Wayland Middle School's Literary Magazine

Fly with the Wind by Madeline O’Leary

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 20•18

The wind breaks through my golden hair as pure white tufts of cloud float by inches from my face. The sound of the wind, chirping birds, and distant shouts from below roar as one gigantic, delightful burst of noise. I soar across the sky as birds glide alongside me. A feeling of freedom and pure joy erupts in my chest. I see a plane in the distance cruising in the air and I feel grateful that I can experience flight this way. The sun glistens and I think it is threatening to blind me, but instead it gives my body warmth. I fly in patterns, zig zagging like a jet through the sky. Full speed I dive towards the Earth, face on, to my landing spot. When I imagine moments like these, I know I would jump at any chance to possess the power of flight. I would choose flight because I could travel quicker and with fewer expenses, I could see the world from a bird’s eye view, and I could help others or myself when in danger.

One reason that I would choose flight as opposed to invisibility is because I could travel quicker and with fewer expenses. It’s always such a hassle traveling, from planes to trains to cars, travelling is expensive and exhausting. My family spends an excessive amount on travel every year and I can only imagine the advantages of flight. Travelling with younger brother would be a thousand times more tolerable if we were flying like a bird to our destination. If I could have the opportunity to fly solo or with my family around the globe, I would do it in a heartbeat. I would much rather fly free of expenses or long lines than travel by normal transportation. Having the ability of flight would save me an outstanding amount of money and time.

Another reason why I would choose flight over invisibility is because you can see the world from a bird’s eye view. Invisibility would only grant you powers to see things from the ground, whereas flight gives you once in a lifetime opportunities to see the world. Haven’t you ever wondered or dreamt about experiencing the world from above, seeing things like a bird? Imagine your favorite place on Earth. Whether that’s a beach or an amusement park, imagine observing it from a bird’s perspective. Imagine seeing the setting sun on one side and large fluffy clouds sailing on your other. That prospective would give me a whole new appreciation for our world that I would normally overlook. I can only dream of seeing wildlife dotting the savanna and houses lining roads. Though you may be able to do this in an airplane, the windows are small and restrictive and you can never control your view. When you’re flying like a bird, you can touch, smell, hear, taste, and see exotic and unimaginable things. Spectacular views are only one of the benefits of flight over invisibility.

Finally, I would choose flight as opposed to invisibility because I could help myself or others in times of danger. Despite the amazing services that police, fire, and other emergency stations provide, flight could give me an even greater ability to help others. If there was a fire, I could soar from above and report back to firefighters. I could warn people about flooding or weather conditions or even volcanoes! Flight would give me the ability to protect soldiers and civilians and to help myself flea in times of danger. Of course there are helicopters and planes for these types of things, but I would be much quicker and could go closer to the situation without being a disruption. Emergencies like these happen daily, and possessing a power such as flight would help change our world for the better. Normal transportation is slower and there can be traffic, but the open sky provides quick and efficient transportation in times of trouble.   Being able to fly would protect and save many lives including my own.

As I picture myself floating above the world below, I know I would choose flight over invisibility. When I think about how the world we live in already allows or forces people into invisibility, I am positive that flight would be the better choice.  The thought of tasting the fresh air and clouds drifting into my mouth as I soar freely past flocks of migrating birds, assures me that flight is the most magnificent superpower known. Although I will never be able to pursue my dream of flight, I can still bask in the glorious thought of that true freedom. As I fantasize, I realize that traveling faster and with limited expenses, experiencing our world from the eye of a bird, and helping myself and others when in danger, are only a handful of reasons why I would choose this impossible superpower.


Reminiscing by Michael Wightman

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18


I took my rifle off the bracket where it was on the wall. I grabbed a cloth and started to polish it. There were many layers of dust, so much that every time I exhaled, a plume of dust flew off the rifle. That rifle brought back many memories.

I got drafted for the militia at age 16. That is 20 years ago! It is hard to be in the militia. We train a lot, and we need to be always ready to fight. A little while ago I got the code from someone farther down the road that the Redcoats were coming.

Once I heard that they were coming, I found a spot behind a rock and sat there for a while. It was really boring. Another soldier, hiding farther up the road, gave me the code that the British were REALLY close. I saw the metallic buttons on their red coats shining with the midday sun as I thought about my family and my little brother Sean. He is probably enjoying some porridge and playing with the other kids in the neighborhood. Thinking about him, sent an extra wave of strength coursing through my muscles. I won’t let the British succeed!

Three of our men started inching their way around the rock hoping to get a clear shot of the British. But instead the British got a clear shot at them, because our 6 man team quickly became 3.  Still crouching behind the rock, Private Douse had his hands wrapped around his knees, shaking. I guessed he has not experienced seeing death before, because his eyes were not blinking and it started to look like he was in a coma. My friend, Mason. (Or as my colleague, Private Mason Willis) crawled out from behind me, scaring me a little

“Well Andrew, as much as I want to leave and go back to the safety of my house, I will get killed and I don’t particularly want to die. I think it is a miracle that the redcoats have not marched back behind this rock yet, but as long as I am here, I may as well make myself useful. How can I help?”

“Well you can give me cover.” I responded as I peered over the rock, aiming the barrel of my gun at the boot buckled bunch of Redcoats. I started picking them off one by one. I found that shooting their allies made them angry and the rock started shaking from bullets again. Willis did provide me cover, he threw a pebble and said

“Who goes there.” The plan was good, but it would be better if the pebble did NOT go in the direction I was planning on running. But plans change. I quickly darted in the opposite direction of the pebble and hid behind a different rock. The last rock was stable, this one… not so much. I went rolling down the hill alongside the rock. The good thing is that the rock was good at making Redcoat pancakes. The bad thing is that I’m afraid it could be good at making Specialist Clements pancakes too.

“AHHHHH!!!!!” I screamed. I felt a bullet pierce the flesh of my left leg. The rock and I went rolling into a ditch, and my vision went dark.“Oww,” I said meekly. Willis was next to me helping me up. . I felt like I was underwater. While fading in and out of reality I could make out some of what Willis was saying. “… knock out many redcoats… bullet… left leg.”  It took all of my strength to sit up and look down. What I saw was not pleasant, there was a giant bandage wrapped around my leg, it was sopping wet with blood.

“How are you holding up?”Private Willis asked.

“Well I am not dead,” I replied. He gave me two boards to use as crutches and walked me back into town.

“This could make a great story one day” he said as we walked into the distance.

I looked into the rifle, it was so shiny from the polishing that I could see my reflection. I took a deep and hung the rifle back on the bracket. Even though there were tough times during the time I was at the army. I enjoyed those new friendships made from being in the army and the profound adventure!


The Midnight Carnival, a mystery by Katy Scott

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18


It was Saturday morning, my day off from work, and I was calmly sitting on my porch swing, the breeze gently prodding my face as I swayed to the whistles of the birds. The fresh morning dew glistened on the grass as the sun came up from its sleep. This is my favorite time of day. I am Dr. Arthur Wells, Detective Dee Cipher’s assistant detective. Sometimes working with Dee can be stressful, she has high expectations given she notices everything, and I try to keep up, but sometimes it gets hard. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and–bring! bring! bring! I opened my eyes. Detective Dee Cipher was calling.

“Hello Dee,” I sighed.

“Quick. You gotta come down to the carnival. There has been a murder and we need to solve it!” I paused for a moment.

“Wells!! Are you listening to me?!”

I jerked awake. “Yes! Dee, I am coming. See you there.”

I yawned, trying to shake the sleepiness out of me. So much for my day off! I grabbed my coat and raced down to the carnival.


I arrived at the carnival and an instant wave of gloom hit my body. My fingers convulsed and a feeling of emptiness crept up my body from my feet reaching up to my head. Everything looked abandoned, the sun that was so bright when I was sitting on my porch now seemed dark and hidden, like it was trying to hide from something. I saw Detective Dee Cipher by the ferris wheel and raced over to her.

“Hey, Dee. I came as soon as I heard! What is the murder?” Although my day off was interrupted, I was quite thrilled to have a new mystery to solve.  

“Oh! Great, your here. This murder is going to be a tough nut to crack.” Dee frowned slightly and put her hand on her hip.

“What happened? Are there any witnesses here?”

“Yes! In fact there are!” Dee jumped up as a new wave of energy hit her body, her pale brown jacket bounced up with her. “Abigail and Becky are right over there talking to the owner of the carnival. Abigail married the father of Rachel and Becky after his divorce with his previous wife, Elaine. He passed away three years ago and left his fortune with Abigail, Rachel, and Becky. Abigail, and Becky were out celebrating Rachel’s 24th birthday with her at the carnival. Becky and Abigail say that they went on the ferris wheel after they ate dinner, and Rachel seemed very healthy and good spirited, but when she came back down, she was dead,” Dee Cipher took in a big gulp of air.

This was going to be a lot harder than I thought. Who could have killed Rachel during the ferris wheel ride? I looked at the cars on the ferris wheel. One of them had a shard of broken blue glass in it. That’s odd. I wonder…

“Hey Dee,” I called out, “Come over here.” Dee rushed over and started examining even though I didn’t even tell her what I am talking about. “Look at that piece of broken glass. Do you think that has to do with the crime?”

“It must,” She had a gleam in her eye. “I will come back to this later. Come with me, I will introduce you to Abigail and Becky.”

We approached Becky and Abigail. Becky looked a mess, her hair in tussles, she looked like she was wearing the same clothes as the night before. Abigail however, was more put together. She wore all black including black gloves and had her handkerchief out.

“Hello, Abigail. Hello, Becky. How are you holding up?” Dee asked, her shoulders squeezing together with concern.

“Good morning, Detective Cipher. You must be Dr. Wells,” She nodded towards me. “We are hoping you had some leads on what could have caused this horrific event,” Abigail looked melancholy and pale. Becky burst out crying.

“Oh dear! I will grab you some tissues from the bathroom. Please excuse me,” Abigail migrated towards the bathroom and Becky suddenly stopped crying.

“I need to tell you something. Quick,” Becky looked serious.

“What’s wrong? Are you alright?” I looked Becky straight in the eye, and there was a sadness in them that made my heart want to deflate.

“I don’t think my stepmother would kill Rachel, but I saw that she had spent a lot of money on clothes, and I mean way too much. Maybe she thought she could get Rachel’s birthday money if she killed her,” Becky looked ashamed for saying it.

“Oh my,” Dee looked troubled and I wonder if she felt as bad as I felt.

“But here’s the thing, the man running the ferris wheel was eyeing the necklace she was wearing. Maybe he thought he could get it to sell if he killed her, and get lots of money,” Becky stopped speaking and I looked over my shoulder to make sure nobody was coming. “I am sorry, I have to find my stepmother. Goodbye,” Becky rushed off.

“That was strange. I wonder if she is okay,” I looked over at flustered Becky.

“I am sure she is fine,” Dee shrugged  at me. “We should get back to the ferris wheel to look around for clues. Come on Wells, let’s go.”

We walked through the carnival  back to the ferris wheel and I noticed Doug, the man running the ferris wheel the night Rachel was killed was sitting on the bench playing the ukulele.  

“Ouch! I can’t play with this cut!” He yelled angrily throwing the instrument. Dee nudged me.

“Hey, look at his hand. There is a gash on it.”

I gasped. “Could that be from…”

“The glass,” Dee paused. “I mean we have no proof, but, we really could be on to something. We have a meeting scheduled with him tomorrow so he can tell us what happened. We will talk to him then,” Dee sighed. “It has been a long day. I am going to get some rest and see you early in the morning to get ready for our lunches with the suspects.”
I looked around and realized she was right. The sun had set, and the crickets were chirping loudly.

“Goodnight.” I waved goodbye and headed towards my car.


The morning came and I journeyed backed down to the carnival.

“Good morning Wells!” Dee had a chipper look on her face. We were meeting the suspects for lunch at the diner. “We talk to Becky first, then Doug, and then Abigail.” As if right on que Becky trudged in.

“Hello Detective Dee Cipher, Dr. Wells,” She looked down. As we sat down, she started to sniffle.
“I am sorry, just, getting over this whole thing has been a real challenge for me.” Becky said.

“We know, and we are truly sorry,” Dee patted her arm. “But could you try to tell us about the night Rachel was killed?”

“Yes. I remember my step mother, Abigail was very kind to Rachel, filling up her new, tinted glass water bottle full of soda. Rachel even had soda on the ferris wheel! But what I found weird was that the man running the ferris wheel, Doug, left right after he started the ferris wheel. I saw him running up the fire escape stairs of the building next door. Maybe he could have killed Rachel from there as she came around the ferris wheel. But that seems a little far fetched, doesn’t it?” Becky slumped to one side.

“Did you notice anything weird about how Doug acted when he found Rachel dead?” Dee Cipher asked Becky.

“Well, he looked a little grossed out, and didn’t talk much. He said he was going to get the manager to help carry Rachel, but neither he nor the manager ever showed up,”

“Thank you Becky, we will see you shortly,” Dee waved goodbye to Becky as Doug came into the diner.

“Hello Doug,” Dee waved at him to sit down. He looked sad. “Can you tell us about the night of Rachel’s death?”

“I didn’t do it!” Doug yelled. “I was just standing behind my booth, and Rachel and her family came. I noticed the mother giving Rachel a bottle of something in this glass water bottle, I think it was soda or something, but I couldn’t see the liquid inside of it. I started up the ferris wheel and told my buddy John to keep an eye on it while I went to clean out the fire escape of the building next door. I came back down by the time the ferris wheel stopped running.”

“Can you tell me what that gash on your right palm is?” Dee questioned. I found all of this very interesting. Why would Doug clean the fire escape right when they were on the ferris wheel? What was with this glass water bottle?

“I got this nasty cut while using the Swiffer in the fire escape. I broke off the handle by accident and the sharp plastic cut me like a knife!” He enraged.

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Doug. We will see you around.” I waved goodbye as Dee spoke. He trudged out of the diner, looking aimlessly into the distance. Abigail walked in.

“Hello, Abigail,” Dee welcomed her to sit down.

“Hello, Dee and Wells. I need to use the ladies room for a moment. Please excuse me.”

“I actually need to go as well,” Dee replied. “We will be back shortly.” I was actually happy to have some time to myself. This case seemed insolvable! I closed my eyes to think back to my clues.

“Ahem. Wells.” Dee nudged me awake. That time went by so quickly!  I must have fallen asleep! I looked at Dee’s face, and then Abigail’s face. Dee looked like she was trying to hide some crazy enthusiasm, and Abigail looked ashamed.
“Wells. Abigail and I got to talk about the crime in the ladies room. We are all set. Thank you for your time, Abigail,” Dee waved goodbye as Abigail raced out.

“Why are you… “

“I figured it out, Wells! I can’t believe it! It is so good,” Dee was ecstatic. “But we have to go, quick. I will tell you about it later. I saw Abigail race out and I think she is trying to get to Becky before we do so she can tell her some made up story protecting herself. “

“Oh my! Come on, you drive! I’ll call the cops!” I tossed Dee the keys. I have never felt so exhilarated in my life.  What did Abigail say or do in the bathroom causing Dee to figure it out so quickly? Every turn and jerk of the car felt like I was on a rollercoaster. As we pulled up to the carnival, I jumped out of the car. I saw Abigail running towards Becky, screaming something about liars and crazy detectives. Two police officers got in her way and twisted her gloved hands behind her back. As they took off her gloves, it revealed they were covered in burns.

“Are you Dr. Wells and Detective Cipher?” The police officer asked. She had a whole team of police officers with her, I felt like I was in a movie. “And you want to put Mrs. Abigail H. Killington under arrest for murder?”

“Yes officer,” I held my head up high as Dee spoke to her. Abigail struggled to get out of the grasp of the police officers, but finally was pushed into the car. Becky raced up to us.

“Oh my goodness! What happened?”

“It was all Dee, you tell her,” I gestured towards Dee. I was hearing her conclusion for the first time as well.

“So you know how Abigail bought all of those clothes that she didn’t need, well, she did need to replace the money she spent. She knew that Rachel was getting money from her late father, and Abigail knew if she killed Rachel, she could secretly get that money. Becky said that Abigail helped Rachel get into the ferris wheel cart, and gave her a tinted blue water bottle full of soda. Rachel drank the soda and she must have dropped the water bottle, that is what that piece of broken glass in the cart was from. However, in the ladies room of the diner, Abigail went to wash her hands, and took off her gloves. She must of forgotten that she was wearing gloves to hide her hands because she quickly put them back on. I got a glance of her hands before the gloves went back on, and they were covered in burns. Not the type from heat, but from poison. Abigail must have filled the tinted water bottle with poison so Rachel thought it was soda. After she drank it, she instantly died. Abigail did it so she could have the money from Rachel’s birthday for herself,” Dee smiled with pride. I stood in awe, tracing through the steps she must have taken to get there.

“You will not get away with this!” Abigail screamed through the police car window, her hair looked like she was just shocked by electricity.

“Looks like we have solved yet another crime,” I grinned widely at Dee.


Dead Bloom, chapter 1 by Ashley Zhu

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

Iris was dead.

It was strange, even as she regained consciousness there was no doubt in her mind that she had died. She opened her eyes to the same hospital room she had languished in for months. It had the same soft blue walls plastered with health promoting posters and odd paintings. The same TV still jutted out from the wall across her bed, slightly crooked. Various boxes and crates still lined the shelf on the right side of her bed. There was only two differences in the room. One was the view from the window, instead of a busy parking lot and barren garden, a never ending expanse of white, almost like the sky, bathed the room in cold light. The other change was the flowers on the bedside table. Cheerful yellow roses, soft pink chrysanthemums, and fresh picked daisies surrounded by branches of thyme were replaced with four white lilies, arcing gracefully out of the now dry vase; the cut ends of their stems already starting to shrivel.

Throwing off the blanket draped over her body, Iris heaved herself up to see what was going on outside the room. She opened the door to a sea of bobbing heads. Hundreds upon thousands of people were all running in the same direction down a long, wide hallway. They ran in a trance like state, looking straight ahead, never turning, even when someone slammed into them from behind. A door appeared in the wall opposite to Iris, and man darted out, immediately joining the swarm. A mass of different outfits blended together, turning the throng of people into a river of hospital gowns, military uniforms, hiking gear, swim suits, everyday clothing and more. Looking more closely, Iris realized that every single person was barefoot, unshod feet slapping against the white floor. Iris stepped out of the room, trying to see what the people were running to, and was bulldozed over, sprawling onto the ground. Desperately, she struggled to stand, only able to get her knees a foot off the ground before she was launched forward again, landing on her palms, neck snapping backwards at the unexpected impact. Again and again, Iris was rammed forwards, backwards, left, right, pushed down until her nose kissed the floor. Craning her neck to look for the door she came out of, Iris watched, despair growing as it faded back into solid wall. More and more people added to the stampede as doors appeared and disappeared. Scrambling, Iris managed to claw her way to the wall, plastering her body on top of it. Suddenly, the solid support against her back dematerialized and plunged her backwards into darkness.


Butterfly in a Cage by Sofia Menyalkin

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

“Brielle, please get your homework done, including your extra calculus packet and science essay that your tutor assigned you!” My mother calls to me and I sigh deeply. Skittering up the stairs to my bedroom and quietly shutting the creaking door, I kick off my worn-out chukka boots. And instead of doing my homework, I pick up a pencil and paper and start to draw.

When I was all but a child, I drew everything I saw around me. I passionately drew people, leaves, buildings, trees, and most of all, I drew butterflies. I would draw butterflies almost all day every day, begging my mom to visit the butterfly garden in town during the summer, covering every inch of our apartment’s walls in butterfly art. Butterflies were a symbol of beauty, hope, love, inspiration, and most of all, freedom. I longed to fly like a butterfly, flapping my wings and inspiring people around me everywhere I went, young or old, taking their breath away with my awe-striking beauty. Those were the good old days, the happy days, the days I was allowed to draw and my parents thought it was simply a “childish phase”. But in a short period of time, like a butterfly’s lifespan, my parents gradually began to take away my art supplies and added to my time with math lessons, science lessons, and a strict tutor. I was at the rebellious age at the time when they started to do this, so I threw fits and tried to stand up for myself. Long, angry arguments like bullfights surrounded my life back then, and I was the charging bull every time. For every rebellion of mine, my parents didn’t get frustrated but simply took away my art for a while and wouldn’t give it back until I apologized. In the end, my parents won. I had surrendered and taken the fall for my art, the only light to my day; my passion that was only starting to fire up.

I ignore my mother when she yells up the stairs, “Are you done with your homework yet?” and continue drawing: Two beautiful, graceful, freeing wings that look like they could fly up to the sky on their own; a lean, slender body; arms and legs as tender and fragile as the touch of a fingertip; two antennae shooting up to the stars, and to top it all off, a gorgeous, vibrant background, thriving in life. All starting with just a butterfly. I hear angry footsteps stomping up the stairs and see my bedroom door swing open, making a thud as it hits the wall.

“BRIELLE! I warned you last time not to draw. This is the last straw, you hear me?!” my mother shouts, her eyebrows furrowed and her lips turning down into a menacing frown as soon as she sees the paper I was drawing on. Snatching the drawing off my desk, she grumbles, “I warned you.” She positions her hands on both top corners of the paper, and I beg, beg her not to do it, try to send her a telepathic message willing her not to even dare, but she does it.

“Rrrippp!” It’s the most horrible sound I’ve ever heard. A piece of paper ripping in half.

“GET BACK TO WORK!” My mother barks, and I purse my lips together as she walks out the door and slams it shut, letting a big gust of air at me. I pick up my once beautiful drawing, and try to tape it together the best I can until I realize this is my reality: my beautiful butterfly torn into pieces. I decide to add a finishing touch to this piece of art: I draw intense, strict, dramatic lines vertically across the butterfly, pressing into the paper as hard as I can, and add two harsh horizontal lines above and below.

I draw a butterfly in a cage.