FALL 2020 ISSUE
A COLLECTION OF LITERARY WORKS FROM BRIGHT FEMALE MINDS
The Planets Will Still Keep Moving
I could spend my day believing
That this maimed land is healing,
And the sky will always stay pink and blue.
We could watch the big men talking
About better changes and new blooming,
But we know it just can’t be true.
Because while our Moon is still spinning
And the sun is still gleaming,
The elephant may have lost her home.
While Jupiter is storming
And Venus is heavy raining,
The lion was ousted from his throne.
While the stars will be twinkling,
And young nebulae are shape-shifting,
Its hues glowing green and gold,
The sparrow could stop singing
And the turtles could stop snapping,
The colors on the macaw could start to dull.
While the ice mountains start crumbling,
And the polar bears begin starving
The galaxies will swirl away,
Forming new planets and comets
Making stars and habitable islands
Yet we forget that we’re here to stay
I think about it all leaving
Leaving nothing but a few seedlings
That now have no place to grow
Though the planets will still keep moving
And the universe will keep expanding
We’ll have little left of our own home
The Dark Tide
A dark beach
Covered in seashells
Waves crashing in
Like the clashing of bells
The sky is grey
As comes a new day
And more seashells are washed away
To the place called the deep blue
Where the people above will eventually mourn
Me and you
And still through the receding tide
You can find
New shells to compensate the old
Their tales not yet told
And the sea still crashes
Washing away the tears and ashes
Like all stories, it starts with a once upon a time. Like all stories, it has heroes and villains. But this is not a fairytale. This is a story about hate and not-so-happy endings. It doesn’t end with a wedding and a true love's kiss. It ends at the beginning and the beginning at the end. The villains may prevail. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. My name isn’t any of your business, and I will be telling you a story. A dark story.
We start by following the golden brick road. And I mean that figuratively. In real life, it is a dusty, dark, and crowded alleyway where people are trying to swindle you out of your money. At the very end, it starts over, like many things in life, like a loop. There is a set of siblings. Dark hair, fair skin, eyes the color of coal. They have bags of jewels and gold surrounding them. They do horrible tasks for a hard price. A kill for 100 jewels. A skill for double. They are called the twin killers. The girl on the right was a tad shorter than the boy. The boy had dagger eyes and muscles that bulged out from his shirt. The girl had hair the length of an inchworm.
On the other hand, there is a small but feisty girl named Madalaine. Madalaine sits in school just watching the clock. Math never interested her, but it interests Max. Her best friend and favorite person in the world. Max has blonde hair, the color of the sun, and emerald green eyes. He has a chiseled face and every girl at school has a crush on him. Madalaine has fiery red curls and big brown eyes. A darkness has always hung over her, worrying people. When Max walked up to her the first time he felt a pull together, a quiet need to be friends. She is very quiet in class, he is not. When she decides to skip class, he joins her. They are two of a kind.
The bell rings out. Everyone gets up to leave when the lights go out. A siren blares. The teacher rushes to lock the door and all the kids hide. Under desks, around corners, in closets. A slicing noise chimes through the abandoned hallway. A boom surrounds them. Kids silently sob and some just sigh. Someone was just a victim of the Twins.
Hours later Davin sits at the dinner counter. A turkey feast lays in front of his ungrateful little eyes.
“Next time, make tacos,” he instructs. A knock on the door interrupts his favorite television program.
“Get that, won’t you?” His dad screams. He hears a thud and automatically assumes his dad has passed out. He stands up and wobbles to the side door.
“It was done,” Luke says.
“Give us a harder one next time!” Lex retorts. They stand in the snow, with blood trailing behind them.
“Good! I have another job. Madalaine Sallow, and Max Beckett.”
“You gave us them before. I’m telling you. They are too smart. Madalaine knows somehow. Max is always with her,” Lex states. Suddenly the winding of a doll plays over the speaker. This isn’t the first time they have been hacked. He steps outside and the door slams behind him. Something catches his eye. A knife gleams from under Luke's coat.
“NO! I have given you the most money from anyone in the town.” He tries to reason. An evilness flashes behind Luke’s eyes. The same one that Davin saw just before they killed his best friend. As sudden as a flash of lightning, Lex has a hold around his neck. Luke traces his eyes before suddenly stabbing him.
“You won’t ever boss us around again. You or your dad.” Lex growls in his ear. She reached for her belt. A gun.
He never did get those tacos.
Mim’s ears twitched up and down as her other friend, Morris, whiskers twitched. The two mice were huddled under a large, ancient oak. The stars looked like roads in the night sky from the mice’s view.
Scratching her filthy, mud brown fur, Mim’s eyes darted everywhere, not missing a detail. She tried to come up with an idea to what Morris had told her a few moments ago.
“I have an idea! Let’s see if we can get out of the mousetrap on Farmer’s lawn!” Mim cringed at the idea. She knew it was stupid, suicidal even, but part of her wanted to try. Morris had that effect on mice. He was a hefty mouse, with chalkboard grey fur that glistened when he moved.
“So, what’s the answer?” he asked, teeth flashing, “It’s only a game! And it’ll pass time too.” Mim felt her small heart beat rapidly in her chest, quivering like her tiny body.
“I don’t… I don’t think…” Morris gave her a look, beady black eyes wide. “Oh, alright!” Mim relented.
As the two mice scurried through the grass, their pink, naked tails dragging behind them, Mim began to feel queasy. Why was she doing this? Her own brother had died in a mousetrap. Why would she go in the one voluntarily, even if Morris suggested it? But, it was Morris… he would never do anything to harm her, not since they’d known each other as pups. Unless… No. Mim refused to believe it. The other day, when she and Morris had been choosing holes to live in, he’d wanted her place, but she’d gotten there first. And the look in his eyes had been… Angry. So angry, his eyes seemed to glow.
“Here we are!” Morris flicked Mim with his tail, and she shrank back. Suddenly, he didn’t look as handsome as he usually did, and was a hardness to his gaze she didn’t like. All she knew was that she’d never seen a look like that in a mouse’s eyes. Morris chuckled. “What, are you scared? I told you, it’s just a game!” Defiance fluttered in Mim’s tiny chest as she looked at the contraption, a mess of wires, wood, and pain. At the very end, was a spoon-sized dollop of peanut butter. Saliva gathered in the back of Morris's mouth as memories and smells collided in her puny brain. She wanted it so bad…
“Go ahead,” said Morris. He still had the mad glint in his eyes. “You can go first.” Something started churning in Mim’s gut. Perhaps it was the spoiled tomatoes she’d eaten earlier or perhaps…
...Perhaps it was the realization that Morris did want to hurt her. She didn’t know how or why, but she started trembling like a stack of Jell-O.
“No,” Mim squeaked, “You can go first.” Morris’s teeth flashed again and before Mim knew what was happening, Morris dug his claws into the fur around her neck and tossed Mim into the mousetrap. Whatever it would be like if a mouse screamed, Mim did just that. Her body quivered as she heard the trap smash down. She listened for the snap of her own frail bones, but nothing came. Instead, she heard another squeak, and the sound of life leaving a body. She looked behind her, and saw Morris, whom Mim had clung onto as he threw her. The wire bar was across his neck, and blood smeared his grey fur. The bead-like eyes were empty as the night sky, and his tiny body lay pinned to the ground. Mim sniffed, trembling. Morris, her old friend, had tried to kill her over a property. Shaking her round head, Mim backed away from Morris’s body. Her emotions felt like someone had dug into her: raw, deep, and bloody. Turning around, Mim scurried forward, not looking back. When she was 15 paces away, she stopped, turning back to Morris. Her voice was acidic when she spat out her next words.
Then, the little mouse scurried across the grass, and into the black, starry night.
A simple word, really
Meant to be an assurance
How? I ask
How? I scream
How can I possibly not worry
When I've been hurt by this countless times before
I've been promised safety-comfort-calm-love
Only to be upset by a promise broken
Like a twig in the wind, caused by:
A friend, an enemy, an acquaintance...
The list is infinite
A promise is supposed to be infinite
It is not
It is never