Masquerade by Parker Nelson

The hall is illuminated by flickering flames. Dainty notes flit around the room. Ballgowns glide across the ground, and slippers tap atop the tile. My face is hidden beneath a shadow, my secrets below a heavy gown. I am free to express myself, without the burden to be who they all think I should be. Dancing, my fears fall in sheets off my conscience. The light notes tickle my ears, inciting a dance from within. Light as a cloud, I twirl and spin. My partner, a fox, guides me swiftly through the hall. A horse dances regally with a swan, a squirrel chats with a hare. Every soul is guarded, yet free. Each life has chaos controlled beneath their skins, but all may dance with the foe. No one knows what fear wears what shield. Yet, they carry on their elaborate dance. A final note settles in the air, and all movement stops. A solute to a partner, and the dance is done.

Witches – By Audrey Miller


They were witches, black, dark, made of fire and earth and blood. Witches, full of smoke, filled with the wrath of thousands of armies.

They were witches, whose ancestors watched their comrades burned to death, who waited quietly, rage building and burning. They held this close, throughout the ages. This quiet tactic allowed them to survive through generations, allowed them to morph and grow and stretch.

They passed down their secrets, they feared nothing. They broke mirrors and threatened the powers that be. They played God, they created and destroyed, they built empires within the confines of a cauldron.

They taught their daughters, and the daughters taught their daughters. They passed down these secrets, passed down their quiet rage, passed down the power in their fingertips.

I am one of them.

I walk under ladders, I am a goddess. I am a wolf, I am a flame.

The smoke from my candles burns the lungs of the unworthy, the amulets around my neck grapple with ghosts. I summon spirits, I brew pain and fury and I share it as I see fit.

I am fire and blood, I am earth and rage, I am the wind and the rain, I am the birds in the cemetery. I am what stories warn you about.

We are witches, permeating every aspect of your life. We touch your dreams, we twist them into nightmares. We pull passion out of the air, we breathe smoke.

We are ferocious.

We are unstoppable.

We are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn.

I am Poem By: Mariam Anwary

I am Indian

I wonder about the world

I hear the cries of people

I see war and blood all around me

I am a sister

I pretend everything is fine

I feel alone and scared

I touch the abandoned dream

I worry that there will be nothing left

I cry for my loses

I am a daughter

I understand the pain

I say everything will be fine

I dream of making a change

I try to find stability

I hope there will be love and peace

I am a Muslim




Spotlight By Parker Nelson

Time stalled as her name sharply cut through the air. She glided as in a trance to the black and gaping hole in the wall. As she stepped through, the darkness swallowed her and pulled her further in. A sharp wind blew around her and chilled her to the bone. Her heart pulsed rapidly inside her, beating against her chest, trying to escape. The darkness was endless, reaching away in all directions. With a sudden jolt, she stopped in her tracks. Silence encompassed her and the darkness was blinding. Her eyes searched for a point to focus on and found an infinitesimal dot of light in the black around her. Without warning, the spot shot towards her and drowned her with light. The thing she, just an instant ago, longed for was now overpowering and painful. Her eyes burned from the glaring light and wished once again for darkness. A shout burst through the silence and swallowed her with murmurs and utterances of  indignation. A voice in her head imitated the doubts of the crowd, it told her she would never be enough. She pushed her head up but the weight of her doubts and fears were too heavy to bear. The light spun around her, mixing with the squall, pushing her to the ground. Her thoughts muddled and her eyes gave in. Crystals of misery ran in streams down her face. She glittered in grief on the ground. The shouts of disgust mixed with cries of pity, swallowing her in humiliation. She hung off the edge of the cliff of despair. She felt as though she’d never know happiness again, so she let go.

Emotion of the Elements -Esther Torres


Lightning escaped his chains in the heaven’s sky

Thanks to Wind’s aid, in his escape.

He leaped from the heavens, not afraid of falling to the earth

Sparks fly off him

Letting his presence be known

Letting Her know

He had escaped, and he was coming.

She had enchanted him with her rays

He had fallen for her warm smile and tender laugh

He had fallen for her.

But she only wanted him out of her way

She wanted all the action

Taking all the attention

Locking him away.

But he was back now

So be warned

He was going to come after her, so beware

Be prepared

The Sun would soon fade.

She could call all her minions to her side

But not even Fire, Snow, or Ice

Would stop his and his raze.

Water Boarding -Walker Lloyd


The bag obscured nearly everything, save a few flickering lights illuminating the hallway. He walked slowly, lifting his feet much higher than normal to avoid tripping on the uneven concrete. His hands were crossed in front of him, courtesy of the zip ties that had been drawn too tight and left too long. It was totally unnecessary from a security standpoint. The man had shown no sign of aggression after the first two years of “detainment”. Of course during that time he had shown no sign of cracking either. Up until now however, interrogation had mainly  involved whips and solitary, all very Count Of Monte Cristo. Today though…

Early that morning, the Center For Political and Military Detainees or the PMD Center had received the go ahead on some new methods that been implemented as soon as possible. And so, Detainee #53 was being lead down the hall to the room with the chair.

#53 was placed in the chair and was bound to it by his arms and his feet. Once this was done, he awaited the removal of his blindfold. Instead he felt a boot heel land viciously on his chest and his breath was driven from his lungs. The chair tipped over and his head hit the floor with nasty crack. The black bag suddenly lit up with a thousand stars and his head swam. He heard a distant voice,

“Are you sure we have enough buckets?”

“Yeah, yeah. Quit worrying, besides, there’s a tap in the next room.”

“Whatever you say. Let’s get this over with, I never like doing it.”

“What are you talking about? You love doing this.”

“Yeah, your right, hand me that bucket will you?”

The first man drew closer. #53 could barely hear his words.

“You still with us buddy? You’re gonna go swimming!”

He probably said more, #53 couldn’t tell. Suddenly he was drenched in ice cold water. He gasped, sucking the stuff into his lungs. He coughed and spluttered trying in vain to rid himself of the damned liquid. The man tried to relax. He was drowning. There was nothing he could do. If he was going to die, he would die with dignity, it was the least he could do. But his body convulsed uncontrollably, eventually expelling the water from his lungs. #53 lay in a puddle of water and despair, wishing he was dead, but having no means to make his dream come true. He heard another bucket being lifted off the ground and his heart sunk lower. He resolved to keep the contents of the bucket from his lungs at all costs.

It was no use. #53 felt the same drowning sensation as the first time, followed by the desperate convulsions. As he heard the third bucket being raised, he tried to speak. But only a thin garbled noise came out. One of the men must have heard it though, for the bucket was never emptied. #53 tried again to speak. He succeeded only in incoherent sobbing. Eventually he managed to admit defeat. After five years of resistance, Detainee #53 had cracked.