The Room in the Attic

Charlotte Knauth


She kept ticket stubs and pieces of pottery in a jar under her nightstand, fake forget-me-not flowers in an old chipped glass on top. Bars of soap sat in each drawer so all her shirts smelled of honeysuckle, her socks (she never folded them so it was nearly impossible to find a matching pair) like pumpkin pie, and her jeans like fresh cut lilac. Her furniture was deep brown and decorated with things she couldn’t bear to part with. It was all a part of an old matching set from the sixties, clean cut in a nostalgic way.

Her ceiling took in the curvatures and edges of the roof, as she resided in the attic her parents never used. It had remained empty for quite some time, nothing but a small cardboard box of old blurred photographs and neat brown clay squirrels that she center of the room.

A small window with an old metal frame stared at a walnut tree, tall and looming, outside the house. Its branches brushed against the siding when it rained and she could hear it in her sleep, like a giant running its hands against the walls. Seven small pot plants lined the ledge beneath the window frame, four dead, three alive, and an old Windex bottle filled with water sat on the laminate floor.

A record player rested in the corner of the room, the case a fading pale aqua blue. Brand new records ran across a low shelf extending along the length of the wall. Most of them had never been opened.

There was a bookshelf cut into the wall across from her bed, shelving carved out so novels and poems were nestled inside the foundation of the house, sitting vertically, horizontally, diagonally, and even scattered across the floor, until there was no more empty space to be seen.

The room always smelled like rain, sounded like rain, and left petrichor soaked air on her tongue. The ceiling, a deep fading grayish blue, was doused in hundreds of glow in the dark stars, placed meticulously to accurately map winter’s view of a constellation filled sky.

A mountain of blankets hid her bean bag like a cloak of invisibility. It sat in the corner between her book-filled wall and the closed closet doors that look eerily similar to those from Poltergeist.

But now there are only boxes. Now there’s just her, kicking her feet out from under the blankets in the middle of the night, one last time.

Tomorrow there will be her, taking trips back and forth between the moving van her father rented with boxes stacked up in her hands to fit under her chin. Then there will be empty space in her room in the attic, the attic nobody wanted but her, because it always smelled like rain.


By: Rachel McLean


A scream

A cry

A shout for help


An endless descent

An isolated fall


Crystal wings

Shining brilliantly


Skin of ebony

A bronze hand stretches out

Reaching for help that never comes


Wyn Cox


I conclude this whole life

is one of those miracles

that never seem to matter

until the minute streams burn

and turn to steam

and I begin to dream

of purple moss and

inescapable meetings.


At night, the cicadas recite

stories about how the Earth

was born and will someday die.

One by one, the moths throw

themselves into the sun

and flit between beacons

of fading starlight

in modest white dress

despite certain death.

They speak with such grace,

such warmth beneath a

stark linen canvas.


In a realized subconscious,

I translate Morse code from

beating wings, hold my breath

where the air is water and glistens.

I take notice of the trees’ stillness

and runes carved into branches—

the woodpecker’s inscription.


To awaken is to be

reborn into a world restricted.

I listen for the metal breath

of fingers against bars, magnified

only to my ears.

The woodpecker pulls the

raw flesh of the cherry tree

out from inside itself, as if

it knows how to pinpoint

the sensitive topics

for rabid consumption.


Engravings on river stones

prophesied that I would finally

stray into the lesser miracle

of reality, condemning the

wonders of the night to

be extinguished by the

flame of day.


Isa Romero

The sweet scent of strawberries and oranges envelops me like a warm hug. A light ache forms in my head as my body is lifted off the hard-concrete floor. I feel whimsical and almost childlike but am frightened by the magnified sound of a door slamming shut. I jump slightly and the arms keeping me airborne tighten their grip. I tremble and whimper until I am finally released from the devil’s clutch.

My body is gently situated onto something that feels like a bed and I try to calm myself down a little. I focus my attention on the pressure of someone’s hand resting gently on my shoulder and slowly but surely, my breathing and the rate of my heart slow down to a steady, constant beat. Minutes pass and somehow, I have managed to curl myself into a small ball. The hand removes itself from my shoulder and the individual has a seat next to my still sensitive body. The door to the room opens with a creak and closes with a loud bang. Each step taken by the person entering the room is magnified tenfold. I whimper and cover my ears with my hands, and the loud, clomping footsteps turn into quiet, distant tip-toes.

The headache worsens, and it is evident that without some sort of medicine things are only going to continue to decline from here. Cold hands remove my hands from my head and hold them steady by my side. My mind flashes back to a time when someone held me in such a way. It felt like torture then, and it feels like torture now. I wriggle and lash out at the person holding me down to try and free myself but to no avail. The hands never release, and I tire quickly. Cautiously, I give in and the grip on my wrists loosen slightly. I feel as if I can finally breathe again.

A needle is stuck into the skin of my neck, and the liquid inside injected into my body. It’s discomforting but helps to relieve my headache and delirious state. Finally, my wrists are released, and my vision clears.

In front of me sit two people. One is Kathleen Turner, my best friend, and royal nurse. Her ginger hair is swept up neatly into a white cap. Only her side swiped bangs that rest beautifully along the edge of her face, framing it perfectly, escape. Green eyes the shade that of which is best represented by emeralds focus on her bag of medical tools. The light-blue, sleeveless shift dress that fits her body quite well flows around her gracefully. Her legs are bent into a mermaid pose when she sits on the bed and her petite, white, one-inch heels are gingerly taken off so as not to ruin the comforter. One of her hands checks my pulse through my wrist, while the other scribbles down her observations on a clipboard in a doctor’s messy handwriting.

Next to her is the Crown Prince of Carance, Thomas Brande. His blond hair falls lightly in his face and makes him look as elegant as he sounds. Blue eyes the color of the Caribbean Sea watch me with concern. Like most days, he wears a white, button-down dress shirt and black khaki pants. A navy-blue blazer rests on an armchair near the center of the room with a pair of black dress shoes sitting underneath. He lowers his hands warily into his lap, afraid that I will faint or start to fight again.

I am disoriented, but a quick scan of my surroundings gives me a better idea of my location. A large closet is open wide and filled to the brim with all types of clothing and shoes. The hand-carved, wooden dresser matches the state of the closet with clothes about to spill out of its drawers and sits right next to it. Next to the bed is a nightstand with only a lamp, small flashlight, and The Lost Years by T.A. Barron resting neatly on top. The center of the room has two chairs with ornate backings and red velvet cushions for seats. They surround a small coffee table that has a potted Anemone flower, two glass cups, and a pitcher of water on top.

Prince Thomas and Kathleen stay quiet and let me come to my own conclusions.

Having been in his room only once, I do not recognize it immediately. The door is always locked for reasons unbeknownst to everyone except its owner and the best friend. The only way to be allowed in is if someone with a key unlocks the door and opens it for you. Of course, you could always enter the unconventional way; through the windows.

Stories about the prince escaping his punishment of chamber confinement by climbing out the windows had spread rapidly throughout the kingdom over the past years, but it has yet to be proven true. Now, when confined to his room, the prince has guards standing outside both the windows and door to watch him constantly. No escape for the young and reckless prince.

Personally, I have never thought of breaking into his bedroom. Only the shallowest of women ever do; my own sister and mother included. They all find the prince to be extremely handsome and have unrealistic dreams of marrying him and becoming queen. However, I have never seen him as anything more than my boss and a prat. Pampered the entirety of his existence and never having to work for anything a day in his life. Everything comes free to him and he has no right to complain about how much his life sucks when he has everyone else doing all the work for him.

I feel exhausted and about to burst into tears. Nothing like this has ever happened during work hours. Only afterward when I am about to fall asleep. And even then, Kathleen is there to aid me before it gets this bad.

When I try to sit up and explain myself to the prince, he pushes me back down as gently as you would place a glass statue. I cannot even imagine what he must think of me now. This sickly girl that is weak and fragile. Unable to do anything without breaking into tears or fainting. How on Earth did she get a job as a maid in my castle?

“I-I,” I stutter. How do you explain something to someone who probably won’t even understand a single word you say?

“It’s all right, Lilah,” says Kathleen. “I already explained everything to His Royal Highness. You need not say anything. In fact, I would rather you get some sleep instead of speaking. Okay?”

I nod. “Can you help me to my room, Kathleen? My legs are too weak to walk without some sort of assistance.” I reach my arm out to have Kathleen help me up. She places it delicately on my stomach and a confused look washes over my face.

“If it is all right with you, Ms. Darling,” the prince starts. “Tonight, you will be resting in my bed. Ms. Turner has already approved of the situation and I will have Elliot cancel all my plans for this evening so that I may stay with you. Now, is there anything that I can get you?”

“Wha—? I, uh, I would prefer to sleep in my room. All my stuff is there, and… And where would you sleep, my Lord?”

“I will be sleeping on the floor. But, I can see how flustered you are about this and I assure you everything is well in order. You need not worry about a thing. Just let me know if there is anything you need, and I would be more than happy to retrieve it for you.”

“Thank you, my Lord. But I do not require anything except rest,” I say. I mutter a barely audible ‘apparently’ while glaring at Kathleen. A flush creeps up her neck and I see right through her striking façade. This is about more than getting rest after an episode. She is trying to make me see the good in the prince. One thing I will not allow is myself to be taken advantage of while in my ill state.

The Bard

~ Brenna Connell ~


I ride under the guise of a simple traveler,

Wandering far and wide in search of the distant unknown;

I keep myself hidden with every strange encounter

But by the fire, by my dear companions, away the cloak is thrown.

I paint word-pictures in the air, hold one-sided conversations,

Speak my truth and pierce the air with unapologetic honesty;

I see potential in the sparks of fire, the star-speckled sky

For grand epics and long-woven yarns, the making of a story.


Collective Biography

This week, we grew as writers by making new connections and immersing ourselves in a creative environment. We spent our time with intellectual discussions and diverse writing opportunities. Encouraged by helpful teachers, we expanded our knowledge of various methods and facets of writing, which improved our technique. With the help of writing exercises and prompts, we learned new skills and pushed ourselves outside of our comfort zones. Our workshops were amazing. We give thanks to Screenwriting taught by Dina Fiasconaro, Poetic Prose instructed by Nate Brown, Fantasy writing lead by Elise Gallagher, Investigation and fieldwork Illuminated by Anthony Moll, Exploration of Identity directed by Christina Rockey, last but not least Responsive poetry enlightened by Austrie Martinez Duarte. These workshops taught us new ways to improve our writing comprehension and collaboration skills by teaching us different ways to write our pieces such as changing the genre you usually write about. We also used the “art-to-art” concept by visiting the Visionary Arts Museum, and had fun exploring the museum together, gathering inspiration, and learning from other artists. A visit from slam poet Lady Brion on Monday and a lesson on public speaking with Austrie Duarte on Friday provided bookends for a week of exciting activities.  Through our teachers, the environment, and our classes, these experiences will help us grow as writers and people in the future.