Archive for the ‘2015 — 8.1 (Fall)’ Category

The Ghost in the Bedroom

07 Dec

By Megan Finsel

She was screaming again. I could hear her even though the door muffled the sound. I tried not to listen as she shrieked and hollered about muddy work boots and nonsense. I didn’t envy her husband; the poor old man took the worst of it.

A slice of light fell in a golden sheen between the curtains, making a wedge on the floor. I watched as the dust drifted lazily, not a care in the world. I wish I were dust, I thought. Pounding footsteps came up the stairs. When the bedroom door blew open, I jumped from my seat. She swept in with the strength of a tempest, carrying a whirlwind of noise. Nothing about this woman was silent.

“…and that cat!” she screamed. “You’re always letting it inside the house! Told you, I’m allergic!” She blew past me without even looking.

“Would you shut up?” I asked. She was rushing about, yanking papers off the desk, pushing books onto the floor. A can hit the floorboards, scattering pencils at my feet. I looked at them, longing to pick one up again, to hold it in my hands and write with it. I miss creating things.

“If you can leave the house a mess, then so can I!” she declared, yanking the quilt off the mattress.

I wish they had never moved in, I thought, the other tenants had been so nice and quiet.
“Please, shut up.” I said, but she didn’t even look at me. I missed the days when people could hear me. Not that they listened, but it was better than being invisible. Now, nothing I could do would get anyone’s attention.

“And your underwear!” She held up a pair of red boxers and shook them at the doorway. “You’re always leaving them about. Would it kill you to pick them up once in a while?” She went to the closet and began pulling out clothes. “You’re always telling me to tidy up, how ridiculous!”

“Shut up!” I shouted. She spun around and looked at me, past me, through me. Her eyes couldn’t focus on where my face was; they stared out the window and into the woods. See me! I thought. I’m right here. I’ve always been right here. Why don’t you ever see me? She whirled away and proceeded to yank boxes from the top of the closet.

“Shut up!” I screamed, louder than she had ever been. The walls shook, the floor shook; the entire house quivered with the force of my voice. She stopped and stared at me as if she could actually see me this time. Her eyes met mine and steadily grew larger and larger.

“Can you see me?” I asked. I was both scared of, and desperate for, the answer.

“G…” she whispered, and as she stared at me, she progressively grew paler. “Gh…!”
“Can you hear me?”

Her response was a scream, the shrillest scream I had ever heard from her. She flung herself at the doorway, tripping over the quilt that snared her feet. I ran towards her, but she crawled into the hallway. I was stopped at the door, unable to go any farther; unable to follow her downstairs, outside, or anywhere. I looked about my prison and moaned. If I weren’t already dead…

Downstairs I could hear her yelling at her husband again, telling him about me, the ghost in the bedroom. The stories were all true, this house was really haunted, and they had to move. I sat myself down at the window again and wondered who would move in next, as the dust continued swirling in motes.

Disjointed Reaction to a Scream

07 Dec

By Brandie Hyde

Hearing the shrill shriek caused her muscles to freeze mid-stride with only forward momentum providing the little extra nudge thus forcing the otherwise stop-motion foot to at last drop from its state of momentary suspended animation.

Her eyes slam closed as if to keep the recalled detail specifics from escaping the swirling centrifuge at work in her skull. Had the person who uttered the sound been a woman? A man?

A manly girl? Or a girly man? Not that sex, gender, or identity mattered per se, but it is a factor in terms of deducing a superior approach. Had it originated from a forward or a back alley? From the left or from the right? Was there any other clue to be gleaned from that split second? An informed decision is key.

Her eyes reopen following the near instantaneous blink which felt so much longer while the snap analyzation was conducted. Alone she ran against the sea of others who, in choosing to ignore the potential danger, had quickly spun on their heels 180 degrees opting to mind their own business.

Others flee as she passes in favor of pursuing the origin point most likely, and she readies herself to take on whatever scene she may encounter and simultaneously observant enough to testify to details in court.

The oddity of her otherwise gun loving nation, she didn’t see the necessity for them and thus didn’t have one nor cared to.

A problem with guns? They’re too easy, too disconnected, and she feared they may take her to a place she doesn’t care to go. There’s no such thing as unarmed as people have been killing one another from the beginning, so she didn’t need a manufactured tool developed specifically for that singular purpose.

A person who needs to be packing heat to defend themselves and are incapable of doing so by any other means were wussies… guns are for pus—-.

Rounding the corner and witnessing the act in progress she closes in… 3… 2… 1… showtime.

Bio: My name is Brandie and as a resident of the North Port / East Venice area, I’m what they call a “displaced homemaker” who in light of her situation decided it was time to crank out a few degrees at long last in hopes of landing a position making a Living wage. I’ve learned well enough by now that making any sort of “plans” is an utterly pointless and futile exercise, at least so far as I’m concerned anyway. That’s not to say it’s for lack of trying mind you… things just rarely go ‘as planned’. To counter this, I typically have a contingency, or two for that matter, at the ready. I was never a Girl Scout, but as a general rule I prefer to be prepared as opposed to the alternative.

Thirteen axes minus one

07 Dec

By Lexxa

Blood is pouring from my fingers again and I have no clue as to why. Maybe it has something to do with my cell phone being cracked. Glass pieces are everywhere and I am lucky enough to crush every piece in between my fingers somehow. At least that’s what I think, even though I cannot find any glass on my actual hands. As I am washing off the blood I peak out of my kitchen window. Crazy old lady Jane’s garage is open inside I can see a total of 13 axes hanging from the tool box. Why would such an old lady need that many axes? It’s not like she’s planning to chop down any trees anytime soon. Her husband was murdered three years ago. I was the one to find him laying in a pile of blood and guts. I thought for sure I would be scarred for life, but I wasn’t. They never did find the murderer, even after six more killings. Still, I was not scared. I went to grab a towel to dry my hands and a thought came rushing through my head. Axes. Each victim was killed with an ax. Maybe old lady jane is hiding something. Something big. What if she is the murderer afterall. I must figure this out. I spent the whole day planning how I would get inside of crazy Jane’s home and how I would find clues and fast and get out. It’s now 9:02 pm and I patiently waited for the clock to strike 9:04 pm which is the exact time the lights in her house go off and she goes to bed. 9:03.. I left the house dressed in black, I hope she does not see me or attack because I don’t have any weapons to defend myself. I am now at her house outside of her window I peek in and stare for 15 minutes so I knew she was asleep. She was laying there so lifeless in her pink nightgown. I went to window number two and stared for another 15 minutes. I sprinted to the next window and to my surprise it was unlocked. I quietly rolled it up and snuck inside. The house is so old ladyish. Floral wallpaper, floral furniture, floral everywhere and it smells like old people. Figures. I go to the garage and notice that there are only 12 axes now when earlier that day there was 13. Was she planning on another murder? I search high and low and find no other clues but where oh where did that other ax go to? What is crazy Jane hiding? I go into her room and see her lying there so hopeless, so innocent. “AHHHHHH!” pitiful jane screams with all her might, I run out of her house drenched in blood and sweat. I look at my right hand and there is an ax in it, a bloody murder weapon. I must have taken it from the garage for self defense when she attacked me and forgot all about it. I fall asleep and when I wake up I there are cops everywhere and the garage is wide open. I look closely and count. Twelve axes hanging on the tool box. A smile rises on my face.


07 Dec

By Megan Finsel

I spend three weeks in the dining room staring at it on the shelf before I find the courage to touch it. When my hand doesn’t pass through, when my fingertips connect with the cold, rough metal, I could cry.

Touch is a funny thing, when you think about it. How when you are alive, you use it to interact with the world. A touch on a shoulder equals familiarity, while a hug offers comfort. Textures tell you what is pleasant, and what is not, while temperatures warn you of danger. Then, when you are dead, touch is what you feel starved of the most.

When I lift it, it’s heavier than I remember from my past life. I stroke the metal; run my fingertips over the rust and peeling paint. I touch it to my lips to feel the chill. I sit and hold it for hours at a time. I try to carry it with me, but the doors quickly thwart my efforts. I cannot open them, and it cannot pass through. So I stay here in the dining room because when I hold it I feel alive again. It reminds me of my humanity.

Sometimes, I imagine I can still see traces of blood on it. Isn’t it funny that the weapon used to kill me is now the only object I can interact with? Yeah, it’s hilarious.

You Did

07 Dec

By Lydia

We told you not to light the match, but you did it anyway. You were so drunk you couldn’t understand yourself. We tried to stop you. You said you wanted to do it. So you did it.
We hid from the fire department when they arrived at the Celery Fields, ten minutes after the fire started. We can still smell the putrid stench of burnt hair and seared skin. We can hear the homeless mans’ screams echo in our minds. We can still close our eyes and remember him waking up from his sleep, already engulfed in gasoline fueled fire. The flames licked vertically along the edges of the roof as the entire gazebo was engulfed. The 30 year old picnic bench turned to ashes. You were laughing, holding the matches. We couldn’t believe our eyes when you dowsed everything in gasoline, including him. As quickly as the fire started, it ended.

You were too drunk to remember, but we remember. We remember you threating us, if we told anyone what we saw; you would do the same to us. Finally, you passed out. Sarah’s brothers loaded you in the bed of her Ford Pickup. No one wanted to take you home after what you did. So they dumped you behind the closest McDonalds. When we saw you next, you were drinking again. Jimmy thought about knifing you for what you did, but we told him to wait. We realized if we kept giving you Whiskey, you would pass out fast and then we could leave. It wasn’t unusual to see someone passed out drunk at a place like Ackerman Park.
Three months go by and a few of us are riding our four wheelers on top of the Celery Field Hill. You hear about it, and ride yours up to ours. Jimmy dares you to take the Trail all the way to the dead end. You were already drunk, at least 12 bottles in. You wanted to put money on it. Jimmy bet a hundred. When you disappeared down the hill, we all bet on your life not your money.

You didn’t know that there was barbed wire fence at the dead end. You found out quick, after you couldn’t stop in time. The barb wire made a perfect line across your neck, almost all the way through. Your intoxicated blood was squirting out of your severed trachea, covering your white tee shirt. We have that memory etched into our brains too.

We all won the bet we placed on you. We bet you saw the homeless man appear before you, as you hit the wire. The Gates of Hell opening for you as you drive through; severed head and all. But you said you wanted to do it, so you did it.
We knew if we told, you would still find a way to kill us, so we didn’t. We would rather not think about it, but weeks after we couldn’t help but notice the vultures circling, where we knew you were. We would all sit on top of the Celery Fields hill and talk about you, watching the vultures.

We knew you had a rough life. Your parents were going to put missing posters out for you, but they didn’t. Your dad is abusive and your mom loves pain pills. We knew you were taking pain pills. We knew your mom practically fed them to you. Your dad would take you out back and beat you until you couldn’t fight back. Sometimes he would give you a shovel and make you dig a hole big enough to be your grave. Your hands would bleed, and you would wonder if today was the day your dad would come out and put you in your grave. That was when you were fourteen.

You were really fucked up by twenty one, selling beer to minors. You went away for years. When we saw you, you had changed from PTSD. Then you came to us, wanting attention. Said you needed friends, someone to care. We thought there was hope for you. Then you turned to the bottle again, twist top and child proof. Then you burned that man alive. We will be the only ones who know you for what you are, a murderer. Who is now in the stomachs of vultures.

A bridges bones

07 Dec

002Matthew Farrow

The Third Law

07 Dec

By Beatrice

(1)MASKING (n). The act of covering up one’s own natural appearance.

(2)Beatrice Jolie is an intelligent, attractive 26-year-old woman. She is studying to be a nurse during the day, and working nights at a nursing home. Beatrice doesn’t find it hard to stay awake all night; the patients are elderly and sleep fitfully, so there is often someone getting up who needs her help. They all – the men and the women – tell her how beautiful she is, and often.

(3)Beatrice Jolie leaves each night shift feeling she will never be able to wash the smell of death out of her hair, her skin.

With careful strokes Beatrice applies primer, foundation, and concealer to her face. She no longer has to think about what she’s doing; it is a part of her day, putting on this other face. She swipes liner, mascara, fills in her eyebrows, layers color onto her lids. Chooses a larger brush for the contouring that will create bones where none exist. False lashes are the final step, and her work is complete: identity in place. She checks the mirror to be sure. Good.

(5)Lambert’s third law states that the luminous intensity of LIGHT decreases exponentially with distance as it travels through an absorbing MEDIUM.

(6)Beatrice gets to class just on time and sits in her usual seat, not too close to the front (where she could draw the professor’s attention) but not too far in the back (where she would feel invisible). She feels the eyes of the other students as she stacks her notebook and textbook onto the desk, feels in her bag for a pen. Beatrice is prepared for this. All young people look at each other, searching for flaws. She is safe, thanks to her careful routine in front of the mirror. The professor starts the lecture.

(7) The professor has wispy, flyaway hair. He hasn’t shaved in days. He is highly respected in the field; they even bragged about him on the university website.

(8) Masks keep their own timetables. By the time Beatrice finishes classes, gets home, eats, starts her homework, it is time to change into scrubs and rush to work. All night in the dimly lit nursing station she will answer calls,
change soiled linens and try to read her textbook, hunched over the metal desk. As usual, several patients smile up at her as she approaches their beds that night and say, “Hello, beautiful.” It makes no sense to Beatrice – her carefully applied makeup has long ago been wiped off with a towelette; leaving only mascara residue ringing her tired eyes.

(9)Her mask expires every night here; these people have never seen her any way BUT unmasked.

(10) No one in Beatrice’s classes have ever called her beautiful. If anyone does talk to her, it’s mostly about assignments or this or that professor or where to go for a parking pass.

(11)According to Lambert’s third law, the luminosity of Beatrice’s natural beauty was decreased with every smudge, every brush, every finger full of Revlon and Mac that she placed on her face. The makeup became the MEDIUM which absorbed all the light, so no one ever saw her true intensity.


07 Dec

By Megan Finsel

She was lying to me. I knew that because the truth was spelled out across her face. It was hypnotizing, in fact, how each word bled across her forehead. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. Was I the only one who could see them? I couldn’t tell; no one else seemed to notice.

“I’m alright, a little tired…” she was saying. Maybe I had asked her how she was doing, I don’t remember. I just recall watching the words I’m exhausted appear and disappear on her cheek.

“…life has been treating me well, you know, and work has been fun.” she continued. “I couldn’t be happier.” I’m depressed spelled down her neck. My stomach twisted.
“My brother? Yeah, he’s good. Parents are doing well, too.” I could see sadness in her eyes, an unwanted emotion she was struggling to mask. I must have asked whether she was sure or not because she answered, “of course.” But her right arm spelled out no. I tried to smile as she did.

“Well, I’ll see you later.” she said with a wave and turned to leave, and I stood there watching as two words swirled down both of her legs.


Going Down?

07 Dec

By Riley Quinn

The space is cramped with all thirteen of us in here, but we couldn’t tell the woman in labor and her neurotic husband to wait for the next elevator with her looking ready to pop, and nor could we disclude the man with his son and daughter here to see their mommy who they talked excitedly about seeing while their father stood behind them with tears silently rolling down his face, but the annoying man yelling into his cellphone about how his mother had yet another heart attack and how could she keep him from meetings with these important high-rolling clients, so him we could’ve told to catch the next ride up though he had rudely shoved his way in pushing the nurses, just coming in for their shift, towards the back of the elevator and it wasn’t that the nurses were nice or anything, shoving is just rude, but I mean, there were three nurses and at the time when they got on the elevator we had plenty of room for them but it didn’t mean any of us particularly enjoyed their presence because one kept telling the other female nurse about all the crazy partying she did last night with a bunch of girlfriends since her boyfriend, who was nurse number three, was busy last night doing things with his family but judging by the look he and the other female nurse exchanged when she wasn’t looking, so we all figured the only thing he was doing last night was her, female nurse number two, but of course the three of them were oblivious to the doctor in scrubs with a surgical mask hanging from his face just under his chin with this almost broken look on his face because he had just broken the news to a family that he had lost their child on the operating table but at the back, the very back, was the passenger everyone was avoiding and it wasn’t because of the two orderlies standing on either side of him because they actually had friendly faces and were some of the nicest guys working in that particular part of the hospital, so, shocker, the other passengers were afraid of the psych ward patient in the wheelchair in a straightjacket muttering to himself about how they’re going to die, they’re all going to die, crash, bang, boom, splat, followed by a crazy laugh and then he’d start it all over again, and now I know what you’re wondering, that’s all thirteen passengers, so which one is he because he has to be one of them, and the answer is yes I am, but you have probably guessed already which one I am, and you are also probably wondering why I am muttering such things and telling you about all these people in the elevator and that would be because they are all going to die, myself included, and someone should know the truth of what happened here today because when people talk about the passengers on the elevator and say they were great people, but you’ll know the truth, that some of them were rotten and deserved the end that befell them, fell, I’m so funny, you see, the elevator is rigged so that once the door closed after the last person got on from the first floor, the elevator will make a direct trip to the top of the building and then one more express trip, straight to the morgue in the basement and so you see the hilarity of my word choice, and I laugh manically again and you can see them all flinch, they can’t wait to escape me, but probably noticed that we have reached the top, the thirteenth floor, that is until the elevator comes to a screeching halt and suddenly drops and over the deafening sounds of their terrified screams, my manic laughter can be heard.

Staff Page

07 Dec

Carley Baker


My name is Carley and I am 19 years old. I graduated from high school in Massachusetts in 2014 and moved back here after that. I like watching movies, reading,writing, and listening to music. I’m going to major in English but I don’t think I know what exactly I’m going to with that yet. I want to be able to do a lot of different things so I don’t get bored. I know that I’m not any good at science or math, though. In high school I had to build a catapult for a physics project and I duct taped a ladle to shoe box and it didn’t go well. I also like animals and the rain and I know how to juggle.

Danielle Dean

My name is Danielle, and this is my second time taking this sort of class with Professor Masucci (College Magazine and Production II). I’m twenty-one years old, was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and moved down to Florida with my family roughly two years ago. As an English major, I’m a bit of a fanatic for reading and writing, and aim to one day be able to publish my own books. Professionally, I’d like to work n the publishing industry, whether as a reader or an editor. So really, this class is perfect for me!

Taylor Hill


My name is Taylor, a born and raised Floridian who graduated in 2014 from Venice High School. I spend a lot of my time working as either a gymnastic coach or a sales associate at Pacsun, and going to school finishing up my A.A. When I have time though, you can find me hunched over my computer or in front of my TV crying over my favorite shows and movies, reading, writing, and the if I’m feeling adventurous, outside exploring and adventuring. At this point I am still trying to figure out what I really want to do with my future, right now I’m on a route to majoring in English and maybe a job in editing or publishing in the future, who knows, I could want to be a champion mountain climber tomorrow. At this point I’m just trying to take one day at a time and live a full life.

Kimberly Liechty

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My name is Kimberly, I was born and raised in south Florida and I graduated from Sarasota High School in 2015. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, gardening, and going to museums. I love to read and write in my free time which, one might guess, makes me more inclined to English and history rather than science and math. I love movies and television shows as much as a good book. I look forward to one day knowing what I want to do with my life. However, at this point, I have absolutely no idea. I have a genuine interest in the history of mankind and I hope to travel the world and learn about as many different cultures as I can.

Shauna Longshore


My name is Shauna, I’m 20 years old. I’m from Philadelphia but I moved to this area nine years ago and graduated from Lemon Bay High School in 2014. I’ve always been very interested in journalism and all the areas surrounding it. I’m an avid reader, sometimes I’ll spend a few hours just reading an entire book because putting them down is so difficult for me. I love traveling, I went to London once a few years ago and since then have been saving to return one day. For me being able to travel and learn about all the different history and art in the world outside of a classroom is incredible. Aside from my interests, I’m also a cake decorator in a bakery! I’ll be finished with my A.A. this spring, after that I’ll most likely be moving to Orlando to finish my bachelor’s degree.

Michael Loos


I was born in Florida; I’ve said for a long time that I disliked, and even hated Florida, but that was because I was I wasn’t looking in the right places for something to love, and have lived in Venice for just about all of my life. I now find that it would be hard to live in a state that didn’t have palm trees, I adore them and the beach.

Some things I find pleasant are bike-riding, hiking (just signed up for an Environmental Ethics class,) reading/writing, and browsing the internet -_-. I also love museums, but there aren’t too many around Venice, I love looking at art and I really love the classical era; Greece, Rome. Also, the Renaissance. I also love cultures and don’t know what I want to do with my life either.

John Peele


My name is John Bradley Peele and I’m a sophomore at State College of Florida who is pursuing a degree in creative writing. I’m also interested in arts, journalism, and entrepreneurship. I’m 28 years old and I was born and raised in Bradenton, Florida. I put off college for a while, instead working in restaurants and playing in bands, but now I’m seeking my degree in order to become a professional writer and to establish skills that will allow me to do something positive in the world. I hope to eventually start my own organizations that relate to creative arts, publishing, and social awareness, once I have the experience.

Darsie Strother

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My name is Darsie and I am 18 years old. I was born and raised in Sarasota and graduated from Riverview High School in 2015. I am currently an Assistant Manager at Chick-fil-a Westfield Sarasota Square Mall. I love hanging out with friends and family and I enjoy staying active. I love going to the beach, boating, rollerblading, and water skiing. Lately, I’ve been wanting to try new activities such as kiteboarding and windsurfing. In the future I plan on obtaining a masters degree and becoming a Speech-language Pathologist but for now, I’m just having a good time.