Hello! It is my joy to present to you the 2016-2017 edition of Pentrails: A Magazine of the Arts. With this edition of Pentrails, we are making a more full use of digital formatting and publishing. Pentrails features a variety of artwork and literary submissions from students ranging from freshman to seniors, and each year we publish we are proud to stand in the tradition of the students who came before us.
I would like to recognize this year's editor of Pentrails, Lester Savoie. He spent countless hours this year working on submissions and creating the layout. This year's edition is, in many ways, the result of his vision and artistic excellence. I would also like to recognize Lester for his content contributions to Pentrails this year, and especially as our cover artist. Well done.
This year, we are building on the digital publication of the journal we began a few years ago, through unveiling a new format. As I look at this year's edition of Pentrails, I am struck by the concept of beauty. Beauty has been defined as "a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight." From the artistic contributions, to the literary pieces, to the layout and design, Pentrails is truly beautiful.
May you enjoy the magazine as much as I do!
Alexandra M. Burris, M.A.
Pentrails Faculty Advisor
Through the Eye of the Students
I stand surrounded by empty desks in a bitterly cold room. I look around at the dark gray walls, the muffled silence making me feel somehow like I'm underwater. When I try to find where the walls end, I can't- they seem to extend forever in my line of vision. Fear begins to build up inside me. I want to run, but where is there to go? I call out, not sure if I'm really looking for an answer back. I begin to walk steadily forward, drawn by a light coming from straight ahead.
As I approach, the white light morphs into moving figures, and a scene begins to unfold before me. I watch, transfixed, as a memory from when I was younger plays out in black and white. Ashy and faded like a burnt photograph around the edges, the sound crackly, the bright, floating scene is like a movie broadcasted onto an old projector screen. I see my younger self sitting on my old bed, knees pulled close to his chest, sobbing and clutching a small stuffed animal.
I'm suddenly seized with the need to try and reach him, to warn him- or me- what I know is going to happen next. Before I can reach my hand out, the door to the bedroom bursts open with such a force that it nearly breaks free of its hinges. I jump backward on instinct, even though I know the child in the picture is truly the one in danger. In the doorway stands my father, his dark form silhouetted against the harsh light of the hallway, his shadowed face gray and expressionless. The child on the bed cowers away from his towering form, scrambling as far back on the bed as he can before hitting the headboard. There, he huddles down and tries to hide himself among the pillows, tears streaming down his face. My father angrily moves closer, his long, dark shadow engulfing the small bed. I scream out, forgetting that the people in the picture can't hear me.
"I'm sorry, Daddy!" I hear the kid shriek. All I can do is watch and remember what happened that night, the first of the seemingly endless nights I spent crying myself to sleep.
"Daddy, please, no! I didn't do anything wrong!"
I watch helplessly as my father snatches the little boy's shirt, pulling him close to his face. I remember the rancid smell of alcohol on his breath, a mystery to me then. I watch the younger me cringe as my father pulls him even closer, then roars into his ears.
"Listen here you worthless excuse for a son, don't ever talk to your brother the way you did today, do you hear me?!"
He shakes the little boy, who is as limp as a toy doll in his hands. I hear my younger self cry out between sobs in a weak attempt to defend himself.
"No, please, Dad, you have to believe me, he pushed me-"
"I don't care what he did to you! He can do what ever he wants to you. But you don't put a hand on him."
I watch, cringing, as the next part of my horror story unfolds. Growling with rage, my father pulls his fist back and lets it fly, making direct contact with my younger self's face. I cry harder, but all I can do is stand helplessly and watch the gut-wrenching punch happen over and over again. My father pulls his fist back one last time, but before he can swing, I cry out to the kid.
"No, don't let him hurt you! Stop it! I don't want to feel this pain anymore...."
Then everything went black.
I wake up in a cold sweat, my heart thumping in my chest. I look over at the clock on my nightstand; it reads 2:30. I breath out in relief, knowing that I still have a few more hours to sleep. I pull my laptop close to me and plug my earbuds in, turning on my music. I lay my head back on my pillow, and soon I fall asleep again.
Lester Savoie- 12th grade- Judgmental Ties
The Ceiling is a Mirror
Late at night, I sit up wondering why I'm here. The books say why, but my life is telling me a different story. As I look at the glowing stars on my ceiling from the night light projection, I feel suddenly lighter. It's almost like I can escape the world I'm in and enter into a more peaceful and slow-paced world. As I look at the ceiling every night before going to bed, I go to different places. One night, I was transported to Florida, where I sat on the beaches and enjoyed the views and tranquil noises while in the same spot. But this night, it happened again. As I looked at the ceiling, I saw the same stars, but this time with more detail. As the imaginations went on, I felt a more surreal feeling of being transported up and up. Strangely, I kept going up and up until I reached over the roof. It was 10:03 at night and the clouds were gray. I knew the city well, so it wouldn't hurt for me to fly over it and see what happens.
The city was beautiful at night, as it was illuminated by the spirit of the people. As I passed over the high buildings of the city, I stumbled upon the local library. As for me, I did not think of the library much. I thought it was just an old place that no one used anymore, since no one used physical books anymore. Oddly, tonight, the library became intriguing to me. Having control of my flying body, I swooped down into the library. Immediately, I saw a girl sitting alone and heard a loud voice coming from the mid-section of the second floor of the library.
"Ma'am, we're closed! You can come again tomorrow!" the tired librarian yelled.
Instead of being shaken up, the girl just sat there, entranced by nothing in site. Without much energy, the girl stood up, grabbed her things and walked out. She looked depressed and automated. I watched the girl as she walked lifelessly down the many blocks to a dark and gloomy house. "She probably needed some friends," I thought to myself. As a spectator, I looked around the city for anyone that I knew that could befriend her. As I searched from house to house, I found one girl. She was very pleasant and seemed to be the opposite of the dazed girl. As I looked down on her, I strangely had the ability to tell her to go to the library tomorrow. The night passed quickly and tomorrow came. At about the same time, the girl left her house and made her way to the library, where she sat in the same spot and drew in her notebook. The pleasant stranger walked into the library and sat next to the dazed girl.
"Hey, how are you?" Said the stranger cheerfully.
Confused and unable to formulate a response, the dazed girl leaves the table and hikes down to the bottom floor of the library where she draws in her notebook. When she finally looks up from her notebook of beautifully drawn irises, she sees a flyer for an art competition. For a moment, she gets excited about the possibilities. Then quickly, she realizes that she would be taking an opportunity that she may fail at. On her walk home to the solemn house, she goes back to her room of colorful stars on the ceiling and looks up again, only to not be lifted back up, but put back down into the bed where she looked at the colorful projection of stars in the sky. She was me. What was I missing out on in life? Were the opportunities that I was too scared to take putting my life on hold?
Brooke Bell- 9th grade- "The Ceiling is a Mirror"
I Am Poem
By Mengyan Liu
I am happy and clever
I wonder about the spectacular movie
I hear some coughing in the theater
I see myself as a traveler
I want to seize time and money
I am excited and I believe in destiny
I pretend to be knowledgeable
I feel my mind is forgettable
I touch the soft clouds in the sky
I worry that my wings will forget to fly
I cry for the poor that have no food
I am no longer upset and I am free
I understand the people are busy
I say we don't talk fast
I dream to travel around the world
And I study hard and try to keep my words
I hope we all have a goal
Pick up the mind and let's go!
Mengyan Liu- 10th grade