The Arrow Online 2023 – Post #7

Hello! So excited for the 2023 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Arts & Literature Magazine!!!

Stay tuned for more posts to come over the next few weeks and then keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon.

Here’s our last few writing submissions from 2023 student work:

And the Hunted

By: Alberto P. ’27

Most nights, my routine is the same. I take a ride in my 1947 Austin Sheerline, going down the dark, winding road by my estate until I come across someone in need of shelter or transportation. I take them back to the estate and offer a steak dinner along with a place to stay for the night, an offer they reluctantly accept out of a mixture of necessity and convenience. This far north in England, it snows whenever it is not raining; one rarely wants to be without shelter in such weather. After my guest goes to bed, I spend three quarters of an hour tidying up before I go upstairs, descend upon the visitor in their sleep, and suck the blood from their body. The year is 1966. My current name is Nikolaj Botezatu, and I am a vampire for the twentieth century.

Tonight, I find a hitchhiker trying and failing to shelter himself from the storm. The bright headlights of my automobile cut through the shifting, inky haze to create a blurred silhouette of the man: he is of average height but lanky, a characteristic accentuated by his long wool overcoat. The long brim of his hat begins to droop in the front under the weight of the rainwater, which still drips from its edges like a leaky faucet. As he warily comes closer, features become more defined, and I make note of his markedly average face. In an American accent, he sheepishly asks for a ride and climbs into the passenger seat. I ask him to call me Mr. Botezatu, and he introduces himself as Roy Thompson; my performance has begun.  I go through the motions of flavorless small talk, feigned consideration before I propose that he wait out the storm with me. After almost a century, this entire act becomes mechanical in my eyes. 

Finally, we arrive at Stanwyck Manor, an “acquisition” of mine from the previous century. I bring the car to a stop in front of the looming double doors and open the car door for my guest. Walking in pace with him — a subtly unsettling behavior that helps set the tone — I unlock the double doors and give them the slightest push so they swing out slowly, ominously. I smoothly turn back to the hitchhiker while standing in the doorway, flash him a perfected creep’s grin, and say: “Come in. You look pallid.” As always, I pause for a moment to watch his skin crawl… yet this time, the moment does not come.

As I said, I have gone through this routine for quite some time. No matter who I pick up, be he a traveling salesman or a circus strongman, this line will cause a reaction within them. Every single time those words escape my lips, I watch as my victim feels that first primal tinge of fear and their “rational” minds try to silence the feeling that something is wrong. This response is guaranteed, and yet… I receive nothing from the hitchhiker. Outwardly, his reaction is nothing abnormal, but nothing about it feels genuine. It feels unnatural, and I cannot help but become irked. What gives this transient the right to react as he does? What does he– 

No. No, I should not preoccupy myself with this. Some people simply have a higher tolerance for fear, I suppose. This was only my opening move; the true terror begins inside! Reassured, I lead the hitchhiker into the dimly lit, cobweb-filled foyer of the house. An infirm yellow glow coats the room, which bounces off of the aged sheets covering the furniture. The grand staircase with its ratty carpeting rises opposite the doors, and hallways branch away on either side. The suspense in this room sits palpably in the air, so in this room I let him marinate. I excuse myself to prepare supper, and he watches me leave down the dark hallway.

 On a normal night, dinner would be the part of the evening wherein I transition from unsettling to downright frightening. The electrical grid does not reach the western wing of the manor, so the dining room is lit entirely by candelabras running down the middle of the long, dark wooden dining table. I seat myself and my guest at opposite ends of the table, and we begin to eat. Throughout the meal they can see nothing of me but two orbs cutting through the darkness like the headlights of my automobile. They squirm in their seats under my gaze, and the fear that met them at the door begins to swell. Again, the hitchhiker defies me.

Mr. Thompson’s demeanor at the dinner table is no different than when I took him out of the rain; if anything, he is calmer now. Not once do his eyes dart back and forth in suspicion. Not once does he even hesitate to question the origin of the red meat he imbibes. When I stare at him, he stares back, and for reasons I do not know my skin begins to crawl. I shift in my chair. He continues to stare, and for reasons unknown my gut churns. I break eye contact. He continues staring, and for reasons I cannot understand an icy chill runs down my spine. Why does the hitchhiker not stop staring? He should be terrified right now. He should be afraid. What does he know? Why does he not react? Why does he not stop staring?! I abruptly excuse myself from the dinner table, and it dawns on me that, for perhaps the first time in my immortality, I am afraid.

After I show the hitchhiker to his quarters, I retreat to my game room — the most well-kept room in the manor, where I spend most of my time. I cannot stop thinking about the hitchhiker, sleeping in my house. For the first time, that frightens me. This man is not simply abnormal, you see. He goes against the natural order. He is cattle to me, and yet he refuses to recognize his place. He dares to make me feel unsafe in my home, and that is something that does not happen. I question whether the hitchhiker poses any true danger, and I do not find an answer… but it is irrelevant, because he is human. If he is human, I can still restore order.

In a fit of rage, I fly up the stairs to the guest bedroom and make a beeline for the man’s bed. It is not my quietest entrance nor my most elegant, but I do not care. I must kill the hitchhiker, and return this place to normalcy! I slow myself so as not to wake my victim, and I move to the side of the bed. In the darkness, I peer down at the mattress and find…

No one. The bed is empty. Slowly, hesitantly, I look around the pitch black room. My eyes suddenly catch on the armchair in the corner. Two orbs cut through the darkness, cut through me.

The hitchhiker stalks me, perfectly still. His demeanor still has not changed. He calmly meets my eyes, and my heart becomes loud in my chest. I fumble for the lights, no longer at home in the shadows. The sconces flicker alive, and pitch black is replaced with uneven brown. The hitchhiker gives me a polite smile, and I subconsciously convulse in response. “Mr. Botezatu,” he says innocently. “What are you doing here?”

At the sound of his voice, my fear is drowned out by anger. I can no longer help myself. “I am here, Mr. Thompson… to eat you. You are not my houseguest; you are my dinner. I am going to drain the blood from your body, and I am going to kill you. Do you understand, you miserable vagrant?! I am an immortal lord of night, and you are but one of my meals! You are my prey, and I am a vampire!”

“I know.” I hear the words, uttered in that same controlled tone, and I am disemboweled. The hitchhiker stands up. My muscles seize.

“I know lots about you, Mr. Botezatu,” he casually admits. “For instance, I know the exact route you like to take on your evening drives.” I’m getting dizzy. I take a couple of steps back. He takes a step forward in pace.

“I would like to apologize for leading you on, however. It was necessary to get you to invite me in, but I still feel bad about it.” I continue to stumble backward, and he continues to advance. My vision begins to distort. The hitchhiker, is he… changing? He doesn’t seem human anymore. I start to shake. In the same dead calm, he continues.

“The truth is, I was never on tonight’s ‘menu,’ so to speak. You were right, in a way: I am a step away from you in the food chain. Just not a step below you.” I hit a dead end. He takes another step forward. Trembling, I sink down against the wall.

“Mr. Botezatu? You look pallid.”


You and I 

by: Jonah G. ’27

If you have not seen what I have seen 

It would be easy in the bright, wide sheen Of memory, ever to forget 

That what you deal must someday then be met 

Our earth-bound souls are ever chained down here Forever failing to peer through the mirror And see our icy cruel and sundered minds As you wander under dancing wind-swept pines 

All too easy it ever is to be 

Forgetful of what sunders you from me. My mistakes are not just mine alone 

They belong to us, and are for us to bemoan. 

The cruelty that I can render out: 

It is not mine, but yours that gives you doubt. You look upon me, hereby can you lie, 

And say that you are not what you descry. 

They are not not different, fox and little shrew: Evil I or sweet and gentle you. 

For if we would, we all could be as I. 

Capable of evil, so we “try” 

But maybe, someday, I could be as you I could heal the hurts I once did do. 

Fox grows to shrew, and winter loses cold If we all could ever be so bold. 

So I sit, and try to do as I 

A stupid, feckless mortal to defy 

My inner soul will ever this day rue 

This is the day when I become like you.


by: Karen A. ’29

Roy sat up in bed gasping for air. He had the most horrific dream. A dark silhouette who Roy couldn’t quite make out had been swinging a globe of light. A little boy stood next to the man, glancing into the distance. A ghostly ship had risen from the water, and then…he was awake. 

His neck was clammy as he touched the left side of his chest. His heart was beating, ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum. His hair was drenched with cold sweat, and he leaned back, relaxing. He couldn’t figure out what had seemed so chilling about his dream. He wasn’t the kind of kid who chickened out to go sleep with his dad, but he felt a strange cry. It wasn’t that he was scared. He couldn’t name the feeling. His eyes darted around the room, and he dashed out, fearing what would happen if he stayed for another second.

He bolted open his father’s door. He cried out, “Dad!” He jumped on the bed, feeling for his father. All he felt were smooth blankets. His heart started beating faster, and he checked the time. It was 2 am. His father couldn’t have possibly gone back to the lighthouse. He glanced at the lighthouse through the fog. Roy couldn’t make out a light, and fear fell upon his innocent face. He didn’t believe it, but the truth dawned on him. His father wasn’t at home. Nor was he at the lighthouse. 

Roy shivered. It wasn’t cold, but goosebumps arose on his skin. He grabbed a sweater and slipped on some shoes. He didn’t stop to adjust his laces. He stepped out onto the faded scratchy grass. The iciness of the breeze made his shoulders tighten. He was a brave kid, and he wouldn’t back out of any challenge. This time was no different. No matter how uneasy Roy was, his father was more important. 

Roy couldn’t imagine his father going somewhere without telling him. But it had happened, and Roy had felt a strange feeling of loneliness and discomfort. He had never really been alone without his father before. He was an only child, and only had a father. He was used to having to do things alone, but not completely alone. He always had his dad with him, a gentle hand on his shoulder saying, “Son, I will always be there for you, okay. I know it’s hard for you sometimes, but you’ll always have me.” That was comforting while it lasted, more like when he believed it. 

Roy looked at the rustling trees, it looked as if the trunks would be pulled out of the soil, long roots, no longer grounded in the soil. Roy walked toward the riverside as the flurry of wind began to grow stronger. The waves splashed violently over the fence that separated Roy from the thrashing waves. Roy had seen the water like this many times before, but he never realized how dangerous it was. It could swallow you in its dark, cold waters, and you would be drowned in seconds. 


He shivered at the thought, but he continued to walk farther down. Sometimes his father and he would go fishing on bright, clear days. They would laugh and compare fish, but those days seemed so out of reach now. It was possible for his father to go on a last minute trip, but not in these weather conditions. His father was a captain. All the folks knew him as Captain Tory. There were tons of legends about him, like the one about him being attacked by a shark and surviving. His father would tell Roy about all his adventures as Roy listened carefully.

Then his thoughts raced one after another, What if he drowned? Is he alive? Where is he? Am I going to be able to see him again? Who will I live with? What will I do? 

Roy found himself sobbing. It was just so overwhelming to think about how life would be without his father. His father was the only person he had ever lived with and every moment together was more spectacular than the last. He had never realized how much he loved his father. He finally understood what his father meant when he said, “Roy, nothing will last forever, so cherish every moment.” Roy had thought it was just some outlandish thing his father had said. Now he knew that it was true. He never knew how the pain of missing a loved one would feel. His father was the only other person he grew up with, and losing that would mean losing so much love and happiness. 

He was beginning to be able to distinguish his surroundings from his thoughts. He was a boy. All alone. A dark windy forest. Heavy rain. No father. 


Roy wiped his tears with his sleeve, and continued to walk further down the riverside. He walked by hundreds of trees, and where he started from, was now not visible, faded into the background like everything else. 

  Then, Roy saw a bridge. His father and he always leaned against the bridge as they threw their long line far out to the water to catch some fish. Roy stepped onto the cobblestone bridge as it started to shower. He put on his hood as he quickly ran across the bridge. The downfall started to get worse, and soon, it was pouring. He ran through the path beside the river, running to a light. Ever so slightly, he could see it. The fog and all the rain made it hard for him to see, but the only hope of finding anything was toward that light. He didn’t know whator who was there, but he was going. His father had always said, “If you don’t do anything at all, you can’t fall.” Roy had always known what he meant; if you don’t try anything, you can’t do anything. He was going to take a risk. For his father.

He continued to dash across the slippery path. The water had seeped into his shoes; his toes were now drenched in cold water. It didn’t bother him, not when he needed to find out what that light was. He ran faster and farther until he grew closer to the light. He walked cautiously. When he got closer, he could finally see a man. He had a sailor’s hat, and wore buckled boots. All of them seemed vaguely familiar. His father always wore those kinds of boots. Then, it dawned on him! His smile grew as he stepped closer. “Boo!” Roy hollered. His father jumped and turned around. His fearful expression turned into a smile, then into a worried glance.

“Roy, my boy, you scared me! What are you doing out of the house? You should be sleeping in bed!” His father said. 

“I should be asking you that! I was so scared.” Roy cried in his fathers arms. “I’m sorry o-okay, I just had a bad dream a-and I went to your room, but you weren’t there, and I checked the lighthouse, but there were no lights.” Roy said, sobbing.

“I’m so sorry Roy, you should know that I’ll always come back, and you didn’t have to come in all this rain.” His father said softly. “I’ll make it up  to you. I just had some important business to take care of. Watch this.” His father swung the lantern three times slowly, and the light faded away. Roy looked at his father. His father kept staring blankly at the river, so Roy did the same. Then all of a sudden, a dark schooner appeared, pulling itself out of the water. “It’s okay, Roy. I’m here. Family is forever. All aboard!” His father said, smiling.

Hand in hand, they entered the dark boat, Roy had learned the true lessons of life. And another day, was another adventure. He brushed away the fear, and took his first step.  


Conveyer Belt Sushi

by: Misha J. ’29


A circle that goes round and round

A never ending carousel of maki



Lightly chilled ikura and tempura

Eaten on a nice hot day



Stacks of plates

On a private table



Delicate pleats of seaweed

Flaky and fragile



A lovely runway filled with bliss for sashimi and nigiri

Being presented by the two



The first bite, always best

The fine grains of rice with thin cuts

Of sliced sashimi with flowery notes



The fluffy taste of fatty tuna

Melting like popsicles in your mouth

On a light summer day



No words necessary

Just the dry sound of a motor


Ode to a snowflake

by: Sarah S. ’28


Oh, how I love snowflakes –

gracefully drifting

from clouds in the sky

into my palm.

They bury me

in gentle hurricanes.

Delicate crystal shards,

fragile and unique,

each one different,

clump into piles

on the ground,

forming hills and mountains

valleys and cliffs

out of millions of snowflakes.



by: Xi H. ’30


Slim, dark shapes rounded by time,

silhouetted against the blank, blue-gray sky. 

The glossy black feathers flow together in a 

smooth, fluid stream.

Beady black eyes seem to gaze beyond the 

ever-drifting horizon—

where cloudy dreams and misty wishes 

linger aimlessly. An airy plume of hope 

wanders—a glint of light—

a flash of smoke, and all is gone.

And still they wait, perched on a tallest tree, 

austere and expectant. They know what fate does not.

Not a caw resounds through the crowd, though hundreds stand stiff. 

Something in the air ripples and unfolds, 

for even silence has its echoes.                                           


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The Arrow Online 2023 – Post #6

Hello! So excited for the 2023 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Arts & Literature Magazine!!!

Stay tuned for more posts to come over the next few weeks and then keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon.

Here’s our latest post of 2023 student work:

Tian Cheng W. ’28


by: Jonah G. ’27


  1. Could I have known you? I feel like I once did. 

I see your face on every sleepless night. 

It’s been a while since I’ve thought of you 

and then I saw you, in a place I don’t remember. 

  1. Could you have been a friend from childhood? 

A friend from long ago that I’ve forgotten? 

One I ran and laughed with many times? 

That I let go, thinking not again. 

  1. I seem to see that you were saying words 

that I had once remembered every day. 

And now I can’t remember what they were

if it should be the last day of my life. 

  1. There are no others that I love so much, 

but I can’t recall what I once loved. 

How did we separate so long ago

that I have forced your voice from my recall? 

  1. Could I have known you? I remember now, a few things. 

People blur like leaves before the storm. 

And sitting quietly without a care,

I saw your face smiling beyond the grass. 

  1. I run over to where you are sitting 

and ask you if you could remember me. 

You smile and turn, looking at my eyes 

and answer my question, with wonder in your eyes. 

At this point, the author asks you to flip a coin. If it lands heads please read stanza 7. If it lands tails, please read stanza 8. 

  1. “Yes I knew, but I had long forgotten 

what it was like to behold your face, 

but now I see you, and everything comes back   

how we had once spent our lives together.” 

  1. “Yes I knew you, and I have not forgotten 

how you cast me off like rotten meat.” 

You leave me wondering every sleepless night 

why you and your face made me remember you.



by: Juno S. ’29


Next to the turf, 

hidden behind the stairs, 

blocking out the screaming students 

and listening to the chirping birds. 

Up on the hill, isolated. 


The leftover taste 

of the really sweet fruit punch 

lingering in my mouth. 

I was feeling calm. 

No stress about tests; 

homework was done. 


I pick up my headphones, 

lean on the stone wall, and just relax. 

The Beatles blasting in my ears, 

as I watch the ruby red and auburn leaves 

fall from the nearest tree. 


Follow Me Deep Into the Dark

by: Jonah G. ’27


Follow me deep into the dark. 

Come with me to where no light shows. I can make you a titan 

or a master of worlds, 

as your wish leads. 

Follow me far into the night. 

Walk with me to the fields of memory 

and see your life laid bare 

and all your failures 

shall be laid to rest. 


Follow me before the breaking of the dawn.

Show to me your anger at injustice. 

Let me help you be your judge, 

take the vengeance that is yours 

so that you may rest. 

Run with me under the stars. 

Burn your foes to ash with my aid. 

Let them see your pain. 

Let them see your agony 

and let you not forgive them. 

Follow me into the rising day, 

the pillar of light and truth and heat 

like you, if you could let me be with you. 

So let me come 

and protect you in the rising day. 

Listen to me under the midday sun. 

So many have benefitted from my help. I brought justice to all 

and they were the happier for it. 

So let me into your heart. 

Deal with me at the falling of the night 

at the heavenly table of our deal. 

Touch my hand and let me touch your enemies. Before the night falls, trust me with your life.

I will make you strong 

So come with me, and follow me deep into the dark.


Zach R. ’27

Jealous, Jealous, Jealous Girl

by: Arya G. ’27

I’ve known Andy Carpenter since I was eight years old. We met on a playground when he decided it was a smart idea to take my Barbie and bury it in the sand. I slapped him. God, I love that memory. Now the two of us are in tenth grade, our friendship still going strong. Except for the fact that my two other friends, Caitlin and Flora think I like him. And I don’t even know how! Yes, I think he is cute, and he is sweet, but every girl in our grade thinks that. Who wouldn’t? He has the cutest smile, with dimples, and his hair flops perfectly on the right side of his face. What can I say, Andy Carpenter is perfect in every way. But no, I do not like him. I mean sure, my stomach does somersaults when he smiles at me, but that’s probably because I have midterms coming up, and I’m insanely nervous for them. And yes, we flirt around sometimes, but that’s because everyone around us flirts, and it would be strange if we didn’t. I don’t get why Caitlin and Flora make a big deal out of nothing. I’ve explained this to them many times. 

“Hey Emily.” Veronica March, my sworn enemy and nemesis says to me. I roll my eyes at her. 

“It’s Emi, and what do you want?” I ask glaring at her. 

“I was just wondering if you’ve heard about Ashley Garcia and Andy.” A small smirk appears across Veronica’s ivory face. 

“What about them?” 

“They’re going out on Friday.” 

“Hah, that’s not funny.” 

“Hey, ask him yourself.” Then she walks away. 

I have never liked Ashley Garcia. I mean yes, she is probably sweeter than honey, but I have always known she was a kiss-up. Also, Andy would’ve told me about liking her. I walked through the sun-soaked hallways of Hackley to Andy’s locker near the art room. 

“I heard the stupidest thing.” I say to Andy. 

“What?” Andy asks me. 

“That you’re going out with Ashley Garcia,” I say laughing. 

“Um…I am going out with her.” 

“Haha, very funny, Andy.” 

“I’m not joking, Em.” 

I stare at him in shock. He was telling the truth. I don’t say anything; it was like I had completely shut down and forgotten how to talk. Ashley Garcia and Andy had gone out on a date. I couldn’t comprehend it. Ashley wasn’t Andy’s type…was she? I mean sure, she was pretty and nice, but that was it. Everything else about her was…boring. Andy had never mentioned anything to me about her either, so when…when did he start talking to her

“Em? Em, you good?” Andy asked me. 

“Uh yeah…yeah I gotta get to class.” I say. 

I turn away from him, walking through the crowded hallways of my school. Thoughts ran through my mind faster than a cheetah. Millions and millions of thoughts. It was all about the same thing – How did they get together? When did they start talking? How long has he liked her? How long has she liked him?  Ashley Garcia is not good enough for Andy. I’m sure she’s only with him for attention. I’m not surprised if she is. She’s never mentioned anything about liking him. 

That was all I thought about throughout the morning. Andy and Ashley. Ashley and Andy. I didn’t even realize it was lunch time that Caitlin had to drag me out of math class and to the cafeteria. And right there was obviously Andy, sitting and laughing with Ashley Garcia. 

“Ugh.” Watching them I scrunch up my face like a kid being made to eat their vegetables. “I wanna puke.” 

“I think they’re cute.” Caitlin replied, also looking over. 

“I mean sure, but it’s weird seeing Andy with a girlfriend.” I say, stabbing my food. “Plus he never told me about her, and I’m really mad at him about it.” 

Caitlin and Flora looked at each other, then at me.

“Are you jealous?” Caitlin asked. I looked at her and scoffed. 


“She definitely is!” Flora said, joining Caitlin. The more I denied it, the more the two kept making fun of me about it. I was getting annoyed with them and told them to shut up. “Jeez, Em. We’re just joking.” 

“I-” I started to say just as Andy walked up with Ashley. I looked up, staring at them. Andy had a smile that reached till the ends of his face and Ashley’s milk chocolate skin shone just like her perfect smile. “Hey.” 

“I just wanted to introduce you to Ashley. I mean, she knows we’re close friends and all.” Andy said. 

I smile tightly and say, “Oh. Well nice to meet you, I guess.” 

“You too. Andy has told me so much about you and I can’t wait for us to be friends!” Ashley says smiling. 

“Same.” I say in a monotone voice. 

 “I’ve seen you around the school and I’ve always wanted to talk to you!” Ashley says again. 

Once again in a monotone voice I say, “Well, we’re talking now!” 

 “I just love what you’re wearing! I mean that top-” Ashley starts saying. 

“Do you kiss up to everyone?” I mumble, cutting her off. 

“Um…sorry, it’s just…I’ve heard so much about you…sorry…” She looks at me upset. “Excuse me.”

We watch as she walks out the cafeteria. Andy glares at me angrily. 

“I can’t believe you’d say that!” He says. 

“Well sorry that I wasn’t in the mood to talk.” I snap back. 

“What’s your problem?” Andy asks, shaking his head at me. 

“That you never told me you liked her! You never once mentioned it, Andy! Like what the heck! And I had to hear from Veronica. Not even you!” 

“Why do you care? I don’t have to tell you everything! I was hoping you’d be happy for me!” His voice, getting louder. I don’t answer. “Of course you don’t say anything. Don’t talk to me until you know why you acted like a jerk.” 

He stormed out of the cafeteria, angrily, leaving me, feeling bad and honestly…confused. Why did I care? I shouldn’t care, in fact I should be happy for him. He’s always wanted a girlfriend…why did I care that Andy Carpenter was going out with Ashley Garcia? Caitlin and Flora were right and I can’t believe I didn’t listen to them. I didn’t want them to be right because it would ruin everything. It would ruin our friendship. There’s a reason my stomach did somersaults and I was jealous when he was with Ashley. I like Andy Carpenter

The Chosen Road

by: Jonah G. ’27

What path remains open to you? 

You who has broken all bonds 

What road will permit you to walk on it 

When it knows all things that you have done 

All roads lead back to where you began 

And some therefore turn forward 

All paths lead you to dangerous woods 

And some will lead you out again. 

Whatever path you choose, 

It will be with you always 

To stray will be marked by danger and death 

More so than if you remained. 

Your path will wander under stars and sun 

Through the night it will be hard to see 

But remember, when the day comes 

Your heart will know if you have strayed. 

But if you choose the path that leads you forward Out of the forest, and under the sun. 

And if you do not stray from your road 

You will be let into the place where paths converge 

The person who welcomes you will say loudly, 

“I will set you above the tumults of earth 

And the crashing waves of the sea” 

And he will let you into the place 

But some of them do not enter the place 

Some turn and go back, even on the right path 

Some people take their path behind them 

And stray from it, into the wild woods 

No others know where they go 

Because they leave all mapped wilderness 

And they are always happy when they are last seen More so than those who remain on the road they have chosen.


by: Misha J. ’29

Everywhere I look, I see eyes. Glossy eyes, dry eyes, upturned, monolid, double lidded, you name it. As I walk through the dark rainy street, eyes stare at me. I try not to make direct eye contact with them. Nobody comes back after staring into one of those glass-like eyes that stare and burn into your soul. They say that if you make direct eye contact with an eye, the eye will eat away at your soul until you crumble to nothing. The last thing you will see is eyes. A dropping feeling enters my body. I slam against the ground as I look around me. I see the light above me fade away. Did I leave my stomach up there? An echoey voice flows around me. “Are you the next victim?” I see a silhouette of a person as they slump to the ground, the life ebbing out of them. Oh no! I look in front of me and am faced with a bloodshot eye. I’ve been seen. I spin in a circle to see that I’m surrounded by thousands of eyes. I realize that the abyss that I’m in will be my resting place. All the eyes are the previous victims dying. I blink as I die surrounded by the eyes.


Ode to my Cuckoo Clock

by: Kate v. ’29

When the clock strikes 12 o’clock,

there is a 



What is it?

A cuckoo clock.

A symphony of chirps,

like a choir 

of young 

children singing.

It is beautiful.

After it goes on for a while,

your ears will start to ring,

almost as if there was a high-

pitched violin playing.

It plays on and on


seeming like it will 



You don’t want it to.

Then you hear a click.

It is over.

However, the music of the high 

violin plays on, 

spiking as the bow hits

the string.

Over and

over again.

I can’t wait until 1:00 o’clock,

until it will 

start again.


Cracked and Broken

Sarah S. ’28

Shards splinter,

their edges like knives.

They are beautiful, deadly




by: Alberto P. ’27

Albert-3: Clunky robot, speaks mechanically, creation of Dr. Bruckheim, lazy, laid-back, “bum”


Doctor Werner Bruckheim: Mad scientist, arrogant, dramatic, intense, short temper, (Optional: German accent a la Dr. Strangelove)


Falsworth: Butler, assistant to Doctor Bruckheim, has seen it all, “tells it like he sees it”


(Lights up on BRUCKHEIM’s “Frankenstein-esque” laboratory. Upstage Left, there is a metal box with two large switches attached, from which tubes run to other devices in the lab. ALBERT-3 lies on a surgical table Stage Right, while BRUCKHEIM and FALSWORTH frantically set up an old video camera Stage Left. BRUCKHEIM backs up in front of the camera, and FALSWORTH puts his eye to the camera. FALSWORTH gestures toward BRUCKHEIM, cueing him to start. BRUCKHEIM clears his throat.)



(Grandiose) May the inventor of the wheel look upon this day from highest heaven and weep, for today he is finally outdone. This night shall be remembered from now until the end of time, because this is the day that I, Doctor Werner Bruckheim, have CONQUERED DEATH!


(Thunder crashes. BRUCKHEIM pauses for a moment, looking for praise from FALSWORTH. FALSWORTH gives him a polite thumbs-up and nods reassuringly. Satisfied, BRUCKHEIM resumes his passionate speech.)



I have taken this assemblage of measly wires and steel, once naught but scrap metal, and from it I have created the FIRST ARTIFICIAL LIFE! A perfect amalgam for the human form, untethered by any of its frailty. I look in the face of that grim mistress Death and I scoff at her, for tonight it is I who commands life as I command you now, my creation: rise. RISE, AND ASSUME YOUR DESTINY!


(BRUCKHEIM throws the first switch on the box Upstage Left, and the lights begin to flicker. An electrical hum begins. Then, BRUCKHEIM throws the second switch, and the flickering grows more intense and the hum gets louder. Electricity crackles, and the lab table shakes. BRUCKHEIM cackles madly. Finally, the flickering and the noises reach their peak intensity, and everything goes dark at once.

Suddenly, a spotlight appears on the lab table. [If a spotlight is not available, fade the regular lights in.] After a beat, ALBERT-3 begins to sit up slowly and mechanically. Sitting straight up, he stops. BRUCKHEIM stands still, captivated.)



(Tired) Five more minutes.


(ALBERT-3 lies back down mechanically. BRUCKHEIM stays frozen in the same position, gaping. Pause.)



(shellshocked) …What did he just say?



I believe he said “five more minutes,” as one might say when woken up prematurely and against their wishes. Sir.



I know what he said, you dolt. Why did he say it?



Perhaps because he was tired, sir.






Hey, Doc, d’you think you could, like, keep it down? I know it’s like, your house n’ all, but there’s still, like, other people here, y’know.



(Gritted teeth, contempt) The last I checked, dear Falsworth, robots are not in the habit of getting “tired.” Nor should they be wont to use contractions, I might add.



Forgive me if I’m wrong, Sir, but you did just call your machine “a perfect amalgam for the human form.” Humans are in the habit of sleeping, unless I’m mistaken.



(Caught off-guard) Well… Fair enough, but… See, the thing is… (giving up) Um. Yes…I suppose you are correct.

(To self) Naturally. Just because the machine is revolutionary does not mean it will wake up speaking in prose. No, it says nothing about the craftsmanship. Nothing at all.


(Again emboldened, BRUCKHEIM walks over to the lab table and addresses ALBERT-3. FALSWORTH begins packing up the camera equipment.)



(Gently) Albert-3. 

(ALBERT-3 sits up. For a robot, he does not have great posture.)



(Joking) Please. “Albert-3” is my father’s name.


(BRUCKHEIM is struggling to remain patient and reserved.)



Ahem. I would like to… apologize for my earlier outburst. It was not becoming of me. You are but a few minutes old; I should be more patient with you. You must understand, you are very important to me. As the world’s first fully sentient robot, you may very well be the greatest achievement in the history of mankind, and as your creator that means a great deal to me. So please recognize that my behavior was only because I have the highest expectations for you.



Wow. That’s deep, man. Just one question…(Pause.) …Like, what’s a “robot?”


(BRUCKHEIM lets out a short, loud yell in frustration. He storms over to FALSWORTH, enraged. ALBERT-3 sits where he is, looking around and drumming his hands on his thighs.)






There’s no need to name-call, Sir.



Then what, pray tell, should I call him?! He is a lazy bum, who sounds like he lives in a van. He is a complete disappointment! (ALBERT-3 notices a television set wedged in between some sci-fi machinery Downstage Right.)



(Calling over) Hey, Doc, is this, like, a TV? You mind if I watch some Looney Tunes?


(ALBERT-3 goes up to the TV set and turns it on, and then finds a couch facing the TV buried under scientific clutter. He carelessly shoves the mess onto the floor and plops down on the couch.)



(To FALSWORTH) My point is made.



Well… If I may, Sir?


Out with it, you Neanderthal!



You called the robot a disappointment. How so, exactly?



(Slightly confused) What? What are you blathering on about, Falsworth?



Well, how specifically has the robot betrayed your expectations?



(Thinking) Well… I suppose I didn’t have any specific goals in mind, but I still expected—



So, you had no defined purpose for the robot when you built it?



(Confused, unsure) Yes…



Meaning… you built a machine without a primary directive of any kind?


(BRUCKHEIM pauses for a moment. Then horrified, he connects the dots.)



Oh, my god. I built a machine without a primary directive.









Doc, like, chill out—


(BRUCKHEIM begins to pace frantically at Center Stage. After pausing in thought for a moment, FALSWORTH exits Stage Left.)



The first artificial human amalgamation, and I forget to give it a basic sense of motivation! The entirety of my work, rendered completely useless! SCRAP METAL!



Hey! I do stuff, kinda.



(Offstage) Sir?



And, fool that I am, I built the robot without space for any supplemental receptors! There is no way I can correct it without dismantling the entire machine, certainly not before… (horrified) tomorrow. DEAR GOD, THE REPORTERS!



(Offstage) Sir?



(Spiraling) I cannot believe it! I actually scheduled a PRESS CONFERENCE the day after my experiment! Dear Lord, the things I told them. I called my project “THE BIGGEST THING TO HAPPEN FOR HUMANS SINCE OPPOSABLE THUMBS!” I cannot show them nothing. When I present to them Albert-3… MY CAREER SHALL DIE ON THE VINE! I’LL BE A LAUGHINGSTOCK! OH MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, WHAT CAN I DO?! Dear God, what can I do? (BRUCKHEIM falls to his knees, defeated.)



Woah. That was REALLY heavy.





(Offstage) Sir?


(FALSWORTH enters Stage Left, dressed in a surprisingly good makeshift robot costume. BRUCKHEIM sees FALSWORTH, and his face lights up.)



Falsworth… You moronic genius.


(ALBERT-3 leans on the arm of the couch and perches his head on his hand a la The Thinker.)



So… Does this mean I can crash here?


(Lights out.)


by: Josie M. ’29




spotless glass panes


a miniature scene

with trees the size of blades of grass

and long plains

that erase any remaining sense of scale.



stealing my attention,

blue sky,

clear of darkening clouds

that steal the sun

and the joy.


leaves and flowers

fluttering in the wind

and reminding me 

of the big picture. 



of the world outside,


but not noisy.

Laughter, talking, yelling.


I knock on the window,

but nobody hears.


Ode to My Family.

by: Brandon G. ’29

My mom gets home.

There is nobody at home, and

she starts making a good-smelling dinner 

for my brother, my father, and I

who will be hungry after 

school and work.

My dad is in his car,

going back home after

picking up my brother and I from school.

He wants to eat, and it is dark outside,

but he is still driving his kids home

because he wants them

to get home, do their homework,

and get some good food.

My brother, who is next to me,

is watching YouTube

on his phone,

and he is letting me

watch the video with him

because it is one of our favorite
YouTubers to watch, and

it makes the ride home




by: Josie M. ’29


This poem means nothing,

but it also means something

because before, I was bored

and now I am not.

So someday we’ll learn

that we’ll never be bored.

There’s too much to do

and not enough time.


So close your screens,

and open your eyes,

because before this meant nothing

and now it means something.


By Josie Morcos BLUE HIVE 6th Grade

Tian Cheng W. ’28

Ode to Hot Chocolate

by Ava F. ’30

Rich and warm,

I should add some whipped cream,

marshmellows floating to the top.

I put so much in my mouth.

“Can I have some more, please?”

One sip makes me sleepy.

I love it very much

Oh, warm chocolate, come back to me. 

You taste like watching a movie with my family.

Hopefully I will have some more tomorrow.


The Magic Whistle 

by: Emmett G. ’27

Today is the first day of July. I woke up before Mom and Dad, like normal. As I sit on the bottom step of my porch, I count two blood-red cars driving by, followed by a white minivan, spray painted with graffiti. I watch grown-ups run past me, as they sweat from the early morning sun. Then I look at Rupert. I watch him roll in the grass, getting his golden fur all muddy. Suddenly, I remember mom’s promise. If I walk the dog, she’ll take me for ice cream. 

I walk to the mailbox as I call for Rupert. “Rupert! Come here boy!” I watch him pick his head up and look at me. He barks, then continues to roll around. “Rupert, walk!” I holler again. He jumps up and prances towards me as his ears flop up and down and slobber droops down from his mouth. As I look around the yard, I spot the leash next to my new soccer ball; the white and neon-yellow one that I got for my 10th birthday. I dash towards the ball and kick it towards the middle of the yard where the grass isn’t muddy from the water hose. I ignore his cries as I tie him to the mailbox with the leash, and I begin to showcase new moves to him. Suddenly as I’m running, my body goes flying as I trip and fall. I shake my head and search the ground. Next to my foot, I see a small, shiny stick, wedged in the ground. I yank it out of the ground, stand up, and totter towards the hose. Dad taught me how to use it, so I can clean Rupert in the spring. Once clean, I examine the shiny object as it gleams in the sun. It’s a whistle, but not like those little silver round things that you blow into. This one is long and thin with a small crescent hole to blow into. I look at Rupert as he barks at me, then back at the whistle. I squeeze my eyes shut and blow the whistle as hard as I can. All goes quiet, but then I hear a new voice yelling at me. I open my eyes and look around my yard. With nobody in sight, I glance back at Rupert. I watch his jowls move and realize it’s Rupert who is yelling at me.

“Untie me! You said walk. This is not a walk.”

“Whoa. Are you speaking to me? How are you speaking to me” I exclaim as I’m startled.

“Take me on a walk!”

Flabbergasted, I walk over to Rupert and untie him, but he runs off before I can grab his leash. “Wait, come back!” I shriek as I watch him run freely down the street and out of sight. 

As I stare dumbfounded down the road, I hear a deep, raspy voice behind me ask “Are you the one who blew that whistle?” I turn around to see my neighbor’s dog, a big, slow moving black fur ball with white spots, walking towards me. 

Still in shock, I begin to bombard him with questions. “Francis? How are you speaking to me in English? Why are you here?”

Francis sighs, “I am here because you blew that whistle. Every dog in the neighborhood knows the sound of that whistle.”

I look down at the silver dog whistle, then hold it up in front of Francis. “This old thing? I just found this in my yard. ”

“That, my friend, is a magic dog whistle. It gives any human who blows it, the ability to communicate with dogs. We dogs have been waiting for someone to find it.”

“So does that mean that I can understand every dog in the world?” I look back down at the whistle. “How do you know all of this?”

Francis sits in the grass and sighs. Just as he opens his mouth to talk, he picks his head up and looks down the road.

I turn around to see a large group of dogs, led by Rupert, running towards Francis and me. 

“He found it!” one exclaimed.

“I see him! I see him!” another barks. 

Dogs of all colors and sizes fill my yard and crowd around me, many of them roaring in exultation.

Rupert, who’s fighting to stay next to me, shouts out, “Here it is! The whistle!” as he licks my hand wet. When he does, all of the dogs start screaming with triumph. 

After hearing the commotion in the yard, my parents rush outside to see numerous dogs running and hollering. I see their lips start to move as they try to speak to me, but instead of speaking English, they begin barking, just like a dog; as if humans and dogs swapped languages when I blew the whistle. As they are chased back inside the house, I try to fight my way through the crowd of dogs, but am nearly submerged as I trip and fall to my knees.

Suddenly, I feel a strong tug on the back of my leg as a warm, wet, rough object rubs against me. I swiftly turn around to see Francis trying to pull me towards him. He begins to speak to me, but is overpowered by the commotion of dogs. Together, we push ourselves to the edge of the yard where the cool grass calms us down from the racket. “I saw my parents but I couldn’t understand what they were saying. What is happening?”

“The whistle. As I was saying before, when you blow the whistle, you will gain the ability to understand dogs, for the price of not understanding humans. If you want to understand your parents, or any human again, you must destroy the whistle.”

“That’s lame. Is that all the whistle does?”

“Legend has it that if the dogs get hold of that whistle, then the whole species would have the power to take over the world. That means-”

Rupert cuts Francis off as he runs up to me. “If you give us that whistle, we could give you everything you could ever want. We could give you more money than you could spend; more food than you could eat; you would be seen as the most valued friend and ally to us dogs.”

I painfully bite my tongue as I stumble over my words. “Wait – does- does that mean that if I give you the whistle, I won’t be able to speak to mom or dad anymore?” I groan as I look at Francis, then the whistle, then back at Francis. I feel my heart begin to beat faster and my hands break out into a cold sweat. I look around the yard to see every eye staring right at me, waiting for me to make a decision. With uncertainty, I look towards the house and think about mom and dad, and just like that, my mind is made. But I still face the problem of getting rid of all the dogs in the yard? I scan the yard and spot my soccer ball hiding from the mass number of dogs. “There,” I say as I point to the ball. I know exactly what to do. I sneak my way around the crowd and pick up the leash, which is laying between the many paws of running dogs. I scurry to the mailbox as I call for Rupert, trying my best not to fall over. “Rupert! Where are you? Come here boy.” 

“I’m Coming! I’m coming!”

Within seconds, Rupert is sitting in front of me, as if there are no other dogs in the yard. I pull him closer by gently jerking his collar, and tie him to the mailbox. “Stay!” I say as I point to him, even though I know he can’t run away. I push myself to the ball and grab it with all my strength as other dogs are jumping up on me. Once I’m free of anxious dogs, I run to the middle of the road, which extends further than I can see. I place the ball right at my feet and shriek at the top of my lungs, “Dogs, go fetch!” I take two big steps back, and with all my might, I kick the ball down the street and watch as what seems to be every dog in the neighborhood runs past me, some with their tongues hanging out, others cheering. With all dogs out of sight, I walk back to my yard to see Rupert laying down next to the mailbox, but more surprisingly, Francis sitting in the shade of the trees by the side of my yard. I watch him yawn, squint his eyes, and stick his tongue out as he arches his back and stretches, planting his back paws and reaching with his front paws. I was glad he hadn’t run off. 

“Well done kid. Now, you better break that whistle before your parents come back outside.”

I’m looking around the yard for something that could break the whistle when I hear a loud, bellowing sound coming from down the street. I turn to see a small, two door, convertible sports car with two white stripes down the middle speed past me and continue down the road. Instantly, I have an idea and run to the side of the road, where I stand and peek my head left and right looking for oncoming cars. 

“Hurry! Your parents are looking through the window.”

I ignore Francis’s shouts as I watch a big yellow school bus turn the corner to my street. I narrow my eyes on its path and place the whistle in the middle of the road. I hear a loud cracking noise as I run back to stand next to Francis and Rupert. Suddenly, I hear the front door burst open and I hear mom and dad’s voices shriek with worry as they run towards me and wrap their arms around me.

“I can’t believe you’re ok!” My mom exclaims as she places her hands on my cheeks and looks me in my eyes, “what were all those dogs doing?”

Rupert yaps and I think to myself how everything is back to normal. There are no other dogs in the yard. There is no magic whistle. I can understand mom and dad. Everything is perfect.

When mom and dad finally release me from their hug, I see that Francis has comfortably left for his backyard. As they walk back into the house, I untie Rupert and grab hold of his leash. “Let’s go for that walk.”. 

Jojo H. ’29

Anti-Ode to Slush


by: Navika K. ’30

Oh slush, oh slush – 


just a pile of stinky mush.


Nothing good for anything fun,


you will fall on it if you try to run. 


When the only thing outside is slush, it’s a terrible day.


It’s just terrible however you slice it, no matter which way.


Nothing in slush is good. 


I’d rather stay inside and sit by the firewood.


Just a pile of stinky mush,


oh slush, oh slush. 


No Time to Fly

by: Emerson P. ’28


MOM: Mom (very organized and normally on time)

DAD: Dad (tired out, just goes along with what his wife says)

BELLA: Little Sister, Bella (child, sweet, hungry)

JAMES: Older Brother, James (argumentative, understands the situation and wants to be on time)

(Lights up on an airport, with a family standing confused in the middle of people rushing by)


(Pointing while talking) Okay, so we came from there, no there, wait… 


No, we came from the right, Mom. We have to keep going left to gate C.


(sighs) No, James, listen to your mom.


Thank you, now everyone just hold on a moment while I figure this out.


No, I know which way to go. Just listen to me. We-


(tugs on Dad’s arm) Can I get some animal crackers??


In a moment, just let your mom find our gate.(Everyone turns to the mom as she stares intently at a map.)


Okay, everyone, I think…it’s…that way. (points in direction they just came from)


(looks relieved)I agree with that, let’s go everyone.


(smacks forehead) What? No! We just came from that way!


James, trust me, I’ve done this so many times before.


(looks upset) Dad, why are we arguing? I’m hungry.


Don’t worry about it; we’re figuring it out.


(immediately turns to him) What do you mean we’re “figuring it out”!! I have it figured out; James is just being difficult for some reason.


If difficult means right, then yes, I am. You’re horrible with directions; we know this.


Don’t take that tone with me, young man!


We’re running out of time, everyone. The flight boards in 15 minutes.


(tugs on Dad’s arm again) Dad, do you have any animal crackers? I want a snack!


Just hold on a minute, okay? This is really important.


Mom, you’re wrong, and we won’t be able to catch the flight unless you listen to me now! 


Don’t just talk to me; your dad agrees with this too!


Absolutely, 100% agree! (whispers to mom) What am I agreeing with?


See? He doesn’t agree with you! He doesn’t know what you’re talking about!


ENOUGH! You will let me and your dad handle it!


But you’re handling it wrong!


Just listen to your Mom, James.


But security is back THAT WAY. (points desperately) So if we go that way (points in direction again) we’ll be going back the way we came!


(looking extremely upset, on the verge of tears) Dad, I want my animal crackers; I’m so hungry.


This is ridiculous; all of you are ridiculous.




Not you, Bella


(nodding slowly) Oh, ok


We don’t have time for this; the flight leaves really soon. Now, I don’t know about you all, but I want to go on vacation, so why don’t we go to the gate right now and have a chance at actually making the flight.


You can’t tell us what to do; I’m in charge here, and– 




Sorry, I meant to say, we are the ones in charge here, and you just have to trust our judgment.


But I can’t! It’s not trustable!


Well, that sounds like a problem to be dealt with later.


Dad, can we please get some snackies??


Sure, Bella, we can get you some snackies!




Unfortunately, we have to get to the gate to do that.


Don’t start, James —


(gesturing wildly) Which, by the way, is all the way over there!!


Guys, we need to make a decision now if we’re going to be on time.


What?? I’m the parent; you two have to listen to me no matter what.


James, pass me my bag!


Ok! (reaches for bag)


Do you have snacks in that bag?


Maybe, but first let’s look at the map.


 (rolls eyes) Fine.


Well, I guess we can do this. But I’m telling you now, I’ve been right this whole time.




(rummaging through the bag) Hold on, everyone.


Pass me a snack!


(muttering) I swear it was here…


Do you need help, Dad?


Bad news, everyone. I think I threw out the map with the sandwich wrappers from lunch.




(dreamily) Sandwiches…sandwiches…sandwiches.


(hysterical) How could you THROW OUT the map. Our only way of finding the right gate.


I don’t know! I’m so, so sorry everyone.


Listen! If we’re going to have any chance of making this flight, we need to make a decision now! We are taking a vote. All in favor of going towards the planes, the way every other person in this airport is going, say I.




How dare you!


I’m sorry, but I think James is right; we need to go with the crowd.


Fine. I.


Great! Everyone follow me!


You’re grounded once we get home! Honestly, the disrespect these children show!

(Lights out on the family rushing off to the left, in the middle of a crowd of people heading the same way)

Jojo H. ’29

Cracks in the Aquarium

by Sofia M.

“I can’t take this anymore,” Sienna whispered loudly to Aiden, fidgeting impatiently with her hands. Aiden glanced at her, shaking his head in agreement. 

“If I have to hear the aquarist say one more thing about a white-spotted jellyfish, I might just throw myself into the tank with it,” Aiden said, annoyed. The two eighth graders had grown impatient and bored learning about marine animals, cramped up in one section of the huge and lavish aquarium. Aiden and Sienna peeked behind them at the old janitor working hard to leave the marble floor spotless. Both of them scrunched up their noses in disgust. The strong lingering smell of the cleaning products left the two with a bad headache. 

“I have an idea,” mumbled Aiden. “Why don’t we step away from this section of the aquarium and go to another area?” Sienna looked at Aiden doubtfully. 

“I don’t know.” she replied unsure if what Aiden was saying was a good idea.

“I’m bored, and at least we’ll get away from that disgusting smell,” he said, pointing to the shiny floors. 

“You have a point,” nodded Sienna. “How about this” she planned. “We’ll tell the teacher that we both need to go fill up our water bottles upstairs, and instead of that we’ll stay in that hallway over there and then quickly come back.” Aiden gave a thumbs-up. Soon, both thirteen year-olds raised their hands, asked the teacher and walked quickly up the staircase. When Sienna knew that they were out of the teacher’s view, she pulled Aiden to the corner of the aquarium’s hallway. 

“What do we do now?” asked Sienna after a few seconds of silence. Aiden shrugged trying to think of something to do. Suddenly, something caught his eye: a long narrow door with the only distinguishing feature a yellow sign with the words “Restricted Area.” Aiden eyed it carefully.

“Why don’t we check out that room over there?” Aiden said pointing to the door. 

“The sign on the door says ‘Restricted’ though,” said Sienna, confused. 

“Yeah, but that probably means that that exhibition is just being renovated. There’s probably just a bunch of cleaning products that they don’t want anyone touching.”

“How about we just open the door, look around, and if it looks okay, we stay there for a bit.”

“Sounds like a plan” replied Sienna, opening the door and walking in stealthily. Aiden followed silently behind her. A cold gust of wind blew in both teens’ hair. Upon entering the room, the lighting changed from a cheery bright yellow to pitch black with only a small lamp lighting the back of the room. There was a tall, dark glass vivarium, presumably filled with water. On the floor next to the glass there were a lot of tools and materials spread around as if someone just carelessly left it there.  In the corner of the room there was a shelf filled with tools next to a table and two chairs.  On the walls of the room, there were professional paintings of sea animals. 

“This place looks really cool,” said Aiden, taking out his phone from one of his pockets and snapping a few pictures. Both of them lined up with the art and took some selfies. 

“I say we just stay here for the rest of the aquarium trip. When there’s five minutes left, we’ll sneak back in, and if they ask, we’ll say we both got lost heading to get water and ended up in another exhibition.”

“Okay” agreed Sienna plopping herself on one of the chairs and taking out her phone. Aiden followed her sitting on the other side of the table,  taking out his airpods from his pocket. Time passed as Aiden and Sienna sat quietly taking selfies, editing pictures, and posting them. Not too long later, Aiden looked up from his phone and eyed the glass in the room. Sienna watched from her phone as he got up from his seat and walked slowly, stepping over the disaster of a floor and avoiding all of the tools left carelessly on it. Posing next to the camera, he snapped a couple of pictures in front of the glass. 

“Aiden be careful. There’s a lot of sharp materials and pieces of flooring behind you,” warned Sienna, eyeing Aiden. Aiden, with his Airpods in, turned around quickly and was about to go back to his seat when his foot slipped on one of the pieces of flooring. Aiden was pushed backwards, and one of his legs went up as he fell into the glass lining. Sienna’s eyes widened as she jumped from her chair to tend to Aiden. 

“Oh my gosh! Are you okay?” asked Sienna standing over Aiden. Aiden’s hands shook as his heart skipped a beat. He was still leaning on the glass. 

“I-I think I’m okay” Aiden reassured Sienna. She sighed in relief and was about to turn back to her chair when her eyes caught something on Aiden’s sleeve. 

A dark-wet spot. Sienna picked up Aiden’s damp arm, and that’s when she saw it. Aiden’s eyes followed her, and he moved away from the glass quickly. It was a crack, a small one no doubt, but a crack in the glass, and a bit of water was leaking out.  

“Oh, damn it” Aiden gritted his teeth. “We are going to get in so much trouble.” He shook his head.

“Let’s just get this over with.” sighed Sienna walking over to the door to go back and get a staff member to stop the leak. As Sienna twisted the door handle she realized that it wasn’t budging. Thinking it was just stuck a little she used her other hand to try and pry it open. Still no luck.

“It’s…it’s not opening,” Sienna said frustrated, moving the handle of the door back and forth. Moving Sienna to the side, Aiden tried to open the door. But it just would not open.

“Lets just stay calm” Sienna breathed carefully. “Let’s start pounding on the door, maybe someone can hear us.” Both kids knocked on the door, their knocks turning into poundings as time passed. No luck. 

“That’s obviously not working” stated Aiden as the water from the glass pooled onto the floor and around their feet. “Let’s just call the teacher. She gave us all her phone number in case of an emergency.” Sienna showed Aiden that her phone had no battery. Aiden looked at his phone. It was at 2%. Speeding, Aiden found the teacher’s number and called. It rang so many times that both teens lost hope their teacher would answer. Attempting to call again the screen of the phone soon went black. The phone was dead.  

“I guess we just wait until someone notices we’re gone, right?” asked Sienna. Aiden nodded. Going back to their seats to wait, both of them noticed the crack in the glass had gotten bigger, it was spreading. The intensity of the leak was stronger, and both pairs of shoes were now soaked. Aiden went over to the crack, picked up a roll of tape that was sitting on the floor and started taping the glass to try and make the water stop leaking. Sienna joined to try to help him. This seemed to make the water from leaking stop for a few seconds, but the cracks spread to the left of the glass. It was obvious that the tape had only made it worse. Aiden turned back to walk to his seat in defeat but stopped when he heard a loud thud and a piercing scream. Lying on the floor was Sienna, with a large cut below her skirt on her thigh. Blood was oozing out of her leg and was staining her hands as she covered it and cried out in pain. Next to her was a big piece of glass that had fallen. Water was pouring like a faucet unto her. Trying to comfort Sienna and stay calm, Aiden found some pieces of paper towel and wrapped it around her thigh. 

“It’s okay, Sienna. You’re going to be alright.” comforted Aiden, as he tried to get her up on her feet. With tears streaming down her face, she tried to get up but she just couldn’t.

“I- I can’t get up, it hurts too much” cried Sienna, still in pain.  The height of the water reached both teens’ ankles but the water was quickly rising. Panicking, Aiden picked Sienna up and took her to the table. The water kept rising and the glass kept cracking. Trying to think fast, something caught Aiden’s eye. The vent. There was an air vent on the ceiling of the room. The ceiling was too high though. Looking at the chairs, Aiden had a brilliant idea. He would have to act fast because the water was now the height of the chairs. Aiden lifted both chairs to the table and stacked them on top of each other. He grabbed a screwdriver from the table and climbed to the chair on top leaving Sienna on the table. He took the screwdriver and used it on the vent trying to loosen the screws on each side of the vent. Faster and faster he went as the screws fell to the raging pool below. He was on the last 2 screws when he realized that these two were the hardest. For some reason they wouldn’t turn. Using two hands Aiden tried and tried but it wouldn’t work. Looking back down to the ground he saw that the water had Sienna and the wave was taking her to the top of the ceiling. She was choking on water, and her face was scrunched up in pain. Turning back to the vent Aiden pounded the screwdriver into the vent like a hammer. Suddenly one of the screws fell down. Aiden tried the same thing for the last screw but it wasn’t working. He pounded harder and harder. The water was now almost to Aiden, and Sienna was completely under water holding her breath and her leg. Aiden pounded the screws with all his might. Suddenly, looking down into the water the screw slowly fell into the pool of water. It worked! He pulled himself up and looked down waiting for the water to push Sienna up to his grasp. When it was time, he swiftly pulled her up.

“Hold on!” he screamed, pulling her up. With one gust of strength Aiden pulled Sienna up to the vents and they both fell back. Getting on their two legs, they took some breaths but then immediately crawled on both of their hands and legs. Cold, wet, lost, and in pain both of them didn’t know where to go in the vents. It was a maze trying to find which way was the right one to follow to find the rest of their class. 

A gust of wind blew on both of their faces as they turned the corner of the vent. Cleaning supplies! The same smell of the cleaning supplies they had endured before was present. In victory both teens found the right vent. Both of them took turns unscrewing the vent. Below were the heads of every one of their classmates and teacher. As if they hadn’t moved since the two had left, both kids took a deep breath in and out. Two screams of relief filled the building. They were safe now. 

by Sarah S. ’28

Homework is a foul,

putrid beast

I enjoy slaying



I am being productive


I am pouring my mind out into my stories


I am causing problems and finding the answers


I am transported to another world where my problems don’t exist


My head needs a break


Empty rooms

Laughter echoes through the halls

I sit alone


Soaring through the sky

Cities and people

All tiny specks in the distance

Birds chitter and talk to each other

Light as a feather

I fly

My problems far behind


In the aftermath

All is quiet

The clouds have burst and the rain

Has shattered the earth




by Sarah S. ’28

Drifting away

Like a secret lost at sea

Tucked in a bottle



by Sarah S. ’28

A huge gaping chasm

that can never be crossed,

holds infinite,

undiscovered wonders.


Dusty Stars

by Sarah S. ’28

Sunlight streams through my window,

casting shadows

and forming constellations of dust

and stars.


Cracked and Broken

by Sarah S. ’28

Shards splinter,

their edges like knives.

They are beautiful, deadly



Ode to a Snowman

by Ace P. ’27


Oh, to be a snowman!

To stand stalwart in the wild, 

a champion of ice and carrots,

Donning a charming top hat to boot.

While he wears a scarf, he does not feel cold —

He IS the cold.

Oh, to be a snowman,

With ice water in the veins

And unflinching steel in the gut,

Whose only weakness in this world

Is moderately warm weather.


“Hallows’ Eve”

by Raine L. ’29

Red, orange, yellow

Black and white, purple colors

Mark the Hallows’ Eve


Dressed in a costume

Picked up my trick-or-treat bag

It is Hallows’ Eve


Pumpkins by the road

Stickers on the neighbors’ doors

It is Hallows’ Eve


Eerie music plays

Kids take a lot of candy

It is Hallows’ Eve


Children jump with fright

At terrifying balloons

It is Hallows’ Eve


Moms silence their kids

Tell them to take less candy

It is Hallows’ Eve


Cackles pierce the air

From automated statues

It is Hallows’ Eve


Kids eat their candy

Parents tell them to stop it

It is Hallows’ Eve


“Trick or Treat”

by Raine L. ’29


Every Halloween

Children go from house to house

“Trick-or-treat!” they say.


They come for candy

In costumes and with buckets

To fill up with treats.


Now it’s tradition

To trick or treat every year,

Every Halloween.

“Creepy Stickers”

by Raine L. ’29


I love the spider

The cat, witch, ghost, falling leaves

Blighted as they are


Their stares like daggers

How, when they are stickers, and

colored in brightly.


Their eyes follow me

Watching every step I take

Such creepy stickers!


“Creepy Pumpkin Man”

by Raine L. ’29


A head that’s orange

Sharp teeth, a cloak that’s green, makes

Creepy Pumpkin Man


Walking down the street

Smiling a creepy smile, is

Creepy Pumpkin Man


Striding up to you

Malignant eyes staring, it’s 

Creepy Pumpkin Man


Looking really mean

Also kind of angry, is

Creepy Pumpkin Man


Reaching for your neck

With orange, clawed fingers, is

Creepy Pumpkin Man


You stand paralyzed

Then, all of a sudden, scream,

“Creepy Pumpkin Man!”


“Scary and Creepy”

by Raine L. ’29


Scary and Creepy

Are not the same, you know

There is a difference


Scary gives a scare

Creepy is unsettling, but

doesn’t stop the heart



by Raine L. ’29


Haikus are awesome!

There’s 17 syllables!

Wait, Mom, I’m writing!


Okay, Mom’s gone now…

Like I said, haikus are great!

Hey, that pen is mine!


I got my pen back!

I’m writing more haikus now!

And-Ahhh! A spider!


“Halloween Sales”

by Raine L. ’29


Before Halloween

They sell so many odd things

And candy, of course!


There’s decorations

Pumpkins, stickers, air-filled things…

Things for peoples’ lawns.


There are themed pencils, 

Water bottles, soda,

And, of course, costumes.


They have colored lights,

Fake spiders, cats, ghosts, witches,

Trick-or-treating bags.


Some things are creepy

Towering air-filled statues

With creepy screeches.


They are everywhere

Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Costco

Advertised so much


They’re sold in August

All the way through November

Cheap in October


“Halloween Movies”

by Raine L. ’29


So many movies

Made scary for Halloween

For kids and adults


Some are kid-friendly

Others are for ‘big people’

And there’s some for both


“After Halloween”

by Raine L. ’29


All Halloweens end

After each and every one, 

It’s quite eventful.


Kids eat their candy

Parents tell them to slow down

Because they have lots.


Costumes cast away

Decorations put aside

After Halloween


Everything changes

Stores get ready for Christmas

Life becomes normal


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The Arrow Online 2023 – Post #5

Hello! So excited for the 2023 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Arts & Literature Magazine!!!

Stay tuned for more posts to come over the next few weeks and then keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon.

Here’s our latest post of 2023 student work:

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The Arrow Online 2023 – Post #4

Hello! So excited for the 2023 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Arts & Literature Magazine!!!

Stay tuned for more posts to come over the next few weeks and then keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon.

Here’s our latest post of 2023 student work:

Torii, alone

by: Anya M. ’29

…I am alone

I oversee the gorgeous mountain path

I see thousands of people almost every day

And yet, I am still alone

Tourists come walk along the path

They seek the beloved shinto temple

My wood no longer is red, but brown

I no longer smell of the old Niwaki tree

Instead, there is an irresistible musty stench.

I am dull, and lifeless

I see no sunlight, only darkness

The dense forest and treetops cover the beloved sky. 

Remembering looking up at the heavens when I was just newly made

Feelings of pure wonder and curiosity

Why have those things gone away?

I have no reason to exist now

I am tired of looking at the same path. Over and over again.

The morning dew’s scent is fresh. I smell it day after day

I am tired of the constant repetitions

I spot new faces daily, my perception of time changes

Except one elderly man, who cares for me deeply

He scrubs the dirt off my long legs

Stains that have lasted thousands of years

He usually comes often.

I appreciate him.

But he hasn’t come in a while

And now, once again…

…I am alone


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The Arrow Online 2023 – Post #3

Hello! So excited for the 2023 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Arts & Literature Magazine!!!

Stay tuned for more posts to come over the next few weeks and then keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon.

Here’s our latest post of 2023 student work:

Emma M. ’29

Halloween Haiku

by: Annabelle R. ’29

on halloween eve

apple bobbing with grandma

false teeth on apple 

Emma M. ’29

Navon R. ’30

Like a Bird, I Fly

by: Catherine S. ’30

     The crisp wind I glide in is the current throughout life. When I take off, I feel like a plane soaring through the air, and it makes me feel empowered with hope and positivity. Like a bird, I fly down below brushing the sapphires that are the water and my dreams. Like a bird, I fly into the plants that drizzle me and my feathers in dew particles that are the thousands of memories in my life. Like a bird, I fly into my wonders and wishes that are big and fluffy like the snow-white clouds. Like a bird, I WILL fly up to the stars and won’t come down, not for anything.

Emma F. ’30

Alberto P. ’27


by: Evelyn W. ’28

The house is empty, 

but what is that creaking noise?

I’m not home alone.

Mai M. ’27

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The Arrow Online 2023 – Post #2

Hello! So excited for the 2023 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Arts & Literature Magazine!!!

Stay tuned for more posts to come over the next few weeks and then keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon.

Here’s our latest post of 2023 student work:

Sophie K. ’27


by Zoe S. ’28

     Character Breakdown

Sadie- 14, short-tempered, sassy, dramatic   Eva- 10, Annoying, curious Mom- 46, Kind, stern

(Lights up on Sadie storming in through the door, walking straight to the cabinets full of food)


(Eva working on homework on the table next to the kitchen)


(No response from Sadie)





STOP!!!! I’m not in the mood.


What, did you lose your soccer game?


Yes, in fact I did.(Silence for 10 long seconds)Well, aren’t you going to say something?


No… Why? Was I supposed to say sorry or something?


Oh my gosssssshhhhhhh. I don’t want to talk to you right now.





(1 minute passes)

Ugh. I can’t find it.

(Sadie still looking around in the cabinet)

EVA: Really, one minute? Come on Sadie.(Eva sighs)What are you looking for?

SADIE: Lucky Charms of course, why else would I be here?  

EVA: I don’t know.

SADIE: I am really craving cereal and marshmallows.(Sadie going on to the last cabinet)

SADIE: Ooo, jackpot!(throwing snacks more harshly onto the ground)

EVA: Wait!!!!!

SADIE: What?

EVA: That’s my favorite cereal! Could you give it to me? Mom got it for me yesterday.

SADIE: I knew it! I knew it! You are mom’s favorite child. She gets anything for you even if you are mean in any way! I just knew it!(throwing the cereal, hits Eva’s head)

EVA: Ouch! You physically hurt me and emotionally hurt me. I have feelings you know!

SADIE: No, you don’t.

EVA: You’re so mean! And why do you need Lucky Charms?!! Why can’t you just buy them separately?!!!!

SADIE: Because I don’t want to. Geeze. They are perfect together. Also for your information, I am not mean; I just tell the truth!

Eva: No you don’t! You don’t! You’re the worst. You know that? You’re the WORST!! I don’t get why it has to be Lucky Charms?! Why can’t you just get marshmallows and put it into another cereal?

SADIE:(Getting angrier)It’s NOT the same! You’re the youngest; you get everything that you want. I am annoyed by you. YOU are annoying!

EVA: I am NOT annoying, ok?! I am sorry that it is so hard for you to find your stupid cereal, for your stupid game. And for the last time, I AM NOT ANNOYING!

SADIE: YOU did NOT just say that! YOU THINK YOU’RE NICE?! Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re not.(She runs upstairs as Mom walks in through the door)

MOM: Hi! I’m home!

EVA: (mumbling)Hi Mom. 

MOM: What’s wrong?

EVA: Nothinggg.

MOM: I came back from the grocery store…

EVA: Cool.

MOM: Hey, where’s your sister?

EVA: Upstairs. 

MOM: Can you tell her to come down?

EVA: She’s busy.  

MOM: Evaah…

EVA: Fine.(Shouting up the stairs) SADIE, MOM WANTS TO SEE YOU!!(No response from Sadie)

MOM: Eva, could you go to your room? I’ve got to talk to Sadie for a minute.

EVA: Sure.(EVA runs up the stairs, and Sadie comes down)

MOM: Hi…


MOM: What’s wrong?


Nothing…It’s just that I feel like Eva gets anything she wants, and I’m just there, invisible.

MOM: Oh, come on. Is this really what it is all about?! Sadie, that’s ridiculous. You know that I love everyone equally.

SADIE: Yeah, yeah, I know.

MOM: Come on, let’s go get you Lucky Charms.

SADIE: Wait, how did you know I wanted Lucky Charms?

MOM: I’m a mother; what can I say?(Lights out on Sadie and Mom putting their shoes on)

Kate F. ’30







by: Johanna H. ’29


The fluffy clouds, 

providing rain 


that keeps us 

from droughts. 












and sleet. 


Sun clears 

my soul. 

Sophie P. ’30


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Arrow Online 2023 – Post #2

Welcome to the 2023 Arrow Online!!!

Hello! So excited for the first post of the 2023 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Arts & Literature Magazine!!!

Stay tuned for more posts to come over the next few weeks and then keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon.

Here’s our first student work: drumroooolllll please!!!

Nick F. ’28

                                                                                                                                                          Short Fiction Project

by Olivia H. ’27                                                                

The lemonade-yellow house glares at me just the way Aunt Minnie used to. The red roof is Aunt Minnie’s hair, the same shade as mine. The candy-apple-red door is her stuck-out tongue, mocking me. I take a deep breath as I look at it. This is the last time I’ll go in. New owners move in next week, and the house is almost completely cleared of Aunt Minnie’s things. This is the last time I’ll have to step into this mothball-ridden depth of Tartarus. I walk up the cement steps, eying the spongy green mold growing in the cracks. Why any person would want this dump is beyond me. I unlock the front door and walk straight down the hall. No need to look around; I already know what I’ll see – an empty living room to the left, a bare kitchen to the right. Six months spent cleaning this place. All alone. All alone except for the ghosts of the past, and God knows I don’t want to see them again. But that all ends today, I remind myself as I climb the rickety stairs at the back of the house. I reach the top and enter the bedroom at the end of the hallway. Neatly labeled boxes line the wall under white squares of paint saved from the monotonous nicotine gray of the rest of the room by pictures of the countryside, which I’ve already taken down and put into several large boxes labeled “Goodwill.” It took forever to stack them all. Aunt Minnie always had a thing for art. On the other side of the room is the closet. I walk over and open the door. An avalanche of dusty garments rolls to the floor. I sigh. Great. Just great.

I kneel down, pulling out my phone and my earphones from my backpack. I gently push back my hair and twist the buds in. I pick up my phone and open the NBC app. The news anchorwoman, Sally Cormic, provides me with my only company these many Sundays I’ve spent in this house, cleaning up a dead woman’s mess. I space out as I ruefully remember the day my family refused to help to do this last job. Like me, they have bad memories of Aunt Minnie, but I’d say that I have it worse. However, ever the dutiful one, I’ve come to complete this last favor. After all, someone had to. Sally is talking about some stolen artwork. Some Van Gogh portrait. Art isn’t really my thing. I tend to curate more historically-centered pieces for the Madison History Museum. This train of thought reminds me of a piece I’ve been trying to obtain. The stubborn MET doesn’t want to let go of it.  I pick up a red scarf and see a light at the end of the tunnel, a bit of wooden floor. I notice an odd crack in the wood. I knock on the floorboard and an echo bounces back. A hidden compartment.

I pry open the loose floorboard and find an old, beaten shoebox. Something exciting? It could be money! It could be hordes of silver and gold coins… from the Roman era! Yes! Those would be great on display at the museum! I open the shoebox, my heart full of hope, and I see… a key. How disappointing. I pick it up. On one side I make out a small Yorkie dog. The Westy storage company sign. I flip it over. “#308.” This is a storage unit key. I groan. Another thing to clean out. The key is as bumpy as the diorama of the Himalayas at the museum and rusty as the leaky pipe out front, which is to say, old. Who knows what kind of junk has piled up in the unit over the years?

I walk across the parking lot at Westy. That is, the second one which I’ve visited today. I had assumed that the key would belong to a unit at the Westy in Jerryville, Wisconsin. It’s nearest to Aunt Minnie’s home. But curiously, there was no storage unit #308 there. I am now in Madison, a full hour away. I live in Madison for my work, but why would Aunt Minnie rent a unit here instead of in her hometown? Reaching the door, I pull it open. A security guard is reclining in an office chair, his cap pulled over his eyes. A faint droning sound exudes rhythmically from beneath the hat.

“Heavens to Betsy!” he exclaims, startled. My footsteps must have woken him up. He quickly pulls his cap back onto his head. He sees me and smiles.

“Howdy, Ms. Lawrence,” he calls chipperly in his Texan drawl. I stop, unsure of what to say. 

“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid you might have the wrong person,” I offer. “My name is Camilla. Camilla Mazzala.” The security guard rises. It’s a slow process. He plants his hands on the armrests and shakily pushes himself up. He stretches out his back and walks over. His name tag reads, “Frank.”

“My mistake, Ms. Mazzala,” he says. “It’s just you look very similar to a Ms. Lawrence who often passes through.”

“Really?” I ask, “Usually I find that my red hair really sets me apart from other people.”

“Actually, darlin’, that’s what made me think you were Ms. Lawrence. Although, she usually has a red hat coverin’ her eyes and face. Anyhow, what brings you here, peach?”

“I’m here for unit 308,” I say.

“That’s just over yonder,” Frank explains as he points to the right.

“Alright, thank you.” I start walking the way he was pointing.

“Anytime, darlin’!” he calls as he gets back in his chair and covers his eyes with his hat again.

I unlock unit 308. “Maybe something interesting could be in here,” I tell myself as I start to open the door. “Maybe the boring box was just a guise. Afterall, why would she have hidden the key if it was just a bunch of boring junk?” A bunch of boring junk. That’s what the room is filled with. A mess, like the rest of Aunt Minnie’s things. I walk further into the unit, disappointed. Nothing. The boxes are filled with the same random assortment of items as her house. Just a boring, average, uninteresting storage unit.

I lock the door to unit 308, defeated. Another thing that I need to clean up for Aunt Minnie. She never did anything for me, but here I am dedicating so much time to wrapping up her life. I sigh. The key gets jammed in the lock, and I pull at it until it flies out onto the ground. I bend down to pick it up, tightly gripping it so that it can’t slip out of my grasp again. I open my backpack and drop it in. My palm stings. I bring it up to my face to inspect the imprint which the key left. It almost looks like a number. I turn my hand to see the print at a different angle, and find I was right. However, it isn’t just one number, but two. It reads ‘308+307.’ I look up. 307 is adjacent to 308. This time, I don’t get my hopes up. By now I know that there was nothing interesting or mysterious about Aunt Minnie. She was just a mean, middle-aged woman who drowned and is gone. Gone forever. I probably just didn’t see the ‘307’ because of how misshapen and rusty the key is. This is probably just an overflow unit that Aunt Minnie owned. I walk over to the door of unit 307 and unlock it, expecting to find just another room full of junk. Inside, I find some old pieces of art. Just some excess stuff that couldn’t fit in the last unit. I walk closer and look at one of the paintings. It’s actually pretty good. It has a man with orange hair, and it kind of reminds me of that famous one of the night. “What’s it called?” I ask myself. I grin proudly as I remember. “Starry Night! Vincent Van Gogh painted that!” I pause. Wasn’t a self portrait of his stolen this morning? I reach out to touch the painting. Surely this is a mistake. This is just a copy of the famous painting. Aunt Minnie did have a lot of paintings hanging in her house. She was an art lover. Yes. That makes total sense. My finger grazes the painting. It’s bumpy; real paint. There is no denying it. This is no copy. This is the Van Gogh portrait which was stolen this morning.

The police arrived a few minutes ago. Detective Sofia, a lanky young blonde woman, approaches me.

 “Ms. Mazzala, did your aunt, the owner of this unit, have a history of stealing?” she asks.

“Not that I’m aware of. And she couldn’t have stolen such important things without anyone in my family knowing,” I respond.

“Then why is there priceless stolen artwork in a storage unit owned by her?” she implores.

It’s a good question, but I don’t want to get too involved with the police or with memories of Aunt Minnie. I just want to return these paintings and move on with my life. “My aunt is dead. She has been since May. How could she have stolen an art piece this morning?” The detective purses her lips and contemplates for a moment.

“Are you sure that she’s dead?” she asks.

“Excuse me? Yes, my aunt is dead! She drowned in May, as I told you before.” I say, trying but failing to stay calm.

“Did they ever find the body?”

“No. She drowned in the ocean, and her body got swept away. But I promise you that my aunt is very, very, dead. And I would appreciate it if you would stop accusing me otherwise.”

“My apologies, Ms. Mazzala. I didn’t mean to offend you.”

“Yeah, well, it’s a little late for that.”

 “I’m going back to the station. I want to see if I can dig up any dirt on possible suspects. The rest of the officers will be out in the next few minutes.”

“Alright,” I say ruefully. The detective walks away. How dare she, questioning the deadness of my aunt. Of course she’s dead. Right?

I watch the last of the policemen leave, my arms crossed. I sigh as I look into the now empty unit 307. I lock it. As much as I say I don’t like my aunt, she did take me in as a kid. When my mom was sick, about to die sick, I lived with my aunt for a year. She took good care of me. Made me my own bedroom in her house. That was the first room I packed up after she died. After my mom passed, my dad couldn’t keep it together. My aunt thought that he “wasn’t a stable parent.” She took me away from him. Even though he sometimes forgot to feed me, came home late each night smelling of whisky, I loved my dad. I wanted to be there to help him, for us to go through this together. But Aunt Minnie took me away from him. I never forgave her. I walk over to unit 308. The police snooped around in there too, so I have to relock it. I take one last peek inside and see a box labeled “Lilith.” Lilith. That’s the name my aunt used to call me. She always told me how my hair looked just like the girl in the Lady Lilith painting. She started calling me Lilith as a joke when I lived with her. I walk over and gently open the flaps of the box. It’s filled with pictures. Pictures of me, riding a tricycle as a chubby toddler, holding up a perfect test, my face wired with braces. I start to cry.

I step out of the bathroom. I was in there for a while, reliving memories of Aunt Minnie. Contrary to my normal, not all of them were bad. I’m ready to go home. I can’t be here anymore, in this place that brings me such mixed emotions about my aunt. Before today I knew. I didn’t like her. No, I disdained her. Now I’m not so sure. I walk back to my aunt’s units. I make sure unit 308 is locked. It is. I already locked 307, but I check, just to make sure. Instead of staying firm as I expect, the door opens.

I gasp. Inside sits the painting of Lady Lilith. I touch it. Not the copy. Next to the painting is a pair of red glasses. I walk behind the painting. Nestled into the frame is a stop sign. This is a message. I hear it loud and clear. “Stop looking, Lilith.” My aunt is alive.

I speed towards the exit, my hands in my coat pockets.

“Camilla? When did you come back in?” Frank asks in an annoyingly amiable voice.

“Sorry, Frank. I can’t talk now,” I reply angrily. I need to get out of here.

“That’s what you said a few minutes ago. You walked out of here madder than a wet hen.”

“What do you mean I was in here a few minutes ago? I was here the whole time!” I ask, fed up.

“I’m sorry, Ms. Mazzala. Sometimes I get confused. I reckon it comes with the wrinkles,” he apologizes. I huff under my breath and exit.

“Bye, Camilla!” Frank calls. I lift one arm in salute. I speed across the parking lot, looking at the ground. How could she be alive? How could she pretend to die? What is happening? I bump into someone. “Excuse me,” I say. The woman, wearing a bright red hat, nods and waves her hand in forgiveness. I keep walking. Could it just be a coincidence? If she is alive, where could she be? She couldn’t have gotten far, I wasn’t in the bathroom that long. Besides, with the red hat Frank was talking about, she should be easy to… Realization dawns on me. I turn around, but Aunt Minnie is gone.

Delilah M. ’30

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Welcome to the 2022 Arrow Online!!!

Welcome to the 2022 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Literary & Arts Magazine.

Thank you to all the students who submitted their creative work! 

Pick up your copy in the middle school!

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Welcome to the 2022 Arrow Online!!!

Hello! Welcome to the 2022 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Literary & Arts Magazine.

Thank you to all the students who submitted their creative work! 

Keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon to a middle school near you.

Skylar v. ’26


by: Sarah S. ’28


A twinkling star in a sea of darkness

Lighting up the night.

Shining bright for all who need my glow.

Through rain or snow I stand strong

Day after day.

I flicker and fade

But never go out.

Harlo N. ’27

The following photos all by: Zihou D. ’29 – select an image to view larger


by: Lola F. ’26

I jump in the water.

The gutters overflow.

Then, an ice-cold sensation runs through my body

as the water splashes my face.

I start kicking;

it doesn’t take long for my legs to start burning, 

and the freezing cold to turn into intense heat.


I spend

day after day,

practice after practice,

every single yard



and letting the water gracefully flow around my body,

not through it.


Years of practice for one race,

standing on the blocks,

my hands begin to shake. 

The whistle blows.

I push off the blocks.

Then the adrenaline kicks in.

Before I can think, my hands fly over my head, 

and I hear the beat of my own kick.

Seconds go by,

but it feels like hours.

My hand finally touches the pad.

I can barely hear the shouting over my own heart.

The joy slips away as I look at the board —

another time worse than the last,

another waste

when I thought I had the

right pace. 

I keep trying, but to no avail.

You can’t say “bad race”

or “I made a mistake.”

Just rinse and repeat;

Say you can’t be beat.

That’s it

there’s nothing else to it. 


Kalin H. ’26

My Aunt’s Apartment, an excerpt

by: Madison C. ’26

Selena’s discography was the soundtrack to my aunt’s apartment. It was a sound so melodious that even as a child I became an instant fan, shouting along in my scratchy little- kid voice to “Como La Flor. There was always something being made in her house. There was a constant smell of something cooking, baking or being given life within these walls. As I peered into the doorway and looked over at my beautiful aunt with her dark brown skin watering the discos para empanadas, delicately filling them with beef and shredded cheese, I shuttered with the excitement of learning to put the perfect amount of love into my empanadas like that. 

Evelyn W. ’28

Six Ways of Seeing Cabins

by: Mia S. ’28

  1. The best way of staying out. 

Bunk beds line the wall.


excited and nervous

in this new environment.

Warm pillows like a hug,

a new form of living. 


2.Comfy homes, connected to nature.

Nature itself tangling around you like the leash of a playful puppy,

wildlife never closer.

The exact definition of mornings of hiking to the windy mountain-top,

looking for the hues of green and blues bordering the star-speckled sky

known as the aurora.

The bright reds and oranges of the sound of laughter

ringing throughout the cabin,

and hot chocolate by the

raging bonfire,

laughing as the marshmallow begins to melt.


3. Brilliant and new, having a sort of uniqueness.

A new way of staying out,


before the trip to Iceland.

A way that feels old

but new at the same time.


4. A dump.

A place where

no human

should live.

Disastrous and

a quiet sight.


5. Majestic and tall,

stands straight like a champion.

A fashionable way

of living.


6. Staring over the hills, forgotten

after only a night.

Sitting, waiting, for the next crowd of tourists to


William S. ’28

Heshikiri Hasebe, the blade of the Oda Nobunaga, Demon King of The Sixth-Heaven  

by: Noah H. ’28


I am Heshikiri Hasebe,

the katana of Oda Nobunaga,

Demon King of the Sixth Heaven.


I am a weapon of victory, 

striking down my opponents with swift precision,

a tool of death, striking fear into those who challenge me.

I am proud.


I am also scarred,

for I have seen the twisted sight of war,

heard the sad whales for mercy, 

and smelled blood and hate,  

mixing into the rotten stench of death.  


The bodies of loyal soldiers lay on the ground of the battlefield,

each carrying their own wounds,

physically, and mentally 

some praying, 

some saluting their lords, 


but all, carrying a dark look in their eyes, 

a look of nobility and pride, 

but also regret and sadness.


I know this feeling…

No…I am the cause of this feeling,

for I am the demon blade.

I am…Heshikiri Hasebe!

Jonah G. ’27


by: Pippa G. ’28


Halloween is here,

and you can feel the fear

as the kids walk down the block

the screams are very clear

with haunted houses and trick or treating

Halloween is a blast

but be careful, it can pass very fast

from ghouls to ghosts

monsters to mummies

creatures lurk in the dark

if you listen very carefully

you can hear the werewolves howl and bark

as the children go to their houses

with buckets full of candy

the real monsters come out of hiding 

and have a little party. 

Jake N. ’26

 A Flow of Roses 

by: Saifan M. ’28

    Chapter 1

I am Isabel. It was a sunny day for me to be born. There was not a cloud in the sky and the animals were singing songs and more songs in the bright sunlight. You might know my parents, Poseidon and Aphrodite, but this is not their story. This is mine, so let’s dive in. I was a little girl born on the fifth of May. It was a lovely day when I was born. My parents knew what my powers would be when I was born. The most beautiful flowers in all of Enchantia merged to create a bed for me to lie in.  Enchantia is located in ocean lands a bit down from Greece; only gods, goddesses, or heroes can see it. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful place in the world with waterfalls in the skies and oceans running for miles. It’s one of Enchantia’s most beautiful places. You should really go and visit it; wait, never mind, you can’t. Ummmm so what was I talking about? Oh ya, so after we knew what my power would be, we started to help control and understand my power.

 We practiced my powers. I was breaking the practice dummies with roses. I didn’t even know I could do that. I was breaking dummies so that I can practice for Superhero School or the School of Gods and Goddesses. I call it the School of Gods and Goddesses. I have always wanted to go there. I heard it was really cool. It was at the age of 18 that I got a letter saying that I would be attending the School of Gods and Goddesses of Encanhtia. I was so happy, I was jumping with joy in the sky and making a rose world in my meditation garden. I have a meditation garden to control my powers, just in case my emotions get a hold of me. After I told my parents, I started to pack even though school started in three weeks. I was just so excited that every time we had dinner random flowers would rise from the table because I was so happy. In my defense, I was only 18 and could not really control my powers that much. After we found this news, my dad and I started practicing. He thought I was ready, so we tried. Let’s say that it didn’t go so well, and after two minutes, I was drenched in water. It was not appealing. The next day, I was so close to beating him. I learned this new move to beat my dad, but I didn’t do it very well. The move was to create a vine that wrapped onto his leg and arm that would flip him over and hit him in his stomach, but I hit the arm, missed the leg and flipped him, and missed the ending rose hit. So, it did not go well, but I was learning and improving for school. 

Before I knew it, it was time to leave for school. I was so happy, my face lit up like the sun was in me.  After a little while, we were at the school. I read the name once more to appease myself School of Gods and Goddesses of Enchantia. I couldn’t believe it was time I say my goodbyes and walk into the school, not knowing what I would find or what would happen. I turned back to say my last goodbye, and I saw my family was already gone. All I saw was an indistinct sea of people coming into the school. I didn’t know where they went. I tried to leave the building, but after trying and trying, I finally fell to the floor.

When I woke up, I saw other kids with me in a large bed in a bright white room that looked like it stretched for miles. Some of the other kids were awake but some of the other kids were asleep. I looked around to find something that can help me get out of here. After a while, all the kids are awake, and the chains on us had been released. I had never been in chains, and I did not like it. My hands were cramping so much that I could barely feel my hands. A few seconds later, a big voice from a television starts to talk to me, startling us all.

Keira P. ’26

The Red Codex

A Brief Recollection of the History of the Crimson Union,

as transcribed by Albertus the Swift-Handed

by: Ace P. ’27

Chapter, the First:

The Islands Crimson, located some ways northwest of what is now known as Australia, were twice blessed. Firstly, the archipelago was blessed with bountiful natural resources. The constant rainfall enabled a lush natural environment to flourish upon the land. There could be found a diversity of flora and fauna in this, a land of warmth and beauty. The bounties of the land were matched in whole by those of the sea surrounding the islands, wherein aquatic life flourished and there could be found a plentiful reef. Below the ground, copious reserves of iron and other valuable materials were buried by giants of earth long gone. These were islands filled with life, with plenty, with potential. It is here that we come to their second blessing: the population.

There cannot be found a soul alive that knows from just where the Crimson People first sailed, nor when or why they left. Inference can tell to us that they migrated from one of the less glorious nations of what is presently known as the Australian continent.  We lack evidence of interaction between the Crimson People and other peoples during this period, so it can further be inferred that they remained in solitude on these islands.  

Dominating the northern part of the centermost islands existed the Albertuns. Maxwaldean Men. United Peoples of Kesh. Gabrielluns   

Sarah R. ’26


by: Will S. ’28



Sitting on the side 

of a chatty river bank.

Watching curious natives,

Seeing ships land on the coast.



Stands tall.

As the natives

Are stripped of their rights.



Laying in a healing hut,

As more and more get infected.

Diseases as painful as burns.



In a tent.

Hearing the sharp screeches

of genocide.



Watching others die.

From the bloody taste

of tainted water.




In a dry river bed.

The sour sight of it,




The last item remaining 

of the indigenous peoples.

Kareena P. ’26

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Welcome to the 2022 Arrow Online!!!

Hello! Welcome to the 2022 Arrow – Hackley Middle School’s Arts & Literature Magazine. Stay tuned for more posts to come over the next few weeks and then keep an eye out for the hardcopy, published version coming soon.

A Few Monologues:

Mother’s Day Plans

by: Calliope Y. ’26

(Lights up on the family living room. We see Jimmy, 11 years old  pacing the room with a clipboard in hand. He speaks to his siblings who are all older than 15 and his dad.)

JIMMY: Come hither my family other than Mom. We have VERY important things to talk about. I wanted to start this meeting as soon as Mom left but, of course my brother Josh could not get out of bed and just yelled “Jimmy whyyyyy”. So I dragged him down the stairs. Finally we are all here. And by here I mean this nice and pink living room that Mom decorated. Thank you for coming into my office. Now, we need to make a plan for Mother’s Day. It’s tomorrow people get ready. I know it’s late but we need to get the best present for our glorious mother. First we need to brainstorm gifts: collage, paintings, teddy bears….. I got nothing, people give me some ideas. (pause) No Derek we can not buy mom a diamond ring! You think we have that kind of money. Get your head in the game. Maybe we can give her breakfast in bed to start the day tomorrow. Maybe some pancake or waffle action. Jerry, since you have not said one word, you can have the pleasure of making and delivering the breakfast. Then, Dad, I need you to drive me somewhere, ANYWHERE. Actually Michael’s would be preferable. I need some Elmer’s glue, tissue paper, and a LARGE amount of markers. I will make Mom a collage. Ya that’s a good idea right. (pause. He waits for an answer. NOTHING.) Oh my gosh it’s like talking to a wall. Ok I’m off to my room, I need to sketch this out. Nice talk, tomorrow is all about Mom. BE AMAZING, the real work starts tomorrow.

My Christmas List

by: Leila I. ’27

(Lights up on a 10 year old girl named Athy, dressed in all Christmas patterned clothing and prancing back and forth through the living room, talking to herself.) 

Ohhhh my gosh!!! It’s almost here; it’s almost Christmas!! (Pause. She scans the room.) Wait a minute! I’m so unprepared! Where did I put the cookies? The MILK? Are there enough ornaments on the tree? Oh no, no, NO! I have to fix everything! I have to be ready! (Deep breath) Calm down Athy, calm down. You are prepared; you’re fine. (Beat) Hmm… (Beat) Let me count the gifts and make sure I have everything nicely wrapped for my family. (Pause) There’s Mom’s…. Ohhhhhhh yeah…she’s gonna LOVE the broom; it’s perfect for cleaning the house. OH! And Dad’s! I got him the coolest buckle ever, with sparkly gold and silver gems I made personally! Hmm, and Jeremy’s gift is the best thing I could think of. It came from (Puts a hand on chest) the heart…  PERFUME! (Sarcastically) Finally, he’ll actually be bearable to be around… ugh… I get nightmares just thinking about how awful his room smells. (Serious tone, hand goes back down to her side). OKAY!, so all the gifts are ready and wrapped up. I’ll put them under the tree before I go to bed. I’m sure everyone will love them. But what about the other preparations?! For Santa?! (Stops pacing in the middle of the room, looking around) The stockings are all hung up, EVEN decorated with large, sparkling and shiny name tags (muttering) in case Santa can’t see too well (Back to regular pitch), and nice and ready to be filled to the brim with candy! (In a daze) Oh yeah… it’s gonna taste sooooo yummy! (Shakes head and is knocked out of daze) Hmm, what else… The absolutely delectable, made-from-scratch cookies (Whispering) that I may have eaten one of (Regular pitch) are placed nicely AND conveniently beside the tree with a mug of warm milk. So why do I feel like I’m missing something?! Everything’s here… (Silence, as she thoroughly scans the room for 15 seconds, then, panicked) OH NO!!! I FORGOT THE CARROTS FOR RUDOLPH!! 

Late Night Ninjas 

by: Nora H. ’27

(Lights up on a costume shop late at night. James pacing through the numerous aisles with mom trailing behind.)

Ok, Mom, I need something great! Something big, SPECTACULAR. This is my first Halloween as a middle-schooler, and I need a good costume. (pause) Yes, Mom I know it’s late but 10 more minutes, pleaseeeeee. (muttering) What should I get, what should I get…. Oh look at this one! It’s a ninja costume with a sword and everything! And yes, I can bring a fake sword to school.  (annoyed) Seriously, come on, Mom. You think I’m gonna go around poking people with plastic? Focus. There are so many options here, and Halloween is only a week away, so we need to pick up the pace…. MOM! Where did you go!? (James runs around the shop and finds his mom in the kid’s section.) Mom, Jake already has his costume; we don’t need to be in the 8 and under section. (pause) No absolutely not. There is no way I am not being a puppy for Halloween. I’m going to trick or treat with ALL my friends. I don’t want them to see me in a fluffy onesie. Let’s go back to my section. The store is closing soon. (James and his mom both walk back to the older section.) Oh my, there are so many options, I don’t know what to choose from. (pause) Yes, yes, I know I’ve been over here multiple times, but every time I come over here there are more and more costumes being added; it’s like an infinite loop. And yes, before you say anything, I knowwww the store is closing. Just let me look for a few more minutes. (James looks at the clock anxiously; it reads 9:28 pm.) Ok, ok, ok, we have two minutes. Let’s go. Come on, let’s buy the ninja costume. We can always return it. (James and his mom walk up to the front of the store.) Yes, I would like to buy this costume please. (pause) What do you mean? It’s non-refundable! What if I don’t like it!? What if I want a different costume!?  (James and the man at the desk have a brief staring contest.) Oh well, ok, let’s buy this. I wanna go home. Shopping for costumes is stressful. 

The Magnificence of Hannukah

by: Zion B. ’26

Lights up on Miriam, a very descriptive fifth-grader, in her baby brother Bart’s, nursery, crouching by a changing table daydreaming instead of changing diapers. 

Miriam: Oh Bart, my little baby brother, you’re the only one in this family who listens to me, but mostly because you can’t leave when I’m talking, or at least until you can crawl. I can’t wait for Hannukah; it’s one of the best feelings on this planet: the hot wax dripping from the colorful array of candles, the smell of fire wafting through the air, the flames flicker through the night as other traditions take place. Mom and Dad grab me by my hands, and we dance around singing about run-away latkes and the Maccabees. They were the soldiers who had oil issues, I guess. When our singing is done, we fill our bellies with potato pancakes slathered in apple sauce, the jelly donuts hiding on the counter in the kitchen. I’m not a big fan of jelly, so Mom always buys some without it. When the meal is done, and the cleaning has been finished, the table is cleared for a huge game of dreidel. By that point in the night, Uncle Craig, Aunt Kim, Chuck, Sabah, and Saftah have come, and the table is cluttered with chairs and chocolate wrappers. Spinning dreidels are the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen, way better than any Starry Night. As they gallantly spin, caressed by the air, the light of the lamp above the table reflects each side, revealing the Hebrew letters of Gimmel, Shin, Nun, and Hay. It’s a game of chance, and I am always available to take that risk. Once I win, because I always do, and our tummies are full of chocolate, the game comes to a close, and presents are brought into the living room — boxes big and small, wrapped in blues, whites, silvers, and golds, topped with the most festive of bows. We pass them around to the recipients, and you get to watch the smile that consumes everyone’s faces. Everyone in our family is a fabulous gift giver, so I always get magnificent presents. By the end of the night, everyone is overtaken by the kind of exhaustion that is caused by a night full of fun and tradition. We all say our goodbyes, and guess what, Bart?! All of the fun happens again and again, for eight nights straight. Hannukah is the only time everyone is truly happy and at peace, and lucky for me, I always have you. When you’re older, you’ll thank me for this description of the best nights of my life, and you’ll understand in a deep way the joy that overtakes me these eight nights of the year.

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