The Arrow 2024

This is the last post of the year. A huge thank you to all the students who submitted their fantastic creative works!

Here is an online flippable version of this year’s published issue:


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The Arrow 2024 – Post #6

Welcome to the 2024 Arrow Online. So excited to share some incredible art & writing by Hackley’s middle schoolers!

This is our sixth post of the season. This post highlights a few last pieces of writing from across the middle school.

Stay tuned as over the last couple weeks of this 2023-24 school year, we will continue to share all kinds of visual arts and writing.


Mayhem at Grandma’s Mansion

By Aila R. ’29


Cast of Characters

Grandma- very irritable, clumsy from her arthritis.

Johnny- very optimistic, high pitched voice – 4 years old

Bartholomule- very thick high class accent, intelligent,- 9 years old

(Lights up on Johnny opening the creaky front door of Grandma’s old mansion)

CREEEEAAAK(front door opening)


…Grandma?? Are you home? (beat.) We brought green bean casserole…

(Bartholomule peeks through the door and comes inside.)


(whispered) Johnny, I dare say, I don’t believe our grandmother lives in such a creepy old mansion.


C’mon, Barty(pats shoulder) We have to deliver her painkillers. After her knee surgery, her arthritis has been acting up.

(Door creaks open; Grandma cames in. )


AHHHH! (Falls over)


Oh,dear me. Bless the shining stars!!


Who goes there! (brandishing slippers.)




Who are you,and what are you doing in my house???(advances with slippers. Bartholomule hurries to hide behind Johnny.)


Grandma! You have such a cool house!!




Who. Are. You?


Grandma.. did you forget already?!(hurt)


We’re your grandchildren!


I don’t have any grandchildren…I’ve worked in the CIA all my 82 years of life! I don’t have any time for grandchildren!


(peers behind Johnny.)Johnny, I have reason to believe
that the arthritis is getting to her head.


You want to say that again, lad??(shaking fist.)


Granny, we baked this green bean casserole all by ourselves!! Would you please try it?!!


Well… I suppose it wouldn’t hurt…


And after that, we can give her the pain killers!

(Johnny and Bartholomule grin, relieved. Johnny and Bartholomule stare at Grandma expectantly.)


Here you go! We baked this ourselves!!


(sniffs the casserole suspiciously..)

Does this… (sniff sniff) have arsenic in it!!




NO! Never! We would never put arsenic in your food. (glances around nervously.) W-Why would you think that?


I knew you were suspicious! You must be secret spies trying to find out my secrets! Well! I won’t tell them! You can torture me all you like!!




I told you we should have stayed at home…


(mutters under breath) I knew I should never trust mysterious children who break into my house and tell me that they are my grandchildren!

(Grandma turns to stare at children who are politely sitting on the chairs.)


Who sent you?! I can tell if you’re lying.


Grandma.. you really don’t remember us? Our mom is Melissa.


I don’t know how you know my daughter, but this ends now. I will count to three, and if you don’t tell me by then, I will have no choice but to use secret tactics to make you talk.




Quick! Give her the painkillers!! She must be feeling cranky.

(Bartholomule quickly takes painkillers out of his pocket and dumps two in Johnny’s hand.)



(Johnny awkwardly tries to shove painkillers into Grandma’s mouth.)




Sorry, Grandma..


Fantastic, Johnny!! You got her. ( Thumbs up. Grandma appears to be lying on the ground unmoving.)


Barty.. DID WE KILL HER?!(Eyes start watering.)


Shhhh.Shhh. it’s ok..everything’s fine. The painkillers aren’t supposed to kill her. They are supposed to relieve the pain she must be feeling.

(Grandma jumps up and makes a dash for the door, breaking through. Johnny and Bartholomule stand stunned looking in the door’s direction.)


(Pulls walky talky out of hidden pockets. In low voice. )

The target got away. We’ll get her next time. (bleep)

(Light off as Johnny and Bartholomule stand menacingly, backs to the audience.)

Every Day

by Josie M. ’29


Every day

that I walk into this door,

and walk up these stairs,

and down this hallway,

and to my locker

and my homeroom,

I am at school.


Every day

that I say hello to my friends

that I saw a day ago,

or a weekend ago,

or a spring break ago,

I am at school.


Every day

that I am asked the same question

by everyone I know,

like “How was your spring break?”,

or “What’s your spring sport?”,

or “What class do you have next?”,

I am at school.



every day that I am at school,










            First Lieutenant Jack Powell, who is a man in his twenties with green eyes and blond hair, sprints into the gray, sterilized office, crashing into Colonel Aaron Richards’ cherrywood desk. “Sir, we have a problem,” he pants, out of breath. The Colonel, who is a heavily built, stout man with blue eyes, brown hair and stubble asks,“What is it?” “Sir, the Chinese Air force is mobilizing at their largest airbase.” Lieutenant Powell says. “We think they are plotting to attack.” The Colonel says, “Go get me Lieutenant Mike (Zulu) Wright.” A few minutes later, Lieutenant Powell comes back with Mike, an average height man in his late twenties with black hair and green eyes. “Why do you have to get me now! I was practicing!” “Don’t be rude to me, Lieutenant. This is serious” The Colonel says. “Yes, sir. What is it?” “The Chinese Air Force is planning to do a nuclear strike.” “Well, what do you want me to do? Mobilize my unit?” Mike asks. “We have four days, Lieutenant. I will send you a map of the area and a course simulation.” “Yes, sir. I will start training right away.” “Good.” the Colonel says. “Now get to it.” Mike has a strange medical condition that caused his dad to die in a plane crash. The doctors don’t know what the condition does. It acts up under high stress. “Let’s hope his condition does not act up.” the Colonel thinks.


Mike runs into some of his squadmates on the way back from the Colonel’s office, who’s callsigns are AR, Mike’s rear gunner, who is a tall man in his early thirties with curly red hair and blue eyes, and Birdie, the left wing pilot, who is a short woman in her late twenties with brown hair and hazel eyes. “What in the world are you rushing for?”AR asks. “We have no missions. We’re on break.” “Guys, I hate to break it to you, but we have a mission.” Mike announces. “What the frick is it?”Birdie gasps. “The Chinese Air Force is gathering at their biggest air base. Our mission is to destroy it. We have four days to train and get back in shape.” ‘Colonel Richards told us we have to start right away.” “Alright.” they groan.


Mike and his squadmates make it down to the lounge, where the rest of the squadmates are resting. He tells them about the mission. Then, they went up to the gym to get back in shape. After the workout, it was dinner time. Mike starts a talk about the mission on the Holo TV. “Our attack is on July 21, which is four days from now.” Mike says. “The air base is in an old bomb testing crater.” “The maneuvers to get there are for staying away from the LiDAR (light detection and ranging) scanners that will guide the Chinese aircraft to our location.” “You fly into the LiDAR, you’re dead.” “So, what’s the terrain like?” Skyscope, the recon pilot, who is a lightly built woman in her early twenties with blonde hair and black eyes, asks. “You have to fly 35,000 ft AGL (Above ground level) for reconnaissance to fly over the mountains and radar.” “Wilco,” she says.  “Any other questions?” Mike asks. “Good.”



The next morning, real training begins. It was really dusty outside, as a dust storm rolled through last night. They work out and fly a simulated dogfight in the augmented reality chambers. During the dogfight, AR takes out Skyscope, who was tailgating him. Then, Birdie takes out TNT, the bomber pilot, a heavily built muscular man in his early thirties with black hair, stubble, and blonde hair, who was trying to get a missile lock on her. After that, Mike takes out Slipstream, the right wing pilot, a lightly built man in his early twenties with red hair and stubble, by hiding under his nose. Finally, Mike takes out Birdie by doing a half loop and dive bombing her


After the simulated dogfight, it was lunchtime. Everyone talked about how they could do better and fly more accurately. Skyscope said she wanted to improve on her positioning to not get shot down, Mike said he wanted to fly tighter turns, Slipstream said he wanted to fly a little bit farther apart, and Birdie said she wanted to be flying slightly above Mike. TNT, however, thought he flew really well.


After lunch, it was time to clean the jets. They wiped the jets down and washed them. They glistened in the summer sun, their black and green flame paint job shining. Then, they discussed the aircraft they would be facing. “We will be up against 11th generation fighters.” Mike says. “We think they have SU-190 VTOL and TU-220 Hypersonics.” “We’re going there in F-1650s, Zulu?” the left wing pilot asks. “Yes. Skyscope will be flying an S-850 Skystreak and TNT will be flying a B-250 Destroyer.” “There’s no way we can beat these guys,” AR comments. “That’s why the mission is to fly stealth and get out of there as quickly as possible.” “Why can’t we try out the new fighters?” Slipstream asks. “That is classified information, Slipstream.”


That night, it was Birdie’s birthday. The base cook made a cake with flying fighter jets held up by poles. “What would you like to do for your birthday, Birdie?” Mike asks. “I would like to do some aerobatics with the jets.” Birdie says. “I’ll go fill up the smoke tanks!” Mike yells. “Last one has to do 50 push ups!” They did some barrel rolls and flat spins like a roller coaster gone mad. Then, AR called Birdie to land. While they were doing that, TNT was skywriting, “Happy Birthday Birdie!” After that, it was bedtime. “Get a good night’s sleep guys.” Mike whispers.



The next morning, everyone woke up at different times because they worked out a lot the last day and a half. Because everyone woke up at different times, Mike called it a long breakfast. After breakfast, Mike discussed the game plan for today, which was to pass their mission worthiness test. It was a 25 page, multiple choice and short answer quiz about maneuvers and what to do if caught or downed. “We’ve passed these before, and we can do it again.” Mike says. “The test starts at 11:00 hours. Be in the conference room by then.” Finally, the time for the test had come. By 11:35, everyone was done writing. The scores came out five minutes later and everyone got 100%. “You are cleared for the mission.” the Colonel says. “Heck yeah!” TNT yells. “We’re cleared!” “Don’t get ahead of yourself, TNT. We still have to complete the simulated mission course!” Mike says.


Now, it was lunchtime. “Let’s discuss the formation for this mission.” Mike says. “Birdie will fly behind me, slightly above.” TNT will fly below us for obvious reasons, (not getting hit by bombs).” “As I said two days ago, Skyscope will be flying tens of thousands of feet above us, at 35,000 ft AGL.” “Slipstream will fly below me but above TNT, slightly behind.” “Got it, guys?” Mike asks. “Wilco!” everyone yells.


After lunch, Mike prepped everyone for the course simulation. They got the jets started up. The jets shone in the hot desert sun. The roar of the engines sounded like a tornado out of control. “Ok, everyone switch to open comms,” Mike says. “Ding me when you get it.” Ding! “ The skies are yours.” aircraft control says. “Start taxiing!” Mike yells. “Prepare for takeoff.” Once everyone was in the air, Mike started the course. Skyscope ascended while TNT descended. “Starting flight through the canyon,” Mike says. “Accelerating to 900 knots” Skyscope says over the staticky comms. Four minutes to target. “Decelerating to 400 knots.” Slipstream announces. Three minutes to target. “Activating bombsight.” TNT says. Two minutes to target. “Get into formation.” Mike says. One minute to target. “Dropping bombs.” TNT says. A moment passes in silence. KA-BOOM! A mushroom cloud rises behind them as they return to base. “Practice successful,” Mike announces. He breathes a sigh of relief.




“Today is D-Day,” Mike announces over the PA system. “Zulu! Why did you have to use that!” Skyscope yells. “I just wanted to make sure everyone was up.” “Alright, alright. I’m up.” TNT yawns. “Well, almost everyone.” Mike says. “No time for silly business. We have a mission to complete.” Breakfast was scrambled eggs and bacon with a banana smoothie. “Why do we have to eat such a light breakfast?” Birdie asks. “So you don’t lose your lunch.” Mike says. “But it’s not lunch. It’s breakfast.” “Ok, ok. So you don’t lose your breakfast, then.” Mike sighs. After breakfast, they got the jets ready to fly. The bombs were attached and the guns were loaded. “Prepare for takeoff,” Mike says. They fly into the hot pink morning sunrise.


“Everyone here?” Mike asks. “Skyscope here.” “Birdie here.” “TNT here.” “Slipstream here.” “Alright. Prepare for combat.” Mike says. “I’m at 35,000 feet, Zulu.” Skyscope announces. “Good. You may have to come down to help us if we’re intercepted.” “Wilco.” Five minutes to target. “Assume formation.” Mike says. Four minutes to target. “First sighting of anti-aircraft defense on the left,” Birdie announces. “Going under LiDAR.” TNT says. Three minutes to target. “We have been spotted.” Mike announces. “Long range patrol is four minutes to target, we are two minutes to target.” “Are we going to proceed or what?” Slipstream asks. “Yes.”


One minute to target. The suspense builds. “We are over target, everyone. Prepare for the fight of your lives.” Mike announces. “Bombs away!” TNT yells. Shnk! The sound of a bullet speeding past Mike’s canopy surprises everyone. “We’ve got compan-” BOOM! TNT’s bombs explode. “We’ve got company,” Birdie says. Shnick-Shnick-Shnick! “It’s gonna be a heck of a dogfight!” Mike yells. Out of the clouds comes a long range patrol of three jets. “I’ve got a missile lock on one of them!” Slipstream screams. “Fire away.” Mike says. Fwoosh! The missile streaks toward its target and blows up in a fiery explosion. The enemy fighter jet, however, appears unscathed. “They’ve got shields. Not fair.” TNT says. “I did bring EMP shield smashers,” Birdie mentions. “Use ‘em.” Skyscope says. “Where have you been, Skyscope.” Mike asks. “It takes a while to descend.” “Let’s focus on them now.” Mike says, looking at the jets streaking towards them.


Boom-zzzt! Birdie’s EMP bombs explode. Skyscope snipes one of them in the engine and it blows up in a fireball. Mike was involved in a guns only dogfight against their main pilot. He shoots the navigation system and the pilot goes veering off into the sea. “I’m hit! I’m hit!” Slipstream yells. “I’m going down!” “AR, you there?” Mike asks. “Yeah. What is it?” “I want you to eject and leave the cockpit open.” “Try to land in TNT’s bomber.” Mike says. “Why?” “You’ll see why.” “Everyone, prepare for a “Flying Catch.” Mike announces. Phoom! Slipstream and AR eject. Mike swoops in and catches Slipstream in the back seat while AR is being caught by TNT. Meanwhile, Birdie and Skyscope were fighting the last pilot. They shot him in the cockpit and won. “Let’s go fly back to base.” Mike says.


A few hours later…


Mike and his friends set up a tent on the runway to eat their celebration dinner. It was the finest meal they ever had. Ring! Ring! Mike’s phone rings. After a few minutes of chatter, Mike says, “Aircraft control said the sky is ours.” “You want to have some fun flying?” he asks? “Heck yeah!” They say. The squadron flies off into the red and orange sunset, awaiting adventures to come.

A Lure With a Mission

by Wythe R. ’30


The roar of the motor becomes a low bellow,

then a moan,

then silence.

I hear the waves attack the hull of the boat

as a boy arms my sharply-barbed hook

with a potent ribbon of squid.

The other lures and I are dangled off the side of the boat;

I stare down into the abyss.


All of a sudden, we fall into the water.

As I plummet toward the bottom,

I feel the dark water speeding by my weighted head as we free fall.

At first, the rocks in the black abyss are only specks,

then stones

then boulders.

I count the seconds until we make contact with the bottom: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.




With a sudden jolt and a plume of sand and pebbles,

we hit the bottom, and the line goes slack.


I watch intently as the vivid crabs, glowing shrimp, and fish so silver.

They looked as though they were made of iron scatter.

But I have no time for that.

I have to conquer the king of the ocean floor.


The line goes tight then loose as I start my dance.

Sharply bouncing up,

closing my dress of long fibers,

then gracefully down, opening the dress.


I am like a ribbon dancer,

waving the squid strip in a zigg-zagg formation,

emitting the potent, fishy smell into the water.


It’s not long before there is movement in the freckled sand.

I continue my dance, until…


An unseen force engulfs me in a flash of sand and pebbles!

As soon as I gather my senses, I jab my hook into the black void.


I did it! We are on our way up. I conquered the king of the ocean floor!


When suddenly, we start to go back down!

I feel so confused,

but I keep my hook steady, and we start to ascend again.


Through a gap in the creature’s mouth, I can see the surface.


But the creature saw it too.


It makes a final attempt to escape.

I maneuver to use the creature’s moves against it.


Once we are on the boat,

and the boy extracts me from the creature’s mouth,


they let it go.

Before it fell back into the sea,


I gave it a little nod of approval.

The fish did the same to me

and returned to his kingdom.


I truly had conquered the king of the ocean floor.

















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The Arrow 2024 – Post #5

Welcome to the 2024 Arrow Online. So excited to share some incredible art & writing by Hackley’s middle schoolers!

This is our fifth post of the season. This post highlights a variety of writing and visual art  from across the middle school.

Stay tuned as over the last couple weeks of this 2023-24 school year, we will continue to share all kinds of visual arts and writing.


Sonaya T. ’30, Lucia R. ’30, Jolan M. ’30

Elmo Isn’t Sure

by Jack F. ’30


Hi, I’m Elmo.

Elmo talks in the third person.

Elmo doesn’t like it.

Actually, Elmo isn’t really sure.

It doesn’t seem to keep my person interested anymore.

He tucks me out of sight into dark and dusty corners

And truth be told,

my red’s a little threadbare.

My big hard eyes are worn,

but Elmo hopes – maybe not worn out?



if someone sees me

I’m Gracie’s,

with all her sticky icky drool

and always whimpering

For something else

But Elmo isn’t really sure

Maybe those are coos

Maybe those were kisses

Did she just sigh against my big hard eyes


A baby, first steps and first teeth just around the corner.

Me Elmo

Me red

Now that she can see

Or was that

My Elmo

My red

Elmo isn’t sure

But Elmo thinks maybe yes!


Luisa D. ’30

How I Made It To the Clouds

          My family and I were in San Francisco, biking along the ocean with a fresh breeze tickling our noses. We had picked up our bikes from the roughed-up store on the side of the street. We were stuck with janky, rusty bikes with brakes that didn’t work. We slowly peddled to the Golden Gate Bridge. It boomed above us with its vibrant red and gushing white caps below us. While biking, the wind would swirl like a hurricane and take control of my bike. To make it even worse, bikers coming the opposite direction were passing me in the cramped lane of the bridge. I could hold my ground enough to let the bikers pass while willing my legs to keep pushing against the harsh wind. As I was passing another pillar on the path, the relentless wind striked again. Perfect timing as even more serious bikers with tight shorts and sports glasses tried to pass me. My bike halted and tilted against the wind, right in front of the biker.

          “Move! You’re holding us up!”

          Little me, with a laughable amount of strength, attempted to push against the relentless wind. Nope, can’t do this anymore. I succumbed to wind. I let go of my bike and willed the wind to take me to the clouds. Slowly, I was lifted off my bike, into the crisp, whistling wind, the only thing keeping me flying. How do I move? I made the motions of a bird, flapping my arms, much less majestic compared to a bird. I made it to the clouds, where I found many whimsical, soft houses to choose from. They were creamy white, with soft bubbles. Now, I live happily ever after in the soft clouds looking over the victims of the wind from the Golden Gate Bridge.



untitled by Sophia F. ’29


Get to class


I can’t be late.


untitled by Willow D. ’29 and Eamon O. ’29


Go with the


throughout the day.

Joe B. '31



Cecelia F. ’31


by Aaron K. ’28


“Alright guys, let’s start working on our microfiction challenge” says Mr. Ogden.

“Uhh” I think, I despise fiction… the countless concepts which we have been told to use, whether it be vivid verbs, similes, or other academic lingo. I begin to work on my similies, attacking the matter with the bravery of a lion and the tenacity of a kitten chasing its tail. I am the Plato to Mr. Ogden’s Socrates, I’m the Lisa to Mr. Ogden’s Ms. Krabappel – I just take it all in. Next, I move onto vivid verbs. Strolling, creeping, admiring – I use them all.

Although the work is tedious, by the power of perseverance, I survive the class period. I confirm that I have used a sufficient amount of “fancy words” such as kakistocracy, troglodyte and equivocacy. I yet again keep the story fresh, and not repetitive.

At last, I finish the story, print out a copy, and hand it to Mr. Ogden. He looks at it for a second and then looks up. His face is red and full of contempt. He yells, “Where is the imagery? We have been talking about it for countless lessons!” Devoid of words, I flail like a fish on a hook. He continues, marching towards me, waving his hands. I dash down the stairs like a subway rat. With his cat-like reflexes, Mr. Ogden chases me. I run and make my way into the Johnson Center. I jump into the pool, figuring he won’t be willing to follow me. But Mr. Ogen has a better idea. He pulls out his semi-professional titanium fishing rod, and casts it into the pool. Before I know it, I’m hooked. He begins to reel me in. As I’m being dragged out of the water, all I can hear is “imagery, imagery, imagery…”


Beware the Beast 

by Raine L. ’29

          A hole rips through the sky with a sound like thunder. The sky turns red, an impossibility to say the least, as the clouds become bloodstained and lightning strikes implode to a single point.

She watches, horrified.

The waterfall rises, red as blood, ascending to the clouds, while its cliff shrieks with a terrifying cave full of razor-sharp teeth. All the clocks stop, and the birds, once carefree in their soaring, freeze in midair, neither falling nor rising.

She tries to scream, but the sound is lost to the terrified people.

The rip in the sky expands, opening into nothingness, fringed with yellow against the sickeningly red sky. Sinkholes open in the ground, falling to sky-blue nothingness.

She is struck by some invisible force, drawing and repelling her from the hole in the sky. All her instincts say to flee, but she cannot.

The rip flashes in indescribable color.

The world flashes, blinks, and fades.

She sees nothing.

A flash of yellow.

It fades.

It leaves behind an eye.

An indescribable eye.

And a horrific voice screams-

          Welcome, one and all, to WEIRDMAGEDDON!


She startles awake, terrified. She looks out the window to console her shocked mind.

Outside, the sky is lightening as the moons fade and the sun glows faintly in the cloudless blue.

She sighs in relief, thankful her imagination had simply been playing tricks on her.

What she didn’t notice was the red tinge spreading through the sky.

Alejandro R. ’30


My Potato

by Tristan S. ’30


I have a fascinating potato.

Any normal potato is quite round,

but mine isn’t normal.

My potato changes shape.

Any normal potato is quite small,

but mine isn’t normal.

My potato is massive.

Any normal potato will live in the Earth,

but mine isn’t normal.

My potato moves around.

Any normal potato will live for a year,

but mine isn’t normal.

My potato can live for a long time.

Any normal potato is a vegetable,

but mine isn’t normal.

My potato is my dog.


Frozen Windows

by Sarah S. ’28


Through the glass I look

at a time long past

glazed with the cold memories

of icy dreams.

Arms reach for me,

their history in their jagged edges,

trying to pull me beneath the surface.

I lean forward and shatter the glass,

the mirror showing things I do not want to remember.

Cracks distort my face as I fall

and join the collection of lives

trapped beneath layers of ice.



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The Arrow 2024 – Post #4

Welcome to the 2024 Arrow Online. So excited to share some incredible art & writing by Hackley’s middle schoolers!

This is our fourth post of the season. This post highlights a range of writing from across the middle school.

Stay tuned as over the last couple weeks of this 2023-24 school year, we will continue to share all kinds of visual arts and writing.


Ode To the Goal

By Andrew G. ’30


I hope to find the goal

Figuratively and literally

The ultimate end

To any possession

It is what any

lacrosse player seeks

The common objective

Players are

Like hawks

hunting their food


enemies to those

with the most skill

Ode to goals

The grail

of most sports



By Jack F. ’30


You smell freshly fried

As if you’re a baked potato

Out of the oven


You look beautiful tan brown

like a monkey in the sun


You are my dad’s love in food

And can cheer me up

when I am down


You feel luscious and damp

when you enter my taste buds

perfectly made


You are delectable

Salty and fresh

French Fries


9 Ways of Seeing Water

By Tristan S. ’30



A glass of crisp fresh water,

clear as the glass itself.



An everyday thing,

used for cleaning, drinking, and fun.



A mysterious liquid,

hiding what lurks in it from the naked eye.

Terrifying and deadly.



The literal definition of summer fun,

cooling taste after being,

in the scorching sun and golden rays.



Trying so hard to be free,

its state trying to spread as far as possible

Yet always being contained in a bottle.



Always falling from the sky one way or another,

making the ground wet, miserable, and impossible to play.



Sandy yellowish ogre beaches,

with the feeling of static on a TV screen,

wet from retreating sea water tumbling like the howling wind,

also known as good childhood memories.



A vast unexplored silent expanse of land, teaming with colorful life.

It seems to call my name.



In the end,

it’s the building blocks for life,

a necessity for everyone.


Where I’m From

By Kai H. ’30


I am from pens.

I am from old cottages and hammocks

that have been passed down for generations; they each lie perfectly nestled on two trees.

It felt like laying on a field full of flowers, calm, quiet.

I am from the Dogwood tree,

the Hickory saplings, young and excited to grow.

I’m from fireworks and peace.

I’m from happiness.

I’m from Jaime and Roger.

I’m from smart minds and kindness,

from “go play”

and “I think everyone’s tired”.

I’m from happiness

when I look out at a deep blue sky.

I’m from New York and Denmark and Canada and Michigan,

pears and apples,

from the tooth I lost to a lunchbox

the day I moved out of chaos.

I am from rock climbing, swimming, whittling,

strong minds and hearts, and caring for others.


“The Universe Unfolds As It Should”

By Henry K. ’30

Reminiscing on Thanksgivings with her mother, a woman wandered around a book sale as the leaves crunched beneath her feet, and the November air bit her cheeks. Then, she saw it, the New York Times Cookbook. The woman flipped through it. And there it was, the stuffing recipe from back when she was a child. She remembered sitting in her childhood bedroom on Thanksgiving, the smell of rosemary drifting in from the kitchen. She closed the book quietly and her eyes too. And at that moment, her mother was with her.


The Tennis Ball

By James C. ’30


These guys are ruining my hair.

When I got out of the can, I was bouncy, fluffy, bright and glorious.

Now after hours of suffering, my fuzz is flat,

my skin is pale,

and I have lost the energy to bounce high.


I cannot take any more of this.

I am tired and have felt the harsh strings of both opponents’ rackets.

As I soar through the air, I am happy to fly in peace,

but then of course, the suffering resumes as I am violently struck with a forehand.


Despite this harsh punishment,

I have been able to see the different emotions the two players show after each point, one happy, one not so happy.

Of course, the not-so happy one takes all of his anger out on me by striking me harder.

Plus, whenever I come close to the players, I receive the pleasure of

watching the beads of sweat drip down their necks

and smelling the stench of their body odor.

But of course, that is my sole purpose in life,

to smell body odor and get furiously whacked by tennis rackets.


On the hopefully final point, when I think it is almost over,

I am back at it, being bashed in a tiebreaker. When will this end?


It was finally the last point for sure.

A few shots in, one player hit me out, and the other player was finally given the victory.

Personally, I didn’t care who won; all that mattered to me was

not being furiously whacked anymore.


Memories and Mash

By Kate F. ’30


The sun slid down the horizon on a crisp September day. With every gust of wind, you could hear Mother Nature whispering: Fall, fall, fall. You could smell the beautiful aromas of apples begging to be picked. I was maybe six months old. The sun had just gone down, and the stars had only started to wake up. They blinked a drowsy white light. It’s hard to separate memories from my parents’ pictures and videos of me, but I think this one is a real memory.

I was wearing a pair of red PJ’s that made me feel like I was wrapped in a cloud. They were covered in white polkadots, and had a reindeer embroidered on each foot. I was sitting in a black, “clip to the table”-type kiddie chair.

My mother placed a translucent plastic bowl and metal spoon in front of me on the table. Like the bowl, the table was small and old. The light brown wood grain of the table made the food in the bowl – mashed potatoes  – stand out. The mashed potatoes were almost the same color as the table legs, off-white. I could tell how they would taste: like a blanket, fresh out of the dryer – warm, comforting, and bland. They looked delicious; fluffy and light, but also somehow creamy and dense. Then my mom, with a great big smile showing her gleaming white teeth lovingly sat down next to me.

She picked up the spoon, and like a knife cutting butter with little effort, scooped the perfect amount of mashed potatoes for a little baby mouth. I felt a slow, warm, wet trickle of drool slide down my cheek and then my chin and onto my precious, polka-dotted pajamas. I was ready to eat! Gently, she let me suck the mash (short for mashed potatoes) off the spoon. I have a twin brother, and after I got my spoon half (it wasn’t really a spoonful, it was a spoonhalf), he got his. This was good because I savored it for as long as I could, but as soon as the next spoonhalf was ready, I swallowed and slurped.

This memory was playing in my mind when my baby sister Grace had finally come of age and was ready for real food – mashed potatoes. The first real food you eat (after bottles) has to be memorable and lovingly prepared, especially if it is the same food your siblings and parents ate first. For years, I would watch my mother make me this delicious snack. Eventually, I helped make the mash, and I practiced a lot. So, when my family trusted me to make this delicacy for my sister for her first meal, I was honored. My mom had told me what was going to happen only a few hours before I was to make them. I got tasting spoons ready, a fork to mash the potatoes, a knife to cut the butter, the milk, a bowl for all the ingredients, and a spoon and bowl for my sister’s mash. I set out to meticulously prepare them, chasing the memory of my first meal. It was such a pleasure to be a part of this memory for her. I hope she remembers it as vividly as I do. Maybe, like me, the memory of the meal and the pictures taken will get mashed together.


Ways to See the Ocean

By Katie S. ’30


Calming and cooling,

a mystifying blue

as clear as glass

and as hypnotic as a siren’s song


Dark and harsh,

the navy waves crash over me,

filling my lungs with the deep scent of ocean salt

and looking for a sliver of hope in the dark murky waters


A looking glass showing me what hides beneath the soft shapes that are the waves,

under the surface, I see the coral where the fish play hide and seek.

I see the trenches where the deep ocean creatures go to think,

and I see the currents where sea turtles raise their young.


Healing and mending,

fixing what is broken and misshapen,

the ocean heals sadness and rage, depression and loneliness

as much as it heals our cuts and wounds.

Both can leave scars that run deep.


Cold and cruel,

the ocean will hang on to you.

It decides when you come and go.

You can only hope it will give you its mercy

and if you receive it, don’t look back.

Run as fast as you can

because some

aren’t so lucky.



Bouncy and happy,

the ocean will play,

splashing you ever so slightly.

It will tease you and laugh,

bending the rules for its own enjoyment.


Two faced,

the ocean puts on a mask

lulling you into a false sense of security

before hurting you

like a knife to your stomach.



By Josie M. ’29


During recess,

in the library,

my friends and I

pull up chairs

and dump the tiles,


on the wooden table.

Each team of two

takes twenty-one,

and flips them over.

Some of us sort them,

some of us don’t.


Then we begin,

making our words,

and creating crosswords.

We dump,

and we peel

and rearrange tiles.


And when the pile

in the middle

is almost gone,

we hurry to finish

our words

and use up our letters.



when your crosswords is done,

exclaim, “Peel!”

before someone else

beats you to it.


If you do,

we’ll check your words,

and if they’re all valid,

you win!

We play fast,

hoping that we’ll win


it’s time

for lunch.


The Loop

By Norah M. ’29


I have many lives and many families,

many stories and many milestones,

many romances, and many heartbreaks,

many puzzles, and many solutions.

I’ve experienced days.






And with years, comes knowledge.

I’m solid.



Through crises,



and Crayolas,

I do my job.

I protect.

I lend a safe frame,

for comfort and care.

I am a shell,

a fresh slate.

I seem like the light,

but I’m only the lantern,

like the gift,

while I’m merely the wrapping.

Like the story,

but I’m just the cover.

I am a host and a viewer.

A caretaker and a campaign,

a safe haven and a battlefield,

a house and a home.


People Are Like

By Stella M. ’29


People are like rocks

Multifaceted, complex

Hiding secret treasure within

Sometimes delicate and broken

Barely held together


People are like books

Misleading, intricate

The outside does not reflect what’s within

Never quite what you expect

Some boring, some captivating


People are like puzzles

confusing, perplexing

Often different then you expect

When you figure them out it all makes sense

They are made up of many things


People are like equations

basic, simple

The answer isn’t always what you expect

More complicated than they seem

Something new comes and it all changes


People are like poetry

Inspiring, quirky

There are endless different types

Beautiful and wonderful

Sometimes they don’t make sense


A Dog’s Thanksgiving

By Caroline R. ’28


Every year, the humans gather

They sit all together, surrounding food

When I was a not-so-wise puppy, I didn’t know there was food up there

It always smelled so good

Why can’t I have any of that food?

The big, fat, juicy turkey gleaming on it’s plate

I can just see it from down here

The humans laugh and talk, busy with their food

The turkey is ignored for a few seconds.

Now’s my chance.

I sneak,

quickly trot under the table,

just barely brushing against their legs.

I’m drooling all over the floor.

I want that turkey.

I need that turkey.

I see an opening;

I crawl out and secure a spot on a chair.

The humans all turn to face me now,

and before I can close my jaws around the turkey,

I’m yanked down from the table,

…and once again they leave me by myself

with only a bowl of kibble

and no turkey.


Don’t Look Down

By Emerson P. ’28


“Hurry up! We’re almost at the top!”

My legs are burning, wobbling under me as I climb. Getting up to see the sunrise was supposed to be fun, but I’m hating every second of it. The cool wind is biting my face and whipping my hair around in a frenzied dance as I steady myself against the metal ladder of the fire tower, reassured by the smooth balance it brings. I breathe deep, feeling how the fresh air fills my lungs with a sweet, cold taste. I call back up, making sure my voice is calm and steady, “Coming!” I pause for a second with my feet on cool metal, calming the swooping feeling in my stomach. So close, I tell myself. I look to the side of me, careful to keep my eyes up as I take in the slowly lightening sky with pink wisps of clouds against a periwinkle night. I reach above me, and pull myself onto the next bar and then the next. I barely feel the tightness in my throat anymore or the lurching of my stomach. I regain my confidence and approach the last ladder rung, but just as I’m reaching up, the rusty metal bar that’s holding my weight breaks. Every muscle in my body clenches in terror, and I feel my stomach plummet. I quickly grasp the beam above and bring my feet back onto solid metal, but I make the mistake of glancing down. Panic spikes through my veins, and I become lightheaded. I see stars in my vision, painful bursts of light against the deep green of pine trees below. I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling… The last thing I see before my vision blacks out is a golden egg melting into streaks of blush colored sky.


From the Sun

By Nora E. ’28


I am from beach chairs,

from Sun Bum sunscreen and Island Surf bathing suits.

I am from boardwalks leading down to the beach

(Warm, cozy, familiar, sand on your feet).

I am from waves crashing on the shore

and with the satisfying rumble when it hits the sand.


I’m from bonfires on the beach

and matching dresses with my sister on the 4th,

from Claire and Grace.


I’m from my dad teasing my grandma about her strict rules

and playing guitar under the stars.

From being told to swim on an angle if you are stuck in a rip tide

and always being urged to try your best.

I am from going to church on Sundays,

and being amazed by the stained glass.

I’m from New York

with barbeques every weekend

and pizza on Mondays.

From my Uncle bringing fireworks on the beach

and the whole family going to Jets games


I’m from the family photo where my sister, brother, and I make a sand castle,

from the watch that gets passed down when you turn sixteen,

from my great grandma,



and to my sister,

leaving their legacies behind in the watch.



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The Arrow 2024 – Post #3

Welcome to the 2024 Arrow Online. So excited to share some incredible art & writing by Hackley’s middle schoolers!

This is our third post of the season. This post highlights a range of writing, photography, drawing and sculpture from across the middle school.

Stay tuned as over the last couple weeks of this 2023-24 school year, we will continue to share all kinds of visual arts and writing.


Click on any image from this photo gallery to see full image.


by Xi H. ’30


The stars await you,

a hard brightness, beautiful and distant

glimmering at Destiny’s end.

Your sails are swept with inky black.


O, voyager, voyager of the cosmos,

voyager on a ship unknown,

you unfurled your sails to travel beyond that land.

Even yet, you remember those golden sands.


But oh, voyager, each memory of that life left behind

passes like a fleeting dream,

wisps of smoke hovering over a swath of sky.

The beach is lost in blue.


How soon you forget what it was like

to be among the gulls and fish.

The waves are awash with your hopes and cries.

You long for a slash of green in the eternal sea.


I see you, a ghost neither alive nor dead,

a lonely ship at the ocean’s edge.

You hear the crash of waves tumbling into the void,

void that drowns all voice.

Oh tiger

by Ben S. ’29

Oh tigers, how great and mighty!

I just love them, alrighty.

Tiger, tiger burning bright,

shining like the morning light.

Oh tigers never go extinct,

running and moving in a blink.

Oh tiger, why not live with me?

Oh tiger, please come to a tea.

Hello my dear, how are you doing?

I might sneak up on you but never would never be booing.

Sneaking up on the hunt, always the hunt,

its teeth sharp at knives, never blunt,

Oh tiger, the time has come.

I’ll see you like the tip of my thumb.



by Cecelia F. ’31

I am from homemade popsicles in the freezer next to solid-hard peas,

from Smucker’s peanut butter and American Standard shower heads.

I am from the warm pink-themed room full of swimming medals and ribbons, safe and cozy.

It felt like luck and joy running through my clean house.

I am from the rivers I watched my sister and dad fish from as I caught worms for bait,

from the dandelions I kicked when they were all white and would fly up like smoke.

I’m from driving to the Outer Banks every summer with my whole family and always being too early to events,

from Grandma Sandi and my little cousins Casper, Simone, Sal, and Frankie.

I’m from the left-out folded laundry no one wants to put away and the Nerf gun fights with my dad,

from finish your food and stop fighting with your sister.


I’m from my best friend Ariana that I’ve known for six years and has always been by my side.

I’m from Brooklyn and Germany.

I’m from Panera’s kitchen sink cookies and my sister’s famous homemade meringues,

from my great aunt Sponsa who opened many orphanages and helped kids struggling in war who were malnourished and in need of families.

I am from my uncle who served in armies and hid his identity to stay in them.

I am from swimming and lacrosse, creativity and power.


 The Ick

By Evelyn W. ’28


BRIANNA: polite, kind, college freshman, pretty

ANTON RANDOLF: narcissistic, misogynist, rude, unhygienic, college senior

MOM: Goofy, wants grandchildren

WAITER: Italian, male, thick Italian accent.

(Lights up on BRIANNA, wearing a fancy dress and full glam makeup, on the phone with MOM in a fancy Italian restaurant with dim lighting…)


I can’t believe you guilt tripped me into this!


I did not! (indignant.) We both know you need a man.


No, you think I need a man. I told you I wanted to focus on myself and my studies.


You know this is good for you, (mumbles) plus I want grandbabies.


I heard that. Where is he anyways, we agreed to meet at 6:00 it’s 6:45.

(ANTON walks into the restaurant with a baseball cap on backwards, gold chain, full nike tech wear, and red yeezys. BRIANNA sees him)


Oh god I think I see him. Mom, what the heck! You set me up with him! Okay, whatever gotta go.

(BRIANNA stands up to greet ANTON, as he walks over arrogantly. She stretches her hand out to shake, but he fakes and dodges her hand.)



(BRIANNA rolls her eyes when ANTON is laughing loudly at his own joke. BRIANNA has a visibly upset expression, but ANTON does not notice.)


Mr. Stevenson, should we take a seat?


You can call me ANTON, better yet call me babe. (ANTON winks at BRIANNA.)


Let’s… (makes gagging expression) refrain from that.(WAITER comes by to take their order.)


Good evening, What can I get for you?


Shoo! Come back later, I’m not done. (WAITER makes an offended expression.) Nevermind come back!


What can I get you, sir? (note of annoyance in his voice.)


I’ll have the Calemeri Freetee, G-nochee Sorrento, and Halato.

(BRIANNA covers her face with embarrassment. WAITER’S eye twitches.)


Calamari Fritti, Gnocchi Sorrento, e gelato, and what can I get you, Milady?


I’ll have the…


She’ll have the salad.

Coming right up! (WAITER exits. Silence, while ANTON fixes his hair and smolders at her, biting his lower lip. An Awkward silence of 5 seconds pass.)


So, ANTON! Tell me about yourself.


Well…uh, I’m super hot, I’m sure you could tell, I love

my mama, and I wish we could go back to the good old patriotic days.

(BRIANNA looks disgusted.)


Cool…uh I can tell you a little bit about me.


Go for it, woman.


Alright, I’m 19 years old. I’m studying psychology, and I am very organized.


Well you seem like you fit my mama expectations for a wife.

Wait, what?


Well, my mama was looking for a girl who will stay at home and do the chores. You’re organized so you check that box, and you can make all the money for the family. You’re pretty enough I guess, and that’s my only standard. I mean you could use some serious concealer, and you need to lose weight, but other than that you’re a 8/10.


(talks through clenched teeth.) I see.


So, (oblivious) if you’re down, we could meet up some other time, eh? Maybe you could meet my mama.


I don’t think that’s necessary. Let’s just get through dinner first.


Playing hard to get? Woman, that’s no way to get my attention.


JESU–(Takes a deep breath) Please, Mr. Randolf, refrain from calling me that.


Whatever, woman. What percent of the bill are you gonna take?


What what? Don’t tell me you were expecting me to pay for you. I only make minimum wage. What is wrong with you females? Why do y’all always want us to do things for you? Like. It’s. Not. That. Deep.

He,hehheh. (BRIANNA’S eye twitches.) Nevermind then, I’ll pay ½.


Good. (leans back in chair. ANTON picks his nose and flicks it off his finger. WAITER brings food.)

Here you are! (About to leave.)


Wait! What is this bro? (pointing at a dish)

The Gnocchi, sir. Is there something wrong?


This is not Gnocchi, Gnocchi is pasta you freak show!


(sighs.) Sir, I assure you, Gnocchi is not pasta.


You’re just trying to trick me. (stands up and slams the napkin on the floor.) This is a disgusting restaurant. You just wait (takes out his phone.) I’m giving you a bad rating.

Sir, calm down, I will get you your pasta.

(WAITER rushes to get pasta.)

Please, just sit down (exasperated.)


Shut up girl, I’m not weak like you. I will stand up for myself.

Okay (sighs while talking.)


Excuse me, I need to use the bathroom. (grabs purse.)

(ANTON is fuming and on his phone still standing. ANTON ignores BRIANNA. BRIANNA gets up and walks towards the stage right. WAITER comes out of the kitchen and they meet.)


I’m so sorry about the inconvenience, in fact to compensate you I’ll order everything on the menu, but make sure it’s takeout. The gentlemen will pay.

(BRIANNA and WAITER smile at each other mischievously.)

Of course milady. Have a great evening!

(BRIANNA exits stage right. WAITER walks toward the table.)


Finally! (waves his hands in the air.)

(Lights out…)


The Scarf

by Ellie F. ’28

            “Is this alright, Grandma?” I ask, presenting my scarf to her. She smiles, and her happiness replaces the ache in my heart. She steadily lowers my arms and cups my face in her hands.

            “It’s perfect, sweetie,” she replies, her eyes interlocking with mine. For the first time in a while, I give her a bright, genuine smile.

            “Grandma?” I ask, “Can you tell the story of how you met Grandpa again? It’s my favorite!”I look up at her, my eyes glistening with interest.

            “Yes, of course,” she chuckles. “Your grandfather was a very intelligent man, an explorer in fact. We met while he was on an expedition in Chile.”

            “Ow!” I yelp, interrupting the story as the knitting needle pierces my skin. Grandma whips her head around, urgency plastered across her face; blood oozes out of my finger.

“Here, give that to me,” Grandma murmurs. Her fingers brush against mine, the touch of her hand surprisingly light and icy cold. “This shouldn’t get infected; go get a Band-Aid so it can heal properly.”

I dart out of the room. The sound of my heart hammers in my ears. I grab the Band-Aids and hurry back, a feeling of uncertainty rising in my throat.

“I’m back!” I pant.
“Perfect, sweetie,” she says.

But something doesn’t feel right. I try to remember but my mind is cloudy. The air around us suddenly grows thin as I extend my arm. Grandma reaches to touch my hand, but her solid form slowly disintegrates. My head is heavy as the room circles around me. A tsunami of memories crashes into my mind, and my eyes blink open as if I’m waking up for the first time. My heart rate slows as I begin to process the reality I’ve been dreading to face.

            A scream of terror escapes my lips.

Grandma is not there. Tears pour out of my eyes as my gaze switches from the empty chair to the vase of ashes on top of the fireplace.

The inscription reads:

 Doris Steiner

Beloved wife, mother, and grandma

Born 1950-2023.

“Grandma?” I cry.

There is no reply.

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The Arrow 2024 – Post #2

Welcome to the 2024 Arrow Online. So excited to share some incredible art & writing by Hackley’s middle schoolers!

This is our second post of the season. This post highlights some wonderful writing from across the middle school.

Stay tuned as over the last couple weeks of this 2023-24 school year, we will continue to share all kinds of visual arts and writing.


The Day The Cement Dried

by Oz B. ’28

          The day I have dreaded the most. One last kick of the perfectly round, black and white spotted ball. I can’t hear the whistle tweet like a bird, music to my ears, after today. Soaking grass sliding off of your achilles. Defenders sliding through on a slip and slide, just to get the ball, whether or not the victim gets injured. I have played my dream for 18 years, all on Everton Football Club. I have won fifteen Ballon D’ors, and ten champions leagues, a room decoration that kids dream of. This final is my chance to cement myself as the greatest player of all time, hoping that that cement dries out, and never gets knocked down. The birdy sings in my ear, as Liverpool starts the game off. The first half is as boring as a Student Led Conference. I head into the locker room, whose personality is a flip of the coin, dreadful like a graveyard or bursting with spirit, waiting for the second half to commence. The second half bird sings for the last time in my career, starting off not as we had hoped, the striker for Liverpool slams the ball like a wrecking ball into the top right corner, and spirits are looking low. Is my career really going to end like us, my cement will never dry out? But, my feet flow through the grass, gliding gracefully through the defenders, like a figure skater, and I calmly place the ball into the net, past the brick wall of Liverpool, slowly breaking it down. 1-1. In the 98th minute, I get past the Liverpool brick wall, turning it into a fence, like a Bull, charging through, smashing the ball for the final time into the net, as that cement finally dries out.


Get Ready for Baseball

by Jack F. ’30

Oh no my game is in 30 minutes and I need dinner. As I say in my dirt brown and dark grassy green stained formerly white pants and blue baseball jersey we can stop at mister nicks on  the way and pick up a piece of pizza. No, their Hawaiian pizza is horrible. The pineapples aren’t cooked and the ham is cubed, we are going to capri for pizza or I won’t eat. Fine, we can go there but call in ahead of time. Okay then can we go there now. We jump into our Sting Gray Jeep Grand Cherokee Covered in dry mud  top to bottom. The only clean thing was the bike rack. My dad likes to say that people from New Jersey drive like maniacs so he pulls a few jerseys and we are there in three minutes. I jump out and run towards the building but my dad reminds me not to run. I have to be patient and walk so I don’t get hit by a car. I walk slowly into the brick redpizza shop and when the bell on the door rings it scares me because it is a new thing. Then the delicious aroma of pizza hit me and I smelled it of my Hawiian pizza cooking in the oven. I smell the burning wood and the pineapples, I see the pizza man getting ready to take the pizza out, I feel the heat from the oven, I hear the clamorous chatter, I taste the air moistened by the toppings dried by the flour. Finally I get my pizza now it smells good. I take it back to the car and start eating. We finally got to the field and the pizza was so good I played the game of my life.I batted two times and got two hits and they were both doubles. A short way of saying that is 2 for 2 with 2 doubles. I also hit two runs in, R.B.I.s. After that we win and we get a big 4 foot tall trophy with the majority of the height being three three foot tall bats with black around the handle and brown everywhere else, on the top there is an pentagon with three eagles around it and a gold cup with two people playing baseball, The bottom or the base is also a pentagon. It has a spiral with a baseball at the top. And the bats come out of it, there is a plaque on the bottom that says 2021 TNTBSA CHAMPIONS ALLAN BLOCK INSURANCE which was our name I get M.V.P and ten dollars at an ice cream shop and the night of my life.


My First Day of School

by Shaleen S. ’30

  I opened the car door, walked underneath an arch, and opened the door to my new school – and the next seven years of my life.

Poison Candy

by Shaleen S. ’30

            A girl dressed as a black cat was walking among the ghosts and goblins. One asked, “Want some candy?” But they were not candy givers.

Too Much Candy

by Shaleen S. ’30

       I bought candy for trick or treaters. Skittles, Twix, and Tootsie Rolls. But on Halloween night there was none left, and my stomach really hurt!


Good Old Fish and Chips

by Ryan L. ’30

          Seven years ago, I sat at a place called PJs on Cape Cod, and I decided to order the fish and chips. Little did I know how much I would come to love them. Every year I go to Cape Cod to my grandparents’ summer house there. It’s always the same routine: leave at 6:30 in the morning, sit through a long five-hour car ride, get there at twelve, and meet them at PJs. There, I would first have my favorite food in the world, fried fish! The first time I went to Cape Cod, I ordered them. A guy with a long beard and small half-moon spectacles walked over. As he spoke, in his mouth there were blood-red braces, and at the time, I was very intrigued by him.  When he came back, I remember seeing the fish and chips. The dish looked almost foreign to me then. I remember my first bite, and oh, did I like it. I loved the oily, rough, hot, doughy outside and the hot, mushy, white cod on the inside, the sea-like smell emanating from the fish. My mom has a video of me eating it for the first time, and I had the widest smile on my face. I have had that every year since. As soon as I got home, I went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for fried fish because I wanted to make some myself. It was the morning after we got back; there was a crisp smell of grass in the air and a feeling of utmost humidity. For some reason, the car was having trouble starting up, so my dad had to jumpstart it. We drove to the nearby grocery store, DiCicco’s. Once we arrived, we were greeted by a horrible, burnt, oillike like smell coming from the parking lot. We went into the store, distinctly hearing the loud sound of people yelling at the bar/pizza parlor next door and the smell of burnt chicken coming from it. Once we had everything, we returned home. I remember when she pulled into the driveway. I was so excited. I helped her make the fish and chips. We slowly applied breadcrumbs and prepared the fish and chips. Then we fried it over the stove. We invited one of our close neighborhood friends over for dinner and we all had my fried fish. When she gave me the fish I made I had the realization in the moment that fried fish was more than just a food for me. It was meaningful. It tasted so good. Even though it was not a substitute for PJs I still loved it. This past June I went to London and I had Fish and Chips for every meal. I even went to the place with the best Fish and Chips in London. It was called the Mayfair Chippy. It was a hike from the subway to it. There was a humongous line outside filled with British people chatting while they waited to get in. We walked in and as soon as we came in I immediately noticed the fish on the walls and all the people eating Fish and Chips ONLY. As I walked in, the smell of fried cod filled my mind and I heard the forks and knives cutting into the fried fish and the welcoming familiar smell and I knew it had to be good and oh it was. As the waiter brought over my fried fish dripping with oil, steam came off rapidly and bread crumbs sprinkled evenly all over. It was crispy, oily, delicious, fried fish. Every bite I enjoyed to the fullest. It tasted wonderful. Throughout my life I have had different types of fish at different places and I have always loved fried fish the most. Fried Fish has a sentimental meaning and value to me because of all the memories I have making it, eating it and watching people prepare it.   Fried fish over time has become very important to me and I love it the most out of any food I have had.


Micro-fiction sample by Kayla R. ’28

          BOOM! More chunks of rock plunge into the ground. BOOM! I’m running as fast as I can towards the rocket; it’s the only ticket out of here. I look back to see it in all its glory: that humongous, off-gray, crater-filled sphere. The sky turns a red-orange while rocks fall from overhead like raindrops hitting every inch of the earth. I face forward to see the colossal, 800-foot tall titanium rocket and faceplant straight into the ground. The taste of dirt and sulfur fills my mouth. I grunt through the pain. Something is definitely broken. But my wails won’t do anything, everyone is just running past me, not even giving me a second thought. All of a sudden, I hear a familiar voice. “Racheal!” It’s Mom calling from outside the rocket. A feeling of relief washes over me. I limp as fast as I can.

When I finally arrive, we hear the worst possible news,“I’m sorry ma’am, only one more person can fit,” the Military personnel say with no stutters or sympathy. What?  I look around, everyone else is still running towards the rocket. “We must depart now,” they say. My mom sighs. She has the saddest expression I’ve ever seen on her face. Tears start to flow as she hugs me like it’s the last time she ever would.

Then, she whispers in both agony and somehow reassurance, “I’m sorry. I love you so much.” My body crashes to the ground; I‘m too exhausted to do anything. The rocket starts rumbling as my body is forced against the floor. Eventually, I’m able to drag myself over to a window. I look outside, but after one glance, I can’t see a thing. Water just keeps pouring from my eyes. The entire world was engulfed in flames.


The Egotistical Turkey

by Navika K. ’30


Out of the way, losers!

I am the star of the show.

You think I’m joking?

Who do you think they compliment at Thanksgiving?


This whole holiday revolves around me

When they have to think of just one food at Thanksgiving,

they don’t think cranberry jam.


They think of me. Just me.

I am the star of the show



by Delilah M. ’30


The noise surrounds you




But the best soon of all

The one you long to hear

Except there is no sound


A trance

With birds in a blur sky

A blue sea

Fresh salty air makes you laugh and smile

Not an inch of trash to be seen

The voices turn back on

Rain clouds in a grey sky

A brown-is green sea

Smoky air makes you cough

Trash floods you

Back into reality

People don’t know what to do

So silence will never be true


Grow up.

by AMY LOREEN C. ’31

          When I first saw the world, I was five and filled with joy. No one told me that I had to grow up. I walked the street with my mother, holding hands. A man on the street said, “Do you wish to grow old?” I responded,”Yeah, I wish to grow up faster.”

          Grow up.

           I blinked once more, and it was my birthday; I was now seven. I asked my stuffed animal, “How are you?” He said, “You’re eight now.”

          Grow up

          My little heart shattered. I threw him, and he yelled. I simply responded with, “Grow up?…”

          My parents called me for dinner. My feet grew bigger with each step until my slippers were unwearable. I took them off; in my head, those words lingered, Grow up.

          With every step, I grew older until I was at least ten. I blinked, and suddenly, I was in an argument with my father. His face melted into a terrifying smile.

          Grow up.

          Grow up.

          Grow up.

          Grow up.

          I said under my breath,“I wish I had never grown up fast.” I blinked once more. Where did my parents go?

          I was alone on the streets. I saw a little boy walk past me. He said,”I’m not a mama’s boy! Grow up, mum!”

          People from the village surround me and the boy, shouting.

          “Grow up.”

          “Grow up”

          “Grow up”

          I felt a kiss on my forehead. I woke to find my mother and father around my bed saying,”Happy birthday! Don’t grow up, mi hija!”

          The boy was outside of my window, smiling.

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The Arrow 2024 – Post #1

Welcome to the 2024 Arrow Online. So excited to share some incredible art & writing by Hackley’s middle schoolers!

Starting us off is our first grouping of colorful drawings and paintings from across the middle school.

Stay tuned as over the last couple weeks of this 2023-24 school year, we share all kinds of visual arts and writing.


Jojo H. ’29

Maddy C. ’29

Ali B. ’29

Emma M. ’29

Char I. ’30

Maddy C. ’29

Avery M. ’29

Dustin R. ’29

Akash K. ’31

Andy F. ’31

Colin M. ’31

Elizabeth S. ’28

Blakely H. ’31

Tristan S. ’30

Misha P. ’30

Emerson P. ’28

Aila R. ’29

Raine L. ’29

Kubrick C. ’28

Mia S. ’28

Misha P. ’30

Ali B. ’29

Joe B. ’31

Jojo H. ’29

Dustin R. ’29

Megan W. ’31

Tristan S. ’30

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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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