NO NOUNS, NO VERBS, NO SENTENCE!
Letter from the Editors
You are about to enjoy a very delectable four course meal that will
excite and tantalize the literary taste buds of your brain. This is a collec-
tion of the savory, creative works of the Incarnate Word Academy student
We know that we make this collaboration look simple and easy to
some grunts and groans, some laughs, but not very many tears. There
was some excruciating pain as we were forced to reject some, but deliri-
ous euphoria as we added others to the pile. There were moments of
absolute relief as we realized we had everything to make this scrumptious
the tense atmosphere as we continuously stared at computer screens, tedi-
there was a definite collective thought-cry. We digress.
Oftentimes during a large project like this, it is hard to view the
big picture when each group is focused on their specific component.
However, each of us has put their time and effort into this project. A dash
of nouns there, a pinch of verbs here, and a flaming soufflé of sentences
later, we were able to prepare dishes of succulent poetry, savory fiction,
fragrant non-fiction, and tantalizing drama. We hope you enjoy.
2011 Creative Writing Class
The 2010-2011 IWA Literary Magazine would like to give special
thanks to the following individuals:
Ms. Postel, for contributions of student artwork
Margaret Alba, for her help with Photoshop
All the IWA students who submitted work for consideration,
and our Maître D, Ms. Cuneo.
Cover art obtained at:
Art Access. The Art Institute of Chicago. 2004.
Web. 14 April 2011.
Interested in creative writing or publishing? Sign up to take Creative
Writing for one or both semesters starting your sophomore year!
A delectable array of poetry.
Haiku by Claire Tajonera 6.00
Haiku by Katie Revia 17.00
Untitled by Elizabeth Bole
SOUPS AND SALADS
A refreshing collection of non-fiction
Untitled by Bri Faustino 24.00
A hearty selection of fiction.
A fantastical smorgasbord of dramatic pieces.
A refreshing assortment of art work.
Untitled by Arielle Cottingham 9.00
Untitled by Margaret Alba 11.00
Derivative of Dreams
Take me back in time,
Thoughts racing too quick,
You put milk in the pantry.
Missing My Grandpa
Eager to leave, I
Lost the chance to say I love
Never said goodbye.
I think I would like to be a butterfly.
I would like to flutter in the sunshine,
Alight on a fragrant flower,
Be blown by the wind this way and that.
I think I would like to be a buttefly.
Watch their expressions as I float by,
See the joy plain on their faces.
I think I would like to be a butterfly.
Relying only on the world around me,
Taking only what I need,
Living each moment fully.
Yes, I think I would like to be a butterfly.
- Maire Kelly
I am from familiar homes,
From scraped knees and messy hair.
I am from mud pies and sticky fingers.
I am from the long driveway, sidewalk chalk,
Overused bicycles and hiding places.
I am from dark rooms and scary stories.
I am from fist fights and quick resolutions.
I am from whining and getting my way.
I am from Sunday morning breakfast,
Playing airplane with Popo, and trips to the shop.
From nickel chips, industrial spaces, familiar
Backstreets, chemicals, classic cars, forklifts, and desk time.
I am from mom and dad.
From high school mistakes, poor judgments, sneaking out, hard times.
From why are we going and why is he here?
I am from secrets and pain,
Anger and regret.
From leaving mom and sister behind.
I am from escaping,
But still being held onto.
I am from my first stable home, being shook to its core.
From Destiny, Popo is asleep
And is never waking up.
I am from locked in my room, writing it out.
Stealing razor blades,
Used for their green monster,
And awaking my own red one.
From friends that take me away.
I am from terrible circumstances,
But childlike naivety.
I am from stories you hear and say
- Erika De La Rosa
Did I ever say
that I could always talk to you
that I could whisper you painful secrets
and you listened
Did I ever say
that you were clever
that you were strong
and you were beautiful
Did I ever say
that you were always there
that you laughed when I laughed
and held me when I cried
Did I tell you
how much I liked it
when your chest heaved with laughter
and when your skin brushed mine
Did I tell you
that you were always more than my friend
that my chest ached with longing
and the words burned in my throat
But one summer
One dark road
One swerving car
One screech of tires
One spray of glass
One fading cry
And I never got to say
- Julia Voltz
Untitled Margaret Alba
Give It Time
You were always my shield, a sense of protection.
I was finally ready to take that leap,
Then I saw you flirting with her.
But truthfully time will never help me get over this.
- Laura Quirin
Light the way, oh invention
of Edison. You bringeth me
LIGHT, but thou clicks off
When the window challenges
You to a room filled with natural
Sunlight. Oh, invention of Ed,
I wish your artificial fire would,
Like a friend, be with me through darkness,
And be with me through the barren blackness.
And LIGHT me when I need to read and write.
LIGHT me when I need to see and work.
that no light bulb could give me.
- Abbie Bacilla
My ebony plays acoustic sounds
His vibrations are heavy
His waves come with thunder
Floetry spinning my hips in a roundabout fashion
My ebony wears long matted curls that fall over his face
Hiding his ebony eyes
Below he wears his ebony leather
Strapped tightly across his waist
In blue jeans
Thighs cut sharp
Arms shaped tight
Stone jaw and brown lips
They kiss tender in the night
My ebony never loved the wrong woman
My ebony shall come
With the rise of the tides
His waves will come hard with thunder
My ebony do come soon
Before the storm takes my roots up
And leave my trunk asunder
I look around my room
Remembering all the times,
From Barbies to boys,
Oh, how time flies!
Remembering all the times,
I gaze out the window.
Oh, how time flies!
No longer a little girl.
I gaze out the window,
From Barbies to boys,
No longer a little girl,
I look around my room.
- Patricia Sass
Silky dresses and
dress slacks worn by nervous boys:
that is Winter Ball.
- Katie Revia
I want to be a writer
Why take Chemistry?
- Katie Revia
That which haunts me when I sleep and burns my eyes when I wake.
Forty hours a week it is mandatory that I tote it.
Proud to say yes it is all girls!
Proud to say I attend Incarnate Word Academy.
- Taylor Gillespie
Wisdom peers through the creases in his forehead
And experiences rest on his cheeks
He tells the young lad:
I may be old, but I was young once.
The lad, with his smooth brow
And his fresh cheeks
Only has one crease- between his eyes
Releases a sigh and then complies
Maybe talking will help a bit
He tells a story, and the old man listens
Smiling from amusement here and there.
He said she was pretty, She said he was nice
Things seemed to be going well
But he did two days ago
As the young man was talking, the old man kept smiling
And he thought back to spryer times
When he had a spring in his step
And she was still here
Skipping rocks on the lake every summer
When she left for one whole night
And that morning, he had to walk to work
He went walking that night, wandering about town
Looking tired and thoroughly wet
Standing out in the pouring rain on the porch
The light turned on and her sister opened the door
Beholding the sad sight of him
And he stood there in front of the door
Her face saying all she was thinking
She gave them both a look
And then disappeared to the kitchen
He held out a bouquet of her favorites- daisies
And glanced at her with a sheepish look
And though she tried and wanted to be angry
And ran to give him a kiss
He was drenched, and her dress got wet
But right then neither of them cared
Even if things got a little rough
As the lad continued, searching frantically for any advice
The man looked up to the sky
After feeling he had gotten that smile of approval
The boy was hesitant
But if you like her enough
And it seems like you do
The boy nodded and then his brow became smooth
As his worry was eased with hope
A hope that maybe, just maybe Gramps was right
And he went to buy her flowers of every hue
As he watched the boy scamper off
He chuckled to himself
Hoping he had enough money to cover tax
And smiling to himself he took a sip of his tea
And took a look at the dried daisies in the vase
Some people said they were dead
But he could never get rid of the things
Because no matter how brown
- Teresa Stranahan
The Awakening by Kate Chopin;; pg 37, chapter 10
What is my unlimited?
What is my potential?
Four years of studying and preparing?
Four years of conquering my limits so that I may be unlimited and free?
But if we have no limits, how do we know when enough it enough or
where the line is?
If we have no limits,
What keeps us here tethered to earth?
For to be unlimited,
To have no restraints,
To have no boundaries,
To have no constraining walls,
Is to be free.
To be free from human weaknesses.
But if we have no weaknesses,
then we are God and not human.
And if we are not human,
then we are free of human strengths.
Free of the mind.
Free of the body.
Free of the heart.
But this is not possible, for we are human.
Therefore, we do have a mind.
We do have a body.
We do have a heart.
They are both our weaknesses and our strengths.
They teach us our limits.
When enough is enough.
Where the line is.
Freedom lies in exploring the boundaries.
Unlimited is to know that we have limits.
Our only true weakness,
Our only true limit,
Is to believe we have none.
- Elizabeth Bole
any classes. My mom says that those things are the sort of things dads do.
I guess I better swing by the bank for some more quarters;; the bus only
takes exact change.
remember a time when the two were together. No big deal, not to me at
cars, and none of my dates were ever scared away by intimidation. But I
never really saw myself as missing out on anything.
Father daughter masses were always pretty awkward though. I sat
by myself in the hard pew and tried to find the resemblances between all
roughly a two and a half hour drive three if you are going the speed limit.
girlfriend whom I never quite clicked with. My blood sister moved in
with them my freshman year of high school, leaving me behind.
Before the move, my dad came to visit every other weekend.
leaning more towards the second notion. Now there is no real reason for
call, nothing to say.
I try to be the best at everything. I am an extremely competitive
person. This is something my dad did give me but he will never know it.
All my achievements, awards, all my medals, and miles were for him.
on my report cards are a must.
quiet. I am the one who takes charge. I have always yearned to be in the
spotlight, in need of attention, acknowledgment, recognition. I never re-
ceived this from my dad. I strive to be the girl everyone wants to be
friends with, the one who has it all the picture perfect life.
Beside my bed is a picture of the family I have in the capital city.
All with coordinating outfits, perfect smiles, and the look of complete self
content on each of their faces. Deep down in a hidden box is a picture
from when I was 6: tongue sticking out, eyes wide open, and a few baby
I have learned to be self sufficient and that the only person you
can truly count on is yourself. This is a lesson in which I learned early on
thanks to the man who I look just like. The man who has given me the
drive to fulfill my promise in my life despite the fact that none of his have
vard College, we would like to congratulate you on your strong high
Forum, Association of Black Harvard Women, Harvard African Students
would like to congratulate you on your outstanding achievements and en-
Harvard Latino community and student coordinators for the Minority Re-
cruitment Program, we would like to reiterate our hope that you will con-
This, while more accurate, is downright insulting.
While the ignorami of the world of academia apparently cannot
tell the difference between African American and Afro-Caribbean
(Caribbean Club my ass), what is truly offensive about both of these
emails is the thinly veiled comment that stage-
Thank you, Harvard, for labeling me. Thank you, Harvard, for
sending your Minority Recruitment Program after me instead of an actual
admissions committee. Thank you, Harvard, for sending two emails, one
for each minority group I seem to belong to, since the two apparently
two cultures that are alike as puppies and mud-completely different, yet
easily capable of mixing into one muddy puppy. You did the job of politi-
as racist in more ways than one. Of course, you would never be racist
insulted my other half in your obvious disregard for white Americans, in
addition to students who are truly intelligent regardless of ethnicity.
background would be racist. Yet why should minorities be treated differ-
Why should whites suffer trying to pay for college because one of their
as my father did? In
fact, had my father married his high school sweetheart (his original plan),
Furthermore, this political correctness, this affirmative action
shtick, only degrades minorities. It says that because we are universally
poor and have not been able to move up in socioeconomic status on our
because, of course, we could never get in on our own merit. Of course we
cannot prove that we are just as capable of succeeding without our minor-
self-congratulating, unintentionally racially-profiled emails, your Minor-
ity Recruitment Program, and go take a running jump into Boston Harbor.
- Arielle Cottingham
Frame Abbie Bacilla
Untitled Margaret Alba
The Truth Is
Every teenager at some point always believes that they know eve-
The truth is, when your parents tell you that you are wrong, they
speak from experience.
As I was staring at my computer screen, filling out my college ap-
she said this looking at me with her brown eyes that I inherited, thoughts
the proper term but she is so much more than that. Sure she might possi-
-willed and determined. Housewife simply cannot
but in the end I ultimately realize that she was right, all along.
think, apparently we even run the same! We also are both incredibly stub-
born, something he inherited from his mom and seemed to pass along to
me. This is probably the biggest reason why we seem to clash. Despite
our arguments, my dad is an incredible man. He excelled in sports as a
child and adolescent and his passion for sports has stayed with him.
ing, heart pounding, competition that is sports. While he may not know,
when it comes to sports his opinion matters the most to me. As soon as I
step off the soccer field, I want to know what he thought of the game and
how I played, and no one else.
Dad is a funny quirky kind of guy, who will crack a joke at some
of the most awkward, random, and inopportune times. He says some of
the strangest things. For example one early morning my junior year of
high school, dad was driving me to school. It was one of those rainy,
muggy kinds of days where all you really want to do is curl up with a
good book with the dog lying at your side. Almost to school, my dad said
went on to explain that since ducks love water and it was a rainy day, it
was obviously a good day to be a duck. While at the time it may have
seemed odd, I still crack a smile every time I look out my window and see
it drizzling, thinking of how the ducks must surely be enjoying the
As time has gone on I have learned to actually listen to what ad-
vice my parents have given to me rather than simply letting it go in
through one ear and out the other. Instead of thinking that I know it all, I
go to them for advice. I always keep their words of wisdom with me and
even remember the strange jokes, to make me smile.
turns out my parents have been right all along.
Feet in Water Kyrena Dudley
A Reflection on Food
every one of my conversations, on the receiving end of every one of my
jokes, would argue otherwise. I get along with mostly everyone. Small
nine percent of my generation on nearly every subject.
touch on art or culture since very few of my acquaintances even care to
mention them in conversation. But what separates me from the majority
of my friends, the ladies especially, is food.
To be specific, the adoration of food.
more than ponder on the foundation of what is rightly labeled an obses-
them divine but all of them with a multitude of disciples. Sex. Money.
circuit of our lives. Our families. Our relationships. Our emotions. Our
magazines, our radio stations, and our city blocks.
fix your life or whatever ails you. Food for recreation and consolation and
reconciliation. All of it celebrated with ceremony;; meticulously prepared
by strangers, served and sold at small fortunes and concocted with scru-
pulous devotion to the faded ink of family recipes in kitchens across the
dead for it not to affect you. Since I am neither, I must painfully admit
that, while not a fanatic, I am no exception to the pandemic.
lite consequences. In a culture that both exploits and degrades food and
There is no happy medium. Skip a meal and your anorexic. Eat
too much and you run the risk of being labeled a fatty. But not everything
is black and white. I would know I stand right smack dab in this big
area of gray.
ravished or determined to never again lift the fork to my lips. I figure
on the sedentary: this constant yo-yoing, the indecision, my denial and
then my reluctant submission to human need.
I know. I make it sound so dramatic, as though chow were an abu-
sive boyfriend or a dangerous drug. But it only emphasizes my point.
heard girls proclaim their love for food like zealots praising a higher
power. The same girls that, upon getting invited to social gatherings, base
their attendance on the possibility of good eats at said get-togethers.
of emptiness (trust me on that one) and will only fulfill you for a few
hours, depending on your metabolism.
Betty. Sure, that name is fake but the woman is real and serves as a per-
Betty is a hoarder, compulsively stingy, planning each moment of
them to use, stocking her house full of Coke and generic brand junk food
in case of natural disasters and apocalyptic occasions.
But she is complex. Behind her squirreling is fear. Fear of not get-
room for cookies and left-over breakfast tacos, it would all disappear and
Just another epitome of food as fear.
provoke such apprehension.
- Elisa Molina
Rooster Margaret Alba
Cardboard often covered holes in the soles of his shoes. For a poor
child growing up in the government subsidized housing projects in El
Paso, Antonio remembers the days when his parents and siblings survived
only on beans, potatoes and tortillas.
Still, not immediately knowing how far below the poverty line he
and his family were, little Antonio was happy and played without a care
alongside friends and family.
As years passed, Antonio grew wiser and quickly realized the
scale of poverty he and his family lived in quickly figuring out he
needed a plan to end it. This quest soon evolved into a drive to succeed,
become successful and, most importantly, help his family in all ways pos-
sible. Little Antonio later taught me perseverance, confidence, work ethic,
and dedication. He grew up to be my father, Antonio Delgado, Jr., and a
successful broadcast news photojournalist.
Growing up in poverty is not easy for anyone, especially a young
boy. My father overcame and ignored bad influences that could have led
his life astray.
His strong will to be himself and not follow the crowd has greatly
dedication to his family, devotion to do his best, and never giving up on
inspirational journey started in the mid-1970s when a recruiter for a local
television station went through the barrios of El Paso looking for anyone
interested in entry-level positions.
steps out of poverty and beginning a new pursuit not only for a personal
experience but a career that would one day help his younger siblings see
they, too, had options and opportunities to rise out of poverty.
Head held high, Antonio worked hard every day, his beating heart,
shining with dedication and persistence. Little did he know that one day
his persistence and dedication would eventually make him one of the top
Hispanic photojournalists in the country.
I am humbled and proud to know how hard my father worked to
achieve his dreams. The reality, that he used his experiences to influence
other individuals just like himself to pursue a career in the media, has
given me the drive to help others in the same way. One of my goals in life
is to help individuals experience achievement by focusing on persistence.
Believing in oneself is such an important attribute that is learned;; and in-
dividuals need to be reminded that they can truly accomplish anything if
they have a positive attitude.
As a true believer of dreams, I consistently work hard, and take
one step at a time to make my dreams of attending a prestigious university
and becoming a physician a reality.
definitely not an easy one. He faced times when even his own family did
make some use of your time and self. You cannot make it in the media
dream come true. This very struggle, the disapproval my father experi-
enced from his own loved ones, is an asset that has bolstered his charac-
ter. His confidence teaches me that I can achieve my goals if I put in my
heart and effort to reach all my aspirations. I am gladdened by all that my
father has done not just for me, but for all his family. He blazed a trail
and showed that success was achievable even for those who grew up less
privileged than others. His ability to succeed has instilled my passionate
drive to achieve all my endeavors by working diligently.
Antonio sacrifices time from his busy schedule to help my uncle
who is very ill and on dialysis, my grandmother who has breast cancer
and anyone else who needs a caring hand. His love for family and others
has definitely been passed down to my brother and me. I, too, will one
day be able to help the community prosper with love and compassion be-
cause of the qualities I have learned from my father. I thank God every-
day for the great example my father is in my life and I pray I will con-
tinue growing in his ways.
vehemently into that dingy mom-and-pop diner, my full weight on the
shabby door having caused it to slam raucously into a nearby worn leather
and most pronounced of breaths and shouted groggily ice cold rain drip-
ping from my hair to the stained pale tile floor that I needed a cup of
coffee as dark and black as my surely approaching doom and as bitter as
my criminal soul. Pronto.
That had been upwards of an hour ago, thought it felt like a year,
at least. I was still soaked through to the bone, my sweater a pool of blue
muck encasing my frigid frame and my dull mass of tangled brown hair
still clinging to my face. As my cell phone rang again from my wet jeans,
I disregarded it once more denying the omen that it was and continued
playing connect-the-dots with the raindrops on the clear glass pane to my
left that I sat sagging against. It had all been the same for the past half
hour;; my phone would ring at an alarming volume and I would again real-
ize just how much those impromptu watery shapes resembled all too fa-
miliar plumes of flame
Brad Pitt. But perhaps these similarities were only so blatant because of
Driven mad by the incessant recollection of that not-so-ancient
history, I had squeezed my eyes shut and groaned pathetically. Yep, it
looked like the circus and hell were my two best choices. My head hit the
table with a solid thump.
Those people probably thought I was mental. But as of a few
hours before that point in time, a lot of people thought I was mental.
Okay, so I had every single one of
them, even that stupid, atrocious orange beehive.
That one went first, actually. I had been far too tired of the disgusting
eyesore to let it clutter my presence a second longer. Now, while I had rid
the world of several dozen polyester disasters, no one else seemed too
proud of me. I had received not a single pat on the back in congratulation.
I, however, believed that I deserved a Nobel Prize for my valiant efforts
of world purification.
I needed more coffee.
my lower jaw gave up and hung there lazily;; so the fiery Blair had finally
lost her edge. I meditated over this sad truth until I heard a bustling of
puffy skirts and smelt the hairspray that cemented the dyed-black hair of
my genial, care-free waitress.
her honey-ridden southern drawl grating against my nerves. How could
she be so happy while she was supplying me a serial wig-burner with
my last meal? Regardless, I grunted in the affirmative, flopping my right
arm on the crumb-
gaze from the table that wreaked of several coats of led paint dating back
to the fifties to know that Jeannette was once again smothering me with a
ten kicked out of my ridiculously expensive fine arts boarding school
halfway across the country from my parents who had already paid two
for destroying my
sulting in me driving on my rickety Vespa to this middle-of-nowhere
town, Nevada, sans helmet and in the pouring rain just to end up running
out of gas and money in front of this crappy little diner to sit and realize
that I had achieved nothing but to leave all my possessions miles behind
me on a school campus I was never to set foot on again under penalty of
law, ruin my future, and quite possibly bring upon my own death via an-
ger-crazed parents who may even acquire nondescript rusty metal objects
just for the occasion.
To this day, I believe that Jeannette must have been psychic.
The coffee came. I stared at it, my chin resting on the table, my
arms limply splayed at my sides. Thunder rolled, causing the windows to
shudder threateningly. Just then, my phone rang again from my pocket. I
let out a shudder of my own. I was doomed. Jeannette again saw my obvi-
ous displeasure and patted my soggy back soothingly before asking if I
was wrong and she could direct me to the circus that she had fled to. But
after one more glance at her genial toothy smile and a perusal of the other
faces in the restaurant all just as equally innocent and unworried as hers
I concluded that I was the only criminal present.
I forced my eyes to meet her bright ones again, her sympathy ever
madwoman) and shook my head, venturing to clear my dry matted hair
from my pale face.
Jeannette frowned slightly, putting her hands on her hips and jut-
ting out the left one. As kind as the woman was, all I could think about
her thin eyebrows at me curiously as I laughed sardonically.
She was obviously befuddled by my reply, and her mouth opened
and closed like that of a fish for several seconds while her mind mean-
dered for a response. None such came, so Jeannette raised her stubby
hands in mock surrender and waddled away to serve an older man across
the room. I sipped my coffee and slumped back in my chair, blanching a
little;; I rarely drank coffee before that day, and when I had, it had been
more milk and sugar than the actual bitter substance. Sometimes, I wished
for while my doom was black and
ever darkening, my coffee
when I realized that I would eventually have to face their wraths. I was
surprised to hear a beep sound from my phone.
first, worried when I realized that I would eventually have to face their
wraths. But then I smirked;; the circus travelled. My parents would proba-
bly never find me. Holding on to this thought, I dug my phone out of the
right pocket of my almost-dry jeans, fishing through various gum wrap-
pers, my lucky nickel Fred and my Vespa keys to do so. Putting the
device to my ear, I listened to the message warily.
this instant, young lady. Your mother and I did not raise you to set peo-
My mother chimed in from the background:
actual hair. Wigs wigs
my father yelled, not necessarily
to my mother or anyone, really. He always yelled. It was a hobby of his.
He especially loved to do so when he had no clue what he was yelling
about. It was one of those instances.
my mother replied calmly. Needless to say, I preferred my
Somehow, though, my parents had missed the memo that my ex
those two, setting something on fire was, well, setting something on fire.
It was a bad thing to do, regardless of the fact that that horrible witch had
it coming to her. I digress.
The line went dead. I had always had a knack for rendering my father
which is what I had wanted to do originally, mind you
the wig burning. I had been caught red-handed, literally. The dorm moni-
tor had smelled smoke and let herself in while I had been watching the
last polyester pile go up in smoke in the bathroom sink;; yes, the red
tresses of the Little Mermaid had been the last to go in my fake-hair in-
cinerating fiesta. And man, had it felt good. Unfortunately, I had been too
caught up in exacting my revenge to realize how much smoke had perme-
ated the air of the room, if not the whole hall. But that witch I had been
forced to room with, she had stolen my money, my food, my shirt, my
scarf, two of my headbands, my eyeliner, my shower loofah, and finally,
course, defended my case to the dorm monitor: I had practically done my
roommate a favor by ridding her wardrobe of those epitomes of a rain-
and my parents.
There was no way I should be punished for giving that ex roommate a
taste of her own medicine. Heck, I even did the world a favor simultane-
ously! I set my phone down decisively and waved my hands to gain
The poor woman looked terribly confused by the demand and my
back of the diner by the kitchen and returned a few minutes later, still
looking puzzled at my so suddenly changed demeanor a flame reignited.
She set the heavy volume down in front of me, nonetheless. That book
held my future, unlike that dumb school full of dimwitted losers who con-
sider reading a few lines dryly to be drama. A shaft of light broke through
the dispersing storm clouds and shone straight onto the book, causing the
yellow cover to glow ethereally. I grinned in anticipation, sitting up ram-
rod straight and flipping through the first few sections of the phonebook
in front of me.
power. I had a spark again.
- Mary Kate Sloan
Oranges Rebecca De Leon
Pink Natalie Lerma
Count Your Blessings
Worst day ever! Failing math is one thing, but getting your favor-
ite pair jeans ripped, having your shoes fall apart, tripping over yourself
in gym, and humiliating yourself in front of your crush is the worst com-
bination to have on a Friday. A FRIDAY! Of all days, this stuff could
for it. My mom told me I had to walk home today too. Thanks a lot mom!
So here I am on this cold and wet day, running around, water
getting to my feet through my shoes, hair sticking to my head, just trying
bus stop I can stand under for a while and get a breather.
-do-do-do-do-do Who was that? That was such a
jump in her walk, and everything around her seemed bright. She acts as if
for a moment. She smiles and walks up to me, still standing in the rain
ripped, my shoes are falling apart, I humiliated myself in front of my
crush, tripped over myself in gym and got laughed at, I have an F in math,
over shadowed by the big picture, you want to look at something over all
to be a bright side. I would love to see her try and show me that!
versation continues like that, her contradicting my horrible day into the
smallest of positive things I never really thought of.
moment was something I will never forget. She grew angel wings, and
vanished. And after that the rain had stopped and the sun broke through
There she stood, smiling for all the world as if she had something to smile
about. Her eyes, nicotine saturated like the rest of her, reservedly but lov-
ingly beckoning us over. Dejectedly hopeful dollar bills and my eyes
pinned to her rough black foundation encrusted jacket.
I think to myself. A baby out of high school? A broken
home? Dreams waylaid?
She could be happy, whole. She could have a family, a
life, a home.
Her manner tells me differently.
she can anchor herself on to, our words and smiles appreciated, but just
getting in the way;; too late.
The conversation perhaps inevitably turns to childhood, the naturally to
laugh and a shake of that tobacco-rusty head.
I see another story in those eyes worn smooth by life.
Might I end up like her? Did she have the opportunities like I do? Maybe,
maybe not. Does it even matter in the end?
ing and bursting and begging to flow flow flow.
You live your life and you end up working at a make-up counter in a de-
partment store in a mall in a sprawling town, where no one knows anyone
and everyone knows everyone and the light, the peppy instore music, the
people are all too much, and never enough, an d for what? To go home
tired to an empty apartment, maybe a house with a sadly ruffled cat and
some potted pants too tired to flourish, too indecisive to die. Cheap appli-
ances, furniture, Covered in plastic, smothered.
these people rushing past me carrying their own stories and worries,
wishes to stumble blindly out into the harsh commercial lighting and
hopefully into her realm;; any of their realms. That would be soft and cli-
ing dry spots, and all the time I know her mind is elsewhere. Maybe on
her birthday tomorrow. Her birthday, will it be spent with friends? How
old is that wrinkling, twinkling tawny face? Perhaps it will be spent at a
bar, drinking to trash memories?
The best I can come up with to lighten my mind. Needless to say, it is
hardly effective, as I can think only of those potted plants, soil dry;; fil-
tered, dusty sunlight their only connection to the world.
She flicks the make-
wonderful, sweetie! Let me go get tho-
-up smeared plastic mirror, slowly wiping it on
her jacket with a hopeful glance at herself in its cloudy surface.
She thinks no one notices.
Think in Days;; Think in Moments
quickly escalating into a high-pitched blare. I figure the annoying vehicle
will quickly pass before Ms. Reynolds hands me a test. That would be the
worst distraction to have during a life-altering math exam. Immediately, I
filter out the annoying sound with thoughts of the future. My plans for the
fast approaching weekend come to mind. A few of my friends invited me
No, I need to focus on acing this test. I studied all night, but I still
night. Or maybe it was my dog. She barked for hours because of a thun-
Wait, how can I be so heartless? Someone could be dying in that
my hands to say a quick prayer. As I begin, I hear tires screech to a halt
somewhere outside, the sound of a siren now causing my eardrum to vi-
In moments, the entire class crowds in front of the window. I de-
way toward my desk at a swift, even pace. I look up, hoping the teacher
as I meet her gaze. A deep furrow is etched into her brow, worry clouds
her eyes, and her mouth is parted slightly as she chooses her words care-
Classroom doors pass me one by one, row upon row of lockers zoom by. I
where I am taking my consciousness. I find myself breathing heavily at
the entrance to the school, mind racing with the worst possible scenarios.
With enough power to move a car, I push open the doors and rush over to
Are his stitches infected? Is the pain too much to handle? Is his
body rejecting the transplant?
The mob of teenagers part for me without hesitation. However,
when I reach the red and white vehicle, the paramedics have already
loaded the stretcher on. Before they close the doors, I catch a glimpse of
identity. I launch myself at the ambulance, pleading to them to let me
come. They push me away without as much as a word. In seconds, the
tires come to life and are no more than a blur in the distance.
The teachers start yelling at the sea of students to head back to
class. As the group disperses, I remain glued to cement, staring at an
empty gray street.
dream. He is the only person that could make me this anxious. Today his
cloud of chemical fumes and the faint scent of lavender laundry detergent.
The lavender reminds me of his mom, a pleasant business woman who
works around the clock. I quietly walk towards his bed, being cautious
not to disturb the peaceful aura around him.
I realize he is asleep, the face of a young boy revealed. Creases of
falls at even intervals. Quickly, I calm down. I take a moment to burn the
image into my memory, as odd as that sounds. He is a bit pale and gaunt,
but there is color in his cheeks. His auburn hair is a bit ruffled. His lips
are set in a small innocent smile, as if he was laughing at one of his own
His long, rather enviable, eye lashes flutter as he abruptly opens
his eyes. He greets me with a look of surprise and sits up.
His smooth laugh rolls around the room in languid waves. The
infectious sound makes me giggle quietly, but I quickly hide my face be-
hind my hand.
says with an eyebrow raised.
eight years! Nevertheless, you refuse to show me a genuine smile. Humor
He lets out a noisy sigh and falls back onto the bed.
ing his head.
just fainted from exhaustion a few days ago. I told you to stay home
longer after your surgery. You could have at least taken it easy at school.
throw him a quick glare.
tells me about the pain. He was diagnosed with bone cancer two years
ago. That, on top of needing a few bone marrow transplants, has been
hard on his body. He never says a word about it though so I never bring it
I lightly hit him with a pillow lying on the side of the bed. He
grabs his pillow and quickly returns the blow with more force. The attack
signals all out war and we find ourselves ducking around the room to
avoid assaults. His relaxed laugh echoes around me once more when he
sees how determined I am to win. I avoid his left arm, knowing it would
way with a murderous look.
We drop our pillows, straightening up under her stern gaze. The
nurse places a finger to her lips, her face suddenly brightening up. She
winks and heads off. I realize it is one of the nurses Zack has gotten to
know from his frequent check-ins. His positive attitude and persistence
have always made it easy for him to bond with anyone.
We head back to our regular positions, he in his bed, me faithfully
by his side. For the rest of the day, we reminisce on old memories. He
brings up how I always made him the damsel in distress so I could be the
dragon when we were younger. He never seemed to mind.
For the most part, I allow him to talk without interruption. I feel
relaxed by his voice. I let his thorough descriptions of our past sink in as I
Gradually, his health has recovered, bringing more color to his pale com-
plexion. I hand him a list of school events and assignments for the day.
He always manages to stay on top of demands.
my teachers are out to get me, my parents took away my phone, my back
dals, and today I fell asleep in history, earning myself a detention from
the teacher. This is only a glimpse into my troubles for the week to be
I decide to tell Zack about my week, emphasizing each offense
against me with frustration. With every passing minute, he becomes
the time. I unexpectedly snap.
is dark, eyes glazing over with ice. The room loses all signs of warmth
I freeze in place. The Zack I know has vanished in the blink of an
eye. Usually he agrees with me or sympathizes.
pain. What gives you the right to criticize every aspect of life and all its
His face has hardened into unadulterated anger. His green eyes
that regularly shine with a resolute twinkle appear black in the poor light-
ing. I remain silent, trying to form a glare as deadly as his. Does he think
he understands the real world or something? The man is bed ridden half
through problems effortlessly. I let these thoughts spin around my mind,
unsure where to begin.
spend part of your high school years trapped in a dingy hospital room.
ments, chores, school drama, bullying-
want. You live and plan your time by weeks and days, never thinking
happened to the witty adventurous girl I used to know. Since we entered
Before he can lecture me further, I storm out.
I sit on a cold plastic chair in the waiting room. A fluorescent
light in the far right corner flickers rapidly every few minutes. A TV is on
towards my left, spouting out reports about natural disasters on low vol-
ume. My face is hidden by hands, holding back tears, concealing emo-
tions that make me even more pathetic. A clock ticks softly somewhere in
the room, counting down the minutes.
The aquamarine gown I chose for prom now sits limply on my
down and his recent bone marrow transplant has caused some complica-
could get here from their meeting over four hours away. How could I say
Yet, his presence has lingered and his speech has become a chant in my
mind. Our argument has been rewinding in my head ever since. I admit
is the only person that can cheer me up anymore. If something happens to
The nurse who had interrupted the pillow battle a few weeks ago
taps me on the shoulder. Worry lines are evident on her face.
I nod curtly and follow her to the room, where she leaves me to
sort out matters on my own. I slowly open the door. He is sitting on his
bed, back faced towards me, eyes transfixed on the world outside his win-
dow. I walk over to him and try to see what has grabbed his attention. Is it
the bright yellow and green lights on the buildings? Is it the tide of people
headed in every direction?
I look up, and sure enough, a few silver stars manage to twinkle
over the skyscrapers that cover most of the sky. I thought it was impossi-
ble to see stars in the city, especially here where the lights are brightest.
since I believed otherwise. Reminds me of how I choose to complain in-
stead of overcome obstacles. Maybe the latter is how you find the stars, as
cheesy as it sounds.
Unexpectedly, I feel something soft press against my cheek for a
moment. I turn towards Zack as he pulls his face away from mine, a gen-
tle smile gracing his expression.
- Wait, did you just kiss
We just stare at each other for a while, waiting for the other to de-
cide what the gesture meant. He suddenly bursts out laughing, the sound
of his voice encircling me. I begin to laugh with him, feeling lighter and
I look up from the ground. My mother stands there in front of me,
arms crossed, foot tapping, eyes narrowing, and lips pursing. She stood
at me in disbelief. I continued to try to look as unaware of the situation as
possible. My heartbeat picked up a rapid pace, my palms began to over-
heat, and my lungs were unable to consume air. I was filled with a sudden
strike of guilt. About to give in, the pot on the stove started to overflow
with foaming white bubbles. As she turned around to turn it off I let my
guilt out without words, just air and let in a gasp of air that would hope-
fully get me through this case and out of this court house. Before she
turned around I flicked a few crumbs off the tips of my fingers. My
through the door and into the bathroom staring at my reflection, where a
smirk was slapped across my face. I did it, I was guilty. It was I who stole
a cookie from the cookie jar.
tivation is unfamiliar to me now. I find myself asking questions like
the teacher is talking about something new on their agenda to finish me
through my stack of piling essays and projects. Sure, it might seem lazy,
after Christmas break (short as it is), I returned to school with hand writ-
ing that had deteriorated to kindergarten chicken scratch. The reason was
part being my hands felt too lazy to grip the pencil. That being said, I also
find studying boring. I like notes. Notes are fun, simple and to the point. I
appreciate when teachers make power points because it is easier for me to
understand and that without the PowerPoint, I could probably careless
about the subject. However, I like it even more when teachers give me
test and quizzes with the actual content placed on the PowerPoint , rather
My laziness has spilt over into anything I have ever found as fun.
far back, my mind has the capacity of a kindergartener: only capable of
coloring and eating cheerios until nap time. To give myself some credit, I
am actually in Art class so I kind of should be interested, plus I have an
easel and all sorts of art stuff in my room. I am constantly searching for
amount of my time listening to music, which becomes old after a week. I
consider myself now the all-
stream. I swear if a mainstream 95.7 listener got a hold of my iPod and
aired it, I would probably die of a heart break. Most mainstream listeners
cannot truly appreciate the music I listen to, however, I give some inter-
ested people the benefit of the doubt because I for one listen to almost
everything and I can somehow find my true love for the genre I listen to.
With my senioritis I am cursed with strayed thoughts and temporary
symptoms of ADD. I have no clue what people are saying 1/3 of the time,
and I feel kind of bad, so I just nod my head in agreement. No one has
so I assume they either have no clue about what they are talking about,
they could care less about my response, or have the same story as the last
person. I also find myself lost in space half the time. Just the other day I
was in Spanish class, board out of mind and completely detached from the
discussion, so I decided to take out a note card and draw a taco. The taco
drawing then led me to draw a picture of an angry chief with a spatula.
After looking at my accomplishment that had consumed 10 minutes of my
(because those are my favorite) and priced each taco to my liking. Most
about how delicious their tacos were, but for about 15 minutes, I did. I
even constructed a plan that was seemingly flawless at the time, but after
much contemplation, I decided that it needed a lot of revisions. My plan
included bringing my boyfriend a breakfast taco, allowing his friends to
this is soooo weird but it gets worst. I would then pull out an entire dozen
tacos, and offering them for $3. My mind was so flattered by my
ing breakfast biscuits, duhhhh.
destroyed by a single hunk of explosive metal dropped from our planes
thousands of feet above. Homes and schools and places of worship for
completely demolished by hands just like mine;; hands that were here to
never forget the face of the child staring back at me. A young boy, no
more than five or six, staring up at me from under a piece of concrete that
covered half of his small body. I remember thinking he looked a lot like
my own son and I remember the nausea that crashed over me in the few
prison. But here, this child meant nothing.
As I ran away, the reasons why I served started to blur in my mind, like
they were being erased. Before I stopped running, all of them were gone
It all came down to this.
This would be the most important decision I ever made. He would ask me
the question. He would look me right in the eye and just ask it. As if it
-word answer;; I
man across from me. His eyebrows draw together slightly in the middle
and I can imagine myself making the same face back at him.
swered the question, then these hands would have something extra;; some-
Slowly, the decision starts to form in my mind. The voices of the people
Taking in a shaky breath, I finally answer.
A person behind me cheers as I finally carry my groceries out the door
and it lets me know I made the right decision.
Excerpt from The Unforgettable Tale of Summer Camp
Scene opens on a camp room where Scarlett and Lily are sitting on chairs
while about fifteen little girls are sitting on the floor. Little girls are all
LITTLE GIRLS: (In a teasing manner and in unison) Lily likes Luke!!!
Scarlett rolls her eyes to the side and lets out a huge sigh as Lily blushes
and changes the topic.
LILY: Okay listen up girls! (Room goes quiet) Tomorrow is our trip to
day so you should all have the money.
Little girls start piling money on side table while Lily checks off who paid
SCARLETT: (To Lily) I can take the money to the office on our way
you check off the names. (Hands over the list)
The girls start to line up at the door as Lily leads them offstage.
Scarlett erases the marks that Lily made on the checklist.
that is seen on the table.
She walks offstage with a devious smile.
Enter Lily to camp office. In the office Scarlett and the Behrs look angry.
LILY: You called me?
MR. BEHR: Yes, we have an extremely serious matter to discuss with
MRS. BEHR: After camp today, we asked Scarlett if she had the money
for the trip tomorrow and she informed us that you had it.
LILY: Well, this must be a mistake because Scarlett was taking it to the
MRS. BEHR: Well, we thought maybe you had left it in the room until
we saw the list. (Holds up list)
to do this. We allowed you to work here last minute. We gave you a great
MR. BEHR: Do you know that we have very angry parents who want to
know where their money for the circus has gone?
MRS. BEHR: When we asked Scarlett (Looks over at Scarlett), she was
saw the money in the purse.
LILY: (Looks confused)
MR. BEHR: Regardless of what you did or did not do, we are going to
have to let you go. This was a very irresponsible move on your part.
MRS. BEHR: We are very sorry.
Lily exits devastated as she spots Scarlett in the corner smiling at her.
Scarlett is seen talking to Luke about incident as Lily enters on other side
of stage. She is not seen by the former two.
LUKE: You know what Scarlett;; we were over a long time ago! You
need to get over yourself!
Scarlett lets off a huge sigh and walks offstage.
Lily enters near Luke.
LILY: Why did Scarlett just call me a gold digger?
She starts to run offstage.
He does not finish sentence as Lily has now run completely offstage.
Never Fully Recovered
Scene One: The Beginning
(Blackout, Curtains closed entire scene, Audience hears someone running mur-
muring. Or. Curtain is opened, revealing the stage is hidden behind a thin, white
curtain. All furniture is onstage behind the curtain, with lights in different places
on upstage right, center and left. All the audience sees is the shadows of every-
thing in the room)
WOMAN: No. No. Oh God. Please No. (Frantically trying to get her key into
the lock and open the door, keys jingling are heard) Come on! Come on! Open
up stupid door! Come on! Open up damn it! Oh God!
(Hear the door open and slam shut fol-
lowed by the sound of a bolt locking in place, followed by as sigh of relief,
breathless) (Sudden banging on
the door is heard three times, slowly and rhythmically, door knob is heard jig-
gling, Silence, Door is heard clicking to unlock, Long silence, Door bursts open,
woman screams, things are heard falling down, some glass breaks, Curtain
moves a bit) (Gasps, Hear woman fall to
the ground, dead. Silence)
Scene Two: the Funeral: At the Graveyard
(All main characters are standing in a semi-circle around the grave, mourning
the loss of their friend)
were celebrating her latest groundbreaking story.
EDEN: I know. (Sob.) She was always the center of attention at parties
TANZI: And the way she died was just horrible. How is anyone capable of
something like that?
SKYLER: Why would anyone want to kill her? She was a good person.
ZACK: Even the good must sometimes die young. But no one deserves to die
the way she did.
FRANK: Well apparently somebody thought she should.
DOMINICK: And by the look of the stab wound, they were determined to make
sure she was dead.
dead before she hit the floor.
(Eden and Tanzi start crying uncontrollably)
SKYLER: And poor Chris, losing his aunt so suddenly like that. She was your
DOMINICK: I hope that the killer is quickly found
ZACK: The police are working as hard as they can. For now all we can do is
EDEN: then what do you suppose we do?
of spending every moment waiting for and hoping for the cops the find some-
thing. (Moves closer to grave) you will be greatly missed Amy.(Leaves. Tanzi,
Holly and Skyler move closer to grave)
TANZI: Even though you are not here with us any more Amy, your memory
will live on forever. (Tanzi, Holly and Skyler leave. Eden goes closer to grave)
EDEN: (sniff) Parties will never be the same. (Eden and Dominick leave)
CHRIS: Just give me a few more minutes.
ZACK: Ok (pause, hesitantly)
(Leaves)(Chris steps toward grave, reaches behind headstone revealing a bou-
rest of bouquet in front of the grave;; kneels on one knee, next to headstone, fin-
gering the rose;; collapses over headstone/gravestone crying)
-Mary Faith Langemeier
Three Views of IWA Elleanor Jackson
(Original photographs manipulated in Photoshop by editors)
(RYLEIGH A senior in high school. A workaholic when it comes
to grades;; an overachiever and somewhat of a perfectionist.
On edge due to lack of sleep stemming from too many nights
spent doing homework instead of getting much-needed rest.
Wants nothing more than to relax and to be left alone, particu-
larly on the subject of school.
is, but notices Ryleigh seems to have been slacking off lately.
In typical motherly fashion, she resolves to speak to her
daughter on the subject and hopes to get her back on track.
(RYLEIGH is lying on her bed, wearing large earphones.
She is obviously exhausted, with dark circles under her
eyes. Her mother, AVA, enters)
AVA: Ryleigh! What are you doing? (RYLEIGH
hearing through the headphones. AVA resorts to shouting) Ry-
RYLEIGH: (removes headphones) What?
RYLEIGH: Yeah. (replaces headphones)
AVA: (pulls earphones off
AVA: Stop being a senior and get to work on your paper.
RYLEIGH: Like what?
is come home, eat, and lie on your bed listening to your music until you
go to sleep. You used to be so driven, honey, and now I never see you do-
ing any homework after school. I thought you loved writing. I think you
an AP exam, and I have no idea how many other ones for class alone! I
a day off from schoolwork this year since class started back in August.
Yes, that includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and spring break.
Hell, those are when everyone gets the heaviest homework loads! When
breaks as they are a couple extra days to finish ungodly amounts of home-
work with maybe a cumulative hour of family time sandwiched between
analysis of a postmodern nightmare of a novel and a paper on whether or
not I think resistance to peer pressure is indicative of leadership. We
been reading other books that were complicated enough without the post-
modern plot structure to confuse us even more, because, as I mentioned
before, WE ARE ALL EXHAUSTED AS IT IS. We want teachers to lay
you were saying a minute ago that I used to be so driven.
( end scene)
Piece of Cake Abbie Bacilla