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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