Wayland Middle School's Literary Magazine

Chapter 1: Arrival by Silvija Grava

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

My stomach dropped as I heard the conductor announce the stop. We were here. I knew we would eventually get here, but now that it was actually happening; I was scared out of my mind. My heart was racing so fast that it threatened to jump out of my chest. The butterflies that were previously just flying around in my stomach, were now frantically beating their wings, trying to find a way to escape.

In the background I could hear Miss Cindy saying things like, “Valerie, make sure you don’t have any creases in your dress,” or “Johnny, let me straighten your bow tie.” Eight year olds are much too young to be wearing bow ties, I thought. My next thought was, This is ridiculous! They should be impressing us, not the other way around!

I tuned Miss Cindy out, and all of a sudden my mind was only filled with trivial thoughts. The train seat had felt fine the whole ride here, but now it was very uncomfortable. Also, my new hot pink dress was too scratchy and the collar too tight. I guess Miss Cindy didn’t know that I hated pink. I finally pushed the foolish thoughts about the seat and dress out of my head, and the reality of my situation dawned upon me. My breaths became ragged, and I felt faint. I knew I needed to calm down, so I did that by breathing deeply and thinking happy thoughts.

One of the few things I remembered Momma saying to me was, “Sweet pea, I named you Valerie after the word valor. Valor means to have courage even when the going gets tough. You, honey, are full o’ valor, I knew that since the day you were born.” Well, right now I felt there wasn’t an ounce of valor in me. I felt like a wet, limp sponge, with my emotions just pouring out of me for anyone to see. I needed to change that because right now I had to live up to my name and be strong, if not for me, for little Johnny since I was his older sister.

I looked over at Johnny and my eyes widened at the sight. He was in a poor shape. His shoulders were hunched over, as if he was trying to curl up into a ball and disappear. He was blinking rapidly to keep himself from crying, but it was a lost cause since little tears had already escaped and ran down his face. When he saw me looking, he gasped, turned away and shoved his face into his chest, his cheeks already turning bright red. I gently coaxed him into facing me, and I gripped his hand real tight, wiped away his tears, and whispered to him, “Johnny, you don’t need to be ashamed if you’re scared. Honestly, I’m scared too, but I’m gonna take care of you. We’ll be alright. ” I wasn’t sure if I convinced him, but my voice carried much more conviction than I felt. We slowly rose to our feet, still holding hands and dragged ourselves out of the train.

I squinted as my eyes tried to adjust to the bright fluorescent lights of the station. The station was full to the brim with people bustling about trying to catch their trains. I couldn’t get my thoughts straight because everywhere, there was noise, whether it came from the overhead speakers, or babies crying, or people laughing. It was all way too loud, and the sounds jostled me to my core. Johnny and I were the exact opposite of everyone else at the station; we were completely silent as if we were on a death march. In some ways we were, I contemplated. There was only one thing I was sure of, and that was to not let go of Johnny’s sweaty hand, otherwise I’d lose him in the sea of strangers. Johnny completely complied, he clung to me as if I was his lifeline. We were like fish swimming against the tide, almost impossible to do. Somewhere, amidst everyone they were there. We turned a corner, and we saw them.

Johnny’s and mine new foster parents.


The Hunted, chapter 1 by Gabriel de los Reyes

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

Most people think that thirteen is too young an age to die. Sadly, what was chasing me disagreed. Imagine being hunted by twenty-five hundred pounds of solid muscle, barbed spines, razor-sharp claws, and foot-long teeth.

Shoving people out of my way as I ran through the city, two thoughts flashed through my head.

How did it find me again? and Why do these kinds of things always happen to me?

I was pulled from my questionings when a poisonous spine sailed past my head and embedded itself in a shopkeeper’s chest. As I glanced behind me, another spine whistled by. Luckily (for me, not the people that got hit), the thing I was being pursued by had terrible aim. Unluckily, the thing had chased me halfway across the world, and was currently chasing me across the other half.

Out of breath, I dashed into an alley to get away. To my left were some trash cans, to my right, a shadowy doorway. The walls of the alley were crumbling brick; farther down, I was confronted with a dead end. Spinning around, I saw that the thing had followed me, and, as it continued towards me, it slowed its approach.

Its body filled the opening to the alley; as it advanced, I noticed everything in minute detail, as you do when you’re about to die. I noticed the bulging muscles rippling beneath its shiny fur. I observed the bone-white spines sticking out at absurd angles. I glimpsed the silvery claws, flashing in the diminishing sunlight.

And then I saw nothing.


Chapter 1: Chains by Joanna Barrow

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

Their captor tugged hard on their chains, and the two prisoners fell hard to their knees. The manacles encircling their wrists cut deeper into already worn away flesh, and the feeling of flames licking at their raw skin was evident on their contorted faces. They had drawn their eyebrows and with eyes screwed shut– a product of the fight to hold on to consciousness.

Despite his aching muscles, despite the deep, carving hunger in his stomach and bruised body, he still felt the cold. It made him shiver, even though sweat formed in beads along his hairline and brow, as it radiated from the worn grey stone in waves, and saturated the air.

In addition to the entire castle, the room was constructed completely out of stone and shaped in model of an oval. Balconies containing courtiers hung on either sides of the wall, and below that heavy oak doors intricately carved with scenes from mythology guarded the passage to other wings of the castle. In stark contrast, the occupants of the room were dressed solely in spartan styled clothing– neutral color palettes were the only ones present, with lacings, patterns, and adornments all absent. The chamber, save the doors, lacked any ornamentation as well. Front and center, the royals had their own balcony with huge, black silk banners hanging dominantly behind them, displaying the family crest embroidered in golden thread.            

Crispin’s gaze stayed steady on the floor, as he refused to dignify his orders to look the king in the eye. King, was the wrong word; that man in above him was a far cry from everything a king should be: honorable, respectful, grateful, and benevolent.

Crispin may have kept his line of sight downcast, but Thomas hadn’t; his face had gone chalky, and against his already milky Northern coloring, he appeared sallow. He elbowed his longtime friend, coughing when he tried to call his name; similarly to Crispin, Thomas’s throat was dry from enduring a long period of time deprived of water, and hoarse as sandpaper from screaming.

Crispin looked up.

And deeply, deeply, regretted it.

She sat in the throne meant for the queen, slouched in defeat, hands trembling. Her black as pitch, tightly waved hair had been pulled tautly back, pulling at the delicate skin behind her eyes, and rested neatly in a pile on her head. The fabric of her deep red dress was a thin, single layer and close-fitting throughout the bodice; the excessively long skirt billowed, and pooled at her feet in puddles of brilliant scarlet. The sleeves were equivalent in size and in lack of embellishments, and the neckline plunged, almost all the way down to below her ribs.

His gaze traveled to her eyes. Her striking, nearly translucent but vibrant blue eyes that were so caught up in fear and weariness, it made him regret everything that had happened simply so he could take all that pain away.

But what caught his attention the most was what made him abruptly lose the ability to breathe.

Because just like him, she was in chains; shackled quite literally to her so called throne.   `




The Wings I Wish I Had, chapter 1 by Isabel Xue

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18


The clock strikes midnight. The usually busy streets are strangely silent. The only sources of light are the full moon and stars overhead which sing a lullaby to all of the dreaming citizens below. All of a sudden, a single room in the midst of the sleeping city brightens.

A girl appears behind the glass, her body dark against the luminous chamber behind her. She tentatively steps out of the doorway, and collapses on a chair near the edge of her balcony. For one moment, she glances up. The moon illuminates her face, and the whole world can see the longing in her azure blue eyes. Inhaling then exhaling deeply, her breath is clear in the chill air.

Suddenly, the girl leaps up and swings her legs over the edge. Time freezes as she hovers in midair. Like a cat pouncing on a toy, the girl springs off of nothing yet soars through the sky. Something magically starts to grow out of her back, extending towards the stars. Wings. They are outlined in a deep fuschia color, but filled in between is a whole spectrum of cold colors that comes to life. It’s almost as if her wings were originally a blank canvas onto which a galaxy has been freshly painted. A ring of dazzling turquoise sparkles floats around the wings. The fairy tilts up and they catch the glare of the moon, glinting as bright as a diamond. She takes a deep breath, then sprints across the heavens, before ascending and vanishing into the atmosphere.

What she doesn’t know is that I, Jane, an ordinary orphan girl, am watching her every move from my small room in the orphanage beside and underneath her apartment. Like always, I’m intrigued by the fairy. My life is quite boring, after all, I’ve lived in this orphanage for as long as I can remember. Every night, I peer at the girl as she flies away, while praying for a chance of my own adventure.  

The faint steps echoing in the hall remind me that Ms. Mary, the orphanage mistress, is checking to make sure that I’m fast asleep. I crawl away from my windowsill, and back into the uncomfortable bed. Curling up on my stiff comforter, I tug the thin blanket over my body. I shut my eyes as the door creaks open. A light shines on me. Seeing my closed eyes, Ms. Mary trudges out, slamming the door, not bothered that it may wake me up because her job is finished. I open my eyes again and sigh.

How I wish that I could sprout wings like that fairy. Then I’d fly away from this place. Forever.


Chapter 1: The Illusion Hunter by Kevin Zhao

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

Concealed inside of my cloak, I peered out through the narrow holes in my mask. I waited for my eyes to adjust to the dark, and dimly perceived an orb, positioned above a stand. Lustrous webs encircled the sphere, and the distinctive hum of magic occupied the air. I noticed intricate engravings carved its sleek surface. As my eyes struggled to decipher the ancient text, they slowly shifted.

Following the procedure in the Manual, I glanced around the room before preparing to snatch the artifact, an Egg. With the moonlight shining down through the open ceiling, walls towered around me, casting a sinister shadow. Silver bars reinforced the walls, and I knew that the stone walls were made of obsidian. It absorbed the moonlight, and was almost invisible; it was a sea of black, blending in with the night. On the far side of the room, the symbol of a wolf dominated the wall. As this drew my attention, I also discovered that a narrow slit on the wall didn’t cast a shadow.

Ever since I was 10, I had been selected as a Hunter, to aid the resistance against the corrupt government. Finally, after 2 years of training, I had been assigned my first mission. Through my training, I had learned to detect illusions, and the wall was certainly an illusion.

In the distance, I heard the screech of talons scraping against obsidian – a Silver Penguin was patrolling the Treasury. Creeping across the room, I dove down and rolled myself up in my cloak, hidden in the shadows. The lone wolf outside ceased it’s howl as I felt a gust of frigid wind enter the chamber, and felt a chilly prickle as it scanned around. A moment later, when I was bombarded with a blast of scorching air, I tentatively peeked out. Wisps of fog engulfed the chamber, and it was pitch black. In one smooth motion, I jumped up, drew my sword, and the scratch of metal cut through the silence in the night.