Stuck in the Elevator

(No Subtitle (Shocking, Isn’t It?)
(Although, the Mere Fact that We Allude to a Subtitle, by Saying There Is No Subtitle, May, Legally, Constitute a Subtitle, (Which is, Admittedly, Considerably Less Shocking))

Cover Illustration by Violet Pena





Anthology of Poetry and Prose Volume XV

Western New York Writing Project Writing Workshop for Teens July 10th - 21st, 2006

WNYWP Director....................................Dr. Suzanne Borowicz
Writing Camp Director..............................Jenn Meka Ratka Lead Teacher..............................................Joel Malley Mentor Teachers........................................Franklin Aquilina Frank Flis Matt Pavlovich Assistant Teacher......................................Alixandra Krzemien Anthology Design and Layout..................Joel Malley Audio Anthology Engineer.........................Joel Malley

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Published by The Western New York Writing Project at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. For more information about the WNY Writing Project, enrichment opportunities for students, and professional development for teachers, call (716) 888-3134 or go to

Copyright 2006 by Western New York Writing Project. All rights reserved. Individual authors and artists retain all ownership rights to their respective works. Printed in the United States of America.

Writing Camp Staff
Jennifer Metka Ratka teaches at Canisius College and works for prominent educator Ruby Payne. She has been involved in the Writing Project since the age of seven when she attended the young writer’s camp. Joel Malley teaches English at McKinley High School. As new father, he hopes to help his son develop a similar passion for sun drying tomatoes. Joel’s other interests include dirt, 3-D movies, and songs about heartbreak.
Franklin Aquilina teaches English and Theater at Clarence Central High School. He is honored to sit on the Executive Board at the Western New York Writing Project, and returns to its Summer Writing Camp for a second year. A graduate of both Syracuse University and Canisius College, Franklin also teaches playwriting, directing and acting at The Studio Arena Theater School.

Frank Flis teaches Senior English at Lackawanna High School. As a newly married man, he now believes in the immortal power of love.

Matt Pavlovich is a St. Bonaventure graduate and teaches at Lancaster Middle School. He has attended 24 Dave Matthews Concerts and is an avid New York Yankees fan, even though it has been mathematically proven that both of these entities are corrupt to the core. Matt fancies the quote “We’re on a mission from God” from the film, The Blues Brothers.
Alix Krzemien is an alumna of the Teen Writing Workshop. She is a junior at Canisius College and majors in English. She is also the poetry editor of The Quadrangle—the Canisius literary magazine—for this coming year. Alix loves the countryside and spending time on the lake Ontario shore—it is from such places that she draws the most inspiration for her poetry and songs. She is currently working on a paper through the Canisius Earning Excellence Program exploring reader response theory and the role of the reader in five pieces of literature by women writers.


in San Francisco. Around her the city hums and sways as the cable car works its way up the steep hill. The woman sits quietly contemplating a recently plucked cherry branch. She rubs a blossom between her thumb and forefinger. No passengers look her way. No one questions. No one disturbs. This image was shared with this year’s WNYWP Teen Writing Workshop by the poet Celia White of the Just Buffalo Literacy Center. It subtly demonstrates much of the writing life. It shows the isolation, the quiet contemplation, and the recognition of transcendent beauty in every day objects. It also quietly celebrates the role of the writer as the lone voice in the wilderness of our world. This year we managed to gather many of these voices together for a two week period. Some of our area’s finest middle and high school poets, storytellers, and essayists gathered together on the Canisius campus in order to share tales, offer and receive constructive criticism, explore new genres and writing modes, and open minds to new ideas. There were many highlights to this year’s camp. Mick Cochrane, author of the novels Sport and Flesh Wounds, shared a short story and a memoir with the group. He stressed the importance of writers creating from what they already know, and shared helpful exercises to help students develop inventories of personal knowledge. Genevieve Webster led a clinic on public speaking

A woman sits alone on a trolley

skills. Celia White shared her poetry, and, amongst other things, shared her wisdom about self-publishing. This year we also took our yearly jaunt to witness the beauty of the Forest Lawn Cemetery, and Derek again regaled us with a clever poem which would not be out of place outside of Disney’s Haunted Mansion. This poem titled “Cemetary Symphony Movement Two” appears on page 30. We also produced an audio anthology (which you will find glued to the rear cover, ) to give people a chance to hear these stories from the lips of the students. On a lighter note, there were many other unrelated yet momentous events. We escaped phantom elevators. we travled alot, and finally escaped the ubiquitous sweaty gym sock smell that hung like death in room 203 of the Churchill tower. It was enough to make anyone “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” (ahem). The pages that follow are a collection of our efforts over the past two weeks as we have all worked hard developing our ideas. Inside you will find students celebrating personal moments of truth and beauty, weaving magical tales of honor and glory, and exploring elemental questions of individual existence and responsibility. We hope you enjoy the stories that these students tell so well. We hope that you gain from their insight. We know that we have. - Joel C. Malley

Lead Teacher


2006 Western New York Writing Project Teen Writing Workshop


Patricia Burdukov is a thirteen-year-old student in Starpoint Middle School. Born in Sisters Hospital on May 21,1993 she adores koalas, tiger cubs, raccoons, puppies, kittens, birds, panda bears, fox, dear, cheetahs,wolfs and jaguars. She loves singing, reading, making web sites, writing, and playing on the piano. She believes that “she has not lived in vain, who leaves behind her ... a child better educated morally, intellectually, and physically than herself.”

The Fiesta
Sarah Montatello, a 20 year old has blonde hair, purple eyed, went to Ellicott Creek Park to set up the building that she reserved. As Sarah drove up on her Porsche Carrera GT she seen a beauty full statue of a women holding a child is her hand. As soon a shereached the building she unpacked all her stuff and started to set everything up for the Mexican fiesta. She put spoons, knives, forks, cheeseburgers, cakes,hot dogs, subs, pop, and more. As she peered out side she seen yellow, pink, and white flowers with fluffy bumble bees collecting there pollen, and huge oak trees. Then she seen expensive Convertibles, Hummers, Saturns, and Ferraris. They all sounded like a heard of elephants. As they all entered the building the aroma of cake, deserts,hot dos, cheeseburgers, and soup filled the air. The air broke in to silence. Then every one laughter from disbelief. The party was over after 5 hours.

Patricia putting the finishing touches on her story.


Meredith Jones is a Sophomore at Hamburg High School, and has, over the summer, played the flute in the Erie County Fair Marching Band. She enjoys writing and acting, music, art, and any type of theatre. Her dream is to one day be on a Broadway stage, or have her work be acted out in New York City by professional actors. She is an editor of her school’s literary magazine, MindSpeak and is a member of the Writer’s Guild, has been in many school theatre productions, and writes on and She will be attending the Honors English class offered at her high school this coming year.

The Boards
Raining. It is raining outside. But once I enter, the rain Stops The light From the superior Chandeliers Make the warm, red velvet On the old worn chairs Glow. It smells Like an old book Stuck on a shelf For decades Unopened Untouched Disregarded Since it was Abandoned There. It does not rain in here As it does outdoors. Voices Are the rain. Sophisticated Polite Cautious Seemingly embarrassed Chatter. The best kind. Though they are not embarrassed. Does it not seem That the concept Of a fine contour, A complex Melody Is being Lost? We are the preservers And we are not ashamed. We are proud to be Who and what We are. The chairs Are smooth Though they are so Incredibly Ancient. Like silk Like running your hands Through clear water. The paintings On the ceiling and walls These do not hang In an art gallery Yet they are Art. The lights gradually fade. The curtain Is prominent Solely illuminated It calls for My attention And I gladly give it to it. It is anticipant Restless Eager It has a secret Something to give to me. A gift. It now wastes no time In sharing its secret Now that it knows that I Have arrived. I am here To receive it. The curtain lifts And I unwrap from it With unworthy Fingers My most delicate Touch, Beauty. - Meredith Jones

The Jester
The blank page Beneath my fingertips Taunts me. He is certainly More powerful More intimidating Than the dentist Hovering over me Clad in blue Or the stern man Before me Tapping his pen on his chin Or the man Behind me Poised to quietly Slyly Push me off of the edge Of the Earth. This leaf This incomplete Being Claims that he knows Why he is blank He tells me that it is because I have nothing to say. He thinks that I am shy He thinks that I have no soul He thinks that I feel nothing Have lived nothing See nothing. He thinks that he will remain In his horrid Pitiful state Forever. He is wrong. I will defeat him Sometime I shall break him I shall write on him. I sit back to ponder Our bittersweet relationship Tapping my own pen On my own chin. There is, after all, one advantage I have over this blank piece of paper. I have thought. I must provide this page With thought. Without me, it cannot think. It cannot jest. Without him, I cannot express I cannot recoil I cannot become stronger. We are interdependent On each other To Live. I am the more intelligent party... Until I write on him. Then, and only then, will we be Equal. I conquer him And give him thought. - Meredith Jones

Blake Holmes jotting down ideas in the Quad.


Monica Disare is an eight grader at Frontier Middle School. She always has a great time playing all sports and playing outside, and is the type of person who can’t sit inside for too long on a sunny day. She is involved in Destination Imagination and chorus at her school. Monica loves to travel and experience new things, which is where some of her ideas for writing originate. She sums things up with this quote, “the more things change the more things remain... insane.” - Michael Fri and T Lewis. .

Sunday at the Game

t’s funny how some of your fondest memories can come from the dreariest of days. You know the kind I’m talking about. Those snowy, heart of winter days, where you just want to curl up by the fire. Those days where the sides of the road are all slushed up and brown because the plows have already been by so many times. It is then, that true Buffalonians show their spirit. It is those Sundays when my grandpa and I would flock with thousands of other dedicated crazies to Ralph Wilson Stadium to cheer on our beloved BUFFALO BILLS! Grandpa would show up at my house around noon with his worn out sweatshirt that read: B-UFF-AL- B-LLS, and his pale blue winter cap. ( He bought it at a garage sale for 50cents, it was probably dark blue.) “Monica your grandpa’s here!” my mom would shout. I would come bounding down the stairs with the latest Bills face paint styling, courtesy of my brother, and a message slapped and glued onto a cardboard box cut in half. Always hoping that maybe, just once, I could be on T . .V I would run to give my grandpa a big hug. The guy was 72 but you wouldn’t have guessed it. He insisted on being called 29, so if anyone asks, you didn’t hear that he was 72 from me! He was in great shape, running 5k races, and even helping my dad out with gardening. He kept his own garden, pool and cherry tree, which made for a classic summer visit. Scrounging up every warm piece of clothing the house had to offer we hopped in his car and sped off down the road. With


the snow falling and the wind shield wipers rolling, we flicked on the radio and listened to the pre game show. My excitement was rising, Bills games were a special event for me. The only way I got to go, was when the weather was so bad my grandma chickened out! I was about to see the team I dutifully studied and watched every Sunday in person! When we got there, we said hello to the lady whose house we always parked at, and lugged the big bag of clothes from the trunk. Standing outside I felt naked with the mere shirt, sweater, pants, and double socks I had on. It was bone chilling, my breath dancing and crystalizing in the air. Quickly, grandpa and I got dressed. Shoving on an additional boots, winter jacket, mittens, snow pants, hats, scarfs, and anything else you can possibly imagine. By the time we were finished we probably could have rolled to the stadium faster than we walked, being the half man, half bowling ball that we were! As soon as we entered the stadium the sheer size of it threw me off every time. I would glance around at the thousands of people, enormous jumbotron flashing: It’s not the chip it’s the dip, it’s Bison dip! And booming a jingle at decibels I didn’t think existed. I would cower at the number of seats, the number of people in our small town able and willing to come and watch football. (Although, when I think about it, it’s one of the only things Buffalo is holding onto.) And the energy. The energy in the stadium before the ball dropped was simply electrifying! Everyone was on their feet screaming, clapping, whistling, and certainly drinking beer. The sights, smells, sounds, there is only one way to

describe the atmosphere...I loved it! As the game progressed, several things would generally happen. At some point, I always hoped that someone would get the guts to chuck a snowball at a Ref, after a particularly bad call. Question: What’s black and white and red all over? Answer: A short, fat, cold, and extremely angry referee. The whole scene was both quite comical and quite illegal, and so the brave soul was taken away in handcuffs. Also, sometimes it had to happen that the Bills scored. Just in case that happened, they were always ready to blare: The Bills make me want to shout! Grandpa and I would dance with everyone else, one of the few times I saw grandpa dance. We would stomp our feet, clap and sing when appropriate. I was even allowed to stand on my seat! Whenever I had to go to the bathroom, grandpa would send a security guard in with me. And likewise, whenever he went to the bathroom, he would make me stand with the

security guard. I always remember them trying to make jokes and I just stood there pretending to smile while they cackled away at what they believed was their comic genius. Grandpa and I loved the Bills games. Whether the Bills won or lost, I always remember the great times we had. Perhaps that’s why my grandpas minister made a suggestion. At my grandpas funeral service, he suggested that the reason grandpa left us, was to go somewhere where he could actually do something about his beloved Buffalo Bills. - Monica Disare

Why? Why, you ask. Because. Because I want to Because I can Because, I’m a free man Free. Free to roam where I please Free to say whatever I want, whenever I want. Why. One word with an infinite number of answers. Why? Because. - Dave Heinz

Dave Heinz is 17 and attends Amherst Central High. He will be a senior this upcoming year. In his free time he likes to ride his dirtbike and ATV He also likes to read . on his downtime. His two favorite authors at the time would be Jack Kerouac and Dan Brown. Dave also plays the guitar and bass guitar and the violin for about 9 years. Music is a huge facotor in his life.


Blake Holmes is an eighth grade student at Transit Middle School. He obviously loves to write, but his other hobbies are playing video games and watching movies. He gets most of his ideas for stories in his dreams. He claims that although they are very random, this is what makes the stories interesting to write. Blake likes action, horror, and mystery stories, but he doesn’t like to write mystery stories. He also doesn’t like poems. He thinks he likes writing so much because of the fact that he can put his thoughts down on paper.

The Greedy Man

Sometimes Having Everything Is Nothing
here was a greedy son of a devil who lived on a hill. He was the greediest organism that had ever lived in the universe. He was the richest man ever. He was even richer than Bill Gates. The greedy man’s parents had spoiled him ever since he was born. If he was bad he was not spanked. He was praised. If he threw food on the floor, he was praised. If he whined and talked back, there was no discipline. His parents spoiled him so much, that when he broke a toy, the parents would go buy the same toy for him. If the store didn’t have the toy in stock, or it was discontinued, then they sued. Now the greedy man was grown and in his thirties. Do you know why he had so much money? He stole from people. He stole from babies, children, adults, even cripple old people. He tricked people into giving him money. And, he made fake money that everyone believed was real. He had a money making factory in the back of his mansion. The man was receiving so much money that he figured that he could buy everything in the world. He bought little things at first such as cell phones, a surplus amount of beer, and 100-inch wide TV’s. The greedy man adored all of his treasures, but now he didn’t have enough room to fit it all. So, he decided to buy the White House, which he did, and offered to buy the role as President of the United States. President Bush refused, claiming the man was a terrorist. The greedy man then decided to buy the United States FBI.


Now as the leader, he forced the FBI agents to attack and kill the President. The FBI reluctantly did their job, and the greedy man became the President. Unfortunately, now everyone hated him, and they tried to throw him out of business. The greedy man was about to buy the USA army, navy, and air force, but they had teamed up with Iraq. Bin Laden and surviving government officials attacked the White House and caught the man. Fortunately for the greedy man, he had already bought all US Prisons. He couldn’t go to jail anywhere in the USA since he had bought all of the jail cells, so they sent him off to another country. It seemed as if the greedy man’s rampage was finally put to end. What Bin Laden and the government officials didn’t know, was that the greedy man had bought all of Japan. They taught him the best martial arts possible. The greedy man managed to use karate on the guards that were holding him prisoner on a boat. He swam away. He ended up in Africa. He met a bunch of black women struggling to find food in the forest. He thought they were hot and asked to marry them. Of course they rejected him. He smelled like fish since he had swam away from the boat. But those Africans loved and needed money. They were paid one million dollars to be his wife. They all accepted. The greedy man had a baby with each one, but he got even greedier. He had 100 more babies with each woman. The woman had given birth so much that they died. The greedy man figured that his children would ruin his image if they didn’t have money. He gave all his babies, consisting of

1,000 babies total, one million dollars each. Tension was building in the world. Everyone was out to kill the greedy man. In a last effort to save his life, the greedy man bought the company Microsoft and worked with Bill Gates to make evil robots using Xbox 360 technology. They could store twenty GB of information, play CD’s, and had a TV in their chest that supported high definition quality. The robots were released, and the greedy man began a war against all of humanity. He succeeded, but he almost lost with most of the robots because of technical difficulties. They had problems with reading targets and they’d freeze in the middle of battle. Bill Gates cursed himself out complaining that the flaws of the 360 were transferred into the robots. This led Gates to work hard on another project better than the 360. At the world’s end, only the greedy man, his children, Bill Gates, and the companies that had been bought survived. Later in life, the greedy man was old and near death. He sent his 1,000 grown up kids to find a way to preserve his life. His kids were his only hope. His companies couldn’t really help, and Bill Gates was too busy working on another Xbox console. The greedy man’s children traveled the world in hopes of finding a way to make their father live forever. They never found a cure, and the greedy man died an angry man. Of course he went to hell. He tried to make a deal with the devil. He paid the devil a lot of money in order to convince him into sending him to God. When the bargain worked and he went off to see God, he asked God a stupid and regretful question. He asked if he could buy heaven. God got pretty pissed off, and made his angels shoot nuclear arrows at the greedy man. The greedy man couldn’t die for he was already dead, so he blew up and returned to hell. By now everyone else was in hell with him. All his companies were there, and his 1,000 children were having a gay old time playing Halo 4 with Bill Gate’s Xbox 360 2. The greedy man was broke, and he couldn’t get back up to heaven for revenge. He burned forever and ever in hell. All the things he once had were gone. The greedy man had

went from having everything to nothing. Now despite how bad or good this story was, one thing is perfectly clear. Don’t be greedy. It may be good in the beginning, but in the end something horrible always happens.

The Truth About Music
Music is a collaboration of unique sounds, sometimes with lyrics, and heart. When music is played it generates a feeling to the curious listener. It seems as if the varieties of music are endless, but what is truly endless is the feeling, as said earlier. To me, jazz music creates a complex and creative multitude of sounds that is soothing like a cool smoothie. Rap music gets my legs and arms active as I dance around to the great beats. And metal music makes me feel powerful as the guitar blasts and drums bang. But even the same forms of music can make the opposite feeling one would expect. It all depends on how the music is played. Music can be played slowly, quietly, quickly, loudly, crazily, and other ways indescribable. Music has been here for years and years, and it isn’t departing anywhere anytime soon. It has a job to do. It needs to fill the world with sound, and not vile silence. It needs to help people come up with ideas. And finally, most obviously, it needs to please the listener’s ear. - Blake Holmes


Gabriel Alejandro Fontanez was born on December 7th, 1992. He lived in Amherst most of his life.. He was born in Amherst. He then moved into the West Side for a short time before returning to Amherst. He attends Amherst Central and is moving into 9th grade. He is 13 and has no brothers or sisters. He lives with his parents and his dog, Punkin. He writes prose and poetry and has a

Who Am I?
Like Langston Hughes I question is it really That simple. It’s never That easy Who am I? Who am I? I could say that I am 13, born and Raised in Amherst I could tell you that my name Isn’t Gabe or Gabriel But Gabriel Alejandro Fontanez I could tell you That my entire family is Boriquen I could tell you that who I am Is what stands before you Not as a writer Not as a Musician Not as a Martial Artist But as a person No different But so different Just as you are I am Gabriel And see it isn’t so easy I still fell as if the question Is not answered but how Could a question be answered If the answer is so infinite That it is as almost if There was no answer at all


Drawing by Lindsay Warnes

Kelsey Rice is a devoted vegetarian who will be attending Kenmore West next year. Her hobbies include drawing, swimming, and apologizing excessively for no reason at all. She is very talented at zoning and making random comments. Her pet peeves include exposed tags on clothing, frizz, insect cruelty and overconfident mallet percussionists. anywhere. It even seemed like the familiar rustling of the trees had been silenced. But no matter how hard anyone tried, they never solved the mystery. Traveling to the city only seemed to create more mysteries- mysteries of silence, rain, and scarlet flowers.

t had seemed as if the place had been forgotten. Vines had crept up the brick walls of houses that had once stood proudly against the sky. But they did no longer. Once carefully-pruned bushes now grew unkempt, in scattered, haphazard ways. Windows had cracked. Stone had crumbled. What had happened to this little town? Many people had sought to find out. They would enter the town in search of clues about the disappearance of what had once been a cheerful group of people. But all they had found were scarlet flowers. Hundreds and hundreds of tiny flowers that grew inside the houses. They spilled out of cupboards and wound around banisters. They twisted their way up chimneys and squeezed inside new cracks in the walls. No one had ever seen flowers quite like them. And there had been the rain. The town was nestled in between two mountains. It had never been a dry city, but recently torrents of rain would come down with an unnatural fury and beat down relentlessly on the abandoned city every day. Drops of water lingered on the strange flowers after the rain ceased and glistened like liquid rubies. No one understood why the town was like this. Some even tried to take flowers home. But only minutes after they were picked, they would crumble to a fine gray dust. Something else seemed unnatural about this little town. Maybe it was the silence. No birds chirped


Above: Drawing by Kelsey Rice. Below: Kelsey recording

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Amelia Colon is currently a freshman at Sacred Heart Academy. She is 14 years old but has only recently taken an interest in writing. In her spare time, she studies violin and piano and is a part of the Western New York Children’s Choir. In school, Amelia is always involved in the drama productions and other artistic extra curricular activities such as Chamber Orchestra and Select Choir. Through practice and inspiration, hopefully my writing will take me somewhere someday and being apart of the Western New York Writing Project has only positively affected me by increasing my self-esteem and writing capabilities.

Anguish on the Front
he frozen air in the dense rugged jungle fills my lungs as I tally the total number of lifeless bodies. My regiment had arrived here only two weeks before, but never in my life have I witnessed such an epidemic. The once humid air now feels dry and the once refreshing daily rain now feels like torturous hail on my saddened and corpselike body. “53 deaths”, I say to myself as I walk into the musty old health lodge, “Twelve more than Wednesday.” It’s unconceivable. I laugh at myself for thinking I could make a difference in the war effort. I now understand why women have always been frowned upon when registering during a draft. The average arrogant man would believe that a woman couldn’t handle the effects of war but anyone who isn’t negatively affected by such waves of despair is merciless and inhuman. War doesn’t usually solve anything useful because prejudice and other unnecessary evils will always exist after thousands of men have already died. Even with all of these thoughts streaming through my fatigued and drowsy mind, I know I have some purpose in this wasteland. I must continue to carry out my duties, despite my own feelings of hate. I can only pray that one day there will be no need for my position any longer. My eyes still burn from looking into the opaque eyes of diseased soldiers, but I hold my head erect and only show the splotches of dirt and mud on my face.

The sounds of laughter and joy put my ears at ease. The smell of sweet chocolate chip cookies impatiently waiting in the oven pleases my anxious nose. The taste and soothing effect of hot milk and honey streams down my frozen throat and revives my taste buds. The sight of the rising sun brings hope and relief to my wide and weary pupils. - Amelia Colon


What’s the difference between you and me We both like sports, and we watch T .V We like to watch movies, and like to swim We both enjoying the activities we play in gym So, what’s the difference? Why is one better than the other? Why do people treat us differently? Is it our style? Is it our culture? I know why It’s because of our skin He’s black and I am white Why does he have to get the short end of the stick So, I will let you figure out the rest While I leave you to go fix this mess

- Mike Burke


“One Peaceful Spot” by Violet Pena

Drawing by Alex Bommer


Amanda Feldman attends Lake Shore High School. She is going into 10th grade. She enjoys reading, writing (obviously), and her music.

(Editor’s Note: Amanda is camera shy, and that is why there is a picture of her beagle where her picture should be. We begged. We pleaded. We attempted to bribe. She would not relent.)

Black and White
he dreaded day arrives Julie has received the call she most feared. The police have phoned her to give her the news of her daughter being arrested. It was 4 am. The phone rings violently. Julie, a middle aged woman with auburn hair and hazel eyes awakes suddenly. She had waited until around 2am hoping Amber would call. Julie was no longer able to fight of the fatigue that filled her. Amber is only sixteen years old but thinks she is twenty five. Amber went to a party last night around nine and was to be home by twelve. Julie had no reason not to trust her. Amber was a B student, no behavior problems at school or home. So the news that Julie will be receiving would devastate her. The phone call had awakened Jillie with a start. She picked up the phone as quickly as she could open her eyes. “Ms. Bonaz, we have your daughter Amber downtown at the station. She was brought in due to the fact that broke a windshield. We proceeded to search her and found illegal drugs in her bag.” Julie’s mouth went dry. Her eyes became moist. “I’ll be there in 10 minutes.” Julie stated in a state of shock and disbelief. As Julie returned the phone to the receiver, she felt as if her black and white world had turned to shades of gray. As Julie looked around her living room her leather couch no longer felt the same. The pale blue walls had an eerie sense about them. The hard wood floor that she once adored now just annoyed her. Julie fumbled clumsily to find her glasses and keys. Once she had her glasses on remotely right, she held tight to the keys for these were the tools to get to her daughter quickly. Julie walked swiftly across her maple hard wood floor to her similar door that also happened to be maple as well. She proceeded down her stairs and across her sidewalk that cut through her suburban lawn to her driveway. As she started her car she realized the sever


ity of trouble that her once innocent her daughter was in. Drugs? Amber? How could this be going on without her knowledge of this condition. It was only 4:10in the morning and her mind wasn’t able to process all this in the wee hours of the day. As she arrived at the police station, she debated with herself whether or not she should leave Amber there to learn her lesson. She decided that she wanted to hear what amber had to say for herself. She proceeded into the police station where an officer introduced himself as officer Marleneo. Officer Marleneo explained the Amber is still high off LSD or better known as acid. He goes on to explain when someone is using acid they may become paranoid. Hence breaking the windshield. “Hold on,” started Julie, “If Amber was paranoid, why would she call attention to herself by breaking a windshield?” asked Julie promptly. “When someone is high on acid the may also hallucinate. Amber claims to have had a figure following her and that figure jumped onto the windshield and in an attempt to free herself from this figure she tried to kill it with a baseball bat and broke the windshield in the process.” At this time Julie was crying profusely. As Julie opened her eyes and looked towards her daughter again, she saw her daughters head fall suddenly. Julie panicked and in desperate attempts ran full speed into the room at which Amber was located. Julie screamed “Amber!” There were no movements. Not even the opening of an eye. Julie repeated this hopeless attempt. “Amber!” still nothing. Julie began to shake Amber and there was no response. Julie’s mind was reeling. She reached down for Amber’s wrist searching for a pulse, although her findings were dismal. Amber had no pulse.

Mike is an outgoing, funny 14 year old who enjoys playing sports, mostly baseball and hockey. He attends school in Amherst. When asked about his audio anthology piece which professes a hatred for all genres of music, he admits that he had a difficult time developing rhymes for liking music, so he went in the opposite direction.

Learning from the Dead
You can learn a lot from the dead That’s what my grandfather said When I was thirteen he died My dad started to cry He was placed in his wooden bed My grandfather was a true Irish man He always lent a hand He had no fears Didn’t show his tears He enjoyed drinking beer He was married for 50 years They call that the golden year Through ups and downs Smile and frowns Even through tears They made it 50 years But then he was diagnosed with cancer That gave us all a fright He battled it for days and nights, nights and days But he was the winner of the fight He lived to see tomorrow We lost all our sorrow He went back to his house looked brand new like a gift Then he kissed his wife, the one he was going to spend the rest of his life with

Then a year flew by There was no reason to cry The year was great There was love not hate I was glad he was alive to share it He was smoking in his den When it made its way back again CANCER We rushed him to the hospital I knew he was going to win I knew what we were going to do when he got out I had I stuck in my head But then the phone rang, I picked it up and it was my dad He said ìyou grandfather has lost the battle, you grandfather is deadî After that I ran Ended up in a shed So I left him with one more gift A place to rest his head I wanted to see him, one more time, we would share one last feast But I knew that was impossible because he was resting in peace

Mike’s poem “Prejudice” appears on page 18

Seven Days of Revolution Little bits of broken life Scattered everywhere I go And in everything I see I can See life and its glow Seven days of walking Where do I find myself? Where will I go Who will I meet Who will I find Who will I know A little adventure so I can See what it is I’ve been missing From this life of mine So I can stretch the boundaries of My thoughts and balance the Equilibrium of my mind Now tell me as the saxophone plays What it that my life says to you And I’ll tell you what I can do Cause I can go places you’ve never seen I’ve met people that you never knew I heard that you can lose your money You can lose your gold But you can’t lose your heart And they can’t take your soul Maybe that’s right Maybe that’s the rule But what rule is there To not follow like a fool And a fool I am to see you In the way that no one else does But maybe that makes me unique Like I always will be Like I always was A revolution in your mind Can free your soul to places you’ve Never believed to be alive And in these places I hope You find what you’re searching for For what it is that you strive

As that saxophone plays I’ll tell you What it is I see What it is I know Cause these seven days of walking Still haven’t showed me where I’m going to go They showed something though Something I didn’t expect to see They showed me where I came from And who I’ll always be These seven days of revolution All up inside my mind Is still running forever with A never ending bind The revolution will never stop And I’ll live and love it till I die And I’ll see to it that it’s still Alive when I say good-bye I pass this revolution onto you Cause that’s what I have to do To make sure that saxophone Still plays in the hands of you You can keep the revolution And it’s inane insane song Cause people in this world are crazy And you better hold on That song, that melody will Eventually be gone from the night Cause this revolution in your hands Is the only thing in this world that’s right So good night, good-bye I’ll See you in the morning with What’s in your mind And then tell about your Miraculous find These seven of walking with the Broken bits of life has shown me What a revolution really can do Cause beautiful people in this world Just need inspiration to see a revolution In gorgeous beautiful you

I attend Amherst Central High School, I am seventeen years old and I’m going to be senior this upcoming school year, which I must say will be an interesting year. I have no real hobbies to speak of, but I am a huge sci-fi fan. My favorite sci-fi programs are Stargate sg1, Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica (modern version), Star Trek (most specifically Enterprise) and of course you have to love Star Wars, especially episode 3 and 6 (return of the Jedi). One of the aspects of my life that I am particularly proud of is my Activist life; I am a peace activist and I am also interested in government reform but, I think that we must believe in concepts of justice, liberty, equality and fairness and that we should apply them to our government and if we can, our lives. In regard to my travel history I have mostly vacationed in the states but I have been to Canada many times in fact because of our location I have been to Canada about over 12 times. When I write, I’m expressing my feelings at the moment and things in my life and in my world inspire me; for example, when I write a poem about icicles I write down my observations and them I dig a bit deeper in what the icicle is and what it means to me. I’m generally a poet but im willing to write short stories and article but for the record I do my best work in the realm of poetry. I have many thoughts about life but in regards to my new experiences in this writing project I will say, “turn me on to anything.”

My name is Cliff Cawthon and

That Ragged Table
I love my old chemistry reference table It has two loose sheets and it has been through rain and wind The footnotes are blurred Hell I cant even read half of the text anymore! But I love my old reference table I love my old things. If I wanted to I could get a new one in a snap. Never NEVER!!!!! Do you think I would throw something away because it’s old? Man, are you stoned? Flying with the birds in the open blue skies! It would be irrational and ridiculous to get a new reference table My reference table is always there for me. Those new packets rip too easily The ink blots and runs when touched by a single hydrogen dioxide molecule I don’t have time for these little kids I can’t throw away my reference tableBecause it has more experience than all those young reference tables combined I have used that packet all the time Through every test and all my rhymes And above all, the number one motive for my bond with my ragged table is....... I have to take a test in five minutes. - Cliff Cawthon


Matt Schillinger is a sophomore at Amherst High School.

The Flames
amed considered his hand; composed of tiny motors and circuits orchestrated in such a manner as to mimic his human predecessors. It was a relatively calm night in the mountains of the Golan Heights, Lamed and Detachment 458 knew their mission: prevent a man named Abdul Habass from rallying a resistance in the North, even if it meant killing a few more faceless insurrectionists. His metallic skin was designed to be virtually undetectable; it had to be constantly kept at 34 degrees Celsius, the outside air temperature, to avoid detection from an enemy soldier’s thermal vision equipment. Lamed was accompanied by three others: Samech, Fey, and Ayin. They were about 200 meters below their target and would have to ascent the steep slopes to reach their goal. Lamed signaled that it was time to move on and, just then, four dark figures disappeared up the mountains. Lamed and his platoon were the perfect soldiers: obedient, strategic, powerful, completely manufacturable, and most crucially, they could think. They never got hungry, and they never needed to sleep. Ever since the Israeli Department of Defense made the decision to push out any and all opposing military forces in 2136, it has deployed IPFU, or Independent Positronic Fighting Units to accomplish this task. Although used primarily as infantry, divisions in the navy and air force were deployed as well. Whether to deny them an identity or for lack of creativity, each IPFU was designated a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. However, as there were only 26 letters in the alphabet, each robot was also assigned a number, but since Lamed and his company were the elite, they


had the honor of keeping the lone letters as their title. Presently, in the year 2141, the only insurgents left were the remnants of a group called Hamass, loosely organized in the Golan Heights, Northwest of a city called Tiberias. This area was dangerously close to the borders of hostile nation of Syria. To the South, fighting had quelled nearly to the point of nonexistence due largely to the help of the IPFU. Israel’s borders now stretched into Egypt, as far as Cairo, which gave the Israeli economy the boost it needed to put IPFU production into full swing. All around its borders, Israeli IPFU platoons patrolled, and deep within neighboring countries. Their sheer numbers alone literally diffuses the would-be nuclear war once threatening Zion’s existence. Each IPFU was exactly like the other, each one caste from a perfect mold. If God created man in His image, and man created machine in his image, the cycle continued. Every one of them stands exactly 195 centimeters (6.5 feet) tall, and has a frame composed of Titanium to ensure maximum durability in combat, weighing in at a modest 568 kilograms. Unlike their human counterparts, they completely lack the need for rest or nourishment. As such, IFPU’s are powered by a tiny mass of Plutonium 239 located in the chest cavity. As the Plutonium decays, the radioactive energy is harnessed and used to operate the mechanical soldier. Since as long as the Plutonium supply was sufficient, the IFPU’s would still be able to function, in theory, an individual unit could operate for as long as 24,000 years. Each “soldier” was armed with a Baretta M-5290 assault rifle that fired depleted Uranium shells for maximum effect, but could also use any other ammunition for any rifle in its class. This weapon was just as important as the mechanical soldiers themselves, both in practice and as a psychological weapon. The rifle was known in some enemy circles to cut a man in half at close range and, coupled with

the destructive nature of the robots, put a big dent in the actual frequency of rebellious activities. The long range attachment was could be used for quiet assassination objectives and was accurate from up to 6 kilometers. In addition to the M-5290, each unit carried a pistol that fired similar rounds, and a dozen grenades designed to incinerate by means of a highly explosive gas contained within. As a means of communication, each mech could broadcast a broken signal on an undetectable frequency to avoid interception by the enemy rebels. In addition to radio signals, each IPFU was linked every other member of the company via digital visual and audio transmitions. They all shared. Finally, the IPFU were best suited for urban warfare because of the KM-2 Sound Cannon. This was primarily used for breaching the walls of structures that contain potentially dangerous targets. The only thing a given IPFU had to do was calculate the building’s Structural Resonance Frequency, and a few seconds later, it’s company would have an entrance. At about 600 meters above sea level, they arrived at the point of interest. The structure in question was a two-story, dilapidated residential home. To avoid detection, each arrived on the scene via separate routes, quickly, silently. There were three doors: one in front to the south, one on the western side, and another in back. Lamed took the side, Samech the rear, and Fey was left to the front. Ayin made a jump whose trajectory landed him squarely on the roof, he planned to enter through the second floor window and meet the other three on the ground floor. Lamed then transmitted a message through all members of the platoon that boomed through the mountains in perfect Arabic. “You are all prisoners of war under the Israeli government. Submit and you shall be treated humanely!” Just as Lamed signaled to commence the operation by broadcasting on a frequency undetectable to anyone but themselves, a sudden explosion and flash of red light ripped through the night. Fey lay in the threshold of the house, crippled and broken. Habass knew what was coming. A quake was suddenly sent through Detachment 458. They were all together in this, not just as a team but as one mind, as a singularity. It was like having a limb amputated. Lamed kicked in the door, which slammed into an unlucky militant, like being hit by a truck. Two

others sat at a table, in what appeared to be a kitchen, and reached for their weapons. They barely had enough time to stand up before they were both torn asunder by the M-5290. Making his way into the foyer, Lamed met up with Samech who promptly made an entrance with his sound cannon at the rear, knocking out four insurrectionists with the sheer concussion of the blast. Samech was ordered upstairs to help Ayin while Lamed made his way into the basement. Upon reaching the basement floor, it was seized, from behind by a rather large Arab man. Lamed quickly negotiated his release by channeling about 45,000 volts through its metallic skin and into the assailant. Though the ordeal only lasted three seconds, it would prove to be fatal for the mutineer. It was there, fallen to his knees before the triumphant Lamed, the notorious Abdul Habass. “You monsters will never stop us all,” the man growled in broken Hebrew. Lamed seized the man, closing one hand around his face and lifting him off the ground, feet dangling. It brought Habass face to face with it and, very softly, “Only a monster can destroy a monster.” With that, Habass’ face was crushed by a grip that could have bent railroad tracks and was thrown to the ground. Lamed then signaled to the rest that the deed had been done and they rendezvoused outside. Apparently, on its way upstairs, Samech had to clear away some mercenaries with an incineration grenade and by now the house was ablaze. Crowding around their fallen comrade, Fey, they realized that their ally was no more. It was the closest that any of them could ever come to dying. Lamed then ordered the group to evacuate the area via the separate routes they had used to arrive. Before departing, Lamed looked back at the house and, in the flames; it saw the beginning of something glorious. Matt Schillinger


Violet Peña will be a junior at Amherst Central High School this fall. She enjoys reading, writing, and observing and creating art. She also enjoys listening to music and playing it on her violin. Her favorite music includes works by Beck, Gorillaz, The Clash, The Flaming Lips, The Verve, The Pillows, Bach, Vivaldi, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenburg’s original works. Her favorite graphic artists are Remedio Varas, Nanamirio, Shunpei, and Hikaru Nakano. She believes that “High School Musical” is a bane to humanity and should be illegalized. would be a chain of this. He would just pause for a moment, unable to say anything, because he didn’t trust himself to. If he did speak, he knew that he would start shouting at the bastards around him, how low they were, he was done with this, wasn’t there more to life, the universe, anything and everything? He had realized that there wasn’t. There simply wasn’t. Poverty, abuse, war: permanent parts of the world. Never to be eliminated, not in this Age or the next. Wars fought over religion, land, money: three artificial things. Ownership of the land, anyway. Maybe at first it had come in handy, but, as with all good things in the world, it had been taken to extremes by both well-meaning and villainous people. Not that there were real villains in the world. No Batman and Robin, either. No heroes. Altruism was as fake as modesty, only real when the person was young or stupid enough not to know better. No black and white, but that was a given. There weren’t even shades of grey anymore. No, there was the whole f-cking spectrum out there by now. That wasn’t going to change, either. If life had some purpose, he had yet to find it. Save the earth so other people can screw her? Learn about the universe and space so we know just how alone we are when the world dies? How we might be the only sentient planet in the universe at this moment in time? Learn about the fabric of spacetime, of subatomic particles, so we know what we’re made out of: the same things as supernovae and stones, porcelain and peaches? Make the world beautiful so others can be happy, probably leading to the happy ones reproducing more, thereby bringing up the total number of humans and therefore the number of unhappy, malcontent, and stupid ones up as well. No,

Untitled (Vertigo)-Part One He was standing on the sidewalk, watching the traffic pass. Standing very still on the side of main street during dusk was not a generally accepted behavior, though, and he was starting to attract strange stares from people. He wasn’t a hitchhiker. He wasn’t even really looking for a ride. He was waiting for someone. Someone who he had never met, and never heard of him. But someone would stop eventually, and he hoped that he would get the right person the first time. He knew that someone would. It wasn’t a question of whether or not a car would be stopped, it was a question of when. The car wouldn’t stop itself; fate would stop the car. He hadn’t believed in fate until afternoon, when he stopped as he was walking down the street, and realized that so much was moving around him with absolutely no purpose. This city was crazed, the whole place going through a midlife crisis. Hell, the whole country. World. The world was on crack. Bright, bleeding colors blurring quickly past and through everyone, with no ultimate purpose. Everything was futile, but damn could futility be fun when you made a point of not dwelling on it. Oh, sure, he had had his share of that life. He had loved it, but during every party, every lay, he would snap out of the mood he was in and into one of utter alienation. Look around at all the movement and wonder why the hell he was there. This would come on almost without warning; he would suddenly fall into melancholy, and he would be able to force himself out of it in a matter of seconds. Shame that he was acting like such a primate and enjoying it mindlessly, guilt that he wasn’t doing anything really worth remembering, fear that his whole life

there was nothing worth fighting for anymore, not even one’s survival. It took no work now, and everyone was happy. The unhappy ones vented this unhappiness on others, determined to spread misery and get money for it. Ah, the modern music industry. Ah, modern America. Gotta love it. An old Honda stopped, and a girl got out. Late teens, early twenties. Very pale skin and black hair cut in a bob that somehow managed not to look completely absurd; quite tall. An urban vampire. She wore a black raincoat even though it was a clear day and a purple sarai with silvery birds on it. She approached him slowly but confidently. Raised her head to look directly in his eyes when she was six inches away. “How long you been standing here for?” She asked in an offhand way that was very peculiar considering her approach to a complete stranger. “Since four,” he responded without missing a beat. “Wanna ride?” “Not really.” “Where you wanna go?” “Nowhere.” “Liar.” A pause, like in a fencing match. Waiting for the round of blows to begin. He was a bit put-off by how certain she had seemed when she had called him a liar. She wasn’t open for discussion or dissent. It wasn’t debatable: he just was, and he knew it. Not a trace of doubt in her voice. Just the conviction that she completely understood him. And even though in anyone else it would have just pissed him off, for some reason, he trusted her. “Okay, fine.” He said at last. “How’s your car for getting into other universes?” She turned away, looking over the grey Honda for a minute. “She’s pretty good,” The girl said. “Anyplace in particular?” “Anywhere but here.” “That makes two of us. Ride?” She asked, jerking her head slightly in the Honda’s direction. “Sure.” They got in the Honda and the girl started to drive down main street, towards the junction with the highways.

She had been driving for an hour or so in complete silence on a westbound route. The sky was beginning to cloud over, and it was going to rain. The wind that blew through the open window was heavy with moisture, but after such a long time in the city, he was enjoying it. “So,” The girl asked, jerking him out of his trance, “You got a name?” “Not really. I’m called Dane.” She nodded. “I’m Amelia. Amelia Day.” “Want me to call you something else?” “Naaah...” She said, shaking her head slightly. Not pissed off at all, even though he had just not-so-subtley hinted that she had a cumbersome name. “If I wanted to change my name, I could have a long time ago. I’m Amelia Day until universe’s end, and I really don’t mind.” “I somehow doubt you’ll be around that long.” “You’d be surprised.” “Maybe I would.” “Or maybe, by the time the universe’s end got here, you wouldn’t be.” “Okay, I know I won’t be around then.” “You could be...” She said slowly. “Want eternal life?” A pause. “You’re mad,” he said, sinking deeper in his seat and turning his head to look out the window. I’m leaving at the first city we come to.” “I don’t think there are any cities on the plane I’m trying to get to.” “Um...what?” “I said, I’m trying to get to a certain plane, and I don’t think it has any cities. I’ve never seen one there, anyway.” “Where?” “Where I’m trying to go. Plane...” She thought for a moment. “Plane 0000834055, sub-plane 34.”

(continued on page 29)

Untitled (Vertigo) Part One (cont.)
“Plane?” Dane, although not overly enthusiastic about it, had taken a basic physics course. He had heard of planes. “Levels outside the universe? Outside of the local spacetime?” He was joking, but Amelia didn’t respond to the sarcasm. She smiled. “Exactly! And the plane I want to get to doesn’t really have cities.” “And the planes are numbered?” “Yeah. There was a system assigned... oh, say three millennia ago, give or take a couple centuries.” “In one thousand B.C., people had found planes and numbered them?” “If you want to think of it that way, yes. Obviously, the system didn’t originate on Earth—part of plane 0001547210, but we adopted it easily enough.” “How do you memorize these plane numbers?” “Same way you memorize locker combinations or addresses. These plane and subplane numbers are addresses. Just for bigger places. And for ones that I don’t remember, I can retrieve the number through a multiversewide database-type thing. Just sample the local spacetime, stick it in the analyzer, and violà, it tells you the location.” “Um. Is this part of a computer?” “Naah...part of Vertigo.” “Vertigo?” “My car,” Amelia said, patting the steering wheel fondly. “Her name is Vertigo. When we try to Transcend quickly, you’ll know why.” Dane didn’t trust himself to speak. Finally, he managed to. “If we’re trying to get to another plane, how will driving westward help us?” “Vertigo works better near freshwater. There’s a lake around here. A few exits from now.” “Why?” “Why does Vertigo work better? Water can bend the local spacetime in some pretty cool ways. Fresh water. Too much salt screws it up. Has to do with the way the elements are bonded. Sodium upsets the bonds that are

manipulated to Transcend. Understand?” “To a point.” “Well, you don’t need to. All that was part of a required course I had to take to be able to Transcend. That’s when I had to memorize my native plane and sub-plane, in case I got lost or something, and got separated from Vertigo.” “ ‘Required course’? Who’s in charge of this?” “Well, I’ve never really met him. He’s from a different plane, a hard one to get to. We have a rough equivalent for it in some religions here. Heaven. Although Nirvana is in some ways closer to the reality.” “So this guy is God? What does that make you, Saint Amelia?” “One, he’s not God. Just a Godlike... figure. There is a difference. And I’m no saint. Actually, some saints could manage a sort of quasi-Transcending. Jesus Christ was pretty good at it, for someone with almost no training in this area. A natural. But that’s not the point. I’m more like what you, if you were Christian, would call an angel.” She paused to let this sink in. “You already know, though, that I’m not a stereotype. I don’t have a lyre and wings—although I do have a robe from last Halloween. I drive a car, have to pay for food and clothes and gas, and I enjoy getting laid. Religion plays no part in this. This plays a part in religion.” “You are mad.” “Sorry.” - Violet Pena

Cemetery Symphony
Movement II
(A Morbid comedy )

Derek Schultz, a junior at Clarence High School, is a fencer, sculptor, cellist and writer. But let’s get to the cool stuff. He enjoys blasting the ever loving heck out of his guitar, getting himself hopelessly lost on the open road, reciting whole Monty Python sketches and wandering through tough terrain in forests and quarries. The essentials of life according to him are AC/DC, Monty Python, German food and insanity. Even better, he owns a top hat. Enough said.

Beneath the earth it makes its Marks His coffin lying cold and dark. Heaven smiles upon this mound the mason Bury underground. The pig turned Butcher’s blade around that’s why she is underground. The fallen never rise again to leave the Fell and shadowed den. None like to wait for sleep and stone yet he will Wait with worms and loam. Something in his life went wrong and so he had to say “so Long.” I hope she’s having quite a Ball hanging out in heaven’s hall. The Brewer tried his homemade beer and that is why he’s buried here. The Greek the Roman gods of old the Betz are cast in vaults not gold. The family traveled to distant shores the ones who lingered live no More. A Lotta Beebe’s pierced her head I think it’s obvious why she’s dead. The fine young gentleman buried here sipped his fancy sherry. Alas, when he was fencing he forgot to Perry. Death was price for men he’d rob in court he should have shut his Gobb. Half in light, half in dark unlucky Fisher hooked a shark. My heart goes out to her or him who met a fate that turned out Grimm. The Reading stones are in two rows I’m writing as they decompose. The two of them are Dunn with life six feet under husband and wife. The second time I quake in fear for mocking our departed dear.

Derek’s other piece, an excerpt from a Clarence travelouge, appears on page 32

Good riddance.


Ellen Weisenburger is going to be a sophomore at Maryvale High School.
Should I die for my country? Sounds like a good cause but the leader is not so good

Not a Hero
I am not a hero That’s just not who I am I am not a zero I’ve got my own plans Hey don’t expect me to be the perfect one Hey just respect me because I am human

And I’m crying and I’m losing And I’m flying and I’m losing Stormy skies mornings fly by It’s spread its wings now it’s my turn
I choose to die for what I believe in If I get sick I’ll fight on ‘till I lose it Others tell me there are things worth dying for Not choosing which ones I ask myself Is that the way I’m supposed to die? Should I die not saying something deep? Knights died for honor and glory Reveling in chivalry Waiting for the prize on the table Waiting for the eyes of his lord

And I’m crying and I’m losing And I’m flying and I’m losing Stormy skies mornings fly by It’s spread its wings now it’s my turn
I see you fall I see you cry I see you bawl under black skies I help you out also others I help out sisters and brothers

And I’m crying and I’m losing And I’m flying and I’m losing Stormy skies mornings fly by It’s spread its wings now it’s my turn
My life doesn’t consist of self-less feeling all the time I’m going to live my century going to save in my own time I know that you think that I’m the future Don’t rush me I will become the future I’m not a hero I’m not a zero From here I go On To die The leader in the house of white One liar with a load of might Wants me to go and join the fight I his war on another land It’s like I’m lying to my friends I’m lying to myself that I’m for everything he says If I fight and die with that lie People won’t believe the truth

And I’m crying and I’m losing And I’m flying and I’m losing Stormy skies mornings fly by It’s spread its wings now it’s my turn
Should I die for you just because you want me to?

Poet Celia White shares her poetry.

Kassie Maser is going into 9th grade at Kenmore West High School. She likes American Idol, swimming, and changing the TV volume when it is on a prime number. She is planning to be a criminal defense lawyer, or a fashion designer, but will probably be on American Idol first.

Falling Up
Standing here next to you, I feel something happening. Something that’s completely out of our control, Almost like falling. But we aren’t falling down. This thing going on between us, It feels like we’re falling up.

Precipitation as a Self-Portrait
I am the rain. I am the steady rhythm on the ground that never seems to end. I am the gloomy grey cover that masks the sky and hides the sun. I am the clean smell of the air, the dirt washed away. I am the drops that pour over your fingers. I am the taste of water on your tongue, mild, but still there. I am the rain. The rain is me.

Excerpt from “The Wanderer’s Guide to Clarence”
(Please read with an upper class British accent.)

It is a well known fact among the small children of Clarence Center that a goblin lives in the woods of Ransom Creek. This green and scaly apparition seems extraordinarily bad-tempered and violent in nature. According to the little people, this goblin is responsible for the disappearance of younger siblings and for the recent destruction of some build sites near the creek. This so called “goblin” is said to be seen at the very late hours of the night ripping out nails and beams from these build sites, causing beams to fall and crush innocent redneck construction workers. Curiously, the lush forest seems to be creeping steadily outward over these destroyed sites. Small fuzzy creatures have begun to make their homes in the new forest. This superstition has been regarded by the old people of the neighborhood as complete rubbish because, according to them, “These kids have seen nothing but a woodchuck.” - Derek Schultz

Dan Kukura is heading off to Alfred State College next year. This is Dan’s third consecutive year at this writing camp, and, unless he returns in some administrative capacity, will be sorely missed. Good luck Dan. Ahh....the memories. Good luck Dan!
“Okay I’m sure whatever was out there is gone now. So let’s go to my car so I can call for some more of my people and I’ll have you home soon, okay? How does that sound?” He smiled comfortingly. “Thanks, but I’d like to have my mom come get me,” The policeman pulled out his cell phone and handed it to him. “Call your mom, while I get some more of my friends over here, okay? I’ll be right back.” He turned to leave, “I’m assuming you wont runaway, but don’t runaway if I’m wrong about that.” He walked out of the door and bounced with each step he took out the door to his car. Henkel looked down at the cell phone in his hands, his thumb shaking over the buttons. He finally managed to pull himself together to punch in his home phone number. “Mom,” he began. “Yes? Henkel, honey, how are you? Are you having fun with your father and Uncle Leon”? She stopped, “Henkel, what’s wrong? What’s the matter? Do you want me to come and bring you home? -put your father on hon.” “H-h-he can’t.” “Oh-my-god,” she stopped for a moment, “Is Leon there”? She asked desperately. “He,” Henkel paused, “he can’t either.” The policeman turned from his car and headed back to the cabin. “Who’s there with you?” she asked trying not to cry. “A police officer,” he gulped. “Put him on hon.” Henkel handed the phone to the policeman. “Ma’am, this is Officer Michael Palco of the NJPD, I think it would be best if you head down here and pick up our son,” he looked at Henkel then turned to face outside the door. “Yes, when you- yes, when you get here I will try and explain everything as best I can. No Ma’am, I wont let him out of my sight.”

CHAPTER II (segment:past)

“Knock, knock... Guess” Excerpt from “At Gunpoint with a Demon” “Listen son, what’s your name?” “Henkel.” “Henkel, I can see that you are on edge right now, and I would like to know...” he hesitated, “There are some weird things I just saw outside and I would like to know what exactly happened here... an attack of some kind I’m guessing? -I’m not asking you to taddle tale, but I would like to know who did it.” Henkel opened his mouth but no words left his lips. “Look can I call your parents or something? Give me your phone number, let’s go to my car outside and -” “NO!” Henkel protested strongly, staring out the door. He gripped the edge of the table so tightly his knuckles turned white. “Why not now? Did a person do it, are they still around,” the officer rested his palm on the grip of his gun. “That monster,” he stopped. “I see... was it a bear? A group of wolves?” the officer looked sideways at him questioningly, however trying not to make the boy feel as if he was being interrogated. “Neither... I-it, it took both of em. Me, my uncle and my dad were out hunting for three days , and well... we couldn’t find anything so we headed back today –no, yesterday and were going to leave but my dad disappeared and then this morning my uncle opened the door to scare away some raccoons a-a-and... I saw him pulled around the side of the cabin so I closed the door and... I hid myself, and got my grandpa’s gun...” his words began to pick up speed as the police officer held up his hand to say that was enough for now.

“Henkel Grade, I believe my son James knows you from school. You two get along?” asked Officer Palco. “Yea, we’re pretty good friends, I mostly know him from the cub scouts, we were working on a group project together,” Henkel was starting to feel better. “Well that’s neat, keeping your marks up in school?” he asked. “Yes sir,” replied Henkel. “That’s good,” Michael couldn’t think of anything to say, he’d dealt with these situations before but not with kids. “How long till my mom gets here?” “I say about any time now. Henkel, I’m not sure if you’re feeling up to it, but I need to know some things. Can you tell me anymore about what happened here last night?” He took a fallen chair and stood it upright then sat down. Henkel stared at the wall, then made a quick glance at the window over the kitchen sink and shuddered, “It was a monster, Uncle Leon, my dad and me all came back to the cabin. Well my dad didn’t come back. Uncle Leon opened the door to scare away some raccoons, then.” Henkel closed his eyes and curled up against the wall trying to shake the fear away, instead it grew. “He went outside and didn’t come back, and then it was on the outside of the window,” Henkel hid his face and pointed to the end of the cabin. “And then it started banging on the door.” “When did you first notice something was wrong?” “My dad went missing, we were on the trail.” The Officer looked out the door. “The one to the left?” “Yes sir.” A truck pulled up followed by an ambulance. Two police officers stepped out of the truck they walked towards Henkel and the officer. “Alright now I’m going to leave you with a paramedic and he’ll keep you company until your mom comes. I gotta work with these other guys for now. You’ll be okay.” A Paramedic came through the door, “Hello officer, does he appear to be injured?” he asked looking Henkel over.

“No he’s doing pretty well. But, not entirely adjusted to the situation quite yet.” Michael replied stepping out. “Officer Palco,” another policeman called to him. “Yes sir,” Michael approached them around the body. “What happened here as far as you know? That boy the only witness?” asked Officer Jenkins. “He’s our only witness, and he told me that he was walking back to the cabin from down that trail to the left. On their way back his father disappeared and later that nigh his uncle, apparently this poor guy, opened the door to frighten away what he thought was raccoons. –Now the door was pretty beat up when I got here but there were a load of scratch marks at the base, and I’d safely gamble that they were fresh from last night. I asked him if he saw who did it, and he says it wasn’t a man. I asked him if it was a pack of wolves or a bear, but he said it wasn’t any of those. But whatever it was it scared the crap out of the kid.” Officer Range crouched down next to the body and looked it over carefully. “Those are defiantly bite marks. They aren’t numerous enough to be from a group of wolves, but a bear doesn’t just leave its prey out like this. I’d like to say a man did this because a predator doesn’t just leave its victims like this, but I can’t find anything to actually indicate a man. There are some organs missing.” “So it’s not a bear or wolf, but a man is in question. A Cannibalistic maniac persay?” inquired Jenkins. “It was an animal of some kind, not a man in my opinion,” stated Palco. “Well we still got no evidence of anything. You take Range and check down that path to find the other body. Is the boy’s mother here?” “Not yet, she said she was going to come down as quickly as possible, I don’t know how far they live from here. Her name is Mrs. Grade.”


Anna Guzda is a sophmore at Amherst High School. Anna first started writing when she and her cousin composed a family news letter to inform herAunt in Virginia about family events. She enjoys softball, tennis and horseback riding. Her inspirations for writing come from her grandparents Mildred and Siegurd Waldheim and her Aunt Sue (a.k.a. Tanta) who first informed her of this writing camp. Also her brother John and mom and dad are very supportive, and her cousin Kate who she started the family news with.

A Life Without Love
An old lady with wrinkles and gray hair walks the streets at night who has a mysterious secret that only her companion, and only living friend know about. This secret she hopes never gets out, or her dreams of leaving the city and having a family will only remain dreams and never become reality. Is being a mean and tough old lady just to cover up what she longs for? To be loved, and innocent? This ladies life is just like the soap operas that she loves to watch, but the one who passes her on the street would never suspect that this short woman with big black boots, a fur coat, an old hat with a feather and a huge purse would lead a life lead by lies and the pursuit of blood. Is there more to Ms. Jones that meets the eye? Is there more then the old muscles replaced with portly skin? Her big dark eyes act as a window into her deep dark soul, a soul that contains a past full of lies, deception and murder. Murder so grusome, not even a life time of church going could redeem. Never the less, she silently humms the hymns sung in church as she walks down the dark cobble street to the front door of her five story walk up in the city. There her male companion waits for her with golden brown cookies filled with mouth watering chocolate morsels. She takes a cookie and gazes into his eyes as he askes how her day was. She simply answers “Fine”, trying so hard not to reveal the horrific day she had. She walks into her room and empties her large carpet bag purse out onto her bed. A dagger wrapped in a blood saturated cloth falls out, followed by a bag of money and priceless gems and jewels. She throws the valuables into her dresser drawer as her suspicious compan-

ion pokes his head through the door. She yells at him to go away, and like an obedient dog he obeys, but not before he gets a good look at the bloody cloth wrapped around the dagger first. He slowly backs away from his girlfriends bedroom door and debates with himself if he should call the police. Not tonight, he said to himself as he falls asleep on the couch. Meanwhile in Ms. Jones’ master bathroom, she wipes the thick red blood off of the minature sword as she thinks to herself once again, Why am I doing this? When did it all go wrong? She thought of happier and more innocent times when she was a little girl. She was a lonely girl who was deprived of the love her mother and father couldn’t give to her, or each other. Was it her state of loneliness and emotionless childhood that made her crave destruction? Or was it the fact that she could never show love to anyone or anything that made her crazy? She tucked the dagger underneath her bed then made her way out to the living room. Her companion was slumbering on the tattered couch. Poor man, he deserves better, she whispered to herself. She stuffed another cookie into her mouth and went to bed, where she dreamed of herself walking down the isle at her wedding. The man was not revealed to her, but he became clearer as she approached him. Closer and closer she came to him, but her dream turned into a nightmare of sorrow and death. She realized that she was awake, and not dreaming of remorse. She fell back to sleep never to awaken again. Her grim secrets would never be told, and her crimes would go unpunished. But to her, she was punished enough. A life with out love was a life not worth living.

No More Time Wasted
I’m tired of myself just going with the flow, Always agreeing and always saying no. Judging others and them judging me, Is not the way I want to be. I’ll put up a fight and yell and cry, Before I let my life pass by. I don’t want to make excuses and live a lie, That would make me want to curl up and die. For fifteen years I’ve been on this earth, Am I living up to all its worth? Shooting for a birdie instead of a par Is what I’m doing to make me go far. No more time wasted on drying my tears, No more time wasted avoiding my fears. Go ahead and say what you want, At least you give the time to tease and taunt. But I won’t waste my time caring about what you say, After all, tomorrow is another day.

Friends Forever
Our blissful memories over come me and make me forget you are far away. Knowing our friendship won’t halt or faulter gets me through the longest of days. Always remember our bond is deathless, it shall never come to an end. For all those times my life was filled with glum, you always helped my heart re-mend. Don’t ever forget me, but if you do, think of me as the breeze that spans your cheek. Think of me as the clash of thunder and the suns rays passing you by the creek. You are the nicest guy a friend could have, your right there when I get into a fight. And now its my turn to be there for you during your days and through your darkest nights. Friends forever is what we said, I will keep that promise even after I’m dead.

more poems by Anna Guzda

Frank Flis reads while Dan and Cliff listen intently (somewhat).


I am a philosopher, a writer, a poet, a rider, an actor, a musician, a runner...I can do this all day. I guess I should be more specific of who I am so let me start over. My name is Lydia Seidler and my writing consists of me writing one word down and then I write a million more words down that have suddenly popped into my head. A brief biography is extremely difficult for me to write down (I am long winded when it comes to writing); instead I will tell of my journey here. I will be a sophomore at Williamsville South High school in the fall; however, that was not always known to me. I was born in Pittsburgh and then my parents moved us to Philadelphia due to my father’s return to school. Next we moved to Vermont where I struggled to find the real me and to get used to the fact that people will always watch me because my father is a rabbi and I am a depressing writer. I began to bury myself in books and music, I even picked up the trumpet to help get out my feelings. Now that I am here in Buffalo I have found that writing has helped keep me sane and to explain how I feel about life. I think it’s not who I am that is important, but how I got here (even though my explanation doesn’t even hit all the important things like how I used to despise writing and breaking my arm by carrying my trumpet...that would take for ever and this is after all a brief biography).

It’s coming again Crawling up my body Creeping over me Like a dark shadow Damn the evil spirit Which consumes and sucks All my hopes and dreams It’s coming Soon there will be Nothing left of me Only a dark form Staring out the window Quietly being consumed By a shadow that Grows inside It’s coming My mood falls gloomy Eyes become vacant Looking and watching Contented faces pass Never knowing or Seeing The sorrowful shape That huddles alone It’s coming Thoughts turning to death and sadness The evil spirit has Begun to Take over I don’t know If I can recover this time Maybe the darkness Will finally Consume all that’s left Of the figure that was once Me

The day is beautiful A crowed gathers Walking across a small happy creek Each person carrying mixed emotions A crowed gathers Full of foreboding laughter Each person carrying mixed emotions As they walk along Full of foreboding laughter Hangs the heavy mist As they walk along Battling thick air near the stake Hangs the heavy mist As gloom steps forward Battling thick air near the stake Come the superstitious ones As gloom steps forward Surrounding the stake Come the superstitious ones With reverence for the place Surrounding the stake People stand and wait With reverence for the place An innocent body is bound and held fast People stand and wait The girl struggles An innocent body is bound and held fast Her anguished scream rings out The girl struggles Watched in horror by a woman Her anguished scream rings out Engulfed in convulsive sobs Watched in horror by a woman Walking across a small happy creek Engulfed in convulsive sobs The day is beautiful - Lydia Seidler

Running running Heart beating faster Deep breath in the chest Push harder Don’t let the pain take over Keep going Finish the journey Don’t allow the legs to slowdown Where am I going? I’m not sure I’m running Feeling the wind in my hair And the cement at my feet Faces and homes pass by Waving or watching as I go Why am I running? I can’t answer for sure Feeling silence and solitude Going somewhere far away Pushing through the pain Until I collapse Running through life Running from pain Running from people Running running Heart beating faster Deep breath in the chest Push harder Don’t let the pain take over - Lydia Seidler


Marwa Eltagouri is a freshman at Grand Island High School. She enjoys art, making fun of cheesy soap operas and drama films, playing soccer, Nickelback, writing, arguing, hanging out with friends, and trying to perfect the art of comedy. She would like to learn how to speak Italian, play the Persian guitar, learn to surf, and somehow manage to scrape up the position of U.S Supreme Court Justice. She despises earth science, strawberries, John Steinbeck’s works, road trips across the country and fish fry. This pessimist plans to live past the age of thirty and cannot write poetry to save her life.

he annoying buzz of my cheap and very obnoxious alarm clock went off at precisely 6:03 am on a warm day in late June, and I had no idea why. I screamed. I always scream when my alarm clock goes off, and yet again I have no idea why. It just, sort of, well, is very sudden and abrupt. I could not fall back asleep, so I grudgingly got up and made my bed. I opened my bedroom door, making my way to the bathroom, but just as I opened the door I was blinded by a swarm of bright, blinding shades of yellow, blue, and green. These alarming colors had taken over the entire upstairs, yet they had not passed the safe boundaries of my room. At that moment I remembered that a terrible and wretched event was taking place today-- The World Cup Quarter-Finals. France vs. Brazil. I groaned. If you haven’t figured it out yet, my family is literally obsessed with the Brazilian Soccer Team. Why? No idea. I am not Brazilian, I have no relatives in Brazil, and I’ve never been to Brazil. So why Brazil? I’m not sure, but it could be because they are soccer fanatics, and all international soccer fans love Brazil, which is apparently a rather talented team. Back to my family. These soccer lunatics are insane. Pardon me, I meant “football” instead of soccer. I


believe we may own well over a hundred Brazilian flags, three 17 ft. banners, and a zillion posters of Brazilian soccer players. Come to think of it, our furniture consists of mostly light shades of mint green and naplels yellow, as well as our walls. We own two life-size cardboard figures of Ronaldihno and Ronaldo, who happen to be Brazilian soccer players. If it isn’t Brazil that my family loves, it would be soccer itself. We own about twelve soccer nets, and maybe fifty soccer balls, of which 70% of them are dead. We have a heap of different sized shin guards, a bookshelf of playbooks and players’ biographies, and a closet full of cleats. I was born knowing what a midfielder was and was sung soccer chants to bed instead of lullabies as a child. I can tell you the life story of most soccer players, from their first word to their seasonal record twelve years ago. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if my parents have already arranged my marriage to some crazy celebrity soccer player’s son. After I got dressed, I went downstairs and was not surprised to see Brazilian flags everywhere. Ignoring the decorations, I walked straight up to my mother, who happened to be making pancakes over the griddle. “Hey, mom?” I questioned as I stuck my finger into the batter and licked it. My mom gave me her infamous “stop-what-you’re-doing-right-now-or-you’re-grounded” look, so I went over to the sink and washed my finger, and then continued. “Can I go to Sarah’s house?” Yet just as I finished asking her something whizzed by my head and landed straight into the pancake batter. My mom and I looked at each other, and then I went over to the bowl and peered into it. I stuck my hand into the

bowl and pulled out a gross-looking toy figure of Brazil’s captain, Cafu, who happened to be laced with an evenly spread coat of pancake batter. “Ugggghhhhh,” I exclaimed, disgusted, holding the toy out for everyone to see. My brother Matt, who had been celebrating in honor of today’s match and was apparently the culprit, came over and laughed at the sight of it. My mom gave him the look she had given me earlier. “Sorry?” my brother said with a hint of questioning in his tone, as if he didn’t know what to say. He then grabbed the toy out of my hand, and when my mother looked away, popped it into his mouth and ran off. My mom turned her attention back on me. “Are you going to Sarah’s to watch the game?” she asked. “Errrr.....” I stuttered, “not really, no.” “But honey, you’ll miss the game,” “So.............?” I asked, not seeing that as a valid excuse not to send me. “So you’ll have to stay home,” my mother replied calmly. “Mom!” I cried, making my mom jump, nearly burning herself, “I ......I....Do I have to?” I exhaled desperately. “Well, honey, you really should be supporting the team--” “Mom!” I interrupted angrily, exploding, “Just because you and Dad and Matt and Josh and Dave are all obsessed with stupid Brazil doesn’t mean I am too!” I stomped my foot furiously. “I’m sick of this insane, well, insanity! I have my own life, too! Face it, I hate soccer! It might have been fun at one point of my life, but know it’s just dreadful—because of you, and you, and you!” I pointed at each member of my family, from my appalled mother to my father and brothers, whom were true Brazil fans, dressed in team colors and face paint, waving flags, doing flips, and clucking like turkeys. Now, however, they briefly paused their celebration, and turned their attention on me. Glad to have an audience, I continued. “Guess what? You’ll never believe this but your beloved daughter dislikes soccer!” (My father winced, not because of this last statement, but because of the fact that I had said soccer instead of

“football”.) Again, I continued. “And you know what? I HATE BRAZIL, TOO! As a matter of a fact, I HOPE THEY LOSE AGAINST FRANCE!” As I concluded my speech, tension filled the room. After what seemed like hours, my mother quietly said, “You’re not going anywhere, young lady.” “FINE!” I bellowed and stormed off. I stomped up to my room, and slammed the door shut., and if that wasn’t enough, I opened it back up and slammed it twice more. I collapsed onto my bed, feeling hot tears flow down my cheeks. I then cried myself to sleep. Two hours later I woke up, still filled with fury. I got off my bed, and walked over to my closet. I immediately began to strip my closet of anything that had to do with soccer. This took me twenty-three minutes -– no lie. When I finished, I scooped everything up and headed outside to throw it in the trash. As I made my way outside, however, I came upon many long frowns, and eyes sparkling with tears. “What’s wrong?” I asked, astounded that my high-on-life family could be so miserable. After a long moment of silence, my brother Josh said somberly, “Brazil lost, and it’s all because of you, you selfish little traitor,” I gasped, absolutely stunned. I watched as each of my brothers violently brushed their shoulders against mine as they walked by. How could I be so conceited, so cruel? Sure, I never truly believed that France would defeat Brazil, for as far as I was concerned I knew for a fact that France didn’t have a chance. Yet could it be that because of those hateful words that had escaped my mouth willingly without a trace of thought, that my beloved family, no matter how crazy, were completely torn and shattered? I dropped everything I was carrying and left it to lie on the floor, and shamefully made my way up to my room. As I sat on my bed, however, something florescent lying in my closet caught my eye. I went over to investigate, and realized that I had missed something earlier. I pulled out a pair of shiny, bright yellow

(continued on page 41)

(Brazil cont.)
cleats with cobalt and emerald stripes along the sides, accented with soft, smooth cobalt laces. My mind flashed back to when I had received them, not more than a year ago. My grandmother was visiting from England, and being a soccer addict herself, she had gotten us all soccer-related gifts, such as jerseys, posters, etc. However, when she approached me, she handed me an azure, shimmery, box with the Nike label on it. “For you,” she said softly, her eyes shining with love. I opened the box, and pulled out those shiny, yellow cleats. “Oh, grandma,” I exclaimed, “they’re beautiful.” “They sure are, aren’t they?” she answered, “I paid seventy pounds for them.” “What! Oh, grandma, I.....that’s so much money! You really shouldn’t have.” “No, no dear, you’re much too young to be thinking about prices. Besides, you deserve them.” “No, grandma, I don’t. You see, I don’t play soccer anymore. I quit a couple months ago.” “But why? You were so good, so talented! Soccer could have given you so many opportunities in life!” “Yes, but you’ve always told me you need two things two succeed in something: talent and integrity. Sure, I might have had talent, but not the integrity.” My grandmother looked at me for a long time. I could tell she was disappointed, for I was the first of her grandchildren to reject soccer. “Well, keep the shoes,” she said after a while, “They may come in handy.” She was right. Almost a year later, I sat their staring at them. Then I had this crazy urge to try them on. So there I was, lacing the shoes up, trying them on for the first time. They fit perfectly. I decided to go outside. As I stepped into the garage, I caught my eye on a soccer ball. I grabbed it and headed outside, despite the fact that it was raining. I started to dribble the ball, feeling free as my feet played with it. It had been so long since I had last touched it. I went up to the goal and shot. The ball went

whizzing into the net. “Goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I heard someone shout behind me. I turned around. It was my brother Josh. He was smiling. “Glad to have you back, sis,” he said. With that, he lunged toward me, trying to steal the ball. I laughed, for I hadn’t remembered ever having so much fun playing soccer. One by one the other members of my family came out, and we were all diving this way and that, struggling to keep the ball. About an hour and a half later, we all collapsed, laughing as we caught our breaths. My mother came over and hugged me. “I’m proud of you, dear,” she said, a tear running down her face. “I am too, mom,” I answered. At that moment, I didn’t feel a single spurge of embarrassment of my family’s “passion”, as I was taught to call it later. I was happy to realize that soccer was not just some crazy obsession of my family, but simply a way to bring us closer together, no matter how intense it may get. - Marwa Eltagouri

Victoria Licata is thirteen years old and an eighth grader at Heim Middle School in Williamsville, NY. She enjoys fencing, swimming, reading and writing books, hanging out with friends, jumping on trampolines and watching movies. She gets her inspirations from oceans, movies, other authors, and animals. She says, “If I could visit one place in the world I’d go to Australia.”

The Wall
was a wall. It was old, so old that ivy coated and recoated it until the original gray stone was swallowed up in the sea of green. No one, man, woman, or child, had come near it in ten years. No one approached it because everyone was afraid. Afraid of what? The wall? The mortar chipped, the stones were cracked, worn down, and well in need of repair. Then what? The ivy? It was not poisonous, it was not dangerous. Then what was everyone so afraid of? The mythical gateway and the land beyond. Ancient legends had rumored of a hidden door in the wall, a portal of starlight into the Otherlands. No one dared find the door, it was the Otherlands and the fear of the unknown that kept everyone away. But now a child is walking, his eyes scrutinizing every inch of the wall. He removes a dirty scrap of parchment from the pocket from his worn and patched blue trousers, consults it, and flicks a piece of hair out of his eyes. He takes a step towards the wall and lifts his hand to push aside the teeming masses of ivy; it takes a long time to push it all aside. When he does, he finds a golden door, elaborately wrought, with a carving of a star, and unreadable runes in sweeping patterns underneath. He traces the runes lightly with a fingertip, looks up at the star, then puts his hands against

At the edge of the city, there

the handle, it is icy cold , and has known no human touch since it was built. He hesitates, fishes the piece of parchment out of his pocket once again, and looks at it, brows furrowed. He looks up at the door and pulls out a silver glass key from a chain around his neck. He takes a breath, removes the chain, fits the key in the keyhole, turns it, and pushes. Haltingly, but without creaking the door swings open, and music seems to come from inside, so alien and yet so familiar. His face lights up, he smiles, and he glances at the parchment in delight. He takes a step inside, and the music seems to get slightly louder and sweeter. In a flash of white light, he is enveloped and disappears. The door swings slowly shut, the music fades, and the ivy falls back over the door in vines and ringlets. All is silent, it is as if nothing had taken place. But something has, the little boy has vanished.


Zoe Obstarczyk is a funny and outgoing 13 year old. She goes to Cheektowaga Central Middle School and will be entering the 8th grade. Zoe’s hobbies include: playing on the computer; writing stories and songs, reading, and watching TV shows like Big Brother. Her interests are: dance, playing basketball, hanging out with friends, and having fun! She professes to have enjoyed being a part of the WNY young writer’s project and looks forward to coming back next year. “If I didn’t have a pen on hand I would stop breathing and if I had no paper my heart would stop beating.”

Pain is Something I Never Fear at Night ain is something I go through a lot, like cars going through the tolls and paying a price for just going a long for a ride. I feel as if this quote was made for me just like peanut butter is for jelly. I feel pain in different ways, but at night I feel as if the darkness hides the pain from my eyes and heart. At night when I dream, I almost totally forget where I am in life. And what pain I go through as almost a routine.

Lost Love
Separated, devastated Lost We loved each other no matter at what Cost How long again until we meet Again My husband and my dear old Friend I’m coming, soon, here I Am Once more we walk hand in Hand We were lost and now we are Found Our love has no Bounds


Born Again
And when the guitar starts the city crumbles and falls down to rubble. And then the guitar takes it slow and then speeds it up again. Right away when the speed picked up I saw a bright, new, colorful city take its place. And people formed too. All of the people come and watch the band. Then the band disappears and the people look for them. Then the song is over.

I see a dead, gray, gloomy, city.

Sense Bravery
I see bravery as a rock of heroism. I smell fear a mile away. I hear the cries of pain as if a building exploded in my face. I taste hatred as if it was always on my tongue. I am touched with anger until I am weak. And I am still searching for the rock that will help me face it all.

search. Lonely, empty, blank. There’s nothing worth finding. Hoping I can get out. Maybe. Wait!. It’s just a dream.

Time ticking away. As I walk and

Erica McCallie is a 13 year old who attends Saint Alouyious school. She is in the 8th grade and loves school. Her favorite hobbies in and out school are basketball, football, cheerlanding, volleyball and baseball. She is interested in becoming a doctor when she gets older and would also like to see the world. She has visited Orlando, Utah, Virginia Beach, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Rochester. She is very funny and outgoing, and is creative when she isalone. She professes to have had a great time in the WNYWP camp.

Outside is something that we do. When we’re gone we wonder who. Sit down on concrete and have a blast. While we see other people walking fast. We feel the air that blows the trees. When we sit the grass, yeah that’s me. Bugs fly, bees get chased Barbeque grills smell so great. Flowers look so beautiful Now its time to end with an outside card.

Family is everything I love. My mom, dad, brother, sister. They may do stupid things but they are still loved. They’re my family so they have to be loved. It’s not about the money or how they act. It’s about the love they give back.

Lindsay Warnes is senior at Hamburg High School who hopes to become either an Art teacher or an Art therapist. During her free time she enjoys taking walks, drinking coffee, playing dress up, listening to music, drawing and writing. She also likes to be around her family, of five brothers and one sister, along with 6 nephews and a nice. Her favorite holiday is Halloween and, even though she admits the season is crazy, really likes the lights on the houses around Christmas. Hearts made out of plastic Snap and break so easily I’d take the gun from your Most cherished spot to point It at the one you love the most. To make the crimson Stain my white, do you Realize just how holy that is? When the silver hits the floor Only to make a sound of Silence and Shock, The look on your face will tell it all. When anatomy pours out Of the temple revealing The garbage that truly it is Stumbling out of the torn and Worthless bag. The red pieces that fall From the most sacred Treasure will represent Your life in the biggest Form. 4th of July explosions bare No Comparison To witnessing the Blood splatter the wall. Even Pollack’s greatest Pieces fall short of meaning. And watching the clear liquid Form in your eyes after You hear the Heart- wrenching news; Would still equal Happiness In your blood pumping muscle.


Grace Emily Kreher is a thirteen year old student at Clarence Middle School. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, playing field hockey, and hanging out with her friends. She plays the flute in her school band, and takes eight dance classes a week during the school year. Her favorite time of year is summer because she loathes being forced to learn math, read annoying books that she hates, and wasting time in music class. Also, during the summer, her favorite T . show, Big Brother, is on. This summer she wants Kaysar to win. Her .V favorite book is The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen and her favorite movie is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. She lives with her mom, dad, older brother Aaron, younger brother Nathan, her adorable dog Maggie, and her malicious cat Arthur. She is thrilled to be a part of the Western New York Writing Project.

I see blue blue blue blue blue blue sky clear blue perfect blue blue that goes on and on blindingly bright blue impossibly dark blue blue blue blue blue sky never- ending blue blue that won’t stop the sky is perfect

Flower in the Wind
friendship dances it breathes and sways in the breeze that is life its roots need to be strong its stem needs to be hardy, yet it needs to be flexible sometimes the breeze turns to wind and the stem of friendship is tested but then the wind settles down and the sun comes out and the beautiful petals of friendship open friendship is a flower

The people who will fight and fight and fight until their end don’t realize that they have forgotten to live, for fighting is not living, it is simply existing and they will be remembered as ones who fought, and not as ones who did any good

I live through the idea that maybe if I hang on hard enough I’ll get somewhere good


Lauren Carlson goes to City Honors School and will be entering eighth grade in the fall. She loves snowboarding, dancing, playing the piano and violin, and playing tennis. This is her second summer at the young writer’s workshop. She says that she had a great time and thinks her writing has definitely improved. She has an appreciation for the following quote from Woody Allen; “My education was dismal. I went to a series of schools for mentally disturbed teachers.”


road, carrying an old black umbrella and wearing a brown bowler hat that has certainly seen better days. He walks slowly, as though he has nowhere to go but is walking to get somewhere. He enters a town and stands under the glowing letters that read “Wallgreens.” He lights a cigarette, inhales deeply and continues to walk. The only sign of life in this little town is the occasional light in the closely packed apartments and small homes. The man checks his old leather banded watch and reads 2:30 am. As he walks past an alley he sees a fight, and probably a robbery taking place in the shadows, he hurries past. As he reaches a street he turns left, a light mist begins to fall but he does not put up the umbrella. After another left he finds himself standing at the bottom step of an apartment building that is very dilapidated and seems as if to be sagging or crying, it is as though the entire building is grieving. As he enters the apartment building and pushes the little arrow pointing up by the elevator, the concierge murmurs something about a gloomy night and the man just gives a half nod in reply. The creaky elevator comes with a dusty BING and the doors slowly part. As the man pushes the #6 button for floor six he sighs. BING goes the elevator and the man walks down a hall that has a horrible paint job and a carpet that reaks. He opens the creaky door of apartment 6C and hangs the bowler hat that has seen better days and the black umbrella on a rusty hook by the door. As he walks through the room he notices the pipes on the ceiling and the stain on the carpet. He sits in a ripped, overstuffed armchair with his head in his hands and cries. Little does anyone know, this forty-six year old man has just lost his job as a delivery boy, lost his wife and his young daughter. Along with all of this he has lost his reason to live.

A nondescript man walks along an old dirt


Jason Silverstein will be a sophomore at Williamsville North. He is writer for the Next section of the Buffalo News and appears in it almost weekly. He is a music geek, citing his favorite bands as Nine Inch Nails, Mushroomhead, The Strokes, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, People In Planes, and many, many more. He is also a movie geek; his favorite movies are Magnolia, Fight Club, Punch Drunk Love, Pulp Fiction, and Eyes Wide Shut. Some of his other hobbies include tennis, fiction writing, and playing guitar. His favorite writer at the time is Bret Easton Ellis, who he credits as influencing his writing style greatly.

Paranoid Pat
day, snapping Paranoid Pat out of his state of spacing out. Immediately, he panicked. His mind raced with thoughts of who it could possibly be on the other line. What if it’s someone out to get me? he wondered. I know who it is. It’s the Illuminati! They know that I know too much. They’re calling...they’re calling to get me! I figured them out and they need to wipe me out before I can say anything! No, what if it’s a sniper? And this is a kind of Phone Booth thing? I saw that movie, I know what’ll happen! I pick it up and from then on any sudden movement I make could get my head blasted right off my shoulders! What if it’s the terrorist? Oh god, it’s the terrorist, I know it! There’s bomb in the phone! They put a goddamn bomb in my goddamn phone! Reluctantly, he snatched the phone, and the instant the phone was off the receiver he started running for the kitchen to grab his gun in case he needed to defend himself. “Hello?!” he screamed into the phone. “Hello. This is Sam calling from Mastercard. Did you know that Mastercard now offers-” “Damn!” Paranoid Pat screamed, throwing the phone back on the receiver, still tightly grasping the knife. Sam from Mastercard...right. Like I’m going to believe that, he thought to himself. Then, before he even had a chance to go on to anything else, the phone rang again, causing him to repeat his process of insane thoughts as to who could be on the other line. Again, though, curiosity got the better of him and he picked up. This curiosity of

The phone rang for the first time that

mine is going to be the death of me, he thought to himself. “What the hell do you want!” he yelled into the phone. People five blocks away probably heard him. “Paranoid Pat?” said the voice. It was Fred, a good friend of Paranoid Pat. “Fred?” said Paranoid Pat. “Yes-um.” He answered. “Is this actually Fred, or is this a double? A double, isn’t it?” “Oh, Paranoid Pat. You’re so paranoid.” He chuckled to himself. “Ok...assuming you actually are who you claim to be...why are you bothering me today?” “Paranoid Pat...well, frankly, I’m corcerned with you. I know you’re cautious and everything, but you haven’t been out of your house in months. It’s time you get out there and take advantage of the world around you! It’s a beautiful place out here!” Fred made a loud inhaling noise, as if he was deeply breathing in the nice, clean, fresh air of the outside world. “No, never again.” answered Paranoid Pat. “There’s too many people out there that are out to get me and too much other shit to worry about, too.” “Oh, come on, Paranoid Pat. Don’t be like that that. It’s a beautiful day today! I mean, just look out your window.” “I can’t.” answered Paranoid Pat. “I had a thick sheet of titanium placed over all the windows. Windows are the next place an intruder is going to try after the door, which is also safely secured.” “Oh, come on Paranoid Pat. Just once. Listen, we can go out for lunch, go to a base-

ball game...whatever you want! I’ll be there in just a few minutes to pick you up.” Before Paranoid Pat could protest, Fred hung up. After a few minutes, Fred arrived at the house and rang the doorbell. Paranoid Pat consulted one of the many video cameras he had set up to make sure that it was in fact Fred. For the first time in month, he set foot out of the house. He was obviously very reluctant to do so and his mind instantly filled with worries, but he figured it could do him some good. After all, Fred was right: It was a beautiful day outside. “It’s good to finally see you again.” said Fred once they finally got settled into Fred’s luxurious new car. “I almost forgot what you looked like!” Fred opened up his glove compartment and pulled out two gas masks. He put one on himself and handed the other to Paranoid Pat. “What’s this for?” Paranoid Pat asked, taking the mask with confusion. “Jeez, didn’t you hear?” Fred said, adjusting the strap on the back of his mask. “There was some kind of hoopla at the nuclear power plant just outside of town and they’re afraid that some kind of deadly gas may have been released. So they’re telling everyone to wear these for the time being, you know, just to be safe.” Paranoid Pat took the mask and put it on. “Alright, we’re all set to go.” They set off. They eventually pulled up to Lou’s, a bar at which Fred was a regular. Paranoid Pat slowly got out of the car and started walking into the bar with Fred. Suddenly, Fred stopped. “Did I lock the car?” he frantically asked. “What?” said Paranoid Pat. “Did I lock the car?!” Fred started running to his car while continuously pressing the lock button on his key. After pressing it about twenty times, Fred finally calmed down with reassurance that the door was, in fact, locked. “Sorry.” said Fred, catching his breath. “This is a bad neighborhood, you know? Lots of carjackings and robberies and all that noise. Can’t be too safe in this neighborhood, man, can’t be too safe...” And with that, they entered the bar. Once in the bar, both of them were

loudly greeted with hellos! and mugs being raised in the air. Fellow regulars, Paranoid Pat assumed. Paranoid Pat and Fred took a seat at the bar and were almost instantly given a nice, cold glass of beer. Paranoid Pat smelled it first to make sure there was nothing added to the beer, nothing....”suspicious” it. Once he was sure it was ok, he took a small sip. He glanced up at the TV above the bar, turned to the news, and it was all the same old stuff: Murder, rapes, threats of terrorism, kidnappings, Big Foot sightings, etc. etc. “Nice place, huh?” said Fred. Paranoid Pat mindlessly nodded. “See, this place used to” All of the sudden, a loud alarm went off. The lights in the bar went off and a red light on the wall started glowing. Everybody screamed and ducked under tables. Paranoid Pat looked around in fear and confusion. “What’s going on!” he screamed partially to himself. No one answered, as no one probably heard over the screaming and yelling. “Just get down, get down!” Fred called out from under a nearby table, yanking Paranoid Pat off his stool and below the table with him. “What is this?” Paranoid Pat said with his head on the ground and his hands on the back of his head, trembling. “Don’t worry, don’t worry.” Fred said half calmly, half panicked. “If this is what I think it is, don’t worry. But-” He cut himself off to look behind him at the sound of a loud scream from the woman behind him. “Just stay calm, people, stay calm!” somebody, Paranoid Pat couldn’t see who, called to the patrons. The lights were all still off with the exception of the bright red light flashing on and off on the wall. The alarm was still going off at a deafening volume. Paranoid Pat couldn’t take the fear, felt like he was going to piss himself for the first time since fourth grade, couldn’t breathe. Right when he felt like he was about scream or just black out from the terror, continuously thinking to himself “I shouldn’t have done this, I shouldn’t have done this,” possibly crying but not even focused enough to know...the lights came back on, the

(continued on page 49)

(Paranoid Pat cont.)
alarm stopped, and the people stopped screaming. Slowly, everybody eventually got up from under the tables they were hiding under and went back to where they were. People wiped their tears, hugged the people they were with whether or not they even knew them, but eventually just went back to their beer and casual conversation. “Haha, man, get up!” Fred said, smiling widely, patting Paranoid Pat on the back, sitting on his barstool and patting the empty barstool next to him to encourage Paranoid Pat to take his seat. Eventually, when his face was mostly dry and he regained feeling in his limbs, he carefully got out from under the table sat down on the stool with the gracefulness of a zombie. But Paranoid Pat noticed something weird once he was seated. Everybody in the bar, from Fred to the bartender to the old bat sitting alone in the corner, looked exactly like him. They were him. He shook his head, closed his eyes, over and over, thinking that maybe it was just paranoid delusion. But no matter what he did, everybody still looked exactly like him. The same terrified expression. Everyone in the bar was him. Fred just sat there, still smiling, sipping his beer, as if nothing had just happened, even though he was now a reflection of Paranoid Pat. “Ok, what the f-ck just happened?” Paranoid Pat finally yelled once he realized that Fred wasn’t going to offer any explanation. Most people in the bar looked over at him with mild interest in his outburst, but eventually they all turned back. Fred looked around to make sure no one was paying attention. “Keep your voice down, jeez.” he said, putting his beer down. “Look, nothing major. No cause for concern. This is a regular thing everywhere, not just here. All restaurants, bars, offices, even hospitals. Happens all the time, and yet I can never get used to it.” He snapped his fingers in mild disappointment. “Well, you know, with the terrorism and all that jazz going on, they just have these bomb drills on a regular basis. Here, they do it....oh, I’d say....once, twice a week. Maybe three times if they’re feel-

ing limber. Still scares the sh-t out everybody, though. But you know, it’s just a drill. Like the fire drills we had back in school. Just to keep us on our toes, ready for anything, you know? Better safe than in a nuclear holocaust.” He sipped his beer again. Paranoid Pat sort of relaxed back into his chair, just barely any calmer, accepting the explanation even if not completely understanding it. He looked around again, hoping he’d be sane by now, but no. Everybody in the bar still looked exactly like him, the same worried face, the same body. It just wouldn’t go away. Weird, he thought to himself. I haven’t done mushrooms in a while. But with his confusion, he just leaned forward and took a big sip of his beer. “How’s the beer?” Fred asked him. Paranoid Pat looked at was as if he was looking right in a mirror. “It’s....good.” Paranoid Pat said, gripping the cup tightly. “Real good, actually. Best I’ve had in a while, I must say.” “See?” said Fred, leaning back in his chair with a smug sense of accomplishment, “Aren’t you happy you got out today?

Mike Holmes is going into his junior year at Williamsville East.

Palm Trees and Power Lines.
If palm trees and power lines can cross with no connection Then why not our paths intertwine To crease and crack Like dotted lines on paper To press nice and neatly To tear only from the hands of god If cold tears can last the night Then why not you stay the night To keep those tears in there place Like rewinding the faucet To take away all the, miss-you’s To lie in the hands of god

A Good Song.
A good song can take A teenage mind further Than any drug could ever Than any love could ever Than any other could ever A good song will make A teenage mind move And twist to make the fingers tap The head bob And foot stomp The body move The language shape The mood to something good Something bad Something great Something gloomy Something deeper.


Real physical Up, down Side to side Forward and backwards Breath in breath out Drip drop Reality falls to me One at a time It washes the color out of jeans And weighs hair down Polishes the horse Tap Tap Tap As reality hits green I cant find anything more real.

Drawing by Lindsay Warnes

Hello. My name is Kaitlyn McNamara, I am going to be a freshman at Clarence High School. I have a rather large family, which consists of two sisters and younger brother. I’m the typical teenage girl that loves to do nothing but hang out with her friends and talk on the phone. I absolutely adore shopping and love lip gloss and make up and all sorts of girly stuff! I’m not really the sporty type but I do have some hobbies. Such as dance. I dance three to four times a week at David De Marie Dance Studios in Clarence. This is going to be my first year in high school and I can’t wait to see how different things are. Our Beloved Fred Miller Born: 1930 Died: 2003 Tall, white hair, warm heart, caring soul, sense of humor, loving personality. A man with the biggest heart in the world, a man who was always on-the-go, a man who always put his family and friends first, a man who became a dad to my mother and her siblings, a man who became a husband to my grandma, a man who became a grandfather to my cousins and I, a man who left before I barely got to know him. I was eleven years old when Valentines Day of 2o03 came around. My grandma’s birthday is February 13th. Now my papa was a rather caring, warm-hearted man. Papa Fred had a whole surprise party planned for her. He reserved my Uncle’s clubhouse, ordered food and had the whole thing decorated! Mama Shelia had no idea! A few days prior to the party, Papa took Grandma out for a special dinner to celebrate both her birthday and Valentines Day. Now let me remind you that my grandpa was one of the healthiest people I knew, but something changed that. During the night, papa started throwing up blood. Mama Shelia immediately took him to the hospital. They did tests on him and discovered that he had a major blood clot in his intestine. The doctors then had to have almost three feet removed! After the surgery, they thought he’d be okay. Everyone had faith in God and “knew” he’d make it. Well they were wrong, it turned out with him getting so sick that he couldn’t fight it off any longer. With his wife, stepchildren and son and daughter-in-laws surrounded around him, my Aunt Chris said a very moving prayer, in which he passed through. Unfortunately I was not present to hear the prayer and there was not much I could find out about it. Besides the fact that it was extremely moving! He passed peacefully. But I am rather disappointed, no not only disappointed- frustrated, irritated-but most of all I’m miserable. Papa Fred had been in the hospital for a good week now, my mom would go everyday to visit him, and would stay for hours at a time! Every morning I’d literally beg and plead for her to take me with her. She always responded with, “No, you’re too young, maybe next time, when you are older.” (sorry mom) But that had be the dumbest excuse I’ve ever heard! Ya know why, because there wasn’t a next time! Papa Fred passed away at the age of seventy-three, which is a shame! Yes he died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones, but what about me? Did I not love him enough to see him before his life ended? Was I not worthy enough? I was his granddaughter! My real grandpa had died before any of my siblings or I were born; my grandma had then gotten remarried. So he was my grandpa! I would beg and beg my mom to allow me to go see him! Did she ever give in; take a wild guess, of course not! Yes I was only eleven, but I wasn’t an idiot! I still hold a grudge against my mom for not allowing me to go to the hospital to see him. That could have been my chance! My chance to show him how much he meant to me, my chance to show him

how much I love him, my chance to show my emotions! To this day I have anxiety, for I never really got close to Papa Fred. We were close, in a grandpa and granddaughter way, but that was about it. I wanted to be more of a friend with papa rather than just his granddaughter, but I never got that chance. Papa was always making jokes, the big one between us was my nickname, Jo-far-dutch. He would always call me that, in fact that’s all he would ever call me I’d be surprised if he even knew my real name. I have a few other memories, but that seems to be the one that sticks out the most. I am in total shame, for I cannot remember why he called me Jo-far-dutch, let alone the story behind my nickname. Each and every time I think of my grandfather I put myself through depression, guilt, and sorrow. He was my own grandpa, and I couldn’t even remember the meanings of my memories, how terrible is that? They say, “Take every chance you get, and do with it well”. That was my chance. That one chance is all I needed. I could have got everything I wanted in that one moment. I could have got the back round of my nickname, shown him my feelings! My grandma never got her surprise party and I never got my connection. My one wish would have been to be granted that one moment to devote my heart out to Papa. I never got the chance. We didn’t know when Grandpa was going to leave us, and I never know when my grandma is either. The days will fly by and we’ll never know when grandma’s will end. So now’s my chance to get close with her, be more than just her granddaughter, get my connection, my moment, before its all too late. I love you and miss you dearly Papa Fred. Love always, Jo-far-dutch.

There’s a certain poem that reminds me of Papa Fred and I’d like to share it with you.
My Pop
I remember him just like I saw him yesterday, Sitting on his bed with a rollie in his hand, Looking out his window and watching the cars go by. He was my favorite Pop of all, it was hard to say goodbye. This man was taken away from me, my very own Pop had died. He was a quiet timid man all of 71 years, Who had been through war and heartbreak and then to slowly die. He watched his son go through it too, it was very hard on his eyes. I wish you were here with me now and your two great-gran kids too. To have them sit on your knee and annoy you just like me. I miss you very much Pop and your calm and gentle ways, To kiss and hug you once again I know would be too much to say. I hope you are very happy now sitting by your window high, Looking down on all of us and not asking questions why. I will remember you always until it’s my turn to fly.

-You’ll always be a part of me Papa Fred. I love you-


Lisa DiMatteo is a senior at Hamburg High School. She loves to read and hang out with her friends. She plays the trumpet and enjoys singing. Outside of school she participates in lots of cool activites such as Hunger Action.
Lisa’s poem “The Beach” appears on the page 55.

Almost There
hour, marathon road trip. As the van pulls off the Indiana toll road, I feel the usual excitement and adrenaline course through me. This marks the true start of our annual Independence Day trip to the Stevenson Lakeside Resort. Resort... I think the better phrase for this would be a vacation spot for chaos and fun. When most people go on a family vacation they envision that ritzy five-star hotel, with an equally ritzy price. That ritzy price, often upwards of five-hundred dollars per night, is outrageous; you never know exactly what you are getting. I, however, know exactly what I am getting. I’m getting a good, family-filled, guaranteed chaotic week at my Granddad’s simple home on Jimmerson Lake. This is where fifty of my favorite relatives pour in for their summer vacations. The idea of cramming all those bodies into a threebedroom home may sound insane, but for us it is simply part of the exciting annual adventure we embark on each summer. Ten minutes and counting. My brothers and I are counting the seconds until we can burst from the van, which is now so messy it could easily be mistaken for that pig-sty room of mine. The enticing ideas of water skiing, tubing, boating, and swimming have us pushing at our seat belts, as if our will power can make Dad drive faster. Skiing is the most anticipated, as it is a first time experience for some, and a favorite hobby for others. We hold countless memories of cousin after cousin learning to ski. My personnel favorite is when one unlucky soul was

Twenty minutes left on the eight-

determined not to let go of the tow rope as they wiped out. The feeling of being hauled across the water at top speeds makes me cringe. I can only think of being tied to the back of the family minivan and dragged along the unforgiving pavement until the driver takes mercy on me. That would definitely prove to be an unforgettable experience. Five minutes remaining. Mom realizes we’ve forgotten numerous items: beach towels, sunscreen, and that Chiavetta’s barbeque sauce we bring every year. Too bad it is a little late in the trip to do much about that. We must be thankful it isn’t like the year one suitcase was left behind at our home. I still hold the vivid memory of my parents faces as they realize one son has no clothing for the week. Lucky for him, among the masses of people at the house, plenty of odd, I-will-notbe-seen-in-public outfits were quickly offered to him. I distinctly remember feeling sorry for him for about two minutes. After that I could not contain my laughter. Thirty seconds. I can see our destination from here. I remember that we do not all fit into that house very well, so somehow it always ends with the children being shipped outside to sleep in tents. Lucky for our family the kids find no arguments with this idea. We are moments away from spending every day-lit second out on the water. Great summer days can not be spent in any better way. We’ve already forgotten about the items left at home, all we truly need is our family to have a great time. We pull in the driveway to shouts of “the Buffalo crew is here!” We’re all happy to finally arrive here, the place which shelters us with love, our idea of fun... the Stevenson Lakeside Resort.


As I sit here, attempting to try to define myself, to try to say who and what I am What I stand for and my beliefs, It would be too bold of me to attempt this, Is not my place, simply because I do not own myself Perhaps this is what allows me to change, to shift at such a rate That when I look in the mirror I cannot say that I recognize myself At times I do not even know or remember what has occurred in the past, my past But this allows me to retain some functioning normalcy, some inkling of a reality that we

The girl came towards my bed, her eyes slightly tinged with a milky red, glistening under the harsh fluorescent lights. Inching closer to me, her joints seemed to crack with every forced step, her jawbone convulsing. Sweat trickled down my temples. “My sister.” She growled. “You had me, she was not yours to rightfully take! Give her back to me!” “You want her back?” Veilleur roared. Suddenly, my mouth swung open, hanging there helplessly, growing wider and wider, saliva oozing from under my tongue. I could feel something begin to form in the pit of my stomach. Something long and soft began to squirm up my throat. It was crawling, like five tiny fingers up into my mouth, pressing up against my throat. I couldn’t breath. Every muscle in my body violently twitching. I could feel my stomach begin to thin with the sheer weight of the thing, as though it would pop and spill onto the floor at any second. My body, my veins burned underneath my flesh. Suddenly, a white arm protruded from my mouth, my body coughing and sputtering for air. It’s fingers twisted, the nails scratching my lower lip, drawing a warm liquid from my gums, the blood coating the tiny maggots festering within the oozing blackened flakes of skin. A stringy head of hair slowly heaved it’s way from my cracking windpipe. Gagging as my heart pounded within my chest, it finally slid out, splattering onto the cold floor.

Knowledge CH. 4

Trilogy of Thought
Part One: Pasts
My inability to accept the past and move on, My desire to never go back, as I continue to relive the past With each passing moment I can feel myself slipping further and further, a distant thought Within their bustling lives Memories come, coaxing the thin streams of water from my willing soul, my eyes beginning to Burn, drowning me

Part Two: Written World

Somehow, I had come to an understanding of what had become of me My entire life, being nothing more than a lost time, a memory land where only certain things Remained visible to me The beginning of a life I could not avoid, a reality that consumed my entire world Years had slipped away like seconds leaving me to gaze inside myself forever And now I was lost, lost within the one place I could not bring myself to see

Part Three: Reality

Each day you look death in the face, as they pass you, one on the right and one on the left Most of them wouldn‚Äôt think twice They do it so easily, so impatiently Death is simply not calculated into their busy work schedule But let me live a little longer and fear death’s cold grip lingering just outside the car door

The Beach
The fresh air swirls, like the whirling waters of the ocean, engulfing you as you walk. The joyous laughter rings, bubbling up like a soda machine, echoing throughout the air. The warm sand comforts, like that favorite teddy bear, as you sit and watch the waves. The chaos of children, like ants scurrying about, splash within the water. The salt-water taste, bitter like that of coffee, consumes you as you swim. - Lisa DiMatteo Above: Jordan poses for his bio shot. Below: Jordan recording for theaudio anthology.

Ant Corpses I would just sit and watch them Scurrying around and around Watching as they slowly deep-fried themselves within the harsh fluorescent Light Their delicate, shiny black skin would shrivel up as their thin legs became Crumpled, tensing and convulsing into a tight little ball What a ritual it was to witness this process With each circle they completed around the light bulb, they grew more Frantic, desperate Afterwards, I would empty their scrawny corpses onto the wooden floor of my Bedroom Each new addition to my collection, Each new struggling body that had given in to me, gave me strength to go on Strength within the struggling - Alex Bommer

Above: Anna, Lydia, Lindsay, and Lisa relaxing at Forest Lawn Cemetary. Below: Joel anxiously awaits new audio anthology recording victims.


Susan Head will be attending Grand Island High School as freshman this fall. She enjoys reading, writing, having fun with friends, and watching classic Audrey Hepburn movies in her spare time. She wishes that she was born a hundred years earlier, but since time travels seems to be impossible at the moment, she mostly writes stories that take place during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Being the romantic that she is, she is mostly attracted to writing romance pieces. Do not mistake her type of romantic writing for the cheap paperback romance novel kind. She hopes to one day be a bestselling novelist in the area of non-smutty romance and young adult fiction.

Love is Love for Evermore-Tennyson
- Susan J. Widley (Pseudonym)

incident, the memory persisted to play over and over again in her mind. She felt as if she were suffering from a headache at timesrather than a heartache.She made no effort to get dressed that day. She had been wearing that same nightshirt for days now. She had only taken the time to pull her hair into a loose ponytail because her naturally curly hair bothered her too much when it was in her face. Her face, though, was pale and her eyes red and swollen. Her lip was bloody from biting it constantly, even in her sleep. She lifted herself from the bed, the same bed that she should have been sharing with him by now, and forced her legs to stand without buckling. She raised the loose-fitted sleeve of the nightshirt to her nose and breathed in the deep scent of it. In actuality, the sleeve now only smelled of her sweat and had required a pungent odor within her week of wearing that shirt and only that shirt. But she was not really smelling the sleeve, rather reliving a sweet memory that that(Italics) shirt, that sleeve, brought upon her. She was remembering the times of her courtship with him when he had often worn this same shirt. Back then, it smelled of him, of masculinity, with a touch of a man’s aftershave. Now, dimly realizing that her legs did indeed support her thin frame, she walked-no

The pain made her numb. The

glided-towards the window. She drew back the curtains to reveal an almost unearth-like vision of Lake Como. Blue, turquoise-blue, she thought, the same blue as his eyes. She had not seen the lake before. She had remained in bed almost completely since she had checked into this villa. The villa that had been reserved months ago for her honeymoon. But now her weeding, her honeymoon, were all a distant dream. She sighed deeply as she began to recall his face. The face that she had so often stared upon with girlhood infatuation. Every crease, line, freckle, contour of his face appeared. She muttered a curse. It would be so much easier if she could forget him. If she could simply banish all thoughts of him from her mind forever. But it would never be that simple for she had loved him; she really had, and love does not just disappear like a rabbit in a magician’s hat. It lingers ever so long, even love that she be dead. It would be so much easier if she had been thwarted in love. If she had discovered that he was carrying an affair with one of hr dear friends behind her back. If only that were the reason why she was not wed. But no.The gunshot echoed throughout her ears. That bullet had been meant as a warning sign, not as a death bullet. Pieces of the night flooded back into her memory. They had been out for a stroll on the beaches of Maine, their real home. Only two days remained before the wedding and the young lovers’ anxieties all fell away once they saw each other that evening. No

one else was on the beach; no one was there to spoil their realm of happiness. Thus, no one was there to help them in the approaching moments or to hear her screams. “Give me your purse, wallets, watches. Everything of value.,” shouted a darklyclothed villain who had been covering himself in the dunes moments before. “Where did you, I mean who are you?” she had stuttered. “No time for that. Now give me your money.” “Never,” he had said, her loving, chivalrous, knight-like fiancé. The villain desperate for the money, and he, her fiancé, so young, with the idea of being able to save the damsel in distress fresh in his mind, refused to surrender his money. They were at a standstill. Then just as the villain himself had appeared, a gun appeared in his hands. The darkly-clothed man had only meant to fire a warning shot. He may have been a man seeking money in desperate circumstances, a villain in her mind, but certainly no murderer. But her love was so certain that the bullet was meant to kiss her, so bent on saving her life that he interceded the bullet and as a result the bullet hit him no other spot but his heart. Without a moment to let the thought of her beloved being struck with possible death to sink in, she flung herself on the villain. She pounded his chest. Screamed. But it did no good. The villain was at last able to pull her clenched fists away from him and ran away without a single cent. He had come to take money and valuables, but failed, and in their place he had taken an innocent life. She collapsed the instant the man had released her hands. Her legs, her whole body was weak. With every ounce of strength she had left she attempted to get up and go to his side. But she couldn’t. She couldn’t bring herself to go to him. She could not face such pain, such suffering. “Liza, my dear, my kitten.” She still could not bring herself to look at him. He was dying. She could tell by the

weak strain in his usual strong and vibrant voice. “I’ll go-I’ll go get help.” She had left him there. Left him calling for her. She was getting help. She was doing the right thing, or at least that is what she kept telling herself. Then she was back in the present. She closed off her mind, her memory, if only for a few minutes. Her once well-manicured hand halfrubbed half-played with the curtain. The chiffon felt material so smooth against her skin. His life may be dead, but mine isn’t. Oh I shouldn’t think like that. If my love is dead, then I should be too. But somehow after looking at the water below and the sun that she had not seen in weeks, she ached, longed for more than the four walls of the villa bedroom and the old shirt now saturated with her sweat. Trusting her legs completely, she walked over to the large full-length mirror and saw the girl it reflected. She really was attractive. Even with tangled hair, sullen eyes, and a bloody lip she continued to retain at least a semblance of her beauty. I have been here for nearly three months and have seen nothing but the unchanged sheets of the bed. I am in one of the most beautiful places in the world and here I am sulking over something I cannot change. I need to at least sightsee a little. She walked towards the bathroom to take a long needed shower and prepare to for the first time experience life.


Students were each asked to bring three words to the afternoon meeting on day two. The following five to six line poems were constructed using words from this pool of words.
“Paying a Price” Pain is something Overcoming our mind you first expected a wave of darkness A violent mood like a small helpless fish until you remain deprived forever - Lindsay Warnes You first expected The biblical evils or Foxtrotting ballroom ghouls Paying a price and A violent mood Remains deprived forever - Dan Kukura Here’s three words Pain is something It can overcome our mind These biblical evils We’re paying a price We’ll remain deprived forever - Susan Head One thousand miles of helpless fish, Waves of darkness from biblical evils, Fingers jammed and twisted in pale pink hoodies, and Foxtrotting bathroom ghouls with dirty cat smells, Overcome my mind. - Amelia Colón

Pain is something that Overcomes our mind but it is a positive learning experience. You first expected heart on paper. A wave of darkness really paid off. - Amanda Feldman A violent mood, And paying a price My mark of shame Will remain deprived forever A wave of darkness, Will overcome our minds - Zoe Obstarczyk Extremely misunderstood people Remain deprived forever Small helpless fish paying a price really paid off and my brain hurts. - Anonymous Extremely misunderstood people They got hungry For small helpless fish Fingers jammed and twisted Probably dinner too I don’t know - Anonymous The biblical evils Small helpless Fish Foxtrotting ballroom ghouls Overcome my mind My brain hurts - Blake Holmes A violent mood My brain hurts Fingers jammed and twisted Pain is something And a mark of shame - Lydia Seidler

You first expected Small helpless fish Or extremely misunderstood people Remaining deprived forever Of His astounding brilliance Paying a price to overcome their minds Of the biblical evils. - Anonymous “Arcana” one thousand miles: deprived forever, jammed and twisted, misunderstood and hungry. My mark of shame, Your heart on paper. - Violet Pena “Puberty” The small, helpless fish Were extremely misunderstood In a wave of darkness Foxtrotting ballroom ghouls Got hungry. The small, helpless fish Are probably dinner, too. - Kelsey Rice I don’t know of a violent Mood, then peace not war. The biblical evils or (?) wave of Darkness. A small helpless fished Person with Fingers Jammed and twisted. Here’s three words, I don’t know. - Amanda Maxey pain is something One thousand miles, Really paid off. pain is something, heart on paper overcome our mind. pain is something, a positive learning experience. - Alex Bommer

Pain is something Our minds don’t overcome. As Waves of darkness mark our shame. We pay the price forever. - Lisa DiMatteo Here’s three words That remain deprived forever And overcome our minds That really paid off extremely misunderstood people - Mike Holmes He breathes and sways among his fellow foxtrotting ballroom ghouls Their fingers jammed and twisted Into a mark of shame They remain deprived forever Of something like a violent mood - Ellen Weisenburger I didn’t know That paying the price Is remaining deprived forever The mark of shame, of Biblical evils, Overcomes our minds. - Kassie Maser My foxtrotting ballroom ghouls Expected me dinner too a swaying cat Delicious (?) that! Paid off their hungry moods - Jordan Baker

Dirty cats smell and probably their dinner too. It is plastic perfect solid small helpless fish. They got hungry and will remain deprived forever Their violent mood is a mark of shame Did paying their price really pay off? Their fingers jammed and twisted Extremely misunderstood cats. - Anonymous Ghouls You first expected ghouls remained biblical evils. Ghouls are extremely misunderstood people, Shrieking three words, Creativity, Liberté, Fraternité. Peace with ghouls remains one thousand miles off. In our minds ghouls remain deprived forever. - Monica Disare “Pain” Pain is something that I never fear. Pain is just like a bottle of beer. If you fear pain don’t be shy Because one day your pain will fly So that’s the end. - Erica McCallie My heart on paper is something astounding and brilliant but not perfect, as you first expected - Grace Kreher

Paying the price Really paid off Small helpless fish Overcame our mind The Biblical Evil Is Peace Not War When you First expected A positive Learning Experience - Matt Schillinger A Mark of shame Breathes and sways Peace not War But I don’t know If his astounding brilliance Really paid off - G.A. Fontanez You first expected heart on paper, extremely misunderstood people remain deprived forever, wave of darkness and positive learning experience, Here’s three words that overcome our mind that I don’t know, foxtrotting ballroom ghouls. - Patricia Burdukov My mind hurts if it’s deprived of creativity A perfect solid extremely brilliant wave. Our hearts hurt if it’s deprived of fraternité Our biblical peace. Our people hurt if deprived of Liberté. A mark of shame for finger Why I want to know In one thousand miles I don’t know. - Anonymous





Students who, because of unforeseen circumstances such as email problems, natural disasters, or hungry dogs, do not have anything appearing in the print anthology, but were indeed active and valuable members of our writing camp.

Alex Holt - Attends Williamsville East and is our resident music critic and historian

Jordan Baker - Attends St. Mary’s and writes high fantasy.



Amanda Maxey - Attends Starpoint Middle and enjoys playing Nintendo Gamboy.

Deanna Arthur is going to be a freshmen at Nichols. She did not attend week two of the camp.

Clockwise: Mike working on a poem; Jason reciting his story at open mic, Patricia sharing a poem


(from left)Mike, Dan, Cliff, Alex, Violet, Derek, and Blake hanging at the student center


Audio Anthology Track Listing

1. Alex Bommer - Ant Corpses 2. Alex Holt - Trying to Get Over 3. Clifford Cawthorn - Revolution 4. Dan Kukura - Phrase One 5. Derek Schultz - Excerpt from “The Wanderer’s Guide...” 6. Erica McCallie - Outside 7. Frank Flis Group Joke 8. Gabriel Fontanez - Who Am I 9. Dan Kukura - Phrase Two 10. Grace Kreher - Sky 11. Jason Silverstein - Six 12. Jordan Baker - The Sheep of Death 13. Kassie Maser - Precipitation as a Self Portrait 14. Kelsey Rice - A Curious Incident Involving a Marshmallow 15. Meredith - I Escape You 16. Mike Burke - A Tribute to Music 17. Monica Disare - Sunsets & Flower 18. Violet - Untitled (Vertigo) 19. Zoe Obstarczyk - Pain is Something I Never Fear at Night

Drawing by Lindsay Warnes