Sunday, January 20, 2013


By Nicholas Joseph:

He almost felt like Takua the Chronicler again, wandering through the night desert. The stars here were strange, so unlike the ones above the island of Mata Nui. He felt at peace though, more or less like his old self. Toa Takua even had a catch to it. As he walked through the cool night, he let his head slip up to the stars, wondering if there was someone else at the end of an endless ocean staring at the same stars.

Up ahead was a campfire, a billowing tower of smoke coming from the three towers of what used to be Tesara that spiraled into the dark purple sky. That was the checkpoint for the night, and soon it would be time to retire. He wondered if the Toa Nuva were there, and what had happened to them. They were hard to track nowadays, almost blending into the crowds of Matoran and Agori that mixed through the new villages. The entire point of their revolution was to promote peace, but their deeds shouldn’t be forgotten. 

Kapura walked with him, hands running along the outlines of the pack on his back. A little tablet was in there, but the information was quite large. It always seemed to be that way, he supposed. Great things come in small packages, Pohatu once told the Chronicler’s company. Funny, how now that idea was being brought back to him. He simply shared Takanuva’s hope, that the Toa Nuva would soon come back to rise to legends once again. 


By Alex Humva:

Beacon, oh beacon, guide my way, keep me from going astray

I carried two buckets in my hands, one filled with fish, the other with water. Walking barefoot up the craggy shoreline, I smiled at the tower door came into view. It stood fifty meters high, on the tallest buff for twenty kilometers. Dusk was upon the world, so my arrival was timed perfectly. I put the buckets down, pulling out a key from my loose pockets, sliding the lock open and, in turn, the door. Carrying the buckets to a small stove, I began delicately de-boning my catch, getting a roaring fire going in the stone contraption. I had three fish on a rack in no time, placing them inside the box to cook for a while.

Then I began to climb the stairs. I had seen these stairs every night now, but they never lost their majesty. To the common person they were put a bunch of craggy, moss filled bricks, but to me, they were my home. A fortress to protect me from the world and those who would see me elsewhere. It made me remember my life, my life before I came to the tower. Such a pitiful existence it had been, in the servitude of another. Here, I was a servant to the world, doing everyone a favor. I had one of the most important tasks of them all.

I reached the final level, the room filled with a great many mirrors. Picking up a torch from the wall, I gazed out at the dark ocean, smiling at the starry reflection. Then I lit the center piece, a well of oil, and light filled the room. A great, brilliant light that would blind anyone unprepared. It was beauty incarnate, a guiding light to the world and its travelers. It could be seen for leagues upon leagues, and I was the one who would keep it going. I was the one who would make sure no one died this night, or the next.

So I laid down in a room filled with light, the brisk cold air flooding in, and I sang. I sang to the night and the stars. I sang to the life that would be guided tonight.


By Zar/Nick:

There was a slapping sound as Jason’s palm attacked his forehead viciously. In front of him, nicely sizzling, were a half dozen bacon strips. He turned the heat of the stove off with a growl. It was Friday. Worse, it was Lent, so he couldn’t simply substitute another sacrifice. Great. A rare weekday to himself, and his planned breakfast was spoiled. The aroma of the food made his stomach growl. He forced himself to relax, smiling at the absurdity of it all. There really wasn’t any problem, he thought as he put the bacon away in the refrigerator for later. He could just eat something else. Or fast: it was Lent after all. With this resolution in mind, he closed the door of the refrigerator and walked away humming. It was a beautiful morning, and he had wanted to go on a walk. That at least wasn’t forbidden him…

He paused as he passed the diner. His nose twitched, an a ray of excitement shot through him as he sniffed; he wasn’t sure if the smell of his failed breakfast had stuck to him or the diner was cooking bacon. A lot of bacon. His hunger from earlier returned in full force, and he looked wistfully at the diner, a beacon of his longing. With a groan he kept on walking.

The pan was still on the stove when he got back, and for some strange reason the entire kitchen smelled like bacon. He was forced to wipe his mouth as he hurried out of it. Either the world was conspiring against him, or he was going crazy. He knew one thing though; he wanted bacon. Badly.

It was more than the smell of bacon that haunted him that night as he got into his car. Strips of bacon seemed to be hovering in the corners of his eyes, on the seat next to him. He forced his utmost willpower to focus on driving. It was a miracle, he believed, upon arriving at his local church that he hadn’t gotten into an accident. He caught himself as he offered a prayer of thanksgiving to St. Bacon. Again he slapped his forehead, trying to bring himself back to reality. The Stations of the Cross were not a time to be worshiping bacon, dammit!

As he pulled into his driveway, his main recollection of the Stations was that the church smelled like bacon, and the priest seemed to be talking about it constantly. He was sure he had not imagined the plates of bacon on the alter.

He staggered into the house, and came to a halt in the kitchen, staring at the refrigerator.

Somewhere inside that unearthly box was bacon. Six whole strips. His mind turned them over, imagining every aspect of them, their smell taste, feel. He jerked his hand away from the door of the refrigerator before he could open it. It was still Friday!

Hours ticked by as he sat on a chair facing the refrigerator. It seemed to gleam in the dim lighting, like some unearthly beacon. A beacon with bacon. A bacon with beacon. His mind had ceased functioning, and he was sure that he was not imagining drooling.

The clock struck midnight.

A crazed howl burst out of Jason’s mouth.

The door of the refrigerator was slammed open, and there was a sound of clattering and dedicated eating.

It was Saturday, and the bacon could not last.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Nick Silverpen:

Even though we’ve known each other day in and day out for months, we still don’t fully know each other. It seems strange, that despite all the hours just sitting spending time together, joking and shooting the bull, we are all still distant, still disconnected. A nod in the hall, the continuation of a personal joke, when everyone is one on one, when we’re not in a group and focused on our common goal.

Life is tricky, I suppose. Mom says you don’t truly get to know someone until you live with them, but I don’t feel that’s the case. Nor is simply appreciating silence with someone. Dialogue, that’s what really connects. Asking what truly moves your heart. Any person can move a boat- simply tug at the oars and put pressure on your legs, leaning to and fro. But It takes something else to move the rowers. To know what we truly want outside that boat, what we desire when all is said and done. But you are different people, and as much as I want to play my game of a hundred questions to kick it off, I hold my breath, and give up my will to do so. Observe, I tell myself. Let yourself be swept away by what others have in mind. It’s been fun, but a self working project is what more fulfilling. It’s been done before, and it’ll be done again. History repeats itself.

Duty holds our little home together, our “family”, but I don’t see us as a family. I hate that word, because my blood is anything unlike this. We are supportive, but halfheartedly.

We may be a team, but we’re all still strangers.

Tekulo/Lin the Duck:

         5:30 AM
                I wake to the sound of a shrill, electronic shriek.  It repeats itself over and over.  I was dreaming about something…  I think it was about a dragon.  I was riding it, and there was a village below…  I think it was on fire.  It seemed interesting at the time, but I just can’t quite remember what it was.  All I knew at the time was that I liked it a lot better than lying in my bed being yelled at by a heartless clock.  “Get up!  Get up!” over and over again it just yells at me every day.  I hate it.  I want to finish that story.  That’s all I care about right now, so I lift my fist and smash it down on the snooze button, my victory rewarded by an brief glimpse into my dream… my fantasy…
                5:39 AM
                There it goes again.  This time my body was anticipating the badgering of my clockwork guardian.  Yes, yes, I know…  I need to get up.  I have school at seven and the bus comes at half past six.  I grumble as I turn off that wretched alarm.  ######, I wish I had a radio clock.  My cell phone just doesn’t cut it for me these days.  Not too often I’ll forget to charge the ###### thing and then I end up late.  You think the clock is annoying, you should listen to Mr. Grayson lecture you about missing a lecture.
                That’s when I finally roll out of bed.  The impact helps me wake up, and then I hit the shower.  I put on some clothes, grab all of my belongings and be sure to get the paper I did the night before.  Statistics…  Yay…
                I leave my apartment and shuffle with all of my might this early and try to catch the elevator.  As I hear the click of the triangular button, my mind wanders for a bit.  I see the village in my dream.  There’s a pair of horns in front of me and I’m holding onto them for dear life.  There’s someone else behind me, I think.  A princess?  An enemy?  Maybe that person is actually both?
                Ah, finally, the cold, metallic doors open up in front of me and I walk into a small, empty box.  The light is flickering and it gives my cage a distinct yellow tint as I watch the doors close again.  Despite it all, it’s kinda cozy in the elevator.  I like it when it’s just me; I never have to worry about being polite with idle chitchat.  My brain isn’t up for it anyway.
                6:25 AM
                Finally the bus is here and I pay my fare.  I sit down, my backpack placed on the seat next to me facing the aisle.  The ride takes a while, so I have some time to just relax and think.  I put some headphones on to make sure I have something to keep me awake.  My mind still wandering, I see a memory of not too long ago in my head.  I see myself in the reflection of the well for an instant as I fly over that village.  Clad in armor, I’m actually standing on top of the beast’s head with this crazed look on my face.  I’m commanding the dragon to burn everything in sight.  There are women and children who are crying out, and that just makes me laugh harder and harder.  Heh…  I guess truth isn’t always stranger than fiction.

By John/Kraggh:

Monosmith's Monologues

MONOSMITH LEFT THE DEFENDERS.  Again.  Like he always did.  How Ashley Ashley managed to keep her faith in him was a wonder.  By every account, he was unreliable, in spite of the net good he did.
     By, bye, friends.  Fairwell to all of them.  He was taking another one of his extended vacations while the world got on just fine without him.
     As a newcomer, he came to the village of Valence, where he slept on the cement steps leader up to an old man's house.  The old man opened the door and set a blanket down over Monosmith's body.  When he woke up that morning, Monosmith folded up the blanket at neatly as he could and left it by the door.
     Realizing that someone had been kind to him, he retreated further away to be a hermit in the pine woods, deep enough that people couldn't be bothered by him but not so deep that he couldn't return to Valence and get food.
     There he found a pond, and he started a journal.  He wasn't sure if he wanted to create a house at first, knowing not if he deserved it, but he gave in to his instinctive desires and designed a simple shelter that was exactly five feet wide and ten feet long, and the roof was just nigh enough that he did not scrape his head on it.  He made no bead, only a fireplace to keep him warm when the long winter settled in.  He then proceeded to toss and turn at night, but not because of the lumpy ground that made his bed.  Rather, there was one final thing, a great necessity that he needed more than anything to continue being himself.  It was not required to continue his physical existence, but in order to live, no matter how feebly, and to live as Monosmith, there was a final ingredient he needed and would always need.
     So he built himself a desk on which to write down his thoughts, something that would give him its unlimited patience like no human ever could.
     Whenever he returned to Valence, he made his visits brief and his conversations limited to simple declarations on what he wished to buy and what he wished to sell, and no more was said.
     When spring came, a teenager followed him as he left the village, thinking himself sneaky, although Monosmith was aware that he was being spied on.  That was why he was not surprised when this teenage boy came to his house the next day and interrupted Monosmith's quiet hours of writing.  Monosmith really didn't want to talk.  The desire to be alone wasn't as strong anymore, but it didn't seem appropriate.  He removed one of the several long scarves he had around his collar and cast it over his hunting weapons, and then he opened the door for the visitor.
     "Guten Tag," he said.  "Why are you here?"
     "I'm considering leaving the village.  I'm a legal adult now, so I could, although I'll miss my mother and my sister.  I was wondering, though, why you came here?  I figured I'd talk before I went."
     "That's a tale I'll tell someday, but not to you," said Monosmith.
     "Oh, okay, that's all I really wanted, really."
     "No it wasn't," said Monosmith.  "Your posture, your voice fluxuations, and that this is on its own a lame premise for a lie."
     "Okay, I really am eighteen, and I really am considering going out into the world, but I thought I'd get to know you better before I ever did that because...Because my older sister's curious about you because you seem like a nice person -"
     "I give that impression, do I?  Jack, I might seem wholesome and desirable, but then I open my mouth.  And then I talk with that mouth.  With speech comes a combination of words and voice fluxuation, which brings together an image of an idea on the speaker's mind, which in then interpreted according to how those words and voice fluctuation are interwoven, which varies depending on the semantics of a region and from person to person, resulting in statements that do not always give a good impression because I am blunt, rude, and insensitive.  My tact is lacking, and pretty soon you will all hate me.  Then just wait how the errors in my ways increase when pressure is put on me, and I, so sure of my actions, choose to commit to them.  This is when people are put off by the harsh truth of my ways, and the strong attitude that shows through them.  In other words, I said some things I regret and wish I could take back, but I can't, and I don't know if I will ever be forgiven for those moments when I was condescending, for those times where I did not shuger-coat my deeds with sentiment.  It will be forever before I forgive myself for those mistakes I have made.  I have bee disgraced, and am no longer accepted.  If the world does not want me any longer, then I won't bother it, so long as it does not bother me."
     Monosmith let that hang and leaned against his door, an eyebrow raised.
     "I don't think I'm bothering you," said the boy.
     'It all depends on your point of view," said Monosmith.  "See, in some cultures, people kiss each other as a form of saying hello, while in others, it breaks all platonic boundaries and can be considered harassment.  There are some cultures where men and women are not allowed to make eye contact, while in others eye contact is necessary to get a job.  Then standards for personal boundaries and appropriate interaction vary from person to person.  The world is riddled with moral absolutes, but they manifest themselves through the subjective nature of personal and cultural standards.  For example, respect is important everywhere, but there are as many ways of showing respect as there are people.  As such, I don't want you on my door.  This is my space.  If you wish to speak to me, let it be immediately outside of the village, and we shall talk.  But it won't be here, and it won't be now.  What is your name?"
     "Tomorrow," said Monosmith.

     They met the next day on Monosmith's terms.  It was in town, but on the outskirts, nearby some of the trees.  Trent disappointed Monosmith - he had brought his sister.  She was lovely and fair, with blond hair and blue eyes, a real doll.  She also perhaps twice her brother's age and therefore more within Monosmith's range.
     "Cuteness isn't what people think it is," said Monosmith.  "You think this is cute, but I think it's rash.  I don't know what I ever did to deserve your attention, but you think that there's something charming about this.  There isn't.  It's something you created in your heads, like it has some sort of poetic justice, but it's not what you think it is.  You're just two curious kids, and I'm the stranger who caught your eye.  Fine, but don't build up any presumptions about the good nature of our encounter.  I'm not responsible for making you feel happy about yourself, and I'm not going to be a part of your life if you reach out to me."
     Trent scratched his nose, looked uncomfortable, and left.  His sister was alone with Monosmith.  That forbidden moment where Monosmith was to face a woman who had full expectations of him to be a man had come, that repeated theme that came throughout his life.  If he was not going to be a man on his terms, then fine, but he had decided in his heart which woman those terms would be on.
     She cleared her throat.  "So what do you do all on your own?"
     "If the world rejected you, what would you do?" he said.
     "Try to prove myself?" she replied.
     "I did nothing to wrong the world.  I gave it everything.  I just didn't give it what it wanted the way it wanted it.  If the people who needed me decided to push me away, then fine.  I wouldn't work with them.  Although I do what I can on my own."
     He got down and sat cross-legged, his back supported by the trunk of a tree.  Trent's sister bent down similarly.  She put her hand over his heart, but he grabbed her wrist and pushed it away.
     "I sense much hurting here," she said.
     "You thought that since I never talked around the village that I was a simple man, and you thought that was appealing.  In truth, silent men are the least simple."
     "No, no, I understand that," she insisted.  "I saw you, and I was under the impression that you were so much more than anything you were willing to share.  I want to know more than what I live with every day."
     "More?  In what way?  We are all more than what we are willing to share, and we all wear masks.  Mine is merely more obvious of a mask and a greater mystery, but if you look closely at everyone else, they are a mystery as well.  Did you know the turmoil of your brother's heart when he turned eighteen?  How well do you know your parents' feelings toward each other?  Have you ever seen into the heart of the old man who gave me his blanket?  Is it, then, that you see a struggling man?  Do you see someone whose life you can help, to whom you can be a savior?  Do you see a fascinating specimen?  Or do you see, as others have seen, a potential for warmth that you can only imagine?  I think it's this last one, is it not?  There is that hope and desire to have a companion who has a lot to offer as a figure of strength and security and love, all of which I will someday offer my woman when God gives me the trumpet call.  Until then, you are short-changed.  I am not yet my truest self, and until then I have other things to focus on, and the nature of my relations with Men is not one of sentiment, but one for a higher mission.  I have my duties that I am obliged by moral law to complete, and I will do it.  You may talk with me of these things, for these duties and phantoms that plague me are the things that plague my character."
     "I would, but I do not know what you are talking about," she said.
     "What was your name, again?" asked Monosmith.
     "Lea," she said.
     "Lea, you look like a fairytale princess.  I instinctively wish the best for you.  But I also have to go against simple instinct and follow my rational thinking, which leads me to the ultimate conclusion that there are a lot of people in this world to wish the best to.  Not only that, but it is my capability to see it through."
     "What are you doing here, then?" asked Lea.
     "That's personal," he said.  "It's really best not to talk about that.  Let us just say that the way I will contribute to the world will be one that does not require me to interact with other people - this one encounter between you and me being an exception unrelated to the problem at hand.  I will not see my friends for a very long time, and meanwhile, I will continue what I have started out in the woods, making those small differences while the world goes on not knowing how much I care."
     "What exactly are you giving up?"
     "The Defenders.  You honestly don't know who I am, but I am sure you have heard of them."
     "So you are carrying out a military operation here?" said Lea, shocked.
     Monosmith lowered his head.  "No," he admitted.  "It will be a long time before I do that again.  I can't explain it.  I have a lot to contribute to the world, just more when I do it on my own.  I am not brash or overconfident of myself, but I also know that people need to be independent of me, and I must suffer through the trials of the world without the aid of the people I care most about.  Perhaps this period of my life will end sooner than I have expected, but perhaps not.  I am not God, and the narrative of my life is a mystery to me, save for the brief moments of intuition granted to me purely by His grace."
     "What does your intuition tell you right now?"
     "That I do not want to get attached to you.  I already admitted that I care for you, because you seem like a good person.  Flawed, yes.  I can certainly understand that in spite of how sweet you appear, there are insecurities and cracks beneath the surface that will emerge should I get to know you over time, but at this present moment it is pleasing to simply look you in the eye and behold a child of God, and know that it it my duty to love you as He loves you.  Despicable, though, how it takes a pretty face to see it."
     "You find me beautiful?"
     "Yes, but I am a man whose destiny lies elsewhere, and you are a woman whose destiny lies elsewhere.  I cannot stay here, and I must be going to continue my isolation.  Hopefully, however, this encounter has satiated your curiosity."
     "No, wait, will I be seeing you again?"
     "I should think not.  I'm dedicated to my work."
     "Is your work simply forcing this solitude upon yourself?  Are you afraid of facing the world again, afraid of whatever you will do you will hurt it?"
     Monosmith maintained an intense, focused eye contact with Lea.  Saying nothing, he walked to the left and into the forest.  lea was left not knowing what the encounter was meant to mean.  At least she knew that he was right, and perhaps her initial feelings were wrong.  He was too brash, too much of with his communication, entirely unfocused on socializing with his conversation.  She figured it wouldn't be too difficult to respect his wishes and not come after him, but she would still wonder about what he did in the forest, if anything, but hopefully the right thing.  Perhaps she would never know, and he would only ever be that one stranger she had met.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


By Alex Humva:

The innocent suffer, in this world.

My mother taught me that when I was little. I had no father, she told me. Only a man who had taken advantage of an innocent girl. She had once had money, she told me. Enough to buy a real house and real food. Then he came and took it all, and she trusted him. She was innocent, he was not. She suffered, and the law did nothing of it. Legalities, they said. Things that had to do with taxes and government reports and government numbers. Things that no one could ever hope to understand and yet were followed anyways.

So she taught me that if I wanted to be successful, I had to manipulate my innocence. People fool themselves into thinking that they care about it, after all. They fool themselves into thinking that they look at the innocent and smile. Use that against them, and you ruled them. So my mother began teaching me to do that. When I was ten, I stole us dinner from the local gas station. By the time I was thirteen I could pickpocket strangers without them ever suspecting a thing. When I was sixteen I had extorted hundreds out of their money.

It was a risky business of course. We moved constantly, going from one apartment to another. We lived off of TV dinners and stolen alcohol. It usually was the only thing that kept us alive, kept us from taking it out on each other. We loved each other so much, yes, but times were stressful. They got worse when my mother was caught looting a man's room that she had been with the night before. She went to jail for five years thanks to that stunt, and I was left holding a rather nasty bag of implications. The state took custody of me for a little while, and after a review of my case knew that loosing me on the streets was just asking for trouble.

So they cut me a deal. They said I was a product of my environment, that underneath I was a good person. An innocent person. They told me that a charity would let me go to school, go to a small college and make a good little citizen out of me. The alternative they offered was keeping an eye on me until I took the wrong wallet and ended up with my mother. I figured they were bluffing, but I couldn't call it. I didn't fear prison, but it didn't mean I wanted to find myself locked up behind those bars.

So I took their deal, and now my past crimes are repaid. I became a good little innocent. My mother was released, but we never spoke much after that. I was trapped in my own little prison, trapped with a society that valued innocence while simultaneously squashing it. I still exploited others though, it was in my blood. I exploited the innocent, and they were clueless as to what had happened.

Because the innocent suffer in this world.


By Rene/EW:

She was guilty as charged and her lawyers all knew there was no way they could defend her. “Your best bet is a plea bargain,” they told her. “Twenty years is what they’ll give you. If you do anything else, it’s life in prison or death row.” The lawyer said it with no passion, no energy, it was just like that: This or nothing. Life or death. He was so simple in his tone that it just made her imagine he had said the same thing to countless others. Their words reverberated in her mind, numbed to the reality like their tongues.

“... How do you plead?” the judge asked her. The lawyers had rehearsed this line in her head for the last two hours before the hearing. She would say she was guilty “your honour” and that would be it. The rest would be handled behind closed doors.

“Innocent, your honour,” she said with forté. She could almost feel the eyes of her lawyers burn into her spine, fueled by the kinetic energy of their rustling papers and briefcases. She stepped away from the table and sauntered back to her seat with her representatives and ignored their commentary. They didn’t matter to her. She was the only thing that mattered.

The trial went on for a month. All the while her eyes glazed over and she recalling the past, a past that seemed so pretty and distant like the stars in the nighttime sky. Those gems turned to diamonds in her memory, jewels on necklaces given as engagement gifts. A handsome faced man was giving them to her, a present to toast for the future. They were supposed to live their lives together, grow old happy as one. But like the band on the necklace the future can fall apart with just a tug.

When she knew what was going on behind her back, how that fiancee was using her to get to her father and was cheating on her for another woman named Miriam she acted without remorse. She killed Miriam with a pillow and whispered her name into the victim’s ear before she ran her fiancee over with her car just outside Miriam’s house. The evidence was all there, stacked against her, and everyone knew it.

Her lawyers, though not happy with her plea, still defended her. They cited being at the wrong place at the wrong time, though she could never know that it was really her father pulling at the strings. The final day came at last and she sat with her lawyers, unsure what to truly expect, when the news came out.

“Has the jury reached a verdict?” the judge asked.

“Yes, your honour,” came the reply. She didn’t bother listening to the speaker until the end. All she heard was one word: “Innocent.”

And that was it. She was guilty as charged, but charged no more.


By Nick/Zarayna:


“Good God,” you whisper, staring at the scene in front of you. Even afterwards, the only thing your mind registers is a blur of lights; random accidents, with no forms registering in your mind. One of the blobs of formless matter is looking at you, what much your muddled brain manages to perceive. That look serves to pierce through your daze, and the room becomes suddenly clear. The first thing your mind registers is those eyes. Both of them, staring at you. Then your ears note a scream, and your back feels the wall as you stagger back against it. Then the eyes, and the body around them snap to the front of your attention, and your head moves up as the eyes rise, propelled by their restings. Your hands come to the front of your attention as you claw wildly for a door, for an escape. There’s none. 

The first thing registers again, a form you’d forced out of your memory though it was the one that began your shock. The still and well night shredded body lying at the feet—if feet exist there—of the being possessing the eyes that your attention snaps back to. Your breath sounds ragged and quick, hoarse now as well. Even still your ears are ringing from the screams, your mouth open and emitting them regardless of your will.

The eyes are moving closer, silencing you with their steady gaze. You seek to move to move to one side, only to bang into a wall; that’s why you couldn’t find a door, you’d backed into a corner.

A scream louder than any others sounds as something grips you. Then blackness.

When you’re found, alone and splattered with the blood of ‘your’ victim the next morning, there’s only one phrase that you utter over and over in a crazed chant.

“I’m innocent.”


By Peach 00:


I was awoken by the unexpected sound of a door opening outside of my small bedroom. It was a large, ear-shattering crash, as if somebody had kicked in the door – I heard the screams of men, speaking in thick German accents I didn’t understand due to the voices being muffled through the walls. I knew who they were, however, for that was no secret – my eyes snapped open at the sound of their sharp voices, and I simply shrunk underneath the covers in an effort to hide.

I was always afraid of the soldiers. They always carried rifles, and marched through the streets of our town…they had taken our town over months ago, searching for men and women. I didn’t really know why, and every time I asked, I was hushed by my parents, told that I was to be quiet. I would understand when I was older…that was always what I was told.

Sometimes I wondered, too, why we would take in strangers, feed them, and make them our own family. I didn’t mind it, though, for they were good company when I wasn’t able to go to school. However, one of these people we had made my caretaker, named Annemarie. She was very kind, about the age of twenty, and had lost her parents several months ago. She was unlike the rest of my family – she had dark, brunette hair and hazel eyes, much like our other visitors. She had been my caretaker for several weeks now.

I heard the sounds of soft footsteps approaching my bedroom door. I was nervous at first, but then my door opened up abruptly, revealing it to be caretaker Annemarie. She was dressed in her robe, holding a flickering candle in her shaking hands. She said quietly with worry in her voice, “Quickly, Ellen, out the window!”

I was confused. I whispered in question, “But why, Annemarie?” She hesitated before she answered, but she shook her head sadly.

“We have to go, Ellen,” was her gloomy reply. I saw a tear in her as she said this, and she thereupon she picked me up hastily. We climbed out the window onto the fire escape. I turned my head back towards the bedroom, and I heard the horrifying sounds of my mother crying out in pain, and my father screaming at the German officers.

Somehow, I knew that I would never see them again.


Here I am, thirty years later…I was a child then. I realize now that they were accomplices in helping the Jewish people the freedom. How innocent I was, a simple girl of seven…I did not know. I wish now that I had retained some of the innocence of my youth, but I knew that I had to know of what occurred to my parents some time in my life.

I stood by their supposed graves, my eyes gazing at the crude wooden sticks that marked their graves. Somehow, I knew these were the graves of my parents…I remember being told that they were buried here, at this specific place in the cemetery. They had been shot in the town square – just an hour after my escaping with Annemarie, who died but a year or two ago herself of a heart attack.

I laid the huge bundles of flowers I held in my hands – one a bouquet of bright yellow daisies, in memory of my mother’s favorite flower and color, and another bouquet made up of carnations for my father. The third bouquet I had I put down between their graves…pale pink roses, sweet smelling and beautiful. As I laid the flowers there, I began to shed tears. I had never been able to say goodbye to them.

Some say ignorance is bliss. I prefer to say that innocence is bliss.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


By Alex Humva:

I gazed out at the water, the winds picking up the surf and sending sea foam through the air. I remembered my father telling me how sea foam was actually mermaids, dead mermaids who had lost their souls. He had always been a cynical man in that fashion. Regardless of the origins of the sea foam though, it worried me. The sky was dark and overcast, a great howling wind coming up from the south. Warm winds to fuel storms; that was never a good sign. I pulled my canoe out of the water, dragging it up the beach in my small, bare feet. These beaches hadn't been polluted yet, hadn't been tampered with by man and left with trash and waste for as far as the eye could see.

I walked into the little hut that had been constructed, sitting upon great pillars of concrete. It was small, but it was a sturdy creation. Behind the decorative straw and thatching rested strong wood supports and reinforced concrete walls, enough to weather and survive any storm that nature could throw at it. It was my pride, a home to protect me and my family. It had served me well over the years, and it looked as though it'd have its job cut out for it tonight.

I lashed the boat to the front porch, knowing from experience that when morning came, it was possible I'd need it to go into town. Closing the door, I smiled at the reassuring thud of inch thick hardwood. It made me wonder why I even bothered with the facade of weakness. The straw served no other purpose than to create the illusion of a primitive civilization, something for the tourists to oo and aah over. I still hadn't replaced the wood shingles for the pillars. Didn't feel like going through all the work just for them to rot off come the next storm.

Sighing, I picked up the radio and turned it on, listening to some music before switching it over to the weatherman. They were saying it was going be a big storm; I simply said a prayer and stopped listening. I went to the window, staring out at the ocean, even as it stared back at me. It didn't mean any harm, of course. It was a creature of instinct, doing as it pleased not for any malice but because it simply was who it was. A far nobler beast than what could be said for many. Perhaps the ocean wasn't entirely wrong to lash out at humanity, for all the problems we had caused it. I could only beg its understanding and its compassion, and when that failed, cold concrete could keep it at bay.

Someone came up from behind me, my wife. I smiled slightly, she must of just gotten the children to go to sleep. So, silently, we gazed out of the window. Gazed out, and knew, we were safe at home.


By iBrow:


He was old, ancient and withered, with years beyond count having built up to this historic moment.

He slowly hobbled up the path, his rickety wooden twig of a walking stick tap-tap-tapping on the stone.

“Come on old man, let’s ‘urry it up a little bit! We ‘aven’t got all day!”

He huffed, halting in his tracks, and turned to face the speaker. He slowly raised his arm; every single joint cracked as he waved the speaker away before he turned back to the path ahead. He continued to take painstakingly slow steps, so light that he left no imprints upon the dirt.

“Look, if you ain’t gonna ‘urry up, you’ll go over the cliff, you will!”

He rolled his eyes and continued to hobble up the path. One of his knees cracked and he collapsed – with a snapthat echoed through the frigid air, both of his knees shattered upon impact. He grimaced, every wrinkle on his face contorting in pain as he lay upon the ground, writhing in agony.

“Come on, up with you! I’m serious you know, we ‘aven’t got all day! Come on, come on! Let’s get you up! We only got us a few more steps!”

He felt two firm hands grab him by his armpits, felt the tension in each and every finger as the speaker gave a mighty heave and lifted him up off of the dusty, freezing path.

“Come on old man, you ruined my life enough already! Go on!”

He allowed the speaker to drag him the rest of the way up, his ruined feet trailing lightly in the snow. Slowly they began to approach the end of the path, and into his vision flowed the far away images of trees and the forests of days gone by.

“Off with you, then! Go on! Be gone from my sight, you!”

He lurched forward as the speaker gave him one push, and then it was as if he was falling into the abyss, his life and years gone by rushing past him without a sound before….


He felt his spine – along with every other bone in his body – shatter as he crashed through the rotted wooden roof of the hovel he had been born in, and then everything was dark.


By Peach00:


The glittering lights dangling in between the bare branches of the trees sufficiently lit the town square. The walkways were accompanied by yellow lights also, not to mention the silver light of the moon. Its snow-white hues danced throughout the town, bathing the plaza with its silver luminosity. Its romantic silhouette was like a mother watching over its child – it was always there, sometimes unnoticed, but always appreciated.

I was walking on the brick walkways, viewing the town sights with my undivided attention – this was one of the last, if not the last time I would see this town in its entirety. From the enormous college campus area to the tiny antiques shop, I had looked at every inch of this town. I had seemed to have gone through all of it over a dozen times by now, but I didn’t care. I would walk until dawn’s gentle fingers would raise the sun from its slumber – by then, I still would hunger for more of the town’s simplistic, country charm.

My eyes traveled from observing the bell-tower roofed with solid gold to the bare grey trees in the center of the square, laced with golden, glimmering lights. Each sight was a breathtakingly beautiful sight, a feast for the eyes. My nose wasn’t exactly missing anything, either – I could smell from a distance the wonderful aroma of baked pizza dough from the pizzeria, Luigi’s.

I heard the sounds of roaring, gas-guzzling cars coming from nearby the college. I could only guess the college students were out and about, but I shrugged it off: There were some points I wouldn’t miss, and that was one of them.

I eyed the black, boundless sky, its velvety look like a blanket covering the Earth. The stars were like shimmering silver eyes, blinking every once and awhile at their observers. As I viewed the night sky, I became lost in it, and as I became lost in it, I realized how much I would miss my hometown: Tahlonega.


By Nicholas Joseph:

Exit 25

The black strip cuts through the forest of green, and you sail along, eyes focused on the road strips that fly under the side mirror, out of sight and behind as the car sails onward. You push the pedal on, patiently steering along the curve through the green forest. 

And then it appears. Above the treetops, out there in the distance, it pops up, if only for a moment. It then disappears, swallowed by the canopy once more. 

You press on the gas pedal, excited at the sight that evades you. With the accelerator humming, you weave around the other cars as the parkway sails by, the wind buffeting around the windshield. The thick trees on either bank of the rhode are a blur, gone in the blink of an eye. 

The trees break to reveal a grassland, a stream weaving under the overpass and into the distance. The top of the tower appears again, out there in the distance, but one last cluster of trees shields it as your sight is caught by the wetlands; the grass out there is slowly changing from the dead brown of winter to the yellow and green of spring, and only today you just begin to notice it. On the other side of the parkway, the islands can be seen, houses only a small, textured line on the horizon. The ferris wheel can be seen toward the end of the island, and you smile, comforted by the sight. You press the pedal, excited and pleased by the classic skyline of the island you call home, and the car zooms onward. 

The horizon is clear now, the trees dissipated, and you can finally see the powerplant, spewing white puffs into the sky. The cloudmaker, you think, as you pass under the toll booth, pretending as you did as a child that it was that grey and blue paneled tower that was responsible for the clouds in the sky.  

Adrenaline reaches its peak as you zoom away from the tolls, and join the line of traffic on the bridge, the entire land in full view. The bay reaches out, a long plain of separation between the island and the mainland. You see boats zooming from here to the island, far off, and lean back in your seat, a grin on your face as you feel perfectly at home on this bridge. As the adrenaline fades, you look out the passager window, seeing the bayside bar, its name in bold yellow letters against the woods that nestle it. Maybe you’ll go there tonight. 

You get off the parkway, surrounded by a new forest. It is not a long venture however, as you see the exit sign on the side of the inn. Not much more than a half mile off is the exit; as it approaches, and the other cars zoom by, on beyond the overpass, you leave your blinker on as you steer toward the sign that approaches. 

Exit 25


By Rene/EW:

I’ve often thought about where I belong. In my earlier years, when I was a youth, my parents told me that home was where I could be welcomed no matter what happened. Everything else, I was told, was just a house, a roof over my head, a tract of land between picket fences. What incredible irony it was when I realized the place I had lived in all those years was nothing more than a house. After all, what’s a home if it holds no joy, no cheer, no comfort when one walks into it? There must be a driving force that instills that energy of homeliness in it, right?

I remember sitting on the porch of the house when a policeman handed a letter to my parents. I was but twelve at the time, a girl with dreams of tea and laces and wore saddle shoes and little dresses. A year after we were thrown out of that house, though, I was running, leather boots and jackets being my norm though I still dreamed of tea and lace, only because it was what I didn’t have anymore. They served as a constant, a reminder of what I longed for. We were on the run. Aliens, we were called, thrown out of our country.

Turns out that nation wasn’t my home, either. We weren’t welcomed there, we weren’t wanted, just like how it was for what seemed an eternity. We crossed several borders before we found a new place to live, a new life. We started over again when I was fifteen.

They came again, this time at night, not in copper uniforms but in suits and their message wasn’t in a letter but in a full metal jacket. They shot my father first and then wounded my mother. They didn’t see me under my bed though they did mention me in their conversation. I sprang under my bed and snatched my daddy’s revolver from the dresser, ran through the door and fired blindly at them, tears streaming down my face that sparkled like lava in the yellow flames that danced from my gun. I emptied all the shots and they fell over, and then I joined them in pain, falling like a doll I held in my youth. I had won the battle... but what of the war? The mob was sure to come for me fr what I had done.

I’ve often thought about where I belong. In my later years, as an adult, I know the truth: Home is where I make it.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


By Zarayna/Nick:

Little People

     There was a single muffled cry, and that was all. The boy smiled as his victim slumped to the ground, eyes staring with horror at the face that had been his doom. The alleyway was deserted, and it had been more luck than anything else that had allowed the young boy to lure his prey into the so obviously dangerous place. Luck, and the innocence of a child. Pushing back a sandy lock the child gave a little laugh as he began turning out the corpse’s pockets. People were begin to carry less with them these days and he had to be careful, but this man seemed to be a bit behind the times, and the boy easily extracted every cent from his wallet, over a hundred dollars. Good. He detached the man’s wristwatch, and then as an afterthought slipped his glasses off. Then, humming an obscure tune, the boy pulled out his knife, wiped it on the corpse’s shirt, hid it inside his shirt, and jogged off.

    “I didn’t forget,” the boy said, tossing down the package carelessly. His father practically dove for it, snatching it up before it could hit the ground.

    “You forgot nothing except care!” he snarled, his thin face lit with a sudden rage. The boy, wise beyond his years in combats of wills simply smirked.

    “The cops aren’t on my tail,” was his only reply. As he turned away, he carelessly tossed a knife on the table as well.

     “Oh, and you can have this back as well,” he said, motioning to the still blood-speckled blade.  Then he was gone from the room, humming merrily. The father ignored his departure, tearing open the package. There, wrapped inside common paper was the money from the man’ wallet, and a wristwatch. Good, the boy had not forgotten the essentials from his victim’s body. He took a quick glance at his son’s figure as he sauntered out the door. Just another small boy, deemed far too small to possibly commit murder. Any people who had seen him there would quickly forget him. Forgotten, all would be forgotten by tomorrow.


By Alex Humva:

I wish I could forget. Forget the pain that was sitting somewhere deep inside of me, forget the pain that was crawling through my system, burning ever crevice it could fine. I wish I forget the betrayal and the loss, hole it away in my mind and never think of it again. I wish that life could go on, that I could carry on, and that I didn't have wake up every morning feeling that deep slash to my faith and trust. Maybe then I could be happy again. Maybe then, I could trust again.

The memory will never go away, though. She was perfect for me, and I was perfect for her. True love at first sight, I suppose. We did so much together, were the greatest of friends for years and then a bit more than friends after that. It was a match made in heaven; we didn't seem like it at first, but for all of our differences we still were completely enamored with each other. Barely a day went by without us talking to each other. Our parents always thought it was just that we were good friends. They couldn't know the truth. They never could.

Then that day came. She turned eighteen at the end of winter, and with that achievement, she decided to tell her family of the secrets she had kept from them. Amongst them was me and our relationship. They took it... less than well. They all but disavowed her, threatening to kick her from their home. She knew that of course, she had plans for that, but it still hurt her. Not that it matters. We had talked about that. I knew she was going try. I didn't want to see her hurt, but, to my shame, I worried for myself as well. What her parents could do to me.

They called mine, of course. Told them about me and her. My parents took it well enough; they were a bit shocked, but they weren't like her parents. They understood, accepted me. Comforted me. And I needed that dearly. It wasn't long until the news 'happened' to be leaked to the neighborhood and, shortly, the town. Not everyone hated me of course, most saw no difference, but some would avoid me at all costs. Others would glare at me hatefully. Mothers would shoo their children away from me.

At school I found myself the source of more bigotry than I had ever seen before. The students were bad enough; the teachers were truly the terror though. Some were accepting of course, not everyone in this day and age is a bigot, but others... my grades began to fail in some of my classes. My parents understood what was going on, my father looking over what he understood and realizing that it wasn't the stress that was doing it. He went to the school board, tried to protest on my behalf. A warning was issued, but it was half-hearted. My grades were still below what I had use to be getting.

So my life continued, and I now fully understand. It doesn't matter what the world says. People will always be hateful. People will never be able to accept those who are different from themselves. It's a never ending cycle of hate, and that hatred is what makes the world turn. I look at those who try and I laugh to myself in the dark at their naive crusade. I didn't ask for them to change their beliefs. I asked for their acceptance, their understanding. And I received nothing but hate.

So I will give nothing but hate in return.


By Rene/Emperor Whenua:

“You got everything?” Maude asked Earl. It was the big day. They had been planning this trip for months. The family had stopped visiting and bothering them with trinkets, cakes, feigned love and curious questions of false care about their parents health. Earl and Maude were free to do their own thing at last.

“Yeah, yeah,” came Earl’s murmured reply, rasped after the brandy for the road had burned his throat to anew alertness, but not as alert as he got when he saw Maude’s ridiculous retro triangle glasses she dug out from the dresser drawer untouched from the 1960’s.

Despite the fact that their large family was of age and had their own lives, everyone seemed to want to come back to big the old people in the quest for their fortune. Millions of dollars lingered in safe deposit boxes and accounts while the old folks lived in a simple and modest house in the suburbs. Their wealth stemmed from a life of work that continued even to the present. Mutual vacationing days were rare for them and they could rarely get anything but a squeezed weekend for themselves, and even then the relatives would flock after them like a pack of wolves bearing down on a couple wounded deer. So without hesitation, Earl and Maude planned their big getaway. They had packed in a hurry and got in their car in the wee hours of twilight to evade prying neighbor’s eyes that were surely in the pockets of their relatives. They zoomed away in their old Volvo before twilight and pumped their fists with euphoria as they fled to keep away from the kids and spend away their inheritance.

They parked their car in the short-term parking garage at the airport because of how few clicks they gave at the huge price and grabbed their overstuffed and oversized suitcases. “Earl, you parked in three spaces!” Maude exclaimed.

“What are they gonna do, charge us for them?” Earl slurred back. They laughed.

They bumped their fists at the ticket counter and checked in their luggage, rummaged through their satchels for their IDs at the security counter, found their way to the terminal and boarded their plane at the last minute -- slowly, too, just to grate everybody else. They sat in opposite sides of the first class cabin, having bought up all the seats up for themselves.

They were relaxing on a sunny beach later that day when Maude shook Earl awake. He nearly screamed at the different pair of stupid sunglasses that seemed to glare at him like some hipster alien from Venus. “Earl!”

“Whaaaaat?” he almost hollered at her. “What?”

“Did we plan anything for Winkle?” Maude asked, her tone urgent.

“What? Oh, wait... the dog? No... Oh no! Quick, Maude, where’s your phone. We have to call the kids and tell them to feed and care for her!”

“You’re right!” Maude exclaimed. They bolted for the hotel room like greased lightning. “HANG ONNN, WINKLE!” she screamed. “SORRY FOR FORGETTING YOU, BUT WE’LL TAKE CARE OF YOU!”


By Nicholas Joseph:

The scholar peered through the telescope on the balcony, his attention so narrowly focused on the stars above him. He was focused, his mind sharp on the task. As he scribbled on the tablet, he couldn’t wait to show the new constellations to the other scholars in the next tower, eager to add to his great library. 

While he submerged himself in the stars above, he assumed that the library remained still and waiting, patient where he was excited, content where the scholar was curious. He didn’t realize that there were others in the room, others just as curious as him. The blue glow that had come from the ceiling was not lights; instead it was the eyes, drawn to an object on one of the tables. A crystal, that emitted an energy they craved like a Matoran craved the flavors of a madu fruit. They didn’t know why they wanted it- through the many generations of their species, the reason for craving this object had been forgotten- but they knew everything would be sated with the possession of that crystal. And so they crawled down the walls, relishing in the joy of an unguarded crystal...


Lhikan brushed aside the Vahki as they crowded the room. They were a nuisance at the worst of times, and they should not have been allowed to be in charge of investigations. Chasers that were best kept on a leash, he decided. 

The room was trashed, as though the the scholar himself had gone on a rampage through the shelves in search of one line amongst a myraid of tablets. But as he looked closer at the wonton destruction, he began to see tracks, not quite the size of a Matoran’s fingertips. And with the way they reached higher on the shelves, he didn’t seem to think a Matoran could climb so high either...

The Vahki followed his gaze upward, and snapped to attention as they too realized that the “lights” were eyes, eyes of numerous little beetles. In response to the Vahki, they scrambled, crawling this way and that, as the mechanical enforcers went soaring out the tower’s windows in chase of them. 

Noone ever looks up, the Toa of Fire muttered to himself. Now that the area was quiet, he finally had quiet, to figure out what had gone awry here. 


Saturday, January 5, 2013


By Hubert:

“These 'pockets' that the simians have invented are quite ingenious,” remarked Dpres Seon, staring down at the aforementioned object with curiosity.

The man, or at least, what passed for a man, was a creature known as a Sadones, a species that greatly resembled the marsupial koalas and wombats of the planet they were orbiting. The chief scientist on his exploration vessel, it was his duty to assist in the study of the inhabitants of the newly discovered world.

“I agree,” said Sol Lem, a fellow member of the Sadones species and the first officer of the vessel. “I am quite surprised that we never thought of such a thing, especially when these 'pockets' are very similar to our natural pouches, except able to hold nearly everything solid.”

There was a short pause as the two male Sadones looked at each other, before shifting their gaze to the only female member of their race present on the team tasked to study the planet. Another scientist assigned to the vessel, Dias Sapare had been colleagues with the other two for a long period of time, and instantly knew what they were thinking.

“I am not letting you use my pouch as a storage space,” she snapped. “Do you know how awkward and ridiculous it would be, carrying things that aren't my child in there?”

“But ...” began Dpres.

“If you say 'it's for science', I will destroy your tree,” she growled, anger intensifying. “If you're so intent on these 'pockets', then go steal some from the simians if you want!”

It was only hours later when Dias realised that her two moronic friends would probably listen to her and attempt to 'borrow' pockets from the natives, but it was already too late, and clothing stores all around the planet were reporting the strange disappearances of their stock.


By Alex Humva:

He sat in his chair, waiting quietly for the bell above the door to chime. In his hand he held fresh, crisp ten dollar bills, his whole shop's profit for the month. Before it paid the bills and gave him a little extra to spend on his daughters; now, it just paid the bills. Small tears began to form as his fists balled up, those fresh and crisp dollar bills crunching into wads. He wanted to do something with his shop, wanted to do something with his life. His family barely ate nowadays; once they attended dinner every Sunday, at the fancy restaurant on the crossing of Main and Maple Avenue. Now they were lucky if they went to the small club down on the outskirts of town.

The bell chimed, three well dressed men walking in. One had a cigar in his mouth, which he took out and deposited on a smoke tray. He reeked of slime covered money, so much so that he was lucky he didn't slip on the trail he was leaving behind him. His two companions were the athletic sort; well dressed, though they seemed less like this high-society alien and more akin to middle class baseball players. The man suspected, in his mind, that they were quite handy with the bat, regardless of their chosen sport.

“Mr. Hackett,” the foreigner said with a smile on his face. “You look flustered; did someone pay you a visit? You know you can always tell us if someone's bothering you.”

“I'm quite alright, thank you.” He looked at his hands, the money now crumpled and torn in some places. Silently he laid them out on his counter, smoothing them out one by one. “There. You see this? One hundred dollars. Exactly what you asked for.”

“Ah, so business is still good? Nice to know; in this day in age, people can't be careful enough. They're saying the economy's going take a downturn here soon, make sure you've got good investments Mr. Hackett. My boss runs a firm that could help you with that.”

“I think I'll be fine, thank you.”

“Well then, everything seems in order, best of wishes to you and your family Mr. Hackett. Happy New Years.” The man smiled his perfect, picturesque smile, and left, his companions following him. The man slumped back in his chair, looking at what was left of his money. It'd get his family by. It always had.


The men got into a car, the athletic ones taking the front while the alien took the back seat.

“Boss, do you think he'll squeal?” One of the brutes asked.

“No, no. He's exactly where we want him; in our pocket.”


By Zarayna/Nick:

A Pocket of Resistance 

     The knight gasped for breath as he stood, sword held in a ready position, shield angled to deflect opposing blades, his eyes flicking about, seeking other foes. He was dressed in mail from head to toe, a metal cap fronted by a nosepiece fashioned in the likeness of a cross mounting his skull. A white surcoat was worn over this, a black cross respondent upon it. But his mail was rent in several places, and blood leaked from a wound in his shield arm. He was alone in the still fighting city of Jerusalem. His eyes were dazed and blank, his sword covered in blood. He lowered his blade and shield, looking around, his blank expression turning into horror at the sight around him; Christian knights like himself lay sprawled in places among the corpses of a small detachment of the city guard they had died fighting, but even more numerous were other corpses. Women and children. An old man lay among them.

     “What have I done?” he gasped, staggering forwards, then running forwards into the streets, seeking to outrun the sight behind him. The sounds of battle were fading behind him. The city had fallen, but it… He had been in the wrong, his comrades had been in the wrong. His enemies had died nobly, his comrades carried their blood into the next world.

     “Sweet Jesus,” he gasped as he came to a halt in a narrow road. “What have I done?” 

     There was no one around, and the curved sword fell from his grasp. It was not his own; he had picked it up in battle from a man he had slain. 

     “Am I a thief in the night?” He looked back behind him to where his fellow soldiers of Christ must still be. “A dog on the run?”

     Soldiers of Christ, the words made him almost vomit. Could he and his be of Christ after what they had done? Those who died in battle, had the graces given to them saved their souls form the fire that must surely await them otherwise? He dared not think. 

     A voice cried out, soft but still audible to his ears. A warning. He looked up, and realized he was looking down an alley. There were men here. He was in too deeply. Had all the city fallen? He was keenly aware that he had dropped his sword. He reached for his dagger, but stopped himself before his hand could move. Let this little pocket of men make the first move. One of them did, and he heard the creak of a bow being drawn back. He stopped himself moving his shield to defend himself, transfixed by a strange shock of justice. He had slain those without a weapon in his hand. It was fitting then that he die in like manner, that his sins be expunged.

     Then the dart slammed into his surcoat and mail, sending the knight crumpling to the ground, guilt free at last.


By Collin:

The Little Elf that Lived in a Pocket

                There was once an elf that lived in the pocket of a trench coat that had been abandoned in an alley.  It wasn’t the roomiest of places to live and how the furnishings were barren! 
“It may not be much, but it has a charm about it, for sure!”  She told herself each morning when she woke up and each evening when she went to bed. 

                One day the little pocket of the elf began to shake and swing, leaving its resident scared out of her wits.

                “What’s this?!” She shrieked as she fumbled around, hoping to gain some footing.

                She somehow managed to crawl and climb her way to the lip of her home to see a poor shoemaker dusting off the trench coat in which the little elf lived.  Slowly, shivering in the cold, he shuffled back to his hovel where there were many forlorn half-finished shoes scattered about.  The poor man’s hands had been shaking so much that he could hardly stich the shoes together properly.

                “What an outright shame this is!” the little elf cried out at the sight, her own home forgotten. “Why, this poor fella needs help, he does!”

                Later that night, when the shoemaker had somehow fallen asleep on the icy ground, the elf got to work.  She pushed and pulled throughout the night, trying desperately to help the poor man who was curled up in a mere trench coat for warmth.  It took almost all of her strength and concentration, but by morning a single pair of beautiful shoes was left in the poor man’s room. 

                “Goodness gracious!” The man gave a shout as the shoes entered his line of sight.  “I must’ve forgotten these, how silly of me!” and he rushed into town to sell his only good pair of shoes.  They were so well constructed that the man had no trouble selling them right away for a generous price.  The man quickly spent his earnings on food and wood for the fire.  When he returned home, he dined for the first time in what must have been years, the elf guessed as he scarfed it all down.  Then, he lit a fire for the room and fell asleep lazily in the glow’s warmth.

                The elf felt the glow of the fire and felt rejuvenated. 

                “Why, I feel like I can make two pairs of shoes in this warmth, I can!”

                And so it went that the elf would make more and more shoes each night, and the man would sell and spend his money on wood, wine and women.  This went on for many a year until one day the elf, who had worked so much, had grown old and tired.  She could no longer craft any shoes, and thus the man eventually sold out.  He had no savings to go back on and he had long since lost his craft for shoemaking.  To this day his pockets are just as empty as the elf’s former home.


by Nicholas Joseph:

With a scream from the child in his lap, he went down the slide, feet in the pocket of the sack. The said son in the lap threw his hands up, thrilled at the built up anticipation of the climb to the top of the slide. The father felt the youngling’s hands slap his chest, and they coasted down to the fake golf green, both of their lungs lacking air. 

Handing the ride attendant at the bottom the sack, they exited the gate to the rest of the park. The man felt his arm wrenched as his son was running to the next ride, and the ride after that, and the ride after that, his thin legs flopping around in the child sized kahki shorts. The man passed a woman on the rail of the merry go round with a smile, as a girl on a bouncing horse cried “Daddy!” With an exhasperated grin he followed his eager eyed son, whom was determined to say he had gone on every ride. 

Finally- the wetboats. He passed the boy onto the ride attendant, watching the teenager secure the child into the seat. With a sigh, he allowed himself a moment to catch his breath, leaning over the rail as the boat went by. The son reached an arm out in an attempt to touch hands with his father- the man laughed, and stood poised, slipping his hands in his pockets as the machine’s motor pulled him to the far side of the ride. 

He felt his pants tighten, as his palms rested in the pockets, resting on his thighs. No pressure. Amusement. These fleeting thoughts went through his head as he watched his son go by. The ideas were so cliche, that if the boy was happy he was happy- but he bought into it. Just that few minutes of screams that were somewhat distant, trying to reach his mind, he was at peace, as he was an observer, disconnected as he watched his son grow. He had to be removed, sometimes, to allow the child to discover who he was on his own. 

The boy climbed down from the boat, and stumbled to the exit, where he clasped his parent’s hand. The baby fat parted to reveal a smile under the breeze tossed thin brown hair. The boy was happy, and the father was content, a night of the family enjoying themselves in a bright lighted amusement park, a break from the city life. “Daddy, where to next?” the squeaky voice asked. The father reached into his pocket once more, in search of tickets, but found none.