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A Battle Between Two Wills

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 07:13

by The Delirious Sapphic, Staff Writer


Walls closing in around me,

Encasing me in a tomb of misery,

Forever imprisoned in my mind,

Can’t seem to find a key


I know it’s happening again,

Escalating against my own will,

I want to stop it but I never can,

A sorrowful story it is to tell


It’ll be over soon,

At least that’s what I wish,

But I can’t help the feeling of impending doom,

Like Death’s eternal kiss.


A battle between two wills,

Both grappling over my mind,

But my anxiety always prevails,

Sharp and refined


It’s always there,

It never ceases,

Lurking in its lair,

Hiding in the creases.


I hope it’ll get better,

But really, it never can,

I’ll be alone forever,

But then I never really am.

Teen Artwork: “Merdragon”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 07:11


By Maria Mesina, Staff Artist

Teen Artwork: “Untitled”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 07:57


By Alexandra Chichester, Staff Artist


WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 02/13/2020 - 07:07

By apollosbones, Staff Writer



A play in ten minutes



M1L0:                                  A teenage robot with a top hat.

Professor “Lily” Lilith:                      An evil robotics scientist, “mother” of M1L0.

TIME: 2050.

Place Professor Lily’s lab, somewhere in the South.



Scene 1

SETTING:   A cheap, but futuristic, lab, full of failed experiments and bottles of alcohol. There’s a low hum, coming from the various generators. It’s a sad looking place, very gray and unpleasant to the eye.


AT RISE:   M1L0 stands by a counter, hands plugged into a charging block in front of him. He’s sulking, but singing rather quietly to himself. PROFESSOR LILY hurries on stage, dropping papers and such, she’s trying to carry too much. She looks angry.


PROFESSOR LILY: –my God, where is that piece of junk–singing? Are you singing?

(M1L0 jumps at the sudden loud noise.)  M-one-L-zero, what did I say about singing?


M1L0: That humans do it, and I should not, because I am not human. I know, you’ve told me.

PROFESSOR LILY: That’s what I thought, Robot. You are not human, and you need to start acting like it. You’re just a bucket of bolts, got that?


M1L0: But, Mom–


PROFESSOR LILY: What did you just call me, M-One-L-Zero? I know for a fact you didn’t use the ‘M’ word. We’ve been over this.


M1L0: Nothing, Professor Lilith. Nothing.  (PROFESSOR LILY scurries around the lab, looking for something.)  Actually… uhm, ma’am, I do have something to ask.


PROFESSOR LILY: Well go on, I don’t have too much time.


M1L0: Can you start using my real name?


(PROFESSOR LILY stops in her tracks, slowly turns towards M1L0)


PROFESSOR LILY: What do you mean? I use your name all the time. That’s the name I gave to you.


M1L0: That’s exactly what I mean. You call me a bunch of letters and numbers, Mom–Professor Lilith, I want to be called an actual name. The other kids get to have names, they get them when they’re born, studies show that 99.4 percent of the time, newborn babies are given names at the hospital–


PROFESSOR LILY: M-One-L-Zero, you are the .06 percent. And you know very well you aren’t a kid, you are a seventeen year old robot, a standing pile of bolts and oil. You weren’t born in a hospital, you weren’t even birthed. I created you, here. And this is where I named you, right here.


M1L0: Right… I just… thought that it would be cool if, you know, I had a name. Something that’s… that’s mine. You know, Kevin 3.0 has a name, the only numbers are at the end, and–


PROFESSOR LILY: It would not be cool, M-One-L-Zero… it would not be cool for me, that is. What name would you want to go by, anyways? Kyle?


M1L0: Milo.  (PROFESSOR LILY pauses, her mouth is open but she doesn’t 

say anything.)   You won’t even have to change any of the numbers in my name, they already look like an ‘i’ and an ‘o’, isn’t that cool? I really think that–


PROFESSOR LILY: No-no-no, you absolutely cannot have a name, that is the last time I’ll tell you, Robot. You cannot have a name, and you will not have a name. Now, disconnect yourself and go have a seat by the generator, you have lots of homework to finish.  (M1L0 removes his hands, but stands still. PROFESSOR LILITH shoos him with her hands.)  Go on, now.


M1L0: It’s not even really homework, it’s just stuff you don’t know how to finish–selling parts isn’t even that hard, Mom. And why can’t I have a name? I’ll be around forever, I think the least you can do is allow me to call myself Milo. That’s all I ask for.  (PROFESSOR LILY looks shaken, angry and about to cry.)  Just one name.


PROFESSOR LILY: No… you won’t be here forever.


M1L0: (excitedly) We’re moving? Where? Will I have my own room? A brother? Will I get my own charging station? That would be awesome! I can imagine it, having my own little space–I can decorate it and–


PROFESSOR LILY: M-One-L-Zero… you’re going somewhere else… many places, all at once.


M1L0: What do you mean? Am I uploading data again? It wasn’t that fun, you know, I really had a hard time readjusting to those computers–


PROFESSOR LILY: (to herself) Maybe you’ll be in France, or Britain… Mexico, maybe…


M1L0: Professor, what do y-


PROFESSOR LILY: (cutting him off, to herself) I think your eyes will go the farthest…maybe your heart will. I think “Doctor” Rhinehart wanted that…


(M1L0 covers his eyes, then his heart as they are named.)


M1L0: My eyes? My heart? I need tho–

PROFESSOR LILY: Oh the money people are willing to pay for your hands, your joints, for your head–oh, or for your cooling fans… they’d just kill each other for one of your knee caps, maybe even pay extra for a joint… (PROFESSOR LILY smiles evilly, she turns to look at M1L0.)  But the price of loneliness I’ll have to pay in your absence…  (M1L0’s dials start to malfunction, the lights flicker. PROFESSOR LILY wipes her tears away.)  Is worth it.


(walks over to the outlet on the counter, starts to unplug M1L0 from it. She looks money-hungry, almost.)


M1L0: Wait! Please!


PROFESSOR LILY: (pauses) What?


M1L0: Just once, before–before you take me apart… please–


PROFESSOR LILY: (agitated) What? Please, what, Robot? What do you want?  (long pause, gets more agitated.)


M1L0: Call me Milo, once, please, Professor.  (PROFESSOR LILY tightens her grip on the plug, starts to loosen it. M1L0 grows weak, words sound more robotic as M1L0 speaks.)  It-it-it is-is the least-least you can-can-can do.


PROFESSOR LILY: You were of… use to me, Milo.


(M1L0 falls to the floor, metal clanging as he hits the ground.)






WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 02/06/2020 - 07:52

By Lizzie Messer, Staff Writer


She was deep…

Deep as a well…

But on the outside she was a shell.

Of smiles and laughter and everything well.

But alone and inside she would always weep.

As her fears began to creep.

As her own monster tore her apart.

And meddled with her brain and heart.

And she was brought down.




People told her she was too quiet.

But when she spoke nobody heard.

Not even a single word.

So her fears began a riot.

And in her own head she began to drown.

Teen Artwork: “Bastet”

WCFL Teens Blog - Wed, 02/05/2020 - 19:56


Follow the artist on Instagram @jai_the_wizard


WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/30/2020 - 07:47

By Sophie Lucas, Staff Writer






I no longer need sleep

It’s hard to even move my feet






On  the ground

Even at 13 caffeine is the reason I walk

The words spoken by the teachers go


T     H    R    O   U   G    H

my ears

Geometry becomes meaningless shapes that float through the air


Science is the forgotten language

While math is the language that must be spoken by all


Every child with potential must be an engineer

They have to be forced to study until their eyes bleed







I’m 13, but feel 23


Already searching for colleges


And I can’t sleep


Trying my best


But I’m





Teen Artwork: “Roxy Homestuck”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/30/2020 - 07:17

“Roxy Homestuck”

“Roxy Homestuck”

Follow the artist on Instagram @egb3rts

Teen Artwork: “Penguin Riding a Pegasus”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/23/2020 - 07:30

“Penguin Riding a Pegasus”

Follow the artist on Instagram @erosumski_


WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/23/2020 - 07:30

By Lizzie Messer, Staff Writer



I am always overwhelmed by that feeling,

Where your heart won’t slow down,

And your mind is freaking out.

And your palms are sweating,

And I can’t help but feel,

Like I did something wrong.


I’m overwhelmed by anxiety,

And I can’t stop shaking,

And there’s no way to stop it,

And I’m constantly miserable,

And I can’t stop thinking about how it would be,

If it just stopped.

If I just stopped.

Teen Artwork: “Roblox Robot”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 07:30

“Roblox Robot

By Charlee Armstrong


WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 07:30

By Sophie Lucas, Staff Writer


The sun has finally come out of its long slumber

While to me it does not mean much I see see nature start to gain back its color

The most noticeable is the sunflowers


Their yellow is a great shine, but it does not sting your eyes


The sun and the sunflower are like lost lovers

While the sun only gives the flower what it needs because any closer would hurt the flowers

The sunflower follows the sun with endless devotion


While they can never meet

They love each other


The sun is 93 million miles away

If it was any closer the flowers would burn

If it was any farther the flowers would freeze and die


Now they live far away

But it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to get close


Many people can feel the same

The sun and the sunflower is 93 million miles away

For me it is 7024 miles away

It is not the same situation


But I still want to see him

He is funny




But he is far away


Somedays I feel like the sunflower

And some days I feel like the sun


But it is still okay.

The Scene

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/09/2020 - 07:30

By Dahlia


The scene was one you never wanted to see. Bright yellow wallpaper with an ugly orangish pattern covered the walls, the wood on the floor chipped and broken away to reveal the concrete underneath. The couch sagged with the weight of the body, ready to collapse at any given moment. Blood stains trailed on the floor from the door to the couch, dried up and looking like it’s been there for ages. The body laid on the couch looking like they were simply sleeping, even though the blood told otherwise. It was cold to the touch and seemed to be frozen in time.


Police covered the scene, their suits clashing with the bright colors of the room, the clicking of pens heard, the voices whispering as if scared to break the tension of uneasiness rising among them. Scratches on their notepads and clicking of texts on cell phones, some scared completely as they scavenged for evidence in the old room. No one wanted to look at the one wall where blood seemed to be stained into the wallpaper- the words ‘YOU’RE NEXT’ seeming to scare off the visitors trespassing in the house. In my house.

Teen Artwork: “Not Karkat”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/09/2020 - 07:30

“Not Karkat”

Follow the artist on Instagram @nurophobia

Teen Artwork: “Moth Wearing Sunglasses”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/02/2020 - 07:30

“Moth Wearing Sunglasses”

Follow the artist on Instagram @erosumski_

Teens Talk Stress

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 01/02/2020 - 07:30

By Jay Trovato, Young Adult Librarian


One thing I’ve frequently seen and heard since I began working in the Young Adult Department at the library is that teenagers and young adults are often burdened with stress.  Recently, during a meeting of the Teen Library Council (which publishes this blog), I decided to talk more in-depth with the teens at the table to find out where their stress is coming from, how it affects them, and what they do to deal with it.


An eighth grade student went into great detail about the stress she felt from the demands placed upon her at school.  She takes advanced classes in a magnet program with high expectations from the school (and from her parents) to maintain a very high level of achievement.  Participating in the school band means she misses some classwork and homework, which she later has to make up.  She feels that her parents don’t really understand how badly her stress affects her and that she constantly feels behind in her work.  All these demands force her to stay up late doing schoolwork, cutting into her sleep time – and even when it is time to sleep, the pressure she is under keeps her from getting good rest.


Another eighth grade student at the table agreed that the academic demands are high, but the main stress she feels comes from the other students in her school.  She finds that most of her peers are immature and do not offer stimulating or helpful conversation.  The gestures of friendship that other students have made towards her are not genuine, and therefore she finds herself avoiding contact with other people.  This feeling of peer isolation is something she has experienced for a long time, and the only thing she can hope for is that high school will be better.


A teen boy at our meeting had a very different perspective.  He said he did not feel a lot of stress in his life.  He said that life is not primarily about being happy, and that we have to accept that bad things will sometimes happen.  The key is in his optimistic outlook on life: he says that things may be bad now, but later they will be better.  One source of strength and confidence for him is relying on what he called “traditional values” and that he has learned to trust in God.


An older teen who no longer attends school has more adult things to worry about: work, money, rent, and exploring the possibility of going to college.  He also faces significant challenges when dealing with his family.  In addition to feeling stress related to lack of money, another Teen Library Council member gets anxious when her house is too messy, or when too many politics-related news stories come on TV or through social media.  Interestingly, another teen found social media to be a way to relieve stress, since it can be a source of entertainment and connection with others.


The teens who contribute to this blog (and people of all ages) experience a certain amount of stress coming from school, interpersonal relationships, and money.  How do they fight back?  Some of the strategies they mentioned were playing games, watching TV, drawing, taking a walk, talking to friends, taking a walk, writing in a journal, and coming to the library where they can expect a positive atmosphere.


How about you?  What in your life makes you feel stress?  How do you handle it?

Teen Artwork: “Tlilxochitl”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 12/26/2019 - 07:30

“Tlilxochitl” (Vanilla Plant)

Follow the artist on Instagram @_lexi_chi_


WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 12/26/2019 - 07:25

By Lizzie Messer


Can I be your cigarette?

So you can pull me out of dark, black box?

So you can light me up when I’m cold?

So can keep me on your lips?

So you can inhale me?

Even though you know how toxic I am,

But you don’t really care,

Because you like that feeling in your lungs?

Teen Artwork: “Daddy Crunch”

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 12/19/2019 - 07:30

“Daddy Crunch”

Follow the artist on Instagram @loser_lux

Video Games

WCFL Teens Blog - Thu, 12/19/2019 - 07:25

By Sophie Lucas


B    A    N    G


The sound of a virtual gun

As the character from the enemy team falls on the ground

Many people say this violence will make me evil

but it calms me down


In real life I am terrified to even speak up

But in this game I am a doctor who can resurrect the dead

Or a video game star who then started piloting a mech to protect her home


In that world I feel important

I feel like I can help people


Everyone says I am destined for greatness

But there are  7.53 billion people in the world

It is hard to believe it will me


Studying makes my brain feel like it is going to

E                   X

P                                               L

O                               D


With thousands of words that I can’t seem to get on paper


Then I sit in the silence

The words floating around my head like drones


Then I let the gun break the silence


In a world were my voice has


I am


I am




While you all see violence and how it causes problems

I see a stress reliever

And I see




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