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News from the Teens of Washington County, MD
Updated: 1 hour 56 min ago

A Lint Lament

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 16:10

By Spencer Thomas, Staff Reporter

It is a truth universally acknowledged, dear reader, that one would be hard pressed as to find anyone that could be said to have a “lint problem.” Yet humanity still possesses among its extensive repertoire of inventions a little device commonly known as a lint roller. Its seemingly uni-tasking nature, as evidenced by its name, could be easily overlooked among such devices as those whose only purpose is to assist in the perfect slicing of a kiwi fruit.

Image via Flickr. 

As mentioned and in this writer’s experience, people possess a remarkable tendency not to have an excess of lint on their person. What one might have is fuzz, pet fur, crumbs, or even the occasional stubborn string, all of which can be easily done away with by the lint roller. Amazing and convenient, to be certain. But where is the lint? Possibly trapped in the dryer lint catcher. At least that gets to do its intended job. Sometimes it does its job too well and it does not ever want to let go. It refuses to let the lint out of its clutches, inadvertently causing a fire hazard that might bring about its premature demise, a demise that might not be covered by the extended warranty.

And then there is the infamous pocket lint: the stuff that the lint catcher cannot get to, and thus cannot consume. Not a big deal, since it remains hidden from judging eyes most of the time. Even if one is worried about their unwanted secret stash of lint being discovered, most pockets are big enough to warrant a lint brush fitting inside, rendering its application useless. Large enough pockets of course do exist, yet they are an anomaly almost as rare as an influx of lint itself in some circles. Where is the justice? Nowhere to be found. It is just another problem for another time, unfortunately.

Back on the issue of pocket lint, one of the best solutions, relevant regardless of the size

Image via Flickr.

of one’s pockets, would be to simply turn one’s pockets inside out. Or, if that is not option, just to turn the entire article upside down and shake it vigorously. One must be careful where they do this, however, for the lint may fall right on the clean floor, then leaving no other option than to look at the mess one has just made and to eventually sweep it up. Tragic.

The time has come, this writer feels, to address the general inefficiency of the lint roller itself. Just think how many sheets one needs just to clean off a single garment. Two. Three. Four. Possibly more. Each picking off only a tiny fragment of the debris. It is positively wasteful! Indeed, there are most likely numerous other uses for the lint roller. Much untapped potential just waiting to be discovered. There are things it might even be better at than what it was designed for. Emergency sticky tape, perhaps. Paper on which to write an impromptu list. One could take it to a beach or desert and run it across the ground. Suddenly there would be sandpaper. Sandpaper where there had not been before, in reaction to which one might even have the might to remark “What a turn of events” or some similar exclamation of delight.

Still, the name lint roller caught on for popular use. There were people dying, but still, long ago, the people that had it in the first place only cared about their lint. This writer too cares about lint. Where did it go? Will the lint plague strike again? Is the holder of such secrets just preparing us for the inevitable apocalypse with every lint roller sold? These are the questions, dear reader, one should ponder until the last piece of lint falls through the hourglass of life.

Gone: Part II

Wed, 06/28/2017 - 20:01

By Emily Wise, Staff Reporter

Chapter 6 – Dear

Dear friends,

Nice finding my picture. If this were Legend of Zelda, I would give you… 10 rupees. This isn’t the end. If I am correct, Keyone, Mr. Always have a second plan, probably brought the contact book I left. His name is Kane Kemp. Not sure if he will cooperate, but it is always worth a try. You’re gonna need a password for him, though. Good luck.



P.S.  Kemp will give you info you might need.

Anthony groaned in annoyance.

Who was Kane Kemp? Why did he matter? Why was Ethan making them go on a wild goose chase to find him?

Where was Ethan?

Keyone opened the book, watching Anthony walk around, clearly ticked. He looked through the names.

Patricia McCarthy, Rain Renner, Aaron Crabill… Kane Kemp.

He looked to the phone number assigned to the name.

Keyone grew confused.

The area code was from nowhere near their area. Where was it from? Who was this person?

He looked back up to see Anthony had gotten over whatever he was thinking about, and was sitting on the floor.

Keyone walked over to the blue-haired male, and sat down beside him. “What’s on your mind?” Keyone asked, quietly.

The building was so silent, he felt the need to lower his voice. The only noise was their breathing and the rain on the roof.

“I know the password Ethan was talking about.” Anthony replied, blankly staring at the wall.


Chapter 7 – Nøkkelen

Ethan sat in the high school computer lab, finishing a project, alongside Anthony.

His eyes half closed, he slouched in the computer chair.

Anthony noticed this.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

Ethan looked up, his grey eyes dull.

“Just tired,” Ethan said, “Although I am pretty sure I have a cold.”

Anthony laughed slightly. “How about I finish it at my house and we get outta here?” Ethan nodded and both left the building.

That night, Anthony sat at his computer, slightly annoyed. Who puts a password on a project?! He looked back at his phone.

Anthony: wat is the password for the project

Oh, come on Ethan? How long does it take to answer a text?!

Anthony looked at the time. 12:46 A.M. blinked back. Oh. That might explain why he wasn’t replying. He put his phone down.

After around ten minutes of trying to figure out the password, his phone buzzed.

Ethan: go to a english-norwegian translator and look up ‘the key’

What kind of password was that?! Who would even think of that?!

Ethan would, of course. He did try to learn Norwegian. He did a pretty good job at it, too.

Anthony did as he was told, and got the phrase ‘nøkkelen’.

Anthony: why that?

Ethan: i dunno it is kinda my password for everything



Chapter 8 – Kane Kemp

Keyone sat beside Anthony in Ethan’s apartment, book of contacts open to ‘Kane Kemp’, phone beside it.

Keyone picked up the phone, and dialed the numbers. He hesitantly reached it up to his ear. Ring. Ring.

“Password.” A raspy voice said.

Image via Flickr.

“Uh,” Keyone said, “Nøkkelen?”

The person cleared their throat. “Who is this? Your American accent is heavier than Ethan’s.” “I’m Keyone, Ethan’s friend. His other friend, Anthony, is here too. Are you Kane Kemp?” Anthony looked at him, confused, mouthing ‘what is going on?’

“Kane Kemp, at your service. Why did ya call?” Keyone put the phone on speaker and set it on the table. “We found a letter from Ethan that said to call you. He said you could give us information?”

Kane laughed. “Well, he told you correct.”

“We need some help finding him.”

“Well, he told me stuff to tell you. But write this down, this phone number only works once, and we are running out of time.”

Keyone looked at the screen, and saw that the clock that timed calls was counting down. They only had one minute left. “What stuff do you have to tell us?!” Keyone said, slightly panicking.

“Well…” Kane drew out the word to waste time, “I guess I could tell you… he said to find Terry Boward and get the video camera for him. He also said not to mention his being missing to her. She would tell everyone…”

And with that, the elusive Kane Kemp ended the call.

Anthony stared at the phone. “What kind of information is that?


Chapter 9 – Treehouse

Terry stood in the doorway, looking at her two piers in front of her quizzically. They had come rushing to her door, asking for a camera. She handed it over, and they both just stood, looking at it.

“Why couldn’t Ethan just come get his camera?” Terry asked. Without thinking, Anthony answered “He’s m-” “-MOTHERING ABANDONED, uh, SEA TURTLES?!” Keyone yelled. Terry gave them the most confused look to ever be on the face of Earth. Keyone and Anthony stood at Terry’s doorstep for an awkward amount of time before running back to their apartments.

At Anthony’s apartment, Keyone carefully extracted an old tape from the side of the camera.

The camera moved around, looking at the scenery. “Hey guys! Look at this!” A bug was shown in a pale hand as the person ran.

“Woah. This must be from awhile ago.” Anthony said.

They watched the tape, and suddenly, the tape was stuck on one frame. It was of a treehouse in the woods. “Hey, I remember that!” Keyone said, “We spent so much time there! Good stuff.” Anthony stood. “Maybe the next clue is there! Maybe he is there! We gotta go find him!” He ran for the door.

“Wait, hold up!” Keyone yelled. “Remember, we have to go to school too! And cover for Ethan! Can this wait?”

Anthony turned. “But the next clue is right there!” He said, gesturing to the frame of the treehouse, “We are so close!”

“And yet, that treehouse is how many states away?” Keyone countered. Anthony sighed, looking at the ground. “Good point. Next weekend?” Keyone nodded and left. Anthony left his apartment, absentmindedly walking to Ethan’s door. Ethan would stop all conflicts.

But Ethan wasn’t there. Ethan was somewhere away from here, doing who-knows-what, running from his friends.

It was 9:30 at night, and Anthony Russet lost a small bit of hope.


Chapter 10 – Driving through the Night

The ginger sat in the driver’s seat of the red Jeep Gladiator, listening to the radio.

I’m holding on

Why is everything so heavy?

Holding on

So much more than I can carry

I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down

If I’d just let go, I’d be set free

Holding on

Why is everything so heavy?

They frowned, their stormy grey eyes matching the color the sky had been that morning. The rearview mirror reflected an old road and the sprawling wheat fields that surrounded it. His pale skin was paler than usual, the bags under his eyes more pronounced. He yawned. The restless nights were getting to him.

I wonder what they are doing right now?

He looked up through a space in the clouds, seeing a glimpse of the stars.


Just because you can’t see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Reminds him of… no.

He turned up the music, loud enough to tune out his thoughts.

Image via Flickr.

Why is everything so heavy?

Why is everything so heavy?

It was 9:30 at night, and Ethan Wilson wished he could stop thinking.

To be continued…

The Washingteenian Mixtape

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 18:27

Image via Pixabay.

Compiled by Marinia Powell, Staff Reporter and Senior Staff Photographer The Washingteenian Mixtape is a weekly round up of the volunteer staff of the Washingteenian’s favorite genres, themes, scores, music decades, and songs of all time, the week, or even those of family members.

I’Kareem: Am I Wrong by Andersen Paak

Izzy: NiceToKnoU by All Time Low

Spencer: Forget by Marina and the Diamonds

Jiala: Red Bone by Childish Gambino

Ms. Sarah: Wait for It from Hamilton: An American Musical

Rin: Cannot answer this question because there are too many choices, but if you know me, Rin, it’s probably something by Bruce Springsteen.

The Life of Madalyn Murray O’Hair

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 15:45

By: Marinia Powell, Staff Reporter and Senior Staff Photographer

Madalyn Murray O’Hair was fundamentally an Atheist. In 1960, she sued the Baltimore Public School system for morning prayer recitations in schools, which eventually went to the Supreme Court.

Her fight against religion in school brought her national notoriety which she used to found the American Atheists in 1963. Since Atheism lacks a place of worship and is technically not a religion, there was previously no real connection between people of that belief and a real leader, so Madalyn took that upon herself. She became the face of Atheism.

She became the bane of all religion practiced in public or by the government, even going after the Apollo space mission demanding the astronauts not be allowed to read the Bible since they were government employees. But she didn’t stop there. Throughout her life thereafter, Madalyn aggressively went after all shows of faith, practiced in public or not, saying at one time, “Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any single other idea.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

But becoming the outspoken figurehead of Atheism also came with her becoming one of the most loathed faces in America, or as Life magazine termed her, “The Most Hated Woman in America.” She received daily death threats and hate mail, articles were dedicated to why she was a threat to society, and her kids were probably bullied a lot in school. But Madalyn basked in hatred, even fed off of it. She chaired the American Atheists for 26 years but remained a guiding force behind it when her younger son took over until her disappearance.

In 1995 Madalyn, her son Jon Garth Murray, and granddaughter-turned-adopted daughter Robin Murray were all kidnapped at gunpoint by her office manager David Roland Waters and subsequently killed. Their bodies were not found until five years later when Waters was convicted and confessed the location, 90 miles west of the American Atheists headquarters.

In 2016, Madalyn’s story was revived for Netflix, but sadly just as a true-crime series. Her older son, whom she originally went to court for and who later became a Baptist pastor, and Frank Zindler, who was with the organization at the time, say it isn’t completely accurate either, for different reasons. For one, her son says he did actually call when three of his family members, including his daughter Robin whom he left behind after he converted, went missing. Frank says there was no personal bank account in New Zealand where Madalyn put money she was skimming off American Atheists.

It’s not as easy to know who Madalyn was as it is to know what she thought. Madalyn was probably incapable of saying anything but exactly what she thought, exactly when she thought it. However, there are some shadier aspects of her life. For instance, when she first disappeared the common thought was that she had taken money from the American Atheists, abandoning her organization in favor of the tropics. Her surviving son also stated she fostered a too close relation with her other son, John Garth, which prevented him from having a relationship with another woman.

Madalyn Murray O’Hair wasn’t exactly easy to understand, or like at times. But she was herself in all her glory, unfiltered, all throughout her life.

Film Haikus 2

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 15:51

By Andrew Santori, Staff Reporter

Courage of the heart

Tis a rare thing to be had…

Though when it is there…


Cute bunny rabbits,

Not so cute when being killed.

It’s a fact of life.


You remind me of

The babe. The babe with power.

Yeah, dance magic dance.


Follow the rabbit.

Come, welcome to The Matrix.

Red pill or blue pill?


Come on, darn golf ball.

Not good enough for your home?

Just go home, golf ball!


There’s something that I

Should tell you. It is that I

Am not left-handed.


If you do not come

Back for me, you will be cursed

For eternity.

Teen Job Search Resources

Sat, 06/03/2017 - 15:17

By Ms. Sarah, Group Adviser

Image via Pixabay.

The time has come for the annual scramble to find a summer job! As usual, the library can help.


The first question is: what would you like to do? Do you like to write? Swim? Work with kids? What are your strengths and skills? Do you have a great memory? Are you a problem solver?

Physically writing these out as lists may give your search some initial direction. Your interests and skills might point to a certain path. If you’re a strong swimmer and cool under pressure, for example, you may want to consider looking into a job as a lifeguard at a community pool for the summer!

It can also be helpful to make a list of potential employers in your local area. Are there big companies looking for seasonal employees or have a lot of entry level job openings? Logically, more openings means a better chance of job seeking success! Don’t dismiss “mom & pop” businesses, though, because the restaurant or shop down the street might be desperate for an extra helping hand! 

Check online for job postings! LinkedIn, Indeed, O’Net…. There are a ton of online listings out there. Be sure to take a moment and look at the education and experience requirements in each listing before you put a ton of effort applying to jobs you can’t get without a high school diploma or a certain degree!

Now, it’s time for work permits, resumes, and applications! It’s stressful, I know. Compiling the information you need beforehand can make the process easier. You may need a parent or guardian’s help with some of the info, so be sure to check and have everything on hand.

It’s a good idea to have several copies of applications ready because they should be filled out in pen. Accidents happen, so be prepared! 

Image via Pexel.

For resumes, remember to look at several examples of resumes online. Don’t buy a template or use a website that requires any form of payment! Microsoft Word has plenty of resume templates or you can just look at examples through Google Image Search.

Now, it’s time to show what you can do! If you have experience, make it known with strong word choice: “oversaw” this project, “established” this volunteer group, “developed” this campaign. Even if it sounds fancier than what it might have felt at the time….that’s OK! Please don’t include anything that you can’t back up, though, because lying on anything official will almost always come back to haunt you.

When you get that exciting call asking for an interview (or when you can start your new job), be sure to dress the part. Consignment shops are a great way to find appropriate attire for almost any job without breaking the bank. You’d be surprised how many people donate work pants that still have the tags on them!

Take a deep breath, smile, and shake hands during your interview. You’re going to be just fine!


The Enoch Pratt Library has a great resource for the entire job seeking process here called the Job Seeker’s Toolkit. There is information on researching and planning, looking for job openings, and filling out applications. There are a ton of great links and tips here!

When in doubt, stop by your local library branch for more tips from your librarians. We love helping job seekers!

The Book in My Hands

Sun, 05/28/2017 - 16:49

By Isabella Hendershot, Staff Reporter

Image via Flickr.

The books in my hands

The books in my hands are another world completely

It’s not just about a story of a fictional person,

But it’s about how you get lost in the words written or typed.

When I open a book i can smell the ink and new or old pages.

When I hear the pages ripple it’s like music to my ears.

The smooth, soft, silky and supple ​cover beneath my fingers,

it puts a smile on my face.

A brand new book in my hands is treated like glass or a delicate flower,

I almost don’t want to read it because I don’t want to bend the pages,

make creases in the spine, ruin the flat and glossy cover.

I always look at the cover first.

I look at the light or dark colors,

Designs printed on the front along with the title.

The book “blurb” is next, if I’m interested enough the book is added to my collection.

The back is then read over and over until I read the book.

If my book is damaged it breaks my heart,

I can feel and hear it crack and break into pieces.

My books are what bring me happiness,

They are what give me writing ideas,

They are my escape.


Classic Book of the Month: May

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 17:52

By Marinia Powell, Staff Reporter and Senior Staff Reporter

The Classic Book of the Month for May is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

Is it insanity?

I read most of The Bell Jar in the span of a two day reading marathon. At first, I wasn’t really absorbed in the story. I didn’t think it would be interesting because I had to read it for an assignment and anything I have to read loses interest. It’s the fact I have to read it and have it done at a certain time versus having the choice of picking it up whenever and reading it.

Image via Flickr.


Anyway, back to my readathon. So I started reading, and before I knew I was absorbed and I learned something. It you read it for long enough, and I spent the day, Esther Greenwood’s story blends with your thoughts. The blunt, straightforward way she shares them, with no buffer, it resembles the way thoughts come into my mind with no audience.

So is it insanity? Is Esther crazy? Or was it the ‘50s? It’s no particular secret that mid-century mental treatments are semi-barbaric compared to modern standards with the shock therapy and whatnot. The fastest and easiest way to make a quick buck back then was to write a book on female behavior, whether you were a professional or not, and Esther at one point starts buying these books and finds she fits all their descriptions of what mentally unstable looks like. So is Esther really unstable or is it what a bunch of un-professionals heralded from their leather chairs holding self-bestowed titles and experience. The professionals in the book do believe Esther is unstable. Yet basing judgement just off of what Esther does and says in the book she’s eccentric and suicidal, but not insane. And the majority of the women she meets at the asylum aren’t unstable either.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The asylum has different houses for the varying levels of stability. Belsize, where women go when they’re the closest to being released, is full of women who went there for questionable reasons and remain for questionable ones too. Like Deedee, who is basically sane and has an inside joke with the rest of Belsize about how her husband is carrying on an affair while she’s there.

So once again, is Esther insane? Or, is she a talented and eccentric young woman swept up in an era where her eccentricities are viewed as something more while she’s surrounded by people with no understanding of her?

Beauty of Blooms

Sat, 05/20/2017 - 09:39

By Marinia Powell, Staff Reporter and Senior Staff Photographer

Gone: Part I

Sun, 05/14/2017 - 15:24

By Emily Wise, Staff Reporter


Chapter 1- Dark Night

He looked down the dark hallway, dark hood over his head. No one heard him open the door to his apartment, he silently walked into the hall, closing the door behind him. Calmly walking down the hall he breathed heavily.

The dark seemingly curled around him, making shapes he knew weren’t there. He stopped two doors down from his own, looking at the (seemingly) locked door of his best friend. Friend. He kept walking, down the hall through the night, outside, down sidewalks, to get to the classes he only took at night.

It was 9:30 at night, and Ethan Wilson had to get to class or he would be late.

It was 9:30 at night and Anthony Russet was awake. Again.

Anthony sat, his light-brown-dyed-blue hair spiked with sleep. His hazel eyes were aimed at the window, as he watched the black-clad figure of one of his friends walk through the night. How he didn’t get hit by a car at night was beyond Anthony. Standing up, he walked across the small  bedroom to his cork board that hung on the wall. His eyes scanned the pictures of him and his friends, searching for the right one.

He found it.

A picture of him and Ethan, a time pre-night classes, when Ethan wasn’t deathly pale, when he didn’t have bags under his eyes. Sun shone off his red hair, his stormy grey eyes closed, smile consuming his face. Anthony was beside him, light-brown hair dull in comparison to Ethan’s red, but his hazel eyes shone brightly. They both had an arm around the other.

Anthony smiled. That had been a good day.

He sat back down on his bed, then lay down on his back. Remembering that day, he drifted into sleep.

Image via Flickr.

Chapter 2- Frieday

There was a knock at the door. Anthony groggily sat up, wiping the sleep from his eyes. He sleepily blinked, walking down the beige hallway, opening the off-white door. He glared at Ethan, who stood on the other side.

“Mornin’ Sleeping Beauty.” Ethan said jokingly.

“Ha ha very funny.” Anthony replied sarcastically. The right corner of Ethan’s lips upturned, a smile. The only smile you would get from him nowadays.

“It is friday, and that means ‘frieday’ at the Bam.” Ethan said.

“I’ll be there.” Anthony replied. Ethan nodded, walking back to his room. Bam was the on-campus restaurant. It might not have been that good, but at least they had good fries. Anthony yawned, stretching. Anthony and Ethan’s friend, Keyone Washington, walked past.

“‘Sup.” Keyone said, already dressed in a blue sweatshirt. His dark skin contrasted the light colors of the wall.

“Want breakfast? I have more leftovers from stuff than I can count.” Anthony said.

Keyone shrugged. “Why not? Plus, I need to ask you something, not in the hallway.”

Anthony gave Keyone a look. A look that said, ‘what did you possibly do this time?’. In the small kitchen of Anthony’s apartment, Keyone asked his ‘not in the hallway’ question.

“Is it just me, or is something going on with Ethan?” Anthony stopped what he was doing.

“I don’t know, why?’

Keyone shrugged. “Something just seems wrong about him.”

While that exchange was going on, Ethan sat alone, in his room, with the curtains closed. On his desk was a box of pictures. Only he knew what was in this box, and so that will stay secret from from you too. All he could think about were the contents of this box. After a lot of thinking, he heard the hallways clear, and all the students left for class. He stood up and left for work.


Chapter 3- Waiting

It was Friday night. Two boys sat at the farthest back booth in the Bam. Two. They were waiting for their friend, and one was getting impatient.

“Where is he?” Anthony said. Keyone shrugged. Anthony groaned in annoyance. Taking out his phone, he quickly texted Ethan.

Where are you?

He waited for a reply.

Working late. Calm down. I’ll get you your fries momentarily.

Anthony nodded. Ethan worked at the Bam, and that was how they all met. He was usually off work by now, though. He groaned, bored, and slid down in his seat. Keyone started playing Drag The Whale (yes, it is an actual game. My high score is 72.).

After a LONG time of waiting, fries were placed on the table. Anthony looked up, expecting to see Ethan, instead seeing Paul, his other friend. Looking confused, Keyone asked

“Where’s Ethan?”. Anthony did think it though, he was just too busy stuffing his face to ask. Paul pointed out the door.

“He got a call and had to take it. If he isn’t out there, he’s probably at his house. We had some real weirdos here today, and seriously, I wanted to leave as badly as he did.” Keyone nodded, and got up.

“Where are you going?” Anthony questioned, getting up too.

“Going to get Ethan.” Keyone said, leaving. Anthony and Paul blinked, and Anthony grabbed his basket of fries and followed.

“Hey, you can’t take that with you!” Paul said, reaching after him. “I’ll give it back tomorrow. See ya.”

It was pouring. Absolute downpour. And it was dark. Ethan would’ve loved this weather. He loved the rain. Said it smelled good. And he fit in well with the dark. No one knew why, but he seemed to enjoy the dark. If someone were to ask him about it, he would just walk away. Now, walking out in the rain, lit by streetlamps, Keyone couldn’t think of a word other than loathe as to how he felt towards the rain. He was cold, covered in water, and Ethan was nowhere near the Bam. He continued to rub his arms and squint through the rain.

Anthony, on the other hand, was truly annoyed. He finished his fries. His friend was nowhere to be found, and it was COLD. Where could Ethan possibly be?

The duo trudged through the rain, heading to the apartment building where they all lived. They walked up the stairs, the elevators being their usual weird, which included flickering lights, horror movie cliche. They noticed something out of the ordinary as soon as they started walking up the stairs. If Ethan were to have walked home, there would surely be wet shoe prints on the carpet. The only shoe prints were Anthony and Keyone’s. The two friends stood in front of the third’s door.

What was on the other side of that door?

Was it just the usual?

Where was Ethan?

Image via Flickr.

Chapter 4- Where

Anthony took a deep breath in.

He stepped forward.

He twisted the handle of the door.

He opened it.

Everything was normal.

Everything was too normal.

Keyone walked inside. All the lights are off. Normal. Ethan liked the dark. Instead of turning on the lights, Anthony continued to walk through the apartment. He realized something. If the door was unlocked, Ethan had to have been here. Anthony opened doors to the rooms. Maybe he was asleep…?

Anthony quietly opened the last door, to Ethan’s bedroom.

Ethan wasn’t inside.

Did he go back outside? Was he lost outside? How could he get lost, he’s been here for at least a year…

While looking around the room, looking for clues, and saw something new on the corkboard in Ethan’s room. Among the usual pictures of unnamed places, people with their faces markered over, and blurry images, there was a handwritten note.

I guess this isn’t the best time, but I have to go. I’m not going to directly tell you where I’m going, but you’ll find me if you think outside the box. The puzzle will keep you looking long enough for me to get what I have to done. Just… just wait for me. Goodbye.


Chapter 5- Up and Left

Anthony sat on the couch beside Keyone, looking at the paper laid on the coffee table. What did he mean? What did he have to do? Where was he going? Keyone stood up.

“We have to look for him.” Anthony met his eyes. “You know Ethan. He isn’t going to make this easy. For all we know, he up and left us.” Keyone directed his dark brown eyes back to the note.

“Hey, he said ‘think outside the box’. Okay, what could that mean. It obviously isn’t going to mean what we think.” Anthony looked around Ethan’s slightly disorganized livingroom. The pale walls were shadowed in grey, and it gave him an idea.

“Hey Keyone,” said Anthony.

The next morning Keyone stood outside the tall, grey building on the edge of campus. His breath could be seen in the air around him. In his hand was a book, a book of Ethan’s relative’s phone numbers. This wasn’t part of Anthony’s plan, but it might be useful. Anthony walked around the side of the building, and jogged over.

“Hey.” Anthony said. Keyone nodded. Anthony looked around the building, finally finding what he was looking for. Opening a grey-painted door, Antony gestured inside.

“Ladies first.” He said, smirking. Keyone rolled his eyes and entered the building., entering the building.


Inside the building, the old brick walls were covered in writing. All fonts of graffiti made themselves known. From quotes to just names, it was all here.

“Why do you think something from Ethan is going to be here?” Keyone asked. Anthony dug in his pocket and pulled out a picture, showing it to the dark male.

“Found this picture on his cork board. It seemed significant. Just look around for anything that seems ‘Ethan’.” Keyone nodded and started to look around. He gazed over the years of illegal artwork. The faded colors of years old, the bright hues of the words, maybe only there for hours. He read the random words, looking them all over.

Bright Help Look A+E Maybe…

His eyes suddenly caught a sentence.

Good job thinking, guys.

An arrow followed the words, to a letter taped to the wall.

“Anthony!” Keyone yelled, running to the paper. Keyone pulled it off the wall, looking at it, not opening it. Anthony looked over his shoulder at the paper.

“What does it say?” Anthony asked. Keyone hesitated. If he opened the paper, what would he see? What would he be getting into? Yes, this was to find his friend, but what was this all about?

He sighed and opened the paper.

End of Part 1


Five Things to Know About the Trump Budget

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 12:55

By Marinia Powell, Staff Reporter and Senior Staff Photographer

  1. Campaign Promises

Since the beginning of the Trump campaign, Trump has talked of the now infamous wall and  beefing up the military, but that  will take funding. Keeping that in mind, it’s not hard to look at the budget and see that it was created with the goal of improving military funding.

  1.     The Increased Military Funding

America is not home to the largest army on earth. That goes to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China. America is home to the most technologically advanced military in the world which, in the 21st century, may be more valuable than being the largest. What President Trump has proposed is to increase its size; possibly to create a bigger U. S. military presence with possible threats to national security such as North Korea, Russia and to have a larger presence in Syria.

  1. Funding Increases

Although he plans on cutting the Education Department’s funding by 14%, President Trump does increase funding for students to attend schools of their choice. He also increases funding for the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository (a natural storage facility for spent nuclear materials), prevention and treatment for opioid addiction, and adds 4.4 billion to funding for the Veterans Affairs benefit system increasing financial support for veterans.

Image via Flickr.

  1.   Funding Cuts

President Trump does not believe in Climate Change which he demonstrates in his proposal for the Environmental Protection Agency which would include eliminating 50 programs, leaving 3,200 people out of work and cuts all funding for International Climate Change programs. He also proposes eliminating funding grants for the Community Development Financial Institutions which provide financial services to low income neighborhoods, along with Job Corps, a job training program for disadvantaged youths, 49 National Heritage Areas, and 13% of funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  1.   Cut Altogether

The following agencies will be cut:

African Development Foundation.

Chemical Safety Board.

Corporation for National and Community Service.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Institute of Museum and Library Services.

U.S. Institute of Peace.

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.


What Could Happen Next:

For a budget to come into being it has to be passed through Congress. Last year, the House and Senate Budget Committee chairs would not even invite ambassadors of former President Obama’s final budget proposal, demonstrating how much power they hold over the passing of a new budget. The Republican led committees will most likely hear out the current President’s proposal, but if they find it too unfair to the public, or if the public made a large enough effort to express their disapproval, then they have the power to veto it.

Dear Washingteenian:

Sun, 04/30/2017 - 14:49

Hello! Random Advice Person here!

Image via Flickr.

Random Advice:

How to deal with bad haircuts: Never actually had experience with this, but from others I have heard it helps to use hair clips or hair accessories. Or just try something new! Think out of the box. If it is REALLY that bad, than wear a hat (if possible).


Eating on the go: For food in backpacks and bags, remember: no refrigerated food like cream cheese. Try to keep fruit towards the top of the bag. 


Meeting new people: DO NOT HIDE! They will not be able to talk to you if you keep hiding from them. Also do not stare at them. They will call you a creep, and will probably ignore you for the rest of their lives. Unless they are also staring at you like a creep, than yes, it is okay to stare at them. Keep the conversation going. Soon you will either be friends or just two creeps staring at each other for all eternity. Either way it counts.
That is all for now!


Any teens looking for similar advice from teens? Feel free to comment!

Dear Mr. President

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 17:25

By Hunter Seymour, Staff Reporter

Dear Mr. President,

I know that there are many issues in this country that need to be addressed. However, I urge you to consider one of your tasks to be addressing the problem of gun control. Currently our country is suffering from this constant argument of how to resolve this issue. I am here to ask you to create some basic laws for gun control. Creating small but effective laws will help to decrease the use of guns in violent acts and the distribution of guns to violent groups and convicted felons.

According to Stephen E. Wright’s article on the subject, gun control laws will not save lives: protesters against gun laws say that “Guns are used by violent people too frequently in this country, but guns are not responsible for creating violent people, they created themselves“. I agree with this statement but, even Wright says here that guns are used too much in this country for violent crimes.Therefore, simple, but effective, gun laws could help reduce the violence and accidents that revolve around gun use in our country.

Many states have already taken this step in implementing simple gun laws. In Virginia, there is a one-gun-a-month law that is in place to reduce gun trafficking.It has reduced greatly the amount of out of state crime guns traced back to Virginia dealers. The implementation of these simple state laws can help reduce the violent effect of guns on our county while not necessarily “rocking the boat” on the restrictions of gun use.

Many of the citizens in our country are actually for these common sense gun laws. Statistics that Watkins’s article on stronger gun laws provides shows that nationwide polling data shows that respondents are highly in favor of basic laws for the safety of the user, and any other person around the user or that the user is targeting. the safety of other citizens through the restriction of sales, and the restrictions on the usage of the firearms. “92% of respondents, including 91% of gun owners, favor mandatory criminal background checks for all gun purchasers.”

This is saying that even gun owners believe that background checks should be performed when purchasing a gun which would make the purchasing process harder for the consumer. Around 80% of the citizens surveyed, including 70% of these citizens being gun owners, agree with implementing the requirement of registration of newly purchased handguns. This would increase the safety of gun use by allowing newly purchased guns to be tracked and make it easier to control unregistered gun usage in any way.

Image via Flickr.

Watkin’s article also uses the nationwide polling to show that citizens are for these simple, common sense laws by polling citizens on if they are for laws that increase the safety of other citizens through the restriction of sales and the usage of purchased firearms. Around mid-80% of respondents, including about 73% of these respondents being gun owners, favor  the creation of laws that restrict handgun usage by purchasers until a permit is obtained. This could insure that the purchaser is at least educated on the safety of the gun and knows how to properly use it. Lastly, Watkins informs that “65% of respondents favor banning military style assault weapons, and 74.9% favor governmental safety standards for firearms.” This would also lead to an increase in the safety of a firearm and the safety of the people around the user of a firearm.

These small laws for guns are just like what automobiles have before they are distributed. According to Watkins, automobiles “are subject to a myriad of federal health and safety standards to protect their owners and the public,” so why are guns not treated with the same standards.If the citizens of the United States, most of them gun owners, agree with the implementation these small laws than it shows that these laws are something that should be made official in the entire United States.

I know that the issue of gun laws is an issue of concern throughout our country and that is why I write to you today about it. This is an issue that needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand. People will take solutions into their own hands to protect themselves and their family from the harm of guns in the wrong hands. I hope these points and statistics  have shed some light on the fact that a majority of people in this country would support the creation of common sense gun laws and the importance of the look into this very serious issue in our country.


                                                                       A Concerned Citizen


Film Haikus

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 12:55

By Andrew Santori, Staff Reporter

Image via Pixabay.

Great Stanley Kubrick

With his grand orchestral track

And his trademark glare


With his pop soundtrack,

gore and killer dialogue,

Quentin’s films are great.


The Coen Brothers

are masters of mystery

and Black Comedy.


Hey! Say what again!

Say what again, I dare you!

Say what one more time!


I’ll strike down on thee

with great vengeance and fury.

And you’ll know The Lord!Hey, dad. Viddy that,

a strange man on the sofa

munchywunching toast.


This is what happens!

Where’s the money, Lebowski?

They peed on my rug.


This is my rifle!

There are many more like it.

But this one is mine!


Open the door, HAL.

I am sorry about that,

I can’t do that Dave.


Where is pancakes house?

We stop at the pancakes house.

I’m hungry, ya know?


Everyone asks me

If I had gone to film school.

No, I went to films.

Where I’m From

Wed, 04/12/2017 - 17:18

By Isabella Hendershot, Staff Reporter

Image via Flickr.

I am from the new and old books,

from fictional things and true stories told.

I am from the large room of mine,

and the big wooden desk sitting in my room that’s cluttered with things.


I am from the books of mine that are written in the first person

and the smell of fresh new pages and the brand new copies,

From staying up late,

and ‘just one more chapter’ or ‘10 more minutes.’


I am from learning new recipes

and the sound of an electric mixer.

From the smell of baking cookies

and family dinners.


I am from Mike and Amy,

From my extended family the love we all share.

I am from my father’s stories of him in school,

and how he met my momma.

I come from my protective family and my father’s many friends.


I am from my Pappy and grandmother who I see on Christmas,

From pap’s beef soup that we all love,

and his jumping dog colt.


I come from my books and family,

I wouldn’t want to come from anything else.

This I where I’m from.

My Inspirations

Sun, 04/09/2017 - 14:59

By: Hunter Seymour, Staff Reporter

Leo Tolstoy, a famous Russian author, once said “The most important person is the one you are with in this moment”. This quote is touching on the idea that the people close to you, directly through relationships or indirectly through the public eye or someone you do not really talk to, have an influence on you in someway even if you do not know it. These influences can be both negative and positive and affect you everyday of your life. These influences can also be in the form of inspiration.

One person that has influenced me like this is my mother. Most people have some form of this parental influence through their years of growing up. However, I feel I was lucky in this aspect because my mother was a stay-home mother. This has caused my mother to pretty much be around all the time.

This may seem like it would be annoying, which sometimes it is, but it has allowed me to be taught many things. An example of this is my mother always telling me what to do and not do. Whenever I would act a certain way my mother would correct me if what I was doing was rude or wrong and she would also tell me if my actions were exactly how I should be carrying myself.

I believe this has shaped my viewpoint on many things in life and how I act and behave in different situations.

My mother has also influenced me through the way she acts and reacts when thrown into either a bad or foreign situation. In the past couple years there has been many situations that either my family or just my mother have been apart of.

In these situations many bad things could have resulted or even just a simple mental and emotional breakdown could occur. However, in these situations my mother has carried herself in a very proper and nonviolent matter that I believe that if I had been in that situation there probably would have been some very loud arguing and yes, properly some swearing.

My mother never acted in any way like that and that has shown me that many situations do not need to turn out so horrid and intolerable but all you need to do is to take a big breath and relax and go at the situation in an understanding and proper mindset.

Lastly, my mother has always cared for me and my sister and that is something that I admire and inspires me. You all may be thinking “well, isn’t that her job?” and I would agree with you on that but what I mean by that is that me and my sister are not as easy to handle and deal with as some people believe.

Throughout our years of growing up we had done, and sometimes still do, many things that we probably should not have done. However, my mother always came at us from the angle that all of this is life lessons that we ourselves need to learn and she is just there to guide us and care for us through those lessons…and of course give those occasional groundings that we all dread and deeply hate.

Citizens of the world are also influenced today through the public eye. These influences come through, a lot of the time, as inspirations on how to take on different aspects of life or even bad influences on what you should not do or partake in. In this day and age, a lot of these type of public influence come through our sports players of today. This leads me into my next influential person in life.

This person would be Tony Romo, now backup quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. I choose Tony Romo because, like my mom, he has led by example and has influenced and inspired people through how they hold themselves. Anybody that truly knows me knows that I am a diehard Washington Redskins fan and for anybody that knows about the National Football League knows that if you are a Redskins fan ,you automatically dislike the Cowboys with a passion.

However, even though I do not like the team Tony Romo plays on or his performance when he is playing against the Redskins, his actions and his drive in the past couple of years of his career have inspired me and influenced how I see sports.

The first way Tony Romo has influenced me is through the way he has acted in the past. For the people who are not as into football, Tony Romo used to be the starter until his multiple injuries and the emergence of the talents of a rookie quarterback that has now taken his place.

When Tony Romo had a press conference about his recent recovery and demotion to being a back-up he responded, “You earn everything, every single day, over and over again. You have to prove it. That’s the way the NFL, that’s the way that football works. Ultimately, it’s about the team, that’s what we’ve preached our entire lives.” The way that he held himself in this situation and how he shows that it is not always about yourself but what is better for the system, in this case the team, is what I find to inspirational to all people in some form of a sport and how life in general should be taken. Everything you achieve is earned through your actions.

The second way Tony has had an influence on me is through his drive to achieve his goal and to continue to do what he desires to do. In the past two seasons, Tony has broken his back and his collar bone twice. The second injury came just a couple of weeks after his return from his first injury. However, even with these injuries and the negativeness from the press and fans Tony has continued to push through and continue to work his way through his recovery so that he may be able to return back to the field.

During his press conference he had stated that “If you think for a second that I don’t want to be out there, then you’ve probably never felt the pure ecstasy of competing and winning. That hasn’t left me. In fact, it may burn more now than ever.” This has influenced me because it has shown me that it is not always about the fame and money for some professional sports players but for the love of the game.

I have always loved the sports I play and have always felt that you should enjoy what you are doing. However, sometimes that can be hard when you are not getting to participate as much as you like to. Tony and many other players like him remind us players that it is not always easy and remember to always push through those questionable moments and remember that what you are doing is for the love and enjoyment of the game.

Lasty, Tony Romo has influenced me through his repeated success on the field. I know that this may seem a little blunt and relatable to a lot of professional sports players but, that is what makes sports great today and Tony Romo is a very good example of that.

His success and many other professional’s similar success has inspired me throughout my years of playing sports in high school through the fact that if you continue to work hard it will show on the field. This influence along with Tony Romo’s many others has shaped my outlook on the many sports that I love and life in general.  

He ended his press conference with saying that “I think once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you doesn’t really matter.” He was saying that you cannot worry about what the person in front of you is doing or how they are performing; the only thing you can worry about is what you do.

Tony has influenced all people who have watched him by showing that the many things that we may desire in life are not just handed to you but are achieved through the work and heart you decide to put into it.

Overall, the influences and inspirations we generate for other people or the ones that people generate for us will, in fact, affect your life in ways that you may not even notice or understand.

If you look at the definition of inspiration it states that it is  “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”. When I hear this definition my mind immediately sets on the use of one word. That one word would be “creative”. I believe that the word creative fits perfectly with this definition because the word inspiration and to be inspirational is uniquely different for each and every person. All of you sitting in this room have expressed or are soon to express who inspires and influences you.

Your inspirations are all based on your creativity and aspirations or someone else’s. I believe it is astonishing on how people are inspired and inspire others around the world in so many different and creative ways through their influences just like my mom and Tony Romo has done for me. 

Pokemon Tips

Sun, 04/02/2017 - 14:34

By Donovan Goode, Staff Reporter

For any of you Pokemon fans out there, this is a page you can go to if you want guides on how to use the games or tricks to use while playing. Want to know what supercheats to use, how to beat a gym the right way, or where to go to continue your quest to catch them all?

Check out:

Image via Flickr.

Need some general tips?

  • Electric type Pokemon, like Pikachu, are really good against ghost types.
  • Fire type moves and Pokemon are really effective against grass type Pokemon.
  • Water type/Pokemon are really effective against fire type Pokemon.
  • Grass type moves/Pokemon are really effective against water type Pokemon.
  • Psychic type moves/Pokemon are really effective against flying types and dark type Pokemon.
  • Electric types also super effective against water types.
  • And  ghost types are super effective against psychic type Pokemon, but if you have a high enough level psychic Pokemon you would be able to kill it. Just make sure the ghost type has a ground type move to attack with.

And there’s some things you guys should know about Pokemon! They even work in the new Pokemon games.

I don’t know about dragon types yet. Any pointers?