White Noise – Gari Eberly

your lips are moving but everything else is lost

in tendrils of cool fog

and I open my mouth to speak, but my words are

left frozen in my throat.

I choke.

and then the moment dissipates into a million iced

dewdrops balanced on grass before imploding

like a snow squall breaking over a hillside in a flurry

of white and noise and we are lost in it;

fumbling madly for leverage, for direction in

a place where there is none.

Whoever it is that I’m going to hurt in the future, I apologize – Imani Bethea

Whoever it is that I’m going to hurt in the future, I apologize

I don’t want to hurt you,

but I don’t know how to love anymore,

not like I’m sure if I ever did, or if I knew the meaning behind it.

I probably loved you, or you probably loved me,

or wanted me so much, but I just pushed you away.

If I hurt you, please, forgive me,

I just want to protect my heart from love, since,

apparently I don’t know how to take it.

I hope that you won’t hate me,

it’s bad enough I’m not liking myself,

but I’m working hard to help me get better.

So, if I hurt you in the process,

Remember I’m trying to grow.

Please understand that I don’t hate you, I don’t want to hurt you.

But things happen and I apologize

for letting whatever come over me and interfere

with whatever we have here.

Remember Me – Hope Walborn

“I’d like to propose a toast to-”

“Grandma, no,” I hissed, pushing the glass in her hand back down to rest on the tablecloth. “This is not a party.”

“Nonsense! Every party needs a toast!” she exclaimed, swatting my hand away and raising her glass of water again.

“Grandma,” I whispered impatiently. “I don’t think you understand. This is not a party. It’s a funeral. Nobody here wants to toast.”

“I’d like to propose a toast!” she yelled louder, causing every pair of eyes in the room to turn to us. She raised her glass higher, grinning happily. “To the death of Marcus! Begone with you! I never liked you anyways!”

Small gasps traversed the room, and, to my horror, one man stood up looking so angry I thought his head would fly off his body and steam would blow out his ears like in the cartoons.

“What did you say?!” he shouted loudly, pointing to my grandmother and knocking over a glass of wine in the process.

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Without a Trace – Hope Walborn

As soon as Emilie woke up, she knew something was missing.

At first, she couldn’t quite tell what it was. She got out of bed like she did any other day, swinging her legs over the left side and planting her feet on the wooden floor. Standing up, Emilie started down the hall towards her twin sister’s room. Margo often shared feelings with her, so perhaps she could help Emilie figure out what was going on.

The door at the end of the hall was closed as usual. Emilie knocked twice against the wood and waited. When no answer came, she knocked two more times.

Still no answer.

She decided to open the door anyways. Margo was a heavy sleeper, and Emilie figured her sister was still sound asleep. Besides, she needed to be woken up if she wanted to get to school on time.

Peeking through the open door, Emilie couldn’t believe what she saw.

All of her sister’s belongings had disappeared. Her bed was gone, and so was her desk and stacks of messy clothes on the floor. Even the walls were painted a different color than Margo’s favorite shade of blue.

In fact, the only thing in the now white room was a desk, a few cardboard boxes, and a dusty bookshelf.

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Life’s Truth – William Halbert

 

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Art by Olivia Smith

Everyone around us is different, with different fortes of individualism defining our very existence. People fear and discriminate the different because it’s impossible to empathize with someone who cannot be comprehended.  The thing is, empathy is what links every individual. And, it is the profound connection of love that gives reason to the human existence. When we learn to hate differences, love will always be out reach. When these differences are embraced, the power of empathy and love will empower the world.

One Last Ride – Olivia Miller

The clock hit eight seconds and the buzzer sounded. “Next up, Parker Jones riding Kicker,” the judge announced. Parker buttoned up his shirt on his way to the dirt. He fixed his hat and tapped on Bobby’s shoulder.

“I’m ready,” he boldly stated. Bobby nodded, and he and the rest of his crew lifted Parker up onto Kicker. The bull jumped and kicked in an attempt to throw Parker off before the gate opened and the clock started, but Parker was determined to hold on.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” one of the judges began. “Please welcome Parker Jones and Kicker!”

Parker wrapped his right hand around the strap, and took a deep breath. “Let’s go!” he called. The gate opened automatically and the clock began counting. Kicker flailed around and did his best to throw Parker off, but Parker wanted one thing and one thing only.

Parker kept his right hand wrapped around the strap, and his left hand up in the air. Before he knew it, the clock read eight seconds, and Parker hopped off Kicker. He smoothly landed on both feet, and strolled back towards the barn. Another eight seconds was under his belt, and he had nothing to lose. After he changed and headed on his way to his little S-10 pickup truck, a reporter stopped him in his tracks. “Parker Jones,” she began. “How are you feeling after this very successful ride?” She shoved the recording device in his face.

“Well, I uh,” he stuttered. He was a smooth rider but his conversation skills needed a little touch up. “I obviously feel great. It was a smooth ride, and I can’t wait for next week’s,” he began to step away in hopes that the vertically challenged reporter would accept his answer.

“Any comments?” she pushed.

“Today’s ride was just to get me to my next. Next week, I take on Slugger, and Slugger, well, he’s my last hope. I made a promise to somebody very important, that I would be quitting after this year. All I want is to be on the Top Five Riders in the Country list. That’s all I’m asking for, that’s all I have ever asked for. With Slugger being my last ride of the season, I’m thinking more about next week, than today.”

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The Truth of Morbidity – Sara Guhl

“You’re quite morbid.” A simple statement, right? Wrong. In fact, the opposite. It was a statement of the utmost complexity: a divine question disguised as three little words. What did it really mean? You’ll see.

***

The sky was a clear, serene, picturesque blue: the stereotypical kind a child would imagine when asked to draw the outdoors. The grass was of the same metaphorical origin: a bright green that was sharp on the edges and would cut you if you messed with it. I, on the other hand, was not vivid. The bright summer sky and lawn swallowed up my daydreaming figure. My glazed-over eyes ignored the drifting puffs of clouds. It felt nice just laying there: the sun on my sprawled out form and the slight breeze dusting by.

A few birds hummed their tunes, gleeful and oblivious. In the nearby distance, families on picnics laughed and a few delighted squeals escaped into the wind. I smiled to myself. They didn’t know yet, but soon, right? Of course. Soon they’d see the browned grass and the flattened blades of it. They’d follow the trail I’d left and find me. I couldn’t wait. Come find me, friends! Behold my horrific beauty and the iron laced liquid strewn everywhere.

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