Prose

What do people’s souls look like?

By Lucy Earl

What do people’s souls look like? Because I don’t think they look like the bodies they reside in, that’s too easy. Do they look like other people? Faces we’ve only met in dreams but we still know exactly which reality to match them to? Perhaps mine is an old man, eyes lit up with the joy of his borderline craziness, or maybe he’s just really imaginative. Is there really a difference between a strong imagination and insanity? Maybe our souls are the forgottens we’ve left behind, lingering on objects or in smells like memories waiting to be picked up again. Maybe our souls are the smell of a childhood home or the sight of an old table. Maybe our souls are colors that don’t have names but make you think of a certain person and you can’t shake the feeling. Or maybe our souls are words, shifting around to form sentences, separating your life into constantly rearranging stanzas. Maybe our souls are the random thoughts we have while we lie awake at night, sticking to the ceiling above us like a mobile of existence hidden in foggy heads. Maybe our souls are soggy days, wet socks, the smell of rain, and the warm feeling in the pit of your stomach you get from laughing for too long. Or maybe they don’t exist in a way that you can hold in your hand. Maybe your soul doesn’t fit into a jar of trinkets collected by those whose minds like to wander. Maybe we can trap them in the words on our page, the ink sinking deeper into the paper as each second passes, like any moment we have, burying itself into the folds of your brain. Our souls, perhaps, are the residue of our existence,a moment trapped in the ribbon of time, fading as it pushes past us, but we still hold on just as tight, because it’s comforting to think that nothing disappears forever.

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Lamp

By Lucy Earl

Lamp:
/lamp/
noun
Any various devices for producing light or sometimes heat.

Lamp:
/lamp/
noun
An object of little to no importance to most people.

If I had known yesterday that the lamp would be moved, I wouldn’t have bothered to show up. I mean, it’s not just about the lamp. It’s the uneasy feeling that everything has changed. I left this room two months ago and I wanted it to stay exactly the same. I wanted to come back, have to slightly reposition my chair, and put my notebook on the table to my right. I wanted to watch the same crowd of people parade in, one after the other. But now the lamp is moved and everything else has changed with it.

Lamp:
/lamp/
noun
A physical representation of the impact of change on one particular individual.

The thing about communities is that they need constant maintenance and a level of consistency in order to survive. But, if those communities are left unattended for too long, then new people come in and start messing with it. Suddenly, the table is on the wrong side, there is a clock counting out our fleeting time together, the arms of my chair are covered with a different fabric, and the lamp is in the wrong place. But still, I am here.

Our time here is forever frozen in a collection of words
The cold echos of past moments
Still reverberating around the room

They have left their ghosts here for me to discover
My other anchors across the room
Slipping away from my hands
Taking the living, breathing moments down with them

Symphonies of laughter still seem to bounce around the walls
Fading away with every second ticked off by the clock
Tables look empty without the collection of juice boxes
And gummy wrappers slowly building up as the hours go by
The room looks empty and cold without the overflow of chairs and lives

I moved the lamp back
Placed the clock out of sight
Hid the fabric covers
Put the table on the right side
And waited.

  Lamp:
 /lamp
noun
A word, like most, that begins to sound incorrect the more often you say it.

YAC is…

YAC is a group of slightly crazy teenagers, and I use that word fondly.

Laughter colors the walls of the room that we meet in, and I doubt that color will ever fully go away.

Every person brings their own skillsets, and somehow those skills create a conglomeration of incredible stories.

We are crazy, and nerdy and if you were a fly on the wall it might scare you a little bit, but we are YAC, and laughter fills our lungs. by Aiyana Spear

 

YAC is..
Blooming humanity
Refractured through
Rose-tinted prisms

YAC is…
Escaping
(the cave)
Chewing the shadows
Cutting open words
And seeing
(the sun)

YAC is…
Cubed laughter
As building blocks
For your soul

YAC is…
Creating. the
world
From scratch.
by Abigail Munson 

 

YAC Young Authors Collective Spring 2017YAC is low-key a bunch of crazy high school students that get together on Wednesdays and talk about a lot of stuff, mostly writing, but sometimes weird stuff, like Adam’s irrational fear of a pea, or Lucy’s hue of purple or how Katy can’t spell, but none of us can spell, really, or form a complete sentence (like this one – it’s gone on way too long) but we still call ourselves writers, and that’s good and all because we’re all really good writers, but we all write different stuff, like Abigail who writes like a ton of poetry with all those really clever biblical allusions, and Madison who writes all this fantasy stuff that’s really cool, and always gets confused with Madeline, for some reason who always writes like way too much and can’t even finish this damn sentence, and Cassidy, who has like, a pretty weird sense of humor , but that’s cool and all, and Ellen usually writes about herself, but sometimes it’s about Hello Kitty instead  (and maybe Hello Kitty should be considered a member of YAC) and Aiyana writes descriptive essays, and Sierra writes a little bit of everything, and Thalia dresses like all darkly, which is weird because her writing is so bright, and I think that’s everyone, except for Jesaka, who has to be included, of course, and I’m not sure what she writes, but I’m sure it’s as good as the prompts she gives us, and that’s YAC,  🙂  by Madeline Dean

 

YAC is…
A place where I thought new things and mastered new thought. A room where lives were created. A group of great people I will carry with me forever. A space where anything is possible and magic can happen. A mindset where kindness and friendship are born. A home where new worlds are traveled and explored together. by Katy C McDonald

 

YAC is somewhere I’m understood 
YAC is splendiferous
YAC is where writers can be themselves
YAC is where friendships begin and creativity never has to end
YAC is like a convening of Powerful sorcerers
YAC is home
by Madison Hart

 

YAC is…
Land of misfit toys. But hey, we’re writers, what do you expect. Oddly enough, there’s very little writing involved, just a lot of inside jokes about writing. Or about the snack table. Or about each other. Mostly about each other.  by Thalia Medrano

There are two types of people in YAC… those who like linked stories and Cassidy. by Cassidy Nicks

YAC is…
A concept, a feeling.
It is not merely our group name,
It is green carpets, plush chairs.
It is laughter about nothing,
Laughter about everything.
It is Wednesdays and plot
holes and inside jokes.


We are YAC; YAC is within us
I know that sounds kinda
sappy, but the thing that
YAC is most, is the people.
Each year it changes,
because this people change.


At heart it is an
idea – and an idea
can go anywhere.
by Sierra Karas

[Hollow Walls]

By Thalia Medrano

I think there’s someone in the walls. At first I considered the possibility that this was just an old house, and that the noises it made didn’t indicate anything remotely special. But the thing is, eventually I realized the house wasn’t actually making noise. Why I believed it was, I couldn’t tell you, I think my mind was scrambling for the best possible explanation for the sensation I was feeling, so it created whispers and creaks emanating from behind the plaster. But when you really pay attention, there’s nothing there at all.

Thalia wall photoOne could blame it all on paranoia, I suppose, and yes, I considered that possibility, too. How else would you explain this? I believe someone’s here with me, though I can’t see or hear them. But they’re tangible. You can feel the air moving around them. At one point I even considered it might be a ghost.

I gouged a hole in the kitchen wall with a crowbar when I was finally too curious to put up with it anymore. And what did I find but a very angry and malnourished raccoon, who had nested behind the cabinets. Upon calling animal control, I decided that was that.

But the feeling persisted. I punched holes in every room of the house, hiding them all behind posters after the fact in case anyone ever cared to visit. Wouldn’t want to worry them.

I ended up sitting inside the walls quite a lot after a while. By that point I’d given up looking for anything in particular, but the walls were cool and pleasantly dim and it was nice to know that there was a place no one else could find.

And of course I absolutely jinxed it by thinking that. On an afternoon on a Saturday I sat inside the wall for a while and eventually looked up to notice a girl, who, I should add, I had never met before, sitting next to me with a book in hand and a can of soda. Not a ghost, mind you, a real, physical girl, who apparently just enjoyed spending her time reading inside the walls of my house.

[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. 🔥

[She Sat by the Window]

By Aiyana Spear

Ghostly fingers stroked the keys and beautiful music resulted.

It was a party, and some say that you hear the most lovely music in the world at parties.


No one seemed to notice that it didn’t appear that anyone was playing the instrument; it is more important for the music to be heard than it
is for the musician to be seen after all.

Sonatas and concertos filled the room, shoes clicking in time with the rhythm, dresses of every color only enhancing the magnificent gold decorations.

______

“Thump.  Thump.  Thump.”  …..     hide     hide    hide

______


Whispers, fabric rustling, heels clicking, music silenced

______

Silence, eyes following movement, muffled breathing

______

“Thump.  Thump.  Thump.” …..     come out      come out     dance    dance

_____


Colorful dresses, a sonata continued, heels tapping the rhythm

_____

Maybe it wasn’t a party now, the
music not as lovely as before, the dancing not as lively.

Apprehension now lived on their faces, not fear-yet, but nerves.
What if she comes back?

She sat by the window aiyana

[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,
Katy

 

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,
Katy

[Black Moon]

by Madison Hart

I once said I swallowed the sun. But as I sit on my porch I can clearly see it stands in the sky. However, at that time, I wouldn’t have bothered with reality and the fact that I really hadn’t swallowed the sun. Although I knew it in my brain, my heart was filled with its warm rays. You may notice I’m using past tense. You see, since that little girl was running around barefoot in her front yard, she grew up. Growing up is a terrible thing. Everyone argues it’s not. Just take a glance at me and observe my pale cheeks and lifeless eyes and you’ll start to understand. Who I once was, who I long to still be, has been robbed. My story thus ends in woe, but take note of this: Seal the cracks where lies can leak in, or before you know it, your whole life with be flooded. I once said I swallowed the sun. Now the moon is dark.

[YAC Responds: Aiyana & Christian on What is the Purpose of Art in a Time of Crisis?]

[Aiyana Spear]

I believe that art doesn’t need a purpose. To do art, all you need is the drive to do it. But in times of crisis, art is one of the most valuable tools out there that can help people.

When I’m scared, I turn to stories. When I’m feeling hopeless, I turn to words. My sister turns to music, my friends turn to comics, movies, shows, watercolors, calligraphy, and (of course) books. In class when we are discussing tough topics, we always take breaks and do drawing competitions or lip sync battles.

img_5816Happiness, love, hope are the most important things that can help a person through a crisis. Art creates these emotions. Stories help to ground, help make sense of seemingly incomprehensible things. Music can bring peace and stability. Movies, shows, provide escape, painting is peace. All forms of art are works of love, and that love, that power, can help people get through crises, get through hell.

[Christian Wilson]

If you’re stranded in the middle of the forest with a Rembrandt, don’t be afraid to use that priceless son of a gun as kindling in a fire. One of the most common deaths when stranded in the wilderness is hypothermia, and if you can’t get a fire going, you will get sick and you will die. Remember, Van Gogh used to use burn his paintings for warmth and if an artistic master has no qualms about setting artistic masterpieces aflame, then you shouldn’t either. Even if the only reason you’re holding the authentic oil on canvas painting is so you can auction it off to a shady group of Russian oligarchs, remember that despite its acclaim, The Night Watch is not worth your life. Although, given the fact that that painting is twelve by eleven feet, you could probably also the canvas as a tent. While you lay awake at night, wondering if you will die in the untameable Scandinavian wilderness, you can also study the intentional strokes made by one of the greatest painters that ever lived. Art students across the globe have studied every tiny intricacy of the famous tarp that could shield you from the harsh elements. To me, that’s real prestige.