezing fingers And diamond-crusted boots. It had slunk around the corner. somewhere else in the world.

the scratching of a rat or two rats or our 13 . Those working in a glove factory often forget that hands may go uncovered. Do you ever dream about the smell of freshly sharpened pencils? Or. that skin may be bare. a sign that one has grown up too quickly. She would like to say. My parents. Ruth is staring at the skin around his knuckles: stretched too tight.Michael and Ruth Maddy Feldman They meet when the backs of their hands brush together and they both start. The air is too still. light poking through the joints in our walls. Or. I can see us in our squeezed-fist apartment in the Bronx. The house is so empty now. white against the green fabric he is tugging. Michael’s hand is sacrilegiously bare. too.

how smooth her skin was as it brushed against his. the song is Somebody Loves Me and you are a sweet. They are tossed into the pile of discarded buttons below.fingernails clicking against the counter as we cook the fish. singing some song. But Ruth’s words are caught in the whirring of her machine and the shirring of olive fabric. singing Gershwin. Michael picks one up to fasten the pair he is working on but his stitches are too large: he is thinking about the bare hands of the girl to his left. I can see us cradled in the palm of the evening. sticking to my hands even after I have rubbed them clean. 14 . salt-taffy baritone. how the spaces in between her fingers mirror his calloused hand exactly.

the six-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper. Crest toothpaste. and. 15 . only a little less seamlessly and with a few more wrinkles."Walking Through the 7-Eleven" Miranda Konar Walking through the 7-Eleven. of course. which they used to share every night with their lumpy couch and Peter Jennings. those hot-and-cold band-aids that blush across their backs like Mary’s and Jane’s cheeks when the mail man waves. Mary and Jane move like that strange Indian god with all the arms.

and thinks I could have done so many things. I don’t have to get in that car. keeping tallies in their heads. and she thinks. I don’t have to get in that car. and she hates Mary’s fingernails clacking on the counter. I could do so many things. But she gets in the car. tallies that differed slightly each Time moves slower now. to whom they raised Diet Dr. Mary and Jane. And she hates the way Mary’s hair curls. the green sweat shirt crumpled against her back. which is the same way her hair curls. and Jane watches Mary warily. because who is Jane without Mary? And also. Pepper and for whose attention they competed. laughing like the flickering light in the 7-Eleven. and I don’t like Crest.Peter Jennings who looked Mary and Jane square in the eye and sent shivers down their blushing backs. who is Jane? 16 .

Pieces of Alexandra: Empress of all the Russias 1872-1918 Ben Zuegel A woman lies unburied in a pit. Her flesh and bones have been worn away by history. Abusive and distorted memories eagerly snatch up Whatever they can tear from her remains. Scattered across the world though. That haven’t faded and still bear her flowery words. Only a fragment of the person she was. chipped glass perfume bottles that which contain A whiff of violets. Letters received a century ago. The bandages she wrapped around the stumps of amputated arms Of the soldiers back from the front line Whisper the last rites into the ears of the dying. Old. 17 .

With its lavender walls. lavender curtains. And bury her as she is. Splendid. A portrait of her grandmother making up her back. but tainted with her unanswered prayers. Her eyes now made of chipped glass that smells of violets.A Victorian style portrait of her grandmother. The cradle of her son that she rocked day and night. Bones of a worn cradle and a heart of bloody bandages. 18 . and lavender couches. And as they come together they flow into her. As he screamed in pain at the body that rebelled against him. you can see her as she was. That went towards the teeming masses of people Who would one day murder her. Surrounded by walls of icons. With a new body of old pieces. Arms of paper with words running along their lengths. In the boudoir that she sought sanctuary in. Assemble these pieces of the woman.

all the way in the back. passing through the mud splattered sliding doors.Another Beer. water seeping through your briefcase. They all think that you were transferred into their company as punishment. A third of you knows that is what they wanted. 19 . You want to laugh at this. double over and roll on the floor. Save it. It’s raining heavily by the time you stumble from the bar. you will need it. you are only there to save their crumbling company. and the last third is too drunk to register anything. “You deserve it. another third doesn’t care. There is one cab left. open the back door. You are Chief's favorite. Deputy General Manager Cao. Please Julie Otchych Your work colleagues manage to coax you into buying another beer. You make a run for it. Rich boy is falling from grace. and to the entrance. You finish the last beer and slam-dunk it into the trash bin. Of course you should not waste your money. past the baggage claim. You politely decline and they switch gears. You’re working hard to win this overseas project. You’re wet within seconds. and slide in at the same time as a much too bright woman. two extra for yourself. You buy a round of beers for them.” they tell you.

You kind of like it. but not bad. but she explains before the words even form in your mind. For the first time.different. “Excuse me. “Perfect!” She beams at you. No one ever sees it though. “I’m staying there as well! My name is Lola Simons. that you don’t have time for this.” There’s a little knife digging into your chest. No. Miss. You know the difference because your ex-girlfriend used to buy the good brand. You are tempted to shield your eyes. you tell yourself.” She extends her pink nailed hand out to you. there is no room for nice. “Madison Hotel. She’s taking off her yellow raincoat.. she wears a polka dot blouse and red jeans. but this cab is claimed. You’ll have to get another one. Businessmen don’t feel this way. inspecting the paper carefully for any signs of damage.” “Where is this meeting?” Her voice is a little deeper than you expect. The woman hasn’t left. She tells the driver to go and after looking back at you wearily. but you answer her question.. Just. you’re quite nice. It’s the cheap kind of the dye that you buy from a generic salon. You want to tell her to get out. a sweet smile spreading her lips thin. You are about to question her.” you kindly remind her. In the business world. Too bright. Underneath her big jacket. You just want to go to your room and get some rest. Waterproof this time. On the inside. combing her fingers through her dyed red hair. he does.” you say as you spread the contents of your briefcase in front of you. 20 .“I got here first. you feel guilty. You make a mental note not to use anything your co-workers give you. You don’t want to offend her. “I am going to be late for an important meeting. There’s no meeting. your voice softer than anyone has ever heard it.

. glance out the window every few seconds.” “Zow. one leg propped up on the seat. smashes it against the roof of her mouth. She repeats it and you cringe.. her blazing pink heels tapping to a song only she could hear. give it a light shake. “Business! Oh. She’s facing you now. It’s an ugly sound that leaves her mouth. hope that the hotel is around the corner. Cao. Mr. “What do you do. “Where are you from. Mr.. Raised in Shanghai.” Her tongue crushes your name. Your personal life is private.” She stares at you. “You must be really important Mr. Are you afraid of hurting her? You stack your papers back into your briefcase. don’t even look at her when you introduce yourself. Cao?” “Hong Kong. Cao! I bet you’ve traveled the world! What brings you to this small town?” You’re about to answer her with something generic. She shuffles.” She glances over at you with dreamy eyes.. You’re glad that she’s not wearing a skirt. Cao?” You hesitate. A pleasure to meet you Mr. folds her piano hands in her lap.” You tell her again. “Cao Xu Lao. “Mr. Can you tell me what that meeting is 21 .” You don’t give too many details. slowly this time.” Irritation is tugging the corners of your mouth into a hard frown. Lao!” “Cao. “Baosteel’s Deputy General Manager. You don’t want her to slaughter your name any more than she already has. the kind fans get when gazing upon celebrities. You sit back in your seat. shift your weight. My last name is Cao. your business even more so. confusion clouding her eyes. you take her hand.Shoun Low. “Zhow Shoon Law. of course business! You have a meeting to go to.Cautiously. but she cuts you off. “Ts’ao Shun Lao. right.

“Are you married.” She’s closer now. “No kids. You pick it up. or maybe you just can’t be bothered to take the energy to deny them. The rain has died down and you are out of the taxi in seconds. follow a drop race down the glass.” you tell her as the driver parks in front of the hotel. Your Seiko watch ticks in a steady beat in tune with your heart. 22 . knee pressed your briefcase. and walks inside without a word. asking these questions. It’s a business card. trapped in a foggy past. It takes a few minutes for you to stumble from the bar and out the sliding doors. leaves it on the trunk of the taxi. The yellow line of taxis start to disappear into the rain. A beat up Volkswagen honks its horn and you’re almost certain that you ran out into the street and were about to get run over. You’ve been in much worse. That is only a hallucination. heading for the last taxi. You rub your eyes. Mr. Madison Hotel isn’t so bad. It’s not hers. Lola lingers. She pulls something out of her purse. examine it. You watch the rain drip lazily out the window. Your feet are planted firmly on the sidewalk. A year later. Cao? Any kids?” “No kids. you fall for the same trick. but something is written on the back. 4th floor.about? No! Of course you can’t! Of course! Silly me. no wife. Your work colleagues manage to coax you into buying another beer. taking her time bundling up again. no wife. Your mind wanders. even with it’s pink brick and tattered red carpet.” you repeat as you follow Lola into the hotel. tighten your grip around the leather handle of your new briefcase. and shuffle down the walk.

” you answer. Cao. You lower yourself into the seat farthest from her. She smiles as if she’s been waiting for you this whole time. warm and inviting. a charming smile tugging at your lips. sitting in that spot for a year. “Work is fine. you thought as you push your chopped short hair out of your eyes. “And you. 23 . Lola Simmons in her bright yellow raincoat and polka dot shirts. Ms. She props her legs up on the seat. Ms. “Madison Hotel. Perfect.There’s someone waiting for you. Simmons.” You almost laugh at the formal conversation going on between you. How’s work?” You are surprised at how calm and relaxed she is. She smiles again. matching her tone. Yes. She was a stranger you wouldn’t mind getting to know. You don’t know what to say to her. Maybe this was all an act and she actually felt as awkward as you did. You could never be a woman. the heels of her pink stilettos pressing lightly against your thigh. you are strangers in one way and in another. Simmons?” “Perfect. You cross your ankle across your knee and fix your eyes on her. drum your fingers on the top of your briefcase. “It’s been a while. she is good at hiding it. You never thought you’d see her again. like nothing ever happened between the two of you. Mr. They hold too many secrets. you know each other very well. Your work colleagues manage to coax you into buying another beer. Zhao. Mr. tell too many lies. If so.” she tells the cab driver without consulting you.

You are nowhere near as interesting as her. You learn that she’s from a small country out west where you can cradle the biggest city in your palms. He tells you how she used to eat all the strawberry chunks in her yogurt before devouring the rest. but she liked it anyways. Don’t you?” You never really think about stars and you can’t remember the last time you saw one. quieter. She has to break them apart at least twice a day. He brings her apples everyday and. “It’s different from here. Cao. “You’re missing out. He’s an old friend of her father’s. so you studied. Your versions of Jack and Ralph are two older men that steal each other’s lunch at the office. Star gazing enlightens the soul. 24 . There’s not much to do out there. What are you supposed to say? You were born in Hong Kong twenty-nine years ago. How she was scared of going down the stairs after seeing her clumsy pug take a tumble. They wanted you to make something of yourself.” Sometimes the taxi driver chimes in. You’re afraid of boring her. so you did. They wanted you to become a businessman. a meaty five year old with fists the size of three meatballs. more peaceful. When she questions your past. Her favorite is a dwarf of a boy named Jack. How she’d trick her mother into thinking that she was practicing piano by tucking a small book between the music sheets.Lola tells you that she works with little children at a daycare. worry clouds your mind. tries to keep everyone in check. Your parents moved to Shanghai when you were three. although he’s the smallest. Jack gets into many scuffles with Ralph. You tell her this and she lifts an eyebrow. Sometimes I’d like to be able to look up and wish on a star.

You stand at the side of the road even after the taxi is barely a speck in the distance. trimmed nails digging into the worn leather of your briefcase. are you? It’s been six years. She just wants a one-day escape where she’s treated right. Jack and Ralph. “Ms. Your co-workers are still at the bar. You button your suit coat and brush dust from your pants before heading back. She can’t leave Charlie. You haven’t gone far from the airport. but soon you’re too far-gone to 25 . She didn’t think this was serious. I--” You notice the wedding band on her finger. You slam the door shut and bang your fist on the top of the taxi. You sit down in a stool and order a beer. “What’s Shanghai like?” Your work colleagues manage to coax you into buying another beer. catching the flashing lights of the street lamps passing by quickly. She tries to explain as you order the driver to pull over. There’s a ring in your pocket. There’s nothing going through your mind. They ask questions. bought as Tiffany & Co’s earlier this morning. She interests you in a way you never thought possible.She gives your knee a reassuring pat. You know you should feel something. Has it always been there? She notices you staring and the smile disappears. Simmons. They have two kids. She loves her husband. you think. Your jaw snaps shut. teeth grinding. but you’ve been drunk every time you saw her. telling it to go. You aren’t moving too fast. but you don’t. but he abuses her. You want to marry her.

You’ve learned not to be so picky. Your work colleagues manage to coax you into buying another beer. Not that you would if you were sober. You have one of the employees pick you up from the airport and drive you over to the meeting. She’s sitting in the taxi. But you don’t. 26 . Not as nice as Madison. You know you’re supposed to feel something. A semi-friend of yours has to carry you to bed. but it will do. Your flight back home is in a few hours. There is a hotel across the street.say anything.

If You Keep Something. painful because she never learned to fall right with her chin tucked against her neck. anytime you need me but she always hangs up after the second ring so who knows? Childhood slips between her fingers shattering on impact. the television blaring in the background to fill up the sound between confessions and her dad can’t look at her as he says. It’ll never quite be the same. they ask but they mean listen. She’s never had a best friend because best friends have no secrets 27 . You Lose It Dominique K. Pierce Can we talk. the pieces victim to the vacuum cleaner and the spaces under the carpet nobody talks about.

and she’s bottled herself up tightly so that hers don’t leak. she would say: 28 . He leaves her in a kitchen with a dishwasher half full or maybe half empty. She cares too deeply about people from the privacy of her undiscovered islands and is always disappointed until she realizes that nobody is going to find her. afraid of bleeding out. She keeps the knife in her back though. awkward silences full of rambling sentences. Sorry. she thinks and pulls the band aid off quick. the only common factor is their absences. like the broken faucet in the empty bathroom where she lingers to avoid the growing list of people who don’t meet her eyes. The door is unlocked but never opens and when she feels lonely. if the phone was picked up on the second ring. Called it. he says but means. Maybe. you were always my second choice. She tries to fall in love but tries too hard and falls instead. run-ons and prepositions without nouns or verbs or reasons.

There’s one thing I can’t forgive you for. 29 . and it’s not that you left. but that you said you would stay.

It’s easy to forget that there are people on other floors going about their business. At this moment. 30 . everything is quiet. You’ll push back into the cushion of the sofa. And to you. it seems like a waste to let such a rare moment go to your physics homework. with pencils rolling lazily under the sofa to test the length of your arms when you look for them later. And the house is still quiet. remind you that there are other people here. stretching your body all the way from your nose to your little toe and then retract into a ball of eased tensions. and the papers are so loud as they flutter to the ground. Only the occasional rustling of papers or the whispered ‘Yes!’ as someone wins a level on a video game. The house is so quiet.The Perfect Moment Cheyenne Zaremba Sitting on the sofa in the house. There are more important places to visit. are oblivious to your existence at this moment. it’s so still that it is easy to forget one is not alone in the house. the homework will get discarded from the center of attention and sent to the floor. There are much better things to be done when the house is quiet. It sounds like a thunderstorm in the middle of a nursery rhyme. Thus. Perhaps they too.

With its silence. and the pencil under the couch dares you to try and reach it. But one thing is certain. all tongues are yours to bend and break. And it will continue to be this way. reminding you with every tick that the next day is getting closer and that time is passing. the silence is over. Your eyes to the world close and your eyes to the world of your mind are flung open. for without the imperfect moments. Everything you need to finish is done. Conversation will begin. You can be everywhere and nowhere all at once. The clock counts out the seconds. 31 . you are a master of everything. and a new moment has begun.That’s when everything will begin. any person. One perfect moment has ended. and everything you want to start is begun. someone returning from school. You can visit any moment. someone back from the store. You’ll slowly sit up and let the depths of creativity fade away. Someone home from work. And then a door opens. and the reality of your circumstance returns to you. dinner will be cooked. No corner of the globe is beyond the reach of your fingers and no realm of fantasy beyond your thoughts. there would be no ‘perfect moments’. all subjects. There. the house has given you consent to frolic in the deepest realms of imagination. You’ll continue on with what is left of the day before the exhaustion of darkness falls. The physics homework on the floor calls for the spotlight once more. homework will be finished and perhaps television watched. any place. just monotony. All trades.

With little ribbons in her hair. All born out of love. She'll wear a pink dress to school.First Love Abby Rice What should we name our first kitten? Paint on the walls of our kitchen? Where will we keep the key to our door? Can you think of any names for our children? Wait be careful with those initials. By loving and being loved. And hug them with our crinkled skin? The life of the life we created. They'll be teased with that middle name. 32 . How will you ever be able to say no? And what of the children of our children? Will we serve them lemonade on our patio? Will we watch them as we grow grey. We'll think back to this time when we were young. And we'll know we did something right. When we're fading out of this world.

Once it was lit by blind light. but that light was put out.First Heartbreak Abby Rice Why do you look so sad? I've lost that what is seldom found. there's no other explanation. Everything comes to an end. now. Years ahead seem longer. to count shadows left on my face. Everything you're taught is false. I've learned. One chance and it's gone. All gone within a few seconds. What was built over years. 33 . I'm left in dust. I can only blame myself. Light no longer shines through my window. A grave face it is. Hours and days seem too.

34 . Oh. that sucks.Turned off with a simple. goodbye.

The Letter Kayli Zeluff Like the sticky stuff on the back of a stamp. I had to put a seal on the past On what happened with you And to what happened to the family Like a glass dropped The world shattered On the cold tile Of the kitchen floor Time slowed its pace And made me live the hurt Of you not living To your promise It was like an infant Unable to understand The simplest Parts of the life cycle 35 .

I wrote the words But didn’t understand The meaning Of what I was writing I signed my name At the end And debated on Whether or nit To put it in an envelope 36 .

37 . You and your mother and your grandmother ride along the curved spine of the earth.Nantucket Maddy Feldman You can see the Atlantic Ocean from the smallest window in the bedroom. reminding you often that the world is good. From here. The world lets in more light here. At night. Your heart is the perfect size to hold the island and for years. quietly letting the waves sand it down to frosted glass. it looks like an echo or a whale call. what a whale call would look like: long and deep and gray and wistful. You lie on the house’s tiled floors and let your bare feet learn the patterns of the stones. You buy a rose-colored sweatshirt and rent a bicycle. it stays there. The sun rolls over in the sky and kisses your shoulder blades. you and the house listen to the sea air whisper its secrets to the moon. The curve of the earth grays and sways with cat-tails. watching as it turns under your feet. lie on the beach and let the salt air seep into your bones.

now with all the cars and buildings I'm feeling kind of sorry. 38 . yet now it aches more than ever. I used to think that my heart willed for this place. Lake breezes carry me away. Lake breezes carry me away. Nature was at its best around me. I want to breathe again. I miss your comforting sounds and smells. I want to believe again.Astray Marie Herman Lake breezes carry me away. I am here. my feelings of this place led me astray. I want to see again.

Too da Loo Tellē Gabriele Seaborn Too da loo Do ya miss me? Here is a hug You can kiss me Talk to me How was your day? Accomplish something Yell “Hooray” Hold my hand Spend some time Smell the Roses All the time Jump in the lake Cold splash drops Watch the wind And bunny hops Taste the sun Smell the moon Hold the stars Fly ‘til noon Too da loo Don’t want to miss you One more hug Don’t let go 39 .

Grandmothers wince from arthritis To knit sweaters for errant Sons and daughters. Philosophers argue heatedly Enough to melt the photo-safe glue And they compose strongly worded Inscriptions on tablets To practice their cuneiform. shining White and overexposed. even though It’s only feldspar And the gold market’s bottom has fallen through. The ruins pass a conclusive sigh In between the entasis of the columns And cotton-swathed children Pick up rubble for their collection Of exotic minerals.Travel Diary Emily Atterbury Burns The four elements of the ancients Are squeezed into the orifice Of a photograph’s frame. so the least 40 .

41 . A heroic grip tattooed by humidity.You could do is wear the red wool Like a tricolored flag and Blink the heat mirages of the oil-soaked Mediterranean from your eyes Crusted over with jetlag as You contemplate red ware amphoras And Americanized menus Covered in thin plastic With an olive handprint left Shining in vestiges of sweat.

indeed. 42 . “How is everything tonight?” How terrible.Death in an Italian Restaurant Emily Atterbury Burns But think: how awful it must be to be the 6:40 reservation sliding into the dimly-lit booth at the precise moment the table behind you draws their napkins into sweaty strings because the funeral will be this Saturday. How awful to watch their pride dissolve into public tears that pool like oil atop the penne vodka delivered by the waitress too polite to ask but.

wasted by have your night ruined by the dour faces that let the bread turn cold in its basket. 43 .

I’m here. I grabbed a knife. I still haven’t gotten an answer. tiled floor. When I reached the bathroom door. I picked them up and rushed back to the still locked door. I couldn’t slice trough it. it wouldn’t open. I put my bag down and kicked the shoes from my heels. It was locked.Dear Friend Jaymee Pride Dear Friend. “Hey. “Are you in the bathroom?” I asked. The first 44 . Where are you?” My voice bounced off every white wall in the apartment. I ran out to the kitchen to look for something to pry the door open with. “Come on! Open the door!” I heard a bottle of pills fall onto the cold.” No reply. are you in here? Open the door. but slammed it back down. frantically pushing every door open. It started like this. I pulled apart the scissors and latched them to a hinge. I went down the hallway. “Hey. I pulled and pulled. My eyes flickered to a pair of shears by a flower vase.

You were there hanging between life and death. Your head was propped against the bathtub. I ran to get my phone and called an ambulance. I pushed the door aside. the blades weren't latched tight enough." I pulled the scissors from my hand with my teeth gritted. We were huddled and hopeless. I shook you. I didn't have time for the gash in my left hand. the walls shook. My blood mixed with yours as I grasped your 45 . It was you and I. It fell to the hardwood floor with a clang. I held your hand as we waited. "Shit. I saw a pile of pills and a pool of blood and. which was much easier than the first. You were unconscious and lying on the floor. Your hand was so pale in mine. It was the only thing that stood between me and you. There was a knife in your lap. I was almost there. I returned my focus to the final hinge. The blade slid and slipped its way in to the palm of my hand. in your tiny New York apartment bathroom." My blood streamed down the solid door as I removed the only hinge left. "No!" I shouted. The blood that was supposed to be coursing through your veins was splattered and pooled on the floor. I quickly moved onto the second.hinge pulled loose after a lot of work. "I am almost there. The white tile and red blood contrasted like heaven and hell. It didn't take long. On the last hinge. but it felt like forever. When it hit the floor. then you. "Wake up! Please!" I was sobbing now.

They pumped your stomach and then going to give you a blood transfusion. I told her about everything. maybe you may have and I just didn't listen. Before everything fell apart. Everything went well. You were there when my parents separated. You have always been there for me. the doctors said. I just wanted you to live. when my grandma passed and through my umpteen break-ups. I promise. stronger. we wouldn't be here. You and I. I love 46 . We'll build it better. you lost so much blood. It will be better. When I got to the hospital. God gave us each other. Instead of repairs. When you are up. You listened to me.. That's how we got here. in a small. Who knows. Your brother was a match. All eyes were puffy. I threw up all over my shirt. Not just this week. you just stare and aren't able to carry a conversation. they stitched me up. Your still not up yet. sisters.hand. red and swollen. we'll have to rebuild. I got sick. When they came and took you away from me. I wrote this for you because I have some things to tell you. You look like an angel in your bleached. Your whole family was there. maybe if I did the same for you. but our whole lives. Sitting in a hospital room with beeping machines and you lying in a bed that isn't your own. It's going to take more than glue but we can do it. You fade in and out. We could have found you help before all of this. I guess. But. Blood brothers. Then. it doesn't sound as solid. You could have told me. They also said that you'd be out for a bit. private waiting area. It has been three days. Well. And. to be okay. white hospital gown. we've been through a lot. Here it is. I talked to your mom. You' ll get better. and we've been through it together..

because this won't be our and don't want to loose you. God and me. We've gone through everything together. 47 . Your family. ever. You can do this.I love you. since forever. I think He and your mother are the only ones who love you more than I do. you. . We'll get through it. You have been such a big part of my life. you'll get through it.

hopefully the store will take this back. “Whatever. “Alien Invasion II is way better than III. An early night 48 . “What a mistake that was.Nosebleed Abby Rice “Are you kidding me?” Jonah asked while slipping one backpack strap over his shoulder. and Mom on the phone with a client.” he picked up the game off the glass coffee table. he could see his house dimly lit across the street. Maybe the manager will take pity on me for having suffered through this shoddy excuse for a video game. Once Jonah crossed the threshold of his home he felt disappointed.” Jonah fibbed.” Josh flashed a backwards peace sign. In all honesty there was something chillingly familiar about the foreign dark creatures. “they don't even look scary. but not surprised by the lack of greeting. even at this late hour. That's how it usually was. Jonah gave up and plopped his backpack on the floor with a loud thud. Dad was probably in his study. even though it hurt his back it still looked better than both straps.” Josh waved his hand dismissively at Jonah and sank into the couch. See you tomorrow. You're the one who bought it. he tossed his game on his desk. “Later. Jonah bounded up the stairs to his room and all too eager to get it out of his hands.” Jonah said opening the door.

but her other nickname was Dumb Danielle. What's that light? Jonah peaked open his eyes to meet blackness. or the white light burning through his eyelids. He just needed something to think about to help him fall asleep. but nothing came out. Instead he lay still while his body parts were yanked around on their own and cool objects prodded at them. Danielle Derek? Double D Danielle is what they called her. and all he could see was white. What was he thinking about before the nosebleed had woken him up? Danielle Derek? 49 . A pain shot up the inside of his nose. He tried to make a sound. A loud buzzing noise shook the room and Jonah's hands clenched tight. He pulled at his arms. He got them so often. An earthquake in New York? But that didn't explain the noise. almost once a week. How she ever made it into 10th grade was beyond Jonah. The light permeated his eyelids completely now.sounded good so he hopped into bed. She was pretty and all. Jonah's body froze. Probably just a car right? He pinched his arm just to make sure he was still awake. like being held between two stone slabs. Then the room seared bright white again and Jonah pinched his eyes close tight. His jaw pried open and he tasted metallic. and tried to kick his legs but it was no use. Huh? Jonah sat up and stared into the dark and brought his hand to his nose. Not a car. Then with a zip it was black and he was loose. Whiter than any cloud or frost. Blood? Darn nosebleeds.

Unearthed another nymph in her bed. It’s Augustus’s fault. Aeneas was always a crybaby. really.On Naming Winter Storms Emily Atterbury Burns The storm scene was your favorite: You wrote those tongues rolling in their mouths. 50 . Cracked the surfaces of the sea in furies. Day after day. eleven years’ worth. Throwing down rains in dactylic hexameter droplets. Virgil. And not even history. That you are now sweeping through the Midwest. You wrote three lines a day And I know how hard it must be To make all those excuses for those gods. you tossed those waves. those heroes. And bad with women too: but it’s ancient. Rolling on those waves: Maybe Juno had missed her meds that morning.

far from the walls of Troy. even knowing your style.Lines that I cannot scan. The problem is: it doesn’t translate anymore. And we lost your Rome a long time ago. We’re all dead. 51 .

Through Muninn and me. that he come not back. my life. thinking. Every night." -Excerpt from the Grimnismal. Nothing escapes our perfect vision. But I don't complain. I fear for Huginn. Every day. This is what I was made for. I fly around the earth. I deliver my thoughts to Odin. 52 . watching. he would miss out on countless stories. If he were to wander the Earth himself. This is my job. He can be confident in us. Muninn and I are Odin's eyes on earth.Huginn and Muninn Eleanor Vaughan "Huginn and Muninn fly each day over the spacious earth. That's my job description. his humans. And it repeats. I watch the humans. I am content. translated by Benjamin Thorpe Flying. That's where we come in. Forever. day and night. Odin can watch you. yet more anxious am I for Muninn. the Allfather.

I don't just remember the whole day. I remember the whole day. 53 . Flying. But we wouldn't do that. because it would be a very. He worries for us both. this is also a weak spot of his. What if we were to disappear? What if we left him? He'd have nothing. every night. since the beginning of time.We are precious to him. But don't think me useless. When we return to Odin as the light gives way to darkness. I remember everything that's ever happened. but I must remind him on what to talk about. However. He worries for us. he receives our full report. but Huginn is the one to voice it. I am Huginn. How could we? This is who we are. Huginn and I fly together. treats us very well. Huginn does most of the talking. very large problem if we were to leave. every day. After all. he's the one who has the opinion. I remember. We report to our master together. watching. But where he thinks. and I am the Mind. This is why Odin fears for me more. we are his only link to Midgard. remembering.

I am Muninn. would not be able to remember the day like me. Until the War of the Gods. And I wouldn't be any better. and I am the Memory. we have no thoughts of leaving. if tasked to do his job as well as mine.Huginn. After all. and that's where they will stay. we will remain by his side. Luckily for Odin. this is who we are. 54 . though he would try his best. Our loyalties are with the King of Asgard.

There was no way that town life could return to what it was like before the stars hit. Now nearing the southwest corner of the town. hoping that somewhere he could find shelter or food. even . The cold winter winds beat against him. he could see some sort of stone structure that was far enough away from most of the impact sites that it still provided some semblance of shelter. He now wandered alone." 55 . one was dying of hunger and cold. perhaps even another the force of the falling stars. Inside. trying to seem as friendly and nonthreatening as possible. "I am very sorry to intrude. "We have no food. Only twice since the impact had he seen another living human. but even a week was doubtful. He had eaten nothing but a few roots from some cellar for a week.Hope of the Stars Peter Wood Kest wandered the destroyed streets. though—I doubt any of us will." the mother replied. and the other had tried to assault him in a vain attempt to find something of value. Would you be willing to suffer my presence here?" he asked them. but neither was to be found. Cobblestones everywhere had been shattered disintegrated. clutching a small child. but you are welcome to stay here. "You won't last long. Perhaps he could survive another week. he could see a man and a woman. He entered cautiously.

But now. I hid in the mountains as the stars fell. all the fires had burned out. He had not been back to the town since. and had hiked up to his hidden cabin in the mountains to think and clear his mind. staying instead in the small cabin he kept here for times he needed to get away and think. a bookseller. as far as he could see. He grabbed a bit of food and supplies and returned to the city. He peered into the ruined doorway and saw several figures inside: an emaciated family and a tall boy in slightly better condition. hoping his quest would not be in vain. for him to verify his desperate belief. Just before. A few weeks . "Hello. for shortly after he arrived in the mountains he heard an ear-splitting crash. destroying the houses of his friends and family. as Utaro descended. he had seen blindingly bright points of light plummet from the sky. he had felt wrong somehow. I 56 . the falling stars had destroyed his village and the many others nearby it. Utaro looked out from his cabin in the mountains on the destruction below. Now. but he believed there would be survivors and that he could save them from further harm. "My name is Utaro. It seemed to him as likely a place as any to contain survivors. he spied first of all a small stone building.before. The rubble would be dangerous.or maybe a month . He was infinitely grateful to whatever god had given him the premonition. and the city too dangerous after the impact. though he clung desperately to a shard of hope that there were survivors." he began. he felt it was too far-fetched.Several days later. mostly intact. Turning to the source of the sound. son of Vyataro of the North Sector.

" Utaro asked. She recalled what had happened a month prior – it seemed like just a few days since the impact." He reached into his satchel and removed a bit of cheese and some dried fruits. “And then what? Who will be there to rebuild civilization? If you kill me. in far worse condition than the house in which he had found the survivors. "I must leave now. "would you mind staying here to look after them? I cannot stay for long." "I would love to. starved.” one of them shouted. "My wife and I are too weak for such a journey." replied the father of the small family. face towards the ground. a woman aimlessly wandered. three men wielding crude swords jumped out at him. you will be safe there. he thought. It's just too destroyed. shoulders slumped. yet it also seemed she had had this meaningless. he came to another village square containing many large piles of rubble. 57 . However. You are all welcome to come to the mountains with me. After perhaps half an hour of walking. But take this. addressing the tall boy.” The bandits slowly backed away. but I cannot.see that you are all alive." "In that case. you only doom yourselves. Towards the eastern area of the town. as soon as he stepped into the square. there may be other survivors." He turned and left the ruined shelter and continued his search for survivors. you won’t suffer for very long. I come bearing hope. Utaro continued walking. “If you hand over everything you’ve got now. lowering their swords. Nobody could live here.

58 . As Utaro continued on his way. Utaro reached out and touched it. It was at that moment she realized there was no hope. He picked up a small handful and began to manipulate it idly as he walked.hopeless existence forever. A few steps away from the center. but was harder than steel. As the flames spread. and the fires had spread rapidly. The ball of flame had landed a few streets from her own house. He continued towards it. wandering the city in futility. in a different life. with scarred rocks strewn here and there. though now she was just another desolate soul. and found that it was soft – moldable by hand like clay. in small lumps near the center. confused. and her husband a farmer. filled with grain from the harvest – she had been a baker once. and could see a fair amount of iridescent metal. the storehouse had caught fire. and soon saw that the sparkling iridescent metal could be bent easily again. he found that the metal could no longer be bent. over thirty feet across. He turned and walked back towards the center. Soon he had come to a massive crater. At the center he could see something small and vaguely spherical – the core of the star itself. and all the year’s harvest was incinerated. the damage became increasingly severe. Behind her house was a storeroom. He realized that he had never actually seen one of the fallen stars up close before. The cobblestones of the road itself had been turned half to dust in some places. What were they made of? Stone? Metal? Some previously unknown substance? He increased his pace and continued on. He was surely approaching the site of an impact. Most of the dirt had turned to ash.

What is going on? he wondered. There would be no rebuilding. “Do you want any?” Kest was awestruck. But that was impossible. The walls provided little protection from the cold – the primary reason anyone bothered staying in the house was that it mitigated the wind some. What is this substance? And what is that other part of the meteor made of? He picked up the small core at the center of the crater and saw that a faint bluish glow emanated from beneath it. By his side lay a hatchet. “You found meat. Then it struck him: The metal softens near this stone.” Utaro said. there was Utaro. but is very hard at other times. and a larger hunting knife. Then he remembered: not everyone was weak. Kest awoke. Suddenly. it was still terribly frigid. and began sculpting. And there were no other cities near enough from which livestock could be brought. Luckily. “I made breakfast. gleaming in the light of the sun and the fire. it had not snowed in the night. he noticed a faint odor resembling smoke and freshly roasted meat. of course. several small darts. How?” 59 . almost no livestock survived the initial impact. The next morning. So what exactly could it be used for? He gathered together a lump of metal and a few flat stones to shape it on. it was doubtful that word of the disaster would ever escape the valley in which the city lay. all made of an iridescent metal. with everyone as weak as they were. What about that man – Utaro – who had come with food the previous day? Kest rose to his feet and peered out the door. In fact. for the roof of the ruined house had many holes. roasting several rabbits over a small fire. Even so. and those that did were consumed in the first week. Sure enough.

taking a piece of meat. and the family in the house. and a metal. and a knife to clean the meat. Soon after. daring to hope that perhaps rebuilding the town was possible. after all this time. “Excuse me. I am traveling east to look for more survivors. alive.” “Are you hungry?” he asked her. I was able to create the array of tools you see here – a hatchet to chop firewood. You can take them – they’re yours now. With this. as Utaro walked into the distance. I have tools with which to rebuild.” he asked her.” He removed from his satchel a cut of meat from one of the 60 . “but why does it matter? We’ll all be dead soon enough. Utaro encountered a despondent-looking woman. bewildered. I have firewood. hard as steel. I just went out into the forest until I found a rabbit.” Kest stood by the fire. nobody went to see what the fallen stars are made from. “Of course I’m hungry! There’s been no food anywhere near here for weeks! What sort of question is that?” “I have food. then killed it and brought it here. and these were no different. Keep yourself. darts to kill game. that becomes pliable when exposed to the stone’s light. “but are there any other people around here?” “There are a few over there.“Simple. listlessly raising her arm northward. “All the bows in the town were either burnt or broken when the stars hit!” “I find it odd that. Many legends claim they have strange properties. madam.” “But how did you kill it?” he asked.” she replied. I found in the crater a stone that glows.

so you have enough metal. “Before you came. heading northwest. Take this and eat.” 61 .” Kest replied. from which tools can be made.” As Utaro and his downcast guide continued through the ruined streets. Your vision for this town’s recovery has now become mine as well. “What was that boy talking about?” Utaro’s guide asked him. “I have hope. and do not despair. trying to catch up. take me to the place where the others are. nobody thought there was any way to get out of this state of disrepair we had fallen into. come with me – we must spread this truth to the inhabitants of this settlement you spoke of. Come. he was surprised to see Kest walking towards him at a fast pace. Is there anywhere you haven’t been yet where I can work on rebuilding?” “I haven’t been to the northwest of the city. There will probably be a few more survivors there. he heard the sound of footsteps behind him.rabbits.” Kest nodded. Turning around. though. Make sure you visit a crater first. “What are you doing here?” Utaro asked. Now. But after seeing how you believed it was still possible to thrive here. The stars that fell are made of a wondrous metal. I was inspired. Don’t worry about the family in the house – I left them plenty of meat and firewood. “Why was he so cheerful?” “He realizes the truth: that all that is keeping us chained like this is our own despair. “I realized something. then strode off.

A firm hand. 62 . love. it falls silently. Words can’t compel it otherwise. The sun melts it. falling like snow. A landscape of unblemished. overnight. You want to wake up to a morning of pure white snow. You pay no attention to the dripping icicles outside your window. And you believe. Whispering past your ears. to snow you in permanently. Though drifts of snow come in a rage of shrieking winds and gusts. You want it so badly that you don’t notice When clouds of it don’t fly up in the air after every slight breeze. piling on our shoulders. It promises not to melt. leaving its thin tracery on your lawn.Heat Wave Eminent Ben Zuegel Love blows on the wind. But it doesn’t leave. The thickest snow falls gently. while you’re sleeping. waiting for the next storm. undisturbed love. It stays.

As winter draws its pale hand back. 63 . Knuckles white from holding on so fiercely. Making the hand slippery in your grasp. That remains untouched by a harsh sun. Leaving you searching For that small bit of snow. under some rock or bush. You hold it so tight that your hands start to sweat. The trace of snow on your lawn leaves For good. It slips through your fingers.

It picks up the vibrant color of fall leaves. and they go floating through the air. It dies for the day and waits for the night to begin. It sweeps across the blackened sky. When darkness falls the midnight wind will breathe once again.Midnight Wind Erika Bartlett The midnight wind is strong and cold. 64 . As the town wakes and people arise. slicing through the air. the midnight wind stops and hides. The midnight wind dips and pulls and pushes and swirls.

” I replied. Almost. pulling his Scooby Doo blanket away gently. baby. I snuggled deeper into my bed. placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. you gotta get up. his voice marred by sleep. “What supwise?” “I can’t tell you.” he mumbled. “Noah.” I whispered. I hurried down the hallway of the apartment and pushed into Noah’s room. “But. I tiptoed over to his bed and smiled at the sleeping three-year-old. Rochester! Today is looking mighty fi—” I brought my hand down hard on the top of the alarm clock and groaned happily as the radio was silenced. “I tired. and he frowned. “Baby. I shot straight up in bed and threw the covers off of my body.” “No.” “I know. you’ll find out soon. his eyes fluttering open. I nodded.” 65 . I almost regretted waking him up. whose thumb was stuck in his mouth.” I cooed.Coming Home Nelly Green “Good morning. but just as I started to doze back to sleep. you gotta get up because I have a surprise for you!” “A supwise?” Noah echoed. my eyes snapped open. “But if you get up.

and he sat up slowly and reached out for me. and Noah groaned but agreed. I handed the clothes to Noah. a clean pair of underwear. and placed it on the table in front of Noah. I changed into a pair of dark jeans and a loose. Noah was finished with his Cheerios and talking back to Dora the Explorer. I shoved my feet into a pair of sneakers and grabbed my purse and phone off of the top of my dresser. Bud. When he was done. “Mommy!” I just chuckled and walked out of Noah’s bedroom to the kitchen. And as soon as I put him down on the ground. “I can do it!” Noah cried. gray long-sleeved shirt. I plopped Noah down in his booster chair and grabbed his juice cup out of the fridge. “How about I get the clothes and you put them on?” I suggested. I followed after him and found him trying to climb his dresser.“Okay. who eagerly changed out of his Spiderman pajamas.” I said. “Time to get dressed. as he ate. I scooped him up playfully in my arms. I opened his drawers and pulled out a Thomas the Tank Engine long-sleeved shirt. picking him up out of his booster seat. and some overalls. and he squealed in a mixture of surprise and delight. I poured some Cheerios into a bowl with a minimal amount of milk. I handed it to him and turned on the kitchen television to the Fresh Beats Band.” Noah said. When I walked back into the kitchen. Noah insisted on 66 . he scampered down the hall into the bedroom. I helped him connect the snaps on the overalls and slipped his light-up shoes on his feet. I poured myself a glass of orange juice and padded back down to my room. Then.

I know.doing the Velcro. he ran out of the room. “Then. “Shit!” I whispered. scooping up Noah in my arms. and I couldn’t be late for this. I ushered him into the bathroom we shared. When I was done. I smiled and scrubbed his small. I was going to be late. Mommy’s sorry. pointing at me. Do you want that?” Noah looked at me in horror and then instantly opened his mouth. I grabbed my toothbrush and quickly brushed it against my teeth. I glanced at the time on my phone and gasped. barely remembering to lock the door behind me. the plaque monsters are going to move in. I hurried down the stairs as Noah squirmed in my arms. Then. but a second later. “Open your mouth. I pointed to the sink and told him to spit. I grabbed my purse from the kitchen table and turned off the TV. If I didn’t hurry up. baby teeth gently. “Mommy said a bad word!” Noah yelled. I splashed my face with water to wake myself up. let’s go!” I replied with the same enthusiasm. 67 . Noah reappeared with his Batman action figure.” I replied hurriedly.” I ordered gently. and without a response. and I shoved my phone into my back pocket. Then. I frowned. and I chuckled. and I followed him out of the bathroom. “Ready to go?” I asked Noah. I grabbed his toothbrush and squirted some sparkly blue toothpaste onto the bristles. and I burst outside of the apartment building. “If you don’t let me brush your teeth. I rushed out of the apartment. “Ready!” he declared. “I know. but Noah folded his lips inward and shook his head vigorously. and then I tugged a brush through my bed head to tame it.

no. By the time I pulled into the airport parking lot. I was ten minutes late. Mommy?” Noah asked. He had no idea what was going on. “You’re hurting my arm!” 68 . after all. and I ducked into the driver’s seat. I was in such a rush that I paid the overpriced parking fee and parked in the first available spot. I opened the back door and helped Noah scramble into his car seat. “How fantastic. his toddler voice full of concern. and I glanced down at the radio clock. I jumped out of the car and hurried to unbuckle Noah. I found myself in bumper to bumper traffic. I pulled out of the apartment complex and onto the highway right next to it. baby. Noah. and I couldn’t be late. and I let my head fall against the hard rubber of the steering wheel. “What’s wrong. started singing along to his story CD.When I reached my car. I turned on Noah’s story CD and drummed my thumbs on the steering wheel as I merged into a different lane.” I murmured sarcastically. I was going to be late. and I had to take a moment to calm myself down before I could finish strapping him in. no!” I groaned. “I just don’t want to be late.” I replied. My fingers fumbled at the buckle. “Mommy!” Noah cried. I locked the door as I grabbed Noah’s hand and hurried towards the airport. As I turned onto the exit for the airport. It took all my will power not to yell at him to be quiet. the sky opened up and rain came pouring down hard and fast. I turned the key in the ignition and breathed a sigh of relief as the engine roared to life. “No. as oblivious as three-year-olds are. A couple minutes and a few feet later.

I’d been too late. I’d actually missed him. He couldn’t have left his plane and been here by now. I went straight for the area just outside the door. I brushed the soaked hair from his forehead and gave him a quick kiss on the nose. I climbed up the escalator and hurried down the wide hallway. “Will!” 69 . as the flow of people started to dwindle. Instead of sitting down.” I breathed. but it wasn’t working. taking him in. trying to reassure myself. and my heart was beating so fast that I wouldn’t be surprised if the people around me could hear it. When everyone had passed me. I knew it was him. However. I started to really worry. ready to see him. Even with his dark hair buzzed short and his body clad in a camouflage uniform.I turned around to find his lip trembling in the rain. “Will. until I came to the cushy place designated for family members to wait for their loved ones. I continued inside and stared at the confusing signs until I figured out where the Delta terminal was. past the security checks. I was only ten minutes late. Then. I turned around slowly and gasped. I frowned. maybe. My hands were shaking with anxiety and excitement. I pulled Noah closer to me and smiled.” At the sound of his voice. and I immediately felt the guilt.” I said. He wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I thought. I set Noah down carefully on his feet and held his hand as I waited anxiously. and I picked him up into my arms. “Juliette. a large mass of people started to walk through the door from their planes. Maybe. “Sorry baby. Suddenly.

I could still see the fireworks. jumping into his outstretched arms. I pressed my lips to his and felt my heart beat faster. 70 .I scooped up Noah and sprinted over to him. fat tears started to roll down my already soaked clothes. Big. but I didn’t care. Even after seven months. I had my Will back.

There are no names to tattoo into the sensitive skin of his wrist so he leaves the bodies in the dark like an unfortunate mistress. The ending will be swallowed up like all the tragedies of history are. They tell him he has served his country well. reborn in the crack of a gunshot. the trigger spooned against his finger like a lover. he wonders if they realize 71 . Pierce He converts. he says but shoots because he knows how. Sometimes. the plastic toy soldiers say when the right string is pulled.The War Game Dominique K. I’m honored. For justice.

He obeys until the silence loses meaning and the rolling of his tongue crashes against his teeth. (If he ripped the strings out would their mouths keep moving?) 72 . For liberty. the toy soldiers say.dead people smell like any other road kill.

I Am Only Half
Brooke Ashton Parry
In my fears I am only half. Two flames burn inside of me, one is borrowed, one is mine. I must care for both, I cannot let the other die, for if one passes, the other is lost. Balance is key. Two eyes see two lives, one mind is governed by two trains, and one heart is torn by conflicting emotions. Eyes open, and my eyes watch my normal life. Eyes closed, and my eyes see the life of a flustered, naive, amateur spy. Scrawling, I scribble her story down before it is too late, before her life fades from behind my eyes. Time is always passing by, never yielding. Tick tock tick tock... I know I must hurry, and the fear of her possible disappearance nipping at my heels keeps me sprinting. I watch her movie every night in my dreams, and fiercely hope that her story


never slips out from between my fingertips. My book grows longer as our lives pool more and more together, leaving me wondering where to draw the line.

But, I know that there is only one life preserver at hand. If someday I can no longer sustain two lives in one heart, I keep it ready, knowing that I would narcissistically deliver myself and let her go.


McKenna Uzelac
Words swirl and spill over the edges of the tainted goblet of stories stained with the souls of shrieks never voiced. They scream and twist and struggle to be heard they pull against the bonds of gravity striving to be more than just lines.

They strain and pull. Begging to be released, writhing with frustration.

They let out a single



And fall silent.


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