The sea drifted calmly around the floating ship, a wide platform of blue surrounding a speck of wood on the Earth’s surface. The sky was clear with no clouds, no wind, no sun. Riona Lyone sat huddled in the corner of the vehicle, the sea of bodies more real to her than the one she rode on.

  Water, she thought, food. With the amount of people on her ship to the Americas, the rations had become impossibly small. The little food she did get was given away to the smaller children whom she felt needed it more than she did. Over the days of her journey, the hunger struck her day and night, clawing at her mind, pushing against her sanity. She held on.

  Riona had a little sister, Marsielle. Throughout their whole lives, they had only each other to depend on, to lean on. She had promised that they would see each other when she reached the Americas and she didn’t intend to break that promise.

  Someone screamed. Riona looked up at the woman who had shouted warning and followed her gaze to the waters of the sea. The dark shadow of a monster filled her vision.

  Marsielle, Marsielle, Marsielle. She grabbed the ends of her ragged dress and ran to the edge of the ship.

  A single fin sliced through the water.

  Riona understood that the shark knew she was there. Keeping her focus on the creature, she looked through the corner of her eye towards the port city that was now visible to the passengers aboard the ship.

  Marsielle, Marsielle, Marsielle. The deck had burst into chaos. People jumped into the black water, desperately swimming to land, getting pulled under as another jumped in. Women dived to protect their children, tumbling into the void of death in failed attempts.

  A ripple spread across the water as the shark disappeared back under the sea. Backing away, Riona clutched her heart which was beating violently in her chest. Her breaths became shorter and more rapid, turning her being into a battlefield between her mind and body as she gasped to get air at the pace her body needed it.

  It’s now or never, Riona thought right before she dived into the sea.

Angry waves crashed over her, pushing her head back under the water. Marsielle. Kicking as hard as she could, Riona forced her mind to focus on the task in front of her: get to safety. Her ears pounded but her senses heightened. The icy water seemed more bearable and the currents worked more so with her than against. Adrenaline coursed through her veins, supplying her limbs with the power she needed as she continued swimming.

  The boat got smaller.

  Riona swam on.

  The winds calmed.

  She swam on.

  Nothing could stop her. Her body was inhuman with nothing to tire her. She was getting home.  


ADVICE|What Not to Do

Advice|What Not to Do


Sarika and I are experienced 7th graders (very professional people) and we have some advice that will make your 7th grade year a little easier (only a little).


  • Don’t leave your homework at home If you do, your teacher will hate you, ruin your life, and I’ll make fun of you.
  • Don’t forget your notebook paper If you do, your supplier will never be your friend (oh wait– you don’t have any, because you left your homework at home).
  • Don’t, I repeat DO NOT bring gum. EVER. If you do, you won’t live to see the light of day.
  • Don’t buy lunch on the 1st day of school If you do, you probably won’t be at school the next day.
  • Don’t fall down the stairs (it hurts)–  If you do, everyone will make fun of you. I promise.

These are just some tricks that got us through our 7th grade year that we hope will help you too! Good luck! [trips on stairs.]


   The rusty brown house seemed to tower over me as I carried in the boxes holding our family’s possessions into the house.
    “Ingrid, honey,” my mother called, “bring the last box in alright?” I nodded and turned back toward the moving truck. Setting down the last box, I loak to see my mother pay the movers before heading back to me.
   “Let’s go inside shall we?” My mother stated, not waiting for my reply, before heading to the house.
   Walking in, I scrunched up my nose, “This place gives me the creeps.” I said, stepping over a black and white painting that had fallen to the floor.
“Oh you’ll be fine!” My mother called, “If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen! Your room should be the first on the right.” Sauntering toward the directions told, I found my room rather quickly.
   The room was mostly bare except for the pieces of furniture already installed: a bed, a desk, a wardrobe, and a dresser beside the bed. Moving towards the wardrobe, I swung open the handles. Seeing as there were already bed sheets, I picked up a simple light blue cover and spread it out over the bed. Grabbing two plain white pillows, I placed them neatly at the head, overlapping the covers slightly.
   Sitting down at the edge of the comforts, I glanced down at my hands. One day when I was little, a mark had appeared, just below my wrist bone. The mark was black, shaped in a crescent moon and sistering a sun. I had never understood it and liked to cover it up with my bracelets or long sweaters.    Looking at it now, I felt it burn slightly, causing a tingle to run up my arm. Shivering, I covered it back up with my sleeve and stood up.
   “Mom?” I called. I heard a low hum coming from the kitchen. Suddenly, through the corner of my eye, I saw a shape through the window. I abruptly turned my head, but found nothing. Blaming it on a trick of the light, I walked into the kitchen where I saw my mom bustling around with pots and pans.
   “Hi honey! Grab that mix for me will you?” My mother asked once she looked up and saw me. Reaching over and plucking the mix from the counter, I handed it to her.  “Mmm, smells good! What’s for dinner?” I asked.

   “Lasagna.” She beamed.


After dinner, I helped my mother clean the dishes before heading back towards my new room. Just as I was about to leave, I heard my mother call me back.
“Ingrid?” Turning around, I waited for her to ask me something about my day or how I liked it at the new house. I had not expected what she said instead though.
“Next Monday’s your first day of school, honey.” I stood there, mouth agape.
Once I had regained my composure, I choked out, “What?” I hadn’t been to a school since my dad had left. Ever since then, my mother had been moving us around towns almost every two months.
“It’s called Redwood Institute. I heard it has a very good reputation.”
“Mom! We just moved! I’m not ready for school yet!” I retorted.
My mother’s eyes narrowed, “Listen. I know you don’t feel ready. But you’re sixteen! You will complete this school year at least, then tell me if you don’t like it. Please honey.” I looked down. She was giving me that look. The look that made her look so frail that I just couldn’t refuse.
“Fine.” I mumbled. My mother clapped her hands together, “Thank you honey! Now go get some rest.” I nodded, giving her a peck on the cheek before heading down the hall to my room. Sighing, I quickly changed into one of my night dresses.
“Lights out Ingrid!” I heard my mother call from down the hall. Rolling my eyes, I headed over to the bed and pulled the covers over me. Reaching out towards the nightstand, I turned off the lights.


“Ingrid! Get up!” I heard a rattling sound and suddenly sunlight burst through the window. I sat up groggily, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. Pulling on my slippers, I looked to my mother, confused.
“I was in town just now buying the groceries when I saw a post that said the parade is coming!”
I arched an eyebrow, “We’re going aren’t we?” She nodded and hurried out of the room telling me to get dressed.
Sighing, I got up from the comforts of my bed and walked to the closet. It looked as if my mother had already put in my clothes for me. Deciding on a navy blue dress with lace rimming the bottom, I pulled out a simple skinny leather belt to match.
Heading over to the bath, I quickly washed and toweled before slipping into the dress and pulling on the belt. While I was putting on my boots, I heard a knock on the front door. Walking over, I opened it to find a messenger.
“Letter for Miss Ingrid Gray?” I nodded and took the letter. Saying a simple ‘thank you’ I shut the door and headed back into my room. A letter for me? I had never gotten a letter from anyone but my father, but the script on the address looked too formal to be his.
Turning over the envelope, I noticed a seal on the back, shaped in the form of a crescent and a sun. My eyes widened as I compared the mark on my wrist and the seal. They were the same. Taking a deep breath, I reached over and was just about to pull the seal open—
“Honey?” I heard my mother call from the doorway. Moving the letter behind my back I said nothing. “You ready to go?” I nodded and slipped the letter under the covers. She just gave me a weird look but motioned for us to go. Guess I’ll just have to see what was in that letter when we got back, I thought.
As we reached the parade, I could hear the sounds of trumpets echo from where I was. Moving closer, we blended with the crowd. Floats carried acrobats up the streets and jugglers walked out in front of them. After about an hour, a gigantic float with brilliant, rare looking feathers and sculpted backgrounds of sky rode in carrying what looked like the mayor on top. He pulled out a microphone and all the cheering hushed.
“My good people! This parade celebrates the 100th anniversary of the building of this fair town.” The crowd erupted in hoots and hollers at this. I smiled and looked around at the smiling faces of the other towns folk. My eyes swept over the crowd and suddenly there was a flash of black in the brightly colored crowd. I looked up at a withering tree and saw a black crow perched up on a branch. I would’ve let this go as an ordinary occurrence but when I looked into the crow’s eyes, they were black.
Suddenly, my mark burned, a tingling sensation spreading through my skin. I turned away from the crow and walked deeper into the mass of people, trying to listen to the mayor’s words.
“We rejoice today with this parade and I thank you all!” Claps came next and the afternoon was spent dancing and watching the beautiful masquerade of colors, but I couldn’t enjoy everything fully as my mind wandered back to the crow and the letter.
Once we got back to the house, I hurried back up to my room. Pulling the covers over, I grabbed the letter. Moving to lock the door, I sat back down at the edge of the bed and tore the seal open.
Dear Miss Ingrid Gray,

You don’t know me, but I have been a friend of your family’s for quite a while.
I am writing to you because you are now the right age to start your training. Training for what you may ask? It is not my place to tell you, but ask your mother. I will be seeing you soon..

My best regards,
Endris Guinevere

Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels

“Shooting stars are merely angels
falling from the skies.”

—Hiya M.

November, 1994

   Griffin let his dark imperial wings spread, allowing the wind currents to carry him backwards. He stared at his opponent, taking his time to observe any upper-hand he might get in the fight. His challenger was thoroughly built with many sizeable advantages. Broad shoulders widened him and his body was pure muscle, blood red wings wide against his back. His head rested on top of what was barely a neck, nostrils flared, and eyes narrowed.
Suddenly, the bull flew forward, slashing an arc toward Griffin’s gut. He quickly dodged the blow and jabbed his sword towards the man’s left leg. The man staggered back, hissing out curse words against him. The dark velvet of night surrounded the two warriors.
   Blow after blow the brawl continued. Both men were skilled in the art of swordplay, blocking and advancing each other’s movements. All at once, their swords clashed heavily, metal sparks lighting up the cold air around them. Griffin forced all of his energy toward his sword arm, causing the other angel to fly backwards.
  A strong gale rushed at them, flinging both warriors through the cold night. Wounded from the battle, Griffin struggled to keep his concentration. He willed his wings to move toward his opponent as he came in for the final blow. As Griffin struck to the heart, the man dug his blade into Griffin’s side just as his blood-red wings stiffened and he fell out of the sky.
    Overwhelming pain washed over Griffin as he flew weakly to his people’s territory. The House of Idyll and the House of Inferno had been in battle for as long as time went on, the angels of God and the Devil in war for the world. Griffin’s vision blurred together but he could make out the constellation of Pegasus, one of the few protective wards made by the House of Idyll to separate territories.
   Griffin used the energy he had left in him to guide his tired wings to the ward. As he passed through, his power seemed to disappear and his wings tucked into his shoulder blades. The last thing he saw was a vision of a girl with a tattoo of a wing on her right shoulder. Then he began to fall.


The Night— a poem by Hiya Mitra

The Bay Bryan Guilas via Compfight


As night steals in

the stars blink bright

Adorning the sky

with their stellar light


The wind dips low

as it arcs around the moon

It twists and turns

humming a sweet tune


And deep in the trees

the willows sway

dancing to the wind

in their willow-way


For in the night

when the sun is not known

the stars blink bright

and the wind starts to moan


But in the end

the night must run

for day will break

and start with the sun


I am so proud of this poem because I never thought I could really write an at least okay poem. This poem is about the beauty of the night because no one really stops to appreciate the night. The day is when everyone thinks about doing everything they want to, but in the night, deep in the night, the clairvoyant powers of the universe start to show, for in the darkness of the night, they can hide and not worry about anyone disturbing their freedom.




3 Fantastic Places You Must See!

Relaxing at the beach, seeing the most exotic animals, and appreciating modern art, these three places will be an adventure you won’t forget!

Surprise !!!Creative Commons License Steve Wilson – over 8 million views Thanks !! via Compfight

Central Park Zoo

 Stationed in New York, the Central Park Zoo is filled with the radiant colors of animals from all across the world. From snow leopards to tree boas, this zoo will transport you to seemingly every animal kingdom on earth!

March Sky Christian via Compfight

South Beach, Florida

With cruises, sightseeing, and art decor, South Beach is the place to be for a relaxing trip. Family and friends can make many lasting memories on this beautiful, calming beach.

Untitled - 2011 by Jack Halford Jack Halford via Compfight

Blanton Museum of Art,  Austin

If you are a lover of all things art, the  Blanton Museum of Art may hold your interest. With exhibitions from scattered centuries, this museum is the keeper of pieces from amazing artists.

The Seventh Window

Mr. Hayes was alone in the house. The rain thundered against the seven windows and lightning illuminated all the rooms. He sat on the couch in the main room, sipping his whiskey and watching absolutely nothing on the television. This routine was well known to Mr. Hayes, for he’d followed it about six out of seven times a week. He didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, no, he just wished for something more interesting in his boring life. Though, nothing interesting ever happened where he lived.

Suddenly, the TV buzzed before flashing off. Darkness. The house was a black mess with no one but Mr. Hayes to see it.

Something sticky slid down his cheek.

Mr. Hayes froze. One, two, three, four. He had always counted when he was afraid. Numbers seemed to be his way of setting his mind in order, slowing his heart down.

Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen.

Flicking his pupil to the corner of his eye, he glanced at the phone next to the couch. Hands shaking, Mr. Hayes got up and called 911. He couldn’t call anyone from his family, for he had none.

“Hello?” The operator’s voice crackled from the phone.

Mr. Hayes kept his voice low, “Yes, hello, I would like to request the police, please.”

“Okay, and what is your situation?”

“There’s someone in my house.”


“Sir, were you alone before?”

Mr. Hayes assured the operator that he was.

“Did you check to make sure that all your doors and windows were locked and shut?”

Mr. Hayes had to think for a second before replying, “Yes, I locked all of my eight doors, bedrooms included, and six of my windows.”

“And how many of each do you have? Do you know?”

“Yes. I have eight doors and six—”


Mr. Hayes couldn’t speak. He had forgotten. He had forgotten. He had forgotten.

“Sir? I need you to tell me what’s happening.”

He struggled to force words to come out of his mouth, “I-I-I for-forgot one.”

“I don’t follow…”

“I forgot the seventh window.”

And then he shut his eyes and stopped his breath, he knew he wouldn’t have it for much longer. He knew.

“He’s behind me,” a last breath shuddered out of his mouth, “I’m going to die.”

“Sir, I need you to remain calm, help is on the way.”

He clicked the phone off and turned around.

And then, Mr. Hayes started to laugh. As he looked, the lightning from the open window revealed the outline of his shadow.

To Be Free

Kyra stared at the uncomfortable looking chair. Her pale, gold dress puffed at her waist, her bodice hugging her figure very tightly.

Her mother had told her she would be spending her Sunday afternoon having tea with some distant family. When Kyra heard that, she imagined them just meeting at a sort of cafe or having brunch together. What she didn’t expect, was having tea in an expensive looking venue while wearing a puffy dress that she was practically forced into.

“Kyra, darling! It really has been too long! How are you, dear?”

Kyra was startled when an unfamiliar woman looked toward her questioningly. To Kyra, it really had been forever, as she was certain she’d never seen this lady once in her seventeen years of life.

“I’m doing well, thank you.” She glanced again toward the lady, hoping she’d taken her attention to some other prey. Thankfully, it seemed she had.

Kyra wiped her palms against the fabric of her dress as she shut her eyes, wishing to just be back home where she could settle with her newly brought library book.

“Tea time, everyone! Settle down!”

Ah, it seems it has only just begun, she thought as she made her way to her stiff-looking chair.


Orion sagged against the supporting bricks of the alley, his battered form ached as he hit the cold ground.

“You said we’d be done.” The words jumbled together as he went through a violent coughing fit. Blood splattered the empty street.

He remembered a time where none of this seemed real. The games, the blood, the pain. All of it was just some illusion to him. But now Orion was living it. Every day of his life required him to play a charade to the outside world as his soul grew weaker and weaker each and every day.

“You promised, I could leave.” Orion choked as he tried to hold down another scream of sickness and blood.

Suddenly, an answer came very near to him. It was so close, Orion wasn’t sure if he was thinking it or if someone was actually whispering in his ear.

“You’ll never be free.”

And that was when he realized that it was true. He could never be free. How silly of him to even think such a thing. How silly…


Kyra needed to leave. She couldn’t take another second of “Oh, how lovely this day is!” or “How perfect this tea tastes!”

Excusing herself, Kyra left the other women. Let them enjoy playing tea party, I’m done, she thought.

Her house was far, but not too far so she couldn’t walk. A walk would mostly help to clear her head after spending two hours listening to the other ladies chatter about nonsense. She set her pace as fast, for she couldn’t wait to reach her home. The streets were fairly clear that day, so Kyra didn’t have to worry about being hit on accident.

The sky had visibly gotten darker and seemed like it would rain soon. Picking up her pace, she hurried past an empty alley.

“You promised I could leave.”

Kyra stopped.

“You’ll never be free.”

Kyra turned into the alley.

Laying on the street, was a figure. It was clearly in pain and she could see that it had been in a fight. Blood stained the ground next to it. As she got closer, she could see that it was a boy, probably no older than her.

His eyes met hers.


Kyra dropped to her knees and cupped the boys hands. She didn’t know what possessed her to say the next words she said, but she was glad she did.

“You’re free now.”

Then, the boy’s eyes fluttered shut, and his lips mouthed two words before his chest stopped moving.

“Thank you.”

My Inferno

Griffin sighed as he rested his frame against the door of his now too-old vehicle. The engine had once again ceased to work, resulting in Griffin being stranded in the middle of nowhere and being very very annoyed.

He now had less than an hour to reach his aunt’s place to discuss his plans for his future. It wasn’t like he had any desire to be there, but Griffin hated being late to anything. When he was late though, he had a very good reason to be, but his car had broken down so many times, he didn’t think it counted as a reason more than it counted as an excuse.

Looking at his surroundings, Griffin gathered that he had two options: walk forward until you find a sort of civilization or sit and wait for help. He had already phoned his brother telling him his approximate destination, but he guessed if he took the latter option that he’d be waiting for another two hours.

Griffin pushed himself off the door of his car and looked into the open window shield of it. The seats had barely enough room to seat a person with all his things spread about. Griffin had decided a long time ago that he liked the unruly mess that seemed to match his features. When people looked upon Griffin, he knew that their first thought wouldn’t be, “Whose kid is he?” for everyone knew that Griffin Lamar was the son of Richard Lamar, founder of Lamar Industries. For this reason exactly, Griffin made it a point to seem as unruly as possible with his dark, disheveled hair and slightly wrinkled clothing.

Gazing upon his mess of things now, Griffin saw what he was looking for: a nearly empty box of matches. When he was younger, he recalled his mother telling him that she had seen fire in his eyes when he was born. Later, he remembered she had also told him that during the small campfires their families attended at the end of summer, Griffin used to sit and watch the embers than play with the other children.

Griffin stretched his arm through the open window, into the interior of the car, groping around until his fingers found the small container. Pulling out, Griffin slanted his gaze to the contents inside the box. One match remained among the charred tips of others.

The match seemed weightless in Griffin’s palm as he clutched it in a fist as he strode away from his broken vehicle. He stopped near the edge of the other side of a what-once-was road and squatted to be level with the dry, yellow grass.

After a moments hesitation, Griffin struck the tip of the match against the edge of the box, all the while holding in a sharp breath. A small flame danced on the stick of wood, the flames lapping at the air.

Griffin watched.

To anyone else, the flame would seem weak, young. To Griffin, the fire leapt up, growing until it was a giant mass of light and warmth.

It was good that there was no one there, for to Griffin, it was an inferno, and that was all Griffin needed to feel alive.

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

R E C I P E 


You will need:

1/2 cup of butter                              1 fluid ounce of red food coloring

1 1/2 cups of white sugar              1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 eggs                                                   1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 cup of buttermilk                         1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar

2 cups of all-purpose flour          1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of salt

Creative Commons License Sarah Mahala Photography & Makeup Artistry via Compfight


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease or line two 12 cup muffin pans with baking cups.
  3. Take a large bowl and beat your butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Mix your eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring, and vanilla extract into the mixture.
  5. Take your baking soda and vinegar and stir them together.
  6. Take your flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir them into the batter until the batter has blended.
  7. Fill your cups with your batter evenly throughout.
  8. Bake in your oven for around 20 minutes[maybe 25].
  9. To check if the cupcakes are ready, take a fork or toothpick and poke the top center. If the cupcake is light and fluffy then you are ready!
  10. Cool the cupcake and frost if wanted! ENJOY!



This cupcake is easy to make and doesn’t take TOO much time. I really love the end result because it tastes good and looks good. It’s really cool to see something that you make yourself (with a recipe of course) turn out like you thought it should and it’s just a really satisfying feeling[like this cupcake ;)]!

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes to bake or just needs something fun to do because I love baking with my twin sister and my older sister, and they make everything so fun!

Personally, I like to bake because of the end result and the time I spend with the people I bake with or if I’m not baking with anyone, the process is still fun to go through! I love red velvet and this cupcake turned out really well so it seemed to be a bonus! I recommend this to everyone who would want to try it! Enjoy!

Click here for original recipe! Or copy this URL: