Archive for the ‘2009 — 2.1 (Fall)’ Category

Fall 2009 Staff


20 Dec

PJ German, Editor in Chief

PJ German, Editor-in-Chief

PJ German, along with being the Editor in Chief, is also the President of the literary club, Swamp Scribes; Student Blogger for SCF’s website; and Teacher Assistant in the English lab. Outside of college, PJ is a freelance journalist for the North Port Sun and a leader in his church’s youth group. PJ plans to attend USF to continue his education for an English degree. He is currently working on a series of fantasy novels in his spare time

Victoria Champion, Fiction Editor

Victoria Champion, Fiction Editor

Victoria Champion grew up in Port Charlotte, Florida. She’s hoping to fulfill a career in Business Marketing, and someday work for a large corporation. She also enjoys going out and having a good time

Michelle Papini, Fiction Editor

Michelle Papini, Fiction Editor

Michelle Papini is in her sophomore year here at the State College of Florida. For her freshman year she attended Florida Gulf Coast University. She is pursuing a Journalism/Creative Writing degree, and hopes to someday be a children’s book writer.

Daniel Cornell, Poetry and Graphic Arts Editor

Ironically, not pictured.

D own with editing
A ll about The Beatles
N ot a supporter of tap dancing
N ever late for dinner
Y es man

Marc Matza

Marc Matza, Poetry Editor

Marc Matza is an all-around good guy.

Dr. Ford gets wet

Doug Ford, Professor

Doug Ford has served as a full time faculty member at SCF for the past five years, teaching various literature and writing courses, including creative writing. He has a wife and two children, who lovingly tolerate his madness. His fiction (often of a macabre quality) has appeared in publications like WICKED HOLLOW, CTHULHU SEX, and POE LITTLE THING. His nonfiction (usually boring scholarly-type stuff) has shown up in AMERICAN LITERATURE, MELUS, and DISSECTIONS, among other places. He is prepared for just about any natural disaster.

Purged


09 Dec

2-3 Dave Matthews Band cd’s

1 boy

1 cancer

1 mom

1 girl

1 glass bottle of GHB, kept hidden in the bedroom

1 refillable bottle of morphine, prescription

alcohol to taste

1.)  To a sauté pan, add 1 cancer and 1 mom.  Sauté for a few years until mixture turns pallid.  Remove from heat and set aside.  (Note:  This will make the 1 terminally ill mom needed for steps 3 and 4.)

2.)  In a large saucepan, slowly combine 1 boy and 1 girl.  Cook over high heat, stirring constantly until blended.  Allow mixture to come to a rolling boil.  Add 1 Dave Matthews Band cd.  Cover and cook for 12 months.

3.)  Remove lid and reduce heat to medium.  Add 1 terminally ill mom (from step 1) and stir violently for 3 months.  Add alcohol to taste.  Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool overnight.

4.)  Once mixture has cooled and hardened, use a spatula to skim off the top layer and discard.  (This was the 1 terminally ill mom.)

5.)  Attempt to warm the remaining mixture over low heat.  Once melted, beat in 1 glass bottle filled with GHB, 1 refillable prescription bottle of morphine, and alcohol to taste.  Then add a dash more when no one is looking.  (Note:  If a thicker sauce is desired, add 1 Dave Matthews Band cd.)  Return heat to high.  DO NOT COVER.  When mixture reaches a boil, immediately remove from heat and strain out 1 girl, leaving all other ingredients.  Set girl aside.  Let mixture sit for 10 years.

6.)  Recheck the mixture.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE ALL LIQUID HAS EVAPORATED.  What is left after 10 years is 1 man.

7.)  Very slowly, add the 1 man to the 1 woman.  (Note:  the woman is the girl who was strained out and set aside 10 years ago in step 5.)

8.)  Toss and enjoy, remembering that forgiveness is an acquired taste.

Special Recognition and Faculty Publications


09 Dec

Special Recognition

Warning Signs: A Paradelle

T. Allen Culpepper

Faculty Fiction

Picture Spot

Dr. Douglas Ford

Faculty Visual Arts

On the Laguna

Maria Spelleri

Editor Choices


07 Dec

P.J. German:

Poetry – ‘The Pillsbury Doughboy Can’t Giggle’ by William Graydon

Fiction/Nonfiction –Rollbacks’ by William Graydon

Visual Arts – Delicate Age’ by Kristin Rose LeMar

Danny:

Poetry – ‘Master of the Night’ by Aaron Rowand

Fiction/Nonfiction –Failure is Not an Option’ by Steven Brown

Visual Arts – Living Water’ by Andrew Colantuono

Michelle Papini:

Poetry – ‘The Pillsbury Doughboy Can’t Giggle’ by William Graydon

Fiction/Nonfiction – ‘Bleed the Line’ by William Graydon

Visual Arts – ‘Macro Dragonfly’ by Loret

Space: The Finite Frontier


07 Dec

I stood on the bridge of my ship, The Katana, wondering what it was exactly that I had just witnessed.

“Go to stealth!” I yelled out. There was little time for wondering now. The explosion of our partner ship, The Air Cutter, was still plainly visible. Of course, the explosion had no sound. The view, however, was persuasion enough.

Our sensor tech had the stealth come up within a minute, and my pilot moved the ship approximately 1,000 miles further away from where the Air Cutter once was.

“Scanners!” I yelled out, somewhat more calmly this time, but still with a firm voice. No need to freak out. “Any ships in the surrounding area?”

There was a slight pause. “Nothing, sir.”

I was still tense, but I tried to relax myself. Be in control. “Well, what hit them then? An asteroid? A lintar?” Lintars were natural phenomena; interstellar clouds made mostly of atomic energy. A sort of natural nuclear bomb. They were extremely rare, and we would have spotted them with our scanners long ago, but at this point I was simply trying to think of anything at all that could be responsible for the Air Cutter’s sudden explosion.

Another pause. “No, sir. We never detected any asteroids large enough to completely destroy the Air Cutter, nor do I see any evidence of a collision with an asteroid. As for the lintar…” he paused again. “…we would have detected them a while back.”

“Well, Barton,” I said, walking towards him, but keeping my eyes on the viewport. “What is out there?”

Yet again, another pause. “Just space, sir.”

I closed my eyes and ran my fingers through my hair, thinking of any other possible scenarios. System malfunction? Impossible. The two ships’ AIs were in constant communication. Any hiccups in the Air Cutter’s systems would have been immediately reported to The Katana’s AI, and our AI would have reported it to me just as quickly. It was standard operating procedure for partner ships, especially this far out in space. Just to be sure, I walked over to my screen and checked the communication history of the two AIs. Speed, altitude adjustment. Distance differentiation. Standard systems check. Then… nothing. According to the history, our AI had tried to reestablish contact. No such luck.

“Captain, come see this.” It was Barton again. I briskly walked up to his screen and took a look at what he pointing at. An image of a blurry, small spot was on it.

“One of our ship’s cameras was trained on the Air Cutter. If I can enhance the image…” He trailed off and continued typing some commands on his keypad. Suddenly, the Air Cutter was onscreen, in focus and much larger. “There! Now, let’s play it…”

The video ran for about ten seconds. It showed the ship flying through space, without a care in the world. Suddenly, it exploded with no warning. But… there was something strange about it. Barton played the video again, pausing it at the point of the explosion. There it was again. The front end of the ship looked rather odd. Almost as if…

“The Air Cutter was rammed into.” Barton stated matter-of-factly. “There’s no question about it. Look.” He pointed at the screen again. By now, everyone on the bridge had arrived at his desk and was staring at his computer screen. “Notice how, just prior to the explosion, the front end of the ship sort of caves in.” He was right. The Air Cutter’s front end was pushed back. Every other area of the ship seemed fine, but the front was completely crushed inward.

“It almost looks like a soda can being crushed,” stated Lewis, the navigator.

I continued staring at the screen frozen on the image. “But, this doesn’t make any sense: a ship in stealth did this? It can’t be an accidental collision: the odds are completely against it. Why would someone want to destroy an explorer’s vessel?”

“Maybe it wasn’t a ship,” offered Barton. “At least, not one with people on board. Maybe it’s a wall… or, some sort of large object…”

“This still doesn’t make any sense.” I repeated. Did we trespass on some alien territory or something? If so, why would they only attack one vessel? And why would they do so by ramming an invisible… something into it?

“Alright,” I said, after another long pause. “We need to go back to Pure II. Lewis, set our course.”

“But, Captain,” Lewis asked. “That thing is still out there somewhere.”

I looked over in his direction as I headed back to my quarters. “The only thing we are doing out here is making dumb guesses at something we have absolutely no knowledge of. I’m betting that the scientists back at base can shed some light on this. Our AI has this area’s coordinates, and I don’t think that whatever attacked the Air Cutter will be going after us anytime soon. Don’t worry; we’ll be fine.”

Pure II

Pure II was a military/scientific research base on one of the moons of a gas giant. It was the furthest human post from earth, nearly 150 lightyears away. We were actually sent to explore this area of space at the request of both the scientists and the military. For a good price, of course.

We arrived at the installation about three days later, due to hyperdrive malfunctions. Once we had landed, I headed straight to the commanding officer of the base, General Harkin.

“Ah, Captain, I’m glad to see you back.” Harkin was staring at a hologrid of what seemed to be a mining facility, probably from Pure III.

“General Harkin,” I said, shaking his hand. He was a somewhat older man, probably in his late 80’s, but his demeanor did not show it.

“I’m sorry to hear about the Air Cutter. We lost some good men.” His voice somewhat sank as he said this.

“Well, what’s done can’t be undone.” I stated simply. I did not personally know anyone from the Air Cutter, save the captain, and he and I did not get along very well. I did not dare say that, of course. “Do you or the scientists here know anything about this… situation? We’re at a loss here.”

There was another slight pause, and I began wondering how many more of those I would hear in the future.

“There have been reports of ships… crashing I guess you can say, into invisible objects. The first case happened about one month ago. It was one of our scientists’ ships, wanting to study the Spiral.” He brought the area up on the hologrid and highlighted where the ship had exploded or crashed. It was 2.3 lightyears away.

“Pretty far,” I noted. The place where the Air Cutter had crashed was just under one lightyear away.

“The other two incidents,” he continued, “actually happened within the past two weeks.” He highlighted two more areas. “One about 1.5 LY’s away; the other almost two.” The three points on the hologrid then connected to make a triangle. “I don’t know what is happening out there, but I know that I don’t like it. With all three events, there was no other ship, no shooting, not even any planets near them.” He paused for a moment, staring at the three points.

That gave me an idea: “Could they be some sort of alien blockade using stealth technology?”

“That is one of our guesses, and many of my men seem to think so. Me? I’m not so sold on that one. The events seem a bit too far from each other. Also, there’s been no sign of intelligent life out there in any of the surrounding areas; current or ancient.” He turned off the hologrid and pointed to a man at the opposite end of the room. “This man has been leading our research on these events. He has a very interesting theory on the entire situation. Connor!”

The man named Connor came quickly over to our area of the room and stood on the opposite end of the now lifeless hologrid. He was a short, nervous looking man, and he wore glasses. Stereotypical looking scientist. I did not even think that anyone wore glasses anyway. Maybe he just liked the look.

“Actually,” he began. “If I may be so bold as to say-“

“Please be, Connor,” said General Harkin.

“There is major evidence of alien activity in this entire sector.”

That surprised me a bit. “Really?” I asked, my pride hurt just a bit with that. Finding intelligent life was supposed to be part of our job. “How so?”

Connor turned the hologrid back on, messed with some buttons and dials, then shifted our view of the surrounding area. The images turned into different shades of blue and purple, with some slight hints of green closer to some of the planets. “This is a thermal imaging map of this entire system, all the way out to approximately 3.752 AUs from the outermost planet of this system.” Did he choose 3.752 AUs simply to make himself sound smarter? “The purple sections indicate-“

“We’re not dumb, Connor,” said a slightly exasperated General Harkin. “Purple equals cold; blue, not as cold. Get to the point.”

Connor, rather than looking scared as I figured he would be, looked more upset at being cut off so rudely. “The green indicates that an area of space is either A) near a sun, or B) has had numerous ships passing through it. For instance, note the green around Pure II.”

“So… you’re saying that you’ve found certain areas in the surrounding systems with more green in them; green that we are not responsible for?”

Connor smiled. “No… not exactly.”

With that, he keyed a few more commands into the hologrid and another starmap appeared. This one covered the three “incident” areas (minus the Air Cutter’s). The only major difference with this map was the color: absolutely no purple and blue. It started with green, then turned to yellow, then orange, the red. The closer it got to the three impact points, the closer it got to red.

Connor was beaming. “Sirs,” he said, barely containing his joy. “What I think we have here is first contact with an alien civilization.”

I stared at the hologrid, trying to make sense of it all. “…So…” I stated, not really knowing where to begin. “They’re… constantly invisible?”

Connor shook his head. “I don’t think so; not in the way we understand. You and I can hop in a ship and go to stealth, no problem. These guys,” he pointed at the hologrid. “Are, in my opinion (and many of my fellow scientists agree with me), on an entirely different plane of existence; not exactly outside of the physical realm, as evidenced by our collisions with them, but not merely in our limited version of it either.”

I stared blankly at him, not understanding it.

“Look,” Connor said, pulling out a piece of paper. He drew three circles on it, and laid it out on top of the control desk. “Imagine that we lived in a two-dimensional universe. These three circles are you, me, and General Harkin.” For some reason, he drew smiley faces on each of them. “We are in two dimensions: length and width. Can we, in this state, even comprehend (let alone see) the third dimension, also known as height?”

I shook my head no.

“Good. Now, imagine that I,” he pulled a ball out of his pocket, one of those extremely bouncy ones that would fly all over the place if you threw them too hard. “As a threedimensional being were walking through here. Or…rolling.” He moved the ball around the paper, carefully avoiding the three circles. “Everything is going fine, until one day…” the ball rolled over one of the circles. “’Oh! What’s this?! I seem to have hit something that I can’t see! What is it? A wall? Alien spies?’ Neither being can see each other, even though they both share two dimensions.”

“So, it would be like us not seeing a bug on the ground?”

“No, not in the least bit. These three-dimensional (actually, I should call them four-dimensional, shouldn’t I?) beings can only see other objects in four dimensions, even though they share three dimensions with us.

“Wait,” I asked. “How can you be so sure that they can’t see us? What evidence do you have?”

Connor shrugged his shoulders. “Can you make me a purely 2D object?”

I slowly nodded, understanding his point. But, one other question troubled me: “What about these collisions, then?”

“What about them?”

“Are they some sort of wall or something? They seem to be so.” With that, I pointed at the three dots. Lines started connecting them, making an oddly shaped triangle.

A laugh came from Connor. “Please, that is so simple.” He moved the starmap out of the way and pointed at three random spots from the blank space. “Any three points in space, once connected, make a plane. Much like any two points connected make a line.”

Stupid me, I knew that.

I still was not comfortable with his theory. It was too much theory; not enough fact. How did he conclude that the aliens were four dimensional, and not just invisible to our eyes? I asked him that question, and he went into another twenty minute speech on the… I cannot even remember what. My head was swimming. I needed to rest. I asked to be excused from the room, and walked back to my quarters.

As I was heading down one of the hallways Barton approached me, holding a mini hologrid in his hand.

“Captain, I think you should see this. I was calculating the-“

“Not now, Barton,” I said, walking past him. “I’m too tired to care. Tell Harkin and the scientist with him right now.

“But, I think that this proves my theory about-“

“NO. Tell Harkin.”

I kept going, not noticing what was showing on the hologrid he was holding. There were, I found out later, the four coordinates of the impacts on it, ours included.

No matter how you connected them, the four dots would make a flat shape, very much like a wall…

Some Museum

“Mommy! Mommy! Look! There it is again!”

Little Timmy was breathing heavily on the glass, causing that part of its surface to fog and grow much, much warmer. He backed away from the glass and grabbed his mother’s hand.

“Look!” he said again, excitedly.

“What?” she asked, more than a little annoyed. “What do you see?”

Timmy did not know. All he knew was that if he stared extra, extra hard, he could see…

“Let’s go, Tim-Tim, Daddy’s waiting for us. You can look at the…” she paused to read the sign. “… The Milky Way later.

And with that, Timmy and his mom went home.

Failure is Not an Option


07 Dec

He would only have 30 seconds to get out alive. Emilio stared at the remote detonator in his hand. Two buttons. If he is successful in his mission he presses the red one and detonates the charges he had just placed under the building. If he is unsuccessful he presses the green button and detonates the charges around his waist. In his line of work – failure was never an option.

Emilio carefully attached the last wire to the explosive device at the base of the massive concrete support column. He was lying on his stomach. His heavy breathing formed small tornado like whirls in the dirt. Many of the fine particles managed to find their way into eyes and his lungs. He suppressed the urge to cough. Failure – was not an option. Above him towered a 12 story concrete building, bustling with life. He did not know the nature of the lives being lived there. It was not his job to know. He was taught to leave his personal feelings out of the decision making process. He was taught to follow orders. He was trained – to press a button.

Three and half minutes later, Emilio had crawled his way to the edge of the building. He took a minute to catch his breath and to try to get some of the dirt out of his eyes. Looking out from under the building he spotted the getaway car that was left for him. He had to wait for the right moment to exit and cross the street. Failure was not an option. Once in the car, he could press the button and have 30 seconds to put some distance between himself and the explosions. If he could just make it to the car he would be free.

There was no hesitation when the right moment arrived. Emilio reacted without thinking. The next thing he knew he was in the driver seat, key in the ignition, and detonator in hand. He turned to look at the building. He saw two women, one of them pregnant, and 4 small children preparing to climb the steps that lead up to the door of the building he was about to destroy. The pregnant woman looked at him and smiled. It was a punch in the stomach. It was as if he had never seen a smile before. Things started to move in slow motion. He noticed the innocent, care-free expressions on the children’s faces. He thought of his own children. As tears began to stream down his cheeks he quietly asked himself, “Is failure an option?” Looking down at the detonator in his hand, he took a deep breath and pressed the button.

Student Visual Arts


05 Dec

Gates of Heaven

Golden Beach

Living Water

Ominous

Andrew Colantuono

Back to the Barre

Red Dress

Jill Wright

Delicate Age

Self

cristin

Kristin Rose LeMar

Macro Dragonfly

Loret

Student Fiction and Nonfiction


05 Dec

Student Fiction

Duplex

Taylor Meredith

Binky

Bleed the Line

Rollbacks

Bill Graydon

Space: The Finite Frontier

Adam Gadomski

A Very Merry Christmas

Jay Foulk

Failure is Not an Option

Steven Brown

Student Nonfiction

Going Home

Laura Tanksley

Staff Poetry and Fiction


05 Dec

Staff Poetry

neutrally, our fresh hot teas both flushed light gold

Marc Matza

the Nightingale rests on a tree

Queen of Veneer

P. J. German

Staff Fiction

The Tale of the New King and a Rich Soul

Faerwald

Alms

P. J. German

Fall 2009 Student Poetry


05 Dec

Demons

Steven Brown

Shape Shifter

Taylor Meredith

Master of the Night

Aaron Rowand

Fishing

Jay Foulk

Loss

Memories

Steven Harrison

Purged

Cherstin Haga

The Pillsbury Doughboy Can’t Giggle

Bill Graydon

Goodnight

Matt Nations

Our Generation

Marc Zappia