“Lisa” by Emma Lin

“Lisa”
By Emma Lin

It was colorless. Just like it always was. The world’s color seemed to vanish all at once. The dark grey sky hovered over the town as small white flecks began to drop out from them. It was as if the heavens was gifting them with these precious gifts. Soon, the town was covered in a thick layer of snow. The sky’s dark grey color became light. The ground was not visible for a thick white blanket covered everything. Within seconds children got on their thick coats, their little boots that barely managed to fit and their small gloves. Their hats dangled clumsily on their heads as they stubbornly laughed and threw snow at each other. Soon teenagers and adults crept out of their burrows in their comfy houses. Adults shoveled, and tiny figures dragged their wooden sleds up snowy little hills. Little did they know, this joy that was brought to them was the sorrow of someone else. Lisa. Lisa remembered. She remembered everything. The day of her first day, to her very last. Her colorless eyes stared from above in the clouds and watched the joy of those down below. She remembered it all very clearly.

It was a dark 1800’s night; her father didn’t come home yet. The snow was pouring down already. The wind howled for what seemed like for hours. Her little siblings curled up in front of the fireplace. Her mother was pacing in front of the door.

She was coming to her mother’s side and touching her mother’s shoulder. She wrapped her thick jacket around her and moved outside. She was going to find her father. At least she thought she was. For hours, the wind blew against her. Her fingers were white. Her face was red. Her boots were full of snow.

She still never found him. “PAPA!” She remembered yelling. The wind howled back at her. She felt tears well up in her eyes. Her last breath. Her last glance of the world. It was not with her family; it was out in the cold. No color. Only white.

“The Tale of the Gold Girl” by Sofia Manalo Kwaterski

“The Tale of The Gold Girl”
by Sofia Manalo Kwaterski

My name is Aiko Akamine. I have a sister. Well, more like I had a sister. Her name was IA(ee-ah) and I lost her long ago. Before I get into that I better start at the beginning, but don’t be fooled even though I am writing this—it is her story. She was a sickly child and for a long time we didn’t know what caused it. I still think it would be better if we hadn’t found out at all. She had the fatal disease Lebriah. It’s something you’re born with, and there’s no cure. Everyone who ever had it had died before 5 years, so I wouldn’t even call it living. Anyway, because of her illness we had to move to an underground city that supposedly treated people. Little did we know that this so called city was actually a trap. The city was called Hirashima Ugi but everyone called it Hell’s Corner. And it was. The city was not a medical treatment station but a slave trap. Anyone unfortunate enough to step foot in that place would surely not see the light for a long, long time. And, unfortunately for us, it was too late to turn back.

As slaves, life was hard and the work was grueling. If you stepped out of line they would murder you without a second thought. We grew up with death all around us. No hope, happiness—no nothing. We feared for our lives but mostly we feared for IA’s. She was nearing 5 years and not getting any better. Till one day my mother and father proposed something in secret. They knew that IA would likely not live but they still wanted to give me a chance at life. They would make me disappear. The devised a plan to make it seem like I had died of hunger when in truth I was being sent to a better place-or so they said. It was better but I missed out on having a sister and I don’t know if it was worth it. But I left and no one was the wiser. Even my dear sister did not know that I was actually alive at the time. She learned the truth eventually of course, when I finally found her. So, I’m going to go back in time, to a time where IA was just 5 years old. Keep reading, don’t stop.

*****

“Aiko has left,” “She’s just gone on a little holiday,” and “She’ll be back soon.” Mother had said these things over and over to me, but I knew the truth, Aiko was dead. I saw the man cart away her body that was wrapped up in a carpet. I tried to stop him I really did, but it was no use. Father hissed that the Absinthe soldiers would kill me, if I tried to interfere any more than I already had. She was gone, a year has passed since she died and I had moved on. Everything was fine now, no beatings, sure there were still executions but I lived with it. Everything was fine. Or so I thought.
Screams echoed throughout Hirashima. My father jumped up and ran outside to see what the commotion was. My mother was as pale as paper. She turned to me and said, “IA, I will go outside and see what is happening , you stay here and hide.

“No I won’t! I’ll come with you!” I protested.

“IA D Gold. You will do what I say right this instant!” I relented and hid while my mother left. There was a huge explosion that shook the whole house. I became worried that mother might have been caught in the blast. So I left to go find her. I ran and ran searching for her silvery pink hair, or her purple cat like eyes, I heard her voice east to me and headed that way. I spoted her with some of the invading soldiers.

“Why are you here?” She cried. “Just leave us alone. We’ve done nothing wrong!

“You Gold scum always think you’re in the right!” an unfamiliar voice sneered. “We came for the keys!
Now tell me where they are!”

The keys? I thought to myself. Oh yes! I remember now! (flash back 10 or so minutes before) “Oh wait!” my mother gasped. She quickly ran down stairs and when she came up she was holding something. 20 crystal keys that reflected light in beautiful shades. Each bore a different symbol. I was entranced by them. She put them in a little pouch and tied it to me.

“Why do I need these?” I asked.

“These are the Twenty Commandments. They are our sacred keys that have been passed down for generations. Keep them safe for I have a sinking suspicion that the reason they came were for these. I have to go now but soon—some day—all will be revealed!” (fast forward 10 minutes) I had the keys, my hand reached down to get them and save my mother from certain death but. She quickly looked at me, and did the smallest shake of her head. I stopped frozen.

“All right if you’re not going to tell me where they are, then your useless to me!” The soldier yelled. He unsheathed his sword and murdered her in cold blood without an ounce of mercy to share. I watched her fall to the ground. Saw the men cruelly laugh as if it was some kind of game. I turned around and ran tears streamed down my face, but still I kept on running. Away from the father that never really loved me, away the screaming crowds, the burning buildings and up the stairs and outside.

The sky was a brilliant blue and the sun was shining down. I shielded my eyes temporarily blinded. I had never once seen the sun or sky only read about it in my books. It was ironic really. My mother had just died and yet the sun still shined and the birds still sang. I walked for a long time. Till I came upon a town. It was surrounded by a wall on all sides. I stared up in awe at it.

“I don’t think I’ve seen you around here, who are you?” I turned around startled to see where the voice had come from. It came from a girl with brilliant red hair and mercury colored eyes, “Well? I’m waiting?”

“Oh, sorry. Umm, my name is IA, IA D Gold,” it was a miracle I even managed to get something to come out of my mouth.

“I see. Do you have parents?”

“No,” I said, sad to say.

“Well, you can come with me I suppose.”

She led me inside the town and through a tall metal gate. She talked to a grownup who looked down on me with cold unfeeling eyes. They talked some more and nodded.

“What was that all about?” I asked her.

“I asked Korose if it would be okay for you to stay here.”

“Oh, okay. My names Akane by the way.” She held out her hand and smiled a warm smile at me.
I shook it and asked, “Akane, what?”

“Huh,” she said confused. “Your last name.” I insisted, “What is it?”

“Oh . . . I don’t have a last name. Or at least I don’t remember it.” She looked down sadly.

“Well that can’t be helped. We’ll just have to give you one.” I said.

“Huh? Give me a name?”

“Yeah!” I said excitedly.

“Like what?” she inquired.

“Hmmm . . . well how about . . . Oh! I know! Your hair it’s bright red like the color of a red rose!”

“So?”

“We’ll call you Akane Rose! Now I’ll never forget your last name. All I have to think about is your pretty hair!”

She thought about it for a moment and then answered, “I like it!” She grinned at me and right then I knew that everything was going to be just fine.

“Hidden” by Nilaya Kuntamukkala

“Hidden”
by Nilaya Kuntamukkala

I live in a secret village- only known to griffins like me. It protects us from dragons and other ferocious predators. Most griffins aren’t allowed to leave the village, BUT a select few are allowed to. To make sure we are extra safe there are jobs for all the griffins. When every young griffin grows up we get to pick a job. For many of the jobs, we must tryout to see if we have what it takes. The job options are . . .

The guardians. (I WILL HAVE THIS JOB. YUP. I WILL! And we all know it…)

The hunters. (I guess hunting is okay)

The scouts. (Yeah, I’d much rather be a guardian)

The caretakers. (Meh, kind of boring)

The mentors. (Teaching is so BORING. And mentors are so MEAN. I’m definitely NOT being one of those).

The guardians, hunters, and scouts are the more difficult and dangerous jobs. The jobs you need to try out for. The jobs you have to train for since you were a little whelp.
The guardians have the most dangerous job. They . . . well, guard. They protect us from threats. Fight dragons or any other creatures who mean us harm. In case you didn’t notice, it is the job I will have when I grow up. The job I WILL have. I WILL- there is NO DOUBT I will have this job. And the tryouts are tomorrow.

*****

“I’m so sorry Moon, you’re not cut out to be a guardian,” The lead guardian sighed.

“NO. THIS ISN’T ACCEPTABLE. THE GRADING SYSTEM IS BROKEN.”
This can’t be happening. I prepared! Since the beginning of my life. I mean . . . I might not have payed attention to the teachers. And I failed at everything I was supposed to do. And the teachers hated me. OK, so maybe I didn’t do a good job preparing. MAYBE. I thought.
“No, I’m not broken. Just so you know I grade you all; therefore, I am the grading system. I’m pretty sure I can grade perfectly well. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”
I paused, “Oh. Oh. That’s true. Can I retake it? Can I redo the tryout? I PROMISE you won’t regret it!”

“No,” the lead griffin, Flare said. “The tryouts are held ONCE every six moons. You’ll just have to keep training.”

“But- but. I’m ready!” I begged. “PLEASE!”

“No. You’re dismissed,” Flare pointed at the exit. “I have to go grade the other students. Bye.”

“But, no! NO! I-”

“Go,” The big griffin said sternly.

“FINE!” I thundered off.

I sat in a corner. Thinking about what had happened. Then I heard footsteps of someone coming behind me.

“You did well . . .” A soft voice called out.

“You’re just saying that to be nice,” I argued before I even knew who I was talking to.

I turned around and looked at the griffin speaking. She was a tiny bit smaller than me but she was
just as fierce. Correction—more fierce. Her name was Breeze. She had already completed the tryout. Guess what—she’s a guardian!

Breeze thought for a moment. “Yes, you’re right. I was just saying that to be nice.”

I scowled at her. “Wow. Well, you’re SUPER nice.”

“Well, I was just agreeing with you.” She smiled at me. “You did have it coming.”

“You’re not supposed to agree with me!” I growled.

“I’m serious.” She sounded serious.

“I can tell,” I agreed.

Breeze frowned at me as if trying to decide if I was joking or not. “Let me speak! Okay. I’m serious-”
“I know.”

“STOP already! Okay, I’m serious, you—”

“I know.”

“SERIOUSLY. You need to pay more attention to your mentor,” she paused as if expecting me to interrupt again. “And, maybe. Ya’know, since I’m an expert, I can train you.” She winked at me.

“First off, you ain’t no expert. Second, sure great idea, EXPERT!”

“I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not.”

I just smiled and then walked away.

Just as I was walking away someone else walked up to me. “Hi Emerald.”

“Hello, you did great.” She said to me.

“I feel like this is going to be a repeat of another conversation I just had.” I added, “No I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did.” She responded.

“No, I did not.”

“YES, YOU DID.”

“NOOOOO!”

“YESSSSS!”

“GRRRRRR.”

“GRRRRRR.”

And that pretty much sums up that conversation. So, it got pretty weird after that. You don’t wanna know.

As I was walking home I heard a horrible sound. A HORRIBLE SOUND. ALMOST as horrible as Emerald’s dancing. The sound I thought I would never hear . . . the sound of dragons. But—I thought our town is safe from dragons! The only way a dragon could have found our home . . . oh no. They got a hold of the enchanted jewel that hides our town. OH NO. I need to defend the school.

WHY’D THEY ATTACK THE SCHOOL? Oh, the poor little griffins trying to learn (okay, OKAY, I know I pretty much just called myself a little griffin because soon I will be going back to that school. UGH). And I know the guardians are the only ones allowed to fight, but I can’t watch the dragons hurt my fellow griffins.

My parents are going to hate me after this . . . I thought.

And then I dove into battle.

“If a Tree Fell” by Danni Klein

“If a Tree Fell”
by Danni Klein

Something was wrong as I crashed through the woods on my way to my shaded sanctuary. The birds were not singing. Not only that, but the birds were nowhere to be seen. I understood why the moment I saw the state of my beautiful banyan tree. It was my home away from home. My favorite place in the universe. No place was like it, no place brought back just as many memories. But there it lay, on its side, its branches cracked, broken, and bare. I had found it here three years ago. It had a disease, and I read about the illness and nurtured it back to health. But this spring it didn’t bloom with pink flowers, and I knew that this day was soon coming. I knelt respectfully in front of the fallen warrior and murmured a few words of goodbye. After a few moments of silence, I stumbled blindly back towards my home across the woods, feeling cool, silent tears trickling down my pale cheeks.

I lay on my bed like a statue. I was silent, but my sister Saoirse still padded in and pulled herself onto my drab gray covers and snuggled into the nook of my arm. She could tell without me saying a thing to her that I was broken inside. Saoirse understood me like no one else could- more than I could, even. She looked just like me with black hair, clover green eyes. But her hair was silky and curled at her chin. My hair was straight all the way down to my hips.

The next morning, colorless November light flooded through my shades, onto my face. I had tear streaks from the night before still marking my pale cheeks.

The night before I had decided I was going to sit with the tree for the whole day. I knew it was just a tree, but it meant more than that to me. I flung open my closet and pulled out my best dress. It was stunning- there was no other way to describe it. It was long and flowy, and the palest blue imaginable. A silver braided belt cinched the waist and the bottom was flowy silk.

Saoirse followed me out the door and into the forest. The wind howled through the branches above me. It dragged my hair out behind me and pinned the front of the skirt to my legs. I ducked behind a tree and pulled my hair up with the black ribbon I was wearing around my wrist, pulling Saoirse close.
When we reached the tree, we sat down against its fallen trunk, using each other for warmth.
The ribbon was ripped out of my hair, and got caught in a branch. As I reached to grab it back, something flew in from the other side of the tree and the wind pinned it to my hand.

It was a banyan seed.

“Best Friends” by Iman Ilias

“Best Friends”
by Iman Ilias

It is true what they say
At the end of the day
Friends will pick you up when you fall
Best friends will push you back down and laugh

Many ponder the significance of this proverb
What does it mean?
Friends will make you feel like a queen
And it’s for friendships like those
That we are so keen

Polite people,
And polite friends
Will be very amiable and very sweet
And at a party
They’ll be the first to greet

But when you are close to a person you know,
No such formalities should be bestowed
For it’s friendships like these that you’ll never outgrow

They will laugh at you
And point out your flaws
And even shove you to the side

But that’s what they’re for
To teach you that you’re not perfect
But that’s fine
They accept you the way you are

They joke
Sometimes crudely
To show that they are comfortable with you
They’re fine being their most embarrassing selves around you
And they know that you won’t mind
Their jokes or their personalities

Because that’s what best friends

“We Are All Different” by Iman Ilias

“We Are All Different”
by Iman Ilias

We are all different
Look different
Act different
Learn different
Think different
Feel different

We all come from different places, and form our own opinions
We all feel and think differently about different things,
We all have different ways of doing the same thing

Some like vanilla,
Some like chocolate.
Some indulge in pleasures, some have no choice but to work without stop

One can find blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes
One can find straight hair, wavy hair, curly hair
One can see tall and short,
One can see light and dark

There are those that speak English,
There are those that speak Spanish,
There are others that speak Chinese,
And others who speak Hindi

And some people who just won’t see certain things the same way

But we can all compromise
But we can all understand
But we can all appreciate

And we can find flavor in each other’s food
And eloquence in each other’s tongue
And beauty in each other’s countenances
And logic in each other’s opinions

Even though

We are all different

“My Life and Diversity” by Debkanya Mitra

I
 
Without color, our world is bleak,
Cold, and unforgiving.
 
There would be no smiles,
Our identities would be tangled in a veil,
Which would suffocate our spirit.
 
But we have color,
And I can’t imagine my world, my community,
Ever lacking it.
 
II
 
Diversity is being different,
Not feeling different.
 
I am the face of diversity,
Though diversity has many different faces.
 
III
 
Maryland is where I was born,
And if anyone asked me where I was from,
I would say “Maryland.”
 
I don’t look like everyone else,
But that’s okay.
 
I’m really lucky,
I’ve gotten a chance to see my state…
 
IV
 
The Eastern Shore is magnificent,
With its towering waves,
That could drown all of us,
But it doesn’t.
 
I’ve stood on its sandy banks,
And felt its magnitude,
While the sun smiled at me.
 
The Chesapeake Bay is alive,
There is a touch of prosperity left,
We’re letting it thrive,
But we’ve hurt it in the past.
 
I remember its currents vividly,
My teacher told me that it was estuary,
A long while back.
 
Pollution had hurt the bay,
She had told us,
Pollution, and overfishing,
I was determined to fix it all that day,
I haven’t succeeded,
Not yet.
 
V
 
Baltimore is my golden city,
In its harbor,
The star-spangled banner flew,
And our national anthem was written.
 
VI
 
Baltimore was where Freddie Grey died in police custody.
I was driving through Baltimore that day.
I didn’t know.
 
VII
 
That city is America,
And in America,
We have good cops,
And we have good people,
And we don’t want to let racism come between us,
But sometimes we do.
 
Baltimore is a diverse city,
And Baltimore is rebuilding itself,
And we the people,
Are recognizing our flaws,
But we won’t forget.
 
VIII
 
I’ll remember,
But I’ll learn,
My America will learn.
 
I’ll sing,
I won’t stop singing.
 
IX
Baltimore’s not far away from our county,
But even if it was, no one would forget, right here.
 
Our county is built on acceptance,
And unity.
 
Because I’m different,
We’re all different.
 
X
 
When people look at me,
They don’t realize,
That I’ve never lived outside of Maryland.
 
I look Indian,
They see that,
I’m proud to be Indian, too.
 
XI
 
A memory I would like to share with everyone is Holi.
I celebrated it on the fields outside of our temple.
I am Hindu, and Holi is a festival celebrating spring.
 
We sprinkle colored powders on our heads,
We through them at our friends,
We laugh together.
 
XII
 
Another memory is the festival of lights,
Like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa,
Diwali is celebrated in the winter.
 
My family hangs up lights,
And we light candles,
In India we lit fireworks.
 
I was in first grade,
When I saw the skies light up.
 
XIII
 
I’m an actor, too,
I’m captivated by the world.
 
Every role, that I’ve taken on,
Has taught me something.
Recently, I acted in a Bengali Drama,
About change, social change.
 
I played the role,
Of someone originally against it.
 
XIV
 
At the end,
My character understands,
And holds up a sign,
Which reads, “We are Charlie,”
While another actor must hold up a sign,
That says, “We are Avijit.”
 
Charlie Hebdo,
Is a magazine in France,
That was targeted by terrorist attacks.
 
Avijit Roy,
Was a man in Bangladesh,
Who was killed for blogging his ideas.
 
My character realizes,
How we need to stand up for each other.
 
XV
 
I’ve seen a lot in my life,
And what I have seen,
Has enlightened me.
 
I don’t want to live in a world,
Where color has been forgotten.
 
I don’t want to live in a world,
Where color is what we fight over.
 
And to make this world that I want,
Enriched by color, but not torn apart,
I have to start talking louder.
 
I can’t leave everything for when I get older.
 
XVI
 
Let there be humanity, faith, and the prosperity of all.
 
XVII
 
Diversity is the unstoppable journey, that brought me right here.
 

“Fall” by Debkanya Mitra

Fall comes with leaves,
More beautiful than flowers,
And grey skies.
 
Fall is the season of harvest,
While the bleak ground,
Is decorated with the remains,
Of shattered memories.
 
Trapped in the empty theatre,
Are our materialistic ideas of change,
I’m the only one,
Who hasn’t watched its premier.
 
I think that I’ll watch it,
When my world,
Has no colors remaining.

“The Storm” by David Villani

It was a warm, sunlit October day, and I was calmly fishing for sardines on my boat, the Tempesta, as I had always done. I was laying out the nets, a tedious, painstaking task. All of a sudden, a bored croaking voice spit into my radio. I jumped at its abruptness, and angrily let go the line. I walked over, irritated at the timing.

“This is the Coast Guard, there is a large storm headed your way. Dock immediately. I repeat, dock immediately.”

This did not alarm me, as I very frequently got such messages. These so called “large storms” usually amounted to five minutes of rain and a few gusts of wind. I was not even contemplating going back. It was five o’clock, so if I was to go back to dock, my fishing for the day would be over. Worst come to worst, I would simply have to weather the storm. I returned to laying the lines, all while unconsciously humming a tuneless song.

After forty minutes of hard work, I sat down on a barrel and took out a cigarette. The sun was sinking into the sea, painting the entire sky a golden, orange hue. As I lit my cigarette, I gently rubbed my temples. I had throbbing headache and I was dead tired, but I was not feeling miserable. It had been a very profitable day, and I was thinking of going back to dock early. It would be an hour to shore, and I was extremely hungry, as I had forgotten to pack a supper. I inhaled sharply, releasing the smoke in small puffs. The calm sensation of a day well spent soothed my aching body, and I smiled in spite of myself. As the smoke filled the air around me, I coughed lazily. I resolved to head home after a few minutes, and I slowly got up. As I leisurely glanced up, a sight made my blood freeze.

A terrible wall of silent storm clouds was advancing menacingly towards the Tempesta at impossible speeds. I cursed loudly, and ran towards the helm. As I rushed over, I tripped on a rope. I rapidly scrambled to my feet, mumbling obscenities, and set the boat in motion. As the engine slowly sputtered to life, I looked at my compass and set my course to shore. If I didn’t reach the harbor in time, there would be hell to pay. I tragically thought of the coast guard’s warning, and my disregard for it. This storm was definitely not going to be five minutes of rain and a few gusts of wind, I thought with distress. I turned the boat east, and set it towards the coast at full speed. I looked back at the fast-approaching storm clouds and a part of me knew it was futile. My boat reached a maximum speed of twenty kilometers per hour, and that storm was easily going at sixty. I also noted that it was about two kilometers away. It was nearly futile. I had to try, however.

The grey storms enveloped the sky, and a cruel darkness descended on the previously bright sky. A cold sensation pervaded the air, and the mysterious, salty smell of the ocean filled my nose. The almost magic spirit of the tempest assaulted all my senses. It felt almost living, in a way. The storm was like an evil horse, tearing across the sea, craving death. My death. I ran away quickly, but not quickly enough. I was driving the boat with my back to the storm, but I could feel its ghastly cold hands clutch at me, not quite reaching me, but getting close. I silently prayed, begging the Virgin Mary for my life. I was scared. I was scared like I had never been scared before.

Suddenly, approaching in the distance, I spotted a light. I enthusiastically cried in joy. It was a lighthouse! I thanked the Virgin for sparing my life. I was saved! The light peacefully moved towards me, and in the process, it shone on a huge rock. My hands suddenly clamped together. I realized why the lighthouse was there. The lighthouse was there to warn sailors about the famous Sant’Angelo Reef. It surrounded the lining coast for miles in all directions. I was baffled, as I was about fifteen kilometers off of my destination. I had strayed north. Many sailors much better than me had died trying to navigate the reef. I was doomed. If I continued in that direction, my boat would be torn apart by the razor sharp boulders, and I would surely drown. I had to turn around, and turn around quickly, or my death would be even more certain.

As I spun the boat around, I cursed. I cursed God, I cursed Mary, and I cursed myself. The lighthouse had given me hope, but instead of salvation, it only offered more danger. What a cruel trick had God pulled on me. I gripped the helm so tight my knuckles turned white, and then cursed some more. The storm had practically reached me by now, and rain was already drenching me. I did not care. I wanted to live, obviously, but my chances were slim. I had nowhere to go.  I had a reef of murderous rocks on one side, and a vicious tempest on another. I had to go towards the storm, or the wild winds would smash me against the rocks.

The waters were filled with great waves, and I was in constant fear of being capsized. Suddenly, a lightning bolt struck my mast, destroying it in a burst of wood. I was shocked by the abruptness, and an awed curse slipped my lips. All around me, waves were pounding my boat like hammers, and heavy rain was falling down from the heavens like fiery meteors. The sky was pitch black, with angry clouds blocking out the dying sun. My boat was floating helplessly, its mast shattered into a thousands shards. I was at the wheel, holding on desperately for my life, in fear of a wave that would tear me off into the sea. The dark green ocean was zealously trying to snatch me of my boat and to drag me to its mysterious depths.

I looked all around me. Shattered glass and wood was surrounding me. My boat was in a miserable shape. The rudder has snapped off. Huge, looming waves crashed over the bow and hit my face with furious passion. The salty taste of the sea filled my mouth. The storm showed no signs of calming, and only increased in power. My mind was leaping from thought to thought, like a monkey in a tree. I could not focus on anything. The boat was being tossed around on the water like a rag doll. The raging, implacable force of nature was throwing itself against me with full force, and I was helpless before it.

I returned to the matter at hand. Now was not the time to have existential crises. I gripped the helm harder, and looked ahead. All too close, I saw a huge wave, searing towards me. It was three stories high, and it stretched out as far as I could see. It had a teal tinge. The sailor inside of me was scrambling to save myself, frantically grasping at the helm and sending power to the engine. It was absolutely futile. The wave was simply too strong. As the boat glided over the sea towards my boat, I gave up. I simply closed my eyes as the wave exploded around my boat with a thundering roar. And suddenly, there was no more.

 

 

“Nothing” by Annie Tang

Nothing can’t be anything
Or nothing could be something.
No one can do nothing
Only nothing can do nothing.
 
But you can change nothing
Into SOMETHING
Or leave nothing as nothing.
Then something becomes nothing
 
Nothing is the forbidden pit of darkness
Something is the bright open air and light
But when something turns to nothing,
The walls become slick and one becomes trapped.
 
In the end, nothing is nothing
Nothing can’t be anything
Something is something,
And something can be
ANYTHING