[Insert Fire Emoji Here]

By Lucy Earl

Okay, there’s this room at Lighthouse that used to be covered with gold, so that when the light hit it, it would light up. So I was thinking, there’s this thing called Lit Fest, I’ll put a picture of the flyer here:

[Insert Picture Here]

And I was thinking that for a workshop at Lit Fest we could have a gathering of people that we put in that room and made them all as small as ants. Little, if you will. And all these people could read, they’d be literate. But even though they’d be small, they’d litter. A lot. And since they’d be the size of ants, you could say they would be litterbugs. They’d litter so much that they’d even litter books, or litter literature. In fact, they’d litter so many books that we’d have to give them bags to litter their books in, or literature litter bags.
And then, they’d have so many bags that they’d have to pile them all together and use 1,000 cubic centimeters of  lighter fluid to _Lit photo Lucyactually set them on fire. Or a liter of lighter literally lit literature litter bags. Now in order to extinguish the fire, they’d have to use some kind of absorbent, granular material or cat litter.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve noticed what I’m doing here, so I’ll write out the sentence we’ve created. The Lit up room had little literate litterbugs that litter literature into litter bags and used a liter of lighter that literally lit literature litter bags that was put out by cat litter during Lit Fest. Now I’m sure you are admiring that lovely alliteration but we’re not done yet. All of the important words in this sentence can be abbreviated by the letters l-i-t…Oh yes, this is where we are heading with this. So, if we take out the useless words like “that” or “during” but keep “Fest” and we abbreviate all the other words with l-i-t, we would have the following sentence: Lit lit lit lit lit lit lit lit lit lit lit lit lit lit Lit Fest…

Hi. You’re welcome. Feel free to say that that sentence was lit. After all it was literature (as in something published on a particular subject, like “lit”) and I’m sure some people would like to print this out and light it on fire, so it’d be lit. 🔥


[Dear Story Number 559,]

By Madison Hart

Image of the number 559I regret to inform you…no…that sounds too business like, doesn’t it? Okay, well, Story 559, the truth is, I just don’t have time for you right now. I don’t have time or energy to deal with your indecisiveness, I mean for heaven’s sake pick a plot and go with it already! And, besides, your characters keep yelling at me. Come on! This is just getting ridiculous. You are too unpredictable and disloyal. Yeah, that’s right, I saw you looking at damsel number 207 the other day. Um, not ok, keep your eyes on me, not the words next to you. So, if you haven’t figured it out already, I’m breaking up with you. You see this cursor right here…ya that one. It’s going to drag your pitifullness into the trash folder. Uh huh! I said it. You are going in the trash. And when I have time to address all your little plot holes and put all your characters into time out for five minutes, I will. Wel,l maybe. It all depends on whether I fall in love with story idea number 480 before then. Ok, yes, I’ve been eyeing that rugged archer for months, but what do you care, you have damsels 207-220 eyeballing you all the time and vice versa. So, goodbye, adios, au revoir, sayonara! I will see you when I see you. Have a nice life in the writer dump pile. Maybe you’ll run into the rugged archer’s younger sister while you’re there cause I threw her out too! You deserve each other!

[Love-Breakup: To my Imagination]

By Katy McDonald

To my imagination,

Although the times have not alway been easy for us, I can say with every part of me: without you I would be nothing. You coax the words from my mind to flow from my fingertips onto my computer screen. I will never forget the long, late nights you have kept me company, fighting way my fears and worries because, with you at my side, nothing can touch me. You make the world something new and beautiful. The bare walls of my mind are suddenly filled with life and power. I know that you will not always be with me but that does not mean that you will ever leave me for good. You know when to come home and when to stay away, most of the time. But even when you come to me unbidden I know it is for the best. The history homework can be pushed aside as you take me down another winding road. You have made my life an adventure. You take me to neverland, down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, to Oz and so many other places. Most of our places will be just that, ours forever hidden from the world, but not all of them and that’s what I really love you for. Not only do you make the world a better place for me but also for those around me. You make the light shine on the dark. You give me hope. Without you, I would be truly lost and that is how I know you aren’t really far away. You stay close enough to keep me safe on the nights when there is no one else. I love you with all my heart. Without you, I am only a fraction of myself.  

Yours forever,


To my imagination,

I know that times haven’t always been that easy for us, so I think it is time for me to finally say: without you I would be so much better. You stop my fingers from writing with paralyzing fears of imagining someone one day reading the atrocity I have had the gall to write down. It would be hard to forget the images you conjure of giant spiders and the world being torn apart by any number of disasters. You make the world seem frightening and empty. The empty chambers of my mind are ripped open with death and decay. We both know that you will not be with me forever and that there are times when you leave and it is better for everyone. You go and come back at the most inopportune times. You will distract me from important work pertaining to school when I simply do not have time for you. I’m sorry, I know that this seems harsh, but I think it’s for the best that I finally say this. You will pull me away and into Hades, the dragon’s lair and any number of torture chambers. The worst part is that this doesn’t always affect me, but those around me because some of the places we go can stay between us, but some of them leak out into the world. You scare me, and that’s how I know you are never really gone: my fear is always with me. You will come upon me in the dead of night like some kind of ghoush. Please, I think it would be best for you to leave and return me to myself.

I’m sorry,


[The Apocalypse or My Life So Far]

by Madeline S. Dean

  • I was born eight days after Y2K caused all of the planes to fall out of the sky, all computer programs to spontaneously crash and time itself to stop.
  • I was eight during the Great Recession. I remember all of the graphs of stock falling down, down, down, into a deep hole of an economy that the country would never return from.
  • I remember the time the United States went to war with Russia over a crashed helicopter in Syria.

    Photo by Rick Bolin, Creative Commons License

    Photo by Rick Bolin, Creative Commons License

  • I was twelve in two-thousand-and-twelve, and I remember when the super volcano at Yellowstone erupted, causing all kinds of natural disasters.
  • I remember when Russia took over Crimea and Ukraine and then kept spreading, all over Europe until the United States had to step in. With nukes.
  • I remember when Iran got a nuclear weapon.
  • I remember when the Ebola epidemic devastated the United States, and everyone was afraid to get within a foot of each other.
  • I remember the Zika epidemic that followed, and how it made everyone lock their doors and windows and not leave the house.
  • I remember the apocalypse, the world ending so many times and in so many different ways.
  • And so, looking at all of this, I can’t help but feel that the future is bleak. All I’ve ever known is one end of the world after the other, so how could the future be any different?

[Ten Reasons Why 2016 Was Not Very Good]

by Adam Dorsheimer

-The presidential election
-Having to listen to people complain about the presidential election
-That one Chainsmokers song that goes like “noh nah nuh noh noh nah nuh noh”
-That incident with E. coli at Chipotle (wait, was that 2015?)
-The Orlando shooting
-My favorite video game store getting robbed
-Denver real estate prices
-One of the digits was not a prime number




By Christian Wilson

About Madison Hart

So Madison’s wearing this gold necklace, right? I was thinking, yo that looks like an Aztec necklace. Not like gift shop Aztec but like jungle, pyramid, ancient gods, heart sacrifice Aztec. I was just sitting there scratching my head. What are the only two ways to get some Aztec bling? You either rob a museum or raid a tomb. So I’m like damn, this chick’s either Danny Ocean or fricking Indiana Jones, but since Indiana Jones is way more culturally relevant than Ocean’s 11, it’s got to be the latter.

So obviously, she’s in some long-forgotten Central American temple. She’s like, in this big stone room. You know vines everywhere. Vines on the wall, vines hanging from the ceiling, vines on the floor. It’s like fricking vine Oprah, just vines everywhere. And she’s trying to solve an ancient puzzle and she’s smoking a cigarette. Actually, it’s a cigar because cigars are classy. Cool people in the ‘40s smoke cigars, especially archaeologists. 40s archaeologists like chain smoke cigars. Actually she probably isn’t smoking anything because it’s 2015 and let’s be real, nobody smokes cigars anymore.


[A Psychoanalysis of Ellen Huggins]

by Cassidy Nicks

About Ellen Huggins

*Disclaimer: Cassidy Nicks is not licensed and has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, so all documents should be taken with that in mind.

In my deep analysis of Ellen, I’ve concluded she has mommy issues. One cornerstone memory for her, although she didn’t say so (I used my amazing skills of psychological deduction), was making chocolate. While this could just indicate her family traditions adopted from their time living in Belgium, there was genuine stress in her voice as she described her mother yelling at her to ‘roll the chocolate faster!’ In addition, one of Ellen’s secret desires is to be able to sing publicly like her brothers, but her mom (and also her dad) never put effort into figuring that out for her. But most telling of all are Ellen’s dreams. Many times she has been peacefully dreaming, and finds she has to pee… But then, a woman, a beautiful woman, (i.e. Mary Poppins) tells her to ‘just go!’ And she does.

Dreams are widely believed to be our brains dealing with and processing our problems. Ellen dreams of an authoritative woman telling her to do something shameful. That sounds like… Mommy issues.

In conclusion, I, Dr. Cassidy Nicks, am diagnosing my patient Ellen Huggins with severe Class A mommy issues and have recommended that she continues to repeat this phrase to herself to boost her confidence- ‘just go… For it!’


I Hate Crushes But I Like You, Part Three: Charles. Or, It Gets Worse.

by Ellen Huggins

So, I was questioning my coolness last time, right? You think things have improved since then? Read on.

I have a friend, who I’ve known all the way back to the 5th grade, who I’ve always known I’m cooler than. It was a constant in my life.

Wow, I have braces but at least I’m cooler than Charles.

Yikes, I had a kidney stone like an old man or that troll from “Frozen,” but I’m still cooler than Charles.

I can’t run the mile in gym but Charles a dweeb.

My friend’s name is Charles, by the way.

Anyway, I was talking to Charles the other day in front of the school, waiting for my mom to pick me up, (i know, cool) and I asked him about his love life. I asked him, “So, Charles, have you ever been on a date before?” Why did I ask? I don’t know. I was feeling insecure and needed a picker-upper. I expected the response of “d-d-d-d-d-d-date? with a-a-a-a-a-a girl???” or at least a hand across the forehead to signify uncomfortable sweating.

“I actually have a girlfriend,” he told me. “I’ve had a girlfriend for the past year, and I had one in freshman year, too. So yeah, I’ve been on plenty of dates.”

I had been hit. With a bat or the truth, I couldn’t tell. They both probably hurt equally.

Charles was cooler than me. He was wearing a “knowledge is power” t-shirt and smelled like b.o. but he was getting more action than me?? He asked me, “So have you?”

I lied, of course, but when he left, probably to make out with this apparent girlfriend who I later found was a girl I just thought was just his very close friend who liked to touch him a lot, I was still in shock. And why is it “cute” for guys to be sensitive, wear childish graphic Ts, and have braces, but when I do all those things, guys still don’t like me? I watch “Bridget Jones Diary” all the time, and I love puppies, and I’m still hurt that my friends didn’t like my Hannah Montana group costume idea for Halloween, but apparently this is still not good enough for boys.

What do you want?

I mean, I’m very confused. From what I’ve seen in movies about boys, they love the really hot girls who have huge boobs and wear jean shorts. I can do the jean shorts thing, but everything else, man, that’s just genetics. That seems to be how boys like girls, but in movies where the protagonist is a girl who’s just average, somehow a moderately okay boy seems to like her just fine! I’m starting to believe that this whole ‘boys pursuing girls’ thing is just an urban myth, because look at One Direction, Justin Bieber, any male celebrity really.  Do you see how 13 year old girls follow these guys around like the reason they are alive is to worship them. How the ancient grecians used to sacrifice goats at the altars of Zeus, and Hera, these girls are sacrificing their family cats at the altars of Chris Hemsworth and Alex from Target. Why do you think that cute boys, who have no talent other than being attractive, have hordes of girls who follow them no matter what they do? It’s because there is a severe shortage of boys that want to date average girls. I believe that they are an urban myth. I mean, don’t get me wrong, boys have the capacity do have to girls attractive. But just insanely hot women.

The other day in history class, all the boys collectively agreed that the blonde girl from “Transformers” (NOT Megan Fox) is the hottest woman alive. I looked her up, and can I say it? I don’t see it. I know, that’s coming from me, but the absolute hottest? I couldn’t even pick the hottest woman alive. I would have to know her personality. Because I’m not like a boy, and I don’t think of girls like hunks of MEAT!!!! Sorry, that might have been kind of unfair.


This is Ellen from the future. I’m re-reading this now later and I just feel like this whole crush thing is stupid. It fluctuates, kinda like herpes. Right now, I can’t see why I was freaking out.

This is Ellen from the future of the future. It’s back. I really do like Asparagus. I completely disagree with the past-future Ellen and agree with the past Ellen. Asparagus looks nice in sweaters, and strangely enough I feel like his choice of backpack is one of the best things about him.

The crush is back.


Some Advice


by Ellen Huggins

The best advice that I can give to a young person is: never get chubby.

Never let it happen to you, because it really does really really BLOW.

One reason why you should never get chubby, is that then you won’t have all these thoughts  about it that you can never really talk to anybody about, because you’re so afraid that you’re not going to hearing other people’s opinions will make you feel so much worse, so then you have to write a  so nobody can interrupt you and then you don’t have to write something awkward like this that you have to read aloud to 20 people.

I used to be so skinny. Like ridiculously skinny.  I remember looking in the mirror and saying dear god am I  skinny and dear god I am happy about that. I was so skinny, I used to make fun of fat people. I remember picking up a book at the book fair in the seventh grade, called How to Lose 5 Inches Fast and turning to my two friends and saying “Hey look, how stupid is this?” And then tried to make a double chin, but I was too skinny at that point to make one so I just pushed out my stomach like I was pregnant. Looking back at this experience, at the weight I am now, with the level of human kindness and decency that seem to have sky rocketed in the past few years, all I have to say to my past self is F*CK YOU. If I was at that bookfair right now, I would probably be straight up putting that book on my Amazon wish list. How did it all of this happen?  (more…)


I Hate Crushes But I Like You, Part Two: Let’s Talk About Me Talking About Asparagus

by Ellen Huggins

Where did we leave off? Oh, yeah, I’d told Asparagus that his hair looked like it was crafted by Jesus. And then we didn’t talk to each other for the rest of the year. Or the year after that.

But the fall of my junior year, my crush broke out like the acne on my forehead.

No longer abstract, but very real and very hard to get rid of. Asparagus now sits in front of me in Biology and I hate it. I honestly don’t want to be within five feet of him at any given time because I don’t know what to do with my hands and I get kinda sweaty, and that makes me feel like  maybe he can smell my sweat and then I get so nervous, I sweat even more. And then I try to slyly smell my armpits just to make sure that they don’t reek — even though, how will that help anything? —  and then he turns around to pass back papers, and he sees me smelling my armpits.   

And can I just say that this is embarrassing to write about? It’s fine in my head because I can usually think in my own head without the judgement of myself. But when you write it down thinking, this is normal and fine and I feel great about telling people that I’m sorry, I don’t really know on a deep, personal level, the truth about the thing that basically consumes my life to the point where I’m not quite sure what to do with my time because I like this boy so much. And if anyone reading this or listening to this is thinking oh god, she is so boy crazy she’s ridiculous, this is honestly the most immature thing i’ve ever read, yikes! she is kind of pathetic, then I’m sorry. If I had to rate this from most to least fun feeling that I’ve ever experienced, I would put this near the middle. Do you think that this is fun?? It’s definitely not, because I’m legitimately embarrassed and I’m sorry.

I’m so sorry and I don’t know if I particularly love writing about this, but this is better than writing a song about it and performing it at the talent show. Because I was going to do that.

I wrote something along the lines of, “Am I too pudgy / is that why you dont like me / I’m sorry / I’m just a very big fan of pastries / because eclairs are better than those awkward stares / and I’d rather have cheesecake then pretend like you care.” And I pretty much spelled out exactly who “Asparagus” was. I actually think there was a part where I said something I liked about him for every letter of his name.

So, he would find out if I did that. Which, a part of me wants to happen, you know? A part of me wants to find out so I can just get the rejection over with already. I’d rather have that happen then have whatever is happening right now continue. Would that be worse? And what would even happen if he did like me back? Would he take me out on a date? Where? Where do people go on dates? For some reason swimming pools are the only destination that’s coming up, but I think I’m thinking of pool parties.  

But I really don’t think that he would ever want to date me, because I went to his work over the summer, which I feel is actually incredibly weird considering we’ve never actually talked in the past,I mean we have talked (i.e the discussion of hair on the bus) but we’ve never TALKED, and this lack of communication might be  foreshadowing my future as a stalker.

So my friend and I planned out a specific date and time, when we knew that he would be working, to go to Savers. That  morning, I decide to wear a Hawaiian shirt. Maybe to spark old memories for him? To remember me from Spanish class? I can just tell you know that whatever attention-getting stunt I was trying to pull then didn’t work in freshman year, and it didn’t work this time.

And I was pumped. I was nervous too, but I was so prepared at the same time. I felt like every formal, waiting to get asked to dance, every well placed glance in the hallway, every quiz in Tiger Beat on ‘Who My Perfect Boyfriend Would Be’, it all happened for a reason, to build up to emphasis how important this moment was. This was going to be real. Really real! Then I had this moment of clarity. What was I doing? I was going to be speaking, like, words. To Asparagus. Not meaningful glances, not quizzes, no more waiting, but I was actually going to do something. And what was this grand gesture, to say hi? Then what? What happens after that? I had planned to say, “Oh hey Asparagus, I can’t believe you work here!” And what was he going to say back,  “Yes, I do.”? That’s it. That is the end of the conversation. Then I’ll smile, and nod and say “Okay, well, see you in two months for school!” and then I’ll just leave? That’ll be it? Is this worth it? Is he worth it? What if he says to his friends, “That Huggins girl said hi to me at work, and it was so awkward. What a lame-o.” Well, he probably wouldn’t say lame-o, I think in 2015 only lame-os say lameo-o. Okay, no need to get ahead of yourself, Ellen. Just go in there, and when the moment is right, you will know what to do! Broccoli and I  rode the light rail and that whole time I was thinking, this is it. Goodbye, my past self, this is the new frontier. I can sleep tonight knowing that I am a changed girl,nay, WOMAN, who faced her fears, and my journey into that abyss of romance ended with me getting a very promising potential chance at actually dating someone, or, possibly, if it all goes wrong, have my self esteem go past it’s current position at rock bottom, and hit subterranean levels. When I asked my friend if I should be nervous, she shrugged and said, “I really don’t think that you  have anything to lose, but you definitely don’t have anything to gain” With that attitude, we walked up to the Savers.

If I could pinpoint the exact time that I knew that I had made a terrible mistake, I think it was in hour two. Asparagus had already passed us at least eight times, moving kiddies pools around from the register to the back of the store, which is where I was standing. I remember that I was in between the erotic novels and the teapots, and I was completely petrified. I couldn’t do anything. And my friend was no help, she stood near the VHS’s and kept her head down, and every time I tried to talk to her she mumbled how ‘she didn’t even really want to come’ and said, “Ellen, just talk to him so we can leave, I have to be home soon.” Okay, now this was too much. I came here to find love, and now there are scheduling restraints? And the chances of me actually finding that ‘love’ became less by the minute because what was I going to do, tap him on his shoulder and say “I was looking at this teapot in the shape of a goose, and browsing your wonderful erotica collection for the better part of two hours, and it just now struck me to say, ‘Oh hey, Asparagus, I can’t believe you work here!” Everything was falling apart, my supposed support system, my supposed romance. I felt like a piece of popcorn kernel stuck on a tooth. I really wanted to go home too, but at the same time I just had to stay for a reason that I can’t really describe. Was I really going to do anything? Probably not, but maybe.Eventually my friend and I walked out the door, but that maybe was still nagging. I felt like I missed something and I couldn’t just leave. After all that? No, something had to happen, good or bad.Here’s the thing about Savers, it has a dock on the side that people drop stuff off at, and the employees move it from there into the store. Specifically, Asparagus, Asparagus was out there. Well, I thought, this has got to be some kind of sign.That the universe wants us to together so much, it is  giving me a slim second chance to talk to him. I turned to Broccoli. This was our dialogue.

Me:  “I have to talk to him.” Her: “Okay, Go talk to him.” Me: “Can you come with me?” I really need you there with me.” Her: “No. You can go and embarrass yourself, but I am not involved in this.” Me: “Why do you always have to do this? Why can’t you ever just support me? Not everything is about you.” Her: “I came out here to do this with you, I never said that I would talk to him. If I talked to him with you, he might think that I have a crush on him.” Me: “That is ridiculous and you know it.”

The stress was getting to us, there was just too much tension. I should’ve taken whatever shred of dignity I had left, and walked away right then, but come on! Showing up to a guy’s work that you have a crush on just to talk to him, that’s one thing, but showing up to a guy that you have a crush on work and not saying anything? That was just a step too far, even for me. Broccoli  and I calmed down and brainstormed ways I could approach him. “Okay,” she said. “I have an idea. This is a donation place, right?” “Right.” “So donate something. Go up to him, right now, hand him something you want to donate, and then walk away, super natural.” “Alright.” I said, so desperately wanting to talk to him I didn’t care how idiotic the pretenses were. “But I don’t have anything to donate.” I looked around in my backpack. But all  I could find was a banana, and a book, that I had been reading on the Light Rail. “That’s perfect,” my friend told me. “What, this book?” “Yes, just walk up to him and give it to him!”
“But,” I argued, “I like this book.” “I hate that book,” Broccoli asserted. “And I own it. You can have my copy of it, after you give yours to him.  Just go, and get it over with.” This dock at the side of the store, where Asparagus was moving things, was where people dropped off huge boxes full of old junk, recliners, bed frames,  and enormous piles of clothes. My plan was going to walk up to him, with a single book in my hands, handing it to him, without a word, and walking away. There was no doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t not think about how weird this act was, but at least he would be thinking about me, right?

I’m on the move. I take one step out into the emptiness of the parking lot. This is one of those moments where your entire life flashes before your eyes, your first day of school, losing your last baby tooth, your little brother being born. And, as corny as this might sound,  I could feel everything shifting, like a train switching tracks. My future was moving a little to the left, and I knew everything was  going to turn out differently. Maybe he would take me to the prom. Maybe he and I could get lockers side my side. Maybe I could meet his mom, and she would say, “I must’ve raised you right, Asparagus, because that girl is something else!” Maybe…. SHIT, he saw me. I duck behind a car, and I squat-run all the way out of the parking lot, down the street, and onto the Light Rail.

That epic saga of events is the thing that keeps me up at night. And I now I have to always remain on the good side of Broccoli, because if I don’t, she has plenty of good of blackmail material against me.

I don’t know, but you know what, Beyonce doesn’t write her own songs. I don’t know if that relates to anything, but i feel like it’s important to remember that you can’t do everything. Bey is an amazing singer, actress, performer, and mom but is she not a writer. And that’s not her fault. just like how it’s not really my fault that I am being ridiculous. Maybe I am just a ridiculous person. Honestly, I wouldn’t put it past me. I’ve been questioning my coolness. Its existence mostly. Am I cool? That’s something I legitimately wonder sometimes. I still listen to the Jonas Brothers. Do I have subpar coolness levels? Or am I so exponential, that like Mario Kart, my competitors are so far behind me that’s the reason I don’t see anyone at my level?

But what’s more likely is that I pass someone, and think wow I’m cooler than them, when really I’m three laps behind and am in 13th place? That’s the deal with this love thing!!!! You think I’m joking? Wait, it gets worse.