Category Archives: Creative

Sanity not found

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you’re losing your mind? You lost the thing again and you’re pretty sure it ran off with your sanity. Maybe it’s under the bed with the monsters. It’s all in your head, what head? It ran off with the thing, and oh no watch out! The monsters are grabbing for your foot, better hide under a blanket, they’ll never look there. What’s that noise? Better go turn on all the lights and play music so they definitely know you’re not here. Oh it’s just the cat. Wait no, you don’t have a cat. The cat got lost too. Maybe he’s hiding outside the shower with the psycho guy who will definitely go away if you don’t pull back the curtains. It’s all in your head, it’s all in your head. Oh look, there’s the thing. It was in your hand the whole time. Oops.

Written by Vanessa Watts

Contributing Writer

One lux

I don’t like sleep, and sleep doesn’t like me. So instead of my head finding a pillow at night, it meets an inky indigo haze in the clouds and jaded parades around my suburban streets. I find alabaster in midnight astronomy. My freedom is gifted by darkness, wrapped in moonshine, the small hours giving green lights. Insomnia takes me under its feathered wing, but it doesn’t sing me lullabies. Instead it tells stories of street lamps and gold glare, with one lux, bold with happiness, through window panes to street corners, in parking lots and fast food orders at 2AM. There is no need to close my eyes to dream, the stardust paints us pictures on onyx skies. In the backseats of old beemers we move through town, the streets dead but we are alive. City lights twinkle a million miles away, as we are becoming supernovae, but we’re burning too bright and exploding too quick. With the sun rising, our radiance is fleeting. We slowly die out and drag ourselves through another day, until constellations and galaxies kiss our cheeks and greet us again. We are old, familiar friends.

Written by Gillian Bynum

Contributing Writer

The faces we hide

When do we let our façades fall away? Do we take them off at the end of the day? Or do we keep them on until they fuse? Become something we can no longer lose? Do we let them become one with skin and bone, something a part of us, no longer just shown? Do we keep them on ‘till the day we die? So no one will ever know they were just a lie? Like the girl who smiled brightly everyday, tugging long sleeves with long fingers to cover foul play, tossing careful reassurance every which way .‘Till the day her husband took her life away. If she’d have just spoken up, I wonder, would she still be buried six feet under? And what of the boy who kept a veneer, fake smiles and false laughs keeping others near? Happiness and cheer covering a breakdown and tear, ‘till his heart could take no more of his crippling fear. If he’d shown others himself, and not put on shows, would he still be here rather than in deadly repose? The acts we put on, the masks we create are not all they seem — nor nearly as great. Some live and learn, to peel off the fake, but most never do and have to live with the ache. The façades we put on are often more permanent than we think, staying stuck to our skin, becoming part of it before we can blink. Unable to come off no matter how hard we tried, no one sees what’s underneath our masks: all the faces we hide.

Written by Lily Cejka

Contributing Writer

Call it to the mountain molehill, for we are all dead in the long run

Salted wind slaps my face and venomous spit swirls on my tongue, all velvet and biting. I swallow wine. I think about my liver pickling. I hope that when I die I’m diced up into cubes and grinded by fossilized ocean creatures, because why does it matter anyhow? Spotlights searching for blackness in the void is, and of us. Humanity’s struggle. As I look over my balcony, hands grip vice on avian hollow bones and reduce them to dust. I hope the fruit of my tree smells, and is ripe as sunshine in midday or decaying organisms in the heat of one hundred degrees. The meadow larks opera staccatos on my ears, and my soul is tugged by reddened hands; massaged into warm, buttery, bliss. What eccentricities I am becoming too when I decree, “let porcelain shatter in crowded theaters if it must, for I am whole when you are I.”

Written by Ryan Love

Contributing Writer

An atrocious issue

As I sit here having a table full of crap thrown at me, I think of how this vacation went wrong. How I probably shouldn’t have called the chef an ugly prank. But it happens, right? And it was most likely unappreciated when I dropped my neighbor’s cat off the balcony, but the thing was just staring at me too much. Or how we trip down the stairs, only to cause a chain reaction of people with luggage tumbling down. It was like lifesize dominoes, only better. It was phenomenal! Now I’m sitting, tied to a chair, being yelled at by a man with a Swedish accent, who is spitting like his only life goal is to be Niagara Falls. Still I’m continuously having stuff thrown at me. It’s an atrocious issue.

Written by Kayla Kibodeaux

Contributing Writer

The weight of fruition

A leaf, a knife, a bottle, and a sprig dance of boots and blood. The azure man rings a coral bell of sea white shell, producing flowing peals of pollen sun drops. The white wind whirls milk honey of sparrow and wren’s feather. Solemn casket adorned ornate, joyous dull yellow blotches, tarnished by diamonds red. An apple prods the cherry’s nest, and all falls on string. Only cigarettes are known to the bank of God. Blue oceans of mud expand, an abyss burnt with shades of black and gray, white swallowed under Leviathan’s scale. A starship sails through leafy green, moss-cauliflower canopies of gold rod. Wood carved, journey endless. “Chase diamonds,” says the square. Weigh your fruits upon whiskey bullets. “Tip and let spill the greedy cup of man.” His arm reaches.

Written by Evan Plennert

Contributing Writer

The Longest Night

Jaxson Thornton
Photo by Prune Savelli, Staff Photographer

I was groggy driving home. The street lamps lashed by in epileptic fashion as I pushed 75 on the bone dry roads that led me home each night.

“9:58 PM” read the clock of my now off-white Volkswagen Bug. My shirt and forehead equally drenched in drying sweat and grime, my arms covered in dirt.

“Why does practice have to end so damn late?” I thought as my eyes wearily drifted along the road. I roared up my driveway once I reached home. I pulled into my parking spot and hit the e-brake, momentarily sending me skidding across the gravel and sliding to a stop before launching out of my car and running inside through the garage.

“10:43 PM” read the clock as I threw off my shoes and slid socks only into the kitchen. The sweet smell of dinner was met by the looming threat of homework on the note left atop the counter by my mother.

Went to bed. Dinner is chicken fried rice. Please put dishes away. DON’T. FORGET. HOMEWORK.

Love you, xoxo. -Mom.

“Homework,” I thought. “What do I have tonight?” By this point I was speaking aloud to myself. “Oh, right. Three page essay I haven’t started, due… tomorrow! Fan-tas-tic. Annnnnd…” I mumbled as I shifted through the folders of my jumbled bag. “Ah, yes. Naturally. AP World History project over a book I haven’t read due on… Friday! Perfect.” I groaned sarcastically whilst I grabbed an emerald green bowl out of the far right drawer for my chicken fried rice.

“12:21 AM” read the top right corner of my Macbook as I shut the laptop on itself. The dwindling tones of instrumentalized music faded into the backdrop as the computer began to go into sleep mode.

“Finished.” I sighed as the stapler clamped upon the three pages designated for an English presentation to be given nine hours later. I walked across my room and collapsed onto the bed. My head fell upon the pillow with a thump, and I rolled over achingly onto my back and pulled the covers over my waist.

I feel gross, I thought, hair still sticking to my forehead. In the mental commotion of the evening, I had forgotten to take a shower.

“12:29 AM” read the clock as I drifted out of consciousness…

My eyes struggled to open when I heard the frightening crash of books to the floor in my room. My body could hardly move when I felt the covers being thrown off of me. Two clammered arms reached down and yanked me from my bed by the shoulders. I fought, but the two men were stronger than me. I clung to what I could as I was dragged down the horrid chamber. Lights flashed at me from every direction with intermissions of blissful darkness.

“Please God, let this be a dream,” I prayed. I wasn’t entirely aware of what was happening, but I knew I needed for it to end.

Suddenly, I spat up water and coughed. The lightless room’s deafening blackness screamed at me as water ran over my entire body in a terrific stream of panic. My fears were cemented, as they had translated from the depths of the dreamscape into reality.

“Where am I!? What is happening to me?!” I thought in hysteria whilst coughing up water. All of the sudden, a light sparked on, roaring a bright beam of fluorescent terror at me. My eyes hurt, and I quickly coddled them with my damp palms.

“JAXSON!” yelled a voice. A familiar voice. That of my sister. “Why are you in the shower right now!?” she called from the other side of our joint twin bathroom.

“2:39 AM” read the clock as I laid my freshly washed and recently daunted head onto the pillow once more. I closed my wavering eyes, and drifted out of reality again.

Written by Jaxson Thornton

Entertainment and Opinion Editor

A Tree and a House

IMG_1721
Photo by Daniela Watkins, Photo Editor

It was called Varden Street.  But at five years old, it probably sounded more like “barden stree”.  It belonged to my mother’s grandfather, Tampa, and had been passed down through generations.  I think even the smell remained.  A fresh yet cozy warmth lingered in the woodwork.  I don’t remember much about that house, but I do remember the fairy peephole in the olive green front door, chipped from the hot California valley air.  I remember the faded plastic playhouse outback, the red brick wall with the neighbors on the other side,  and the old beach chairs my dad would set out in the garage on Saturday mornings to watch my brother and I put hose water down the crack in the concrete where the tiny black ants lived.  It was the house I grew up in, where I came home from the hospital to in the 1982 yellow punch buggy and the room my mom painted washed out blue and yellow for me.  Right outside the bay window stood the treehouse: the one my dad built, not like any other treehouse, for it was higher than any other. It was so high I remember my heart racing as I looked down from the 2×4 ladder, as my tiny hands took the pulley up from the swollen Eucalyptus roots below.  It was my favorite thing to brag about and if I could have taken this giant masterpiece to the first day of kindergarten I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.  However, the best part about the treehouse was the promise to my brother and I of a roof, a real one. This installment would make it complete to become an actual house- a clubhouse – the ultimate pirate’s lair – a “real-paint-and-walls” type of tree house.  The kind of treehouse that was impermeable to rain, the elements, and any enemy attack. By the promised date of my seventh birthday, I was sure it would be nothing less than the pride of Sherman Oaks.  

The amount of time that surpassed between this promise and the family date at California Pizza Kitchen seemed all too soon. “Table for four please”; ah, yes, the model family, one boy, one girl, two loving parents who promised the world and giant treehouse roofs to their children. Little did I know how much things would change between five and seventeen.  But that night as I ate my kid sized barbeque chicken pizza, the adult- sized world slapped me in the face: the house had to be sold. The reasons we had to move seemed drastically unimportant in comparison to the thought that the treehouse roof would never be complete.

A while passed, and we received news from Varden street. The nice family who had bought our house could no longer pay the mortgage, so it was sold to the developer. Both the 86 year old tree and the roofless treehouse were torn down along with the house. A white mansion was built – a full three stories. My seventh birthday came and went.

Years later, three more children came into our family, the twins, who became my best friends, and little Caleb, the sweet tooth. They had never seen a treehouse, but I did my best to explain. We found a warped piece of plywood and carried it into the strip of woods at the back of our land. We asked for a hammer and a helping hand, but life was different, things got hard, and helping hands became fewer and further between. My parents designed the new house themselves, without expecting three more, so naturally, when Best Friends and little Sweet tooth arrived, things were tight. We were no longer were a “table for four” family, but a “table for seven – oh, you don’t have room – that’s ok we’ll wait” family. Still, we carried that rotting piece of plywood into the cedar trees and did our best to fit it between the evergreen branches.  But the facility that housed my childhood imagination and built for my simple innocent daydreams could not be mirrored by the misshapen wood lodged in the branch before me.

People often ask why I love childish things like glitter, dinosaur chicken nuggets, and Disney princesses. I like to blame it on the fact that the roof of the treehouse, and of my childhood, were never fully completed. A ceiling was never made to hold in my imagination. Frankly, when the adult world outside the treehouse and fairytales are compared: I will always pick the latter.

Written by Hannah Matthews

Contributing Writer