Wayland Middle School's Literary Magazine

Chapter 1: Drowning by Alanna Xue

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

He was drowning.

Drowning, drowning, drowning.

Freezing water filled his lungs, and he thrashed wildly in the murky depths. Suddenly, a pale, glowing hand emerged from the gloom, followed by an arm, followed by a person. Through his blurry sight, he discerned the figure of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He saw her amber eyes, her wild mane of coal black hair streaming behind her, and her ghostly ivory hand stretched out to him. Her hair snaked around her neck, weaving and intertwining together. As she came to a halt, her mane billowed around her face, forming an inky cloud that framed her honeyed eyes. He saw her mouthing the same word over and over, bubbles bursting from her lips Slowly, he made out what she was saying.

“Toby…. TOBY!” she cried. His name. He hadn’t heard that name in a long time. Now, they just called him P0119. They didn’t understand him, did they? No, they didn’t. They never did and they never would. They were wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But she knew his name. She must understand him. She must care for him. She must. As he summoned his last shreds of energy, he reached out and took her outstretched hand.

It was disturbingly cold, like ice had encased his hand. The ice crept up his arm, piercing his flesh. Screams ripped through his throat as it clenched his heart its ruthless, frozen grip. He felt himself yanked out of the water, and then the girl’s flawless face materialized in front of him, a twisted smile stretching her red lips. With a flick of her wrist, the relentless cold retreated, replaced by a strange burning in his hand. Gasping, he curled into a ball. Salt-filled tears cascaded from his blank, coffee-brown eyes. He looked down at his hand, horrified to find that his flesh had blackened and died. The black spread up his arms, filling his veins with poison. As his eyes began to close, the girl’s golden eyes faded to a bland yellow, and her ebony hair blurred together into a shapeless mass of black. Her glowing skin then dulled to an unremarkable white. She vanished from his sight, drifting up and up and up into the light.

Meanwhile, the scientists peered through the one-way glass and into the padded room.

“Patient 0119, permanent resident of Room 226. Active schizophrenia, hallucinations and psychosis.” the doctor intoned, lazily watching P0119’s listless form. He then stalked off into the hall, a team of enthusiastic, chattering interns trailing behind him.




Experiment Incomplete, Chapter 1 by Angela Yan

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

It wasn’t as much of a room as it was a stadium.

A musky fog obscured the floor, dampening his hair with droplets of mist, made out of sickly green liquid. Tall metal poles stretched upwards, flashes of light dancing between them in clouds of vapor, reflecting off the slick gray walls. Dried patches and chunks of reddish brown splattered the floor, cut off by the deep void-like crevice to the right. A metal walkway stretched across the room, with paths veering away to mist covered locations.

The boy stumbled out, shivering, black hair stuck to his face from the humidity. Making his way across the slim walkway, the boy approached a looming generator. Wires stretched across the cover; some were cut, while others were tied together hastily.

They had forced him out, giving him no chance to disagree, as he knew fully well the way his body would split open the second the lever was flicked. It was inevitable; every year he was one step closer to being sent away. Every year, there were countless genetic modifications and mutations in an effort to fix him, to make him useful or “normal”.

None of their attempts worked; he was deemed an “accident” and sent to death.

The boy arrived at the circuit board, grasping the lever on the side. A sharp grinding sound started as he cranked the handle, the lights turning on with a faint hum. Across the board, dozens of tiny buttons in orderly grids sputtered and lit up. A gray button caught the boys eye.

The word “POWER” was engraved on it in black, with ridges outlining the circumference. The surface held a carpet of dust, otherwise the button seemed in mint condition; no chips, smudges, anything. The boy’s finger hovered over the surface of the switch, his face blank.

He pushed down, and closed his eyes as his short miserable life drew to an end.

Or so he thought.


Chapter 1: A Somber Friday by Emily Chafe

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

On a somber Friday morning, the sky dark and foretelling of rain, the mighty pines swayed and shook from strong wind. Bitter air nipped at my dry skin and my legs lightly brushing against ferns that sat on the edge of the path. A flock of birds conversed somewhere in the expanse of the forest, their bright chirps echoing in the daunting gaps of silence, the only sound other than orange, red and brown leaves crunching under my feet.

I knew in the pit of my stomach and the back of my mind that everything would go wrong.

All around me, as far as the eye could see, were ancient Sequoia trees, towering high above my head. Dewdrops glistened on the tips of branches, which were scratching at my arms and legs. I stumbled as I tripped over the knot of a tree root, but stabled myself before setting off into a heavy run again. I breathed out in short pants, and with each stride I could feel a dull pain becoming sharper in my legs. With no path to follow, I turned uncertainly onto a small dirt trail, trampled down by an animal before me. A fog laid low, shrouding the ground, but I saw a glint reflecting off a speck of sunlight, cast below the trees. I inched closer, crouched low to the ground, until a bright green box with a silver chain running through it caught my eye. The box had a leaf print dancing across the lid and a rusted latch with a crack across the emerald coating that covered the top. Its beauty took my breath away. I approached the box, opened it, and plucked the delicate  chain, turning it over in my clammy hand. A locket. After looking for a clue as to what the locket was from, I came across a gold inscription, which read in bold loopy cursive letters, “Elizabeth A. Warren, 1863. Take heed.

The peculiar words sent a shiver down my spine, and a sharp gust of wind seemed to blow just as I grabbed the locket by its chain, dangling it in the air. Suddenly, the instinct to immediately throw it off the path and as far away from me as possible came across me, but I shook it off.

“You’re being silly, ” I thought. “It’s simply a locket. There’s no need to be afraid.”

I stood up straight, the locket in hand. I looked around, nervous, as if I were stealing the necklace from its unknown owner and I would be caught. I started at a slow pace, beginning my run again. This time though, the shadows seemed sharper, the mist lying on the ground more mysterious, and the uncomfortable feeling of eyes watching me and someone breathing on me. Because in that moment, I knew something was wrong.

And I asked myself, “What in the world could go wrong?”


Glass of the Sea by Riley Kendall

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18

As we walk down towards the beach I look out to the white caps.

Whipping around covering the sand then leaving tiny pebbles behind.

I look to my right to see mounds of shells and rocks.

I bound off the stairs and run to the shells with a plastic cup in hand.  

I crouch down to pick up a blue piece of sea glass.

We hunt for hours.

The cool fall breeze hitting to backs of our necks.

Something catches my eye:

A shard of glass smoothed over by the big blue sea.


Untitled by Megan O’Donnell

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18


The trailhead

Of the Lafayette-Lincoln loop.

I looked up,

where the peak

Of Lafayette was yet to be visible,

and Lincoln as well.

On your marks,

get set,



After an hour

Of hiking,

yet to feel the pain,

we got to the hut.

We refilled our water,

looked at the map of what was yet to come,

the marvelous view of where we were,

and where we were going.


When we finished,

we set out again,

as the air got


and thinner,

and thinner.

Our breathing


and heavier,

and heavier.


the awesome happened.






Lincoln’s peak an hour later

was as stunning as the first.

The rest of the way was

impressive views,

smooth sailing,

and great pictures.

The most sensational thing of all,


was the finish.