Wayland Middle School's Literary Magazine

Joseph Baldwin: The World of Magic, chapter 1 by Jonathan Zhang

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 20•18

My life was ruined on my 13th birthday. On that day my life was put into a stranger’s hands. Fate. I realized that I myself didn’t make my future. Fate made my future. Fate was my future. At least in my world it was. Hello, my name is Joseph Baldwin and welcome to my world. A world past reality. A world of… magic.

I don’t really know how to explain my life. Explaining your life is more like trying to explain a picture that you didn’t draw. But I guess I’ll do my best. In our world there are many possibilities. These possibilities flutter around us each day like snowflakes dancing in the cold bitter wind. By grabbing out at a snowflake you make a choice. Looking back, I can tell you I’d wish anything that I’d chosen a different snowflake. Or better yet, simply not made the choice to choose a snowflake in the first place.

I began my 13th birthday gazing up at the stars. The cold wind ruffled my long unkempt dark hair. It whipped around me like snakes camouflaging in the vast darkness. I lay on the black tiled roof of my house and sighed deeply. This birthday like most birthdays would end like they usually did. Me falling asleep on top of my roof. It was lonely but, I was used to that.

My parents had abandoned me here four years ago when I was nine. I felt that when they left they hadn’t just left by themselves they had also taken a chunk of my heart with them as well. I stayed up here gazing up at the sky with tearful eyes and the star’s luminescent beauty consoled me mending my heart slowly but gradually like honey seeping out of a bottle. It wasn’t as if this would be the first time that I would ever feel agonizing despair like this. This was only a small spoonful of the tsunami yet to come.

It was time to leave this begotten place, and in that moment I made my choice, a choice that I regret to this day.


Accused, chapter 1 by Megan Chau

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 20•18

I had to run. I didn’t care if my breaths became ragged and heavier with each torturous step, or if every part of my body ached and begged me to stop. I raced so fast that the forest encasing me all became a massive blur. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead. I didn’t bother to wash off the blood that stained my face, hands, and clothes; it was the stench of blood branded me a murderer. It was an accident, it was an accident, I kept repeating to myself until I was convinced it was true.

Slowing down, I panted and surveyed the area. Trees trapped me on all sides. Every demented branch hovered above like an arm waiting to ambush me. The dead leaves beneath my feet crunched. Far above, I could see the moon, clear and bright, stalking me like a watchful eye.

“I know you did it,” a voice accused. I whipped my head around to find an unfamiliar face pointing at me with a melancholy look. “Why did you kill him? Why?”

“I-I didn’t,” I stuttered. “Who are you?”

He ignored the question. “Don’t lie,” his voice quivered, almost breaking. I cowered and stumbled back, nearly falling until he gripped my shoulders and began to shake me hard. His piercing fingernails dug into my flesh. “WHY DID YOU KILL HIM?”
But it all vanished in an instant like grim fog clearing up. I never got to whisper anything back to him because I finally woke up from the nightmare, my hair damp from sweat. I was safe in my bed, everything the same as before. I sighed into my cushiony pillow with my warm blankets piled up on top of me. The soft glow from the small night-light in the corner of my room illuminated the line of real pictures, assuring me that the dream was truly just a dream.

Suddenly,  I was alarmed by the sounds of wailing sirens, the thud of a kicked-open door, footsteps darting in, and a loud voice demanding, “Do not move. You are under arrest.

It wasn’t an accident, after all.


Falling for Fall: Why Fall is the Best Season by Nadia Calder

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 20•18

The gray sky seemed to swallow up the world, shielding the sun that peeked at the stirring world beyond through the gaps of it’s cloudy interiors. I watched as even the trees trembled under the bite of the howling wind. But safe under the layers and folds of my blanket, only the tips of my toes matched their chill. Steam licked my cheeks like a playful puppy as the smell of my coffee filled my nose. My cat let out a happy purr and nestled closer as my fluffy white monster of a blanket hugged us both tight. I smiled and the day began.

One reason that fall is the best season is because of the changing leaves. As the foliage blooms into red and the temperature drops, the colorful outside sets a cozy scene that begs to be explored. For example, taking a hike, a run, a bike ride, or even a walk in the bright colors of autumn is a calming and beautiful experience. Watching the deep reds, bright oranges, sparkling golds and chocolate browns dance to the ground, watching as they slip through my outstretched fingers, becomes a separate activity in of itself. A light pink stains my cheeks as a wind chases the leaves up and off of the ground and into the crisp air. Even the smell of fall is lovely, wild and joyous, or maybe it’s just bringing back the memories of the joys experienced in this wonderful season. I love being outside in the fall. Walking, biking, running, or hiking instantly becomes better because of the colorful scenery that you can find almost anywhere. The mix of colorful trees and falling leaves makes the scenery in the fall far better than in any of the other seasons.

Some might argue that the temperature in the fall is uncomfortable. The chilly mornings and hot afternoons will leave you wishing you’d never worn that extra layer. You’ll always feel too-hot or too-cold no matter what you do. However, this range of temperature is actually a great thing. It leaves room to either be lying around in a tee or cozying up in a sweater and blanket, the perfect combination that’s not the boiling heat of the past summer or the freezing cold of the future winter. I’ve never enjoyed the extreme heat of the blazing sun or the cold of the icy snow, but the wind that howls and sun that gazes down upon you provides a comforting mix. You can be comfortable in multiple outfits: pants and a tee or shorts and a sweater. Also, exercising outdoors becomes much easier in the cool temperatures.

Another reason to love fall is the activities. Whether it’s apple picking, pumpkin picking or pumpkin carving, it doesn’t matter. All of these things are festive and fun. Driving to a lovely farm that smells of apples, spice, and fresh pumpkins to bring a bag or two of apples, the perfect pumpkin and a good dozen apple cider donuts home is a perfect fall outing. As I climb up the precariously balanced ladder to pick the perfectly red and round apple that gleams like a prize, I know I will undergo another lengthy process to pick my perfect pumpkin. That, I will present proudly on Halloween night as it’s carved eyes glow. With the apples, their numbers will slowly diminish as we savor them in many different forms: apple crisp, apple pie or even just the apple itself. All the activities in the fall are fun and have a great outcome; the apples are delicious to eat, and the pumpkins are fun to carve. But no matter the activity, you can depend on the activities in the fall leaving you in a happy mood.

A final reason why fall is the best season is the amazing food. Sweet, spicy, tart, salty… Fall brings the perfect range of flavors into our mouths. In fall, the baking recipes seem to age a year through folded corners, stains of melted butter and ripped edges. At least three kinds of pumpkin treats will be baked every fall: pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin pie… If you try hard enough anything can be pumpkin. Even if it isn’t pumpkin, the cool weather and special treats seem like a match made in heaven. Along with the treats, hot drinks are a must in the fall. On every fall morning, a warm drink, whether it’s a coffee, a latte, or tea, will accompany my breakfast and I. The drinks are comforting and delicious-the perfect thing to wake up to. Drinks like hot apple cider or hot chocolate are for lovely afternoons or chilly evenings. There’s nothing better than a warm drink on a cold day, and these said drinks and treats make my meals just that much better and are a great way to brighten my fall day.

The scenery, the activities and the food all make for fall being the best season. Imagine yourself walking between towering oaks, bejeweled by the glimmering colors of autumn. A soft breeze is all it takes for the leaves to slip out of the branches grasp and drift down towards the sea of fallen leaves bellow. The late afternoon sunlight makes the leaves glow as they wave goodbye to their companions watching above, not stopping until they are caught in the net of pine needles, leaves, moss and dirt. Now, they crunch underfoot as you make your way through the perfect image of fall and onwards to the festivities awaiting you. I’m always happiest in the fall, and I guarantee, if you take a moment to relish in the cozy embrace of autumn, it too will be considered your favorite season.


There’s No Light in Lightning, Chapter 1 by Lilli Tobe

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 20•18

Blinding lightning crackled, as thunder boomed loud in the cloud covered sky. The wind howled, as it started to peel the roof off. The large four pane window shattered, as strong wind raced through knocking me off my feet. Rain poured in through the empty window pane sending shards of glass flying through the air. Leaks and gaps formed in the ceiling as water streamed in. The freezing water splashed at my knees, as I struggled to stand back up.

“Emily!” I heard my dad yell, his voice loud yet strained.

“Dad!” I hollered, hoping he was okay. I was shaking from the cold of the storm, and the fear that coursed through my veins. I forcefully trudged through the hip height water dodging the pieces of what used to be nice leather, wood and cloth furniture. Pain sliced through my leg from something sharp in the water. I have to get out of here, I thought, as my wound stung.

“Dad!” I called out again. I couldn’t leave without him. Suddenly, the roof of our small house came down. The walls collapsed, as the water from in the house rushed away, pulling me with it, like a current from the ocean. Outside, I tried to steady myself against a dark wooded oak tree, gasping for air, barely able to stand on my feet, as I fought against the storm. Rain pounded down onto me, as the air was overtaken by fog, making it impossible to see my surroundings. As lightning lit up the sky, I could see the dark, silhouettes of the trees left standing. Each breath I took burned my lungs, making my head ache. No oxygen seemed to be left in the extremely humid air.  

“Dad!” I tried to scream, but my lungs felt like they were filled with water. I frantically looked around for my dad. My chest felt tight as my eyes start to water. No, don’t think like that, he’s probably fine, I tried to reassure myself. A branch collapsed next to me. I have to get out of here, it isn’t safe, I thought. I took off running away from the only home I had ever known, hoping to find some sort of safety, and hoping my dad, wherever he was, would do the same.


Agent Aston Martin, Chapter 1 by Jack Mehlman

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 20•18

It was a foggy mid-July morning in London. The city was just waking up, the streets dead silent. Suddenly, a flash of bright orange light illuminated the sky. A fireball of heat spread across the city. The smell of smoke arose into the misty air. Big Ben had been hit.

“Ughh, what’s going on?” I said from my bed. It was six-o’clock in the morning, usually a time when the streets below my penthouse on Bishop Avenue are silent, but not today. Even through my soundproof windows, I heard the intimidating sound of sirens. A chill ran up my spine. As part of my job, I was used to hearing sirens, but not what sounded like hundreds at a time. I quickly got out of bed, and jumped into my glass elevator that led to the ground floor of the building. From the lobby, I walked over to the building’s huge double doors and gave them a push. Smoky air filled my lungs as I stepped onto the sidewalk. In front of me, my neighbors stood in the streets like statues, watching the burning clock tower. In fact, it appeared as though all of London was watching. Cars, trains, busses, and taxis all stopped in awe. I stared up at Big Ben, one of London’s most historic icons. The gold copper on the outside was melting away from the heat of the blazing fire, and the big clock hand looked like it would fall off any second. I was so distracted that I didn’t notice the group of police officers that came marching down the street.

“Everyone, get indoors! It’s not safe outside!” They yelled.

“What happened?” I asked.

“That’s none of your business!” barked the police officer.

“Oh, I think it’s my business.” I demanded pulling out a shiny gold badge. “Agent Martin, Aston Martin.”