Posted in 2015-2016, Arts

Thanks for Something New

By Maddie Sokoloski

Every year, it starts by saying grace.
Hands folded, we give thanks
for the food on our table,
the family by our sides,
the clothes on our back,
the luck we’ve had this year.

Every year, we’re reminded how lucky we are
and how thankful it makes us feel.
But every year, our words of thanks mean less
and less until saying thank you
becomes an obligation,
a chore.

This year, we need to be thankful for more —
for everything big to small.
Because we will always be grateful
for our family and friends,
for our homes and our food;
we always have been.

Each of us needs to find something new
to be thankful for.


 Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram 


Posted in 2015-2016, Arts

What Not to Do on a Hayride


By Maddie Sokoloski

As the bitter cold of the October air nipped at my bare legs protruding from my scratchy skirt, I walked from the last house offering trick-or-treat candy.  Quickly, I scurried, alongside my three siblings and three of our friends to my mom’s car.  The seven of us jumped into it, hoping for some refuge from the chill. We shut the doors with a snap, leaving the cold breeze to tap at the doors and leave its frosty breath on the windows.

“Let’s go to trunk-or-treat,” my mom said as she drove us from the house.  We cheered with excitement.  

In my hometown, we have an event on Halloween called trunk-or-treat.  After we go trick-or-treating, we go to the parking lot of a building in town.  There, we always find a dozen or so cars with trunks wide open, handing out goodies to the kids. Year after year we discover the same people; stingy folk who always give us nuts or apples instead of candy, people with full blown haunted houses in the trunks of their cars, even some firemen with their truck who hand out chocolate and fire safety coloring pages.

After making our way through the rows of vehicles, the trick-or-treat‘s and thank you‘s ringing from our chorus of mouths, we went inside to warm ourselves up and bring our numb fingers back to life.  My mother got herself a cup of coffee, causing us to turn up our noses with disgust.  We searched through the buffet of drinks and desserts set up on the table (as if we needed more sugar.) After tearing through an impossible amount of sugar cookies and orange soda, we went outside to wait for the return of the hayride.

When it arrived, a cluster of people climbed down from the trailer so the next group of people could get on.  Within that group was the seven of us, some kids we recognized from school, and an assortment of bored parents accompanying kids who were too little to ride by themselves. Once everyone was in the trailer and sitting patiently on hay bales that tickled my legs, we set off.  A few kids waved at their parents, some people cheered, and the adults still looked incredibly bored.  

Until that day, I had never been on a hayride.  So I didn’t have prior experience to know that hayrides are incredibly boring. Usually, people go on hayrides to go sightseeing, look at parts of a town they never bothered to explore.  We, on the other hand, grew up in our tiny town and everyone had already seen it. It was too dark out to see anyway, so we decided to have some fun.

That’s when the screaming started.  

My siblings, our friends, and I started yelling our hearts out singing songs from various TV shows and infomercials. We sang the theme song from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, even though we only knew one line of the song. We repeated those same four words over and over again, much to the annoyance of all the unfortunate parents.  

‘Shut up!” screamed a boy who went to school with my sister.  She stuck her tongue out at him and sang louder.  He stuck his fingers in his ears and tried to yell louder than us, beginning his endless loop of “lalalalalala.”

Ten minutes later we got off of the hayride, everyone practically ran away from us, shooting dirty looks as they did.  The seven of us hopped off peacefully and walked over to find my mom.  We told her about the hayride, each of us interrupting the others.  When we got to the end of the story my mom looked appalled with our behavior.  Gathering up our candy, we left pretty soon after that.

We were never allowed on that hayride again.

Maddie Sokoloski is a Sophomore at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts

Posted in 2015-2016, Arts

Autumn’s Travels


By Kellie-Ann Morris

Autumn has clocked in
taking shift,
filling in for summer has no more heat strokes to give
and winter winds haven’t gathered enough strength.
The season is a teenager
with frequent mood swings.
From misty eyed mornings
to bright smiles in the afternoon,
the unpredictable weather
leads to dress code confusion.
Despite the temperamental forecast,  
it’s hard not to admire
what fall has done.
Long goes the green,
as the fairies are busy painting leaves.
Shades of brown, orange, and red are periodically speckled onto nature’s canvas.
The wind is a tour guide,
pulling the leaves from their branches,
teaching them how to take flight.
Fallen leaves can be found
braided into hair,  
raked to make a bed,
and crumbled under careless feet.
Follow the leaf trails
into the forest,
see what paths you can forge
alongside the woodland creatures,
before winter’s touch destroys it.

Kellie-Ann Morris is a Freshman at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts

Posted in 2015-2016, Arts

The Dangers of Haunted Houses and Screaming Paintings

By Josh Snyder

She remained, lurking in shadows cast by spirits and haunts alike, things that rattled chains at night and moaned in despair with no physical mouth to do so. With her she brought light, shining into the dark of each shadow and killing off the threat of the ghosts, lighting her way as she sunk further into the black of abandoned houses out in the middle of the woods. She brought both her wide eyes and quiet, warm gasps that showed in the cold air of the night. The darkness was hers in those moments and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

This instance was only a continuation of that. She would never expect anything more than whispers over her shoulder or a shape dart across the moonlight bleeding in from the distressed windows of the other houses she’d ventured into alone, besides the creeps she sought out that dwelled inside. No, she’d never expect more. She would only hope and hope for something to fall over, for her calls into the dusty halls of the place to be answered with movement that wasn’t accompanied by a pulse. All she wanted was for a vase to fall, for a door to slam, for something to touch her shoulder and make her shriek and dash in panic.

She’d read of this place so many times the writing of the articles might as well been stamped under her eyelids. It was a stereotypical story, a man gone mad with a knife and a family that would soon bleed prettily for him in the night, a wife with child, two sons and a daughter. Although she tried her damnedest, she could never find a picture of the young dead girl to go along with her tragic story, all that she could put with it was a bloody white dress that was shredded by a slashing blade. Just thinking about it made her shiver where she stood, on the doorstep of the decaying home. She gripped the doorknob and immediately it fell at her feet with a loud knock of metal on wood, making her jump back and cringe at herself.

The door creaked when she shoved it open, having to force it without the knob, and cringing again upon hearing it echo throughout the structure. Her eyes danced along the moonbeams that exposed what would otherwise be hidden by the consuming black of the house. From her back pocket she pulled out a flashlight, stepping into the house and appreciating the eeriness of it before flipping the switch of her light and following the brightness that cut through pitch black to a bloodstained floor. Instantly her lips turned up into a small smile at the sight of it, and her eyes darted up to look around the room, looking at all she’d been wanting to explore for months now. The walls were cracked and covered in a layer of dust and dirt, as was the rest of the place. A thin film covered the stairwell that abruptly ended about 3/4 up, the rest having fallen in.

Her steps were followed by the sound of the floorboards struggling to support her weight, barely managing to do so, squeaking along as she looked from wall to wall. Crooked and cracked picture frames were strewn across the walls, depicting landscapes and happy faces. It broke her heart to think of them bloody, dead, decaying in unmarked graves. Stepping in front of a particularly big picture, her eyes scanning it up and down, her heart rate sped up.

It was the girl.

The little girl, the man’s daughter, the one he had slaughtered, was right in front of her. Or rather a picture of her was. She took the time to observe and learn her features, admiring the soft curls of her long ginger hair and the boredom forever instilled into her golden, hazel eyes. She felt sympathy for how she thought the painting might not have brought out the true beauty of the girl, despite how nicely it had been made. A light blue blossom rested on her left ear, and it did little justice to the warm colors of the painting besides the cool contrast of the sky blue. She forced herself to drag her eyes over the painting again and again, memorizing and admiring until the colors seemed to blur together.

Her eyes bored into the dead gaze painted onto the girl, capturing the swirl of paint until, with a loud and disruptive bang, the painting fell. The glass was jagged against her; it pierced her flesh and pulled at her body when she struggled under it, breathless but screaming and shaking against the portrait. Shockwaves of pain shot through her with each movement, but she didn’t stop thrashing because of it.

She stopped because the paint was bleeding onto her, she thought,

The painting was bleeding.

Just like me. You’re going to go just like ME! SCREAMING AND RIPPED APART!”

She didn’t think about the rarity of hearing something so clear and powerful from an entity that was not living, she only thought about how she was drowning in blood that she couldn’t distinguish from her own, that the glass was sinking deeper into her, that she wasn’t the only one screaming in the house.

But, for a little while longer, she was the only one with a pulse.

James Snyder is a Freshman at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts