The Few

It was a cold, winter night. The fog in the air made it almost impossible for people to see in front of them. This weather was specifically chosen for the kind of operation going on tonight. The kind of business today needed pure stealth, and the fog not only gave them this stealth, but also stopped their target from being able to go anywhere. The Agent Squad was on their mission…

The mission was simple, but crucial to the protection of the world. Their job was to collect a nuclear heat bomb, which didn’t explode like a nuke, but would set a huge heat wave off that would first make a certain area hot, then force it into a chilling -10℃. This would force the British into submission, giving the Irish full control of the British Isles. Normally, this would just be a civil war, but the Irish began to use dangerous weapons against the British. This was no longer a civil war, it was a war of genocide on both sides.

The Agent Squad isn’t allied with either the British or the Irish, but is instead a private military force. The Agent Squad is one of the most well known private military groups on the planet, also giving them the title of the most controversial private military groups on the planet. The recently formed PAN (Peace Among Nations) has their own groups going around the world doing diplomatic talks, stopping most conflicts except those in the middle east and asia. That makes this one of the most important missions in the Agent Squad’s history. Continue reading


The way you saw me was not the way I saw myself. The way you saw me was not the broken fragments of what I used to be, no, you saw me as the light reflecting off them. You did not see me as lesser than anyone. You saw me as the strongest person alive. You were a blessing as to I was a devil. A demon wrapped in a pink bow while you were an angel. But all I did was cause you pain. Maybe that’s why you left. Maybe that’s why you screamed my name while crying on your bathroom floor thinking, “your name is why I struggle to breathe, and I’m not even the dirt under your fingernails” maybe that’s why I should leave. If i can’t please you, who can I? You tried to help while the only way I stayed sane was to push you away as hard as I could until with my very last breathe I gave up. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why you left.

Conflicting Emotions

I groaned and bent over as my emotions fought inside. As they tore out of my chest, I screamed in agony. Three creatures whipped around me, screeching, howling and whispering their names.

A fiery phoenix screeched the loudest, proclaiming, “I am passion, anger, desires! I whip the others with my flaming tongue!”

A demonized shadow creature hissed at me, “I am fear, darkness and hostility, you cannot escape from my clutches.” I flinched away, not wanting to be near the disgusting thing.

A watery fish began to suffocate me, blubbing, “I am sadness, depression, anxiety…” I shoved it away, gasping for breath.

Finally, after all hope seemed to vanish, after I had fallen to my knees, I felt a gentle warm hand rest on my shoulder. I slowly looked up, blinking away tears.

A warm gentle glow emitted from a human like figure, and it spoke in soft voice. “I am hope, love, compassion. Don’t fear, I am stronger than the others. I will always be there for you, in multiple shapes, sizes and forms. Look around, there will always be hope, love and compassion.” I smiled and nodded, as the creatures that had caused me distress,  now become insignificant, entered back in. The golden figure was the last to enter, sealing my chest and warming my heart.

I no longer felt the other three creatures, only hope warmed my heart. 

— Abby Burrows 

“One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind”

The little blonde hair brown eyed girl always loved to stare at the moon and stars.. She was always so fascinated by them and how endless the sky seemed to be at times. She looked at the moon yearning for the day her father would return. She always knew wherever her dad was he was looking at the same moon and stars she was. He would call every night they would talk for hours, he would ask what kind of moon it was each night and she would always answer. Tonight it was a crescent moon. That was her favorite part of the day talking to her father. It was when she was happiest. He told her that night he was coming home that weekend. She was so excited she couldn’t wait for her father to come home so they can sit outside and look at the the stars and moon together.

JV 2

JV 2. A group of freshman who barely made the team. As we wait for the other teams serve we the starters know what is going to happen next and we can do nothing to stop it. The other team targets one certain freshman who can’t pass a volleyball for his life. One point after another we see and hear the sound of the ball smack the ground and see the scrawny freshman coming in too late to get the pass and loses the point. After 10 minutes we look up to see that the new scoreboard says Home 7 Guest 24. As we watch the serve come over the net we see a miracle, a great pass that is perfect and the parents are so happy and everyone’s mouth drops to what happens next. As the ball comes off the setter’s hand the ball rotates faster than the earth. All of us on the bench know what happens next.  TWEET! Goes the refs whistle as everyone looks to see what he calls. He raises his hand and holds up two fingers up and points to the freshman setter. The horn goes off and one person is at fault for losing the game. This is JV 2.

Hold on Tightly Brother

I’ve come up with a theory that as we age, we just have worse and worse pain- that we grow accustomed to. At six, the girl gets something in her eye, and cries about the pain. At nine, she cries about a bee sting and things in her eyes no longer faze her. At thirteen, she sprains her wrist and her eyes swell up with tears which blur her vision and she cannot seem to feel any excruciating pain toward the irritated eyes or bee stings anymore. But at sixteen, she deliberately harms herself, because it doesn’t hurt. Not a physical thing hurts her. She ages backward, because at six if someone insulted her, it wouldn’t matter because she knew she was beautiful. But now, all of it hurts. It had gotten to the point where she couldn’t feel her hair in her face, she can’t feel her puncturing her skin. She can’t feel those tears in her eyes, because she grew accustomed to the irritated eyes long long ago. She can’t feel the hand pick up the cold weapon to her left, she can’t feel herself bring her weapon of choice to her temple with the finger on the trigger. She pulls it, and still doesn’t feel a thing. The only thing she had ever felt beforehand was the throbbing, swelling, and aching of her lonely broken heart.

-Tessa Fontaine

Gamer’s Dream

I’m getting ready to go to bed. I say to myself “Tomorrow’s gonna be a better day”. Before I shut my lights out and set my alarm for the morning, my mom stops by my room and says “Sweet dreams“. “Thanks, you too” I say as I’m setting my alarm for the morning. After my mom goes to bed, being the rebel I am, I load up an old 80’s video game emulator I downloaded and start to play Pac-Man. Soon, I am asleep.

I hear my phone go off in the morning. I had the standard alarm tone for my ringer so I was up and moving as fast as I could. I hated that ringtone. I got out of bed and started my daily routine. I got dressed, ate breakfast and brushed my teeth, the usual things someone does when they wake up. My mom was already at work so I wouldn’t see her until the afternoon. I pickup my backpack and get ready to go to high school. I walk out the front door and as I walk out everything changes. All of my surroundings change to look like an old 8-bit video game. I drop my backpack in amazement. I look over at the road and I see toads hopping across, dodging cars as they go by like in Frogger. I look over to where my bus stop is and it wasn’t my bus stop anymore. Instead, I see Scorpion and Sub-Zero fighting in one of the old Mortal Kombat stages. I look up into the sky and I see a spaceship shooting at aliens that were attacking it. It reminded me of my favorite 80’s game, Space Invaders.

After I take everything in, I realize that I’m in a 80’s style, video game world. I felt unstoppable, invincible, like I could do whatever I wanted. I ran out past my house to see what else there was in this new world. I saw Bowser’s airship taking a princess to his castle in the distance. Then, I saw Q*bert hopping around on my neighbors roof, turning all of the tiles to a bright yellow.  As I was running, I saw a big brown dog running past me. I stopped to pet him. I realized that he was the dog from Duck Hunt. Suddenly, a hundred ducks flew by. Then, BANG, I saw a flash of red and orange and heard a loud gunshot. All I saw was darkness. Then two words came into my vision. The two words no gamer ever likes to see. In red, bold letters, the words “GAME OVER” were displayed. That’s when I woke up to my horrible alarm.

-Austin Abrams

Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy: A story from songs

This is gospel for the fallen ones. Even when it is nine in the afternoon. They say to themselves “show me your love, show me your love before the world catches us, there’s always room for second guesses, but I don’t want to know.” They believe in casual affairs, even if it is only for the night.  A lover on one side and a sinner on the other. After the night they see things from a whole new perspective. Alls they want is to be alone together because it is irresistible.  “I’m ready to go” one women says.  A man replies “You’re such a pretty women to be running from anyone at such a time like this.”  “It’s better to burn than to to fade away, and it’s better to leave than to be replaced.” was her reply.


A song came on that meant something to her. “Favorite Record” by Fall Out Boy. She sang along “…and you can get what you want, but it’s never enough…and I’ll spin for you like your favorite records use to.”

She realized what she was running from.  She was not running from anyone, but herself.  Hearing her favorite song triggered something in her mind.  She thought she was going crazy, but then her life flashed before her eyes.  Instantaneously she decided she was not ready to go.  Instead she went to get help from Miss. Jackson.

-Neve Consylman

Road Not Taken

Before me stands a small girl looking around the age of five. Her face is wet and swollen from the tears streaming down her flushed cheeks. I know she has done nothing wrong yet those around be differ. By those around around me, I mean father. I can relate to my sister’s predicament far too well. The room reeked of the smell of alcohol. There were shards of glass sprayed across the floor authenticating that this is, in fact, reality. My instincts to run up to her and save her tremble when my father turns his eyes to me. I lower my eyes to the stained floor boards. I hear the soft sniffling coming from my younger sister. Then a strange bubbling feeling grows inside of me, but I know it’s not fear. I cannot witness him harm me nor my sister any longer than it already has. With new found determination I straighten my back and shoot my eyes upward. I stare intently into my father’s bloodshot eyes.

“No,” I whisper. The eyes staring back at me sharpen and look at me with the intensity of an eagle soaring over the treetops. I will not let him be the eagle.

“What did you just say?” He snarls with no trace of sympathy; or any feeling if that. It was as if he was possessed by some unhumanly force.

Continue reading

I Never Realized This was All Just a Dream

“We were watching fireworks when he kissed me for the first time.”  She was staring at her feet, not wanting to meet those eyes that seemed to turn everything into honey; she wanted to be able to say this and still be able to move.

“The whole world dropped out from under my feet and I thought ‘oh my God this is what it’s supposed to feel like.’”

She could feel him staring at her, wondering what she was telling him.

“I thought I loved him.  I thought that he loved me.”

She let out a small laugh, her lips twisting into a cruel smile.

“But I woke up one day, and none of that mattered.

“You see, love isn’t going to solve all your problems and loving someone doesn’t mean that it’s enough to save them, or you.  Whatever the heck is up there, they’ve got some plan for you and it doesn’t matter if his lips feel like fire and every touch seems to rip you apart and put you back together at the same time.

“So I was destined to meet you.  I was fated to fall for you.  And we were cursed to part ways too soon.”

She looked up then and saw that a smile was playing across his lips and those green eyes had turned into a shade of almost yellow.  He pulled her close and through all of their layers, she could feel his hands freezing her waist.  He whispered to her, so close to her mouth that his lips ghosted over hers.  “You’re an idiot.”

And then she woke up.


M.GY.SGT. Henry Martin

May 5th, 1945   0900 Hours

Classified West Africa


I wake up pondering what mission I might be briefed for today, My thoughts were immediately interrupted by an extraordinarily loud siren and people yelling outside my tent. I wasn’t due home for two more days and i had hoped to be gone by now ( I never stay in one area for more than a day at most and i’ve been here for a day and a half ). Unfortunately I was injured in my last mission in Germany and will be awarded a purple heart on May 25th. I would theoretically have enough time to complete a small or simple mission, Even though i’m technically not allowed to leave camp due to my injury. I really don’t see the point in keeping me back. I mean yeah i’ve got a bullet hole in my butt but that isn’t enough to keep me from being effective in a combat situation. My missions are always covert and solo. I requested a position that I would be alone to work my own way. I like the thought and feeling of being behind enemy lines by myself, No help, one target, my plan, my way, if I die its only me dieing and one elses lives are in my hands.  My last mission is classified. But a quick summary, I was ordered to kill Adolf Hitler in an underground bunker and make it look like either an accident or suicide ( That was my choice ). I clearly picked suicide, that was the best option to humiliate his Nazi force, and it did just that very well. That was only an objective to distract the world from everything. The real objective of my mission was to get information on advanced technology the axis forces were developing to win the war. Needless to say im really good at my job and got my information, tracked down where the tech was, fought my way in, got the tech, and left. Little did I know throughout the mission somewhere one of those buggers shot me and now i’m stuck unable to leave this wretched place. It is too hot, there is no cold water anywhere, there are way too many people here, I feel as though we are one giant target. I’m tagging along with the 82nd Armoured Division, British Army. So by giant target I mean a gathering of a thousands of troops, hundreds of tanks. By far the biggest division of the British Army overall making it a prime target for bombing…


Darkness in the Game: Electric Shock – Chapter 13: Starting Over

Derek eyed Brent. Brent eyed Derek. It had felt like forever since they had last seen each other. To Brent this reunion felt like they both were starting over, but to Derek it felt like it was meeting an old friend after they have changed over a number of years. Brent and Derek could do nothing but stand still. Standing still and looking into the other’s eyes.

“Brent?” Derek asked. He looked at Brent as if it wasn’t him. He looked at him like he was a mannequin. Derek thought to himself. “Is this really him? Of course it is! Who else would it be?”

“I haven’t seen you in a little while,” Brent said. He held out his hand. “Nice to see you… again.”

Derek gazed at Brent’s hand as if it were an inappropriate gesture. He eventually held out his hand and shook Brent’s. “You, too.”

Kris interceded into the conversation. “Great, now you two can catch up on what’s been going on. Kind of like… starting over.” Continue reading

Darkness in the Game: Electric Shock – Chapter 12: Reunion

Brent opened his eyes. He was groggy. Brent felt a forced pushing motion against his ribs.

“Brent… Brent… get up! We’re here!” It was Issac. Issac lightly kicked Brent in his ribs again. “Come on, Brent, wake up!”

Brent groaned. “What?”

“I think we’re in your home town,” Issac said.

Brent suddenly was wide awake. “Really?” He jolted up to his feet. They were all in a store. A video game store. “This place… I remember this place. It’s… Just Press Play. I live near here. My house is right across the street.”

“So, do you have any idea where the next shard of the Technology Triforce is?” Xavier said, approaching both Brent and Issac.

Brent dropped his head disappointedly. “No. Not a clue.”

Jason approached Brent. “It wouldn’t hurt to search your house first, would it?”

Brent shook his head. “Not at all.”

“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go!” Jason said.

The guys and Penny started to leave the store. Not much has changed since Brent had left. The only difference now was that the sky was now a beautiful shade of blue instead of its old, dark gray. Birds have started to chirp and sing along with one another. Cars had been driving along the roads that have seen better days. The roads were broken. They were covered with potholes, large cracks, and more. It had seemed that no one has either noticed, or even cared about what had happened approximately a week ago. In a weird way, Brent was actually getting used to the dark sky, havoc everywhere world. In retrospect, Brent had forgotten what his hometown felt, sounded, and looked like before this had all started.

Brent was glad to be back home, but he knew he couldn’t rest and feel like he was on vacation… he was in the middle of an important mission. At least it felt like a mission to him.

Brent and the group walked across the street and stood in front of Brent’s front door. Brent knocked on the door and waited. He looked to the right and saw a car. He remembered that it was his parents’ car. They were home. Brent felt happy knowing that at least his parents were home, but what would they say about Brent’s sudden disappearance….

The door opened and his mom opened the door. “Oh, Brent. I just got off the phone with Kris. He said that you’ve left your controller at his house. Go ahead and get it. I’m make dinner for you and your friends once you get back.”

Brent didn’t think that his mom wouldn’t say anything about the rest of the group, yet she didn’t seem suspicious at all about them. “Okay…” Brent said. At least he could pay a visit to Kris, but one question stayed in Brent’s mind. Why did his mom say that he left a controller at Kris’ house? He was obviously in a different town, but he didn’t want his mom knowing about that. Was Kris covering for him while he was gone? Either way, Brent was happy to see him. It has felt like forever since Brent had seen any of his hometown friends.

“Well, I guess we’re going to my friend’s house,” Brent said. He walked down the sidewalk as the rest of the group followed.

Issac spoke up, “So… how long have you known Kris?”

Brent raised an eyebrow. “Nine years. Why?”

Issac responded. “Breaking the silence. That’s all.”

Brent nodded as if he understood, but he didn’t quite understand it entirely. “Alright, then,” Brent said. They continued to walk to Kris’ house. Brent could see Kris’ house hiding behind a few pine trees. The wind slowly blew sending a breeze through the air. They finally approached Kris’ front door. Brent knocked on it and waited.

The door creaked open. “Hello?” a voice spoke.

Brent tilted his head. “Kris?”

The door opened the rest of the way. “Brent, you’re back!” Kris said. He hugged Brent for a second and asked him what he’s been through since he was gone. Brent explained everything that had happened. The Shocking Snake, the Raydien, and the eagle….

Kris looked jealous, and terrified at the same time. “Wow, that seems… odd,” Kris said. “I’ve got to tell the others that you’re back.”

Brent interrupted Kris. “I can’t stay long.”

“What?” Kris asked.

“I’m helping these guys. Issac’s PlayStation came to life,” Brent answered.

“Oh, well, I can help. I’ll call the others and have them help, too,” Kris said.

“Great, we can use all the help we can get,” Xavier said. Kris looked at him oddly. “Oh, I’m Xavier.”

Kris nodded. “So, who are they?”

“I’m Jason and this is Penny,” Jason said.

Kris nodded. “Alright. I’ll come the others and we’ll meet them at Just Press Play.”

“Wow, we were going to look there first, but there was nothing around so we decided to look around Brent’s house,” Issac said.

“Look for what?” Kris asked.

Brent explained. “There are three pieces of this object called the Technology Triforce. There is the Graphics Shard, the Game Shard, and the Generation Shard. We found the Graphics Shard already. The Game Shard is around here somewhere.”

Kris nodded. “Okay then, let’s go.” He opened his cell phone and texted the others to meet him at Just Press Play. They returned to the store and stood in front of it. The sign was now on the ground. The inside was still dark and the walls around it were electrified. “I wonder why it still looks like this,” Kris said aloud.

“Maybe it’ll remain like this until we defeat the PlayStation,” Brent said.

Kris nodded. “That’s possible.”

They walked inside the store and sat on the floor. With nothing else to do Brent, Kris, and the others waited for Brent’s other friend’s to arrive. They waited… and waited… and waited.

They heard a motor roar down the road and squeal as it stopped outside of the store. The group heard the doors slam shut and the bell of the door ring as it opened. “Is that them?” Penny asked.

Kris turned around. Their friends were standing in front of the door. “Yeah, that’s them.”

“Who are they?” Brooke asked.

“Guys, this is Issac, Xavier, Jason, and Penny. Guys… this is Brooke and…”

Brent turned around. The name of his friend that had continued to evade him now was set in stone in his mind. “Derek.”

Lonely Creator

“Why am I so horrible at faces…” a young man trailed off as he scrapped the edge of a small curved blade against a chunk of clay.

He stood upon a small step stool, a curved scalpel in hand, before what was to be a life sized clay statue of a medieval style knight. His bare hands were stained a tan brown from the mound of clay. Just below his short cropped chestnut hair, a streak of the same brown trailed from one brow to the other.

His comfortable black dress pants had splotches of the earth across the knees and ankles, his thighs strangely clear. Tucked underneath his tight belt was a soft, royal blue dress shirt. It’s beautiful color was stained with brown. He wore no shoes, his curved toenails evenly cut.

With a soft sigh, he let his hand drop to his side; away from the disfigured face of the statue he was creating. Continue reading

Introduction: An Unexpected Independence-

With a powerful gust the smell of the gunpowder and salt watered air struck up my nose. A pool of blood on my boots from the corpse of the Spanish privateer was being washed from the heavy maelstrom bombarding us from each side of the deck. A Man-of-War or not, our ship wasn’t an invincible beauty, but a coercive glory and beaut of a warship she was. Though as the blood poured, the bullets and cannonballs flew, and the colors above tore in defiance of the wind, the men feared our home and glory, The Yellow Bow we called her, would not make port in Kingston this coming Wednesday as expected. Her ivory white sails, once clean and bold in their stainless gloss. Now torn from stray bullets and the sword strokes of the Spanish men who’d climbed the mast and slashed at the mainsails with their cutlasses and bayonets. Slippery bastards got us good. Never saw that galleon of theirs on the horizon. The storm drew the waves high and our eyes were averted. Continue reading

A Drink Too Many by Leah Robertson

I heard about a girl at my school that got into an accident. I didn’t know her very well but I know she had an entire life ahead of her. One stupid mistake could end your life. I wish now she knew how much it wasn’t worth it. Just a few drinks ended it all. I’m not going to say, “I wish I could have gotten to know her better” just because now I don’t have the chance… but I do wish I could have said something that would have changed her mind or made her realize how much of a mistake it would be to drink and drive. She had friends and a family who cared about her and she left them. Even though I didn’t know her, I’ve seen people at school who have been affected by her passing. She was too young and is going to miss so many things she could have done or seen. She was going to graduate next year, she should have been able to grow up and have a husband or possibly a wife and had kids. She could have grown older with her childhood friends and shared many experiences with them, shared so many laughs but one choice, one stupid choice took all that away from her so fast. She should have stopped and took her life into consideration and the other peoples lives that were on the road, she could have taken them from their families, again because of a choice that could have been so different if she would have thought and not just lived in the moment. As much as we all would love to live in the moment and not have to think before making a choice, we do and it’s to avoid situations like this. Kids being taken away from friends and family for things that could have been prevented. Having teenagers aware of how dangerous just one drink is while behind the wheel of a car is so crucial. Not even just teenagers, everyone.

Ideas by Daniel Bielmyer

the year 2125.
physical contact is banned by
hug dealers hide in the alleys offering a warm embrace
couples hold hands in the dark streets
a man with no name begins a rebellion
a mask hides his face.
and the final stand begins in the old subway tunnel
surrounded he may not have an escape
he begins a quick pace. bullets fly and he ducks spins and kicks
a drawing a knife a quick flash of red.
again and again until one man remains
why won’t you die?
the man speaks in an almost robotic voice
behind this mask mr. creedy is more than flesh.
behind the mask are ideas and ideas can never die.
and the last draw come to close he stands a victor.
the government has fallen and the new people will rise.

Chapter 3: The Watcher from the Past


I followed Edward outside, deciding that spending some time with our daughter proved to be a good distraction for everyone. We played catch with Renesmee; watching her collect the plastic ball with great speed, even at her preteen age. Jasper and Alice sat in the grass playing chess, but we all knew Alice would win. She could see every move he made, and you could see the annoyance crossed on Jasper’s face by this. Rosalie argued with Emmett over mechanics as Rosalie tinkered with the engine of her Red BMW M3 Convertible. You could hear Rosalie’s usual bitchiness shine through as she threw a wrench a Emmett, followed by a hissed, fuck off. Esme and Carlisle laughed at the scene, as did everyone else. But our laughter was cut short when we all heard a commotion sounding not far from us in the surrounding woods. Continue reading

Things That Happen At Summer Camp

One time back in 2006 when I was 9 years old I went to the summer camp that was located near the mountain lake called Issik-Kyl in Kyrgyzstan. I had a fun time there with my friends swimming, dancing, playing games, having talent shows and other competitions, but one story from that camp will always bring back a smile, and it’s a story about my friend Lola. Every time that we had time free from activities she would always go on her phone and text her friends. One time she met a cute guy at the beach that asked her for her number and naturally as a girl would she hypnotized the phone and carried it everywhere she could until the guy had called her. My friends and I all laughed at her silly paranoia but she was serious. She went to the bathroom while me and my friends were hanging out in our rooms, and in couple of seconds we hear a loud scream: “ My phone!…..” we didn’t have to hear anything because we knew exactly what happened. As we ran in we saw a girl with the eyes the size of bowling as she exclaimed: “ Call the counselor”. We ran to our counselor who was a man of simple mind that was ready to help anytime he was asked to. He approached us with confusion: “What is happening?” He said so, because he could read  excitement on our faces. We told him what was going on and without informing us on his further actions he commanded the lunch lady to equip him with rubber gloves. When he got them the whole camp ran to the sewerage. Boys and girls were gathered around that nasty place that they couldn’t bare smelling, but our brave counselor dug in the pile of waste in hope of finding that little Samsung that caused all the hysteria. As unbelievable as it sounds after half an hour digging through that pile we heard a familiar to us all ringtone “ I feel good”. Lola had mixed emotions of sadness and embarrassment, but she was happy to see her die hard phone. Yes she did throw away the phone, and yes we did smell like poop the whole day, but that day we learned a lot of lessons that we would never forget, and one of them is don’t bring your phone to the bathroom.

Darkness in the Game: Electric Shock – Chapter 11: The Eyeball

“Did that figure just take the eagle’s eyeball?” Jason asked.

Everybody stood in shock. Brent nodded. “I think it did…” Brent said. “But… why would anyone need an eyeball, especially from an eagle?”ll

Jason answered. “I don’t know… but we’re about to find out.”

“Jason… I don’t think this is a smart idea,” Issac said.

“Oh, but attacking a Raydien is?” Jason asked, already knowing the answer. Continue reading

Behind the Den Door by Lizzie McIlhenney

Every family has their stories, the legends and the myths, the sad stories and the ones that everyone laughs at an annual dinner after the wine has been cracked open. But there are some that no one dares breathe a word about, and everyone wishes or is demanded that they forget. Every family has them, and they can strengthen or break the bonds between loved ones.

I’m older now, I’m a grandmother with my oldest grandchild engaged to be married this summer, but there is one memory that will forever be branded into my mind.

           My father was a World War II veteran, and my two uncles served as well. My uncle Andy survived, my uncle Thom, however, was shot down early in the war, and is honored to this day with a ribbon in my window. The war affected my father in ways that I could not possibly understand when I was a young girl in the late 40s and the early 50s. Not even the post war understood what affected and changed our soldiers, with what we now understand are extreme cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a serious psychological problem. Back when the war ended, our boys were sent home and counseled to push the bad memories away, and not to talk about it to anyone, except maybe other veterans.

           The men returned home changed, not quite the same as their wives remembered from before. Each man dealt with the emotional scarring differently, ranging from looking for answers at the bottom of a whisky bottle to going insane. My father chose to completely shut his emotions out. I remember the late nights when he would sit in his chair and stare blankly into space, his eyes glazed over and wide, until I heard my mother gently pull him out of his chair and lead him to bed. I remember watching their shadows in the hall from my little twin bed, and hearing my mother whisper to my father and the shuffling of his slippers on the carpet hallway as they slowly made their way to bed.

           My father was a good man. Honest and kind, and a loving father and husband. However, there were nights when he would stay in his den, and keep the door closed, a sign that we were forbidden to enter. Sometimes we wouldn’t see him for a full day. Sometimes, when my uncle and his family would come on Sundays for dinner, after the meal, my father and my uncle would slip into the den while my mother and my aunt cleaned up and we children would play in the family room.

           Finally, one night when I was around ten years old, my curiosity got the better of me. I told my cousins I was going somewhere, probably the bathroom, and I stood and listened at the keyhole of the den door, and I got my first glimpse of my father’s experience and horrible memories.

           As I stood crouched, listening, careful of my breathing, I heard crying. A tingle ran down my spine. I had never seen or heard my father show any emotion like this, and to hear him heave for breath like so was alarming to my young ears. I strained to hear more.

           “My God, Jerry! What is it?” I heard my uncle exclaim.

           “It’s just those damn dreams again! I can’t shake the images from my mind…”

           There was silence for a moment, and I heard my uncle sigh, “I know, I know…”

           “How many years is it now? Over ten? And the memories are just as vivid as they were. The screaming rings in my ears like they did when we marched… I dreamt about Henry again last night, do you remember when I told you about him? We trained together, fought together, were captured together… Until we were a day away from O’Donnell. We were marching right next to each other, happy to be alive still, when so many were dropping around us. Then, Henry fell, and the guard who was behind us slashed his head off with a samurai before he had even completely hit the ground. I tried to stop him, but another guard bayoneted me until I was within an inch of my life. It was a miracle that I was still standing, let alone marching. But what I remember most his having to march past his dead body, and know that his family would never see him again. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I can see the flash of the sword, hear it swishing in the air, and hear him crumple to the ground…”

           Horrified, I couldn’t listen anymore. I remember running away from the door, down the stairs, and through the kitchen doors to where my mother and my aunt were laughing and drying plates. Mother turned around and eyed me with alarm, “Are you alright, sweetie? You’re white as a sheet!”

           I blinked, and couldn’t open my mouth to reveal what I had heard, the visions in my mind playing over and over like a talkie. It took me a moment to gather my composure and smile and nod, saying that I had come in for a glass of water.


Years later, when my siblings and myself were going through his belongings, packing them up when we were moving Dad into a smaller condo when Mom died, I discovered an old journal in a box in the attic. It had fallen out of a musty old blanket that was bundled up in his trunk. Dumbstruck, I realized what this was as I flipped through the yellowed pages. It was my father’s diary that he kept during the war. I held in my hands piece of history that I never knew had existed. The last entry is what haunted me the most.

   We once studied this poem by Thomas Hardy, in school when I was young, and there is a line that has been running through my head ever since I started serving.

But ranged as infantry,

And staring face to face,

I shot at him as he at me,

And killed him in his place.

“I shot him dead because —

Because he was my foe,

Just so: my foe of course he was;

That’s clear enough; although

“He thought he’d ‘list, perhaps,

Off-hand like — just as I —

Was out of work — had sold his traps —

No other reason why.

  I didn’t understand it then, but it made sense to me as I entered the battlefield the first time. These men we’re being sent out to shoot and kill, we are no different. We’re both human, maybe we would have been friends if the circumstances were different. The man at the other side of my bullet may be a father to be, or he may have a young daughter or son at home, as I do. He could have a sweetheart or a wife at home, praying to God for his safety, as I do. And the possibility that the man or boy at the other end of my gun could be so similar to myself, hangs over me like a dark cloud as I harden my heart and pull the trigger.


           For years I would remember that night, and when I researched the details I found that my father had survived the Bataan Death March. That was the only time I had heard about my father’s experience through his own lips. I never told him what I had overheard, but when I was nearly thirty and pregnant with my first child, I asked my father if he had marched in Bataan. He was quiet, until he swallowed and confirmed that he was, not asking how I knew. After a long period of silence, he lifted himself out of his chair and lifted the back of his shirt, where I could see several nasty scars where the Japanese soldiers had bayoneted him. After a moment, he pulled his shirt back down and lowered back into his rocker. Then he changes the subject to my unborn baby, asking if we had any names in mind for the child.

           I smiled to myself and replied, “Henry.”

Darkness in the Game: Electric Shock – Chapter 10: The Eagle Strikes Again

“Are you sure? You were almost eaten by the Raydien remember?” Xavier asked Jason.

Jason nodded. “I’m positive.” He turned to look at Penny’s face. She nodded. “I know it sounds odd. Why would two adults such as Penny and myself want to travel with three teenagers to destroy a video game console? Well, simply put, I’ve reached my breaking point. And that was a few moments ago.”

“So… where are you boys going to now?” Penny asked quietly.

Continue reading

Darkness in the Game: Electric Shock – Chapter 9: New Recruits

Jason let out another scream. “Help me!” Jason yelled. The creature growled in Jason’s face. Its breath smelled like rotten eggs, gasoline and fire. Jason gagged. “Somebody get me down from here.”

“We’d better hurry,” Xavier said. He sprinted off towards the creature.

“Wait… Xavier,” Issac called. It was too late. Xavier was already running full speed to the creature. Issac shook his head. “Let’s go after both of them… I guess.”

Xavier cautiously approached the creature. “Hey! Let him down you over-sized, dinosaur, fire-breathing monster… thing….” he yelled. Continue reading

Darkness in the Game: Electric Shock -Chapter 8: The Journey Continues

“You made it…” the voice spoke. “You had one second to spare….”

Brent looked up. He had just now noticed a holographic timer hovering in the air. It showed: 0:01:00. Brent sighed with relief. Brent got himself off of the ground and turned around to Issac and Xavier. “We made it,” Brent said breathing heavily.

Continue reading

Watcher from the Past: chapter 2

Everyone looked at each other in confusion. Our enhanced sense of sight and smell would surely spot someone following us, watching us. I gazed out in the green, mossy forest trying to detect any evidence of another being hidden amongst the tall trees and overgrown grass, but I could see nothing, just the dawn breaking through the peaks of the trees, casting an eerie glow of sparkles reflecting off of my skin. I looked back to Carlisle, his expression of absolute misperception made my nerves grow tenfold. The head of the Cullen Clan was always calm and collected, even during war and hardship.

“No, it’s impossible for someone to be watching us. We would’ve known, Carlisle. Alice could have seen him coming. Edward could read his thoughts. I don’t believe it.” I said stubbornly, not truly understanding what was happening. This is the most confusing, and admittedly horrifying, thing that has happened to my family. Our family’s abilities, combined, made up an almost impenetrable force, and knowing that someone could possibly be watching us made my ice cold skin tingle in fear. I once believed that the fairy tales were wrong, but ………My thoughts were broken when Edward’s voice sounded like an echo in my ears.

“Why would someone want to watch us Carlisle?” Edward asked skeptically; trying to make sense of this.

“I don’t know, it could be the Volturi, but we would have known, it could be…No, I haven’t seen him in centuries.” Carlisle’s brow furrowed.

“Who is Vincent?” Edward asked.

“He is an old acquaintance of mine during the time I spent in Volterra, about 250 years ago. Eleazar introduced us.”

“No offense Carlisle, but what does this man have anything to do with the books? All of these books came directly from my thoughts, and I thought no one could read my mind, unless I let my shield down.” I started, shooting an obvious look to Edward. He still couldn’t read my mind, my shield made sure of that.

“Well, Vincent is a special exception to our kind; he has very strong gifts that could probably bring forth the extinction of vampires.” Carlisle explained while I listened in awe.

“What’s his gift?” Jasper asked speculatively; plans and strategies probably already forming in his war strengthened mind.

“Gifts, Jasper,” He corrected. “He has the gifts of pain illusion, sense deprivation, telepathy, shield penetration, precognition, and retro cognitive projection. And those are just some of the gifts I am aware of. Eleazar warned me of Vincent although I knew him to be a kindred spirit, knowing the full extent of his power, but not revealing it all to me.” Carlisle clarified.

“That’s sick!” Emmett proved my theory of our coven being incredibly powerful wrong. And now, brings me to an even harsher reality; a single vampire stronger than an entire coven of vampires.

“Yes, Emmett, it is “sick”, but puts our family at a great disadvantage. We could be destroyed.” He said gravely.

“Wait, Carlisle, how come you never told us about him?” Alice asked.

“He has been making himself invisible for centuries due to a huge conflict with the Volturi during the Plague of the Immortal Children that sent him into hiding. So When he encounters humans or vampires, he shadows that memory so that Aro does not see him through their memories,” which is the reason why I did not tell you about him, but since the Volturi is not an issue right now, it is safe for me to tell you.

“What was the conflict?” I asked Carlisle.

“I am not sure. Every time I even attempted a conversation with him about his past in detail, he clamped up and got bothered by it.” he said.

Carlisle sighed deeply, showing us that we weren’t going to hear anything else on this mysterious vampire. And maybe it was a good thing, considering that everyone looked like a nervous wreck, even Rosalie.

I was met with silence as everyone had confused and worried expressions on their faces. I’m afraid that this man could hurt us, even after Carlisle had assured us of his ‘friendliness.’ A man with infinite power, immortality, and time sounded like a ticking time bomb to me. It was a matter of time before he would reveal himself to us; a matter of time before the destruction of the Cullen Coven would just be a whisper of history. History written in the pages of a book taken from the almost impassable depths of my mind: Bella Swan.