The Eclectic Spring 2011

 

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Issue 14

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theeclectic spring2011 issue14

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the eclectic bob jones high school

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ec lec tic adj not following any one system as of philosophy medicine etc but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems the eclectic magazine is published yearly by linda s printing services literary pieces artwork and multimedia are always being accepted cover art by kelsey white graphic design by casey arterburn and shana smith copyright © 2011 by the eclectic http webpages.madisoncity.k12.al.us/wp/bjhs_litmag2011/

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spring 2011 issue 14 general submissions the eclectic accepts general submissions in the categories of short story creative nonfiction poetry theatre art comics and multimedia students are encouraged to write on any subject and style in general submission the eclectic feature the eclectic feature section requires students to explore a subject theme or element this year the eclectic explored the element of time and how it can be manipulated in various genres submissions experimented with objective time subjective time time travel parallel universes past times keeping time website the eclectic also has a companion website that includes a free digital version of the literary and arts magazine which is available for download the website displays a sampling of student work not seen in the printed version as well as multimedia submissions multimedia includes short film commercials spoken word poetry hypertext fiction and stopmotion animation distribution one free printed version of the literary and arts magazine is given to each student whose work is chosen for the publication extra copies may be purchased.

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all time is all time it does not change it does not lend itself to warning or explanations it simply is take it moment by moment and you will find that we are all as i ve said before bugs in amber -kurt vonnegut slaughterhouse v

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contents short story 10 nonfiction 46 poetry 70 theatre 88 comics 124 art 138 feature 142 contributors 162 acknowledgments 163

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short story mr widemouth by jesse schultz during my childhood my family was like a drop of water in a vast river never remaining in one location for long we settled in rhode island when i was eight and there we remained until i went to college in colorado springs most of my memories are rooted in rhode island but there are fragments in the attic of my brain which belong to the various homes we had lived in when i was much younger most of these memories are unclear and pointless chasing after another boy in the backyard of a house in north carolina trying to build a raft to float on the creek behind the apartment we rented in pennsylvania and so on but there is one set of memories that remains as clear as glass as though they were just made yesterday i often wonder whether these memories are simply lucid dreams produced by the long sickness i experienced that spring but in my heart i know they are real we were living in a house just outside the bustling metropolis of new vineyard maine population 643 it was a large structure especially for a family of three there were a number of rooms that i didn t see in the five months we resided there in some ways it was a waste of space but it was the only house on the market at the time at least within an hour s commute to my father s place of work the day after my fifth birthday attended by my parents alone i came down with a fever the doctor said i had mononucleosis which meant no rough play and more fever for at least another three weeks it was horrible timing to be bed-ridden we were in the process of packing our things to move to pennsylvania and most of my things were already packed away in boxes leaving my room barren my mother brought me ginger ale and books several times a day and these served as my primary form of entertainment for the next few weeks boredom always loomed just around the corner waiting to rear its ugly head and compound my misery i don t exactly recall how i met mr widemouth i think it was about a week after i was diagnosed with mono my first memory of the small creature was asking him if he had a name he told me to call him mr widemouth because his mouth was large in fact everything about him was large in comparison to his body his head his eyes his crooked ears but his mouth was by far the largest you look kind of like a furby i said as he flipped through one of my books mr widemouth stopped and gave me a puzzled look furby what s a furby he asked i shrugged you know the toy the little robot with big ears you can pet and feed them almost like a real pet oh mr widemouth resumed his activity you don t need one of those they aren t the same as having a real friend i remember mr widemouth disappearing every time my mother stopped by to check in on me i lay under your bed he later explained i don t want your 12

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short story parents to see me because i m afraid they won t let us play anymore we didn t do much during those first few days mr widemouth just looked at my books fascinated by the stories and pictures they contained the third or fourth morning after i met him he greeted me with a large smile on his face i have a new game we can play he said we have to wait until after your mother comes to check on you because she can t see us play it it s a secret game after my mother delivered more books and soda at the usual time mr widemouth slipped out from under the bed and tugged my hand we have to go to the room at the end of this hallway he said i objected at first as my parents had forbidden me to leave my bed without their permission but mr widemouth persisted until i gave in the room in question had no furniture or wallpaper its only distinguishing feature was a window opposite the doorway mr widemouth darted across the room and gave the window a firm push swinging it open he beckoned me to look out at the ground below we were on the second story of the house but it was on a hill and from this angle the drop was farther than two stories due to the incline i like to play pretend up here mr widemouth explained i pretend that there is a big soft trampoline below this window and i jump if you pretend hard enough you bounce back up like a feather i want you to try i was a five-year-old with a fever so only a hint of skepticism darted through my thoughts as i looked down and considered the possibility it s a long drop i said but that s all a part of the fun it wouldn t be fun if it was only a short drop if it were that way then you might as well just jump on a real trampoline i toyed with the idea picturing myself falling through the air only to bounce back to the window on something unseen by human eyes but the realist in me prevailed maybe some other time i said i don t know if i have enough imagination i could get hurt mr widemouth s face contorted into a snarl but only for a moment anger gave way to disappointment if you say so he said he spent the rest of the day under my bed quiet as a mouse the following morning mr widemouth arrived holding a small box i want to teach you how to juggle he said here are some things you can use to practice before i start giving you lessons i looked in the box it was full of knives my parents will kill me i shouted horrified that mr widemouth had brought knives into my room objects that my parents would never allow me to touch i ll be spanked and grounded for a year mr widemouth frowned it s fun to juggle with these i want you to try it i pushed the box away i can t i ll get in trouble knives aren t safe to just throw in the air mr widemouth s frown deepened into a scowl he took the box of knives and slid under my bed remaining there the rest of the day i began to wonder how often he was under me i started having trouble sleeping after that mr widemouth often woke me up at night saying he put a real trampoline under the window a big one one that 13

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short story i couldn t see in the dark i always declined and tried to go back to sleep but mr widemouth persisted sometimes he stayed by my side until early in the morning encouraging me to jump he wasn t so fun to play with anymore my mother came to me one morning and told me i had her permission to walk around outside she thought the fresh air would be good for me especially after being confined to my room for so long ecstatic i put on my sneakers and trotted out to the back porch yearning for the feeling of sun on my face mr widemouth was waiting for me i have something i want you to see he said i must have given him a weird look because he then said it s safe i promise i followed him to the beginning of a deer trail that ran through the woods behind the house this is an important path he explained i ve had a lot of friends about your age when they were ready i took them down this path to a special place you aren t ready yet but one day i hope to take you there i returned to the house wondering what kind of place lay beyond that trail two weeks after i met mr widemouth the last load of our things had been packed into a moving truck i was in the cab of that truck sitting next to my father for the long drive to pennsylvania i considered telling mr widemouth that i would be leaving but even at five years old i was beginning to suspect that perhaps the creature s intentions were not to my benefit despite what he said otherwise for this reason i decided to keep my departure a secret my father and i were in the truck at 4 a.m he was hoping to make it to pennsylvania by lunch time tomorrow with the help of an endless supply of coffee and a six-pack of energy drinks he seemed more like a man who was about to run a marathon rather than one who was about to spend two days sitting still early enough for you he asked i nodded and placed my head against the window hoping for some sleep before the sun came up i felt my father s hand on my shoulder this is the last move son i promise i know it s hard for you as sick as you ve been once daddy gets promoted we can settle down and you can make friends i opened my eyes as we backed out of the driveway i saw mr widemouth s silhouette in my bedroom window he stood motionless until the truck was about to turn on the main road he gave a pitiful little wave good-bye steak knife in hand i didn t wave back years later i returned to new vineyard the piece of land our house stood upon was empty except for the foundation as the house burned down a few years after my family left out of curiosity i followed the deer trail that mr widemouth had shown me part of me expected him to jump out from behind a tree and scare the living bejeesus out of me but i felt that mr widemouth was gone somehow tied to the house that no longer existed the trail ended at the new vineyard memorial cemetery i noticed that many of the tombstones belonged to children 14

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short story constellations by haley taylor i never liked riding in planes it s not because i m scared though i ve never really felt scared it just makes me nauseous and claustrophobic i guess i just don t care for high altitudes and muffled conversation most of the time i just stare out the window and reflect on one thing or another that s the only good thing about a plane ride the view would you like a refreshment i lazily looked toward the hostess in the aisle she was smiling quite widely but there were bags under her eyes and her hair looked a little unkempt no thanks i turned my gaze back to the window it was nighttime and the stars were bright the sky was a crisp indigo beautiful and bittersweet with honesty that s the canis major do you see it an old man with stunning gray eyes pointed out towards the infinite sky he was sitting next to me i hadn t noticed yeah i do didn t it help marines navigate their vessels a long time ago yes would you like a snack sir the hostess was back no as the hostess strolled off the old man looked at me and spoke quietly what a poor woman it looks like it hurts her i m sorry but what do you mean i couldn t help but ask she looks tired physically drained mentally drained it s almost as if she s forced to smile that smile she s wearing looks like it pains her before i could respond i heard a voice on the intercom we ll be landing shortly please fasten your seatbelts if they are not fastened already i looked at the man and it seemed as though he had dozed off i wish i could fall asleep that easily i sat quietly until the plane landed and people were filing off into the airport i woke him up sir wake up we re here where the airport we re here i smiled at the old man who was still seated in the almost deserted airplane he looked towards the hostess standing near the door and looked up at me quizzically does it hurt you too the old man said and put a sympathetic hand on my shoulder as he got up goodbye dear and there i was standing in a deserted airplane i raised my hands to my cheeks i blinked my tired eyes a few times maybe he was right i didn t even catch his name 15

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