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From the Teens of Washington County, MD
Updated: 1 hour 43 min ago

Gone: Extended Ending

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 14:35

By Emily Wise, Staff Reporter

 

Ethan stood in the subway station uneasily.

How would they react?

What would happen?

It might go downhill.

He sighed, looking to the floor, his breath fogging up the cold December air.

He was back in town, the town that his friends still lived in.

He had stopped running from his family, so he had to stop running from his friends.

He looked back to his phone.

11:11 pm.

They probably wouldn’t even be up.

Image via Flickr.

Ethan stood, and Anthony ran to him. They stood two feet away from each other.

Three clues held them apart.

Ethan swallowed, looking to the ground. Anthony walked closer to him.

Anthony stood right infront of him, and Ethan wouldn’t look up at him.

Anthony used all his force to punch Ethan’s arm. Ethan looked up. “Was that supposed to do something?” He asked. “I guess I deserved it, though.”

Anthony walked closer and hugged him. “You could’ve just told us you were leaving. You could’ve told us so that we didn’t go on a wild goose chase trying to find our missing best friend.” Anthony breathed in. “You smell like smoke.” He added.

“I didn’t tell you that I was going because I wasn’t allowed to. If I could’ve, I would’ve. I knew either way you two would try to come after me, to I set up the clues to keep you busy while I did what I had to do. But, you finished them faster than I thought.”

Keyone decided to join the conversation. “It was Anthony’s fault. He wanted to find you as soon as possible.”

Ethan looked away from his two comrades.

Guilt. An odd feeling.

“I had to help someone. I had to do what was right. I… I had to go somewhere.” Ethan said.

 

Kane looked at Ethan.

“I am going to run away. Don’t follow me.” Ethan said.

“You are one of my best friends… I… just, maybe… leave clues? Yeah, we have both been through our rounds of crap, but we need to stick together.” Kane said, practically begging.

“Okay.” Ethan replied, handing him a letter. “See ya again sometime? I’ll be there when you really need me.”

 

“It’s fine. It really is. You are okay.” Anthony said. Keyone nodded.

“There’s someone you should meet.” Ethan said, not looking towards his two friends.

Keyone looked confused. “Who?”

 

Kane stood in Ethan’s house, in the middle of a mourning family.

They said Ethan was gone.

They said Ethan told them not to follow him.

He really did it.

He’s really gone.

 

A boy with pink hair walked out from behind a nearby alley.

“Guys, this is Kane.”

Kane waved. Keyone and Anthony were beyond confused at this point.

 

College. He would probably have to enter one soon. Ugh.

He started wiping down the counter of the shop, the manager yelling over the phone in his office.

The door opened. The bell rang.

“Hello Kane.”

“Hello Alexia.”

“I got you a phone number, kind of to make up an old debt.”

She slid a paper across the table.

“Call it when you are ready. You know who it is.”

 

“Is this who you left us for?” Keyone asked.

“No, you are who I left him for. He was my first friend. Way before you guys.”

They blinked.

Looking to Kane, they both introduced themselves.

This was working better then Ethan thought it would.

Well, lets see where this goes.


Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 19:56

By Isabella Hendershot, Staff Reporter

Image via Flickr. 

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I can write of all my sad and insecure thoughts and feelings, but tonight is not for them all.
Tonight is only for a few, but not all.
The one I want and love does not wish to love me like I love him.
He loves another, I’m sure of that.
When we are together it breaks me down, to know he does not love me, to know that all we ever will be is nothing more than good friends.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
How my love does not love me back the way I wish him to.
I feel like the cold icy rain, weeping, crying.
How the rain feels beating down on your roof, that’s me.
But i stand there in the cold rain waiting for my knight in shining armor to come save me from my own sadness.
To take me out of the rain I used to love, and make me feel warmth once again, because this rain now has me cold.
Not warm or blissfully tired and peaceful. Not as it used to.
I’m waiting for him to come save me and make me feel loved.
But I know the one I love does not love me, but maybe he does.
But I can’t stop feeling that if he did or if he does, his love wouldn’t be real.
That he would just think loving me would just be the nice thing to do for me.
Tonight I write the saddest lines.
But I’m just waiting for my knight in shining armor to arrive.


Gone: Part IV (The Finale)

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 20:01

By Emily Wise, Staff Reporter

 

Chapter 16 – I Guess

Anthony sat shotgun in Keyone’s car, and was sleeping. Keyone was awake, wide awake, and getting on the turnpike to Pennsylvania. He was on the phone with Paul.

“Wait, what happened?” Keyone exclaimed.

“There was this burglar running into the Bam, trying to steal the money, and I was working after hours, right? So I threw some thawed-out french fries at the guy, he slipped, hit his head off the counter, and was K.O.ed. I called the police and now I am front page on the newspaper and I’m gonna be on TV!” Paul recited the story, happy with himself. He finally did something helpful.

“How the- you know what, I give up. This is just too weird. I have to go, I am almost there.” Keyone hung up and pulled over to the side of the road.

He elbowed Anthony in the ribs. “Wake up, we’re there.”

Anthony’s eyes slowly opened. “How long have I been sleeping?” Keyone looked at the clock. “Hours.”

Turning off the car, he got out. Anthony followed. They stood on the edge of the road, looking at the trees. The green leaves filtered light down to the forest floor. It was oddly peaceful.

Well, it was peaceful except for the ‘NO TRESPASSING’ sign.

 

Anthony looked at Keyone, who looked back at Anthony.

They were both unsure if they should go into those woods.

Image via Flickr.

 

Chapter 17 – It

A blonde-dyed-dark-pink leaned against a wall outside a Walmart, smoking.

A redhead walked out and stood beside him, holding grocery bags.

“You know smoking kills, Kane.” The redhead said.

“Why do you think I do it, Ethan?”

“You know you have to be alive to face your past.” Ethan said.

“Eh, screw my past. Why do you think I have pink hair? They said not to. Why do you think I smoke? They said not to. Now it is their fault I keep buying these things.” Kane replied, standing up to straight, walking towards the truck.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Stop smoking in my truck.”

“Now, Ethan, why would I possibly do that?” Kane said, looking at Ethan and batting his eyelashes.

“‘Cause I know where your cigarettes are. For all you know I could be poisoning them, killing you faster.” Ethan said, like it was a normal conversation.

“Well if you are poisoning them, thank you. I always wanted to die by poison.” Kane said, holding a hand to his chest like he was flattered.

“You just want to die in general.” Ethan rolled his eyes, putting on sunglasses and opening the truck’s driver door.

“Touché.” Kane replied.

 

Chapter 18 – All

Anthony climbed up the ladder.

“You know it is still trespassing if we are in the treehouse?”

“You know if we hadn’t trespassed, we might not get our friend back.”

“You got me there.” Keyone said, climbing up the ladder.

They stood inside, looking around the slowly weakening treehouse.

“Wow… it’s been a long time since we were here last.” Anthony said, eyes scanning the walls.

“Yeah,” Keyone replied, picking up a photo of the three, “a long time.”

Anthony looked to the corner farthest from the ladder. There was another ladder and an arrow pointing up to the flat roof.

Anthony stepped up the ladder.

Held on the roof by a rock, was a yellow envelope, the kind that usually says ‘do not bend’.

Anthony grabbed the envelope and brought it back down to the interior, opening it, looking at it’s contents.

A letter, a picture, a map.

Letter:

Wow. I am seriously impressed. Good job sticking to one thing so long, Anthony. Keyone probably would’ve left without you anyway. Heh. So there is one clue left. One clue. You’re almost there. See ya there?

Also, I found a good song. You should listen to it sometime. House of Memories by Twenty-One Pilots. It makes me think.

Picture: it was of a bridge for a train, completely concrete. There were trees all around it, and the gravel was messed up, like someone has walked on it recently.

Map: well, it was a normal map. It was from a town near the treehouse, and a spot was circled.

Guess they had to go to the circled spot.

That was easy.

 

Chapter 19 – Ends

Ethan drove away from the town, feeling guilty.

What had he done.

Kane sat beside him, noticing.

He leaned over, putting his hand on Ethan’s shoulder, slightly opening the window and throwing his cigarette out.

“You’re doing the right thing. I remember something you told me once. ‘You can only run for so long before you forget why you are running’. You meant well, but I think you were wrong. You can only run for so long before you start running for the wrong reason. Yeah, you are running from your friends now, but you have to face what you were originally running from. Face your past, Ethan. I’ll be here, and then… sigh… then we can go back to your friends.”

Ethan kept driving.

“Remember the plan? We drive up to the house, I get out and walk to the door, and you take my truck and drive away.”

Kane took his hand back, and sat back in his seat. “Yeah.”

Kane’s mind wandered to the call from… what were their names?

Keyona and Amelia?

The call from Keyone and Anthony.

His mind wandered to what Ethan left behind for them.

Ethan was doing the right thing, right? Leaving them to find that?

Why did he care?

“Thanks for doing this favor for me.”

“You’re welcome.”

 

Chapter 20 – Here

It was 2:00 in the afternoon, and this story is almost over.

They drove along the road, following the map.

They got out of the car.

Anthony was nervous. This was the last clue. What would it say?

Keyone was kinda angry. So now the clues are near each other. Ethan must have been in a rush this time.

They walked into the tunnel under the bridge.

Everything seemed in slow motion.

Anthony’s hazel eyes scanned the concrete walls.

Keyone saw it.

The folded paper trampled into the gravel.

Anthony followed Keyone’s eyes, and ran to the paper.

He picked it up out of the stones, and opened it.

It was 2:09 in the afternoon, and Ethan stopped running.

Ethan stood in front of the doors he hadn’t seen in so long, his friend driving away.

He rang the doorbell.

It was 2:10 in the afternoon, and a paper was unfolded.

Anthony unfolded the paper, sitting on his heels in the gravel of a cement tunnel, trying to find his friend.

Anthony read the paper.

“Ethan?” He asked the world.

Anger, sadness, confusion.

Keyone walked behind him, and read the paper.

Image via Flickr.

It was 2:12 in the afternoon, and a story ended.

I’m sorry guys, you did this all for nothing. I decided I ran for too long. I need to face what I was running from. Guess this is goodbye. You guys were my greatest friends, and you really didn’t know that much about me.

Keyone, apologize to Alexia, she is still not over you.

Anthony, stop stealing my leftovers. You already have too many.

Thanks.

Until we meet again?

-Ethan

P.S.

Good job getting this far. I never did.

-Kane

 

Finished.


Eggshells

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:20

By Sara Malott, Staff Reporter

Image via Flickr.

The thing about walking on eggshells

is that you will always end up disappointing yourself.

No matter how lightly you step,

the eggs will always crack

leaving you with slimey toes,

a broken heart

and an upset stomach.

 

Life is a series of yes and no

yes and no

yes and no

yes

or

no

and if you’re living in the middle,

living between yes and no,

living on eggshells,

you will find yourself missing

the ground.


Gone: Part III

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:06

By Emily Wise, Staff Reporter

 

Chapter 11 – School Days

Ethan sat in class, his third-grade mind wandering the halls. He hated math with a passion, and they were learning the multiplication tables. His eyelids drooped. He shouldn’t have played Minecraft for so long. But Mojang did tell the truth, it was more addicting than lemonade.

The boy beside him watched as he drifted off. Anthony poked his arm, waking him up again. Ethan glanced over at him. The brown-haired male smiled. The ginger smiled back.

Ethan fell asleep.

He was woken up by Anthony and his friend, Keyone.

They had been friends ever since.

 

Chapter 12 – Ocean

He stood, looking at the horizon far away over the ocean. His truck parked beside him, he looked at the box in his hands. The wind picked up, blowing his hair. The threw the box away into the ocean, watching the waves carry and destroy the remnants. Closing his eyes, he walked away.

Image via Flickr.

Anthony walked down the hall between classes, completely in his head. Had he gotten all his work done? Was he ready for his teachers to talk for 300 million hours? Had he used black ink to print his essay? Had he printed his essay?

Suddenly, he stopped. He felt eyes on his back. Turning, his hazel eyes scanned the halls. Everyone walked past him, everyone looked normal. He glared into the crowds. Then he saw them.

Grey shirt, blue jeans, black shoes. Blackened sunglasses pointed directly to him. She held nothing, and had her hands in her pockets. She walked away. Anthony’s phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket, and a notification told him he was late for class.

 

Chapter 13 – When

When you find me.

These words engraved into the back of his mind, Keyone looked at the paper given to him, a piece torn off of another paper.

What was it about these words that were familiar?

Anthony walked up behind him. “Some creep was starin’ at me in the hallway,” he said. Keyone turned around. “What did they look like?” “They were wearin-” “No! Was was her hair color?” “Uh… blonde? I don’t know. Wait, how did you-”

Keyone ran out the door.

 

Chapter 14 – Alexia T.

The blonde walked across the street, pulling a grey sweatshirt over her head. She breathed out, sigh escaping her list. Why couldn’t she talk to him? Ask him for Keyone’s number? Did she really lose her confidence in trying to get him back?

“Alexia.”

She turned. There he was.

“Why are you creeping out my friends? Haven’t we gone over this? I said I wanted you to-”

“-leave you alone. I know. I just… I just wanted to… at least be friends. I know my way isn’t the best, but… I was just trying to get a way to contact you.” Alexia looked Keyone in the eye. “I’m sorry, I should’ve just left, I… yeah. Nevermind.”

She turned and walked away.

“Oh yeah, I forgot. This got sent to me, but it said to it had to be given to you.” She turned and handed him an envelope. Keyone just looked at the envelope, and Alexia got on a bike and rode away.

Keyone said nothing.

 

Chapter 15 – Done

Keyone waited in the park, waited for Alexia.

Yeah, this was a jerk move, but at least he wasn’t doing this over the phone.

“Hey! Why are we here today?” Alexia asked. Keyone sighed. This had to happen sometime. “Alexia, I think we should end our relationship.”

“Why?” Alexia asked, tilting her head.

“It’s just… I have other things to focus on… we get in so many fights… I am leaving for college in a few weeks, and I have to get good grades.”

“We don’t get in fights! You can focus! I-” Alexia was interrupted.

“No, Lexi, just… just leave me alone,” Keyone said, walking from the scene.

Alexia just stood and blinked, watching him walk away.

“Just leave me alone.”

 

 


It Gets Better: Part I

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 18:41

By Izzy Hendershot, Staff Reporter

All I could see around me was trees. Dead trees with low hanging branches, looking like they were reaching for me. In my eyes, I saw the surrounding trees trapping me inside of this forest, a cage. I don’t know how I got here. I woke up on the cold forest floor, not knowing where i am or what happened before this. I decided I had nothing to lose and so i started walking in a random direction. I just wanted to get out of his cold and dark place. I don’t like the dark, not even the stars were out to guide me or give me any light. I was scared out of my mind but I just kept walking.

After an hour of walking, I came across a beautiful clearing. I could see a flowing river and waterfall, flat rocks to lay on in the moonlight. As I look around at this beautiful scene, I could see a cave behind the waterfall. I was curious as to what was in it so I walked over. Once I was behind the waterfall, I walked deeper into the cave and I started to see torches alongside the cave walls. I followed the lit trail.

Image via Flickr.

 

It led me to an open area and it looked almost as if someone has lived here, but then I heard more rushing water and I pushed past the rooms and came out to a hidden clearing. This one was even more beautiful than the first.

In the clearing, I’m greeted by the smell of roses, rushing water, and the sight of a large mansion like house, large flat rocks like before, and green trees that didn’t look as if i was trapped inside a cage.

I walked over and sat on one of the flat rocks close to the water and ran my hands through the cool flowing water, it was just the right temperature. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something coming out of the tree line. What I saw shocked me.

It was a large grey and silver wolf. I knew I should have been scared, should have felt fear of being hurt run through me. All I felt was a safe feeling come over me. Somehow I knew that this wolf wouldn’t hurt me.

It started to walk towards me. When it got close enough, I held my hand out, wanting to feel its fur against my skin, look into its beautiful silver eyes with gold flecks. As it came closer and my hand made contact, it was like I could feel a connection with this amazing creature. It nuzzled its snout against my hand and after running my fingers through its soft and silky fur for a few minutes, it walked even closer. It was so close it rested its head in the corner of my neck and brought me closer to him. To me it seemed as if it could understand that I was scared about not knowing where I am or what to do.

After minutes going by, the wolf backed out of my arms and retreated back into the tree line. I was sad to see it go, it felt almost as if a part of me went with the wolf. As I was thinking about this feeling of emptiness, I then saw a boy around my age step out of the tree line exactly where the wolf once came out and then re-entered.

He called out my name, “Scarlett!” He then ran up to me, picked me up and held me in his arms. I wasn’t scared or freaked that I now had someone who I didn’t know hugging me, calling my name, someone who seems to know me but I don’t know them. I felt whole again, calm, happy. Just like how I felt around the wolf.

“W-who are you?” I asked once I was able to get some space. As I looked into his eyes I saw the same mesmerizing silver and gold eyes as I saw that the wolf had. I didn’t need him to tell me, I didn’t need to ask. I knew as soon as I looked in his eyes that he is the wolf I had seen not even 5 minutes ago. “Your the wolf…aren’t you?”

He looked at me in shock, “How do you know that?”

“Your eyes. They’re the same, I feel safe with you somehow, just like I felt when I was with the wolf. How can that be? I don’t understand.”

“You feel the connection because I’m a wolf and we have soulmates, you, Scarlett, are my soulmate. I know you can’t remember anything, but I’m Phoenix. I know you because we live here, in this house together, but someone took you and for years I couldn’t find you. I knew that if you ever came back, you wouldn’t remember anything,” when Phoenix was saying this he sounded so broken, it hurt me to even listen to how broken his voice sounded, to see the heartbroken look in his eyes, it hurt so bad.

“One morning I just woke up and you were gone, I saw blood by the window, on the walls, claw marks even. I was so scared that I might never see you again, that I might never get to hold you again, or see you walk down the aisle on our wedding day that we were planning. I saw a note that was left and that said I wouldn’t find you. I broke down Scarlett, I really did.”

By now Phoenix was crying as he told me about when I was taken. “I was so hurt. I couldn’t understand why someone would take you from me, who would want to take you from me. We’ve never disturbed anyone, never made anyone angry or upset. I just can’t understand why someone wanted to take you away from me. I was angry that someone had taken you, it only made my search for you harder. I never gave up looking for you, never. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I had.”

I put my arms around him, crying too. After hearing him talk about what happened, after seeing our home again, I remember everything.

I remember the day we met and how nervous he got around me when he tried to come over and talk to me. I remember how even though I was nothing more than a big bookworm who spent all her time at the library or in a bookstore, he still loved me.

One night, he had everyone leave the house and after he made the both of us dinner he took me outside to the river, right where we were standing right now, and had blankets all over the rocks. He put up a white sheet in front of the trees and had a projector. All night he put on my favorite movies for me and we just laid there under the stars all night.

When we were watching Beauty and the Beast, towards the end he asked me what I thought about spending the rest of our lives together. I looked at him and I didn’t even give a verbal answer, all I did was lean over and kiss him gently, telling him that I thought it would be the best thing in the world, that it would make me the happiest girl in the world. He pulled out what looked like a custom-made ring and asked me, if the love of his life would be so kind as to say yes to marrying him, I didn’t have to think for one minute how I would answer him. Of course I said yes. The rest of the night consisted of more movies, cuddles, kisses, and unmovable smiles plastered on our faces.

I remember our first disagreement on our wedding planning. Remember how we resolved the problem of what flowers we would have, what kind of food we would have. I especially remember the intense and happy feeling that ran through me every time I would look at the ring on my finger or every time I even thought of his name. From the night he put that ring on my finger, we became even more inseparable than we already were.

I remember how happy the whole pack was about the engagement and how they congratulated us. They threw us a big surprise engagement party one day when we got home from having a lunch date. It was an amazing night full of congratulatory speeches and congratulations, laughing and joking, and just a lot of fun.

I remember it all, from the day we met to this moment right now. I felt so happy and safe now that I was back in my loving mates arms. It’s the best feeling in the world to be back where I belong.

“Where is everybody?” I ask once I calm myself down, wanting to see the rest of the pack again after being gone for so long.

Phoenix looked down at me and gave me small smile, “Everyone is inside. They missed you so much Scarlett, everybody has been lost without you.”

I silently take his hand and go towards the side of the house that was for all of the pack. Once I reach the door, I turn the handle and open the door silently walking into the living room. I saw all the guys were inside of the huge living room, silently watching a movie. Everyone’s back was facing me. I saw my best friend, Alex, and I ran over giving him a hug from behind.

Once I did that, he turned around and cried. He wrapped his arms around me and didn’t let go until Jace pulled him away to give me hug himself. He picked me up and spun me around, happy I was finally back.

Once Jace put me down, he kissed my forehead and as I looked up everyone was staring at me, shocked that I was really here.

Andy was the first to break the silence, “Scarlett? Is that you?”

In response I just nodded my head, smiling. He got up out of his seat and ran over to me using his enhanced speed, he moved so fast I could barely see him move. Next thing I know, I’m enveloped into another hug. After a few moments, I feel everyone else join in, a big hug with me in the middle of ten werewolves. I wasn’t complaining though, these guys are my family and I love them all, it was also like being wrapped in a blanket burrito and cuddling with Phoenix, just not quite as good. Everybody was happy to see me and I was happy to see them. I was happy that I could remember them now.

After everyone let me go of the tight and warm hug I,  heard the soft scratch of nails on the glossy and cool marble floor. I look to the direction of the noise and see the familiar sight of one of the little orphan wolf pups running up to me.

“Tyler! Oh my little pup, I missed you so much.” I get down on my knees and open my arms wide for my little pup to jump into. I am then laying on the cold ground with Tyler on top of me licking my face all over. I laugh and smile widely as I hug him.

I hold him as I sit up and then put him in my lap and run my fingers through his fur. He wags his tail as I pet him and I smile. Andy breaks the silence, “you know he’s really missed you. He was the most devastated person here in the house next to Phoenix. They were the worst out of all of us when you were taken.”

I smile sadly, but continue to run my fingers through his fur as he lays his head in my lap. I missed everyone terribly…. Phoenix, Tyler, Andy, Jace, Alex, Hunter, Jackson, Noah, Christian, and Charlie. All ten of my lovable werewolves, I don’t know how I could ever live without them and I don’t wanna find out what it’s like either.

Image via Flickr.

After a few minutes I pick Tyler up and go sit at my spot on the couch and watch TV with my boys, Phoenix comes and sits next to me and I put my head on his shoulder. We all watch movies until it’s time to eat dinner and Alex suggests we just order some pizza and we all agree. Charlie goes to the other room to order all the pizzas. About an hour later we hear a knock on the door and Andy goes to get the pizza, after he comes back with all the pizza and then we all dig in.

We all had a good time and for the rest of the night we stayed in the living room and watched movies. We all ended up grabbing blankets and pillows and all sleeping in the living room. I woke up from a nightmare and it started to thunderstorm and it was pouring rain outside. I do love this kind of weather but I also don’t like the dark, it’s one of the reasons that I like to sleep with Christmas lights hanging in me and Phoenix’s room.

I saw that there was still some of the hall lights on for anyone who needs it. I then decided to get up and walk to the kitchen to get something to drink and a midnight snack. I slowly and quietly got up after detaching myself from phoenix and then started walking to the kitchen. Once I was there, I turned on the dim light so I could see better. I made my way to the cabinet where all the cups were kept and grabbed myself a glass then poured myself some water.

I thought I was alone in the kitchen, all the boys were asleep in the living room and it was only us in the house. I felt the presence of someone behind me and I was scared to turn around so I didn’t.

“Hello, princess…”

This was the voice of the man who tortured me for months. The man who took me away from my family and made me forget them. The man who took me away from my love, my soulmate. The same man who I thought would always be there for me and who I grew up with. The same man who has convinced himself that he loved me and that Phoenix was the person who has taken me away from him.

When I heard his voice whisper in my ear I sucked in a breath out of shock and dropped the glass I was holding in my hand onto the cold marble floors. I was in too much shock and felt too much fear to move or scream and cry for help.

The glass crashed to the floor with water spilling everywhere and Jared covered my mouth so I couldn’t cry for help. If he decided to take me again I wouldn’t have any of the boys to try and help me get away, I would just be gone. The boys would wake up, I would be gone and all that would be left would be the broken glass and spilled water on the floor.

To Be Continued…


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.

From,

Ethan

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

OOOOOOooooooooh.

 

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.

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!