3rd Place

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Out of the Asylum, Into the Madhouse

Kevin Jurado

Finally free after two years, Evan was looking forward to his return to the ward. He almost faked being schizophrenic to stay inside, but it was time to face reality. He felt the warm spring air brush his face and saw the waves it sent in the bright green fields outside the facility. Even so, he still had a knot in his stomach that not even Maniac Magee could untie. No car waited outside; in all his nightmares, there was always a car waiting for him. Where is Eddie?

Blank Sky / Orange Thieves

Ali Hammoud

Blank Sky / Orange Thieves

Ali Hammoud

Blank Sky

God has bright eyes
as wide and as focused as a kid’s.
Mom, who is wiser than me,
is kneeling in the other room, praying
while I watch TV like poison.
She gets up in her white robe
looks up to God, with her closed eyes
clean from her recent shower.
She whispers to him like a loony
whose sight comes from within.
It’s silent but calming.
It can never be proven
No, I’m not sure if he’s even up there.
He was when I was eight years old.
Now he is myth, vacuumed out of the air

Dillon / To Grow Up

Samad Halimah Amatullah

Dillon

I’ve never been this close to a boy.

Not to Dillon. Not to anyone.

But now he’s so close I notice the faint smell of toothpaste he must have used hours before. I can see the scar at the corner of his eye where his dad’s ring nicked him in the 5th grade, and I can see the one forming above his lip from the beating he was given yesterday.

“This is going to hurt.” He tells me calmly. Of course he can be calm; he’s not the one on the receiving end of impending pain.

I take a deep breath. “Just do it already.”

Everybody Likes Cher

Marina Vorobieva

Well, Armenian men sang well. Until then Irina had heard only Georgian men sing. The famous Georgian ensembles of singers and dancers have often toured all around the country and performed on radio or TV. But Armenian men sang so well. How many men were singing? Many. And they were from one family, the family with an old traditional Armenian last name, Sarkisian, which, possibly, they got at the beginning of Christianity from the name of Santa Sarkis. Among them were five brothers. But Irina could not tell one from another. It seemed, they had one face;

A Night at the Shelter

Kyle Moylan

We decided the best place for us to drink that night was the shelter. In the rainy, winter months of Connemara, the beaches were no longer an option.

I had been kayaking down at my uncle’s house, which was built on a rocky cliff that over-looked the Atlantic ocean, when I saw my best friend Sean on the shore holding up a blue bag. Blue bags meant beer. I paddled in with a big dumb grin on my face thinking about what tonight would have in store for us. Also, it had been a while since we had all been properly drunk together, and that’s always a reason to celebrate.

To Then, From Now

Sitrillah Gellani

Dear Childhood,

Work

Brittany Watts

I don’t mind sleeping on the floor. There are plenty of blankets to sleep and to cover up with. More than enough for the three of us – me and my little brothers Bryan and Austin. We are all warm. Protected from the frigid early-December nights in Brooklyn. Safe from the dangers lurking in alleyways and abandoned storefronts we used to call home. We have a real home now; a cozy place with lights, heat, and running water on the 6th floor of the Louis H. Pink projects. It’s a welcomed change. We finally have privacy and doors that lock.

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