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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