News For the Month of November
Table of Contents
1. So You Want to Know About the Election?
2. Independent Parties in the Election
3. An Interview with Mr. Richenburg
4. International Love: Sicily Student Exchange
5. IB Conference in Spain
6. Mean Girls
7. Smoke Over Benghazi
8. "Halloween Night"
9. "The Red Mist"
10. "The Life of Angels"
11. Book Reviews
12. Adam Lambert Music Review
S.W.A.G Upcoming Events
Spirit Week – November 5-9
Canned Food Drive – November 5-9
Color Wars – November 8
Dance – November 2
Sturgis Runs Across the Cape – November 10
Joke of the Month
What is a ghost’s favorite dessert?
Quote of the Month-
Sturgis: Home of the free, land of the strange.
So You Want To Know More About the Election?
The Democratic Party
Basically, what the Democrats are claiming they want is to invest in community colleges and Pell Grants. To simplify, Pell Grants are essentially grants that help students pay for higher education and student loans. They say that their plan to improve the quality of education is to invest in creating incentives to keep only the best teachers in the classroom. Democrats want to give schools the freedom to create their own plans for school reform so that they can meet standards for improvement on their own schedule.
Taxes and the Economy
The Democrats want to reform Wall Street and pass regulations for big businesses to prevent another economic crisis. Democrats want to cut spending by ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and by cutting corporate tax loopholes through said Wall Street regulations. To simplify their tax plan, the Democratic party says that they want to make it so that no household making over $1 million a year pays less in taxes than the average middle class family.
The Democratic Party says they want to increase jobs by continuing to invest in the auto industry and in American manufacturing, education and infrastructure. They want to encourage businesses to brings back jobs to the U.S. from places like China by eliminating tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas.
The most famous aspect of Democratic health care is the piece of legislation referred to as “Obamacare”, or formally The Affordable Care Act. This piece is intended to make health care mandatory and available for every U.S. citizen. Democrats claim that under this law, by 2014, it would be illegal for any insurance company to deny health insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, it gives tax cuts to small businesses that provide their employees with health coverage. This act also helps seniors who are use the Medicare health insurance program for coverage by reducing fraud and improving the quality of care. The Democrats believe in a woman’s right to choose when it comes to abortion and birth control, and that these resources should be openly available to all women, and the legislature makes this possible.
The Republican Party __________________________________________________________________________
Economy and Taxes
When looking at the GOP’s platform on their website, the portion about the economy is listed first, and it seems that this is the primary area the Republicans are looking to reform. They wish to rely on American businesses to ‘rebuild the economy from the ground up’, and they assure voters that they are “aggressive advocates” for small business. They oppose tax policies that “divide Americans or encourage class warfare. They would cut taxes for the wealthy to create new jobs, and reduce corporate tax rates to keeps American corporations competitive. The GOP supports employee ownership of the businesses they work for, to benefit middle class citizens.
The GOP believes that the best way to create jobs is through economic growth. The route to this is through investment in our nation’s infrastructure and tax code reform for small businesses so they will be able to hire more people, and as well, creation for domestic energy opportunities to power our nation.
The GOP believes that education is “the handing over of a personal and cultural identity.” The GOP calls for local-based, not federal, control of schools, and personal choice in education. They think that the amount of money that is being spent on education does not fix the problem, and more money will not ameliorate the problems that are found in public schools. They support family literacy programs and learning the English language first, so that children can succeed in school. They oppose school-based clinics that provide counseling or referrals for contraception or abortions, and push an abstinence-only system of sexual education. They believe that the federal government should not grant college students loans, but that participation by private businesses in student financing is part of the solution.
Republicans are unequivocally opposed to the universal healthcare plan, which President Obama passed in 2009 (commonly known as ‘Obamacare’). A Republican would sign a bill to stop its progress his first day in office, and then sign its repeal during his presidency, which is written in their platform. They believe in Americans pursuing healthcare via the free market, as healthcare makes up roughly 1/6th of the economy. They believe in price transparency, so that patients will know exactly how much they will pay before undergoing a procedure. They will protect those with preexisting conditions from discrimination. They will make abortions illegal, to protect the ‘dignity of women and their health and well-being.’ They will reform the FDA, to reinstate the United States as a leader in medical innovation and life sciences.
Hopefully by now you feel as if you understand all the political rhetoric and arguing a little better and you’re able to make an informed decision about who you will support. To learn more, visit the following websites to learn about the political campaigns of each party:
Barack Obama: http://www.barackobama.com/
Getting Jipped 2012
By Matt CubetusLet me begin by saying, do not mistake my passion for hate. I humbly respect everyone and everyone’s opinion, but I disagree with people just like everyone else. Getting-Jipped 2012 is the most disenfranchising election to date. Though in some respects I agree with the policies of both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, I disagree with them more. Before I dive right into the criticisms and political puns, first is who I believe the right choice is: Gary Johnson. Though Governor Johnson may be a Third-party nominee (Libertarian), he is mathematically capable of winning the electoral vote. This brings the discussion to the rant about the two-party system; the Democrats and Republicans are both in their own rights, good parties, yet by shutting out other opinions such as those of the Libertarians and Greens, it has made them into symbols of greed and tyranny, rather than that of freedom and democracy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Democrat, yet I don't think the current platform the party holds isn’t too dandy. There are those third-parties, such as the Socialist, Communist, etc. that aren’t the most level-headed, but to make this democracy more fair, at least the Libertarians and Greens should be able to have their voices as loud as that of the current two major parties. What’s a democracy, especially a republic like ours, without everyone’s voice heard?
Again, I am a Democrat, however I don’t like being labeled. This is for in our present political system, Democrats like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren give liberals, progressives, and Democrats a bad name. No, they aren’t “socialist.” To whomever came up with that- please, that’s a generalization. The Affordable Health Care Act and Obama’s edits to “working for Welfare” may be labeled as socialist, but everything else he’s managed to do in the last four years are anything but socialist – but that’s the left-wing! Neither side of the isle can always stay true to being more towards the center. I believe President Obama has shamed this country by ruining our Welfare system, expanding the indefinite detention of American citizens without due process, bailing-out Wall Street, and placing this country into deeper debt. The new jobs numbers are promising, but betraying our trust and his own campaign promises from 2008 by doing what is listed above is a mediocre and idiotic thing for a president to do. He has his ups though: supporting gay marriage, supporting Roe v. Wade, pulling out of Iraq, planning to pull out of Afghanistan, and repealing DADT.
Now here’s where the fun begins. How may one begin to describe the inept and poorly received Mitt Romney? The man makes Obama look like a better president than he actually is. For starters,I don't think that we have had a presidential candidate this detached from the hardships of everyday Americans since Herbert Hoover. When have you heard an apolitical report of him “connecting” with average Americans? His being rich is only a catalyst. The fact that he’s so well-off that he doesn’t even bother with how the middle-class actually feels unless it’s an election year (then again, what politician does care anymore?) is incentive enough to not vote for the man. Being a businessman, his understanding economics is presumably well-educated, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was good with handling the economy. His position that we need more cuts to help build-up money to pay-off our debt isn’t wrong, yet his approach isn’t too great. Cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Welfare, government pensions, and taxes? They need some fixing-up, but just flat-out cutting spending to important entitlements, on-top of cutting taxes across-the-board – that isn’t getting him anywhere with those who rely on those programs. Don’t get me wrong, who likes taxes? Yes, some who rely on government programs are bums, but to generalize as Romney has so done by saying everyone, or at least a majority (does 47% ring a bell?), on those programs are bums is completely absurd. As Jon Stewart so cleverly put in a recent debate with Bill O’Reilly, regarding the cynical attitude of modern fiscal conservatism, why is it that when you (better-off individual) take advantage of a tax break from the federal government because you’re a smart businessman it’s an “entitlement”? But when poor, weakly educated people take advantage of federal support, they are bums, moochers, and freeloaders? Also, a small tid-bit Mr. Romney and the Republican Party, as well as Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party: billions upon billions were spent for the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by Congress and the President from 2001 – 2009. More and more money is being used by the government to pay for national healthcare at a time of economic strain, and now Welfare will be given to those who don’t even try to work. Before either of you start asking to get elected and saying you know how to best run the economy, I’d like to ask you something in regards to the money you’ve spent with what I listed above: can we have it back please?
That was a mouth-full. Now to Gary Johnson. Unlike his major party opponents, he defied his party numerous times to be the better candidate and to be the better man for New Mexico. He stands and has stood for effective, progressive government yet strays away from too much federal power. Governor Johnson also recognizes that two of the same ideologies have held the megaphones for too long – which is what bothers me most; the ill-informed and close-minded hogging national attention and being the only ones we listen to. Johnson has the only record out of the three presidential candidates mentioned here of positive job growth, budget balancing, free trade, civil liberties, immigration, education, taxes, and personal freedom. Johnson recognizes that the current system we have in place isn’t something we can continue and we won’t continue; after all, the American way is to challenge the status quo. Not every candidate is perfect, but Gary Johnson is better than picking between the other two. “Picking the lesser of two evils” is what gets us in these messes in the first place. If we just include candidates like Gary Johnson and Green nominee Jill Stein, we can have a more effective, open, fair democracy. George Washington didn’t even pick a party when he was president, because he himself didn’t want to divide the country or set the standard for a two-party system. A vote for Johnson, or Stein, or any other third party isn’t a wasted vote: it’s just one more to remind Democrats and Republicans that when they fall-off the deep end, they’ll have to drag us kicking and screaming.
An Interview with Mr. Richenburg
By Ethan Michael Piers
This past week I took time to interview our Art Teacher Mr. Richenburg to learn a little more about him and his freshman art class this year.
As some of you may know Mr. Rich was a service man during the Vietnam War. I asked him what gave him the idea to become an art teacher.
Mr. Rich: Well, what propelled me was that I wanted to be a teacher… I just wanted to make a difference. You know, all of this bad stuff happened, especially in the war. You just want to make a change. He then quoted Oliver Wendell Homes, “When you share the incommunicable experience of war… you live life from the top. But in my youth my heart was touched by fire.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes.
My next question was… “Where else have you taught?”
Mr. Rich: The first school where he worked was on the Rose Bud Indian Reservation. He also worked at The Lutheran System in South Dakota, in St. Louis, at the UN and many other places. He explained how he came to Cape Cod to retire, but his family wanted him to continue work. So, he started to substitute at Sturgis East, where Mr. Heiser “resurrected him.”
Then I asked him about what are the freshman doing in art class.
Mr. Rich: They are working on 1 point perspective drawing and color scheme.
An important thing about any project is its purpose, which so happened to be my next question.
Mr. Rich: Well…I want them to have drawing skills of 3-demensional space on a 2 dimensional plane. I also want them to have a good understanding of color theory, and proper use of colored pencils.
I asked if the freshmen were working on the same things that we had worked on as freshmen last year.
Mr. Rich: Yes, but I always try to add a new twist to things.
My next question was. “What do you enjoy most about teaching this year?”
Mr. Rich: He enjoys the enthusiasm and “alacrity” that his students give him. He loves the fact that his students put the effort into their work, and that they are a bunch of great kids.
One thing that I felt would be important to ask is if there were any artists that have inspired him. There are a few:
Mr. Rich: Notably, Henri Toulouse Lautrec, Alexander Calder and Richard Estes.
The one thing that I needed to know, and that I’m sure all the readers would want to know is…. Will Mr. Rich continue to teach at Sturgis West for a while?
Mr. Rich: I’ll teach as long as I have great kids, and as long as I have fun; which seems to be the case.
International Love-The Sicily Student Exchange
This past September starting on August 31st, and lasting for ten days, Sturgis students hosted twenty-seven exchange students from the Liceo Scientifico Vito Romano in Piazza Armerina, Sicily. The purpose of the exchange was to create lasting international bonds and friendships.
Hosts families and Italians participated in a number of activities during the whirlwind ten days, including a trip to Provincetown, a bonfire at Sandy Neck, Mini Golf at Pirate’s Cove, and even the great American tradition of a cookout and softball game. For a great majority of the trip, however, Italian students spent time with their host families getting to know the culture and experiencing American home life. At first, the conversations were quiet and even awkward at times between the students and their host families. However, everyone quickly adapted, and as people began to communicate well, relationships flourished too.
For most of the Italian students, the biggest difference between Italy and our country was the food and mealtime practices in America. Italian student Francesco Catania said, in reference to the largest cultural difference he saw, "Definitely the way you eat. You know, the fast-slow difference...” - in reference to how quickly Americans scarf down their food verses the typical slow pace of European meals. Student Giorgia Calabro agreed on this point saying, “I noticed that for you everyday is a race against time.”
The school system in Italy is also vastly different. Students in Italy have school until 12:30 Monday through Saturday, and they spend five years in high school. Some of the differences were even humorous. Student Gianpietro Platania said, “The difference I’ve noticed in America is that you walk barefoot when you are at home or even in gardens or on the street in front of your house.” Most students and hosts quickly began to realize, though, that Americans and Italians aren’t so different. We may come from different countries, but we all share common bonds. Students bonded over their shared interests, some playing guitar together and practicing archery.
The students can mostly agree on one thing that they got out of the exchange: No matter how different we seem from each other, no matter how awkward the language barrier is, the students all grew to love one another. The students have truly found meaning in the term “host family." Sturgis student Bailey Soderberg agrees on this point: “I have a new found Italian sister!”
Most of all, the students - Italian and American alike - had an unforgettable experience that will stay with them throughout their lives. Italian student Martina Calcagno said, “They have known how to immediately make me feel like I was at home and I miss them infinitely.” The students are now all waiting restlessly for the exchange to Italy. The Sicilians are mostly looking forward to showing the American students their beautiful home. What are the Americans looking forward to most, you may ask? As Sturgis student Chris Cifello says, "I'm just looking forward to seeing my beautiful people again.”
Italian student Greta Lauria hugs her host, Olivia Milne as Greta prepares to leave for Sicily.
Sturgis students and parents crowd around the bus that will transport the Italians students to Logan Airport to say goodbye
IB Spain Conference
By Gabrielle Healy
I signed up for the Sturgis West trip to the IB World Student Conference in Segovia, Spain, in mid-January. As the winter ended and the spring progressed, I would remember every once in a while, all of a sudden, that I was going to Spain! It made me very, very, excited.
Let me tell you that all the pent-up excitement was completely worth it. From June 28th-July 7th, Sturgis students explored Spain, spending three days in Madrid at the beginning, and then participating the conference. In Madrid, we visited all the major sights, from the world-famous Prado art museum and the royal palace, to a gondola ride over the city and the surrounding suburbs. We ate paella, churros, and experienced Madrid through the lens of night and day.
Then, we took the high-speed train to Segovia, traveling at up to 300 kilometers per hour at some points. We got off the train to the tree-speckled landscape, and after some maneuvering and hiking (with suitcases), we made it to the conference home, IE University, a former monastery. The conference was bound to be good from the very beginning; the first activity students participated in was watching the final of the soccer tournament known as the Euro Cup, with 250 cheering, passionate kids, from every corner of the earth. Spain won, 4-0, which only made the experience sweeter.
The focus of the conference was social entrepreneurship, which has many meanings, but involves applying a business model and mindset to creating things for the greater good. Every student was assigned to a group, randomly. These groups were named after a famous Spanish personality, Penelope Cruz and Isobel the Catholic being just a few examples. Each group created a project by identifying needs in their communities, sharing them with the group, who then designed an action plan surrounding it, again using the business model and mindset. At the end of the week, there was a project fair, showcasing the work we had accomplished over the week. Five groups were picked to present their project in front of a larger audience.
One project’s mission was to help the charity known as UNICEF, which is a project of the United Nations. It supports children in need all around the world, obviously an extremely important cause. They manifested this desire to help in the creation of a t-shirt, expressing what people’s individual “heart says,” in other words, what people love. There is a blank on the t-shirt, allowing the owner to fill in what their heart says. These t-shirts are able to be purchased now, by anyone who wants one, at http://www.redbubble.com/people/insecondsflat/works/9083758-my-heart-says. Every dollar goes to supporting a charity that helps children who really need it, all around the world. This is only one of the amazing ideas and projects that came out of the conference
However, the conference wasn’t only about developing these plans. Other highlights during the week were a nighttime talent show, which included a rousing rendition of the seminal classic “Call Me Maybe” on the ukelele, many different types of dancing and singing, and even a magician. We participated in a hip-hop dance class, a global village, where we shared our culture, and listened to incredibly inspiring speakers, from a businessmen-turned-activist who lives in Mongolia, to a self-described “camel milk addict” from Sweden, and teenage professional web programmers, from Spain.Students described the experience as “meaningful”, and one student mentioned that she “loved learning about other cultures.” In conclusion, it was an unforgettable trip.
By Althea Turley
This October third was national Mean Girls Day in honor of the hit 2004 movie
starring Lindsay Lohan. The cliques in Mean Girls are fictionalized, but “the freshmen,
ROTC guys, preps, J.V. jocks, Asian nerds, cool Asians, Varsity jocks, unfriendly black
hotties, girls who eat their feelings, girls who don't eat anything, desperate wannabes,
burnouts, sexually active band geeks, the ‘greatest people you will ever meet’ and the
plastics” represent an unavoidable part of the high school experience.
For the first time, I really noticed the distinct divides between groups of students at
a recent homecoming dance for Pembroke High School. Perhaps these differences were
so clear because at my previous school of about 250 total students, we all were dressed
alike in the same uniform, and couldn’t even wear nail polish. Or it could have been
the fact that I didn’t know anyone at Pembroke so I subsequently spent a lot more time
looking at all of the different people unclouded by personal experiences. It also could
have been the fact that I am now in high school, and a whole lot changes.
Whatever the reason was, I could easily spot the “popular” kids, and the kids
who weren't. I surprised myself by realizing that the popular kids weren’t the people
I wanted to be like. In most books and movie plots, the protagonist strives to be a
perfect “plastic.” But those girls and guys didn’t seem to enjoy themselves. The girls
spent half their time scrutinizing their reflections in the bathroom, teetering on sky-high
heels, desperately clinging on a guy’s arm, and never dancing for more than a minute,
for fear that they would mess up their hair. However, the girls jumping up and down to
the music, comfortable in nice dresses and sensible shoes, not caring who saw them, who
they impressed, or what they looked like, were the people who had the most fun that
night. They were definitely not Regina Georges.
Smoke Over Benghazi
By Matt Cubetus
Like all Americans, I was pained tremendously by the loss of the lives of those Americans during the attack on the Benghazi, Libya consulate. However, I must ask, where are we everywhere else? Defendants of the war hawks claim that the United States should retaliate militarily in Libya because of the loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his military entourage. It is understood Ambassador Stevens was in a place of power and therefore more valuable in Libya than an ordinary American, but where are we in other places? When a sympathetic American tourist aids a poor Chinese worker, and that worker is beaten and the American banned from the area, where are we? When a small commercial flight is shot-down over North Korea or a couple of soldiers are shot at by militant gangsters, how come we don’t react then? The answer is America’s blindness. Only when it is large numbers or a prominent political figure do we act. In the time of Rome, a Roman citizen could walk the face of the known-world knowing should any harm befall him or any other single Roman, the mighty fist of the Roman army would come crashing down on the perpetrator’s house. Of course this is not to suggest radical military insensitivity, but shouldn’t we do something for the harm of our citizens? Where is the retribution the victims’ families need?
On the hawk side, mongers press for an Afghanistan-style occupation of Libya until the perpetrators are caught. Hawks claim that the attack was by a faction of Al-Qaeda in Libya that shares a considerate amount of power in the country. The soft doves preach moderate sanctions. Doves claim the attack was by radicals upset with the “Innocence of Muslims” film. The truth is neither are the intelligent decision nor argument. The protests attributed to the racist and degrading film, yet the attack was too well-coordinated and premeditated to be coincidence. As for the Al-Qaeda factor, it probably was them, but Libya’s transitional leader, the President of the General National Congress of Libya Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf, has been tough on terrorist crack-down and is an avid supporter and ally of the United States. On top of all that, it was revealed that the State and Defense Departments had the consulate understaffed and under-guarded. The solution to the problem though is not to weakly sanction an ally or invade and occupy an ally, but rather work with the Libyan government to soften the anti-American sentiment in the country and crack-down on Libyan-based terrorists. To sanction Libya or to invade Libya would only cost us more money that we don’t have and alienate a new friend in the Muslim world.
Here’s the real problem: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. People have been complaining about his flip-flopping: saying “Death to terrorists Al-Qaeda!” in English and “Death to the traitor Nakoula Basseley Nakoula!” in Arabic. Isn’t this similar to our own politics? Of course neither party is shouting “Death to-” whoever, yet a lot of candidates flip-flop to bet the upper-hand with popular belief, which is exactly what Morsi’s doing. Now let’s not get all uppity and call him socialist or a tyrant or whatever because, in all fairness, despite being of the Muslim Brotherhood – the radical religious conservative party of Muslim world politics – he was democratically elected. Just because they elected some guy we don’t like doesn’t mean we can call their government “anti-democratic.” We deal with Morsi by calling him out on his flip-flopping, since it is evidently clear that (1) he is ignorant of Western reporters being able to translate Arabic to English (2) he is trying to please his electorate – which is probably his true opinion (3) he is fooling, mocking, or feeding the United States pleasantries. Either way, this tom-foolery by ourselves and our international friends and pushing and shoving of the United States is making us look weak. Again, not crude ruthlessness, but when we’re pushed, we better push back – not a little tap on the shoulder, a proportionate response.
Skeleton brides and Skeleton grooms Witches with warts and magical brooms Hobgoblins and Fairies Michael Jackson and Carrie Phantoms and Ghosts Ogres so gross All are going around doing tricks for treats The sky is black, the moon is bright, the air is crisp and sweet For this is the night to be different, we call it Halloween
Skeleton brides and Skeleton grooms
Witches with warts and magical brooms
Hobgoblins and Fairies
Michael Jackson and Carrie
Phantoms and Ghosts
Ogres so gross
All are going around doing tricks for treats
The sky is black, the moon is bright, the air is crisp and sweet
For this is the night to be different, we call it
Micket by Livvy Blomdahl
The veil between the spirit world and my grand-daughter's world
the girl who I like to think of my grand daughter are actually thin now.
I like to check up on her.
See how she's doing in school.
What's going on in her world,
how she's dealing with my death.
Outside her house
People, her friends I suppose, are outside but she's still inside.
I go into her room
to see what's wrong
I see her dressed up like a witch
I see her with tears on her face
I go to see whats wrong.
She's saying "Micket why?"
My heart sinks. She's crying because of me.
"You were the life of the party, now that you're gone the family hardly sees each other together anymore.'
'I know I shouldn't blame you but it feels that way." she sobs,
"I'm sorry that I didn't talk to you that often," she quietly adds,
I go over to give her a hug,
"It's okay that you blame me and that you didn't talk to me that often,
You were young,
You wanted to play with your cousins."
I whisper in your ear
"Micket is that you?" as if she's afraid to hope.
"Give me a hug" I tell her as a reply
"Micket" she cries "I missed you!"
"Missed you too, now go have a good Halloween"
Grabs her hat
and joins her friends outside
I hope that I helped her.
I look at the moon
It's fading a bit,
time for me to go back to the spirit world.
I pass a homeless man holding his empty hat,
pleading for change
I drop $10 in it
He blinks and rubs his eyes as if he can't believe it
"Thank you, God." He yells to the skies.
God didn't do it but it's okay that he thinks that
I go back and wait for my wife to join me
The Red Mist
A Short Story by Shannon Saffle
The afternoon before Halloween evening was breezy and colorful
with the autumn leaves. The twins, Matt and Christina, were filled with
excitement to spend the afternoon of their visit with their twenty year old
cousin, Bernie, shopping in the ancient town, twenty miles from Bernie’s
home. The twins had a heart for Halloween, haunted towns and legends.
Bernie personally didn’t care for Halloween. He cared more to sit
around the campfire and read ghost stories to scare the twins, of course.
Their visits were never complete without giving the twins a good scare.
He didn’t like the thought of the twins getting hyper off candy either...
Then again, they were in a town of which Halloween wasn’t celebrated, so
they wouldn’t be getting candy at all.
Bernie viewed the twins as an annoyance most of the time. He
never let the twins visit without their parents coming along. He felt a little
bad for the twins’ parents, so he agreed to baby-sit the twins for the
weekend, even if it meant having them over on Halloween night. That
wasn’t what worried him. He was worried about the town that had local
legends spilling out of the bag every year about the mist on Halloween
night. Bernie kicked and cursed himself for giving into the twin’s begging
and pleading, which was infantile behavior for being fifteen.
As they walked into a bookstore, the twins begged Bernie to let
them have a look in the woods. Bernie had repeatedly said “No”. He was
beginning to be agitated.
“Enough! No more or we will be home for the rest of the weekend!”
Bernie threatened and looked back as they walked passed the first shelf
of books. A woman sitting at the register looked up at the noise. The
twins began to protest, but then stopped as they spotted a collection of
books about urban legends. Weary-eyed Bernie watched them from the
aisle. The register woman walked over to him.
“Sir, do you need help finding anything?” She asked, her black hair
glowing, and her floral print dress flowing.
“Don’t call me ‘Sir’. You make me feel like my father. My name is
Bernie.” He turned to her and they shook hands.
“I’m Katsumi.” She paused. “They like legends, don’t they?”
“I wish my cousins didn’t...” Bernie rubbed his eyes to stay awake
as the twins ran over to them with three or four books containing local
legends. Katsumi said something that Bernie had wished the twins hadn’t
“My fiancé is an expert on the town’s local legend. If you come to
the field before sunset, he’ll tell you about it.”
“Can we go, Bernie? Can we?” The twins begged him.
Well... He thought. Even though the twins love local lore, they get
scared quite easily. The legends can’t be real. No one outside this town
believes it either. Still... Many people disappear each year...
“Fine!” he barked, just before he dragged the twins out of the store.
Bernie had felt a bad feeling ascend from the back of his mind as
they advanced towards the field. Christina and Matt had started to run
towards the small campfire that glowed at the edge of the woods...
Once they sat down near the dim campfire, they saw Katsumi’s
fiancé. He had deep gray eyes, brown hair and a light tan.
“You all must know the mist legend, otherwise you wouldn’t be here
right now,” Katsumi’s fiancé spoke in a deep voice that freaked out Bernie
when he first spoke. “But do you know what makes the Red Mist ‘red’?”
“They say a mist creature lurks in the woods and consumes the
victims that the mist drags into the woods.” Matt said confidently.
“Exactly. You two are really the experts, aren’t you?” Matt smiled
at his complement. Bernie felt a chilly breeze against his back, and looked
behind him; where the sun was supposed to be. The sun had nearly set
under the mountains. Christina saw it too, and latched onto Bernie’s arm.
“Well that was a good story, but we really need to be going.” Bernie
stood up, his face white. He grabbed Matt’s arm and started to pull him
away from the fire.
“Hey! Bernie let go of my hand!” Matt tore his arm away from
Bernie’s grasp and stepped backwards, unknowingly to the edge of the
“Matthew, get back here now!” Bernie yelled.
“What?” Matt asked just as he tripped backwards into the mist that
had started to line the woods. The mist surrounded them.
“Matthew!” Bernie yelled. Bernie had had enough. With Christina at
his side he ran. He hadn’t even thought of Katsumi and her fiancé. They
stopped just as the mist cleared.
They had run the wrong way. They had run into the woods.
Christina looked to her left, the opposite direction of where Bernie
was. When she looked back, Bernie was gone.
“Bernie?” she said into the late October air. “Bernie!” she
screamed. She turned around again and found herself facing
Katsumi. “Where are they?” Christina begged her.
“Don’t you know what happens when one enters the Red Mist
forest?” Katsumi asked.
“W-what are you?”
Then, Christina was gone, and swallowed by the mist.
Katsumi’s fiancé was there, leaning against the old oak, marking the
center of the forest. He got up and they embraced. Her misty eyes
glistened with moisture. She rested her head in the crook of his neck.
“I wonder how many more victims we’ll have to slay next year,
Darius.” She spoke to her fiancé.
“Hopefully not too many more.” He answered, somberly. “Maybe
our curse will be lifted next year. Then we’ll be able to get married...”
As they walked back to the town hand in hand, their eyes were
disheartened. Katsumi waved her hand once and the mist disappeared,
leaving no trace of the murderous red mist.
The Life of Angels
If you looked hard enough, you could see her in the dark sky; a dying Night Angel. Her translucent wings crumbled into stars that vanished only moments later. Her pale skin and hair glowed like a gentle flame, and then she was gone all together, the only thing left of her being a shower of glitter and two children- her children. They watched as the silver flakes fell, hopelessly waiting for it to stop. The glitter tangled in their hair and stuck to the girl’s wet cheeks.
The shining rain began to thin. “Should we say anything?” she asked finally. Her near identical brother said nothing for a moment. When he spoke, his response didn’t seem to fit.
“Have you ever wondered who our father is?” he thought aloud, staring up at the trees. His sister blinked in confusion.
“N-No?” she questioned. He snapped his eyes to hers, pieces of the night itself meeting chips of the moon.
“Of course you haven’t. You look just like Mom.” He looked her up and down, taking in her appearance. If Angelica had wings, she would look just like their mom. She had pretty light blonde hair and star-colored eyes. Eyes that were nearly white, as a Night Angel’s should be. However, that wasn’t how Liam was born.
Although both Liam and Angelica shared the same eye shape, skin complexion, nose, mouth, and so on, Liam looked nothing like their mother. He had black hair and very dark blue eyes, almost black, like... like a human. He often yearned to be the same as his sister; he too wanted to look like the Angels. He often wondered why he and Angelica weren’t Angels, since their mom was one. Was, he thought grievously.
“You kind of do,” Angelica said. Liam managed together a glare, but it didn’t last for very long.
“I’m just thinking. What if our dad is a human? What if he can’t see... see...” He looked for a way to put into words the event they’d just witnessed. He was afraid that if he outright said it, he would fall apart, and if he fell apart so would his sister. He held out his palm as a flake of silver drifted down, catching it in a gentle cup. “What if he didn’t see this?”
Angelica could hear the deflation in his voice. Liam, on a usual day, was cocky, overconfident, and sometimes a little rude. For the entire day, however, he had been quiet and spacey. Angelica now wondered if he had really just had an ominous feeling nagging at the back of his mind. “One of the Night Angels has to know who he is. Mom was the Queen, after all.”
“We’ll have to go see Magna when we get a chance,” Liam stated. His sister looked at him quizzically.
“Their mage?” she asked. He sent her a look that made her feel rather stupid.
“No, their monkey tamer,” he answered sarcastically. She couldn’t help but smile just a little bit, glad to hear her brother acting his normal self. All of the sudden, a very much bright light shone in the twins’ eyes. Although Liam tried to keep them open to see what could possibly be there, it eventually grew too strong and he was forced to draw them shut.
Beep beep. Beep beep. Liam groans, smacking the top of his alarm clock. His eyes flutter open, his eyelashes catching a little glint of early morning sunshine. As he stretches in an attempt to wake up fully, all the memories of his night flood back to him. Something about Angels and the moon...
He sits up and rubs his eyes, exhaling loudly. When he brings down his hands, there is something on his blankets; it is sparkling and thin, and he notes how it turns to ash when he picks it up between his fingers. Glitter, he thinks, recalling the fall of silver snowflakes that bathed his dreamland. He discards the idea that it had all been a strange dream.
A groggy voice startles Liam back to his senses. His eyes dart around the room in search of the source, landing on a bed to the left of his own. Tousle-haired and just barely awake, his foster brother, Blake De Luca, is trying to blink the sleep out of his eyes.
“What?” Liam asks, a little louder than he means to. Blake looks at him funny and shrugs as if to say “whatever.”
“I asked what time it is,” he repeats. Liam turns to the alarm clock on the other side, reading the red block numbers on its face.
“Six thirty-seven,” he responds, dreading the thought of having to get up and face the day. How simple it would be just to lie in bed all day...
“We have school today,” Blake says to himself, muttering a word of profanity under his breath. Liam slides out from under the comforter, careful to dust the glitter off his bedding and sweep it into the far corner of the room before anyone notices. Looking around, he sees the other two beds are already empty.
“When did Arnaud and Kory get up?” he asks curiously.
“How would I know, Blacksmith?” Blake snaps, pulling on some jeans. “Blacksmith” is Liam’s nickname to just about everyone. It was given to him because he has dark hair and eyes, and his given last name was Smith. He and Angelica don’t know their real last name; they’ve been the Smith twins as long as they can remember.
As Liam leads the way down to the second floor, he sees Angelica walking out of her and their foster sister, Lillian Ellis’, room. He lets Blake pass him and rushes over to her, pulling her into the bathroom.
“What the-” she starts, still half asleep. “Oh, morning, Liam.”
“Angelica, did you have that dream?” he asks, noticing the silver flecks in her hair. She sighs, scratching her head and dropping some of the glitter onto the floor.
“I did have a weird dream last night. Something about an angel and glitter...” she started, but she trails off once she sees the glitter. Her eyes go wide. “It wasn’t a dream?”
“I don’t know,” Liam says, picking up the glitter and helping her to detach it from her head. “For now we tell nobody, got it?”
“Yeah, yeah, got it,” she dismisses him tiredly, like a mother ignoring a pestering child.
“Angelica-” Liam growls.
“I got it, okay?” she flares, her eyes telling him to leave the subject alone. However, Liam has one last thing to say about it.
“We called her our mother. The angel, I mean.”
Angelica freezes. “We did?” He nods. She thinks for a minute, then her eyes illuminate.
“Magna!” she says in excitement.
“Magna! You called her a... a monkey trainer or something. I remember it is all.”
Liam has no idea what Angelica is talking about. How could a monkey trainer be important to anything? “Nobody, Angelica. I mean it.”
“Okay, I promise,” she says, “Now let’s go downstairs. I’m starving.”
The two teenagers bound down the stairs at the thought of food. Liam hasn’t realized how hungry he actually is until now. He hopes their foster mother, Ingrid, is making eggs. He isn’t disappointed when they reach the spacious dining area. The long oak table is covered by a dark blue table cloth and laid with bowls of eggs, plates of bacon, platters of bagels with assorted jams, and pitchers of cold milk and orange juice. Blake, Arnaud, Kory, Lillian, and their other two foster sisters, Kinsey Moreno and Maggie Richards, are already seated and digging into their food.
Liam sits in between Arnaud and Blake, across from Angelica who is between Kinsey and Lillian. He watches in amusement as Kinsley tries to do her makeup in a little tiny mirror propped up against one of the pitchers, swearing as she jabs herself in the eye with her mascara. He grabs for some food to throw on his plate, jamming a piece of toast in his face. Lillian looks at him with disgust, and he smiles deviously at her.
“Fhut’s wrong, Wullehun?” he asks, intentionally spitting bread crumbs in her direction. She yelps in objection, flicking the crumbs off the table.
“Liam! This infantile behavior will not be accepted!” Ingrid barks from the head of the table in her thick Liverpool accent. Liam dips his head with a smirk.
“All right, Ingrid,” he said in the worst British imitation anyone has ever heard. The other kids try their best not to laugh. Ingrid gives him a look.
“I know, sorry,” he says without sincerity, finishing his food and heading back to his room to get dressed and gather his school supplies.
“Liam, hurry up! The bus is here!” Blake yells up from the bottom of the stairs. Liam slings his backpack over one shoulder and scrambles down the stairs and out the door, rushing out “see you later’s” to the two maids, Cassandra and Pamela.
“Hey, Rodger,” Liam grins at the bus driver. Rodger Harris just stares out the window as if he hadn’t heard the boy who he was not at all fond of. Satisfied with this reaction, Liam looks for a place to sit.
“Liam! Hey, over here!”
“Liam! Saved you a seat!”
“Liam! Liam, sit here!”
Liam smiles at the seated students. He has lots of options, but he’s only interested in one; the fifteen year old redhead sitting alone towards the back. He walks swiftly and purposely to her seat and smiles down at her. She peels her eyes away from the window and slowly looks up at him. Her feeling of serenity quickly turns to an air of someone who has been chafed one too many times.
“What do you want, Liam?” she asks irritably. He sets down his bag and takes the empty spot beside her.
“I need a place to sit,” he says smugly.
“Of course you do,” she sighs, more to herself than to him.
“So, Carly...” She notices the way he stretches out her name and tries hard not to be annoyed by it.
“Rae Jepson. Just get it out of your system,” she hisses, wishing he would just sit elsewhere. Every morning it’s “Carly Rae” this and “Carly Rae” that. She is surprised at the seriousness of his tone when he next speaks.
“Not what I was getting at, actually, but since you brought it up...” She watches as he takes out an index card from his backpack and scrawls some numbers on it. He hands it to her with twinkling eyes. “Call me, maybe?”
Carly bursts out in laughter. “That is the worst joke I’ve ever heard!” she laughs. Liam is smiling at her, rather than taking offense like she expects him to.
“Yeah, but it made you laugh,” he winks. She smiles back at him, trying to hide the fact that for once she isn’t mad at him.
“Brother dear,” says Angelica in her best Ingrid impression, tapping him on the shoulder from the seat behind them. Both Liam and Carly turn to look at her.
“What is it, sister dear?” he returns, also using an accent Carly had learned to be their imitation of their English foster mother.
“I think Blake is trying to gain hold of you from the back of the bus, brother dear,” she says, gesturing to him as he waved Liam over.
“Why thank you, sister dear.” He grabs his things and smiles to Carly one last time. “All joking aside, though, call me, okay?”
She smirks at him. “I’ll think about it.” Liam gets up and begins walking towards Blake, leaving Carly with a bubbly feeling.
“STOP MOVING SEATS!” Rodger the bus driver yells at Liam. He turns on one heel, looks directly at the rearview mirror, and shouts, still in his accent, “don’t fuss, Rodger dear!” Angelica smiles and rolls her eyes through the laughter of the other kids, turning her attention to the window. She jumps away from it with a gasp.
“What?” Lillian asks in concern, trying to see out the window as they pull into the next stop.
“There! Look at that guy!” she says, pointing to the man dressed in a black trench coat. He is tall, slender, and he has black hair that covers the tips of his ears. His eyes are also dark, almost like the navy blue jacket that Lillian is wearing. Angelica starts when she realizes those dark eyes are staring straight at her. Looking into them, she notices another thing about him; he has wings. Yes, wings, like the ones on a bird. However, his look more like those of a bat, with little claws on the tips and skin rather than feathers.
“What guy? I don’t see anyone!” Lillian says, scrunching her eyes together as if it could help her sight.
“Right there,” Angelica says, “he looks like he’s dressing up for Halloween or something.”
To Angelica’s surprise, the man rolls his eyes and smiles at her. “It’s not a costume!” he shouts, hands cupped around his mouth to make himself louder.
“Did you hear him?” Angelica asks Lillian with a hint of nervous laughter. Lillian looks at her curiously.
“Who? It’s not funny, Angie. There’s no one there.”
Angelica stares at the man as the bus starts to wheel away again. The man, who she was starting to think looked more like a sixteen year old boy, waves her goodbye. He puts a closed fist up near his face, unfurls his fingers, and blows. Silver flies everywhere, and Angelica is unsure whether to be amazed or horrified when a single piece of glitter finds a path all the way into the bus and lands in the bangs of her cream colored hair.
By Livvy Blomdahl
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book is so good, it should be required reading for everyone. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about a kid named Charlie who writes letters to this unknown person after his friend commits suicide. He writes about the ups and downs in his life. People can relate to a lot of the things that happen to him. There’s this innocence and naivete to him that makes you fall in love with him almost instantly. Just to let you know, the book is dark. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was banned because one of the friends that Charlie makes is gay and, apparently, the book is anti-family.
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
I am a huge fan of Melissa Marr. If you haven’t checked out the Wicked Lovely series, please do so immediately. Anyway Carnival of Souls is placed in two worlds - the human world and the daemon world ( basically a world of humanesque creatures with claws). The Dimon world is pretty much like our world was like in the medieval age, when women were basically treated like crap and it’s hard to move your social standing in life. The only way you can improve your standing in life is to enter the Carnival of Souls and fight. The characters Kaleb and Aya fight in the Carnival of Souls for completely different reasons. Kaleb is fighting for social status. Aya is fighting to protect a secret. Everybody has a secret in this book and all of the secrets are kind of connected in some strange way. This book is a dark romance, but that’s why I love it.
Adam Lambert Music Review
By Livvy Blomdahl
What do you think of when you hear the name Adam Lambert? You probably think of American Idol. When you think of his songs, you probably think of “Whataya you want from me?" or“If I had you,” which are both excellent songs, but they aren't his only good songs. Most people don’t seem to check out any of his songs that aren't on the radio. So to help you see the error of your ways and become a “Glambert,” (Adam Lambert fan) please check out these awesome songs.
“Broken Pieces” is a really good song. I think that it’s so romantic because it’s basically Lambert saying to his boyfriend, “Hey I know that you’re broken, but come be with me. It’s safe, I promise. I’ll be there for you.” I think this is so romantic because it stinks trying to be perfect all the time. So for Lambert to basically say “I love you even though you’re broken,” I think it’s wonderful. I hope to be in a relationship like that someday. Also, the instrumentals before he starts singing are just beautiful.
“Aftermath” is by far one of my favorite songs. It’s just so inspiring. The lyrics say to his fans that, no matter what you’re going through, in the end, you’ll be fine and not alone. This song has helped me through some pretty tough times. Everything about this song is just brilliant. I don’t think this song could be any better. Just some advice: listen to this with your eyes closed. I think it’s more powerful that way.
Want to know a little known fact about the song “Time for miracles?” This song was used in the movie 2012. I did a fan girl squeal whenI found that out. The song fit in perfectly with the main couple’s relationship because it’s about a relationship that’s crumbling, and instead of quitting, they try to work it out.
If you’re going through a break up check out the song “Sleepwalker.” It’s so sad yet beautiful at the same time. Lambert just went through a breakup with his boyfriend and everything reminds him of the boyfriend. The reason the song is called "Sleepwalker" is because he’s in that state where he’s awake and asleep at the same time - much like a sleepwalker- and also because he’s convinced that it’s a dream. Plus, the song has an awesome guitar solo that’s fun to play air-guitar to!
The song that has got to be one of my favorites is called “Outlaws of love.” This song is about Lambert's relationship with his boyfriend. He’s singing about the fact that not a lot of people accept their relationship. They feel like people think they’re outlaws of love because they’re not following the “rules.” The first three lines of the chorus are so powerful, he sings: “You know, just because I’m gay doesn't mean I don’t feel pain.” He also sings about hearts and homes being broken up because of someone being gay. Every time I listen to this song, I cry a little because it sucks that people aren't as accepting as others.
Hope you listen to the songs, and hope to see you in the “Glambert” army.