Search the: Catalog  OR Website    My Account logoFacebook iconPinterest icon

WCFL Teens Blog

Subscribe to WCFL Teens Blog feed WCFL Teens Blog
From the Teens of Washington County, MD
Updated: 2 hours 1 min ago

The Names of Her Killer: Part IV

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 10:26

By Spencer Thomas, Staff Writer

RED RUM: THE LAST COCKTAIL

An Invitation

October 18th, 1946

 

You are cordially invited to attend a gathering at the residence of Dr. Alaska Black on the evening of Halloween. The event begins at 5:30 with drinks and a few humble speeches of forgiveness, to be followed by dinner and dancing as late as the neighbors will allow. Please RSVP to the return address printed on the envelope.Your attendance would be greatly appreciated.

 

~   ~ ~

 

Each of the guests took it upon themselves to arrive fashionably late. Or, in the case of James, unfashionably. He had unfashionable stubble about his face and wore a pale blue boarding school uniform that fit snugly in all the wrong places. Amity in turn was conservatively dressed, but she was obviously doing well for herself. According to William, her book had been picked up by a publisher and she was hosting a famous Parisian poet in her home. How very French, everyone thought.

William himself was in much in uniform as Police Chief Mars, with a pen in his shirtpocket instead of a badge.  He was otherwise underdressed for such a formal occasion, despite his money.

Mr. Slyth looked, as always, just as a butler should with his crisp suit and brooding aura. Alaska herself wore a similar red ensemble she did the night of Hortenzio Scuduttle’s death, though thankfully it didn’t seem to set Amity off.  The drink she nursed was almost the same color, it was so heavily doused with grenadine.

Once everyone had arrived, Alaska stood up and struck a spoon against her still half full glass. She needed not wait for everyone to quiet down, it had been awkwardly silent since the first guest rung her doorbell.

“Friends, thank you for honoring me with your presence this fine fall evening. We are gathered here, as I’m sure you are all aware from the invitations I sent out, not only for a party but to give me an opportunity to apologize. To all of you. I won’t go into specifics, I will be the first to admit I’ve wronged you all so much dinner would be long cold before I was finished recapping it all. So I’ll do it all at once. I am sincerely sorry for whatever I have taken from you. Or in the case of Mr. Frick, I really just feel bad for hating you so much.” She began to leave the room as she concluded her speech. “And that’s all I wrote. Now if you would please follow me right this way to the dining room…”

 

~   ~ ~

 

The Evening’s Menu

October 31st, 1946

 

Appetizer:

Pumpkin Soup, Lettuce Salad with Dressing, Buttered Rolls

 

Entree:

Roasted Breast of Chicken with Juniper Berry Sauce, Almond Stringbeans, Small Roasted Potatoes

 

Dessert:

Petit Fours, Imported Cheeses, Coffee, Port Wine

 

~   ~ ~

 

“I’ve planned a big meal so I hope you’re all suitably hungry,” Alaska said, taking her seat at the head of the table. There were no place cards, which meant that everyone else just situated themselves wherever they pleased. Each setting was mostly what you would expect; there was a plate, a spoon, a fork, a glass full of ice water, but curiously there were no knives.

Eventually Mr. Slyth appeared with the first course, setting a spread in front of each person before finally James began to eat the moment his food was set down in front of him. He had squandered enough to live in the previous few weeks, that was to be sure, but nothing like what was being served that night.

William took his own delicate first mouthful of soup. “You know,” he said with a smirk, “gorging yourself like that isn’t good for you.”

James pointed his spoon in an accusatory fashion at William, splattering soup all over the table cloth. “Shove off, Mr. Frick, we all know you’re making a fortune off advertising those rainbow diet pills in your paper. I can eat however I please.”

“Now now, boys. This is supposed to be a night of peace, remember?” Alaska reminded them.

“That may be what you intended it to be, Dr. Black.” Amity spoke up. “But I for one will never forgive you for the way you forced my hand.”

“Oh my, so you did kill him after all,” William realized, tapping a finger against his glass. “This is some juicy stuff, too bad it’s all off the record.” He took a drink.

“Neither will I,” Rosie said. “You might have only stolen a single box of donuts from under my nose, but the police wasted a lot of our funding trying to track them down. Even by the time you finally let it slip we didn’t have the backing to get an arrest warrant against you. It was humiliating, like being spat in the face.”

“You know what you did,” James added vaguely. He tore with his teeth at a bread roll.

They spent the remainder of the first course without further conversation.

 

~   ~ ~

 

Mr. Slyth cleared the dishes and brought around the main course. It was plated with care, like at a high scale restaurant. However beautiful the presentation, there were still a few minor complaints.

William no more than glanced at it before a single glance at him could tell you he had gone all over queasy. He brought a hand to his stomach as if he was physically trying to hold down the contents of his stomach.

“Could someone please show me to the restroom?” he asked.

“Oh yes, of course. You don’t look at all the thing,” Alaska observed. “Mr. Slyth will show you there right away, won’t you Mr. Slyth?”

The butler removed the napkin from his lap and silently got up to lead the way. He returned a few moments later alone, and it was only after a few moments hesitation they decided it was appropriate to continue the meal minus one.

“I don’t eat meat,” Amity admitted, pushing the chicken disgruntledly around with her fork.

“Then don’t eat the meat, it’s not that hard,” Alaska advised her. The poultry was cut up into bite sized pieces to accommodate for the absence of knives.

“You really don’t need it,” James said without class, his mouth full of everything but. “These vegetables are lovely enough by themselves.”

“They should be, I took them from the garden next door while no one was home,” Alaska announced. “Last year they won some sort of local gardening competition for those beans, and I should hope the quality of their crop is consistent enough.”

“So it’s not just me you nick food off of, that’s good to know.” Rosie picked an almond out of the stringbeans and placed it directly on her tongue.

“I’ll take your word for it,” Amity said. “It’s not like I’ll starve.” She shovelled her helping of chicken onto James’ plate, realizing he had the appetite to finish it off for her.

“But someone else we know might very well. Mr. Frick, he’s been in the bathroom for simply ages,” Alaska pointed out.

Reluctant as they were to agree with anything she said, everyone agreed this was concerning.

“Tell you what,” Alaska proposed, “if he doesn’t return by the time dessert rolls around, we’ll put a pin on dinner. I’ll go check on him, and meanwhile you all can go snooping about my house. I know you’re all just dying to, so I might as well give into your desires. Though I assure you any secrets I may have are well hidden.”

Barring Alaska herself, they all hurried to finish the course. Their table etiquette morphed to match that of James, they didn’t have time to concern themselves with manners any longer. Sure enough, they were done before William showed his face again.

Cycle

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:39

By Keven Lin, Staff Writer

 

Darkness by darkness, a dim light appears in the distance

Light by light, small light of hope sprouting onto the surface of the world

Reach by reach the light became clear and clear as if everything came into existence

Scenery by scenery, the tender wind and the warmth of sunlight is nothing like the underworld

 

Day by day, observing the changes of the mysterious sky

Night by night, extends my wings toward the moonlight bright

Rain by rain, as quietness fall upon the dribbles carries by the nature

Sunny by sunny, where the rain turn into vapors

 

Winter by winter, the snow falls and turns into glacier

Spring by spring, where we sprouts once again

Summer by summer, we reached out maximum potential

Fall by fall, we begin to  fall apart

 

Winter by winter, we left behind our next generation

Fall into darkness once again until everything repeats itself

The Names of Her Killer: Part III

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 18:01

By Spencer Thomas, Staff Writer

GROSS INDECENCY: THE PLANCHETTE SCANDAL

James Planchette waited by the back door of the concert hall. In order to not ruin his clothes, he refrained from leaning against either of the walls that enclosed the tight dim alley. He spent what felt like hours shifting his weight from one foot to the other, over and over again, hoping the excess heat he created would wilt neither the bouquet of roses he held to his side nor the matching boutonnièr.

The door creaked open. James looked up to see who it was, and was disappointed by the sight of Scarlett Love, the cellist. She was a good enough musician, but she gained her infamy through her illegal gambling habit rather than her musical prowess.

“You won’t be finding him coming out this door tonight,” she told him.

“Excuse me?”

“Leo Campbell. He caught some exotic flu, haven’t you heard? The doctors say he’ll be bedridden for a while.” Scarlett smirked and straightened her collar.

James took a step back and ended up pinning himself against the wall. His hope to keep clean was foiled. “What makes you think I’m here for him?”

“You dropped this in your box last night,” she replied, holding up a battered journal. A strip of ribbon marked a page about one third of the way in. “There are several rather interesting passages in here, but this one’s my favorite…”

 

~   ~ ~

 

From the Personal Writings of James Planchette

March 20th, 1946

 

Among each flower garden sewed

Lives one prized and cherished rose

Do I commit such mortal sin?

To say it is the hands that play second violin

Stagelight sweat like morning dew

Upon the brow of a musical brood

Dressed in black like all the rest

One face fairer to digest

I cannot make the matinee

But at night shines a brass inlay

Darkness shrouds the backstage door

The alley is a lover’s secret moor

Hours late his symphony silenced

Will he consent to be defiant?

A man the only pure delight

Of one lonely tired sodomite

 

~   ~ ~

 

The poem sounded so much more eloquent when it he read it to himself. Something in her tone of voice butchered it.

“What do you want from me?” James demanded.

“Oh, it’s not about what I want.” She tossed the journal over to him. “It’s about what I can do for you, at a price. For a bit of cash I could tell you which hospital bed he’s in, in addition to ensuring no one else less agreeable finds about your romantic tendencies. No one will even know the money is from you, I’ll deal myself in a game soon enough… So what do you say?”

“I say you can go to hell.” He tossed his bouquet to the ground and grabbed the cello case she had rested at her feet by its neck. He struggled at first to lift it up at such an awkward angle, but ultimately he managed to hold it more aggressively than most held a gun.

“No, please… Wait! I didn’t really mean it! It was all just a joke, all in jest. Funny, right?” Scarlett laughed faintly, nervously.

James was determined in his rage. He raised the case again and struck her across the head repeatedly. He kept beating her until well after she was already dead. By the time he finally stopped, his hair was damp with sweat.

Suddenly the door opened again and out pranced two men, one with his arm around the other. The taller of them was whistling, but his tune fell flat as soon as they noticed the cadaver lying in their path. There in plain sight James stood too, murder weapon still in hand.

The two dandies were none other than Leopold Campbell and one of the other, Gerald Douglas. Partners in love as well as instrument, they added aid to law enforcement to their joint repertoire that night. Leo tackled James to buy Gerald time to run back inside and phone the police. The murderer was defeated, without the slightest chance to feel triumphant in his crime.

 

~   ~ ~

 

Story by William Frick from The Quiet Observer

April 7th, 1946

 

When it comes to the aristocracy, James Planchette is among the closest that America comes these days to having its own. With aristocracy comes, in the eyes of any story hungry journalist, scandal. And what a scandal that has certainly grown around Planchette’s name. Late the night of March 30th, he was discovered by two members of the Symphony Orchestra, standing over the body of their colleague Scarlett Love with what appeared to be the object that killed her, the woman’s own cello case.

Planchette was originally arrested for second-degree murder, however, when his case goes to trial later this year he will be defending himself against accusations of manslaughter. The switch was made after Planchette’s testimony that splatter of pigment on the alleged murder weapon was not blood and that her death had been the result of a “deadly red paint related accident” was deemed plausible.

Gerald Douglas and Leopold Campbell, the two witnesses, are expected to testify for the prosecution. The official trial date has yet to be announced.

 

~   ~ ~

 

From the Diary of Dr. Alaska Black

August 21st, 1946

 

My Future Self,

 

I am writing this remind myself where I hid two very important items. Certainly as hidden as they would be if I did not write out their location, but that is precisely why I am doing to hide the diary too, just not as well.

I interrupt my digression with another more relevant one. The two items are both connected to the trial of my dear friend James Planchette, by this time over and ended in his favor. Juries are wishy washy, they see his face and they see a star. James did tell me once it has been a secret dream of his to be in the pictures.

When I first heard he was being held down at the police station, I, of course, rushed down to keep him company. My visit  did not last long, the second I tasted their horrid coffee I had to get out as soon as possible. But first I sampled one of the donuts from the full dozen in the box. All of them ended up coming home with me. What can I say? Glaze is sticky and the donuts wanted to to stick together. I could not bear to part with the box, it is good quality cardboard. So I stuffed it in the back of one of the kitchen cabinets. Hopefully Mr. Slyth will not find it and throw it out.

When James was declared not guilty, that’s when the real fun began. He lost a large sum of money during the legal proceedings, which upset him a great deal. He is fun to watch when he is agitated. I was almost disappointed I would never get to see the absolute fit he would have thrown had he actually been found guilty. I decided it would be fun to help his sufferance along artificially. I went down to the back and withdrew every last penny he had. The tellers didn’t even question it, they know who I am down there. I have made sure of that by being their very best customer. James will never find out I betrayed him like that, as long as I can help it. I took the bank papers and hid them in a vault under that oriental rug in my study. It’s dusty in there, but I’m sure my secrets do not mind.

 

That will be all,

Alaska

 

~   ~ ~

 

Private Correspondence

August 27th, 1946

 

Dear friend,

 

It is with greatest regret I must write to you to beg for some financial aid. It is true that my family had a great deal to their name, however, the case in which I was accused of the late virtuoso Miss Scarlett Love’s murder changed that. I daresay the cost of defending oneself in the court of law these days is bordering on ridiculous. My tailor charged me a ludicrous  amount to clothe me for my appearance in front of the jury, and the expense of my lawyer surpassed even that. I was relieved to have proved myself innocent, but I could barely afford to live comfortably after that. I was left with a mere trifle of a fortune.

Still, it was enough. Or so I thought. Just the other day I visited the bank only to be informed that they have somehow ‘misplaced’ a great deal of it. As much as I insisted whatever transactions that might have taken place were without my consent, they refused to listen. They even had the nerve to escort me from the premises. As if I needed more scandal.

Please, Alaska, consider lending me enough to get by, even if I must adjust myself to a less dignified life. Already I am forced to don my old school uniforms. Please, you’re my only hope.

 

Best Regards,

James Planchette

The Vegetarian Voyage

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 17:59

By M. K. Powell, Staff Writer

Here’s a question I’m asked when I tell someone I’m a vegetarian: why am I a vegetarian?

I’m coming up on five years a vegetarian. I was no more than a lass of 12 when I announced to my mom, who is also a vegetarian, that I was done eating meat. It was after we had gotten home from a local creamery. I gotta feed the calves bottled milk and prior to the calf feeding I was getting to know my own calf. I bestowed the illustrious name of “Cowey” on my young buddy. He had big, dark, soft eyes, a pink nose, and a gentle manner. After the feeding, my family and I went down to get ice cream in the store, and while in line, I waited next to fresh steaks. And I had an epiphany…. they only need so many bulls on a farm, and that’s enough to get the cows pregnant… then the rest go to slaughter…. COWEY WAS GONNA DIE. That meant that when Cowey grew up, he was chopped liver. Literally.

   At this point, there’s a likelihood that I’m coming off as a snooty vegetarian, or maybe someone very squeamish, or, maybe even…. a bovine avenger. However, I do want to get something across; I don’t disapprove of other people eating meat. I’m not the type to dress up in a meat suit and violently assault meat eaters, prying their McDonald’s bags from their hands and holding it high and with my vengeful cry of “MEAT IS MURDER”. No, no, I’m just the type who thinks everyone should go through a similar experience. I looked a cow in the eyes, and then a steak, and thought of the cow, and then the steaks, and felt that if I ate another cow it would be akin to committing murder. If you were to go your entire life meeting your meat eye to eye, and if you’re able to watch that animal slaughtered, then you have every right to eat your meat. I congratulate you on going through that experience. My meat suit rampage will never come your way. However, if you’re going to eat it and you don’t want to talk or think about the fact of where it came from, ever, because really you’re not okay with it, then I will not give you the same mercy. If you’re going to eat it, you have to be able to face it. I did, and I decided I couldn’t do it. It’s not an easy thing to do, and I don’t want to advertise it as such. But I also want to make it clear that there are alternatives to eating meat. That’s why there are so many vegetarian meat-like products; if you’re not okay with where the real stuff comes from, then you have alternatives. It was like that for me.

The Names of Her Killer: Part II

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 18:00

By Spencer Thomas, Staff Writer

 

INFIDELITY: THE SCUDUTTLE AFFAIR

“Oh darling, tell me everything,” Alaska begged, cuddling in closer to her paramour. The previous day had marked the three month anniversary of their adulterous arrangement.

“What’s there to tell?” Hortenzio Scuduttle asked. He kissed her tenderly on the forehead. “The sun has barely risen yet.”

“Your dreams, of course. I should be quite upset if I wasn’t in at least one.” Alaska petted his hair, subtly pulling him closer for another kiss, preferably on the lips.

Hortenzio pulled away and hugged his knees to his chest like a child.  “About that.”

“About what?”

“About you. About us. A few nights ago, Amity… my wife, she popped a big question. She asked if I ever wanted kids, and I told her the truth. I do. That’s one thing she can give me that you can’t. Look, I’m pretty sure she’s known about the affair for a while, or at least been suspicious of us. I tried to be careful, but she’s a smart gal, Amity. So I think this would be the best time to patch things up. Look, I’m never going to be able to stop thinking of you, but it’s time I start thinking of those vows I took to her before I act. Otherwise I’m in big trouble.” He slid out from under the covers and pulled on his boots, almost as an afterthought he turned around to tuck Alaska comfortably in her lonely bed.

“That’s it?” she scoffed. “After all this time this is how you leave me? I would have thought you would’ve had the decency to put a bullet through my brain if you wanted rid of me that badly.”

Hortenzio chuckled. “I’ll miss you, my dame, Alaska. Though, you never know, I might be willing to meet you again, once or twice, if you sneak around back and call me darling. Maybe anything could happen. . . Maybe. You’re real bad news for a good marriage, you hear? Take care of yourself.”

He took his hat and left. The scorned woman felt, as she heard the engine of his car start through the wall, that it had plowed right through the plaster and ran her over where she lay. But it simply left. She called for breakfast in bed for the next week.

 

~   ~ ~

 

Private Correspondence

February 14th, 1946

 

Dr. Black,

 

I wish you would leave my husband alone, that much you know to be true. I also wish you to know that I am a proud woman. I am sick of you playing the starring role in his heart. I am sick of these games, you making me think I have a chance to be leading lady each night only to tear him away. And the fact you leave footprints in my hydrangeas infuriates me all the more. Yet I love my husband and the problem remains no matter my anger. I think have devised a way to convince you it is in your best interest to stay away from my home. Meet me by the lighthouse an hour before midnight on Saturday and we will talk. I trust you will not waste my time.

A. Tullen-Scuduttle

 

~   ~ ~

 

Amity resisted the urge to turn around as the sound of heels against concrete echoed across the quay. She kept her gaze where she guessed the water met the horizon. It was hard to tell in the darkness.

“You’re late,” she said.

“How can you tell?” Alaska questioned. “You’re not even wearing a watch.”

“I have my ways. Besides I’m not wearing a watch because I know your reputation. You’re a trinket stealer as well as a man stealer, or so I’m told.”

“What can I say? I’m a guilty one, and I know what I’ve done is wrong. I’d say cuff me and take me away, but usually the deal comes after that and I believe you have one to offer me.”

Amity reached into her pocket and pulled out a sealed envelope. She always insisted her dresses had pockets, though usually she filled them for purposes less covert.

Before she had a chance to explain what it was she had tucked away and prepared to offer, someone else arrived on the scene.

“What do you two think you’re doing?” The man demanded.

“Hortenzio,” Amity said, avoiding the question.  “How did you find us here?”

“It wasn’t that hard,” her husband assured her.

“You followed me?” She felt her trust betrayed. It was one thing to know he was unfaithful, it was another to think he trusted her no more.

“Of course not. I would never follow you.” He nodded his head in Alaska’s direction. “I followed her.”

“I did wear this old red coat you said it was hard not to notice me in. Then again you said I was hard to resist in anything… that you could follow my scent anywhere it was so distinct, like honey and saffron,” the woman in question rattled off smugly. With each word came more offense to the delicacy of the situation. Until finally Amity could take no more.

“You said all that? To her?” She snapped. “That’s the same thing you told me when we met, you bastard!”

She reached again deep into her pockets. Alaska didn’t like what she had to offer that time around nearly as much. She clutched a large kitchen knife in such a manner that suggested she did not plan on using it to chop vegetables anytime soon.

“You want him?” she yelled, brandishing the knife in her rival’s direction. “Well, you can have him!” She plunged the blade deep into her husband’s stomach, twisting it left and right to ensure she tore up as much flesh as possible. She beheld her handiwork and gagged at what she saw. Blood. So much blood.

Appalled and ashamed, she pushed him away. Tears welled in her eyes but refused to slide down her cheek. The knife remained lodged in her victim’s stomach. She had read once that pulling it out would only make it worse. Not that it mattered, he had already died from the shock rather than the blow.

“I’m sorry,” she said, to herself more than to him. She bolted away into the dark.

Alaska remained calm. She took a deep breath, stretching and flexing the muscles in her arms. Shoes and gloves abandoned, she grabbed Hortenzio’s legs and pulled. The slickness of his coat against concrete helped the process along considerably. It wasn’t long before his body plunged into the dark water. She didn’t bother to weigh it down.. It wasn’t her kill. It was only half her concern. She at least dislodged the knife as a sort of morbid souvenir before pushing him over the edge.

“The last gift my man ever gave me was the blade that stopped his heart,” she mumbled aloud. It was kind of a weird thing to say, she knew, but she didn’t care. It was the truth, and when no one else was around to hear,  even women like her told it like it was. Simple and to the point.

 

~   ~ ~

 

Story by William Frick from The Quiet Observer

February 24th, 1946

 

The body of Hortenzio Scuduttle was discovered washed up on the shore two evenings ago by an anonymous individual out for a smoke. He was first reported missing by his widow, Amity Tullen-Scuduttle, on the morning of February 18th. The corpse is scheduled for a full autopsy, though at the moment police say the cause of death appears to be a stab wound to the abdomen. Police have also received an anonymous tip that Scuduttle was last seen in the company of one Dr. Alaska Black. When we reached out to her household for comment her butler responded, quote, “I’m not paid enough for this.” The doctor herself refuted his claim, clarifying that she does not pay him at all.

After the investigation has concluded, a funeral and wake will be held. According to formerly Mrs. Tullen-Scuduttle anyone is welcome to attend her late husband’s services, though she will not be in attendance herself. “I believe it would be best to try and move on as quickly as possible,” she told The Quiet Observer yesterday evening. Some activities she set aside to help her ease the pain include expanding her impressive knife collection and continuing development on her debut novel under the working title Under Unforgettable.

We will continue to publicise the investigation as it unfolds. For more details about the funeral please contact Sanders Funeral Home.

 

~   ~ ~

 

Private Correspondence

March 1st, 1946

 

Dr. Black,

 

Since the death of my husband I have no further reason to associate with you. I believe we are both at this point in agreement that it would be in either of our best interests to stay out of each other’s affairs. If you have any reason to object to our dropping of company, I do not care. Stay out of my life and I will make sure history does not repeat itself. May the memory of Hortenzio be of comfort to you.

 

Kindly and formerly Mrs., 

Tullen-Scuduttle

The Myth of Flirting

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 17:00

By Jiala Devine, Staff Writer

It is a false assumption that if you flirt with someone your chances of being together are higher. Ask someone, anyone, how many people they flirted with. Then ask how many people they’ve dated/hooked up with. Before you skeptically remark, “Well, it worked at one point right?” – please skim This Article.

Flirting as we know it is treated as the most obvious way to convey your interest in someone. You might drop some hilarious jokes. Or hint at how cute they are. If you’re really confident you might find a casual excuse to make physical contact. But that’s the problem. It all has to be very casual. The most casual…so casual that only the most skilled could see that you have human emotions. Flirting seems to be one big paradox. Communicate how you feel to someone without letting them know how you feel.

Frankly, it’s not very effective. Contrary to popular belief, we as humans (and teens in particular) aren’t great at picking up cues no one told us to look for. And we’re even worse at trusting our own judgment to say “that was flirting.” So bad, in fact, that when some people suspect they’ve been flirted with they phone a friend to ask whether or not that’s what it really was. The classic overly cute compliments we think are obvious can be interpreted as platonic. An under-the-table knee bump might be accidental. Those moments of extra-long eye contact may not be as long as you think they are. Suddenly whoever you’re trying to woo is thrown under a microscope as part of a full-blown investigation into what their feelings truly are.

So how can that situation be avoided? Well, it’s as easy as not making things harder than they need to be. Say what you mean! “Hey, I like you and want to get know you better.” No goofy tone or flirtatious looks. Pretend for a moment that what you are saying is as obvious and normal as reciting the alphabet.

People are a lot less judgmental than we think. You won’t come off as super weird. In fact, the other person is probably going to be relieved that they didn’t have to play the long game. If they feel the same as you, they will tell you. If the person is not interested, at least you won’t have wasted your time.  Either way the end result will be the same as if you had flirted, you’ll see if they’re interested or not. Flirting will not make them fall for you if they were not already into you. Flirting will not make you more attractive if they were not already attracted to you. Flirting doesn’t slowly bring up your odds of getting together. Flirting is the mythical tool we use to hide a very basic fact about ourselves. We are all just afraid to ask “What do you think about me?” The answer might lead somewhere great.

Somewhere Tangible

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 16:00

By An Anonymous Staff Writer

I kept it somewhere tangible

Deep inside myself

Some place he and I knew

And so did everybody else

And although they could see it

It was a mystery to him I knew

How we could ever be closer

When we stuck together like glue

Stuck with a boy who loved him

When he didn’t love himself

 

We sat on the same ledge before

Before he sat with me

But together we won’t jump off

Together we can be free

Free to tell each other

What prowls in the dark

Awful thought after another

Scared off by each others spark

 

His confidence was reachable

Sitting on a shelf

But instead he thought of other boys

And all their made up wealth

Could he think of what I had shared

Surely he had not forgot

Could he ever find a feeling

And would he share if he could not

 

I kept it somewhere tangible

Somewhere he has touched

His impact has been felt there

Yet it’s place his arm can’t brush

Tonight I Write the Saddest Lines

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 18:00

By: Isabella Hendershot, Staff Writer

Tonight I write the saddest lines.

My thoughts and feelings,

The sad and insecure,

The lonely and unspoken,

However  — not all  of them  tonight.

Tonight only a few,

The few needed to be known,

but not them all.

The one I want and love,

doesn’t wish to love me,

Not as I love him.

He loves another

I’m sure.

 

Tonight I write the saddest lines,

Knowing he doesn’t love me,

knowing that all we’ll ever be,

Is nothing more than good friends.

breaks me down

 

Tonight I write the saddest lines.

How my love does not love me back,

the way I wish.

The clouds are like me,

holding everything in,

Until one day  the rain rushes out,

I am cold icy rain,

My tears, weeping and crying.

 

Tonight I write the saddest lines,

I stand there in this cold rain,

in these gray clouds,

waiting for my knight in shining armor,

“Come save me, please. Save me from myself,”

I cry,  but my knight isn’t listening.

Take me out of this cold rain,

make me warm again,

This feeling isn’t the same,

No warmth,

Instead of blissfulness, tiredness ,

No peacefulness – it’s gone.

I’m waiting for him to come save me,

To make me feel loved.

 

Tonight I write the saddest lines,

I know the one I love,

doesn’t love me,

I can see it,

I can feel it.

thoughts swirl in my head,

a tornado shrieking

that if he loves me,

his love wouldn’t be real.

He wouldn’t really love me,

His love would be out of pity.

 

Tonight I write the saddest lines,

I wait for him,

My knight in shining armor.

But he does not come.

 

Tonight I write the saddest lines.

Remind Me, Why Should I Shave My Legs?

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 18:00

By: M.K. Powell, Staff Writer

 

 

The summer months brought about a shift in weather that has allowed me to cast off my pants and rejoice in the freedom of skirts again. On the first warm day of the year I had excitedly picked out a flowery dress to wear, then went into the bathroom to shave my legs when I realized (GASP) I hadn’t replaced my shaving supplies. It was a travesty.  A beautiful, new dress left in my closet for months finally had the chance to shine, when it was suddenly taken away in a cruel twist of fate.

Then I thought about something: why am I shaving my legs?

I mean, obviously American society enjoys the look of shiny, hairless lady legs, but am I really just shaving because American society tells me to? Well, yeah, I kinda am. Women in Europe shave nothing, neither do most women in African countries and I’m sure there are other places doing the same. So why am I doing it?

The answer is, I don’t really know.

American women have been shaving their legs since the 1920s, when skirts got shorter and legs were first exposed. However, European women never really started. Most European women, in fact, never shaved their legs. Most African women don’t as well, and I think there’s a good reason for that. That reason is; there never really was a reason to shave our legs, besides to make them more aesthetically pleasing. And here’s another bit I think you might of thought of as well; men don’t shave their legs. Women, like men, are expected to do upkeep with facial and the like, but for legs there seems to be a double standard. Men don’t have to shave their legs (except swimmers for aerodynamic reasons). Imagine a hipster dude with a flowing beard and smooth, shiny legs. It’s honestly an almost disturbing picture you won’t be able to get out of your head or comprehend. I know.

People will judge any woman who doesn’t shave their legs, but if the best reason for me to shave my legs is “Because that’s just how it is” then I’m not doing it.

The Names of Her Killer: Part I

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:00

By Spencer Thomas, Staff Writer

PROLOGUE: THE DEAD WOMAN

Dr. Alaska Black. Loved by many, hated by many of the same. She was rich, though what amount of her funds were earned honestly was too much of a mystery to even be worth guessing at. It all ended up in the same place, whether from extortion or paycheck, after all. Her bank account was a melting pot of dubious validity. She hardly spent on anything other than food and clothes, for herself and for the cats she kept taking in, even though she knew they would only run away like all the others, fed up by the lack of affection they were paid. The only luxuries she allowed herself to keep were affairs with the unfaithful and shameless mind games with those who put a little too much faith in her. A kiss from one man and a small loan from another. Promises of love and two-percent interest rates. One she made sure was remembered with every opportunity, the latter she made sure was forgotten before she had the chance to act on her word.

It was no wonder she was dead. Everybody dies. But not everyone has a diary to keep every account of a death wish against them. Jealous wives and screwed over contemporaries were, in the eyes of Dr. Black, as good a thing to fill the pages of your own life with as they were to fill those of a pulp mystery magazine.

~  ~ ~

From the Diary of Dr. Alaska Black

October 30th, 1946

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this entry to plainly state my suspicion that I am going to be murdered. Believe me, if you could hear my brain working away on the issue like a record, you would lose your hearing from how loud it is in my thoughts. If it were possible to scream through the written word I would, but alas I am forced to the confines of vanilla prose. I digress, my point is simply this: Five people could be out to get me. Six, if you count my last cat. But due to the fact her qualms came from my running her over with an assuredly fatal bicycle, I am confident she is not the true culprit. Again, if you would follow me back on topic. The names and motives of those I have reason to fear capable are as follows:

  • Amity Tullen-Scuduttle, wife of my beloved. Her husband loved me more than her. I almost doubted it when he ran back to her one day. But after thirteen consecutive ‘last nights’ with him, I knew he was only trying to save his own neck. I never saw him another night. She claims every day she looks toward the horizon, half expecting him to come home. But somehow I always feel her sharp gaze on the back of my neck instead.
  • James Planchette, an old friend of mine. He has done some bad before, but the law never quite convinced itself that was true. The legal proceedings left him a simpler man, but he still had enough in his pocket to stay with his upper class life. I took the liberty of borrowing against his bank account just to see him suffer a little more.
  • Rosie Mars, the local chief of police. I was visiting James at the station one day and there was this big box of donuts at the drinks station. I took the whole thing as payback for them providing the worst free coffee I have ever had the misfortune to taste.
  • Mr. Slyth, my butler. I have neglected to pay him lately and he is not a fan of that. Who knows how long it will take him to go from ‘accidentally’ breaking vases to take out his anger to breaking bones instead.
  • William Frick, reporter. Would it be bad to say I simply never trusted the man? There is something about him that just makes me uneasy. He always proves how he knows more than anyone else in the room. If that knowledge included several ways to kill, I would not be surprised.

I invited them all down to my place for get together on Halloween. Here is to hoping that we can bury the hatchet without losing too much of my dignity or funds. And here is to hoping I am very wrong that I will die.

Eternally yours,

Alaska

It Gets Better: Part IV

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 19:00

By: Isabella Hendershot, Staff Writer

It’s been a few months since I have returned home. During the few months since I’ve been home I shifted for the first time. I learned that I am a snow leopard and a fox. Today I wanted to go for a run after lunch and Phoenix followed me out. We both go a few feet past the tree line and we start to get undressed before we shift. I turn into my main form, a snow leopard, and Phoenix turns into his beautiful snow white wolf.

Once I shift I walk over to Phoenix and lick his cheek. I start to run and he follows behind me. I run in the direction of another one of my secrete places. It’s a small beach with a waterfall. It reminded me of the entrance to our pack lands but this is only a place for me and Phoenix. I run up to the edge of the water and take a drink. I shift and walk into the water. I know from the lack of water splashing that Phoenix is staring at me, though I am teasing him. When I am deep enough in the water to where my chest is covered I turn around.

“Are you coming in or are you just gonna stare with your mouth open and tongue hanging out?” I yell and laugh at Phoenix as I snap him out of his little daze. He huffs and growls softly as I laugh and giggle to myself. He stands up tall and then starts to run into the water and he swims over to me. When he reaches me I smile and kiss his furry and wet face. He shifts back and and holds me close.

“Oh my sweet little mate, must you tease me every chance you get?” he kisses me deeply and I purr softly.

“Yes I do and I know you loved the view so don’t you complain.” I smirk and kiss him again. I swim out of his arms and in the direction of the waterfall. I swim around it and closer to the little secluded area behind it. I turn around to see my beloved right behind me. I move to one of the shallow pools of water and sit on the rock steps. When Phoenix comes and sits next to me I lean against him and purr softly as he rubs my back and traces small and random patterns against my skin underneath the water.

After spending a few hours in the water and time at the beach we shift and run back to the pack house. I start dinner and make a beef soup for dinner. The entire house smells like our dinner and the boys follow the sent. I never even need to call for them anymore.

We sit at the dinner table and eat as we talk about the day we had. Alex, of course, told us a crazy story about his day, going out shopping and running into a crazy ex of his. Tyler tells us of his day at school. Phoenix and I keep our special time together throughout the day to ourselves though. We all listen to the insane and elaborate stories of everyone’s day.

After dinner all of us go into the movie theater room and Cotah picks out a movie for us all to watch. While I wait for all the blankets and pillows to be laid out on the big and comfy couches, I go and start the popcorn machine. I walk over to the glass cabinets and I pick out a few of my favorite candies. I look through one and see that a box of cheez-its is too high on a shelf. I stretch as much as I can and as a minute goes by I feel Phoenix wrap his arms around my waist. I huff and smile slightly as I set my feet on the floor completely and stop trying to stretch up to grab the box. Phoenix kisses my neck softly and hums against my skin. I purr softly and then he stops. Phoenix reaches up to grab the box and sets it down on the counter in front of me.

“That’s for teasing me earlier.” He speaks in a deep voice of his that he knows drives me insane. He unwraps his arms from around my waist and goes to sit down on our couch. I growl lightly as he walks away after he teases me. I pout and grab all of my snacks and walk over to the couch that Phoenix is on. I plop down on the couch and wrap a blanket around myself. I open the box of Cheez-its and start to eat them right out of the box.

The movie finally starts and I curl up in my blanket as Chris turns off the lights. Everyone is settled in and someone only gets up to get popcorn from the machine when it was done. We all eat junk food and watch the movie. By the time the movie ends I have my head on Phoenix’s shoulder, Tyler is asleep with his head on Alex’s lap and Alex and Jace are snuggled up with a sleeping Tyler. I lean back and Phoenix stands up. I hold my arms up to him and he picks me up. I wrap my legs around his waist and he holds me up. I rest my head on his shoulder and he walks upstairs to our bedroom.

He lays me down on the bed and I whine softly. He undresses for bed and then sits me back up to undress me for bed too. He pulls the covers back and he holds me as he lays under the covers with me in his arms. He rubs my back gently and I lay my head on his chest. Phoenix hums softly and I listen to his heartbeat as he rubs my back and he slowly pulls me to sleep as I purr softly in his arms all curled up.

In the morning when I wake up I smile as I see my beloveds sleeping face. I kiss his cheek and slip out of bed. I walk to our master bathroom and I take a hot morning shower.

I walk out of the bathroom all dressed and feeling nice and clean. I see Phoenix waking up slowly and reaching out to my side of the bed for me. I smile and laugh softly. I reach into the window seat quietly and pull out a body pillow. I walk over to the bed and slip the pillow into his arms. He holds the fluffy pillow close against his body and falls back to sleep. I watch him for a few minutes and then I go downstairs to start making breakfast for the whole pack.

When I’m done cooking breakfast I start to clean up. I put the food onto serving plates and I put the dishes in the sink to clean later. I walk over to the kitchen island, where I have all the food on the serving plates, and start to move all the food to the dining room table. As I’m on my last trip between the kitchen and the dining room table, I suddenly get a wave of dizziness as I lean over the kitchen island for the last plate. I get very lightheaded and the room starts to spin. My breathing is labored as I start to panic. I see black spots in my vision and I am falling to the ground as I lose feeling in my legs. I feel a sharp pain in my head and a large amount of pain throughout my body.

Soon after I hit the floor I black out. I wake up in the hospital wing of the pack house. I whine and whimper as I feel a great amount of pain throughout my body when I try to move only slightly. I try to open my eyes and hiss when the light hits my sensitive eyes, I close them immediately. I hear someone get up from a chair close to my hospital bed. They walk farther away from me and the lights turn very dim. The footsteps start to walk back over to my bed and then to the chair close by. My eyelids relax and soon I open my eyes again. I blink and let my eyes adjust to the lighting in the room.

I slowly and carefully turn my head in the direction of where I heard to footsteps. Once my vision clears up I can see this mysterious persons face, it’s Cotah. I look at Noah with a confused look. I struggle for a little while to speak to him but I manage.

“Where is he…? Where is my beloved mate?” my voice rasps out as my throat burns from being so dry. I try to sit up in bed but I hurt and ache to much. I whimper as I collapse back onto the bed after trying to hold myself up.

“Don’t move!” Cotah quickly gets out of his seat and runs to my bed. He pushes me back onto the bed so that I can’t get up or move.

“What happened? Why am I in the hospital wing?” I question as I try to remember what happened to me. I can only remember my head hurting and I passed out.

“You’ve been in here for days, I wasn’t sure when you were going to wake up again.” He looks worried and he doesn’t look at me for a while. “You finally changed to your angle form, you finally grew your wings. We found you on the ground, your shirt was ripped at the back and we saw the blood. I felt the connection between us when you changed. I haven’t let anyone touch you except for Cole, but that’s only been to change your bandages.” I listen to him as he tells me all of this. I get confused when he tells me of a ‘connection’ between us when I changed.

“What do you mean connection? Why didn’t you let anyone near me or touch me? What’s going on?”I try to sit up again but Cotah just pushes me down again, a little bit more forcefully this time.

“I said you need to stay down!” His eyes flash as he raises his voice to me and he pushes me into the bed so I can’t move. “Your other side is an angle, I’m your companion now. That means I stay with you all the time and I’m not letting anyone in here except for Cole so he can fix you. You’re not leaving until Cole says that you’re okay to leave.”

I whine as I feel Cotah pushing me into the bed harder so I couldn’t get up. “I want Phoenix in here now Cotah!” I raise my voice back to him and I grab his wrists and pull them off with ease. I push his hands away with a strength I didn’t know I possessed. He stumbles back away from my bed and I call out to Phoenix.

 

When I call out to my beloved I hear multiple sets of footsteps running down the hall and towards the door. I sit up in bed and start to move to get up. My feet hit the ground as I hear the door beginning to break under the amount of force the boys are using to get inside. The thick wooden door bursts open just as I start to stand and I collapse from my own weight, being to weak to stand yet.

Phoenix runs and catches me just before my head hits the hard tiles of my hospital room. I wince and whimper in pain as the pain from the rest of my body is amplified from hitting the hard and cold tiles. Phoenix picks me up in his arms and holds me close. I curl up as he holds me and tell him to take me somewhere else.

“Don’t worry sweetheart, I’ll take you up to our room. Cole can fix you up and check on you while you lay our big bed, surrounded by my big and fluffy blankets.” He kisses my forehead and starts to carry me out of the hospital wing and back to the main part of the pack house. He carries me upstairs and to our room. Once inside he expertly balances me in one arm and and pulls back the covers. He lays me in bed and gets me extra pillows and blankets to make me feel comfortable.

In a few minutes the boys are upstairs with some of Cole’s medical equipment and supplies. It was all the things he needed to check up on me and to help me feel better. Phoenix lays in bed with me and holds me close as Cole hooks me up to a heart monitor and checks all my vitals. The boys all stay in the room even after he is done and they keep me company. I’m grateful for the company and the light conversation that doesn’t involve what happened to me the morning I shifted into my other half.

When it starts to get late Jackson goes down with Cotah and they make my favorite food for dinner. They bring all the food up on trays and Phoenix serves me a plate of food. He helps me sit up and we all sit and eat as we watch tv.

When it gets late no one wants to leave the room so the boys cover the floor in blankets and pillows and they sleep in the room with Phoenix and I. As I lay in bed with Phoenix by my side I purr softly as he gently rubs my back and gives me gentle kisses on my exposed skin. I listen to his heartbeat and he hums a soft tune to me, lulling me to sleep.

I see the dark forest again, the dead trees enclosed around me, caging me inside. I panic and call out for my beloved. With a great fear gripping me tightly I realize that I can’t speak, can’t call out to my beloved for help.

I hear branches snapping and turn towards the sound. I see a shadow standing tall, demon like eyes staring back at me. I scramble to move away but I can’t move, paralyzed with fear. The shadow moves closer and I’m only able to look in fear. The shadow raises an arm and opens a hand to me. I look and see a strange flower in the hand of the shadowed man.

I feel the need to reach out for it, touch it. I reach out and grasp it in my hand tightly. I feel a painful sting and open my hand. I see the crumpled flower in my hand, stained with blood. I let the flower drop to the ground and I stare at my injured hand in shock. I touch my hand, not believing the pain was real until I feel a more prominent burning sting. I feel the pain in the hand that I crushed the flower in and where I touched my injured hand. I watch with paralyzing fear as I see my blood run down my skin, spreading the pain.

My vision starts to turn hazy and my heartbeat races as I panic and feel the pain spread throughout my body. I’m unable to hold myself up and I collapse to the cold and bare forest floor. My vision grows darker and it gets increasingly harder to breathe. I close my eyes in the hopes of the pain being taken away.

I jolt awake, sitting up in bed, coughing and struggling to breathe. I grab onto Phoenix’s arm tightly and he wakes up. He hears my struggle to breathe properly and yells to a sleeping Cole on the ground. I could tell he used his alpha command and everyone wakes up with a start. I sit there in bed, struggling to breathe as I see Cole and the others frantically run around to find something that would help me.

“I need an oxygen mask now! Run to the hospital now and bring it here!” Cole shouts the order to the others and they all run downstairs to the hospital wing to grab it.

Phoenix stays by my side trying to help me calm down and to breathe normally. “Breathe with me baby girl, nice and slow. Just follow my breathing.” He forces me to look at him and speaks calmly but it doesn’t work. No matter how hard I’m trying I can’t get enough air into my lungs.

As the boys were getting the oxygen mask and tank so I could breathe, I look down and see blood on my hands. Through the blood on my hands I can see the deep burns and lacerations on the palms of my hands.

“…Cole…my hands…” my voice rasps out. Cole comes over to my bedside and takes a look at my hands. I wince as I feel the burning pain from them being touched. His eyes looked hazy and I listen through the pack link to see what he asks for.

I need more bandages and disinfectant spray….bring me the book that’s on my desk for poisons also…” his orders to the boys end and I start to panic more as I remember my dream.

The minutes pass by and the boys all come back to the room with everything Cole asked for. Cole immediately gets to work. He puts the oxygen mask on me and I feel an instant relief from the burning in my chest. I close my eyes and relax slightly as my breathing starts to return to normal. When I catch my breath I start to tell them all about my nightmare. Cole flips through the book as I tell them all what happened.

Cole continues to look through the book as I finish speaking of what happened in my nightmare. After awhile Cole thinks he has the poison that was used on me. “Did you see what you were holding in your dream?”

I look at Cole confused for a moment. “It wasn’t clear…it turned all fuzzy…” I get quiet as I try to think of what I was holding. I think long and hard, wanting to know what poisoned me. I think back to my dream and remember that I was holding a flower. Once I remember I sit up in bed, “A flower!…it was a flower….” I wheeze and cough from speaking up to loud.

Phoenix gently pushes me back down in the bed and grabs me a glass of water. Once my breathing regulates again Cole speaks up again. “I think I know what poisoned you. It’s called a Bleeding Heart.” Cole brings the book over and he shows me a sketched out picture on the old page. “It contains an acidic liquid that is specifically designed to harm your angel hybrid side. If it is fully grown on a tree branch it will start to drip and becomes more toxic the longer it is held. When it’s crushed the acid inside hardens to glass shards and the petals melt. That’s why you have cuts on your hands and why your skin was burning.”

I look down at my bandaged up hands and arms as I listen to Cole. I take the oxygen mask off since I can now breathe normally on my own. I hold my hand out to Phoenix and he wraps his arms around me instead, comforting me. “But that doesn’t explain how I was poisoned from my dream…what if this happens again?” I yawn and lay my head against Phoenix’s chest. I look up at Phoenix, “I don’t wanna go to sleep if it happens again….”

Phoenix kisses my head and runs his fingers through my hair. “It won’t happen again. Not as long as I have you. I’ll protect my precious princess from the shadow monsters.” I close my eyes and whine softly as I curl up in his arms, exhausted. I sleep through the night in my mate’s arms without another nightmare.

When I wake up the next morning I can breathe on my own perfectly. I wake Phoenix up so he can help me get up and go into our bathroom so I can clean myself up.

“Why don’t we just take a nice and long hot shower together?” Phoenix suggests. “Or maybe we can go back to the clearing and go into the hot springs. It might help with your achy and sore muscles.” Phoenix kisses down my neck gently and lovingly.

“That sounds perfect to me, but I don’t know how the boys will react to waking up with the both of us gone…” I trail off and turn my head towards my mate. I wait for him to look up at me and give me a proper kiss. When he does look up I reach up to pull him to my lips. I smile as he kisses me and I purr softly.

I pull away from the kiss and smile up at him. He carries me out of the house before the boys wake up. Phoenix sweeps me off my feet and I squeal and giggle as he does. “Then why don’t we hurry. I don’t want our time to be cut short.” he grins like the cheshire cat and runs out of our bathroom, into our room, around the mass of large bodies that are the boys, and proceeds to run out of the house.

Phoenix uses his Alpha speed to run all the way out to the clearing and behind the large natural pools behind the waterfall. Past the pools behind the waterfall steam covers the smooth rocky floor as the hot springs are heated to the purrfect temperature.

He sits me down on one of the rocks and he gently starts to undress me, being careful of my bandaged arms and hands. He then starts to undress the little clothes he has on and and comes closer to unwrap my arms and hands. After he is done he picks me up again and walks into one of the hot springs. I purr lowly as I feel the hot water start to soothe my aching and sore muscles.

Phoenix looks down at my as he hears me purring. He smiles at me and chuckles, “I told you it would make you feel a lot better.” Phoenix kisses my forehead and carries me over to the other side. He sits down and holds me close while I sit in his lap. I lay my head on my beloved’s chest and close my eyes as I relax against him and just listen to his heartbeat.

It doesn’t take long for me to fall asleep again. I was grateful when I woke up in the bed and I didn’t have nightmares during my sleep. I purr quietly as I feel Phoenix’s arms wrapped around my waist. I turn in Phoenix’s arms so I could curl up in his arms with my head laying against his chest.

After a little while Phoenix starts to wake up and I smile wide. I gently kiss up his chest to his neck and finally his soft lips. I hum softly as he kiss me back and I hear him growl lowly to show his affection. He holds me tighter to bring me closer. Once we break the kiss he opens his eyes and smiles down at me.

“Well that was a nice way to wake up.” he speaks with his raspy morning voice and I lean up and give him a quick kiss. “Well I don’t think the boys will be up. So why don’t I carry you downstairs and I will sit you on the counter and you can watch as your handsome and big bad Alpha cook you breakfast? Hmm? How does that sound?” Phoenix asks and smiles wide.

“That sounds perfect my big bad Alpha.” I kiss his cheek and hug him tightly. “But what about food for the other’s?” I finally ask as I realize that he said he would be fixing food for only the two of us.

“Well they can all figure it out for themselves. It’s time that I made food for my baby for once.” he grins like the cheshire cat and attacks me with kisses again. I laugh and squeal as he does so and it tickles me.

“Okay, okay! As much as I love all of the love and affection you give me, I’m ready to see this amazing food you claim you can make me.” I say once I catch my breath and stop my laughing.

“Your wish is my command my sweet, sweet Luna.” Phoenix gives me a final kiss on the cheek and picks me up, throwing me over his shoulder. I laugh and squeal again as he does so. Phoenix runs down the stairs with me over his shoulder, making me bounce in the process.

When we reach the kitchen Phoenix sits me down on one of the high chairs at the kitchen island. “Alright my lovely Luna, what do you want for this amazing breakfast that I am making you?” Phoenix turns to me as he awaits my answer.

“Well since you are the one that will be making my food this morning I’m going to be a little greedy today. I want some strawberry and lemonade flavoured pancakes, bacon and sausage, and I want some fried potatoes in my cheesy omelet.” I take a breath after I give my beloved my list of food that I wanted for breakfast.

“Well you certainly have an appetite. One of the many things that makes me love you even more than I already do.” he gives me a quick kiss and then he gets to work making breakfast for the both of us.

When all of the food is finished Phoenix splits the food onto two plates and sits them in front of our seats at the kitchen island. Before sitting down he goes and grabs me a big cup of coffee, made just the way I like it with lots of sugar and my caramel creamer. He grabs himself a cup of ice water. Phoenix sits next to me and we both start to eat. When we are finished he takes our plates and cups to the sink, rinsing them off and then putting them in the dishwasher.

“So what do you want to do now? Go to the theater room? The library? Or maybe we can stay right here and we can make some sweet treats that are just for you and me?” he smiles down at me and waits for my answer.

“Well I think I’m going to be greedy again and say all of them. We can make cookies and when they are done we can put them onto a plate and go to the theater room and eat them all. We can also grab the cookie dough ice cream from the freezer in the theater room and eat that too. If we are not asleep by then we can go to sleep in the library and I will have you read to me until I fall asleep because by then I should take a nice and long nap.” I grin up at him as I tell him what I want.

“Well I think that sounds like another wonderful idea from you. It sounds like the perfect day my lovely Luna.” He leans over and kisses me before picking me up bridal style. He sits me up on the counter and starts to put everything out to make our cookies.

When the chocolate chips are set out on the counter I open the bag and start to eat some of them. Phoenix mesures everything out and then we put it into the food processor. Its mixed in 30 seconds and we each get a spoonful of cookie dough and start to eat it before putting it on the cookie sheets to bake.

After 15 minutes we take them out of the oven and wait a few minutes for them to cool down before we put the on a big plate and head to the theater room. I sit down on one of the big couches and Phoenix starts the popcorn machine and then grabs us candy. We put on Beauty and the Beast again because its my favorite movie.

Once Phoenix comes over with the popcorn, made just right, I curl up against his side. For the next few hours we curl up on the comfy couch, eating and watching different movies. By the time we finish watching our movies I become tired and all of our snacks are gone.

“Do you still wanna move on to the library or do you want to stay and watch more movies?” Phoenix looks down at me and kisses my forehead.

“You decide because I’d be happy with either decision.” I say tiredly. I yawn again and nuzzle my head against his chest. Phoenix picks me up and cradles me in his arms. I close my eyes as he takes me to the library after getting me something to drink and snack on from the theater.

Once we get to the library Phoenix carefully gets into the little nest of pillows and blankets that we left from the other time we were here. I’m laid down and he leaves me to go find a good book to read to me. When he comes back he has put on soft instrumental music. Phoenix lays down and moves me so that my head lays on his chest. He puts my bottle and my snack next to him and opens up the book he picked out. He picked up a paranormal romance story, one that I have never read or have had read to me before.

I close my eyes and listen to my beloved’s deep and soothing voice as he reads to me. I reach for my bottle a few times to take a drink and I snack on mini cookies he grabbed for me. After almost ten chapters into the book I slowly drift off to sleep.

The Boy In The Rain

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 17:00

By: Adrian Lucas, Staff Writer

I will always remember 7 years ago when I met the boy in the rain. That cold day I ran away from home. I was only 14 and I was completely confused and scared about what my life was going to be like now that I left. After the first block it started to rain. I had taken with me an umbrella, 100 dollars, some food, and 3 pairs of clothes. I open my black umbrella and listen to the sound of the rain landing on the umbrella. I knew my abusive mom and dad would not care that I had left. I kept walking not knowing where I was going. I just wanted to get as far away as possible. Being alone is better than the scars my parents gave me. That day I swore to myself I would never love anyone ever again. If loving someone is only going to give me pain then what’s the point. I loved my mother and, father then one day they started drinking and that changed everything. All I need is a home, good food and I will be happy. I was walking for I think around 5 hours until I saw a large structure. It was the Eiffel Tower. I had made it to Paris. I am going to restart my life here. It’s around midnight and the city is quiet. I hear rushed footsteps and muffled crying. The sound of the rain on my umbrella is making it hard to find the source of the sound. I put down my umbrella as the cold rain hits my face. I see a boy around my age sitting on a bench under the light crying. He looks up at the sky and I see his tan skin and his bright green eyes. I can’t help, but walk up to him.

“Why are you crying?” I asked. He quickly looked over at me trying to wipe the tears even though the rain just mixed with the tears.

“Do you have a home, food, and a loving family?” He nodded at me. It looked like his eyes were examining me. He might think I am girl since the hair goes down to my shoulder and I am kind of short.

“ You should not be crying. You won’t gain a single thing from misery. Here take my umbrella I don’t want you to catch a cold.” Then he smiled a smile, so beautiful that it would make an angel jealous.

“Thank you for the umbrella.” He opened it and put it above his head which resumed the pitter patter of the rain.

“You look nice when you smile. You should not plague your face with tears.”

“Oh well I need to get home before my parents notice I am gone.” He turned away and started to walk away. My body started to move on its own and before I realized it I had grabbed his wrist.

“Promise me one thing. We will see eachother again and when we do to prove its you and give me my umbrella.” He turned around and looked at me.

“Deal.” He started to walk away and left me standing in the cold rain.

I don’t know why I am thinking about that moment. It was 7 years ago there is no way he remembers me. Now I have an apartment, a job, and a calm life. I made friends with an Italian that traveled to France. He was an older man and when he died he gave me his boat, so now to get extra money I take people on boat trips. I work at a coffee shop from 4 in the morning to 12 in the afternoon. I am only off the job on Sundays. 1 pm through 6 pm I give boat rides to tourists or just people. Sometimes I just ride by myself to relieve stress. My job starts in 30 minutes, so I cross a day off my calendar. Today is May 20th, 2018. The day I met the boy in the rain. Then I notice that today is Sunday, so I won’t have to work. I change my clothes, put my hair in a loose ponytail and make myself some green tea. My room is rather small. I don’t even have a bed I just sleep in a sleeping bag. The paint in my apartment is a beautiful navy blue. The navy blue would look better if it was not peeling off the wall. I hear the microwave start to beep and grab the tea. I finish the tea quickly and I quietly sprint out the door. I go on my boat and start to paddle. I look and see the sun is already slightly rising.  I look beside me and see my shadow. I am just a lonely man on a boat nobody beside me. The wall seems old and worn. I stop moving for a while and just stare realizing how isolated I am. I turn back and go to port to tie my boat up. Today I noticed something I never noticed before. The bench and light post in front of me is exactly where I meet the boy. I go and sit on the bench and cry. The irony is almost funny, when I met him he was crying on the bench. I look up and it starts to rain.

“Wow this makes things so much worse.” I mutter to myself. Every May 20th it rains all day. I see someone with an umbrella approach me. He has the same tan skin and green eyes as the boy I meet.

“What’s wrong?”He asked I look over and he is sitting beside me with an umbrella over us. Why am I even crying? I don’t need anyone. People would just push me away like my parents.

“It’s stupid. I don’t even know why I am crying.” I wipe my tears and look up at him.

“Before I tell you a story what’s your name.” I look at him with a confused expression, but I respond

“My name is Adrian.” He nods then looks at the water.

“On this day I meet a boy who changed my life. He told me that sadness brings you nothing. He didn’t know that, that day I was planning to kill myself. I was going to jump in that cold water because I thought I was never enough. He told me that the next time I see him I need to return his umbrella.” I stared at him in awe. It was him my boy in the rain.

“I know the boy you are talking about.” He jumps up.

“You do! Can you take me to see him!” I stand up the umbrella falling on the ground and I look at him.

“Before I take you to him I need to tell you something. The day he met you he had just ran away from home. His parents were abusive and he could not take the pain any more. The jacket he was wearing covered tons of scars they had given him. That day he had given up on love. He told himself he would never love anyone else, but your smile broke through his heart of stone. He loves you and no one else. You were the only exception. If you saw him would you love him back?”

“Of course! What type of question is that? I would love him no matter what he looks like. He saved my life. A way to prove to you that I love him is that I come to this exact spot every May 20th to see if I would see him again” He said. Now was my chance to tell him who I was. I picked up the umbrella and handed it to him.

“Here take my umbrella. I don’t want you to catch a cold.”  He looked at me and smiled the smile that makes angels jealous.

“It’s you isn’t it? The boy I made a promise to 7 years ago.” I nodded at him and he tackled me into a hug.

“I love you Adrian I love you so much.” I look at him and smile

“You never told me your name.”

“My name is Jay and the man I love is Adrian.” I get up and help him back up. We both sit down on the bench, the umbrella covering both of us.

“I love you Jay more than anything in this world.” For once on a May 20th it stopped raining. The day my boy in the rain smiled, and warmed my cold heart.

 

The Washingteenian Mixtape – Musical Favorites

Wed, 08/22/2018 - 20:31

Everyone loves a good musical, but beyond that everyone has a favorite show. And even beyond that, every so often there’s that one song you find yourself neglecting the rest of the show for, just to listen to again and again. Compiled this installment is a collection of the Washingteenian Staff’s favorite songs from a musical. Take a listen here.

  1. Don’t Cry for Me Argentina – Evita
  2. Candy Store – Heathers
  3. Sincerely Me – Dear Evan Hansen
  4. Think of Me – Phantom of the Opera
  5. Playing His Game – Death Note
  6. On The Steps Of The Palace – Into The Woods
  7. This Is Not An Exit – American Psycho
  8. Without Love – Hairspray
  9. She Used to Be Mine – Waitress
  10. Seasons Of Love – Rent
  11. Battle of Yorktown – Hamilton
  12. Old Man River – Showboat
  13. Beautiful – Heathers
  14. King of New York – Newsies
  15. Step One – Kinky Boots
  16. Cell Block Tango – Chicago
  17. All I Ask of You – Reprise
  18. Cooties – Hairspray
  19. Everlasting – Tuck Everlasting
  20. One Day More – Les Miserables
  21. No Good Deed – Wicked
  22. In My Dreams – Anastasia
  23. Maybe – Annie
  24. With You – Pippin
  25. Michael in the Bathroom – Be More Chill
  26. I Believe – The Book of Mormon
  27. When He Sees Me – Waitress
  28. Once Upon Another Time – Love Never Does
  29. Willkommen – Cabaret
  30. Summer Nights – Grease

Heart: A Poem

Sun, 07/22/2018 - 18:00

By: Mireya Hamlin-Johnson, Staff Writer

 

He was the one.

Everytime we talk my stomach has butterflies.

And I feel happy and free around him.

Right when im mad he always there cheer me up.

Tomorrow we meet again.
                                                                Love, Secret admirer  ♡

The Washingteenian Investigates: Video games, Violence, and Rin Went a Little Crazy

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 17:55

By: M.K. Powell, Staff Writer

In light of recent school shootings links has been drawn by some mature spectators that there is a link between violent video games and real life violence. The president, after the Parkland Shooting in February even met with representatives of the video game industry. Because the world of health bars, power combos, and mythical creatures and our world of sadly eating a dozen cupcakes because of the likelihood of dying alone and getting a divorce in the foreseeable future are 50/50 are easily confusable. In light of this hypothetical violent video game epidemic, I decided to conduct a first-hand investigation into violent video games. This is: the Washingteenian Investigates.

Image via Flickr. 

First, I would like to express my experience with video games. It has been primarily limited to ones known as E: For Everyone games, like the LEGO Superheroes ones. However, a few months ago my brother acquired the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the PlayStation4. He had asked me to play, but I place more precedence on my amateur unpaid journalistic career. But I realized I could kill two birds with one stone: I could play the game my brother had wanted me to and I could do field research. So why not? Even if I was absolutely terrible at playing a more serious game it didn’t matter because I would get a sample of what video game violence looked like. So it was time I could a taste of the action. And oh, I did.

I killed a dragon. I head butted a guy to death. No helmet, just my bare forehead. I slammed my bloodied war hammer into a guy’s rib cage, and oh, my dear Lord, I FELT ALIVE! But, after my initial kill spree, I remembered I was supposed to be reporting. So here’s the important bit; although I did go a wee bit kill crazy and blood thirsty in game, out of the game I wasn’t any more aggressive. To be in fact, my want to kick all the ace holes’ aces (this a family blog) in my life went down. Before, I had this little pent-up want to punch someone in the face which had escalated since the 2016 Presidential Election, but then I went on Skyrim and I just punched all I wanted. It also made me feel empowered in a certain way, like when I walked down the street I wasn’t just the lanky teen girl, I was my avatar (dubbed by my brother) Emmery Dragon Slayer. And Skyrim, unlike certain other video games, gives women the same armor as men, not those skimpy little chainmail numbers we usually see.

Image via Flickr. 

So, at this point you might be thinking about the fact I’m just one person, surely my experience isn’t comparable to others. And you would be right, maybe it isn’t, but if you actually want to get to the root of gun violence, this is surely one of the more trivial causes. The most recent school shooting was in Sante Fe and the shooter, although it was accentuated by news outlets that he played first person shooter games, he also became aggressive with a girl who turned him down shortly before the shooting. In fact, there happens to be more of link between abusers, who are prone to violent emotional outbreaks, then gamers, who are probably spending too much of their lives collecting the stones of Barenziah in basements.

Classic Book of the Month: July

Wed, 07/04/2018 - 18:09

By: M.K. Powell, Staff Writer

There are two novels almost universally regarded of the “Great American Novel.” The first, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” is, from my perspective, only first in order of publication.

I am without shame a 21st century Mark Twain fan girl, but I know when to admit Twain was out-written by an upper crust, Princeton alumni, who probably never set foot on a Mississippi steam boat, albeit a little begrudgingly. But none the less, I know when to admit one was a better book.

The first thing “The Great Gatsby” does have, besides large quantities of yellow (hint: gold), is it’s narration. It goes as fast as Gatsby’s car with Daisy Buchanan behind the wheel. It’s alive, brilliant and beautiful while frank. Nick Carraway narrates the story in a way that makes him feel like a flesh and blood human being, and although he may represent a view prejudiced by his personality, (spoiler alert: breaking up with someone over the phone is never okay) who doesn’t?

Even if his view may be prejudiced, he still presents the characters as they are. Tom Buchanan is an egotistical, prejudiced jerk. Daisy doesn’t know what she wants. Jordan, almost more than Daisy and Tom, seems to lack the capacity to really care. Then there’s Gatsby. In a group of the careless rich of West Egg, he is truly a cut above above. And that’s another thing this novel has, although pretty obviously, this novel has Jay Gatsby.

Almost everyone comes by wealth by way of a rich ancestor, but Gatsby is the exception. He’s a dreamer who goes through great lengths to make his dreams of the past come true in the present. He pursues this an almost any means necessary fashion, but coupled with that is his honest charm. He lies, yet he may be more sincere than all of the West Egg elite combined. He is the reason this novel outranks Huckleberry Finn.

So how does “The Great Gatsby” compare to modern America? Well, let’s be honest. Tom Buchanan’s rant on how white Nords built everything and therefore white people are better sounds like a twitter rant. The materialistic 1920s? We are the materialistic 2010s. West Egg may be full of people who lacked the capacity to care to start, yet modern Americans are being numbed into it. Yet we are still the nation of dreamers. And like Gatsby, we are still willing to go far for our dreams. But, unlike Gatsby, modern Americans dreams don’t dream of the past. We dream of what’s in our future.