Durant High School Journalism

The Storm

Can you see it?

The young picture-perfect family, from down the street. The hardworking father, the show-stopping mother, and the beautiful little girl.

She’s adorned in ruffles and lace, smiling for the camera. The film capturing the moment in time, one that would become so precious to the girl. When she is older and reality has set in, that her picture-perfect family was never quite that. 

Her mother is synonymous with a wave, constantly being pulled back out into the world like the tide. She struggles with the actuality of being a mother, the long nights, emotional toll, and financial stress of a child. She is in constant motion, unable to settle, even for her daughter.

The unrelenting call for more distractions keeps the mother from the girl. Days, weeks, even months go by with no contact from her mother. But that is to be expected, reception is scarce in the deep. The girl understands, she knows her mother and the struggles she faces. The little girl leans on her father. 

Her father, the supposed definition of perfection, loves the little girl. He is constant in her life, never being pulled away. She knows this with absolution. As the little girl’s body grows, her mind, and perception do as well. Her father has a difficult time comprehending this change. 

He cannot fight his own upbringing to nurture the little girls’ newfound beliefs. He is like lightning, lashing out sporadically, irrationally, and always when water was near.

The girl loved them, her father the lightning, and mother the wave. The two had many children of the sea and sky. All would come to the girl for help and advice when the mother and father were missing. As she was the child with the most experience handling the dangerous combination. 

She had strong roots, like an oak, planted throughout the home. She loved the children as her own and wanted nothing more than for them to lead happy and healthy lives. She became a backbone for her home, creating the stability and comfort the children craved. Her mother was at war with the tide, and father at war with the storm, the girl loathed this about her family. The constant motion and inability to find a calm, that is all she wanted, calmness. 

The girl grew and grew until the ocean was too small for her. Her roots were deep, much deeper than expected. The idea of removing herself for the betterment of her own mental capacity was difficult. The memories of the photo are constant. 

Is leaving a betrayal?

Am I selfish for wanting this?

The girl knew the storm and tide would never cease; she knew nothing could calm this storm. So, she made a decision, she ripped the roots up. The little girl knew, only she could be the calm.  

About the Writer
Photo of Jennifer Dages
Jennifer Dages, Editor-in-Chief of Writing

Jennifer Dages is a senior at Durant High School and is the Editor-in-Chief of Writing for PawPrint newspaper. In her free time, she practices Brazilian...

The Asylum

In the Year 2235, Joe Smith woke up, the same way he had every day before, exhausted and uninterested in the day to come. Joe got out of bed, wondering when Annabelle, the woman who loved him would visit. Joe follows his routines every day, he puts no effort into it, he doesn’t have an obsessive reason, it just happens.

On non-workdays Joe brushes his teeth, shaves, washes his face, puts on tan cotton pants and a white t shirt, then goes downstairs to eat oatmeal, then drinks orange juice. Once he is ready for the day Joe goes to his study. He spends five minutes meditating to improve his soul and to keep him calm. He gets up then enters his Memory Museum. In 2197, scientists discovered a way for humans to extract memories and keep them on disks to replay like movies. They had existed since before he was born.

Every morning, even before work Joe visits a specific memory.

On March 6, 2219 Joe was 18. It started the same as every other day. He followed his routine before school perfectly. When he got to school, he began walking to his locker as usual but upon arriving at his locker, standing there is a handsome boy trying to open it.

“I don’t know you and that’s my locker.”

“Oh sorry, I’m new. My name’s Hugh, Hugh Collins.” Something was going on with Joe, he felt warm, it was something he had never felt before.

“Well, I know you now, but that’s still my locker.”

“Oops, sorry. Mine is next to it, I didn’t read the numbers carefully. First day anxiety. It never goes away.” Hugh slides right to the next to Joe’s. Joe takes this as the end of their conversation, so he opens his locker. He exchanges for binders and books for his first two classes. “Most people would introduce themselves.” Hugh says from his locker.

“I’m Joe Smith.”

“That must be a common name.”

“I guess. See you around Hugh.” Joe had never felt many emotions around his family but in the brief interaction with Hugh he had wanted to crack a smile.

“Wait Joe! Could you show me around? No one offered to show me around in the office.”

“Figures, sure, I’ll give you the tour.” Joe takes Hugh around the school showing him the different buildings and where his classes were. Hugh managed to get a laugh from Joe as he made creative ways to remember unique things about each building.

“The Mystery Mischievous Masterpiece Building. Would be the art hallway where secretive, salacious activities occur.”

“Moving Along. You’re really passionate about your creativity huh?”

“They make life more interesting.” Joe just gave a small smile then walked back to the patio, where most students hung out before school.

“Well, this is where I leave you.”

“I’ll see you later.”

“If you can find me, you can sit with me at lunch.” To give Hugh’s creative mind a challenge, Joe neglected to mention that they had the same class for lunch.

Joe left for his first period which was on the opposite side of campus. He decided he would share Hugh’s way of going through life. Hugh seemed far happier than Joe, so Joe assumed whatever Hugh was doing was right. Throughout the first three periods there was a noticeable difference in Joe’s mood. Many of his assumed he was on something.

 In English he was thinking creatively for the first time. He smiled for the first time in History. In Spanish he spoke for the first time. This change delighted the teachers and confused the students. When it came time for fourth period Physics, Joe was exited, which confused him because it was the first time, he could remember, feeling this much in one day.

When Joe made it to Physics Hugh was sitting in the seat nest to his, where no one usually sat. Hugh was shocked to see Joe enter the room. Hugh smiled in greeting but did not say anything which was weird to Joe, but he was too introverted to start a conversation.

After giving the class their reading assignment for the day, their teacher called roll because he was terrible with learning names. He went through the entire roster but never called Hugh Collins. Joe looked over at Hugh with curiosity

“Don’t worry about it.” Hugh whispered so that only Joe could hear.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course.” Joe trusted Hugh’s nonchalant behavior. The girl sitting in front of Joe was very confused as to what was going on behind her. She went up to the teacher and told him what was going on. The teacher thanked her for the concern and dismissed her to complete her assignment. The teacher became serious, glanced at Joe who took no notice as he was whispering to Hugh. The teacher then began to write a note.

“John, could you deliver this note to the nurse. Wait there for a response.” Everyone knew who he meant.

“Okay sir, but what about the assignment?”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll have someone fill you in.” Joe glanced at Hugh, then walked up to the desk to get the note.

Joe quickly walked to the office to deliver the note. He went straight to the nurse’s office. No one was being treated so the nurse was just behind her computer.

“Hello Joe, what can I do for you?”

“I’m here to give you this note and wait for a response.” He placed the note on her desk. She picked up the note then glanced up at Joe.

“I’ll be right back with your response.” She walks out then the memory fades to black.

Joe has wondered for the last 16 years what that note said, what happened to him and most importantly what happened to Hugh. Every day this was replayed for Joe, yet he could not remember what happened after he blacked out that day.


“In the museum Anna!”

“Of course, you are, I should have come here first. Are you ready?”

“I’m always ready.”

“So, did anything from that day comeback?” She rubs a wipe on his arm.

“No, still nothing.” She injects him with the same serum she has for the last sixteen years.

“It’ll all be okay.” He falls asleep forgetting about the last few hours.

About the Writer
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

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