Stained Glass

By Michele Lesher

One peaceful morning

I watched the sunrise glow.

An angel walked with me;

he had to go.

I had a question for

him and you.

Is our joy today

something we can measure?

I found my treasure.

I am here awhile,

but I am going away.

 

 

Imitation of “Gathering Flowers” by Robert Frost

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Music in the Air

By Prometheus Lewis, Vincent Cochran, Mitchell Graves & Regina Johnson

Friday was on his brand new computer with his best friend Tuesday and they were making some music together. Friday was acting crabby but he didn’t exactly know why. He had a lot on his mind. They had grand plans to hang around all day and work on some music for their boss. So far all they came up with was a rotten egg. Suddenly a bunch of birds came out of nowhere and started attacking the window trying to break in. Things began to get very wavy with the birds. Friday and Tuesday decided to crank things up a little. They reached for the volume knob and the force field got stronger as the music got louder. Friday started singing along to “Party All the Time.” He started feeling the beat and Friday began moving and grooving. He started to feel happier and happier. Tuesday pointed at the door, “Let the birds in!” The birds brought in a beat of their own and soon everyone joined Friday with his grooving.  They moved to the left and then moved to the right, but what was the right direction? Suddenly thugs burst into the room and killed the soul of the music. An anaconda slithered out of the speakers and everything fell to the floor. The party was dead. Friday was frustrated and angry; he was feeling so good while the music was playing. He went to pick up the microphone to try and stop the chaos. Soon Friday’s voice filled the room and people started to pay attention, even the thugs were listening. The bird’s stopped being freaked out and they started to groove again too. Friday felt a funny feeling and he realized the music’s soul had come back again.

Warp Drive

By Thomas Dronet

Warp Drive will defy the laws of gravity and make interstellar travel a reality at some point in the future. EM (Electromagnetic) Warp Drive tests are being produced by the Johnson Space Flight Center as we speak. The Warp Drive will allow spacecraft to travel faster than the speed of light and reduce the time needed to travel around the solar system and explore our galactic neighborhood.  Warp Drive works by basically using negative energy to reverse the force of gravity.  The idea is that soon spaceships will run on energy taken from empty space and this will allow them to fly without fuel. Using the warp drive might make it possible for astronauts to explore the alien worlds that the Kepler Space Telescope finds. So, another giant leap for mankind is a very real possibility.

The Ability Experience

By Joe Siciliano

 

On June 8, 2015, the Southside Ensemble went down to the State Capitol to meet the bicycle-riding group, ‘The Ability Experience’. The cyclists are members of the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi and they cycle across the U.S.A. each year on the Journey of Hope. They were so excited to see us as soon as we got to the Capitol, and then later on, they came to Southside Art Center to hear the Southside Ensemble play. During that time, there was a whole lot of pizza and salad, and even dessert. Also, Southside Art Center’s very own Mary Thornsberry was a special guest at the event. She performed a song from the Broadway musical “Rent” called “Out Tonight”, and that was, hands down, the best part of the event to me. Mary even gave the whole group a tour of the studios. I never had so much fun doing something like this before, and I can hardly wait for when they visit next year! It was a blast!

King of Atlantis

By Mitchell Graves

Deep under the ocean there is a temple that holds a lot of mermaid treasures. A merman swims through the door to his cave. The merman longs to find a mermaid to be his bride. The merman pulls a map out from under a rock. On the map is the layout for the temple. He has his mind set on marrying the princess who is trapped there. He looks at her picture on the wall. “She’s beautiful! One day I will find her in Atlantis!” He studies the map for a long time. That night Ricus pulls on his battle helmet. “Tonight is the night I will rescue my bride.”

 

On his way to the temple Ricus stops at the graveyard to visit his Grandfather’s grave.

“Please Grandpa, I need your help.”

A voice rises up from the grave, “If you do everything that I told you, you will rescue your bride. You have a great responsibility. You are the rightful king of Atlantis.”

“Yes Grandfather.”

“You will rise up from the depths of the ocean and take your place at the throne. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Rise up! That necklace that I gave you has great powers and proves that you are the Prince of Atlantis. Use the medallion to call for help. Any animal on sea or land will fight for your cause. They are your army.”

The water starts swirling around Ricus, he raises his arms and realizes that he has control over the currents. He summons the Kraken. “I need your help, I need you to to join my fight but you must be willing to die.”

“I never back down, ever.”

 

Ricus walks up to the tombstone and places his medallion on the stone. It clicks into place and the tombstone slides away. There is an entrance to a tunnel. “This is the way to Atlantis!” Ricus and the Kraken head down the tunnel. The tunnel opens up into a cave and there is a giant submarine.

“Let’s get inside. We can use this to sneak into the temple.”

“But I won’t fit!” cries the Kraken.

“Yes you will, it’s giant! And we can fill it with lots of water so we can breathe.”

Inside the submarine Ricus grabs the controls and they head towards the temple. When they get to the gate Ricus pushes on the controls and rams the gate as hard as he can. Spears fall from above and sea darts bounce off the windows but the submarine still breaks through the gate. The submarine screeches to a halt and the guards swarm the machine. Suddenly a guard screams and points his trident at the submarine. A stream of light comes out of the trident and hits the submarine. It starts to shake and flash, and the metal turns red.

“The guards are going to kill us!” screams Ricus.

“Stop whining. Those guards will not touch my prince! Those punks are dead men.”

The Kraken flexes its muscles and stretches out its tentacles. The submarine explodes and the Kraken cries, “Rrraaaaaaaawwwwwhhhhhh!!!! I’m getting really angry! Now you will die by my sword!”

He swings his sword and blood flies everywhere. The guards float up towards the surface of the ocean. Ricus looks up and sees sharks circling.

 

Ricus swims to the tallest tower of the temple and the evil commander appears out of nowhere. “You will never get the Princess!”

“Soon, when the sun rises I will be the new king,” says Ricus, “Pleeease, you will never the king. You are pure evil.”

The commander lunges towards Ricus and he dodges out of the way. Ricus stabs his two fingers into the evil commander’s chest.

“AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!” The commander’s heart explodes. “Goodbye you evil jerk!” shouts Ricus, “Stay away from my kingdom.”

Ricus continues swimming up the tower. When he gets to the top he sees the Princess and instantly falls in love. Ricus swims through the window and finally kisses his beloved Princess.

 

When the sun rises Ricus is crowned King of Atlantis and everyone cheers. Ricus marries the Princess they have a family. The entire kingdom lives happily ever after.

The Great Rome

By Vincent Cochran

 

Once upon a time there was an attractive city called the great Rome. The Great Rome was a good-looking place, the trees were blowing in the wind, the flowers were blooming and the waterfall was shimmering with light. Everything was beautiful and blue until some dark magic appeared. The magic tore apart the pretty blue sky and turned it all black. The city’s colors began to disappear and everything turned into black ruins. Darkness was flowing everywhere and the city was turning to rubble. The people of Great Rome could not stand the dark power, so they found a hero named Aquila and asked him to go off on a journey to find this evil power. Aquila agreed to take this journey and began to ready himself. He needed something to protect himself so he won’t get killed. He gathered his things and over the hills and through the mountains he went. Eventually Aquila found himself in the dangerous Goblin bunkers. You know, Goblins are very brutal and the bunkers are very treacherous. Aquila took out his sword and swung it around cutting through the herd of goblins. The goblins continued to pour out of their holes, there seemed to be to many of them. So Aquila got out his spell book and summoned an iron dragon to help him defeat the goblins. Seeing the bloodcurdling iron dragon made the goblins scared and retreat. He made his way through the deserted  bunkers to find the source of darkness.

Aquila continued on and approached a swamp. The swamp was bubbly and gooey and filled with giant crocodiles. He needed to find a path through the sticky swamp.  Again, he got out his spell book and used a spell to open a path through the swamp. As he was walking through the path the spell stopped working and he was forced to fight off the giant crocodiles. He used his magic shield to block the giant crocodiles attacks but the crocodiles breathed flame upon him. Aquila barely dodged being roasted by their fire. Still fighting the monsters, he retreated to a safer place. He ran until he came to a small house in the middle of the swamp. There was something odd about this house, but he went in anyway. There was an old couple drinking tea and sitting next to a fireplace inside. They turned and looked at Aquila and said “Hello!” They asked if he would like to join them for dinner. There was something strange about the couple, smoke seemed to surround them at all times. They were not a normal old couple. He was tired, so he decided to sit down and eat dinner with them. He put his sword and his shield down and as he did the reflection from the shield hit the old man’s face. The old man screamed “It’s too bright!” and as he did, Aquila saw a creepy face. He picked his sword and shouted “ Who are you?! What are you!!!?” The old couple said together “We are the spirits of this swamp! You must stand down! Surrender now or suffer our wrath!!!” The evil spirits began to float around the hero and, for the first time he saw their true forms. They looked like fiery demons with big, glaring eyes, “Surrender! You cannot defeat us!” they repeated over and over. They made a fire circle around Aquila, trapping him. He looked around for something  to defeat the fire spirits. He saw a bucket of water sitting in the corner collecting raindrops from the leaky roof. He reached for the bucket and as he grabbed it some of the water splashed on one of the spirits. The Fire spirit screamed and evaporated a little bit.

“Oh no! He has a bucket of water!” the spirits shouted. They began to spin around him faster and faster to confuse him. The spirits combined together into one giant fire spirit.

“NOW I WILL DESTROY YOU!!!” the spirit shrieked. He grabbed his half full bucket and tried to throw it on the spirit. The spirit whacked Aquila and the bucket of water landed in the fireplace. The spirit let out a spewing noise and screamed

“NOOOOOOOooooooooooo!!!!!” Then the spirit and the house evaporated. Aquila went on through the swamp.

Eventually Aquila found his way safely out of the swamp. After passing through the swamp he came to a sign. The sign said “go back” but Aquila refused to retreat. He went on but after a few steps, he fell into a big hole. Down the hole Aquila fell, until he landed on a giant spider web. He was totally tangled up in the web. He moved around, trying to free himself, but his movement woke up a big spider. The spider was enormous and frightening but Aquila was not afraid. He was brave and smart, he used the web as a trampoline and jumped out of the hole. He turned around and saw the spider was still chasing him. He had no choice but to fight. He dug in his bag and brought out a light potion. He pointed it at the spider. The spider hated the light and tried to knock it away but Aquila threw the potion at the spider. The spider screamed and made horrible squealing noises, retreating back to his hole. He could not take any more of the painful light. The hero Aquila continued on.

In time, Aquila came to a great forest. As he walked through the forest he came upon some funny animals. They all seemed to be staring at Aquila. He knew the forest was full of evil things and that he needed to be careful. Aquila began to notice a yellow dust floating in the air. All of a sudden a spooky tree begins to talk, “Go back! There are spores in the air. If you take just one sniff of the air you will become one of the evil animals. I used to be human but now I am a tree.” Aquila did not trust listening to the trees as they were trying to distract him. “Go back! Go back!” The darkness was getting stronger and time was running out. The sky begins to turn a dark, dark black and the wind begins to howl. As Aquila continues down the path he starts to notice animals eyes popping out of the bushes. Tree branches reach out and grab onto Aquila and he hesitates. “Maybe something is after me,” Aquila mutters to himself. He feels uneasy and keeps checking over his shoulder and looking in the shadows, hoping to find what is lurking. Aquila continues to move slowly and carefully afraid that the beast who rules the forest will strike again.

Suddenly there is a loud hollering noise and a creature jumps out onto the path. Aquila whips out his sword and casts a spell around him so that he won’t get caught in the crossfire. Aquila summons up a seal spell to keep the beast from getting away. Next Aquila draws a symbol spell to bring the beast closer into the shield. Aquila notices his hands shaking, he’s scared. “I have to keep fighting!” Aquila casts a removal spell to rid the beast of the evil spirit. The beast begins to transform and soon there is a little girl staring in the path. The girl was screaming because she was possessed by the evil demon. So the hero asked to release the little girl but the creature refused to leave the body. The demon said, “You shall not have to girl! You will never free her!” Aquila performed a powerful spell on the demon and the little girl was finally free from evil. Smoke was pouring out of her eyes and mouth and the demon swoops towards the hero. Thankfully Aquila has a shield to stop the demon. He holds out a potion bottle and it sucks the evil demon inside. Aquila quickly puts on the cap and realizes that he finally beat the demon.

The little girl starts to move and Aquila walks towards her. Aquila asks, “Are you ok?” “I’m dizzy,” she says. All of a sudden a ray of sunshine came down from the sky. The air began to turn clear and creatures began running around the forest. The little girl said, “You freed the forest and the creatures from dark magic. I can show you the way to the rest of the darkness.” So the little girl decided to follow the hero on his journey to defeat what darkness comes.

As the little girl led the hero out of the forest they came to a crossroad. One sign pointed left and the other pointed right. Which way should they go? The hero flips a coin and they take the road to the left. They follow the path to a kingdom which turns out to be the little girl’s home. She doesn’t recognize the castle because it was it had been taken over by the evil darkness. Aquila and the little girl walk up to the gate and find it guarded by guards who were captured by a dark spell. Aquila casts a spell to release the guards from the dark spell. The guards shake their heads and show the hero and the little girl inside. As they entered the castle they saw that everyone inside was also under the spell of darkness. Aquila started to focus on his magic spell and instead of bringing out his sword he brought out a staff. Aquila whips it around and draws a symbol spell that releases the people from the darkness. Finally all of the darkness is gone and the people are free. The little girl points at the Queen and says, “It’s all her fault! She is the cause of the darkness and destruction. To save the kingdom you must destroy her!” Aquila and the Queen decide to hold a duel to see who can rule the kingdom.

The castle began to float up into the air and the people cheered for the hero, Aquila. With an evil laugh the Queen summoned up spirits to be on her side. The Queen cast another spell to summon up an armored knight and Aquila summons up an armored dragon. The dragon and the knight battle and the hero’s dragon wins. This makes the Queen angry so she summons another monster and this time it is a shadow monster. The shadow monster flies over the castle wall so the hero uses his magic to give the dragon power. The queen matches his spell to also give her shadow monster speed and power. Aquila pulls out his secret weapon, instead of using his speed and power he uses will power to destroy the shadow monster.  This makes the Queen even madder and she starts throwing dark magic at the hero trying to turn Aquila into evil. Aquila dodges the dark magic and starts throwing magic back at the Queen. His magic keeps missing so he pulls out his sword and swings it, bouncing the dark spells back at the Queen. Finally the dark magic hits the Queen and knocks her wand out of her hands. The Queen lets out a growl and runs towards the hero. Aquila casts one final spell and destroys the Queen forever. Finally the skies clear and everything turns pretty once again. The little girl lives happily in her castle while the hero returns home to the Great Rome. The people decided to have a celebration because their city had been saved by a hero and they could live happily ever after.