The Glass Menagerie: Life Behind Glass

By Carson Sawyer

Families fight. This horrifying paradox has persisted throughout the ages, telling of a truth no one wants to hear. However, when you find yourself in the middle of your own family’s brawl or in another family’s inner turmoil, this truth is unable to be repressed. In these moments, it’s hard to remember the Dom Toretto family meme that recognizes the importance and strength of family. It’s hard to remember the love that these individuals clearly shared for each other just moments ago. In The Glass Menagerie, these battles of the give and take of domestic life are fought. There are no swords nor sorcery to spice up the story with some action and give a reprieve from the presented facsimile of reality. Instead, the famous American playwright known as Tennesee Williams focuses simply on the family, creating a raw and heartbreaking masterpiece. 

The story starts with Tom Wingfield, the narrator of the play. However, he isn’t just any narrator; he is also a character. Throughout, he is the struggling son forced to bear the responsibility of supporting the family. Often fighting with him, we have Amanda Wingfield: An energetic mother who is blissfully unaware of her retrospective tendencies. Of course, these are obvious to her children, but like her daughter, Laura, says to her brother, “Let her tell [her stories].” Unlike her mother and brother, Laura is the one character that is not stuck in the past or dreaming of more. Instead, she shows off a rather modest being by playing with glass animals. This state of living may not seem like much, but Laura is perfectly content. When she isn’t playing with her glass ornaments, Laura often braves her mother’s overbearing tendencies, but she gets easily rattled when it comes to matters of love and anything having to do with people outside of the Wingfield family. Speaking of which, there is one more member of the family: the father. However, Mr. Wingfield’s only presence is in the form of his picture in the hallway. The real one is long gone. 

This family crushed under the American Dream is exactly what starts the story. The Wingfields live in an apartment that is only reachable by fire escape, and although there are many fires and an escape on the mind, Tom and Amanda still connect to this dream. Tom dreams of becoming a writer, and Amanda dreams of her children–especially Laura–achieving some success in life. At one point, Amanda even shouts, “Success and happiness for my precious children! I wish for that whenever there’s a moon, and when there isn’t a moon, I wish for it, too.” Unfortunately, Tom and Amanda’s conflicting dreams only aggravate the fighting between them, and the more they fight, the more Laura is affected. Laura is an innocent bystander in their conflicts, and she is often left in vulnerable states. After one fight, Laura is so devastated that she “clings weakly to the mantel with her face averted.” However, this chilling picture of an innocent girl having to face the brutalities of the household hadn’t come out of thin air. In fact, most of the characters hadn’t. Instead, they came out of Tennessee Williams’s memories. Like one of the opening lines states, “I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.” That truth is none other than the truth of Williams and his family, disguised in the form of the Wingfield characters. 

Tennessee Williams grew up in a modest apartment in St. Louis for part of his childhood. Back then, he was known as Tom—the same as the narrator of the play. With a closer look, Tennessee’s sister, Rose, is also a major influence on the story, as she is the model for Laura. Tom loved Rose, and their relationship was quite close; however, it was troubled. According to Clay Morton in “Not Like All the Other Horses: Neurodiversity and the Case of Rose Williams,” Rose demonstrated erratic behavior, showed symptoms of paranoia, and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her violent and chilling outbursts included screaming, accusing her father of high crime, and shouting out death threats. Eventually, she was moved from a sanitarium to a mental hospital, but her condition worsened. Edwina Williams, the mother, finally decided to have a lobotomy performed on Rose, and her husband had no objection due to his daughter’s earlier accusations and threats. Rose Williams would never be the same again. 

However, in the story, Rose Williams’ earlier form is shown through the fragile Laura Wingfield, a terribly shy girl who is crippled in one leg. This precious character allows Tennessee Williams to go back into his past, and Tom shows us fragments of his reality–essentially, taking us into the past back with him–as he sorts through his troubled and unresolved feelings that he has for his beloved sister. And then, he must once again go through the crushing decision of whether to stay with Laura by tossing his dreams aside or to abandon her to pursue his own life–all in order to finally achieve closure. 

Despite Tom Wingfield’s stated intentions, there is no pleasant disguise to mask the truth of this family’s pain. However, the Wingfield family’s love inadvertently beckons us to remember our love for our own families, and that is the beauty that lies in this play.

Saving Grace’s Faceplant

by Greg Glade

We ain’t seen a real revolution

Opportunity for anyone! in that regard 

“You can do anything you want!”

-A businessman en guarde 

Crystal sweet 

The Cobain suite 

Refineries are none to me 

It’s simple tea, come as you are 

If you are a natural at inferiority 

The cutthroats are inhuman 

Can or can’t say so sue 

Sue sued uncle Sam 

Sam painted her red

Soon she was blue 

White blossomed the hope as it left her heart 

Then bloomed the crimson

A wax seal on her blouse 

I’m no anti capitalist 

Easy for me to say 

I’m a white male, above average, not gay 

I thank God for making me neutral to feet pics

Unbothered to the ones beneath me 

The pricks got picked, my shoes were free 

I probled such, not a problem 

I saw first, and I caught him; 

A kingpin? 

A man getting his is his because he’s him 

Are you pickin up 

What I’m putting down? 

It’s a guy thing

I still make the birds sing 

Not one can open the opener 

Cracking cases distract tranquility 

I don’t know what fear is, death fears me 

Humanity, it’s a corpse 

Carcass, dead meat 

The decomposing is a hopeful return to what we could be 

What we could be as of yesterday isn’t where we are today

I plead, complete, for just three 

Just three, maybe it’s not for me 

Maybe it never was complete 

The line between values 

And lies 

Grows ever none, sir. 

In this world, I could sell a tissue as a “hardy coaster”

Today only! 

see the horrors of war! for free!

Never ever have to leave your seat! 

Don’t even come to the door! 

For you, a feat 

the table scrap is it 

If were so ahead, it’s about time we put the drones in the dregs of our society. 

Oh wait,

Hold tightly. 

I know some that’ll come quietly. 

Barely know English? 

Not a problem 

If barely a wage doesn’t trouble you 

These are the standings on children’s book pages 

Whether here or no, without something to appose 

We have nothing

Not six, not four, not a single toe 

To know

Brian Wilson had it right 

I just wasn’t made for these times…

If not him or I, then who?

I wouldn’t wish it on a single soul

Its all been said before 

I just had to say it for myself 

Not a spin from my own 

Brain, no 

What impression were you under

Don’t ask me what there is to know 

(photo from Creative Commons)

Help

by Serenity Ringwood

I sat on the cold concrete across from my apartment, wrapped in a blanket from one of the firemen. Even under the blanket I felt ice cold. The night was oddly chilly, for the middle of August. I watched the apartment complex flicker bright shades of orange and yellow against the dark sky, and hoped I was dreaming a very dark, messed up dream. I watched as each of the apartments slowly caught fire. I watched as everyone filed out. Down the stairs, around the corner, everywhere. I watched the red tail lights of all the cars leaving. Slowly, everything I’d worked for in the past month–moving out, showing I could be a part of society, being on my own–all went up in flames. The fire department sprayed all the water they could at the apartments, while I just sat here. I should have been helping my neighbors, but how could I help people when I felt more helpless than ever? I could hear the sirens of the police cars and the firetrucks, but they sounded like they were farther away than they really were. 

My head swam with thoughts. How did this even happen? What caused the fire? Or, who? Could I have prevented it? The weirdest thing to think about, is how it had all been okay just a few weeks ago. I had finished high school ready to take on the world, or, realistically, college. I had planned on going to the University of Kansas since my freshman year. I even started a dream board with a picture of the campus at the top. It was my dream, and when I got in, nothing seemed real. I remember reading the letter, and immediately searching for cheap apartments in the area. 

When I left, it was my mom who waved me off. She had always been there for me when no one else was. I remember both of us crying while packing my car. Crying because I was leaving, because I was heading into the world, and because I was moving on with my life. I cranked  up my music and let the hot tears stream down my face while I drove the ten hours from New Mexico to Kansas, stopping every so often for gas. The drive seemed so long, knowing I’d be alone.

About a  week before this drive, I came into town and set up my student loans, and readied the apartment. I had everything set up and waiting for me to come and knock over the first domino. I had also saved enough money (on top of college funds) to buy furniture. I had it all planned out, I was going to the furniture store after I unpacked. I was going to get a couch, a coffee table, utensils — all of it. I could see it. 

I arrived in town about mid-afternoon. The sun shone on my face, and I pulled into a gas station. This was my fifth fill up on my way to my apartment. I was so close now, I could practically see the sea-sick green roof, with the baby-blue exterior of the building. It looked so ugly, yet so amazing all at the same time. I couldn’t wait to have something of my own. 

I finally reached my third-floor apartment. The black, rusty iron railing of the concrete stairs,  the faded yellow of the plastic siding. They had clearly tried to make it look updated, but who knew how long ago that was. I put my silver key into the dulled, silver-grey keyhole of the grey door. What only took seconds to do felt like it took minutes. My first step into freedom. I had the best feeling of peace wash over me as I walked in. My flop-flops touched the beige carpet and I felt at home. The yellow light from the afternoon sun shone bright in the empty home that was mine. 

I went down to the Uhaul attached to my car and started moving stuff inside. One box at a time, I eventually got my cardboard castle set up inside. By that time, I had carried everything inside. It was too late to make a trip to the furniture store, so I went to the closest chinese takeout place and parked my car for the night. I went in and set up my wifi router and TV and called it good. I scrolled through Netflix to find a decent show to watch while I ate, and, inevitably, fell asleep on the floor. 

On my way to the grocery store this morning, there was an older couple who looked like they needed help getting their groceries from their car to their little apartment. One of the things I was taught from an early age to help people where possible. I walked over to the woman who was trying to reach the bags in the back of the minivan they had. 

“Would you like some help?” I asked as I walked over. She looked over with a very frustrated look on her face, but it softened after she saw me. 

“Well that would be lovely dear,” she replied as she moved out of the way, with visible difficulty. I walked over and grabbed a couple bags and followed her inside. 

“Where would you like these?” I asked. She pointed to the counter and I set them down. I went out and grabbed the last couple bags and set them next to the first round I had gotten. I turned to her while she sat at the counter. “Alright, that’s the last of them,” I said with a smile. She returned my smile. 

“Thank you very much. Your mom raised you right,” she nodded. I laughed awkwardly. 

“Yes ma’am, I guess she did.” 

“In that jar behind you are some cookies, if you’d like one,” she pointed her fragile looking finger at the jar behind me. I looked at the jar and debated on turning it down and accepting. 

“Thank you,” I said as I took one. It would be easier in the long run to take the cookie than to decline. 

“Go ahead and sit at the table,” she said as she poured a glass of milk. I walked over to the closest chair at the table and sat down. She followed behind me, one hand holding the milk, one hand operating her cane. She sat down next to me, and placed the glass in front of me.  Her husband walked out from behind a wall and joined us, sitting next to her. 

“It’s not often a nice girl crosses our path,” Garry –her husband– had said to me. 

“It’s not often a nice girl moves in here,” Gurturide –the woman– corrected him. As we sat there, they told me stories about their lives. Some funny, some life lessons, but all of the stories made them who they were. Turned out they had three kids, but they all lived too far away and didn’t visit very often. 

After a few hours, I was finally able to leave. Gurtuide sent me off with a plate of cookies and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. I took the plate to my apartment, and looked at the time. I was there for three hours. I forgot how easy it was to listen to older people. After unpacking a few boxes, the stuff that goes in my closet and kitchen, I decided it was too late to go to the store. I decided to finish off the take-out I had last night and have a full repeat of last night, minus the setting-up. 

A couple weeks passed and I had gotten all of my things set up, and all of my furniture was delivered, mostly because I didn’t trust that I could get it in my apartment by myself. I face-chatted with my mom almost every night. It felt strange not having her on this journey with me. But, I had to be happy with what I have to work with. I was ready to take on the world. I had already been on my own for about a month, so I felt like I had made progress in the world. 

Fast forward to my first week of college. I had taken so many notes, people started relying on me to pass most classes. I was happy to help, as always, so I made a few copies of my notes in the library after class. Everyone seemed grateful for them, so I made copies everyday. It was part of my daily routine now. I had justified it as they would probably help me out too. It wasn’t too difficult to make a copy and pass it on to another person anyway. 

I had been studying when the smoke detectors had gone off. I stood from my chair and looked out into the kitchen. Then the living room. Then, just to be safe, the bathroom. Everything appeared to be fine. There was someone vigorously pounding on my door, so I ran over to see who it was. I opened the door to someone I had never seen before. He grabbed my wrist and quickly informed me that I needed to get out of the building. Then, I saw the fire. 

Time slowed down. It was all surreal. I couldn’t believe it. I sat on the sidewalk across the street in the blanket one of the firemen handed me and thought about everything that had happened in the past two months. I remembered Garry and Gurtruide, and hoped they made it out okay. Or at all. Without thinking, I ran around the trucks and pounded on their door. Garry ripped open the door and almost walked right through me. 

“I’m so sorry,” he said as he passed. Gurtuide had her hand around her mouth when she came limping out. It must have been the rush of adrenaline, but I was able to pick her up like she weighed the same as paper. Garry had walked some distance, when he saw I had his wife. I followed him to their car and set her in the passenger seat. 

“Don’t worry, I will let you two know when everything is clear and you can come back,” I reassured them.

 “Thank you love,’ Gurtuide said as she coughed. I nodded, and backed up. Garry backed out of the parking spot he was in, and drove off. 

We weren’t able to go in and get our stuff for three days, which meant getting new notebooks and things for school. It wasn’t too difficult, just very time consuming to find any. I was able to replace all but my textbooks. The textbooks would be more difficult to buy again, since they cost so much in the first place, and I just  had to replace all of my wardrobe. But I could manage. I spent over $200 on just replacing things, which meant I wasn’t going to be able to get any fast-food for a while. 

I sat in my car, with the plastic grocery bags surrounding me. I felt so small. Had I failed? Did I only feel this way because of the events that had occurred? I sat trying to figure it all out, as I saw my phone light up with all sorts of different messages. All the people I had text about getting some of my notes back all said they didn’t need them and passed them, or threw them away. I was frustrated, but I was managing to hold it together. To each person, I had sent back a text saying that it was fine and I hoped they found them useful, to which everyone responded, in one way or another, that they hoped I would find somebody to help me out. 

It was rather late, but I thought I’d check in on Garry and Gurtruide, since I hadn’t for a bit. I called Garry’s phone, and he answered, sobbing. 

“What’s going on?” I asked, panicked.  I couldn’t understand him. 

“Gurtruide, gone,” was all I was able to make out. I gave him my sympathy, and hung up. I started my car, and drove. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but I had a pretty good idea. I fueled up and got on the freeway back to New Mexico. I started crying so hard I had to pull over a few times to let my vision clear up. I’m not sure how, but I ended up at the next gas station, and repeated the process. 

I had finally stopped crying before reaching gas station number three. I was close enough that I could just consider this a visit. I got to the gas station, started the pump, and went inside. I grabbed a bag of chips and some bottled water. 

“How are you today?” the cashier asked, I hated small talk, especially right now. 

“I am great, how are you?” I responded with a hint of sarcasm. I paid and walked out.

Now that the most painful interaction of the day was over, I continued my journey back home. I turned off the radio, and drove in silence. I was suddenly very aware of my thoughts. I thought about Gurtuide and her life. Or, the life she told me about. She should have lived longer. Could I have helped them more? How would the outcome have changed if I had knocked sooner instead of feeling sorry for myself. I eventually had to turn the radio back on so I could leave my pity party. 

I pulled into the driveway and turned my car off. I sat there for a minute, staring at the house. The longer I sat there, the more I realised how tired I was. I pulled my key out of the ignition and opened my car door. I walked up to the front door I had known all my life. The pasty white looked welcoming. I turned the doorknob and walked in. My mom poked her head around the separating wall between the living room and the kitchen. I smiled at her, and she started walking over to me. 

I closed the door, and collapsed to the ground, sobbing. The hot, salty water poured from my eyes. My mom wrapped me in a hug while I sat there. I grabbed her arm and started crying harder. I finally stopped and just sat there. I let my mom hug me for as long as I could. She eventually pulled away and stood up. She put her arm out to help me up, and I took it.

I followed her to the kitchen and sat at the barstool at the island. I told her all about the apartment and how amazing it was, Garry and Gurtuide, buying my own furniture, college,  and how it all, painfully literally, went up in flames. She listened to me, and cut up an apple and some berries, placing them in a bowl. When I was done, she handed me the bowl and a can of whipped cream. I happily took them, and unknowingly waited for her to tell me what to do. 

“Sounds like you’ve had a lot of things going on since we last talked.” I nodded.

“ Well, it looks to me like you need to stop being helpful and start taking care of the most important person there is.” I looked at her, confused. “You.” She handed me a fork. 

“But why not worry about everyone all at the same time?” 

“Is that the most logical way to do things?” 

“Well…no,” I defeatedly ate my fruit. 

“Why don’t you stay here for a few days until you can go back?” she suggested. I nodded and stood up. I took my berries and laid on the couch. A few hours passed and I heard my phone go off. It was someone needing notes. 

“I unfortunately don’t have the notes for today’s lecture. Good luck, though,” I responded. I was trying to get used to the fact that it wasn’t my responsibility to pull people through anything if I’m still struggling. That would be the most important lesson I would ever learn. 

A few weeks later, I was able to go back to my apartment, to find that most of my things were okay. Most of my furniture was burnt, the TV was basically a big piece of charcoal, but my school stuff was surprisingly okay. I packed up what I could, and took it back to my mom’s. I decided to take a year off and find out who I am, under the girl who wants to help. I decided to stop tearing myself apart. I put my stuff in a storage unit until I would be able to put it somewhere of my own, again, and stayed with my mom. 

We took a two week trip to California for me to unwind from the last two months’ events. We went shopping, and made our way over to the beach. The mess of people littering both the ocean and the sand was a very calming picture. It was nice to just sit and be in the world for a bit, instead of being a part of the world. 

Gerry had called me after we got back to the hotel, to tell me that Gurtuide’s funeral was in two weeks and that I was welcome to come. Even though I wanted to leave that part of my life I figured I’d go. To me, she was a symbol of not giving up hope. Even though she wanted to, multiple times, she never did. I admire that about her.

We got back to Belen a week after the call and I drove to Kansas. I had everything I needed for the funeral, which was in a couple hours. I got ready in my car and drove over to the cemetery. I sat in my car as I watched all the people walk over to the pavilion. It was super difficult to not go over and see what I could help with, but I wasn’t sure I could help properly. 

I looked at all the people dressed in black, and realized that I don’t belong here anymore. I went to say goodbye regardless, and continued with my life. I earned a degree in graphic design and moved on. When people ask me what I’m going to do for the rest of my life my response is always the same: keep moving forward.

CHS Symphony Orchestra

By Sadie Hinck 

Samuel Allen, a senior here at CHS, is putting together a Symphony Orchestra that invites students who play brass, percussion, woodwinds, strings, and those who sing in choir to participate. The music that will be played is from the classical music era, meaning that there is no saxophone part, but, regardless, the pieces will still be full of emotion. Also, because of the era in which the music was composed, the music will be difficult and not recommended for any person that is just starting to play a concert instrument. The music will be very challenging, however, it will be rewarding and fun.

What was the idea behind the start of a symphony orchestra?

For the past six and a half years, Samuel Allen has been involved in music. In this time, he’s been playing the piano, the french horn, the trumpet, and he even participates  in the choir. Samuel is very involved in the band, choir, writers club, and even debate. Outside of school, he is found playing music with the Cedar City Community Band and the Orchestra of Southern Utah. He also enjoys learning about things in his free time. Samuel has a strong passion for the things that he does, and he takes pride in all of them. He started to pursue music by following in the footsteps of his parents and his older siblings.

When I was asking Samuel about his thoughts about music, and why he was wanting to start a symphony, I quickly learned that he just has a passion for music that is hard to put into words. Samuel says that music is powerful because it speaks more profoundly than words. He claims that music is what truly conveys the emotion of a person in a way that you can really feel. When I asked Sam what pushes him to make music, he said that he simply enjoys making something that sounds nice. Another thing that he enjoys about music is the fact that he can do it with other people. For Samuel, the best experiences that he’s had in music so far have been traveling up north for All-State Choir, band, and performing for other people. 

There were a few reasons why Samuel wanted to start the symphony, but the main one was his desire to share things with other people. “I would love to share my love and passion for music with other people,” Allen says. Starting a symphony has always been something that he’s wanted to do. With this being his senior year, he says that he might as well start a symphony now. Samuel is very excited to get started and start working with new people to bring his vision of music to life. He hopes that the people who do participate in the symphony will leave with a good experience and a love for music. 

(Photo provided by Ericka Marchant) 

Interested in playing in a full symphony orchestra here at CHS? 

Come join us! 

The music will be challenging but will also be just as fun and rewarding as it is rigorous.  Don’t pass up this musical opportunity!

What instruments can participate? 

The music calls for brass, string, percussion, and woodwinds. 

In addition, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass vocalists are needed.  

Please Note: Because of the era that the music is from, there is no saxophone part 😦

When/Where/How long are rehearsals? 

We will continue every Friday after October 15th at 1:00 until our concert on December 6th at 7:00.  

Rehearsal will run for about 45 minutes and will be held in the band room (Room 103).

When is the concert?  

The concert will be on Monday, December 6th at 7:00 in the CHS auditorium.  

We will be performing in joint with the CHS String Orchestras.

How do I sign up?  

Text 81010 to @chs-symph to join the Remind.  

Once confirmed that you’re in, respond with your name (First and Last) and your instrument and/or vocal part.  

If you play or sing more than one part, please feel free to include them all!

Questions, comments, or concerns? Scan here to let us know!

Two Sketches

by Carson Sawyer

 The Grandfather Tree

The cool breeze ruffled the branches of the Grandfather Tree, giving off crisp swishes and swooshes. His children, and their children, danced all around him. The autumn months would show how old the Grandfather Tree became; his leaves would sport splendid burgundy and amber, auburn and crimson. His children would show off their bare twig hair and heads. The Grandfather Tree gave off a smell of sweet cherries. His spawn, on the other hand, gave off a faint almond odor. Cynthia loved the Grandfather Tree, but she knew that he was getting old. He had sown his last seeds and given his last sap. Cynthia gave the Grandfather Tree a hug, feeling his bruises and scars. She wished him a long winter as she turned towards the house on the hill. 

The Playground Fear

At the far end of the park, a woman was seen walking a dog. At the faucet, a man was seen drinking the water. At the swings, a girl was seen rocking back and forth, back and forth. A young Tom stayed huddled all alone inside of the tubed, red slide. The sun brought out the slide’s subtle arterial shades. The grass looked hot. The sand looked coarse. The sky looked endless. Tom was alone. The climbing frame’s bars would blister, the roundabout would sicken, and the vine climbers would burn. The teeter-totter didn’t move. It sat there, waiting, for someone other than Tom. Tom stayed inside the slide – the slide that the city of Wilkins established in 1982. It was an old slide, a dusty slide, a smelly slide, and yet Tom remained inside. The dark provided sanctuary and proved a friend, Tom’s friend. Tom’s mother was busy walking the tireless Toby, Tom’s father was busy quenching his dehydration, and Tom’s sister was busy as she rocked back and forth, back and forth. 

Just Your Basic Mystery

By Saffron Stiegmann

You know when I said that I’d be okay to die? I meant like in 40 years when I’m old, not when I’m 23. I look at my body just sitting there with a stupid expression of shock. I thought that if I died I would look at peace in my bed, looking like an icon. Not on the couch with a bowl of chips with my hair that hasn’t been washed in my stained sweatpants. I know you are screaming “get on with the point,” but I got murdered. I feel like I get to be vain for a few seconds, okay? This isn’t my ideal Saturday.

You may ask yourself, “Murdered? Huh? Who killed you? Friend? Family? Lover? The guy down the street who keeps stealing your newspapers?” 

Well, I’m gonna be honest; I’m not the most observant and, the moment I was shot, I was watching Detective Richard Poole reveal the murderer in Death in Paradise. So the timing wasn’t amazing. I guess that’s for me to figure out if I want to pass along? That’s what ghosts have to do, right? Like they have to figure out their own murder and haunt the person till they pee their pants?

I sit and finish watching my show till someone finds my poor body. Don’t look at me like that, it’s not like I have any other good ideas. Unfortunately for me that’s like two days later, on a Monday of all things. When my friend Amber stumbles across my body, she doesn’t even look phased. It’s like she knew that my dumb ass would be the first to die. She just simply pulls out her phone and calls the police.

In the crime shows the police arrive super quickly, not like mine, who barely arrive before noon. “I think it’s a murder,” says one with cup of coffee. Of course it’s a murder! I have a gunshot wound right there! 

“Do you know anyone who would kill her?”asks the one with your typical handlebar mustache. 

“I don’t believe so, she wasn’t really the hateable type,” Amber says, giving me an ego boost. “But she’s not the brightest, so maybe she accidentally got herself into some trouble,” she finishes, shooting a different type of bullet into my heart.  

The police officers start looking around my apartment, even walking into “THE room.” You may ask yourself, “why is it called THE room?” Well… let’s just say it’s a room in the back with some questionable things. I’m pretty sure if I went in there now I could finally solve the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. Luckily for me they quickly cast it off as no one could go through THE room and not be heard. 

They finally go through my room, clearly not looking deeply because I notice the scratch marks on my tiles around my bed. Hmmm…someone moved my bed.  I try to move it back but to no avail. There also is a small box on my dresser, which I assume I would also phase through. It seems that I am cursed only to interact with things that are inherently gross looking. This whole ghost thing is kind of inconvenient. Each of the letters has stains of something I don’t want to know. The first one reads: 

“My dearest: I watch you from afar. Your hair is a blazing sun and your eyes are made from the purest stones. Your voice in the shower is as sweet as a confused duck. You dance like a giraffe on new legs.  I know that if we were to meet you would allow me to kiss and touch you.”

I stopped reading at that line because whoever wrote this has read too many trashy love novels. The rest of the box was almost all love notes expect one. There was a quote that I surprisingly recognized to be from Shakespeare:

Death lies on her like an untimely frost

Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.

What does this even mean? That she’s pretty even when dead? What’s this supposed to be, a reference to Dracula? I put the notes and quote back onto my desk and float back into the main room where the police officers debriefed my friend. 

“We, unfortunately, can’t find any signs of a break in nor any evidence that someone had ill intent. We will have someone run an autopsy to help open this case wide open,” they say.

I can feel my eyes roll out of my head. Where is my Sherlock when I need him?

All three leave my house, leaving me alone to actually find clues. I look around my kitchen and notice that my favorite mug is missing from the sink, which is a shame because it wasn’t cheap. My toothbrush is also missing, along with a pair of socks. I can’t blame the police for missing the small things, but also how could they miss the broken window in “THE room”? I’m glad I’m dead because I’m afraid I would’ve drowned trying to swim across the room. The window is a small 2 ft by 3 ft and I can barely slip through it normally. When I peek outside, the bushes look crushed with a small trail of leaves leading “Into the UNKNOWN.. .INTO THE UNKNOWWWN…”

Gosh dang it, that song likes to creep into my mind at all moments. Sigh….. you get the point. There is a trail for me to follow that, fingers crossed, doesn’t lead to a witch in the woods. 

Blah blah I follow the leaves, nothing really important. What do you want, all the details? Go read an Agatha Christie book. I’m not here for your entertainment. 

After some snooping around I finally have discovered who the murderer is. What do you mean “slow my roll”? I’m bored telling the whole story; I’m skipping to the exciting parts. Fine! You’re sick, I’ll humor you. 

Basically the leaves bring me to this apartment that is pretty poor looking. Because I’m a ghost I cheat my way around the whole locked door thing. The apartment looks like no one lives here: filled with nick nacks and clean enough to see my reflection. The bedroom is filled with photos of someone I’d hoped to never see again; one who still haunts my nightmares and apparently my afterlife. Me. My face. My hair. My eyes. This is a shrine to me and I hate it with all my being. I’m not an idol nor BTS, so I do not understand the obsession. 

I find my favorite mug. How dare they defile my favorite thing. Looking around the apartment, I find one photo. One photo that isn’t me……… a photo of….of….of…. I’m building some pointless tension…..a photo that is….a dog. I’m putting this dog down as my main suspect. I know the eyes of this lab look innocent, but I can’t leave anything out of the picture. I scourge the rest of the apartment to find more of my things. I feel dirty just walking around here. If you guys have some bleach, please share.  

To my luck the apartment only has a few pieces of mail that weren’t mine.  One is addressed to a Mr. Zachary Creepypants. Very fitting. I feel no remorse going through this letter. It’s only even. 

“Dear Zachary: We regret to inform you but you are being charged with arrest for a list of crimes stated down below: larceny, breaking into private property, disobeying a restraining order and assault.Please go to the courtroom on May 19, 2021, for your trial. If you fail to show up we will assume you are guilty and we will send officers to detain you.”

May 19 was last Saturday. The day I bit the grave. I think you are going to have to revise that list and add murder. 

I found an unfinished letter Zach wrote addressed to Elizabeth on St. Neptune Lane. It’s not much but it’s a possible clue. 

The beach is quiet and deserted, with a billion footprints leading in all directions. I do see dog prints, which I believe belong to that lab. He is my main suspect after all. They lead me to a dead end, so it’s my job to find out why. Did the dog get picked up? Did the dog learn how to climb steep rocks? Or possibly (my favorite theory) the dog used his ears as wings like Dumbo. 

With no real clues or leads left, I decide to sit staring into the ocean asking the real questions. Will my hair get wet? How deep can I go? Can I swim as a ghost? What?! This is how I cope with things. Distraction is an amazing tool. You should try. 

Fine, I’ll get up and look around. Why do I have to do all the hard work? You’re so needy. 

The main thing I’ve been dismissing as a stupid clue is the trees. They have cuts running all along the side, with the top all messed up. At the top of a tree which I personally don’t like, there was a mess of coconuts and a poorly done camp, which fits my idea of how Zach or the dog lived their lives.

I don’t have to go far from the camp to find a man that looks grizzly and unkept. “Hi, my precious!” he says, looking at me. He blows me a kiss. 

“Mr. Creepshow?” I say as a whisper to myself. 

He nods. If I were to guess, I’d say he can see and hear me. Is it another rule to be a ghost that whoever killed you can interact with you so that you can haunt them?  

“Did you kill me?” I could feel the question slip out.

“Yes,” says the murderer, looking at me in the eyes with an awful smile, sending chills down my spine. 

“Why did you do it!?” I ask.

 “I wanted to make sure that no one got you. You are a flower never to be picked, he replies.

 Man, I really wish I was deaf just so I didn’t have to hear that. 

“Well I think that’s stupid!” I say. 

Impressive right? I had to pull really deep down to find that soul wrenching line.

“I’m not stupid. I was doing it for you,” he says.

“You murdered me for me? Um, that sounds pretty dumb,” I say.

“Yes, trust me it was for your good. You won’t ever be hurt by a man who can never love you. You will forever be perfect and beautiful. If you live, you age. Isn’t this better?” he says, reaching out to me with a needy look. “Please, let me hold you, my dearest.” 

“No, you can’t touch me. You, in fact, have no right to even speak to me. You are deranged and messed up. I hope that you can get some mental help!” I yell. 

“I…I….,” he looks mortified, like I crushed his world, which I think is brilliant. 

I don’t know if he got arrested because I said what I needed to say and I had some kind of peace. 

-The End

“Wait,” you’re asking, “that’s the conclusion? That’s where you’re leaving it?”

 Um, yeah. I’m not going to tie it in a nice little bow. That’s so cliche. You go do your own research and decide if the police got the guy.