Celebrity Tinder Profiles

by The Cowl Editor


Letter to You

by The Cowl Editor


fountain pen drawing heart on lined paper
Photo courtesy of pixnio.com

by Kiley McMahon ’20


Dear You Who Shall Not Be Named,

As you kiss my soft lips and moan from tiredness, you check your text messages every five minutes to make sure that you are in the clear. You keep a photo of Elsa, Troy, and Chase stored in your wallet; they are so beautiful and grown-up-looking, just like you. You leave from my back door, and you run to your car down the street. As usual, you leave me alone as you rapidly pace from my humble abode to your lavish sportscar. I notice that you never once fail to fasten your belt strap and to zip your fly while you run as if you are a mad man. Years later, you tell me that you are in the process of going through a divorce. Still to this day, I wonder why I am one of the few chosen to fall for you—an unavailable man. I wonder how I am capable of breaking your family apart and for allowing your beautiful children to endure the divorce of their parents, something that I myself endured in my own childhood. Today, I cry myself to sleep as I wonder how I let you, the man whom I love so deeply, ruin my whole life.

About a year ago today, I went through my own divorce. My husband cheated on me with his ex-wife and their family is in the process of coming back together. I sit with tears running down my face and my emotions run wild. How am I capable of ruining your family and then of creating the same trauma for myself?

I now know how it feels, to have the man whom you love so deeply, fall for someone else. I have learned difficulty and today, I like to think of myself as a bigger and better person because of this insight gained through experience. I thank you with all of my heart for making me a stronger, better individual.

Thank you, You Who Shall Not Be Named.


A stronger and better person.

Letters to Santa

by The Cowl Editor


Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
Photo Courtesy of playbuzz.com

Dear Santa,

How is Rudolph doing? I hope good. Is it cold? It’s cold here, but I have a blanket and sweater. My Grammy made it for me. Does Rudolph have a Grammy? Who makes him sweaters? And cookies? And gives him hugs and kisses? The good kisses. Not the sloppy kind my doggie gives me. Do you have any pets, Santa? Oh yeah, the reindeer. Silly me. I made you cookies. The gooey kind. And milk! But my brother ate them. Stupid brother! And my kitty drank the milk. Stupid kitty! My daddy says to not say “stupid.” Don’t tell him, ok? Can you say that word? How old are you? I think three billion! Why don’t you have any kids?

My daddy says I need to write what I want. Ok. I want a pink pony with purple eyelashes and a blue tail. It needs to sing and fly and bake me cookies. Oh, my daddy says I can’t ask for that. Ok. I want a castle with servants and a pool full of jelly. And I want a house made out of candy. And I want a pony, but this time a normal one, but a real one! Please? Oh, my daddy says I need to ask for something you can actually get me so I won’t be disappointed. But, why can’t you give me all of this stuff? You are the greatest man alive! You have powers and a big belly and a jolly laugh and, um, stuff! Yeah. So, I want a rocket so I can go to the moon and eat moon cheese. I like cheese. Do you? What do you like to eat?

Oh, my daddy says I need to stop because I’m running out of paper. I love you Santa and Rudolph and Dancer and
Prancer and the other reindeer I don’t know the names of. Kisses. Oh, and sorry about the milk and cookies. Please still come. I have been good, I promise.

Love and hugs,

simply-wrapped presents beneath a Christmas tree
Photo Courtesy of ssj.org.uk

Dear Santa,

I don’t really believe in you. I know I haven’t believed in you for years. Not at all, in fact. So why am I doing this? Why would I write you a letter? I don’t quite know to be honest. I’m not sure I could put it into words, at any rate. So what do I want? That’s the question, right? I don’t think I know anymore. Not to be lonely? Is that an answer? I can’t put my finger down on anything that doesn’t seem to have some sort of baggage and grief on it, but there’s a part of me kicking around that still wants to believe and to hope that something good is out there for my life.

When I was a kid, I guess that meant presents under a tree and a world outside covered in snow. A day of playing with Dad and then hot chocolate inside and watching your clothes get dry in front of the radiator. Then I got older and it changed into more complicated things like money and love and feeling important, and usually we don’t have any of those. 

Now you can’t give me what I’m looking for. But I guess if I write you this letter and I remember for a split second what it was like to be a child on Christmas Eve, then at least I won’t forget what it feels like to hope. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Merry Christmas,

Santa Claus in his sleigh flying past the moon over a neighborhood
Photo Courtesy of pinterest.com


Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas, I do not want any gifts from you. I simply want my family to get together. I want them to enjoy themselves in the spirit of the Holidays. I want my siblings and my friends to love the gifts that I have purchased for them. I want you to fly on your big red sleigh through the cold and brisk air with a smile on your face. I want children and parents to scream your name from afar so that you can hear them and know that they are excited for the season of giving to truly begin.

I love you and all that you do for every child around the world. Thank you for changing my meaning of Christmas for the better. Good luck on your journey. I will be thinking of Rudolph and his shiny red nose and you with your big beard and full belly.

Lastly, please eat the cookies that I leave out for you, they are sugar cookies this year. Please make sure that Rudolph eats his carrots as well.

Much love and best regards,
Your Biggest Fan

small black puppy in a Christmas stocking
Photo Courtesy of pinterest.com

Dear Santa,

What gives?

Year after year I wrote to you, asking for a puppy—a cute little black pupper with white paws so it looks like he’s wearing socks—and nothing. Every Christmas morning from the ages of 6 to 16, I would run downstairs, eagerly expecting the sight of a wagging tail and the sound of yipping, and instead, all I got were a bunch of Legos, a Playstation, a pair of Beats headphones, an iPhone, and a whole boat load of money.

Seriously, how hard is it to bring me a puppy? When we were 10, you brought my neighbor Jerry and his sister Cathy a kitten, so I think​ you could figure out a way to leave a puppy under my parent’s tree.

I’m just saying, Santa—if I don’t get a puppy this Christmas, then have fun eating stale cookies from the back of my locker and drinking soy milk next year.

Super Seriously,
His Name Could Be Socko, But You Playin’

La Vida es Corta

by The Cowl Editor


Flags of many nations
Photo courtesy of linkedin.com

by Kiley McMahon ’20


La vida es corta,

La vie est courte,

La vita é breve,

Life is short.


Soy de España,

Je viens de la France,

Vengo dall’Italia,

I am from the United States.


I make millions of dollars,

While I find my next meal wherever I sleep.


I used to make millions,

But I lost my job and now I beg.


I used to find my next meal wherever I slept,

And you walked right on by,

Snickering and taunting.


It does not matter where you are from,

Or what your background is.


Life works in mysterious ways,

And we have to be cautious of its windy roads,

While treating others with the utmost amount of respect.


Soy de España,

And I am from the United States.


I am a millionaire,

and I find my next meal wherever I sleep.

As They Stroll On By

by The Cowl Editor


bloody knife
Photo courtesy of lunarmandpresents.com

by Kiley McMahon ’20


As the tears fall from my solemn blue eyes,

and as the children stroll on by,

their guardians look at me,

for they know my secret.


Their lingering stares

melt my mind,

for they are truly forever engrained.


The lifeless soul

looks back at me,

as I relive the moment,



The first stab,

my heart runs its course,

at one hundred miles per minute.


The second stab,

my heart aches,

for the pain feels too good.


I cannot stop,

for the adrenaline is too much.


With each kill,

I become more and more power hungry.

As I stand lifeless next to this deceased body,

whose name is unknown to me,

I watch individuals stroll on by,

and I realize that I need help.


As the children smile,

wearing their sweet,

content smiles,

I am aware that I need guidance,

as soon as possible.


I need aid,

as I stand lifeless,

in front of this body,

whose name is unknown to me.




Ghost Stories

by The Cowl Editor


book with mist rising off of it
Photo courtesy of weshapelife.org


Run, hurry, faster! No, don’t look back, stop it! I fling my body around the corner into the darkness, my dripping hand sliding along the old marble wall. Down the stairs I glide, holding the wall to feel where I am. I reach the ground and a sudden tranquility streams through me. It’s over, done. I don’t have to think about it anymore. He’s not chasing me this time. I feel along the wall for the light switch, and as the light flickers to a steady brightness, I see flashes of my burgundy hands, still sodden with the warm liquid. He’s not even real, I tell myself. He’s nothing but fabricated by your mind! It’s not a crime when you’re not causing any harm to the living. But no! I can hear them coming. I run to my room, in the corner of this otherwise obsolete basement, and collapse into my bed to ease my accumulating terror. I close my eyes, waiting for the cloudy chimera of sleep to drag me to the shake that will awaken me on the other side. This time, however, I close my eyes to see nothing but a door that is locked and bolted.

—Erin Lucey ’20



I was never scared of ghosts. Ever since I was just a kid, I had seen them watching peacefully on the walls or in the shadows. My mom would always praise me as some psychic, but all I could really do was watch them and sometimes read the words off their wispy mouths.
Horror movies always make ghosts look like demonic figures that want to possess and kill people, but that is not the case. Ghosts recognize that they had their time, and watch everyone they love have theirs. That is, until last night, where I met the soul that would murder anyone it could out of pure, unfiltered rage.

As the sun set and the shadows began to stretch across my old house, the spirits awakened and wished goodnights. They were all friendly to me, as one waved to me from afar. Suddenly, an unfamiliar mist wrapped itself around the hall, and the ghost beside me dropped. As I strained to see through the dark, the ghost’s connotation morphed to fear.

“Run,” the ghost mouthed as the mist entangled him. I fell backwards, trying to breathe, but realized that the mist had already grasped me too. I laid there writhing, suffocating—I could feel the vapor filling my lungs. The misty figure lowered its sullen face, revealing its wrath through its empty eyes and crooked laugh. My body went into spasms, my brain went into shock, and the world spun violently around me. It wanted me to have a slow death, I’m sure, but the neighboring ghosts wrapped their shadows around the mist. It screamed, threw a loud squealing tantrum, as I rolled and wheezed on the floor. As I was beginning to lose
consciousness, I watched the sickly hand reach for my face as he plunged into the floor with the others.

The paramedics came, and as they loaded my still body into the back of the ambulance, I heard them talk about a possible heart attack. I chuckled with what little breath I had left. Though I had never felt fear in the face of the undead, I felt nothing but it now, as my vision blurred silently into one cloud of vapor.

—Jay Willett ’20


Dreaming Versus Reality

“Who goes there? What do you want?” Nobody responds, but the piano keeps playing the same old tune. I can recognize it from anywhere. It is the song that my aunt played at my husband’s funeral. I decide not to wrack my brain thinking too much about the sole piano that continues to play. I ignore the melody and make my way up to my bed.

“Who goes there? What do you want?” I look around aimlessly. Nobody is there; I am extremely confused. I do not respond, and this makes the wandering voice angry. The invisible essence grabs my neck and holds me against the wall, as I’m being nailed to the cross. The voice then tells me, “We will be together forever.”

“Who are you?” I ask the voice, which snickers hysterically.

“Your husband is my love now in the Kingdom of Heaven. Stop wishing for him to come back. He never will for he is mine and for the rest of your existence, I will bless you with my presence.”

“Excuse me?” I ask the invisible spirit.

The spirit laughs uncontrollably and tells me that she will be back tomorrow.

Just then I open my eyes and look to my right. There my husband lays and the ghost of Halloween’s Past is nowhere to be seen. The next night I go to sleep and we encounter one another again. She apologizes for her crude introduction to me the previous night. Our conversation seems too realistic not to be true. I begin to wonder what the difference between dreaming and reality is.

“9-1-1, what is your emergency?”

“I just found my husband lying lifeless on the ground.” I check for a pulse and there is none. “Come as fast as you possibly can.” As the tears fall from my eyes, the piano begins playing the harmonious melody and the spirit tells me that I have killed an innocent man through my thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. The voice laughs relentlessly as the paramedics carry my husband’s limp body out into the ambulance on the stretcher.

I continue to weep, and she continues to laugh. She comes back for many days, never failing to remind me that she is my husband’s new lover.

Maybe there is no true difference between dreaming and reality.

—Kiley McMahon ’20



The black, velvety water pillows the boat. My only company are a pair of oars and the lonesome sea. Nightfall flushes the sky into a moonless abyss, and the dim stars rupture through the clouds. Fog has invaded and heavily dusts the sea’s surface. My flame-lit lantern, my only source of light, fails to shine through the fog. The wind begins to snarl in my ear, the only sound besides my boat slowly wobbling in the otherwise stagnant water. The coldness of the wind reduces me to shivers and goosebumps. I am left guideless. There are no patches of land in the horizon. Just endless, open water. I have a strange hunch that I’ve been rowing in circles. Suddenly, a headache clouds my mind. I place both palms onto my temples. The vessels in my brain feel like they are going to erupt. What’s going on? Where am I? Why am I here? These are questions that rattle my mind. Overwhelmed, I turn my head to the side of my shoulder and gaze down below the murky fog. I illuminate the water with my lantern and look at my reflection. I see a face; a face that isn’t my own.

—Marisa DelFarno ’18

Gillian Flynn and Stephen King Walk Into the Home Invasion

by The Cowl Editor


Crossed crime scene tape
Photo courtesy of weclipart.com

by Julia Zygiel ’19 and Kiley McMahon ’20


Blood coats the floors, a trail of it leading out the door to the driveway.

Stephen King: “So… this is why you called me here?”

Gillian Flynn: “Stephen, there is no time for questions. I need to hide the evidence before the police come and you need to help me. Follow my lead.”

Stephen King: “Hide the evidence? Your prints are probably everywhere, and I can guarantee the police were called at least 10 minutes ago. You’re not going to have enough time.”

Gillian Flynn: “Oh, Stephen, I guess that after 10 years of friendship, you still do not know who I am and what I am        capable of. Get out of here if you are just going to reprimand me. I need you here as a friend right now…”

The sirens start sounding from down the street. Gillian and Stephen stand staring at each other; neither knows the next move to make.

Stephen King [rolls his eyes]: “Well, when you put it that way… The only option at this point is to escape however we can. Do you have the weapon?”

Gillian Flynn: “Oh, Stephen, I am one step ahead of you. It is already in the back of my SUV. I will show you the  remnants.”

FBI agent: “Finn, you take the back. I’ll take the front.”

Gillian and Stephen jump out of the window and hop into the SUV where the body already awaits their arrival.

Stephen King: “Listen, just because my novels are gory doesn’t mean I want to see this kind of thing. Though I can     certainly smell it.” He wheezes, clapping a hand over his mouth and nose.

Gillian Flynn: “Yeah, well, my novels are murder mysteries and I enjoy living in the moment. I am very surprised that you did not know this about me
previously. My blood is currently pumping out of control.”

Stephen King: “I wasn’t aware your     novels were… autobiographical.”

Gillian Flynn: “The world is warped,   Stephen. You should not be so naive. I am so disappointed. You should be more intelligent, God.”

Stephen King: “I didn’t assume you were a murderer, so kill me. Wait, no, poor phrasing. Do not kill me.”

Gillian Flynn: “Well Stephen, I do have a list you know. You might be on it, you might not be. You might find out when it is too late.” She grins menacingly, plotting her next move.

Stephen King: “If I help you hide the body and the evidence, will that get me off of this list?”

Gillian Flynn: “I told you Stephen, life is unpredictable.”

Stephen King: “Well if you get caught I’m going down, too. Pull over here, we’ll dump everything in the river.”

FBI Agent Finn: “Gillian Flynn, put your hands up, you are under the arrest for the murder of Stephenie Meyer.”

Dear Father

by The Cowl Editor


soldiers marching down a street
Photo courtesy of thebalance.com

by Kiley McMahon ’20


Dear Father,

As I walked through the rain,

drenched and frigid,

I watched the soldiers march,

one by one,

concealing their every fear

from those around them.


As I carried the half loaf bread,

worth only 50 cents,

to our family of five,

I tried to think of a logical explanation

for why the bread stood as I stood,

hard cold and frigid.


I am not the mother of our family,

but the oldest daughter,

a descendant of you,

a soldier that concealed his every fear

from those around him.


Starved as we are,

the love for our family continues to grow.


I have gotten my first job,

and in doing so,

I have learned the ways in which

to perfectly polish all shoes.


The tombstone that stands for you

marks your favorite words,

“Stand true and tall,

smile through the hunger,

and dance through the pain and fear.”


If I do these things

that you believe,

I will be held in a decent light,

until death part me from this wonderful life

that is full of adventures, fears,

and cold hard nights

that stand like the bread

that I brought to our family

on that one stormy night.


Thank you for being a soldier,

one of complete bravery and faith;

may your soul live on,

and your destiny never be forgotten.


thank you for teaching me the ways of life,

and for standing brave and tall,

putting yourself in a harmonious light.



your eldest daughter,

whose name must remain concealed,

for I fear the safety

of my very life,

as well as the safety

of our family of five.

A New Beginning

by The Cowl Editor


Homeless men in a subway station
Photo courtesy of WordPress.com


By Kiley McMahon ’20

Portfolio Staff


He sits,




and begs.


He is starved,



and weary.


He takes a train,

far far away,

from chaos,

and clutter,

that his future life brought.


A new beginning,

a bottle released,

left to scavenge,

along with the past life,

that he so wished to alter.


A new beginning,

for a man lost in the wind.


A bottle released,

from his cold and pruned hand.

The Pungent Scent of Sweat!

by The Cowl Editor


By Kiley McMahon ’20