Stuck In A Crime Scene

by The Cowl Editor on February 15, 2018


ruins of a town
Photo courtesy of

by Sam Pellman ’20


It was closing time. The gates were starting to be secured and locked up. Our group had split up about halfway through, but it would be fine, we’d meet up with them outside the car. At least that’s what I thought. It was what any normal person would think. It’s definitely not what happened though.

It was 5:26 p.m., and the sun was just starting to sink down. The air was warm but without the sun it became cool. We were in France. At a museum, but not your average museum. We were in a village called Oradour-sur-Glane in Haute-Vienne.

The history of the place is remarkable. This village was destroyed by a German Waffen-SS company on June 10, 1944. The Nazis wanted to use the village as an example. Six-hundred and forty-two of its inhabitants were massacred all in one night. The scene was traumatizing as women and children were locked in churches that were set on fire.

Men were led into barns and sheds and shot with machine guns. Only a few people were able to survive, but the majority of the village was completely wiped out in only a few, short hours. During the time, a new village was called to be built nearby, but the French president, Charles de Gaulle, ordered the original to be maintained as a permanent memorial and museum.

I had been on vacation, traveling through France with my mom, dad, brother, aunt, uncle, and two of my cousins. My dad has always been fascinated with history and when he heard about this museum, he knew he had to see it. As for me, the topic piqued my interest. To hear about such a tragic situation was one thing but to be able to walk through it and see it first hand was much different.

We arrived at the museum early afternoon and began first in the inside area where we read much of the history and eventually made our way outside to walk the streets of this untouched village. It was silent, no one said a word. The vibe was eerie and as I looked at the building remnants and churches, I could see the women and children pounding on the doors to let them out. I heard the screams, and I smelled the fire. There were rusted cars, bicycles and even baby strollers, all left in place, untouched. I felt scared as I walked these streets, sticking by my cousins, horrified of wandering off and getting myself lost.

My dad, uncle, and aunt all strolled away in a different direction than the rest of us. The ruins were large and led to all different places. It soon began to get darker, as I realized the sun was setting. The workers in the museum began to come out and said the museum was nearing closing and we should begin to make our way back to the front. My cousins and I hurried our way out, this was not a place I’d like to be trapped in. We met up with my brother and mom at the front gates. But where were my dad, uncle, and aunt? We hadn’t seen them in a while. We went to go back in, but the gates were locked. In fact, all the gates were locked, the side ones as well. They had closed down the whole place, just like that, without even looking to see if anyone was still in there. Okay, don’t panic, I thought. We’ll just call them. Too bad I forgot we were in France and the only people who had the international phones were the three that were stuck inside. It was getting dark now, we needed a phone and we needed one quick. All we had to do was drive into town and ask a local shop to borrow a phone. Too bad I also forgot the only cars they drive in Europe are stick shifts and the only people who knew how to drive a stick were the three inside, once again. This was a disaster. That’s it; they were stuck inside this haunted town forever.

We had to act and it had to be now. My brother jumped into the car. Just before this trip my dad had only briefly taught my brother how to drive stick shift, but he was no pro. The car was also parked on a hill… Yet he somehow pulled himself together and got us to the closest town nearby. We frantically ran inside and tried to call them, although the phone system didn’t match up as nicely as we thought. Finally, finally! We got a hold of them and found out they had safely left the eerie village. The local French people must’ve thought we were crazy Americans. My dad said he could’ve sworn he heard a gunshot noise while inside. I believe him; what happened in that village should most definitely stay in that village.

Three Line Third Wheel Stories

by The Cowl Editor on February 8, 2018


Shattered heart
Photo courtesy of


His voice is all I can hear,

And she calls him dear.

Can I please just disappear?

—Marisa DelFarno ’18


Walking out of my dorm, my two friends see me and invite me to come to the dining hall.

I find their booth, and they are both sitting on the same side, already done eating.

I sit down and eat in silence, as they feast on each other with their eyes.

—Connor Zimmerman ’20


I love my two best friends, we do almost everything together.

We three drink, sleep, eat, play, and laugh all day,

Sometimes they make it weird and kiss and hold hands, but I don’t mind.

—Jay Willett ’20


It was kind of like the third person on the sidewalk

But worse…

Because I hear one of them whisper, “how do we get rid of her?”

—Sam Pellman ’20

I’m Not Sorry Anymore

by The Cowl Editor on February 1, 2018


Woman in sunshine
Photo courtesy of

by Sam Pellman ’20


I said sorry when you broke my heart

I waited for an apology but gave you over a hundred

I let you hurt me and I blamed myself


But I’m not sorry anymore

I’m not sorry you walked away when I thought I needed you the most

I’m not sorry you told me you’d never leave but one day were gone


I’m not sorry I fell so hard for you; it’s taught me everything

I’m not sorry I centered my world around you because I know now you are not the sun; I am

I’m not sorry I wasn’t enough for you, because I know I was too much for you to handle


I’m not sorry I spent nights crying, shedding over a thousand tears; each one had a purpose

I’m not sorry I deleted your number; it’s of no use for me now

I’m not sorry I hid all your letters; at one point they meant the world, now they are just words on a page


I’m not sorry you didn’t know what you wanted, I know you are confused

I’m not sorry that maybe one day we’ll run into each other after all these months; trust me, I can handle it now

I’m not sorry I still love you; I don’t think I could ever stop


But most importantly, I’m not sorry that I’m happy without you

I’m finally alive

I don’t wish you the best, but I don’t wish you the worst; I simply wish you what you deserve


I do hope you’re happy, but if you’re not…

I’m just not sorry anymore.

December Magic

by The Cowl Editor on December 8, 2017


house in the snow lit up by Christmas lights
Photo Courtesy of

by Sam Pellman ’20

One day it was August and the next it was December
This magical month seems to come when everyone needs it most.

December is truly magical, anything can happen.
It can be warm one day and snowing a white wonderland the next.

It’s the month that starts out stressful, but quickly brings peace.
The family all finally has an excuse to reunite and relax together, even just for a little.

Not only does December contain the excitement of Christmas
It gives us a time to reflect.

To reminisce on the good and bad times of the year;
It’s true when they say the best is saved for last

The close of December brings the close of the year
A whole chapter in life is ending, but ending in magic and never anything tragic.

December is full of surprises
Who says the end of the year can’t be the start of your new beginning?

Just as it snuck its way into our lives, it’ll be over just as quickly
So make sure you grab hold of December and let it sprinkle a little magic into your life before it’s too late.


by The Cowl Editor on November 30, 2017


Traveler with backpack walking forward alone at sunset
Photo courtesy of

by Sam Pellman ’20


I’ve gotten lost multiple times in my life on multiple occasions.

I’ve gotten lost in the mall, roaming store after store until I don’t remember where I started.

I’ve lost my mom in the grocery store.

I’ve lost my car in the parking lot and spent 20 minutes trying to find it.

I’ve gotten lost in a corn maze.

I’ve been lost in an airport and missed my flight.

I’ve gotten lost on my college campus, walking into the wrong classroom.

I’ve lost my dad in Home Depot and had to use the loudspeaker to find him.

I’ve lost my phone in my pocket.

I’ve lost my sunglasses on my head.

I’ve lost myself in a daydream waking up to a disappointing reality.

I’ve gotten lost in a museum and it closed while I was still inside.

I’ve lost loved ones and friends.

I’ve lost games and contests.

I’ve lost my temper.

I’ve lost sight of what’s important.

I’ve lost my heart after I gave it to someone who dropped it.

I’ve gotten lost in the thrill of it all at times in my life,

But the one thing I refuse to ever lose is myself.

Halloween Haikus

by The Cowl Editor on October 26, 2017


Happy Halloween
Photo courtesy of


“Dev missed school today.”

“He missed it yesterday, too.”

“So HE was the bait.”

—Julia Zygiel ’19


A jagged smile smirks.

Hollowed eyes stare in the dark.

It’s a frightful sight.

—Marisa Gonzalez ’18


The sky grows foggy

Black monsters leave their dark caves

To torment again!

—Sam Pellman ’20

It was time for mail

The letter read Rest In Peace

In giant letters

—Jess Polanco ’20


Autumn’s costume show

Hides from careless grins the truth:

You will all grow up.

—Jonathan Coppe ’18

Falling Out Of Old Habits

by The Cowl Editor on October 19, 2017


falling autumn leaves
Photo courtesy of

by Sam Pellman ’20

Just as the seasons change it is only right that we should too.

Following close behind Summer is Fall ready to show the world its charm.

Yet the beginning of Fall doesn’t mean the end of bliss.

It means a chance to restart and get a grip on life.

With each leaf that falls off the trees comes a new opportunity.

An opportunity to fall out of old habits and create new ones.

Fall is a time to let go of anything in the past that is stopping you from moving forward.

To embrace Fall is to let yourself fall.

Throw away any toxic thoughts or people just as the trees throw away their leaves.

Let the cool air hit your face and allow you to feel alive again.

Take in the smells of cinnamon, spices, apples, and pumpkins

And let go of the ocean mists and the smoky smell of late night bonfires for a little bit.

Hear the wind whistle and the leaves crunch.

And understand that this wind carries a choice you can take to change your routines.

Each season only lasts for so long; this new start to your life may be short-lived, so enjoy it while it lasts.

It’s unnatural for something to stay the same for too long…

Both seasons and humans need constant change and different experiences.

But remember Summer will find its way back again.

But this time you’ll look forward to the start of Fall.

Because you know it’s your short time to simply start over and let yourself finally fall.

The Good Life for a Good Boy

by The Cowl Editor on September 28, 2017


beagle resting head on bed
Photo Courtesy of

by Sam Pellman, ’20


From the moment we brought him home, we knew we picked a good one. Not only was he cute, but he was a real beauty. The markings on his fur were like nothing else I’d ever seen. The blacks, browns, grays, and whites were all so precise, it was as if someone had used a brush and painted them onto his tiny body.

He was an only pup, just him and his mom. It was not long after we brought him home that he clung to a new mom, almost imprinted to her and followed her everywhere she went. My mother loved the attention; she now had another baby. I’ll admit I was a bit jealous.

He grew up in our old house; that’s where he found himself. He learned how to face his fear of the stairs and finally turn that wimpy bark into a strong one. I wish I could say I was the only one who truly fell in love with him, but that would be too big of a lie. Everyone he met adored him; I can’t think of a soul who didn’t. The fact is, he wasn’t hard to love, rather it was easy. You fell in love with the way he’d cry if you squeaked a toy too much because it hurt his delicate ears, or the way he would go crazy and throw a barking fit when you changed the garbage bag or took out a bowl from the cabinet for cereal.

He had his quirks, weird quirks, that were just too funny not to love. You even learned to love that god- awful breath of his, the kind that smelled like he had just eaten five rotten fish he found while making his way down the beach in our backyard. He hated the car, so much so that his body would shake uncontrollably and he’d pant the whole way, emitting that awful, awful breath. But it was okay, because you loved him.

He had anxiety when he heard thunder, and worse were the fireworks. For the whole month of July around 9 p.m., you’d wander around the house wondering where he was only to find him arched over awkwardly in the bathroom shower, shaking and panting.

He was a cuddler, and come 10 p.m. you could do absolutely anything you wanted to him because he was too tired to fight you. He slept on the bed and often times stole my dad’s spot if he did not come quick enough to claim it. He loved chicken, but eggs even more. When my dad made eggs in the morning, he’d make an extra just for him. I gave him my yolk, because I didn’t like it, but I knew he loved it.

Max had a good life. He was happy, and best of all he made us happy. He was there for me when no one else was. I would cry my eyes out while he just sat there and listened. And that’s all I needed, his presence. He kept my grandma company when we went on vacation, for he went on vacation to her house, and oh, how she loved him. He didn’t like other dogs but he sure liked people and to us, that was more than okay.

The thing with pets is not to dwell on the day their lives no longer exist, but instead to remember the years and years of endless bliss they brought you. For a dog, we are all they have. We can yell at them, leave them hours and hours in a house all alone and yet as soon as we come back they greet us as if they haven’t seen us for years. That’s something only a dog does and that something is what makes owning one so special. To build a good life for a dog is all that matters, and Max for sure had a very good life.

Right Person, Wrong Time?

by The Cowl Editor on September 14, 2017


rainy car windshield at night
Photo courtesy of


by Sam Pellman ’20

Portfolio Staff


What had the potential to be the perfect summer instead turned into the summer of realization.

The realization that sometimes no matter how hard you try or how badly you want it, love just isn’t enough.

It isn’t enough right now, in this moment, but with time and growth it very well could be.

Three months had gone by since she saw him last. He had the appearance of a stranger, yet knew every little secret of her past.

It hurt to look at him, so she decided to look down. But when their eyes did meet, it was as if all the pain he had caused was suddenly gone.

“How did I let you go?” he whispered as the raindrops danced along the car windshield. But all she could attempt to mumble was “I don’t know…”

Tears leaked from his eyes, but surprisingly none from hers. She had drenched her pillow with messy tears and makeup for nights and nights; it seemed now they were simply dry.

He kept claiming he made the biggest mistake of his life. This normally would be her solace, but instead the words felt like a knife.

“But it’s too late…,” she said, her head in her hands. “I hope to God it’s not,” his voice said with a slight crack.

Her heart had formed a stone wall, it needed to protect itself. Yet, he could always somehow slip right back in and settle in the empty holes that begged for affection.

So he grabbed her face and kissed it hard, but her body was too numb to pull away. “That kiss feels like home to me,” is all he managed to say.

The rain was getting louder, the clock now almost said 1 a.m. The reality that this could be the very last time she saw him began quickly to sink in.

“I wish you the best, I want you to be happy,” she lied, pushing back the tears she now felt coming. “This won’t be the last time I see you, this isn’t goodbye,” he whispered, that sparkle she had missed twinkling in his eye.

Every ounce of him loved her and her heart could not help but feel the same. Yet, space and time is what they needed to understand love is anything but a game.

The world has a funny way of bringing back together what is meant to be. For when love gains back the strength it so desperately needs, the right person will be back at the right time; just wait and see.