Short Stories

The Birds


By Olivia Hamilton


The birds walked across the lawn in a great triangle. They dragged behind them their enormous human arms. The birds cocked their heads and jabbered at each other.

“Modern Refrigerator”

“Consonant Socks”


One pecked at a metal spoon abandoned in the lawn.

Above, sitting on the telephone line, was a person. He let out a squawk,  and his tiny sparrow wings fluttered.  The birds stared in awe.

“Mid century patio furniture!” one gasped.

The person swooped down and grabbed the spoon with his toes. Screeching, he took flight into the heavens.

The birds had an overwhelming urge to turn in circles. However, their large arms were obstructing their path.

“Three, dishcloths.” They stared at one another in perfect silence for 53 seconds.

Finally, one began to peck at another bird’s arm.

“Common amphibian!” the bird shrieked as a piece of its arm was torn away.

The other bird cocked his head again, his mouth full of human flesh. He blinked, stared at the sky, and then gulped down the bit of arm.

“Hairy, hairy!” The bird proclaimed.

“Hairy? Hairy?”



The birds repeated the chant and bobbed their heads side to side. All at once they began to peck and feast on their arms. They pecked until the ground was littered with autumn leaves.

At last, their arms were gone.

The birds began to float directly upwards, each grabbing an assorted utensil from the lawn as they went.

The people screamed as they fell from the sky.

The grass turned into packing peanuts.




Four Friends, One Cemetery


By Maria Quezada

Friday night. It was dark, with a few stars, but the moon was just on the verge of full. There was a light breeze in the air. Not too cold nor too warm. Just perfect. A late empty night in which silence was everywhere and no noise was being made but the owls who howled late that night. There was a spooky feeling surrounding the four friend. Each in different state of mind but all wondering the same thing. Why did they agree to explore the cemetery late at night. Bob, Jack, June, and Cindy were all in for a long night and they all knew it. There was no way they would make it through the whole night without regretting going in the first place. Jack being the dare devil of the group knew he was going to be in for some fun and scaring his friends would make the night even better.

It all started from a simple dare. Jack’s dare. He knew his friends would never go to such a place without him making them to go. It was up to him to lead his friends to their ultimate adventure. A night they would never forget. The four friends were all at Cindys house watching scary movies as a tradition every Friday night throughout October. They happened to watch a movie in which a group of friends set out to find mysteries late at night in a cemetery. One thing led to another and they were all on their way to encounter their biggest adventure. Cindy was extremely terrified as to what they were going to encounter but she knew she could not be the one to back out from this.

One by one they all stepped out of the house trying to make as much time as possible while Jack rushed them out into the cool night. The street was empty with just the street lights gleaming their path. They walked for what seemed to be forever in dead silence before they finally approached the giant gate diving them and the cemetery.

June stepped forward examining the gate. “Look there is a lock on the gate. Looks like we won’t be able to explore the cemetery tonight. Let’s just come back later when it’s open and not so dark out.”

“I agree we can always come back tomorrow morning” replied Cindy.

Jack seemed to be enjoying his friends outburst of fear. “What? Are you girls too scared to explore the cemetery? I mean we can leave right now but do not try to act tough again when a simple dare is presented to you.”

June, Cindy, and Bob all looked at each other. They knew they were terrified to go in there but there was no way they were going to look like babies towards one another.

Bob finally spoke up “no of course, not we are going in there. Come on we can go over the gate. It’s easy.”

So it began they all started up the gate afraid of what was waiting for them on the other side of the gate. One by one they all easily went over the gate. Jack ready to go jumped of excited.

“Are you guys ready for an unforgettable night?!”

“Yeahhh…” replied the three friends with no real excitement behind their voice.

Slowly but surely they all began to walk deep into the cemetery. With very little to see they were all afraid something could easily trap them. Negative thoughts racing through their head while Jack seemed calm and excited to explore a place where the dead rest and spirits raise at night.

“Hey! What if we explore that old guys grave, the one who killed his family and then shot himself when he was caught. I heard his grave is all the way in the back of the cemetery maybe we can see his tombstone.”

June, Cindy, and Bob all looked at each other with their eyes wide open and their heart racing. How could Jack be willing to explore the grave of a man who had the guts to kill his family.

June looked confused and finally spoke, “I don’t think that’s a good idea Jack, what if something goes wrong and we get in trouble for it. We already shouldn’t be out here this late at night without our parents even knowing where we are.”

“Oh stop it! We will be okay it’s just a empty cemetery. If we just go check out his grave I promise we can leave right after. I just want to see it. I know you guys want to as well.”

They all began to walk again. This time more relieved than before. Just this grave and we can leave.

Their relief lasted very little.

“Did you hear that?” said June with a frightened tone in her voice.

They all stopped and heard what seemed to be footsteps walking behind them.

“Run!” yelled Bob.

They all began to run even deeper into the cemetery for what seem to be forever.

“Stop! Why are we even running because we heard a noise that could have been a squirrel or even just leaves?” jokingly remarked Jack. “Stop being little babies and continue what we came for.”

One by one they began to walk forward again. But then again the footsteps continued. They all stopped. Jack grew a worried look.

“Ok we will just go see it and leave ok that’s what we came for and I am not leaving until we do so.”

Bob stepped forward “no I think we have had enough. We are not the only ones here and you know it. We will get in big trouble if we get caught. We are leaving if you want to stay fine, we’ll see you back at Cindy’s house.”

“Fine you crybabies just don’t say I never tried to put some fun into our night.”

They all turned around unsure of what to say but all relieved that it was the end of this horrible mistake.

Just when they thought they were getting off the hook from Jack, the footsteps returned. This time louder and faster. Someone was after them.

Panic looks on all their faces they began to run again. This time with fear taking over their body. Who was out there and why was it after them?

Unsure of what to do they all hid behind a small building. Shortly after a man appears in the shadow dressed in all black with something in his hand. They all gasp.

Jack begins to run towards the gate leaving his friends behind. The man spots him and immediately chases after him. Grabs him by the hand and drops him on the floor on what seems to be an accident.

“Stop! Please let me go don’t kill me I’ve done nothing wrong!”

The man began to chuckle “oh little boy stop it I’m flattered but I am not no killer I just work here. Now tell me why are you here and where are those other kids that were with you.”

June, Cindy, and Bob all appear from the back of the building and slowly walk towards them.

“Oh, there you all are. What are you kids doing here? You do know you aren’t suppose to be here, right?”

Cindy looked at the man with terrified eyes “we are sorry sir. It was a mistake coming here and we are very sorry we are leaving right now.”

Jack lifted himself up from the ground relieved to be safe, “no wait a minute, if you are not out to kill us then why were you chasing us and what was in your hand?”

“Well kids come here all the time thinking it’s okay to be here when they aren’t suppose to and my job is to keep them away so I scare them off just like I did to you kids. And well in my hand is my flashlight I always carry it just ran out of battery.”

“Ohhhh” remark all four friends.

June began to head towards the gate “okay well we will be leaving now sir. We are sorry for this and we promise we will never be back again.”

“Okay you kids have a good night.”

Jack, june, Bob, and Cindy all headed out relieved that their horrible experience was finally over. Hearts beating fast and sweaty palms they all began their walk back towards Cindy’s house.

Jack finally broke off the silence, “I’m sorry guys I didn’t mean for this to happen I just wanted us to have a good night. I promise we will never do anything that makes any of us uncomfortable ever again.”

“Okay deal” promised the three friends as they entered the home they should have never left.


Wanna Go For a Drive?

By Heidi Glynn


I punched out the letters “I’m not doing so well” and hit send. Thirty seconds later a message appeared on my screen reading my 5 favorite words: “Wanna go for a drive?”


Eight sneakered feet crunched over the grey rocks in between the the tracks. I balanced on the rail- a tight rope walker high above the crowds. The rocks quickly dissipated, exposing the thirty-foot space between my being and the shallow water below. I stopped and spit down a crack, my stomach fell with my saliva and splatted on a large and rather jagged rock. Should I walk tentatively by putting one shoe forward on the next board, then the second shoe forward to meet the first, or should I use only one foot on each board, striding quickly and deliberately? My inner dialogue was broken from a laugh in the distance. I put my head down and chose the latter so I could keep up with my friendly new peers. My eyes were non moving, non blinking from moving blocks of mossy wood under my ankles.


The familiar black car with Maus Haus blaring pulled into my driveway. I plopped into the passenger’s seat and looked at the swaying Chinese ornament on the rear view mirror, my vision starting to blur, making it into a little red blob. Relief washed over me as I melted into the seat and my face released liquid emotion.


“Let’s go to The Road.”


The unfamiliar black car with loud music slowly drove into my driveway. I sat in the passenger’s seat and looked at the swaying dangly thing on the rear view mirror. I focused my attention outside the window and at the shifting metal and brick landscape as he pulled onto the road and drove. Light and awkward conversation filled the space. But he was in tune with the atmosphere of his car, and rolled down the windows to relieve the pressure, and rolled them back up when it became too windy.


I bit into a mac n’ cheese with bacon pizza, my smiling mouth having trouble chewing without a laugh escaping.


We plummeted down the tunnel of trees. The headlights shone just far enough, quickly burning away the darkness engulfing us. Wetness grew on my cheeks as I choked out my worries, my adversity that had been building up since the last Talk. The Road never “ends”. You would think it would be a scary thing, and it was at first, with the hesitance of entering the dark, towering walls of black and brown and green– but the false forever of it becomes comforting.


I bit into a gyro pizza, my smiling mouth having trouble chewing without a laugh escaping.


Dirty fingernails incessantly scratched the growing red bumps of annoyance- but they stop itching when you’re in the air, when the luminescence from the moon before you and from the giant Kia Soul behind you and from the cultivating conversation within you makes you feel brighter and more awake than ever. The world became so small, cars little below my swinging feet, and so did my problems. I stopped looking below, at the long grass and buildings and concrete, everything I’m so familiar with,  and started looking up. The dark sky was open, untainted, exciting. Why didn’t I look up more often? Our concepts and theories and dreams that we so often hid from our peers, and even ourselves, were being thrown out into the atmosphere, then they penetrated the other like the moonlight on their skull. Oh my god. Oh my GOD! You’re so right!

I bit into a some sort of spicy tofu pizza, my smiling mouth having trouble chewing without a laugh escaping.


“I was thinking… and I realized you are my best friend.”


“You’re definitely mine too.”

A Subway Encounter

By Katie Black


By Katie Black

The only conversation we have all day that isn’t about food is this:


Her: Hey.

Me: Hey.

Her: Wanna go to The Lake after work?

Me: Yeah.

Her: I don’t have to be home until three.

Me: Great.


Seriously. That’s it. Apparently we were dating… or so I was told. The whole situation was awkward all around. I mean, I liked Emma, I really did, but… I don’t know. The relationship felt forced, but also lackadaisical. Like right now, for instance. After working side-by-side for four hours, with our only conversation relating to what John Doe wanted on his sub. We were going to go out to The Lake too, most likely to sit in silence. See what I mean? Not exactly the running-barefoot-through-the-Amazon-with-piranhas-at- your-heels-while-pulling-your-girlfriend-along-by-her-hand-as-she-giggles-adorably kind of date/adventure I had been hoping for.

The toll of the bell above the door dragged me out of my daydream. I looked up only to be blinded by the glint coming off of the man’s head. And chest. And feet. The heck? I glanced over at Emma to see if she had noticed our latest customer. She had.

Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion as she stared on unashamedly. She opened her mouth ever so slightly and uttered an almost inaudible gasp. Slowly her eyes moved over to focus on me, questioning me on how we should handle this. Offensive or defensive?

I needed to assess the situation. There were two of us and one of him. We cowered behind a counter of condiments — he stood in a suit of silver. Looking down, something caught my eye. In his right hand, the shiny man was gripping… an ax! I froze. The half-hour training seminar we had been put through was very specific about what to do if for some catastrophic reason we ran out of pickles, but not once were we told what to do if a psychotic ax-wielding murderer should happen in upon us. Well, presumed murderer — as if that made a difference.

“You’ve gotta help me!” Somewhere inside the metallic man this frantic, vulnerable voice arose.

Are you freaking kidding me?? He comes into Subway carrying an ax and he wants help?

Finally noticing how we ogled him and our obvious hesitation to help, he spoke again, “Oh, you’re probably really freaked out but I promise you I’m not dangerous. I’m in er, was in, The Wizard of Oz, but my troupe is after me. I need a place to hide!”

Suddenly, he came charging at us and dove over the counter! I grabbed Emma and swung her around the other side of me so that he wouldn’t be between us. I tried to think of something manly or brave to do, but all I could do was stand there in bewilderment like a baby trying to figure out how the words “peek-a-boo” could suddenly make his father reappear. I’m sure I was totally impressing Emma. #Not.

Just then, out of nowhere, a flurry of hay, golden fur, blue checkered cloth, and ruby-red slippers materialized before my eyes.

With an outrageous European accent, the not-so-cowardly lion spoke up. “Ver are you Teen Maan? I could hearr you clinking down the street. You caan’t hide forever!”

I forced myself not to risk a glance down at the “Teen Maan” now curled into an awkward fetal position beside my foot.

“Umm, I’m sorry sir, can we um help you with something?” I tried my best not to let my voice quaver.

“Don’t be coy vith me, young maan! Vee know that you know ver he is!”

“Umm, who?” Something told me that I couldn’t surrender the Tin Man that easily. He must be in some serious juju to have the yellow-brick-road gang coming after him.

Dorothy took a step forward. “Listen here, Chump. I’m gonna give you thirty seconds. In those thirty seconds you can continue denying that you don’t know what we’re talking about or, you can take a five minute break, go out back, and let us handle our own business. You’re choice. Oh, and one more thing — if you go with option one, she’llbe the first to go.” She cast a careless, disapproving sneer in the direction of Emma.

Okay, remember that thing I said earlier about piranhas and adventure? Yeah, well I would so much rather have been in that situation than the one I was in now. I honestly had no clue what to do. You hear all those stories about everyday people who become heroes and they all modestly say, “It’s just what anyone else would’ve done.” But, no! Not everyone is good under pressure. Not everyone knows how to react when a man falls onto the metro tracks or when a gun is pointed at an innocent hostage or when the tables turn and suddenly it’s the Tin Man that the Wizard of Oz wants dead, not the Wicked Witch of the West. I am one of those ignorant, helpless people. I apologize in advance for if we should ever, for whatever reason, end up in a life-threatening situation together. Luckily, I have a smart-ass girlfriend.

“Alright. Listen up, Dorothy. The second you walked your pretty little ruby slippers in the door I pressed the panic button underneath the cucumbers. That had to have been at least three minutes ago. Which means the police should be arriving soon.”

We have a panic button? Okay, so maybe I hadn’t exactly been awake for the whole half-hour training, but I was pretty sure this topic hadn’t been discussed.


Oh. My. God. What if that was just B.S.? Oh, God. Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please. please, please, please, please, please, please, please let there be a panic button under the cucumbers.

“Whatever you say, but do you really wanna wait around to find out?” I never realized before how ominously intimidating Emma could be.

The trio from Oz glanced hesitantly at each other. Time seemed to freeze. Emma crossed her arms. “You’re losing time.” It may have been my imagination, but I could’ve sworn that at that exact moment the faint wailing of an emergency vehicle could be heard off in the distance.

Based on the look that suddenly swept over our aggressors’ faces I knew that they had heard it too.

“Ve’ll be baak.”

The second that the three of them had exited I sighed so heavily that it probably caused a tsunami in Japan.

“Emma, you are a freaking genius and I freaking love you. I didn’t even know we had a panic button!”

“That’s because we don’t, Idiot! We aren’t a fricken bank! Now, could you please call the cops while I lock-up?”

I was completely stunned. “But… the siren!”

“Yeah, total coincidence. A fricken lucky coincidence. I don’t know what I would’ve done if they hadn’t believed me. Now, Ash, please call the cops, okay? Can you handle that?”

“You ass! We could’ve died!”

“ASH! CALL THE COPS! Oh, and Tin Man, not sure if you noticed, but they left, you can come out now.”

I got my phone out of my bag in the back room and flipped it open. Yes, I still own a flip-phone. Don’t judge. I dialed the three sacred numbers that were drilled into us as children. The three numbers that if, and only if, we were faced with a dire emergency we were to call. The three numbers that could save you in whatever situation you found yourself in. The three numbers I had never before had to dial.

“9-1-1. What’s your emergency?”

Paranoid Whoopi

By Stella Archiyan


The clock struck 12:00, and Whoopi was just getting ready for another night of torture. It was difficult for her to recall a single night where she had slept peacefully with no problems. Just when the lonely middle aged woman got under her heavily decorated covers, she had heard the telephone ring.

How strange she thought. Nobody has ever called her this late at night, let alone call her at all.  At first she became petrified. She was paralyzed. Whoopie gasped  and listened to the old rotary dial frantically shake.  What was even more strange was that it only rung three times, and then it had abruptly stopped. Whoopi immediately got up and ran towards the barely used telephone in the cold and desolate living room. When she stepped into the hallway, the inhibited lady was very frightened. She felt reluctant to take another soft step towards the destination. She walked on cautiously as if a murderer was in the living room instead of the innocuous telephone. Her back was against the dusty wall as she was walking along. Just when she placed her trembling foot in the living room, she had heard an obnoxious hoot that came from a distant owl that had usually hooted at this time of night.

Typical. Whoopi was always skeptical and she had always felt that someone was out there watching her. Observing and plotting against her. Ever since as a little girl, she had this feeling. There was nobody allowed to know what was on Whoopi’s mind. She was like a huge stubborn steel lock that could never be opened even if you had the correct key. Her parents thought that she had some sort of a sickness, so they sent her off to a psychiatrist. They did everything they could to change her. They had gently talked with her. They had treated her like a queen. When that had utterly failed, they did something that had scarred her for the rest of her time here. They pushed her into an empty cushioned room and they had tied her weak thin arms behind her back and gave her the old injection. She was no longer a girl. She was just an experiment. A subject.  All she wanted was to be left alone. There was always someone there to block her from getting her wish.

After she had calmed down from the hooting of the night bird, the phone had jumped up into the air and had obnoxiously rung once more. Something was not right. It was bizarre. This time, the phone  had rung twice. Whoopi’s heart gradually started to beat faster and faster, as if it were a dishonest athlete on the special meds to make them perform faster and more aggressively. Her heart was about to shoot out of her weak chest and jump out the window to get away  from this whole perplexing scene. Whoopi had now stood before the telephone and waited to see if it would bizarrely ring again.

Only a few nights ago, she had gotten a total of two hours of sleep. Within one of the hours, she had remembered herself vividly dreaming of someone telephoning her at this time of night. In her rare dream, she saw herself panicking because the phone had rung three times, and then an owl hooted, and then the phone had rung twice and then abruptly stopped. Realizing what had just happened, she immediately ran to her bedroom and hid. Everything that had just happened occurred in her dream. But in the dream, something had happened that she tried to desperately prevent.

After the phone had obnoxiously rung twice, she expected another hoot from the angry night bird, and then one more ring from the telephone. But she did not know what could come next. Her insomnia had woken her up before she finished the dream. Just as her dream had stated, she had heard a loud bone chilling cry from the night bird, and almost immediately the phone had rung once and then stopped. She began to breathe heavily under the covers in her bedroom. What was going to become of her?

Her dinner that she had eaten all by her lonesome self a few hours ago was starting to make it’s way back out of her mouth right after she had heard one gentle knock on her front door. Whoopi was preparing herself to shake hands with Death. Just that one knock was enough. It was done and done. Over. She had taken one last gasp and that was it. Nothing came out after that one last gasp. She had gasped and then rolled off of her bed onto the cold wooden floor in the still darkness. Her eyes were wide open, mouth gaping, hands clenched in a fist.

“Mother? Are you home mother?”…………………………………….


Carmen’s Lullaby

By Katie Black

“Carmen Estrella?”
“Over here,” she answered seemingly appearing from nowhere in particular.
“You’re next. Follow me.” Obediently, Carmen followed the receptionist through the winding maze of hallways until they came to a wooden door. The receptionist didn’t hesitate thrusting open the door and marching right in. Carmen, on the other hand, timidly peeked in to see what awaited her. At a table sat three executives. Two women and a man. Carmen saw their demeanors change as she stepped into the room. The women’s mouths briefly frowned in disapproval before their fake smiles returned. The man, however, looked on in interest. It was a reaction she was used to. She continued into the room.
“Carmen Estrella, age 26.” Carmen had forgotten the receptionist was still with them.
“Alright Carmen,” said the man (Gary Steiner, according to the name plate), “Show us what ya got.”
Carmen tried her best to smile, but inside she was a nervous wreck. She felt like a little dinghy in the Gulf Coast during a hurricane. She felt the nausea sweep over her again. It always started like this. Next, she’d take a deep breath and attempt to sing, but no sound would come out. She’d try again, but only a high-pitched squeak would be audible. Then, she’d leave, tears streaming down her reddened cheeks.
She reached up and felt the familiar heart-shaped pendant around her neck. Her mother had given it to her when she was a little girl. Carmen had only recently begun to wear it again on a daily basis. When she held it, she could hear her mother’s voice in her ear, “Carmen, tu eres una Estrella. The world belongs to you, but you have to earn it. Unas cosas will not come as easily as others, but you must never give up hope.” Ay, Mamacita, thought Carmen as a single tear trickled down her face. Then, she began to sing.
“A la nanita nana nanita ella, nanita ella
Mi nina tiene sueno bendito sea, bendito sea…”
Carmen’s soft, sultry tones hung in the air. It was not what she had planned on singing. It was not what the agents expected to hear. It was the lullaby Carmen’s mother had sung to her when she was a little girl. It was the perfect song.
At first, the executives were speechless, but then the woman on the end spoke. “Aaa, tú cantas en español también… muy interesada,” she said as her lips curled into an appreciative smile. “Can you excuse us while I discuss something with my partners, por favor?”
“Malena, we don’t need to ‘discuss’ anything,” interjected Gary. Then, turning to Carmen, he said, “You’re hired.”

The Life Changing Summer

By Lindsey Harms

“Rise and shine my little nipote,” Nonna said as she opened the blinds to Antonio’s window. He groaned in response, but then remembered where he was. He was in Italy!
Out of bed and straight into the bathroom Antonio showered and got ready to leave with his Nonno to the village. He helped gather all their vegetables into the old wooden wheelbarrow and set off for the village. They arrived and got their booth ready.
Nonno handed Antonio an apron and a silly chef hat like his that read “Pellerito’s Fresh Vegetables.” Antonio noticed a group of kids his age pointing and laughing as he put them on. Fan-fricken-tastic, he thought, I am the official laughing stock of Italy. Then he noticed her.
Antonio caught her eye and they shared a small smile. Her smile melted his heart; he knew that she had not been laughing at him like the rest of her friends seemed to be doing. He watched her leave. He wanted to run after her and catch her name, but couldn’t because he had to help Nonno.
A couple hours flew by and Antonio still could not get her off his mind. His Nonno said something to him, but he didn’t hear.
“Earth to Antonio! What is the matter with you?”
“Sorry Nonno. I’m just tired. I didn’t get much sleep last night.”
“It’s okay. Why don’t you go take a walk around the village?”
I could find the girl, Antonio thought. “Okay Nonno!”
Antonio was about to give up when suddenly he heard a girl’s soft giggle. He went around the corner and there she was, alone and on the phone.
“See you soon Georgio,” she said and hung up.
I wonder who Georgio is.
“Hello,” she said to Antonio with a shy smile.
“H-h-hi,” Antonio replied. Great, way to sound like a stuttering idiot.
“I’m Luciana, are you new here?”
“Yeah, I’m staying with my grandparents for the summer.”
“That’s nice, so what’s your name?”
“Oh, uh, Antonio Pellerito.”
Antonio turned around to see a boy their age standing there. This must be Georgio.
“Luciana get away from him. We don’t talk to Pelleritos.”
Georgio grabbed Luciana and they left. What the hell. What’s wrong with being a Pellerito?
Antonio returned to the booth disappointedly.
“Nonno, do you know a Georgio and Luciana?”
“Georgio and Luciana Mancini? Yes, why do you ask?”
“I just ran into them and Georgio said something like ‘We don’t talk to Pellerito’s’ and I was wondering what he meant by that?”
“His grandfather has had it out for our family since we went to school together. He claims I stole your Nonna from him. Oh, hey, there is Luciana now.”
She was walking towards them.
“Hello again Antonio, I wanted to apologize for Georgio’s rudeness. He is close to our grandfather and will stand by him even for something silly that happened years before he was even born.”
“It’s ok.”
“Anyways, why I really came back is because you seem like a really cool guy and I wanted to see if I could show you around Sicily since you are new?”
“Nonno, do you mind?”
“No, no nipote. Go have fun! You are only here for the summer, might as well enjoy our beautiful home town while you can.”
With that Antonio and Luciana left the booth. They walked and talked for hours until it was dark. The entire time they could feel the chemistry between them. Somehow Antonio knew he would be telling his children this story some day. The day he met their mother.

Every Friday


        “Friday night. It’s dark, with few stars, but the moon is just on the verge of full,” recites Leon giving Celeste who sat on the other side of the campfire a grin. Trying to dispense a warm, innocent vibe towards the female, Leon only accomplished to do the opposite and make Celeste weary of him. “I wrote that poem last week. Did you like it?” he asks anticipating her answer.

        Celeste merely shivers as she continues to stare at Leon from the other side of the fire; bined, constricted in rope.

        “What’s wrong?” worries Leon, furrowing his eyebrows in concern he reaches his arm out, shuffling towards Celeste.

        “Don’t touch me!” she cries baring her teeth at the blonde like weary prey. “Get away from me, you… you psycho!”

        Leon tilts his head. “What do you mean? I just want to help you.” Grinning, Leon continues to venture towards Celeste.

        “No, please!”

        He stops and ceases his grinning. He stares at her.

        “Just stop,” she gasps. By now, tears have broken free and are now making their way down Celeste’s cheek leaving a salty trail behind. “What do you want? What do you want with me?”

        Leon sighs and quickly glances at the forest and back to her, annoyance and boredom decorating his face. Raising the corner of his upper lip, he gives Celeste a scowl before going back to his original location and sitting back down with no intentions of getting back up. Crossing his legs, he throws his head backwards and places his hands behind him on the ground for elevation. He stares at the starry sky whose poem he was reciting just moments ago.

        “You’re stupid,” he comments.

        Celeste gives him a questioning look. “What?”

        “I said you’re stupid. Uneducated. You know, not smart.” He sighs and throws his whole body backwards falling onto the ground. “It’s best if you just act like a good little girl and stop yelling.”

        Pondering his answer, Celeste denies his request. “No, why should I, you’re just a kidnapper, I just want to go home.”

        “You can’t, so just be quiet and wait.”

        “No. I want to go home, I want to go home, I want to go home! Why are you doing this, why?!” her voice cracks in frustration and fear as she once again begins to struggle from her confines and flail her body like a fish out of water. Hoarse screams and grumbles echo throughout the woods; the words “I want to go home,” repeating and repeating like a broken disc.

        Leon tried to drown out her screaming by placing his arms over his ears, but it was just in vain as the pitch of her voice rose in frequency with each second that passed. He was at his limits. This girl was literally driving him insane. “I said you can’t!”

        Celeste stops.

        “Well, I said you can’t, you can’t! Just stop screaming. I’ve had it up to here with your whining. I’ve tried to be nice and civilized, but no! You’ve forced my hand.” Leon quickly stands up and stomps his feet towards Celeste, emitting a dark aura. Grabbing her by the hand and pulling her up, he raises his other hand before hearing the slight cracking of leaves in the distant.

        Someone is here.


Forever Alone

By Hannah Keister

It smells like vinegar and rotten fish. I can’t see anything except for the glow of the latch on my belt and the base of my shoelace. I am so hungry and have no idea where my friends are. They could be dead, rotting in the depths of the cave or starving somewhere deep in the heart of the Earth. I’m not even sure I’m in a cave anymore, for all I know I could be inside the Earth’s core waiting to be found. My heart is racing, but I do not seem to have the strength to look for food or my peers, so I wait here. My legs feel as though someone beat them with a hammer for about an hour and I can’t get my mind to make them move. I have been walking non stop for almost 5 hours now and I can feel the tension in my calves and thighs. I’m terrified. I don’t know what’s living in the core of the cave so I don’t want to take any chances of walking into the wrong monsters home. I sit there with a smug look on my face then decide that if I don’t get up now, I may never get up again.
I pick up my pack, which for now is the only thing I know actually exists. When I start walking I can feel the air become thicker and more dense. I know this must be the wrong way so I turn around and start off on another route. I trip on something hard and smooth, that I figure it is a rock, but then I pick it up and move my figures to the base of the object and start tapping it to see if it would possibly turn on or maybe cave in. When it doesn’t I feel around some more. I move my feet around in circles and feel for more objects. When I don’t find anything I keep feeling the object in my hands, I feel a switch and move it upward. Nothing happens. I move it back down then up again. I tap the top of it and it flickers, I then saw that it was a flashlight. I start to feel more relieved, but when I started to hit it against the wall of the cave it does nothing. I put it in my pack and carry on thinking, “I have to get out of here.”
My heart is pounding and the more I walk the more tired I get. I start to feel faint so I sit down for a brief second to catch my breath. When I stand back up I can here panting behind me. I stand there frozen. I couldn’t find the strength to move my feet even an inch. The panting gets closer and I can feel the warmth of the its breath on my neck. I slowly turn around to face the beast, but when I am all the way round the panting stops. I look around to see if it had left but I couldn’t see anything. I move my fingers across the walls of the cave and feel. Suddenly my hand is stopped and I feel the indentations of an arm or maybe a chest. When I start to move my hand away the being grabbed it. I didn’t say a word but instead sat there breathing as though I just learned how. My hands start to shake and I can’t find the strength to move my hands away from the predator so I move my feet together and try to make out what the creature was. I squint my eyes and tried to move my fingers. Finally I feel it release my hand then scream, “Guys I found him!” My heart sinks and all I know to do is collapse. I hit the hard ground with a thud. Then hear my buddy Will pick me off my feet and bring me to what seems to be the corner for the cave. Then he whispers, “You will be okay, Lenny.”
I nod then try to stand, but can no longer carry the weight of my legs. He tells me to stay where I am then leaves. I can see an opening of where we may have came in. I try to crawl to the open doorway, but is stopped. Will bends down and says, “Oh no. You can’t leave here, we aren’t done with you yet.” My stomach drops and I can feel the walls closing in on me. I am alone.


by Anna Petrenko

        “No, no! That won’t do!” The director angrily ran his hands through his hair as he cut the scene for the fourth time. “You have no passion, Rochester! Jane just came back to you, you are blind, CRIPPLED. You are in awe of her love! Where is the passion!?”

Liam stood still. The director yelled, clearly frustrated.

“This won’t do! We’re done. DONE.”

Lyra looked pityingly at Liam and they both walked off the stage, done with rehearsal for today. They only had about a month before the production would be aired and according to the director, things weren’t going well.

Liam ran his hand across his face and pinched the bridge of his nose. Maybe his mom was right. Maybe he was just chasing a fairy tale. Maybe he should just go back to doing school, the one thing he was comfortable doing.

He mussed his hair and looked up just as Lyra, the beautiful girl who was to play Jane Eyre, walked up.

“You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself,” she said. “He gives everyone a hard time.” Her eyes were shifting back and forth between his, most people’s did.

He broke the eye contact with a noncommittal,

“Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.”

He was such an idiot. He couldn’t even talk to the girl he idolized, whom he had loved for the longest time. Lyra started to walk away but then stopped, turned around, and with a pensive face asked,  “You wanna go do something? Take your mind off theater for a little bit?”

Liam didn’t know what to do. On the one hand, he needed a break. But then he thought about his mom’s expectations, his own responsibilities…

“I’d love to.”

Lyra smiled.  “Great. I know just the place,” she said.

They walked out to the parking lot in front of the auditorium and Liam made his way toward his car. Lyra laughed and said, “It’s okay. We’ll walk.”

It was around 8 o’clock and the sun was just starting to set. Not knowing what to do with his hands, Liam let them dangle as they walked in silence to some spot that Lyra claimed “he just had to see”.

“We’re here.”

There was not much to see as far as Liam could tell. There were some woods, a little pond with some houses surrounding it, and though it was a “good” spot, there wasn’t anything remarkable about it.

And suddenly, from one of the houses, music started playing. A solo violin, with its ghostly, beautiful sounds carrying over the pond and straight to them. He got the chills.

Eyes wide, he looked at Lyra, not knowing what to say.

She just nodded and closed her eyes. There was nothing that needed to be said. Time became immeasurable and he lost track of everything except himself, this violin, and Lyra. He looked at her peaceful face, resting with the music, and took her hands in his. She looked into his eyes and this time they were steady.

“I know exactly how you feel. My parents don’t think I can make it either. They tell me I’m wasting my life. But I know..I KNOW I’m not,” her voice caught a little, “…This is where I go to remind myself…where I get away from everything.”

She leaned her body into his and they molded into one another. A few tears slipped out of Liam’s eyes. And as he held Lyra he looked up into the sky, caught up in the remarkable beauty of the music.