Hannah Pierangelo Graphic Editing by Ryan Malone


Two Thousand and Twelve
The Independent School 8317 E. Douglas Wichita, KS 67207 316.686.0152 www.theindependentschool.com
Two Thousand and Twelve i


Table of Contents
Juxtaposition 1 Ryan Malone Poema Numero 20 2 Madeline Level Streetlights 3 Sam McCoy The Brightest Days 3 Viktor LaFave I’m Not Sure I Can Forgive You 4 Hannah Pierangelo Covered Fortress 4 Glenn Cox Bubbles 7 Ben Cartwright Under Your Wings 8 Jessica Fisher Childhood Innocence 8 Cassie Heflin Smooth Jazz 9 Ashlyn Gagne The Bard 9 Mackenzie Cole Quirks 10 Samantha Carter What Dreams Are Made Of 11 Mackenzie Cole Slippers 11 Mackenzie Cole Contradiction 13 Samantha Carter Rack City (Panther Basketball) 14 Christian Porter Fab Five 14 Zach Tuttle Mis Palabras 15 Mackenzie Cole KIA 15 Sam McCoy August Woman 15 Mackenzie Cole Thoughts on Thoughts 16 Danielle Allen Point of View 16 Samantha Carter Sunbather 17 Cassie Heflin iSpeakGirl 18 Samantha Carter For The First Time 18 Samantha Carter Time Lock 19 Ryan Malone Sleepless 19 Hannah Pierangelo Eye of London 19 Jennifer Steere The Last Cow Standing 20 Morgan Schreiner Veni Vidi Vici 21 Madeline Level London Calling 21 Samantha Carter The Lost Hope of Love 22 Morgan Schreiner Summer Roses 22 Rachel DeMyers

Award Winners:
First, My Reality by Ashley Brosius Runner Up, Strings of Confidence by Cassie Heflin
ii Echoes

First, Koi Fish by Leah Davis runner up, Childhood Innocence by Cassie Heflin

Table of Contents
An Epic Quest 23 Hannah Pierangelo Speak Now: Swift’s Life in Music 24 Brian Wise Masquerade 24 Ryan Malone Green 25 Nicole Fox Winded Purple 25 Tori Ciniglio Failure 26 Dylan Hernandez Beauty/Terror 26 Mackenzie Cole Orb of the Nebula 26 Ahmad Yassine The House of Targess 27 Madeline Level Lunar Vista 28 Braydon Barnes Storm 29 Samantha Carter Reflection 29 Mackenzie Cole Panther 5-0 30 Morgan Schreiner Painting 31 Jessica Fisher Strings of Confidence 31 Cassie Heflin Day Fading 31 Glenn Cox My Voice 32 Jessica Fisher Dave Strauchman 32 Hannah Pierangelo Daisy for Her 33 Sam McCoy Arina Tanemura 33 Ashlyn Gagne Katie 34 Nicole Fox Koi Fish 35 Leah Davis Occasionally 36 Danielle Allen Nailed It 36 Sam Wiley Lucky Thirteen 37 Samantha Carter Walk to the Sea 37 Madeline Level I Am Calling Out to You 38 Mackenzie Cole On the Bench... 39 Morgan Schreiner Mr. Bill 40 Emily Vayda My Reality 41 Ashley Brosius Urban Melting Pot 41 Mackenzie Cole A World So Wicked 42 Madeline Level Planetary 42 Braydon Barnes

Award Winners:
Short Stories
First, On the Bench... by morgan schreiner Runner Up, An Epic Quest by Hannah Pierangelo

First, A World So Wicked by Madeline Level

Runner Up, Smooth Jazz by Ashlyn Gagne
Two Thousand and Twelve iii


Ryan Malone

Poema Numero 20
Translated by Madeline Level
Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche. Escribir, por ejemplo: “La noche está estrellada, y tiritan, azules, los astros, a los lejos” El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta. Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche. Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso. En las noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos. La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito. Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería. Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos. Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche. Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido. Oír la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella. Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío. Que importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla. La noche está estrellada y ella no está conmigo. Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos. Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido. Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca. Mi corazón la busca y ella no está conmigo. La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos árboles, Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos. Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuanto la quise. Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído. De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos. Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos. Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero. Es tan corto el amor y tan largo el olvido. Porque en noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos, mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido. Aunque éste sea el último dolor que ella me causa, y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo. I can write the saddest lines tonight. Write, for example, “The night is starry, And blue heavens quiver far away”. The night wind circles in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest lines tonight. I loved her, and sometimes, she loved me as well. On nights such as this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the infinite sky. She loved me, and sometimes I loved her as well. How could someone not have loved her grey eyes? I can write the saddest lines tonight. To think that I don’t have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the vast night, even more vast without her. The line falls to my soul like dew in a field. What does it matter that my love could not keep her? The night is full of stars and she is not with me. That is all. Someone is singing far away. Far away. My soul is not content, knowing it has lost her, My imagination tries to find her, and bring her close to me. My heart searches for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitens the same trees. We, of that time, are not the same anymore. I don’t love her anymore, that is true, but oh how I loved her. My voice searches on the wind to touch her ears, Another. She will be another’s. And she was another’s before my kisses. Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I don’t love her anymore, that is true, but I might love her. Life is so short. Forgetting is so long. Because on nights such as this, I held her in my arms. My soul is not content knowing it has lost her. But make this the last pain that she does cause me, And the last line I write for her.

By Pablo Neruda

Two Thousand and Twelve


Sam McCoy
The streetlights tower above the lonely commuters. Their dim lights guide the walkers on their path. Above the lights, the skyscrapers stand in solitude, Each holding its own. As the traffic whizzes by, A man sits at a street side table Sipping his coffee. He thinks, “What have I done to deserve this!” The executive looks out upon the city below Asking, “What have I done with all those reports?” The factory laborer walks his way home, Struggling to make ends meet for his wife and child. He worries, “How will I make it this month?” As people bustle in and out of stores and malls, The homeless man sits and cries, Wondering, “What have I done to deserve this?” Alone. Just like the streetlights.

The Brightest Days
3 Echoes

Viktor LaFave

Covered Fortress

Glenn Cox

I’m Not Sure I Can Forgive You
Hannah Pierangelo
Lights were flickering. They were bright white fluorescent lights, but they flickered like candles. A circuit breaker popped loudly, and light exploded like a grenade. Everything disappeared into white. Then black. Glowing black, sharp as a knife, edged its way in. It erased all thought, all memory, all senses as something screeched at an impossible decibel. ............ “Wake up,” a distant voice yelled. “You’re okay, just wake up!” My eyes shot open to the bright light again, and an unnatural and unsettling screeching. The voice came again, but closer. “It’s okay,” it said calmly, just as my brain registered that the unnatural screaming was erupting from my own strained throat. As soon as I realized it, my voice choked and silenced itself immediately. The only sounds now were my lungs pumping hard for breath and my frantic gasps for air. But just under it

all, my ears detected a faint beeping. “Bad dreams?” the voice asked. I glanced up next to me to see a boy lying in a bed beside me. A bandage was wrapped around his head over something dark staining his skin just above his right eyebrow. His face looked exhausted, but a lively ember glowed within his sea-glass green eyes, even though they were sunk slightly into his cavernous sockets. He did not look well. Bits and pieces of my surroundings began to register in my brain, like the clear plastic tube in his arm and the matching one in mine. The beige blankets on our similar twin beds, the blue curtain pushed back between us, and that incessant beeping in the background. A hospital. By the rush of young ladies in pastel colored scrub suits, I figured it was an emergency room. “Yes, I think,” I answered the boy. All I could remember was light and dark. That didn’t seem like it would be such a night-

mare now that I had come back to reality, but something about it was deathly frightening. “It’s these meds, I swear. They’ll mess with your head,” he answered lightly. I noticed that he was tapping his fingers back and forth quietly against his leg. “My name is Ferris, by the way.” “Jersey,” I replied automatically. I would have extended my hand, but our beds were separated by an expanse of about four feet. I stayed where I was. “So what happened to you?” I noticed him glancing at my legs. My eyes followed his gaze, but my legs looked fine beneath the blanket. In fact, my entire body looked fine. An empty silence crept into the conversation. I parted my lips to answer him, but realized I did not have one. My mouth closed again. What had happened to me? Ferris must have noticed the blank stare

Two Thousand and Twelve


I’m Not Sure I Can Forgive You | Hannah Pierangelo

my face. “Don’t you remember?” he asked. The rolling of his fingers against his leg stopped. Something sunk deep in my stomach and all I could do was shake my head helplessly. Suddenly brimming with water, my eyes glanced up to the ceiling in a valiant effort to keep from blinking hot tears down my cheeks. I shuffled my feet to attempt a state of comfort— I shuffled— My feet did not move. An icy shiver erupted over my skin and I couldn’t make a sound. Move, I begged them. Move. The brain signals were sent out, but lost in transmission. They faded out somewhere along the way, and my legs would not move. “I can’t—” I tried to speak, but found that my throat was tight. “I can’t—” “Hey, hey, it’s okay. You’ll remember eventually,” he soothed. I shouted over him, “I can’t feel my legs.” There was only silence then, except for the relentless beeping of the monitor between us. Ferris was staring blankly at me. We sat in the quiet like that until I could not keep the tears from falling, and Ferris called out in a broken voice for a nurse. ............ Flickering stars. No, not stars. They were bigger. Candles? Lightbulbs? They lit up an indescribable black backdrop. Streaks. Flashes. A scream. I awoke in an empty garden. The soft trickling of water could be heard in the short distance, like the gentle drip of a sink into a pond. I was sitting in a wheelchair in the center of this garden, surrounded by ripe lemon trees. There was a short pathway made of stone to the entrance arch. On it read, The Lincoln and Bishop Garden for Patience. I knew this garden. It was located in the center of the hospital, and was a room made out of glass and filled with beautiful plants. It was meant for the long-term hospital patients to get some sunlight. Sometimes when the skylight windows were open, which was a rare occurrence, a breeze of fresh air would blow through the leaves and it was almost like being outside.

Almost, only because the distinct smell of disinfectant and medicine lingered in the filtered air, and the ever constant beeping of machines could still be heard. I didn’t remember ever falling asleep. But the nurse had wheeled me off to the operating room when I realized my legs were not connected to my body anymore. “The damage to your spine is worse than we anticipated,” the nurse told me earlier. There was a heavy white brace wrapped around my torso and making it impossible for me to sit comfortably in my wheelchair. I had become a plank from the waist up, and a vegetable from the waist down. I wiggled my toes. Nothing, still. A grim voice grasped the corners of my mind. Trapped, it whispered. You’ll be confined to this chair forever… No. They’ll fix me, I reassured myself. They’ll fix me. Behind the trees, I could hear a sudden but gentle and quite rapid thumping. It was not quite clicking, but similar. Something was tapping against the stone walk. I pushed my wheelchair forward, and peeked around the tree trunks and branches. Just on the other side, sitting on a stone bench, was Ferris. He was tapping his foot speedily, probably out of nervous habit. “You’re awake,” he said when he noticed me at the tree’s edge. I nodded. I noticed the small bandage was still on his forehead from the emergency room, but the rest of him seemed fine. His light colored hair hung over the bandage, and it would probably hide his scar well, once it had healed. He was wearing street clothes now, instead of the distasteful hospital attire that might as well have been a prison jumpsuit. “How are you feeling?” He asked shyly. “I’m okay, I guess. They gave me a back brace.” “It’s supposed to help with the spine damage. I asked the nurse about it.” Ferris let his foot rest at last, and then his fingers took up a tapping. “Do you remember what happened?” he asked. An image of my recurring nightmare

flashed in my head. Flashes of light. “I remember lightning. But that’s all,” I told him. “Lightning, yeah.” He was suddenly wringing his hands, pushing the blood to his fingertips, and squeezing his palms. He seemed nervous as he tried to explain. “It was a pretty bad storm. You were driving at night—look, Jersey. I’m so sorry.” “What do you mean?” “The nurse said that you might never walk again.” His words hit me like a train, and the dark shadowy voice whispered again. Trapped. It was right. I would be trapped in this chair for the rest of my life. With nothing more to say, Ferris stood up and began to leave. “Where are you going?” I asked. “They released me this morning. I just wanted to apologize before I left.” With that, he turned on his heel and left me alone in the garden—and the scent of the lemons was almost too much to bear. ............ They’re putting me in therapy. The doctors are trying anything to regain function in my legs. No one will come out and say it, like Ferris did, but I know the truth. I know that disheartening sentence at the tip of everyone’s tongues. My wheelchair knows it too. I go to the garden everyday now. I’ve memorized its small layout in my mind and discovered that it is nothing more than a glass box. The plants are pretty and aromatic to keep the sickly patients here hopeful. But there is not much hope in a lonely lemon tree. No one picks the lemons. No one prunes the roses. The plants here just grow and wilt and die. Then they are replaced. “The lemon trees are hearty. They live longer than the roses,” a voice said behind me as I watched a hired gardener dig up a brown and papery rose bush. “Ferris? What are you doing here?” I asked confusedly. “I don’t really know. I guess I thought I should see how you were doing.” It had been a couple weeks since he was released.



I’m Not Sure I Can Forgive You | Hannah Pierangelo

I was surprised that he came back— but grateful. “I’m all right,” I told him. “I have to have therapy. They’re trying to make them work again.” We both knew what I was talking about. I did not need to explain. “Maybe it will help,” he answered. It was an awfully strong maybe, but I nodded in agreement. “Maybe.” Ferris sat down on the stone bench next to me, gently jostled his knees, and we watched the gardener work. I think Ferris liked it here. It was the closest thing to solitude in a bustling hospital with sick and injured people going in and out every day. This was something steady. This was something sure. I could only enjoy the peace for a fleeting moment before a nurse stole me away to run tests. ............ Sit still. Hold still. Don’t move. Don’t speak. Don’t wear metal. Close your eyes. Hold still. Calm down. It’s okay. This won’t last long, I promise. Sit still. Still was the only choice I had. The nurses ran a multitude of tests over my frail body. Needles pierced my skin, machines scanned my body, but nothing would come of it. I could not feel it in my bones—that’s how I knew there was no hope of getting my legs back. I was so sick of sitting utterly, utterly still. ............ It was raining today. The air felt colder, the walls looked grayer. For once, the curtains on the window were drawn, but they only revealed a gloomier scene than the one inside. I almost did not want to look outside, but considering it was a rare opportunity, I forced my eyes to stay. This place gave me a stomachache. The food was miserable, the drugs were miserable, my mood was miserable. To make it worse, I had dreamt last night. Full and thorough dreams regarding lightning and horrible screams revived the whole buried memory of what happened a month ago. A

hauntingly familiar face was burned in my vision. Every time I blinked, I saw a deep brush of blood across his forehead as he struggled behind a layer of shattered glass. I did not want to talk about it. Not with anyone. A nurse came in, cheery faced and bright. I only asked her to wheel me to the garden. ............ The Lincoln and Bishop Garden for Patience was quiet. I was out here alone for once. The lemons were growing overripe on the tree, but I knew no one would pick them. They would become heavy and weigh down the branches instead, turn brown and soft, and then fall at last to be swept up by the cleaning crew. I don’t know why I cared so much about the lemons. I stared at the blank beige blanket draped over my knees. It hid their disfigure well. It hid their lack of color. But it was best at hiding their lack of life. I sighed, re-tucking the edges beneath my useless flesh so that the corners would not get caught in the wheels of my chair. It was an accident, I had to remind myself. Could happen to anyone. It’s difficult to drive in a storm when the roads are flooded and the thunder is unexpected. When your heart is pounding in your ears because it’s dark and you’re lost, and suddenly the lightning runs the red light at a dark and deserted intersection. Accidents happen all the time. But I knew it was not lightning that collided into me in the middle of the night with the force of a ton or two. And I knew it was not a coincidence that the boy I woke up next to in the emergency was nervously tapping his fingers away and trying to make small conversation with me. Ferris visited often now. At first all he could say was, “I’m so sorry.” At least he came. Though sometimes neither of us spoke, it was never quiet. There was always something quivering the in the background. That was enough. Ferris wasn’t here now. I had grown used to his constant typewriter tapping and the soft mumbling of his voice, and without his

small noises it was abnormally quiet. I wanted to tap my own feet to make up for the silence. But I couldn’t. Tap, tap, tap, tap. I could tap my fingers but not my feet. Tap faster, like Ferris. Tap slower, to think. Tap, tap, tap, tap. I guess I wanted to get inside his head. Ferris was a boy who couldn’t be still. He was always…moving. Tapping his finger or his foot. Jostling his knees. Swinging his arms. Cracking his knuckles. He changed positions way too many times in a conversation. The kid had too much energy. Every moment—I swear you could see the potential energy building. It bubbled inside of him and was forced to trickle out through his fingertips. Like all the force of a lake trapped by a dam, only allowed to flow through a pin-hole crack in the concrete. There was never any silence around him, always some sort of noise. Taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap. It was amazing, because no matter how much Ferris moved, he could never expend his energy. It was always there, just below the surface—jet fuel in his blood. Maybe it was restlessness. It sounded more like guilt. ............ Days passed. Weeks. I feel like have been here forever. I looked at a calendar and realized it was just over a hundred days. Ferris still visited, but those visits were fewer now, and further in between it seemed. There could only be one explanation for that. I felt sort of sad at the thought. It was a bit ironic, wasn’t it? He had crippled me, and now it appeared that guilt was crippling him. “Good news, Jersey!” the cheerful nurse reappeared. “The doctors have finished running all of their tests, and your last therapy session was yesterday. You’ll be released as soon as your doctor signs off.” Her smile was increasingly beaming as she picked up a clipboard at the end of the bed and hurried out of the room. I nodded to myself. Good news, defi

Two Thousand and Twelve


I’m Not Sure I Can Forgive You | Hannah Pierangelo

nitely. In a few hours I could finally leave. I wouldn’t have to worry about therapy sessions or MRI tests, or flashback dreams, or stale lemons. Or ugly beige colored…everything. I could finally breathe. A tug of guilt pulled through me, though. I hadn’t seen Ferris in a week. He did not know when I was going to be released. And I had no way of contacting him outside the visiting hours of the hospital. I couldn’t say goodbye. Or hello, even. We had become friends in a way. A horrible accident had brought him into my life, but now he would disappear from it again just as quickly. I didn’t even have a choice in the matter. The nurse popped back in. “I found your sweater out in the Garden for Patients.” She stepped in and laid it on the bed. A slight frown came over her face. “Hospital patients that is. Not like the virtue, patience. You know what I mean.” She smiled again, and shrugged it off so she could help me into my wheelchair. Patience is a virtue; the old adage skimmed my thoughts at her mentioning it. Yes, I suppose it was.

My mother was waiting for me in the hallway, and walked alongside me as the nurse wheeled me to the elevator. It was a comforting thought to know that this was the last time I would have to ride this elevator with this nurse in this hospital for a long time. Though I was not able to gain feeling my legs again and the doctors were unable to fix me, I was not afraid. It is what it is. The concept of time had never been much of a priority thought for me, but it was growing to be. A moment had changed my life. A person had helped me through it. Here I was, forced to face the changes. Forced to adapt. And I was probably never going to see him again. At the ding of the elevator, the shiny chrome doors opened to a busy waiting room. My mother signed a slip of paper, and then took over the handles of my wheelchair from the nurse. Ferris didn’t know when I was going to be released. Maybe he would try to visit again. Maybe he wouldn’t. “Nurse?” I asked, before she walked back to the elevator. She turned on her heel to answer my question. “I don’t know if Ferris is coming back, but if he does,” I paused.

The words I needed to say were going to take more courage than I had been able to muster in the last four months, but somehow, he needed to hear them. I only hoped my message could be relayed. I continued. “If he does, tell him that I forgive him.” ............ It was a particularly ordinary day. December 18th, as my calendar showed. The air was cold, undeniably, but my mother had rested my navy sweater about my shoulders and it was a short distance to the parking lot, she assured me. I could see my breath when I exhaled into the air. Each breath was cold and crisp and tasted just like winter. Most wonderful was the fact that it was fresh. Hospital air was stale in comparison, and the sky through that glass aquarium in the garden had never been the same color. The automatic doors of the hospital closed with a sleek shhh, cutting off all the noise of movement and incessant beeping monitors. I heard my mother’s footsteps on the pavement behind me, and the slick rolling of the rubber wheels over the concrete. All else was quiet. Blissfully, beautifully quiet.

7 Echoes

Ben Cartwright

UnderFisher Wings Your Jessica
Daddy, you took me under your wings Can you show me how To climb a tree To ride a bicycle To pass a football? Daddy, you took me under your wings Can you show me how To say funny jokes To make friends To do a math problem? Daddy, you took me under your wings Can you show me how To pick out cute clothes To put on make-up To stand up for myself? Daddy, you took me under your wings Can you show me how To be happy To find the right boy To search for success? Daddy, you took me under your wings You showed me how To never cheat To never lie To never quit Daddy, under your wings, you showed me how To live To love To fly with my dreams

Runner Up

Childhood Innocence

Cassie Heflin

Two Thousand and Twelve


The Bard, Mackenzie Cole

Smooth Jazz
Ashlyn Gagne Sound The sweet sound Of music being played on Main Street Draws people from the heat To hear the sound of jazz flowing Smooth And so soothes The worried minds of those who listen Under stars that glisten People sway to songs the poor man Wrote With his coat Damp with sweat he plays his sorrows ‘til His hat on the ground fills Then he will find a place to sleep Sound The sweet sound Of harmonies faint yet oh so close All using their own prose Joining and disjoining all night Long And the song Fades its sweet soft melody changes As they turn their pages Of sheet music, this is smooth jazz
9 Echoes

Runner Up

Quirks Carter Samantha
1. I bite my nails. I know it’s gross. I know it’s dirty. But, alas, I continue to chew as if my life depended on it. 2. I sleep on my stomach. I can’t sleep any other way. Believe me, I’ve tried. Except on occasion, a side approach works. 3. I pull on my earlobes when I get stressed or angry. I recently discovered this through volleyball tapes. On a side note, I really hope the myth that the camera adds ten pounds is true. 4. I’m fairly superstitious. During sports, I think that a certain hair tie or sports bra will help me play better. So far I have no actual proof that this works. Yet, here I am, wearing the same hair tie every time I throw at a track meet. 5. I am a complete arsehole when I’m hungry. Low blood sugar is not my friend, or yours. I will go to great lengths to find food. And you should probably go to the same lengths, maybe greater, to prevent me from eating your hand. 6. I tap the tops of soda cans before I open them. I’m fairly sure this does absolutely nothing, but it’s just a reflex at this point. 7. I will not, I repeat, I will not shower at night when no one is home. It’s a weird phobia. If I’m going to be murdered by an intruder, I will be murdered fully clothed. 8. I organize my closet by color. Rainbow order. 9. I only organize the clothes in my closet. My shoes are utterly hopeless. 10. I don’t let my dog sleep on my bed. The dog hair grosses me out. 11. I only let my old dog Palmer sleep on my bed. He was my baby. I use the term “baby” loosely because he was a Great Dane. Quite large. 12. I am pretty sure I’m addicted to Chap Stick. I swear, I apply the stuff like once every ten minutes. I think it’s becoming a problem—not that I really care. 13. I knee drive. I’m pretty sure I could compete in some sort of knee driving competition and win. Knee driving down Central? I could probably do it in my sleep but not really. 14. I tap my feet when I’m getting ready to do something athletic. It kind of gets me ready to go. I would venture to say it’s easier to do than to explain. 15. I have to be wearing my watch at all times. Okay, well not at all times because that’s not possible really, but I have to wear it any time I can. Ever since the Europe trip, a wrist watch has become essential. 16. I tear 98% of my food before I eat it. I have no idea why, but it always happens. 17. I used to gag every time I ate vegetables. Well, I still do sometimes. I know it’s gross, but vegetables are gross…er. 18. I cuss like a sailor. It can get a little out of control sometimes. My mom used to do it, so I figure maybe it’s hereditary. 19. I am a perfectionist, yet I am a procrastinator. It’s sort of counterproductive if you think about it. 20. I am awful at conclusions. Two Thousand and Twelve 10

What Dreams Are Made Of
Mackenzie Cole

Mackenzie Cole


PETER: Hey guys! I’m Peter. And I’m here to tell you a little story. I like to call it “Heroic Times and Dashing Deeds- Also known as the Peter Samson story.” Okay, so maybe my life isn’t so fantastic to warrant that kind of title. But there is still something a bit... different about my life. You see, it all started when I was about 12....

PETER: Well here I am! 12 year old, prepubescent me. I was basically your average sixth grader. I played basketball, got okay grades, started liking girls. Except there was one quirk I liked to keep hidden. I loved musicals. The moment I came home from school, I would run up to my room and let the sounds of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Rogers and Hammerstein fill my brain. What can I say, I loved it! Musicals had always been a big part of my life, but that role grew exponentially on one fateful day... YOUNG PETER: WOAH! What is this! PETER: So bear with me on this... One day some fancy lamp showed up in my room. To this day I have no clue where it came from. So, like any kid, my gut instinct was to..... (YOUNG PETER rubs lamp. GENIE enters, wearing gold chains, slightly resembling an Italian gangster, has a Jersey accent.) YOUNG PETER: IT WORKED! GENIE: Of course it worked, kid. What did you expect when you freaking rubbed the lamp? That doves would fly out? A rabbit would appear? YOUNG PETER: I don’t know... I just didn’t think this would happen! GENIE: Well it did. So now I’m here. So what do you want, kid? What’s your wish? YOUNG PETER: My wish? Hey..... aren’t I supposed to get three wishes? Are you trying to rip me off? GENIE: Do I look like I’m made of money? We are in a recession! My magic wallet is a little tight right now; everyone’s trying to cut back. So either be grateful that I’m even here in this dump and make your wish, or I’ll leave! I’m fine either way! YOUNG PETER: No no no!!! I want you to stay! I just.... Can I have a moment to think? GENIE: Sure. Take all the time you need. But not really. You got 30 seconds, kid. Think fast. PETER: So there I was, faced with the biggest decision yet in all my twelve years. And naturally, I wished for what every young boy dreamed of. YOUNG PETER: I wish that my life could be a musical! GENIE: Well alright then. It’s your wish! Alakazam! Ka-pow! Shamalamadingdong! Whatever... (GENIE exits.) YOUNG PETER: Cooooooool! I wonder... (starts to sing) The hills are alive.... (VOICES can be heard as SINGER ONE and SINGER TWO enter stage.) SINGERS: With the sound of music! 11 Echoes

What Dreams Are Made Of | Mackenzie Cole YOUNG PETER: No way!!! This is awesome! I even have backup singers! SINGER ONE: Excuse me? Backup? No way brother, we are all equally important! SINGER TWO: Well, you two might be equal, but we all know that I am the star! PETER: And so that was that! I was on my way to music heaven. Although I soon came to realize that I was not totally in control of my singing friends. I learned that they would appear sometimes when I just spoke the words to a song, and it didn’t even have to be a musical. My wish is a bit of a blessing and a curse. When I’m with family and friends, it’s great fun. We sing and laugh together, and it makes for entertainment at parties. It’s when I’m with people that don’t know my situation as well that things get a little hinky. I’ve learned over the years to watch my phraseology to avoid a spontaneous song at all possible, but every once and a while one happens to slip out- which is why I’m so nervous about tonight! I met this really great girl, Sophie, and she’s coming over to my place to hang out and eat pizza and just have a good time. It should go well... As long as I can keep my “friends” under control. (Doorbell is heard) PETER: That’s her! Here goes nothing... Hey Sophie! SOPHIE: Hey Peter! This is a nice place you have. PETER: Thanks! This is a nice… uh... shirt you have? SOPHIE: Hey Peter... this is a really strange request... But by any chance do you have any bananas? I’ve been craving one all day, and I didn’t have any at home! PETER: Yeah sure! I’ve got a few somewhere. I’ll find them then bring a banana right out to you. (SINGERS appear behind PETER) SINGERS: This --- is bananas- B-A-N-A-N-A-S This --- is bananas- B-A-N-A-N-A-S A few times I’ve been around that track So it’s not just gonna happen like that Because I ain’t no hollaback girl I ain’t no hollaback girl PETER: No no no no no... Not right now... go away! SOPHIE: Peter, what the heck is this? Is this some kind of sick joke? PETER: No, it’s not. This is just something that happens every once and a while... Really, it’s no big deal! So, this all started when I was about 12. This part is really going to sound crazy... But I found a genie in a bottle. (SINGERS reappear.) SINGERS: I’m a genie in a bottle, baby. Gotta rub me the right way, honey. I’m a genie in a bottle, baby, Come, come, come on and let me out. SOPHIE: Nope! That’s it, I can’t do this. This is too weird for me. Sorry Peter, but please, do not try to call me again. It was nice meeting you, and I hope you have a nice life with your freaky magic singing ghost things or.. whatever! (SOPHIE leaves. PETER returns to couch.) PETER: (Wailing) NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Look what you guys have done! A perfectly good girl just walked right out of my apartment. And it is all thanks to you! Can’t you guys have a little bit of restraint? Help a guy out every once and a while? If anything, just please, PLEASE, don’t mess anything up at my job interview tomorrow. SINGERS: The sun’ll come out Tomorrow So ya gotta hang on ‘Til tomorrow come what may Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya Tomorrow! You’re always A day away!

Two Thousand and Twelve


What Dreams Are Made Of | Mackenzie Cole (Next scene. Job Interview. CHARLES is the snooty, uninterested boss. CHARLES and PETER are sitting at a table) CHARLES: So, Peter, you are interested in being our new office coffee boy? PETER: Um, no sir, Mr. Scottson, I’m actually interested in your position available in your creative team. CHARLES: Ha! And what makes you think that you deserve to be here over all of the other highly qualified, experienced applicants? PETER: Well sir, I know this sounds cheesy and cliche, but I just feel like there’s this fire inside my heart, and I am passionate... (cutoff again by SINGERS) SINGERS: There’s a fire starting in my heart Reaching a fever pitch, it’s bringing me out the dark Finally I can see you crystal clear Go ahead and sell me out and I’ll lay your ship bare (PETER is sitting, unresponsive, with his face in his hands) CHARLES: What is going on here? Is this some sort of prank? SECURITY. PETER: No need for that, I can just see myself out. CHARLES: You better leave my premises right this instant young man, and DON’T COME BACK. (End scene. Next scene opens back at apartment. PETER skulks to the couch.) PETER: I thought I had hit rock bottom before... I was wrong. THIS is rock bottom. No job... No girl... It just really really sucks to be me right now. SINGERS: It sucks to be you. On Avenue Q. (sucks to be me) On Avenue Q. (sucks to be you) On Avenue Q. (sucks to be us) But not when... PETER: NOT RIGHT NOW GUYS!

13 Echoes

Samantha Carter

Rack City (Panther Basketball)
Lyrics BY Christian Porter
Yeah…Mr. Porter Wichita Independent Panthers…Stand up! Rack city, rack, rack city. Rack city, rack, rack city. Rack city, rack, rack city. Rackin’ up two’s and three’s…call it rack city. (Chorus) (Repeat Chorus) (Verse 1) We goin’ for courts…like a gallon Got milk? Gallon challenge Got ‘em shocked when we dish it to the outlets Don’t say ya’ll ball if ya’ll really ain’t about it Throw up the Dub…we stay winnin’ Wichita.. Independent Ya’ll can talk the talk, but ya’ll can’t walk the walk Ya’ll think ya’ll ballin’ till we runnin’ out the clock, Droppin’ shots, like a nervous doctor Lowerin’ your heads when you head to the lockers Cause ya’ll know ya’ll coach finna be off his rocker Next practice bet he’ll have ya’ll shakin’ like maracas We take shots like pop, pop, pop, pop Once we get the rock then we wet it like a mop

Fab Five
Zach Tuttle

Coach Fields, but this a winter sport Show skill, rackin’ up points on the scoreboard (Chorus) (Repeat Chorus) (Verse 2) Most of these no name teams always doubt us But at their homes games our student section is the loudest They leavin’ early cause we shut it down We’re just getting started, ya’ll should hang around If they call us out then you know we’re gonna answer Our team make your players wanna transfer Top of the key or hard in the paint Stay in the lead, we could do this all day We don’t break a sweat, they look like they broke a fever All net, makin’ baskets like a basket weaver Ya’ll callin’ out SHOOTER every time the ball’s passed Got ‘em on the break because we’re all gassed clutch in transition like a stick shift Never let up cause we’re relentless ya’ll got guards, but ya’ll can’t guard us Mismatch on every player so we put the arc up (Chorus)

Listen to Rack City (Panther Basketball) on our website at echoesliterarymagazine.wordpress.com
Two Thousand and Twelve 14

Mis Palabras
Poem and Translation by Mackenzie Cole
Yo voy a volar del cielo oscuro y susurro oculto. Los corazones rompen en nuestros manos. La sangre cae. Nadé contra la gran ola de tus aguas del alma solo. I am going to fly within the dark sky and hidden whispers. The hearts break in our hands. The blood falls. I swam against the grand waves of your waters of the lonely soul.

Sam McCoy


Tears strewn down her cheeks, Sadness dripping from her chin, Head lowered like the casket. That splotch of black in a field of green And white tombstones. The 21 gun salute. She takes the Triangle of Red and blue and white. 6 months. 1 week. 4days ago. The day he boarded the plane to his own funeral It was five days ago she was Ironing her blouse. Ding dong. She answered the door, ankles buckle under her. The “We are sorry…” casseroles built up And the family torn down. Courageous he was, Fought for the land of the free. Surrendered his name to the USA, Who changed his initials to K.I.A.
15 Echoes

August Woman

Mackenzie Cole

Thoughts on Thoughts
Danielle Allen
Thoughts are like thousands of people. Some are fleeting like faces in the crowd, While others form relationships like family. Many whisper quietly not disturbing your sanity, And protesters state their opinions outrageously loud. Thieves steal away moments, precious and frail. And campers stay long enough to muddle your trail. It’s the character of a nation in the globe of your mind. Thoughts are like multilateral conversations. There are diplomatic talks and negotiations. Resolutions are made to resolve war, But there are constant conflicting values. One half is leaning left, while the other half is leaning right. You’re torn up the middle, more partisan than before Reasonability serves as the mediator. It’s democracy at its finest. The choice is yours. Thoughts are like secrets, people’s hidden treasures. A select few can have your map. Some may find and never look or look and never find, Though the clues were there the entire time. The thoughts said yes, but the mouth said no. The mind said stay, but the hands said go. You buried your thoughts shallow, not deep. So no one reads your mind because your thoughts speak. Thoughts are whatever you think they are… I think?

Samantha Carter
Two Thousand and Twelve

Point of View


Cassie Heflin

The way girls talk is, and always will be, an utter mystery to those outside of the female species. Don’t be fooled boys-your language is quite cryptic as well, but I am a girl myself, so my offerings only delve into the world of girl talk. So boys, sit down and buckle up, because your mind is about to be blown—or at least jostled slightly. The first subject I’m going to cover is time. Time in a girl’s mind is, shall we say, elusive. Now this is not true for every girl, like myself—I am very punctual. However, I am part of the one percent. The other ninety nine percent are late by ten to fifteen minutes. Therefore, one should expect a girl to be ten to fifteen minutes late. A girl’s internal clock is much different than a real world clock—fashionably late is a way of life. So when you ask a girl where she is, and she says, “I’m on my way!” she really means, “I’m leaving my house in about five minutes.” Now, when a girl hasn’t been prompted, and says on her own accord, “I’m on my way,” she is really on her way. I know it’s bizarre, but it’s how it works. Scenario: you are meeting a girl, or girls, at the movies. You are given the job to pick the movie and time. The movie starts at 9:30, so when should you tell the girls to be there? And the answer is 9:00. Why, you ask? Simple.

Samantha Carter
believing I’m actually fine.” Now, here is how to approach a girl’s fury after you have entered into the World of Fine. First rule: tread oh so lightly. Do not push a girl into telling what is wrong because nine times out of ten, you will take twelve steps back from the initial “fine.” However, do not just let it go like nothing happened. If you change the subject right after the “fine,” then you come across as ignorant and that is not going to help your position what-so-ever. Instead, ask her if you upset her or tell her you will make it up to her. Second rule: never, and I mean never, tell a girl to calm down. If you so happen to find yourself in the not-so-silent-fury of a girl and she begins to get sassy in a text, or real conversation for those of us who still have them, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT tell a girl to calm down. The words “calm down” never calm a girl down; they do the exact opposite to be precise. Instead listen to what she has to say, and then prepare your rebuttal. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to win—but don’t get your hopes up. Now I know I have barely scratched the surface of the sophisticated, yet confusing, language of the female. But now it is time for me to bid you adieu. Boys, keep these helpful hints in mind. In my parting, I offer you all these words of advice: stay classy, Independent.

If you tell a girl the movie is at 9:15, she’ll show up around 9:25-9:30. So you tell her 9:00; she will arrive around 9:10-9:15 and you will have plenty of time to gather your snacks and find a cozy seat that is not too close to the screen. Now on to the word “fine.” This word is not something you ever want to hear spring forth from a girl’s mouth. When you do, she is most definitely not fine in any sense of the word. The response “fine” to a question is, quite literally, never a good thing to hear. Only on the very, very rare occasion does a girl really mean she is fine. The quest to finding out if she is upset or if she is fine is tricky, even to us girls. If a girl at school looks glum or down in the dumps and you ask, “So-and-so, are you alright?” and her response is, “Yeah, I’m fine,” with no hint of attitude, or maybe even a small smile, then odds are she actually is fine. If you ask her the same question after you tell her you can’t do something and her response is also the same, take caution when proceeding in conversation. And again, this is not in all cases, but ninety-nine percent of the time I am right—I know, shocking right? The response “fine,” translated into girl code actually means, “I’m extremely angry,” or, “You’re incompetence never ceases to amaze me,” or, “You’re an idiot for actually

For The First Time

Samantha Carter Two Thousand and Twelve 18

Time Lock
Ryan Malone
I sit, watching the minutes congeal as I think about why I shouldn’t feel. Why I constantly think and lie to myself About how we rhyme, feeling numb with time. I have my Secrets, the ones that rot Only God knows, the ones I forgot. That’s me locked away, That’s me and that’s you. We are behind our own mental coup. In a way, it’s satisfying but really it’s not Acknowledging ambivalent, equivalent thought. I hate that you ignore it. I love that you do. I hate that you hint at it, but I’ll have to make do. Now for the time being, I sit in decay the rot in the thought of our dismay If you could just see what I have unlocked the way we rhyme that you’ve all but blocked. But now we sit, while we watch the clock our feelings trapped in our own mental lock.

Eye of London

Jennifer Steere

Hannah Pierangelo
It’s two a.m, I’m thinking With my eyes glued to the ceiling, Missing happy feelings, But I didn’t have a choice. My fingers feel like breaking From the beating they’ve been taking. Not holding your hand is making Me forget your voice. And it’s getting harder to remember That Christmas is in December, The definition of forever, Or just how to count to ten. I dread when I start dreaming And deciphering my feelings, I always end up screaming, I don’t think I’ll fall asleep again.



The Last Cow Standing
Morgan Schreiner
In a field of vast green Lived a herd of cows, who were very lean. They lived in peace and roamed around Until it was their turn to be ground. They were doomed to become beef, And thinking there was nothing to be done they stood chewing on leaves. However there was one cow of average size, He was quiet and shy but very wise. His name was Milky and he liked to dream Of one day when cows would be freed. Milky watched as each of his friends went into the building Only to meet their meaty ending. His voice grew loud as he shot through the field, No longer would he let this happen, no longer would he yield. One day the farmer came out To examine his field and see what was about. Striking him with a vehement force Was a cow who yearned for freedom, a cow who would not be coerced. Passions were inflamed inside this cow He wanted freedom and he wanted it now. Milky mooed at the top of his voice, “It is time for bovine justice, It is time for what is rightfully ours. I will not be imprisoned only to become food, I want to run and be free. This is wrong to treat us so We are brethren, all mammals you know. Joy is something we desire too, and it Shall be ours once we choose to no longer sit.” Milky gathered a crowd And they heard his pleas and wants, for he was loud. They all gathered and formed a mighty bunch, Broke the gates down with a unanimous punch. Then they took gasoline and burned the farm, Nothing could stop them from causing damage and harm. The fire in Milky’s heart was burning bright, His wish for freedom was coming true, and this filled him with delight. The cows had pleaded for many years to be free, Yet no human ear would listen, and no eye could see. The truth that existed deep in cow’s hearts Was that roaming around with no restrictions was their part. To chew on some grass and not care, Not to be ground or sold whole at some odd fair. The cows all rushed out. They ran and played as they romped about. Milky shed tears for his dream was achieved, No more waiting, he was full of relief. However before they could rejoice, They were shot down with no remorse. Milky watched as they all died There was no more joy, but still he cried. They captured him and locked him away, Only to be executed the very next day. Milky was defeated and his head hung low, But there was nothing to be done, nothing could slow The inevitable fate that he would come to face, He walked away with style and grace. When the axe raised high over his head, He thought about what he did and what could have been done instead. Then he remembered the taste of freedom and What a glorious taste is was to walk without out care over the land. He would do it again if he was allowed, And keep his bovine head high and proud. Justice was served on that very day, He just hoped it could happen again, but the effects should stay. Milky closed his eyes one last time And he could hear the moos of cows, and began to whine. The axe came down and that was the end, Of our revolutionary bovine friend.

Two Thousand and Twelve


Veni Vidi Vici

Madeline Level

The most peaceful place I know of, Is the grocery store on a weeknight. No one dares do their shopping past nine, On a Tuesday evening, When the hum of coolers is the only thing, That accompanies you on your journey, Past the fresh turnips being showered with water, Bathing them in the smell of sunshine, Making them appear to be almost edible, Through the sea of multi-grain bread, Which no one but your Grandma seems to buy, Around the arrant employee placing cylinders, Of soup on the highest shelf they can reach, And down a corridor of cookies, Which all seem to call out to you, “Eat me”, but you inevitably pass the critics, Continuing towards the front of the fortress You entered some time ago, With a list that contained only a few items, But gummy bears, pomegranate juice, and gum Materialize in the cart, so of course, They all must be transported down, The cold, black conveyor belt, Nearing the scanner… Beep. Your adventure is over.

London Calling
21 Echoes

Samantha Carter

The Lost Hope of Love
Morgan Schreiner
Help me I am trapped within myself Life surrounds me and the walls are closing in The repetition and injustice makes this a bleak blur Blindly bustling about the world continues on for vain reasons It seems I have all but given up, hope abandoned However then I saw you standing by yourself I was flustered with strange feelings when You begin to talk, pulling me closer and my heart begins to stir My emotions were changing just as rapidly as seasons A beacon now bellows forth a note, which I follow, hope regained I begin changing form, my heart calls back to the beacon No longer dwelling in doubt My bitterness no longer so strong, becomes less stout You have captured my soul and my very essence, but what do I feel My emotions boiling, my heart singing, and all I can do is come closer to you Love has grasped me, but what should I do When I speak its clear you do not want to be near, hope forgotten I can see though, I no longer wish to be just with myself I want to be with you and your heart I shall win Now my days are brighter, I have reason for the repetition, and if it were That you would have me too, I would have a reason To live my life with love and confidence, hope empowered I love you for your courageous strength You are beautiful even from great lengths It is clear your heart calls out for companionship I see it in your eyes of copper blue But as I approach you recoil, but even if that is true My love shall be unchallenged and undenied, hope unchanged Even if I have to wait eternity by myself I will not falter and I will not give in My heart yearns to sing in harmony with yours, my love endures Still through the forces of time, pain, sadness, and the seasons It is the same, I will wait, hope tested I try to speak again, but it seems I have lost my voice My heart though passionate is immersed in a cold slumber I cannot tell if the moon or stars control the skies Inside a battle for hope or courage occurs But my voice is still locked into the devastating abyss of my heart Chaos swirls, depression hurls my mind through the universe Of those braver than I, I know you do not love me For you taught me to see, and although I am no longer blind I wish to close my eyes as raining sorrow falls Because I love you I shall choose to stay away, because I know your heart does not belong to me. Still your heart cries I hope you find love soon, so you can be happy and fulfilled What is left in life when paths shatter, and pieces Scattered like marbles. To see the truth a love, the only Piece that matters. Hope is lost, abandoned, and forgotten But love cannot be If only you could see the truth And know the pain of vision

Summer Roses

Rachel DeMyers Two Thousand and Twelve 22

An Epic Quest Runner Up
Hannah Pierangelo
You know, you’d think a day couldn’t get any worse when it starts out with a missed alarm, an empty tube of toothpaste, and not a single pair of clean socks in the drawer. You’d think that your day would start out pretty bad if you knew you were going to have to ride your bike to school because the bus was long gone, and that you were going to have go sockless in your sneakers, hoping that no one could smell your sweaty feet—or your breath for that matter. You’d think that maybe, maybe that bad day would look up if you actually managed to make it to school on time, or if some one at school was willing to part with a piece of peppermint gum or something. Yeah, I thought that too, all up until the Pop Tarts disappeared from the pantry. Literally, disappeared. One minute, there was one last scrumptious, strawberry flavored, confetti colored, icing covered pop tart waiting for me on the shelf—the next, it was in the greasy grasp of my little sister’s hand and out the door to her bus. She was gone with my beloved breakfast before I could stop her. Damn those quick and tiny feet of hers. 7:32. The clock on the microwave teased me with a new possibility. School was about three miles down the street, but there was a grocery store on the way. Could I make it? Did I dare try? Well, of course. Nothing stands in the way of my perfect, precious Pop Tarts. I don’t think I’ve pedaled faster on my bike in my entire life, not even when Ally ran to the park with my radio control monster truck, threatening to bury it in the sandbox. I was flying down the sidewalk to the store, and made it in record time. Inside, I streaked through the aisles, searching for the breakfast pastry aisle. My sneakers slid and skidded on the tile as I turned corners, searching for my treasure. And then a furry little beast jumped on me and tackled me to the floor. “RAWWWRR!” it screamed in my left ear while shoving plastic dinosaurs in to the crevices of my face. “The robot dinosaurs have successfully captured a live subject for their alien experiments!” “Robot—what?” I pushed the little beast off of me, and saw that it was merely a small child with an army of Crayola colored dinosaurs scattered around him. “Dinosaurs, gosh,” he said, as he pushed the glasses up on his nose, wiped his runny nose on his navy shirt sleeve, and began gathering his toys. A stuffed penguin, who seemed to be their king, appeared from underneath the kid’s shirt and began commanding the dinosaur army. “You have to come and be their experiment now.” “Look, kid, I don’t have to do anything. Don’t you have school?” I asked as I got to my feet. “Yeah. But my mom has to get her coffee first,” he said. He pushed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose again. “Extra Expresso.” “Okay, whatever. Look I gotta go—” “No! You have to play alien robot dinosaurs with me!” He screamed suddenly. This kid was getting temperamental, fast. And I had already wasted too much time on him. I had to find the Pop Tarts, and I had to get to school before the home room bell. I ran for it. The child threw a purple brontosaurus at me, but I ducked just in time. I heard him wail, “How come no one ever wants to play with me?” before I dashed around the corner into… At last. The Aisle of Deliciousness. Everything lovely and good in the world resided here, on the humble shelves of awesome. I took a moment to admire it, the way I always did when mom dragged me to the store. Oreos on my right, Capri Sun pouches to the left. Goldfish and animal crackers and fudge covered cookies and Fig Newtons and Cheez-Its! At last, I had found the temple of perfection. I sped to the end of the aisle where I knew the Pop Tarts would be. And there they were. A pristine and picturesque box of Pop Tarts, and there weren’t even any dents in the cardboard. The day was finally looking up. I snatched it off of the shelf, and raced to the checkout. I managed to find three dollars and forty-six cents of change in my pockets and backpack to pay for my prize, and was soon back to racing along the sidewalk toward school. Well, the ride was awkward, trying to hold the box under my arm as I rode, but I did it. I slid my bike into the bike rack and sped to my homeroom on foot. The hallways were empty, which made me nervous, but I didn’t think the homeroom bell had rung yet. When I finally made it to Mrs. Garkenstein’s classroom, the bell rung just as I was turning the handle. I swung open the door wildly, and burst into the room, desperately hoping that she wouldn’t count me late. But she wasn’t in the room at all. “Mrs. G’s in the bathroom,” a student said from their desk. I smiled. “Success!” I shouted to the classroom. Most of the kids just laughed at me, but I didn’t care. I had Pop Tarts.



Speak Now: Brian Wise Swift’s Life in Music
The track record of awards and nominations of country star Taylor Swift is self-evident. But the often overlooked aspect of her music is the personality behind it. Taylor Swift’s latest album, Speak Now, is her first completely original album with no co-authors, no major guest appearances, simply her writing. Swift stated in an interview with the New York Times Style Magazine that Speak Now is almost completely autobiographical. The fanciful love stories that are typical of Swift’s music become even more real in Speak Now because they were inspired by her real-life experiences. Some of the songs really hit home for many listeners going through the same troubles that Swift encountered. While some would argue that only young girls listen to Taylor Swift’s music, many guys are affected in similar ways by the stories in the songs. Swift writes her lyrics in such a way that her stories, which come from one side of a relationship, can be applied to both sides rather easily. Many guys will say that Taylor Swift isn’t for them, and refuse to give it a listen. But with just a little exposure, many guys will find that is does apply to their own lives too. Speak Now is littered with these stories of love and Swift’s climb to the top of the country charts, as well as catchy melodies. All of Swift’s music, along with most country music, is easy to sing along with and gets stuck in people’s heads. One thing that is different about Speak Now is the country-pop crossover style. The new success that Swift has found is a manifestation of her ability to gain new fans from her new pop-influenced style while still retaining her country music fans. From love stories to a song about a scathing reviewer, Speak Now is truly an album full of diverse styles and sounds worth a listen from everyone.

Two Thousand and Twelve

Ryan Malone



Nicole Fox

We stood there, nature all around us. His eyes glistened, bright and sparkling like the car that we’d left far behind us. They sparkled like the color I knew streaked through my own hair. It was how we were connected, how we had always been connected. There wasn’t much left to say. We had walked all the way down the path. Past the playground equipment that reminded me of the childhood memories we had shared together. Past the car we’d driven. The one that reminded me of our first cars, the ones with matching bumper stickers. Past the house with the small garage that reminded me of countless nights sneaking out to meet him. I didn’t know what to do. When we had come to the entrance of the forest, and stood there for a minute, reminiscing, We looked at the trees. We looked at the leaves. We looked at the grass. It was all green, the color of our love. Where was there to go from here? We had reached the end of the forest. There was no fork in the road, no option for us to take divergent paths, or to chose the same, to stick together. The luscious green grass that we had often walked barefoot through, fingers intertwined, was now dead. There was nowhere to go. Green was the color of our love. But everything was brown.

Winded Purple
25 Echoes

Tori Ciniglio


Dylan Hernandez

There was a man whose successes amounted to their normal successful amounts And whose failures amounted to their own unique quantities There were moments of more incredible success than usual for him As well as moments of more memorable failures than common His work schedule every day was tolerable But by no means optimal, a grind by all definitions His love life was at best a mind game that could be failed by even the most hardened emotional veterans A normal human being by all sets and standards Yet no man was more confident than he moving through the portal of sleep day after day For he knew himself greater than he let anyone define him as For he was familiar with the idea that his ability, his realm of the possible could only expand and never shrink For whenever one of his orbs goes out of orbit, nothing pleasures him more than figuring out how to put it back For he knows that his calm will withstand the most haphazard circumstance For he knows with each loss comes a piece of information to improve For although the stress of having to breathe twenty four hours each day bears down upon him Just as it does for every other man He lets an idea sit quietly in his mind That simply says To never be afraid of failure

Mackenzie Cole
She walks in beauty, like a wind while floating through my gentle mind Each touch, each turn, each pleasant glance is all for me, another chance. But little did I know, her past is scarred with fear still from her last. The jagged whips upon her heart have forced our distance more apart. She runs in terror, like a ghost while gliding through her chilling thought. Each soft and meek touch of my hand does take her to a cruel land.

Orb of the Nebula

Ahmad Yassine Two Thousand and Twelve 26

The House of Targess
The cockpit of the Blazer-540 was in pristine condition, considering it was nearly fifty years old. A couple of the indicator lights were broken, which caused a couple problems, but not many. The fuel indicator was not acting properly though; it had never done that before. According to the readings, the Blazer was running on fumes. That couldn’t be correct. The task force systematically calculated the amount of petrol that would be needed to get from Perseon to the docking station on Thea, a nearby moon. The weight of the intended cargo and the pilot were added together and then the least amount of fuel possible would be pumped into the spacecraft. Something had to be wrong with the indicator, that was the only explanation. The long fingers of the pilot ran over the dashboard. Back and forth, back and forth upon switches and buttons that beeped and blinked. “Breaker, this is Dormir, my ETA is 17:42,” he interpreted the echo of static that ensued, as a confirmation of this data. Silence followed for several moments. The pilot contemplated putting his craft on autopilot and retreating to the sleep cabin when he heard a noise. The man’s hands reached for the gun resting on its shelf under the controls. More shuffling came from behind him. Gun poised, the pilot opened the portal to the cockpit. A young girl spilled out of the containment closet. Her long braids whipped about wildly; she looked like a helicopter ready to take off. The girl crawled up from the floor, stood up, and straightened her maroon dress. “Please,” she whimpered. Her brown eyes screamed for mercy. The man lowered his gun. “What are you doing here? This is a restricted government vehicle!” He said very precisely, “I’m assuming you don’t have proper clearance to be here, so under Article 7 of the Perseon Court of Law, I must sentence you to…” “I know. I was hoping you wouldn’t find me until we were on Thea.” She wouldn’t look her captor in the eye. “What are you doing here, then?” the man calmly asked. The girl with the pigtail braids and the dress that was several sizes too big on her, stood there, reluctant to tell the pilot anything. “Put down the gun, and I’ll tell you.” Carefully, the pilot placed the gun on the pallid white floor and raised his hands away from it. “Thank you,” the girl said, “and my name is Kahli, by the way.” The man looked slightly confused and then gave his name as Dormir and asked why the petite Kahli was on board his ship. Kahli gave a very specific answer: she wanted to see her brother. He was a Perseon soldier stationed on Thea, and Kahli believed this was the best way to get in touch with him. However, the consequences of her actions did not seem to cross her mind. “You know that you have trespassed and that you have risked both of our lives here, right?” Dormir questioned Kahli. The girl nodded, her braids waving back and forth over her shoulders. Then the conversation turned grim. “Then you know what must be done.” Kahli walked over to the pilot and stopped a few inches from him. She barely came up

Madeline Level

to his chin. Her right hand dug out a piece of paper from her dress pocket. “Here. Give this to Kahlo Targess,” she said sheepishly. As a lone tear rolled down her cheek, she finished her thought: “That’s my brother. Tell him that I love him. A lot.” Dormir took the piece of paper, folded it in half, and stuck it into his boot. “I will,” he said with a smile. He was trying to be encouraging and comforting at this point, because he knew what was going to happen next. The little girl, who only wanted to see her brother would be corralled into the jettison lock, sealed in, and released into the dark, cold, airless space that surrounded them, all because of Article 7 of the Perseon Court of Law. Without begging for her life, or even saying a word, Kahli opened the screen to the jettison lock herself, and stepped in. I can’t do this, she doesn’t deserve it screamed the shred of humanity in Dormir’s brain. But if you don’t, you’ll both die out in space. You’ll run out of fuel and no one will come to save you yelled the part of his brain that was programmed for survival. A war was raging on inside of a man that tried to remain composed, for the girl’s sake. A click from the jettison’s door, and there was no turning back. The little girl’s hand reached up and touched the glass that separated them. “I’m ready,” she said, trying to veil her fear. And with that, she was gone. She had done nothing wrong, but she had. That was the justification that sat with the pilot on the rest of his flight. She had done something wrong, but he couldn’t help feeling he had too.



Lunar Vista

Braydon Barnes


Samantha Carter

Listening to thunder soothes me, The rumbling takes me to a place Where all I can do is listen. The sound bubbles under the clouds Then bursts into a roar, then boils Back down to a quiet simmer. It never really leaves, the rumble. It’s always waiting, wanting to be Louder and when it is, it is heard. More quiet in its approach is lightening. It strikes the ground with a subtle zing, The silence makes it brilliant. The light leaving peripherals before it has registered, It’s over before realizing it has begun, But when you get a glance, it is beauty. Next is the pitter patter on the roof, It hits the dark ground in teardrops, The wonderment—the sky’s grieving. As the tears fall they pop on the ground, The bubbles from the force are remarkable, Watching it is almost mesmerizing. Too soon it will all be over, My peaceful place for thought will leave me, Mourning its loss, waiting for more.

29 Echoes

Mackenzie Cole

Panther 5-0
Morgan Schreiner
Scene 5: Breaking It Down
(The scene starts with Morgarret rolling around the corner with Danno tagging along behind him.) DAN: You know, I am done! MORGARRET: Done what? DAN: Done with this! I am done walking around these hallways finding nothing and being in bad standing with the head of school slash technology teacher. MORGARRET: Well, we tried your way and that didn’t work, and Mr. Coach Watkins Sir gave us permission to do this. DAN: You want to know the truth? We aren’t finding anything with your method or my method, because there is nothing to find. I quit, I’m tired of it. MORGARRET: But Danno… DAN: I told you my name already and it is not Danno, it’s DAN. Have fun wallowing in your delusions. (Dan walks off and Morgarret is stunned. He almost looks sad. Camera stays on him for awhile then moves to Dan walking through the hallways.) Gosh! I can’t believe him! He is so frustrating. Maybe I was a little harsh on him; no, he deserved to hear the truth. But I did almost have fun and enjoy life, but it was completely pointless. Err… I don’t know. I need something to drink. (Dan starts to walk down to the cafeteria. He notices a gathering of people in the lunch room he hesitates then he hides behind the door and listens.) GANG LEADER: Greetings to all the members of the Octonity Gang… DAN (in quiet voice): Oh my God, he was right! GANG LEADER: Tomorrow, we will enact our plan to flood the school with a certain item. One that we will sell to the students to be come wealthier than kings! DAN: I can’t believe what I am hearing, this whole time he was right. GANG LEADER: We have already eliminated all those who know of this plan I take it? GANG MEMBER 1: No, Cronos, but we are trying our best. GANG LEADER: You sent Alpha One? GANG MEMBER 1: Yes Lord Cronos. DAN: They must be talking about Morgarret! I have to warn him! (Dan quickly, but quietly, runs up to Mr. Coach Watkins Sir’s room.) DAN: Mr. Coach Watkins Sir! No I mean Mr. Coach Watkins! No!! I mean Mr. Watkins! Where is Morgarret? MR. COACH WATKINS SIR (after a few seconds of typing): He went home, said he thought he did not do the right thing or some thing. DAN: May I use my phone real quick? MR. COACH WATKINS SIR (pausing to think): Sure. DAN (starts dialing a number is looking at the watch on his wrist): Come on Morgarret pick up the phone. (The camera then shows Morgarret in bed with his face in his pillow then his phone starts to ring.) MORGARRET: Go away. (The phone rings.) No. (The phone rings again mercilessly torturing Morgarret.) DAN: Pick it up! MORGARRET: Fine! Hello? DAN: Morgarret, you were right! MORGARRET: Wha…? What do you mean? DAN: There is a freaking gang and they have someone called Alpha One who is supposed to whack you. (Pause) They want to kill you, get your mind out of the gutter! MORGARRET: I thought Panther Five-0 was a waste of time and there was no reason for it. DAN: Well, I was wrong and I need you now. Partners? (There is long pause.) I am telephonically holding out my fist for you to bump. MORGARRET: I am telephonically not pounding it. But I’m on my way. You can count on me.

To read the script in its entirety, visit echoesliterarymagazine.wordpress.com.
Two Thousand and Twelve 30

Jessica Fisher
The swirling sun shrinks into the night And still I know that in my heart, when you left me standing alone, I was right. I was the one that should not have had to resort to the measures I did; corrupting my world and splattering my emotions—raw, striking, dirty—across the sky leaving sparks and streaks of old memories dripping from it; a memory of our last good-bye. It is a memory which forever stains the canvas of my life; a nasty, overbearing ink blot among the dazzling sparks that clouds my starry night. No knife can cut the mistake out or eraser can dull the marks. There is no change that could possibly be that could erase the image of what was you and me.

Day Fading

Glenn Cox

Strings of Confidence
Cassie Heflin
Life is connected through strings. Sometimes people are afraid to try for strings that are within reach. That is where I was: scared to try but desperately wanting to. Through the strings of my vocal cords, and with the help of a voice teacher named Kathie Abel, I overcame this fear, gained confidence, and learned to navigate life’s tightropes. When I began voice lessons, Kathie began warming up my vocal cords and untying the ropes of shyness that kept me paralyzed with fear and unable to fully participate in life as I longed to do. When I was in eighth grade, Kathie insisted I take a vocal solo to Festival and audition for the school musical. She forced me to step onto strings that appeared rickety to me, but the farther I stepped onto them, the more confidence I developed in the strings and in myself. I enjoyed doing both activities. Since then I have taken solos to Festival every year and have been in every musical 31 Echoes possible. My newly-won confidence also benefited my schoolwork. Before, I despised oral presentations, fearing extreme embarrassment if I messed up. Now, I do not mind presenting. If I do make a mistake, I am not alone; others will do so as well. The same applies to writing. I have accepted that I do not have to be perfect. I can laugh at my mistakes and, like an artist, manipulate a misstep on the strings of life in my favor. Manipulating the strings is not easy. Sometimes it takes corrections to discover the long-term winning string. Twice I have had to adjust and learn. Both times were at State Festival. Sophomore year, Kathie was ill and could not give me a lesson before State. This made me complacent. Because I did not practice as much as I should have, I received a II rating instead of the I of which I was capable. Junior year, we arrived late so I could not run through my songs before

Runner Up

performing. The result was a loss of confidence and consequent poor breath support. Once again I received a II rating. A rating of I would have been ideal but I learned more from my IIs. I now know that parents and voice teachers push people onto the practice string for a reason. That string leads to better results. I corrected this and moved on. The next year I learned that being early is best. I was not calm therefore had no breath support and lost confidence. Without support and confidence, vocal chords, as well as the strings of life, are less sure. Through my voice and Kathie, I have learned much about navigating strings. I no longer fear minor mistakes. I have confidence in myself and in the strings. I use missteps to guide myself in the long run. The strings can be manipulated and I am learning how.

My Voice

Jessica Fisher

In the morning, the breeze sings a whistling tune of longing and love, and yet I am silent. I hear the birds singing to each other with a merry tune that echoes from the sky, yet I am silent. In school, the chatter, the laughing, the general mirth of the students fills the halls, yet I am silent. The teachers lecturing all hour, encourage students like me to join in, yet I am silent. I hear the cars rushing by, creating a new beat, yet I am silent. I tap my foot impatiently waiting to go home; I hear the jarring sounds of anger, yet I am silent. I leave to the gasping sounds of sobs, and I realize something. I don’t need to be silent to experience the melody of life. I must experience my own song. I go home and hear the steady hum of the washing machine, and I hum with it. I wake up to the piercing sound of my alarm clock, and I laugh at the sharp noise. I walk into the school to the chatter of the students welcoming a new day, and I join into the vivacious commotion of the school. I have found my voice.

Dave Strauchman

Hannah Pierangelo

Daisy for Her
Sam McCoy
Sitting on the back porch swing, Serenaded by the bluebird’s song. Breathing in the day. Soaking up each other. Living in the moment and forgetting the past. The sun is slowly disappearing Behind the cottonwoods in the distance. Bare feet feel the breeze of springtime. Dirt left on the bottom of them. Remnants of running through fields and Placing a daisy in her hair Just because it brought out the green in her hazel eyes. But just then he brushes back her hair Kissing sweetly, softly, beautifully. Keeping fingers laced, they release And just then the petal falls from the daisy, And in that moment she knows “He loves me.” They sit and talk before she falls asleep in his arms. No care in the world. Just each other.

Ashlyn Gagne

Arina Tanemura



Nicole Fox
It was dark outside. I remember that very distinctly. The white walls’ bright sting was blunted by the lack of natural light. I was thankful for it. The brightness had always hurt my eyes. I blinked a few times, trying to remember where that thought had come from. In fact, I couldn’t remember anything at all—not who I was, not where I was. I sat up on the small bed I had been lying on, and tried to take in my surroundings. They looked familiar, but again I couldn’t place them. What’s happening to me? I stood, and found my legs were weak and wobbly. That should mean something, I knew it should. I stumbled towards the door, bracing myself with one hand on the wall. With a deep breath, I wrapped my other hand around the door and pulled it open, stepping into the lighted hallway. The sheer whiteness of it all blinded me temporarily, and I was unable to take in my surroundings. My breath became more ragged, and I started hyperventilating. A blast of cold air hit me as well, and I was aware for the first time of how paper-thin my dress was. On top of everything else, I was aware of a bodiless voice speaking to me. Remember. Unable to take the sensory overload anymore, I sunk to the ground with my head held between my hands. Remember. “Stop!” I screamed. “Just stop it! Please!” “Move, move, move!” I heard a female voice say, just as I thought I was about to go insane. “I’ve got her,” said a different voice. This one sounded younger, a girl about my age, sixteen, whereas the other sounded older, more authoritative. Arms wrapped around me, and suddenly I knew exactly who these girls were. “Helena?” I asked, opening my eyes to see the blonde girl looking down at me with large blue eyes. “Shh, it’s alright. It’s me. It’s us. You’re safe now.” I didn’t know what exactly I was safe from, but it didn’t matter. I just knew Helena wasn’t lying to me. “We have to get her out of here,” said the authoritative voice, and I looked up to see a young woman, probably in her early twenties, standing over us. Her face was hard, but her eyes looked kindly at me. “Bridgette,” I said, taking her extended hand, and allowing her to help me to my feet. “That’s right, kiddo. You don’t have anything to worry about. You just stay behind me—I’ll protect you.” I didn’t know why that comforted me, or what, exactly, I needed protecting from, but I knew she was telling the truth. Helena was examining my face and body, making sure I wasn’t physically harmed. I let her fuss over me, knowing that this was a normal routine for her. “You just sit over here,” she said when she was through with her examination. “Bridgette will have a plan.” I nodded as Helena walked away. As soon as she disappeared around the corner, I heard a soft noise coming from behind me. Pst. Pst! Alarmed, I shot my head around, hands balling up into fists for self-defense. Then I relaxed as I saw who was making the noise. A child crawled out, a girl of around ten with bouncing white-blonde curls. I smiled. “Hello, Angela.” “Hello,” she greeted me warily. Then she glanced around us, as if to check for intruders. “We’re alone,” I assured her. Angela seemed to visibly relax, although her eyes remained alert. “How are you doing?” she asked me. “Fine,” I said. “Why wouldn’t I be?” She sighed. “That’s something you have to figure out on your own. Only you can stop this. It can’t be me. I can’t tell you.” “What are you talking about?” “Bridgette and Helena—you trust them?” “With my life!” I said. “And you trust me?” “Yes.” “Then let me ask you something. How do you know us? Where are we from?” Angela’s question gave me pause. I knew them, but how? I added that to the list of questions I couldn’t answer. The list was rapidly growing. Angela smiled sadly at my hesitation. “That’s what I thought.” Then her head snapped around at the sound of voices. My head followed, sensing that Bridgette and Helena were returning. “They won’t hurt—” I began, turning back to Angela, but the girl was gone. “What’s going on?” Bridgette demanded, flying into the room so fast her red hair whipped behind her in a circle that looked like fire. Fire. That was a good way to describe Bridgette, I decided. “Nothing,” I said, barely hesitating. I had the feeling I was used to lying about Angela. Bridgette nodded. “We need to move.” I stood to follow, and as I did I heard the voice again, that same, bodiless voice. Katie. You have to remember Katie. I looked around me to see where the voice had come from. Nowhere. Bridgette gave me a questioning glace, assuring me that I was the only one who had heard it, and that the message was somehow meant for me. But who was Katie? And why did I have to remember her? Shaking my head, I followed Bridgette to where Helena was waiting for us. “Okay,” Bridgette said, “here’s the plan. We need to get to the front doors, and out of this place. I’ve been planning this escape for weeks. We have to get you out now.” I looked at her questioningly, but Helena gave me a reassuring glance. Why they had to get me out was still a question for me, but I nodded, going along with the plan. And why shouldn’t I? Bridgette always protected me, and Helena always cared for me. I may not have known who they were, but I was as sure of those facts as I was of anything. Bridgette turned, truly looking at me now. “Whatever you do, if you see people coming for you, don’t let them get you, okay?” “And don’t worry about us,” Helena said. “If you get out, then we’ll get out, okay?” “Okay,” I said, although Helena’s statement made no sense in my brain. But I Two Thousand and Twelve 34

Katie | Nicole Fox This time Bridgette and Helena heard the voice too, so I knew it wasn’t the same as the one I had heard earlier. That one I couldn’t place, I couldn’t even tell what gender it was. This one I knew by heart. It was Angela. “Ignore her,” Bridgette snarled. Then she mumbled, “I’m going to kill that lousy…” she stomped off, Helena following. As they disappeared, Angela appeared again. “What did you mean?” I asked. She shook her head. “I can’t tell you. You have to figure it out on your own. But you’re getting closer now, I think.” I didn’t feel any closer to anything. “Just tell me!” “No!” Angela looked pained. “I can’t stay here. If Bridgette comes back she’ll kill me.” “Bridgette is a sweet—” I started. “I know she’s just doing her job and she can’t help it,” Angela said. “But I have to go!” “Wait!” I called out, but she was already gone. Sighing, I walked out of the room and found Bridgette and Helena at the end of a long hallway filled with closed doors. “What are we waiting for?” I hissed. Bridgette held up a hand to silence me. Putting one finger to her lips, she crept forward, motioning for me to follow. Helena brought up the rear. We were halfway there before everything went wrong. The lights flashed first, blinding me. I staggered, trying to block out the painful white drowning me. I blinked, trying to clear my vision after the flash, but everything was still illuminated in a white, flashy haze. I knew I was disoriented, but I kept moving. You have to remember Katie. It was that voice again. I was getting closer and closer to placing it. Where had I heard him before? Because it was a male voice, I had decided. “Go!” Bridgette screamed, propelling me forward and shielding me with her body as dark figures swarmed out of the doors. Even Helena was taking them on for me. I couldn’t repay them by remaining frozen here. I had to escape. Hadn’t they said if I escaped, they would too? How could that be possible? But my legs finally seemed to be working again, even if my vision wasn’t. I was almost to the door when He stopped me. He was shrouded in the white light, blurring my vision of him, but somehow I knew He was The Voice. He grabbed my shoulders. I heard Bridgette’s scream as he shook me gently. And when the words came out of his mouth, I understood everything perfectly. I remembered. “You have to remember, Katie.” Oh. I was Katie. The flood of memories my mind had suppressed came rushing back in. “Do you remember now?” Dr. Martin asked kindly. I was too numb to do anything except shake my head. My name is Katie Harper. I am sixteen years old, and I have had multiple personalities since I was seven. It all made sense now. Bridgette—the one I had created to protect me, to take over when things were unbearable. Helena—the one who would take care of me, nurse my wounds. And Angela—the sweet one that I hoped would be able to lead me back to who I was. I collapsed to the ground, exhausted at the outcome of events. Dr. Martin helped pick me up. “Come on, let’s get you to bed.” I acquiesced, but inside I knew that I would just have to go through the same thing tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, because for me, there was no cure. And that was the scariest thing of all.

Koi Fish First Place
Leah Davis
Echoes 35

Danielle Allen
I like to think that everyone can be trusted, But sometimes people prove me wrong I like to think that the grass is greener, But sometimes it gets too long. I like to think the world is a peaceful place, But sometimes I watch the news I like to think that we all will win, But sometimes I see the ones that lose. I like to think that every child smiles, But sometimes they don’t know how I like to think that I can wait forever, But sometimes I want things now. I like to think my life is perfect, But sometimes I fail a test. I like to think that I’ll live forever, But sometimes people need to rest.

Sam Wiley
Two Thousand and Twelve

Nailed It

Samantha Carter One. I move Two. You don’t Three. I stop Four. You look Five. I shrink Six. You stand Seven. I panic Eight. You smile Nine. I hesitate Ten. You move Eleven. I don’t Twelve. A touch Thirteen. A kiss

Lucky Thirteen

Walk to the Sea

Madeline Level

I Am Calling Out to You
Mackenzie Cole
I am absolutely alone. No breath. No touch. My solitary self gasping for air in the bitter cold of a salty sea. Here I am reaching, searching scanning the horizon of constellations and dreams only to be washed over by a flood of dark red that is the realization of time. I crawl to you like a young child desiring to be coddled and encased in the softness of a mother’s renewing embrace. My waves wash over you booming, thrashing a tsunami of thought but you don’t even feel a drop. Look at me. Put on your worldly spectacles for without them you are blind. You do not see the path of warmth that lies ahead and you are too afraid to walk. So here I sit in my cavernous encasement waiting to be found.

Two Thousand and Twelve


On the Bench the Day before Tuesday, or Was It After? First Place
Morgan Schreiner

On the morning of the fourth of September, a lone disgruntled plebian had wandered out of his house and into the world of the outdoors, although more like the city outdoors for it might be his death to wander into the wilderness outdoors. After all, bugs and plants live in such places. This man—who rowed a boat of faithlessness with oars of infidelity to his island of disbelief, disbelief in the world and people about him and, in some respects, himself—walked like anyone else would to a small café. Although he stood there shouting silently and indignantly at the world, scorning its evils, it was because he was so isolated on that speck of disbelief that people paid him no mind. That is why our plebian walked to a café like everyone else, for nothing can soothe a brooding soul like a freshly brewed pot of coffee. The café was quaint, but somewhat shoddy by some people’s standards. It was a room with ten round tables, each with four chairs about them. The owner had made sure his tables and chairs had a good, even number about them, so as to create a Zen and Feng Shui. This apparently helped the energy flow throughout the room in an even fashion, so that everyone could have an equal part of it; whether that experience was wonderful or terrifying was none of the owner’s concern, simply that it was equal. Then, to help the energy flow more, a deep brown smoke filled the room from the various weeds and plants the owner burned, and the smoke floated up to the ceiling clouding the judgments of those who tried to think. The one part of the bright green and yellow room that was unique and undeniably quite odd was a putrid mahogany bench along the large window, which revealed a panoramic view of the frantic streets. The plebian spoke. “Uh, excuse me. I’d like to have a dark mocha latte with extra sugar.” The bland voice behind the counter re39 Echoes

plied, “What’s the name on that?” “Charlie,” said Charles von Stunterbann Suckboothe, and, satisfied after paying, he looked for a place to sit to wait for his brewing drink. The room was hard to make out clearly. His eyes were brutally battered about by the yellow walls and sneakily stung by the smoke; however the bench looked like a good enough spot to sit. Only a man with a large dark trench coat and a fedora sat there. The gray mustache on his lips twitched when Charlie took a seat, and, in an attempt to get a good sense of the man, Charlie tried to examine him. The only noticeable feature upon his face was the grayed mustache, which danced about his face like a porpoise with spastic tendencies. The man looked back, and the eyes that met questioned each other like foreign countries who had very strained relationships. “Carrot sticks,” said the dancing mustache. “Carrot sticks?” “Yes, carrot sticks. They are lovely. And so many different varieties: short, long, fat, strong, weak. Yet the funny thing is they are all orange.” “Well, yes, I suppose that’s what makes them carrot sticks,” Charlie said inquisitively. “Think again! An orange is orange but it is not a carrot stick. Indeed it troubles me.” “Well an orange has a peel, doesn’t it?” “Splendid work, Charlie.” “How do you know my name?” asked Charlie being pushed away by a stranger, but then being drawn back in by his charisma and smile. “I have a keen sense of hearing and a large nose. Anyways, that’s not the point. Why do you find yourself here Charlie? Surely a boy of your age must have friends to be with or school to go to on a day like this.” “There is no school today. We had a bit

of an explosion in the chem room that managed to engulf the school in flames. And seeing as I have no friends I found myself here.” “But everyone has friends Charlie. A girl perhaps?” “To tell you the truth that was what was bothering me all day. I do like this girl and I want to impress her. So I was thinking flowers, but you know how they are when they get flowers. It’s just that I don’t know if she’ll take any particular interest in me. Like I said, flowers are… why am I telling you this?” “Because you care, Charlie. I can tell. If the girl didn’t interest you, you would have no interest in telling an interesting stranger an uninteresting story that has no real value other than the one you find in it; because you love her.” His last phrase rolled out with soft emphasis. “Well, you know the trouble with girls is they have one flower they like and they only want that flower, so I am trying to figure out which flower she is. Or I am.” “Indeed, but why trouble yourself at all with all those pointless petal sortings, when you could write a pleasing poem?” “Oh no. I am not one for words.” “Charlie, words are the only weapons we have in the war against expressing our thoughts. Without our weapons the lack of expression would win, leaving the world dark and desolate. Art would merely cause grunts and groans, and music would only make you sigh. The world would be filled with so many meaningless sounds it would become crowded and uninhabitable for thoughts. You must be brave, Charlie; you must use your wordery well.” “Wordery? For someone who talks about the importance of words, you just made one up.” “Wordery? Of course it’s a word! Did I not express my thought and meaning well? I mean, after all, you understood what I

On the Bench... | Morgan Schreiner meant, right?” “But that’s not the point, because it’s not a word. You can’t just make words up.” “That’s where you are wrong Charlie. Modify your weapons and make them GREATER!” said the man with a rising voice that touched a near deafening level. At this point all eyes were fixed on the two men sitting on a bench spatting and spouting nonsense. “I question your logic.” “Good Charlie, you should always question logic, not just mine, but ask if it really is logical to be logical.” “Well, of course it is, otherwise you wouldn’t call it logical.” “No, Charlie, that’s not the point. The point is the question, the fine tip on the spear that plunges your way to intelligence and wisdom.” “What’s your name?” Charlie asked. It had just now occurred to him to ask this question of the strange man whose mustache advised him to write a poem for a girl that he nervously liked. Now thoughts questioning whether the girl was worth liking at all popped in to his tiny mind, and questions of why he sucked so much at life begged to be answered. But one would suppose that it was only to be expected to suck at life with a name like Suckboothe. “Redmond Harthington,” said the mustache moving from one side of the mouth to the other in a grand arching leap. “I am here on the day before Tuesday, or is it after?” Redmond asked pulling out a pocket watch. “You mean Monday or Wednesday?” “Exactly.” “But it’s Tuesday.” “Excellent! I must always keep track of my time otherwise it seems to give the slip. It’s important to know the time Charlie.” “Order ready for a Karl,” said the voice from behind the counter. “A dark mocha latte with extra sugar.” “‘Karl?’ Why do they always mess up my first name? It’s not even complex.” Charlie sighed with frustration. He had come to the café to release his tension like the steam floating up from the coffee, but he had managed to do quite the opposite. He had argued with a senseless old mustache, and had decided that to win the heart of the girl he liked he would have to do the only process he hated more than anything: writing a poem. He ran his hands through the tendrils of his red hair. “Goodbye mustache,” Charlie said unknowingly, and with an edge of sadness. Gasping with the realization of what he said, he apologized. “I am so sorry, Mr. Harthington, I mean the trouble is I guess I don’t know what I am doing here, I mean life that is.” Redmond chuckled to himself as Charlie turned to grab his drink. “Charlie,” said Redmond in an effort to reach his attention. “I mustache you a question, but I think I will shave it for later.” Charlie laughed, and that simple joke seemed to soothe the tension in his soul. He grabbed his drink and left the cancerous air, and breathed deeply. There, walking along the streets was a plebian, not terribly sure where to row his boat made of wordery and armed with oars of creativity; but he might just happen to find his island of poetry, his island of love.

Mr. Bill

Emily Vayda 40

Two Thousand and Twelve

My Reality
“Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced,” writes John Keats. To me this quote means that to know what life is like, one must do something to live and experience something new. One can learn many things from experience and living life. John Keats’ quote means a lot to me because it relates to my life. I had to experience many things in my life to realize they were reality. For example, the first part of my life was horrific. It went from being abused to having no home and living in a park on my own. This all happened from age six and a half to seven and a half. My attendance at school suffered due to my mother’s action. Then, at age seven and a half, I was put in foster care. I knew what foster care was a little bit, but never thought it would happen to me. When my mom went to jail for putting a car in the house of the man who hurt me, I went to live with my grandmother—my mom’s mom. I liked my grandma, because I started to go to school and make friends. Then one day during the summer, when I was two weeks away from my birthday, my grandma was so drunk that she pulled a knife on me. I tried to call the police. The line went through, but before I could speak, she cut the line. My grandma went to jail and I was put in foster care. I was in many foster homes due to my behavior, because

First Place
all I wanted was to go back to my mom. My mother was, and is, a drug addict and prostitute. She finally got her act together, however, and started to go with the program. She started visiting me more, and she was sober for two months. CYFD believed she changed, and after a year and a half of being in foster care, on my 9th birthday, I got to go home. When I got home, I realized my life was different from my friends’. My mom and I moved, and later my mom got pregnant. After my mom had my sister Jenifer (later changed to Jennifer), my mom started doing drugs and drinking again. So at nine and a half, I was left to take care of a newborn. Later that month, I went to my father’s house for Christmas, while my sister was at home hopefully being taken care of by her dad and our mom. Yes, Jennifer is my half-sister. I had to go back home early due to my dad being put in prison. When I got home, I found my sister crying and my mom high and drunk. I took care of her. Later that night, about two in the morning of January 1, 2004, my mom and stepdad got into a very violent fight. It was so violent I had to run, with my sister, out of the house to the neighbor’s house to call the police. This is when I realized that my sister and I were going to foster care. The only thing I did not want to happen was getting separated from my sister. After two months of being away from my sister, I started to believe that I would never get to live with and see her again. My behavior was like I was possessed by the devil, but later CYFD decided to keep us together and put us in the same home. After about a year and a half of being in foster care, I started to believe that my mother was not going to get her act together and get us back. Later in 2005, my mom gave us up for adoption. The Christmas of 2005 I talked to my, not knowing it at the time, soon to be family. On January 1, 2006, I got to see the family wanting to adopt me and my sister. Later on January 14, 2006, I went to live with the Brosius’ for life, but the adoption was not official. June 16, 2006 was when I officially became a part of the Brosius family. Even though I have been in two different hospitals because of my actions, once in one and twice in the other, I have learned that a family is not just someone by blood but someone you share your life with. The point of this story is not just to tell part of my life but to show that “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced,” such as I never knew what a family was till I experienced it (John Keats).

Ashley Brosius

Urban Melting Pot
Mackenzie Cole

Madeline Level

A World So Wicked

First Place

Double double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble, Double double toil and trouble, Something wicked this way Comes the shadow that haunts the ground, And chaos continues all around, Until, in the darkness, you are drowned, Ashes, ashes, we all fall Down comes the curtain, clean and swift, Which holds your mind hostage, yet adrift, Like the sinister space between the rift, And down will come baby, cradle and All your brilliant thoughts make no sense, They catch in your throat before you commence, It’s not you; it is the pandemonium hence, For all the king’s horses and all the king’s Men are a horrid, violent creature, It is one of their worst inherent features, Not even God is a good enough teacher, Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over The moon seems twice as alone And so too, does your throne, For you, hellfire is well known, I wish I may, I wish I Might you have forgotten? And where exactly have you gotten, With a heart and world so rotten? Rain, rain, go away, come again another Day slowly bleeds into night, And with it comes a terrible fright, That thrives with the imposing lack of light, And frightened Miss Muffet Away you must run, Because nothing else can be done, Grab your torch, grab your gun, Something wicked this way comes.

Braydon Barnes
Two Thousand and Twelve


16, 36 Allen, Danielle 28, 42 Barnes, Braydon 41 Brosius, Ashley 10, 13, 16, 18, 21, 29, 37 Carter, Samantha 7 Cartwright, Ben 25 Ciniglio, Tori 9, 11, 15, 26, 29, 38, 41 Cole, Mackenzie 4, 31 Cox, Glenn 35 Davis, Leah 22 DeMyers, Rachel 8, 31, 32 Fisher, Jessica 25, 34 Fox, Nicole 9, 33 Gagne, Ashlyn 8, 17, 31 Heflin, Cassie 26 Hernandez, Dylan 3 LaFave, Viktor 2, 21, 27, 37, 42 Level, Madeline 1, 19, 24 Malone, Ryan 3, 15, 33 McCoy, Sam 4, 19, 23, 32 Pierangelo, Hannah 14 Porter, Christian 20, 22, 30, 39 Schreiner, Morgan 19 Steere, Jennifer 14 Tuttle, Zach 40 Vayda, Emily 36 Wiley, Sam 24 Wise, Brian 26 Yassine, Ahmad

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43 Echoes

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Two Thousand and Twelve


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