Santa is coming tonight
Baking fresh cookies
White snowflakes falling
Sit by a crackling fire
Cold fingers and toes
Chirping from the birds
Blooming of new life begins
Rainbows after rain
Breathe in crisp clean air
Take a and smell flowers
Open the house up
Suddenly bright best friend walks
Walking in the rain
Chill break of the day
Barefoot walks along the sand
Fog in the distance
The smell of fresh air
Rusted-colored leaves falling
Breezy chilly days
Raked red leaves from trees
Flannels on back to school days
Ripe orange pumpkin
Ceramics and Sculpture
"Due to the circumstances of Covid 19, our traditional Ceramics and Sculpture classes look a bit different. Previously, students typically worked with clay. Clay is a shared material. One student comes in the room uses the material and then returns it back to the same container that the next student is getting it from. We can easily see how working with clay can become complicated with this set of procedures of shared tools and consumable materials. With that said, we looked at sculpture with a much broader lens. This is a good thing because it creates a more well rounded and versed student who has a taste of many different mediums within the realm of sculpture. Below you will see images of student work ranging from plaster, wire, everyday objects, cardboard, metal, plastalina, fiber, etc. Nevertheless, students have risen to the occasion, and continue to impress me with their work while navigating our changing times." - Mr. Hartman
My grandma sits in the same chair every day, goes to bed at the same time, and eats exactly the same. I haven’t seen my grandma move from her schedule ever. The only thing I ever observe her indulging in is storytelling. She is a master storyteller, from which I have firsthand experience. She has told many stories, but one has stuck with me the most. The story of the library on Evergreen Lane. Evergreen Lane is wound into the woods of Backville Maine, where I live. Backville is a sort of anomaly in these parts. My town has not grown or modernized since the colonizers of Roanoke mysteriously disappeared. I live on Cherry Lane, in a beautiful little cottage nestled into the edge of town. My boyfriend Timmy lives on Peach Lane in an old Victorian mansion, beautifully preserved and hidden by enormous trees. The only populated part of town is City Lane, a collection of quaint old shops and restaurants divided by a cobblestone street. I love my town, but my most favorite part of town is Timmy.
I met Timmy two years ago at my favorite shop in town, Dr. Cee’s Crystal store. Timmy is beautiful. He has dark, thick eyebrows that match his curly brown hair. He is the tallest person I know, as well as the palest. Me and him both have great style, which is why he stuck out to me. I have a style unbefitting of my name. Lizzie is a light and airy name, whereas my style is just about the complete opposite. Me and Timmy are both smart, but not as social as could be. Timmy is much easier to talk to, though. At school, I don’t have many friends except for him. For this, my siblings like to make fun. My siblings and I don't have a great connection, my one real connection is with my grandma. My siblings always make me feel like such an unfun loser. I like to pretend I am a very interesting person, but in reality, I’m very boring. I wish I was fun like my siblings, or friendly like Timmy. During grandma’s stories, I can imagine myself as the brave main character, unapologetically themselves. The world in my mind and the world around me are two different things, though. I aspire to make these worlds one in the same. The only way to make it identical is to do the things I amgine, such as going to the library on Evergreen lane.
Timmy and I walked to school along the road when I realized I really should not have worn my mary janes. I have never skipped school before because I am a bit of a rule-follower. The thought of breaking the rules only heightens my excitement. Timmy, as usual, agreed to go with me to the library despite the utter stupidity of my idea. It is said that an old man lives above the library on Evergreen Lane, and sells books by day. No one that has ever gone in has come out. The old man never pays rent, gets food, or turns on a light. No one will dare enter the library for fear of what might happen. Timmy and I got closer and closer to the library and my hands were trembling. My hands shook up until the moment we stepped up to the library and looked into its face. The library is a beautiful old building, not coy like my house or foreboding like Timmy’s, but beautiful. “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”
“I know, Timmy.”
“I will go in there with you, Lizzie.”
My face was beginning to get swollen, I just knew it. I took off my jacket and stuffed it into my bookbag, feeling less constricted but nowhere near less scared. “How should we do this?”
“I don’t know, Lizzie, maybe we just walk in. I mean after all it is a bookstore. We’re allowed to come in?”
“Okay, don't you leave me.” The nape of my neck began to perspire, but I ignored it and walked on. The 10 steps from the street to the door weighed on my knees greatly, I felt like passing out. But, Timmy failed to push the door open to the library, the heavy door had become crusted shut with rain and dirt. Timmy and I whittled away at the door frame until a small sliver of space opened up. I decided to be brave and go first as Timmy kept the doorway open. I squeezed my eyes shut until I felt him beside me. And at that moment, I opened my eyes.
It took my eyes many moments to focus on the scene ahead of me. And boy, was it a scene. It was a scene that I would never watch, because it is so boring. There were no books, no man, no lights. It was simply an abandoned old building, with nothing to offer me. I felt disappointed in myself and mad at the world. I broke then into angry tears. This adventure was meant to prove to myself and to others that I am interesting and unique and fun. Now I had nothing to defend myself with. I felt utterly and completely worthless at that moment.
When me and Timmy parted ways, I realized something big. I have been telling myself all along that I am worth nothing, and I needed to do something to prove it. But, I realize why my grandma told me that story. She told me about the library on evergreen lane so I could imagine myself as the main character in my head. But, in truth I don't need to be heroic or funny or brave to be the main character. I am the main character in my story, and I realize I can place my worth on opinions of others that have led me to believe I am not worth anything. Because I am.
According to E Ce Miller, Blackout Poetry is when, “…a poet takes a found document, traditionally a print newspaper, and crosses out a majority of the existing text, leaving visible only the words that comprise his or her poem; thereby revealing an entirely new work of literature birthed from an existing one” (Miller, 2017). Our writers were charged with creating Blackout Poetry that was both poetic and visually appealing. Throughout this publication, you will find examples of their work.
Silence is Deadly
AN IMAGINING OF NIGHTHAWKS - Brenna Hazlett
It was quiet on Jefferson Street. Too quiet for a Saturday night. It was 11:00 and in the neighborhood diner sat 3 customers, as a waiter on his fourth coffee continues to serve them their drinks. You can feel the tension in the air. The kind of tension you could cut with a knife. Alone sat a mysterious man, whose face you couldn’t see under the brim of his hat. Then, on the other side of the counter, sat Rosalina Spade, better known as Rose, and her husband Henry Cambridge. Everyone sat quietly and sipped coffee.
In her thoughts was Rosalina Spade. Her auburn hair lay perfectly on her shoulders, and her makeup was perfect as always. She kept up her appearance due to Henry being quite well known for his illegal casino, which in turn made Rose a public figure in their little town in Vermont. Women wanted to be her and men wanted her. They saw her as the perfect woman in a perfect marriage. Unlike her parents, Rose was not in a happy marriage with kids. She always wanted the life that her parents lived. When she met Henry in high school, and they became friends, she developed feelings for him quickly, but never acted upon them until after they graduated. They went to college and during their sophomore year, Henry proposed. She agreed, being head over heels, and dropped out of college to focus on the wedding, as per Henry’s request. They were soon married and moved into their first home. After the honeymoon phase was over, Rose and Henry became not-so-high school sweethearts. Fights began to break out and they argued almost every night and day. It got quite ugly one particular night. Rose went into the living room where Henry was sitting, drinking a whiskey made by one of his regulars at the casino. Rose hated whiskey and refused to drink with him, though, it's not like he’d offer anyway.
“I want to start a family, Henry.” she spoke clearly.
“I don’t. End of discussion.” He replied
“But Henry I-”
More sternly, Henry yelled, “End. Of. Discussion.”
It was after that snapback, Rose lost it. She always wanted a family like hers growing up. She had siblings and happy parents and she wanted the same for her and her future children. But after she married Henry, her family stopped speaking to her. It was becoming more clear why. The next day, Rose came back to Henry with an offer.
“Fine. You don’t want children. Then give me something to have control over or something to keep me occupied. I am not fit to be a stay at home wife. I want 50% of your casino profit and shares.” Rose told Henry
He laughed in her face as if she had just told the funniest joke he had ever heard.
“You’re out of your mind, woman. I’ll get you a goldfish. Maybe that can keep you occupied.” He slurred. He was drunk, as he normally is on weekends.
“Fine. 40%.” She replied
“You’d be lucky if I gave you a penny.”
“Final offer, 20%.” Rose was done playing games.
“Final offer. 0%. Like I said, get lost.” He stumbled over his words like he did his own feet as he stood up from the chair.
Rose walked away, not saying another word. She went to bed and prayed for a better life. Then, an idea struck.
In the diner, the clock ticked loudly, only drowning out the sound of breathing and coffee pots brewing. Rose refused to look anyone in the eye. Especially her husband. She knew what she had to do, and she was going through with it.
The waiter came by again to fill cups once more and check in on the customers. As he walked away, Rose silently stood up, placed her napkin on the table and walked towards the restrooms. On her way there, she walked behind the mysterious man sitting all by his lonesome on the other side of the diner. As she passed, he looked up slightly, trying to not raise suspicion among Henry and the waiter. A moment passes and Rose returns. Again, as she passes, the man lifts his head slightly. This time, Rose leans down and whispers to the man.
“Five minutes.” she says quietly
The man nods slightly and she moves along back to where her and her husband are seated.
Rose was not as quiet as she presumed. The waiter walked over to the man with a panicked look on his face. He knew Rose and Henry and had heard rumors of terrible things they have been associated with. He didn’t want any trouble.
“What were you talking about with Ms. Spade-Cambridge?” he asked hurriedly.
“I wouldn’t worry about it if I was you. You don't want nothing to do with him.” the man responded.
The waiter wouldn’t back down. As he walked away from the man, he headed over towards Rose. She knew what was coming, so as a distraction, she dropped a spoon to make Henry pick it up.
“Tell me what you’re planning right now!” the waiter said frantically.
Rose smirked and said to the waiter, “Don’t get involved or we’ll have to deal with you too.”
Again, that didn’t stop the waiter. As Henry sat back from grabbing the spoon, the waiter rushed over and tried to warn him about his wife and the suspicious man. But, before he could get 4 words out, the man stands up from his chair, and suddenly the waiter is down. There was a loud bang and a cry, and the waiter was on the floor. Blood was gushing from the fresh gunshot wound in his leg. Everyone stands. As Henry’s jaw drops in shock, Rose calmly walks over to the man holding the gun.
“Rose, what are you doing?” yelled Henry.
“What I should have done a long time ago. Dear, I know you’re very confused on what is going on here. See, when we first met and fell in love, I thought we would have the perfect life, similar to my childhood. Happy parents, happy siblings, happy family. Everything would be perfect. But, you didn’t want that did you? You told me I was unfit to be a mother, and you simply did not want any rascals running around and making our lives miserable. It was at that moment I knew I had fallen out of love with you. But, for the sake of our appearance and sanity, I never said anything, also hoping that maybe, by some miracle, we could fall in love again like we did in high school. Again, my dream was crushed, similar to that of having children. Then, only a few years ago, you opened up your grand casino. How daring of you. Especially when you and I both know very well that it is very much illegal for you to own the casino without the proper licenses, and casinos and gambling are illegal in Vermont. At any time I could have reported you to the police and you would have gotten life in prison, but I wanted something a little better. I wanted a cut. If I was going to stay married to you, I might as well get something out of it. Because we all know I never got any love, or attention, or anything but ungrateful remarks on my cooking and cleaning and rude looks. I wanted something to give my life purpose. So I asked you for a cut. 50/50. You said no. Then I asked for an even more reasonable 60/40 cut. Again, you said no. Finally, I asked for 80/20. Another no. You told me to get out of your face. So I did. I went to your lawyers office and had him help me get the deed to your casino and signed it over to my name. I’ve learned how to forge your signature quite well. And now, you are of no use for me. Maybe now I can find someone better and have the family I want, and run the greatest casino Vermont has ever seen. It’s over for you, Henry. Thanks for nothing.”
Henry stared at Rose in disbelief. He had no words. A tear rolled down his cheek and dropped to the floor. Rose nodded to the man, and another loud bang could be heard in the diner. Rose threw some money at the waiter for his medical bills and walked out with the man. She never looked back.
There were thousands of atomic bombs detonated in Arizona in the 50’s. Thousands of them blew up, some of them were detonated near major cities, and you can find all the bombs on records, at least, not the ones that the U.S. Government wiped. There remains one un-scrubbed report that shall never be revealed, or leaked, or anything of the sort. The incident is known by the government as beta-9220, “Miracles”.
In the 50’s, we did not know of the true power of the atomic bombs yet. We knew that they could level a city, but we were still naive in the field of nukes. One company, liquidated shortly after the conclusion of “Miracles”, thought they could make a suit that was impervious to the damage of nuclear weapons: a suit that could shield the wearer from the heat, the impact, the light, and, of course, the fallout of a nuclear bomb. The poured millions and millions of dollars into the suit, dubbing it “The Miracle Device”. They sent sales reps to offer it to the government, and they offered to give the company a contract if they simply could prove that it could withstand the force of the weapon. The Company and the Army set up a place to test the bomb, deep in the heart of Arizona.
The day of the test came one summer morning, when The Tester arrived. Noone knew much about the tester. No one knew if he was a lab assistant, a private, or a prisoner. All they knew was that he had red hair, and was willing to give his life for America. The Company’s reps at the test helped The Tester into “The Miracle Device”.
“The Miracle Device” was a suit of Armor made from several different layers of material, ranging from Lead, Titanium, Steel, etc, with The Company’s logo on the front, two crossed Olive Branches. It was Ironic, considering what business The Company was in. The gloves to the suit were bright green, the boots brown.
At Noon, the test began.
The Bomb was placed 500 yards away from “The Miracle Device”, as to take into account how Atomic Bombs blew up in the air, rather than earth. The Tester gave an “All-Clear” to the Army men, and the test began.
The atom bomb blew up, sending shockwaves around a mile radius. The head of the Army Reps,a short man with a Napoleon complex who shall be referred henceforth as “The Commander”, thought that he died, as did everyone else. However, when the smoke cleared, they saw the device still standing, despite how there was a crater a kilometer in diameter around the bomb. The Commander, perplexed by this, sent a team of three men, a private, a rep from “The Company”, and Sergeant Lenard Scott - a scrawny guy with a handlebar mustache.
When they reached the Miracle device, it was 200 meters from the initial point, as The Tester had walked over back to the safety point. In his wake bore life, as every single desert he passed sprouted into the air, adorned with fruit and flowers.
When the team finally reached The Tester, The Tester greeted them with no pain in his voice, the opposite of what the trio expected.
“The Device Works!” The tester exclaimed as the trio walked closer to him, “Can I take the device off now? It’s rather stuffy.”
“Sure” The rep said. The Rep was not well versed in the effects of fallout.
“Thank you!” The Tester exclaimed, as he threw off his helmet, before unlocking the mechanism holding his gloves and torso together.
“That suit was rather- Why are you staring at me?”
“Your hair…” Lenard began, “You poor thing.”
“What? Did it fall out?”
“Really? That’s strange”
“That’s an understatement” The rep muttered.
“Well-” The Tester took a step forward, only to fall face-first into the sand. He looked up to the private, the closest man there.
“Could you help me up?” The Tester said, extending a hand out to the private
“Sure.” The private said. He grabbed The Tester's hand, and pulled him up.
“Thank y- What the?” The Tester screamed. The private spontaneously combusted into a mass of green flames. The remainder of the trio backed away from The Tester, as Tester looked on at the sight in horror. The duo backed up.
“Stay here,” Lenard said, “I think that we may have to… Do things to you” Lenard said. The duo stopped in their tracks for a moment, before breaking into a sprint for the safety zone.
A day later, a nearby medical school, also in the desert, famed for its many bulletproof-glass chambers once used to store people with certain conditions. The Army believed that this would be the best place to store The Tester, who they now called “Miracle Man”, on account of how he was the one who wore the miracle device, in addition to how it was a miracle that he survived. Lenard, being the only surviving soldier to have any knowledge of how “Miracle Man” Worked, was assigned to guard Miracle Man’s cell, in addition to providing him with food, water, and any other necessities.
Over the next several months, The army conducted many tests on him.
One of these tests was wheeling in a plant known by the native american people of the area to produce great fruit, but only one fruit per year. The wheeled it into his cell, and he touched it with his ungloved hand. The tree immediately started sprouting fruit the size of watermelons. It sprouted them so fast that the Lenard had to wheel the tree out of the cell before it suffocated him
Another test was when they threw a monkey into his cell. Miracle Man was then instructed to touch the monkey. When Miracle Man touched the simian, the monkey screeched, and dissolved into a puddle. Upon examination, it was revealed that the enzymes in the Monkey’s cells were forced to turn anything they contacted into acid. Miracle Man cried after the experiment, with the only person who helped him out was Lenard, as per usual.
The final test was simply wheeling in a radio into his cell. He was instructed to touch the radio, which he did. Upon examination of the radio, and its frequencies, it was revealed that there was no discernible change from normal. From those tests, the army and The Company concluded that:
Any Plant life that Miracle Man contacted rapidly mutated into a far superior version of itself.
Any Animal life that Miracle Man contacted rapidly mutated usually producing a harmful or lethal affect, and:
The Miracle Man had no discernable impact on Technology.
They subjected Miracle man to hundreds of more tests: Seeing what would happen if he touched water, if the water would mutate plants or animals, as well as making him touch samples of diseases, as well as other plants and Animals. After a while, they started sending Miracle Man more and more people to touch. Some were criminals, some were people wrongfully accused as communist, some were just regular people.
“Why do they make me do this?” Miracle Man moaned one night, “I never wanted to kill anyone. I never wanted to hurt anything. But here I am: no one cares about what I feel”
“I care about what you feel” Lenard responded,
“Then why don’t you let me out?”
“I don’t want to be shot”
“Well, at least you care enough about me. It seems like you’re the closest thing I’d call a friend.”
That was the last time Miracle Man would call him that. The day after, The Commander ordered Lenard to kill Miracle Man.
“Why do you want me to kill him?”
“Both the President of the USA and the CEO of The Company want Miracle Man dead - The President because his escape would be dangerous to the safety of Americans, and the CEO because if the existence of Miracle Man is leaked, They’d probably lose market value.”
“But why me?” Lenard asked
“You know the most about him - You are his guard, after all”
“I won’t do it!” The general grabbed his revolver on the side of the table and pointed it right at Lenard’s face.
“Fine” He grumbled.
Lenard walked over to the clothes room near Miracle Man’s cell, where the hazmat suits were located. As he put the suit on, he wondered what Miracle Man would think of this. As he put his mask on, he wondered how he could possibly sleep after this.
As he walked out of the room to grab the rifle he was assigned before “Miracles” even began, Miracle Man said something to him.
“Why do you have a Hazmat suit on? I have food and water alre-” He stopped talking when he saw the rifle in Lenard’s hands.
“I thought you were my friend.”
“I’m sorry,” Lenard said, as he opened the door to Miracle Man’s cell.
“How could you do this?”
“I don’t want to be shot,” Lenard said, as he looked at Miracle Man. He pressed the gun to his shoulder.
Miracle Man lept at Lenard right as the shot went off, hitting the Miracle suit. Miracle Man raised his fist in the air.
“How-” Punch, “Could-” Punch, “You-” Punch, “Do-” Punch “This?” The last punch went right through Lenard’s eyepiece, right onto his face. Miracle Man rolled off Lenard, right as the mutation bega to take place. Lenard braced for the worst, but all he felt was his mustache detaching itself from him.
Miracle Man snatched Lenard’s rifle right as The Commander entered into the cell block.
“What’s this-” The Commander had no time to talk, as Miracle man shot him right in the leg. Miracle man rushed over to The Commander, and punched him right in the face. The Impact of both these blows sent The Commander spiraling to the earth, right as mushrooms began growing all across his body. Other soldiers raised their guns at Miracle Man, who raised his gun at them. Miracle Man glanced to the door, and slowly walked towards it, not firing a shot. Miracle Man turned to open the door, and a single shot bounced off “The Miracle Device”. Miracle Man turned and shot straight at the man who shot him, before walking through the door.
“After him!” One of the soldiers cried.
“No,” Lenard commanded. He had only just gotten off the floor, “We forced him to kill when he never wanted to take a life. All he wanted to do was test a suit for us, and we exploited the mutation he got from it so he could be our executioner. Now look at him, a rage-filled force of nature who’s only friend betrayed him because he- I - was a coward. Let him walk.”
And they did.
A few days later, the Army sectioned off a 400-mile square foot radius around the desert area, forcefully relocating whoever lived in the radius. All members of “The Company” who worked on the device were thrown in jail for creating something that ended up giving people that ability, and “The Company'' was shut down a few months later. All the Army members who survived were shipped off to other countries, and Lenard eventually received a purple heart. Some say that Lenard still can’t sleep, even though what happened has been over for a long time.
As for Miracle Man, He still walks the sectioned-off zone, rifle in hand, still angry and willing to shoot someone. Some people who walk over there report massive, flowering cactuses to this day, in addition to things like scaleless Gila Monsters. So, if you come across a prickly-pear bush that has flowers blooming faster than reasonable, or you see a still-bubbling pile of acid, run, as Miracle Man might be near.
Sitting by the flames
Crackling and smoking for us
The embers heal all.
Stomping on the ice
Cracking under my warm boots
Falling under it.
Sleeping, gust surrounding me
While resting in grass.
Fishing in the pond
Suddenly, dark stormy clouds
Had to run back home.
Sitting in the pool
Avoiding the scorching sun
It feels oh so nice.
Grilling in the yard
Slurping down some great hot dogs
God bless America
Leaves fluttering down
Crackling under my firm shoes
Red orange Yellow Green Brown
Big and pearly moon
Sitting in the black wide sky
Stop enticing me
AN IMAGINING OF NIGHTHAWKS - Alexander Michaels
WHAP! “ I want these papers inspected and in my office by 5!”, Said the tall man.
“Yes Sir…”, said the other man grudgingly.
“See everyone?!, this is why Richard makes more than all of you! Never complains about work even if it’s below his pay grade!” Said the Captain
The Captain was a tall man around 6 feet 4 inches tall with a shaved head. He talked a little funny sometimes since he had some gold teeth put in. Funny Richard has seen his fair share of Criminal punch the Captain in the face but that thing never came out.
Truthfully Richard wanted nothing more than to punch the Captain in the face and quit, but if he and Leonard wanted to make it through the winter he needed to get all the work he could. Richard hated his job, every day was the same. Come in, punch in, sit down, inspect papers, turn them in, go home. All he wanted was to go home and relax with Leonard. Everything has been rough lately since Leonard got too close to exposing the Captain for his corruption. Now all Leonard does is secretly put together the case with the little evidence he has left since most of it got raided and taken, it’s already most likely destroyed, but that’s not stopping him from doing his best.
Once Richard gets home he walks into Leonard sleeping with his head down on the table with the case scattered out. Richard closes the door slowly and as quietly as someone his size can.
Leonard lets out a slight groan, “How was work?”,
“Sorry I didn’t mean to wake you,” Richard says,
Leonard cracks his neck and stretches “No it’s okay, man my neck is stiff. I made some dinner about an hour ago so it should still be warm. I’m gonna go take a shower I’ll clean up the table after that”,
Richard hangs up his coat and hat “Alright thanks when you finished cleaning come see me in the study I’ve got some news.”,
“Can’t wait,” Leonard says with a smile as he walks up the stairs.
A bit of time passes and Leonard walks downstairs in his Pajamas while holding a towel to his hair, still drying it. Leonard is of average height only a few inches shorter than Richard is, he has black hair that is kept short since Leonard has never cared for presentation, and he has brown eyes. He walks down the stairs and into Richard’s study. It’s a medium-sized room with two tall dark oak bookshelves that have boxes full of files or general reading material for the two to go through, there is a handmade cherry desk opposite to the bookshelves for functionality, then on the other side of the room is a twin-sized bed barely big enough to fit Richards full body that has rarely ever been used, the desk’s drawers have been made out of red cedar that hasn’t been stained or finished to make the room smell nice.
“What’d you want to show me?” Leonard said leaning over Richard's shoulder.
Richard then proceeds to hand a file over his shoulder to Leonard.
Leonard opens the file “Oh damn” he says with a quiet tone and a blank face.
“You can say that again, the department hasn’t found any clues at all,” Richard said, turning around on his chair to face Leonard.
“This is a slaughter”, Leonard says with a worried look on his face still with the same quiet tone
“The department has given me the case since all the other detectives have refused to take it. The only reason I did take it was because they offered me a big bonus at the end of the fiscal period.” Richard said in a happier voice with a growing simile
Leonard also started smiling as well “ How much?”
“$200,000,” Richard said with a big smile now standing
The two embraced in a large hug Richard now looking down at Leonard. Richard kisses him softly and they go upstairs to bed.
Richard and Leonard were partners from the day they both got to the station. About a year into their partnership Leonard started acting more comfortable around Richard and once Richard understood what was happening he became more comfortable they eventually became an item. There was no official date they just moved into an apartment together one day. The only person that knows is Richards’s mom since she had a similar thing after his dad died. Anytime they have family or friends over Richard simply sleeps in his study as to not arise suspicion.
About a month went by and Richard had made strides in the case. The first murder was found on Sycamore Street under a car, the second in an ally way that connects Funston Avenue to Elanie Avenue that is between Walnut road and Sycamore Street in a trashcan, the third was found inside Luke Wilson Bar underneath the floorboards. This was thought to be the end of the case but there was no evidence to tie the place to the murder of the person. None of the bodies can even be identified, the corpses are burnt and all the teeth are pulled. All he can go off of is missing report cases and use the height and gender of the corpse to figure it out.
Another month went by and Richard came home early due to Leonard calling him for an emergency. Richard opened the door and saw Leonard staring at a box put on the table. The odd thing was that Leonard was standing across the room from it with his nose held. He looked at Richard with a confused look on his face
“I’m not sure what to do with it, it’s stinking up the whole place and I didn’t want to throw it out since it seemed important. There was a note saying it’s for you.” Leonard said with his voice slightly altered from holding his nose
“ You didn’t touch the note right?” Richard said concerned
“No I used a pair of gloves,” Said Leonard Reassuringly
Richard opened one of the kitchen drawers and put on a pair of latex gloves and put them on. He walks up to the box on the table and examines the box.
“To Richard Brite,” he says to himself quietly.
He opens the note on top of the box and reads the note in his head
Richard sets the note on the table. He opens the box to a burnt head missing all of its teeth. The only difference was this time, the rest of the body didn’t come with it. Richard put sheets over everything in his study and brought the box into there. Leonard started fanning and lighted candles to get the smell out. Richard started to fill out a report for the head hoping the body would turn up soon, well the rest of it anyway. He looked in the mouth to see something shiny in the back right molar. It was
“A gold tooth!” Richard yelled
Leonard walked into the room “Everything okay?” He said holding his nose
“I know who it is!” Richard said turning his head to Leonard
Richard was sitting in the passenger seat next to a new deputy with two other cop cars behind them
“Are you sure about this?” The cop said to Richard
“It the only lead we’ve had in months,” Richard said excitingly
“You sound a little too happy,” Said the cop
“Sue me,” Richard said
They pulled up in front of the nice house and broke down the door. The TV was at full volume. The smell of dead flesh overwhelmed everyone’s nose. There laid the rest of the Captain
A few months went by with no leads at all. No cases turned up all the bodies still had no identifiable traits, the only one that had a name was the Captain’s case. Leonard and Richard were barely making it by this point. They’ve been fighting a lot so Richard has been looking over the case at the local dinner. Nothing made sense to Richard anymore. He felt like he was losing his mind. He hasn’t slept much and started drinking heavily.
“Anything to make the days go by,” he thought to himself.
Another month had passed and another body had turned up. Still not a trait to look for other than gender and height. The killer left 3 teeth in there, they were either getting sloppy or felt pity for Richard. Later that night he went back to the dinner to study the case more. He didn’t want to drink in case he missed a new detail.
“Oh my god!” Richard yelled
The few remaining patrons in the dinner gave Richard a weird look
“Sorry…” Richard said apologetically
He was looking at the case and all the murders made a circle around the area, meaning the killer was somewhere nearby. After all this time he finally understood what he needed to do.
Richard spent the next few weeks staying at the dinner nightly, it's not like he really had a choice though. This Dinner was his best lead by far. Richard didn’t really have any evidence for it but he suspected the barkeep was his most likely suspect. Richard spent a few days gathering info on what he could about the barkeep. He only worked night shifts between the hours of 9 P.M. and 4 A.M. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. So the nights that he wasn’t there he would take around making sure that the owner was okay with it. After further inspection of the property, nothing was found in the suspect’s locker.
“How close to here does David live?’ asked Richard to the owner
“Who my graveyard shift barkeep? May I ask why?” Asks the owner suspiciously
“No,” Richard said with a monotone
“Well if you must know he lives right next door in the apartment complex.” Says the owner confused
“Thank you for your corporation,” Richard says walking out
Richards looks up at his house “Well. I guess this is it.”
He puts the key in the door twists and turns the door nob and opens it up. Leonard is sleeping on the couch with the radio on. The only sound playing out of it is static.
“Oh, Leonard,” Richard says softly
He puts a blanket over Leonard and turns off the radio. He walks over to the fireplace and takes a couple of minutes to start a fire. Richard shivers from the cold.
“He’s probably been asleep for a while now,” Richard thinks to himself.
He sits down on the loveseat next to the couch and dozes off.
“Hey, Hey, Hey!” Leonard yells
“Huh? What?” Richard says waking up
“What are you doing here?” Leonard asks
“ Oh, I um…” Richards says rubbing his eyes then stretching
“ I might be close to the end of the case,” Richard says looking up at Leonard.
Leonard sits down next to Richard. “Woah.”
“Yeah, I only have one suspect and I got the address down and I’m going there tomorrow,” Richard says
“So it’s almost over,” Leonard says
“That it is,” Richard says, feeling great relief. Now, I’m not telling you to give up on anything, just the things that aren’t logical to do anymore.
Ryan Herbus and Julain Diehl
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
People are born
People have lived for centuries
Why is someone different?
All go to the same ground
But some are different
Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else
Her and him
All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different,
The soul selects her own society,
People choose their own path
What about you?
What will you be?
Or are you – Nobody – too?
From the poems and biographies of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
Everyone waits for
This time of year with
All the holidays and jollyness
The snow begins to fall
There are presents from
Santa, and so many smiles
It is beginning to blossom
It is starting to show color
The flowers that is
The clouds are leaving
It is starting to get sunny
It is spring time
Everyone waits for it
The sunflowers, heat and flowers
The best and hottest time
No work, no school, nothing
Just endless fun and memories
With your family and friends.
The trees are blowing
It is windy with leaves changing
It is fall time here
You see the colors changing
The temperature is dropping
And fires burning
The trees are barren
They have shed their many leaves
Left with white on grey
The snow piles high
People shovel their driveway
Only for more snow
The trees regain leaves
Shading us from the sunlight
Fending those below
The fields sway away
The grass follows the fresh wind
Like a blanket sheet.
The trees follow wind
The branches hold the leaves back
From following flow
The people are out
Enjoying the perfect heat
The sun creates fun
The leaves are flying
They broke from their tall captor
Free to color yards
The leaves are spread out
Like a large rug of color
Sheltering the earth
I wasn’t able to get out from my position; in between the quarrel of the two forces. Neither opened fire, but they didn’t come across as peaceful, either. If I swayed too much one way, the other would see me as protecting them, and as a foe.
I didn’t want to take any sides without figuring out what had happened between my two best friends, who had known each other for a few years. So when I heard that their friendship had ended over the course of a weekend, I was a bit more than shocked. I had questions, like “what was so devastating that one of them did to end their friendship? Why am I only hearing about this now?”
During an argument between two of my close friends who were closer friends to each other, I had to act as a mediator to figure out who was in the wrong; if anyone. While this was happening, I learned to stay in the middle and not jump to any conclusions upon hearing what one of them had done to the other that brought them to the conclusion that ending their friendship was the best case scenario. I was shocked after hearing their friendship was over, but tried to stay calm and support both sides equally instead of choosing favorites.
This had taken place over the phone in my room on a Monday night, between my close friends Sam and Danni. This was early January of 2021, so I was still in 10th/Sophomore year of high school. That night I was at my Father’s house in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania.
It was at Danni’s birthday party where some issues were brought up that I didn’t notice that started it all; it wasn’t until I heard about it from another person that I was made aware. I had sat down in my first period study hall Monday morning and started to work, until an old friend sat beside me. I took out my earbuds and looked over, expecting him to have something he wanted to tell me…and that he did.
Liam told me in 1st period that morning. On the way to lunch, Sam made eye contact in the hallway but not saying anything as I was on my way to lunch. Questioning what was going on, I texted Sam to ask if we could talk later. She agreed.
Later that night, I was informed of the argument that happened the night before, where their friendship disconnected. I tried asking for more details, but none were given. I told Sam I was going to go ask Danni for her point of view, and that I’d call her back.
Called Danni for her point of view. She brought her partner Dan with her, but they were off-task 99% of the time. Didn’t answer/ignored questions, talked about unrelated topics. Said I was going to go, which they didn’t say anything about and let me go.
Realized I had jumped to conclusions. Due to Danni not helping with finding out what had happened, so I reel it back in to be a mediator and stay neutral, believing she’s going through a lot and needs time to cool down and process on her own.
Called Sam back to let her know about Danni’s response. Didn’t know her reasonings, but assumed she’s going through stuff. Due to her unhelpfulness. Asked Sam “what now,” and she said that she would talk to Danni about it. We told each other goodnight.
Next day, they talked and apologized, becoming friends once more. I wasn’t explained the details. I’m just happy that things went back to how they were, now with this important lesson.
During this argument between two important people to me, it was difficult not to be upset when one side was unwilling to help while the other was in pain.
This event continues to have an effect on me by remembering what had occurred and why it’s important to stay neutral until learning all aspects of what had happened.
It was an important experience because it reminded me that just because I had listened to one side’s POV first, doesn’t mean that’s automatically what happened. I learned that people have different POV’s and opinions on things that influence how they react to certain outcomes.
This has helped me grow and mature by listening and valuing each side before coming to a conclusion on who I think is right.
During this argument between my two friends who were much better friends with each other, I learned how to act as a mediator to figure out who was right; if that was even a possibility. While this was going on, I tried to stay as a neutral party, there to help, and not intervene until it was necessary; just trying to get all POV’s and reasonings first before I take a side. I’m glad that it wasn’t the end of their friendship, and now they’re even better friends because of it.
It taught me the life skill of learning all aspects before making a decision; or being sensible.
A sea of thoughts, drowned out by the low rumble of smooth wheels against rough concrete, the rejuvenating air floating into my nose. A slight gust of wind whistling through the trees above, making all the leaves dance in harmony. I feel my shoulders drop, my body becomes more loose with every passing street lamp, as I slink side to side I realize - I am at peace.
Giving up can be a good thing for someone’s mental health, it relieves stress and helps with maturity. Knowing when to give up when you know it's not gonna work out is okay. Giving up on something that you’ve spent money and time on but you feel like this isn’t what you were meant to do is okay. And giving up on a person you know that they don’t feel about you in the same way is okay.
Being able to know when you have lost and being able to cut their losses is great, it means you’re mature enough to realize that you don’t always win. “ We’re taught to persevere, no matter what, but sometimes that perseverance — that unwillingness or inability to let go — keeps us from moving forward,” If we try to keep moving forward when it is impossible for us to do so then while everyone around us is moving forward and around obstacles while we keep running into the same brick wall over and over again then we won’t ever get out of this point in our life.
If you’re trying to get into a relationship with someone and you put your whole heart into it and it seems like they’re not going to come around, don't waste your time. “It all sounds good on paper, but when you think about doing it, do you get that gut-wrenching feeling that leaves you nauseated and with your heart pounding? If the answer is even remotely yes, observe closely where the feelings come from and you’ll sadly find that it’s fear. Not love,” If you end up being scared of the person you’re spending time with then it’s time to give up and move on.
Giving up on something that you have sunk money and time into is okay when you feel like your heart isn’t in it anymore. Doing something that has a negative effect on your feelings isn’t something you should keep doing, for example if you joined a sport and you sunk money and time into it but after a certain amount of time you didn’t like it anymore then you should quit. “They made me finish out that season because they didn’t believe in giving up. Now as an adult, I completely understand that they had an investment in it, such as all the money they put into lessons and outfits and all the time they had spent watching me learn the proper form of a pirouette, so I wouldn’t let my child ever quit midseason, but I have also learned that sometimes giving up is actually the only good answer.” Understanding that the only reason that you are even doing something like this anymore because you sunk all this money into should tell you the only reason you are doing it is because you feel like you have a financial obligation to this.
In conclusion, giving up can be really good for your mental health. Being able to let something go can give you that feeling of great relief. Now, I’m not telling you to give up on anything, just the things that aren’t logical to do anymore.
¨Hurry was almost safe!¨, I said as we were running fiercely through the lab. ¨Why couldn't they just listen to us?¨Myiah questioned while running out of breath.”I don't know Myiah, but we will figure it out.” I could hear loud banging on the doors as I tried to figure out what all the commotion was about. When I turned around I realized that no one had locked the door and …… It was a gloomy day outside and I was waiting for my bus while holding my science fair project in my hand. Just like every other day of twelfth grade the bus was late. When I got on I sat in the first seat and placed my project next to me. As we arrived at the next stop my best friend Myiah got on, picked up my project, and took the seat next to me carefully. I caught myself staring at her. “Hey, david what place do you think you’ll get for the fair?” she asked, trying to break the silence.”I-I hope I get second place at least.” I stuttered while snapping back to reality and she giggled a little. I wonder if she knows that I have a huge crush on her, I really hope she doesn't.
We arrived at school and headed to the science room. I heard my teachers talking about a new experiment being done by the government. I couldn't hear much because I was running late and the judges were already looking at the project.I ended up winning second place in the science fair. The top three winners got further chances to make their project more than a mini experiment. Oh I forgot to tell you what my project was. My project was an experiment to see if mixing certain chemicals would make wild life evolve faster. It sounds crazy , but it could maybe help one day. I returned back home to work a little more on my project and to do some more research. While I was working, I heard a knock on the door. ¨Come in!¨I yelled over my music. In walked Myiah. ¨What are you doing to your project now?¨ she asked, rolling her eyes sarcastically . ¨ I'm just modifying it a little.¨ I responded back laughing. My phone started vibrating and someone was calling me. I looked at my phone then back at myiah. ¨Aren't you gonna pick it up?¨ She questioned me. ¨I don't know this number and I don't really pick up the numbers I don't know.¨ I answered. It stopped vibrating for a moment, then it started again. ¨ Just pick it up, it might be important.¨ she said.
The moment I answered a familiar voice started talking. ¨Put it on speaker .¨Myiah whispered. ¨Okay hold on.¨Hi, is this David thomas?¨ The lady asked.¨Yes.¨ I replied. ¨This is your principle Mrs. Flamer, and I want you to listen to what I'm about to say carefully.¨ she said I knew that voice sounded like I'd heard it before. Me and Myiah were pretty intrigued at this point.¨ After studying your experiment really carefully some Archeologists contacted the school to do further testing with it, but instead of testing animals they want to test humans and they think it can be very beneficial”, she expressed roughly. ¨That sounds extremely dangerous.¨ I said worried. ¨ Just come in tomorrow and they will explain it more, Okay?.¨ she said before she hung up. We talked for a while, until Myiah went home.
The next morning, I couldn't help but to get up early. My head was filled with scared wonders. As soon as I got in the first period they called me down to the office. The Archeologists explained that my experiment could help them with some tests that the government was working on. To cure and evolve the human population . They couldn't tell me all the details because it was confidential. I told them that I didn't feel comfortable with testing my experiment on humans. They said that they started testing my experiment a little , I can come to the Lab and see certain parts, and that I could bring a friend with me. Of course the friend that I was bringing with me would be my best friend Myiah. We had to come up with a plan to stop this nonsense.
After school They immediately took us to the lab. During the duration of the ride I muttered the plan to Myiah and told her why I was so afraid of what they might do with my experiment. ¨ Are you sure you want to steal your samples.¨ she looked at me frightened. ¨Yes, that's all I can think of. We can't get caught and let's hope it's destroyed if we do.¨I said, trying to calm her down. ¨Okay just give me the signal.¨ We finally got to the lab and they showed us the animals they tested and they all looked sick. That's when Myiah didn't seem afraid of the plan anymore. When the Archaeologist went to talk to the other scientist, me and Myiah snuck off. When I turned around I realized that no one had locked the door and people were coming towards it. I grabbed all my samples and poured them into the lab sink. The scientists came in, but they were too late. Myiah screamed in fear, “David, run the sink is smoking!¨ I turned around and the sink went up in flames. The lab called an instant fire evacuation drill.
The following day after the fire , they called my mom and told her that everyone one got out safe and that they will no longer be using my experiment. They also told us that they were suspending the project, because it caused too much damage. Just like that we were off the hook and I felt like I just saved the world. I hope they never start that experiment again. Next time I'll do a more simple project like an exploding Volcano. This for sure will always be a year to remember!
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