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"The Kitchen Festive" by Angela Anegon - The door creaked as she exited her room. She tiptoed down the stairs which groaned even at her swift movement. The hardwood floors seemed to talk and whimper at the graceful touch of her feet. Her hands and forehead began to sweat in a slow drip as panic rose in her body from a far-off sound. It seemed that the old house was darker that it normally was...

"Dispute" by Angela Anegon - Motion...continual motion.../Wonder woman my reality...crayola my thoughts.../Experience...them.../Dare to master my mind.../Still waiting...

"Window Sill" by Angela Anegon - "Oreos, rope, bucket, pillow, flashlight, binoculars..." the little girl said as the wind rippled the fuzzy hairs on the back of her neck. "Ooooh the wind! What a perfect night! Oh gosh, I almost forgot! My book!" She ran over to her little book case and plucked To Kill a Mockingbird from its place. "Ah ha! Gotcha!" Gathering up everything in her white bucket, the fragile yet growing girl shoved the items through her bedroom window and dropped them to the patio below...

"waiting" by Kelsey Balling - I stand here/In the tall and thick/Grass outside of/Your front door...

"Elegy: 'Swallowing July'" by April Bautista - Thirteen/Made me reevaluate/My incomplete/Geography...

"Reaching the Kingdom" by Lance Boivin - For a good portion of my life up until now, I believed that sex was essentially the only gift from God that was worth opening. I viewed it as the inside track to Heaven that was solely my own to travel. Sex, that wonderful paroxysm of emotion, seemed to be the closest a living person could ever get to the Kingdom of God. It provided a certain form of escape from the perpetual suffering of the world. Through it I could glide on the pleasure that fired from all my senses...

"Velvet" by Kersten Cheyne - You will break, another shattered soul off the Road/And so they laugh and so they kick/But will they see you're imperfect?/And when the tide is down too low/And when you're drowning in the moon/They will laugh; they will lie to their gods...

"Machine" by Kersten Cheyne - Malfunction in the systems as the wind blows south/And rain in shadowed places where the sun won't come out/The loneliness is wholesome and the workings come undone/So now here in the morning I don't rise to face the sun...

"The Darkness and Beyond " by Kaila DeMoss - An agonized shriek rang through the silent forest as the ululation of a broken trumpet would announce destruction and defeat. The neighboring blackberry thickets erupted in the nervous chatter of skittish squirrels and birds upset by the disruption of their woodland homes. Deer turned their heads to observe the scene playing out in their once peaceful habitat. Deep in the darkest corner of the most hidden thicket, a pitiful, wrecked form lay crumpled in a shuddering heap against a large and formidable pine tree, its branches spread like the claws of a predator on the prowl. The girl, as she could be determined to be at a closer glance, had the wide eyes of one being hunted&38212;ringed with white and rolling wildly...

from "My Inner Life" by Jessica Fryer - How long can I stand the rain?/How long can I stand the pain?/Why can't I feel happy and humble?/Where's the light at the end of the tunnel?...

"A Man with Blue Eyes" by Gayatri Galav - He sat arms folded and lips pursed,/His bright blue shaggy eyes/Lit the dim pub...

"And Then There's the Aspen" by Kit Gallagher - And then there's the aspen. I don't really understand them. Cooper told us that they all have this interconnected root system beneath the soil, that when one is failing or needs nutrients or sunlight or aid of any kind, the hundred others that surround this tree help it out. They send their aid immediately and without thinking, because they're trees and that's what they do. And in the fall, their petite and ovular shaped leaves change colors at the same time...

"seattle" by Andrea Guinn - rain glazed the heels of my dread/as i staggered into a necklace of lights...

"Silly Rhyme" by Erica Beatriz Harrington - Susanne Elizabeth Gloria Mott/Natalie Marie Johanna sought...

"Old Man on the City Bus" by Erica Beatriz Harrington - For heaven's sake man,/Will you not sit?—/Any place is fine./You're thin enough!/Believe me sir, sit anywhere—/You'll fit!...

untitled story by Heather - It was a dark, cold, stormy October morning in New England. Emily woke up to the sounds of thunder and the loud, hard banging of the shutters on the sides of the house...

"Script for Reality" by Sarah M. Hinson - It is impossible to write a script for the reality play/To one it may be reality/To others less fortunate, a dream?/And even if one wrote this script, would it be true for others?...

"Electricity" by Adrienne Johnson - In fourth grade I was friends with a girl named Lee. All I can remember about her now is that she lived in the Baptist seminary, played violin, and liked school. She was one of the seminary kids who lived in a group of apartments on the outskirts of town while their fathers studied to become ministers. The apartments weren't too fancy, but they were comfortable enough, making up for the lack of space by having a pool and a big common grassy field that the kids ran around on. One day, Lee and her little brother, whose name I can't remember, came over to my house after school...

"Ashley" by Nadia Kardan - "He loves me, he loves me not," I whisper to myself in lunch one day. As usual, I sit by myself on the grass, picking petals off dandelions. My crush likes Janine, but not me. How are we any different? I'm a girl and so is she...

"No Flesh, No Heart" by Skylar Lee Lawniczak - Blood coils as my body flows/As everything moves the wind blows...

"The Door" by Candy Mabra - I'm standing in an empty room./Suddenly a door appears in front of me./It looks wonderful, big and oak./It is made of the finest wood./Since I've nowhere else to go, I approach it...

"No Salvation" by Francesca Macagnone - What I remember most is what a beautiful day it was. Spring was in full bloom (as full as it can be in Manhattan) and the weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. The breeze blew through the trees and through my hair, keeping me cool. My favorite thing about spring was always the way it smelled. It was something like the smell that comes for only a few hours after the rain—moist earth and car fuel...

"My Roommate" by Cklara Moradian - I can almost picture it, every time I close my eyes—I can see, feel, smell, and almost even touch the room, the imaginary room in the residential clinic. I somehow even know my roommate, the anorexic victim whom I envy. Sometimes the picture becomes so clear that my jealousy towards my imaginary roommate makes me furious—I could almost hate her! The perfection of her destruction makes me feel weak, for her bones so visible under bare skin remind me that I did not have enough strength to starve...

"Cause of Death" by Katharine Norin - I walked down his sidewalk the way you walk when you know someone is watching you, just a little extra swing in my hips that couldn't be omitted even through the pummeling rain. I unlocked my car and gave one last glance and smile back into his room as I got in. I started my car and noticed the time—an eleven-minute trip back to my house in the middle of nowhere; I should've known it couldn't be done in five. I was driving through town to the other side of nowhere with my windshield wipers straining, leaves blowing my path. I was one of very few cars foolish enough to be on the road at that time of night in this kind of weather...

"Thomas Unfamiliar" by Erin O'Keefe - My memory always acquiesces/To the demands of my coercive heart /Usually meek in its meetings/The solitude seems flammable, igniting the fire...

"The Beauty of the Face" by Erin O'Keefe - She remembers the words of an elderly stranger. He was different from the usual smile-and-nod man on the sidewalk. With his tattooed wrinkles and watery grey eyes he was ignored by many as just another old citizen with war stories and antiquated opinions. Yet he had seen something deeper that younger generations overlooked with their criticizing eyes...

"I Fear" by Nichole Palomino - I fear that if I get too adjusted to this situation/somehow you'll disappear/I fear that the ways of the game will overthrow you/and you'll no longer be sincere...

"Valentines Day" by Taryn Ricciardelli - The white roses that I expect/stay in my mind, lingering./I beat on the table with my spoon/And watch as passersby amble/along my window. Zippering/up the young girl's jacket, a mother worries over her tire, punctured...

"Hymn" by Claire Schwartz - He/Puppet Master/Tugs at their strings/From which they laugh, kiss, love, hate, sing...

"Man" by James Smith - said the rat to the snake/i am but a snake in rat's clothing/said the snake to the rat/i am but a rat in snake's clothing...

"Him" by Reka Solymosi - Up to this day i still do not know what happened. All i know is that i let him do this to me...

untitled poem by Angela Stevens - The war began at 5 am, so they say./{God kept me locked in a/deserted hospital playing the/sounds of rotting flesh/through cracked speakers.}...

untitled short story by Molly VanNatta - Joshua Hardy checked his reflection over one last time in the mirror. He flattened a stray tuft of brown hair, straightened out his red T-shirt, and with a confident smile he started downstairs. His mother, Patricia, was sitting on the white living room sofa, sipping a glass of orange juice, watching a rerun of one of her favorite soap operas. This is where Josh could find her most of the time. Patricia drew her eyes away from the television screen and smiled warmly as soon as she noticed her only son enter the room...

"I Almost Let Go" by Julie Virgin - My pride seems to get in my way,/but that's not true./I don't want to be vulnerable.../I need the control over myself...

"My Granny Once Made Cookies" by Kelsey White - My granny once made cookies/That I thought were really great...

from Unreasonable Progress by Jess Wilder - "You don't get it," I realized, leaning back to balance the chair on two legs, holding onto the desk to stay up. "Maybe this is why they look up to me. I have the guts to do what they want to do but don't. Listen. I locked McDillan in the closet because he was being an a------..."

"Ice" by Chelsea Wozniak - It's dark/And I'm still...

untitled poem by Chelsea Wozniak - A myriad of bound pages,/Lie among the scattered ruins on the floor...

"Violin Audition" by Chelsea Wozniak - The violin sat delicately in my arm as my fingers tapped swiftly on the long ebony fingerboard, and the curling scroll upon which the rest of my hand rested seemed miles away from my eyes. Gingerly, I sat the instrument down, and closed my eyes imagining how my upcoming audition would go. I giggled as I envisioned trumpets blowing their horns and confetti flying into my hair, and I was awarded an entrance into the summer camp for which I would soon be auditioning. For two years I had been playing the violin at my middle school. I loved learning new pieces, especially ones such as "Jingle Bells" or a minuet that I hoped my family members would recognize...

"Winter Morn" by Chelsea Wozniak - It's cold in the morning,/The rain drizzles, slowly trickling down the windowsill...

"Freeze" by Chelsea Wozniak - I just want to freeze the world,/Freeze the pain that blinds my eyes...

"Paradise" by Chelsea Wozniak - Nirvana,/Bright radiance lingers here...

"The Snowflake" by Crystal Xiao - When I was 8 years-old, I used to live with my family in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan's four main islands. There people never had to pack away their winter clothing for too long since spring, summer, and fall together make up only less than a quarter of the year. I loved snow. Every day on my way to school, I would stretch out my gloves to catch the flakes. As I examined each one closely, I marveled at its unique structure...

"You" by Hahna Yoon - your picture has faded./the memories of you,/trapped in a box somwhere,/have been recycled,/maybe in Staten Island...

"Tica's Ordeal" by Sammy Zhou - It was still a blur. He could hear the uneasy coughing of the ventilation systems. He did a quick stretch as he felt his back muscles crack. Marco Tica groaned as he rubbed his temples. "What happened?" he wondered to himself...

"Ticket to a Child" by Rosanna Oh - When it stormed, as it often did on many moonstone evenings, the lights went off in all the houses. Our town expected it before summer left and water veined the streets, pouring and cementing wells of muddy broth...then silently misted into September clouds. The moisture slinked into the candlelit walls of the house, diffusing a dusty mildewed odor throughout of dead wood. Sometimes during random bouts of heat, the house itself yellowed, soiled by earthenware wafts; the marble floor seeped with sour sweat, of the sewage in the innards of our neighborhood. I didn't want to spend my vacation doused in pork smells but, more importantly, I didn't want my future in-laws to think me as just an incompetent paleontology major at a decent university...

untitled short story by Amy - Cat creeping. Dog barking. Snoring coming from Pedre's room. The rustle from behind the bushes... Wait! The rustle from behind the bushes! What is that!? Whoa! Oh-oh-noooooooooooooo!...

"Once Upon a Fairy Tale" by Kristen Kells - Once upon a time there lived a young woman. This young woman was unique for many reasons, but perhaps the most interesting of them was the fact that she was best friends with Blanche Brown. That young woman is I. My name is Melinda. You don't know me, but I'm sure you know Blanche, better known as Snow White...

"Inveigle" by Rachel ArceJaeger - Think of the apple/That smooth, golden apple/Whose shimmering skin/Caught the eye of sweet/Atalanta...

"The Tuna Chronicles" by Jake Winkler - How gracefully the tuna swims/Gliding smoothly through the crystal water/With its shiny silver fins/Sadly awaiting its slaughter...

"The Firmest Raspberries" by Marina Bessel - You asked me to paint you a picture./Remember?/I laughed at the cliche but asked you what of./And you said: Anything./As long as the Earth serves as the canvas...

untitled poem by Aryel Heller - Two runners race/Across a starry sky./The pace quickens,/As they race against time./Passing by books, blood, super novas...

"The Note" by Derek Gideon - His parents sobbed when they received the note,/The postman trembled when he delivered the note...



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